Finding ‘food desert’ oasis

Video on Go Figure: Melissa Harris-Perry connects fast-food consumption to the number of Americans living in “food deserts” without close access to supermarkets.

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April 8, 2012 Posted by | health care, social/political | Leave a comment

March 2012 Jobs Report…..and other topics

Workout notes 6.4 mile run in 1:07 (Cornstalk plus extra loop); I had minor trouble with fatigue and some minor knee trouble. Nothing major; I still enjoyed the run. It was sunny and in the 50’s. (10-12 C)

Does this remind you of anyone?



(“the things I have to do for a friggin bone!”)

Paul Krugman and the Paul Ryan “we’ll close some loopholes” budget proposal:

Hmm. There’s an obvious calculation I haven’t see done: how does the Ryan proposal scored more or less honestly — that is, without the “mystery meat”, the assumed revenue from closing loopholes that Ryan refuses to identity — compare with the Obama budget?

CBO has done a full scoring (pdf) of the Obama proposals; they estimate a deficit in 2022 of 3 percent of GDP (Table 2).

Their scoring of Ryan (pdf) does not include any actual scoring of his tax proposals; they simply accept, because they have no choice, his unsupported claim that he can make the thing revenue neutral. Under that assumption, they come up with a deficit in 2023 (Table 1) of 1 3/4 percent of GDP.

But the Tax Policy Center (pdf) has scored the actual Ryan tax proposals, minus the mystery meat, and concludes that they would reduce revenue by more than 2 percent of GDP in 2023.

Yes, we are currently crawling out of a hole:

The employment report for March, released Friday, was a big disappointment. After three straight months of job gains above 200,000, only 120,000 new jobs were added last month.

Of course, one month’s data does not a trend make. But March’s reversal is a painful reminder that nearly three years into the expansion, the recovery has been a climb toward the rim of the crater left by the Great Recession, not an ascent to new economic heights.

(from here)

(from here)

One thing to remember: a “jobs added” per month has to be a certain positive amount to account for new job seekers; that is why our recovery is so slow.

April 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Easter Card to my readers!

Jupiter has always reminded me of a big Easter egg. Of course this egg is about 75 percent hydrogen and 24 percent helium and is, well, rather large. Io (the moon you see here) is very close to the size of our moon. And it orbits Jupiter at roughly the same distance that our moon orbits the earth; this gives you an idea on how huge Jupiter is.

In a few minutes I’ll get out there for a short run.

April 8, 2012 Posted by | astronomy, big butts, photos, physics, science | Leave a comment

Easter: why this always puzzled me, even when I was a Christian

Questions I had, even while I was a believer:

1. The Gospels were full of stories of Jesus foretelling his resurrection, second coming and whatever. So why was this a sacrifice?
2. Didn’t other humans also suffer brutally (crucifixion was a common practice at the time)?
3. Why did we need a sacrifice at all? Was this omnipotent deity incapable of forgiving humans anyway? Did this deity have some sort of blood lust?
4. Why were the accounts (post resurrection) so sketchy?
5. Why then and not at some other time? Why let humans languish for…well…millions of years (if one counts the early hominoids) or tens of thousands of years (homo sapiens)?
6. Why punish offspring for the sins of their parents? Even humans know better than to do that!

Of course, I eventually stopped believing; none of it made any sense, though I cannot discount the possibility of a deist type deity (for the entire universe). But….

7. Did Jesus die for Neanderthals too?
8. How about other planets with other sentient beings? Did Jesus die for them, or did they get their own Jesus, or did they, uh…never rebel to begin with?

Note: I understand someone taking some comfort out of the myth itself (I am using “myth” in the technical sense to denote a “story that had deep meaning for someone”); dying and being reborn can be used as a metaphor for many things (e. g. injury recovery, recovery from an addiction, major life change for the good, etc.).

April 8, 2012 Posted by | religion | 6 Comments

Perceptions, noxious speech and other topics…

Weekly address

Mr. Romney: quit lying:

But hey, some porn stars are backing Santorum? Really, they released a hilarious ad.

Noxious Speech
This is NPR’s interview with Randazza about the Cox case and how one fights bad speech with more speech.

Of course, free speech carries consequences, and the National Review canned the writer who wrote a very openly racist screed in an e-magazine. Of course, the National Review used to publish stuff just like this: (via here)

Here’s what NR had to say about the Birmingham church bombings after they occurred:

Let us gently say the fiend who set off the bomb does not have the sympathy of the white population in the South; in fact, he set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically as to raise the question whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur — of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro.

And let it be said that the convulsions that go on, and are bound to continue, have resulted from revolutionary assaults on the status quo, and a contempt for the law, which are traceable to the Supreme Court’s manifest contempt for the settled traditions of Constitutional practice. Certainly it now appears that Birmingham’s Negroes will never be content so long as the white population is free to be free.

And, of course, there’s more. Lots more after the fold.

From an unsigned National Review editorial printed August 24, 1957, titled “Why the South Must Prevail” (probably by William F. Buckley Jr.):

The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists

So, with this in mind, it is no wonder why people are so divided on the Trayvon Martin case and why whites are so reluctant to condemn this murder.

April 8, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, civil liberties, free speech, Mitt Romney, politics, politics/social, racism, republicans, rick santorum | Leave a comment

McNaughton Miles

Workout notes easy 10 mile loop at McNaughton: 49 to the totem pole, 1:05 to the creek, 1:16 to the base of golf hill, 1:37 to the bridge, 2:17 at the exit of Heaven’s gate, 3:19 total. Note: my “steady to hard” clip is 2:27 so this was a deliberately slow walk.

Later: I lifted weights at the University; almost all guys were there.
rotator cuff (pulley, dumbbell)
pull ups: 4 x 10
rows: 2 x (10 x 230), 12 x 200
bench press: 10 x 135, 9 x 165, 3 sets of 3 x 175
incline press: 10 x 45 dumbbell, 7 x 135 barbell
military: 2 sets of 15 x 45 dumbbell.
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 70 (machine)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
sit ups: 8 sets of 20.

Just for the heck of it, I added up the miles I’ve walked (ok, ran a few times) at McNaughton Park:

2003: 47 (31 during a race) 47
2004: 60 (50 mile race) 107
2005: 120 (100 during a race) 227
2006: 159 (70 in one race; DNF 100) 386
2007: 120 miles (injured so couldn’t do the race) 506
2008: 122 miles (52 for a race; finished a 50 but added 2 miles due to dropping out and reentering) 628
2009: 229 miles (100 for one race, 30 for another) 857
2010: 70 miles (30 for one race) 927
2011: 20 miles (recovering from 2010, 10 in a race) 947
2012: 10 miles, so far. 957, as of 7 April.
Total: 957 miles, 473 done in 7 races, as of 7 April.

Will I make it to 1000 miles (100 ten mile loops) this year?

April 8, 2012 Posted by | hiking, time trial/ race, training, ultra, walking, weight training | 1 Comment