Greatest of mustaches

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Most amazing mustache, ever.


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Getting ready for production…

Wired for communication

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Rachel is stage managing an event tomorrow. Always the dutiful assistant, I am helping run the teleprompter.

Instagram, The Nostalgia Of Now And Reckoning The Future – BuzzFeed Mobile

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Starburst jellybeans = best ever

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And they’re nigh-impossible to find at other times of the year. I’m thinking about hiding a bag somewhere in the house so I can discover it later.

Oops. Kony 2012 Cover the Night fails to move from the internet to the streets

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The Kony 2012 Cover the Night campaign woke up to awkward questions on Saturday after activists failed to blanket cities with posters of the wanted Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony.

The movement’s phenomenal success in mobilising young people online, following last month’s launch of a 29-minute documentary which went viral, flopped in trying to turn that into real world actions.

The campaign aimed to plaster “every city, on every block” around the world with posters, stickers and murals of Kony to pressure governments into hunting down the guerrilla leader, who has waged a brutal, decades-long insurgency in central Africa.

But paltry turnouts on Friday at locations across north America, Europe and Australia left cities largely unplastered and the movement’s credibility damaged. “What happened to all the fuss about Kony?” said one typical tweet. “Kony is so last month,” said another.

Elissa O’Dell, 24, an activist in Los Angeles, put a brave face on the fact just her and two other volunteers attended the painting of a mural on an auto dealership off Santa Monica Boulevard.

“It’s just been us the entire day,” she said on Friday. Another campaigner took photographs while an artist painted the mural, which said “Our liberty is bound together”.

“The point of Cover the Night is for our community of supporters to give something back, pick up trash, paint schools, some direct, local action,” said O’Dell. So, where was everybody? “We didn’t expect people here,” said O’Dell. Supporters were to place posters in coffeeshops, fire and police stations and other locations. “The response has been terrific. Tomorrow people will wake up and see our posters everywhere.”

But on Saturday the boulevard, and according to reports the rest of LA and other cities, were largely free of Kony.

The campaign also tanked on twitter. “Find the silence around #Kony’12 interesting. It’s muted embarrassment from prior supporters, mixed with quiet smugness from detractors,” said one tweet.

Unfortunately, Luddies and naysayers will use this as a reason to poo-poo all internet activism. To which I say, SOPA protests.

We Already Have Our “Centrist”

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I’m sick of this “pox on both houses” outlook on American politics. People like Tom Friedman and other so-called “centrists” keep pining for this fantastical blend of today’s Republicans and Democrats. This idea is entirely flawed. 

The past four years have been characterized by deliberate Republican obstructionism with the expressed intent to hamstring our nation’s duly-elected president. The policies considered “conservative” today are unlike anything advocated before in this country’s history. Today’s Republicans have made a drastic shift toward an illogical right, while the spineless Democrats have allows themselves to be dragged closer to the center.

If you want a president who is entirely about bridging divides and brokering compromises, vote for Barack Obama. Obama is the centrist president. What we need in this election is a liberal. 

‘I’m 24’: The Best Rap Video You’ll Ever Watch…

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24 is a strange, strange birthday. Generally speaking, you’re out of college, yet you still feel young. You’re at the start of your career, yet everything around you is changing. Friends are getting married and settling down. Friends are going to grad school. Friends are moving away. You’re no longer on your parents insurance. Yet, at the same time, you still like to go out and have a good time. Alas, our old buddy Pat Stansik just dropped this funny rap video about all the peculiarities of turning 24. Check it out.

Previous Hits from Pat:

And I’m not even going to be 24 in a few months…

My Scientific Debut

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Today I gave my first-ever presentation on my research to the other the LLU graduate students and assembled faculty. Since I haven’t done this before, it was kind of my debut as a budding scientist, so I wanted to make a good impression. I spent a lot of time working on this presentation, which represents in twenty minutes the meager amount of knowledge and data I’ve managed to amass in the past sixteen months.

I put a couple of weeks and at least one ridiculously late (early?) night into setting up the content and laying out the slides and transitions. Since purple is the awareness color for the Alzheimer’s Association, I used that as my primary color in the slides. I also coordinated my outfit to match, complete with a stealth Threadless shirt.

I was most worried about the questions people might ask me at the end of the talk, but I actually think I handled those decently well. My classmates also gave me a lot of positive feedback, which certainly makes me feel good. Now I’m trying to flush the excess cortisol out of my bloodstream before tomorrow, when I have to make and print a scientific poster. If you’re dying to see the presentation, it’s available online. It’s even downloadable, if that suits your fancy.

It’s time for a whole new Mittens!

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I’m surprised how easily duped voters are (if not in fact, certainly in the eyes of the Romney campaign). His opinions on issues vacillate something like the following exchange:

Primary Voter: I support voting rights for fetuses!
Mitt: If there is one thing I know I support, it’s voting rights for fetuses.
Primary Voter: Excellent, this gentleman represents me!

Later, in the general election…

Obama: This nincompoop supports voting rights for fetuses! They don’t even have the grip strength to hold a pen!
MItt: That’s preposterous, voting rights for fetuses is a waste of our time when we need to be focusing on how Obama’s fair tax plan unfairly taxes millionaires and billionaires.
Primary Voter: That Mitt, what a guy. I’m glad he supports my views.

Doesn’t anybody see that and say, “What the heck, you just betrayed us all?” How could you vote for somebody after they flat out reversed their position on something that got you to vote for them in the first place?