Why the electoral college system sucks: current example

November 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Political Ponderings)

The Electoral College, and why you vote may not actually count for much

So as I write this, current on-the-fly election results as reported by Google News indicate the following:

Popular (as in counting everyone individually) vote:

McCain slightly winning:
McCain: 50%
Obama: 49%

Electoral College votes:

Obama: 103
McCain: 34

Yup – although there’s actually only 1% difference in the number of votes, Obama is leading by a crapload (currently about 77%) thanks to the electoral college system.
I think I may go into more detail about how this works once I’m done putting a few finishing touches on a paper that’s due for school in the morning 😛

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Voted!

November 4, 2008 at 8:18 pm (Political Ponderings)

So today I “did my civic duty” and stopped to vote before heading to work.
I went in at about 8:30a, in hopes that I’d miss some of the crowd since theoretically a whole bunch of people should be at work.
Well, if that’s the case, I’d hate to see what it was like around 6pm – I had to stand in line for over half an hour as it was.
I actually get pretty excited to vote – it was an exhilerating experience, and many people all seemed to be in good spirits – didn’t mind chatting with others in line at all.

Yes, I voted for Bob Barr.
And for a whole lot of Republicans. There’s such a run to elect Democrats right now that I’m really concerned that there will be a serious imbalance. From what I can recall the only Democrat I voted for was for one of the judges, and that was because of a personal recommendation from someone who’s actually dealt with that judge.
There were a lot of judges where the vote was basically “Should they stay? Yes/No” – I was really tempted to hit No on the whole lot of them, but I decided in the end to be nice since I didn’t really know anything about them.

And yes, I voted Yes for firearms concealed carry.

Interesting tidbit I just heard over the radio from ABC news: regardless of how “energized” they were supposed to be, apparently (based on early exit polls) young voters (aka under 30) again decided that couldn’t be bothered to actually get off their asses to vote this year – so far comprising of only 17% of voters – exactly the same as in 2004. I’m curious if the fact that one of Obama’s primary support groups can’t be bothered to get off their asses will cause him any problems.

***As I type this, just in: Obama wins Illinois. Color. Me. Shocked. .. *cough*

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Tim Burton to film “Alice” – We’re all mad here.

November 3, 2008 at 9:17 pm (Movies & TV)

So I recently learned that Tim Burton is going to be creating a Burton-style version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (or, to be more correct, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

That makes me sad in several levels.

See, I’m not 100% sure why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for both Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I have a hard-bound, illustrated edition in my collection that I have no plans of every getting rid of.

I’ve always thought Alice’s story was one that had many opportunities to take dark turns, but luckily for her, even in the land where everyone is mad, everything seems to pleasantly go her way around every corner – probably many thanks to it being a children’s novel, I suppose. I had even looked to see if anyone had written a “darker” novel based on the premise a while back but wasn’t able to find anything.

But back in 2000 Electronic Arts and a guy with the rather odd name of American McGee released a computer game designed around just that sort of premise: “Alice” Goes Dark.

To quote the Wikipedia blurb about the plot:

Shortly after her second adventure, Alice’s house is burned down by a fire, killing her parents, and leaving her as the only survivor. Because of the guilt, she tries to commit suicide (bandages can be seen on her wrists), and becomes catatonic. She is institutionalised in Rutledge Asylum. Years later, the White Rabbit summons Alice to aid a radically altered Wonderland, now under the despotic rule of the Queen of Hearts. The Cheshire Cat serves as Alice’s companion throughout the game, frequently appearing to guide her with cryptic comments.

The game’s setting presents a considerably more macabre rendition of Wonderland than that of Lewis Carroll’s original portrayal. Wonderland, being a creation of Alice’s mind, has been corrupted by her insanity.

Yeah, this ain’t Disney’s Alice:

Now, there were plans out there to bring this story to the big screen, which many, many people have on their movie wish lists – but it’s been tossed around for years and as of it’s latest stop it’s been collecting dust at (*sigh*) Fox studios.

And that’s really kind of what makes me sad. That would have kicked such ass as a movie. And I highly, highly doubt that Burton will come up with as cool of a concept, unless he does a blatant rip-off.

Bah. Maybe I should look for alternate novels again…

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Goodnight, Opus

November 2, 2008 at 9:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Today cartoonist Berkeley Breathed finally laid to rest Opus, the beloved pudgy little penguin who started life in the widely loved Bloom County, a strip which ran for many years and after cancellation was mostly reincarnated as Outland very shortly afterwards; a strip that was originally meant to center around one of the more minor characters in the original strip but quickly fell back into following the more popular characters instead.
Outland had about six year run and was ended in 1995, assumingly with our favorite characters to never be seen again.

When Breathed announced he would be again resuscitating Opus for a new strip in 2003 I was excited to say the least – I think I may even still have the little “coming soon” drawing he did to promote it on his website saved somewhere. I even collected the Sunday newspaper for a while.
I have to admit though, my interest faded quickly – sadly it just wasn’t very interesting – the cartoon seemed to have eroded down to being a weekly political stab that usually wasn’t even funny, and many weeks I had trouble even figuring out what part of the strip was supposed to be the funny part.
The artist states he is putting an end to the strip because he feels the country is headed for dark times and that he wanted to “end on a lighter note,” but I suspect lack of reader enthusiasm probably plays a part as well.

Either way, it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. Sleep well, my friend. You’ll be missed.

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