Since we humans are much enamored of base-10 counting, I suppose this is significant: according to my hit counter, EGAD had its 20,000th visitor sometime this week. At least since I put up the counter, almost exactly two years ago. 10,000 visits per year doesn't exactly put me in the big leagues, but it's nice to know someone's looking.
Perusing this week's referral logs, it would appear that a majority of my readers got here by virtue of EGAD's showing up in the first page of results when Googling for Santa Katarina. Go figure.
I've updated the RSS 1.0 feed template. I should probably have done this years ago, but you know how these things go. It now includes much more metadata, and in particular should correctly transmit formatting, images, and the like.
Of course, nobody accesses the RSS 1.0 feed directly. However, it is the base data source for the LiveJournal feed version of EGAD, so this actually impacts a number of readers. Feedback, particularly from these people, is appreciated.
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:
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.
First up, I checked my traffic stats for the first time in a while. Someone from a University of Wisconsin computer became my 15,000th visitor while I was away. That's surely more eyeballs than have ever seen work I've committed to paper, even if you figure that probably around a third of that figure is accounted for by you, the dozen or so regulars.
Second, glancing at the recent comments summary in the sidebar below and cross-referencing with the Sitemeter logs, I see that some doofus in Florida became my first troll at about the same time. I find such behavior a bit strange, given that even 15,000 visitors in just under two years still makes EGAD a pretty remote corner of cyberspace. More so since the comment in question is attached not to one of my conceivably irritating posts on politics or the Middle East, but to a nonsensical aside highlighting camels in my life. Definitely not a spam, though, as there's no hint of links or commercial keywords.
(It has occurred to me that several of the preceeding should be regarded as sentence fragments in standard English. All would be repaired were "It is" prefixed to each. Nettlers may assume that I am holding to the convention in numerous other languages whereby a tenseless and obvious existential verb may be implied. Hebrew doesn't even have such a verb!)
Third, I junked a few dozen spam comments that had built up while I was offline. Sigh.
For a couple of weeks, the error below would appear whenever one tried to update a post or comment on my blog. Shane, the dude who operates UThink, has fixed the trouble, but I'm preserving the post for the benefit of the Googlebrain.
Can't use string ("MT::App") as a HASH ref while "strict refs" in use at /htdocs/cgi-bin/blog-ssl/lib/MT/App.pm line 1294.
The root cause remains mysterious, but the error apparently occurred whenever MT tried to rebuild the page containing a post that used an image located on an external server. Making this image available locally negated this behavior. So if by some chance you got here by Googling for this error text, give that a try. My original post is below the fold.
Apparently, whenever somebody posts a comment here, that one will arrive at a cryptic error message generated by the blogging software here. Upon hitting the "go back" button the user shall return to the post in question, looking for all the world as if the post has not yet been submitted.
In actuality, your post has been submitted. Just his reload to see it. If you hit submit again, two copies of your post will appear, which will eventually frustrate me and cause me to delete one of them. I would like this error to go away and stop confusing people, but even though it is a straightforward Perl error and not cryptic at all to me, I do not know my way around the innards of Moveable Type, and it is thus not helpful, either. This problem is new-ish, and I suspect is related to the fact that I have not updated my site templates since the upgrade to a newer version of MT.
Oh well. Perhaps someday I shall work out the problem. In the meanwhile, please do not be confused by the strange error. For future reference, it looks like this:
Can't use string ("MT::App") as a HASH ref while "strict refs" in use at /htdocs/cgi-bin/blog-ssl/lib/MT/App.pm line 1294.
Okay, that should be the last proposal of the season for me. The big important ones should be at NASA HQ by now, but I had to finish off this request for time on the supercomputers. I've got non-sitting-at-a-computer stuff to catch up on now, including but not limited to sleep, so that's a wrap for the weekend I think. Not including my taxes, thank the Maker. That sort of thing I took care of a month back, for pretty much this reason.
To those so embedded, have a good Easter and/or rest of Pesach.
As a postscriptum, that last post appears to have put me over the line to get onto the U Library's list of most-posted blogs on the UThink University blogging system.
It's not that I write so very much (I sort of do, but you get no points for lots of long posts), but the vast majority of bloggers get bored after a few months, on average. It can be a pain sometimes, but on the whole I find this blogging thing's rather fun, so I guess I'll keep on plugging away.
Speaking of unusual blog traffic, hello and welcome to Tangled Bank readers. Tangled Bank #50 is out, and as usual it's got some excellent science reading. Since astronomy and physics are generally well-outnumbered by biology types, I submitted my series of WMAP posts this week.
After a well-earned two-day St. Patrick's Day-weekend and a long Sunday of catching up, I'm back.
Minnesota crew, take note: it's perfect snowball-fight snow out there today. Get outside. Take advantage. This is why the lab looks to me for intra-workday time-wasting field trips.
Still here, but light posting will continue through the end of the week. Between being a bit under the weather and submitting a grant proposal, my free time has been rather constrained. I have photos from this week's snowfall to post (because this season is just transparently mocking me), and will try to provide some coverage of tomorrow's WMAP data release. Otherwise I shall be reading, drinking tea, baking, and otherwise relaxing when not in the lab. It technically is spring break, after all.
Apparently it's some kind of rule that to maintain a blog's readership, one has to post according to some kind of predictable schedule. That I violate this with aplomb is obvious to you folks.
I actually have one post left from Levant-week that's taking a bit longer to bang into shape, but I'll get that out. Clearly, a busy couple of days in the lab is all it takes to shut down blogging hereabouts for a bit. To those of you still here, thanks for reading despite the unpredictability.
I have no idea how I wound up on this list of science blogs, but it's kinda cool that I did. Especially since I'm sharing a screen with the likes of Quantum Diaries (inactive now, since it was a one-year project, but really neat archives to peruse) and Mike the Mad Biologist, who just today was exclaiming at his apparent metastasis through the internet.
I guess I should write more about science.
Speaking of links, while I don't normally link random news articles, this is absolutely hilarious. I'm assuming it's quicker to pronounce in Persian.
A while back there was a "year in review" meme going around, which asked one to extract the first sentence from each month's first post. Here's my take, now that the year's actually over.
For each month of 2005, post the last sentence (or so) of the first post and the first sentence (or so) of the last post. Feel free to exclude housekeeping posts.
There's a big Pacific air mass moving across North America in the coming week. Funny thing about that. From my perspective it's a balmy warm front; it was -6°F when I got home last night, but our weekend lows will be near 20°F. On the other hand, my folks down in Texas will see it as a strong cool front, dropping their daily highs from near 70°F into the 40s, with lows in the 20s.
Takes a fair amount of thermal inertia in an airmass to render an entire continent isothermal.
I think I need to resign myself to the fact that this blog won't be terribly interesting until sometime in January. Between our collaboration meeting just before Christmas, spending the holidays with my family, and prepping for my oral prelims in mid-January, I don't have the time I'd like to keep up with the world in particular detail.
If I get a spare moment now and then, though, I've got a tremendous backlog of photos to post.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the state can celebrate Christmas all it wants, provided it's celebrating the economic, seasonal holiday, and not some particular religious observance. Hence the National Christmas Tree, but no National Nativity. Holiday parades full of Santa and snowflakes are altogether encouraged, notionally as a mechanism for bringing tourists into downtown commercial districts during the great National December Shopping Spree, whereas e.g. San Antonio's Las Posadas pagent is operated by a private society. Thus the state-sanctioned holiday season pretty much comes down to saying "Look, it's dark and cold and wintery! But hey -- snow is kind of pretty! Let's brighten things up, so string up the lights and remind people that we like them by spending money on each other." (Alternately, you could blame Santa and his Black-Ops Elves.)
You could do worse. And for evidence that the alternative really is terrifying, invest some time in imagining how the current administration would probably like to commemorate the season.
I've been universally labeled as difficult to shop for, which might be related to my ascetic tendencies that make me rather stuff-averse. Thus, I've been asked to provide some guidance to those for whatever reason still inclined to spend money on me. Read on for general suggestions:
And some specific items, mostly for the benefit of my parents, who are by long experience the most leery of buying me anything unrequested:
And that should keep anybody well-stocked with gift ideas. Which brings up the following dilemma. Do I, as an anticonsumerist (I could really use a nice punchy, positive word for "devotee of long-term sustainable civilization") get to feel like a complete tool for basically telling my friends and relatives to spend money on me? Or do I let the urban scavenger take charge, and simply revel in the prospect of free stuff, even if said stuff hasn't previously been discarded?
Hold up a sec. Thanksgiving is next week!?
I have got to get out of the lab more often. I seem to have missed a semester somewhere in there.
As I mentioned, EGAD hit the 1-year mark this weekend, during which time it appears to have been read about 6,000 times. Slightly less than half of that by the eight or ten regular readers. That's around 300 visits apiece ... don't you people have anything better to be doing?
In the past year, I've really gotten around. A quick tally of my itineraries adds up to 67,800 kilometers crossed in the air (42,400 miles), plus almost another 5,000 km in buses, cars, and trains. That's over 1 1/2 times the circumference of the Earth.
I visited my kid sister in New York.
I spent an exciting couple of weeks dashing from Tel Aviv to Atlanta, New York, and San Antonio, and back again.
Then I returned to the Midwest to visit Minneapolis and do Scavhunt in Chicago.
And I'm back where I started: a house in Minneapolis, in the midst of a rainy gray autumn.
Happy birthday to me. To the folks who sent various types of electronic card, you're all terribly sweet. My parents sent a box of pistachios and Texas pecans, which will be put to some tasty use over the weekend.
There are creationists to pester tonight. Since we're having movie night on the same floor at the same time, I might just post a sign in the hallway. "Right: mind-rotting movie. Left: mind-rotting sermon." I resolve to be entertained, not annoyed.
Recalling a long habit of embarking on new adventures near my birthday (this yields easy-to-remember anniversaries), EGAD is one year old tomorrow. It's been a very interesting year.
Sigh. LiveJournal makes things tricky for those of us out here in the rest of the world.
Okay, that's pretty close to blatantly false, but feels true. To wit: back in the day, if I wanted to hear the latest gossip I'd just have to see that I showed up for lunch or water cooler break or what have you. Then people started posting their gossip on the internet. And eventually the realization came to pass that maybe this wasn't such a great idea, which in LJ terms means that everybody restricted their posts to their Friends. But in the meanwhile, folks like me who tend to get holed up in a lab for days at a time got used to not being totally cut off from the doings of one's associates. So now I have to get my (virtual) self back to the (equally nonexistent) water cooler.
To which end, I have created a LiveJournal account. Apparently you have to befriend MilliganHasEars if you want me to be included. No sweat if you don't; if you're not one of the people who's been bugging me to make one of these, then I probably don't care about your gossip anyway (but notice that I didn't say iff).
That account will receive no posting. I do my talking here, for the whole internet to see. And it is completely separate from MilligansEGAD, which echoes EGAD for the convenience of the LiveJournal crowd but does no listening.
LiveJournal's like a big can of soup, that way. You need one hole to let the hot air in, the other to pour soup out.
P.S. I'm not actually sure how I'd know who's befriended this account. So email me or leave a comment on EGAD when you have, if you want to be certain that I notice. Thanks.
So I asked myself, do I know anyone perverse enough to leave comments over in the LJ feed after I suggested that they not do that? Why yes, actually, I do believe most of my friends fit that particular bill. Better check. Oh, ha, ha.
Even better, I can't directly respond, since only actual LJ users can leave comments on a feed. Ah, well, let the games begin.
Anyhow, as a heads-up, I'll be in Zanesville all Friday afternoon (through Sunday). Sending out a general announcement here seems the most efficient way of discovering who else will be there on Friday, so if you're also getting in early, drop me a line.
For those of you who've been complaining that you have to leave LiveJournal to read this blog, I have prodded John into providing a solution. Using the amazing powers that a postdoc's salary affords him, he has created a LJ feed from the EGAD site syndication.
It is named, appropriately enough, milligansEGAD. Go forth and do whatever it is you LJ folks do with these things. A suggestion -- it looks like you can post comments directly on posts in the feed inside LJ. Don't do that; I'll probably never see them.
In fact, with my post on the Deep Impact impact I have the Astronomy segment all to myself today. And this blog isn't even primarily about astronomy. Someone should make Bad-Astronomy Phil submit to the Tangled Bank to round things out.
Speaking of astronomers, check out Dean's first-hand account of the PEPCON perchlorate explosion that I mentioned the other day. The surface of the Earth has seen very few explosions of that size since the end of above-ground nuclear weapons testing.
So, looks like we're going with option two, then. San Antonio was even busier than usual for me, what with Dad running an academic conference that weekend. That, and I was attacked by wonderful little book shop down the road, and came back with an armload of Roman history. However, I should actually be in Minneapolis for the entire remainder of the month. Shocking, I know.
On a related note (of limited interest to the Minnesotan readers), if anyone out there is making the trip to Zanesville in a couple of weeks and has tips for getting to or staying in said locale, do drop me a line. If you're interested in splitting a room/car/teleporter, even better.
It has been alledged in some circles that I don't give enough warning before up and leaving town and/or country. Now I seem to recall telegraphing my return to the States by a week or more, which ought to be plenty for anyone. Here, I confess, I might be doing slightly less well.
Anyway, I've got a flight to San Antonio in about twelve hours. Be back in Minneapolis next week.
As far as blogging is concerned, I see two basic and divergent contingencies. One is that I productively use the time away from work to get my thoughts in order, write a bit, and generally regain my missing blogger-stride. The other is that my family will be so generally entertaining as to prove far superior company to ye olde monitor glow. But, I sleep much less than most of them do, so I could conceivably manage both.
There's a danger in pausing the blog to, say, cross the planet, do important work stuff, and generally get one's life back in order. Namely that it takes time to develop a good rhythm, time that may have to be put in all over again once interrupted. In short, bear with me as I regain my footing.
It's risky for a writer to radically change his environment and associations. Deprived of a familiar context, observational writing is complicated by not quite knowing how to look at things anymore, nor what is deserving of focus. Now I find that America is no longer entirely familiar. Risk being central to creative endeavor, let's see how well I do with the delightful grist provided.
In Israel, I commented at some length on what might be termed public affairs. I still read a couple of Israeli newspapers online, and have extensive notes and observations to wade through, so more of that will necessarily be forthcoming. But unless I wanted to make a full-time endeavor of it (I don't), it will not be possible to replicate the immediacy of living there. The retrospectives will have to use breadth of scope to supplement the lost temporal and topical focus.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to try and figure out what's interesting and essential about where I find myself now. Fireworks might be a start.
As an aside, given my recent relocation, starting today entry times are figured according to Central Time. Up til now, you may have noticed, the convention was Israeli Standard Time.
As a general rule, I use entry times to reflect time at my present location when posting. Seems reasonable to me.
From Israel, anyway. Unless I have more down-time tonight than I'm expecting.
Shutting down the computers, cleaning off the desk, it's time to go. Wheels up in 15 hours, and I've got a bit to do before that.
It's been interesting. In the coming weeks, I'll endeavor to elaborate on that.
This week's compilation includes my recent post on BLAST, which last I heard has cleared Greenland and is floating towards recovery in Canada in about two days. Which is exciting, not least because we've gotten to waste the first ten minutes of each conference call gossiping about it.
For those not familiar with it, the Tangled Bank is a bimonthly, self-nominated compendium of science writing from the blogosphere. There is a nominal focus on biology and natural history, but they're kind enough to humor astronomy types like myself as well.
Despite my subatomic status in the larger blogoverse, I'll have you know that I appear to be the 41st most prolific poster on UThink. Then again, EGAD ranks 26th by number of comments, which proves once again that you all are far cooler than me.
Found while clicking around to get those numbers: try this experiment sometime.
Exactly one month ago I installed one of these free web traffic monitoring gizmos on EGAD. What can I say, even I take some minimal pride in my work, and I was curious to know a little bit about who (if anyone) was reading.
Since I'm a fan of public data releases, you're all welcome to take a look at the stats here, or by clicking on the little multicolored box under "About the Author" in the sidebar. The information it collects is pretty general, but some interesting nuggets can be discerned nonetheless.
Cutting to the chase, it would appear that I do have something of a readership, although I don't yet need any toes to tally you up. At an average of 16 visits per day, less the 60% that come in from search engines, there's about seven of you, plus a handful of occasionals. Thanks for sticking around.
Overall the traffic here at EGAD is pretty spikey; I've had as few as two and as many as 21 visitors in a day. The surges don't fall on any particular day of the week, and if there's a pattern to be found, it's that I tend to get more visitors after I've posted two or more days in a row. Go figure.
40% of you come from the central time zone in the US, and another 20% from the eastern zone (but a chunk of that is probably my sister obsessively checking for updates to make sure I'm still alive ... hi, sis!). I don't know what to make of the almost 20% coming from Israeli/Eastern European time. Almost 80% use some form of Windows, which is a cryin' shame. But with barely 60% using Internet Explorer, I suppose there's hope.
Like I said, the referral statistics indicate that around 60% of the visitors here got here from a search engine, the vast majority of those from Google. Some small number of those are actually the regulars, since why else would you search for Milligan+EGAD? But I browsed through and noticed a few other categories as well:
Fully a fifth of the searchers are looking for information about Jerusalem or the Old City. Another, partially overlapping, fifth searched for a map of some kind (lower Manhattan gets a noticable number of hits, for instance).
About 5% were looking for information about the salinity or other physical properties of the Red Sea. Roughly the same number as were looking for fables about bugs. I'm not sure which of those is odder.
What takes the cake, though, is that almost 10% of the search engine visitors were looking for, and I quote, "signs of the apocalypse." Sigh.
Dashing as my here-chronicled exploits must sound to the casual observer, the sad truth is that I spend most of the hours on most days1 in a subterranean office, fiddling with simulations or tweaking design parameters. Of course, there's some web browsing involved as well2. Since I like this week's posting tempo but don't have time to work up a full post, here's a selection of what's amused me in the past few days.
Sonoluminescence turns out to be a nifty way to make your very own miniature star in a simple beaker of, well, concentrated sulphuric acid. But for sheer phonological merriment I have to give this week's science cake to the discovery of shrimpoluminescence.
My weakness for the monocle-and-persian-kitty set was tickled when I belatedly ran across the lamest shadowy conspiracy ever.
For a more serious example of messing with the grand levers of power that still managed to crack me up, here's one way the Democrats could retake the House in one fell swoop.
1 More than 12, anyway. But I boldly defy Israeli convention and take a two-day weekend like a civilized person.
2 And four or five multi-hour conference calls per week, but I try to block those out.
3 Warning, that link can be pretty slow. San Antonio's not exactly the hub of the cyberverse, after all. I mean, it's only the world headquarters of Verizon!4
4 Also, footnotes amuse me today.
Thanks to the insane masochists at Wampum, this year's Koufax award winners have been announced. Pop on over when you've got a spare moment (or afternoon) to find out what was judged best and most worthwhile in the bustling left end of Blogistan in 2004. I all but guarantee you'll find something good to read.
I won't spoil the ending my letting on who won, and for that matter I'm not really familiar enough with a number of the nominees to comment on the awards in several categories. Being, you know, a grad student and not actually a full-time blogger. But I still feel entitled to distribute some props of my own, just to mark the occasion.
For the category of Best Group Blog, I was rooting for Crooked Timber. Not having the patience for all-politics, all-the-time, I like eclectic.
Now call me biased, but I thought Blue Skies Falling was Deserving of Wider Recognition this year. Connor's still too small fry to be nominated for this sort of thing, I'm afraid. It's probably normal that I don't know much about any of the nominees in same category.
Finally, if you find yourself particularly wanting to spend an enjoyable and unproductive afternoon, I am happy to direct you to the finalists for Best Post of 2004. Iraq loomed large, as you might imagine, both in the one I voted for and in the eventual winner. My recommendation: browse all the finalist posts before reading who won.
P.S. You can safely assume that EGAD was not nominated for anything. For one thing, I don't post often enough. But the bigger obstacle is that there's probably some requirement that you have more than two consistent readers (Hi Mom, Sis!).
[Late Update, 1 March '05 -- Okay, okay. To be perfectly fair, if I judge by the people who comment here, it would appear that I have more like five or six loyal readers. Many thanks, dudes and dudettes.]
It's just past midnight here, which means it's just past 5 pm EST, which means there's officially nothing more I can do for this latest fellowship application. Ah, the joy of begging NASA for money. At least the NSF is pretty competent about doing things electronically. While I was able to fill out basic information and upload my proposal online, the process of -- essentially -- getting permission to apply was truly an adventure. NASA and the University of Minnesota are both institutions with pretty hefty bureaurocracies, both of which have been ordered from on high to go paperless.
The interaction of the two was somewhat hilarious. That NASA insists that you get an institutional sign-off on the cover sheet of an otherwise electronic proposal for a lowly graduate fellowship is somewhat puzzling to me. So I filled out the please-sign-my-piece-of-paper form, which is obviously one of those things that used to be a triplicate carbon paper affair. Now it's paperless, and it goes from office to office by email. Cool, actually. Still, the volume of forms (some online, some by faxing things around) I've handled to actually submit this propsal, I'm fairly sure, exceeds my actual proposal in length.
This post, courtesy of the above, should make at least one of my readers happy.
Four more years for everyone's favorite despotic buffon with delusions of apotheosis, starting ...
Curious that this man, of all people, should choose to wax grandieloquent about freedom for his inaugural canned remarks. I have a hunch that his notion of liberty, if one caught him at an unheard-of moment of perfect candidness, would sound something like "People should be free. Me most of all, 'cause I'm in charge."
Browse the text of his speech. Could he not have saved quite a few words and simply announced that "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." and gotten it over with?
But this struck me as particularly rich:
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
How typical, that he would get this entirely and precisely backwards. The best hope for peace, or even just a modicum of sanity in the world, lies in taking back our own country. How unfortunate, that the present generation has not been gifted with a King of its own. Heck, I'd settle for a Zhao.
Yes, no posts for a few days, despite interesting things happening. I will relate. But not just now, for it is time to go home.
Why, you ask? Because I just submitted a fellowship application to the NSF, basically saying that I'm God's gift to astrophysics and a nice guy to boot, so they should really do us all a favor and pay me and my expenses for a few years. As some readers here would tell you, this particular application has been an annual soul-sucking ritual for me for a few years now. Which, of course, I was going to get a three-week jump on. But, as typically happens to me in November, I was really busy for a week, then sick for a week, then really busy again. And again, it mostly got done in the past two days. But I think I actually put in a quality attempt this year, which is more than I can say for some of my past efforts, and my CV's gotten a
I wound up saying some very nice things about education and the importance of outreach in my personal statements. I might post and expand on those bits sometime, if I have a slow week. Which there won't be for a little while yet.
Here's hoping everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving. It's just work as usual here, of course, although I'll be having dinner with a Czech-American-(something slavic) family this evening after my Hebrew class gets out.
Me, I'm thankful that nobody seems to have gotten hurt yet in the Ukrainian election crisis. Although I'd have been exceedingly tickled if anyone had managed to instigate a general strike to protest the American electoral shenanigans. Oh well.
In other news, it would seem that pumpkin pie just gets no love from some quarters. Personally, I like the stuff, although it's no match for a good slice of pecan pie. But I'm not really up on my pie scholarship.
There seems to be some disagreement in Blogistan over the relative merits of pumpkin pie. But, since pumpkins are not to be found in this region of the world, perhaps I'll give Kabocha squash pie a whirl. Or yam pie. We've got those in spades.
So the Red Sox overcame their curse. Or (as one banner-waver in the stands suggests), Ruth has forgiven them. Either way, cool, baseball-historically speaking. Although I wonder how long it will take Bostonians to adapt their mentality to being metaphysically victimized fans no longer.
I've got a couple of real posts drafted and almost ready to go, but since the Series ended around 6 am local time, I'm probably not going to finish any of them today. I'll be in Tel Aviv for some or all of the weekend, so hopefully we'll have more photos next week, but maybe not much posting before then. So in the meanwhile, go admire John's photos of astronomers carving pumpkins. My department at its finest. And slimiest. Too bad we don't
As a Cubs fan and thus fellow member of the league of cursed ball clubs, chalk one up for the good guys.
It's 6 am here; I'm going to bed.
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
Hence I turn to that lovely genre of the new millenium, the