Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm sure this is not the last of this...

Yet another study showing no link between cancer and cell-phone use.


Largest Cell Phone Study Yet Finds No Cancer Link



I've worked on aircraft avionics and radar systems. It takes a hell of a lot more radiation exposure over a greater period of time than cell-phones can generate.

And the evidence speaks yet again...

Look familiar?

Berkeley Project

But this analysis of global warming was generated from a new study using a much more accurate model with less variables--i.e. reduced human error and interpretation.

Note to Mr. Rove: Climate Change is not dead.

Still works after all these years...

Women in Black holding silent protest every Friday.


After taking the picture, I yelled, "Keep it up--it's working!" They looked puzzled, so I flashed them a peace sign and they grinned.

Friday, October 21, 2011

From Daily KOS: What the 99% are whining about

From Daily KOS:

Friends we haven't met yet.

At Wicked Gelato I was interviewed by Noelle Dubay for a UMF class project on Writing for New Media.

Noelle is creating an encyclopedia of Farmington residents. Since she is a newcomer to Farmington--and has fallen in love with the place--all the people she's interviewing are strangers to her. So she has given her project the working title of Strangerpedia. The title is partly a comment on Wikipedia and modern media.

If you happen to see her, fear not. She asks only nine simple--and painless questions. She hopes to be able to place her encyclopedia on the web so people can view and comment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Riddle of John Lewis Cutler

Doing research on the Center Cemetery in Farmington is made easier by the fact it's practically in my front yard. So while compiling the data of names and dates, I frequently trot out onto the cemetery grounds to survey the headstones and double-check the info on the headstones (bless my digital camera!).

And every time I pass by the Butler family plot (Francis Gould Butler et al) I would pass by a small headstone propped up in the corner of the family plot. I knew it didn't belong there, but I kept telling myself, "later."
Butler family plot with odd gravestone
So then the other night I stopped on my way back from double-checking some inscriptions and read the wayward headstone. Wayward is right: "John Lewis Cutler." I went, what the heck? There are no Cutlers buried in Center Cemetery.
John Lewis Cutler--and no dates

To make it worse, there are no dates carved on the stone--just the name. So I'll check the cemetery records at the town Library--the Cutler Library, and see what I can find and where this wayward son belongs.

What I'm working towards

My research is on Farmington's Center Cemetery. It's named after the Center Meeting House that stood where the Courthouse now is. My goal is produce an interactive map of the cemetery. Here is a simple image of what I have so far:


The burial plots in yellow are confirmed names and dates. The ones in light blue still  need to be cross-checked, or have damaged-missing-unreadable headstones.

BTW this is all being produced in Open Office.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Turn the pages over carefully....

I'm doing volunteer work for the Farmington Historical Society, where I'm digitally scanning and archiving old ledgers, journals and papers using my digital camera (thank you, Heather!)

One such was a journal a man kept from 1814 to 1869. The journal ends just before he dies. As I was turning the pages and glancing at the entries ("November: Too cold to plow") the feeling gradually came over me I was literally holding someone's life in my hands.

Totally incongruous...

I'm researching the Center Cemetery in Farmington, Maine. Because the headstones are so old and weathered, it's easier to read them in the evening; you shine a flashlight across the letters and they stand out better.

So there I am, crouched down in the middle of a cemetery at dusk, reading gravestones and dictating what I find into a digital recorder--and the wind wafts the (delicious) smell of cooking hamburgers from a nearby restaurant and my stomach growls. I had to laugh. The moment was just so odd, so incongruous.

Then I went inside and fixed myself some dinner.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scribed by me at WickedG

Wicked Gelato has a public "chalk-board" for patrons to use.

My home away from home....

Or so it seems.

Wicked Gelato on a slow night. Normally the place is packed: good coffee and good food.


Why now?

From an earlier blog on January 2010:

Yet another ghoul of a preacher has jumped on the "god-hates-Haiti" bandwagon.

Picture this: Heaven: God is sitting at his breakfast table, reading a newspaper and sipping his early morning cup of coffee. A timer on the kitchen counter goes ding! God gets up and walks over to the big globe of the earth. He squints at it for a moment, taps the island marked "Haiti," and then nods with satisfaction as the globe shudders and little plumes of dust rise from the island. He goes back to his table, picks up his paper again and takes another sip of his coffee.

And you people worship this? Seriously?

Rand Paul: "One deals with private institutions..."

Questioner: But under your philosophy it would be okay for Dr. King to not be served at the counter at Woolworths?
Rand Paul: I would not go to that Woolworth's, and I would stand up in my community and say it's abhorrent. um... But the hard part, and this is the hard part about believing in freedom is, if you believe in the First Amendment, for example, you to, for example- most good defenders will believe in abhorrent groups standing up and saying awful things, and we're here at the bastion of newspaperdom (sic) and I'm sure you believe in the First Amendment, so I'm sure you understand people can say bad things. It's the same way with other behaviors. In a free society we will tolerate boorish people who have abhorrent behavior, but if we're civilized people we publicly criticize that and don't belong to those groups or associate with those people.

Outlined 10 Rules For Radicals by Carl Malamud

From October 2010: Re-posted in support of Occupy Wall Street:

10 Rules For Radicals

by Carl Malamud

An address to the WWW2010 Conference 
Raleigh, North Carolina, April 30, 2010 
http://public.resource.org/rules/

Rule 1 : Call everything an experiment.

Rule 2: When the starting gun goes off, run really fast.

  • When the authorities finally fire that starting gun, run as fast as you can, so when they get that queasy feeling in their stomach and have second thoughts, it is too late to stop.
  • As a small player, the elephant can step on you, but you can outrun the elephant.

Rule 3: Eyeballs rule.

  • If a million people use your service, and on the Internet you can do that, you've got a lot more credibility than if you're just issuing position papers and flaming the Man.
  • Build up a user base, and you have much more leverage than if you're just blowing smoke.

Rule 4: When the time comes, be nice.

  • When you achieve your objective, don't be afraid to turn on a dime and be nice.
  • You can bang the table and be a total pain in the ass, but there comes a time to be helpful, courteous, and friendly.

Rule 5: Keep asking until they say yes.

  • Keep asking—keep rephrasing the question until they can say yes.
  • Gordon Bell, the inventor of the VAX, once said that you should keep your vision, but modify your plan.

Rule 6: When you get the microphone, get to the point.

  • Be clear about what you want.
  • When you get the microphone, make sure you make your point clearly and succinctly.

Rule 7: Get standing.

  • Have some skin in the game, some reason you're at the table.
  • One can criticize government all one wants, and they'll often ignore you.
    • But, if there is something clearly wrong and against the law and you can document that malfeasance and wrongdoing, they have to talk to you.
    • If you have standing, you can insist.

Rule 8: Get them to threaten you.

  • Try to get the bureaucrats to threaten you.

Rule 9: Look for overreaching, something that is clearly nuts.

  • Look for things that are just blatantly, obviously wrong or silly.

Rule 10: Don't be afraid to fail.

  • It took Thomas Edison 10,000 times before he got the lightbulb right, and when he was asked about those failures, he said:
    • I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Fail. Fail often. And don't forget, you can question authority.

It's--Still--Not Over Yet....

I first wrote this back in November 2010. It's even more appropriate now:

"Wave," "Resounding Victory," "Mandate From The People"—don't believe that for one second. 2010 was the best election money can buy, but the fat cats still could not gain full control of the United States. Here's what we can do to reclaim our freedom.

  • Liberal is the only political philosophy and policy that makes sense, that is best for the American people, the way to truly solve our problems..
    • This will become more and more evident as we approach 2012.
  • The Conservatives will self-destruct in the quest for the "pure conservative."
    • "Pure Conservative" is an ideal they can never accomplish, so they will spend a tremendous amount of time and resources pursuing it.
    • "Pure Conservative" will come to acquire the mythical qualities of the Xian Jesus--an inhuman and impossible ideal.
    • This will suit their wealthy controllers down to the ground. A splintered Republican party will be much easier for them to control. It worked on America; it will work on the Conservatives.
  • Americans will come to realize they have opened the gates of Hell by voting conservative.
    • Insane politicians, lunatic policies, extreme prejudices, loss of civil rights will roll over and over the American people until they can't stand it anymore.
    • The reasons these conservative candidates were elected will not be fulfilled--none of them.
    • The candidates true agendas to oppress, restrict and censor will be revealed.
  • There will be a tremendous disconnect between what Conservatives say and what they do.
    • The sex and vice scandals of 2008 - 2010 will be a flash in the pan compared to coming outrages now that conservatives hold positions of power.
    • Their wealthy controllers chose candidates who were mentally unbalanced and filled with fear and rage. They're easier to manipulate and control. Witness Sarah Palin and her obvious trigger points. 
  • The Republicans will be locked in an internal power struggle as conservative factions fight for dominance.
    • Extreme wealth on one hand and extreme prejudices on the other will grind the Republican party down a bare nub.
    • Republican Moderates will rebel and possibly change affiliations or form their own party.
      • Remember, over 70% of Republicans privately support a woman's right to choose. The Moderates chose to remain with their party despite this and will now bitterly regret this decision.
    • Republican leaders think they can control the Tea-baggers once they're in. Maine's Republican party is prime example of what will happen. The fanatics of the Tea Party will use any means to gain control of the Republican party and then Congress. They are truly America's Taliban.
    • The uber-rightest demagogues will undermine Republican credibility at a time they need it most.
  • Conservative political performance and reliability will do even worse than it was before.
    • Time and again journalists and interviewers drew attention to the fact the tea-baggers had no political agenda, no real platform. When pressed on what they were going to do after they were elected, extreme conservatives either exploded with rage, dodged the question by returning to talking points—or truthfully admitted they didn't know.
    • These "freshmen" as they're called in Congress don't understand the political process. They're political gadflies or nobodies their wealthy masters have picked up and cleaned off to look good. Expect a lot of procedural turmoil as tea-baggers try to short-circuit the political process.
  • Conservatives have tried their best to demonize Liberalism because they know it's what the American people need. Liberalism will truly solve our nation's problems.
    • Conservatives don't want our problems solved. Everything is working just the way they want it. What defeats lasting change are too many people spending too much money to keep things the way they are.
  • It will become obvious conservatives--especially tea-baggers--are not motivated by any Xian charity whatsoever. 

No We Didn't!

"Climate is gone" indeed....

I Wonder....

On ThinkProgress is this article about GOP-tea-baggers doing everything they can to sabotage America's recovery from the recession, mostly because it's because Obama, a man of color, is POTUS. So I wondered what it would be like if McCain was president (with apologies to author Brad Johnson) and how suddenly sane all the right wing-nuts would sound:



New GOP Governors Save $1.2 Billion In High-Speed Rail Jobs


Govs. elect John Kasich (R-OH) and Scott Walker (R-WI).
Republicans who were elected on Tuesday are beginning to deliver on their campaign promises to revive America’s future. Within hours of declaring victory, the incoming tea-party governors of Wisconsin and Ohio stood fast on pledges to save $1.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail in their states. The funding, part of the McCain's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would revert to the federal government for investment in other states — unless Republicans in Congress are able to save that, too. Walker warned he would support President McCain to keep the Milwaukee-Madison link saved “if he tries to force this down the throats of the taxpayers.” Kasich — who called the high-speed rail project linking Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati “one of the best ideas” he’s ever heard — used his victory speech to announce, “That train is alive!“:
Scott Walker, the incoming governor of Wisconsin, for instance, vowed on Wednesday to carry out a campaign pledge to save a proposed high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison, part of a larger project to create a high-speed rail corridor across the upper Midwest, from Minneapolis to Chicago. The project was to be fully paid for with $810 million in federal stimulus funds. Mr. Walker said he didn't want the money spent on roads, although under the terms of the grants, such a use of the funds is prohibited.
The newly elected Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who ousted Ted Strickland, a Democrat, has also reiterated a campaign pledge to save a $400 million stimulus-funded rail project in his state. “Passenger rail is definitely in Ohio’s future,” Mr. Kasich said at his first news conference after the election. “That train is alive!
In addition to their ideological fulfillment of creating new jobs through government investment, both Walker and Kasich endorse the reality of climate science, like other new Republican governors supporting clean energy projects across the nation.
Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.

Tell Like It Is

This is an amazing Flash graphic showing in explicit detail the "good ol' boy" network of ultra-conservatives who used their wealth to destroy our electoral system--and are well on their way to destroying our nation. Plus, I am green with envy at the web graphics mavens at NPR: I wish I'd thought of this!

Screenshot:

The Flash graphic is interactive and very informative. Be prepared to spend time with it--and facepalm a lot.

But all that aside....

But with Congress — every time they make a joke it's a law. And every time they make a law it's a joke. --Will Rogers, quoted in P. J. O'Brien, Will Rogers, Ambassador of Good Will, Prince of Wit and Wisdom, 1935, ch. 9, pp. 156–57

I wish they were rose-colored instead....

It's Just a Word....

What if it wasn't the "Koran" or the "Bible"? What if it was just another word instead? No arrest, no headlines.

There Goes the Presidency

Strange how something so trivial can make such a big difference....

Signs of trouble

So How Do Well Tell?

The Conservative Moral Compass

"It is a sad day when a man’s sterling character and genuine personality can be deemed a weakness, but sadly we live in that day. The opponents Mr. Beardsley will face from the Democratic Party have abandoned all bearings from a moral compass."
    • Andy Torbett, The Maine Conservative Voice--Through The Conservative Prism: Bill Beardsley Edition

Did I hear this right?

Obama said this to progressive liberals?
Transferred this from an earlier blog, but it's still relevant:


It's a bit late, but here's a memorial to John Lennon and all he stood for:

You can silence one person, but you can't silence art

L.A. Museum’s Destruction of Anti-War Art Disrespects Veterans

The museum director ordered the mural destroyed because it offended veterans. Well, I'm a veteran (US Air Force / CA Air National Guard 1978 to 1991) and I think the artist is bang on. Here is the mural while being constructed:

Please don't do this...

Wow! This cartoon is spot on.

Can you tell me? Look and see...

Very defective

Exclusive. Devisive. Regressive. Reactionary.

What I wish they would have said 02

Simple manual labor

"Places in Time" Exhibition at UMF

Places in Time

The selection of modern Japanese woodblock prints is excellent, and truly representative of the modern styles.


The choice of white walls is a good one. The prints are so vivid and colorful, any color scheme would clash with them. And the delineation of each piece is so bold that any pattern used on the walls would clash as well.


Both the woodblock prints and the modern drawings each need to be considered in their own right, not in contrast to the surrounding environment. It may have been tempting to echo the themes and treatments of both the prints and drawings, but that would only detract from the strong use of color and line present in both styles of art.

Rebecca Watson:What the Media Gets Wrong About Children Dying of Gunshots

Shorter Watson: We're not addressing the underlying issues resulting in juvenile gun deaths.