Tuesday, October 31, 2006

208. Be nice!

From an ettiquete guide for an online class sytem I'm training in:

"Never use derogatory comments, including those regarding race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, political persuasion, body type, physical or mental health, or access issues."

(Can I assume we can make derogatory comments about national origin or socio-economic status?)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

207. Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time ends tonight. I think next year it ends the first weekend in November istead of the last weekend in October, like it does now. (Too bad - I like the trivia question "Which is the longest month of the year?" The answer is October, because it is an hour longer than the other 31 day months.)

Should Alaska bother with daylight savings time? When it is still light at midnight, there is no need to "save" daylight. A state initiative to do away with it will probably be on the ballot in 2008. We really do not need to bother with it. The only arguments for it here is that (a) it will be too confusing for us and the rest of the country to figure out the time difference is it varies depending on the time of year (b) in he summer we would have 5 hours difference between Us and the East Coast, making it more inconvienent to talk to people there.

Alaska should not allbe one time zone. Alaska is a pretty large area. Also, it extends pretty far north, where theoretically the time zones get skinnier. In Nome (pretty far west), during standard time, noon comes around 3 pm.

I think Israel already switched to Standard Time. They swich on the weekend between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipper, right? My i-pod thinks they are still on DST. (The i-pod lets you set a bunch of clocks. I'm not sure what the limit is. I have one set for Anchorage where I am, one set for Portland where my daughter is although she is actually in Eugene which is not one of the choices and is in the same time zone as Portland, one set for NYC where I have friends and family, and one set for Jerusalem so that when the news gives up to theminute news I know what minute that is.)

As long as I'm on the topic, here is my favorite daylight savings time story, pirated from the Darwin Awards website.


5 September 1999, Jerusalem

In most parts of the world, the switch away from Daylight Saving Time proceeds smoothly. But the time change raised havoc with Palestinian terrorists this year.

Israel insisted on a premature switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time to accommodate a week of pre-sunrise prayers. Palestinians refused to live on "Zionist Time." Two weeks of scheduling havoc ensued. Nobody knew the "correct" time.

At precisely 5:30pm on Sunday, two coordinated car bombs exploded in different cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It was initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by klutzy amateurs. A closer look revealed the truth behind the explosions.

The bombs had been prepared in a Palestine-controlled area, and set to detonate on Daylight Saving Time. But the confused drivers had already switched to Standard Time. When they picked up the bombs, they neglected to ask whose watch was used to set the timing mechanism. As a result, the cars were still en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering the terrorists to their untimely demises.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

206. Deering Update

I spoke with some people in Deering. Here is an update.

They are building a new water tank. This way they can begin the winter with twice as much water and not run out.

Over the summer they had contractors improve the school building. It was not finished in time for the shool year, so classes were meeting in the teachers' houses. It has been finished since, and all the students are back in the school. I don't remember what all was planned, but I do know that now there are bleachers in the gym.

Every household in Deering is getting 100 gallons of heating oil as a present from Hugo Chavez. I'm not sure why - I think Chavez is trying to show that Bush is not in tune with the needs of Americans. I think every village that is at least 80% Native can get the oil. Consider that (a) heating oil is about $7 a gallon in Deering, (b) jobs are scare in Deering, (c) households need a lot of heating oil in the winter. Four villages decided to refuse the oil. (To be honest, if I was one of the people living in Deering who did not have my heating oil included in my rent to the school district, I'd take the oil.)

It has not yet snowed in Deering. (It did snow today in Anchorage.)

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