Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who's going to drive you home?

Listening to NPR this morning, they had a short piece about the British laws of royal succession. Not among the top 811,000 things I worry about on a daily basis, but they said two astonishing, gobsmacking things: there has never been a Catholic Prime Minister, and there is a law from 1701, still in force, that says no one in the royal line of succession may marry a Catholic. Apparently, a recent effort to overturn or overrule this law was just defeated-hence the news story.

Now, I’m not Catholic, nor British, nor do I play a Brit, or a Catholic, or a British Catholic, on television. But I get kind of prickly when anyone makes a rule about any adult’s ability to marry any other adult-for a significant portion of recorded history, I would not be allowed to wed my wife, and that offends me.

And I’m sure American legal codes have some equally heinous rules that are simply ignored, but are still technically on the books. I heard on some show that it took one Southern state until the mid 1990s to finally ratify the constitutional amendment banning slavery.

But seriously, England. Come on. It’s 2009 here, people. Get with it. Let’s stipulate that any law that predates the electric light by 200 years or more, save the Magna Carta and the Golden Rule ,maybe, should really be reevaluated pretty strongly.


If you’re one of our new readers, “***” is my new symbol for “radical change of tone, mood and/or topic”. Kind of like the same function as a “check engine” light-something weird and/or bad is about to happen.


Howard Feynman’s new book, “13 Arguments” sounds fascinating. I heard him talking about it on Bob Edwards’ podcast.


Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge” ( is a consistently amazing podcast.


If you have ever had any interest at all in Napoleon or European history, the “Napoleon Podcast” ( is another winner.


I’m a little distressed that I know this, but Pringles has a new line of chips called “Restaurant Cravers” that taste like mozzarella sticks (one kind) and onion rings(another kind). Goodness me, they are tasty.


“Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact-
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”


Two artists that I am dying to see make a Guitar Hero game are the Eagles and Billy Joel


You know how you have certain songs that take you back to a specific time and place? Almost to the minute? For me, The Cars’ “Drive” was a dance in the fall of 8th grade. Not dancing with anyone, just diffuse, pure longing. I’ve never thought of anything else but that moment when I hear that song.


“I was thinking/
About a woman/
Who might’ve loved me/
And I never knew-

You know I’ve always been a dreamer/
Spent my life runnin’ round/
And it’s so hard to change/
Can’t seem to settle down-“



  1. I love TTBOOK! Also, As It Happens out of Canada is/was one of my favorites. It used to be on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) between local news and BBC World News.

    Podcasts available here:

    And Radio Lab too. But for some reason, I cannot access it from here. It looks like their most recent show was on Choice so probably had words in it that Surf Control doesn't like.

    A person of royal lineage couldn't possibly marry a Catholic! They might bear Catholic sons! And then you'd have a Catholic monarch. Who would be beholden to the Pope... and look at today's Pope. That man makes me crazy and angry.

  2. The Cars! Who doesn't LOVE THEEE CARS!


    How nice.


  3. Well, I'm no fan of the Pope.

    But Ric Ocasek I like.


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