December 2006 Archives

New Years Eve

Very oddly for Minnesota, the brown grass is still showing. Historically the La Nina pattern suppresses snowfall over the northern tier states, and this year appears to be no exception. However, I can report that it is currently snowing.

Because large, round numbers resonate with people, the AP is reporting that as of now the ICCC counts 3000 US soldiers killed in Iraq since the invasion.

But that'll hit CNN shortly enough. Here's a list of the top 10 stories you probably didn't hear about in 2006. Who needs censorship when you've got a media that ignores the inconvenient stories all on its own?

In short, we are all going to have our work cut out for us in 2007. But for now, go enjoy the fireworks, kiss someone at midnight, and have a happy New Years.

New Years Meme

Well, I'm back in action. Back in Minnesota, too. To round out the year, here's that year-ending blog meme that always goes around. This year, I'll be using Gemma's simplified formulation:

Here are the first and last sentence (or so) of each month of 2006 on EGAD:

  • Jan 7: Tomorrow I relocate from Texas back to balmy Minnesota.
  • Jan 25: According to al-Zahar, a diplomatic-security-economic accord can be reached between the parties based on a "hudna" (truce) as part of which the Palestinians would agree to establish a state on the territory they are given.
  • Feb 1: Eesh. Every time I decide to go back to posting daily 'round here, I go and have a week like this and don't post at all.
  • Feb 26: Chicago, maybe? Feels like I haven't been back there in forever.
  • March 1: And for today's surreal moment from the news, via Majikthise, the Washington Post brings you: 55 House Democrats issued a joint statement yesterday on the central role that the Catholic faith plays in their public lives.
  • March 31: Although at the last, it was doing a good impression of the fuzzy protrusions and wakes often claimed to be photographs of the Loch Ness monster, just the crest of some large dream barely breaking the surface of the lawn.
  • April 1: Dean gave me a cool idea for visualizing the big cyclonic vortex spinning across the Great Lakes that's providing so much interesting weather and announcing rather boldly that the vernal season is upon us.
  • April 30: Should this laughable thing actually pass, I plan to endorse my check over to the DFL.
  • May 1: Happy May Day. Go protest something.
  • May 30: Although it will put a crimp in my research time, I'm rather looking forward to putting in some classroom hours again. Wouldn't want to get rusty.
  • June 1: Over the weekend there was an article at Firedoglake that begins with, There is no "War on Terror.".
  • June 30: Now we're good to go for another year of starstruck visitors.
  • July 1: Yesterday I took a field trip with one of my roommates to Wisconsin.
  • July 20: My attempts to photoblog my life in real time never pan out, mostly because I'm too picky about processing the photos I post, but I should have nice photos from the Tetons when I get back.
  • Aug 5: Hey, look! I'm back online!
  • Aug 29: I'll be taking off tomorrow (Wednesday) to hang at the State Fair with one of my roomies. If anyone wants to play hookie and join in, let me know.
  • Sept 10: The busy bit continues; I should have things nearly under control again; I shall resume regular posting when I resume; I have not abandoned EGAD.
  • Sept 29: So, wish me luck with that.
  • Oct 8: Yes, I'm still here, but the semester still hasn't let up enough to allow a return to regular posting.
  • Oct 31: Presumably it exists to exterminate all non-pumpkin pie forms.
  • Nov 2: In a bit of self-promotion by proxy, I'd point those as have an interest at this article, wherein one of my old cosmology profs lays out in reasonably straightforward terms the theory behind the experiment my group is trying to pull off.
  • Nov 23: So, you know, don't buy anything. It'll be good for the soul.
  • Dec 1: December...is a tricky month. In general I'm quite fond of it.
  • Last sentence of December: not written yet, but very likely to be "Have a happy New Years."

2006 seems to have been marked by a gradual drop-off in posting frequency. This is partly because I've been busy, and partly because EGAD is conceived as a travel blog and I haven't really travelled anywhere new this year. And while around elections I post a good deal about politics, I have neither the time nor loquacity to actually run a political blog. But mostly it was because I've been busy pursuing other things. I'll try to keep you folks more in the loop next year.

Ping!

So did I mention the part where it's going to be a crazy month and I won't be able to post very often? Yes? Good, 'cause it's true in spades.

I'll be in New York from the 14th to the 19th, but the vast majority of that time will be taken up by the collaboration meeting I'm in town for. I should have that Friday and some evenings here and there. I'll be in Texas after that, and back in Minneapolis just before the new year begins.

In the meanwhile, here's some interesting reading material to tide you over: The Astrobiology Primer, compiled by a host of actual astrobiologists.

Word Game

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Made up a word yesterday, but I'm not entirely pleased with it. Maybe you folks can help out.

Numerodictulibrophile: one who loves free software (literally, lover of freedom relating to commands given in numeric form).

I'm not sure I've formed the roots correctly for joining like that, but the bigger problem is that it's clunky, and doesn't adhere to the standard choice of roots for this sort of thing. (For example, if I refer to the phobia list I see that we prefer the Greek root eleuthero for freedom.) Any ideas?

So, what complex concepts can you express love (or fear) for in a single tacked-together word?

December

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...is a tricky month. In general I'm quite fond of it. Seasonwise I love that late autumn/early winter transition, although in these northern parts that's really more of a November thing. Harvest is over; here we are on 1 December and it's not forecast to get above freezing this week. Feels like winter's already here. Nevertheless December has much the same feel to it, fluctuating as the month begins between autumn and winter, and diving at the end into the crazy icebox of January.

Then there's all that home, hearth, and holiday hoopla, which I'm kind of a sucker for as well. When else are you gonna get the chance to belt out wassailing songs at the top of your lungs (or get to wash it down with egg nog)? But of course there's that flip-side, that it's kind of a creepy zombie season that pretty insistently tells you what to be like. The good cheer I can be down with, although I understand from suicide statistics that it's pretty rough if you're already depressed, but the retail impulse is full stop loco.

But in terms of the day-to-day, December is mostly about the end of the year. The end of the semester for both myself and my students, which has been keeping me pretty occupied as they get ready to turn in their final projects. Preparing results for my collaboration's end-of-year meeting. Tying up loose ends before the world -- or at least a fair chunk of it -- throws a party.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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