Archive for May, 2008

America the Subjunctive

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

America the Beautiful has interesting linguistic properties. In particular, it uses verbs in the subjunctive mood, which is quite unusual in modern English, except in fixed expressions (such as "God forbid."). The subjunctive is usually used to describe a condition that doesn't exist, or a condition that one wishes to ...

Michigan: A Primer

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Fun Michigan poem in the May 19, 2008 issue of the New Yorker by Bob Hicok, entitled "A Primer." You never forget how to be from Michigan when you’re from Michigan. It’s like riding a bike of ice and fly fishing. The Upper Peninsula is a spare state in case Michigan goes flat... The entire poem: ...

ACLU links Rice, White House to torture, as early as 2002

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

ACLU report: NEW YORK - The results of an internal Justice Department investigation released today reveal that officials at the highest level of government — including the White House — received reports on the abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody overseas as early as 2002. Congress called on the department's ...

You ain’t seen nothing yet

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Who invented the wireless telephone? It's been 100 years since "American inventor and Kentucky melon farmer" Nathan B. Stubblefield received the patent for the first wireless cell phone (UK Telegraph article, via Mirabilis). Today, the company I work for, Powerset, launched its search product for general public use at It's ...

Powerset is here!

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Powerset's search for Wikipedia is now live!

Powerset is coming soon

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

New compromise plan to seat Michigan delegates

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The Detroit Free Press is reporting on a new plan to seat Michigan delegates at the Democratic convention. The idea is to give Clinton 69 regular delegates, and Obama 59. "The proposal also would seat the state's 29 superdelegates." I suspect the hidden (Clinton) agenda is to seat the superdelegates. Since ...

Bush personally approved meetings to arrange torture

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Bush personally approved meetings to arrange torture, which were led by Cheney. If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush's statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to ...

Psalm 131

Monday, May 5th, 2008

See it full size for the best effect, I think: Psalm 131. I made this slide show for worship this past Sunday, using CC photographs from Flickr, and music from Lindsay Phillips. It was prompted by Psalm 131: Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; ...

Canoeing the Kalamazoo River: Goose Lake to Twin Pines Campground

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Bess has this Grand Plan: to canoe the Kalamazoo River from its headwaters (more or less) to Lake Michigan, and to do it in parts. Yesterday, the Grand Plan commenced. She and I drove to the Twin Lakes Campground near Pulaski Michigan, waking the attendants at 10 am, who dropped ...

First mention: Sacred Harp

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Besides what must be a playful reference to a fake invention, the "Sacred Harp of Eloquence," and a brief mention in a letter to the editor, the first mention of the Sacred Harp in the New York Times comes in a review of Eleanor de al Vergne Risley's "The Road ...

Status report

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I updated Wordpress, my blogging software, today. Let me know if there is any problem.

Golden Gate Singing 2008 &c.

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I enjoyed the Golden Gate Sacred Harp Singing this past week in San Francisco, and even managed to record the afternoon session (not a great recording, but not terrible either; the altos were strong, but perhaps not as strong as they sound in the recording). The singing was chaired ...

A day off

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I have a couple of days off, so I'm writing a bit on 'a simple desire', hanging out with Bess and Jane, uploading MP3 of the afternoon session of the 2008 Golden Gate singing to my website, and watching a waterboarding video.