Dear Dr. Boli: How do “self-cleaning” ovens work? —Sincerely, An Inquisitive Housewife.

Dear Madam: They do not. Dr. Boli is not surprised that you have been taken in by this common consumer fraud, as the promise is very attractive, and the ovens so described are promoted with the aggressive rhetoric typical of the home-appliance industry. There is nothing shameful in having been taken in by the wiles of Madison Avenue. Dr. Boli will merely advise you to consider this an educational experience, and only hopes that you have not been so foolish as to buy an “auto-defrost” refrigerator as well.


On This Day in History.

ON THIS DAY in 1931, an unemployed World War I veteran hit President Hoover in the face with a coconut cream pie. No charges were ever filed.