Today *IS* National Barbecue Day



Originally posted on The Catholic Geeks:

Every year, someone will complain that we’re losing sight of what this day means in the United States. Someone always complains about that sort of thing for a holiday.


So what is the spirit of Independence Day in this country? Is it a celebration of war? Is it a celebration of the military? Does grilling in the back yard somehow violate the struggle that many had to give us that freedom, and others later to keep it?

As I write this, I’m a few hours from hearing the sound of fireworks in the distance . . . the snap, crackle, and pop of freedom. If we take anything for granted this day, it’s this: that fireworks are fun. In some countries, people flinch at the sound of explosions just like those. The bursts of light and chemicals don’t herald entertainment, but instead promise terror. They don’t release pretty lights. They produce…

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The TOF Spot: A lizard riding a horse

The notion as TOF understands it was that as the sun “beat” faster, it hit solar max more often in a given time span and so the earth would get warmer. As it slowed down, the sun would hit max less often and the earth would cool. At the time, Global Cooling had been all the rage, so TOF was startled to see this beautiful science bludgeoned to death by some ugly facts. Global Cooling was actually that downward “trend” from about 1940 to about 1970. Based on this, TOF prophesied at the time that the new upward trend would run from 1970-2000 and starting about AD 2000, temperatures would once again top off as they had in the 1940s. IOW, TOF predicted the current “pause.” Yay! And also the cooling that is about to overtake us (2000-2030), now that the sun has gone out. Boo!

via The TOF Spot: A lizard riding a horse.

Death Penalty by Electrocution: Escaped Convicts Is the Alternative | National Review Online

Lee John Knoch was serving life without parole for five counts of aggravated murder, including that of Robert Holliday. Knoch buried Holliday alive just days before Holliday was set to testify against Knoch in an earlier case, in which he was accused of torturing Holliday. On February 28, 2001, Knoch cut a hole in a fence and slithered out of Oregon’s Snake River Correctional Institution. Knoch was caught that March 2 after he entered a man’s house in Idaho and then was neutralized by its shovel-wielding owner.

via Death Penalty by Electrocution: Escaped Convicts Is the Alternative | National Review Online.

This is why I disagree with the last several popes on capital punishment:

life in prison is not sufficient to prevent them from killing again.

It Crashed Before The Declaration Was Saved! | The American CatholicThe American Catholic

Mr. Jefferson came into Congress, in June, 1775, and brought with him a reputation for literature, science, and a happy talent of composition. Writings of his were handed about, remarkable for the peculiar felicity of expression. Though a silent member in Congress, he was so prompt, frank, explicit, and decisive upon committees and in conversation, not even Samuel Adams was more so, that he soon seized upon my heart; and upon this occasion I gave him my vote, and did all in my power to procure the votes of others. I think he had one more vote than any other, and that placed him at the head of the committee. I had the next highest number, and that placed me the second. The committee met, discussed the subject, and then appointed Mr. Jefferson and me to make the draught, I suppose because we were the two first on the list.

The sub-committee met. Jefferson proposed to me to make the draught I said, “l will not.” “You should do it.” “Oh! no.” “Why will you not? You ought do it.” “I will not.” “Why?” “Reasons enough.” “What can be your reasons?” “Reason first–You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second–I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular.  You are much otherwise. Reason third–You can write ten times better than I can.”

via It Crashed Before The Declaration Was Saved! | The American CatholicThe American Catholic.

*laughs with joy*

Jefferson’s writing skill, I knew about; John Adam’s story telling, I hadn’t heard of.

Ebola Again


They are on top of it, at least.

Originally posted on Quasi Renaissance Man:

Well, we knew it was possible.  Probable, even, that Liberia would have another Ebola case.

This week, Liberia detected two cases.  The first one died after showing symptoms of Ebola, and his family called a burial team.  In keeping with their protocols, the team took a cheek swab for testing.  It turned out to be positive.  News reports (I’m on vacation, so not on the ground) indicate that some 30+ people are being traced as contacts, and that number is likely to grow.  Given that it was detected in Margibi County, I suspect it came from Sierra Leone, but it’s possible the patient could have traveled to Guinea and back.

The second case was a contact of the deceased.  He apparently developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive.  According to what I’ve read, he’s in a reopened treatment unit.

So, bad news/good news.  The bad news is the country has more…

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A former sailor's ramblings on anything from family, country and Church through general geek-ness.


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