September 30, 2009

Patient with no pulse

There was a movie about a continuous flow artificial heart a couple decades ago, wasn't there?  This lady actually has one.

Ah yes... Threshold, 1981.  As I remember it, the woman in the movie felt quite strange, not having a pulse, and the movie went into some discussion about how our pulse our existence in ways we hardly begin to realize until we begin to live without that beat.


Chinese artist Chen Wenling critiques the global financial crisis in "What You See Might Not Be Real," on display at a Beijing gallery. The bull is said to represent Wall Street, while the man pinned to the wall represents jailed financier Bernard Madoff.

Do I see horns protruding out of Bernie's head?

GM has many moons

Saturn is only one of GM's many moons. R.I.P. Saturn. Saturn was discovered circling GM by Roger Smith (of Roger & Me fame) in 1983.

Manure Lagoons

Purdue is studying manure lagoons.  The picture above wasn't generated by Purdue, but how can they hope to improve upon it?

Another day, another Earthquake, another Tsunami

Yesterday's huge earthquake and resultant tsunami in Samoa is followed by today's huge earthquake and tsunami warning in Indonesia.  Once the world starts rocking, more and more plates start shifting.

September 29, 2009

Lugarol, the Farm Bill, and you

Senator Lugar has asked the EPA to increase the demand for ethanol by increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%. Senator Lugar also wants the federal government to provide more incentives for car companies to develop vehicles that run on a variety of fuels, including ethanol. How have we let our government grow from a Grover Cleveland who wouldn't by $10,000 worth of seeds for farmers, to our present day Farm Bill that subsidizes corn, sugar, rice, cotton and idle land to the tune of billions of dollars a year? Senator Lugar fancies himself a centrist... when did centrists come to believe the Feds pay farmers to grow corn, pay industries to turn that corn into fuel, control the gas mixtures across the country and pay auto companies to build cars that run on corn?

Corn is in almost everything nowadays, in our fuel and in most of our food (even food that has nothing to do with corn). We even feed our cows and pigs corn. Why? Because the government subsidizes corn to the point where our land and our people are becoming sick with it.

Senator Lugarol -- sometimes, every now and then... a centrist says, "No." Even if it makes some people unhappy, even if some people suffer hardships, even if you lose the next election... sometimes the right vote is to reduce the size of government.

Possible work coming to empty Tipton Getrag Plant

The Tipton County Commissioners plan to sweeten the deal with $450 million. I think some, or most of that, will be a federal grant. It would be nice to utilize this big, empty plant and put some Hoosiers back to work, but the flip side is that the $450 million just increases America's debt -- not to mention that subsidizing solar panels that nobody wants at their true cost is as wasteful as doing the same for ethanol.

The Fever Finals

OK, so who knew that Indiana's WNBA team, the Fever, are paying against the Phoenix Mercury tonight at 8pm on ESPN2 in the start of the WNBA finals?

The teams open their best-of-five series tonight at US Airways Center, where Indiana — coached by ex-Storm coach Lin Dunn — beat the Mercury 90-83 Aug. 8.

To help make certain Phoenix has a loud home-court advantage, general manager Steve Kerr of the NBA Phoenix Suns bought all 7,000 upper-level tickets and planned to give them away. Kerr said he took a cue from Larry Bird, Hall of Fame player and NBA Indiana Pacers president, who bought and gave away 9,000 balcony seats for the Fever's deciding game of the Eastern Conference finals against defending WNBA champion Detroit.

Free tickets.. Nice. But even Bird's 9,000 free tickets didn't fill the stadium and there's worry that the Fever may need to find greener pastures.

Update: The Fever scored an all time high 116 points in game one, but still lost to the Mercury in overtime 116-120.

Hammer and Feather Drop on Moon

Google 1.0

Two Cold Meds in a week? Go directly to jail.

If you buy Zyrtec-D and Mucinex-D in the same week, the cops will knock on your door and take you to jail.

While the law was written with the intent of stopping people from purchasing large quantities of drugs to make methamphetamine, the law does not say the purchase must be made with the intent to make meth.

"The law does not make this distinction," Alexander said.

If the law said "with intent to manufacture methamphetamine," no one could be arrested until it was proven that the drug actually was used to make meth, the prosecutor said.

And that certainly wasn't the intent of the law, either. It was written to limit access to the key ingredient in meth — pseudoephedrine — and thereby to stop the clandestine "mom and pop" meth labs that were cooking drugs throughout the area.

Just as with any law, the public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, the prosecutor said.

"I'm simply enforcing the law as it was written," Alexander said.

Pharmacies post "Meth Watch" signs, alerting customers that their purchases of drugs containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are being monitored. Pharmacies also are required to submit a list of purchase records to police, who then examine the lists for violations of the law.

I guess I'm not a signage type of person because I've never noticed any signs at the pharmacy alerting me that my purchases are being monitored.

September 28, 2009

Clowns are Creepy

Proof that Clowns are Creepy

Indiana's H1N1 website

Indiana's H1N1 website is updated every Wednesday.

The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza A (flu) are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu. They include:
  • Fever of more than 100 degrees F
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Body aches 
  • Headache 
  • Chills and fatigue 
  • Occasionally, vomiting and diarrhea

Will Ferrell TV Ad for Insurance Companies

Funny. Will Ferrell clears $20 million dollars a picture, even if it bombs, and he's upset that insurance companies profits are too large.

You have to wonder, if Will Ferrell and his friends really wanted to help, how many poor people on the streets in Los Angeles could they provide health for? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

Norwell wins Northrop Invitational

Congratulations to the Norwell Band for winning Class C at the Northrop Big Orange Pride Invitational on Saturday.

Class C – Norwell was first, Angola was second, Heritage was third and Leo was fourth. Bluffton received a participation award. Norwell won caption awards for percussion, visual and music.

September 26, 2009

Ossian, then and now

This is an aerial shot of Ossian, IN looking South from sometime after 1953 (the Ossian Gym was built in 1953). You can click on it to make it bigger.

And here is a similar screen shot from Google Earth:

So, who can tell me, in that top picture, about that track across Road 1 from the school, back this side of the creek from the current Sandalwood Edition? What is that? A go-cart track?

Norwell defeats East Noble

Norwell 31, East Noble 22

In Norwell's 31-22 win vs. East Noble on Friday at Norwell, one of the biggest plays featured Fiechter as a decoy.

Norwell faced first-and-10 at its own 13-yard line, leading 21-7 but feeling some momentum shift.

Quarterback Noah Patten took the snap, faked the hand-off to Fiechter, then went over the top to tight end Jeff Shatto, who caught the pass near the 33-yard line and left East Noble's defenders behind for an 87-yard touchdown.

Way to go, Shatto!  Norwell is 5-1 now.

Bare Ruined Choirs

Sad to see the birds, flitting about the downed trees across the street. They hop from this dying branch to that, looking for their pasts. What was it Shakespeare wrote?

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.

Of course, he was writing about old age, not new parking lots and office buildings.

September 24, 2009

Tree Eater

The corner of U.S. 24 and Aboite Center Road was sold to create more office buildings. The area was wonderfully hilly and full of beautiful old trees that made for a wonderful traffic sound buffer for the neighborhood beyond. Sadly, the trees are being flattened and eaten, the hills, too, will follow, although I don't believe it will ever be completely flat. Compare the above to the old scene below.

And the clear-cutting begins below...

It's difficult to snap pictures from the other side, but there you can see the abandoned houses, ready to be bulldozed.

Sadly, vistas like the one below are not valued as much as another, likely empty, office building which will provide the city a higher property tax than natural land such as the beauty below.

Evan Bayh: Democrats Must Restrain Spending

I missed Evan Bayh's article in the Wall Street Journal last week, but I certainly hope he votes his own belief:

For the next fiscal year, assuming the economy has gathered sufficient momentum, we should freeze domestic discretionary spending, limit increases in defense spending to the rate of inflation, forgo pay raises for federal workers, and institute a federal hiring freeze.

These steps alone won't put our fiscal house in order; more difficult action is needed. But by showing common cause with middle-class families facing their own budget crises, we can send an important signal that Washington has the will to chart a more responsible course.

In many ways, it is unfair to blame President Barack Obama for the magnitude of federal government's fiscal problem and the urgency of dealing with it. He didn't create this mess. According to a New York Times estimate, 90% of the deficit growth over Mr. Obama's first term in office is attributable to policies and conditions he inherited. Regardless, if we wait for the markets to force corrective action, the danger to our economy will be greater and the correction more painful.

Spending restraint will not come easily to the Democratic Party. Pent-up demand for investment in education, health care and the environment is understandable after the Bush years. But long-term progressive government can't be built on a foundation of debt and deficits. We cannot indefinitely share with the less-fortunate resources we do not possess.

Despite the partisan bash of Bush, Bayh seems to understand that we cannot continue spending at this pace and we need to reduce. Here's hoping.

September 23, 2009

Dreams of Whose Father?

Does this book, which is generally a positive look at the President and Michelle Obama's history together, uncover the truth about Bill Ayers ghost-writing Barack Obama's book "Dreams of My Father," or merely repeat conspiracy theories about it? If it's the former, it's a really big deal, given that the book is one of the major accomplishments of the President's career and given that he claimed he barely knows Ayers beyond their work on a board together.

Mr. Tax-Law-Writing-Tax-Evader

September 21, 2009

Earth approaching sunspot records

As Congress and the President try again to push through a Cap and Trade tax, remember, the Earth is actually cooling, and it might be cooling a lot more.

The sun is at a low point of a deep solar minimum in which there are few to no sunspots on its surface.

In July through August, 51 consecutive days passed without a spot, one day short of tying the record of 52 days from the early 1900s.

As of Sept. 15, the current solar minimum ranks third all-time in the amount of spotless days with 717 since 2004. There have been 206 spotless days in 2009, which is 14th all-time. But there are still more than 100 days left in the year, and Perry expects that number to climb.

Much evidence exists that the Earth cools during periods when there are no sunspots... sometimes it cools a lot.

Want to read more climate information? is nice site.

Remember Me

September 18, 2009

Emmy TV Legends Interviews

Check out for interviews with your favorite TV personalities.

September 17, 2009

Bill Cosby agrees with Jimmy Carter

This is quite sad, Bill Cosby agrees with Jimmy Carter that Joe Wilson and others in Congress have disrespected President Obama because of the President's color.  No mention of the boos and hisses, the Hitler posters, the monkey cartoons or anything else President Bush put up with in silence for the last seven years... just a simple, straightforward, "disrespect of Obama is racist."

Feds seek total control over student loans

Whack-a-mole and another mole pops his head up elsewhere... yes, Obamacare is struggling in the polls, but Behold! The House voted today to outlaw private student loans to citizens and take all that loan business over themselves. Where does it say in the Constitution that the federal government can prevent private student loans? Who cares, a mole doesn't care, they just crawl under the cover of dirt and destroy your lawn, or your country, in this case.

September 16, 2009

R.I.P. Mary Travers

Mary Travers of "Peter, Paul and Mary" has passed away at 72.

R.I.P. Henry Gibson

Henry Gibson has died at 73.... Don't you wish Laugh-In reruns were on somewhere? Do read the link, there's a lot of interesting tidbits in it, like the fact that Gibson met Jon Voight when they were both students at Catholic University and were later roommates in NYC and had a comedy act together.

Is someone flushing explosives in L.A.?

Two more L.A. water mains burst overnight, leading to more questions

Update: You know, you have to wonder about payback if you've seen any of the news about water rights in California lately, especially the fight Paul Rodriguez is headlining regarding farms that can no longer grow anything because the government won't release water to them.

Norah Jones: The Fall

A nice article about Norah Jones' upcoming album, "The Fall."

September 15, 2009

Google Fast Flip

Like to read newspapers and magazines?  Google makes it pretty easy.


Isn't that a pretty picture... the artist not only sells some of her work for over $1,000 a painting, but she's a Jack Russell terrier.

Her owner says he's no artist, but I smell a rat.... it's him who sets up the work, it's him who chooses the medium and it's him who decides when the painting is done.  Still... good girl, Tillie!

September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze has died

Patrick Swayze, 1952 - 2009. Rest in peace. I particularly liked Swayze as the high school patriot in Red Dawn back in 1984. It's hard to believe he was a 32 year old playing an 18 year old.

How big was the 9/12 crowd

I thought this article did a good job of estimating the crowd

Rumored number:  2 million
"People Meter" count: 1.5 million
Eight Pennsylvania Avenues full of people:  800,000
Grand Memorial Park full of people:  250,000
Media estimates:  70,000

Boy, that 70,000 sure stands out, doesn't it... read the article for a description of the above numbers.

Kanye West has taken Joe Wilson to heart

Kanya West ejected from VMA Awards

Taylor Swift seemed pretty surprised herself to have won the VMA for Best Female Music Video on Sunday evening, but the real shock came when Kanye West suddenly burst onto the stage and rudely stole the microphone from the country crooner during her acceptance speech.

She didn't even have a chance to speak... couldn't even gracefully acknowledge her competitors, as I'm sure she would have.

I think Nancy Pelosi should force him to the well of the house to apologize.

September 12, 2009

They come, they have their say, they go

Tea Party on the Mall

Up to two million people marched on Washington today, demanding their government stop lying, stop pushing through society-changing legislation without their knowledge or consent or consideration, and most of all, stop spending money we do not (and may never) have.

I have also read that after the crowd of millions dispersed, not a speck of trash was left on the mall.

BDU Wallet

Nobody wants to carry a man purse, but if you need a few pens and papers and don't want ink on your shirt or your pockets stuffed with papers, BDU Wallets are really nice.  They're made to fit the side pocket of cargo pants, or attach to your belt, or just be carried in your hand -- some have iPod/cell phone pouches built in, too.

Are they're a lot cheaper than a purse.

Derek Jeter Passes Lou Gehrig as all-time Yankee hit leader

Jeter passes Gehig

September 11, 2009

Norwell falls to Bellmont

Norwell 7, Bellmont 28 (Bellmont wins their 14th in a row, ranked 2nd in the state).

Glenn Beck vs. Bush-as-a-Chimp Cartoons

Love him or hate him (I don't think a middle ground exists on this guy), Glenn Beck's radio and FoxNews shows are where the action has been for the last few weeks.  I don't think anyone knows how many people are headed to Washington D.C. tomorrow as part of the 9/12 project (also created by Glenn Beck) and Tea Party (begun in Seattle but popularized by Rick Santelli's rant), but it appears to be many... many.

I remember back in the early days of CNN when Bernie Shaw and Company reported live from Iraq when the Gulf War started.  Man... that was the place to be then. CNN cornered the market on News back then and every other network used their feed and fought to get their own reporters on the ground.

Today, oddly, scandals like ACORN being scammed into displaying how corrupt they are on hidden camera (on display at are ignored by the major news outlets.  ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC have all relinquished the playing field to FOX and to the Internet. The stories still get out, even if those big outlets ignore them, and turn viral and result in major news, czars stepping down, ACORN being dropped by the Census Bureau, the NEA being abused for propaganda... it is as if those major media outlets have turned away from reporting news in favor of creating an alternate reality... a happy place where people who want to continue hating ex-President Bush and ex-Vice President Cheney can go and chew on their pencils and ponder Bush-as-a-Chimp cartoons from days gone by.

As for me, I plan to watch Glenn reporting live from Washington D.C. tomorrow as the 9/12 project rolls into town.  I wish I could be there.

The Falling Man

Do you remember this photograph? In the United States,
people have taken pains to banish it from the record of
September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the
search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate
connection to the horror of that day.

By Tom Junod

I've posted this before, Tom Junod's wonderful article titled "The Falling Man," but if you haven't seen it, or haven't had the chance to read it, I don't think you'll be sorry if you click on the link and spend the time today, on the anniversary of 9/11.

Jack Webb Schools Barack Obama on Healthcare

Maybe you've already seen this, but I thought it was kind of funny.

September 10, 2009

John Stossel is leaving ABC for FOX

I'm moving to FOX

Why does the President seem so Angry?

I thought this was interesting

Usually, a president has gone through a number of political battles before assuming the highest office in the nation. Most hold executive office at another level before running for the office, and have to deal with policy battles and at least occasional defeats before entering the Oval Office. They build a thicker skin, get a better sense of their strengths and limitations, and these experiences make for better presidents in the long haul.

Obama, on the other hand, has never held executive office in politics. He has spent his short political life as a legislator, and not even a particularly bold legislator. Obama was much more of a bandwagon man as a legislator, offering rhetorical instead of political leadership, and for the most part receiving nothing but warm praise bordering on tongue-baths from the media.


Obama couldn't sell ObamaCare, and now he wants to scold America for not agreeing with him. [Tucker] Carlson is right to call this bitterness, but it's the bitterness of a man who may have been told no for the first time in his political life, and clearly doesn't know how to react to it.

The Medicare Trust Fund

In the President's speech last night, to a joint session of Congress, he said,

More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years.

OBAMA: That's how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. And that...That is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.

I think the word "sacred" is a bit more than misused here... does anyone really see Medicare in such a religious light as to call it "sacred?" I mean, really, did the Congress and Lyndon Johnson go up on a mountain in 1965 and bring down this sacred document? Are we really supposed to feel some kind of spiritual fulfillment that our tax dollars are paying for the pills retired folks take? I have to tell you, I do not. There are any number of ways to support the retired and the aged and America did so for a couple hunrdred years before Medicare.

Beyond the perturbing use of "sacred," do you ever wonder how many cookies are in the "Medicare trust fund" cookie jar the President promises to protect? None.... not one cookie, not one thin dime... there is nothing in there but IOUs written by Congress after Congress. Sacred trust... right... so sacred they use the money targeted for Medicare and Social Security to grease the palms of their constituents so they can stay in office. That's the politicians' sacred trust right there -- the sacred trust that incumbents will return to office even if there's a male bisexual prostitution ring being run out of their own home, even if they cheat on their taxes, even if they take bribes from those they regulate. That's their sacred trust... their trust that we, the voters, will do nothing.

Update: Cool.... John Stossel agrees with me

Retirees believe that their Medicare bills are paid from a "trust fund" that was created with deductions from their paychecks. But this is a politician's lie.

In truth, our predecessors spent every penny of those contributions immediately. They spent them on wars and pork that helped them get re-elected. The money for current retirees' health care is taken from today's workers.

And boy, does Stossel have some interesting ideas in his article. It's worth a good look-see.

September 5, 2009


Norwell 37, Carroll 7

Norwell moved to 3-0 on the season, defeating Carroll 37-7 on a beautiful Knight.

Thanks to an anemic, turnover-prone Carroll offense, the Charger defenders spent most of the game on the field against Norwell's offensive attack, led by running back Klay Fiechter and his 279 rushing yards for three scores.

Fiechter's total broke the school record of 269 yards set by Brent Schortgen in 1999 against Tippecanoe Valley in a sectional game.

Way to go, guys!

September 4, 2009

Statute of Limitations on Torture

Looks like the statute of limitations has run out on those who "tortured" the terrorists.

The Statue of Limitations for federal offenses is spelled out in Title 18 Section 3282:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed. 

In other words, unless someone was killed all prosecutions must be brought within five years.

So why in the world are we spending money to investigate the "torturing" of terrorists that happened before 2004?

Vote on when the school year should begin and end

The Indiana Education Forum is taking input on the public school year in this survey.

NFL Fantasy League -- Pick Me!

September 2, 2009

Oil in the Gulf

Ever wonder how a giant oil deposit ever found itself seven miles down underneath the Gulf of Mexico?  We're taught, of course, that oil is formed from the decay of microscopic plants and animals from ancient swamps.  The tiny dead life is trapped in sediments and then cooked under the pressure and heat of the Earth.  As the pressure and temperature increase, natural gas is formed out of the oil  But then again, scientists also tell us that the vast oceans of oil and natural gas on the moon Titan, orbiting around Saturn, were certainly not formed from the decay of tiny prehistoric animals, but rather abiotically (without life).

This discussion pretty much covers the whole topic and comes down on the side of oil on Earth having come from from life... but it seems to me that abiotic oil is a more simple explanation for all oil, found almost anywhere in the universe.

Free, Quality, Online MIT Education

A fascinating article on a new movement among some very big colleges: offering their entire curriculum for free, online. No worry about prerequisites, but no credits either and no diplomas, just learning, just education -- just enroll in a class at MIT and take it... are you interested in Physics, 20th Century Art History, Drama, Poetry? Take the real class, the same MIT class anyone else would take if they actually, physically were sitting at MIT... all free, all online, all out of your own home.

If you love learning --- goodness, you just struck gold. Read the long, interesting article at that first link... and then take a look at all the courses available at the second link.

Update: Top 100 OpenCourseWare Projects

Dear Leader to Speak on Tuesday

President Obama to deliver unprecedented national address directly to schoolchildren on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at noon.  Not only will the President be speaking to our children on Tuesday, but he is making available classroom materials to make it easier for the teachers and children to discuss him... such as asking Pre-K through sixth graders "Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials?  Why is what they say important?  What specific job is he asking me to do?"

This would give me the creeps if any president did it.

September 1, 2009

The Cutout Senator Town Hall

Lisa Bobay-Somers addresses Senators Lugar and Bayh as well as the crowd at Don Hall's Guesthouse on Tuesday night. OK, so Lugar and Bayh were no-shows except for their cardboard cutout selves. I guess they didn't want to face the standing room only crowd at the Guesthouse... several hundred people, I suppose... all there to speak their mind to the Senators who were brought in and protected all evening by super Secret Service folk from the local IPFW campus (see below):

It was nice to see people pulling together with humor and determination. Ms. Bobay-Somers received a standing ovation, as did several others, for pointing out the obvious problems with the current Health Care Bill. But I think the biggest cheer of the night was for State Senator Marlin Stutzman announcing he was going to run to unseat Senator Bayh. Good luck with that!

Driving home South on I-69, I saw a flock of geese flying low in the sky against the fading light. The birds, using instinct alone, change off their leader with one being in front and then another for the benefit of all. Many want to name the Health Care Reform Bill after Senator Kennedy now that he's passed away... but truly, a Term Limits Bill should be introduced in his name. Senators like Kennedy and Byrd and Spector and Lugar get into power.... get to be the lead bird... and they never give it up. They taste that power and find they like the feel of everyone they know coming to them for money or appointments or information or influence and they fly and fly and fly, leading the flock further and further off course as their strength and focus and purpose and sense of direction wane. How else to explain a person in their upper seventies, their eighties, their nineties, in failing and flagging health, being unwilling to move aside for others.

Term Limits... Something Congressman Souder believed in fifteen years ago when he pledged to limit himself if he got into office.... remember?

The worst use of space technology -- ever

I used to say that Open Water was the worst movie every made because, really, who wants to watch two people drift on the ocean for a couple of hours until they die?  It's pointless.   Open Water 2 proved that the sequel is almost always worse than the original... in "Open Water 1" two people were forgotten and left to die of exposure and sharks.  In "Open Water 2" a bunch of people jumped off a yacht to swim but forgot to put the ladder down and couldn't get back into the boat.  Again... the movie is pointless and made worse by the ridiculous manner of deaths chosen for the different characters.  I haven't watched it, but the movie Awake appears to give both the "Open Water" movies a run for the pointless border.  "Awake" deals with "anesthetic awareness" during an operation... the hero is awake and aware to feel every bit of his own open heart surgery.  I suppose you could say that all three movies focus on the horror of being unable to stop the horror.

I wouldn't think that space technology could ever be put to use in a way that was even more pointless than those movies, but then along came Moonbell.  If you go to the link and click on "open" you see that Moonbell plays notes based on the topography of a path you choose to take across the surface of the moon.  As The Telegraph puts it,

Like a record player, Moonbell translates the bumps and ridges it detects into musical notes.

The resulting compositions can be interpreted by any combination of more than 138 instruments, but explorers hoping to produce an orchestral masterpiece may be disappointed.

All of the Telegraph's attempts on the software sounded dispiritingly similar

I'll say... it sounds like what it is... random notes based on random data.  Japan's Kaguya satellite orbited the moon for over a year, generating detailed maps using a laser altimeter.  Moonbell gets the award for the most pointless use of scientific data -- ever.  Stop the horror!

Grover Cleveland

I thought this statistic about Grover Cleveland's veto power from historian Burt Folsom was interesting:

Cleveland, in particular, scorned the strategy of taxing one group to benefit another. He vetoed 414 bills (more than all previous 21 presidents combined) to prevent raids on the treasury. As a result, the U. S. had budget surpluses almost every year from 1870-1900 and American credit and standing in the world rose to new heights. The U. S. promised much economic stability and consistency. Taxes were low and charitable groups raised large sums to care for their fellow men and women who had stumbled into hard times. Our national standard of living grew as our entrepreneurs began to dominate the world in steel, oil, and chemicals.

Notice how the the Executive Branch of the government offset the Legislative Branch.... Notice how those American entrepreneurs who once dominated the world of Steel, Oil and Chemicals have now been pushed out of our country by our own government.

Update: Just a little story about Grover Cleveland from Wikipedia:

In 1887, Cleveland issued his most well-known veto, that of the Texas Seed Bill. After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. This is his veto message:

"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."