This too is a bit of filler, but I saw that the New York Times has come up with a new technique  for sniffing-out stories. They get one of their reporters to pose questions to his or her local plumber or handyman and publish the result as some of the gnus that are fit to print.  This is the second time I’ve seen this sort of article of theirs rocket to the top of their “10-most-cherished in the past 24 hours” list  (I see today it’s at number five, half way down on the right, but I promise you it was number one yesterday).  To be fair, the article does contain a very, very small quantity of useful information about washers and dryers, and I’m certainly not planning to climb inside our washing machine again.