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February 5th, 2013
in Eugene

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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
September 1st, 2012
in Corvallis

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Dean Kirkland

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October 15th, 2014

The vegetable vendor is one of the many un-American experiences when visiting with the parents in the old country.  Pushing his cart, he bellows the names of the vegetables he has to sell.  He is so loud that sometimes I can hear him over the phone if I happen to call my parents at the time he is hawking his goods

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October 14th, 2014

He brought the hand-held mirror towards me.  Even before he could raise it, I told him "it's ok.  I'm sure it is fine.""Are you sure?" he asked with a smile."Am positive.  Haven't had any reason to complain thus far" I replied.He put the mirror down on the counter.  I

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October 13th, 2014

Consider the following:In 2010, transport accidents in the U.S. accounted for 38,000 deaths, with more than two-thirds of these fatalities occurring among men.Not merely in 2010, but every year we could expect more than 30,000 to die from transport accidents.  Every year, we can expect m

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October 12th, 2014

One of the best lines ever from the political theatre that I have had the pleasure of watching after moving to the country was the one delivered by Ann Richards, when I was just about getting acquainted with the actors and their affiliations, by which I mean politicians and their parties:Poor George, ... h

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It is not an every day happening when the New York Review of Books features a piece by an author with an Indian name. And that too a South Indian name. And, a Tamil name at that.

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October 11th, 2014

When we were kids, more often than not, the typical breakfast at home was idli or dosai.  One day, my brother, who was perhaps seven or eight at that time, stuck a hand-written note on the kitchen wall to voice his protest.  The note read: "இட்லி தோசை ஒழிக" (No more idli, dos

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October 10th, 2014

In a hallway, in the building where my office is, are two shiny display shelves with books authored by faculty.  This takes intellectual onanism and narcissism to new heights (lows?).  After all, it is not even at a place that has high visitor traffic to impress them with "research"--heck, it doesn't even have hig

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October 9th, 2014

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October 8th, 2014

Way back in high school, in one of Harold Robbins' many potboilers that I read, the plot involved a young man who was f*ing around with a young woman and her mother too.  Yes,  I read Dickens and Dostoevsky and also Robbins and Chase (James Hadley) and others; go figure!A couple of years after that, so

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