Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 400

 

Welcome to the 400th volume of Opinion in the Shorts (aka OITS). I published the first on November 25, 2008 – about 3 months after starting my little corner of the world. To celebrate the occasion, I’ve included a short self-perspective in each section.

Next milestone – Only 5 to go to post #2,200.

This section evolved into a potpourri of thoughts. Because it is more applicable and interest to wider readership, I moved this section so it can serve as a lighter opener.

The lengthy stretch of rain, storms, tornadoes, and record flooding in the central US has been devastating. For those who are able and willing to donate, I urge you to do so to the charity of your choice. Here’s a link to Charity Navigator a site rating organizations on performance, financial health, accountability, and transparency.

A few days ago, at least 18 tornadoes hit Ohio – the closest about 40 miles from me. Fortunately, the people we know in that area are OK, but others lost their homes or suffered repairable damage. FYI: Ohio typically averages 3 for the entire month of May.

After seeing images of a long line of people on the final ascent of Mount Everest, I said, “I don’t get it.”

Last week ended with a 3-day weekend for Memorial Day. The Sunday sermon by one of my pastors was one of the best I’ve ever heard about this holiday. For those interested (and having 18 minutes), click here.

I recently learned that my state (Ohio) is ranked #6 in most Bigfoot sightings. Stephen Colbert recently asked a very pertinent question – What is the plural of Bigfoot?

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This blog initially focused on sports and politics – so this section was an extension of the initial roots. For a long time, this section opened OITS.

Emphasizing improving the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was one of the reasons Democrats gained control of the House this past December. I’m still waiting, and failing to pass such a bill through the legit process (as opposed to force feeding) will work against Democrats in the 2020 election.

For the second time in a week, a House Republican blocked the passing of a disaster funding bill. One person having the ability to block a bill is one reason Congress has a low approval rating.

Bottom Line: Special Counsel Robert Mueller explained he was the fact finder, and Congress is the jury. In that light, while Democrats are foaming at the mouth aiming for political gain. Republicans are spineless, protectionists of their own kind. Then again, if the situation were reversed, the roles would be reversed. Members of both sides of the aisle march to their party-first mantra, followed by preserving their own seat. Contrary to popular opinion, “country” is no higher than third on their priority list.

Earlier this week the news reported President Trump contradicting the National Security Advisor. Hello – he not only frequently does this to his advisors and experts, he also frequently contradicts himself. No wonder he is “the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.” (Jon Voight) … but a great American orator responds

I just watched a report on CBS citing three studies/organizations supporting what I about to state.To those citing the current tornado activity as proof of climate change, to those condemning President Trump for ignoring climate change, and to those blaming Obama for everything & anything, current research shows there is currently no link between increased tornadic activity and climate change. That doesn’t mean the existence of an undiscovered link or the absence of any link. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (an “independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change”), states in their opening sentence on their page about tornadoes and climate change: The link between tornadoes and climate change is currently unclear.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a history of robocalls.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

The Onion has had a place on this blog for a long time. Long-time readers probably remember The Onion’s Satire Bits – a midweek dose of satire that ran for 134 weeks. That’s where the combo challenge started.

Showerhead self-conscious about single jet that sprays sideways
Boss encourages employees to take short mental breakdowns for every hour of work
World populace actually fine with rich people dying on Mount Everest
Businessman mortified to discover he’s been wearing suit backwards all day
Lowe’s reveals new table saw with attached ice chest for storing cut-off fingers (Click for the image)
Struggling single mother seriously considering putting baby up for audition

(My Combo) Mortified boss struggling putting self-conscious rich people on table saw

Interesting Reads

I’m not sure when this section first appeared. However, early OITS editions occasionally contained linked articles. Over time, articles switched from politics and economics to a collection of wide-ranging topics.

Linking democracy and dissatisfaction
Descartes laws of nature and theology
Getting pandas from China
About Portuguese citizenship and Jews
Virgin birth by an anaconda
(Photos) Waterfalls in black-and-white
(Photos) A collection from a river and streams theme

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one from Bonnie Raitt (since many appreciated her appearance last week). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236

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On Politics
In the US, the Surgeon General would be the point person in the fight against Ebola. As Republicans are (predictably) attacking President Obama on Ebola, let us not forget that President Obama nominated Dr. Vikey Murthy for the post in November 2013, whose nomination is being blocked by Republicans. Once again I say that Senators should act on any and all presidential nominees regardless of the president’s political affiliation.

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey is remaining on the sidelines as much as possible, which causes me to wonder if its leadership is doing with hopes of eradicating the Kurds. I don’t know, but just a thought to ponder.

I like this statement in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article regarding climate change and politicians … When you get politicians in the room to talk about climate change, science doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. What does? Money, geography, party politics, and a region’s history.

Recent quotes for talk-show host Bill Maher and some of his guests about Islam has received much media attention. On the topic, I enjoyed this column from Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post).

I always appreciate the Stealers Wheel song clip Michael Smerconish uses on his XM radio show: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with you … and now I see this one from Nancy’s book review: Don’t go to the right, don’t go left, go deeper. Thanks, Nancy!

To lead you into The Onion, I appreciate these two recent gems they provide on our upcoming elections.

  • Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track
  • Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
TV show under fire for depicting murder
Man thinks people care enough about him to be let down by his failures
Facebook offers to freeze female employees’ newborn children
Entire conversation with parents spent changing subject
Lifelong dream no match for first brush with adversity
Susan G Komen Foundation launches deep-space probe to bring breast cancer awareness to rest of galaxy

Interesting Reads
A white-only town in South Africa
Constitutional balance
Evolution and faith: one’s journey
Columnist David Brooks on campaign spending
Top geologic sights in the UK (great pics, too)
Infographic: Extinction by Numbers
Microsoft Office is not needed

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On Potpourri
Another story of a young lady from the Cincinnati area with cancer is getting national attention. She’s a college freshman with a wish to play in one college basketball game. Here’s the video from a local channel (one in which the reporter has a difficult time) and this written report from Sporting News that has a video for a different local station.

This week I made my first appearance to the weekly dance gathering for those with disabilities. It was a great 45 minutes, plus the dancer teacher was pleasantly surprised to see me. Later, I sent her the link to my post about the event, and she loved it.https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/on-an-extra-special-event/

CNN has a series (CNN Roots) about the family roots of some of their studio personalities. I’ve enjoyed the three I’ve seen so far, but this one about Michaela Pereira is outstanding, so I encourage you can watch it here. By the way, CNN will have a primetime special regarding this series on October 21st at 9:00 pm (Eastern US). Here’s the CNN page on the series with all the videos.

This week we got a new neighbor, and they used a POD storage system, which I’ve seen – but I’ve never witnessed one either loaded or unloaded to/from a truck. I must say, Very interesting! … so here are two videos for those who want to know more … from the moving company (1+ min) … and … by a user (4+ min).

Another act of Life: The Musical is in the official record, so thanks to all participants … and, as always, I love listening to all the songs. What’s your thought on this idea: Should I compile all the songs for the entire musical?

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us, so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Cartoon this week.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Something Gaudy Day, Pasta Day, Alternative Fuel Day, Black Poetry Day, Eradicate Poverty Day, Mulligan Day, Mammography Day
  • (Sat) Bridge Day, Chocolate Cupcake Day, Menopause Day, No Beard Day, Sweetest Day, Boost Your Brain Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, Seafood Bisque Day

Thought I’d send you into the weekend this week with a 2-fer. First, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel (because I mentioned it in the post), plus one that you may not know .. but I like the beat and its a great dance song … so here’s Ms. Jody with At the Bop. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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On Clarifying Science

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Did you know …. 

Science is not an opinion.

Science is not democratic.

Science is not an ideology.

Science is not a theology.

Science is not a belief system.

Science is not a theory.

Science is not a political view.

Science is not a trend.

But ….

Science is a human endeavor.

Science is a way of knowing.

Science is impersonal.

Science is limited to the human perspective.

Science is a methodology.

Science involves verifying.

Science finds patterns and connections.

Science is a search for explanations of what we observe in nature.

Think about it – Disagreement around scientific topics is common in our lives. Whether it be evolution, climate change, vaccines deforestation, energy resources, or environmental standards (to name a few), a sizable number of people reject aspects of science for a variety of reasons – especially political, theological, and/or other ideological views … all reasons that are not science.

On Global Warming Misfires

It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather. (President Obama)

When I heard him say those words, I shook my head and wanted to shake some sense into him because he should know better. Then again, he is a politician who does what politicians do. For most of the eastern US, winter 2011-2012 was abnormally mild. However, regardless, of one’s stance on global warming, I shake my head at anyone who any point in time to promote or criticize global warming – and yes – I criticized President Obama on these pages at the time.

Not long after President Obama’s remarks, the Wall Street Journal published a guest columnist – Dr. William Harper, a physics professor at Princeton University. Dr. Harper concluding paragraph began with these words.

The most important component of climate science is careful, long-term observation of climate-related phenomena, from space, from land, and in the oceans.

I agree with Dr. Harper’ concluding statement, but it is interesting to examine the data that he used. He opened his column with President Obama’s quote in order to counter the president. Interestingly, the majority of the data he cites in his article is specific point data rather than long-term data. In other words, he did what he criticized President Obama for doing.

My point is that there is a difference between weather and climate. Whereas both are important for any location, the key difference between the two is the time involved. Each of us know how the weather can change very quickly, climate, on the other hand, involves years of data to establish climate. Therefore, discussions about climate change should involve climate data – not weather data.

So here we are, in this period of abnormally scorching temperatures across the much of the U.S., ridiculous comments continue to come forth.

On Random Science Thoughts

On a New Header
As I stated on the first post of the year, my plan is to dedicate the 2010 to the Hubble Telescope by changing headers throughout the year. As I have stated several time, I find great awe in Hubble images as they display play my belief in continual creation.

I started the year with an image of the Veil Nebula, and now I change to the Trifid Nebula. Here are two links to learn more about Trifid: Wikipedia and Science Daily.

Interestingly, yesterday NASA released images from the WISE Mission.

To see the previous header, click the Past Banners tab along the top.

On the European Telescope
I recently discovered the images from the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Their telescope, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), recently released new images – simply amazing. Here is the click to their gallery, and I added it as a Potpourri link.

On Watts Up with That?
While visiting Basic Blogonomics (of my friend Dave), I discovered an interesting science site – Watts Up with That?: Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts. Interesting reading here.

On Masdar City
Masdar City in Adu Dhabi, UAE is a planned city that will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. It is quite intriguing and worth searching on your favorite search engines.

On Global Warming
Although I realize that global warming is a controversial topic, much of it is due to misinformation and selective use of statistics. There’s no doubt in my mind that the debate is actually about economics, I’m still amazed how some people seeking power play on the ignorance or stupidity of others. Let’s take the Virginia state Republican Party officials who use this winter’s storms in their area to fire doubt about global warming. Time had this to say about the situation:

Weather is what will happen next weekend; climate is what will happen over the next decades and centuries. And while our ability to predict the former has become reasonably reliable, scientists are still a long way from being able to make accurate projections about the future of the global climate. (Click for full article)

On Learning Physics
Years ago, I learned about this site and its creator. Whether you are a parent of a student, a student, or just a person who has always enjoyed physics, this is a the Physics Classroom.

Here are a few other sites to enjoy.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 52

On the White House, Republicans, and Health Insurance
Recent news has President Obama inviting Republicans to bring their ideas to the table. Here are the problems I see with this step.

  • Of course is it a fight for bipartisanship or a ploy to blame the other side?
  • President Obama is admitting the previous process shutout Republicans
  • Even if the White House and GOP find common ground, getting Speaker Pelosi (the one controlling legislation) to buy in is another matter
  • Republicans will probably still vote no.

On the other hand, many voters see the current partisan tone as a negative, so now there’s a race to see how can demonstrate bipartisanship.

On Senator Shelby
Until earlier this week, Senator Shelby (R-AL) was intentionally medaling the federal appointments process to prevent approving appointees because he wanted certain pork for his home state. Since this a prime example of what many citizens do not like about Washington, here are three thoughts:

  • Senator Shelby is pathetic
  • Republican senators not calling him out are pathetic
  • Democratic senators who did the same thing during the Bush administration are pathetic

On the Super Bowl Commercials
As a whole, I found the commercials during the Super Bowl to be a very mediocre crop. Go Daddy doesn’t get it, the ETrade baby is not as funny, and Budweiser and Coke seems to be cutting back. No need to slam Hyundai for being normal, yet I praise Doritos as the product winner.

On a Fund Raiser for Haiti
The earthquake in Haiti has tugged on a lot of heart strings … but in this case, G-strings. Marilyn’s, a strip club in Toledo, recently raised $1000 in their Lap Dance for Haiti promotion.

On 2010 Bearcat Football
The past several seasons have been successful for the UC Bearcats, but they announced the 2010 OOC schedule. OUCH! … a 1-3 start is a good possibility …. at Fresno, Indiana State, at NC State, Oklahoma.

On Studying Climate Change
Our Commerce Secretary announced plan for NOAA to set up a new group to study climate change. Here is a novel idea – Study all the data without political or economic interests and then reporting honest, unbiased conclusions to the public.

On No to this Stimulus
About an hour after posting about social security, I read a bipartisan proposal in USA Today that Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Hatch (R-UT) have to boost the economy. Well, it’s obvious that they didn’t seek my advice.

On Missing the Bush Administration
Someone posted a “Miss me yet?” billboard in Minnesota with a picture of President Bush. Although I’m disgruntled with the current administration, I politely say no.

On Toyota
Their recent recall situation continues to be a PR nightmare. Let’s see – the company has formed a quality committee to closely examine the situation. What happened to your focus on quality as part of normal operations? Their focus on the crisis and not the problem is unbelievable!

Of course, Congress cannot resist looking into the matter with its own special committee, thus another opportunity for grandstanding!