Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Friday, February 17, 2006
Not To Be Outdone, The Hospital Shot Him From a Cannon
Headline of the day:

Hospital discharges man shot by Cheney

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Check Your Local Listings
The Top Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed.

Municipalities Unworried About Groundswell of Citizen Pushback Against Eminient Domain
Another day, another future land seizure slipped into conversation all casual like. The story's headline? Can Northwest Plaza rebound? The epic tale about whether a dying shopping mall can continue to provide needed revenue for a small St. Louis County municipality.

Even though it's losing revenue from a failing commercial enterprise, the plucky local government will carry on by seizing homes from its citizens to roll into another commercial enterprise, even though its previous plan to seize the land drew no interest from the commercial community:
    The city plans to seek bids to redevelop 227 acres near Cypress Road and Interstate 70 into retail, hotel and office buildings. The project could force the buyout of more than 200 homes.

    The proposed development differs from a previously planned business park in the same area, which failed due to a lack of bids during the economic recession following the terrorist attacks of 2001.
I find the "If at first you don't succeed, seize, seize again" attitude of the duly-elected land robber barons quite inspiring.

Unintended Lawsuits
Another high-speed criminal chase ends in an innocent death, and again certain segments of the population of St. Louis uproariously protest police who would try to capture dangerous people who might want to hurt innocent people and who then do actually hurt innocent people.

Fortunately, capitalism provides a liability-free solution: Tag-and track might slow car chases:
    Is there a solution to high-speed police chases?

    A company in Virginia is proposing one: a sticky dart with a homing device that police can fire at a fleeing car and track electronically at a distance.

    Instead of pursuing the getaway car at high speed, police can lay back and set a trap for the fleeing car up the road.

    The company believes its product, called StarChase, will save lives and reduce police liability by slowing some hot pursuits and stopping others altogether.
Yeah, liability-free, and the protestors will go home.

Until the police miss the bad guys' car with the sticky dart and the sticky dart kills/injures/spoils the shirt of some bystander.

At which point the aggrievement machine will once again creak and grind into its public indignation over the dangers of sticky darts, etc.

Lance Armstrong vs. Sheryl Crow: George W. Bush to Blame?:
    Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow have said all the right things so far as the speculation for their break shifts gears. One tabloid even examines that it may be President George W. Bush's fault as Lance is a Bush fan while Sheryl is a Bush basher.

    The Star details that a friend of the singer said they knew the bust up was coming.

    "Sheryl said Lance didn't just support Bush, - he'd go off and fight if the president asked him too.
Well, guys, we all know that those hot hippyesque chicks from the English department are kinda exciting, and they tend encouragingly toward the promiscuous, but ultimately, you're going to want to settle down with a wife and mother....and if you're cagey about it, you might end up with a hot bicyclist, too.

(Story seen on Ace of Spades HQ.)

Memo to Lance Armstrong: Find your own, mister.

This Blog Violates the ADA
Once again, the Americans with Disabilities Act continues to prove itself not only to be the Law of Diminishing Returns, wherein American companies must continue to spend infinitely increasing amounts of money to placate an infinite number of aggrieved parties. The latest group to attempt to stretch the law to new frontiers: Blind patrons sue Target for site inaccessibility:
    Bruce Sexton says he's one of many blind individuals who can live more independently because of the Internet.

    When it comes to shopping, for example, the 24-year-old college student doesn't have to get to and navigate brick-and-mortar stores or ask employees for help. Rather, with the help of a keyboard and screen-reading software, he can navigate a Web site and make his purchase.

    Or can he?

    Sexton, along with a blind advocacy group, filed a class action lawsuit this week against Target, alleging that the retail giant's Web site is inaccessible to the blind and thus violates a California law that incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    The suit, filed in Northern California's Alameda County Superior Court by Sexton and the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind (NFB), claims that, "contains thousands of access barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, for blind customers to use."
Listen, I know what Section 508 means and I believe that making your products and services available to the widest possible audience is a good thing, but the ADA (like lots of doing-something legislation) adds burdens to businesses which drive businesses from profitablility to "why bother?"

Additionally, if the legalistic fiction of "public spaces" continues to expand, where will it end? Conversations and talks that don't offer closed captioning or live signing limit accessibility. So do books, magazines, and papers that do not come with audio versions. How about yard sales or home-based businesses without wheelchair ramps?

The world and its litigants are completely destroying the logical fallacy of ad absurdum, turning hyperbole into a game plan and absurdity into inevitability.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Venomous Kate: A Dog
The assertion is proven here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
A Man Watches Olympic Men's Short Program Figure Skating, Reluctantly and Somewhat Wistfully
You know, Scott Hamilton on color commentary sounds a little like Darren Pang.

Monday, February 13, 2006
Made with Real Koalas
Koala Crisps

I don't know what sort of Birkenstock-wearing Seattlite would shush the commercial-driven sugar-craving mewlings of its larvae with EnviroKidz Organic Koala CrispTM breakfast cereal (Gluten Free! Organic Cocoa!), but apparently somewhere, someone is making money providing the product.

Personally speaking, though, if Kwicky Koalaganda poured into me in my impressionable years hasn't turned me off to succulent marsupial meat garnished with minty fresh eucalyptus garnish, this cereal won't banish my hankering. Come to think of it, it sends me a reassuring message. Kids, it's normal to flash fry koalas and eat them!

In an unrelated note, with 1% of the proceeds donated directly to wildlife, what are the little rascals going to do with the Australian dollars? Do the aborigines have casinos in the Outback at which the koalas can play slot machines?

For the Love of Pete, Someone Hit Me

Today, MfBJN has tripped over into the six digits. If my sitemeter were done in Atari 2600 Asteroids, I'd be at about 20 hitz. But it's not, and after only three years here in the blogging backwaters, I'm finally amongst the at least eliter cabal of people who have more hitz than debt.

On the other hand, it will take me until 2033 at this pace to equal the annual traffic of relative newcomers like Ann Althouse, but then again, I'm not a PILF (Professor Instapundit Links Frequently).

But I'll keep plugging away, gentle reader, because otherwise I'd just play Civilization IV until my eyes bled.

Sunday, February 12, 2006
Happy Valentine's Day from Your Relationship Therapist
Cover story, Psychology Today, February 2006:


How to Feel Infatuated Forever

Psychology Today February 2006 Cover

Inside, we have the story:

Lust for the Long Haul

The road to long-term passion starts with a surprise....

Psychology Today February 2006 Article

Can you spot the secret?

The man is with a different woman on the cover than he is with in the article!

Book Report: Pet Sematary by Stephen King (1983)
I inherited the Book Club Edition of Pet Sematary from my aunt. Or I bought it for a buck or change at a forgotten garage sale, but that would be meaningless, so I think of my aunt when I read my Stephen King novels now, regardless of the actual origin.

As one of the first of King's prolific bursts, this book fits into that time period. That is, he build suspense and dread, but ultimately the end rushes through the climax and leaves one with the obvious lingering evil still out there. In what I've seen from this era (see also Christine), the victory over evil is very tenuous and it's apparent that it will eventually catch up with the survivors of the story.

So let me continue with the beginning.... or at least the plot. Dr. Louis Creed moves his family from the Midwest to small town Maine where he's going to run a university infirmary. In the front of the house, there's a two lane highway used often by oil tankers. In the back woods, a burial place for pets. The family has a cat. You can see where this is going. I, owner of an aging cat whom I know won't lie upon my lap while I read Stephen King books forever, dreaded reading this book, and I was going to put it off indefinitely until I decided to denancy my self and just push through the death of the cat and the horrors beyond. I did. At least the death of the cat and so on where handled off page fairly well.

Come to think of it, King leaves most of the gory wetwork off the page in this particular volume. We don't get a lot of flesh peeling from the muscle, tendon, and bones kind of thing going on, but we do get the idea that it's going to happen, and we put the book down thinking we've gotten a pretty gory dose of it, but textually, there's not much there there. That's what makes King so powerful; he builds the dread and he makes you think you're getting gore, but it's your own imagination splattering blood on the wallpaper.

Another thing that makes King powerful, and what draws his readers into the books, is that he doesn't play favorites with his characters. Most writers rely on series for their long-term fiscal viability, and with every series one or more characters run through the plot in little danger. Sure, they get shot and sometimes almost die, and sometimes a major or minor character dies in a Very Special Episode. But the reader can proceed page-to-page with the comfort that the main characters will be tested and will prove true. King can spend pages making us like one or more characters in a book right before they die suddenly. The reader has to pay attention because although four main characters walk into a scene, four main characters are not guaranteed to walk out of the scene. In every moment, King's characters risk life and limb from dark forces outside of their control. King takes this aspect of life and amps it up to make clear the tenuous hold we each have on our lives. Overall, the effect works.

Ergo, even though I didn't care for the ending, I appreciated that the book achieved its goals in manipulating my emotions. Did I like it? Well, it was effective, and I enjoyed the writing. I'll read more King, of course. Because I enjoy the works and, quite frankly, because my aunt (and the garage sales of past days) have left me with quite a few remaining on my bookshelves.

That Woman Who Sued Lowe's When She Got Hit By a Bird
Case dismissed:
    A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a woman who claims she was attacked by a bird at a Lowe's store in Fairview Heights.

    Rhonda Nichols of Centreville claimed that Lowe's Cos., the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer, should have warned her of the birds.

    But U.S. District Judge William Stiehl ruled Tuesday that a "reasonable plaintiff" either would have noticed the birds or understood that contact with them was possible in any outdoor area with plants.
(Original post. Thanks to for the update.)

Brian's Ticket to Unemployment
I would never work on a job that required, and I would certainly reconsider a position at a company that asked for, implanted RFID chips.

But you probably guessed that about me.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."