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november 2000
I have a ton of good links to put up tomorrow, but today I'm just going to remind you that, if you are a US citizen registered to vote, to vote tomorrow. This is an important election. Be heard. 11/06/00

Thank you for voting yesterday! You made a difference...and in a few days we'll know what difference that was. It was an exciting night for me: I don't expect ever to see such a close race again (and it will be remembered as all the more exciting if my candidate wins.)

This year Derek is asking people to tell their stories about voting. Mine is there; I encourage you to add your voice. 11/08/00

Women in science? Why, yes, yes we are. From 2500 BC to the moon. 11/08/00

Can you teach compassion? Perhaps so. A class in homelessness and poverty from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst teaches students through community outreach and service programs. 11/08/00

My friend Mike and I used to ponder the red delicious apple. It was, after all, so...nondescript. Turns out we're not the only ones who think so. Read how the red mediocre apple has nearly bankrupted an industry. 11/08/00

Is marriage important? In the US one in three babies are now born out of wedlock. While some believe a cultural refocus on marriage will halt what they see as the decline of the nation's moral fiber, others are convinced that this obsession with marriage is at the heart of the problem.

'This obsession with marriage prevents us from looking at our social problems and addressing them.... Marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper, and yet we rely on marriage to do a lot of work in this society: It becomes our family policy, our policy in regard to welfare and children, the cure for poverty.'
[NY Times: rebeccas_pocket, password: pocket] 11/08/00

What has technology done for you lately? If you're disabled, it may just have leveled the playing field. 11/08/00

Confused about who gets what for which service? Puzzle no further. Behold: a short course in tipping. 11/08/00

A broken system is not one in which mistakes are made: a broken system is one in which mistakes are not corrected. 11/10/00

I apologize for my silence. The combination of this cold and this election has reduced me to sitting at my desk hopped up on theraflu, hitting reload at CNN.

Of course nothing will be settled until all the absentee ballots are received. Why does the Bush camp keep insisting that he has won? And what is this concession obsession? Let both candidates get to work on their transitional staffs if they so desire; neither one is elected until the Electoral College does so in December.

And has Bush been a real jerk in this whole thing, or what? When the votes are counted--all of them--then we know who won. For the Bush camp to politicize this whole process by saying that Gore is dragging his feet is absurd given Bush's 300 vote lead; obviously nothing is known until the overseas ballots are counted.

And I'm not too thrilled with the Gore campaign involving itself in the ballot fiasco in Palm Beach County. These people have a real grievance, in my opinion, but it does not concern either candidate. This is the people's matter; the people have a right to have chosen their candidate fairly. But neither candidate has the right to be elected.

Having said that, it seems clear that if those ballots had been cast as intended, Gore would clearly have won Florida. Will either candidate take the high road in this situation?

I bet not.11/10/00

My favorite twist so far:

In a strange twist, under New Mexico law, a tied result could force Bush and Gore to draw straws or play a hand of poker to settle the race.

State law requires that a dead-even race, 'the determination as to which of the candidates shall be declared to have been nominated or elected shall be decided by lot.'... The last time this happened was in December 1999, when Republican Jim Blanq and Democrat Lena Milligan tied at 798 votes each in a local race for magistrate judge. They played one hand of poker in a courthouse with dozens of people watching, and Blanq won.
Go States Rights! (via metafilter) 11/14/00

Self-governance is a messy business, eh?

May I just say that I am genuinely happy to live in a country where, no matter who ends up winning this election, 50% of the country will grouse and grumble for the next four years about a "stolen election" and "illegitimate presidency"...and no shots will be fired nor will there be any chance of the government being overturned by violent or nonviolent means.

I have hope of some reform to the system in the next four years, but I know that any such reform will occur in a lawful, if not orderly, way.

It may surprise you to know that this election has given me greater confidence in the American system. Candidates are striving to manipulate the system to their advantage, and the system itself is responding flexibly and, I believe, fairly. I've been very disappointed in some of the decisions made by Floridian civil servants. I have been equally satisfied in the means by which those decisions were derived.

By association, I am equally appreciative of the many systems around the world designed quite differently than ours to seek the same end: self-governance and the equality of all under the law.

The greatest country in the world? Not by many standards. But I am proud and grateful to live in a country that governs - and lives - by rule of law. 11/14/00

Ready for it? Am I goth or not? This would be my fave, of course. (Thanks, Jean!) 11/14/00

She was Japan's most wanted woman, and she was cunningly disguised. Unfortunately, she had a most singular style of smoking.... 11/14/00

The turmoil in the Middle East has been a top international story on television news since fighting broke out between Palestinians and Israeli troops and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza in late September. But amid the constant flow of footage showing violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, a central fact of the conflict has been missing from almost all network TV coverage: The West Bank and Gaza are occupied territory. (via metafilter) 11/15/00

I wish I could be there. 11/15/00

Unsurprisingly, the Onion has made my point more compellingly than my pollyanna screed ever will. Presidente Clinton is looking good, no? (thanks, rebekah!)11/15/00

Dual earner families are typically more stressful for women than men, a new study has found. Women typically shortchange their career in order to attend to family matters; I would think this would engender both lower job satisfaction and a higher actual workload (when job-work and family-work are combined).

'Jobs are constructed along the breadwinner model: One worker has no family responsibilities.' ... [When] both spouses work more than 45 hours per week...[they] report equally high levels of conflict and stress. Couples who work a similar number of hours --but not an excessive number of hours -- score highest in rating their quality of life.
11/15/00

The latest evidence of global warming: arctic thunderstorms. 11/15/00

CNN really has a gift for the graphic, wouldn't you agree? 11/15/00





On Sunday Julia Child received the Legion díHonneur, Franceís highest honor. She's been one of my heroes forever, having lived a life most of us dream of. Did you know she met her husband in Ceylon when both of them were working for the OSS?

There's still time for the adventurous among us: secretary, reader, or spy.

You will need to deal with fast-moving, ambiguous, and unstructured situations that will test your resourcefulness to the utmost.
Why, yes. Yes you would. 11/20/00

In more cooking news, several top culinary schools have eliminated the abuse and added fitness centers to their facilities to help instructors and students work off the sauce.

Fritz Sonnenschmidt, the schoolís culinary dean, recalls being hung from a meat hook for improperly boning veal during one of his 14-hour days as an apprentice in 1949 Germany.
11/20/00

'The son brings a small mound of rice, water, and flowers or fruit, and beseeches his forebears to keep their protective watch over the family and its fortunes. But when a break in that blood link to these ancient protectors is threatened by a couple's failure to conceive, some Japanese have turned to living relatives for help. To continue the hereditary line, they have used artificial insemination to produce babies whose grandfathers are also their fathers.' 11/20/00

A Greek Orthodox priest has been accused of seducing a former monk-turned-hairdresser. 11/20/00

Beaver News: The name has been derided for years. In an attempt to boost enrollment, circumvent internet filtering software, and restore honor and dignity to their institution, Beaver College announced at a surprise pajama party for their students that they are now Arcadia University.

So is there any way anyone can make something rude out of the new name? 'We don't believe so. Certainly, that was something we looked for,' Avington said. 'We tried to go through every scenario. We've looked pretty carefully at it.'
(thanks, Lizard!) 11/20/00

I've gone over the river and through the woods to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Remember the words of the wise man who said that being happy is not having everything you want, but being grateful for what you have.

I hope you'll take a moment wherever you are to think of the many blessings in your life and spend a moment being thankful for them, however small or large they may be.

I'll be back in a week. Meanwhile, I invite you to visit the following folks for a regular selection of tasty goodness:
the blorg
follow me here
larkfarm
metascene
mr pants
jessamyn
harrumph 11/21/00

Stanley "Tookie" Williams and his pal Raymond Washington formed the Crips in 1971 to fight rival street gangs. At age 46, living on death row, Tookie is using his website to broadcast his anti-gang message and writing books children's books to discourage gang activity. Now he has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his Internet Project for Street Peace. 11/21/00

Killer Queen News: After being taken to task by the British press for wringing a wounded pheasant's neck during a shooting trip, HRM Elizabeth II responded with a royal 'up yours.' (May I just say a word here against fox hunting? Inhumane, not a sport. That is all.) (thanks, Lizard!) 11/21/00

Hats! Of! Meat! (via Camworld) 11/21/00

Mwa, ha, ha, ha! Our cunning plan worked. 11/21/00

No time to exercize 20 minutes three times a week? How about 10 minutes times 10? 11/28/00

All I want for Christmas.... (Thanks, Jim!)11/28/00

Lynda Barry's 100 Demons is absolutely true and brilliant. If you're an artist of any type, or if you've ever been discounted as an artist, you must read this piece. (via Diary of a New Homemaker.) 11/28/00

When the good people of Rio de Janeiro found flocks of penguins washed up on their beaches many of them did exactly the wrong thing: put them on ice. 11/28/00

This just in: Bowie Bigger than Beatles. 11/28/00

Breast News: What to do when you're a woman trapped in a female body? Why, become a Faux Queen, of course. 11/28/00

Lance has a gift for understanding people, I think. And for speaking their truth. 11/29/00

How wonderful is this? (via rc3.org) 11/29/00

Does the sun's activity affect the temperature on Earth? Nope. It's man who does that. 11/29/00

Seattle's Tent City is a self-policing community that allows its residents to live safely, and enables them to work by giving them a stable place to house their belongings. Of course, Seattle wants to shut it down.... 11/29/00

'A computer virus thatís smart enough to block its victims from getting help is steadily spreading around the Internet. The bug, called MTX, was discovered in August and initially labeled a low risk. But in recent weeks, infections have been growing and last week it was the most prevalent virus in the world, according to one antivirus firm. The bug has one very sinister feature: once it infects a user, itís programmed to stop the victim from visiting antivirus Web sites and sending "e;mayday"e; e-mails to antivirus companies.'11/29/00

How is Bill Gates celebrating Christmas this year? Brock Meeks thinks he knows. (And I concur.)11/29/00

Starbucks in the Forbidden City. Nuff said. 11/29/00

Anyone who says that there can be no such thing as a corporate weblog hasn't looked at the Guardian weblog, which is participating in a day without weblogs. 11/30/00

When Yassar Arafat declared that it would take a million strong prayers to bring peace to the Middle East, James Twyman decided to take him on his word. His website is collecting prayers for peace in the Middle East; and when he has 1 million, he intends to present them to Barak and Arafat. Mine is #79237. (via metafilter) 11/30/00

Michael Kinsley sees a bit of hypocrisy in the Bush campaign's moral outrage over Gore contesting the Florida election results.

The right to 'contest' an election result after certification was central to every legal argument the Bush side made to get them to their Sunday evening triumph. It was the very reason Secretary of State Katherine Harris said she needed to enforce a strict deadline for certification.
11/30/00

Weird News: The personal assistant of TV sitcom star David Spade has been charged with assaulting the actor with a stun gun while trying to rob his Beverly Hills home. 11/30/00

Add another substance to those which may cause birth defects: fingernail polish. 11/30/00

Good News/Bad News: Literary tourists have been visiting Mary Arden's house for years, anxious for a glimpse of the home in which the Bard's mother grew up. Unfortunately, this is the wrong house; the proper house has just been definitively identified. But in a strange twist of fate:

By chance, the trust owns both properties. 'It's a wonderful coincidence, and thank God the trust decided to buy Glebe Farm. It could easily have become a housing estate or been demolished,' said Nick Walsh, estate manager at the Wilmcote site.
11/30/00






comments? questions? rebecca blood