Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This is a shout out to all you Catholics out there:

Help save our basement from flooding with your prayers!!! Our basement is unlikely to weather the thunderstorms that have been sweeping through Philly this week without some serious "sewer reflux syndrome".

Please give up a prayer to Saint Felicula, the patron saint of sewers!

A little more about her...

St. Felicula
Her feast day is June 13. She died a virgin martyr, the foster sister of St. Petronilla. Flaccus, a powerful Roman official, pro­posed to Petronilla and was refused. He then had her arrested. After Petronilla’s martyrdom, Felicula went without food or water in the prison. She was then thrown into a sewer, where she died. St. Nicomedes recovered her remains.

I'm not sure if other people know her as the patron of sewers, but I think that her particular death would probably make her count as one. Anyway, Philly Water Department hasn't been doing their job, so I thought I would call in a higher power.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I picked up a copy of ESRI News, which is the main publication of ESRI the company that makes ArcView, the dominant geographic information software on the market today, to find a lengthy and interesting article on the overall degradation of geographic knowledge in the general public. This article was written as a matter of "Geographer pride" by a professor at Kansas State University, one of the few institutions in the country that offers an advanced degree in my undergraduate field of study. Apparently, while geography is one of the 9 critical subjects involved in the No Child Left Behind act, there have been $0 allocated to teach it in our schools. None of the ivy leagues offer graduate programs in Geography and only Dartmouth even offers it as an undergraduate option. While almost all of the "great" presidents of the past had official geographers, there has not been one since the Roosevelt administration.

What is geography? It is more than knowing the state capitals. Geography is to time what history is to space. It is the study of spatial relationships between places, things and people. It is cool. I have a degree in it. GO MAC!