Archive for April, 2006

Seventeen years ago

April 25, 2006

On Dec. 21, 1988 Pan American World Airways Flight 103 exploded during its flight from London to New York. All 259 people on board died, as did 11 in the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, where the plane crashed. The newspapers described how a “middle-aged woman…fell to the floor, on her back, screaming ‘Oh my baby! Oh my baby!'” when informed of what happened.

A record cold snap swept down through North America recently. It began in Alaska, where temperatures reached 80 below. Car tires went flat, and airplanes could not fly. Because of isolation, many Alaskans were without new supplies for prolonged periods, but no deaths were reported from the cold.

Interest rates are expected to rise, one of many reasons why most market watchers are uncertain about the direction stocks will take in the coming year. Some feel that the long-term bull-market of the last several years is over, and that a downward cycle in stock prices is about to begin.

Over 100 people cheered, sang, and lit sparklers as Ted Bundy was executed at 7:16 AM, January 24 1989. Bundy’s instruction that “The ashes are to be spread over the Washington Cascade Mountains,” was protested without effect by local residents. One caller asked “Isn’t that like releasing his spirit up there?”

An essay anthologized in The Norton Reader entitled “College Is a Waste of Time and Money” argues that college is not, in strictly financial terms, a sound investment. The essay also discussed a poll in which college professors estimated that no more than 25% of college students were “turned on” by their work. Theoretically, professors were once students; students often try to imagine what this must have been like.

From the picture windows of the Reed College library, it is especially easy to observe the lives of squirrels.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

April 1, 2006

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