December 31, 2009
December 30, 2009
Just for the record, Purdue is 12-0.
December 29, 2009
You go, girls!
December 26, 2009
"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 25, 2009
#25 -- White Christmas, Bing Crosby
#24 -- Scrooged, Bill Murray
#23 -- Scrooge, Alec Guinness
#22 -- An American Christmas Carol, Henry Winkler
#21 -- Susan Slept Here, Debbie Reynolds
#20 -- The Santa Clause, Tim Allen
#19 -- Prancer, Sam Elliott & Cloris Leachman
#18 -- A Muppet Christmas Carol, Michael Caine
#17 -- Christmas in Connecticut, Barbara Stanwyck
#16 -- A Christmas Carol, 1938 version, Gene Lockhart
#15 -- The Lemon Drop Kid, Bob Hope
#14 -- A Holiday Affair, Janet Leigh & Robert Mitchum
#13 -- Remember the Night, Fred MacMurray & Barbara Stanwyck
#12 -- One Magic Christmas, Mary Steenburgen
#11 -- The Bishop's Wife, Cary Grant & Loretta Young
#10 -- Miracle on 34th Street, 1947 version, Maureen O'Hara
#09 -- A Christmas Carol, 1984, George C. Scott
#08 -- Home Alone, John Hughes
#07 -- The Gathering, Ed Asner
#06 -- Holiday Inn, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire
#05 -- Going My Way & The Bells of St. Mary's, Bing Crosby
#04 -- Christmas Vacation, Chevy Chase
#03 -- A Christmas Carol, 1951, Alistair Sim
#02 -- A Christmas Story, Peter Billingsly
#01 -- It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart
December 22, 2009
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.
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
"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 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 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!
[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
December 18, 2009
The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy.
December 17, 2009
A bitter pill, indeed.
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
December 14, 2009
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
December 11, 2009
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."
December 10, 2009
December 9, 2009
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?
December 8, 2009
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
Class 2A W-L Pts PrvAnother great year for Luers.... #1 in Football, ranked #1 in boys and girls basketball.
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.
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.
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.
Update: Meghan McCain has the opposite view of Brothers, that it is just another horrible portrayal of the American Soldier.
December 6, 2009
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
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.
December 3, 2009
December 2, 2009
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.
December 1, 2009
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.