January 26th, 2008


[links] Link salad for the backside of a sennight

The wonderful world of early computing

Alien Impact Poisons Canadian Town — "This is could be the first time a meteor impact has been tied to a modern health threat, say the geologists who made the discovery."

Lower Case Initialisms — Language neepery which might of special interest to copy editors.

Farmers are always unhappy — Shays' Rebellion, a part of the history of American dissent.

John McCain secretly funded by George Soros — Man, I love conservatives. Liberal whackjobs haunt coffeehouses and write newsletters. Conservative whackjobs are front page news with an audience of millions — bread and circuses!

Scientists find a way to use ordinary silicon to convert minimal heat to electricity — Oddly, I just wrote a short story where this kind of thing figured fairly prominently.

My friend daveraines asks about the internal narrative of atheists — Interesting question, coming from a bona fide pastor and all around nice guy. If you bounce over there and comment, be polite. He is.

[personal] Off, to say the least

I'm off, to say the least. Breakfast shortly with tillyjane (yes, it is stupid early around here), then up to Tacoma to hook up with lasirenadolce, then off to anitar's memorial gathering in Seattle before scuttling home again in the late afternoon. Out of pocket most of the day, and probably quite flat tonight.

Also, for those playing along with the takehome version of "Where's Jay?", I'm off to Omaha Monday-Saturday of this coming week.

[personal|writing] Miscellaneous updatery

lasirenadolce and I went to anitar's memorial today, up in Seattle. It was lovely, with perhaps 75-100 people in attendance, including so many of the children she loved. jackwilliambell was the picture of grace, though his closing of the ceremony was heartbreaking. I did not know her well — I have spent far more time with Jack — but if you judge someone by the people who loved them, she was a empress among us.

Once home, we watched Ratatouille. I then banged out 1,300 more words on "The Baby Killers" tonight. I have some hopes of finishing the initial draft tomorrow, somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000 words. In addition, I plan to get the Escapement Amazon ] press proofs in the mail back to Tor, mail several books, pack for Omaha, touch up one or two short pieces, and cue myself up for the Madness of Flowers editorial rewrite, which is the Next Big Thing on My List. I'll also have hang time with the_child, and get caught up on some neglected email.

[politics] The South Carolina Democractic primary

I don't have a lot to say which hasn't been far better said in the media or the blogosphere, but I continue to be fascinated by the primary process in both parties. A few quick, probably facile thoughts.

Edwards is finished. He was before, for a whole variety of reasons, but pulling third in his home state places him deep in the also-ran column. The shame of this is that in many ways he was the most progressive candidate, and his presence in the race influenced the narratives of the two front-running campaigns.

Hillary is probably still the national front runner, though a boost for Obama certainly is a negative for her by definition. I'm still disenchanted with her centrism. She is no liberal, to liberal eyes, however conservatives might like to label her as such. My discomfort with her electability given her status as the Great Conservative Boogeyman pace Limbaugh et al. has only solidified — as I've said before, every Republican strategist who can fog a mirror has to be praying to God each night she's the nominee, because there's no one in the [R] column who can get out the votes or the money for the GOP like Hillary. However, she's been playing smashmouth machine politics within the Democratic primary process, and using Bill as an ugly kind of proxy. I don't like it when conservatives play the win-at-any-cost game, I like it at lot less when moderates do it. We're supposed to be the good guys, let's act like it.

Obama. In a way, he's become my man by default. I was never against him, except possibly on grounds of relative inexperience. As I've said before, I'm strongly attracted to his internationalism, but then, I'm an internationalist. That's a dirty word in much of the American electorate, but we don't live in a unilateral world. I'd far, far rather have the experienced, thoughtful internationalism of Obama than the rank jingoist chauvinism of Bush or most of his putative Republican successors. His progressive message and appeal to principles resonate for me. Also, my sense of history builds with Obama.

Super Tuesday approaches like the iceberg before the Titanic. Right now I'll call the tickets as Clinton-Edwards vs. McCain-Huckabee. I'd rather have Obama-Edwards on the Democratic side, but I can't make up my mind if I want the most unelectable Republican ticket or the most rational-to-live-with-if-we-have-to.
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