On the Flight of the Cheese Wedge

Some news of the weird for the previous week. To commemorate the 40th-anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon, a group of cheesemakers in Somerset, England, decided to send a piece of cheddar into space on a high-altitude weather balloon. The logic of this, so it seems to me, is that some thought inContinue reading “On the Flight of the Cheese Wedge”

On Liberty University’s Short-Sightedness

Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell, has banned its College Democrats Club, because “the Democratic party violates the school’s principles by supporting abortion, socialism and the agenda of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.” My instant reaction? Liberty University had enough Democrats for a College Democrats Club? I used to live in Lynchburg.Continue reading “On Liberty University’s Short-Sightedness”

On the Reach of International Law

If President Obama’s administration is unwilling to commission a Truth Commission to investigate the crimes and moral failures of the Bush administration and bring the actors who authorized torture to justice, that’s okay. The Spanish are more than willing to make up for our lapse. And the Brits, too. Spain’s national newspapers, El País andContinue reading “On the Reach of International Law”

On Paul Harvey

My junior and senior years in high school, I was Philip Barbour’s computer lab manager during the lunch period. (Well, that’s what my class period overlapped with.) The computer lab consisted of about fifteen TRS-80 Model IIIs or Model IVs, some Epson PC-XT compatible computers with monochrome monitors, a couple of flywheel printers, and twoContinue reading “On Paul Harvey”

On Alberto Gonzales’ Next Job

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has a problem — he can’t find a job. He blames a “tough economy.” If law firms aren’t hiring, maybe Gonzales should look to other venues and employment opportunities. Maybe he should think about a career change. What about Professional Hellboy Impersonator? He could get done up in red greaseContinue reading “On Alberto Gonzales’ Next Job”

On Scott Simon and the Boy Scouts

I like to listen to Weekend Edition Saturday. It’s Scott Simon. I love his voice. It’s deep. Sometimes it’s dramatic. Sometimes it’s excitable. Sometimes it’s mirthful. He uses his voice the way a violinist plays his instrument. He gets exactly the right pitch and timbre for the story he’s telling, the news he’s relating. He’sContinue reading “On Scott Simon and the Boy Scouts”

On Arthur C. Clarke and Anthony Minghella

Two deaths in the past twenty-four hours to report. Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001, Rendezvous With Rama, and a wealth of other science fiction, has died at his home in Sri Lanka. He was 90. I read a great deal of Clarke’s science fiction when I was younger. 2010 was amazing. I liked ImperialContinue reading “On Arthur C. Clarke and Anthony Minghella”