This is the first weekend since September where there is no football (though I can't say I miss it as I usually would considering the whole leftward shift of the NFL by allowing politics to pollute the game).
About the most exciting thing that took place in my little town is the annual town and school district meetings to go over the upcoming budgets. (More on that below.)
NEWS FLASH: It's cold at the Winter Olympics!
Apparently the news media never bothered to check what the actual conditions might be like in South Korea this time of year. This has caused some equipment failures and, horrors upon horrors, the water-based makeup used by on air reporters to freeze, making it difficult for them to speak.
Gee, who'da thunk that it might be well below freezing in South Korea...in winter? Obviously not the the media.
My home state has a big problem with voting fraud as it allows non-residents to vote in our elections. (A vast majority of them are out-of-state college students who have an out-of-state drivers license, an out-of-state home address, yet are somehow considered legal residents for the purpose of voting.) It also appears New Hampshire is the only state that allows such fraud.
I have no doubt that the last federal election which saw then-incumbent US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) ousted by then-governor Maggie Hassan (D), who won by a whopping 432 votes, did so because of a large contingent of out-of-state college students voting for Hassan. Yet this doesn't seem to bother the powers that be with the exception of New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Allowing non-residents to vote in our elections seriously skews the election results.
It's time for this illegal action to be stopped.
As I mentioned above, this past week we held out town's deliberative sessions which went over all of the warrant articles for both the town and school district spending and other related issues. The tone between the two different meetings was the difference between day and night, with nary an objection raised about a $26 million+ school budget, but a but of controversy over the $13 million town budget.
One would think that with almost $39 million of our tax money being spent someone would have asked questions about the large budget items. But there wasn't a peep. However there were lots of questions and haranguing about smaller budget lines, the fiscal equivalent of arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. This isn't the first time I've seen this phenomenon and I doubt it will be the last.
Spend a couple of million dollars and this and that? Sure, why not! But cut a $2000 line item out of one department and rending of clothing and tearing of hair was overwhelming. You'd think someone was stealing the food out of the mouths of starving children.
I just don't get it.
One of the biggest problems we have when it comes to trying to determine past climate conditions – so-called paleoclimatology – is that too many present day climatologists have used localized paleoclimate conditions and tried to extend them to apply everywhere. That is erroneous at best and fraudulent at worse. That “[p]aleoclimate data still spotty and incomplete, leaving climate models vague, uncalibrated and filled with uncertainty” is something to many of the AGW faithful have chosen to ignore.
Vast tracts of the Earth's land surface remain unexplored when it comes to past climate conditions. How can someone comparing ice cores from Greenland say that the conditions outlined there in any way match conditions in the Arabian Peninsula or sub-Saharan Africa during the same period? They can't, just as we cannot make that correlation in present day. But that doesn't stop the true believers from assuming that the conditions on one part of the globe were affected the same way on another part.
I thought “Legalese”, the lawyers version of English, was bad enough when dealing with laws and contracts. I was wrong.
Having dealt with patent law for some time now (I have applied for and been granted a number of patents over the years) I have found that “Patent Legalese” is far worse. Basically, it states the same thing – a concept, idea, or actual physical invention – a bunch of different ways, with only a word or phrase here and there changed slightly from the previous iteration. I don't understand the reason behind such recursive/repetitive phrasing within the patent claims, but it makes for really boring reading.
As part of my job I usually have to look at competitors' patents or patent applications to see if we are violating any of their patents. I also have to check now and then to see if any competitors' products infringe on any of our patents. If I find a competitor's patent might preclude us from developing or marketing a product, I then have to check for what is called 'prior art' to see if we were using their idea before they had filed a patent application. (On more than one occasion we've been able to prove that a product we sell did not violate a competitor's patent because we had marketed it well before they had even filed for a patent, in one case six years before they had applied for patent. That meant they couldn't file a patent infringement suit against my company because we could prove we had been using it a prior to their patent application.)
Sometimes the “Patent Legalese” makes it difficult to figure out exactly what a competitor's invention is supposed to do and how it does what it does. That can cause confusion. It also means you can receive a patent for a similar invention that does the same thing as a competitor's invention as long as it does that same thing a different way. I have seen that more than once when one company files a patent for an instrument and the patent claims are too narrow. That allows another company to file for a patent for their instrument that changes one or more elements of the original invention. If I had to guess the obscure language makes it easier to claim infringements because the average person would find it difficult to parse. Even patent attorneys sometimes have problems doing so!
So as bad as “Leagalese” is, “Patent Legalese” is far worse because it looks like plain English, but it isn't.
And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it's raining, the snow is being washed away (slowly), and where we're getting ready to return to work Monday morning.