December 28, 2008
The chain popped off a couple of times when I either twisted the saw while it was cutting, or when I grabbed onto too large a limb, but it was pretty simple to take apart the saw and rethread the chain. I was using vegetable oil to keep the blade running smooth -- the more the better. There's still a lot of junk I'll just have to burn in the burn pile, but I'm able to harvest at least some nice firewood for our fireplace.
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.
1) Global Temperatures have dropped, a lot, against all models
2) "Scientific Consensus" has collapsed, if there ever was one
3) The global financial crisis has put political global warming agendas onto the back burner
If you click on the article, there are hundreds of comments... those, too, make interesting reading.
December 23, 2008
December 21, 2008
We're going the wrong way!
December 20, 2008
December 17, 2008
December 16, 2008
"We don't have a location finalized yet, nor do we have a set timetable as to when it will be open," Jones told the News-Banner Monday afternoon. But he added that he has obtained commitments from the architects, consultants and projection firms.
More details are due out Wednesday.
December 11, 2008
- 4A: Snider is 14th, NorthSide is 27th, Northrop is 37th, Homestead is 53rd, Carroll is 58th, SouthSide is 95th
- 3A: Wayne is 4th, Bishop Dwenger is 6th, Elmhurst is 33rd, New Haven is 49th, Concordia is 55th, Bellmont is 66th
- 2A: Bishop Luers is 2nd, Bluffton is 13th, South Adams is 68th, Woodlan is 71st, Adams Central is 86th
- 1A: Blackhawk is 7th, Canterbury is 29th, Southern Wells is 38th, Keystone is 73rd
- 4A: SouthSide is 15th, Homestead is 39th, Snider is 45th, Carroll is 63rd, Northrop is 77th, NorthSide is 82nd
- 3A: Emhurst is 3rd, Norwell is 4th, Concordia is 25th, Bellmont is 30th, Bishop Dwenger is 58th, Heritage is 68th, Wayne is 90th
- 2A: Bishop Luers is 15th, Woodlan is 65th, South Adams is 73rd, Bluffton is 81st, Adams Central is 98th
- 1A: Southern Wells is 9th, Canterbury is 15th, Blackhawk is 55th
It's a bit harder to follow the games this year since the News-Banner has gone to pdf subscription only format on-line. But the Norwell girls are looking good and the Bishop Luers boys are averaging a 30 point blowout-win per game, they are averaging 90 points a game to their opposition's 60. The Norwell Girls advantage per game is averaging nearly 22 points.
"Chinese parents urge their children to excel at instrumentalwith the same ferocity that American parents [urge] theirs to perform well in soccer or Little League," wrote Jennifer Lin in the Philadelphia Inquirer June 8 in an article entitled China's 'piano fever'.
The world's largest country is well along the way to forming an intellectual elite on a scale that the world has never seen, and against which nothing in today's world - surely not the inbred products of the Ivy League puppy mills - can compete.
. . .
American medical schools accept more undergraduates who majored in music than any other discipline (excepting pre-med).
Any activity that requires discipline and deferred gratification benefits children, but classical music does more than sports or crafts. Playing tennis at a high level requires great concentration, but nothing like the concentration required to perform the major repertoire of classical music.
We live in interesting times.
December 10, 2008
Noble County 911 Director Mitch Fiandt said the 18-year-old female Bengal tiger escaped from the Black Pine Animal Park in Albion about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Park officials say the tiger returned to the property around 11 p.m. and was back in its enclosure about an hour later.
They figured the tiger would return home after getting a taste of the Indiana weather... cold and wet.
December 9, 2008
December 8, 2008
December 5, 2008
December 4, 2008
December 3, 2008
For us to say we can't go to Mars today is to basically say that we've become less than the people who got us to where we are today, and that's something that we can't afford. The risks associated with a human mission to Mars, given what we know today about Mars and about space technology, are much lower than the risks of the Apollo moon program were.
I think that this freedom to be the maker of your own world instead of simply being the inhabitant of one that has already been made is a truly grand form of human freedom. We had that during the period from Plymouth Rock through the closing of the American frontier in the late 1890s. There's a famous quote from a great historian, Walter Prescott Webb, that says "People will miss the frontier more than words can ever express. For hundreds of years they heard its call and bet their lives and fortune on its outcome." This is why we still look back today at the time of the American frontier as a great time, despite the fact that it was filled with all kinds of harsh experiences and heartbreak.
So with Mars, there will be grand successes and there will be heartbreak. Not everyone will strike it rich, but everyone will get a chance for a new start. There's a reason why millions of people in the Old World sold everything they had to get a ticket on a ship to get them to America. And for some of them it didn't work out so well. But it did for enough of them that they're still coming today.
I'm all for it, it's just that I doubt it will happen. It's not that I believe the world lacks for Christopher Columbuses, no... no, the world lacks for Queen Isabellas. Who out there can fund a trip to Mars? Which country? What people?
Mourning seems to be a time when hallucinations are particularly common, to the point where feeling the presence of the deceased is the norm rather than the exception. One study, by the researcher Agneta Grimby at the University of Goteborg, found that over 80 percent of elderly people experience hallucinations associated with their dead partner one month after bereavement, as if their perception had yet to catch up with the knowledge of their beloved's passing. As a marker of how vivid such visions can seem, almost a third of the people reported that they spoke in response to their experiences. In other words, these weren't just peripheral illusions: they could evoke the very essence of the deceased.
Well... this leads me to ask. Why is Scientific American so sure that what eighty percent of people experience is unreal? Just how equipped are scientists in differentiation between hallucinations and visits from the great beyond?