One reader's rave

"Thanks for the newspaper with your book review. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this terrific piece of writing. It is beautiful, complex, scholarly. Only sorry Mr. Freire cannot read it!" -- Ailene

Help the Honey Badgers in their fight for freedom of speech and thought!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's been a great week for chance encounters. Last Wednesday, on the bus to Philly AIDS Thrift to donate a record I'd ordered through the mail which had turned out not to be what I thought (the seller, Bubba Chubs Records, refunded me but said just pass it on, don't spend money on returning it), I saw my old friend Amy Murray, whom I'd met in the YSA as an adolescent and remained close to for some time thereafter, but hadn't heard from for a few years. I gave her my email address orally since I had to get off, and hope she remembered it.

Later the same evening, while at the Trestle Inn for a film screening by Secret Cinema, I saw Edmund, someone I met when he worked at Mellon Independence Center and I was contracting there daily, who has similar political views to mine. I'd seen him previously at a couple screenings at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, which is pretty close to MIC and apparently how he became acquainted with SC.

And, just this afternoon, I was accosted by Lori Wollod, whom I was involved with for a few years (1997-2001 IIRC), but also hadn't seen for a few years. She gave me her address and told me to send her mine. Btw, I ran into her the same place she'd previously reintroduced herself to me: the Shops at Liberty Place.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Randommess Made Easy

I read something really cool in _Ph actum, the newsletter of the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking. If you've ever flipped a coin to make a purposely random choice, but worried that the coin might not be fair, use this trick: for each binary choice you have to make, flip the coin twice. If it comes up the same way both times, disregard and flip twice again. If it doesn't come up the same way both times, just use the result of the first flip.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taking a Drastic Measure That Should Work

I've been frustrated with myself lately for my frequent failure to get up in the morning when I intend to. So I'm adapting an approach I heard described recently on the radio, whereby a woman got herself to stop smoking cold by telling her friends that if she ever had another cigarette she'd give a thousand dollars to the KKK. Similarly, I pledge that any time I don't get up on time, I'll give ten dollars to Mitt Romney's campaign. To reinforce this incentive, I also promise not to "balance" this contribution with one to Obama or to any other candidate or party.

To help ensure I don't forget, I think I'll print out a photo of M.R. and put it over my clock radio before going to bed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Let Them Bury This Hero Alive

The media are largely ignoring whistleblower Bradley Manning's ongoing political prosecution. Contact your local media and urge them to cover his next pre-trial hearing on 6 June.

A source of news and analysis you can recommend to them is Kevin Gosztola's Dissenter blog at

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It's John Brown's Birthday

His truth is marching on!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Persistent Scammers

Remarkable! Even though I sent an unabashedly skeptical reply to the letter from "St. Matthew's Churches" -- a letter I subsequently learned is intended as bait for a "spiritual" pyramid-scheme scam -- they've sent me their "Divine Seed Principle" scam mailing anyway. Maybe they have a uniform policy that doesn't reckon with skeptical replies. Or maybe they actually have found that some people who express skepticism nonetheless fall for it if given another "chance" to. Gee, I hope not, since that's a depressing thought.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Since I no longer use a landline, I just gave my old phone away to someone through Freecycle.

I hope I find some reason to meet her again, since she's cute.

Super Fleas!

Now we know why Fred didn't like it so much when Deeno jumped him...

Friday, May 04, 2012

Fourth Date

Maria and I were set to have a fourth date last Sunday, but she asked to postpone it to tomorrow because she'd been up too late the night before and was still tired. I've decided I'd like a change of pace, so instead of dinner and a movie again, I'm proposing a picnic in Clark Park.