Michael Coviello was told he couldn't wear shorts to school. So he decided to wear a skirt. After much legal wrangling, he earned the right. 'Course girls are taught from the get-go to keep their knees together when they sit.
Maria Dahvana Headly spent a year in which she dated everyone who asked her. Including women and the homeless. She used the term "date" rather loosely.
She was jaded by the dating game. Are you kidding me? She was 20 for Chrissakes. What does she know from jaded?
Oh, and she didn't really date everyone. She eliminated "the drunk, the drugged, the violent, and cheating husbands". Would have been a much different, and possibly better book otherwise. Her dates included a "homeless man, several non English-speakers, ten taxi drivers, two lesbians and a mime", according to Marginal Revolution.
She ultimately found happiness with the older, divorced serial killer. No. Not really. The older (by 25 years), divorced man with kids. And she married him.
I'm not sure that marriage should be what defines a happy outcome to this endeavor. I do know that if I went on 150 dates in one year, I'd go nuts. 150 dates with anyone. And I'm not sure that if I wound up married at the end, I'd consider myself fortunate.
Unless, of course, I had visions of a lucrative book deal dancing in my head.
Epidemiologists are using a popular computer site to track trends in population movement, and to anticipate national transmission of disease.
Where's George tracks registered U.S. or Canadian dollar bills. A registered party enters the bill's serial number on the website and others track it as it travels around the country. The site says you may legally stamp the currency with "Where's George", marking the bill for subsequent identification (this is legal as long as you do not render the bill unfit to be reissued). Rubber ink stamps may be purchased at almost any office store, or online. The bills should then be spent as one would spend any currency.
People travel in certain patterns, and carry currency which follows similar patterns. They also carry germs. Scientists from Germany and from the University of California have developed a mathematical theory to predict the path of contagious disease, to predict the paths of certain epidemics. They hope to anticipate and interrupt rapidly transmissible diseases like Avian Flu before they can spread out of control.
So if you see one of these bills, get on line and find out where it's been. Or launch your own.
This week, Triticale-the Wheat/Rye Guy hosted a potluck supper for the 76th Carnival. Lots of hearty baked dishes, soups, rice/risotto dishes. Even moussaka and curry. The host treats us to his recipe for white lightning, and there is even a way to get a spam link to Spam recipes. Great fun. Feels like I'm in Lake Wobegon or something (except for the hootch).
You're Pale Fire! by Vladimir Nabokov You're really into poetry and the interpretation thereof. Along the road of life, you have had several identity crises which make it very unclear who you are, let alone how to interpret poetry. You probably came from a foreign country, but then again you seem foreign to everyone in ways unrelated to immigration. Most people think you're quite funny, but maybe you're just sick. Talking to you ends up being much like playing a round of the popular board game Clue.
I just took this quiz after linking to it from A Rare View. They ask you 6 questions and decide what book you are. I'm never telling the truth again. The Truth Hurts.
This year's tournament is from March 24-26, where it has been since 1977: the Stamford, Connecticut Mariott.
I went about 3 years ago with my Dad. We stayed at theMariott. I met my puzzling hero, Merl Reagle. (He's not so puzzling, really.) No one makes better puzzles: Funny, challenging, fair.
My Dad and I did OK. We placed about the middle of the pack. But considering that "the pack" consisted of people willing to spend their hard earned money to fly, drive, bus to Stamford and then pay to stay in a hotel just to meet and greet the puzzle glitterati, and to compete with some of the world's best solvers, it's not so bad. Also, many puzzle constructors are among the contestants.
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One of the reasons we haven't returned is that the trip from LaGuardia to Stamford is tedious--not to mention the LaGuardia experience itself--our flight back was cancelled and after boarding and deplaning several times, we wound up at a subpar hotel right after the kitchen closed.
For those of you who would like to participate but don't want to travel to Stamford, they offer the option to test yourself by mail: They'll send you the complete set of puzzles, you take them and time yourself, send them back, and they will return your corrected puzzles and tell you how you would have scored in the categories in which you were a candidate, had you been there.
If you prefer doing your puzzles on line, this year they also offer the option of solving by computer. Beginning the weekend of the tournament (Saturday, March 25), the puzzles will be posted one at a time. Solutions will be scored instantly and you will be ranked and scored against other contestants. You can't win from home, though.
If you go, you can participate in the First American Sudoku Smackdown, and in a trivia quiz hosted by Ken Jennings (you all know who he is).
There will aso be a special screening: "Wordplay," the new feature documentary of the 2005 Americal Crossword Puzzle Tournament--an Official Selection of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It features Will Shortz, Merl Reagle, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, The Indigo Girls, Mike Mussina, Daniel Okrent, Sen. Bob Dole, and Bill Clinton. Wow. Maybe I should go...
I guess I'll do them at home, with my kitchen timer, as I have the last couple of years. I still haven't gotten the hang of doing crosswords on my computer at home. I can, but my time is much faster with a #2 pencil.
I was just browsing through an old issue of Spectator magazine (April 13, 2002, if you must know), and found an article called "The Jealousy of God" by Jasper Griffin.
Griffin starts by observing that the collapse of communism and the struggle among secular ideologies left a void that was rapidly filled by the struggle between religions, specifically the great monotheistic religions trying to destroy each other today: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
The ancient polytheistic religions had gods that (who?) reflected the messy complexities of everyday life, with their rows, affairs and battles; with their female, male and even animal gods.
The panoply of gods also made it easy to explain day to day vagaries, and why prayers were often not answered: a different god opposed them. So that Rome (supported by Venus) bested Carthage (supported by Juno). Pretty much every type of human behavior had its champions so that sexuality did battle with chastity and intoxication, and drunkenness and madness had a champion in a major deity, Dionysus.
The first major monotheistic movement may have been with the Egyptian king Akhenaton, who worshipped one god: Aten, the sun, who had previously been but one face of Horus. Akhenaton died in the 1300's BCE, and may have directly influenced Moses who lived in Egypt and died in 1272. Or maybe 2488 BCE.
The best part of this article, though, was the discussion of how the Romans would behave when they lay seige to another city. They would pray to that city's deities to come over to their side, promising them continuing attention and honors.
After storming and conquering that city, the Romans would incorporate their gods, particulary if they filled a void in their own pantheon (e.g. they imported Aesculapius from the Greeks during a period of plague). The subjugated population would still be allowed to worship their own gods, and invited to worship the Romans' as well.
What a great idea. Especially today as we watch the three vying monotheistic religions, each of which claims to have the inside track to God, threaten to destroy the world.