Yes, here it is, a rare Friday night post. What can I say, there's a lot happening... (among other things, I seem to have my voice back, or at least a hoarse imitation of it; the frog chorus has retired :)
Powerline: McCain hits hard. "Fortunately, Senator Obama failed, not our military. We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right. Violence in Iraq fell to such low levels for such a long time that Senator Obama, detecting the success he never believed possible, falsely claimed that he had always predicted it. ... In Iraq, we are no longer on the doorstep of defeat, but on the road to victory." Ouch. All the more forceful for being true.
In other news, McCain veers off script, talks about his cancer battle. This was at the Livestrong Summit, hosted by Lance Armstrong. It is possible that under McCain the government would do more about funding cancer research, but then again the federal government is really not the best way to pay for this work anyway.
Of course Obama has been in Europe, but Jennifer Rubin thinks the media missed the big story. They would :)
Yesterday and today we had two rather boring stages in the Tour de France; both had two-man breakaways succeeding, ending up in track-like duels for the line. Marcus Burghardt won yesterday (left), giving Team Columbia their fifth stage of the tour (!), and perennial breakaway participant Sylvain Chavenal won today (right). The last five minutes of each stage were fun to watch, the preceding three hours, not so much. I don't understand the mindset of the teams who didn't have riders in the break; didn't they want a stage? Well anyway tomorrow we have the exciting final individual time trial, which will decide the overall winner. Carlos Sastre has to preserve a 1:34 lead over Cadel Evans, and I think he's going to do it; this is entirely reminiscent of last year, when Alberto Contator had a similar lead over Evans, and rode the time trial of his life to win the Tour. Stay tuned, we'll see!
My prayers have been answered: the 2009 Tour of California route has been announced, and the last stage finishes on the top of Mount Palomar! I am so there... I cannot wait. I've ridden Palomar any number of times; the South Slope ascends 3,500' in 8 miles at 8%, with 21 switchbacks, just like l'Alpe d'Huez. It will be wonderful to see a pro peloton fly up it. I can't wait!
CNN reports on Dave Schweidenback's Pedals for Progress, a program to sell second-hand bikes in third-world countries. "Since 1991, Schweidenback's nonprofit Pedals for Progress has collected and shipped more than 115,000 used bicycles to 32 developing countries worldwide." That is so very cool.
Sadly, Randy Pausch has died, the Carnegie Mellon professor famous for his "last lecture" about facing terminal cancer. My friend Nick has given me CDs of the book, but I haven't listed to it yet; I will. The many eulogies all seem to share the same theme, that we all die, but Randy Pausch truly lived. Excellent sentiment.
Want to know what's wrong with public education? Ventura County Star: City votes to allocate funds to schools' technology program. "For the second year in row, Westlake Village will provide more than $70,000 from city funds to help local public schools use technology." So I live in Westlake Village, and I'm pleased that our local schools will have this funding, but this is not right. The state should have enough money to pay for this program statewide, so every kid has access, not just the ones in rich communities like mine where the city supplements the state. And the money should come from all of us, we all have a stake in educating all kids.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a big corporation designed a stop sign? Now you don't have to wonder any more :) All the funnier for being painfully true. [ via Kottke ]