Gongol.com Archives: August 2005
Brian Gongol

Threats to Western Civilization (8.9.2005)
Iran to EU: Stop Enriching Uranium? No Way

The United States of America (8.9.2005)
Don't Make "Freshman 15" Jokes at UNH
Kid gets busted for suggesting a hike up the stairs would be better than taking the elevator, then gets booted from his dorm room by a hall director who called it harassment

Science and Technology (8.9.2005)
Astronomy Professor: The Problem with NASA is that it Doesn't Have Any Guts
What NASA's priorities should be:
  1. Research to protect Earth from inbound threats like meteors
  2. Research into better aeronautical transportation
  3. Useful basic research about our space environment
  4. Useful basic research that can only be performed in zero gravity
  5. Research into the prospects for long-run human migration to other planetary bodies
  6. Energy research (since the Sun is the basic source of all energy)

The United States of America (8.9.2005)
ADL Wants Falwell to Take Back "Vote Christian" Letter, Bumper Sticker
America is great because of its secularism, which is what allows for many different religious views. That's the way it should be.

Socialism Doesn't Work (8.9.2005)
Investigation Suggests UN Oil-for-Food Program Chief Took $150,000 in Bribes

Threats to Western Civilization (8.9.2005)
UK Considering Special Semi-Secret Terrorism Courts for Pre-Trial Hearings

Water News (8.9.2005)
Rapidly-Growing Sioux Falls to Get Larger Share of Lewis and Clark Pipeline Water

Water News (8.9.2005)
Water Security Concerns Reach Small Towns
Vandals break into water tower in small Iowa town

Business and Finance (8.9.2005)
Ford Chasing Toyota By Working with Mazda

Business and Finance (8.9.2005)
Basic Economics: More Opportunities Mean Laborers Require Higher Wages
Detasseling is an unpleasant job. It used to be a default job for farm kids, but there are lots of other opportunities available -- pushing wages for detasseling up and forcing improvements in working conditions.

Water News (8.9.2005)
High Temperatures Lead to Water Main Breaks
High temperatures mean higher flows. Pressure tends to increase as well, and old cast iron pipe breaks. Combination air release valves can help.

We All Need a Little Humor (8.9.2005)
Golfer Clunks Groundhog
It's like a Caddyshack redux

Weather and Disasters (8.9.2005)
Personal Reflection on Heat Wave of 1936
A reminder that air conditioning is still a historically recent phenomenon

Health (8.9.2005)
What Runners Should Be Eating
No big surprise: Carbohydrates are best. But overdosing doesn't do much good.

We All Need a Little Humor (8.9.2005)
"Bush Vows to Eliminate US Dependence on Oil by 4920"
Great Onion spoof

Water News (8.9.2005)
Researcher Thinks Water Shortages Will Make Sorghum a Popular Crop
Sorghum uses significantly less water than corn and soybeans. The problem is figuring out what to do with it.

Science and Technology (8.9.2005)
11,000-Acre Wind Farm Changes Community

Agriculture (8.9.2005)
USDA Report Says 41% of Nebraska Farmers Use Computers
That's higher than the 31% national average. Both numbers seem surprisingly low. Only 7% of farmers are using the Internet to purchase their inputs, suggesting it's a potentially huge untapped market.

Agriculture (8.9.2005)
UC Berkeley Study Says Ethanol, Biodiesel are Net Energy Losers
More fuel for the debate, which has strong advocates on both sides

Water News (8.9.2005)
Drought Goes on in Much of Nebraska
Continued high demand is making water more expensive, and it's not helping overall water quality. The drought in the western Plains is causing some nasty interstate fights over access to water and forcing groups like American Indian tribes to make long-range plans for water use. The drought makes major rivers run dry.

The United States of America (8.9.2005)
CAFTA Could Hurt US Ethanol Producers
Lots of plants being built to process Brazilian ethanol and ship it to US markets. Benefits from free trade still much larger than costs, and MTBE bans continue to increase demand anyway.

The United States of America (8.9.2005)
Big Hole in Twin Cities Dam
It's 90 years old and sitting on the Mississippi. But there's supposedly no threat to people living nearby.

Threats to Western Civilization (8.9.2005)
Canadian Airport Security "Inadequate"
Major problems with passport security, too

Business and Finance (8.9.2005)
North Dakota Has the Only State-Owned Bank in the Country

Broadcasting (8.9.2005)
ABC to Keep Calling News "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" for a While
More than about a month, and it may start to sound morbid rather than respectful

The United States of America (8.9.2005)
Vegas Club Guide