26 April 2006

Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" died today. She was eighty-nine years old. This book, which I highly recommend as summer reading, was about her solutions for the cities in the United States, and how she thought that cities should be developed.
She writes about the neighborhood around Columbia, and, even today, I can still see precisely what she is talking about.
Lest you think it is just me that likes her writing, my brother made a point of calling me today to tell me about this.
Her obituary is here:
The New York Times has their original book review of it here (it is a PDF):
If I had to guess, I would imagine that the PDF of it will stay posted longer than the obituary, but I don't know for sure.

Anzac Day

Yesterday, 25 April, was Anzac Day. Anzac means the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who had their first offensive against the Ottoman Empire. Although they had expected it to go quickly, it went on for months, and 8,000 Australians lost their lives. There is a considerable amount of information on it here:
It's a very important holiday in Australia.

21 April 2006

Dandelion Recipe

So I am subscribed to an e-mail list that talks about environmental happenings on the Hudson River. One person posted a recipe for dandelions, and I post it here:

"4/1 - Croton-on-Hudson, HRM 35: I took advantage of the balmy weather to harvest a great crop of dandelion crowns. One of our favorite salad ingredients and a sure spring tonic, we hope they will be served with the first herring roe of the season.
Recipe: Search out a patch of dandelions in an areas not frequented by automobiles, pet walkers, or other obvious sources of contamination. With a sharp knife, sever the root beneath the ground, under the green crown. (Harvest before the plant blooms if possible.) Trim the root at the base of the crown and trim back the leaves about an inch and a half. Drop the crown in a bucket of water; the crowns will be washed as you wander in search of more. They are wonderful as a sauteed vegetable or raw as salad.
- Christopher Letts"

I'll comment that I do not think it would be prudent to pick dandelion plants around Carlisle, as there are too many people/dogs, and even if there are not people (like a unfrequented park), weedkiller/fertilizer would probably not be healthy to eat.

HRM 35, incidentally, refers to Hudson River Mile thirty-five, or thirty-five miles upstream from the Battery (the southern tip of Manhattan, where one would catch the ferry for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island). An interesting factoid is that the Hudson is still affected by tides all the way up to a dam at Troy, New York, 153 miles north of New York City. This is north of Albany, NY (which is at HRM 145).
I am posting the subscription information in case anyone is interested in subscribing. Most of it is about wildlife sightings, but it is pleasant reading nonetheless.
To subscribe, just send an email to hrep at gw dot dec dot state dot ny dot us with E-almanac in the subject line. (where it says dot, just put in a period, and for at put in an @ sign)

Edit: Said Statute of Liberty instead of Statue of Liberty. I suppose this may mean I have been in law school too long.

18 April 2006

Dueling Google Talkabout Posts

I read the following two posts on Google's Talkabout blog. Both are pretty interesting, they talk about Google Talk and why they do not have it set, by default, to pop up a message telling you when a friend is available you can do this in Settings|Notifications
I've actually set this up so that it will not tell me if I have any new messages. I'd like to see a feature that allows you to do a buddy alert -- once -- for a specific friend when he or she signs on/changes their away message/becomes not idle.
Added: One thing that I like about Google Talk is that it does pop-up notifications with IM messages, which is good because I don't have to interrupt what I am doing to dismiss the window.

17 April 2006

Taps were early tonight at the War College

Today I heard them play taps at the War College. They were early, by the official clock at www.time.gov, they were playing taps at 10:58:48 p.m., not at 11:00 p.m. It's a good thing that I don't set my watch by them.

14 April 2006

National Anthems Online Free

Although I talked about the Star Spangled Banner a long time ago, here is a link to lots of National Anthems from around the world. The link also has ceremonial music, so if you ever would like to hear what bugle calls sounds like, just click on ceremonial music and then click on bugle calls. Or, if you would like to hear taps and you live in Carlisle, just go outside and face towards the War College at 11:00 p.m., and you can hear it.

10 April 2006

Did you ever read about Ramona, Henry, and Beezus?

NPR did an interview last Sunday with Beverly Cleary (who is age ninety) about her books. I thought it was kind of neat to hear the voice of an author whose books I read when I was much younger.
Here is a link.
My favorite book when I was younger was The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare. Another favorite book of mine was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, which my teacher read to us in grade five. Hopefully, in between studying for the bar exam, I'll get some reading for pleasure done over the summer.

08 April 2006

New Links on the Blog

Google Reader recently came out with a new feature that allows me to share certain blog entries that I find interesting with other people. First, I can share by publishing a link to view it. But second, I can share by setting up a dynamically updating box on a website which will update based on what I add to it. So, on the right hand side, I have added a new set of links for blog items that I think are interesting. You can click "Read in Google Reader" (or on the link above) to open a session of Google Reader (you will not need to logon) which will allow you to view all of the entries on one page.
Sometimes I may just add these links without posting a blog entry, but other times I will post a blog entry with a small blurb about them.
Today, I'll type a short blurb about the links that I've just posted. First is a link about the upcoming security updates to Windows. The person in this entry, who is a vice president in charge of security at Microsoft (or something to that effect) posted his email address publicly but also talks frankly about how Microsoft develops patches for Windows. In any case, The Microsoft Security Response Center blog is really well done, they talk frankly about security updates for Windows there. Sometimes it gets kind of technical, but I think it is worth reading. Second is a funny video of a deposition, which was done by a lawyer we learned about in Advocacy. Last but not least is a blog entry about someone teaching about Firefox to fourth graders in California; the fourth graders made some funny comments about Firefox.

07 April 2006

Flying Southwest Airlines

So I flew Southwest airlines for the first time last weekend, and they were pretty nice. I discovered, though, that key to flying Southwest is to print out your boarding pass as soon as possible before you fly, that is, 24 hours before you fly. This is because Southwest does what could be called "Stampede Boarding," but they call it free seating. Instead of being assigned a seat, you are assigned a group letter to board in -- A, B, or C. A goes first and gets their choice of seats. B goes second, and then C goes last. If you are in group C, you could end up with a middle seat, which is no fun. And lest you think that I am the only person who is geeky enough to care about this, I overheard two other people talking about how they were always in Group C when they returned home because they had not printed out their boarding pass the night before on the Internet, but had just printed it off shortly before their flight. Overall, I was impressed with Southwest, my flight out departed five minutes late, but it only took them ten minutes or so to board the plane. My flight back departed five minutes early. My only complaint about Southwest is that they do not have video or audio entertainment. I like to watch the map to know where we are flying over, although I suppose with my short flight from Baltimore to Providence, it did not really matter anyway. I liked them otherwise, and would definitely be "free to move about the country" with them again.