Jacob's conclusions you can find on his science fair project (to be published in a forthcoming volume from Harcourt Brace Janovich), but my conclusions I'll put here.
- It is frustrating to supervize an hyper-active 11yr-old.
- The science-trained supervisor is likely to be a lot more interested in the project than the 11yr-old.
- It is therefore tempting to do all the work yourself.
- One should always check the 11yr-old's backpack for library books you checked out at the UCSD library for his project before sending him home to Colorado.
- Given what was in those library books (e.g., like a canyon collapsing a further 130m inland in one night) its amazing that anybody is stupid enough to build a multi-million dollar home on the seacliffs.
- Given what 1 liter of water can do its amazing that there are any seacliffs at all in Del Mar.
I was in shock!~ Stealing someone's pizza is almost as bad as breaking and entering! Home-castle-pizza-ammunition so to say. Of course, I wasn't so shocked that, when offered a stolen slice, that I didn't eat it.
- It is illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar.
- The owners of houses with Christmas lights on them past February second may be fined up to $250.
We've all heard of these sort of stupid (or sometimes archaic) laws that exist in various states and cities in the US. Two lads from the UK have, however, decided to do something about them (not something useful, but something nonetheless): trying to break as many of them as they can. They will attempt whale hunting in Utah, and riding bicycles in a swimming pool in California, among other things.
2. Shoppers riot at the grand openeing of an IKEA store in north London, pushing and shoving each other over such bargains as a limited number of leather sofas offered at 45 lbstg. (~$85). Six people were taken to the hospital, one of them with a stab wound.
3. Sushi can be printed on an inkjet, at least if you're willing to spend about $200 for a sampler platter of it Chicago.
4. In my own life: Sitting in the bar with co-workers, talking about traffic tickets and accidents. I tell a story about how once when driving back from the local lover's lookout point, across an empty exanse of desert, I saw a car overturned and on fire on the side of the road. Some guy flags me down, and claims to have been "just walking by" (miles from nowhere). Did I have a phone? No there was nobody in the car, he didn't find anyone. There was of course about 20 beer cans in the back seat. Blah blah blah blah. Trust me it was a funny story, but not the point right now. I finish the story, head off to the men's and my phone rings. It's my ex-wife, and she says, "Remember that time that we were on our way back from the Colorado Nat'l Monument and we saw that car overturned on the side of the road..." "No fucking way!" I reply, wittily. She manages to keep it together for about 2 seconds before bursting into laughter. Seems my phone had speed dialed her, and she could hear the conversation clearly. After a second she thought, "Hey, I know that story!" But when you think about it, it's nearly as WEIRD that of the 50 names on my phone book that she should HAPPEN to be the one accidently dialed during the story, as that she should actually have psychic powers and call me up cold about the incident.
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Conner --- Small-town religion and revival preachers are my idea of American Gothic. The protagonist of this book is an Ichabod-Crane-like figure who upon returning from the war, rebels at his starchy-upbringing and begins to preach The Church of Christ Without Jesus (i.e., atheism or really anti-theism); the problem is is that for all his intellectual rebellion, deep down he still has faith, and so he is continually mortifying himself to pay for all his sins. Billed as comedy, but in my opinion is anything but. So sharp, it was hard to read (at least for me). Thumbs up.
No Amazon links here to these books: they're old so go find them in your local used bookstore like I did.
Also, check out this editorial from Maureen Dowd (NY Times - registration required) about the use of sex and menstrual blood to toture prisoners at the Guantanamo detention center.
Sometimes I could just cry.
I celebrated by going to see the film Kinsey. I can't believe it took me so long to get around to it, but I'm very glad I did. I laughed out loud and cried a little -- signs of a good film. The story is very interesting and the main characters' performances good to very good. At first the film seems to be promoting the swinger ethic, but then a well done scene where the reprecussions show up brings you up short. However, I thought the bit at the end where Kinsey "affirms" his attachment to his wife in spite of the sexual shennanigans was heavy handed and bothersome. Worth the price of admission just to see how they create a family resemblance between John Lithgow and Liam Neeson.
So on that note, let me say that last night I went to a concert at NSI, which happens to be my place of employment. They periodically give us free tickets for employees when they haven't sold out, which is a Good Thing since since I might not have overcome the inertia to go otherwise, and I'd have been culturally poorer for not having seen Gustavo Romero and Massimo Somenzi playing these amazing Mozart Sonatas while sharing the same piano. While I am not a classical music geek (IANACMG?), I do have a fairly broad exposure, but somehow I've never been to a four hand recital before, and there is something beautiful and contemplative about that kind of performance, especially in such an intimate setting as our small concert hall, with two such accomplished performers. Two men sharing such a narrow space and perform an act as much as a piece of music is more fun than classical music is generally acknowledged to be. After receiving a standing ovation at the end of the program, they played an extra two Sonata fragments, and things relaxed considerably so that even proper old ladies were slouching in their chairs and tapping their feet.
If anyone reads this in the next 10 days and is in the San Diego area (yeah right) they are performing another concert on Jan 31st with a different set of 4-hand sonatas.
This space will do --- my needs are pretty modest and I don't care too much about bells and whistles.
Today's time wasting uncovered a utility called Patchburn which may come in handy for me later, so I'm just noting it down here to remind myself. My iBook is the last model that shipped with a CD rather than a DVD, something I didn't realize when I bought it (dumb dumb dumb not reading properly dumb). There's an extra external DVD burner around work that I can borrow, but iDVD in OS X refuses to recognize it. This bit of software is supposed to remedy the problem.