Archive for April, 2005

Lysander’s Answers Are Up

April 28, 2005

Lysander has posted the answers to his interview questions. He got the wrong answer to 2 out of 3 on number 5, but I’ll cut him some slack.
Only Eric remains, but he will be offline for a few days, so look for his questions some time this weekend.

Obsolete Skillz

April 27, 2005


You are ‘regularly metric verse’. This can take many forms, including heroic couplets, blank verse, and other iambic pentameters, for example. It has not been used much since the nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer rhyme without meter, or even poetry with neither rhyme nor meter.
You appreciate the beautiful things in life–the joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as a series of little poems. The result (or is it the cause?) is that you are pensive and often melancholy. You enjoy the company of other people, but they find you unexcitable and depressing. Your problem is that regularly metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.
What obsolete skill are you? brought to you by Quizilla


April 27, 2005

I took the readability test (found via Ann Althouse). Here are my results:
Gunning Fog Index 7.49
Flesch Reading Ease 72.29
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 4.70
This means that my blog is written at anywhere between a fifth and eighth grade reading level. I am actually quite proud of that result. My mission here, as in my legal career, is to keep the prose short, sweet, and simple.
I can certainly keep up with pretentious and wordy authors. After all, based on the generalist nature of my college education and subsequent career, I have both a wide and deep vocabulary. Learning how to read and write in Latin and German also blessed me with a working knowledge of truly good grammar.
But none of that is an excuse to “show off” and make my writing unreadable.
How does your blog score?

Fourth Interview – Lysander

April 27, 2005

Lysander from Alexandria is our next subject in this interview meme-game-thingy. Review the rules. As a courtesy I’ll offer him six questions, but he only needs to answer five. That way he can drop one if he’s not comfortable answering it. I’ll link his answers when completed.
1. How did you come up with your nickname (Lysander)?
2. Based on your blog name and one of your early posts, you would appear to reside in or around Alexandria, Virginia. What’s your favorite place to grab a dinner and drink in Old Town? What’s the signature dinner/drink there?
3. Why did you decide to start blogging? Who (if anyone) inspired you to start blogging? Which blogs do you read on a daily (or at least regular) basis?
4. What single rule change would you make, if you could, to make NFL football more exciting?
5. Ardala or Deering? Ginger or Marianne? Eowyn or Arwen?
6. Do you have a hobby that is really important to you? Please tell us about it – how you got into it, how long you’ve been practicing it, what makes it important, etc.

Thanks for playing along!

LDH’s Answers Are Up

April 27, 2005

LDH has posted the answers to his interview questions. Go read them now; they are all interesting and entertaining (I particularly like his extended answer to the big music question in number 2).
Lysander and Eric are next. Stay tuned.

SF Babes Weekly Poll (Lusty Lieutenants of Star Trek)

April 26, 2005

This week’s poll offers a choice between two lovely, lusty lieutenants from the original Star Trek:
Lieutenant Marlena Moreau, the ruthless “Captain’s woman” in the Bearded Spock universe of Mirror, Mirror (played by Barbara Luna):
And Lieutenant Marla McGivers, who fell hard for genetically-enhanced superman Khan Noonian Singh in Space Seed (portrayed by Madlyn Rhue):
Have fun, and check out the Gallery of previous winners.
Results (Posted 3 May 2005):
Lt. Marlena Moreau – 44 of 68 votes for 65% — WINNER!
Lt. Marla McGivers – 24 of 68 votes for 35%

Third Interview – LDH

April 25, 2005

You should know this meme’s rules by now. My third subject is the enigmatic “LDH” of the blog Impenetrable Prose and Poesy. And here are the six questions, of which he need answer only five:
1. Your blog name is great. What is the most impenetrable prose or poesy that you have ever encountered?
2. Your profile states that you’re a rock/jazz musician. What instrument(s) do you play? How long have you played (per instrument)? What instrument (if any) do you wish you could play? Do you play the same instrument for rock as for jazz?
3. What instrument is most critical to the “rock” sound? What instrument is most critical to the “jazz” sound?
4. What’s your favorite kind of food? Which restaurant serves it best?
5. What’s the goofiest Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
6. What do you think (or know) about the anthropic principle? Do you believe in a creator, and if so what kind?

Thanks for playing along! I’ll post a link to your answers when they’re ready.

Gunner’s Answers

April 25, 2005

Gunner has posted a great set of answers to his interview questions.
Check back here soon for questions to LDH, Lysander, and Eric.

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (A-10 Thunderbolt a/k/a “Warthog”)

April 24, 2005

This week, we feature the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt (sometimes known as the “Warthog”). One of my long-time favorites, this craft simultaneously straddles the aesthestics of WWII bombers and modern jets. Though named after the WWII US P-47 fighter, this flying tank-killer is much closer in spirit to the WWII Soviet IL-2/IL-10 Shturmovik.
Here’s a nice view of the 30mm gatling gun around which the rest of the plane is built:
And a view of the plane in flight:

Happy Earth Day

April 22, 2005

Why should we cede a celebration of the earth to dirty hippies, luddite lefties, and their assorted anti-progress fellow-travelers? I love this beautiful planet. The oceans with their rhythmic surf, coral reefs, tide pools, and lightless trenches; the alpine meadows with glaciers, flowers, and deep blue skies; forests of all kinds; and the bustling cities where most of us live. If we are to survive in the long term, I believe we must move out and upward into the solar system and beyond. And as we move out, I know we will look back and remember this lovely cradle of humanity, perhaps hoping to return someday:
EarthriseNarrow.jpgThe Green Hills of Earth
Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth.
We rot in the moulds of Venus,
We retch at her tainted breath.
Foul are her flooded jungles,
Crawling with unclean death.
. . .
We’ve tried each spinning space mote
And reckoned its true worth:
Take us back again to the homes of men
On the cool, green hills of Earth.
The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
And the lights below us fade.
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet —
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

— Robert Heinlein