GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts for the Closing of 2009

As I sit here, looking across the Hudson River at the lights of NYC, I am trying my 401st new beer of 2009. It is Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale. That part of the 365 Project was a hit.

One the brewpub side, I only made it to 9 brewpubs for the year, not the 12 that I wanted. So that will be a focus in 2010.

As for my thoughts on my first trip to the Big Apple, it is quite the place. I will have to unwind and digest my impressions once I get home.

My biggest gripe is that my netbook crapped out the 2nd day we were here, so I have to borrow my daughter's laptop to get my work done.

We woke up to a nice snowfall this morning. I managed to keep my 9 month-old grandson giggling for about 4 - 5 minutes by mimicking one of his "words" - "ap". Everytime I would say "ap", he would giggle. Nothing like happy baby sounds. I am so blessed to have had the time with him this year, despite the fact that he, my daughter, and son in-law moved to Jersey City a few months ago. I may not see him again until late May or so.

And so it goes.

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We Went Through This Crap at the end of 1999...

Folks, when you start to count, you start with 1, not zero.

Using our present system, (and ignoring possible errors), the "First Year" was 1 A.D.

The first year of the 2nd century was 101 A.D.

The decade ain't over, we still have 2010 to complete. Then 2011 will start the next decade.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Imagine If You Will...[with apologies to Rod Serling.]

having a successful small business. Perhaps a wood-working shop. Or maybe a small newspaper. Or a tractor dealership.

Not successful because of anything the government gave you, but because you produced a product that was wanted by the public and your business was well-managed to take advantage of consumer demand and grow - when it was prudent to do so - and hold back when things slowed down. In other words, you did everything right.

Just suppose your operating expenses were $100,000 per year. What would you do if the government came to you and told you that you must pay a tax equivalent to 100% of your operating expenses?

What would you do if the government agent told you that the money would be given to a failing competitor down the street, for the sake of "fairness"? What if this business was in trouble because it attempted to deliver to the public a product - similar to yours - but unwanted by the public for several important reasons? Maybe their sales people were unskilled and/or rude. Maybe the products were of an unfavored design. Suppose they had no plans to change their business practices, even after they got money from the government.

Could your business survive an additional $100,000 in taxes (on top of what it already pays), just so the government can buy favors from the failing business and its owners?

This scenario fits one definition of fascism. Private ownership with government control.

This scenario is one envisioned by FCC Diversity Chairman Mark Lloyd, to be used against commercial talk radio stations - to fund NPR radio stations. This article from is certainly not the first time this has been brought to the attention of the internet/blogosphere.

Where does Chairman Lloyd get some of his inspiration? From the CNSNews article:

..."In his 2006 book, Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America, Lloyd wrote that in his “struggle” against commercial broadcasters he took “inspiration and guidance” from the radical author Saul Alinksy, who dedicated his 1971 Rules for Radicals to “the first radical known to man … Lucifer.”...

Mark Lloyd also has gotten inspiration from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, that stalwart defender of free speech, seeking to spread his love of freedom to more of South America and then Central America, to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Fidel Castro.

So back to one of the prior questions, could your business survive a tax equal to 100% of its operating expenses? How many could?

This is nothing more than another attempt to shut down talk radio in general and conservative talk radio in particular. It would also include privately-owned religiously-themed stations (unless there happen to be any Muslim-themed stations, then they would probably be exempted for the sake of diversity).

Governments love to control the flow of information. It makes it easier to control the masses.

Free speech is just too much of a hassle to deal with, from their point-of-view.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

The 365 Project...Partially Complete

Phase I was completed on Saturday, December 5 when I tried The Bruery Two Turtle Doves dark Belgian ale. That made 365 different beers (or seasonal/yearly variations) tried. I have tried another 6 since then.

What remains is Phase II, which is to have visited at least a dozen different brewpubs. I have 3 left to go. There are sufficient numbers in Atlanta, it is just a matter of being busy with work and not having enough time on the weekends.

So now at 371 beers for the year, I may try for 400.

[Cross-posted over at Beer Can Blog.]

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

So, Who is Using the Words "Global Governance"?

[Image from zappatrust. I wonder, is this one of Frank Zappa's kids?]

For the sake of future generations, how long do we keep sleeping? As stated by Thomas Jefferson "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

So, who is using the words "global governance"?

1.) The new EU president: "2009 is also the first year of global governance with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet." [At about 1:55 in the video, from YouTube user UndefeatedArmy09]:

2.) Al Gore, at a July 7th conference (listen at about 1:37 into the video) (from YouTube user MrTokai83):

3. Jacques Chirac, former French PM. From blogger Pat Dollard:

"On November 20, 2000, then French President Chirac said during a speech at The Hague that the UN’s Kyoto Protocol represented “the first component of an authentic global governance.”"

A couple of nights ago, Barbara Walters asked Glenn Beck what he wanted to be in a year. Glenn said "wrong". He wants to be wrong about the things that worry him.

The words cited above are the words used by the original speakers, not Rush Limbaugh, not Neal Boortz, not Glenn Beck.

This climate "crisis" is a manufactured crisis. If you speak about the concern over Greenhouse Gases, but you don't even mention the dominant role of Water Vapor, you are not being scientifically honest. There is no way to conclusively prove the extent of human influences. Is it 0.001%? 0.01%? 0.1%? 1%? 10%? Because we don't have a constant "baseline" to measure from (as the climate is always changing), we cannot accurately assess what percentage might be "our fault". Ice sheets melted in the past and then recovered (without our help).

For the non-scientists, you can feel the changes in the Greenhouse Effect with changes in the weather.

During times of Low Pressure, when there is high humidity and significant cloud coverage - the Greenhouse Effect is greater, because of the blanketing effect of the clouds and the thickening of the air by the water vapor.

During times of High Pressure, when there is low humidity and few (or no clouds) - the Greenhouse Effect is lesser, because the clouds are not there to trap heat and the air is thinner due to the decreased of water vapor.

Conservation of resources and energy is just a good idea. Developing a more diverse energy supply is a good idea, but many (most?) of the proposed alternatives are years away from being feasible on a large scale. Recycling, on a logical basis, is a good idea.

Widespread deforestation is not a good idea. Trees play a role in returning moisture to the atmosphere (and cooling it at the same time), aside from other roles in their ecosystems.

We do need to clean up aspects of our behaviors, but surrendering our freedom and the freedom of our children and grandchildren to a global government (their words) will only result in slavery. Go back and read George Orwell's "1984". He got the dates wrong, the other stuff is coming true.

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

George Orwell

I hope I am wrong, but only time will tell. Freedom is the theme.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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It's Not Your Mom's Pyrex Anymore...

From fellow geoblogger Lounge of the Lab Lemming, a warning about "pyrex" cookware and the possibility of explosions in the microwave or perhaps standard oven (or perhaps after removal from the oven). The source for some of this info is this Consumer Affairs online report. [I recommend that you read both the blog post and the Consumer Affairs report.]

Since about 2005, it seems that there have been a number of consumer complaints about exploding pyrex cookware explosions.

From the August 20, 2008 Consumer Affairs article:

"Freiman and other glass experts consulted for this story say the glass used in today's Pyrex products may not be tempered properly, making it more likely to explode than products sold under the Pyrex label in the United Kingdom and some other European countries."

From Lab Lemming's post:

"...Pyrex is a borosilicate glass. This is important because this glass composition has a much lower thermal expansion coefficient than standard soda-lime glasses, making it more resistant to rapid changes in temperature.

Evidently, Corning got out of the consumer products business a decade ago, and then sold licenced the US rights to the Pyrex brand to another company. They now use the pyrex brand on a non-borosilicate glass product. These new products are tempered ordinary soda-lime glass, which is more heat resistant than ordinary window glass, but can still explode, according to consumer reports.

Tempered glass is made by cooling the outer layers of glass faster than the glass can conductively equilibrate. As the core of the glass then cools, it contracts, drawing the outer layers of the glass into compression, while putting the core under tensile stress."

To get to "the chase":

"Just like rocks, compression decreases the ability of fractures to propagate, so the glass is stronger."

Though it sounds absurd, when handling "pyrex" right out of the oven, aside from the oven mit, it might be good to wear safety glasses and if you have small children, keep them out of the kitchen.

I guess without the Corning label, a bit more caution is advised. If you are using newer "pyrex", keep your cell phone handy if you need to call 911.

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