Busy day, for me, for the world, and for the blogosphere...
The frustration Democrats have with the electorate is understandable; even after all the "bad news" from Iraq, cheered on by big media, Bush remains ahead in the polls. Command Post notes Kerry is now trying to make the price of gas an issue. That's a good tactic for him, but realistically there's little the President can do about them. The world is running out of gas, and prices will continue to reflect supply and demand.
John Robb quotes the WSJ: "If current oil prices are sustained, the estimated losses at the airlines is expected to top $5B this year." So be it.
Not shocking, but too bad; China Shelves Plan for Astronauts on Moon. "China plans to build its own manned space station by around 2020 but has shelved plans to put a man on the moon for financial reasons." So be it.
AlwaysOn: Video Gets Personal. "Analysts generally seem to agree that the 'Tivo-ing' of America opens up new markets for on-demand Internet-based video content." Yep.
So today I get an email from Vonage, offering to change my plan from $30/month to $25/month. What! No strings attached. Excellent. They also introduced a new $15/month plan which offers limited calling. If you're still using analog phone lines, you are overpaying for phone service.
P.S. They're offering a $40 referral fee; if you sign up and let me refer you, I'll split it with you :)
Steve Sailer points out Mind - The Adaptive Gap, from the Scientist. A nice review of the current state of evolutionary psychology. "As a field, evolutionary psychology (EP) has the difficult, and some say untenable, mission of discerning whether complex human qualities--everything from sexual attraction to language--are adaptations honed through natural selection or just nonadaptive byproducts of a uniquely human collection of cognitive systems." Great stuff.
The Heisenberg Penguins: The Scientist reports on a study which found penguins with flipper bands are late to breed and less successful at it. (Sounds like a job for RFID.)
If you're a regular reader you know I like modern architecture, and especially Rem Koolhaas. Check out these pictures of new Seattle public library. Wow. That's art. (I love the floor of babble - what a great idea.) Oh, and here are some QTVRs of the interior. [ via Cult of Mac ]
Want to run Mac OS X on your PC under Windows? (Slowly?) The check out PearPC. Here's a report from a guy who got it running.... The use case for this is weak, but I love it!
Remember the old Mac SE? I do, in fact I still have one (named Hen3ry). Check this out - Oliver Soehlke & Lukas Pajonczek have created a web-based simulation (in German, no less)! More proof that some people have too much free time. I must say, it is cool.
It was pretty cool having the OS X screen shot (above, right) and the OS 7 screen shot (above, left) sitting side-by-side in Photoshop. You've come a long way, baby :)
The Atlantic considers Broken Windows, from 1982. This seminal work strongly influenced William Bratton, who first as New York Transportation police chief and then New York city police chief had unusual success by focusing on “broken windows” (literally and figuratively). He was impressively successful at reducing graffiti and crime in New York, and subsequently wrote a book ("Turnaround") and then became L.A.’s police chief (!). So far he's receiving high marks with his efforts here.
Ongoing application of this theory may explain Why Is There a Plunge in Crime?
The Sun reports Star Wars Episode III will be called Birth of the Empire. So be it. "The highlight of the space epic will be a thrilling lightsabre clash between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) while surfing on lava." Cool. In the wake of Episode II my expectations have been lowered to the point where I'll probably like this one.
MSNBC has a running commentary on "how Episode III can be saved". I'm sure George Lucas appreciates the help (but probably not the suggestion that somebody else direct), but as the creator of what is arguably the most successful movie series in history, I doubt he really needs it.
Tuck Andress on learning to play guitar: It's the Guitar's Fault. [ via Ottmar Liebert ]
Soon it may be illegal to drive while distracted in L.A. What! "Drivers distracted by eating, talking to pets or combing their hair could face new fines under a bill that passed the state Senate." These guys have too much free time. Are they kidding? What if you're driving and a pretty girl catches your eye, does that count? [ via Blogging L.A. ]
My friend Cynthia told me about this the other day, and I didn't believe her: Born a Boy, Raised a Girl, Became a Man. "Dr. John Money, who had authored 40 books on human sexuality, had radical advice. He believed that the gender of a person depends on how a child is raised rather than genetics." This guy was a doctor? Sigh.
Oh, but four trans-gender people are graduating from the LAPD police acadamy. I am not making this up. (I couldn't, I'm not that creative :)
Microsoft.com: The four-letter word that can get people excited. Hint: It starts with a B. [ via Scoble ]
Bill Gates gets blogs and RSS, too.
The RSS bandwagon keeps rolling, Time and ESPN. As Dave Winer says, big bing!
Want to get your feed wet with RSS? Check out my RSS cookbook...