cultural influences and democratic spirit, snow shovel

Did the Iroquois confederation serve as directly inspire the U.S. Constitution. Probably not, but there did seem to be a cultural influence on the Founders. A history professor disagrees here, but Mann’s rebuttal notes the straw man argument,

Instead of the straw man that Prof Rakove does battle with, I proposed a cultural argument — that the well-known democratic spirit had much to do with colonial contact with the Indians of the eastern seaboard, including and especially the Iroquois. In other words, I was saying (as Prof. Rakove puts it in his piece) “that prolonged contact between the aboriginal and colonizing populations were important elements [sic] in the shaping of colonial society and culture.” Why he seems to think I was saying something else is mystifying to me.

snow shovel

The answer to all our problems. Bring back Republican control of government and their Chinese no limit credit card? Middle-Class Families Squeezed By Declining Income and Fewer Job Opportunities

While families worked harder, their wages continued to decline.  Middle-class families are working harder and earning less today than they were eight years ago.  Median household income, adjusted for inflation, has declined $2,197 from $52,500 in 2000 to $50,303 in 2008.

Insectlike ‘microids’ might walk, run, work in colonies

A new approach in the design of miniature, insectlike robots could lead to “microids” the size of ants that move their tiny legs and mandibles using solid-state “muscles.”

Advanced computer simulations indicate these synthetic bugs would have significantly better dexterity than previous microscale robots. The robots also might be able to “scavenge vibrational energy” from the environment to recharge their power supply..

They remind me of the little search spiders in Minority Report.