Unintentional climate change humor at the Washington Post

July 15, 2009

Despite the woes afflicing the daily press, The Washington Post still makes space for humor, even on its opposite-editorial page.  Here’s a humorous piece on cap-and-trade legislation to fight climate change, published I would guess with an eye to the date of July 14, the anniversary of Bastille Day.  Is it unintentional humor?

Unemployed?  Let ’em eat airplane-hunted caribou soaked in petroleum, eh, Sarah?

Palin’s piece doesn’t ramble as much as her press conference on quitting the governor’s chair, but it makes about an equal amount of sense.  While whining that the current legislative proposal is the wrong way to go, Palin doesn’t hint at what might be the right way to go to reduce air pollution, help prevent global warming, and keep energy available.

Churchill noted that democracy is the worst form of government ever devised by men, except, of course, for all the others.  Obama supports cap-and-trade legislation that is the worst thing we could do, except for anything else proposed, and especially except for doing nothing at all.


American Airlines welcomes pets, at JFK Airport

July 15, 2009

Old buddy Jack Keady writes:

I swear – I don’t make this stuff up:

Cats and Dogs Welcome (and comfortable) at JFK
American Airlines has installed a new Pet Relief Area at the JFK International Airport in New York. More»

Is this important?  Ask anyone who travels with a beloved four-legged critter.  Well, we don’t have to ask — AA vet Dennis Crosby tells the story:

I think it is a great idea.  Every time we take our dog to Ft. Myers, airport palm trees get irrigated immediately upon arrival.

Could have really used this at DFW about 3 years ago.  On the way home to Chicago via a connection, my family and I experienced an air interruption about 30 minutes out of DFW. Back at the gate in front of Dickey’s barbeque, we were advised that we would leave in 4 hours at 515 PM.  Went to the Admirals Club and tried to keep an eye on updates.  Final check revealed that the flight had left in 2 hours , 10 minutes before I checked for the third time with the folks at the reception desk. Given that it was on a January 3, our options were  few – they finally put us on a positioning 777 five hours later. Needless to say, we could not keep our pup, whose vet prescribed sedative had worn off much earlier, inside his soft sided carry on bag.  The zipper broke and out burst Marshall, our Bichon Frise.  He is a nice dog, and he eventually made friends with everyone in the Admirals Club when he slipped out of his leash.  At that point, I was beyond caring.

Anyway, about an hour before departure, I took little Marshall to the men’s room and did my best to show him what to do.  I am sure that image must be quite horrific to most of you.  Marshall elected to ignore me and make friends with the other folks there as well.

As departure time came, we realized that the zipper on Marshall’s bag was irreparably broken.  My wife Patti took the shoelace out of one of her tennis shoes and we literally “stitched” him back in.  And then we flew home to Chicago, looking at that point very much like the Clampett family.  After a missed approach in icy fog at ORD, we finally got to the claim area 16 hours after our initial flight had left FLL.  Nature being what it is, Marshall had an immediate explosive decompression of his own, right there in the claim area of my alma mater.  Luckily, most of the folks pushing through the claim area did not notice – or at least did not notice until sometime later.

Great idea at JFK.  I urge AA to build one at ORD too. I know Marshall would be grateful.

O’Hare used to have large ficus trees throughout its terminals, and small flocks of resident sparrows who blundered in through open doors or ramp doors.  One crowded winter night I watched a guy sneak his pup up into the large pot holding one of the trees to irrigate it.  When he caught me laughing he explained the dog had been cooped up for more than eight hours, four of them stranded on some runway waiting for Air Traffic Control clearance.

I pointed out to him that American had far more trees in its area than United did, and he should have been glad to be flying American.  He said he would watch for trees in other terminals.

Too bad that guy doesn’t read this blog.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Jack Keady.  Keep us posted on all the important stuff, Jack!

Trouble at the Texas State Board of Education: Social studies curriculum

July 15, 2009

I’m posting on the run from an AP Summer Institute at Texas Christian University, so just the facts.

Today’s Fort Worth Start Telegram featured a story on the social studies curriculum battles in the Texas State Board of Education.  It’s one of those stories that does well in presenting the facts, but for the sake of “objectivity” treats the yahoos of the review committee — David Barton and Peter Marshall in particular — as respected academics.

Of particular note, a very brief summary of the credientials and comments of the “expert” reviewing panel.

Should Texas be worried?

See immediately previous post with the address to listen to live webcasts of the Board’s meetings this week.

No man’s life, limb or liberty: Texas State Coard of Education in session

July 15, 2009

Starting at 1:00 p.m. Central today, the Texas State Board of Education will be in session.  You can listen to a live webcast of the meeting here.

According to the note I got from Steve Schafersman at Texas Citizens for Science, this is the agenda today:

Important agenda items include 3. Ethics Training, 4. Legislative Update, 6. Discussion of Expert Reviewers, and 7. Discussion of Texas High School Graduation Requirements.

More meetings tomorrow and Friday — they should all be webcasts.

80/20 Day: July 15, 1848, birth of Vilfredo Pareto

July 15, 2009

Happy 80/20 Day!

Italian economist, engineer and political activist Vilfredo Pareto was born on July 15, 1848, in Paris, where his father had fled due to political difficulties.

Pareto should be more famous, for his explanation of the 80/20 rule, and for his contribution to making better things, the Pareto chart.  Many economic texts ignore his work almost completely.

Vilifred Pareto, Wikipedia image

Vilfredo Pareto, Wikipedia image

His contributions, as accounted at Wikipedia:

A few economic rules are based on his work:


%d bloggers like this: