Though I'm not an avid TV watcher, Lance Mannion's occassional posts on Mad Men inspired me to download all four seasons. We're up to the beginning of Season 4. This might be the best thing I've ever seen on televison, but this isn't a review of Mad Men. It's a mini review of iTunes TV.
I've been downloading the show from another site. That site is missing Season 4 episode 8, so I turned to iTunes for the missing episode. Downloading was extremely slow and the download repeatedly derailed due to errors of some kind. Not only that, I selected the non-HD version for downloading, but iTunes began to download both the HD and the regular versions at the same time. Based on the progress of the download, I'd estimate a 4-5 hour process for both versions together. When I realized what was happening, I was able to stop the HD download. After several misfires, the non-HD version downloaded in about 80 minutes. I don't know yet if iTunes billed me for both versions or only the cheaper one I selected.
They should add streaming video as an option. The current delivery system is a pain in the ass. I can't even imagine trying to download the entire series at iTunes.
This was my first attempt to download video from iTunes. Maybe mine was an abberant first experience, but, as of right now, I don't see myself returning for seconds unless I absolutely must.
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence. [...]
The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three months later.[...]
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother'[...]
This is a tragic story and I have no quarrel with suing the mothers, but this...
In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” [...] But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4.[...]
“A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.
A reasonably prudent 4-year-old? 4-year-olds need constant adult supervision outside the home because they are not reasonably prudent. Sometimes they impulsively dash out into the street.
Perhaps Mr Franzen had Operation Iraqi Freedom in mind. Still... I've always opposed that war, but one must admit that overthrowing a dictatorial government does have a good deal to do with freedom in its most straightforward political sense. I have never understood the glib reflex, which Mr Franzen seems to display here in his quip about SUVs, to deny the moral idealism behind America's wars in the Middle East. George W. Bush believed it when he said that "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world", and that "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." Heady stuff.
Even the hardened neo-con architects of the war in Iraq are idealists of sorts, sincerely believing that frequent displays of America's awesome power to wreak devastation and death prevent even deadlier wars and make more favourable the chance that freedom will flourish worldwide. The United States is "causing enormous trouble around the world" not due to some muddled idea of freedom, but due to a mixed-up conviction that America is special, the vanguard of providence, called forth unto the world with the righteous sword of liberation. If America is "almost a rogue state", it is because our Pharisaic self-infatuation encourages us to see ourselves as a colossus of emancipation both able and obligated to stomp around the globe making it safe for democracy.
For as long as I can remember, the popular wisdom has been that aging increases conservatism. Conservatives who were liberal in their youth frequently report that maturity and experience account for their shift away from liberalism.
But anecdote is not evidence.
That older Americans are more conservative than younger Americans has been well-documented (e.g., Gallup, 2009), but Gallup researchers have also noted:
The pattern is strikingly different on the basis of age, and this could have important political implications in the years ahead. Whereas middle-aged and older Americans lean conservative (vs. liberal) in their politics by at least 2 to 1, adults aged 18 to 29 are just as likely to say their political views are liberal (31%) as to say they are conservative (30%).
Future Gallup analysis will look at the changes in the political ideology of different age cohorts over time (Ital. added), to see whether young adults in the past have started out more liberal than they wound up in their later years.
Notice that the research compares different age cohorts. It does not track people over time. It may be that when today's older Americans were young, they were already conservative. To determine the evolution of ideological leanings over the course of life, researchers would have to follow age cohorts over time, to see what happens to their political views.
So is there any evidence that tells us about intra-cohort ideological shift over time? Yes, there is.
Researchers at University of VT and Penn State collected data from 25 surveys conducted between 1972 and 2004. Changes in attitudes among two age cohorts were analyzed: 1) adults ages 18-39 and 2) adults over age 60.
The analysis revealed that, on average, the younger adults became moderately more conservative with age. But the researchers also found a much greater shift in political attitudes occurred in the older group. These Americans became less conservative over time. The shift away from conservatism in the older group was greater in magnitude and occurred more rapidly than the shift toward conservatism in the younger group.
The findings might have something to do with different generations starting out in different political places from the very beginning. Or shifts in attitude might be related to shifting phase-of-life needs and priorities. What the findings do indicate is that the conventional wisdom associating maturity and experience with political attitude is wrong or, at least, things are much more complicated than is often assumed.
One caution with respect to generalizing from personal experience: we cannot judge the minds and attitudes of older persons based upon how we thought when we were young. A 50, 60 or 70-year-old liberal leaning adult is not necessarily liberal because he or she shares the naivete of a 20-year-old liberal. Michael Kinsley is not a 59-year-old version of a 59-year-old conservative's 20-year-old former liberal self.
Mrs. Georgeieanna Higgins is the official Seamstress to the United States Senate, but for years has been called the "Betsy Ross of the Capitol." She is responsible for keeping the flag that flies over the Senate wing of the Capitol in proper flapping order. This is no mean job since the flag flies night and day when the Senate is in session, which means a terrific beating from the elements, an average of 12 Flags is used each session.