Tuesday, December 31, 2002
I saw someone from Countdown Entertainment on Fox News claim that the 83,000 watts of power required to light the ball are being generated using clean, green wind-generated electricity.
Can't you just picture it, pristine, clean, silent windmills churning away on top of NYC buildings, piping their captured green energy over to the sparkling, shimmering shining ball of consumption?
How, you ask, can they risk that there might not be enough fickle wind available to power their oversized erector set? How can an event attended by half a million and viewed by another 500,000,000 million people worldwide rely upon a power source as spotty as wind generated electricity?
Maybe they'll run some wind mills all week charging up batteries that they can use as a back up, storing up enough power so if the wind isn't blowing they can still claim to have powered the ball using wind power.
What they are going to do is arbitrarily declare that the ball's electricity, drawn off the same grid as every other damn thing in the city, is 'from' a windmill farm in upstate New York. That's right, ConEd is going to supply power to the ball from a grid primarily powered by fossil fuel generated electricity, but they are claiming that the 83 kW required to run the lights are magically the same 83kW that they are donating from the Fenner wind farm, even though there is no guarantee that the wind farm will be generating watt one at midnight tonight.
Electric energy entering the grid is fungible, and to claim that power from a windmill, which might not even be turning at midnight, is powering the lights of the ball is ludicrous feel-good bunk. That'd be like claiming that you could put a drop of distilled water in an twelve quart pot of tap water, stir, then reach in with an eye-dropper and pull out the same drop of distilled water that you earlier added.
The only wind power making this ball's light up is the hot air of those who are trying to politicize and "green" up this event.
Problem, discovered in the FAQ for tonight's celebration in Times Square.
Q: Will there be public restrooms available?Solution, the Sneaky Leaker.
No. There are no public restrooms available.
Then, with no sense of irony apparent, the FAQ offers up this advice:
Q: Will there be areas in Times Square designated for disabled persons?
A. The police will set aside a viewing area for disabled people, located on the northwest corner of 43rd Street. However, this area will fill up quickly and it is advised that disabled visitors arrive early in the day.
Monday, December 30, 2002
Sunday, December 29, 2002
By what grant of authority, or for the purpose of investigating what crime, does the FBI plan to investigate Clonaid's unlikely claim?Although another anonymous respondent assured me that "Human cloning is illegal in the United States. If Clonaid did in fact clone a human in the USA then they have commited a serious crime", a quick search of the US Code turned up no statute criminalizing cloning.
Can any reader shed some light on this one? Under what right, absent perhaps some federal research dollars being misdirected to fund this research, can the FBI spend time on this matter? FDA inspectors, maybe, but the FBI?
And how does this fit into its renewed focus on the war against terror?
UPDATE: I did quick Lexis searches in the US Code and the CFR and I found nothing criminalizing cloning. The linked yahoo article mentions:
The United States has no specific law against human cloning. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates human experiments, says its regulations forbid human cloning without prior agency permission, and it has launched an investigation into whether Clonaid illegally performed any work on U.S. soil.At most this is a regulatory infraction, so why is the FBI wasting time on this?
Another UPDATE: Justene of Calblog commented at LawMeme:
I think the reason why the FBI is "wasting time" on it is that the Executive Branch clearly opposes cloning and is going to do what it can even though the Legislative Branch has not made it illegal yet.I fear that I agree. I'd written an answer to my own question when I posted the first update but I wasn't ready to accuse Bush of using a federal police force for such blatantly politically motivated intimidation.
Friday, December 27, 2002
Over the years five people, including my sister, had taken me up on the offer. When I lived in the DC area I would bring people to the world-class NRA Headquarters range in Fairfax. Before heading to the range I would go over all the safety & range rules, familarize my student with the controls and operation of the guns that we would be shooting, and prepare them for the environment that they could expect at the range.
Today brought number student number six when I received an unexpected call from a coworker who was also off this week. I loaded up the trunk with my Ruger MK-512 (pictured), my Smith & Wesson Model 15 (no picture available), a bunch of ammunition and eyes and ears for both of us. I stopped by his house, did my pre-range spiel, then we headed off to Wolf's Range in Bristol, CT. My friend shot well for a newbie. Very well. He enjoyed himself, and though he reports he isn't ready to own a firearm yet he's pledged to apply for his Connecticut CCL, much the same way he obtained his scuba qualification despite his not owning any diving equipment.
So, there's my bit of one-on-one lobbying for the day.
At the height of shopping assistance my brother-in-law flew me to Chicago last year go car shopping with him.
More than just a bargain hunter, I enjoy helping people find well made goods at a competitive price that fulfill their needs.
I wonder if there is anyway I could make a career out of this.
Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized Limited Edition 5-Piece Super-Sized Set -- $99.99 including super saver shipping.
- 12-quart stockpot with lid
- 5-quart saute with lid
- 12-inch omelet pan
Thursday, December 26, 2002
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Monday, December 23, 2002
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) reported that the eight or nine Senators were unreachable and that their offices were closed for the holidays. I find that pretty damn suspicious that there were eight or nine Republican US Senators who did not know about the conference call and were unreachable in order to be notified of the call. With today's available technology how the hell could there be eight or nine Senators who are truly out of touch of their caucus' leaders? The guy who delivers my pizza has a cell phone & two pagers!
I figure either they did not want to participate because they have loyalty to Sen. Lott, they don't like Sen. Frist, and/or they are shacked up somewhere with their bimbos and they didn't want to come out of hiding for the call.
What next, Microsoft's Flight Simulator?
[Link via Politechbot.]
Sunday, December 22, 2002
For example I cannot find any mention of a very early multiplayer, real-time computer game called Galactic Trader (Gal Trader for short) that was developed (by Andy Payne, I believe) at Cornell University in the late 80's. Gal Trader was played on a system then known as vax5, a machine that also was widely used for email, some programming classes, mathematical simulations and usenet news reading/posting.
I also can't find any information online about Pratt & Whitney's line of American Association of Railroads gages, a product I believe they manufactured until around 1992. I can see that Precision Gage and Tool now manufactures gages like the old Pratt ones, but I'd like to know more about the Pratt gages.
What does this all mean? Not much, just that it is important to remember that the web often comes up short, so I guess we shouldn't get too dependent upon it.
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Friday, December 20, 2002
Nevertheless, I do have concern about where the line lays. Smoking raises our health insurance rates, but then so do cyclists when they are hit by cars. In addition, sometimes a bike could slow a driver down for a couple of seconds if the road is not wide enough to pass. Should we outlaw bicycles on public roads also?
Included in the meeting to vote on smoking was also a vote on using cellphones in theaters. While we are at it, why not ban them in restaurants and bars?
Not that bans work at all. I still see tons of people talking on their hand held phones in cars in the city. (Probably the drivers who are running down those damn cyclists.)
Thursday, December 19, 2002
Please go read Bill Whittle's thoughts on guns and freedom. No matter your position on the topic I think Mr. Whittle, who does not now and never has owned a gun, expresses clearly the true debate behind gun control.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Hmmm, I wonder if this might interfere with a certain German mega-conglomerate's plan to sell a tiny U.S. subsidiary, a division that happens to manufacture and design dual-use technology, to an Indian company, while downplaying technology export issues?
Link to article via The Hub.
Yes, this means that you can figure out my real I D by finding this Top 5 list.12 Jurors acquitting
11 Toxic torts
10 Defendants settling
9 Class actions
8 Hours of sleep
7 Hot secretaries
6 Egg shell plaintiffs
5 Slip... a-and... falls!
3 Plea bargains
2 Large judgments
And a new desk and leather chair!
But if you do, don't speed.
But if you do, wear your seat belt.
But if you don't, make sure you are driving a Ford F-150, because it is really the fault of the door latches that your are dead.
Your next of kin will remember you fondly.
(The Bloomberg story was more detailed, but not a public link.)
Monday, December 16, 2002
He's a chicken Chechen chicken checker.
And if he were an obsessive Onanist?
Mr. Hugh's clear and concise, yet not overly simplified writing makes economics approachable even for an econ-dolt like me. Look for his permalink coming later today.
The process began last March when Rawlings, saying he yearned to return to the classroom, announced he was stepping down. From there, the committee received about 1,000 nominations for possible successors, a list that was quickly pared down to 500.There you have it, admission from a high ranking Big Red official that diversity requires choosing less than optimal candidates for positions, placing idealism ahead of effectiveness.
The group of 500 was then winnowed to 100, then again to 35. It was those 35 who began receiving visits from search committee members last spring. Lehman was chosen from a final group of three candidates.
Among those considered for the job were women as well as people of color, a choice which would have been another Cornell first.
Instead, they chose Lehman, who is white, but who will be part of a group defending affirmative action programs around the country before the Supreme Court this spring.
Hewing to the very principles of affirmative action, Morgens said, the search was diverse and ended with the most qualified candidate.
"We did think that it was time for Cornell to have a woman president," Morgens said. "We did have finalists of color. (Lehman) is a white male. But we did not see sacrificing the interests of the university for the sake of diversity, but we did consider it."
I suppose in the long run such an approach is doomed to failure as less and less effective persons are placed in positions of high responsibility, the organizations that they lead will spiral down to deserved obsolescence.
(Aside: My failure analysis may not work as planned due to liberals merely preaching diversity as their highest goal, not acutally living it. "Diversity for thee, none for me.")
Sunday, December 15, 2002
UPDATE: I'm done, I think...
This one strikes pretty close to home as my lovely wife is a graduate of Michigan Law and I received my B.S. at Cornell. My wife's reaction, "Now why would he go and do that? He had a pretty sweet deal at Michigan and he loved being there. I guess he was just really sick of all the civil rights/discrimination lawsuits."
[Source: An email from Cornell to all alums.]
Saturday, December 14, 2002
On Tuesday I got a useful reply [from a message board], try the Secret Service, counterfeiting is their jurisdiction. I made my way to the under-renovation Federal Building here in New Orleans. After walking many a dark, scary hallway, found myself at the door of Agent Keith Lopola. Keith came out and heard my case. I had brought copies of all the emails between myself and Steve Matthews/Paul Smith/Mr. Christmas, a copy of the check, and the call journal I had started keeping. Agent Lopola told me the same thing the FBI did, "It falls under our jurisdiction, but we can't take the case."Your tax dollars at work. Here's a guy who did all the heavy lifting, tracking down the scumbag that stole from him, getting pictures of the sight of the drop, and setting up a sting, yet still he can't get anyone from the FBI, USSS or Chicago PD to get off their asses and arrest a likely felon.
On Friday in preparation for flying up I mapped the new address from the one for Mr. Christmas to see how close it was. As I looked at the map, it hit me. The new address wasn't in Chicago. It was in a suburb, Markham. I googled for the Markham police and 5 minutes later was talking to a very enthusiastic Sargeant Knapp. I had hit the jackpot, the new drop was outside of Chicago jurisdiction and therefore outside of their inattentiveness as well. Sargeant Knapp informed me he loved this kind of thing, even had a UPS and Fedex uniform ready. He'd call Fedex and they would set it up for Tuesday. I was certain I was dreaming. After talking to two detectives in Chicago, an FBI field agent, an agent in the New Orleans field office of the Secret Service, an agent with the L.A. Secret Service and having a conference call with a large group of agents from the Chicago Secret Service, I finally was getting somewhere. And I didn't even have to stand on someone's doorstep with a baseball bat to do it.
Kudos to you Sargeant Knapp and the Markham PD. You and your deparment, serving a community of just 15,000 people, were able to do what the might federal government could not be bothered to do.
Oh, and for what its worth, try to be sure and have all ebay payments in hand before shipping, and if possible conduct some part of the transaction through the US Mail since Postal Inspectors are not quite so lackadaisical as their alphabet soup federal brethen.
[Link from Reason's Hit and Run.]
UPDATE:The NY Times carried an article on this story on 12/19. Here's my favorite part:
And this week Mr. Smith got a call from an investigator with the Chicago Police Department responding to his first request for help. The investigator "suggested I put together a controlled drop like the one they had read about in the newspaper,'' Mr. Smith said. "I told them that was me, and that was this case."A week late and a donut short. Typical.
Friday, December 13, 2002
The better details are that a lady throwing cigarettes into a trashcan started the fire and then a car hit the husband after he visited his wife in the hospital. Hey, who could make this stuff up?
Unfortunately, the idiotic move of throwing cigarettes into the trashcan injured seven firefighters. Too bad there aren't laws about being stupid.
On the way to work yesterday, a pack of about 100 school kids was coming out of 70th street as I went to walk across. I looked up to see flames and smoke shooting out of a residential building at the other end of the block, near Lexington Avenue. To bypass the mayhem, I walked down and across 69th and looked back up Lex. Flames were shooting out of two end windows on the 6th or 7th floor. Pretty amazing sight, I have never seen something like that in person before. The flames reached up about two stories and the casement window frame on the floor above appeared to be burning also. Maybe the caulk holding in the panes is flammable? Smoke was also billowing out a couple of windows over on floor above also. I didn’t think that was supposed to happen in a high rise building. Maybe it is just the fire that isn’t supposed to spread.
The firemen were just putting up their ladders and tapping hydrants, so I stood and gawked. Not much seemed to be happening outside, but every now and then, a geyser of water would blast out of a window, so I got the impression that they were fighting it from the inside. After about 10 minutes, the flames suddenly went down.
I watched for another 15 minutes while they broke most of the windows out on the floor above to release the smoke. They used the truck ladders to break out some of the windows like a battering ram. Very cool, and a bit funny, because you couldn’t be sure they were doing it on purpose. (Oops! Charlie is not allowed on the ladder controls anymore.)
Finally, you could see the reflective stripes on the turnout coat sleeves as the firemen were breaking out the remaining windows from the inside. Those guys are nuts. With the smoke that thick, I doubt there was any way for them to see what was going on. Maybe they crawl along on the floor under it, but I was much happier to be on the outside.
The ironic thing about the whole event is that a month ago, there was a big fire at the building around the corner that backs right on this building. If Ithaca is the city of evil, I guess 70th and Lexington would be the corner of evil. The story behind the last fire was interesting. It was caused by a firebomb from the owners Nephew! Apparently, the Uncle fired him for stealing from the business. What do you say to your brother when your kid torches his livelihood? Two bystanders apprehended the guy as he tried to hail a taxi to make his getaway.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
The 1.5-liter bottles — with their white swoosh lettering and red background — resemble Coca-Cola, although Mathlouthi said his product is not designed to compete with any specific cola brand.I did a bit more searching and I discovered that virtually all of Mecca Cola's advertising slogans are directly traceable to past Coca-Cola slogans. Check it out for yourself.
|Year||This Original Coca Cola Slogan||Insprired this Mecca Cola Slogan|
you mix nerve agents.
Me, I take the opposite approach -- Because a freedom might be abused it must be celebrated, cherished and protected against those that would strip it for their own selfish reasons.
"He didn't ever seem like he flaunted his money," said Schnase, who knew Feussner worked at Microsoft.(The Dude's Personal Website - Google Cache)
"It didn't seem extravagant."Federal prosecutors said in a statement last night that Feussner used the millions to amass expensive watches and jewelry, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a Hummer, a Mercedes 500 SEL, and Ferrari 355 Berlinetta, a Jaguar Vandenplas and a motor yacht.Just what would Feussner have to be accused of buying for it to "seem extravagant"?
Nope, I think Ted Turner is an asshole because he continues to say crap like this.
"I went from no money to a pile of money as big as the World Trade Centre, and then just like the World Trade Centre, poof, it was gone overnight. That's terrible."Aside: Why are donations to the UN deductible for computing U.S. income taxes?
(From today's Hindustan Times.)
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Monday, December 09, 2002
However, we find that even Tuba City has an evil past:
"Two years ago, they closed down the (high school) band program because of lack of interest," Welch said. "And Tuba City didn't even have any tuba players when it did have the band."
Saturday, December 07, 2002
Rush Limbaugh has suggested, obliquely, but on several occasions that he has non-public information that convinces him that Tiger Woods is actually a fairly conservative guy. Perhaps this whole corner-Tiger and make-him-be-a-good-liberal tactic of the NYT is merely an attack designed to compromise any future strength Tiger might have should he choose to flex his political muscles.
Friday, December 06, 2002
I invited Tuba Boy to join this blog because everytime we talk he has something interesting to say, a cool take on the world, or just a great observation on life in the big city.
He claims he will be posting only once a week or so, but I suspect once he starts posting he will want to post more often than weekly.
I'll update the email address on the sidebar as soon as he provides me with a suitable cleaned anonymous email address.
(BTW- Tuba Boy is living proof that playing Tuba doesn't hurt your chances of getting into an Ivy League University.)
Capt. Mark A. Aguirre, who oversaw the Aug. 18 raid designed to curb drag racing along the 8400 block of Westheimer, and Ken Wenzel, a sergeant in his South Central Patrol Division, were each indicted on five counts of official oppression.WooHoo!
Unfortunately, though, the article also includes this:
Acting Police Chief Tim Oettmeier told Houston City Council in September that any future operations on the scale of the controversial Kmart raid will have to be approved by the police chief in writing.OK, so Official Oppression like this might happen again in the future, but now we at least have the assurance of the chief signing off on it. Whoopee.
Maybe, just maybe they should have a policy disallowing actions like this, not one that just assures that higher heads will roll should everything turn to crap again..
Now if Racine, Wisconsin could just get its head out of its ass.
Anyway, one of its columnists, who goes by the pseudonym Hank Hill has started a blog of his own. I linked to one of his articles back in October, and I expect to be linking to his blog in the future.
Welcome to the Blogosphere!
Thursday, December 05, 2002
I worked that summer on an unjust conviction and imprisonment case that had been heard by another Court of Claims judge, a judge who passed away after the trial but before he drafted his opinion. I listened to the transcript tapes of the entire trial & reviewed all filed papers. My post is based upon this experience and a quick refresher peek I took at the Court of Claims website today.
Claimaints (what plaintiffs in the Court of Claims system are called) must not only prove that they are not guilty of the crime for which they were convicted/imprisoned, they must also demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that they had nothing to do with the crime, and that "he did not commit any of the acts charged in the accusatory instrument or his acts or omissions charged in the accusatory instrument did not constitute a felony or misdemeanor against the state."
The burden of proof required for a plaintiff to prevail on a case brought for wrongful imprisonment under the Court of Claims Act is very high, so high that the Judge I interned for stated that it could almost never be met. He told me that essentially someone had to prove that they are not only innocent, but that they never admitted guilt nor claimed to have any role in the crime.
So, right off the bat any plea-bargained defendants can never bring a claim, nor can anyone who has ever made any admission of complicity in the crime.
Defendants must in essence prove themselves not just innocent, but they must have maintained all along that they are innocent, and they must not be guilty of any lesser crimes arising out of the original incident.
I'm not terribly familiar with the fact pattern in the Central Park Jogger case, so I leave it as exercise for the reader to determine applicability.
UPDATE: Just to be clear, this discussion deals with what it takes to win a monetary judgment against NY State for unjust conviction and imprisonment. It presupposes that the claimaint has already had their conviction(s) overturned.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
FEDERAL SECURITY SCREENER CHARGED WITH THREATENING TO BLOW UP SECURITY CHECKPOINT AT BRADLEY AIRPORT STATE POLICE HAVE CHARGED A FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION SECURITY SCREENER AT BRADLEY AIRPORT WITH THREATENING TO BLOW UP A SECURITY CHECKPOINT IN TERMINAL A.
WAYNE SALVADOR, 50, OF SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS IS CHARGED WITH THREATENING AND BREACH OF PEACE.
STATE POLICE SAY SALVADOR GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT WITH ANOTHER SCREENER MONDAY, THREATENED TO HARM OTHER EMPLOYEES AND BLOW UP THE CHECKPOINT.
SALVADOR WAS ARRESTED EARLY WEDNESDAY WHEN HE SHOWED UP FOR WORK AT THE AIRPORT AND WILL BE ARRAIGNED AT ENFIELD SUPERIOR COURT.
This must be that new Federal Professionalism we were promised.
"Eminent domain should be used for true public projects, not to take from one private land owner to give to another wealthier land owner," King wrote. "That is wrong and it should stop in Connecticut and throughout the country."I am reminded of a few of the scenes incorporated into Forever Ephemeral (Low Bandwidth Version) over at AntiAntiWar in which government a bureaucrat arrives in a moving van at a couples suburban home, telling them that they have been reassigned housing on the other side of town because their house has been assigned to another family.
-- Martin King III
Monday, December 02, 2002
Hey Toast! Who Is Jimmy Choo?
In a general sense, the idea of any voluntary activity or organization being "non- profit" is a conflict in terms. All voluntary activities must be beneficial, or at least expected to be beneficial, or no one would undertake them. In common use, then, non- profit has come to mean non-monetary-profit. But even in this sense, one can make a pretty good case that often there is no such thing as a non-monetary-profit activity either. Accounting legerdemain is simply used to classify profits as costs. A lot of people have become very wealthy running or working for non-profit organizations. Yet, fiction or not, the idea of non-profit organizations and activities is widespread and probably growing.The entire piece is just over 2,000 words, all of which are worth reading.
Start With End With
Year 0 500,000 40% Growth gets you 700,000
Year 1 700,000 40% Growth gets you 980,000
Year 2 980,000 40% Growth gets you 1,372,000
Year 3 1,372,000 40% Growth gets you 1,920,800
Year 4 1,920,800 40% Growth gets you 2,689,120
Year 5 2,689,120 40% Growth gets you 3,764,768
Year 6 3,764,768 40% Growth gets you 5,270,675
Year 7 5,270,675 40% Growth gets you 7,378,945
Year 8 7,378,945 40% Growth gets you 10,330,523
Year 9 10,330,523 40% Growth gets you 14,462,733
Year 10 14,462,733 40% Growth gets you 20,247,826
Sunday, December 01, 2002
During a two-hour conversation in his cozy, memento-filled office in New York City this fall, Betts leaned back in a moment of reflection. "If I were speaking to students at Yale, I would tell them to immerse themselves in what they love. Immerse themselves and the success will come," he said, breaking eye contact and staring into the middle distance. "Never do anything for the money; that's just sick."Time and again this theme shows up, do what you love and the money will follow.
And don't forget to make all those needed connections while you are obtaining your Ivy League degree(s)....