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25 May 2008

Ain't Nobody Who Can Sing Like Me - a great podcast

Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
I have only listened to three or four podcasts in my life so far. If I had more time I would listen to a lot more. This one was excellent. And by the way, the CD is great too.

A Lottery of Hope

A Thomas Friedman op-ed piece in the New York Times brought tears to my eyes. It concerns a SEED Academy in Baltimore that allots place by a lottery, and a recent placement round saw over 300 hopeful applicants vying for just 80 places. It was this quote in particular (and no, it wasn't the grammatical sloppiness of it):

If you think that parents from the worst inner-city neighborhoods don’t aspire for something better for their kids, a lottery like this will dispel that illusion real fast.
Ms. Lewis said she’s seen people on crack walking their kids to school. “We had parents who came into our office who were clearly strung out,” she added. “They could not read or write, but they got themselves there and said, ‘I need help on this application’ for their son or daughter. Families do want the best for their children. If they have a chance, they don’t want their kids to inherit their problems. ...

11 May 2008

The Democratic nomination end game in sight



They hope it's all over. Super-delegates are deciding for, and in some cases switching to, Barack Obama in droves in the last few days. Not surprisingly, it may have been Clinton's latest rather desperate attempt to "play the race card" that decided it for some of them. Amongst Clinton's supporters, too, there is a note of desperation in the pronouncements. (Thirty points in Puerto Rico? In your dreams!)
There are various predictors in US electoral folklore. One of my favourites is the "democrat dark horse on the cover of Time" although in this case, the candidate, though of middling dark complexion, was far beyond the dark horse stage when he was graced with it this week. (I have heard that there has never been a Democratic candidate for nomination who was on the cover of Time magazine before the primary, who didn't go on to be nominated and elected. But I am having no luck Googling this, so maybe I imagined it.) By my count, Obama has been on the cover of Time at least four times now: November 2006, October 2007, March 2008 and May 2008. That's pretty excessive, even though he is my man. And in November 2006 he was a horse of the deepest black.

09 May 2008

First Diet and Fitness Post

I have started my diet, health and fitness sporadic journal over on Deborama's Kitchen with a post about my workout and my music. More on that later . . .

05 May 2008

Percy has passed on


I mentioned "my" bird, the cockatiel Percy, who was named as a boy but turned out to be a girl. She just died last night, in the night. Only a week ago she was fit and well, and even flying around the house when out of her cage, and she had stopped laying eggs, which was a good sign. But DH noticed a couple of days ago that she had suddenly got painfully thin. We got her some worm medicine and drop-fed her some sugar water and put a heat lamp on the cage, but we were too late and by this morning she was gone. I am really down about it. She was such a sweet little thing. Sadly, the only picture I have of her is as a baby, where she is cuddling up with a clutch of baby Hahn's Macaws.

May Day in Minneapolis

Last year I was there and posted about it, but this year I missed it. May Day in Minneapolis is always on the first Sunday in May. It starts in January, with workshops at the Heart of the Beast puppet theatre, and it reaches a climax as the bands, the bicycles, the mothers and toddlers and fathers and teenagers, the giant puppets and heartfelt messages of peace, wind their way through the Phillips and Powderhorn neighbourhoods, and it culminates with a powerful, tribal ceremony of calling the sun back from the clutches of winter, enacted in canoes on Powderhorn Lake. I found a great photo set of 2008 pics by RJ Toad on flickr.

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