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October, 2008 Monthly archive

Hello faithful readers! Welcome to the second of two (so far) installments of Eric’s Weekly (or Close to Weekly) Blog/Podcast Review. I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s post featuring the fabulous This American Life radio show. I hope everyone tuned into this past week’s show about the ground games in PA. I know I did.

Up this week at EW(oCtW)B/PR is my first blog review. There are so many types of blogs out there. Some are catered to a niche crowd while other will appeal to just about anybody. The blog I have chosen this week is catered to something of a specialized market, cake enthusiasts. I present to you, Cake Wrecks.

Cake Wrecks gathers photo submissions from people all over who have experienced tragedies with professional cake decorators. Their tagline is, “When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.”

There is no disappointment here. They also feature really sweet cakes, like this one:

I like Cake Wrecks because I can pop over for a few minutes, look at some cakes, and then go do something else. Also, Cake Wrecks is fun to look at with friends. So grab a buddy or a special friend and celebrate someone else’s ruined celebration.

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“Who? Would you tell us?”
“No Rick, I think we all know who we’re talking about here.”

It’s funny in a “oh hey that dude just face planted on those stairs” kinda way.

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Red State Socialism

32 states receive more money than they give back to the federal government. 27 of these (84%) are traditionally red states. Of course. Is anyone surprised?

Love it. Now, I am not going to jump out there and get pissed off that states receive federal money. I would hope that, for the most part, the federal dollar is well spent. But the hypocrisy is always funny. Particularly Alaska: The state with enough money to give money back to its residents, has radical secessionist groups, and is always, of course, saying “thanks, but no thanks”

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This is absolutely amazing…

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/10/27/science/102808-Cough_index.html

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Publius sums up my feelings about it:

Remind me to stop doubting the Obama campaign. I can’t seem to stop it — the doubt comes [start melody] regularrrr like seeeeeasons. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and each day publius doth worry about something stupid. Today’s worry was that the ad was overkill, that it was unnecessary, etc. It literally bothered me all day long.

But then I watched it — and I honestly thought it was great, and even sincerely moving at times (I’m basically a sucker for stories about his mother). Like everything else they do, it was pitch perfect. It wasn’t focusing on Obama (as I feared it would), but upon the struggles of working families and how an Obama administration would address them. I didn’t hear the word McCain once.

So I’m done doubting. I’m done saying Axelrod needs to do this or that. My measly pundit powers pale in comparison. I’m like a rope on the Goodyear Blimp.

In case you missed it:

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I just got done reading a profile of Cliff Bleszinski, design director for Epic Games, in my most recent copy of The New Yorker.  I think a few of you out there would find it interesting…

Title paragraph:

Until very recently, almost no literature was devoted to game design, and what there was tended to be quickly made obsolete by the speed of technological developments. After the day’s final meeting had ended, I realized that, for the two decades that I had been playing games, I had unwittingly been at the mercy of the constantly changing orthodoxies of game design. I knew that some games seemed more fun than others, but I would have struggled to explain why. Bleszinski and the other Epic designers came to this form as children. Growing up playing games, they absorbed the governing logic of the medium, but no institutions existed for them to transform what they learned into a methodology. Gradually, though, they turned a hobby into a creative profession that is now as complex as any other. They have established the principles of a grammar of fun.

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You gotta listen around 8:25.

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It’s our turn.

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Doug Holtz-Eakin, explains away concerns that John McCain’s health care plan would cause young and healthy individuals to drop out of group plans:

Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn’t abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s senior economic policy adviser.

“Why would they leave?” said Holtz-Eakin. “What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit.”

Haha.  Gee, maybe we shouldn’t tax those “way better” benefits, thus creating an incentive to participate in them.  Nah, let’s go with the way worse plan instead.  That oughtta do it.

Barack Obama, quick to pounce:

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I just wanted to revisit all this redistribution talk with some comments around blogland…

Jonathan Chait

Need I point out that literally having every any government at all involves taking somebody’s money and giving it to somebody else? Even the more restrivtive definition of redistribution — using government to create a less unequal distribution of wealth — has been going on for a century. If McCain is really opposed to redistribution, then that means he thinks the rich should get back a dollar in spending for every dollar they pay in taxes.

Hilzoy

Some cities and towns are richer than others. Those cities and towns will be able to provide much better schools for their kids. And this means that kids from poor towns will be likely to have many fewer opportunities than kids from rich towns. If you care about equality of opportunity, you’ll probably think that this is a problem. One natural solution would be for states and the federal government help to fund education: in this way, funding levels for different school districts could be made more equal. But this involves, horror of horrors, redistribution: money from taxpayers who live in richer communities is being given to school districts in poorer communities.

The thing is: that’s what Obama is talking about. He’s not talking about cutting checks for the poor; he’s talking about trying to equalize funding across school districts. And his reason for doing this is specifically to “create equal schools and equal educational opportunity”, not to equalize wealth.

Andrew Sullivan

A simple question. I’m a flat taxer, because I don’t believe the government has any business punishing people for getting richer. But I don’t think that people who support the kind of punitive taxation that Obama does or Cameron does in Britain or Reagan did in 1986 is a “socialist.” Is it now the McCain campaign’s assertion that anyone who isn’t for a flat tax is socialist? I should add that if Obama is a socialist, Richard Nixon must have been a commie.

Sarah Palin

We’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.

John McCain

This whole argument is just pure garbage.  Garbage.  And quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of it.  The McCain campaign had a better argument when they were attacking Obama over Ayers.  That’s how stupid this “closing argument” is.  Obama = Socialist is quite possibly the dumbest political argument ever assembled.  I mean, this type of stuff is supposed to be relegated to the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world.  When did this wingnut crap end up on center stage?

Well, I guess it took a maverick…

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Windows Vista Fixed Edition Windows 7 was revealed today by Microsoft at the Professional Developers (Developers Developers!) Conference in LA.  

Best feature that I’ve NEVER (</sarcasm>) seen before in any OS: Being able to choose what wireless network you want from the Taskbar!

If Only Macs had the same feature…*snicker*

All joking aside, it actually does look like a legitamite update to Vista.  Major UI and usability improvements, and I dig the idea of allocating zero video memory to non-focused windows (which should improve snappiness of the OS UI).

 

More info @ Gizmodo

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