Old and new

January 27th, 2005 § Three comments § permalink

More rephotography: Chicago Then and Now.

Nothing new under the sun

January 21st, 2005 § Six comments § permalink

One of the sloppier papers I wrote as an undergraduate, which ostensibly examined Isaiah Berlin’s conception of free will, contained the following passage:

Sartre’s view is like that of the man who decides to prove the old adage, “No two snowflakes are alike.” With great enthusiasm, he travels to New York during a snowy winter and stands outside in the cold, catching as many flakes as he can on specially chilled microscope slides. At the end of a day’s work, he heads into his super-cooled lab with the slides, diligently cataloging and archiving each snowflake. He repeats this process every winter for twenty years.

This week, about five and a half years later, I learned of Wilson Bentley, who spent several decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries photographing New England’s snowflakes. A newspaper article from 1922 described his methods:

It is indeed a delicate task to “catch” one’s snowflake and get it in position to be photographed. Mr. Bentley has a tray consisting of a board painted black with wire handles on either end, on which he collects the flakes: this he carries carefully by the handles with mittened hands, in order to keep off all animal heat: and to keep his hands warm too, no doubt: into his cold, unheated workroom. With a splint of wood, he painstakingly picks up the snowflake and places it on the slide of his microscope, being particularly careful that it is unbroken and perfectly flat so that all parts reflect the light equally.

(Incidentally, Christie, if the title didn’t make you giggle, try thinking back to our college days and reading it out loud a couple of times.)

Lentil soup

January 9th, 2005 § One comment § permalink

For those of you who have complained about the lack of recipes lately, may I recommend the delicious lentil soup that I fixed a few evenings ago? It’s the tastiest non-Indian lentil dish that I’ve cooked.

My local market doesn’t carry porcini powder, so I just threw some dried porcini mushrooms in the coffee grinder. I imagine you could do the same with the fennel if you can only find the whole seeds.

“Okay,” I “will”

January 5th, 2005 § Comments off § permalink

I love my employer’s human resources department, mostly because a particular employee finds a way to demonstrate inappropriate workplace behavior every time I visit. When I dropped off my direct deposit form a few weeks ago, he made a lewd remark about a female coworker as he showed me into her cubicle. The other day, when I delivered my resignation letter, he was in the middle of a personal call behind the front desk, having a loud argument with his partner about a misunderstanding of some sort. When he got off the phone, talked to me, and discovered that I wasn’t certain what my last day would be, he proceeded to yell at me. Eventually, he realized that he was too worked up to be of any use and asked a colleague to help him out.

The other reason I love my employer’s human resources department is the sign that greets visitors:

“ STOP ”





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