Friday, October 26, 2007

Beautiful Lady

The Elissa, a 100+ year old tall ship anchored in Galveston, is sailing in a race from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas. Y'all that haven't been blessed to live in Texas will remember her from the Statue of Liberty celebration parade of tall ships back in 1986. The officials couldn't let her be first; that honor went to the Constitution. She sailed in last, the oldest ship there in full glory, a sight worth waiting for as they passed the Statue of Liberty. Here's a video of her recently shot for the race.

Or you can look at this photo gallery.

Wow! I love looking at her, especially under full sail. I'm just too far away from Galveston right now to justify the gas money. Taking the kids out of school to let them see her under full sail - yeah, I can justify that! They did get to tour her this past summer though on vacation. The tour includes almost the whole ship and they even let you crawl up into the sleeping quarters. Boy, the ship has gotten a lot smaller from when I was a kid and toured it.

If my brother had been born a girl, my parents were going to name him Elissa after the ship. Not that my parents are somehow connected to the ship, but my dad is a history nut and the Elissa is romantic history alive today.

Good luck Elissa!

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm Smarter than a California 8th grader!

Thanks to D-Ed Reckoning, I found a state exam from California consisting of questions from their 7th and 8th grade math, reading, science, and social studies test. I'm glad to be able to say that I passed all sections with a 100%.

Overall, I don't think the test was bad. I can definitely say that there's no way to measure a student's knowledge over the year with this few of questions. There were two questions in social studies concerning the pyramids that seemed to contradict each other. I had to think a bit about the physics questions. All the math I was able to do in my head or logically eliminate the other possible answers.

Take it for yourself!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Texas Aggies in the News

Aggies with Meningitis

There are two Aggies who contracted Meningitis recently. The good news is that one of them went home yesterday. Our prayers are with you both!

Aggies in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal concerning the school and and school officials' liability from the Bonfire Collapse of '99. A lower court ruled that the school and officials cannot be held liable. The whole case revolved around some new concept of law called "state created danger."

Aggies Being Insulted

A fraternity from Texas Tech has managed to insult Vick fans, Texas Aggies and, the scariest of them all, animal rights activists. Yeah, the shirt is nasty and degrading but I don't think they should be banned from selling it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is the HPV Vaccine a Failure?

If the data from this article is correct, the new HPV vaccine is a complete failure, a total disaster that needs to be pulled from the market immediately for further testing. It has been available just one year in a limited market capacity and already there are eleven deaths.


US Death Toll Associated with HPV Vaccine Jumps to 11 with 3779 Adverse Reactions Reported

WASHINGTON, DC, October 5, 2007 ( - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, yesterday released new documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, detailing a total of as many as eleven deaths related to Merck's HPV vaccine Gardasil. Those deaths resulted between June 8, 2006 - when the vaccine received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - and August 2007 when the latest data was available.

The adverse reports coming from the HPV vaccine are increasing daily at an alarming rate. A report which scanned a publicly available database of adverse affects coming from the HPV vaccine found 3,137 adverse effects reported on September 28, 2007. Today the US Government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) lists 3,779 adverse effects. 52 of the cases were deemed "life threatening" and 119 required hospitalization.

The article continues by highlighting two cases, one teenager found dead and another that experienced paralysis and lesions on her optic nerve. The reports obtained by Judicial Watch from the FDA can be viewed in their entirety. I admit I don't know why vaccines can cause such a wide range of side effects but it seems to be the case for many vaccines, not just this one.

My heart goes out to those parents.

Monday, October 08, 2007

What Texas Really Thinks

From Fox News:

WASHINGTON — President Bush, who presided over 152 executions as governor of Texas, wants to halt the state's execution of a Mexican national for the brutal killing of two teenage girls.

The case of Jose Ernesto Medellin has become a confusing test of presidential power that the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears the case this week, ultimately will sort out.

The president wants to enforce a decision by the International Court of Justice that found the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexican-born prisoners violated their rights to legal help as outlined in the 1963 Vienna Convention.

That is the same court Bush has since said he plans to ignore if it makes similar decisions affecting state criminal laws.

"The president does not agree with the ICJ's interpretation of the Vienna Convention," the administration said in arguments filed with the court. This time, though, the U.S. agreed to abide by the international court's decision because ignoring it would harm American interests abroad, the government said.

Texas argues that neither the international court nor Bush has any say in Medellin's case.

Now, this Press Release from the Govenor's Office does not directly relate to this case, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how we Texans REALLY feel.

From Governor Perry's Office on August 21, 2007:

Statement by Robert Black, spokesman for Texas Governor Rick Perry, concerning the European Union’s appeal that Texas enact a moratorium on the death penalty:

“230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.”

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Needed: A large vacuum

I'm rather glad to know that, had I been in a situation like this, my husband would pick me up and walk us both out of there. In fact, had Mr. Peloski done just that, I'm sure he would have scored big points with the independent voters floating around right now. A "real man" earns a certain level of respect from society, even today.

From the Washington Post:

Whoopi Goldberg: Pelosi Admirer Extraordinaire

Sure, politicians always appreciate a warm welcome when they appear on daytime TV talk shows. But the welcome House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got today on ABC's chick TV show "The View" was more than warm - it was downright steamy.

Even before Pelosi walked on stage to take her seat at the round table, the show's moderator, Whoopi Goldberg, and its co-hosts - with former news anchor Barbara Walters leading the pack - started flirting with the speaker's husband, Paul, who was seated in the front row.

"You wanna take a look at Nancy Pelosi's handsome husband?" Walters asked the audience.

Yes, came the answer in the form of whooping and hollering. Poor guy was actually blushing. Then the show's hosts asked him how long he and Madame Speaker have been married.

"Forty-four years," Mr. Pelosi managed between pained glances in the direction of a blanket, a paper bag, anything to hide under.

Whoopi got the pleasure of introducing Speaker Pelosi, who she noted is the first woman speaker of the House who, somewhere along the way, managed to raise five children.

But Walters was still stuck on Mr. Pelosi, unfortunately for Mr. Pelosi. And this is where a little blushing turned to a Code Red alert, four-alarm fire.

Trying to shout over Whoopi and her other gabbing co-hosts and excited audience members, Barbara turned to Guest Pelosi and said she has heard Whoopi say before that she'd "do Paul Newman."

"And I think she'd like to do your husband as well," Walters deadpanned in that quintessential accent that made her the subject of late-night lampooning over the decades.

Of course, Whoopi being Whoopi, she couldn't let that one go, which is where the
speaker begins blushing.

Yes, Whoopi implicitly acknowledged, she'd like to do Mr. Pelosi - but she might take his wife while she's at it. "I would do her as well. But we should wait on that because you're still in office, I don't want to cause a problem."

Oh dear, would this were not live TV.

As you might expect, Speaker Pelosi remained silent underneath her signature permanent smile. And her press office later remained predictably mum on the specter of Whoopi-on-Speaker action.

You might also want to check out the comments left on this story. Quite a few of them are downright funny.