Thursday, August 26, 2004

Come on all you big strong men...

...Uncle Sam needs your help again. Fiction-writer George Saunders responds to The War On Tara, or whatever we're calling it.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Black Widow Strikes

Good God: Sonya Thomas eats 38 lobsters (9.76 lbs. of lobster meat) in 12 minutes, in a Kennebunkport contest. The above link shows a photo from Associated Press.

Odds, Ends

Some web, er, resources I'm clearing from my bookmarks & which are worth a moment:

Infectious diseases – collect them all! The Centers for Disease Control have put out a series of collectible trading cards for various diseases. (Reagan had the AIDS 1981 rookie card, but he just put it in the spokes of his Huffy.)

Being a Condensed Treatment of the New Moving Picture King Arthur, in Hopes that 115 or More Minutes of Your Life might be Devoted to More Fruitful Purfuits.

If you're a drunk & nerdy grad student in the humanities like me (and yes, those first two qualifiers are superfluous), you'll love the MLA interactive map of the U.S., based on 2000 census data on languages spoken in American households:

    If you want to graphically display the concentration of French speakers in Louisiana by county (centered, for the most part, on Lafayette and the immediately surrounding counties), you can.

    If you want to find out the zip codes with the most Chinese speakers in the Bay Area, you could show that they’re 94539 (north of Milpitas), 95014 (south of Mountain View), as well as a handful in San Francisco itself (94112, 94116, 94121, 94122, 94133, 94134).

    And if Ellis wants to speak the language of his putative ancestor, Johann Johannson, he could go to the Bay Area (!), but also the Everett/SeaTac corridor in Washington, Hennepin Co. in Minnesota, and Cook Co. in Illinois (i.e., Chicago).
Eventually, tho’, it’ll devolve into questions like: What’re the Navajo-est zip codes in the DC area? (Hint: 22206 – Arlington/Shirlington Ave., 20002 – NE D.C., and 20815 – downtown Bethesda.) At that point you really need to sober up and do some real work.

(Just saw "The Fog of War" on DVD. Still grinding mental gears, but look for a post on it soon).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Too Racist for the Tennessee GOP?

Have we learned nothing from Governor George Wallace?

From the Washington Post:

Southern Discomfort

An unabashed racist won the Republican nomination for a House district in Tennessee earlier this month. James Hart, who contends that whites should not mix with "less favored races," thumped a Republican write-in candidate -- 7,865 to 2,061 -- to win the party's nomination for the state's 8th Congressional District.

"The poverty genes of less 'favored races', which are spread by welfare and immigration, are destroying our cities no less than if they were hit by a nuclear bomb," Hart said on his campaign Web site. "Unless we stop dysgenic welfare and immigration policies, the U.S. will look like one big Detroit."

The state GOP, which was unable to find another candidate in time for the election's filing deadline, has disowned Hart's campaign, calling his views "outrageous." The district, which is represented by Rep. John S. Tanner (D-Tenn.), is considered Democratic country. But Hart's candidacy will nevertheless give him a platform for his views and the Republican Party a headache.


My roommate Mike is from Hart's future district (Martin, Tenn., in NW Tenn.). Both of Mike's parents voted for him. Says Mike: "they were shocked that a Republican would say such things." Shocked, shmocked. He also mentioned that Hart wears a bulletproof vest whenever he leaves the house, so apparently we have learned something from Wallace.

Monday, August 02, 2004

a feast fantastic

hello boyos... great to see everyone except our dear monsegnieur at this weekend's feast. i think we should all be proud of impressing a waiter of 8 year's service.

so, chris suggested that next year we rent a van/bus/vw megabus to shuttle everyone from the dc area up to the glorious metropolis of OC. makes a lot of sense, given that a lot of the feasting time is spent in the car, which we could be spending all together.

this led to another discussion of extending the idea of an annual reunion to something longer, like a week long vacation together. possible dates suggested were the week of matt/chris' 30th birthdays, or in fact any week that ellis would come.

whaddya think