Friday, May 30, 2008


I've heard buzz about twitter. People in the blogosphere are using it constantly, and many think it's the neatest thing since sliced bread.

I was listening to stackoverflow (or maybe this one) on my run yesterday and Jeff Atwood was waxing on and on about twitter.

And then it hit me. Twitter is just a way for people to feel connected to their community on the web when they can't be in front of their computers. Or, put another way, people who are not comfortable in their current social setting/community.

Imagine being out with friends - at a restaurant, or sporting event, or rock climbing, whatever. You pause and enter a little twitter message. Who, exactly, are you communicating with and why? Your friends probably think it's rude (I certainly would), and how does "connecting" with your titter community reflect on your current social situation? And receiving other people's twitters in those situations? Are your friends boring you?

Seriously, it's OK to not be connected all the time, it's OK to be alone for a little bit.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Simone Is Two!

She turned two today. Pretty amazing. Just thought I'd write down a couple of memories before old age gets me.

We had a lovely day working on the chicken coop and in the yard. Simone fell asleep in Mary's lap on the back deck while nursing - which she doesn't do as often as she used to. She woke up for some reason, so we transferred her into the Burley for a nice long ride - where she got the rest of her nap.

The grandparents and god-parents came over at 2 for some cupcakes, which Simone loved (apple sauce cakes with cream cheese frosting... I'll have 3 please). She got some lovely gifts, and had a great time bouncing from person to person. Of course the blue balloon was the hit gift (I chose it just for her - it matched her dress).

After dinner (her first grilled cheese sandwich - I missed the picture with the cheese stretching from mouth to sandwich), we headed over to Matti's house (our neighbor to the south), to meet her new bunnies. She raises angora rabbits and spins the fur/hair into wool. One of her rabbits just had a litter of 6. They were pretty sweet, I held one for 20 minutes (the longest I've ever held a rabbit), and Simone liked them all.

So, what is she doing now that she's two? She sings songs a lot, especially Raffi and asks for his music by name. She walks around constantly, pulling one or all of her 4 pull toys. The mermaid (we're trying to name her "Frida" - but so far "mermaid" is still winning) follows her everywhere - she feeds the mermaid most everything she eats herself.

Simone loves broccoli, french fries, yogurt (a whole-body experience), apple sauce, gold fish, goat milk, spiced baked apples, and recently enjoyed a crusty baguette. She feeds us tea and cupcakes and bagels and cookies (all imaginary). Oh, and salt and pepper - we pantomime that on most everything. I do draw the line on peppering yogurt.

We read a lot, she picks books out. Her current favorites are, Girls Hold Up This World, A Lot Of Otters, and Once Upon A Potty, with the Peace Book a close runner-up.

Simone wiggles her eyebrows up and down, still likes butterfly kisses, loves playing on playgrounds (going down slides on her own at times). Bath time is full of her toy frogs and fish dancing around, and hopping (frogs and bunnies hop - which Simone is trying to do herself).

Probably my favorite single memory of the past two years was waking up one morning next to Simone, she woke up turned to me and said, "Papa!" Very sweet moment. Most every day is like that, whether it's "blastoff" (she said that for an entire day after I threw her up in the air counting, "1 2 3 ... blastoff!"), or her just greeting me at the door, or watching her and Mary fall asleep together, petting Jupiter, everything.

Looking forward to the next two years (and more).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Detailed Proof of What We Knew All Along

From: Iraq: The War Card - The Center for Public Integrity
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

935 lies in two years is an average of 2.5 a day. Oh, and of course these are just the lies about Iraq. There's the missing email from 2003, the Valarie Plame incident, torture, warrantless spying on Americans, the list goes on and on.

So incredibly frustrating.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Beautiful photographs of a thunderstorm meeting the plume of an erupting volcano

Check out the slide show: Fotos Tormenta eléctrica en erupción del volcán Chaitén - TERRA

Forgive my geekiness, but it looks exactly what I imagined the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog looked like had it happened in real life. Here's what others think it looked like.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I've no idea what brought this memory up, but back in grad school we found the XPilot game and became addicted. You could play people all over the world, any time of the day. We hosted our own, local, games, and enjoyed seeing who would join (sometimes we got players from Germany).

The XPilot craze lasted a few months, but many of us first-year grad students lost days to playing this. I'm glad to see it is still an active game, though I doubt I'll play it again.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand - New York Times

NY Times has a story on the Pentagon's use of retired Generals to bolster the case for the war. A telling quote from Di Rita (one of Donald Rumsfeld's closest aides can be found on page 7:
New York Times: "Mr. Di Rita, no longer at the Defense Department, said in an interview that a “conscious decision” was made to rely on the military analysts to counteract “the increasingly negative view of the war” coming from journalists in Iraq. The analysts, he said, generally had “a more supportive view” of the administration and the war, and the combination of their TV platforms and military cachet made them ideal for rebutting critical coverage of issues like troop morale, treatment of detainees, inadequate equipment or poorly trained Iraqi security forces. “On those issues, they were more likely to be seen as credible spokesmen,” he said."

The contents of the article is not very surprising, what I find surprising is how "shocking" this appears to be. Some of the media is now waking up and "realizing" they've been "snowballed."


They knew it all along, spinning the war in a positive light sold advertisements, it got you in good with the powers that be. This just reaffirms that we don't have news, we have entertainment. Real journalists would have found their sources, as opposed to just unquestioningly welcoming experts who appeared, as if by magic, on their doorstep.

Driving Directions from Google

How cool is this? Google's driving directions show you what to look for on the street:

YouTube - Driving directions with Street View on Google Maps