Monday, June 23, 2008

Attacking Hope

This week a coordinated attack was launched on the community in an attempt to extinguish the message of hope, personal action and enacting positive change that was inspired by Barack Obama and made into an American mosaic through the efforts of thousands of citizens. The all-volunteer, Obama-inspired website was sabotaged by a small group of individuals who improperly flagged thousands of images that had been submitted by citizens across America, rendering roughly 20,000 family-oriented photos removed from view.

The images have since been restored to the website and their appearance within’s Yes We Can video is once again fully functional. Despite this attack, the community will continue to remain entirely open and self-policing.

The synchronized assault is a painful reminder that there will always be people who spend their time and energy trying to disrupt and dismantle inspiring movements of hope, action, and positive change.

The collective invites you to join thousands of citizens across America in taking a stand against the cynics and troublemakers who have tried to bring down our community. Join us and make your voice heard. As Senator Obama has inspired us: "Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change."

Larger than any of us, made possible by all of us, is an all-volunteer, open community of people empowering one another to create positive change in the world. It was born out of the inspiring Yes We Can speech that Senator Obama gave after winning the South Carolina primary. It has no formal ties to the Obama Presidential campaign nor any other political entity

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Celtics 549 - Pistons 539

A Sports Parable

A statement from Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars (as told to Christopher Orr)

Some in the media are declaring the series over because the Boston Celtics have won four of the six games played so far. But I don’t understand why, in a series this close and hotly contested, anyone would want to shut it down before we play a seventh game and have all the results in. ...

It’s no great surprise that some are trying to push us out of this series. From the beginning, it’s been clear that the media and league elites have been looking for an exciting new face, instead of a team, like ours, that has proven its mettle by making it to the Conference Finals six* years in a row. ...

But back to the series in question. Yes, Boston has won four games and Detroit only two. But it's hard to imagine a more arbitrary and undemocratic way to determine this series’s outcome than "games won." It is, after all, a bedrock value of the game of basketball that all points must be counted. But how can that be the case when every point beyond the winning point is ignored? There are literally dozens of layups, jumpers, free throws, and (yes, even) dunks that our opponents want to say don't count for anything at all. We call on the NBA to do the right thing and fully count all of the baskets that were made throughout the course of this series.

Once you abandon the artificial four-games-to-two framework that the media has tried to impose on the series, a very different picture emerges, with the Celtics leading by a mere 549 points to 539. Yes that’s right, the margin between the two teams is less than one percent—a tie, for all intents and purposes. This is probably the closest Conference Finals in NBA history, though I will thank you not to check on that.

How do we determine a winner in a series so historically close? ... More

Solving the Food Crisis: Pass the Land Shrimp

Consider the nutritional value of the humble cricket: Each 100 grams of dehydrated tissue has 1,550 milligrams of iron, 340 milligrams of calcium, and 25 milligrams of zinc -- three minerals often lacking in the diets of third-world countries. If you're ever lost in the woods, three crickets a day will meet your iron needs. Compared to beef or pork, bugs deliver more minerals and healthier fats.

Bugs are also more energy-efficient. Crickets deliver twice as much edible tissue as pigs and almost six times as much as steers based on the same food input. And that's not counting their superior rate of reproduction. One scholar calculates that overall, they're 20 times more efficient than steers.

That global food crisis you've been reading about? No problem. An Asian expert reports that in Thailand, each family can raise crickets independently on a tiny parcel of land. In a pair of villages, 400 families are cranking out 10 metric tons of crickets during the peak season.

Bug-eating also reduces the need for pesticides. The more bugs you eat, the less you have to spray. That's what happened in Thailand, where locusts have been brought under control through culinary culling.

You've never eaten bugs? You're missing out. People in most countries eat insects. Central Americans eat butterfly larvae. South Americans eat beetles. Africans eat ants, caterpillars, and grubs. Asians eat fried crickets. Aborigines eat honey ants.

-William Saletan, Slate