Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from December 2008

Only a game? Arrrgh!

December 28th, 2008 · 4 Comments


The civilized veneer of chess is deservedly rrrrrripped away in this fine video, which I found via Improbable.com. I shed some of my bitterest bad-sportsmanship tears over a chess game, and although I was less than ten years old when I shed them, I remember that near-defeat agony clearly today. It was only a near-defeat because my Aunt Harriet unaccountably failed to capture my undefended queen, and instead moved her own queen into a spot where I could take it.

If chess savagery featured on BoingBoing, somebody would be crying out for a unicorn chaser. Would the savage unicorn in this video suffice? It certainly seems to be chasing the other chess pieces.

Tags: funny · Wide wonderful world

What child is this?

December 21st, 2008 · 2 Comments




What child is this?

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Snow has transformed the Nativity scene at Saint Peter’s School in Cambridge on Concord Avenue.

The man with the lantern will have to look quite a bit harder to find Baby Jesus, because now the manger is under six inches snow.

Or is that Diogenes, looking for something quite different?

Tags: Boston · Cambridge · Wide wonderful world

Made more perfect by its obvious flaw

December 19th, 2008 · 5 Comments




Made more perfect by its obvious flaw

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Heh — a tilted horizon is one of those mistakes that Photoshop quickly fixes.

But I reverted this fix. Because who needs the n-millionth photo of lovely anonymous ocean under blue cumulus heaven?

What the original captured was my imperfection in the face of abstract blue perfection. And somehow the tilted horizon also reminds me that this peaceful scene is the result of enormously chaotic motions of wind and water, scattering light with implacable random changefulness.

Not that I want the bright folks of modern photography to imitate my error-prone horizons. At least, not unless their galleries stock seasick medicine…

Tags: Editorial · Wide wonderful world

Polish honors for Frank’s Polish grandfather

December 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Polish honors for Frank’s Polish grandfather




Jan and Franciszka Wilczek

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Frank Wilczek’s grandfather Jan Wilczek joined Haller’s Army in 1919 and served with them as a private until 1920, fighting first in Galicia and later on the Russian front. In honor of Grandpa Wilczek’s service, the Polish War Veterans in America gave Frank a beautiful bronze Paderewski medal last night. Frank’s uncle Walter Wilczek also shared in the honor.

Many thanks to the Polish Institute for Arts and Sciences in America and to its hard-working president Thaddeus Gromada for organizing a remarkable evening of Polish surprises and to Poland’s Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk for hosting it. PIASA organized the event on the occasion of its own Casimir Funk Award for natural sciences, an honor first given to chemistry Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann, who gave Frank his award last night.

Thanks also to the Association of Polish-American Engineers (Polonia Technica) and Poland’s National Academy for honoring Frank and the Wilczek family’s Warsaw-Galicia-and-other-Polish origins. In fact, thanks to everyone who made this evening so special.

There’s a longer translation of this document’s Polish on this photo’s Flickr page.

Tags: Frank Wilczek · Nobel · Wide wonderful world