You say it’s your birthday

I just celebrated another birthday today. But for the last four years I’ve lived in the Madison area, I’ve never been to the Nitty Gritty Birthday Bar on my birthday. So I finally chose to stop at the one in Middleton. A few of my friends joined me and enjoyed a drink with me (others had responsibilities that prevented them from showing up). I really enjoyed the time there, and I plan on doing it again next year.

Smoking ban takes effect tomorrow

The City of Madison’s smoking ban ordinance becomes effective tomorrow. This means that those of us that don’t smoke and want to enjoy a show or a beer can do so without smelling like an ashtray when we leave. But this also means that businesses that typically cater to regular smokers will suffer. I always believed that this should be the business owners’ decisions, and that we as citizens should decide whether or not we want to patronize those places that placate smokers. There is still a chance that the Wisconsin Legislature will pass a bill that nullifies local ordinances, yet Governor Doyle has vowed to veto the bill. Although I don’t like the idea of cities imposing smoking bans on their local businesses, I am also against state laws taking certain local controls from municipalities.

New Google Ads

You may consider it selling out, but I’ve added Google ads to my site as a way to see if this site can become self sustaining. I’ll give it a try on the home page and Tech-know pages for now, and I may eventually add them to the blog pages. But even I have limits to advertising, and I won’t add them to my bio or scrapbook pages. I’ve also copied a new version of the Google search script into my online search. I chose to go with text only, seeing how I dislike flashing pictures on other sites. Hopefully the ads will provide some useful links for further research.

And in case you’re wondering, I don’t have much control over the ads. They search each page’s contents and determine which ads to display. Therefore, even though some questionnable ads may show up on my site, I do not condone them or have any control over them.

War of the Worlds

The next War of the Worlds story will be released next week. I’m somewhat curious to see how it plays out, but I’ve always admired the original H.G. Wells story. I also appreciate Orson Welles’ radio broadcast. What was interesting was how his broadcast stirred mass-panic and paranoia. It goes to show how superstition has such a powerful effect on people. I don’t think the new Spielberg movie will have that effect, but it should make for a good retelling of the story.

CBS News Sunday Morning article: ‘War of the Worlds’ 2005

Official War of the Worlds movie web site

Retrospective War of the Worlds web site

Barnes and Noble Classics book: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Eminent domain expanded

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that government entities can use the eminent domain clause of the fifth amendment to seize privately-owned land with just compensation for the development of private enterprises, if it benefits the public. However, how do we define a public use? When does an enterprise benefit the public as much as the private entity?

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article: A looser rein on eminent domain

Chicago Tribune article: Eminent domain expanded

Fifth amendment, US Constitution

The smoking ban debate continues

The fight over local control continues. This week, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill that would overturn the ordinances that local governments passed recently to ban smoking in bars and such. If you know me, you know my take on all of this. So here are some other articles that are worth a look.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article: Local smoking bans may be snuffed out

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial: An empty smoking law