Archive for July, 2008

Heavy Water

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Good gravy:

The state’s water park regulator said Thursday it appears a family was injured on a new slide at Rapids Water Park because their combined weight was between 850 and 900 pounds – much heavier than the posted limit for a single raft.

“There were warning signs at the slide. There’s a maximum 700 pounds for riders,” said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

However, a lawyer for the injured family has declined to rule out the possibility that a suit might be filed on behalf of John D. Lenahan and his three children.

Ride inspectors arrived at Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach on Wednesday afternoon after fire-rescue was called to treat Lenahan and the children, who were injured when their raft flipped over on the new Black Thunder attraction, McElroy said.

One father. Three children aged 11, 14 and 15. 900 lbs. That’s 225 lbs per Lenahan. Unless his children are all strapping football players, I suspect this is another Attack of the American Diet.

What’s really interesting is the sidebar:

Of 206 total accidents at both permanent parks such as Rapids Water Park and traveling carnivals, 186 were found to have been caused by patron error.

No number on how many patrons we’re talking about. But when 90% of the problem is patron error, I would say we’ve safetied these things up to about the public’s level of intelligence.

Not that this means the regulators should go home. Anytime you’re dealing with children and water, supervision is a good idea.

Dead Silence

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

If this ever becomes widespread, the internet will be filled with a ghostly silence.

Wednesday Night Linkorama

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
  • This is what happens when you let parents control policy. They were scared kids were going to hurt themselves on play equipment. Now they’re angry because the protective mats get hot. They want the city — I shit you not — to put protective canopies over every playground. It’s only a matter of time until the city fixed on the best solution: demolish all the playgrounds.
  • LA just banned plastic bags from stores. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse pointing out that this is bad for the environment. And some people think we should have the government solve global warming.
  • How lovely. Pointlessly terrorize law-abiding citizens; get decorated for it.
  • Having tobacco regulated by the FDA? Bad idea. What is with politicians that they worship certain agencies so much? The FDA can’t keep up with their current tasks, let along regulating the billions of cigarettes Americans suck on every year. One feels that this is a backdoor attempt to outlaw cigarettes.
  • More commentary on LA’s stupid fast food ban:

    I exaggerate not a bit when I describe the prevailing politics of L.A. to be roughly as follows: Wal-Mart and big box stores = evil, and need to be stopped at all costs. Also, we need more cheap supermarkets! Mom and pop stores need to be defended from Big Corporations, unless they sell fried chicken or used tires, or get in the way of a big development project. We have an affordable housing crisis, which is why we need to raise property taxes, limit the footprint of houses on their lots, and bulldoze thousands of affordable houses to make way for schools that we don’t need!

  • I’ve finally figured out the best way to enforce the DMCA. Ban everything!. Oh, they’re already taking their advice, trying to ban comments. Yes, comments.
  • As a professional astronomer (for the moment), this made me laugh. Well, giggle. Well, grin at least.
  • Obviously, a future Obama voter.
  • Signs You Are A Dad, Part II

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

    I watch morning TV with my daughter. Correction: morning TV is on. She plays with her toys. I play with my computer.

    Sesame Street is a kids’ show, but it’s a good kids’ show. It’s kind of fun to watch it my little girl. And they’re kind of clever, sometimes. Of course, it also has some nostalgia value even though I have no clear memories of watching the show as a kid.

    What follow Sesame Street is another story. I’d heard of Barney the purple dinosaur before and assumed that the extreme hostility some feel toward him was exaggerated or some strangely hip thing, like hating the Phantom Menace. I now find that I was wrong. Barney sucks. His show is incredibly annoying. I just want to run onto the stage and start punching those big dinosaurs. I’m hoping very fervently that my daughter feels the same way.

    McCain Stumbles

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

    What’s worse than the stupid gas tax holiday? McCain trying to defend it.

    We’re In Trouble

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

    Our economy is definitely in recession. How do I now?

    Right before the last recession, I noticed that a lot of companies were changing their names for now apparent reason. Phillip Morris became Altria, Anderson Consulting became Accenture, etc. When American companies have nothing better to do with their money and lawyers than change names, we’re about to hit an economic downturn.

    I’ve noticed recently a lot of businesses relocating for no apparent reason. When American companies have nothing better do to with their money and lawyers than change locations, we’re about to hit an economic downturn.

    Doha Falls

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

    It’s so depressing to think of all the people who could be lifted out of poverty if the nations of the world would get their heads out of their asses. I do think it’s promising that more progress was made than ever before. And I suspect that once a Democrat is elected President, the countries of the world will find new reasons to broker a trade deal — just in time for the man with the worst trade record in Congress to scuttle it.

    Signs You Are A Dad, Part I

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

    How pathetic is it that I can correctly identify more sesame street characters (16/25) than Will Farrell movies (9). About as pathetic as realizing I know all the songs on Sesame Street but couldn’t identify a top 40 song if my life depended on it.

    Urban Renewal

    Monday, July 28th, 2008

    There’s been a spate of recent articles noting the inversion going on in our inner cities. Rich people are moving in; poor people are moving out. Our cities are being rebuilt.

    This would have happened a long time ago if we hadn’t engaged in the catastrophe of government urban renewal.

    The Right Wing Echosphere, Part 81

    Monday, July 28th, 2008

    Neal Boortz is going of again on the Global Poverty Act:

    We’ll be on the lookout. Barack Obama’s Global Poverty Act is supposed to be on the Senate calendar for a vote sometime soon. This is the fancy wealth redistribution scheme where the United States will provide the UN with .7% of its GDP to “eliminate global poverty.” Yeah, right. More like fund corrupt dictatorships. But if this bill comes up to vote, it will be interesting to see how Obamamania will play out in the Senate considering the actual facts of the bill. But how could anyone vote against the Messiah?

    Bullshit. Here is the bill. it says the US should implement the UN’s goal of cutting global poverty in half. It says nothing about how that should be achieved, levies no tax and commits to no payments. It’s typical liberal feel-good legislation that does nothing.

    What has happened to the Right Wing?

    Bridezilla

    Saturday, July 26th, 2008

    I’ve heard of bad brides, but this is ridiculous. Some women are demanding that their bridesmaids get cosmetic surgery — in one case asking that they get breast implants.

    You know the oppression of women by men has nothing on the oppression of women by each other.

    Girls Can Add

    Saturday, July 26th, 2008

    I find this fascinating. Apparently, the gender gap in math achievement has vanished. So much for the idea that men’s brains are more abstract than women’s.

    I do think the physical sciences will continue to be heavily male. Because while it is now very clear women have the ability to do effective science, it’s less clear that a career in science is of overwhelming interest to them.

    On the other hand, maybe, in time, that will also prove to be false.

    When Sporks Attack

    Saturday, July 26th, 2008

    Adventures in government accounting:

    No, the obvious question is actually, “The government thought they were sending Katrinians THIRTY SIX MILLION dollars’ worth of SPORKS? And no one saw this as odd?”

    “Hey there, friend. We’re sorry your house blew away and/or flooded, not necessarily in that order; here, have some sporks. No, really, take as many as you want.”

    No one found it odd that 42% of Katrina aid had apparently been spent on sporks? This goes beyond failure of oversight. Someone failed to oversee, undersee, or see anything outside the inside of their own ass.

    Thursday Night Linkorama

    Thursday, July 24th, 2008
  • Why does this happen in every economic downturn? The states splurge and splurge. And the second the economy tumbles, they scream poverty. Correction. I understand why they do it. Why does the press not call them on it?
  • Look like New Orleans is following New York’s bad example. Drumming up conviction rates by throwing minority pot smokers in prison. Why is Barack Obama not talking about this?
  • Megan McArdle defends oil speculators. I don’t know enough to really comment but I do know that banning oil speculation crosses me as (a) impossible and; (b) a ripe target for unintended consequences.
  • What a moment.
  • Boy, with every day that passes, Elliot Spitzer turns out to be a bigger scumbag than we thought.