Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just about the coolest letter, ever

This guy is great. From the letters page of the current New Yorker:

Re: Winter Pleasures
February 25, 2008
Mark Ulriksen’s “Winter Pleasures,” an impressionistic rendering of Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse, depicts the famous golden clock bathed in sunlight (Cover, January 28th). Note that this can be only an eastward morning scene, not a westward afternoon. The angle of the long axis of the concourse, following that of Manhattan’s east-west streets, is not 90° but 119° east of north, and aligns with the sun through its “west” windows only from late May to early July, and then only at an elevation of less than 3°. But aren’t those the south-side ticket windows at the left of the picture, with the tracks and trains therefore on the right? And doesn’t the clock seem to read three-fifty, hardly a time for the morning sun? I take the picture to be deliberately reversed, so that the clock really reads (a backward) eight-ten, precisely the time of the sun’s direct morning illumination of Grand Central’s east windows on (or about) February 19th. As all Grand Central lovers know, the great mural of stars painted on the Terminal’s ceiling is oddly arranged, with an east-to-west reversal of the zodiac, with Taurus charging Orion from left to right. (It is still a matter of debate whether the mural is a mistaken execution of a printed floor plan or the adapted design of an Old World star map, rendered according to the medieval custom of an external projection of a celestial globe.) Now, in Ulriksen’s alternate-universe image of Grand Central’s cosmos-within-a-cosmos, the constellations will be set back as we see them in the starry night sky.

Michael Allison
Adjunct Professor of Astronomy
Columbia University
Emeritus Scientist, Goddard Institute for Space Studies
New York City

Monday, February 25, 2008

Five years later

By the count of Reuters' Opheera McDoom, the Darfur crisis turns five years old today. There's not too too much optimism in her reflection on covering the conflict.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The next slum?

From the current issue of the Atlantic:
For 60 years, Americans have pushed steadily into the suburbs, transforming the landscape and (until recently) leaving cities behind. But today the pendulum is swinging back toward urban living, and there are many reasons to believe this swing will continue. As it does, many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and ’70s—slums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay.

That and more in "The Next Slum?"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Trial balloons?

Members of the Israeli government are talking publicly about the possibility of assassinating some of the Hamas political leadership. Ali Abunimah reports.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wall of shame

Here´s the list - the list of Dem senators who voted Tuesday for warantless wiretapping, with immunity for telecom companies, too.

It seems to be a fairly normal list of sell-outs, though it includes Mikulski and Webb. Some people think Webb could be a vice presidential pick. I hope not.

These people deserve to get wiretapped.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


O´Rourke´s re-opened on Monday!

Thanks to Becca for the link.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cuantos Delegatos?

Super Tuesday is over. How many delegates do Clinton and Obama have?

Hard to say. It depends on what you count. Some votes are still being tallied. And different news organizations have different counts of how many superdelegates have pledged to which candidates.

TPM has the rundown of the different counts.

by the numbers

Patriots offensive linemen going to the Pro Bowl: 3
Sacks allowed during the regular season: 21
Sacks allowed Sunday: 5


I think giving the MVP to Eli sort of missed the point of what happened.

In other news, pitchers and catchers report next week.