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November 2011
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Archive for November 20, 2011

Newt, We Hardly Know Ye (Which Is Good For You)

When is water not water?

Does anyone remember why for thousands and thousands of years mankind drank alcoholic drinks rather than water? Mostly because drinking water would kill you with all the filth, bacteria and who knows what else in untreated water. This is still a problem in Africa today.
Fermenting juices etc. killed bacteria and made it possible for man to drink without dying. Looks like the natural gas industry is trying to bring back part of the good old days by making water undrinkable with it’s pollutants used for fracking.
So might as well start the kids on wine while they are young and be ahead of the game.

The Silver lining:
But there is a silver lining to fracking. People who can no longer afford to pay the heating bills this winter may be able to heat their homes by simply turning on their water faucets and lighting the water as it runs. At least until the gas companies figure how to charge them for putting gas in their water. But do NOT try to put out a fire with this fracking water.

Leadership by Newt.
With Gingrich in the lead my mind begins to wonder what the video will be at his coronation as the nominee next summer. In particular, I can hardly wait to see the scene where he hands wife #1 the divorce papers as she is wheeled out after cancer surgery. Or the tremendous speeches about family values to show the utter disgusting ways of Bill Clinton. This of course while he schtups his girlfriend behind the back of wife #2 – the one he married after the above scene.

Republican Win-Win-Win
People continue to accuse the Republicans of doing everything they can to sloww the economy so unemployment will stay historically high and President Obama will be blamed and lose re-election. But I believe there may be a more immediate goal. As long as huge amouts of workers remain out of work, the labor supply remain high. When the labor supply is high, wages are depressed and workers are much less likely to unionize. In today’s case wages are greatly suppressed. These are also the conditions that allow for great union-busting. Employers know that when you have hundreds of desperate workers just outside the door, those they do have working will be less willng to ask for higher pay or form unions.

Newt proposes child labor
Speaking at Harvard’s School of Business Friday, Newt Gingrich proposes throwing out current child labor laws and letting kids work. He claims that this would teach work ethic. Me? I see it as another way to dillute the labor pool and drive wages down, down, down. High unemployment, international labor pool, child labor – now if they can just get rid of those pesky minimum wage laws we will be in Republican heaven.

Short column this week.
Well the holiday takes a toll at BFIA also. We are getting ready to see the grandson. This afternoon we will attend the DeGowin Blood Center’s annual Donor Appreciation Dinner. I have been donating now for 44 years, so this dinner is one I feel I have earned. And as always I encourage all to donate. It doesn’t take much time and the holidays always mean shortage of needed supply.

Have a Great Holiday.
And Go Hawkeyes on Friday at Lincoln!

Sunday Funday -Twenty-four Edition

We do mentoring with grade school and middle school kids. One of the perks of that is that we get to play games (learning games mind you) with the kids. When they don’t have homework we drag out the game bag. Boggle is a great favorite as is Scrabble. But there are two most requested games. Mastermind is one – the code breaking game which is still generally available. Mastermind teaches logical and focused thinking.

The other most requested is 24. The object of 24 is to manipulate 4 numbers from 1 to 9 using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to come up with 24. Not 23, not 25, but 24. You win when you think you have figured out how to get twenty-four and you can explain it to your competitors

One of the neat things about this for me is that I do not have to list the answers this week. The answer to questions 1 to 20 is 24.

Here is an example: 7, 2, 5, 7. You can only use a number once. You can go over 24 and then subtract or divide to reduce it to 24. Many have more than one answer.
Answer: (5*2) = 10 + 7 = 17 + 7 = 24.
The questions will be starred from * to *** to indicate difficulty.
I will take the numbers from our game. I think we will up the questions to 20 for today. Here we go:

1)  **        9, 5, 3, 3

2)  *         6, 2, 2, 8

3)  *         8, 7, 8, 1

4)  **       6, 9, 1, 2

5)  ***     6, 9, 6, 5

6)  **       1, 3, 5, 9

7)  **       9, 4, 2, 1

8)  *        5, 1, 2, 9

9)  **      1, 4, 7, 7

10) ***   7, 7, 7, 4

11) *        4, 8, 7, 5

12) ***    7, 2, 4, 9

13) **      5, 4, 3, 3

14) **      3, 2, 4, 5

15) ***    6, 1, 4, 7

16) *        1, 2, 7, 2

17) ***    4, 4, 4, 3

18) **      6, 8, 7, 2

19) ***    2, 5, 4, 5

20) ***   7, 5, 5, 4

We found this game about 20 years ago and have never seen it for sale since. BTW – don’t play this with an engineer. They have heads like computers. My son-in-law is one.