Top 10 Secrets About Presidential Debates

Having read about the elaborate contract worked out between the W and Kerry camps about debate rules and formats, I figured that the upcoming debates would be pretty watered-down affairs with not much constructive back and forth discussion. However, I had no idea of the actual extent to which presidential debates have been corrupted until I came upon the page Top 10 Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know About the Debates. I am amazed at the audacity of the CPD presenting itself as an objective moderating organization; the rules and formats dictated by the CPD ensure that we’ll never have an actual debate that addresses real issues and allows for unscripted, candid responses from the candidates. I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, but it is a sad commentary on how managed and packaged the candidates’ messages have become…

Despite what I’ve read, I’ll at least tune in for tonight’s debate, perhaps even participating in Wonkette’s debate drinking game. 😉

Update: For those of you who missed it, the Washington Post has a complete transcript of last night’s debate.

84 Reasons Why 1984 Was The Best Year Ever

As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, ESPN has decided that 1984 was the single greatest year of the ESPN era:

I’m talking about a year that appealed to everybody, one of those years that just had it going – sports, movies, TV, pop culture, music, comedy, goofy subplots – and you were never, ever, EVER bored. I’m talking about a groundbreaking year, with innovations just coming into their own, great actors hitting their stride, memorable rookies stepping onto center stage, maybe even some of the all-time legends making The Leap.

1984 is one of my favorite years, although I remember it for a lot more than just sports. I think it’s definitely the best year of the ‘80s as far as pop culture, movies, TV, and music goes, and since I’m pretty much stuck in the ’80s it follows that I would remember 1984 as my favorite year. I’m sure I could go on for a while about this, but that’ll have to wait for another time. What do you think; what’s your favorite year?

Baseball Returns To Washington

33 years to the day since the Washington Senators moved to Texas, baseball commissioner Bud Selig officially announced that the Montreal Expos are moving to Washington, playing their first game at RFK Stadium next April. Here’s a FAQ link about the new team and a brief history of the Montreal Expos. I’m not sure what to make of this news yet. I’ve been a Bawlamer Oryul (check here for a translation) fan for as long as I can remember, so I’m kind of indifferent about baseball coming to Washington. However, if nothing else, the planned new stadium should help revitalize the Anacostia waterfront, which is in dire need of a facelift…

Update – Possible Downtime

I’m planning on upgrading my web hosting package this weekend to allow me to experiment with some things my current account is not set up for, like PHP programming and MySQL databases. I will have to transfer all of my web files back to the new server once it’s been set up, and after that there may still be a 24-72 hour lag as new DNS servers propagate the new setup. That may result in this web page and my e-mails being inaccessible for up to a day or two, but I’m hoping that if I do this over the weekend the impact will be minimal.

F-4 Phantom vs. Nuclear Power Plant Wall

Check out this video clip of an F-4 Phantom travelling at 500 mph impacting a wall designed to protect a nuclear power station (links to page with embedded QuickTime video). As you’d (hopefully) expect, the wall did its job, basically atomizing the F-4 into dust (!). Pretty wild…

Oh, and ignore the caption above the video; the audio in the report clearly states that the wall is designed to protect nuclear power plants, not withstand a nuclear blast. :-p