Tuesday, June 24, 2003

*** Warning! This comment could disturb some people. ***

Has anybody else noticed a new innovation in bathroom sanitation?

It's a little device mounted on the wall about the size of a phone book that encloses a little device that sprays a puff of deodorizer every hour or so.

It's not bad in itself, but I wonder if the people who haven't noticed them consider themselves aware about the possibility of a bio or chemical weapons attack.

This post is designed to make the point that it's ridiculous to try to get rid of all 'threats' however much they might be trumped up.
Lots to catch up on:

Two weekends ago, I went out to Cleveland with assorted loons to help out with running PACE nationals and see a bunch of impressive highschoolers play on a very nice set of packets. Some of the players could actually have been pretty good on the college circuit. And the people running the thing weren't all that bad either :-) The ringleaders deserve more kudos than I can give...

There was the issue the protest in the finals that really shouldn't have been accepted: Cape Verde (the Lusophone country) for Cap Vert (the peninsula in Francophone Senegal). Especially since the lead in was very specific about the impact of French imperialism. That's like accepting the Black Hills (South Dakota) for Montenegro. Ah, well. It's a small point and didn't end up making any difference, but it still has been bothering me (as a geography person) to no end......

As for Cleveland, I had never really been there before (changing planes at the airport doesn't count) and can say it is a unique experience. It can generally be summed up in a conversation I had with my brother afterwards:

Him: What did you do last weekend? I'm sure DC was more exciting than here.

Me: I wasn't in DC. I went to Ohio.

Him: (long, shocked pause) WHY??!

It actually wasn't all that bad-- the company, food, accomodations, and work were all good. It just takes some talent to emulate the Boston street system in a relatively flat and modern setting. It was also kinda disconcerting to see street after street of mansions in rather questionable architectural taste (in my humble opinion) in which a small village or neighborhood from a developing country could make themselves quite comfortable. And yes, it was strange and vague.

And afterwards, I got to come back to the wonders of DC. WooHoo! Back to being underemployed and networking with all the ease of a chess player. Shah Mat!

I've been working on the continuation of a project I managed when I was at the Campaign for UN Reform; a questionnaire sent to candidates (in 2002 just for the US Congress, but now including the presidential race) to gauge their standing on foreign policy issues. We've revamped it a lot for our present draft, but I'd be interested to hear your reaction to the previous one posted here.

I should actually get back to doing work-- I've got a lot more stuff to put up, but it'll have to wait until the end of the workday...

Until then......