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2010 July 08 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Fun Never Ends

The Pensacola News Journal has a couple of Florida political stories that will really annoy Republicans: Gov. Crist calls special session for oil drilling ban this month

Rubio supporters in the House and Senate have blasted Crist for what they see as political grandstanding on the issue. They note that Florida law already prohibits offshore drilling in state waters and that a special session will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day.

Crist denied that he is playing politics.

He noted that speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, and Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, nearly passed legislation repealing the offshore drilling ban in 2009, with the help of powerful and anonymous industry backers.

“Politics has nothing to do with this,” Crist said. “This has everything to do with doing what’s right for a place that I love. I love Florida and I know it’s already barred statutorily but I also know that just a year ago they tried to change that statute and drill holes three miles off the coast of Florida and that’s why it’s the will of the people that should be heard on this.”

Charlie, it wasn’t just a year ago, it was also this Spring, and they didn’t pull the bill to open the coast to drilling until after the Well from Hell blew up. They tried to sneak it in without debate because it was backed by the Republican leadership in the legislature.

This is good news: Judge: Lawmakers’ redistricting amendment can’t go on ballot.

A citizens’ group has two amendments, 5 & 6, on the November ballot that will change the way the state does redistricting. For some reason they believe that districts should be compact and all parts contiguous, rather that the current flights of fancy that have a tendency to come out of the legislature.

To avoid these restrictions the legislature passed amendment 7 for the ballot which was designed to negate everything in amendments 5 & 6. Alas, their intent was a bit too obvious for this judge to buy. They will appeal, but the forces of good won the first round.

July 8, 2010   2 Comments


The BBC reports that a Solar-powered plane lands safely after 26-hour flight

An experimental solar-powered aircraft launched on Wednesday has landed safely in Switzerland after successfully flying through the night.

The feat is a step toward the makers’ aim of circling the globe using the power of the Sun to fuel the plane.

The aircraft used super-efficient solar cells and batteries to stay in the air after the Sun’s rays had faded.

The plane touched down at an airfield about 30 miles (50 km) from the Swiss capital Bern at 0900 (0700 GMT).

The plane landed at Payerne airport after a total flight time of 26 hours.

During the flight it reached a height of 8,700 m (28,543 ft).

The designers, the Solar Impulse team led by Mr Borschberg and fellow aviator Bertrand Piccard, say that this proves that a plane can be kept in the air around the clock.

Here’s their web site.

Bertrand Piccard is the third generation of a family that goes higher, lower, and further in balloons and deep submersibles than anyone else in the world. His grandfather, Auguste, held the balloon altitude record; his father, Jacques, still holds the records for the deepest dive in the ocean; and Bertrand was the first solo balloonist to circumnavigate the earth.

July 8, 2010   Comments Off on Nice!

Stage 5

Tour de FranceEpernay – Montargis

Distance: 187.5 kilometers.

The sprinters got a workout on this run through champagne country, but the same people are still wearing the jerseys, and Saxo Bank still has yellow numbers.

1 Fabian Cancellara (Sui-SAX-013) [Yellow]
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr-SKY-039) [White]
3 Cadel Evans (Aus-BMC-121)
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can-GRM-054)
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra-QST-131)
6 Andy Schleck (Lux-SAX-011)
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor-CTT-095) [Green -102 points]
8 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz-AST-009)
9 Alberto Contador (Esp-AST-001)
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel-SIL-101)
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl-ALM-081)
12 Johan Van Summeren (Bel-GRM-058)
13 Denis Menchov (Rus-RAB-191)
14 Bradley Wiggins (GBr-SKY-031)
15 David Millar (GBr-GRM-057)
16 Roman Kreuziger (Cze-LIQ-044)
17 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Esp-GCE-161)
18 Lance Armstrong (USA-RSH-021)
19 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe-SKY-037)
20 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp-GCE-169)

83 Jérôme Pineau (Fra-QST-135) [Polka Dot – 13 points]

49 José Ivan Gutierrez (Esp-GCE-164) [Red numbers]

They’ve gone 987.4 kilometers [613.5 miles] at an average speed of 42.9 kph [26.7 mph]. The averages are down a bit as those sprints require recovery.

July 8, 2010   Comments Off on Stage 5

Tropical Depression Two

Tropical Depression TwoPosition: 26.2N 97.2W [10 AM CDT 1500 UTC].
Movement: Northwest [305°] near 15 mph [24 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1007 mb.

It is 25 miles [45 km] Northeast of Brownsville, Texas.

At 10:15AM CDT it was reported coming ashore. It just popped up off the mouth of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande this morning. Its main impact will be to cause the floods in the river valley from Alex to get worse as it supplies more rain, and to aggravate the flooding along the Texas coast North to Louisiana.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 8, 2010   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Two