December 30th, 2005

krazy koati

Yust tell him his Hilda Honson yust got off the boat

Oh, and, before it passes entirely from my mind, wiped away by fatigue and the rush of days: Yes, they are indeed continuing to mint State Quarters, so apparently not all of them have been turned into collectible items yet. Specifically, after a year and a half of finding nothing new I finally in Chicago yesterday got (with change from a bagel) a Wisconsin quarter. And I notice it's a 2004 quarter, while this is the first time I've seen one, so they're way underestimating how many of these they need to mint.

The quarter itself -- I'm sure this is old news in Appleton, but it's not to me -- features as its design the brief yet short state motto, ``Forward'', and for visual appeal it gives: An ear of corn, a cow, and a chunk of cheese. Apparently, they were worried that people on the East Coast weren't snickering enough while thinking about the state. The other good explanation is they wanted to preclude the chance that North Dakota would have anything at all to put on its coin that was in any way related to the state without looking like copycats. I recall the web page of somebody upset about earlier State Quarters who submitted his own design for Wisconsin, using an old medal design to produce an icon that screamed, ``The Kaiser wants you!'', but at least it avoided that whole ``Wisconsin: Here To Service Cows'' image. (The same guy also did a few Michigan designs, which indicated he thought the only interesting thing about Michigan was the Mackinac Bridge.)

But there was another coin surprise waiting for me in the nickels, and exactly who gave you people permission to fiddle around with the nickel when I wasn't looking? Actually, I kind of like the new look on Thomas Jefferson, even if there's something in all Federalist men's wear that makes me snicker, but I'm not sure what I feel about the rather visually packed image of Lewis and Clark reaching the Pacific on the reverse. Some part of me kind of wants them to go back to abstract depictions of Liberty, though.

Trivia: Among the students privately tutored by James Joseph Sylvester -- founder, with Arthur Cayley, of the theory of matrices -- was Florence Nightingale. Source: Men of Mathematics, E T Bell.

Currently Reading: The First American Army, Bruce Chadwick.