Saturday, March 01, 2008

February Weather Summary for Saranac Lake, NY

Lots of variation in the weather for February. The high temperature was 51.7 degrees on Feb 18th and the low was -18 degrees on Feb. 29th.The highest pressure was 30.73 in. and the lowest 29.43 in. We had 1.79 inches of precipitation which obviously translates into a fair bit of snow.

Friday, February 29, 2008

More Than You Want to Know About Leap Year

Go and read this post at Bad Astronomy. The calender is never exactly correct. Here is a very small portion of an extensive post.
The year is not exactly 365.25 days long. Our official day is 86,400 seconds long. I won’t go into details on the length of the year itself (you can read a wee bit about it here), but the year we now use is called a Tropical Year and it is 365.242190419 days long. With malice aforethought — my calculator won’t hold that many digits, let’s round it to 365.2421904.

So it’s a bit short of 365.25. That hardly matters, right?

Actually, it does, over time. Even that little bit adds up. After four years, we don’t have 1461 physical days, we have

4 years at 365.2421904 (real) days/year = 1460.968762 days.

That means that when we add a whole day in every four years, we’re adding too much! We should really only add 0.968762 days. But that’s a bit of a pain, so we add in a whole day.

So even though we add a Leap Day in to balance the calendar, it’s still a bit off. It’s a lot better, for sure, but it’s still just a hair out of whack. This time, it’s ahead (since we added a whole day which is too much) by

1 - .968762 days = 0.031238 days, or about 45 minutes.

Ice Racing - Lake Colby

[Photo from]
What is the safest and most inexpensive form of road racing available your car on an ice covered lake of course. That's what is going to happen on Lake Colby on Saturday and Sunday March 8th and 9th.

This being Saranac Lake, NY, it automatically means not everyone supports the ice race.
On Monday, the village board tentatively but unanimously approved a request from the Adirondack Motor Enthusiasts Club to hold a race on the frozen lake. Members of the Lake Colby Association, including Adirondack Medical Center, opposed the event, citing environmental and noise concerns. The association asked the board to postpone the event, pending review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

At least two board members changed their minds about granting permission for the race, with trustees Susan Waters and Christina Fontana supporting a motion to postpone the event.
Lake Colby is directly across from the Adirondack Medical Center, (probably good for the racers) and has several homeowners that own shoreline and do not support the race. The DEC has a boat launch and the Village has the beach on Lake Colby also. An article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise a day or so ago stated that the ice races have been moving North because of the thin ice further south (global warming?).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


See a review of Ben Stein's movie Expelled here. Learn about the great liberal conspiracy to suppress the idea of intelligent design.

Can Prayer Result in Healing?


For a less brief analysis go here.

Congressional Ethics

What is wrong with setting up a six person, non-partisan panel of ethics professions, appointed jointly by the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader? The Republicans aren't crazy about this panel. They are targeting 10 Democratic congress members, that could be investigated by such a panel, in hopes of getting them to vote against the creation of an ethics panel.

It will be interesting to see who votes against creating such a panel.

On another humorous note, Sen. Larry Craig (Mr. WideStance) is looking for summer interns. I wonder how many GOP senators want their student interning for Sen. Craig?

Barack Obama - Anti-Israel Terrorist Sympathizer

How would could anyone possibly believe Barack Obama is anti-Israel and a terrorist sympathizer. Pretty simple actually - his middle name is HUSSEIN!! Isn't it obvious that anyone with the middle name Hussein is terrorist sympathizer?

That's the line that the Tennessee GOP is putting out to the rubes in TN.
“It’s time to set the record straight about Barack Obama and where he really stands on vital issues such as national security and the security of Israel,” said Robin Smith, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. “Voters need to know about two items that surfaced today which strongly suggest that an Obama presidency will view Israel as a problem rather than a partner for peace in the Middle East.

Dr. Jarvik is Out as Lipitor Pitchman

A story in todays NYT seems to take great joy in the fact that Dr. Robert Jarvik's role as a pitchman for Lipitor has been found wanting.
Rather than fight with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Pfizer folded its tent and ended the ad campaign. The committee plans to continue its investigations of the Lipitor marketing campaign and of possible deception in other drug advertising aimed at consumers. We encourage the committee to delve deeply.
Ok, fair enough. But what about investigating the companies that advertise so-called drugs such as "head on", yogurt with "protective bacteria" and flu drugs that are basically homeopathic treatments that are no more effective than water?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dental Hygienist

Went to the dentist this morning and was surprised when I got my first digital dental x-rays ever. It's very interesting to be able to instantly see the results of your x-ray in front of you within seconds of the button being pressed. Also, it reduces x-ray exposure by up to 80%.

Ever wonder when and where the first school of Dental Hygiene was started? It was started by Dr. Alfred C. Fones, in Bridgeport, CT in 1913.

Good Question

What self-respecting university would accept a censored library. Answer - Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
The Rev William McElvaney, a professor emeritus of preaching and worship at SMU's theology school, added: "As long as that executive order is in place, it's really a censored library. What self-respecting university would accept a censored library?"

It's the Presidential library of G.W. Bush of course, what other library would be censored? More here.

It's the War and the Economy

What could we do with that 10 billion dollars a month we are spending in Iraq? If we have to borrow money couldn't we at least borrow it to help the American people?

Neither Democrat nor Republican

After my below post on Ralph Nader it is only fair that I link to a post on Nader at Musings of a (Fairly) Young Contrarian being....well contrarian.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider is being built 300 feet underground Crozet, France. It's purpose is to discover the "God Particle" (Higgs Boson) in other words...what makes up the universe.

National Geographic has an article about the LHC in this months issue. There is even a cool photo tour of the collider.

There is the slightest worry that the LHC might be capable of creating a mini-black hole. But the bigger concern is that nothing new at all will be discovered. The collider is very expensive - somewhere between 5 and 10 billion dollars. About what the USA spends in Iraq every 2-4 weeks. The center of particle physics technology has moved from the USA to France with the building of the LHC.

Ralph Nader Rides to Our Rescue

What a surprise, Ralph Nader is running for President. Nader makes a point when he says he wasn't responsible for Al Gore losing the presidential race in 2000. Actually, Gore won the popular vote but the Supreme court gave the presidency to G.W. Bush. Americans re-elected G.W. in 2004 so the voters need to take the blame for that election. But here is a question that no one, as far as I know, has asked Nader. If Nader had not run for President in 2000, would Al Gore have won the presidency. I'm pretty sure the answer would be yes, Gore would have won.

Nader has every right to run for President even though his chances of winning are zilch and he is even older than McCain (although he looks two decades younger than McCain). In fact, I agree with 95% of his views. There is a bit of a problem with his 60's style presentation of the root of our problems. He sounds like a hippie and people today don't go for that. Also, you get the sense from Nader that he is the ONLY person that can solve the problems of the USA. Also, you better not disagree with him because you would be wrong.

We do need a new system of elected a president in the USA. Do away with the electoral college. Let's allow use preference voting and instant runoffs. I'd vote in order of preference for #1 Obama, #2 Clinton, #3 Nader, #4 McCain and #5 that other guy who is always running for president.

Support Troops - Not George Bush

Sen. John Warner is incensed and shocked that someone told Barack Obama that troops in Afghanistan are not fully equiped, manned and supported by our Commander-in-Chief G.W. Bush. Why he is shocked is not really clear. It's not like Sen. Warner hasn't heard of this before.

Mike Breen, the person featured in the above ad had more to say.
During one operation in late summer 2006, a Marine infantry company I was working with found itself outnumbered in a steep valley, flanked on three sides by insurgents on the high ground (again, not enough troops to secure their own flanks). My artillery platoon fired in support of the Marines, and were able to drive the insurgents back long enough for the lead element of the company to pull back to safety and recover their wounded. Doing so used up most of my ammunition, and I immediately requested an emergency re-supply. The supply chain came through, moving the ammo I needed from Uzbekistan all the way to the nearest airfield in a matter of hours - but there the ammo stopped, because there weren't enough helicopters in Afghanistan to fly the rounds the last leg of their journey to my platoon in the field. So the ammo sat on an airfield less than 100 km away from my cannons for three days. In combat, that's a lifetime to wait for ammo. It sat there while the Marines were ambushed again, still trying to get out of the same valley, and it sat there while we ran out of ammunition trying to hold the insurgents off of their lead platoon.

The conservatives who discount these statements are more interested in supporting G.W. Bush than actually supporting our troops. That's not patriotism. It's not even nationalism. It's just supporting the failed policies and poor leadership of the worse US president ever.