Saturday, May 21

Bringing you your daily dose of...

my opinion! ;-)

Though I don't work that hard at finding cheap gas, this application of Google Maps is cool.

If you wonder where I am, I'll be over at Blogging the Future, the new Tom Barnett-centered bulletin board.

Go, Steve

Not only did Steve Nash win the MVP and lift the Suns over his old team, in some ways they did it by out Maverick-ing the Mavericks, out Nelson-ing what used to be Nelson's team: running and scoring like crazy. Good on ya. Keep it up.

Friday, May 20

The Doctrine of Preemption

Eric's got a post on Preemption that I left a long comment on, so I thought I'd reproduce it over here:
are you clear on the fact that Barnett favors a military takedown of Korea akin to our takedown of Saddam? he wants it to be in cooperation with the other 'six parties', especially China, and this is where we cooperate with China and get out of bed with Taiwan. the only way he wants us to 'defuse' the Korean crisis is by 'defusing' Kim Jong Il and his son.

O'Hanlon's entitled to his opinion. like you, i'm sticking with Tom on Iran and China. we really need to get together with these nations. we need a solid player in the Middle East, and China's going to become the next great power. preemption with either of these nations is not an option we even want to have to consider. many of us are squeamish about working closely with 'non-democracies', but the practical needs and emerging future realities demand it. besides, connectivity does amazing things, as we have already seen with Russia and China. if we can play a little ball with some of these 'non-democracies', some kind of both democracy and free-market capitalism will almost certainly break out.

i'm obviously in favor of Tom's version of preemption, which would say you only preempt in the case of politically bankrupt Gap nations, with the approval/endorsement of the UN Security Council and the G20, and with a coalition of partners (especially for the reconstruction).

need any more of my opinion? ;-)

I'm it: If I could be...

Jaq tagged me on this topic that's going around. Complete 5 from the following list:

If I could be a musician...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a justice on any court in the world...
If I could be a world famous blogger...
If I could be married to any current world politician...
If I could be a scientist...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be an agent...

1. If I could be a musician, I'd be a singer (which some people see as a contradicition in terms). I've always wanted to be the front man for a band.

2. If I could be a linguist, I'd study Proto-Indo-European and, maybe, since I have some background in Hebrew, if PIE had any interaction with Proto-Semitic and how.

3. If I could be a writer, I'd write lots of young adult fiction in the mold of Ursula K LeGuin - fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction (especially set in a PIE-type context). Of course, Tolkien would be my major influence, though I don't think I'd be suited to write such 'epic' work (who is?). Other major influences in this regard would be Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper.

4. If I could be a professor, I'd teach these big, sweeping classes that would try to cover great breadth and integrate as much as possible. I have no desire to be the world expert on anything. I'm too interested in everything.

5. If I could be an athlete, I'd be just a respectable pick-up basketball player, something you can do for a lot of years (since we're dreaming, I'd like to add being good at Ultimate).

As to the chain letter part of this theme, who might be willing to play this reindeer game? I pick Jason, Paul, and Eric.

Saturday, May 14

Multiple intelligence

I'm a firm believer in different kinds of intelligence: IQ. EQ. What have you.

I don't necessarily subscribe to Howard Gardner's formulation (Gardner's site) as determinative, but it's a jumping off point, a place to start discussion.

Brief overview
Wheel of domains. Here's my improved pie chart:

He's got an inventory. I like taking things like this. You might hate them, like Christine. I took it. I adjusted it a little (I especially thought the 'Interpersonal' questions were a little skewed, so I padded my score.). I was interested in putting it on a graph like he has, so here you go:

(It's not working right in Blogger right now, and I'm sick of it, so I'm done. But you could still copy into NotePad or whatever and use it if you wanted.)

Naturalist X
Musical X
Logical X
Existential X
Interpersonal X
Kinesthetic X
Verbal X
Intrapersonal X
Visual X


I'm also intersted in looking at what my twins' strengths might be. I have ideas, of course, but this would be a little more systematic.

Anywho, you might want to take the inventory.

Beyond that, I've created a little spreadsheet that'll produce a pie graph based on your scores. Here's mine:

If you get that into it, email me for the file.

Everything bad is good for you

Kottke's really into this book.

If you haven't read about it yet, the thesis of Johnson's book is that some activities that are regarded as a waste of time, like playing video games and watching television, can actually be better for you than reading. Reading is very passive. It's a solitary activity.

The Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker review (via kottke)

And Johnson himself on how he's more of a technological determinist than an economic determinist (the latter term being one which Barnett claims for himself).

Standard link list

+ Tom briefed Senator Kerry and had dinner with our lead negotiator on North Korea .

+ Only one state produces more graduates from rural schools than Iowa

+ Here come all of the politicians with their indignation, their absolute pronouncements. Must be base closure time. We were watching this pretty closely here in SC, but our bases actually gained jobs.

+ Yahoo! News Tag Soup is a cool new tag app.

Thursday, May 12

You really ought to give Iowa a try!

Iowa City public schools were recently ranked number 5 in the nation. West High ,where Jason and I attended, was once named the best public high school in the US.

In other Iowa education news, Christine sent off our last check to the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation today. We went to dinner tonight to celebrate. Nice, huh?

'Balance' on DeLay

Paul emailed me a WSJ article on the non-nonpartisan watchdogs who are going after DeLay: In Washington, Watchdogs Bear Watching.

I have no doubt that these folks are biased. But I didn't see anything in the article that actually refuted the allegations against DeLay, or even cast doubt on them. Did you?

It's OK if they're out to get him if he's guilty ;-)

That's about all the balance I can muster up. Am I missing something?

I haven't posted on Tom in a while, aye?

Tom says

And those that say we shouldn't get into bed financially with China until they end things like their political re-education camp system have it backwards: they'll end that system as a result of that connectivity. This is a war we win without ever firing a shot-and that's very good.

To get better connected to the global economy in a broadband sense is to see the rise of legal rule sets that attract those necessary levels of trade and investment, but such a development would likewise empower the population to increasingly take the government to task for past sins in a sort of slow-motion truth commission. So to develop Russia is to exorcise the Soviet Union.

But there is an underlying reality here: Bush [and, I guess, the US and its citizens, generally] is far more admired in the New Core than people in America realize, and far more disliked in the Old Core than we realize. That isn't just a Bush thing, it's a 21st century reality that's only going to grow with the global economy.

Good post on China and N Korea

Both China and the U.S. know what the other side wants and needs over the long haul. The mystery to me is why the deal-making is non-existent in this strategic environment. Why this administration continues to wait on this relationship to develop on its own by and large is beyond me.

I'll tell you why: This administration is trading on the future for leverage in the present. The specter of a military and economic near-peer can be used for leverage. Plus, this admin. is so idealogical when it comes to 'freedom', they have trouble 'trafficking' with China, even though you would think the trade and debt service realities would be enough to shake them back to what is actual.

It's so good, guess I'll just quote this whole post:

Afghanistan's parliament is smart enough to realize that the real definition of a "failed state" is one that cannot attract America's attention, much less it's military help, to prevent its collapse into civil strife.

You know what the biggest cause of civil war is in the world? It's civil war. That's right. Most civil wars start within a few short years of the last one, meaning the biggest cause of civil wars are the affected countries' inability to move beyond that reality without lapsing back into it.

What's the cure? Foreign troops that keep the peace and prevent that relapse.

Guess what today is...

+ Doggone Onterrio Smith is in drug trouble again. Here's the deal: if he wants to stay with the Vikings, he should be required to do rehab and 12-step, something very serious and club-supervised. Otherwise, see ya. We want him. He's a good runner. But he's got to straighten up.

+ How does he do it? The dude's just good. Matt broke a video made by the Department of Homeland Security for their New Jersey exercise onto the web.

+ Get your book on NPR. Do you listen to NPR often? Man, they hawk their employee's books. Some show's always doing something with Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, and their really pushing some dudes Pretty Birds. Mutual Admiration Society much?

+ Lurie Says Eagles Won't Renegotiate Terrell Owens' Contract
. Good.

Asked if he expects Owens to be with the Eagles next season, Lurie said, "If he wants to win a Super Bowl, he should be."

"At this level, with multimillions (of dollars), you're just trying to leave a legacy and win Super Bowls, as far as I am concerned. And he's got a great opportunity," Lurie said.

Now that's some fine trash.

+ Mark me down as 'not interested' in Yahoo's music rental service with an extra fee to burn CDs. I want to own my music. I want it to sit on my hard drive for me to listen to or transfer to my mp3 player or burn CDs.

+ I've been watching for a re-org since kottke went pro. He's starting some redesign stuff now. I'm not crazy about the Ajax box, that I like what he's after. He's certainly got good points about archives.

+ I have opinions (shocker!) about Latvia and Georgia and Putin. But you can guess what they are. I'll just say that a US President as the Guest of Honor at a commemoration of Soviet valor is CRAZY!

+ In other Eurasian news, Russia and the EU are trying to get closer to each other. ' The pact encompasses four key areas, known in EU parlance as "spaces" -- the economy; freedom, security and justice; external security; and research, education and science.' How much of this is motivated by being able to compete with the US? I'm not saying that in any kind of jingoistic way; just wondering...

Monday, May 9

Stored up Google Sat images

(all via Google Sightseeing)
  • Forest fires (I think it's interesting that these were captured by satellite)
  • Trees, horizontally and vertically
  • Reliant Astrodome, Stadium, Arena, and Center
  • Stealth bomber and fighter
  • I couldn't resist this Correo de Toros in Tijuana. The Google Sightseeing post said the fence just to the north is the one between Mexico and the US. Crazy.
  • Carowinds (official site map - easiest to match up if you rotate the map in Acrobat): Looks like the park was empty in this shot, including no water in water attractions. From top left clockwise: the Thrill Zone (used to be the Hurler), Rip Roarin Rapids, Palladium, North Gate area, Wild Thornberrys River Adventure (Log Ride-type deal), Kid's Studio (amphitheater), Scooby-Doo Ghoster Coaster, Road Rally, Soundstage Picnic Shelter, South Gate, Top Gun (roller coaster) Action FX Theater, Thunder Road (roller coaster - heads due west), County Fair, Waterworks (waterpark, including wave pool), Carolina Boardwalk and Carolina Skytower dead center. One impression: too much branding. Why did I work all of that out? Just got interested I guess ;-)

Don't stop me now...

I'm on a roll!

+ Tom DeLay is guilty!
Jack Abramoff is totally shady. Earlier article. AP has a timeline. Today's article.

+ President Bush makes me crazy, mostly. But I really do like the First Lady quite a bit. Those two feelings don't jibe, do they?

+ Have you checked out my audioscrobbler lately? Man, I like my taste in music ;-) Makes me happy :-)

+ Did you see Tom Brady got the extension he deserves? While I'm talking Brady, did you see him talking about going into politics in the future? Would you hate that, Jaq? ;-)

+ Speaking of Jaq, did you see the robot suit that kind of looks like and Imperial AT-ST Scout Walker?

Saturday, May 7

Gotta get this post out while the race is still going...

+ Did you know there's a metal group named Ephel Duath, Tolkien's Mountains of Shadow? Neither did I.

+ Sounds like Tom would like Bolton to lead a US push to take down Kim Jong Il. Hmm. I don't like Bolton. Hmm.

+ Race weekend in Darlington.

Friday, May 6

Another post, and so soon

+ Flag propaganda. Pretty effective way to make a point: turn flags into 'propa-graphs'. Visual must-see, but rife with agenda. (via kottke)

+ The U of I's trying to get a Union rennovation together. I think they should buy the old Old Capitol Mall [sic], and turn it into a Union, with parking. Do something else with the old Union.

+ What I need is a tagging system for my weblog. I know I have some potential readers who aren't interested in most of what I do, but would be interested in some. They could subscribe to certain tags and see posts with those tags in the reader/get an email. Could someone cook that up for me? ;-)

+ Matthew Baldwin is tearing it up:
+ Ooh! The thing I like best about this Google Maps-Yahoo Traffic mashup (which doesn't work for me, probably because I live in a burg) is the near full-screen GMaps interface.

+ kottke got to see a commercial e-book with electronic ink and was very impressed. Cool.

+ Dorothea watched episode 2 for the first time. And she hated it (Jaq, you really shouldn't read it unless you want to get mad). The most interesting part of this post, to me, was the things she liked: the costumes, the design of ships and aliens, the kid playing Boba Fett, Christopher Lee and Ian McDiarmid (though I think she has a thing for British actors). I especially agree with the part about ships and aliens. I noticed that last time we watched. There are a lot of people doing good work at Lucasfilm whose stuff is just a small detail whizzing by (not that little details should be more prominent...).

+ Freakonomics sure has been getting a lot of airplay. I would like to read it. I'll have to talk to my local librarian ;-)

Thursday, May 5

What is it with me and Thursday?

+ Jason left a link in my comments about the Verve and Bittersweet Symphony and the Rolling Stones and copyright and... gross.

+ Matt's crazy about his new Dyson. But if you go to the Flickr stream, you see that Consumer Reports ranks some cheaper vacuums higher .

+ John's got an interesting post on the number of the beast.

+ Jaq's got an interesting Surprising Admissions post (though I think 'Confessions' might be better word choice here, given common usage. Otherwise, the first thing you think is 'He got to cut in line at Episode 3!' ;-).

Do I have any confessions to make? Any you want to nominate, those of you who know me? (How's that for living dangerously?)

+ Tom had a post linking an alternate opinion to his pessimistic one on Benedict 16. Finally followed it over to Flit, and a fairly optimistic take on B16, though still through Toms' Core-Gap grid. Though I wasn't thinking about it with this kind of precision, this is more in line with my hopes for B16.

+ Walter links a review of Despair's new book that includes some of the history of the company.

Sunday, May 1

My first use of the free 25

Did you see that Rhapsody will give you 25 free plays each month? They think people will subscribe, which I will not. But I did try to very strategically use my 25 free plays. Here are the recent 3:
  • "My Happy Ending" - Avril Lavigne
  • "I Miss You" - Blink 182
  • "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
I didn't play them in this order, but decided instead to try to go back in and arrange them by date. I'm not going to go look up the dates. This is to the best of my recollection. Here are the ones from the eighties:
  • "Running On Empty" - Jackson Browne
  • "Kiss On My List" - Hall & Oates
  • "I Ran (So Far Away)" - A Flock Of Seagulls
  • "Only Time Will Tell" - Asia
  • "The Best Of Times" - Styx
  • "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" - Yes
  • "Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
  • "Video Killed The Radio Star" - The Buggles
  • "Come On Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • "The Reflex" - Duran Duran
  • "West End Girls" - Pet Shop Boys
  • "Africa" - Toto
  • "Don't Answer Me" - The Alan Parsons Project
  • "Voices Carry" - Til Tuesday
  • "Life In A Northern Town" - Dream Academy
  • "Take On Me" - A-Ha
  • "One For The Mockingbird" - Cutting Crew
  • "Roam" - The B-52's
  • "All I Want" - Toad the Wet Sprocket
I don't really want you to weigh in on if you like these or not, on if I had good taste in the eighties or not. See, that's the point: stuff from this age slips in before you develop taste. And it influences your later taste. What I'd be more interested in, if you feel so inspired, would be for you to reflect on your own nostalgic picks. Any of these in there? Any of these take you back? Others?