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August 23, 2004

Lovely sight

Driving home this evening I spotted the quarter moon glowing soft and bright next to shimmering Antares, a pretty magical thing to see over suburban skies.

Light for Children


A beautiful installation entitled Lichter für Kinder (Light for Children) was created last Friday, August 20, when thousands of young Germans illuminated one million candles to symbolize their concern for the disadvantaged children of the world. More images follow below (click any image for a larger version).

Photo above by Fabrizio Bensch of Reuters (source)

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Photos above by Fabrizio Bensch (l), Franka Burns (c, r) of Reuters. Sources: l, c, r.

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Photos above by Fabrizio Bensch (l), Franka Burns (c, r) of Reuters. Sources: l, c, r.

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Photos above by Franka Burns (l), Fabrizio Bensch (c, r) of Reuters. Sources: l, c, r.

It's easy to succumb to cynicism about demonstrations like this, but it's such a wonderful spectacle and gesture. Imagine what it would feel like to add your candles to the sea of lights. Imagine what it must have felt like for the children who were there.

Feeling Sixty-six

This weekend I achieved a goal I set for myself last month: I rode a metric century at the Ramapo Rally. The route was 66 miles (although it was also listed at 64, 65, and 67 miles elsewhere), or 106 km, and it prominently featured some very challenging hills. I know I could have ridden a good bit farther on a flatter ride, and I may try this in the coming months but I'm done with my official goals for this season. Next year I want to do a full (100 mile) century, and now that I know what I can do I'll be able to train more aggresively for that. For now I feel great about where my riding is at.

August 20, 2004

Remote Chefs

The New York Times has an interesting piece this week about cooking in McCarthy, Alaska, three hundred miles from the nearest grocery store, with bears and wolverines desperate to raid the larder.

Don't miss the "audio slide show" which accompanies the article. Although the narration is largely a retread of the article the larger photos are well worth a peek. What a stunning place!

Seen in the City

On my commute this morning I passed a large truck from a demolition company, decorated with a picture of Doctor Evil and his diminutive clone Mini Me doing the thing with their fingers. The company's slogan, emblazoned below this image, seems to be "Evil Minds That Plot Destruction." I'd hire 'em if I had something that needed knocking down!

August 09, 2004

Raiders of the Lost Patents

In 1836 a temporary building belonging to the United States Patent Office was consumed by fire. In it were all the records of the office, including the roughly 10,000 patents that had been issued since the Office was created in 1790. Most of the patents have still not been recovered, but two interested attorneys just tracked down two of them.

Oddly the New York Times article I'm linking to (you can use "songdog.net" as username and password if you don't have a free account) reports both July and December 1836 as the month of the fire.

August 02, 2004

These Boots Were Made For Walkin'

On my way to work this morning a woman surpassed my relatively brisk pace to step on the heel of my right shoe, this done in such a way as to actually pop the shoe clear off my foot. She muttered a nearly silent "excuse me" and sped on without pausing or indeed even turning her head as I hopped around shoehorning my foot back in with my fingertips.

An auspicious beginning, surely. And when I arrived at work my computer was broken.