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.


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.

October 21, 2009

Congress takes on College Football

The picture above was snapped on the floor of the Senate recently as the Senators went about the business of reshaping America.

"Wars, what wars? Economy? We don't see anything wrong with the economy. Jobs? What do you mean, we all have jobs. Utah isn't National Champion? Crisis, Crisis! Yes, yes, of course we'll cut doctors' payments and CEO compensation ... where's my calendar... yes, we'll save you a bunch o' money in 2020, you'll see. Just trust us, we can see far, far ahead."

Life Magazine

Google has scanned in every page of every issue of Life Magazine, from 1936 through 1972 when it ended its run.  What a great resource of what Life was like in America then... even the ad pages are fun to remember.

October 19, 2009

50 Years of Space Missions

From the National Geographic.  Make sure you click on the picture to see it full size.

October 17, 2009

Norwell 48, Columbia City 21

Norwell brings home a share of the conference title and Fiechter brings home a record six touchdowns in one game.

Fiechter set a school-record with six touchdowns in a 48-21 victory over the Columbia City Eagles to wrap up the regular season. Fiechter scored on runs of 2, 35, 5, 13, 40 and 36 yards on the way to breaking the previous school record for single-game touchdowns (four). "I owe it all to the linemen," said Fiechter afterwards. "They opened up some big holes, and the wide receivers and fullbacks did a nice job of blocking tonight, making my job easier."

Nice.  Good luck in the Sectionals, guys!

October 15, 2009

Crossing Over

Four itinerant explorers have accomplished a feat never before attempted... they have crossed every bridge over the Wabash River.  Sevens members might recognize the official photographer, "Ansel A."

October 8, 2009

Bogs Boots

On days like this, I love me my Bogs boots. Buy them a size too large so you can slip them on and off. Warm, waterproof and easy to spray off.

Open Letter to Congress

I don't write because I think it will do any good. I write to let you know how exasperated I am.

I see and hear news of my representatives outlawing incandescent lights to clean up the planet and save energy. Not only do I want you stay out of the light business and leave me alone with my choice of lighting, but if that goal is within your purview they why do you prevent small nuclear power plants from powering neighborhoods and cities? It makes no sense that you would push clean energy, but not the best clean energy. Is it because you don't want neighborhoods or cities to have energy independence, energy independent of the government? For less money and in less time than it takes to extend I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville, small cities across Indiana could be made energy independent. You don't want us to drive cars anyway, so why not put that money into nuclear energy?

I see and hear news of my representatives demanding corn be subsidized and taking it upon themselves to determine the proper mixture of gasoline and ethanol and work to find funds to push car companies toward flex cars that will run on a variety of fuels. Not only do I want you to stay out of the car business and gasoline business and leave me alone with my own choice of cars and fuels, but if your goal is to grow fuel, why not open up some of the thousands of acres of government land you've set aside to grow switch grass and leave farmers alone to grow food? It makes no sense that you would continue to subsidize farmers to grow things that are only profitable to them because my tax dollars bump up the price. It makes no sense to push for biofuels to save energy when it takes more energy to create biofuels, not to mention all the pesticides and fertilizers required to grow sizable corn crops.

I see and hear news of my representatives voting themselves a budget increase when all the world is tightening their belts. If you had less money, less staff and fewer supplies, perhaps you wouldn't take it upon yourself to try to change everything in America at once. Perhaps then you would find the time to write and read your own legislation, perhaps you would only tackle one thing at a time instead of trying to change the climate of the Earth and overhaul the entire American health care industry at the same time, after just weeks of study and less discussion. Perhaps if you had less staff, you wouldn't spend time on things like same-sex marriage, boondoggle trips all over the world, and sending off junk mail for name recognition throughout the year. Perhaps if Congress had less staff, a smaller budget, and fewer gatekeepers, criminals like Charlie Rangel, influence peddlers like Chris Dodd, and family businesses like John Murtha would have to answer to the people instead of being above the law.

My representatives are supposed to be accountable for their votes, not pass hidden, late night climate and bailout bills nobody has ever read -- bills that haven't even been written somehow become law! What's with that? My representatives are supposed to be frugal with my tax money, not attach hidden voter bribes and earmarks to legislation and hope nobody finds out. In the end, my representatives are supposed to, and have taken a vow to, protect the Constitution... so why do they use their oversight powers to belittle and ruin ex professional athletes instead of investigating the FCC threatening to take over radio stations, or the FTC trying to control free speech, or the NEA trying to bribe artists to support the Administration, or ACORN and associates rigging votes and breaking countless laws.

The Left blames the low approval ratings of Congress on the Right and the Right blames the Left... I plan to just blame my own representatives, whether they are Left or Right, and kick them out the next chance I get.

Carbon Dioxide is good for the Earth

Carbon Dioxide does not cause global warming, so says Leighton Steward, geologist.

If CO2 levels are cut, he warns, food production will slow because plants grown at higher CO2 levels make larger fruit and vegetables and also use less water. He also said that higher CO2 levels are not harmful to humans. As an example, he said that Earth's atmosphere currently has about 338 parts per million of CO2 and that in Navy subs, the danger level for carbon dioxide isn't reached until the air has 8,000 parts per million of CO2.

I doubt those who believe in Global Warming will listen to any argument against it, there is too much money to be made titling at this windmill and too many reputations to be harmed by stopping.  We'll just have to suffer through this generation of politicized science.

October 7, 2009

Did you know that Presidents can...

Did you know that Presidents can decorate the White House with any art in the Smithsonian as long as it's not currently on display?  I did not know that.  The New York Times has a slide show of some of the art chosen by the Obamas, including the one titled "Indecision" above.

Want a short work week? Run for Congress

Congress has shorted their work week to just 2.5 days a week: the House has taken to starting on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and adjourning "before the sun goes down" on Thursdays.  They did manage to stick around for one Friday vote.  What was so important to drag our lawmakers into work on a Friday?  Approving a 5.8 percent increase in their own budget, of course.  You don't expect them to tighten their belts along with shortening their work week, do you?

October 6, 2009

Internet Map

Indiana, California, North Carolina and Vermont will receive from 1 to 2 million dollars each of Federal money, borrowed from China and to be paid back by some future generation to be named later.  Every state submitted requests for this money, but these four will be first to receive it and use it to create a map of where high speed Internet is available within their borders.

"Broadband will bring many benefits to the Nation, such as job creation and innovation, but these benefits have been delayed by the lack of comprehensive, reliable data on the availability of broadband service," said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling.

Why will it take millions of dollars to find out where Broadband Internet is available?  This is one of the first questions people ask Realtors when home shopping and the information seems to be readily available to all.  A simple Google search revealed this map, for example, which shows Indiana has great coverage... good enough coverage that a map is hardly needed.

Question:  Just what will the government do with a map identifying Indiana homes with broadband Internet?

October 5, 2009

Domesticating Animals

A fascinating article on Russian research into breeding for domestication.  I wouldn't mind having a pet fox... "as devoted as a dog, as independent as a cat."


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovers the Defense Contract Auditing Agency (DCAA) falsifying records and, generally, not doing it's job of making sure our tax money spent on defense is being used properly and efficiently. 

Some members of Congress are so disturbed by failures and malfeasance described in a recent government report that they are considering removing the agency that audits hundreds of billions of dollars in Defense Department contracts from Pentagon supervision.

One legislator said he felt physically sickened by the report.

Although I find it laughable that a member of Congress would be physically sickened by uncovering government waste (are there no mirrors in the congressional bathrooms?), perhaps the Pentagon is not the proper agency to be auditing defense contractors.

October 3, 2009

Norwell 54, Dekalb 24

Norwell moved to 6-1 on the season and Klay Fiechter set a a new Norwell career rushing record last night during a 54-24 drubbing of Dekalb.

Klay Fiechter set Norwell's all- time career rushing record on Friday night by gaining 241 yards in a 54-24 win over DeKalb. Fiechter now has a career total of 3,444 yards, beating Tierre Carpenter's record of 3,438 yards set 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Next Friday's conference championship game against the 7-0 Homestead (at Norwell) should be exciting. Homestead beat Bellmont, Norwell's only loss this season.

I wonder how many Norwell records are left on the books from those years when Sevens members played? I think our 1975 season might still be listed (least wins)... or perhaps our 1976 season (most losses in a row).

October 2, 2009

What Hockey Stick?

In his article on "Flawed Climate Data," Ross McKitrick tears apart the last remaining Climate Hockey Stick analysis, stripping all the Global Warming hype to nothing. 

I have been probing the arguments for global warming for well over a decade. In collaboration with a lot of excellent coauthors I have consistently found that when the layers get peeled back, what lies at the core is either flawed, misleading or simply non-existent. The surface temperature data is a contaminated mess with a significant warm bias, and as I have detailed elsewhere the IPCC fabricated evidence in its 2007 report to cover up the problem. Climate models are in gross disagreement with observations, and the discrepancy is growing with each passing year. The often-hyped claim that the modern climate has departed from natural variability depended on flawed statistical methods and low-quality data. The IPCC review process, of which I was a member last time, is nothing at all like what the public has been told: Conflicts of interest are endemic, critical evidence is systematically ignored and there are no effective checks and balances against bias or distortion.

All you really need to know is that many of our representatives still listen to what James Hansen has to say even though his 1988 prediction, in the graph at the top, tells what his analysis is worth.  Actual temperature levels entering 2010 are trending completely opposite of his predictions and temperatures are lower today than if we had actually crippled our economy and taken his drastic recommendations back in 1988.

October 1, 2009

The HBO Cube

I can't say that I particularly enjoy the HBO Cube, which is billed as an "advancement" in the video experience, but I haven't really figured all of it out yet, either. There are a whole bunch of episodes, filmed at four angles, and you don't really know what's going on unless you spin the cube and see it from different viewpoints and angles. You can zoom out and chart your progress through the episodes you've seen. Certainly creative, but not for the passive viewer.

Pike Lumber coming to Milan

MILAN, Ind. - Hardwood lumber manufacturer and distributor, Pike Lumber Company, Inc. plans to open a new sawmill here, creating up to 20 jobs by the end of 2011.

The company, northern Indiana's largest manufacturer and distributor of kiln-dried hardwood lumber, will invest more than $5 million to open a 25,000 square-foot lumber production facility in the eastern Ripley County community.

Nice to see business is picking up here and there.

Indiana: Trash to Ethanol

SCHNEIDER, Ind. -- A company has picked a rural site in northwestern Indiana as its location for a $285 million plant that would turn trash into ethanol.

Powers Energy of America Chief Executive Earl Powers says it is buying 275 acres near the southern Lake County town of Schneider for the plant.

Wow, 275 acres... that's a lot of trash.