Daily Archives: January 13, 2009

more Coleman sleaze?

The Minnesota DFL Party filed a complaint today with the FEC regarding how Norm Coleman is paying for his recount efforts. Norm doesn’t have the personal wealth to fund this himself plus the Republican donors aren’t probably all that excited about funding a losing proposition. So this means Norm needed to go where Republicans get the vast majority of their donations … corporations. But Melendez and Co. think there is something underhanded going on.

Norm Coleman? Underhanded? Is that even possible?

….. details here.

Your computer can run a Zillion times faster!

If you are currently using Ubuntu 8, the upgrade to Ubuntu 9 will involve the implementation of Ext4. Ext4 is a super duper very fast file system that will make your computer sing. Sing fast.

If you are not using Linux at all, say you are using WinDoze, switching to Ubuntu 9.04 will make your computer run Two Zillion times faster, and it will not keep breaking and doing annoying things.

But remember, Linux is NOT FOR EVERYBODY. No …
Continue reading Your computer can run a Zillion times faster!

Texas, Woe Is You

Meet Don McLeroy

Doesn’t Don look happy? He should. He’s accomplished a great many things. He has an engineering degree, is a practicing dentist, has served in the U.S. Army, and has even helped out with his local Boy Scouts of America chapter, or congragation, or whatever they’re called. On top of that, he’s a Sunday-school teacher!

And he’s a creationist and he’s the head of the Texas Schoolboard.

The gory, awful details are HERE.

Texans, please don’t make me tell you that you are all a bunch of slack jawed morons again! I know you don’t like it. But you keep doing this shit.

Desert Carnival

There is a plan to make a “Web Log Carnival of the Vanities” (aka blog carnival) for all things arid.

Submissions should have something to do with a desert somewhere in the world. (If you’re not sure whether your work is desert-related, check out this definition at Wikipedia, and if you’re still not sure, send it in anyway.) Submissions can be scientific in nature, or history, or travelog. Images are welcome, photographic or otherwise. Discussions of culture and politics are welcome if they’re desert-related. The one restriction, other than geographical, is that — at least when I’m compiling it — paeans to destroying the desert probably won’t make it. (Developers and ORVers take note.) Paeans to preserving or protecting the desert are fine, as are alerts of current pressing issues.

This is a good idea, though I have one problem with this I want to mention and I’m sure we can deal with it.

Back when the guy who decided what a tropical rain forest is and what a desert is went around and did that stuff, he ignored Africa and based all the numbers on Asia and the New World. As a result, the entire Central African Rain Forest is not a rain forest, and the Kalahari is not a desert. For instance.

So I think we need to have a sufficiently broad definition of desert to include the arid lands that don’t quite make the cut for this absurd arbitrary reason. Kay?


Franken Counter Filing

Al Franken has, as his his right and duty, filed papers to the court now reviewing Coleman’s suit regarding the Minnesota Senate Race.

Eric Kleefeld has an excellent summary of the paper. You can read the papers here, and read Eric’s summary here. Oh, and if you want a real laugh, you can read Coleman’s suit here.

I’ll give you the bottom line. There are the usual hopeful elements in any such filing, which usually have no effect, such as jurisdictional questions and so on. But there are two key elements based on which I would expect a decision by the court to throw out the case. First, some of Coleman’s propsoed remedies are illegal. Second, the one or two remedies that might not be illegal, if applied uniformly, would net Franken as many votes as Coleman (in relative terms). This inparticular applies to Coleman’s claim that there was double counting in some precincts of a few votes. Coleman wants votes thrown out in Franken-supporting precincts. Franken’s camp says: OK, if you do that, we have a list of red-colored precincts to also throw votes out in.

It would be funny if the courts allowed some of this and Coleman came up even more behind. Almost worth a try.

Blogging the Origin: New Sb Blog

A new blog called Blogging the Origin launched Monday. It’s a Seedmagazine.com-sponsored blog, written by London-based freelance science writer John Whitfield, who has the particular qualification–for this project, at least–of having never read Darwin’s The Origin of Species. As he now begins to read it for the first time, he will cover each of the 15 chapters (including the introduction) in detail, sharing his thoughts and soliciting those of readers. By the time Darwin Day rolls around on February 12, John hopes to be an Origins expert. Follow his progress here.

Help Help We’re Freezing Here!

OMG it is 17 degrees this morning!

(Below zero F, needless to say)

There is a six mph westerly wind. That is not too bad, but it puts our “feels like” (the index formerly known as wind chill) at about negative 32. Even in Minnesota, on a morning like this some cars will not start, some schools will have kids showing up late because the school buses will take an extra hour to warm up. (In some districts they never turned the buses off yesterday, knowing they would not be able to start them today).

It is expected to warm up, though! The high point will be Five! (Below.) As they say (somewhat inaccurately): “Hey, with luck it will warm up enough to snow.”

I’ve only got one pair of wool lined pants, and I wore them yesterday. So, laundry happens before anything else this morning, you betcha….