Friday, December 21, 2007

Animal House Quote for the Weekend

Boon: Where are you going? We just got here.
Katy: No, Boon, you just got here. I've been downstairs for an hour entertaining some kid from Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas.
Boon: Umm - maybe we could drive up to your folks' place this weekend.
Katy: Oh, fabulous. My car filled with your beer buddies going up to empty my parents' liquor cabinet. It's too depressing to think about.
Boon: No! Just gonna be you and me. And Otter and another girl.
Katy: Is this really what you're gonna do for the rest of your life?
Boon: What do you mean?
Katy: I mean hanging around with a bunch of animals getting drunk every weekend.
Boon: No! After I graduate, I'm gonna get drunk every night.

Geologic Impact to Early Human Evolution

Another interesting article from Livescience, this time regarding early human evolution. Geology may have been an important and overlooked factor in the development of humanity.

"It's fairly well-established that changing climate, and thus vegetation, in East Africa spurred human evolution, but there has been no agreement about what exactly caused that change, said Royhan Gani. He thinks the riddle's answer is in rocks, and how big slabs of it move — altering continents and building mountains — by a process called tectonics."

Gani believes that the tectonic uplift process that occured (and is still) in Eastern Africa 3-6 million years ago, which has caused the land in the region to dramatically elevate over this period, contributed to human development by drying up the tropical and subtropical rain forest and changing the biome to a drier savanna type environment.

This in turn forced early primate species out of the forests and out onto grasslands which sped the development of bipedalism. Around 4.1 million years ago, the early human ancestor Australopithecus anamensis, one of the first bipedal primates, developed - in almost exactly the same region and time period where the forest was thinning into savanna.

Animal House Quote of the Day

Flounder: I can't believe I threw up in front of Dean Wormer.
Boon: Face it, Kent. You threw up *on* Dean Wormer.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Theory on Solar System Formation

Well overdue for a little science, this time from Livescience.

A new theory of the solar system's formation has been proposed that helps explain some interesting issues regarding our system's gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Current theories of stellar evolution can't explain how these gas giant planets formed so far away from our sun - if they formed in their current positions, it would have taken longer for them to form than the age of our solar system.

The new theory proposed that the larger planets formed nearer the Sun and migrated outward debuted in 2005, but had some mathematical modelling problems that have now been addressed by Arizona State astrophysicist Steven Desch. His new idea is that these larger planets not only formed closer to the Sun than they are today and migrated outward into their present orbits over millions of years, but that Uranus and Neptune actually swapped spots in the solar planetary order in the process!

"The solar system is 4.6 billion years old. The formation of rocky planets, from collisions between ever-larger objects, is a fairly rock-solid theory. But how the outer giants developed remains an open question.

"Models predicted [Jupiter] would take many millions of years for it to form, and billions of years for Uranus and Neptune, but our solar system isn't that old," Desch said. "Having a denser disk of gas bunched up around the sun could explain the two planets' formations, but only if they switched places.""

If Desch's math adds up correctly (and so far no one from peer review has come forward spotting anything) about 650 million years after the formation of our system, Neptune moved outside the orbit of Uranus, making it the most distant main sequence planet (Pluto being recently demoted to "dwarf" planet status). All of our system's planets are thought to have formed in a relatively quick period of time, roughly about 10 million years. Up to this point, no one has had a very satisfactory explanation on how this happened.

Pretty interesting stuff. Hate to think about the math involved in orbital modelling, makes my head hurt to even contemplate it.

Animal House Quote of the Day

[None of his literature students are paying attention]
Jennings: Don't write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton. Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He's a little bit long-winded, he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible.

[Bell rings, students rise to leave]
Jennings: But that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I'm waiting for reports from some of you... Listen, I'm not joking. This is my job!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Animal House Quote of the Day

[the Deltas have been expelled]
Bluto: Christ. Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the f***ing Peace Corps.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pelini Names Assistants, Roles

via HuskerExtra, New Husker HC Bo Pelini offically named all but one member of his staff yesterday. As expected, the only holdovers from the Callahan regime were OC Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore, who will be receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and also have the title of Assistant Head Coach. Former Husker (and ISU) OC Barney Cotton will be O-line coach and associate head coach, while former Husker receivers coach Ron Brown will coach the tight ends. The new running backs coach is the only member of the new staff not named, although the decision has been made.

"“Barney will assist me in a number of key administrative duties within our program,” Pelini said, adding that Gilmore will “play a key role in the overall direction of our program.”

Pelini said Gilmore was on his radar even before he became a candidate for Nebraska’s head coaching job. “And since I’ve been here, he’s only exceeded expectations,” Pelini said.

Not made known is who will coach the running backs. Pelini has already hired someone for the position, but said he will name the individual in early January, after that coach has finished working with his current team in a bowl game.

Pelini said the running backs coach could also carry the label of special teams coach, but said that special teams is “something we’ll split up as a staff and all handle, everybody but the offensive coordinator.”"

Th defensive staff will also see a good mix of familiar faces and some new blood, as
Bo's brother Carl, defensive ends coach for Frank Solich in 2003, returns to coach the line and serve as coordinator, and Marvin Sanders will handle the secondary and (most likely) co-coordinator. The new blood comes in the form of two LSU staff members getting their first chance as full time assistants. Blair native Mike Ekler (formerly an LSU assistant strength coach) will be coaching the linebackers and LSU intern John Papukis will coach defensive ends.

Pelini was quoted as saying the staff shaped up exactly as he intended, getting all the coaches he was targeting, and that he will call the defensive plays but that all the defensive coaches will have equal input.

Article concludes with a short bio of each coach, well worth the read. Personally, I'm liking the way things have fallen into place. It will be interesting to see who lands the open RB coach spot, as it was hinted they may also coach special teams, which was often an issue during the previous regime. The job now is to land a recruiting class and get the players through winter conditioning, then it will be time for the spring game. Whoo-hoo! Can't wait.

Animal House Quote of the Day

Dean Vernon Wormer: Mr. Kroger: two C's, two D's and an F. That's a 1.2 grade average. Congratulations, Kroger. You're at the top of the Delta pledge class. Mr. Dorfman?
Flounder: Hello!
Dean Vernon Wormer: Zero point two... Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Mr. Hoover, president of Delta house? One point six; four C's and an F. A fine example you set! Daniel Simpson Day... HAS no grade point average. All courses incomplete. Mr. Blu - MR. BLUTARSKY... ZERO POINT ZERO.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Animal House Quote for the Weekend

Bluto: Kroger, your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto.
Pinto: Why "Pinto"?
Bluto: [belches] Why not?

Animal House Quote of the Day

Dean Vernon Wormer: Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?
Greg Marmalard: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.
Dean Vernon Wormer: Cut the horseshit, son. I've got their disciplinary files right here.
Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet?
Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner?
Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.
Greg Marmalard: You're talking about Delta, sir.
Dean Vernon Wormer: Of course I'm talking about Delta, you TWERP!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Upcoming Anniversary of the Great White Fleet

Auston Bay reminds us over at Townhall about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the sailing of Teddy Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet". On December 16, 1907 sixteen white painted US battleships slipped their moorings from Norfolk, VA (still HQ of the US Atlantic Fleet) to set sail on a round the globe journey, returning on Feb. 22nd, 1909.

The sailing of such a number of capital ships was the one of the first fleet exercises in global logistics, and gave the US Navy powerful ammunition in future Congressional appropriations for supply and logistical assets to support the fleet in far flung corners of the globe. The fleet's voyage exposed the weakness of using private contractors for such logistical support, for while the peacetime voyage was ably supported, it proved doubtful that such private supply vessels would be willing to refuel and/or rearm the Navy in a combat zone.

For more information on the fleet's voyage go here.

Sensor Glitch Still has Shuttle Grounded

via MSWNBC, that faulty fuel sensor on Atlantis has postponed the next launch at least until Jan. 2nd. They will start loading fuel as a test of the system on Tuesday.

"the trouble could be anywhere in the 100 feet (30 meters) of wiring between the four gauges at the bottom of the fuel tank and the shuttle itself, in any of the connectors or even in the sensors themselves. A diagnostic tool known as a time-domain reflectometer will be used to track down exactly where a break in the circuitry might be located.

At the same time, engineers will conduct other tests, mostly in laboratories, to try to figure out what is causing the gauges in Atlantis’ tank to malfunction every time they’re exposed to the super-cold liquid hydrogen that fuels the shuttle."

The recalcitrant sensor has been an ongoing issue for the space agency since the Columbia tragedy. While launches have been made in the past with only three of the four sensors warking properly, NASA decided that all four must be in operation for this launch - although there is some consideration to moving back to the old rules if they cannot track down the problem.

Animal House Quote of the Day

Hoover: We're in trouble. I just checked with the guys at the Jewish house and they said that every one of our answers on the Psych test was wrong.
Boon: Every one?
[looks at Bluto and D-Day]
Boon: Those assholes must have stolen the wrong fucking exam!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Larry on the Economy

via NRO, Larry Kudlow excplains just how well the economy is doing. He also explained this from a broader perspective last week at his place.

In short, we've experienced some of the best economic times in the history of the planet. We're six years into a fantastic boom here in the US. The current expansion is in its 74th month, but the post WW2 average expansion lasted only 57 months. We're basically still at full employment, with unemployment an insignificant 4.7%, with 94,000 jobs added last month, and the household survey showing an even more impressive 696,000 jobs. Wages are up 3.8%, and total compensation is up 3.3%. And as Larry said, wait, there's more.

"U.S. productivity surged 6.3 percent in the third quarter, its best pace in four years. A big rise in output per person is good for profits, growth, and low inflation. Business inflation has come down from 3.5 percent a year ago to 1.5 percent today. U.S. household net worth just scored a new record high of $58.6 trillion, with financial asset gains outpacing the drop in real estate values.

According to Prof. Perry, household wealth has increased 43 percent in just the past five years, despite $100 oil, $3 gas, and the sub-prime infection. The stock market, which is probably the best leading indicator of the future economy, appears just as resilient. Despite these same challenges, it is overcoming a brief correction and looks set to rise by roughly 10 percent this year."

He also points out that due to the recent Fed actions to cut interest rates, mortgage refinancings surged 70% last month, and Treasury Secretary Paulson has put together a plan to move cash strapped homeowners into FHA financed refis to mitigate the subprime market meltdown. Larry believes another half point Fed rate cut would also really help give the overall economy another shot in the arm and also ease any pressure on those with adjustable rate loans as well.

His earlier post on his was a broader historical perspective, calling the last 25 years a period of where "Prosperity has become the rule, not the exception". He notes three reasons for this: the rise of global capitalism to nations formerly running a socialist state planning economic model such as China, India and the nations of the fromer Soviet bloc; the spread of the lower tax rate model espoused by prominent economists such as Milton Friedman; and the focus of central bankers worldwide in fighting inflation, which is not a trade-off for full employment, as thought thirty years ago - the present situation certainly proves that point.

Animal House Quote of the Day

Dean Vernon Wormer: The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Animal House Quote of the Day

Hoover: Kent is a legacy, Otter. His brother was a '59, Fred Dorfman.
Flounder: He said legacies usually get asked to pledge automatically.
Otter: Oh, well, usually. Unless the pledge in question turns out to be a real closet-case.
Otter, Boon: Like Fred.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Animal House Quote of the Day

(Boon tees off and slices, breaking a window in the cafeteria, with the ball ending up in a pot on the stove.)
Boon: I gotta work on my game.
Otter: No, no, no, don't think of it as work. The whole point is just to enjoy yourself.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More on Husker Coaching Staff

via HuskerExtra, more on the possible new staff. Definites are Carl Pellini, Marvin Sanders, Ron Brown, and Barney Cotton, along with Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore. Randy Jordan is still a possibility. New announcements are John Papuchis and Mike Ekeler from the LSU staff. Gilmore and Pelini were in California recruiting, AD Tom Osborne was in Iowa, and I thought I saw something about Watson being in Texas. Pelini and Osborne spent time tlaking to local high school recruits earlier in the week as well.

Ekeler is a Nebraska native of Blair, my hometown, and I know him slightly, as he was a freshman there the year I graduated. Ekeler played linebacker at Kansas State and has been an serving as an assistant strength coach for the Tigers. He appaarently met Pelini while both were at Oklahoma in 2004.

Mall shooting

I've had several talks with family over the last two days - my cousin had intended to go X-mas shopping at the mall today with a friend. Obviously, that's not going to happen - the mall is closed until tomorrow I believe.

Even more disturbing, I just received a call from my mother. A family friend who I've known for years is a Von Maur employee and witnessed the shootings. Obviously, this changes nothing about the situation but my own perception of the tragedy, but the fact that a woman I know personally, in fact know her entire family - husband and son - could very well have been a victim herself is gut-wrenching. She had close personal friendships with three of the victims, and of course probably knew all of the employee victims.

Far, far too close to home.

Shuttle Launch Delayed

via LiveScience, a faulty fuel sensor has delayed the launch of shuttle Atlantis from its scheduled launch today.

"Faulty readings in two of four hydrogen fuel gauge sensors prevented Atlantis from launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center here at 4:31 p.m. EST (2131 GMT). NASA flight rules call for three operational sensors in order to launch."

"Per our launch criteria we scrubbed the launch attempt," said NASA spokesperson Allard Beutel, adding that mission managers called off the launch at 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT). "We'll try again tomorrow."

The STS-122 mission is expected to launch tomorrow to deliver the European Columbus laboratory moduleto the International Space Station.

More on Shooter

MSNBC has a good roundup on the events yesterday, and a profile of the shooter, a 19 year old man with a troubled past - a high school dropout with drug and/or alcohol problems leading to legal issues. He had apparently broken up with a girlfriend a couple of weeks ago and lost his job at a local MacDonald's this week. People that knew him described him as troubled but not violent.

No daily humor today, I'm just not in the mood.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

KETV Report on Westroads Shooting

"Omaha police said nine people were dead, including the alleged shooter, after shots were fired inside the Von Maur store at Westroads Mall on Wednesday afternoon.

Fourteen more were injured, two critically, police said.

Sgt. Teresa Negron said there are nine fatalities. She said officers found the suspected shooter dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Negron could not describe the shooter, but said he was a male. Negron said most of the victims were inside Von Maur."

Unbelievable tragedy. Thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, as well as my hopes for a speedy recovery to those injured. Hard to believe it could happen here in Omaha, particularly so close to my own home (I live less than a mile from the scene, but was still at work at the time). Every available police officer in the city was sent with the first arriving on the scene in under six minutes from the first report, but as with any such event, they arrived far to late to stop and apprehend the shooter before they ended their own life.

Terrible, terrible day here in the Heartland.

Shooting at Westroads Mall

There's been a shooting at Omaha's Westroads Mall, apparently up to five people may be injured.

"A description of the shooter, broadcast over scanners, was that he was in an Army-green vest and was holding a rifle."

Big Red Round-Up: New Regime Edition

Husker Bloggers are asking questions. I thought I’d answer them.

(Still waiting to be invited to a permanent seat at the adult’s table, but then, this isn’t exclusively a Husker blog, or even a sports blog, so maybe I’m disqualified – but I digress).

The 2007 season finished with a disappointing 5-7 record. Very few people expected this. What went wrong?

Coing off a Big 12 North division title and a bowl game and a respectable 9-5 record from 2006, Husker fans expected a return to the nation’s elite, with the coming out party to happen on the September 15th USC game in Lincoln. Instead we got pummeled, 49-31, with the Trojans carving up the Blackshirt defense like a stuffed turkey. And an epic journey of historically bad proportions took place for the defensive unit over the course of the rest of the season, with the team allowing school records for yards allowed, points, and you name it. While the offense put up respectable numbers, Kevin Cosgrove did not have either the capablility or the motivational skills to inspire the defense to put together a better performance.

Bo Pelini takes over as head coach. Good move or bad?

Outstanding move, the up and coming defensive coordinator was my choice to take over the program four years ago when Bill Callahan was selected instead. The way the defense, and indeed the entire team, responded to him for the bowl game after the firing of Frank Solich was nothing short of spectacular. The issues with the defense from last year should be resolved in relatively short order as I am a firm beliver that there is a lot of talent on that side of the ball that was not revealed last season.

I also have a really bad sandwhich shop idea and even have a great T-shirt marketing idea sure to win over fans and promote unity in Lincoln and throughout the region.

Pelini’s Paninis – Offensively Affordable, Yet Defensively Tasty

Yes, you heard it here first, remember that!

Nebraska fans were divided after the last coaching change. Do you see fans finally uniting?

While there will likely be a few wait and see holdouts, Pelini was the overwhelming favorite of the fan base for the job, even ahead of favorite son Turner Gill. Given last year’s issues, as long as the team comes out and plays competitively with more intensity than they showed a year ago, the recently oft fractured Nation will reunite.

How would you like to see Bo Pelini fill out his coaching staff? Anybody or anything in particular you are looking to see?

I think we are seeing what I wanted and expected, which is a combination of old Husker coaches from the last Solich staff, particularly from the defensive side of the ball such as Marvin Sanders, and the retainment of some of new regime Callahan offensive staff such as Shawn Watson, who provide both continuity and hopefully a more balanced run-pass approach to the play calling. Barney Cotton, Carl Pelini, Jimmy Williams, and Ron Brown (already offically signed) are likely returnees, and it appears likely that Ted Gilmore and perhaps Randy Jordan will be retained as well as Watson.

I also expect a couple of surprises, Bo could go raiding from Les Miles' LSU staff as well after the Tigers finish their season against Ohio State in the National Championship game.

I still hold out hope to steal Tom Rathman from the Raiders, but don't see it happening realistically.

What do you think the expectations are for Bo Pelini? Do you think he needs to win x amount or do x by a certain date?

I think the first expectation is that the defense will improve markedly enough to make us competitive in almost every game, although I do not expect to see an immediate dominance on that side of the ball. I also expect to see an offense that can do it all – a balanced run and pass philosophy that can move the ball well utilizing different methods depending on the opponent. I’d expect at least a break-even record in year one (hopefully a winning record) and a bowl game, with a North division title in the not too distant future. We have eight home games, including the first five, next season, which should greatly aid the staff in gaining momentum and turning this thing around. Get off to a good start and who knows what could happen, the Kool-Aid could get pretty tasty.

Husker Mike's take is here, and he thoughtfully provides links to the other Local Yokels expressing their opinions at the bottom of his post.

Animal House Quote of the Day

[Dean Wormer's plotting to get rid of Delta House]
Greg Marmalard: But Delta's already on probation.
Dean Vernon Wormer: They are? Well, as of this moment, they're on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Husker Coaching Staff

via HuskerExtra, former Husker receiver coach Ron Brown has been hired by Head Coach Bo Pelini (I love writing that) to coach tight ends for the new staff. He had been serving as the Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the state of Nebraska. Brown spent 17 years as a Husker assistant to Coaches Osborne and Solich before being dismissed by the Callahan regime. Brown stated that Pelini had made a promise in a conversation in 2004 when both were Husker assistants to hire Brown should Pelini ever become a head coach.

Speculation on further assistants is rampant.

Names being mentioned on offense are former Husker player, offensive coordinator and former ISU OC Barney Cotton as offensive line coach, and retaining Callahan assistants Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore in their current positions as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator. There is also some speculation Callahan running back coach Randy Jordan might be retained.

Defensively, things could get pretty interesting. No holdovers are expected on this side of the ball.

Possibilities include former Husker QB, NFL safety and current Northern Iowa LB coach Scott Frost at defensive back coach, former Husker defensive ends coach and current Ohio University defensive line coach Carl Pelini (Bo's brother) at defensive line, former Husker safety, defensive back coach, and former North Carolina defensive coordinator Marvin Sanders as defensive coordinator, former Husker all-Amercian DE, linebacker coach, NFL LB and current Buffalo defensive coordinator Jimmy Williams as linebacker coach, and current LSU special teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto at that position.

Gotta like the number of former Huskers being mentioned for spots on the staff. Cotton, Sanders and Brown have not been coaching this last season. I still wish we could land Tom Rathman, but he's tied up in the NFL right now with the Raiders. Time will tell.

Animal House Quote of the Day

Otter: Flounder, I am appointing you pledge representative to the social committee.
Flounder: Gee Otter, thanks. What do I have to do?
Otter: It means you have to drive us to the Food King.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Animal House Quote of the Day

I've exhausted the Fletch quotes, so we move on to ANIMAL HOUSE quotes. Enjoy!

[Watching Flounder take abuse at ROTC]
Otter: He can't do that do that to our pledges.
Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The BO has Landed

via HuskerExtra and OWH, Bo Pellini has landed in Lincoln and has met shortly ago with the Husker players with an announcment that he will be Nebraska's next head coach expected at 4 pm today.

Oustanding news. Former Husker assistants Marvin Sanders and Ron Brown may be a part of the staff, as well as current Husker OC Shawn Watson. Pelini told the LSU players yesterday before the SEC Championship game that he was leaning toward taking the Husker head position, referring to it as a "dream job". The Tigers defeated Tennessee 21-14 yesterday and have apparently risen to #2 in the BCS to take on Ohio State for the National Cahmpionship.