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August 12, 2005

Absolute randomness

• I'm reading a great book right now called Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis which discusses America's Founding Fathers and the impact they had on our fledgling republic. It is only 288 pages and it features short, illustrative chapters, vignettes really, concerning Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, etc. etc. Right now I'm reading an early chapter on "The Duel" between Burr and Hamilton and how, remarkably it represents the only example of political violence during the early days of our experiment in democracy. Anyway, an interesting portion of this chapter describes the rules for a duel (the code duello):

"Burr and Hamilton then met in the middle to receive their final instructions. Hamilton, again because he was the challenged party, had the choice of position. He selected upstream, or north, side, a poor choice because the morning sun and its reflection off the river would be in his face. The required ten paces between contestants put them at the extreme ends of the ledge. It was agreed that when both principals were ready, Pendleton would say, "Present"; then each man would be free to raise and fire his weapon. If one man fired before the other, the nonfirer's second would say, "One, two, three, fire." If he had not fired by the end of the count, he lost his turn. At that point, or if both parties had fired and missed, there would be a conference to decide if another round was required or if both sides agreed that the obligations of honor had been met."

Fascinating, huh? As you probably know, the rest of the story can be summarized with Burr mortally wounding Hamilton and Burr being ostracized from American life in general. Obviously, there is much more to this story than that. If you are interested I would recommend checking out Founding Brothers. Let me just close this little snippet by saying I am glad this method of resolving a dispute is now a thing of the past. Cheesehead Craig, sadly, would have alreay been killed by my deadly aim.

• Little known fact about me: I never use an alarm clock. Every morning I wake up whenever I decide I need to wake up. This is how it has always been for me. If I need to wake up at 6:00, I'll wake up at 6:00. If I need to wake up at 5:00, I'll wake up at 5:00. I don't know why, or how I developed this skill, but there you have it.

• I am absolutely fascinated by the ongoing saga of the Eagles vs. Terrell Owens. What a nightmare. On the one hand I love to see a possible stumbling block for the Vikings Super Bowl aspirations having these kinds of difficulties, but on the other hand a classy individual like Donovan McNabb does not deserve this. I agree with most other Eagles fans: T.O. must G.O. And did you catch what T.O. said about McNabb?

When Owens was asked if he could have success with McNabb, he was even more blunt, saying, "I don't think so and I'm just being honest."

Wow. Not only is T.O. a bad teammate, but he is just an idiot. Highly entertaining though.

• After reading stuff like this article about a Christian museum displaying dinosaurs and an intelligent design (ID) viewpoint and this hilarious open letter to the Kansas School Board I am this close to writing my own piece on this blog concerning ID and the theory of evolution. Of course it will deal with issues of religion, science, and history, but so far I have held back. I don't know why. Anyway, stay tuned for that (if you care).

• Well, I'll be going to the Vikings game tonight and I'll be sitting in the seats of Mr. Cheer or Die. Here is what the view from my old seats looked like. COD's seats, being on the first row, should provide me with a very interesting new perspective. I am looking forward to it. Thanks COD!

Posted by snackeru at August 12, 2005 8:48 AM | Books | Life | Sports


Now, that's just cheap taking a shot at a guy who isn't around to defend himself!! Backyard at dawn with pistols, sir...
We'll shoot the squirrels.

Posted by: cheesehead's wife at August 12, 2005 8:11 PM

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