I got my dissertation defense date – May 4. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it will be good to have it done. It’s kept me pretty busy lately.

I also need to recommend a new local restaurant to my fellow Cincinnatians – Mama’s Hot Pot (8372 Reading Road). It opened up about a month ago and is just a couple of blocks from our condo. We stopped by yesterday. The food is good and very well priced. I wouldn’t say it’s the highest quality restaurant I’ve been to, but it’s local and the owner/chef comes out to chat with you. I tried the vegetarian lasagna, which was okay. Debi got the falafel – and I was jealous; the falafel was superb and cheap. We also split a bowl of potato soup that was uniquely spiced (lots of dill) and great. The owner also treated me to a sample of his rice pudding, which was also very good. The menu is probably a bit hit or miss, but definitely worth giving it a chance.

Finally, I caught this short article in the January edition of Footnotes about a poll taken among Iraqi’s. The article is actually pretty objective and doesn’t really have a particular political bias. This one question really struck me:

When asked about “the three main reasons for the U.S. invasion of Iraq,” 76% of Iraqis cited “to control Iraqi oil” as their first choice; 41% said “to build military bases” as the second choice; and 32% mentioned “to help Israel” as the third choice. Less than 2% of Iraqis cited “to bring democracy to Iraq” as the most likely explanation for the U.S. invasion of their country.

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