Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Cybersquatter Revealed

alison lundergan grimesA Side Note on Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Nascent Campaign

As you might guess, we at Austin Passive Solar are interested in political developments that affect our nation and our area of expertise. One such development that came to our attention recently is the launch of a new Kentucky senate campaign — one that pits five-term incumbent and Republican Mitch McConnell against Democrat and current Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (pictured).

Grimes announced her campaign on July 1, but a cybersquatter had already bought the domains alisonforsenate.com and grimesforsenate.com. A little research on our part revealed the cybersquatter to be Michael Deutsch, a Wellington, FL, resident with some affiliation with MIT. According to one right-wing blog, Deutsch is also the party responsible for whisking away the domain organizingforaction.org from the Obama administration.

Of course, Grimes had a lot of other choices for her domain, and she ended up choosing AlisonForKY.com.

As for the popular sentiment in Kentucky, Stu Rothenberg writes, “Multiple polls show more state voters disapprove of McConnell’s job performance than approve, and Democrats say that more Kentucky voters now say that they want to replace McConnell than to re-elect him, a far different situation from polling conducted in 2002 and 2008, the last two times the Kentucky Republican faced voters.”

We shall see what the voters decide.

And… What the Heck?

And how about this whole domain squatting thing? Obstructionism like this smacks of filibuster abuse, gerrymandering, and other unproductive and frankly unpatriotic abuses that dominate the landscape in this contentious era.

Are we so far gone down this “us versus them” road that we resort to pulling internet pranks to sabotage the other side? What happened to free speech and upholding the provisos of the Constitution? Are we all Americans, or just a bunch of red and blue do-ragged gang members at a street fight?

Austin Targeted by North Korean Nukes – And Propped by Jon Stewart

Kim Jong-un. Nukes. CNN. Second-Most Viewed Daily Show Clip Ever. And Austin. Huh?

Fellow Austinites, you might not know it, but 2.8 million Chinese people got a chuckle out of a Daily Show joke centered around Austin and South by Southwest. And, oh, by the way, South Korea wants to nuke the crap out of us.

Skip to 1:45 in the clip! “There’s a chart marked US MAINLAND STRIKE PLAN with missile trails aiming at Hawaii, California, DC, and for some reason… Austin, Texas.”

Okay, from the beginning: Kim Jong-un released a video threatening China and the U.S. Sharp-eyed analysts sussed out North Korea’s potential targets by looking at the map on the wall of their war room. (“You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”) Jon Stewart hoisted up the video for ridicule on the Daily Show, and Chinese viewers made it viral.

Here’s the Reddit thread and the CNN video talking about the 2.8 million hits that Jon Stewart scored from the other side of the world.

Not Enough Sunlight? Try Gympact to Stay Fit

not enough sunlight

A Followup on Gympact

A little while ago we wrote about the new company Gym-Pact. It’s a program that pays you when you work out according to the schedule you choose… and charges your credit card when you don’t!

Devious but effective, Gympact simulates the incentive process that keeps us going to work, but this time you’re working to meet your own fitness goals. You don’t have to be a fitness monster, either. You can sign up to work out as little as once a week, and a maximum of once per day. The site monitors your activity via a smartphone app.

Now Connected with Runkeeper

I personally have been using it and am quite impressed. The system works well (although the app is a bit glitchy, because it doesn’t detect when you are on vacation), and it provides a good incentive to get out there and move. You don’t even have to move fast — a normal walking pace is sufficient. But if you move too fast, Runkeeper knows you’re in a car and will not count your activity.In the past, Gympact was only good for people with gym memberships. The app would use the GPS on your phone to figure out if you were actually at the gym. (Yes, it’s clear that people try to cheat on their own fitness goals!) However, Gympact has upped their game considerably by partnering with the smartphone app Runkeeper. Now you can walk, run, or cycle for 30 minutes using Runkeeper, and when you finish your activity, it logs to Gympact and counts as a workout. If you need to take a break or vacation, just hit the website and change your status.

As you would expect, the charges for missing your goals are higher than the rewards for making them. Hey, Gympact has to make it work somehow! In my experience, you earn about $.40 per workout, and you lose a minimum of $5 for missing a workout. If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to get in shape, check it out.