Who is John Galt?

You know exactly what story I am talking about. I don’t even need to provide further details. Just shrug.

Update: A friend just e-mailed me and asked if this story at Marginal Revolutions was “the source of your Randian post today.”  The answer to that question is yes. I’m glad my readers can read my mind 🙂


Oh No! Google to Include Tweets in Search Results. Privacy FTL!

Just when you thought your tweets were private, Google strikes again. Now, all of your irrelevant tweets will show up, somehow, in Google searches.

from Google Blog H/T @TweetMeme

we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you’ll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.

From an informational perspective, this will be a fantastic way for Google to index breaking news. Think back to the aftermath of the Iranian election. Twitter was the key place to learn about unfolding events. But this also might introduce a further air of unreliability into searching, as tweeting is a totally unverifiable medium (even moreso than blogs).

Let’s hope this Tweet shows up in Google!

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Standish, MI Strugged: Town so dependent on closing federal prison, willing to welcome Gitmo Detainees

Poor, poor Michigan. Standish, Mich., is dependent on its prison, which is about to close. It says it still wants the Guantánamo detainees to fill the void, but opponents are pushing to recall members of city council.

From CSM:

A Michigan town may be waffling on welcoming Guantánamo Bay detainees.On Monday, the Standish City Council passed a unanimous resolution expressing interest in having a federal prison at the Standish Max Correctional facility, slated to close Oct. 31 due to budget cuts. But the resolution stripped out all reference to the detainees currently being housed at the US base in Cuba.

While some reports have interpreted the change in language to mean that the welcome mat has been officially yanked, the community 120 miles north of Detroit is not ruling out taking the more than 200 detainees, says Ruth Caldwell, vice president of the Standish Chamber of Commerce.

This state is so hard on its luck, that they are willing to house Detainees from Guantanamo. It seems the only people actually moving into Michigan may in fact be, wait what is Obama calling them nowadays? Well whatever they are, Michigan wants them!

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Internet makes us smarter. I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean S-M-A-R-T.

From Fox News, H/T David L. on Facebook, a new study suggests that using the Internet stimulates the brain and makes us smarter. “The results suggest Internet training can stimulate neural activation patterns and could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults..”

If use of the Internet makes us smarter, then readers of this blog should represent the upper echelon of the intelligentsia!

As the brain ages, a number of structural and functional changes occur, including atrophy, or decay, reductions in cell activity and increases in complex things like deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which can impact cognitive function.

Research has shown that mental stimulation similar to the stimulation that occurs in individuals who frequently use the Internet may affect the efficiency of cognitive processing and alter the way the brain encodes new information.

“We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,” Dr. Gary Small, study author and professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, said in a statement.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Homer Simpson clips.

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Just Searched the new Senate Health Care Bill, No Reference Made to “Interstate Commerce”

I think the argument over whether Obamacare is constitutional is  relatively futile under modern supreme court jurisprudence. See my previous thoughts here and here. But, I think it would serve Congress well to actually articulate some (bogus) way that Health Care affects interstate commerce.

I just searched through the 1500 page document, and did not see the traditional language Senators throw into bills linking the act and interstate commerce. Under Lopez and Morrison, Senators should have less hubris and just make up a link. Unsurprisingly, the word “constitution” does not appear once.

Oh well. It is constitutional under the modern commerce clause jurisprudence.

My Experience at the John Murtha Johnstown Airport: All this pork definitely isn’t kosher

Last week I flew through the notorious John Murtha Johnstown Airport. For some interesting background material, see here and here and here. Like the bridge to nowhere, this is the airport for no one.

In a nutshell, the Johnstown Aiport named after Rep. Jack Murtha (most things in Johnstown are named after him), provides three daily flights to Washington Dulles Airport. The flight is about 75 minutes. The drive woudl be about four hours. The airport is usually deserted, and most flights have fewer than 10 people on them. It is widely viewed as the crown jewel of Jack Murtha’s pork and ear marks. Yet, becuase I frequently travel to Washington, D.C. from Johnstown, it is pretty cool for me.

Here are my experiences navigating through this airport for no one.

Sign welcoming you to the Johnstown Airport, And Sassy's!

Sign welcoming you to the Johnstown Airport, And Sassy's!

Believe it or not, locals actually frequent Sassy’s restaurant. Parking at the airport is easy and free, and two scrambled eggs and a cup of tea will only run you $1.75 at Sassy’s!

The Huge Watchtower that Watches 3 Flights a Day

The Huge Watchtower that Watches 3 Flights a Day

The picture really doesn’t convey how huge this watchtower is. There is absolutely nothing for miles surrounding this airport, and nothing larger than dual propeller planes ever take off.

Long Term Parking, which was free, consisted of a few spots at the back of the parking lot.

Long Term Parking

As someone who grew up dreading the Long Term Parking lots at JFK and Newark, long term parking at Johnstown is a breeze. First, it is free. Second, it is always available. Third, the spots are in the same parking lot as all of the other parking. It’s just kinda funny they have to put up this sign.

Arrivals and Departures

Arrivals and Departures.

Kinda redundant because only one flight operates at a time, and only one airline operates at this airport. But just make sure you don’t get lost in this complicated terminal.

I arrived at the airport 15 minutes before my flight. No problem, as there are never any security lines. In fact, the security line only opens up about an hour before the flight takes off.

More after the jump.

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