Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No Monkey Trial in History

While reading another blog about movies I came across a reference to the movie 'Inherit The Wind.' Most of the folks in the comments section of the blog loved the film for all the various reasons: a portrait in courage, a gripping story of faith vs. science, etc., etc. I felt it my duty to step in let them know that movie, while well done and well acted, is total bunk.

The trial was arranged by the city fathers to get some publicity for their town. Both Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan knew this was a show trial, but went along so as to have a podium from which to speak their views.

In fact, the teacher was approached by the town leaders and assured that he wouldn't face any serious fines or jail time, and coordinated his presentation of evolution with the city fathers.

So, the actual event was a good show, but had none of the seriousness or urgency alleged in the movie. It's good entertainment, but total false as far as a piece of history regarding and the tensions of faith vs. the theory of evolutionary in the United States.

See: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/evolut.htm

"A year later, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Dayton court on a technicality--not the constitutional grounds as Darrow had hoped. According to the court, the fine should have been set by the jury, not Raulston. Rather than send the case back for further action, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed the case. The court commented, "Nothing is to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Internet? No Thank You!

Two recent surveys reveal that there is a large portion of the population that is not interested in the internet. At one time it was thought that non-internet users were unaware of the wonders of the world wide web or were unable to partake in them (as a result of costs of the service and/or equipment). But, it seems that isn't always the case. These folks just don't see the value or don't have an interest; and, what is most intriguing, the non-internet users are a good sized chunk of the population: 36% USA, 44% UK.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Green Aircraft?

A fellow we can all salute attempts to fly in an upscaled version of a rubber band powered balsa wood model.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Battleship Yamato

Are you a fan of the War World II battleship Yamato? I sure am, but as to why am I can't say exactly. Maybe it was how cool it looked illustrated on the box top of the Revell plastic model, which was my first knowledge of it back in the 1950s when I was still a wee tyke.

Or, it could be that the Yamato was the apogee of Japanese battleship design. The Yamato just looks sleek and deadly. It should have been a major player in the war for the Pacific, but it spent most of the war sitting behind torpedo nets a victim of what I like to call the Japanese Navy's Godzilla strategy.

The Godzilla strategy was that, just like in a movie, one day the Yamato would sail out and wade through the American fleet like a giant radioactive lizard stomping through downtown Tokyo and send the americans reeling in defeat back to California. The trouble was the Japanese Navy could never decide when that decisive moment had arrived.

So, instead of taking the Yamato out when it could have been of use in battles early in the war (Guadalcanal, the invasion of the Philippines, etc), it was always held in reserve until it was too late. The Yamato met its end at the hands of torpedo bombers while trying to reach Okinawa.

The Japanese have a Battleship Yamato museum, which I wish I could visit. The museum has just about all the information you could want regarding the Yamato even to include the Star Blazers TV show.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dreams of Old California

When I write 'Old California' in the head above I'm not thinking about Zorro, Spanish misisons, or the Father Junipero. What I have before me is the fact that California will soon be a state full of geezers--even more than Florida.

The article ponders can California be cool if it's so old? Their answer is yes, but I have to disagree. The California cool was always based on what the kids were doing. As the kids become a smaller part of the population will the geezers pay attention? I think not, as the biggest vice of the boomer generation is narcism. It will take a Herculean effort for the boomers to direct their attention away form 60s and 70s.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Flaming Speedcams

It turns out there are still those in England who will let not themselves be slaves to the nanny state government. Many a lion heart now goes out and sets fire to the automatic speed cameras (aka: speedcams) that abound on the highways and byways. The results are quite dramatic and take the offending device out of service forever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Monty Python at the Ministry of Defense

I'm not sure if this is a plot from an old Monty Python skit or an actual news story:

The service has decided to issue ammunition to future Typhoon squadrons and train pilots in using the fighter's single German-made 27mm Mauser cannon, reversing its cost-cutting edict.

The decision follows experience in Afghanistan showing that guns are still one of the most effective weapons when supporting ground troops.

To get the full "Alice down the rabbit hole" affect you need to read the full story at the end of which it is revealed that the only reason the new Typhoon fighter still has a machine gun (or cannon if you prefer) is that it was too expensive to remove and re-engineer the plane when the MOD had decided they didn't need an old fashion gun on their shiney new airplane.

Monday, October 02, 2006

New Career Options

Stuck in a dead end low paying job? Join the Circus for fun, travel, and adventure. You can get a head start on your new life under the canvas of the big top by enrolling in the Circus School.

New Career Options

Stuck in a dead end low paying job? Join the Circus for fun, travel, and adventure. You can get a head start on your new life under the canvas of the big top by enrolling in the Circus School.