We’re all gonna die

“This image is 100 meters long. There are 178 people in the picture, all shot in the course of 20 days from the same spot on a railroad bridge on Warshauer Strasse in Berlin in the summer of 2007. Only a few of the people in the photograph seemed to know I was taking their picture.”
I find the people in this photo amazingly compelling. I want to know each one’s story: why are you carrying a large empty picture frame? What happened that both of you are wearing a patch on your right eye? What are you listening to? What are you two talking about so animatedly? Where are you going?
Close to the right side of the photo, you find one gentleman who definitely noticed he was being photographed. Nice reward for scrolling all the way across.

What I’ve learned on my sick day

I’m home today nursing a bad cold. Here’s what I’ve learned: our dogs’ dinner time is about 5:00 p.m. Tippie starts pacing nervously at around 2:00 p.m.
I knew already that Tippie gets nervous before dinner time, but on other days when I’m home, there’s enough going on that I didn’t notice that it starts this early. Today, it’s pretty much just me on the couch with the dogs.
Considering Tippie’s advanced age and decrepitude, I guess I should be glad to see that she still has enough life in her to pace all afternoon.

Personal vs political

In this NYT article, David D. Kirkpatrick, expresses surprise that President Obama has been talking to John McCain about a variety of issues.
This type of article really bugs me. It seems to me that a lot of people assume that since politicians said nasty things about each other in the campaign, they somehow take it personally.
Come on, folks; the campaign rhetoric is all part of the job. They’re professionals; they don’t take it personally. Obama is consulting with McCain because Obama recognizes him as a powerful potential ally in the Senate.

First impressions of Obama’s inaugural address

We had the inauguration projected here in the office, and I caught the swearing-in and Obama’s inaugural address (transcript here).
The first half of the inaugural address is a pretty damning indictment of Bush. When I got to the end of the passage below, I was just shaking my head:

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

This line really got my attention: “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.” I was very happy to hear him include non-believers in there.

Angry Mawmaw

I took this photo of my mother-in-law when we were on vacation in 2004. We were waiting for our food in a restaurant in Red River, New Mexico. We were all really hungry, but our food was slow in coming. I was playing with my point-and-shoot camera to pass the time. I put my tabletop tripod on the table for this photo. As you can guess, Kathy wasn’t happy about having her picture taken.
I love this photo due to its expressiveness, but Kathy has never liked it.

Confessions of a college admissions officer

This list of mostly anonymous quotes from college admissions officers is pretty depressing. For instance:

“All in all, we’re less selective than some of the elite schools or the Ivy League. But there are still some factors out of an applicant’s hands. One night, I got food poisoning at a restaurant in Buffalo. The next day, I rejected all the Buffalo applications. I couldn’t stomach reading them.”

(via Rafe Colburn)

Language filter fail

Apparently, Internet dating site eHarmony monitors the text that its users input and filters out terms such as “get[ting] laid”. Unfortunately, for this user, the filter wasn’t smart enough to understand his answer to the prompt “What are you thankful for?” His answer, “Having a job, given the way I watch a friend get laid off nearly every week lately,” earned him a terms of service violation notice.
(via Consumerist)

Update on Rufus

Last week, I wrote about the stray Golden Retriever that came up to us on Christmas day.

Well, Katie took him to the vet today. As soon as he heard Rufus’ story, the vet guessed that Rufus had heartworms1. Apparently, a lot of people abandon their dogs when they test positive for heartworms: either the owners think the dog is a goner, or they don’t want/can’t pay for treatment, which can be quite expensive. In either case, just dumping the dog is a poor choice (don’t get me started!).

A heartworm test was one of the reasons we took Rufus in to the vet. Sure enough, he tested positive. Fortunately, our country vet only charges $3002 for treatment, and he thinks that little enough damage has been done to Rufus’ heart that he’ll have a full recovery.
1 Heartworms are very common in this part of the country, and all dogs should be given preventive medicine.
2 He said that other vets charge up to $1000.