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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Support the Bid – Sign the Petition – World Cup 2018 USA

I’ve hesitated to spread this via email, but blog posts are different.  You can always ignore it :).

A grass-roots effort is being mounted to bring the World Cup to the USA in 2018 or 2022; the point is that American viewership of World Cup games is the highest that it’s ever been, interest in Soccer is at an all-time high, and America would be a great host.

It also helps that Landon Donovan, who scored the winning goal against Algeria in this year’s World Cup, and who also played AYSO Soccer, is involved in the effort.

If you want to submit your electronic signature to the bid, go here: http://www.gousabid.com/page/s/sticker/.  Signing up will put your email address on their (non-sell) list, which you can then unsubscribe from.  Seattle, WA – my old home and home to my mom and brother, and I think a cousin, is one of the cities in the running to host the games.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 9:26 am  

Friday, June 18, 2010

On Statues and Pigeons…

After BP CEO Tony Hayward’s beating on Capital Hill yesterday, the UK’s Guardian put it best: “Tony Hayward: Like a nervous statue under a whole flock of pigeons.”  They even made reference to a famous David Brent quote, “You just have to accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue.”

I bet Tony feels a lot like David Brent lately.


Tony Hayward: Like a nervous statue under a whole flock of pigeons

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 10:43 am  

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Last 30 Year Anniversary…

Oh yeah, it’s the thirty year anniversary of Pac-Man.

1980 was a very good year.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 8:05 pm  

Friday, May 21, 2010

“I Am Your Father” 30 Years Later

Another thirty year anniversary today: thirty years ago today, “Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back” was released in theaters.

I did not get to see it until I went on vacation to Chicago (at the time, I lived in Seattle) about a month later.  I went with my brothers, and we saw it at the Woodfield Theaters.  I remember it like it was yesterday – waiting in line, the anticipation, and of course the most famous line in the movie:

Luke, I am your father.

Spoken by none other than Darth Vader himself, to Luke Skywalker.  We, as kids, had of course heard about the famous patrilineal confession from our school friends, but hearing it for the first time from the Sith lord himself, on the big screen, was quite an experience.

I just wish that experience could have been repeated in the I, II, and III prequels.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 12:26 pm  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thirty Years Ago Today…

… I was driving South on I-5, snaking my way from Seattle to Cowlitz County near the border with Oregon, to witness the eruption of Mount St. Helens.  I skipped school that day, along with my school chum Warren Lewis.  We had actually decided to skip school that morning because it was widely believed that the mountain would erupt that day.  In true form, it did – at 8:32 AM, while we were barely on the way.

Most of the trip was anti-climatic, just 25 or 50 miles of ash-covered highways, while the ash was still falling.  We wanted to get close to the mountain, but the roads at the base were all closed.  We dawdled around the base for about an hour, and then gave up and decided to drive home.

On our way back around the base (we had driven nearly the circumference of the base, trying to find a way in) we were on an old country road, very near the actual base of the mountain – you could see out the passenger window the curve of the mountain, stretching upward – a man ran down the base and toward the road.  He was tattered, out of breath, and looking for a ride.  He flagged us down.

We were a bit skeptical at first, being high school juniors, not wanting to allow a stranger into our car.  But, upon thinking about it a bit more, we were at the closest point to the base of a mountain that just exploded three hours earlier.  How many ne’er-do-wells would pick that as their target?

So we picked up the hitchhiker.  It turned out his friend’s house, where he was headed, was around the other side of the base, in the direction we were headed.  So we set off.  The hitchhiker was dazed, but began telling us his story.  It turns out, he was a resident of the mountain.  His house had been blown away by the eruption, and he nearly with it, save for the fact that he was several hundred yards away at the time.  His house went, he was saved.  That’s how close the line was drawn between still-standing earth, and millions of cubic feet of dirt, houses, horses, people, dogs, and cars that instantaneously evaporated into the soft ash that was still falling from the sky, like snow.  Every ash flake was unique.

So we listened to our hitchhiker tell his story about surviving, then trying to find his way down the mountain that had just erupted.  He talked about new rivers that had formed, blocking his journey, and old rivers that were now clogged by tons of timber and ash-mud.  He told us about his house, on the mountain, and how he defiantly stayed there like many others.  He talked and talked, Until we reached his friend’s house, where we dropped him off, bid him a great life, and went back to our journey home.

I’ll never forget this day.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 10:38 am  

Friday, April 2, 2010

R.I.P. Dr Henry Edward Roberts

Dr. Henry Edward Roberts, inventor of the Altair 8800 – considered by some to be the first “personal computer” – died yesterday at the age of 68.

The Altair 8800 was a switch-based computer, and it caught the attention of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who moved from suburban Seattle to Albuquerque, NM (where Roberts lived at the time) to found Micro-Soft and write an  the BASIC language – to help people program it.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:22 am  

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RIP Jaime Escalante

The man who Edward James Olmos played in the movie “Stand and Deliver”, who transformed an inner-city Los Angeles math program into the highest achieving math program in the state between the mid 1970’s and 1980’s, has died in Reno, Nevada.

Jaime refused to accept the status quo, and drove his students to perform at much higher levels than the school system expected them to.  At its peak, the Garfield High School Advanced Placement Calculus program hosted 570 students, the highest percentage of overall student body in the country.

Many math teachers in the ’80s were inspired by Jaime, and those teachers went on to inspire yet another generation of formerly underperforming math students to become math geeks.  One such teacher was my ninth grade Algebra-Trig teacher.  Today, I’m an Engineer, thanks in part to Jaime Escalante.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:40 am  

Monday, March 15, 2010

FAMILLE.ORG Alexa Rankings

FAMILLE.ORG is now a ranked website.  Alexa ranks famille.org at number 2,245,864 worldwide.  That means that there are only 2,245,863 other websites that get more visitors than us!


posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 2:01 pm  

Monday, March 15, 2010

R.I.P. Peter Graves

Over, Oveur.

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 7:39 am  

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I’m going down to Yasgur’s Farm,
Gonna join in a rock and roll band.
Got to get back to the land and set my soul free.

–Joni Mitchel

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 12:01 am  
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