Monday, January 24, 2011

Busy Place

Jason came across this fascinating video and forwarded it to us. It compresses into one minute 24 hours of global air traffic as viewed from a geosynchronous satellite. The video translates the aircraft's transponder signal into a light signal. It looks like one of those videos of cytoplasm streaming through a cell. Take a look:
The globe is a busy place.

Oh, Boy

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie promised when he took office last month that he was going to put the "birther" controversy to rest once and for all by producing President Obama's long-form birth certificate, the only official record of birth. We commented at the time that this was an extraordinarily foolish move. The birther movement had fallen into senescence and had become largely a target of ridicule. If, however, it turns out that the governor, who thought he was helping the president, can't make good on his promise then he's simply going to breath new life into the doubts and create a lot more headaches for the President.

Now it seems that just that has happened. The Governor was asked recently how his search for the elusive document was going, and he had to admit that he just can't find the darn thing.

Here's the UK Daily Mail (Where's the American press on this, anyway?):
Pressure was mounting on Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie today amid increasing confusion over whether President Obama was born there. Abercrombie said on Tuesday that an investigation had unearthed papers proving Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

He told Honolulu's Star-Advertiser: 'It actually exists in the archives, written down,' he said.

But it became apparent that what had been discovered was an unspecified listing or notation of Obama's birth that someone had made in the state archives and not a birth certificate.

And in the same interview Abercrombie suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.
In other words, Mr. Obama may not be able to prove that he really was born in the U.S. Birthers should tread carefully, though, warns Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh smells a devilishly clever plot afoot to discredit Mr. Obama's enemies. According to Limbaugh it works like this: The certificate really is there but Abercrombie is pretending that he can't find it in order to tempt some big name Republicans to start making hay about the issue. Then, presto, Mr. Abercrombie deftly pulls the certificate out of a hat, as it were, and make the Republicans, who had been accusing Mr. Obama of being an illegitimate president, look completely stupid.

Could be. Or maybe he's just determined to make himself look like a blundering dolt by reminding people of the controversy, by promising to end it and only making it worse, and thereby making life miserable for the President. Mr. Obama must be wondering right about now why anyone who has friends like Mr. Abercrombie would ever need enemies.

UPDATE: The WaPo reports that state officials have informed the Governor that the law prevents them from releasing the mysterious documents without the consent of the person they document. The President has refused to cooperate so it looks like Mr. Abercrombie is back where he started and the birthers remain unmollified, unrefuted, and undaunted.