Friday, August 25, 2006

Tribe Casino Axed

The Warm Springs (Native American) Tribe has been pushing to put in a gambling casino (off-reservation) here in the Columbia River Gorge. Many local residents and businesses have opposed it vehemently. Lately, it appeared that even with all the resistance, the tribe was going to get it's way, and the casino was going in no matter what.

Then the government stepped in and told the tribe that they could not put in an off-reservation casino in a designated National Scenic Area without a valid reason why. It seems that our government wants the tribe to do a thorough examination and report explaining why they can't have it on their own property.

Although I am opposed to the casino coming into these small communities (for various reasons), I do have to say this: As in the past, what our government says the native Americans can live and thrive on is all they get. They can not have anything else nor have anything back (landwise). Is the White man (gov't) repressing the Indian? Maybe. But in this case, if you know or knew this area, you would be thankful for the intervention.

Mr. Bill Born Again!

With all the unusual items with images of Christ and the Virgin Mary showing up, I've been on the look-out for holy intervention so I can cash in on the craze. So, while looking for rivershells recently, I spotted a face on a rock.

Unfortunately, it looks like Mr. Bill (he's a puppet character from old SNL shows). Or maybe a ghost. Nonetheless, I thought I would post his mug here for anyone to examine.

Pluto--not a full-fledged planet.

Well, well, well, they've finally decided to drop Pluto's status to "dwarf planet." This seems to be causing a bit of hubbub in society. I don't see a reason to remove it from everything--afterall, it is still a "planet" albeit a dwarf one.

What concerns me about this is the fact that 40,000 astronomers got together to define this once and for all. How do you actually define a planet when we have never been to Pluto, never sent a probe there to examine it, and may never send anything? How can we be so blatantly egotistic as to believe that we know what a planet actually consists of when we are only just now able to peer into the vastness of space to see other "planets" but not know what they are made of? We can't even be absolutely positive of what the planets in our own solar system are made of. Oh, there are the educated scientific guesses that have been handed to us as truth, but is it really the truth? Our own history changes every day. Scientific "facts" change weekly. Nothing is solid because we are still learning.

And why are we worried about Pluto anyway? How much taxpayer money was spent on this planetary definition? Shouldn't scientists and astronomers be more concerned with what affects our own planet? Why worry about definitions? Reasons why seem more important today. Why does Pluto have an eccentric orbit? Can it collide with us in some fluke turn of events? Is Pluto actually in the Kuiper Belt or outside of it? There are definitely other things I would like to know other than what some group "thinks" it should be.

And how much did we pay for that, again?

So I don't have much to talk about...

Okay, okay. I know I don't post very often. I don't have a lot of time to sit around typing in my blog, but hey, every once in a while, something comes along that deserves my attention. Today is one of those days...