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March 11th, 2015

15 minute sci-fi

The day started out very cloudy. The day finished rather sunny. I took fifteen minutes before heading off to work. I felt the day deserved a little science fiction, even if I measured it out in a fifteen minute portion.

I am also following whether lander Philae will come back to life atop Comet Chury. The comet is coming into the sunlight--perhaps its system will start up again. I hope so.

This week I read articles about the Ellen Pao trial. Ms. Pao sues the Kleiner Perkins investment firm for alleged violations of equal employment laws. The trial gets a lot of coverage in the financial press and, due to its Silicon Valley connections, in the technical press.

The coverage reminds me why I find press coverage of trials disappointing. The articles about Ms. Pao's direct examination described her in glowing terms. The articles about the cross-examination describe her in disparaging terms. But trials involve both direct examinations and cross-examinations. Journalists write how the woman cross-examining Ms. Pao once caused a witness to vomit, as if this were a pink badge of courage. The press coverage also stresses the odd nature of Ms. Pao's former employer's ways, with a combination of proper indignation and prurient sensationalism. I am not sure how the trial will come out, but no matter who wins, it's a troubling and complex train wreck. I will be interested to see if my guess about the direction of the trial matches the ultimate verdict. Regardless of whether Ms. Pao wins, the world needs to change and be more inclusive and less old-skool.

This evening at Bethany Lakes Park, I saw my first swallows of the year. I think they were Cliff Swallows. I loved a warm evening with Spring birds.

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