The Scary Military State of the United States

As a child of Romanian immigrants from the brutal era of communism, I heard quite a number of stories told about how people were routinely arrested and put into prison for the most unreasonable reasons — anything from protesting against the government to just not being in the right place at the right time. My parents were very happy that we live in a country where, as they said at the time, a person could march up and down the streets carrying signs denouncing President Clinton (I suppose this dates me pretty well) and they would never be arrested.

Continue reading → The Scary Military State of the United States

Is It Worth a Search If Nothing Is Ever Found?

In the world of sales, if a sales person were to make one hundred thousand calls and were unable to make even a single sale, that person would undoubtedly be fired. Similarly, if a group of scientists were trying to prove that a certain sort of amoeba existed in a particular environment and searched in one hundred thousand different locations and found no amoeba, it would make sense to conclude that the amoeba was not going to likely be found in that environment.

Continue reading → Is It Worth a Search If Nothing Is Ever Found?

Incarcerating the Amateur Photographer

It was once a hobby of many – taking photographs of the beautiful trains that crisscross the countryside. There are so many different trains and, judging by the number of model train enthusiasts, a considerable number of people interested in looking at them.  Amtrak recently sponsored a contest to take photographs of its own trains. The winner would get a thousand dollars in travel vouchers and get their photo published in Amtrak’s annual calendar.

Continue reading → Incarcerating the Amateur Photographer