DON’T BE A DUMBY – GET YOUR OWN CHUMBY!

As Forbes explains, ‘Chumby is a pretty goofy device with a silly name and a weird shape. And nobody needs one. But it’s worth checking out because we’re going to be seeing a lot more devices like this, smart little machines constantly fetching information from the Internet, spreading the Web beyond the realm of PCs. . . .‘ And also because I own a tenth of one percent of an eighth of of the venture fund that owns 22% of it, so for each one you buy, I have to chip in a nickel. (Well, something like that.) Plus the genius behind it is a friend of mine.

You can choose from more than 400 streaming widgets on the Chumby Web site. Keep track of your friends on MySpace and Facebook, see photos from Flickr, check in on your Ebay bids, read right-wing blogs or left-wing newspapers, watch sports videos or a videoclip of David Letterman’s Top Ten List, listen to podcasts or check out your daily horoscope. If your friend has a Chumby you can become online “chums” and send widgets to each other over the Chumby Network.

What a great graduation gift, now that the Encyclopedia, Dictionary, and Thesaurus are all free (they’re called: Google).

They even have a widget to keep track of the delegate count.

I LIKED IKE

Stewart Dean: ‘There was a time when a President spoke to us, reasoned with us, and exhorted not fear, but our better angels.’

☞ Stewart included a link to such a speech, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower – hear here – and I assumed I knew which one it was. But no, it was from his (also wonderful) military-industrial complex speech.

The speech I was thinking of:

. . . Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.
We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.
This is one of those times in the affairs of nations when the gravest choices must be made, if there is to be a turning toward a just and lasting peace.
It is a moment that calls upon the governments of the world to speak their intentions with simplicity and with honesty.
It calls upon them to answer the question that stirs the hearts of all sane men: is there no other way the world may live? . . .

☞ And he believed in evolution.

THE RISE OF BRITISH SEA POWER

The power of the waves may one day power the world. Or some meaningful fraction of it, anyway. Click here.

 

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