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Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Shroud of Turin Enigma Solved?

The Netscape website is famous for putting totally misleading headlines at the top of their articles. Today they say "Shroud of Turin Enigma Solved." Now if a clear thinking person was to read that, the assumption would be that they now know how old the shroud is. Not so fast.
When one reads the article, it turns out that only the fact that the testing done in 1988 was not done properly. That's all. Nothing more. It's really aggravating how they continuously mangle reality to get people to read their stuff. Here's the link:


What a crock.

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Women Not Good At Math?

Harvard's president, Larry Summers came under fire a while back, for saying that women in general are not very good at math and that's why they aren't successful at Harvard, especially in teaching positions. I paraphrased that...so his words might have been slightly different.
Summers did offer a sort of apology, but didn't back down from his views. Susan Estrich blogged about it the other day:


Now I agree with Susan, that the guy is a dolt. But there is actual scientific evidence that women's and men's brains actually work differently. Here is an article I found:

Why Women Can't Read Maps
There is a reason why many women (not all! but many) have trouble reading maps. The brains of men and women function in markedly different ways, which means they really do think differently, according to researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of New Mexico.
The human brain is composed of two types of tissue--gray matter and white matter. While men and women have about the same amount of gray matter and white matter, men appear to use more gray matter, while women use more white matter. Before we proceed further, it's important to note that while the two genders may think differently, this does not affect their intellectual performance or overall intelligence.
The study: Using magnetic resonance imaging equipment, the researchers performed a series of brain scans on 26 female and 22 male volunteers, all of whom were in good health and had no history of brain injury. The average IQ scores of the two genders were similar. The brain scans occurred while the volunteers carried out tests designed to assess their general intelligence.
The results: The human brain--male or female--is composed of about 40 percent gray matter and 60 percent white matter. When given intelligence tests, men used 6.5 times more gray matter than women, while women used nine times as much white matter. What is the difference between gray matter and white matter? Gray is central to processing information and plays a vital role in aiding skills such as mathematics, map-reading, and intellectual thought. White matter connects the brain's processing centers and is central to emotional thinking, use of language, and the ability to do more than one thing at once. Because women use less gray matter--critical to map-reading--they tend to have more difficulty with this skill than men.
"This may help explain why men tend to excel in tasks requiring more local processing, like mathematics and map-reading, while women tend to excel at integrating information from various brain regions, such as is required for language skills," co-study author and neuropsychologist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico told the Daily Telegraph. "These two very different pathways and activity centers, however, result in equivalent overall performance on broad measures of cognitive ability, such as those found on intelligence tests."
This isn't the first study to assail women's map-reading skills. Previous research has also shown that women have weaker spatial awareness than men, which makes it more difficult for them to read maps. But women outshine men when it comes to vocabulary. In childhood, girls' vocabulary develops more quickly than that of boys; by adulthood, women can speak 20,000 to 25,000 words a day compared to a man's 7,000 to 10,000.
"These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," co-author and psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine told MSNBC.
The study findings were published in the online edition of the journal NeuroImage.

So there is some science to what Summers said. But I'll bet he doesn't know about it.

By the way, there are a lot of females who perform quite well in math and science. My daughter is taking Computer Engineering at Iowa State University, and gets good grades in math (when she studies)

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Iraqi Official Says US Troops Can Leave Soon

In a Reuters piece, Iraqi interim Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib stated that US forces won't be needed much longer. I'm sure that will make the radical left happy. But we shouldn't leave before the job is done. Or when the forces might be needed to go after Syria......


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Reporting accross Iraq

Several AP reporters have put up their initial feelings and observations about the election in Iraq. It's good news, mostly. It sure shows that the doom-sayers were way, way wrong.
Here's to you Teddy Kennedy.


At this rate, George Bush may go down in history as one of the greatest....

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OPEC is going to keep oil prices artificially high, according to the latest article from the AP.
Ostensibly it is to prevent the price spikes that occured earlier. My opinion is they may be seeing the handwriting on the wall. The leaders of OPEC know their days are numbered, and wish to get as much cash set aside for themselves as possible, prior to being ousted by democracy. They will "stash the cash" in untouchable bank accounts, and hard stuff like gold, and leave their countries up a creek, just as did Saddam Hussein. Here is the whole article:


I will be critcizing the AP a lot in the future, but this time they seem to be just in a reporting mode, rather than their usual spin.

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Why Is Russia Spying So Much?

I found this one about the Russian spying that's going on in the United States. It is troublesome that our leaders haven't really reached the understanding that both Russia and China are not really our friends. They still would love to see us fall, and the fact that China is dramatically increasing its military capabilities is also of great concern...at least to me. I think we may have let our guard down a bit..(a lot?) Why is Russia concerned about their missile deterrent in regards to the US? Do they really think we would attack? Don't they know about nuclear fallout? Here is a quote:

"Officials say the Russians are after secrets about American military technology and hardware, dual-use technology such as the latest lasers, and the Administration's plans and intentions regarding the former Soviet states, China, the Middle East and U.S. energy policy, among other matters. Russia also wants to learn as much as possible about its biggest strategic worry: the U.S.'s ramped-up commitment to missile defense, which could eventually threaten Moscow's nuclear deterrent."

Are we that misunderstood? Invading Iraq was one thing. It was doable. I really don't think we plan on invading the old Soviet Union.


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Good News Blog from Michelle Malkin

Here is one we can all get behind. Kids are such a breath of fresh air.

Go to the link on Michelle's site:


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Good News Blog About 9/11

Here is a piece from the LA Times that doesn't have an agenda. It is a welcome breath of fresh air to all, I would think.


I wish them well. And,

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LA Times Hiding Our Successes

Here's the kind of thing I hate..selective journalism.
The LA Times article (link below) about the Iraq voting uses the headlines:

"Iraqis Cast Ballots Amid Explosions and Anxiety
Suicide bombers and mortar rounds kill at least 17 people. Hours earlier, a rocket hit the U.S. Embassy, killing two Americans"

One would think that the killing of the two Americans was the most important thing, rather than the voting. Now don't get me wrong, every death is a tragedy, but the juxtaposition of that part was meant to take away from the real story.

Farther down the article, more is said about the attack, admitting that it was unusual.

"The attack on the embassy Saturday marked a rare direct hit for insurgents, who frequently target the sprawling complex but had never before killed anyone inside."

Finally WAY DOWN towards the bottom of the article is the best part of the story, showing that the attack was in reality a success for our forces (we caught the perpretators)

"With the help of surveillance video, 1st Cavalry Division soldiers were able to trace and arrest seven suspects believed to have taken part in the attack."

Now to me, that's selective journalism. Blatant. Unacceptable. LA Times.

Here's the entire article. You decide.


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The real source of our problems

I originally heard about this via Ann Coulter, so I will give her credit. It's a bit scary, really.
I know it sort of makes fun of, and oversimplifies the terrorist situation but....
Go there and you be the judge.

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Seymour Hersh

Here's another good article from the LA Times. It shows how biased a lot of the writers and bloggers are on the left. Even to the point of outright fiction. Credit to Max Boot.

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ridiculous government

I found a funny one today, from quite a while ago. It shows mindlessness in the government to the nth degree. Hope you like it. Courtesy of Jeff Jarvis. http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2003_10_22.html#004911

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Kids need to be challenged

I found a great article recently about the way some of those in society protect their kids from competition. I have never agreed with those who think that self esteem is to be the norm, in the way we raise children. All people need a challenge, need to compete. Without competition, our great country would not have rocketed to the top of the industrial and technological world so quickly. Self esteem comes with sucess, not being protected from reality. With success comes the reason to praise our kids. Not just because they ARE our kids. Those who would protect kids from competition and criticism only set them up for failure later in life. Here's the link to the LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/showcase/la-vo-pascoe29jan29,0,2346957.story

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Endangered Species, Or National Security?

Here's another good one. There is a fence in Southern California, in San Diego county that has been rendered useless in preventing the onslaught of illegals coming across the border.
A local congressman there has decided that the completion of the fence is not that important.
Here's the quotes from the LA Times:

"It requires taking down a whole mountainside and filling in a canyon. It's an environmental disaster," said Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego), whose district includes the border area. "It destroys open space, and it is not necessarily needed or wanted by border control.""It's ridiculous to destroy it all for a very minor increase in protection," he said

So the congressman feels that our national security should take a back seat to protecting the environment. His statements have not even been backed up by every study that has been made.

The fact that there is so much foot traffic through the area is damaging to the environment.
Rep Duncan Hunter is for the fence:

"A true environmentalist would want to close that gap," Hunter said. "The estuary gets pounded by the traffic of folks being smuggled into the United States. There have been hundreds of trails cut deep by the smugglers"

Sounds like the environmental issue is a smokscreen put up by immigration crybabies.

Here is the entire article:


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opening shots

I'm starting this site with the caveat: I'm here to respond to the blogs and comments of others. In some instances I will be congratulatory. More often I will be challenging somebody. In addition, I will be showing the wrong-headed ideas of public figures.
Politicians and Newspeople, Private Citizens and Clergy....all have agendas I will criticize.
Most of what I say is based on my extensive knowledge of world history. My statement is, if one doesn't know history, one cannot comment on current events. Everything happening in the world is a result of what has occured before.
Ted Kennedy would have us back in the 1920's when this country was isolated by public sentiment, much to the detriment of the subsequent events in Europe and Asia. That's World War II, for the uninformed.
I was just watching Tora-Tora-Tora last night. It showed the final result of our country not getting involved in world events until too late. By the time FDR decided to confront the Japanese about their activities in Manchuria, it was too late.
It's amazing to me the foolishness of the college students of today. They (most of them) have no idea what happened in the mid 20th century, yet the things that are happening today are a direct result of those times.
I'll be back.
Craig C

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