The Public Eye: Obama’s Honeymoon is Over

By Bob Burnett
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:04:00 PM

Five months after his inauguration, Barack Obama has finished his honeymoon period. Republicans attacked the president from day one, now there’s indication of pushback from Democrats, too. -more-

UnderCurrents: Don Perata Sets His Sights on Oakland

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:03:00 PM

Expressions of relief and joy from supporters of Don Perata were both understandable, expected, and proper in the wake of the decision by the United States Attorney’s office to drop their years-long corruption investigation of the former California State Senate President. Had an indictment gone forward, Mr. Perata faced, at the worst, possible jail time and heavy fines if convicted and, at the least, the end of any plans to run for mayor of Oakland in 2010. This is not a “full vindication” or “a complete affirmation … that I’ve acted appropriately in both my professional life and my career in public service,” as Mr. Perata asserted in a statement released immediately after the announcement, since U.S. attorneys—or federal juries, for that matter—cannot prove innocence of charges, they can only prove and decide guilt. Until then, by U.S. law, innocence is presumed, and needs no proof. Still, this is an enormous victory for Mr. Perata, and he and his supporters have earned the right to gloat. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Parasites Regained: The Case of the Beaver Mites

By Joe Eaton
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:01:00 PM
This beaver is home to a whole community of mites and beetles.

Some books change the way you see the world. Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer, was one of those for me—an account of life and evolution from a parasite’s perspective. (Marlene Zuk’s more recent Riddled with Life is also recommended.) One of the things I took away from it was how finely tuned host-parasite relationships can be. Many parasites, like the brown pelican pouch louse, are found only on a specific body part of a single host species. -more-

About the House: Aging In Place

By Matt Cantor
Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:02:00 PM

I’m not sure how Led Zeppelin is going to sound to me when I’m 80 but I’m determined to find out. I really don’t mind the idea of getting older. Well, maybe I do mind some of the changes in my body, like my gradual waning of flexibility, the loss of my close-up vision and having to get up too often at night. Aging is annoying but I have no desire to be 14 again. I was miserable. I didn’t like myself. I had few friends and the world seemed terrifying. Age has opened my life more and more and the price of the trip is more than worth it. I understand that I will lose more and more of the capabilities that I used to take for granted but oh well. Better prepare for the road ahead. -more-