September 11, 2008

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Say ______?

Twice in the last half hour, John Wayne Airport asked everybody to observe a minute of silence in honor of the airplane strikes against the World Trade Center exactly seven years ago, to the minute. On the way here I heard on the radio that this is now a regular thing in New York, but it’s the first time I experienced it at an airport.

I looked around to see what people did after they heard the message, announced following what must hold the record for Most Loud And Annoying Alert Sound (MLAAAS) at any airport on Earth: three long blasts that sound like a brontosaurus bellowing into a bad microphone. The answer was, mostly, nothing different. People in conversation kept talking, to each other or their phones. People behind counters continued to deal with pressing issues. A page for a list of passengers also came on immediately after the call for silence by the PA announcer.

Is it just how it goes here? Dunno. Just thought it was worth observing.

It can happen

Ordered a double short decaf cappuccino at the Starbucks in John Wayne Airport a few minutes ago. “I’ll have to charge you for a tall,” the woman behind the counter said. “Okay”, I replied. Turned out to be perfectly made and much more tasty than I tend to expect from decaf. The ratio of espresso, milk and foam was close to ideal. The foam still in the cup, ten minutes later, looks like coffee-marbled shaving cream, and still tastes delicious, cold. I don’t think I’ve had a better cup from an airport coffee vendor, including Peets. Was it worth the $4.85 I paid for it? ($3.50 for the cap, $1.00 for the extra shot and $.35 tax, the receipt says.) Guess so.


How the world changed, seven years ago today.

Framing wins

Here’s an interesting piece on framing by Rickard Linde. I think he and George Lakoff are both right about the expert framing job that the McCain campaign is doing on Obama, and that Republicans since Reagan have done in major elections. Rickard also has some excellent framing advice for the Obama campaign.

Both Rickard and George, however, are discounting the importance of bullshit. The Onion nailed it months ago. It doesn’t matter if Sarah Palin is unqualified as a presidential candidate (and remember, that’s what she’s running for — sitting on the bench behind an elderly president). She’s a star. A celebrity. That counts in America. A lot.

Who’s running for VP on Obama’s side? Nobody. Not compared to Palin’s celebrity, name recognition and face time on TV and magazine covers. Suddenly Obama’s got half a ticket.

I don’t know if the McCain campaign actually intended for this to happen, but the way it looks to me right now, it’ll work. Palin is single-handedly turning Barack Obama into John Kerry: a policy wonk quarantined to the bottom end of the FM dial. It’s amazing to watch.


New fashion in hardware: PCs that appear built to eat other PCs. Or chew your leg off under your desk. ht to jy.