As I go through my emails, there are all kinds of different things I want to highlight. I’ve attempted to sort them and put them into context.

Connecticut Political News

John Hartwell, who is running for State Senate reports that he has picked up the last few donations he needed to qualify for public financing and is now spending his time communicating with voters about the important issues facing the state. You can get more information at John Hartwell’s campaign website.

Connecticut Teach Against Genocide reports that the genocide education bill, House Bill 5595, has passed the Education and Appropriations Committees and is moving on to the full house.

Sheila at Woodbridge Dems reports having been called by Mountain West Research, a firm that has been accused in the past of doing push polling for Lieberman. I’m curious, has anyone else been recently called by Mountain West here in Connecticut?

She also mentioned a great report by the League of Women Voters about Emerging Media and Internet Issues: E-Democracy for Connecticut. It is a great report worth reading.

One Connecticut has sent out an email about a bill, 5618, in the Connecticut General Assembly regarding the Husky program. They are encouraging people to contact the Insurance and Real Estate Committee and urge them to pass it as well, and without any amendments!

Beyond Connecticut

Project Laundry List is reporting that Colorado passed a Right to Dry law. HB 1270 would prohibit Homeowners Associations from restricting energy efficiency measures. They also announce that April 19th is National Hanging Out Day.

Jubilee USA reports that the Jubilee Act, (HR 2634) has passed the House and is now headed on to the Senate. Jubilee USA is seeking third world debt cancellation.

Global Kids and the International Human Rights Law Institute are holding ICC101, Learn the Basics about the International Criminal Court on Thursday April 24, 7-9:30PM EDT. For more information, check out the Justice Center online.


On April 25th, President Bush will attend a fundraiser at Henry Kissinger’s house in Kent. CT Opposes the War is organizing a protest. 9 AM to 1 PM at 50 Henderson Road, Kent.

Dream for Darfur is organizing a Protest at Coke Headquarters on Sunday April 27th from 2:30- 3:30 pm at 711 5th Ave on the northeast corner of 55th St in New York City.

The spoke and sung word

There will be a production of Hair at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury on May 9th. Details can be found here.

I got an email that Vienna Teng will be performing at the Green Apple Festival at Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, in New York City Sunday, 20 April 2008 at 12:00 pm. I heard Vienna last year at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. If you’re in New York, you should stop by and hear her.

Lauren Doninger wrote about The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization. I pointed out LibriVox as well. Both are great sites for picking up stories to listen to.

Digital Social Media

digitialmediawire has two interesting articles up right now about YouTube. The first is that YouTube Says User Partners Have So Far Earned $1 Million. Then, there is the article that Egal, the company that created Lonelygirl15, has raised $5 million in its first round of financing. I’ve been a fan of Lonelygirl15 for quite a while, and I’m pleased to see them get funding.

Shelly Palmer at JackMyers.com has another interesting article up. This time she’s writing about why she doesn’t think it’s
an even remotely credible prediction that you could have 345 million digital television ready (able to interpret and receive signals from local broadcast television signals) handsets in the market by 2012
. As a person that shoots video with my cellphone and sends them to friends and to the web, I think she’s on the right track, even though I would have liked to hear her talk more about the disruptive nature of people shooting their own videos and sharing them online.

and finally

Leslie Weinberg writes about the Hope in Motion, Walk, Run, & Ride 2008 fundraiser for Stamford Hospital’s Bennet Cancer Center. The event will take place on June 1st. Contribute if you can.

Fiona, SpaceNavigator, SketchUp and Second Life

The other day, I received a product evaluation of the laptop version of 3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigator for Notebooks. I am starting to test it as a navigation and building tool for Second Life. Support for the SpaceNavigator is part of the Second Life Client Release Candidate 1.20. The Release Candidate still seems a little flaky, and I need to do more testing.

However, SpaceNavigator also comes with some very nice demo applications and it works quite nicely with Google’s SketchUp. I showed Fiona, my six-year-old daughter SketchUp and she spent quite a bit of time playing with it. It helped with the old rule that I have about computer games. My kids are free to play any computer game that they can program. For my older kids, they started programming in Logo and MOO code. Yet as virtual worlds become increasingly 3D, they need to hone their 3D creation skills.

The older girls got a chance to play with systems like Open Croquet and Blender. It seems like the SpaceNavigator might be a great tool these systems, but I suspect that they don’t have a large enough user base to justify the development.

I explained to Fiona that I was working on a product review of the SpaceNavigator, and she wanted to add her how comments. They ended up being about SketchUp, instead of the SpaceNavigator, but I thought some of you might enjoy Fiona’s product review of SketchUp:

Well, first you make a square or a circle and then you see this little arrow pointer thing and you click on that and pull up the square or circle. After that, you can make the square crazy by clicking on the thing on the top line with four arrows. Then you might want to color them in. Click on a paint bucket that you’ll see on the top, then all different words come up. Click on any one of them. Then really cool pages will come up. Then click on anything you want to and then click on a piece of the lines that will appear there.

So, over the next few days, I’ll continue to test the SpaceNavigator. However, I’ll also be pleased to see Fiona busy building new objects in SketchUp instead of playing on some of the other, less creative, pre-packaged virtual worlds.

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A Message to ABC about the Presidential Debate

Submitted at http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346:

I hope you are truly ashamed for having produced the worst Presidential debate on television. Some of us want to hear the possible next leaders of the free world talk about real issues.

What you did was a grave disservice to our country.

If you found the debate as vapid as I thought it was and believe that we as American's deserve better, I would strongly encourage you to find your own words to express your displeasure with ABC's handling of the debate.

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Hokie Colors, Laundry List and Wordless Wednesday Political Activism.

I’ve encouraged many of my political and non-profit activist friends to participate in Wordless Wednesday. I’m tired of all the activists that spend all their time talking amongst themselves and never interacting with the rest of the blogosphere, or the rest of the world. It seems to me that WW provides a great opportunity to make small comments that help promote specific ideas and actions.

One group that I like is Project Laundry List. They are focusing on the small simple things in our lives where we can make small changes, that if enough of us do it, can have a great effect, such as hanging clothes out to dry instead of relying on electric clothes driers. In the United States, electric clothes driers account for five to ten percent of residential electricity usage. Kim and I hadn’t though about that, until talking with folks at Project Laundry List, and for the past few months, we’ve dried almost all of our clothes the old fashioned way and watched our electric bill plummet.

Today, one of the Wordless Wednesday posts was a picture of laundry hung out to dry in Imperia Italy. I added a comment there about Project Laundry List and I hope it will get a few people to check out their site and think about using solar powered clothes driers.

Also, one year ago, today, a gunman shot and killed thirty-two people at Virginia Tech. At 10:30 this morning, there will be a commemoration on the drill field, and tonight at 8:15 there will be a candlelight vigil. As my own part of this day of remembrance, I have changed the colors of my website to Hokie colors, Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange and will stop at the Memorial Park in Second Life. These actions won’t stop gun violence on college campuses, just as my drying clothes outside won’t end global warming, but it is a little bit that I can do.

And that is what is important, to me about Wordless Wednesdays, the photographs of peoples lives can all be little reminders about how we can work together to help one another out and make our world a little bit better place.

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Wordless Wednesday

Cleaning the saddle, originally uploaded by Aldon.

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