The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

No Cubs game tonight

Actually, there will be a Cubs game, in about 10 minutes, but I won't be there, for the following reasons: It's cold out, it's raining, and I have a financial accounting exam in about a week for which I am slightly more prepared than I am to swim the English Channel.

Instead of rainy Cubs photos, then, here is a great post about ghostwriting:

I recognize the paradox [of ghostwriting celebrity memoirs]: the bookstores are already happy to sell this kind of fraud, so why can't online authors engage in the same sort of duplicity? The answer is that online authors need to err on the side of honesty and integrity in order to support not only their own work, but the internet as both a medium and distribution platform.

... Speaking of frauds, do you remember Milli Vanilli? They’re a Grammy-winning singing duo who had to give their Grammy back when it was revealed that the people singing the Grammy-winning song weren't the stage-act duo who accepted the award. C+C Music Factory got into the same kind of hot water when they replaced a full-figured singer on one of their hit songs with a shapely non-singer for that song's music video.

As for the Cubs, well, they were eliminated mid-May, so oh well. Pitchers and catchers come back in five months.

Strange maps, including good beer

Via Tom Hollander comes Strange Maps, a blog I will have to read through when I get a free moment next year. The blog supports Frank Jacobs' forthcoming book, Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities. The blog starts with "Lunatic Asylum Districts in Pennsylvania," moving through "The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World" and "Heineken's 'Eurotopia'" on its random walk through maps. Very cool blog.

Example: a map showing the best beer in America, based on the number of medals won, with a handy refiguring of the results by population:

The top 10, reshuffled to reflect the number of medals per million of inhabitants, looks quite different, reflecting a dominance by states with a strong micro-brewing tradition:

  1. Colorado – 64.4
  2. Oregon – 42.5
  3. Wisconsin – 38.6
  4. Washington – 16.2
  5. Missouri – 15
  6. Pennsylvania – 13.5
  7. Massachusetts – 12.6
  8. California – 12.8
  9. Texas – 5.6
  10. New York – 5.1

Also from Hollander, a report that Samoa changed sides:

As sirens and church bells wailed across Samoa just before 6am on Monday, drivers obediently stopped their cars. Then, after instructions issued over the radio by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, they shifted to the other side of the road and ushered in history.

"After this announcement you will all be permitted to move to the other side of the road, to begin this new era in our history," Mr Tuilaepa told his people, warning: "Don't drive if you are sleepy, drunk or just had a fight with your wife."

Good advice, that.

Missed my own anniversary!

Last Thursday, The Daily Parker turned three.

Actually, yesterday, the dog turned 2 years, 5 months; but the blog is three years old.

And in honor of this august day in November, I hit "Post" three times before correcting all the typos.

Daily Parker post #1000

Yes, this is my 1,000th post since this blog started in November 2005.

I had hoped to write a long, introspective essay on blogging in general and this blog in specific over the years, but it turns out I have work to do today, so that will have to wait until the 2,000th post or so. (Many of you are fighting back tears, I know; though I suspect they're tears of joy.)

No, today I'm just going to mention the two most immediately relevant things that confronted me on my way to work this morning.

First, in the past 24 hours, the temperature in Chicago has dropped 27°C. Spot the cold front:

Second, my preferred candidate, John Edwards, for whom I had planned to vote today at lunch, has dropped out of the race. So I'll vote tomorrow, once I formulate Plan B.

Cool little tool

I've just spent a few minutes putting together a little countdown clock for my blog. (Credit goes to Kris van der Mast for the code sample.)

What does it do? Well, it's driving the Dubya Clock and Other Countdown tools on the nav bar to the right.

Today's Daily Parker

Happy dog with tennis ball:

I'm starting a new project on Monday that will consume tons o' time. The good news is that Parker will be with me in the office probably four days a week. The bad news is that "Today's Daily Parker" will become "The Daily Parker Roundup" starting next week. In other words, The Daily Parker may not have daily Parker for a while. Somehow, I think we'll all survive.