Monday, February 28, 2005

Our house needs a quarantine sign. Debbie stayed home from church Sunday morning because the local crud finally got the best of her. I had a minor sore throat, but that's fairly common for me in the winter. Nestina had spent the night at a friend's house, so I picked her up on my way in. About half-way through church it hit me: chills, joint pain, muscle pain, sinus pressure; the whole ball of wax. I was on praise team, of course. Somehow I stumbled onto the platform for the last set of songs and made a beeline for the door. I made Nestina drive home because I tend to get somewhat delusional when I have a fever. I changed into sweats and curled up in a blanket on my favorite chair, and barely moved. Debbie was already camped on the couch. Nestina remains unaffected in spite of us and every one of her friends being sick. About 7pm she was bouncing off the walls with boredom. Debbie and I are not the most exciting people to be around when we are well; being sick makes it even worse. We should have brought one of Nestina's friends home for the night. In any case, we survived.

I came to work this morning. I'm not entirely sure why. I felt slightly better when I got up, but that didn't last. I will be scooting out of here soon and finish the day working from home.

Terry Shiavo is back in the news again. I am not sure what to think in this case, but there have certainly been a lot of interference from a judge in what is, after all, a medical matter. What qualifies a judge to determine if and what physical therapy is appropriate? Using a ban on her parents seeing their dying daughter to silence them? Did I miss a memo? Does the Constitution not apply in Florida? (Silly question; of course it doesn't. Just like it no longer applies anywhere else in the United States.) Would someone explain to me why killing someone by starvation and dehydration is less cruel than keeping them alive "artificially?" If I kill an animal by those means, I would (rightly) be charged with a crime. Yet killing a human this way is described as being merciful. I feel like I have slipped into a Twilight Zone episode. In any case, Jerry Pournelle has something to say on this here and here.

And Jerry also takes on Global Warming again. Data. It's all about data. Anecdotes may make better news stories, but data is what makes science. We hear a lot about "global average temperature," but does the term even make sense? Is that surface temperatures? Atmospheric? Ocean? Freshwater? All of the above? How do you combine temperatures of ocean and atmosphere, for example? Do you apply a weighting to the numbers? It's pretty clear that ocean temperatures have a greater effect on climate than atmospheric, but how much greater? Why? Like they always say in grade school: show your work. The manipulations of the data are also important. It has been well established that any set of random numbers run through the most popular climate model will create the now-infamous hockey-stick graph.

This is not science. This is politics. The politics of envy. America is the most economically successful nation in human history. Kyoto would destroy our economy in favor of places like China, who are exempt. This, of course, is short-sighted to say the least. We are the market for Chinese exports. If Kyoto is implemented, it will destroy our economy, which will devastate China's; as well as every other nation with an export-based economy. Not many of those exports go to Algeria.

Enough. I need to go home and sleep.

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