General Archive

Monday, July 16, 2007

Racism All Around Me

Just a short entry for today, but it's something I wanted to get off my chest.

I mentioned that we recently moved. Well, we just got an offer on our old house. Being kind of curious, as I'd imagine most sellers are, we asked our real estate agent about the potential buyers. Turns out it's an Iranian couple.

Well, we've told a few people about getting the offer, and they're curious, too, so they've asked us about the potential buyers, so of course we end up telling them that it's an Iranian couple. But I've been shocked by the number of people who have responded negatively, like, "Oh, you're not going to sell to those people, are you," or assuming that they're terrorists. Come on, people, I find your casual racism pretty disturbing. Sure, there are terrorists in the Middle East, but to assume that all MIddle Eastern people are terrorists because of the acts of a handful of people just doesn't make sense. Are all Italians mobsters? Are all Irish and English soccer hooligans? Are all Americans religious cult members? And you know what, there are terrorists right here at home, too. In fact, prior to the September 11th attacks, the "deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil" (Wikipedia) was the Oklahoma City bombing, carried out by a couple of white Americans. They'd even served in the Army. Does that mean I should be distrustful of all veterans?

So people, please stop telling me that the couple that may be buying my house are going to use it as a front to bring in a bomb. If you can't help being a racist, at least keep it to yourselves.

note: a few minor edits were made to this entry on 2007-07-17, but nothing that substantially changed the meaning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Well, I mentioned in a post a little while ago that I was moving. Now, thanks to all the rain we've been getting, this is what my back yard looks like just two weeks after we moved in. The water's about 4 or 5 feet up the trunk of that tree.

Flooded Backyard

Don't worry too much about me and my family, though. Our backyard has a pretty good slope to it, and that tree's right at the back edge. The water still had a good 5 feet to go before it got to our house. But other people weren't so lucky. Here's the street a few blocks from our house.

Flooded Street

And that picture was taken before the water had crested. It got another foot or so higher. Other neighborhoods got hit even worse. Houses in the Wranglers Retreat neighborhood were underwater up to their roofs, and several houses in the downtown area had several inches to several feet of water. There are a few pictures on the City of Wichita Falls website, some more good pictures in some articles written by the local paper, the Times Record News: Rising water forces residents to retreat and Flooding overtakes East Side, forcing evacuations, and many more on a slideshow put together by the paper, but the slideshow isn't as good as the other photos.

So, it looks like this was the highest flood ever recorded for Wichita Falls, the river reaching at least 24.31 ft (the highest reported depth I could find, and probably pretty close to as deep as it got.) That's about 3 3/4" deeper than the previous record of 24 ft set way back in 1941. At least the river's been going down since Saturday. As long as we don't get too much more heavy rain, it looks like this is going to clear up. Hopefully the other parts of the country that got hit harder will start to recover, too.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Wow, write an essay criticizing a well-known creationist organization, get it included in a blog carnival on a popular science blog, and watch the comments keep flooding in over a month after it was originally posted. Specifically, it was my entry, Creation Museum/Creationist Rule of Thumb with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, written to coincide with the opening of Answers in Genesis's new Creation Science Museum, criticizing AiG's use of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to try to refute evolution. The blog carnival was The Creation Museum and was hosted on Pharyngula. And to be honest, it wasn't exactly a flood of comments, but it is more comments than any other post I've written has generated.

Anyway, I ended up putting a good deal of effort into the response I wrote to the latest comment on there. It's not quite as big as the original entry, but it's certainly more substantial than some of the other stand-alone blog entries I've written. Which means, once again, that I haven't had time to write a good, stand-alone entry for this week. I may post something short later this afternoon, but if you really want to read something I wrote this week, go check out the comments to Creation Museum/Creationist Rule of Thumb with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cop Out

Well, I didn't make any posts last week, and so far this week, I only posted a link to another site. Well, I don't have anything better for today. I've just been so busy recently with personal affairs, that I haven't had much time for working on this blog. (I guess I can go ahead and say what the personal business is - my family's moving to a new house. Still in the same city, just a little roomier with a little more land. But it means we've been busy, staying up late working getting the old house ready to sell, and moving into the new house (now I know how those people on HGTV feel). So, I've been pretty tired and haven't felt much like working on this blog. Plus, I've been having to run errands during my lunch breaks, which completely eats into the time I have to write here.)

Anyway, I have put just about as much effort into responses in the comment thread on my entry on the Creation Museum and the Second Law of Thermodynamics as I normally would into a new post (which is kind of a big deal, since I normally get zero feedback to my entries). So, if you want to read something that I wrote this week, go take a look at the comments to that entry.

I do have a new, real entry in the works, that I just haven't had a chance to finish yet. Hopefully I'll get it done next week.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jay Frazier Website

I try not to make this blog too personal, but I figured this was definitely worth a post. Jay Frazier, the brother of some friends of mine, recently died. The family has put together a website, to help remember and celebrate his life.


Selling Out