As John B. points out, there’s a hoax question hanging over the story about the Massachusetts student who says he got sweated by the Department of Homeland Security for trying to get Chairman Mao’s original, unexpurgated “Little Red Book” through interlibrary loan (see my previous post). OK — the original story does have vague elements I noticed but didn’t pay attention to: mostly the fact the entire story is secondhand. That having been said, no one has shown yet that that the story is untrue, and (famous last words) the reporter who wrote it says he stands by it. BoingBoing is doing a pretty good job following the hoax allegation.
A long, cold bike ride in the rain sounds like it builds character (or affords one the chance to display the character you’ve already built), but: Last Saturday, I went out on what was supposed to be a 95-mile ride down to a town southeast of Berkeley called Livermore. By the time we left at 8 a.m., the chance of rain for the day was up to 60 percent — but it sounded as if the incoming storm wouldn’t arrive till mid-afternoon at the earliest. Of course, it started raining about 10:30 or so, maybe 10 miles north of our turnaround destination. Most of our little group of riders bailed and rode over to catch a commuter train back to Berkeley. Still, we were on the road for 20 miles in the rain, and by the time we got to the train station it was 39 degrees (chilly for the Bay Area). So I got to demonstrate my mettle. And since Sunday, I’ve been home sick with the first real cold I’ve had in many months. From now on, I’m going to reserve my character-building activities for warm, dry days.