Saturday, November 13, 2010

Various and Sundry, 11/13

It's been a super-busy week and I didn't get to blog as I would have liked. But other people did, and here is some of it.

I still haven't dared to watch The Walking Dead, but that doesn't stop me from admiring the winner of the 2010 Zombie Safe House Competition. I'm glad the architects are on board and thinking about these things. Lorin, I'm looking forward to your 2011 entry.

Speaking of the actual dead, there were a number of obituaries I particularly liked this week.

First up: Charles Reynolds, a magician's magician. He helped create the tricks used by the famous illusionists. “Like most boys, he was interested in magic,” his wife said. “But most of them grow out of it. He never did.”

I've got to tip my hat to Jule Sugarman, the bureaucrat who made Head Start a success. At Obit Mag, as he observes the focus on this bureaucratic success, "Grim Reader can’t help wondering whether the Obitosphere’s focus on the wonders of fast-moving institution-building wouldn’t have been different if the current ambitious Democratic president weren’t facing a Congress out to undo his still very much unbuilt signature program."

I LOVED Julia Clements, the high priestess of flower arranging who died at the age of 104. "The author Beverley Nichols once described her as 'the head of a vast salvation army in which souls are saved through the medium of flowers'." The story of how and why she started got me all teary. Pass this one on to your Altar Guild!

I was intrigued by the obituary for Peter Hilton who was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during WWII.

During his time at Bletchley Park, Hilton was given every fourth week off to hone his cryptanalytical skills; by way of a change of mental gear, he helped Turing solve chess problems, puffed on his pipe, and once spent a sleepless night composing one of the world's longest palindromes: DOC, NOTE: I DISSENT. A FAST NEVER PREVENTS A FATNESS. I DIET ON COD.

Finally, obit-wise, I LOVED this one as much for the headline as anything: Howard Van Hyning, Percussionist and Gong Enthusiast, Dies at 74. The story of the gongs in question is quite touching, actually.

One of the things I did this week was try to reduce my wireless phone bill. I found a very easy way to reduce my 3G coverage costs, thanks to this article. If you have 3G on AT&T I highly recommend you check this out.

Finally (although there's more I could share), I recommend this blog entry about offering our prayers for those who have died in combat. Simply lovely.

Have a wonderful weekend.


it's margaret said...

Joel --just discovering you like to read obituary notes --offers you these poems written a while ago:

Again, the fell destroyer of our race, long fingered consumption has been in our midst, and has cut down one of the loveliest flowers that ever bloomed in the garden of female purity.

O, ever thus, from childhood's hour, we've seen our fondest hopes decay,
we've never loved a tree or flower
that was not first to fade away.

Again, weeping maidens are summoned to the dieing couch of a much beloved friend and companion in the demise of Miss Katherine Virginia, only daughter of the late Mr. William D. Young of this City.

Oh yes --he has more.... sigh...

Lorin said...

Yes, ma'am. Chris is the zombie expert in the house (and he is watching, and enjoying, Walking Dead) so it will have to be a joint effort.

Anonymous said...

As the aforementioned zombie expert/co-captain, I say in the immortal words of Barney Stinson: "Challenge... (wait for it)... Accepted!"

Sweet zombie Jesus, this is gonna be fun