On The Pennsylvanian through Lancaster County. The passenger behind is going to a ceremony at an Episcopal church - she is telling her neighbor the history of each member of her family after freedom from slavery. Two young people in old-fashioned clothes board our car. He wears a wide-brimmed hat, she has a bonnet, and a backpack. Do the Amish ride Amtrak? A cluster of nuclear cooling towers on the left by the Susquehanna - is this Three Mile Island? Would be able to check, if Amtrak had Wifi on board. A train trip through technological time, all the way to not-quite-the 21st-century. Macintosh country is behind - maybe people here use PCs and not Apple, sort of the way they drive Mercurys and Buicks, not VWs and Hondas like everybody. A burnt DC3 at the Harrisburg airport.
News roundup: The bright spot in the economy is the iPhone (good engineering pays). The start-and-stop war in Afghanistan seems to have pushed the Taliban close to taking Islamabad (in the same way as taking antibiotics just until you feel better opens the way to a bad infection). The think tank proposals for the Cabinet were visibly weaker and more timid than Obama's (from reading past issues of Foreign Affairs). I made a bug report for a piece of shareware and got a reply before thinking about it a second time (can you expect this kind of service from a big software company?). Tony Tether, another of Rumsfeld's disastrous innovations, was fired unceremoniously of Feb 20 (the incompetent Darpa head was expected to stay until a successor was found, but they let him go before he could do more harm). Dick Cheney needs to go potty (are there any grown-ups left in the Republican party?).