The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Learned Why I Am Not a Math Guy...and Lot's More

Camellias just refuse to give up.

But I am glad, especially on cold, gray days like today. This picture was taken yesterday, and it is not a great picture, but I wanted to show how big and full of blooms this shrub is. It is about 15 feet tall and 15-18 feet across.

Close by, actually in its shadow, I discovered this pink camellia, which I did not even know was there until yesterday.

This white camellia is just beginning its bloom cycle. It was blooming in late March 2000, when I first looked at this house. It will bloom until sometime in April.

And this one is in front of the house, and has the most perfect blooms.

There was an article in last weeks New Yorker that explains in part why I am not a math person, and consequently why statistics is killing me this semester. Also it explains why Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is so confusing to people. I often wondered.

Anyway, I feel better about my math challenges and the trouble I had with the division tables in elementary school (multiplication was not a problem). Numbers Guy

The new issue has a column about the Dream Team of Obama and Clinton or Clinton and Obama, but not as running mates. More about our dreams... McGrath.

And I have to disagree whole heartedly with my editor in this week's Western Tribune. Sorry, but dissing global warming because we are having a cold winter is like thinking the economy is in good shape because the Dow Jones rose 41 points a couple of days ago. And it is not really science to recognize that it is cold this winter. It is just an observation. This winter's data becomes science when it is added to the data collected in the past.

Remember three points.
  • All scientific work is incomplete
  • All scientific work is liable to be replaced
  • We have an obligation to use what we have at the time

I have no problem with someone not recognizing that climate change is a serious problem, but when they use that belief to encourage others to keep their "large SUV" and fill up their tanks and go for a spin, thus wasting precious oil (gasoline) and furthering our dependence on foreign energy sources. Not to mention creating more greenhouse gases (that they don't believe in anyway).

Climate change will be the focus of a meeting at the Birmingham Zoo this weekend. Well, the meeting is actually at the Sheraton Birmingham, but will host about 350 members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Dr. James McClintock of UAB and Antarctica fame, will be the keynote speaker.

This may be hard for the non-believers to understand, but McClintock uses penguins as an example of how global warming is damaging nature. Because there is more snowfall, a species of penguin's eggs are not hatching like they did years ago.

"More snow? But...". Calm down. It is snowing more because the warmer air in Antarctica holds more moisture.

This story was in the Birmingham News, but as is often the case, no link.

And speaking of snow, they just changed the forecast and Birmingham can get as much as 1.5 inches of snow tonight. Enjoy!!!

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