Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Modern Version of an Old Rhyme

I heard some little girls skipping rope to this song:

It's the Land of Oz
Where the women wear no bras
And the men don't care
'Cause they wear no underwear
And there's a big fat genie
With an artificial weenie
So now you know
Why you shouldn't go.

Presumably sung to "The Streets of Cairo." 

Monday, October 15, 2018

'Best Bum' Contest

I tend towards matter-of-factness when it comes to what takes place in school, unlike the people on the Far Left or the Far Right. And sometimes the stupidity of adolescents can be breath-taking. That's the way things are.

And nominations of classmates into categories such as 'Most Likely to Succeed' or 'Best Humor' are par for the course.

However, a British school managed to stoop to low with a 'Best Bum' category. And I don't mean hobo!

No, these kids were encouraged to vote on who had the best buttocks.

Okay, if adults want to participate in a 'Best Bum' or 'Best Fanny' contest, I'm okay with that. But for God's sake don't have the subject being the comparative attractiveness or even size of the posteriors of adolescents!

Geesh! Sometimes chronological adults should step into the situation to keep this kind of undue sexualization of children from taking place.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

"Through a Glass, Darkly"

General George S. Patton of World War Two fame was a controversial figure of his time. He was depicted in the 1972 movie Patton, starring George Scott. He also tried writing poetry. Here is an example of one of his poems:

"Through a Glass, Darkly"
General George S. Patton, Jr.

Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
I have fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.

I have known the call to battle
In each changeless changing shape
From the high souled voice of conscience
To the beastly lust for rape.

I have sinned and I have suffered,
Played the hero and the knave;
Fought for belly, shame, or country,
And for each have found a grave.

I cannot name my battles
For the visions are not clear,
Yet, I see the twisted faces
And I feel the rending spear.

Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet, I've called His name in blessing
When after times I died.

In the dimness of the shadows
Where we hairy heathens warred,
I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
We used teeth before the sword.

While in later clearer vision
I can sense the coppery sweat,
Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

Hear the rattle of the harness
Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
See their chariots wheel in panic
From the Hoplite's leveled spear.

See the goal grow monthly longer,
Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

Still more clearly as a Roman,
Can I see the Legion close,
As our third rank moved in forward
And the short sword found our foes.

Once again I feel the anguish
Of that blistering treeless plain
When the Parthian showered death bolts,
And our discipline was in vain.

I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.

Once again I smell the heat sparks
When my Flemish plate gave way
And the lance ripped through my entrails
As on Crecy's field I lay.

In the windless, blinding stillness
Of the glittering tropic sea
I can see the bubbles rising
Where we set the captives free.

Midst the spume of half a tempest
I have heard the bulwarks go
When the crashing, point blank round shot
Sent destruction to our foe.

I have fought with gun and cutlass
On the red and slippery deck
With all Hell aflame within me
And a rope around my neck.

And still later as a General
Have I galloped with Murat
When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor's Star.

Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
Where the sunken road of Ohein
Closed us in it's quivering gloom.

So but now with Tanks a'clatter
Have I waddled on the foe
Belching death at twenty paces,
By the star shell's ghastly glow.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o'er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New Team in Town

Recently the Montgomery Biscuits got some competition for the oddest baseball team name. Now the Biscuits has gotten to be a favorite with fans, and it's a hard team name to top. 

Another minor league team weighed in by being known as the Wing Nuts, Good try.

However, now we have the Huntsville Trash Pandas!

For the uninitiated, a trash panda is a raccoon!

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Feud in the Church

Church feuds are not uncommon, especially among cliques in the congregation. But when the pastor and choir director get into it, stand aside.

One week our preacher preached on commitment, and how we should dedicate ourselves to service. The director then led the choir in singing, 'I Shall Not Be Moved.'

The next Sunday, the preacher preached on giving and how we should gladly give to the work of the Lord. The choir director then led the song, 'Jesus Paid It All.'

The next Sunday, the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues. The hymn was 'I Love To Tell The Story.'

The preacher became disgusted over the situation, and the next Sunday he told the congregation he was considering resigning. The choir then sang 'Oh, Why Not Tonight.'

When the preacher resigned the next week, he told the church that Jesus had led him there and Jesus was taking him away. The choir then sang, 'What A Friend We Have in Jesus.'

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sports Teams Nicknames

Sports team nicknames sometimes go into the questionable.

I know that there was a big to-do over the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux; so much so that the team evolved into the Fighting Hawks. No chance of them adopting North Dakota Doves.

And years ago the Stanford Indians became the Stanford Cardinal. Only one bird, apparently.

But Florida State is still the Seminoles; Illinois is still the Fighting Illini; and Central Michigan is still the Chippewas. What ethnicity do the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors offend?

And what in the hell are the Ragin' Cajuns raging about?

Female students at Wichita State reportedly can experience Shockers on dates! And, unfortunately, Alabama co-eds experience heavy flow with their monthlies.

Are bikini waxes prohibited at Oregon State? 

Malevolent strains run in the ACC; with the Duke Blue Devils and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Some exorcism is needed there; but maybe everyone is figuring out what the hell is a Hokie? Is that a synonym for corny?
Arkansas Tech is the Wonder Boys. Or Golden Suns.

Webster University in Missouri teams are known as the Gorlocks. Named for the intersection of Gore and Lockwood Streets.

Akron University teams are known as the Zips. What is zipped, though: flies or mouths?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Washingtonian Language

Without further ado, I quote directly from The Hill:
Speaking to reporters on board a flight to Brasilia, Mattis insisted he initially opposed the creation of a separate military branch for space because the administration had not yet defined the challenges space posed for the Pentagon.
"I was not going against setting up a Space Force; what I was against was rushing to do that before we define those problems," Mattis said. "We've had a year, over a year in defining. And the orbitization of this solution in terms of institutionalizing forward momentum is very important."
W.T.F. is orbitization? Has administrative pidgin become the lingua franca in Washington?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Unlawful Bootlegging of Plastic Straws

Santa Barbara, CA recently made the news by banning plastic straws in restaurants. As a matter of fact, if you're a repeated offender, you can do jail time.

I can see some nincompoops living on the edge by bootlegging plastic straws into Santa Barbara. But they have some odd ideas about the punishment fitting the crime! Surely dispensing plastic straws is maybe worth a $25 fine or so!

Or is the cost of living there so much more than in Huntsville? Anyway, suddenly drinking of malts or milkshakes has become more problematic.

This is not likely to affect beer drinkers, though. Except for the naive people who say that you can get looped by drinking beer through a straw!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Apotheosis of Assholes

Culturally, where did we go wrong?

For much of our national history, we venerated men and women who represented civic virtues of honesty, fair play, modesty, and thrift. When we got past the Gilded Age (or maybe the Depression) we tended to shy away from too blatant displays of wealth and power. We paid lip service to the notion that all of us are created equal. 

Nowadays, that has changed. Some markers of that social degradation include the usual suspect politicians. Yes, I'm looking at you, DJT. But also Bill Clinton, various radio personalities, and so forth. As a matter of fact, the leadership of both political parties.

This tendency has crept into general discourse as well. Sports has become another area of contention. Some of that may be traced to sports talk radio. Fancy a three-hour radio program where idlers can call in with unlimited opportunities to blow off steam and to bloviate! And there's other forms of Talk Radio. Since when should people be provided a forum to blow off without consequence or even rebuttal? 

Even restauranteurs get into the act. Recently, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was denied service at a Virginia establishment because the owner (ostensibly) didn't like her politics or employer or because running her off provided the owner with a golden opportunity to seek attention. (Take your pick,)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Politically, Things Suck

Let's face it: We've come to a pretty pass when it comes to politics and National leadership.

Right now, we have Donald Trump, strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage. And can't wait for him to be heard no more. He doesn't have even a nodding acquaintance when it comes to truth. He has limited communication skills; and doesn't give a consistent message.

He should stop twittering. It just allows him to impulsively say what goes into his head at the moment. And when the says it or writes it, it's part of the record. No replays. I guess that not saying part of what you think is part of the job.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush had their limitations. But at least they kept control of their thoughts and not say whatever out loud all the time.

But who would replace him?  First, look at the Republican Party bench. There's Mike Pence. Oh please! He's a rigid dumbass! And there's Ted Cruz. Oh no! Marco Rubio or Jeff Flake? Maybe. But the shining light of the Republican Party is dying after serving his country well.

As for the Democrats? They're part of the problem. Let's face it: in 2016 they nominated the one person (other than Nancy Pelosi!) who was the most strongly aversive to too many people. At least they have Joe Biden, such as he is. Lord help us from Elizabeth Warren! Or Bill de Blasio.

But Donald Trump is in James Buchanan or Warren Harding grade category. What did we do to deserve this tool?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dicking Around into a Really Classy Academic Paper

Some professors with vivid imaginations and a real need to obtain a tenured position will go to great lengths to produce an academic paper.

The latest coup comes from Oxford Professor George Garnett, who counted the presence of 93 penises on the Bayeux Tapestry.  William the Conquerer's horse's member was the largest. What a magnificent steed he was!

93 penises? Sounds like the Alabama Legislature. Where there are a goodly number of horse dicks and horses' asses to go with them.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Kentucky Computer Terms

BACKUP - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods
BAR CODE - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern
BUG - The reason you give for calling in sick
BYTE - What your pit bull dun to cousin Jethro
CACHE - Needed when you run out of food stamps
CHIP - Pasture muffins that you try not to step in
TERMINAL - Time to call the undertaker
CRASH - When you go to Junior's party uninvited
DIGITAL - The art of counting on your fingers
DISKETTE - Female Disco dancer
FAX - What you lie about to the IRS
HACKER - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking
HARDCOPY - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos
INTERNET - Where cafeteria workers put their hair
KEYBOARD - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere
MAC - Big Bubba's favorite fast food
MEGAHERTZ - How your head feels after 17 beers
MODEM - What ya did when the grass and weeds got too tall
MOUSE PAD - Hippie talk for where Mickey and Minnie live
NETWORK - Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line
ONLINE - Where to stay when taking the sobriety test
ROM - Where the pope lives
SCREEN - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch
SERIAL PORT - A red wine you drink with breakfast
SUPERCONDUCTOR - Amtrak's Employee of the year
SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy") - What you call your week-old underwear

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A New Development in Pool Floats

Where there is a possible demand, sometimes commerce steps in with a creative solution to problems.

This is definitely the case with pool floats.

It seems that one manufacturer has come out with a pool float that is specifically intended for girls with big boobs. It has a recessed area in its proper place.

It took a clever engineer to think up that one.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Why Do We Use This Expression?

My lady Jennifer asked about a widely-used term of disparagement: a real dick.

Now the word used in this sense can literally refer to the penis. And, furthermore, why would alluding someone to be a penis be disparaging? After all, approximately 50% (more or less) of people possess such features. And females supposedly enjoy their being used properly (or many men are credulous). So why is calling one a "dick" a put-down?

Could it be due to Richard Milhous Nixon, known as "Tricky Dick"? Unless he possessed a remarkable talent well-known but since forgotten from that strange time, I doubt it.

Actually, Eric Partridge in one of his works on slang recorded that reference to the penis as far back as the 1880s.

And there's the allusion of "shaking hands with the girlfriend's best friend."

But the British have a dessert of fruit and suet called "spotted dick." And they're not referring to Mr. Cheney or Mr. Nixon with measles. Some have even suggested calling it "spotted richard" instead.

I tried it. It wasn't bad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Stacy's Mom

Why not a hit by Fountains of Wayne entitled Stacy's Mom?

This one was from 2003. A one-hit wonder. But Stacy's Mom is very see-worthy!

Is Stacy's mom hot? Sizzling, in my opinion.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Catsup or Ketchup?

As if we're not contentious enough, some people can take issue over how to spell that universal condiment, ketchup/catsup. I've seen it both ways.

Further, when is it okay to use this red stuff, so as to use a neutral term not likely to ruffle anyone's feathers.

On hot dogs? Dirty Harry takes exception?

On scrambled eggs?

What about on French fries? Actually, A-1 sauce or barbecue sauce also works well.

And we have to also admit that the red stuff is useful for smothering the bad taste of some foods.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

1968 America Shattered or Hyperbole?

I wasn't around back then, but was America really shattered back in 1968?

Or is this an example of overemphasizing a period because it occurred exactly 50 years ago?

Here's a timeline from Smithsonian.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

California's State-Sponsored Travel Blacklist

Recently Oklahoma has been added to California's state-sponsored travel blacklist. 

I see that Alabama has already made this list previously.  Apparently California is attempting to exert economic influence on another state's politics. Whether is this a good idea, or just meddlesomeness, is a matter of opinion. 

I must say that it is absolutely comic to think of California as a possible moral compass!

But, amazing to say, none of the articles regarding this addressed the practical aspect of what sort of magnitude this sort of blacklist has on most states. 

For example,  just how has Alabama been affected by being on California's travel blacklist? Somehow, I don't see there having been a large number of ordinary California state employees being required to go to Alabama for some reason or other. Or maybe some beach-starved Californian workers are jonesing for some quality beach time at Gulf Shores!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Yellow Cardinal

Here's a beautiful but unexpected discovery from Alabaster, AL: a yellow male cardinal! It would be interesting to see if he will have any progeny that also possess this interesting feature. I hope so!

Anyway, he's one in a million!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Samantha Bee

So you probably read or were able to figure out how television figure Samantha Bee offensively referred to Ivana Trump, even though most sources referred to it only obliquely.   Plus her apology.

There's the cynical side of me that thought, "Mission accomplished."

Because the big noise regarding her impolite name-calling got one thing in a big way: She got noticed.

Admittedly, she behaved badly. But sometimes a success de scandale boosts ratings. Shades of Janet Jackson!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Racy old Country Song.

You mean country matters.

                  ----William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Here's a pleasant old country song entitled "Blanket on the Ground" which seems to be a paean to alfresco fucking:

Now the thrill of possible discovery might add to the experience.

Come and look out through the window

That big old moon is shinin' down
Tell me now don't it remind you
Of a blanket on the ground
Remember back when love first found us
We'd go slippin' out of town
And we'd love beneath the moonlight
On a blanket on the ground
I'll get the blanket from the bedroom
And we'll go walkin' once again
To that spot down by the river
Where our sweet love first began
Just because we are married
Don't mean we can't slip around
So let's walk out through the moonlight
And lay the blanket on the ground
Oh, remember how excited
We used to get when love was young
That old moon was our best buddy
We couldn't wait for night to come
Now you know you still excite me
I know you love me like I am
Just once more I wish you'd love me
On the blanket on the ground
I'll get the blanket from the bedroom
And we'll go walkin' once again
To that spot down by the river
Where our sweet love first began
Just because we are married
Don't mean we can't slip around
So let's walk out through the moonlight
And lay the blanket on the ground
Mmm mmm mmm
Mmm mmm mmm
Mmm mmm mmm mmm
Mmm mmm mmm mmm
Do do do do do do
Songwriters: Roger Bowling

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Dry Counties? It's Complicated

Alabama historically had "dry" counties. Officially, Alabama has 23 "dry" counties and 44 "wet" ones. However, things are complicated. It turns out that, since 1974 a law allowing towns of at least a minimum population can vote itself "wet" if it chooses.

It turns out that at least one town in each of the "dry" counties voted itself "wet." Lauderdale, where I used to live, has two. Jackson County has four!

I guess you can say that those counties are "moist."

In fact, there were always bootleggers. Before Florence went "wet," there were tales of how newcomers were introduced to trusted bootleggers.

Any, anyway, there was always the stores on the other side of the state line. Especially the enormous walk-in beer cooler in St. Joseph, TN.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Built-in Problem in Social Media

Social media in its various forms has a built-in problem. I see it as a social capital phenomenon that works very much like Gresham's Law. You know, the idea that there are two types of currency in circulation, the bad tends to drive out the good. This is why people tended to hoard goal (or even silver), and spend greenbacks. 

In the case of social media it seems that over time various fora (Twitter, letters to the editor, blogs, web sites) tend to become increasingly contentious or even insulting.  As a result, there is a slow dropout of the more pleasant contributors; and more acrimony as the number of feisty people increase in numbers and expressions. That seems to be also true with respect to blogs.  

Let's face it: 90-95% of people post comments to share information or for enjoyment; when it stops with that payoff, then they're going to go away. 

To date, I've had only a few to come on to Alabama Noise to start something. And those that do get some tolerance; but only so far. The old rule applies: Don't feed the trolls.   

I can't think of a better solution for this dilemma. All I can do is describe it, and hope that some forms of regulation suffice. At least some form of moderation and throwing out the worst should suffice. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Perils of Social Media

It finally is sinking in: various forms social media are available not to altruism or for just the heck of it; but because it can be used as a means of harvesting personal data for various commercial or propagandistic purposes. I guess it was dense of many of us (including me) to realize that there is no free lunch. 

I had no idea that potentially malevolent forces like the Russkies might possibly be involved (not that I give our own government a blank check, either). Or those well-known altruistic entities, corporations or businesses. Anyway, I don't want to provide them with free data; or make it too easy for them to obtain it. 

Or to influence me. If I want to be influenced, then I will read a newspaper. Even the act of reading a piece-of-shit newspaper should be accompanied with the knowledge that they might be trying to influence you, so calibrate your suspend your suspension of belief accordingly. Some, like the WaPo, are about as subtle as a knock on the head.

Actually, it might also be fun to introduce some red herrings into their data harvesting. Why not suggest that statehood for some state be rescinded? Or that I have six children out of holy deadlock? Maybe that I wrote in a lawn gnome's name for public office? [We have a Cabinet Member who looks like a Keebler's elf already, so that doesn't strain credibility.] Or, hey: maybe i can claim that I have a secret crush on Mark Zuckerberg!] Holy Toledo!

Anyway, if people would do this sort of thing on a large scale, then that would introduce some "noise" into their social data harvesting. 

 Yes -- play with their minds! And if some foreign entity is behind the data collection, then providing misinformation should constitute a patriotic act! Who knows: I might be tempted to open a Facebook account just to engage in creative fiction to fuddle the Pals of Putin to some degree.

Hmmmm....can lying on social media be a new, evolving art form?

Call this the Pinocchio Effect! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Lessons of the Poo Train

The sordid and smelly story has finally ended - the contents of New York's Poo Train finally went to its ultimate destination. And, after over two months, not too soon!

I hope our dilatory legislature takes heed of this saga and takes steps to ensure that it will not happen again. Seriously, there may be Federal laws regarding the regulation of interstate commerce that prevent Alabama from stopping the transport of human wastes into the state; but the state could pass laws affecting the disposal of hazardous wastes in its confines. Or a least levy heavy deposit fees for their being done. The theory is to make it prohibitively expensive for outside entities to trash Alabama. 

There was a successful antilittering campaign in the Lone Star State recently: "Don't mess with Texas." Why not have a similar slogan: "Alabama doesn't take any shit from anyone"? 

We need to stop being the doormat for outside interests and effectively take control of our land use and environmental interests. But to do this we have to take concerted effort on the statewide, county, and city (or town) level.  The fact is, some states have more stringent environmental policies. Therefore, what possible polluters will do is to follow the path of least resistance: ship their crap to states with less stringent policies.

And even deliberately use social pressure. For example, can religiously-minded people come to view despoiling the environment and making others' lives miserable a sin? And preach sermons to that effect! This might at least make it uncomfortable for local enablers of this kind of practice. And, quite frankly, the costs of our feeble environmental policies are borne especially by poor and largely African-American communities who don't have a lot of political leverage. It's past due time to look after our own.

And marshal whatever slight economic sanctions we might use, including boycotting of products from egregious out-of-state offending locales. 

Finally, the state should pass legislation leading to the scaling down or phasing out of hazardous waste disposal sites in our state. Especially the one in Emelle. Now that one is a time bomb that may have severe consequences in the future!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Intriguing Book Title

I found this book on line the other day. Are grizzly bears now adopting modesty as a social strategy? Or have squirrel been making fun of their shortcomings?

This is a funny book!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Huntsville Rated #7

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Huntsville is rated as the 7th Best Place to Live in America. The Top 25 list is as follows:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Des Moines, Iowa
  5. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  6. Portland, Oregon
  7. Huntsville, Alabama
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
  10. Seattle, Washington
  11. Nashville, Tennessee
  12. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  13. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina
  14. San Antonio, Texas
  15. Salt Lake City, Utah
  16. Madison, Wisconsin
  17. San Jose, California
  18. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  19. Phoenix, Arizona
  20. San Francisco, California
  21. Lexington/Fayette, Kentucky
  22. Charlotte, North Carolina
  23. Boise, Idaho
  24. Asheville, North Carolina
  25. Boston, Massachuetts
It was so rated because of its affordability to live in and because of its having numerous jobs in science and technology.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Chart of Possible Media Bias and Quality

There's a lot of utility with this chart from Reddit:

On the other hand, I would rate that piece-of-shit Washington Post as hyper-partisan left and mixed quality (on par with the New York Post.)

AP News is a good middle-of-the-road source.

The Chicago Tribune and the L.A. Times did not make the cut for this chart.

Nor did the Huntsville Times, sad to sad.

Seriously, I'm kidding with the last one.

Monday, April 2, 2018

. . . . And Down to Two

Well, two weeks ago there were 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament; but we slogged through a lot of alliteration: Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four. Frankly, my bracket sucked.

We had a real sleeper for a while: Loyola at Chicago. Their play was enough to turn me Catholic. Plus they had that cute old lady nun. Seriously, I'm sorry they're not playing tonight. But tonight it's Villanova and Michigan.

I look for (and hope) Villanova will win by at least 10.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Joseph Goldberger

Pellagra was widespread in the South in the early part of the twentieth century. It was a skin disease; and it was attributed to many causes: heredity, disease, parasites, and other factors. Bad cases can lead to dementia and even death.

However, Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) determined through experimentation that it was due to eating a diet that had insufficient niacin in it, particularly one based on corn. Furthermore, he determined that pellagra could be reversed with the introduction of a niacin-rich diet.

Dr. Goldberger was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine five times.

He is honored with a statue in his native Slovakia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire when he migrated.

I think he would be a suitable and non-controversial candidate for a public statue anywhere in the South.

Statue of Dr. Joseph Goldberger in Slovakia

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

U. of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Dropping Majors

This passage appeared within an article in the Washington Post:

"The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has proposed dropping 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences — including English, philosophy, history, sociology and Spanish — while adding programs with “clear career pathways” as a way to address declining enrollment and a multimillion-dollar deficit."

Well, five majors were mentioned; eight were not. I got curious; what were the unnamed majors? Well, art, geoscience, political science, geography, French, German, American Studies, and music literature are also marked for discontinuation. I find it interesting that some majors deserved mention by name, and others did not. Maybe those have more effective de facto lobbyists in newsrooms.

According to the Stevens Point Journal, these majors are expanded as academic majors: chemical engineering, computer information systems, conservation law enforcement, finance, fire science, graphic design, management, and marketing.

Apparently, some university majors get very few takers. Maybe those fare better at some of the other University of Wisconsin branches, including the flagship campus in Madison. 

I thought some readers might be interested in more detail. You can run with it as you feel. Please feel free to make any comments, pro or con.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Arrrgh! Another robo-call this morning. This one going under the false flag of a 256 area code! Apparently the modus operandi is partly the same - a young, cheery female voice using a generic young person's name and employing a breathless sales pitch.

It used to be that you could screen out these bogus calls by their using an unfamiliar area code; but no more! And because the calls are robots, I cannot even get the satisfaction of telling the caller to perform some unspeakable contortion activity on her own person!