Saturday, November 12, 2005

Question Authority

I saw this story on Primetime (link via Dean) (the online written report leaves out a great deal, including the comment I’m about to address, but you probably don’t want a lot of the details they left out – in fact, you probably don’t want some of the details they include). The victim that they profile said that her parents always taught her to do what adults say without question. The very idea of telling a child that, knowing how many sick and twisted adults there are out there, horrified me. I even remember my Dad telling me when I was little that adults aren’t perfect – sometimes, they’re wrong. Or, in this case, do wrong. Not that my father needed to encourage me to question authority. But pretending that authority figures will never abuse their power simply increases the likelihood that they will. If no one ever questions them, they have no accountability. That is a dangerous thing indeed.

Quote of the Day - November 12, 2005

King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard! You've got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes, I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.

- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (hear it here)

Friday, November 11, 2005

True Cell Phone Addiction

If you can't even hang up while you're robbing a bank, you have a problem. Seek professional help.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Space Tractor

Hmmm, don't tell my dad about this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tim Kaine's Eyebrow Hypnotizes Virginians, Convinces Them to Elect Him

On Tuesday, Virginia voters went to the polls to elect their next governor. There, they were haunted by the memory of Tim Kaine's eyebrow and, fearing retribution from the demon that possessed it, they gave him the governorship. Now it has control of the 12th largest state (by population) with 2 Senators and 11 Congressmen. Can it hypnotize or frighten the citizens of Virginia into voting more Democrats into the House and Senate in next year's election? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Definition of Failure

Hmmm. Someone has Google-bombed Dubya. His biography on the White House website is the first page that comes up when you do a google search for failure. Conservatives, not to worry. Michael Moore comes in second.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Deadly Tornadoes Strike Indiana and Kentucky

The death toll in Indiana is rising as the search for survivors and the assesment of damage continues.

I've covered hurricanes here all season. But a hurricane is incredibly predictable compared to most natural disasters. You have days of advanced warning. And even if the point of landfall is off my 50 miles, a hurricane is large enough that an area that large would have been on alert anyway. As deadly as this season has been, it could have been far worse if not for the prediction and warning systems in place.

Tornadoes are another matter. They are smaller, form and disappate quickly, and do greater damage to a surgically precise area. Sometimes they appear on radar, sometimes they don't. If you are lucky, you get several minutes warning. We've gotten better at predicting tornadoes and sending out warnings, particularly in areas prone to tornadoes where alarms are set up to warn those who don't happen to be watching tv or listening to the radio. You may get as much 30 minutes warning as opposed to 2 or 3 minutes warning. But this tornado hit at 2 in the morning when most people were asleep. Unfortunately, the death toll of this one may be particularly high due to little more than poor timing, since a warning was issued at 1:30 am. Preliminary reports put this tornado at an F3.

This season has actually had amazingly few tornados, especially considering the number of hurricanes that have hit land (since hurricanes tend to spawn tornadoes). Tornadoes don't often form this time of year, so hopefully this was a fluke.