:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

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:: 11.29.2004 ::  

New comix!

Check out the new links on the left. W00t!

:: Deb 2:18 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

New/old photo

Here's a semi-abstract pic I took of a neighbor's tree and a sunset-lit cloud.

:: Deb 1:48 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

More on the CA stem cell proposition

Yeah, so I stand by my vote against this Prop. It sounded like a bad idea when so many of our schools are going broke, and - surprise surprise - there's not a whole lotta oversight built into the measure. Thanks to Toshi for the link.

On a more positive note, stem cells can be obtained from sources other than embryos, and have been used - successfully - to help at least one paralyzed woman walk again.

:: Deb 1:35 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.24.2004 ::  

A few more election tidbits

CNN changed it's exit poll results for Ohio in a suspicious way just after midnight on 11/3.

At 12:21am, with 1,963 respondents, CNN showed Kerry ahead of Bush: 51/49 among men, 53/47 among women. A decent lead, though not a huge one. Then, at 1:41am, with 2,020 respondents (that's just under 60 more people polled than they had reported over an hour before), the results changed drastically; Bush now led Kerry, 52/47 among men, 50/50 among women. You can see a screen capture of the changes on Democratic Underground. Other posters to this page noted that MSNBC did the same thing, and another noted at 2am that they had done the same thing with Florida's exit polls.

Found on Daily KOS (which has more relevant statistical tidbits if yer interested) while searching for an answer to Zak's question from that post on 11/10. Still looking for the answer...

More on the exit poll discrepancies, state-by-state:
New Hampshire, which has electronic voting but provides verified receipts, exit polling is within 0.1 percent of the actual vote. Kerry led by 3 percent in exit polling, and 2.9 percent in the actual vote.

Maine, the final state for which analysis of exit polling was conducted before the AP “resampled” their data, was in the Kerry column by 7.5 percent; the end result put Kerry up 8 percent, a variance of 0.5 percent. Maine has no electronic voting.

In Florida, Bush led exit polling by CNN of more than three million voters by just 5355 votes. Yet he led by 326,000 in the end result. This morning, CNN changed their exit polling to favor Bush, saying that had overweighted African American voters [Note: resampling in this way cannot account for the huge swing in male/female ratios you can see above - Deb].

In Wisconsin, where exit polls put Kerry up seven percent, Bush has a lead of one percent, an unexplained difference of eight percent.

In New Mexico, Kerry led Bush by 3.8 percent, yet Bush leads Kerry by 3 percent in actual reported voting.

In Minnesota, where a new law sharply restricts reporters’ access to polls, Kerry led 9.6 percent in exit polling. Actual voting counts found that Bush trailed by 5 percent, with a 5 percent discrepancy favoring Bush.

Ohio, which does have paper trail capability but does not mandate receipts, had exits showed Kerry and Bush in a dead heat; in the near-final results, Bush led by three percent.

Exit polls put Kerry up by 8 percent in Michigan; actual results show Bush trailing by just 3 percent.

Nevada, which also has electronic voting — though should have mandated paper trails, had a variance of 4.2 percent. Kerry led the exit polls by 1.2 percent, while Bush led reported votes by 3 percent.
Quote found on AlterNet.

:: Deb 4:38 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.15.2004 ::  

Something fun, for a change
There are individuals who have accidentally fallen through windows without sustaining serious injuries. There are also people who have survived the Ebola virus. However, in both cases the odds are not particularly good.
That's a quote from a website called "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics". If you have ever been annoyed by bad physics in the movies (cars that explode on impact, sounds in space, endless ammo, etc), this is the site for you. Includes movie ratings and reviews (e.g. GP = Good physics in general, XP = Obviously physics from an unknown universe).

:: Deb 1:45 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.10.2004 ::  

Stolen Election
To believe that Bush won the election, you must also believe:

- That the exit polls were wrong;
- That Zogby's 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning Ohio and Florida were wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll);
- That Harris' last-minute polling for Kerry was wrong (he was exactly right in his 2000 final poll);
- That incumbent rule #1 - undecideds break for the challenger - was wrong;
- That the 50% rule - an incumbent doesn't do better than his final polling - was wrong;
- That the approval rating rule - an incumbent with less than 50% approval will most likely lose the election - was wrong;
- That it was just a coincidence that the exit polls were correct where there was a paper trail and incorrect (+5% for Bush) where there was no paper trail;
- That the surge in new young voters had no positive effect for Kerry;
- That Kerry did worse than Gore against an opponent who lost the support of scores of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000;
- That voting machines made by Republicans with no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven by thousands of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways, were not tampered with in this election.
The above was a quote from a poster named 'TruthIsAll' on the DemocraticUnderground.com forums, found on the truthout site.

My inital reaction to hearing that yes, there was election fraud, particularly in key states like FL and OH, was "well, Bush won by enough votes that it probably doesn't matte." But I checked last week's reported election results against this page and came up with this:

Bush won FL by less than 400,000 votes. The expected tally for counties using optical scan machines ((% registered Republicans)*(total votes counted) vs. (% registered Democrats)*(total votes counted)) was 1,337,242 to 1,432,425; the final tally was 1,950,213 to 1,445,675. So while Bush was expected to lose in those counties by 95,183, he instead won by a landslide of 504,538 votes.

This was of course more than enough to offset the results in counties that used e-voting machines (which received a lot more attention than optical-scan), which returned a Kerry win with the expected margin of about 100,000 votes.

Doesn't that seem just a little bit fishy? And doesn't it show that proving election fraud could actually make a difference?

:: Deb 3:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.09.2004 ::  

Fantastic Aurora Borealis shots from last night

Not mine, unfortunately. I have yet to see the Northern Lights myself... but this guy took a great sequence of a storm over Nebraska. Linked from Fark.

:: Deb 9:56 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.04.2004 ::  

Calls for expanasion of stem-cell research - from the GOP

That headline is not as far-fetched as you might think. Bush is definitely on the fringe of his party when it comes to this particluar issue - even conservative Orrin Hatch of Utah supports embryonic stem-cell research. He is among 58 senators and 206 House of Representatives members who have signed letters urging Bush to lift the restrictions. Advocates urge the use of fertility-clinic leftovers, as well as the already-existing stem cell lines to which research is now limited (thanks to Bush). The question remains: will Bush listen to the majority? Or will he stick to his guns and "protect the rights" of the few who do not wish their taxes to pay for such research (too bad he doesn't feel the same way about going to war or faith-based initiatives)? He's not really one to change his mind, unfortunately...

Full articles on YahooNews, from Reuters.

:: Deb 4:58 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

A more accurate image of our country

Toshi sent me this "Purple USA" map he found on MSNBC, of how people voted in the 2004 Presidential election. I find it not only soothing to the eye, but also to the heart. We are not as divided a nation as it may sometimes seem, especially when you look at the electoral map from Tuesday.


This site has some cartograms of the election results, which scale areas of the country according to their population density for a more accurate representation of how much of the country voted for each candidate.

:: Deb 1:17 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Troops stationed at Al Qaqaa say they witnessed looting, were powerless to stop it
About a dozen U.S. troops were guarding the sprawling facility in the weeks after the April 2003 fall of Baghdad when Iraqi looters raided the site, the [LA Times] quoted a group of unidentified soldiers as saying. U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen witnessed the looting and some soldiers sent messages to commanders in Baghdad requesting help, but received no reply, they said. [In other words, the few troops that were there tried to do what the IAEA had recommended, but were not provided with the necessary support to do so - Deb]
Soldiers who belong to two different units described how Iraqis snatched explosives from unsecured bunkers and drove off with them in pickup trucks. [Obviously a convoy was NOT needed to loot the compound, contrary to what the Pentagon has claimed - Deb]

The soldiers who spoke to the Times asked to remain unidentified, saying they feared retaliation from the Pentagon.

The soldiers said they could not confirm that looters took the particularly powerful explosives known as HMX and RDX. One soldier, however, said U.S. forces saw looters load trucks with bags marked "hexamine," which is a key ingredient for HMX.

One senior noncommissioned officer said troops "were running from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick people out" and that at least 100 vehicles were at the site waiting for the military to leave so that they could loot the munitions.

[all emphasis added]
How did this happen? A commander gets several calls from soldiers at al Qaqaa saying that the 12 of them can't keep hundreds of Iraqis from stealing explosives from the compound they are supposed to be guarding. The commander does nothing at all. And the Pentagon, predictably, tries to deny there was any looting at all. Again, from MSNBC.

:: Deb 1:00 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Doctors Without Borders leaving Iraq; cites escalating violence, targeting of aid workers
"It has become impossible for MSF as an organization to guarantee an acceptable level of security for our staff, be they foreign or Iraqi," said Gorik Ooms, General Director of MSF in Belgium.
Found on MSNBC, originally an AP story. But don't worry, everything's going really well over there.

:: Deb 11:56 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.02.2004 ::  


Polls close at 8pm. Get out there!

If you have any trouble voting, make a report to the Common Cause hotline at 1-866-MYVOTE1.

Another hotline has been set up by a coalition of nonpartisan groups to deal with the most serious problems on Election Day. 1-866-OUR-VOTE is the "911" of voter suppression hotlines. Please don't call unless your problem is serious enough that you have to talk to a lawyer immediately.

:: Deb 10:41 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

More bad news for the budget
The federal government, running record budget deficits over the past two years, is projecting that it will have to borrow a record $147 billion in the first three months of 2005, the Treasury Department announced Monday.
The deficit for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 hit a record $413 billion in dollar terms, up from the previous record of $377 billion set in 2003.

The government through the 2001 budget year recorded a string of four surpluses, something that had not occurred for seven decades. While President Bush took office with a projection that the 10-year surplus would hit $5.6 trillion, a recession, spending on homeland security and the war on terror and Bush's tax cuts wiped out the surpluses.
Yikes. More on YahooNews.

:: Deb 10:22 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 11.01.2004 ::  

Vote smart!

Use SmartVoter to get nonpartisan information about the issues and candidates you'll be voting on in your area.

Thanks, Leslie!

:: Deb 2:50 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

A better poll summary: Slate's

They actually weight the polls according to their accuracy to achieve their result, which I don't believe electoral-vote.com does. Thanks to Ty for the heads-up!

:: Deb 11:23 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Zogby, Redskins, Electoral-Vote.com, Tucker Carlson agree: Kerry will win

Here's a summary of the most recent polls. Kos has what Tucker Carlson says.

By the way, did you know that Australia recently instituted open-source e-voting?
[Software Improvement's lead engineer Matt] Quinn also believes that voting systems must use open-source software.

"The keystone of democracy is information," he said. "You have a big problem when people don't have enough information to make up their minds or, even worse, they have misleading information and make up their minds in a way that would be contrary to what they would decide if they had the full story.

"Any transparency you can add to that process is going to enhance the democracy and, conversely, any information you remove from that process is going to undermine your democracy."

[emphasis added]
Read more about it in Wired. And what did the makers of our e-voting system have to say about this subject? Walden O'Dell, Diebold Election System's chief executive, stated recently that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Eeek.

:: Deb 9:38 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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