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December 3, 2023

November 29, 2023

November 18, 2023
Paul Mathis' new char to 
replace 'the'

November 15, 2023

November 12, 2023

November 7, 2023

November 5, 2023

October 30, 2023
  • A collection of Fall Harvest covers from the Saturday Evening Post.

  • Citroën Ami review at Motor Trend. An EV worthy of consideration? Or just an enclosed golf speed, only 28 mph.

  • A couple about the wonders of Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown LA, back in the day: an old LA Weekly review, from 1999; and a more recent, much longer Collector's Weekly article. I visited hastily during my final days in Los Angeles in late '93, long after it had been remarkable, when the façade looked like that post-1960 photo. I have a hazy memory of the chapel, downstairs; no recollection of the meal. Instead, I preferred Beadle's Cafeteria, one of two along Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, where I occasionally had the battered fish for lunch, during my earliest days in LA working at JPL. An LA Times article (which also mentions Clifton's) says that one finally closed in 2006. Their sister operation, the Pasadena Cafeteria, down the street on the other side of Colorado Blvd, had a kind of custom, automated organ-music system, but the food was the same.

  • CNN Business: America is falling out of love with candy corn, in 2 charts. Worth a look for the chocolate bar graph. Without an appealing texture or flavor, what reasons are left to buy candy corn? Indeed.

October 28, 2023
link to misc/Schwebebahn page
Tom Scott pedals his own retro-futuristic monorail pod in Rotorua, New Zealand (centre of the North Island). Velocity Valley is where Google funded this Shweeb prototype. The name is a reference to the German schweben meaning "to hang/hover/levitate", and indirectly to the suspended monorail Schwebebahn in Wuppertal. (Today's pic is from my own Wuppertal page; I first rode the Schwebebahn in 1984.) This hanging, personal transport pod reminds me of another proposal, the NASA SkyTran which isn't really getting off the ground either, but the bicycle-powered aspect of the Shweeb is also reminiscent of the dreamy Pedal Train envisioned by Steven M.Johnson, one of the visions for the 21st century collected in his Public Therapy Buses, from 1990.

October 25, 2023

October 21, 2023
  • Unlike most places, I find their waffles acceptable; although I'm sure it's an intolerable place to work, a notion confirmed by this Waffle House training video, which seems to imply the cooks there can be illiterate.

  • 2023 Nikon Photomicrography Competition 'Images of Distinction' award winners. That link drops you into the middle of the slide show, a picture of human neurons.

  • Pew Research US Religious Knowledge quiz. I got 13 out of 15.

  • I knew her singing career began 'way before "Downtown" but I wasn't aware that "I Will Follow Him" was actually a hit first for Petula Clark, on the Continent, in French and Italian, where the song was known as Chariot (and in Germany, as Cheerio), with very different lyrics.

October 16, 2023

October 12, 2023

October 10, 2023
  • I've been learning about the Reading Wars (or to be precise, the Wars About Teaching Reading) after hearing an American Public Radio documentary, "How teaching kids to read went so Wrong." Took a while, but a transcript finally appeared, and with my further research I now understand the political angle: that teaching students to decode words by sounding them out is considered Conservative since it's old school traditional (and teachers, generally a Liberal lot, find the drills boring). However, I agree with this Post editorial from earlier this year: Cut the politics. Phonics is the best way to teach reading. (gift link) It's what worked for me. Can't fathom this weird 'cueing' approach with its three questions; but then I don't understand the methods they're teaching kids for doing arithmetic these days, either.

  • The Huell Howser Archives seems to have all his various shows. I got into this doofy former Marine and football player's California documentaries when the library was shifting over to DVDs; I noticed so many of his shows there, on the exiled VHS shelf, so took some home. An example: when he drove the Ridge Route in 2003.

October 8, 2023

October 2, 2023

September 30, 2023

September 27, 2023

September 23, 2023

September 12, 2023
  • In the Washington Post, Seven state flags still have designs with ties to the Confederacy -‌- AR, CA, GA, MD, NC, SC, and VA.
    (gift link)
    Fun fact about Arkansas: you can get to all six of the states bordering it by driving due south from some point inside (but the areas to reach Oklahoma and Tennessee that way are very small, and the Missouri is only possible because of its bootheel).

September 7, 2023

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