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Showing posts from February, 2016

COSI Columbus review

As current members of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (full confession--my former employer) you get free admission into other science centers throughout the nation as part of the ASTC's Travel Passport Program. So I was excited to return home to Columbus with the kids to visit family and explore my childhood science museum, COSI. But they're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays currently. 
That's your first sign of things to come. 
Now, I remember the old days when COSI was located on Broad St across from the original Wendy's. It had the glass front lobby with the dark, multi-story interior floors after you got inside. But I've also been several times to the new building across the Scioto River. It's an amazing space, architecturally. It's bright, open, shiny and easy to navigate...sort of. And when the new building first opened it had a busy-but-organized feel of plenty of things to do and explore. 
That last thing is why I left especially disappoin…

Family vacation planning

Cue "Holiday Road." This family loves a road trip. It's my kids' only chance to regularly get McDonalds, first of all. And although we're all usually ready to be done with each other after 8 hours of car togetherness, it remains our favorite way to get around the region for convenience and affordability. With our family mostly in the Midwest, we've yet to do a multi-day car trip though it's definitely in the cards in the future. The price tag for a family of 4 to go anywhere by flying is real sticker shock. Though I'm frequently hounded about one day finally going on an airplane. So when it's finally time to go to Disney World, for instance, we may have to weigh the two options carefully.

We're about to head out on an impromptu road trip next week, actually. The Mama has to go to Ohio for work so we'll tag along, stay in a hotel, and visit with my family while she's in business meetings. Less concerned about the littlest missing school…

Doing the delegate math

For about a week, I've been begging for somebody to post a data-driven look at how the race will play out moving forward. I'm geeky enough that I can eyeball the states and see that Clinton would have a fairly large lead by mid-March. But how big? What states lean towards Sanders, are tossups, and which ones lean Clinton? I finally got my answer from a great political map-maker who posted the voter data through March 15 yesterday. Thank you!

Of course, it wasn't a delegate count so I still had to do my own approximations of how voter data translates into proportional delegates. In the Democratic primary system, it doesn't really help to "just win." You only rack up larger delegate totals if you win big. And, as we saw with Sanders winning New Hampshire by 20 points, even if you win big it's nothing without support from superdelegates...they can quickly turn your proportional, pledged delegate total into a tie as it did there.

My first time through the del…

Hillary Clinton and gender equality

Driving home from dinner last night, the topic turned to government (as it tends to do with 5 and 4 year olds, right?!). It was a complicated discussion about good laws vs bad laws and the ability to change unfair rules if everyone works together. My son was fascinated by the idea that the Constitution can be altered. His class has been studying Abraham Lincoln for Presidents Day so he's familiar with the Civil War, slavery, and saving the Union...all are topics which blow my mind that a kindergarten student knows them. I'm kinda of a proud papa. So the chat naturally turned to our history of trying to make things more fair for everyone. We talked about how the Constitution has been changed a very small number of times. Eliminating slavery. Giving former slaves citizenship and the right to vote. Letting "girls" vote. Giving 18 year olds the vote. (That unfortunate attempt to ban wine/beer--which the kids know mommy and daddy love.) And we even managed to meander int…

Stop Sign or Not?

Last night's Transportation Commission meeting was one of the rare instances of being able to take part in citizen government and really make positive change for the community. We had a chance to think carefully about a dangerous traffic situation, weigh a variety of good options, collect amazing data, hear from the public, and ultimately help honor a neighborhood request for safer streets. Quite satisfying.

The T intersection between my daughter's elementary school and a local park is a nightmare. It sees high volumes of cars as a collector street, pedestrians crossing, is a bicycle route, a school bus loading zone, and is sandwiched between two traffic lights with parked cars on both sides of the street. While the overall crash rate for the intersection wasn't horrible, two of the accident reports on file were injured children trying to cross at this difficult crosswalk. One was with a group of children. The other was a child in a stroller. Lots of moving parts including…

Managed expectations

"Managed expectations" is a phrase you're hearing a lot on social media right now to describe the state of both primary races in New Hampshire. From the astronaut view, not much has really changed on the ground since Iowa. Trump and Cruz still dominate with Rubio attempting to gain...although he's in a somewhat shaky position after a poor debate performance. Hillary still leads nationally by double digits. Bernie Sanders is still expected to win a very white, liberal state near his home.

The lack of movement is probably the reason things have gotten so angry lately on the Democratic side. After a contentious review of Iowa delegate counts, both candidates ended up gaining, the results tightened slightly, but Clinton maintained her win. Which is frustrating on many levels for Sanders' supporters. They feel like they gained a lot of momentum, are looking good for NH, and deserve to be treated like a surging populist candidate. Fueled by a few outlying polls which d…

Cameras, Coffee, and Chrysalides review

Things have been a little crazy around our house with birthday parties, illness, ballet, etc. so I haven't gotten a chance to write up anything about my event this weekend. Most of you who know me pretty well have probably already seen my gorgeous (if I don't say so myself) butterfly photos over on my new photography portfolio blog. I've actually gotten many kind words about my new hobby and I'm enjoying myself. That blog's my "for-now" home for the non-family photography I'm doing. Not super-professional (and it's a bit of a 3rd choice) but serves as a nice place to showcase the bird and flower photos I'm taking.

My early morning on Saturday was my Christmas gift from DLP. (She's so thoughtful!) For about $15, every now and then the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park hosts a unique session before they open to the public. Limited to 15 photographers or so, the doors open--they were locked and you must ring the buzzer--and those…

The post Iowa chaos isn't really that chaotic...

If you saw my predictions for the Iowa Caucus yesterday afternoon, you'll remember I hedged Hillary Clinton down from her earlier 80% win range closer to 60%. (Nate Silver had her around 66%.) Pretty much for the exact reason you saw last night. An average of 4% lead in the polls wasn't so much...but still a lead. It was entirely possible Bernie could win. And he nearly did. Turnout was high but Hillary did better in a few of his places than expected. Her ground game was even more impressive than Sanders' and she made history.

I actually feel bad for Bernie supporters--despite the nasty afterwards--because it really was pretty close to his best case scenario. You did well and should be proud of the effort. It just wasn't enough to stop the Clinton freight train. Which tells you something that Bernie couldn't get over the hump in his 3rd best state demographically. Mostly white, lots of colleges, lots of young people turning out. The cold truth is if Bernie couldn&#…