Check out my company's new 3D, human anatomy web site. It's a complete, fully interactive, 3D human body model, with detailed models of all body systems, now out in a public beta version. The Visible Body includes over 1,700 anatomical structures, including all major organs and systems of the human body. You can search by name, and it launches directly in Internet Explorer (sorry, Mac people!).
From the New York Times article: "John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said . . . 'Both plans would, in fact, create the tallest structure on earth.'"
OK, it's your city, not mine, but isn't anyone else worried that terrorists might see the tallest structure on earth, located on the site of the former World Trade Center, as an inviting target?
When I was a boy in the late '70s and early '80s, I was fascinated by space and the space program. For my 4th grade science fair, my mom and dad helped me make papier mache models of Jupiter and Saturn. I read all about the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. I subscribed to a kids' magazine about science, and the articles there predicted I would live to see colonies on the Moon, people on Mars, and routine passenger flights to outer space.
As I grew older, I moved on to other interests. And I began to question whether the space program was worth the cost.
But the Columbia tragedy Saturday definitely shook me up. I guess I'm glad that I'm not too numb or jaded (yet) to mourn the deaths of my fellow human beings, even if I didn't know them. But I think I mourn partly because the space program represents (or used to represent) hope for a better future. And because these men and women represented the best of our country's ideals: scientific discovery, courage, diversity, and international cooperation. I'm sorry they didn't live to see that future I imagined so often when I was young.
May they rest in peace.
Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, is my new hero. In prose that is clear, passionate, and entertaining, he is documenting the disastrous policies and disingenuous (at best) tactics of the Bush administration. He speaks the truths that the Democratic leadership are afraid to. And, instead of Republican-lite, he articulates rational and progressive economic and foreign policies. How do we draft him for 2004?
In today's column:
When Ronald Reagan cut taxes on rich people, he didn't deny that that was what he was doing. You could agree or disagree with the supply-side economic theory he used to justify his actions, but he didn't pretend that he was increasing the progressivity of the tax system.
The strategy used to sell the Bush tax cut was simply to deny the facts - and to lash out at anyone who tried to point them out. And it's a strategy that, having worked there, is now being applied across the board.
Nicholas Kristof, in today's New York Times: "These days, we see Iraq as an imminent threat to our way of life, while just a couple of years ago it was perceived as a pathetic dictatorship hardly worth the bother of bombing."
Judging by some of the other posts here, I'm not the only one concerned about what seems to be our impending invasion of Iraq. I'm shocked (though maybe I shouldn't be) by the Bush administration's aggressive push for war without regard for: (1) any logical or empirical justification, (2) the precedent-setting consequences of their unilateralist policy statements, or (3) the likely human and economic costs of war and subsequent "nation-building".
I'm also very disturbed by what, according to the press, is the likelihood that Congress will pass a resolution authorizing this invasion.
As you may know, Congress is supposed to begin consideration of the Iraq resolution in the next few days. For your consideration, please find below some ways to take action, along with some further fulminations by yours truly.
Go to www.congress.org. Type in your zip code to get contact info for your Senators and Representatives.
To send free faxes to your representatives in Congress (both House and Senate) asking them to give United Nations Inspectors a chance or to learn more, follow this link to True Majority.
WHY WON'T PRESIDENT BUSH TAKE 'YES' FOR AN ANSWER?
Iraq said Yes to the United Nation Inspectors. Tell Congress Yes is at least a start: Give the U.N. Inspectors a Chance!
1. President Bush goes to the United Nations and demands unconditional weapons inspections in Iraq or the United States will invade.
2. Iraq responds with an agreement of complete and unfettered access.
3. Bush says No, doesn't matter, I'm going to send in our troops anyway and I'll make sure Congress goes along.
This is a perfect 3-step plan to A) make the U.N. irrelevant, and B) make our country look like close-minded warmongers. Tell your representatives in Congress that U.N. inspectors must be given time to do their jobs and America shouldn't embark on a unilateral war.
As I mentioned above, I am shocked by the Bush administration's aggressive push for war without regard for: (1) any logical or empirical justification, (2) the precedent-setting consequences of their unilateralist policy statements, or (3) the likely human and economic costs of war and subsequent "nation-building".
The Bush administration says we must end dictatorial, oppressive regimes, unless those regimes are run by our buddies (see Saudi Arabia, Syria, China, etc.) Bush says we must invade countries that try to develop nuclear weapons (well, except for Israel, India, or Pakistan). Bush says we must make war against Iraq to enforce UN resolutions, but we won't give Iraq the time to abide by the resolutions, even if they want to. There's no question Saddam Hussein is a very bad man, but the fact is he has not attacked or threatened to attack the US or any of our allies. Shouldn't war be used as a last resort (i.e. when our country or an ally is attacked without provocation)?
From what I can tell, the Bush position is that we can invade any country any time, if we think they might, maybe, someday, possibly be a threat to us. (Does this policy permit other countries to invade us, too? It seems that we're a threat to almost every country in the world, now.) I fear that Bush's willingness to unilaterally make war against Iraq will usher in a Newer World Order, in which the only rule is that might makes right. That may be fine for the U.S. now, but will we always be the most powerful nation in the world?
As John Mearsheimer explained recently on NPR's Talk of the Nation, the US historical record on successfully effecting regime change is very mixed. It worked in Japan and Germany after WWII, but the consequences in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile were disastrous. After "regime change", will we get a better Iraq, or a nation of Iraqis who hate us even more and happily send their children to Al Qaeda training camps? And what will war and nation-building do to the already foundering US economy? (It's no coincidence that I have the time to write all this.)
The Bush administration's priorities should be to fix the economy, to do what they can to prevent further terrorism against the US, and to apprehend those responsible for Sept. 11th. Invading Iraq will accomplish none of these goals. And the push to invade Iraq looks suspiciously like a ploy to change the national conversation in order to gain electoral advantage. My hope is that voters will voice their opposition to Bush and his war on Iraq.
Please comment below if you have further ideas for taking action or if I got something wrong.
Check out this cool article by Sarah, chronicling our recent canoe trip and the glories of New Hampshire's waterways. And don't miss the photo of the handsome devil in the PFD.
Thought you guys might enjoy this article. I thought it was fascinating. I've always thought it was strange to know which people on my buddy list are available at any given time. -- Alex
The prospect of information that can reveal a person's availability at a given moment, anywhere in the world strikes many people as both creepy and intriguing. Katelyn Y. A. McKenna, an assistant professor at New York University who conducts research on Internet relationships, has found that people are comforted when they can see the distant movements of people from their inner circles, like family and friends. Devices that use presence technology could provide such reassurance.
"You could see that you could instantaneously reach these people if you need them," Dr. McKenna said. "I know my mother would be extremely reassured if she could see, `Oh, she's off the plane; her cellphone came on; she's landed.' "
But along with comfort comes the unnerving feeling of being watched, a lesson that has been experienced by millions of instant messaging users. By keeping track of the activity on their Buddy Lists, people with I.M. can use log-in information to get a sense of their buddies' routines — when they arrive at work, when they are online at home on a weekend, or in some cases how long they have been away from their computers. Information that was private (or at least not easy to acquire) can become known — with little effort — by employers, co-workers, friends, family members and, sometimes, by strangers.
[NB: Speaking of being watched: this Florida family wants to be the first to receive the Mark of the Beast -- I mean, have an ID chip implanted in them. Also, remember that game Assassin, where you ran around campus shooting each other with plastic darts? Well, now you can use your cell phone to locate, and "kill," your target. (Of course, both the Palestinians and the Israelis use cell phones to actually assassinate people. Don't touch that dial.) And the latest to fall victim to our surveillance society: seals in the Antarctic. (Click here to watch seal cam. Cool!)]
Does Ishbadiddle cover politics? I've had some questions eating away at me, and I'd love to know what other people think about them. If you think they're interesting, too, maybe you could include the questions (perhaps with some of your own) in the next Ishbadiddle and then print the answers in the next next version.
The attacks on New York and Washington Tuesday (and the hijacking/crash in Pennsylvania) were horrible and tragic. Thousands of innocent civilians were killed. Some commentators and politicians, including Pres. Bush, are calling these attacks acts of war.
As that word 'war' is used more and more frequently, and as our country seems to be preparing to wage war, here are the questions I keep asking myself. Maybe you can help me by sending in your thoughts.
Were these attacks acts of war (as opposed to acts of terrorism)? What is an act of war?
Should we now behave as if we're at war?
If we're in a war, who is the enemy? Is it the individual terrorists who planned and carried out the attacks? Is it the countries that support or "harbor" terrorists, too? Is it also the civilians in those countries?
What military actions are justified by these attacks, if any? If this is "war", as opposed to terrorism, are more extreme military acts justified?
Were these attacks equivalent to a Pearl Harbor? Are these terrorists now analogous to Japan then? Should we fight them now as we fought Japan then? Is that possible?
Is it possible to defeat terrorism through military action? Or will that serve only to fuel the fire (as seems to be happening in Israel and Palestine; Northern Ireland also comes to mind)? Or, if we fail to strike back militarily, will that encourage more terrorism?
Would it be more effective to tighten security than to wage war? Is it possible to defeat terrorism through tighter security? Or is there no way to stop a determined, suicidal fanatic?
When Sarah and I were in New Zealand, we kept hearing this great song on the radio as we were driving our Trusty Rental Car around the gorgeous South Island. The song was called Just Add Water, and it's by a guy named Dave Dobbyn. It's unbelievably catchy -- you're singing the chorus along with Dave by the time the song is halfway through.
Anyway, we finally went into a CD store and demanded that they sell us this song. They didn't have the new Dave Dobbyn studio album. But they did have an album called Tim Finn, Big Runga, Dave Dobbyn -- Together in Concert: Live. At first, I was disappointed. But they let us listen to the Live CD in the store (now why don't US CD stores let you do that?), and it is *awesome*. We've been listening to it almost obsessively ever since. Some of our favorite tracks include: Six Months in a Leaky Boat, Whaling, Just Add Water (of course), and Good Morning Baby. But they're all good.
In case you're unfamiliar with these artists, as we were, it turns out Dave Dobbyn is the Kiwi Graham Parker. Tim Finn is Neil Finn's brother. He's been in Split Enz and Crowded House. And Bic Runga is the newish NZ female pop sensation.
The CD is available on import in the US. And I've also seen the songs on Napster. You can search for some of the tracks I've named or for the artist names. Enjoy!