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Campus Chatter – December 20, 2012

December 20, 2012

Today's Buzz

Campus Chatter – December 20, 2012

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

Austria’s Leopold V captured and imprisoned Richard the Lion-Heart as the English monarch returned from the Third Crusade today (1192). Also, the Louisiana Purchase was formalized at a ceremony in New Orleans (1803), South Carolina voted to secede (1860), the last Australian troops evacuated Gallipoli (1915), the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life was released (1946), the EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho became the first nuclear reactor to generate electricity (1951), Cardiff was proclaimed the capital of Wales (1955), Cliff and Christine Walker and their two young children were murdered in Osprey, Florida, possibly by In Cold Blood killers Perry Smith and Richard Hickock (1959), the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was signed in Vienna (1988), U.S. forces invaded Panama to overthrow and capture Manuel Noriega (1989), 4000 people died when the passenger ferry Doña Paz struck the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Philippine’s Tablas Strait (1987), NATO began peacekeeping operations in Bosnia (1995), NeXT merged with Apple Computer (1996), Portugal transferred sovereignty of Macau to China (1999), and federal district judge John Jones III ruled that teaching ‘intelligent design’ violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005). And Elizabeth II surpassed Queen Victoria as the oldest monarch in English history, on the same day Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Suzanne Bloch was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art (2007).

Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • NCrissieB

    Yesterday on Campus

    Morning FeatureWinning Progressive Comments on Judicial Elections and More at New York Times
    Furthermore! – The Squirrel with A Tipping Point on Gun Safety
    Midday Matinee – addisnana with The Backseat Driver and the Fiscal Cliff
    Campus QuestionWill we see common sense gun safety reforms in 2013?
    Our EarthVirtual Reality Aids Medical Research

    Today on Campus

    Morning FeatureEnds of the World, Part I: The Mayacalypse
    Noontime News at noon
    Midday Matinee – triciawyse with Fursdai Furries
    Campus Question at 6pm ET

  • NCrissieB

    I usually don’t mention murders in the today-in-history bits, but the Walker family murder remains unsolved and there are new developments. On Tuesday the bodies of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were exhumed in Lansing, Kansas for DNA examination. Smith and Hickock became infamous as the subjects of Truman Capote’s true crime novel In Cold Blood, based the Clutter family murder in 1959. Smith and Hickock were executed for that crime in 1965.

    The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office had considered Smith and Hickock as suspects after the 1959 murders, but the two were cleared after passing a lie detector test. Recent investigations revealed more links tying them to the Walker family case, and their DNA will be tested against evidence found at the crime scene. Because active cases take priority, it may be weeks or months before the DNA results are known.

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • Gardener

      Thanks for the follow-up, that interested me……..

      • NCrissieB

        You’re welcome, Gardener. It intrigued me too, which is why I chased down the links. Unless they are exceptionally noteworthy, I leave crimes out of the today-in-history lists, along with battles (there were several on almost every day of the year), coronations (ditto), first flights of military aircraft (does anyone really care when the first P-36 Lightning was flown?), and other such events.

        I also leave out countries signing the Berne Copyright Convention and related treaties. Some copyright law buff put in dozens of those entries … for reasons about which I can only speculate…. :roll:

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

    Good morning! It’s currently 20 degrees and cloudy here. There’s supposed to be a storm moving in, dropping 3-6″ (love those predictions! :roll: ) and possible extra from lake effect snow. It looks like it’s going to get warm during the day (mid-30′s), so there will be a lot of slush. :cry: Christmas isn’t looking too good from the standpoint of travel, but I’ve already made my sisters aware of that.

    Speaking of my sisters, some scarey news yesterday. A 16-year-old threatened to shoot up the high school in the town where my sister lives. She works at the elementary school. He’s now in jail, and apparently, his thinking was that since the world ends on the 21′st, there’d be no consequences. :shock: He’s now in jail, and if the world doesn’t end tomorrow, he’s going to find out that there are … consequences. Hopefully he also gets the mental issues dealt with.

    • addisnana

      Oh dear what a scary story from your sister. I hope he can get the help that he needs.

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

        Actually I saw it on one of my newsfeeds and called her.

    • winterbanyan

      That’s very scary, Norbrook. I confess all this “doomsday” fascination didn’t strike me as particularly good for youngsters of any age. Add in any mental issues, and you might have a really big issue.

      I’m glad they caught the guy in time. Very glad.

    • NCrissieB

      I’m glad they stopped him before he could act, Norbrook. I too hope he’ll get the help he needs. I tried to write today’s Morning Feature with my tongue very obviously lodged in my cheek, so as not to give anyone who might read it any more reason to think tomorrow will be anything other than … the winter solstice.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • addisnana

    Good morning. I am wondering whether the season of love and hope will be making an appearance this year. I’ve seen photos of the national Christmas trees being lit but watching the news, it is hard to find “glad tidings of comfort and joy.” Usually I can find good news if I go searching. I may have to take a “news break’ for a while.

    I was raised to think that being up on current events was a part of being a good citizen. Of course, ‘the news’ was a lot different then. I’m kind of waiting for spoofs of the news that report in the 50′s style of what now looks like reasoned debate with facts and pros and cons type arguments.

    My contribution for Wow that’s cool is the photos of frost flowers.

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      Phil Plait has his best astronomy pictures of 2012 up. Really good for a “Wow!” here and there. ;-)

      • addisnana

        Thank you! A wow here and there is an understatement! :smile:

        • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

          The commentary is educational and funny as well. I laughed over this one on “rocket, laser, and aurora”:

          If you asked a space nerd what the ultimate picture would be, they would say one that has a rocket, a laser, and the aurora in it. Behold! Your wish is granted. (If it had a T. rex eating bacon it would be too awesome to even gaze upon.)

      • winterbanyan

        Those were very cool photos, Norbrook. The gas cloud looks very much like what’s going on inside my left eye. ;)

        Thanks!

      • NCrissieB

        More than a “Wow” here and there. They were all “Wow!” :grin:

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • winterbanyan

      The frost flowers were beautiful! And the explanation was fascinating, too. Thanks so much for finding this and sharing it. :) Wow!

    • NCrissieB

      Those frost flowers are gorgeous, addisnana. I’d seen a documentary on the arctic that showed them forming, and explained how similar crystals form on the undersides of surface ice.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • Gardener

    Good morning!

    We had rain overnight, but I thought they said it was gonna get much colder too, but so far we have 53 degrees. Hmmmmm………..

    Backboard job nearing completion. Have reinforced the back with cedar 2 X 2′s. Primed the new wood yesterday around quitting time. Caught myself opening paint at 5:15 and thought if there’s a Retiree Association I may get in trouble for lousing up conditions……. Anyway, the thing is primed, so will add a finish coat later and see what we’ve got……

    Hope all is well with all of you, have a decent day!

    Best, G

    • addisnana

      Does the backboard have handles? Does it have straps to secure the person to the board? How will the board and occupant be lifted out of the pool? Inquiring minds and all that.

      As for the Retiree Association, I’ve always thought that retirees threw away their watches or should. Odd to me that companies gave out gold watches to retirees in the olden days. When you make your own schedule, who cares.

      • Gardener

        Calendar could go too. Every day is Saturday!

        Handles are cut into the perimeter of the backboard. Straps are yet to come, we think. Usually, there’s 4 swimmers, this is a “dire straits” emergency kinda dealy. We’re figuring float the board under the limp person, gather them onto there, and boost onto the deck atop the board.

        PW says we’ll need practice sessions……..

        RR gave me a watch. It’s made in China, and I won’t wear it…….

    • winterbanyan

      if there’s a Retiree Association I may get in trouble for lousing up conditions…

      You crack me up, Gardener. :lol: That is too cute!

    • NCrissieB

      I contacted the Order of Liberated and Dignified Fraternal Association of Retired Tinkerers (OLDFARTs) and they said they’ll let it slide this time … but no more chores after 5pm. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • addisnana

        :lol: :lol: :lol: Very Clever!

  • Gardener

    Re: Assault weapons. I heard that the police chief of Newtown has said that, even if there’d been a policeman on the property when the shooting started, he doubted that it could’ve been stopped, given the weapons the police routinely carry vs. the weapons the killer had. I guess essentially a 9MM handgun for the police against the assault rifle wielded by the murderer. Very interesting……..

    Have any of you seen or heard this piece? I am guessing there’ll be more to follow………

    • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

      I wrote a piece yesterday on the fantasy people have about guns, versus the reality. Seriously, I am at the stage where I realize that most of the “pro gun” nuts who write about this have absolutely no idea about guns.

    • winterbanyan

      We talk about arming teachers and other school employees as if that will solve anything. You only need to look at one armed and trained force in our society (the police) to know it ain’t gonna work. The problem is indeed rooted in the kinds of guns too many people get access to. That and the size of the magazines so there’s no “reload” time during which someone can act.

      As Crissie has pointed out here, ask a military person when they were trained to make a rush: it’s when the enemy is reloading. Not when they’re shooting from a magazine….

    • NCrissieB

      I haven’t seen that, Gardener, but the North Hollywood Shootout suggests he’s right. Two bank robbers with AR-15s vs. dozens of cops with 9mm or .38 Special pistols. The police contained them and killed one shooter – the other killed himself – but not before the robbers wounded 18 cops and bystanders.

      This is why no one but cops should be allowed to have magazines with greater than 10-round capacity. Make the killers stop to reload.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::