The Bush administration is at it again.  As a recent article in the Washington Post revealed, manyscientific committees in the government are being disbanded or changed.> "The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuringof the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areassuch as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees thatwere coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in othercases replacing members with handpicked choices." Who are these new committee members?  "One new member is aCalifornia scientist who helped defend Pacific Gas and Electric Co. againstthe real-life Erin Brockovich."  Of course, "badscience" (i.e., scientific conclusions that are at odds with the viewsof the current administration), has been a problem for the Bushadministration since they took office.  Now that the administration isstacking the membership of the committees, they don't have to worry about"bad science" any more.  Now Bush/Cheney can simply tell thecommittees to what conclusions they should arrive.  That should, to usea favorite word of the administration, "streamline" the scientificprocess considerably.

I'm sick with my first cold of the season.  Whee!  I alwaysseem to get colds in the spring, summer, and fall, rather than winter.

Over the weekend, I drove to Minneapolis to be a part of a friend'sbirthday party.  Along the way, I drove by the city of Eau Claire,Wisconsin.  This city's billboards along the highway proclaim that thecity is "up to something FUNN!"  The problem is that Idon't understand why they have to spell fun with two n's.  So, insteadof thinking of the area as fun, I think of the area as having a giantspelling problem.  Probably not the intended purpose of theiradvertising campaign, but that's the consequences of deliberately misspellingwords without an obvious reason as to why.

Ira got his first taste of pumpkin this morning.  A couple of daysago I put a whole, small pumpkin in his pen to see if he would eat it. However, after sniffing around it, he basically ignored for threedays.  So, this morning, I carved out a small wedge and put the wedgeon top of his normal breakfast greens.  After some initial caution, Iradecided that he really likes pumpkin, so he ate as much of thatpumpkin wedge as his little tortoise belly would allow.