Archive for June, 2007

Representation by Taxation, I don’t think so.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

On NPR today, I heard a radio version of this Slate article where Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres propose to change the electoral system by having each person ‘vote’ their portion of a Federal election fund. In this scheme, private/corporate/etc. funds which form the majority of the funding in today’s major campaigns would be balanced by a sufficiently large Federal fund. The Federal fund is to the tune of 3 billion dollars, which I admit sounds like a lot, but remember that the 2007 Federal budget is to the tune of 2.5 trillion dollars (US Gov’t Printing Office). I’m not convinced by this scheme, mostly because I can’t imagine it ever getting enacted. I have a hard time imagining a politician suggesting a plan which A) raises taxes (or cuts programs) and B) alienates the influence of their own fiscal supporters. I have my own thoughts on how to reform the campaign funding process (see below), but first I want to talk about New York state.


Happy 1 month!

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Nate is starting his second month today. The Photographic Growth Chart has been updated.
1 Month Old

Who does Nathan look like?

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

People keep asking us which one of us Nathan takes after, or who’s eyes/ears/etc. he has (answer: his). We can’t decide… so we’re hoping you’ll help us. If you’re willing, go to the rest of the article and take a look at each set of pictures. You will then be able to vote on who you think Nate has the most resemblance to.



Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

put up a few new pictures today.


Thursday, June 21st, 2007

As I was sitting down to my few minutes of computer time that I get a day, I noticed a news article from our local ABC station on sunscreens. It jumped out at me because I have been searching for the best sunscreen to use on Nate when we go out for our walks. The article links to a study that was done on 800 different sunscreens to determine how much protection was actually being provided. I suggest that everyone take a look at the study and the sunscreen ratings, and find the one that will work best for you and your family.

Satellites in Tandem

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Two nice passes of the ISS and space shuttle Atlantis tonight. The first was in twilight and the pictures didn’t come out. This later pass was low in the sky but allowed me to get this picture with several other interesting objects… including Earth’s natural satellite. The two tracks nearly blend together in the resulting image. Atlantis is scheduled to land tomorrow, so there will probably not be another opportunity to snag a picture of them for a while.

Satellites in Tandem

If you haven’t been out to see the space station lately, I encourage you to do so. It’s brighter than ever. This particular image doesn’t do it justice, but it’s easily as bright as Jupiter under most conditions and can rival Venus in some circumstances. The easiest way to find out when the ISS will be visible is to find a nearby city on NASA’s page. I use the Syracuse info even though that’s 25 miles away. It’s close enough to get me outside at the right time. You can also run an applet for your exact location.

Edit: Fixed broken image link


Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Some folks at work were buzzing about this, and here I find it blogged on Bad Astronomy also. If you haven’t watched this… you really need to. The link from BA is not working now, you have to go to For the time being the link below works.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars


Demo Flight 2 Flight Review Released

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

SpaceX has released their report containing the flight review of the Demo Flight launched back on March 20th. I previously blogged several times about this launch when it occurred. It’s exciting to see a private company building world-class launch technologies, even if they had a small setback from what was possible on their test flight. To be fair, it WAS a test flight and most of the risk-reduction goals were achieved.

You can get the report in PDF format from SpaceX.

Snow in June?

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Last week I looked out into the backyard to see that it was white with snow.
June Snow

Ok, not really. It was just the accumulated fluff from our cottonwood trees.
Snow Closeup
Still, a pretty impressive display.

More Pics of Nate

Friday, June 15th, 2007

If you haven’t checked the Gallery lately, I’ve posted a few more pictures of Nathan. The new Grandparents were getting twitchy without me updating their fix.

Nathan confused“What is that touching my head?”