Thursday, March 31, 2011

Your Thursday Boring Postcard from Michael5000


Broadway entrance to the OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1230 S.W. Park Avenue, Portland, 97205.  Regional Research Center -- Library, Museum and Press.  Constructed with private gifts, 1966.  Open to all.


Provenance: Gift of Mrs.5000, Christmas 2010.

March Madness: THE NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!

Well, it's been a month of thrilling victories and agonizing defeats on the long road from from the regional openers through the sweet sixteen and the final four to our final matchup between upstart 47th state New Mexico and old-school colonial Maryland; between the fifth-largest state in the union and the state with the fifth largest population density.



And for this round only, I'll do something I haven't done in all the rest of the tournament. I'll vote myself.


So here's my vote for the best flag of the U.S. States and Territories!

South Carolina

Unfortunately, all y'all didn't even let it into the Elite Eight, so I guess I'll do like everybody else and cast my vote from the choices I have available.

Maryland!

But that's just my vote!

So, with no further ado....

the winner of the March Madness U.S. States and Territories Flag Tournament is......
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New Mexico defeats Maryland, 21 - 13!!!




Congratulations to the good folks of New Mexico and thanks to everybody who played along with my goofy little project.  Here's one last look at the bracket.  Hope you had a great March!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Wednesday Quiz wouldst be great

It's:


The new weekly game of knowledge, intuition, inductive reasoning, and willingness to risk public embarrassment in a friendly and moderately supportive environment!!

Answers come out Fridayish.

1. Who is the character who quoth:
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it.
2. What German company puts this logo on its vehicles?



3. You might think his biggest hit was "If I had a Boat," but the truth is he's never really had a "hit" single per se. His career has been interrupted when he was gored by a bull, and he used to be Mr. Julia Roberts. Who is the man with the large band?

4. This blue mineral's popularity is pretty enduring; it has been mined in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan for more than 6000 years.

5. Sometimes this term is thought to just mean any kind of fat, but it is actually "a broad group of naturally occurring molecules which includes waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins, monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and others."

6. Name the countries! Indicating which is which! Chop chop!



7. "Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination." Yet, "he is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived." Who is this fiendishly clever dude?

8. It's the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has j's in its name!

9. Who is the painter who is famous and considered important, despite that this sort of thing is typical of his work?



10. He survived two assassination attempts in 1918, but his health never recovered and, after a series of strokes, he died, apparently with grim misgivings about his successor, in 1924. We refer of course to _________.


Put your answers in the comments on your pony on your boat.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Song of the American Road, pt. 14

INTERNATIONAL PEACE ARCH
Blaine, Washington


Border of Canada and United States "Children of a Common Mother".  This symbol of enduring unity, the 67-foot Peace Arch, represents the undefended boundary between two friendly nations and their people.




Thanks for the delicious fish dinner.


Maple Falls - Wed.


Dear Kilroys: Arrived this a.m. - found the note.  Sorry I pulled the drapes together so closely.  It was lovely to see you again, and tho have Frances and Kay out, too.  I'm sure Kay's eye will be O.K. - but it takes time.  Another carpenter came today to look over the repairs we'd like done in the bedroom.  He, too, is busy.  Chas. came out in time for lunch.  Love, Lela - Al.  Will write more later.




Laughing Whitefish Falls in Alger County, Michigan's Upper Peninsula


These falls descend 80 feet and literally slide down a 100-foot incline over myriads of little rippling steps.  Easily reached -- located 3 1/2 miles northwesterly from the junction of US-41 and Trenary Corner.  Courtesy of Michigan Tourist Council.




Sat, July 25, 1959


Hi!  Seen the shrine at Indian River, the Mackinaw Bridge.  Now visiting the upper Peninsula.  Enjoying the beautiful sceneries along the way.  Sophie.




INDIAN MUSEUM -- The artifacts here have been gathered from several states.  Note the paintings, the arrowheads and the many articles used by different tribes of Indians.






9-3-87  Hi: Be sure & read mothers' card & show her yours.  Got a perm last Tuesday - needed it for Nova Scotia trip.  We leave the 11th.  Got my suitcase down today - nothing in it for a few days.  We've heard it is cold up there.  I guess for about a week weather has been so nice & cool, haven't had a/c on.  Have fan on today though.  I got 125 pills from clinic for trip so won't run out like I did at Colo & Wichita.  Love, Esther.






THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, D.C.




Hello there Pal how are you getting along with me [sic] I miss you & don't think I don't mean it.  I haven't called Kermit yet will do so in the morning.  did you have any rain?  it rained all the way on Monday its nice here a little cloudy today & cool.  don't do anything bad.  Your friend Elisabeth

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Madness: The National Championship Match

It's been a month of flaggy heartbreak as the field of 56 flags of U.S. States and Territories has gradually been winnowed down to two. And today, they go head to head.

Our contestants for the national title are 1) New Mexico, which took out Ohio easily in the semi-final matchup, 20-5.  2) Maryland, which survived a tough fight against Tennessee to come out on top, 14-11.

They're bright!  They're vivid!  And they're going to the mat.  Votes will be counted at 6 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 30.




New Mexico




Maryland


Place your votes in the comments!









Sunday, March 27, 2011

Your Sunday Boring Postcard from Michael5000



BIRNEY'S RESTAURANT
In The Fine Motel Area of Port Angeles; six blocks from city center on U.S. 101.  Always open.  Sumptuous Food.  Private dining rooms.  Banquet Facilities to 165.  Orders to go.  Plenty of parking.  Visit the Chart Room.  Reservations appreciated, Telephone 457-4411
Your Owner Hosts: Frieda and Birney Higgerson

Provenance: Sent by L&TM5K Ambassador to Mexico Heatherbee, March 2010.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Element of the Month: Boron!

March's Element of the Month:
Boron!

B
5

Atomic Mass: 10.811 amu
Melting Point: 2076 °C
Boiling Point: 3927 °C

I was all excited to talk about how Boron is one of the only elements that you can buy at your local supermarket, and also about Death Valley and mule teams and all that business, but it turns out I was confusing Boron with borax. That wasn’t crazy of me, as both are five-letter words that start with “bor.” Moreover, borax is a compound of boron and sodium. But, as we students of chemistry know, once you mix an element with other elements, it’s just not the same anymore.

Not only can you not find pure Boron in the supermarket, you can't even find it in all of nature, and it’s apparently pretty damn difficult to isolate in the lab. The guys who determined that it was an element in 1808 and 1809 were only able to produce about “50% pure” Boron, whatever that means, and a way of really isolating the stuff wasn’t hammered out until several years into the 20th Century. Also, although you always expect the elements with the little tiny elemental numbers to be common as dirt, Boron is actually quite rare. The Mohave Desert and Death Valley deposits and some areas in Turkey are about the only places to find Boron compounds in volume. So getting the pure stuff at the supermarket?  Not going to happen.

The Centerfold!



The main traditional use of Boron is in the manufacture of such products as – ha! If you were paying attention, you realize that there can’t be a traditional use of Boron. Gold star to you. The rest of you: Remember, pure Boron doesn’t appear in nature! Hang your heads in shame.

The primary traditional use of Boron compounds is in the laundry, where they are an ingredient in various formulas of detergent and bleach. They’re also used for ceramic glazes, fiberglass insulation, and “Borosilicate glass,” which is Pyrex to you and me. Newfangled uses have come along, of course, and various Boron compounds are used in micromachinery, in bulletproof vests, in a plethora of industrial processes (of course), and as a dodgy but common food additive in a number of Southeast Asian countries. Boric acid has been in the news recently for its neutron-capturing tendencies; if you’ve got exposed radioactive material on your hands, you can do worse than to get some Boron on it. Hopefully this won't be an issue for you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Thursday Boring Postcard from Michael5000


LUPINE IN BIG MEADOW
From late June to early August, a colorful variety of wild-flowers bloom to enhance the high meadows of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.


Provenance: Gift of Mrs.5000, Christmas 2010.

March Madness: National Semifinals

March Madness: National Semifinals


The Rules: For each of the pairs of flags pitted against each other, indicate your favorite.  Explication, derision, and/or analysis will not affect the scoring, but is nevertheless encouraged.  Each winner will advance to the Final.



North and West Finals Voting Deadline: 9 a.m. PDT, Sunday, March 27.




North Champion vs. West Champion



Ohio vs. New Mexico

Ohio

New Mexico



East Champion vs. South Champion



Maryland vs. Tennessee

Maryland



Tennessee

Make your votes in the comments.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Final Four Verbiage!

...and then there were four, as the 2011 tournament winds down to its final few games.  Upsets abounded in the regional finals, all of which were highly competitive among L&TM5K voters but decided but near unanimity among Vexillophiliacs.  The only #1 seed still standing is Maryland, which knocked down the District of Columbia 17-10; Maryland will take on #5 seed Tennessee, which upset #2 Puerto Rico by the same score.

In both the North and West, #1 seeds fell to #2, with New Mexico besting Alaska 18-8 and Ohio topping Wyoming 17-9.  Tennessee is the only fly still flying, however, which was playing on opening day; New Mexico, Ohio, and Maryland all entered the tournament with a bye-week.

The Wednesday Quiz gets bathymetric without warning

It's:


The new weekly game of knowledge, intuition, inductive reasoning, and willingness to risk public embarrassment in a friendly and moderately supportive environment!!

Answers come out Fridayish.


1. Living from 1561 to 1626, he was a "English statesman, essayist, and philosopher, one of the great precursors of the tradition of British empiricism and of belief in the importance of scientific method." Who is he?

2. What language is this?


3. If you enjoyed Death in Venice, perhaps you would enjoy Thomas Mann's sprawling 1901 novel chronicling the decline of a German merchant family over four generations!

4. Here's a map of the ______________.



5. A thinly-disguised New York, it was the home of aging oddball triplets in a 2003 animated feature film.

6. One of the states of the German federation, it is probably best known to English speakers by a gate in Berlin and some concertos by Bach.

7. What country's largest city, Yangon, sits on the Irriwady Delta? (The country you may know by a new and fairly bogus name; Yangon you may know by an old name.)

8. Wouldn't you think a hotel this big could find space for more than 202 rooms? Now only the second-tallest hotel in the world, it is perhaps more distinctive than it is efficient. Its name?



9. What actor could have been a contender, offered justice as a gift on his wedding day, and was driven mad by the horror?

10. His real name was Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, and his greatest hits were probably "Primavera," "Venus and Mars," and especially "The Birth of Venus."  Who is this painter dude?

---

The tie-breaker: There are a bunch of classical composers whose last names begin with this week's letter. List as many as you can think of.


Put your answers in the comments in the best tradition of British empiricism.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March Madness: North and West Finals!!!

March Madness: North and West Finals!!!


The Rules: For each of the pairs of flags pitted against each other, indicate your favorite.  Explication, derision, and/or analysis will not affect the scoring, but is nevertheless encouraged.  Each winner will advance to the Final.



North and West Finals Voting Deadline: 9 p.m. PDT, TOMMOROW, Wednesday, March 23.
South and East Finals Voting Deadline: 9 p.m. PDT, TODAY Tuesday, March 22.




North Final



Wyoming vs. Ohio 

Wyoming

Ohio


West Final



Alaska vs. New Mexico

Alaska

New Mexico

Make your votes in the comments.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March Madness: South and East Finals!!!

March Madness: South and East Finals!!!



The Rules: For each of the pairs of flags pitted against each other, indicate your favorite.  Explication, derision, and/or analysis will not affect the scoring, but is nevertheless encouraged.  Each winner will advance to the Final Four.

South and East Finals Voting Deadline: 9 p.m. PDT, TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 22.




East Final



Maryland vs. District of Columbia

Maryland

District of Columbia


South Final


Tennessee vs. Puerto Rico

Tennessee


Puerto Rico

Make your votes in the comments.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness Semifinal Results!

East

#1 Maryland 19, #4 Massachusetts 5
#3 D.C. 18, #2 Rhode Island 6

South

#5 Tennessee 13, #1 South Carolina 11 (Upset!!)
#2 Puerto Rico 19, #3 Texas 5

North

#1 Wyoming 19, #5 Iowa 7
#2 Ohio 15, #3 Indiana 11

West

#1 Alaska 16, #4 Hawaii 10
#2 New Mexico 20, #3 Arizona 5

Your Sunday Boring Postcard from Michael5000


HEIDI'S SWISS VILLAGE
Designed for family enjoyment, Heidi's Swiss Village is only 20 miles east of Portland on the Mt. Hood Freeway (Hwy 26).  Swiss Chalet Decor is used throughout in the restaurant on the left, Clock shop in center and the Edelweiss Gift shop on the right.  children enjoy riding the Swiss Village train.


For reservations write Rt. 1, Box 9000, Boring, Oregon 97009 or call 663-3444.



July 37 [sic], 1975  Dearest Bob -- This is where we ordered the wedding cake this morning.  I think you'll like it.  Also ordered a terrific kind of mint.  The cake is 4 layers.  I love you!  5 weeks from today.  Love, Nancy.

Provenance: Gift of occasional L&TM5K commenter SisterJen, Christmas 2010.


A Boring postcard from Boring, Oregon, also featuring Heidi's Swiss Village, was last seen in these pages back in January 2008.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March Madness: North and West Semifinals

March Madness: North and West Semifinals!!!


The Rules: For each of the pairs of flags pitted against each other, indicate your favorite.  Explication, derision, and/or analysis will not affect the scoring, but is nevertheless encouraged.  Each winner will advance to the Sweet Sixteen.



North and West Semifinals Voting Deadline: 9 p.m. PDT, Sunday, March 20.
South and East Semifinals Voting Deadline: 9 p.m. PDT, Saturday, March 19.




North



Wyoming vs. Iowa

Wyoming

Iowa




Indiana vs. Ohio

Indiana

Ohio


West



Alaska vs. Hawaii

Alaska

Hawaii



Arizona vs. New Mexico

Arizona

New Mexico

Make your votes in the comments.