Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cut your loses

Concerning the damage done from hurricane Katrina, I do you know much about insurance payouts, but if it possible I would take the money that I got from the damage in my home and move elsewhere. If some random law prohibited that, I would try to fake my death (hey now would be a good time, just tell you family that you died in the hurricane), and move some where else...Or...Lobby for the government to change the law.

I would look at the flood patterns and if you place was in the middle of all that I would ditch it for higher ground, like Colorado. Your property values, most likely, are not going to go up, so the most money you can get will be from you insurance company. If you property values are not going to go up, then you are sinking money into a bad investment. You will not be able to sell the house for what it is worth, so you could end up side down on you loan. Even if the insurance does not pay the full value of you house, the money could make a good down payment on a house somewhere else.

If I was a long term investor, I would offer people a low price for their "unimproved land\as is", and buy up as much land as possible. I am sure eventually people will forget this disaster, though it may take a generation.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wind power

You know if you had a mobile wind power station, you could have made a killing on the wind from Katrina.


I thought that shorts would be a dumb idea

A while back I mentioned that I had found my next book and my new hero. John Twelve Hawks who wrote "The Traveler". I bought the book a few weeks back and I read it in about 4 days. I really did not have anything interesting to say about the book. I though the idea of the book was great. I thought one of the main characters of the book was a Jack Bauer\trained from birth ninja, which I really liked. Overall I found his writing a little choppy, like he was describing a real event, which after awhile I thought that added to the novel. Another thing I also discovered was the fact that this book was the fist in a series, which is kind of disappointed, because I do not know how to find out when the next book comes out. I was looking for an automatic update system at Amazon when I found this: How We Live Now, an Amazon Short by John Twelve Hawks (Author)

So I am going to force my girlfriend to buy it for me as her now that she is getting internet in her new apartment.

Overall I would say that his book also strengthened my interest in being prepared and learning how to be self sufficient, which has put me into a major preparedness kick.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Basic Preparedness Philosophy - Planning to Plan

Select the events to plan for. Organize the events according to which is most likely. This requires a few things from you, an open and honest mind; and research. What you think might be the most likely event, might actually be fairly rare. During this phase it is good to have a second person whose judgment you trust, to question the order of events to prepare for. By including another person the list will be more useful and more accurate.

The list events to prepare for will vary from region to region, but in theory you neighbor should have close to the same list that you do. While your neighbor might have a different equipment and supply list, he will most likely be preparing for the same disturbances that you will be preparing for.

You can then classify the events in the preparedness spectrum (Personal disturbance, Local disturbance, National disturbance, Regional (multi-national) disturbance, and Global disturbance.)

During this phase is when you will want to take into account disasters that can happen near your local area, but not to your local area. For example, the recent evacuation of New Orleans. There are places that are six hours away and those hotels are filled with people. Keep in mind that disasters like hurricanes affect everyone in the region, not just the area being hit. While you might be hours away from New Orleans, you still could be affected in several different ways. Everyday supplies could be hard to find and even the criminals have to leave town when there is a mandatory evacuation.

Without a priority list and action items your attempts to prepare could be haphazard, contain blind spots, or even dangerous to those you love.

NOTE: The reason I suggest utility as the guiding principle for choosing which events
to plan is because most people have limited time and resources to prepare. Of course,
if you are one of the select few that has very few limitations, then by all means
prepare for the worst possible case (i.e. Nuke strikes and total societal meltdown).

NOTE: I also had written this before I read this. Though they say very close to what
I said, but they left out the important prevention step.


Basic Preparedness Philosophy - Prevention

Basic Preparedness Philosophy - Prevention

In this post, I am going to outline my basic preparedness philosophy. This will be the guide which I am going to weigh all preparedness decisions against. Keep in mind this is only a first draft, I reserve the right to change or add to any part of the basic philosophy below.

Basic preparedness philosophy is made up of prevention, planning to plan (or risk assessment), planning, execution of plans, testing of plans, and upkeep of plans.

Prevention - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of preparedness"

If you can prevent the disaster, you will never have to use the equipment, supplies, and plans that you have carefully crafted. I know this step seems like it takes out all the fun of preparing, but preparing is not fun. Preparing is a responsibility that you have to yourself and to you family.

For example, you can lessen the chance of your car breaking down if you follow regularly planned maintenance. You can prevent running out of gas, if you always fill up at a quarter of a tank. You can avoid becoming a crime victim, if you avoid crime ridden areas. In some cases, people can overcome health problems by choosing a healthy lifestyle. This will remove the need for pharmaceuticals, which would remove the possibility of a future shortage during a disturbance.

You can look both ways when you pull out into the street, and that could lessen the possibility of having to use your life insurance. You can have eye surgery which can remove your dependence on contacts or glasses. You can avoid nature disasters, by choosing a places to live that has a low frequency of certain natural disasters.

Different types of prevention are, but are not limited to, maintenance, prevention by avoidance, and fixing current problems. If thing are barely running now, they will fail under stress, which will most likely be the time you need it the most.

NOTE: Prevention does not remove the need to prepare, it just lessens the chance of you having to use your preparations.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weekend Videos

Here are some videos for you to watch during the weekend.


Guy the recoil of a gun to hit himself in the balls. Via les jones.




some full auto action


moron shoots a bottle off of friends head.


Some dogs running. Specifically a couple of Rhodesian Ridgebacks.


Friday, August 26, 2005

A little self-examination

Some of you may have noticed that I tend to go though phases. I went though a phase there were I had lots of posts about guns, handguns to be exact. I went though the election phase and so on and so forth. I think now I will be moving into my next phase. I think that I am going to be reading and consequently writing about surviving the eventual downfall of society. For some reason I find it enjoyable to talk of such things.

As I was trying to collect my thoughts and organize the information I have read and am going to read, I realized that there are different levels of events to prepare for. Which I had a hard time trying to break up the categories, but I think that I have got a good rough draft to show to you. Keep in mind this is just a draft and things might change. I have a few more levels than this page does, but it is basically the same idea.

These are the basic kinds of events to prepare for: Personal disturbance, Local disturbance, National disturbance, Regional (multi-national) disturbance, and Global disturbance.

I hope to flesh out the categories, techniques, and certain ideas I have for dealing with these different levels as time goes on.


Iraq Constitution

The standard conservative line is that it took America two tries and much longer than 6 months to put together a document that has lasted for 250 years. I agree and disagree with this point of view.

I agree that Iraq might have to tear something down and rebuild it. If you do something wrong in software or even social engineering, it is sometimes better to just start over instead of patching the system you have built poorly. If the constitution is not perfect then I would be okay with starting over, though I would not be okay with it not being perfect.

The second part of the argument I do not agree with fully. 250 years ago they did not have telephones, Internet, or any other grand constitutions to start from. They had several supporting documents, a couple revolutions, and some basic philosophy. The Iraqis have much more than that. There is a wealth of information on how to build a great and prosperous nation and it is getting better everyday.

The Iraqis are much further along in the constitution development life cycle than we were 250 years ago. They have many examples to choose from. Heck, if they need the help we can write one for them.

They also have the advantage of modern communications, although that advantage might be limited in a war zone like Iraq.

Thirdly, they are not riding in by horses, but by armored convoys that probably cover much more ground than the early horse and buggy covered.

Basically, since logistics and constitutional practices are much further along than they were 250 years ago, the Iraqis only have their selves to blame if they screw this thing up and have to redo it. I expect a lot more than what they are giving us.

To the Iraq people all I have to say is this: Americans fought and died for your freedom, maybe that does not mean anything to you, but to me it means quite a bit. Get you crap straight or we will let you fight it out amongst yourselves, because Americans really can be heartless bastards when we want. If you screw up the chance that we gave you, I could really careless what happens to you, your people, or you country.


Big thank you

I want to give a shout out to Pat Robertson, who reminds us that crazy christians can still have a good idea every once and awhile.


Interesting Unreported information

Sorry I am a little late on this one, but I have been quite busy. I recently read a first hand report of a person Camp Sheehan. Catfish goes into detail on things that he finds suspicious.

I will quickly list some of the things he mentioned.

"Everyone was very well behaved. No one was misbehaving. At the antiÂ’s check in table, there were clear instructions telling everyone to behave and to respect and appreciate everyoneÂ’s point of view even if you disagreed with it."

"The antiÂ’s were very well organized. This was a professional job. I base this on the fact that a good portion of my job is to organize large civic events and I can recognize good organization when I see it. And this event WAS organized. Contrary to what is reported on the news, this is not a spontaneous event."

Well it turns out the protesters have a good bit of help from others like minded rich folks.

"Ben and Jerry's founder pays for PR firm for mother of fallen son"


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I have an idea

This idea was spawned by reading The Survival Blog found via the Carnival of Cordite #27 via Say Uncle.

The writer of the Survival blog suggests having a retreat special prepared for a catastrophic situation. The idea makes sense. There are many pros to this approach. You can pick the location, which means that it can be picked based on certain specific criteria. Water sources, defensibility, climate, or any other sort of criteria could be used in finding your retreat. You can also prestock your retreat with the goods that you will need to live a long, fruitful, and happy existence in a post apocalyptic world.

The problem with this I that most people cannot afford an extra house you do not live in. That is also one reason why the writer suggests living there year round, just in case. (Personally, my girlfriends parents and my parents both live in excellent retreat locations, if they were prepared ahead of time.) He also mentions the option of trying to get our of town when disaster strikes, which in some situations would work just find and in others you will just be apart of the herd, and warns against it. Basically, if you are not already at your retreat, you cannot guarantee your arrival.

The problem is getting to your retreat through choked or even dangerous highways (Remember social order has broken down). If you run out of gas there may be none, you may run over homemade spike strips set out by bandits, you could be stopped by government roadblocks, or any number of things could happen.

Though what if you were able to raise you chances of getting to your retreat location drastically...

If you were able to do that, it would become much more feasible to live where ever you want and just leave town when disaster strikes. My idea would be to use a Ultralight to fly to your retreat location.

This has some pros. It bypasses the roads, which is where the city folks are going.

This also has some con's and many unknowns. You could be shot down, but with proper flying you might be able to limit you exposure to radar and ground based bullets, of course if you meet another enemy flying object you are dead.

It may also be dependent on weather. If a meteor strikes or volcano erupts, the weather could be severely disrupted.

You will also need a certain amount of clear space to get off the ground.

As far as unknowns go, how much weight can you carry, how far can you fly, can you fly at night with out running into anything. Over all I think the idea has potential, but it is one of those things you cannot test well due to freaking government interference.

NOTE: In a zombie invasion, I think an ultralight would work well. Weather would not be a concern. Zombies do not shoot back, at least at first. And you would not have to fly at night. The only problem would be finding enough space to take off with. Though, if you did a motorized landing, you would attract all zombies in the area.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Inverted yeild curve

Take a look at that guys pics, very intresting.


Monday, August 22, 2005

American Elephants

A recent BBC article reported that scientists are considering populating the US with cheetahs, lions, elephants, and camels. Buy more guns.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The honeymoon can only last so long

On Sandcastle's recent post, we received two spam comments. In retaliation against the spammers, I have turned on the "Word Verification" feature. I am sorry for in the inconvenience, but if one spammer has the script to comment on a blogspot blog, then that means more and more will get it also as the code gets older.

Again, I apologize.


Your money

Or maybe Bush's floundering War on Terrorism could repair a road or two. I couldn't find the current budget for the war in my quick two minute Google search, but I found this interesting, though dated, Washington Post article.

"With $166 billion spent or requested, Bush's war spending in 2003 and 2004 already exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined, according to a study by Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus. The Iraq war approaches the $191 billion inflation-adjusted cost of World War I."
by Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Sept. 9, 2003

The United Nations estimates that world hunger could be wiped out for around 13 billion US dollars a year. Unfortunately, it was more important for us to secure Iraq's oil fields for Exxon. Not to mention the paycheck that Halliburton made on this war.

Roberts thought Michael Jackson was a freak

Hell if he dislikes Michael Jackson, he can't be all that bad can he?



These are clips from two recent BBC articles.
Oil cartel Opec is pumping a record 30 million barrels a day, and could boost that by another 1-1.5 million barrels if needed, its president has said.
Purnomo Yusgiantoro, also oil minister of Indonesia, said the organisation's 11 members were 2 million barrels above the current 28 million barrel quota.
But any further increase would have to wait until September, he said.
Oil prices broke new records overnight as Asian trade pushed a barrel of New York light, sweet crude to $44.77.

Exxon Mobil, the world's biggest oil company, has announced a threefold jump in profits, crediting a sharp rise in global crude oil prices
The company said pre-tax profits for the first three months of 2003 came in at $7.04bn (£4.4bn ; EUR6.3bn), up from $2.1bn dollars during the same period last year.
The result was Exxon's best ever over three months, beating its previous record of $5.2bn in the final quarter of 2001.
Shares in Exxon - which sells fuel under the Esso brand - were up 1.3% at $35.66 in early trade on Wall Street.

Now, which one do you think is causing gas prices to rise? Oil production can continue to rise, but relief at the pumps will not be seen as long as oil companies continue to rape us. Should we stop taxing gasoline and watch our roads fall apart, or should the government start to regulate the oil industry? I know that won't happen with Bush in office, but maybe we can hope for the future.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Obvious answers

Source:"Senate to hold gas prices hearing - The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing next month to determine reasons for U.S. gasoline prices, the panel said Friday.....Lawmakers admit there is no short-term fix to pain at the pump, but are nervous about political fall-out."

Actually there is a short term fix. Remove the federal gasoline tax. "The U.S. federal gasoline tax as of 2005 was 18.4 cents per U.S. gallon (4.86 ¢/L), and the gasoline taxes in the various states range from 10 cents to 33 cents, averaging about 22 cents per U.S. gallon (5.8 /L)."

According to my numbers it would save the US tax payers about 25,576,000,000 per year at the pump. Though the roads would not be funded, at the rate that gasoline is rising, they will not have to be, because no one will be driving on them.

BTW - that savings is real.

The CNN article mentions what a l cent rise in gas costs, I just took that number and multiplied it by 18.4, actually I just typed it into my windows calculator and it did the number crunching.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Currently Listening to

You have to check out yahoo music. You can create your own radio station. You can pick a whole lot of artists and as the songs are played, you rate them. Yahoo learns which songs you like. It also uses the preferences of others to suggest new songs that you have never heard.

Here is my play list for the last few songs.

50 Cent - Just A Lil Bit
Eminem - Guilty Conscience
Johnny Cash - Everybody Loves A Nut
Edwin McCain - I'll Be
Mary J. Blige - Overjoyed
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Backwoods
Collective Soul -December
Louis Armstrong - A Kiss To Build A Dream On
U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Van Halen - Source Of Infection
Tonic -You Wanted More
Puddle Of Mudd - Blurry
Phil Collins -Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
Don Henley -The Boys Of Summer
Ludacris -Pimpin' All Over The World

Variety is the spice of life, and I am liking it. There is a commercial about every ten min. You can pay money to get more stations, features, and no commercials, but the free version is fine with me.


update: There are very few songs that I hate. I dislike a lot of songs, but very few songs that cause me to feel like shooting my radio. I just heard one of those songs on Yahoo radio, and told it to never play it again. FYI - the song was Bitch, by Meredith Brooks.

update: They have eddie glenn!!

update: I hit my monthly usage limit. I am not allowed to skip songs and I only get low quality sound. Before I could get the medium quality sound and skip songs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Currently Reading

Right now my makeshift bookmark is buried in the pages of Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Interesting stuff. He claims to have worked for a private company involved in a US conspiracy to saddle less developed nations with debt in order to gain political and military clout. The situation would start out with economists such as himself making exaggerated growth charts for a poor country. Loans would be made from the World Bank and the IMF based on the strengths of these predictions for infrastructure projects such as dams, roads, and power plants. The contracts for these projects would be rewarded to American firms such as KBR, Haliburton, and Bechtel. This would funnel most of the money back to the US, leaving the poor nation saddled with debt and at the mercy of the US. In and ideal situation, a commodity such as oil would be exported from the poor country. Half of the money would go to an American oil company extracting the oil, a quarter of the money would be used to pay the interest on the new debt, and 25% would be left for the country that had the oil to start out with. A large chunk of this would be pocketed by a president that was sympathetic to, and protected by, the US. Welcome to the Evil Empire.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Try it and you will not be disappointed

I got a blender for my birthday this year. I have gone though several smoothie recipes tweaking and trying new things with them. This is the best one I have found. The base was from a smoothie recipe book, I just modified it to make it easier and better.

1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of ice
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
Some spoonfuls of orange juice frozen concentrate (to taste, you will have to experiment with this one)
1 frozen bananas
1 raw egg

The original recipe called was for double the serving. It also called for plain yogurt and just regular orange juice. It also did not have ice in it, the ice adds volume with out adding bulk. The smoothie is ok if the bananas are NOT frozen, but it really shines when the bananas are frozen. The texture is perfect.

I make the meal, then put it in the freezer while I clean up and take a shower. I normally drink it on my drive to work, and it stays frozen the 15 min drive there.

NOTE: I started this recipe well after I had the explosive diarrhea, so I did not catch the disease from raw eggs.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Fallout Shelters

Zombie invasions may be getting a lot of screen time right now in theaters, but it is not the only world ending threat we face. Nuclear holocaust was a world concern for fifty years before we finally moved on to the undead. We want our blog to prepare you for all apocalyptic events, so we will continue to supply you with the materials you need to plan your own survival. contains a plethora of fallout shelter information. You can download it all for free. We encourage you to not only download it yourself, but go ahead and print out copies and leave them under car windshields. You can also tape them up in elevators and tattoo them directly onto fat people. A well designed fallout shelter could also be used as a safehouse during terrorist attacks of all types, and a as fortress during zombie invasions. Plan ahead. Build your shelter away from major population centers. As a safeguard against global warming, you may also want to build your shelter away from beaches and an areas that lie close to sea level (like Florida). Buying a gas mask and carrying it all times could not only save you from nuclear attacks, but it could save you from the next world consuming plague, or even cooties. Don't delay. Your survival could possibly hinge on these preparations. When the end is upon us, you can open up your shelter to all of the hot girls that wouldn't normally talk to you, and shut out all of those guys that used to steal your lunch money in grade school.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I just saw what looked like an military hummer.

There is this small used car place I pass nearly every day. Over the past few years I have seen some interesting stuff come through that place. Early on it looked like their biggest sellers were big lawn mowers, but over the years the business found it's niche. They started selling very nice cars. One time they had three to four hummers and three to four BMW's with a Lexus on the side, and that was probably a fourth of their inventory with the rest being just regular nice cars an middle class person could afford.

Today I drove by and they had a hummer that looked like the military just sold it as surplus, it had the camo and extended tell pipe. If it is reasonably priced, you should consider it for you SHTF vehicle. I think I am going to ask how much it is.


It was 34 thousand dollars. It had light armour doors (kevlar), light bullet proof glass, a turret, it was a slant back version, and it had a river forging kit. Though the guy said that he would get the engine sealed better if he was going to do that, because the bow wave in front of the vehicle can come over the hood. Apparently the guy who I talked to deals with these type of vehicles often. He had a couple in the 20's (probably high twenties).

I understand

Source: "A man annoyed by a noisy car alarm fired at least three bullets into a Toyota Camry, silencing the alarm and bringing out police who hauled him away in handcuffs, authorities said."

I understand and feel this guy's pain. Nothing more pisses me off than an alarm that will not go off. One time at my apartment, one went off for several hours. I had time to devise several ways of ending my misery. One of the better ways was to put a rag in the gas tank and set it on fire. I am fairly sure that would solved the problem. General vandalism would have also made me feel better, but would not have solved my problem.

"The owner of the Camry, a sailor whose ship the USS Theodore Roosevelt just returned from an eight-month cruise, was visiting a friend when he heard the gunfire at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, KCAL-TV reported."

If you could hear the gun shots, then that means you could have heard the alarm most likely. Whey didn't you go turn the thing off. As far as I am concerned the car got what was coming to it.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

You are half right on one point

Source: "This summer of 2005, we can contemplate another kind of stagnation - the economic stagnation (and recession) that results from the combination of an inverted yield curve and increasing layoffs."

Short description of the yield curve. The money you make on bonds goes up the longer the term on the bond. This is the yield curve. It flattens when the short term interestt rates are raised (that is what the fed controls).

I try to keep a pretty close watch oneconomicc indicators. I think this author could be right about the "inverted yield curve". I read something about the inverted yield curve from a real good source that explained it with really nice pictures. but cannot find it now. Though I did find two posts (err he actually sent these to me. I sent him and email asking about the yield curve and I got back the posts I skipped, because they sounded complicated.) by The Skeptical Optimist (here and here). Doom and gloom is not what he is predicting and that should be noted.

Source:"The Fed keeps nudging the short-term rate higher, but the buyers and sellers in the long bond market keep nudging those interest rates lower. Nobody has figured out why; everybody's still guessing. Greenspan, the rest of the Fed Board of Governors, journalists, everybody."

Though, the yield curve tells you a recession is coming it does not tell you when. If I remember what I read, but cannot find, correctlyy, the last time there was an inverted yield curve the stock market went on its best run ever, the dot Com boom and bust.

Also, I would like to point out that the yield curve is flattening and has not inverted yet, though with the interestt rate raise to day that might have changed a few things.

Now on to the increasing layoffs. Unemployment is at 5 percent, if you are going to get laid off, now is the time to do it. It is just the American economy adjusting to foreign competition in my opinion.

In other news that matters, my 401k is up 6.03 pct.


Not wearing your helmet can kill you

Source: "Motorcycle fatalities have risen sharply in Florida since the state repealed its mandatory helmet law."

Sharply is from 515 to 933 killed. As the article points out it is an "81 percent increase". I find a few problems with this.

One, the big bad bikers would follow the law (wear a helmet while riding their motorcycle), but as soon as the law is abolished they would stop wearing their helmet. They have already bought the helmet, so there is no additional cost for the riders. Is the threat of a ticket really enough to convince people to wear a safety device? I know that the threat of the ticket for not wearing a seat belt does not change my behavior at all. If anything, it decrease the chance I will wear a seat belt.

Two, what if there was an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road. Gas prices have only risen during the study. So more (inexperienced) bikers, are on the roads. Secondly, the main people I know who ride bikes are old people, who have slow reflexes.

Also, the study did not study to see if motorcycle deaths rose in states whose laws remained unchanged.

For me it really comes down to not relating to the psychology that is assumed in the study.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"Man forgets wife at gas station"

Source:"ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- A Macedonian man left his wife at an Italian service station and only realized he had driven off without her six hours later, news agency Ansa said."

How is that possible...I mean as much as wives talk and nag, who could "forget" them at a gas station.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Video marathon
Automatic glock, I do not know why Glock makes automatic handguns, but they sure are cool.
MP-5 -this video is ok.
I would love to have one of these to mow the grass with.

Thompson - One thing I have learned from video games, short bursts.

Videos Galore - There is an entire list of videos here. They are really high quality.

The second one from the tops is real cool. An 80 year old shots a truck based machine gun in that one.

The third one from the top is the infamous glock video where the cop shoots himself.

There are some glock auto vids, and a belt fed machine gun vid, and a couple others that are there too. The last one has mortars.

Armoured Take vids - from inside of the tank. The guy behind the camera, per say, blogs here.

I would just skip to Falluja. Unstoppable is a must to watch also. IED is worth the wait. If you have time tankers is also worth a look.

A ton of gun videos here, via this post.

Home made fireworks.

Some guy was not trained how to shoot that cannon.

Governor cusses on camera.

What Judge Judy should do.

Awsome bug
A beginner shoots some gun stages.

An awsome remote control plane. That as got to break some rules of some kind.

North Korea market,0,773248,asx.wmvfile

planes collide at air show,2933,162106,00.html


mail prank - do not know if this one is real or not.

I want one of these

you can't quite get them you, but they are working on it.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Wow this is really gross.

This guy eats foods most would turn down if they were starving. This was the find of the day.

Quote: "I have a mouth full of cellulite."


Friday, August 05, 2005

This is going to the supreme court

Source: "The dispute in Oklahoma stems from a crackdown at Weyerhaeuser against employee drug abuse. A company spokesman, Bruce Amundson, said trained dogs sniffing in the parking lot of the paper mill in Valliant found a dozen cars with rifles, shotguns, handguns and some automatic weapons, violations of a new policy banning weapons in cars. The gun owners, including contract workers for Kellogg Brown & Root, were fired....

In response to the firings, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill that would bar property owners from restricting those without felony records from keeping firearms in a locked vehicle. But that measure, to take effect in November, has now been blocked by the companies' lawsuit."

I doubt that there were automatic weapons in the employees cars. Semi-auto, yes. Full auto, I really doubt it.

I have always wondered how that company in OK had figured out it's employees had guns in their cars.

The gun owners in this case have several points on their side. If their cars are treated like their home, then the law in OK would only be reinforcing that law, else I would think the company has a shot.

Secondly, maybe search and seizure laws, which that is weakened by two facts. One they are on private property and two the supreme court has ruled that cops can go on fishing expeditions with dogs. If cops can do it, then a company on it own private property should be able to even if the searches were random and without a target in mind.

They could also make the argument that the second amendment trumps the right of personal property in some cases, this example being one.

The companies have one major point their side. The whole private property issue, which has been weakened by a recent Supreme court decision, Kelo vs London. If the OK government says that it is in the "public's" interest to have employees allowed to carry guns, that argument might have flown with the early 2005 court.

The companies have lots of money. This is not just ConocoPhillips, but several other companies in OK. This is another one that I read about being involved in the lawsuit (source here).

Overall, I think the company has a strong case, but the Gun owners have more points of logical attack.

It is unfortunate that ConocoPhillips decided to push this because if you ask the gun owners if they should be able to keep guns (unloaded and locked) in his car, they would say yes. I have a feeling that many would agree. When considering unlocked and loaded guns (which mine that is how mine is in my truck as we speak), the issue is a little bit different, from a polling perspective.

In Ok we are considering both cases because OK has shall issue gun permits. I am sure if you asked those who have the permits if their right to carry trumps the right of a company to tell them what they are keeping in their car, they would come down on the side of the 2nd amendment in their eyes.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

I have to be the smartest person in the world

Odd fact one
Methane eating bacteria on earth.

Source:"Unlike organisms that obtain their energy from sunlight and carbon dioxide, these bacteria get energy from methane and sulfur compounds, which could be seeping from the ocean floor beneath the bacterial mat."

Odd fact two
Methane being produced on mars.

Source:"Methane on Mars may be produced at rates 3000 times higher than previously thought and partially destroyed by dust storms, controversial new research suggests."

Odd fact three
Methane possibly being produced on Titan

Source:"Titan's atmosphere is about 5 per cent methane, and Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, California, thinks that some of it could be coming from methanogens, or methane-producing microbes. Now he and Heather Smith of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, have worked out the likely diet of such organisms on Titan.

My question is what are the bacteria at the bottom of the ocean producing as byproducts? It would really be helpful if they were producing CO2.

When could seed mars with the methane producing bugs, wait until there is plenty of methane and seed mars with the methane eating bugs which would then produce enough C02 over several thousands of years to plant a few trees. Those trees would then produce O2 for humans to breath on mars.

I think that we should start sooner, rather than later, on terraforming mars. If any mistakes are made they will only be fixed though better technology later on. I see no reason not to try to make Mars habitable, except for the crazy environmental idea of leaving things along and pristine. I have a hard time believing that people would care what we did with the mars environment. I think this apathy would give use plenty of time to experiment and get it right.

Previous blog post about terraforming mars.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Supreme public servant

In my previous post, on the subject of the supreme court nomination, I made a few predictions and tried gaming out the moves of the parties involved.

"The dems have to fight and fight hard to even retain the balance of the court."

I stand by that prediction, but it looks like I probably was a little off. A few things kept the outcome turning out like the way I thought it would. The biggest thing that kept a huge fight from happening was Bush thinking one step ahead of the game. He picked an unknown, while this did not take away the will to fight, it took away the ammunition from the democrats.

I think I also underestimated the Democrats will to fight ANY candidate that came though. I think that if he would have appointed a crazy conservative, the fight might have been uglier and more apparent.

At this point in time, it looks like Roberts is going to get appointed and the most there will be is a lot of questions that he will refuse to answer. It looks like bush is going to get a more consistent conservative, but not a strict constructionist.

If Rehnquist can make it to 2007, Bush can appoint who ever he wants because the Democrats will not risk an ugly fight that close to a major election.