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The Slice: Uranus avoids the bottom

Thu., April 7, 2011, midnight

Earth Day isn’t until later this month, but I’m plunging ahead with The Slice’s annual ranking of the planets.

1. Mercury: Not one sign of unintelligent life. 2. Earth: Best preschoolers and dogs. 3. Neptune: Far away from our political discourse. 4. Uranus: Zero religious nutjobs. 5. Mars: Iffy Internet connections. 6. Pluto: Still a planet on this list. 7. Saturn: What happens when you rely on your looks and then get old? 8. Venus: Weak nonconference schedule. 9. Jupiter: Coronary waiting to happen.

OK, where were we: Oh, yeah. The Slice had speculated that children probably don’t memorize the state capitals these days.

Then I heard about a local kid named Cyra Carlson. She not only learned the state capitals, she also suggested that family road trips include visits to capitol buildings.

“I think we’re up to 19 or so,” wrote Cyra’s mom, Christel. “Our favorite I think was in Kansas where they have a suspended circular staircase you can climb to the dome.”

And experience a bit of vertigo.

Just wondering: Do those who grew up in military families encounter people who assume all fathers in the armed services were like the one in “The Great Santini”?

Slice answer: “You recently asked about the most adored person in Spokane,” wrote J.D. Thayer. “I have to put in a plug for my friend Tim O’Doherty, owner of O’Doherty’s Irish Grille downtown. He has a personal reservoir of good will that is apparently bottomless and that he shares with everyone. …

“Everyone loves Raymond? No. Everyone loves Tim O’Doherty.”

Weather or not: “I think we should just do away with the four-seasons thing in Spokane,” wrote Tom Harding.

His idea? Model our climatic nomenclature after the practice of the Australians, who have “the wet” and “the dry.”

“Our wet runs from about October to June, and then the dry runs from July to September. Just my two cents.”

Today’s Slice question: Ever tried a self-imposed blackout of local news media when spending a vacation week at home?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail Drive Your Car to Work Week is coming up.

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