September 2008 Archives

The Creative Class strikes again

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I've noted before how much the creative class has produced on the pro-Obama side. Here are two more examples.

From UnclassifiedProducer, here's Wake Up, America:

And this one from schmoyoho.

If you really like it you can download from his myspace page.

Behind blue eyes

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Paul Newman has died but he's left behind such vivid memories for the rest of us.

Salute to a man who lived, loved, shared and gave of himself in a remarkable way.

MSNBC has a wonderful slide show of Newman photos throughout his career.

122 years of British history in a bread ad

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Via Sully, this is pretty cool for a bread company ad and an interesting way to view history.

bring it on, cowardly human!

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I use Flickr for my web photos and a few years ago I stumbled across a photographer named rebekka from Iceland whose work is just stunning. Every now and then I check in to see what new works of art she's posted. Today there was this one.

I'd embed the photo here but evidently Flickr's blogging option and my blog set up are not compatible so you'll just have to go there to look at it.

It's gorgeous.


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I'm on an email list-serv of people who are all connected to ELWA in LIberia and a letter asking for prayer for Sarah Palin has started an interesting exchange. The other thing it did was to prompt one of my childhood friends, actually a peer of my younger siblings, to contact me. We've had an interesting private exchange of letters as well.

The point of this is to say I've spent a lot of time in the last 24 hours thinking about how our childhood roots affect what we do and think as adults and wondering how people who've experienced the same general experience in childhood can develop into people with widely divergent views.

At any rate, I pointed out to my friend that the label Democrat covers a much broader range of people and views than is typically assumed. There are a lot of people who were moderate Republicans who are now Democrats. And the Democratic party stretches a lot farther into the center and even the center-right than many realize these days.

And then I ran into this video from Mississippi's Ronnie Musgrove and it is so touching. And I think that part of the reason that it hit home so strongly with me is that I'd already been pondering how our roots affect us. See what you think.

Early morning at Clear Lake

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I was digging through some old files and found a picture that I had taken in the mid-90's at a campground in northern Wisconsin that our family has enjoyed for many, many years. We were just there this summer and it looks the same. Absolutely gorgeous.

clear lake sunrise 199x-cr550.jpg

And it's so peaceful in the early morning. Though I'll admit, this time we left the 'sleeping in tents' to younger family members and enjoyed our early mornings at the hotel.

Items of Interest

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-- If you've been looking for the right epithet and find yourself saying, "Frak", then thank Glen A. Larson "who first used the faux curse word "frak" in the original "Battlestar Galactica." The word was mostly overlooked back in the '70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi's modern update winds down production." There's more on the history of frak from CNN and how it spread if you're curious.

-- Do black holes and the event horizon pique your interest even a little? Then you'll want to read about the Closest Look Ever At Edge Of A Black Hole from ScienceDaily.

-- Speaking of space and telescopes, here's an update on the race to save the Hubble telescope from Discover Magazine.

-- More from ScienceDaily. Like sports? Participate in them or even just watch them a lot? Believe it or not, you're helping your brain according to one study just released by the University of Chicago.

The research was conducted on hockey players, fans, and people who'd never seen or played the game. It shows, for the first time, that a region of the brain usually associated with planning and controlling actions is activated when players and fans listen to conversations about their sport. The brain boost helps athletes and fans understanding of information about their sport, even though at the time when people are listening to this sport language they have no intention to act. The study shows that the brain may be more flexible in adulthood than previously thought.

-- Opposable thumbs and "junk" DNA -- it's amazing what they can figure out from the study of human DNA and comparison with the DNA of other animals. In this case, what was termed "junk" DNA seems to have some very interesting information buried in it including the signal that tells other genes when to develop opposable thumbs during the growth of embryos.

Put Barney Smith before Smith Barney -- Republicans for Obama

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Discussions of Obama's TV ads and what would make effective TV ads for the campaign, referred to the ordinary people who spoke at the DNC shortly before Obama's address. I think that we missed that part in flipping back and forth to see what the chattering heads were saying so I just finally watched Barney Smith and Pamela Cash-Roper tell their stories as Republicans who are going to vote for Obama. They have powerful stories if you didn't see them.

Watching their stories made me curious about the others who spoke and while I was searching for those I found videos about Republicans who are voting for Obama. This video by Virginia Republicans voting for Obama brings home the whole war and support for the troops issue in a powerfully touching way.

And then there's this one by Republicans in Indiana who gathered together to talk about their personal reasons for choosing to support Obama.

Here's a little more video from that same gathering. Susan Eisenhower called them and did a short conference call with them.

This next video is a discussion by Republicans from Colorado Springs about why they're supporting Barack Obama and it demonstrates the power of families and habits in voting and how they are changed.

The Orwell Diaries

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The Orwell Trust and the Orwell Prize have decided to post George Orwell's diaries as a blog. From their introduction of the Orwell Diaries blog:

From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell's face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell's recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.

What impression of Orwell will emerge? From his domestic diaries (which start on 9th August), it may be a largely unknown Orwell, whose great curiosity is focused on plants, animals, woodwork, and - above all - how many eggs his chickens have laid. From his political diaries (from 7th September), it may be the Orwell whose political observations and critical thinking have enthralled and inspired generations since his death in 1950. Whether writing about the Spanish Civil War or sloe gin, geraniums or Germany, Orwell's perceptive eye and rebellion against the 'gramophone mind' he so despised are obvious.

So far it seems he was somewhat sporadic in writing in his diary so that it seems we'll have gaps of days even weeks in between new blog posts but it is truly interesting to see what he wrote about and how his life varied from the technology driven information environment we live in these days. His discussion of the newspapers available to him, the delay in their delivery and his evaluation of their individual slants in reporting the news provides such a contrast to the news that's available to any one with a good internet hook-up today. Provides some interesting food for thought.

Yes, you heard it right: Printout homes

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Gizmodo notes an amazing technology vid that demonstrates "how one day you may just call-in giant robots to print out a new home based on a CAD model. Research into the concrete-jet printer is being carried out by USC, and their technology can already build up complex concrete structures using technology that's half-CNC machine and half inkjet-like. They've just got funding from Caterpillar to further the research. Amazing stuff, especially when the team says it should be eventually be able to put together a 2,000-square-foot, two story home in just a day, with all the wiring and plumbing automatically inserted too. Even NASA is interested, as this may be a good solution for building Moonbases."

What will they think of next?

Original article
is in The Register.

Bill in Portland Maine says the darndest things

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BiPM outdid himself in today's Cheers and Jeers intro.

Welcome to Osmosis University!

Last week the Republican party rolled out a line of logic that instantly raised America's IQ by several points. Fox News's Steve Doocy and John McCain's wife, Cindy, explain...

Mr. Doocy:  "But the other thing about [Sarah Palin], she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia."

Mrs. McCain: "You know, the experience that she comes from is what she's done in government, and remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia."

We all know Republicans can say some pretty crazy things, so I decided to test their theory of Proximity/Absorption Intelligence Design. Turns out they're right!

Maine borders Canada, so I'm a foreign policy expert.

The Atlantic Ocean laps at the Maine coast, so I'm now a marine biologist and a Coast Guard Admiral.

I live next to a Burger King, so I'm a Chef de Cuisine.

I live next to the Dollar Store, so I'm qualified to chair the Federal Reserve.

An old lady lives next door, so I'm president of the AARP.

I live "next to" the moon, so I'm a NASA rocket scientist and an astronaut.

I live close to a church, so I'm the Pope. (Okay, a Pope)

There's a parking lot across the street, so I'm in line to be the next Secretary of Transportation.

I am a high-priced prostitute and there, there are no high-priced prostitutes anywhere near me.

Okay, so it's not a perfect theory. But thanks to the Republican party's out-of-their-gourd-the-box thinking, my resume is now ten pages long---with virtually no fluff!

What, or who, do you live next to, my little geniuses?

Casey Comments

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I was looking through the comments on Jay Newton-Small's post about Obama's Quiet Storms speech and found the comments of one of my favorite witty people. And she hasn't lost her touch:

Casey Morris:

EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE... has he ever led a government agency, company, anything? Has he ever had to make command decisions? Has he had any depth of experience in dealing with foreign nations and affairs? Does he have anything more than the ability to give an inspirational speech. Geeez, I can't believe you people. Use your brains and come up with something more than the speech thing.
Posted by Ldcnram111 | September 1, 2008 10:09 PM

That's just a silly argument. What on earth do you think running a Presidential campaign is anyway? His "company" sprang from thin air to create a product that, like money, exists largely in people's minds, sells it at enormous profit, creates more at will, grows his brand consistently and his broadens consumer base and market share daily.

Buddy, THAT'S the guy I want running my company.

Posted by Casey Morris | September 1, 2008 10:28 PM

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Casey Morris:

James, how's this for cynicism.
I love my bank account... not very large but it's mine. And I don't want any socialist programs sapping anything out of it either.
Posted by Ldcnram111 | September 1, 2008 10:04 PM

Man, learn your history. The basis for progressive taxation wasn't socialism. it was the Greeks in ancient times. The first taxation system was a flat tax. If you couldn't pay, you were escorted to the edge of the city and thrown out. Basically into the wilderness to fend for yourself with no access to services.

After they wrestled around with the problem of why crime was rising and why this taxation system wasn't working out so well, they had that light bulb moment and realized that progressive taxation was the only path to civilization, as it provided everyone with a stake in the outcome of each other's future.

And thus, CIVILIZATION was born. [truncated version]

So please, stop offending the real socialists among us with your tawdry comparisons to the capitalism-based progressive tax structure that we have in America.

Karl Marx, Adam Smith AND the baby Jesus weep when you do this.

Posted by Casey Morris | September 1, 2008 10:37 PM

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Casey Morris:

Posted by Ldcnram111 | September 1, 2008 10:04 PM

Oh, and by the way...Adam Smith?

Totally in favor of progressive tax.

Posted by Casey Morris | September 1, 2008 10:39 PM

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Casey Morris:

Posted by Andy Wahl | September 1, 2008 10:45 PM


His brother does indeed live in Nairobi, but not in a "slum". He lives a modest life and is a humble man. The resemblance is uncanny, though. Obama has offered, but his brother likes his life just fine, thank you very much. He has said that he feels that he is living the life he is meant to be living and Obama is living the life he is meant to live.

I think your implication is that help was never offered, and that's simply not correct. There are a number of interviews on tape wherein his brother explains this. Maybe you want to do a google search and find one to view for yourself and put your concerns at rest.

Posted by Casey Morris | September 1, 2008 11:05 PM

And then we get to Casey's final comment on that post which was preceded by numerous comments from Andy Wahl. I think he pushed her buttons.

Casey Morris:

Poor Andy Wahl

Doesn't realize that George Bush has put his family in debt before he's even left office.

Poor Andy doesn't realize how much Bush has cost him in higher energy prices, higher food prices, and higher property taxes to pay for his ginormous expansion of government.

Poor Andy doesn't even know what a hangover is yet.

Oh, and Andy, there's still peace with the part of the Middle East that the Democrat you so love to hate, Carter, took on: Egypt and Israel. Carter also pointed out that we were headed towards war as our dependence on foreign oil increased and urged us to find alternatives sooner, rather than later. That would have been some good advice to take, huh? Brazil took that advice, and now they are completely energy independent.

In Bush's Middle East: War with Iraq, War between Israel and Lebanon, Hezbollah elected to office, Iran left unchecked, and more recruits to kill Americans. Nice going.

You don't like government, Andy? Who built the roads you are going to use to get to work with tomorrow? Who subsidized the oil industry for the gas you are going to put in your tank? Who gave you the education to get the job you are going to work at tomorrow? Who inspected your car so the tires don't fall off on the way to work, Andy? Who built the roads that gets the food to you supermarket and then to your house Andy?

Oh, sure, THOSE government things are fine. Well, grow up, Andy. Government spends money on things all the times that we don't like. It's called Congress. It's called Democracy. It's called voting. If you don't like it, get off your fat ass and stop complaining about it and run for office yourself. Quit whining and take some responsibility, because, quite frankly, the rest of us are tired of carrying your dead weight around.

Posted by Casey Morris | September 2, 2008 1:49 AM

Nice to run into you on the net, Casey. Hope you catch up on your sleep today.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

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