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Tuesday,  07/01/08  11:04 PM

Happy July everyone, and welcome to summer and the second half of 2008.  Should be a wild ride; we have gas prices rising, a housing bubble bursting, uneven economic news, unrest in the Middle East (as always, sadly), and a presidential election featuring the clearest choice we've had for a long time.  May we live in interesting times indeed...

Meanwhile I am turning 50, perhaps starting the second half of my life.

Interestingly, tonight I sort of revisited my youth: I played racquetball with my friend and colleague Chris Lee.  There was a time when I played every day, but that time was 20 years ago; it required a deep architectural dig in my garage to unearth my racquet.  Anyway it was really fun, I found I remembered the game, I just couldn't play it anymore :)  Rust never sleeps.  (Good exercise regardless.)  Anyway we're planning to play again, so maybe it will come back to me...

Glenn Reynolds warns us to get ready for the Obama pivot: "In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office.  But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama’s rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far.

In considering this, and Obama's likely pivot, consider Blackfive's point: Why McCain's captivity matters.  His takeaway: "Obama is a feather blowing in the political breeze.  McCain is a rock."

Jason Kottke revisits an Onion classic: Someone should do something about all the problems.  I love it. 

Good news / bad news for Michael Rasmussen.  You will remember he was leading last year's Tour de France and would have won, but he was fired from the Rabobank team in the middle of the race, ostensibly for lying to them.  So now he's been suspended for two years by the Monaco cycling association, but he's won his wrongful termination lawsuit against Rabobank. 

Ottmar Liebert quotes George Bernard Shaw: "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."  He goes on to note that "If you have a CD and I have a CD and we exchange these CDs then you and I will still each have one CD.  But if you have an MP3 and I have an MP3 and we exchange these MP3s, then each of us will have two MP3s.  And therein lies the problem nobody has figured out yet."  Indeed.  What's interesting is that in the case of ideas, this is a good thing, but in the case of MP3s it is considered a problem. 

Did you see this?  Our Governator announced Tesla will be building their new sedan in California, spurred by a sales tax waiver on zero-emission vehicles.  Good work. 

Rob Hopkins on Sex and the City and Handbag Insanity.  Did you know you could rent expensive handbags?  Me, neither.  Still I'm not surprised, you can rent just about anything these days.  [ via John Robb

So the average age of TV viewers is now 50.  Wow.  I told Shirley, and she said "of course, the kids are all watching YouTube".  Tap tap, crash. 

The LATimes is cutting 250 jobs, including 150 news jobs.  The LATimes still exists?