Land of 10,000 Cold Sores

Here's a news story that should be read by anyone who knows anyone who was a wrestler or is from Minnesota.

An outbreak of a contagious rash called herpes gladiatorum among Minnesota high school wrestlers led the state to suspend matches and halt contact practices, authorities said Wednesday.

So if you are dating a wrestler or a Minnesotan, be sure to ask them to get tested.

I've always been glad I'm not from Minnesota, but even more so now.

Prepare for a moon spanking

As first reported on Letters in Bottles, the Moon Men appear to be in the early stages of waging a war against us. Today, it appears they took another step forward with their plan, this time attempting psychological warfare.

Nine electric light boards were discovered around Boston today. The devices showed Ignignot, the leader of the Mooninites, extending a raised middle finger, a clear gesture of hostility toward us.

This incident caused authorities to close two bridges and a stretch of the Charles River. It was later reported that these devices have also been found in 9 other U.S. cities: New York; Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. While authorities have found no apparent danger from the devices, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis remains cautious. "I'd like to remind citizens to treat any suspicious devices with care and to call 911 if any such device is found."

As I have said before, I wish no hostility toward Luna or her inhabitants. I am open to diplomatic talks. But Mooninites, even if you have advanced beyond all rules and manors, if you're going to coexist with us, you'll have to respect our rules. Otherwise, there won't be a quad laser big enough to save you, once we get done with Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria...


Old news

The new world's oldest person died, after a reign of only a week. Last week the old oldest person died. I think I'm noticing a pattern here. Whoever gets this title seems make a quick transition from oldest living person to newest dead person. Next oldest person, I'd watch my back if I were you. This is one title you do not want to win. In fact, I hope I die long before I get to be the world's oldest person.

Shoot 'em like a Horse

It took a while, but they finally decided to give up on Barbaro. The Kentucky Derby winner was euthanized earlier today. It's about time.

“I just can’t explain why everyone is so caught up in this horse,” Roy Jackson, who owned the colt with his wife, Gretchen, has said time and again. I can't explain it either. Barbaro was a horse. It was a horse that did nothing more commendable than run really fast in a handful of races. There are plenty more people in the world who are in need of much less risky or costly medical treatment who are going to die because they don't get it. I can not understand how $1.2 M was raised to keep this horse alive and in pain for eight months.

*Time at least asks the question, but they don't have the guts to give the correct answer.


Get Over It

Del. Frank D. Hargrove, 79, a state legislator in Virginia, drew a little criticism with something he said. He opposed a measure that would apologize on the state’s behalf to the descendants of slaves. In an interview he said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added that “our black citizens should get over it.” He was also quoted saying “are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?”

Not surprisingly, black lawmakers were upset. Del. David L. Englin also criticized Hargrove’s remarks. His response, however, recalling that his grandparents were driven from their homes in Poland “by people who believed that as Jews, we killed Christ,” seems to reinforce the notion that Jews do not like the entire Jewish population continually being charged with killing Jesus. And I would agree with that part. I see no point in holding someone accountable for something that they had no actual role in, much less one that happened 2000 years before they were born.

Since yesterday happened to be Martin Luther King Day, before I go on I would first like to say that I support most of what King was working for. But I have to ask, at what point are his goals met?

I would also like to throw in that Get Over It was not a good movie.

Let's briefly discuss a similar issue: the war in Iraq. What was our goal in Iraq? To remove Saddam from power. We did that. We then had to stay to help establish a new democracy. They've voted on new leaders. We're still there now because we have to stop the 'sectarian violence'. At what point will we ever be able to say, "Okay, we can leave now that things in Iraq are perfect." We could be there 50 years and things still might not be as good as we'd like. Does that mean we've done enough already and don't need to spend any more resources? Or does that mean we have an obligation to keep working and spending to continue trying to improve things there? I don't have an answer right now.

But back to the original topic. Is perfect racial equality even an attainable goal? Is it possible to completely eliminate racism, like it was with smallpox? I don't think so. I view racial equality as an asymptote, something we should trend toward, but which we may never actually converge on before infinity.

I think at some point, we have to make an effort to move on and stop blaming things on past injustices. Slavery was bad, there's no debate there (although it was very very good, economically), but we ended it 140 years ago, and there's not much more we can do about it now. Of course I know that things aren't completely equal, and I do not have a problem with continuing to work to make them more equal. But how much do we have to do before African-Americans can see us as equals, and judge us not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character, and we can join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


"Wisconsin: We're so good..."

"We Can Beat You Despite Always Playing One Big White Guy (Jason Chappell, Joe Krabbenhoft or Greg Stiemsma) Who Has Little-To-No Intention Of Creating His Own Offense."

While we're still ranked 3 and 4 in the polls, and ESPN has us fourth in their rankings, at least one major ranking, SI's Power Rankings, is showing the Badgers some love.


Twice the Meat

The FDA recently decided that cloned livestock is safe to eat. I decided not to mention it here because at the time of the announcement, I didn't see why it mattered. I didn't really care if my meat came from cloned animals, but I admit I didn't think it was worth cloning animals just to eat them.

Slate has an article today that explains things. Like any article on food production, it might make the food less appealing. But apparently cloning is beneficial, and it should be safe, so I'm not going to start worrying about it.

Army of the Dead

A week or so ago, the Army sent out letters to 75 Army officers who had been killed in action, urging them to return to active duty. At first I was a bit critical of the idea, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense. Why not use dead soldiers to fight our wars? We wouldn't have to worry about them dying, again. They wouldn't care if they didn't have enough armor. Heck, they wouldn't need food or salaries.

If elected President, I pledge to increase the number of deceased soldiers serving in our armed forces. Adding 10 or 20 thousand dead soldiers to our forces in Iraq would be the perfect solution. Apparently, the only thing we need to win the war there is to reach some magical number of troops stationed there.


yet another sports related post

I realize that I might have said somewhere before that I wouldn't blog about hockey again, but this video is worth viewing if you haven't seen it yet. Besides, everyone loves videos of sports bloopers.
Missed Empty Net Goal

There have been times at Badger games when the opposing team pulls their goalie and we all chant "better goalie," but this is ridiculous. I know the puck hit a rough patch of ice and that it was a fluke and wasn't Stefan's fault.
But you still can't let that happen. And I have little sympathy for anyone named Stefan. (It's a hard 'ph,' pronounced the same as 'v,' it's the way the name was originally spelt.)

and while I'm posting sports highlight clips, I may as well put this one up.
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State-Oklahoma

I promise that not every post this year will be about sports.


A dead horse

I normally don't like beating dead horses here, and I know that this picture has already gone around the web a bit, but what the heck...

Some might say it's a pretty appropriate image to represent this blog.



Universal Medical Systems, a company specializing in medical imaging, recently decided to use their equipment to run CT scans on baseballs. The idea was to compare different baseballs used by Major League Baseball, specifically Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball from the '98 season. The result: the McGwire ball had a larger rubber core and a synthetic rubber ring, which would have given the ball more recoil, allowing it to be hit farther. So whether or not you think the players were juiced, it's pretty clear now that at least the balls were. (I wanted to say, no matter how small their testicles were, at least their balls had some extra bounce)

Sticky Fingers

You'll never guess who Wisconsin's seventh biggest tax delinquent is. Here's a hint: he's eighth in all time career saves.

Give up? It's Rollie Fingers. Among those who only owe income tax, he owes our state the most. Over $1.4 million, owed from the 81-82 and 85-86 seasons when Fingers was a closer for the Brewers.

I know that this is a really insignificant story, but it gives me an excuse to post this picture.


Not Necessarily going to be Nuclear

I just wanted to post this now to give everyone plenty of warning. A terrorist attack in the United States, sometime after September of 2007, will cause a mass killing.

Or so says Pat Robertson

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that." Robertson said God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat. God also said, he claims, that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

I guess God is going to punish us for making Pelosi Speaker of the House. Hopefully, since Wisconsin voted not to support homosexuality, we won't get hit.

Or maybe Pat Robertson is just full of crap, and it's people like him that completely discredit anyone who has ever claimed to have talked with God. It's one or the other. We'll just have to wait and see.


Gerald Ford, 1913-2006

Today was the state funeral for former President Ford, who died December 26.

Here are a few differing looks back on his legacy.

Time: A Man for all Seasons (1974)
Time: The Other Born-Again President
Christopher Hitchens: The Ugly Truth about Gerald Ford

and the rather insensitive video

new link


A New Year

Well, it’s just past midnight, January 1, 2007. Although I know that the calendar changing from one year to another is just an arbitrary date that really means nothing, I still think the whole New Year’s celebration has some merit. It’s a chance to evaluate how you’ve spent the last year and how you hope to spend the next.

I resolve to write new entries daily for this blog and M&W. I acknowledge that this next year will be just as irrational s the last, but I resolve to do what i can to spread rationality and Neutrality. I resolve to get in better shape and to gain 10 pounds of muscle, to better prepare myself for a bear attack, to complete my transformer suit by Halloween, and to eat a gallon of beans in 45 minutes. And I resolve to make 2007 a better year than 2006.