Daily Archives: 05/23/2003

Dixie Chicked?

Interesting article at Salon yesterday on a commencement speech given by New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges at Rockford College, in Rockford Illinois. Hedges speech was sharply critical of Dubya and the war on Iraq, and he was not received warmly. He was heckled and jeered off the stage by the audience.

The fact that Hedges was forced off the stage at a liberal arts school that prides itself on a newly opened center for civil and social engagement is just frightening. It speaks volumes for the level of patriotic fervor and conservatism that is washing over the youth of our nation. Of course Rockford-Roscoe-South Beloit area is a pretty conservative place, but this is a stark change from what it was like when I lived up there a decade ago. Like the Dixie Chicks before him, Hedges spoke his mind and paid the price. I am certain he is being vilified on talk radio and on a thousand web logs right now. The audacity of a person to question the impudent, imperialist adventures of a third-rate president that didn’t even win the election.

I suppose this conservative backlash was inevitable. Today’s young adults were reared by the petulant, spoiled baby boomers. As the boomers rebelled against their parent’s staunch conservatism in the 1960’s, so today’s youth has reacted against their parents. They watched their parents behave like feckless fools: broken marriages, wanton sex, drug use, and a constant infantile search for pleasure and eternal youth. It’s not exactly surprising that these children raised so glibly by their errant parents would crave stability and a old time values. Something that George W. Bush and his neo-con pals provide. A simpler worldview with no troubling shades of gray. Rock solid, unwavering determination. It has a certain appeal – just ask the Germans in 1934.

Earth, Jupiter and Ash Clouds

Found a cool photo today: The Mars Global Surveyor turned its camera away from the surface of the red planet earlier this month and took a picture of earth. The photo captured not only the earth and moon, but also mighty Jupiter and three of the Galilean moons orbiting the massive gas giant. Pretty damn cool photo, even if it has been digitally enhanced to bring out the moon and Jupiter in the image.

The best link seems to be at SpaceRef.Com’s page – the original source at Malin Space Science Systems appears to have been slashdotted by all the traffic. Somewhere, a web server is dying a horrendous death.

Amazingly, I came by the page from a completely different source – I was simply surfing around, looking for images of the Anatahan volcanic eruption from space. I found them on a SpaceRef page.

Satellite Image from before the storm
Notice how the ash plume is drifting to the west last week…

Satellite Image showing changing ash plume due to typhoon
And how it is drifting south towards Guam today.

A Hazy Shade of Volcano

Well I thought it was a little hazy this morning for some reason. I suspected the passing of Typhoon Chan-Hom. I was correct, sort of.

The typhoon shifted the wind patterns in the area and now the ash fall from the erupting volcano on Anatahan is blowing over Guam. I thought it seemed a little too hazy this morning.

Whisky, Marlin, And Me

Couple things bouncing around in my head this morning:

  • I received a lot of whisky yesterday from a co-worker. She is moving to a new home and decided to clear out the liquor cabinet. I guess I struck here as a particularly besotted individual, because she unloaded six bottles of hooch on me. Most of it is Japanese whisky, from the Nikka Whisky Distilling company. I was a little dubious about its quality, but it seems to receive high marks.
  • There was a photo in yesterday’s PDN, this guy caught a 452 pound Pacific Blue Marlin a couple days ago. In a funny coincidence, those bottles of Japanese whisky are embossed with a marlin and the title kujiki (Japanese for Pacific Blue Marlin). Mmm, I think I need to pick up some fish for dinner tonight.