Getting one's bearings

One of my husband's war-gaming buddies provided him with this link.  An unusually impenetrable lecture on missile guidance, or an explanation of the rhetorical style of our foreign policy as recently announced?  You be the judge.

Bits of a Good Day

And then the local Oktoberfest (of which my photos have been seized by the NSA -- or, beer prevented me from properly saving. Whichever).

Bier of the night: Paulaner Oktoberfest.
Best song of the night: a xydeco piece with yodeling.
Best line of the night: in the middle of a (different) yodeling piece, the singer calls out "Everyone! Sing along!"

Prost, y'all!

History and Abduction

I think this is a really neat paper, a Master's Thesis from Canada.  It shines light on two very different debates:  a debate within the field of history about the reality of abductions in Medieval England, and our current debate over the value of higher education.

On the question of abductions, the author has taken the tactic of examining fifty court cases with surviving documentation.  The result casts some of our assumptions in a new light.

Both the finding and the method casts some light on our discussions about the value of higher education.  Many have argued, on reasonably good grounds, that higher education no longer provides the same value to students that it has in the past.  Education past the bachelor's degree, and particularly in the humanities, is especially subject to this line of attack.

There is one thing, though, that all these extra history and literature majors are doing:  they enable us to go over the historical record with a fine-tooth comb to a degree never before possible.  The value to the students may be questioned, but the value to the rest of us -- as long as these programs continue to produce students who perform quality research -- is not always adequately considered.  We really benefit from these minute but significant adjustments in our understanding of the past.

(H/t:  Medievalists.)

Building zaps citizens

London now features a building with a curved glass wall that acts as a solar lens strong enough to melt plastic on parked cars.

A military "Onion"

Bookworm is right:  I didn't even get past the titles before I laughed out loud:
[A] friend of mine directed me to a site called The Duffle Blog, which is a military satire site. It's dedicated to churning out such articles as "US Praises Massacre Of Syrian Civilians Without Use Of Chemical Weapons" [and] "Admin Error Sends Bradley Manning to Death Row, Nidal Hasan to Gender Reassignment Surgery." Even the title is funny.
The article about Hasan and Manning was filed by one of the Korean Airline pilots, apparently.  New since Bookworm's post: John Kerry Announces Protest of Syrian Conflict As Soon As He Finishes Starting It.