Critical Section


Friday,  11/05/04  11:00 PM

Interesting that Iowa was the last state decided in the Presidential race.  Kerry lost there, too, by a narrow margin.  It was Iowa where Kerry defeated Dean, putting him on the road to the Democratic nomination.  That one small state in the heart of America chose the candidate to carry the banner for the liberals of the Northeast - and Southwest.  Perhaps the primary process needs to be fixed, eh?  Glenn Reynolds has further thoughts...

The other day I noted a thought for 2008: Arnold vs. Obama.  Several people emailed to remind me about the Constitution's Article 2: It sets the requirements for serving as president - a minimum of 35 years of age, 14 years continuous residence in the country and being a "natural-born citizen".  Aha, but check this out:  "Amendments require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress as well as a majority in three-quarters of the state legislatures.  That said, influential Republican senator Orrin Hatch has introduced such an amendment into Congress, sparking conjecture the Republican Party is paving the way for its newest star to run for president as early as 2008."  Still there will be opposition.

Another thought.  Looking at the electoral maps from this election, one is struck by the fact that California and New York barely changed from 2000 to 2004, solidly blue but turning toward red.  Indeed the two most populous states were hardly noticed by the candidates in this campaign, since they were "given".  But as Glenn Reynolds notes, "Republicans in New York and California will follow the lead of Democrats in Colorado, and propose initiatives to split the states' electoral votes."  That should have Democrats worried...

I've stayed silent on the Theo Van Gogh murder.  It seems horrible but all too inevitable.  ParaPundit has a great analysis with which I concur.  "The [liberal press] are more worried about the safety of Muslims in the Netherlands than the safety and liberty of the Dutch."  This isn't going to get better - the idea that all cultures are equally worthy is as preposterous as the idea that all people have equal abilities.

Venus and Jupiter conjunction - 11/05/04Did you see today's conjunction?  "A planetary conjunction occurs when two or more planets appear to be very close together in the night sky as seen from Earth.  Conjunctions between Venus and Jupiter are fairly common, occurring as often as three times a year.  But on the morning of November 5th, just before dawn, Venus and Jupiter will be less than one degree apart in the sky in the constellation of Virgo the Maiden."  I missed it...

This sounds like a joke: Big bottoms crushing airlines' bottom lines.  "American's growing waistlines are hurting the bottom lines of airlines as extra pounds on passengers cause a drag on planes.  Through the 1990s, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel."

Fascinating article in Scientific American: Music and the Brain.  "Music surrounds us–and we wouldn't have it any other way.  An exhilarating orchestral crescendo can bring tears to our eyes and send shivers down our spines...  Therein lies an intriguing biological mystery: Why is music--universally beloved and uniquely powerful in its ability to wring emotions--so pervasive and important to us?"  [ via Adam Curry ]  I think it is related to our why we perceive beauty.  But you read, you decide.

Interesting Slashdot thread: Could nuclear power wean the U.S. from oil?  You know my answer; Yes.

Walter the wall climbing robotThis is cool: Duke robot climbs to victory in Madrid.  "Our robot Walter was the only one that could start flat on the floor and climb the wall on its own, go over a barrier across the wall or stop itself after crossing the finish line."  Excellent.

Adam Bosworth: Evolution in Action.  Regarding IE and Firefox and the 'net as a platform.  [ via Tim Bray ]

Remember my note the other day about Tivo permalinks for TV shows?  Guess what?  Here they are.  Now you can share shows with your friends, or at least share the concept of recording a particular show.

hidden doorThe Hidden Door Company.  You know you want one of these.
I know I do :)

Sign of the times...  Near my house there is a store called "Kiss it Goodbye".  They sell your old stuff on eBay for you.  In exchange for a percentage, they photograph the item, list it, and pack and ship it.  What a great idea!

the IncrediblesPixar is amazing.  I'm sure you've seen the trailer for The Incredibles, which opens this weekend.  The reviews so far are amazingly positive.  And next year we get Cars, which looks pretty cool, too.

Finally, do you have a cat?  Does s/he like to walk over your keyboard?  Yeah, mine does too.  So here's the answer: PawSense.  "PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats.  It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard."  I am not making this up.

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