Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stupid lead

NASA's 400-page report says space shuttle crew's seat restraints, suits, didn't work as designed
This is the FoxNews lead for a story about NASA's findings in the Columbia crash. The point being if the the seat restraints, suits and helmets had operated as designed the astronauts would be...dead as opposed to what actually happened which is they died.

N.Y. Times sued

I love this story. The lobbyist, who the Times implied had an affair with Sen. McCain, is suing the rag for defamation asking $27 million in damages. That is some amount more than the company is actually worth today.

Not only can they not sell papers but now they're being sued like "The National Enquirer" for rumor mongering. They couldn't be bothered to report the actual affair of candidate John Edwards, but they printed an article that was totally without facts. Reading it was embarrassing due to the lack of actual sourcing.

The lesson, to me, is when journalist adopt an agenda instead of just reporting they will get hurt.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Warming? Then why am I freezing my ass off?

Yesterday, it was 82 degrees (a record high for December 14) this morning it was 23 degrees (something like the second lowest temperature on record for December 15.) A swing of almost 60 degrees in about 14 hours!

And we are to believe that the Earth is in peril because global temperatures climbed 2 degrees over a decade, and now are on the way back down.

The AP writes, "...2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming." Up is down, in is out, lambs are lying down with wolves! This is the kind of thing that makes it hard to take the global warming nuts seriously. Of course the AP story had the ubiquitous reference to Al Gore, Panicker in Chief (see also ManBearPig.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Farewell Ray

My friend Ray Ellis passed away a week ago. There was a memorial celebration of his life yesterday which appears to have been well attended by his family and friends. I didn’t make it to the celebration, but my thoughts were very much there.

I have only known Ray for 44 or 45 years, he died at the age of 49. Losing him is like losing a member of the family. If you grew up in a small town you know what I mean, and if you didn’t you will probably never understand. But I will try and convey the closeness that occurs in a small town, and a small school.

Our graduating class, Ray was in my class, had 35 members, give or take one. Of those 35, at least 20 of us went to school together for 12 years, and the others were with us for over six of those years. This forms a bond that is not much different than being brothers and sisters. You may not always get along, but you have to be forgiving of each other, because tomorrow you’re right back together. There was very little dating within the group, we dated up or down a class or two (the one exception I can think of produced a marriage that has lasted nearly 30 years now.) Maybe it was just too weird to date someone that close.

Being a member of a group like that means that you might not see each other for years, but when you do it’s like seeing a missing family member. It’s not awkward. You just catch up, and pick up where you left off. These are people that I would gladly do anything for, and I think they would for me. I may have secrets, but not from this group, as they know me as well, or better, than I know myself.

This closeness extends to everyone, though not quite as tightly, that you attended school with, up a couple of grades and down a couple of grades. It is a feeling of comfort which is hard to explain, but a joy to experience.

Sadly, Ray is not the first of our number to die. At least six that I can think of are already gone. Two were killed in auto accidents, and one was murdered, within two years of our graduation.

Farewell Ray, I will miss you and your wonderful sense of humor.

Friday, December 5, 2008

$25 Oil

Analysts predict that oil may drop to $25 in 2009 with gasoline below $1. Of course, back in July analysts were predicting that oil would be near $200 and gasoline at around $6 by this time. So, I'm not going to make a lot of plans based on this prediction.