April 21, 2010
“Someone had better tell Washington that the pink elephant is on the move!” So crowed Sarah Palin earlier this month at a high-voltage campaign rally for Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at the Minneapolis Convention Center. While chock-full of the liberal-bashing you’d expect from the dynamic duo, the event also had a weird strain of girl power running through it. The two women entered to country cutie Martina McBride’s “This One’s for the Girls,” and, in introducing Palin, Bachmann gushed about how “drop-dead gorgeous” her sister-in-arms is, both inside and out.
What Are Nukes Good For?
April 07, 2010
The nuclear order seems to be falling apart. Gone is the uneasy balance between the cold war superpowers. We now face a slew of new nuclear actors. North Korea has reprocessed enough plutonium for perhaps ten bombs, in addition to the two it has already tested. Iran’s centrifuge program seems poised to produce weapons-grade uranium. And Syria was apparently constructing a clandestine nuclear facility, before it was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in 2007. It’s not just enemies that pose a problem.
Tangled up in Blue
March 11, 2010
When Alma Dickson slipped on an icy sidewalk in Dallas, Texas, she knew she was hurt. But she wasn’t sure that she could pay for the medical care she needed. The year was 1929 and Dickson, a schoolteacher, didn’t make enough money to pay for x-rays and treatment on her own. But Dickson had recently signed up for something new: A plan under which she paid a monthly premium in exchange for a promise of care at a local Dallas hospital.
Enhancing Venture Capital to Drive Innovation
February 11, 2010
To create the new jobs needed in our nation, and make sure our world-leading creativity and innovation ends up creating new businesses, we need deeper pools of venture and early stage capital. Nowhere are jobs needed more than in the Midwest manufacturing belt. A recent Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program report authored by Cleveland’s Frank Samuel suggests how we might better link new technology discovery going on in the ‘Rust Belt” to new firm creation. It turns out the industrial heartland reaching from Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and St.
Metro Home Price Recovery: Strong, Weak, Non-existent?
December 30, 2009
Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.
New Traffic Lights Play a Deadly Game of Hide-and-Seek
December 21, 2009
Our friends at Engadget picked up on an unfortunate engineering failure. See, the country has been slowly converting to a low-carbon future, something we here at the Avenue whole-heartedly endorse. However, we’re also pro-safety. And it looks like some developing traffic light technology won’t let us have both: A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them.
How to Save Detroit
December 09, 2009
For much of the United States, Detroit has become shorthand for failure--not just because of the dilapidation of the town’s iconic industry, but because the entire metropolis seems like a dystopian disaster.
The Movie Review: ‘A Serious Man’
October 09, 2009
The wittiest scene in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2001 film The Man Who Wasn’t There is one in which a fast-talking defense attorney, Freddy Riedenschneider (marvelously played by Tony Shalhoub), invokes Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle as grounds for a not-guilty verdict in a murder case: We can’t know what really happened.… Because the more you look, the less you know. But the beauty of it is, we don't gotta know! We just gotta show that, goddamnit, they don't know. Reasonable doubt. Science. The atom. You explain it to me.
The Lonely Workman
November 19, 2008
Descartes' Loneliness By Allen Grossman (New Directions, 70 pp., $16.95) At the start of Descartes' Loneliness, the tenth collection of poetry by Allen Grossman, the speaker has posed a question to the world that we, the readers, have arrived too late to hear. The book begins, in the title poem, with the world's response: Toward evening, the natural light becomes intelligent and answers, without demur: "Be assured! You are not alone..." Perhaps the question expressed solitude, even the fundamental solitude of the uncertain and inconsolable human mind.
A Wasted Day: Gustav 1 Mccain 0
September 02, 2008
Some were speculating that Gustav might give John McCain an opportunity to appear Presidential and in charge on the first day of his convention. Nonsense. Yesterday was a wasted day in Minneapolis. Instead of attacks on Barack Obama and praise of John McCain the American people heard weather reports and news of Sarah Palin's family. Conventions are four part acts, carefully scripted and plotted to tell a complex story. Yesterday the GOP had to throw out Act 1, and readjust acts 2-4. The news today is filled with questions about McCain's judgement in picking Sarah Palin.