- IBM Many Bills: A Visual Bill Explorer
IBM is doing some really interesting work with legislation here. In my own work on Richmond Sunlight, I've long treated the text of the bill as a black box, doing very little with the text of bills. IBM demonstrates here that there's actually some valuable data to be gleaned from the actual words within the bill. Their interface is lousy—the site is hard to use—by I really admire their original thinking.
- Think Progress: In Washington, You Don’t Need To Know Anything About Policy To Be a Senator Or Chair Important Commissions
Former Senator Alan Simpson knows disturbingly little about Social Security and, indeed, history and math, especially for the guy who is the co-chair of the President Obama's budget commission.
- Wikispecies: Free Species Directory
From the Wikimedia foundation, Wikispecies is like Wikipedia, but for species. One entry for every species. They're up to 265,369 articles.
- Wall Street Journal: Grandparents and Grandkids Connect Via Facebook, Twitter and Texting
My grandfather kept up with his grandchildren—and we kept up with him—via Facebook until shortly before his death last year. My grandmother had photos and status updates cherry-picked from Facebook and e-mailed to her—delivered via her HP Presto e-mail printer—until her death last month. Of course, the ability to assign grandparents (and grandchildren) to a specific group to limit access is helpful, too—kids need not share everything with their elders.
The second part of Don Teschek’s two-part series on my great uncle Eddie Cassidy, for the The Andover (NH) Beacon. The prior installment was about his service in WWII, while this is about how he and his best friend built one another’s vacation homes when they got out of the service.
My great-uncle Eddie Cassidy—my maternal grandmother’s brother—died Sunday night at the age of 93. The Andover (NH) Beacon recently featured a profile of his service in WWII, the first of a two-part series. (The second is still to come.) The author is the grandson of Uncle Eddie’s lifelong buddy, Don Teschek. Don’t miss the photo of the two strapping lads standing on a Philippine beach, their high-waisted pants all that’s necessary to peg it as a photo from the 1940s.
From the small-world category, my cousin Verne Rupright is running for mayor of Wasilla. He’s a Republican, a secessionist, and a defense attorney. Verne figures the town needs to get back to basics and invest in infrastructure. No word on his position on Sarah Palin.