Rushlight's Muse

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The East Texas jungle, in Summer.





Come in, find a seat, enjoy the show....


This weblog is my online journal. You'll find my opinions on a variety of topics as well as links to other things on the web that I find interesting. When the spirit moves me, I may also include longer essays.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prognostication
When I was at Sam Houston State, I took a class called Atmospheric Chemistry.  Basically, it studied the effects that people and their by-products (read: pollution) have on the environment. 
 
While I never cared much for chemistry, this class literally came alive to me as we explored the atmospheric processes involved.  I was fascinated by the cascade of events that resulted from the addition of just one component.  One of the major contributors to the negative environmental outcomes was the combustion of fossil fuels.
 
As we progressed further and further into the semester, it became an unavoidable truth that something needed to be done to change our society, our national way of life, to become better stewards of the world.  And after we came to this conclusion, we realized that the only way to do this, to make people change their ways, was to hit them in their most vulnerable spot.
 
...in their pocket books.
 
The only way to get real, basic, fundamental change in today's society is to affect the cash flow.  Therefore, the only way to truly get people to conserve energy, to use more fuel efficient methods in all areas of their lives, is for gas to become much, MUCH more expensive.
 
...so here we are today, gas knocking on $4 a gallon, and NOW people are getting serious about conserving energy.  It's a shame that we had to wait for it to happen this way.  It's a shame that our prediction was correct.
8:07 pm cdt

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Scratch Box
A "Scratch Box" is a device used in training drug dogs.  The dog smells the odor, and when it alerts (indicates it smells an odor it's been trained to find), it gets to play with its favorite toy.  The term "scratch box" is used whether the dog is an aggressive (scratches) or passive (sits) alerter. 
 
I like the one you see here.  From the dog's point of view, the ball seems to drop directly from the source of odor.  This helps develop the dog's focus directly on the odor and not on the handler (because the dog quickly learns that the handler has the ball).
 
Anyhoo, check out this clip:
 
 
6:53 am cdt


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