Posted at 9:03 AM on April 28, 2009
by Ken Paulman
There's nothing like a bit of historical perspective to throw cold water on your indignation over the behavior of modern Americans.
In yesterday's thread on the weekend riot near the U of M, reader Elizabeth T. introduced us to a paper by Jeffrey M. Van Slyke entitled - wait for it - An Analysis of Issues Related to Celebratory Riots at Higher Education Institutions.
The paper focuses mostly on modern incidents, but in the introduction, Van Slyke notes that campus rioting is hardly a new phenomenon:
And the rest, as they say, is history...(2 Comments)
Posted at 10:00 AM on April 28, 2009
by Than Tibbetts
Spend time with the family of Bill Gates, and eventually someone will mention the water incident.
The future software mogul was a headstrong 12-year-old and was having a particularly nasty argument with his mother at the dinner table. Fed up, his father threw a glass of cold water in the boy's face.
"Thanks for the shower," the young Mr. Gates snapped.
That aside, the "swine flu" Twitter-scare has once again proved the importance of context -- and how badly most Twitter conversations are hurt by the lack of it. The problem with Twitter is that there is very little context you can fit into 140 characters, even less so if all you are doing is watching a stream of messages that mention "swine flu."
This intractable contradiction has become a serious drag on the bottom lines of photo-sharing sites, social networks and video distributors like YouTube. It is also threatening the fervent idealism of Internet entrepreneurs, who hoped to unite the world in a single online village but are increasingly finding that the economics of that vision just do not work.
Last year, Veoh, a video-sharing site operated from San Diego, decided to block its service from users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, citing the dim prospects of making money and the high cost of delivering video there.
Have a good day, everyone.(2 Comments)
If you were listening to the radio yesterday afternoon, you might recall Neal Conan's interview with Sen. Arlen Specter
While the talk of the Specter's switch will certainly revolve around the national political ramifications — you know, what with Al Franken being the potential 60th vote for the Democrats if Norm Coleman loses his appeal at the Minnesota Supreme Court — NPR's reflection on the interview offers a different take.
All politics is local, and Sen. Specter was concerned about his ability to win a Republican primary in 2010, or so the subtext goes:
Specter: Well, it is true that the polls are bleak. When I voted for the stimulus package, one of just three, and was in position, along with Senator Snowe and Senator Collins, to provide the decisive votes, there was a very strong adverse reaction. There was a resolution filed in state committee to censure me. The state chairman and the national chairman said they didn't know if they could support me. My office was picketed. And it's a tough proposition. I've overcome some challenges before, and I'm working on a game plan.
The Atlantic's Mark Ambinder offers a Cliffs Notes analysis of the switch.
Time flies. Two weeks ago, Specter said he'd be a Republican forever.
Tom Scheck is running down the implications of Specter's change on Minnesota's Senate race. He's got the reactions from the Franken and Norm Coleman campaigns on Polinaut.
Now, imagine the onus on Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Democrats want Franken to have the election certificate, oh, yesterday, while there will no doubt be pressure from Republicans to a) find a way for Coleman to win or b) keep Franken out of the Senate for as long as possible. It's been clear for a while that the race would have to pivot around Pawlenty before it comes to a conclusion.
Update: Pawlenty says the switch won't affect the Minnesota Senate race. He wouldn't say when he'd issue the certificate, except to say he'll follow the court's direction.
"We're going to follow the law with respect to the Franken/Coleman litigation and when and how a certificate gets issued," Pawlenty said. "So again, the situation with Pennsylvania has no connection or impact on what's going to happen in Minnesota."(1 Comments)