Barack Obama gets Democratic Party nomination

Barack Obama wins According to exit polls, Barack Obama has secured the nomination to run as the U.S. Democratic party’s candidate for president. He has a fine reputation as a consistent senator who listens to his voters and is willing to work with people to get things done.

The third African-American Senator since Reconstruction makes history

by Jennifer Parker

After a bruising battle, Sen. Barack Obama has won enough delegates to clinch the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, ABC News projects based on exit polls and reporting.

Obama, D-Ill., becomes the first African-American major party presidential candidate in the nation’s history.

But the candidate emerges battered after a bitter, five-month fight against Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who was vying to become the party’s first female presidential nominee and was once considered the likely nominee.

Delivering soaring speeches tied to a popular message of hope and change, Obama’s insurgent candidacy inspired record-breaking campaign contributions, record turnout by black voters, and wide support from independents, liberals, young voters, and high-income, better-educated Democrats.

Although he won the majority of primary contests — 33 to Clinton’s 20, not including Michigan and Florida — the Illinois senator struggled to win the support of white, blue-collar voters, older voters and Hispanic voters.

The issue of race cropped up again and again for the man seeking to become the nation’s first black president.

Hillary Clinton is hinting that she’d be willing to run as Vice President. But many commentators feel that Hillary Clinton is the wrong VP candidate.

Hillary Clinton the wrong choice for Barack Obama’s running mate

by Barb Shelly, Kansas City Star editorial page columnist

The latest on Hillary Clinton is that she’s denying her presidential run is over, but telling people she’d be “open” to accepting a vice presidential offer from Barack Obama.

Maybe, at the end of the day, an Obama-Clinton ticket will be the Democrats best strategy. But right now, it’s a bit hard to fathom.

Clinton has spent months running around the country telling people–implicitly and explicitly–that Obama doesn’t have what it takes to beat John McCain and be the chief executive.

So what is her role in his campaign and administration? Is it to round out the ticket and be a back-seat adviser and break ties in the Senate?

Doesn’t seem likely. Hillary and Bill Clinton regard themselves as entitled, and I don’t think they’ll be able to resist temptation to try to wedge themselves into the driver’s seat.


A gal named Sue

Actually, a dino named Sue. I’ve discovered that Chicago’s famous Field Museum of natural history is within easy transit reach. They are the home of the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, nicknamed “Sue.”

I’m planning to go there tomorrow.

Sue the T. rex!

Remembering polio

an iron lung ward at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital around 1953

Iron Lung Ward of Ranchos Los Amigos Hospital circa 1953.
The victims were usually children.

There’s a discussion on the BookCrossing Chit-chat forum about polio, stimulated by a news story: a paralyzed woman died during a power failure after spending 57 years in an iron lung that did her breathing for her. Thanks to polio vaccines, the iron lungs are now more-or-less history. I think that anti-vaccinationists have forgotten what they would be bringing back.

She had been confined to the 7ft, 750lb metal tube – which mostly remained in the living room of her parents’ home 80 miles north-east of Memphis – since 1950, when she had fallen victim at the age of three to a severe case of “bulbo-spinal” polio.

This crippling disease, which has since been eradicated in the developed world through vaccination programmes, forced doctors to encase her in a sealed cylindrical metal container, which produced alternately positive and negative pressure that allowed her lungs to expand and contract. Although experts at the time gave her just a few years to live, Ms Odell remained lying on her back, with only her head extending from the mechanical device, for nearly six decades. [Italics mine.]

Some of the BookCrossing members chimed in with their own stories: remembering polio.

Charles Darwin: Inspiration vs. Perspiration

You know where Darwin falls on that scale: it’s perspiration—hard work all the way. We’re talking about a man here who spent eight years dissecting tiny barnacles to unravel the mystery of their relationships. Yes, he was sick of them when he was through: he’d thought it would take only five years.

Adam Rutherford tells us his impressions of the man’s work. Here’s a taste:

Adam Rutherford, columnist for the Guardian UnlimitedVariation within populations is one of the key aspects of the theory of evolution…. Darwin’s model organism is one that humans have a huge history with. “I have,” he says, “after deliberation, taken up domestic pigeons.” Pigeon fancying, although it sounds a bit silly now, was a major pastime in Victorian England. The intense breeding of these birds over thousands of years resulted in highly defined and distinctive features…. Two and half thousand words later, Darwin declares that he has discussed pigeon origins “at some, yet quite insufficient, length.”

Some assembly required: online purrchase

When you order something by mail, you often find that some assembly is required.

more cat pictures

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