Eddie Perrell, a T-shirt seller outside the convention center, has merch for everyone: delegates all dressed up and buzzing over tonight’s big Sarah Palin speech and Barack Obama fans.
An Obama hat will set you back $10. A McCain/Palin tee? $20.
Hero Reports, a new Web site by MIT doctoral candidate Alyssa Wright, is tracking stories of everyday acts of courage, mapping goodwill in the same way others map home values and crime rates. It was inspired by the New York subway's "See Something, Say Something" campaign, but seeks not to uncover acts of terrorism, but to tap a zeitgeist of good, promote a civic culture and reflect the communities we live in.
Wednesday July 23, 2008
» A Hero Report on YouTube: The Hugging Saint
Thursday September 4, 2008
» Famed psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo looks at how heroism can be "democratized"
Monday September 15, 2008
» Ushahidi hopes to save lives by "crowdsourcing" crisis information
Read Senior Editor Femi Oke's notes on the series below.
It's been three years since Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast and changed the lives hundreds of thousands of Americans. This week, The Takeaway is talking to some of those people and looking back at the events that followed the storm.
DENVER — Senator Hillary Clinton gave a rousing speech tonight, though her requests for her supporters to vote for Senator Obama fell on at least a few determinedly deaf ears.
In a crowded Denver office, I held my back to a widescreen television and a video camera on the crowd of PUMAs watching. PUMA ostensibly stands for "People United Mean Action," though anyone familiar with the group knows it colloquially stands for "Party Unity My Ass": a sharp retort from supporters of Clinton's presidential run to those pressuring them to get behind Obama's bid. Estimates of their numbers generally put them at a very small minority... but they're a very vocal minority for all of that.
From the screen behind me Clinton spoke naturally, as if she were talking to friends (no teleprompter stumbles), delivered a clear emotional arc over the course of the speech, recognized the accomplishments of her husband, President Bill Clinton, repeatedly told people that voting for Senator Barack Obama would be necessary to avoid the consequences of electing Republican Senator John McCain, and left the stage to waving signs and raucous cheers.
But it wasn't enough to convince the folks I was with at "The PUMA Den" – a Denver bail bond office repurposed for the evening's speech.
The crowd watched the speech as carried on Fox News, which obliged them by showing polls with McCain on top (big cheers!) and cutting away in the middle of former Virginia governor Mark Warner's speech for a commercial break that featured the latest ad for McCain, using Senator Clinton's own words. (Huge cheers for this, as well.)
Once the speech began, there was lots of yelling for Clinton herself, and whoops at any mention of John McCain — this from self-described "lifelong Democrats and feminists" — along with boos and hissing at any mention of Barack or Michelle Obama. The crowd fogged the building's windows with wounded anger.
There were some tears. The people I spoke with tonight love Senator Clinton profoundly. It's hard to overstate just how much. But despite Clinton's entreaties, only one PUMA at the Den said she'd even consider voting for Senator Obama come November. The rest said they intend to skip the polls or vote for McCain — a message to the Democratic National Committee and Howard Dean, whom they hold responsible for quashing Clinton's shot at the White House.
I drove from Minneapolis to Minot, North Dakota, this year as a late spring snowstorm was brewing. Interstate 94, near the state line, closed down and the two lane highways and farm roads snaking westward were covered in hard ice and occasional, demonic flurries of drifting snow. I concocted a route around the storm with some helpful farmers at a gas station. My car limped west then north, west then north, on a maze of empty back roads.
For this year’s Emmy’s, the Academy is asking people to vote online for their most memorable television moments – either in comedy or drama. But what about news and other reality TV? At The Takeaway, we’re also head first into news and love these moments, so here’s our own category: most memorable “unscripted” television moments.
Tameka, age 9, and Kayarah, age 8, love to watch the Olympic swim team so much they have picnics around the television and watch the competitions — even in Spanish! They are two members of a new generation of young swimmers being inspired by Michael Phelps at the Beijing Summer Olympics. Swim coach Offitt Porter is having trouble getting his swim team to practice; all they want to do is rush home to watch the US Olympic swim team. This is “The Phelps Effect,” with which one athlete has inspired children around the country.
In episode two of our weekly "Around the Corner With John Hockenberry" video series, John goes out looking for Olympic medals ... and finds them, albeit in events not offered in this year's Olympics. In what events would you bring home gold, silver, or bronze medals?
The Department of Justice released 66 documents Wednesday related to the case against federal laboratory scientist Bruce Ivins. Ivins was suspected of mailing anthrax-lined letters, causing a second terrorism scare in 2001, before committing suicide last week. The FBI says Ivins acted alone; Ivins' lawyers say the case has "heaps of innuendo." As questions remain over why it took investigators 6 years to create a case against Ivins, The Takeaway is offering the documents for you to analyze and discuss with other readers.
Five years after it was the feel-good sports-lit hit of the summer of ‘03, Michael Lewis's "Moneyball" is back in the news again. The story goes like this: The plucky, cash-strapped and unconventional Oakland Athletics, using Ivy League-educated statistical geniuses and the intense personality of their high-strung, Ramones-lovin’ general manager, ...
The thing I remember most vividly about beginning my internship at TransAfrica Forum, the foreign policy lobbyist group founded in 1977 to pressure the U.S. Government to do right by Africa and the African Diaspora, was that I didn't want to be there.
And why is there still a quarter-mile line zigzagging around the mall? A telephone? Right, right... GPS... music... really fast Internet. Sexy. But plans don't come with a great mortgage rate. They don’t come with free gas either. So maybe my homeboy Phil Gramm was on to something with his "mental recession" assessment.
So... the New Yorker cover... Barack Obama's wearing the Somali garb, Michelle Obama has a huge afro, donned in black militant fatigues and, uh-oh, they're giving each other that strange greeting called "dap." Hey, it's the New Yorker. They do satire. Of course Obama's campaign said it was too much ...