August 30, 2008

Heritage 21, Norwell 14

Gustav Takes Aim

Gustav takes aim at the Gulf
and Michael Moore sees it as evidence that God will sacrifice the Gulf Coast to make Republicans look bad. Is it too easy to note that Moore makes Democrats look bad all by himself but needs God's help to make Republicans look bad?

August 27, 2008

Watch out New Orleans

Groundbreaking Advance

Scientists have discovered (in mice, anyway) how to convert one fully developed Adult cell into another type of cell.

Through a series of painstaking experiments involving mice, the Harvard biologists pinpointed three crucial molecular switches that, when flipped, completely convert a common cell in the pancreas into the more precious insulin-producing ones that diabetics need to survive.

The feat, published online today by the journal Nature, raises the tantalizing prospect that patients suffering from not only diabetes but also heart disease, strokes and many other ailments could eventually have some of their cells reprogrammed to cure their afflictions without the need for drugs, transplants or other therapies.

"It's kind of an extreme makeover of a cell," said Douglas A. Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, who led the research. "The goal is to create cells that are missing or defective in people. It's very exciting."

The findings left other researchers in a field that has become accustomed to rapid advances reaching for new superlatives to describe the potential implications.

"I'm stunned," said Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass., a developer of stem cell therapies. "It introduces a whole new paradigm for treating disease."

"I think it's hugely significant," said George Q. Daley, a stem cell researcher at Children's Hospital in Boston. "This is a very spectacular first."

Even the harshest critics of embryonic stem cell research hailed the development as a major, welcome development.

"I see no moral problem in this basic technique," said Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a leading opponent of embryonic stems cells because they involve destroying human embryos. "This is a 'win-win' situation for medicine and ethics."


Guilt by Association

I'm not one to assume guilt by association, but this essay, about the night when the Weather Underground bombers tried to burn a judge and his family alive while they were sleeping, makes me realize just how horrible it is that Barack Obama has been friendly with Bill Ayers.  I don't think we study history enough in our lives, I certainly didn't remember the Weather Underground bombings though I was twelve at the time... and none of my kids seemed to study those rather recent times in any details beyond the Civil Rights movement and the peaceful Anti-War demonstrations.  I understand that Bill Ayers never did jail time because of FBI misconduct in their investigation against him... it is clear, though, from his own current statements that he was a central member and designed the bombs.  That Ayers is active in Chicago politics and on boards having to do with education says a lot about Chicago... that Senator Obama has any dealings with Ayers at all says a lot about him, as well.  It seems Democrats and Senator Obama have no problem turning their backs on Fox News, shunning the network because of its perceived political positions... that they don't do the same, that Barack Obama hasn't done the same, to Ayers is remarkable.

Hudson to sing National Anthem on Thursday

Jennifer Hudson is schedule to sing the National Anthem before Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night.

A Greek Temple?

Obama Speech Stage Resembles Ancient Greek Temple

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

The show should provide a striking image for the millions of Americans watching on television as Obama delivers a speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.

I'm sure it's too late to back out now, but this whole stadium thing, not even mentioning the Greek Temple angle, just plays into the very effective ads Senator McCain has been producing about Senator Obama's rock-star, celebrity resume.

August 26, 2008

2008 DNC National Convention

The Official Site of the Democratic National Convention in Denver

Schedule of Prime-Time Events and Speakers
(Note: There are many speakers each night, but these are the headliners)

Monday (One Nation): Tribute to Ted Kennedy, also Michelle Obama
Tuesday (Renewing America's Promise): Hillary Clinton
Wednesday (Securing America's Future): Evan Bayh, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden
Thursday (Change you can believe in): Mile High Stadium, Al Gore, Barack Obama

Tiger Woods is just that good

American Prayer - Dave Stewart (Barack Obama Music Video)

I'm a bit surprised by this video because it plays straight into Republican hands about celebrity and Obama being "The One." I thought these Holywood people had a better grasp on advertising... who would change their mind and vote for Senator Obama because of seeing Jason Alexander, or Barry Manilow, or Whoopie singing for, praying for, that result?

Too Good to Play

Nine-year-old Jericho Scott is such a good pitcher, his team was dissolved by league officials.

This is what Little League in America has come to...  poor players _must_ play and good players _can't_ play.

Watch out for Gustav

August 25, 2008

Sports Roundup for 8-25-2008

The Bluffton News-Banner rounds up the action, including

Norwell Boys Tennis Team 2nd at DeKalb Invitational
Norwell's Kaylee Imel shoots 80 for 2nd place at New Haven Invitational

Norwell vs. Leo:  Field Position, interceptions lead to Knights' loss

French Math

The French President (and Chairman of the European Union) believes that the EU won the most medals at the Olympics

Nicolas Sarkozy has lumped together all of the 87 gold medals won by EU countries at the Beijing Games to declare a triumph for Europe over China and the United States.

The President, who currently holds the EU's six monthly rotating presidency, paid tribute on Sunday night to French athletes before going on to credit Europe for taking the most gold medals, of which the lion's share were won by British sportsmen and women.

"The European Union takes the leading position. It's a victory for sport and for the fundamental and common values of the peoples of the union," he said.

The European Union (EU) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luthuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  Now, come on... are you telling me that the EU can send 27 teams, one team for each of their member states, to the Olympics and America can only send one?  I say, let them have their 27 teams... in exchange, we will claim the medals of all the athletes who trained in, or were coached by, Americans.

I'm sure Europe would see that as fair...

Leo 28, Norwell 9

Norwell lost their season opener to Leo, 28-9.

Bishop Luers, however defeated Northrop 24-0

August 22, 2008

Live Trap

I've got a problem with a groundhog digging his hole behind my landscaping bushes and burrowing down along the foundation of my house... no matter how often I fill his hole, and no matter what I fill it with, he just returns.... well, I bought the above Havahart (get it, Have a Heart) Live Trap from and set my trap by his hole last night. I used a melon from our garden (that a rabbit mostly ate) as bait.

This morning? A Raccoon, which I released over by the Fox Island Nature Preserve. Stay tuned.

Norwell defeats Bellmont

The Knights' Girls' Golf Team gets the first "Knights defeat Bellmont" headline this year.  Let's hope there are many more.

NORWELL 184, BELLMONT 192:  Kaylee Imel shot a 33 for the Knights in a victory against the Braves at Grey Goose Golf Course.

The Baker Farm

A nice article about Ryan Baker and his dad (and Sevens member) Tim getting Ryan started in the family business.

Father and son work together but keep their land operations separate. They have calculated all of the per-acre costs of the corn, soybean and wheat grown and harvested. From that, Baker pays his father what he's responsible for, and then the two work together.

"It cuts his risk a little, but it gives him a way to get into the business," Tim Baker said.

The son said without his father's guidance and assistance, he couldn't follow his dream of farming.

Before you know it, the Bakers are going to be getting that 100 year Hoosier Homesteader farming award.

A Treasure Trove of Fossils

Oil workers in Venezuela uncovered a treasure trove of fossils, including six saber-toothed tigers... archaeology:  another added benefit of fossil fuel exploration.

August 20, 2008

Girls defeat South Adams

The Norwell Girls Volleyball team moved to 1-0 by defeating South Adams on Tuesday.

Kelsey Kline led the Lady Knights with seven spike kills, seven service aces and 11 digs. Haley Chaney added six kills, three aces, one block and one block assist. Setter Mallory Bushee had 11 assists, while Lindsey Stronczek had four assists and four aces. Helping the passing attack, Elizabeth Ault had eight digs and Lindsey Dahn had seven digs and three assists. Lauren Klansek and Dahn each had two aces. Andrea Vogel and Klansek each added three kills.

Way to go... and how about that Chaney girl!  What an amazing come back.

August 19, 2008

August 15, 2008

Not Even At $10 A Gallon?

Olympics News

Want to keep updated on the Olympics? Here are some nice sites. If you have others to add, let me know and I'll update this.

NBC Olympics (NBC Site)
Beijing 2008 (Official China Site)
Olympics Webcastr (Reuters)
Rings (a New York Times site)
Schedule of Events (by ESPN)
Scoreboard (by ESPN)
Results by Day (by ESPN)
Schedule and Results (by China)
TV Listings (enter zip & cable company -- a nice grid)
Medal Count (NBC)
Videos of Events (you'll be prompted to install Silverlight to view the videos, I did.)

The Hoff as Jekyll and Hyde

Norwell 2008 Football Schedule

Go here for more football information or click here for all Norwell sports schedules.

Norwell Volleyball Preview

New Coach finding her niche with Norwell spikers

Norwell lost six players by graduation, but the Lady Knights are returning three seniors, including 6-1 Andrea Vogel, 5-9 Haley Chaney and 5-5 Lindsey Stronczek. Chaney was a second team All-NHC selection.

Northrop welcomed about 35 girls on the opening day of tryouts.

The group also consisted of senior back row player Cassie Rice and sophomore Elizabeth Ault, who have made the varsity roster along with Vogel, Chaney and Stronczek.

Northrop also picked junior setter Mallory Bushee, 5-10 junior outside hitter Kelsey Kline, 5-10 junior Lindsey Dahn, 5-9 sophomore Lauren Klansek and junior right side hitter Rachelle Rodenbeck as varsity members.

"It's a good group of kids. They work hard. A lot of them are two- and three-sport athletes and they're willing to do anything I ask them to do," said Northrop.

"I know Mallory. I got to actually coach her in club and she's really improved. She's a lot more accurate with her sets and quicker with her feet," Northrop stated.

Northrop also has been impressed by junior varsity team members Amanda McAfee and Amber Haiflich, who are challenging members of the varsity squad during practice. McAfee and Haiflich are sophomores.

Let's see, Lindsey Stronczek (daughter of Sevens member Jan Stronczek), Mallory Bushee (daughter of Sevens member Jeff Bushee) and Amanda McAfee (niece of Seven's member Dan McAfee)... it must be a good team!

Haley Chaney Update

It's been quite awhile since I had a Haley Chaney update. The Bluffton News-Banner had a nice article on Haley yesterday.

Hoosier Homesteaders

Seventy Nine families will be receiving the Hoosier Homestead Award today.  The award is for family farms that have been worked in the same family for more than 100 years. 

And here are the farming families for this year.

Blind Jackpot

Roanoke resident Bobby Guffey played the same lotto numbers all the time... but he forgot his glasses one day and entered 48 instead of 46 for his last number.  The error was worth three million dollars.

August 14, 2008

Hillary's name in Nomination

It's being reported that the Senators Clinton and Obama campaigns have struck a deal where Senator Clinton's name will be placed in nomination for President next week:

"Both sides agree that it is in the best interest of party unity and making sure that everyone's voice and vote is honored to make sure her name is put into nomination," a person close the negotiations said. "It's to honor everyone who worked so hard on both sides."

This is meant to ease the hurt feelings of the Clinton supporters... but it sure sounds like a dangerous move for the Obama camp... I mean, once someone else is nominated... anything can happen...

Some details are still being worked out, but Clinton's name will be put into nomination at the Denver convention on Wednesday. That will be one day after Clinton addresses the convention.

"This truly was a joint decision," according to the Clinton source. "This wasn't something she was itching for, looking for. But so many of her supporters said it was important to them. And the Obama people got how important it was to smooth over any tensions and that it was the right thing to do."

What also hasn't been settled yet is who will nominate Clinton and whether she will stand up with the New York delegation when they are called on.

What has been settled, however, is that after both Clinton and Obama names are placed into nomination there will be a roll call vote.

What has also been hashed out is that at some point during the convention, Clinton will release her delegates officially to Obama and that she will make it very clear that she is voting for Obama, the source said.

Interesting... I'm sure she has no intention to welch on that deal... but, you know how it is, one can't deny the voice of the people...

the Democrat Convention should be a real trip this time around.

August 12, 2008

Hockey Stick History

If you're at all interested in the Global Warming Phenomenon, Casper and the Come to Jesus Paper is a must read history of the Hockey Stick graph that started it all.

August 11, 2008

4 x 100 Free

What a great race

Exclusive Summer Olympics news & widgets at NBC!

August 8, 2008

A Shot across the Bow

You know, I haven't done political donations since the 2000 election, back when the Republicans had the House and the Senate and started behaving like Big Men with all their earmarks and ethics violations.  Who needs that?  But when I read articles like, "Group Plans Campaign Against G.O.P. Donors", well... it just makes me want to write a check to offset whatever "Accountable America" thinks they'll accomplish.  And what are they doing?  They are sending letters to possible G.O.P. donors to...

The warning letter is intended as a first step, alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.

So, as the Supreme Court has ruled, Money is Speech and this group is sending out letters to notify people that if they give money to Republicans, "Accountable America" plans to dig into their life and "go for the jugular."  In effect, if you use your Freedom of Speech, we will do our best to destroy your life.

Is this how "Progressives" think?  I'll give to the other side, thank you very much.

Nice Pictures from the Opening Ceremonies

August 7, 2008

Click on the picture for the story of the Obama Sign.
Is this a campaign, or a movement?

The One


American Teen

Speaking of movies made in Indiana... American Teen was shot in Warsaw...

Tried for Blasphemy

Ezra Levant was the only person in the Western World to be tried for the offense of publishing the Danish Muslim Cartoons.  He is the only person to be tried for Blasphemy in the Northern Hemisphere for the last 80 years.  He was brought up on charges by the Canadian Human Rights Commission several years ago and the charges have finally been dropped.  It all worked out OK, right?  He proved the press was free in Canada and he wasn't found guilty... but

Some 900 days after I became the only person in the Western world charged with the "offence" of republishing the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the government has finally acquitted me of illegal "discrimination." Taxpayers are out more than $500,000 for an investigation that involved fifteen bureaucrats at the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The legal cost to me and the now-defunct Western Standard magazine is $100,000.
The case would have been thrown out long ago if I had been charged in a criminal court, instead of a human rights commission. That's because accused criminals have the right to a speedy trial. Accused publishers at human rights commissions do not.

And if I had been a defendant in a civil court, the judge would now order the losing parties to pay my legal bills. Instead, the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities won't have to pay me a dime. Neither will Syed Soharwardy, the Calgary imam who abandoned his identical complaint against me this spring.

Both managed to hijack a secular government agency to prosecute their radical Islamic fatwa against me — the first blasphemy case in Canada in over 80 years. Their complaints were dismissed, but it is inaccurate to say that they lost: They got the government to rough me up for nearly three years, at no cost to them. The process I was put through was a punishment in itself — and a warning to any other journalists who would defy radical Islam.

So someone charges you with hate crime and you foot the bill to prove your not guilty and they get off scott free.  (Is the term "Scott Free" at hate crime?  I thought not... it has nothing to do with the Scottish.)   Read the whole article linked above and pray that our government slides no further toward that of Canada.

Using Echolocation

Ball State Makes a Movie

The Faculty and Students are Ball State have all joined together to make a $40Million Indie Film called, "My Name is Jerry." Doug Jones (who graduated from Ball State and has been quite successful in Hollywood) is the star.

The Film's website is here: My Name is Jerry

August 6, 2008

13 Tombstones

Sevens member Amy Kreigh sends in this article from the Bluffton News Banner:  Leaving No Stones Unturned  It's about a young couple who live in Bluffton, on Central Ave, who unearthed thirteen tombstones in their back yard. Thankfully, no bodies were being marked by the markers.

And what might be buried in your back yard?

August 5, 2008

Ready for the Olympics yet?

Executive Summary

I received this in email earlier today...

I know that some of you don't like to read long, drawn-out missives -- so here's the executive summary on the presidential race:

John McCain:  22 years in the Military followed by 26 years in Congress

Barack Obama:  0 Military Time, 143 days in Congress

Well, he was elected to the US Senate in the 2004 election, so he started serving in early 2005... so that's a little bit of an exaggeration... but he is a first term senator from Illinois.  He was elected after incumbent Senator Jack Ryan, husband of Jeri Ryan (see above) of Star Trek Voyager (and other fine shows), dropped out of the race after reports of sex club activity were released from his divorce papers. 

So Obama has served more than 143 days, but has not been working much in the Senate since he began running for president.  There is quite an experience factor. 

Let's say you're looking to get a new roof on your house... do you want to hire a guy who only started a year or two ago?  Or one who's seen it all and then some.  How much do references matter?

Norwell Season Tickets

August 4, 2008

Senator Obama's Energy Speech

Here is the text of Senator Obama's energy speech today

I heard the start, where he said,

We meet at a moment when this country is facing a set of challenges greater than any we've seen in generations. Right now, our brave men and women in uniform are fighting two different wars while terrorists plot their next attack.

Did the Americans fight two different wars in World War II? I mean, there was the "War in Europe" and the "War in Japan." We experienced VJ Day, victory in Japan and VE Day, Victory in Europe... but it was all one war, right? Iraq and Afghanistan are different locations with different challenges, but they are the same war, aren't they? Just as WW II was one war. "The War on Terror."

And about energy, Obama says,

But we also know that we've been talking about this issue for decades. We've heard promises about energy independence from every single President since Richard Nixon. We've heard talk about curbing the use of fossil fuels in State of the Union addresses since the oil embargo of 1973.

And he then goes on to complain that John McCain was in the Senate for a lot of those years and Congress did nothing ("What Senator McCain neglected to mention was that during those thirty years, he was in Washington for twenty-six of them. And in all that time, he did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."). Well, really Congress did worse than nothing. You'll notice that right now 75% of the people of America want us to drill for oil, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) refuses to bring it up for a vote... so despite John McCain being in Congress all those years, there is little he could do because who controlled Congress since 1973? 1) Nixon's Administration never had either house of Congress, 2) Ford's Administration never had either house of Congress. Jimmy Carter however, was a Democrat and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress all four years. Ronald Regan's Administration never had control of the House, but did have a majority of Republicans in the Senate. George H.W. Bush's Administration never had control of either house of Congress. Bill Clinton, however, was a Democrat and had control of both houses of Congress for two years. His son, George W. Bush, a Republican had control of both houses for a several years (and used his political majority to fight the war, for good or ill).

The point being, since 1973, Democrats have controlled Congress 27 of 35 years and are in control of both houses again, now -- they have passed laws preventing America from becoming energy independent, they have prevented new refineries from being built, they have prevented new Fossil Fuel energy plants from being built, they have prevented Nuclear plants from being built... and for Obama to blame that on McCain is plainly ridiculous.

Obama says,

But we should start by telling the oil companies to drill on the 68 million acres they currently have access to but haven't touched. And if they don't, we should require them to give up their leases to someone who will.

Well, that is the current law and Obama apparently doesn't know it. If the oil companies don't develop the land they have access to, they lose their rights to them... and they don't drill on that land because their geologists don't believe there is oil there... what a straw man.

Obama also complained that even if the oil companies do drill and find oil, it won't see a refinery for seven years,

George Bush's own Energy Department has said that if we opened up new areas to drilling today, we wouldn't see a single drop of oil for seven years. Seven years. And Senator McCain knows that, which is why he admitted that his plan would only provide "psychological" relief to consumers. He also knows that if we opened up and drilled on every single square inch of our land and our shores, we would still find only three percent of the world's oil reserves. Three percent for a country that uses 25% of the world's oil. Even Texas oilman Boone Pickens, who's calling for major new investments in alternative energy, has said, "this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

Everyone knows the seven years business is weak... after all, Obama's pushing new technologies that won't see fruition for 10, 15, maybe 20 or more years... does that mean we should curl up and die in the mean time? And why should we fund a possible solution 10 years out and not a sure solution 7 years away? And what he says about opening up all our land and shores would not even help is really and outright lie... US Shale Oil reserves are more than five times as large as Saudi Arabia's entire estimated reserves of oil... Canada's already turning their shale to oil... but not America.... not America because our Congress holds the purse strings and has them tightly shut on the matter of Fossil Fuel.


Miscanthus is a type of grass that can be used to make ethanol.  The good news is that Miscanthus is much, much more efficient than corn, so we'd be able to make ethanol from this grass rather than using food, like corn, to make fuel.  The bad news is that the world has a limited supply of cropland and the more we use for fuel, the less we use for food.  the more grass we grow, the less food we grow.
"What we've found with Miscanthus is that the amount of biomass generated each year would allow us to produce about 2 1/2 times the amount of ethanol we can produce per acre of corn..."