[BJEmail] Seven military officers come out of the closet

Seven retired military officers publicly acknowledged being gay on Friday, hoping their actions will stir Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and force Marine Corps general Peter Pace to apologize for calling gays “immoral” earlier this week.

The officers are all highly decorated and have earned numerous honors and commendations. They include Col. Stewart Bornhoft, USA; Capt. Joan E. Darrah, USN; Capt. Robert D. Dockendorff, USNR; Chaplain Col. Paul W. Dodd, USA; Capt. Sandra Geiselman, USNR; Col. E. A. Leonard, USA; and Capt. Robert Michael Rankin, USN.

“Our community has a long history of serving our country in the armed forces,” the group said in a release. “Today, there are more than 65,000 lesbian and gay troops on duty. Another 1 million gay and lesbian veterans, including the seven of us, have served in our fighting forces. General Pace’s remarks dishonor that service, as does the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law. General Pace must offer an immediate and unqualified apology for his remarks, and Congress must take action to repeal the ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans who want to serve our country.” (The Advocate)

[BJEmail] Prestraining scientists

A new bill providing added protection for everyone from federal scientists to contractors who speak out against intimidation, waste, or fraud, has passed in the House 331 – 94. Guess which party reportedly cast all 94 nays? Here’s a hint:

The White House opposes the legislation, and in a strongly worded statement Tuesday, argued the bill’s passage would “compromise national security.” The statement also said the measure is unconstitutional. “Rather than promote and protect genuine disclosures of matters of real public concern, it would likely increase the number of frivolous complaints and waste resources,” the administration stated.

If you know of any science shenanigans, report them to Rep. Brad Miller, head of the recently formed subcommittee created to investigate such allegations, at NC13.ScienceIntegrity[at]mail.house.gov, or you can send an anonymous tip at this link.

  • It’s probably not a warm comfort for those of you digging out in the Northeast this morning, but the earth has just experienced the warmest December-February since records began in 1880.
  • Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy explains the basic science behind Dark Matter detection and imaging with this informative essay.
  • The American Meteorological Society will host a talk on marine fisheries this Monday in DC. Details here.

Post experience with OpenSuse 10.2, Sierra Wireless Card, and Cingular 3G service

I got Open Suse 10.2 from www.opensuse.org.  Installed it on my Compaq TC1000.  The installation went just fine.  Had to increase the screen size. 

 I get a terminal service prompt going.  Then I “su” to root.  Then “tail -f /var/log/messages”.  Pop in my Sierra Wireless Aircard 875.  I see it recognize it and map three tty’s to it:  /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1, and /dev/ttyUSB2. 

Then I set up a modem mapped to /dev/ttyUSB0, I follow the directions on: andy.hillhome.org/blog/2007/02/05/using-a-umts-card-on-opensuse-102/


Step 2. Configuring the modem

The last thing to do is configure the card as a modem so you can actually connect with it. Load up YaST or other favorite tool, and add a new modem using device /dev/modem, as in the following screenshots.



The important thing in the image above is the second intitialization command. For Cingular, it needs to be as follows:


The next step is creating the ISP/provider entry that contains the phone number to dial:


For Cingular, here are the correct details:

Phone number: *99***1#


Password: cingular1


Then I go to network manager, go to “Dial up connections”, connect to Cingular.

And it works just fine!

I did a speed test and get about 460kbps down.  (I got around 750kbps down under windows.)

It works reasonably fast!


[BJEmail] Dogs

DOGS…what is it about dogs? 

The reason a dog has so many friends
is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration
as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
-Ann Landers 

If there are no dogs in Heaven,
then when I die I want to go where they went.
-Will Rogers 

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
-Ben Williams 

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
-Josh Billings 

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
-Andy Rooney 

We give dogs time we can spare,
space we can spare and love we can spare.
And in return, dogs give us their all.
It’s the best deal man has ever made.
-M. Acklam 

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies,
quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love
and always have to mix love and hate.
-Sigmund Freud 

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.
-Rita Rudner 

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance,
and to turn around three times before lying down.
-Robert Benchley 

Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
-Franklin P. Jones 

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
-James Thurber 

If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can.
That’s almost $21.00 in dog money.
-Joe Weinstein 

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us?
I mean, here we come from a grocery with the most amazing haul,
chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!
-Anne Tyler 

Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
-Robert A. Heinlein 

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you;
that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-Mark Twain 

You can say any foolish thing to a dog,
and the dog will give you a look that says,
‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’
– Dave Barry 

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
-Roger Caras 

If you think dogs can’t count,
try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket
and then give him only two of them.
-Phil Pastoret 

My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.

[BJEmail] The President

Air Force One arrives at Heathrow and President Bush strides to a warm and dignified reception from the Queen. They are driven in a 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they change to a magnificent 17th century carriage hitched to six white horses. They continue on towards Buckingham Palace waving to the thousands of  cheering Britons; all is going well.

Suddenly the right rear horse lets fly with the most horrendous earth-shattering fart ever heard in the  British Empire . The smell is atrocious!  Both passengers in the carriage must use handkerchiefs over their noses.  The fart shakes the coach but the two dignitaries of state do their best to ignore the

The Queen turns to President Bush, “Mr. President, please accept my regrets.  I am sure you understand there are some things that even a queen cannot control.”

George Bush, always trying to be presidential, replied, “Y our Majesty, do not give the matter another thought.  Until you mentioned it, I thought it was one of the horses.”