Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tic-Tac-Toe Evolved

This game is for two players. Each player has a dice pool and a discard pool. Players choose which player will be Xs and which will be Os. The O player gets all the dice with the red markings, while the X player gets all the dice with the blue markings.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Counting Game: Test Phase

Hello! I have not been by in awhile. Here are rules for a new counting game I invented that should be ready for testing. Which has nothing to do with history... at all. But, you know, it is still interesting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept. 11, Ten Years Later

Ten years ago, I was still in high school at Caravel Academy.

I began the day by getting to school and going to the Upper School Library to do a final proof/edit of a physics paper. I used a floppy disk to move the files around, and it was large enough to hold multiple papers. It was a marvel of modern technology.

Things have changed so much in 10 years.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Standing up for Delaware

I went to the Newseum yesterday. Like the Spy Museum, it is one of the pay-to-enter museums in D.C. It's also got a lot of stuff, from old newspapers to recordings and the like. Here is proof I was there, in before and after photos.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Odd Front Pages: WSJ Saturday After U.S. Downgrade

Posted with minor comment. on Aug. 6, 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Knights of the Sky: Thoughts On World War I Myth and History

Growing up, most kids are introduced to the concept of the knight errant at a relatively young age. Before they know that Lancelot is an adulterous, murderous jerk, they know him as a fair-haired gallant. The image of two men galloping towards each other trying to unhorse each other is an image we all know and can associate with a specific period in history and myth. It doesn't take too imaginative a person to think of a similar situation – heroic dog fights with planes “jousting” against each other. The “Gallant Knights of the Air,” were immortalized during World War I.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Random People, Random Places -- 1

So, I was on the elevator today and had a quick talk with a stranger. I think that elevators are pretty safe neutral zones. Because you know that you can escape relatively easily from people and, in general, if someone is on the elevator, they more than likely belong there. Also, most elevators have security cameras. So, you see, elevators are a safe place where you can have random conversations without people wondering if you are going to mug them and/or if they can successfully mug you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Space Ships and Orbital Trips

As promised, here are some photos on the saga of space from the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. I've written before about my love of space, so I don't see too much reason to rehash it here. We've come from barely be able to walk more than a few miles from our birthplaces to having a flag on the moon. It is on the moon. It takes a little bit to get that through your head, I think.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

American Foodways at the National Archives

I was on the Metro on my way to the Pentagon last week to cover an event for my job. While on the way, I passed by an advertisement for a new temporary exhibit at the National Archives. If you've never been to the National Archives' museum and exhibits, there are a few things that remain there consistently. You can see these at the Rotunda and Public Vaults.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011 – Independence Day

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. ” – John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smithsonian: Castles and American History

Everyone probably knows a little bit about the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  It was founded in 1846, according to them. The short and pithy version is that the Smithsonian is the greatest source of American history, endowed by a man who was not American and who, if I recall correctly, never set foot on its shores. Also, as you can see below, it has a very pretty castle.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Naval Aviation Before World War I and Willard Park

There are two things to keep in mind about the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. First, the Park is right outside the museum. Besides being a park by the water and near the display ship, which is already enough reason to go there, there are a bunch of artifacts displayed there for you to look at. There are a lot of little places like this throughout D.C., and I'm hoping as I find them to provide nice, short posts with some pictures. Probably the items most people will recognize the historical importance of are the artifacts from the Maine.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

“The Gradual Loss of Blue Sky”*

Let me tell you a story. I was asked a few years ago what my first memory of television was. I answered pretty quickly that it was the Challenger disaster. Of course, this is a completely inaccurate memory that is entirely not true. I wasn't even two yet on January 28, 1986. It is a false memory, but I remember it because of my attachment to space as a kid. I remember going to my elementary school on some nights when they had telescopes so we could view the stars. Space was almost in reach.

Monday, June 20, 2011

National Museum of the U.S. Navy, American Revolution Exhibit

I walked into the National Museum of the U.S. Navy the first time in the summer of 2004. During that time, I was an intern with the Ships History Branch collecting notes from the ship's logs at the National Archives and writing the history for Bear. When I visited, I spent most of my time idling without any particular purpose. Now, seven years later, I went there for this blog's inaugural museum visit. It might be sentimental, but I find it one of the most overlooked museums in the D.C. area. Even the walk from the gate to the museum has a scattering of artifacts, like shells from the guns on Navy vessels.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Combining Myth and History*

My academic background has shaped my world view, or, more accurately, my world view shaped my academic background. Probably mutually. This helped sharpen my intellectual focus. I hold degrees in English and history; I was going to do the reading for both subjects anyway, so I figured that I might as well get the paper that said I had read it all.

I believe history is a powerful force. Real history is dirty and ugly and through it humanity shines on through. History lays out the worst and best of humanity.