Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I posted in some detail about the Geminids yesterday.  This morning the dogs and I watched them for about 10 minutes, and saw about 40 meteors.  That works out to a rate of about 240/hour, nowhere near some of the predictions – but it was still a great display.  Because Gemini is so high in the sky right now, the meteors were visible at all points of the compass, and looked like they were headed straight down.  Of the meteors I saw, two were fairly large and long-lived, one in particular to the southwest of me that disappeared below the horizon still glowing brightly...

Your Morning Puns...

Via reader James M.:
The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies,'Yes, I'm positive.'

Aging Rock Stars...

If you're of a certain age, you'll enjoy this:

Mandate Take-Down...

This WSJ piece is a good summary of the ruling yesterday that the Obamacare individual mandate is unconstitutional.  A taste:
Judge Hudson's opinion is particularly valuable because it dispatches the White House's carousel of rationalizations for its unprecedented intrusions. The Justice Department argued that the mandate is justified by the Commerce Clause because the decision not to purchase insurance has a substantial effect on interstate commerce because everybody needs medical care eventually. And if not that, then it's permissible under the broader taxing power for the general welfare; and if not that, then it's viable under the Necessary and Proper clause; and if not that, well, it's needed to make the overall regulatory scheme function.

But as Judge Hudson argues, the nut of the case is the Commerce Clause. Justice can't now claim that the mandate is "really" a tax when the bill itself imposes what it calls a "penalty" for failing to buy insurance and says the power to impose the mandate is vested in interstate commerce. Recall that President Obama went on national television during the ObamaCare debate to angrily assert that the mandate "is absolutely not a tax increase."

Moreover, Judge Hudson says that no court has ever "extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market."
The best part so far as I can see is that this ruling is a necessary first step in the inevitable appeals process, so the (first) journey of this legislation to the Supreme Court has begun...