Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Play That Funky Music

If Republicans are declaring as Presidential candidates again we can be assured of at least one thing, they'll use music that they don't understand (you'd think someone on the campaign would read the lyrics at least) and get slapped with cease and desist orders by the musicians.


Michele Bachmann has already been hit for using Tom Petty's American Girl and Katrina and The Waves Walking on Sunshine.

Raise your hand if you're surprised...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Read This Now - Political Accomplishments

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo was instrumental in securing the passage of marriage equality in New York last week and lot's of folks have been recommending this NY Times article offering a peak at how he got it done...

The story of how same-sex marriage became legal in New York is about shifting public sentiment and individual lawmakers moved by emotional appeals from gay couples who wish to be wed.

But, behind the scenes, it was really about a Republican Party reckoning with a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition.

And it was about a Democratic governor, himself a Catholic, who used the force of his personality and relentlessly strategic mind to persuade conflicted lawmakers to take a historic leap.
Granted the US as a whole is not NY but the state isn't too far off as a microcosm of the country in terms of politics (more conservative in rural areas and more liberal in urban ones) and I would encourage President Obama and his administration to take some notes on getting shit done (there are plenty of great things that the Obama Administration has accomplished but I do think that on the whole they are falling short of their potential).

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Dear Photograph Project

Taylor Jones has a very cool little project going that he'd like your help with.  Dear Photograph involves taking a picture of a picture from the past while holding that picture up in the same spot it was taken, then write the photo a note.  It's much easier to show you than to explain...

Dear Photograph,
I looked good in a tux.
@TJ
See what I mean?  I like this one a lot because you can see how the trees have grown and the place has both stayed the same and changed.  There are several pages of submissions up so far and I'm sure more will be forthcoming some are a little sappy, or have more personal nostalgic value than artistic value but they're all interesting in their own way..  Check out the site for details.

(via DB)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Read This Now - Dare To DREAM

We need the DREAM Act, it is at its core a representation of the ideals and beliefs upon which America was founded.

If you don't want to take my word for it read Jose Antonio Vargas' story in the NYT...

There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own. 
Read the whole thing right now.You can follow Vargas on twitter @JoseIsWriting

(via EK)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Read This Now - The Weather Report

Climate change is real, you can see it's effects on the news nearly every day and more and more people in the US and around the world are experiencing the effects first hand this year as extreme weather events become more and more common.

The saddest and most shocking part is that no one in the US Government seems to care, especially those who know better.  It's one thing for pandering blowhards to rail on as idiot deniers and skeptics of climate change and it's another all together for those members of the government who know just how serious the challenges we face are and who choose to ignore them since the politics aren't pretty.

Elizabeth Kolbert has a good rundown in this week's comment in the New Yorker...

For decades, climate scientists have predicted that, as global temperatures rose, the side effects would include deeper droughts, more intense flooding, and more ferocious storms. The details of these forecasts are immensely complicated, but the underlying science is pretty simple. Warm air can hold more moisture. This means that there is greater evaporation. It also means that there is more water, and hence more energy, available to the system. 

What we are seeing now is these predictions being borne out. If no particular flood or drought or storm can be directly attributed to climate change—there’s always the possibility that any single event was just a random occurrence—the over-all trend toward more extreme weather follows from the heating of the earth. As the cover of Newsweek declared last week, “weather panic” is the “new normal.” The larger problem is that this “new normal” won’t last. Each additional ton of carbon dioxide that’s spewed into the atmosphere contributes to further warming, thus increasing the risk of violent weather.

It isn't pretty and it can be depressing, but that's all the more reason everyone should read the piece (and pretty much everything that Kolbert writes these days).

See also the sordid tale of how climate change legislation fell apart last summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Billy Beane Is In The Money

If you like baseball and haven't read Moneyball, you should.  Then again this fall you can watch it...




Suffice it to say I'm excited, and as BN put it "How psyched is Billy Beane right now?"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sam Jackson Helps Out New Parents (Slightly NSFW)

Without further ado...



(via kottke)

Read This Now - Meet Jose Bautista

Bautista has emerged on the scene this season as baseball's current undisputed best hitter, simply put he's crushing it this year, just like he did last season.

In this day and age PED's are never far from conversations surrounding late blooming hitters, or just one's who seem to come out of no where and Bautista is no exception.  This great piece from Jeff Passan in The Post Game examines Bautista's story and takes a look at how he became an exceptional hitter...

History says with no malice that Bautista should not be doing this. He disturbed baseball's neat order. It was no random stretch, no burp in the matrix. It demanded an explanation. And so for the last 14 months, the scouts and the statisticians and the fans have probed and prodded and dissected Bautista's ascent, the sort that gives divers the bends. They turned accomplishment into interpretational gymnastics. One set of numbers, 50 theories behind it, all trying to answer the same question.

How?

Baseball's calculus changed with steroids. No ophthalmologist can fix the lens through which the public now views accomplishment. Success -- out-of-nowhere, what-the-hell success especially -- begets skepticism. There must be a reason, a plug-and-play, easy-to-digest, quick-and-dirty catch-all that makes way for the next question. 

"Sometimes there is a reason," Bautista says. "It's just not simple."
It's a little long, but well worth the read.  Be sure to check it out.

(via HBT)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Everything Old Is New Again

Which is really just a polite way of saying it's been quite a while since the entertainment industry had a really original idea...


Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.


It isn't always a bad thing, and not everyone is so blatant. Watch episode two for a take on Hollywood though.  Also check out the Everything is a Remix homepage, and see plenty of comments etc from the project's creator Kirby Ferguson.

(via kottke)

Doonesbury's Still Doing It

The thing I miss most about getting a daily paper is the comics, there are only a handful that I really want to read and I know I can get them all online these days, but for whatever reason I don't.

So thanks to the Best Defense for pushing Doonesbury today...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nature Is Worth More Than 1,000 Words

This catchy little video from the Natural Capital folks helps drive the point home...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Trails Food Pyramid

My Plate is in the house.

Check out the new website as well at ChooseMyPlate.gov, it's pretty good and easy to navigate.  The bottom line is we need to do a better job of educating folks about how to feed themselves well.  Hopefully this is another step in that direction.

Update:

There's an introductory video as well...

 

(via OF)