Archive for October 8th, 2007

08
Oct
07

Pee In Your Garden

Researchers in Finland are reporting successful use of an unlikely fertilizer for farm fields that is inexpensive, abundantly available, and undeniably organic — human urine. Their report on use of urine to fertilize cabbage crops is scheduled for the Oct. 31 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Naturally rich in nitrogen and other nutrients, urine has been used as fertilizer since ancient times. Just don’t forget to dilute the stuff with water about 10 to 1… and stay away from my garden! I predict that this is not going to go over well with law enforcement and home owners associations.

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08
Oct
07

Don’t Attend College?

Conventional wisdom (and the College Board Company) says that you wind up earning more for every year of higher education that you complete. On the face, this is a decent assumption. But is it really true? Leave it to an economist to determine: not so much. The College Board maintains that it takes 14 long years before the college grad’s income, net of loan payments, starts to beat what the high-school grad earns. During all those 14 years, college doesn’t pay. High school pays. When you start factoring in the costs of borrowing (which kind of sucks right now), how much you borrow, the fact that you derive less Social Security benefits as your income increases, same goes for Medicare, and you will most certainly pay more taxes (at higher rates) when you earn more. And remember, you’re giving up at least four years of earning when you attend college (usually). Economist Laurence Kotlikoff at Boston University created a nifty piece of software called ESPlanner that pretty much figured out that over a lifetime, it’s a wash. Go figure.

08
Oct
07

Good & Evil In The NFL

I realize that there are far more important things going on in this world than the happenings on the field of the NFL. However, Houston seems to be mired in a bit of controversy with Miami. In yesterday’s game, Miami QB Trent Green appears to drop down low to deliver a low block to on-rushing Houston defensive player Travis Johnson during a broken play. By just about any vantage, it looks like Green is trying to chop block Johnson. In the span of a just a second or two, Green gets kneed in the head as a result of his attempt and falls to the ground in a concussed, motionless pile. Travis Johnson then appears to taunt… the unconscious Green.

Bad: Green’s chop block attempt. There’s a reason why the maneuver is banned. It can end games, season, and careers of those it’s aimed at and also cause serious injury to the folk trying to deliver it. Green was not flagged for the attempt. Update: I have since learned that the chop block is only penalized on kick returns and change of possession plays. Green’s block, though potentially career ending for Johnson, was perfectly legit.
Worse: Travis Johnson taunting a downed player. It’s a game. The purpose is to win. Not gloat in the actual vanquishing of your opponent a la gladatorial games.
Good: It appears that Green will make yet another recovery.

The taunting part is not on the clip and who knows how long this video clip will get to stay up:

08
Oct
07

David Carr Still Sucks

David Carr managed to get his QB rating to 75.4 this past Sunday with his team’s win over the New Orleans Saints. He was 10 of 17 for 119 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception and 1 sack. His complete QB rating for the year is 64.6. In the two games that he has started, he’s been a 54.4 and 75.4. “It was by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life,” Carr said of a first-quarter sack by Will Smith that knocked him out of the game for several possessions. “I felt like I got sat on and then twisted. Every bone in my back popped all the way up to my neck. … I didn’t know, honestly, if I’d ever play again.” Carolina fans can only hope.