Saturday, August 20, 2011

It all comes down to Cheetos

It looks like the journalist/blogger kerfuffle is heating up again. Just in case, I thought I'd get in early this time.

Newsroom suffers Cheetos envy

Bob Conrad's post, which is linked at the beginning of mine, is well worth a read. The journalist/marketing war has been going on long before bloggers entered the picture.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Listening to meteors

If you've been a little less than dazzled by the Perseid meteor shower that was more like a light sprinkle, here's something that should make up for it a little.

The fine folks at the U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Radar in Texas recorded the sound of the meteors as they passed overhead. There is a lot of background noise, but you can definitely hear the swoosh as the meteors pass by, and the whistling echo as they pass through the atmosphere. The first photograph in the video was taken by astronaut Ron Garan, who is aboard the International Space Station, and had a much better view.

The projected count for the peak was 120 meteors per hour, or two a minute. The final count I saw was 25 per hour, or one every three minutes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The conservatism of Rick Perry (?)

Governor Rick Perry of Texas is running for president. I've heard he is a conservative, but then according to the standards of the Eastern Media Establishment, anyone who talks about Jesus in public is automatically a conservative. I'm not buying it.

He used to be a Democrat, which is forgivable. A lot of people used to be Democrats, and in spite of my best efforts, some of them still are. What's troubling is that he was once the Texas Campaign Chairman for Al Gore in 1988. This bothers me a lot, but not because of Al Gore.

Governor Perry and I are roughly the same age. That means he's been around since Nixon/McGovern. Now if he voted for McGovern that's fine, so did I. Richard Nixon was a lot of things but "popular with America's youth" wasn't one of them. Besides, a day or so before the election, McGovern told some guy at an airport to "kiss my ass." That sealed my vote.

But think of all the things that happened between '72 and '88. There was Watergate, the fall of Saigon, the boat people, stagflation, the Panama Canal, the Ayatollah, the hostages, to name a few. And then there was the Reagan Revolution, eight years of it. William F. Buckley Jr. was popping up everywhere. If you weren't a small government conservative after living through all that, you were never going to be one.

What happened in the '90's to change his mind? Was it something Newt said? Did he get all excited over the prospect of a Bob Dole presidency? Was it the blue dress? I don't get it. Something's not right here.

And then there's all the talk about how he created jobs. Excuse me, but government doesn't create jobs; that's conservatism 101. He was governor while other people created jobs and he ought to make that distinction.

By 2008, Rick Perry was so conservative, he backed the pro gun control, pro abortion candidate Rudy Giuliani in the primary. What accounts for all the buzz about Rick Perry being a conservative? To find the answer, one needs to look to the left side of the Eastern Media Establishment.

Friday, August 5, 2011

News from far away places

It should be a good weekend for sky gazing as the Perseid and Aquarid meteor showers are both hitting at the same time. Unfortunately, the peak on August 12, coincides with a full moon and it will be up most of the night. This weekend we have a half moon that sets at 10:30 - 11:00.

And just to get you in the mood, check this out. (Click the full screen at bottom right for full effect).

Ocean Sky from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

Alex Cherney lives in Australia so you won't be seeing any of these stars around here. Also of interest is his choice of the Dobsonian mounted telescope. The Dobsonian doesn't have a polar axis, and back in the days of film, was rarely, if ever, used by astro-photographers. The light gathering power of the digital camera is what makes these videos possible. Even so, this video took over a year to make. He has several other videos and some nice still shots on his website,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Middle Earth Investment Portfolio

I have a new post up on This is Reno. I've been trying to think of something to do with John McCain's comparison of TEA Partyers to Hobbits ever since he said it.

A tale from the Middle Earth investment portfolio

My friends, as I write this, the debauchery of the Eastern Alliance has now become the law of the land. The forces of Lord Neokeynes are once again setting about to ravage our little hamlets and plunder the bounty of our wholesome toil.

Click on the title link to read the whole thing.