13 December 2010

A Ghost Sign and So Much More

This is a ghost sign in the industrial part of the West End:


What intrigues me about ghost signs is that they are snippets of history that leaked through time. In a way, they offer a title that makes one wonder what the story was at that place in another time.

Thanks to the Cincinnati Historical Society archives, I found out that this was the home of the Werk Soap Company (barely readable at the top) around the turn of the century. Here is what prominent Cincinnatian Cornelius Hauck said about the area in his 1965 "Memories of Dayton Street" talk:

This area was the scene of the celebrated "Tanyard Murder Case," which brought fame to Lafcadio Hearn, the new reporter for the Commercial. Many remember the old Michael Werk home on the southwest corner there, where his friends gathered on weekends to taste his "Nue-wine" (new wine), made from his own grape arbors. The soap and candle industry then used the by-products from the meat-packing plants... (soap & candles were made from animal fats back then)

It was a dream of many a youngster watching the cattle driven past his house in those days, to have the position of the driver of the "hog-wagon" at the end of a drove. He rode tall and erect on a high, front seat, wearing an old army uniform, with a large, colored cockade on his high hat. He was ever ready to pick up any squealing tired hog that could not make it to the packing yards below Dayton Street.

It's cool to be in that area, now home to Ollie's Trolley and the Samuel Adams brewery, and imagine hogs being driven through the streets while neighbors enjoyed their wine party. And the Tanyard Murder Case? WOW.

11 December 2010

Holiday Happy Hour!

We face challenging times, my friends.

Our sagging local economy may force us to lay off police who direct traffic at the stadium that we also have to pay for even though it is owned by a pompous asshole who mismanages an embarrassingly underperforming franchise that he has no intention of reforming.

We have an incoming Governor who has destroyed jobs before they even existed and managed to do it before even taking office.

We have city council members who think the best way to handle a crisis is pandering to the group most in need of anger management.

Yes, these are challenges. But let us not forget that our fathers also faced challenges before us, and their fathers before them. And also mothers at some point. And if history has taught us anything, it is this: when the going gets tough, the tough go out and drink.

Therefore, I call your attention to the Cincinnati/Tri-State Blogger Holiday Happy Hour and business meeting (there's a write-off if you say that) to take place Thursday, Dec. 16 from 5-9pm at Mayday in Northside. Mayday is a great bar and serves a variety of gourmet hot dogs (locally made by Avril's). And speaking of gourmet dogs, Mayday will extend their Dog-N-Draft special (dog + draft for $7.50) for this event. Try asking for that at Senate.

This year's keynote address (again, the write-off) is "Don't Let the Wrong Font Reduce Your Revenue" by J. Maxwell Nerdington, who brought down the house with last year's "Sit on Your Ass and Count the Cash."

There is a Facebook page for this event but it inevitably missed a lot of people invitation-wise. So if you are reading this, you are invited! Feel free to bring both your friends.

07 December 2010

Petitioning the Ford with Prayer?

03 December 2010

God, Me and Strip Clubs

In this photo one can see the light of Heaven shining upon Newport. Looking closely, it appears the brightest beams shineth specifically upon THE BRASS ASS on Madison Monmouth Road.

This visage, when considered in the context of my previous whorehouse-related experience, is a sign that the Lord has a mission for me, and that mission is to be the king of Northern Kentucky strip clubs.

30 November 2010

Mondrian for a Moment?

I can't say exactly what inspired Piet Mondrian but I'll bet it happened in the late afternoon...

29 November 2010

Kudos: Qualls

At City Council’s most recent meeting, Roxanne Qualls proposed a resolution (item # 201001612) expressing Council’s support for the 3C rail corridor and urging other officials and Governor-elect John Kasich to support it. The item was referred to the Livable Communities Committee.

The resolution states some relevant facts, such as:

...the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati (3C) travel corridor is the most heavily traveled corridor for passenger trips between metro areas in the entire Midwest, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

...the federal grant will not add any annual costs to the State of Ohio’s troubled general revenue fund;

...the State of Ohio’s share of passenger rail operating costs will instead be supported by the ODOT budget, which is legally separate and financially distinct from the State of Ohio’s general revenue fund;

...the states of Illinois, New York, and possibly other states have asked the federal government for Ohio’s $400 million if Governor-elect Kasich opts out of receiving the money;

Then the resolution provides rationale for supporting the rail initiative, namely that it will (1) Create good-paying rail industry jobs; (2) Provide affordable, efficient, quality transportation; and (3) Promote economic development along the corridor.

As a supporter of infrastructural progress, I appreciate Qualls’s initiative to keep this issue alive. But this part of the resolution struck me in particular:

…the Council encourages City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Congressional delegation, and other leaders to undertake all reasonable action necessary to ensure the development… continues unabated in Ohio’s 3C corridor.”

I think this is a key step to ensuring progress on this matter. The support of other public officials will be hard to overlook, even for a stubborn ideologue like Kasich seems to be.

To really put it over the top, the support of the general public and the business community is necessary. The public already voiced its desire at the ballot box. With the backing of public officials and business leaders, it stands a good chance of moving forward. Any Governor would seriously undermine credibility by rejecting an initiative supported by local citizens, local officials and local businesses.

22 November 2010

The Whorehouse Confab

A few weeks ago I was walking back to my car in a Covington parking lot. Two guys pulled in and the passenger leaned out his window and told me they were looking to party and asked if I could direct them to a whorehouse. This struck me as totally absurd and I figured I misheard them. I asked "What?" twice more and sure enough, they wanted me to tell them where to find a whorehouse. It was 9am.

I told them I was not aware there were any known whorehouses and if there were, I unfortunately did not know where they were. I wished them luck and they resumed their quest for the Holy Tail.

After I shook off the initial absurdity of the encounter, I got a little depressed. I wonder how many other people look at me and think, "Now there's a guy who looks like he knows where to find some Northern Kentucky whores.'

21 November 2010

Silly Graffiti

16 November 2010

Angel in the Infield

09 November 2010

"Bridge Eaters"

Time-lapse video of a bridge demolition in Toronto:

Bridge Eaters from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

07 November 2010


For some reason this reminds me of Tron:

01 November 2010

Downtown Danger Report - Oct 2010

It's bad enough that Cincinnati is the most dangerous city anywhere in the world at anytime in human history. But it is especially painful to see our most precious symbol, Fountain Square, overtaken by the scourge of humanity.

The crowd that descended upon Fountain Square for Saturday's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" viewing party was a typical representation of America's most dangerous segment: the radical moderates. Having neither the righteousness to stand with the one true Christian God nor the courage to claim 9/11 was an inside job, these "people of reason" and their sensible cotton-poly blends brought their FOUNTAIN OF HATRED to Fountain Square on Saturday.

I had hoped the local media would capture the hatred but unfortunately it was distracted by a shiny object on the riverfront.

And so it remained for me, intrepid citizen-journalist, to document the continuing dangers of downtown. And what I witnessed turned my blood cold:

As you can clearly see in the photo (taken at great personal risk), this evildoer is OPENLY DISPERSING A TOXIC CHEMICAL AGENT. I was almost hit by some of the dispersant myself.

I can only hope this photo will aid law enforcement in apprehending this dangerous criminal and also convince the public that we simply cannot have any cuts in the police budget. Cincinnati is too dangerous and we need every police officer to confront the dangers that lurk everywhere, even on Fountain Square.

26 October 2010

Then and Now II

If I recall my local history correctly, prosperous merchant Joseph Carew was passing through town sometime in the late 19th century and missed his train to Memphis where he was going to scout locations for a new store. With time to spare, he and his business partner walked around Cincinnati. Impressed with the city and its potential, Carew suggested they establish the new store in Cincinnati instead of Memphis, and they did. The Mabley & Carew department store stood on the corner of 5th & Vine until it was demolished to build the skyscraper, which was then named Carew Tower.

It was roughly half a century between the department store and the Tower. I wonder what this block will look like in another few decades. Will the CAC be torn down to make way for a Cadillac Ranch Tower?? Or vice versa?? Who will win the battle of art vs. consumerism in 2050?

Of course, in a perfect world the two would merge into THE SHEPARD FAIREY CADILLAC RANCH CONTEMPORARY ART TOWER. Wait for it.

24 October 2010

Then and Now

Just one example of a new building adjacent to an older one. I like contrasting juxtapositions like this, something old next to something new; something weird next to something ordinary, etc. I would guess visages like this will become even more common after the economy improves and financing becomes more readily available for new construction and renovation projects, especially in OTR.

I like how the newer building boasts its presence with those surrealism-meets-abstract-expressionism reflections while the older buildings stand staid, too tired and worn out to retort.

18 October 2010

Representation without Medication

Every now and then someone finds this blog via the search term "Sandra Queen Noble" which leads them to this old post from 2005.

Lately that post has gotten scores of hits and I couldn't help wonder why. Turns out Ms. Noble (who still has a few screws loose) has taken her dreams of elected office to Washington, D.C.

I still remember her appearance on Dan Hurley's Newsmakers. It's gotta be tough to have a political confab with someone who has obvious mental health issues and Hurley did a commendable job in a bizarre situation.

Still, I have to agree with the article's conclusion: It’s not likely that Del. Norton will debate Queen Noble, but don’t you wish she would?

15 October 2010

One Hug and Ticket, Please

06 October 2010

Unsanctioned Public Art

03 October 2010

Thumbs Up for Pasta Lunch at Scotti's

I met a couple of friends for lunch at Scotti's recently. I have been to Scotti's once previously but it was so long ago that I don't remember anything. One of the friends had a good lunch there a couple of weeks prior to our meetup and suggested we all try it.

After being seated, we talked for a few minutes while our pupils adjusted to the dim light (hence no pics) and then we considered the menu over an order of their very garlicky garlic bread ($2.50). The garlic is raw and potent, not roasted. If that is your thing, you will like it (although the people with whom you spend your afternoon may not).

The two friends split the fettucine al guido (like alfredo but with butter & cream instead of butter & parmesan). I tried one forkfull and that is all I needed to know that this is not the dish for me. I do not know how they ate even half a portion (or how the one friend who recently ate there managed to eat an entire portion at his first lunch). To my palate, it was disgustingly buttery and heavy. I felt like I was eating a stick of butter. The two of them, however, enjoyed it and finished their plates.

My choice was the ravioli al caruso. The ravioli is meat-filled and caruso is a red sauce with small meatballs and chicken livers. At first I thought the sauce was a bit bland but I think that is because I have had too much sauce out of a jar. My instinct may have been to expect something salty and "zesty." This sauce was neither. But it was not bland; it would be more accurate to say the ingredients were well balanced so that none stood out.

The meatballs, on the other hand, could use a little help. I did find them gustatorily lackluster. And the chicken livers? Well, you either like them or you don't. I like their bitter savoriness and enjoyed them with this dish. I was surprised at how many meatballs and livers came with the dish; they were not stingy with the portions.

My pasta lunch special rang in at $9.85, including tax. It doesn't classify as cheap eats but it is good eats.

Scotti's on Urbanspoon

29 September 2010

Sure, that's Normal

I was driving to work when I saw the front end of an old airplane standing upright by the side of the road.

26 September 2010

No, Thanks

How'd you like to have this guy's job?

23 September 2010

If I Were a Sarcastic City Manager...

... this is how I would respond to Directions Research, Inc.'s questions to Council (by the way, someone at DRI or Council needs a proofreader):

(1) What are the City Administration's plan [sic] for working with Directions Research, Inc. to address the replacement of 110 parking spaces for their employees who pays [sic] 2.1% earnings income tax to the City?

The City Administration understands that expecting DRI staff to park a little further and walk a little more would be an outrageous affront to a company that not only employs employees, but whose employees pay taxes. And the suggestion some have made that DRI staff join the burgeoning movement in support of transportation alternatives is a notion so anathema, so viscerally disgusting that City Administration would rather shield itself from winter's cold nights under a quilt stitched together with pieces from Godzilla's old, sweaty jockey underwear.

Effective immediately, City Administration will suspend all non-essential functions and divert personnel and resources to provide uniformed curbside valet service for DRI staff. A successful company that employs employees who pays tax deserves no less.

(2) What are the City Administration's plans to address the noise problems anticipated to occur during construction and the forseeable [sic] adverse affects [sic] on this business and their [sic] customers?

Each morning, City Administration will attach giant blimps to the DRI building and airlift it to Shangri-La, where DRI staff can conduct their critical work in a proper environment surrounded by exotic butterflies and magic unicorns, unoppressed by the garish cacophony of excavation and construction.

(3) What are the City Administration's plans for addressing the safely [sic] and security of the Directions' employees, as well as citizens of Cincinnati who visit the proposed casino?

City Administration will assist DRI in pulling its head out of its ass. This critical first step will help DRI understand that the presence of thousands of additional people in the area is in itself the best way to ensure public safety. City Administration understands that DRI staff are the metaphorical cubic zirconia of downtown employees: shiny, sparkling and brilliant. City Administration likes to look at them. They make City Administration smile. City Administration would not let anything happen to them.

(4) What are City Administration's plans for meeting with the principal owners of this company in order to address these issues and bring a satisfactory resolution to them?

City Administration's plans are to bring over the owners' favorite candies and video games. City Administration hopes the owners will go to bed on time but if they fuss and throw a tantrum then City Administration will give up and let them stay up late.

21 September 2010

Kroger HQ

Saw the Kroger building from a different perspective the other day:

18 September 2010

El Camino Takes it to 11

12 September 2010


How do I get the keys to this door?

09 September 2010

Council Item of the Week

Local citizen wants answers about City Hall's "green Al Gore roof:"


Charles Winburn
Cincinnati Council Member

Hi Charlie; I’m back, now that you are on council.
I have looked at the green Load on the Roof.
I would request a proper statement as to the existing Load __?__ Potential storm winter Load __?__
then normal rain, snow, ice load
then a Load that the roof would Hold as to rain, ice, snow cumulative as to the weather we occasionally have once or twice a year?

Then for how much is the roof insured for now, as it was never intended to be a green al Gore roof?
and who would be injured if a collapse occurred?
Then would firefighters be in danger..
and what happened to the crops it bore this season?


Senior citizen who will not afford to park in city
but do attend price Hill civic club and
park free. age 80

07 September 2010

Chris Smitherman: Teen Wolf?

I don't know what, if anything, this means, but it looks an awful lot like our local nutball, Chris Smitherman:

03 September 2010

Urban Landscape

31 August 2010


30 August 2010

Three Little Bulbs

I like to carry this photo of three cool light bulbs above my head; it helps me have three ideas at a time. I could have separated these independent clauses with periods; I chose to use semicolons.

24 August 2010

Don't Read this if You're Jenny McCarthy, Pt. II

Penn & Teller vs. the anti-vaccine cult:

(Clicking on the arrow will open a new window. Close the new window, come back to this page and click on the arrow again to play the video. Totally worth it)


23 August 2010


I don't know if this is a depiction of an erstwhile reality or wishful thinking for the future. Right now it's an empty lot with cracked pavement, weeds and broken glass. I suppose it symbolizes the cycle of ascent and decline that urban neighborhoods can go through.

19 August 2010

Teresa Loves Stone

Love is always precious, and made all the more so with Wild Irish Rose.

16 August 2010


Bit of an odd place for the WWF symbol...

13 August 2010

Creative Rubble Alley

10 August 2010


There's actually kind of a font thing going on here. Nice.

08 August 2010

Crap, Nude Photos

This post title might even replace "Campbell Brown Exposed" for the title of post that solicits the most hits. And if you came here actually looking for crap or nude photos or both, well, then I'm sorry.

05 August 2010


Nothing more than a sign on an empty building now, but at one time Maudie's in Queensgate was probably hopping with patrons stopping by after work from one of the area factories, like the once adjacent Queen City Barrel Company.

02 August 2010

City Seeks Streetcar Project Manager

Spread the word on this, people. Getting the right person for this job can make all the difference:

The City of Cincinnati is seeking to fill the position of Assistant to City Manager (Streetcar Project Manager). This employee provides assistance to the City Manager by managing all aspects of the development and implementation of a Cincinnati streetcar transit system. Serves as a liaison to City, State and Federal lobbying; makes recommendations for the City Manager's consideration; assists the City Manager with coordination of communications with City Council, City employees, the news media, and the general public in regards to the streetcar development and future expansion.

More info and application procedures here.

30 July 2010

20 July 2010

LIncoln Ware: Black People cannot be Racist

Well, he finally admitted it. When pressed by a caller to stop making excuses for people who won't find a path to self-determination, Lincoln Ware had no counter-argument and no alternative but to cut his losses by hanging up on the caller. But not before revealing his true colors:

CALLER: Do you believe blacks can be racist?
WARE: What?
CALLER: Do. You. Believe. Blacks. Can. Be. Racist?
WARE: NO! Thanks for your call. (hangs up)

That's right, racism is a white condition, not a human condition. Forget everything else you've heard about the last five thousand years of human history.

His show got even more ridiculous when he next played-- without any acknowledgment of the absurd irony-- this infamous rant.

Keep it up, Lincoln Ware, I enjoy the laughs!

19 July 2010

Dressing Under the Influence?

An ankle bracelet is just the thing to make this outfit catwalk-ready!

11 July 2010

I Usually Prefer Flower Boxes...

... but who am I to judge?

01 July 2010

Downtown Parking

The recommendations by Walker Parking Consultants are complete and have been adopted by Council with minor changes. Rates at downtown parking garages will increase (in most cases by a dollar) and meter rates will double (to 7.5 minutes per quarter instead of 15 minutes). The changes will be phased in over 5 years.

The Walker study makes no mention of the streetcar. This is both surprising and unsurprising. It is unsurprising because a company that makes money from parking studies probably does not want to remind anyone of something that might diminish the need for future parking studies.

It is surprising because one would think a truly comprehensive parking study would at least include an analysis of something along the lines of a "park & ride" based on proposed streetcar routes, i.e. where should public parking be located to maximize streetcar utilization and therefore economic development?

The study does mention economic development, and-- no surprise here-- links it to parking. In what may be the best line of any parking study I've read this year, Walker's report states "A rising tide raises all ships," by which they mean that rate increases in public garages will make the parking business more profitable and therefore spur development of private parking facilities. The report also suggests using revenue to build more parking facilities "in support of economic development."

As I opined two years ago in this awesome post, parking facilities, especially surface lots, are just about the worse use of valuable land one can think of. If you're going to talk about downtown economic development, you need to talk about how to get more people to more places more easily and more often, and there are better ways to do that than cars and parking facilities. To me, it makes more sense to use revenue for parking alternatives so that valuable land can be put to more productive use.

One step in the right direction is the expansion of parking spaces for 2-wheeled vehicles (btw, this is a totally separate thing and has nothing to do with the Walker report). In addition to the spaces already existing, there will be additional parking at:

East Central Pkwy (near Coffee Emporium)
Main St between 6th & 7th
Elm St between 3rd & 4th

The spaces will not be metered, but a permit will be required ($50 for one year). The memo only refers to "two-wheeled vehicles" which I presume includes bicycles. I personally would like to see bicycles exempted and permits required only from motorized two-wheeled vehicles. Maybe they'll change this if enough people ask...

24 June 2010

Is it Just Me...

...or is there something disconcertingly eccentric about this backyard scene?

A voice in my head says I should mention it's in NKy.

21 June 2010

The Second

Have you ever wondered who decided how long one second is... Ever wonder if there is an actual definition of "one second?"

I didn't think so.

But there IS a definition. It is, after all, the fundamental unit of time and the one science uses to measure everything. In the good old days, when women covered their knees and listened to their husbands, scientists defined the "second" in terms of the time it took for the earth to rotate once on its axis, commonly known as "a day."

1 hour = 1/24 day
1 minute = 1/60 hour
1 second = 1/60 minute

So a second was 1/86,400th of a day. Unfortunately, the length of a day changes over time so this definition was not precise enough. So in 1967 a group calling itself the General Conference on Weights and Measures (also the name of my new band) came up with this jaw-droppingly precise new definition of a "second," the one which is used by the world today:

The duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of microwave light absorbed or emitted by the hyperfine transition of cesium-133 atoms in their ground state undisturbed by external fields.

Aaah, that clears it up!

17 June 2010

Judicial Activism I Can Live With

My interweb meanderings landed me quite a gem this morning. The excerpt below is from a real court document filed in Tennessee district court. The judge in the case came up with a surprisingly savvy, stereotype-stripping solution to review evidence, which in this case is... well, I'll let this quote speak for itself:

Clearly the issue of who took the pictures of the Plaintiff and her friends dancing on the bar is highly relevant...

Background: the plaintiff and her friends went to the Coyote Ugly Saloon and claim they were convinced to get up on the bar and dance. The plaintiff fell and hit her head and filed suit against the bar. The bar unsuccessfully tried to subpoena the plaintiff's friends' photos which were posted on Facebook. Check out the judge's manifestly progressive solution (emphasis mine):

The Defendant’s mishandling of the Facebook subpoena was the cause of a major delay. Plaintiff’s counsel could have helped resolve the matter by clearing up the issue of the various witnesses, who are friends of the Plaintiff, to produce the various photos on Facebook. Their resistance does raise the specter with the defendant that there is something there they want to hide. Clearly the issue of who took the pictures of the Plaintiff and her friends dancing on the bar is highly relevant, and Plaintiff is in the best position to quickly resolve this. The failure to cooperate by both counsel has lead to this unfortunate delay.

In order to try to expedite further discovery regarding the photographs, their captions, and comments,
the Magistrate Judge is willing to create a Facebook account. If Julie K. and Michael V. will accept the Magistrate Judge as a “friend” on Facebook for the sole purpose of reviewing photographs and related comments in camera, he will promptly review and disseminate any relevant information to the parties. The Magistrate Judge will then close this Facebook account. If this option is chosen, Plaintiff is required to notify the Magistrate Judge’s law clerk within fourteen (14) days of this order to set this up and provide the email addresses of Ms. K. and Mr. V. in order to locate their accounts on Facebook.

13 June 2010

Medical Marketing Enigma

You probably won't die because of "complications" at this clinic...

But if you die anyway, at least your loved ones can conveniently walk next door for your tombstone. What could be simpler?

09 June 2010

...And Don't Jaywalk, Either

"Bicycling on sidewalk is illegal... take a lane"

06 June 2010

Best College Basketball Team Names

I've always thought Earlham College's "Hustling Quakers" was a funny name. Earlham is a Quaker (i.e. pacifist) school so they didn't want any references to animals that hunt, maul, rip, etc. Basically, any reference to predation or general ass-kicking was off the table. And so "hustling" it was.

But "Hustling Quakers" wouldn't come close to making the cut for this list.

I knew about UC-Santa Cruz, but none of the others.

03 June 2010

On the Matter of Wendell Young...

One of the criticisms regarding why Laketa Cole would choose Wendell Young to replace her on Council is that Young was a weak campaigner and fared poorly in previous election attempts.

I'm not sure that is a good argument. In order for it to be a valid reason to oppose Wendell Young, there has to be a correlation between good campaigning and good statesmanship. There is no such correlation; an individual's ability to govern or legislate has nothing to do with how well he or she campaigns. Furthermore, since election victory is so closely associated with fund raising, this argument is basically assuming that the best fund-raisers make the best officials.

Of course, the "flaw" in my thinking is that I'm thinking like a citizen and not a member of the Democratic Party, i.e. I want the best Council member, not the most re-electable.

In one sense, choosing Wendell Young is a great call. Why not give a seat to someone who, based on what we know, would be a moderate and reasoned Council member? Do we really want to choose local officials based on how well they take to TV cameras, shaking hands and waving in parades?

It reminds me of Warren Rudman's excellent book Combat, in which he writes about some of his experiences in the Senate. One item was David Souter's election to the Supreme Court. At the time, Souter was New Hampshire Attorney General and Rudman specifically mentioned how key it was that, in New Hampshire, the AG is appointed, not elected. Whatever it takes to be a politician, Souter had none of it. He would have never been AG if it required campaigning. He was given the job on pure merit. If that were not the case, he would have never been the AG and never subsequently nominated for the Supreme Court.

Imagine what kind of Supreme Court we would have if it required campaigning. Holy shit.

Of course, there is a solution to Laketa Cole's problem, and if she manages to think like a normal person for half a day, she might do the sensible thing and nominate Greg Harris. He is not untested like Young and is an experienced campaigner and has increased his name recognition. Moreover, he brings so much to the table, it is rather ridiculous NOT to nominate him...

...unless you're a small-minded person who thinks placating Lincoln Ware and his ass-clown posse is more important than experience, knowledge, commitment, vision, intelligence and public support.

31 May 2010

Thought of the Memorial Day

From Chris Hedges great book, War is a Force that Gives us Meaning:

And yet despite all this, I am not a pacifist. I respect and admire the qualities of professional soldiers. Without the determination and leadership of soldiers like General Wesley K. Clark we might not have intervened in Kosovo or Bosnia. It was, in the end, a general, Ulysses S. Grant who saved the union.

Even as I detest the pestilence that is war and fear its deadly addiction, even as I see it lead states and groups toward self-immolation, even as I concede that it is war that has left millions dead and maimed across the planet, I, like most reporters in Sarajevo and Kosovo, desperately hoped for armed intervention.

The poison that is war does not free us from the ethics of responsibility. There are times when we must take this poison-- just as a person with cancer accepts chemotherapy to live. We cannot succumb to despair. Force is and I suspect always will be a part of the human condition. There are times when the force wielded by one immoral faction must be countered by a faction that, while never immoral, is perhaps less immoral.

25 May 2010

Seen at the OTR/Gateway Celebration, Pt. 2

43 seconds of Zumba:

24 May 2010

Seen at the OTR/Gateway Celebration

It started out sunny and hot but as the afternoon progressed the weather went through some mood changes, "like an indecisive woman" in the words of one reveler. But it was a good afternoon with good music and an eclectic crowd. The ubiquitous Dojo Gelato/Taste of Belgium duo was there. Cafe de Wheels and Senor Roy brought their trucks. Unfortunately, Cafe de Wheels ran out of food and shut down early and Senor Roy ran out of black beans, which I was willing to accept... then chicken, which was no matter since I wanted pork... but then he ran out of queso which is a deal-breaker for this hombre.

I suspect foul play at the keg.

This little girl saw my camera and suddenly came to life.

Kids being kids in the most dangerous place in America.

Love this snapshot-in-time of the new OTR.

These ladies and the fancy dog were quite a visage.

No ring... he's available!!

13 May 2010

When Pooh-Poohing Science is a Good Thing

Ladies and gentlemen, your scientific research quote of the day:

A prospective approach, using population-based cohort studies, is going to be necessary to characterize the impact of the gut bacterial community on cancer risk. Unfortunately, to date, few cohort studies include the collection of fecal samples. To quote Taro Gomi, author of several beloved children's books, “Everyone poops.” (9). In that regard, there is plenty of sample available, and as long as we establish sampling approaches that make it easy for participants to collect fecal aliquots and that preserve the microbial DNA and RNA in the fecal sample, we have the capacity to develop an invaluable resource.

An invaluable resource. Indeed, I have always described it as such.

11 May 2010

Japanese Butterflies at the Krohn

This year's theme is JAPAN and here are some of the Japanese butterflies you can see at the Krohn Conservatory until June 20th. I have to admit I've never given butterflies their due regard since learning about METAMORPHOSIS in 4th grade but after seeing these insects and thinking about butterflies all over again I have to say, butterflies are cool little things.