I might be wrong on the air travel issue

I’m not. Let me just state that up front. And apologies again about the language below – I try to keep the site clean, but this current issue just cranks my frustration levels too high for me to stay clean.
There is a chance, though, that I’m wrong on the air travel issue. I’ve credited the whole ass-raping that travellers are being subjected to now to a government making decisions based on idiots running things. The fine folks at StecoNews have a different view – conspiracy. Now normally I pass on any conspiracy theorists ravings, but since I hold fast to my almost certainly untrue conspiracy view (which if you’ve been with me long you’ve seen me post on before) of the lies we were fed to justify the illegal war in Iraq, I’m going to post some notes from other conspiracy nutjobs out there. That said, here’s a few highlights from the StecoNews post title “London Terror Alert? A Skeptical Round-up” for you to ruminate on.

Several points make the whole affair seem unlikely:

  1. The Republicans are joyfully using it for political gain. Via (Phila Daily News)
  2. Officials have known about the threat of liquid explosives for years and done nothing. Via (NYTimes)
  3. Bush has been trying to cut funds for bomb detection at us airports Via (ABC News)

That’s half the list. You’ll have to check StecoNews for the rest.  I do want to point out that #2 is true, but indicative of nothing.  As I’ve mentioned before, the terrorist attacks have done nothing to increase our risk during travel, but only heightened our awareness.  The natural government reaction is to make a meaningless gesture which appears to be a positive security move, and suddenly acting on the threat of liquid explosives is just that.
[tags]Air travel restrictions a political conspiracy?, More air travel ranting, London terrorist attacks a ruse[/tags]

Astronomy picture of the day 2006-08-13

This is an awesome photo, and I almost missed posting it on the day it was featured. In fact, there have been several great astronomy pictures of the day lately. But I figure folks get tired of me posting picture of the day stuff too often, so I’ve held off. That said, check out this one and then look back through the archives at the NASA site.

astronomy-potd-20060813.jpg

The Comet and the Galaxy
Credit & Copyright: J. C. Casado
Explanation: The Moon almost ruined this photograph. During late March and early April 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp passed nearly in front of the Andromeda Galaxy. Here the Great Comet of 1997 and the Great Galaxy in Andromeda were photographed together on 1997 March 24th. The problem was the brightness of the Moon. The Moon was full that night and so bright that long exposures meant to capture the tails of Hale-Bopp and the disk of M31 would capture instead only moonlight reflected off the Earth’s atmosphere. By the time the Moon would set, this opportunity would be gone. That’s why this picture was taken during a total lunar eclipse.

[tags]Astronomy Picture of the day, POTD, Hale-Bopp[/tags]

The wisdom of charlatans

Bravo to Christopher Wanjek at LiveScience.com for taking the time to write about just how much is wrong in Kevin Trudeau’s book More Natural Cures Revealed (no link provided to avoid endorsing this hackery).

Kevin Trudeau wants to save your life, and the Nazis at the FDA and FTC will stop at nothing to bring him down. They have made it clear to him that their intent is to imprison him, confiscate his latest book, and burn it.

So begins Trudeau’s self-published “More Natural Cures Revealed,” a fascinating cross between a health book, fictitious novel, and a paranoid, hate-filled rant along the lines of “Mein Kampf.”

Normally I wouldn’t highlight such lunacy for risk of advertising it. And at first glance, one would think that this book could only attract a fringe audience, like those websites advocating to drink your own urine. But “More Natural Cures” is a follow-up to the self-published “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About,” which sold several million copies and reached the New York Times best-seller list.

Continue reading The wisdom of charlatans

A parenting tip from your host

This post comes courtesy of a series of tragic events that happened here in Memphis and nearby very recently. Since I have no idea how long that article will be reachable, here’s a small chunk of it.

A 15-month-old boy died Wednesday after he was left inside a sweltering truck in Lauderdale County, Tenn.

The child was found unresponsive around 2 p.m. by his mother, who had left him inside a parked sport utility vehicle when she went to a neighbor’s home to drop off a package, Lauderdale County officials said.

“She said she left the air running and was gone 15 to 20 minutes but when she came out the air was blowing hot and her baby was hot and sweating and wouldn’t wake up,” said Lauderdale County Investigator Clay Newman. “She called 911 and the child was rushed to the hospital.”

That’s tragic, and an event I would never want to have happen to any parent.  But unfortunately, this happens far too often.  So here’s my little parenting tip of the day – never leave your child in the car alone.  I know it’s tempting to just “run in for a second” to do something.  Even planned brief trips can run longer.

It frustrates my wife that I won’t stop at a convenience store and leave the kids in my Jeep while I run in to just grab a gallon of milk.  I’ll make them get out with me, which of course means I have to corral them while inside and then get them back in a buckled in their seats again.  But by taking 3 extra minutes on my trip to do this, I make sure that if someone picks my Jeep as the break-a-window-and-drive-away target of the day, they get the Jeep and all my crap inside, but not my children.  My wife calls me a melodramatic paranoid, but I’d rather be that than a childless middle-aged idiot who is facing reckless endangerment charges for leaving the kids.  The same holds true when I stop at someone’s house to drop something off – the kids go where I go, rather than staying in the car.  That way, if the 30 second drop-off turns into a social visit (ignoring for the moment my tendency to not be social) that lasts half an hour, I won’t come back out to the child I forgot about sitting in a 106 degree car not breathing.

So please, people, practice the simple move of never leaving your child in the car alone.  It makes them safer, and you less likely to forget them and end up the parent talked about in a tragic tale in the papers.

[tags]Parenting tip of the day[/tags]

Colon cleansing – sounds good for you but isn’t really

OK, so it doesn’t sound good, but to a lot of people, it sounds like colon cleanings are a good natural therapy cure for what ails you. As Christopher Wanjek covers in this LiveScience.com article, just because it sounds like it should be good for you doesn’t mean it is good for you. In fact, it can be very bad for you.

Unlike many natural therapies, colon cleansing makes a lot of sense. It is expensive, utterly useless and potentially harmful, but it’s all even more logical if one subscribes to the body-as-a-sewer-system paradigm.

Now, I’ll be talking about feces, so this column is not for the squeamish or those eating lunch.

. . .

Laxatives and enemas, which promote bowel movements, have been around for at least 4,000 years and were famously practiced by the ancient Egyptians. That shouldn’t be an endorsement; the ancient Egyptians also buried servants alive to attend to the mummified kings in the afterlife. Colon cleansing refers to a more invasive procedure of water and hoses stuck you-know-where. It’s not clear when this practice started.

All this is part of Mr. Wanjek’s Bad Medicine column. The article covers the history and “logic” of this practive, some of the whys of the rebirth of the practice, and why it’s wrong for you.  If you’d like something less (WARNING: scientific term ahead) icky to read that will educate you, here are some other recent Bad Medicine columns:

[tags]Bed Medicine, Colon cleansing, LiveScience.com[/tags]

Happy Birthday, Fidel Castro

I almost made it through the day without wishing Mr. Castro a happy birthday (because, like, you know he totally reads my web site and is waiting for me to send well-wishes, and all). So, here’s a bit from The History Channel on our favorite communist dictator whofidel_castro_mug_3.jpg lives only miles from the US.

1926 Fidel Castro born

Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro is born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba. The son of a Spanish immigrant who had made a fortune building rail systems to transport sugar cane, Fidel attended Roman Catholic boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba. He became involved in revolutionary politics while he was a student and in 1947 took part in an abortive attempt by Dominican exiles and Cubans to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. In the next year, he took part in urban riots in Bogotá, Colombia. The most outstanding feature of his politics during the period was his anti-American beliefs; he was not yet an overt Marxist.

The humorous part of Castro’s history?  In 1953, while trying to overthrow the current Cuban government with a band of rebels, roughly half of his troops were captured or killed.  Arrested for this, Castro argued he shouldn’t be jailed:

Castro was himself arrested and put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the Cuban government. During his trial, he argued that he and his rebels were fighting to restore democracy to Cuba, but he was nonetheless found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

So, Fidel, how’s that whole democratizing your nation going?

That said, happy birthday Fidel Castro.  We hope you get well from your recent surgery and all really soon.  And could you like, please stop being a communist dictator and all?

[tags]Happy Birthday, Fidel Castro, Cuban government[/tags]

This is how I feel right now

After spending a few weeks getting caught up on the site, and future dating enough material that I could go days without updating if necessary, I’m a little burned out.  Not on the site, but on everything else in life I have to deal with right now.  But that has put a drag on my having time and energy to update the site.  So, things might slow down over the next few days as I try to find time to get caught up and ahead of the game again.  In the meantime, here’s how I feel about most of the things I have to deal with in life.
giveadamn1ju.gif

[tags]Give a damn, Sometimes this is my life[/tags]

A look at computer interfaces (PC and Apple) from 1984 to present

(view MAKEzine blog)
A graphical look at graphical and semi-graphical user interfaces on Apple and PC systems from 1984 to present.  See what you have missed, if you just entered the computing world recently.  Shoot – I was into computers since way back then, and I even missed a lot of these interfaces.

system_30.png

 windows_100.jpg

[tags]Graphical interfaces, User interfaces, Computing interface evolution[/tags]

I don’t get it – why aren’t more travellers outraged?

The idiocy continues.  Our government has made a public relations move and disallowed all liquids on flights.  Rather than continuing to do real work that improves safety for travellers, they have made things worse by forcing anyone travelling with a dangerous liquid to pour it in a large receptable and expose *EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO COMES NEAR THE RECEPTACLE* to that liquid.  In other words, our government has increased the power terrorists have for disrupting our daily lives – moreso than they have already disrupted it by giving the government reasons to implement stupid policies that they’ve probably wanted to do any way.

But in same locations, the current levels of stupidity are not enough.  No, in same places, the inspectors are making people peel bananas to prove that there are bananas.

At Dulles International Airport near Washington on Thursday morning, one traveler reported that screeners were also making passengers remove all food items from their carry-on luggage for inspection, and one passenger was told to peel her banana.

[tags]Our government is staffed by idiots, Lose of rights continues in America, Let’s not let people take food either because they would be a way to top the idiocy of no liquids[/tags]