Saturday, January 31, 2009

Which Republicans Favor the Economic Stimulus Package?

It's clear that congressional republicans want nothing to do with President Obama's economic stimulus package. Every single republican in the House of Representatives voted against it. Are there any republicans that support the stimulus package. Check with republican state governors....the answer is please hurry and how can I get my share of the money.
Most Republican governors have broken with their GOP colleagues in Congress and are pushing for passage of President Barack Obama's economic aid plan that would send billions to states for education, public works and health care.

Their state treasuries drained by the financial crisis, governors would welcome the money from Capitol Hill, where GOP lawmakers are more skeptical of Obama's spending priorities.
Even the governor of Alaska wants in on the economic stimulus.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, planned to meet in Washington this weekend with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other senators to press for her state's share of the package.
Governors can't afford to be ideologues.

Ice Palace 2009 - Two Thirds Done?

The two rear high towers
Side view

Five main towers, one very tall, two medium and two a lower still, this is looking into what will be the center of the Palace
Tower standing alone by the shore

Ice Palace 2 - Cutting Ice

Things were pretty busy down at the Ice Palace building site. Ice blocks were being cut, removed, transported and stored at the rate of one every minute

Ancient gas-powered ice cutter

Kicks up a spray

Make the smaller cuts by hand

Block guided through a channel of water clear of ice

The 400 lb block of ice finally arrives at the shore

Ice block placed into the waiting loader

Which States are the Holiest?

New York State disappoints me. I guess we really aren't part of New England, but it looks like we are trying. The above map shows the most religious and least religious states. New York, New Jersey and Delaware fall together with the Western states as far as religiousity is concerned. As you might expect, it's the deep South that is most religious. Surprisingly, in spite of Sara Palin, Alaska seems to be full of unbelievers also.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Voice of the Republican Party

Current voice of the Republican party

Future voice of the Republican party

DontGo Movement

The dontgo movement, is for anyone who supports free markets, low-taxes, low-regulation and personal freedoms.
This is a great movement for those who think the last 8 years have gone just swimmingly. Low-regulation? You've got to be kidding me, how has that worked out for us? Personal freedoms? Does that include the freedom from warrantless wiretapping? Does it include the right to Habeas corpus? How about freedom from torture? Yeah and low taxes too. Nice thing about tax cuts is that when things are going well.....taxes should be cut. Even nicer, when things are going badly....taxes should be cut.

Yessir, let's keep things on the same track as the last 8 successful years of the Bush administration. Things were just hunky dory.

End of First Week of Classes

It's only the end of the first week of classes but when I got up this morning I had to convince myself that it was only 1 week and not 3 weeks. Things actually went very well. My labs were very well organized (relative to last semester), my powerpoint lectures for Human Biology and Anatomy and Physiology II are now complete, although are constantly being tuned. Pathology II, well, I finally have time to put those lectures on powerpoint. Using powerpoint with lots of graphics and links to the internets really helps get points across to students. There are excellent youtube videos available, good animations, and of course all the graphics you could hope for. These are especially valuable for teaching pathology.

Luckly, I have massages scheduled every Friday afternoon for the rest of the semester. There are benefits to working where they have a massage therapy program.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Ice Palace Pictures

I haven't had a chance to get more ice palace building pictures, but that's ok. You can go here to find current daily pictures of the construction process. I hope to stop by today to get more of my own pictures.

There is also a webcam here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Signs of Ice Palace Building

Over 1,000 blocks of ice will be cut out of Pontiac Bay on River Street

It's been a cold January thus far, heavy equipment needs to be "plugged in".

Blocks of ice will be carried from the bay to the walls of the Ice Palace by this loader

This piece of equipment lifts the blocks of ice out of the bay and places them on the shore for the loader to pick up

Trailer holds the "hand tools" needed for cutting ice blocks, guiding them to shore, and "cementing" them in place on the palace walls

Saranac Lake Community Store

On a brighter note, things appear to be looking up for the Saranac Lake Community store. They only need to raise $120,000 to complete their business plan goal of $500,000. Saranac Lake owes a debt of gratitude to 2 hardworking, very intelligent women - Gail Brill and Melinda Little for organizing this effort. I know these two women and if the community store doesn't get off the ground, it won't be because these two people didn't work hard enough. Shares in the store are only $100 each. My wife and I have already invested, but it may be time to invest a bit more. I hope you will join us.

Fluoride - A Communist Plot to lower IQ?

I watched "Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb" a couple nights ago. Here is Gen. Ripper talking to Mandrake during a raging gun battle.
Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water?
Mandrake: Uh, uh, Good Lord!
Ripper: And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.
Mandrake: Yes. (he begins to chuckle nervously)
Ripper: Are you beginning to understand?
Mandrake: Yes. (more laughter)
Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?
Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.
Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
Mandrake: No, no I don't know what it is, no.
Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?
It seems the City of Plattsburgh is having the same thoughts about fluoride. There are those like Councilor Amy Valentine that want to do away with fluoride in the Plattsburgh city water supply. The concerns over fluoride in the water supply are being pushed by Paul Connett, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network in St. Lawrence County. Connett thinks fluoridation of water might be a conspiracy by dentists.
"Dentists don't want to treat children because they can make more money on adult tooth problems, and kids don't like to go to the dentist, and they can be a pain," he said.
You can read Dr. Connett's concerns here and more here.

Yes, too much sodium fluoride can cause problems. But the question here is whether the CDC approved fluoridation practices should be of concern. Well you can read a number of reviews and decide for yourself. Start with the United States Public Health Service Review of Fluoride: Benefits and Risks, 1991. Then check out the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Guideline for fluoride. If you need more convincing look at recent reports from the National Research Council, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)and The University of York.

This concern about fluoridation of water are similar to North Country concerns over health effects of wind turbines. Are there health risks involved with fluoride and wind turbines - absolutely. But the majority of experts believe the benefits far outweigh the risks.