Friday, June 26, 2009

Family resemblence

The picture on the left is Moreelse's portrait of Ambrogio Spinola, Marquis of the Balbases and Governor of Milan (1569-1630.)

The picture on the right is Mike Spinola's High School yearbook picture.

Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Apollo Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment ends

On July 20, 1969 two American astronauts stepped onto the moon's surface. They weren't tourists, they went there to do important work. One of their jobs was to place a mirror on the moon, so that scientists on the earth can precisely measure the distance from the earth to the moon using a laser.

For 40 years, the government has been observing the mirrors that were placed on the moon during this period, but alas the government has decided that the cost of the laser ranging (about $125,000 a year) is more than the science produced is worth.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quote of the day

Dude, if a park ranger warns you about the bears, it ain't cause he's tryin to keep all the bear hugs for himself.
- Questionable Content, via CJ Biro's Facebook page.

Friday morning arts notes

A neat video from the Newark Museum about blowing glass beads in Ghana. (Disclosure: my freshman roommate from college, Tim Wintemberg, is the museum's Director of Exhibition Design.)

Some photos that Aesop would have taken credit for, if he had a camera.

A photo that nobody would want to take credit for.

An essay that I really, really, really think isn't funny.

An exhibition that I'm too busy to go see.

An exhibition that's well worth running the gauntlet of the Frick's rude staff.

Pot meet kettle

From his web site :
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that he has asked several companies -- packaging, beverage and food manufacturers -- to provide details about an apparent campaign to use fear tactics, political manipulation and misleading marketing to fight regulation of bisphenol A (BPA).

The Attorney General is supposed to uphold the laws of the State, so I suppose that now Mr. Blumenthal thinks that publicly disagreeing with him is unlawful. And if part of whatever suit he brings is that the manufacturers are using "fear tactics" and "political manipulation", is he going to call himself as an expert witness?

(hat tip to Walter Olson.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving registered sex offenders nearer to Columbus School

I went to the Zoning Commission meeting last night. Does anyone read H.P. Lovecraft nowadays?
There are vocal qualities peculiar to men; and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other.
- Call of Cthulhu

A foreign country

For the first time in centuries, a common criminal in England is being tried without the right to a jury. The judge (whose name, confusingly, is Judge) explained that
trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.

If a "right" that is available until amended or circumscribed strikes you as oxymoronic, well, that's what you get if you have a living constitution instead of a written one that's taken seriously.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hope for the future

I saw two t-shirts this weekend that gave me hope for the future. I'm not sure why. The first I saw for sale on the street near NYU. It read:
Kim Jong Il is Illin'!
The second was being worn by a teenager in Norwalk:
OK, so I took the road less travelled. Now where am I?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quote of the day

Always use the proper tool. If the proper tool isn't available, use a hammer.
- Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise, as quoted by Charly K├╝hnast.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

You know from the title this happened in New Jersey

Lawyer Reprimanded for Alleged 'Cut You Up' Remark to Adversary's Client

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday disciplined a lawyer who allegedly told an opposing party, "I'm going to cut you up into bits and pieces, put you into a box and send you to India and your parents won't recognize you."
(Via Overlawyered. The discipline, by the way, seems to have consisted of a written reprimand.)

"The President doesn't negotiate second rounds"

Oh, and anyone who asserts any legal rights is a "terrorist".

Friday, June 05, 2009

Promising start of a marriage

Bride saves family from burning house
Shortly before 5:30 Sunday evening, Clemons, formerly Georgette Fogary, had just been married to Charles Clemons and was being driven from Testo's restaurant where the reception was held when she spotted smoke coming from the Eitelberg's home.

Hanifah Bost, who was driving the car, said Clemons suddenly yelled, "Stop the car, stop the car."

"There was smoke coming from this house and as soon as I stopped the car, Georgette got out in her wedding dress and ran toward the front door." She said Clemons ran through the smoke into the house and she ran after her.

"I don't know what she was thinking, she had just got married," Bost said.

What a way to begin a life together. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Clemons!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Why my next car is going to be an Acura

From the New York Times:
It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry

David Bernstein's observation:
It's funny, but just the other day I was telling my wife that I hope the automobile industry's future ... is in the hands of early 30-something political operatives working on law degrees from Yale who have no formal background in business, economics, engineering, or marketing.

Alleged homicidal rapists tip well

Pizza delivery man Chris Turner called the police to report that while delivering an extra-large supreme pizza to a remote mountain cabin, he noticed a woman whose hands were tied together. The police raided the cabin and rescued the woman. Her husband later called Mr. Turner to thank him, and said that his wife was doing well. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed the driver:
“I was doing my job and being a citizen,” the 32-year-old deliveryman said. “Plus, I got $13 off the delivery. That’s not bad for a half an hour.”