Sunday, August 31, 2008

The truth about cats and dogs

We have a new exchange student from Azerbaijan, which has gotten me into this blog from a teacher in that country.

Leigh has a really interesting recent post about how dogs and cats are viewed in Azerbaijan. Very different from how we view them (almost as children), and also quite different from what I observed in Bolivia, where nearly every household has at least one dog for guarding purposes. Dogs are also rarely spayed or neutered, so they have the same hordes of stray dogs roaming around as what Leigh is talking about.

Promises to keep

Sarah Vowell has a really nice homage to Ted Kennedy and the Democrats, the party of Pell Grants, in yesterday's NY Times. I particularly enjoyed her interpretation of Obama's vision of the "promise" of the U.S.:
Picture this: a wind-powered public school classroom of 19 multiracial 8-year-olds reading above grade level and answering the questions of their engaging, inspirational teacher before going home to a cancer-free (or in remission) parent or parents who have to work only eight hours a day in a country at war solely with the people who make war on us, where maybe Exxon Mobil can settle for, oh, $8 billion in quarterly profits instead of $11 billion, and the federal government’s point man for Biblical natural disasters is someone who knows more about emergency management than how to put on a horse show.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The second year

... already I can tell is going to be so much better than the first year.