Ah! Friday in February!

Some articles or news of note:

ABA E-Journal’s latest humorous anecdotes about the legal profession.

While the post-mortem on the Dean campaign has been going on, writer Paul Gastris in his NY Times op-ed illustrates an obituary for the Wesley Clark campaign. I thought Clark had brought a certain edge to the 2004 campaign (“ooh, a general! Cool!”), but his inexperience proved to have been his undoing.

Bill Moyers is apparently leaving “Now” on PBS, after the election, to write a book on his experiences working for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Darn sad; Moyers made me appreciate a lot of stories that I wouldn’t have thought heard or thought about and he made me re-appreciate old fashioned liberalism with his respectful yet charged tone of voice. Hopefully PBS won’t turn away from “Now” (which won’t be the same without Moyers, although David Brancaccio as co-host has been nice watch, at least to help ease the burden on Moyers), but we’ll see how this goes.

NY Times’ report on the impending subway changes, effective 12:01 am, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2004. Pro: N-line will be on the Manhattan Bridge, ending an almost 20-year detour in the tunnels between Court St. Whitehall stations, and the B and D lines will be back in Brooklyn. Con: B will be on the old D-line and D will be on the old B-line. According to the article, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) recognizes that the old-time Brooklynites will be confused that the B will be on the old D-line and the D will be on the B-line, but claims that the short-term confusion will be fine (and, yeah, I’ve mentioned in a previous blog entry that I grew up back when the B was the B and the D was the D – and that was just less than five years ago). In fact, MTA allegedly has an explanation for why the planners couldn’t put the lines back together again in Brooklyn, the article notes:

“One of the most controversial aspects is the swapping of the old B and D lines, with their return to Brooklyn. Many residents remember growing up near the lines and will have to remember the switch.

“In the end, this was a decision based mostly on trying to simplify things, planners said. The B train in the Bronx currently runs only during the weekdays because of station rehabilitation work along the route and less demand. Planners decided that they wanted to connect this to the weekday-only line in Brooklyn. Planners conceded that they could have simply switched the designation in the Bronx, but they decided that would only confuse riders there.”

So, why is it that it is not worthwhile to confuse the riders of south Bronx, but okay to confuse the 4 million Brooklynites? Huh? (yeah, I don’t know how many people in the south Bronx take the B and D, so anyone may feel free to correct any of my misconceptions; but I still feel that the switch in Brooklyn is still an outrage). And, what about the immigrant populations of the Midwood/Brighton Beach lines (the old D line) and Bensonhurst (the old B line), forget the English-speaking population? I’d sit on the W subway (which substituted the B in Brooklyn the past three years or so), and I’d still hear Cantonese-Chinese speakers refer it as the (gasp!) B. Where’s the simplification in this?

I mean no offense to the MTA, really and my views are entirely my own and not representative of anyone else’s; I’ll quietly adjust to the N changes from where I am to get to work, but I’m just still baffled about why the switch on the B and D. End of rant.

In a previous blog, I discussed the virtues of the Travelocity commercial and the Gnome. Much to my amusement, it turned out that I one-upped the Slate.com “Ad Report,” as it too has recently commented on the Travelocity ad campaign. (well, I was wondering when Slate.com was going to get to the subject of the Gnome anyway). Slate.com “Ad Report” writer Seth Stevenson gave it a B-minus, because he figured that the Gnome can only go so far (umm, creatively, that is). Stevenson has a point, but in the meantime, I still think it’s a cute ad campaign. Oh, and he notes an explanation for why Travelocity gave Bill the Gnome a British accent (although I still prefer my “Full Monty” theory).

Ok, ok. Time to go…

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