SF New Mexican:
Read about the Republican party’s switchover of candidates for Governor: Gubernatorial switcheroo kept under wraps. And read the comments and links. The expectation for the campaign seems to be: slime, slime, slime.
is buzzing with the news “WMDs were found!” Apparently 500 old pre-Gulf-War mustard and sarin shells were found, and are being fictionalized into a credible war threat by conservatives who can’t be bothered to Google a sliver of information ... in the vacuum of fact, the “woulda, coulda” arguments over Saddam’s intentions are renewed. We all expected our military to find old stockpiles of crap lying around from the Iran/Iraq War, Gulf War I, even from the long soap-opera build-up to Gulf War 2. We all knew Saddam was a dirty rotten dictator. This entire line of sensationalism is ridiculous. Read something reasonable.
I’d stick with the ‘promoting democracy’ raison d’être for war. The conservative weblog pundits are using unusually long-winded posts and flurried interlinking of their faithful peons to make this into a major story. Once again, weblogs are trying to turn the media bull by the nose ring. Move on to Iran and NK, if you please. You’ll waste our blogravitas on this one.
Later: From the Iraq Survey Group Report: “Iraq declared in its 1996 Full, Final, and Complete Declaration (FFCD) that it produced 68,000 155mm sulfur mustard-filled rounds between 1981 and 1990. Of those produced, Iraq has not been able to account for the location or destruction of 550 155 mm shells. The bulk of 155mm destruction occurred between 1993 and 1994 and many of the log entries show that the mustard was partly polymerized, which is consistent with our findings in the recent sulfur mustard rounds.” 500 and 550 are too close to be a coincidence?
NRA unloads on U.N. “And the American people will never let you take away the rights that our 4th of July holiday represents ...” According to the Declaration of Independence, I would assume the rights they’re talking about are, “... as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” Banning illegal arms trade will benefit all those ‘rights’, except perhaps illicit Commerce ... is that what they wish to defend? Putting Mr Bolton in the middle of this is putting the bull in the china shop (scroll down to the paragraph with footnote 10).
Osteoporosis and Bears; Bears may hold the secret to keeping our bones healthy. “... levels of a hormone known to promote bone growth, called parathyroid hormone or PTH, actually increase during hibernation.”
I ran across: “For every $30 billion in new spending, the average American needs to work an additional day out of the year to pay the cost of government.” That means, with the current costs of the Iraq war, we have to work another 9.6 days a year ...
Important caveat: Read the comments on this post. Too simplistic for reality. Consider my last comment a ‘correction.’
looks at the changeover at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Like it or not, many modern technologies came out of military development ... GPS, medicine, dry cleaners, the Internet, etc. etc. This made me chuckle, though: “Too many sensitive jobs—not just those of the researchers, but of the thousands of support staff at the laboratory—are at stake for New Mexico’s representatives in Congress to let the place close.” Not just representatives ... thank you, Senator Domenici, for keeping us afloat, if only barely. What others would call “pork”, New Mexicans call one of the only major employers in the north of the state. Pork is not the black-and-white subject some would have you believe. Nevertheless, I’m opposed to building nuclear triggers here, especially now that Santa Fe will begin tapping water from the Rio Grande (Los Alamos is upstream).
Volunteers are setting out to ease an invisible – and growing – problem among seniors: isolation. The breakdown of traditional family gifts both seniors and children with terrible effect, IMHO. Both lose valuable stimulation. I was one of those strange children who sought out elders, to hear their stories, to sit rapt and soak in character, prejudice and knowledge. Life eventually parsed the false from the true, the usable from the chaff. I would not trade those trembling voices, those fragile faces, for mere book learning. The voices of experience bring better lessons, and much more entertainingly. If nothing else, patience is taught ... something that is in short supply these days.
Tangential: See Susan Kitchen’s Family Oral History site.
Fact-Checking the Veep. “It’s been over a year now since Dick Cheney declared that the Iraqi insurgency was in its ‘last throes.’” Mission anything but accomplished, in other words.
After Fiery Attack, Md. Woman Finds Meaning in Taking Bold Steps. You’re doing a great thing, Ms Cade. I salute you from afar.
Relief for consumers as natural-gas prices drop. “The price of natural gas has fallen about 50 percent since hurricane Katrina drove up prices last fall. As oil prices hover around $70 a barrel, analysts say the spot price of natural gas now equals the energy potential of oil worth $41 a barrel - a differential that is spurring businesses and utilities to start switching over to the less costly fuel.”
Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Hands-on Preview. Gotta love a real shutter-speed dial and an aperture ring ... though that ring looks too narrow for my big hands. I assume image quality will be similar to the Olympus E-330, which will mean not quite as fine as the Canon Rebel XT.
Also, the review of the Nikon P3 makes it very attractive as a budget 8MP.
Chronicle of Higher Ed:
Professors of Paranoia? “Academics give a scholarly stamp to 9/11 conspiracy theories.” And not a one of them probably ever set foot into one of the towers in their lives, or stood at the base and looked up to see them twist and lean in the winds. Not a one was ever there to see the express elevators taken off-line for high winds. Not a one has ever worked on a blue-collar construction project, to experience cost- and corner-cutting in action. They all assume the Trade Center was ‘perfect’ as constructed from plans (this was NYC, folks). To them, a building’s a building, an unmovable monolith. Thintelligent thinking. Noone’s ever confronted them to ask, “The Trade Center towers contained X volume of air within its structure. As the building collapsed, where did the air go?” As the floors pancaked, the air blew out the windows on floors immediately beneath the collapse, shooting out the contents of the towers ... computers, desks, people, paper, foodstuffs, chemicals & flammables (because of the height, A/C and sewage and other services have to be sectioned vertically), you name it. Likewise, not a one of them seems to have ever flown a plane, and therefore have no knowledge of the lightweight construction of aircraft (vs. fuel weight). How many air crashes have we seen on CNN, where no wreckage was left due to the combination of velocity and fire? Many.
Bottom line, for me: Stop wasting time with this, and come up with a low-cost way to manufacture hydrogen, for transportation.
New e-Book Standards Pushed. Weren’t they going to be using non-proprietary XML? I’ll have to dig further, as I have time.
Aside: Don’t know what’s up, but Wired is rendering really strangely on my copy of Firefox. Anyone else lose formatting, too?
NY Times Travel:
Frugal Traveler is in Montenegro.
Drug Prices Up Sharply This Year. Ask grandparents and seniors if this is true, rather than listen to the bureaucrats.
NY Times Dining & Wine:
A Sip, a Smile, a Cheery Fizz ... on picking and drinking Prosecco.
NY Times Education:
A Third of U.S. Dropouts Never Reach 10th Grade. Hideous, simply hideous.
SF New Mexican:
Pentagon announces mission for Cannon AFB. “... threatened with closure after its F-16 fighter squadrons were ordered elsewhere, will become a special operations base that will train crews to fight the war on terror ...”
SF New Mexican:
6 workers sue for alleged minimum-wage abuse. Ducking the living wage law.
“A Museum set in Nature.” Dig around. Very cool.
SF New Mexican:
“A woman accused of pummeling a dog breeder over the head with a dead Chihuahua has been charged with two misdemeanors and reimbursed the money she paid for the puppy.”
Simplest solution to staying in shape:
Eat less, move more.