inessential by Brent Simmons

November 2006

Election Day!

It’s voting day!

I’m a big dork about it—I always love voting, whether or not I expect to be happy with the election results.

Sadly, Washington state is switching to vote-by-mail—this may be the last time Sheila and I have the ritual of walking down to the local poll (a Methodist church about three blocks from here), signing in, and casting our vote. I very much like voting in person—it makes me feel connected to the tradition of voting, to the centuries of voters before me.

Bears, the once and future threat

CNN: Cave an Ice Age time capsule:

The bear that left a 3-foot-long claw mark in an Ice Age clay bank was the largest bear species ever to walk the earth, about 6 feet tall at the shoulder and capable of moving its 1,800 pounds up to 45 miles per hour in a snarling dash for prey.

The claw mark by the extinct giant short-faced bear still looks fresh today in a southwest Missouri cave that some scientists are calling a national treasure—an Ice Age time capsule sealed for thousands of years.