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Campus Chatter – July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012

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Campus Chatter – July 31, 2012

Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

Mount Fuji made her first recorded eruption today (781). Also, John Komnenos the Fat attempted to usurp the throne of Alexios III Angelos (1201), the Alhambra Decree expelled Jews from Spain (1492), Christopher Columbus sighted Trinidad (1498), the English sighted the Spanish Armada (1588), a sympathetic crowd pelted Daniel Defoe with flowers while he was pilloried for seditious libel after publishing a political satirical pamphlet (1703), the Second Continental Congress appointed Gilbert du Motier, better known as Lafayette, to the rank of major general (1777), Samuel Hopkins received the first U.S. patent for his potash process (1790), the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was chartered (1856), the radio mystery The Shadow premiered (1930), New York’s experimental television station W2XAB, now WCBS, began broadcasting (1931), archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis, Iran (1938), Ardito Desio led an expedition in the first ascent of K2 (1954), the British Royal Navy issued the last official rum rations (1970), the crew of Apollo 15 rode the lunar rover (1971), and the U.S. and Soviet Union signed the START I treaty to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons (1991). And the British Army ended their 28-year counter-terrorism mission in Northern Ireland, Operation Banner (2007).

Good morning! ::hugggggs::

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  • NCrissieB

    Yesterday on Campus

    Morning FeatureHow Were We ECONned? (Meta Monday)
    Things We Did This WeekShare your stories of offline political activism!
    Midday Matinee – addisnana with Yard Signs Still Rule
    Campus QuestionHow will voters respond to Romney linking wealth to cultural virtue and divine favor?
    Our EarthWhat is EPA Doing About Climate Change?

    Today on Campus

    Morning Feature – Winning Progressive with Guns Aren’t The Problem; the NRA Is the Problem
    Noontime News at noon
    Midday MatineeTuesday’s Tale: A New Olympic Sport
    Campus Question at 6pm ET
    Our Earth at 8pm ET – More from the EPA

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

    Good morning! It’s currently 61, and expected to be hot today. There’s a chance of rain starting tonight and more chance for tomorrow. The loons are back calling again, they stopped when the weekend traffic on the lake hit its peak. Lots of fishermen, canoe trippers, and campers out on the lake, so they decided to take a hike to the more remote parts for the weekend.

    I was talking to a state forester this weekend, going over various things we’re seeing. One of the things we have all over up here are Emerald Ash Borer traps. We don’t have a lot of ash trees (they’re uncommon in this area), so besides their monitoring capability, they’re “educational seminar starters.” That is, anyone who asks about them, gets a lesson. :lol: Unfortunately, the EAB is spreading rapidly. Albany County is now under a quarantine, and he said it’s moved into CT. This is from people moving wood around, and it’s disheartening. I know the state is seriously cracking down, but it’s really “too little too late.” :cry:

    • NCrissieB

      Maybe in addition to traps for the Emerald Ash Borers, New York should set out traps for Wood Carrying Humans? ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

        We have them. ;-) They’re called “road checks,” which usually involve a few ECO’s, State Troopers, a forester, and a large truck with a wood chipper on it. Expensive tickets are involved. There’s also the “campground sweep” where Forest Rangers go through and ask for “origin certificates,” and woe to any who don’t have them.

        The problem is that it’s “too little, too late.” :cry: One of the points I made at several meetings years ago when this was on the horizon was they needed to have everything in place and crack down the second it appeared. Instead, they spent a few years on “educational efforts” and didn’t have an actual implementation procedure until after a few incidents.

    • addisnana

      We have the same EAB traps. There are billboards along the freeways and posters at camp ground entrances. I have confiscated people’s wood only a couple of times. My instructions were to put the wood in a big garbage bag and fill it with water. There are messages in abundance but also “some people” who think it doesn’t apply to them and their firewood. :roll:

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

        One of the campground supervisors up here (she’s one that makes “treehuggers” go “geez, what a treehugger!” :lol: ) after the “we don’t allow uncertified firewood” statements went and confiscated a lot of firewood from an out-of-state group. The problem was that while the general idea and regulation was out there, no one had bothered to actually come up with a policy implementation procedure. :roll: So there was a lot of scrambling around in Albany to come up with one.

  • addisnana

    Good Morning. It was 52 this morning and I left the windows open a bit too much last night. It’s a different wake up when it is too cold in the room for the blankets on the bed. If snuggling in doesn’t do it then getting out of bed and dressing warmly does.

    I was dreaming about Lake Superior. It is exceptionally warm this year.

    Some parts of the big lake are reporting 20 degrees above average just days before entering August.

    My mind had trouble processing a dream about a too warm lake with the reality of a too cold bedroom. And yes, I do have heat but I haven’t needed it for a while and if I’d closed a few windows I’d probably still be sleeping. :roll:

    • NCrissieB

      As between those two solutions, I prefer the “snuggling in” over the “getting out of bed and dressing warmly.” Perhaps because “dressing warmly,” here in South Blogistan, includes socks…. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      See, that’s why I have “layers” of blankets on my bed. If it’s too cold, I simply pull another blanket on. :razz:

    • winterbanyan

      Sorry the cold weather cut your sleep short, addisnana. On the other hand, we get you earlier. ;)

      So you’re dreaming about all these changes, too? I know Mike mentioned, I know I’m doing it from time to time, but wow. I guess we’re all seriously concerned.

      Read a “hopeful” article about climate change yesterday and wanted to bang my head on the desk. All we have to do, you see, is get the US to change course, rebuild our energy infrastructure from the ground up… etc, etc, etc.

      What annoyed me was yes, that’s all we have to to do. We know that. Do you see it happening, Mr. Hopeful?

      Although in fairness, the government is really trying. As much as it can with budget cuts and a fight from the other side of the aisle, and energy producers fighting every step of the way.

  • NCrissieB

    Romney press aide to reporters who objected that Romney refuses to answer questions: “Kiss my ass.”

    Yep. I got your presidential quality right here…. :roll:

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana

      There is an aide who needs a time out. If Romney won’t talk to the press, one wonders why he even needs a press aide?

      • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

        The best part of the trip for me was reading Romney press aide Fox reporter Greta Van S complaining about the press being in the Romney petting zoo. Delicious!

        • NCrissieB

          Anyone want to propose a before/after on when the mainstream media (finally!) use the word “arrogant” in a story about Romney?

          Good morning! ::hugggggs::

          • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

            :::hugggs back atcha:::

            You mean in the US, right? The Brits already crossed that Rubicon early in his visit. Among honest folk, apparently, to meet Romney is to loathe him! Now for our press kiddies to catch up!

    • winterbanyan

      Romney clearly thinks the only way he needs to talk to anyone not of his class is through lying TV and radio ads. I’ve seen some of them, and fact-based they are not. I hit the mute, but wish I could take the down the pics as well.

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      He also told another reporter to “shove it.” :roll: Seriously, at what point will the US reporters get the message, and stop acting like they’re auditioning for a Romney Administration position?

    • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

      I think the Romney Fan Club has lost a bunch of members! Now if only his allegedly “left-leaning” fanboys Steve Kornaki and whatshisname from HuffPo would renounce membership, I’d be fairly happy. I get so sick of their form of “balance,” which is to justify everything by just seeing it another way.

      “Well, Lawrence/Chris/Ed/Reverend Al, some animal advocates say what Romney did to Seamus was cruel, but another way to look at it is, he didn’t pull a Michael Vick and there’s some good news there …”

      • winterbanyan

        I get sick of that form of balance too, MKS. Really sick of it. That’s not balancing. That’s fudging.

  • winterbanyan

    I seem to have very little to say this morning, probably because I’ve been conversing and listening to conversations for two days straight now. :) Having all the kids here is wonderful, but I think even they are getting talked out now. ;)

    It’s just been one big house party.

    Hugggs and good morning!

    • NCrissieB

      I understand the need for quiet, winterbanyan. It’s nice to have a house full of adult children, conversing about wide-ranging topics, unless you’re used to having several hours a day of quiet time to focus on your work. Then it gets … tiring.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana

      One big house party sounds great! For a while at least. :smile:

  • LI Mike

    Good morning,

    Well, yay for the good guys. Very happy to open yesterday’s NYT to see this column on the op-ed page: The Conversion of a Climate Change Skeptic.

    Thank you Richard A. Muller for being sufficiently open-minded to come to this conclusion:

    I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

    Will this trigger something beyond my appreciation of his scientific approach.

    • NCrissieB

      In fairness, Dr. Muller was never really a ‘climate change skeptic’ in the common sense of that term. We discussed his book Physics for Future Presidents in September of 2010, and in that book he recognized the real threat posed by climate change and proposed what he calls “the 2% solution,” conserving 2% each year on our energy usage. His concerns about climate change science were more about the framing of the public debate (e.g.: the focus on polar bears) and the still-lingering uncertainty about the effects of increasing cloud cover. Conservatives seized on that to claim him as a “skeptic,” but he never meant by that what they mean by that.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana

      “As it Happens” from the CBC interviewed Muller last night.

      It’s a stance that was welcomed by people with a vested interest in denying climate change. The American industrialist billionaires David and Charles Koch, for instance, have funded some of Professor Muller’s research.

      Not that I am skeptical of Muller’s ‘conversion’ or anything but listening between the lines I heard a set-up for fracking because natural gas is so much more friendly to the environment.

      • winterbanyan

        We really need to settle the question about the dangers of fracking incontrovertibly, or yes, we’re going to be seeing more of it. Natural gas is definitely being pushed as a cleaner alternative.

        • addisnana

          I know I am dancing close to the line on conspiracy theories here but listening to the interview chilled my enthusiasm for Mueller’s newly stated stuff. Once the ground water is contaminated humans are in big trouble. This seems so obvious to me that I could easily end up hair on fire, screaming mad.

        • Jim W

          We don’t seem to understand that when you use natural gas as a bridge fuel you need to be build a foundation for the far end of the bridge. Fracking diverts resources that should be building our future energy foundation.

          The Washington Post had an easy to read article that included a future scenario. The problem is the future scenario talks about a half degree change in global warming when over two degrees is needed.

          To project future energy demand, Wigley used a midrange estimate by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program that assumed no changes in government energy policies. He also assumed that sulfur dioxide emissions from coal would drop sharply over the next few decades due to pollution control devices.

  • trs

    Good morning. Currently 70 and partly cloudy in our neck of the woods, with an expected high of 82.

    Kidlet got a bit of a surprise at choir camp. Right before break, she got called out by the choir director, “Kidlet, would you come to my office for a minute?” She thinks, “uh oh, what did I do?” They get to the office, and the director said, “Can I rearrange your schedule for this school year a bit?” Kidlet replied, “Yes, why?” and the director responded, “Because I want to move you to the advanced Treble Choir. I know you didn’t audition for it (she has audition anxiety as bad as her test anxiety), but you know your stuff, I want your voice there, and you deserve it.” A bit of a celebration last night at Casa ITK.

    • winterbanyan

      Wonderful news about Kidlet, trs. She must be thrilled and you must feel so proud of her. Mega congrats to her :)

    • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

      Well, congrats, kiddo :!: Best part is when the recognition comes to you and you didn’t have to either chase it or schmooz it. Very rewarding and well done!

      a high of 82, you say … hmph.

    • NCrissieB

      How very cool, trs! Please pass our congratulations on to Kidlet! :grin:

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana

      Congrats to kidlet. Nice honor for her. :smile:

  • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

    Well, my time on Twitter can be summed up as veni, vidi, vamoose. I don’t get it. Strikes me as just a shorter, faster news feed. What did I miss there? Seems it’s a whole lot of people talking at a whole lot of people with the added bennie of #hashtags. Okay …

    Well, on to life in the slow lane … Just realized I’ve had a really sick pootie. He’s been finding a spot in a corner of the laundry room to do his #2s and I never knew because, well let me put it this way: Did I tell you I’ve got two woozles? :shock: :roll: After casting my vote in the Republican runoff today (yes, I have to protect myself down here) must take him to the vet. Sigh.

    • winterbanyan

      I hope your pootie is okay, MKS. Truly.

      As for Twitter, I’m not really getting into it, but I use it to retweet things that seem important to me. The conversing part escapes me, although some folks really have fun with it. Maybe it’s my age. ;)

      • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

        thanks winter. It’s been a long, tough battle just to keep what little weight on him that he has … now this. But gotta say, he’s one tough hombre and still has lots of love. I’d be grumpy as hell if I had the issues he does.

        You probably nailed my Twitter experience: I’ve outgrown it retroactively!

        • winterbanyan

          Cats can be so sweet, despite their rep. And yes, they take an awful lot in stride. We have a cat with a dislocated jaw that could only be repaired with major surgery and months of absolute misery. Without the repair she’s happy as a clam, never complains and does just fine. They’re amazing. I’d probably want to kill.

          As for twitter, I’m stealing that: outgrown it retroactively. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      It’s useful when something is happening “right now,” but most of the time it’s, as you said, a newsfeed. The problem I had with it is that the more people I “followed,” the more issues I had with separating the wheat from the chaff. What I might be interested in sort disappeared in the flood.

      • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

        I moved a lot of the more prolific people to a list I created called “Big Talkers.” It sort of acts like a spam filter and I can go over there to read the list of links.

    • NCrissieB

      If Twitter were a food, it would be an ‘acquired taste.’ At first it seems too disconnected and too rapid to be useful. With practice you learn to focus on hashtags … and spot the avatars of people who most often share things that interest you. The Squirrel spends a lot of time there, opening links to news stories that he uses for his research, and forwarding them to the mail room for the rest of the staff.

      I hope your pootie is okay. Please let us know.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • http://mksinsa.blogspot.com/ MKSinSA

        Will do. I have this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach but am hopeful.

        • trs

          Keeping fingers and toes crossed here, and Gaffer is sending good vibes to your ailing pootie.