Friday, December 30, 2005

Tropical Storm Zeta has Formed!!

Tropical storm Zeta formed overnight.  What's the record for the latest forming tropical storm?
 
 

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>JjV<

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Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

Real-time US Air Flight Activity

 
Check out the current activity and animated versions of this image.  Cool stuff!!
 
Found via Fark
 
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>JjV<

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The tree of liberty grows only when watered by the blood of tyrants. - Bertran Barere

Thursday, December 29, 2005

You Know You're From Louisville When...

  • Your "International" airport has only one passenger flight that actually leaves the 48 contiguous U.S. states
  • The in-state sports rivalry is paid more attention to than the national championship.
  • You live in an area that occasionally gets considerable snowfalls, floods, and tornadoes... but has no capacity to deal with any of the above.
  • You pronounce the name of your city different than anyone else you've heard.
  • You think the rest of the people in Kentucky sound like hicks.
  • When you think "Kentucky" you don't automatically think horse racing or fried chicken.
  • You ask your doctor for an allergy cure and he tells you to "move."
  • You've shovelled 10+ inches of snow and worn shorts in the same week.
  • When people ask what school you went to, they don't mean Vanderbilt, Yale, or Harvard; they mean Ballard, Male, Manual, Trinity or St. X.
  • You know what the Bambi Walk is.
  • Your last ten vacations were in Panama City or Destin.
  • You make an emergency run to Kroger for bread and milk at the first sighting of a snowflake.
  • You've lived here for years, yet somehow you get hopelessly lost each time you attempt a shortcut through Cherokee Park.
  • You're convinced turn signals are useless options on a vehicle.
  • You hold up traffic to let a motorist you don't know into your lane.
  • You give directions based on landmarks that no longer exist or street names that have changed, but your directions never confuse any of the other Louisvillians
  • You have never been to the Derby, but wouldn't miss the Oaks.
  • You call in sick to attend the Oaks and spot your boss - who also called in sick - at the next betting window.
  • You think all the REAL hicks live in New Albany.
  • You think the only thing Southern Indiana is good for is buying pumpkins.
  • When introduced to another life-long Louisvillian, you spend the first part of the conversation finding out how you are connected. It's never as many as six degrees of separation - usually three will do it.
  • You think a pervert is someone who would rather have sex than watch basketball.
  • You've built a shrine to Rick Pitino in your basement.
  • You can read about Rick Pitino in at least three different sections of your newspaper.
  • You think the rest of the world knows what Benedictine spread is.
  • You think the rest of the world knows what a Hot Brown is.
  • You have never eaten fish that wasn't fried.
  • You think the whole world puts spaghetti in chili.
  • You want another bridge built over the Ohio River, just so long as it doesn't cut through YOUR neighborhood.
  • You've experienced a "salt storm" after a two-inch snowfall.
  • You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Louisville.

Found here

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>JjV<

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When your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat everything you find like a nail.

Another Day, Another Blog Editor

Here's a test post using Qumana blog editor.  Pretty sane interface and configuration.  Guess We'll see if this graphic makes it into the post.
 
>JjV<
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Ninety-nine percent of the people in this world are fools. The rest of us are in danger of contagion. -Thorton Wilder

 
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

johniacsDesktop

johniacsDesktop
johniacsDesktop,
originally uploaded by johniac.
Took a snapshot of my desktop to enter the LifeHacker desktop contest. I have 9 url's from weather.com embedded in my active desktop along with 4 Yahoo widgets, Weatherpulse local conditions applet and NASA's Space Station locator url.

w00t!!

>JjV<
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I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding. - Ben Johnson

Monday, December 26, 2005

The American Taliban II

Proponents of Evolution and/or Intelligent Design have hacked the web site of Scott Seigler hosting his new novel/Podiobook Ancestor. I found out about this through the Dragonpage weblog.



I continue to be amazed at the length, breadth and depth of extreme tactics these individuals will go to in their attemps to shove their religious memes down the throats of the rest of us.




BTW: I listened to Scott’s first book, Earthcore and it was excellent. I recommend both Earthcore and Ancestor to any scifi/horror genre fan.




PS Evo and Michael: Please feed the loons who attacked Scott’s site to the Dragon.





>JjV<

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I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him. - Theresa of Avila

Friday, December 23, 2005

Season's Greetings


Thanks Tom

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The American Taliban

Jeez.... How is it that a tiny minority gets so much press? Leave the girls alone!!


Dolls Draw Conservatives' Ire

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(CBS) With $379 million in sales last year, the American Girl dolls are just like the girls who adore them — wholesome and sweet and rooted in American history.

They were a huge hit in the Wiesner household.

Claire Wiesner says, "They are so much fun to play with and they seem so real." Her sister Elena adds, "And they're really pretty."

Renee Wiesner, Claire's mom tells CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinski, "Everything that they sold to us seemed very consistent with our values."

That was until the Wiesners found out that the American Girl company donates money to an organization called Girls Incorporated, which offers support to underprivileged girls. Girls Inc. also endorses Roe v. Wade — the right to abortion and it promotes acceptance of homosexuality. It's an association that families like the Wiesners are protesting with their wallets.

"This year, we're not going to buy any of the products for Christmas," Wiesner says bluntly.

And some are taking it a step further. The Pro-Life Action League is calling for a boycott of the dolls. Some Catholic schools have cancelled American Girl events.

"They take a position that I am 100 percent against which would be in telling girls abortion is a solution for them," Wiesner says.

American Girl, which just launched its first ever major ad campaign in its 20-year history, released a statement saying it is "profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts."

Also Mattel, the maker of the doll has decided it will not renew its partnership with Girls Inc. which runs out this year.

And next year we'll find out if that's enough to bring back the American Girl's conservative consumer base.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clarification: American Girl responded after viewing the CBS report, saying while they considered the report fair and balanced they wanted to point out the "I Can" program and Girls Inc. partnership was always planned as a 2005 initiative and the end date of Dec 26, 2005, was mutually agreed upon by both parties.


© MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

People fleeing pricey coastal states for South, West

Just as well since the next few years will see multiple hurricanes reducing southeastern seacoast property to junk-yard status!


People fleeing pricey coastal states for South, West

By Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg, USA TODAY

The quest for affordable housing and jobs is driving Americans from expensive coastal states to more moderately priced parts of the country, according to an analysis of Census population estimates out Thursday.


Halfway through the decade, people continue to leave states such as New York and California and spill into parts of the Southwest, Southeast and Rocky Mountains. (Related: State population estimates)

In the 12 months ending July 1, Florida gained more people (404,434) than any other state for the first time in at least 15 years. Despite four hurricanes that hit the state last year, Florida added an average 1,100 people a day, bringing its population to almost 18 million. If that pace continues, Florida will overtake New York as the third-most-populous state by 2010.

Other highlights in the data:

�New York lost people for the first time since 1980. "New York state's losses were masked in the boom of New York City and its suburbs in the '90s," says Robert Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. "Once they slow down, even slightly, the decline Upstate becomes very apparent."

�California was not the top gainer for the first time since 1995. Most of the state's net gain of 290,109 came from births. The data show that 239,417 more people left California for other parts of the USA than moved in.

"It's a symptom of the new divide in housing costs between the expensive, congested, urbanized states such as California and New York and newly sprawling suburban states on both coasts," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank. "This whole half of the decade, housing has been an issue. ... The question is: Will it continue?"

�Largely because of strong job growth, Virginia gained more people (86,133) than the nine Northeastern states combined (59,880).

Population shifts ultimately have political consequences because seats in the House of Representatives are reallocated after the full Census every 10 years. Based on the latest estimates, five states would lose a seat, according to Kim Brace, president of Election Data Services, a Washington consulting company.

Texas and four other states would gain a seat. Texas could gain a second seat because Louisiana is likely to lose one once hundreds of thousands of residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina are reflected in Census counts, Brace says. Many evacuees moved to Texas.

The U.S. population's growth rate has slowed slightly since record growth in the 1990s. As of July 1, the population was at 296.4 million, but it may hit 300 million in 2007.

"The decade began with the economy off track, but the population boom kept rolling along and is on track to nearly match the record 1990s," Lang says. "The country found places to keep booming, shying away from the high-cost coasts and seeking the South and the mountain West."

Another test w Ecto

Trying a new version of ecto....

>JjV< http://johniac.blogspot.com
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...I'd even be willing to entertain the notion of a black hole passing over the area or some cosmic anomaly but it's not really black hole season either...Fox Mulder

Strain of bird flu resistant to Tamiflu kills two patients

From the Uh Oh department....

Strain of bird flu resistant to Tamiflu kills two patients
By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
Two Vietnamese patients have died after developing strains of bird flu that were resistant to Tamiflu, the antiviral drug that nations around the world are stockpiling in the hope of saving lives if a global pandemic occurs.
Their deaths, which took place in January, were reported Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. A third patient, a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl whose case was reported in Nature in October, also developed resistance but survived.
Health officials had predicted that the bird flu virus, H5N1, would evolve into resistant forms, which happens often with virus-fighting medications. But experts also say the deaths are a warning that countries are not yet prepared to deal with a pandemic.
Experts are unsure whether a flu pandemic is imminent, but they fear that the H5N1 virus could trigger one if it becomes highly contagious.
Fifty countries are stockpiling Tamiflu, which can be used to treat and prevent infections. Tamiflu's maker, Roche, announced Wednesday that U.S. regulators would allow it to market the drug to prevent flu in children ages 1 through 12, Reuters reported.
Roche can now produce enough of the drug to treat 65 million people but will make enough for 300 million patients by the end of 2006, says David Reddy, leader of Roche's influenza pandemic task force.
It still makes sense for countries to stockpile the drug because most patients respond to Tamiflu, says Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The New England Journal article said four of eight Vietnamese patients treated with Tamiflu survived.
But the study suggests doctors might need to use higher doses to prevent resistance, Reddy says. Roche plans to work with the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health on a trial that would give patients twice the standard dose of Tamiflu.
If that dose proves effective, nations might need to double their planned stockpiles, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. For now, he says, doctors just don't know the ideal dose.
Doctors might need to find other ways to treat bird flu should there be a pandemic. The same genetic changes that make the virus more contagious also could make it less deadly, Reddy adds.
Beyond Tamiflu, the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends stockpiling another antiviral, Relenza, says Andrew Pavia, a member of the group's task force on pandemic flu. Unlike Tamiflu, which is in pill form, Relenza is given through an inhaler and is harder to administer, especially to patients who are unconscious. Researchers are testing an injectable form.
People who misuse Tamiflu or stockpile it themselves could waste the drug or harm themselves by developing resistance, say doctors Allan Brett and Abigail Zuger in an editorial accompanying the New England Journal article.
Original article
>JjV<
---------------------------------------------------
Always remember... You are unique, just like everyone else.

Strain of bird flu resistant to Tamiflu kills two patients

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
Two Vietnamese patients have died after developing strains of bird flu that were resistant to Tamiflu, the antiviral drug that nations around the world are stockpiling in the hope of saving lives if a global pandemic occurs.
Their deaths, which took place in January, were reported Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. A third patient, a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl whose case was reported in Nature in October, also developed resistance but survived.
Health officials had predicted that the bird flu virus, H5N1, would evolve into resistant forms, which happens often with virus-fighting medications. But experts also say the deaths are a warning that countries are not yet prepared to deal with a pandemic.
Experts are unsure whether a flu pandemic is imminent, but they fear that the H5N1 virus could trigger one if it becomes highly contagious.
Fifty countries are stockpiling Tamiflu, which can be used to treat and prevent infections. Tamiflu's maker, Roche, announced Wednesday that U.S. regulators would allow it to market the drug to prevent flu in children ages 1 through 12, Reuters reported.
Roche can now produce enough of the drug to treat 65 million people but will make enough for 300 million patients by the end of 2006, says David Reddy, leader of Roche's influenza pandemic task force.
It still makes sense for countries to stockpile the drug because most patients respond to Tamiflu, says Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The New England Journal article said four of eight Vietnamese patients treated with Tamiflu survived.
But the study suggests doctors might need to use higher doses to prevent resistance, Reddy says. Roche plans to work with the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health on a trial that would give patients twice the standard dose of Tamiflu.
If that dose proves effective, nations might need to double their planned stockpiles, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. For now, he says, doctors just don't know the ideal dose.
Doctors might need to find other ways to treat bird flu should there be a pandemic. The same genetic changes that make the virus more contagious also could make it less deadly, Reddy adds.
Beyond Tamiflu, the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends stockpiling another antiviral, Relenza, says Andrew Pavia, a member of the group's task force on pandemic flu. Unlike Tamiflu, which is in pill form, Relenza is given through an inhaler and is harder to administer, especially to patients who are unconscious. Researchers are testing an injectable form.
People who misuse Tamiflu or stockpile it themselves could waste the drug or harm themselves by developing resistance, say doctors Allan Brett and Abigail Zuger in an editorial accompanying the New England Journal article.
Read the original.....
(Uh Oh.....)

>JjV< http://johniac.blogspot.com
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There is a difference between celibate and simply not getting any. It's like the difference between fast and starve.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The top 20 "geek novels"

From Jack Schofield


What are the top 20 "geek novels"?



Bold them, if you've read them......


1. The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams

2. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell

3. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley

4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip Dick

5. Neuromancer -- William Gibson

6. Dune -- Frank Herbert

7. I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov

8. Foundation -- Isaac Asimov

9. The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett

10. Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland

11. Snow Crash-- Neal Stephenson

12. Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

13. Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson

14. Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks

15. Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein

16. The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K Dick

17. American Gods -- Neil Gaiman

18. The Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson

19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson

20. Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham

Thanks Morgan


>JjV<

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That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists
trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.
- Calvin



Friday, December 16, 2005

Holiday Greetings

Scott sums up my feeling about all this talk about politically correct holiday greetings!!

Comic for 16 Dec 2005



PvP Store PvP Community


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Only those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ID May Be Coming to KY


Rumblings in the capital of our fair state to teach Intelligent Design (ID) in science class on the same footing as Evolution.

Intelligent Design is NOT at the same level of scientific theory that Evolution is. Teach ID in any religious or humanities class if you like, but do not teach it in science class which gives it the same implicit theoretical standing as Evolution.

Pete at BlueGrassRoots concurs.

>JjV< --------------------------------------------------- We don't know who discovered water, but we are certain it wasn't a fish. - John Culkin

The Band My Morning Jacket Offers Its Own Recall

Rolling Stone via EFF DeepLinks is reporting that My Morning Jacket is replacing copy-protected versions of their latest album Z with non-copy protected versions so fans can get the music onto their MP3 players.


Mike Martinovich, manager for My Morning Jacket, says that even before the revelation of MediaMax's security problems, his company had been mailing burned, unprotected copies of MMJ's new album Z to fans who complained that MediaMax prevented them from transferring songs to their iPods. "It should have been enough that fans are annoyed," he says. "But this should be the final reason."


God Bless Them Every One......


>JjV<

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Always remember... You are unique, just like everyone else.

My Morning Jacket: Live at the Palace



The up and coming group My Morning Jacket (aka MMJ) closed out their fall tour with their annual performance in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky on this past Thanksgiving eve. This year’s sold-out concert was held at the magnificent Louisville Palace on November 23rd 2005. The Palace is a renovated theatre from the late 1920’s with lots of ornate decorations in the Spanish Baroque motif and excellent acoustics.

MMJ consists of singer-guitarist and songwriter Jim James, bassist Two-Tone Tommy, drummer Patrick Hallahan, keyboardist Bo Koster, and guitarist Carl Broemel. Koster and Broemel are recent additions to MMJ replacing founding members Johnny Quaid and Danny Cash.

The band opened the two hour, 20 song set with three back-to-back songs from their newest album Z: Wordless, It Beats, and Gideon. The band’s sound was tight and focused from the get go as they tore into One Big from 2003’s It Still Moves. Based on the large amount of sing-along voices coming from the crowd this was one of MMJ fan’s favorites. The guitar breaks featured Carl and Jim performing dueling leads with excellent backing from the rest of the band.

Wonderful, from Z was next followed by Lowdown and I Will Sing from At Dawn and It Still Moves respectively. I Will Sing featured more of Jim James’s excellent electric guitar work. It seemed like each time he picked up his Flying V guitar the band’s sound would just explode and rock really hard. The acoustic number Golden followed with its haunting steel guitar riffing expertly layered under Jim’s vocals. The quirky Sooner from the Darla Records compilation CD.

The last track from 1999’s Tennessee Fire, I Think I'm Going To Hell came next. More haunting guitars with Jims’s lonesome voice providing the perfect counter-point to the weeping guitar track. Three more tracks from Z followed: Lay Low, Off the Record and Dondante. Lay Low’s pulsing drum beat and soaring guitar contrasted with the previous track and brought the audience back to life. The up-tempo mood continued with the growling intro to Off the Record and more blazing solos courtesy of Jim and his Flying V. Dondante brought the temp back down showcasing Jim’s fantastic vocals backed by a simple drum-bass guitar skeleton. The song built into a frenetic crescendo with the MMJ trademark dueling lead guitars again making an appearance.

Dancefloor from It Still Moves returned to the bouncy, danceable beat that is the hallmark of MMJ’s more accessible tunes. Dancefloor was followed by bone fide hit Anytime from Z which closed the band’s official set list.

The encore opened up with a pair of acoustic numbers with Jim on stage by himself. I Will be There from Tennessee Fire and Bermuda from At Dawn.

The rest of the band joined Jim onstage for At Dawn from the album of the same name. A pair of tunes from It Still Moves, Run Thru and Magheeta closed out the set ending the concert on a straight-on rock note.

All of MMJ’s hometown fans got a early Christmas present this year with an excellent concert from an very talented band.

You can access a recording of the concert from the Archive.org web site. You can either download the individual songs in various digital formats or listen to the entire show as an Internet Radio Stream.

Johniac
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Modesty in delivering our opinions leaves us the liberty of changing them without humiliation.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Orcas most polluted Arctic mammal



Orcas most polluted Arctic mammal from PhysOrg.com

Orcas, or killer whales, reportedly have passed the polar bear to become the most contaminated mammal in the Arctic.

[...]

What a Network Neutrality Rule Wants

From David S. Isenberg's musings about loci of intelligence and stupidity, isen.blog.  Good Stuff!!!

What a Network Neutrality Rule Wants


Network Neutrality, that is, a network that just delivers the packets, stupid, with no cognizance of what app, device, or end-user generated them, is an public good that gives rise to much innovation, value creation and economic growth at the application layer. It is the single greatest factor in the success of the current Internet.

But a Network Neutrality rule, even a strong one, can fail. Here's my thinking:

1. The carriers have huge incentives to discriminate, as a ground-breaking paper, entitled Towards an Economic Framework for Network Neutrality Regulation, by Barbara van Schewick clearly shows. One major finding is that a carrier does not need to be a monopoly to reap clear benefits from discrimination; carriers can benefit from discriminating even in a competitive market.

2. Anybody who says that there's no need for Network Neutrality because the carriers have no intention to discriminate is ignoring the carriers' huge incentives to discriminate. Please, Mr. Fox, guard my hen house; I know your intentions are pure. [Link]

3. No mealy-mouthed language. Any Network Neutrality rule must be iron-clad, with no possibility of misinterpretation. Because carriers will try to misinterpret it. Because they will have economic incentives to do so.

4. The punishment must fit the crime. Network Neutrality rules are not in the carriers' best interests. They put carriers in a self-competitive situation, that is, in a situation where following the rule is not in their self-interest. Therefore, if carriers stand to make billions by violating Network Neutrality, then the punishment must be in the tens of billions.

5. Physical network development is still a problem. Under Network Neutrality and competition, unless we find a way around the Paradox of the Best Network, carriers do lose incentive to build according to the latest technology. We need to solve this problem by confronting it squarely, by dis-entangling the network development issue from the network neutrality issue.

Network Neutrality is a clear case of public good versus private benefit. That's what regulation is for. In this case, competition will not replace regulation. We don't need any old Network Neutrality rule. We need a network neutrality rule that is (a) clear, (b) strongly enforceable, and (c) incents physical network development. Anything less is bound to fail.

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