Monday, July 04, 2005

This just in

The 19 Minutes staff, with a day off from Public Radioland, watched some of NBC's Today show this morning. And if I understand correctly from the top news stories presented today, art experts in Great Britain have been able to detect a mysterious painting by Leonardo Da Vinci behind another Da Vinci painting hanging at the National Gallery in London. And, as the Today show reported, that detective work not only shows that Da Vinci was apparently planning a painting of the Christ child, but his hidden work also reveals the whereabouts of missing Alabama teen Natalie Holloway in Aruba, and sketches out the results of the Deep Impact mission to Comet Tempel 1. Cryptologists are hurrying to the scene, hoping to learn whether the discovered masterpiece also yields clues as to the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa, the makers of Stonehenge, or the secret behind the phantom tag in the 2004 American League Division Series.

We're just back from the Flagstaff Fourth of July parade, the first-ever parade for our one-year old. Sylvi was interested in the floats, the fire engines, the dogs, Smokey Bear -- but seemed most impressed by a golf cart with one balloon attached.

It was also our first time at the local Fourth of July parade, which I give favorable reviews, if only for the blissful lack of Shriners on miniature motorcycles. There was also a strange absence of marching bands, save for one entry from the Flagstaff High School band.

My wife would really like to be in a parade some year. I've ridden in a few July 4th parades, back in the days I worked in commercial radio. Commercial stations have an easier time at parades, since they tend to already have pick-up trucks with call letters on the side. The one that stands out, for no particular reason except that I can remember it, was in the bustling metropolis of Calmar, Iowa. We actually did a live broadcast from the bed of the pickup, which had to be timed just right, since I seem to remember the parade route extended maybe a half-mile.

And at least in the media, there's a chance some of the people lining the parade route have heard of you, and might even wave. The most awkward part of parades -- today's Flagstaff parade included -- is the half-dozen "floats" which are nothing more than vans from area businesses ("Look, Sylvi! Wave at the people from the computer repair shop!"). Not that they don't provide a service to the community, but it's perhaps on a slightly different scale than, say, the fire department.

The largest entry (or smallest, depending on how you look at it) in the Flagstaff parade was the local youth soccer association, which was represented by probably 15 teams of miniature soccer players. Since Sylvi's already a shoo-in for the US Women's Soccer team in the 2024 Summer Olympics, it was good to see girls' teams well-represented. Though the team leading the way leads me to wonder whether girls' sports still have a way to go -- somehow, it just seems unlikely that a team called the "Strawberry Shortcakes" strikes fear into the hearts of the competition.

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