Archive for November 15th, 2004

I’m in DC learning how to report on the folkstreams.net grant. The good news is that we have a great rate on a great hotel. All mod cons and most of them in gold looking metal with muted gold tones repeated throughout the hotel and the rooms. They even leave slippers by the bed for you. The bad news is that the facillitator hates our meeting room and swears not to meet here again. We, the attendees, are fine by the meeting room, delighted with the rate, and more than happy with our own rooms.

And we have learned a lot today. 80% of learning a new discipline is said to be about vocabulary. 80% of success is about showing up (says Woody Allen). But in our training, 90% of reporting on our grants is about syntax. We do not say “the public will have access to these wonderful materials;” we say instead “the public (or better ‘citizens’) will use these wonderful materials.” We do not say “students will learn about their heritage from these materials;” we say “students will know about their heritage from these materials.”

[added later] The point I should say is that “access” and “learning” are “processes” whilst “use” and “knowing” are outcomes that may be measured. Or so we were told.

In the meantime, a man set himself on fire less than a block from here in front of the White House. He reportedly shouted “Allah, Allah.”

Then just after I passed by Pennsylvania Ave and the new barricades. Another man scaled the fences and was pounced upon by Secret Service officers. I think I saw this guy a few minutes before he went over. He was in black with white ties around his pants at the ankles and was pulling gently at the fence when I passed by.

TV news was on the spot to report. One block away in front of the Hay Adams.

DC still has a ways to go to catch up with NYC where a man jumped naked into the Caiman tank at the Bronx Zoo.

UPDATE: I woke up to read a long story in the Washington Post (registration required but Google News will have you find other versions) that 52-year-old Mohammed Alanssi who set himself on fire at the White House yesterday evening was a Yemeni federal informant on terrorism upset over how the FBI had managed his case.
NBC4 has pictures of both the burned man and the jumper. The jumper was definitely the man I passed yesterday afternoon. He went over not long after I saw him.

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