Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Debatable links

The following links are related to "Questionable questions for the debate":

* The American Presidency Project is mandatory reading for political science aficionados, bloggers, historians, journalists and curious bystanders. It has everything you want to know (and don't) about presidents, from Nixon's "Checker's Speech" on Sept. 23, 1952; to old presidential debates from 1960 and 1976 through this year; to day-to-day data on the current Gallup poll:

* If you are more of a visual person, check out all the presidential television ads from 1952 to today -- it's delighfully sickening -- online at, which begins with a 1956 quote from Adlai Stevenson: "The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process."
No wonder Stevenson lost.

The most (in)famous, is LBJ's "Daisy Girl":

* Actual debate question from the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate.

* A cool feature from PBS, which will televise the Friday debate in Mississippi, is "Budget Hero":

Play Budget Hero

PBS' "Vote 2008" site has more. Check the links, especially the "Interactive NewsHour/NPR 2008 Election Map."

* The New York Times also has a map. The best part is that you can speculate winners and make your own, like a fantasy sport.

Debate parties

Yes, they're real and they're here:

* Exclusive Screening of "Full Battle Rattle" and Debate Watch Party (Fundraising):
The event begins at 7 p.m. with at screening of "Full Battle Rattle", a film about life inside the U.S. Army's Iraq simulation in California's Mojave Desert at the Rosendale Theater on Main Street. A question-and-answer session with director Tony Gerber will follow.
The Debate Watch will be across the street at 9 p.m. at the Bywater Bistro, 419 Main St.
Bring items for care packages for soldiers that we will be assembling for shipment to our servicemembers in Iraq.
Admission is $20.
The event is Hosted by Hudson Valley for Obama and the Marbletown Democratic Committee.
For more info, call (845) 687-7374 or send an e-mail to e-mail Suggested Care Package contents: a personalized message of support from the you, an AT&T prepaid international phone card, snacks/candy, playing cards, reading material, shampoo/conditioner, tooth paste/tooth brush, sunscreen, hand sanitizer.

* Woodstock For Obama:
Hosts Lester Strong and Pat Courtney Strong can fit about 15 to 20 people at their home in the Zena section of Woodstock. The Strongs have "multiple TVs and can accommodate people who really need it to be quiet, as well as those who like to comment."
The event takes place at 8 p.m. at 61 Van Dale Road, Woodstock

* HVSS Debate Watch Party:
From the site: "Come join your neighbors and watch the debates at the Hudson Valley Sudbury School. The school does not endorse either candidate for president, but we feel that it is important that people get a change to learn more about each candidate."
The event, which was listed on the Obama Web site, takes place at 8:30 p.m. at the school, 84 Zena Road, Kingston. The host is Jeff Collins. Call (845) 679-1002.

Sponsored by the Shandaken Democrat Club, the event, hosted by Nick Alba, begins at 8 p.m. for discussion and socializing and takes place at the Boiceville Inn on Route 28 in Boiceville.
The event promises a big screen projection TV. And this:
"Let's come together and talk about our ability to bring an end to the insanity that has been running this country. Expect lively discussion with like minded citizens. Let's cheer on Barack as our incomparable Democratic candidate overpowers his incompetent Republican rival, and let's explore how we can contribute to the effort to bring about the real change that our nation so
desperately needs. A great variety of reasonably priced food and beverages are available.

* watch obama win
A small party to watch the debate, hosted by Toni Mufson (who apparently doesn't like capital letters), begins at 7:30 p.m. at 44 Wilmot Way, Phoenicia. Call (845) 688-5868

* The Great Debate
The event, hosted by Nekisha Thompson, takes place at 8:30 p.m. at "Fort Obama," Bement Avenue between Mansion Street and Cottage Street in Poughkeepsie. Children are welcomed, as are snacks and beverages.

* Come watch with us!
The event, hosted by Kari Rieser, takes place at 8 p.m. at The Rieser household, 322 Union St., Hudson:
"Come share the first debate with fellow Obama/Biden supporters from the Hudson area. Bring an appetizer or something to gnosh on and your favorite libation and share the night with us. We do have two cats, so if you are horribly allergic, think about it."

* Obama Debate Watching Venison Chili Party:

The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at 28 Mellenville Square, Mellenville (that's not Ellenville in Southern Ulster County, but Ghent in Columbia County).
Host Brenda Shufelt says in the online listing: "Come and join us and some friends to watch the first presidential debate. We will be serving homemade venison chili (because in the blue states we eat venison and in the red states we're vegan) and elderberry pie for dessert. Join us to cheer Obama on. Bring a beverage of your choice."

The parties above were taken from the freakishly named (What's up with the "my"?)


Republicans rejoice, you are not alone in the mid-Hudson Valley:

* Cindy Lee Travis's Debate Watching Event
The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Saugerties. Sign up for directions.

* Louis Tolchin's Debate Watching Event
The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in West Hurley. Sign up for directions.

The Republican Party's parties were taken from McCain Nation.

I'll stick to the Colbert Nation (now with Emmy!).

Friday, September 19, 2008

What's in a name

Random online generators sure are a nice curiosity.

Take the Sarah Palin baby name generator, inspired by the unusual name of the governor of Alaska's kids: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper.

My name would be "Chin Trout"


Other names:

For 101st district Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston: Nixon Hailfire
For challenger Robin Yess:Recoil Mush
For U.S. Rep Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley: Filter Skate
For George Phillips: Bomb Locamotive

For Barack Obama: Tarp Lazer
For Joe Biden: Beans Harpoon
For John McCain: Steam Fangs
And for Sarah Palin herself: Flack Gobbler
Go figure.

What happened to the images

The Newseum took them down, in order to upload new ones.

Here is a link to today's front pages from around the world, like the one below for United Daily News, published in Taipei, Taiwan:

I'm so glad I don't speak Chinese right now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The following front pages are related to "Bank crisis a time to calmly panic"
(All the headlines or sub-headlines use "meltdown"):

Have you noticed the other patern? Her name is Elizabeth Rose, a specialist with Lehman Brothers MarketMakers. She probably had dirt on her eye, as similar photos move every day in the wires.

Random management statement generator

To create one of the nonsensical sentences in "Bank crisis a time to calmly panic," I used the "random management statement generator."

I clicked on the "create" button six times and pieced the sentences together.

The end result was, "We need to generate ubiquitous niches to strategize integrated users in order to improve world-class systems to syndicate extensible synergies and enable enterprise content to optimize dynamic networks."

Scott Adams' "Dilbert" has a more amusing "Mission statement generator."

Here's one:

"Our mission is to proactively leverage existing unique data to allow us to interactively initiate corporate meta-services to stay competitive in tomorrow's world."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sweet links

The following are links related to "Corn syrup (advertising) bad for you":

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture has numbers on food production for a variety of years, which allowed me to come up with the average high fructose corn syrup production per person per year.

Read this document on Scribd: food

The Corn Refiners Association's web site is

The American Medical Association recently authored "The Health Effects of High Fructose Syrup."

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

This nonsensical line from the column "Corn syrup (advertising) bad for you" comes from the movie Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

The answer, of course, is:

"What do you mean, an African or European swallow?"

If you really need to know, Jonathan Corum actually did the math for both African and European swallows.