A LOOK BACK AT THE YEAR 2008.

IT IS ALWAYS a pleasure to celebrate human achievement, and it is with a wistful pride that Dr. Boli looks back on a year that produced some of the great achievements of history. Most of those achievements occurred within the pages of this magazine; the rest of the world, to use a frank but appropriate colloquialism, was not exactly on a roll.

January brought us our introduction to the redoubtable Admiral Hornswoggle, whose memoirs have thrown light on a number of important events in nautical history. If nothing else had been accomplished in that month, the world would still have been a better place.

In February, we celebrated Valentine’s Day in the most appropriate fashion. Dr. Boli is pleased to report, in fact, that the valentine he offered for his readers’ use has become surprisingly popular, restoring a modicum of good taste to a holiday that frequently attracts garish sentimentality. The same month brought the foundation of the Society for the Promotion of Folly, whose influence on the course of the remainder of the year has surely not gone unnoticed.

In March, the great poet William Wordsworth made his first appearance in a comic strip. Sadly, this was also his last appearance.

April brought an exceptional privilege: the exclusive publication of a hitherto unpublished Arthurian tale entitled The Marvellous Aventure of Syr Gawayne in the Castell of Mayden Clerkes. It is reward enough for Dr. Boli’s efforts that he is occasionally able to make a material advance in literary scholarship.

It is a similar pleasure to be able to advance the cause of medicine, which Dr. Boli did with his discovery of “The Darwin Diet” in May. The tale of “The Man who Built a Rhinoceros from a Kit,” which enlivened the late days of May, has become a classic of its type. In fact, it is probably the only tale of its type.

Language differences need be no barrier to clarity in technical documentation; and for the benefit of technical writers throughout the world, Dr. Boli demonstrated the proper use of entirely visual instructions in June.

In July, Dr. Boli offered complete coverage of the Fringe Party convention, at a time when layoffs and cutbacks throughout the world of journalism had reduced the resources of the other news organizations. Meanwhile, a life on the cutting edge of scientific and literary progress had not rendered Dr. Boli immune to the siren call of nostalgia, as he demonstrated with “The Good Old Days” in July.

And speaking of nostalgia, in August Dr. Boli was able to bring his readers yet another chapter from the old Captain Pleonasm radio serial, which boys of a certain age doubtless remember fondly every time they look over their collections of Captain Pleonasm decoder mittens.

As the Large Hadron Collider occupied the attention of the world in September, Dr. Boli offered his readers a comfortingly scientific reassurance that they had nothing to fear from this impressive piece of scientific apparatus.

October brought a few useful travel tips for visitors to the Tsogivari Republic. In the same month we also learned to cook scrambled eggs.

November brought the national elections, with their discouraging results for the Fringe party. Dr. Boli himself was something of a disinterested observer, being registered as a Federalist.

December was a month of crisis in Canadian politics, which Dr. Boli helpfully explained to the four or five United States citizens who take an interest in the subject. Finally, December was the one month in which Dr. Boli felt a little bit ashamed of himself, having succumbed to the temptation to join every other magazine in offering a year-end roundup. He hopes that this minor failing will not dim the light of his other accomplishments.

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