13 October 2009

More pictures from the exhibition

Sorry, but this isn't Peoria
Several months ago, an Afghan government report stated that Kabul, with a population of more than three million, had only 30 kilometers (some 18 miles) of highways in “good” condition. Most of the city’s main roadways are peppered with potholes, overused, and seemingly never maintained. Many, if not most, of the other streets are unpaved, gutted and rutted. The trips on the university vans to and from the campus and the faculty guest houses are often bone-jarring. During a recent trip, one new faculty member asked the local driver: “You know, these roads are just awful. Have you ever complained to your mayor?”

Taking brown-nosing to a new low
I recently had a student ask for an deadline extension on a paper after I had already told him several times that it wasn’t possible. He persisted. I said no again. Then he grabbed my hand and kissed it, pleading for mercy. I was speechless (and later sympathetically embarrassed for him). Had I been a bit more quick-witted, perhaps I could have suggested he genuflect and kiss my ring. Ugh. By the way, my answer was still no.

Marge, the TV is morphing
Explanation please: The house is which I live has cable TV service from the same provider on the first and second floors, but the station numbers are not always the same on the two TVs. Channel 36 upstairs might by channel 34 downstairs. Plus, stations come and go, even within the week. One day I receive Al-Jazeera in English and the next day is not available anywhere. The strangest phenomena, however, is the ability of a station to fade into obscurity and then, without having touched the TV or remote, a new image from a completely different station inexplicably emerges from the “snow.” Maybe the house is possessed with spirits.

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