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Archive for October, 2008

Politics that divide

I hate how politics are so polarizing.  On most, if not all, issues we have a common goal – why can’t we start from there?  I heard a wise man once say when discussing divisive issues we should discuss them in terms of “us” rather than “we” and “them”.

Two stupid emails I received recently amused me not because of their content but because they were sent by different people who are on opposite ends of the Democrat/Republican continuum within minutes of each other.  The first is an open letter to “red states” a term I HATE.

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Thomas L Friedman: Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and CrowdedThe subtitle of Friedman’s latest exposition on globalization is ‘Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it can Renew America’.  In the context of what Friedman calls the Energy-Climate era, Hot, Flat, and Crowded presents the state of what is, how it became that way and what it could become.  He traveled the world speaking to leaders and witnessing first-hand the effect that what he calls global weirding (because CO2 emmissions don’t just make the temperature hotter, they make the weather weirder) is having on our environment, especially when coupled with the forces of globalization.  As typical with any Friedman work the book is very entertaining and full of pithy, attention grabbing stories that pull from publications that span the globe and quotes from leaders like GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt to Barnabus Suebu, the governor of Indonesia’s forest-rich province of Papua.

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Hello, how did you get here?

ahelms.com is purely for my edification and enjoyment.  I do like hearing from people who keep up with the posts.  One friend told me he subscribes to the RSS feed just to stay up-to-date with US soccer scores; he is not interested in reading my analysis but he appreciates that I put the scores in the title.  Friends usually hear about the site from my wife, facebook profile or IM away message.  I enjoy learning about how other people find the site, where they come from, what browser they use, etc.

The two things I find most interesting are where visitors are geographically located and what search terms lead people to ahelms.com. Most of the searches are from recruiters looking for data architects/analysts, but people also love a good car crash as evidenced by the different variations of searches looking for bicycle accident photos: bad bycicle accident pictures, bicycle crash photos, photo of cycle accident, photos of mountain biking accidents, mountain bike accident photo

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USA 1 Trinidad and Tobago 2, 2010 World Cup Qualifier

 

AP Photo

In a match that was little more than an opportunity for second choice players to improve their standing, the US dropped its first game of World Cup qualifying 2-1 to an experienced, stronger Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) side.  The result was huge for T&T; it propelled them to second place, three points ahead of Guatemala which was upset by Cuba 2-1.  With just one match remaining T&T is set to qualify for the final round of qualification at the expense of the Guatemalans.

A sloppy field and hot, humid conditions made for an ugly game devoid of chances or creative interplay.  I was excited to get a chance to see young players like Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Jose Torres, Michael Orozco, Danny Szetela, Maurice Edu and Charlie Davies play in a pressure environment on the road against a regional rival’s best players.  Unfortunately no player positively stood out in this game, an absolute luxury earned by grinding out results on the road and routing opponents at home.

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Blog Action Day: Call + Response

Today, October 15, is Blog Action Day, a day that bloggers commit to write posts about a particular issue in order to promote awareness and to force issues into the collective conscience.  Last year, the first year for Blog Action Day, the topic was environmental issues.   This year nearly 10,000 blogs, which reach 10 million readers, have committed to publish posts that discuss poverty.  The topic of my blog post is the documentary Call + Response–a rockumentary really but that term makes me cringe–about human trafficking that was released last week.

The film is the brainchild of Justin Dillon, a musician who learned about human trafficking while traveling in Russia with his band.  As he became more educated about the issue he felt called to respond.  What started as benefit concerts evolved into the musical documentary that features influential activists, statespersons, leaders of non-profit organizations and musicians all committed to raising awareness about the “world’s 27 million most terrifying secrets”.

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USA 6 Cuba 1, 2010 World Cup Qualifier

USA pre-game photo

©  isiphotos.com

Fast.  Dynamic.  Clinical.  The US was in control of tonight’s World Cup qualifying match from the first whistle.  The US players were bigger, faster, stronger and more technical than the Cubans.  Other than a rather fluky Cuban goal there were only positives to take away from the win that clinched passage to the hexagonal, the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

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Photos from Bicycle Accident

Yesterday morning I flipped over my mountain bike’s handlebars about a half mile from my house as I was making a turn to go up a short, steep hill. I was wearing a helmet. No broken bones, just two broken teeth, a sore neck and some scrapes…and a bruised ego.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened.  The front tire of my bike needs a little air and I felt it wasn’t turning properly as I was rounding the turn so I applied the brakes.  I must’ve braked too hard, especially the front brake because as I was braking I went over the handlebars and face-planted into the pavement.  I was obviously shook up after I hit the pavement but immediately stood up to make sure no cars were coming.  A car did slowly approach and the driver put down his window and asked if I was ok as I stumbled to the side of the road and spit out a couple of broken teeth and a mouthful of blood.  I said “I don’t know” which was all he needed to hear in order to feel it was fine to drive off.  I picked up my bike which seems fine and walked it home.

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