Sunday, July 25, 2010

Enemies of Reform

Ed Koch has emerged from his crypt to sign up NYS lawmakers to his pledge for reform. Among the refuseniks, or "enemies of reform," is our local assemblywoman, Barbara Lifton, who follows Speaker Sheldon Silver in opposition to Koch's plan. She was called out by name in today's Syracuse Post-Standard.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another IJ Headline

Eagles to Barbecue Chicken

National Standards

As someone who's been calling for national standards for 30 years, I'm nothing but pleased to see that more than half the states have signed on. The incentive of money helped a lot, but more important than that, the standards are pretty good, solid, consistent, and fairly rigorous, without the "created by a committee of monkeys" feel that a lot of state standards have. For the first time ever, I'm working on a proposal for a series of books based on the Common Core Standards--the first of many, I suspect.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Arrival

Our first successful hatching of a peafowl chick. First of three. . . .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Unforeseen Consequences

We try to eat local(ly), especially when it comes to meat products. We buy a local half pig and half cow, eat the occasional venison stew, and for years we've raised Cornish game hens every other year, providing us with enough roasting hens for 24 months.

Sadly, we live in a state that's going broke. One way the state cuts back is by pushing regulatory oversight back onto the feds. That has happened in the case of certain food-related regulations, with the result that all of the small butchers in our area are either going belly up or at best refusing to take poultry. It seems that the federal regulations are far more onerous and expensive than the state ones were.

Maybe plucking my own poultry is the sustainable way to go, but it really isn't anything I signed on for.

How Hot Is It?

So hot that it's no longer a joke. Thanks to Robert for this article, which has a stunning matched set of pictures of a one-time glacier. Meanwhile, CNN reports on the hottest June in recorded history.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oil Leak Watch

I'm putting this in the side column, but it's hard to read there.

LATER: And now it's paused, since the cap seems to be working.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Required Reading

Carrie sent this disturbing article that explains why truth doesn't trump ignorance.
In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creatures Indoors

I'm used to the occasional ant or moth, but last night I went to turn off a light in the living room, and this fellow (not really, but one just like him) swooped up from the floor. He perched on a picture frame for a while and then sat on the chandelier for about an hour and a half. I was able to stroke him gently with a fishing rod and finally coax him into sitting on a net, which allowed me to get him into a closed bedroom with open windows and from there outside. I got to bed around midnight. I saw him (or one just like him), little the worse for wear, on the feeder this morning.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Required Reading

I like Gail Collins more and more. Here she is on the LeBronifying of everything and the fact that your next representative is more than likely to make a sh*tload more money than you do--or than the also-ran candidates do.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heat Wave

My office, on the west side of the house, is fine in the mornings, but I've had to abandon it by 2:30 PM the past few days and retire to the basement, where it's 20 degrees cooler. We're supposed to be mid-80s tomorrow, and it's sounding like an incredible relief.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gabe's Visit

Best. Headline. Ever.

The IJ on the investigation into a missing-person's case. Tompkins Police Press Probe Into Human Remains. Classic.