Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow in all 50 States

Even Hawaii???
From the KBTX Weather Blog:

Thursday night snow was falling here in Bryan/College Station, piling up in Dallas/Ft. Worth to what would amount to be 12.5", and spreading east towards other parts of the United States. By Friday night, that same system even put a dusting of snow on the ground in the Florida Panhandle! That got us weather folk wondering, could there have been snow in all 50 states at the same time? After scientists in Hawaii scoured the mountain tops, it seemed as if they were the only state holding out meaning, only 49 of the 50 had snow on the ground.

Until this happened....

A graduate student out of University of Oklahoma named Patrick Marsh confirmed the milestone in his blog with this picture. Two tiny specs of snow atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii on February 13.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Technology Divides

I remember when my eldest child was 2 yrs old and I had to chase her away from the vhs tapes on our shelves.

By the time my youngest came about, now ten yrs old, I had to chase her away from our growing collection of dvds.

I did a double take as I chased my 2 yr old niece around the house yesterday though.  In her hands was the portable dvd PLAYER!

Wow, technology sure is changing fast but those little ones still know what they want.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Even Atheists Know

Take a look at this interview conducted by a Unitarian minister and a hardcore atheist. 
Marilyn Sewell:  The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make an[y] distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Christopher Hitchens:  I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
Which one is the Atheist?  Which one is the Minister?

Marilyn Sewell is the Unitarian Minister and the hardcore athiest is Christopher Hitchens, who wrote God is Not Great.  I think the Bible is very clear about many things, clear enough that an athiest knows.

h/t First Things

Monday, February 01, 2010

Food Police and the Obese

I recently watched John Stossel's program on food police and found it both informative and infuriating.  I'm sure Mr. Stossel would be thrilled to hear that. 

I don't remember the name of the lady guest so I'll just call her Ms. Food Police.  She kept saying she didn't want to restrict our freedoms but didn't think it wrong to dictate where and when goodies should be sold.  Nine out of ten ppl are obese because of life choices and therefore the government has to limit those choices.  To her, limited freedom was just as good as real freedom.   For example, she said that Girl Scouts and clubs shouldn't be able to sell cookies anywhere but in the grocery store.  She also agreed that BMI is just a starter for measuring actually obesity but then is also willing to make statements about the number of obese which are most likely based on general population BMI scores.  I felt she was full of double speak.

There was also a Mr. Food Police, a lawyer advocating for food warnings on fast food was also a featured speaker.  I found his proposal ridiculous, especially in light of the New York experiment.  Mayor Bloomberg ordered calorie information be put on menus to enlighten his fellow citizens as to how bad their eating habits were.  Unfortunately, the ignorant masses continued to eat the large restaurant portions.  Mr. Food Police really got my goat though when he insulted the next guest, Mr. Statitician, for not being a doctor.  How dare he talk about health science yet not have a doctorate!  Wait, isn't that what he is doing?  I hate hypocrites.

Mike Huckabee was also on as a guest since, as governor of Arkasas, he signed a bill authorizing the schools to weigh kids, calculate BMI, and send a letter home to parents with the information.  Mr. Huckabee wasn't that great at defending his policy though.  He stated that the state had an interest in keeping people healthy because it was going to have to pay for any health problems down the road anyway.  Though the statement is true, he didn't elaborate further to distinguish why this justification was okay in this instance, but not for the many times Food Police try to use this reason, money, to take away our freedoms.  Is weighing children an interference?  I would say no for two main reasons.  First, as Mr. Huckabee did note, the schools had traditionally take height and weight measures of the kids anyway.  Second, I would suggest that this is not intereference by the state, it's merely a public service.  The state spends funds telling you to buckle up, watch for ice on bridges, not to litter, and not to shake babies as a public service announcement.  The weight and BMI info is a public service announcement on a personal level.  I would say it only becomes interference from the government when it causes changes in your life.  Now if the school also sends home a letter saying their putting your kid on a special diet or exercise program, then that becomes interference.

Haitian Politics

Previously I had blogged about international complaints concerning the United States' humanitarian efforts in Haiti.  Yesterday, John Bolton hit back hard in an article he wrote for the New York Post.
Read more.

The motto for United States humanitarian relief efforts around the world, most recently in Haiti, should be “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” However much or little America contributes, someone complains, from those who think we unfairly have to shoulder a disproportionate share of the world’s disaster relief to those who think our response smacks of imperialism.