1. um…bigger is not always better? Assuming the one who put the needle in the haystack wanted it to stay hidden. That’s all I can come up with.

  2. There’s a fad of selling random things as “tactical”: flashlights, jackets, gloves, belts, watches, pants — go onto Amazon, you’ll even find the “Ka-Bar Tactical Spork”. These tend to be black, jagged, and oversized, sometimes to the point of rediculousness. For the joke to really work, the needle should be matte black and have more spikes…

  3. Recently I’ve been hearing a version of the underlying cliché that compares a difficult search/discrimination task to “finding a needle in a stack [or pile] of needles”.

  4. From the early days of Internet media, when users were identified over the net by their local, generally Unix, usernames, there was a guy whose real name was Matt [or actually Matthew] Black, and his limited-character username was “albedo0”.

  5. I’m fairly sure that the product is a “tactical needle” and it happens to be in a haystack. However, when I read the text, I can’t help but feel that they’re selling a “tactical needle in a haystack”.
    I’m in great agreement with JHGRedekop; having the needle be black (or that grey that so many flashlights are) would have been much more funny and understandable.

  6. Mythbusters did “needle in a haystack”. Turns out not to be too hard to find one as long as you aren’t concerned about maintaining the integrity of the haystack.

  7. Maybe I’m not paying attention, but the blatant ad in his signature surprised and I think offended me — is this common practice now? Email addresses/web URLs I know have been being put in for decades now, and yes, I realize they were the start of this slippery slope, but I’m OK with those, they are offering further interaction if the reader so desires, and yes, I get that it’s the thin end of the wedge to get readers to come to you website, where you can advertise to them / upsell them. But to use the cartoon itself to advertise your wares? Strikes me as a step too far.

  8. “With a magnet, I assume.”

    They searched for a bone needle rather than a steel one to avoid that solution.

  9. My mother’s dog could ALWAYS find a needle or pin she dropped on the carpet . . . that’s how good dog noses are. I wonder if that could happen with a search & rescue dog, or a cadaver dog? Another topic of MythBusters . . .

  10. Mythbusters has been through a couple of iterations since the original, and the current version is “Mythbusters, Jr.” featuring a cast that is almost all minors. Probably won’t be any cadaver-dog myths being examined.

  11. larK, Considering how much I like comics and how little the artists can make, I think putting up with a little self-promotion isn’t too big an ask. IMO, of course.

  12. When it comes to mercenary self-promotion, McDonnell’s “Mutts” is a much worse offender. His redesigned website eliminated the “archive” page to review previous strips, so that now you have to click through to the shop’s “buy this print” page to review them. That wouldn’t be unacceptable if the new page had a functional system for navigation, but it does not.

  13. What offends me I think is the defacing of the art for the purposes of commerce: do what you like on your website, do what you like elsewhere, but in the art itself, it seems crass to put a cheesy self-promoting ad. You might scoff at the term “art”, and with the crass ad in it, I’d agree….

  14. Mr. Peabody (owner of Sherman) had a never-fail way of finding a needle in a haystack. Sit down on the haystack. You’ll sit on the needle.

  15. carlfink, if you go up to my first comment on the subject, you’ll see that I acknowledged that, and said I was OK with it. A URL is a way of getting further information if you should want it — it is not a crass commercial only plug, it can and does serve a different primary purpose. Once further linked, you might be sold to, you might not — but this is just a way to get further info. I’m fine with that. It’s an expanded signature: I made this, this is who I am, this is how you find out who I am.

    But when you besmirch the artwork itself with ads for how to obtain the artwork, or worse, how to obtain completely unrelated, sold to the highest bidder random crap, then it is no longer artwork, and I no longer want it.

    Yeah, I realize that folks like Al Capp have been trying to use their comics to plug stuff for forever — but when you cross the line too far, you degrade your artwork, and that in turn removes your pulpit — you are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Al Capp did cross that line from time to time, and got in trouble for it with the syndicate. They want to protect their goose. This guy also is crossing the line for me. Why would I want to buy a book full of cartoons that tell me to buy the book full of cartoons in ’em?


  16. Needles used to be (before all of us were born) expensive. One had to make sure to keep track of the needle one was using so as not to need to spend for a new one – assuming here in the “colonies” one could find one to purchase.

    I am not surprised they could find the lost one on Mythbusters. Last June our reenactment unit hosted an event that we have wanted to do for years (decades?) called “Long Island under the Redcoat as people here do not generally understand how life was here during the American Revolution. (Long Island was the longest continually occupied area starting in August 1776 with the colonists loss at the Battle of Brooklyn – then as now part of Long Island and ending on November 11, 1783 (Evacuation Day) when the last British troops in the United Colonies, now states, left.)

    We did Saturday as an day early in the war and Sunday as day towards the end of the war. Either way embroidery was not appropriate for me to demonstrate and I spent the two days working on taking apart the back seam of a waistcoat (vest) that no longer fits Robert to then make holes along either side of the back of the 2 pieces to make it such that they could have a tie put through them and fit him better. It needed (needs) to be done anyway and is a good show of making do during the war. I moved around and sat in different places in the area where we “civilians” were and even stitched walking around a bit. I lost my needle with thread in it. I spent about 45 minutes retracing my steps and walking around looking for it. As Meryl I was just plan annoyed at having lost it. As Anne, I needed it back as it was my last needle. I eventually found it near the set up of one of members who portrays a period artist, who I had been talking to about his modern family some time earlier. He was set up adjacent to the British camp as who else could afford to pay him for his work. So one can definitely find a needle in a field (especially if it is threaded).

    (We will be doing the event again this June 1 & 2 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Sorry for this commercial, but it is a really different event than the normal reenactments – we had reenactors from as far away as VA come to join us and boss us around.)

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