I certainly had a laugh, but one does have to wonder whether the Liberals might have found a better use of their limited funds…
It is a rare election that, by its outcome alone, achieves something so profound as the recent US presidential race. Ultimately, Barack Obama will, rightly, be judged by his accomplishments as the 44th President of the United States of America. He ascends to the presidency at a time of global economic turmoil; an era in which many scientists would have us believe our decisions and non-decisions will define the future of our planet and our place on it; and a decade that has seen the US and its allies engaged in wars on two fronts. It will not be an easy presidency.
Yet, for all that, his election in and of itself has given hope to millions of his fellow countrymen and women, and perhaps billions of people around the world who happen to share his skin colour. One gets the feeling that it is the kind of hope accompanied by equal parts relief and outright joy, particularly for those who have lived long enough to witness some of the various events in US history that each contributed to the moment of Barack Obama’s victory speech. What’s sad is that it has taken so long for this day to come. What’s sad is that the colour of someone’s skin still matters. History, too, is sure to remember him primarily as America’s first black president, regardless of what he achieves or fails to achieve over the next four or eight years.
Whether you agree with his politics or not (or, if like me, you feel there was so little depth to the presidential campaigns of both the major parties that it is nearly impossible to tell what policies will be pursued), you must admire Obama’s terrific achievement. To overcome McCain and Palin so definitively is an enormous feat; but to have first defeated the machine called Hillary and Bill Clinton is, when you think about it, incredible.
Living in a small country across the Pacific Ocean as I do, with any luck I will not be chastised for confessing that, perhaps more than anything, I look forward to being wowed by Barack Obama’s indisputably sublime oratory skills. A president with a command of the English language: how novel. Our very own prime minister might take a leaf out of the President-elect’s book, and infuse some inspiring words into his rather mundane speeches.
Valued readers, would you be so kind as to lend 15 seconds of your time completing the following task for me, your humble host. I ask that, from among the five names below (which, for various reasons, all begin with the word “cite”), you choose the one name that you believe sounds the best. The one that rolls off your tongue most easily. The one that you think is, well, coolest. Please do not bother yourself with trying to guess the meaning of the name, or the purpose of this exercise (though many of you will no doubt have a good idea). I am after your immediate gut feeling response. Please leave your response as a comment on this post.
I would be more than grateful if you could point your friends and colleagues at this blog entry, particularly if they are involved in writing research manuscripts.
Often we seem to use the term Ubiquitous Computing to mean “computers everywhere” as if just having the hardware all over the place was a worthwhile end in itself.
But maybe a better meaning is “computing available when you want it in a way that makes sense for where you are and what you’re doing” which is much harder to do than “computers everywhere”.
Karen has finally replaced her decrepit, shamefully out-of-date “web site” (which she created using Microsoft Word – Microsoft Word, people!) with a shiny new photo blog. The site already features a number of great (and sometimes odd) photos taken with her brand spanking new Canon 450D. Take a look.
Oh, and happy birthday, sweetheart!
Republican Colin Powell, Secretary of State during George Bush’s first term as president, has endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.
I was looking for a desktop blogging client for an aspiring photo blogger. The one that seemed to meet all the requirements (free, works on a Mac, easy to upload photos stored in iPhoto, support for WordPress) is ScribeFire. It’s a plugin for Firefox and seems to be highly regarded by many bloggers. Uploading photos is as simple as clicking the “Add an image” button on the toolbar, and it will upload via FTP or WordPress’s blogging API (XML-RPC, I guess). When it opens the browse dialog for uploading photos, it selects the “Photo” media folder by default, which (as Mac users would already know) contains all your photos from iPhoto and Photo Booth.
ScribeFire also adds an item to Firefox’s right-click pop-up menu, which lets you easily create blog entries about web pages (and makes re-blogging a cinch).
The one downside compared to other desktop blogging tools such as Ecto is that you can’t do true image resizing from within ScribeFire itself. If you’re doing photo blogging, though, presumably you’ll be using some other image editing tool to get the photo looking just right before you publish it anyway, so I don’t see this as a major drawback.
Believe it or not, some of the best commentary I’ve found on the financial crisis sweeping the globe has been on the Essential Baby forum. Two posts by someone called LucyE, made in the week leading up to the approval of the bail out plan, are particularly good. The second post is the better of them. I just thought that this was an excellent, easy to understand high-level explanation of the current situation and what is likely to happen. LucyE’s posts were obviously appreciated by many of the members of that forum.
I also appreciated the below video explanation of collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), which are at the heart of the current problems. Worth a look. More in depth than LucyE’s analysis, but still understandable for the lay person. (Via Presentation Zen.)