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.: December 2006 --> December 2006

December 2006

» NYTimes: The 10 Best Books of 2006. / (2) Comments / [ 12.01.06 ]

» Leslie Harpold's 2006 Advent Calendar is up. Each day contains a link, a holiday memory, and something special. (Leslie is still looking for holiday memories to include—send yours in today.) Still one of the most delightful Web projects in existence. Bookmark it, and check back every day.

Leslie Harpold has passed on. / (2) Comments / [ 12.01.06 ]

» The horror! In the coming session, Congress will be scheduled to work 5 days a week; if you count 6:30pm Monday to 2pm Friday as "5 days".

By the time the gavel comes down on the 109th Congress on Friday, members will have worked a total of 103 days. That's seven days fewer than the infamous "Do-Nothing Congress" of 1948.
Hoyer said members can bid farewell to extended holidays, the kind that awarded them six weekdays to relax around Memorial Day, when most Americans get a single day off. He didn't mention the month-long August recess, the two-week April recess or the weeks off in February, March and July.

And, predictably:

"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

/ (6) Comments / [ 12.06.06 ]

» The Food Section has compiled a list of lists of cookbooks, gadgets, and food to give for the holiday. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book? (via) Hand me the smelling salts. (via wl) / (2) Comments / [ 12.07.06 ]

» In a turn of the table, Blogger/Journalist/Web designer Leah Peterson has interviewed me as part of her excellent series on the people who blog. You folks who tried to guess at my teenage role models will find the answer here. / (1) Comments / [ 12.08.06 ]

» The Economist has published their list of the best books of 2006 in categories ranging from Politics to Science to Fiction. This one sounds particularly intriguing:

A young woman weds the Prince of Wales and finds that there are three in the marriage. She seeks solace in the arms of a foreigner, attracts intense media attention, becomes the darling of the people, and after proceedings for divorce, dies suddenly. For sheer entertainment and political theatre, the story of Caroline of Brunswick far outstrips the tale of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Trial of Queen Caroline: The Scandalous Affair that Nearly Ended a Monarchy by Jane Robins. / (2) Comments / [ 12.10.06 ]

» Possible Scenarios for Heaven by Leslie Harpold. (via la) / (1) Comments / [ 12.12.06 ]

» Apparently the terrible rumor is true: Leslie Harpold has passed on. I only met Leslie a couple of times, but I found her to be smart, funny, a great raconteur, and very, very nice. She has been a fixture on the Web from the time I found it, a pioneer of the personal publishing genre. Thanks for everything, Leslie. We will miss you.

Update: Merlin Mann remembers his dear friend.

Another dear friend remembers.

The full story. / (12) Comments / [ 12.12.06 ]

» Maybe the most delightful music video I've ever seen. (Thanks, Sydon!) / (1) Comments / [ 12.13.06 ]

» Reuters: "A sharp decline in new breast cancer cases in 2003 in the United States [may] have come because millions of older women ceased hormone replacement therapy the previous year, researchers said Thursday.... 'It is the largest single drop in breast cancer incidence within a single year I am aware of,' said Dr. Peter Ravdin, a research professor in the Department of Biostatistics at M. D. Anderson."  [ 12.14.06 ]

» Paul Kedrosky has put forth a terrific one-sentence challenge.

Physicist Richard Feynman once said that if all knowledge about physics was about to expire the one sentence he would tell the future is that "Everything is made of atoms". What one sentence would you tell the future about your own area, whether it's entrepreneurship, hedge funds, venture capital, or something else?
Examples: An economist might say that "People respond to incentives". I had an engineering professor years ago who said all of that field could be reduced to "F=MA and you can't push on a rope".

Off the top of my head, speaking about the intersection between media, technology, and culture, I would say "People power culture with the tools they have at hand".

» Rafe answers the challenge with a sentence about programming.
» The User Experience community at Adaptive Path has taken up the challenge.

Update: There are a few people whose sentences I'd especially like to read, so I'm going to tag them here in the hope they will respond.

- Security expert Bruce Schneier
- Storyteller-about-ideas Malcolm Gladwell
- Futurist Jamais Cascio. [Jamais responds and tags seven more interesting people.]
- Founder Alex Steffen and every single one of the contributors at World Changing
- Communications expert Alan Nelson [Alan responds]
- Nanotechnologist George Elvin
- Storyteller Neil Gaiman

What would you say to the future? / (11) Comments / [ 12.18.06 ]

» Diagnosing with Dickens. Charles Dickens' keen eye documents several medical conditions that have been only recently understood. (via dm)  [ 12.19.06 ]

» "More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past. [...] 'This is reality-check research,' said the study's author, Lawrence Finer. 'Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.'" / (2) Comments / [ 12.20.06 ]

» I'm off for a holiday break. Stay safe, enjoy the season, and thanks for reading all year. I'll see you in 2007. / (4) Comments / [ 12.21.06 ]

» This is terrible: "The more than two million senior citizens nationwide who signed up last year for Humana Inc.'s least expensive Medicare prescription drug plan face average premium increases of 60 percent -- and in seven states, increases of 466 percent -- starting tomorrow . The higher prices will affect about 50,000 seniors in Massachusetts, where premiums are going up by 130 percent, from $7.32 to $16.90 a month. [...] 'You have to state the obvious,' said David Shove , a stock analyst with Prudential Equity Group in New York. 'You sell something cheaply and get a lot of customers, and then you raise the price to improve the profitability.'" / (2) Comments / [ 12.31.06 ]

» Have a little Christmas money to spend? Library Journal offers 3 lists for your perusal: the Best Books of 2006, the Best Genre Fiction of 2006 (Mystery, SF&Fantasy, Romance, Christian Fiction, and Thrillers), and the Best How-To Books of 2006. (via wl)  [ 12.31.06 ]



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