Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shared Items through morning of 11/29

I haven't had much to share lately. Here are a few:
  • A Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in New York. I've never understood why people would want to go out shopping on a day that's so crazy that it's generally known as Black Friday, just to save a few bucks. It just isn't worth it. This has me even more dumbfounded than usual.
  • Scientists have found the mechanism for how resveratrol slows aging, and have demonstrated that it also works in mice. This could be huge. In the meantime, drink some wine and/or grape juice. Wow, we really loved run-on sentences when we wrote that thing (I can't remember whether I wrote it or edited it, but it was one of the first things I worked on at my current job).
  • Foundation movies are coming! It'll be interesting to see if they pull them off. If I'm remembering the right book in the series, Foundation spans hundreds of years (the series certainly does). That's a tricky series to make.
Hopefully that's enough to let everyone know that I'm still alive.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama is Center-Right... nudge nudge, wink wink

There's a meme going around that Obama's policies are surprisingly center-right, supposedly to the consternation of those of us who supported him. At first my reaction was to resist that, since, ya know, it's BS. But I realized I'd rather embrace it. Here's why.

As far as I've ever been able to tell (and I have no good data to back this up, mostly because I don't feel like spending a lot of time researching this post), Americans tend to gravitate to the center without necessarily knowing what that means. That might be just as unfair as the Obama=center-right meme, but it feels true. I even thought I was moderate until I started to really learn what words like "liberal," "conservative," (politically) "left," and (politically) "right" meant.

So, what the heck, let's call Obama center-right. Closing Gitmo? Fine, let's call that a center-right position, and pretend that the real centrist position is fixing the FISA courts (nudge nudge, wink wink). Putting people to work through a public works program that simultaneously repairs our infrastruture? Sure, what the heck, that's a center-right position. Raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment, that's the real centrist position.

What do you think, would that work?

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/26

I skipped yesterday, so here are some shared items from the last couple days. I'm going to try to limit the ones I post to my very favorites, so check my shared items for the rest if you're interested.

The Internets:
That'll do it for today. Comment on these or any other shared items (or, really, whatever) below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Blog

I'm dog-proofing. I'll cover shared items tomorrow night. Feel free to comment here if you're itching.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/24

Oops, I almost forgot to post today. Here are today's shared Google Reader items.

  • I don't often share the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, but I read everything they post, because grammar mistakes make me point and laugh. When said mistakes occur on the sign for an elementary school (not even, semi-excusably, on the part that changes; no, this is on the permanent part), I have to share it.
  • This isn't a shared item, but I'm watching Rachel Maddow without a DVR buffer since the Daily Show and Colbert were repeats, and I just saw a commercial for some hair-removal device. If you act now, you get a smaller one for "lips, chin, and sensitive areas." Do you really want to use the same hair-removal device on your lips, chin, and "sensitive areas?"
  • Palin 2012! No, seriously, there are still people who want to get Palin on the ticket in 2012. I may have to give them money.
  • Somehow it surprised me that Biden was replaced in the Senate by his former chief-of-staff, rather than by his son, Beau. Apparently everyone knew this was going to happen; that the chief-of-staff is holding the seat for 2 years presumably to allow Beau to run for it when he gets back from Iraq/finishes his term as Delaware Attorney General. How did I miss that?
  • Bush has begun his end-of-term pardons. I shared this mostly for this sentence (emphasis mine): "Those issued reprieves had been found guilty of mostly garden-variety offenses, like Leslie O. Collier, who was issued a pardon for a 1996 conviction for the unauthorized use of a pesticide in killing bald eagles.
  • A study has shown that napping boosts "sophisticated memory." I don't really have anything to add to that, except that it's awesome news; I'm not being lazy, I'm just pumping up my memory. Oh, and in the other story linked from that page, it says not to watch TV and/or read stuff off of a monitor just before going to bed. So, of course, I'm blogging and watching MSNBC before heading to bed. Oops.
  • We're going to Jupiter in 2011, but not Europa. Why not Europa?? We know Europa is probably the best bet for finding life in the solar system. I can't imagine a bigger scientific find than extraterrestrial life. Why aren't we checking the place that we think offers the best chance of finding life??? To answer my own question, I know they're terrified that they won't properly sterilize the mission, and we'll find life only to have it killed off by bacteria on the probe. Well, that and we need to send some sort of drilling machine if we do it, because it'd have to go through tons of ice to get to the possible ocean. But we should at least plan to spin any probe that goes to Jupiter over to Europa to help us map that moon out for a future mission.
That's it today. Comment below.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/22

I have people coming over at 7 for Rock Band and football (go OU!), but right now it's the calm before the storm. So, without further ado, here are today's shared Google Reader items.

  • I choose to read this url as "22 asses s." David E. Sanger of the NY Times editorial page took a break from trying to stir up a war with Iran to point out that picking competent people like Hillary (State) and Geithner (Treasury) means Obama plans to govern from the center-right. While ready the rightwing nuts trying to claim (now) that Obama is center-right, after claiming throughout the campaign that he was dangerously liberal (or even Marxist), is annoying, it's also hilarious.
  • 538 has an argument for why Obama should strike down "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" right away (replacing it with "Don't give a shit, you morons"). I agree. The part he leaves out, though, is that Obama should do things like this because it's the right thing to do.
  • [Most recent; this tag is just so I can figure out where I left off, now that I'm breaking things up into categories] Lifehacker links to a story about how to make hot sauce (Tabasco-ish stuff, not salsa). The article itself is nice, but the early comments have some great tips, as well.
That's it today. Comment below!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Cabinet Picks

Since Obama picked the two people I endorsed yesterday, I guess I should go ahead and finish picking. Let's see how I do! Let me know in the comments if I've missed any confirmations/strong rumors of positions being filled already, or, really, even weak rumors.

Already filled, or strongly rumored:
  • Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton. I approve.
  • Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy F. Geithner. I approve.
  • Attorney General: Eric Holder, Jr. I strongly approve. He has lots of background in anti-corruption trials. This is a very, very interesting pick, and likely made Bush's pardon list longer.
  • Secretary of Commerce: Bill Richardson. I approve, although I wouldn't have picked him specifically for this spot.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Daschle. I approve.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Janet Napolitano. I don't know enough about her, but it sounds like she's a good fit.
"Cabinet-level" positions (attend Cabinet meetings, but not Secretaries):
  • Vice President of the United States: Joe Biden. I called it in August 2007 when Biden defended Obama at a debate, but somehow people thought Biden had been harsh on Obama in debates. I don't get it. Anyhoo, I approve.
  • White House Chief of Staff: Rham Emmanuel. I strongly approve; it shows Obama plans to get things done through Congress, not through signing statements.
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Peter Orszag. Krugman likes the pick, that's good enough for me.

  • Secretary of Defense: Probably will remain Gates until we get out of Iraq, or move strongly in that direction. I wouldn't be surprised if he's replaced with Chuck Hagel eventually, though, if Hagel doesn't fill any other roles.
  • Secretary of the Interior: Raul Grijalva would be an interesting choice, mostly because either Napolitano or her replacement would get to name his replacement in the house.
  • Secretary of Agriculture: HuffPo says Vilsack. No thanks. Let's get a SecAg who won't be all about corn ethanol. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin intrigues me, but I'm not sure why I'm hearing Ag for her; it sounds like she needs a position that lets her be heard by the public. If this position is what it takes to get her going, though, it sounds to me like she's good at just about everything she tries to do, so sure.
  • Secretary of Labor: The only name I've seen other than Granholm (see Energy, below) is Dennis Archer. I don't really know much about him, but in general a Labor Secretary from Michigan just makes sense to me. Growing up the son of an autoworker can do that to you.
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: The only name I've seen is Valerie Jarrett. She seems like a long-shot to me, but I can't find or think of anyone else. What, exactly, does HUD do?
  • Secretary of Transportation: I expect this to be someone who has been vocal, preferably before the Minnesota bridge collapse but definitely since, about infrastructure development. I don't have a name yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was someone higher up than you'd normally see taking this appointment, a governor or a powerful member of Congress. Edited to add: Oh, I like Earl Blumenauer as a pick. Apparently he's big on public transportation and biking. 'Twould be interesting in SecTrans.
  • Secretary of Energy: Jennifer Granholm (current Governor of Michigan). I had her picked for Labor, but my sister pointed out that she'd been talked about for Energy, and I definitely prefer that. Bringing her in basically makes this the Secretary of Making Detroit Work on Fuel Efficiency. Plus it gets a guy from (but not born in) my hometown into the Governor's seat in Michigan.
  • Secretary of Education: Colin Powell. I've heard rumors of this, or I never would have thought of it, but from what I can tell he'd be a great fit. And I don't only think that because he advocates student use of new technologies. Only mostly because of that.
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs: This could be what Hagel is given, at least for a year or two before moving to Defense. I'm not sure Kerry would accept it, or I'd think he'd be likely.
"Cabinet-level" positions:
  • Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Please, please, please don't pick Bobby Kennedy, Jr. He's an anti-science buffoon. I wish Gore would accept this one. Since he says he won't, I'm afraid Kennedy will probably get the job. Edited to add: I just read Lincoln Chafee as a maybe. I like.
  • Director of the National Drug Control Policy: No idea. This is cabinet-level? Really? I expect this one to be someone with treatment cred, other than that who knows.
  • United States Trade Representative: Again, this is cabinet-level? Isn't this kinda Commerce? Again, no clue.
I'll try to solidify my picks as I hear more rumblings and can get a bit better informed. But something struck me working on this: there are multiple articles about virtually every position, and I've heard about quite a few of them. Other than talk of Powell as SecState for Bush, I don't remember hearing anything. It's exciting that we're paying so much attention this time; it'll be hard for a craptastic pick to sneak through (except Kennedy, because people don't realize/accept that he's a dolt).

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/21

I liked yesterday's experiment with tagging the blocks, so here are my nicely categorized shared Google Reader items:

  • Being down-in-the-dumps in the demo, the demise of Daisies was destined. Dammit, dimwits! Don't Dr. Seussian stories scripted semi-seriously stand-up to your "standards?"
  • Apparently the decline of the American economy is due to atheism. Or at least an idiot thinks so. PZ says it all better than I can, with a great icon for the quote.
That's it today. Chances are good I'll miss tomorrow, and possibly Sunday as well, but the feeds are slow on weekends anyway so hopefully there won't be too much to catch up on Monday. Comment away to convince me to finish making my layout awesome.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In Which I Endorse Hillary for Secretary of State

Many of you probably know that I was not only pro-Obama during the primary and election, but I was anti-Hillary. Mainly this was because Hillary had showed in the past that she was a big supporter of the imperial presidency, from asserting executive privilege as First Lady to, darnit I can't find the quote right now, but mixed up in the whole "vast right-wing conspiracy" thing was an assertion that she didn't think they should be able to prosecute a sitting President. With the raping that Bush has given the Constitutional separation of powers, I didn't think Hillary was a good choice for our next President. It seemed very likely to me that she would not only keep the extra power that Bush had claimed for himself, but expand it. Obama, on the other hand, seemed like he might actually restore the Presidency to its Constitutional bounds, and still seems to be on that path.

But today I realized something important. If Hillary runs in 2016 (assuming both that Obama is a good President and that he is re-elected in 2012), she'll be coming into a White House that just went through restoring those bounds. She would be significantly restrained in her ability to re-assert the imperial Presidency; she'd have to undo what her Democratic predecessor had just worked so hard to do.

Since that was the only thing I didn't like about Hillary, even if it was a huge thing in my mind, eliminating that option would make her a great potential President. Which leads me to my endorsement of Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.

The one and only thing Republicans ever gain any traction on in Presidential campaigns is foreign policy. The Republicans know what they're talking about for foreign policy, people seem to think, and the Democrats do not. If she stays in as Secretary of State for somewhere close to 8 years (a surprisingly rare feat; the average shelf-life of a Secretary of State is just over 3 years, and only 14 of 66 have served more than 4 years, one of those being Powell by 6 days), she'll have more foreign policy experience than any conceivable opponent. Of course, I think there is a distinct possibility that she'll be Obama's running mate in 2012, but that would just shore up her experience even more.

In case you're wondering, the last time we had two consecutive, full-term, Democratic Presidents was, well, technically 1809-1825 (Madison and Monroe, Democratic-Republicans), although you could probably count 1933-1953 as close enough. Something similar to either of those spans would be just fine with me, minus, ya know, the near-nation-ending wars.

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/20

I'm going to try something new in my shared items today, mostly to allow my sister to skip the "Programming" block. Let me know what you think.

As always, comment on these or other shared items (or, really, anything you want) below.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog Edit in Progress

I have to run off for trivia, but I'm starting to update the look. Thoughts? I'll probably change things far more drastically, but at least I have a 0.1beta version of the header done...

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/19

Hey, it's tomorrow already! That means it's time for more of my shared Google Reader items:
That's it for now. As always, comment on these or any other shared items below. Or, ya know, really anything. I'm not picky.

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/18, part II

Holy crap, I cleared my Google Reader list! I shared another half dozen or so stories in doing so, though, so let's go ahead and get those ones posted, too:
  • Wired has a piece on why Apple won't ever allow Flash on the iPhone, and their reasoning is sound. In short: allowing Flash would remove Apple's control of apps, since there are already a bazillion apps in Flash and more could easily follow, posted out there on the "real internet" for iPhone users to access without downloading them from the store.
  • I've wanted a Roomba for a while, mostly because I want to own a robot, and it couldn't hurt. But now, apparently, I also need a cat:
  • Burnt Orange Report dug up Obama's announcement from 1/16/2007 that he was going to form an exploratory committee and think about maybe running for President. That got me wondering, so I dug up the text of Bush's announcement on 3/7/1999. It's interesting to compare what Bush said back then to how things turned out. I'll have to remember to virtuablog or whatever we're calling it in 8 years, comparing Obama's speech to how things turned out. He's done a good job so far of sticking with the same message, but who knows what might happen over the next 8 years. I mean, who other than James Dobson.
  • Indecision 2008 over at Comedy Central has discovered Time magazine's pressing question for this year: Who will be Time Magazine's Barack Obama of the Year?
  • Finally, this photo that PZ Myers found at Scientific American is simply stunning. Number 15 is also pretty cool, but I share PZ's enthusiasm for #4.

Edited to add: This was my 42nd post this year. Arrrrrr!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Biggest Month Yet!

I hadn't noticed that I passed my one-month record (set last month, with 15 posts) on Friday. Woot! Thanks for the inspiration to post my shared stuff for comments, Jon and Jeff! Suck it, October me!

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/18

I'm back in Austin. Well, I technically have been for over 24 hours now, but now I'm back and nearly settled back in. I still have 103 105 107 unread items in my Google Reader (which gives me an idea what those of you who are on my shared list go through), but I'm catching up. I think. Anyhoo, here are the shared items from the last few days:
  • I haven't had a chance to use Lifehacker's Complete Guide to Speeding Up Your PC's Startup yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so. Mmmm, fast boots.
  • Barack released his first YouTube weekly address. Just about everything about that sentence makes me smile.
  • According to a study linked on Slashdot, unhappy people watch more TV. I've been happier overlapping with the time that I've watched less TV, but I can't figure out which came first.
  • I can't wait to try my hand at making gummy candies. If that turns out well, I might cut out TV entirely.
  • I grabbed this guide to liberating yourself from old email addresses mostly for McCarron (Yahoo mail as a primary? Seriously?? Do you like spam??), but I think I'll also use it to get rid of my own extras.
  • This story about antimatter creation made me smile a lot. In a science fiction novel I just finished, a major plot point involved production of anti-matter. I'm pretty sure this discovery puts us ahead of where the author saw us in 2020.
  • This video of the development of sand dollars linked at Pharyngula is amazing.
  • Lieberman is still a "Democrat." Dammit. I almost would have prefered us having no chance at a filibuster-proof Senate. Now Lieberman gets to continue being more important than he should be.
  • Speaking of filibuster-proof Senate chances, Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens has lost. Alaska didn't quite elect a convicted felon to the Senate. They just came very close. Of course, some of the outrage of that is silly. John Ashcroft lost a Senate race to a dead man, which I'm pretty sure makes you even more clearly inelligible for the Senate than being a convicted felon. I'm hoping at least some of the people voting for Stevens in Alaska were really voting for "whoever Caribou Barbie appoints to replace Stevens." Hmm, wait. I guess voting for the felon on purpose might be better.
  • Microsoft is going to offer free anti-virus software starting late next year. This should be interesting. I agree with the idea in principle; having antivirus software on all PCs would cut down drastically on the spread of viruses. On the other hand, this pretty much spells the end of other antivirus program makers, and I can't imagine MS's free system will be very good without competition. My solution: people should start programming more viruses for Mac, to keep those other companies active.
  • Firefox 3.1 is going to have tab tearing, a feature that I love on Google Chrome. I never noticed that it was missing in Firefox until I got in the habit of tearing off tabs in Chrome whenever I need to see things side-by-side, such as when I'm copying links from my shared items to my blog. If they can make 3.1 run for a whole afternoon without crashing, I might finally switch back.
That'll do it for today. Now off to work on some more of those unread items. As always, comment below so I know you're there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Untitled (because I haven't figured out how to title from my phone yet)

Testing blogging from my cell phone. Now to figure out how to fix my t9 word list.

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/14

We'll see if I can get through this on craptastic hotel internet here in New Windsor, New York (I'm going to a wedding at West Point tomorrow). Can anyone tell me why hotel wifi always seems like they're piping it through a dial-up modem?? Anyhoo, here are the shared items:
  • I love the idea of powerline broadband (using existing powerlines to carry high-speed internet, as I understand essentially by using the "noise" in the powerlines). I hope this plan to resurrect it pans out.
  • Ok, it looks like the Palin Africa thing was BS. Phew. That's what I get for trusting Fox News commenting talking about comments from an anonymous McCain staffer.
  • I love, love, love this story that's kinda sorta almost about the Monty Python parrot joke being 1600 years old.
  • Huh, the NY Times has picked up the HIV cure story. I'm still not holding my breath, but this might not be BS.
  • I still think there are worse things Bush could do to secure his place in history as all-time worst US President, but this is a good start.
  • Flying cars are coming! Flying cars are coming!
  • I want to love RFK, Jr (it seems like the right thing to do as a left-wing nutjob), but his anti-vax stuff means I can't support him for anything related to science, and head of the EPA falls squarely in that category. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, has more (or at least links to more).
Oh, btw, with this post I pass my one-month post record for this blog (set in October, when I figured out this "post what I shared so people can comment" trick). Woohoo!

And yes, I shared a ton during the "driving way too far" phase of my trip, and am now blogging from the hotel. That's because, duh, I forgot to get text message blogging set up here; on the drive back, I should be able to blog from the road. Woohoo again!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/12

Not much time today... and it's very likely I'm going to miss the whole weekend! Here are today's shared items:
That's it for today (and probably for a while). Comment below. I'm hoping to come back to more comments than I've ever had on a post!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/11

Happy Veteran's Day! Now on to the shared items:
That's it for today. I may have to subscribe to a new feed or two now that my politics feeds are relatively quiet....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/10

I didn't have a "shared items" update yesterday, so there's probably going to be a ton today:
  • This photo is awesome, but you need to read the explanation to appreciate why.
  • I hope David at Ironic Sans posts the rest of this story.
  • What brown and sticky? An inductee into the Toy Hall of Fame.
  • Hook em, Obama!
  • This particular story isn't super awesome, but I was happy to find's RSS feed.
  • The Wall Street Journal and Slashdot claim that a German doctor has cured AIDS. And nobody else does. My skepti-sense is tingling!
  • According to a study, Daylight Savings Time increased energy use in Indiana. Except I've seen about equal numbers of studies pointing in each direction now. Tell me what's true, science!
  • Dinsmore has a nice summary of a cool article about Obama. I'd summarize his summary here, but that just seems wrong.
  • has begun covering the 2010 Senate races. Will my addiction ever get a rest?
  • Woohoo, I completely forgot that the stem cell nonsense was an executive order. Obama's getting ready to try to catch us up with Europe, and that first step only requires him to repeal that order. Good stuff.
  • I definitely want to do this. I just need to figure out what I'm going to do it with...
  • If any of you use AVG Anti-Virus Free (and, really, why wouldn't you, if you use a PC?), it's probably a good idea to read this before running your next scan.
As always, comment below.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Countries of North America

Dammit, media (and fake media). You're making me kinda sorta defend Sarah Palin. Can you spot what Jon and Wyatt screwed up in this bit? (I quote the important bits below in case you don't want to watch it or the player is misbehaving as badly as it was for me):

Reporter: "She wasn't actually able to name all the countries in North America"

Jon: "She can't name 'em, but she knows 'em. I mean, there's us, there's gay us to the north, and burrito place..."

There's a small problem with that joke. Here's a hint: these are the countries in North America (not including territories):
  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Bahamas
  3. Barbados
  4. Belize
  5. Canada
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Cuba
  8. Dominica
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. El Salvador
  11. Grenada
  12. Guatemala
  13. Haiti
  14. Honduras
  15. Jamaica
  16. Mexico
  17. Nicaragua
  18. Panama
  19. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  20. Saint Lucia
  21. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  22. Trinidad and Tobago
  23. United States
How many of those could you name? Oh, what's that? You thought North America only included Canada, the US, and Mexico? Damn, how stupid are you???

The story is that Sarah Palin couldn't name the countries involved in NAFTA. The signatories of NAFTA are Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Yes, the name's a bit misleading, since that's only 3 of the 23 independent nations in North America, but this is basic gradeschool stuff. Stop it.

To be clear: From what I've heard, there were two separate things Palin didn't know: She didn't know the signatories of NAFTA, and she couldn't name all of the countries in Central America (which is part of North America). From what I could tell, she knew Central America is part of North America, which Jon Stewart didn't know. Stop making fun of her for that; you can't name all of them, either.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/8

I missed yesterday, but usually not much comes in during the weekend, so this should give you stuff to read over the weekend. Here are my favorite shared things from the last day or so:
As always, comment below.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Describe Me

To those of you who actually read this: I need words to describe me and my blog. What words come to my mind when you think of my blog? When I have enough words, you'll see what this is for.

This is my list so far:
  • science
  • technology
  • computers
  • politics
  • atheism
  • liberal
  • astronomy
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • rational
  • FSM
  • Tolkien
  • web
  • internet
Do you disagree with any of those? Do you have any more to add?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/6

Here's what I've shared today. I lied about that no politics thing yesterday. Sorry, but I simply can't resist:
  • Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent (she thought it was a country). She also couldn't name the three countries in NAFTA, and refused to allow the McCain staff to prep her for the Katie Couric interview. While all this is being dumped on her by bitter staffers trying to blame her, remember: McCain picker her. I'm excited to see what he's like now that he'll never run for another office (unless he tries to stay in the Senate forever, of course).
  • There's a live webcame in Alaska to allow us southerners to see the Aurora. Very cool.
  • I actually shared a couple things pointing to it, rather than the article itself, but this preview of the stuff Newsweek promised not to release until after the election has some good stuff. The best: Obama: "...I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."
  • This duplicate files finder is very cool, especiall if, like me, you have a large shared music collection. Time to do some cleaning!
  • There officially wasn't a significant "Bradley Effect" (people telling pollsters they'll vote for the black guy, but actually being racist bastards at the polls). It looked to me like there might be in VA on election night, but it just took a while for the dem precincts to come in; when everything was counted, the actual results very closely matched the polls.
  • Obama won Maverick County, TX convincingly. Giggle.
  • Rahm Emanuel is Barack's Chief of Staff (as hinted at a day or three before the election). Stop complaining about this, people! You don't throw a bone to the opposite party with this pick, you choose someone who will effectively execute the things you want to do as President. Obama never pretended to be centrist; he ran as a liberal alternative to the "failed philosophy"of conservatism. Don't be surprised that he picked someone who will execute his liberal philosophy! You also don't wait to pick this position if you want to get things done; you get them involved right away. Rahm Emanual was an excellent pick. In addition, it shows that Obama plans to work with Congress, rather than ruling by fiat. I'm very happy with this pick, as should be anyone who supports Obama (and, dammit, if you're against him, you should at least admit that this pick isn't surprising or a slap in the face or whatever other BS people are saying).
  • Obama now has an official US government website. My favorite thing about this site is that he published the transition directory (the book they give to the transition teams to get them ready to take over on inauguration day). Open government (the #1 thing on the long list of what I like about Obama) is a reality, woohoo!
Comment on these or any other shared items below.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/5

Here's the latest batch of shared items:
  • XKCD had a great summary of how I felt, especially in the secert mouseover-for-another-punchline part. To make the mouseover joke make as much sense as possible, Nate Silver is the guy who runs, and accurately predicted the popular vote to within 0.1% either way.
  • I agree with my friend Jeff's plan for Gloat Day. I'll be civil tomorrow. Today, Republicans can suck it.
  • In that vein, Paul Krugman's article about monsters was great. You people are evil, dammit. We aren't gonna take it anymore. You have the gall to say we're not "real Americans," but you're the morons supporting torture. You're the morons working against science. Real Americans are for freedom and progress, they aren't defined by whether they live in a city or not.
  • I also loved Krugman's map of the Dem/GOP shift this year from 2004. Kentucky scares me, though. Seriously, you're even redder now? You realize you're voting against your interests, right??
  • Finally, I love this photo of the results of the most important election of the night. Mmmmm, Bacon (D-CO).
As always, comment below. I promise no politics tomorrow. Then I'll start working on my Kirk Watson 2010 campaign.

Dammit, California

You totally killed my buzz.

9% of Californians voted for both Barack Obama and Proposition 8. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We did it!!

We got Ohio (and the expected but slightly scary PA and IA), so this thing is over. I had to get that posted before 10, when it'll really be over.

What now? Well, lots of states (including Texas) have governor elections in 2010. Find your candidate now (well, in the next week or three), and start working to get them elected. At the moment, my candidate is Kirk Watson, but that may change in the next few weeks.

Seeing someone you've been working for make it is extraordinarily exhilirating. Do it!

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/4

I shared a bunch of stuff, but I'm busy celebrating. They were virtually all election related. Find 'em on my side bar, I have another blog to write. Enjoy!

Dixville Notch

Woo-hoo! Dixville Notch went for Obama 15-6! The last time they went for a Dem was Hubert Humphrey in 1968... who... lost. Hmm. Guess I won't be so excited.

Please, please, please go vote today if you haven't already!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Today's Shared Google Reader Items, 11/3/2008

Lots of stuff to catch up on. Sorry about the hiatus.
  • GREAT HOLY JEEBUS SARAH PALIN THINKS THE PRESS FACT-CHECKING HER INFRINGES HER FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!! I'm not sure how I waited this long to write about that. That's worse than Bush's "There ought to be limits on freedom" in 2000 when he found out a web site was making fun of him (I'm sorry that transcript is the best citation I can find at the moment; those morons don't think that was important news, when in fact it was the best indicator of the Bush presidency we could have had). Bush had the First Amendment wrong, but Palin has it completely backward. If you have not already done so, get thee to a poll and vote against that maniac. She CANNOT be allowed into the White House with those beliefs, especially with a far-from-zero chance of having to take over the big chair!
  • I found this article about black holes over at Bad Astronomy to be very cool. I recommend it to any reader with geeky tendencies (note: this is likely all of you).
  • I don't think I ever remembered to share it in Reader, but this Plant Twitter Kit is awesome. I may have to get one in part to learn to adapt it; I really really want to set up one in each of my aquariums (aquaria?), so my fish can tell me when their water needs work. Maybe I can even teach them to twitter me when they want something.
  • A UT poll found that 23% of Texans still think Obama is a Muslim, compared to 5-10% nationwide. This is why I so rarely leave Austin. The rest of this state scares me.
  • Holy crap, Lifehacker has a monthly summary. I need to figure out how to subscribe to just that.
  • This site has a handy poll closing time grid, so you can see when important polls close relative to your timezone. I hate to believe it, let alone blog it, but there are actually a few paths to Obama essentially having this thing wrapped up by 6pm my time. My party starts at 7. Oops. I mean, I can't root against Indiana, Virginia, and/or Georgia going into Obama's column, but it'd be weird for the party to focus almost exclusively at staying around to laugh at Ted Stevens.
  • Speaking of election watching, Nate Silver (of 538)'s "What to Watch For" article in Newsweek is a good read if you're planning to watch the polls rabidly like I am. Except, at least as of when I read it, he got California's Proposition 8 backward; it doesn't protect gay marriage, it puts hate into the California constitution. The hope is that conservatives/bigots will stay home and therefore not vote FOR it, because a vote for Prop 8 is a vote for hate.
  • I also didn't share this one, but I can't resist fiddling with RealClearPolitics' Electoral College Map widget. My "no surprises" prediction came out the same as their "No Toss Up States" map: 338 EVs for Obama (269 needed for him to tie and, therefore, win). My "you must be smoking something" scenario is 420 EVs to Obama, and I still contend that it's possible (or maybe even more). Remind your friends that he's probably gonna win anyway, so they really should vote for him so, when they're old, they can tell the story about voting for such a historic candidate. They don't want to have to say they didn't bother to vote, do they?
  • Did I mention that Palin confirmed herself to be even more batshit insane than you thought she was? Well, she did. WE CANNOT ELECT SOMEONE WITH SUCH A DANGEROUSLY BACKWARD UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSTITUTION!! Not again, at least.
Comment below. I need to go root against the Redskins (94.4% accuracy is still better than just about any other predictor, even if obviously my skepticism doesn't allow me to really believe in this).

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Democrat Escape Plan

I'm hearing a lot of talk (mostly joking... mostly) about Democrats moving to New Zealand if this country shows us once again that rational thinkers are in the minority. I realized today that we have a much better option, though; an option that we can all move to without any difficulty establishing residence: Alaska [PDF].

Why Alaska? I can think of a few reasons:
So, should the country show us once again that they are against everything we stand for, who's with me?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Missing a Few Days

Went to Sixth Street last night, party tonight... so no updates 'til probably tomorrow. Sorry!