Everything Is More Complicated in New Orleans

When the ‘blackface’ controversy started I immediately thought of Zulu, probably the only place a person my age would have been likely to see actual people in blackface.  I always understood it to be a parody of a parody.  I do have mixed feelings here.  If someone is offended, I don’t think it should be ignored.  Of course, ultimately people offended by this spectacle can just not go to Zulu.

From the New York Times:

A Black Group Says Mardi Gras Blackface Honors Tradition. Others Call It ‘Disgusting.’



Harvey Cragon (1928 – 2018)

Got word that one of my old committee members at UT, Harvey Cragon, had passed away recently (obit).  He was a tough old guy who built some of Texas Instruments supercomputers like the Advanced Scientific Computer back in the 1960s and 1970s.  It was a pleasure to know and work under someone with his background and understanding of computer architecture.  In particular, he made some recommendations for my work that I disagreed with and tried to ignore.  He eventually insisted I pursure some of these ideas, and it ended up being one of the strongest pieces of what I did (and yes, I did tell him he was right and I was wrong, but of course, he already knew that).


One of these guys has been hanging around our neighborhood for a long time.  Now there are two.  Snapped this with my phone while walking out to the car.  Had to zoom in a bit.  Maybe we will have some baby hawks soon.



The Battle for Venezuela

Still trying to get a handle on what is happening in Venezuela.  Many people will take away the lesson that leftist politics is a failure, except that it worked very well, especially for the poor.  All it needed was high oil prices.  I suppose any system can paper over problems when cash is gushing in.  My take:. Left or right or center, let the voters decide.  And then let them decide again in a few years.  I worry that this is all just subverting our greatest principle, Democracy.  A good article from the London Review of Books that has most of the actual facts I have been trying to find in the US press.

The Battle for Venezuela

Tony Wood

Spanish Timezones

Been busy lately.  And had this on and off cold, which seems to be back on.  Ran across this story about siestas but the bit about time zones was even more unusual.

Siesta no more? Why Spanish sleeping habits are under strain

“The other factor that affects Spaniards’ sleeping habits is that the country is in the wrong time zone. Geographically, Spain should be on Greenwich Mean Time, but in 1942 the fascist dictator Francisco Franco switched the nation to European Central Time in solidarity with Adolf Hitler. Perhaps bizarrely, until recently there haven’t been any moves to change it back.”

Maybe She Likes to Grill

Ariana Grande’s New Kanji Tattoo Is An Unfortunate Mistake

To celebrate her newest single “7 Rings,” pop star Ariana Grande got a kanji tattoo. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Grande posted a photo of her tattoo. In Japanese, it reads, 七輪 (shichirin). You can see the pic photo (via Grande’s official Japanese Twitter), which has since been deleted from her Instagram.

The kanji character 七 means “seven,” while 輪 means “hoop,” “circle,” “ring,” or “wheel.” However, when you put them together, the meaning is different! 七輪 (shichirin) is a “small charcoal grill” and not “seven rings,” which is written differently in Japanese.