March 29th, 2009


Schott's Miscellany 27 March 2009

Fingerprint evidence was used for the first time in Britain to convict a killer (1905)


The history of the US flag is steeped in myth and dispute. However, no one disputes the resolution passed by the Marine Committee of the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia (June 14, 1777) that reads: "That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." The 1777 flag was used until 1795, when two more stars and stripes were added for the admission of Vermont and Kentucky. To avoid excess clutter, Congress decreed in 1818 the flag should have 13 stripes, and that new admissions should be recognized with a star. The 50-star flag was first raised at 12:01 AM on July 4, 1960, at Fort McHenry National Monument, when Hawaii joined the Union.

Guidelines for bureaucrats: (1) When in charge, ponder. (2) When in trouble, delegate. (3) When in doubt, mumble.
James H. Boren (1925-)
  • Current Music
    "Done with Bonaparte" by Mark Knopfler

Schott's Miscellany 28 March 2009

The film Rocky, written by Sylvester Stallone, won the Oscar for Best Picture (1976)


Curiously, while the US Code recommends that worn-out US flags be destroyed by fire, the burning of the Stars and Stripes remains controversial and legally ambiguous. Although 43 states have laws that protect the flag (and Congress passed the 1989 Flag Protection Act), since 1969 the Supreme Court has twice narrowly ruled that flag desecration is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment: "We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents." A number of attempts have been made to amend the Constitution to protect the flag. In June 2006 the Senate failed by 1 vote to achieve the two-thirds majority to send an amendment to the individual states for ratification; a CNN poll in the same month showed that 56 percent favored some Constitutional protection of the Stars and Stripes.

The noblest of all dogs is the hot-dog; it feeds the hand that bites it.
Laurence J. Peter (1919-90)
  • Current Music
    "Atlantic City" by Bruce Springsteen
rex, rome, primeval

our crack is back!

Got home from PA tonight and watched the first episode of Primeval's third season with terri_osborne. It was wonderful, as crack-tastic as ever. Lester remains magnificently snotty, Jenny remains amazing, Connor and Abby remain adorable, and Cutter remains a mess. The new person, Dr. Paige, looks to be a perfect addition (I must confess to finding Stephen boring as shit, and I don't miss him a bit), and it's nice to see that Helen is still being evil.

Yay, Primeval!
  • Current Music
    "Blind Willie McTell" by The Band