Thursday, February 14, 2008

Northern Illinois University

On an unrelated note: The horrifying news today out of Northern Illinois University. A gunman walked into a lecture hall and shot 21 people, killing 5 of them, before turning the gun on himself. I first heard about it after reading a Facebook status update from a friend of mine who is a student at NIU. It read "Mike : GUNMAN AT NORTHERN, GET TO SAFETY."

I started following the news at that point.

I must say, when Seung-Hui Cho undertook whatever grisly mission it was that he had in his head at Virginia Tech, my reaction was quite different. I have friends at NIU. I've spent time there. I have family connections there.

Let those who passed requiescat in pace, and peace upon the familes and friends of the wounded and shell-shocked.

Well It's 50 Cups of Coffee and You Know It's On

I was reading a blog earlier today; something chronicling the Long War.
There was an Iraqi flag on the sidebar linking to somewhere else.
I read the words in the middle; it was the takbir (Allahu akbar).
After a second or two, my mind registered the fact that I had read the Arabic script.
Martin had told me that learning to read Arabic is like riding a bike.
I think he was right, because it felt just like the first time I took off without training wheels.
Granted, I've still got half of the alphabet and all of the diacriticals to learn, but this is a start.
Once I finish that, I'll be functionally illiterate in a handful of languages.