Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

reputation for barbarism and cruelty

"The Mongol period is not only noted for its supposed barbarity, but also for the plethora of historians and chronicles it produced. These many scribes, both within the Mongol camp and without, were happy to pander to the Mongols' desire for notoriety and a reputation for barbarism and cruelty. Primary sources in a wealth of languages have survived the so-called Mongol mayhem. Critical analysis and comparison of these various sources yield a more balanced and less sensationalist picture of what actually occurred during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries than the lurid portrait that myths and legends have conjured up. Since Bernard Lewis questioned the basis of the Mongols' tainted reputation in 1995, scholarly opinion has grown more sympathetic toward the legacy of Genghis Khan."

--George Lane,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blue Cashmere

Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 246 / Monday, December 22, 2008

Gifts to Federal Employees From Foreign Government Sources Reported to Employing Agencies in Calendar Year 2007

"Publication of this listing in the Federal Register is required by Section 7342(f) of Title 5, United States Code.

"President- Artwork: silver statue of a Morin Khur; engraved; held in wooden box. Rec’d—22–Oct–07; Est. Value—$400.00

"President- Clothing: royal blue cashmere jacket. Rec’d—22–Oct–07; Est. Value—$414.00

"President- Book, hardcover (in Mongolian): ‘Great Mongolian State.’ Rec’d—22–Oct–07; Est. Value—$89.00

"First Lady- Clothing: blue cashmere sweater with silk lining. Rec’d—22–Oct–07; Est. Value—$1,000.00

"Identity of foreign donor and government-
His Excellency N. Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia, and Mrs. O. Tsolmon.

"Circumstances justifying acceptance-
Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

rather understood

"I expect it [the Internet] to be much more stable, something that people don't talk about. Really when you talk about an article, you don't say, 'Oh, I'm going to write an article on paper!' The fact that we use pen and paper is sort of rather understood."

--Tim Berners-Lee, BBC

Sunday, January 04, 2009

As the dish heated the spoon

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon!
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon!
He ran from conviction
And fed his addiction
As the dish heated the spoon.
The spoon begged to go
But the dish shouted "No!
The heroin will be ready soon."

--Rob DenBleyker, Cyanide and Happiness, 2008 November 30

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy Seventh Day of Christmas

Seven swans a-swimming.

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"With the onset of more Americanized and secular traditions throughout the past two centuries (such as the American 'Santa Claus,' popularity of Christmas Eve itself as a holiday, and rise in popularity of New Year's Eve parties as well), the traditions of the Twelve Days of Christmas have been largely forgotten in the U.S.... Indeed, contemporary marketing and media tend to espouse the (erroneous) belief that the Twelve Days end on Christmas."