Monday, December 24, 2007

Laptop Project Enlivens Peruvian Hamlet - New York Times

The real test of this program comes when we see HOW the computers actually were used by the young people. Do they make better people of themselves as a result, or do they only have a good time? The latter is certainly positive, but the former has so much more potential. Which will it be? | Federal budget bears gifts for Triangle

The real question with all of these items is whether they were subjected to debate and discussion or whether any of these are earmarks and if so, who put them in the legislation.

Girl Power Is in Full Force Online - New York Times

Quoted in the News? Post a Comment, Please - New York Times

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Newspaper/Web Readers More Likely to Be 'Influencers'

Trees in North Carolina

I sent this note today to Hampton DELLINGER, one of the candidates for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in next year's elections:

"This news is really discouraging, especially after seeing so many trees recently cut around us in Southern Village.

You should consider - if you have not already - a campaign pledge to halt the decline in North Carolina trees. In other words, take the position that under your watch, you will work -- i.e., do all that you can from the bully pulpit you will have as Lt Gov - to retain and expand the total number of trees in the state. Surely there must be measures of this and I believe that this is the sort of bold initiative that GORE talked about in Oslo today.

If you choose not to do so, I'll be real interested in knowing why."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Saturn of Chapel Hill

I encountered a Saturn of Chapel Hill van on 15-501 the other day. It was tailgating, moving between lanes in an unsafe manner and traveling well above the speed limit. When I called the dealership, I got the runaround and finally was told by the general manager that he would not assure me that they had taken action and suggested I call the police next time. One would have thought that a firm that sells motor vehicles would care about road safety a lot more than surely seemed to be the case. When I called the Chapel Hill Police, they asked for the details - the Saturn people did not - and promised to follow up with a call to the dealership. They were promising to do their job; Saturn of Chapel Hill seemed to me to be shirking their community responsibilities. The manager told me it was not my business. My answer to that is that anything that affects road safety is the business of all of us.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

HADLEY interview on NPR

Why should NPR have run out of time interviewing Stephen HADLEY, the National Security Advisor, about Iran two days ago? Shouldn't we expect NPR to change its schedule when there is something as important as this with someone as close to the "action" as is HADLEY? I would expect NPR to do this, and - perhaps most surprising - I would have thought that they would have continued the interview off air but on line if that was the only option. To do less than that, as was the case, is a big disappointment.

Citizen to Citizen

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dow Jones CEO Resigns, As News Corp. Moves In -

C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Harsh Interrogations - New York Times

This is not the US system of criminal justice as I came to love it. How can any of us read a story like this and react with anything less than horror that people who work for us, sworn to uphold principles critical to our system of justice, could do such things. Those in positions to do so should initiate investigatory actions aimed at all who may have been involved in such actions, and they all should be brought to justice. It is the only way we can begin to regain a system of justice from the damage inflicted upon it in recent years.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

TV people out in the cold....

Why is it that TV performers, all too often called reporters or correspondents, insist on standing outside in the cold, rain, snow or other inclement weather to do their "standup" performances? Why wouldn't a reasonably intelligent human prefer to get out the bad weather if they could, which they can most of the time?

PC Pro: News: Controversy over secret Wikipedia society

Monday, December 03, 2007

GE appliance energy consumption - why so hard to get?

We are in the market for a smaller oven to use when we want to cook something that really does not merit using the oven yet is better cooked in a regular oven rather than in a microwave oven.

So I called the GE "answer line" and finished an hour later with only a vague comparison between our current oven and microwave and a GE Advantium oven that could go over our gas burners.

Why should it be so hard - in this time of escalating environmental consciousness - to get an answer to my question? There was nothing on this point on GE's website that I could find and the people on the phone gave me the impression that no one had ever raised this question.

GE has a long way to go in my book to measure up to the environmentally-conscious image it tries to construct for itself through advertising.