Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Childhood's End

Another one of the giants of science fiction's golden age is no longer among us. Arthur C. Clarke was 90 when he died today at his home in Sri Lanka. News accounts here, here, and here.
Clarke was a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction. He's probably best known as author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but he also developed the concept behind the constellation of communications satellites that ring our planet 23,000 miles above the equator. His idea of a space elevator in Fountains of Paradise has always been one of my favorites, and with the development of carbon nanotubes is now within the realm of possibility.

(Photo from BoingBoing showing Clarke and friends on his 90th birthday.)

DOOM! – details at 11

It appears more people are beginning to consider that Al Gore's Theory of Global Warming and Carbon Credits to Assuage your Liberal/Green Guilt scam lunacy may, after all, be an inconvenient untruth. Christopher Taylor offers up a very interesting post on the reportage of climate change over more than a century that proves the point that the news media's cry of "Doom!" every time the temperatures goes up/down/sideways is nothing new; it's what they do.

The truth is, climate change has always been with us, because the only thing we can predict about the weather is that it will change. That's what makes it weather: it's different from time to time. Over the long term, it can vary from warm to cool, dry to wet, and so on. We'll get more storms a while, then fewer, that's how it works. What we cannot conclude is that we're all going to die in some tremendous climate catastrophe unless we all stop driving SUVs and buy Al Gore's carbon credits.

Are we on this Good Earth going through climate change? Of course we are; variability is a basic ingredient to climate. The larger question is how much does mankind's presence impact climate. When one volcanic eruption dwarf's the entire "carbon footprint" of mankind since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, one has to consider that we are not that significant in the grand scheme. It seems to me solar cycles and tectonic activity are far more important drivers of Earth's climate.

And while we're on the subject of debunking that Oscar-winning Wingnut, Al Gore, my favorite gun-totin', goat ropin' blogger, Stacy makes Weather Channel founder John Coleman her Manly Man for this week, for having the stones to call out Al Gore and his Carbon Offsets for the fraud they are. So says Stacy:

Mr. Coleman however, has been tossed aside by the MSM (sarcastic gasp goes here). They refuse to listen to this man who was actually educated in meteorology, and instead, worship at the feet of a politician. Mr. Coleman’s desire to continue this fight, and force an intellectual debate has him contemplating legal action.

Mr. Coleman's views have not been exactly embraced at the Weather Channel either. A shame that what should be a lively intellectual exercise into real scientific research is instead deigned to be dogma.

What say you?

Remember them as they fight for you!

My niece, who is stationed at a hospital in Iraq, passes this story along:

For those who are unaware, the National Anthem is played before every movie in military theatres in the U.S. and abroad.

This is attributed to Chaplain Jim Higgins, who offers this example of why our service men and women serving in Iraq are among the best America has to offer:

He writes, "I recently attended a showing of Superman 3 here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as for memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature.”
The chaplain’s story continues, “All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way
through The National Anthem the music stopped. Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments; and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.”
“Here, the 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music began again. The Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped.”
“What would you expect to happen? Even here, I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start.”
“But you could have heard a pin drop. Every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:
"And the rockets red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave

The chaplain concludes, “It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq . I
just wanted you to know what kind of soldiers are serving you here. Remember them as they fight for you!”

Let us remember to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad.

The above photo shows Airman First Class Deborah Korenoski briefing Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne on the work of medical staff at the USAF Hospital in Balad, Iraq.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Troops in Iraq starved for entertainment?

A strange congruence of events has led me to change the topic of today's post. Originally, I had planned to discuss the issues surrounding the soon to be former Governor of New York.
But then I received an email from my niece, a member of the U.S. Air Force, who is deployed to a hospital in Balad, Iraq.
It seems she and some of her fellow service members have managed to find entertainment of an adult nature - a peep show. Here's the photographic evidence:

It's okay to laugh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I got nothing

Have to write for a living.
Enjoy this blast from my past:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hunting digital TV signals

This is the output of an excellent tool used to estimate what digital TV stations you may be able to receive over the air. This is from a site called TV Fool, and it is run by a brilliant TV engineer. There are other reception simulation sites out there, but this one is by far the most accurate I've come across.

I'm on the road this week, so expect light posting and even less lurking on my favorite blogs. :)