Monday, September 22, 2014

Election Day

Election Day

September 22, 2014. I love elections! No matter who wins, I just feel extra happy on election day. This place - the polling place (that's it's actual name, 'Polling Place') is the core of our democracy. It's very low-tech. You are given a voting card ahead of time (or you can register on the spot by providing some proof of residence) to the people on the left, who give you a voting card. You take the voting card to the next table (stright ahead) and they take your card and give you a ballot (notice how the two-stage process makes the ballot anonymous?). You then take your ballot to a booth (you can see one of them at right) to make your ballot in private (we used to be given a pencil, but now we use a black marker - technology marches on). The ballot is then taken to the deposit box (also not seen) where it's scanned (for quick counting) and saved (in case a recount is needed). It's a reminded that the ballot is a physical token, and this token is necessary to provide tangible evidence of the actual count. Do away with the token, and you do away with democracy. P.S. this location is also where I have spin class when I'm hone, three times a week - all the bikes are stored behind the door under the basket - and obviously spin class was cancelled for today.



from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_downes/15137678448/in/photostream/

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Frankfurt



September 21, 2014. The view from inside the Air Canada lounge at Frankfurt airport, the first stop on the trip home from Saudi Arabia. Six hours completed, another ten or so to go.



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View From The Top



September 20, 2014. At the top of the Kingdopm Tower, 99th floor, the view looking south over Riyadh. In the distance you can see the Globe restaurant where we had dinner a few days earlier (and from which I took a photo of this very tower).



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Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday



September 19, 2014. Yes, it's the same building again, but I couldn't resist after capturing this interesting effect on a nice Friday afternoon walk - the Kingdom Center Tower can be seen lighting up the Arabian desert dust in a fan reflecting the sunlight. It being Friday, of course, everything was closed, at least until four, but I was able to enjoy the 40 degree weather just the same.



from Flickr http://ift.tt/1wx6e9J

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In a Ball Suspended in the Sky...



September 18, 2014. If you look at the picture I took the other day - this one of the city skyline - and you see the round ball at the top of a skyscraper, you can see the restaurant where I shot this photo (and had a gourmet meal). Today was a good day, with a presentation, a panel, a tour of a major museum, and topped off by this dinner.



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chinese Food



September 17, 2014. My excellent hosts here in Riyadh join us for Chinese food downtown (I'd say where but I'm not exactly sure where, but it was quite near the 7-star hotel) (which I'm not in).



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Cityscape



September 16, 2014. Jet lag day. Slept a bit, had a meeting, and went out for a short walk in the evening, when I was able to take this shot of Riyadh.



from Flickr http://ift.tt/1mfxdFU