Thursday, November 27, 2008

Need a Movie for Thanksgiving?

Hulu is showing a winner tonight, Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own. I think maybe I heard that the national Japanese team recently picked a girl to play pro baseball.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have you Filled Out Your Obama Campaign Supporter Survey Yet?

"Someone's" Obama Campaign Supporter Survey:

OPTIONAL: How would you like to see this organization move forward in the months and years ahead? And how would you like to be engaged as a volunteer and organizer?:

I want to see and be a part of grassroots efforts to reform our education system, eliminate poverty in the United States, and provide national healthcare.

Well, we needed to get rid of the Bush administration and all it stood for. Also, all of the momentum that the Obama campaign was generating through the participation of other young people like myself. And I had some students who were extremely enthusiastic about the campaign and made me realize that he might have a chance since young people were actually engaged and might get out and vote in battleground states like Ohio and Florid, I wanted to be sure that he didn't lose because people like myself didn't put all our effort into I did everything I could do while still working full-time, including blogging the truth and making phone calls.

When I started making phone calls, relatives joined in. It was good to know that my actions had a real effect on other people. I could especially see that I was having a real effect when I called one women in New Mexico to tell her where her polling place was and discovered that this was information that she really needed and also wanted. She was clearly enthusiastic about getting out and voting (for Obama) but didn't know where her polling place was and said she would have gone to the wrong location if I had not called. So, I'm certain I got at least two more people vote that day (her and her equally enthusiastic husband).

The online tally of how many phonecalls you made was always wrong for me and inspired some bad feelings on my part. Everytime I logged in, and no matter how much calling data I inputted, it said that I had made just one call (or maybe 4 at one point) and I had made tens of phone calls each time. The online site for entering data also blocks you from editing the data you entered for each voter, it locks you out after you submit the information. This is frustrating if you realize that you haven't entered all the information you had or that you made an error entering the information. This happened the first time I made a phone call for the campaign.

I hate making phone calls but I called over 80 people...maybe a hundred (I don't remember). As mentioned to a previous question, I know for certain that I helped get out the vote in at least one state. I also got my sister involved. So making phone calls and having some really good conversations with voters was my greatest achievement and also a challenge. Maybe using the website was the greatest challenge though because of the incorrect data, the not allowing me to edit data I had submitted, and because it automatically generates a call list but then doesn't allow you to send these back if you know will be too busy to make calls.

No. Seeing all the people at the DNC convention and the very cool idea of texting to the campaign (I did this) and seeing Obama accept the nomination as the democratic presidential candidate...that was inspiring.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fungus and Diesel

Did you hear about the fungus that creates Diesel? A scientist, Strobel, found this fungus, Gliocladium Roseum, in the Patagonian trees and (after storing it in his freezer for a year) he discovered that this fungus creates real's the genuine product and would run your car. Strobel is speculating that perhaps this fungus is responsible for some of the diesel that we have depending on, helping to process the biological matter from fossils... If we were able to use this fungus for commercial production of diesel fuels then it would mean that we were able to drastically reduce the carbon emissions created from the refining of diesel fuel. However, I wonder if this benefit would be undone by the increase in demand for diesel. If diesel is easily gotten goods and everyone starts burning more and more of it, who cares how cleanly we first came by it?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Studs Terkel: Oral Historian

The mainstream media (incl CBS, ABC, and NBC) only gave a brief summary of the life and passing of Studs Terkel. I think his work illuminating the struggles of working Americans deserves much more coverage. Here is more from BBC.

Super Obama

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's a Beautiful Night!

That quickly finished election was such an unexpected scenario for me. I am so much more optimistic about the world now than I was when I woke up this morning. Senator Obama not only won the election, and is therefore the president-elect now, but he won by an amazingly large number of electoral votes. Everyone did it! We did it! And after my disappointing phone calls this morning I was very glad to hear that he won Florida too. Thank you to all the people who believed that this could work and voted for Obama in every state. Today is beautiful and tomorrow will only be more so.

What to do on Election Day.

I made calls to Florida all day while at work...whenever I had a minute then I made another call. But it was really a waste of time. The people I called were clearly very conservative and probably most of the phone numbers were disconnected or otherwise changed. I also experienced this when I was teaching. The kids from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, the ones that most needed me to be involving their parents in their schoolwork, were the hardest to contact. They sometimes didn't have telephone numbers at all but even when they did they changed often.

Anyway, I am no longer following the election news...until there is an answer. I guess I'll listen tomorrow morning but even then I doubt there will be a definite answer. It is all so stressful. One of my sisters came over and baked an election day cake. Delicious. And we watched Wall-E, a movie I really enjoy.
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