Friday, June 29, 2012

Oops--Not a good day for CNN and Fox

Gary He Photoshopped a photo of Truman triumphantly displaying the newspaper which errorneously reported on his loss.  This time it's President Obama with an iPad.
CNN and Fox, in a rush to announce the results of the Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, announced on live television that the mandate for individual health insurance was unconstitutional.  Both got it wrong.   Corrections and amusement followed quickly on the heels of this major gaffe.   On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart observed that you need to read beyond the first page.   The complete opinion is available at the Supreme Court website.  All 905 pages of the act are available at FDsys--GPO's Federal Digital System.  Happy reading. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your House is Worth Less and So (Probably) are You

If you didn't know already, the Federal Reserve has confirmed that your net worth declined between 2007 and 2010.   Net worth is defined at the total value of assets such as homes, bank deposits and stocks, minus debts such as mortgages and credit cards. The biggest factor in the decline was the drop in home values.  Adjusted for inflation, family net worth is the same as it was in 1992.  Achy Breaky Heart or Remember the Time anyone?  The complete report is online at

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fire in the West

As the smoke curls its way across the state and we watch another fire blow up here in the west I thought it might be useful to link up some of the sources you can go to find out more about these large wildfires as well as on the High Park fire in particular.

Fire Information for the Government
  • FEMA Wildfire Preparedness This web page provides information on individuals and homeowners on preparing for and dealing with wildfires.
  • InciWeb This site provides information on emergency incidents across the United States. Currently there are 111 incidents listed on this site, including the High Park Fire. Each incident has an overview of the problem, the road closures and evacuations, who is involved, maps, and contact information. You can follow an incident on RSS or Twitter.
  • National Interagency Coordination Center This is the interagency that coordination the mobilization of resources for wildland fire. You can find information on particular fires as well as statistics on fires. This year so far there have been 23,725 fires with 934,014 acres burned compared with 31,267 fires last year with 4,049,520 acres burned. On average for the past ten years there have been 32,634 fires with 1,496,330 acres burned (press release).
  • FireDetect Map This interactive map from NOAA tracks the smoke released by fires and right now clearly demonstrates how the smoke from the High Park fire has made it to Iowa.

High Park Fire Information
Finally, to get a picture of the scale, check out this satellite photo from NASA's Aqua Satellite yesterday: