NY Times Opinion:
Doping Scandals Throw Tour de France Into Chaos. What a sad day for the Tour. Seems like some have been more intent on pinning former rider Armstrong with the ‘doping’ label, and not watching what was going on under their noses. I think it’s important to note these accusations come not from a cycling oversight body, but from the Spanish police, investigating a particular doctor. Sounds like wolves are in the henhouse, and everyone’s looking the other way.
SF New Mexican:
One town has it especially rough in parched New Mexico. “In some areas, the seven-month period since November is the driest on record. Santa Fe has received 1.2 inches of precipitation, the lowest in 133 years of record keeping, and the 0.41 inches in Albuquerque is the lowest in 114 years of data.”
SF New Mexican:
Court: PRC can enforce Qwest’s investment promise. Qwest bought a pig in a poke, the state of hardware and infrastructure they received from US West was woeful. It’ll take this, and a lot more cash, to bring us up to snuff. Problem is, it is residential demand, not business demand. Not a huge profit center. I predict metropolitan areas will get the majority of the investment, the outlying areas will still remain primitive and problematic for another five years, at least. Hope for cell service providers, perhaps satellite providers, to bring upgraded services faster than land lines.
SF New Mexican:
LANL program gets help from Senate committee. “... boosted environmental-cleanup programs at Los Alamos for $141 million, a $50 million increase over President Bush’s budget request.” Hallelujah.
SF New Mexican:
Locals speak out on Plaza scene. They should use tasteful engineering to seriously discourage car traffic, build another couple of parking garages (perhaps underground) to eliminate most street parking in the immediate downtown area, have a small fleet of compact open-side inter-downtown buses, allow more cafes with streetside seating, and plant pots of flowers (as other municipalities do; I saw this all over the West last summer). Pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly ... even scooter-friendly. Most of all, have a regular schedule to wash down roads and sidewalks. Parts of the Plaza become really grungy with black grime, IMHO, such as the corner near Haagen-Dazs. Curbs should be maintained and painted, and crosswalks too.
SF New Mexican:
The Santa Fe Opera opens its 50th season tonight. I have a confession to make. When commuting to Manhattan by train, years ago, I used to listen to classical music and sleep on the way. When I spend $60 bucks for opera tickets, do you know what I end up doing? Blissfully sleeping. I’ve been caught by friends more than a few times. I mean to enjoy the opera, I really do. But to sleep in such quality musical performance is just as enjoyable ... the z’s are worth every penny.
Flashpacking clicks with great outdoors. As long as you don’t leave the backcountry strewn with batteries and broken cables.
Why we waste the time on Britney, I don’t know. The recent interview [hit enlarge on the photo], the overhyped ‘naked’ pics. Heavily retouched? You decide. You ask me, Photoshop artists made a bundle on these.
LOTR fans in SF,
keep your eyes peeled. Sean Bean will be in town shooting scenes for the remake of “The Hitcher.”
SF New Mexican/AP:
Later: I’d rather have LCDs embedded in my windows, to darken them ... and someday, to replace the television. Tired of making room for ugly monitor form-factors in my homes. It’ll be a while, though.
New York Review of Books:
The Threat to the Planet. “Studies of more than one thousand species of plants, animals, and insects, including butterfly ranges charted by members of the public, found an average migration rate toward the North and South Poles of about four miles per decade in the second half of the twentieth century. That is not fast enough. During the past thirty years the lines marking the regions in which a given average temperature prevails (“isotherms”) have been moving poleward at a rate of about thirty-five miles per decade.” My italics.
Are flip-flops damaging your career? Folks walk differently in flip-flops; I wonder about back strain sometimes. Still, for summer, they’re a godsend. You don’t go walking barefoot in New Mexico (goatheads, cactus spines, apache tears, and more).
SwfJax. Flash + Ajax.
Google Checkout vs. Paypal.
U.S. Supreme Court quashes ‘illegal’ Guantanamo trials. “The United States Supreme Court ruled Thursday that military trials arranged by the Bush administration for detainees at Guantanamo Bay are illegal and wrongly constituted under military and civilian law. The court said the trials — known as military commissions — do not conform to any act of Congress. Justices also rejected the government’s argument that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.” My italics.
remembers as many of us do, that the ‘tracing terrorist finances’ issue has been publicly known since 2001. All the hoo-hah from conservatives is terribly melodramatic ... and actually rather entertaining; I guess it’s been long enough since the talk-radio ‘90’s for me to look at this kind of rhetoric with humor again. Yet both sides of the aisle can pour on the ‘instant outrage’, rather like a five-year-old can turn off and on the waterworks ...
For more children, less time for outdoor play. “We believe there’s great value in kids being bored. Boredom spawns imaginative play. I’ve seen it work with my kids time and again, whether they pick up a book, turn their bed into a fort, or visualize our dogs as dragons they must defend themselves against.” I agree.
Globe and Mail.CA:
“Pope Benedict - by far the most musically literate of modern popes (which may not be saying a lot) - has fallen into the trap of letting his musical tastes dictate his ecclesiastical policies. He has denounced guitar music and contemporary idioms in church music, ordering a return to ‘Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony’.”
Evolution’s Lonely Battle in a Georgia Classroom. “In January 2004, when they were about to be adopted, Kathy Cox, Georgia’s education superintendent, announced that she would remove evolution from the standards because it was too divisive an issue.” My italics. If divisiveness is the standard, I’m surprised anything gets taught ... even the Bible.