Largely forgotten, the burning of Washington 200 years ago

Wow.  It occurred to me that today is the 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington, D.C. by a British invasion force.  I am struck by how such a historic event has largely been forgotten.

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So… about that whole Syrio Forel thing

OK I have been avoiding talking about Syrio Forel, because it is one of those ASOIAF/GoT topics that just brings out the crazy in so many people.  There are a lot of fan theories about things that may or may not be going on in the books and show.  And there are all sorts of theories about Syrio, mostly about him still being alive, and many of those being about he and Jaqen H’Ghar being the same person.

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Missing characters in ASOIAF/GoT

While writing about Jaqen H’Ghar and Syrio Forel the other day, it occurred to me that there are a number of characters whose fate is uncertain.  Of course, Syrio Forel is one of the most famous and most popular, but there are definitely a few others I have been thinking about.

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Today’s Craigslist Horror

Regular readers will know that I use the Free section on Craigslist to amuse myself.  As today is a sort of vacation day for me, I popped over there just now to see if there was anything funny worth tweeting.  I found something absolutely totally and completely NOT worth tweeting.  It was so awful, especially in light of all of the horrible racist atrocities happening in Ferguson, MO and elsewhere right now, that it merited its own blog post.

What could possibly be that bad you might ask?  I’ll show you.  Be prepared.

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The Faceless Men in ASOIAF/GoT

So I haven’t written much lately, and I have been meaning to do something about that.

I have had this idea in my mind about some stuff from the books (and some on TV too, but mostly the books) concerning the mysterious assassins from Braavos: the Faceless Men.

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1,260 books and counting

We don’t write about books around here as much as we probably should.  Life, politics, history, current events, and other interesting stuff tends to get in the way.  We’re OK with that, those things deserve our time and attention as well.

Not too long ago, Geoff wrote about some home reorganizing.  That has been a part of a much larger multi-month cull and organize project.  Part of that project has been BOOKS.

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Don’t call up Bruce Willis yet, but…

a fairly sizable asteroid has been spotted on a trajectory that gives it a fairly decent chance (about 1 in 4,000)  of striking the Earth.   That is actually better odds than the chance you will get killed in a traffic accident any time you get in a car (1 in 6,700).  At one point the odds were actually being calculated at 1 in 300.  So this particular object has raised a few eyebrows, to put it mildly.    Enough that some people think it would be time to call the drilling crew together.   Or something.

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Goodbye to an honorary Bostonian

Kelly and I were dumbstruck when we heard that Robin Williams died.

And we are not alone.  Our fellow Bostonians have spontaneously created a memorial to him in the Public Garden, on and around the bench where he sat during one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie Good Will Hunting.  

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Whitesplaining- don’t do it

I’ve been in a couple of situations lately I’ve witnessed the racial equivalent of Mansplaining.  That is, Whitesplaining.  In short, it’s when a white person explains to a non-white person how they should react to the use of a particular racially loaded term or epithet.  It also happens when a white person explains how non-white people should react to said to said terminology in an all white group.  In short, “this should offend you/them more or less than that” or, “that shouldn’t offend you/them at all.”

Awesome.

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When suburban uniformity and reality collide

It is difficult to overstate the importance of water for life. It’s one of the reasons why so many human cities and human civilizations sprung up in places next to rivers or lakes where fresh water was plentiful. And in many places the bringing in of fresh water is one of the first public utilities to appear. Even here in Boston, a public water system was available by the end of the 18th century.
So how is it that in the 21st century, we have so many places, not just in the developing world but right here in the United States, that are struggling just to provide potable water for their population?
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