Archive for December, 2006

Holiday Photos

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

A few photos from the holidays can be seen here.

Escaping the Delta

Friday, December 29th, 2006

This year for Christmas, my son Greg gave me a book by Elijah Wald: Escaping the Delta, Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues There were quite a number of pieces of information in the book that I found really interesting, including: “The outstanding example of this overlap was the Harlem Hamfats, a Chicago […]

Reality and Animal House

Friday, December 29th, 2006

The 1978 movie Animal House was based on a variety of source, including the collegiate versions of urban myths. But, more than anything, it was derived from things that had gone on at a fraternity at Dartmouth, Alpha Delta Phi, from 1959 to 1963. Chris Miller, one of the Animal House screenwriters, recently wrote a […]

Geographical Ambiguity

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

This morning I was trying to do several things at the same time, including glancing at an article in the NY Times. My mind, such as it is, had picked up on the concepts of Mennonite farmers, Manitoba, and land reform. When I got to the part about land redistribution to the peasants, I realized […]

Pidgin v. Creole

Monday, December 18th, 2006

In today’s NY Times, Paul Dickson wrote a review of a book by David Crystal: How Language Works – How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Language Live or Die In his review, Dickson pointed out the distinction between a pidgin and a creole, pointed it out so clearly that it finally sunk in for […]

Human Sense of Smell

Monday, December 18th, 2006

This morning’s Star Tribune carried an article with the headline Humans’ sense of smell doesn’t stink written by Jeremy Manier of the Chicago Tribune.  The article argues that the human ability to track scents, thought to be quite marginal, is considerably better than previously appreciated, based on the results from a new study.  The second […]

Telling It Like It Is

Friday, December 15th, 2006

This week my wife and I went to see a play at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.  Handing our tickets to the usher, he looked at them for a moment, then turned to us and said: “The aisles and seat numbers are pretty well marked; you’ll be able to figure it out.”

Verbal Slip Up, or Something Else?

Friday, December 15th, 2006

A Jerry Leiber – Mike Stoller song contains the lyrics: I can make a dress out of a feed bag And I can make a man out of you Imagine my surprise when my wife recently said to me, “I can make a feed bag out of you”.

Speed Skating

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

This morning I went down to the John Rose Oval in Roseville to photograph some speed skating races. These were what one might call “regular races”, like you would see at a track meet, as opposed to the highly stylized races one sees in the Olympics, with one skater on the inner lane and the […]

Yangtze River’s White Dolphins

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

The Wall Street Journal today had a major article on the Yangtze’s River’s White Dolphins. Also known as baiji dolphins, they are either already extinct, or in really bad shape. One part of the article that caught my eye included: “The baiji was unknown in the West until 1918, when the 17-year-old son of a […]