Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Nearly a parliamentary system

It’s Election Day in the US. At last. Thank whatever deity you believe in! The only people who will be upset about this are the local television stations, who have been raking it in with all the political advertisements. I’ve discovered that a lot of people don’t understand why the candidates often say at the end of the ads, “I’m Joe Blow, and I approve this message.” It’s because there are ads out there, sponsored by the political parties, or political action committees, supposedly (snicker) independent of the (chortle) political candidates.

As is my tradition, I will be voting as soon as the polls open, at 6 a.m. It’s not just that I am anxious to vote, or want to get it over with. It’s that, if I cast my ballot early enough, they won’t call me to make sure I get out there. Better get my wife to vote before work, too. I’m voting for Continue reading Nearly a parliamentary system

M is for M states

In the United States, there are eight states that begin with the letter M, tied with the letter N. But N has the advantage of descriptive adjectives New (Hampshire, Jersey, Mexico, York) and North (Carolina and Dakota); only Nebraska and Nevada are one-word states.

In 1963, ZIP Codes were introduced, although many large cities were divided into zones 20 years earlier. At the same time, the Post Office introduced two-letter abbreviations for the states, to accommodate space for the ZIP Codes.

The ones for the letter M tell stories about the states:

MA – Massachusetts. The mother of the country. Continue reading M is for M states

MOVIES-The King's Speech; The Fighter; The Social Network

I had seen a paltry number of 2010 films. Once the nomination period – SAG/Golden Globes/Academy Awards – starts, I tend to at least try see a lot more of the movies that a) are still available in theaters and b) reviewed well. I’ve discovered in recent years, though, that a third criterion has creeped into the movies, ones that c) won’t totally creep me out. For instance, despite the PG-13 rating, the True Grit remake reportedly contains surprisingly bloody bits of action and violence.


Whereas, The King’s Speech, which I saw with my wife on December 30 at the Spectrum Theatre for our monthly date, is rated R, but it is almost certainly based entirely on Continue reading MOVIES-The King's Speech; The Fighter; The Social Network