Controversary Over the Proposed Washington DC Quarter for 2009

Don’t know how I missed this, but last month Guam, American Samoa, and Washington D.C. submitted designs to the US Mint for their 2009 quarters.

If you aren’t following this, the 50 State Quarter program ends this year, in 2008, with the 50th state, Hawaii rounding out the end of the year.  Congress passed a bill that added one year to the program in 2009, to cover Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Territories.

Here is an article on the American Samoa submission.  Here is another on Guam‘s submission.  Kind of cool that it has a Spanish motto on it.

Here is an article about Washington D.C.’s submissions, which included the motto, “Taxation Without Representation“, a historical reference and sly cut at Washington D.C.’s current status lacking congressional representation.

“The new quarter will teach people across the country about our city and its history. It’s my hope that those who don’t know about our disenfranchisement will soon learn about it when they’re paying a toll or buying a soda.”

The US Mint rejected their submissions as too controversial.

“Although the United States Mint expresses no position on the merits of this issue, we have determined that the proposed inscription is clearly controversial and, therefore, inappropriate as an element of design for United States coinage.”

Nothing like a little drama around coin design.

Antisocial Journalist Discovers LinkedIn… and becomes a Fan

This is a fun story, courtesy of the Boston Herald.  Reminds me a bit of my mother’s conversion last year to a true LinkedIn fan:

Boston Herald: Antisocial Critic Now Web Phanatic

I finally caved to peer pressure last week, convinced that the “best time to look for a job is when you’re not looking” cliche is all too true. Uploading my e-mail address book into the LinkedIn system, I invited nearly 300 personal and business associates to publicly admit they know me.

“Hi there!

After years of avoiding social networking like the plague, I’ve finally decided to show up to the dance.

Using “plague” and “dance” is a mixed metaphor to be sure, but please forgive me.

We’ve been in touch previously for one of my Boston Herald columns or TV production assignments, and I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Pretending I’m asking for a date to the prom for an agonizing 300 times might have been too cutesy for some recipients. But I thought it was much better than the trust pitch.

A funny thing happened over the next few days. The annoying process of networking became enjoyable. Scratch that. I actually found LinkedIn to be addicting.

“Darren, welcome to the dance!” wrote Joe, a business development guy for a local engineering firm. “Those of us who are poet/artists in marketers’ clothing see (social networking) for what it is – a sort of goofy/fun thing that could actually pay off in many ways.

“So welcome, and may you use your new powers for good not evil. You’ll probably want a Blackberry next – don’t fight it, they’re cool.”

Who would RSVP to my invitation next? How high could I get my number of contacts? I found myself in an undeclared competition with my co-workers. A guy down the hall went to college with one of my favorite TV meteorologists. When he added her to his network, the office considered it a major coup.

At LinkedIn, we spend most of our time working on new and useful ways of leveraging your professional network and professional reputation to make you more effective on a daily basis.  But it’s still amazing to me how emotionally powerful the basic “reconnect” features can be for people.

I think this journalist did a great job capturing how good that first euphoric wave of connection can feel for someone just discovering LinkedIn.  It’s a lot of fun to see in print.

Iraqi TV Debate: Is the Earth Flat or Round?

You be the judge.  Many thanks to Boing Boing and for this one.

Here’s a snippet:

Statement by a round-earther physicist: When you watch a ship sailing towards the shore, all you see at first is the mast. Then you see the bow, and eventually the entire ship.

Fadhel Al-Said: When you stand on the beach and look into the distance, everything you see is in the visible distance. In the blurred distance, you cannot see a thing. Later on as the ship gets closer to the shore or the harbor, you see the upper part. How do you see it? The eye, as I have said, no doctor has succeeded in understanding how the eye works.

Can you find the flaws in the flat earth “astronomy researcher”?  My favorite part is where he explains that since the moon covered the sun partially in 1999, he has been able to conclude that the moon is 1/2 the size of the sun.  🙂

Just a little fun on a Friday.