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Posts Tagged ‘epic victory’

…On Some Damn Fine Judging.

Posted by Steve on August 27, 2009

I have often been critical, here on this blog, of the American legal system, the judiciary of multiple countries, and multiple tenets of American common law. So, I feel like I ought to try and balance that by giving props when I can. So, this is by no means news since it’s about a case that was decided back in May, but Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals of Maryland, totally hit one out of the park when it unanimously upheld Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Stuart R. Berger’s ruling on the inadmissibility of junk pseudoscience in Blackwell v. Wyeth. They ruled that in Maryland, in order to be an expert witness you have to actually 1) be an expert 2) who used legitimate methods 3) in a legitimate field 4) that’s relevant to the testimony you’ll offer. If there’s a court ruling that more strongly and explicitly establishes adherence to the scientific method as a prerequisite for testimony on scientific matters, I’m not aware of it. So Maryland Judiciary, a tip of the hat to you.

Posted in The Law | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

…On Who Ya With.

Posted by Steve on October 4, 2008

My alma mater won again tonight, beating Auburn 14-13 at home to go 5-0, 3-0 in SEC play. Very, very sweet. Very satisfying.

Also, I spent most of the game on the phone with my dad, talking about the game, so that was cool.

It’s still to early to be thinking about a bowl game, but… I sure would love it if Vandy goes to one. Especially one close enough to here for me to try to go to it.

So…

Who ya with?

VU!

Posted in Football | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

…On the Redemption of Congress.

Posted by Steve on September 29, 2008

Thanks to the House of Representatives, I forgive the United States Congress for the Senate’s willingness to make a horrible decision. Although, I’m still angry about Division A, Section 129 of Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009. Only 12 Senators voted against that legislation (though 8, including Obama and McCain, didn’t vote and 1, Burr, voted “Present” ): 11 Republicans and 1 Democrat – Russ Feingold, the best of them. He’s got some flaws in his positions, primarily that he could stand to be a little stronger on support for private weapons ownership and his stance on capitol and corporal punishment is as wrong as it’s possible to be, but on a great many more issues his stance is far and away the rightest of anyone in the Senate. Had he run for president, I would have voted for him in the primary. Assuming, of course, he hadn’t dropped out by the time my state got to vote – and that’s something that really irks me, candidates dropping out before all the primaries have happened. Either impose a “no dropping out” rule on the candidates or have all the primaries and caucuses on the same day, I say.

Posted in From the News, Here be Politics! | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

…On Some Awesome Shit.

Posted by Steve on September 9, 2008

The City of San Antonio, Texas, has just given the world yet another reminder of how much unadulterated awesomeness engineers impart to the world. In this case, it looks like it was mainly environmental engineers:

“The citizens of San Antonio produce about 140,000 tons of biosolids each year,” said SAWS Chief Operating Officer Steve Clouse. “Treating these biosolids generates an average of 1.5 million cubic feet of gas a day – that’s enough gas to fill seven commercial blimps or 1,250 tanker trucks each day.”

That’s right. The San Antonio Water Service has signed a contract with a company in Massachusetts giving the company 20 years of access to the sewer treatment facility, and more importantly to a certain raw material there. The company gets to install processing equipment on-site to collect the methane, and the water service gets a 12% cut of the methane sales.

They’re collecting and selling natural gas that’s been refined from human excrement! Take that, biodiesel! In your face, cellulosic ethanol! Your appointment’s been scheduled with Dr. Kevorkian, corn-based ethanol!* This is awesome!

Seriously. Sewage is about to be, at least in one city in Texas, nigh unto 100% recycled. How cool is that? Very cool, that’s how cool. They’re turning shit into something useful!

*Corn-based ethanol (more specifically, mandates and subsidies for its production and distribution) really does need to be taken out back and shot. The only way I can think of for one policy to do a more thoroughly destructive job of simultaneously harming the environment, the economy, and the U.S. and world fuel, water, and food supplies would be to pump petroleum directly onto cropland and light it up. Subsidizing corn to the detriment of other foods’ production and pricing is harmful enough, but subsidizing corn that – after it’s grown through the extensive use of land, water, and fertilizer – is going to get refined – at high energy cost – into a fuel that burns less energetically than gasoline, so you can use it to cut gasoline… can you even do a cost-benefit analysis for something that has no benefits? It’s bad energy policy, bad environmental policy, bad economic policy, and bad food policy.

Posted in From the News | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »