Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

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


Oh well, two for four in my final four picks. Average year.

At least I beat President Obama.

WSJ: Texas Opens Classroom Door for Evolution Doubters.

"It isn't just evolution at issue: The board also approved an earth-science curriculum that challenges the widely accepted Big Bang Theory. Students are expected to learn that there are ‘differing theories’ on the ‘origin and history of the universe.’ Board members also deleted a reference to the scientific consensus that the universe is nearly 14 billion years old. The board's chairman has said he believes God created the universe fewer than 10,000 years ago."

AP: Freedom Tower is out, World Trade Center is in.

"Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman Anthony Coscia says the agency refers to the building as One World Trade Center. He says it's the building's legal name and ‘the one that's easiest for people to identify with.’"

B is the new C.


NYT: When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking.

"Britney Spears recently advertised for someone to help, among other things, create content for Twitter and Facebook." ...

"The basketball star Shaquille O'Neal ... is a prolific Twitterer on his account -- The Real Shaq -- where he shares personal news, jokes and occasional trash talking about opponents with nearly 430,000 followers.... "‘It's 140 characters. It's so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.’"


WSJ: Texas School Board Set to Vote on Challenge to Evolution.

"Texas school board chairman Don McLeroy also sees the curriculum as a landmark -- but a positive one. Dr. McLeroy believes that God created the earth less than 10,000 years ago. If the new curriculum passes, he says he will insist that high-school biology textbooks point out specific aspects of the fossil record that, in his view, undermine the theory that all life on Earth is descended from primitive scraps of genetic material that first emerged in the primordial muck about 3.9 billion years ago."


Wally Picks 2009:

North Carolina

Louisville Mich St

Memphis UConn


... and Louisville to win it all! My full brackets are here.

My wife was teasing that I'd pick UNC to win it all because, she claims, "you always pick North Carolina."

If you want, you can compare my picks to those of President Obama. He picked North Carolina to win it all.


Slate: St. Patrick Revealed.

"According to Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization.... Patrick's conversion of Ireland allowed Western learning to survive the Dark Ages. Ireland pacified and churchified as the rest of Europe crumbled. Patrick's monasteries copied and preserved classical texts. Later, Irish monks returned this knowledge to Europe by establishing monasteries in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy."

Page Tutor: What does one TRILLION dollars look like?.


Slate: Charles Tolliver and Jason Moran pay homage to Thelonious Monk.

"Monk was deeply eccentric, possibly bipolar, but also a mathematical genius; everything he wrote and played had precise patterns, albeit unconventional ones, like some secret language that only he comprehended."

WSJ: Rocket Scientists Shoot Down Mosquitoes With Lasers.

"A quarter-century ago, American rocket scientists proposed the ‘Star Wars’ defense system to knock Soviet missiles from the skies with laser beams. Some of the same scientists are now aiming their lasers at another airborne threat: the mosquito.... [I]f these researchers have their way, the Cold War missile-defense strategy will be reborn as a WMD: Weapon of Mosquito Destruction."


I'm pretty sure I've invented a time machine.


NYT: U.S. Is Said to Offer Another $30 Billion in Funds to A.I.G.

"The government already owns nearly 80 percent of the insurer's holding company as a result of the earlier interventions, which included a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion purchase of preferred shares and $50 billion to soak up the company's toxic assets." ...

"The government's commitment to A.I.G. far eclipses its rescue of other financial companies, including Citigroup, which has received $50 billion in rescue financing, and Bank of America, with $45 billion."

> If you still don't completely understand the current financial mess and why A.I.G. is ground zero, this article explains it pretty well --

NYT: Propping Up a House of Cards.

"When you start asking around about how A.I.G. made money during the housing bubble, you hear the same two phrases again and again: ‘regulatory arbitrage’ and ‘ratings arbitrage.’ ... When the word [arbitrage] is used to describe A.I.G.'s actions ... it means taking advantage of a loophole in the rules. A less polite but perhaps more accurate term would be ‘scam.’"

YouTube: Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog.

Walter Kessinger

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