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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Writer's Life 10/23 - Code

New York parents are insisting tots as young as two learn the basics of coding — the instructions used to create Web sites, software and apps. They’re snapping up tech-teaching toys and paying hundreds of dollars for computer-programming classes for the pre-K set. One toy, made by Fisher-Price, is Code-a-Pillar, which retails for $39.99. Kids get to take the segments apart and rearrange them to send it moving in different directions and cause it to light up and loudly beep and buzz. An owner of academic-enrichment centers in Connecticut and on the Upper East Side says there has been an explosion of 4-year-olds being enrolled in programming classes, which cost between $299 and $599 for a slate of six. Here's a pic of the toy:

25 years ago today Clarence Thomas was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice. Since then he has written more than 500 opinions, earning the praise of the fair-minded. A pillar of strength and dignity, he has endured the slings and arrows of his detractors for his opposition to liberal orthodoxy. Thank you, sir. Long may you live and serve.

Rasmussen isn't the only poll that has Trump in the lead. The one with best track record in the last three presidential elections, Investor's Business Daily, has him leading a four-way race by two points, 42%-40%. In a two-way race, he leads by a half-point -- 42.2% to 41.7%. In total contrast, Reuters/Ipsos says Hillary has a 95% chance of winning. I haven't conducted any polls, but my gut feeling is Clinton will win, possibly in a landslide. I hope I'm wrong. The NY Post, which has a conservative bias, publishes pictures of Trump that may only be described as Angry White Male. The tabloid's owner, Rupert Murdoch, is said to hate the Donald. I doubt the op-ed writers do, but all their articles have a doom and gloom resignation about them. Given the aforementioned polls, Trump's supporters should not allow demoralization to keep them from voting.

Hail to the Chicago Cubs, who will return to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They have not won it since 1908. Their opponent, the Cleveland Indians, have not won since 1948. They lost to the Braves in 1995 and to the Marlins in 1997. The fans of one of these great American cities will be ecstatic, their opposites disappointed. Either way, it will be a great story. Since Cleveland recently won the NBA championship, I'm rooting for the small bears, even though Hillary is a fan.

It was a blustery but beautiful day. I set up the floating book shop in a recess that shielded it from the direct blast of the wind. My thanks to Charles, a 60ish jazz musician, who bought A Hitch in Twilight. My thanks also to the woman who bought the complete set of the Twilight series, the woman who overpaid for two paperbacks, and the young man who purchased a pictorial of Robert Pattinson, the heartthrob of the Twilight films.
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