Aunt Lowey's Fair and Balanced Handy-Dandy Blog

Miscellaneous fair and balanced (or balanced and fair, or unbalanced and unfair as the mood strikes) thoughts, links, rants, and cool stuff.
  "Peace and quiet, peace peace peace,
we all want peace, we all want peace."
-- Fred McFeely Rogers, 1928-2003

  Other blogs, cartoons, and interesting sites

The Agonist


Making Light


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Brad DeLong

The Hillbilly Sophisticate

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Molly Ivins


Unshelved(formerly "Overdue")

Monty Python

The Onion

Dave Barry



This Modern World

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Monday, March 31, 2003
Enjoy it while it lasts: the Pirates are undefeated! They beat Cincinnati in the season opener, 10 to 1. Beat 'em Bucs!
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
This apology has been going around, supposedly from Rick Mercer of the CBC-TV (Canadian public television) comedy program, This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Although I didn't find it on the CBC or THH22M websites when I went to look, and the fourth comment says Mercer didn't write it, I still accept the apology. Well, except about the beer, eh? Since Labatt's bought Rolling Rock it's not a distinction with a real difference anymore.
Oh well, yinz get Rolling Rock, we get Mario Lemieux. 33 for 66. Fair trade!

An update: In the letters section of Altercation for March 13 (scroll down), Tim Renneberg from Prince George, British Columbia notes that

"T’was not Rick Mercer who penned and delivered the little “passive-aggressive” apology, but rather Colin Mochrie, whom your readers no doubt saw regularly on “Whose Line is it Anyway?” I have to point this out because, as brilliantly funny as Rick Mercer was/is, he hasn’t been on This Hour for more than a year.

I'm a fan of Colin M's from Whose Line(both the UK and US versions) so I am glad for this information.

Another update: here is a clip of Colin M. reading this apology, which seems to be proof that it is indeed his. It's 2 and a half minutes in Real Video format so you probably need RealPlayer to see it.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Avedon Carol has come up with the perfect solution to the current crisis. Too bad it won't ever happen. It should, but it won't. (OK, Universe, I dare you -- prove me wrong! Please!)
Depressing: a software company called Sybase is plugging a program to help customers comply with the odious and misnamed USA PATRIOT Act. "Intraday and historical transactions, new and existing account holders, employees and agents can be automatically screened against suspect lists. . . . All information related to each case is readily accessible by appropriate personnel. . . . Officials can be automatically notified of suspected matches." George Orwell, we are here. Nineteen years late, but here.
Smithsonian Magazine's Steve Wilson is having fun with the spate of children's books by famous authors, by "discovering" children's books by famous historical personages. Examples include Girls Are From Isis, Boys Are From Ra, by Cleopatra; Paulette's Adventure Among the Rabble, by Marie Antoinette; and The Voices and I Have a Grand Day Out, by Joan of Arc.

My favorite is Why Daddy Had Mommy Beheaded, by Henry VIII:

. . . Young Princess Jennifer wakes up one day to find Mommy gone. Neither handmaiden nor castle guard can tell Jennifer where her mother went, so she asks Daddy, the king. Gently, Daddy tells Jennifer that Mommy went to the Kingdom of Uxoricide with a friend and won’t be coming back. He says Jennifer is getting a new mommy very soon, and a brother!—that is, if the new mommy knows what’s good for her. . . .

And parts of The Rainy Day Fun Manifesto, by Karl Marx, sound amusing. For example I can visualize the suggested skit "The Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie Discuss Public Ownership of Property" as performed by Michael Palin and John Cleese.

I meant to post some stuff last night but instead spent almost two hours playing Bookworm. I did get a high score, though, over 120,000, and the rank of "senior librarian." Who knew? (Warning: it is very slow to load up, especially on a phone-line connection.)

More fun stuff: Doo-wop fans should like this one.

Or, if the world is getting too loony for you, try making your own aluminum-foil hat. This site explains, among other things, why the shiny side should be out, good and bad fashion sense for aluminum-hat wearers, and hats for dogs and babies too! (No cats?)

Speaking of loony, Jupiter now has 52 moons! That's 40 more than it did back when I was in school! Not that it's lunar inflation -- that was 40 years ago, give or take a few depending on which level of school.

And the 2003 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been inducted. They include the Clash (too bad Joe Strummer couldn't have been there), the Police, AC/DC, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and -- last but certainly not least -- the Righteous Brothers. Not loony, they're all excellent choices, except why in heck did it take so long for the Righteous Brothers to get voted in?!?!?!

Wednesday, March 05, 2003
And while I'm alliterating on "p", this is appalling: a man was arrested because he was wearing a pro-peace t-shirt! Of course, this travesty has provoked protests, but those mall cops ought to be fired. And the local (real) police didn't do much better by the First Amendment either! Wearing a t-shirt just purchased at the mall, while in said mall's food court, constitutes trespassing ("knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises")? What unusual and rude things to do! (For once, I suppose I should be glad that our mall doesn't have a food court.) And they may regret it -- the guy was not only a lawyer but a state official, "the director of the Albany Office of the [New York] state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of misconduct against judges and can admonish, censure or remove judges found to have engaged in misconduct." So I bet he knows a few good constitutional lawyers.

UPDATE: The mall wised up and dropped the charges. And the security guard who was apparently responsible for the arrest has been fired. Though he may just be taking the fall for the mall as a whole:
Stephen Downs, the (formerly-) arrested man, "says there was no justification to fire Williams [the guard], who was professional and polite."

Plugging Patrick's post on palindromes, including what is perhaps the world's longest pure palindrome, i.e. one with no proper nouns. There's also an extremely long but by those lights impure one, literally dripping with name-dropping, apparently the longest impure palindrome yet perpetrated. As for me, I live in a palindrome, but a much smaller one -- 26062, our ZIP code. And yes, I like alliteration a lot.
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Before the day is over I have to mention this.

Many many many moons ago, when we were little, my sisters and I subscribed to a magazine called Children's Digest. In its jokes section once was this riddle:

Q: What day of the year is a military command?

A: March fourth!

I'm behind in my blogging. But I wanted to note a couple of things.

There's good news on the cancer front -- now there's a war worth fighting! I've lost too many people near and dear to me from cancer -- yesterday was the anniversary of my mom's death. And my dad (whose birthday is next week), and my aunts, and many friends . . . and just last week Mr. Rogers (who didn't smoke, didn't drink, was a vegetarian who exercised daily, and a saint besides -- Fred Rogers should have lived forever!). So it's good to note that "Researchers have identified a gene that promotes the spread of cancer cells through the body, offering a possible new avenue toward cancer treatment." It's metastasis that tends to be the real killer -- the cancer spreading to vital organs like the lungs and liver -- and makes it hard to stop by surgery or radiation. Maybe Death can extend his holiday a while longer!

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