Archive for June, 2012


The problem with Facebook: I had passed along some funny item. As it turns out, though, the original cover of Tails had been Photoshopped to remove the comma after the word cooking, this giving the post a whole new meaning. Read about it here.

The wife of a World War II soldier waited for more than 68 years for solid proof that her husband is either dead or alive. Then she learned the stunning truth in Normandy, France. Steve Hartman reports. A sad, maddening, and ultimately, touching story.

Mark Evanier tells the The Ray Bradbury-Julius Schwartz-Al Feldstein Story, at the San Diego Comic Con. Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.
Also: Ray Bradbury: 1950s comics’ illustrated man.

The British sense of personal privacy is very different from the American one. Asking someone’s name, even implicitly by offering yours, is a premature violation of that privacy until some goodwill has already been established between you.

From Alan David Doane: Read the rest of this entry »

Chris, with whom I have been having an interesting dialogue on Facebook about human nature, wants to know:

What do you think about other religions? Is it just “different strokes for different folks,” or are some religions better than others, or a mix? Where do you think other religions belong in Christianity?

A lot of how I view other religions is based on the bias I have seen within Christianity, including by myself. When I was growing up, I wouldn’t say anything, but I thought those Catholics who had “dirt” on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday looked silly. As a bit of cosmic comeuppance, in my last two (Protestant) churches, we now apply ashes on our foreheads on the first day of Lent.

I recall the first time I was allowed to take Communion at a Roman Catholic Church, on some important anniversary Read the rest of this entry »


I’m listening to the Kinks recently, not surprising since Ray Davies’ birthday was June 23. The song Come Dancing came on, and, oddly, I got all melancholy.

The lyrics begin:
They put a parking lot on a piece of land
Where the supermarket used to stand.
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local Palais.

It reminded me Read the rest of this entry »

First, Chris, in answer to my answer, writes:

You bring up Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears. However, my husband is studying for a military exam, and the honors that his company won during the “Indian Wars” is considered part of their venerable history… And then I think of Hitler and Genghis Khan and I wonder, were they genuinely trying to do good by their own?

Which is why I picked him over the more obvious choice such as Hitler. History, at least the history most of us have read, has already assigned Hitler with the “evil” mantle; he doesn’t need me. Whereas Jackson’s place in history is a more of mixed bag. I have an ex who could talk your ear off (probably not literally, though I’m not sure) on the topic. I would submit that GWB’s war in Iraq may have been – OK, probably was, in his mind – initiated by “trying to do good” for his own people; didn’t make it right. I daresay most ethnic cleansing are done to “protect” one group from “the other” (see: Rwanda or Yugoslavia in the 1990s for recent examples). Whether the “good intentions” of mass murder is relevant inevitably will be written by the historians.

Maybe a better question is “What do you consider evil?” What is good and what is evil, really?
Read the rest of this entry »

For years, part of the running shtick between my wife and me has been this: I ask her a question. She responds to the question. Then I ask the question again, because, while I have some information, I often don’t have the ANSWER. I must say that, early on, it used to drive me crazy. Now, I just recognize it as just the way it is.

Here’s an example from a couple months ago. I had seen some fresh strawberries in the refrigerator earlier, so I asked her where they had gone. She replied Read the rest of this entry »

After our trip to Newport, RI in April, we stopped for a day in Mystic, Connecticut to see the Mystic Aquarium. The daughter especially loved the beluga whales. But it was by sheer happenstance that we arrived the very day a new exhibit about the Titanic opened. We learned quite a bit about Dr. Robert Ballard, whose team found the Titanic in 1985.

Robert Ballard was a kid – born in the Midwest, but growing up in San Diego, California – who identified with Captain Nemo in the Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. So he logically asked what real jobs would point him in that direction. Ultimately, he earned Read the rest of this entry »


Answering more Ask Roger Anything questions:

Tom the Mayor, who I know personally, pondered:
Here is a hard one Roger! Who do you think will win the presidential election?

I went to 270towin.com. The map there suggests that Obama has 217 likely electoral votes, and Romney with 191 electoral votes, with 130 electoral votes listed as a tossup. Three states in that latter category are hugely important – Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), and Ohio (18). I suspect that whoever wins at least 2 out of 3 will probably win the White House.

Some statistical piece – I can’t find it presently – states that the Republicans were far better Read the rest of this entry »

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