Leopold

It struck me that there’s a fringe benefit from the revolutions sweeping North Africa:  a much higher percentage of Americans can now point out Tunisia on a map, thus partially relieving the geographic illiteracy for which we’re globally known.  Of course we’ve been like this for a generation.  An article in a recent The New Yorker mentioned as an aside that a Belgian student going to a university here would ask American students at parties to name five famous Belgians and that hardly any American could.  I, an international traveler and sophisticated language maven, snorted in derision at this before i started to trying to compose my list of five famous Belgians.

Then a wave of panic swept me until names gradually started surfacing.  Whew.  No problem:

  1. Justine Henin,
  2. Kim Clijsters,
  3. Kristof Vliegen,
  4. Christophe Rochus,
  5. Xavier Malisse.

And for extra credit:  Leopold II.

Which reminds me that several years ago i was at Lone Pine Nursery in Sebastopol (California!) and spotted a really spectacular agave.  I stooped to look at the name on its little stake and was shocked to read“AGAVE LEOPOLD II”, wondering why in the world such a gorgeous plant would be named after a man arguably the most evil human in history.  And then i realized it was Agave leopoldii and doubtless a different Leopold.

bike standsHere’s a couple of bike stands i like:

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