The Who2 Blog October 2008

'Electoral Projections Done Right'

FiveThirtyEight.com has already been widely covered this election season. But in case you haven't seen it, it's worth a look in this final pre-election weekend.

The site aggregates national political polls, with further analysis and commentary by Nate Silver. He's an analyst for the stats-crunching site Baseball Prospectus, and he applies those same skills to competing polls.

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109-Year-Old Daughter of a Slave Votes for Obama

Quite a story from the Austin American-Statesman.

"Jones' father herded sheep as a slave until he was 12, according to the family... Jones says she cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, but she doesn't recall which of his four terms that was. When she did vote, she paid a poll tax, her daughters said."

And yes, she says she's voting Obama.

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I Once Knew a Man With an Amputated Leg Named Geraldine

Porter's legs were crushed by a horse in a riding accident in 1937. He named his injured legs "Josephine" (left) and "Geraldine" (right), and for the rest of his life got around with canes and braces. His right leg, Geraldine, was amputated in 1958.

From our new profile of songwriter Cole Porter.

Cheery Old Crime-Infested Chekhov

We've been reading A Night in the Cemetery, and Other Stories of Crime and Suspense by the great Anton Chekhov... whom we didn't know until just this minute wrote crime and suspense stories.

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Tony Hillerman, Author of Native American Mysteries, Dead at 83

The NY Times:

"Mr. Hillerman's evocative novels, which describe people struggling to maintain ancient traditions in the modern world, touched millions of readers, who made them best sellers. But although the themes of his books were not overtly political, he wrote with a purpose, he often said, and that purpose was to instill in his readers a respect for Indian culture..."

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Phony Presidential Trivia

Here's a swell new Onion interview with writer John Hodgman.

He's the dowdy "PC" on Apple TV ads, and a regular on Jon Stewart's show. He's also the author of the fake-trivia books The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require.

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