Wednesday, June 28, 2006



Here's another batch of brief, disconnected items.

  • It's interesting how I can understand bits of people's German conversations sometimes, though I don't understand German and can't hope to speak it. It makes me appreciate how children learn languages, though far more readily, just from hearing people speak.
  • On a "departures" screen at JFK Airport, I saw an entry for a flight going to "Tel Aviv, Isreal". I'm sure these destinations aren't typed in on the fly (ahem), but are chosen from a saved list. Which tells me that the list is wrong, and probably has been for a long time. You'd think someone would notice, and fix it. You'd be wrong.
  • On the rear window of an SUV, I saw a decal that's written upside-down and is meant to be. It said, "If you can read this ... roll me back over."
  • On the highway the other day, I saw a car with the personalized license plate "30 MPG". It's disappointing outrageous that 30 miles per gallon is something to remark about now, considering that cars were getting that, and well more, 20 years ago. Granted, there are limits to the fuel economy of practical internal-combustion engines. Even with that consideration, cars should get at least 10 or 15 MPG more — and they would, if we'd give companies reasons to design ones that did.
  • King George condemns the press for reporting the bank-account spying story. What a surprise. After he condemned the press for reporting on the domestic-phone-number spying story, which was after he condemned the press for reporting on the wire-tapping spying story, which was after... well, who'd have guessed?
  • This week's silly waste of congressional time failed in the Senate by one vote — the attempt to amend the US Constitution to protect the flag failed, despite 13 Democrats (including the usually sensible Dianne Feinstein) voting for it.
  • Brief item heard on NPR a few weeks ago: "A Sacramento man was arrested for having a video camera on his shoe. He was allegedly standing close to a woman, with the tiny lens pointed up. He faces a charge of (Who knew this was codified as a separate crime?) using a concealed camcorder for sexual gratification. Luckily for the victim, the arresting officer was not Deputy Jack Munsey. He's a Florida cop who was just fired for using the camera on the dashboard of his police car to videotape women on the beach."
  • Brief item heard on NPR this week: "Ken Sinclair's cat got stuck up a tree in Portland, Ore. Now, there's an old saying that nobody ever found a cat skeleton stuck up a tree. But Sinclair didn't want to take any chances, so he climbed 30 feet up the fir tree himself. Sinclair recovered the cat, only to discover that he himself could not get down. His girlfriend finally called 911. Firefighters came with a ladder to bring man — and cat — back to earth."
  • Centers scoot back and press ahead, ends finish gravitate.

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