A Most August Day

A Most August Day

Websterís defines August thusly:

adj 1: of or befitting a lord; "heir to a lordly fortune"; "of august lineage" [syn: grand, lordly] 2: profoundly honored; "revered holy men" [syn: revered, venerable] n : the month following July and preceding September [syn: August, Aug]

Today, August 7, 2003, is, indeed a most august August day. Many august events took place on this day, recently and sometime back, as well.

WTC Cloudwalk: 19 Years Ago

On this day in 1974, Frenchman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center. This was a daring and ingenious feat. Petit managed to get his balance bar, the cable that was brought in, brought up, then subsequently strung between the towers, and then perform the walk.

It was on August 7, 1974 that 24 year old Frenchman Philip Petit climbed into and up the then-unfinished Twin Towers, strung a wire, and used a balance beam (he smuggled the wire and the beam into and up the tower) to conduct a daredevil tightrope walk, back and forth a number of times, between the as-yet-unoccupied towers of the World Trade Center.

He wrote a book about it. The event took place before the towers were completed, and it was a news story widely reported and covered all over the world. Two months after the September 11th attack an article about Petit appeared in Smithsonian. Rudolph Chelminski, the author of the article, interviewed Petit for the story just two weeks before the terrorist attack brought the Twin Towers back in to the news. Chelminski often writes for Smithsonian, and is an American living in Paris. How poetic that he writes about Petit, a Frenchman now living in the US.

Australian Radio station 891 ABC Adelaideís morning show, The Bald Brothers, interviewed Petit as a guest, a year after the attack. Thereís a summary and some audio links found on their site.

On the subject of the World Trade Center, thereís a remembrance site found here. It is well worth a visit.

More reasons to adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus

is more than a beautiful and capable actress and songstress, and certainly deeper than the Elaine character from Seinfeld.  Or that short-lived TV show that's had two brief runs. Found this in a link while perusing http://j-walk.com/blog/archives/030804.htm#07-07 ">the J-Walk blog. An article in Grist Magazine tells of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hallís eco-friendly house. This is an energy-efficient, self-perpetuating model of how to be eco-friendly, green-thinking, and still have a comfortable, beautiful place to live. From the article:

The couple commissioned their friend David Hertz, a Santa Monica-based architect who specializes in green design, to transform their oceanfront bungalow just north of Santa Barbara into a showcase of green design and state-of-the-art energy efficiency mechanisms. The lengthy list of environmentally sensitive materials and building techniques Hertz integrated includes net-metered rooftop solar panels, sustainably harvested tropical woods, a natural ventilation system, and insulation made of recycled newspaper. The result is a house so efficient, so replete with creature comforts, and so sophisticated in its design that it redefines the energy-conscious lifestyle.

In the article Brad Hall speaks at length about growing up in Santa Barbara, and the impact it had on his becoming a committed environmentalist.

Hmmm . . . the house is just north of Santa Barbara. Next time I visit Doc, maybe we can drive by to check it out. A glimpse of Julia Louis-Dreyfus wouldnít be a bad thing, either.

You Can Call Him Al

You remember: the man who won, but then didn't win,even though he won? Remember that august fellow Al Gore who won the Popular Vote but was denied the Electoral Vote by The Supremes? The one who said publicly that he would not seek the Presidency in 2004? Maybe, on this August day, there is an indication he is rethinking that decision. At a meeting of both the NYU campus Democratic organization and MoveOn.Org., Gore addressed domestic and foreign policy issues of the incumbent administration.

Speaking before the gathering at NYU, the straight-talking Gore said, ìThe direction in which our nation is being led is deeply troubling to me, not only in Iraq but also at home, on economic policy, social policy and environmental policy,î Gore added that he was speaking ìnot as a candidate ... but as an American who loves his country.î

Gore challenged Dubya on the false pretenses and misleading statements of his administration. From the AP story on the speech:

Gore said the administration has also given false impression about the results of tax cuts, and he called the federal budget deficit ìan emerging fiscal catastrophe.î
In both Iraq and the economy, Gore said, the common factor is a dishonesty in the dissemination of facts. ìThat really is the nub of the problem,î he said.

August words from the man who won, but then lost, the last Presidential election.

Food for thought: Gore-Clark? Can Gore re-invent himself, run a better campaign, surround himself with better people? Is he the right candidate for the Democrats? Surely he is better qualified than any of the group of nine that have already thrown their hats into the ring.

Hey, General Wesley Clark! Any chance you and Al might have a sit-down and discuss the future?

Some links to coverage of the Gore speech: The Washington Post, MSNBC, The San Jose Mercury News, CNN, The Nation, ABC News, The NY Times (which buried this as a low ranking sub-head in the electronic edition of the paper).

Draft Gore is now a website! Yesterday, in a radio interview in Albany, NY, former New York Governer Mario Cuomo urged Gore to run. From the San Jose Mercury News story: Labeling the Democratic voices from the presidential field "babble," prominent Democrat Mario Cuomo is calling on former Vice President Al Gore to enter the race for the party's nomination.