Sunday, October 28, 2007

Proportional Blowback?

It was West Wing night, a few weeks back, and we were watching Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc which ends with an American plane shot down…
What was first thought to be a mechanical failure was then claimed by a fundamentalist group after a keyhole satellite sent back a record of a heat stream coming from what’s called an F.I.M. 92, which is a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile launcher. In the last 90 minutes or so that’s been debunked as well. Hard intelligence is telling us the order came from the Syrian defense ministry.
…which led me to think, FIM 92?! That’s a Stinger! In other words, it’s an American missile. The writers of the West Wing are smart enough to have done that on purpose (and after all, it would’ve been easy for them to make it a Russian SA-7; those are ubiquitous). In the next episode (which we watched tonight) they debate the merits of a Proportional Response. A great episode. I just wish they’d done something with the fact that it’s an American-made weapon. It could’ve been a good plot twist, and raises important issues. After all, the problem with sharing weapons technology is that weapons often have a longer shelf-life than friendly alliances. If only my favorite TV show had noticed that point. They came so close.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poppies, my pretty

Not only did I want to share this lovely picture of California golden poppies in its own right, but also it provides my userpic. The photo comes courtesy of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, which offers an online Photo Gallery providing copyright-free nature photos from all over the country. How cool is that?! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Credit where credit is due

So, since only one person knew the answer to one part of the “rhyme and reason” question, I’m providing some clarification.

“Postcards from Outer Space” comes from that fabulous Muppet show of my childhood – Fraggle Rock – in which Gobo’s Uncle Traveling Matt travels to the (human) world of “outer space” and sends Nephew Gobo postcards recording his observations of the “silly creatures” (us).

Sunkist Miss comes from the chorus of the classic song, “California, Here I Come.” Listen and learn. (I have also seen it transcribed as "sun-kissed", but hey, I had to choose, and this was cute!)

And yes, obviously “If I only had a blog” was an allusion to the Wizard of Oz, but no, that was not one of the questions I was asking you to guess! (Several people have asked about this).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If I only had a blog...

Confession: for the past year I have had a file called "If I only had a blog." There were two purposes. One was to find out if I would actually use it enough to make a blog worthwhile (the answer is yes). The second (and somewhat contradictory) purpose was to help prevent me from writing a blog by giving myself another outlet. After all, I think blogs are a really weird phenomenon. Who wants their diary online?! In reality, what has evolved over the past year is clearly not a diary. It is a document compiling some of my stories, thoughts and observations that I want to share with people. So, here we are.

So, some ground rules: if you know me, which, let's face it, you probably do, please refrain from posting any identifying information beyond how I've identified myself. Basically, while googling myself is fun, I don’t want to find this page when I do so – either directly or indirectly.

Rhyme and Reason: yes, both the title of the blog and my username are references. (No, the references are not related to each other). Brownie points if you can figure them out without google. :)