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Friday, May 13, 2005

The Revelation... Of The Number Of The Beast


The Ace of Spades HQ has explanations and discussion about the recently re-revealed data... is the number of Man 666? Or 616? He opines:

Think of all the Heavy Metal albums and posters that will have to be recalled in order to fix this glitch... it's going to be like the Y2K megacoding correction all over again.


Bill at INDC Journal weighs in with a link

Now, at last, the TRUTH is revealed! The number is... BOTH! And the proof is provided by Cranky Neocon.

Another One Bites The Dust



MOLE-BLOGGING!


The saga contiues. I was working on the outside of the house, and happened to see movement out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough, one of the molehills that I had been watching was growing.


This molehill was approximately 12 inches across.


The same molehill after my special procedure had been applied!


Cue the funeral dirge, one dead mole!


Scoreboard
Me: 2
Moles: 0


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Speaker for the Dead


Very nice article by Orson Scott Card on Senate filibuster and Presidential appointees. Thanks to Freepers for the links, and be sure to read the commentary. A must read.

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Washington DC Aircraft Incident And Response


Earlier I posted about the incident of the small aircraft in Washington DC, bemoaning the fact that the evacuation plan was inadequate. Here is an interesting thread on Free Republic concerning the event. The original article from The Aero News Network is here.

Reading the article and the commentary, it seems that there is a lot of debate over what was/was not done correctly/incorrectly. I stand by my original and immediate assessment. All aspects of the event were handled adequately, with two exceptions. One, RUN AWAY! is NOT a planned proper evacuation procedure, and our government officials should hang their heads in shame. Two, our armed forces performed superbly!

It now remains to be seen whether we can get past the finger-pointing and reinforce the positive aspects of the incident response, while correcting the negative. With politicians involved, I'm not holding my breath.


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dr. Frist, Please Report To...



LOL, Senator Frist represents MY state, but I still got a big kick out of this.

DR. FRIST ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS


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Martian Volunteers Needed

Volunteers Needed For MDRS Crews:

Hard Work, No Pay, Eternal Glory

Call for Martians: The Mars Society is requesting volunteers to participate as members of the crew of the Mars Desert Research Station

Click the header, go read the whole thing for full details.

The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is located in Utah. Currently ongoing is the Mona Lisa/Leonardo Project. Leonardo, an all-male crew, has completed their mission. The Mona Lisa section, consisting of an all-female crew, has not yet ended. These were/are Crews 39 and 40. Crews are international in composition.

Devon Island, Canada, is the site of a sister project, the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), where Mars-like polar desert conditions prevail. Two additional stations are planned, one in Iceland, and the other in Australia.

As a young man many, many years ago, I became an advocate of space exploration, and colonization, introduced to the subjects by many fine science fiction writers. Robert Heinlein, in particular, comes to mind, especially with his The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Philosophically, I believe that mankind is destined to expand to other planetary bodies. Science Fact is rapidly catching up with what was Science Fiction back in the day. Actually, in many cases, fact has outstripped fiction. So, if you'll grant me that, let me add a few thoughts to the subject.

Although our first figurative steps will be miniscule, eventually there will occur a diaspora. This more than likely will not be a national phenonenom, but rather international. That is why I am pleased with the inclusion of some non-US personnel on the Space Shuttle missions, the concept and operation of the International Space Station, and the makeup of the above mentioned research crews. Even so, we will eventually be confronted with questions as to the equitable distribution of wealth gained from these activities. Yes, wealth will be gained as resources are exploited, both for the benefit of the explorers/colonists, and for various enabling entities, be they commercial or government. Already today there is competition in this process, in that countries other than the U.S. are working on space programs, and private enterprise gears up to grab their share of the goodies. Who gets there first won't matter as much as who gets there to stay.

How we get there is also an item hotly debated. As I posted earlier, plans to launch Cosmos 1 are being finalized, a test of the feasibility of propulsion by means of a solar sail. Nuclear powered spacecraft are also being explored, although the use of nuclear power is not popular in many circles.

Regardless, one way or another (or maybe several at once), we ARE going! It can't happen soon enough for me.

Update: hat tip to Eric at Classical Values for this link to some possible ways to accomplish Earth-to-orbit payload insertions, a necessary first step. More ideas explored in links at bottom of that page.

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Weekly Standard Advertisement on Fox

This was HILARIOUS!!

Weekly Standard advertisement.

Reporter and cameraman intercept network news executive as he leaves building. Reporter shoves microphone in execs face, asks for a few moments of time. Exec says, in distasteful tone

"Are you a blogger?"


I'm still chuckling.

Terrorism vs. 1st Amendment - Who Wins?

Dymphna at Gates of Vienna writes:

Dialogue with the Deluded

The Totonto Star (free registration) reports a sad incident from the marching morons.

What began as an attempt to heal the wounds of Canada's Muslims and Jews has ended by inflaming them.
At an evening of dialogue for Muslim-Jewish understanding, remarks by Israel's consul general have prompted the Muslim Canadian Congress to call for an apology, and it has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to investigate the statements and seek an explanation.

Consul General Ya'acov Brosh merely stated the obvious, that "the majority of terrorists today were Muslims, although the majority of Muslims are not themselves terrorists." However, in doing so, he brought down the wrath of the correct thinkers upon his head.

Muslims who attended the speech said they were hurt and shocked by his words.

Hurt and shocked by his words. Does the hurt and shock follow from the words spoken, or from the fact that they were spoken at all? Dymphna gives a hat tip to The Last Amazon for writing on the same subject:
The ugly fact is that the majority of terrorists in the world today are Muslim but not all Muslims are terrorists. When you cannot state an obvious fact without a Muslim group attempting to have you slurred or persecuted for stating an ugly truth we are in trouble and no matter how many inter-faith dialogues you hold or how loudly you sing Kumbala that will not change a damn thing. I am sorry the Muslim Canadian Congress finds that statement of fact hurtful but there is nothing I can do to change that except wish it were not so. You can attempt to have me persecuted and considering the current state of free speech in Canada you might meet with success, but even so, you cannot change reality with the power of your denials.

The The Council on American-Islamic Relations - CAIR has also set itself up as a 'politically correct' watchdog of every facet of our lives in much the same manner as the MCC. Visiting their website and picking a story - any story - will demonstrate this. Or you may prefer to visit Anti CAIR, where they have already separated the wheat from the chaff, and denying CAIR the site hits.

Are most terrorists Muslim?


According to the U.S. Department of State, terrorist organizations are defined as:
Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended

1. It must be a foreign organization.
2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)),* or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)),** or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

Here is the list from the State departments website:

Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

1. Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
2. Abu Sayyaf Group
3. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
4. Ansar al-Islam
5. Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
6. Asbat al-Ansar
7. Aum Shinrikyo
8. Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
9. Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)
10. Continuity Irish Republican Army
11. Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)
12. HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
13. Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
14. Hizballah (Party of God)
15. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
16. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)
17. Jemaah Islamiya organization (JI)
18. al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
19. Kahane Chai (Kach)
20. Kongra-Gel (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, KADEK)
21. Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous)
22. Lashkar i Jhangvi
23. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
24. Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
25. Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
26. National Liberation Army (ELN)
27. Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
28. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
29. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF)
30. PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
31. al-Qa’ida
32. Real IRA
33. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
34. Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)
35. Revolutionary Organization 17 November
36. Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
37. Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
38. Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
39. Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (QJBR) (al-Qaida in Iraq) (formerly Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad, JTJ, al-Zarqawi Network)
40. United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

Let's see... yes, yes, yes, yes,... well, it seems obvious to me that MOST terrorist organizations are indeed Muslim. How can anyone dispute this fact? So the remarks by Israeli Consul General Ya'acov Brosh that the majority of terrorists today were Muslims, although the majority of Muslims are not themselves terrorists (from the Totonto Star article) was and is an accurate statement.

Could the statement have been taken to mean that Muslim=Terrorist? No, he specifically said the majority of Muslims are not terrorists. So this is plainly an attack on an individual made under false prestenses. Unjustified and not supported by any truth.

Aiding and Abetting


From the same State Department webpage cited above:

As used in this chapter [chapter 8 of the INA], the term ‘engage in terrorist activity’ means in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization–

1. to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;
2. to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;
3. to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;
4. to solicit funds or other things of value for–

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the solicitation would further the organization’s terrorist activity;
1. to solicit any individual–

(aa) to engage in conduce otherwise described in this clause;

(bb) for membership in terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or

(vi)(II); or

(cc) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the solicitation would further the organization’s terrorist activity; or
2. to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training–

(aa) for the commission of a terrorist activity;

(bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity;

(cc) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(dd) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the actor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the act would further the organization’s terrorist activity.

I can categorically state as fact, based on the information available to me, that the majority of terrorists are Muslim. I can ASSUME that, due to the world population of Muslims versus the number identified as terrorists, that the majority of Muslims are NOT terrorists. It is my OPINION that actions such as these detailed at the start of this post are in fact aiding and abetting terrorist organizations. It is a FACT that in the United States we are guaranteed the right of free speech by the 1st Amendment to our Constitution. However, we are not guaranteed any relief from consequences of our speech. Continued actions in this vein will probably lead to severe backlash.

Or, as Dymphna at Gates of Vienna wrote:

These people need IQ tests. Immediately. Followed by a mandatory Logic 101 course.



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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

History In the Making Made

Update: For some inexplicable reason, the link to Archaeoblog below is welded to this blog, and I have not been able to change it. The URL for the link is http://archaeoblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/media-corner-fallen-ones-on-may-14.html. Sorry for any inconvenience.



If you have reviewed many entries in this blog, then you know by now that many times I will bring you a serious subject, and follow that with some type of flippant question. Well, the trend continues with this fine item from ArchaeoBlog
Media corner The Fallen Ones on May 14, SciFi Channel:
An archaeologist unearths the remains of a giant humanoid. Soon, evidence is uncovered that reveals the creature to be the offspring of a human woman and a fallen angel — the beginning of a lineage whose terror is about to be reborn into the modern world. Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) stars.

We hate it when that happens. Out there in the field, excavating a nice 2x2, getting a good sample of beer jar and bread mold ceramics, a few identifiable mammal bones, and feeling pretty pleased with yourself for recognizing what appears to be a hearth, and the next thing you know you're running for your life from, say, the rotting, animated remains of Ra-Hetep-Heres that you happened to resurrect by accidentally reciting the reanimation spell from the Book of the Hereafter. Then for the next few days it's fight with mummy, run for your life, fight with mummy some more, run for your life, recover the Sword of Amun-Ra from the lost Temple of Aten, run for your life, find the Book of the Dead, read the correct verse while simulataneously holding said mummy captive in the Pool of the Spirits and running him through with the Sword of Amun-Ra thus sending him back to the netherworld.

And don't even get us started on the warm beer we have to deal with.

Hmmm, seems I don't really HAVE any witticism for that. I can do no better.

Check out this blog. There are many links, and commentary, on a variety of archaeology related subjects, some serious and scholarly, some not. But all interesting.


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Form 180, or INSTRVMENTVM COMPOSITVM CLXXX

Start with this transcript excerpt from PoliPundit:
MR. RUSSERT: Many people who’ve been criticizing you have said: Senator, if you would just do one thing and that is sign Form 180, which would allow historians and journalists complete access to all your military records. Thus far, you have gotten the records, released them through your campaign. They say you should not be the filter. Sign Form 180 and let the historians…

SEN. KERRY: I’d be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military. Then at the last moment, they sent some more stuff, which had some things that weren’t even relevant to the record. So when we get–I’m going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn’t in the record and we’ll put it out. I have no problem with that.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: But everything, Tim…

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will.

Then this from May 10 (yesterday), notes that 100 days have passed without action.

Eric at Classical Values asked the same thing on October 28, 2004, albeit without a response. This leaves Eric counting with a slightly different set of numbers.
But speaking of time, Classical Values is keeping track of the number of days since this blog has asked Kerry to sign Form 180 (a document we were generous enough to provide here on October 28 of last year!)

Let's see, thirty days hath September.....

Well, according to my calculations, Kerry has been stonewalling Classical Values for 193 days so far.

I think we've been more than patient.

Now he has taken it a step further, descending (ascending? side-stepping?) into Numerology in an attempt to make sense of this story:
To put things into an international perspective, 193 happens to be the same number of days as there are countries in the world!

To give the number the classical perspective it requires for this solemn occasion, the year 193 was quite a big one in Roman history. Three emperors ruled:

# Pertinax -- installed the year before after the assassination of the madly tyrannical Commodus, and who was in turn assassinated by the Praetorian Guard, who then auctioned off the throne to -->

# Marcus Severus Didius Julianus -- an incompetent emperor whose purchase of the throne sparked the Roman Civil War of 193-197, and who was ousted and killed by -->

# Septimius Severus -- who managed to usher in the relatively stabler Severan Dynasty.

I think its highly appropriate that 193 denotes international chaos.

My suggestion to Eric is that since this obviously is not being answered in a timely (or would this be 'timeless'?) manner, you might want to make your calculations a little easier with this Numerology Calculator.

Eric even goes so far as to translate it into Latin! Maybe he should try French


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Evacuate Washington! Good Planning!

Fox News has reported that the White House and Capitol were evacuated (all clear now):
WASHINGTON — The White House (search) and the U.S. Capitol Building (search) were suddenly evacuated around noon Wednesday.

Lawmakers, staff members, tourists were told to run away from the buildings.

This due to a small plane violating restricted airspace, but...

RUN AWAY?


What the hell kind of evacuation plan is that? OK, people, listen up! At the count of three, EVERYBODY PANIC!

With the amount of money spent on Homeland Security, with the extreme significance of our center of Government as a target, with the fact that every school and public building has an evacuation plan posted and in many cases (schools) practiced, why don't we have an evacuation plan? Or, if we do, why is it not practiced? I'm dumbfounded!


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al-Zarqawi News?

As noted by others before, and from personal experience, preliminary reports are usually inaccurate. However, this article (linked via Hugh Hewitt) indicates that the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may have been seriously injured in Operation Matador (Operation Matador info here, here and here). Reportedly, this information is drawn from this site, but I cannot verify as I don't read the language.

Let's hope there is some truth to this!


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A Kinder, Gentler War

Dr. D over at the Daily Demarche has a guest poster, Brad Lena of Asheville, North Carolina. Mr. Lena presents us with a very interesting idea, one that I think deserves exploration, on a course of action dealing with North Korea.

Should we have to deal with the present DKRP regime militarily, I feel that although the U.S. would win handily, the cost (human, cash, international and public relations, regional stability) would be enormous. One way or the other, though, we WILL have to deal with them.

I consider this a MUST READ, including comments.


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On Blogger Standards

I think Kim du Toit is trying to say something here.
I never read the poxy Pravda on the Hudson (New York Times, for my overseas Readers), unless someone links to an article which doesn’t require registration. And I ignore the NYT most of the time, of course, because they’re a bunch of pissy little limousine liberals with an agenda more transparent than that slut Madonna’s stage costumes.

There's more here, read it.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Day In The Life... For Real!

From This Is Your War, a MUST READ! Imagine yourself in the writer's position as you read.
Lowering my rifle, I noticed all the people standing around. Watching. Fifty people could have stopped that car. Fifty people knew we were here.

Hot rage flooded through me.

And following what I said in the last post, check out the rest of it, too.

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Surfing Nirvana

Look past the obvious! Dig deep! So, blogspot is (was, people, so don't get upset) down for maintenance, and I do the proper thing... I'm over at Instapundit checking out what he's linked.

Hmmm, here's an interesting one: 25 Pieces of Advice for Bloggers. It was a good read, and the advice seemed good, and timely for me, since I'm so new. Thanks, Glenn!

But that's not the point of this post.

As is my wont, when I follow a link to another site, after reading the offering I will usually pop over to the main page of that site. Then I see what else is being offered. After reading the above mentioned 25 Pieces at the Right Wing News, I keep scrolling and reading. Near the bottom of the page I find Advertisement: The Nose On Your Face, billed as:
Are you looking for great conservative satire? So are we. Until you find it, come check out The Nose On Your Face.

We bring you in-depth, comprehensive fake news every single day. Except Saturday. And Sunday.

Some of the hard hitting stories we have tackled include:

Bush To Spotted Owls: "Bring It On!"
Hezbollah Wins The 'Johnny'
Bauer, Bush Come Under Fire From HRW
Bush's Top 9 Ted Kennedy Nicknames

Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,
Buckley F. Williams, Senior Editor

The Nose On Your Face is subtitled: News so fake you'll swear it came from the mainstream media. With credentials like that, how could I go wrong. I didn't.

New Line Of Hippie Fragrances Announced
A group of world renowned fragrance makers has recently announced a joint venture that has as it's sole purpose the creation of an entire line of hippie-themed colognes, perfumes and other toiletries. The consortium is known as Le Ranke and it's members will come from 15 companies including: Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Liz Claiborne.

"Frankly, the public outcry for these types of scents has been enormous," stated a company spokesman. "There is a large segment of the population that wants that chic, stale hippie smell without all the work that goes into it. Ask yourself these questions: Do I have time to protest the Iraq War for weeks on end? Would my spouse support me quitting my job, moving into my parent's basement and smoking marijuana all day? The answer for you is probably 'no', as it would be for most people. So how do you obtain the desired effect? Leave that to Le Ranke."

Some of the fragrances that will be offered include:

* Repulsion
* Essence of Ham Sandwich
* Acqua di Cat Urine
* Bong Water Noir
* Stale Smoke #5
* Eau de Chunky Soup
* Le Ranke Signature
* Taint & Bark Musk

A line of hair care products and bath oils is in the works and is due to be released in time for the Christmas season.

I repeat. Look past the obvious! Dig deep!

If you can read postings here without a least a smile, then your smiler's broken!


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Energizer Bunny - Move Over!

Energizer Bunny, Move Over!

I wonder if the twin Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were really manned vehicles. Or rather... bunnied vehicles, as in operated by the Energizer Bunny. According to NASA (via Space.com), these rovers were designed for a lifespan of only three months.
The durable twin rovers on Mars have gotten yet another lease on life, with NASA announcing Tuesday it would fund another 18 months of operations.

Spirit and Opportunity were originally designed for a three-month effort. Engineers knew all along that if nothing unexpected happened, they could last longer. But few expected them to be still roving after more than 14 months.
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That was in early April, so make that 15 months now, and still they keep on going, and going, and going... Sound familiar?

Not only that, but they are being re-designated. The twin Mars rovers were originally called, what else, Mars rovers. Check out what they are being called now.
When the Opportunity rover landed on Mars last year, scientists were thrilled that it made a cosmic “hole-in-one” by rolling into a crater.

But now the robot is struggling to drive itself out of a sand trap. Time will tell whether it’s up to par for the task.

Progress is being made on trying to remove Opportunity from a soft-sand dune that the sporty, six-wheeled utility rover has run itself into at its exploration site: Meridiani Planum.
(bold mine)

So, there they are, six-wheeling around Mars, having a great time! Wish we were there! Maybe they can find some mud and REALLY have a good time! I wonder if they would have been recalled by now had they been built by one of our major auto manufacturers?

Many more stories on the rovers here.




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Monday, May 09, 2005

USMC Letter, Must Read via Blackfive

Damn, I'm proud to be an American! This is a MUST READ. Thanks, Blackfive, for what you do!





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Black Hole? Film at 11!

For any space geeks out there (yep, count me in there), here is a really interesting item from Space.com:
Astronomers photographed a cosmic event this morning which they believe is the birth of a black hole, SPACE.com has learned.

A faint visible-light flash moments after a high-energy gamma-ray burst likely heralds the merger of two dense neutron stars to create a relatively low-mass black hole, said Neil Gehrels of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.


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Graduation Hijinks

Ya gotta just love those irrepressible college seniors. Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the lead, and Freepers for the post.

Missing WMDs?

During the course of researching this post, I ran across something else that was sorta, kinda, maybe, similar. Well, at least they both involved amphibians! Following up here:
Local environmental workers in Hamburg have described it as a scene out of a horror or science fiction movie, with the bloated frogs agonizing and twitching for several minutes, inflating like balloons before they suddenly burst.

Frank Mutschmann, a Berlin veterinarian, investigated. Authorities remain baffled.

(photo credit: Florian Quand / AP)



Is this somehow related to the US Navy's use of dolphins in warfare? How about bomb-sniffing rats? Is SOMEONE out there trying to create a biological pop-up (bounding) mine? Will they be called Improvised Toad Explosive Devices (ITEDs)? Will PETA become involved in the program? How many would it take before they were classified as WMDs?

Update: As I posted this, a final (I hope) thought hit me. Since we are speaking Amphibians here, if a war-fighting toad was developed, would it's use be restricted to the USMC? Food for thought!

Up-Update: I must be a really sick person, as this just keeps drawing me back! OK, here's the scoop.

Tactical Ordnance, Anti-personnel, Dummy...

aka T.O.A.D.


OK, I'll shut up now!
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Sail Ho, Skipper!

Slashdot reports:
The Planetary Society (home of SETI) is planning to launch the first Solar Sail Spacecraft, Cosmos 1, later this month.

I think this is great! However, I am left wondering: If a sail driven spacecraft encounters a nuclear-powered spacecraft, who has the right-of-way?
Sailboat Right-Of-Way

Because of the slower speed and reduced maneuverability, sailboats are given a special position in the navigational rules, and their own set of rules between boats under sail. While the navigational rules give a vessel under sail right-of-way over a vessel under power, there are certain exceptions to the rule, and the rules should be studied.


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Sunday, May 08, 2005

BlogNashville Revisited

I have spent quite a bit of time today scanning the blogs of attendees of BlogNashville. This was my first opportunity to meet bloggers in person, and I am extremely interested in seeing what their take was on the event. During the sessions I didn't have much to contribute to the discussions, instead concentrating on soaking up as much knowledge and as many ideas as I could in that too short timespan. Consider me a blog groupie wannabe, if you will.

Between sessions I also had the chance to talk with quite a few fellow bloggers, and to eavesdrop on a few conversations. It appeared that much of the discussions involved the same topics as were covered in the sessions, but tech talk also abounded. Include in that talk of previous encounters, plans for evening events, and even some sales talks. I'm not going to name names here because I was more interested in what was said than who was speaking.

However, as I think back about the sessions, and read blogger commentary, I am somewhat surprised at one session in particular, that being the one on Respectful Disagreement with Dave Winer. Granted, it was exciting, and got a little tense a time or two, but it WAS, after all, about disagreement! Les Jones has a good, link-filled post about it, with numerous comments. He says:
Dave's introduction was "How do we disagree with each other without burning bridges?"
Conclusion after attending the session: Winer doesn't know, and the guy is a massive control freak. He tried to lead the discussion, but once it got off the primrose path he wanted it to be on he turned into a jerk.

Scared Monkeys was live-blogging the session. There were many notable exchanges, well documented in this post by Sean at The American Mind, and others.

But here is where I am puzzled. Since the session was about respectful disagreement, it seemed appropriate to me that there would be disagreement. When the first tense exchange occurred, it erupted across the room from where I was sitting. According to Les' post, it involved John Cox, whom I could not see, and only partially hear, and Dave, who I could both see and hear. As the episode escalated, I was concentrating on what I could hear, and thought it was appropriate for the session topic. But as it became more heated, I began to wonder. At this point I leaned over to Doug Petch and asked him "Is this scripted?" At that point I would not have been surprised to find that there was a shill in attendance to assure that the topic of disagreement was actively engaged. It soon became obvious that this was not the case.

As others have noted, Dave Winer had a tendency to interrupt, to cut people short, and in general rub people the wrong way. He also seemed, after I finally figured out that this was real, to be on quite a short fuse. The example noted by Les (and others):
At one point Winer was talking and a guy named Stan Brown was laughing at him. Dave got on his high horse and was hurt and acted like he was going to demand Brown stay after class. What a jerk. I hope video will be available, or some people who weren't there won't believe how bad Winer really was.

Video of this portion is provided by Ian, the Political Teen.

Now, there was disagreement, and heated exchanges, and some DISrespect. After all, this was NOT a roomful of pansies. A challenge offered was going to be a challenge accepted. But there was also much respectful disagreement, from my viewpoint. My personal opinion is that the session was a success.

On another subject, I also found that I was not the first to offer this quote as BlogNashville Best Quote. It seems that Doug beat me by a couple of hours! The power and potential of the blogosphere is going to be put on display, maybe, increasing John Jay Hooker's national recognition. Or.... Maybe not.