Category Archives: Politics


Death and Taxes 2012

The 2012 discretionary federal budget, in handy infographic format. Perfect when someone wants to shut down NPR to balance the budget, and you wonder, wait a second, would that even matter? The answer is no. No it wouldn’t.


Straight White Male: Lowest Difficulty Level in the Game of Life

Using the language of difficulty levels common in video games, John Scalzi does an excellent job of unpacking what it means to have privilege. Like all metaphors, the video game difficulty metaphor of privilege has its limits, but it certainly is illuminating:

Dudes. Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

You can lose playing on the lowest difficulty setting. The lowest difficulty setting is still the easiest setting to win on. The player who plays on the “Gay Minority Female” setting? Hardcore.

via: BoingBoing

See Also: I’ve always like the idea of the invisible knapsack: everyone has one, each one is different, and we are all largely blind to its contents and what those contents enable us to do.

Awesome Politics

Epic Time Lapse Map of Europe

Covering more than a thousand years of history, this time lapse shows the shifting boundaries, nations, and states of Europe. There is a slower version that shows the year with annotations for particular events.

The opening lines of the Charter for the Fundamental Rights of the European Union(PDF) make much more sense now:

The peoples of Europe, in creating an ever closer union among them, are resolved to share a peaceful
future based on common values.

Additionally, the opening few lines of the Schuman Declaration of 1950 also become crystal clear:

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.


Welcome to the Anthropocene

‘Welcome to the Anthropocene’ Earth Animation


Sustainability is not a feature, it’s a requirement

To my clients, I say that sustainability is not an added value. When they ask me for a sustainable business strategy, they are asking me for a business strategy. When they ask for a plan as to their firm’s interest in renewable energy, they are asking me for an energy plan. When they ask me for a social sustainability plan for employees, they are asking me for an HR plan. The lady doth protest but the lady is in fact wrong. If you are going to label some things as sustainable, then by default, that is which is not sustainable is ‘unsustainable’. And that is the crux.

Excellent comment on this post about whole foods only sourcing sustainable fish by nickrussell on


Gil Scott Heron and #OWS

Excellent remix from one of the greats.

Awesome Politics

Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney

Steve Hendrix, reporting for the Washington Post:

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan.


Awesome Politics

The Inside Out Project

Awesome Politics Technology

Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time

A simple water bottle, a little bit of bleach, and a little hole in the roof brings sunlight from the rooftops into homes below. Brilliant, simple, cheap and most importantly, effective.
Bringing light to the poor, one liter at a time | Video |

Politics Rants Technology

The Internet is my Religion

Watch live streaming video from pdf2011 at

The Would Be Rabbit Assassin

On April 20th 1979, President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a giant, swimming rabbit. Yes, this actually happened, and we have the pictures to prove it.

Politics Technology

Grepping for Gaddafi

How do you programmatically find someone’s name in text if there is no generally agreed upon spelling? Moamer Kaddafi present a unique challenge for those of us who like to parse our news before reading it. Several solutions are presented at StackOverflow

The regex, which basically brute forces several well known spellings:


This solution, though, is my favorite though. It uses Soundex which searches for any set of sounds in a given set of english text that approximate the basic phonetics of Gaddafi’s name:

G310, K310, Q310

Politics Random

Some Rackets Die Hard, But the Law Dies Hard Too

NYPD’s Ray Kelly’s statement on the big FBI Mafia bust yesterday. Marlon Brando, longshoreman, and general badassery.

Some rackets die hard. But the law dies hard too..