Thursday, July 3, 2008

BREVITAS

Ed Murrow, we hardly knew ye - "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" won an Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast. Such are the times in which we live.

Jim Shea, Hartford Courant According to Mark Knoller, a CBS White House reporter who keeps meticulous records, as of this past March, Bush has totaled 452 vacation days (about 1 1/3 years worth) during his seven-plus years as president. This eclipses the previous mark set by Ronald Reagan of 436 days, and is one of those records, like Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games, which may never be broken Rather than criticize Bush as he pursues his presidential ''Bucket List'' in the dying days of his tenure, perhaps we should be thankful he is not fully engaged. Maybe the best course at this point is to just let sleeping presidents lie.

Daily Green - Automobile sales hit a 10-year low in June, as Americans increasingly looked at the sticker price but had visions of the pump price. Keeping a car running has always been a hidden expense for most new car buyers. Even an efficient car would cost $10,000 in fuel over its lifetime just a couple years ago, when gas prices were closer to $3 a gallon. With prices above $4 a gallon, that's closer to $13,000. And that's for a fuel-efficient car, like those that are still selling (Toyota is struggling to meet demand for its fuel-efficient cars, like the Prius).

Treehugger The idea behind waste gasification is an attractive one: Take trash and subject it to extreme heat under anoxic conditions to produce syngas, a blend of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel source. Despite its promise, its high operating costs and relative inefficiency had heretofore limited its applicability in most countries. Yet, as reported by Technology Review's Peter Fairley, that is all set to change with the approval of North America's first gasification plant in Ottawa, Ontario. The inaugural plant, which will use electric-plasma torches to zap waste into syngas, will be built by Ottawa-based PlascoEnergy.

Political Wire Hispanic voters may have preferred Sen. Hillary Clinton over Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries, but a new Gallup poll shows them lining up solidly behind Obama over Sen. John McCain in the general election, 59% to 29%. Meanwhile, the New Mexico Independent reports that in New Mexico and other "battleground" states with large Hispanic populations -- Colorado, Nevada, Florida, and possibly Arizona -- pollsters found Obama leading McCain in those states 57% to 26%.

Some people whose posts may otherwise have been deleted by censors in China have taken to writing backwards in an effort to defeat keyword-searching authorities. "Bloggers on forums such as Tianya.cn have taken to posting in formats that China's Internet censors, often employees of commercial Internet service providers, have a hard time automatically detecting. One recent strategy involves online software that flips sentences to read right to left instead of left to right, and vertically instead of horizontally," write Juliet Ye and Geoffrey Fowler in The Wall Street Journal. CNET

Reason From a New York Times interview with Columbia University professor of Buddhist studies (and Uma's dad), Mark Thurman: "What do you think about when you meditate?". . . "Usually, some form of trying to excavate any kind of negative thing cycling in the mind and turn it toward the positive. For example, when I am annoyed with Dick Cheney, I meditate on how Dick Cheney was my mother in a previous life and nursed me at his breast."

Reuters The national assembly in newly democratic Bhutan has stopped lawmakers from bringing laptop computers into the house for fear they might spend their time playing computer games.

2 Comments:

At July 3, 2008 9:09 AM, Anonymous m said...

And just what did Professor Thurman do in a previous life to earn Cheney as a mother? Was he Vlad the Impaler or Joe Stalin?

 
At July 3, 2008 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, gross. That was an image I really didn't need in my head.

 

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