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Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Time Event
12:05p
Take my little hand and go like this

So with the other pier explored and us both remarkably happy and contented together we started walking back, looking at boardwalk shops and stands and one of the spots was selling salt water taffy. I asked bunny_hugger if she'd had salt water taffy, and she had, in North Carolina. In a quip of local pride, I answered, ``So, no, then.'' This actually suggests much more of a local attachment to salt water taffy than I really do feel, but it provoked a pleasant talk about local foods -- Michigan's is fudge, which I could certainly get behind -- and very swiftly we were in one of the shops filling up a box with the many different flavors of salt water taffy. I'd forgotten how many different flavors there were; I think I'd gotten to assuming there was vanilla and that was it. But this turned out to be a good investment since it turns out she quite likes New Jersey salt water taffy.

There were no shortage of other shops along the boardwalk, of course, although most of them weren't selling things we found particularly interesting. I did glance at one of the shops with patches of national flags, but they didn't have Singapore's; bunny_hugger pointed out this might reflect the rules against wanton displays of the Singaporean flag away from National Day. It might also reflect that there's more demand for Uruguay flags. Some of the shops were actually starting to close, as the hour was getting on and the crowds were thinning out.

And in what we thought would be a last look around before the end of the night we looked inside another arcade and found ... the antique carousel. It did exist, and it was sensibly sheltered within a building rather than left exposed, and actually it was just inside from the Casino Pier where we had spent the whole day. It would have taken careful planning to walk around and not see any hint of the carousel until as late in the day as we did see it, and somehow, we managed, until so very late that we wondered if all the rides were finished for the night.

Trivia: Medal winners at the 1936 Berlin Olympics also received oak foliage and a small oak tree, meant as a symbol of German character, strength, and hospitality. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Laughing Space, Edited by Isaac Asimov, Janet O Jeppson. There's a school of science fiction comedy in which we just carry on a story as normal, maybe at higher pace, with a lot of awkward and unexplained words pumped in. I'm fonder of the school where you start with a slightly twisted premise and follow it out to absurd conclusions, such as Leo Szilard's ``Report on Grand Central Terminal'' (which requires some historical context) or Damon Knight's ``The Big Pat Boom'', or Katherine MacLean's ``The Snowball Effect''. Also, I would like people doing mathematics humor/science fiction to get over the Möbius strip already. It does include Evelyn E Smith's ``The Vilbar Party'', which I previously knew because Damon Knight found to be an annoying example of the call-a-rabbit-a-smeerp story, where a key scene is just a cocktail party with science fiction-y names. But the main story is ... more interesting, an exchange-professorship between a human and a Saturnian professor, with the twist that the Saturnians look like teddy bears. This does affect the story, in fact.

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