Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nuclear Power

Clearly an article written by someone who knows nothing of which he speaks.

Here We Go Again

The Sky Is Fallling!!!!

Every statement regarding "Climate Change" in this article has been clearly refuted in other publications. Incidents of extreme weather, such as the hurricanes that devastated Haiti and Myanmar, have grown more frequent. Probably untrue and unprovable either way. In fact, NOAA reports ocean cooling over the last five years.

Insurers predict that 2008 will set yet another record for economic losses. True, but not because of ACC. More development is occurring in areas prone to hurricanes, consequently more economic losses.

This is nuts. It's Kool-Aid and we're drinking it. Is anyone listening?

Death and Gaza

H/T Owen at Boots & Sabers.

So knowing the culture of death that surrounds Palestinians, why would a "Free Gaza Movement" even concern themselves? Checking the Free Gaza website, it appears to be a mishmash of Leftist activists and the usual anti-Israel groups.

I'm thinking the Israeli response was too meek.

Renewable Energy in Winter

The Beer: Found a new on-line resource. Beer100.com. Check it out.

The Bicycle: Always be sure your bicycle in securely in the trainer before climbing on. Otherwise, it can hurt. A lot.

The VRWC: More reasons why "renewable energy" can never be the panacea the Eco-whackos want.

Fact is, renewables will never be reliable enough to meet all energy needs. They will remain a niche at best. Recall that the sun shines at about 1000 watts per square meter....at the equator.....at the equinox....at noon.....on a perfectly clear day. In these here parts, this time of year, it's about 300 watts per square meter and doesn't get much better than 500-or-so. And remember, that's peak. Anything off optimal conditions reduces the available energy significantly. And oh...solar panels are only 10-15% efficient.

Anyway, read the article. It's illuminating (no pun intended).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family

Just for the record, I'm on my third wife (yeah, I know). I hope I've learned a lesson or two along the way.

My current wife's parents are exceedingly generous to my children and grandchildren just because I married their daughter. It's embarrassing that they treat my kids better than do two-thirds of my own family.

And it's bad enough that some in my family don't bother with my kids, but on top of it, they pull crap with my kids (and wife #2 sometimes) just to poke a finger in my eye. I think I'm a pretty good guy, and I can take a pretty hard hit. But leave my kids out.

Office of the Senator-Appointee?

There's a reason she remains elusive.

Caroline Kennedy has no qualifications other than being a Kennedy. She favors same-sex marriage and opposes vouchers. As a Democrat, it's just about a given that she supports abortion on demand. A little "choice for me but not for thee". It's interesting that the NYT would even reference Uncle Teddy as architect of No Child Left Behind, considering how much the Leftists and the press ridicule it (oh...that's right. It's the NCLB that was authored by the Evil, Stupid Bush that they hate).

Ms. Kennedy would not say, for example, whether she supported proposals to abolish tenure for teachers and offer them merit pay instead.

Of course not. She has to play both sides here, so be sure to be elusive.

One of the main assets she could bring to the Senate, Ms. Kennedy suggested, was her celebrity itself. It would be useful, she said, in bringing attention to New York’s needs and fighting for a bigger share of federal stimulus money.

Smell the pork here? She learned well at her uncles feet (insert car joke here). She claims to be "for working families". Something we hear all too often. I'd argue everyone other than Senators and Kennedy's are "working families". Bill Gates works. Donald Trump works. And I'd argue they work harder than a guy making minimum at Wal-Mart.

Read the article. It's enlightening.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

So Much for Free Speech on the Web

This is just the start.

How long before there is an "Internet Fairness Doctrine"? But as usual, it's "do it for the children". Parents have plenty of tools at their disposal (including not ignoring their children and using the computer as a baby sitter).

"Snowzilla"

The city doesn't have anything better to worry about?

OK....maybe I don't know the whole story.

Climate Change Resource

This is from people a lot more informed than me. I'm sure my friends at Skeptical Science have an answer....somewhere.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Texas

The Beer: I've just returned from College Station, TX, where we visited the kids and grandkids. It was the best of Christmases, it was the worst of Christmases. More to follow. Oh..the beer...of course, I had a Shiner...or two (three, four.......). And right now, I desperately need one.

The Bicycle: My daughter was thrilled to death with the bicycle. I hope she really enjoys it and gets miles and miles out of it.

The VRWC: What is it about Christmas that brings out the worst in people? Maybe I'll talk about that more, maybe not.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Physics of Santa

Quite possibly the funniest thing a science geek like me has ever seen. Been around for years. Enjoy.

The Physics of Santa Claus

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, and assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of his sleigh, jump down the chimnye, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course we know to be false but for the purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 punds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (refer to point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal load, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entereing the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per SECOND, EACH! In short, hey will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousanths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal* forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead by now.

* Please note that centrifugal is a made-up non existent word. The real word should be centripetal. Centrifugal is a made up force that physics people HATE! So please, everyone use the world centripetal, not centrifugal. Thanks!

Merry Christmas....or Whatever

All of my Christian friends: Have a Merry Christmas. To those of you who are not Christian, enjoy whatever you celebrate at this season.

For those who are offended, have an relaxing, enjoyable, non-partisan, not-necessarily-religious, non-sectarian, but-if-you-don't-celebrate-anything-I'm-cool-with-that, winter solstice time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Report: Obama Clears Obama

Did anyone expect differently?

Seriously, of course an investigation commissioned by The Office of the President-Elect would find no wrongdoing by the President-Elect and his staff. If this were the Bush administration, the Democrats and MSM wouldn't stand for this. They would be demanding a special prosecutor to find out what Bush knew and when he knew it.

And I know this will surprise readers of this blog, but expect Fitzgerald to be fired when the new administration takes office. You know...just like President Bush fired a bunch of prosecutors? And the silence will be deafening.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

At Fault? Just Sue!

This is an embarassment. And Daddy the Judge seems to think it's ok.

This comment is priceless: "The injuries and property damage sustained by (Shelton and her family) were not the result of intentional acts, but were accidental and caused by the negligence of the uninsured/underinsured driver," Shelton's attorney Mark Sandoval wrote in the lawsuit.

How would the insurance of the truck driver have resulted in a different outcome? The death, damage, "mental anguish" and "pain and suffering" were solely a result of her actions. Daddy should be ashamed. And resign.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karma Runs Over Dogma

The Beer: A co-worker traded me six-packs. He made a nice lager and nut brown (I've tried both). We'll also be comparing our cranberry concoctions.

The Bicycle: The ten-speed is ready to go. I wanteed to take it on a test ride, but the foot of snow we got last night killed that idea.

The VRWC: I read that Eliot Spitzer was one of Bernie Madoff's "victims". Maybe ol' Eliot should have spent a little less time destroying Dick Strong and a little more time finding out why Bernie was "too good to be true".

Karma, anyone?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is it Genetic?

So, Caroline Kennedy's qualifications for Senate is.....?

I mean, seriously, I thought Hillary was unqualified. On the other hand, I often wonder how most Senators became qualified for that position and why we consider them to be so.....above the fray(?).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Opinion Posing As News

Opinion posing as news. The Leftists are in a full court press.

Politicians Or UAW?

I'm not a Union guy. I'm probably the last guy who is going to defend Union activity. I believe Unionization has been one (of many) factors in the decline of manufacturing in the United States. I work for a company that has a UAW shop and while, dealing with individuals in the Union is generally pretty easy, dealing with the Union as a whole can be a major pain in myess.

All that said, it's beginning to look like the Senate/UAW negotiations went south because the Senators don't understand Union contracts, Union mentality or UAW/Automaker history. On the other hand, I don't think the Union understands the gravity of their situation. And the wages are not the big part of the problem - it's the legacy costs. Wake up.

Understand that I am against bailouts in general. I think the "love" needs to be spread around. Right now, the only ones taking it in the shorts are the responsible, hard-working, tax-paying, I-might-scramble-sometimes-but-I-meet-my-bills-even-if-I have-to-get-another-job citizens of this country. There is zero reason to bail out mismanaged, overpaid, underworked, sometimes criminally negligent or worse, business. Whether Wall Street or Main Street, Detroit or Dallas, Silicon Valley or Rio Grande Valley, government intervention only prolongs the agony. The losers will lose, the winners will win. Sooner is better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Greek Riots

This is distressing. Greeks are so dissatisfied that the riots also seem to be garnering sympathy from the citizenry. That there are sympathy protests going on throughout Europe is also cause for concern. I don't recall this happening in my lifetime and possibly not since 1930's Germany. If our government isn't concerned, they should be.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Big 3 Bailout

I'm not happy about this. My fear is that the Big 3 may no longer be viable and we just threw a bunch of money down a rat-hole. I also fear that this is a bone to the UAW. I'm hearing calls for the head of GM to step down, but no such call for the head of the Union. Both are complicit here.

And a "Car Czar"? At what point has any governmental entity shown the ability to make good business decisions?

This is particularly troubling:

On Monday, members of the United Auto Workers, active workers and retirees, were on Capitol Hill to make the case that the auto industry deserves financial help from the government.
Frank Hammer, a retired GM worker, rejected the notion that the major automakers are suffering severe problems because of high wages and costly benefits for workers.


"The blame lies directly with the reckless behavior of Wall Street and the politicians who have removed all constraints on their unbridled greed," Hammer told reporters at a news conference.

"We urge Congress to endorse the bridge loan immediately, although we reject the notion that auto workers must make further concessions for its approval," he said.


If both parties are unwilling to make significant concessions, car makers will be mired in the same mess they are currently in. I also don't see how this statement makes any sense on its' face?

To the comments that failure to bail out the Big 3 will lead into a recession, the same thing was said about bailing out banks or the recession would get worse.....we bailed them out and the recession got worse anyway. To reward Ford, Chrysler and GM for mismanagement isn't going to fix the problem.

And what of other companies going to bankruptcy? The venerable Tribune Co. filed Chapter 11 today. Why shouldn't they get a bailout?.

This could work....then again, it may not.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Global Warming Bunk

I'm having trouble with this one.

Right out of the box, I'm a skeptic. The nature of the Scientific Method has always been to test the theory to see if it can be disproved (theories cannot be factually proven, since it is impossible to test for all cases - that is the root of my skepticism).. The Global Warming (or Climate Change) dogma is taken as gospel. Nowhere do the believers try to disprove the theory. Even the theory of gravity is tested by true scientists. There are no facts in science. Only theories to be disproven.

Which brings me to this article. The first thing I notice is that the years 1961-1990 are taken as the benchmark average. Why? What is special about those years? I also notice the years from 1830-2008 are shown on the graph. I'd argue that global temperature from the years 1830-1940 are probably skewed to colder because the bulk of temperature readings would necesssarily come from the northern 1/2 of the northern hemisphere. Why do I say that? Most of the population which would have maintained good, widespread records of temperature would live in that part of the world at that time. Recall that up until about 1900, much of the world remained undeveloped and or colonized by Europeans.

I also notice that there is never any uncertainty analysis in Global Warming research. Uncertainty analysis is exactly what it says and gives and idea of how accurate the data really are.

For those of you at Skeptical Science, I'm not saying anthropogenic global warming isn't happening. I'm just looking for the research a high schooler would do.

Christopher Thomas Review to be Private

Guess what the outcome of this will be?

As you may know, this is something of a quest for me. Justice must be done here. That the caseworker responsible - maybe irresponsible is a better word- is still assigned to the sister is amazing (maybe not, considering how this has all played out). I am reasonably certain there would be no investigation without the public outrage over this.

Revels Robinson, too, said she had been both personally and professionally affected by Christopher's death.
"We are all very saddened and very much affected by this very, very difficult situation," she said.


I can't buy this. If it were true, Revels Robinson would have resigned already. As I have said before, this is not the first time under her watch. Her incompetence at managing this service plunges into new depths.

Reggie Bicha, secretary of the state Department of Children and Families, called Christopher's death and the abuse of his sister "inexcusable and unacceptable." Major changes in the Milwaukee County child welfare system will be made as a result, Bicha said. He didn't elaborate on what those changes might be.
"I am very troubled by what I have learned so far," he said.
"The public has demanded answers," he said. "So have I."


Again, not the first time this has happened. Where has the state been? I emailed Jim Ott and Alberta Darling regarding this and received good responses from both. I emailed the Governor's office and have heard nothing.

We need to keep banging away at this until there is accountability.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping Us Safe

The Beer: Hail to the 75th Anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

The Bicycle: The 10-speed is soon to be a complete work. I'm pretty excited.

The VRWC: I was headed in different direction with this, but thought I'd check, rather than going with what I heard. A local talk guy said the Lefty blogs were going nuts over the piece, seeing it as a hack job on The Chosen One. I checked Daily Kos, Huffington Post and some lesser Lefty blogs and while they're still unhinged, I was unable to find any reference to the Noonan piece.

For all I can tell here, it's a pretty thoughtful column covering much of what the Right and the Republican Party is thinking right now. And anyone who doesn't think the Mumbai attacks didn't open some Democrat eyes, start paying attention. Senator Obama is having his eyes opened right now, not only from classified briefings, but also from Mr. and Mrs. Clinton who, thought they did little about it, are very familiar with the threat.

Those who wish to do us harm wished it long before President Bush and will wish to harm us long after. The do not care what party holds office, they don't care about pretty words of peace and love and they don't care about a flower in every gun barrel or swords to plowshares. Whatever their cause, the damage was done long ago and the desire for revenge lives long in the Middle Eastern cultures. The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism makes clear that the threat remains and will remain. We will eventually be hit again. Senator Obama and his new administration will need every tool at their disposal to prevent serious consequences to the public. The Left and their media thralls will try to blame Bush, but the electorate will have none of it.

Hence, the Democrats will not want to see, "unlike Obama".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008