200 
I didn't know this until about a week ago, but Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on February 12, 1809. Both great men in their chosen careers, yes, and both controversial during their time, with Darwin still being a subject of controversy. Nonetheless, happy 200th to both.

I'm a little miffed that Google decided to honor Darwin over Lincoln though. I was hoping they would do something that honored both - perhaps one side of their logo be Lincoln and the other being Darwin. But that might look tacky. Maybe Google sees themselves as more science than politics (debatable since Google admits to censoring content, which always results in political sway) but that's another topic.

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Only in NJ 
Yes, in New Jersey, the state that can't even manage itself well enough to keep casinos - an excellent source of free money - open; comes this story:

It's Raining Dead Birds in New Jersey

So let me get this straight, one of only two states where you can't pump your own gasoline, people are expected to clean up poisoned birds from their property? Sure, they say the poison used poises no threat to people but I can assure you that animal carcasses will bring a crowd of nature's scavengers, especially given the cold weather. Go ahead, pick up that decomposing animal or fight off that rabid raccoon for that dead bird, But, pump your own gas? Never! It's not safe!

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Democrats Oppose Progress 
So much for being "progressive."

Senate OKs 4-month delay to digital TV changeover

Unbelievable; and the follies have just begun. They've been advertising this change for two years plus.

The irony is that if people don't understand this changeover, making their TV's unusable would actually be doing them a favor.

Update (01/28) House defeats bill to delay digital TV transition

from the article:

The defeat is a setback for President Barack Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who maintain that the Bush administration bungled efforts to ensure that all consumers — particularly poor, rural and low-income Americans — will be ready for next month's analog shut-off.


Of course Bush bungled it. It's the government's responsibility to make sure you have a television that works. But, hey, I guess if people can't understand what "get out, now" means when a Category 4 Hurricane bears down on them, they certainly would not understand what "Analog television sets receiving free TV using an antenna will not work after February 17, 2009. Television viewers with these sets that are not connected to a pay TV service need to take action now. Most consumers who purchase a converter box today can connect it to their existing television and begin enjoying the benefits of digital television immediately." means.

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Misnomer 
New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services removes Adolf H----- Campbell, sisters from parents' home

The reason is still unclear and the article mentions that local police had no reports of the children being mistreated, but just imagine the irony if the children were taken simply because their names, no matter how inappropriate and offensive it may be.


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Don't blame them 
Someone sent this email, copied and pasted from the company's website, to a mailing list I subscribe to:

Welcome to the MadTux Store

We regret to inform you that economic conditions have forced us to close our doors after eight years in business.


Should read: "..that our inability to adapt to economic conditions..."

Many companies, believe it or not, survive recessions and depressions and sometimes companies go out of business during good times as well. The media won't tell you that but it's true.

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Print 
Earlier this year, I received a copy of Linux Pro Magazine instead of Linux Magazine. Linux Magazine ceased printing and went online-only and Linux Pro completed the subscription. Yesterday, I received the last copy of PC Magazine. They are going online-only too and I will have to pay for the online content.

Recently, it was announced that the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press were cutting delivery back to three days a week and readers will have to go online to get news on the non-delivery days.

I suppose some of this is inevitable but, honestly, online news and magazines hold nothing against a good paper or magazine, even if they are 75% advertisements. Of course, nothing tops a good tangible book. Ebooks? No way!

Some benefits to print over online content:

1. Once printed, the content cannot be changed. Good for holding people accountable and good for being used to prove that certain things were at one time considered true and undeniable and to disprove what's "true and undeniable" today will always be so. The fact that the news can constantly be updated, i.e. changed, is not necessary a good thing. We've always been at war with Eastasia.

2. They don't require electricity or other power source to work.

3. They are more portable than any portable device. They can be dropped and if they get wet they will work again once dry.

4. Book burnings are more difficult to organize than hitting the delete key.

5. Google, or any search engine, cannot selectively hide content from searches of old books, newspapers, or magazines that exist somewhere in physical form.

If everything goes electronic, and I fear someday it may, people's rights will be abridged and thoughts will be completely controlled by some other entity. We've already seen this in a similiar form on television during the most recent elections.

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Gas Prices 
A bumper sticker I saw crop up earlier this year read:

"When Bush Took Office, Gas was $1.46 a gallon"

As it stands now, the U.S. average is $1.68 a gallon.

When Bill Clinton took office, gas was $1.06 a gallon. Mark that down as a 38% increase under Clinton and only a 15% gain under Bush as of today.

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Remember 
But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.


Taken from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's address to Congress, December 8, 1941.

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Ab so lutely 
Vatican: Beatles music better than today's songs

Sensible and wise people, those Vaticans.

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A Sighting 
Keeping with the animal theme - seen the other day in my yard: a gray fox. Apparently, seeing these is a rare event. I heard a growl of sorts and looked out in the yard and couldn't believe what I saw. I grabbed the camera, which had no batteries and by the time I found batteries, the fox had moved into the woods. About five minutes later, my cat came trotting in from around the garden. I think the two saw each other but the cat was not aroused with the puffed up fur like he usually has when he encounters something.

The fox was a little more gray than the standard web search images I'm finding and it actually looked a little like a small coyote. However, judging by the ears and tail, this was definitely a gray fox.

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Just a Name 
Another letter to the editor today: [Link]

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Duplicity 
Ever notice that the same people who castigate ExxonMobil for making a profit are the same people who are making the most noise about all these firms losing insane amounts of money?

When big companies make money, the market does well. When ExxonMobil makes money, some people want to lynch them. Democrats have gotten their wish (just before a presidential election, coincidentally), big greedy American companies falling on hard times and now they gripe about it and pass a feckless pork-laden bill that will cause more problems than it solves; rewarding fecklessness and passing the bill onto us - well, at least the most responsible of us - those who live within our means.

I say put ExxonMobil in charge of everything, they seem to be able to do what the government can't do - make more money than they spend.

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