Friday, January 03, 2003

All-Time Cute Award

Cutest. Thing. Of. All. Time. I shit you not.


courtesy of Escribitionist, a most witty and erudite person.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Insert Severe Eye-Rolling Here

Pakistani Jeweler's photo distributed by US's FBI.

'Cept, the poor guy's never been to the US. He tried to get into Britain using falisified papers, the photo from which may have been used by the person really being sought, under a different name.

Pres. Bush's response?
"Kind of curious to know why he needs a false passport," Bush told reporters during a tour of his Crawford, Texas ranch Thursday. "We like things above board here in America."
"We need to follow up on forged passports and people trying to come into our country illegally," Bush said.

That's lovely, except this fellow was going to Britain, not the US, and courtesy of this whole Revolution thing a bunch of colonies staged around the late 1700's after feeling their rights as subjects of the Crown weren't being recognized, which resulted in their ceasing to be subjects of said Crown, the US is not part of Britain. (Yes, I heard your sigh of relief from here.)

Twilight Zone collections on DVD, in a decent bundle. At last, at last, at last...
Not Good At All

Various species are demonstrably responding to the current 1-degree-so-far (Fahrenheit) temperature change in Earth's climate.
would FOTR, by any other author, smell as sweet?

I think not. See for yourself. I'm exceptionally fond of the George Orwell version.

Kudos to BoLS, for the tip!

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Appellete Blog

If you have a fondness for the law in the US, you might like to check out How Appealling, "The Web's first blog devoted to appellate litigation". Very interesting stuff, and a good sense of humour.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Trip Report

I like Philadelphia, and the suburb where I spent most of the past week. I like Janis' family, and I adore S's gun collection, or, I should say, the portion of it I saw. Wow.

I like The City, what I saw of it:

  • Various train terminals (I love traveling by train, so this is a plus)

  • City Hall (from the outside)

  • Reading Terminal Market

  • Devon Seafood Grill (Atlantic salmon, yum)

  • The Curtis Bldg and the Maxfield Parrish/Tiffany "Dream Garden" mosaic inside it

  • The Bishop White House (from the outside)

  • The City Tavern (good food, good beer!)

  • Independence Hall

  • Magna Carta ca 1297, signed by King Edward I. I had no idea parts of the US Constitution were lifted, wording and all, from Magna Carta. Ideas, yes, complete phrases, I didn't know that. That's so darn cool.

  • Statues of various dead white guys that'll be going in the under-construction Constitution Hall: Thomas Fitzsimmons, John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Hamilton. (Oh, here, cool: bios of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution)

  • The Liberty Bell

  • Congress Hall (part of the Independence Hall 'complex', as is much of what I list here, or in its immediate environs)

  • Strawbridge's, a department store

  • Philadelphia Exchange (from the outside)

  • Polish American Center (from the outside)

  • The Center for Judaic Studies (from the outside), which prompted commentary primarily due to the name of the larger building it resides in: General Accident. Oh, wait! We were supposed to put the building over here! Oops.

  • The Bourse (from the outside)

I bought a few maps. Got the City Tavern cookbook from Janis. Good food from everywhere. It was too cold for everyone I was with (skinny, uninsulated people all of them -- just remember they all get to laugh at me when it's hot) so a lot of the outdoors walking was at a cramp-inducing scurry (20 minutes of excruciating pain is not too high a price for pay, least everything loosens up afterwards). Didn't get to gawk at the buildings as much as I would have liked as a result.

One thing I commented on at the time and will comment on here: having a physical context to provide a sense of immediacy and realness to the study of history makes such a big difference I must make the following observation: You can read books about history. And you can stand where the history happened and see it with your own eyes.

If I had a zillion dollars, I would spend a chunk of it sending junior high and high schoolers to Philadelphia for 2 weeks of hands-on history. Of, course, if I had a zillion dollars, I'd be doing quite a few other things as well.

Being such a young nation, the US really falters where history is concerned, in part, I think, because it is so hard to get that real feel from a textbook. If there are few historical centers associated with the birth of my nation, there is next to nothing associated with anyone else's country, be it birth, growing pain, or demise.

I come from the second-youngest state in this Union. (Oh, spiff, the Alaska State Constitution. Neat.) There's a whole lot of nothing as far as history is concerned where I come from. It was a frontier. The land was purchased in 1867, became a US territory in 1912, and a state in 1959. Pennsylvania was one of the founding colonies, its charter was signed in 1681 -- it predates the US itself. There's thousands of miles, a couple centuries and a wealth of experience between those two sentences. It amazes me we're in the same nation.

(oh, and since someone asked:

Eight stars of gold on a field of blue,
Alaska’s flag, may it mean to you,
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes and the flowers nearby,
The gold of the early sourdough’s dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams,
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The "Bear," the "Dipper," and shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
O’er land and sea a beacon bright,
Alaska’s flag to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.

Now you know the Alaska state song.)


Reading portions of the Qu'ran...made an initial report in my book reviews blog.

If that link has aged out, try this instead.