Since the election, I’ve been wondering what the fate is of Sen. Joe Lieberman after January 20, 2009. John Scalzi offers one possible scenario.
Google Flu Trends: “We’ve found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.”
You can even download the raw data. This is so cool!
(via Jason Kottke)
When Barack Obama created the change.gov web site three days after the election, I was impressed that his team must have been working on it even before the election. But now the Washington Post reports that “[a] team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration.” In my mind, this bodes well for the Obama presidency.
This article about the Halloween candy hierarchy got me thinking about my candy preferences as I rummage through my son’s Halloween candy and through the leftover candy that coworkers have brought to the office.
This year, my son Samuel went trick-or-treating with a school friend in a nearby subdivision. The friend’s parents must have better stamina than my wife and I, as Samuel netted much more candy this year than in previous years. I’d estimate he got 8-10 pounds–so much, in fact, that he let my wife take about a third of it to campus for her college students. I didn’t witness his sorting, so I’m not sure which types of candy he deemed undesirable enough to give away to her students.
In my very subjective opinion, Samuel received a smaller percentage of chocolate this year than in years past. What does this mean? I can think of three possible explanations: 1.) it’s a sign of the overall poor state of the economy, 2.) the average income of the neighborhood in which he trick-or-treated this year is slightly lower than in our subdivision, or 3.) my observation is total bullshit.
In any case, what this big candy haul means for me: I can steal quite a bit of Samuel’s candy before my theft becomes apparent. My first choice in Halloween candy is chocolate, especially Trix, Kit Kat and Snickers. But since there is a relatively small number of these chocolate treats, I have to be careful not to eat them all, lest my theft be detected early on. Typically, I eat these chocolates in the kitchen, often with Samuel watching TV in the next room, and then I hide the wrappers down in the trash can.
My second choice of candy is Smarties and SweeTarts. I like to crunch things (peanuts, ice, etc.), so I typically take these out when I’m downstairs alone after the kids have gone to bed. I eat them slowly on the couch while I use my computer or watch television. The absence of these candies is not so obvious, so I depleted Samuel’s supply of these crunchy treats yesterday.
Things go downhill for me pretty quickly after Smarties. Last night, I found myself eating some Starburst candy, and I suddenly realized it just wasn’t worth it. This morning, I moved Samuel’s bags of candy from the kitchen counter to the pantry, so I wouldn’t start eating less desirable candy just because it was under my nose.
You know, it’s kind of scary to realize how much thought I’ve put into all this.
Gordon Atkinson has written a blessing for his fifteen-year-old daughter. As the father of a daughter who just turned fourteen, the entire blessing speaks to me. From my own experience, the following passage struck me:
Walk the halls of your school with your head held high. While others may worship at the altars of camouflage, conformity, and compromise, you stand above those shortcuts and soul slayers. Rise up, young woman, and do not be afraid. Rise up and be true to yourself. Let the strength of your presence transcend hair and clothing and music and boys. Let your true colors show in the halls and know that many in high school have scales on their eyes. They only see what they want to see. Many will not see you. There will be times when you walk the halls and feel invisible.
But here is a secret that I know. One boy will see you. He will see you in the middle of the noise and the energy and the hype and the crowds. He will see your strong walk and your eyes. He will listen to the answers you boldly call out in class. He will hear your voice and know your power. He will watch you until he knows you, and then his heart will fall into his stomach, for he will understand that there is only one like you.
Look for him. He is the only one that matters. Do not listen to boys who say they love you. Instead believe in the boy who wants to cherish you. If you hide now, ducking into the crowd like so many others, dressing and looking and acting and praying for safety, you might indeed be safe, but the only boy that matters will miss you. He will miss you because he is looking for a girl like no other. And you will have become just another girl in the crowd.
I’m extremely fortunate that I ran across this one person very early on and that we each recognized the other as the one. Thirty-some years later (24 of them married), I still consider myself blessed.