to have all of my books lined up on the walls of my apartment. Success was measured in how many shelves I needed to hold my library.
That was then. After a few quick evictions, cross-country road trips and a transatlantic relocation, I see things a bit differently. I'm still all about the reading, I'm just not so into the owning.
I could do the library thing, but anyone who has an even slightly off-beat taste in english literature will quickly run into the wall of stupid at my local library. THe used book market here isn't much better, although it is massively more expensive than the one back home.
So what's a bookworm to do?
Share. Swap. Exchange.
BookMooch is a way to trade books. It's based on a point system so oyu don't have to worry about actually lining up exactly with other peoples tastes. Send a book off, get some points. Mooch a book, give some points.
It's easy, and it's international, and it might just be worth trying out.
I didn't want Obama to win. I didn't want him to even make it to the convention.
I wanted Hilary to get the nomination, only to have the raging hordes of Hilary haters rise up to quash her, leaving the road open to another 4 years of republican rule.
Pretty sick huh?
No, I'm not a sadist, or a masochist for that matter. Mostly. I just don't (didn't? I'm not sure) have a lot of hope that the masses would be able to maintain their support for Mr. Obama once he started making the rough decisions. It's one thing to want change, and another thing to be willing to make the personal sacrifice that might be needed to get things working. I don't know if the nascent reform movement can survive the hard times that are on their way.
The memory of bloodthirsty masses clamoring for revenge is still a little too fresh in my mind.
I can only hope I am wrong.
I really don't want this guy to be like the rest. I want to believe in the better side of the U.S. I want to stop having to explain to people that we aint ALL evil. I want to be able to believe it too.
Fortunately, one or two things out there have been making it easier for me to exercise a little willful suspension of disbelief.
This is the first time I have ever seen a picture of a politician (at this level) I could actually relate too. Extra points for the Pac Man sticker.
And then there is the series of articles running in News Week.
Written by a group of reporters who followed him through the campaign, it's a very interesting look behind the scenes, and an even more interesting example of the way the campaign is controlling the narrative. This article seems to be doing it's best to kill the saviour thing, while creating an image of a human who needs our help.
I went through phase a few years ago featuring webtips to them and other forms of alternative housing projects. Since then, a local earthship project has started up. The homepage is a fascinating read for people who have ever played with the idea of trying to get an alternative building project started in Austria.
In the course of their endeavors the people behind the project have put together quite a collection of links to other projects dealing with things ranging from electric cars, renewable energy, or driving with salad oil.
And for those of you who want a quick and concise run-down of the last 21 months worth of election madness, I suggest you take a look at this.
is out to change the world. And with the help of a few students from MIT, she might just manage it.
Her projects are some prime examples of hard engineering solutions to every day problems. Problems that frequently fail to get addressed by typical aid organizations. Her crew isn't just out there making gadgets, they are frequently laying the corner stones for a fundamental change in local economies.
It's some exciting stuff, and Metafilter has a lovely post full of links to articles about Amy Smith and D-Lab. You can even check out a video of her at TED-Talks.
can be an incredibly short-sighted and egotistical bunch of blow-hards. Especially when it comes to their cars. Despite the fact that the rest of the world has been making and buying relatively fuel efficient runabouts for years now, the typical U.S. car-buyer refuses to consider buying one. The usual excuse has been safety. When everybody else is driving a multi-ton, gas guzzling, weapon of mass destruction, it seems like a good idea to have something at least as heavy and dangerous that could survive a head on collision.
Or so the argument goes.
Personally, I think it's all about the ego and an ingrained love of shiny devices. And penis envy.
So what better way to help make fuel economy attractive than to re-engineer one of history's great chrome plated penis extensions. A 1950's Lincoln Continental.
I don't know if that was what Neil Young was thinking when he started the project, as a matter of fact, I suspect he just wanted to find some way of being able to justify having one on the road in these days of economic and logical catastrophe. Whatever the reason, it's a pretty darn cool thing to think that it might be possible to save all of those beautiful but hungry beasts from the scrap yard, and to give them a future as modern vehicles of private transportation.
His teams goal is to develop a zero emissions auto that completely eliminates the need for roadside refueling. Not the kind of thing that will sit too well with people who have vested interests in the current benzine based infrastructure, but one that sounds pretty darn good to me.
Well, except for the fact that it would continue to delay the development of some kind of sensible public transportation strategy.
But it's probably more difficult to encourage social responsibility than it is to develop a zero emissions vehicle, so I guess I will take whatever I can get.