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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: The danger of infatuating gadgets

May 31, 2011

STATE OF THE NATION: Smart phones have long since become must-have for political/media/hipster types and scores of other Americans. So what to make from a new World Health Organization finding that cell phones may pose a cancer risk? Of-the-moment author Jonathan Franzen was right on time with a weekend op-ed in the NYT, warning of our infatuation with technology: “Do I need to point out that — absent some wild, anthropomorphizing projection in which my old BlackBerry felt sad about the waning of my love for it — our relationship was entirely one-sided? Let me point it out anyway. Let me further point out how ubiquitously the word ‘sexy’ is used to describe late-model gadgets; and how the extremely cool things that we can do now with these gadgets — like impelling them to action with voice commands, or doing that spreading-the-fingers iPhone thing that makes images get bigger — would have looked, to people a hundred years ago, like a magician’s incantations, a magician’s hand gestures; and how, when we want to describe an erotic relationship that’s working perfectly, we speak, indeed, of magic.”

I-195 COMMISSION: Dominick Ruggerio‘s bill is slated for a vote this afternoon. The Ruggerio camp defends the greater state than city presence on its envisioned commission by pointing to how the land in question is state-owned. The intention for Thomas Deller, Providence’s director of Planning & Development, to serve as ex officio commission member is also cited. Such assurances may not mollify obsevers like Andrew Morse, who cites defects in the bill, including how, he says. it tries to place the commission beyond the reach of the state Ethics Commission.

DEBT CEILING: Talking Points Memo says the GOP is trying to divide Dems on a key vote today.

GOP 2012: Politico, via NBC, reports on Mitt Romney’s peformance review of President Obama: “He’s been one of the most ineffective presidents at the job at hand that I’ve ever seen.”

GREAT NORTH: The flood of small-scale donations that helped fuel Scott Brown’s rise has dried up, reports the Boston Globe, illustrating the tough balancing act facing the freshman senator from Massachusetts.

NESI: Governor Lincoln Chafee ranks 28th among 38 governors in one popularity poll.

BASEBALL: asks, what’s the nation’s best ballpark? Ninety-nine-year-old Fenway places high, but the No. 1 choice may surprise you.

BIRTHDAY: Ted Nesi; Jennifer Berlin.

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