Dixie Chicks Sued, Santa Safe, Boom Goes the Dynamite



I gotta be honest…I haven’t really paid too much attention to the weather but, it would appear to me that what happened Tuesday was that our moisture flow was probably cut off somewhat by big storms down south. Consequently, we didn’t get as much rain as the computers or the HPC was expecting.  But, it was a nice steady rain and most folks got over an inch.  Now, the boundary should slip through today and with clouds and colder air, it will be pretty lousy.  There will be some light rain early Wednesday but that’s about it.  For the balance of the week, we remain in the bucket with colder than average temperatures, but nothing overly extreme.

Odds and Ends

ice200812_figure1Well, let’s see what is going on that you may have missed.  Well, the ice growth at the North Pole continues (Dec 3 NSIDC News), though at a reduced rate from the extreme growth seen over the past few months.  Nevertheless, it looks like Santa won’t have to have the elves make him a large red

Graph 2008 vs. 2007 vs 30 yr avg

Graph 2008 vs. 2007 vs 30 yr avg

scuba gear outfit.  I suspect the reports that come out in the press will emphasize that the amount of ice at this time is less than the 30 year average.  It could just as easily have been reported that the growth is substantially larger than last year’s record low and then ask the question as to whether it is a trend.  I seriously doubt that you will see that.  Also, I doubt that you will see the articles from this past spring that there were fears that the polar ice cap at the north end would completely disappear.  When you read the article, you find buried several paragraphs down that one guy gave a small percentage chance of that being the case…yet that was the headline.  And it was wrong….just like $200 a barrel oil was wrong.  You never hear retractions on stuff like that…I suppose you are supposed to just forget about it.

Joke or Serious Commentators?

Joke or Serious Commentators?

The Dixie Chicks are being sued with Natalie Maines being prominently mentioned.  Seems, that around the time the Chicks were causing a ruckous with their well thought out, researched and substantiated protests against the Iraq war, the Chicks were protesting against the arrest of the men who were convicted in the death of 3 eight year old boys  in West Memphis, AR.  They didn’t just attend the rally,  but the charge is that Ms. Maines claimed that one of the boys’ step father is the real killer.  That man is suing for defamation.  In order for this to actually come about, a jury must then consider the source to be credible.  I mean, comics are generally immune from defamation suits because the environment is generally known to be a source of jokes.  This lawsuit assumes that Ms. Maines is not a joke.

Freedom of Religion?

Freedom of Religion?

The War on Christmas stories are all over the place.  Most recently, some guy in Washington went to the state capital and decided to take advantage of the egalitarian rules regarding displays on public property to put up a sign next to a Nativity Scene that reads, “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”   Ah yes….Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Men!!  (a different take on it) Remember I brought you the controversy about the Christmas Boat Parade becoming the  Holiday Boat Parade and my thoughts inspired by Snow White.  But, I dunno about this one.  I’m not sure  that this guy’s sign qualifies as a religious symbol or display.  This writer takes stock at a number of battles going on around the country.

Father Dynamite

Father Dynamite

On This Date in History: On this date in 1896, Alfred Nobel died.  Nobel had made a vast fortune for his development of modern explosives.  Nytroglycerine was a known high explosive but it was very unstable.  This

Nobel Had To Rebuild His Laboratory

Nobel Had To Rebuild His Laboratory

instability made it very difficult to work with as a slight shaking might cause it to explode.  So, Nobel worked on trying to find a more suitable substitute.  When experimenting with high explosives, mistakes could be deadly.  He had several accidents. One in 1864 leveled his building and killed his brother.  Leaders in Stockholm forbade any more nitroglycerine experiments within the city limits.  So, Nobel moved his operations to a barge on Lake Maralen.  I bet fishing boats didn’t come too close.  It was there that Nobel figured out that a mixture of nitro and kieselguhr made a paste that could be shaped into long cylinders and handled safely.  He also invented a detonator which he called a blasting cap.  From a lighted fuse, the blasting cap would ignite what he called dynamite,which was a term with its root from the Greek word “dynamis” which means power.  Nobel got the patents for everything associated with dynamite and became a very wealthy man. 

In Any Language Its Dynamite

In Any Language Its Dynamite

But, he apparently had worked so hard that he was in very poor physical condition.  It appears he was rather lonely as he posted an ad in a newspaper that said, “Wealthy, highly-educated elderly gentleman seeks lady of mature age, versed in languages, as secretary and supervisor of household.”  The woman who won the sweepstakes. the ad was an Austrian countess.  She worked for him for a year or so and then returned to Austria where she married someone else, but they remained friends.  She probably influenced him as she opposed the arms race between nations, even writing a book called Lay Down Your Arms that spoke out against the evils of war.  Now, I had always heard that Nobel had thought that his invention of dynamite would mean the end of war.  But, I have not found anything credible to support that.  Instead, it is suggested that Nobel felt badly for how the explosives that he invented had a negative effect.  While it was a more efficient method for construction of things like tunnels and foundations in rock, its use in warfare vastly increased the violence and carnage of war.  So, it was this guilt that led him to decree in his will that his fortune would invested and the proceeds “annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”  In keeping with his wishes, on this date in 1901, Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace.

Nobel must have had some fortune because to this day, the award recipients receive several hundred thousand dollars along with the title.  In my view, the peace prize has become more politicized which has taken some of the luster off.


5 Responses

  1. …other things on your mind other than the weather? I’m confident that a man of your talents won’t have to look very long. I hope you find something local!!

    Good post, as usual. Napoleon Dynamite is one of the favorite movies in my family. It is definitely an acquired taste though. The first time I saw it, I didn’t get it but it grows on you.


  2. are you hiring? Napoleon was a taste that I never acquired…but I still might vote for Pedro.

  3. I think Pedro would be an improvement over our president-elect. Of course, that would be the case no matter who would have won! President-Elect Obama did run on pretty much the same kind of platform as Pedro though. Not much difference between “Vote for me and I’ll make your wildest dreams come true.” and “Change. Hope.” in terms of actual substance. Hey, it worked for them both! Maybe that’s where Obama got the idea.

    Well, if we needed a weatherman at our resin factory then you’d be my first pick! Unfortunately, we’re like a lot of folks now and we’re not hiring anyone nor are we replacing anyone who leaves. Hopefully it won’t go any further than that. I guess things can’t be good all the time. But, it’s easier to say that when you’re the one with the job! Ecclesiastes 7.14 comes to mind. I’ll try to keep you in my prayers, buddy!

    You’re good at what do, Mr. Symon, and I’ve always enjoyed your low-key, relaxed, broadcasting style. You come across as a very approachable, likeable guy on television which is a real plus (maybe it’s even true!). You’re a talented guy so it shouldn’t take too long to find something suitable, I would think. Keep plugging, my friend.

  4. Thank you. Snow White and I are reading based on daily notions from Max Lucado, which recently touched on Paul’s messages to the Phillippians….twas intersting….it focused on Paul 4:11 which is two before the more famously quoted (Evander Holyfield for One) of Phil. 4:13. Yours was interesting especially when you read on to the verses that follow.

  5. wow, this was a bunch of bs..

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