December 31, 2009

Al Gore's Estimates

I happened to be watching Rachael Ray today when Al Gore appeared as the Secret Taster on her show... Rachael was trying to guess who he was and asked his waist size.... he laid claim to a 36 (using a computer generated voice to mask his identity). I suspect that's likely output from a computer model he developed & the actual measurements driving the model are lost.

December 30, 2009

IU Loses Maurice Creek

IU's leading scorer, freshman Maurice Creek, fractured his kneecap in Monday's game against Bryant. IU is batting .500 this year with a 6-6 record. IU went on to defeat lowly Bryant 90-42 and maybe all you Colts fans who are complaining about Manning coming out in the 3rd quarter last week ought to think about the downside.

Just for the record, Purdue is 12-0.

Security Check

It seems that American travelers are ready to roll over and submit to body scans prior to getting on airplanes.  I thought, at some point after 9/11, we were headed toward some kind of security pass that would identity a traveler as a non-security risk.  What ever happened to that?  So many people travel for business, why can't they obtain a boarding pass to identify them as a non-threat.  This would reduce the number of people who have to be screened and speed the whole process.  The government clears people to work on Secret projects for the defense of the nation, why can't they clear people to fly?

December 29, 2009

Enjoy the New Year's Eve Blue Moon

The second full moon of December falls on New Year's Eve... there hasn't been a blue moon on New Year's Eve since 1990 and there won't be another until 12/31/2028.

Norwell 59, Heritage 20

The Norwell girls basketball team is currently ranked #9 overall and #1 in 3A and it showed in the final score as they defeated Heritage 59-20 on December 23rd.  For comparison, Fort Wayne Luers is ranked #52 overall and #3 in 2A.

You go, girls!

December 26, 2009

From Diapers to Dentures

From "Atlas Shrugged" -- about an auto plant where the workers voted that everyone would work according to his ability and be paid according to his need...

"The harder you worked the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forty-eight, then fifty-six -- for your neighbor's supper -- for his wife's operation -- for his child's measles -- for his mother's wheel chair -- for his uncle's shirt -- for his nephew's schooling -- for the baby next door -- for the baby to be born -- for anyone around you -- it's theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures -- and yours to to work, from sunup to sundown, month after month, year after year, with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end . . . From each according to his ability, to each according to his need..

"To be paid, we all had to claim miseries. It was miseries, not work, that became the coin of the realm -- so it turned into a contest, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother's. Do you care to guess what sort of man kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?"

--
Sent from my mobile device

December 22, 2009

Kim Peek has passed away at 58

I heard this first on the radio today. Kim Peek was the man who inspired Dustin's Hoffman's performance in Rain Man. He died of a heart attack at 58, an expert in so many fields but lost in so many ways

As the years went on, the younger Peek became a "mega-savant," having become a genius in an impressive 15 subjects ranging from literature to sports to geography. As MSNBC says: "NASA scientists had been studying Peek, hoping that technology used to study the effects of space travel on the brain would help explain his mental capabilities."

My son tells me Peek was born without a corpus callosum (agenesis of the corpus callosum), the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres.

God's gift returns to God.

Avatar Review

First, the technical. I caught the movie, "The Fall" awhile back and I've considered it the most amazing cinematography in a movie I've every seen. I couldn't really tell what was real and what wasn't and ended up letting the movie just flow by. "Avatar" outdoes "The Fall" and it's hardly a contest. We've all seen 3D movies, the technology comes and goes (anyone remember the beginning credits to the old show "Happy Days" where all the people in the audience jump back at the same time, all wearing those 3D glasses?). The 3D in "Avatar," though, is the best I've every seen. It goes beyond camera tricks of poking things at the screen to make the audience jump (OK, maybe there were a couple of those times), the 3D puts you in the same room with the actors. Just looking at them sitting down, doing little or nothing, you feel as though you could walk around them... as if they are a solid presence before you. We saw the movie at an IMAX theater, so I don't know if that makes a difference in the quality of the 3D, but it was masterful.

This is all to say nothing about the Navi, the indigenous people of the planet Pandora. James Cameron brought together a team which has transferred living emotion and texture to animation. This has been a long time coming. Even as far back as "Wizards" in 1977 Ralph Bakshi was filming people and animating their forms... but the Navi wear their humanity on their sleeves in a way no animation ever has. I knew something of the movie going in, so I knew the Navi were large (ten feet tall or more), but size is relative, isn't it... what difference does it make if someone is ten feet tall if everyone is ten feet tall, yes? But in the scenes where the Navi are interacting with humans the dimensions are striking. In a very basic way, it reminded me of a scene from an old favorite book, "A Wrinkle in Time" -- if you've read it, do you remember when the kids escape from the dark planet with their father and Meg is nursed back to health by "Aunt Beast" -- the difference between the young girl, Meg, and the giant Aunt Beast comforting her has always stuck with me... think of a Wookie cuddling a broken, frozen child. But that's neither here, nor there. Cameron has brought ten-foot-tall blue aliens to life in this movie.

Second, the story. Special effects can get in the way, just watch the seven-part viral take-down of "The Phantom Menace" to see evidence of how bad a movie can be if all it has are multimillion dollar special effects going for it. I've already read some reviews of "Avatar" that call it "Dances with Wolves in Space" or take it to task for slamming the military (shame on you, Big Hollywood, for making everything about politics -- there are no American Troops in this movie, the military folk are all hired guns in the story), or complain that Avatar is an anthem for the Green movement. Come on... I've seen Hollywood on a rant ("Rendition" 'Ferngully") and just didn't get that vibe here at all. Yes, there was a corporation (not unlike the one in the movie Alien) mining Pandora and that corporation had few morals and followed no laws -- I imagine that might happen if Man ever actually does manage to spread into space). I feel perfectly able to imagine a villainous, greedy corporation involved in space mining and that corporation doesn't make me hate insurance providers, or Ford Motor Company, or IBM, or (dare I say it) Halliburton. We don't live in a stick-figure world and we don't have to think like stick-figures.

And speaking of stick-figures... the performances in Avatar were anything but flat -- as many seem to be in preachy, speachy, teachy movies. Stephen Lang's "Colonel Quaritch" is a villain to remember and Zoe Saldona's "Neytiri" might just deserve a special category of award for the purity of her emotional performance, captured in this new style of technology. Cameron, as always, seems to pull the best out of everyone on the screen. I've read a few reviews that say there was no story, no plot. I can only assume those reviewers choose, for purposes of their own, to ignore the story.

"History is written by the victors," the old saying goes. A suicide bomber who takes out an entire city of men, women and children, might be a hero if he's a human fighting off aliens, like Henry in John Christopher's Tripod Trilogy, or he might be a villain for killing far fewer if he's on the wrong side of history. If "Avatar" was only bashing America for past and perceived sins, James Cameron would have a loser on his hands. Instead, he's writing his own history. For what it's worth, about half the audience stayed in their seats, reading the credits and talking over the highlights of what they'd just seen, instead of standing up and heading for the doors at first light. I've always considered that a sign of a good movie. It's too violent for pre-teens (IMHO). Go see it without them, I don't think you'll be sorry.

Note: some have said they were nauseated by the technology... I didn't experience that, but the movie does have a dizzying effect at times when you pull yourself out of the action.

December 20, 2009

Really Sen. Whitehouse?

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Democrat, Rhode Island, describing Republican opposition to the health care bill, today's debate on CSPAN2. First, the Senator points us to the essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" (which is a 1964 rant about haters on the Right). And then this;

"Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees."

That last, "strange fruits" is comparing Republicans to lynchers. The broken glass refers to Nazis... tumbrils (wheelbarrows) -- what is it, plague? Dead bodies in wheelbarrows? I'm not sure... Baudelaire wrote of a vision of seven old men pushing tumbrils down the street, but it's unclear what he was symbolizing. I think Whitehouse must either be citing a line of an unfamiliar poem, or referring to plague victims ("bring out your dead!")...

In effect, he says those against the bill are paranoid haters and then promptly tags those on the Right as Nazi lynchers who, by fighting against this big, government program, are causing people to die by the thousands in the streets.

Who's a paranoid hater again?

Update: Robert Stacy McCain has similar thoughts over at the American Spectator and HalifaxCB, in the comments, points me to the French Revolution for "tumbrils rolling through taunting crowds."

Another update: Reading some references to tumbrils and the French Revolution... those were the big carts with cages on top in which the blue-bloods were wheeled to the guillotine. And the French people lined the streets taunting them on the way to their deaths...

The only thing that makes sense in Whitehouse' speech is that he's trying to say Republicans are taunting the sick on their way to the grave. That's a horrible thing to say.

Of course it doesn't hold up, the French were taunting the rich ruling class and Whitehouse would have you believe the Tea Partiers are mocking the poor and sickly.

Still, despite the failed metaphors, a horrible thing to say about anyone.

One thing is clear... poetic language allows you to pack a great many powerful insults into just a few words.

Call Senator Bayh...

Call Senator Bayh staring today through this Thursday (Christmas Eve). See if his staff actually picks up. Then tell Senator Bayh to not be Harry Reid's 60th vote and start over on health care reform.

Washington – (202) 224-5623
Indianapolis – (317) 554-0750
Hammond – (219) 852-2763
South Bend – (574) 236-8302
Ft. Wayne – (260) 426-3151
Evansville – (812) 465-6500
Jeffersonville – (812) 218-2317

I just called Senator Bayh's Ft. Wayne number and his Washington number and got the same voice mail message, "The Senator's mailbox is full, you cannot leave a message."

Norwell 64, Dekalb 55

The Norwell girls moved to 8-0 on the season in rough game against 4A Dekalb

Norwell had three players foul out in 29 seconds of the fourth quarter when Jessica Rupright, Alyssa Smith and Taylor Wilson all picked up their fifth fouls from the 3:07 mark to 2:38.

Jenelle Wilson led the Knights with 22 points, hitting 14 of 27 from the free-throw line. Rupright, facing double and triple teams, finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Amanda McAfee had 11.

Way to go, girls!

Equal Protection?

Nebraska and Vermont get a basket of goodies for health care vote.
 
[Nebraska] secured full federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage to all Nebraskans below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay [their portion to cover] the additional cost... forever.... FOREVER.

Except, of course for Vermont, which received a similar deal in exchange for it's vote.  Louisiana just went for a $300 billion gift basket.

Evan Bayh is not only selling us down the river, he's so far in the Democrat tank he didn't even get us a bribe.

These backroom bums need to all be thrown out of office.  This is straight up bribery.  How can it be constitutional, how can it be equal protection under the law, to make Hoosiers pay the health care bills for poor people in Nebraska and Vermont.  It's not.

December 19, 2009

Jack Bauer interrogates Santa

OK, I'm looking forward to "24" in January... but it appears Jack is getting soft...

December 18, 2009

Nat Hentoff: Obama Dangerous

America Under Barack Obama:  An Interview with Nat Hentoff

Hoag's Object

This nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars around a yellow nucleus is the very unusual galaxy known as Hoag's Object. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this face-on view of the galaxy's ring of stars, revealing more detail than any other existing photo of this object. The image may help astronomers unravel clues on how such strange objects form.

The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy.

December 17, 2009

A Hard Pill to Swallow

This would be a better cartoon if Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi were presenting the pill.  Even though it's called "ObamaCare" by its detractors, the President seems to be on the sidelines, wanting only to pass something, anything... it's Reid and Pelosi (and others in Congress) who are cobbling together these mammoth bills to which nobody has access, which nobody has read, which everyone seems to dislike and which seems on the verge of passing into law.

A bitter pill, indeed.

A Great Christmas Gift for we, the plumbing challenged

The PermaFLOW Never-Clog Drain looks like a wonderful piece of plumbing.... you see how you could turn the knob and clear a clogged drain... brilliant!

Of course I'd best hire a plumber to put it in... that kind of raises the $20 price tag a bit...

December 15, 2009

The new Indy 500 Schedule

Opening Day is May 15th
First weekend is rookie testing and open practice
First week is full practice
Pole Day is May 22
Bump Day is May 23
Race day is May 30


December 14, 2009

Some Free Science Fiction

If you like science fiction and don't mind reading it online, check out this Free Fiction link from SF Signal.  In addition, J.C. Hutchins has a nice Sci-Fi thriller online called "The Son:  Descent" over at his web site.  East of the Web also has a lot of speculative fiction online as does (of course) Free Speculative Fiction Online

As for local talent (send me your links), Jerry Battiste of the Bluffton News-Banner plans to post short stories at JerryBattiste.blogspot.com.

December 12, 2009

Norwell 54, Columbia City 3

The Norwell girls keep rolling, now 7-0 on the season. Fort Wayne Luers, however, lost their 2nd in a row.

December 11, 2009

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Some vintage Christmas pictures... if you click on them, there are often interesting comments at the bottom.  In the one above, I like how they've screwed an electric socket into his wall light and it seems to be headed outside to feed the outdoor Christmas lights. :) -- and look at the wonderful toy soldiers on his top shelf. 

Charlie Brown Christmas Special Edited

Yes, the Charlie Brown Christmas Special had several minutes knocked off of it this year so that more commercials could be added to the half-hour.  I particularly liked this comment:

Cramming all of these ads into the 30-minute broadcast of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" required major edits to a cartoon that has spent 44 years now trying to remind us that Christmas is supposed to transcend crass commercialism.

Do you have no sense of irony?

What was cut? Go to the link for the list, but a couple were:  Sally's letter to Santa asking for "10's and 20's," and Schroeder's various renditions of "Jingle Bells."

The Norway Mystery Spiral explained

Russia:  One of our missiles misfired

Be sure to go to the link to see not only the pictures of the amazing light display, but the simulated solution to what likely happened.

December 10, 2009

Mystery spiral lights over Norway

I'm thinking the Large Hadron Collider has captured the attention of Sauron...

December 9, 2009

Are we warming, or cooling?

Al Gore talks to Slate.  Walter Williams, "We've been Had."  Also, competing historical temperature charts, one from the 1990 IPCC and one from Al Gore.

Geologist Dr. David Gee, chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress, currently at Uppsala University in Sweden asks, "For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming?"

The reason it's difficult to say whether we are warming or cooling is because there is no such thing as a "Global Temperature" -- it's like looking at temperatures in Fort Wayne and temperatures in Fort Worth and trying to decide which is correct.  The range of temperatures on Earth (-90 degrees C to +60 degrees C) has not changed... so are we warming? If we're warming, why aren't we recording Earth record highs?  We're still in our normal historical range.  Just think of your own body's temperature... how do you measure it, do you take an average of your fingers, toes and forehead? Would that average mean anything given the variability of temperatures on your extremities?  Why do we think it means anything for the Earth?

Google Real Estate

Are you shopping for a home?  Check out Google's real estate maps... just enter your city of interest, or zip code, and see all the homes for sale.... zoom in or out at your pleasure.  Very nice.

Knights outswim Braves

Even with armor on, the Knight girls outswam the Bellmont Braves 119 to 64.  The boys, however, were not so lucky, falling 65.5 to 117.5 at Bellmont.

December 8, 2009

Indonesian Sets Sky Lantern World Record

Pretty!

Klay Fiechter makes All-State

Norwell running back Klay Fiechter has made the All-State team

The all-time Norwell rusher was named to the Top 50, which is the highest honor a player can receive from the IFCA. Fiechter is the second Norwell gridder to receive the award, joining Ryan Gerbers who earned the honor in 1999.

They must not have had this award back in 1976/77, otherwise I'm sure someone from our two-win squad would have made the grade.

Congratulations, Klay Fiechter... well done!

December 7, 2009

Luers boys #1, Bluffton #2 in 2A, Dwenger #4 in 3A

December 7 AP Boys basketball poll
Class 2A W-L Pts Prv
1. Ft. Wayne Luers (12) 1-0 240 1
2T. Bluffton 2-0 190 3
2T. Tipton 2-0 190 2
4. Brownstown 2-0 160 4
5. Forest Park 2-0 126 6
6. Ev. Mater Dei 2-0 89 9
7. Wheeler 2-0 77
8. Winchester 3-1 60 5
9. Westview 3-0 58
10. Lapel 2-1 41
Others receiving votes: Lawrenceburg 39. N. Miami 38. Oak Hill 30. Eastern (Greene) 20. Taylor 17. Bishop Noll 15. Tri-West 10. Wapahani 9. Indpls Washington 9. Eastern (Howard) 9. Alexandria 7. Knightstown 6.
Another great year for Luers.... #1 in Football, ranked #1 in boys and girls basketball.

Norwell girls #2 in 3A, Luers girls #1 in 2A

December 7 AP Girls Basketball Poll

Class 3A    W-L    Pts    Prv    
1. Rushville (11)    6-0    144        1    
2. Norwell(4)    6-0    128        2    
3. Ft. Wayne Elmhurst     5-2    103        3    
4. Gibson Southern    6-0    92        4    
5. Benton Central    6-1    60        7    
6. Plymouth    5-1    59        5    
7. Ev. Memorial    2-2    45        6    
8. Northwood    6-1    42        8    
9. Crawfordsville    6-1    38        9    
10. Franklin Co.    7-0    32    
Others receiving votes: Western Boone 17, Hamilton Heights 15, Fort Wayne Concordia 13, Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 9, Owen Valley 8, Greensburg 6, Griffith 4, Jasper 3, Charlestown 3, Wawasee 2, Indpls Roncalli 2.
 
Class 2A    W-L    Pts    Prv    
1. Ft. Wayne Luers (10)     6-0    140        1    
2. Austin (5)    5-0    135        2    
3. Oak Hill    5-1    109        3    
4. Winchester    6-0    108        4    
5. Wabash    6-0    86        6    
6. Taylor    5-1    76        5    
7. Boone Grove    6-0    65        7
8. Jimtown    6-1    38        9    
9. Eastern (Howard)    6-0    24    
10. Hagerstown    4-1    13    
Others receiving votes: Heritage Christian 12, Indian Creek 9, Brownstown 5, Covenant Christian 2, Culver Community 2, Fairfield 1.

Go girls!

Why doesn't the EPA regulate viruses in the air we breathe?

Although it's something that's been coming since earlier in the year, it's still a bit shocking to see the EPA declare carbon dioxide is a poison the United States government can regulate. Once you realize that carbon dioxide makes up only 0.037 percent of of the Earth's atmosphere... I mean, come on... 1% of a dollar is a penny.... 0.037th of a percent of a dollar is a tiny sliver of a penny.



1. CO2 makes up a tiny, tiny, tiny sliver of the atmosphere... 0.037%


2. CO2 is a naturally occurring gas (see the chart below which expands that "CO2 - 0.037%" category in the chart above)





As you can see below, the oceans and animals breathing make up 95 percent of the CO2 in the atmosphere... Mankind (aside from our breath) adds about 5% of CO2 in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, etc. So 5% of 0.037% is Man's industrial contribution to the atmosphere -- or 0.00185% -- and the EPA wants to regulate it. They want to regulate a gas that all mammals exhale, a gas that water and earth exhales, a gas that makes plants thrive. This is extremely silly. The numbers are far too small to measure any impact our pointless reductions would have.






















The EPA might as well regulate sunlight as carbon dioxide. They could control the diameter of umbrellas over our heads and the number of shade trees we plant. In the end, regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is just as silly as trying to regulate the temperature of the Earth. Wouldn't our founders be shocked to see their government try to control nature herself.

Ask yourself.... the EPA says that CO2 is harmful to humans, so why doesn't the EPA regulate viruses in the air we breathe? Not only would it improve our health, but we could measure our success in ways impossible with CO2. So why don't they? The next time you get a cold or the flu, ask yourself why the EPA doesn't protect you from real poisons in the air. Regulating viruses in the air makes much more sense than regulating carbon dioxide.

Review: Brothers

I wasn't going to see the film "Brothers" because it looked like just another Hollywood film dissing our troops... but this review by Carl Kozlowski over at Big Hollywood, has changed my mind. Isn't it nice that some conservative voices can be heard coming out of Big Hollywood?

Update: Meghan McCain has the opposite view of Brothers, that it is just another horrible portrayal of the American Soldier.

December 6, 2009

Norwell Girls defeat Homestead

Norwell 55, Homestead 52

The host Knights held a comfortable lead for most of the game when the Spartans started to inch themselves back into the game down the stretch cutting the lead to as little as three points, but Norwell, the 2nd-ranked team in class 3A, held on for the win, 55-52.

For what it's worth, Homestead beat powerhouse Elmhurst earlier this year.  Rushville is the other powerhouse in 3A this year.

December 4, 2009

Beyond the Canon

If you're a film buff, take a look at Beyond the Canon.  The Canon is a list of 300 generally agreed upon classic films.  Beyond the Canon is a list of 100 films, I guess you could say, almost made the list.  All the information on the 300 classics and the 100 close-to-classics, as well as lots of other lists, are at the link.

Tiger's unintentional promotion

I have no comment on Tiger Woods' personal life, but find it interesting that the release of Florida Highway Patrol pics from Tiger's ruined back seat have shot the sales up on John Gribbin's "Get a Grip on Physics."  Now that Oprah's going off the air, the field is free for Tiger to promote more books!

This incidental role in Woods's domestic drama has been enough to create a rush to get hold of the book, with the title's sales rank on Amazon.com jumping from 396,224 earlier in the week to a high spotted yesterday by the Wall Street Journal of 2,268.

It's good that Tiger's a reader.

Low Cost Starter Telescopes

Thinking of giving a low-cost starter telescope to some young, budding scientist this Christmas?  Good advice here.

An appalling murder

An appalling murder, a lame excuse in Rising Sun, down on the Ohio River near Kentucky, southwest of Cincinnati.

December 3, 2009

Norwell boys start off season well

I rather lost track of the Norwell boys basketball team, but am pleased to see they have started the season off well, defeating Fremont (61-45) and Adams Central (63-34). 

Jeopardy! March 16 2007

December 2, 2009

Goodbye Global Warming, Hello Cosmic Rays

We're in the deepest solar minimum in a century.  Goodbye Global Warming...

For
 students
 of
 the 
Sun,
 the
 length
 of
 the 
solar 
cycle, 
which 
lasts 
an 
average 
of 
11 
years 
but 
may 
go 
longer 
or 
shorter, 
has 
proven 
the 
best 
historical 
indicator 
of 
short-term
 climate. 
At 
the 
ends 
of 
these
 solar 
cycles, 
sunspot 
activity 
first 
declines, 
and
 then
 picks
 up 
markedly, 
indicating 
the 
beginning 
of 
a 
new 
cycle. 
The 
precise 
relationship 
between
 the
 sunspots, 
which
are 
thought 
to
 be 
determined 
by
 magnetic 
activity 
within 
the 
Sun, 
and 
the 
energy 
output 
of 
the 
Sun 
are 
not 
known. 
However, 
long‐term
 studies
 of 
the
 historical 
record
 have 
shown 
that 
when 
the 
minimum 
sunspot 
activity 
extend 
beyond 
the
 average
 11 
years, 
significant 
declines 
in
 temperatures 
on 
Earth 
are 
experienced.


And this, from Spaceweather.com:

The sun is in the pits of a very deep solar minimum. Many researchers thought the sunspot cycle had hit bottom in 2008 when the sun was blank 73% of the time. Not so. 2009 is on the verge of going even lower. So far this year, the sun has been blank 75% of the time, and only a serious outbreak of sunspots over the next few weeks will prevent 2009 from becoming the quietest year in a century. Solar minimum continues.

I would have thought that being in such a deep solar minimum would be good for communications, but it turns out (see the chart at the top) that sunspots increase solar winds that brush galactic cosmic rays away from Earth.  Without sunspots, the solar winds are very low and more cosmic rays enter the Earth's atmosphere to interfere with communications.  Read the article on page 28 of World Radio Online for a nice description.

In short, even though the Al Gores and James Hansons of the world have been shouting for years about the sky falling, we've actually had it very good.  What's coming, hard winters, lower food production and poor communications, could be quite an eye opener.

Norwell 72, Wayne 46

The girls march on to 5-0 over Wayne

December 1, 2009

Climate Tribalism

Groupthink and the global warming industry

How big a scandal this is for the scientific community is being hotly debated on the Internet. But in big newspapers and TV news, the story has gotten less attention. And that's a scandal, too. The New York Times' leading climate reporter, Andrew Revkin (whose name appears in some of the e-mails), won't publish the contents of the e-mail on the grounds it would violate the scientists' privacy. Can anyone imagine the Times being so prissy if such damning e-mails were from ExxonMobil, never mind Dick Cheney?

Luckily, the networks and the major newspapers are no longer needed... information (for awhile anyway) is freely available on the Internet.

November 29, 2009

The urge to save humanity

The worst scientific scandal of our generation

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Make sure you read the comments on the article, as well, which is from where he title of this post comes:

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." - H. L. Menken


Lady Knights move to 4-0

The Norwell Girls' Basketball team moved to 4-0, topping Jay County 50-46 on Friday night.

November 27, 2009

November 26, 2009

New York Law: Throw away donated food

The nanny-state trans-fat law in New York means that any fried food donated to food banks or homeless shelters is just thrown into the garbage.  Even though the lines at the New York soup kitchens are up over 20 percent due to the economy, any food cooked in trans-fat and donated for the needy is left to rot in garbage bins.

If what you are doing seems wrong (accepting food for the hungry and throwing it away while the needy stand in line), you should listen to your still, soft voice... you should break this silly law.


Aussie Politicians Resign over Global Warming Bill

If only American politicians would resign on principle -- or resign ever, for that matter.

November 25, 2009

Norwell 49, Concordia 44

The Lady Knights bring home a squeaker over Concordia 49-44 to move to 3-0 on the season. The Knights and the Cadets were tied, 34-34 at the end of the third quarter and then...

Janelle Wilson made six free throws in the last quarter and Amanda McAfee hit a threepointer and two free throws to help the Knights (3-0) outscore the Cadets 15-10 down the stretch for the win.

Nice!

Making Mock O' Uniforms

Rudyard Kipling wrote the title of this post in his poem "Tommy" about how society treats soldiers. Some say George Orwell was thinking of Kipling's poem when he wrote that "Those who abjure violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." And some say Winston Churchill had the same poem in mind when he (perhaps) said, "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

What does it say about our military leaders that they would allow a trial to proceed of three Navy Seals -- from all accounts, the Seals are the best of our best, they are the embodiment of "rough men, ready to visit violence" on our behalf -- what does it say about our society that we would ask these men to risk their lives to fight terrorists and then put them on trial because they harmed an enemy warrior? How is it possible to charge a Navy Seal with assaulting our enemy? We're not talking about standing Ahmed Hasim Abed up naked and attaching jumper cables to his genitals here... we're talking about roughing the guy up, punching him, giving him a bloody lip.

Abed, on the other hand, the man with the bloody lip, was the mastermind behind the 2004 killing of Blackwater security guards, whose bodies were burned and dragged through the streets of Fallujah and then hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River, sparking international outrage.

November 24, 2009

White House Flickr

I didn't realize that the White House has it's own Flickr photostream.

The Wilding of Sarah Palin

A very nice read from the American Thinker by Robin of Berkeley

It has been almost two years since I woke up and broke up with liberalism. During these many months, I've discovered that everything I believed was wrong.

But the biggest shock of all has been realizing that the Democratic Party is hardly an oasis for women. Now that it has been infiltrated by the hard Left, it's a dangerous place for women, children, and other living things.

In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than shield the vulnerable, leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way. Instead of a movement of hope and change, it is a cauldron of hate.


A former Democrat who left the party when her friends started calling Hillary names now sees clearly what her former party is doing to Sarah Palin... and why.  Read the whole thing, it's a good read.

Mending Health Care

A few nice comments by Yuval Levin

The case for Obamacare as cost reduction just won't pass the laugh test anymore, and no one seems to make it. The case for covering everyone isn't heard all that much either, since the Democrats' plans won't do that. The case for improved efficiency hasn't really survived the machinations necessary to get a bill through the House and to get another to the Senate floor — as what remains after the wheeling and dealing is anything but efficient . . .
 
The two basic premises the Democrats are advancing at the moment — this or nothing, and now or never — are both false. As Coburn and Troy point out, there are better ways.

That's just a bit, the rest is short and to the point click on the link to read it.  I thought I paid attention during the election in 2008, I just don't remember Health Care being the most important thing.  Certainly at the end it was all about the bailouts and housing... but during the election it seemed like Health Care was just another one of the laundry list of things being talked about... how it has suddenly become an emergency, I don't know.


November 23, 2009

November 22, 2009

Not everyone's cup of tea...

You can click on the picture to go to a site that is full of very odd pictures... not all of them are safe for work and not all of them are everyone's cup of tea.

Clint Eastwood

A very nice article about Clint Eastwood.
His breakthrough role—playing the Man with No Name in those spaghetti Westerns? He's in his midthirties when he does those. He doesn't direct his first movie, the still riveting Play Misty for Me, until he's 40. And Dirty Harry? He's 41 when he makes that (and even then, he gets the role only after Sinatra pulls out).

But here's where things get really crazy. In 1993 he shows up at the Academy Awards with Unforgiven. He is 62 and has never won an Oscar. The film wins four, including Best Picture and Best Director.

And then this happens: The guy doesn't hang it up—he only starts getting stronger. He goes on a stunning run of creativity that a man half his age would kill for. Eastwood is now 79, and in the seventeen years since Unforgiven he has made fifteen movies. Three of those have been nominated for Best Picture, and he has been nominated for Best Director or Best Actor an additional four times. All told, he now has four Oscars, and his films have won another seven.

He has made sixty-six movies. He's acted in fifty-seven and directed twenty-nine. Now he's about to release his sixty-seventh: Invictus. He directed and produced it, and it's the true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) and the captain of the overwhelmingly white South African rugby team (Matt Damon) used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to bring the country together.


It's an interesting article, if you have the chance, read the whole thing.  I particularly like how he says we should stop calling each other racists and nutjobs and grow up...  Clint Eastwood impresses me as someone who has paid attention to the world around him... someone who notices things, appreciates things, tries to understand... it's a good interview.

Microsoft of America

Interesting.... the United States National Security Agency has been collaborating with MicroSoft on their Operating Systems since Windows 98 days... including Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. The NSA says, it is just using its

"unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide".

Of course people are concerned that the NSA is building back doors into everyone's computer for data gathering. I'm not worried about that... I'm just shocked that the NSA would admit it had a hand in Microsoft's security -- I mean, all these OS's are riddled with holes and fried full of viruses and spyware and they can't hardly function unless you buy additional software to keep them clean. This is our NSA? Yikes!

So Peaceful...


Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory: A Deliberate Fraud

Many will spin the contents of the emails hacked out of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, but the dirt will be impossible to sweep under the rug. Climate scientists have been caught red-handed downplaying the last ten year of global cooling, blackballing skeptics' papers out of scientific journals and generally behaving like politicians instead of scientists.

CO2 never was a problem and all the machinations and deceptions exposed by these files prove that it was the greatest deception in history, but nobody is laughing. It is a very sad day for science and especially my chosen area of climate science. As I expected now it is all exposed I find there is no pleasure in "I told you so."

The Guardian (a newspaper out of England) goes so far as to say that pressure from global warming skeptics caused this falsification... that's kind of like blaming Woodward and Bernstein for Nixon's plumbers, don't you think?). I look for Al Gore to take his money and run soon... as the house of cards falls, it will be difficult for him to live in his Tennessee mansion, surrounded by egg-throwing ridicule. Where will he choose to live out his life and spend his lie-fueled millions? Perhaps he'll take his gigantic, green-powered houseboat to some private island and kick back in a hammock, sipping tropical fruit juice, and spend his days laughing at old George Bush jokes -- it could have been him, after all...

November 21, 2009

Why Lugar Remains

Who among us, assuming we have the needed funds to live as we want, would continue to work into our late seventies?  Senator Lugar is going to be 78 in April, he'll be 80 at the end of his current term in 2012.  Why does Lugar remain?  He is our representative, our vote in Washington, it's not meant to be a lifetime appointment, but he's been our Senator since 1976 (he was mayor of Indy, before that).  It's not my intent to pile on someone who's already down (see the link), and I don't want to pigeonhole senior citizens into their easy chairs... but come on, make way.  The job is to represent us, not rule us... it shouldn't matter who's sitting in that chamber pressing that button, whoever is there is representing the same people.

The trouble with Senators is that people are always going to them, asking them for help, asking them to intervene for them.  Senators can spend federal money on whatever they choose, just by attaching a slip of paper (an earmark) to any bill that passes.  There is a reason why senators tend to stay in office until they're wheeled out... the reason is power, if Senator Lugar retires, who in the press will visit him, when will he be on Meet the Press next?  Which of his constituents will come to his home and ask for his help?  When will he ever again be able write checks out of the endless bucket of tax dollars on his own whim?  Who will defer to him if he's just some hoosier letting others work his farm?

Power corrupts, that deed is done, but Senator Lugar should step down now, be there for his family and let Governor Daniels appoint a replacement.  A replacement can get a couple years experience before the next election... a replacement might have a fresh idea, might whisper "change is coming" into Senator Bayh's ear...

Purdue defeats Indiana

Speaking of headlines that never get old... Purdue trounced Indiana 38-21 to bring home to old oaken bucket today.

Norwell defeats Bluffton

Ah, that classic "Norwell defeats Bluffton" headline just never gets old.  This time it was girls' basketball and Norwell knocked Bluffton out, 82 to 29.

November 20, 2009

Bishop Luers 52, Rensselaer 21

Congratulations Bishop Luers on your Semi-state victory over Rensselaer.  52-21... not nearly so close as last week...

November 19, 2009

Sarah Palin in Fort Wayne

It's interesting, isn't it, that Sarah Palin can attract a large, devoted crowd, but Wane TV's site attracts few positive comments and plenty of insulting ones.  The comments are under the article if you click on the link and are pretty typical of those on the Left who seek only to destroy the Palins... calling her, and those who attended, "stupid" -- here's a sample.

What a missed opportunity - we had thousands of stupid people willingly gather in one spot. We should have at least marked them with a huge MORON stamp on their heads.

She can't run her own family.

Its over? GOOD!!! The less scum we have in our great city the better.

Palin is a retard.

you mean all the idiots in fort wayne gathered in one area and i missed it!

I suspect each of the people commenting would never say such things to anyone face to face, but they clearly think such things about others.  Their comments reflect poorly on their internal lives, don't you think?

Remembering the Pacer/Piston Brawl

It's been five years since Ron Artest leapt from the press table into the crowd at the Palace.

November 18, 2009

Who's your favorite artist

If you want to be in a drawing to win the Heidi Malott painting above, click on the painting and post a comment on her site stating your favorite artist, living or dead. Good luck!

Pertussis and Tetanus

I'm sure everyone must know this but me, but I thought I'd pass it along as a public service anyway.  After a bad cold and a couple of rounds of antibiotics last spring, I felt fine but had a nasty cough all summer.  I spoke to my doctor yesterday and she asked me when I had my last tetanus shot.  I couldn't remember and the doc said I likely had Pertussis (Whooping Cough).  Turns out, grownups are supposed to get a tetanus shot called Tdap every ten years, which also prevents against whooping cough.

Note:  The Tdap booster is especially recommended for any adults under age 65 who will be around or caring for babies.

To the victims of Toby Schwartz

Please keep all the victims of Toby Schwartz, the drug addict, car thief, rapist, in your thoughts and prayers.  Having someone break into your home, confront you, and take what's yours is haunting and damaging enough.  When the home broken into and the thing taken is your own body, perhaps only other victims of rape can truly understand the damage done. Peace to his victims.  Peace and prayers for "Ann."

Al just wants the Earth to be a Star

Ooops... Al Gore, in promoting geothermal energy on the Conan O'Brien show, claimed the temperature in the interior of the Earth is several million degrees.  But Al.... the scientific consensus is that the very core of the Earth, the warmest center, is around five thousand degrees.

Hey, he only exaggerated by 60,000 percent this time.

November 17, 2009

Flu Plague strikes Ukraine

Pretty scary stuff...

A cocktail of three flu viruses are reported to have mutated into a single pneumonic plague, which it is believed may be far more dangerous than swine flu. The death toll has reached 189 and more than 1 million people have been infected...

President Yushchenko said: "People are dying. The epidemic is killing doctors. This is absolutely inconceivable in the 21st Century."

In a TV interview, the President added: "Unlike similar epidemics in other countries, three causes of serious viral infections came together simultaneously in Ukraine – two seasonal flus and the Californian flu

"Virologists conclude that this combination of infections may produce an even more aggressive new virus as a result of mutation."

I hadn't heard of the Californian Flu... I wonder if it causes people to spend money they don't have?

Update: From the comments (thanks): http://ukraineplague.blogspot.com/

Official Numbers from the Ukraine of Sick Just Released 11/17/09

1,457,564 Sick

83,026 Hospitalized

328 Dead

November 16, 2009

Colts 35, Patriots 34

How 'bout those Colts! 

... Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 on his side of the 50 yard line, with less than two minutes to go, was one of the gutsiest things I had ever seen in my life.

Gutsy and, it turns out, stupid. Stupid only because Kevin Faulk couldn't get his feet planted on the other side of the mythical first down yellow line emblazoned across my television screen. If Faulk had landed his feet, then forget it. It would have been another brilliant Bill Belichick call.

The sportscasters are putting the loss all on Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 -- but it was Manning, I tell you, who put the thought in Belichick's head. Manning has been working for years to perfect his Jedi mind tricks... "These aren't the droids your looking for... what's 2 yards, you can make it... there's no need to punt.... move along...."




November 15, 2009

Lady Knights start off right

The Norwell Girls started off their 2009/2010 basketball season the right way, with a 59-35 victory over Bishop Dwenger.
Jessica Rupright led Norwell with 20 points followed by Janelle Wilson with 18. The bulk of Rupright's points came in the first half but foul trouble took her to the bench.
Nice call of the game by Jerry Kumfer at WellsCountyVoice.com as well.

Revisiting the Ossian Rampage

I wondered here before just what the police in Berne were thinking when they gave  Toby Schwartz home detention... now it turns out he was headed to jail and escaped, in handcuffs, from the police department.  He was a fugitive at the time he broke into that home over on Road One by Yoder and raped a woman.  The Berne police aren't talking about how Mr. Schwartz escaped them eight days before he wreaked havoc through the Ossian area.

Berne police officer Jason Oswalt took Schwartz back to the police department in handcuffs and then left him alone, court documents said.

The documents don't say how long he was unattended, but police believe Schwartz slipped his cuffed hands to the front of his body and ran out the door.

Surveillance camera footage shows him running, still handcuffed, away from the police department, across Indiana 218 and between two houses.

Berne police declined repeated requests from The Journal Gazette to explain how Schwartz was able to escape or why Oswalt left him unattended...

All told, his pending charges in three counties are rape, criminal confinement, battery, forgery, strangulation, receiving stolen auto parts, residential entry, resisting law enforcement, possession of precursors with intent to manufacture meth, possession of a controlled substance, two counts of dealing meth, two counts of possession of meth, two counts of criminal deviate conduct, two counts of auto theft, two counts of escape, two counts of burglary and three counts of robbery.

I doubt Mr. Schwartz will be left unattended again for the next 10-20 years.

November 14, 2009

Bishop Luers 54, Lewis Cass 53 in two Overtimes

Wow... 107 points scored in a high school playoff football game.... that's a night to remember


November 13, 2009

Neuskool

Like Internet links? Click on the picture to go to Neuskool... a great set of useful links.

A Fascinating Article on Biotechnology in Sports

Aimee Mullins (running on a beach in the picture above) writes a fascinating article on athletes and biotechnology. Just how much can athletes be aided by technology before those defeated start talking "unfair advantage."

I wrote about Oscar Pistorius during the last Olympics and wondered whether he should be allowed to compete with the Cheetah legs like those above... Aimee's article, though, raises a lot more questions than I have answers:

The only reason athletes today are better than those of decades ago is because of science and technology: We know exactly what and when to feed our bodies for maximum energy, we have lighter shoes and better bikes and new rubberized track surfaces and (legal) supplements and altitude training. We are upping the ante each Olympic year with "smarter" design of an athlete's tools, both inside and outside the body.

A whopping 74 world records were broken last year between March and November with the Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer suit. 74! Do you wonder if Mark Spitz is annoyed that his times are compared to those of athletes using something he didn't have the opportunity to use or wear?

Let's think about Tiger Woods having not one, but two LASIK surgeries to achieve 20/15 vision, when what we consider the best of natural vision to be is a mere 20/20. Before his first LASIK surgery, Woods had lost 16 straight tournaments. Immediately following the surgery, he won 7 of his next 10. Advantage through technology, or not?

Wow.... I had not heard about Tiger's surgeries... apparently his contacts were really bothering him and he opted for LASIKs. And also, have you ever gone out to golf in a foursome and noticed that your 30 year-old woods are so tiny as to be embarrassing? I have.... but maybe that's a guy thing. :)

If you get a chance, read the whole article... it's quite interesting... and Ms. Mullins is quite an inspiration.

Water on the Moon

Well that's about a century of scientific certainty out the window.  How can there be water on the moon?

Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said the latest discovery also could unlock the mysteries of the solar system.

He listed several options as sources for the water, including solar winds, comets, giant molecular clouds or even the moon itself through some kind of internal activity. The Earth also may have a role, Wargo said.

"If the water that was formed or deposited is billions of years old, these polar cold traps could hold a key to the history and evolution of the solar system, much as an ice core sample taken on Earth reveals ancient data."
 

Too bad we didn't land in that area back in the 1970's . . . back when America had money and Saturn Five rockets full of fuel.


Bishop D'Arcy to Announce his Retirement

WOWO is reporting that Bishop D'Arcy will be announcing his retirement tomorrow, November 14th.

Bishop John D'Arcy confirmed for WSBT Radio the announcement does involve the appointment of a new bishop. He said the new bishop is currently serving in another diocese.

Bishop D'Arcy was appointed in 1985.

November 12, 2009

A Farmer's Life is not an Easy Life

In days gone by, we used to wear flannel shirts and wave bandannas and call ourselves farmers as we followed Norwell's teams through the seasons, through the years.  But most of us were not farmers... some were, but most were not.  Farming is a hard, dangerous job and perhaps only farmers can really appreciate just how dangerous putting food in all our mouths can be.  That said, kudos to Jim Blinn for not only noticing Frank Frayer was in danger, but for getting that wagon off of him

Jim Blinn, told friends he heard the man's grain auger running empty and was curious why. When he went to check on Frayer he found the man face down beneath the wagon and immediately called 911. Blinn used a backhoe to lift the wagon off Frayer before emergency workers arrived.

It occurs to me that America would do well to have a Farmer's Day, rather like Veteran's Day.  Farmer's don't face flying lead and land mines, but they do feed the world, step in front of angry bulls, abuse their bodies with hard work through much of the year regardless of the weather and often suffer injuries and health problems none of the rest of us have to face because of their hard lives.

Thanks, and thanks again to all you farmers and farming families.


Revisiting the Previous President

In the article "Thank you former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush," two gay Chicagoans find themselves re-evaluating the Bush years after finding that President and Mrs. Bush have quietly met with the Ft. Hood families victimized by the shooting...

If you have been reading us for any length of time, you know that we used to make fun of "Dubya" nearly every day…parroting the same comedic bits we heard in our Democrat circles, where Bush is still, to this day, lampooned as a chimp, a bumbling idiot, and a poor, clumsy public speaker.

Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day.

We were convinced that ANYONE who was president would have done what Bush did, and would have set that right tone of leadership in the wake of that disaster.  President Gore, President Perot, President Nader, you name it.  ANYONE, we assumed, would have filled that role perfectly.

Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia, made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush.

Read the whole thing, it's a nice read.

Society Advances even if we're unaware

Sometimes you just don't realize how far society has advanced until you encounter a 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship video...

Dog's welcoming their owners home from deployment

What nice videos

November 11, 2009

Some People...

Jim Carrey, that guy who's been making $20 million for each and every movie over the last 15 years and owns his own 25 million dollar plane, says America is a greedy country.  Well... he ought to know.  He's the guy who wrote himself a $20 million check when he was just starting out to motivate himself (rather ambitious, don't ya think, rather greedy, too).
"Every construct we've built in American life is falling apart. Why? Because of personal greed and ambition. Capitalism without regulation can't protect us against personal greed.. . .
It's surprising that Mr. Carrey became a U.S. citizen in 2004 since, you know, all our constructs are falling apart.

"Every day is a bonus": Veteran's Day November 2009 in DC.

Asteroid 2009VA -- near miss on Friday 11/6

Asteroid 2009VA just missed hitting the Earth on Friday.  Scientists say it would have mostly burned up in the atmosphere if it would have hit the Earth... but there was very little warning of the near miss.

Carbon Leaf - War Was In Color

Thanks, to all our men and women in uniform.

hat tip: Michael Heinbaugh for the video

November 9, 2009

The Horse Genome

The genome of the domestic horse has been mapped by a team of scientists.

The team surveyed the extent of genetic variation both within and across breeds to create a catalogue of more than one million single-letter genetic differences in these breeds.

This is slightly larger than the genome of the domestic dog, and smaller than both the human and cow genomes.

So far, scientists have also sequenced the genomes of the platypus, mouse, rat, chimpanzee, rhesus macaque and, of course, human.

I'd be interested in the genome of the dolphin and whale....

November 8, 2009

Ida Oil Prices

Are you ready for $4 a gallon gasoline prices again?  It appears Hurricane Ida is going to affect the Gulf of Mexico Oil lanes.

The Gulf is the source of 25 percent of U.S. domestically produced oil and 15 percent of natural gas. About 40 percent of U.S. refining capacity is located on the Gulf Coast.

On Sunday night, the storm was located in the southern Gulf and expected to strike land by Tuesday somewhere between the states of Louisiana and Florida after roaring through the eastern Gulf oilfields over the next two days.

Save your pennies.

November 6, 2009

Reaping the Whirlwind

Jerry Pournelle writes from a lifetime of experience and makes a lot of sense.  Why wasn't the Fort Hood shooter brought up on charges of treason the moment it was discovered that he sided with our enemies?

Political correctness was the cause of the Fort Hood Massacre, and we ought not forget that. The fact that someone could go through -- at government expense -- an undergraduate education with ROTC, then medical school at a US military institution, and remain a traitor to the United States is a significant warning.  Hassan had been through ROTC and a US armed forces medical school as a commissioned officer. Why was his failure of loyalty to the armed forces not detected earlier? But of course he was a Muslim, and it would not be politically correct to wash someone out of an armed forces medical school for lack of loyalty to the armed forces of these United States.

We sow the wind. We have reaped one whirlwind.

Amen to that.

8 shot in Orlando... What's going on!

At least 8 shot at Orlando High Rise, killer on the loose

November 4, 2009

Taylor Wins 36-35!

I thought you might enjoy the last couple minutes of the Taylor-Marion game on Halloween as called by our own Sevens member Tim George, the Voice of Taylor Football. Taylor came from far behind to win their Homecoming game 36-35 in a walk-off touchdown catch by Ryan Magnuson for his 6th touchdown catch of the game. Good call, Tim!

video

Note: The final touchdown comes around the 4:30 mark in this video.

Dog Scent Lineups

I can hardly believe this isn't a joke from The Onion, but there are actually people in jail based solely on a dog alerting on their scent among other scents in a lineup. 

The 2004 F.B.I. report warned that dog scent work "should not be used as primary evidence," but only to corroborate other evidence.In several of the cases that were based on Deputy Pikett's dogs, however, the scent lineups appear to have provided the primary evidence, even when contradictory evidence was readily available. Mr. Bickham spent eight months in jail after being identified in a scent lineup by Deputy Pikett's dogs, until another man confessed to the killings.

Many people remain in jail based on such silly evidence -- they should be let out immediately.

November 2, 2009

Norwell News Blog
























You can find great pictures and stories on the Norwell News Blog.

ps... and, if you must, you can always take a look at the Bluffton Bloggers and the Southern Wells Raider Report. Thanks to Jerry Battiste of the Bluffton News-Banner for getting the area schools up and running on their news sites, what a great community service!

The Worst Bill Ever

The Wall Street Journal looks at the new Health Care Bill coming out of the House.

October 29, 2009

Uniondale Homicide

Three teens and a 22 year old from Adams County apparently drove over to Wells County to meet with Justin Sprow, 19, and ended up killing him.  One life ended and so many ruined.  It's been a difficult couple of years for Northern Wells County.  A soft, quiet prayer, a swift, soft peace for these families and the many others affected yesterday, today, and over the previous years.

October 28, 2009

God Rest Her Soul

Update: Tyler White found guilty of killing Amy Meyer White on 10-3-2011

It's hard to think of an event more sad than the death of Amy Meyer White, killed by her estranged husband out on county road 100 South outside of Bluffton. Accidents are one thing, but murder... double murder since she was pregnant.... is another.

Tyler White played varsity basketball for Bluffton on the 1999-2000 team. Amy (Meyer) White played for South Adams, scoring over 1,000 points in her career and going on to play in college and coach, God rest her soul.

Update: Pulled from the comments...

USF players honor slain assistant coach

In honor of her life and dedication to sports, the USF Cougars gave Meyer's old uniform and five shooting shirts to the Meyer family. It was followed by a moment of silence.

"Amy was such a great person. She always had this kind of an infectious smile and laugh. And she always had a positive attitude and always worked hard. You know, we just wanted to tell her family how much we thought of Amy and let them know, you know, we're still thinking of them," said head coach Gary Andrews.

Meyer's grandfather Jack Meyer couldn't contain his emotions as he received the shirts on behalf of his family.

"It's hard to put it into words. But when she went to school here, it was sort of like a family," said Meyer. "It's just great to see them do this."

The Meyer family has established a Scholarship in Meyer's memory. The Amy Meyer Memorial Scholarship Fund will be given to a graduating female athlete from South Adams High School.

Nice.

October 27, 2009

The Media Death Spiral

Megan McArdle believes the newspaper business in America is dying. I think the truth is that the Newspaper business in America is giving away too many free copies over the Internet.  Oh, I'm sure the days of the great National Newspapers -- like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, are over -- you can't make too much money printing news everyone already knows and opinions nobody wants to read, after all.  But the newspaper business isn't over, they just have to print news people don't already know and sell it instead of giving it away.  I think I've said before that the Bluffton News-Banner seems to be a nice model for how papers can survive. The Banner covers local news, schools and sports in-depth, utilizes modern technology like Twitter and Facebook and Blogs to not only find news, but gather customers and interest, and (most importantly) they don't give away their product for free on the Internet.  The Banner has a nice mix of free stories of public interest and teasers where you have to subscribe to read the whole story.  It may be that newsprint will die one day in favor of online newspapers... but as long as well-written local news exists  (and isn't free), local people will buy it.