Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things We Couldn't Help Noticing
  • Our Favorite Headline of the Week. From the Chronicle of Higher Ed: Bonk if You Want to Take This Course.
  • The First Cleveland Browns. A new entry in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, an essential reference tool for any curious & educated Clevelander, notes that the second Cleveland Negro League baseball team was named the Cleveland Browns. Formed in 1924, it predates the football team of the same name by about two decades. Add that to the long list of things I never knew.
  • Advice on Your Clunker. The new federal "cash for clunkers" law seeks to encourage Americans to trade in their faded jalopies for newer, more environmentally-friendly models. But how to know if your car qualifies? This nice tool on the car-centric Edmunds website will help you find out.
  • The First Photo Ever Taken in Canada...A haunting image of Niagra Falls, taken 170 years ago.
  • Guide to a Fun & Unusual Family Outing. Sandy Mitchell, the Cleveland guide, points to this online directory of places throughout the region where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Not a bad idea for the dog days of summer. Three years ago, I wrote about her and here.
  • A Chick Flick that Even Men Will (Okay, May) Like. I saw the new tear-jerker movie, My Sister's Keeper, over the weekend, and it's actually surprisingly good. Guys don't generally go in for this sort of thing (it's based on a book by Jodi Picoult, whose female-centric emotional yarns haven't exactly cried out to be read in my Darwinian book pile). The Washington Post recently got off a great line about her work, referring to it as "ovarian Gothic."
  • And Finally...Is the economy leaving you bummed out? Not to worry. This piece from Mental Floss notes that even personal bankruptcy didn't stop seven high achievers. So why let slower cash flow keep you from enjoying the summer? Find some free or low-cost things to do, someone (or a few someones) you love to do them with, and get on with it. But do let us in on what those favorite things might be.


At 3:28 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Your younger readers may be unaware, as apparently were you, that the uncapitalized use of "negro" is a significant faux pas. There was a struggle of 100+ years by African Americans to have the word capitalized by media, government, and the general public.

Rather than detail that history here, I would instead commend to your readers a book I intend to finish today. David Shipler's "A Country of Strangers", [1998 or so] is a thoughtful and comprehensive catalog of how how black and white Americans struggle so often misperceive and misunderstand each other. The book, though lengthy @ 500+ pages, is so full of anecdotes as to be fairly easy to get through while extraordinarily illuminating.

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous jase said...

"Bonk" is also a faux pas as used. The term is commonly used to describe "hitting the wall" in endurance sports. Not something you'd want to happen while "Boinking"

At 10:02 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks for the education, Richard. And actually, Negro Leagues ought to be capitalized anyway simply because it's a proper noun--the name of an actual historical league. But you're making a larger point. I've debated at some length over some time with our friend Mansfield Frazier about the capitalization of the word black when used to describe a race. He had much the same reaction as you do about the earlier word.

And Jase, thanks for educating me on that alternate slang meaning of "bonk." But I'm afraid for millions of us lascivious Baby Boomer males, that word can have only one transcendent meaning. Now that you mention it, though, of course it's boink that we really are thinking of.

Anyway, I feel blessed to have such hypervigilant and attentive readers. Thanks again.

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Vince O'Keefe said...

John, thanks so much for pointing out the picture of Niagara Falls. I was born and raised on the American side, and I love finding old pics of the Falls. In fact, whenever I happen to be in an antique shop, I like to look for anything Falls-related. There are almost always some great postcards from the early 1900's. (Just found some in Blissfield, Michigan last month.)

At 11:27 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Vince, great to see your name here again. We're way overdue to catch up. I was quite struck by that photo too, and also by the fact that it was only in this semi-obscure Canadian publication, Walrus. I would think a photo such as this, of such an iconic place that resonates with just about everyone, would be plastered all over the place. But somehow it isn't. So anyway, I was thrilled to come across it and share it with everyone.

How goes your writing and parenting, Vince?

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Vincent O'Keefe said...


Sorry for the delay in responding to your question about my writing and parenting.

My writing is going well, though I am sad to see the end of Northern Ohio Live, for whom I've been writing essays. I have begun working on a parenting memoir that I'm excited about, and I continue writing short pieces here and there. (A recent piece appeared as a guest essay on the Washington Post parenting blog.)

As for my at-home parenting, summer can often be a challenging season, but my daughters (age 9 and 6 now) are doing well.

Thanks for asking,


At 12:40 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Vince, no need to apologize. I know how summer gets in houses with kids. And I love how you've let slip through a giant headline, as if it were but a trifle. A serious congrats on the WaPo blog essay. If I don't find that quickly via a search, I'll ask you to please send along the link to me, so I can read and post it. Congratulations, Vince.


Post a Comment

<< Home