Archive - Jul 2007
Here are a couple of stories that caught my eye back in June that share a common theme:
From boing boing:
Dale Rippy, 62, killed a rabid bobcat with his bare hands when it attacked him on his porch in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The Vietnam vet was later treated for bites, scratches, and exposure to rabies. From Associated Press:
Dale Rippy endured the (25 pound) bobcat's slashes and bites until it clawed into a position where he could grab it by the throat. Then he strangled it.
and from the Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer:
Swan allegedly attacks jet skiers at Goguac Lake
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is investigating reports of an aggressive male swan attacking jet skiers on the south side of Goguac Lake.
Christine Hanaburgh, Michigan DNR wildlife biologist for Calhoun, Berry and Kalamazoo counties, said she's heard conflicting reports and is looking into the issue.
"We're determining if the swan is a danger to humans," she said.
Some lakeside residents are worried that the DNR will euthanize the male swan, who they believe is overly aggressive because his female partner has a broken beak.
"That's a possible explanation, however, I would gravitate to another explanation," said John Lerg, acting supervisor for the state DNR Wildlife Division, southwest management unit.
Swans often pair for life, or until one bird dies then the other finds a new mate. They also tend to nest in the same area year after year, he said.
"Regardless of the condition of the female, it's not out of character to find the male, the cob, to be the more aggressive of the two," he said.
Who knew male swans were called cobs?
This story of the same title from The Week magazine is to me emblematic of a sickness in our government and society in general. On the advice of the lawyers, FEMA failed to investigate claims that fumes in trailers provided to Katrina survivors were making them sick. Rather than "undermine the agency's position in any court proceedings," FEMA leaves them to the formaldehyde fumes.
FEMA officials covered up concerns that trailers provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina contained toxic levels of formaldehyde, congressional investigators said last week. Agency e-mails unearthed by a House committee show that FEMA lawyers vetoed a proposal to test the trailers for formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Some 120,000 people displaced by the 2005 hurricane lived in FEMA-supplied trailers, and hundreds have reported health problems such as nosebleeds and shortness of breath. Following the death of one hurricane victim who had complained of fumes in his trailer, agency lawyers advised against an investigation, saying it Â“could seriously undermine the agencyÂ’s positionÂ” in any court proceedings. FEMA officials this week apologized and said they were testing the 66,000 trailers still in use.
An article of the same title by Rebecca Smith appeared in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. This caught our attention because a pulverized coal power plant has been proposed for our hometown and we are uneasy about this proposal, to say the least.
The articles main thesis is huge number of new coal-fired power plants that have been announced in recent years as one-after-one they fall by the wayside due to either cost or environmental concerns.
From coast to coast, plans for a new generation of coal-fired power plants are falling by the wayside as states conclude that conventional coal plants are too dirty to build and the cost of cleaner plants is too high.
If significant numbers of new coal plants don't get built in the U.S. in coming years, it will put pressure on officials to clear the path for other power sources, including nuclear power, or trim the nation's electricity demand...
As recently as May, U.S. power companies had announced intentions to build as many as 150 new generating plants fueled by coal, adding to the 645 existing units that produce about half the nation's electricity. One reason for the surge of interest in coal was concern over the higher price of natural gas, which has driven up electricity prices in many places. Coal appeared capable of softening the impact since the U.S. has deep coal reserves and prices are low.
But the fleet of coal-powered plants that was supposed to be coming over the horizon is vanishing, a little more every week, as one developer after another cancels projects or quietly slows development activity. Coal has come under fire because it is a big source of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming, in a time when climate change has become a hot-button political issue.
The article illustrates the trend by discussing some specific examples from TX:
An early sign of the changing momentum was contained in the $32 billion private equity deal earlier this year to buy TXU Corp. To gain support for the deal, the buyers decided to trim eight of 11 coal plants TXU had proposed in Texas. Recent reversals in Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and other states have shown coal's future prospects are dimming. Nearly two dozen coal projects have been cancelled since early 2006, according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, a division of the Department of Energy.
The rapid shift away from coal shows how quickly and powerfully environmental concerns, and the costs associated with eradicating them, have changed matters for the power industry. One place where sentiment has swung sharply against coal is Florida. Climate change is getting more attention there because the mean elevation is only 100 feet above sea level, so melting ice caps would eat away at both its Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
In mid-July, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist convened a climate change summit to explore ways the state could improve its environmental profile. In June, he signed into laws bill that authorizes the Florida Public Service Commission to give priority to renewable energy and conservation programs before approving construction of conventional coal-fired power plants.
It also mentions that coal gasification plants are having trouble because of higher costs:
Coal plants emit more than twice as much carbon dioxide per unit of electricity produced as natural-gas-fired plants, but there's no cheap, easy way to capture and dispose of the greenhouse gas.
Even proposals to build so-called "clean coal" plants have been met with skepticism. This new technology, which primarily involves converting coal into a combustible gas for electricity generation, has been touted as a solution to coal's global-warming problems.
My unintentional and occasional series of posts about Lipscomb contemporaries on the national scene continues tonight with J. Holland Moore. Previous installments included David French and Shannon Terry.
Tonight's subject is the "other John Moore," affectionately known by the nickname "Barley." I recently got back in touch with him via Linked In. Unlike French and Terry, JHM was actually someone I was friends with at Lipscomb. After spending some time working in TV in Nashville, he's spent the last few years in Hollywood writing, producing, and miscellaneous crewing on various TV shows. You can see the list on his IMDB profile here.
1. "Pros vs. Joes" (1 episode, 2007)
- Kordell Stewart Gets Revenge on the Refs (2007) TV Episode (writer)
2. The Teen Choice Awards 2006 (2006) (TV)
3. "Fresh Baked Video Games" (2006) TV Series (unknown episodes)
4. "Invasion Iowa" (2005) TV Series (unknown episodes)
5. "Joe Schmo 2" (9 episodes, 2004)
- Finale (2004) TV Episode (writer)
- T.J. Needs T.P. (2004) TV Episode (writer)
- Cruiser (2004) TV Episode (writer)
- Requiem for a Frog (2004) TV Episode (writer)
- Porked and Beans (2004) TV Episode (writer)
6. "The Joe Schmo Show" (9 episodes, 2003)
- Episode #1.9 (2003) TV Episode (writer)
- Episode #1.8 (2003) TV Episode (writer)
- Episode #1.7 (2003) TV Episode (writer)
- Episode #1.6 (2003) TV Episode (writer)
- Episode #1.5 (2003) TV Episode (writer)
7. "Mohr Sports" (2002) TV Series (writer)
1. "Fresh Baked Video Games" (2006) TV Series (co-executive producer) (unknown episodes)
2. "Master of Champions" (2006) TV Series (consulting producer) (unknown episodes)
3. "Invasion Iowa" (2005) TV Series (co-executive producer) (unknown episodes) (producer) (unknown episodes)
4. "Joe Schmo 2" (2004) TV Series (senior consulting producer) (unknown episodes)
5. "The Joe Schmo Show" (2003) TV Series (senior episode producer) (unknown episodes)
6. "The Surreal Life" (2003) TV Series (producer) (unknown episodes)
7. "The X Show" (1999) TV Series (producer) (unknown episodes)
8. "Prime Time Country" (1996) TV Series (show producer) (unknown episodes)
1. "Worst Case Scenarios" (2002) TV Series (story editor) (unknown episodes)
2. "Big Brother" (2000/II) TV Series (story editor) (unknown episodes, 2001)
... aka Big Brother 2 (USA: second season title)
... aka Big Brother 3 (USA: third season title)
... aka Big Brother 4: The X-Factor (USA: fourth season title)
... aka Big Brother 5: Project DNA - Do Not Assume (USA: fifth season title)
... aka Big Brother 6: Summer of Secrets (USA: sixth season title)
... aka Big Brother All-Stars (USA: seventh season title)
He was always a funny guy, so it's not surprising that he's found some success in Hollywood.
Unfortunately there' still only one post in the IMDB discussion area devoted to JHM. It was left by Rich Holt several years back:
Yeah, I knew this guy in college. Slept a lot. Often ordered largest drink possible.
He's currently working on the "Larry The Cable Guy's Christmas Special." The most surprising news to me was that he recently ran (or as he put, "hobbled") his first marathon. I've neither ran nor hobbled one, so I'm quite impressed!
The other big news, apart from some significant globetrotting, was that he made a cameo on Entourage. As he describes it:
Check out the episode of Entourage when they go to the U2 show and check out yours truly on screen with the cast. You can Netflix it. Fun fact: I EPed a show for Spike that was a sketch comedy/animation/hodge podge about the videogame culture and Turtle was supposed to host but his "Entourage" contract prohibited him from doing other cable projects.
Like a forerunner of Will Traveler, I'm pretty sure Barley was able to avoid appearing in any photos during college because I can't think on any that he is in. I'll have to try to track some down when we visit Nashville in August in case he really gets famous.
I'm proud of Barley. He seems to have done well. He also sent me some photos from a recent Sonic Youth show he attended where they played "Daydream Nation" in its entirety in honor of its 20th anniversary. It was a Sonic Youth show in 1990 (in support of "Goo" instead of "Daydream Nation") that was the first of many concerts that James Lashlee and I attended together at Lipscomb. James is also the dude (along with Bill A.) who should have some photos of Barley if any of the ladies are interested.
1. While talking about how much he loves camping, Finn said "I especially love TORTURING my marshmallows." Probably came from when Elliot caught his marshmallow on fire and we said it looked like a torch.
2. While playing a "touch and feel" game that involves notable attractions from various cities (statue of liberty, San Fransico Bay Bridge, eiffel tower....) Finn reached in and grabbed a piece of the game and shouted "I found the Arc De Tree Stump". I guess thats what Arc de Triumphe sounds like in my best French accent.
3. Today at the Chippewa Nature Center we took a tour of the visitors center. There are many "stuffed" animals on display. Standing next to a deer I heard Finn telling his friend Wiiliam "Look at that deer. I think it was sacrificed". I guess all that old testament study in Sunday school is a bit confusing for a 4 year old.