No magazine editor can resist the temptation to put together a year-in-review article. It is a chance to squeeze free column inches out of work that is already done. Since the only effectual remedy for temptation is to give in to it, here is a review of some of Dr. Boli’s favorite articles from the past year.

In January, we got some useful tips for managers on how to deal with employees. If you are an employee, you’re welcome.

February was haiku-and-typewriter month, and we spent a lot of time fussing with the meter of haiku. It was therefore a great relief to every reader when we published “When I Am Dead,” which was not a haiku.

March comes in like something and goes out like something else. We published a handy chart of the possibilities. We also suggested a crusade that would unify the left and the right in one harmoniously destructive mob.

In April, as a service to all the shipping professionals in our audience, we offered a set of useful shipping labels you can print. We also remembered the existence of Xavier Cugat.

In May, we published a review of The Beekeeper in three parts. Our review of this “business fable” actually generated a kind comment from the authors inviting Dr. Boli to a discussion. Dr. Boli is still considering how to respond, but he will probably come up with a reply any month now.

June brought representatives from all over our great nation to Pittsburgh for the American Public Transportation Association’s Rail Conference, so in honor of this momentous occasion we donated space for an expert from Pittsburgh Regional Transit to answer some frequently asked questions about Pittsburgh’s rail-transit system. We also heard the famous tale of How the Zebra Got His Stripes.

In July, we offered some Useful Safety Signs You Can Print, which we are confident made the world a safer place.

In August, our friends at Malt-O-Cod sponsored The Adventures of Dictionary Guy, a superhero whose one superpower is surprisingly effective against certain kinds of villains. We also published our essay on the terms and conditions to which we are forced to agree every day, and how they compare to the founding documents of the United States—an essay that has since become one of our most popular features, although it seems as though nothing can equal the permanent value and interest of the Free Blank Sheet of Paper we offered nine years ago, which the Internet at large still finds more useful than any of our other articles.

In September, we suggested a scheme for a new world’s largest museum dedicated to a single artist to beat the old record set by the Andy Warhol Museum, and with minimal effort and small expense.

October brought us a new adventure of Backstory Man and Angst Boy. We also learned from a visit to the Strip District in Pittsburgh that we’re doing potato chips wrong, and we were delighted to settle the old and vexed question “What is a poem?” by referring the matter to artificial intelligence for a definitive answer.

For the benefit of students of creative writing, November brought Dr. Boli‘s Celebrated Three-Act Structure Chart.

Finally, in December, we paid tribute to a well-informed passenger on the streetcar. We also read an excerpt from an unpublished science-fiction novel by Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle.

These were not necessarily the best articles of the year. Perhaps there were no best articles this year. But articles did appear; you cannot deny them that virtue. Moreover, something appeared every single day of the year.

Will there something for every single day of 2024? It might happen, or it might not. Dr. Boli has found that the best way to succeed in life is not to promise some accomplishment beforehand, but rather to accomplish it first and then afterward boast of having done it.


  1. linkin', blinken and nod says:

    For March, the link from “crusade” points to the same URL as the link from “possibilities” but instead needs to point to the next day’s entry.

    And congratulations on the perfect attendance (2023) record.  It ain’t boasting if you can do it, and it especially ain’t boasting if you’ve already done it.

    • Dr. Boli says:

      Thank you for pointing out the error, which has been corrected. Making working links in an article like this is one of the drudgeries that could usefully be taken over by competent artificial intelligence, but instead we decided we wanted AI that could draw us pictures of Humphrey Bogart in a hair salon on Venus.

  2. RepubAnon says:

    For 2024, can we hear more about the singular puzzles solved by Abelard – or whether he ever decided to lock his door??

    • Occasional Correspondent says:

      Didn’t Abelard get mixed up with a French dame named Heloise?  Maybe you could tell us about that adventure.

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