plus a glimpse of the rocket:
Saturday, December 30, 2006
George W Bush said that bringing Saddam to justice was a big step toward Iraqi democracy. I think the Iraqis in general might have been happier if his death had been a giant step toward dependable air-conditioning. Is it wrong to be a little conflicted about the execution of Saddam Hussein?
Don't get me wrong, I am sure the world is on balance a better place with him, but is dead so much different than imprisoned forever? Or for that matter, might it actually have been more appropriate to sentence him to a lifetime of community service? Give him one of those orange jumpsuits and a broom and have him spend the rest of his life helping to clean up the mess he contributed to.
In some way, I just wish that if it had been a foregone conclusion that he was going to be put to death that perhaps we shoulda just capped him right when we found him - shot while trying to escape as it were.
If you will.
So to speak.
Oh, no you didn't.
I'll tell you what. Seems to me that we will now forever be painted as the western, foriegn, infidel devils who came to Iraq, set up a kangaroo court, and then killed Saddam. Why go through the trouble if we were going to let him die in the first place. Wouldn't have been cheaper just to drop a grenade down the spider hole?
I know that isn't the way it happened. I know it is an Iraqi court (but the Jews didn't kill Jesus either, how's their press on that?). I know that there are Iraqi feelings to be salved by having a trial, and Iraqi spirits to be fed by his death. But I do wonder what the metric is, and how the scores came down on trail versus found dead.
Actually, I think were I running the US government, I would have dissappeared him. Think of how much mileage there would be in saying that Saddam and Osama were in hiding together planning the use of the WMDs he'd spirited out of Iraq before the US invasion. There's enough smoke there to get most US citizens to be ok with an invasion of just about anywhere.
Not that the current administration feels any responsibility to the US Citizenry.
So Saddam Hussein is dead. He won't return to power, ever. We're safe from that, and the Iraqis are safe from that. But for all the achievement of the capture, trial, and execution we are still at war, the Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds are still at impasse, Al Queda is still functioning, and gas is still $70/barrel. Forgive me if I don't jump for joy.
Posted by David at 8:06 PM
Friday, December 29, 2006
Think Progress: "“Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park.” "
Posted by David at 6:05 PM
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The following students are worthy of special mention in the world of David. Well done.
Laura Prieto Garcia
Either I am getting softer, or I have way too many students/classes. This is the longest list I can remember.
Posted by David at 7:49 PM
Slate Magazine: "On average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents.
Let's take this argument a piece at a time. It's true that two parents are better than one. It's also true that married parents are better than unmarried ones. But those aren't arguments against gay parenthood. They're arguments for gay marriage."
Posted by David at 12:58 PM
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Time to vote for the Semester Review footwear champion. Winner gets a TANBI T-Shirt and the unending admiration of their friends...
Thursday AM: Maddie K
Thursday PM: Kathryn
Friday AM: Jesha
Friday PM: Jillian
Monday AM: Alana
Monday PM: Maddie R
Tuesday AM: Jenn O
Tuesday PM: Jenn B
We're going high tech with the voting, although comments are still desirable.
Winner will be tabulated and announced some time next week. Have the big fun! I know who I am voting for.
Posted by David at 10:46 PM
We slide into our final session of the year, and none too soon let me tell you. Short session for PTM - but that didn't make the session any shorter (I think there are still people talking to April).
Let me present Chris...
... who graduated and yet still must attend for another year. How strange.
Tuesday PM Shoe winner:
Posted by David at 10:36 PM
The semester reviews continue. The room is still a large sized convection oven, but we persevere.
We begin this morning with Brian...
... newly minted PTM TD trying to find time for Baseball.
Move on to Julie...
... who posted, but did not talk about her cat.
Then to Jenn...
... who intelligently ignored advice to leave her board blank.
On to Ryan...
...who's mask project I think could pass for a Ferenghi.
and finished up with Steve...
... who dressed to impress.
Tuesday AM shoe winner:
Posted by David at 10:27 PM
Monday, December 18, 2006
or "Pittsburgh's Rainbow Room"
Tonight my Grandparent-In-Laws (?) took me and Mrs. TANBI out to dinner for the holiday's and for my wife's birthday (Tagboard birthday greetings for Mrs. TANBI are appropriate on the 20th). We went to the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on Mount Washington.
The food is quite good (and commensurately priced). They do fresh fish, maybe 20 varieties each with a handful of different preparations. The desserts are also fantastic and different pretty much every time. The first time I went I had an apple cheesecake. Last time I had something called a pumpkin martini which was based on pumpkin ice cream. This time me and the missus split a Chocolate Soufle Latte. Which was a hot chocolate soufle in a coffee cup with steamed milk on top.
But the strange thing is, at the Mount Washington incarnation of this establishment (there is also a Monroeville Mall location) the food is almost an afterthought. What really sells the place, is the atmosphere and the view:
nice, huh? This is the place you take people to impress. I wonder when my next opportunity will be.
Posted by David at 10:19 PM
Crits continued into the afternoon. The temperature in the Wells got up to a comfortable 250 degrees. It was very , I mean really, I mean quite difficult to not wind up taking a nap.
We begin with Michael...
... who is this close to becoming "Rico Suave."
Move on to Kristen...
... emerging into good standing, and realizing in the midst of her TV gig that she missed theatre.
Continue with Maddie...
... who is the first person ever to say she likes how I grade.
And finish up with Chris...
... who has a proprietary design for an open ended ratchet wrench he needs backers for.
Monday PM shoe winner:
Posted by David at 10:11 PM
Monday AM Session
Back from the weekend we start with a fairly light PTM session where we see...
...a newly minted PTM TD (with a design addiction)
...another newly minted PTM TD, and part time bus driver.
Monday AM shoe winner:
Posted by David at 10:05 PM
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Mrs. TANBI & I did a side gig.
We went from receiving this:
Which we converted into this:
and then broke down to this:
And finished with this:
It is the entry way for a tent of some kind for the Pittsburgh First Night celebration. For the record, I'd estimated 2 people, 2 days and $600. We finished for $400, but we dropped 33 hours into it using three people (thank you Hardwareman). So all the people who's labor estimates I am constantly upping - it turns out that my numbers are perhaps a little low as well (just a smidge anyway).
The job went pretty well. Check out the video below to see the first assembly of the piece. We call this type of move an "Iwo Jima" for obvious reasons. I have to admit, while we were filming, I briefly had the notion we might be taping something for America's Funniest Home Videos. But it came out all right.
Posted by David at 5:57 PM
Friday, December 15, 2006
For those student readers, or people that know students, what follows is a list of words that might make sense to use instead of "really"...
absolutely actual actually admittedly almost certainly amen assuredly authentically awful awfully be assured believe me beyond doubt beyond question bloody* but good* by far captivated categorically cert certainly clearly completely conclusively consumed correctly de facto decidedly deep deeply def definitely determinedly direct directly distinctly doubtless doubtlessly downright easily eminently emphatically engrossed enormously especially exactly exceedingly exceptionally excessively existing extraordinarily extremely faithfully fascinated firmly fixed flat out* flat* for real* genuinely gone* greatly held highly honestly hugely immensely immersed immoderatelyin actuality in effect in fact in reality in spades* in truth indeed indisputably indubitably inordinately intent involved jolly legitimately literally literatim lost mighty much mucho* no catch* no doubt no kicker no mistake* not figuratively notably of course parlous plainly plenty positively powerful precisely preoccupied probably profoundly rapt real remarkably right right on* rightly rigorouslysimply so straight straight out strictly strikingly strongly superlatively supremely sure sure enough* surely surpassingly tangibleterribly terrifically too much tremendously truly unambiguously undeniably undeviatingly undisputably undoubtedly unequivocally unerringly unmistakably unquestionably unusually vastly verbatim verily veritably very very muchvitally well why sure wrapped wrapped up*
Posted by David at 7:55 PM
The GeoCrits Continue - getting a little bit closer to home, and adding Grad1's and First Years.
This morning we saw:
...whom for a moment it seemed nobody was going to talk to.
...newly minted PTM SM.
...who told us all about Cherubs.
...who spent the summer at a large shop in a small town.
...who had really big papwerwork.
...who didn't show much.
Friday AM shoe winner:
(Its hard when someone goes off-type.)
Posted by David at 7:44 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
In the afternoon we had more cookies than we knew what to do with, as well as a much larger share of PTM students.
...took off her coat.
...who would prefer if we would stop learning him.
...who is testing the availability of the word "engineer."
...who I was afraid was going to bust into "Climb Every Mountain."
...who went even though I said we were going to hear from Julianna.
...a newly minted PTM SM.
Thursday PM shoe winner:
Posted by David at 11:23 PM
So one year ago we had the "Alphacrits" experiment. At the end of last semester the order was composed from students' favorite color as indexed in a GAM swatchbook. This year we have: "GeoCrits" in which the order goes (mostly) from furthest to nearest by zip code.
We began we a slow session for PTM with Loren...
Loren has had a very busy semester, which I chose to illustrate using the following metaphor:
We've advised him to try to make it less so.
And then there was the newly minted TD Alex...
...who appears to like puzzles.
Thursday morning shoe winner:
Posted by David at 1:41 PM