Friday New Year’s Eve Open Comments

Again, I find the couch is not made up for company. I am unlocking the door and inviting ya’ll in. I, unfortunately, have work to do, so please help yourself to the beverages and leftovers in the fridge, and talk amongst yourselves until I can join in your pleasant company. Make yourself at home!

PS: The plunger behind the toilet is there for a reason.

Thursday Florida Cracker Open Comments

In honor of our host, we have a roundup of weird news items from everyone’s favorite loony-bin:

Florida lived up to its reputation for being an odd state in 2010, with residents committing stupid crimes, making poor decisions and exhibiting general weirdness.
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There was the man pulled over in Manatee County who claimed the crack in his crack wasn’t his. Officers found bags of marijuana and crack cocaine stuffed between the man’s butt cheeks. He said the pot was his but “the white stuff is not mine.”

How big was his posterior buttockal area that he could fit “bags” of weed & booger sugar in is posterior vertical smile?

They also managed to keep various bomb squads busy:

Threatening items that bomb squads had to handle this year included a box with two kittens in Cocoa and a stuffed pony in Orange County. Authorities blew up the stuffed pony, but spared the kittens. A Melbourne street was shut down for three hours, the time it took the bomb squad to figure out the flashing object in the middle of the street was a restaurant pager.

Get back, or I swear I’ll page you!

Nor was odd news limited to the living. A family honoring a relative’s dying wish gave him a burial at sea, only to have the body resurface off a Fort Lauderdale beach.

Must have been a drifter.

Tuesday Open Comments

Although it’s easy to point to record snowstorms as proof the warmmongers are crazy, it’s not really scientifically sound. Still, as anecdotal evidence piles up like a New Jersey snowdrift, it’s fun to do:

Sounds crazy, but as the Potsdam Institute of Climate Research announced last Tuesday, man-made global warming could cause “polar winds to make their way to Europe and North Asia, whereby the probability of cold winters triples.”

MMGW makes for colder winters.

That very day a Professor Stephan Rahmstorf released a report saying climate change means “we have to anticipate milder winters rather than cold ones,” and that even our “cold” winters have gotten “warmer.”

MMGW makes for warmer winters. Two “scientists” from the same institute – two opposite predictions. Don’t they know that we learned the “heads I win, tail you lose” ruse in second grade?

For three years in a row, global warming models have predicted – erroneously – that Europe would have warm, snow-free winters. Meanwhile climatologist Piers Corbyn warned London of a white Christmas weeks ago. His models have been far more accurate than the UN-approved “science,” but he’s ignored.

Why? Because Corbyn’s research shows the sun has far more to do with climate patterns than your Prius does. Unfortunately, there’s no money to be made at places like the Potsdam Institute studying things like the sun. No legislature can regulate excessive solar output, and there are no jobs to hand out at the Department of Sunshine Control.

Open Comments – Monday Christmas Aftermath Edition

I came across this interesting story last night.

In early 1934, Clarence Hickman, a Bell Labs engineer, had a secret machine, about six feet tall, standing in his office. It was a device without equal in the world, decades ahead of its time. If you called and there was no answer on the phone line to which Hickman’s invention was connected, the machine would beep and a recording device would come on allowing the caller to leave a message.

Why was this so earthshaking a find?

The genius at the heart of Hickman’s secret proto–answering machine was not so much the concept- perceptive of social change as that was-but rather the technical principle that made it work and that would, eventually, transform the world: magnetic recording tape. Recall that before magnetic storage there was no way to store sound other than by pressing a record or making a piano roll. The new technology would not only usher in audio cassettes and videotapes, but when used with the silicon chip, make computer storage a reality. Indeed, from the 1980s onward, firms from Microsoft to Google, and by implication the whole world, would become utterly dependent on magnetic storage, otherwise known as the hard drive.

But what happened to this invention?

What’s interesting is that Hickman’s invention in the 1930s would not be ” discovered” until the 1990s. For soon after Hickman had demonstrated his invention, AT&T ordered the Labs to cease all research into magnetic storage, and Hickman’s research was suppressed and concealed for more than sixty years, coming to light only when the historian Mark Clark came across Hickman’s laboratory notebook in the Bell archives.

/snip

But why would company management bury such an important and commercially valuable discovery? What were they afraid of? The answer, rather surreal, is evident in the corporate memoranda, also unearthed by Clark, imposing the research ban. AT&T firmly believed that the answering machine, and its magnetic tapes, would lead the public to abandon the telephone.

It makes me wonder what else is out there, being suppressed by the idea of protecting the corporate creators, or possibly by political correctness?

How would our lives be different?
How would they be the same?
And how much further along would we be if this invention had been allowed to come to fruition? Would we be on other planets by now? How would our politics be different?

Would my husband actually be comfortable with email? Forget email, would he at least be able to turn on a computer?

Christmas Poem

Eternity stood suspended
Upon one point in time.
All creation stilled itself
With bated breath held fine.

The wind was still, the stars shone clear,
And flowing brooks were calm,
While the virgin brought forth for all
Divine nature’s balm.

A babe it was she bore for us,
The future of all man,
She kissed his head and stroked his hair,
And touched his little hand.

A cry he gave and Mary looked
With calm and loving eyes.
While Joseph watched with kindly wonder
As Mary calmed his cries.

Mary leaned back upon the straw
While Joseph watched the babe.
Both would ponder and marvel at
The turn their lives had made.

They were entrusted with such a gift
As no one ever would,
Eternity rested within Mary’s arms
And Joseph close by stood.

And as the baby slept so sound
In mother’s arms with love,
All creation came unbound
And stars twinkled high above.

************************

And a very Merry Christmas to all my family and friends – near, ‘net, and far away!

Pease Deaw Santa

Dear Santa,

I’ve been good,
I weally, weally have!
I been nice to Joe.
Even when he pulled my haiw,
And cwied ‘til he let go.
Oh, pease Santa, all I ask –
Pease just make it snow!
Heaw in Texas
It is so wawm,
I wish it would get cold!
It would be so vewy much fun!
In my jackets I’d be all wolled,
Oh, pease Santa, all I ask –
Pease just make it snow!
I’d make snowballs,
And snow angels
All ovuh on the gwound,
Outside I’d beg to go.
Wif gloves and boots I’d play aw day,
Oh, pease Santa, all I ask –
Pease just make it snow!
Oh, Santa, dear,
Pease wead my note,
This fing you weally must know –
No pony I want, no pwetty wings,
No dolly wif a pwetty bow,
Oh, pease, pease, PEASE Santa –
Pease just make it snow!

Mary and the Shepherds

I woke up suddenly, not realizing I had dozed off.  I had finished helping a lamb who was reluctant to enter the world, and it had not been my first of the evening.  Did I hear my name?  “Joshua!”  There it was again.  Now fully awake, I looked down in the valley and saw my friend, Gerson.  “Come on up!” I yelled back to him.  Gerson loved to talk and laugh, and I wondered how long he would handle the shepherding life if he ever decided to join me.  Continue reading