January 28, 2009

1000 Novels Everyone Should Read

I have quite a ways to go...


Neurobics are exercises for your brain -- not logic puzzle, but methods of actually activating unused pathways and creating new pathways... they are easy and can keep your brain active.  Examples:  when you come home, get yourself into your house with your eyes closed.  Combine your senses, light a fragrant candle while listening to a new piece of music in a room where you don't normally hang out.  Brush your teeth with your left hand (or right if you're a lefty).  Write a quick letter with your left hand, etc.

Norwell Holds On, Defeats Bishop Luers 51-50 in OT

A nice article from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel on Norwell's overtime victory over Bishop Luers Tuesday night

Kelsey Wyss [Luers] picked up the loose ball in a scrambled mess, threw the pass to teammate Brierra Young, and the sophomore drove to the basket for the potential game-winning score. But her layup was contested, the ball rolled around the rim and fell to the ground, and time expired as Norwell held on to beat Bishop Luers 51-50 in overtime.

Tuesday evening's game between the Knights - Class 3A No. 2 Norwell and 2A No. 5 Bishop Luers - had everything fans should've expected out of two of the area's best teams.

"Wow, it was a good game," Bishop Luers coach Greg Friend said. "Our kids fought hard, but give Norwell a lot of credit. They got the job done when they needed to. It came down to that last-second shot. We did our best."

Norwell overcame a 20-9 second quarter deficit and finally took the lead with a shot from Norwell sophomore Amanda McAfee scored on a turn-around jumper as time expired in the third quarter to give her team its first lead of the game, 30-29

Norwell moves to 15-1 on the season with a 12 game winning streak.  Their only loss being to 4A #7 ranked Jay County back on Thanksgiving. Luers falls to 13-5 on their season, having lost to 4A Penn, 4A Fort Wayne South, 4A South Bend Washington and 2A Heritage Christian.

Go Girls!

January 27, 2009

Norwell Principal on the hot seat

From News Channel 15:

Norwell Principal Greg Mohler asked the board to wait until Friday to decide whether or not to renew his contract. But that didn't stop over 100 students and parents from coming out and speaking on his behalf.

Students and parents showed up Tuesday night looking for answers....

Newschannel 15 asked the tough question. Why would Principal Mohler be let go, but we couldn't get the answer.

"Well that would be a personnel matter, and I'm not at liberty to discuss anything that's personnel related," said Northern Wells Superintendent Dr. Scott Mills.

It sounds like this meeting was a pretty one-sided affair, as these things always are, because neither the school board nor the superintendent are about to discuss personnel matters in a public forum. Employers all across the country are in the same boat... if you speak ill about any aspect of an employee's performance, you get sued... if you say nothing, you get hated by those who don't have all the facts. These types of School Board vs. Students showdowns over teacher/administrator contracts are just a fact of life in our litigious society, made all the worse by the passions of young adults.

In the end, though, the news media and students and parents all focus on Superintendent Mills and the School Board -- asking them why questions no employer can answer... neither the media, nor the kids seem to realize that Principal Mohler knows why this action is being taken and he's fully free to discuss it. If he's unwilling to discuss why his contract might be terminated, that says something.

From NewsChannel 21: Are Big Changes in store for Norwell?

Nice, Free and Useful applications

22 most useful free applications for your PC

Your Congress at Work

Congress is considering whether it should be illegal for your cellphone camera to be in quiet mode.  Lord knows, Congress has nothing better to do than control the sounds cell phones make.  The Feds believe that if a cell phone makes a shutter noise when it takes a picture, that will protect children from sexual predators... but what if someone actually encounters a sexual predator and wants to quietly take his picture?  Who's being protected then?  We're all being controlled by a bunch of feel-good little emperors, put into power to represent us and instead are chipping away our adulthood one little chip at a time.

Personally, I think the Emergency Broadcast System should sound the air-raid sirens each time Congress makes a new law... that would do more to protect my children than a camera click.

January 26, 2009

Miss Indiana

I think the Miss America pageant needs to do more advertising... we didn't even realize it was broadcast over the weekend (on  the Learning Channel).  Congratulations to Katie Stam of Seymour, Indiana's first Miss America... ever.

Of course with coverage like this (from the LA Times), I can understand why they don't advertise:

The Miss America contest is stupid and dated and we crowned a new winner in Vegas on Saturday night.

One of the big surprises to me the last couple of years has been the relocation of the Miss America pageant to Vegas. Why would you bring this antiquated event -- an Atlantic City tradition that had seemingly run its course there -- to Vegas? Vegas aspires not only to be hipper than Atlantic City, but also wants to be a city with a relevance to the 21st century.  Miss America is even sexist in a dated way...

I see, however, that the the Vegas writer for the LA Times is covering the event (why write about it, if it's all so "stupid?").  I guess Miss Stam's platform of Community Service and being the goodwill ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network is tainted now because of how she was chosen for those positions.  The writer calls the event 'sexist,' but the word doesn't apply, does it... sexism is discriminating against someone because of their gender... just how is that happening in the Miss America pageant?  No, the writer is upset because the women are winning and losing based in large part upon their looks -- that is not sexist. 

Leave it to the Los Angeles Times to say that a contest based on looks is sexist -- God knows, Hollywood isn't like that... it's open and welcoming to all women, who are generally cast in movies based on the quality of their acting skills and the content of their characters -- not on their looks.

Yeah right.  Congratulations, Miss Stam and Seymour, IN!

January 25, 2009

Little Brothers

Cory Doctorow points out an article about an Australian man and his family who came to the United States to visit the man's dying father, the kids' dying grandfather -- only to be detained, starved and deported by US Customs and Border Patrol.

Despite being Australian citizens and having valid visas to enter the US, the family members claim they were singled out because of their cultural background, having immigrated from Bangladesh four years ago.

"They treated us like terrorists," Mr Rabbi said. "We are Australian citizens. Why did they have to keep us in a detention centre? Why did they have to lock up my kids?"

If such action by the United States is upsetting to you, you might consider reading Doctorow's book, "Little Brother," which is a fictionalized account of how treating people that way can end up backfiring on the US.  I read "Little Brother in one sitting -- couldn't put it down.  If you like modern technology, you'll enjoy the read and have lots to think about.

January 24, 2009

Norwell 77, New Haven 36

The Norwell girls kept their winning streak alive by pounding New Haven Friday night, 77 - 36.  The Knights 11 game winning streak will be on the line Tuesday when Bishop Luers (13-4 and ranked #3 in 2A) come to the Castle to face the 14-1 (ranked #2 in 3A) Knights.

For the Knights, Jenelle Wilson scored a game-high 22, and. Rupright (13) and Vogel (10) combined for 23 on the low blocks.

Kylie Dial chipped in with 11, and felt the void created by the absence of the player she's been playing basketball with forever. [Haley Chaney]

Go Knights!

January 23, 2009

National Filmboard of Canada

Interested in films online for free?  The National Filmboard of Canada has put 700 some films and clips and cartoons and such online for free.

January 20, 2009

Look Again

It takes awhile to see the "real" picture... if you need help, there is no image of Jesus between the man and the woman, there is a child, sitting on the man's knee.  Click on the picture to make it bigger. 

Need more help?  The child on the man's knee is wearing a white hat which is shading the child's face.  The shade across the child's face creates the impression of the eyebrow of Jesus....

Norwell Principal Meeting

I don't know much about the current Norwell Principal, but for those who are interested in keeping him on for next year, there's something of a movement going on here.

I thought this picture summed up today pretty well... click on it to make it bigger.

A Lizard, taped to a car door handle

Is not something you see everyday...

Paige Brink - Army Athlete of the Week

Army freshman and past Norwell stand-out swimmer Paige Brink was named Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week on Monday.  Brink won three individual events on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Versus the Bison, Brink touched first in the 200 butterfly (2:09.01) and the 100 butterfly (58.25) and later out-touched the field in 200 individual medley with a 2:10.38 clocking. She later teamed with senior captain Sally White, sophomore Cortney Heaps and freshman Leigh Rosenberger to take second in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:43.83.

On Sunday, she swept the 100 backstroke (1:02.25) and the 200 backstroke (2:14.14) before finishing the day with a first place in the 200 IM (2:15.41).

Well done!

January 19, 2009

Lady-Knights win 10th straight over Bellmont

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it was a cold night Saturday when the Norwell girls got their revenge over Bellmont -- the team that knocked the Knights out of the Sectional last year. The Knights blasted the Braves 63-43 to win their 10th straight game and go 5-0 in the NHC Conference. The Knights shot 63% on the night, powering the ball inside with Jessica Rupright and Andrea Vogel.

It was a bittersweet night, however, as it was the first game in a long time without Haley Chaney on the floor. Chaney returned to the court this year even after a terrible car accident in the off season left her susceptible to further (and possibly worse) injury while playing ball. After being injured in the Carroll game, Haley decided to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

Congratulations, girls!

Update: Norwell Senior Ends Basketball Comeback

Temperature Records

Interesting... the graphs show new record high and record low temperatures across the United States by year... lots of high temperature records were set in the thirties, fifties and nineties but almost none in the last 10 years. And many low records were set in the seventies and eighties, but almost none in the last 10 years... so even though the news is full of global warming excitement -- our weather has been quite uneventful... not record-breaking hot, not record-breaking cold.

How can such an uneventful decade result in so much hype? Here's more information.

January 16, 2009

Minus 18 Degrees is not a record

Fort Wayne matched the -18 on 1-16-1972... ah yes... back in 8th grade.  The all-time record for Fort Wayne is -24 on 1-12-1918.

If I remember right, I think is was in the -20's in 1983, as well.


From Flickr...

RIP Ricardo Montalban

I was out of town yesterday, but saw today that Ricardo Montalban passed away.  I never really watched Fantasy Island, so Montalban will always be "Khan" from Star Trek to me.

January 14, 2009

American Idol

I swear, American Idol should search for talent on YouTube... not that this is all so great, but it's just... entertaining!

Norwell wins in Buzzer-Beater

Norwell 46, Dekalb 44

Ross Mathews (JV) only played two seconds in Norwell's game at DeKalb Monday night, but in those two seconds, he became the hero of the night, nailing a three from the right wing at the buzzer to give the Knights an amazing 46-44 comeback victory against their Northeast Hoosier Conference rival.

With two seconds remaining in the game, Norwell (4-6, 1-1) called a time-out to set-up an inbounds play underneath DeKalb's basket. It was then that Mathews checked into the game for the first time.

"I felt like, at that point, we didn't have anybody who was shooting the ball well, and Ross has been shooting well all year on JV, so we put him in," said head coach Doug Hicks.

On the inbounds, freshman Kyle Fillman got it to Mathews on the wing. He dribbled to his right once before getting off his shot just before the buzzer.

He hit nothing but net, sending the entire Norwell bench (along with Hicks) rushing the court to mob him at halfcourt.


January 13, 2009

Hacking your Brain

Click on the image to make it larger so you can read some of these techniques... or go here to read the article.  Cool stuff.

January 12, 2009

Norwell defeats Carroll

The Norwell girls extended their winning streak to 9 by defeating Carroll 58-49. The Knights have been doing great from the free-throw line, of late. They are ranked #2 to Rushville in 3A in the Sagarin's ratings.

The Norwell boys, however, lost their 4th straight, this time to Carroll 46-57 and fell to 3-6 on the season.

Are you prepared?

Are you prepared for a solar storm?  The Sun has been very, very quiet for a long time, but sooner or later, there will be a solar storm powerful enough to knock down high technologies like GPS, WIFI, and electrical power grids.  Just how dependent have we become on our satellites for communication and navigation?  Just how stressed are our electrical grids already?

It seems we hardly remember the Quebec blackout during the magnetic superstorm of 1989... how many people even had cell phones in 1989?

You can read a free scientific report about the risks we face here... just scroll down to the Table of Contents and start reading...

January 8, 2009

Norwell 42, Leo 30: Norwell 34, Wayne 44

The 3A, 7th ranked Knights outscored Leo 22-13 in the second half

The Norwell Girls are now 11-1, sitting atop the Northeast Hoosier Conference with an 8 game winning streak.

The unranked Norwell boys team scored only 13 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters combined against Wayne, having been held to under 40 points the second game in a row.  They are now 3-5 on the season but haven't yet started conference play.

January 5, 2009

Norwell Girls defeat #1 Wawasee

The Norwell girls basketball team defeated #12 ranked Plymouth 60-54 in overtime and then #1 ranked Wawasee 50-46 at the Norwell Shootout Friday.

In the first game, Norwell trailed 30-23 at halftime and 44-32 after three quarters, but hit six of eight free throws in the fourth quarter to outscore the Pilgrims 19-7 and force overtime.

Then in the extra session Norwell hit four of six free throws to outscore Plymouth 9-3. Norwell hit 23 of 29 free-throw attempts, and Plymouth hit 17 of 29.

After Plymouth's Lyzz Smith made a lay-up with 0.6 seconds remaining to give Plymouth a 51-49 lead, junior Kylie Dial uncorked a long baseball pass down court to sophomore Amanda McAfee, who out-jumped two Plymouth defenders to catch the ball, then turned and fired just inside the three point line, hitting nothing but net and sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Way to go, girls!

January 2, 2009

Aren't these ice crystal formations beautiful? SpaceWeather.com has some discussion.