Friday, February 27, 2009
This guy on Conan was hysterical - laughed myself silly. He compares technology of today with his childhood, for example, dial phones, going to the bank meant going INSIDE the bank, using a credit card meant the cashier taking out a big metal slide instrument to get the imprint then telephoning "the President" to make sure you really had credit....funny
Monday, February 23, 2009
An eleven year old boy kills his father's girlfriend who is pregnant with the shotgun the father bought for his christmas present. Not only is he being held in a county jail, in isolation from adult inmates, but he is being prosecuted as an adult. the prosecutor says, he has no choice, there is no equivalent murder charge in juvenile court. Duh....he misses the point, there is not equivalent charge because juveniles are or were not judged to be responsible for a crime like criminal homicide.
The boy needs a psychological evaluation. Also, a complete history of his family. What was going on in the house that led up to this? jealousy? Jealousy is not uncommon in blended families, but an 11 yr old killing his live in step-girlfriend with a shot gun is very uncommon.
Supposedly, the boy went to school after the killing. What did he think would happen? Nothing? That is a good question, what was going on in his mind.
The prosecutor is dead wrong: an 11 yr old should not be tried as an adult. I think the prosecutor is playing to the voters. The boy will not be adjudicated as an adult, and even if he is, he will be sent to a juvenile detention center until he is 18, then transferred to an adult jail. he will probably be released when he is 21 yrs old.
Divorce: the adults all want to start a new life, only they have children left over from a prior marriage, children that may remind them of a spouse they now hate. When adults divorce, at least one of them should be responsible for keeping the children the center stone of their life. in this case, dad was about to remarry, his girlfriend had two children from a previous marriage living with them, with one on the way (she was pregnant, the baby also died, suffocated). the boy must have felt like an outsider, someone awkwardly left over from a prior family. The father must take some responsibility here.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
One of the worst examples of academic publishing. One of the authors writes in the field of comparative tourism policy in Asia. She teaches a class in public personnel admin, but her knowledge doesn't go beyond the textbook. Back to this article, the other author writes (or edits what others write) in the field of public admin ethics. I have read this paper 6 times, and still cant figure out the topic. the paper is cut and pasted from other stuff they have written (can you plagiarize your own writing?) They never define ethics, or how something can be legal but unethical. some of the stuff they refer to (prostitution) is illegal, so why bring in ethics? I know of no country that advertises itself because of its prostitution, despite their two examples (which are vague). Las Vegas advertises itself as "what happens here stays here" but that is left out of their article. There is simply a lack of references for much of what is discussed, and at no time do they reference literature on "tourism ethics" (google tourism ethics, you will see what they have left out, I guess they dont google). The concerns the authors discuss (for example, accessibility) is relevant for public management generally, so why tourism? What makes tourism so different from other types of policies? Why is this a "special" topic? Much of the paper is their opinion, and there is a general absence of any real research. There are no data. No theories, no hypotheses. the sentence structure is poor, awkward. Read the first sentence, and the first paragraph - its as though even the authors are having a hard time trying to explain to themselves what the paper is about. The real question is why someone at their home university doesnt put a stop to this: cut and pasting article after article about tourism in asia. This is awful research, almost unreadable, essentially crap.
The Lynx is the only wild cat left in Europe. The population of Balkan Lynx's is anywhere from 40 and up, hopefully at least 100 which is minimum population to be sustainable. Why is the Lynx almost extinct? Humans of course. Lynx's are hunted for their fur, which is valuable. Also, humans are expanding development of woodlands, destroying their natural habitat.
Sometimes we forget that children have just arrived on the earth. They are a little like aliens, coming into beings as bundles of energy and pure potential, here on some exploratory mission and they are just trying to learn what it means to be human. For some reason Dennis and I reached out into the universe and found each other, Never really know how or why. And discovered that I can love an alien and he can love a creature. And thats weird enough for both of us.
great movie about john cusack adopting a foster child who thinks he is from Mars. Great movie, also stars Johnny's sister Joan. I like the above quote. If you embrace the above quote, then you will be a great parent.
Dennis, can I just say one last thing about Mars? - which may be strange coming from a Science-Fiction writer - But right now, you and me here, put together entirely of atoms, sitting on this round rock with a core of liquid iron, held down by this force that seems to trouble you, called gravity, all the while spinning around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour and whizzing through the milkyway at 600,000 miles an hour in a universe that very well may be chasing its own tail at the speed of light; And admist all this frantic activity, fully cognisant of our own eminent demise - which is our own pretty way of saying we all know we're gonna die - We reach out to one another. Sometimes for the sake of entity, sometimes for reasons you're not old enough to understand yet, but a lot of the time we just reach out and expect nothing in return. Isn't that strange? Isn't that weird? Isn't that weird enough? The heck do ya need to be from Mars for?
If you would like to read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, you can fill out this form and the gov'ment will mail one to you. They think that copying hundreds of pages of the Act to millions of americans will create jobs, keep people working at Kinkos for minimum wage, assistant with paper recycling centers, keep people reading for hours past their bedtime resulting in more electricity purchased, and lugging the behemouth report around will burn off calories and reduce the problem of obesity in the US.
Who says Congress doesnt have great ideas?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
these two young women invented the McNugget Martini, it involves filet of fish, milkshake, mcnuggets and a bottle of vanilla vodka. The picture is captioned "try not to vomit," but this only goes to show vanilla vodka goes good with anything.
Here is their blog with more pictures, very funny.
Someone obviously had their brain turned off, comparing Pres Obama to a crazy chimp in a cartoon. The whole chimp story is nuts. we discussed media and public opinion in american government earlier this week, and how the media focuses on shallow stories and prevents the public from being informed about public policy, and makes public opinion polls on policy positions very un reliable. Then, the next day, the lead story is about a chimp who goes nuts, attacks someone, is stabbed by his owner, and then the owner wants police to shoot the chimp. The owner said the chimp was "like a son..." give me a break, you stab and shoot your son when he tears someone's face off? what was this nitwit doing with a pet 200 lb chimp? Anyway, comparing obama with a chimp is so stupid-racist, I can only conclude someone's brain was off.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Historians have voted once again, for the best and worst Presidents. Its some kinda Spearman's Rho ranking statistic, but W. comes in SIXTH from last ! Yeah ! Way to pull it out W ! Who is the President ranked just above W? John Tyler, a one term President who became President after William Henry Harrison died. Tyler's (6o something yrs old) most notable accomplishment was marrying a 20 something year old woman who was daughter (grand daughter) of a friend of his (wealthy New Yorker) and fathering 6 children with her, on top of the 7 he had with wife number one. Tyler was the first Vice President to become President, and since Const doesn't really specify (at the time) what happens if the Prez dies, Congress at first called him the Acting President, thought about passing a law to hold an emergency election. But Tyler insisted that he was the real President, and thus the practice began of Vice Presidents becoming Prez if the original Prez dies. Who is ranked just below him? Millard Fillmore, who became Prez when Zachery Taylor died in office. Another one termer, Millard was known as the Prez who "brought the outhouse into the white house," running flush toilets in the WH. he later ran on the Know Nothing ticket in 1856, a "nativist" party who wanted to preserve America for Americans (white Europeans).
So who else is worse than W? After Fillmore is Warren Harding, the most corrupt President, selling land to speculators who gave him payoffs, hiring contractors (friends and former business partners) at inflated prices to mine US land. then William Henry Harrison, whose only accomplishment was the first President to die in office. Then Franklin Pierce, a manic depressive who spent 4 years locked in the WH. Andrew Johnson, his "accidency," who was one vote short of being convicted of impeachment. And finally, Pennsylvania's own, james Buchanan, who I often explain was a great Democrat and statesman, coming out of retirement to preside over the destruction of the union, and earning an unfair ranking as dead last.
So George W. Bush comes in ahead of: the guy who brought toilets into the WH; the most corrupt Prez ever; the fist guy to die in WH; a manic depressive; an impeached Prez; and poor james Buchanan, the Bill Clinton of his era, whose biggest mistake was agreeing to become President when he should have stayed retired.
Shown are Presidents Tyler and Millard Fillmore, official portraits. And Fillmore in 1856 when he ran on the Know Nothing Party ticket (he went bling).
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Here is a link to Fisker automotive, a Danish company that makes sports cars and sedans, including hybrids. I saw the hybrid models at the DC auto show, both the 2 door coupe and the 4 door sedan, beautiful styling, great performance. Its a big car, its mpg isnt as great as my Yaris, but again its a big car, and beautiful, and has better styling than the full size chevy hybrid (which is not yet available). Fisker's are available in the US, NOW, check the link above. BTW, they are really expensive, like $90K. The chevy hybrid costs alot less.
the problem with landing with an auto pilot engaged in known icing conditions is that the autopilot doesn't know there is ice on the wings or horizontal stabilizer - pilots should have disengaged autopilot, increased air speed, and NOT deployed any flaps in preparation to land (wing surface is screwed up with ice, flaps only change the shape of an already distorted strange wing surface - adding flaps increases the mystery of how the plane will handle with ice on the wings). Did pilots look at wings? could they see the wings from cockpit? thing is, these pilots flew in these conditions often, so they should have known better. Or did they become complacent?