Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Daily Silliness

cool . . . http://ping.fm/lhhNZ

Aaron Yates' Living History Day Video Wrapup . . . great work

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Daily Silliness

i'm being entertained by the Koppenberg's . . . and it's pretty danged wonderful . . .


stories to come on these folks . . .

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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Daily Silliness

through now with both rehearsals of the day . . . the manic and the angry . . . and also with dealing with an i-wish-i-had-a-camera-with-me day at wal-mart . . .

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The Daily Silliness

the weekend crossword . . . four-letter word, Grammy-winning Lovett . . . hmmmmmm . . . i'm working on it . . . i'll get it . . . wait . . .

ENV: Discoveries

Bird-eating frog among 163 new species found in Mekong region
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) -- A frog that eats birds and a gecko with leopard stripes are among the 163 new species discovered last year in the Greater Mekong region of southeast Asia, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund.

The discovery of 100 new plants, 28 fish, 18 reptiles, 14 amphibians, two mammals and one bird species highlights the extent of the biodiversity in the region, said Barney Long, head of the WWF's Asian Species Conservation program.

"It's a melting pot of diverse habitats. It has some of the wettest forests on the planet, high mountains, and a diverse array of terrestrial and marine habitats, including the Mekong River," he said.

"We continue to find new species of fish, primates and mammals, and nowhere else compares to the amount of large mammals that have been discovered in the region. It shows how little we know about species in the region," he said. "From a biodiversity perspective, there are still huge amounts to discover about region."

The Greater Mekong consists of the countries through which the Mekong River flows: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan Province of China.

With 16 global ecoregions -- areas defined by their shared ecological features and animal communities -- the Greater Mekong has more protected spaces than anywhere else on mainland Asia, according to the WWF.

The colorful Cat Ba leopard gecko of northern Vietnam has large, orange-brown "catlike eyes" and a body of leopard stripes, according to a report released Friday.

Its name refers to its place of origin, Cat Ba Island, the largest of 366 islands in Cat Ba Archipelago and home to many rare species that can only be found on the island. Scientists believe the high number of species unique to the island might be due to the long separation of the island from continental Vietnam, the report says.

Limnonectes megastomias -- a fanged frog with an appetite for other frogs, insects and birds -- has only been found in three remote areas of medium-to-high altitudes in eastern Thailand.

Globally, new species of mammals are rare finds, but in 2008 alone, new species of the mouselike musk shrew and a tube-nosed bat emerged from the region. PhotoSee photos of newly discovered species »

War and political unrest have kept large parts of the region, particularly Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, off-limits to scientific exploration up until the past two decades, Long said.

Since 1997, nearly 1,200 new species have been discovered, many that cannot be found anywhere else, said Dekila Chungyalpa, director of WWF's Greater Mekong Program.

But the rapid pace of development in the Mekong region, coupled with the effects of climate change, are threatening to drive the species into extinction, Chungyalpa said.

"As we become familiar with more species in the region, our understanding of climate change and how it impacts these new species is changing," she said.

Chungyalpa said conservative estimates by the WWF project a 1-meter rise in sea level on the delta's coastline over the next decade, which will affect not only marine life, but also people who rely on the delta as a source of sustenance and employment, she said.

In 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fourth Assessment Report, which projected that global sea levels could rise from 18 to 59 centimeters (7 to 23 inches) over the next century based on six possible scenarios.

Already, Chungyalpa said, the area has been affected by an increase in tropical storms off the coast, which brings in more seawater and changes the flooding patterns in the delta. Some researchers, however, have questioned the link between climate change and more intense tropical storms. Apart from climate change, construction of dams and hydropower plants along the delta could further disrupt its waters, potentially displacing millions, destroying sources of drinkable water and disrupting the production of rice, Chungyalpa said.

"The delta is the rice bowl of the region. What will happen to people who depend on it if it's no longer there?" she said.

The WWF says it supports the idea of an agreement among the Mekong countries on how to respond to infrastructure development and climate change in terms of protecting its natural resources and people.

"Climate change is making it obvious that we can't treat development like it's a separate issue," she said. "We need to be addressing this issue now. It's such an immediate issue for us and it's going to change everything in this region if we don't address it."


850 new species discovered living underground
Virtually all are blind and completely lack eyes, and lack pigment
By Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience, updated 10:44 a.m. CT, Mon., Sept . 28, 2009

Down under in Australia, down underground, scientists have found 850 previously unknown species living in subterranean water, caves and micro-caverns.

These insects, crustaceans, spiders and worms are likely only about one-fifth of the number of undiscovered species the researchers think exist underground amid the harsh conditions of the Australian outback. Two species of blind fish and two of blind eels were also uncovered.

"What we've found is that you don't have to go searching in the depths of the ocean to discover new species of invertebrate animals — you just have to look in your own backyard," said researcher Andy Austin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia. [Scientists say only a fraction of the species of plants and animals on the planet have been discovered.]

Only half of the species discovered have so far been named, the scientists announced today. Generically, the animals found in underground water are known as "stygofauna" and those from caves and micro-caverns are known as "troglofauna."

When it came to the water-dwelling stygofauna, small crustaceans dominated at about three-quarters percent of all species, then insects, all beetles, at roughly one-sixth, with other kinds of creatures making up the rest. For the cave-dwelling troglofauna, arachnids dominated at about one-half of all species, with insects at about one-quarter and crustaceans and others finishing the list.

"Virtually all are blind and completely lack eyes, and lack pigment, so they are pale or white in color," Austin told LiveScience. Often the species are quite delicate, he added, "and the insects in caves often have long legs and antennae — most sense vibration and use chemical senses, as they cannot see in the pitch black."

The scientists found these species during a comprehensive four-year survey of underground water and caves across arid and semi-arid Australia.

Austin and his colleagues suggest these species hid underground long ago due to past climate change.

"Central and southern Australia was a much wetter place 15 million years ago when there was a flourishing diversity of invertebrate fauna living on the surface," Austin explained. "But the continent became drier, a process that last until about 1 to 2 million years ago, resulting in our current arid environment. Species took refuge in isolated favorable habitats, such as in underground waters and micro-caverns, where they survived and evolved in isolation from each other."

So far the surveys have examined only 10 percent of the areas that likely have stygo- and troglofauna, Austin said. They now want to drastically expand their geographical coverage, as well as perform more genetic work to dissect when these creatures diverged from their brethren and see how this matches up with climate change and other geological events.

Although this new discovery is exciting scientifically, it also poses a number of challenges for the conservation of these species, as many of them are located in very remote areas of Australia, where there is significant ranching and mining that could potentially impact their survival.

"This said, it has been environmental monitoring by and support from mining companies that has helped with these discoveries," Austin noted.

The scientists detailed its findings at a scientific conference on evolution and biodiversity in Darwin, Australia, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and finished Sept. 28.


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Kerrville Shootings, Tivy Student Dead

ALERT: 2 dead in overnight shootings
Conor Harrison, The Daily Times, Published September 28, 2009

A 20-year-old female is dead along with her 17-year-old boyfriend, after he allegedly shot and killed her, before being killed by Kerrville police after refusing to drop his weapon.

A 911 call at approximately 12:50 a.m. Monday led Kerrville police to respond to a “group of individuals who were armed, that were going to be involved in an altercation at the Guadalupe Street Park,” said acting KPD chief David Knight.

Officers responded to the scene within three minutes and were unable to locate anyone. Approximately three minutes later, an older model four-door vehicle traveling westbound on Guadalupe Street passed officers and stopped nearby.

“The suspect driver exited the vehicle holding a handgun in one hand. Officers immediately began to order the suspect to drop the weapon. The suspect refused to comply with the officers commands to drop the weapon and pointed the handgun at the officers. Fearing for their safety, the officers then fired their duty weapons at the suspect striking him several times,” according to a KPD press release.

Mario Ramirez was shot multiple times and fell to the ground. EMS was called and he was transported to Peterson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Four officers were involved in the shooting. According to Knight, Ramirez was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Almost simultaneously at 12:51 a.m., another 911 call came into dispatch from the 400 block of Barker Street from a 12-year-old who told the operator her sister was bleeding.

“Dispatch attempted to dispatch an officer to that location, but our officers were tied up at the Guadalupe site, so Kerr County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene there and were able to locate 20-year-old Linda Lopez who had expired after being shot multiple times,” Knight said. “Preliminary investigation indicates Lopez was the girlfriend of the subject on Guadalupe Street. Early indication is that Ramirez is the primary suspect. We have not with certainty identified the original 911 caller. As we develop that information, it will be forthcoming.”

Knight said he believes the motive involved a “jealousy-type situation.”

Lopez and Ramirez had an eight-month old baby together. The baby, along with Lopez’s 12-year-old brother were in the residence on Barker Street at the time of the shooting. Both children were unharmed and currently are with relatives.

Criminal investigations are being conducted by the KPD and Department of Public Safety.

The four officers involved in the shooting have been placed on special assignment at KPD. Their names have not been released.

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The Daily Sadness

i think the folks involved are going to be these http://ping.fm/kD1qn and http://ping.fm/iquua

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The Daily Sadness

i guess this news is out on the street, i don't know any details yet, but apparently there was a double killing overnight here, and a tivy student is involved . . . will post more as i find things out . . . i guess all that to say some of our folks, kids especially, are going to need support . . .

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Tha Daily Silliness

the kind of stuff that makes the whole day worthwhile . . . thanks to ashton k! . . . http://ping.fm/cUEQU

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Angry Evolution

http://www.newsweek.com/id/216140

The Angry Evolutionist

More Americans believe in angels than in evolution—and Richard Dawkins isn't going to take it anymore.

By Richard Dawkins | NEWSWEEK Published Sep 25, 2009 From the magazine issue dated Oct 5, 2009

Creationists are deeply enamored of the fossil record, because they have been taught (by each other) to repeat, over and over, the mantra that it is full of "gaps": "Show me your 'intermediates!' " They fondly (very fondly) imagine that these "gaps" are an embarrassment to evolutionists. Actually, we are lucky to have any fossils at all, let alone the massive numbers that we now do have to document evolutionary history—large numbers of which, by any standards, constitute beautiful "intermediates." We don't need fossils in order to demonstrate that evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution would be entirely secure even if not a single corpse had ever fossilized. It is a bonus that we do actually have rich seams of fossils to mine, and more are discovered every day. The fossil evidence for evolution in many major animal groups is wonderfully strong. Nevertheless there are, of course, gaps, and creationists love them obsessively.

Let's use the analogy of a detective coming to the scene of a crime where there were no eyewitnesses. The baronet has been shot. Fingerprints, footprints, DNA from a sweat stain on the pistol, and a strong motive, all point toward the butler. It's pretty much an open-and-shut case, and the jury and everybody in the court is convinced that the butler did it. But a last-minute piece of evidence is discovered, in the nick of time before the jury retires to consider what had seemed to be their inevitable verdict of guilty: somebody remembers that the baronet had installed spy cameras against burglars. With bated breath, the court watches the films. One of them shows the butler in the act of opening the drawer in his pantry, taking out a pistol, loading it, and creeping stealthily out of the room with a malevolent gleam in his eye. You might think that this solidifies the case against the butler even further. Mark the sequel, however. The butler's defense lawyer astutely points out that there was no spy camera in the library where the murder took place, and no spy camera in the corridor leading from the butler's pantry. "There's a gap in the video record! We don't know what happened after the butler left the pantry. There is clearly insufficient evidence to convict my client."


continued at link above . . . .

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OBT: William Safire

NYT: Columnist William Safire dies at 79
Longtime New York Times political, language columnist had cancer
By Robert D. McFadden, The New York Times, updated 5:57 p.m. CT, Sun., Sept . 27, 2009

William Safire, a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times who also wrote novels, books on politics and a Malaprop’s treasury of articles on language, died at a hospice in Rockville, Md. on Sunday. He was 79.

The cause was cancer, said his assistant, Rosemary Shields.

There may be many sides in a genteel debate, but in the Safire world of politics and journalism it was simpler: there was his own unambiguous wit and wisdom on one hand and, on the other, the blubber of fools he called “nattering nabobs of negativism” and “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.”

He was a college dropout and proud of it, a public relations go-getter who set up the famous Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate” in Moscow, and a White House wordsmith in the tumultuous era of war in Vietnam, Nixon’s visit to China and the gathering storm of the Watergate scandal that drove the president from office.

Then, from 1973 to 2005, Mr. Safire wrote his twice weekly “Essay” for the Op-Ed Page of The Times, a forceful conservative voice in the liberal chorus. Unlike most Washington columnists who offer judgments with Olympian detachment, Mr. Safire was a pugnacious contrarian who did much of his own reporting, called people liars in print and laced his opinions with outrageous wordplay.

Critics initially dismissed him as an apologist for the disgraced Nixon coterie. But he won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and for 32 years tenaciously attacked and defended foreign and domestic policies, and the foibles, of seven administrations. Along the way, he incurred enmity and admiration, and made a lot of powerful people squirm.

Mr. Safire also wrote four novels, including “Full Disclosure,” (Doubleday, 1977), a best-seller about succession issues after a president is blinded in a freak accident, and nonfiction that included “The New Language of Politics,” (Random House, 1968), and “Before the Fall,” (Doubleday, 1975,) a memoir of his White House years.

An unofficial arbiter of language
And from 1979 until earlier this month, he wrote “On Language,” a The New York Times Magazine column that explored written and oral trends, plumbed the origins and meanings of words and phrases, and drew a devoted following, including a stable of correspondents he called his Lexicographic Irregulars.

The columns, many collected in books, made him an unofficial arbiter of usage, and one of the most widely read writers on language. It also tapped into the lighter side of the dour-looking Mr. Safire: a Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns, like “The President’s populism and the First Lady’s momulism.”

There were columns on blogosphere blargon, tarnation-heck euphamisms, dastardly subjunctives and even Barack and Michelle Obama’s fist bumps. And there were Safire “rules for writers”: Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid cliches like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

Behind the fun, readers said, was a talented linguist who could not resist his addiction to alliterative allusions. There was a consensus too that his Op-Ed essays, mostly written in Washington and syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, were the work of a sophisticated analyst with voluminous contacts and insights into the way things worked in Washington.

Mr. Safire called himself a pundit — the word, with its implication of self-appointed expertise, might have been coined for him — and his politics “libertarian conservative,” which he defined as individual freedom and minimal government. He denounced the Bush administration’s U.S.A. Patriot Act as an intrusion on civil liberties, for example, but supported the war in Iraq.

He was hardly the image of a buttoned-down Times man: The shoes needed a shine, the gray hair a trim. Back in the days of suits, his jacket was rumpled, the shirt collar open, the tie askew. He was tall but bent — a man walking into the wind. He slouched and banged a keyboard, talked as fast as any newyawka and looked a bit gloomy, like a man with a toothache coming on.

His last Op-Ed column was “Never Retire.” He then became head of the Dana Foundation, which supports research in neuroscience, immunology and brain disorders. In 2005, he testified at a Senate hearing in favor of a law to shield reporters from prosecutors’ demands to disclose sources and other information. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Mr. Bush. From 1995 to 2004, he was a member of the board that awards the Pulitzer Prizes.

Safire enters politics
William Safir was born on Dec. 17, 1929, in New York City, the youngest of three sons of Oliver C. and Ida Panish Safir. (The “e” was added to clarify pronunciation.) He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and attended Syracuse University, but quit after his second year in 1949 to take a job with Tex McCrary, a columnist for The New York Herald Tribune who hosted radio and television shows; the young legman interviewed Mae West, Lucky Luciano and other celebrities.

In 1951, Mr. Safire was a correspondent for WNBC-TV in Europe and the Middle East, and jumped into politics in 1952 by organizing an Eisenhower-for-President rally at Madison Square Garden. He was in the Army from 1952 to 1954, and for a time was a reporter for the Armed Forces Network in Europe.

In 1959, working in public relations, he was in Moscow to promote an American products exhibit and managed to steer Vice President Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev into the “kitchen debate” on capitalism versus communism. He took the photograph that became an icon of the encounter. Nixon was delighted, and hired Mr. Safire for his losing 1960 run for the presidency against John F. Kennedy.

Starting his own public relations firm in 1961, Mr. Safire worked in Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller’s 1964 presidential race and John V. Lindsay’s 1965 campaign for mayor of New York. Mr. Safire also wrote his first book, “The Relations Explosion,” (Macmillan, 1963).

Coins ‘nattering nabobs’ phrase
In 1962, he married the former Helene Belmar Julius, a model, pianist and jewelry designer. The couple had two children, Mark and Annabel.

In 1968, he sold his agency, became a special assistant to President Nixon and joined a White House speechwriting team that included Patrick J. Buchanan and Raymond K. Price Jr. Mr. Safire wrote many of Nixon’s speeches on the economy and Vietnam, and in 1970 coined the “nattering nabobs” and “hysterical hypochondriacs” phrases for Vice President Spiro Agnew.

After Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, publisher of The Times, hired Mr. Safire, one critic said it was like setting a hawk loose among doves. As Watergate broke, Mr. Safire supported Nixon, but retreated somewhat after learning that he, like others in the White House, had been secretly taped.

Mr. Safire won his Pulitzer for columns that accused President Jimmy Carter’s budget director, Bert Lance, of shady financial dealings. Mr. Lance resigned, but was acquitted in a trial. He then befriended his accuser.

Years later, Mr. Safire called Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar” in print. Mrs. Clinton said she was offended only for her mother’s sake. But a White House aide said that Bill Clinton, “if he were he not president, would have delivered a more forceful response on the bridge of Mr. Safire’s nose.”

Mr. Safire was delighted, especially with the proper use of the conditional.

This article, William Safire, Nixon Speechwriter and Times Columnist, Is Dead at 79, first was published in The New York Times.

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The Daily Silliness

if only people were in tune with themselves enough to remember what they want . . .

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Daily Silliness

that's what i get for making fun of the Almost Patsy Cline Band . . . Almost Patsy Cline is sitting in my favorite chair right this minute . . . and she sounds almost like Patsy Cline . . .

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The Daily Silliness

photos!!!!

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The Daily Silliness

yep, new pictures edited and posted, iced chai, Rails!, Cailloux Theatre, incredible incredible incredible clouds, angels on his mind . . .

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The Daily Silliness

another incredible day on the horizon . . . i have the best friends ever, dinner someplace fancy, seeing the rock at the school again . . .

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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Daily Silliness

had a fantastic day today - though i have no voice left, and a guitar bruise on my thumb - that's the price of nine hours of performance . . . now time to relax a little, then it's off to the schoolhouse for some rocks . . .

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The Daily Silliness

magical day today: speaking to Texas Professional Counselors about pain giving birth to creativity, and performing at Living History Day . . . see ya there!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Dailiness

well the folks were more angelic than angry and the crabs were shrimpy . . . and i still love my life . . .

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The Daily Silliness

it's a perfect day: on my way to see a bunch of very angry folks, then i'm going to get crabs - all in the rain - i love my life . . .

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Texas Living History Day Tomorrow

Living History Day will feature stories, songs
, , Published September 24, 2009

Schreiner University will be the site of the 13th annual Texas Heritage Living History Day, featuring a variety of exhibits, entertainers, speakers and other presentations to honor Texas history — particularly the role of songs and storytelling and, new this year, a tribute to Hispanic Heritage.

Kathleen Hudson, director of the Texas Heritage Music Foundation and lead coordinator of the event, said the event features more than 100 contributors, all volunteering or giving their time at reduced rates to produce an event that ordinarily would cost more than $30,000. It’s free to the public.

The event — billed as “Another Way of Learning Using Stories and Songs” will be from 9 a.m. to

6 p.m. Friday at the Robbins-Lewis Pavilion on the Schreiner University campus. It offers programming for all ages, including an array of performers, such as Aztec dancing, entertainment by Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox and cowboy cooking demonstrations. Guests can tour Native American exhibits, hear from oral historians and sit in on a songwriting circle.

Hudson said she expects 1,500 to 2,000 people to show up, including as many as 30 school groups, which can receive grant funding to help pay for the field trip.

Hudson, who founded the Texas Heritage Music Foundation in 1987, said this event has grown to encompass a wide range of activities and interests. Although the festival emphasizes education, she said she hopes adults will realize “it’s not just a kid’s event.”

“It’s hard when you’re doing an event as big as this to find a single focus to make people aware of everything we have to offer. It’s a perfect event for photographers, artists, writers, high school English classes or college students,” Hudson said. “We really want to open up to the community the realization that this is another way of learning. We aren’t just another festival; it’s about education.

“It’s all about the power of stories and songs in a culture and creating community,” she added.

All day long, songwriters will be available in a songwriting circle inside the historic Union Church on the university campus, where the Texas Folklore Society and THMF will co-host a panel on the songs of Texas from 4 to 6 p.m.

This year, Hudson said she’s excited to add an emphasis on Hispanic Heritage, honoring the Hispanic Heritage month but also sharing her own love for Mexican culture — an interest that takes her to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, annually to live and teach.

“I’m really excited about honoring Hispanic Heritage. I really wanted to emphasize the beauty of this culture,” Hudson said. “I’ve really gotten tired of all the negative press on Mexico and wanted to connect people to their culture in a positive way.”

That emphasis will be manifested Friday with performances by Joel Guzman and other musicians in a Jimmie Rodgers tribute at noon on campus at Schreiner and then again with Sarah Fox at a special evening performance at Luckenbach. Recently featured at the 28th Annual Conjunto Festival in San Antonio, Guzman brings an original perspective to this music, which Hudson described as “so important to our state’s musical history.” This evening performance will be a fundraiser for the Wayne Kennemer Scholarship Fund, which THMF awards to aspiring music students.

Hudson said the foundation still has money available to schools to help them pay for the field trip. She encouraged interested schools to plan to attend and contact her later about reimbursement. She said educators who bring students will be provided a packet filled with ideas on how they can use the event to enhance their Texas history lessons.

For more information about Texas Heritage Living History Day, visit www.texasheritagemusic.org. Living History Day is co-sponsored by the Center of Innovative Learning at Schreiner University and the Texas Heritage Music Foundation.



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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Daily Sadness

doesn't know whether it's the rain he likes that he hates, or the rain he hates that he likes . . . but he wishes it would storm, and that the storms would go away

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/BQp9U

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The Daily Silliness

i just nearly choked looking at the new stuff on http://ping.fm/yFgGn from the last week

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The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/xOD6B . . . thanks josh!

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The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/PPFVv

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Robert Earl's New Album



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The Daily Silliness

i was joking a few weeks ago when we got giddy about it dropping to the low 90s, how we'd be wearing parkas when it got to 70 . . . well today it's only gotten to 62 and i'm wearing the heaviest coat i can find . . . and it's not funny . . .

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The Daily Silliness

the kid is off the charts! CONGRATS Justin! RT @justinbieber I started with a youtube page, then u guys found it and changed my life, now it's TOP 10 in the world! THANK U. http://ping.fm/q9PdC

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The Daily Silliness

RT @criaslovesu @the0ry Tom DeLay, I'm happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but you're one of the worst dancers (and most corrupt politicians) of ALL TIME!

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The Daily Silliness

rain, rain, rain! high today here expected to be 70 . . . what? this is texas . . .

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New portfolios posted

i've been meaning to post about my online portfolio for a while but keep forgetting . . . now i have a second one, and so it's a good time to announce both . . .

as an offshoot of my deviantArt account and galleries i recently posted a portfolio of some of my better pics in several categories, including portraits, music & theatre, natural photos, and a miscellaneous bunch that includes still lifes and landscapes . . . those pics are at http://tonygallucci.daportfolio.com

i also started a portfolio of some cool pics i've been playing with lately . . . pics i take while driving, and pics that mix urban and manmade with natural beauty . . . some more explanation is on the portfolio site . . . that one is at http://vignettes.daportfolio.com

please feel free to comment on my gallery site at http://sevenbullsboy.deviantart.com or to email me here . . .


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The Daily Silliness

thanks everyone for all the emails and comments on my pictures! mucho appreciated . . .

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This is where i live . . . part 8

From the Kerrville Daily Times . . . belligerant locals, gentle cops and trained euphemism writers

. . . According to a KPD report, the man was “extremely loud and aggressive.” Witnesses told officers the suspect recently had been kicked out of the bar after trying to start a fight inside the club.

Officer Machetta attempted to place the man under arrest when the man pulled away and began yelling more obscenities. Machetta placed him on the ground to finish putting handcuffs on, when the suspect managed to roll over and “began to physically resist.”

Machetta deployed his department-issued pepper spray and got the suspect secured.

According to the report, the suspect met all indications of intoxication and he was placed into a patrol car. . .



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This is where i live . . . part 7

the Daily Times does a little reporting . . . be sure to check out their website for their coverage of this and other delightful local stories . . . http://dailytimes.com/


KPD not talking about former officers

Conor Harrison, The Daily Times, Published September 22, 2009

The Kerrville Police Department is staying quiet about two of their former officers’ possible involvement in a steroid drug case against Department of Public Safety officer Jeff Jerman.

KPD detective Danny Sanchez was terminated on Friday, one day after his brother, Larry Sanchez, resigned as school resource officer at Tivy.

The department’s acting chief, Capt. David Knight, issued a statement through the public relations department. KPD Chief John Young currently is out of town.

“Based on the information the administration has obtained, we are not going to make any comments because this is a personnel issue. Neither Larry nor Danny Sanchez are employed with the city of Kerrville. If any other information is needed, contact the city’s human resource department.”

According to city manager Todd Parton, the internal KPD investigation was “stimulated by the DPS trooper in that, some information potentially implicated a couple of our officers.”

Parton did say that “no criminal charges or pending charges have been filed against the Sanchezes.”

“This has more to do with a violation of city employee personnel policies than anything else,” Parton said. “I believe the investigation has pretty much been closed down. Both of the men were very good officers.”

Parton did say the case involved steroids, but would not elaborate exactly how the pair was connected to the Jerman case.

Danny Sanchez was a 16-year veteran of the force, and his brother Larry had been employed by the force for three or four years, according to Parton.

Texas Ranger Wayne Matthews, who is heading the investigation into Jerman, said he was waiting to present evidence to the grand jury before he could comment. He said his investigation remains open and ongoing, although he gave no indication that either of the Sanchez brothers would face charges.

“They have not been charged with anything,” Matthews said.

Matthews will present evidence to the grand jury on Oct. 5.


KISD officials respond to SRO's resignation

By Tim Sampson, Times Staff Writer, The Daily Times, Published September 22, 2009

Following the resignation of Tivy High School’s student resource officer, Kerrville Independent School District administrators are distancing themselves from the former law enforcement official who resigned Thursday amid an investigation by the Kerrville Police Department.

Officer Larry Sanchez, who served as the district’s on-campus law enforcement official for less than a month, resigned a day before his brother and fellow KPD officer Danny Sanchez was fired for alleged steroid use.

“We received a courtesy call from the police department, notifying us of the resignation,” said assistant superintendent Robert Jolly.

Administrators at the school were given little insight into the nature of the investigation against Sanchez.

According to Laurie Gagne, director of special programs for the district, who oversaw Sanchez’s position, the school has no role in choosing the resource officer.

“It’s entirely done by the (Kerrville Police) Department,” Gagne said. “We have a partnership with them and trust their judgment.”

Jolly added, “We have little to do with choosing the actual officer assigned as student resource officer.”

But despite having no oversight in hiring the resource officer, KISD still funds half the position’s salary, with the other half coming from KPD.

During Sanchez’s brief tenure at the school, starting on Aug. 24, Gagne said there were no complaints about his performance.

Last month Gagne was quick to praise Sanchez.

“I think he’ll be great in the position,” she said in August.

According to Gagne, the role of the resource officer includes building connections with kids to help detect and uncover unlawful behavior.

It’s not known how long the school will be without a resource officer, according to Sgt. Mary Krebs, who supervises the position at KPD. She said a new candidate will be chosen from the department and ultimately approved by the chief of police.

“We hope to have a new resource officer fairly soon,” Jolly said. “It’s an important position.”


Vacant judge seat to be filled by appointment
Tim Sampson, The Daily Times, Published September 22, 2009


A week after 198th District Court Judge Emil Karl Prohl’s sudden resignation, three members of the local legal community have put their names in for consideration for appointment by the governor to replace Prohl until next year’s election.

As of Monday afternoon, Kerrville attorney and associate municipal court judge Patrick Maguire had submitted an application, and attorney Robert Kelly and attorney and presiding municipal judge Mark Prislovsky also are preparing to submit applications to Gov. Rick Perry to be considered for the appointment.

A spokesman for the governor’s office said there was no firm time frame for when a permanent replacement would be appointed to the bench. Until then, a series of replacements, appointed by State District Judge Stephen Ables, will serve in Prohl’s place to allow cases to continue as scheduled.

“Until someone is appointed, it is my job to place people in that seat,” Ables said. “I’ll use my retired judges in the area until someone is appointed.”

It is not known when Perry will make the appointment. The appointed judge will serve until the next regular election in November 2010.

Maguire was the first candidate to file an application with the governor’s office.

“I think I have a lot to offer to the position,” said Maguire, who served as assistant district attorney in Bexar County before becoming an attorney and associate municipal judge in his hometown of Kerrville.

Prislovsky, who has presided in the municipal court for 21 years, said he’s applied for the vacancy to continue his service.

“I think this is a good continuation of the work I’ve done,” he said.

Kelly, a veteran Kerrville attorney with 35 years experience, said he hopes to remove the “cloud” that hangs over the 198th bench from the investigation into former judge Prohl.

“I’m troubled by the cloud over the office and would like to raise it to a higher level,” he said.

Prohl, who served on the bench for 18 years, resigned last week with more than a year left in his term.

Anyone interested in the district judge seat can contact the governor’s office at 512-463-2000 for an application.


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This is what cultural insensitivity looks like

Native leaders reject apology for body bag blunder
Chiefs demand resignation of Health Canada official after kits were shipped to northern Manitoba as flu-fighting supplies
PATRICK WHITE, WINNIPEG — From Friday's Globe and Mail, Last updated on Saturday, Sep. 19, 2009 03:09AM EDT

Despite a rare Health Canada apology, first nations leaders demanded the resignation of a high-ranking ministry official yesterday after a bungle in which hundreds of body bags were shipped to northern Manitoba communities as flu-fighting supplies.

Postmortem kits - each containing a polyethylene body bag, chin strap, tie straps and identification tags - started arriving at remote nursing stations this week by the dozen. Upwards of 200 bags were shipped throughout remote reserves in northern Manitoba. One community alone - Wasagamack First Nation, 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg - received 30.

Horrified chiefs returned many of the bags to Health Canada on Wednesday, calling them an affront toward aboriginal values that say preparing for death is akin to tempting fate.

"It was insulting," said David Harper, Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents 30 northern aboriginal communities. "Body bags may be part of flu preparations, but so is medications. Why do we get body bags before we get medication?"

In a surprising move yesterday, a high-ranking Health Canada official offered an apology for the shipments. "We regret the alarm caused by the stocking of this particular item," said Jim Wolfe, regional director for the ministry's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. "Our apology is to all first nations."

Mr. Wolfe explained that the shipment was part of a "routine" but "excessive" restocking of nursing stations. "In this case, we overestimated," he said. "It's unfortunate that this has been linked exclusively with H1N1. Whether it's a nursing station in a remote first nations community in northern Manitoba, or a hospital in downtown Vancouver, supplies are constantly being restocked to prepare for unknown and unforeseen events, whether it be a plane crash, environmental disaster or pandemic."

Native leaders rejected the explanation and the apology yesterday before calling on Mr. Wolfe to resign. "The people in our nursing stations are telling us they have never seen a body bag shipment, so there's nothing routine about this," Mr. Harper said. "We do not accept his apology. We have seen these mistakes time and again. He has to go."

While Mr. Wolfe issued a ministerial apology, his boss did not share the sentiment. Attending a conference with provincial and territorial health ministers in Winnipeg, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said she was troubled by the body bag delivery, but flatly refused to apologize.

"It's disturbing to me and I want to get to the bottom of it," she said. "Whether this was routine or not, I don't know."

She has asked her deputy minister to investigate the matter and promised to make the results public.

Until an apology comes directly from the minister's lips, native leaders say they cannot accept it. "It should be made by the minister herself," said Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. "It's under her watch. She has to take responsibility."

The mild flu outbreak in spring erupted into a full-blown disaster on many aboriginal reserves in the country. At one point, two-thirds of all Manitoba flu patients on respirators were aboriginal, and aboriginal leaders were clamouring for supplies to fight the virus. With many experts forecasting a fall resurgence of the illness, some chiefs expect the worst is yet to come.

"To send 30 bags to one community is enough to frighten us all," Mr. Evans said. "Not just first nations."


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Might almost go

well The Point is doing something a little different, a concert/revue by the Almost Patsy Cline Band . . . it might almost be a good time . . . i almost can't resist . . . she might almost Fall to Pieces, or almost go out Walking After Midnight or almost be Crazy, but you'll have to almost go to find out . . .





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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Daily Silliness

a new gallery of pics i've been experimenting with . . . http://ping.fm/I0hMB

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The Daily Silliness

five straight days of rain in the forecast!

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This is where i live . . . part 6

well, not exactly, but it's just down the road a piece . . .

BANDERA, Texas – Monday morning, Texas Rangers will begin investigating a shooting that sent a Bandera County jailer to the hospital.

News 4 WOAI has learned it was a Bandera County deputy who accidentally shot the jailer. We're told it all started as a prank and then the gun went off.

That jailer is expected to be okay.


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The Daily Silliness

“You know, I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity. But now, I realize they are the only true measure of a person’s real worth as a human being.” — Jon Cryer, accepting the Emmy for supporting actor in a comedy series.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

A day on the set of Friday Night Lights

okay, let's start here . . . for years i've had casting calls come in for NBC's Friday Night Lights . . . i thought about it . . . loved the book, liked the film . . . when i was coaching once got kinda yelled at because i did a documentary thing interview for, oddly enough, an NBC show, and the head coach thought i was doing a *Friday Night Lights* thing . . . anyway, back to the subject, i had pretty much dismissed the FNL casting calls because i don't watch TV, figured then i wouldn't *do* TV, even though i've done quite a few one-time shot things on talk shows etc over the years, but never narrative stuff . . . so i was only answering film calls, and not much of that lately either . . .

THEN, a good friend, we've done shows together, etc., Irec Hargrove, auditioned for and got a season-long role on the core football team, which means he's in every show, and has a constant filming gig . . . it's a big step for a guy with a ton of talent . . . and so this week when a casting call came in, i thought why not, i'll go be an extra for a day, and get to see Irec . . . so i called in . . . one of the things too about this casting call was that they were looking for the usual fans, but also for opposing team coaches and for press, and were looking for experience, and i've been both of those things in real life, sooooo . . . i called, and while they didn't say yes you will, they said that filming would be in San Marcos at a junior high (oddly enough, the old high school stadium, where i coached a few games against San Marcos) . . . and to come prepared . . . well, it's a complex thing in that you have to check a hotline a couple times leading up to the call time in case things change . . . and of course i was two and a half hours away, so last minute changes would be a problem . . . i go anyway, hoping for the best . . . so i walk in with a load of wardrobe choices and of course i was scheduled as a *fan* so didn't need any of it, but i guess up until the last minute i was a wait-list coach . . . but fan is what i had figured so it was okay with me . . .

so waiting in line to check in, and Jaime de la Rosa hollers at me . . . he was one of the guys in this summer's Beauty and the Beast here . . . and i sorta knew him from Tivy HS years ago, but he's gone on to work in quite a few films, and had a character role in FNL for a couple of seasons, and now is just picking up add work with them to keep his card current . . . anyway, also with him was Alan Zaizar, someone else i worked with here for years, and then Jared Manry popped his head around the corner, he's an ITM grad and who Irec is now sharing an apartment with in Austin . . . so we all were fans for the Rattlers for the night (yeah Purple!) . . . and we hung together for the night and had some fun . . . better than being solo at a shoot like this (if you go, go with friends . . . i knew from film work that you sit 90% of the time and get a few minutes of real action so i brought a book) . . .

well, we got singled out and told to do some *special* things . . . like be as far from the cameras as possible, ha . . . well, actually once we were right next to the camera, so close, like i could turn the knobs myself, that we were out of view . . . then they told us to run like the wind to the far end of the stadium and stand and cheer under the scoreboard . . . well, i ran like i was winded, and we stood there for thirty minutes and sorta looked like we were at a football game . . . half a mile from the cameras . . . funny people are - carloads of drunk friday night kids would drive by and holler thinking it was real game going on . . . ho ho ho . . .

then a guy strolls by and says "they said to go back where you were, this isn't working . . ." well duh, we were so proud in our black and purple shirts with purple snakes on them and then they send us away from the cameras . . . so we haul back to the concession stand . . . and . . . the camera's gone . . . so we get repositioned there a few times waiting for something important to happen, and then a guy comes by and says okay, thanks, now go back where you were in the stands . . . well, we'd never been in the stands, so we just go pick a place, and some lady gets on our case about the work they'd put in spacing everyone to cover the holes . . . and i'm thinking yeah, you witch, you're just hogging the camera . . . so we sit as a group right there anyway . . . and over the night we gradually end up yards and feet apart as people abandon us and we keep having to stretch out to make it look like the stands are full . . . Go Rattlers!

BUT . . . six hours later, we are finally in the action, the lights spin our way and we get to cheer and cheer for the Rattlers, like four thousand times . . . for the same four plays over and over and over . . . and the plays were pretty good, and i'd tell you what happens but see i am NOT going to be the spoiler for all you folks who watch the show . . . plus i don't remember signing a paper that says i have to keep it all secret, but maybe i just missed the small print somewhere, and i wanna work for these people again someday . . . so you'll just have to watch the show . . .

okay, so it's late in the night, around 10 and suddenly there's a news chopper circling . . . like they see the lights and are checking on a football game for the nightly broadcast . . . they probably looked everywhere to find out who was playing . . . probably thought they found a rogue game being played . . . and why they couldn't figure out it was saturday night and probably not a high school game . . . well local broadcasters you know, just can't keep up with us national TV show folks . . . loi

they brought us pizza in the stands at midnight . . . pretty cool . . . Gatti's . . . but we had to hide the boxes under the seats so it wouldn't show up on camera . . .

and then it was over . . .

we hung out to see Irec afterwards . . . i shook his hand . . . i haven't washed it yet . . . never will



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This is where i live . . . part 5

the local paper reports the DPS arrest, but hasn't mentioned the KPD involvement . . . curious . . .

Two Kerrville cops tied to trooper probe leave force
By Zeke MacCormack - San Antonio Express-News

Two brothers are no longer Kerrville police officers after a probe concluded they allegedly obtained steroids from Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeff Jerman, who was arrested last week on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance.

Kerrville City Manager Todd Parton said Patrolman Danny Sanchez was fired Friday, and Larry Sanchez resigned as a school resource officer on Thursday.

No prosecution is expected of the pair, who Parton said were suspended this week pending an internal investigation.

He said that inquiry indicated the brothers violated agency policy by allegedly buying steroids from Jerman, who was arrested at the Kendall County Sheriff's Department Sept. 11 and is free on $15,000 bond.

Court records allege Jerman, 33, sold $800 in steroids to “a cooperating individual” on Sept. 7 at a store in Kerrvlle.

Parton couldn't say how long the city had employed the Sanchezes, who couldn't be reached for comment.

Texas Ranger Wayne Matthews said the city's actions concerning the Sanchezes was “outside the scope” of his investigation of Jerman, who lives in Boerne.



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Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Daily Silliness

on my way to Friday Night Lights . . . see you all tomorrow!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

This is where i live . . . part 4

i was at wal-mart today and the owner of the local liquor store was behind me in line buying two cases of wine . . .

loi . . .

thanks to the West Kerr Current . . .


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This is where i live . . . part 3

some news in the weekly paper . . . click on the pic for a larger, more readable version . . . thanks to the West Kerr Current . . .



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This is where i live . . . part 2



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This is where i live . . . part 1

i've been wanting for some time to write a regular column about the burg where i live . . . i have a long story to tell to put everything into context, but i haven't finished it, and things are beginning to gather in my drafts box . . . so for now i'm going to start posting some pics and news stories and keep a running tab on the silliness of the place where i live . . . a place where Kinky Friedman and Karl Rove live just down the road so to speak, a place known as much for its string of bizarre murders as it is for being the home of HEB Grocery Stores, James Avery Jewelry, the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair and Mr. Gatti's Pizza . . . we're a small community with an incredibly rich (and old) and famous population, as well as a section of town where the black population is still sequestered called The Settlement, and an astonishingly poor community we lovingly call Little Appalachia in the suburb of Ingram . . . more to come later, but for now, let me assure you, this is not everyday small town Texas . . . we're quite happily ahead of the curve, for 19th Century thinking . . .


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Daily Silliness

coming up . . . more pics from rehearsal tonight, blogging about the ol' hometown coming manana, with pics . . . oh boy do i have pics . . .

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The Daily Silliness

Robin Mordecai's band is playing a benefit at the Nutty Brown Cafe (Austin) Sunday at 5 p.m. -- good music, good cause . . .

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The Daily Silliness

omg . . . another phlezk find . . . http://ping.fm/3EmKu


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COM: The Daily Silliness

http://ping.fm/iRJff

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COM: Fakeable Forensic DNA Evidence

Authentication of forensic DNA samples
Dan Frumkin, Corresponding Author, Adam Wasserstrom, Corresponding Author, Ariane Davidson, Arnon Grafit


FSI Genetics, Received 3 April 2009; received in revised form 11 June 2009; accepted 16 June 2009. published online 17 July 2009.


Abstract

Over the past twenty years, DNA analysis has revolutionized forensic science, and has become a dominant tool in law enforcement. Today, DNA evidence is key to the conviction or exoneration of suspects of various types of crime, from theft to rape and murder. However, the disturbing possibility that DNA evidence can be faked has been overlooked. It turns out that standard molecular biology techniques such as PCR, molecular cloning, and recently developed whole genome amplification (WGA), enable anyone with basic equipment and know-how to produce practically unlimited amounts of in vitro synthesized (artificial) DNA with any desired genetic profile. This artificial DNA can then be applied to surfaces of objects or incorporated into genuine human tissues and planted in crime scenes. Here we show that the current forensic procedure fails to distinguish between such samples of blood, saliva, and touched surfaces with artificial DNA, and corresponding samples with in vivo generated (natural) DNA. Furthermore, genotyping of both artificial and natural samples with Profiler Plus® yielded full profiles with no anomalies. In order to effectively deal with this problem, we developed an authentication assay, which distinguishes between natural and artificial DNA based on methylation analysis of a set of genomic loci: in natural DNA, some loci are methylated and others are unmethylated, while in artificial DNA all loci are unmethylated. The assay was tested on natural and artificial samples of blood, saliva, and touched surfaces, with complete success. Adopting an authentication assay for casework samples as part of the forensic procedure is necessary for maintaining the high credibility of DNA evidence in the judiciary system.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

COM: The Daily Sadness

RIP Mary Travers

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COM: The Daily Silliness

oh my whatever . . . thanks Jaime . . . i think . . . http://ping.fm/CKNGu

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COM: The Daily Silliness

just had a really bizarre conversation with someone, a friend i thought i knew, he thought he knew me too i think, anyway, we are WAAAAAAY on different pages . . . he thought i would buy that the seas were rising so fast they would swallow us up in three years . . . he's buying a place in the rockies . . . mystical knowledge he has, he says, i said goodbye, see ya later

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COM: Interesting note from my friends at the ACLU

If you are on Facebook, you've undoubtedly seen the quizzes that are
so popular on the site. Perhaps you or your friends have even taken
some.


These quizzes might be fun. But it's shocking just how much of
your information quizzes can access and how little Facebook does to
safeguard that information.

That's why we've created our own Facebook quiz that demonstrates what
could be revealed when you, or your friends, take any other quiz on
Facebook.

Take our Facebook quiz and find out: What do quizzes really reveal
about you?
http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=12tl68SXpABXBXstwiPXig..

(You'll need to have a Facebook account to take this quiz at Facebook.
If you don't have one, be sure to review their policy before signing up.
http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=RT-erCA2xLsAPFf7JZYLUQ.. )

We know it's a little weird to warn you about Facebook quizzes by
asking you to take a Facebook quiz -- but at least you know who we are
and that we have a real privacy policy that we're committed to
upholding. Can you say the same for every unknown developer of every
quiz you or your friends take?
http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=9Ekkrr3k7h4XH3Bjeh4n0Q..

Chances are you can't. Our quiz shows you firsthand how Facebook
allows any quiz developer to access your personal
information--including religious and political views, sexual
orientation, pictures, groups, and posts. And how most of your
personal information can be exposed even if it's your friend, and not
you, who takes one of these quizzes.

If details about your personal life are collected by a quiz developer,
who knows where they could end up or how they could be used. Shared?
Sold? Turned over to the government?

It's time for Facebook to upgrade its privacy controls to give you
control of your personal information.

Take our Facebook quiz and take action to protect yourself now.
http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=0JVJ8Q_FL9XHku6y7_7W8A..

Start by taking the quiz and changing your own Facebook privacy
settings--and then sign our online petition and demand that
Facebook give you real control over your own information by default!
http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=CwgFaLsad8AaUsQM3dsFmg..

Sincerely,
Eric, Gerri, Lisa, Shannon, Suzanne and Jeremy
ACLU Online Team

P.S. Even if you're not on Facebook, you can sign our online
petition to demand better privacy protections.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=m14hcjX37gVDGBC8kPDgrA..

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ENV: Deadly Bees and Pronunciation

helpful paper . . . i'm surprised they didn't help us pronounce the Hispanic names . . . or is that painting with a white brush . . .

Elderly Tivoli man killed by bees
Houston Chronicle, The Associated Press, Sept. 16, 2009


TIVOLI, Texas — An elderly man from Tivoli (ty-VOH'-lee) died after
being attacked by a swarm of bees while mowing the lawn of an
abandoned house near his home.

Justice of the Peace Lorraine Lopez identified the victim of Tuesday
afternoon's attack as 81-year-old Amador Villarreal. Lopez says
Villarreal died after being stung on his head and upper body.

Refugio (ray-FYOO'-ee-oh) County Sheriff Robert Bolcik (BOWL'-chik)
said a crew would be dispatched to kill the insects believed to be
so-called Africanized bees.

Tivoli is about 60 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.


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COM: The Daily Silliness

Paper reporting today that a Texas State Trooper was arrested outside HEB in Kerrville for selling steroids - on a related note . . . the Informant opens here Friday. . . oh wait, maybe the arrest was a PR stunt!

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COM: The Daily Silliness

A pic of John Dean's, from near Hunt, is a finalist in the HCA Contest! 3rd row, middle http://ping.fm/fQ4GL

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OBT: Vague Obits

Okay, this is not funny and it is . . . i read this obit this morning in the local paper that was skimpy on details (although *i* can certainly forgive not wanting to mention the local medical facility . . . which tried to kill me once and which . . . never mind, too early to rant . . .) . . . anyway, i feel for the people and so i feel not so good about laughing at the contents of this obit, still . . . so i am dropping out the names here, just so you can get a taste . . .


HUNT — XXXXX XXXXXXXX, 64, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, at the local hospital. He was born on Aug. 6, 1945, in XXXXX, Texas, to XXXXX and XXXXXX XXXXXX. XXXXX served in the U.S. Army from 1966 until 1968 during Vietnam. He loved to fish, invent things and he wrote a few books, “Out Of the Horses Mouth,” and a few more.


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NAT: Assiniboine

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
With only 50 speakers left, tribe's language to be preserved by team of IU anthropologists

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The National Endowment for the Humanities' "We the People" project has awarded a group of Indiana University anthropologists $250,000 to transcribe, translate and publish the oral literature of the Assiniboine, a northern Plains Indian tribe with only about 50 living members still fluent in the tribal language of Nakota.

Raymond DeMallie and Douglas Parks, anthropology professors in the IU College of Arts and Sciences and co-directors of the American Indian Studies Research Institute (AISRI), along with former IU anthropology doctoral student and AISRI research associate Linda Cumberland, will publish two volumes of oral histories collected from Assiniboine tribal members, some of which DeMallie recorded during interviews conducted nearly 25 years ago. Also assisting will be native Assiniboine scholar Tom Shawl of Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. The team also will publish a dictionary of the language.

Preserving the linguistic history of the Assiniboine is important because anthropologists have long neglected the tribe since they were believed -- incorrectly -- to be closely related to another Plains Indian tribe, the well documented Sioux. Moreover, the Assiniboines have long been misidentified with the Stoneys of Alberta, Canada, a First Nation tribe whose language actually differs from Assiniboine more than Assiniboine does from Sioux, DeMallie explained.

"There is a double mistaken identity that has affected the Assiniboines," he said. "In the U.S. they have been conflated with the Sioux, and in Canada they have been conflated with the Stoneys."

The project will be carried out at AISRI in Bloomington and in Assiniboine communities at Fort Belknap Reservation and Carry The Kettle Reserve in Saskatchewan using DeMallie's transcriptions of the texts made in the field in the 1980s and from newer recordings made by Cumberland in Canada.

The team will analyze the sound-recorded texts using Sound Forge, a digital audio editing program that allows for the selection of any size chunk of sound to be visually represented in wave form. This provides flexibility in the field to play and replay difficult passages for consultants, and results in more precise and accurate transcriptions and translations than is possible with audiotape alone.

For much of the 20th Century, scholars assumed that the Assiniboines were so similar to the Sioux that there was no need to record their language and culture in more than a cursory way. But anthropologists have since learned the tribal language of Nakota and its oral traditions varied because of influences not related to the Sioux.

More northern in location than the Sioux, the Assiniboine were influenced through intermarriages with the Cree tribe, and French and Canadian fur traders, all of which influenced oral tradition.

"Through intermarriage with Crees many elements of Cree oral tradition were introduced into Assiniboine oral literature," DeMallie said. "And at the same time the Assiniboines intermarried with French and Canadian fur traders and their mixed-blood descendants, and the result is that elements of European folktales found their way into Assiniboine stories as well."

Among Plains tribes the Assiniboine were one of the poorest in numbers of horses, and instead, maintained pre-horse hunting techniques like communal buffalo drives longer than most tribes. This lack of adaptation to horses is one reason anthropologists think they can learn a great deal about very old survival strategies on the Plains through collecting and preserving the oral histories.

"Although linguistically related to the better-known Sioux, the Assiniboines separated from the Sioux over 400 years ago, subsequently developing distinct linguistic and cultural forms," DeMallie said. "And while the Assiniboines were one of the most populous tribes on the northern Plains, their oral traditions by accidents of history are under-represented in the anthropological, historical and literary record. The few Nakota texts available in published sources and archives are of variable linguistic quality and there are no book-length collections."

The researchers expect the volumes to be completed in two years.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

COM: The Daily Silliness

aaaah . . . i can't get to my account right now, so i'm blasting this out there . . . Happy Birthday Thomas!!!!!

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COM: The Daily Silliness

overheard: two folks raging about Obama's 'socialist' health plan, one says "what we need is a plan like they have in England or Canada"

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COM: Okay, here's the story . . .

Charlie McRae (phlezk) posted a link (i forgot where, FB? dA?) last week to a twitter account called @shitmydadsays . . . it now has about a third of a million followers . . . and it's stout but it cracked me up . . . here it is: http://twitter.com/Shitmydadsays i'll give you a minute to go check it out, and then you can come back here . . .

so, i'm sitting in starbucks the other day and this guy and girl come and sit in the corner plush chairs near where i sit . . . they both look in their late 20s-early 30s . . . and they chat for a minute, and then a really old guy (i'm old, i can say that) comes and sits right next to me, between me and them . . . and immediately started talking to/at them and it was obvious he was *with* them . . . and then things turned jaded, maxed out jaded . . . and i immediately thought of the twitter guys, not only the repartee, but the ages matched too . . . so i was sitting here on my laptop and started writing down some of the things said . . . and over the course of the next few days i sent it to some folks, while pondering if they were the actual guys . . . today it got the best of me so i did some serious google research and found out they likely weren't, or at least were thousands of miles from home (plus i've seen a picture now, and while the old man could pass, we're dealing with a vastly different hair color on the youngin' . . .) . . . anyway, that's my goofy story . . . directly below are the snippets i wrote down in starbucks, followed by the article that solved the issue for me (just 'cause it's good readin too) . . .


girl: what kind of watch is that?
guy: i don't know it's probably some kind of porto rican thing, i need to get another one
old guy: forget it, them pooooorto ricans only sell something once, don't go back to them unless you need a blender or something

old guy: diane bought me this (gold necklace he pulls out) in 1958
guy: i didn't know men wore things like that in 1958
old guy: i didn't, asshole, i just put it on this morning

guy: (to girl) if i get you that (red outfit they've been discussing) now can we say it'll be good for christmas too
old guy: you better take it honey, he probably won't even like you at christmas

guy showing him how to use his cellphone: look you missed a bunch of calls, all you have to do is highlight it and press talk and it'll ring right back
old guy: that's ignorant, what if i don't want to talk to them?
guy: you have no patience at all
old guy: honk honk honk honk honk honk
guy: well i guess it's time to go


When moving in with your parents can land you a book deal
Mark Milian, LA Times, September 2, 2009 | 6:00 am
Medadandbrad

Justin Halpern, right, and his father, Samuel Halpern, third from the right, attending the World Baseball Classic with Justin's friend Brad Lamers, sitting in the middle. Credit: Patrick Schumacker / For The Times

Having to move back home at the age of 28 almost universally signals defeat. Images of an unemployed, not-so-well-adjusted George Costanza character from "Seinfeld" might spring to mind.

In Justin Halpern's case, moving from Los Angeles to his parents' house in San Diego planted the seeds for a Twitter page that's quickly growing into an Internet phenomenon, attracting offers from literary agents and book publishers.

Once a day, Halpern, 28, posts a memorable quote that his dad, Samuel, had said the day before. More than 200,000 users subscribe to get their daily dose of Sam.

We should preface this story with a disclaimer: Justin and his dad use profane language. A lot of it. In fact, the very name of the Twitter page Justin runs contains a word synonymous with human waste that is unsuitable for a family publication. The tweets themselves contain still more naughty language. So, click at your own risk.

The site, which we'll prudishly call Stuff My Dad Says, contains droll, irreverent fragments of conversation, observation and, in many cases, expletives stemming from the retired 73-year-old's frustrations with his three sons, the mysteries of technology, and actress Kate Beckinsale. "Who is this woman?" he asks secondhand in one tweet. "Kate Beckinsale? Well, you can tell Kate Beckinsale she sucks."

Justin started Twittering his dad's musings on Aug. 3. In less than a month, the page has gotten shout-outs from "The Daily Show's" Rob Corddry, a popular San Francisco blog called Laughing Squid and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star Kristen Bell. Corddry told his nearly 1 million followers it's "the best thing ever." Bell urges others to read it "unless you're allergic to laughing hysterically."

Sam, the unlikely star of the show, isn't really trying to be funny. Until last week, Sam had no idea his youngest son had been broadcasting his anecdotes for the world to read. But you could write a book about Sam. Indeed, Justin has already signed with an agent and is considering offers from book publishers.

The only aspect of Sam's character that might exceed his brutal honesty is...

... his insistence on absolute privacy. Before retiring, Sam worked in nuclear medicine for the University of California, San Diego. As you might imagine with a state-funded job that requires classified research, Sam kept many aspects of his life close to his chest.

Despite data that suggest that Facebook is popular among older people, you will almost certainly never see Sam on a social network. He keeps a separate computer from his wife on the other side of the house that isn't connected to the Internet.

"I wasn't worried it was going to get back to him," Justin said about Sam discovering the site. "He doesn't go on the Internet. It was like I was writing a newspaper on Mars."

In all aspects, Sam takes his privacy very seriously -- a detail not lost on his family. "You do not screw with my dad when he's in the bathroom," Justin said. "My brothers and I know this for sure. You never knock on the bathroom door when my dad is in."

Growing up, Justin and his two brothers were pretty scared of Sam. Heck, they're still scared of him. After telling Justin's brother, Dan, about Stuff My Dad Says, Justin remembered Dan laughing hysterically to the point of tears. Then, Dan's tone changed. "Dude, you can't tell Dad," Justin recalled his brother advising him.

So, the fact that Justin was getting offers for book deals and that the number of subscribers to the page had ballooned to about the equivalent of Glendale's population gave him reason enough to fear his father's reaction when he finally broke the news.

One night about a week ago, after walking a few miles around their neighborhood in San Diego to organize his thoughts, Justin gathered up his courage and dropped the bomb.

"I told him, 'OK, there's this site called Twitter.' And he was like, 'I know Twitter.' And then he was like, 'Now, do you have to go onto the Internet to access Twitter?' "

After providing a basic overview of the project, Justin prepared for the fallout. "I should have seen it coming," Justin said. "He gave the most perfect response. He laughed for, like, 10 seconds, and then he goes, 'I can't find my cellphone. Can you call it?'"

Somehow, disaster was averted.

Justin's other major concern leading up to the confession -- aside from his dad being furious with him -- was whether the awareness would change the things Sam said and how he acted. Fortunately, fame hasn't gone to his head. "He really doesn't give a crap," Justin said, but "I think he doesn't fully understand it."

Sam did have one stipulation after hearing about the experiment. "Keep the money from whatever you get. I have my own money," Justin recalled his dad saying. "I just don't want to do any interviews."

He reinforced that last week when The Times requested Justin pitch the interview idea again to his father, who is apparently a longtime reader of the newspaper. "'The L.A. Times wants to interv --' 'No,' " Justin recapped in an e-mail.

"He hates attention," Justin said about his dad. And he has reason to. Sam had a long career in a highly secretive medical field and fought in a very unpopular war. The son of a Southern sharecropper, he would help around the farm as a child, tending to the tobacco fields. Not exactly a glamorous lifestyle.

Sam inherited a unique trait from Justin's grandfather. "I probably saw him more often without clothes than I saw him with clothes on," Justin said about growing up with his dad. "I think they would just get done with the farming, and they would be really tired. And they would just strip down and walk around naked."

"It would be awkward because friends would be coming over, and I would have to be like, 'You know, you have to put clothes on,' " Justin reminisced. His friends have long loved Sam. They, too, have seen the grizzled man in the buff.

Justin has an almost endless number of hysterical stories about his dad. There was the time Sam coached Justin's little league team and got so frustrated with the players that he quit the gig on the spot, leaving a 9-year-old Justin to walk a few miles home.

"Even at 9, I knew this was going to end terribly," Justin said. "It was just me walking home, and I saw him driving. And he pulls up next to me and says, 'Aw, I forgot to pick you up, didn't I?' ... 'I'm not coaching that [expletive deleted] team anymore.' "

And then there was the time Justin filled Sam's Alfa Romeo Spider convertible with water. Or the time Sam had a bad day and declared, "I'll wear clothes if I want to wear clothes, and I won't wear clothes if I don't want to wear clothes," Justin recited. "And the fact that your friends are coming over soon is inconsequential."

Justin had been scribbling down his dad's rants and quips in a notebook since childhood. In the last year or so, he began updating his Google Talk instant messenger status with quotes to laugh about later with friends who know his dad. One of them, who had become quite adept at Twitter, suggested Justin use the service to actually preserve the fragments. (Google Talk statuses are not archived.)

For a week or so after he created the account at the beginning of August, Stuff My Dad Says had five followers -- all friends of Justin. His buddy, who runs a fairly popular Fake Michael Bay Twitter page ("EXPLOSIONS!"), asked Justin if he could give him a shout-out on the weekly #followfriday ritual, where Twitterers suggest friends to their followers.

"Nobody knows my dad, so it's not going to make any sense," Justin recalled telling him. (Justin's mom had the same reaction when he told her about the site.) Regardless, on Aug. 14, the tweet went out, and Stuff My Dad Says exploded. He began picking up a few hundred followers a day. Now, it's a few hundred per minute.

Justin places no ads by which to earn revenue on the page. Twitter doesn't have a platform for monetizing a feed -- not that Justin necessarily cares to.

"The reactions have been all really positive," Justin said. "And people telling me I'm a loser, which I'm fine with."

Contrary to the "28-year-old guy living with his parents" stereotype, Justin is, in fact, employed. (He says he moved back to San Diego to get away from the big city life in L.A.) He recently left his job writing for the humor website he founded, called Holy Taco, along with his co-founder, Cory Jones, to write for "Maxim."

"I wish maybe I wasn't living at home," Justin said during a phone interview. "But if you had to live at home when you were 28, this is a good situation. I really like my mom; I love my dad; I love my dog." At this point, Sam can be heard in the background quipping about how he loves the dog, too.

Sam may have wanted his son to be a professional baseball player after bonding for many years over the sport. (A recent Stuff My Dad Says tweet about the pair watching the Little League World Series read, "These kids are all fat. I remember when you were in little league.... You were fat.") But he fully supported Justin's pursuit of becoming a writer.

"He's a really good dad," Justin said. "He just doesn't let you get away with anything."

Corrected, 5:20 p.m.: The original version said Samuel Halpern worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In fact, it was at the University of California, San Diego.


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