Molarity Classic 96-100

Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Strips 96-100 of the popular comic strip Molarity, which previewed in The Observer in 1977, wander around campus, taking in some campus news stories and infamous pop quizzes.


96. This cartoon appeared in response to the headlines of the previous week regarding the October break arsonists and the security guards who were eventually fired as all the incidents occurred during their shifts. As reported in this Observer, Security while responding to a call for an ambulance on the 4th floor of Fisher, went to Pangborn. I would probably make the same mistake. But my friend triple-domer Christina told me to remember that “’F’ is near the Food.” (Fisher is next to the South Dining Hall. Farley is next to the North Dining Hall, not Breen-Phillips.)


97. This cartoon mimics a popular detergent commercial of the era. A sports headline noted that CBS was developing a TV movie about Ara Parsegian’s 1964 inaugural season. I don’t remember that one getting aired.


98. On Wednesday nights, students could give up their dinner in the dining hall to raise money to feed the homeless. For some it was an awakening on the pangs of hunger. For others, it was the realization that they spent more money feeding themselves at the huddle. Meanwhile headlines in The Observer this week have Nestles meeting with students organizing a boycott against them.


99. Loyal readers and alumni from this era will know all about Emil T. Hoffman’s 7-point Friday Chemistry Quiz and its powerful impact on the campus. The year before, I had planted the idea in the minds of my well-prepared roommates that the dorm elevator was the weakest link of their plan for success on these quizzes. (Grace and Flanner were men’s dorms back then.) For this cartoon, I asked current freshmen what the subject matter was for the test that week to give the cartoon heightened immediacy.


100. This was my 100th cartoon, which appeared on November 9, 1978, during my sophomore year. There was no celebration.

See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.