Thursday, November 6, 2008
The geeks of America made this the ‘funnest’ election ever. It was a break through and I’m not just talking for obvious reasons, the people electing the first black president of the United States, but also because of all those cooo-el graphics. County-by-county voting results were just a mouse click away. The techies did an awesome job. I couldn’t decide whose maps I liked better the New York Times, CNN, Univision, MSNBC, or USA Today.
CNN has this search engine that allows you to type in your zip code and check out your local races. How cool and up to the minute is that? All these colorful maps allowed us to look up results up by state, race (presidential, senatorial, congressional, gubernatorial), and on the CNN map by proposition. USA Today even mapped the flow of campaign finance contributions on a state-by-state map. We’re talking nirvana for the political junkie.
It was a great day for newspapers as well, which bodes well for literacy. Go Obama! Dailies had to print extra copies of their Nov. 5, 2008 editions because people were buying extra copies to frame, keep, put in their scrapbooks, or throw darts at, depending on their party affiliation. It’s a wonderful thing.
I’m going to miss Michael Crichton. His books Juarrasic Park, The Lost World, Airframe, Prey and Sphere were my guilty pleasure and now that he is gone so is my nasty little secret. I loved reading his action driven plots and losing myself in the details of his science. The last book of his I read was Prey, and I can’t help but think of him every time I see a flock of birds in the sky. I know now how and why they huddle together in those formations (who knew birds were so dumb) and I get a little creeped out thinking that somewhere out there, perhaps in my backseat, there is a bad guy too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Crichton was only 66. Studs Terkel, 96, who also passed away this week lived a long and blessed life and I’ll miss him too. He left a lasting contribution to the non-fiction genre and his conversations with America were invaluable. Still I’m going to miss Crichton more. His books I bought for the fun of it, and although formulaic and fluffy fed me small doses of DNA replication, airplane engineering, nanotechnology, and submarine technology so that I didn’t gag. For that little bit of nourishment I am thankful.