Gomer Pyle marries his partner of 38 years

jim-nabors-stan-cadwallader
Jim Nabors, Stan Cadwallader

Actor Jim Nabors says marrying his longtime male partner doesn’t change anything about their relationship – he just wanted it to be formally acknowledged.

“I just wanted it legal,” the 82-year-old actor best known as Gomer Pyle in “The Andy Griffith Show” told The Associated Press…

Nabors married 64-year-old Stan Cadwallader in Seattle on Jan. 15. Nabors says they have been partners for 38 years.

Nabors said they flew from Honolulu just for the short ceremony and were married in a hotel room by a judge friend who drove up from Olympia, Wash.

Nabors said he’s not an activist but feels strongly that gay marriage should be a right for everyone.

I think every person on this earth has a choice of who they want to spend their life with,” he said.

News of Nabors’ marriage was first reported by Hawaii News Now. Nabors told Hawaii News Now he’s been open about being gay with co-workers and friends but hadn’t acknowledged it to the media before. He said he’s not ashamed of people knowing, he just didn’t tell people because it was “such a personal thing.”

The couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter…

Nabors became an instant success when he joined “The Andy Griffith Show” in spring 1963. The character of Gomer Pyle – the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim “Gollllll-ly!” – proved so popular that in 1964 CBS starred him in “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

In the spinoff, which lasted five seasons, Gomer left his hometown of Mayberry to become a Marine recruit. His innocence confounded his sergeant, the irascible Frank Sutton.

Good for you, dude. You needn’t be an activist to have an effect on people who know you, who appreciate your honest opinion.

Something our politicians might consider learning something about.

Here’s a real garden in a bottle

This miniature ecosystem has been thriving in an almost completely isolated state for more than forty years. It has been watered just once in that time.

The original single spiderwort plant has grown and multiplied, putting out seedlings. As it has access to light, it continues to photosynthesize. The water builds up on the inside of the bottle and then rains back down on the plants in a miniature version of the water cycle. As leaves die, they fall off and rot at the bottom producing the carbon dioxide and nutrients required for more plants to grow.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

EU ready to ban insecticides tied to bee decline

Insecticides linked to serious harm in bees could be banned from use on flowering crops in Europe as early as July, under proposals set out by the European commission on Thursday, branded “hugely significant” by environmentalists. The move marks remarkably rapid action after evidence has mounted in recent months that the pesticides are contributing to the decline in insects that pollinate a third of all food.

Three neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticides, which earn billions of pounds a year for their manufacturers, would be forbidden from use on corn, oil seed rape, sunflowers and other crops across the continent for two years.

It was time for “swift and decisive action”, said Tonio Borg, commissioner for health and consumer policy, who added that the proposals were “ambitious but proportionate”.

The proposals will enter EU law on 25 February if a majority of Europe’s member states vote in favour. France and the Netherlands are supportive but the UK and Germany are reported to be reluctant…

Luis Morago, at campaign group Avaaz which took an anti-neonicotinoid petition of 2.2m signatures to Brussels, said: “This is the first time that the EU has recognised that the demise of bees has a perpetrator: pesticides. The suspension could mark a tipping point in the battle to stop the chemical armageddon for bees, but it does not go far enough. Over 2.2 million people want the European commission to face-down spurious German and British opposition and push for comprehensive ban of neonicotinoid pesticides.”

Keith Taylor, Green party MEP for South East England MEP, said: “For too long the threat to bees from neonicotinoids has been dismissed, minimised or ignored. It is, therefore, good to see the European commission finally waking up. Bees have enormous economic value as pollinators and are vital to farmers. Let us hope that we’re not too late in halting the dramatic decline in their population…”

On 16 January, the European Food Safety Authority, official advisers to the EC, labelled the three neonicotinoids an unacceptable danger to bees feeding on flowering crops and this prompted the proposal produced on Thursday. If approved by experts from member states on 25 February, it would suspend the use imidacloprid and clothianidin, made by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, made by Syngenta, on crops that attract bees. Winter cereals would be excluded, because bees are not active at that time, and the suspension would be reviewed after two years. The European commission is also considering banning gardeners from using these neonicotinoids, although B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have already withdrawn such products from their garden centres in the UK.

EPA has continued to approve more than 100 neonicotinoid products for unrestricted use on dozens of crops, including the vast majority of corn seed planted in North America, cotton, soybeans and dozens of other crops covering an estimated 200 million total acres.

They say they’ll be ready to consider a new review – in 2018.

Murderer mistakenly released from Illinois jail


Why is this man smiling?

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart took responsibility today for mistakenly letting a man serving 60 years in Indiana for murder walk out of County Jail after a local charge against him was dismissed.

“We let people down, no mistake about it,” Dart said in an interview at sheriff’s offices in Maywood. “Our office did not operate the way it should have, clearly…”

Dart said his office is still looking at where and how the system broke down to allow Steven Robbins’ mistaken release from the jail, but he said that officials at the jail had no paperwork showing he was serving time in an Indiana prison for murder.

Like other indigent people, Robbins was outfitted with clothing from Goodwill – a long-sleeve brown shirt and brown pants – before being released out the front entrance, Dart said. He also likely was given bus fare.

Dart said the sheriff’s office uses an archaic system – entirely paper-driven – in handling the movement of an average of about 1,500 inmates every day. Some are entering the jail after their arrest and others are being bused to courthouses around the county for court appearances.

The sheriff said the warrant for Robbins’ arrest should have been quashed by prosecutors when armed violence charges were dismissed against him in 2007. In addition, he said prosecutors signed off on the sheriff’s office traveling to Indiana to pick up Robbins at the prison in Michigan City and bring him back on the outstanding warrant.

“We were able to get an extradition warrant on a case that didn’t exist,” Dart said. “That’s the first problem.”

Earlier, documents reviewed by the Tribune showed that paperwork filled out by Cook County sheriff’s officers this week made it clear that Robbins was serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Indiana and was to be returned to authorities there after being brought to Chicago to dispose of an old case against him…

Robbins was allowed to walk free out of the Cook County Jail Wednesday evening after his court appearance. Authorities today were reviewing the paperwork in Robbins’ file to see how the mistake was made and who was responsible…

Always heartwarming to see that coppers here in New Mexico aren’t the only ones who do stupid things like this.

Although we had one crook who was let loose twice and was almost on his way out the door for a third time when someone caught the mistake.

Here there be cables!


Click to enlarge

Undersea cable maps are for the deeply nerdy, but Telegeography has just produced one that’s beautiful and functional. Plus it shows we’re only using about 36 percent of the purchased capacity.

Telegeography, the research firm tracking underground cables and IP transit costs around the world has published the latest version of its submarine cable map, and it’s, well, beautiful. I have one of these (it’s next to my spectrum chart) but the old map is pretty functional, showing the cables, their capacity, owners and their landing spots. It’s a visual reminder that the internet is grounded in some very physical infrastructure.

From Telegeography: The design of our new map was inspired by antique maps and star charts, and alludes to the historic connection between submarine cables and cartography. We drew inspiration from a number of sources including Maury’s New Complete Geography (Revised Edition) published by American Book Company in 1921 and The Timechart History of the World, a collection of antique timelines published by Third Millennium Press.

This one might actually make it into a frame. The map shows the 232 lit cables as well as the 12 anticipated to come online before 2014. These cables connect countries to the internet, by providing connectivity so your emails from San Francisco can make it to Prague. After a huge boom in the 2000-2002 time frame construction on undersea cables pretty much halted, but in 2008 and 2009 new ones (financed in part by new players such as Google) were built.

Maps mostly contain more information than you ever expect. Cartographers must have cyberbrains.