Thursday, November 29, 2007

Filtering By Commute Times

Cool new feature.

So what Raf, Dan and I were talking almost 3 years ago down in South Florida (when we were kicking ourselves for not getting in on google before it got too expensive at 200 dollars a share) seems to have been implemented succesfully by street easy in conjunction with hop stop. They have created a neat option to search apartments for rent or sale by commute distance.

Now if only someone creates this application for craigslist in addition to the old bootleg mapping application. Someone who maybe is taking advance programming classes...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Where do you see yourself in a year, two years, five years?

On a beach, a bike, in the woods or -----

The widely recognized postwar modern exteriors of the 55-year-old steel and glass Secretariat tower and its companion General Assembly Hall have aged well, but inside, the years have taken their toll. The $1.876 billion project is scheduled to take five years.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
This decade-long search has ended now with a decision to begin a five-year, $1.876 billion renovation of the complex in the spring and to house the 2,600 people who must move out in rented space in Manhattan, across the East River in Long Island City and a temporary conference building on the United Nations campus.

...Hesham Mohamed Eman Afifi, an Egyptian diplomat, said at budget committee hearings last month that the only element of the project that had stayed on schedule was the periodic bill received by member states.

...The author of the new plan is Michael Adlerstein, 62, an affable Brooklyn-born former National Park Service architect involved in the preservations of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the New York Botanical Garden and the Taj Mahal and a man with 20 years of experience dealing with lawmakers in Washington.

...“I think there is now a general tone that I have found of total support to get this thing done,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with many of the member states on a one-to-one basis — the U.S. one of them — and I have found nothing but support.”

...He is unfazed by the problems that have plagued past plans.

...“I took the job because it’s an ideal challenge for an architect at this point in my career,” he said. “It’s an iconic building of great stature in the world. You can show a picture of this building to people in remote, rural locations in the world and everyone will know it.”

...While the famous exteriors will be unchanged, the insides will be brought up to 21st century standards of efficiency and security and reconfigured to consume 40 percent less energy.

...The glass curtain wall will be replaced by a heavily laminated one that appears identical but is far stronger and able to withstand the blast of a bomb attack.

...“Skanska has its audits,” he said. “We have our own audits. There are several different levels of oversight to make sure this is done right. It will be done right. There’s too much money at risk here not to do it right.”

...The cost of the project will be borne by the 192 member states in supplementary annual dues over the five-year period, with the United States responsible for 22 percent, or $413 million. The United Nations has leased office floors in a building at 305 East 46th Street and is negotiating for space nearby and in Lower Manhattan and Long Island City.


Morning Edition, September 27, 2007 · U.N. headquarters was built 55 years ago, and there haven't been many improvements in the building since then. But next spring, a makeover will begin, with a price tag of nearly $2 billion.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Like Watching a Car Wreck

Watch the action starting about 1:35 into the video. Who says Cross-Country is for wimps?

At the 1- and 2-mile markers, Markwardt was on a personal-best pace. Then, as
she entered the stadium at Columbus' Scioto Downs, with about 400 meters to go, she heard her left leg crack.

The leg had been sore on and off for the previous two weeks, prompting Berkshire coach Julie Cole to limit Markwardt in practice. When she heard the crack, Markwardt thought it was a muscle pull or tear. She thought she could gut it out to the finish line.

"There was a runner from one of our rival schools right in front of me," she said. "I kept staring at the back of her jersey and pushing myself to catch her."
But some 200 meters later, Markwardt heard the leg crack again. And again. Then there was a louder crack, and her entire leg gave out. She fell to the ground as onlookers winced at the sound and the sight of what happened.

One of Markwardt's teammates, unaware of what had happened, encouraged her to get up. She tried, using her right leg. But as soon as she shifted weight to the left, the loudest crack yet came. And her leg gave out again.

...Doctors told her they believed her original soreness was a stress fracture made worse by running in the state meet. They said she likely suffered a partial crack of her tibia at first, but when she pressed on, she shattered the bone in multiple places. And when she stood up to try to finish the race, doctors told her, that's when they believe she broke her fibula.

"When I saw her crawling, I wanted to cry," said Richard Markwardt, Claire's father. "I was just so incredibly proud -- as proud as any father could be."

How Trickle Down Economics works on A

Image stolen from Bob Arihood

Monday, November 26, 2007

Like the dead mouse in the hallway..

Bank of America Takes Lead in Backing `SuperSIV' Fund (Update2)

By David Mildenberg and Christopher Condon

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the nation's second-largest bank, will lead efforts by Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to convince smaller competitors to help finance an $80 billion bailout of short-term debt markets......

.....Loomis Sayles & Co. declined to invest after receiving one of 16 invitations for a personal meeting last week with current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, said Daniel Fuss, who oversees $22 billion as chief investment officer at the Boston-based firm. The Securities Industries Financial Markets Association trade group extended the invitations, Fuss said.

``It's so nice to get a personal invitation to go to Washington and have a one-hour visit with Ben Bernanke,'' said Fuss, who decided participating wasn't worth the risk to his firm. ``Oh, boy, did I feel important for about 27 seconds, and then you smell a rat.''

Market is making me crazy...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The man reads Gilead for the love of ...

Maybe we should choose a president by their reading choices - or how witty their jokes are - or whether they can distinguish between fiction and non-fiction.

Last fictional book they read:
  • Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware: Runaway Jury by John Grisham.
  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut: The Broker by John Grisham.
  • John Edwards, former North Carolina senator: Exile by Richard North Patterson.
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio: Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman.
  • Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
  • Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico: "The administration's energy plan."


  • Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson with David and Heather Kopp.
  • Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City: The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge.
  • Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas: "My oldest son's screenplay."
  • Rep. Duncan Hunter of California: "The Democrats' proposal to balance the budget."
  • Sen. John McCain of Arizona: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
  • Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts: Term Limits by Vince Flynn.
  • Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado: An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.
Gilead is not a easy, pleasurable read. It is a window into god-fearing midwest stoicism. The man who reads that book for fun is a man who gets the people of the heartland far better than I do.

It looks like The Dream Giver is the bat-shittiest book here with the right wind revenge fantasy Term Limits coming in a close second.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Themes of Hope


"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."


"I am in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of chicago. For the same reason I fought for justice as a civil rights lawyer, for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade. Because I will never forget that the only reason that I'm standing here today is because somebody somewhere stood up for me when it was risky, stood up when it was hard, stood up when it wasn't popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up, and then a few thousand stood up, and then a few million stood up."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Water in the Universe

A new planet has been detected around a nearby sun-like star, orbiting at a distance where water would exist in liquid form:

Bad Astronomy -- Astronomers announced today that the star 55 Cancri — known to have had a system of planets for some time — is now known to have at least five planets orbiting it. The existence of a fifth planet was just confirmed.

The new planet is 45 times the mass of earth, making it in all likelihood a bloated giant painted with pastel bands and angry whorls of hydrogen gas like a turbulent Easter egg. While a world of such size and composition would be inhospitable to oceans or life as we know it, any large moons in tow might well be more accommodating.

55 Cancri is a binary system about 40 light-years away in the constellation of Cancer. The companion star of the quintuple solar system is a red dwarf orbiting Cancri A at a distance of about 100 billion miles.

To get an intuitive handle on those formidable numbers, consider that if our sun was the size of the period at the end of this sentence, the earth would be a microscopic dot a mere 2 inches away. On that same scale, the two stars in the Cancri binary would be separated from one another by 50 yards, but reside a whopping 75 miles away from the earth and sun! The fastest spacecraft to date would take about half a million years to reach 55 Cancri. And it's one of the closest stars. Most are much, much farther away. Imagine that immense, pitch-black void, lit only by a scattering of tiny, precious sparks of light swallowed effortlessly in the endless night. For our universe is so big, empty, and dark, it's enough to send shivers up and down your spine

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Why populism will survive a rudy victory.

Again, the difference between him and Bush shows in their taste in cronies. Both are mindlessly devoted to cronyism, but Bush picks out genial, no-talent losers like himself--folks like Michael Brown and Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzalez--and sticks them in high-profile positions of power where they're fated to humiliate themselves. Basically, he's been Dan Quayling us to death. Giuliani likes scumbags, real, one hundred-proof pieces of shit, like Bernard Kerik and Alan Placa, who've been with him forever; he wound up abandoning Kerik, but that's a testament to how thoroughly squalid everything about Kerik was; it's Giuliani's original determination to put Kerik at the head of Homeland Security that's the true indicator of his character, that and his not having any problem with carrying that particular barnacle around with him for so many years. People like Kerik are good guys in Giuliani's eyes because they have no career plan beyond following him around and keeping their mouths shut when they're not kissing his ass. People like the dismissed Chief Bratton are among the bad guys just by virtue of their having enough ability to make something of themselves outside of the great man's shadow. Maybe the best way to sum up the differences between the two is this: George Bush, Jr. may not have had the intelligence or the moral code to see that Dick Cheney had no business having an important say in how this country is run, but he still needed Dick Cheney to inform him that he was going to be his vice president. Giuliani might have actually sought him out, especially if they'd played together on the same stick ball team.

Rudy thinks Bush made mistakes executing a good plan. It is a bad plan. People will figure that out eventually, even if it is only after Rudy is elected.

So the country and the world might collapse but at least the strain of democratic populism will finally establish itself as the dominant viewpoint of the opposition.

So, we got that going for us..

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Progressive's Dilemma

Ala Hunter form DailyKos

Look, if we have Clinton as our nominee I'll certainly work to get her elected. But Clinton is an establishment Democrat in every possible sense of the word. Somewhere along the line, "establishment" Democrats abandoned populism, instead being convinced by an army of some of the worst political consultants to ever grace the halls of power that in order to win you had to court the mythical middle, and that the mythical middle was, bafflingly, corporate-leaning moderate conservatives, in spite of the fact that polls at every step of the way showed more support for progressive positions than conservative ones.

The result was a minor collapse of the party. While Bill Clinton prospered because of his charisma and skill and, yes, populist speech, Democrats in the House and Senate got clobbered. The whole party turned wishy-washy. The Democrats became just as beholden to lobbyists and corporate-written legislation as the Republicans, but they didn't get any more votes from it: the moderate conservatives the strategists kept insisting the party appeal to weren't about to go for fake conservatism when they could have the real thing, and independents and true progressives became bitter and disillusioned and, finally, apathetic.

Right now, the "establishment" Democrats are in a pickle, again, and seem damn determined to take the opportunity given them by rampant disgust at Republican/conservative politics and flush it down the consultant toilet, once again. Nobody wants to speak out too strongly against corporate interests, even though it's transparently obvious that industries like the health insurers and media conglomerates are actively damaging the interests of the nation. Nobody wants to speak out too strongly against the Bush administration, because there's this "mythical middle" of people who like torture, in small doses, and like the president breaking laws, and you just can't take the risk of pissing those people off.