The December 1996 issue of National Geographic bears a carving of Genghis Khan on its cover. In addition to a thorough article on the great eastern military leader, the issue also contains articles about the Shenandoah River, Las Vegas, Ice Climbing, Berlin, and Crinoids (which happen to be those beautiful, feathery sea flowers you see adorning coral mantelpieces of tropical reefs, the gift of an aquatic lover, marine aquaintance, or merely the octopus garden out back).

Why do I know this? Because the issue currently protects a 1993 Information Please Almanac upon which it sits on the area of surplus carpet below me in this basement room. It has sat in this general location for the previous month, ever since I wrote an OAC English (OAC = Grade 13 for us throwback Ontarians) Creative in which we had to write an interior monologue for an alternate history R.P. McMurphy, in which his life is not extinguished in some west coast mental facility, and instead comment on present day concerns of ours using McMurphy's perspective and language. Please see stupid high school english assignments if you do not already have first-hand insight into the ridiculous nature of some of these assignments.

What was the purpose of this? To force myself to put the damn magazine on the shelf where it belongs.