Nutballs attack memorials to victims of Sandy Hook shootings


A playground honoring a seven-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut was vandalized by a man who told the girl’s mother in a phone call just days before Mother’s Day that the shootings were a “hoax” and her daughter never existed…

Police are investigating the theft of a 50lb vinyl sign from a playground in Mystic, Connecticut, dedicated to first-grader Grace McDonnell, who was gunned down with her classmates in 2012.

“It’s sick that some people would do something this horrific to a family already so traumatized,” said Bill Lavin, who is organizing the effort to build 26 playgrounds to commemorate the 20 children and six adults killed in the shooting spree on 14 December 2012…

The theft in Mystic marked the second act of vandalism at Connecticut playgrounds honoring Sandy Hook victims. Just days earlier, vandals spray-painted graffiti on a sign at a playground in Hartford that is dedicated to first-grader Anna Grace Marquez-Greene.

The sign in the Mystic playground named to honor Grace McDonnell on 27 April included a peace symbol based on her artwork…

“We’ve been getting calls from people around the country who are outraged and have already sent enough in donations that we will put up more signs and billboards with the message to ‘Live Grace-Fully’ in honor of Grace,” Lavin said. Lavin said the vandalism was discovered after the man phoned Lynn McDonnell, Grace’s mother, early last week “to tell her he took the sign because it was all a hoax”.

OK, I agree. There are scumbags slinking around this country who should be locked up forever. Incommunicado.

After all, their brains have been closed for a long, long time.

Blocking the sun

There is a very real problem in the USA right now in the development and deployment of alternate energy into the grid, as the country fights amongst itself over how energy will be generated, distributed, and managed in the future. This is especially the case with solar, as it continues to mature in both energy conversion efficiency as well cost effectiveness to become a more and more attractive source of energy. Even now, when all costs are factored in, solar is now more cost-effective than some fossil fuels in many cases.

The problem is that the debate about how the USA will generate and distribute energy is being driven by ideology, not science or economics. Entrenched business and political interests are blocking solar in many ways, from condemning research expenditures to outright legislation designed to restrict the development of solar energy as a viable supplement to the nation’s growing power needs. Even much of the mainstream media is buying into the lie that solar power is not viable.

This is not only a foolish attitude, but it is ignorant of both history and market forces. In every single case where a solid-state technology was developed to address an application area, it eventually came to dominate that space. Solar is no different, and conversion efficiencies are such that it is obvious to all but the most in denial that solar is not only a viable, but a cost-effective technology. In the marketplace, American neo- and pseudo-Luddites completely forget that this is now a flat earth, and if we do not develop and deploy these technologies others will, and they will wind up dominating those future markets.

Solar power is also logical from a usage sense, as peak power consumption occurs during the day. Solar does not have to replace fossil fuel power generation at all times and in all things, but it is illogical not to use solar as a supplement to existing energy sources. Once you add mechanisms for grid stability, load balancing, managerial oversight, and time-shifting power, you also get a pretty robust smart grid in the process.

A future smart grid that properly integrated all viable alternate energy technologies would not only result in a significant reduction of dependence on fossil fuel and the resulting ecological impact (which is rarely calculated, and never accurately), but it would also create many well-paying infrastructure jobs from electronic engineers to electricians, and everything in between. Technical jobs, jobs that help move America forward. Skilled jobs. Clean(er) jobs.

This won’t happen, at least not in any decent fashion, unless we as a country stop basing our arguments on ideology and vested interest instead of what is best for the country, its citizens, and its future. Only by properly deploying a truly smart grid that integrates all manageable types of energy with the proper controls and safeguards, including security, will the USA reach the full potential of what such an infrastructure can provide.

If I write down all of Alix Paultre’s skills and experience I’ll need a bigger blog – and he’ll probably threaten me for making him blush. Novelist, technologist, technology writer and editor, he’s also the only person I know who can explain quantum physics well enough for me to understand. Well, for a few minutes anyway.

RTFA and the magazine he edits.

U.S. Air Force confident that they can take out Godzilla

During an interview with the Smithsonian’s Air and Space magazine, members of the United States Air Force confirmed that there is a contingency plan for taking out Godzilla — if the fire-breathing sea creature ever does attack.

Master Sgt. Jason Edwards of Kadena Air Base said the Air Force would deploy “4,000 Segways and slingshots” and would need help from certain people.

“Well I could go with Chuck Norris, but that would be the obvious one,” Edwards said. “As I understand it, the Power Rangers are probably a good choice in this type of scenario…

There are more than 50 F-15 fighter jets available at Kadena, so those planes would likely be utilized as well.

Heartwarming to witness such self-confidence guiding our military.

Notes from a Nutritionists’ Conference


One recent Friday afternoon, in a Mariott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, California, I watched two women skeptically evaluate their McDonald’s lunches. One peered into a plastic bowl containing a salad of lettuce, bacon, chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. The other arranged two chocolate chip cookies and a yogurt parfait on a napkin. “Eww,” she said, gingerly stirring the layers of yogurt and pink strawberry goop. The woman with the salad nodded in agreement, poking at a wan chicken strip with her plastic fork.

When I asked how they were liking their lunches, both women grimaced and assured me that they “never” go to McDonald’s. So why were they eating it today? Well, they didn’t really have a choice. The women were registered dietitians halfway through day two of the annual conference of the California Dietetic Association. They were hoping to rack up some of the continuing education credits they needed to maintain their certification. McDonald’s, the conference’s featured sponsor, was the sole provider of lunch. “I guess it’s good to know that they have healthier options now,” said the woman with the salad…

As I wandered the exhibition hall, I saw that McDonald’s wasn’t the only food company giving away freebies. Cheerful reps at the Hershey’s booth passed out miniature cartons of chocolate and strawberry milk. Butter Buds offered packets of fake butter crystals. The California Beef Council guy gave me a pamphlet on how to lose weight by eating steak. Amy’s Naturals had microwave brownies. The night before, Sizzler, California Pizza Kitchen, Boston Market, and other chain restaurants had hosted a free evening buffet for conference-goers…

This is not the only powerful nutritionists’ group with strong corporate ties. The sponsors of the School Nutrition Association’s 2013 annual conference included PepsiCo, Domino’s Pizza, and Sara Lee. SNA made headlines recently when it asked Congress to lift the rule that students must take fruits and vegetables on the lunch line, and to ease the rules around sodium and whole grains…

Toward the end of the day, I spoke to a 65-year-old retired dietitian from Orange County. She told me she’d been attending CDA’s annual conferences for 30 years. Shaking her head, she said that she didn’t approve of the trend of junk-food sponsors. “I guess they need the money, but this is pathetic,” she said, rolling her eyes. She found the McDonald’s lunch particularly deplorable. “A dietitian you’d expect to be principled,” she said. “But here I feel like we’re sleeping with the enemy.”

Well said.

The songs we sang 50 years ago about a plastic fantastic society are silenced.

Boring and snoring, the moneyboys turned journalists into marionettes, doctors into makeup artists, grassroots organizers into anarchist performance art. The professions are more thoroughly owned than ever before.

The remainder may speak reams of truth; but, they command no content providers. Peer reviewed journals and gallery openings haven’t yet turned undifferentiated anger into successful dissent.

But, keep on rocking in the Free World.