Saturday, August 26, 2006


Two weeks ago I took a trip to Nashville with Jack and Judy, official father and stepmother of the Mailbox, and TLP. We got to watch the Saints play the Titans in their pre-season openers. On his second touch, Reggie ran the 44-yard blast that has become a staple on ESPN. He also ran a 6-yard out to the far sideline. That play was even better, because the Titans' Pacman Jones rushed up to Reggie like he was gonna level him. Instead, Pacman bounced off Reggie like a three-year-old kid. Beautiful.

The trip was highlighted by getting new siggies on the helmet. Before, the helmet just had Aaron Brooks' signature on it. Now, it's full of Sharpie-mark: Thank you Ernie Conwell, Fred Thomas and Colby Bockwoldt.

And thank you Reggie Bush.

Yep, that's his siggie on the front. TLP and I trekked from the TOP row all the way down to the very front row in the fourth quarter. We parked it by the Saints' tunnel and waited. After the game, Reggie came right to me (probably attracted by TLP, the red-headed hotness wearing a Saints jersey). He signed my helmet and used my Sharpie to sign a few other things, including his old USC jersey.

As for the Saints, they're going to have a good year. After watching two games, I have the following predictions:

Friday, August 25, 2006


The Mailbox is sure that frogs and locusts aren't too far behind. The same day the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports on how much money New Orleans has actually received from FEMA, this report on flooding at the Superdome surfaces.

At least this job can be fixed easily, according to contractors rushing to finish the Dome in time for the big game against the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 25 on Monday Night Football. They say the pipes that burst flooded areas with concrete and plaster, and not drywall.


The Mailbox laments having to change the beloved mnenomic aid. Cuz Pluto is no longer a planet.

The Mailbox understands that it's good to finally have a clear definition of what a planet is. However it seems like the definition was tailored specifically to kick Pluto out of planethood. According to the International Astronomer's Union, a planet must be:
Because Pluto crosses Neptune's orbit, Pluto is now considered a "dwarf planet."

Huh? A cell phone is still a phone... a microchip is still a chip... but a dwarf planet isn't a planet?

Saturday, August 19, 2006


The Mailbox has been reading the local media coverage of a sinkhole in Nixa opening up and swallowing a man's garage. Most disturbing was this story by Mike Penprase in the News-Leader. A few 'grafs in the story reminded everyone that Christian County has no residential building codes, including regulations for mapping sinkholes. Particularly:

The sudden collapse Sunday could affect development in Christian County, which doesn't have comprehensive sinkhole regulations. That could change in part because of public concern about sinkholes prompted by the Nixa collapse, interim county planning administrator Glenda Hammons said.

For a change to happen, the Christian County Commission would have to approve. But no one on the commission has the courage to add residential building codes.

The Mailbox is furious that Christian County is the fastest growing county in Missouri, but its commission doesn't see the need for building codes. The Mailbox is also mad at voters for re-electing the same guy who did NOTHING. For FOUR YEARS. If this recent sinkhole doesn't spur the commission to action, nothing will.


The Mailbox wasted many minutes looking at this. Snaps to WikiChick for posting it first.


We've all seen John Mark Karr, the alleged, confessed killer of JonBenet Ramsey. (The Mailbox actually enjoyed reading this apology from C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle). Whether his claim of murdering the 6-year-old is true or not, he's still a creepy guy.


Look at him.

The Mailbox can safely say that a myriad OF photocopies of his face placed strategically around the newsroom is assured.


That glare creeps the Mailbox out more than a certain SCOTUS judge during his appointment hearing.

Actually, he reminds the Mailbox of somebody. From a video game. The Mailbox wants to hear this guy say, "Time's up, Gordon..."


Maybe you've seen the latest story on Lebanon after the Israeli offensive. The story notes how Lebanese officials are praising Hezbollah, calling the war a victory. Lebanese President Emile Lahoub said Hezbollah fighters "brought down the legend of the invincible (Israeli) army."

In a particularly notable spate of honesty, President Bush comments to the Associated Press on Lebanon's unwillingness to accept defeat.

"The first reaction of course of Hezbollah and its supporters is to declare victory. I guess I would have done the same thing if I were them," Bush said. "Sometimes it takes people awhile to come to the sober realization of what forces create stability and what don't."

The Mailbox believes him.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Remember that old mnemonic device for remembering the order of the planets in our solar system? It may need changing.

The International Astronomical Union is considering a measure that would change the definition and characteristics of planets. Under the new definition, Ceres -- a large asteroid in the belt -- would be a planet. So would Charon, Pluto's moon. And Xena, only the name is going to get changed, allegedly. Those three would be designated "plutons," to differentiate from the traditional planets.

The Mailbox thinks that hundreds of episodes of Star Trek are going to be ruined.

Seriously, why make Charon a planet? The Mailbox sides itself with those who believe Pluto is indeed a planet. And the Mailbox thinks Ceres used to be a planet until something came along and went all Death Star Moff Tarkin. But Charon? It's orbiting Pluto, for Uranus' sake.

Here's another point: One of the reasons scientists vehemently oppose any mention of intelligent design is because of the cost of replacing all those science books. HELLO?!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


A few notes about the primary election:

~ In Jasper County, The Joplin Globe reports that Jasper County Presiding Commissioner Chuck Surface won't serve next term. John Bartosh beat him in Tuesday's primary by more than 900 votes, 3,949-3,010. James Spradling came in second with 3,298 votes. Did voters respond to Surface getting pulled over for a DWI earlier this month? Or is this more of a public showing of support for Sheriff Archie Dunn, long at odds with Surface?

~ In Christian County, voters decided that status quo was just fine: John Grubaugh won the primary race over Tom Chudomelka and Glenn Scott. Scott got the election scenario he's always wanted: A bunch of Ozark candidates to split up the Ozark votes. Too bad the Nixa voters let him down. Remember this, Christian County: Grubaugh has presided over a county for the last four years, and it still does not have residential building codes. Progressive he ain't. Though Scott has a reputation for being a bull-headed, stubborn, incindiary character, he was the best choice for the Republicans. Yeah, it's his way or the highway, but Christian County needed his way to get out of its degenerative, non-progressive funk.

~ Also in Christian County: Ozark voters approved a 1/2-cent sales tax for their parks and stormwater, 1,174 to 851. But in more progressive Nixa, voters turned down a 1/4-cent sales tax for their parks and stormwater, including a municipal cemetery. This is an odd role reversal that defies explanation, save for the fact that a certain flammable issue may have ignited public opinion against the city. Heck even Chadwick got a levy increase out of their voters. What's happening in Nixa?

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Hey, kids! Wanna feel the hed-writing excitement of being a page designer at The Joplin Globe? Try writing your own hed for this police report blurb about a 26-year-old woman who was allegedly assaulted by a man and a woman Tuesday:

Starsky Love, 30, 3516 S. Range Line Road, Apartment No. 10, is facing $25,000 bond in Newton County on a felony charge of second-degree assault.

Joplin police Lt. Geoff Jones said Rebekah J. Vandeveer, 26, was listed as the victim of the alleged assault Tuesday night at 3516 S. Range Line Road, Apartment No. 14.

Police were still looking for a woman who was with Love, according to Jones. The victim’s injuries included bruising on her body and a chipped tooth, Jones said. She also was bitten by both Love and the woman, Jones said.

Good ones from the design desk:

According to the story, Love is in custody. Anyone trying to find him at his apartment is looking for Love in all the wrong places.

The Mailbox will stop now.


This week saw interesting election results for the Kansas Board of Education. Conservative members who supported an anti-evolution agenda by supporting intelligent design and changing science to be a confirmation of one certain religion lost their seats. It's a repeat of what happened in Dover, Pa.

Basically, the fallacious logic, lies and misdirection employed by supporters of intelligent design are coming back to haunt them. Doesn't the Bible teach the Golden Rule to prevent this kind of thing among fundamentalists? The Mailbox wonders: Will Pat Robertson also condemn Kansas to the wrath of God?

Despite the victory, Kansas will still be a battleground for free-thinking and rejection of government-sponsored religion. Thoughts From Kansas does a good job of keeping an eye on the Sunflower State. We all should.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Readers of The Joplin Globe will see an accident report about a Buffalo resident suffering minor injuries in a wreck near Carl Junction. William J. Damm, 42, and Roger K. McCune, 61, collided at an intersection Monday evening.

From the Globe:
"The eastbound Damm vehicle and the southbound McCune vehicle collided, the patrol said. The Damm vehicle then overturned."
Damm shame.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The Mailbox has talked about Wikipedia before. Yet, like a bad habit, it still refers to the online, editable-by-anyone encyclopedia for the occasional research project. And it probably still will, even after Stephen Colbert got done ripping it a new one last night.

What's interesting: The security measures Wikipedia employed after its truthy vulnerabilities were exposed seem to have been fixed. In a funny, not-so-fixed way.

Wired News reports on how members of the Colbert Nation tried to take his comedic recommendation to change all information about elephants. Just to tick off Al Gore, basically. Wikipedia officials responded by protecting entries about elephants so not just ANYONE can change the information...only registered users. And Colbert got cock-blocked -- Wikipedia member Tawker suspended his user account.

Of course, the whole thing is a joke to Tawker: He challenged Colbert to put him on notice. What we really need to do is check Wikipedia in a few weeks for entries about the number of African elephants tripling.

There's a lot of conversation among Springfield bloggers about the role of citizen journalists and bloggers on the mainstream media. This Colbert instance shows that guaranteeing veracity and accuracy, and owning up to inaccuracy, is still a major problem in the e-world. Though good bloggers care about it, the bad ones ruin the reputation of all. The same goes for other open-source knowledge pools. Colbert's lampoon was brilliant, and the aftermath only confirmed it.

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