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Showing posts from May 25, 2008

Numnut

Don't read anything too Neitzschean in my blog title. I have just been so inspired by the National Spelling Bee tonight, that I sought out digerati assistance so I didn't feel like such a numnut looking for my nearby nacarat numnah.

These young people are amazing in their spelling and etymological skills. I know I am of a minority who finds a heightened sense of exhilaration pitting myself against the students as they compete. I am sure there are people in the world who have other things to do on a Friday night but I can't think of too many other recreational pursuits that can be so stimulating and so rewarding.

There is a belief that Japanese students excel in all things mathematical. These Spelling Bee competitions lend itself to a preponderance of young people of Indian descent.

This season, a few of the students were refreshingly genuine and allowed for several moments of levity. As when #97, Sameer thought he was given the word numnut. His relief when he realized t…

Memorial Day, 2008

In some ways, it was a typical Monday.
Yet around the country, many people in many cities were acknowledging the Memorial Day holiday by conducting special services and/or placing flowers on the graves of the men and women who have served in the military and given their lives in service.

Elsewhere, it was a day dotted with barbecues and blow-out sales at retail stores.

This Memorial Day found me feeling more political than usual. I was not amused to learn that there had been a White House ban on allowing photographs of any of the coffins returning home from the war.

"Recent discussions over whether or not to ban photographs of coffins of U.S. service members killed in Iraq have emphasized general principles rather than such political considerations. Supporters of the ban speak of the need for privacy for families of the dead, and opponents of the ban speak of the need for an informed public. To forbid Americans from witnessing the final homecoming of the dead from the Iraq War is…