Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why God is a Mets Fan.

It may seem bizarre to say that god is a Mets fan given that the last two they have suffered some of the worst late September meltdowns to cede the division and their entry into the playoffs, but it is true. I did my research and for the Mets to win the 1969 world series as a few season old expansion team was pretty amazing. God gave them Tom Seaver, the man had to be heaven sent. Then they returned in the 1980s to the be the team that everyone wanted to be, that team got another gift when the almighty pushed the ball between Bill Buckner's legs in game 6 of the 1986 world series. If a professional team is lucky then they have one miracle moment, like the miracle in the meadowlands, or the immaculate reception, but the Mets have had several. So god just may have been preoccupied the last couple seasons. Maybe he was fed up with Shea Stadium, and there were problems on Wall Street, the Yankees were also not in their usual cruise control. How much can one city ask for, even if it is New York?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fallen Soldiers

First the first time in 18 years media was allowed access to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to cover the return of military caskets. President Obama lifted the ban that restricted videos or pictures of the procession. The ban was implemented during the Gulf War by the first Bush president which some believe was an act to hide the human costs of war. At the time the memories and legacies of Vietnam still dictated political decisions. Bush 41 did not want coffins returning home that reminded the public of Vietnam. The lift of the ban is a sign that the current political climate is not haunted by mistakes in Vietnam. The president should be mindful of mistakes made during Vietnam, but his act to lift the ban says that the American people will not be left out. And the commander in chief will make decisions with the understanding that the public will see the consquences. He will not hide from protest or opposition- the ban did not suppress freedoms but its repeal is a jesture that symbols confidence. Bush 43 avoided protest stirred by returning coffins, now we will have a stronger visual image and deeper connection to those lost in the field.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let There Be Darkness

Tonight is Earth Hour. Every time zone is supposed to turn off their electricity at 8 or 8:30 tonight. This story is surfing the blogosphere and many opinions seem, including Edward Norton, seem to say that it is a ceremonious act. We are showing global leaders that we understand the threats of climate change and that we want to act to reverse it. While I like the symbolic nature of the gesture I am curious to see if any data reflects the global turn off. They expect about one-hundred million people worldwide to participate in some form, that has to have some energy effect even if it is minuscule. Earth Hour should be measured by the outcome of the global summit in Copenhagen. World leaders are meeting to write a document to replace the Kyoto Agreements. Maybe the protest can show that body how serious the Earth is about reversing global warming.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Digital Torture


This article had everything I could want in a blog; political scandal, art, national responsibility, and digital ownership. The debate centers around the Abu Ghraib photos of tortue. It is not uncommon for museums such as the Museum of Modern Art to collect works that were not intended to be art. They have photos of presidents, cultural leaders, and works that symbolized movements like civil rights. When a museum takes a work it becomes part of our history that is preserved. One could argue the value in the photos from Abu Ghraib, we see the most primal and savage stages of man (naturalism). But the other obstacle with these images is that they were JPEGs. A soldier took them and they circled the news as JPEGs. Museums and magazines must decide in the technological age whether they can use JPEGs. It is important photos that where important to the Bush years to be preserved and serve as a reminder of travesties that took place early in the twenty-first century. The images may have a place in a national archives or journalism collection, but MoMA should not let the changing technology keep them from displaying a relevant and important work.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Krugman's Way


In this blog Paul Krugman recalls the Bush administration’s argument for the privatization of social security because the current system is unfair to minorities. Due to a lower life expectancy for Black males they die before they are able to collect their fair share. When I read the post I was angered by the logic of the arguments by Bush and a southern judge who supported a photo ID before voting. I wanted to argue on behalf of social justice and democratic freedoms, but I am not writing this post to defend the constitution. What I found interesting was the approach of Paul Krugman. He broke down the life expectancy figure. He said the Black community may have a lower life expectancy because of high death rates in childhood, youth deaths, and incarceration. A Black man who works his whole life is not more likely to die. His view broke down the opponent and was a completely different angle than I was thinking. I then questioned myself. Maybe I should consider an argument like Krugman’s that breaks down the facts before I enter into a useless philosophical debate. Everyone should look for other channels and a new perspective to an old issue.

Monday, March 9, 2009


“Asteroid 2009 DD45 on Monday passed within 38,000 miles of Earth, less than twice the height of the geostationary satellites we depend on for communications”. How many people on Monday were thinking of an asteroid that could end existence on Earth? I often hear of an apocalypse or a dooms day to end the world, but I do not consider it daily. If the right size asteroid had made proper contact with the Earth human life could be irreversibly changed. It would just end I would not know it was coming. Maybe it’s the movies but I feel like there should be a warning or mass havoc or something before deep impact. Scientists did not even see this one coming. For an asteroid to have that kind of impact is extremely rare, but it could happen. We would never have seen a presidential address on every station warning us of the end while the president tried to remain in control. Monday an asteroid could have hit, it just missed; 38,000 miles is close.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Open Source

I am a wikipedia nerd. When any question arises I can check wikipedia for the answer and almost always I am confident in my findings. Wikipedia is built on the concept of open source. The guys who set up wikipedia used many of the same concepts of Lynx. Lynx is an operating system that lives in every major office building. The front of the office will have windows, but many of the tech workers use Lynx. It gives them more freedom and they can share information. The belief was that processing concepts were free and should be shared. Anyone can share information on wikipedia, but open source phenomena and editors insure that information posted is usually accurate. When I check wikipedia I like to see if pages have changed since I last read them. I can also use the sources at the bottom to verify information. For example, did you know that in the 1950's and 1960's Kent brand cigarettes used asbestos that was inhaled by the consumer. I am not really sure if this is true, but I have no reason not to believe it. It is almost the same attitude with blogs. I will not cite Kent cigarettes or a blog in a school paper, but I can use the concepts of that blog to develop my own thoughts. Like reading Paul Krugman's blog was helpful during an economics paper and while I am not sure of Kent's materials the fact reflects a certain attitude of the tobacco companies that if researched would probably lead to some hard evidence. All the open source, posts, and blogs need to read for commentary not published fact. But with that understanding their are substantial benefits of participation.