Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh, David!

After a two year visit to the United States, Michelangelo's David is returning to Italy.....

His Proud Sponsors were:

A Memento From the Past

My sister looked in my mother's bedroom recently to find personal items she could bring to my mom in the hospital to help her feel comfortable and perhaps jog her memory. In her search, she found this card, which we had not seen before. It's a card from my father to my mother on her name day. We don't know what year it was, but as he died in 1962 when I was 2 years old, it was probably in 1960 or 1961. It's very special to us, written in his handwriting. At a time like this, it's even more special to us.

The Kittens Are Growing Fast

My sister sent me this photo. As you can see, the kittens are growing quickly. Oh, no, that means soon they'll be CATS!

Strange Goings On

We had dinner in Reston at Lake Anne which has an open plaza. This evening, a company of young players put on an act while an audience sat and watched. They ran around and threw water at each other in various ways. Check out the video for a sense of what this was like. We stood and watched for a while, trying to figure out the point, but as we had missed the beginning, we just couldn't do it!

Asian Festival in Reston

Last weekend in Reston was the Asian Festival. It was much bigger than I expected and many Asian countries were represented! Here in the first pic were two Indian girls and their mom. The girls had performed on stage before I got there. Believe it or not, I wasn't the only one to ask to take their picture. Aren't they beautiful?

I decided to adopt them! I'm their new daddy!

The stick game is always fun. Try not to get whacked on the ankles!

My friend Irene and her son Arthur showed up after a while. Irene has been to many Asian countries on business so I'm sure this didn't seem all that exciting to her, though she seemed to have a good time.

What is Temporary?

We moved here to Northern Virginia in 1986, right after college. The first place we lived was Reston, Virginia, where the company that hired me was located. They put us up in a furnished apartment for a month while we looked for a place.

At the time, I remember finding it curious to see a street named Temporary Rd. I wondered how long it would last. Well, it's been 22 years and it's still there. It's probably not going to go away anytime soon, as there are houses on that road.

So this begs the question, "What is temporary?" If you think about it, aren't all streets temporary? In a few millennia, all these streets will be gone, replaced with something so futuristic we probably can't imagine it right now.

So is this the only street name that is totally honest? Or was it meant to be temporary only to have it become not-so-temporary?

Simplified English

Another old but good one...

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasibility study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.

European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult - for example, cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations.

In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using 's' instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard 'c' could be replaced by 'k' sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter.

There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it kould be announsed that the troublesome 'ph' would henseforth be written 'f'. This would make words like 'fotograf' twenty per sent shorter in print.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated shanges are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double letters which have always been a deterent to akurate speling.

We would al agre that the horible mes of silent 'e's in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop thes and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing 'th' by 'z'. Perhaps zen ze funktion of 'w' kould be taken on by 'v', vitsh is, after al, half a 'w'. Shortly after zis, ze unesesary 'o' kould be dropd from words kontaining 'ou'. Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud fin it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of the Guvermnt vud finali hav kum tru.

You're Smarter Than You Thought

Old but good...

According to a sutdy at Hrravad Unerstiivy msot pelope can raed and unadetnrsd any mxied up wrod as lnog as the frsit leettr and the lsat lteter are in palce. This is bcesaue we raed wrods as a wolhe and not as leretts in oderr.

So y'oure smraetr tahn you thohgut hhu?