Sunday, July 27, 2014

Maybe things are too EZ?

I've been considering hardship, and the impact of hardship on human character. Does it destroy or does it build? I have precious little experience on that front. I am not complaining but will freely admit I've had, so far, an easy life. And I wonder.  I wonder would I be stronger, better, had I faced more hardship? Compared to my ancestors and to the pioneers of my culture my life has been easy, and I am soft emotionally, physically, and, probably spiritually as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

19th Century travel was not EZ!

I just learned that my grandfather, William Gowans Moyes, at age 6 travelled west via wagon train in the Edward T. Mumford Company in 1868. He was in the company of his parents and a paternal uncle's family, along with a couple hundred other travelers. They arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 24, 1868. There were seven deaths en-route.

Objectivity must not be EZ.

Here's why we become cynical about the "news" that the media reports:

Taken from the Maine News (, the headline says, "June 2014 Breaks All Heat Records." The article starts by presenting the following: "The month of June was the hottest month ever, according to reports released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Monday...The month of June has broken all the heat records everywhere." Note, please, the use of words like "all" and "everywhere" in this article that leans on what should be a credible source: NOAA.

But, you see, I knew better. While the local weather is only anecdotal and not indicative of "climate," June was actually cooler than normal here in San Antonio. I looked up the official records, and during June we had 12 days where the high was below the average, 8 days where the high was exactly at the average, and only 10 days above the average. The cooler days were up to 5 degrees F. below average, the hottest of the days was 4 degrees F. above the average, with most of the "hotter" days being only 1 degree F. above average. June was very pleasant in San Antonio.

Later in the article, we learn that they knew that they had lied with their headline and leading paragraphs with the following admission: " record has been broken in the US. It was noted that the last month in the US was the 33rd hottest June in the records."

Thirty-third hottest. Far from breaking all heat records.  So, call me a cynic. I believe NO headlines, and am impressed that the authors of the above article were honest enough to admit to lying to their casual, low-information readers (who probably never made it to the end of the article). This is objectivity in reporting?