Thursday, April 21, 2011


Things continue to occasionally happen to me, but in the midst of school, and now with the approach of finals, I have been strained to tell (all of) you about it in this space. Well, my ten-week silence is at an end!

Recent weeks have been characterized especially by visits. Dan Savage, columnist, blogger and founder of the It Gets Better project, came to speak at the University of Pittsburgh, and I was there to see him. (David Lawrence Hall, where he spoke, was also the location of my 8th grade promotion ceremony.)

It was an especially fitting venue since I had first read Savage's column sitting on the Pitt campus waiting for the bus at the Tennyson Avenue stop sometime circa 1999.

Next, I was visited (vicariously) by Vice President Joe Biden. I had written him the day after President's Day to wish him a happy Vice President's Day (which I suggested was appropriately observed on President's Day + 1), and he wrote me back.

I also complimented him on his French cuffs, which looked especially sharp as he sat behind President Obama during the State of the Union address, and he sent me a set of Vice Presidential cufflinks.

The previous night, someone wanted to visit Pitt Law so badly, she tried to drive her car straight into the courtroom.

(Photo by The Pitt News/Luc Felak/Senior Staff Photographer)

The next morning, they had put up some boards to cover over the hole, and a few days later, it was well on its way to being patched up.

But I maintain its distance from any legitimate roadway, not to mention the steps and columns in the way, make this remarkable nonetheless. These photos capture some of the improbability that a car would travel so far.

Then, I was visiting Squirrel Hill and saw that someone else was visiting and brought the skulls of various animals with him or her everywhere he or she went. Excellent.

Then I was a volunteer at TEDxCMU, a fun set of presentations on various topics. Luis von Ahn's presentation on Duolingo was awesome, and I can't wait to see it rolled out for the public.

They showed Twitter posts about the conference during breaks, including this one from me.

Almost as memorable as the presentation on Duolingo was the immense quantity of Red Bull there. Evidently Red Bull called up the organizers sua sponte and offered to co-sponsor the event by donating a couple cases of Red Bull.

I visited Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College, where I've been admitted to their MSPPM program (still waiting on my financial aid package before I decide for sure) and on the way to a reception at the Heinz History Center, we saw none other than Bumper Bike.

Also visiting Squirrel Hill, in addition to the skull-transporting motorist (supra), was a giant squirrel, perhaps named Murray, as announced in this issue of Squirrel Hill Magazine. (Though I was partial to the also-ran names "Captain von Bushy" and "Nut Nut.")

Finally, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came to Pittsburgh where she spoke about a variety of topics in a Q&A session at Trinity Cathedral.

Let the visits continue!

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