About Me

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Armchair theorist, poet, and occasional IT manager, Sascha B. is equipped with a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, and is not afraid to use it. His work has been published by the University Press of America, Edwin Mellen Press, University of Texas Press, and a variety of small journals nationwide. He is also the proprietor and baker for 3141 Pie, of which you should eat many.

The Deal

I stopped blogging in 2013, when life overtook me. My father became ill and died shortly thereafter, and my mother was left with increasing dementia. I became the primary caregiver, and now orchestrate my mother's care and our family estate.

Now, I am coming up for air again.

Looking for the next book to read. All suggestions welcome.

My reading list is over here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


This is just really, really cool. The discovery of a spiderweb--with insects trapped in it---preserved in amber for 110 million years. Think about it the next time you have the urge to stomp on a multi-legged intruder:
"the great great ancestors of modern spiders were weaving webs as long ago as 136 million years ago."
Read up on just how ancient our spidey friends are, and see the pictures: BBC: Ancient web spins evolution story.

This Brookings Institute report helps break another leg of the myth of modern American economic and class mobility. We are heading for something a bit more striated...

Report here: Where Did They Go? The Decline of Middle-Income Neighborhoods in Metropolitan America.

And further discussion here and here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not Good

I just heard this memo read on the news. It bodes ill for the current trend moving in Iraq; for Iraqis, for women, for the US, for everyone. This isn't part of a botched strategy; this is part of the deterioration of hearts and minds in the face of a foe that can't be fought with arms. And one that our government appears willfully unwilling to understand or accept.

Just as religious and ideological intimidation has infested societies previously; for the same reason that 20 years ago in Israel---while I lived a few blocks away---, a woman jogging in the morning was stoned and brought near death because she dared come (unwittingly) too close to the community of Me'ah Shearim with bare knees and elbows; for the same reason that intolerance always leads to chaos, we cannot allow this to continue. The president has a responsibility to both his own nation and the nation he has invaded to conceive and execute a plan to reverse this malicious trend in Iraq.

We need to provide something more.

Read more here: Independent Online Edition > Middle East

Read the whole memo here.
The Hydra's Heads Grow
"We have recovered what we believe are the remains of our two missing soldiers...We found they had been tortured in a barbaric fashion."
Not that I was ever skeptical of the unspoken assumption that once Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was taken out of the picture, that the insurgency would fade away meekly. Oh no.

BBC: US soldiers' bodies found in Iraq.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Darwin In Action
A Florida Today analysis of federal motorcycle crash statistics found "unhelmeted" deaths in Florida rose from 22 deaths in 1998 and 1999, the years before the helmet law repeal, to 250 deaths in 2004, the most recent data available....

"The media spent way too much time harping on the helmet issue and not enough on the cause of the accident," Carroll said. "What causes most of the crashes is cars.
Yup. And guns don't kill people: bullets kill people. And yet you'd think that rampant stupidity would set in after being tossed on your head from a speeding two-wheeled vehicle weighing hundreds of pounds, rather than before....

Read it all here: AP: Fla. motorcycle fatalities reportedly soar.
For All Fathers, Everywhere

A happy father's day to you. We wouldn't be here without you.