Showing posts from July, 2006

News You Didn’t See Much Of

We were hearing a lot about the failed long-range missile launch in N. Korea about the same time this was happening.First Agni III test fails
India's first test firing of its nuclear capable Agni III intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), launched at 1105 hrs local time (0535 GMT) on 9 July, failed due to technical problems at the second stage, according to defence sources. The launch has been postponed twice since November 2004 for a variety of political and technical considerations
[Jane's Defence Weekly - first posted to - 10 July 2006]I don’t know about you, but I didn’t hear or read a single story about this in the “popular press.”

Could It Be Dementia?

Confounded I am.

There is a bit of positive news today (amidst all the sturm und drang in the Middle East). In Forbes online, the headline is “Alzheimer’s ‘Risk Score’ Spots Those Most Vulnerable.”

Excellent! If you find that you might be more vulnerable, you can start worrying incessantly about it. OR… there might be something you can do to change the odds.

Now the problem. There is a bit in the piece that confuses me. I thought maybe it was a trick paragraph, and further down in the article it would say “Gotcha! If you were confused by that paragraph, you’re in big trouble.” So I read it four or five times, and I’m still confused. After the article commented on two studies (lose weight, exercise, don’t get diabetes, keep your cholesterol down, etc.), there came a summary of a third study. Here’s the paragraph:

“In men who developed dementia, cholesterol levels declined at least 15 years prior to …

Hockey Stick “Hokum” & “Consensus”

The “Hockey Stick” Drives Conservatives CrazyThe Wall Street Journey (my favorite newspaper) and its Editorial Page (my least favorite editorials) are showing their strange schism again.Friday’s (7.14.06) second editorial was headlined “Hockey Stick Hokum.”Whoo boy, what a piece o’weak thinking.What weak evidence.What strange rationalizations.Basically, the Fox-ites in print denied the current state of paleoclimate research in favor of the old, anecdote-based thinking about what’s been happening with global temperature changes over the past thousand years.They attack the original analysis that created the “hockey stick” graph (showing things have been heating up fast in the last century) by excerpting a new report commissioned by the House Energy Committee.The work was done by statisticians, not – heaven forbid – climatologists.Here are the graphics the WSJ editors used:The top graph is what we’ve had in our textbooks for decades, based on little more than historical tracts.The second…

Wandering Through the Blogiverse

Whoa! As you know (better than I, a rank amateur) Blogspot has a “next blog” link in the upper right hand corner. Probably some of the other blog hosting sites have something similar. Anyway… I was “next-ing” through the random order the link provides. There is a lot of weird, and a lot of impressive stuff out there among the 40 million blogs (where did I get that number?).
One that stopped me cold, and made me write this little bit, was a narrative of the last days of life and then the death of a loved one. Then a start of the coping. Try this if you want a measure of reality: Hang in there, Becci.

Out of Storage Capacity

The Great New Mexico Drought is cracked.Not broken, mind you, just cracked.Here in this marvelous little microclimate called “The East Mountains” (the east side of the mountains east of Albuquerque; actually the Sandias, Manzanitos and Manzanos), and especially in this valley between Raven Road, Kuhn Road, Skyland Boulevard and the Isleta Reservation, the rains have come and come and come.In the last three weeks, more than six inches of rain (and hail and sleet!) have fallen.The crunchy grasses and crackling pine needles have grown soft.Green of every shade has sprung from the plants and the ground itself, and all things with roots are rejoicing. I’m not sure how long it takes to rehydrate the cores of thick ponderosa trunks (they were only 25% of what they should have been in interior moisture – Roman candles awaiting ignition), but they have got to be on their way.Most of this water has soaked into the ground very quickly after each rain, bathing their roots.Only in the last few day…