That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Texas Agriculture Law Blog Don't let the name fool you - there are lots of water issues in agriculture and Tiffany Dowell of Texas A&M University does a fabulous job with this important Internet resource. Give it a read - I do every day!
The Way of Water Oregon State University Geography PhD Student, Jennifer Veilleux, records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about transboundary water resources development in the Nile River and Mekong River basins. Particular attention is given to Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos' Xayaburi Dam projects.
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
This Day in Water History Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
Watering the Desert Aptly-titled blog by CJ Brooks, a lawyer-hydrologist-geologist from Tucson, AZ.
Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
WaterWired All things fresh water: news, comment, and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University.
Watery Foundation Tom Swihart, formerly of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, tells all about water management in the Sunshine State.
Western Water Blog The 'mystery blog' about Western USA water issues. What more can I say?
Wisdom in Water, Please... Kate Wilkins-Wells , who manages the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4, provides her wisdom on water issues.
xAnalytical Doug Walker's xAnalytical blog:Turning Data and Information into Knowledge
James Brown makes a remarkabkle statement on domestic violence on 11 September 2014. Who would have imagined this before an NFL game, much less one involving the Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger) and the Baltimore Ravens (Ray Rice)?
You go, James!
Guys, it's in our court.
"Our silence is deafening and deadly." - James Brown
I will be avoiding all the 'specials' on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Not interested in all the contrived 'linkages' between 9/11 and the guy who collects trash in Toledo who found an image of the burning Pentagon in some dumpster or the football player who has the Twin Towers tattooed on his biceps. Sorry.
My desk is littered with magazines whose covers shout features like "Where Have We Been?", "What Went Wrong?", "Are We Safer?", "Why Do They Hate Us?", blah, blah, blah, I can't read any of them. I should say I can't finish any of them.
Actually, I did read one excellent article: "What 9/11 Wrought" by Joseph Lelyveld in the current issue of Smithsonian magazine. Read it.
As much as I despise those who rained death upon us, I don't like what we have become. Xenophobes. Jingoes. Torturers. What moral authority the USA had, it's been greatly diminished.
I'm driving to Seattle today for a meeting tomorrow and Tuesday. When I had planned to drive it did not dawn on me that it would be on 9/11. Flying today wouldn't bother me, but it will be nice to be on the road for about five hours. No media folks trying to get a sound bite.
But let me give a shout-out to the first responders, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. And Pat Tillman.
Thirteen years ago today my younger sister Ann Campana Judgewas murdered by the five men you see here.
I will always remember that these men, as well as 10 of the other 14 murderers, were Saudi Arabians. The other four were nationals of the UAE (2), Lebanon, and Egypt.
When we buy Saudi oil, some of our money goes to organizations that support these kinds of people.
We should never forget that.
A few days after 9/11/2001, a field outside the Pentagon was 'appropriated' by loved ones of the victims. We left mementos of those we lost.
Below you can see what what my niece Becky and I left in Ann's memory. The Marlboro Lights and Diet Coke should have been accompanied by a fifth (or more) of Dewar's Scotch but we exercised some good judgment - we left a Dewar's ad from a magazine. Besides, Ann would have wanted us to consume it.
I've been to the memorial thrice and it is a remarkable place. It's open 24/7.
Below are some pictures, including Ann's bench and her name carved in stone at the entrance.
In August 2009 I had a nice long visit. I sat on her bench and said "God bless!" to the other 183 murdered heroes who are memorialized, including the three middle-school students and their teachers Ann and NGS colleague Joe Ferguson were escorting to Los Angeles to join others for a field trip to the Channel Islands. It was the students' first airplane trip.
Next time I vist I'll bring some Diet Coke, a pack of Marlboro Lights, and maybe a bottle of Dewar's. Those were three of Annie's favorite things.
One thing gnaws at me: what were Ann's last moments like? Was she aware that they were going to crash? She must have - she was an experienced flyer who'd flown out of DC airports many times. She knew they were flying too fast and too low. And they were going in the wrong direction to be landing at DCA. Did she die on impact or suffer? Was she comforting the children? Probably.
Somewhat morbid, I know.
I have her effects in a box (Mary Frances had this custom-built for me) in our library - her driver's license, some business cards, etc. It's amazing how well they survived the conflagration. She was incinerated but her business cards survived.
Here is an article about the foundation I created to honor Ann.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- attributed to Edmund Burke
"A little bit of irreverence is good. A lot is better." -- Ann Campana Judge
Today, in the village of Monte Vista in Honduras, villagers dedicated a library in honor of Mary Frances. It is part of the kindergarten school building, and, like the school, serves six communities in the rugged region in the Municipio of Omoa. The library serves all but will focus on the children.
The library was the villagers' idea. They know the importance of reading and knowledge and wanted their children to have a better education in a country where only a sixth-grade education is required and provided by the 'benevolent souls' in Tegucigalpa. Why give your citizens a high-school education when one half as much will do fine, thank you very much.
Amigo Rolando López will donate a computer or two. Wireless Internet? Perhaps that will come to pass.
The villagers donated 370 person-days and 95 mule-days (hauling stuff) in time to construct the library. The Ann Campana Judge Foundation used several hundred dollars left over from village water projects in the area to help purchase building materials. Mary Frances and I also made up the shortfall.
A huge celebration and program was organized by librarian-teacher Maria del Carmen Ramirez (shown below with Rolando). Students sang, performed, and put on skits. Five n=hundred tamales were consumed!
Maria with performers. Patronato Melvin Chávez observes from the doorway.
The library is the right door. Below is the plaque for Mary Frances in the library. The translation:
Mary Frances Campana worked in libraries in the U.S. for 35 years. She held management and information research positions in government, public, university and corporate libraries. She taught library science skills in rural California libraries and set up a library for a Panamanian environmental organization. Mary Frances also holds a Masters degree in Spanish, with a specialization in Latin American literature. Her favorite pastimes are supporting her husband Michael's work in water resources, reading and riding horses.
When one man saw her picture, he said to me, 'Su hija es muy bonita' ('Your daughter is very beautiful'). I just smiled and said 'Si'.
Great people, great library, great spouse!
"Reading maketh a full person; conference a ready person; and writing an exact person." - apologies to Francis Bacon (who used the male gender)
Friend and fellow caddy camp alumnus Frank Colvario sent me this piece from the Boston Globe.
As you know I am a veteran of caddy (also spelled 'caddie') camps in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and have fond memories and lifelong friends like Frank from those days (1958-1967).
Kevin Williams working on the course at Sankaty Head Golf Club.
SIASCONSET — Hut inspection at Sankaty Head Caddie Campbegan at 8 o’clock sharp on a bright midsummer morning. “Hats off!” barked assistant camp director Nick Riccardella as he walked through the rows of double-decked bunk beds, taking note of unswept floors and other infractions. At 8:15, a flag-raising ceremony was held in the courtyard outside.
By 8:30 a.m., most of the 54 campers were either on caddie duty at the nearby golf club or tending to chores elsewhere on the rustic campus, tucked between the 11th and 13th fairways of the Sankaty Head Golf Club on eastern Nantucket.
Not so, though, for a dozen campers who are high school juniors. They were attending a college counseling session in the camp library, learning about “reach” schools and “likelies,” engineering-major options versus liberal arts strongholds. Later that afternoon, a group of seniors would receive help with their college application essays.
At a camp founded in 1930 and long known for instructing teenage boys, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, in how to judge a putt, carry a golf bag, locate an errant tee shot, rake a bunker, and impress club members with their smarts and maturity, these training sessions are both new and necessary, according to those in charge of the facility. This is not your grandfather’s caddie camp anymore, many say, a statement that might strike several campers as literally true, their own grandfathers being proud camp alumni.
“We’re the last of a kind and, we hope, also the first of a kind,” said Sankaty Head club member and camp foundation trustee Richard Drucker in the clubhouse that afternoon.
‘It’s beyond these kids making money and finding jobs. . . . We’re preparing them better for college life and beyond.’
Already regarded as the last private-club caddie camp in the country, if not the world, the camp’s mission was reconceived two years ago. Camp trustees hired Dave Hinman, a veteran high school teacher and coach, to implement their plan. Hinman in turn has made several key changes in the program, placing greater emphasis — and scrutiny — on campers’ classroom performance during the school year while striving to build a more diverse camp community to share in the 10-week summer experience.
These changes include expanding the pool of applicants via an aggressive, Web-based outreach effort; partnering with organizations such as First Tee, which provides golf instruction and educational resources to inner-city youths; adding courses in college counseling, SAT test prep, and public speaking; and bringing in motivational speakers like New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a Sankaty club member.
Of this year’s group, 25 hail from Massachusetts; the rest come from 15 other states, including Ohio, South Carolina, California, and Oregon. Hinman received 100 applicants for the 17 slots available this year. Ideally, he says, campers spend three to five summers here, beginning at age 13 or 14. As they advance in seniority, they gain more authority over which golfers they’re assigned to help. The hope is they’ll form lasting bonds with specific members as well as staffers and fellow campers, bonds that often serve them well in young adulthood and beyond.
“The younger they are, the more opportunity they have to grow here,” Hinman said during a tour of the camp facility, which includes three dormitories plus separate buildings housing a dining hall, rec room, library, laundry, and shower area.
Jack Eichen (left) and other caddies man the bags during a recent round of golf at Sankaty Head Golf Club.
Campers also now have Wi-Fi coverage and other technological resources unavailable to them just a few years ago. Other traditions and rules at the all-boys’ camp — no drugs or alcohol, no social visits with the opposite sex — have been carefully preserved, however.
“It’s beyond these kids making money and finding jobs, as was the case for decades,” Drucker noted. “We’re preparing them better for college life and beyond.”
Like the camp, Sankaty Head Golf Club boasts a storied lineage, its link-style course still considered among the finest of its vintage in the world. The waiting list to join is long, the membership roll a reflection of Nantucket’s well-heeled, if rather eclectic, summer population.
Without the solid support of club members, says Hinman, the camp might no longer exist at all, a fate shared by many private-club camps that vanished from New England’s golfing landscape in the 1960s and ’70s: victims of rising operating costs and liability concerns, among other factors.
Affirming their commitment, members rushed to help rebuild the camp after a fire in August 2011 gutted the mess hall and one dorm. Camp continued more or less normally for the remainder of the summer, and the buildings were replaced during the off-season.
“You need a lot of people to buy into the idea,” Hinman said “And here you have a [club] membership that has a strong relationship with these kids and wants to keep it going.”
Make no mistake, though. The money to be made is still meaningful, and plentiful, to campers as young as 13, some of whom arrive with little or no exposure to golf whatsoever.
This year’s group can expect to earn $3,000 to $15,000 apiece in caddie fees and tips, working six days a week (weather permitting). Campers with two years’ service or more can apply for additional scholarship aid, which is awarded at summer’s end by a panel of trustees that includes former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and ex-Honeywell chief Larry Bossidy (some have likened these interview sessions to episodes of “Shark Tank Nantucket”), both longtime golf club members. More than $100,000 is handed out each year, a sum trustees say they hope to boost substantially in the near future.
Assistant camp director Nick Riccardella performs a bunk-check at Sankaty Head Caddie Camp.
Most of what the campers earn is pure profit, too. Charged a $5 daily fee for room and board, they pay only a token amount to support the camp, whose annual budget is approximately $400,000. In return comes the privilege of summering on Nantucket, making lifelong friends and networking contacts, and, yes, getting to golf on a world-class course in its off-hours.
“We’re trying to send as many through college with as little debt as possible,” explained camp foundation head Jacques Wullschleger, who along with Hinman has been instrumental in tweaking the camp’s mission and focus.
In many ways, camper Kareem Brown and staff member Ryan Collopy embody what the Caddie Camp experience was originally designed to do, decades ago.
Brown, 15, a high-school sophomore from Trenton, N.J., had never set foot on Nantucket before — or on a golf course, for that matter — when he arrived at Caddie Camp in June. He applied online after hearing about the camp through one of his father’s co-workers.
His first few days were “really tiring and stressful,” Brown admitted during a break from an intramural softball game. “When people call rank on you, it’s not the best feeling.” He also had difficulty mastering what to do, and not to do, when golfers were gathered on the putting green, he said.'
Campers gather for the morning flag-raising ceremony at Sankaty Head Caddie Camp.
However, Brown added, he’s since learned to love the camp experience, its camaraderie and teamwork, and hopes to return next summer.
Hinman says Brown’s adjustment has been fun to witness, on many levels.
After his first few days as a caddie, Hinman recalled, a club member phoned to complain — politely but pointedly — that Brown seemed lost trying to follow a struck golf ball. What could be done about this, the club member asked.
Hinman took Brown to the golf club’s practice tee and had him watch a few shots, describing what he saw. No luck. So Hinman arranged for an eye exam. Problem solved.
Collopy, 19, of North Andover is in his seventh year at camp. For the past two, he’s served as a senior staff member, running extracurricular activities and mentoring younger campers. Headed to Vermont’s St. Michael’s College in the fall, where he plans to study business, he first came to camp as a 13-year old in need of mentoring himself.
“At first there was more of a fun, summer-camp aspect to it,” Collopy recalled. Making money was important, too, he said. Equally valuable, though, have been the relationships he’s forged with club members and their guests.
“You make strong connections here,” he said. Seated next to him in the camp mess hall was Bryan Garland, a 21-year-old senior at The College of New Jersey. Garland said he switched his major from engineering to finance — and landed a plum internship at Merrill Lynch — on the advice of a club member for whom he’d caddied over several summers.
By next summer, according to Hinman, the camp will be offering courses in being interviewed for college or employment. “There’s still some tweaking to be done,” he acknowledged. “We really want to keep camp traditions alive, though. They’re too valuable to lose.”
"I've always felt so grateful that I dropped out of school, that I never had to do a thesis. I wouldn't know how to organize and structure myself to film so that B follows A and C follows B." - Michael Moore
Note that McLendon is carrying a piece. I guess that's to keep all those 'crazy bitches' away. Or maybe his host (a tranny?), who's probably packin' heat, too.
At least he has a a guide to men, which of course, disparages women as well.
I was waiting for McLendon's version of the (in)famous 'Trophy Wife Age Law': Age = (N/2) + 7, where N = age of the man (some claim the constant is "-7" for N > 60). Sometimes this is called 'Domenico's Law', after the late Pat Domenico from whom I first heard it. We could also call this the 'Boy Toy Age Law' - such parlance was not in use when the law was formulated.
I'm unsure a rigorous proof has ever been published.
Too bad McLendon's a lawyer and not a mathematician. It would have been nice see his graph expressed as a set of equations.
“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: 'It's a girl.'” ― Shirley Chisholm
July 14th - Bastille Day, a French national holiday formally known in France as La Fête nationale or more commonly,Le quatorze juillet - was always celebrated in my childhood home.
But we were not French, although since my mother was of English and Scotch-Irish descent, I suspect there was some French (Norman?) blood coursing through her veins.
July 14th was the day my parents celebrated their first meeting and date in 1941. That landmark occurred in the hamlet of Bethlehem, NH, at the Maplewood Hotel and Golf Course, which at the time was a semi-fashionable resort in the White Mountains. My father John was an assistant golf pro at the Maplewood course, and Ruth Emerson a waitress at the hotel. He was 25 and from Boston; she was only 21 and from North Carolina. Their meeting resulted in a 'soda date' at Parker's Drug Store on Main Street. Hey, Earth girls are easy!
Courtship followed, culminating in marriage on 29 May 1943. They were happily married for 41 years, till my father's death in 1984.
Great role models, and I finally got it right, Mom and Dad. My first date with Mary Frances was 18 December 1987: dinner (Marie Callender's in Reno) and a movie (The Princess Bride).
In between the fireworks, auto and furniture sales, and barbecues, take a few minutes today to read the Declaration of Independence and the remarkable Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came along 11 years later:
If you are an American citizen, thank your lucky stars for those 56 guys who signed the Declaration in Philadelphia in 1776 and started this thing rolling.
While you are at it, give extra thanks for the First Amendment, which guarantees five fundamental rights, which you can remember with the mnemonic RAPPS: religion, assembly, press, petition, and speech.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two giants in American history - friends, then opponents, and finally friends again - both died on this day in 1826. As I get older, I think less of Jefferson and more of Adams. Both were great men, but the former 'talked the talk' and didn't always 'walk the walk' (e.g., slavery) whereas the latter tried to do both.
Enjoy the day, and enjoy RAPPS!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"...a Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin, at the end of the Constitutional Convention, when asked, "What have you wrought?"
Thought I would celebrate the fifth anniversary of the arrival of our SUSIE students, twenty-three young women and menfrom Central America (Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago). Most arrived on Sunday, 28 June 2009. We were all excited.
Ana Maria Peralta, one of three Dominicanas, who later pursued an MBA in Spain, assembled this photograph:
The instructors are arranged along the left side and top. The picture of Mt. Hood is signifcant because on the day before we all went to Washington, DC, we took them up to a few patches of snow where they all experienced snow for the first time.
Here is a larger picture of all of us in Washington, DC, where we spent a week after five weeks in Oregon:
Each student was different, but all shared great intelligence and a desire to learn. I told them that they were going to spoil me for my fall Geology 101 class. They did!
Two years ago at this time I was traveling through Honduras and Nicaragua and saw three of the SUSIE students. I saw Julio Eguigurems (above) on 27 June 2012 in Honduras. He works at the national forestry school in Comayagua. I then traveled to Nicaragua to see Laura Espinoza García and Natalia Raudez. Laura just completed her first year studying for a Master's degree in Belgium on a scholarship and Natalia is married and a mommy. I unfortunately missed Lucia Paiz Medina, who has completed her Master's degree in Brussels.
Julio may be applying for a Master's degree at OSU, and Dara-Marie Raggay of Trinidad and Tobago was accepted at OSU for a Master's in Environmental Science but did not matriculate.
You don't know how much I miss you and how much you enriched my life!
"Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom to someone else who will make the bigger difference." -- Linda B. Gray
Looks like former Montana governor Brian 'La Boca' Schweitzer didn't really want to be POTUS after all. But, hey, what a charming buffoon (he's the one without the tie in this WaPo photo).
Most of this is from a piece by Aaron Blake in the WaPo.
First, Schweitzer's comment about Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the National Journal:
Schweitzer is incredulous that Feinstein—considered by her critics to be too close to the intelligence community—was now criticizing the (National Security Agency). "She was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" he says. Then, he adds, quickly, "I mean, maybe that's the wrong metaphor—but she was all in!"
Wrong metaphor? Ya think, Brian?
Next, Schweitzer opines on the femininity of Southern men and Eric Cantor in particular:
Last week, I called him on the night Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in his GOP primary. "Don't hold this against me, but I'm going to blurt it out. How do I say this ... men in the South, they are a little effeminate," he offered when I mentioned the stunning news. When I asked him what he meant, he added, "They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting."
You go, Brian! Montana will be a good place to be in 2016.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." -- Albert Einstein
Megyn Kellytells it like it is. Dick gets his feet held to the fire. Or taken to the sandbox.
The Dickster must have thought he'd stumbled into the MSNBC studios by mistake.
You go, girl!
"In Iraq, a ruthless dictator cultivated weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. He gave support to terrorists, had an established relationship with al Qaeda, and his regime is no more." –Vice President Dick Cheney, Nov. 7, 2003
(being a semi-fictional account of my sabbatical adventures, designed to amuse, and to be read with a dose of skepticism)
21 August 2002
It's a beautiful day in Vienna drizzly and about 65. Most everyone else is complaining, but not I. They don't understand.
I landed here on 16 August, and as we touched down, the sun broke through (it had been raining for about eight days). The flight on Austrian Airlines (motto: "Like a smile in the sky - but don't push it.") from Dulles was uneventful and up to their usual high standards (seriously). As I went through immigration, I commented on the glorious sunshine to the inspector. He looked at me forlornly and replied "Yes, but it is still raining in my heart." I decided to pass on that one and departed his desk quickly. Willkommen!
Vienna avoided much damage from the recent floods. When I landed, I saw little standing water. There was some flooding, but a floodway built on the Danube by the city over 40 years ago sent most of the flood wave downstream to Budapest (which fared better than expected). Prague, on the Vltava, and Dresden, on the Elbe, were hit quite hard. The damage in Dresden may set back the Germans' efforts to rebuild the once-beautiful city, famous for its Baroque architecture. The Allies destroyed Dresden in 1945 for no good reason, except to test a theory about the sustainability of bombing-induced firestorms. (For some reason, I'm reminded of Paul Rodriguez's line: "War is God's way of teaching us geography.")
I have been at work (so to speak) since 19 August, ensconced in the offices of the Isotope Hydrology Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a semi-autonomous division of the UN (all of whose divisions are semi-autonomous). I checked in with the HR folks that morning and after I introduced myself, the first thing the HR czarina said to me was "You're a week late" - for some reason, she had me down as starting on 12 August. I replied "Hello to you, too, and when I'm donating my time, I can be a week late." Having dispensed with the pleasantries, I was soon dispatched to the badge office to get photographed. The pass people were very nice (Gary Larson cartoons all over the place) and within a few minutes I was badged and ready to go. I asked one of the security guards what kind of access the badge gave me, and he smiled, saying "You have the same privileges as Kofi Annan", at which point I asked him to carry my bag. His well-developed Austrian sense of humor quickly dissipated. Seriously, though, I have 24/7 access to all buildings (I am not sure "sabbatical" translates well into German).
I was a little surprised by the security at the main gate. I have not been here since 9/11, but things have not changed - no metal detectors, for one thing.
I was then advised to go to the Commissary to get on the access list, which seemed to be rather important. The Commissary is in the basement (so visitors can't see what a great deal we have) and is a place where UN employees (or hangers-on, like me) can buy duty-free and tax-free food and other things. So now I can buy cheap cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate, etc., but I have sworn not to purchase these for any use but my personal use. So don't ask. No chocolate for you!
I am on the 23rd floor of the Vienna International Centre, overlooking the Danube and the city. The Section has but eight full-time professional staff, so it's a cozy group - mostly isotope geochemists, but still okay.
We had a staff meeting yesterday, and it reminded me of an E&PS faculty meeting: meticulous adherence to the agenda, no extraneous conversation or wisecracks from those in the back. The fellow who runs the isotope lab asked me if I was interested in tritium-helium dating, and I responded that I thought it was against the law. Again, so much for humor.
The Section wants me to work on their ground water sustainability project, which is fine with me. They thought my superb background was tailor-made for it, and besides, the only fellow who was working on it left last spring. I immediately thought of posing David Brookshire's question "Which of the 25 definitions of 'sustainability' are you using?" but decided that would destroy the moment, leaving me with either nothing to do or 25 things to do.
The IAEA does a lot of neat things: research, establishment of analytical standards, nuclear facilities inspections, documentation of nuclear/radioactive incidents (they have a heartwarming series 'The Radiological Accident at ______'), etc. One task they are doing that is of great interest to me is a search for two lost nuclear power plants (little ones - port-a-nukes) in the Republic of Georgia. Since I am about to start work there, I am anxious that these things be found. They have streaming videos of the search on their WWW site. The guys don't look happy.
I am living in a hotel about a 25-minute walk from the VIC, in a hotel by the Prater, a huge park in the eastern part of the city. The Prater has an impressive amusement park, dominated by the Riesenrad, a gargantuan (greater than 200 feet in diameter) Ferris wheel built in the 1890s by a British engineer. If you saw the film "The Third Man", the Riesenrad was the only thing in the film larger than Orson Welles would eventually become. (Seriously, that film, like Graham Greene's novel, gives a stark picture of what Vienna was like right after World War II -- not a pretty sight at all.)
The housing office at the VIC is great -- they have given me some leads and I start visiting places tomorrow. If this doesn't provide me with fodder for future stories, I'm going home.
I have to go now - it is time for a "torte break" (required by law). Auf wiedersehen!
(being a semi-truthful account of my travels, designed to amuse, and to be read with a dose of skepticism)
3 August 2004
I am now aboard (a bored?) one of Delta’s jets hurtling through the night sky en route from Cincinnati – er, I mean Northern Kentucky - to Albuquerque. I am returning from Myrtle Beach, SC, where I attended, for the fourth year, the South Atlantic Well Drillers’ Jubilee, an event that annually draws thousands of well drillers and their families, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and hangers-on like me, to lovely Myrtle Beach, the jewel of the Carolinas. In some ways, Myrtle Beach reminds me of Las Vegas, the jewel of Clark County, NV, but there are five fundamental differences between the two. Myrtle Beach has: 1) a beach, as implied by its name; 2) lots more golf courses (over 100); 3) no casino gambling (ooops - I mean gaming); 4) air service by the notorious Hooters Air; and 5) much less class than Las Vegas. Despite this latter shortcoming, it is still a great place for vacations, and capitalizes on its family-friendly atmosphere.
A brief aside about Hooters Air. It is owned by the same corporation that owns the restaurants and features female flight attendants outfitted in the same manner as their “sisters” who wait tables. Hooters Air runs golf junkets from Atlanta. They also run them from Gary, IN, but no one in Gary can afford to golf so the planes are mostly full of gawkers. Other airlines have cried “Foul!”, claiming that Hooters Air’s skimpy fares are loss leaders and that the deck is stacked against any competitors. Dewey Cheatam, CEO of Delta, Hooters Air’s biggest competitor out of Atlanta, was quoted as saying, “We know that Hooters is cheating. They have a well-endowed “slush” fund and can afford to undercut us. They have a leg up on all the other airlines. Hooters drives us crazy!” Hooters spokeswoman Ima Skank commented: “Delta? They’re boobs.” The FAA is said to be scrutinizing Hooters closely and promised to keep other airlines abreast of its findings.
After reading the aforementioned paragraph there should be no doubt in your mind that I am a proud graduate of the Catholic elementary and secondary school systems. I am honored to number among my fellow high-schoolmates former Senator Al D’Amato (currently on work-release, serving as ethicist-in-residence at UNLV), Bill “No Spin” O’Reilly, Louis “Call me Lou” Gerstner (former IBM CEO), and Glenn “YMCA” Hughes, the original biker guy in the Village People. Guess which one of the above avoids our high-school reunions? Guess which one we wish would not show up?
So back to the Jubilee. You can tell something about it when you realize that Calvin Falwell, Reverend Jerry Falwell’s first cousin, was one of the movers-and-shakers in the organization. Calvin gained fame by distributing Bibles with each successful well he drilled. He believed that Satan was responsible for poor well yields, so he would bring in cousin Jerry to perform an exorcism. The duo became quite well-known throughout southern Virginia. Get your water, and religion, too.
On the flight from Myrtle Beach to Cincinnati I sat next to a German fellow who vaguely resembled Gert Frobe, the actor who portrayed James Bond’s nemesis Goldfinger in the movie of the same name. We struck up a conversation, and I learned that Ulrich was an executive with BMW in Munich who had come to SC to check out the BMW assembly plant in the Greenville-Spartanburg area farther north. He had taken a short golf vacation in Myrtle Beach before heading back home. Now, for those of you who own BMWs and believe that they were painstakingly crafted by meticulous German assembly-line workers named Klaus, Hans and Dieter – surprise! They may have been assembled by Bubba, Goober and Gomer in SC (you can tell by looking for tell-tale tobacco stains). Hey, but now they are cheaper (Mercedes owners – don’t snicker; your “German” car may have been built in Alabama). But I digress. Anyway, Ulrich was curious as to what I thought of Ahhhnold the Governator. I told him that I didn’t know that much about him but that he seemed to be doing a half-decent job, except for calling legislators “girlie-men” the other day. I asked Ulrich what he thought of South Carolina and he replied that it would be good to get home.
Cincinnati’s a neat town, although they did get confused and built their airport in Kentucky. It suffers from the “Philadelphia complex” – so overshadowed by the vibrancy of an adjacent city – usually across a river – that it pales in comparison. In Cincinnati’s case, it’s Covington, KY. In Philadelphia’s case, it’s Camden, NJ.
Speaking of the great state of South Carolina, I think I should enlighten you about it. The state has a proud past, its residents having started the Civil War (aka The War of Northern Aggression) by firing upon Fort Sumter. It has had memorable politicians, such as John C. Calhoun, Preston “Bully” Brooks, Mendel Rivers, Fritz Hollings, J. Fred Muggs, and Strom Thurmond, whose embalmed body lies in a glass case in the capitol in Columbia. The quote on the pedestal reads “Never was there a man who so dragged his feet through the sands of time.” Few people realize that ol’ Strom actually died three years before he left the Senate. His staff, inspired by the movie Weekend at Bernie’s, decided to “keep the dream alive” (and their cushy jobs intact) till his term ended. No one noticed until Strom introduced some fairly significant legislation – giving African-Americans voting rights - which was totally out of character. And a recent SC governor gained infamy by being caught in a compromising position on his desk with a female staffer. The governor muddled through the rest of his term, but the staffer resigned quickly. Newspaper headlines noted her resignation with lines like “She had served ably under the governor for many years” or “Governor’s aide was always on top of things.” Charleston is perhaps the best-known of all SC cities. A recent downtown renovation has rejuvenated Gallows Square, which for many years, was the source of entertainment for Charlestonians, especially those of the upper class. Each Sunday (except for Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Day), residents would gather in their finery, attended to by servants, to watch “uppity people” get “taught a lesson” from local law-enforcement officials. Charleston is far more sensitive now, and that barbaric ceremony, discontinued in 1978, has now given way to re-enactors who celebrate the good ol’ days on the third Sunday of each month. Charleston’s residents are quite boastful and prone to exaggeration. As an example, they note that their fair city is bounded by the Cooper and Ashley Rivers, which join to form the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, like the residents of Honolulu, Santa Fe and San Francisco, Charlestonians suffer from the disease known in medical circles as terminal pretension.
I could not end this without a few SC jokes. Q: What’s the best thing to come out of South Carolina? A: Interstate 95. Q: What’s the next best thing? A: Interstate 85. Q: What is the difference between Mississippi and South Carolina? A: At least Mississippi tries. Q: What do you have when you have three South Carolinians in a room? A: A full set of teeth. And finally, there is the state motto:
Like many others, today I am honoring those who served and those who died 70 years ago on D-Day and the entire Normandy Invasion. Special thanks to the Allied troops - American, Canadian, British, Australian, New Zealand, Free French, Free Dutch, et al. - who made it happen and rescued Europe and the world.
My father's brother - my Uncle Vic - was one of those young men who was there that fateful day. He was a paratrooper - 82nd Airborne - who made a nighttime jump into France. He survived.
Thank you! And a special thanks to the French people, still so welcoming and appreciative lo these many years!
Giovanni Pellegrino Campana would have been 100 today.
That name is on his birth certificate, but we knew my father as John Pilgrim Campana. Born on 6 June 1914, he was the son of Italian immigrants Consiglia and Domenico Campana, who arrived on these shores from Naples, Italy, in the late 1890s.
The family settled in Boston, where my father grew up working, playing baseball, ice hockey, but most of all, studying. He vaguely recalled the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. He attended Boston Latin School, the oldest and arguably still the best high school in the USA.
After that, it was off to the oldest college in the USA, Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history in 1936. In those days, Harvard was not a hospitable place for Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, or Jews; forget about Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, or African-Americans! It was the bastion of WASPs - White (or Wealthy) Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
He loved playing hockey - he was a right winger - but didn't play for Harvard after his freshman year. He told me that the rich kids on the team would rent one of the indoor arenas for practices that were restricted to themselves and their friends. So while he worked, they practiced and his skills fell behind. When he told me this, there was nary a trace of bitterness in his voice. That's just the way it was.
But his true sports love was baseball. He played shortstop and pitched on the Harvard team till he graduated in 1936. Here is the team ball signed by all the players on the 1936 team, with the cherished inscription: Harvard - 3, Yale - 0.
He married 'Southern belle' (North Carolina)Ruth Ellen Emerson in 1943 and they had three children. They first lived in Manhattan, then moved out to Queens, and finally, headed to the Long Island suburbs in December 1951, where they remained until 1978, retiring to Mooresville, North Carolina.
He started teaching in the New York City school system in 1938, a career that spanned 36 years, 26 of which were spent at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, the nation's second-oldest high school. He taught history and political science. He recalls EHHS students Barbra Streisand, chess champion Bobby Fischer, Neil Diamond, Billy Cunningham, and Lainie Kazan. Don't ask him about the first two. In those days, EHHS was one of the nation's best. Its top students won scholarships to the USA's finest universities. Even the top Jewish students, who for years could not get into the Ivy League schools, routinely made Princeton, Yale, and Harvard starting in the mid-1950s; African-Americans (few in number at EHHS in those days) and others soon followed. As I grew up, I remember many visits from former students who would drop by to thank him for all he had done. They told me what a remarkable teacher and man he was and how much he had helped them.
He left EHHS in 1964 to help open Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. He was the Assistant Principal, a position that earned him more money but meant no more teaching. That was a tough call for him.
His time at CHS was difficult - an unreasonable boss and trouble from the start. In those days, the races and ethnicities mixed far worse than they do today. On some days scores of NYPD officers patrolled the halls and grounds. When a chair whizzed by his ear during a cafeteria free-for-all, he knew it was time to retire. That was 1974. This photo was taken a few years before he left CHS.
My father was an inveterate and prolific letter-writer. He would write letters to all kinds of people: political leaders, heads of state, CEOs, editors, sports figures, et al. At the time of his death he was working on a book titled, One Small Voice, a collection of his letters. His favorite target was Tom Yawkey, then the owner of his beloved but then-incompetent Boston Red Sox. He would instruct Yawkey on whom to trade, whom to release, etc. It was a futile exercise, of course, but he enjoyed it. One of my big regrets in life was seeing him die in 1984, before the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, 2007, and 2013. But at least he did not witness the 1986 debacle. That surely would have killed him. My father's devotion to the Sox and their history still have an impression on me: although I am a Yankees fan, there is a soft spot in my heart for the Red Sox.
I often wonder how the Internet would have appeared to him. Given his love for writing and commentary, would he have become a blogger? Somehow I doubt it. He was committed to letters.
He was a student of history, languages (five), politics, sports, chess, and more. He was small in stature and an unlikely athlete. Baseball, hockey, golf, bowling, and tennis were his games. He was a Democrat who was not overly fond of John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy clan. He remembered too much from his early days in Boston and also never forgave patriarch Joe for being an early Hitler supporter. But he voted for JFK over Richard Nixon in 1960; that was a no-brainer.
My late younger sister Ann and he would have some epic confrontations; they were too much alike. One of his unbreakable rules was, 'Never drive the car into Manhattan.' I recall an incident where Ann was to drive his precious Mustang into Queens to catch the subway into Manhattan. Well, she sort of forgot about the rule, and drove into the city. Next morning as he got up to go to work, he saw a note from Ann that said, 'Sorry - it was the goddamned bus!' He did not understand the note till he went out for his morning drive into Brooklyn. That's when he noticed a huge crease running the length of the driver's side of the Mustang. Seems that Ann had had an encounter with a city bus. She left the note and was spending the day at the beach. Lucky for that, too - she had been partying with friends in Manhattan and was in no shape to face my father.
I loved listening to him discuss history, especially American history. He actually 'rescued' my interest in history, because my high-school history teachers were pretty pathetic. They often emphasized rote memorization with little dicussion of what the events meant. That's where my father came in. He provided the big picture.
Whatever my skills are in teaching and education, I owe to him. He was so proud when I received my PhD. He had an ABD ('all but dissertation' - half done, on Stephen Decatur and the Barbary Pirates) from Fordham - marriage and a family intevened - and he never finished. He would have made quite a professor!
I doubt his beloved Red Sox will win this year. And the Bruins are not en route to the Stanley Cup as they were a few years ago. Oh, how he loved watching Bobby Orr!
I miss you, Dad; I think of you each day. You're my role model.
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ―G.K. Chesterton
"Democracy is like a raft; you're safe, but your feet get wet." -- John P. Campana
Curious about the strong supportMrs. Kanye West in the Southwest and Hawaii, with my former home state (for 17 years!) clocking in at number 1. Is it because Kim looks like a Latina? But she's also strong in my native state of New York and southern New England. Perhaps they think she's Italian-American?
At least my current home state checks in at number 48.
Whatever she is (Armenian-American, mainly), she's wealthy and famous. Must laugh all the way to the bank.
Circle of Blue Circle of Blue uses journalism, scientific research, and conversations from around the world to bring the story of the global freshwater crisis to life. Here you’ll find new water reports, news headlines, and hear from leading scientists.
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