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Test Pattern: Five-link Friday

Super Bowl urban legends and goofy eats, Michael Jackson fun, choose the greatest American. By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Five-link Friday

Looks like Cathy's going to say the magic "I do's" tomorrow. and see if the comics world's most famous singleton actually ties the knot.

And now, Friday's five random links.

• Urban-legend repository has gathered together all its . Read through these now, and on Sunday during the game, you can shoot down any urban myths that your friends insist are true. True or false: "Sewage systems of major cities have broken due to the tremendous number of toilets being flushed simultaneously at halftime"?

• What would Michael Jackson look like if he hadn't let every doctor in the known universe mangle his face? One guy thinks MJ would look . So does that mean he would be ?

• Speaking of Michael, take this online quiz: I'm The Moonwalker. (Thanks to Denise for the link!)

• Who was the greatest American ever? The Discovery Channel . You can also see as their greatest countrymen. (Why do I suspect that most Americans, myself included, would be hard-pressed to even identify Isambard Kingdom Brunel?)

• And one more Super Bowl link: Super Bowl attendees will have plenty of stadium eats to choose from, but one of the most bizarre choices has to be the Cool Dog. So maybe you really want dessert, but you'd like to blend in with the rest of the crowd who are chowing down on hot dogs. Order and you can do both: It's ice-cream weirdly molded into a sausage shape, served in a Twinkie-like bun, and drizzled with sweet toppings. You can always start your diet at halftime. (Thanks to Jon for the link!)

Your thoughts on the comics

We’re wrapping up our comic-strip discussion, just in time to .

Here are some of your comments on the comics world as a whole.

FARLEY LIVES ONI cried like a baby when Farley died, too.  Let that reader know that Lynn Johnston has lent his (and her own) name to .  This is a non-profit organization in Canada named after him (his picture is part of their logo, as well) that helps low-income, disabled and seniors pay for veterinary care for their pets.  You can donate to it via the .    —Missy

IS SAD SACK AWOL?Whatever happened to ‘Sad Sack’? I used to read it in the Stars and Stripes paper when I was overseas.    —Jaime
Editor's Note: Looks like "Sad Sack" found an .

GET OUT OF THE ‘50sI wish cartoon editors would have more guts and sign-up more contemporary-thinking-provocateur cartoonists, which in turn will help make their newspaper more attractive to a younger audience. I feel they (the cartoon editors) still live in the boring Fifties.     —Stephan

If you haven’t already, you should pass on to your readers that is re-printing all of the Peanuts strips in nice hardback books. Each of these beautiful books prints two complete years of the strip. There are two volumes out currently. Those early strips are great. There is also a collection of the Lil Folks strips that Schulz did before Peanuts and a new collection of the baseball strips he did in the mid 50’s, the name of which escapes me.    —Garth
Editor's Note: Here's . The baseball strip book is called

COMICS AS COMEDIANSComics can be, if you think about it, characterized like comedians.  Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Mort Sahl might be akin to Boondocks and Doonesbury.  Shelly Berman and Bob Newhart equal Dilbert, and Bizarro World — which can frequently just blow me away in a single frame of insight — are comparable to the curious observations of George Carlin and Stephen Wright.    —Patrick

LONGTIME STRIP ENDSI just wanted to express by disappointment at the ending of the comic strip  Steve Roper and Mike Nomad.  This strip had been around in some form or another since 1935.  It’s a shame that it’s gone.  It was an action-adventure strip.  I don’t know if any newspapers carried it, all I know is that I read the strip from the internet on King Features.    —Phil
Editor's Note: A year after the son of the original creator died, the .

GIVE THEM MORE ROOMThe problem with comics is that papers just don’t allow enough room for them. I heard that the NY Times came with comics on the outside at one time.  Some of us still read the comics first, then the rest of the paper. Our paper in Clarksville, TN is printing daily comics in color everyday. Sells of papers went up when they started this last year. Some days comics are the only thing still good. I would love to see the long strips again.    —Joseph

I can’t believe that anyone is complaining about ANY of the comics!  If you don’t like it — don’t read it  — duh!    —Ron

A WORLD IN THE COMICS PAGESComics are a snapshot of our ever-changing world, a running dialog of its problems and its proudest moments.  I learned to read sitting on my father’s knees as he religiously read me the comics 58 years ago.  I have seen all the changes during the following years so clearly.  All I have had to do is go to the comic pages.  For Better or Worse is the greatest.  A pet dying for the first time in a comic, a handicapped teacher making an appearance, a gay teenager coming out in high school, the tender and all important relationship with a grandfather and his youngest granddaughter, a mother growing old with me.  I laugh, I cry, and I eagerly look forward to every new day and the comic section.    —Pat

Will ‘Cathy’ wed?

When Irving last Valentine's Day, I thought for sure it was just another gimmick. Sure, he'd propose, and she'd say no, or she'd think he was going to propose, and he'd really be just planning to propose a trip to the movies, or something like that. I figured cartoonist Cathy Guisewite would pull out any number of tricks to negate the proposal.

After all, the whole point of was that it was one of the first strips focusing on a single businesswoman. She couldn't get married, could she?

Cathy getting married was like finally kicking the football, or getting a great, fulfilling job. Wouldn't it defeat the whole purpose of the strip? Would a happily married, emotionally satisfied Cathy be any fun at all to read about?

Comic strips that take risks are often better for it. I'd been forgetting about but when B.D. lost his leg in Iraq, you can bet I tuned in, to see how this devastating change would affect a character I felt like I knew. When delivers a new baby, my interest is piqued, even though I hate it when sitcoms pull .

I admit, I'm who thinks "Cathy" has seen better days — I've shared that as we've been discussing comics the past few weeks. But that said, I was an avid reader in the 1980s, and I even own some of the books of collected strips.

With the wedding apparently just about to happen (will it be a Valentine's Day nuptials? does anyone know?) Guisewite's got me back, I'll be reading at least through the wedding, to see if she really goes through with it. And for at least a few weeks after, to see if the strip survives.