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Saturday, November 29, 2008


* MetaFilter has a post on gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold elective office in the U.S. and subject of a new Sean Penn biopic, assassinated twenty-seven years ago this week.

* Also via MeFi: the Star-Tribune has an online database of 600 challenged ballots in the Franken-Coleman race. The vote totals on the main page don't look especially good for Franken's chances, nor does the early word from elections guru Nate Silver:

The vast majority of challenges on both sides are frivolous, often utterly so. Perhaps 1 in 10 challenges -- maybe slightly more than that -- actually required a judgment call of some kind.
For what it's worth, Silver's projections now slightly favor Coleman, though "projecting" anything at all strikes me as a significant overreach on Silver's part on garbage-in-garbage-out grounds. Until we know something real about the character of challenged ballots vis-a-vis nonchallenged ballots, there's just no way of projecting what the final vote total will look like.

* In twelve-country poll, 43% see climate crisis as bigger problem than economy. Technological civilization is the chain-smoker who has also broken his leg: they're both big problems, one's just slightly more immediate at the moment.

* Bush is still president, but local leaders are getting the message: the mayor of Los Angeles has proposed a major solar initiative. Good on Villaraigosa, but the depth of our civilization's chain-smoking becomes evident when you read the fine print:
This massive solar proposal is nested in a larger commitment to reduce Los Angeles’ greenhouse gas emissions by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030.
35% below 1990 is a fairly decent number for a single initiative, but 2030's a long way off—the bad stuff is already starting to happen right now.

* The Dr. Horrible DVD is available for pre-order and coming out before Christmas. I'd also be remiss if I didn't link to Buffy! Movie! News!, but come one, there's absolutely no way.