ERECTED BY THE
GRAVITY RESEARCH FOUNDATION
ROGER W. BABSON FOUNDER
IT IS TO REMIND STUDENTS OF
THE BLESSINGS FORTHCOMING
WHEN A SEMI-INSULATOR IS
DISCOVERED IN ORDER TO HARNESS
GRAVITY AS A FREE POWER
AND REDUCE AIRPLANE ACCIDENTS
I did a little research. (Ok, I hit Google via Yahoo.) Roger Babson is the same guy who started Babson College. He has another stone but it's not nearly as odd. You can get a little more of its story from the Yucks Digest #22, textsearch on 'Tufts'.
Man. I love this thing. It's such a retrofuture thing... they're proposing a (quite possibly impossible) technical breakthrough that would change so much in society-- I mean, who knows what forms of travel, on Earth and otherwise, would be possible-- and this stone is looking for a reduction in airplane accidents.
I'm glad it's a part of my life.
She Blinded Me With Science
New materials doing wacky things with light.
Story of the Moment
Did I ever tell you about the time I almost killed a gym teacher? Seventh or Eighth grade. We were playing T-ball, where you whack a softball off of a pole. I always had trouble with my stance, and how I held the bat, so the teacher helped me a bit and then backed away, telling me to swing. I did. Did I mention I tended to throw the bat? (It just seems so natural to make that part of the swing!) Anyway, I threw the bat directly into the gym teacher's gut. She was down, though I got to third before I realized there was a problem back at home plate. She had trouble breathing, I took off my shirt to put under her head (later she thanked me for that, I guess she knew that could be pretty traumatic for a chubby middle schooler), by the time the ambulance got there she was feeling ok but the ambulance took her off anyway. She was back the next day-- not even a bruise. I brought her balloons and a card-- I felt terrible. Half the school said "why'd you do that, man?" the other half said "Shoulda swung harder".
This is the story of one of the best days of my life.
June 30, 2001, Mo and I got married...
Murphy and his Law had their say, but didn't take the day: A serious fire in the apartment across from the one where the dress was, rings secure in a safety deposit box-- and a lost key, two soon-to-be-newlyweds developing colds, 90 degree heat (plus) that you could swim in, followed by one of the biggest thunderstorms I've ever been out in to finish up the night.
Quote of the Moment
The one-thing-after-another thing can stop now!Rest of the Story of the Moment
But it worked out so well, Mo had done the lion's share of the planning, (and still wanted to marry me despite me being such a bum) and the result was fantastic. The site was great, a beautiful setting. The photographer-- working in an almost rather documentary style, with the "formals" almost an afterthought-- really knew what she was doing. DJ Brother Cleve spun great tunes, balancing the music we requested (by burning a cd for him) against the music people really got into... and finding where those two groups of music overlapped. We had a hayride, a trip to a petting zoo, and it turns out a raging storm can be great to dance in. The food was great, the cake so tasty, the flower arrangements so lovely.
And then of course, (well, before all of that) I got married to the terrific person I've been in love with so long... our ceremony was short and sweet. One of the readings was my own Yee and Lan, which is a 'just so' story I wrote once upon a time that seemed custom made for the day. (Though it wasn't...) And we remembered the vows without a burble.
Man, I'm very happy.
Anyway, I could write more, but I'm out of time, it's past midnight and I have to get to Mexico!
| ||--by Mo, 1997.12.26. Made on Dinky Pad for the PalmPilot. She graciously let me post it here; it's admittedly a little cornball, as are many things at the start of a good romance.|
I love the color of this car. It's a bit flamboyant but is aggressively cheerful and reminds me of spring after any rain.
I wanted to put up this picture for another reason...after I want to college and my Mom moved to NYC, we realized we didn't have any pictures with our beloved metalflake-orange-bronze ford aerostar minivan. (The "pumpkin carriage") That was the vehicle I learned to drive in, and the one I have other fond memories of being inside its upholstered confines. But no pictures of it, and I didn't want the same think to happen to the kermitmobile.
Online Toy of the Moment
Similar to this one school filmstrip in the 1970s, a powers of 10 visualization toy. You start out at 1023 meters out, where our galaxy is just the brightest splotch, go to 1013, about the size of our solar system, to 106, the southeastern USA, and then end up zooming in on a single leaf in Florida, until at 10-15 you're staring a proton in the face. You can let it run on automatic, or press the button at the bottom to engage manual control of the zooming.
Quote of the Moment
With the gay sexual revolution in San Francisco, he was finally free to express that side of himself openly. This was a wonderful thing, but the effects of it were confusing and bizarre for my brother and me. With him, the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name became the Love That Would Not Shut Up.
This is (the back of) Mo standing in front of the fountain at the World Trade Center plaza, taken September 11, 1999, two years (to the day) before the tragedy.
I liked that fountain very much. I once got the chance to look down on it, from about halfway up the tower, three years earlier when I was on assignment for Barron's Online. It was the most interesting thing to look at from that height... water poured from the center circle onto the larger circle. All around the outside border of the inner circle it looked a bit like a boat's wake (you can make out the 'wake' in the picture), giving the illusion that the inner circle's edge was constantly moving inward. But of course it was remaining the same size, thus confounding the eye. It was a great piece of art, now ruined. That pales in comparison to the rest of the tragedy, but that's my attempt to connect to what has happened.
Update 2002.02.25: I moved a thumbnail and link to this page to kisrael.com's front page. The image shows up on the second page of Google image search for "WTC", but the resulting "in context" link is to the site's front page.
The pictures from Tuesday were horrifying, but for some reason these images of the citizens of other countries sharing our grief really moved me. (Update: parts two, three and four)
A Lighter Note
Brunching.com has An Open Letter To Dorks and Losers, exploding the myths of bullydom, like "they'll back down if you stand up to them". It's very funny and rings very true.
Friday, September 14
I want to share my experience with you and I thought this way, through email, was the best way.
For the past two days, because of the tragedy in NYC on Tuesday, September 11, I have been at the Medical Examiner's building, better known as the morgue.
I went with Major Molly Shotzberger and I am now on her counseling team. It has been an experience, needless to say. We had a canteen there to serve coffee, food and whatever. But my job was to help the cops, doctors, nurses, medical examiners and who ever was involved with receiving the bodies for identification to get through the ordeal. We were there just to say, "How are you doing?" "Can I get you anything?" "Can I do anything for you?" Most of them said they were ok. They were going to make it through. Some of them wanted to talk. Talk about their feelings, their anger, their frustration. Some of them themselves lost "brothers and sisters" from their precincts and they were looking for them while they worked. On Wednesay when we first arrived at the morgue two cops came over to us and we said "What can we do for you?" "One of our members said we are here to help you." They said, "can you get us some American flags?" "We would like six flags." "Huge ones" We said, "Of course." Called Greater New York DHQ and requested the flags. They came a few hours later. We found those two same policemen who requested the flags and gave the flags to them. The one policeman's eyes started to well up with tears. We asked them what they were going to do with the flags. "Well," one officer who had tears streaming down his face said, "See those three semi trucks down the street?" "Well, those trucks have bodies of our fellow officers in them and we want to identify those trucks with the flags." They took the flags and draped them over the trucks. It was an awesome sight as we all stood there with tears now streaming down our cheeks.
During the course of the day we ran out of sandwiches. Just as the last sandwich was taken we weren't sure what we were going to do. Well, lo and behold, about 6 young people between the ages of 18 - 20 came up to one of our members at the canteen and said, "We just had to do something and we didn't know what to do. So we decided to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Can you use them?" Isn't God good?!
Other than the cops, doctors, nurses, medical examiners we were the only ones allowed to go right down where the bodies were being taken from the truck and examined. I was standing next to a cop and we were watching them take a body bag off the truck. Rather than take the bag into the protected room, they put the bag on a gurney and started to unzip the bag right there. I stood there with that cop and watched them examine the contents of the bag. I could only recognize a chared arm, the rest of the contents was beyond recognition. The cop said, "Do you see that?" I said, "Yes." I said, "Are you alright?" He said, "Yah." He said, "Are you alright?" I said, "Yah." Neither of us looking at each other during that small conversation. I turned to him and he just stood there shaking his head in unbelief. We talked for a few more minutes and then he went back to work. I touched his shoulder as he walked away to let him know I would pray for him. By Thursday the stench was unbearable. It was difficult to stand down at the place where they were taking the bodies out of the trucks. It was difficult to be standing there and trucks pulling into the area and knowing that bodies were in those trucks. The bodies were transported from Ground Zero to the morgue in a small truck. Then, once examined, they were transported to a bigger, refrigerator truck and kept there till it was full, and then taken to the Armoury where the families came to identify them.
I saw a lot of body parts in bags. Many bodies were not intact. Each part would be in its own bag. A couple of times when the bag was transported from the first truck to the gurney the sun was behind the bag and I could see through the bag and recognize what that item was. It is a picture I will never get out of my mind.
Another cop I was talking to was telling me that he was here when they brought in the Chief Fireman and Asst. Chief Fireman. They could not recognize either of the men. The cop was saying that the one on the left was naked and was charred all over his body. Unrecognizable. The one on the right was fully clothed but had no head and no arms. It was difficult for this cop to tell me this story.
On Thursday, when we were leaving the site and thinking that we were going to Ground Zero at 3:00p.m. (but couldn't because they were evacuating because they were afraid another building was going to collapse), a woman named Marilyn fell in front of the canteen. Several of us were there and helped her up. Two men standing there were doctors and they asked her if she wanted to be checked for any cuts. She said no. But she needed to sit down, so I found her a seat on a cooler and I knew she was distraught. I asked her what she was doing and if I could get her anything to eat or drink. She asked for a drink of water. I gave her a bottle of water and started to talk to her. I asked her where she was going. She said, "I have to find the crisis center. I have to talk to someone." I said, "Can you talk to me? Can I help you?" She started to tell me that she saw the whole thing. She saw the first plane hit, the second plane hit, and then witnessed the collapse of the buildings. She couldn't get the picture out of her mind. She can't sleep, can't eat and does a lot of crying. I talked to her for a few minutes, prayed with her and she said she felt so much better. Not because of me, but because I was able to tell her that there is hope; that God will see her through this. We were waiting for the van to come and pick us up, in fact it was late. I can't help but believe that God allowed that woman to trip near our canteen and made our van late so that I could have a few moments with Marilyn.
I am anxious to go down to Ground Zero. The firemen are requesting counseling so I know we are needed.
They are so many more stories I could tell you. Please share this with anyone you want.
I'm so thankful that Gary was not in the air at the time. He just got home on the Monday before from flying ontwo planes to get home. Just a week before the attack Gary and I were on the same route that one of the planes was taking from Newark Airport to San Franscisco (not the same airlines). God has been very good through all of this. Be in prayer.
I've been scanning in my old photo album. This is one of my favorites, my dad and I on a public beach on St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) where my family lived for a year.
Quote of the Moment
How many times must I tell you? Queens consume nectars and ambrosia, not hot dogs.
Band Lemming Special Task Force Team Apple
Apple Picking with Mr. T.
Quote of the Moment
Mixed feelings are good. Keep ya balanced.That's a good but not great Cinemax remake of an old Mermaid flick. Beautiful mermaid, though, almost up there with Catwoman.
Proverb of the Moment
Blood cannot be washed out with blood.Especially timely now.
SALAMANCA, NY -- Captain and Mrs. James Israel were adopted into the Seneca Nation of Indians recently. Mrs. Israel was adopted by George Heron of the "Hawk Clan" and Captain Israel was adopted by Mrs. Harriet Pierce of the "Bear Clan." Pictured are Mr. Heron, Mrs. Captain Israel, Kirk Logan Israel, Mrs. Helen Harris, representing the Hawk Clan Mother; Mrs. Pierce; and Captain Israel
--The War Cry, March 27, 1982. The War Cry is the periodical of the Salvation Army...I remember making a nest of blankets in the back of the Station Wagon as my parents drove around doing the "Tavern Route", selling "War Cry"s. This clipping was unearthed by my cousin Scott Bedio, who is a Salvation Army historian. I've always tried to figure out if this makes me an adoptive member of the Seneca tribe or not...
Funny of the Moment
"All I'm saying is that people who say 'irregardless' are TOTAL CRETINS!"
"LOTS of people say 'irregardless.'"
"That's exactly my point! 'LOTS' of people ARE cretins!!!"
"Look: just because a person doesn't have "BOOK SMARTS" doesn't mean he or she is STUPID! That newscaster might have a lot of EMOTIONAL intelligence!"
"May I inject one teensy-weensy thought?"
"Emotional Intelligence is CRAP!!!"
This is a little embarrassing...the frilly things to the left are garters. They're from the two Euclid High Proms I attended (and it's always "prom" never "the prom", kind of a "Pop"/"Soda" thing.) One of the traditions of prom seems odd to people who didn't go there... (though it may be a general regional tradition, I'm not quite sure) ...it's the "garter dance". Most of the gals who go are wearing a garter that matches their dress. At some point, the DJ announces the dance, chairs are brought around the dance floor, the gals sit and their dates get to remove the garter. The guys generally use them as armbands for the rest of the evening. It's kind of goofy but sexy fun, and I have always thought goofy sexy fun is a good thing, even though the whole affair is a bit tacky. For sentimental reasons, I'm probably gonna keep the garters forever, a bizarre personal totem. Somehow getting rid of them now would retroactively diminish those evenings.
The beer mug is from 1991 (as the mug has inscribed on it, the year of eXCItement...get it?) when I went with Veronika though I was but a junior. That year, they gave champagne glasses to girls and beer mugs for the boys, which is a bit direct of a message to send when you stop to think about it. In 1992 it was champagne glasses for everyone.
Link of the Moment
This was on slashdot: Norrath's a place plenty of people haven't heard of, but it's the 77th most wealthy nation in the world, right behind Russia. Or rather it would be, if it really existed. It's the fictional world of the online game EverQuest, but that New Scientist report is talking non-fictional money. Strange but true.
And the work is amazing. She told us about the "Taj" (as in Mahal), the enormous tent that is the main meal center for the workers. It's pretty cool how the meals are supplied, actually: because they're trying to support the economy of the area, they pay the local restaurants to make their usual specialty (Chinese, Indian, Sushi, etc) and then volunteers go around and bring the food to the central areas. It's cool how the support structure is working on several fronts like that, and providing the site workers with some variety besides. Also there are the "hydration stations" that offer warmth and soup and beverages. (I hadn't thought about how cold it must be for people who are out there all the time.)
One thing she mentioned that when the project is finally over, there's probably going to be a secondary sense of loss by the people who have been working at Ground Zero (which now physically resembles one of those giant construction pits). There's a solid sense of community and camaraderie there, a justified sense of important, if unspeakably tragic, work being done.
Link of the Moment
Buggy as heck yet still very intriguing, thesquarerootof-1.com has some cool virtual toys. (For some reason I had better luck clicking on the "I have shockwave but no sound" button; I still got sound, but it didn't crash then.)
Late this winter my Aunt Ruth was cleaning out the house she and my grandmother had shared, and in the cabinet she found a collection of clippings about me that Grandma had saved...some old newspaper articles for the most part. The most interesting thing to me was the birth announcement my parents had sent them. It was in remarkably pristine condition 28 years later. It was really cool to see, and nice to have. My mom had this to say on it:
You may have already known, but just in case not, your dad made those birth announcements. He carved the rattle design in a block, and using a breyer, printed them all. He chose green and yellow, because this was in the days before the common use of pre-natal sonograms and we didn't know whether you'd be a boy or a girl ahead of time. He wanted them done before you were actually born. I can still see them spread out all over our office floor in our apartment at Ivy House in Philadelphia as the paint dried.[Ivy House was a home for disadvantaged youth my parent's were in charge of for a while.]
You'll note we said you were "23 inches tall" - that's because Dad thought any newborn so close to two feet at birth deserved 'tall' rather than the traditional description of 'long'.Actually, I hadn't realized that it wasn't professionally made. Oddly, the gene to make such neat handcrafted pieces has skipped me entirely, and made it to my wife, who made our wedding invitations, among other things.
(PS: Snow?? On the ground?)
Image of a Previous Moment
This is me with my Mom and Dad singing "On The Good Ship Lollipop" for a talent show, way back when. I think we were a big hit.
My mom is doing a 20 minute presentation about her life, but she doesn't have most of her photos there with her in England, so she asked if I had any photos that would help tell our family story. (Also, if I had a better scan of this War Cry / Seneca picture, which I don't, alas.)
So I thought this would be as good a time as any to post the scans I made of my photo album, 427 images in 9 sections. They possibly aren't of terribly large interest to anyone outside my immediate family and friends, and maybe not even them... if you're in a hurry, you can see the 26 photos I picked out for my mom, in case she didn't have time to go through the huge batch. (Those 26 include 2 not in the album, one of her being dedicated (The Salvation Army's version of a baptism) and one of my mom as a young Salvation Army officer or cadet.)
Nostalgia of the Moment
Bought a new PC yesterday, my previous one was getting pretty long in the tooth. I've decided to name the new one "Monk", just like the previous 4... (Either after "The Electric Monk" from a Douglas Adams book, or short for "Chip Monk", or after "Theolonius Monk". (Warning...extremely boring walk down memory lane follows.)
- Monk (1992-1994)
- My first PC (before that I had an C=64, and before that an Atari 800XL), a screaming 386 16mhz. I loved playing Wing Commander on that thing! And Elite, and Star Control 2. It might be the only system I installed Linux on...a pre-1.0 release, in fact.
- Monk (1994-1997)
- Then I moved on up to a 486 66mhz with 16 megs...that was like the gamer machine for a while in the 1990s. I got it in a mammoth tower. It was huuuuuge. Ran Wing Commander 3 like a champ though. And Windows 95 for the first time...I think for some reason I got that on floppies. That took forever to install. Got my butt handed to me on a platter in Duke Nuke'em 3D by all the freshman with their shiny new Pentiums on our new Campus LAN.
- Monk (1997-1999)
- Got a computer that I thought was a Pentium...turned out to a souped up 486 chip set, as I found out when I tried to run "Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic". Not a bad machine though.
- Monk (1999-2002)
- Toshiba desktop. Shoulda known something was up when it came with Windows 95, not 98...the USB never did work quite right. Fit nicely under the monitor...assuming I ditch this machine I'm going to have to find a new monitor shelf.
- Monk (2002...)
- And now, an HP minitower. The case is pretty hefty, actually. Lots and lots of Disk Space, USB that works, DVD player and CD burner built in. Yay me.
Ok, today's entry really stunk, so here's a great link: Junkbot! Ranjit helped developed this for Lego at gameLab. It's a good puzzle game. You can also check out its sequel Junkbot Undercover.
We both agreed that it was a little strange to be at this point in our relationship...
Image of the Moment
|--Yearbook Photo of 222 Street Jazz, my high school group. I think it would be perfect except the way Molly is coming out of Veronika's head.|
News of the Moment
Iran's Khatami Tells U.S. to Stop Insults..."If they abandon their threats and insulting language and we sense their goodwill then dialogue would be possible. American politicians should first learn to speak politely." This being the nation that calls us the "Great Satan" and uses hatred of us as a rallying point? Sheesh!
Quote of the Moment
Another day, another dollar...another irreplaceable chunk out of a finite and rapidly passing lifetime.
|From my old Tufts homepage. A guy at the Mac lab helped me cut out my picture (from a photo of me on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty) and came up with the weird idea for the background. I don't think the word "paradigm" was quite so overused in those pre-dotcom days|
Link of the Moment
Interesting tool at the U.S. Census Bureau that lets find the ranking of first and last names. "Israel" is the 2962th most popular last name in the United States, and "Kirk" is 288th for guys...(edged out by "Kurt" at 249...is that why people keep folding my name into that?) (via Bill the Splut)
Quote of the Moment
Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize for his novel The Stranger, which says, in effect, that life is meaningless. But that novel's dust jacket carried a paragraph reporting that Camus died in a car wreck in 1960. It should have added, "Not that it matters."
One sort, two sort
little tory tam
bowl 'em buck
he's a good fisherman
puts 'em in pens
some lay eggs
how brow limble lock
sit and sing 'til 12 o'clock
the clock fell down
the mouse ran around
o u t spells out