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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."

Posted on February 28, 2009 at 08:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

keeping Grandma connected 2009

Photo and caption by Uncle Larry
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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.

Posted on February 26, 2009 at 12:00 PM in friends & family, relationships, tools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moonstar House 2009

A lovely getaway up the coast to southern Mendocino County with our pals Lila and Derek. :)




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Posted on February 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM in friends & family, travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Doing the right thing 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama at the Mary's Center Teen Program:

"I have, in some way, been where you are, because, you know, I didn't come into this position with a lot of wealth, with a lot of resources. And I think it's real important for young kids, particularly kids who come from communities without resources, to see me, not the First Lady, but to see that there is no magic to me sitting here. There is no miracles that happen. There is no magic dust that was sprinkled on my head or on Barack's head.

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!

Posted on February 14, 2009 at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"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

Posted on February 8, 2009 at 07:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Chalmers Johnson essay on the mad waste of Pentagon spending

Each year, we Americans account for nearly half of all global military spending, an amount larger than the next 45 nations together spend on their militaries annually. ... the stressed out American taxpayer, already supporting two disastrous wars and the weapons systems that go with them, is also paying good money for weapons that are meant for fantasy wars, for wars that will only be fought in the battlescapes and war-gaming imaginations of Defense Department "planners."

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.

Posted on February 7, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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.

if you're an author, or even a weekend author with just a few short stories published, or one thin book you don't think anyone read or would want to republish, fill it out. Sign it and date it in front of witnesses. Put it somewhere safe. And rest easily in the knowledge that you may have made some anthologist, or some loved one, in the future, a bit happier and made their lives a little easier.

Posted on February 4, 2009 at 08:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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