Stars and Stripes are not Forever

Futurist and author Juan Enriquez (I want to be a futurist–how fun would it be to get paid to think about the future?) talks about “a long history of borders, countries and flags that have changed, and warns the United States isn’t immune” in a half-hour video podcast from the Pop!Tech conference.

It’s very interesting to consider why there has been little country breakup in the Americas, and even more interesting to think about how likely it is, especially considering how polarized our society is becoming.

Enriquez’s recent book, The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future looks interesting, though the charge in the Amazon review that he plays a little loose with facts and figures is disconcerting (94%? 51%? Meh. Same difference). (link via

Violin Virtuoso as Street Performer

The Washington Post has an intriguing story about violin master Joshua Bell playing in a D.C. Metro station as a street performer to see if busy people can recognize beauty in mundane settings. The piece is long and over-written, but as a one-time street performer myself it’s pretty interesting.

Long story short, Bell made $32.17 in 43 minutes (actually, it was $52.17, but they didn’t count the $20 sheepishly tossed in by someone who recognized Bell and knew how amazing what she was experiencing really was). The article is mostly full of bewilderment that people are too busy to notice a master at work. I’m just impressed a street performer could do that well with a commuter crowd (the weekend tourist crowd is really what you want–they have the time to kill and the money to burn).

Bell’s response to his own haul: “Actually, that’s not so bad, considering. That’s 40 bucks an hour. I could make an OK living doing this, and I wouldn’t have to pay an agent.” (link via

Back to Normal

We’ve been in the house for a week and now spring break and vacation (and I use that word lightly) are over and it’s back to normal. Or at least finding a new normal in a new house. And apparently that means Lexi walking by herself down the hallway to her room after lunch, starting up her Veggie Tales CD (for the fourth time today), closing the door and playing by herself. When I caught up to her she was sitting in the middle of the floor flipping through books and dancing to Bob and Larry.

New House

And we’re back.

We’ve successfully moved. We only lost one box, no major moving injuries (other than back pain and scraped knuckles) and the weather brought rain and snow on the days surrounding our move, but beautiful sunny skies the day of the move. That and the unexpected help meant we were finished hours earlier than we had hoped. Thankful about sums it up.

Now it’s a matter of unpacking, arranging and rearranging. And figure out how to fence in the yard without taking out a second mortgage. But hey, the Internet is back up (though it feels a little slow–not fully Comcastic yet).