Acceptance Speech Word Visualizations

Above are the word clouds for the acceptance speeches from Obama and McCain (on top for you colorblind readers) that I created using Wordle. The larger the word, the more often it was said by each candidate. I think both the words “promise” and “fight” are too large for any candidate this time around.

The New York Times does a great job of visually distilling the acceptance speeches. I think of particular note is the fact that Rudy Giuliana (of all people) saying, “Of great concern to me, during those same four days in Denver, they rarely mentioned the attacks of September 11, 2001.” The total count of the time the phrase “September 11th” was said by Obama: 2, by McCain: 0.

Devil May Care

Mike’s entry on the Advocacy of the Devil is excellent. He brings up a great point:

Nothing is more infuriating that to be on the verge of an intellectual victory with a worthy opponent and then hear them say, “I was just playing Devil’s Advocate.” The correct usage of the Devil’s Advocate does not involve just the countering an argument. The advocate of the devil is there to sharpen an idea, and therefore is actually on the same side as her “opponent”. Additionally, the use of the Devil’s Advocate needs to be invoked before it is used. To invoke the Devil’s Advocate after it has been applied is to use it to cloak mean-spirited or useless argument.

I had never thought of this before. I have used the “oh, I was just playing devil’s advocate” excuse to back my way out of a losing argument tons of times and never realized how much of an asshole I was for doing so, until I read this.

I apologize to anyone I may have ever pulled this crap on.

Denver Is Drunk. Really, Really Drunk

Denver makes the nasty list again, and I’m not sure I should be proud or ashamed (mostly ashamed). That is to say – I love that Denver knows how to party, I hate that we can’t do it responsibly.

Men’s Health magazine graded each state on the deadliness of it’s drunkards and Denver ranked first. The listing took into account death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, how many citizens regularly down five or more drinks in a sitting (CDC), drunk-driving arrests (FBI), the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists (U.S. Department of Transportation). and the MADD report card of state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking. This is how the report card shook out:
100 Denver, CO – F
99 Anchorage, AK – F
98 Colorado Springs, CO – F
97 Omaha, NE – F
96 Fargo, ND – F
95 San Antonio, TX – F
94 Austin, TX – F
93 Fresno, CA – F
92 Lubbock, TX – F
91 Milwaukee, WI – F
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Ecological Footprint And Blog Action Day

Ecological Footprint is a resource management tool that measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes under prevailing technology. Essentially, it measures human demand on nature.The science is actually pretty robust which gives it tremendous merit. Right now, humanity’s Ecological Footprint is over 23% larger than what the planet can regenerate. Ecological Footprint accounting shows that, as of October 6, 2007, humanity has consumed the total amount of new resources that our planet can produce this year.

Figure out what your personal ecological footprint is. Full disclosure of my own personal Ecological Footprint can be found after the jump (and no, I’m not proud of it).

Q: Assuming that (a) Tom Cruise’s level of consumption is in parallel with his annual salary, and that (b) everyone on earth has the opportunity to live like Tom Cruise: How many Earths would we need to sustain this level of consumption?

A: About 2700 Earths. 2700 fricking Earths!

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I Am A Star, A Bright Shining Star

I’m a loser. But today I’m a winner.

I’ll start off by telling you about those that made me a winner today. They’re called “Oh Don Piano”. They’re named after this talking cat’s beautiful poetry. Oh Don Piano consists of Liz and Krista (I love the name of her blog). They’re two really funny and cool women here in Denver. They are also currently one of the few remaining survivors in the third annual Ultimate Blogger competition. Good luck girls!

As part of their competition they held a quiz that focused on blog stuff. I entered that contest. I won that contest. I haven’t decided yet if I’m happy or ashamed of my blog trivia prowess. But I do know that today I’m a winner. But I’m not writing this to brag about my winning (or am I?) but to thank Liz and Krista to for actualizing my wininngness with a prize. Yesterday in my mailbox I found this:

I Won!

Thanks You Oh Don Piano, you have just provided me with an entire weeks worth of television-style entertainment and are indeed too kind. Thanks for making me feel like a star. I’m consistently surprised (oxymoron) at the generosity and well, just general fun, that the internet provides me.

Catcher In The Bananafish

Last October I told you about the unpublished chapter of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. But I think this tops it. Uncovered at this link are the “under-published” works of Jerome David Salinger. This collection consists mostly of out-of-print short stories. Salinger has deliberately kept most of these works out-of-print or off the market, so it should be said, the above linked website not only infringes on Salinger’s copyrights, it also makes certain material obtainable against Salinger’s will. But I’m not going to feel shamed for sharing the link, because some of it is fucking beautiful.