Studs Terkel, 1912 - 2008

studs-terkel
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
Working
. 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.
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Abuse

abuse
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.






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Good Lord...

art.heroes.cooper.cnn
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...
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Space Elevator!

06_SpaceElevator
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 CNN.com 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.
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