October 2005 Archives

New Office Lexicon Entry: Hundred-Hundred Split

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Because I can't get enough abuse and keep volunteering for more, I am now experiencing the antonym of the Zero-Zero Split, the Hundred-Hundred Split:

When you split your time 50-50 between two bosses, and one of them thinks everything he wants you to do is more important than anything the other boss wants you to do, so he tasks you like you're working for him full time. Of course, the other boss thinks exactly the same way. Opposite of Zero-Zero Split.

Update: Upon further review, the above is pretty unfair to my day-to-day boss, who is a good guy and understands that I'm not really fully tasked in my regular job at the moment. However, my additional boss seems to think that 50% of my time is based on there being 168 hours in a week.

Carnival Of The Costumes

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With Hallloween weekend coming up, this post will be frequently updated with costume pictures from DL's favorite bloggers (oh, who am I kidding? Anybody who links to this post and provides a picture will probably make the cut).

So leave a comment or email with a link to a photo of your halloween costume, and expose yourself to an audience of, well, a couple of dozen.

This kind of falls under the category "If the aliens pick the right night to invade, we'll never notice it until it's too late":

Authorities in Delaware said a woman's body was found hanging from a tree Wednesday after she apparently committed suicide. But they say it went unreported for a few hours, because people walking by thought the body was a Halloween decoration.

The body was suspended by rope from a tree about 15 feet off the ground in Frederica.

The wife of the town's mayor told a Wilmington paper (The News Journal) that it looked like "something somebody would have rigged up."

My kitchen table wobbles even when sitting on a perfectly flat surface. My kitchen floor, as you might expect of anything assembled by Lowest Bidder Builders, is not perfectly flat; however, I can always rotate the table such that it sits in a stable manner. I'd just kind of assumed that you could always do that for any reasonable values of 'table wobbliness' and 'floor flatness', but this guy had to go out and prove it:

Do you always get the wobbly table at restaurants and cafés? Don't despair. A physicist has proved that, within reasonable limits, it is always possible to rotate the table to a position where all four legs stand solidly on the ground.

André Martin was moved to study the problem because he was fed up with the wobbly tables at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, where he works on abstruse problems in high-energy physics.

Anyone who drinks a cup of coffee on the terrace of the CERN cafeteria, says Martin, discovers that the tables usually have only three feet resting on the ground, so that the slightest touch spills your drink.

Time after time, Martin would find himself rotating the table to look for a stable position. "I've always been able to find one," he says. "People are sometimes amazed that it works."

More than ten years ago, Martin decided to see if he could find some proof that a stable state always exists. He believed that he'd found one, and even presented it at a summer school in 1998, but he never wrote it up and discovered that in any case it wasn't completely correct.

Now Martin believes he has a more watertight case, and this time he has gone public1. "I had the feeling that mathematicians were interested," he explains.
[H/T Boing Boing]

The Young Lady And The Old Lady Are BOTH In My Head!

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A quick hitter to start your day (Pacific Time, anyway): if you're not fooled by optical illusions, you might be schizophrenic:

Optical illusions that fool most people don't seem to trick those who suffer from schizophrenia, concludes a study published in the latest issue of Current Biology. The success may actually be linked to a weakness in a brain mechanism called contextual processing, which is responsible for picking out relevant sensory information from the barrage of stimuli a person constantly experiences. If that's the case, it may explain why some schizophrenics misunderstand other people's actions in the context of a situation or feel paranoia or persecution.

(title reference here)

From My Lips To Cyberdyne's Ears

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Remember a couple of days ago, when I said that pretty soon the robots would have a kill switch for us? Well, we just built it:

ATSUGI, Japan (AP) -- We wield remote controls to turn things on and off, make them advance, make them halt. Ground-bound pilots use remotes to fly drone airplanes, soldiers to maneuver battlefield robots.

But manipulating humans?

Prepare to be remotely controlled. I was.

. . .

A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT [Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Japan's top telephone company] research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head -- either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.

I found the experience unnerving and exhausting: I sought to step straight ahead but kept careening from side to side. Those alternating currents literally threw me off.

The technology is called galvanic vestibular stimulation -- essentially, electricity messes with the delicate nerves inside the ear that help maintain balance.

I felt a mysterious, irresistible urge to start walking to the right whenever the researcher turned the switch to the right. I was convinced -- mistakenly -- that this was the only way to maintain my balance.

And you can tell these guys don't get out much:

And it may also help people dodge oncoming cars or direct a rescue worker in a dark tunnel, NTT researchers say. They maintain that the point is not to control people against their will.
News flash, Pointdexter-san: it may not be your point, but it will sure as hell be SOMEBODY'S point! Normally I love hearing about this kind of thing - the more we figure out about how the brain works, the better off we'll be, I think - but there's something about this that really unnerves me.

Recommendations Wanted: Cheap Flash-Based MP3 Player

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My current El Muy Cheapo MP3 player has this annoying habit of resetting to the beginning of the current track whenever it shuts off. Although I can fast-forward back to the same point when I power up again (assuming I know approximately where that is), this is a real pain in the ass when I'm listening to the Bob and Tom podcast since each one comes as four forty-minute tracks.

My MP3 player also has the infuriating habit of switching off spontaneously about half the time I un-pause it, about a third of the time I switch from/to the headphones to/from the car adapter, and about once an hour for no reason at all.

Now I know I shouldn't expect a lot from a $15 player, especially one with 128MB that has a screen display and can double as a USB drive, but I'm about ready to chuck it all the way across the workout room the next time it pukes on me. So I'm open to recommendations for a replacement.

  • Flash-based, 256MB or better.
  • Under $50.
  • Has some kind of screen display.
  • Can fast-forward and rewind within tracks.
  • Starts at the same point within a track after powering down and restarting (and preferably even after switching batteries).
  • Tolerant of damp environments - I'll be using it during my workouts, and that's a damp environment if ever there was one.

Somebody, please, hook me up.

Once again, Michigan won a game it had no business winnning, as Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz suddenly morphed into Lloyd Carr with first-and-ten on Michigan's 15 with 1:10 and 2 timeouts left. I thought Michigan would call a time out to save some clock before Iowa's game-tying FG try, just so they'd have to kick off afterwards, but Carr must have figured if Ferentz was willing to play for OT, so was he (at what is now a 5-0 record in OT games, that's one part of winning close ones that Michigan has figured out).

What's it mean for the rest of the season? Hell, I don't know. I said a couple of weeks ago that I didn't know whether they'd end up 9-3 or 4-7, and the only thing I know for sure now is that they won't end up 4-7. They head to Evanston Saturday to play WAC-leading Northwestern, who has a mobile quarterback in a spread offence, two things Michigan has had a lot of trouble stopping.

OK, I hear you going *cough*MichiganState*cough*. Fine. If they bring the same team to Evanston that they did to East Lansing, they'll be OK. But I still haven't seen the dominant - all game long - performance I've expected to see yet this year (outside of the Directional State games, and those don't really count). That's what I mean when I say I still don't know how good they really are. It isn't like they're a great team that occasionally has a bad outing; it's like collectively they're always betting the under and want to keep the score low (something, it seems, like Lloydball is designed to do). And that's why I said they would lose either the Iowa game or the NU game, and I haven't seen anything to change my mind there.

Of course, the good news is that I'm 0-5 in picking nontrivial Michigan games this year, so odds are I'm wrong.

More High Rollers Should Read My Blog

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Because I detailed the life lesson "Never Ever Ever Run A Tab In A Strip Joint" almost a year and a half ago:

Because at the end of the night, when you're all liquored up and hormoned up, they can pretty much charge you whatever they want. And your options are limited:
Mitchell Blaser, who is the Chief Financial Officer of the Americas division of insurer Swiss Re, filed suit on Tuesday demanding that strip club Scores pay back the $28,000 because that does not accurately reflect his spending at the Manhattan nightspot.

Well, Savvis Communications CEO Robert McCormic will see Blaser's 28 large and raise him $214,000:

Meet the lap dunce.

He's a married Internet mogul who ran up a $241,000 tab at Scores and then stiffed American Express on the bill - claiming it was more padded than one of the strip club's busty beauties, according to a lawsuit.

Savvis Communications chief executive Robert McCormick, who hails from the "Show-Me State" of Missouri, allegedly charged the mind-blowing sum to his corporate card two years ago.

But when the bill came due, the father of three girls refused to pay, insisting he didn't spend more than $20,000 at the East Side pleasure palace. [emphasis added]

I love how dude cops to spending the twenty grand. That's gotta make his wife happy. Let's go inside for a little analysis:

[Scores spokesman Lonnie] Hanover could not provide an itemized breakdown of how McCormick and his buddies managed to spend a quarter of a million bucks - but he had a guess.

"I am sure we are going to find out it was mostly gratuities to dancers," he said. "He didn't get 1 million dances [of course not - that would have been a $50M tab - ed.]. Apparently, they gave out thousands of dollars to girls."
So let's run the numbers. Four guys (from elsewhere in the article) for six hours (guess) gives us ten grand per guy per hour. Yeah, I can see that, but I kind of wonder about the mechanics of it. Where do you swipe your credit card on a naked chick, anyway?


Never mind.

Eventually, They Will Have A Killswitch For Us...


I know I'm about two weeks late to this party, but circumstances led me to Wikipedia's entry for the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. I was quite impressed with the robot vehicles' improvements over last year's Challenge, where none of the competitors got to the 8-mile mark, but I noticed a couple of disturbing things:

  • Golem2: Out of race at 22 miles; software bug crashed main computer causing 60mph rampage.
  • NaviGATOR: Out of race at 14 miles; lost control pushing speed past known tolerances
  • Alice: Out of race at 8 miles; after GPS reacquisition, veered over barrier and towards media.
Sure, safety devices prevented any real problems, but any vehicle we make smart enough to auto-navigate will eventually be smart enough to circumvent them.

And thus will begin the Age Of The Machines.

Jus' The Cost Of Doin' Bidness...


Apparently there's a price scale for everything in Russia, including bribes:

The chairman of the Russian Anti-Corruption Committee, Anton Belyakov, stated that bribes may vary in Russia from $100 (to a police officer) to $20 million (to acquire the official position of a governor).

And it's going up, too:

The average amount of bribes on the business market of Russia has increased to $135,8 thousand. A successful Russian businessman has to pay about $243,7 thousand of bribes a year as opposed to $23,000 in 2001. The Russian market of bribes is evaluated at some $316 billion a year.

This was enough to vault Russia to 34th place on the Most Corrupt Countries list, slotting in right with Albania, Niger, and Sierra Leone.

It's an impressive jump, but they're going to have to do better than that if they expect to make a BCS (Bribery Championship Series) bowl, because even though the Former Soviet Republics Conference champion gets an automatic bid, Russia still has to jump over Kyrgygzstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and undefeated Turkmenistan. It's doable, because everybody except the Azeris are still ahead on the schedule, but they'll need somebody to beat them and somebody to beat Turkmenistan twice.

Of course, with the proper bribes, everything can come out just the way you want it.

My Life Imitates A Weird Al Song

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Fifteen years ago today, I got my fifteen minutes of fame. Actually, since Jeopardy! episodes run 30 minutes, I got somebody else's fifteen minutes as well (whoever you are, sorry about that).

How'd I do?

Note that I didn't say "I got three other people's fifteen minutes," or "five other people's," etc., etc. I also fulfilled the stereotype of "engineer who doesn't know dick about literature." Also, Sara Cox has me to thank for $17,400 of her $61,201 in winnings.

I won't have a detailed entry on last night's Amazing Race ep because I was installing the trim on my front door and had my back to the TV most of the time, but I can sum it up like this: Lamest. Episode. Ever.

Yes, that's how much worse this season is: before, I would always record it on my PC and put it on a CD so I could take it to work and look at scenes again to answer questions that would come up when my coworkers and I were discussing it. Not to mention that I'd take detailed notes and write something like, well, most anything in this category. Now, I kind of half-listen to it while doing something else. I had some hopes after last week's ep that the show was improving, but having "go to this particular BP station" as a task was pretty much the final straw.

Oh, yeah, one other thing - Widow Weaver, Lake Pontchartrain is not a Great Lake. In fact it's less than 1/10th the size of the smallest Great Lake (Ontario).

You'd think an elementary school teacher would know that.

Hey, Why Is Everybody Celebrating?


One of the downsides to writing off a season is that you can't fully enjoy it when your team wins a game they shouldn't. For Michigan's entire final drive against Penn State, I was only about half-engaged because I assumed they'd find a way not to win. I'm not sure why Lynn Henning says U-M knows how to win games late, because there's a reason ESPN Classic shows mostly Michigan losses - Michigan has a decided tendency to lose close games.

So, naturally, I was right in the middle of pontificating that Chad Henne would have Avant open on a fade but overthrow him by ten yards, or that he'd complete a five-yard pass instead, or that he'd lock onto a receiver and get pick-sixed, when I looked up and saw an easy-as-you-please pitch-and-catch from Henne to Manningham to win the game. I just kind of sat there. It's two days later, and it's just now beginning to sink in.

The other thing I'm learning is that I can't pick a Michigan game to save my life; I am 0-5 in non-trivial Michigan picks this year (I consider both MAC games to be gimmees). So I guess you should take it with several blocks of salt that I think they'll still lose to aOSU and either Iowa or Northwestern.

Update: hat tip to Tom for reminding me where I read why it is that ESPNC mostly shows Michigan losses.

White Trash Wednesday

Whiteski Trashski Wednesdayski, Thursday Edition. Man Drives Off Bridge, Lands In Tree:

A drunk Russian escaped unhurt after careering off a bridge in his car and landing in the branches of a tree 30ft below.

Nikolay Voronov, from Tomsk, was driving home after a night boozing with pals when he lost control of his Toyota Carina.

He smashed through barriers on the side of a bridge going over the River Ushaika, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

But instead of plunging into the waters 60ft below, the car fell 30ft and landed in the top branches of the only tree within miles.

Rescue services who were called out by passersby who spotted the car perched on the top of the tree said Voronov was unhurt.

The car, which they managed to lower down from the tree using a winch, suffered only minimal damage.

And if I'm going to be late, I'd better bring some more. Like maybe some more Arby's:

Sometimes, you'll do anything to get your hands on some Arby's.

Two North Platte, Neb., men are facing up to 20 years in jail for allegedly breaking into an Arby's Roast Beef Restaurant (search) while drunk to fire up the grill in the middle of the night, according to the North Platte Bulletin.

Police said quite a fiesta ensued, with beer cans lying everywhere and the fryers fired up once officers arrived at the scene.

Eighteen-year-olds Ian M. Nichelsen and Tyler P. Clouatre apparently felt so at home inside the restaurant that they answered a phone from a 911 operator who had been tipped off by an Arby's employee who arrived to open for the day at 4:30 a.m. and saw two men inside.

And what White Trash Wednesday (sort of) would be complete without a meth reference?

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — David Douglas Griffy II's alleged escape from authorities seemed to be going well when he broke free from deputies and jumped into the Kanawha River.

But deputies weren't too worried: Griffy was still handcuffed behind his back. Authorities waited for him on the riverbank and took him into custody again.

Police believe Griffy, 23, smashed a Dollar General store window with a tire tool so another man could steal cold medicine used to make methamphetamine.

It's White Trash Wednesday (sort of)! Take the whole tour:

Episode 3 of The Amazing Race: Family Edition was last night, and several previously-identified instances of watering down the Race idea have been dealt with. For instance, they went back to a 12-hour pit stop (the teams' departure times ranged from 2:26 AM to 3:05 AM), and that really took a toll on a few teams, especially the Weavers. I don't think I've ever seen Killer Fatigue hit so early, especially in such a lightweight Race. The Waffle House Breakdown will be recorded in TAR lore.

About that breakdown - the Weavers are the team who constantly ask God or Jesus for help in whatever task they're performing (I counted 3 Gratiuitous Weaver God References(tm) last night), which kind of bugs me. Do you need Jesus' help to read a map? Maybe the Rogerses did, but that was last week. Anyway, when the Weavers were in the bathroom of the Waffle House, and one of the daughters was having a breakdown, I was expecting Mom to circle the wagons and lead the family in a prayer. It would actually have made a lot of sense for her to do that, but she didn't! You ask God to help you in the race (which, objectively, means He would be hurting the other racers), but you don't ask His help when it looks like you could really use it? Strange.

A church I drive by on my daily commute recently put this on its sign:

God doesn't let something happen and then say 'Oops.'

Now I'm not certain what this particular church believes in terms of predestination (I can never keep all the different flavors of Protestantism straight on doctrine), but my first thought was, Of course He doesn't say that, because 'Oops' implies surprise and God already knows everything that's going to happen!"

Make Those Detroit Hotel Reservations Now!


I swear I've never been this deep into the season without having a good sense of where Michigan is going. They could end up anywhere from 9-3 to 4-7, and frankly, I think either is just as likely. Right now I'm thinking 7-5, but I'm absolutely not willing to pick any particular game.

They might still theoretically be in the Big Ten chase, which makes it twice as frustrating that they lost Saturday, given that Wisconsin took one of the two losses Michigan needed them to. Now, they still need Wisconsin to lose twice, MSU to lose again, Penn State to lose another game (assuming Michigan beats them), and Minnesota needs to lose twice! I haven't done the deep schedule analysis to determine whether some of those conditions are mutually exclusive, but even if not, that's a lot of pieces that need to fall into place.

Today's Reason I'm Going To Hell

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I just had a great idea for a website. You surf to it and it displays an image that flashes at 20Hz. If you're still sitting on that page after thirty seconds, the site automatically dials 911 for you.

I think I'll call it epileptictest.com.

You've probably heard about the Navy-trained killer dolphins who escaped their Gulf-coast compound when Katrina hit:

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Not to worry - they're training sharks to take 'em out! OK, fine, the article admits only that the Office of Naval Research funded the study and doesn't mention anything about weapons, but what do you expect from an unclassified article in the open literature?

Leg 2 of The Amazing Race managed to water down the race concept still further. Clearly they're not running 12-hour pit stops, since everybody seemed to arrive in the early-to-mid afternoon and leave eightish the next morning. So far, there haven't been any grueling drives, either, unless you count gridlock outside of DC, and the entire leg took less than 12 hours! The real race right now is between my ability to bond with one or more teams versus my overall 'meh' about how this season is playing out - I'm TiVoing My Name Is Earl and The Office right now, but The Not-So-Amazing Race is rapidly playing itself onto the bench, so to speak.

Wow! Moment: Once again, it's marathonfamily, medevacing five wounded soldiers with just mom and dad providing any useful input.

Key Play: The Rogers kept marathonfamily in the race by pointing out that they were at the wrong reflecting pool. Without this, they might still be there. And the Rogers might still be racing.

It Was Over When: I can understand how you can get lost, even in a part of the world as well-mapped as the eastern U.S. What I cannot understand is how you can stay lost on a well-marked highway especially with THREE non-drivers available to read the map! The Rogers family managed to pull this off, and now they're on their way to Sequestersville.

Hopefully they won't get lost.

And After That Comes The Lower GI Endoscopy

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A friend of mine recently applied for a job at a nationwide hobby/craft supply chain. She was required to fill out a four-page application and submit to all of the following:

  • A whiz quiz
  • THREE interviews
  • A background check
Which is about what it took for me to get my first Secret clearance.

I congratulated her for being in the running for the CEO job.

Apparently she's just applying for a regular hourly position.

I mean, it's a freaking CRAFT STORE! It's not like childrens' lives or national security are at stake here! Geez, people, have a little sense of perspective! I've damn near used up my month's quota of exclamation points, and it's only the sixth!

It's Science Because God Said So!

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Can anybody explain to me exactly what the hell this guy(?) is talking about? I think he just called me a humanist atheist, with a not-so-subtle hint that I'm also a socialist or communist, but I'm not sure:

Regarding David L. Eiler’s letter, “‘Designer’ was mean or not so intelligent” (Sept. 20): The writer sides with another professor, who said, “intelligent design theory is bad theology as well as bad biology.” Truth agrees with truth. That is, true theology agrees with true biology like hand in glove. If your science is evolution, then your religion would fit humanism, atheism or some other “ism.” If your science is creationism, then your religion would fit Christianity. Luke 16:31 teaches that “If they do not listen to (believe) Moses... they will not he convinced even if someone rises from the dead (resurrection).” A person may have some doubts like John the Baptist; but a Christian who believes in the Resurrection cannot deny the creation.

Eiler seems to blame the “designer” for AIDS, smallpox, tsunamis and hurricanes. Rather, we should make the connection with “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work” – Ephesians 2:2. He had permission to be malicious.

Eiler said in his letter, “nearly all competent biologists accept (evolution).” When the “theocracy of academics-ism” has been under evolution so long, any challenger is branded for blasphemy. Any challenge throws the evolutionist into panic. One university professor said, “If a student is a creationist, flunk him out.”

Like the Sadducees who although they didn’t believe hung around when they might as well have played golf, we now have many “experts” who don’t believe. Jesus said, “Woe to you experts... because you have taken away the key to knowledge... and have hindered those who were entering” – Luke 11:52. Paul said, “turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” – I Timothy 6:20-21.

Life Imitates 'Dukes Of Hazzard'

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White Trash Wednesday

Welcome back to White Trash Wednesday, or as I call it, "Life In Northeast Indiana:"

Fort Wayne police were called to 6400 W. Jefferson Blvd. at 6:34 p.m. Friday in the parking lot in front of the Cap-N-Cork store, a police report said.

Witnesses told police that Marsha Strutz drove into a field next to the parking lot and then drove up a hill with enough speed that she went airborne and landed on top of another vehicle in the parking lot at Covington Plaza, the report said.

Strutz, 57, of Winter Field Run, then hit three other parked vehicles before a wheel fell off her car, the report said.
Something tells me that seeing her in a pair of Daisy Dukes would not be a good thing.

I don't need to mention this, but I add it for completeness:

Police arrested Strutz on two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, one count of felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated by a controlled substance, the report said. She was no longer in police custody Sunday night.

This is the third time Strutz has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated in the last year in Allen County, the report said.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

So Florida has now enacted a law saying you can legally stand your ground and fight rather than run away, as long as you're someplace you're legally allowed to be. As you might expect, Disarm America, Inc., isn't too happy about this:

MIAMI -- Clark Ramm said he sees shades of the Wild West in Florida's new law giving greater legal protections to people who shoot or use other deadly force when threatened or attacked.

"It seems like everybody ought to be packing a piece," said Ramm, a visitor from Ukiah, Calif., who found out about the law Monday from a gun control group handing out leaflets at Miami International Airport. "I don't know if that's the right thing to do."

Ramm was one of dozens of people at the Miami airport who were given the leaflets beginning with the words "An Important Notice to Florida Visitors" in bold red type by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has also taken out ads in major Detroit, Chicago, Boston and London newspapers about the new Florida law.

"There is no other state in the nation -- and no other civilized nation on Earth -- that has a law like this," said Brady Campaign spokesman Peter Hamm. "It could cause the most aggressive people in society to overreact."

Florida's "stand your ground" law, which took effect Saturday, removes a duty on the part of citizens to retreat in the face of an attack as long as they are in a place they have a legal right to be, including a public street or their place of business. It also gives immunity from criminal or civil charges to a shooter as long as the person shot is not a police officer.

What Guns Are Bad, Inc. doesn't want you to remember is that when Florida enacted a law in 1987 making it much much easier for law-abiding citizens to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon (known as a "shall issue" law), they said exactly the same thing:

David Kopel has noted, "Whenever a state legislature first considers a concealed- carry bill, opponents typically warn of horrible consequences. Permit-holders will slaughter each other in traffic disputes, while would-be Rambos shoot bystanders in incompetent attempts to thwart crime. But within a year of passage, the issue usually drops off the news media's radar screen, while gun-control advocates in the legislature conclude that the law wasn't so bad after all." ("The Untold Triumph of Concealed-Carry Permits," Policy Review, July-August 1996, p. 9.)

. . .

Opponents waged a fear-based campaign, claiming crime would increase if law-abiding citizens carried guns. Anti-gun politicians predicted Florida would become the "GUNshine State." The news media forecast vigilante justice and "Wild West" shootouts on every corner. One newspaper said "(A) pistol-packing citizenry will mean itchier trigger fingers. . . . South Florida's climate of smoldering fear would flash like napalm when every stranger totes a piece, and every mental snap in traffic could lead to the crack of gunfire."

It didn't happen then, and it won't happen now. But that won't stop the Personal Disarmament lobby in their quest to make guns go away. Good luck with that.

For the third time this week, I surfed past a Michigan-Michigan State game on ESPNC where Michigan lost - this time, I was literally just in time to see Eddie Brown tackle* Desmond Howard on what would have been the game-winning two-point conversion in the 1990 game (* The UMGoBlue.COM page says Brown 'cheated,' which he didn't; you always always always interfere with a receiver who's just pylonized you to prevent giving up the game-winner. Best case - it's a no-call; worst case, they get another shot at it. UMGoBlue properly uses the term to describe the 2001 game).

My prediction for today's Michigan-Michigan State game: 38-31 State if Mike Hart is healthy; 38-24 if he isn't. Subtract 10 points from MSU's score for each quarter or significant fraction that Drew Stanton is hurt, because frankly that's the only way I see Michigan winning this game.

Well, there's always the 'sniper in the press box' defense, but that's frowned upon at the college level.

Update: Usually I hate being wrong. Not today!

Update To The Update: And I'd better fucking well see this game as ESPNC's Instant Classic this week.


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