Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)


Today's soapbox: Why a national missile defense system is a stupid idea.


Nothing in life compares to the love you feel when you're rocking a baby to sleep. It has this heart-rending fragile quality, because you're acutely aware that the experience is so transient. In a couple of years you will have this amazing walking, talking child, but your baby will be gone.

You'll realize he's gone in a wave of panic, while reliving a memory from three years ago (a memory so vivid that you can't believe it wasn't just last month), and you will lose your breath and feel this momentary vertigo, an irrational anxiety as you reassure yourself that you haven't lost your child, you just dropped him off at school two hours ago.

But as you take a deep breath and reflect on it, you'll acknowledge that, yes, your baby is gone.

My favorite lullabies are Beatles songs:

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
Things We Said Today
Don't Bother Me
Ticket To Ride
Eight Days A Week
Yellow Submarine
Hey Jude
Strawberry Fields Forever
I Feel Fine
She's A Woman
Nowhere Man
Baby's In Black
No Reply

These aren't (necessarily) my favorite Beatles songs. But they make great lullabies because I can remember the lyrics, and I can sing them well enough that it doesn't make an infant howl.

I don't know anything about this site yet, but I can promise I'll spend some time there. (I can't resist the cool Ani Difranco allusion.)

Bad jokes.


Computer virus alert! This one works on the honor system. Susan Kitchens says she cooperated. Did she really delete all the files on her hard drive?

I got this email from a friend yesterday:

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely
100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it
would look like something like the following.

There would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 Africans

52 would be female
48 would be male

70 would be nonwhite
30 would be white

70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian

89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth
and all 6 would be from the United States

80 would live in substandard housing

70 would be unable to read

50 would suffer from malnutrition

1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth

1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education

1 would own a computer

"When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the 
need for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly 

Phillip M Harter, MD, FACEP
Stanford University, School of Medicine

One minor point. I assume most of the figures in this are valid, but the assertion that 11% of the human population is homosexual is completely fallacious. A more accurate figure would be 1.5 to 3 percent.

I did a quick web search to try to find some supporting evidence for that last statement, the 1.5 to 3 percent thing. I found it mentioned on about 100 hate sites, mostly by "Christian" hate organizations.

I looked at a couple of those sites. The gist was that the "validity of the homosexual lifestyle" is somehow a function of the percentage of homosexuals within the general population. The logic appears to be that the fewer homosexuals there are, the more o.k. it is to bash them.

A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.


More family pictures - these include a May trip to Galveston.


I just added four new pictures from Christopher's birthday to the bottom of our list of April snapshots. If you're visiting my website, viewing pictures of my children is mandatory.

Walter Kessinger

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