Pluto Blues...

Apparently people care that Pluto has been demoted to a "dwarf planet."

Well either they care, or like me, they just care not to.

I say good riddens to Pluto. Damned Plutonians and their Pluto like ways... Why can't they just leave us alone?

On a more serious note, the IAU I think made the right choice. The term planet has to mean something concrete and real. They can't very well include Pluto as a planet when they find other larger objects of similar shape that they refuse to call a planet. Either they call Xena a planet, or they knock Pluto off the list. They chose the later.

This is just slander against Hezbollah has been shut down.

Warren Kinsella is elated:
"Good. There are limits, even in the blogosphere. And if some of us have to litigate to establish legal precedents that there are, indeed, limits in the blogosphere, then that's exactly what some of us are going to do. Civilly, criminally, whatever it takes."

I guess your opinion of whether this type of censoring is right or not depends a great deal on which side of the political divide you come from. I wonder how many web sites over the years attempted to link Conservatives and in particular Stephen Harper to Nazism?

Warren Kinsella doesn't seem so worried about those. Hell, he may have even condemned those web sites, but he certainly doesn't make the fuss that he does when it's lefties getting muddied.

Quite frankly, although Warren may not think so, his "legal" tactics seem more like "bully" tactics to me. Again I guess that must depend on the side of the bullying you are on.

People shouldn't be censored for speaking their minds, regardless if they are saying stupid things. That would be against something called "freedom of speech." It's a hard thing to fight for, but it does in fact exist.

An old case in point comes to mind.

An "anonymous" commentator once commented on a post I made about Warren Kinsella. His name was "Warren K." He called me a moron, and used some choice expletives to express that point. Now I'm not sure if that was the "real" Warren Kinsella. But he is entitled to his opinion. Just as I am entitled to not pay attention to it and not publish his comment. Too bad, so sad.

If the mysterious "Warren K" would like to post something on his web site about how I am such a "f---ing moron" then I guess that's entirely his right. That's not slander, that's his opinion.

As such, I can call this "Warren K" an arrogant 3 year old, not knowing how to defend himself having to resort to innapropriate language to do so. That's my right.

True cases of slander no doubt exist, but that actually happens when someone publicly says a lie about someone else. If I were to say that "Warren K" has stolen babies in his basement, that would be slander.

Expressing an opinion - that's not.

And for the sake of the Dominion, let me offer up an opinion to reclaim our much tarnished right to freedom of expression in this country by saying that comparing the Hezbollah to the Liberal Party is slanderous if anything against the Hezbollah.

That's just an opinion. Maybe "Warren K" would like to sue? My suggestion is that he can go ahead. Young Canucks straight out of school aren't exactly millionaires for "Warren K" to pick off of.

Harper does a Sitcom...

Prime Minister Harper does a sitcom.

It's official. The weirdness level of actually having a man I first met in a roadside restaurant back in 2000 when he was stuffing his face with mashed potatoes becoming Prime Minister has just reached a new high.

Does this mean that Harper maybe just maybe is starting to be welcomed into mainstream Canadiana? Canuck-Lefties must be shuddering at the thought... While I just sit back and think, wasn't this the evil weirdo no one could trust just a few years ago?

Isn't this the point where someone is supposed to wake me up from my happy pill induced fantasy? A truly Conservative government in Ottawa? A true leader that does what's right?... Well if it is a dream it's a nice one.

The Hezbollah Are Nazies

So says Jason Kenney. The Tory MP from out "there" just landed himself smack dab in the middle of controversy right all over the damn map.

Let me make it clear right off the bat that I've had a lot of admiration of the man behind the MP that is Jason Kenney. I don't believe he makes rash judgements, and most generally seems level headed and fair.

That being said I don't believe him to have a God like perfection. He's human after all.

I don't know if Hezbollah deserves to be compared to the Nazies. I don't know enough to make that judgement. But I can say one thing: Hezbollah sure don't seem like a mariachi band with what I've seem them do lately.

Demote Pluto

In the frenzy of discussion recently over just what a "Planet" is, I figured why not come up with my own definition?

After all, I am completely unqualified, have no right to do so whatsover, and probably wouldn't care in the end what effect it would have.

So here we go:

The Definition of a Planet:

(1) A body in orbit around a sun, and not in orbit around any other body that is in orbit around a sun, except in the case where the body is in orbit around a sun that is in turn in orbit around another sun.

(2) Has sufficient mass to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium and have a nearly spherical shape.

(3) A body that has diameter of 1,275.6 KM (1/10th the Earth's diameter) or greater.

(4) If said body meets criterion (1) and (2) but not (3) the following applies:

(a) If the body is below 1,275.6 KM in diameter it is to be designated a 'Dwarf Planet'.

(b) If the body is above 38,268 KM (3 times Earth diameter) the body is designated a 'Giant Planet.'

There. Problem solved. Astronomers can go back to their scopes now.

***Note - Under this definition, Pluto and a whole host of other bodies in the solar system would become 'dwarf planets', while the rest of the true planets in the solar system retain the appropriate designations.

Bottled Water A Sin?

What does the United Church consider one of the most pressing moral evils of today? Bottled Water.

'The United Church of Canada may ask its members to stop buying bottled water.'

'The request is part of a resolution against the privatization of water supplies that has been put before delegates at the church's general council this week in Thunder Bay.'
'Richard Chambers, the social policy co-ordinator with the national office of the church, said that water is a human right, and no one should profit from it.'

' "We're against the commodification, the privatization is another way to say it, of water anyway, anywhere," he told CBC News.'

' "And bottled water that we see being sold in Canada is just an example of that. The thin edge of the wedge of the privatization of water." '

I have to ask, since I know many good Catholics get wrapped up in this "water is a human right" nonsense, just where in Cathecism or Commandment does it say that someone can't sell bottled water? If someone owns land with a lake on it, how can anyone say that that water is not his to sell for himself? This isn't as if someone has bought the ocean, that can be legitimately claimed to be a free resource - like air.

'Ironically, the church's delegates are drinking bottled water this week at its meeting at Lakehead University. The conference facility was not equipped to provide drinking water.'

Alright now that's just funny.

The Shuttles Are Coming! The Shuttles Are Coming!

The divinely enlightened cBc came up with a Jem of headline this morn':

'Cape Breton Island could become a launch pad for space shuttles.'

Really? No REALLY? Actually no. That's just the CBC not knowing what the heck it's talking about.

The private space flight company PlanetSpace is getting land in Nova Scotia for the company to launch it's V-2 type rocket from.

The intent is for the system to compete for NASA launch contracts which haven't materialised yet.

So much for reporting accuracy on behalf of the cBc.

The Great Clinton Speaks About Abstinence

oH, Clintone, how you doth tickle the proverbial funny bone:

'U.S. President George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief requires recipients to adopt a policy of opposing prostitution to receive funding and sets aside 30 per cent of funding for abstinence-only prevention campaigns.'

' "I'm not so sure that this anti-prostitution provision hasn't caused more practical trouble than the set aside of money for abstinence," Clinton said.'

' "I wish they would just amend the law and say, 'We disapprove of prostitution, but here's the money, go save lives,' " since the sex trade is one of the main ways HIV spreads, he said.'

' "They are people, too, and they deserve a chance to be empowered and to save their lives and to keep from infecting others." '

I will leave the inevitable prostitution Lewinsky jokes to the Howard Stern's of the bloggin' verse. But you know that if they aint already come it's just a matter of time before the vulgarity ensues.

The most amazing thing about the Great Clinton is that the man believes he can speak about issues like abstinence with any credibility at all. His ego is just so large and so all encompassing that truly only one person can compete with that amazing Napoleon complex: the Mrs Clinton.

In the end though all of that is just large fluff.

You have to boil past the hypocrisy if you want to fair with people in this life. And when you do you learn that the Great Clinton is saying one thing: who cares what the "recipient" of AIDS funding believes in or supports so long as some of the money ends up going to good stuff then what we've done in the end is a GOOD thing.

Now funding from the US on this score can come in three ways. The first is by donations to UN programs or funds. Those maybe dubious and they may end up giving money to brutal Hitlers. But that's another story. The second way is by giving money to governments. Again the ripe armpit like stench of corruption seeps through when you think about giving money to possibly bad governments. Then you have the third option which is giving the cash to good ol' NGOs.

Whichever the avenue you are confronted by the possibility that these "recipients" may believe in what some would call "morally reprehensible stuff." And if they do, they may promote said "stuff" coming from money that they have in their bank accounts. That money was put their courtesy of the US government trying to fight AIDS possibly.

When that happens you get into the problem of having your tax money going to stuff like encouraging abortion, prostitution, and a whole host of things you may personally not agree with.

The Great Clinton says "who cares? So long as the end is good." And that's the kicker. The means, to the Great Enlightened Clinton, is justified by the end.

So, using that logic, it must've been well more than justified to fund the Taliban in the fight against the Commies and the Red Scare? Surely the ends justified the means in that case?

Or how 'bout when the US gave money to Hussein?

The end never justifies the means. But who am I to disagree with the Great Clinton that can do no wrong with his Oprah Winfrey saxophone playing powers?

Attack of the Clones...

Cloning Mammoths earned this comment from the Daily Mail:

"What I somewhat resent though, is the possibility of cloning or insemination in view of duplicating or procreating individuals like Hitler, Yvan the Terrible, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Henry the VIII etc."

T.L. James thinks this guy is talking about so-called 'sci-fi' cloning:

"Yet again, someone confusing biological cloning (making what amounts to an after-the-fact identical twin) with sci-fi 'cloning' (making an identical copy of an individual). Since no one has any way of copying memories, character, aquired brain structure, and other experience-influenced attributes from one individual to another, this should hardly be a concern. And never mind that even if it were possible, we do not have the source material for any of those individuals...their dead brains being somewhat less than fresh."

Maybe I'm wrong but I think TL is the one getting confused.

The way I sees it, the guy wasn't talking about "sci-fi cloning" per say, he was just talking about "cloning" in general. Now I might be wrong about that, but like I said that's the way I sees it.

The fact is that the cloning of humans is a real possibility. I don't doubt for a moment, that if human "biological" cloning became as easy as pie that crazies who had the money would do what it took to clone people like Hitler and others.

Now the babies that are created no doubt would look like Hitler but not be him, but TL is assuming that that means a hill of beans to people who don't think rationaly.

Cults like the Raeliens who have already claimed to have cloned humans before, would be the first to try to 'resurrect' themselves. Now obviously clones will be just like identical twins, and not a copy of the actual individual or his memories. That's not the point. The point is, that people won't care. If they've already bought a lie, they keep on buying. They don't care if the clone doesn't have the same memories as the original, for them it's "immortality" bought and sold.

White Supremists could easily clone notorious Nazy leaders, and raise the child indoctrinating him and making him believe he is some sort of re-incarnation. I can see some French bringing back a Napoleon or two, and who knows what else?

We're forgetting that messed up people are messed up. They don't see things right. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that irrational people with a skewed outlook on reality will behave rationally all of sudden when it comes to human cloning.

Now Maybe TL's right, and this guy was talking about so-called "sci-fi" cloning. It don't matter. His point, however badly made, is still made. People like Hitler shouldn't be glorified in that way.

Creating biological clones of these people doesn't just harm the deluted people doing it I would say, but also the human beings they're making.

Can you imagine trying to live out your live knowing you are a biological copy of Adolf Hitler? Can you imagine what that would be like?


The Gates Have this wisdom to offer regarding the aids crisis in Africa.
"Gates said that women have largely had to depend on their partners to agree to abstinence or condom use. Neither has proven effective, he said, and that is why the research on microbicides and oral prevention drugs are so important."

Oh Really?

Uganda seems to be a word the Gates aren't familliar with.

This Was the Week That Was...

What a week.

Van Allen died. Not so much a fan of human space exploration was that one. Robots were the name of the game for him.

In a sense he's right. If our only goal in space is to do science and nothing more, old Johnny Five will do.

But if this is about bringing humanity to the stars, turning man into a more than one world species, ensuring our survival in the universe and curing the drift in this world with the spark of a new frontier then we will need REAL people - men and women- to do it.

Those friggin' little robots on Mars are still going. What do you call a robot that has lasted 3 years that was designed to last 90 days? You call it well designed, planned, and managed by NASA's JPL.

Calls to mind an idea... Why not get NASA to outsource almost everything it does to JPL? Extending JPL's raison d'etre seems mighty juicy a prospect at this point no matter how unrealistic.

Then there's the whole foiled global terrorist plot in britain , that some are sure, and some are unsure whether it was Alqeda driven or not.

Bush called on people to remember that the US is at war with "islamofascists."

Funny. I thought we were at war with "terror." A war that had clear goals that included taking out the Taliban in Afghanistan, capturing or killing Osama Bin Landen, and wipping out the Alqeda terrorist network.

Some suggested that, not the US, but the WORLD was to be soon or already was at war with radical Islam or so-called islamofascism. And that 9/11 was just the opening salvo of what would be a larger conflict. The President was silent on that idea originally.

I don't understand what Bush's extention of the definition of the war on terror was all about, but my thinking is the drift this administration is experiencing in the polls can be directly related to the drift it has experienced in everything else it has been doing lately.

Well whatever Bush is thinking, he better figure it out soon.

Pluto, as we've all known for a while, shouldn't be a planet. When we find other floating rocks bigger or the same size that aint in the same designation, I'm thinking that's a clear sign there's a problem in your naming system. From now on, on this blog Pluto will be called the "Wanna-be Planet." So there.

When things go drastically wrong...

I love when people jazz up news articles to entice people to read...
"Two astronauts primed the International Space Station (ISS) for future construction and installed a vital safety sensor to its exterior Thursday during a speedy spacewalk hundreds of miles above Earth."

So vital they didn't have one all this time and no Astronaut got a shock of Frankenstein proportions... At least that I'm aware of anyway.

But it gets better...
"ISS Expedition 13 flight engineers Jeffrey Williams and Thomas Reiter spent nearly six hours toiling outside the station while their commander – Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov – worked alone inside the orbital laboratory. They worked so fast that flight controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston ran out of spacewalking tasks for them..."

Allow me to finish this article for them...

"Flight engineer Jeffrey Williams worked at furious pace installing the vital and tremendously important sensor against all odds. Labouring tirelessly the veteran Astronaut fought off the horrendous irradiated vaccum of space for hours on end."

"That was when things went drastically wrong."

" 'We didn't see it coming,' said Reiter in an exclusive interview with 'It was so horrible I can barely mention it.' "

"About 4 hours into the spacewalk flight controllers at JSC started to voice concerns over some errant suit data showing a sudden increase in pressure, followed by eerie vibrations. Strange sounds were heard from William's radio."

" 'I'm having some problems here,' Williams said at one point. Then after some tense exciting horrifyingly nervewracking moments he said '...trouble breathing...' "

"Minutes later Reiter reported seing strange discolorations in Williams face, and claimed that Williams was having problems breathing."

" 'It wasn't his fault,' Reiter recalled in a live interview broadcast from the ISS aftewards. 'I was supposed to eat that bean burrito not him.' "

" has obtained information from members of Jeffrey Williams family, that flatulence was a re-occuring problem for the esteemed Astronaut as a child.

Insert Laughter here.

You can't tell me these guys aren't having fun...

Apparently the Space Station can act as a huge staticky door knob:
"NASA discovered that the space station picks up electrons and ions as it flies through a thin layer of the Earth's atmosphere, said professor Charles Swenson, who had a key role in developing the sensor."

" 'It's similar to picking up a charge and getting extra charge particles on your body,' he said. 'If you touch a doorknob they jump off your body.' "

"NASA is concerned that charges on the solar panels of the space station will jump to another side of the station or even to an astronaut's suit, Swenson said."

"The suit could be damaged, or an astronaut electrocuted, if a charge jumped from the station to the metal rings on a suit."

" 'They are in a sweaty, wet garment inside the suit, not very conducive to working in a high-voltage environment,' Swenson said."

"NASA has attached plasma instruments to lower the charge. The Utah State device will monitor the instruments to ensure they are working correctly."

Now this is where things get all Mad Scientist - or should I say Crazy Engineer?

“It's going to be exciting from a science standpoint to look at this data,'' Swenson said.

I have the image in my head of Swenson peering over data saying "Gee look at the charge on that sucker... Any Buzz Aldrin up there will get their shorts turned inside out with seering hot static electricity if things didn't go right..." You know, never mind that Astronauts lives are at risk or anything, this is going to be EXCITING looking at that data...

Well... Can't say I wouldn't be any less "excited" myself...

Lifesite is walking a thin line...

In Seattle, the pesky issue of whether Christian clubs are discriminatory because they exclude non-Christians has come to the fore. This exchange is telling between a judge and the school that wants to exclude Christian clubs that are "discriminatory" because they exclude non-Christians, meanwhile you can have a whole host of other clubs that are quite "discriminatory" when it comes to membership:

"Judge Fisher, however, is reported to have pointedly questioned why the school singled out religion for discrimination charges, when other clubs, such as the Gay-Straight Alliance that focused on those 'who believe in a gay way of life,' were not. Judge Fisher suggested Tierney was calling for a double standard of treatment similar to that utilized by racial segregation."

"'Separate, but equal?' Judge Fisher retorted, according to the Seattlepi."

"'Essentially, yes,' Tierney responded."

"The phrase 'separate but equal' is the notorious linguistic contortion that was used throughout the early 20th century to justify the period of institutionalized segregation of people of colour in America. It is unclear whether Tierney fully understood the historical weight of the phrase."

Well of course Tierney didn't fully understand the "historical weight of the phrase." He's not a moron - at least I would hope a State school wouldn't choose one as it's council. This is a little pushing it from Lifesite news as far as I'm concerned. If Tierney knew what the judge was getting at, he would have never agreed to that statement. Suggesting "it was unclear" brings to mind the possibility that he knew full well what the words insinuated and he didn't see anything wrong with it. Accusing people of being racist over slip ups and clever debate maneauvering is just cheap. That's not what Lifesite news did here, but they are walking a thin line. The wording left MUCH to be desired.

What this does show, which was brilliant by the judge mind you, is where the other side of this case is coming from. The line of thinking by the opposite side of the case is obviously not unlike those that argued for racial segregation back in the 20th. That in itself is scathing damning of the case of those that believe Christians are "discriminatory"... It's like my father always says, whenever you point a finger at someone, five of your own fingers are pointing straight back at you.

Which is an important point even for lifesite news to keep in mind as it fights its noble and just cause in defense of the family and life issues: Don't accuse if you don't have evidence. We shouldn't assume that Tierney is racist, but we should ask ourselves some serious questions about his side of the debates line of thinking.

Actually, that "five fingered" thing could probably apply to me as well accusing Lifesite news of accusing other people... The truth is that I myself have come up with just as bad if not worse lapses in judgement in the writting of this blog, so in the end the log in my eye shouldn't be forgotten. That being said, I still Lifesite news should've showed more caution.