Spring Forward, Cut Back?

Congress passed the bill, and we're going to find out how much energy daylight savings time really saves. I suspect it won't be much, if any at all. In fact, some of the original proponents of DST were the oil companies, on the premise that longer daylight meant that folks would be out driving more rather than sitting at home in front of the boob tube. That should save some oil imports, eh?

Congress is on the verge of passing a new energy bill this week that would make daylight-saving time last from mid-March to early November. (It now runs from April through October.) The sponsors of the daylight amendment say it will save the country at least $180 million in energy costs. Why does resetting your clock save oil?

(link) [Slate]

via MyAppleMenu

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Whose Work Is It, Anyway?

If we're going to extend copyright the way we've been doing, we need to reinstate the copyright registration system that was in place in this country until 1976. This article outlines why.

The use of 'orphan works' of art and literature, whose creators cannot be identified, puts scholars and artists at odds over changes in copyright law

(link) [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

From 98° to 63°

Way too busy yesterday to blog - even though there were lots of interesting items to comment on, there wasn't enough time to properly write and post. So today will be a bit overloaded.

Tuesday's have been my regular egg route day since January - but yesterday was the biggest day of them all. Thirty stops in north Indianapolis as well as Boone County, delivering milk, bread and eggs. And the weather was miserable - the air temperature (by the barn lot thermometer) when I left at 9 am was 86°F - by the time I returned at 5 pm it was 98°F. The heat index was over 100°F most of the day. It felt like, well, there's really no analogy to what it felt like, 'cause there's no place on Earth quite like the American Midwest in high summer. Miserable says it best.

Before I left, the server that hosts all my sites had gone down due to a power outage - several customers trying to PayPal me the money for yesterday's run were stymied, and called, taking up more time, which is why it took until 9 to get outta here (I should've been gone by 8). But the server finally came back online, alas, too late for me to post any items here.

When I finally got home and went out to the barn to take care of the livestock, I stumbled over a most distressing sight: one of Kevyn's calves was down, apparently with bloat! This is not a good thing, so having called Kevyn, Kris and I attempted to get the little fella (little here is relative - he was probably up to about 300 lbs.) out of the direct sun in the stall and into some shade. That's when we noticed the stiffness.

It was almost like rigor mortis had set in - his legs would move but his knees wouldn't bend. His tongue would come out but his mouth wouldn't open. This wasn't bloat...

Once Kevyn arrived he immediately diagnosed the situation. When this bull calf had been steered (neutered) the bag had not detached as is normal. There was some flystrike, but worse, an apparent bacterial infection. It was tetanus - fatal. That was a loss I wouldn't have wanted to bear - imagine flushing about $3000 down a commode if you want to know how Kevyn felt when he had to put the steer down. And no salvage, either - we won't even feed our dogs possibly infected meat (even though USDA and FDA say it's OK). Sometimes good stewardship gets expensive.

Right after this was all over the thunderstorm warnings started popping up - which meant that the computers (and the phone network) had to be shut down to protect from lightening strikes. The storms continued most of the night - hence the utter lack of posts.

But I'm not complaining too much, despite my personal promise to myself to make at least one post a day for the month. You see, behind the storms a cold front was lurking - and it's currently 63°F. Relief at last!

So expect a few most posts today then normal - just catching up.

00:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Driving bill upsets smokers

Lest anyone doubt that we'll be buying our cigarettes from the same folks who so kindly supply us with marijuana and cocaine in a few years, I submit this piece from New Jersey. The goal is Tobacco Prohibition, and it's well within sight. But on the bright side, think of all the jobs we'll add to the economy - DEA agents, prison guards, Neighborhood Smoking Watch coordinators, etc. - when nicotiana tabacum is finally a controlled substance.

Assemblyman John F. McKeon, D-West Orange, sponsored a measure that would fine drivers up to $250 if they are found smoking while driving.

(link) [Courier Post Online]

00:00 /Politics | 2 comments | permanent link

Modern Churches Don't Suit Macho Man

We (Heathens and other pagans) could learn a lot from this: we've done quite well in addressing gender issues within most of our diverse pathways - years ago, it was Wicca that was "girly" and Asatru that was for real "warrior men". That's changed alot. But insights such as provided here could help in expanding our broader appeal, as well as in maintaining our gains in addressing the "gender gap".

Ask David Murrow what's wrong with modern Christianity in America and he will fire off a litany of laments.

(link) [The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida)]

via The Green Man

00:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Files From 80's Lay Out Stances of Bush Nominee

OK, this is the first bit of concern I've had over a man who looks to be eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court:

In another memorandum, he maintained that the Supreme Court, to which he is now nominated, overreached when it denied states the authority to impose residency requirements for welfare recipients.

This was an example, he wrote, of the court's tendency to find fundamental rights, like the right to travel between states, for which there was no explicit basis in the Constitution. "It's that very attitude which we are trying to resist," he wrote.

If we do not have the right to travel unimpeded between the various States, then the whole principle of federalism is a dead letter, and the "full faith and credit" and "commerce" clauses of the Constitution mean nothing. I seem to recall a bit of recent unpleasantness over something very akin to this issue.

As a young Justice Department lawyer in the early 1980's, John G. Roberts advocated judicial restraint on the day's issues.

(link) [NYT > Home Page]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link