Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Comments anyone?

Wow. Not sure what I think about this one...It's such a painfully thorny issue.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So that's what his secret is

"I am sure, Mr. Holmes, that we are very much indebted to you for having cleared the matter up. I wish I knew how you reach your results."

"I reached this one," said my friend, "by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag [tobacco]."

Quite a system, I'm sure...

So much for admirable literary figures

Sherlock Holmes was a crackhead.

From the first chapter of The Rule of Four:

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe fom its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle and rolled back his left shirtcuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist, all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks. Finally he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the velvet-lined armchair with a long sigh of satisfaction.

Three times a day for many months I had witnessed this performance..."Which is it to-day," I asked, "morphine or cocaine?"

He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume he had opened.

"It is cocaine," he said "a seven-per-cent solution. Would you care to try it?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Here's your sign

This is such a classic piece of comedy that I couldn't resist posting it up. Far too few people have heard of this, and it's so appropriate in so many venues.


In memory

I'm reading a book about Alger Hiss, and this is the description that I found of his wife:

"People remembered her...as slim, pretty, with long hair, talkative, opinionated. Men rather liked her, women often found her a little scary."



Philosophy classes must now included ever possible variation on any given stream of thought, or else it's unfair and biased.


How I wish I had a rolling eyes smiley to insert here.

Here is an article about introducing intelligent design to a school system by means of a philosophy class. Now why, pray tell, is that a problem? Are we going to outlaw religion classes next unless they explicitly compare all religions? And then maybe we should get rid of any class that focuses on a particular period of history or a particular group of people because that neglects the broader scope of history. So much for Early British Lit and African-American Studies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Judicial hearings...

...are far too tedious for their own good. And just for the record--since everything this week is for the record--I'm really getting sick of senators carrying on for half an hour under the guise of asking a question. Don't they stop lawyers from such posturing in court? Why can't we put a check on the verbosity in the Senate?

And I'm still more than a little sketchy on how Alito can justify not recusing himself from the Vanguard case. Anyone care to explain his answer today? It seemed like he was saying that because he admitted that he should have recused himself when someone pointed it out that he was innocent of any ethical squirming in the first place.  I'm not convinced.

Amended to add: Several hours farther into the hearings, he finally went into a full explanation of what happened with the Vanguard case. His explanation was that it was an issue that hadn't come up for 12 years, and by the time the case finally happened, he had forgotten that he had made that extra promise during his initial hearings. I think I can buy that. I mean, how many of us could remember a promise that we made 12 years ago, especially if it hadn't been required. So it's not quite so shady as it sounded.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Since I usually post on legal issues...

I thought I'd try my hand at science for a change.

A new element has been discovered to be added to the
Periodic Table!

This hurricane mess and gasoline issues are proof that
it exists.  A major research institution has recently
announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet
known to science.  The new element has been named

Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant
neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy
neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called
morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of
lepton like particles called peons.  Since
Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert.

However, it can be detected, because it impedes every
reaction with which it comes into contact.  A minute
amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take
more than four days to complete, when it would
normally take less than a second.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it
does not decay, but instead, undergoes a
reorganization in which a portion of the assistant
neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.  In
fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over
time, since each re-organization will cause more
morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some
scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed
whenever morons reach a certain quantity in
concentration.  This hypothetical quantity is referred
to as Critical Morass.  When catalyzed with money,
Governmentium becomes Administratium -- an element
which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium
since it has half as many peons but twice as many