DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

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Mouse pointer mechanism, editing from Helios, some exercise, and a compelling podcast...

This takes a minute or two to load, but it's very cool.

You know how the small arrow in the screen of the computer also moves when we move the mouse? Haven't you ever wondered how it works?

With the aid of a newly developed screen magnifying lens the mechanism becomes apparent. Run your mouse over the circle. Watch what happens when you stop.

Click Here

I edited all day today from Helios.

Thank goodness I had my sweat jacket with me as it was absolutely freezing in there. Unfortunately, all three tables closest to the outlets in there, are also under the air conditioning vents.

Kevin (av8rdude) had left me a message last night that he was going to be working from the "java office" today, too, but after sending e-mails to two of his accounts, leaving him a voice mail message, and a generous wait until almost 2:00, I couldn't hold out any longer and ordered some lunch:

The Veggie - $5.95

Swiss cheese, roasted red pepper, tomato and cucumber.
Your choice of chips or pretzels.

Into my second bite, Kevin called, and arrived about 30 minutes later, and ordered his own lunch shortly thereafter. He worked on processing 6-8 trips worth of IBM expense accounts for most of the afternoon. Yuck!

Joe called at a little after 5:00, and we made plans to walk (and take Chelsea with us, as he's watching her for Ben and Dale), but the weather ended up precluding the execution of said plans.

I had some baked grilled fish for dinner, along with some steamed broccoli.

I walked for just a little over an hour on the indoor track at Carmichael, during which time I listened to a most compelling This American Life podcast.

The Center for Lessons Learned

Four years into the Iraq War, what have we learned? Soldiers, civilians, Iraqis, and Americans talk—and sometimes yell—about what they've learned in the last few years... including how to stay alive and why the aftermath of a war can be the trickiest time of all.


There's a 200-person operation based out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas called the Center for Army Lessons Learned. Host Ira Glass speaks with Colonel Steve Mains, who runs the Center, and with Craig Hayes and Lynn Rolf, two men who answer soldiers' requests for information. They explain what they're learning from soldiers in the field in Iraq, then and passing on to other soldiers. (6 minutes)

Act One. Cassandra.

This American Life producer Nancy Updike tells the story of Conrad Crane, the head of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. Along with Andrew Terrill, he was commissioned by the Army to look at previous post-war occupations and give advice about how to stabilize and reconstruct post-war Iraq. The booklet they produced, which includes nine pages of detailed instructions on how to occupy Iraq, predicted many of the problems that eventually came to haunt the occupation. Although it was admired by successful commanders in Iraq, including H.R. McMaster, Updike explains why it was ignored by Pentagon officials. (22 minutes)

Song: "Instrumental," Arthur Russell

Second Half Prologue.

Ira speaks with Milt Hileman of the Center for Army Lessons Learned about the single most-requested publication they put out, Soldiers' Handbook: The First 100 Days: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. It explains how to avoid getting killed in your first hundred days in Iraq, which is when a disproportionate number of U.S. casualties occur. The information in the booklet came from Iraq vets. (5 minutes)

Act Two. Am not. Are too. Am not. Are too.

What lessons are civilians taking from the War? One journalist has said that Americans seem condemned "to relive the prewar debates over and over because they were never thrashed out in the sunlight." In Salt Lake City on May 4, the prewar arguments—and some other arguments as well—were re-argued, on stage, by Salt Lake's liberal mayor Rocky Anderson and conservative radio and TV host Sean Hannity. TAL contributor Scott Carrier attended the event. (13 minutes)

Song: "Nobody Knows My Name," Rickie Lee Jones

Act Three. The Lessons of Tomorrow, Today.

For all the discussion in Congress about withdrawing troops, there seems to be very little serious discussion about why, about what'll happen to Iraq once we leave, about responsible ways to withdraw. To understand better these and other rarely-discussed questions about the war, we turned to Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks in Baghdad. A new edition of his book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq comes out in July, with a new afterword discussing some of these questions. (9 minutes)

Song: "Dark End of the Street," James Carr

At the end of this episode on the podcast, there were two items included that were not on the radio version of the episode.

The first was a plea for a donation to WBEZ Chicago, who has to pay $108,000 annually, for the streaming costs alone, to make these "free" podcasts available to us. I was happy to make a $25 donation.

And the second thing was this, which was very, very interesting. Take a listen yourself if you want to. (It's 10 minutes long.)


We found ourselves in a strange situation with this show: we had a great story that was literally hard to hear over the radio. It's a cell phone call with a 20-year-old medical student in Baghdad, and the audio quality is a little too sketchy for broadcast, but not too terrible to listen to sitting at a computer or—even better—on headphones. She says some amazing things, including a story about a U.S. soldier who was stationed in Iraq whom she got to know over the Internet. He wanted to meet her in person, so he set up a fake roadblock and checkpoint on the route between her house and her school. Listen. (10 minutes)

I just love This American Life, and I'm so glad it's being podcasted now.
Tags: coffee shops, exercise, ibm, podcasts

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