A Controversial Question
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Oh that Woodstock! No, no - I meant ...

Sure wouldn't have guessed that was South Africa.

Perhaps this one is more in line with Mac's feelings?

I've been listening to the Radio Kalahari Orkes (to the extent that's possible by internet from Western Europe), and one very sad song (anthologized on "Beginner's Guide to South Africa") is about somebody being shot "in a backstreet in Woodstock" - so I went exploring.

What is that? Glass from a smashed car window?


SA seems to bear some resemblances to the US.

About 20 years ago, we had a friend from Germany who was attending the University of Memphis. One morning she went out to her car and there was no glass left in her car. Whoever had broken the glass had cleaned it up and taken it away. They had even broken the glass out of her sunglasses that were sitting on the dashboard.


As an outsider to both, I've often thought the similarities are remarkable.

This and this could so easily be scenes from Westerns.

This style of mega-revivalism is something I can't readily imagine anywhere but South Africa or the U.S.

Plus South African rugby teams have cheerleaders, of all things. The list could go on and on.

Even "apartheid" is just Dutch for "segregation" - but having the segregationists running the country throughout the Cold War clearly did make a big difference.

I didn't watch all of the longer ones but those are indeed striking in their resemblance to American stuff.

I always had the impression that apartheid was somewhat harder-edged than our segregation, but that may just be my bias. I suppose the situation in SA was different in that the black population was way larger than the white (I think--right?). And so perhaps there was a greater element of fear on the white side...I've never really thought about it.

Well, the Pass Laws were pretty draconian (banning blacks from permanent settlement outside their "tribal homeland" - effectively a reservation - and making them carry a permit at all times when residing in "white" territory to work in the mines, or the farms, or the factories), but a lot of the rest of apartheid wouldn't have looked much different from segregation.

The real difference is that the equivalent of Birmingham's "segregationist resistance" weren't making a last stand in the 1960s, but were running the country and entrenching themselves throughout the establishment by means of a secret "fraternity". Which as I said, makes a very big difference indeed.

I guess things like the Pass Laws etc. are what gave me that impression. Our segregation was not quite so codified in law as that, especially outside the south.

I'm trying to imagine George Wallace as president in the Cold War...does not compute...though it's not totally inconceivable that it could have happened.

It would have to be a Wallace who'd convinced enough northern Democrats that the most sensible solution to urban unemployment, illegal immigration and racial violence would be to prohibit southern blacks from moving to northern cities, then made segregation federal policy and secretly staffed the FBI with Klansmen.

As you say - it doesn't compute. There are some obvious differences, as well as some intriguing similarities.

One of the things I wonder is how much of the similarity is due to similar circumstances and constraints, and how much to the "elect nation" and "providential purpose" ideology of Puritan Anglo-Dutch colonial settlement. I'm supposed to be reviewing this book for the Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, so it's a little on my mind.

Of course in order to appeal as he did to conservative but not segregationist voters outside the South, Wallace had to drop his advocacy of segregation and just talk about preserving law and order etc., which under the circumstances was a legitimate and not intrinsically racist concern. So I suppose that points up the difference even more. Also, our whole legal environment after the Civil War and whichever constitutional amendment followed it was totally different: the sorts of things you mention would not have been conceivable within our constitutional framework, and no viable politician could have advocated them and remained so.

Jeff Woodward has a new blog (really new--3 days). You might want to check it out.



Took me a sec to place the name, because Thursday Night Gumbo had gotten so quiet that I hadn't checked it for a while. I'm sure this will be good, though I don't have time to read right now.

Amusing album cover of the day:


Just made the first bruschetta of the season. God is good.

I've been too busy to check in lately, but think of y'all often and hope you are well.

...mmm...bruschetta...(in Homer Simpson voice)

Good to hear from you, Dave. Funny, I was thinking about you this morning. Hope you're doing well, and the busy-ness is the good kind.

Yes, good to see you Dave.


Oh, some good, some not so. Oh well.

I did attend a lovely wedding at Notre Dame last weekend. Zowie, what a beautiful campus and basilica.

Yeah, I could say the same (about the two kinds of busy-ness). Best wishes to your Notre Dame newlyweds.

I was thinking of Dave just exactly this morning.

Two album covers:

One, proving that I'm not the only person who takes pictures through the windshield while driving down the interstates. And another, which features a duck.

That was clearly taken from the passenger's side.

I think I need to rescue that duck from the company he's keeping.


I'm not so sure. That pattern on the windshield in the upper left (whatever it means) is something you sometimes see in the area of the rear-view mirror. Photographer could be holding the camera up and in front of the steering wheel.

Thanks y'all. It's good to hear from you too. (Mac and Janet, I've adopted the plural second person address, but it is new to me still and certain situations don't feel right - would you have written y'all twice in that first sentence?)

Another good busy: We worked hard Saturday and got a lot accomplished making Sunday especially nice. Pam made a wonderful lemon mousse and I three batches of bruschetta. With such abundance, we invited several neighbors over to share it. Eventually, teenagers joined us and our own teens. It was easy, summery, and joyous. Deo gratias.

For foodies and geeks: batch 1) hybrid tomatoes and genovese basil - good but worst of the day, 2) heirloom tomatoes and genovese - definitely better, and 3) yellow and green tomatoes with lime basil - wow was it fun and it looked great, tasted pretty good too. Also, I figured out how to do the crostini much better than before.

I don't think I'd ever say "y'all" after thanks. I would have just said, "Thank you," and maybe used y'all the second time.


I'm pretty sure I've said "thanks, y'all".

That sounds like a great evening. As for my cooking, my ego in relation to that field of endeavor took a hit from Craig Burrell the other day--scroll down to the "Master of the culinary art" post:


I appreciate the advice though I can't figure out how to put it to good use.

Craig's post was pretty darn funny. I may be a foodie (Francesca's convinced, I'm not quite), but I despise the notion of "plating up" at home, even for a fancy meal. It is just too pretentious.

OK Dave, Just NEVER use y'all in the singular and you can't go too far wrong.


Thank you, Captain Obvious. Having a distinguishing plural second person is the reason I've taken it on.

Still, it IS comforting to know that I won't be too far wrong; I rarely hope for more that.

Well, that was certainly charitable.

I'm thinking that when I get off work tomorrow, I should get in the car and drive north until I find someplace cool.


A friend on FB linked to this article about the 20 worst-paying college degrees:


Interesting that almost all the things that have any lasting value are on this list.


There's a Dilbert cartoon where a devil offers him a choice between being paid well for meaningless work, or paid badly for meaningful work, and he responds "Wow, they both sound better than the deal I've got now!"

Not at all surprising, alas.

Re driving north--you'd probably have to go quite a ways, wouldn't you?

I'm afraid I'd have to go to Canada and since it takes more than a driver's license these days, I'm doomed to failure.

Paul-That's almost too true to be funny.


Here's a refreshing album cover for you. It's called "Bath Time Again."


Sorry Janet. My attempts at good natured humor sometime misfire.

That's ok, Dave, I was in a more-or-less ill-natured mood.


If it's like a community fridge, does that mean the old stuff is getting bad and smelly?


It's like the outside of a community fridge. No telling what's inside.

I think the bulletin-board-like use of the old one was aided by the fact that with Haloscan you saw the first 8 or 10 words of each comment in the Recent list. So that got you started and you instinctively wanted to read the rest.

"Memphis, the second-hottest city this summer, has had 72 days above normal so far. Normally high temperatures range from 88.5 in June to 92 in July, with a record 111 set in 1918. But so far it has spent all but six days (and those days were in July) above normal."

But today's not quite so bad.



Nights & mornings have gotten more pleasant here, too.

What a great picture.

I want to go!

Life was so much better when everything was black and white.


"I want to go!" Yeah, that was my immediate reaction, too. But it would require time travel.

Yeah, so?

well, let me know when you're going, so I can come along. That's Disneyland, by the way.

Yes, I saw the kid with the mouse ears.

I plan to go in 1962. You're welcome to come.


Did you know that 1962 would be the last year you could see the Moonliner, or was that just a lucky shot?

No! I just pulled that date out of thin air. And I was originally going to say 1955, so how weird is that?


Well...quite weird. I'm trying to think what year I would pick. Anything after '58 would be ok, I guess. '62 is good--early teens--I was pretty happy then.

On September 11, 2002, a young man for whom I had provided daycare for several years, was found dead from an overdose of drugs and alcohol. It was his 29th birthday.

The next day, one of my children called me to say that she had watched one of her friends die after he took Ecstasy the previous weekend.

The next week, I got an email about a young man who had played on my son's soccer team. He had died in an "accident." It wasn't an automobile accident.

In October, a young woman who had been a friend of my kids since she was about 7 rolled over in bed and found her husband of two months dead. Later, they found a bottle of pills in their driveway.

I spent the rest of that year very angry, and when I think about this, it makes me very angry and very sad--and this is what I think about on 9/11.

So, if you have a minute, you might offer up a prayer for Ricky, Alex, Gabe and Jim and their families today.



What I think about on 9/11 is in the first six paragraphs of this post.

This is my vehicle on the road of life. (Great combination of album title and art, huh?)

I had an odd dream last night, Mac, in which you figured. I dreamed that you were running a study and had recruited me and Janet and a few others as subjects. We had to buy and drink a certain brank of orange juice ('Alex' brand, which I don't think exists) for a period of two years, and we had to report to you how much of it we were drinking.

In my dream I was at the grocery store buying the juice (it comes in a rather plain yellow carton). I also happened to find a small seasoned roast for just $1.99, and I was very happy about that.

Make of this what you will.

'brank' = 'brand'

Hmmm. For the past two weeks I've been irritated with myself for forgetting to buy orange juice every time I go to the store. You know, Maclin, usually in these studies they provide you with whatever you are supposed to be consuming. I'll be watching the mail.


I'm surprised y'all have never heard of Alex Orange Juice. But then we knew we had an image problem, so maybe never having heard of it is better. Alex will be knocking on your door late one night to deliver the samples.

Yikes! I hope it's this one http://www.zinzins.net/images/alex%20orange%20mouth%20800.jpg


Yikes is right. I'll get my own orange juice, thanks.

Alex doesn't like it when people drop out of his studies. For one thing, you can forget being reimbursed for your purchase. For another, he won't want to give you the antidote.

New album of the day?. Well, song, anyway.

Today is a good date--10/01/10.


Ampersand Day! (binary 100110 = ASCII "&")

I can hardly wait till 10/10/10.

Because we'll all have stars in our eyes.

Well, will we be able to see each other?

Well, I don't mean "we" I mean will we be able to see those around us?

Wait! Shouldn't we have the stars today?

No, 101010 = "*". I don't know about the vision thing--have to wait to find out, I guess.

Too bad we missed (or at least I did) 1/1/1000, etc. Now we have to wait till 1/1/10000 to have a year that's all ones and zeros including the century.

Janet, you'll be pleased to know that my odometer has mysteriously started working again, so I may yet see the 200,000 mile rollover. But my joy will be diminished by the fact that it won't be real, because by now it's off by thousands, and in fact the car has probably already passed 200,000 actual miles. (That's 321868.8 km.)

Still, it will be fun to watch it turn over. We are getting pretty close to 350K, I think. Half a million doesn't seem so far away.


Who knew that I had this latent scientist hidden within me all these years. DNA--who could make up something like that?


Yeah, it's just mind-boggling. Jesse works on genome-related stuff, which I don't comprehend at all. He pointed me to a book which I would really like to read but of course don't have time to...along with all the physics-cosmology stuff I wish I could read.



Looking better all the time.


Rain, rain, rain, and flogs all over the road on the way home tonight.


Poor flog!

I looked at weather.com just now to see if we might hope for a bit more rain to supplement the inch or so we had on Sunday. According to them, it's raining heavily here. They must have some really sensitive instruments.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Marc Berquist. He was one of the founders of Thomas Aquinas College, husband, father of a large family and much loved.


My first thought was "better I should ask him to pray for me." But I have prayed for him.

Berquist is probably a Swedish name. Was he cradle or convert?

I think he was always Catholic. He went to Catholic schools including a minor seminary. The bio says he had 6 kids. I couldn't remember. The youngest, Richard, graduated with Becca. She said that there were some really smart students in her classes and some of them liked to show off how smart they were at the expense of the weaker students. Richard, who was surely the smartest of them all and who lived in a home where his mother and 5 siblings had graduated from the program, was always trying to help the other students and bring them out. That, to me, says a lot about his dad.


Just realized that he died of the feast of All Souls.


Album covers:

I know that's a Star Wars guy, but it reminds me of that Twilight Zone.

As for the first one, don't make me want to go there.


You don't feel sorry for that poor little storm trooper? I do. He looks so lost.

FYI, I'm having computer problems. May not be online till tomorrow (Sunday) sometime.

Was it somebody on this blog that recommended Watchmen?


Well, I thought it was Ryan, too, but he says he's never seen it.


Odd, my comment appeared twice, so I deleted one, and now both are gone. TypePad malfunction. Anyway, what it said was that I thought at first it was Ryan but checked & I think that was something else that he recommended.

Ok, what Ryan recommended was Sandman. He had a link to a sample chapter which was quite interesting and well-done but a little disturbing--it involved some Aleister Crowley types and a sort of demon.

Well, one of them was there at one time because I responded to it.


I'd just like to say--my cousin has given birth to her first baby (boy)!!!

*spinster aunt jumping up and down*

And now, back to the regular scheduled programming.

Congratulations & best wishes to all. Perhaps the baby will be almost as handsome and engaging as my grandson.

Congratulations, spinster aunt!


Well, I guess the end is near.



"We build a strong 'magnetic bottle' around where we produce the antihydrogen [atoms] and, if they're not moving too quickly, they are trapped..."

Seems like you would not want to make the antimatter mad by trapping it.

I can see a movie coming: pound of antimatter created, stolen by evil persons, squad of action heroes ordered to retrieve it, ending with one of them physically forcing, with superhuman strength, the lid of the container down on the antimatter trying to escape.

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