September 30, 2009
September 28, 2009
September 24, 2009
September 23, 2009
September 22, 2009
September 21, 2009
September 17, 2009
September 16, 2009
September 15, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 13, 2009
Europe's ban on the incandescent light bulb began phasing in this month, and the U.S. will soon follow. Is Thomas Edison to blame for global warming? And why are we exporting green jobs?
When the warm-mongers assemble in Copenhagen this December to hammer out a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol, no doubt their work to save the earth from the carbon dioxide that gives it life will take place under the eerie light thrown off by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) mandated by the European Union to fight climate change.
The bulbs are more expensive, costing up to six times as much as an equivalent incandescent bulb. But they're said to be more economical in the long run because they supposedly use up to 80% less energy than old-style bulbs and don't burn out as quickly.
The change will be gradual. The clear 60-watt bulb will be allowed to be sold until at least September 2011 and clear 40-watt bulbs until 2012. In Germany there's a run on Edison's creation, with sales of incandescents up 34%. Is a black market in bulbs in the offing?
The Telegraph newspaper reports that European officials are conceding CFLs are not as bright an idea as first advertised.
An 11-watt CFL is advertised as being the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent. Officials in Brussels responsible for the ban admit that this is "not true" and that such claims are "exaggerated."
Tests conducted by London's Telegraph found that using a single lamp to illuminate a room, an 11-watt CFL produced only 58% of the illumination of an "equivalent" 60-watt incandescent — even after a 10-minute warm-up that consumers have found necessary for a CFL to reach its full brightness.
The European Commission advises consumers of the environmental hazards posed by CFLs. If one breaks, you're advised to air out rooms and avoid using vacuum cleaners to prevent exposure to mercury in the bulbs. You can't just throw out an old bulb. It must be properly thrown out, lest your bedroom or family room become a Superfund toxic waste site.
Mercury is considered by environmentalists to be among the most toxic of toxic substances and, yes, it is dangerous if ingested or handled over time. We've been warned that high concentrations in fish are dangerous to pregnant women. We've been told mercury in vaccines causes autism.
So now it's safe in fragile light bulbs?
September 12, 2009
The prayer was made available for use at Sunday Masses after the prominent Catholic senator’s death on August 25.
The original prayer, posted through the publisher’s downloadable Prayer of the Faithful resource, read: “For those who have given their lives to service to their country, promoting values of peace, justice, equality, and liberty; especially, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that he may find his eternal reward in the arms of God . . . . We pray.”
Pro-life Catholics such as the 87-year-old priest and blogger Fr. John Malloy complained about the prayer, citing the late senator’s ardent support for abortion in the latter half of his political career.
Liturgy Training Publications Director John A. Thomas wrote to Fr. Malloy and others to apologize for the “extremely poor use of words” in the prayer.
He explained that the prayer had been adapted from the text for “Prayers on the Inauguration of a Public Official.” Calling the source text a “poor choice,” he said that the prayer is future-oriented and not intended as a reflection on “the quality of the life of a person.”
“This was not considered enough when adapted. As adapted for the Prayer of the Faithful, the text inappropriately presents a sense of support for the positions and actions taken by the late Senator by those who wrote it or pray it.”
He said the editors did not intend to show support for Sen. Kennedy’s positions.
“I apologize for our failure in judgment and poor selection of words used in the prayer. I pray that we do better in the future,” his letter concluded.
A spokeswoman at Liturgy Training Publications confirmed for CNA that Thomas had sent out the letter, which has been published on several websites.
Responding to the apology, Fr. Malloy explained his reaction to the prayer and commented that Sen. Kennedy “certainly didn't promote liberty for the unborn, or equality and justice. And that's what I found offensive."
"I think we pray for everyone who's dead, our enemies, we pray for them, but we don't extol them," he continued.
Fr. Malloy told ChicagoCatholicNews he has “great respect” for the publisher and said he believes their apology is sincere. "
September 07, 2009
This meant large crowds (bad for Connor) and long waits for hands on exhibits (very frustrating for Connor). So we figured on heading to Washington Park via the Max from Lloyd center. This gave us a chance to get the Greek fast food anyways. A few rides up and down the escalator and some felafel's later we started heading to the train. Connor turns and asks "Train but No tunnel?" We told him "One tunnel" . This caused him to Balk at the train ride all together.
As Tina and I were still plum tuckered out from our previous day excursion we just laid the cards on the table. "Train with tunnel or Hotel?" Connor pondered and stated "Hotel" So, we acquiesced.
At the Hotel he got into his swim trunks and proceeded to have a great time alone in the pool. I napped as Tina read the paper poolside. When the room sundry exchange person came knocking and waking me about an hour later, I exchanged places with Tina. We just jelled around the room. Watched Shrek on HBO (one of Connors favorite films, ask him to recite the muffin man sequence with Diana sometime).
Nearby the hotel is a family fun center, that has tubes, mini-golf, lazer tag, go carts and bumper boats. While Tina got her rest time in Connor and I walked over. It was your chuck-e-cheese type atmosphere with assortment of weekend parents, grandparents, singles, Parent parents and kids, kids, kids and kids. Bells, noises and lights made me guide the boy to the play tubes. Shoes and socks off he vanished into the kid plumbing.
They had some self serving magazines to peruse telling about all the wonderful events you are going to miss over the next couple of months. There is a frog hopper ride that looked kind of lame to me, but Connor wanted to try it out. So I had to hunt down were you get the tickets from. Finally I located a bored teen worker who was not chatting up someone and got directions. That took us outside, and seeing as how I did not want to plunk down wads of cash I opted for a quick tour to see what one ride Connor wanted. He seemed interested in the go carts. Then he saw the bungee trampoline, and that's all she wrote...
So he got into line I bought a ticket. When I came back I confirmed he wanted to go on this. It was a long wait as each kid got a jump session of random length depending on the distraction level of the attendant, who also manned the rock climbing wall.
Most of the kids had the $40.00 wrist bands and could go on whatever ride suited their pleasure as many times as they wanted. This made the duration of any one attraction less important.
Finally Connor's turn came up. As the attendant needed some information about weight etc. I intervened and explained he was autistic. The kid stated "no problem" a little too quickly.
The device in question consists of a modified rock climbing harness with swivels on each side. These are hooked to various bungee cords depending upon the "riders" weight. These are attacked to two wide apart masts that with a cable that pulls the bungees taught. Underneath the rider is an inflatable trampoline device, like a giant inner-tube with a dense weave nylon stretched over the surface. The attendant paid closer attention to Connor, who made a few tentative jumps before launching himself skyward with more enthusiasm.
For some reason, he threw his hands wide and yelled "FREEDOM" at the top of his lungs, at the apex of the next several jumps. This caused the ride operator to smile, then grin, then laugh, then double over.
From that point forward the sheer joy that is Connor made the kids day. You do not see many of the teen workers at this establishment smile much. Other then the pasted on one required by management.
September 03, 2009
- There are mandatory health savings accounts: “Individuals pre-save for medical expenses through mandatory deductions from their paychecks and employer contributions… Only approved categories of medical treatment can be paid for by deducting one’s Medi-save account, for oneself, grandparents, parents, spouse or children: consultations with private practitioners for minor ailments must be paid from out-of-pocket cash…”
- “The private health care system competes with the public health care, which helps contain prices in both directions. Private medical insurance is also available.”
- Private health care providers are required to publish price lists to encourage comparison shopping.
- The government pays for “basic health care services… subject to tight expenditure control.” Bottom line: The government pays 80% of “basic public health care services.”
- Government plays a big role with contagious disease, and adds some paternalism on top: “Preventing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tobacco-related illnesses by ensuring good health conditions takes a high priority.”
- The government provides optional low-cost catastrophic health insurance, plus a safety net “subject to stringent means-testing.”
- Almost all care is subject to significant co-pays. Instituting co-pays is an important means to control cost.
September 02, 2009
The Obama administration says they can cut the cost of food. They will say that they're going to drive down the profits of the greedy farmers, they're going to drive down the profits of the greedy shipping industry, and then they're going to attack the food stores, the grocery stores that sell at too large a profit.
Speaker Pelosi would call food stores, grocery stores immoral! And to keep them all honest, Obama then would create real competition with a public option for you to buy food from. The government will be in the business of distributing and getting to you food at an affordable price.
September 01, 2009
Next he will head out into the back yard to A. pick blackberries or B. jump on the trampoline. It is not uncommon for him to cap his days with jumping. Next he will either get a bowl of cereal or request pancakes or waffles from his groggy parents (who's room is next to the door out back).
I have rarely seen him without a smile in the morning. He still likes to cuddle, enjoys hugs and frequently has an idea of something fun to participate with. The degree of "fun" you will experience with a given Connor activity is questionable. However, the fun is greatly enhanced by any observation of the wondrous joy said event causes Connor.
He has such joy in his heart, a twinkle in his eye and a sing-song humm about him. This is a constant.
The oft mentioned observation by people is "He sure is a happy kid"