January 28th, 2007


President Reagan on Challenger

We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it."

There's a coincidence today. On this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

I could get used to this...

I'm currently riding on Cornell's Campus-to-Campus Bus en route from Ithaca to New York City, for my mom's birthday dinner tonight. The C2C Bus has only three seats across instead of four, fewer rows than usual, airplane-like tray tables and headphone jacks at each seat, electric outlets at each seat, and... wireless Internet access. The on-board lavatory looks like it's big enough for an actual human to use, and next to that is a small galley with drinks (including a pod coffee maker) and munchies.

I was the last passenger on board, and ended up at this table for four near the back. (Slightly different than the picture; there are no cupholders in the table, and there's an open rack overhead, not closed bins.) My friend Sharon and her hubby are in the front of the bus, en route to a lecture tonight.

The weather's actually fine, but on the theory that in late January it might not be, I decided to give the bus trip a try. It's something I've been meaning to check out since they started it a couple of years ago, and I'm very impressed! It's not cheap, but at $149 for a round trip it's also not that out of line with other options, especially with gas prices mostly rising (this month's drop notwithstanding). Certainly cheaper than a flight to LaGuardia in most cases. And, as I'm combining tonight's family event with some work meetings at Weill Cornell Medical College, it's a work expense. :-)

Of course, one drawback that I thought of several days ago but forgot about until just now is that there's probably no lunch stop. Good thing there are snacks, and I brought a granola bar with me. Actually stopped at the Queen of Tarts for coffee and a scone before getting to the pickup point, so I'm good for now.

Wanna get a cup of coffee? I should have thought to suggest it earlier, but I'll have almost three hours to kill between our scheduled arrival at the Cornell Club at 3pm and my parents picking me up at 6pm. The Cornell Club is a couple of blocks from Grand Central, and if you're near there or feel like heading that way, and want to grab a drink, some coffee, or a bowl of soup, please ping me. I'm on AIM and can be reached by cell or txt.

Good time for a win...

I'm still vaguely curious, but I'm glad I don't have to find out the last time Cornell went the entire month of January without winning a men's ice hockey game. I imagine it's been a while, and thanks to last night's win, it didn't happen this year.

After a seven-game winless streak, the prospects were looking none too good, even against a Colgate squad that's had a bad season. The Raiders beat us in Hamilton on Thursday, even though we outshot and generally outplayed them. (The credit really goes to their goalie, Mark Dekanich, who had a stellar game.)

Coach Schafer gets his 231st win, making him the winningest coach in Cornell history. He's really been trying to mix things up lately, trying new combinations of players, and even getting the team out to play football in the snow early last week. So, I followed his lead, mixing up my own hockey habits. For last night's game, I didn't wear red (I always do for games), I did wear my Cornell game-worn jersey (I only wear it for post-season games), I didn't buy any 50/50 tickets, and I didn't even sit in my seat. I can't take credit for the win, of course, but I'm reluctant to go back to my normal habits now!

I waited with Kelli and Sue to greet Dan Glover after the game. His first point of the season came at the best possible time! Also congratulated freshman Ben Scrivens on a great game. I have a feeling he'll be starting a lot for the rest of the season.

More details at the below link...

( Cornell beats Colgate in men's ice hockey... )

Curious about haggis?

When I tell people about eating haggis at a Robert Burns dinner, I usually get a shudder or grimace in response. In reality, haggis is a bit of a cross between sausage and sloppy joes; like sausage, it's often made of the less fancy cuts of meat, i.e. leftovers. But while most of us (at least the non-vegetarians) think nothing of eating sausage, haggis just seems alien to the American palate.

The New York Times had a great article about haggis the other day. It'll probably only be available for free for another week and a half, so read it soon! It's funny as well as informative.