Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day

A three day weekend after only three days of classes...I could get used to this.

Classes started last Wednesday. I've had most by now and so far they seem to be pretty good. The science classes will pose a challenge but I like my schedule for the most part. It's nice to be settling down with just science and music, none of those pesky humanities courses (not that there's anything wrong with those...). I'm at the point were I'm somewhat enjoying reading the text. Let's hope that stays that way for a while. Here's the 20 units:
  • Biology: Genes and Development
  • Bio Lab
  • General Chemistry
  • Chem Lab
  • Music Theory
  • Musicianship Skills
  • Keyboard Harmony
  • Fundamentals of Conducting
  • Lessons
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Orchestra
RAing is going well so far also. If you have any program ideas, let me know. I was able to get home this weekend. It was pretty nice to get back after a while and see everybody.

This whole thing with people freaking out about Obama's proposed "Back to School" speech is teetering on the line of absurdity. A number of school districts are continuing to refuse to show the speech even after the text has been released and it contains absolutely no reference to any political agenda. Many seem to be ignoring the fact that almost every former president in recent history has given a similar address. I think NBC's John Harwood puts it pretty well.

Brownie, a 4-year-old cat who has drifted away from his home, returned to the delight but then horror of his owners. Glad to have him back, they were in turn horrified that he had a 13-inch arrow stuck through his head. Luckily the arrow had only skimmed the skull and the little guy is expected to make a full recovery. 1 down, 8 to go.

Youtube of the week: A random guy is seen reading a novel while doing 75mph on the freeway. That better be a good book.

That's it for now...have a nice day off.

Friday, September 04, 2009

That Crazy Thousand Oaks...

Man's Fingertip Bitten Off at Healthcare Rally
By Garance Franke Ruta and Sarah Lovenheim of the Washington Post

One of a national series of rallies for health-care reform took a violent turn Wednesday night when, according to authorities in Thousand Oaks, Calif., an unidentified man bit off another man's pinky finger at the top joint.

The Thousand Oaks event attracted only about 100 people -- a small group compared to the turnout at congressional town halls, which have drawn up to 1,500 people. But their passions were running high, and when a supporter of health-care reform wound up among a group of about 25 counter-protesters, an argument and fistfight broke out, Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Frank O'Hanlon told the Associated Press.

Reports differ on whether the supporter went to confront the opponents intentionally or was just walking among them while trying to cross the street to the pro-reform rally.

Southern California's KTLA-TV, which first reported on the fracas, wrote, "The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky."

The AP reported that the injured man "retrieved the finger and went to a hospital." The man, identified by ABC News as William Rice, received care from Los Robles Hospital and on Thursday told the Weekly Standard that the hospital was unable to reattach his fingertip. Also on Thursday, Rice appeared on Fox News, where he was interviewed by Neil Cavuto (see video clip, below).

O'Hanlon told the AP that authorities have a good description of the alleged biter, who fled the scene. "It's considered a mayhem which is the removal of an appendage from a human," Capt. Bruce Norris of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told ABC News. "The crime is punishable by imprisonment for 2, 4, or 8 years."

Attendees at the Thousand Oaks rally took to their blogs Thursday to describe the clash. Reform opponent Eric Ingemunson recounts his story on, and reform supporter Karoli Kuns tells her tale at sponsored the rally, along with others Wednesday night around the country, and Ilyse Hogue, a spokeswoman for the liberal advocacy group, called the incident "a regrettable act of violence."

"While we do not have any more facts about what happened then what we saw in press accounts, MoveOn condemns violence in all forms," she said in a statement to The Post.

"While we don't know if either party involved was a MoveOn member, we regret any violence that may have occurred yesterday, and we support the Ventura County Sheriff's investigation into the situation. It is our firm hope that this event does not detract from the tens of thousands who were out peacefully making their voices heard for health-care reform and a public option," Hogue said.