Sunday, June 28, 2009


Rebellion on the Range Over a Cattle ID Plan
Erik Eckhom, NY Times, 6/28/09

What they were emphatically not doing, said Jay Platt, the third-generation proprietor of the ranch, was abiding by a federally recommended livestock identification plan, intended to speed the tracing of animal diseases, that has caused an uproar among ranchers. They were not attaching the recommended tags with microchips that would allow the computerized recording of livestock movements from birth to the slaughterhouse.

“Now, when there’s an outbreak, we can’t trace prior movements quickly, and we end up testing a lot more animals than necessary,” said Neil Hammerschmidt, director of the identification program for the federal Agriculture Department. “We want to put in place the infrastructure prior an outbreak.”

Among all the different types of livestock, cattle have the most pressing need for improved records, said Mr. Hammerschmidt, who added that some opponents were misinformed.

“It’s never been our intent to implant chickens, especially chicks,” he said. “People out there are saying that they have to microchip every chicken, and if that chicken crosses the road they’ll have to report that event to the government. That has really stirred the pot.”
I wonder if director Hammerschmidt intended that bit of humor. The plan in theory at least, makes sense to me.

Paul Hamby, owner of Hamby Dairy Supply in Maysville, Mo., and a vocal opponent of the plan, said, “It is very much an economic and class warfare issue.”

“Fifty years ago,” Mr. Hamby said, “hundreds of thousands of farms raised hogs, and now very few players have control of the market. I believe one of the reasons for this plan is to consolidate the cattle industry.”
I see some validity to the class warfare argument, though I doubt even though the plan was devised under the Bush administration that it's as sinister as the federal government conspiring with big ag to put family farms out of business. Perhaps the federal government should underwrite some of the costs with tax breaks.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You're the Best Around!

Incheon International Airport

Korean Air's main hub is ranked world's best airport
LA Times, 6/24/09, Peter Pae

Incheon International is little known outside Asia. But results of a recent survey of 8 million fliers could change that.

In a recent tour of the airport before the survey results were released, U.S. travelers were shown amenities that few if any U.S. airports could match, including free use of showers and changing rooms similar to those found at five-star hotels. There is a $2 charge for towels and toiletries.

In one area, a dozen computers with free access to the Internet were available for passengers. In another, a dozen sleeping chairs for those with long layovers. There was also a free television news and movie viewing room, a children's playroom and a museum. The same facilities were available at the opposite end of the terminal.

Those with more than a six-hour wait for a connecting flight could also check into a full-service hotel next to the gates where a private room with bed and bath was going for $40 for six hours or $100 for 24 hours.

The airport, built in 2001, also provides one of the more useful services for connecting travelers. Bags are directly transferred to the connecting flight. They don't have to be retrieved, taken through customs and then rechecked, as required at most other international airports.

I've only flown in and out of Incheon three times but I've been impressed, especially with the organization and the ease with which I cleared customs. The free luggage carts are also a big plus. There are even reading glasses attached to the tables where you fill out your documents. Security inserts a musical device (it sounds like a little like a musical greeting card) in your luggage if there is something in there that they want to discuss with you.

I didn't know about the free showers or sleeping rooms. It's nice that you don't have to belong to some premium airline club to get those services.

Incheon International Airport Official Website

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff

You might remember I wrote about the ticket mob fiasco in February.

Somehow, a new flurry of interest has been created around Thrill Hill's ticket holds for the recent Izod Center shows. These are the same shows that became such a subject of controversy when they went on sale on February 2nd. The new theory is that Bruce's holds were the problem on February 2nd, and not Ticketmaster's already acknowledged failures on that day. But the truth is that Bruce's holds had nothing to do at all with the breakdown of Ticketmaster's system.
In case you're in need of a cleanse after reading about Mr. Azoff & Ticket Mob's dirty laundry:


The above Newsweek cover, sold for $131.50 plus shipping on Ebay.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Here's one of Earl & I at Niagara Falls."

The latest photos from Soko.

"You gotta be smarter than the dog."

Down in Fraggle Rock - Gosu Cave


The Mosquito King

During one of my classes yesterday, a student wrote, The King Of The Mosquitos, on his forearm in permanent black marker. He didn't have an English name yet, so he is now the Mosquito King.

A student wrote the following sentence yesterday. The word he was suppose to use was socks.

"These is a Red Sox it is beautiful."

It broke my heart to correct him.

During a unit on time zones yesterday, the cartoon I was showing featured a kid wearing a shirt that said, "Be The Reds!"

Subversives? Should I alert the Korean version of HUAC? Are there infiltrators among us?


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Let me bore you with my slides

Since everyone is not on Facebook I'm posting some links to photos.

Deeper Into Seoul

First Trip to Seoul Part Three (or are you bored yet?)

First Trip to Seoul Part Deux

First Trip to Seoul

Bangkok, Thailand May 2009 Part III

Bangkok, Thailand May 2009 Part II

Bangkok, Thailand May 2009

Cheongju 2nd Week

Cheongju 1st Week

Spelling Lesson


The other night there was a new restaurant opening near my work and they had people handing out little "Yoghurt" drinks. It wasn't a yogurt joint so I didn't get the connection.

I did get a kick out of the yoghurt spelling. I thought it was another case of mistranslation and I was bummed to once again be
without camera but I was mistaken.

Swing & A Miss


Due to budget constraints, I'm my own fact checker here at the leg. When I typed in yogurt and the dictionary returned an alternate spelling of yoghurt, I was crushed. My despair almost matched the time I discovered that female bovines due in fact have horns after taking a picture of a life sized fiberglass Holstein (fiberglass animals are somewhat of an obsession) with udders and a large set of horns. The yoghurt post much like the hermaphrodite bovine post was not meant to be.

I had no idea yogurt could be spelled with an h. Admittedly, I am a horrible speller, often believing that if a word is spelled close enough phonetically it should be good enough for my reader. Heavens, with an attitude like that how long before the English language breaks down when we're all pushing shopping carts in the post apocalyptic dawn. In my defense, blogger thinks yoghurt is a misspelled word. I can't wait for someone to challenge yoghurt in scrabble.

From Merriam Webster:
Main Entry: yo·gurt
Variant(s): also yo·ghurt \ˈyō-gərt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Turkish yoğurt
Date: 1625

: a fermented slightly acid often flavored semisolid food made of milk and milk solids to which cultures of two bacteria (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) have been added

From the Wiki:
In English, there are several variations of the spelling of the word. In the United States, yogurt is the usual spelling and yoghurt a minor variant. In the United Kingdom yoghurt and yogurt are both current, yoghurt being more common, and yoghourt is an uncommon alternative.[4] Canada uses yogourt; in Australia and New Zealand yoghurt prevails.[5][6]