I see dead people…


My friend Paul just launched a fascinating new site that takes advantage of a slightly odd twitter phenom he discovered a while back. People were registering names of famous dead people and twittering as if they were those people. Sometimes they take their roles very seriously and stay very much “in character”, tweeting only things that are actually verified to have been said by their alter ego. And sometimes they use the character as a starting point and riff on it. Some of them are silly, some are absolutely brilliant. The list of users they aggregate is constantly growing and they do exercise a little editorial judgment when picking which dead people they will add to their list (thankfully…I mean, it may be funny ONCE that someone calling themself Helen Keller tweets “nskdfdskfjkdsfsaie”…but the joke gets stale quickly). Currently on the list are such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Henry Miller, Jesus Christ, Julia Child, Mae West and Barry Goldwater.

The site is called Tweeji (get it?) and is loads of fun. Check it out!

Cool uses for “The Google”


The New York Times this morning has a fascinating article on Google using location information from search queries to help scientists track flu outbreaks. It is really quite ingenious.

In early February, for example, the C.D.C. reported that the flu cases had recently spiked in the mid-Atlantic states. But Google says its search data show a spike in queries about flu symptoms two weeks before that report was released. Its new service at google.org/flutrends analyzes those searches as they come in, creating graphs and maps of the country that, ideally, will show where the flu is spreading.

What, me worry?


Great article in the New York Times sums up the anxiety:

Many liberal Democrats watch MSNBC, but some say it sounds too much like comfort food. CNN serves its election coverage with a stiff little chaser of doubt for Democrats, and many liberals say that CNN and NPR are their regular evening companions. If they really want to rub the sore tooth of worry, they dial over to the “Obama’s radical friend Bill Ayers” channel, otherwise known as Fox.

“Mostly I flip between CNN and MSNBC, but I go to Fox if I want to get enraged,” Mr. Downs said.

Now I get it.


In all the vitriol and brouhaha over the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates, I never could quite understand (if it wouldn’t affect the outcome) why it mattered at all whether the delegates were seated none, half or full. Then I read a piece in the NY Times (I know, I read them a lot) a few minutes ago, which made it clear why the states care:

It’s about having enough votes to do other things — and if you are, say, Michigan, that includes pursuit of your long-time goal of toppling New Hampshire and Iowa from their perches of primacy in the nominating calendar.

So at least I get it now. Still, I think it is important that they be punished in some way for disobeying party rules, that part makes sense. If there were no adverse consequences from breaking the rules, everyone would break them with impunity.