Wednesday, January 25, 2012

US Boat Washes Up in Spain

This is a cool story.  Almost.  Two men were washed overboard on their boat of the coast of Massachusetts three years go and the boat has just now washed ashore in Spain.  Read the article for the whole story.  So, two points.  First, this is really cool in understanding how ocean currents work and perhaps a testament to the builder of the boat for it to have survived intact for three years in the harsh North Atlantic ocean.  Very cool indeed.  But then, there is the part about the insinuated miracle.  The older man, only a year removed from heart surgery, was fortunate enough to have a inflatable life preserver float next to him after being thrown overboard.  Oh, boy, here we go with this miracle crap again.  First of all, why bother saving the men after throwing them overboard.  Wouldn't it have been easier for god to simply keep them on the boat in the first place.  Second, these are supposedly experienced men out on the sea off the coast.  They note that these waters are often rough and unpredictable.  Then why the hell weren't they wearing life preservers to begin with?  If you ask me, they were stupid, and damn lucky to be alive.  Don't go spouting all this miracle nonsense.

The Legacy of Joe Paterno

I have been horribly derelict in my blogging duties over the last several  months.  I have, however, been finding myself writing blogs in my head at times when I am not near the computer and I say to myself, "you need to write that down."  Well, here is one of those times.  I meant to write about this days ago, but better late than never.

PZ Myers wrote a blog about Paterno and his legacy.  In this blog he simply asked the question, "How many football games do you have to win to make up for one broken child?"  Yes, if you judge Paterno's legacy solely on his on field accomplishments and try to weigh those against the molestations of children after the reported Sandusky incident, then absolutely, the man's legacy is wanting.  But let's not discount the off the field things.  He gave many young men an opportunity to get an education that may not have gotten the chance otherwise.  Were some rules bent for eligibility and grades on occasion?  I'm sure they were.  Show me any major college program where that does not happen.  Let's not judge him against what all other coaches have done.  So, in that respect, the harsh judgement is perhaps, not fair.

However, let's take a look at the Catholic priest scandals.  There are quite a number of priests in positions of authority, while not having committed any of the crimes, knew about them and did not report them, or did not follow through on such reports.  We judge those men harshly and demand that action be taken, not only the Catholic Church, but by authorities as well.  Those men are tarnished, and their legacy's found wanting.  Why should we give Joe Paterno a pass for doing the exact same thing?