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And now for something completely different

Nothing about archaeology or trains today. I’m spending the next few days at the World Science Fiction Convention with my wife, sister-in-law, and nephew. In that spirit, I offer a link to this wonderful review of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series of books. I have read only a few HH stories, but I find that I wholeheartedly agree with everything said here.

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What good are they then?

In most town, fire fighters and police daily risk their lives to protect others. But in Alameda, not so much. Seriously, WTF is up with this? “The police said that they didn’t know if the man was dangerous and therefore couldn’t risk the safety of officers.”

The police aren’t supposed to deal with potentially dangerous people? If that’s the case, why pay for a police department at all? There are plenty of us willing to NOT deal with dangerous people for free.

And the Alameda Fire Department really isn’t trained to rescue people in San Francisco Bay? That sounds a little hard to believe. It’s even harder to believe they couldn’t call somebody who is trained in the hour they were just standing by watching. Shouldn’t somebody at the Alameda FD have a phone number for the Coast Guard?

 

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This is July?

I took this picture coming down the Mr. Rose Highway on July 5th (click to embiggen)

Yes, that’s snow under the trees.

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How did I miss this?

The cause of all the nation’s recent problems has been identified. It’s so obvious when you think about it. How could we not have realized it?

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City life can drive you crazy

It looks like neuroscientists have discovered what social scientists and epidemiologists have know for a long time. It’s been well established that urban populations suffer from certain mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, at a higher rate than rural populations. Now a German team has used MRI scanning to investigate differences in brain activity between urban and rural dwellers. In short, college students from the city showed a significantly greater response to social stress than kids from the country.

The finding were published in Nature, and also reported on the journal’s web site.

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Some things are their own reason for existing

The 1812 Overture with nuclear explosions:

Your argument is invalid.

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Being prepared

It’s about time the CDC finally started taking this threat seriously.

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Does it mean I’m a bad person…

…if I think this is the funniest video I’ve seen in a long, long time? (Warning: language)

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Ding dong, the witch is dead!

In the unlikely event that anybody reading this blog missed the news, President Obama announced this evening that Osama bin Laden has been killed. I don’t know how much effect this will have on anti-American terrorism. I’ve long had the impression that bin Laden had become little more than a figurehead since the invasion of Afghanistan. Still, he was an unrepentant mass murderer, and I’m happy that he’s dead.

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Math win

For anybody wondering why it’s a good idea to pay attention in school, a man in Maryland has successfully challenged speed camera tickets by analyzing the photos produced by those cameras. Five times.

Automated ticketing devices like speed and red light cameras are typically operated by private companies, who are paid a percentage of the fines. Apparently, I’m the only person who thinks this might produce a conflict of interest.

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