That Wednesday post that everyone will be talking about on Thursday at the water cooler

n644581292_2180149_7384There’s lots of stuff going on that I’d like to write about tonight, but I really should be working on tomorrow’s lesson plan for that class I’ll be teaching at 826. I’m thinking of giving each one of them, at the end of class, the opportunity to post something… anything… on my site. I guess that might be risky, as I don’t know them, but I figure that it’ll be interesting. Hopefully, at least one will have hated the class and say so… Another thing I’m considering is having everyone make a tiny zine, once I’m done presenting the overview on self-publishing and regaling them with my fascinating stories about blogging. (“Some nights, I blog in my living room, on the couch. Some nights, I prefer to blog at the kitchen table, as it’s closer to the bathroom and the kitchen. Sometimes I stay in my work clothes. Sometimes I change into my tattered blogging leotard. Sometimes I eat pretzels. Sometimes I eat cheese…”) But, before I go, I wanted to pass a few things along. Most importantly, I just learned that Santa Claus reads this site and regularly leaves comments here. Or, at least the guy who will be playing Santa and taking calls tomorrow evening on Community Access Television has been known to. So, do you think you can guess which of our regulars it is? (It’ll be on from 6:00 to 8:00 tomorrow night, on channel 17.) And I hesitate to do this, as I don’t want any of you to call him, but the dial-in number is 794-6155. (Maybe I can call during a break in my class. I think it might really impress my students if I could just whip out my cell phone and dial-up Santa.) Anyway, if you’ve never seen the show before, it’s pretty cool. Kids just call in and ramble about all the stuff that they want, and Santa does his best to avoid getting locked down to anything in particular. Oh, and I also wanted to mention that yesterday Ann Arbor was mentioned at length during the News Hour on PBS. It was an extremely positive piece, aside from the gratuitous shots of Detroit ruin porn. And you can check it out by following that last link. The piece, which is mostly about entrepreneurship, features our friends at Zingerman’s prominently… And I wanted to let you know that Ypsi has officially kicked off its search for a new DDA Director. You can find the job posting here. And, speaking of Ypsi DDA Directors, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Brian Vosburg – the last man to hold the job – on landing a new development position with the Detroit Housing Commission… Oh, and in unrelated pandemic news, I just now heard that H1N1 vaccinations would be available to residents of Washtenaw County this Friday. If you’re interested, though, you’ll need to get a wristband tomorrow at the EMU Convocation Center either between 10:00 AM and noon, or between 5:00 to 7:00 PM…. I’m sure I’m missing stuff, but I guess that’s enough for tonight… Good night, my invisible friends. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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  1. Josh
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Gotta love the phrase “Detroit ruin porn.” I’ll be sure to casually drop that into conversation and have everyone think I’m witty as soon as I possibly can.

  2. Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to take credit, but I didn’t coin the term, Josh. I read it somewhere, and, like you, liked it.

    I also wanted to add that, while I think it would be wrong to call us Santa and ask him about the comments that he’s left here, I do think it would be perfectly acceptable to call up, and, in a child’s voice, ask for a Mark Maynard puppet.

  3. Douglas Kelp
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    It probably also fits here that Representative Pam Byrnes plans to announce her intention to run for State Senate here in Ypsi on Sunday, December 13 at 2:30pm in front of the Freighthouse.

  4. Reginald Fox Scrotum
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t intend to call and ask as children will be watching but I am curious as to whether Santa manscapes.

  5. Stan
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I wish the PBS piece had focused on some of our local non-I-phone application companies. Those student companies are cool, but they aren’t likely to employ a lot of people.

    PS- The inclusion of the A2Geeks sticker was cool.

  6. Steph's Dad
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    If I were ambitious, I’d get a lot of flu wristbands today. Then, tonight, I’d leave a bunch of comments here and at about the deadliness of H1N1. Then, tomorrow, I’d sell the wristbands for a healthy profit. I’m not ambitious though, so I’ll probably just stay home, where it’s warm.

  7. Steph's Dad
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    And who would want to be the Ypsi DDA Director? I know things have changed, with the melding of the two previous DDAs, but I can’t imagine it’ll be all that much more functional with all the various factions going after each other.

  8. Kim
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Santa, if you do read this site, could you please tell us who in Ypsi is on your Naughty List? If I’m already on it, there’s no sense in trying to stay good these next two weeks.

  9. Stephen R
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to use this as an open thread without having been asked to do so, but I thought that people might like today’s letter from the Center for American Progress on Climategate.

    As delegates from countries across the globe gather at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the world is waiting to see if international leaders will commit to the bold reductions in carbon emissions needed to curb the effects of global warming. One group of individuals who is doing everything it can to prevent progress is the climate change deniers — a coalition of dirty energy-funded groups and their political allies on the far right. The newest ammunition employed by these deniers is “Climategate” — a smear campaign claiming that there is a “coordinated campaign to hide scientific information” about the supposed hoax of global warming. The conservative swiftboating attack in “Climategate” involves illegally hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climactic Research Unit (CRU) in the U.K., which skeptics are using to claim that leading climate researchers are suppressing scientific data that shows that climate change is not occurring. The truth is that the hacked e-mails offer no proof of the suppress ion of scientific data, the mainstream media has given undue credibility to the story, and the science behind global warming is as undeniable as ever.

    THE SWIFTBOATING OF SCIENCE BEGINS: The coordinated attack began last month when more than a thousand stolen internal e-mails from the CRU were dumped on a Russian web server. Hackers then used a computer in Saudi Arabia to post the e-mails on the climate skeptic website Air Vent. Skeptic blog “Watts Up With That” then picked up the story, and it wasn’t long before the National Review and the rest of the right-wing blogosphere leaped on the hacked e-mails. Within a few days of the leak, Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) staff began distributing a letter claiming that the stolen e-mails revealed that global warming “could well be the greatest act of scientific fraud in history.” Soon after, right wingers of all stripes took up the cause of using the e-mails to debunk climate science, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, oil empire tycoon David Koch, and radical Fox News host Glenn Beck. Despite all this hysteria, the truth is that the content of the e-mails proved no such thing. Right wingers point to exchanges between climate scientists disparaging global warming deniers, which by itself does nothing to disprove the case of a warming planet. The most prominent e-mail deniers are touting is one from Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann sent to CRU chief Phil Jones, where Mann wrote, “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” While conspiracy theorists were quick to declare that this was evidence of Mann and Jones conspiring to hide data skeptical of global warming, as Time explains, Jones’s “‘trick’…simply referred to the replacing of proxy temperature data from tree rings in recent years with more accurate data from air temperatures. It’s an analytical technique that has been openly discussed in scientific journals for over a decade — hardly the stuff of conspiracy.” Even conservative writer Megan McArdle has admitted, “I have so far seen no evidence of the kind of grand conspiracy that some critics have charged.”

    THE MEDIA BOOSTS THE CONSPIRACY: Despite the fact that the e-mails in no way disprove the science of climate change, the mainstream media almost instantly took up the right wing’s spin and used it to undermine the case for the existence climate change. NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams quickly adopted the conservative Climategate smear, asking, “Have the books been cooked on climate change?” Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal accused climate scientists of being Stalinists. A variety of Fox News hosts and guests promoted the e-mails over and over again as refuting the science of climate change. One of the worst media reports on the non-scandal appeared on CBS News. The network reported that the “e-mails seem to show that some of the top experts decided to exclude or manipulate some research that didn’t help prove global warming exists,” and said that the e-mails could cause the Copenhagen conference to “only produce the framework for an agreement that then will be passed on to next year.” The mainstream media’s willingness to grant legitimacy to the conspiracy theories has had unfortunate consequences. Two of the scientists whose e-mails were leaked have received death threats, prompting the FBI to launch an investigation. The Saudi negotiator in Copenhagen told the press that his government’s “confidence” in the science of climate change “has been shaken” by the hacked e-mails.

    THE SCIENCE HASN’T CHANGED: While global warming deniers are trying to use the hacked emails to prove that the science of global warming has been debunked, the truth is that the scientific consensus remains as strong as ever. More than 1,700 British scientists have released a statement affirming their “utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming.” Meanwhile, a statement from the U.K.’s National Weather Service, the National Environment Research Council, and the Royal Society noted that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment, “the most comprehensive and respected analysis of climate change to date, states clearly that without substantial global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions we can likely expect a world of increasing droughts, floods and species loss, of rising seas and displaced human populations.” “The content of the stolen e-mails has no impact whatsoever on our overall understanding that human activity is driving dangerous levels of global warming,” wrote 25 leading U.S. scientists in a letter to Congress on Dec. 4. After a careful review of the leaked e-mails, the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that while “they do raise some valid concerns about scientific integrity, they do not indicate that climate data and research have been compromised.” Just this week, the World Meteorological Org anization (WMO) released new data that it had compiled that concluded that 2009 will likely be the fifth-warmest year ever recorded. WMO’s data “does not show a slowdown or reversal of the global warming trend.” Michel Jarraud, the secretary-general of the WMO, said that if nothing is done to reverse climate change, “cold periods will become less frequent, and heat waves and typhoons will become more frequent and more intense.” As Time concludes, “The truth is that e-mails, while unseemly, do little to change the overwhelming scientific consensus on the reality of man-made climate change.”

  10. Fritz
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Will Santa do things that you tell him to, like Subservient Chicken used to?

  11. Oliva
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Stephen R, thanks very much for that CAP piece, which fits the post pretty well, considering the North Pole aspect . . .

    (I hate that the MSM so willingly adopts the derogatory language–Climategate, Obamacare . . . Glad CAP used “scare” quotation marks to indicate the idiocy.)

  12. Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    This post made me laugh – I think you really should go on and on about all the different and exciting ways in which you blog. You know… weed out the people who aren’t serious about it ;)

    Good luck tonight at 826!

  13. Camera Girl
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    You should just sit in a chair, inside a big glass box, and blog, and they can watch you, like you’re in a zoo, and taken notes.

  14. Oliva
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes, good luck, Mark! I hope you do pull out your phone and dial up Santa, I do!

  15. Chucker
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I know that Santa! He has certainly used some vulgarities around here! Quite shocking.

  16. Posted December 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    The blogging leotard does not exist until we see evidence of it.

    And may whatever gods may have mercy upon my poor soul do so for me asking for that evidence.

  17. Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    So, did anyone watch Santa? I was at the 826 thing, which I think went pretty well, by the way.

    And, yes, Thomas, the blogging leotard does exist. It’s actually more of a unitard, though.

  18. Santa's Li'l Helper
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    “Santa, if you do read this site, could you please tell us who in Ypsi is on your Naughty List? If I’m already on it, there’s no sense in trying to stay good these next two weeks.”

    Oh, you are on the naughty list, all right. Just for asking if you are on it. So there.

  19. Kim
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    We should all send lumps of coal to Tiger Woods!

  20. Kathy Waugh
    Posted December 16, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    There will be a rebroadcast of CTN’s Santa Live on Christmas Day:

    I’m just sayin’

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