Web News of the day

Sporting Events cause a drop in ER visits

Ok, this is kindof rediculous… Apparently, Americans put off their emergency room visits, or just don’t have as many problems, during major sporting events. I can understand being into sports, but that seems unreal.

Helicopters Scour Louisiana Floodwaters (Rita Aftermath)

People checking their hurricane-hit homes and towns returned with stories of flooding to the rooftops, coffins and refrigerators bobbing in the water, and stilts where their houses once stood.

Yet as the misery wrought by Hurricane Rita came into clearer view – particularly in the marshy towns along the Texas-Louisiana line – officials credited the epic evacuation of 3 million people for saved countless lives.

“As bad as it could have been, we came out of this in pretty good shape,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who called the lack of widespread fatalities “miraculous.” By Sunday night, just two deaths had been blamed directly on Rita.

And on the same note, here’s an article about the differences between the government response to hurricaine Katrina and Rita.

Bush wants the US armed forces to handle more of the natural disaster support… isn’t that what the national guard was supposed to be for? It would be a bit more effective if the national guard wasn’t hijaked to Iraq.

Bob Dylan documentary, ‘No Direction Home‘ sounds like it’s awesome! Here’s a review from the washington post. I am really looking forward to seeing it.

And apparently the IRA has given up it’s weapons. [1]The IRA followed up the announcement with its own terse statement: “The IRA leadership can now confirm that the process of putting arms beyond use has been completed.”

za1 theme in development

I’ve been working on a comprehensive theme, currently called za1 (very exciting name, eh?).  I will be mapping the components of my site into that theme (instead of hacking the themes of the components of my site to look kindof like each other).

The themes are driven primarily by CSS, and done in such a way as to allow simple variations in how things should look… there will be an “options” selector on the top-right and it will allow you to easily choose theme options and it saves your options as a cookie (if you allow the cookie) or session variables if your don’t allow the cookies.

I think I’m just about done with getting G2 into said theme,and am working on mediawiki and wordpress next… then I should be ready to make it live.  Were I to guess, I’d guess it will go live sometime in October, unless I burn out before then.  Here’s a preview (note: errors to be expected.  If you want to report any, email me).


Rita Update & Anit-War Protest Story

Rita Update:

Rita, as a Category 3 hurricane (120 mph) made landfall at 2:30 a.m. CDT today in extreme southwest Louisiana between Sabine Pass and Johnson’s Bayou, La. Port Arthur, Texas, clocked maximum wind gusts of 116 mph, while Beaumont, Texas, measured 105 mph. Cameron, La., reported a gust to 112 mph before the anemometer failed. Storm surge flooding of up to 15 feet probably occured just east of where the eye thundered ashore. Surge as high as 20 feet may have inundated locations at the heads of bays and adjacent rivers.

Meanwhile, Anti-War Protesters March in D.C. and London

Opponents of the war in Iraq rallied by the thousands Saturday to demand the return of U.S. troops, staging a day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead in marches through Washington and other cities in the U.S. and Europe.

More than 2,000 people gathered on the Ellipse hours before the showcase demonstration past the White House, the first wave of what organizers said would be the largest Washington rally since the war began. President Bush himself was out of town, monitoring hurricane recovery efforts from Colorado and Texas.

“We have to get involved,” said Erika McCroskey, 27, who came from Des Moines, Iowa, with her younger sister and mother for her first demonstration, traveling in just one of the buses that poured into the capital from far-flung places.

“Bush Lied, Thousands Died,” said one sign. “End the Occupation,” said another.

Rita – hurricane in Houston

An Email to/from Cathy (my mom) who lives in Houston, in response to the coming hurricane everyone is freaking out about (because of the recent Katrina problems in New Orleans).

From Alan

dear houston clan:

After calling mom 6+ times, and never getting through, anita suggested I email her… and due to the subject matter, I decided to email all of you.

come to columbus if you want to escape the hurricane.

I’m sure you have better offers closer… but columbus is probably out of the path of any natural disaster i can think of…

we’ve got futons and couches and a ton of food (just got home from a big grocery shopping trip)… we also have just bought anita’s school books and you could read them if bored… or work out with them – we just weighted them in at 48 pounds, including the extra course packets.

if you are staying – i’m sure you’ll all be prepared (i bet everyone’s freaking out in Houston) but do be sure to be safe…. for some reason it seems like mom and sam’s house would be safe, but maybe they just have enough room for everyone… how high is your place, mom? got a hill to stand on?

ok – all for now,
i’ll try calling again soon,

From Cathy

Thanks for the invite.
No plane tickets available. Traffic from the south heading north and west
like you wouldn’t believe–even here in Rosenberg. We got an offer from the
arkies and it may come to that–but the word last night was that it took 20
hours to get to Dallas and no gas along the route. They are opening
highways to all lanes going out but the gas is the problem. Lucilo and
Patricia are thinking of holding pat. I just talked to dad at Cecilia’s and
he’s collecting mom and her stuff (at Cecilia’s urging), so I am going to
his place either tonight late or at the crack of dawn, and Sam is not
budging. He’s about 100 feet above sea level. He’s worried about his front
porch–I can’t tell you about all the tin roofs and mature trees we’re
worried about.

Right now I am moving plants to the greenhouse (they could become missiles)
and Sam is moving all the other stuff….except where do you move 1500
bricks? We’ll do water tonite in every vessel and we have plenty of food,
esp. if the electricity goes. Where’s that camp stove and lantern?

E mail while you can–phone lines are all tied up.
No time for chit chat. Gotta move.
Will try to keep in touch.

Creationists on the move, apparently

Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
(sorry, the link requires login)

Apparently, after a few rather agressive (not phiscally) confrontations with creationists, in science museums – docents and volunteers are flocking to training on how to best respond to such challenges.

“The goal is to understand the controversies, so that people are better able to handle them as they come up,” she said. “Museums, as a field, have recognized we need to take a more proactive role in evolution education.”

Dr. Allmon, who directs the Paleontological Research Institution, an affiliate of Cornell University, began the training session here in September with statistics from Gallup Polls: 54 percent of Americans do not believe that human beings evolved from earlier species, and although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree.

“Just telling them they are wrong is not going to be effective,” he said.

Clinton speaks out against Bush

Clinton launches withering attack on Bush on Iraq, Katrina, budget

Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq “virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction.”

“What Americans need to understand is that … every single day of the year, our government goes into the market and borrows money from other countries to finance Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and our tax cuts,” he said.

“We have never done this before. Never in the history of our republic have we ever financed a conflict, military conflict, by borrowing money from somewhere else.”

Clinton added: “We depend on Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Korea primarily to basically loan us money every day of the year to cover my tax cut and these conflicts and Katrina. I don’t think it makes any sense.”

Legal rights? What legal rights?

September 9th, it was ruled that Jose Padilla was still not to be given fair trial, in fact not to be charged with a crime nor to be given legal council.  It’s the first time this has ever happened in the US court system (to my knowledge)…  Even actual “enemy combatants” in our previous wars, captured on the battlefield all got lawyers and full legal procedings.  Our courts were used, to verify and justify and validate.  Now we are tossing out the most fundimental rules of our system against a US citizen who has been held for over 3 years.

For more informaiton on this I strongly recommend you listen to at least the first act of the This American Lifeepisode 229 called “secret government”.

I understand most people may be wary of honestly thinking our government is stripping away some of the foundations of our rights, while others are sure it’s been happening for years.  I fear I may be in the later category, but the Jose Padilla issue is one of the most prominently displayed suspension of rights for an American Citizen that’s I’ve heard of.  Check out the wikipedia article on him for a discussion of the articles of the Geniva Convention which covers enemy combatants.