Eric Back on July 6th, 2009


Demonstrating an amazing facility for doublespeak, Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska late Friday afternoon.  Citing the mounting expenses and divided focus that has come from constantly defending her honor and family, she did not want to finish her term as a lame duck, she said.   Her rambling speech offered little more in the way of explanation but since that announcement several speculative articles have been published in small time blogs and in establishment media alleging that an investigation may soon be under way concerning diversion of building materials and labor in the construction of the Palins’s 3500 square foot home that was constructed at the same time and of the same materials as the Wasilla arena.  On the 4th of July Palin struck back with threats of legal action and since then the FBI has announced that Palin is not under investigation.

Margaret Carlson at commented, ”There comes a point when not practicing politics as usual becomes so unusual it borders on the bizarre.”

Still, political notoriety has its perks. It seems that in leaving office she will be walking into both a book contract with Harper Collins, and possibly a hosting deal for a television program.

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Eric Back on May 16th, 2009

I’ve been working part time on an MBA through Colorado State University and finally graduated yesterday. The program is a part time program that integrates evening students in Fort Collins with distance students via a web interface. Distance students receive lectures via DVD within a week after the onsite lecture. Lectures are also available the next day online. The program is AACSB accredited.I feel very pleased and relieved to be done. Keep at it those of you are working on this.

If you are looking for a program, check out Colorado State:

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Eric Back on May 11th, 2009

A poster named drummerac may be on to something.


On the Finland-Live site he posted evidence of a possible conspiracy for world domination.  Be forewarned!

The Finns have:
attacked Russia twice,
Germany once,
themselves once,
Are the Finns bent on world domination?

They export, ships, elevators, mobile phone technology, and networking solutions, and once every year their top agent dressed in a red outfit and disguised by a white beard creeps into our homes leaving ”gifts”.

Is this a ploy to infiltrate our homes and businesses with Finnish technology in preparation for the ”New Finnish World Order”?

So next time you get stuck in an elevator, your mobile phone crashes, or your signal drops and internet access disappears…..

remember to be prepared, The days of eating salmiakki and pea soup are drawing near.

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Eric Back on February 12th, 2009


Today marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin.  There is even a website devoted to the 200th anniversary marking the birth of this distinguished naturalist: Darwin

Fox News mentions Gallup and Pew polls which show that fewer than 4 in 10 Americans believe that evolution is factual (Fox News article). The Gallup poll found a significant link between understanding of evolution and education, ”Just 21 percent of respondents who had up to a high school level of education believe in evolution, compared with 74 percent of those with postgraduate degrees.” It is a little surprisingly that only 74% of those holding post grad degrees accept evolution as fact. ”Among weekly churchgoers, only 24 percent said they believe in evolution, while 41 percent do not and 35 percent have no opinion.” Fox News also offers several links to evolutionary articles and hosts it’s own online center.

Missing Links

Fox News Evolutionary and Paleontology Center

Celebrations today in Britain include exhibitions of artifacts, tours, and, at the Bristol Zoo if you visit wearing a real or fake beard (certainly non sexist), you get in for free (Bristol Zoo). Quoted from an article on the Bristol Zoo site, ”Simon Garrett, Head of Learning at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “Darwin is now a household name and, over the last 150 years, his ideas have revolutionised our understanding of nature and our place within it. Bristol Zoo’s ‘beard day’ is a fun way of commemorating Darwin’s life and work while allowing visitors to find out more about his theories.” ” ”Among the biggest celebrations is at the Natural History Museum in London which is putting on films, talks and pea soup, cooked to the recipe of Darwin’s wife, Emma.” And, at 5:45 pm today there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at Darwin’s grave in Westminster Abbey.

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Eric Back on February 12th, 2009

I came across this enews snippet announcing a new medieval manuscripts network.

”Researchers create vast virtual library of medieval manuscripts”

”Somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 rare and precious medieval manuscripts have been scanned over the past decade into formats that could be studied over the Internet.”

Definitely interesting for even casual readers.  Perusing the English manuscripts for example I came across 15th century recipes for wild game as well as cures and treatments for the plague.  In times like these one can never be sure when she might need both!

The network is the creation of researchers at UCLA!

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YLE reports that despite the economic downturn in Finland, those who retain their jobs can expect to see an increase in real income of 4.6% this year.  By contrast, last year’s increase was 1.5%.

Quoting the Taxpayer’ Association, YLE notes that ”The group attributes the improvement to slowing inflation and tax cuts. This year earned-income taxes are to be lowered overall to the tune of 870 million euros. The government — under the lead of conservative Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen — has also removed some tax penalties for raising one’s earned income”

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Eric Back on October 13th, 2008


Former Finnish president (1994) Martti Ahtisaari was recognized by the Nobel Committee for his success in brokering deals as a United Nations envoy.  He was cited for his work in helping Namibia achieve independence from South Africa, for ending the 3 decade long conflict between the Aceh movement and Indonesia, and for negotiating the end of the 1999 Nato air campaign in Kosovo.  His work in Kosovo became the blueprint for the new Kosovo constitution.  He has also been involved in mediation in Iraq, Northern Ireland, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa.

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Eric Back on September 14th, 2008

Over 1400 people attended the first ”Alaska Women Reject Palin,” rally outside the Anchorage library making it the largest political rally in Alaskan history according to the ”mudflats” blogger.


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Eric Back on September 14th, 2008


So, with so many of the Palin/McCain statements proving flagrantly untrue, can you really see Russia from Alaska?

1) No: The Bering Strait is 53 miles across, which means you can’t see Russia across it because of the curvature of the earth.

2) Yes: ”and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.” — Sarah Palin

3) Maybe (on a technicality): A Yahoo Answer Poster said, ”Actually, the answer is yes and no. From the mainland, there is no way to see Russia from Alaska. The distance is too great.

However, there are two islands in the Bering Staight – Big Diomede and Little Diomede. The big island is Russian and the small one American. They are 1.5 miles from each other. Interestingly, the International Date Line separates the two, so there is a time difference of 23 hours between the two.”

And finally, for fun, catch Tina Fey’s SNL impression of Sarah Palin here…

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Eric Back on September 2nd, 2008


It used to be that I had an email address with an account conveniently located on my ISP’s server. IE automatically used Outlook Express, and email was easy. For the past couple of years my email through my new ISP has only been available through the MSN subscription that came packaged with internet access.

Now I don’t really like MSN, and I don’t like IE either.  Like many other people, I’ve made the switch to Firefox and have chosen to use the google, Gmail service.  Using this has been awkward at times as Firefox does not know which email client to use unless it is told how to do so. provides a quick solution for getting Firefox to work with Gmail and it works well. It’s as easy as going to their site and copying and pasting a piece of script into your Firefox address bar.

Set Firefox to Use Gmail for ”Mailto” Links

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