Salazar approves Cape wind farm

Is the arguing over the Cape wind farm over? I doubt it. Let the lawsuits begin. The Feds blessed the decade-old project today, but the Wampanoags are claiming interference with sunrise worship and ancient-once-dry-burial-grounds. I am in favor of it by the way. Here is my post from 2007 when I changed my mind.

From the Cape Cod Times:

“US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm today, a move proponents herald as a giant leap forward and opponents decry as a dangerous misstep.

“His approval is the culmination of nearly a decade of review by local, state and federal agencies of the plan to build 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in the Sound.”

via Salazar approves Cape wind farm |

Update: a day later the Cape Cod Times demotes the windmills in favor of local hero Siobhan Magnus.

Boston Sports Blogapalooza

Thanks to Joe Gill at Boston Sports Then and Now for hosting Boston’s sports bloggers at the Fenway Tavern this coming Sunday for the Boston Sports Blogapalooza. I was connected to Joe by Tim Daloisio at CBS Interactive (and excellent Red Sox blogger) so as a result Lenovo is a sponsor and providing an S-10 netbook for the raffle as well an hour’s worth of open bar tab (the latter will probably set off a financial crisis on my corporate American Express rivalling the Greek bond meltdown).

I am going to try to be there in person, but a combination of feeble excuses may keep me on the Cape this weekend before heading to Raleigh at the delightfully early hour of 4 am on Monday.

I am a big fan of the sports blog genre, particular Red Sox related ones, and wish I had the chops to maintain one myself. I guess there’s a niche open as the Cotuit Kettleer’s unofficial blogger, but it’s enough for me to feed this one and I just don’t have the time.

Here’s the one’s I read:

  • Codball – covering the Cape Cod Baseball League with an excellent podcast (remind me to revise my Kettleer’s “prospectus” lots of roster changes)
  • Surviving Grady – my long time favorite and generally off the wall irreverent
  • Wicked Clevah – Stephen O’Grady’s very incisive data analysis look at the Sox

That’s only the blogs. Add in my reading of Baseball America, the Society of American Baseball Research stuff, Baseball Prospectus newsletters, meanderings through the world of southern AAC college and AA/AAA minor leagues, and I am pretty much a hopeless baseball geek who only draws the line at NO fantasy league stuff. I just don’t have the time. As it is I estimate I watch or listen to four full ball games per week, subscribe to the full MLB package on DirectTV, MLB mobile on my Blackberry, and webcasts on my ThinkPad. I have issues.

So try to make it to  Boston Sunday, have a drink and a chance at a netbook on Lenovo.

The Powerpoint Death March

Today’s (4.27.10) New York Times is led by a wonderful flow chart showing who-knows-what from the military in conjunction with the war against terror or narcotics or Taliban. The ensuing article bemoans the impact of Powerpoint (or Keynote for the fanbois) on the junior officer corps, who spend most of their time developing story decks on everything from microgrants to ground engagements.

I can relate. The volume of Powerpoint requests propelled by a lemming-like desire to reduce complexity down to a batch of bullet points is staggering. Some of the officers quoted in the Times are putting more than a tenth of their working day into decks. Me and my team? If we were to score ourselves “red, yellow or green” on the task, we’d be solidly Green on Powerpoint. Our Harvey Balls would be complete.

Edward Tufte’s essay: “The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within” is well worth a $7 look at how the structure and syntax of a deck influences the reality of the situation trying to be encapsulated and communicated. This “observer effect” of the process influencing reality is beautifully captured by Tufte (who received a White House appointment last month).

Need to tame a problem of staggering global complexity? Add another slide. Need to lull an angry audience into complacency — consider a “boat” chart, a “waterfall”, or even a Venn diagram. McKinsey turned Powerpoint into a multi-billion dollar business, deploying an army of Indian Powerpointers to convert the MBA-guided insights of the global consultants into yet-another-deck ready on desks in the morning. The net result was a massive loss of the Firm’s intelligence as the narrators’ intelligence was lost to cryptic bullets and impenetrable bar charts after they moved on to run American Express or IBM.

The solution is just say “no.” I sat on the Google Global Marketing Advisory board a couple years ago and my counterpart at CocaCola stood up and presented a picture. A single slide. A PDF perhaps. But a picture of the forests AND the trees. “Good luck with that,” I told myself, bound to the presentation guidelines handed down from above.

Anyway, the Twits on Twitter are all a-tweeting this today, so here for your consideration is a link to the Times story that started it all.

Cinque Terre « B in Italy

“To conclude my weekend of day trips, I saved the best for last- Cinque Terre. Possibly the prettiest place I have ever seen. I woke up at 6:30, got onto the train at 7:20, and arrived at the Italian Riviera at around 10:00. I had no plans and no expectations, I heard about a 5 hour walk that went through all five towns, and I was sold.”

My daughter is finishing up a term in Florence. Her blog has been a surprise to me. So, excuse the proud father thing. I’m headed over there the last two weeks of May to let her show me around.

via Cinque Terre « B in Italy.

Best Soft Drink Brand Ever

Best Soft Drink Brand Ever

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

This is an old one I know, but I still crack up every time I see a can or bottle of Pocari Sweat. I used to buy this stuff at the Super 88 grocery in South Boston. The taste is not up to my standards, and swallowing something named “sweat” always lights up my gag reflex.

Reading and watching – flight to Beijing

I settled in for the 14 hour haul with some massive reading and viewing. I never sleep on long hauls — small naps and moments of narcolepsy aside — and so I need tons of mental stimulation.  It all begins with packing:

Hardcopy: this is paper-based reading for those non-electronic device moments the airlines are so fond of dogmatically imposing. Why a Kindle can’t be used during taxiing is beyond me. But I am not going to argue with the Man.

  • Sunday New York Times. $6 at the Hudson News in Terminal C. I repeat: SIX DOLLARS.
  • Ten back issues of a newsletter from a Club that shall not be named that I am a guest of this summer for a few days
  • Saints and Strangers: Being the Lives of the Pilgrim Fathers & Their Families, with Their Friends & Foes; & an Account of Their Posthumous Wanderings in Limbo, Their Final Resurrection & Rise to Glory, & the Strange Pilgrimages of Plymouth Rock, by George Williston, the best account of the Pilgrims I have read yet beyond Bradford, Mourt’s Relation and Nathaniel Philbrick.

Digital: Kindle primarily – working through William Vollman’s excellent World War II novel, Europa; the New Yorker, and a ton of other texts. I downloaded War & Peace for a re-read. Lots of Kindle usage going on in United business class from Chi-to-PEK. Saw one poor soul start off the trip with a new Apple iPad in his hands. He made sure everyone knew he had one. By Siberia the guy had a massive case of arm fatigue and was trying to prop the sucker up against something. I pitied the fool. Spied another iPad in a guy’s dutyfree bag going through immigration at PEK.

Video: loaded up the ThinkPad with some in-flight viewing. The video screens on the plane are super small, but I suffered through a historical costume drama, The Young Victoria then abandoned the in-flight options and went to my own library. Big surprise was The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke’s winner of the Palm D’Or at Cannes in 2009. Amazing, amazing movie set in pre WW-I northern Germany.

After that I started a Kurosawa flick about a bureaucrat with stomach cancer …. but that got old and I dove into the Willison’s excellent history of the Pilgrims, which had my attention all the way into Beijing.

All in all, I love flying only because I can get a ton of reading and viewing in. Sure, out of guilt I do a little work, but for the most part it’s just a lot of reading and watching, about the only such non-interrupted stint I get these days.

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