More Reasons To Love Cambridge

This was what I saw on my walk from our house to downtown on October 30:

Jesus Green panorama

Click for the full size image. Then sigh with delight and possibly seethe with jealousy if you don’t live somewhere with this sort of natural spectacle on the edge of downtown.

Jesus Green autumn trees

Click to enlarge.

This is the view from my doctor’s lobby:

buildings outside office

These buildings predate pretty much all of modern medicine.


Of course if you look down, it appears they have a pigeon horror feature:

nets and spikes

Nets and spikes. Methinks this is not a good spot for Audubon Society meetings.

But I am not a pigeon, so I like the place.

Size Matters Not (Unless You Need To Get Somewhere)

A friend posted this link on G+ recently. It is an overlay of a map of the UK on top of a map of the US, and you can drag the UK around to compare relative sizes.

While it may be considered a joke, it’s actually important information for both sides. I’ve met some folks here who encountered problems when they assumed they could easily drive between western US cities in a short amount of time, only to find out that it takes days to cross those states. One lady in particular told me about how while vacationing in California, she and her husband looked at a map and thought they could drive up into the mountains in a short time, but as they kept cresting hill after hill – always thinking the mountains looked so close – they were actually still hours away.

And of course, Canadians (and even Alaskans) read about Texans going on about how “big” things are in Texas and they laugh, and laugh, and grab our dogsleds and laugh and weep as we prepare to traverse the vast, arctic wasteland known as “Bank Street” in Ottawa…

(Psssst, yes, it’s totally true that all Canadians live in igloos and use dogsleds for everything. You should ask us about that. We love that.)

Anyway, on the flip side, when we were coming here and I kept telling Peo we’d walk to certain places and she’d freak out, I would remind her that a) unlike in Austin, we will not be risking heat stroke for half the year, and b) the spaces in the UK are very, very much smaller than she’s used to, having been born in Nevada and grown up mostly in Texas.

In those last few weeks in Austin, whenever we’d drive somewhere I’d note the mileage and then we’d compare that between Cambridge locations to see just how relatively itty bitty this city is.

I also kept reminding her that she had to let go of her US school indoctrination about “history” and “tradition” and how the “US invented everything good in the world”, because where we were going, the university alone is older than the US as a country.

We re-emphasized that last one at a recent trip to Bletchley Park where we told Peo how the US claims to have invented the computer, when really the UK did, but in secret because they were busy winning a war with that technology.

But in the ensuing discussion from the thread where my friend mentioned the map linked above, I came to a realization based on several of these facts:

1) England is small but mighty.
2) England is really, really old.
3) England has a history of being quite adept with fancy swords.
4) England defeated Germany where your Vater is your father.
5) England has lots of green spaces all over it.

Add that all up and there’s just one obvious conclusion:


england yoda

C’mon, they even have the same shape if you squint hard enough.