Catching My Eye.

  • Fantastic article by Michael Scherer on Swampland, Time’s political blog, on Obama’s journey in Europe.  Barack is powerfully eloquent as always:
  • Obama was serving witness to the consequences of human failure and resilience. At Buchenwald, he spoke of his great-uncle’s experience in the 89th Infantry Division as one of the first Americans to reach the concentration camp in 1945. “He returned from his service in a state of shock,” the President said, “saying little and isolating himself for months on end from family and friends, alone with the painful memories that would not leave his head.” The lesson Obama took from his family was that the memories needed to be shared, laid out in the open as a warning to future generations. “To this day, there are those who perpetrate every form of intolerance — racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and more — hatred that degrades its victims and diminishes us all,” he said. “This place teaches us that we must be ever vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time, that we must reject the false comfort that others’ suffering is not our problem, and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate others to serve our own interests.” 

  • Steven Johnson on the surprising relational depth (!?!?) Twitter can bring:
  • And yet as millions of devotees have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth. In part this is because hearing about what your friends had for breakfast is actually more interesting than it sounds. The technology writer Clive Thompson calls this “ambient awareness”: by following these quick, abbreviated status reports from members of your extended social network, you get a strangely satisfying glimpse of their daily routines. We don’t think it at all moronic to start a phone call with a friend by asking how her day is going. Twitter gives you the same information without your even having to ask.

    Located on the southern tip of Africa (for you geography majors), South Africa is exposed to a wide range of swell directions from both the South Atlantic and South Indian Oceans. Due to the predominant storm track from west to east, we typically see large WSW/SW swells pound the exposed breaks courtesy of low-pressure systems that take shape off the southeastern coastline of South America. As these storms progress further eastward, the swell direction rotates more SSW to S.