Critical Section


Monday,  05/17/04  11:17 PM

Today was the 50th anniversary of the historic "Brown v. Board of Education" decision, which outlawed racial segregation in schools.  The NYTimes marks the moment, observing 50 Years After Brown, the Issue is Often Money.  "As the clamor for integration wanes, the fight for opportunity in the nation's public schools has largely become a battle over money."  This is particularly true in California, where the legacy of Proposition 13 is horribly under-funded [and horrible] inner-city schools.

Josh Marshall makes a talking point: "The one point of solace Republicans find today in the polls is this fact: despite how egregiously bad 2004 has thus far gone for President Bush, and regardless of the broad deterioration in the president's poll numbers, John Kerry is still, at best, only a few points ahead of him.  And in some cases he's not ahead at all."  This is because the war remains the right issue for Bush.  I think Democrats are beginning to understands this, too; as Kerry attacks Bush on Schools, and Kerry attacks Bush on Health Care Costs...

Matt Webb reminds us that relations between France and the U.S. weren't always strained; he found an 1884 article announcing the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty.  "[Benjamin] Franklin believed in the sincerity of the French people, he attested the vast and inestimable worth of their aid, and declared over his own honest hand that they 'expected no return but that of gratitude and friendship'."

Hy-wire fuel cell car chassisWired test drives GM's Hy-Wire fuel cell concept car.  "In addition to a notable lack of floor pedals, the Hy-wire also has no engine."  An interesting experiment.  In addition to the futuristic power source and controls, the car is build on an interchangeable "skateboard" which can serve as the chassis for many other vehicles.

AlwaysOn suggests Mobile Phones: Credit Cards of the Future.  This seems quite plausible to me.  Much more so than passive stored-value devices.

Dave Winer has announced that Userland Software is planning to release the Frontier kernel as open-source.  This kernel underlies other Userland products like Radio and Manila.  A very interesting move, and a wise one, IMHO.  This will give the products a much longer life, with access to more development resources than Userland could give them.  Dave also posted some FAQs.

This is a bit odd: Author Shelley Jackson is publishing her new book, Skin, on the bodies of volunteers.  "Each of the necessary 2,095 participants will be tattooed with a single word from the text."  I hope there aren't any grammatical errors.  [ via David Pescovitz ]

Lego Rubik's Cube SolverAnd here we have - JP Brown's Lego Rubik's Cube Solver.  Amazing.  The technologies here are diverse and tricky; grippers, color calibration, pattern recognition, compensating for backslash, compensating for ambient light – it’s practically the same problem as building a ScanScope :)

Caviar lovers take note: The Meridien Hotel has a new $1,000 breakfast special, an omelet featuring 10 ounces of Sevruga.  C'mon guys, for $1,000 at least make it Beluga.  Some regard this as proof that the economy has turned, I regard it as proof that some people have more cents than sense.

Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to a baby girl, and as Cult of Mac reports, named her Apple.  The iBaby?  Perhaps her second child will be Banana?

Proof that girls are evil.  There's probably a corollary to W=UH, I need to think about this :)  [ via Dave Winer ]

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