Handwritten notes, and a dying art. The Bradley Manning saga finally ends. And the worst way to get dinner, ever

handwritten note

So the wife and I are knee-deep into writing a whole heaping batch of thank-you notes this week, as we express our gratitude to the guests at our recent wedding.

And midway through thank-you note No. 48 (or thereabouts), as I shook off my hand-cramp, it struck me how rarely we actually write long, hand-written notes anymore.

Everything is email or text, and if we do write notes, they’re usually little reminders to ourselves about doctor appointments or shopping lists or whatever.
Hardly ever do I have to use my penmanship (and it’s pretty awful, let me tell you), and I can’t remember the last hand-written letter I’ve received, besides other people’s thank-you notes and invitations.

At the risk of going all Andy Rooney on you, I think it’s a little bit sad that we don’t write letters anymore; emails, wonderful though they are, just aren’t as personal.

Then again, I never get scolded at for poor handwriting in emails. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing.


**Mercifully, the Bradley Manning verdict was announced Tuesday, as the former Army private first class was convicted of espionage but not guilty of aiding the enemy, a mixed decision that still will likely leave Manning in prison for the rest of his life.

I’m not here today to argue that Manning is innocent; he leaked classified documents, and that was wrong. But what this young kid, an American citizen, has been put through over the past three years, is reprehensible.
I’ve written about this before, about the inhumane treatment Manning faced while awaiting trial; of the 23 hours of imprisonment per day, of the denial of sheets and pillows on his bed.
Manning was not allowed to have any contact with other humans but for one hour per day when he was outside, and was not allowed to access any news programs or have any other contact with the outside world.

Read the chilling details from this 2010 story by Glenn Greenwald, and then tell me if this is how America ought to treat its prisoners, who have YET to stand trial.
Manning risked his life and freedom by leaking documents to WikiLeaks, because he thought what his government was doing was wrong.
And then to get treated even worse than a normal criminal? Awful.


**Finally today, an idea so bad I can’t believe it actually has seen the light of the day.

Ever wonder what to have for dinner, and being unable to make a decision?
Of course, we all have. And in all those thousands of moments, did you ever once think, “Hmm, I wish we could have our neighbor’s leftovers, I bet they’re delicious?”
Of course not. But now you can. There’s a new app called “Leftover Swap” that lets you take a picture of your unfinished meatloaf or chicken parm, and post it on the app’s website.
Also, equally delightfully, app users can scan the website’s “map” for leftovers, then order them and arrange for pickup!

I can’t believe this exists; from a public-health point of view alone, it seems pretty dangerous.
But hey, I’m sure it’ll be a big success for people who don’t care who took that first bite out of the salmon.


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