Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Need a USB Missile Launcher

Check it out.

And here's a video of the USB Missile Launcher in action. Note the completely authentic detonations!

I must have one. I would order it now if I hadn't just bought a canoe. It's the perfect weapon to ward off the office dullard! Except for the fact that, in both places I work, I'm pretty much the office dullard...

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Karen and I saw this awesome license plate Sunday night. I had to share it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sean Taylor: 1983-2007

I really don't know what to say. I feel like I should post something, if for no other reason than to give people a forum to post some thoughts.

Sean Taylor died yesterday morning of a gunshot wound to the leg. His home was broken into Sunday overnight, and the invaders shot him in his bedroom, damaging the femoral artery and causing catastrophic bleeding. After six hours of surgery, there were some positive signs, but he passed away approximately 24 hours after being shot. His fiancee and baby daughter were unharmed.

Sean Taylor was a Pro Bowl safety for the Washington Redskins. That is the least important thing I can think about right now.

Yes, he was the best player on the team, and may have been the most popular despite playing on the defense (offensive players are always the most popular). Yes, he was often referred to by pundits and players as the best safety in the NFL, and one of the best defensive players. And yes, he has the skills and drive to make a Hall of Fame career seem likely.

But I don't care about that much right now. Next year, maybe as the draft approaches, that part will matter.

Here's what matters.

Sean Taylor got in a lot of trouble early in his career. He suffered from what I like to call "Miamitis," an affliction affecting University of Miami football players that manifests in unbearable arrogance and a sense that they're untouchable. He skipped the NFL rookie symposium, was arrested for drunk driving, and apparently pulled a gun on some men he suspected of stealing his ATVs. And he had been drafted by Joe Gibbs, a man who, like me, prizes character above almost any other factor. So even as Taylor excelled on the field, I didn't much care for him.

Then a funny thing happened. He grew up.

He had a baby, a little girl, a year and a half ago, and everything changed for him. According to his teammates, he smiled more, he was calmer. He stayed out of trouble. The drunk driving charges had been dropped, and the gun thing was reduced to probation. He proposed to his girlfriend. And he got even better on the field.

Know this: there is nothing in the world more powerful or precious than redemption. There is nothing I value more than someone turning their life around and fixing what was broken or ill-spent. In the last year, Sean Taylor has turned from my least favorite Redskin to one of my favorites, not because he still leads the NFC in interceptions, but because he grew up, looked into a mirror, and turned his life around.

So my prayers are for Sean Taylor's fiancee and daughter, and for his large family, with whom he stayed on draft day. My prayers are for the Redskins off the field, because the on-the-field loss, though great, pales in significance. And my prayers are for the gunman, inexplicable and still at-large. We may never know what happened that night. And only those close to Sean Taylor really know what has been lost.

I don't own a Sean Taylor jersey. I'm poor, and I buy my Redskins jerseys when I can get a great deal (except my #28 Darrell Green jersey, which I bought new in New York City). But I have a new redskins hat, the one I wore every Sunday during Richard II. It's got a "21" drawn on it in Sharpie. When it fades, I'll draw it again.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Richmond Shakespeare's December Workshop

with Drew Vidal
Tuesday, December 11, 7:30-9:30
Cost: $20

This class, appropriate for actors, directors, and teachers, will offer both beginning and experienced actors an opportunity to learn hands-on how contemporary violence is created onstage. As the focus will be on contemporary theatre, participants will be working unarmed and untrained. In addition to learning techniques for performing stage violence safely, participants will take away a unique approach to choreographing their own stage fights.

Instructor Drew Vidal has worked extensively as an actor and fight choreographer in Chicago, Richmond, and Washington DC. Drew choreographed the combat for the Richmond Shakespeare Festival's acclaimed production of Henry IV, Part 1 last summer. His work can be see in Washington DC all season long at the Shakespeare Theatre's productions of The Taming of the Shrew, Tamburlaine, and Edward II.

Participants should be attired in clothes that do not restrain or hide movement, with soft-soled shoes not worn outside. Any jewelry should be left at home, and contacts worn or glasses fastened.

15 students maximum. High school age and older. Cost: $20.

Thanksgiving Adventures!

Karen and I went up to Northern Virginia for most of Thanksgiving weekend. We visited family and had adventures!

There was essentially no traffic whatsoever on Thursday morning when we left. Dingdingding! It was a lovely day to drive while listening to music from my new Samsung Juke phone/MP3 player. I can rock with my Juke, I can move with my Juke!

We spent the day with the Michael and Paula Hamm family in Centreville. Michael is my brother, Paula his wife. Also there were my nephews Joe and Jake, my niece Rachel, Paula's parents Calvin and Janet, Jake's girlfriend Keri, three dogs names Patsy, Dodger, and Louie, and a gorgeous Maine Coon cat named Dude.

Jake is a college student at Rochester, where he's majoring in Guitar Herology. He introduced me to the wonders of Guitar Hero 2 and 3 for the XBox 360.

I was awesome at it.

We played "YYZ," "Carry On, Wayward Son," "The Seeker," "Cult of Personality," and lots of other great stuff. Guitar Hero is much easier if you know the songs you're playing. Jake is absurdly good at it. If he really was majoring in Guitar Herology, he would graduate summa cum laude tomorrow.

Before dinner, we chatted a lot with my family, whom I don't get to see very often because both of my jobs have me working weekends. Michael and I were looking at ads for the next day's ludicrous sales, and I saw an adventure canoe on sale at Dick's Sporting Goods. I pointed it out to Karen, and Mike asked, "You're looking to buy a canoe?" with interest.

He took us out into the garage, where an Old Town Discovery Sport canoe hung from the ceiling.

About 12 years ago, Calvin bought it, used it about a half dozen times, and then couldn't manage it any more. He was planning to sell it, and Paula wanted to keep her father's boat in the family, so she bought it. It has been hanging from the ceiling ever since. So Mike and I talked about money and I bought it. We would swing by their house on the way home Saturday morning to pick it up.

The spread was awesome. I particularly enjoyed the sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes more and more with every passing year. Karen made bread. It was delicious.

Here is a picture of the table!

We stayed the night at Phil and Rose's in Ashburn. Friday we slept in as long as Phil and Rose's dogs allowed us. Karen noticed that Newman says "Roo!" and Tucker says "Har!" Phil and Rose cooked us up a spectacular Friday brunch with awesome Mimosas, great coffee, a giant frittata, homemade waffles, and fruit. I had multigrain toast with Earth Balance spread. Earth Balance is awesome! It's so freaking delicious! I have seldom fallen so completely in love with a food product. I want to always have it in my house.

It was impossible to not shop on Friday afternoon, mainly because we needed to buy a car carrier for the canoe. Dick's Sporting Goods had a kit for $30 which did the job. World Market had the chai Paula hasn't been able to find, so we got some for her. Melodee Music had a djembe over two feet across that made the whole store vibrate at frequencies below my ability to hear. I have no idea how I would mike that, but I really want one. We also went to Best Buy, where Phil bought the new documentary Amazing Journey, which is about the Who. We watched a bunch of it later in the day. It is awesome! I need to get it!

Friday night, we went to see the Washington Wizards play the Golden State Warriors. It was Karen's and my first NBA game, though I have been to see the WNBA in New York. Basketball is much better live than on television, and I'm starting to really appreciate the game. We were literally in the back row of the upper deck, the highest seats in the entire arena.

The Wizards have the worst name and logo in all of American Sports.

"Bullets" was bad, but "Wizards" is just incredibly stupid. Is Dumbledore going to play point guard? You can't tell from the picture below, but we're all putting our arms in the same position as the stupid Wizard logo. That was the joke of the night. Did I mention that my family is a bunch of morons, and that under certain circumstances I can be viewed as one of the more normal ones of the bunch?

The view from the top of the arena was pretty good. The action was non-stop, and really clear. My only problem with the Verizon Center is that even though the place is only 10 years old it has 1970s-style vinyl seats, which creates some yucky sweat situations when you sit in them for any amount of time. This is compensated for by the excellent kosher hot dogs and the appearance of Dippin' Dots, though the Dippin' Dots stand right near our seats was closed and we had to walk all the way around to get some.

Here's the view from the top.

The 'Zards lost the game, though it was really tight until the last few seconds. Caron Butler had his first career triple-double. If he makes the Hall of Fame, I can say I was there!

Saturday morning, we packed up early and drove to Mike and Paula's to pick up the canoe. The Old Town Discovery Sport is a heavy canoe, so it was a struggle for Karen and I to get it on top of the CR-V without help. Mike gave us some advice and helped strap it down, even giving us some excellent ratchet straps to replace the fairly simple ones that came with the carrier kit, but we had to do it on our own to justify buying the darn thing. If it's 55 degrees or more on Saturday, we'll take it out on the James.

I have some fears about the canoe's weight, both in transporting it and maneuvering it. It has a flat back, which is a canoe design intended for optional outboard motor usage. I hope it's not too unwieldy to paddle. But it's strong and tough, rugged and well-built, with wooden seats. It's old school! I can't wait to take it out!
Come out boating with us!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the world You have placed me in. Thank You for my wife, Karen, who stands by me when I'm a complete moron. Thank You for my family; Dad and Wick, Julie and Mark, John, Lisa and Bob, Michael and Paula, Peter and Kathleen, Phil and Rose, Pat and Ines, George, Tom and Catherine, Joe, Jake and Rachel, dear Kiki and Lexie. Thank You for my other, newer family, Blaine and Barbara, Elaine and Joe.

Thank You for all my friends in Richmond, this amazing community of theatre and musical artists. Thank You for everyone who reads this stupid blog, especially those who eviscerate my opinions and logic. Bless them all. They are also my family.

Thank You for the faith communities I have been blessed by at Redeemer Lutheran and Christ Church. Thank You for the opportunity and burden of leadership in worship.

Thank You for my family at Richmond Shakespeare, and thank You for guiding me back to them when I wanted to leave. Thank You for the efforts of Grant and Cynde and the board; thank You for their successes and failures and for showing me where I fit in.

Thank You for Curtis Morrisette.

Thank You that As You Like It has a full cast this early! Thank You for Adam, Patrick, Sunny, Julia and Frank.

Thank You for our new house. Thank You for all those freaking leaves, which have completely erased any progress I made raking last weekend. Thank You for the mouse, the camel crickets, the opossum skeletons, and the deer.

Thank You for a Red Sox Championship and a Jimmy Rollins NL MVP! Thank You that Dream Theater just gets better and better, Shakespeare remains the greatest, and Joe Jackson has a new album coming out in January. Thank You that I bleed burgundy and gold. Thank You for me new phone and my old computer monitor.

Thank You for Mercutio and Sebastian, who wake me up two hours before I wanted to just because they want me to be awake with them.

Thank You that You keep me so busy serving You that I don't know which way is up. Thank You for my new duties with Richmond Shakespeare, and bless my efforts. Grow me to meet the challenge and make me awesome in Your name.

Thank You for the things I fail at. Thank You for frustrating me out of complacency.

Thank You that my needs are few and that You meet and exceed them. Thank You that my cup runneth over.

Give thanks to the Lord, God and King, Savior and Brother, Master and Friend. His love and mercy endure forever, even when we are blind to it. He gives everything we have, and that's a fact.

Give thanks this Thanksgiving, my friends, to whomever you choose and for everything you have. As much as Christmas, this holiday's spirit should live in our hearts every day.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tribute to Curtis Morrisette

It brings me great sadness to pass along the news of the death of Curtis Morrisette.

By now, many of you will have received an email from Jil Wilson-Robinson. In case you haven't, I'll reprint it here:


This morning I have sad news to share with you and this really does sadden me. I just learned that our wonderful, joyful great friend, Curtis Morrisette passed on Saturday, November 17th.

Those of us who had the opportunity to share some time with Curtis know that he is a spitfire! I love his spirit! Curtis' battle with cancer was met with humor, bravery and honesty. Definitely a person who has influenced me and I am sure it's the same for you.

I just received a call from Cindy Collins at Berkshire Apts., where Curtis Morrisette was a resident. She is looking for any assistance to contact his family. She says that he had no names of anyone and she and the VA hospital are attempting to manage his affairs. If anyone knows anything, please let her know as soon as possible by calling 804-644-7861 or call me at 804-647-8411.

Take care.

Jil Robinson-Wilson
Vice President, Virginia Actors Forum

I have exactly one picture of Curtis. We worked together on The Taming of the Shrew two summers ago. This is the picture, taken by Eric Dobbs:

And I have two stories about Curtis to share, both from performances.

One night, early in the run, Curtis completely went up on his line. Blank stare; no idea. Being a man of action and practicality, he naturally whispered, "Line!" to the actors onstage with him. Somehow we got out of it, but not without years' worth of teasing material.

Later in the run, on the way offstage from a scene with Baptista (Thomas Nowlin), Curtis adlibbed, "No problem, Baptista," while exiting. Very Shakespearean, right?

"Line!" and "No problem, Baptista" became two of that delightful show's most precious in-jokes.

Curtis was a light and a spark at all times, energetic and positive and clearly loving every moment of his work as an actor. As the Priest, he wore a grey hairpiece that looked like three or four dead rats had been stitched together. Every night, he found new ways to wear it askew. He was utterly charming and seemingly tireless as the host of many Virginia Actor's Forum meetings, held in his own apartment building.

As much as we are diminished by his loss, we who have worked and played with Curtis can count ourselves blessed to have done so.

Line? No problem.

Now cracks a noble heart. --Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

My First Freakin' Commercial!

I had the joy of acting in my first television commercial yesterday. It's a 14-week regional buy for the Virginia Prepaid Education Program, which means you're gonna see my ugly mug all over the state until you can't stand it any more.

When Jeanne Boisineau called last Tuesday to offer me the part, she said "The cast is a who's-who of Richmond stage actors." In my head, I said "You mean it's a who's-who of Richmond stage actors and me?"

But she was right! I arrived at Bellevue School and was instantly dazzled by the stars! Terry Gau played my wife (we were the "angry couple"), John Moon, Barry Ellenberger and Jill Bari Steinberg were just the first few I saw there.

I don't have time to write much today, but here are a few pictures snapped with my cell phone.

The stage, where the kids' choir would soon sing (according to our prop programs) the Bellevue School Musical College Costs a Lot. I was called back for the first national of College Costs a Lot in the '90s.

Terry Gau, wisely multitasking.

Barry and Jill Bari making good use of the six hours between our call and the beginning of our porion of the shooting by chatting and watching the kids be wacky.

And the kids, as seen from my seat in the second row. The little Asian boy downstage center, Josh, is destined for stardom. He was just effortlessly working the room, and never ran out of energy. I see a small, Asian Jim Carrey in our entertainment future.

I apologize ahead of time for the fact that you will have the song from this commercial stuck in your head more deeply and inextricably than "The Carol of the Bells" this Christmas season.

Next time I'll remember to bring a real camera.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Football Quote of the Year

At the risk of turning this blog into even more of a satellite publication for Jason Whitlock, I had to share his assessment of the Chiefs' offense after losing 14-10 to the Colts on Sunday:

You could turn this offensive unit over to Heidi Fleiss, stuff a 39-gallon Hefty bag with hundred-dollar bills, lather the players in Brut aftershave, ship them all to Nevada’s Mustang Ranch, and they still couldn’t score.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Whitlock on Bonds

Another great piece of opinion from Jason Whitlock, including a Bill Clinton reference.

An excerpt:

If Barry goes to jail, it’s because he chose 756 over freedom. Vanity short-circuited his common sense.

He could’ve copped to everything when the investigators interviewed him years ago and disappeared like Mark McGwire.

Bonds already had enormous wealth. A legacy, an important one, in baseball was already secured.

He wanted baseball’s most hallowed record, and he wanted it untarnished, so, in my opinion, he manipulated the truth.

He didn’t have to. I’ve never pitied Bonds, and I don’t today, even though he’s facing charges that could conceivably land him in jail for 30 years.

What I’ve always rejected is the silly notion that bringing down Bonds would somehow cleanse baseball and the sports world. It doesn’t. It doesn’t even begin the process. It does just the opposite.

The prosecution of Barry Bonds simply gives Bud Selig and all the other owners of professional sports franchises another fig leaf to hide their culpability in America’s steroids arms race.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Bonds Indicted At Last

News flash! Barry Bonds has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in his testimony about the use of performance-enhancing substances.

Raise your hand if you're surprised.

No one? No one? Bueller?

This isn't news, it's death and/or taxes. It's the sword of Damocles finally falling. Four counts of perjury, one count of obstruction, and Bonds is facing up to 30 years in jail. The all-time home run king, the face of the "steroid era" of baseball, the jillion-time NL MVP and cleanup hitter of my 2001 championship fantasy baseball team is finally officially accused of what we all freaking know he did. The suspected taint of the last two decades is now official.

And I feel terrible for him.

Bonds isn't employed by a team right now. This affects no one but himself. He has no teammates or ownership to back him up or support him.

Bonds has been far from a lovable teammate. His former Giants clubmates cheered for him at the plate, avoided him anywhere else. He has no deep ties to on-field compatriots, no one to stand beside him.

Bonds has been antagonistic with the press from day one. He certainly has no support from the fourth estate. Now he's not just the sexiest sports news story in decades, he's also a target for some gleeful media assault.

Through his own actions, Barry Bonds has been resented and disliked everywhere he went. He is totally alone.

Not for a second am I defending Barry Bonds or suggesting that he shouldn't go to jail if and when he is found guilty of what every non-San-Franciscan American darn well knows he's guilty of. But if you think Michael Vick was alone--and Vick might be the happiest man in the world now that someone else gets to be "Sports' Most Wanted"--that was nothing compared to the way Bonds has separated himself from any substantial support system outside his immediate family.

And it didn't have to be this way. It's not like Barry Bonds wasn't a future Hall-of-Famer before he Hulked up.

I maintain that the advantage of steroids for hitters is in large part imagined or overblown. Pitchers are using them to increase velocity as well; I have it on pretty good authority that, in the college and minor-league ranks at least, performance-enhancers are used more by pitchers than hitters. And no steroids improve hand-eye coordination, ability to read the ball's rotation, knowledge of pitching tendencies, or view of the arm angle.

But it's still cheating. More than that; it's a pattern of lying in the face of overwhelming evidence that would make a Clinton blush. I did not have sexual relations with that syringe.

Still, I feel terrible for Barry Bonds, the loneliest man in America today, by his own design. I don't support him, but I sympathize, and my prayers are with him and especially with his family, whom he has made victims of today.

I hope this doesn't ruin his life. It's enough that he and others like him have stained a whole era of baseball.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Test Your Vocabulary!

I strongly encourage you to spend a little time at FreeRice. Test your vocabulary, donate free rice through the U.N. to end world hunger. And you can open my blog in another window to enter some of the more interesting words you see.

Such as:


etc., etc., etc.

Test your vocabulary, feed the world, and put fancy words on my bliog. It's three! Three! Three treats in one!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Blog's Reading Level

Apparently, I don't sound as smart as I think I am. According to the Blog Readability Test, the PRM only rates Junior High School level.

I shall endeavor to include larger, fancier words, such as semiotics, paradigm, and Artaud to improve this rating in the future. I feel certain that actual readability will plummet as my readabilityometer rises.


Merry Christmas, Ben Stein

I got a viral email today with some very nice sentiments, purporting to contain the text of a message Ben Stein read on the CBS Sunday Morning show. After a little research, it turns out that some of the message - the well-written, pithy part - does indeed come from Stein. The rest, while full of admirable sentiments, is falsely attributed to him.

Here is the original text, from Mr. Stein's website:

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:

I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

(Dated 12/19/05)

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Andrew Hamm Band LIVE ALBUM RECORDING November 11!

Dear friends,

I hope to see you all on Sunday, November 11 from 6:30-8:30 PM at ComedySportz Improv Theatre for the recording of MY FIRST-EVER LIVE ALBUM!

I've been writing a ton of new music in the past few years, and it's come too fast to be efficiently recorded in the studio. So what's a songwriter to do? The answer was obvious: play a show full of brand-new, unrecorded music, record it, and make a CD in 2008. Come on out to hear a bunch of songs that no audience has ever heard, with a few surprises thrown in to boot.

From the sacred to the secular to the silly, the show features my brother Philip Hamm on bass and my nephew Joseph Hamm on drums. Cheer, clap, and sing along, and hear yourself on the CD!

Go to for more information about the venue, and call (804) 266-9377 to buy your tickets! A mere $10 for adults, $7 for students. That's a STEAL for two hours of awesome music from Andrew Hamm and His Foolhardy Band!

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Wake-Up Call from a Deer

My jerkface cats insisted that I wake up at 6:00, 6:20; 6:45, 7:04, and 7:20 this morning. This after staying up until midnight watching Hellboy with Phil and Joe Hamm (aka Joham) and before a day that involves leading worship at 10:00, playing music at a church celebration event until 2:00, then setting up and playing the gig at ComedySportz. In other words, I really needed that two hours of sleep Mercutio and Sebastian denied me. Jerks.

Finally, at 7:45, I conceded that I was very unlikely to benefit from lying around any more. I determined to get up. Just at that very moment, clearly mocking me, my alarm went off. Grr. (I mean, Jennie Mehargrr.) So I got up and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I was thinking about how hard it was going to be to maintain energy for the day as I walked over to the medicine cabinet and glanced out the window.

There, not fifteen feet from the house, was a deer sauntering through my back yard.

He was a buck, four points, his coat already grey for winter, just walking through my yard like he owned the place. He vanished before I could get Karen in a position to see him. But my heart is still pounding just thinking about him.

So the wildlife adventures on Castleton Road continue; two opossum skeletons in the shed, the mouse I found in the yard, several species of birds I can't identify, and now a deer.

I just have to thank God for letting me know, with that little adrenaline surge, "I will give you the strength to do what you are doing today in My name."


Marmaduke Explained

I have added a new link in the "Cool Stuff" section to your right. The language is sometimes a bit salty, but "Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke" is one of the most consistently funny sites on the web. Highly recommended.


Friday, November 09, 2007

John Coleman: "Global warming is a scam."

The latest "fringe," "ignorant," "big-oil-funded," "Bush-apologist," "non-scientific" voice to join the chorus of scientists opposing the so-called global warming "consensus" is John Coleman. Coleman isn't exactly a household name, he's just the guy who founded the Weather Channel. Coleman wrote this week:

By John Coleman

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM.

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15-minute documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I suspect you might like to say to me, "John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PHD's in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PHD's. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty."

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single-minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way.

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90's they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn't fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside.

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970's to always be a skeptic about research. In the case of global warming, I didn't accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no runaway climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science.

I am not alone in this assessment. There are hundreds of other meteorologists, many of them PHD's, who are as certain as I am that this global warming frenzy is based on bad science and is not valid.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.

I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.

(Note: I took the liberty of copy-editing for grammar and spelling in a few places.)

Let me be clear: I am a naturalist. I rescue animals, I recycle, I vacation in the wilderness. I conserve whatever I can, and I am letting some of my land run wild to serve as habitat. I drive fuel-efficient vehicles, and believe we should be moving toward hydrogen-powered engines, skipping the hybrid and ethanol phases in an Apollo-program-sized leap of technology. I believe we are running out of oil. I don't like pollution, I don't like smog, and I don't like the foam on the James River.

But when we have Weather Channel "climate expert" Dr. Heidi Cullen openly stating that people who disagree with her should be stripped of their academic credentials, and none of her colleagues stand up to say she's wrong, that's not science. And when Al Gore touts the fact that 2500 scientists signed the UN's ridiculous statement on global warming, as if facts are determined by democratic process--or as if there isn't a document opposing the UN paper signed by 17,000 scientists--that's not science. If you can't see the pattern of propaganda and oppression dominating this debate, you're as blind as the bloggers at sluniverse who answer a poll thus:

What is wrong with John Coleman?
Early onset senility.
6 26.09%
In the back pocket of the Republican party.
9 39.13%
Heavily invested in BIG OIL.
6 26.09%
Kidnapped and forced to read false statements by anti-earth terrorists.
4 17.39%
Simple. He’s STUPID.
8 34.78%
I don’t know … YET. But I will Google him and find SOME reason to disregard his take on the subject.
5 21.74%
Pie (But really hot pie because Global Warming *IS* real!!)
8 34.78%

This poll is a perfect example of the tendency of people who pride themselves on being so very "open-minded" on social issues can't even spare a moment to consider whether this internationally-renowned expert might be making his statements in good conscience and with some facts behind him.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is that when I google "global warming is a scam & weather channel" I get mostly wacko websites (on both sides). I can't find this statement at CNN or MSNBC or even Fox News. Can we at least agree that the freaking founder of the Weather Channel, a meteorologist since 1953, is worth listening to with some attentiveness and respect?

I find myself more and more agreeing with the scientists over at Demand Debate:

EDIT: Glenn Beck commented on Coleman's statement this morning, a few hours after I posted. Do I really want to be labeled as a trend-setter for conservative thought? Should I mention here that I support a ban on assault weapons and that I oppose the death penalty under any circumstances? Would that make me seem a bit more "fair and balanced"?...

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Monday, November 05, 2007

New "Iron Man" Images


Workshop: "Dialects" with David Sennett!

with David Sennett

Tuesday, November 6, 7:00-9:30 PM

You don’t have to have a great ear or know the International Phonetic Alphabet to learn dialects. Learn how to speak like a twit. Impress your date's mother, bore your friends, prepare to joust with the Greeks at Harvard. Next, learn how to irritate a twit. Offend your date's mother, tell off your friends, prepare to rumble wit da boyz. In two hours, master the basics of the Standard British AND the Brooklyn dialects, and have some fun while you're doing it.

Instructor David Sennett is an Equity and SAG actor, teacher, director, and producer who has appeared nationally on stage and screen. He currently teaches theatre arts at the Center for the Arts at Henrico High Scool. 15 students maximum. High school juniors and older. Cost: $20

Call 232-4000 or email to make your reservation!