Category Archives: responses to madness

Wal-mart. bah-humbug.

In this article on CNN, Wal-Mart’s CEO calls for Congress to raise minimum wage from it’s current value of $5.15. Later in the article his reasoning is quoted as being that walmart shoppers do not have enough money to buy basic necessities between paychecks.

It rankles me that a CEO would go whining to Congress about wages, instead of just taking a leadership/grassroots approach and raising Wal-mart employee wages by whatever amount they feel is fair. That would actually have a number of benefits. It would increase goodwill to them from their employees. It would likely trickle out to other employers, encouraging them to similarly increase wage.

This tactic, on the other hand, is completely disingenuous. Wal-mart buys a majority of the goods it sells from China. This means that their costs will be relatively unaffected by a minumum wage increase. If Joe Random Consumer in America has slightly more spending cash due to Congress raising minimum wage, however, then Walmart stands to make a tidy profit off the change. (The assumption here being that a large percentage of Wal-mart shoppers are minimum wage workers. Feel free to correct me on this point if you feel it’s not true)

In short, I find this announcement to be less than forthright, and very slimy.

The Jones Edger

Perhaps the best explanation of the events in post-Katrina New Orleans to date.

No conspiracy here

Everyone loves a good ( ) whack-job conspiracy theory on a Friday afternoon, no? Da comrade. In Soviet Russia, Tsunami Bombs you! (edit: I decided not to link the story, given how factually horrible it is. You can copy-paste the URL if you want to read it. No clicky for you.)

(summary: USA planted a nuclear weapon in the Sumatran trench to generate the tidal wave that killed over a hundred thousand people. Why? Apparently to improve a sagging US economy??? (I suppose if your worldview includes a Navy controlled by wall street, then this makes sense))

sidenote: as with any good conspiracy, the author of the article died about two months after he wrote the above article. Obviously, there is a coverup here.

Also, one might be interested in photos of stuff piled on cats.

I feel no remorse…

…if I cut you off when you accelerate to fill the [large] gap I’m going into after I turn my blinker on. Your reprimanding honks only warm the hackles of my heart.

dream theatre

The other night I had a dream that I’ve had a lot in the past. I’m walking along a path through the woods, in winter. It’s a sparse woods. There is a cliff to one side of the trail, rising up 40-50 feet, fairly straight up. At the top of the cliff are the wreckages of homes. Huge, grand homes, with holes in them roofs blown off, partially burned, etc.

Always, as I walk along the houses, I notice parts of them that could be salvaged to make a new house. As I continue to walk along, inevitably (although I never remember before it happens) a skeleton with a shotgun (far scarier than it sounds) will pop out and start shooting at me. Always before, he killed me.

This time he missed. He eventually ran out of ammo, and he died. I forget how he died. When he died, it was spring time in the woods, all of the sudden.

Things that make you go Hmmmm…

Did extremists in airplanes cause the towers to collapse, or was it some other agency, using carefully coordinated explosives?

Some interesting snippets from the article:

  • No jet engines were recovered from the rubble of the North Tower (in spite of their extreme mass and density)

  • The holes in the sides of the buildings were at least 40 feet narrower than the planes that entered them. No large sections of wing were found in the street.
  • Pictures show vertical supports bent outwards around the impact hole.
  • The entire site was dismantled and removed, without a chance for criminal investigation
  • No black boxes were recovered from the planes, something unprecidented in all major airliner crashes to date.
  • The flight that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania apparently left no wreckage.
  • Several Insurance companies involved in the insurance of both planes and buildings involved lost greater than 20% of their stock value the week before 9-11. (as would happen if several major investors liquidated stock at the same time)

Makes you think, anyway.

I feel nauseated

I discovered today, thanks to Dooce. It’s like a train wreck. You just can’t look away. Now I’m sitting here almost ready to toss breakfast up on my desk. ::shiver::

View at your own risk, obviously. For some, that could be an amazing diet. Look at that site once an hour, you’ll never want to eat again!

good read

A hard hitting article on women in the military. Interests me not only for the primary subject matter, but because it tangentially covers the work I’m doing at GDLS.

a question for my readers

I’m thinking about installing a new plugin for my blog, that would put up an image of some numbers in the comment window, and require you to type them in before you could post a comment. Now obviously this would require a small amount of your time each time you wanted to comment, and it would also make the blog slightly less accessible for anyone with bad vision, text based browsing, etc. So far as I know though, none of my readership have these sorts of issues.

Does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this, before I implement it? All I know is that it’s becoming a daily thing to update the blacklist, and remove the comment spam. It’s getting old, so I’m looking for a solution. If anyone out there has a better or different solution, I’m up for that as well.


You can go to any number of sites for an explanation of how ozone is produced in the atmosphere, but in summary, the most common method is that a ray (or is it a particle :) of ultraviolet light strikes a molecule of Oxygen (O2) and splits it into single Oxygen atoms with one excited electron. This allows the single oxygen atom to combine with a pair of bonded oxygen atoms to form a threesome known as ozone (O3). Ozone molecules are capable of blocking ultraviolet light, so they are a useful barrier to protect life on the surface of the planet from too much ultraviolet light.

Now, in the industrialized world in which we live, some chlorine compounds are more common than they were, say 100 years ago. These chlorine compounds like to bind with those free oxygen atoms, which prevents them from forming ozone molecules.

Now here’s my question: What is it about this that is not self repairing? The amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is pretty constant. Thus, it seems that for a given amount of ultraviolet rays entering the stratosphere, a proportionate number of free oxygen atoms will be produced. If some of those free oxygen atoms are consumed by a different reaction (bound into a chlorine molecule, for example), then fewer ozone molecules will be produced. This will allow the ingress of a relatively larger number of ultraviolet rays. This, in turn, would suggest that *more* free oxygen atoms would be produced. More free oxygen atoms should mean that there would be enough for the O3 and the chlorine molecules to co-exist peacefully, I would think?

Am I correct? Obviously this is a simplistic view of the system, but am I missing an important piece of this puzzle? It sure seems like it would be a self-balancing system.