John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Miscellany

  1. Last night I walked into my kitchen and was suddenly struck with a brief and inexplicable desire to be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was very strange, because while I have a genuine fondness for Cedar Rapids and eastern Iowa, and always enjoy going there, I rarely find myself wishing I was there.

    This afternoon I got to thinking about it and I was suddenly hit with a flash of inspiration. I called up the Cornell College web site, and sure enough, it's Homecoming weekend. So my current theory is that I was hit by a wave of positive psychic vibrations sent out by hundreds of Cornell alumni, happy to be back in eastern Iowa for the weekend.
     
  2. It turns out that George Bush had good reason to bring up Dred Scott in the debate last night. As Paperweight notes, in far right circles, Dred Scott is commonly compared to Roe v. Wade:
    There is a constant drumbeat on the religious right to compare the contemporary culture war over abortion with the 19th century fight over slavery, with the anti-choicers cast in the role of the abolitionists.
    So when Bush said he opposed Dred Scott, he was really saying that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who support overturning Roe v. Wade. Interesting.

    This is yet another example of how Bush is making next to no effort to promote himself to undecided voters. Both of Bush's debate performances, as well as Cheney's, were geared toward reassuring those voters who have already decided to vote him, and convincing the undecided voters that Kerry is untrustworthy. Which, really, is probably the most effective strategy available to them. They can't defend their foreign policy, and taxes aside, they've never shown much interest in domestic policy. (Which should make for an interesting debate next Wednesday, since that one is going to focus primarily on domestic issues.) So their best bet is to shore up their base, which to me seems rather unenthusiastic, and spend the rest of their time trying to knock Kerry down. Unfortunately (for them), as of this moment that bet doesn't seem to be paying off; Mark Kleiman reports that among independent voters, Kerry won last night's debate 53%-37%. Still, November 2 is still a long way away.
     
  3. Speaking of the election, I had to sit around the apartment this morning waiting for the plumber, so I spent my time making a new icon. It's based on (stolen from) an editorial cartoon by the great Tom Toles. I think it turned out pretty well. Consider this a GILI, or gratuitous icon list item.

    I wanted to make an icon out of the animated GIF illustrating urban vs. sub-urban design found at David Sucher's City Comforts Blog, but after playing around with it for a short time, I decided it would be too much trouble. I may give it another try when I have some time to kill. By the way, if you have any interest at all in urban design and planning, you're doing yourself a disservice if you're not reading Sucher's blog.
     
  4. I finally got around to watching the second/third episode of Lost this evening. Pretty good. For my nickel, the most effective part of the episode was when Michael was in the forest looking for his son's dog. It's always a good idea, when trying to build suspense, to keep the menace hidden as long as possible. Inevitably, the tension level drops when the monster is seen. The mysterious beast the survivors encountered on the mountainside in the second half of the pilot was a lot scarier and more interesting before I found out it was a polar bear. Anyway, it's a good show, and I'm fair to partly intrigued by the mystery of where they are, so I guess I'll continue recording Lost.

    One show I won't continue to record is Desperate Housewives. It failed to hold my interest in the slightest; I deleted it from the TiVo without bothering to finish it. I'm a little disappointed. It's a big waste of a great cast.
     
  5. A few minutes ago I finished watching the new episode of Teen Titans. The title of this episode is "Spellbound," but why they didn't just call it "Raven and the Chamber of Secrets" is beyond me. I wish I liked this version of Teen Titans better, but most weeks the highlight of the episode is the title sequence. Gotta dig that swingin' theme song!
     
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