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Church Vote, Part Deux June 26, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Berea, Cleveland, Family, History, Personal, Religion.
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Back in December, the members of First Congregational United Church of Christ voted 87-18 to “authorize church leaders to negotiate terms of a possible sale to Baldwin-Wallace College.”  A negotiating team was formed from members of our church, and they met with the B-W administration during the past six months.  The proposed agreement for the sale of the church and surrounding properties to B-W was then shared with our congregation earlier this month.

This Sunday, members of First Church will come together to vote on whether to accept or reject the proposed agreement.  I won’t go into details at this time, but you can expect another blog post early next week on the results.  Also, check my Twitter for the my thoughts and vote tally on Sunday.

Happy Birthday, Rosie! June 20, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Family, Parenting, Personal, Pop Culture, Television.
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Our girl Rosie turned seven years old today!  It’s hard to believe that she will be starting 2nd grade in a little over two months.  She’s enjoying swim team this summer with three 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish in four starts.  Also, Rosie’s entering into the wonderful world of Nintendo DS  as she decided that’s what she wanted over a party with friends.  Game on!

To celebrate, here’s a little Lucky Seven Sampson:

Get the funk up! June 13, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Music, Personal, Pop Culture.
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Another Twitter converstion leads to another cross blog post. This time, we were tasked to come up with a list of songs we couldn’t admit to loving without a great deal of embarrassment. Join us. It’s not too late for some self-induced online humiliation. What’s on your list?

Dave Caolo’s list at Hardcore Geek.
Lisa Hoover’s list at Sharp Corners.
Ged Maheux’s list at gedblog.

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“Batdance” by Prince from Batman soundtrack (1989) – Who wasn’t doing the “Batdance” during the summer of 1989? Prince’s music and Jack Nickolson as the Joker gave a sharp contrast to Tim Burton’s brooding visuals and Danny Elfman’s score. And hey, the soundtrack is not just for killing zombies anymore.

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“Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” by Waylon Jennings (1980) – Now you know where I was on Friday nights in the early 80s. I tried to find the audio of me singing this from like 3rd grade, but I wasn’t successful or I *just* didn’t search hard enough. In the meantime, here’s a more recent rendition:

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“Reproduction” from Grease 2 soundtrack (1982) – Well, Grease 2 made it on my “Guilty Pleasures” list on the Movies for a deserted island post, so it’s appropriate that I’ve included an embarrassing song from the soundtrack. Just where does the pollen go?

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“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot (1992) – A song about butts. What else can be said, but…”You can’t just sit here in the dark listening to classical music!” – the lovely Leela to Fry while he’s listening to this song during the first season of Futurama.

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“On Our Own” by Bobby Brown from Ghostsbusters II soundtrack (1989) – This song isn’t quite as memorable as “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr., but some people apparently remember the lyrics.

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YouTube links to the “real” videos of the above songs:

“Batdance”
“Good Ol’ Boys”
“Reproduction”
“Baby Got Back”
“On Our Own”

Is the science settled? June 12, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Climate Change, Environment, Politics, Pollution, Science.
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The latest National Journal Insiders Poll asks Democrats and Republicans if “it’s been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made pollution.”

  • 95% of Democrats answered yes, compared with 26% of Republicans.

If there’s one thing poll after poll indicates, it’s that the science is not settled on this issue.” – one Republican respondent.

Aaahhh…science by polling.

Insiders of both parties agreed, however, that the most urgent priority facing the next president and Congress will be the economy.

  • 59% of Republicans said the economy is at the top of the nation’s priority list, while 44% of Democrats said the same. But global warming was the second-most pressing matter, according to Democrats, while energy took the second spot for Republicans.

Adapted from The Hotline.

Almost there… June 11, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal.
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Honda Civic mileage as of this morning.

“Tweeting” from Mars June 6, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Pop Culture, Science, Technology.
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The Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on the red planet almost two weeks ago and announced its arrival there by “tweeting” on Twitter.  Since that time, it has garnered over 18,000 followers on the micro-blogging site and landed in the 12th spot of most followers according to Twitterholic (as of this post).  Not bad since its first tweet was on May 7, 2008.

Phoenix’s tweets are not from a cute, talking robot like Pixar’s upcoming Wall•E.  Instead, its part is being played by Veronica McGregor, the media director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  She said that she would continue to do it as long as people are following and as long as Phoenix is working.  “Eventually we’ll have to sign-off and say good-bye.”  Until then, you can follow the mission via Twitter @MarsPhoenix.

 Note: I did ask a question, but never heard a response.  I’ll keep trying 😉

Pork and Beans June 3, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Music, Pop Culture, Star Wars, Technology.
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Weezer’s new music video “Pork and Beans” premiered on YouTube on May 23rd and had an astounding 5 million views in just 8 days!  Thanks in great part to its featuring of many YouTube stars and memes like the Numa Numa guy, Chris Crocker (the tearful Britney Spears defender), the Diet Coke and Mentos eruptions, Charlie the Unicorn, and the Star Wars kid.  If you haven’t seen it, then now’s your chance.

Their new album entitled The Red Album was released today in the US.

Climate Security Act May 29, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Climate Change, Environment, Future, Politics, Science, Technology.
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Members of Congress are scheduled to begin debate next week on Senate bill 2191 “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007,” which was introduced by Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).  The two purposes of this Act are:

(1) to establish the core of a Federal program that will reduce United States greenhouse gas emissions substantially enough between 2007 and 2050 to avert the catastrophic impacts of global climate change; and

(2) to accomplish that purpose while preserving robust growth in the United States economy and avoiding the imposition of hardship on United States citizens.

I’m sure we’ll hear the same old arguments from “global warming” deniers such as the economy will suffer, temperatures are actually cooling, and carbon dioxide is good for plants.

As a scientist, it’s frustrating to see when the waters are being muddied to produce doubt in the minds of people.  If the data for global warming and subsequent climate change were shown to be incorrect, then I would gladly acknowledge that our science is wrong.  But science seeks to explain how things happen in the universe, and science is self-correcting.  The evidence is overwhelming, and as the IPCC has previously said, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”

Read Chris Mooney’s new article The Price of Planetary Gambling for a more in depth analysis of the upcoming debate.

It’s a gas, gas, gas! May 27, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal.
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Gas in northeast Ohio is almost $4 per gallon, and it’ll probably reach it consistently in the next few weeks as yesterday marked the unofficial start to summer and the travel season in the US.  Both my parents track their mileage, so I guess I was genetically predisposed to doing so as well.  Last week, I painstakingly entered my gas expenses from October 2003 to May 2008 for my 1998 Honda Civic LX.  Here are a few high and low points on the above graph:

  • October 14, 2003 – Gas was $1.40 per gallon in North Carolina.  Paid $12.25 for 8.76 gallons of gas (start of graph).
  • August 16, 2005 – First time I paid over $20.00 to fill up ($2.56 per gallon).
  • August 23, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina forms as a tropical depression in the Bahamas.
  • September 2, 2005 – Gas spiked to $3.30 per gallon.  Paid $26.81 for 8.13 gallons.
  • July 1, 2006 – Moved to Ohio ($2.88 per gallon).
  • April 13, 2007 – Paid $30.32 for 10.91 gallons for gas at $2.78 per gallon (first time over $30.00 to fill up).
  • May 16, 2008 – President Bush met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who pledged an additional 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
  • May 19, 2008 – Gas at $3.85 per gallon for my first fill up over $40.00 (10.50 gallons for $40.40 & end of graph).

As more info, the tank on the Civic is 11.9 gallons and all the gas purchased was 87 octane.  Luckily (I guess), I’ve been getting around 35 miles per gallon on my highway commute.  This is with a 10-year-old car with almost 150,000 miles on it.

Are you there God? It’s me, Einstein. May 16, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Religion, Science.
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A letter written by Albert Einstein sold for an amazing £170,000 (approximately $330,000) yesterday at auction in London to a private collector.  It was estimated to sell for £8,000 earlier this week, but the price skyrocketed it seems in part due to Einstein’s candid view on religion and the Bible.

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Despite his rejection of conventional religion, Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism according to a leading Einstein expert, John Brooke of Oxford University.  Brooke goes onto say that Einstein was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote, “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Einstein himself appears to have struggled with the fundamental questions of god and religion much like those before him did and those of us after him continue to do.  A year before his death in 1954, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole.”  So say we all.