It has been a strange week. No sign of Jim Gray--we must presume him lost at sea. And the death of another distinguished computer scientist, Ken Kennedy--who certainly had a major impact on my life, via his leadership of the Center for Research on Parallel Computation, his work on PITAC (which created the ITR program), and many other things.
Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced its 4th assessment. The summary makes extremely sobering reading: the expected impacts on the environment and human life are spelt out in detail and with great certainty. While distressing, I have to see this as positive: as Scientific America summarized it, "Science Debate Ends, Solution Debate Begins." We have a lot to do.
On the entirely positive side, I was cheered to see a neighbor of mine, Barack Obama, announce his candidacy for presidency this morning. (The speech is worth watching.) I've always thought it would be interesting to have a president younger than me--I just didn't think it might happen so soon.