[A wyvern here]

Dan Drake's Home Page


Political Rant Section

So far (2003-04-16), what new things have we learned from the war in Iraq, and what can we learn from any surprising events? Here is a partial answer that may surprise some.

I also have four variations on an incorrect political joke (not the same as a politically incorrect joke). If you dislike offensive anti-administration jokes, skip this; it will just annoy you, and surely you have better things to do with your time than seeking out the sensation of being annoyed.

Here are also some fossil rants: one on Berkeley and the last war but one and two on the infamous Ebonics resolution of years ago.; and one examination of Washington reality versus real reality in terms of the previous Administration.

The Works of Porlock

The noted historian of science Stillman Drake, though appropriately described as a 24-hour intellectual (or, as we would now say, 24/7), did not spend all his time examining Galileo's watermarks and timing ball bearings on inclined planes. Here, for the first time anywhere, are four items of my father's Sherlockiana. Prepare yourself for some shocking revelations.

The FBI in Peace and Naughtiness

Have you heard how J. Edgar Hoover defined the limits on the FBI's authority to take action on certain kinds of naughty behavior? The story seems to be going the rounds and gives no sign of dying out. So here are the true facts.


What Web site is complete without a crude attempt at humor? Look at it this way: at least I don't have a Barney page or a Phantom Menace page.

An Annotated Wimsey

These notes on the entire corpus of Lord Peter Wimsey stories are a work in progress, but at least there's a beginning: notes on five of the books (as of 2001-04-26) and on the project as a whole.

A Few Odd Games

Here are a few games that have caught my interest at one time or another.


Here's a small collection of possibly useful items, including

The Gift of Fire

In progress This space is reserved for an appreciation of Richard Mitchell's book The Gift of Fire. But I haven't worked up the abstracts yet. Meanwhile, you could check out Mark Alexander's collection of works by Mitchell, or Jason Molenda's collection of The Underground Grammarian.

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night

This piece took shape suddenly in my mind one morning when I had been reading too much about Business In The Nineties and such stuff. The Joe Hill connection seems to have been inspired by an interview with John Galt.

Stock repurchase: the modern dividend

Every day the analysts sing the praises of some company which has decided to relieve itself of spare cash by chasing its own stock in the market. What's it all about? More to the point, cui bono? Who is to benefit from it? A couple of years ago I wrote a note to some friends, answering the question. I've now augmented it with a response to the boilerplate that always runs in the newspapers, explaining the benefits to shareholders.

More Capitalist Notes

As I told Joe, I sometimes read annual reports and other SEC filings. Some of them are good for a laugh; if you share my perverted sense of humor, take a look at some recent insults to stockholders.

My two Hillary Clinton anecdotes

What? This guy knows the Clintons? He knows somebody who knows somebody who had it on the best authority? No, I've never met them, and I'm not likely to spend $50,000 on meeting that Eisenhower Republican and his more liberal but more stiff-necked wife. Nonetheless, I've lived a life, or a good part of one, and after a while it gets to be remarkable how much the events in fairyland, as reported by the wire services, resemble what happens in real life. Here, then, are two events from my brief history as a responsible businessperson; see how they relate to those crazy alibis the Clintons try to pass off.

Ebonics, anyone?

What did the Oakland Board of Education have on its collective mind when it passed the resolution on Ebonics? That's not answerable, if only because groups don't have minds. But we can know exactly what they said. You lucky folks can even get an analysis of the board's resolution in the same place, but you can read the original document without it.

The essay that would not die: You can tell this was written by a programmer. When first written, it may have been a bit long-winded and self-indulgent, but it had a point. As it acquired bug fixes and features, or corrections and new data, it became pretty much incoherent. Like much software, it's not worth the trouble to re-write completely, and yet it calls out for an update. So, here's an additional document with some new data. It includes a recantation of virtually anything favorable that I said about the Oakland school board or anyone on it, based on the board's own information.

Here's to Microsoft

Copyright© 1995 Owen Drake
Drawn by my son, usually an OS/2® user, after Windows 3.1® told him it just couldn't find the memory for the insanely demanding task he was performing: saving the drawing he'd done in Paintbrush.

And what's that beast up there?

A wyvern: a small species of dragon with eagle's legs. The knot in the tail is authentic, at least for wyverns in the Drake (Draco) family. So is the beard.

Citations in the OED give the lie to T. H. White's description of wyverns (in Sword in the Stone) as little dragons that hid in bushes. Maybe he was dealing with chihuahuiverns.

For more information on dragons and pythons and people named after them, see my Infrequently Asked Questions. People who have stumbled here by searching Alta Vista for Drake and genealogy may find something to amuse them, though no really serious data.

Last modified April 16, 2003. Built April 16, 2003