Saturday, July 13, 2002

Worst Response To A Crisis, 1985:

From a readers' Q and A column in TV GUIDE: "If we get involved in a nuclear war, would the electromagnetic pulses from exploding bombs damage my videotapes?"

As quoted by Wanda the GNOME Fish

Friday, July 12, 2002

Too much Disney is bad for you. Need proof?
TOWNSEND, Tenn. (AP) -- Bears sometimes attack deer -- it's what bears do.

But a Florida tourist apparently could not accept that, rangers say, and he took nature into his own hands by kicking and slamming a young black bear that had pounced on a fawn in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“He probably thought he was saving Bambi,” park spokeswoman Nancy Gray said yesterday.

Michael Shaw, 38, of Grand Ridge, Fla., was charged with disturbing wildlife and disorderly conduct — federal offenses carrying up to $5,000 in fines and six months in jail.

“He seemed to be quite put out that we were charging him,” ranger Kent Looney said. “He thought he was doing the right thing.”

According to a ranger's report, Shaw and other visitors became distraught when they saw a 45-pound yearling bear jump on the young deer in Cades Cove on June 28.

Shaw ran toward the animals and began kicking the bear. When it refused to let go of the deer, Shaw picked up the bear and threw it down, the report said.

The bear released its grip and ran back into the woods, “probably pretty confused,” Gray said. The injured deer was euthanized.

But park officials said Shaw interrupted nature.

“The bear was doing what it was supposed to be doing,” Looney said. “Many of the people who gave me statements about the incident were incensed. ... If they had gotten hold of him, we might have had to save him.”

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Ok, since you asked, here's how I spent my fourth of July in DC:

•  Family tradition: Attended Takoma Park Independence Day Parade with entire family, including a brother home from college and another brother visiting from out of state.

•  Took metro to Union Station to meet visiting friend. He had been bumped from his flight the night before, but got a sweet settlement from the airline.

•  Walked from station to look for other friends. Stood in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue yelling into cell phone trying to figure out where they were.

•  Got searched (several times, actually) by dutiful police officers manning security checkpoints around the Mall.

•  Availed ourselves of free free food from the rather large Hare Krishna encampment on the Mall. Listened to repetitive chanting for about 20 minutes. Worried mildly about possible sedatives in the lemonade.

•  Visited the Silk Road-themed Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Were soon deterred by near 100 degree heat, so escaped to the (air conditioned!) Natural History Museum to look at Mammoths, Mastadons, and bugs.

•  Went and got less holistic food at the Old Post Office Pavillion. I remembered this place from school field trips, but apparently no one else did, since it was nearly deserted. We had to go through a metal detector and have our bags x-rayed to get in.

•  Hopped on Metro and, after some confusion over the bizarre holiday routing changes, took it to Arlington Cemetary. Then hiked a ways looking for the Iwo Jima memorial. (Turns out it's closer to the Roslyn stop.) Eventually found another friend, and decided to stay there to watch the fireworks. This picture is almost exactly the view we had. It's a pretty great place to watch from, although you don't get as much booming as you do right on the Mall.

•  Followed throngs of people to Metro, and went our seperate ways to retrieve cars and luggage. Then met back up on the Maryland side of town and headed to the Route 1 IHOP. Returned home sometime after midnight.

That's it for now -- more later...

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth -- just got back from spending Independence Day weekend in Washington, DC. More later...