Homo homini rodentius est

Hillary’s Consolation (prize)

Sad Hillary
Cheer up girl! It could’ve been worse… you might’ve won.

Could it really be just two interminable years since this humble blog [declared] with such ballsy confidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being president? My… how times have (not) changed. Well, now that the rest of the world knows it, the only remaining question is: what does she get as a consolation prize? The slackjawed political punditocracy — who have managed to be wrong about almost every aspect of this election — are boosting the Hillary as Veep meme. Looks like they will continue their perfect losing streak at prediction. Obama is unlikely to select her as his running mate for the simple reason that he seems to want to win and he well knows that, outside of the Democratic Party (and thesedays even inside it…), she is radioactive. The Republicans are playing all innocent, scuffing the floor with their Buster Browns and whistling nonchalantly during this discussion, hoping not to give away their absolute need for Obama to select her — it’s the only thing that would get disgruntled Republican donors to open the money spigot for McCain. No, she won’t be vice-president. But what will she be?

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Microsoft Live Mesh: Test Drive

Microsoft Mesh Live Desktop
Live Mesh opening screen (in browser)

I’ve been participating in the technical preview of Microsoft’s Live Mesh — their device and data synchronization platform that promises, in the company’s words, "to use the magic of software and internet services to connect and bring devices together into your own personal ‘mesh’… this new software-plus-services platform enables PCs and other devices to ‘come alive’ by making them aware of each other through the Internet." For now, the product is only for PCs running Vista or XP — but support for Mac and additional devices is coming. For those who haven’t been able to try it out, yet, I’ve detailed the mesh experience and some thoughts on how successful it is and where it might be heading.

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A Beginner Guide to RSS (Feeds)

RSS cartoon

Well, you got to this page either from clicking the link in the sidebar or perhaps because The Great Google sent you here from a search approximating “what the hell is a (RSS) feed?” So you’d like to get your feet wet in syndicated web content? Nothing to it. The process is painless and almost interesting. All you have to do is just follow a few simple steps and within minutes you’ll be feeding with the best of them. Promise.

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the bird and the bee: polite dance song

This video works in so many ways… Jason Kaneshiro at Webomatica (see A Rat’s Reading List in the sidebar for link) turned me onto this LA duo and this video, directed by Eric Wareheim. I can’t resist the blasé attitude, drenched in ironic exhaustion. Very 90’s. Power chords joined to flat affect and feint gestures. Pure passive aggression. Yum. Like Portishead, but without their suffocating sincerity.

More please.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Take a moment.

It’s always hard to remember, amid the breathless blatherings from local news reporters about the weather and the state of the beaches on the “unofficial start of Summer” that Memorial Day is basically funereal in nature. As the national memories of wars of mass involvement (WW2, Vietnam) fade, it becomes harder to relate to the tragedy of the professional armed forces who are sent into harms way to execute presidential policies. Without the threat of a draft, wars become something other people do — we may feel empathy for their suffering, but not the visceral sense of personal threat that could pressure policy makers to change their plans. And that, of course, is why we don’t have a draft in the “War on Terror”. But it bears remembering that, to date, 4,589 Americans have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and perhaps 30,000 wounded.

Here are a couple of links to worthwhile places you can explore after you get your fill of burgers and the beach:

  • [Carrier] — a great PBS multi-part documentary about the lives of sailors on the USS Nimitz.
  • [The Wounded Warrior Project] — a great service for returning veterans who have been maimed in the current war. Send them a few bucks.

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