Tag Archives: politics

S&T Policy in the Presidential Election

The Michigan primary is just around the corner (February 28) and the political ads are starting to spread like wildfire. If you’re looking for more information on the candidates’ views, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has a great resource. Their 2012 Election page summarizes each candidate’s position on various science and technology issues, including energy policy, science education, and health care.

It’s definitely worth at least taking a glance to help you make a more informed decision. For instance, I had no idea that Santorum doesn’t believe in human-caused climate change (he argues that the “junk science” is just an excuse for more government control), or that Romney supports funding ARPA-E for alternative energy research.

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A 15-link post

It’s that time again. My Firefox bookmarks have piled up again! What better way to clean them out than to make a blog post?

1. 15 Useful Google Chrome Plugins — One of the things on my backburner is getting around to trying out the new Google Chrome, which I have only heard good things about. Another reason to try it out is this neat list of plugins, which cover a pretty wide base of tasks!

2. If you have an iPod Touch or an iPhone, did you know it is possible to have more options than “.com”? If you tap and hold the “.com” button, it will bring up options for “.edu”, “.org” and “.net”. Thanks to A New Mac Tip Every Day for this little nugget of information.

3. I don’t think I’ll ever have to resort to this (and I hope you won’t either), but thanks to some creative – and bored – biologists on an oceanographic research vessel, here is a handy guide to brewing your own beer in a coffee maker. Naturally, it uses only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.

4. From the Dot Earth blog on the New York Times website, here is an article on Obama and ‘Generation E’ in Arizona. It’s an interesting discussion on sustainability and the program at Arizona State University. An excerpt:

Arizona, to many, seems eminently unsustainable, but that is an overly simplistic (linear) view… I am often asked how there can be a city in the desert, to which I reply that is exactly where virtually all of the original cities in the world were established! … In a strange way Arizona has some of the most advanced and effective water management systems largely because it is obvious that if we didn’t this place would not work at all. That does not mean we haven’t made lots of mistakes here in terms of urban layout, resource use, etc. This all makes us a really exciting test case and one that may have more to say to the developing world (where rapid urban growth is the norm) than a city like Portland — which has a strong sustainability consciousness, but has more to say to a European city (that isn’t listening) than to where the real challenges are emerging.

5. Leon Trotsky Totally Looks Like Colonel Sanders – it’s true!

6. There is a phenomenon emerging called “sleeveface”, generated by this website. It defines itself as: “one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion”. Here are two of my favorites, or check out this post for more.

7. The 10 Smartest and the 10 Stupidest iPhone Apps – It amazes me how incredibly creative some of the applications can be – like Tipulator, Level, and LogMein Ignition. But advanced technology is always accompanied by people who would rather waste time creating an application that farts.

8. Speaking of cool apps for the iPhone, how about this one, which groups all of your rewards cards for grocery stores (and I presume other types of stores as well)? It’s a great way to reduce clutter and to keep all of your cards in one handy spot!

9. Another Mac tip: did you know that you can select text and drag it on top of the TextEdit icon in the Dock, and it creates a new document using that text? Yea, me neither. [Link]

10. There is an excellent blog post over at NPR.org pointing out the surplus of male characters in Pixar movies (and princesses in Disney movies). It’s called “Dear Pixar, From All The Girls With Band-Aids On Their Knees”. An excerpt:

Well, the whole big world has a lot of little girls in it, too. And not all of them are princesses — and the ones who are princesses have plenty of movies to watch.

And even many of them who do aspire to be princesses are mixing their princess tendencies with all manner of other delicious things. Their tiaras fall off when they skin their knees running at top speed; they get fingerpaint on their pink dresses; they chip their front teeth chasing each other in plastic high-heeled shoes.

There’s nothing wrong with the movies you’re making; I’m sure your princess movie will be my favorite one ever. I’m just saying, keep them in mind, those girls in Band-Aids, because they want to see themselves on screen doing death-defying stunts, too. You’re making some of my favorite movies in the whole world right now.

11. Did Conan model his new Tonight Show set after Mario Brothers? The picture is pretty convincing.

12. If you’re a fan of The Office, like me, then you’ll enjoy this compliation of the Top 5 Dwight Moments. The only thing is that they didn’t include my favorite Mozart and Butch Cassidy quote, which unforunately I couldn’t find on Youtube either.

13. In case you missed Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University this week, this article includes a great set of excerpts which are grouped by topic, as well as a video of the full speech for you to watch. But if you decide to watch it, then get comfortable, because the video is 55 minutes long.

14. My brother sent me this link to a documentary called “Throw Down Your Heart”. It follows Bela Fleck on a trip to Africa, and his interaction (or more accurately, his banjo’s interaction) with the people there. Check out the trailer. I think it’s going to be a great film, buoyed by great music.

15. And in case you find yourself with too much time on your hands, maybe you can get into the business of creating stop-motion videos as wedding invitations. Check out this video that a couple made to invite people to their wedding. It’s really creative (especially the GPS part) and must have taken a ton of effort!

Obama’s Inauguration Speech

Obama’s Inauguration Speech: in graphic form:

Source: Brandy Agerbeck

A Bird’s View of the Inauguration

aerial inauguration

This satellite photo provided by GeoEye shows the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol on January 20 2009. (Geoeye/AFP – Getty Images)

There’s apparently an interactive high-quality version of this photo, but I can’t view it because it’s not mac-friendly. Really? We’re still in that stone age?

Bushisms

With the Obama countdown clock on my dashboard reading 13 days, 01 hours, and 49 minutes, thoughts are starting to turn away from President Bush. But BBC News released an article today titled The ‘misunderestimated’ President?, which highlights some of the more, well, shocking lapses in both grammar and judgment.

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

There are plenty more gems where that came from.

Election Day

“I reject a politics that is based solely on racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or victimhood generally. I think much of what ails the inner city involves a breakdown in culture that will not be cured by money alone, and that our values and spiritual life matter at least as much as our GDP.” – Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope

“There are greater pursuits than self-seeking. Glory is not a conceit. It is not a prize for being the most clever, the strongest, or the boldest. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself.” – John McCain, Faith of My Fathers

As for my own election experience, I walked to the HUB on campus, with a newspaper and homework in hand, fully expecting to be in line for at least an hour. I had just gotten off the phone with my roommate, who had been in line for an hour and a half and still not gotten in the door at the church where she was voting. My other roommate had gotten up at 6:30 and waited in line for 45 minutes. So I got to the HUB and walked through the masses of campaigners outside, trying to offer me flyers and pamphlets and even towels for whichever candidate they supported. I fought my way into the voting hall and scanned the lines until I found the one for my precinct.

It was empty.

So I walked through the maze of dividers until I got to the table, waited for the one person in front of me to finish signing his name, then got my ballot and voted. Total wait time: approximately 30 seconds.

Now go vote, and don’t forget your free cup of Starbucks coffee today!

One last day…

A couple of silly election pictures from obama_rama, on the final day before the big decision.