Humpday News Chum, Delayed: Romney, Carmaggedon II, Western Wall, Facebook Bans, Calories, Abandoned Bldgs, and Financial Aid

Yesterday’s Apple post preempted my usual lunchtime humpday link discussion, so here are some links of interest I’ve collected over lunches this week:

  • Reasons To Vote Against Romney. Who cares about positions or any of that rot? Here’s a real (:-)) reason to vote against Romney: He went to Stanford and actually worked against UC Berkeley. What’s next, discovering that Paul Ryan went to USC? So what did Romney do? According to the NY Times, « Mr. Romney was on the AxeComm, a school spirit committee. His charge was to keep students at the University of California, Berkeley, from stealing the Stanford Axe, an old lumberjack’s ax awarded to the winner of the universities’ annual football game. He succeeded, infiltrating a cabal of Berkeley students under the pseudonym Tim Yenmor (his name spelled backward), learning their plans and planting disinformation about the ax’s location. » According to another Stanford freshman who joined Romney on the mission,“We were more concerned about protecting the ax from Berkeley students than about the war in Southeast Asia.”
  • Making Carmaggedon Worse. You all are aware of Carmageddon II the weekend of 9/29-9/30. The San Diego Freeway (I-405) and Sepulveda Blvd will be closed between West LA and the San Fernando Valley. Usual predictions of death and destruction about. It couldn’t be worse. Ummm, yes it could. On Sunday 9/30, the Herbalife Triathalon will shut down Venice, Fairfax and Olympic Blvds between downtown and the ocean. Further, for this, the streets will close at 715a and there will be no North-South Crossing of the route. That’s just gonna muck things up, because the only way to cross will be the freeways and their overpasses. Good thing I’m planning to stay in the valley and points north that weekend.
  • Notes in the Western Wall. We’ve all seen the pictures. People visit Jerusalem (including politicians) and put notes in the Western Wall. The wall must be full of notes inserted over the years, right? Wrong. This article explains what happens: The notes are removed twice a year (before Rosh Hashanah and Passover) under the supervision of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, who ensured they will remain confidential. They will be buried. At the time of the removal, the rabbi says a prayer asking God to fulfill the requests contained in the notes.
  • Banned from Facebook. The latest party to be banned from Facebook is… the New Yorker Magazine. Why, you ask? Simple: They uploaded cartoons that had visible nipple bulges. It is already being called another Nipplegate; I call it silly restrictions on the part of Facebook.
  • You Are What You Eat. Lots of places are reporting how McDonalds will be posting calorie counts, but I seem to recall they are already doing it in California. Other restaurants certainly are, and I’m finding myself looking at them… and it is affecting what I order. What about you? Does posting calories at a restaurant make you think twice before ordering something?
  • Abandoned Hospitals. There are a few cities whose history fascinates me. Las Vegas. St. Louis. (of course) Los Angeles. Add that to an interesting in abandoned buildings, and it is no surprise that an article about the abandoned Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis caught my eye. This facility is across I-64 from Forest Park, on land that was recently acquired by the St. Louis Zoo for parking. The pictures in the link are just fascinating.
  • College Financial Aid. Lastly, an article I wish I had read last year, if not before. It describes how the various organizations look at the places where you sock away money for your kid’s education, and how that can affect your aid award. It still may influence me this year in how we draw from various sources to pay for the aforementioned UC Berkeley. Well worth reading for those with pre-College age kids.

Music: Below the Salt (Steeleye Span): Saucy Sailor