August 31, 2010

Eight Years of Iraq War Cost Less Than Stimulus Act

According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.

The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion.

The U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be $1.3 trillion, according to CBO. That compares to a 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion and a 2008 deficit of $458.6 billion, according to data provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

In 2007 and 2008, the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

What to eat?

There is a significant difference in sitting at a desk for eight hours and standing and walking around for eight hours. Merely standing burns 800 calories pretty easily.

At 49 years of age 5'11.5" tall and 185 pounds my RMR for sedentary is 2081 calories.

At work it becomes very apparent when I do not have enough food. My energy levels drop and I feel fatigued and lethargic.

I need to find brown bag foods that will last a week in the fridge, that give me good quality energy at a reasonable dollar. Further they should be easily consumable in a 10 minute period and have approx. 300 calories.

August 25, 2010

Talking to the Scorpio I know.

In a post WoW online vent chat, I quizzed Shoo about the topics of the day.

1. Should a Mosque be built at ground zero. Seeing as how it is not being built at ground zero, sure.

2. Is president Obama a Muslim? We both pretty much shrugged. My thought is that Clinton was the first black president, so why couldn't Obama be the first Muslim president, in the same vein?

3. Are the above two stories distractions? Yup, media focus on those to the exclusion of other topics.

August 24, 2010

Climate Avatar

Lets say your a big name Hollywood type. You believe the planet is becoming dangerously hot, due to people. Also, you feel those critical of the science you trust are either evil or misguided.

So you decide to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong. If this was so important, why would you scale back the event and then bail out?

Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.

The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical "solutions" being proposed.

Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet. They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.

Everyone on the "denial" side agreed with Mr. Camerons conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda.

But then as the debate approached James Cameron's side started changing the rules.

They wanted to change their team. The "skeptics" agreed.

They wanted to change the format to less of a debate—to "a roundtable". The Skeptics agreed.

Then they wanted to ban the skeptics cameras from the debate. They would have access to the footage. The Skeptics agreed.

Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. It was agreed

Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he "wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out," decided to ban the media from the shoot out.

He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.

No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way.

The skeptics all agreed to that.

And then, August 21st, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. "shoot it out " Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.

I was really looking forward to this, in the hopes that some actual dialog would reach the MSM.

I guess Mr. Cameron does not believe, or does not feel the planets destruction is all that important.

August 23, 2010

Political science of global warming.

If you begin with the belief that that wealthy countries became wealthy by exploiting poor ones, that state action does more good than harm, and that we could all afford to pay a bit more tax, you are likelier to accept a thesis which seems to demand government intervention, supranational technocracy and global wealth redistribution.

If, on the other hand, you begin from the proposition that individuals know better than governments, that collectivism was a demonstrable failure and that bureaucracies will always seek to expand their powers, you are likelier than not to believe that global warming is just the Liberals latest excuse for centralising power.

Brad Paisley - Ticks

One of the most romantic love songs ever!

August 21, 2010

David Mitchell in 3D!!!

This is a close approximation of my views on the subject, but much better written and performed.

August 20, 2010

let’s suppose

let’s suppose you’re right – or, rather, let’s suppose that there’s a chance of your being right. Should we choke off economic growth in order to slow climate change by less than one degree?

August 15, 2010

Skating stuff happens.

Thursday last I was invited to learn more about the possibility of being a ref for the new roller derby group. They skate a session then have an hour after for practice. During the skating session, while heading into a curve, backwards, at higher speeds, about to transition to front skating using a "move" that I enjoy. I found out that the resurfaced rink is "tighter" then usual. That is to say I fell, and fell hard. As far as falls go it happened very fast. Balance lost, flying, impact, stars, realize what happened, realize I am not wearing my glasses.

I am fine, just bruised and strained with the aches and pains of folly. So I have attempted mentally to figure out what happened during the fall. the point of impact appears to be just above and to my left of where the spine meets the hips. This was either a small slice of time before my left forearm took the rest of the initial impact, quickly followed by my right which started with my pinky and ring finger and hand. I surmise I had tucked my head, chin to my sternum as the neck muscles on either side of the adams apple are very sore as well. I tried to keep my head from the impact but to little avail as the back of my skull did make a loud bounce and sling shotted my glasses across the floor.

It must have made a sickening sound and quite a production as they turned on the lights and the manager lady was heading across the floor towards. My first attempt to stand was unsuccessful. A second attempt found sure inline bladed footing. My glasses were handed to me and I skated off to the side to assess. Total elapsed time was less then 20 seconds.

Back of head: No bruising, forgetfulness, ringing, nausea, tiredness or slurring of speech. I had no problems recalling short term memory and I slept rather well.

Neck muscles: Trapezius was tight and slightly sore, a wifey massage helped that. The sternocleidomastoid muscles are sore to the touch but have a full range of motion.

Lower back: Bruised with some stiffness. Careful stretching and warm up counters this throughout the workday.

left forarm: Mild discolor from bruising. No ache or pain (I think I landed pretty good there).

right hand: Ring and Pinky finger are stiff. Careful stretch and warm up counter as well.

So all in all not a bad fall for an older guy.

August 10, 2010

My Hovercraft is full of eels.

Here is the sight in question.

I am a Python fan (Monty, not the reptile). So when Steve V. utilized this phrase in Facebook the other day I was prompted to search out the sketch. Lo and behold someone created a website with numerous translations of the above phrase!

August 08, 2010

File this under... Duh...

Researchers have determined that thinking about God can help relieve anxiety associated with making mistakes. However, the finding only holds for people who believe in a God.

The researchers measured brain waves for a particular kind of distress response while participants made mistakes on a test.

Those who had been prepared with religious thoughts had a less prominent response to mistakes than those who hadn’t.

“Eighty-five percent of the world has some sort of religious beliefs,” says Michael Inzlicht, who cowrote the study with Alexa Tullett, both at the University of Toronto-Scarborough.

“I think it behooves us as psychologists to study why people have these beliefs; exploring what functions, if any, they may serve.”

With two experiments, the researchers showed that when people think about religion and God, their brains respond differently—in a way that lets them take setbacks in stride and react with less distress to anxiety-provoking mistakes.

Participants either wrote about religion or did a scrambled word task that included religion and God-related words.

Then the researchers recorded their brain activity as they completed a computerized task—one that was chosen because it has a high rate of errors.

The results showed that when people were primed to think about religion and God, either consciously or unconsciously, brain activity decreases in areas consistent with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The ACC is associated with a number of things, including regulating bodily states of arousal and alerting us when things are going wrong.

Interestingly, atheists reacted differently. When they were unconsciously primed with God-related ideas, their ACC increased its activity. The researchers suggest that for religious people, thinking about God may provide a way of ordering the world and explaining apparently random events and thus reduce their feelings of distress.

Not exactly a surprising result.

A story about the deep south.

UK MEP Daniel was in the deep south and was asked why the GOP, having dominated late twentieth century politics, was faring so badly.

His reply:

The party’s most serious mistake had been its retreat from localism. The Republicans started winning in the 1960s when they embraced states’ rights and the devolution of power. They started losing forty years later when they abandoned these principles. The audience growled its approval and so, perhaps incautiously, I began to list the areas where Bush administration had foolishly extended central power, ranging from the rise in federal spending to the attempt to strike down state laws legalising same-sex unions. When I mentioned same-sex unions, a growl passed through the room, and I winced inwardly: this, I thought, was perhaps not the wisest example to have offered a Republican committee in the Deep South.

Sure enough, after I had finished, a man with a beard and a red baseball cap sauntered up to me.
“Son,” he said, “Ah ’preciate you comin’, an’ Ah ’greed with most of wut you said. But Ah must disagree with your position on so-called homosexual marriage.”

He paused to hitch his jeans up his great belly, looking into the middle distance.
“Far as Ah kin see, not bein’ under any pressure to git married is one of the main advantages Ah enjoy as a gay man.”

Truly, I thought, America is an extraordinary country. Every time you think you’ve got it sussed, it surprises you. It is the sheer diversity of the US that makes anti-Americanism so perverse.

August 06, 2010

And Tired.

The other night I went to bed at 8:30pm. I was asleep deeply until 4:00AM. One of the longest I have slept in a decade. I feel like I am over eating and yet my weight is constant.


August 04, 2010

Liberal Theory on Economy!

Liberals are constantly insisting that government spending will stimulate the economy and create lots of jobs.

August 03, 2010

Morgan freeman solves the race problem.

I think the most sensible thing I have ever heard on the subject of racism is simply this, "Only racists care about somebody's race."