The new black

ITEM: CNN political analyst Jeff Greenfield compares Barack Obama with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because both men have been known to wear a jacket without a tie. (Video here.) Greenfield is respected as a sophisticated, serious analyst (just ask him), so I figured I should try my hand at some Greenfield-style analysis: Here's a picture [Read More...]

Game Day

Here's New Orleans native and Philadelphia Daily News sports writer Bernard Fernandez on the subject of what's at stake in tonight's NFL playoff game between the Saints and the Eagles: I am here to chronicle Saturday's NFC divisional playoff matchup of the Eagles and New Orleans Saints, in the refurbished Superdome, but I know, better [Read More...]

Those who can teach

Because the teaching anecdotes in the comments to the Left Behind post below deserve their own thread, a story. I landed an internship after college graduation, but it didn't start until August. So I spent May and June substitute teaching in the middle school of my alma mater. My mother, a 40-year veteran of the [Read More...]


This bit from The Daily Show got me thinking about the way we measure presidential greatness. The top tier of great presidents is reserved for those who saved the union: Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Without the leadership each of those men provided in turn, we wouldn't still have a country. Part of what that means [Read More...]

Only a game (cont’d.)

Pittsburgh commenter JRoth supplies the ballpark figure for that city's economic boost from the Steelers' Super Bowl win: $25 million. And that's without any home games in the playoffs. So in addition to the morale boost home teams can provide — the civic pride and unity — home towns also have an economic stake in [Read More...]

Only a game

This is a bit of a dilemma. The Philadelphia Eagles won their first-round NFL playoff game yesterday, beating the New York Giants 23-20. So far so good. Now they advance to the second round. Also good. That means the Eagles will be heading to New Orleans to take on the Saints on Saturday night. And [Read More...]

ISO Magellan anecdotes

Yeah, that's right, this guy. Mr. Circumnavigation. Friend of mine's daughter has a class project due (Friday) so I figured I'd appeal to the hive-mind for the kind of winning, teacher-impressing anecdotes she won't find from Encarta or the World Book Encyclopedia. The Web being what it is, some Ph.D. candidate midway through her thesis [Read More...]


Before there was TBogg or The Poor Man or Sadly, No! or World O' Crap, there was Philip Freneau, who was born 255 years ago today. Freneau will forever appear in anthologies of American Literature since, let's be honest, the 18th-century pickings are kind of slim. Those anthologies will reproduce "The Wild Honey-Suckle" and "On [Read More...]