April 30, 2008

Real Life Iron Men

Raytheon purchased Sarcos last year, a robotics/medical device manufacturer.  Popular Mechanics' May issue reports on the Raytheon/Sarcos exoskeleton, a device soldiers (or dock workers for that matter) can put on to amplify human muscle power.

Here's another report by Scientific America

Norwell Baseball falls to 9-6

Norwell lost an extra-inning conference matchup against New Haven 1-0 to fall to 9-6 on the season.

Norwell Girls defeat Homestead

The Norwell Girls Track Team defeated Homestead for the first time in 10 years.

Katy Moore and Kayla Sweet were triple winners for the Norwell Lady Knights track and field team which broke a long losing streak against the Homestead Spartans.

The Lady Knights tallied 10 first-place finishes in scoring 74 points against Homestead and New Haven in the Northeast Hoosier Conference meet at Norwell. Homestead netted 51 points and New Haven 42.

In nine seasons with the Norwell boys and 10 with the girls, coach Bob Dahl not defeated the Spartans.

Moore won the 800 meters in 2:32.4 and the high jump at 4 feet, 10 inches. Sweet won the 1600 meters in 5:32.6 and 3200 in 12:43. The duo also teamed up with Mallory Bushee and Ericka Zeddis to win the 4x800 meter relay in 10:29.2.

Brittany Hartman was first in the 100 meters in 13.4 seconds. Amanda McAfee won the discus with 91 feet, 6 inches. Ashley Zickafoose won the shot put with 33 feet, 2 inches. Paige Fremion won the long jump with 13 feet, 11 1/2 inches. The 400 meter relay team was first in 53.2 seconds.

Congratulations, Girls!

The Indiana Cross Over Voting Law

So, can Republicans vote in the Democratic Primary in Indiana?

Here's Indiana's odd rule for primary voting: The state code allows a voter to cast a ballot in a primary election "if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election"—apparently meaning, in this context, that the voter voted for more Democrats than Republicans in the last general election. The law also lets voters into the primary if they did not vote the last time around but intend to vote for a majority of Democrats in the next general election. The law specifically provides that a voter can challenge another voter at the polling place for not meeting these requirements. The challenger gets to demand that the voter sign an affidavit stating that she meets one of the two requirements above. If the voter signs the affidavit under penalty of perjury, she can vote.

Given the way it's constructed, prosecuting someone under this law looks quite difficult—unless someone is dumb enough to blog about lying on an affidavit, how would prosecutors prove how the voter voted last time or that he lacks the intention to vote for a majority of Democrats at the next general election?

What if someone generally votes for individuals and doesn't pay attention to which party they belong?

The Smiley Face Killers

"Two former New York City detectives are sure they're tracking not one murderer, but a gang of serial killers who have joined together" and are working in the midwest.  These police have discovered at least 40 drownings of good looking college-age men, often labeled as suicides or drunken guys passing out in the water.  But in 12 cases, there has been a smiley face drawn near the crime scenes.  We're talking New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc.

I find this highly unlikely, but of course the media laps this kind of thing right up.


Over the past several years, law enforcement and the FBI have received information about young, college-aged men who were found deceased in rivers in the Midwest.  The FBI has reviewed the information about the victims provided by two retired police detectives and interviewed an individual who provided information to the detectives.  To date, we have not developed any evidence to support links between these tragic deaths or any evidence substantiating the theory that these deaths are the work of a serial killer or killers.  The vast majority of these instances appear to be alcohol-related drownings.  The FBI will continue to work with the local police in the affected areas to provide support as requested.

Robin Williams on Law and Order SVU

I don't watch the Law and Order shows, but did add last night's Law and Order SVU to my DVR to see Robin Williams.  I'm glad I did, I thought his performance was excellent.  He should do more TV!

The First Straw

Some might say the first straw was the Chinese painting toys with lead paint, but that's not near the level of harm as sending America tainted heparin resulting in the death of 81 people.  So, the question become, why isn't this considered an act of war and why is America continuing with plans to attend the Olympics in Beijing?

The F.D.A. has identified Changzhou SPL, a Chinese subsidiary of Scientific Protein Laboratories, as the source of the contaminated heparin. A Congressional investigator said the contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, cost $9 a pound compared with $900 a pound for heparin.

Mr. Strunce said that his company tried to find the original source of the contamination but was stopped by the Chinese authorities.

Robert L. Parkinson, Baxter's chairman and chief executive, told the committee, "We're alarmed that one of our products was used in what appears to have been a deliberate scheme to adulterate a life-saving medication."

Chinese officials have disputed the F.D.A. contention that the contaminant caused death and injury, and they have insisted on the right to inspect American drug plants if the F.D.A. insists on inspecting Chinese ones.

As I heard someone say, this is what happens when you buy drugs from your enemy.

Gas Prices

Adjusted for inflation, It looks like we're nearing, but have not exceeded, the historic 1981 peak in gas prices.  I'll discount the 1918 because I suspect the world flow of Oil was quite different at that time.  Click on the chart for a bigger picture.

April 29, 2008

Tough weekend of Baseball

Knights lose three times over the weekend, to Andrean, to Providence and to Brebeuf Jesuit.

Rev. Wright Unleashed

Goodness, just when the whole Reverend Wright controversy was beginning to die down around the Senator Obama campaign, he holds a press conference and reiterates all the the hateful positions he did so well crawling out from under with Bill Moyers.

April 25, 2008

30% of America's corn now used as Fuel

Food Crises Eclipsing Climate Change Worries

"It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol," Mr. Senauer, also an applied economics professor at Minnesota, said. "It's not going to be a very good diet but that's roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year."

Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. "Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him," the professor said. "There are lots of solutions, real solutions to climate change. We need to get to those."

Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis, according to his spokeswoman. A spokesman for Mr. Gore's public campaign to address climate change, the Alliance for Climate Protection, declined to comment for this article.

Al Gore was not available for an interview because he refuses all debates... being the unhired, unelected spokesman for the Climate, there is no way to force him to discus or debate anything.

April 24, 2008

Sports Roundup for 4-23-2008

The Banner rounds up the area sports news, including

Drew Imel and Ross Mathews each shot a 39 on the front nine at Timber Ridge golf course in Bluffton on Tuesday to lead the Norwell Knights boys golf team to victory over the Homestead Spartans. Norwell finished with a score of 158, while the Spartans shot a 162. McCormick Clouser and Taylor Imel each shot a 40 to complete the team score.

If you can beat Homestead in golf, you know you've got a good team.  Way to go!

Knights Sweep Braves

The boys and girls track teams defeated Bellmont on Tuesday, with the boys winning 81-51 and the girls winning 87-45.

[Paige] Fremion won the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 10 inches and cleared 8 feet to win the pole vault. She also finished the 300 meter low hurdles in 52.9 seconds.

[Jessica] Keys won the 100 meters and 200 meters, respectively, in 13.2 and 27.7 seconds.

Other individual firsts for the Lady Knights were Amanda McAfee with a throw of 89 feet in the discus; Ashley Zickafoose with a throw of 33-4 in the shot put; Katy Moore in the high jump at 5 feet; Kayla Sweet in the 1600 meters in 5:37; Rebekah Witzig in the 400 meters in 1:06.

Congratulations on the blue ribbons!

April 22, 2008

An ice age cometh

Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh

The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.

The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.

The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.

By then, most of the advanced nations would have ceased to exist, vanishing under the ice, and the rest of the world would be faced with a catastrophe beyond imagining.

What happened to the consensus on Global Warming, now we're seeing these cooling articles every other day.

April 21, 2008

Could a larger quake be looming

Bigger quake might hit midwest, then again, it might not.

Happy Birthday Edna!

Edna Parker of Shelbyville, IN turned 115 on Sunday April 20.  She is currently the oldest known human, having been born in 1893.  In that same year, Lizzy Borden was acquitted of Murder and Edison patented parts of his electric light.

Danica and Helio

A very nice picture of Danica Patrick and Helio Castroneves comparing their first and second place trophies after Patrick's win at the Indy Japan 300.

Knights defeat North Side

Knights battle back to defeat North Side 17-9

Patten was the second of three pitchers used by Norwell coach Kelby Weybright. He relieved Caleb McAfee who started and went three innings. In Patten's two innings, he allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out two.

McAfee gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits, walking two, hitting a batter and striking out four. Dafforn was the closer, working the last two innings and blanking the Redskins on one hit and two strikeouts.

Norwell took a 8-0 lead after three innings, but the Redskins came back to tie the score with three runs in the third and five in the fourth.

The Knights answered with six runs in the fifth inning, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Norwell committed six errors and North Side four.

The errors will kill you in the long run.

Rice Shortage in America

Food Rationing in America?

Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

Spiking food prices have led to riots in recent weeks in Haiti, Indonesia, and several African nations. India recently banned export of all but the highest quality rice, and Vietnam blocked the signing of new contract for foreign rice sales.

"I'm surprised the Bush administration hasn't slapped export controls on wheat," Mr. Rawles said. "The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat."

I suspect that if Washington continues to pursue biofuel strategies the shortages will occur in more grains than just rice.

Update: Food Alarmism

151mph on 124

Two Motorcyclists Apprehended for Reckless Driving

When they stopped at State Road 116, they realized the trooper was closing in, as he turned on his overhead lights.    The pair continued southbound until they came to the intersection of State Road 124, where they disregarded the stop sign and turned east heading in the direction of Bluffton. The bikes accelerated to what the trooper believed to be their maximum speed.  He was able to track them on RADAR at 151 mph before losing the signal.

I'd say that counts as reckless.

The undecided voter

Senators Clinton and Obama notice an undecided voter.

Danica Patrick Wins Indy Japan 300

Danica Patrick Captures First IndyCar Win

April 18, 2008

Norwell baseball now 5-2

Norwell beats Blackford 15-5

Rhett Goodmiller drove in four runs, including three with a home run, to lead the Norwell Knights baseball team to a 15-5 victory over the visiting Blackford Bruins on Thursday.

Norwell (5-2) sent Blackford back home early after wrapping up the victory in five innings.

Goodmiller wasn't the only Knight who played long ball with the Bruins (1-3). Bryce Murphy smacked a solo shot in the fourth inning and Kody Kumfer helped give Norwell a 7-3 lead in the third with a two-run rip.

Norwell defeats Bluffton

That's always a good headline, "Norwell defeats Bluffton."  In this case, both the Norwell boys and Norwell girls track teams destroyed Bluffton, boys 103-29 and girls 104-28.

Hey, y'all, watch this!

Bluffton man in critical condition following bizarre crash

"Derrick stated he bet he could hit Jennifer's truck at 70 MPH," stated Mettler in his report. "Weedman then jumped into his truck and took off down the street, then suddenly reappeared traveling at a high rate of speed."

That's all of the article you really need to know it's going to end badly.

April 16, 2008

Norwell loses a tight meet

Columbia City 58, Dekalb 57, Norwell 52 -- now that's a close track meet.

Katy Moore led the Lady Knights with two first-place finishes. She cleared the high jump bar at 5 feet, 3 inches and finished the 800 meters in 2:27.9. Mallory Bushee was third in the 800 in 2:37.13.

Norwell's 4x800 meter relay team took first place in 10:21.6.

Jessica Keys and Brittany Hartman were first and second in the 200 meter dash, respectively, in 27.7 and 28.0. Keys also was second in the 100 meters in 13.3, which also was the winning time.

Kayla Sweet had two second-place finishes, running the 1600 in 5:33.3 and 3200 in 12:11.2.

Paige Fremion was second in the long jump at 14 feet, 10 inches. Fremion was fourth in the pole vault at 8-6. Emily Gresley was fifth at 8-0. Ashley Zickafoose was third in the shot put with a toss of 31-4.

Amanda McAfee was second in the discus throw at 89 feet, 6 inches. Kali Herndon was fourth with 82-4 and Keys fifth with 78-6.

Paint your nails

Miami U. (Ohio) men to paint fingernails red in Virginia Tech tribute

Miami University men have been asked to paint their fingernails red to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech.

The project conceived by a professor and students in his men's health class is meant to raise awareness about senseless violence committed by men. 

This is what passes for Men's Health these days?  Doing your fingernails as penance that some guy went nuts in Virginia?

April 14, 2008

World Longest Slam Dunk

This guy's got game

Shortening the Yellow Light

How nice, some cities have been caught shortening the length of time their stoplights are yellow in order to collect more money from their stoplight cameras... of course, it also causes more accidents, but hey... they need that money.

Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Springfield, Missouri; Lubbock, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Union City, California all cut the timing on their lights, and while some have paid back the fines, others have not. In Dallas, over $700,000 was collected in a matter of eight months, and in Tennessee the light timing was changed at only a few intersections, which just so happens to be the areas that local law enforcement set up traps.

Your city government, hard at work for the people.

Haley Chaney: Nothing Short of a Miracle

A very nice article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on the recovery of Haley Chaney.

Norwell wins Bellmont Invitational

Drew Imel and the Knights won the Bellmont Invitational, defeating Garrett, Bellmont, Heritage and Southern Wells.

April 11, 2008

Time to Laugh

The Top 50 Comedy Sketches of all Time

Stanley Kamel has died

Stanley Kamel was the psychiatrist to Adrian Monk on USA Today's series "Monk."  He passed away yesterday at 65.

A Record in the Rain

Congratulations to the Norwell Girls Track Team.  They defeated South Side in the rain and set a school pole vaulting record, as well.

But despite frigid rain and a head wind Thursday evening at Fort Wayne's South Side track stadium, Norwell freshman Emily Gresley and sophomore Paige Fremion each cleared 9 feet to break the Lady Knights' school record of 8 feet, 6 inches set by Jenika Moore  in 2007.

"The (scoring) sheets were so wet we could not read them to split the tie at the winning height and called it a draw and awarded them both the school record and first place," explained Norwell head coach Bob Dahl.

Amanda McAfee was second in the discus at 85 feet, 9 inches and Jessica Keys was third at 81-10. Keys also was second in the 200 meter dash in 29.0 and third in the 100 in 13.7 seconds.

Mallory Bushee won the 800 meters in 2:47.4

Emily Gresley is, of course, daughter of our own Sevens member Jeff Gresley and Mallory Bushee is daughter of Sevens member Jeff Bushee.  Amanda  McAfee  is my own Sevens  niece.

April 10, 2008

Oprah pays the price

Is Oprah Winfrey's support of Barack Obama cutting into her popularity?

"I think," she told old Lar [Larry King], "that my value to him, my support of him, is probably worth more than any check." Although, to be honest, her estimated $2.5 billion in wealth could buy an awful lot of TV ads in Indiana. It might even be able to purchase the Hoosier State.  

But little attention has been paid to the effect of Obama on Oprah. Now along comes Costas Panagopoulos, an assistant professor of political science at New York's Fordham University, to ask and answer just that question.

Writing at Politico.com, he suggests the aging empress of TV has paid a price for getting into the dirty business of politics with and for her man Barack. By August last year, a CBS poll found her favorabe rating had plunged from 74% to 61%, still twice as good as the president but nearly a 20% drop.

Notice that the LA Times doesn't appear to think much of Indiana.

April 9, 2008


I haven't seen the movie "Jumper," but I read the book over Spring Break.  It was written by Steven Gould and published in 1992.  If you like speculative fiction and adventure, I recommend it (it's out in paperback now because of the movie).  The characters are quite well written and the book kept me up nights, turning the pages.  I don't know how well the transition to film went, but I may buy the DVD when it's available to see.  The story is about an abused young man who learns he can teleport, instantly transport himself anywhere he has been before.  It's interestingly relevant, as well, since it involves global terrorism along with the personal story.

April 5, 2008

Senator Obama at Wayne High School

It seems like Senator Clinton went out of her way to lose Ft. Wayne by booking herself into Sara's Family Resteraunt for about 100 folks while Senator Barack Obama booked himself into Wayne High School for 2800 screaming fans.

April 3, 2008


I thought a nice trip to Disneyworld would avoid politics, but who should I see in the gift shop...