Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I want that . . .

My old chainsaw (which was a gift from a generous neighbor) is getting so unreliable that I want to upgrade.
I present the Dolmar PS5105. Made in Germany and guaranteed to kick butt. The only problem is that it costs $550. Doh!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


One of the songs in my daughter's piano book is entitled The Clown.
Here are the lyrics:

See the funny, funny clown.
He climbs up and he falls down!
You will never see him frown!
He's a funny clown.

Always be a funny clown!
Always steal the show!
When you are a sad clown,
Never let us know.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thanks, DH, for the link

You really should watch the videos.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Love Graphs

I love graphs, especially moving graphs on wealth and lifespan narrated by a European dude (ht Coyote Blog).

One question I had after watching the video. What caused the huge drop and recovery in life expectancy in China in 1958-1959?

Monday, November 22, 2010

`Sup Blogonauts?

Hey blogonauts, how's everybody doing? I just wanted to jot off a quick note to all and sundry so the blog doesn't wither up and blow away. A few highlights from Holmes.

1. Tomorrow we're having a turkducken for our department Thanksgiving feast. Boot yeah! (Doesn't boot yeah sound as cool, or cooler, than boo yeah?)

2. Last night Taliatha told me, "hey you have pecs." Maybe my old man strength is starting to come in. Farm chores, brutal winter winds and a steady diet of Holmestead eggs seems to be the trick.

3. Did you know it only costs $17.50 to shoot a deer on your own land. That's some cheap meat from the back porch. I've never been hunting (or huntin' as John Kerry would say) but I'm actually considering it. My bishop is setting up a blind in our woods this year. We'll see if he bags anything.

4. Go Cougs. Basketball is going to be sweet this year and here's hoping for a Ute smackdown on Saturday.

5. I'm teaching my first online class next semester. It seems too good to be true. "You mean I just set up a system where the computer does most of the work and I get the same pay?!?!" We had an investigator in Korea who was good at English. One night we were chatting on the phone and he said "With my power and the internet I can do anything." He repeated it a couple of times for emphasis. That's been one of my favorite phrases for chuckles the last 10 years, but it turns out the joke was on me because he was right!

6. Speaking of cool things you can do on the internet--you can get a weekly cleats-in-the-back + curby + TSA-pat-down whooping in fantasy football. I'm having a hard time adjusting to life in the cellar of the fantasy mansion, but hey Duerden needs company.

7. The annoy-a-tron is still beeping away in the chemistry cubicle but I haven't heard any complaints. I will have to sneak in and change the settings so it gives the more annoying beep.

8. It's time to rev up the chainsaw and get cutting more wood for the winter. It's hard to find something that beats running a saw with a nice sharp chain. Plus, it brings back memories of that dude at the Haunted Forest who chased Jed all over the place.

9. I am doing a Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 18. I haven't done one since 2002 or 2003 so I'm pretty much totally pumped--TOTALLY PUMPED!!!!!

10. Anyone else play in their ward's turkey bowls? I love going and playing football and then not being able to walk for the next two days.

Alright brohams, have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Revenge of Silverman - part 2

Starring our own Michael Padeken and Tony Gunn.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Thoughts Exactly OR Conservative Hypocrisy on the Plains

Fighting Food Subsidies with Food Subsidies, posted over at Political Calculations captures my feelings exactly. The irony is that small government, conservative politicians here in Kansas wouldn't dare to touch the farm bill and farm subsidies even though they are a poster child for federal government excess and meddling. They make a big talk about fighting "special interests" but don't dare mention agribusiness because if they did they would be out of office lickety-split. Here's their graph comparing food subsidies to the food pyramid:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weigh in, if you please

Tony and I are debating this in emails today. Well, it's not much of a debate. More of a "can you believe this?" back and forth. And I wanted others to weigh in on it while you can still view it.

Watch the clip below while you can. It's only on Hulu for now and who knows for how long. Let me know what you think. It was designed by Banksy, the increasingly famous graffiti artist with more street cred than Jay Z, and is pregnant with a not-very-thickly-veiled message.

So, our debate: is this funny? I'll go ahead and say the unicorn gag is, but you know me and my hatred for endangered, magical creatures.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Revive THIS!

If you follow cjane at all or even if you happen to read my Jayne's blog from time to time, you may have heard of this Lower Lights project that I've been involved with for the last year. It's getting off the ground this fall, starting with a free concert tonight downtown in Provo. It should be a cracking good time... and it's free.

Come check it out if you're around. It's a great chance to experience the hymns in a new way. We went about it all in a spirit of reverence for these great old songs, hoping to use our talents for something good. Brandie was there with me in the beginning, documenting the making of the record. If you haven't, go here and see the story behind the project. Or take a minute and view a couple of the music videos that Brandie cut together.

This is one of my personal faves.

Secret Prayer from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.

And if you don't live in Provo, anymore (suckas!), you can buy the whole blasted record here. Or on itunes or whatever, but if you buy it from bandcamp, the band gets all the monies for mounting firesides and spreading the germ of Hymn Revival to all the world!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's September 29

An important day. Not just because in 522 BC, Darius I of Persia killed the Magian usurper Gaumâta, securing his hold as king of the Persian Empire, but because Anthony Christopher Gunn entered mortality as a dark and hairy gift to his proud parents, David and Lorraine Gunn of Shelbyville, IL (it's a real place, look it up!)

Here are some other important things that happened on this date:

61 BC – Pompey the Great celebrates his third triumph for victories over the pirates and the end of the Mithridatic Wars on his 45th birthday.

1227 – Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades.

1789 – The 1st United States Congress adjourns.

1916 – John D. Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire.

1942 - Marion Gawain Wells is born in St. George, Utah to George and Hannah Wells.

1943 – World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio sign an armistice aboard the Royal Navy battleship HMS Nelson off Malta.

1966 – The Chevrolet Camaro, originally named Panther, is introduced.

Some important people born on September 29:

106 BC – Pompey the Great, consul of Rome (see above)
1321 – John of Artois, Count of Eu, French soldier
1912 – Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian film director
1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, American musician
1942 – Madeline Kahn, American actress
1957 – Andrew Dice Clay, American comedian and actor
1963 – Les Claypool, American bassist (Primus)

Finally, the marriage of Google images yielded from searches of 29 and 32:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthday Collage

Here's a hearty happy birthday to Jed. Hope 32's even better than 31 was.

And to celebrate, here's a visual representation of 32 (I was going to do a collage of the term "fat guy", one of Jed's nicknames in high school {not because of his weight mind you, but because of his cool "fat guy" voice}, but that unlocked a scene of horror I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.)

Anyway, these were a few of the scenes unlocked by searching "32" in google images. Jed, I hope you find them as inspiring as I did.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cool Cinematography

I thought ya'll might enjoy this.

Dancing Pigeons - Ritalin from Blink on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let's hear it for the boys

Two things:

1. We went to a packed (and by packed, I mean, standing room only) theater last night to see the tour de force that was Brandie's EHHS kids' Much Ado... You wouldn't believe me if I described the ovation that Mr. Arnold got when he took the stage to introduce it.

2. Last week, Tone and I went to film Mikey in action in his classroom full of bright-eyed fourth graders, and it was hard for me to hold the camera steady at times because I was so inspired by Mr. Padeken's ability at the front of the room.

It's almost laughable to think about pimply, hormone addled teenagers putting together a feature film, right? Add Shakespeare to the mix and it's freaking hilarious. I'd say it's just as funny to imagine little Mikey Padeken, wound-up like a bag of rubber springs and loaded with his Cheshire Cat grin, growing into the frame of a respectable man, husband and father. Add "that one teacher who made the difference" to that frame and I'm losing my mind.

I know Holmes is teaching, too, and I hear Kevin Chambers is doing his share. I'm not sure who else is or was, but I want to take my hat off to all of you. I think if the kids of this world could learn from any bunch of guys, you'd be the ones to show them the way.

Police Corruption: the Adrian Schoolcraft Story

I follow a couple of blogs that document violations of citizens' rights by the police. At first it was shocking to me how regularly police trampled property, search and seizure and 1st amendment rights; but now I'm not surprised whenever I hear of the latest abuse. Nor am I surprised when police are given a slap on the wrist following internal, departmental investigations for things that would land the rest of us in jail.

Enter Adrian Schoolcraft. This is the story of an NYPD policeman who secretly recorded all of his activities on duty for several years. He initially started carrying a recorder to protect himself from false accusations by citizens. However, when his supervisor started to illegally push quotas onto officers at his precinct, the aim of his recording turned towards documenting bad behavior by the police. Contrary to what one would hope, the higher ups in the NYPD didn't try to solve the problem. Rather, they turned against Schoolcraft.

His story can be heard on This American Life.

This story doesn't appear to have gone national yet, but you can read about it at Village Voice and HuffPo. The New York Times has picked it up so I'm surprised I'm not finding more articles about it elsewhere. (Here's the NYT article.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Government spending, from one of my favorite blogs Political Calculations.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our Independence Day!!!

So the news out of Provo that BYU is going independent in football got me more stoked for next year than this year.

We all must be pretty busy as no one has said ANYTHING on this blog since it came out last Wednesday.

My take. It's perhaps the gustiest thing BYU has done in a really long time. I love not having to play New Mexico and SDSU every year (though technically we might play even crappier teams). The Notre Dame connection is a fantastic move and I hope there's a day when we play every year and trade a trophy, might I suggest a 'True Claim to the Priesthood' trophy? ESPN gets us more money and exposure than that crappy mountain channel and I like the WCC for other sports. It seems like a winner all around.

What does every one else think? Has anyone heard any naysaying?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Air Pollution in the US

If asked whether air pollution in the US has improved or worsened over the last few decades what would be your  reply? Probably, "How the yewt should I know?!?" At any rate, it turns out it has improved--substantially! Here's the graph from the EPA and the data (h/t Cafe Hayek).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Annoy Stage I

The annoy-a-tron has been deployed in the cubicle shared by three of our chemistry instructors. Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LA Times Article on Evaluation of Teacher Performance

This LA Times article on comparing teacher performance is a must read for anyone interested in education issues. Essentially, they used statistical analyses of how a teacher influences the performance of his/her students relative to teachers in the same school which should control for student background and other variables. A lot of the comments following the article take the LA Times to task for teacher bashing. Do you think the article is unfair? If so why?

A few take home messages:
A) The district never performed a similar statistical analysis to show their teachers how they're doing at teaching math and English basics.

B) It is almost impossible to fire teachers that are demonstrably ineffective. That doesn't mean they don't care or aren't personable. In fact, experience, education or personality type don't necessarily tell you which teachers are actually effective at teaching basic skills.

C) Apparently the teachers union is contemplating boycotting the LA Times for this article. What?!? This is some of the better journalism I've seen lately. Asking tough questions of powerful monopoly institutions and demanding performance is what our journalists SHOULD be doing.

D) I don't think anyone would advocate using student performance as the ONLY factor in a teacher's evaluation. The problem is, it currently is not used in the LA school district--or most I would imagine. Why shouldn't student performance be part of the equation?

Here's a rebuttal claiming that the value-added statistical analysis is flawed for individual teachers because student assignments aren't random. It think she's probably wrong because the analysis still factors in a student's individual performance in prior and subsequent years so you can spot a year where a student did worse than their normal performance. If this pattern repeats for most of the students in the class then you should be able to draw some robust conclusions and this should control for some slight heterogeneity in classroom populations.

An FAQ on the methods used in the analysis.

The technical nitty gritty (I did not read this).

Friday, August 13, 2010


Thanks Senor Gif! Vote for your favorite in the comments.
funny gifs - How do you keep score exactly?
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Careful man, there's a beverage here
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Brick plus Washing Machine equals LOL
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Pants on Fire
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Go Team Raptor!
see more Señor Gif

funny animated gif - This Karma doesn't bite
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Whale Ballet
see more Señor Gif

funny gif - Hide the ball will you? Take That!
see more Señor Gif

funny gifs - Mr. Miyagi would approve
see more Señor Gif

funny gif - Goodbye Worldcup, hello Football season!
see more Señor Gif

funny gif - Obligatory Nutshot
see more Señor Gif

Nate Oman Weighs in on the GM/Chrysler Bailout

In a Washington Times editorial one of my favorite Times and Seasons Bloggers, Nate Oman, weighs in on the GM/Chrysler bailout (h/t Junior Ganyemede). A good short read and can I just give a hearty amen? The only thing he omits that I would have mentioned, although a commenter does make the point, was that when they "payed back" the TARP loan it was just with other TARP money! (Read this for an explanation of the debt shuffle.)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Little Something to Get You Pumped for Cougar Football 2010

OSU DB = pwnd by Tonga
Yewt QB Wynn = pwnd by Pendleton
Losing Harvey Unga = BYU pwnd (ah yewt!)

BYU Football from Andy Brimhall on Vimeo.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interview with Virginia AG on Legal Challenge to Healthcare Bill

Virginia Attorney General walks us through the four claims in the Obama administration's motion to dismiss Virginia's challenge to the health care bill and why the court dismissed the motion. Don't worry, there is limited commentary from Mark Levin. He mostly just lets Cuccinelli talk.

Questions: Should the federal government be able to regulate inactivity via the commerce clause? Are there cases where this already happens? If the federal government can regulate inactivity is there any constitutional limit to what it can regulate?

Protecting the Public: Exhibit A

Lemonade purchasers beware!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

World Poverty Rates Graph

The photos Mat linked to reminded me of this graph I found a while ago--probably linked from Cafe Hayek--and just hadn't gotten around to posting it here. I believe MENA = Middle East & North Africa.
Some thoughts generated by this graph:
1. People were worse off in East Asia than in Africa before 1980.
2. Maybe it's time to buy some stocks in African companies on the chance that economic development starts to take off there. There are a couple of ETFs that track Africa or Africa + the Middle East. Could Africa pull it off or will they languish in poverty for decades to come? I would bet on the former.
3. Don't believe anyone who insists that life on earth is getting worse (at least materially).
4. How many of our crises are crises of affluence? In other words, we only have time to worry about the social issues of the day because we're not subsistence farmers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Amazing Pictures

Check out these 40's era color pictures!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Anxious Hipsters, Rejoice!

Arcade Fire are back. In aged and faded technicolor.

Brand new (though made to look aged and faded) album release tomorrow. *relieved sigh*

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cool Graph

I thought this was an interesting interactive graph on time use patterns. Check it out...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Look at your grades....

Many of you have seen this:

But perhaps you have not seen this:

And even if you have who cares because it's funny and things that are funny are good, well unless they're evil.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Amazing Pre-WWI Color Photos from Russia

I just spotted a link to these awesome pre-WWI photos from Russia over at Coyote Blog. I sent the link to my brother but then figured some of you may enjoy them as well. I know they're not all from present day Russia, but they may have been part of greater Russia. (I don't know the boundaries of Russia at that time.) At any rate, I had no idea color photographs go that far back.

Update: Another link with some more explanations on some of the photos.

Friday, June 25, 2010

EPA Crying Over Spilled Milk

Now the EPA wants to use oil spill laws to require dairy farmers to "build extra storage tanks and form emergency spill plans." Emergency spill plans!?!?!?! Good grief. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Open World Cup Post

We need a place to talk about all things World Cup. Post many WC comments below! USA, USA, USA!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pac what now?

It's all over the place that the Pac 10 will invite Utah into it's fold officially later this week. Utah will undoubtedly fall all over itself accepting the invitation. Leaving their rivals to the south in their wake and unfortunately weakening a MWC which was just buoyed up by adding Bosie State.

Bleacher Report had this interesting take on the situation.

It seems a pity for Utah and BYU to not be in the same conference, and why chose Colorado over BYU for inclusion in the Pac 10? I seem to remember Colorado being good at football...Actually I can't remember the last time. And while there are lots of things to consider it's strange that the Pac-10 is made up of paired teams (USC and UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State, etc) and now...Colorado and Utah. It doesn't seem well thought out.

I'm interested in other reactions. What say ye?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

World Cup Fever

Here's Tony's chance to win his lunch back from me. I've set up a bracket predictor on for the World Cup. It's pretty straight forward and easy. If you're interested on putting a bracket together, go to ESPN's coverage of the World Cup and find the Fantasy tab. Look under the group name "Provonian Staff" to join in the fun. Your log in info from the basketball tourney should work for this event as well, or just create a new account. It's open to the public so all are welcome to join. The action starts this Friday so you don't have much time to get your picks in. To match Tony's offer from the college basketball tourney, I'll buy lunch for the person that wins. Unless it's Tony. Then we're just even. Here's a little movie for those who are on the fence about joining. The picture quality is terrible, but the song makes it work.

Fascinating Lecture: Why We Are Not Living in Western Civilization

No, this is not some right wing political rant about the socialization of America and the loss of freedom. Rather, it is a fascinating lecture (via Russ Roberts at Cafe Hayek) by a British historian on the discontinuity between modern existence and Western civilization. (As an interesting aside, he states that the idea of "Western civilization" is a fairly recent narrative of our place in history. Before the mid-1800's most Westerners considered themselves part of Christendom, not Western civilization.) Two of the major drivers of discontinuity he discusses are as follows:

1. A dramatic change in the "material conditions of existence" including an increase in population size and density as well as an increase in the standard of living. For example, he claims that the poor among us live better than ancient kings.
2. A change in the collective psychological worldview. For example, a shift to critical rationalism away from a worldview where it was theoretically, although not practically, possible to know all there was to know. Also, a shift where religion changed from a set of practices to a set of propositions that are believed.

This lecture is some seriously good brain candy. It is an intellectual's version of the monthly lecture my sixth grade teacher Mr. Wilson would give about how knowledge has exploded since over the last few centuries.

Update: The third source of discontinuity is the difference in cultural symbols between Christendom and modern society. Most of us, unless we've made an active study of it, would miss many of the allusions in Shakespeare. Also, we are likely to miss many biblical allusions. Just as an example, I was reading out of Samuel for the Sunday School lesson this week and discovered the phrase "God Save the King" in reference to Saul's selection as king of Israel. Or as a more basic illustration, Dr. Davies (the historian) mentions that about half of his students in a class weren't familiar with Adam and Eve.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You need this

You may or may not have seen her on TV, but you should get to know her now. This is especially up Mikey's alley. Good luck staying in your seat.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Holmestead: Meet Jupiter!

Meet Jupiter, our Maremma/Anatolian Shepherd mix. This dog is definitely the most important animal on the farm. I've suffered enough losses to predators and dogs that he is well worth the cost of purchase and food to prevent future losses--and besides he's man's best friend. Maremmas and Anatolian Shepherds are two breeds in the livestock guardian dog (LGD) category. LGD's are not herders. They were bred to have a low prey-drive and to live with the herd or flock. They are territorial but not aggressive--unless you are an uninvited guest on the property.
The first time Jupiter saw our neighbor's beagles he ran right past them, stood in front of our house and stared them down. We can definitely tell when he is giving an alarm bark. We've had a feral orange cat around that I've been trying to shoot and Jupiter notified me of its presence last night when it came into our backyard area. I still didn't get a good shot off though.
Jupiter is pretty good with the livestock but I usually keep him outside the fence so he doesn't pester them when he gets bored. We have two Suffolk lambs and two LaMancha wethers (that means they're castrated). They mow my lawn and sleep in the portable dog run my neighbor let me borrow. We had a third lamb but some neighbor dogs got it. Jupiter was too young to leave out of the backyard fence at that time. He raised the alarm but Taliatha wasn't able to get outside in time. A friend in the ward helped me butcher the lamb. Since then we've had leg of lamb and lamb curry. Definitely go for the lamb curry--definitely avoid the leg of lamb unless you like a strong, gamey lamb flavor.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In a Perfect World...

The Cleavland Lebron's lost to the Boston Celtics tonight. Now for the next two and a half months we're going to hear about whether Lebron is going to stay in Cleavland or jump ship to a bigger market (say New York or Chicago).

I saw a bit of his news conference and was bored to tears by his non-answers to every sneaky way reporters would ask him if he's staying. It would have made my life if this had gone down:

Reporter Jones: Hey Lebron, are you gonna stay in Cleavland?

Lebron: (tears welling up in eyes) Man...I love Cleavland. I love it almost as much as I love my Moms, or apple pie, or America itself. I love it for the fans, and for the food. I love it because I'm from the GREAT state of Ohio, and I'll be DAMNED if I ever leave it. You fat cats in New York, I'm sorry. But you got nothing on me. I'm STAYING BABY WOOOOOOO!

(Lebron rips off his shirt. The reporters cheer. Fireworks go off in the distance.)

Or it would have been cool if he had done this:

Reporter Josephine: So Lebron, any thoughts on where you'll be next year?

Lebron: Well I'm not gonna be in this stinkhole. I'll tell you that. I'll tell you what I want Josephine. Some TEAMMATES! What's up with these guys? I have one bad night and they all wet their pants. There all a bunch of stupid, pathetic, babies, and I'm SICK of changing their diapers. UP YOURS CLEAVLAND! I'M OUTTIE!

(Lebron slams microphone to the ground and moons the crowd of reporters.)

Wouldn't that be nuts? much better than the innocuous drivel they spout now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Spring/Summer music

It's Tuesday. That means a lot of new music dropped today into the space we listen to. It's time to school yourself, my brethren.

I submit the following: a video by one of my favorite acts of the moment, The National, who's fifth studio effort dropped today. It's smashing. The video might not be sublime, unless you get a kick out of the way they've taken the tropes of music videos and drained them of any color and/or purpose. The pageantry of lavishing the band in light and exotic locations is absent here as the front man, Matt Berninger, wanders alone through dull frames of black & white (albeit, well exposed frames). But dig that song...

What was I saying? Anyway, if the Duerdens were wondering what happened to their brother/uncle who wandered away from the family at that reunion all those years ago, the National found him and they've put him to good use. (he also looks startlingly like someone else, but I can't think of whom.)

The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio" (official video) from The National on Vimeo.

Other acts to spin and/or load onto your mobile listening device:

Josh Ritter pitched a winner last Tuesday called something I can't remember, but I'm including the cover here.

Also from last week, The New Pornographers (ignore the name) put out a pretty swell little record. It's their 3rd or 4th together and it consists of several artists who record by themselves or with other acts. The one to note is Ms. Neko Case, who is the reigning queen of alt country songstresses. I've said it before, but if there was a worldwide ban on singing, I'd take up arms and go to war for Neko Case.

Broken Social Scene of Toronto, I believe, are finally back together after a five-year hiatus. They're a nine-bodied outfit, so it's hard to get along well enough to make music, but when they do, it's worth a listen. Might not be the kind of noise everyone is into, but it tickles me.

I spent a little time in Austin last week with a musician and she turned me on to this new gem from Bob Dylan's boy, Jakob. I know, you're like, The Wallflowers Jakob Dylan? That's what I said. But he shares the bulk of the songs with Neko Case, and if you like a little more pedal steel in your summer tunes, there's nothing like a collection of solid duets to help the sun sink into your skin. And I mentioned the Neko Case, part, right? I think that's her face hiding behind Dylan's hat.

Lastly, a little something to look forward to. There's a collection of unshaven misfits who go by the name of Band of Horses who have nailed their last two albums and who show every sign of doing it again next week. The album is called Infinite Arms and it'll be available everywhere next Tuesday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Classic Boudreaux

Sorry for the limited output on the blog lately. The confluence of the end of the semester, adding more animals to the Holmestead and a calling "upgrade" at church is keeping me a little busier. Did I mention I have four small kids? At any rate, I'll throw y'all a bone in the form of Don Boudreaux's Open Letter to Prof. Barry Popkin regarding Prof. Popkin's  proposed pizza tax. Depending on your perspective, you may gnaw with relish or choke with disdain, accordingly--but this is one of his best letters yet. Hey Provonians, peace out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One More Time?

The NFL schedule came out yesterday. I, with eager anticipation, looked over Buffalo's schedule, hoping for a game in San Diego or Denver. Maybe Seattle or Arizona. While another get together seemed unlikely I couldn't help but look over the schedule and daydream a bit.

The furthest west the Bills come...Kansas City...AGAIN!

I thought it was weird that they'd play the same non-division team in the same location for two years in a row (upon some investigating it's been three years in a row), But there it is.

On top of that, it's on Halloween. "So Honey, what do you think? I know I said last year was a once in a lifetime thing, and I'll miss the trick or treating, but...c''s Kirk! This could be the last chance I get..."

That Kansas City trip was boss. Loved it. I would love to go back to the pizza place (someone help me out with the name) , the Hi-Boy, and to the county jail restaurant and get more chicken and waffles, but I sorta promised myself I'd never go back to Eden unless I was with my family on some sort of Church History trip.


If memory serves correctly DH is moving to upstate NY. So, really any home game is in play there. (if in fact Dr DH is moving to upstate NY like I think I remember.)

Other interesting dates/sites.

November 7 against Chicago in Toronto
December 5 in Minnesota
December 19 in Miami

I'm not saying anything. I'm not throwing any ideas anywhere. Heaven knows that we couldn't make this a yearly...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iceland Volcano Images

Check out these great photos of the volcano in Iceland (ht: Cafe Hayek). No really, click on the link.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

We recently finished a scene from our newest East Hollywood Production. This is basically a reinactment of what I did to Holmes that one day in zoology, except instead of arguing about girls it was about diptera.

Much Ado scene 27 from brandon arnold on Vimeo.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taliatha's Close-up

Don't throw out your BYU alumni mags this time around before checking out the spread on mothers featuring our own Holmes gals. My friend Brad had a thousand nice things to say about Rob's Mrs. after his trip out to KS to photograph her at home with Jane. It's a nice little story, too.

Are Holmes and Ollerton Canucks fans?

Must be. I got video footage of them at a game. See for yourself.

I can't think of a better way to taunt the opposing team, other than maybe screaming at them from above the parents section.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's give it up for Kirk

That's what we get for inviting a pro athlete into the pool.

Kirk won the Provoian Staff Tournament Challenge. He gets lunch on me.

Of course, he already owed me lunch.


Maybe we'll go out to eat and each pay for ourselves.

Here's the final scores.

Kirk 1090
Marylin 730
Tone 700
Brandy 650
Gil 610
Beau 530
Holmes 490
Padeken 460
Wade H. 450
Kevin C. 450
Duerden 420

Thanks folks, and next year maybe BYU will make it into the elite eight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Remi Gaillard Where Have You Been All My Life?

I Demand Kittens!

Sorry things are a little slow around here lately. I'll try to get an update on the Holmestead up in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, our family cat was hit by a car about a week ago. We sure loved that kitty. We're looking for a replacement kitten but not having a lot of luck. Apparently we're not the only ones. Check out this ad from our local craigslist:
Date: 2010-04-09, 4:44PM CDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am wanting a free kitten, litter box trained. No older than 10 weeks. FEMALE!
I have been searching for months and NO ONE has kittens, someone help me out!
This person wants a new pet kitten, dangit! All you kitten owners need to start revealing yourselves or else!

Monday, March 29, 2010

An update to the 'Madness'

No, I'm not taking about the 80's ska band...although...

Yeah...I can't see dudes skanking to the beat without thinking of Benson, and I don't really know why.

ANYWAY. For all of those who were brave/cunning/bored enough to enter the NCAA Tournament Challenge here's an update.

ESPN awards 320 points for picking winners in EACH ROUND. So, wins in the final four are worth 160 points each, and picking the champion gets you another 320 points.

Right now only three teams can get additional points. IF West Virgina wins next Saturday I will win!!! Which is sort of anti-climactic...because I'll buy myself lunch. But I'll dis all of you more than Max Hall dissed the U of U on this blog.

IF Duke wins Kirk and Marilyn will both creep in front of me, with Kirk probably winning.

Kirk is the only one who still has his pick to win it all (Duke) still in the tourney.

Here's the standings so far

Tone 700 points
Brandy 650
Kirk 610
Gil 610
Marilyn 570
Beau 530
Rob 490
Mikey 460
Wade 450
Kevin 450
Mat 420

Let's enjoy the rest of the tourney, general conference, and all the other marvels of spring.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can't Resist

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

US Census 2010: Just Do It?

Should I answer all of the questions on the census form? I don't believe the federal government has any business concerning itself with my race or whether or not I own my home. In fact, I refused to fill in the "race" question on at least one of the birth certificate questionnaires for my children (although that was a state rather than federal query). So I have three options: 1) just do it, you should obey the law and it's no big deal 2) only answer questions 1 and 2 since they are the only questions actually allowed by the constitution but risk a fine of $100 for each unanswered question 3) answer the questions incorrectly so I avoid any potential fines but don't give the federal government what they want. Does the fact that I'm even considering options 2 and 3 make me a right wing nut-job or a freedom-loving, fascialist-slaying patriot? I'll put a poll up so you all can vote (on the three options, not the nut-job vs. patriot question).

Here's a Freedom Watch interview on the census with GMU economist Walter Williams.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BOO YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tourney Time!

Reading Public,

The Provonian Staff hath thrown down the gauntlet. Whilst thou, I pray, be strong enough to pick it up?

Enough Elizabethan.

The NCAA trouney starts this week. I've created a group on ESPN's Tournament Challenge game entitled "Provonian Staff". It's completely open to the public, so anyone can join. Whoever gets the most points gets a lunch on me...of course... you gotta be in Provo to get it.

It takes about 30 seconds to make a bracket, although if you're Chris Bentley, who's buying lunch for me if I win...although he doesn't know it yet..., it could take a lot longer.

Fill out a bracket, join the "Provonian Staff" group and let's DO THIS!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

DNA Fingerprinting and the Innocence Project

Each individual has a unique DNA "fingerprint" based on the sequence of the A, T, G and C nucleotides in their genome. These differences allow scientists and criminologists to compare samples containing DNA (hair, blood, semen, stone age skeletons) with DNA from specific individuals. Beyond the obvious uses in criminology and paternity testing, this also is useful in reconstructing molecular genealogies and tracing the dispersion of specific Y-chromosome markers. For example, the Lemba tribe in southern Africa which had an oral history of Judaic descent was confirmed to have a much higher incidence of a Y-chromosome sequence that is found in the priestly lineage of Aaron than surrounding populations. Even though the Lemba tribe appears completely African, because of the father-son pattern of inheritance of the Y-chromosome it has remained present in their population unaltered for centuries. Other studies have suggested that Genghis Khan and his sons have ~16 million male descendants on the earth today and that ~8% of Irish men share the Ui Neill clan marker.

For me, the most striking contribution of DNA fingerprinting is its use in overturning wrongful convictions. For a real eye opener go visit the Innocence Project website. You can click on your state and read about every case of wrongful conviction overturned by DNA evidence (251 post-conviction exonerations to date nationwide). You can also see if your state offers any compensation for wrongful conviction (mine doesn't) or even requires samples that contain DNA evidence to be saved for future reference (mine doesn't). The unavoidable conclusion of all this is that the death penalty has will probably continue to result in the execution of innocent individuals.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This, Even This--TOO--Shall Pass

If you're paying attention at all right now online, you'll know that OK GO has done it again. I guess that last mind-blowing, totally awesome video for This Too Shall Pass that we saw last month was just a stroll in the park for the geeks behind OK GO's public presence. This time they've created something truly monumental to behold.

But, if I'm ditching objectivity, I'm not sure I feel that same... lift this time around. That "tickle behind the navel" that Mikey observed. Yeah, it's something you're going to want to watch 17 times to get your head around it, but I miss the joyful part of the viewing experience, not just the "how'd they do that" which will undoubtedly be your first response.

Far be it from me to take anything away from this video. It is truly an achievement and if I were OK GO I might just give up now. Because to top this is to call on powers that don't exist on Earth.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crosby, Staal and Nash

Did you notice that the Canadian hockey team has this connection to Mat's favorite band? That must be why they dashed our chance to dash the Canadians' dreams. Oh well, it was a fun ride. I don't follow hockey AT ALL, but I've been glued to the NBC Olympics website for the whole hockey tournament.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Now That's Man Food!

Who wouldn't want to try one of these manly, culinary creations?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Olympics Woo Hoo!

My winter olympics highlights thus far:

1. Alexandre Bilodeau = Chris Bentley x Gavin Bentley?

2. The official getting-you-pumped guy who yells at the US men's downhill skiers right as they are leaving the gate. "C'mon Bodie! Let's go!" He's got a booming, bass voice that I remember from four years ago. I've been using my best impersonation of it to "motivate" my kids around the house. The only one who likes it is my one year old who thinks I'm just being silly. My three year old gets scared. "C'mon Mallory! Eat that tortilla!"

3. USA takes down Canada in hockey. Boom suckah! I'm not even a hockey fan but I like international hockey when the good ole red, white and blue takes down the 51st staters from up north.

4. Short track skating. Love it! Actually I like this and all of the other "cross" events. Snowboard cross, ski cross. Basically anything where there are lots of people in a tight space racing at high speeds and there can be wrecks along the way. Why can't they come up with some kind of bobsled or luge cross? Now that would be cool.