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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Stigmatized dialects

Mountain Talk, N.C. State University The Queen Family, N.C. State University When I reflect on my long relationship with language, it seems odd to me that the schools in these parts never (or at least used to didn’t) actually tell children that they’ve grown up speaking a stigmatized dialect, and that if they want to […]

Sony strikes back

It is so exciting to see competition and innovation in the market for electronic readers. Sony has revealed a new Reader — its third model in the evolution of the Sony Reader. That should keep the Amazon Kindle developers on their toes. Sony’s new reader includes the feature that put the Kindle miles ahead of […]

A new model of climate change

100 years from now: Model predicts redder areas will warm the most. 100 years from now: Model predicts bluer areas will get more precipitation. First of all, I think it’s good to maintain a healthy skepticism about computer models of climate change far into the future. With a model of a system as complex as […]

How you used to get your news…

My previous post about the death of Fred Fragler, who hired me for my first job, got me all sentimental about analog communications technology. I mentioned the Associated Press Teletype machines and how it was the job of a newspaper copy boy to look after them. The Winston-Salem Journal had about, oh, eight of them. […]

Seems like just yesterday…

Fred Flagler is in the far left foreground, June 1969. — Digital Forsyth, Frank Jones collection That’s me on the far left. I recognize almost everyone in this photo. That’s Arlene Edwards in the chair in the right foreground, and Wallace Carroll in the chair to Arlene’s left. — Digital Forsyth, Frank Jones collection. The […]

Homegrown tomatoes on the honor system

While exploring a bit this morning on the other side of Madison, I came across this unattended self-service tomato stand — weigh them yourself and leave the money in the box. I came away with three pounds of tomatoes and some photos. I wish there were places like this closer to me.

Fresh Apple Misdemeanor

I have been reading Robin Hobb‘s fantasy novel “Assassin’s Apprentice.” In the book, some characters were eating hot apple pastries and remarking on how good they were. I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind, and I just happened to have a few apples. The problem is: How might I whomp up something that […]

What's up with the sun?

Pieter Bruegel, 1565, during the Little Ice Age Turf houses in Iceland It is not commonly understood that the output of the sun goes through cycles. I, nerd that I am, didn’t appreciate this until I got my ham radio license and learned about the 11-year solar cycles that affect the propagation of high-frequency (1.8 […]

Has U.S. life expectancy peaked?

Life expectancy in the United States is at an all-time high. But like the stock market, it’s starting to look a little toppy. Life expectancy has started to decline in some parts of the United States, particularly rural areas and parts of the South. According to LifeScience: “Though the United States has by far the […]

Egg report

I got a second egg this morning, so I fried them both for lunch today. The shells were much thicker and harder than any grocery store egg I’ve ever had. The yolks stood up so nicely that it makes one realize that commercial eggs are never truly fresh. The yolks were that dark gold color […]