Day: December 30, 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

08:23 – Barbara picked up some new “tennis balls” for Colin at the pet store the other day. Boy, I wish these had been around when I was playing tennis. They look just like standard tennis balls, but they aren’t. A standard tennis ball weighs 2 ounces (58 g) and, when dropped onto concrete from a height of 100 inches (2.54 meters), bounces about 60 inches (1.5 meters). These “tennis balls” weigh 3.7 ounces (105 g). I didn’t actually test the bounce, but I’d guess that if I dropped one onto concrete from 100 inches it’d bounce about 2 inches (5 cm). With no bounce to speak of, a hard flat serve would come up only a few inches from the court surface by the time it hit the fence.

Poor Colin. Now that I have a mixture of real and fake tennis balls on the foyer table, he’s never sure what to expect when we go out the front door. He always rushes two or three meters down the walk, turns, and waits for me to toss a tennis ball onto the walk so that he can pounce on it. The first time I used one of the bounceless ones, he over-pounced and it rolled under him. Once he got used to scooping bounceless ones off the walk, I switched to a regular one, which bounced over his head. Being a Border Collie, he quickly figured out that there are two different kinds of balls in play, so now he tries either to grab it in mid-air before it hits the walk or to short-hop it.

13:45 – Here’s a sensible young woman. I confess that I was only vaguely familiar with Kelly Clarkson’s name and had no idea what she does. Clarkson is taking heat for endorsing Ron Paul, whom some pretend to believe is racist, sexist, and homophobic. He’s not, of course. The only basis for these accusations are some articles that appeared in a newsletter decades ago. Paul has said repeatedly that he did not write these articles and that he never made the statements in question that were attributed to him. No one has presented any evidence whatsoever that he did write those articles or make those statements. His record as a congressman and his public statements as a presidential candidate for both the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party should be enough to convince any reasonable person that Paul has been the victim of a smear campaign. Of course, most people are not reasonable, and most of the other Republican candidates are exploiting that fact to harm Paul’s candidacy. He scares them, and rightly so. Paul has integrity, which none of the other major Republican candidates does, particularly Gingrich. Integrity? He’s heard of it.

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