Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 22nd, 2008

Avocado ice cream

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Let me know when you try it.

Or try olive oil ice cream. I would in a second.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

Making decisions in a group

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Groups have different processes for making decisions—some wait for consensus, others vote, and in others the leader decides. I found, long ago, a little DOS program called “Best Choice” that greatly simplified group decision-making. Using it consisted of a few simple steps:

List the possible options or choices from which you are to select.

List the criteria you will use to evaluate those.

Weight the criteria as you want—that is, assign a number to each criterion to indicate how heavily it should weigh in the final decision. (You actually can do this using the program: do a run with the criteria being the choices, using the sole criterion “Importance.” After going through the decision routine, the result will be the weights for the criteria, in the judgment of the group.)

List the people who will be evaluating the options according to the criteria.

Weight the individuals as you want—again, assign a number to each person to see how much weight to give his or her opinions. (For example, an expert in the field might be given a greater weight than someone who knows little about the matter.) One nice thing: you can change the weights of the deciders to see what effects that would have, and if you weight all but one as zero, you can see how that one person ranked the choices.

The program then presents each decider with a set of pairs of the options for each criterion. Each decider than selects which of each pair is “better” given the criterion being considered.

Note the simplification: instead of considering the whole range of choices and criteria, the decision becomes a series of small decisions between two choices using a single criterion. These decisions are easily and quickly made.

The program then uses those choices and the weights (of criteria and of decision makers) to rank the choices, showing the “value” of each option. Sometimes a group of options will have values that are close—more or less tied—and sometimes options will have values that are far apart.

It works quite well, and now there’s a Windows version available. You can view a demo of it here.

One example: I was leading a major software project, and I wanted to minimize the risks. So I brought the team together for a brainstorming session: “Assume the project has failed. What problem was the cause of failure?” We produced a list of possible problems. I then used the program and listed the problems and two criteria: How likely is the problem to happen, and how big an impact would the problem have if it did happen.

Each team member then went through the random pairings of problems, first evaluating each pair and indicating which one of each pair was more likely to happen, and then going through another set of pairs indicating which one of each pair would have a greater impact if it did happen. The program then ranked the problems based on the input of the entire team (appropriately weighted) and we had our risk factors identified in terms of their danger.

I’ve also used it to pick vacation spots, cat names, cars, and so on.

UPDATE: Link fixed.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 3:20 pm

Blast from the past

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Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the Right had much to say four years ago about men who married wealthy women and were in effect supported by them in a lifestyle that they would not otherwise enjoy. Much to say. In fact, he lists quite a few blasts of anger and outrage over the character of a man who would do that. The column is entertaining in that these strong voices of character condemnation have grown strangely silent.

His column begins:

What’s most notable about John McCain’s confusion over the number of homes he owns isn’t merely that it demonstrates that, after running his campaign based on depicting Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and himself as the all-American Everyman, McCain lives a life that is about as far removed from the Average American as one can get, and has done so for decades. What’s notable is how McCain was able to live that way. McCain himself isn’t actually rich. He just lives off the inherited wealth of his much younger former mistress and now-second-wife — for whom he dumped his older and disfigured first wife — and who then used her family’s money to fund McCain’s political career and keep him living in extreme luxury (after insisting that he sign a prenuptial agreement, which would make McCain the first U.S. President to have one).

In 2004, numerous leading right-wing pundits had many things to say about men who do that:

What’s most notable about John McCain’s confusion over the number of homes he owns isn’t merely that it demonstrates that, after running his campaign based on depicting Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and himself as the all-American Everyman, McCain lives a life that is about as far removed from the Average American as one can get, and has done so for decades. What’s notable is how McCain was able to live that way. McCain himself isn’t actually rich. He just lives off the inherited wealth of his much younger former mistress and now-second-wife — for whom he dumped his older and disfigured first wife — and who then used her family’s money to fund McCain’s political career and keep him living in extreme luxury (after insisting that he sign a prenuptial agreement, which would make McCain the first U.S. President to have one).

In 2004, numerous leading right-wing pundits had many things to say about men who do that: …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Daily life, Election, GOP

Businesses and customers

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Kevin Drum has a very sensible post that recognizes the reality of the business-consumer relationship:

Via Ezra, here is Jacob Sullum arguing that we shouldn’t force restaurants to conspicuously post the calorie counts of their meals:

In a 2007 survey of California voters, 84 percent said they thought the government should force restaurant chains to display calorie numbers on their menus and menu boards. That may happen soon: The state Assembly is considering a bill, already approved by the state Senate, that would make California the first state to impose such a menu mandate.

Yet the desires that people express in polls are often at odds with the preferences they reveal in the marketplace. The restaurant business is highly competitive. If customers really were clamoring for conspicuous calorie counts, restaurants would provide them voluntarily.

I won’t pretend that I really have a strong opinion on this issue, but Sullum is off base here. It’s like saying that if people really wanted to know how much mercury was in their fish, then fishmongers would just tell them. But it’s not so — at least not in any time frame that might be helpful to actual existing people. Centuries of history suggests that, consumer preference notwithstanding, sellers will work like crazed lemmings to prevent buyers from finding out bad things about their products. Over and over, it’s turned out that collective action has been the only effective way to force businesses to disclose negative information about their products.

And make no mistake: calorie counts are decidedly negative. Most people would be pretty shocked if they knew, for example, that even a medium-size Big Mac meal contains well over half the calories an average person ought to consume in an entire day. (You probably knew this already, but that’s because Political Animal readers are such a well-informed lot. Most people have no clue.) Fast food marketing departments, conversely, are keenly aware of this, and would very much prefer to keep their customers unshocked and happily supersizing their purchases. …

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 1:03 pm

Smoking in movies

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I gradually became aware of some movies aimed at young people that feature a LOT of smoking: Ghostbusters, for example. Watch that sometime and count the number of times the characters—the cool, funny characters—are smoking. Or in the movie Stargate, Ken Russell teaches a boy how to smoke: the boy coughs on that first inhalation, but Ken—a real MAN—doesn’t. And so on. And now, unsurprisingly, we find:

Philip Morris and the tobacco industry in general have long insisted that cigarette advertising has no influence whatsoever in getting people to start smoking, claiming it only influences existing adult smokers to change brands. But this week the National Cancer Institute published an extensive, 684-page monograph that evaluates current evidence regarding the power of the media to both encourage and discourage tobacco use. NCI found that “The total weight of evidence — from multiple studies, conducted by investigators from different disciplines, and using data from many countries — demonstrates a causal relationship between tobacco advertising and promotion and increased tobacco use.” NCI further concluded that smoking in the movies causes more children to start smoking, saying “the depiction of cigarette smoking in movies is pervasive” and “the total weight of evidence … indicates a causal relationship between exposure to depictions of smoking in movies and youth initiation.”

Source: National Cancer Institute, August 21, 2008

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:59 pm

Excellent summary of McCain’s pre- and post-POW life

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This post in the Booman Tribune is well worth reading. It begins:

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is a POW. For the uninitiated, POW is an acronym for Prisoner of War. But it’s not really true that John McCain is a POW. After all, he’s walking around free right now in the good ole United States of America. But he once was a POW. In other words, John McCain is a former POW. If you don’t believe me, here is proof:

That’s a monument to the shooting down of John McCain that still exists near Truc Bach Lake in Vietnam (formerly North Vietnam). The inscription reads “On October 26, 1967, Lt. John McCain in his A4 B1 was shot down in this lake.” The picture shows Lt. John McCain surrendering. It does not show the plane that was destroyed during this incident. Nor does it show any of the three other Navy planes that John McCain destroyed during his lackluster career as a pilot.

McCain III lost jet number one in 1958 when he plunged into Corpus Christi Bay while practicing landings. He was knocked unconscious by the impact coming to as the plane settled to the bottom.McCain’s second crash occurred while he was deployed in the Mediterranean. “Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula,” Timberg wrote, “he took out some power lines [reminiscent of the 1998 incident in which a Marine Corps jet sliced through the cables of a gondola at an Italian ski resort, killing 20] which led to a spate of newspaper stories in which he was predictably identified as the son of an admiral.”

McCain’s third crash three occurred when he was returning from flying a Navy trainer solo to Philadelphia for an Army-Navy football game.

Now, it may have been (let’s hope so) that the Navy gave John McCain a fourth plane because he was the son of an admiral. Ordinarily, I would not think it common practice to give a plane to a man that has previously wrecked three multi-million dollar airplanes.

In fact, if the Navy believed in bad mojo, they might have grounded McCain after he was involved (not his fault) in the disaster on the USS Forrestal.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Election, GOP

McCain and Keating

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So far as learning his lesson, recall how McCain flipped his position on offshore drilling in return for major contributions from Big Oil: here, here, and here. A snippet from just one of those:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has made his complete reversal on offshore drilling a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, insisting that expanding offshore drilling into protected areas would lead to more oil supply on the market “within a matter of months” — regardless of the Energy Information Agency’s projection that oil would not reach the market for nearly a decade and “would not have a significant impact” on oil prices.

Though more drilling won’t help Americans save money at the gas pump, it has certainly helped McCain win massive campaign donations from Big Oil. A new report by Campaign Money Watch shows that contributions to McCain from Big Oil skyrocketed directly following his June speech in Houston, when he pledged his support of offshore drilling before an audience oil executives. The report notes:

In Texas alone, June oil and gas-connected donations to McCain’s Victory ’08 Fund, his hybrid fundraising venture with the RNC and state committees, reached $1,214,100.

Of that total, $881,450, or 73 percent, came after June 15. McCain announced his position in favor of offshore drilling on June 16.

The report notes that these enormous contributions represent a seven-fold increase in donations, compared to McCain’s 2000 campaign.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Business, Election, GOP

Thoughtful post on why McCain’s houses matter

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It’s not the houses, per se, but rather what they imply. Read this post. It begins:

On why the many houses matter. The point that Publius makes is not academic – many of John McCain’s character flaws can be traced to a near-lifetime of being sheltered behind vast wealth. Take his gambling habit.

“Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John’s life,” says John Weaver, McCain’s former chief strategist, who followed him to many a casino. “Taking a chance, playing against the odds.” Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos, which he has helped regulate in Congress.

Casino games are an unwinnable stupid tax, especially the games of chance that McCain compulsively favors. The only people who can afford to throw ‘a few thousand dollars at a time’ into a guaranteed losing game are either sheltered rich, or self-destructive addicts on a last bender before homelessness. McCain has been conditioned by life to believe that he can do whatever he wants because a bottomless pile of family money will shield him from consequences.

McCain’s public life reveals the same dynamic at play. …

Keep reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Daily life, Election, GOP

Cute: make your own minibooks

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A tiny booklet, computer-printed, is often useful: phone number, addresses, checklists, and so on. And Plans Unfolding offers a way to make them. At the link:

PLANS UNFOLDING is a new software program for creating a pocket-sized paper organizer and planner customized for the layout and content that you want. Choose from among several standard page types supported by the interface, or create custom page designs and share them online. Use background images downloaded from the image gallery or use your own photographs. Print the output on a color printer, make a few folds and one cut, and you have a convenient booklet with every one of its 16 pages accessible. It’s easy and convenient, and it’s free.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:24 pm

Posted in Daily life, Software

Obesity policies failing

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An important issue, somehow not solved with the statement “Eat less, exercise more.” (Similar approaches to solving major public health problems, which also somehow fail: “Don’t smoke cigarettes.” “If you’re depressed, snap out of it.” “Have sex only with your spouse, ever.” and so on.) Read this announcement, which begins:

Adult obesity rates increased in 37 states in the past year, according to the fifth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America, 2008 report from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Rates rose for a second consecutive year in 24 states and for a third consecutive year in 19 states. No state saw a decrease. Though many promising policies have emerged to promote physical activity and good nutrition in communities, the report concludes that they are not being adopted or implemented at levels needed to turn around this health crisis.

More than 25 percent of adults are obese in 28 states, which is an increase from 19 states last year. More than 20 percent of adults are obese in every state except Colorado. In 1991, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. In 1980, the national average of obese adults was 15 percent.

Recommendations for Combating Obesity

The report calls on the federal government to convene partners from state and local governments, businesses, communities, and schools to create and implement a realistic, comprehensive National Strategy to Combat Obesity. Some key policy recommendations include:

  • Investing in effective community-based disease-prevention programs that promote increased physical activity and good nutrition;
  • Improving the nutritional quality of foods available in schools and childcare programs;
  • Increasing the amount and quality of physical education and activity in schools and childcare programs;
  • Increasing access to safe, accessible places for physical activity in communities. Examples include creating and maintaining parks, sidewalks and bike lanes and providing incentives for smart growth designs that make communities more livable and walkable;
  • Improving access to affordable nutritious foods by providing incentives for grocery stores and farmers’ markets to locate in underserved communities;
  • Encouraging limits on screen time for children through school-based curricula and media literacy resources;
  • Eliminating the marketing of junk food to kids;
  • Encouraging employers to provide workplace wellness programs;
  • Requiring public and private insurers to provide preventive services, including nutrition counseling for children and adults; and
  • Providing people with the information they need about nutrition and activity to make educated decisions, including point-of-purchase information about the nutrition and calorie content of foods.

Click on a state below to read state-specific obesity and obesity-related information: …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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More Americans question religion’s role in politics

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A healthy development, I’d say. The full report is here (PDF, 63 pages), but you can read the overview, which begins:

Some Americans are having a change of heart about mixing religion and politics. A new survey finds a narrow majority of the public saying that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters. For a decade, majorities of Americans had voiced support for religious institutions speaking out on such issues.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that most of the reconsideration of the desirability of religious involvement in politics has occurred among conservatives. Four years ago, just 30% of conservatives believed that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Today, 50% of conservatives express this view.

As a result, conservatives’ views on this issue are much more in line with the views of moderates and liberals than was previously the case. Similarly, the sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats that previously existed on this issue have disappeared.

There are other signs in the new poll about a potential change in the climate of opinion about mixing religion and politics. First, …

Continue reading (and there are some graphs and charts at the link). For the report online:

Overview
Section 1: The Mix of Religion and Politics
Section 2: The Campaign, Candidates and Bush
Section 3: Issues and the 2008 Election
Section 4: Faith-Based Aid Favored – With Reservations
About the Survey

PDF version (63 pgs.)
Topline questionnaire (21 pgs.)

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:13 pm

Protected defamation and false accusations

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Very interesting post by John Dean on the defamation industry. It begins:

Jerome Corsi is a right-wing hatchet-man, a very nasty fellow who makes his living hurling false claims and charges at public figures. Corsi gets away with it only because he can hide behind a body of law that protects lies and insults on the assumption that they will be corrected in the marketplace of public debate. This faux-scholar thrives on striking out at those who do not view the world as he does, employing wacky or belittling appellations to bolster his authoritarian conservative views. Thus, Hillary Clinton is a “fat hog“; John Kerry is a “communist”; Arabs are “boy-humping,” “women-hating” “towel heads”; and on and on he goes — a guy who sees conspiracies and evil where others do not.

Corsi first gained wide public attention when he co-authored the 2004 work “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry” that launched the fatal attacks on the Democrats’ last presidential candidate. Now, Corsi’s new book attacking Barack Obama has returned him to public attention once again. When blogger Digby addressed Corsi’s latest trash-for-cash book — “Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality” – she, like most observers, had few kind words for his offensive tome. Indeed, Corsi has been roundly and widely criticized by both the right and the left for his latest spate of viciousness.

There is considerable wonderment at how Corsi gets away with it. For example, people posting comments on Digby’s blog wanted to know : “Why don’t the victims of this kind of sliming sue? . . . I’m not sure that hitting back hard in the courts would be so bad in the court of public opinion, and a multi-million dollar verdict might make the major publishing houses think twice.” Similarly, comments on Amazon regarding Corsi’s handiwork expressed surprise that Corsi had not been sued, with many who posted assuming that because Obama has not sued, there must be some truth to the Corsi’s claims. (Many reached the same conclusion when Kerry did not sue Corsi in 2004 regarding “Unfit For Command.”) However, the real reason Kerry did not sue, and the reason Obama is not suing now, is doubtless related to American law – not any supposed accuracy of Corsi’s scurrilous claims.

American Defamation Law Is a Mess: It Protects Liars and Discourages Public Persons from Suing

There is widespread misunderstanding about American defamation law – even among many attorneys – and for good reason: It is a mess. This body of law initially developed, state by state, from the common law of England. Then, in 1964, it was federalized with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan. Now, the American law of defamation includes both the law of the 50 states (which varies from state to state) as well as federal law (which differs from one federal circuit to another).

This much is clear, however: …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:06 pm

Positive outlook helps prevent breast cancer

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This is an unexpected finding. It’s been well established that a positive outlook has no effect on the medical prognosis once you have cancer (though it does wonders for one’s mental health), but apparently a positive outlook does have value as a preventive:

Feelings of happiness and optimism play a positive role against breast cancer. Research published today in the open access journal BMC Cancer suggests that while staying positive has a protective role, adverse life events such as the loss of a parent or close relative, divorce or the loss of a spouse can increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease. Ronit Peled from the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, led a team of researchers who questioned 255 women with breast cancer and 367 healthy controls about their life experiences and evaluated their levels of happiness, optimism, anxiety and depression prior to diagnosis. Peled said, “Young women who have been exposed to a number of negative life events should be considered an ‘at-risk’ group for breast cancer and should be treated accordingly”.

The researchers do point out that women were interviewed after their diagnosis, which may colour their recall of their past emotional state somewhat negatively. However, according to Peled, “We can carefully say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event is a risk factor for breast cancer among young women. On the other hand, a general feeling of happiness and optimism can play a protective role”.

The authors point out that, “The mechanism in which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behaviour and external events modulate these three systems is not fully understood”. As such, they suggest that “The relationship between happiness and health should be examined in future studies and relevant preventative initiatives should be developed”.

Source: BioMed Central

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 11:59 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Science

Books on Buddhism and psychotherapy

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Very interesting book list at My Mind on Books. Although the links are to Amazon, don’t forget to check (a) your library and (b) Abebooks.com. The post begins:

Among its many virtues, Jack Kornfield’s new book The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology has a “related readings” section (p. 402-407) that provides a good comprehensive bibliography of the intersection of Buddhism and psychotherapy. I hope the author doesn’t mind that I’ve copied it here with links to Amazon for further book information. (Probably the link doesn’t always match the edition given in the bibliography.)

Aronson, Harvey.  Buddhist Practice on Western Ground: Reconciling Eastern Ideals and Western Psychology Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2004.

Baer, Ruth A. Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Applications Burlington, Mass.: Academic Press, 2006.

Begley, Sharon. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves New York: Random House, 2007.

Bennett-Goleman, Tara. Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart New York: Harmony Books, 2001.

Bien, Thomas, and Bien, Beverly. Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction New York: John Wiley, 2002.

Brach, Tara. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. New York: Bantam Dell, 2003.

Brazier, David. Zen Therapy: Transcending the Sorrows of the Human Mind New York: John Wiley, 1995.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: HarperCollins, 1990/2002. …

Rest of the list.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 11:35 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Religion

Tagged with

Interesting software: DeepMemo

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This sounds useful: a way to clipping things from the Web and bundling them into a page you can share. Read about it here.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 11:16 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

The influenza pandemic of 1918

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I’ve blogged before about this astonishing catastrophe: recommending John Barry’s book on it, and blogging an explanation of why it killed so quickly (Barry tells of one man who seemed fine as he got on a streetcar and died before he reached his stop). Now the CDC has announced an online storybook about the pandemic:

CDC Releases 1918 Pandemic Flu Storybook
Versión en español

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released today an online storybook containing narratives from survivors, families, and friends about one of the largest scourges ever on human kind – the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed millions of people around the world. The storybook provides valuable insight for public health officials preparing for the possibility of another pandemic sometime in our future.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. The internet storybook contains about 50 stories from individuals from 24 states around the country as well as photos and narrative videos from the storytellers.

“Complacency is enemy number one when it comes to preparing for another influenza pandemic,” said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. “These stories, told so eloquently by survivors, family members, and friends from past pandemics, serve as a sobering reminder of the devastating impact that influenza can have and reading them is a must for anyone involved in public health preparedness.”

The idea for such a storybook emerged during crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) training CDC has been conducting with health professionals over the past few years. The online storybook contains narratives from survivors, families, and friends who lived through the 1918 and 1957 pandemics. The agency welcomes new submissions and plans to update the book each quarter. Narratives from the 1968 pandemic are also welcome.

“It′s an excellent resource, not only for public health professionals, but for people of all ages,” said Sharon KD Hoskins, a public affairs officer who coordinated the project for CDC. “It’s probably the closest to experiencing the real thing that many of us can imagine.”

The storybook can be found at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/storybook/index.html.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 11:13 am

Songbird: cool-looking open-source music manager

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This looks like a very nice piece of software, for all that it’s beta. Check it out.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 10:50 am

Posted in Daily life, Music, Software

Review of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

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Michael Collins has a good review of Vince Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. The review begins:

Vincent Bugliosi wants George W. Bush prosecuted for murder. There are others who are complicit in the crime, namely the Vice President and Condoleezza Rice, but Bush is the target of this famed former Los Angeles prosecutor (the Charles Manson case) and best selling author (Helter Skelter and The Betrayal of America as two examples). He is undeterred by the virtual major media blackout on interviews and advertising. He’s taking his case directly to the people through alternate media and the internet.

Bugliosi constructs a devastating case in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. As I write this review, it is still difficult to grasp my sense of shock at this title with this author’s name below it. A legendary prosecutor with a near perfect record in big cases, Bugliosi articulates one of the most revolutionary ideas imaginable in a mix of today’s otherwise vapid and obtuse political thinking. But first, the book and how the prosecutor makes his case.

He wastes no time in following up on the shock generated by the title. In the first sentence, we’re told:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 10:48 am

“He was a POW, so you can’t criticize him”

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Ana Marie Cox makes a good point:

The McCain campaign’s constant invocation of the candidate’s POW past is weird bordering on irrational: yesterday, Nicolle Wallace used it as evidence that McCain didn’t “cheat” at Saddleback. By a VERY generous interpretation, she could have meant that POWs don’t cheat. Or that once you’ve been a POW, you’ve been through so much you’re above cheating. Or maybe you can’t accuse a POW of cheating unless you’re a POW.

Today, spokesman Brian Rogers took the same tack against the “housing crisis” they currently face: “This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years — in prison.” So is he arguing that we shouldn’t begrudge McCain his multiple house because he once lived in an awful prison? Is he saying POWs deserve multiple houses (and you thought Obama was pro-nanny-state!)? Or maybe he’s saying that McCain’s several houses are really just prisons… of the soul. Man is entombed by his possessions, it’s true.

It’s a head-spinning non sequitur, designed to distract us from something mildly troubling with the assertion of something impressive.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 10:39 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Grafton & Marlborough

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D.R. Harris Truefitt & Hill Grafton shaving cream and, for a change of pace, the Rooney Style 3 Size 1 Super Silvertip—a very fine brush. The usual Harris lather—superb—and the Slant and Treet Classic did a fine shave—though I do find myself looking at my other razors. I do like variety…

D.R. Harris Marlborough aftershave. Excellent shave.

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 7:32 am

Posted in Shaving

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