Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wednesday September 15, 2004. Still sick, but getting better. By late evening, I was up to cooking with complicated ingredients like teabags.

***New toy department: Win32pad, a freeware text editor. I type faster in it than in others I've tried so far.

In my experience, freeware programs are usually superior to commercial programs. I suspect this is largely because with commercial software, the decision-making process is screwed up.

Business people don't do what works; they do what they think works. For commercial software, this seems to include designing software on the assumption that it will be used by people who think national governments are insufficiently bureaucratic.
Writing: Daily Exercise -- Done.

"They Might Be Windmills" -- Some things I thought were firmly-set morphed on me.
Decluttering: Got some trash out.
Mindwork: Short meditation.

Head to head: Bush vs Kerry
Now the party conventions are over, it's a straight race to the tape between President Bush and his challenger John Kerry. In this free news@nature.com interactive special, the two candidates talk exclusively to Nature on where they stand on the big issues in science. Plus, in depth analysis, the election science blog and e-voting.
Brief Communications
Nature 431, 262 (16 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431262a

Ecology: Ultraviolet reflectance by the skin of nestlings


Birds can perceive the reflectance of ultraviolet light by biological structures. Here we show that the skin of the mouth and body of starling nestlings substantially reflects light in the ultraviolet range and that young in which this reflectance is reduced will gain less mass than controls, despite low background levels of ultraviolet and visible light in the nest. We suggest that this ultraviolet reflectance from starling nestlings and its contrast with surrounding surfaces are important for parental decisions about food allocation.
In the flea market's rise, an economic saga
Part hobby mecca, part Five and Dime, the flea market takes its place as an 'informal economy' thrives. By Patrik Jonsson

We were unintended integrationists
A small but potent act of rebellion against the racial status quo. By James Patterson
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