Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
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Friday 24 July 2015

So far Chicago has had a milder-than-normal summer, with only a couple of over-32°C days and a lot of rain. Given our greenhouse gas emissions, that will change:

The NASA climate projections offer a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 15.5 mile (25 kilometer) resolution, covering the time period from 1950 to 2100. The 11-terabyte dataset provided daily records and estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe. It integrates actual measurements from around the world with data from climate simulations created by the international Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, or CMIP, which is a standard experimental protocol for studying the output of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models.

The result? Pretty warm:

I won't be around to experience an average annual temperature around 30°C. Unfortunately, given the effects of climate change on our food and water supplies, not many others might be either.

Friday 24 July 2015 12:20:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Geography | US | World | Weather#
Tuesday 21 July 2015

Stuff I found on the Interwebs this week:

That's all for now.

Tuesday 21 July 2015 13:32:25 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | US | World | Weather#
Thursday 16 July 2015

The Atlantic's CityLab blog looks at the historic buildings and shares a 1965 video about its construction:

The city has granted Marina City preliminary landmark status. Final approval could take a few weeks.

Thursday 16 July 2015 13:11:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Politics | US#

Seventy years ago today, the United States detonated the world's first nuclear weapon:

On Thursday, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, part of the Department of Energy, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of its greatest scientific accomplishment: the first successful test of an atomic bomb.

The anniversary of that explosion, which happened about 210 miles south of here at a site named Trinity, will be marked in a low-key fashion at the lab. There will be a roundtable discussion in an auditorium.

Well, that sounds exciting. We're still the only country to have waged nuclear war, and we still have more nuclear weapons than anyone else except Russia. At least we're not still in the days of my childhood when we had over 10,000 bombs.

It's still debated whether the Manhattan Project saved more lives than it cost in 1945. (I think it did—and I'm very, very glad the Nazi nuclear effort went in completely the wrong direction, preventing them from getting the bomb first.)

Thursday 16 July 2015 09:56:04 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Tuesday 14 July 2015

Governments do much better at providing many services than private companies do, for the simple reason that private companies have incentives incompatible with the services. Bruce Schneier points out a shining example, nuclear security:

We can learn a lot about the potential for safety failures at US nuclear plants from the July 29, 2012, incident in which three religious activists broke into the supposedly impregnable Y-12 facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Fort Knox of uranium. Once there, they spilled blood and spray painted “work for peace not war” on the walls of a building housing enough uranium to build thousands of nuclear weapons. They began hammering on the building with a sledgehammer, and waited half an hour to be arrested. If an 82-year-old nun with a heart condition and two confederates old enough to be AARP members could do this, imagine what a team of determined terrorists could do.

Instead of having government forces guard the site, the Department of Energy had hired two contractors: Wackenhut and Babcock and Wilcox. Wackenhut is now owned by the British company G4S, which also botched security for the 2012 London Olympics, forcing the British government to send 3,500 troops to provide security that the company had promised but proved unable to deliver. Private companies are, of course, driven primarily by the need to make a profit, but there are surely some operations for which profit should not be the primary consideration.

Corporate structures also contribute to making this kind of operation unprofitable. If someone steals fissile material from Oak Ridge and blows up Toledo with it, the biggest liability Wackenhut or B&W would face is bankruptcy and dissolution. The shareholders won't go to jail; probably not even the managers responsible for putting profit above nuclear security would, either.

But the Army and the Department of Energy have no such profit incentive, and therefore have no incentives to cut corners or rely on broken technology. Instead they have incentives to do their jobs well, and protect Americans.

Government isn't a business. I hope someday more people understand this, and I hope more that it doesn't take a nuclear disaster to prove it.

Tuesday 14 July 2015 10:12:00 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Monday 13 July 2015

For a wildly successful heath care regime:

What’s amazing about this is that the good news about Obamacare isn’t really debatable. It’s a simple fact that there has been a stunningly rapid drop in the number of uninsured, coming from multiple independent sources. It’s also a simple fact that outlays on Medicaid and exchange subsidies are coming in well below projections.

You can argue that this is all temporary — that premiums will eventually skyrocket even though they haven’t yet, that the predicted death spiral will come back from the er, dead. But Obamacare is, by any measure, doing better so far than even its supporters expected.

Of course, in the data-free zone of the Republican Party, this simple truth isn't even understood, let alone understood to be true. It would be great to have a real opposition party in this country; someday, maybe, we can.

Monday 13 July 2015 12:04:40 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Thursday 9 July 2015

The Atlantic's CityLab blog has a host:

Train stations in America span all the styles of architecture this nation has to offer. There’s the the gorgeous Italianate train station in Jackson, Michigan. The Amtrak station in Raton, New Mexico, is a beautiful example of Mission Revival. Even the humble lil’ train station in Mineola, Texas, has got some flair. Whatever you might think about Orlando’s train station, it no doubt looks historic.

The stations I want to talk about are not those train stations. These are not the Art Deco transit hubs that look like vintage monuments to the future, or the Spanish Colonial stations that summon visions of desperados waiting for a train. These are the other train stations—the ones that make you wish you’d left the house a little later so you’d have to spend that much less time waiting at the station.

Warning: truly depressing train station photos follow. And depression, according to a new meta-analysis, damages your brain. So after looking at these photos, go for a walk, and then write your member of Congress to restore funding to Amtrak.

Thursday 9 July 2015 13:13:56 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | US | Travel#

Two by Josh Marshall this morning. First, on how Donald Trump has got the Republican National Committee chair near apoplexy:

If you're someone of [RNC chair Reince] Priebus' relative stature, approaching someone of Trump's arrogance and buffoonery, who is insulated from all of the pressures usually used to bring politicians to heel, you're not going to say, "Dude, STFU or else." I think you're probably to say something like "Dude, you're killing it. You've really struck a nerve. But a party can only handle so much of your awesomeness at once. Let's try to tone this down a bit."

The issue of course is that Trump has struck a nerve. It's not just his ability to get on TV or his (in political terms) limitless money. Trump's tirades against Mexicans have juiced his popularity among Republican primary voters, which is to say that his clown show has highlighted the fact that a lot of core Republican base voters are themselves hostile to immigrants and particularly ones from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

This does not detract one bit from the hypothesis that Trump is literally a clown. The more popular he becomes within the GOP, the more popcorn I reach for.

Then there's the hard-working Jeb Bush, who has hardly worked in his life and said yesterday that people need to work harder:

It goes without saying that it's probably not good politics to say your plan to move the country forward is that everyone needs to work longer hours. It approaches 47% level toxicity. Even more damning is that it makes zero sense in policy terms. Indeed, Jeb's 'work harder' prescription provides harrowing look at the level of derp that can be produced when you take a guy who isn't all that bright and push him to the head of the national leadership line without ever having put in an honest day's work or support himself in his life.

It's unclear to me whether Bush doesn't even fully understand the policies his advisors are trying to explain to him or whether this is just standard patrician work ethic morality. Whichever it is, the real structural problem in our economy is stagnant wages for more than a generation for most of the population. ... There's a decent argument that people working longer hours is the problem; it's definitely not the solution.

That sounds right. In fact, there's a good argument that a shorter work-week could help (says Forbes, Forbes I tell you!). But that doesn't fit with right-wing beliefs about working people, so as long as they have a majority in Congress, let's party like it's 1899.

Thursday 9 July 2015 13:04:28 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Wednesday 8 July 2015

Apparently Republican Maine governor Paul LePage (aka "the country's craziest governor") let "accidentally" let 19 bills become law by "forgetting" to veto them:

As the Bangor Daily News reported Tuesday evening, LePage appeared to be attempting to use the parliamentary procedure known as the pocket veto. By not signing the bills and "pocketing" them, LePage could under some circumstances have effectively vetoed them. In theory, that would have allowed the proposals to die without legislators having a chance to override his veto. But the pocket veto only works if the legislature has adjourned after the end of the second regular session. And there is the rub.

The clerk of the Maine House told TPM Wednesday morning that the legislature, which is nearing the end of the first regular session, has not adjourned. By not vetoing the bills within the required 10-day period, LePage allowed the bills he opposed -- some ferociously -- to become law.

Given that Maine is majority-Democratic, and LePage has deviated somewhat from his campaign persona by becoming a raging right-wing nutter, it seems possible to me that he allowed the bills to become law so (a) he could continue to grandstand on the issues without (b) actually signing bills he knew were pretty good for Maine.

But the actual reason this happened is most likely the omnibus explanation: stupidity.

Sometimes your opponent's own-goals are sweet indeed.

Wednesday 8 July 2015 13:23:24 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Thursday 2 July 2015

Remy Porter at The Daily WTF points out the implementation issues with marriage equality:

In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court revised the business requirements and integrity constraints on the marriage relationship, removing some legacy constraints and essentially updating to better reflect the actual needs of their end users. This policy decision now has to be implemented in every state, county, town and hamlet across the country. Every change breaks somebody’s workflow, and this one is no exception.

In the end, this might not be changing requirements, as much as it might be poor assumptions. We’ve all seen articles like Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time and Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. The choices we make in writing software can reveal our own assumptions and biases, and it behooves us in the industry to keep that in mind when interpreting business requirements. @qntm explores that idea from a database design perspective, both before the Supreme Court’s decision, and after.

Porter's post got me thinking about data design for marriage licenses, and the bad designs I've had to implement because of politics.

Thursday 2 July 2015 11:14:13 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | Software | Business#
Sunday 28 June 2015

The Chicago Pride Parade staging area is at the end of my street, so Parker and I had to at least see it. Money shot:

That's the Stanley Cup, back in Chicago where it belongs.

And just think of the hundreds of couples breaking up this weekend:

"Honey! We can get married now!"

"...um..."

Sunday 28 June 2015 13:42:48 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Kitchen Sink | US#
Saturday 27 June 2015

Oh, shit.

Tomorrow will be the most epic Pride Parade in Chicago's history.

It starts four blocks from my house, and the staging area extends down Montrose past the end of my street.

Good thing I'm not going to be exhausted from having a party tonight, or have anywhere to go tomorrow morning...

On the other hand, this is the coolest map I've seen in a long time:

States where Same-Sex Marriage is Legal

Updated 26 June 2015

Know hope.

Saturday 27 June 2015 07:56:59 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#
Friday 26 June 2015

A few minutes ago, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their 5-4 decision in Obergefell v Hodges:

Held: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.

The entire U.S. is now a marriage-equality jurisdiction. The ruling will take effect in just a couple of weeks, when the Court issues its mandates.

I'm glad this happened in my lifetime. This is great news for all couples, not just same-sex couples.

It'll take a while to digest the opinion and its four dissents (and you'll never guess who dissented).

Friday 26 June 2015 09:19:51 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Thursday 25 June 2015

A Facebook friend complained this morning that some of her friends had changed their profile photos to the Confederate battle flag, supporting what, no one seemed to know. My response:

It's interesting. We're the only country in the developed world where it's all right for a sizable number of regional governments to put up monuments to a rebellion we put down 150 years ago at a cost of 750,000 lives. Keep in mind, these rebels expressly took up arms to defend one of the two worst atrocities ever committed by an elected government in history. In the country that committed the *worst* atrocity in history, it's a *crime* to display the symbols of the political party that perpetrated it.

Let's follow England's example and mock rebel leaders with effigies and fireworks once a year. They have Guy Fawkes; we have Nathan Bedford Forrest. Except Fawkes was delusional and totally failed in his rebellion, while Forrest knew exactly what he was doing and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans before someone stopped him from doing it. If you think about it, no organization in history is responsible for more American deaths than the so-called Confederate States of America.

I don't know why we're even having this debate. The rebels failed, and slavery with them. And yet they have persisted for another 150 years trying to claw back as much racial inequality as they can. Enough.

Thursday 25 June 2015 10:32:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Wednesday 24 June 2015

TPM is doing a mitzvah in its coverage of the decline of Confederate memorabilia. Three articles published today:

Send to Kindle...

Wednesday 24 June 2015 15:42:38 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Tuesday 23 June 2015

The Republican Governor of South Carolina today ordered the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol. Josh Marshall lauds the (overdue) move:

[I]t is important to note that the incorporation of the Confederate battle flag into Southern state flags and flying it at capitol buildings isn't some relic of the post-Civil War days. It's quite new. In most cases it goes back a little over 50 years to the 1950s and early 1960s. In other words, the prominent public display of the flag (if not the popularity of the flag itself, though partly that too) doesn't commemorate the Civil War or the Confederacy, it was the emblem of the 'massive resistance' movement of the 1950s and 1960s in which white Southern state government sought to defy the federal government's effort to force desegration, black enfranchisement and formal legal and political equality for African-Americans on the South.

So why did [Sunday's] massacre, horrific as it is, lead - apparently - to the complete collapse of support for flying the Confederate battle flag? It's certainly not that Southern state governments are less conservative or Republican than they were 10 or 15 years ago. Far from it. And more specifically and relevantly, nor are they more progressive on race issues than a decade a more ago. So why? At a basic level, I'm not totally sure, thus my surprise. At some level, of course, it is the sheer horror of Dylann Roof's crime, his totally unambiguous motivation and his open use of the flag's symbolism. There's also a herd affect. Once Nicki Haley decided it was time to bring down the flag it probably became much, much harder for comparable leaders in other states to hold out. But neither explanation, to my mind, really captures the sea change. The best explanation I can think of is one David Kurtz suggested, which is generational. A lot of people who were alive and politically active are no longer with us. And it certainly stands to reason that that generational cohort would have been the staunchest in its resistance to the change.

The United States put down the pro-slavery rebellion 150 years ago at the cost of 3 million American lives. I'm glad the South is finally taking a small step towards adulthood.

Tuesday 23 June 2015 14:24:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Friday 19 June 2015

Today is the 150th anniversary of the liberation of Galveston by U.S. troops. TPM Cafe has an in-depth look at the event:

The historical origins of Juneteenth are clear. On June 19, 1865, U.S. Major General Gordon Granger, newly arrived with 1,800 men in Texas, ordered that “all slaves are free” in Texas and that there would be an “absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.” The idea that any such proclamation would still need to be issued in June 1865 – two months after the surrender at Appomattox - forces us to rethink how and when slavery and the Civil War really ended. And in turn it helps us recognize Juneteenth as not just a bookend to the Civil War but as a celebration and commemoration of the epic struggles of emancipation and Reconstruction.

During the Civil War, white planters forcibly moved tens of thousands of slaves to Texas, hoping to keep them in bondage and away from the U.S. Army. Even after Lee surrendered, Confederate Texans dreamed of sustaining the rebel cause there. Only on June 2, 1865, after the state’s rebel governor had already fled to Mexico, did Confederate Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith agree to surrender the state. For more than two weeks, chaos reigned as people looted the state treasury, and no one was certain who was in charge.

Ah, Texas. Remind me again, why'd we let them back in?

Friday 19 June 2015 12:48:18 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Wednesday 27 May 2015

Via reader EB, a Chicago Magazine article from 1980 wonders where the gentrification really is (because it was 20 years in the future):

Thus it was that Yuppies began regentrifying poverty areas along the lakefront, such as Lincoln Park, Old Town, New Town, Lakeview, and Uptown. As population expert Pierre de Vise has noted, these singles are able to establish beachheads in “the buffer zones separating the Gold Coast from the slum” because the singles are less concerned with poor schools and street crime than middle-class families. The families, which had been fleeing to the suburbs since about 1950, continued to flee—would you send your child to a Chicago public school? Between 1970 and 1975 alone, the number of white households in Chicago with children dropped from 488,000 to 447,000, a loss of 41,000 households and the biggest drop in any category of the Census Bureau’s housing survey. Nevertheless, the arrival of the Yuppies was the first spontaneous evidence of new urban life in 30 years, and so the “urban renaissance” was hastily proclaimed.

But the word “renaissance” usually implies a cultural rebirth pervading all of society. The renaissance in Chicago has, in fact, been limited to a few oases. Of the 30,000 new housing units constructed in Chicago between 1970 and 1975, nearly half are concentrated in just 28 of the city’s 840 census tracts; as you might have guessed, all 28 of those tracts are on or near the lakefront.

Despite the frantic real-estate activity along the lakefront today, a 1975 study by Pierre de Vise turned up entire neighborhoods—mostly in black ghettos or blue-collar areas—where there hadn’t been a single conventional house sale all year; virtually all of the conventional mortgage sales, de Vise found, were restricted to the North and Northwest sides, the Far Southwest Side, and lakefront houses and condominiums.

Only, the hated Yuppies moving into those communities actually did reduce crime and improve schools, but also drove out minorities and the poor. Chicago today would be unrecognizable to people from 1980. In fact, people in my own family who moved away from Chicago in the 1970s cannot comprehend $500,000 condos at Wells and Division, nor walking alone through Oz Park after dark. And they certainly would never send a child to Lincoln Park High School.

We've got a long way to go to have a truly sustainable city, but we're on the right track (despite pensions). I'm glad to be living here now.

Wednesday 27 May 2015 09:39:49 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Geography | US#
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Tuesday 19 May 2015 13:13:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | London | US | World | Travel#
Monday 18 May 2015

The Economist quotes a study finding that a quarter of American schoolchildren believe Canada is a dictatorship:

Most of the closed [Chicago Public School] district schools were in deprived areas. Nearly three-quarters of the children were black and more than 90% were poor. The report [from the Thomas Fordham Institute] concluded that “though fraught with controversy and political peril, shuttering bad schools might just be a saving grace for students who need the best education they can get.”

They do. And nationwide, many are not getting it. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, which periodically tests sample-groups of America’s children on various subjects, this week released disappointing results for history, geography and civics for 13-year-olds. Pupils showed no improvement since 2010. Most know little about history: only 1% earned an “advanced” score in that subject. Geography scores are even worse. Most did not understand time zones, and a quarter thought Canada was a dictatorship. Results have been flat since 1994.

Speaking of Chicago public services, now that Illinois actually has to follow its constitution and pay the pensions it promised, the only way to make up the deficit is (obviously) to raise taxes. Crain's takes a look at what that would mean. Despite the newspaper's general right-wing slant, even they see the logic in it:

Gov. Bruce Rauner had proposed reducing state employee retirement payments to partly close a nearly $6.2 billion deficit in fiscal 2016. But there also are big pots of money to tap, if the governor and legislators can overcome their distaste for raising taxes.

For instance, raising income tax rates 1 percentage point would bring in nearly $4 billion, eliminating two-thirds of the deficit in one fell swoop, according to one estimate. Taxing services, such as those provided by lawyers and consultants, could yield more than $900 million annually, while taxing some retirement income could produce between $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion.

“Given the state's politics and short amount of time between now and the start of the state's fiscal year, it's hard to see how some sort of temporary tax increase or tax-base broadening could be avoided,” says Carol Portman, president of the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois, a Springfield-based fiscal policy group.

We had a 5% income tax for a short while until the legislature allowed it to lapse. Now we're back to 3%, one of the smallest in the country (of states that have income taxes). Even though it would affect me directly, I'm not only in favor of increasing state taxes to 5%, but also of adding a 1% income tax for Chicago workers (not residents) that would work the same way New York's does.

Stop trying to destroy state and city services in order to make tax cuts seem reasonable. Well-funded public services, including pensions, make cities better to live in, as Europe has demonstrated for 60 years.

Monday 18 May 2015 08:45:31 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#
Thursday 14 May 2015

Fortunately, I have a couple of long flights coming up in two weeks. Unfortunately, not all of this will be relevant then:

Tonight I'm taking a short break to go to the Wait! Wait! Don't tell me taping, which is conveniently located two blocks from my office. And tomorrow I might have some time to think.

Thursday 14 May 2015 16:19:47 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | US | World | Cool links | Weather#

After Moody's cut our credit rating this week, people are starting to compare Chicago with Detroit:

here are five reasons, now more than ever, that suggest Chicago is akin to Detroit—or, by some measures, even worse. Or, as Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner put it last month: “Chicago is in deep, deep yogurt.”

BIG, SCARY NUMBERS: Chicago's unfunded liability from four pension funds is $20 billion and growing, hitting every city resident with an obligation of about $7,400. Detroit's, whose population of about 689,000 is roughly a quarter of Chicago's, had a retirement funding gap of $3.5 billion, meaning each resident was liable for $5,100. A January 2014 report from Morningstar Municipal Credit Research showed that among the 25 largest cities and Puerto Rico, Chicago had the highest per-capita pension liability.

Yes, it's bad, but wow. Has the author ever been to Detroit?

But yeah, it's pretty bad.

Thursday 14 May 2015 11:20:58 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#
Wednesday 13 May 2015

It surprised no one at all that Moody's cut Chicago's credit rating to junk yesterday:

Chicago today became the first victim of the Illinois Supreme Court's ruling on pensions, as Moody's Investors Service reduced the city's credit rating to junk bond status.

In a statement that specifically cited the court's May 8 decision overturning cuts in state pensions, the credit rating agency said the city's options now “have narrowed considerably.”

The downgrade is a blow to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who during the mayoral campaign stressed his expertise to deal with the city's financial challenges. Emanuel labeled Moody's decision “irresponsible,” but did not deny its impact.

The downgrade also is a major blow to taxpayers because the city's cost of borrowing will rise, perhaps a lot, even if other bond ratings agencies do not follow Moody's lead.

If Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Financial Services follow suit, the city's financial position could spiral downward—potentially forcing the city to come up with as much as $500 million quickly.

I wonder if it's possible that, now that the city's history of corruption and shady dealing is costing us real money, perhaps things will start to improve? I mean, could voters rise up and punish the self-dealing politicians who got us here?

Ah, ha ha. Ha.

Wednesday 13 May 2015 11:23:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#
Tuesday 12 May 2015

First, because NASA's reputation is such that climate-change deniers have difficulty refuting the agency, Republicans in Congress are trying to get NASA out of the discussion:

As has been widely reported, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee recently approved a bill that would cut at least $300 million from NASA's earth-science budget. This comes after the head of the Senate committee overseeing NASA claimed the agency should stop doing earth-science and focus only on space exploration.

Honestly, when it comes to getting the science of climate change right, who are you going to believe? A radio talk show host or NASA? The angry denialists in the comments section of this blog or NASA? The politician who says, "Well, I am not a scientist" or the scientists at NASA?

Then, closer to home, a group of residents in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood really don't want a Whole Foods Market in their back yards:

The grocery giant's current Lakeview store, at 3300 N. Ashland Ave. opened in 1996 and is 31,500 square-foot—a speck compared to the labyrinthine, 79,000 square-foot Whole Foods located near North Avenue. That is why the company plans on opening up a 75,000 square-foot store one block away, at 3201 N. Ashland Ave. The building will feature 300 parking spots on the first floor and the basement, and a full store on the second story.

Speaking for the Melrose Street Concerned Residents, Tricey Morelli summed up the fears of the locals:

"Subconsciously, you see a big building like this and there's no windows into the building, so it makes you think, like, 'Why aren't there windows on the main floor? Are they fearful that someone's going to bash the windows? Is there going to be crime?' It kind of almost makes it look a little bit like a mean street."

This woman is speaking about a Whole Foods store in Lakeview, which has us confused. Are there roving bands of recent college graduates and moms with strollers running around, smashing windows and defacing property? We certainly can't discount the possibility.

I really don't understand what it's like going through life afraid of fantasies...

Tuesday 12 May 2015 14:21:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US | Weather | Astronomy#
Monday 11 May 2015

It's just past 9am on Monday and already I'm reduced to this kind of blog post. Tomorrow I may have some more time to read these things:

  • Cranky Flier analyzes Malaysia Airlines' struggles.
  • Microsoft is building subsea fibre cables between the U.S. and Europe and Asia.
  • TPM explains exactly what Jade Helm 15 really is.
  • Missed Microsoft Ignite this year? Here's the Channel 9 page.
  • We're starting to set up JetBrains TeamCity to handle our continuous integration needs. Explain, however, why the user manual is all video? Guys. Seriously. I haven't got time for this.
  • So now that Illinois actually has to pay the pensions we promised to pay, what now? (Hello, 9% income tax?)

Four-hour design review session is imminent. I may post later today...or I may lock myself in my office and stare at the wall.

Monday 11 May 2015 09:17:21 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | Geography | US | Business | Cloud | Windows Azure#
Wednesday 6 May 2015

It must be so sad living as a right-winger. The world keeps changing, and it's scary. They just don't understand the things they see around them, so they get scared, and say things that make people laugh at them.

Today, for example, a sizable chunk of the wingnut crowd seems to believe that the U.S. Army is trying to take over Texas. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert have, predictably, run with this paranoia. New Republic's Brian Beutler examines why:

This particular kind of theory has a unique allure. And I think it’s directly traceable to a southern—and particularly a Texan—political culture that thrives on civil war–style fantasies.

There’s a good amount of mythical and self-important thinking going on here, but there is also a very real sense in which these conservatives conceive of themselves as beleaguered, bent over a barrel by the federal government, living every day at the breaking point. It helps explain why Cruz believed a missive about using the Second Amendment as an “ultimate check against government tyranny” would make for a winning fundraising pitch, and why South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (also running for president) had to remind him that armed insurrection didn’t work out so well for his state a while back.

But this reasoning collapses without a foil. The secessionist impulse can’t be attributable to the ebbs and flows of social policy alone. If we live our lives on the razor’s edge of rebellion, there must be an equally reactionary adversary somewhere in the middle distance threatening our autonomy. That's what gives rise to a projection of the kind we’re seeing in Texas today. Without an enemy, real or imagined, threatening our autonomy, we're not patriots. We're merely zealots.

I...I just don't know, man.

Wednesday 6 May 2015 14:24:43 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Friday 1 May 2015

Citylab has a must-read on Spiro Agnew and the legitimization of right-wing suburban fears that led to the current policing crisis in America:

Initially, Governor Agnew offered a rather moderate response to the riot. But he soon took the lead of a conservative backlash that blamed radical agitators (that should sound familiar) and liberalism for nurturing black misbehavior. Agnew's pivot to the right came as the riot subsided, on April 11, when he met the state's mainstream black leaders and accused them of harboring a "perverted concept of race loyalty" that "inflamed" militants. Baltimore's fires were not "lit from an overwhelming sense of frustration and despair," he said, but were instead "kindled at the suggestion and with the instruction of the advocates of violence," like Stokely Carmichael.

Agnew, who served as executive of Baltimore County before his election as governor, became the consummate new right suburbanite. Indeed, he was the nation's first high-profile suburban politician, according to Levy. Agnew was Nixon's attack dog, holding up the ideals of Nixon's silent majority over the loud minorities in the streets and promoting a conservative manliness in the face of what he saw as an effeminate liberalism that indulged black and student protesters. And for many suburban voters, he provided a more sober alternative to the rabid George Wallace.

There's a straight line from the civil unrest in 1967 and 1968 to the anger we're seeing today. People have been saying for years that increased policing and incarceration is not helping anyone. And here we are, less than 50 years from the last time we failed to deal with the problems faced by cities, facing the same problems again.

Friday 1 May 2015 13:17:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | US#
Wednesday 29 April 2015

A massive effort to rebuild the hundred-year-old El tracks between Howard and Lawrence moved forward this week with the CTA's announcement that work will start in 2017:

Construction will be divided into two segments: The first is expected to keep the Lawrence and Berwyn stations closed for about 18 months; the second will involve closing the Berwyn, Argyle and Lawrence stations and restricting the Bryn Mawr station to southbound boarding only for 18 months to two years.

The station redesigns are expected to include new elevators; wider platforms to reduce boarding times; larger canopies to guard against the elements; and more benches. New bridges won't require pillars in the median, which should provide better sightlines for drivers, [CTA spokeswoman Tammy] Chase said.

This project will complement the ongoing UP-North improvements Metra has been working on since 2013.

This interests me even more than it used to because IDTWHQ is moving to the affected area in just under seven weeks.

Wednesday 29 April 2015 10:12:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US | Travel#
Tuesday 28 April 2015

I had my office door open most of the day and people kept walking in and speaking before I could acknowledge them. Hilarity ensued. Then I closed my office door and people who had appointments to talk to me simply walked away without knocking.

While that fun was happening, I didn't read any of these:

Off to more meetings.

Tuesday 28 April 2015 14:45:07 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | Travel | Work#
Monday 27 April 2015

To read:

Back to cleaning up after a production bug this weekend.

Monday 27 April 2015 13:45:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | Geography | Kitchen Sink | US | World#
Thursday 23 April 2015

Wow, I have a lot of things on my Kindle. And I'm adding more:

Back to debugging...

Photo: Chicago at night. Note the yellow-orange sodium vapor lamps.

Thursday 23 April 2015 15:08:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Geography | US#
Wednesday 22 April 2015

Now that Chicago's bike share has hundreds of stations, its efficiencies are becoming clearer:

But what about convenience? Recently Divvy held its second annual data visualization challenge, and one of the winners, by Shaun Jacobsen at Transitized, compares the speed of Divvy with the speed of the CTA. And Divvy wins by a nose.

Jacobsen’s “Who’s Faster” project starts with a look at the 1,000 top “station pairs"—i.e. the places that people most often go from point A to point B using Divvy. Then, those are compared to the same route on the CTA at noon on a Monday.

And a couple patterns emerge. One is that the bulk of station-to-station trips are faster, centering on five minutes’ savings. It might not sound like much, but it adds up; Jacobsen calculates 32,023 hours saved over 571,634 trips. The other is that the most heavily-used station pairs tend to save more time than less frequently-used ones, as if people are starting to figure out how it works.

Cool stuff.

Wednesday 22 April 2015 15:29:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Biking | Chicago | Geography | US#
Friday 17 April 2015

New Republic's John Paul Rollert explains:

That a flight on Spirit will occasionally cost you less than $40 highlights for its defenders the airline’s essential promise: bargain basement ticket prices. “Offering our low fares requires doing some things that some people complain about,” [Spirit’s CEO, Ben] Baldanza wrote in an email to the Dallas Morning News last April, after the paper ran a story about the egregious number of complaints his company receives. “[H]owever, these reduce costs which gives our customers the lowest fares in the industry.” The contention is not unreasonable, it's merely disingenuous. Baldanza would have us believe that the frustration with Spirit is simply a matter of obtuse passengers confusing the constraints of a low-cost carrier with a wanton unwillingness to afford First Class frills. Most people, however, don’t expect artisanal mustard at McDonald's or concierge service at Save-a-Lot. The discontent is not a consequence of failing to meet ridiculous expectations, but flouting those that are entirely reasonable.

Success breeds admirers. In December, Delta announced that it was introducing five categories of service, including its answer to Spirit’s Bare Fare: Basic Economy. In addition to its precarious grammar, Basic Economy does not allow passengers to pick their seats, change their itineraries, or fly standby. The move is merely the most recent evidence that Spirit has become a trendsetter—arguably, the trendsetter—in the American airlines industry. But what trend is it exactly? Baldanza has repeatedly affirmed that Spirit is refining the art of offering affordable airfare, an effort which he qualifies as nothing less than an essentially democratic endeavor. He has a point, insofar that we live in a world where social mobility and simple mobility increasingly go hand-in-hand. Yet other low-cost carriers have long provided models of budget air travel without engendering nearly the angst of Spirit.

This seems like a familiar story. I mean that literally: didn't someone else run almost the same story a few months back?

Friday 17 April 2015 13:52:14 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | US | Business#
Tuesday 14 April 2015

Chip-and-PIN cards have ruled Europe for almost 10 years, because (a) they reduce fraud that (b) customers are liable for over there. In the U.S., where banks are liable, consumers haven't pushed as hard for the security measure, so it's rare. I've had a chipped card for two years now but even my bank hasn't gone the whole way to requiring PINs for purchases with it.

Chase, however, has had enough, and has decided to issue them to everyone:

Chip cards have significantly cut into fraud globally. For example, in the United Kingdom, card fraud in stores dropped by 75 percent from 2004 — when a large-scale rollout began — to 2012, said Zilvinas Bareisis, a senior analyst for Celent, a consulting firm to the financial services industry.

A December 2014 report by the Payments Security Task Force, whose members include Visa, Bank of America and Riverwoods-based Discover, estimates that 47 percent of U.S. terminals will accept chip cards by the end of 2015.

Chase, which holds almost 25 percent of deposits in the Chicago area, said its rollout here will be followed nationally.

Other banks are slowly introducing chip cards. BMO Harris Bank, which holds 12 percent of deposits in the Chicago area, said it recently began issuing chip debit cards. Any new or replacement debit cards include chips, spokesman Patrick O'Herlihy said.

It's sometimes amusing and sometimes sad that the U.S. lags the rest of the OECD in technology. This one is sad. I'm glad Chase is making this push. We could finally have chip-and-PIN cards in time for Europe to roll out whatever comes next.

Tuesday 14 April 2015 18:14:28 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | World | Security#
Monday 13 April 2015

The Trib expects noise complaints to take off:

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected within the next four months to release a preliminary report based on thousands of computer-generated flight simulations involving what will become O'Hare's fifth east-west runway and a subsequent runway that the city plans to open in 2020.

All this work, however, might not bring relief after a record year for O'Hare jet noise complaints. The simulations are aimed in part at finding the best way to squeeze in hundreds more daily flights at the airport.

Suburbs expected to hear more jet noise as the result of the 7,500-foot runway opening this fall include Bensenville, Franklin Park, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale and Addison, FAA and city aviation officials say.

So, people in Bensenville—which lies along the southern edge of O'Hare and is notable for its immense rail classification yard—are unhappy with their noisy neighbor. Keep in mind, the runway plans have been around for over 10 years. And jet noise today is far lower than before.

Monday 13 April 2015 15:17:28 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | Geography | US#
Saturday 11 April 2015

The New York Times has the story:

Mrs. Clinton is expected to begin her campaign with a video message on social media, followed by a visit to important early-primary states next week, said two people briefed on her plans.

But for all the attention paid to how Mrs. Clinton would reveal her 2016 candidacy, little has been said about her reasons for mounting another presidential bid. Her campaign rollout is expected to provide voters, particularly users of Twitter, Facebook and other social media, a succinct rationale that she is best positioned to address an American electorate that has seen virtually stagnant wages for middle-income earners over the last 15 years.

Meanwhile, the remnants of New Republic caution that she has become a single point of failure for the party:

In Hillary Clinton’s case, though, there’s still a good argument that the Democratic Party could use a contested primary this cycle: not to toughen Clinton’s calluses, but to build some redundancy into the presidential campaign. It may even be the case that some of these Democrats with rattled nerves are less anxious about Clinton’s prowess against Republicans than about the fact that all of the party’s hopes now rest on her shoulders. Her campaign has become a single point of failure for Democratic politics. If she wins in 2016, she won’t ride into office with big congressional supermajorities poised to pass progressive legislation. But if she loses, it will be absolutely devastating for liberalism.

If you’re faithful to the odds, then most of this anxiety is misplaced. Clinton may have slipped in the polls by virtue of an email scandal and her return to the partisan trenches more generally. But she's still more popular and better known than all of the Republicans she might face in the general, her name evokes economic prosperity, rather than global financial calamity, the economy is growing right now, and Democrats enjoy structural advantages in presidential elections, generally.

If nobody serious challenges Hillary Clinton, nobody can be her understudy. In the near term that isn’t a problem, but if doubts about her inevitability develop late in the year or early next, the placid silence in the Democratic field will grow eerie.

We're still a long way from the 2016 election. Clinton may be the best we have, or she may just be the best one running. But looking at the other guys, I can't help but think we're still going to win.

Saturday 11 April 2015 10:08:21 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Thursday 2 April 2015

It appears that not everyone realized yesterday's post about RFRA was an April Fool, possibly because shortly after I posted it both Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson backpedaled:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc praised his action.

Indiana's governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). After it was enacted last week, the state was hit with protests, threatened boycotts and warnings from powerful U.S. firms of pending economic damage for being seen as standing against U.S. ideals of inclusion.

Note that both Hutchinson and Pence were upset with the political response to their states' bills, not to the obvious discriminatory aspect to them following Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Both the SCOTUS decision and the RFRA bills (as a collective) passed since then are bad law. But read the GOP's backpedaling carefully: to them, that's a feature, not a bug. They're just surprised anyone objected.

Thursday 2 April 2015 16:15:33 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Wednesday 1 April 2015

Well, this surprised me this morning:

Surprising critics and supporters alike, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson (R) announced today he plans to veto the religious freedom bill passed yesterday by the state legislature. The bill in Arkansas is similar to an Indiana law passed last week, with both diverging in certain respects from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That act was passed in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, Arkansas’s most famous political son.

Both bills allow for larger corporations, if they are substantially owned by members with strong religious convictions, to claim that a ruling or mandate violates their religious faith, something reserved for individuals or family businesses in other versions of the law. Both allow religious parties to go to court to head off a “likely” state action that they fear will impinge on their beliefs, even if it has not yet happened.

Citing concerns that the language of the Arkansas bill could allow companies to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation, Hutchinson said he realized the bill "wasn't really about religious freedom."

"Clearly this is an effort of a small group of small-minded people to enforce their narrow religious beliefs on society as a whole," Hutchinson said at a press conference at the governor's mansion. "It's exactly the kind of thing that makes people think Republicans are trying to drag the country back to the 19th Century."

"Look, we're the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, men of great vision and talent who worked hard to protect Americans of all stripes. It demeans us to keep passing this kind of divisive, negative legislation that has no purpose other than to express the outrage some religious bigots feel that the world has moved on from their medieval world-view," Hutchinson said.

"I'm a God-fearing Christian, but if I sign this law, I'm no better than those Taliban idiots who really believe the 11th Century was a better time. Giving in to this gay-baiting crap isn't in line with what Jesus taught us, and that it was sent to me during Holy Week just underscores how petty and bigoted some people in the Arkansas legislature really are," Hutchinson said.

"It's time for real leadership in this state so we can get out of 45th place in education, 45th place in poverty, and 48th place in per-capita GDP. It's embarrassing. As governor, I'm not going to stand for this bread-and-circuses nonsense when there's real work to be done," Hutchinson said.

In other news, Britain's University of Leicester will be changing its name to King Richard University, according to the Independent. According to the newspaper, "The proposal will be debated by the university’s senate next month. It is expected to agree to the institution formally being rechristened as King Richard University from September 2016."

Wednesday 1 April 2015 09:30:31 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | World#
Tuesday 31 March 2015

...sort of. But that's not important right now. I'm just spiking some articles to read later:

OK, time for a vendor phone call...

Tuesday 31 March 2015 15:22:56 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | US | Religion | Business | Cool links#
Monday 30 March 2015

My catching-up on the Netflix version of Michael Dobbs' House of Cards has taken a brief hiatus as the friend in question has actual work and family obligations. I'm taking advantage of the pause to go back to the original BBC miniseries with Ian Richardson in the role of F.U.

You know what? It'ts better. It has a faster pace, more sharply-drawn characters, it's funnier, and it isn't sanctimonius—it's an actual satire. Francis Urquhart is evil, and doesn't care that we in the audience know it. Francis Underwood wants us to like him. That may be the difference between the UK and the US in a nutshell.

Still, in three hours of the BBC miniseries, I find myself laughing out loud at Urquhart's deviousness and at the lampooning of British political archetypes (that, granted, require some context about British politics post-Thatcher). The Netflix series just seems so...sanctimonious. Melodramatic. Long.

The British understand satire. Americans, not so much. Comparing the two versions of House of Cards side by side has been an education.

Sunday 29 March 2015 20:42:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | London | US | World#
Thursday 26 March 2015

Sigh. I just don't have the slacker skills required to read these things during the work day:

Continuing, now, with a database migration...

Thursday 26 March 2015 15:17:39 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | US#
Wednesday 25 March 2015

Yah, Utah, for finding yet one more way to take us back to the 19th Century:

In 2011, the European Union banned the export of lethal injection drugs to the United States in an effort to save America from itself. The reasoning behind the embargo was queasily naïve: Without the drugs, European legislators reasoned, American officials would be at a loss to carry out executions, and the practice would perhaps come to an end. Though the ban did slow the rate of American executions, it now seems Europe’s humanitarians underestimated old-fashioned American ingenuity. On Monday, Utah’s governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law that will allow firing squads to be used in place of lethal injections should the drugs be unavailable.

Comfort does not come any colder. It is the year 2015, and we Americans are idly musing about what particular methods kill people most harmlessly. There probably are, as Stroud and McCoy suggest, only miniscule differences in suffering when most viable methods are carried out precisely, because life is fragile and relatively easy to snuff. The bizarre reality, then, is that we are content to argue about the last two or three minutes of a person’s life, when the entire procedure of a death sentence is an experiment in torture.

The debate over particular death penalty methods obscures the cruelty of the entire scheme.

Capital punishment is, to me, a prima facie violation of the 8th Amendment. Unfortunately it's not unusual in the U.S. We're the only country in our peer group—the most advanced and powerful nations on the planet—who kill prisoners and children. It needs to stop. I'm glad Illinois ended the practice years ago, but it's not enough.

Wednesday 25 March 2015 14:07:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#
Tuesday 24 March 2015

With meetings and a new developer on the team occupying almost all my time today, I've put these things aside for the half-hour I have at 6:30 to read them:

Now to jot down some policies on our new Microsoft Surface setups...

Tuesday 24 March 2015 16:32:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | US | Cool links | Windows Azure#
Sunday 22 March 2015

Excellent take-down of one of my least favorite historical figures by Bruce Levine:

Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

For Rand, all altruists were manipulators. What could be more seductive to kids who discerned the motives of martyr parents, Christian missionaries and U.S. foreign aiders? Her champions, Nathaniel Branden still among them, feel that Rand’s view of “self-interest” has been horribly misrepresented. For them, self-interest is her hero architect Howard Roark turning down a commission because he couldn’t do it exactly his way. Some of Rand’s novel heroes did have integrity, however, for Rand there is no struggle to discover the distinction between true integrity and childish vanity. Rand’s integrity was her vanity, and it consisted of getting as much money and control as possible, copulating with whomever she wanted regardless of who would get hurt, and her always being right. To equate one’s selfishness, vanity, and egotism with one’s integrity liberates young people from the struggle to distinguish integrity from selfishness, vanity, and egotism.

The whole thing is a good Sunday afternoon read.

Sunday 22 March 2015 12:41:56 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | Religion#
Friday 20 March 2015

Things I will read or explore more this weekend:

Must run.

Friday 20 March 2015 16:04:20 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Geography | US | World | Cool links#
Thursday 19 March 2015

The National Aeronautical and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported today that the climatalogical winter of December 2014 through February 2015 was the warmest on record, despite what happened in the eastern United States and Canada:

During December–February, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.42°F (0.79°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for December–February in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.05°F (0.03°C).

During December–February, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.63°F (1.46°C) above the 20th century average. This tied with 2007 as the highest for December–February in the 1880–2015 record.

Even with record cold from Maine to Alabama, it was the 19th warmest winter in the Lower 48—in part because five states in the west experienced record heat and six more got into the 90th percentile.

Thursday 19 March 2015 09:45:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | World | Weather#
Wednesday 18 March 2015

Just hours after a jury handed down a $26-million verdict against the company, Yellow Cab filed for bankruptcy protection overnight:

The verdict was reached around 7 p.m. Tuesday. At 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, Yellow Cab Affiliation Inc. of Chicago filed for Chapter 11 reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, according to the court documents.

In its filing, company officials said Yellow Cab is "experiencing financial difficulty due to, among other things, a judgment entered against the company in the Circuit Court of Cook County."

Robert Clifford, the lead attorney for the couple, said the bankruptcy filing means "they may never see a dime."

Given that the verdict was announced around 7 p.m. and the court hearing ended at 8 p.m., the bankruptcy filing must have been a "long planned strategy to avoid accountability and responsibility," Clifford said.

Not that taxi companies have a history of shady dealings, despite my ongoing efforts to retrieve an insurance deductible from an incident a few months ago. And not that private-ride companies are grinding down taxi profits even more. But still, this is egregious.

Wednesday 18 March 2015 14:51:43 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#
Wednesday 11 March 2015

Rebecca Leber at New Republic states the obvious:

The phrase, “believe in climate change” returns almost a quarter-million Google results. As McCarthy said, science is neither a faith nor a religion, yet the term belief pervades media and politics. Why do advocates so consistently play along with the climate-change-denier narrative?

Conservatives have long drawn comparisons between climate change science and a fervent religion. A 2013 National Review column articulated the parallels thus: “Religion has ritual. Global-warming alarmism has recycling and Earth Day celebrations. Some religions persecute heretics. Some global-warming alarmists identify ‘denialists’ and liken them to Holocaust deniers.”

Leber makes good points, but it's not a great article. I'm posting it because I agree with her main point, and also because it's an example of the slide in quality at TNR since they destroyed their editorial board.

Wednesday 11 March 2015 13:35:15 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | World | Weather | Writing#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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