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Oh, Great

Just when I was anticipated a relatively calm hurricane season it turns out El Niño has two personalities, one stormier.

Normally an El Niño, a large pool of warmer than usual water in the Pacific, helps to hold down the number and strength of tropical storms, and it looks like one is forming this year. Now they tell us that if the pool is more in the central Pacific than the eastern, it can make the season worse.

The central Pacific form is being referred to as El Niño Modoki after the Japanese scientist who discovered the difference the location makes in the effect. We still don’t know for certain which type is forming, but the last time an El Niño Modoki formed was in 2004. I got smacked by hurricane Ivan and the peninsula was crisscrossed by storms from both coasts [Bonnie, Charley, Frances, and Jeanne].

July 2, 2009   Comments Off on Oh, Great

Oink

By all accounts Representative Alan Grayson, (D-Orlando) is a solid liberal vote, but he’s a Congresscritter and does what Congresscritters do – Bring Home The Bacon.

He is pushing a $50 million hurricane research center to be built in Orlando. More money for hurricane research is great, but there are existing research centers that could make better use of the money than building a new one in Mouseville. If Walt Disney had wanted a hurricane research center in Orlando he would have ordered the local Congresscritters to build one.

The Orlando Sentinel editorial page notes Alan Grayson behind a Category 5 waste and Dr. Jeff Masters says New $50 million hurricane research center: a bad idea.

Yes, Orlando needs jobs, but the jobs generated would come from outside the Orlando area, not from the local community, so it isn’t an effective boost in a state without an income tax. If the Congresscritter would like to really help, he could back rail service to Orlando to increase visitors.

July 2, 2009   Comments Off on Oink

Good News For Iraq

The ABC reports Saudi Arabia to fence itself in

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with a major European defence contractor to build a hi-tech security system including a fence around the whole of its 9,000 kilometre border.

The country has been wanting to build a strong border security system for some time.

Its two main concerns are its neighbours Iraq and Yemen, and the instability and lawlessness of these two countries have raised fears in Saudi Arabia that their problems will overflow the border.

Specifically, the Saudis are worried about weapons and drug smuggling.

I expect that are a lot of important people in Saudi Arabia who will be annoyed that their lucrative arms and drug sales in neighboring countries are about to be curtailed. I know that many in the kingdom are under the impression that the trade is moving into their country, but that isn’t the general reality on the ground in Iraq, i.e. the Saudis are exporters, not importers.

July 2, 2009   4 Comments

Latest Flight 447 Guess

The CBC reports on the latest synthesis of the information gathered from the debris: Air France jet plunged at high speed into Atlantic

The pilot of a doomed Air France flight was flying with neither the help of the autopilot nor information about the plane’s speed and direction when it slammed into the Atlantic Ocean a month ago, French officials said Thursday.

Lead investigator Alain Bouillard said the plane is not thought to have broken up in the air but plunged steeply into the ocean at an extremely high speed, because no large pieces of the aircraft have yet been found.

The aircraft “was not destroyed in flight,” he said. “The plane seems to have hit the surface of the water on its flight trajectory with a strong vertical acceleration.”

If the pilot was losing confidence in his instrument panel readings, was in the middle of major turbulence, and suddenly had the autopilot fail, it would be reasonable for him/her to decided to exit the area as soon as possible by flying what was assumed to be a straight and level path with more engine power.

Unfortunately it is not a good idea to depend on your inner ear to replace your artificial horizon in an aircraft, especially one that has been bouncing around, and possibly losing a great deal of altitude because of the turbulence.

July 2, 2009   Comments Off on Latest Flight 447 Guess

Unbelievable

Someone needs to check the offices of the Local Puppy Trainer for strange substances in their water cooler.

First it was the column on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and now you have a columnist, Wendy Victoria, complaining about the Sunday liquor laws and the proliferation of religious symbols on the desks at the tax collector’s office.

This is no place to be discussing the separation of church and state, much less endorsing it on principle.

July 2, 2009   8 Comments