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Monday Miscellany

Over at More Intelligent Life, Anthony Gardner has some thoughts on “verbing”—that most deplorable of language trends. My theory is that it’s the result of ignorance rather than the natural order of things. And since, as a species, we appear to be getting stupider, it’s going to get a lot worse.

Just finished White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche. It’s about the massive storm of 1910 that shut down the rail lines in Stevens Pass just west of Leavenworth, and the resulting avalanche that swept two trains and a hundred people into the canyon below Wellington. The author, Gary Krist, is a novelist, and that makes a huge difference: instead of a dry historical account, you get a beautifully crafted story, with characters, plot, and a climactic chapter that is simply breathtaking. And not a word of invented dialogue, either.

Took the family to see Tron: Legacy over the weekend. It was just what one wants from a Sunday afternoon at the theater: pure escapism, with impressive effects and, it must be said, an effective soundtrack. The whole idea behind it is patently ridiculous, of course (and the original’s worth is directly proportional to your age in 1982), but who cares? It was fun.

Finally, a nod to the EWU football team, crowned FCS national champions (!) Friday night after an improbable come-from-behind victory over Delaware. Who’d a thunk it? Now, if only people in Spokane would stop obsessing over WSU and Gonzaga long enough to notice…



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