None of this nor the rest of the grimness on the front page today will matter a bit, though, if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe.
Scientists say that is very unlikely — though they have done some checking just to make sure.
The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.
But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years — namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead.
I took some time off from the proverbial political mud season. I apologize, I know everyone sits on pins and needles awaiting my latest pissing and punditry. It gets tiring trying to follow the daily slinging. It can leave a person mentally incapable of doing anything other than reveling in reality TV to escape, um, reality.
I have some disturbing news and this will come as a shock. There are some really serious problems in the world. I apologize that you had to learn this on a hack web site fiasco like this. I guess that's just the way life rolls sometimes.
You are thinking "Whatevs Seth, I gots a hair appointment, who cares" or if you are like me a new razor and a beer; same endgame, who cares.
After a couple weeks of Bosnia trip this and Reverand Wright that, I think it is prudent to remind ourselves that despite what mainstream media would like us to believe; shit is really tough right now. Remember these; the war, the economy, and the climate. It appalls me that there are still those on mainstream television that refer to global warming as that "theory". Apparently the dislodging of a iceberg 41 km long by 2.5 km wide from the Wilkins Ice Shelf is due to theoretical warming or perhaps Yukon Cornelius moved south. Seriously, this is not a theory anymore, this is not 50 years out, this is now and we sit here debating whether Hillary was shot at in 1950 by Bosnian snipers or if some nutjob pastor makes the junior senator hate the US of A. Since you probably missed it, here is a quote on the iceshelf:
The entire ice shelf - the size of the Hawke's Bay region - is now in danger of disintegrating.
The destruction was captured in satellite pictures from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States.
Scientists said a thin strand of ice about 6km wide was all that was stopping the remaining 13,680sq km shelf from collapsing.
Professor Tim Naish, of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre, said the breakup was part of a pattern seen for about 50 years. Ice breaks were fully expected.
"They're likely to be a more frequent event."
The Antarctic Peninsula had warmed by about 2½ degrees in the past 50 years - more than other parts of the world. Remnants of the shelf could end up near New Zealand, he said.
I spent some time this week researching expat life in South Africa, reasons for which are unimportant. Holy snikeys, that place is a ever worsening mess. I am American, so I don't really pay attention to much, especially Africa. Here are the headlines from today's Star, the local paper for Johannseburg:
Cop fired after sexual harassment 2008-03-28 08:16:11
A senior Johannesburg metro police official has been fired and two others have quit.
Woman hijacked in Lombardy East 2008-03-28 08:14:31
A 40-year-old woman who came home at 1am has been hijacked, Johannesburg police have said.
At last, an unsuccessful ATM bombing 2008-03-28 08:20:32
Two ATMs have been bombed outside Pretoria, police have said.
'I could smell the stench of a dead body' 2008-03-28 07:14:24
Top cop Piet Byleveld has testified in the Pretoria High Court.
Attacked 'for being black and causing sh*t' 2008-03-28 10:29:42
Two young men claim to have been beaten up by "40 white men" after watching rugby at a prestigious Joburg school.
Unite to fight crime, says broken dad 2008-03-28 10:09:03
The father of slain dancer Esté van Rensburg has asked South Africans to declare war on crime.
Makes me glad I have never been hijacked, shot, or car bombed, beverages withstanding. Needless to say, I won't be experiencing expat life in South Africa anytime soon.
So back to this DemoBrat mess, which sucks I might add. I wrote a couple weeks ago that the Superhero Delegates needed to man-up and put this thing to bed. It would appear that the need has only increased in urgency as Chris Dodd says:
I think the race has been determined, anyway, at this point. I think it’s very difficult to imagine how anyone can believe that Barack Obama can’t be the nominee of the party. I think that’s a foregone conclusion, in my view, at this juncture given where things are. But certainly over the next couple of weeks, as we get into April, it seems to me then, that the national leadership of this party has to stand up and reach a conclusion. And in the absence of doing that — and that’s not easy and I realize it’s painful — but the alternative, allowing this sort of to fester over the months of June, and July and August, I think are irresponsible.
and my friends at Reuters put it bluntly:
Somebody forgot to tell Hillary Clinton the Democratic presidential race is over and Barack Obama won.
Clinton has not been hearing those words of encouragement from a chorus of media commentators and Obama supporters who have questioned why she is pursuing her uphill fight to catch the Illinois senator.
The Politico newspaper declared Clinton "has virtually no chance of winning." A New York Times columnist called her campaign "the audacity of hopelessness" -- a pun on Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope."
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Cabinet member for her husband Bill, the former president, said it was time for Democrats to rally around Obama -- and was called a "Judas" by Clinton loyalist James Carville for his views.
Yes, this was a particularly low quality post, but admit it you learned something. Well I have moved my purple bracelet back and forth so many times that my wrists are all sorts of chaffed, I need some sleep and beer.
"I try to avoid getting killed..."
You know we ended up with the knucklehead Wolf Blitzer after George I's Iraq escapade. The only upside to George II's malay in the sand may be the emergence of Michael Ware as a primetime anchor. We can only hope.
So peremptorily did these shades beckon him, that each day mankind and the claims of mankind slipped farther from him. Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.
The original intent behind the "weekend review" post was to actually provide some personal insight into each of the topics. Unfortunately, it would seem that time ran short and I posted this morning just before boarding my flight out of Vermont at 5:30 am. Upon boarding the Philly bound flying cylinder, I slowly pulled out a slightly tattered, very much treasured, copy of "The Call of the Wild". The slightly overweight cookie cutter business traveler sitting beside me stated with honest surprise, "Call of the Wild?, Jack London?, I didn't know anyone still read that."
My decision to pull the book from its dusty resting spot directly stemmed from watching "Into the Wild". As far back as I can remember, this book has been my favorite and has maintained an hidden influence over much of my life. On the inside of the cover is a brief Christmas note from my Grandparents dated 1986, I was ten. There must be countless copies scattered across the world bearing similar messages. Now I know that the collective view of this book is to put it into the child reader's realm. While I feel it is an important book for the youth, the true brilliance is in the evolving message that seems to change with every reading as you age.
It took me around 3 hours to plow through the pages, yet it moved me every bit as the first time. I think every now and again we all need to be reminded the roots of our existence. Obviously we all choose separate paths to honoring these roots; some hunt, some camp, and some travel and we all explore in our own way. I think I will get back to those roots this summer and start introducing my wee one to them.
To close, here is an interesting tidbit on the book from a reviewer on Amazon.
Jack London's letters about the publication of "The Call of the Wild" reveal an all-too-common story that would make any author and most sympathetic readers cringe. In 1903, Jack London was hard up for cash and had just completed the manuscript. He sold the serial rights to the Saturday Evening Post for $700 and, since the editors were not all that keen on his first choice, suggested the title "The Sleeping Wolf." (Interestingly enough, the magazine version did not even include what has probably become the book's most famous scene: when John Thornton blusteringly makes a wager that Buck can pull a sled weighing half a ton.)
Soon after, Macmillan agreed to take a chance on the unknown writer and offered to publish the book for $2,000, with no royalties. By this time, London had warmed to his initial title, "The Call of the Wild," but left the final choice up to his editor. Both the magazine and the book publisher reluctantly used London's now-famous title, and seven years later London wrote to his editor, reminding him of his tin ear: "I'll be damned if that very muchly-rejected title didn't become a phrase in the English language. This is only one of many experiences concerning titles, wherein editors, booksellers, and publishers absolutely missed."
But it still boggles the mind that London earned a grand total of $2,700 for a book that quickly sold more than two million copies.
The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn today’s McMansions into tomorrow’s tenements.
by Christopher B. Leinberger
The Next Slum?
Strange days are upon the residents of many a suburban cul-de-sac. Once-tidy yards have become overgrown, as the houses they front have gone vacant. Signs of physical and social disorder are spreading.
At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, 81 of the community’s 132 small, vinyl-sided houses were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in. In December, after a stray bullet blasted through her son’s bedroom and into her own, Laurie Talbot, who’d moved to Windy Ridge from New York in 2005, told The Charlotte Observer, “I thought I’d bought a home in Pleasantville. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that stuff like this would happen.”
I didn't realize this until yesterday, but I may really be a political pundit. It's not just the look either, it turns out that you really don't need to know much or be neutral. And you know what, you can earn a Carnival cruise ship full of coin doing it. I mean that slimy fool Mark Penn made $3.8M while flying the Billary campaign spruce goose into the side of a very obtuse mountainside. Wikipedia says, amongst other things, that the term pundit "has been increasingly applied to popular media personalities lacking special expertise...Pundit is also a slang term for politically biased people pretending to be neutral."
Whoa, I can do that, pay me, pay me. Now I know, merely stating that I can remain not so neutral and utilize the interweb as my medium to display my utter lack of expertise will not suffice, so here is my grand entry into punditry:
Hillary is Finished, It is True Because I said So
by S Nathaniel Beck,
Bad Colonies Chief Political Correspondent
The 405, Cali, Today
You think I am lying or worse you think I am jinxing the messiah, Obama, by counting the mythical Clintonistas out, thus guaranteeing some miracle rally down in Mexas and up in Oh"we elected Bush to a second term"io or you don't care. Most of you fall into the last grouping and suck. The thing is I am not lying and here's why.
1. She already conceded. Last night in the debate, bi polar Hills couldn't make up her mind. First she compared Obama to a copy machine and got booed. Then she gave up and decided why not save the meager amount of self respect ole Penn left me and concede in a thinly veiled final statement. Of course the media wants to say this was her greatest moment in the campaign and will turn the whole trainwreck around. Dumb. When a train wrecks, you don't turn it around, you clean up the mangled members of metal strewn across the countryside while the surviving passengers get on another polar express. Happily, they can sip some hot chocolate while digital Tom Hanks makes them forget what a mess they just escaped. Yes I am aware, it is not really relevant to compare this to a Christmas movie. Well other than the fact (speculation) that this supposed greatest moment in the campaign was stolen from the movie Primary Colors and/or (mostly and) John Edwards when he conceded in a debate with a thinly veiled touchy feely statement. Never mind, you don't care, I don't either to be honest.
2. Texas and Ohio, not so much love. As has happened in virtually every state since those rock face loving freedom phobes in New Hampster voted, Obama is tracking up in the polls. Wow, go figure, why could it be that people seem to like this guy who spews verbal petunias and has a paypal account the size of Fort Knox to advertise with. Now Ohio has a rich recent history of f'ning the rest of us, so I don't guarantee anything there. But Texmess, those cowpokers are going to bring it home and here's why. Texas is a primcauscus sort of state, meaning they have a primary during the day and then all the people not playing bingo can go yell at a caucus that night. Something happens with the split in delegates, but I know that Obama will clean up the caucus as his followers yell better. Then those silly Texicans divide up their delegates in some method that is even crazier than the standard mess Dems use. This means the places where Obama wins will get more delegates. Hillary loses Texas, Hillary loses Texas, I love Texas Toast, Hillary loses Texas.
3. Being Mean Didn't Work. Well maybe people aren't so stupid after all. My friends, the Clintonistas, found out a funny thing on the way to that mountainside. So they started to pick through the canvas shopping bag of dirt that Obama carries around. But then people started to pay attention to the Clinton's fleet of semis brimming with rubble and all of a sudden the public started to recall all the reasons the nineties did suck. Believe me they did, so stop kidding yourself, taking claim for a short lived interweb bubble economy doesn't count for good times. Plus people don't like mean people. Bumper stickers have stated this for awhile, though I take the position that "People Suck".
4. The Old Man is on the Ropes. Yeah you know that silly tabloid piece the NY Crimes wrote. Guess what, there is something behind that carcass of story. McCain's lawyers, including Bubba's criminal lawyer from that dirty dress deal in the faux fab 90's, gnawed away on the story for two months, until all that remained was a bunch of speculative poo. Wait, why do you hire a criminal lawyer specializing in sex scandals involving public figures? Never mind. Then a couple other papers stumbled onto the same info and were about to release their own speculative poo. This forced the Times to publish early before they could shine it into something less poo like and more journalistic like. None of that really matters, even though sex scandals are the bedrock of speculative poo and one of the sole ways to get 92.3% of the country to pay attention to politics.
What matters is that the straight talk express is suddenly back to its origin point of the Keating 5 station. This is going to be a slow bleed, keeping negative press around the grumpy old guy for awhile. Opportunity. Those Dem elders are going to meet around a fire out in Elko and realize that this is their chance to solidify their ticket around the messiah. The Dem race needs to end after March 4th. Otherwise no benefit comes from this windfall.
So What. Here's how it all wraps up, Hillary can't go on the offensive by being negative, she needs big wins everywhere (including VT), she is going to be pressured by the party to drop out if she sucks anywhere, and the only way to save her reputation is to drop out with a marginal amount of dignity as soon as possible. That is why Hillary is finished.
S. Nathaniel Beck writes exclusively for bad colonies, though he would write for anyone that would pay him in money or fish tacos. He is a completely biased supporter of Barack Obama and has absolutely no political experience. He lives in various airports begging for extra snacks from the angry US Air flight attendants.
After a break from the storms through most of the weekend, the next storm to impact the region will dump snow over the Interstate 95 corridor beginning tonight and lasting into Monday with some lingering snow Tuesday.
The Winter Weather Center is warning residents along the Interstate 95 corridor that a quick-hitting, but potent, nor'easter will deliver blanketing snow. The worst of the storm will be over New England, where snow can accumulate at the rate of 1 to 2 inches per hours and howling winds will blow and drift the snow, further hindering travel.
The Severe Weather Center is displaying current winter storm watches and gale warnings for New England. The center will update with new watches and warnings as they are issued.
The heaviest snow will bury New England with 6 to 12 inches. A narrow zone from northern Connecticut to just north and west of Boston will receive over a foot.