Elijah has to write an autobiography as an 8th-grade project. He asked me to find some stuff I've written about him. My favorite might be this one, but his is the one below, maybe because pretty much everything in it (except us using a modem and the fact that games are now mostly online) is still true.
Factory farming and mass-scale agribusiness have helped feed the planet. But at the same time we have lost much of the pleasure and value of eating fresh, seasonal, local foods. There has to be a balance.
Mark Binker has an interesting article in the N&R about North Carolina's relatively moderate legislature. In a blog post, he contrasts our political culture with that in other states, as detailed in this NYT piece.
I'd like to see more movement in Raleigh on the issues raised in Binker's article by Pricey Harrison and Earl Jones, but then again I'm grateful we don't have big battles over abortion or gay marriage on the agenda.
Lenslinger spent some time with various members of Sandy Bradshaw's family, just after 9/11 and upon the release of the movie United 93. "[T]he pain of that day is still easily within reach for the two ladies within my lens. If a celluloid treatment reminds others of what none of us should ever forget, then cue up the reel and show some respect."
Stephen Colbert interviews Bill Kristol, who says Rummy should have put more troops into Iraq, that Bush should have removed him 18 months ago, and that the Dems will take the House in November, all while trying gamely to be funny and mostly failing after the decent opening crack about Greta Van Susteren becoming Bush's ambassador to Aruba.
This is ugly stuff, even for a Vernon Robinson campaign mailing. Is it really going to appeal to voters? I guess the idea is that if he starts now and spends til November, it might work, but I have my doubts.
N&R's Nate DeGraff: "Greensboro will teem with immigration-related activity Monday as federal lawmakers decide whether to give millions of illegal immigrants the opportunity to become citizens. Besides school and work boycotts, up to 5,000 immigrants and their supporters are expected to flood downtown's governmental complex for a late-afternoon rally."
Duke prof Mike Munger has a sophisticated take on the popularity of certain judges.
Bonus Munger: "Our most recent experiment was to try to figure out how quickly you could take down a standing, but dead, 4 inch diameter pine tree with shotgun fire by firing at the base from ten yards."
One day, we'll look back at the SUV craze and shake our heads at the whims of fashion. Consuming so much space and fuel and clean air in such an ostentatious way will seem gross and tacky to us, if only because we will have found some other form of conspicuous consumption in which to wallow.
Six years ago, with gas still cheap and the bubble economy still perking, I wrote a column about SUVs that changed the way America viewed those noxious road hogs.
OK, America kept on buying them...but times have changed, and what good taste couldn't accomplish, high gas prices might.
Hardin asks the What, No Alums? question about the State coaching search. He adds Monte Towe and Eddie Biedenbach to my list.
Hardin also says that rich State fans are a big part of the problem, that maybe "someone with an airplane and a pig farm is in charge of hiring and firing within the State athletics department, and [Lee] Fowler, the athletics director, is merely a front man..." The contact with Phil Ford, he says, "involves people with money, lots of money" who have "turned this thing from a job search into a commitment hearing."
Malcolm Gladwell on the Duke lacrosse case and the value of eyewitness identification: "Juries and laypeople (and prosecution attorneys) tend to have a great deal more faith in someone’s ability to pick a suspect out of a lineup than they should...the Duke case is an example of another, even more problematic aspect of eyewitness identifications, and that is that we aren’t particular good at making them across races."
He is careful to say that he doesn't know what happened or didn't happen in this particular case.
Roger L. Simon is reminded that it pays to go slow when your source is Drudge.
To his credit, Simon apologized after his snarky post based on bad information from the Drudge Report was contradicted by Glenn Reynolds, one of the subjects (the hero, actually) of Simon's original screed.
Now Simon just needs to attach a correction to his original post, and he's done.
Doug Clark thinks Julia Hejazi could win the Guilford County Dem primary for DA, "partly on the strength of looks and gender."
Hejazi's opponent, Doug Henderson, doesn't have a picture on his billboards.
But, quoth Clark, "Hejazi's, frankly, has a dynamite picture of her. (You can see the same photo on her Web site.) She looks like someone you might see on "Law & Order" or some other crime-and-courtroom TV drama. She's attractive and youthful-but-not-too-young-looking, with a friendly but serious expression."
More: "Henderson, as you can see from the picture on his Web site, isn't quite as, well, photogenic...Hejazi's billboards also carry a certain appeal to men."
That's an exaggeration: Sue had already done some legwork.
But we sat down at M'Coul's and she asked me what I thought and I said I thought I was too busy and tired to even consider helping to throw another one of these things together for next fall and she said, Great, here's what I need you to do...
Her vision is for a Saturday conference in October, very hands on, almost Uplifterish in places.
I'm supposed to come up with ideas and people for programs.
Already this morning Ross Myers called and we discussed using the milblogging stuff he's been working on as the core of a social networking session. Not a military blogging session per se, but a broader look at creating and participating in social networks that would capitalize on the experience of milbloggers. This stuff is huge, and it was a good conversation, and without making any firm plans I said the social networking idea was at the top of my list of possibilities (and at this moment the sum total of that list).
So I'm interested in ideas for programs.
Update: It occurs to me (duh) that there is the buzziest of buzzprases out there for all the cool stuff we want to help people do and that of course is Web 2.0, so I guess branding this thing as Web 2.0 in some way would be a smart move, because even though the term is semi-annoying it covers a lot of ground we want covered. And anyway, we were country when country wasn't cool, or 2.0 before it was cool, or something, so we might as well ride that buzz.
More on the difficulty in chasing down an accurate death-count from Chernobyl. The numbers, including cancer-related deaths, certainly seem much higher than the low-ball estimates, and much lower than the higher estimates.
UPDATE: At Daily Kos, recognition that there is a lot more to this story than the death count.
The news that NC State is considering Phil Ford as its next head basketball coach made me wonder: where are the State alumni coaches, and why isn't there more of a push to hire one?
Some programs, or maybe more accurately some great coaches, spawn coaching offspring in great numbers. Dean Smith and K are two examples close at hand.
Woofpack alums seem thinner on the ground, but there are some Valvano-era stars to consider.
Nate McMillan has been successful in the NBA. Sidney Lowe is former NBA head coach and now an assistant with the Pistons, and Derek Whittenburg has done OK at lower-level NCAA programs. I haven't heard serious mention of their names, or other State players.
Why not? It's religion at Carolina that the coaching job is kept in the family. That mindset can be a trap, but for a program like State's that is trying to wake the echoes of a glorious past, it would seem worth a try.
As for Ford, he'll always be one of my faves. It would be interesting to see him at State, which was of course UNC's main rival when he arrived in Chapel Hill.
The Shu has a wrap up of the Milblogging conference, including links to press coverage.
From the Stars and Stripes article: "Overregulation of military weblogs by the defense officials will not only demoralize troops but also silence many of the military’s strongest advocates, a panel of leading bloggers said Saturday."
Sounds like the DC event was a big success, with participants from across the country and, via the web, from around the world...and as Shu says, "once again, Greensboro makes it’s presence known at a major blogging conference."
Circa 1980, a long-haired Tony Snow wrote in the old Greensboro Record about the need to "regulate the sales and distribution of firearms carefully and rigorously." He suggested registering all firearms, and perhaps selling them only to collectors and hunters (column near the bottom of this large PDF page of work posted by the N&R).
I am trying to buy my wife a notebook computer. I found one at Dell, and proceeded to the checkout.
The system asked me to log in as a previous customer. Then it would not accept my password, or send me the correct password, and suggested I start a new account. But it wouldn't let me start a new account, because it already had my email on file.
So I spent a good long time on the phone with several different people, and ended up being told to email Dell online support.
I asked to speak to a human being who could help me. They said they could sell me a computer on the phone, but not make sure I was no longer locked out of their online system, or lend an ear to my growing dissatisfaction with Dell customer service.
Popular Mechanics: "In the lab, many gasoline alternatives look good. Out on the road, automotive engineers have a lot of work to do, and energy companies have new infrastructure to build, before very many people can drive off into a petroleum-free future. And, there's the issue of money. Too often, discussions of alternative energy take place in an alternative universe where prices do not matter."
A chart comparing current costs of alt fuels and gasoline for a cross-country drive.
Meanwhile, Roch Smith Jr. has some thoughts about Carmany's advice from a fellow council member who said, in essence, "see what blogging gets you."
Roch: "First of all, the passionate discussion was not wrought by blogging, but by a screwed up situation in city government that has citizens concerned, thirsting for information we think we have a right to know and rushing to the only trickle we can find thanks to the rest of city council declining to publicly engage in an open discussion with Greensboro.
"The corollary to the above comment is 'see how easier it is for me when I avoid the tough discussions -- when I don't have to explain things.'"
From the WaPo: "For emotional wallop, there are few rivals to the windswept, grassy field outside of Shanksville, Pa., where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.
"But for three years, that field has made do with a makeshift monument while one member of Congress, Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.), has blocked a $10 million request to buy the land for a permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew members who overpowered hijackers bent on crashing their jet into the Capitol or the White House."