Sunday, October 21, 2007

a URL in Yiddish?

Catching up with a stack of Wall Street Journal's, I find an article from Thursday October 11: "What's the Hindi word for Dot-Com?" about a pilot program to create Internet addresses using non-Roman alphabets. The examples given in a box on the front page of the "Marketplace" section: Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese, Tamil. One of these is not like the others! Michael Chabon must be pleased.

And yes, I know that this is still available for sale.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Irrationality from USAirways

USAir just announced a drop in service levels at Pittsburgh International Airport which was once their largest hub. In contrast to the reactions to previous rounds of cut-backs, most Pittsburghers seem to be just shrugging their shoulders and moving on.

I do like that Southwest has come here and that I can fly to Chicago and Philadelphia for very little. I also like that other airlines have ratcheted up service a little.

But I also miss being able to fly direct almost everywhere in the US. It's becoming nearly impossible to fly direct from Pittsburgh to the West Coast. Toronto is also out which I think may be the end of the "International" in Pittsburgh International.

And I still don't understand USAir: I've already mentioned that 9 flights a day from Philadelphia to La Guardia seems absurd. Today I learned that one can fly on USAir from Pittsburgh to White Plains, NY through Charlotte or Philadelphia (although one might not be able to pay utility bills for a few months after paying the fare). Again, this means that USAir flies from Philadelphia to White Plains.... why?

I certainly understand why USAir concentrated on Philadelphia as an international hub. But why all these short routes to other spots in the megalopolis? Why does the federal government allow this when air traffic around New York and Philadelphia is out of control?

And who flies from Philadelphia to New York?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Advice on Escaping the Spanish Inquisition

If you want to escape from the Spanish Inquisition (and you are a fifteenth-century Spanish Jew), here's my advice: don't convert to Christianity. See, this will actually put you under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition.

But today's New York Times reports that apparently some people think that Columbus' "parents converted [from Judaism to Christianity] to escape the Spanish Inquisition." There were lots of reasons to convert to Christianity in fifteenth-century Spain and lots and lots of Jews did so. However, none of those reasons involved escaping the Inquisition.

Clearly nobody at the Times (or at the Post-Gazette which reprinted the article) was reading this blog back in May of 2005 where I thought I made this point pretty clear.
(Actually I'm pretty sure nobody at the Times or the Post-Gazette reads it now.)

(Would it be too pedantic to also point out that Columbus was born circa 1450 and the Inquisition was founded in Spain in the late 1470s? Yes, I thought so. )