July 30, 2008


OK, so perhaps only a small slice of the world would find this picture funny... but I grew up buying every Superman comic book I could find and afford and you have to admit, the comparison between Al Gore and Jor-El (Superman's Dad) are striking. Of course, Gore-El is not a scientist, he is a ... what? A Scaremonger? No, more than that... a ProfitMonger -- that's better, because he both "profits" from scaring people into buying carbon transfers in which he's invested, and he's also treated like a "prophet" despite none of his prophesies coming true thus far. Another difference between the fictional Jor-El and the all-to-real Gore-El, is that Jor-El was right, Krypton did explode.
Jor-El was a highly respected scientist on the planet Krypton before its destruction...a fate which he foresaw, but was unable to convince his colleagues of in time to save their race. Jor-El was, however, able to save his infant son Kal-El, sending him in a homemade rocket ship to the planet Earth just moments before Krypton's destruction.

Water on Mars?

On Thursday at 2pm Eastern, NASA is expected to announce that the Phoenix Mission has discovered Water Ice on Mars.

Let's hope so. It sure would be easier to spend time there if we didn't have to bring our own water.


Are you looking for a new Internet search engine... perhaps one even better than Google? Cool... or rather, Cuil.

July 25, 2008

The Carbon Curtain

From Peter Huber's article, "The Carbon Curtain"

Together, China and India control more than one-fifth of the planet's vast coal reserves. Dar predicts--very plausibly, in my view--that the two countries may fire up a new coal plant as often as once a week for the next 25 years, adding about twice as much coal-fired generating capacity as the U.S. has today.

Uranium is the only carbon-free fuel liked by fast-growing nations. Some 439 nuclear power plants are currently operating in 31 countries. China plans to build another 100 for itself in the next 20 years. By 2020 or so a new reactor will be starting up somewhere in the world every five to six days...

The article discusses, at least obliquely, the vast chasm between the Al Gore, Media driven "consensus" versus the reality of growing power needs across the world.   Despite the overwhelming media blitz about Global Warming... nobody really believes.  Not Al Gore and his power-chugging posse and mansion, not Senator Obama and his globe-hopping 757 and certainly not the double-talking Europeans whose whole goal with respect to Global Warming appears to be economic warfare propaganda against the United States.

Before the car crash test

Shoe Tree

Click on the picture to make it bigger... and don't ask me why I posted a picture of the shoe tree, it's just important that you all know it's out there.... waiting.

Batman, Bush, Right and Wrong

What Bush and Batman have in common

Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

Big Bluffton Drug Bust

State Police have arrested 15 people in Bluffton and 3 people from Decatur after a year long drug investigation into dealing controlled/prescription drugs. More arrests are expected since charges have been filed against a total of 31 people.

Update: The Bluffton News-Banner weighs in

Biker passes through Markle

He missed getting one of Indiana's best steak burgers by two minutes so he went on to Huntington where he ordered a Coney dog basket and tried to upgrade the free root beer to a root beer float:

I was in the mood for a root beer float, so asked if they would make me one, and the girl on the other end of the speaker box said "no", you have to buy a root beer float. So I said OK, I'll do that, and she asked "do you still want the free root beer too?" At this point I became Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces. You remember the famous scene where Jack wants to order wheat toast and has to get a chicken salad sandwich on toast, hold the chicken salad to do it? I decided to tell her "Forget about the float, just bring me the free root beer and a small vanilla cone, hold the cone and just put the ice cream in the free root beer". She said, that would be a root beer float then and she'd have to charge me for that. We are NOT in the South anymore. No wonder Dan Quayle came from here.

It looks like an interesting trip.

July 24, 2008

Astronaut Talks of Aliens

There are a lot of articles out today regarding Dr. Edgar Mitchell, a NASA astronaut who once walked on the moon.  He talked a bit on a radio show about alien beings, Roswell and the cover up of alien visitors

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

For those who don't know, Mitchell has been saying this kind of thing for many, many years.  I enjoy a good alien discussion more than most, but it is unbelievable that a cabal of NASA insiders (except for Mitchell) would keep this secret through the huge budget cuts NASA has experienced since the heyday of the moon shots.  After all, what better way to get funding for space exploration than to hold a joint presser with ET.

A Tip on Propane Tanks

Thanks to Sevens member Sue King for sending along this tip from the Police:

Subject: A note sent out from the Indiana Sheriff's Association

I was at a meth training/workshop yesterday and there was a lot of great new information presented. I wanted to let you all know about one thing that I was not aware of. Meth cooks are getting the propane tanks from the exchanges at Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. and emptying them of the propane. Then, they are filling them with anhydrous ammonia (which they now have a recipe for by the way). After they are finished with them, they return them to the store. They are then refilled with propane and sent back for you and me to buy. Anhydrous ammonia is very corrosive and weakens the structure of the tank. ! It can be very dangerous when mixed with propane and hooked up to our grills, etc. According to our presenter, you should inspect the propane tank for any blue or greenish residue around the valve areas. If it is present, refuse to purchase that one.

Note:  I also looked this up on Snopes, which verified that it's a good idea to check for blue/green staining around propane tank valves because it's a sign of weakened, misused tanks.

Environmentalism and Germany

Didn't I just read today here that Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired plants by 2020? All of Europe combined (including Germany) has "40 new major coal power plants set to be built in the next five years." It's not in Germany, but in America where all the efforts to increase power are being throttled in their infancy, it is not in America, but in Europe where the governments that signed off on Kyoto are building fossil fuel plants to meet their coming needs -- and yet Obama complains about cars in Boston and factories in Beijing melting the ice caps, and yet Obama says to the German people, "Let us resolve that all nations -- including my own -- will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere." Question: who here thinks Senator Obama is actually impressed with the German energy plan and who thinks he was just pandering again. If you think he was not pandering, do you then believe he will propose a large increase in America's coal-fired power plants?

Yes, "In America there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe." And yes, Europe does "have the view that America is part of what's gone wrong in the world." We do not think like Europeans, we actually admire and try to promote people who mean what they say and do what they say they will do. Europe votes for and ignores Kyoto and is praised around the world while America votes down Kyoto but refuses to plan for future energy needs, hoping for some magic energy dart of a solution. Who gets the praise from Obama? Europe, Germany for continuing to build fossil fuel plants despite their agreements. Who gets the blame from Obama? America, for refusing to sign on, but effectively powering down our country.

There are hi-tech companies in major American cities that cannot add any more computers because the power companies have no more energy to give -- and on TV we see commercials saying, "If enough of us demand cleaner forms of energy (from our government), we cannot be ignored." Is that the America in which you were raised? The America where the people stand up and demanded new forms of fuel from their government as if scientific breakthroughs were within the purview of the Congress? I don't think so.

Update: And another thing. When, when will some Red-State governor finally put his or her foot down and build power plants, drill for oil and mine coal and shale despite -- or rather in spite of -- federal regulations and D.C. Congressional disapproval. What are the Feds going to do, send the Army to tear it down?

America Powers Down

The World is Powering Up While America is Powering Down

The economy is by far the No. 1 issue on most Americans' minds. Gas prices are a close second. The two issues are intimately related. But the spike in oil prices this year is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to similar developments in supply and demand, electricity prices are set to skyrocket next year.

While American oil consumption has grown only 15% since 1973, electricity use has shot up 115%. Right now the U.S. has 760 gigawatts of power to meet consumption. We will need 135 gigawatts of new capacity over the next decade to keep the lights on, but right now only 57 gigawatts of power are planned. No matter what Barack Obama and Al Gore tell you, alternative energy sources cannot meet demand. Solar is still only one-tenth as efficient as the cheapest fossil fuels. Today 97% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro power. Wind provides 1% and solar .01%.

The rest of the world knows that green sources of energy are inadequate to keep their people out of poverty. That is why around the world, from Europe to South America to Asia, countries are building coal and nuclear power plants at a dizzying pace while also drilling for oil wherever they can find it. Meanwhile, the United States, crippled by an out-of-control environmental movement, is refusing to develop needed energy sources.

Those are very sobering paragraphs.  The article goes on to describe why America has failed to build a nuclear power plant for 30 years, why Congress will not even vote on whether or not to drill for more oil and why the USA can't get a coal plant built despite Europe, China and India are building them at a dizzying pace.

Ossian Fire of 1908

July 22, 2008

Unbreakable Umbrella

I may have to get me one of these...

Too Young to be Prez

Is Senator Obama legally qualified to be President?  An interesting article on how lawyers "interpret" the clear words of the Constitution.

Many on the legal left these days advocate purposive, pragmatic interpretation of the Constitution. The idea is you look behind the text to see what function it played for the framers and you then translate the text so it will play that same function for us today. What does this mean for the presidential age qualification?

In 1789, the average life expectancy of a newborn was about 40 years, compared with about 78 today. A lot of this was because of infant mortality, but in 1789, even the average life expectancy of every man who reached age 18 was only about 47. This suggests that at best a 35-year-old age limit in 1789 might have functioned then about the way a 55- or 60-year-old age qualification would function today. On this account Obama may be old enough to drive and buy a glass of white wine, but he has a way to go before he can run for president.

Others on the legal left, such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, argue that in choosing between different interpretations of the Constitution, we should select the one that will produce the best consequences. This method too suggests that Obama should be understood to be constitutionally barred from serving as president by reason of his age. We have had three presidents out of 43 who were younger when they took office than Obama would be on Jan. 20, 2009: Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt. All of them committed serious rookie blunders because they were too young.

Interesting.  Read the article for more information on the early errors of Clinton, Kennedy and Teddy Roosevelt.

July 21, 2008

The Moon transits Earth

As seen by NASA's EPOXI spacecraft from 31 million miles away.

Jenga Skyscraper

Personally, I would prefer not to spin.  I can't see the attraction in living or working in a skyscraper built to resemble a Jenga structure before the inevitable.

Leaving the Gobal Warming Hacienda

Another member of the consensus speaks his heresy

When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

A sea change is coming, look for Skipper Gore to sense the shifting winds soon.  Nothing so simple as admitting he was wrong, no... he will go forward, tacking into the wind this way and that.  It will be Global Warming is causing the cooling, it will be humanity sinning against Gaea, the goddess of the Earth, it will be all model and no reality.  Every storm will be evidence, every flood a rally point.  Every hurricane will be a revival in the next Great Awakening of Man.

July 19, 2008

Sozin's Comet

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" ended tonight with a fine, two hour move called "Sozin's Comet." It was a lovely cartoon series with a whole group of finely crafted characters. Now M. Night Shyamalan takes the helm from the Nickelodeon creators with his planned, live-action film "The Last Airbender" planned for 2010. Even with special effects being what they are, I somehow can't imagine a live-action version of the Avatar being as good as the cartoon. Shyamalan, though, believes it will be as beloved and as popular as Star Wars. He sees a common thread between "Star Wars" and "The Matrix" and "Avatar: The Last Airbender." I understand his thinking, all three are about a savior, a destiny and a great force within, just waiting to be developed and released for the good.

Let's hope he can pull it off... his movie will be a retelling of the Cartoon, not new episodes, and it will be hard to beat (in my book) the original... get a taste, if you haven't seen it, by viewing the trailer below:

Pacer Woes Continue

Indiana Pacer Shawne Williams, was stopped in Carmel for tinted windows and lack of a seat belt... and then the police dog sniffed out some weed, as well.  It wasn't Shawne Williams' pot (of course) but his passenger's... this was also the case when Williams was arrested for driving without a license last year and police found guns in the car -- not his (of course) but his passenger's.  And (of course) Williams couldn't have know a man wanted for murder was hiding in his home back in February (how could he know?)

Larry Bird is extremely upset... he may even tell Williams to be good or else (for the third or forth time).

July 18, 2008

Consensus Explodes

50,000 physicists reverse their stance on Global Warming

According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Monckton, who was the science advisor to Britain's Thatcher administration, says natural variability is the cause of most of the Earth's recent warming.   "In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years ... Mars, Jupiter, Neptune's largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth."

July 15, 2008

The enemies of Liberty

Brendan O'Neill, in the Guardian.  You have to ask yourself, if you believe in global warming, just how much are you willing to criminalize those who don't?  Even if you believe the Earth is warming, even if you believe Mankind is destroying the world,Read the whole article at the link and ask yourself that question, "Are you willing to put those who disagree with you away?"

Liberty – true liberty – requires that people see themselves as self-respecting, self-determining subjects, capable of making free choices and pursuing the "good life" as they see fit. Today, by contrast, we are warned that we are toxic, loaded, dangerous specimens, who must always restrain our instincts and aspire to austerity. This is not conducive to a culture of liberty; indeed, it represents a dangerous historic shift, from the Enlightenment era of free citizenship to a new dark age where individuals are depicted as meek in the face of more powerful, unpredictable forces.

July 11, 2008

Need Furniture?

After 45 years of business, Ossian Furniture is closing its doors forever.  Carroll Furniture in Roanoke is also going out of business.

Sorry to hear that... it seems like Ossian Furniture has always been there on Road 1 on the north edge of town.

July 9, 2008

Olympics Anyone?

NBC will be airing 3600 hours of the Beijing Olympics, using seven different channels.

The 3,600 total hours of coverage on seven NBC Universal networks: NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen, Telemundo and Universal HD, as well as NBCOlympics.com, is 1,000 hours more than the combined coverage for every televised Summer Olympics in U.S. history (Rome 1960 - Athens 2004, 2,562 hours). NBCOlympics.com will feature approximately 2,200 total hours of live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage, the first live online Olympic coverage in the United States.

"For the first time, the average American will be able to create their own unique Olympic experience whether at home, at the office or on-the-go," said Ebersol.
The Olympics begin on August 8th... and no, I do not think I'll be able to catch all 3,600 hours of it.

100 Useful Reference Sites

Sometimes we just get stuck on Google or Wikipedia when looking for information, but there are a lot more sites with lots more useful information out there.

July 7, 2008

Thief prevents Terror Attack?

This is a really scary story...  a thief broke into a van and discovered, what?  Some kind of strange chemical bomb thingie... the thief moved the van and called the cops.

July 2, 2008

The Flood of 2003

The Bluffton News-Banner has a nice article on Remembering the Bluffton flood of 2003.

Norwell Cross Country Preview

RunIndiana previews Norwell's cross country team

Perhaps no other team in northeast Indiana has had more unrealized potential in recent years than Norwell. After running together for years as dominant middle school teams, and putting together strong 4x800m relay teams in track, these guys seem to come up short over the 5K distance.

Back again this year, hopefully to redeem themselves, are seniors Mike Caley (16:56, left) and Ethan Roebuck (17:27), as well as Tom Horn. Junior Sean Cossairt (17:23), who qualified for state in 800m this year, along with sophomores Alex Cushman (17:14) and Brandon Long (17:52) should round out their scorers.

Good luck, guys!

July 1, 2008

Inventing a way out

Bjorn Lomborg has an article in the Star Tribune on how best to fight global warming

The Copenhagen Consensus project, which gathered eight of the world's top economists -- including five Nobel laureates -- to examine research on the best ways to tackle 10 global challenges: air pollution, conflict, disease, global warming, hunger and malnutrition, lack of education, gender inequity, lack of water and sanitation, terrorism, and trade barriers.

These experts looked at the costs and benefits of different responses to each challenge. Their goal was to create a prioritized list showing how money could best be spent combating these problems.

The panel concluded that the least effective use of resources in slowing global warming would come from simply cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

Research for the project was done by a lead author of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the group that shared last year's Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore -- who noted that spending $800 billion over 100 years solely on mitigating emissions would reduce inevitable temperature increases by just 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century.
Even if every nation spent 0.05 percent of its gross domestic product on research and development of low-carbon energy, this would be only about one-tenth as costly as the Kyoto Protocol and would save dramatically more than any of Kyoto's likely successors.

This is one of the reasons I seldom subscribe to science magazines anymore, instead of looking to invent a way out of Global Warming, they all write about ways to curb our economy and personal carbon footprints while ignoring the same for their publication... I mean, how much more carbon does Scientific American release from the creation of their magazine than do I with my little life.  How much more carbon does Al Gore release with his jetsetting and mansion than I do with my 10-miles-to-work-every-day Safari.  As Lomborg notes, the politicians jump on the chance to limit carbon output because it puts them right in the middle, controlling who can do what, selling the right to be in business and taxing everyone for living.

Mass Neurosis

A Global Warming article by Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal

Tiger's Winnings

Under the current tax plan, Tiger got to keep 57% of his US Open purse.  Under Obama's tax plan, he would get to keep 43%.  I have problem with that, personally.  When the government takes a bigger cut of your paycheck than you do, something is just wrong with that.  I guess Congress doesn't think so, though, since for the period after World War II up until 1963, they pretty much took all the money people made over $400,000.

A history of the top tax rates in America 1913 to 2003.

Sevens Member Sets World Record

So back in 1977, a year we're all familiar with, a guy in Alexandria, Indiana started painting a baseball... coat after coat after coat of paint.  In May of 2004, Guinness recognized the ball, then surrounded with 15,000 coats of paint, as a world record paint ball.  But the story doesn't leave off there, he kept on painting and invited anyone passing by to add to the ball as well... so everyone who paints the ball, is setting another world record.

So, as you notice in the picture above, Sevens member Scott Elzey set a world record by putting on the 21,147th layer of paint on a baseball.

Congratulations, Scott!  Now no one can say our class doesn't have world famous and successful members.