Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Element of the Year: The Readers Speak!

As the great cycle of the Western calendar grinds to a close, it's time once again -- well, actually for the first time -- to select the Element of the Year!

It won't be an easy choice.  Over the last year we've explored twelve (12) extremely excellent elements, and since the two (2) from 2009 didn't really have a chance to be Element of the Year, it's only fair that they allowed to compete this year.  That makes a whopping fourteen (14) to choose from!
November 2009*: Ru -- Ruthenium
December 2009*: Be -- Beryllium
January: Ta -- Tantalum
February: Xe -- Xenon
March: Co -- Cobalt
April: Y -- Yttrium
May: W -- Tungsten
June: O -- Oxygen
July: Ag -- Silver
August: In -- Indium
September: Cl -- Chlorine (writeup by guest chemist Cait)
October: Pr -- Praseodymium
November: Ne -- Neon (writeup by guest chemist Cait)
December: Sb -- Antimony
Or to see 'em all at once, click here.

How will we decide?  Well: YOU, that's right YOU, gentle reader, may pick your first, second, and third favorites, and list them in the comments (either here, or on the Facebook rebroadcast, or what the hell, both). I'll count up the votes according to some wacko formula, and we'll have a winner!

So, VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ELEMENT NOW!!!

Your Wednesday Boring Postcard from Michael5000



MOFFIT COUNTY COURTHOUSE
CRAIG, COLORADO
County Seat of Moffat County, located on U.S. Hwy. 40 in northwestern Colorado.  Craig is the center of a large area of ranching, farming, oil and mining.


Provenance: Sent by L&TM5K regular Aviatrix, November 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Forgotten Lands: Tours de Sur

Tours de Sur

Capital: Tours de Sur
Population: 642,000 (2006 estimate)
Area: 54,000 km2
Independence: 1971

Economy: An export base of plantation agriculture drives Tours de Sur’s economy, with cotton and soybeans as the leading products. Light industries are well developed, with shoes being an especially important export to other South American countries. Tours de Sur enjoys a free trade zone status with Brazil, and there is growing support in both countries for the idea of a common currency.
Per Capita Income: US$12,320
Languages: Dialectical Spanish, Portuguese
Literacy Rate: 97%

When Pope Alexander VI arbitrarily divided the newly discovered Americas between Spain and Portugal, he shaped the destiny of an entire continent. What is less well known about the Treaty of Tordesillas, however, is that it called upon a third European power, France, to govern a buffer zone between the lands of the two Iberian crowns. The word “Tordesillas” is in fact merely a Spanish rendering of the name of the proposed French colony, Tours de Sur.

The long, narrow buffer colony envisioned by the Pope was obviously unworkable, and it is no surprise that it never materialized in the form that was originally intended. An erstwhile capital city was established in the Paraná Valley in the 1620s, but its governors never controlled much more than the area within 50 kilometers of the town – the same area that constitutes the country of Tours de Sur today.

What Tours de Sur lacks in size or geopolitical significance, it makes up for in bucolic charm. Tidy plantation landscapes unfold in geometric splendor across some of the best agricultural land in all of South America. In the plazas of the capital city and its outlying villages, workers gather in the warm semitropical evenings to dance to the local argutoi band and drink górta, a sweet spiced wine. Here, as everywhere on the continent, soccer is an almost spiritual force in daily life. At any time of night or day, one might hear from a nearby field a spirited discussion of the finer points of play being conducted in the local dialect, a linguistically promiscuous blend of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and an extinct indigenous tongue.



Flag: Never a focus of attention in Bourbon France, Tours de Sur was essentially forgotten in the French Revolution and has pursued a de facto path of political independence ever since. Perhaps a lack of any feeling of attachment to France allowed the pragmatic Suriens, as they call themselves, to continue using the flags already on hand after the loss all of other ties to their putative mother country. In any event, the national banner is identical to the French tricolor of red, white, and blue.

National Anthem: “Jewel of the Americas.”

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Canterbury Tales: The Rough Guide



The Knight’s Tale: A tough opening act, this is the longest tale and one of the dullest. It’s a very formal tale about two young cousins in love with the same woman, whom they’ve never met, but all the same they decide to fight to the death for her.  Apparently the basis of The Two Noble Kinsmen, which goes a long way to explaining why that play is seldom listed next to, say, Othello, Hamlet, and the Tempest. * *

The Miller’s Tale: Now we’re talking. A nice ribald tale of cuckoldry, people kissing each other in the wrong places, a rake getting “branded on the bum,” and an old humbug convinced that Noah’s flood has come again. Awesome. * * * *

The Reeve’s Tale: A pair of college boys from up North, insulted by a local tradesman, get revenge by nailing his wife and daughter while he is sleeping in the same room. Very naughty, and therefore also awesome. * * * *

The Cook’s Tale: Looks like it is going to be naughty, but turns out to exist only as a fragment. n/a

The Man of Law’s Tale: A Roman princess is married off to a Syrian sultan, who is killed with his entire court by his mother because he has converted to Christianity. The princess is set adrift on a boat and washes up in Northern England (!) where she converts the locals, is married to the duke, is elaborately framed by the duke’s jealous mother, is set adrift in the boat again.  She ends up back at Rome (!), where the duke, traveling to ask absolution from the Pope for killing his mom (in punishment for framing his wife) runs into her again, and they live happily ever after. The whole thing seems frankly a bit forced. * *

The Shipman’s Tale: Even though it is another cuckolding story, it isn’t very amusing. * *

The Prioress’ Tale: A quaint little folk story about a little boy who just can’t stop singing the praises of the Virgin Mary, even after he’s been murdered. Marred by virulent anti-Semitism. Open question: is Chaucer virulently anti-Semitic, or is he casting aspersions on Prioresses? Not rated.

Chaucer’s Own Tale: A rambling nonsense story that the host soon interrupts. Not rated.

The Monk’s Tale: Not a tale, but a collection of “tragedies,” vignettes about successful people who came to bad ends. Heaps of fun. Not. * *

The Nun’s Priest: Sex, vanity, and learned debate on the veracity of dreams. Among chickens. Funny! * * * *

The Physician’s Tale: A knight, a beautiful yet virtuous daughter, a corrupt judge, and comeuppance. Pretty good. * * *

The Pardoner’s Tale: The Pardoner cheerfully gloats about his own corruption, then, as an example of the pious rubbish he uses for sermons, tells a story about how three lads who conspire against each other all end up perishing. * * *

The Wife of Bath’s Tale: The Wife talks forever about her five late husbands, then finally gets to a tale about a knight condemned for rape who is given a chance to live if he can figure out, within one year, what it is that women really want. It’s difficult for me to work out Chaucer’s attitude towards the Wife – I’d be interesting in learning more about what people have thought about this – but her story itself is kind of a one-liner. * *

The Friar’s Tale – Brutally lampoons Summoners. * * *

The Summoner’s Tale – Brutally lampoons Friars, with fart jokes (which are however found in many of the other tales as well). The Friar and the Summoner don’t get along, see. * * *

The Clerk’s Tale – One of those stories where a man decides to test his gal’s loyalty, but in this one the testing is really taken to distasteful extremes. I mean, even the other pilgrims are a little appalled. * *

The Squire’s Tale – A Tatar king receives magical gifts from a mysterious envoy as the beginning of what seems to be shaping up as a multi-volume fantasy epic. The Franklin gets bored and butts in. Not rated.

The Franklin’s Tale – One of the genre of tales in which personal honor is taken to weird extremes. Essentially a knight’s wife tells a pursuer that she’ll sleep with him when hell freezes over, the pursuer contrives to freeze hell over, and the woman and her husband are all like “well, a deal’s a deal.” Whatever. * *

The Second Nun’s Tale – Pious but rather dull story of St. Cecilia converting Romans to Christianity. * *

The Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale – A jolly expose of alchemists and their sneaky tricks. * * *

The Manciple’s Tale – A tale of cuckoldry which, oddly, isn’t very jolly. Explains why the crow is black, and illustrates the rule that if you tell your buddy that his gal has been cheating on him, he’s not going to thank you for your trouble. * *

Alternative Opinions? Bring ‘em on!


Next on The Reading List: Crime and Punishment.  But I'm saving off starting it until a week or two into the new year.  And it might take a while.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forgotten Lands: Tin Te To

Tin Te To

Capital: Ashan’kur
Population: 1,285,000 (2008 estimate)
Area: 105,650 km2
Independence: 1998

Economy: A modest internal economy is dominated by housing and infrastructure construction, much of it financed through the international community. Highly specialized craft items, including ceremonial knives and swords, jewelry, tapestries, glassware, and exotic cultivated plants bring in a surprising volume of foreign exchange. Tin Te To’s exquisitely engraved postage stamps are highly sought after by collectors, providing a handsome supplement to the national treasury.
Per Capita Income: US$23,660
Languages: Tinitese
Literacy Rate: 88%

How long, O Gods, O how long, wondered the great Tinitese poet To Ko, will my people wander, without a home? This age-old longing of the Tinitese people finally found an answer in 1998, as the United Nations Committee on Homeland Restoration quietly established the new country of Tin Te To from land ceded by China, Russia, and Mongolia. Much of the political and civil effort in the new land has been directed towards developing basic infrastructure in the previously almost uninhabited national territory.

The choice of this region was more political – allowing the three countries affected to share the burden of resolving “The Tinitese Question” – than tied to any specific historical territory of the Tin Te. Indeed, little consensus exists as to where the historical territory of the Tin Te might actually be. An ancient, somewhat fragmented historical record places this “nation of craftsmen,” at various times, far enough to the west to submit to vassalage under the Holy Roman Emperor, and far enough east to have built a trading fleet that is thought to have plied the seas from Japan to as far south as modern Indonesia.

We know that some or all of the resident Tin Te were expelled from South Asia by the Moghuls, and there is some archeological evidence that the ancestors of the Tin Te may have traded with, or existed autonomously among, or perhaps been slaves to, both the Scythians and Pharaonic Egypt. Theories that the Tin Te were a “lost offshoot” of the Inca who had entered Eurasia through reverse migration across the Bering Strait, popular in the 1970s, have been rejected by most scholars as lacking credible evidence. Today, small Tin Te immigrant communities exist in cities all over the world; until the construction of Ashan’kur, the city with the largest Tin Te population was in fact Buenos Aires.


Flag: Tin Te To’s banner, which was unfurled for the first time in a special ceremony on the morning of January 1, 2000, is perhaps unique among flags in its generous use of gray. It is otherwise a conventional horizontal tricolor, with a center stripe of bright royal blue. The symbolism, if any, has not been publicly disclosed by the Tinitese government.

National Anthem: “Our Homeland New Forever.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Song of the American Road -- Let's Head Out to the Lake!

DREAMER'S PARADISE
Clear blue water, softly rolling mountains and the stage is set for a wonderful vacation in this Dextone Beauty Scene
GREETINGS FROM THE OZARKS



Tues A.M. -- Dear Sis - Well we're still fishing & having a swell time.  Don't know just when will be home.  We're going to call Paul to-morrow nite.  You tell Max & Dorie you got this.  Freddy is sending them one.  Love, Sis


Lake Claremore, Claremore, Okla.



Dear Folks; We have a cabin in Amarillo tonight.  Weather is cool & we are really enjoying the trip with Jim.  More later - Dollie




Storm on Lake Erie, Ripley, N. Y.



I will be back to work Monday, no more play for another year.  I am having a dandy time.  Melvin.


(c) Schlesinger Bros. 1914.



Dear Wife you can address me at Stearnsville I don't know whether I will go back there or not but if I do not I shall go to B.C.  Strike still unsettled but otherwise O.K.  Archie

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Your Sunday Boring Postcard from Michael5000



DEEP CREEK LAKE, LOCATED IN HALF MILE HIGH 
MTS., GARRETT COUNTY, MARYLAND.

Hand-written on back: "Oct. 12, 1952.  Sun."

Provenance: Unknown.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Reading List: "The Canterbury Tales"

The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer, 1388ish.

Holy cow, 1388ish! That’s a long, long time ago! Reading Chaucer lets you look back into the late Middle Ages, and discover that the people there are in many ways remarkably like people here. Some might find it depressing that here we are as a species still beating the same jokes to death. I personally find it kind of wonderful.

Now as you English majors know, Chaucer is far enough back that he doesn’t really speak our language. The line between Middle English and Modern English is not a clear and definite one, but it happens somewhere before Shakespeare, who is easily enough read by an educated adult, and somewhere after Chaucer. A modern Modern English reader can kind of pick out Chaucer in the original, but it’s tough. With a few unfamiliar characters glossed over, it looks something like this:

A YEMAN hadde he and servantz namo
At that tyme, for hym liste ride soo;
And he was clad in cote and hood of grene.
A sheef of pecok arwes, bright and kene
Under his belt he bar ful thriftily,
(Wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly:
Hise arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe)
And in his hand he baar a myghty bowe.
A not heed hadde he, with a broun visage,
Of woodecraft wel koude he al the usage.
Upon his arm he baar a gay bracer,
And by his syde a swerd and a bokeler,
And on that oother syde a gay daggere
Harneised wel and sharpe as point of spere.
A Cristopher on his brest of silver sheene.
An horn he bar, the bawdryk was of grene;
A forster was he, soothly, as I gesse.
Don’t forget to pronounce those final Es!

A Note on the Translation

I chose the 1952 translation by Nevill Coghill, for the simple reason that I have always wanted to read one specific book. It was on the shelf at home, as I was growing up, with the other “serious” reading material. I grabbed it many years ago when my parents thinned out their library, and have been packing it around ever since waiting for an excuse to read it. The inside cover is marked with my father’s name and address by a stamp I remember playing with as a child. Above that, there is a typed label with the address of the first house my parents owned, well before I was born. If you shine a light through the label you can see, in my mother’s unmistakable elegant handwriting, her maiden name, the college she attended, and the date “January 1957.” (She would be married by the end of spring term.)

Is this translation any good? Well, I obviously can’t weigh in on its accuracy, but it’s jaunty enough. It kept me reading through more than 500 pages of verse without complaining, and that’s a good thing. This translation has the added virtue of making short summaries of the two extended prose sections of The Canterbury Tales, which are apparently no fun at all and actually pretty stultifying.

Here’s how the portion quoted above comes out in Coghill.
There was a YEOMAN with him at his side,
No other servant; so he chose to ride.
This Yeoman wore a coat and hood of green,
And peacock-feathered arrows, bright and keen
And neatly sheathed, hung at his belt the while
For he could dress his gear in yeoman style,
His arrows never drooped their feathers low --
And in his hand he bore a mighty bow.
His head was like a nut, his face was brown.
He knew the whole of woodcraft up and down.
A saucy brace was on his arm to ward
It from the bow-string , and a shield and sword
Hung at one side, and at the other slipped
A jaunty dirk, spear-sharp and well-equipped.
A metal of St Christopher he wore
Of shining silver on his breast, and bore
A hunting-horn, well slung and burnished clean,
That dangled from a baldrick of bright green.
He was a proper forester I guess.
Of course, translation only gets you so far. What these descriptions really say about the characters is a little opaque to the non-specialist. Is using peacock feathers in your arrows a mark of pride? Flair? Folly? Or is it common practice? We dunno, so descriptive passages have lost a lot of their meaning and, I’ll bet, satiric bite.

Observations of a General Nature

In the same way that it’s interesting to realize that we still tell each other the same simple kinds of stories that people were telling six hundred years ago, it’s interesting – and perhaps a little disconcerting – to find that they were anticipating a lot of the ideas we think of as modish and clever. Chaucer is a clear practitioner of post-modernism, for instance, with his playful deconstruction of his own authorship. He is a first-person narrator, but is peripheral to the action; the central figure of the framing narrative is an innkeeper called “The Host.” At one point, he has characters talking about how much they like the poems of Chaucer. Yet when it comes time for Chaucer the character to tell his own story, he stinks it up and his story is halted by general consent.

The structure is kind of interesting, too. After the famous opening about how people like to go on religious pilgrimages in the spring, when the weather is so nice, Chaucer introduces all of the characters in a quick sketch (like the one for the Yeoman above). The Innkeeper where the pilgrims have gathered decides he’ll ride along with them, and give a free dinner to the person who tells the best story. The plan is, everybody will tell two stories outbound, and two more inbound.

Well, maybe it’s just as well that this didn’t work out, as that would be a whole hell of a lot of Canterbury Tales. As it is, not everyone even gets in their first tale, at least not in the surviving fragments. See, there’s no definitive manuscript of the Tales, so we have to make do with eight or so fragments, more or less guessing which order they go in. I don’t think Coghill’s ordering is the one considered most correctish these days, but it doesn’t really matter too much.

No matter how you slice them, the Tales are a bracing mixture of the sacred and the profane, a portrait of an intensely earthy society that was nevertheless accustomed to thinking on mystical planes. The text is saturated with Christianity, even while it makes brisk critique of the Church establishment, but pagan and classical mysticism is stirred in generously, with the Zodiac, alchemy, magic, and the Greco-Roman pantheon treated as common knowledge.

The pilgrims never make it to Canterbury. After a long sermon by the Parson, one of the prose bits that are left out in my copy, Chaucer makes a brief statement that he’s very sorry for all of the naughty bits and anything that might be irreligious, and bam! that’s it for The Canterbury Tales.

NEXT on the Reading List: The Canterbury Tales: Which Ones are Awesome?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Element of the Month: Antimony!

December's Element of the Month:
Antimony!

Sb
51

Atomic Mass: 121.67 amu
Melting Point: 630.63 °C
Boiling Point: 1587 °C

Antimony is a different word than “anatomy,” no matter what I thought when I was a kid, nor is it a force opposed to mony. It is, rather, a silvery metal like everything else. It’s a substance that has been put to human use for a long time, and in fact we’re told that antimony sulfide was used as much as 5000 years ago, although not by that name. The realization that it was an element would have to wait for 1783 (which is actually pretty early as these things go) when it was pegged as such by the immortal Anton van Swab. You know, of zinc fame.

It is a very soft metal, and the Wiki tells us that its use in Chinese coins in the 1930s was “unpopular because they would wear out fast,” which is certainly not how coins are supposed to work. Another drawback to the whole antimony coin concept is that antimony is toxic in much the same way that arsenic is, so that after extensive skin contact – if you are the sort to jingle your coins in your pocket, say – you might be liable to dermatitis, kidney and liver damage, violent vomiting, and death.

The Centerfold!


Oddly, antimony nevertheless has a few pharmaceutical uses, particularly in veterinary medicine. Its main uses, though, are in alloys with lead and as a fireproofing compound. Beyond that, it has a few incomprehensible uses – it’s a catalyst for making prolyethyleneterephthalate and a dopant for ultra-high conductivity n-type silicon wafers – and the usual array of fantastically esoteric ones, such as being good in the alloys they use to make organ pipes.

It’s medium rare, as elements go. Five times as common as silver, say. There is, furthermore, every reason to fear an antimony gap, as more than four-fifths of the world’s production comes from China. We may hope that continued peace among the world’s peoples will not restrict anyone’s access to prolyethyleneterephthalate or high-quality organ pipes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Your Wednesday Boring Postcard from Michael5000



HUSKY SERVICE STATION.
42 Miles From Hope on Trans Canada Highway


SHADY REST MOTEL and TRAILER PARK
Box 86 -- Boston Bar, B.C., Canada

Provenance: Unknown.


--------------------


EXTRA BORING POSTCARD OPPORTUNITY!!!  I got a shout-out from Margaret!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Forgotten Lands: Ste. Julia


Ste. Julia

Capital: Elizabethville
Population: 600,000 (1989 estimate; considered unreliable)
Area: 1,150 km2
Independence: 1888

Economy: Some plantation agriculture (sugar, mangos) and, probably much more importantly, extensive growing and processing of illegal drugs. Some subsistence farming in the interior. Heavily dependent on international aid and bulk food imports.
Per Capita Income: US$3,770
Languages: Ste. Julia Creole, English
Literacy Rate: 40%

It has been more than twenty years since Time magazine described this small Atlantic island nation as “the nightmare neighbor America wants to forget.” In the intervening years, America has indeed seemed to have succeeded in forgetting Ste. Julia, which has if anything slipped even further from media attention. Few now remember the happier times when Ste. Julia’s capital was a regular port of call for American tourists. It is striking and telling that today not a single scheduled flight links the city with nearby Miami, only 120 miles away.

But this is no wonder. These days, Elizabethville’s twisting avenues of rusting shacks are patrolled by the rival militias of local druglords, making a stroll through the neighborhoods too dangerous for anyone but the most streetwise locals. Nor does the barren, sun-blasted landscape offer anything resembling natural beauty or vacation fun. Even the one building in Ste. Julia of any architectural distinction, the decaying national palace, is tightly cordoned off by the army. “They protect it well,” a young man lounging outside of a cantina, one of the few downtown businesses open on a recent weekday, remarked to the author. “They have to, because it is the only territory they really control at all.” Appearing no more than 14 – he claimed to be 19 – this lad conspicuously sported both a machete and an AK-47.

Until the 1930s, Ste. Julia fared no worse than most poor island countries. However, its thin soil (not volcanic, as in the Caribbean, but more akin to Florida’s limestone plateau) proved unable to support the demands made of it from that time on. Ever poorer earth was asked to support an ever-greater population. Today, only the bare remnants of a formerly dominant commercial agriculture remain. The flat landscape has been badly deforested, leaving a scrubby, gullied landscape that provides little shade and virtually no forage for wild animals.

Since the 1970s, drug trafficking has defined life on the island, and citizens live in terror of continual blood feuds among the competing criminal organizations. It is cold comfort to consider that, without the profitable business in drugs, there might well be no way at all for Ste. Julia to feed itself at all.


Flag: A tall, serpent-like “Dragon of Ste. Julia,” the traditional symbol of the island, faces to the right on a trapezoidal field of white. Blue triangles to right and left, bordered by a thin stripe of gold, likely represent the surrounding Atlantic Ocean.

National Anthem: “Hope, Peace, and Freedom.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flag Friday XIX


Flag Friday is a periodic discussion of the world's national flags; the project is explained and indexed here.

These discussions are about graphic design, and perhaps about nationalism and national symbolism in general. They should not be taken as critical of the countries, ideals, cultures, or people that the flags represent.


Japan



Parsons: "A classic.  Simple, to the point."  He gives it an "A", 87/100.

Michael5000: Japan's flag is so simple, and such an elegant solution to the problem of making a recognizable symbol on a rectangle of fabric, that it's kind of astounding that nobody else got to it first.  I've read that the Japanese are rather conflicted about actually using their flag, with many having aversions to overt displays of nationalism.  That's fair.  But just as a flag, though?  Awesome.

Grade: A


the Vatican




Parsons: Bothered by a "bad shape," "hideous colours," and "graven images," he dismisses the Papal flag with a "D", 40/100.

Michael5000: Heavens, what is the Vatican doing here in the J's?  Parson files it under "H," for "Holy See," and I think I started to move it towards "V" but didn't follow through.  Whatever.  It's square and riddled with frimframery, and looks more like the flag of a city than of a real country.  But then...

Mercifully, it looks like some of the detail gets simplified down in real life:


Grade: D+


Jordan


Parsons: Feeling that it's "eyewatering," he assigns a "B", 70/100.

Michael5000: Of the family of similar flags among the Arab states, I think I like Jordan's best.  I haven't always been a fan of seven-sided stars, but in this case it helps the Jordanians stand out a bit among their like-bannered neighbors.

Grade: B+


Kazakhstan



Parsons: Parsons sees "bad colours" and a "corporate logo," and thinks it's "too busy," so he gives it a "D+", 45/100.

Michael5000: I've said it before and I'll say it again:
When you deviate from simple color fields, it is easy to get your flag design into real trouble. Look at Uganda, Dominica, Macedonia, or South Africa for great examples of ways to make a hash of it. Kazakhstan succeeded where so many others have failed by keeping the primary flag design element, color, under control. A fairly complex central design and the inward-side filigree characteristic of the "Stan" flags are rendered spare and elegant by their rendering in just two mature and memorable but unconventional colors. One of the best new flags in recent history. 
Grade: A


Kenya



Parsons: Disliking the "weapons," finding it "eye-watering," and judging it "too busy," Parson gives a "C", 55/100.

Michael5000: Kenya's flag rocks the pan-African colors, with a simple representation of indiginous Massai spears and shield in the foreground.  And if that's the way the Kenyans want to play it, that's their call.  If this flag had been suggested by a non-Kenyan, though, it would seem like an offensive casting of Africans as colorful tribal people chained to the pre-industrial past.  Personally, I'd like to see something more progressive from an African regional power.

Grade: B-

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Boring Postcard Damfest!!!



516 - NORRIS DAM SHOWING NORRIS LAKE DURING REGATTA

Norris Dam showing Norris Lake where sail boats and varied types of power boats competed in a series of races at the first regatta ever held on Norris Lake.



NORRIS DAM
Norris Dam State Park, Tennessee



SIE 16  Clywedog Reservoir



PICKWICK DAM


View from the bridge over Pickwick Dam on the Tenn. River looking towards the locks.  The Tenn. River Pulp and Paper Co. is visible in the background.



PICKWICK DAM


Pickwick Dam on the Tenn. River.  This view from down stream shows the locks and spillways.


Fishing Below Kentucky Dam

The waters below Kentucky Dam abound in Catfish for which the Tennessee River is famous.  Thousands of enthusiastic fishermen come to the waters of Kentucky Lake yearly, for such thrills as pictured here.