The Historic and the Small

First, some unfinished business. Although I am walking every day for at least an hour, I am not going to run a marathon. I’ve never been the running type. And as for yesterday’s news, it was mostly true, except for the bit about “drips” and Bing changing its name. Oh, look, a squirrel.

Turning to today’s news, I do have a few items of note:

  • From the “Passings of Note” Department: Dr. Henry Edward Roberts has died. Most of you kids won’t know him, but Roberts is responsible for much of what we see on computers today. Roberts was the developer of the build-it-yourself computer kit called the MITS Altair 8800, which was the original inspiration for two kids called Billy Gates and Paul Allen. My memories of the Altair were from my days with the Southern California Computer Society back in the mid-to-late 1970s, when people were building their Altairs and Kim 1s.
  • From the “Milestones of Note” Department: Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of TIROS-1 from Vandenberg AFB. If that name doesn’t sound familiar to you, TIROS-1 was the first weather satellite, and so 50 years ago the science of weather forecasting changed forever. Can you imagine long-range weather predicting without the benefit of satellite?
  • From the “Ridin’ The Circuit” Department: USA Today had a nice piece yesterday on the Southern Rabbi Circuit, which is not an electrical mechanism but a project where a rabbi rides around the Southern US visiting small congregati0ns. I first learned about this about a year ago, when Rabbi Sheryl Nosan-Blank was leaving Sacramento. She’s now serving a congregation in Australia, but one of the places she was looking was the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life out of Jackson MS. ISLI is the place that provides the visiting rabbi for the small congregations. Interesting article.
  • From the “You Look Mahvelllous” Department: Speakings of the problems of the small and mighty: The LA Times has an interesting article on the troubles on niche menswear shops: in particular, the disappearing shops for short men. Yup. If you are under 5’3” (I’m safe at 5”6½”), there are only two places left in Southern California where you can buy a suit off the rack and only have minor alterations. For many others, it’s the boys department or cutting down a suit (which leaves many components, such as pockets, in the wrong places).