Friday, February 26, 2010

This is a trip my friend Neil and I made to the Mercato Esqualino in Rome, 26 February 2010. (Includes some helpful tips for shopping in Rome!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hello, Idaho! I will be talking about HTEA on New Horizons, a program on Boise State Radio, Friday (26 Feb.) at 5:30 PM and Sunday (28 Feb.) at 11 AM. (The interview will also be available on-line next week.) Tune in, if you can!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thanks to the blog Middle of the Freakin Road for a very nice review of HTEA.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Buying a Light Bulb in Rome from Matthew Algeo on Vimeo.

I always complain about how hard it is to buy a light bulb in Rome...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the U.S. men's ice hockey team's historic upset of the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. I remember that day very well. I was 13, in the eighth grade, and a huge hockey fan. It was a Friday. The game was played in the afternoon, after I got home from school. What a lot of people don't remember is that ABC didn't broadcast the game live. It was tape-delayed until that night.

I was dying to know how the game was going, but my only option was to listen to CBS Radio News on KYW every hour for updates. Ah, life before the Internets. When I heard the U.S. had won, I freaked out. It made watching the game that night a lot less stressful. (If they'd lost, of course, I wouldn't have watched at all.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here's an interesting article about being a tourist in North Korea...

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've posted a bunch of videos on YouTube. They will be of interest primarily to close relatives (two degrees of consanguinity or less). Others who find them interesting are to be regarded with utmost suspicion...
We have hot water again! Still no heat, but as they say here, piano, piano (little by little).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our hot water heater died last Thursday, so we lost both hot water and heat. A repairman came on Friday, but he didn't have the right parts. He came again yesterday (Saturday) and made a temporary fix that lasted about six hours before it crapped out again. Should've taken that shower when I had a chance. Now it's been three days and things are getting a little, um, stale at chez Algeo...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I know, I know, it's nothing like you guys got on the East Coast, but it snowed in Rome today. Here's what it looked like inside the Pantheon...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I've come across some interesting stuff researching my book. Like this charming photograph. Don't worry, that lovely child isn't being abused (unless you consider that enormous bow on her head a form of abuse). Her name is Polly and she's posing for a 1914 book called Animal Experimentation and Medical Progress. She's the granddaughter of the book's author, William Williams Keen. Apparently the photograph is meant to show that some animal experiments, at least, are not cruel.
As I’m sure most of you already know, today is the 119th anniversary of Grover Cleveland’s famous Silver Letter. Yes, it was on the tenth of February in 1891 that the former president penned these immortal words in a letter to a New York business group:

“If we have developed an unexpected capacity for the assimilation of a largely increased volume of [silver], and even if we have demonstrated the usefulness of such an increase, these conditions fall far short of insuring us against disaster, if in the present situation we enter upon the dangerous and reckless experiment of free, unlimited and independent silver coinage.”

Wow! I don’t know about you, but it still sends a shiver up my spine every time!

Seriously, though… The wording may be cumbersome, but the Silver Letter signaled Grover’s commitment to the gold standard, the most divisive issue of the day. It also signaled his return to politics. Although he had been voted out of office in 1888 (despite winning the popular vote), he would run again in 1892 – and win, of course.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010