Sunday, July 5, 2015

Man In Maine Kills Himself With Fireworks

While celebrating the Fourth of July, a man in Calais, Maine set off a fireworks mortar tube on his head, killing himself instantly.  He had been drinking with some friends.  This incident is the first reported fireworks-related fatality since Maine legalized fireworks in 2012.

I'd say that a Darwin Award nomination is richly deserved.

Read more at WGME, the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day

To celebrate our nation's birthday, there are many traditions, such as patriotic music.  Marksman Chris Cheng combines this tradition with his Second Amendment rights.



If you ask me, a few of the higher notes sound a bit out of tune, but I figure there's probably a way to adjust the pitch of the targets.  You can also watch the video directly on YouTube.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jim Weaver 1945-2015

Jim Weaver, who served as Virginia Tech's athletic director from 1997 to 2013, died suddenly early today at his home in Blacksburg, VA.  He had been fighting Parkinson's disease since 2004, and had also undergone several back surgeries.  During his tenure, he presided over Virginia Tech's moves from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the Big East and then to the ACC.  A graduate of Penn State who played football for Joe Paterno, Weaver served in the athletic departments of Florida, UNLV and Western Michigan, before coming to Virginia Tech.

Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Roanoke Times, Hokiesports and the Daily Press.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Links For July 1st

On the first day of the second half of 2015, known to our northern friends as Dominion Day or Canada Day, here's some news and opinion:

From AOL, the United States and Cuba will unveil their agreement to restore diplomatic ties.

From ABC4, according to investigators, a church fire in Greeleyville, SC was not the result of arson.  The church had at one time been a target of the KKK.  (via The Blaze)

From The Washington Times, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump lead Republican presidential candidates.

In National Review, Jonah Goldberg warns that the culture warriors of the left, who just won a victory at the Supreme Court over gay marriage, aren't about to stop.

From CNET, California's smartphone "kill switch" law takes effect.

From MyFoxChicago, Neil Wallis, formerly of News of the World, has been acquitted of phone hacking charges.

From Time, someone has been cutting Internet cables in the San Francisco area.

From LifeNews, how predictions that overpopulation would destroy the world have turned out to be spectacularly wrong.

From the New York Post, what you need to know if you're visiting Greece.  (A day old, but still very relevant)

From The Daily Caller, when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton wondered why President Obama wouldn't see her as often as President Nixon would see Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

From Fox News, Hillary Clinton was getting diplomatic advice from Sidney Blumenthal as early as 2009.

From Weasel Zippers, besides her already noted private email server, Hillary Clinton also had a Blackberry Internet account.

From ABC News, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church urges calm, and Greece's actions are criticized by Slovenia.


From Le Journal De Montréal, si vous lisez français, you can have the face of Miley Cyrus in your coffee.

And from SteynOnLine, former Canadian Mark Steyn wishes his native land a happy Dominion Day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chris Christie Launches Presidential Campaign

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has announced his candidacy for the president.  He is currently in his second gubernatorial term.  While at one time seen as a rising star among Republicans, his standing seems to have gone down a bit due to the recent "Bridgegate" scandal.

Read more at The New York Times, Politico, NBC News, ABC News and The Washington Post.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chris Squire 1948-2015

Chris Squire, the co-founder of Yes who played bass on all of their studio albums, has died at age 67 in his adopted hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.  Since May, he had been taking treatments for acute myeloid leukemia while on hiatus from the group.

Squire was born on March 4, 1948 in the Kingsbury section of London.  He left school after being suspended for "having long hair", and played in a series of bands including The Selfs, The Syn and Mabel Greer's Toyshop, before meeting singer John Anderson of The Electric Warriors.  He and Anderson then founded Yes, along with keyboardist Tony Kaye, guitarist Peter Banks and drummer Bill Bruford, with Squire and Banks also contributing backing vocals.  The band's lineup changed frequently over the years, with Squire remaining an official member.  He also was involved in solo work and some side projects.  Besides becoming one of rock's most renowned bass guitarists, he also occasionally played piano and harmonica.  Yes's upcoming tour, with Billy Sherwood substituting for Squire on bass, will go on as planned.  Banks became the band's first member or alumnus to pass away in 2013.

Read more at The Independent, the Mirror, Ultimate Classic Rock, Billboard and the Rolling Stone.

One of Chris Squire's most noted compositions was the instrumental The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) from the album Fragile.  All sounds on this track, other than percussion, are made by Squire on the bass.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Links

Some reaction to yesterday's Supreme Court decision, and other things in the news:

BarbWire calls the Supreme Court "alchemists".

American Thinker discusses Senator Ted Cruz's (R-TX) ideas about what to do in response to the ruling.

CharismaNews asks, "Can you imagine a Muslim same-sex wedding?"

PowerLine has another question for supporters of yesterday's decision.

In National Review, Andrew McCarthy opines that the Supreme Court is a political branch.

From The Washington Times, former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) says that the ruling is "based on a lie".

From Fox News, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) launches his presidential campaign website.

From the Star Tribune, the Episcopal Church has elected its first black presiding bishop.

From WQAD, over 200 people were injured by an explosion at a water park in Taiwan.

From Bloomberg Business, the people of Greece hit their ATMs.

From the Chicago Tribune, earlier today, a woman was arrested in South Carolina after climbing a flagpole and removing the Confederate battle flag.  Afterwards, there was a rally in support of the flag.

TechCrunch discusses "the Millennial delusion".

From WGN, a beaver defends its dam.

And from the Whitewater Crossing Church in Ohio, a humorous response to the gay marriage ruling.  (via The Blaze)

What Is The Confederate Flag?

A video published just yesterday on YouTube tries to explain what is and what is not the Confederate flag.  Since one flag associated with the Confederacy is facing renewed controversy, it might be useful to know precisely what that flag is.  As it turns out, the real Confederate flag may have been partly inspired by the flag of the empire from which my own ancestors fled.


Wiki has more about the short-lived republic which created the "Bonnie Blue Flag".

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Little Bit Of Stresa

After returning to Stresa from the Lago D'Orta area, I decided to take a walk and get a few pictures of the town where we had been staying.   Near the shore of Lago Maggiore is this memorial to Italian soldiers who died fighting in the Alps in World War I.  (Italy seems to have numerous memorials to their troops who fought in World War I, and understandably not many for those in World War II.)

SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Gay Marriage

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided in Obergefell v. Hodges that all 50 states must permit "gay marriage" and recognize such marriages performed in other states.  This would effectively nullify state laws limiting marriages to heterosexual couples.  Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.  Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissent.