A new study by Consumer Reports finds that most of the infant car seats tested “failed disastrously” in crashes at speeds as low as 35 mph. To be sold in the United States, an infant seat must perform adequately in tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In response to the report, NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason issued a statement saying:
We are always interested in making car seats better and safer but not more complicated and difficult for parents. … We don’t want consumers misled into thinking holding a child is better than putting it into a car seat.”
Cmon, Ms. Nason, lets be real. What sort of dumb parent would you have to be to find a car seat too complicated and difficult? And who would be so reckless that they would hold a child instead of putting them into a car seat? No parent is that incompetent.
“The haters… and negative nabobs…the people who spoke against [Rep. William Jefferson] couldn’t prevail against the people who spoke for him.”
— Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, master of ceremonies for the Congressional Black Caucus’s celebratory event. The FBI is currently conducting an investigation that alleges Jefferson accepted $100,000 from a telecommunications businessman ($90,000 of which was later recovered in the congressman’s freezer). The caucus members—part of the “most ethical congress ever”—gave Jefferson a standing ovation.
During the elections, Democrats warned about the increasing inequality in incomes. But a statistical test performed by the Census Bureau yesterday confirms that no statistically significant change in the inequality measure occurred between 2001 and 2005, the last year for which data are available.
The Census Bureau relied on the Gini coefficient, a standard gauge of income inequality, to make the determination. Perhaps they should use the Nancy coefficient the salary for the Speaker of the House ($215,700) is 4.7 times more than the median household income ($46,326).
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) says that President Bush’s policy toward Katrina victims represents a policy of “ethnic cleansing by inaction.”
And, what I believe is, at this point youre not talking about [inaudible], but what youre talking about is, I think, a [inaudible], what youre talking about is when you simply, in a calculated way, refuse to do anything for well over a year … [inaudible] … and [stuttering] I, I, the policy I think here is ethnic cleansing by inaction.
Its not ethnic cleansing in the sense that theyre killing people or [driving] people out, but what we need to recognize here is that, theyre in this happy position for them, where the federal government does nothing, as they become richer and richer, because well not only black people needed housing assistance,…”
On this day in 1896 Utah is admitted into the Union as the 45th state. In 1846 Joseph Smith’s successor as the head of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young, led an exodus of persecuted Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois, along the western wagon trails in search of religious and political freedom. In July 1847, the 148 initial Mormon pioneers reached Utah’s Valley of the Great Salt Lake. The pioneers then began preparations for the tens of thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore named Young the first governor of the territory of Utah, and the territory enjoyed relative autonomy for several years. Relations became strained, however, when reports reached Washington that Mormon leaders were disregarding federal law and had publicly sanctioned the practice of polygamy. In 1857, President James Buchanan removed Young, a polygamist with over 20 wives, from his position as governor, and sent U.S. army troops to Utah to establish federal authority. Tensions between the territory of Utah and the federal government continued until Wilford Woodruff, the president of the Mormon Church, issued his Manifesto in 1890, renouncing the traditional practice of polygamy, and reducing the domination of the church over Utah communities. Six years later, the territory of Utah was granted statehood.
QoD: I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much. The humble Newt Gingrich. On this day in 1995 The 104th Congress becomes the first held entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era. Thanks in large part to Newt Gingrich and the corruption that permeated Congress in the previous Congress. You getting a feeling of Deja vu gone horribly wrong?
On this day in 1908 Otto Zachow and William Besserdich of Clintonville, Wisconsin, received a patent for their four-wheel braking system, the prototype of all modern braking systems. You can read more from this link to a Fedruary 28, 1938 Time magazine.
QoD: I’d like to get away from earth awhile: And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me: And half grant what I wish and snatch me away:
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree~And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. Robert Frost, Birches.
Today could officially be called Geek Day, so many things happened of the nerd variety:
For the pocket protector set there are a number of events surrounding today. For those whose nerdiness leans toward the math side (and those without a pocket protector there is no need to worry, because on this day in 1849 M Jolly-Bellin discovered dry-cleaning by accidentally upsetting a lamp containing turpentine and oil on his clothing and saw the cleaning effect.) The white coats born this day include Arthur Eddington (1882, astrophysicist/mathematician), John Von Neumann (1903, mathematician/astronomer), Clabon W. Allen (1904, astronomer), and Maarten Schmidt (1929, astronomer who discovered first quasar), Paul Horowitz (1942, physicist.) For the less bookish geeks, unless we are talking comic books, on this day in 1922 Stan Lee the creator of such comic icons as Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk was born. Two years later in 1924, host and the man behind the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, Rod Serling was born. In either 1933 or 1936 Nichelle Nichols, Uhuru on the original Star Trek was born. And definitely in 1934 Dame Maggie Smith, Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films and Thetis in Clash of the Titans, was born in Ilford, England. Other random but connected events on this day include the death of Dutch astronomer Albert Pigge in 1542, the patenting of chewing gum by William Finley Semple in 1869, the world’s first commercial screening of a film at the Grand Cafe in Paris in 1895, the announcement in 1948 of a U.S. study looking into launching an Earth satellite and the birth of the first American test tube baby in 1981.
QoD: “When a friend calls to me from the road, And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around, On all the hills I haven’t hoed, And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’, No, not as there is a time talk. I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall, And plod: I go up to the stone wall, For a friendly visit.” - Robert Frost, A Time to Talk
I highly recommend reading “The Great Stem Cell Error,” an oped by Tom Bethell in The American Spectator. He makes some excellent points about the hype over embryonic stem cell research. I could summarize a few of the key points, but wont. Instead, read it!
As many of us get ready to leave to celebrate Christmas with our families, let us end on a high note with some inspirational Christmas stories from this year (For the three people who have missed it, This Day in History/Quote of the Day will return when I do next week.)
First off let us look at Santa’s helpers who work on his behalf in all the malls. A recent survey found that 90 percent say they get their beards pulled daily; About half nearly lose their glasses from clutchy kids every shift; Some 60 percent are sneezed or coughed on up to 10 times a day; About a third have been wet on and more than half say they get their boots stepped on as many as 10 times a day. Despite all this the survey, commissioned by Auntie Anne’s pretzel shops, revealed that Santa’s love their jobs.
“Everybody comes in a good mood and that puts me in a good mood,” said Steve Macarus, 39, of Elgin, who was playing Santa at Navy Pier on Wednesday. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” said Johnson, a retired printer. “There’s no, ‘Aw, do I have to go to work today?’ I look forward to it.”
The only number from the survey I have a dispute with is:
Some 75 percent of kids say they’ve been good all year, the survey reported.
Now going to Vermont and a story that we hear a version of every year. A good hearted soul in Barre, VT put a coin from 1908 that is potentially worth up to $14,000 into one of the Salvation Army’s red kettles. You can donate any type of coin you want to the Red Cross here.
From Maine comes the story of how for “15 years, the Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington has been taking Christmas wreaths to the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., to decorate the graves of fallen U.S. soldiers and sailors. A burst of publicity this year came with two developments. First, instead of just focusing on the Arlington cemetery, the company started what it calls “Wreaths Across America” and sent six wreaths each to 230 state and national cemeteries in the 50 states and Puerto Rico. The expansion was the bright idea of Karen Worcester, who with her husband, Merrill Worcester owns and runs the company.” The picture on the blog is from their current laying of the wreaths.
Finally for any last minute shoppers with $18,920.59 to spare might I suggest you pick up the Twelve Days of Christmas? Every year PNCtabulates the cost and this year saw it getting close to the $19 thousand mark: