Don't wonder whether we have weather

Temperatures in the 90s one day. Then, a few days later, rain and snow and hail and tornadoes. Jack Smith, the late Times columnist, neatly summed up the weird weather patterns here in a speech shown at a recent exhibit of his work at the Huntington Library. "In L.A.," Smith said, "you don't know what season it is until you look out the window."

Always read the small (and not-so-small) print

Mike Hatchimonji of La Palma spotted an eyebrow-threading offer whose sale price was somewhat eyebrow-raising (see accompanying).

Speaking of bargains

Mary McKennon of Newport Beach chanced upon a rather expensive free lesson (see accompanying).

Sober up, you nerds!

Lloyd Welch of La Canada Flintridge sent along a note he received from the Phi Beta Kappa Society which, to my surprise, seemed to be promoting wild partying on college campuses (see accompanying).

Looks aren't everything

Someone is finally paying respect to warthogs, as Robin Van Daele of Riverside found on a visit to Zimbabwe (see photo).

Head case

Apparently that theft of a crystal head from a New Age shop in Claremont, which I discussed last week, has more dangerous implications than I realized. Turns out that some believe the ancient Mayas possessed 13 of these skulls more than a thousand years ago and that they need to be united in order to save the Earth.

Whether the purloined noggin is one of the 13 isn't known for sure.

Of course, some scientists say the skulls are fakes; microscopic examination of the eye holes shows they were made by tools unknown to the Mayas but not unknown to Europeans of the 1860s -- when the skulls first became hot items on the antiquities market. Anyway, believers insist that the 13 crystal heads (no relation to the Indiana Jones flick) must be lined up to prevent the world from falling off its axis on Dec. 21, 2012. Dec. 21 -- it would have to be the day I traditionally start my Christmas shopping.

Quote of the week

It came from Jennifer Lynch, director of the much-derided 1993 movie "Boxing Helena," about a surgeon who turns his love interest into an amputee so she can be his captive. How did the bad reviews affect her? Lynch told The Times' Dennis Lim in 21st century terms, "I still can't Google myself today."


Basset hounds may be placid creatures, but their owners can be feisty. In the Basseteer, a publication of Basset Hound Rescue of Southern California, I found this advice for people visiting homes inhabited by the dogs: "If you don't want dog hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture."



Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at

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