Open thread: High per bowl, Lee?

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One of my favorite things is playing with words, and I only wish I were as good at it as Greg Flynn, who is a master by any standard. But hey, at least I'm not The Bloviator.



Crop Circles


"The pattern, about 100 feet long and half that wide, looks like two interlocking circles, with small circles inside those. It’s a crop circle, which depending on your point of view, is the work of mischievous pranksters wielding grass flatteners or an alien spacecraft.

Rick Hawkins, 28, who lives on Oak Crest Drive, leans toward the latter explanation.

“There were some bright lights over here Saturday night,” said “I thought it was a plane, but now I don’t know.”

Scrutiny Hooligans -


I love this stuff . . . whether it's field graffiti or alien handiwork . . . either way . . . I love this stuff.

Thanks for the HUGE enlargement.


snicker. Now you can almost make it out.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

An oxymoron, moron.

RALEIGH – Illogical arguments bother me.

“Nobody forces somebody to buy a lottery ticket just as no one forces anybody to ride a toll road,” she said.

Oh, bother.

No one is forced to buy clothes, but if you choose to do so, you must pay a retail sales tax.

Right, buying a lottery ticket is like buying clothes. What was that about illogical arguments?

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

No one is forced to read

No one is forced to read John Hood, but if you choose to do so, you must pay the price by losing those few moments of your life you will never get back.

I doubt that.

who are the readers of the CJ? Seriously, who would spend their day reading that site?

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

We Call that

Urk and mook at my house. And that pic - ggg... how 'bout a warning, will ya?

No one is forced to read John Hood, but if you choose to do so, you must pay the price by losing those few moments of your life you will never get back.

-A- you deserve a medal for wading through that. You lost me at the picture - grinning demon come to mind? I'll start constructing your medal when I get back to the shop. Pin or clip?

So if lottery tickets are like clothes, can I go out in public wearing one? Or would I need two? I can get a pair of socks for a dollar so I really don't want to buy three lottery tickets.

Crop circles? The black helicopters are real, why shouldn't they be real?


So I can use it with my oh-so favorite neckties


Do You Wear Those

around the house, or do you use them to tie up tomato plants?

They're kind of -

in a 'hey, look at me' kind of way.

I'm still debating about the one on the right. A great big X on your chest? Nice target if you're aiming for center of mass. (Don't tie it around your head, either.)


I don't think I've worn a tie in maybe five or six years.

I have ten pairs of the same black rayon, elastic-band pants from Bali . . . and I wear them every day. And I have roughly two dozen brown, dark green and black long-sleeve t-shirts that I also wear every day. And black flip flops with black flip flop socks . . . year round.

I'm a commie.

Spew Alert - the good kind

What happens when Bush takes Viagra?


he gets taller.

- Robin Williams

and from one of the little guys broadcasting re: NJ:

"I love it that this Great Man is so scared shitless of what the people might do to him, that he scuttles by in his big car with the dark windows.

Run away, little george.

You've broken all your toys, none of the cool kids want to be your friend any more, and your Mom still doesn't think you're smart. (Neither does your Dad.)"

Satire, sort of

Ow! I can't breathe. OMG. I have to go outside now. I've run out of oxygen. Pass it on.

No wonder they're fighting net neutrality. OUCH.

HtG - I have to watch it again. I couldn't hear it all the first time. I was laughing too hard.

A- if it's too inflammatory.... well, whatever.

You Are Not Going to Like This

Not one bit.

from environmental rescue star MeteorBlades linking to rage (no, really. that's his name)

Among other things:
we discover that Rep. Nick Rahall (D) WV has introduced a new bill as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

The bill, H.R. 2337, the "Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act" contains a provision, Subtitle D, which will effectively collapse the wind power for energy production market

Bar any new wind power project until new Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rules are issued – a process likely to take years – and require FWS certification of every turbine.

Require all existing turbines, even small residential units, to cease operating 6 months after issuance of new FWS rules until they are "certified," an unwieldy bureaucratic process applying to many thousands of turbines that, again, will take years.

Make it a crime, punishable by a $50,000 fine or a year in jail, to construct or generate electricity from an unapproved turbine, even for home use.

Undermine state and federal efforts to promote renewable electricity generation and subvert the growing movement to reduce global warming pollution.

Create an unworkable bureaucracy that will delay clean, emissions-free wind energy projects throughout the U.S.
HB 2337
More: Rep. Joe Baca [D-CA]
Del. Madeleine Bordallo [D-GU]
Del. Donna Christensen [D-VI]
Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-AZ]
Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D-NY]
Rep. Jay Inslee [D-WA]
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D-CA]

Thankfully it's only been introduced but some people are famous for voting without reading. And WHY are (D)s writing legislation to limit wind power?

Oh, well. We could be fighting them over there. Instead we have to fight them over here and over there.

This is actually a good idea

Wind power creates more problems than it solves. firstly, it is dangerous to flying animals. North Carolina for instance, is home to 3 different types of endangered bats who would be drastically affected by wind farms.

Wind farms take up too much space and are exceedingly loud. Wind is not the way to go. It is a good thought, but is extremely dangerous.

Care to back up some (any) of those comments

with some facts?

I've been involved in a number of wind projects and nothing you've said here rings true. Not to mention the fact that the words "drastically" and "extremely" are pretty much over the top.

Here is just one article that popped upon Google


A 2004 study estimated between 1,364 and 1,980 bats of six different species were killed there during a six-week period.

At the same time at a wind farm in Meyersdale, Somerset County, 400 to 660 bats of seven different species were killed.

With wind energy being touted as a clean, green, renewable energy source, industry leaders are worried the results could taint a product that produces no pollution, no waste and doesn't harm the land.

"Any sort of environmental impact that does come up, we need to take seriously and address," said Tom Gray, deputy executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, a trade organization.

The potential danger to birds has been known for more than a decade, when environmentalists discovered that thousands of raptors were being killed at a 5,400-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass in California. The wind farm, which uses shorter, old-style windmills, was built along a migration route for birds of prey. A lawsuit filed against the wind farm by the Center for Biological Diversity is pending.

"This is not a perfect energy source," Gray acknowledged.

Goodbye Rafinesque Big-Eared Bat, Indiana Bat, and Virginia Long-Eared Bat.


The wind farms would be offshore, so the noise would not be a problem.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Accurate Story, Except . . .

The next-to-last paragraph has an unfortunate error: " . . . was built along a migration route for birds of prey." Not true. Altamont Pass is an area of very high year-round raptor activity. There have been dozens of wind farms built elsewhere in the U.S. since the one in Altamont Pass. Many have been thoroughly studied for avian mortality--in fact, wind is probably the single most thoroughly studied source of bird kills--and none have experienced similar problems.

The paragraph as a whole suggests that wind farms present a continuing danger to birds, which is simply not true. Birds collide with wind turbines as they do with houses, cars, buildings, communication towers and other structures, but in relatively small numbers, as the recent National Academy of Science study I've mentioned elsewhere on this page confirms.

The Altamont lawsuit has been settled, by the way, and the wind companies will replace the machines there over a period of several years with new and larger turbines, spaced farther apart, that are thought to pose less hazard to raptors.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association


Appreciate the clear facts.

I've watched the windmills in Copenhagen turn for hours. It's hard to believe any birds ever run into them. They turn very slowly in comparison to, for example, a ceiling fan. You can easily see the individual blades as they turn.


dangerous to flying animals

More birds are killed by cars than wind. Many other countries use wind very successfully. If seagulls can look out - songbirds can.

I can't speak for bats - don't they have sonar/radar? Are you telling me a bat can't hear something as loud as you claim these things are?

Wind isn't for everywhere - the wind doesn't blow often enough everywhere. But really, with the newest technology - even a breeze will make one spin.

Lastly - do you remember any birds being killed when farm water was pumped by windmills? Neither do I.

Yes, these are taller and spin faster, however - give birds some credit for knowing when to get out of the way. Especially at altitude.

Oh yeah - almost forgot. I've seen windmills in action in ND the last time I was there. They aren't especially pretty but neither is an electric bill. YMMV.

Hmmm . . .

Well, I think they're beautiful myself, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Regarding bats, I don't think it is a question of hearing--indeed, just the opposite. I think there's nothing in nature quite like a wind turbine and it's completely unfamiliar to them. I've noted elsewhere here the jointly funded effort between industry and others, so I won't belabor it again. It's a legitimate problem, and it is being addressed.

Regarding birds, the National Academy of Sciences reported in May that in 2003, wind turbines were responsible for less than 0.003% (three one-hundred-thousandths) of human-related bird kills. This means that if wind power use expanded by 25 times, it would still account for less than one-tenth of one percent of human-related avian mortality.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association


Bats do indeed die in collisions with wind turbines, but so far, none have been of endangered species. So, there's no basis for saying the species you mention will be affected at all. Meanwhile, the industry is working with Bat Conservation International, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a jointly-funded program to find solutions. More info about this here.

At the moment, the research is focused on testing a sonic deterrent that would warn bats away from wind farms. Much more testing and engineering work needed before it can be declared a solution, but it will be field tested soon at a wind farm in Tennessee.

The statement that "wind power creates more problems than it solves" cannot be supported factually. Generating power with wind means no air pollution, no water pollution, no waste, no water use, and no mining or drilling for fuel. I won't claim that it saves more birds or bats than it kills, but I will claim that it benefits the environment compared with other energy sources.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association


Thanks for your help. This is a big deal. Just to give some perspective, we and others have been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for about 3 years now to set up a formal process to review their existing guidelines for wind farms, and the first meeting has yet to be held, due to all of the legal hoops and hurdles they must deal with. Certification would be a much more complex process, and the idea of banning all new wind farm construction until certification is up and running is totally off the wall. The legislation as written is really a backdoor way to destroy the industry.

More background information, including our written testimony on the bill (we asked to testify on it in person, but were turned down) and a list of state wind siting regulations already in place, here. To take action to oppose this misguided legislation, go here.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association

Tom, Thank You for Coming By

No alternative energy source should discounted without being viewed through the eyes of science and the goal of fossil fuel independence.

The United States can do better. We must. It is imperative.

This is disturbing:

More background information, including our written testimony on the bill (we asked to testify on it in person, but were turned down)

Who, specifically, kept you from testifying - if you know?

The pen is mightier than the sword.

As to the threat of danger to flying animals, it would appear that as in real estate - location is everything.

He's from a coal state, that's why.

When I read about Democrats doing things like this, I have to keep repeating to myself: "Speaker Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi. . ." We wouldn't have a majority if we didn't have Democrats - even the ones like that.

And when I wonder how much good Speaker Pelosi is doing us, I just think of the image of Attorney General Gonzalez forced to testify to Congress. That wouldn't have happened if we still had ::::shudder:::: Speaker Hastert.

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I understand that

but it is NO excuse.

I've said before - getting rid of coal before finding an industry (for jobs) in the heart of coal mining country would be cruel.

Cruel and despicable. But this legislation is also cruel and despicable. Trade one piece for another? No, thank you.

But Wait! There's More!

There are several Democratic lawmakers that
are pushing this fuel. They need to have pressure put on them to reject this as a viable alternative to gasoline.

Among them are:

Nick V. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Representative Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia

Senator Barack Obama, of Illinois.

Source: NYTimes

Please, contact these lawmakers and urge them to reconsider their support for this technology.


Obama and LTC

The Green Gripe With Obama: Liquefied Coal Is Still . . . Coal.

By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; Page A11


So why then, environmentalists ask, is Obama backing a law supporting the expanded use of coal, whose emissions are cooking the globe? It seems the answer is twofold: his interest in energy independence -- and his interest in downstate Illinois, where the senator's green tinge makes the coal industry queasy.

The coal industry praises Obama's reintroduction, with Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), of the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007 last week, which would provide incentives for research and plant construction. The industry says the technology, which converts coal into diesel engine fuel, would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through a new, home-mined fuel that burns as cleanly as gasoline.


"The rationale is, 'We have a lot of coal in the ground, let's put it to some use,' " said Frank O'Donnell, president of the D.C.-based nonprofit group Clean Air Watch. "It's not the best use of the coal and it's one that's almost certain to exacerbate the global warming problem." Obama's advocacy of coal liquefaction, he said, might have to do with his getting "hammered" by Illinois coal interests.

National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich counters that "our friends in the green community . . . don't want us to use our most abundant fuel"

Abundant, schmundant. Keep it in reserve in case we end up in the dark ages again. Spend it all - leave nothing for the future? Is that smart? I ask you - is that smart?


Spend it all - leave nothing for the future? Is that smart? I ask you - is that smart?

No, it's not smart at all.

Are wind turbines loud?

Source/Activity Indicative noise level aB (A)
Threshold of hearing 0
Rural night-time background 20-40
Quiet bedroom 35
Wind farm at 350m 35-45
Car at 40mph at 100m 55
Busy general office 60
Truck at 30mph at 100m 65
Pneumatic drill at 7m 95
Jet aircraft at 250m 105
Threshold of pain 140
Information taken from The Scottish Office, Environment Department, Planning Advice Note,
PAN 45, Annes A: Wind Power, A.27. Renewable Energy Technologies, August 1994

Outside the nearest houses, which are at least 300 metres away, and more often further, the sound of a wind turbine generating electricity is likely to be about the same level as noise from a flowing stream about 50-100 metres away or the noise of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze. This is similar to the sound level inside a typical living room with a gas fire switched on, or the reading room of a library or in an unoccupied, quiet, air-conditioned office.

all emphasis mine

Let me note that date. 1994. What do you think? Has technology increased in the last 10 years at all?

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

They are not loud at all

and they don't spin fast

and they don't hurt birds

and when they're well designed, they're not even that ugly

Wouldn't want them on mountain tops, but on the coast? You bet.

Thanks for the pic.

Off shore they might even look interesting. Prettier than an oil well, anyway.