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The 2008 Election

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
So campaigning has already begun for the 2008 season. From Senators Obama and Clinton to Senator McCain and former NYC mayor Giuliani, the field is already opening up - and the seasonal humor too. When giving his acceptance speech for his film A Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore even almost announced his candidacy - until the band ushered him off.

But it seems there's a third party candidate running, one who might steal even my vote. Kryptonian evil-genius General Zod has thrown his hat into the ring. You might remember his last attempt at power; this time his efforts have actual legitimacy, it appears. Who could oppose him?

(In all fairness, I came across this awesome link from a webcomic I started reading a couple months ago: Sheldon. If you haven't read it before, I suggest starting at the very beginning and make sure you're not eating or drinking while trying to catch up!)

Comcast

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I'm going to take a minute to first apologize for my lack of posting (I'm not feeling wordy lately) and secondly complain about Comcast (not too loudly, I *am* hosted on their connection) due to the fact that my home connection has been dropping a lot lately, for 5-15 minutes at a time. No, it's not my router (despite the fact that they want to blame it on that) but it is, in fact, Comcast.

Grrr.

Man's Greatest Asset...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
So there was a story linked to from Fark.com (like Wikipedia, a place for humanity's greatest minds to gather) wherein personal alarms used by firefighters are not meeting basic durability requirements, inasmuch as they fail when exposed to extreme heat or moisture (such as when you're fighting a fire with water.)

Much of the article focuses on one former employee of the CDC's unit for investigating firefighter deaths and how he was ordered by management to stop pursuing his investigation into the potential failure of these devices. What struck me is that he was, though he was told "[t]he collection of detailed information not of likely use in an investigation is an inefficient use of your time", he continued his investigation and was later fired (for reasons that may or may not have been related) but - even after being fired - he wrote a letter to the head of the CDC voicing his concerns.

I was reminded of a short story by one of my favorite authors, Isaac Asimov. In one of his short stories The Greatest Asset his whole point (and a very valid point it is) is simply that it's an unsettled mind that has done more for humanity over the course of history than anything else.

It's this that I think was overlooked in this case; the unsettled mind here saw a potential problem and was pursuing it as far as possible. Was it an effective use of resources? The CDC thought not, with a manager saying "Do we have the resources to go down every single path? We do not." But management in any position should have recognized the unsettledness of this case, and allowed (even grudgingly) further research. This is the lesson I learned from the article.

"Man's greatest asset is the unsettled mind." --Isaac Asimov

Living within our means

Monday, February 05, 2007
Well, El Presidente submitted a new budget to Congress today: 2.9 trillion dollars. Interestingly, 10% of that is borrowed money - deficit spending.

I have long disagreed with this model. I find harmony in Keynesian economics (as I've stated before) and that states that the government should slow down spending in booming economic times. I guess that's hard to do when you're funding a foreign war (the Pentagon gets 630 billion or so this year - 20% to 25% of the total budget!)

I also love the fact that the President is projecting a small budget surplus in 5 years - well after he's out of office. This is the "I'm going to spend all I want and let the next guy (or gal) clean it up" mentality that causes nothing but problems in the future. How can we fix this?

Super-Bowl Wrap-Up

So I watched Super Bowl XXXVVI yesterday at my friend's place and - tragically - da Bears only brought a playoff game to the championship. It was interesting to watch the weather in southern Florida wreak havoc on the gameplay as the heavens opened up and threatened to drive the state underwater.

However, since I'm not a football fan (Note: despite the fact that I have no international readers, I'm going to point out that this is American football) I'm going to instead comment on the commercials from the Super Bowl.

My succinct review: They Sucked.

Really. There were a few that I thought were clever (I liked the GM assembly-line robot ad and the Bud Light rock-paper-scissors ad) but for the most part the ads were a gigantic waste of corporate funds as I don't think I'm the only one who was unimpressed. I mean, it's sad the Budweiser has some of the best ads there - despite being largely dissimilar to actual beer. I had really hoped to see an Apple ad or a Cadillac spot but I either missed them or they were absent.

Anyway, my condolences to Bears fans and any company that actually spent money on Super-bowl ads.

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