Archive for September, 2011

What the title says. You (i.e., YOU there) get to ask me ANYTHING. And I HAVE to answer. Honesty, though evasiveness is allowed.

Just recently, I got a question from a previous iteration of this meme:

Hey there, i read your blog site often and i individual an equivalent one particular we was just wanting to know Read the rest of this entry »

The third full day in Toronto we dedicated to going to the Toronto Zoo. It is on the eastern edge of the city, and required both train and bus to get there. One could make the case for driving there, I suppose. One of the selling points of having the City Pass is that one could avoid lines. Never was this more true at the Zoo, where we avoided at least a 15-minute wait just to get inside.

The zoo is massive. We saw only about 40% of it. We went to the Malay and African sections but never even got to the Americas or Australia or Eurasia. We considered taking the train around, and we might do that on a future trip. We’re already thinking about that. Read the rest of this entry »

When I was thinking about us taking our trip to Toronto, I asked you fine folks for some recommendations. Some of you, especially Jaquandor, suggested a number of venues. As it turns out, all of the suggested locations are available from some program called the City Pass. In this case, five attractions at about 45% off the regular price, with nine days to see them all.

On our first full day, we took the subway to the CN Tower. Well, close to the CN Tower. We walked to an adjacent plaza as the signs suggested, but were obstructed by new construction. We followed the detour signs, and ended up exactly where we had started. We got to our destination eventually, and purchased the one child and two adult City Passes.

The CN Tower, which is one of the tallest human-made buildings in the world, was the most touristy of the five locations, with long lines. Recommendation: get there early. Don’t stop to go to the bathroom Read the rest of this entry »

I saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning earlier this year about the National Museum of American Jewish History, which opened in November 2010. I was unfamiliar with the facility, but I assumed it was somewhere in New York; I assumed incorrectly.

It is in fact located in Philadelphia, not far from the Independence Hall. This was deliberate, a reflection of, initially, a “tiny minority [who] sought, defended, and tested freedom—in political affairs, in relations with Christian neighbors, and in their own understanding of what it meant to be Jewish.” Then “the migration of millions of immigrants who came to the United States beginning in the late 19th century and who profoundly reshaped the American Jewish community and the nation as a whole.”
Read the rest of this entry »


The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team was in first place in the National League Central division, with a 53-47 record, the morning of July 26. This was astonishing, since the team had had a record-breaking 18 losing seasons in a row. That evening they played a game against the Atlanta Braves, which they lost in the 19th inning on an amazingly bad call by an umpire Read the rest of this entry »

A couple months ago, ABC News, following up on an NPR story, did an “expose” involving US unused, and purportedly unwanted, dollar coins.

“Passed by Congress in 2005, the Presidential $1 Coin Act ordered the mint to make millions of coins to honor every dead president, but not even Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., one of the co-sponsors of the original bill, uses the legal tender.” It goes on to explain that these coins are being stored, at no small expense, in warehouses, which does appear to be a waste of money.

Implicit in the ABC News story was that the obvious solution is to get Congress to get the Mint to stop making the coins.
Read the rest of this entry »

One of the facts about 9/11 is that if you’re young enough, it was the singularly shocking event. But if you’re old enough, you might recall Pearl Harbor, various assassinations, Chernobyl or the Challenger disaster. I don’t remember Pearl Harbor, but I do recall two Kennedy assassinations and those of Medgar Evers and of ML King, Jr when I was growing up. It was Evers’ death I first recall.

But the event that actually terrorized me more Read the rest of this entry »

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