August 28th, 2006

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Weekend Update

Friday evening, shortly before shabbat began, I heard from the Associated Press Reporter that I was quoted in her article on Pluto. For those of you not following savepluto, here's a link to one copy of the article, whose slant can be inferred from the title: Online merchants see green in Pluto news. Because it's an AP article, it's showing up on websites (and presumably newspapers) around the world, and I'm quoted at the very end:


Michael Burstein, who heads the Society for the Preservation of Pluto as a Planet, a grass-roots group formed earlier this year, said he was encouraged by the ruckus.

"If someone is creating 'Save Pluto' T-shirts, more power to them. No one has a monopoly on Pluto," he said.


And here's an amusing tidbit: we hadn't really planned to sell merchandise ourselves until the AP reporter suggested it. So is that a case of the journalists influencing the news?

Moving on, shabbat was relaxing as usual. I spent much of the afternoon reading, and I finished the book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission by Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton. Reading it, I get the feeling that Kean wrote most of it, but that he ran the manuscript by Hamilton to make sure Hamilton approved. I have to say, I admire the way Kean promoted Hamilton from vice-chair to co-chair and strongly pushed for the commission to present a united, bipartisan front. He discusses that in the book a lot, and how often Americans would approach commission members and thank them for their bipartisan approach.

Saturday night, Nomi and I watched television.

Sunday morning, I woke up to the expectation that I had lost the two Hugos I was up for. (I figured that had I won, we would have been woken by a phone call from one of my acceptors.) Sure enough, checking the Internet yielded the news that both stories had lost in their categories. Congratulations to all the winners.

The vast majority of Sunday was filled with attending a family get-together in Manchester, Connecticut. The gathering was for the Weiss extended family, and for those of you who are confused, I shall explain. Nomi's step-grandmother was Matilda Weiss, and she had six siblings. Her brother Bob is married to Gloria, of Aunt Gloria's Lasagna (recipe available from Nomi on request). What this means is that we have a lot of relatives whom we are not related to by blood, but by the marriage of Nomi's paternal grandfather to his second wife. We drove to Connecticut, as did Nomi's parents and uncle, and we spent the day with the extended family, catching up and seeing people we haven't seen in a while.

Eventually, we drove home, picked up dinner at Rubin's, and plopped down in front of the television to watch Stargate SG-1. We have now finished season five and have only three more DVD sets to go before we're all caught up. Which will probably be just in time for the series to have come to an end.