September 2004 Archives

Done at school

Having made my journal club talk, my responsibilities here are complete.

Title slide of the talk I gave today.

And with that, some last-minute shopping awaits. After which, there shall be packing, interspersed with yelling at the tele during the debates. Tally-ho.

Surveying the Conflict

In visiting Israel, the elephant in the room, the reason everybody keeps telling me to stay off the busses, is the low-level civil war they've had going for the past few years. The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs cheerfully declares that Americans should reconsider travel to Israel. But then again, and not to suggest that Powell thinks Americans are complete wussies or anything, they also warn that all travel to that big place called "abroad" might be considered risky.

I needed a book

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 07:40:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: "P.E. Robinson" 
To: Michael Milligan 
Subject: Re: being cheap

You can borrow my copy if...

you can give me a quantitative answer to this:

are there more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the Earth?

Points of Reference in Lower Manhattan


My final morning in New York was spent tromping around the financial district in lower Manhattan, ostensibly because I needed to buy traveler's checks before going abroad. What I stumbled upon constitutes a remarkable collection of abutting, intertwined sacred spaces smeared across what, during a typical workday, becomes one of the most densely populated few square blocks on Earth.

Aerial Photography

Traditionally, seeking out the high ground is considered a reliable means of establishing one's location. The phenomenon of aerial photography, however, proves the limits of this common intuition. From a sufficient altitude, such as from the cabin of a cruising passenger jet, the sorts of things we usually use as landmarks fade into obscurity, and only the broadest patterns and most megalithic features stand out.

First Light

Seeing as I'll be out of the country for a while, I thought it'd be nice to visit my kid sister, who is getting her master's degree in English at NYU.

Sometime later, it occurred to me that a short weekend jaunt to New York would be a handy source of material for a pilot episode, as it were.



So, the abbreviated version goes something like this: My advisor says, "You're coming with me to Israel for six months." And I say, "Er, um, okay. That sounds interesting."

And then umpteen dozen people (which is to say, at least five or six) announced that they wanted regular updates. It occurred to me that there might even be people who would find such dispatches interesting, who had not said anything to me. More likely, the resulting barrage of "look at me, I'm standing on a rock!" emails would make some of the outspoken regret their pluck.

Hence I turn to that lovely genre of the new millenium, the travel blog. Which you are reading. Good for you.

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