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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Hey, I'm in London! (I realize this may not be as exciting for you as it is for me.)

I went to the British Museum yesterday.

It's quite enormous, and while you can't tell from this picture taken in a quiet corner, it is also completely mobbed with people (it's free, which helps, I'm sure).

In other news, I also got tired of my hair and shaved my head yesterday.

(Someone please help my mother, I think she just fainted.) Anyway, this will make the traveling much easier.

I've posted some other pictures on Flickr. We're waiting around at Jesse and Sophie's place right now, because Reed should get here any minute from Heathrow. Then we'll spend the afternoon doing something British, and Reed and I will catch the Eurostar train to Paris this evening.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I'm about to leave my parents' house in Connecticut for a big European trip that was hastily planned within the last few weeks. Tonight I'm flying to London, where I'll be staying with Jesse and Sophie for a few days. Then Reed will meet me there, and we'll take the Eurostar train to Paris, where we will spend 4 days. Then we'll stop in Lyon for a bit more than a day to check out the city and its cool bike sharing program. After that, we'll be in Barcelona, Reed will head back to the US after a few days, and Kat will meet me. We'll spend a few days more in Barcelona, then to Madrid, and finally to Lisbon.

I've only been to Europe briefly before, and that was with a group from my high school, so this will be way better -- I'm quite excited. I'm going to post on the blog a few times while I'm there if I can.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Done, done, done!

Well, I'm finally done with grad school. I handed in my final paper last Wednesday (an 8-page paper written in the last 7 hours before it was due, you'll be happy to know), but as the teaching assistant for the Tools of Public Policy, I still had to go through a huge pile of final papers...but as of this morning, they're done. And my last day at the State Highway Administration was yesterday. Can't believe I'm really finished. I got a lot out of my grad program, which I may or may not try to write about later. In any case, going to a public policy master's program was a really good thing for me, and the timing was right, too.

My parents and my grandmother get here this evening, I graduate tomorrow, and then I'm heading to Connecticut along with them on Saturday. I leave for London from New York on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Optimus Prime for President

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan, I enjoyed McSweeney's list of Pros and Cons of the 20 Top Democratic Presidential Candidates:
Pro: Could draw some initial interest from the Christian right until they research his actual positions in a deeper way; likable; strong leadership qualities.
Con: Unkempt; pretty far left; messianic complex.

Pro: Size; power; ability to emit short-range optic blasts.
Con: Potential attack ad: "Sometimes Optimus Prime is a robot, other times a truck. Which is it, Mr. Prime? America deserves a leader that doesn't transform whenever it's convenient."

Monday, May 14, 2007


rainstorm + someone leaving window open = two hours doing this:

He was supposed to run to the left, out the open door. Eventually I got my kindly neighbor Fred to help out -- I was the only one home this weekend -- and that did the trick. Anyway, check off another type of vermin for 319 E. 30th St...I think all we're missing is cockroaches.

Things are very hectic as I finish up...summer plans have shaped up very nicely, I'll probably do a self-absorbed post on that after I finish grading this dang stack of 350 pages of student papers.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Songs of the Moment (An occasional feature)

We had a Cinco de Mayo party last night, and it was good. I played "Mo Money Mo Problems" because I always ask DJs to play it, but they don't. (And no, the video doesn't make me any less embarrassed for liking it.)

> The Notorious B.I.G. - Mo Money Mo Problems [YouTube]
> The Pixies - Dig for Fire [YouTube]
> Cat Power - Willie [mp3]
> The Magnetic Fields - No One Will Ever Love You
> The Rapture - Whoo! Alright-Yeah... Uh Huh [mp3, though the hilarious video complements the vibe very well]
> Feist - Mushaboom [mp3, though the video is rather charming]
> Supersystem - Born Into the World [mp3]

If I can just get around to writing my last paper, this can be my song of the moment.

Friday, May 04, 2007



I believe this to be a classic of the web video clip genre.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Art for two senses

This art installation, in Lancashire, England, is pretty awesome:

(Photo credit: Flickr user Jaxpix50)

It's called the Singing Ringing Tree. Not only does it look cool, but the pipes at different angles make a haunting noise when the wind blows. Check out the YouTube video.

Just this afternoon I booked a plane ticket to London, so I could go visit it if I really wanted to. Of course, it's hours from London, so I won't, but I'll get over it, seeing as I'll get a chance to hang out with Jesse and Sophie in London, and then meet Reed for a jaunt through Paris, Lyon and Barcelona. Yes!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gorilla Weight Distribution

"They're the ___-pound gorilla of office supply distributors." How heavy should that gorilla be? I wasn't sure, so spent the last 10 minutes compiling this groundbreaking original research based on Google hits:

(You can click it for a more readable version.)

Strangely enough, I thought that the gorilla would normally be 700 pounds, but that turns out to be the rarest sub-species. I predict that over time, metaphorical gorillas will evolve toward rounder numbers like 500 and 1000 because they're easier to remember. Though they might also just go extinct...