apparently a cat still lands on its feet even when there's no gravity, as this video demonstrates. science at its best.

 

about a month ago netnewswire author brent simmons wrote "My hope is that somebody will take this as an opportunity to do something cool and write an enclosure-downloading script (perhaps an AppleScript Studio app?) that other folks can use." and other people have already, but the solutions have required a bit of geekiness to enable. today i'm releasing netmuswire, an applescript that combines netnewswire, ical, and itunes into a scheduled mp3 aggregator. netnewswire does the aggregating, ical does the download scheduling, and itunes does the playing. there's an installer that sets everything up to run automatically, but it's easy to adjust if you don't like the default schedule - just change the ical event times. if you have netnewswire 2 and a broadband connnection, please try it out and let me know if you find any problems. it's released under the GPL in the hopes that someone will use it as a template for something else - maybe a photo aggregator, a video aggregator, an event aggregator, or a contact aggregator.

 

imagine you own a store, and you hire a new manager for your store. in his first month of managing the store, the store is robbed and an employee is shot. the police say the robber is known to live on the north side of town, but the manager spends half of the store's monthly income to hire a private investigator to find the robber on the south side of town. he has to fire another employee to pay for this. nobody is coming to your store anymore.

you don't think the manager is doing a good job, but you're busy with another store you own for the next month, so you don't have time to do interviews for a new manager. one of the remaining employees offers to do the job, but the current manager says this employee just wants to steal the remaining store funds.

who do you want to manage your store for the next month: the currrent manager or the employee?

 

i know some people whose only reason for supporting bush is his stance on abortion. those people may be interested in this article, which says abortions increased under bush after decreasing under clinton.

 

i expect to be participating in the it kitchen, though i'm still waiting to see what sort of participation is expected. perhaps i'll write an essay about something. it's been over two years since i've written an essay.

 

yesterday, the votemaster over at the electoral vote predictor wrote Some people have asked for a method to make their own maps selecting only pollsters favorable to their candidate. While this is theoretically possible, the computing load it would place on the server would be too much. that's only true if he's using bad software. tonight i made a rough working tool to do this. it will pull the polling data from the electoral vote predictor every six hours. i'll add some more options later, but you can already see how removing certain pollsters affects the results.

 

this is my rather ignorant prediction of the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, as requested by mathew gross:

popular: kerry 52.2%, bush 46.6%

electoral: kerry: 310, bush: 228

the electoral is lifted straight from the "49% rule" tally i wrote about last night.

 

the electoral vote predictor provides a much better idea of the state of the presidential campaign than the national polls we see in the news every day. as some of us learned in civics class, and the rest of us learned in 2000, the electoral college determines who becomes president. the electoral vote predictor provides a wonderful free service by translating state polls into a national electoral vote tally. but why settle for wonderful when we could have...um...fantabulous?

a recent article in the american prospect points out that incumbants rarely get a larger share of the vote on election day than they get in polling right before the election. so if on november 1, bush is polling at 48% in a state, and kerry is polling at 44%, kerry will very likely win that state on november 2. why? because that 8% undecided in polls will overwhelmingly go for the new guy. wouldn't it be swell if the electoral vote predictor would take this into account?

but they do enough work already with all those nifty graphs. they are also kind enough to provide the raw polling data they use, so we can do this work ourselves simply by applying "the 50 percent rule" (or, as i like to call it, "the newer of two evils rule") to this data. so i did that, and included it in an RSS feed. i had a hard time believing the results (as much as i'd like to), so i also made a "49 percent rule," by which i give bush the electoral votes of any state in which he has 49 percent or more of the current poll. he still loses this way, but not by as much.

i have no idea if the 50 percent rule will hold true in this election, but i certainly hope so.

 

the daily show RSS feed now links directly to the windows media files. sort of. most of the files are in predictable locations, and those are linked properly. but some random ones are in odd locations and those links don't work right now. but the descriptions have a link to the page containing the obfuscated windows media files, so if the first click doesn't work, click, click again. or if you really want to see some ads, you can go to the page for that as well.

 

i made my first firefox hack. it's incredibly simple and i'm sure i spent more than an hour on it. but i learned an important lesson: stuffit unzips files into folders that weren't there when the files were zipped. important to me, anyway.

 

bush: "you forgot poland." poland: "forget this."