The Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters

Carter Kaplan, who recently joined the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, circulated the group’s first press release, which you can find here or quoted below. I mentioned these new connections previously on here.

As Carter says on his website, good things should come of the collaboration between the Williamsburg Circle and International Authors. I wholeheartedly agree.


For Immediate Release

February 1, 2012

In January 2012 the WAH Center created a new program called the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters. It is composed of twelve outstanding scholars, publishers, collectors, artists and innovators (see complete member list).

We believe that a strong education in the classical humanities is a fundamental prerequisite for good citizenship in every country in the world today. What is Classical Humanities? It is nothing less than the spiritual, ethical and intellectual foundation for Western culture. Classics is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that lies at the heart of the liberal arts. It is the lack of a common heritage and common values that gives rise to basic conflicts among peoples. A broad education in the classical humanities can bring about a common understanding and a common set of values.

As many of you know, the WAH Center’s motto is “Peace, Harmony and Unity,” as Yuko Nii, the Founder, has written in the Bridge Concept upon which she founded the institution.

Invitation: We also welcome you to the very first of Our Events on April 14th, 2012 where you can meet our chairman Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser, 19th President of St. Bonaventure University, and learn more about our goals and projects.

If you would like to contribute to our worthy goals, we would very much appreciate your support at our inception. If you are a scholar or artist and contribute $50 yearly as a supporting member, we will list your name with your discipline and contact information (and web-site, if you have one) on a special supporting member page. Click here for benefits.

We would very much like to get your feedback on our project!

Terrance Lindall and Yuko Nii
Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York


Tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio, Another Reason Why Exotic Animals Should Not Be Bought or Sold

Governor John Kasich: this is why people should not be allowed to own exotic, non-native animals. Terry Thompson, the owner of an animal park in Zanesville, Ohio, apparently released his collection of animals including 17 Bengal tigers before killing himself. The Zanesville Sheriff ordered his deputies to kill these innocent creatures rather than try to sedate and recapture them. It is tragic that, so far, 50 animals have been killed. It is especially troubling that the 17 Bengal tigers were killed by authorities, because according to National Geographic, there are probably fewer than 2500 left in the whole world. More troubling is the fact that Thompson was allowed to keep these animals despite reports of abuse and his own federal crimes for which he went to prison and was recently released. Would the laws that prevented the buying and selling of exotic animals by individuals that Gov. Kasich allowed to expire earlier this year have prevented Thompson from amassing this collection of animals? I am not sure, because he operated a “zoo” of sorts. However, I believe that this is an indication that a single individual should not have the access and power to perpetuate an event like this. If this means that an individual owns and operates a zoo, then I don’t believe that they should continue to do so. If we must have zoos, they should be institutions with multiple persons responsible for animals and their wellbeing. Individuals can do massively crazy things as what has transpired in Zanesville, or they can do things that are unfortunate like getting themselves or others killed.

Find out more about what happened and what you can on the Humane Society’s website here.

Recommended Reading on the Debt Ceiling “Deal” Reached Today: Robert Reich’s Ransom Paid


My friend and former advisor at Georgia Tech, Professor Carol Senf, linked to this article by Robert Reich titled “Ransom Paid.” If you want to find out more about why today’s debt ceiling “deal” isn’t so much of a deal as a ransom paid by the Democrats to the Republicans, you should check out what Reich has to say.

I Hit the New York Times Paywall for the First Time Today, Easy to Bypass

I occasionally look to the New York Times for my daily fix of news, but today was the first time since they installed a paywall that I ran up against it (see above).

Luckily, there are ways to circumvent this. According to readers:

While testing out the paywall Monday afternoon, Mashable readers Dmitry Beniaminov and Yuri Victor pointed out that it’s breathtakingly easy to subvert the paywall. Readers need only remove “?gwh=numbers” from the URL. They can also clear their browser caches, or switch browsers as soon as they see the subscription prompt. All three of these simple fixes will let them continue reading.

via here

I used the option to manually delete “?gwh=xxxxx” to continue reading on the Times today. A Safari extension that performs this function would be useful.

After a quick Google search, there is another way to bypass the paywall by hitting the “Reader” button in the URL field if you are using Safari 5 [from 9to5mac here]. This will bring up the page behind the paywall notice so that you can read it.

If anyone knows of a Safari extension that addresses this issue, please leave a comment on this post. Thanks!








Judge Rules Than an IP Address Does Not Necessarily Correlate to a Particular Individual

Slashdot linked to a District Court ruling that establishes that an IP address does not directly correlate with an individual. The judge applies good sense to the nature of modern networking technology that allows many people to share an IP address, especially wirelessly, and sometimes without the knowledge of an IP address’ “owner.” Find the original links and the decision’s ensuing discussion here: An IP Address Does Not Point To a Person, Judge Rules – Slashdot.

Good Advice for End of Semester Studying: Protect Your Things While in Public, Starbucks

According to Michael Wilson of The New York Times, Starbucks coffee shops are a prime location for pickpockets and thieves, because the settings are full of people who are generally at ease with their work or conversation with tunes playing in the background.

I imagine that many of us academics as well as our students spend a considerable amount of time at Starbucks or similar public places that are conducive to a relaxing work environment. We all need however to remember that these places are public, and therefore, they provide no guarantee of protection for our belongings.

Whether you are in a Starbucks or any other public place such as a library, you should always guard your things with care. If you are going to get another cup of joe or if you need to find a book on the shelf, I would recommend that you take your things with you. Merely covering your wallet or laptop with your jacket will not prevent your things from being taken.

Be careful out there, enjoy your coffee and semester-end studies, but please take care of your precious belongings, too.

Read more here: Here Comes Your Starbucks Latte – There Goes Your Laptop –

Unexpected Late Night News: Osama Bin Laden Dead

I was surprised this evening when preparing to watch the late-night local CBS news to see a developing special report from the White House.

After learning from CBS that it was likely that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US military forces, I switched to CNN for President Obama’s address. The President began by saying, “Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.” You can read the full transcript of the speech here: Osama Bin Laden Dead | The White House.

Already, Facebook and Twitter are aflame with responses with widely divergent takes from congratulation to condemnation.

Now that this event has transpired, I wonder what tomorrow holds for the world?

Thoughts on Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s Wedding

BBC America’s HD coverage of today’s wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is impressive. The detail is amazing and the cinematography is very smart. In part, the terrific shots are made possible by an insane number of HD cameras on remote gimbals. What make and model cameras did they use?

Say what you will about royalty, but this is a very nice wedding. However, I prefer the homespun flavor of Y’s and my wedding presided by the Rev. Seth Johnson. I don’t know how Y and I would have handled thousands of adoring subjects cheering us on!

Also, which major event today has more total support staff: the Royal Wedding or the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch?

Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who, Passed Away

Mark Warbington, my friend and a Doctor Who expert, sent me an email earlier today about the passing of Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played one of the most well-known and loved Doctor Who companions Sarah Jane Smith. Sladen established the companion as a more important role in the Doctor Who universe than a didactic role. Her popularity also led to her reprising her role as Sarah Jane Smith beyond her first work in the Doctor Who universe as companion to the third and fourth Doctors (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, respectively) from 1973-1976. She played Sarah Jane Smith in subsequent Doctor Who television and radio dramas, and she starred in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sladen will be missed.

The Wikipedia articles on Sladen and Sarah Jane provide a wealth of information on her life and work. Naomi Alderman has a nice reflection on Sladen in the Guardian here. Dan Martin contributed her obituary in the Guardian here.