Surely you watched "Firefly" in its brief run on television, right?
And surely you bought the awesome DVD set that included unaired episodes, right?
Then surely you'll agree that September is a long time to wait for this.
"Opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making." -- John Milton
Surely you watched "Firefly" in its brief run on television, right?
Here is a link to a video news release about the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker which contains a brief glimpse of the bird itself (as well as archival footage from over 60 years ago). (Hat tip: Laura Erickson's Birder Blog, which also has a number of entries on the find.)
I still haven't fully embraced the MacOSX, and though I now spend more time in OSX than I do in OS9, I'm still more comfortable with OS9, having worked on Macs since the days of OS6. OSX was such a departure from the usual way of doing things that I was (and to an extent continue to be) reluctant to let go of the known and take a leap of faith into the unknown.
Well, this is cool news.
Once a dominant creature of great Southern hardwood forest, its numbers dwindled as logging increased. The woodpecker inspired one of the first conservation efforts in the nation's history, but its seeming failure turned the ivory bill into a symbol of loss. The last documented sighting was in Louisiana in 1944.
But the ivory bill lived on as a kind of ghost in rumor and in numerous possible sightings. Despite lengthy expeditions, no sighting was confirmed, until Feb. 11, 2004.
On that date Gene M. Sparling III sighted a large woodpecker with a red crest in the Cache River refuge. Tim W. Gallagher at the Cornell Lab saw the report from Mr. Sparling on a Web site where he was describing a kayak trip.
Within two weeks Mr. Gallagher and Bobby R. Harrison of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., were in a canoe in the refuge, with Mr. Sparling guiding them.
Mr. Gallagher said he had expected to camp out for a week, but after one night out, on Feb. 27, he and Mr. Harrison were paddling up a bayou bounded on both sides by cypress and tupelo when they saw a very large woodpecker fly in front of their canoe.
When they wrote down their notes independently and compared them, Mr. Gallagher said, Mr. Harrison was struck by the reality of the discovery and began sobbing, repeating, "I saw an ivory bill."
Mr. Gallagher felt the same. "I couldn't speak," he said.
Once Mr. Gallagher convinced Dr. Fitzpatrick of Cornell, the effort to confirm the sightings began in earnest, and the result, published in the online version of Science, carried the names of 16 people from seven institutions who participated in a search that turned up seven confirmed new sightings and a blurry bit of videotape.
Now here’s creative sentencing, and I’m tempted to say that this could only happen in Wisconsin where season tickets to Packers games are jealously guarded.
Sharon E. Rosenthal, 59, of Appleton will decide whether to donate her family’s Packer tickets for the next season to charity or serve 90 days in jail as part of her sentence for one felony count of theft. She was sentenced in Winnebago County Circuit Court Friday.
The criminal complaint states that Rosenthal had taken money totaling more than $3,000 from labor union accounts prior to leaving the organization’s membership. The check transactions were later discovered. When interviewed by police, Rosenthal said the money was taken and later reimbursed from her husband’s retirement fund. She withdrew money from the union in order to help pay household bills, according to the complaint.
While Rosenthal told police financial hardship was an issue, she and her husband managed to maintain the cost of four tickets to the Packers’ three-game season package.
Rosenthal argued that the tickets were her husband’s rather than hers. Judge Scott Woldt nonetheless offered her the decision to either serve the jail time or donate the 12 tickets for the upcoming season to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Football Fans for Truth (hey, wait . . . they're not "Football Fans and Beyond" anymore? When did that happen?) points to proof that where two or three fans of something are gathered together, there a webpage will be in their midst. I mean, how many members could the Poseidon Adventure Fan Club actually have?
Okay, so I finally changed the "Mp3 of the Week" which turned into the "Mp3 of the Month," but hey, it was Don Chaffer of Waterdeep, and how can you go wrong?
Was this ad campaign developed by Pokemon-saturated high fructose corn syrup-addled tragically hip first graders? Because I do not get it.
Sorry sorry sorry. It's been a busy week. And when it wasn't busy, it was far too nice outside for me to spend it sitting in front of the computer. But a change is on the horizon, and within the month I may be back up to my regular posting level, because there's no way I'm giving up this blog. But in the meantime, y'all may have to put up with these extended absences, and plain ol' boring entries.
What? Diamond Jim Doyle rejecting a tax increase? A tax increase proposed by Republican lawmakers? What is this? Bizarro Wisconsin?
Hoping to reduce the number of smokers while shoring up the financially troubled Medicaid program, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill Wednesday to raise the cigarette tax by $1 a pack.
But lawmakers on the Legislature's budget-writing panel, as well as Gov. Jim Doyle's administration, might have snuffed it out before it gains momentum.
Doyle's top deputy, Department of Administration Secretary Marc Marotta, told the Joint Finance Committee that Doyle doesn't support any tax increases, including those on tobacco sales. And some committee members added that they wouldn't back it, either.
This week I'd noticed that a number of flags around Our Fair City were at half-mast, and I couldn't figure out why. Then it occurred to me that it was probably for the Pope. Rather unexpected, given that he wasn't an American, but on the whole I think everyone would agree that it's a nice gesture.
An anti-religion group is denouncing Gov. Jim Doyle's executive order to lower flags to mark the death of Pope John Paul II.
Doyle's directive appears like "an endorsement of Roman Catholicism over other religious viewpoints," according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
On Saturday, the governor praised the pope as both an inspiration spiritual leader and a man who has made "a significant impact on social justice." Doyle cited the pope's fight against communism, his opening of dialogue with other faiths, and his fight for peace around the world.
The governor's office today noted President Bush had directed that flags be lowered to half-staff at all public buildings. The governor's directive matches the president's order.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, saw the pope in a different light from the governor.
"The pope was the world's leading sexist," Gaylor said in a statement issued today. "Why should Wisconsin women be expected to revere his anti-woman, antediluvian teachings?" The pope also had been critical of gay marriages, the statement noted.
"Let's reserve the honor of half-staff for true American heroes," Gaylor said.
Hmmmm. How did she feel about flags at half-staff for Ronald Reagan? I wonder . . .
Anyway, here's a link to the group's statement. Oh, look! Reagan is mentioned!
Has there ever been anything like this media adulation? Whole front news sections were devoted yesterday to "His Holiness," as if the whole world were Catholic. It is hard to imagine the death of any world leader summoning the same kind of uncritical coverage, with the possible exception of an assassinated U.S. President. Former Pres. Reagan's death last summer certainly rated nothing like this.
(Hat Tip: Ghost of a Flea)
Vampire bats' thirst for blood has driven them to evolve an unexpected sprinting ability. Most bats are awkward on the ground, but the common vampire bat can bound along at more than 1 metre per second.
Researchers made the discovery at a ranch in Trinidad, with five adult male vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus), which they caught using cows as bait.
They put the bats on a treadmill inside a Plexiglas cage and recorded their movements with high-speed video. . . . After one short walk on the treadmill the bats mastered both the dynamics of the machine and recognized the purr of the motor. "Vampire bats are ridiculously smart," Riskin says. "As smart as a dog."
In the wild, vampire bats feed on the blood of large animals such as cattle, horses and pigs. They sneak up over the ground and make small incisions in the skin (usually the heel) of sleeping prey.
"Bats take a long time to feed," explains Colin Catto of the London-based Bat Conservation Trust. "If they were trying to hover for all that time they would expend an awful lot of energy."
The Pope wasn't the only person who passed away while I was taking a blogging break.
It must have been about 15 years ago. The concept of co-dependency was just making the rounds at the time. A friend of mine was interested in learning more about it. She decided to attend an open Codependents Anonymous meeting. When I met her afterwards, I asked her how it went. "Ridiculous", she replied. "There was a woman there who described her mother as saying, "Here, take a lozenge. I have a sore throat."
"What's wrong with that?" I playfully rejoined.
This funny episode became a sad object lesson to me today, as I began to see my American brethren as (maybe) fitting into the roles of just "co-dependent" people, good people, compassionate people, but pathologically overidentifying with how they thought they would feel in Terri's place. It is, of course, impossible for anyone to know how they would really feel. Any student of elementary logic knows that A cannot be B unless all the attributes of both are equal. This is one of the big rational problems with relativism. Yet, these moral relativists were in so much pain looking at Terri and thinking about how they thought she must be feeling. There had to be a way to stop those intolerable feelings. "That's it!" they concluded.
"Here, Terri. Let's have your feeding tube. I have a sore psyche."
A couple weeks before the Pope's death, I started writing a post about him, but never got around to finishing or posting it. What I was going to say is similar to what my colleague Mark said over at Stones Cry Out. This Pope's firm stance on moral issues made him a stong ally of evangelical protestants --an alliance that is, perhaps, unprecedented in the history of Christendom. And let me echo what Mark said here:
At a time when theological liberalism was as likely to take over the heart of the Catholic Church, he was called by God to be a bastion of support for orthodoxy.
"He is extremely saddened, he is in grief. He loved the Pope," said Adnan Agca. "They developed a personal friendship while Mehmet Ali was (imprisoned) in Italy, and they had announced their brotherhood.
"The Pope showed my brother and the rest of our family closeness. He was a great man," Adnan Agca said, adding he and his mother were received by the Pope six times at the Vatican over the years.
Greg at What Attitude Problem says "Gene Robinson is a goiter on the body of Christianity."
A goiter? Why a goiter? Well, while you're pondering that, ponder this: in recent comments, Rev. Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church of the U.S. whose ordination made headlines not too long ago, seemed to be hinting that Jesus was gay.
Bishop Robinson, whose consecration in 2003 triggered a schism between evangelicals and liberals in the worldwide Anglican Communion, was giving an address entitled "Homosexuality and the Body of Christ: Is There a New Way?"
In answer to a question from the congregation about how the acceptance of homosexuality could be squared with the scriptural emphasis on redemption for sins, the Bishop replied: "Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values, this man that we follow was single, as far as we know, travelled with a bunch of men, had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved' and said my family is not my mother and father, my family is those who do the will of God. None of us likes those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was at heart, in his earthly life.
"Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be all and end all of God's creation probably don't find that much in the gospels to support it," he said.
While Robinson certainly doesn't come right out and say it, he does seem to be strongly suggesting it, while at the same time severely downplaying the importance of the nuclear family. (Maybe this can form the plot of a new Dan Brown conspiracy thriller. "Oops! I was wrong about the whole Mary Magdalene thing.")
Commenting on this post at Stones Cry Out, Greg says:
I consider Gene (I refuse to endow him with a title) a goiter and not a cancer. A cancer is potentially fatal. A goiter is a growth that is not life-threatening, merely ugly to look at and a nuisance to live with. The condition can be treated with a combination of diet and surgery.
More apologies for such a long absence. I'm sure I've lost the three readers that were trying to stick it out.