Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bezos in Orbit?

Still in hot an article in The Independent yesterday about Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, who is building a spacecraft launching pad in Texas for commercial spacecraft, and soon. Hadn't heard about this til now, so will investigate, but what have others heard?

Soon, on your Amazon Gold account, book a suborbital flight, and get a free George Foreman grill thrown in!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Close Encounters of the Oxford High Street Kind

Visited Oxford yesterday, which is delightful. More Americans per square inch than in London though. Also, what we saw at Harvard a few years ago, the eager parents photographing pre-teen Zhuran or Wong-li in front of a a few years, we want you to go here!

Scary moment: crossing Oxford High Street, to get out of the searing sun, my wife was hit by a speeding bicyclist. Combination of my suggestion we both do jaywalking, looking directly into the sun, and my own still unfamiliarity with drivers on the "other" side...scary moment, but she is not injured but very sore and bruised. It helped that she didn't see him coming and thus didn't stiffen.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Desert London

That is what the tabloids are now calling it. With no appreciable rain in two months, and mid 90s all week, and a watering ban, even tourist places like Westminster Abbey have brown, dead lawns. The trip in from Heathrow looked like Los Angeles...all brown. And the neo-cons are still saying global warming is questionable?

Friday, July 21, 2006


In London now planning a study abroad for 2007. The latest cash flush foreigners to hit the high end London market are the Russians, prompting a local paper to call it Londongrad (a bit dated, but never mind...). This includes the Wayne Gretzky lookalike and his glamorous wife who bought a local soccer team for $700M. A cabbie told us that the Russians and others are buying up what will be the most exclusive address in London when it is finished, 1 Knightsbridge, where said cabbie told us the apartments are selling for around $80M (not a typo).

Great city, but with Texas style heat, all are wilting. AC is not common here, so we avoid restaurants with open doors, a sure giveaway. Our hotel is convenient to where I am working, CAPA (Centers for Academic Programs Abroad), but basic. For $130 a night, we get no AC and no elevator. Hmmm. Hope to explore some haunts recommended to me by Jay Parini of Middlebury who just finished a year here, also Oxford, and some friends and relatives of Rita, who is English and finding the heat unbearable (record July day this week of nearly 100). Now, some good ole central Indiana humidity has moved in...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bye Bye Sandbox...

Off to England (aka the homeland for my wife Rita), to plan a study abroad for next year, so I removed my blogroll on Bloglines, which I call Sandbox, on the right column here. Can't keep up, so I will reinstate it when I return.

Before doing so, I did read about Rice U's new digital university press, and the Auburn sociology head who is a friend of the Tiger football team. I know I will miss more such, but alas...

...and I have run out of time to blog about a wonderful essay by Dana Heller, featured in Arts and Letters Daily, on Susan Sontag's visit to her university (Old Dominion). I urge you to read it, terrific stuff.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A soggy holiday, but what better way to celebrate...

...than a Japanese toilet training video, sent by my brilliant friend, Corax?

But yes indeed, as a professor of pedagalogical (a teacher's malapropism I remember fondly) sciences, Wissenschaft und Erziehung, ja, ja, I am interested in the instructional value of this snip, even as I am glad to be beyond it, both personally and as a parent!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Surrounded by Feline, well, they are all "fixed"...

Update: Emma, Rachel's cat.




Sunday night cat blogging

Ha, gotcha! First, a quiz: The REAL smile? Top, yesterday, at a wedding held at the gorgeous Battle (of Tippecanoe) Field Chapel, or bottom, in 1999, at my department head's holiday party?