Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 153

On Politics
Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis) did not surprise me. What has surprised me is the comparison by some partisan pundits of Rep. Ryan to Sarah Palin. He may be an ideologue, but he is not a nincompoop.

Selecting Gov. Chris Christie to deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention is a good choice.

As the Medicare rhetoric wars heat up, here are two interesting articles: one and two.

In his campaign for Congress, Joe the Plumber’s “Put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting” is more than a goofy comment by someone who has no business being in Congress. It is a sign of the tone, tenor, and lack of sincerity in today’s political arena. Let’s hope that the majority of citizens in Ohio’s First District have enough sense. Sadly, even if he loses, he will receive too many votes.

Because VP Biden’s “chains” gaffe and the political aftermath received much media play, I sought and listened to the entire speech. (I wonder how many people did that.) Although it was a not the best metaphor, it still goes back to context – thus didn’t deserve the attention it got. Interestingly, Sen. McCain said the President Obama should replace Biden on the ticket. Senator, are you speaking as a partisan or from your experience?

Does anyone have friends who still believe President Obama was not born in the U.S.?

The Mute button on my TV remote is still working on the campaign ads and interviews with surrogates!

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Michael Phelps Returns to His Tank at Sea World
New Dating Site Matches Users with Partners They Deserve
Subway Introduces Pool-Water-Soaked Sandwich to Honor Michael Phelps
Long Jumper Imagines Transatlantic Flight as One Big, Long Jump
Herman Cain Lifts Suspension of Presidential Campaign

Interesting Reads
Disavowing Super PACS
Brush up on Your Fake Science
Washington Post graph of global temperatures since the late 1800s
Soul of the Olympics
The craft of ancient Belgian beer
An initial Christian response to Darwin

On Potpourri
As I wrote yesterday, the college football season is around the corner, which also means the bowl season is not far away. Given the number of teams required to fill the bowls, the NCAA standards for selections by the bowls, and the number of high-profile schools ineligible for bowls, the NCAA pathetically put their best foot forward by changing the standards.

These are for any enjoying Italy. Debra, an Australian who spends time in Italy, had this wonderful post from the area of both sides of my family. Earlier in this week, I posted about cruising into Portofino. On the same day, Margie also posted about this picturesque village.

William Shatner returns to Priceline ads, which means he survived the crash.

Sadly, I will not have a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this week. After all, it’s time for me to take a break. Although you may see me stopping by, I will return here in about 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to visit the delightful bloggers I provide in the sidebar. Until my return, be safe, enjoy life, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch … and enjoy this fun video.


On the Approaching Traditions

NOTE: This post is about college football in the U.S., but there is something here for everyone!

Saying that college football is big in the U.S. is an understatement. Not only is it popular, it is also big business – actually ginormous! Nonetheless, with the 2012 season starting toward the end of this month, fan excitement is building.

I like the traditions of college football – and oh my, there are many – but one post cannot capture them all. Much like politics, one’s favorite traditions stems from their loyalties. Simply put, here are some of my favorites.

Colleges have their collection of spirit songs, fight songs, and alma maters. Here’s mine – a song that I played many times in my time as a member of the BGSU Falcon Marching Band – Forward Falcons. (Yes, that’s me on the album cover here.) BTW – Here’s a site where one can find a plethora of college spirit songs.


From the Michigan’s “Big House” hosting 110,000 to the small stadium holding 4,000, fans file into colossal venues across the land to watch their gladiators. One of my favorite venues is also one of the oldest in college football. Nippert Stadium , located in the center of campus at the University of Cincinnati, is a cozy place with great site lines for fans. Given a full house and a raucous crowd, it’s a tough place for opponents. (My past post on Nippert) The band racing down the old concrete steps is always a risky venture, but a traditional pre-game entrance.

More on Nippert


Avid fans help create an atmosphere that seems unique to college football. Some say that game day in Madison is the place to be because those fans know how to have a good time while intensely supporting their Wisconsin Badgers. I’ve been there once, and what an experience – and witnessing their eruption in song was both a surprise and a treat!


Teams have nicknames (my past post) and mascots, such as Herbie Husker, Bucky Badger, Freddie Falcon, Puddles the Duck, Tommy Trojan, Benny Beaver, Buster Bronco, or single names as Smoky, Cocky, Testudo, just simply The Bearcat … animals as Bevo (longhorn steer), Uga (bulldog), Ralphie (Buffalo), Tusk (bore hog), Traveler (horse), and many more.

Before you get to the video, here are a few other links about mascots: Wikipedia list of mascot names , a photo gallery of mascots , a video of bad mascots, and my post on nicknames. Meanwhile, I gotta love this short video about Puddles, the Oregon Duck.


As the home team finally enters the field shorting before kickoff, fans erupt! I’ve never been to Clemson University, but someday I want to be in the stands as their Tigers enter the famed field known as Death Valley.


Pregame and halftime is for the college bands, which add to the atmosphere and have historic traditions of their own. I may live in Ohio, but that does not mean I root for Ohio State. Nonetheless, as a former band member, I respect their long-standing tradition of Script Ohio.


Meanwhile, the college football season starts by the end of this month. Good luck to your favorites, and if my team plays yours, I wish you the best with the other games.

On a Stern View

Fortunately, we enjoy cruising. Unfortunately, we discovered it later in life.

I think of cruising as a traveling hotel. The ship hauls us around from port to port, yet we only go through one unpacking-packing cycle.

To celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2007, we had a fabulous 12-day cruise of Italy and Croatia. Simply one of the best vacations ever, but not our first cruise. It was on this trip where I discovered one of my highlights of cruising: that first glimpse of a new port as soon as I awaken in the morning. Simply, what does this new port look like?

On that cruise, our cabin was on the back of the ship. At the first stop, the ship had to anchor in the bay, thus tender visitors to the town. Fortunately, that first view on that day was high on the Wow factor – looking across the water to the small town with its colorful buildings pressed up against the hills of the Italian coast visually saying Benvenuto a Portofino!


Enjoy each of the short videos capturing Portofino’s beauty.


On an Upcoming Show

Note: This post may seem all over the place because it is – so be patient.

The next season of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) will feature past performers and the executives surprised me with their cast announcement ahead of their normal routine. I know that the decision of the cast primarily depends on ratings and availability, thus the announcement confirmed my worst fears – Bristol Palin returns! (Here are the pairings.)

Back to Bristol Palin. I don’t care if she finished third in season 11. She wasn’t that good, the judges were more lenient with her than any contestant ever (IMO), and the Palinistas faithfully voted her just because they could. Eventually, I became so disgusted that I refused to watch until she was gone.

The bean-counting-focused decision makers selected her in order to gain a ratings boost during the height of the presidential campaign – yet hopefully not to sway the election. I know the Palin’s are all about making money, but geez Louise, get a grip ABC! In my opinion, this shows that ABC executives favor of their financial pockets over respecting the election process in their country, which I find disgusting and a disgrace to those of us who enjoy the show.

This earns ABC executives a Dolt of the Year nomination. Fear not because NBC also gets a nomination because they secured Papa Grizzly for a show I wouldn’t have watched anyway (Stars Earn Stripes, which just started).  Besides, NBC have done other bonehead decisions this year, such as what they said about the reasons for cancelling Harry’s Law.

Nevertheless, ABC made their selections and Bristol Palin was not the only controversial selection because the list also pathetically includes more than one DWTS employee. So, in the spirit of living up to my own standards, odds are I will boycott Season 15 to avoid Blood of Nincompoop – or at least not watch until she’s gone.

On a Monday Bounce

Another weekend has closed. How was yours?

No ballroom time for us this weekend as my in-laws anniversary bash dominated the spotlight. Attendees had a good time and my in-laws were very pleased.

Nonetheless, between the preparation, the event, the aftermath, family in town, etc … something was always on the hot burner. Reminds me of being on a pogo stick. Well, not quite like those in the video, but they do provide humorous and head-scratching moments. Then again, my pogo stick history is very short.

Have a good week.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 152

On Politics
My hat is off to our Kabuki Congress for doing nothing overly stupid this week. Yep, one of the benefits of their summer recess.

A special thank you to the U.S. Supreme Court. As evident on more than one occasion from each side, your Citizens United decision has elevated the use of distortion and incorrectness to a new level.

Both presidential campaigns continue belittling the other while avoiding facing important issues of the day. Meanwhile, don’t forget PolitiFact and Annenberg Fact Check to examine the claims.

Abtwixt did this great post a few days ago about the separation of church and state. Combine it with my last post on this issue, you will have a lot to ponder.

On Headlines from The Onion

  • Scientists Say Venom Taken from Politicians Could Provide Medical Benefits
  • Blind Archer Sets New World Record before Accidently Murdering Eight
  • Obama Slips “Hope” into Speech for Fans
  • Romney Stuck in Endless Loop of Uncomfortable Chuckling
  • Area Family Awakens to Find Michelle Obama Tending Backyard Garden
  • World Leader Wondering Way He Met with Former Governor
  • Biden’s eBay Feedback Rating Dips Below 35 Percent

Interesting Reads
Columnist David Ignatius about Saudi Arabia
Columnist Kathleen Parker on First Ladies
Columnist George Will on the Dangers of Football
Darwin’s Finches
Christianity and History of Science Infographic
Three-Ingredient Recipes from Food and Wine magazine
Why Sand doesn’t Stick to Volleyball Players

On Potpourri
Woo hoo!!!! A break in the weather is possible for the weekend.

I continue to be discouraged by this summer’s decline in stats, but extremely appreciative to those who take the time to stop by … especially those who comment.

For fans of my weekend classic cartoon posts, no post this weekend because of a busy schedule.

This weekend we are celebrating my in-laws Diamond Anniversary (60th) with a grand party involving friends and family. That’s them on their wedding day. Below the pic is a video of one of their favorite songs. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Hot Air

Although we don’t mean to make generalizations inaccurate, they are not the full story. After all, these statements are, by definition, generalizations. Sometimes people generalize the generalization, but failing to remember that continual generalization moves one further from the truth – thus eventually turning the generalization into misinformation that leads to misunderstandings.

Repeat after me – Hot air does not rise.

Just to make sure, let’s try again – Hot air does not rise.

Regardless of the links you can provide to the contrary, or ever provide a reference for a reputable textbook, hot air does not rise – it never has and I very much doubt ever will. Yet, how many times have we heard or said, Hot air rises? (Yes, I cringe when I hear TV weather forecasters use it.)

Nah baby nah … hot air does not levitate. Hot air does not move upward on its own – It is pushed upward by more dense cold air that displaces it – Just has bathtub water level moves upward on the sides when one takes their seat in a bathtub. However, there is no need for you to run down the street naked like Archimedes yelling, Eureka, eureka, I found it!

Here’s the story. During my science teaching days, we were preparing a lesson for the next day. Because my colleague had not seen this activity, he took one set of the materials to the location of the ice machine – the boys’ locker room.

My colleague returned saying it worked great, but shared an interesting story. One of the physical education (PE) teachers watched without knowing any details, and then said, “This means hot air doesn’t rise.” Bingo! Meanwhile, this gave me an opportunity to have some fun with the good-natured PE teacher.

During the eventually discussion with the students after the activity – and knowing students would quickly deliver my comment – I stated, “If a PE teacher like Mr. X can figure this out on his own, surely this is easy to understand.”

We had fun with it through the years, for as students are so predictable. But the point remains the same – Hot air doesn’t rise because it is pushed upward when it is displaced by more dense, colder air.

By the way, here’s a similar activity – but ours was better. Yo, Starla, show Navar.