October 26th, 2009


Schott's Miscellany 24 October 2009

William Lassell discovered two moons of Uranus, Ariel and Umbriel (1851)


The State of the Union (SOTU) address is presented before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber. It is in fulfillment of Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that "the President shall from time to time give to Congress information on the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he [sic] shall judge necessary and expedient." From 1790 to 1934, the address was called the Annual Message.

Longest address: Truman, 1946, >25,000 words
Shortest address: Washington, 1790, 833 words
Average length: 19th century: c.10,000 words; late 20th century: c.5000 words
First broadcasts: radio: Coolidge, 1923; TV: Truman, 1947; web: G.W. Bush, 2002

By tradition, one member of the cabinet does not attend the address, in case a disaster in the Capitol kills or incapacitates the line of succession. In response to 9/11, two Senators and two Representatives also absent themselves. [Office of the Clerk of the House; Congressional Research Service]

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
  • Current Music
    "I Will Not Go Quietly" by Don Henley

Schott's Miscellany 25 October 2009

Henry V defeated the French at the battle of Agincourt (1415)


Extracted from A Dictionary of Etiquette: A Guide to Polite Usage for All Social Functions by Walter Cox Green, 1904

APPLES--should be pared, cut into small pieces, and eaten with forks.

ARTICHOKES--are eaten with the fingers, taking off leaf by leaf and dipping it into the sauce. The solid portion is broken up and eaten with a fork.

ASPARAGUS--The stalks may be taken between the finger and the thumb, if they are not too long, or the green end may be cut off and eaten with a fork, scraping off with the knife what is desired from the remaining part.

BANANAS--The skin should be cut off with a knife, peeling from teh top down, while holding it in the hand. Small pieces should be cut off and taken in the fingers, or they may be cut up and eaten with a fork.

The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
  • Current Music
    "Absolutely Sweet Marie" by George Harrison

my black belt

When I was at the parents' place today, girasole had the Infomancer take a picture of my shiny new black belt. It came out with more blue in it thanks to the flash, but here it is:

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Yesterday was a very very good day. I got my black belt, the Yankees won the pennant, and I got to celebrate both with the people I love most, including a celebratory dinner at V&T's, a pizzeria across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam and 111th that's been around since 1945. girasole first discovered the place when she was a grad school student at Columbia University in 1972, and we've been going there somewhat regularly ever since.

And as I type this, I have a cat in my lap. *smile* Life is good....
  • Current Music
    "Saguaro" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

some entertaining links....

  • Current Music
    "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple