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Who knows when our hero will remember this humble little blog!  He’s been occupied with designing a chamber for a mid-winter beam run, working on a book chapter, and fleshing out some explanations for out-of-phase crystalline film behaviors.  And he thinks I don’t listen.  In the meantime, our little household is chugging along!  This past Saturday, we had separate but equally important causes to tend: Tim’s, to ensure that we would eat delicious vegetables through the winter, and mine, to do what I could to help Barack and Michelle move their lil munchkins into the White House.

Clockwise: Some homemade tomato sauce, baked Hubbard squash (the farmers recommended dropping the squash from a balcony to open it), and blanched corn stripped from the cob.  The end result will be more photogenic, but having reserves is endlessly reassuring.  Bread-n-butter pickles!

Next: A standing-room-only crowd of volunteers at Illinois’ 7th District Democratic Headquarters; a man giving a spontaneous speech about how we are realizing MLK’s vision of judging a man by the content of his character; chaotically and democratically splitting up into cars for the 2.5 hr ride to Michigan; the Kalamazoo Democratic Headquarters.  My group spent half the day registering voters in a subsidized housing development and the other half talking to undecideds about where they stand and what would convince them.  We were only five people, but beyond the actual contacts we made, the presence of volunteers for a candidate is sometimes a strong message alone.  Or so I hope.


Sobering article on Argonne in business week’s Chicago supplement. (p. 38-39)

(although it’s a lot prettier here than that picture would make you think)

I recall Obama that threw out the idea of a Manhattan project for alternative energy in the last debate, but it seemed a little like a soundbite. In it’s day, the Manhattan project was so big that more money was spent funding it was larger than the entire US auto industry, so I’m really skeptical that taxpayers would be willing to front an initiative similar in scope. After watching last night’s fluffy Nova with Tom and Ray, I’m further convinced that $5/gal gas will given rise to a cultural shift (smaller cars with less horsepower, more hybrids, less traveling for goods) than increased governmental funding for BES that could lead to a more revolutionary change in transportation. That would certainly be a nice shift in public sentiment, but does seem as revolutionary as something like the New Deal. Still, that’s the thing I like about Obama: that he strikes me as someone who thinks about bigger solutions rather than the standard Democratic bandaid-science-funding, i.e. short cycle applicative grants. (fwiw, I’m extremely liberal).

Ok, I should be working on my research (loosely related to alternative energy, actually), rather than ranting about this stuff. I’ll put up some pictures of my bike ride to work later if they came out ok.

Well, assuming that 41% of the country of are complete-fucking-airheads, we only have to get 85% of the remaining electorate to win the popular vote in ’08.

Oh wait, that number’s rising. 


Christ, what an asshole.

Gonzo is surely gone after this amazing revelation today during testimony from James Comey.

If you don’t know where to go, consult this ridiculously small-printed list. (via)

In the U-district, this appears to be closest.

Since the two party system is spending 2.8 billion (assuming 50% turnout, that’s about $20/voter), you owe it to yourself to get there.

…on second thought, those kinds of figures make me a little queasy about democracy-in-action.