How’s this for a headline?

Disaffected rich boy tries to blow up plane over largest Arab population in America.

I dunno – if there’s ever been an indication that poverty is not the only breeder for terrorism this latest story has got to be it. Or that the terrorists don’t care what bystanders they kill.


On Sunday, Napolitano said, “One thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked.” On Monday, she said she was referring to the system of notifying other flights as well as law enforcement on the ground about the incident soon after it happened.

Well, that’s nice. I’m sure CNN would have informed us all soon after it happened if the incident had succeeded.

Why we blog…

Because blogging brings us into contact (indeed, even meeting for an early morning cup of tea or coffee, if we’re lucky), with people who post things like this:

Some poets – Hopkins… Emily Dickinson comes to mind – have an insane concision and obliqueness, a madly packed brevity. Many of their poems have the compression of black hole events. The reader stands at the tongue of the event, leaning over gingerly, having a bit of a look, afraid of the pull.

Go read Professor Soltan on a Hopkins poem. Wish, like me, that you were signed up for one of her classes in the spring. Ah, well, I’ll teach Greek vase painting. That’s some consolation.

Is the crisis over?

Certainly the journalists are scraping the bottom of the Hard Times stories. On Good Morning America (yes, I’m home with the parents – Mama is a GMA addict) they just profiled alligator farmers in Abbeville, LA, who are hurting because of the downturn in luxury handbag sales. Is that the best they can do?


What an exam week! I just posted the grades for European Studies 101. I’m waiting for some last bits* of Early Medieval to trickle in, but I can do that via email.
I’m off to a wedding in Florida and then to Chattanooga!

*Saturday morning:
Is it a bad sign that no one who said “I’ll go right back to my dorm and send you…” sent me anything?

*Monday morning:
Well, two out of three delinquents turning stuff in isn’t bad. Final grades are due today, so as soon as I get home to the parents’ I’ll check one last time for those Bible homeworks, and then it’s a zero.

That darned Medieval Warm Period

Or Putative Medieval Warm Period? In answer to a comment somewhere back there I came across this at Unlocked Word Hoard – who has a regular commenter who really understands these things:

In one now-notorious e-mail, Michael Mann wrote that “it would nice to ‘contain’ the putative ‘MWP'” (or Medieval Warm Period), but Mann has since argued that what he meant by that was that he simply wanted to identify exactly when the MWP began, not deny its existence. Science Dude, however, finds Mann’s explanation unbelievable, both in the context of the e-mail and Mann’s other publications. Read enough of what Mann has written about the MWP (or what he prefers to call the “Medieval Climate Anomaly”), and you’ll see that his explanation doesn’t pass the laugh test. Whether the MWP was just an anomaly or not, Mann clearly meant to hide it in the data.

Go look.

One of THOSE days to kick off exam week

The Hour-by-Hour for Geneva, NY (14456)
10 am…39
11 am…38
12 pm…35
1 pm…..34
2 pm…..33
3 pm…..34 <--when I go into 2nd Long Meeting of the week 4 pm.....33 5 pm.....32 <--2nd Long Meeting schedule to end here. 6 pm.....32 7 pm.....31 <--when I go into 1st Exam of the week 8 pm.....30 9 pm.....29 10 pm....28 <--official end of 1st Exam of the week

Oh, the last-minuteness of it all!

Today is a reading day before the deluge – I spent much of today fielding yes/no questions about final exam study questions – almost all of them reasonable enough. Still, one DOES wish they’d thought of these last week!
The CafĂ© is packed with busy studiers and snackers. I’m having a cup of coffee before one of the weekly meetings so useful for my spiritual development. Just a few more days and I can flee South!

Christmas Party – my contribution

This was easy, tasty, and different from most of what was on offer!

My friend Kyle, the Martha of Mendon, NY, suggested this. I was clever enough to buy the red lumpfish roe – though I think he had told me to do that.

A dozen or so teeeny red potatoes, boiled, cooled (almost all the way down), and sliced. Top each potato with sour cream or mascarpone cheese (I went with mascarpone). Then top each with caviar. Garnish the potatoes and plate with chives.


We have always been against population decline!

Almost overnight, posters directing families to have only one child were replaced by copies of regulations detailing who would be eligible to have a second child and how to apply for a permit. The city government dispatched family planning officials and volunteers to meet with couples in their homes and slip leaflets under doors. It has also pledged to provide emotional and financial counseling to those electing to have more than one child.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer regime.