THIS IS IT! It's been done. We've done it. Congratulations everyone.

Studs Terkel, 1912 - 2008

Sad news: Studs Terkel died today. A broadcaster, writer, and oral historian, Terkel is best know by many people for his book "Working:
People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do
", which consists of a series of interviews with people about the frank realities of their working lives. Interviewees include a receptionist, a farmer, a miner, a garbage truck driver, and a prostitute. That last one would have got this book banned from my high-school had not a group of parents insisted that the reality of the interviews, including that of the prostitute, provided a startling reality not seen in most more heavily-edited publications. The prostitute's interview does not glamorize the profession; it simply provides a honest look at the working life of one woman. I think that's the ultimate value of
. Lots of people are doing a lot of things all day without having their stories told, and therefore do not get recognition that their lives are valuable and part of what makes our society what it is. Terkel understood that giving these people voices to tell their stories, and giving others their stories to read, increases our understanding of our fellow citizens, and thereby adds to harmony in our society. Thank you Mr. Terkel, you'll be missed.


Awesome news to break at 9pm eastern time on a Friday... Just when everyone's paying the most attention to national headlines. Gawd. Anyway, the investigator in "Troopergate" has found that that Palin abused her power in firing Alaska
Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, and the Legislative Council which commissioned the report has adopted it. What's next? Nothing, probably. It's Friday night, and America's out for a drink.


Good Lord...

Just look at this picture CNN is using of Anderson Cooper.

...Can we just be clear how ridiculous it is to have a photo like this taken of yourself? Is there anyone who can look at this and not laugh? Who would possibly allow this to be used publicly? Anderson Cooper, the greatest man alive, that's who.

The best part is I found it on CNN's "Heros" section. I know who my hero is...

Space Elevator!

So, the space elevator will happen, it's just a matter of when. As Arthur C Clark famously said, it'll be "probably about 50 years after everybody quits laughing." Well, scientists, particularly those who are working on carbon nano-tubes, quit laughing some time ago, but that's far from fulfilling "everybody" in Clark's quote. However, having an article on discussing it in a fairly non-laughing tone is getting considerably closer, even if it's in the European side of the World Edition. Come on, space elevator!

Also, please note the existence of The Space Elevator Blog.

Sarah Palin for President!

Wow, this is great.  This is Sarah Palin cutting funding for a program that provided housing to teen mothers in Alaska (note her initials, SP by the big cut on the top line).  Gotta love Republicans... They got theirs, and that's all they care about.



Apologies to whoever I stole this from, but here's a great infographic, if you're into that kind of thing:

Getting Closer...

Further evidence for the previous post. I'm aware that this could just be election politics for the Iraqi officials as well, but we haven't seen this before, and it's disharmonious with what Bush/McCain has been and is still saying.

Over Before It Started

What a difference four months makes. Since my last post, a lot has changed in this election, first and foremost being the Democrats just dodging a horrible mistake and getting behind Obama. This week, the most important thing that's happened in this election so far, in my opinion, has unfolded: The Iraqi government has gotten behind Obama's plan for withdrawing American troops by 2010, a long time before McCain's timetable...

While I realize that this is largely a political decision by Al-Maliki, who needs to publicly oppose a continued occupation as often as possible, this still changes the calculous of this war, and this election, considerably. I've always assumed that the US disengagement from Iraq will be under the political cover of the Iraqi government asking us to leave: it's clear that a) the "we've got to finish the job" crowd is never going to go away, and b) we're never going to "finish the job." Thus, the only way where hawks and the military won't lose face is to reluctantly leave under the demand of the Iraqi's, thus nobly appearing to give in to the will of the Iraqis. Anyway, this week's news essentially opens the door to this exit. All we have to do now is elect Obama and we're out.

This does to major things to the election: First, it makes it clear that a vote for Obama is a vote to end the war, period. Second, it also makes McCain's standpoint look out of sync with the "liberation not occupation" rhetoric that has been used so often. Frankly, I think this is the beginning of the end of this war, finally.


In case you're reading this in the post-apocolyptic future of a McCain presidency, today was the day we lost the 2008 election:


Snake Oil

The false promise of class mobility, defined: