Snow Is Cool

Calvin and Hobbes snow artThe forecast for snow in the next day here in southern Maryland is one to two feet. For a place that the snow storms always seem to miss and where you almost never measure snowfall in feet, this is quite a turn of events, but one that I will greatly enjoy. As soon as I heard people compare the potential storm to those of 1979, 1983, and 1996, I knew that this one would be a doozie, one that even the somewhat spotty weathermen around here couldn’t screw up. Of those that I just mentioned, I remember 1979 most fondly, as we got close to three feet in Columbia, MD, which at the time was taller than my little sister. Of course, my memories are somewhat vague, but recollections of snow tunnels, a long winter vacation, and everything being a beautifully pristine white stay with me. Now that I’m living on the waterfront, this snowfall could be one of the most tranquil and beautiful that I’ve ever experienced; I can’t wait…

Woo Hoo! The Simpsons’ 300th Episode Is Tonight!

300th Simpsons Episode

Update: I was hoping that it would be a great 300th anniversary episode (or was it the 302nd, as some people point out, and as the episode itself mentions?), but as has been the case recently, it was unfortunately just mediocre. Slate magazine argues that the show has long since jumped the shark, and as much as I would like to knee-jerkingly disagree in defense of my favorite show, they make some good points. Come back, Conan!


Celestia Earth eclipseCelestia is an awesome planetarium application letting you “experience our universe in three dimensions.” Its massive database lets you explore the Solar System and beyond; try the included demo (under “help”) for starters and then play to your heart’s content. What’s even better is that not only is the software freeware but it is also allows add-ons for new objects, textures, and more: this site and this site are good starts, although there are more out there. I was really blown away by Celestia; download it and see for yourself!

NHL Shootouts

The shootout that ended this year’s All-Star Game was the first ever, and in my opinion it made for a great finish to an exciting game. This op-ed piece in The New York Times makes a good case for adding shootouts to regular season NHL games. Adding shootouts would definitely make the game more exciting, and it might even get ratings up enough so that we don’t have to wait for football to end before the regular networks start televising games. The points system suggested would entice teams to press for a win during regulation, encouraging a faster paced game. However, I also agree that playoff games should continue to make use of extra overtime periods rather than shootouts. Although the All-Star Game’s finish was pretty cool, I think that playoff games should be decided as a team effort rather than individual showdowns between shooters and goalies.

Iraq – Axis Of Evil or Cradle Of Civilization?

Both, actually. The Denver Post has an informative article about the history of Mesopotamia, “the center of the universe 5,000 years ago” and “the oldest civilization anywhere on this planet.” Mesopotamia is located in the fertile Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, in present-day Iraq. Among many other things, Mesopotamian cultures

produced the first form of writing in the Western world; wheeled vehicles; cultivated and irrigated crops; domesticated livestock; the calendar; mathematics; and astronomers and philosophers who laid the groundwork for future Greek thinkers…Some biblical scholars even suggest it is the site of Adam and Eve’s Garden of Eden and the birthplace of Abraham.

The article goes into some detail about the rich history of the region and the people that inhabited it. After reading the article, it makes the tyrannical regime that Saddam Hussein has created seem that much more despicable. In the wake of W’s call to “defend civilization” against Iraq, I think historian Bradley Parker summarizes the situation best: “It is an ironic twist of fate to stand on the remains of a city in southern Iraq where the civilized world began and realize it could all end right there as well.” I firmly believe that we need to act against Saddam Hussein, but in the process the damage done to the people, history, and archaeology of the region will be more extensive than most people realize…