Archive for September, 2009

May Thy Enemies Be Dispersed

A 55 year-old with a metal detector found 1,500 pieces of Anglo-Saxon booty in a field in Birmingham, England. Archaeologists say this is a staggering discovery and will redefine perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England (5th century AD to the Norman conquest of 1066).

As I read the AP report of this find, I was struck by a of small strip of gold (pictured below) inscribed with a warlike Latin quotation from the Old Testament, which translates as:

“Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face.”

Makes me think of a Samuel Jackson as a medieval Anglo-Saxon quoting Ezekiel 25:17:  

…I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

staffordshirehoard

The Man Who Fed the World

It’s not very often that someone saves a billion lives. The plant geneticist, University of Minnesota alum, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and hall of fame wrestler, Norman Borlaug passed away on Saturday. He developed a strain of wheat that was resistant to disease, could adapt to different climates, with bountiful yields. As a result, he is credited with saving hundreds of millions, if not a billion people from starvation. What a life, what a career, what a man.

Rational Debate re: Healthcare

I love this YouTube clip of Sen. Franken discussing healthcare with his constituents for several reasons: 1) it’s at the “great Minnesota get together” – the State Fair 2) a few of his constituents in the frame clearly didn’t vote for him (TEA Party) – but are thoughtful, considerate and listened to what he had to say 3) what Sen. Franken had to say was sensible and well articulated. I’m glad he’s my Senator and I’m glad I live in Minnesota.

My My My Generation

I was reading somewhere (I can’t find the link now) that technology invented before you turn 20 is exciting and you embrace it early and often. You make career decisions based on which technologies are taking off in your 20s. You become skeptical, even suspicious of technology developed after you turn 30. This theory seems to hold up, but raises the question do you consider yourself a twentysomething or an over-the-hill thirtysomething+?

What generation are you from? What defines a generation? Merriam-Webster defines it as “the average span of time between the birth of parents and that of their offspring.” In the US, that’s 25.2 years according to the Census Bureau. The interesting thing is where those spans overlap. Joshua Glenn of Brainiac makes a compelling case for revising the names and definitions of these cohorts: 

1884-93: Lost Generation The New Kids (a new dawn after World’s Colombian Expo?)
1894-1903: Lost Generation Hardboiled Generation
1904-13: The Greatest Generation Partisans
1914-23: The Greatest Generation The New Gods (right time, right place)
1924-33: The Silent Generation Postmodernist Generation
1934-43: The Silent Generation Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation
1944-53: Baby Boomers
1954-63: Baby Boomers OGX (Original Generation X)
1964-73: Generation X PC Generation
1974-83: Generations X/Y Net Generation
1984-93: Millennials
1994-2003: Millennials TBA

What do you think? Write a comment.

Socialized Fire Fighting

I’m getting frustrated as I read reports that Obama’s health plan “has gone astray.” I don’t understand why Americans are afraid of increased government involvement in healthcare. It’s working well for the VA and Medicare – and isn’t the profit motive misplaced in healthcare anyhow?

In his column this morning, Nicholas Kristof writes:

…we have a single-payer system of public fire departments. We have the same for policing. If the security guard business were as powerful as the health insurance industry, then it would be denouncing “government takeovers” and “socialized police work.”

I just don’t understand why we may be about to reject health reform and stick with a dysfunctional system that takes away the health coverage of hard-working Americans when they become too sick with cancer to work.

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Saki Knafo wrote a fantastic article/profile of Spike Jonze and his movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are in the NYT Magazine.  Apparently, Warner Bros. got uncomfortable and was ready to pull the plug. Jonze said it was like I gave birth to a girl, and they were expecting a boy. “And now they’re learning to love and accept their daughter.”

Wild Thing

Fear Makes the Wolf Look Bigger

Fear the WolfBy Alan Bee


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