Thursday, December 23, 2010

The greatest man who ever lived

George Washington, 1795
Originally uploaded by Maulleigh
Spare a moment to remember that this is one of the most important dates in American history.

The British troops left New York in early December, leaving the American army in control of the colonies. All over the world the usual result of such a situation was the head of the military declaring himself king.

On December 23 commander George Washington appeared before Congress to resign his commission and go back to being a private citizen. And ever since then in our country the military has been the servant of civilian rule.

Supposedly when King George III heard about this he said "If this is true he is the greatest man who ever lived."

Thanks to Millard Fillmore's Bathtub for the reminder.

Friday, December 3, 2010

stars and journalists

You may have heard the news that scientists have concluded thy be three times as many stars as they previously thought.

Cool stuff, but what got my attention was newspapers responding to it. For example, the Bellingham Herald, my local paper, had the best headline (and it is a rare thing when I think they do the best of anything). Here is what they came up with:

Star count may hit 300,000,
On two lines, just like that. Doesn't that capture the enormity better than words would do? But the best lede for a story on the subject came from the New York Times.

It really is full of stars.

If you don't know what reporter Keneth Chang was invoking (and using to capture a sense of wonder in our amazing universe), shame on you. Brush up on your Clarke.