Thursday, June 18, 2009

Each Way

Once you've finished viewing the movie, please scroll down and join us for an open house!

Open House - C'mon in!

So you’re new here?

Hi. Thanks for checking in and please, come back often. I try to post new and interesting material as often as I can…which means as often as work and fatherhood will allow!

You’ve probably made it this far because you’re wondering what you can expect to find when you visit so I’m using this post to host an open house of sorts.

On this page I’ve linked to some of my favorite material from the past few months. This is a pretty good representation of the kind of stuff you’ll find here at TMUOTF.

So check it out, kill some time and let me know what you think. There is a “Comments” section at the end of each post so don’t be shy and don’t hold back!


To start off, I’ll ease you into it with a couple of video clips close to my heart. This first clip features Littlefoil during the holidays…

This is JillFoil’s grandmother reciting the Gettysburg Address – a speech she memorized over 80 years ago. (You might have to adjust your volume to hear!)

And this is a pretty funny out-take from Nan’s performance…

I do love posting videos and stories that resonate personally. Among my favorites is this one about my parent’s record collection and how it influenced me as a young boy .

I also like this one about my mom having breakfast with the bass player from Janes Addiction during Lollapalooza.

Vacations make for good stories too like like this trip to Sebago Lake in Maine last year.

Later that same summer, Jillfoil and I spent a quick weekend on Block Island which was so much fun that we're going back this July.

Another favorite of mine was this post about The Marshfield Fair which comes to town every summer.

Speaking of home towns, I like telling people about where we live. It's our corner of the world and I love living here so I can't resist sharing. I've written about the the first snowfall of the season , the changing leaves of autumn , flying kites at the beach and even the wild turkeys that live in our neighborhood.

Like I said, I love the personal stuff but its not all just about me. I also like to share things that other people do and make. In the course of living online I've found and shared some great pictures like these and some cool videos like this one .

And yeah, I like me some science too. Whether its the Large Hadron Collider or the story about a kid from my high school on the International Space Station . I just can't get enough of that stuff.

But its not always pure fun and happiness. I have been known to get up on my high horse too. After California approved the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, I had a few choice words to say about it.

The cratering economy at the end of 2008 and rolling into 2009 coincided with a period of unemployment for me which gave me planty of time to get my dander up. Back in November when the CEO's of the Big Three automakers flew three separate private jets to Washington DC to beg congress for money I went a little bit nuts .

When Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was arguing that he should receive an additional $10 million bonus for his performance during a year in which his company lost $11.7 billion I took my best shot at him .

And after we all gave Citigroup over $50 billion in TARP money and it became public that they were using some of that money to buy a new, top-of-the-line corporate jet and fund an elaborate retirement package for former CEO Sandy Weill I went after him too.

To be completely honest, I have sometimes crossed the line. But to be fair also, I admit it when I do. In this reflective post I apologized to my readers for some of the vitriol and language that I used during one of my rants.

But man, some days vitriol just seems appropriate. And it feels so good...

So there you have it. Thanks again for visiting. Come back whenever you can and let me know what you think, what you're doing and where you're going.

Like so many things in life, it's more fun when people watch!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strictly for the dorkiest of space nerds...

NASA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Missions with all kinds of events and multimedia reminiscences. is going deep geek by recreating the Apollo 11 mission Twitter style. They're twittering mission details and updates in what would have been real-time if the micro-blogging site had existed in 1969.

As though Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins had iPhones!

It strikes me that the computing power in an iPhone probably exceeds that of the computers running the lunar lander in 1969. Normally I would research that as a service to my voluminous readership but you know, I'm posting from work so...

Crazy. Anyway, if you're hard-core, you can follow the Twitter feed here but I think that we can all agree that this is strictly for the geekiest among us!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Maybe this will save the newspaper industry…

On Wednesday, June 10, the editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz sent most of his reporters home and sent 31 authors and poets out to cover the day’s news.

Sports coverage was apparently deemed too far outside the realm of expertise of your average poet so the sportswriters didn’t get the day off. But everyone else, from the weathermen to the business reporters and even the headline writers did.

The wonderful results include this business report by author Avri Herling:

“Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again….”

I just love that. “Everything’s okay.” Such an important message! Everything’s okay! Why didn’t the New York Times or the Washington Post tell me that?

Eshkol Nevo penned a television review as follows: “I didn’t watch TV yesterday.”

Poet Roni Somek delivered the weather report in sonnet form: “Summer is the pencil/that is least sharp/in the season’s pencil case.”

The tone turned more serious in a cover story about a children’s drug rehabilitation center in Jerusalem that was written by David Grossman, one of Israel’s most famous novelists.

“I lay in bed and thought wondrously how, amid the alienation and indifference of the harsh Israeli reality, such islands — stubborn little bubbles of care, tenderness and humanity — still exist.”

Novelist Yoram Kaniuk went into the field to cover couples in a hospital cancer ward. Kaniuk is a cancer patient himself.

“A woman walking with a cane brings her partner a cup of coffee with a trembling hand. The looks they exchange are sexier than any performance by Madonna and cost a good deal less,” Kaniuk wrote. “I think about what would happen if I were to get better…how I would live without the human delicacy to which I am witness?”

Thanks to for the heads-up and The Jewish Daily Forward for details!

Monday, June 8, 2009

You've never seen the moon like this...

In October, 2007, Japan launched the largest Moon-mission since Apollo. The spacecraft Kaguya was designed to study the origins of the Moon and its geologic evolution, obtain information about the lunar surface environment and conduct radio science while in lunar orbit.

Kaguya is loaded with 13 scientific instruments, including imagers, a radar sounder, a laser altimeter, an X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer and a gamma ray spectrometer.

And someone had the genius idea to mount two HD cameras on it as well.

To see the HD footage in full resolution, follow this link and this link and make sure to click on the "HD" button!

If you don’t want to bother following those links (which I have so kindly provided for you), the versions here are still pretty cool.

By the way, Kaguya’s mission is scheduled to end this Wednesday in spectacular fashion. They’re going to crash this thing into the surface of the moon so they can study the impact from ground based telescopes.

Talk about getting every last drop of value from a piece of hardware!

Thanks to Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog for the heads-up and to Wikipedia for providing more detail.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It’s funny because it’s true…right?

Click to embiggen

I still have this dream every once in a while and I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know that I’m not alone!

For me, these anxiety dreams come in two forms, one has to do with school and the other has to do with theater. In the latter I’m just about to make my entrance when I realize that I never bothered to learn my lines.

Courtesy of a highly recommended web comic called XKCD .