Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Kennedy's bit of sarcasm at the filibuster hearings:
"What's the next measure on the calendar? Asbestos? Isn't that interesting?"
As a pool guy and a geology school drop-out, I have an iron in this fire. Here are the facts on the over reaction concerning asbestos.
Asbestos is general term for a rock mineral that splits into small fibers. It's fibers are heat resistant, flexible, chemically inert, and non conductive. Needles to say, it's cheap and useful for tons of stuff. There are several types of asbestos producing rocks, just as there are several types of granite, each with somewhat different properties. There are four types of asbestos mined by industry, but for the sake of space, I'll talk about the two most widely used.
Asbestos fibers classified as either amphiboles or sepentine Amphibole fibers are dangerous because they consist of long, barbed fibers, and when inhaled, latches onto lung tissue and causes scarring and eventually can cause cancer. No dispute here. Fibers from the Crocidolite mineral, found and mined in South African mines are among the most dangerous. Some South African miners developed mesothelioma within a year of exposure.
The main North American fiber type, the sepentine Chrysotile, are short and curly with fewer barbs on the fiber. Because of their shape and physical properties, the Chrysotile fibers, if inhaled, are easy for the lungs to expel. This cheaply locally obtained material has, in the past, been the predominant type used in the Northern Hemisphere, and accounts for almost all the asbestos used world wide (about 90 – 95%) today. The major source of Chrysotile has been regions in Canada, and much of the research on Chrysotile comes from those mining regions.
Though there are dangers to excessive asbestos exposure, regardless of type, the EPA got the asbestos scare rolling by grouping ALL forms of asbestos together and using rubrics weighted heavily toward results of Crocidolite / cancer associations. Here is another example of the same distortions. Note this article gives a 10 to 20% increase in mesothelioma. Here is a description of the environment in the town some thirty years ago:
”Every day, twice a day, she swept the front steps, because every day, twice a day, a layer of white dust an inch thick would accumulate. “
In this environment described, you would expect the disease rates among miners and their families to absolutely soar. But this study study shows the assersions made in the previous link are false. It relies on a non-scientific paper to substantiate its claims. Long term studies indicates Chrysotile miners have only a slight increase in asbestos related diseases (see paragraphs 3 and 4 for a rebuttal of the EPA's methodology).
Chrysotile is even naturally occurring in the environment. From the National Office of Pollution Prevention - Canada:
...it is present in two thirds of the rocks that make-up the earth’s crust. As a result of bedrock erosion, by way of water and wind action that liberate chrysotile fibers from the rock, we are environmentally exposed to chrysotile fibers. Irrespective of where we are on earth we all breath an average of 10 000 to 15 000 chrysotile fibers every day. Potable water contains an average of 200 000 to 2 million chrysotile fibers per liter, and can reach up to 170 million fibers per liter in chrysotile producing areas in Quebec.
Am I trying to convince anyone that asbestos is just fine, and people shouldn't sue companies that knew of risks and didn't act to minimizes those risks? No. But despite all this information showing an over-inflated risk assessment concerning asbestos, and that most asbestos producing companies have been litigated out of business, and that most of those dangerously exposed have died, the lawsuits go on. Here is more information on asbestos litigation (while I'm typing this, a commercial ran promoting the fight against unfounded asbestos litigation).
PS. Asbestos fibers interlock with each other, trapping air within the lattice of fibers, which it works so well as an insulator. This also means that asbestos placed between two sealed walls stays there. So when we find asbestos insulated schools, what do we do to “Protect The Children”? We go in and knock down those walls, which, despite best efforts, sends “dangerous asbestos” flying everywhere exposing everybody. And the calculated risk of death linked to school based asbestos exposure is somewhere around 0.005 - 0.093 per million. Compare that to these risks; death from Whopping Cough vaccine 1 - 6 per mil., death from drowning 27 per mil., and long term smoking 1200 per mil. Go figure.
PPS. Why, you may ask, would being a pool guy make me care about asbestos? Because pool plaster used to be mixed with asbestos as a bonding agent until the late 80's (not sure on the exact cut-off date). I have seen many 40 to 50 years old pools with the original surface that has no blistering, while modern plaster pools often will start to blister after only 10 to 15 years.
Friday, January 27, 2006
My friend Bryan Zera, on Marguerite Perrin. Check his rewrite of this M. P. Website quote:
"By ignoring all rules of caution and conformity, Marguerite has been able to find a place in the hearts of her viewers through her fabulously unique personality, unyielding faith and astonishing pride. When she boards a plane and courageously leaves behind her home and family to venture into an unfamiliar world, Marguerite... an extraordinary individual, inspires all of us to look beyond tradition and conformity and remain true to ourselves."
Here is his translation:
"By acting like a total spaz, Marguerite has been able to milk her 15 minutes of fame into boatloads of cash by licensing the rights to her freak-out video to Fox. When she boards a plane, weight sensors go off. Maugerite inspires us all to eat an entire buffalo, then yell at the buffalo's next of kin for being Godless heathen."
Funny. Bryan should start a web site interpretation blog.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Thank you for that kind instruction. It's a pleasure to XXXXX here. XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX And that's why I think we were right to XXXXX X XXXXXX XXXXXXX X XXXXXXX XX XXXXX The National Security Agency is playing a crucial part in the war on terror. XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXX XX XXXXXXXX XXX Osama bin Laden and take him seriously. When he says he's going to hurt the American people again, or try to, he means it. I take it seriously, and the people of NSA XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXXXX ;do this? You bet we did. XX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX X XXXXXXXX X XXXXX American people, because XXX XXXXX X X X XX XXXXXXX X X XXXXX XXXX X X X X X XXXXXX XX XXX X XXXXX XXXX Thank you.
From V. C.
I'm one of these, apparently.
You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Hat Tip: InstaP.
PS. I'm not very fond of the car in real life. Does this make me a self-hater???
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
...does that mean that all subscribers to the LA Times are ungrateful, anti-military, pacifist, elitist, isolated, hypointellectuals who knows nothing of the world in which he lives???
I'm just asking.
My blog friend at Miserable Donuts has thoughts.
PS. I do thank Joel for his honesty.
PPS. Notice I didn't rag on him for being rich??? I want to be rich!
While surfing the web for some random and unrelated bit of information, I stumbled across this little unhappy bite of news. It looks like the GAO has found a way around the Internet Tax Freedom Act, passed in 1998. It was moratorium intended to limit taxation on goods purchase over the internet, which helped fuel the initial internet boom. It was one the better bipartisan bills passed by the otherwise fractious Clinton / Gingrich led government. The loophole concerns something they call "acquired services" (i.e. wires, modems, servers and the like). How long will it take before a congressman proposes a tax to take advantage of this loophole? In this anti-spendthrift, money-hungry congress, probably not long. This could affect anyone who uses the net. I wonder how much finding "little unhappy bites of news" will cost me in the future?
PS. My bad. It won't be a tax. It will be a FEE!!!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
From Eric Alterman:
"So we've gutted the budget for reconstruction in Iraq, something that may make sense, given that weÂre not really conducting any, and are incapable of providing the necessary security to do so, but at the same time, we've destroyed what was a functioning country. True it was a totalitarian dictatorship run by mass murderer, but it functioned for most people."
Yeah, it functioned quite well. And so did Germany, until the stupid Americans got involved. Oh, nevermind that Germany didn't function that well for the Jews or Homosexuals, or that Iraq didn't function well for the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, and Shia. I am really tired of liberals trying to paint pre-war Iraq as some sort of almost paradise. And as for the funding, does Alterman think for one moment that suplimentary funds will not be made available. And besides, you should be happy, as you were the ones that complained about the cost of the war in the first place (and who voted against the funding; could be Democrats).
PS. Here is a rebuttal of Alterman's "Cost Of War" estimate.
PPS. If you can be happy with the way Saddam ran Iraq, why can't you be happy with the way Bush runs this country? You percieve it to be roughly the same. Both torture, rig elections, invades countries without provication.... I'm just asking.
Friday, January 13, 2006
We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.
We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members.
But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.
As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.
N.Z. Bear, The Truth Laid Bear
Hugh Hewitt, HughHewitt.com
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com
Kevin Aylward, Wizbang!
La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber's Corner
Lorie Byrd, Polipundit
Jeff Goldstein, Protein Wisdom
John Hawkins, Right Wing News
John Hinderaker, Power Line
Jon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandO
James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
Mike Krempasky, Redstate.org
Michelle Malkin, MichelleMalkin.com
Ed Morrissey, Captain's Quarters
Scott Ott, Scrappleface
John Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Ted Kennedy, eerily reminiscent of Peter Potamus, to Arlen Specter:
Did... you... get... that... thing... I... sentcha?".
*Peter Potamus appears in the Adult Swim / Cartoon Network cartoon called "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law"
*Ted Kennedy appears where ever there is beer and free chicks.
*Arlen Specter has no flaws I'm aware of, though I'm sure someone can dig up some stupid club he once belonged to earlier in his career.
PPS. I just googled CAP and didn't get to the right one 'till the 22nd page. You would think that, with all the hub-bub about it this week, it would be on the first couple of pages. Does the organization even exist today??
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
This is a sad case of art vs art.
"Duchamp’s 1917 piece — an ordinary white, porcelain urinal that’s been called one of the most influential works of modern art — was slightly chipped in the attack at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the museum said Thursday. It was removed from the exhibit for repair."
I think I'm siding with M. C. Hammerguy on the one. He deserves a medal or something.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
"Ariel Sharon is dead. No. Ariel Sharon is alive. Everyone else is dead!....
No. Scratch that. It's just Sharon. We repeat, Ariel Sharon is dead.... but there were unconfirmed reports of alleged cannibalism".
I added the bit about cannibalism in homage to the Katrina coverage.
PS. Please don't take this the wrong way and think we take this lightly. We hope Sharon pulls through. But Greg's dad had the same type of bleeding stroke last year. Though it was not as severe as Sharon's, and he has recovered nicely, Greg's dad nearly died due to the complications from his stroke. During recovery, stroke victims tend to form blood clots around the heart, which can dislodge and travel to the brain, causing an ischemic stroke (clot blocks blood flow to part of the brain). Doctors normally use anticoagulants to try and prevent this. Problem is - you can't give anticoagulants to victims of hemorrhagic stroke as that will thin the blood and in many cases lead to more hemorrhagic strokes. Greg's dad formed clots in his lungs, and though this is not likely to cause another stroke, it did cause him to suffer severe hypoxia. The clots were interfering with his lungs abilities to absorb oxygen. He almost died from anaphylactic shock, caused by medication given while he was at Stanford Medical in San Jose. There was more stuff that happened, but I listed the most severe to make a point. Many people who survive the initial stroke die from the complications. Given the experience with Greg's dad, I don't think Sharon has much of a chance of pulling through. Here's hoping that I'm wrong.
PPS. The brain damage suffered by Greg's dad was moderate, if that. No slurred speech or droopy face. He can walk, for short distances, with out assistance. He was very, very lucky the stroke didn't do more damage.
"There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend," Barry said at an afternoon news conference in which he described the robbery in detail. "I don't advocate what they do. I advocate conditions to change what they do. I was a little hurt that this betrayal did happen."
If he is suprised that he would get robbed, then maybe he is still smoking crack.
UPDATE: Pat Robertson has decided he does not want to be left out of the contest.
In this case its - "Never Make A Promise You Intend To Keep, Especially If It Involves Certain Bodyparts"!!!!!
So I guess I DON'T love sports as much as the next guy!
Hat Tip: Still Angry!
PS. More info in case you're curious. Favorite detail - "Single Geoffrey, 31, took an agonising ten minutes to perform the horrific op using a pair of blunt wire cutters". So he's single, huh? Wouldn't have guesses that!
PPS. Hey Patric! I dare you... No. Double Dog Dare You - to write a song about this!
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
"The WMF vulnerability probably affects more computers than any other security vulnerability, ever." or Why I'm Glad I Use Linux
To those who might be wondering what the hell I was doing posting strange, geeky, tech-head comments on your blogs, or sending e-mails about security flaws, and are checking to see if I had lost my rocker? I can assure you I have not....
OK. Maybe just a little, but that was long ago in a far-away land.
I'm just tryin' to look out for my Peeps! Dig?
But this is no joke. If you are using ANY version of Windows (XP, ME, NT, 2000, 98, 95, 3.1), you need to download and apply the SECURITY PATCH featured in the green box. There is a huge vulnerability in the coding that lets you view pictures using windows. All web browsers and e-mail clients will at various times access this code to perform different imaging tasks. This is a BIG FAT SECURITY RISK that can't be blocked with a firewall or anti-virus software. There is more info HERE.
My favorite quote from the previous link: "Turns out this is not really a bug, it's just bad design. Design from another era".
This fix will disable the Microsoft Picture Viewer feature, but there is a safer alternative HERE.
PS. If the Hyperlinks don't work, here are the URL's from above:
PPS. If you are using either Mac OSX or any of the Linux OS's, you can smile and go on your merry way 'cause this, as is usually the case, does not affect you. I.O.W. - DUMP WINDOWS AND USE MAC OSX OR LINUX! IT'S SAFER!!!
Hat Tip: Loe Laporte, Steve Gibson, and Digg.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Whoops. I sound like I'm whining over lack of traffic. OK. I AM! But it's my blogday and I'll cry if I want to!
Well. Enough of all that. I decided to go through the years worth of posts and link to the ones I like the best:
January: The first post. I never was comfortable writing the term "netizen". It's an awkward term. Note that it took almost twenty days to figure out how to post a picture, create a link in html, and realize the spell checking applet featured with Blogspot was being blocked by the web browser.
February: My first post linked by another blogger. My little brother didn't get this post at all.
March: Posted music from my old band "Juni Moon". 40'th birthday. Found the website "Caption This". A favorite musician leaves our mortal world.
April: Thoughts on Canada. more band stuff, this time from San Diego. This post featured the most color of any post I've ever composed.
May: The whole month was, almost without exception, all about Murphy - the $500 Turbo Wagon I rebuilt.
June: Got my first taste of annoying automated blog advertisers that post in the comments. At first I thought I had new visitors, but soon realized the comment were nothing more than pop-up ads.
July: Music and Politics. Got into a heated discussion with Sarah.
August: Judy! Used the blog for school purposes. Cool!
September: The month was bookmarked by pics of my favorite people. OK, one is Miss Bird, but she might as well be people. Revealed the true extent of my geekness, and found Robbie, who would later become 1/2 of The Malcontent.
October: Posted my first out-of-town post. Started my Top Ten Albums list. This was number 10. Still haven't posted # 9. Found out I am a Libertarian. Duh!
November: Lots of Politics. Murtha loses. UN looses. Arnold looses. Two out of three ain't bad.
December: Hodge-podge of stuff. Did my best "Caption This" homage. More Iraq support. Yes, there were elections over there. And I end the year horsin' around!
Well, that's it for last year. My next post will be about my resolutions for this year. Thank to those who take time to check out my blog and hope you have a happy New Year.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
PS. NY Resolution #1: Be better organized and don't lose important passwords.
PPS. I hint of things to come.