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On Thursday (3/28) at 3pm ET, Boing Boing pal and White House innovation advisor Tom Kalil is hosting a Google Hangout to talk about the maker movement! Tom has been instrumental in helping President Obama and the administration understand the value of maker culture in sci/tech education. Joining Tom in the Hangout will be folks like MAKE founder Dale Dougherty, Super Awesome Maker Show's Super Awesome Sylvia, and Ford future tech lead Venkatesh Prasad. "White House Hangout: The Maker Movement"
(Above, President Obama checks out a soccer-playing robot built by Blue Bell, PA high school students. Photo by Pete Souza.)
Spider-Man tangles with President Obama at the White House. Daily Bugle photograph by Pete Souza. (via Time)
Mother Jones has published a "secret" video captured during a private fundraiser for Mitt Romney, in which the Republican presidential candidate tells a small gathering of wealthy voters what he thinks of Americans who support Obama.
The tl;dr: rich guy who gets millions in tax breaks calls half of America parasites.
"[The] 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."
About 47% of the country, Romney continued, "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Buzzfeed posts what is purpoted to be a genuine self-parody by Barack Obama, published under the name “Baroque Yo' Mama” in a parody zine put together by his Harvard Law School graduating class. I sure like this Obama better than the one perpetuating endless war, increasing secrecy and surveillance, enabling torture and indefinite detainment, threatening whistleblowers, and shutting down pot dispensaries. Will be interesting to see what the birthers make of the "born in Norway" gag line.
During the 2008 election, writer Shawn Otto lead a charge to get the presidential candidates to unambiguously and publicly explain their positions on key questions concerning science and public policy. The questions were chosen through a process that involved the general public, as well as scientists and engineers. Science Debate 2008 was intended to be a televised debate on PBS—but neither Barak Obama nor John McCain would agree to participate. Eventually, after a lot of pressure, the candidates finally answered the 14 questions ... but only in print, online. No follow-ups.
Now Science Debate is trying again, hoping to engage President Obama and Mitt Romney and get them to treat science with at least the kind of seriousness politicians give their religious beliefs. (The Republican primary, for instance, featured debates that were themed solely around the candidates' faiths.)
With the help of concerned citizens, scientists, engineers, and the nation's leading science and engineering organizations, Science Debate has put together a list of 14 questions for the 2012 presidential race.
2. Climate Change. The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?
9. The Internet. The Internet plays a central role in both our economy and our society. What role, if any, should the federal government play in managing the Internet to ensure its robust social, scientific, and economic role?
You can read the rest of the questions at ScienceDebate.org. Once you've done that—if you agree this is important—sign the petition calling for the candidates to devote a debate to science and the ways that it will affect their public policy choices. These are important issues. We need to know what the candidates think if we're going to be fully informed voters. It's time to make science part of the political discourse.
McNaughton Fine Art is selling "One Nation Under Socialism" by Jon Naughton starting at just $345 for framed, signed, numbered Giclée prints. I was going to link to this artist's statement generator, but realized his *actual* artist statement is even better: "When I paint a patriotic painting...its like throwing a stick of dynamite in the pond!" [sic]. I don't know how serious this guy is about the patriot business, though: the word "Giclée" sounds pretty unamerican to me. (via @texasinafrica)
[Video Link] From H. Hoover at Distriction blog, a little anecdote about a cool interaction that Stephon, a young man who was "born deaf and justifiably proud," had with the president at a recent event:
Stephon stood just a few feet away from Barack Obama. The president, busy shaking hands, looked right at him. “It was like he was waiting for me to say something,” he said later.
So the 26-year-old Prince George’s Community College student took his cue and spoke to President Obama in his first language: American Sign Language. “I am proud of you,” Stephon signed. The president, almost involuntary, instinctively, immediately signed back.
“Thank you,” Obama replied.
The whole story is a nice little read.
This has nothing to do with the neat story behind this video, but I've always wondered: is being bald and steely-eyed a requirement for Secret Service agents? I mean, is it in the job description? And if they're not already bald, do they make them shave their heads? Because it seems like every one I've seen in real life, and in this video, is a steely-eyed bald guy. Someone please get back to me on that. Thanks.
(via Steve Silberman)
Tunisian Facebook users have plastered Obama's Facebook page with thousands of messages in support of the Occupy movement:
Among the comments, Tunisian Facebook users circulated “Arab Spring” jokes, such as: “Tunisia is the first country to recognize the American Transitional National Council,” referring the revolutionary upheaval in Libya and the global recognition of the Libyan transitional council.
The Facebook users described it as a “virtual surprise attack” on. Many of the recent entries on his 2012 presidential campaign page were bombarded with as many as 20,000 comments each.
“Tunisian people are calling the U.S. authorities to respect freedom of expression and not to resort repression and assault on the rights of American citizens,” read one comment, which was reposted by several users.
Another comment read: “Tunisian people denounce violations against the American people by the security forces, which affect the freedom of expression.”