Friday, March 30, 2007

Trouble in Iran

Before I give an update on the happenings in my life, I'd like to write a little about the current situation in Iran involving the detaining of 15 British Naval personnel.

There have now been two confessions released on Iranian TV, one by Nathan Summers, a crewman, and the other from the group's sole female member. I'm no expert on these sort of things, but my guess, and the speculation world-wide, is that they were scripted at the least, and forced by threat of bodily harm at the worst.

The real question is whether or not an international crime has even been committed. If in fact the British did not pass into Iranian waters, then no crime exists, and the Iranians have a lot of explaining to do. The global positioning satellite data is pretty conclusive; the boats never once strayed from Iraqi waters. Without an actual crime, the confessions are of course completely invalid.

If it turns out the Brits did steer into Iranian waters, yeah, there ought to be repercussions...but there has to be proof to support the confessions...

I'm really interested to see how this pans out...if Iran can't produce any real evidence, they could be in for some real trouble.

In personal news, field training apparently went well this weekend for the battalion. I'm bummed I miss out, but there'll be plenty of time for that sort of thing in BTC, heh. We've got a PT Test on Monday...I'm fairly confident I can bring my run time down a little more, though there wouldn't be any real gain in it. Always concerned about pushups of course, but I'm getting more and more confident in them as well...I can crank out 30+ now without any real slowdown, so that's certainly an improvement from the beginning of the semester when it took me nearly all two minutes to bust out 40...

I need to get a hold of my recruiter as well and see how my pre-application is panning/panned out. I've got to talk about bonuses too and get some hard numbers down.

The Dragonbone Chair keeps getting better and better...And I'm getting close to the rank of Sergeant in Battlefield 2. Once again, I really recommend both.

EDIT: Battlefield 2's price has dropped to $5.00 on can anyone possibly say no to a price like that?

That's all for now. Busy weekend ahead of me, but Easter Break starts next Wednesday, so at least there's a shortened week ahead.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Post-Spring Break Report

Last week was excellent...75+ degree weather in Jacksonville, no rain. Wonderful.

A couple of days on the beach, a couple days shopping...just what I needed. I picked up the four books in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by Tad Williams. I'm about halfway through the first book, The Dragonbone Chair, and so far, it is doing a marvelous job of keeping my attention. Some of the writing has been a tad (pun not necessarily intended) repetative; no reason to leave this intriguing story by the wayside though.

I also picked up Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, a turn-based strategy game for the Gameboy Advanced for $9.99 at Best Buy...excellent game. I've logged in some 5-hours into it so far (thank goodness for 14 hour car rides), and I've had a devil of a time ignoring it for the tests I've had this week.

One last plug. Battlefield 2 for the PC is possibly the best value game I've ever purchased. The game costs around $10.00 on The game is an excellent battlefield pits the USMC (not quite Army...but I'll survive) against the Chinese against the Middle-Eastern Coalition in the possible-not-so-distant-future. Every match you complete online earns you points based on your kills and flag-captures in addition to other things. These points allow you to unlock various weapons and specials as you increase in rank.

There are also medals, honors, and ribbons awarded for accomplishing in-game tasks. For instance, I recently earned an ariborne ribbon for jumping out of a helicoptor and successfully landing after 10+ seconds.

Everyone in my house has purchased Battlefield 2 within the past couple of weeks and we just can't get enough. I've even comtemplated purchasing the expansion packs...

So anyway, now we're back into the swing of things with school and the Army.

PT has been successful so far this week. My room mate and I have decided to start putting serious supplement time into our PT, so I've started lifting and running on off days. A little more hurt, but the results are going to be good.

The battalion is going on FTX this weekend (field training exercise). It's patrolling stuffs and whatnot. I unfortunately will not be attending because I am technically not a part of the program nor will I be training to be an officer which is of course the purpose of the ROTC program. I would have liked to have had the experience, but no big deal. I'm doing to try to catch the second one this semester or both next fall before basic.

Now for a rant. Apparently, a polar bear cub recently born in a German zoo is causing quite a fuss. Apparently, Knut's (the bear cub) mother and brother ignored him after he was born. So the zoo officials have decided to raise the cub themselves. According to animal rights activist Frank Albrecht via the Bild Daily "Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal protection laws...The zoo must kill the bear."

Now, I could be wrong, but aren't animal protection laws in place to...I dunno save animals from death-by-humans? Apparently not.

Polar bears are near extinction according to all the environmentalist reports that I've heard as of late...something about carbon dioxide building in the atmosphere causing their habitats to melt away or some bogus science like that...

In all seriousness, this story did make me laugh. Albrecht's logic is that if the mother ignores the baby, the zoo ought to obey nature's laws and put the cub down, completely ignoring the fact that this is a great opportunity for breeding the cub can provide down the road.

"They cannot domesticate a wild animal," Ruediger Schmiedel, head of the Foundation for Bears, told Der Spiegel Weekly in its Monday edition.
Um, how about the fact that it was going to be raised in a zoo anyway? How do you think most zoos feed their bears (or any of the animals for that rate)? They toss them the food at feeding time! I've watched it happen...fact.

Ok, enough said. I hold you all have a great weekend.
Peace out.

EDIT: Read my good friend's posting on the economy over at the Common Virtue. The link to the site is over in "Friends."

Friday, March 9, 2007

Pre-Spring Break

I guess I never got around to posting my sources for the Creationism-rant...oh well, if you've got a really big beef with my rant, leave a comment.

PT was a breeze this's the last day of school before Spring Break, so naturally, we were missing a very large portion of the battalion. Our Cadet Sgt. Maj proposed a Game Day, and it went through. Basketball, Soccer, and Dodgeball...our group did well in basketball and dodgeball...not so well in soccer. It was a really good send-off for break though.

Speaking of which, I will be spending mine in Florida. The family of one of my housemates recently moved to Jacksonville, and we as a collective decided to spend some time there, given that none of us has ever gone on a "road trip" over break, discounting family trips. It should be fun and relaxing...I can't wait to hit the beach.

I finally turned in my pre-qualification application for the Army. Big, long form...lots of trick lines of 1) Have you ever had a headache 2) Have you ever had frequent or excrutiating headaches? 3) Have you ever suffered serious
head trama? 4) Have you ever had brain cancer? ...crazy stuff like that. Pretty entertaining though...and I did get to carry around my entire existence in a plastic bag for a short time (social security card, high school diploma, college transcripts, birth certificate...)

So the next step is waiting for registration for the fall, so I can get a letter from the University stating that I can't be shipped off to basic in the middle of the term because I will in fact be a student. After that, MEPS...I can't wait!

That's all for now. Exspect something political tonight after I finish packing.
Peace out.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Nice weekend...and Creationism

This weekend was a whole lot of fun...climbed, hung out with close friends, and just had a good time over all. And only one week until Spring Break.

We had a game day in PT this morning as we do after every Friday APFT. We played the Air Force guys in War's like dodge ball but with more people and more fun.

So, my political rant for today will be about something close to a great many Conservative's hearts...Creationism.

I'm just going to say it up front. Creationism is not science.

I consider myself a good Christian. I believe in God, and I believe that He plays as much of a part in our world today as he did eons ago when time began. I am very open to the fact that the Big Bang was probably God turning on the lights...

However, the idea that every species that our world has ever seen was in fact around at the time our world came to be is ridiculous...even laughable.

Fossils are age-tested to a very particular degree...are they 100 percent accurate? No...but we can be absolutely sure that they are older than 10,000 years. And what about the stars? We know that light travels at precisely 299,792,458 metres per second. That is a definition, not a measurement. If the universe is only 10,000 years old, how can we see the stars? It can indeed take millenia for star light to travel to our planet.

The theory of evolution is indeed a "theory." So is gravity...

Problems with linguistics and our understanding of the meanings of words are not ample justifications for dismissing all of the observations scientists have accumulated pointing to the truth behind evolution.

The science behind Intelligent Design is anything but intelligent. In a very important legal battle, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), Michael Behe testified that "no scientific evidence in support of the intelligent design hypothesis has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals." Michael Behe is an advocate for intelligent design. Apparently, they bury themselves.

How does creationism account for vestigle organs? I for one no longer have an appendix...did God really just shove an organ into humans who's sole purpose was to burst and cause pain? NO! The appendix is an organ that was at one time used in the digestion of cellulose; humans don't need it anymore because we have evolved. "Old world" monkeys still use theirs, though it has a different name, cecum. There are people born without appendices...and wisdom teeth! I actually personally know of at least three people who come from familes who simply do not grow wisdom teeth...they are what we would call "higher life forms," heh.

Creationists are entitled to their opinion that God created the world...but to deny the evidence that is right in front of their faces is ignorant.

God and science don't have to be separate. Many people like myself neither deny the existence of God or evolution. We believe that a process as complex and far-sighted as evolution could only be have originally thought-up by the big-guy. Why are you so close-minded?

I don't mind religion class...believe me...I've been attending it since I was 6...but keep it out of my science classes please.

I didn't cite any sources tonight...I'm at work without a whole lot of some point tonight, I'll try my best to throw up a second post with links to evolution and creationist stuff.

Time to close...peace out

Friday, March 2, 2007

APFT #2 - March 2, 2007

I've got to say I'm pretty proud of myself today. I managed to improve my push up count and my run time significantly.

This time around, I scored a 286 out of a possible 300.
86 points on the pushups (63 total...up from 45 on my last test).
100 points on the situps (82 total...same as the last test).
100 points on the two-mile run (12 min 40 sec...down from a 13 min 25 sec time last time!)

I'm excited about the pushups because I'm always the most worried about them...I didn't fall this time before the two-minutes were up, so that was great too.
I'm most proud of the run time...I kept a much better pace this time around thanks to two friends of mine in the program.

Still a long way from basic training...I think I can bring those pushups up to 75 to reach the max before next January...

I never got my record check done this week...I absolutely have to do that before break next week so I can meet with my recruiter. My anticipation of my trip to MEPS is nearly unbearable...enough school! Bring on the ARMY!

Ok, I'm at work, so it's time to get some work accomplished.
Peace out.