It's still funny 12 years after I first read it: John T. Mongan's letter from MIT and his imitative, mocking reply, which begins
"You've got the reputation. You've certainly got the pomposity. And now you've got a letter from John Mongan. Maybe you're surprised. Most universities would be.
But you're not most universities. And that's exactly why I urge you to carefully consider one of the most selective students in America, so selective that he will choose only *one* of the thousands of accredited universities in the country."
keeping Grandma connected 2009
Photo notes from me:
- Clever Joe used masking tape to cover the irritating blue light on the corner of the printer. :)
- USB hub into which are plugged the keyboard and printer.
Moonstar House 2009
A lovely getaway up the coast to southern Mendocino County with our pals Lila and Derek. :)
Doing the right thing 2009
You know, we were kids much like you who figured out one day that our fate was in our own hands, you know, and we made decisions to listen to our parents and to work hard and to work even harder when somebody doubted us. When somebody told me that I couldn't do something or be something, that just gave me a greater challenge to prove them wrong. And with every little challenge like that, and every little success, I gained more confidence. And, you know, life just sort of opened up.
So I feel like it's an obligation for me to share some of that with you. If it's as simple as sitting around in a circle answering questions or being in a room shaking a hand or giving a hug or reading a story, I want you all to see me and to see Barack, and to have access to whatever we can offer. Those are some of the reasons.
And I want to learn. I want to learn directly from you what's going on in your lives. I can guess. I can read in the paper. But I also get a better sense when I look at you all in the eyes and hear your stories directly from you. So that's why I'm here....
And also, it's my hope that if one day any of you all get in the position, that you do the same thing; that you always think about where you came from and what you're going to do to give back. Sound right? "
What an inspiring woman!
"Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. It's a tactic. It's about as sensible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect we're going to win that war. We're not going to win the war on terrorism."
- Retired US Army general, William Odom, on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program in November 2002
Recently enjoyed media 2009
Ed Yong article about Titanoboa!
Science Talk podcast episode about Doctor Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera featuring comments by members of the original Manhattan project team.
Encouraging conclusions from analysis of South Asian pollution demonstrate the practical impact of seemingly academic testing techniques described in this 60-Second Science episode.
Politics & Economy
The White House Blog
So handy to be kept informed on government activity in this way. (Now pass the dang stimulus bill, Senate! Throw yer crazy-ass "trickle-down-will-happen" magical thinking into the dumpster - it does not work!)
Urgh! A Music War! which isn't available on DVD but it's amazing what you can find online. (Hint: if you strike out on one of tracks try searching song title and 1980 since that's when most of these videos were recorded). 1979-1981 has some damn amazing music, I tell ya.
My main tools for finding good media: Google Reader subscriptions, editorial recommendations from my Uncle Larry, Merlin Mann's Most Days links, and my friends on Twitter.
Health & Culture
Ockham's Razor episode about aboriginal health changes.
Feeling thick headed after big meals isn't just your imagination. Eat Less, Remember More says this 60-Second Science story.
A smart thing creative people should do 2009
Ensure the future of your creations.
It's very easy and it's very important. Listen to Neil Gaiman and then use the template his fine legal friend Les Klinger created to give yourself a will.