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Archive for May, 2010

Newcomer to Leave Assembly

This is expected news, with some expecting it would happen during this past weekend’s state GOP convention.  According to many posts by my friend James Wigderson, Newcomer’s personal life has become a mess (divorce, business struggles, etc.) and would have become a distraction to his service in the Assembly.

The seat is considered a safe hold for the GOP.

Another state lawmaker has decided to quit.

Rep. Scott Newcomer, a Hartland Republican, says in a statement he won’t seek re-election in November. He didn’t offer any reasons in the statement. A message left at his Capitol office wasn’t immediately returned.

Newcomer has served in the Assembly since 2006. He did a stint as chairman of the Assembly Financial Institutions Committee.

He becomes the 22nd legislator to bow out of the November elections, leaving 19 open seats in the Assembly and three open seats in the Senate. Democrats hold a 52-46 majority in the Assembly and an 18-15 edge in the Senate.

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Quote of the Day

Beginning to think part of the man’s brain is damaged.

Vice President Joe Biden everyone!

At a Naval Observatory event for wounded warriors last night, Biden discussed his memories of troops who returned from the Vietnam War. “I didn’t serve in Vietnam. I don’t want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut, God love him,” said Biden, according to the pool report filed by Stars and Stripes. Biden later added: “I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think.”

Yes you do sir.  Yes you do.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Copied Websites

I see a bunch of liberal bloggers — Bill “Xoff” Christofferson for one — are going on about what has to be the stupidest front page story ever at the Journal Sentinel ever.  Seems a bunch of politicians are pulling a Biden using similar words on their campaign websites.

One wonders what Bill will do, say or write if a Democrat representing Wisconsin was caught doing this…

One only knows…

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Google’s “Pac-Man” Proves to be Ultimate Online Time-Waster

Admit it, you played on Friday.

Hell, you’re probably still playing…

The Pac-Man game Google put on its home page gobbled up almost five million hours of work time, suggests a study.

The playable version of the classic video game was put on Google’s front page on 21 May to celebrate 30 years since the launch of Pac-Man in Japan.

The search giant reworked the game so the layout was arranged around letters forming its name.

The Pac-Man game proved so popular that Google has now made it permanently available on its own page.

The statistics on how many people played and for how long were gathered by software firm Rescue Time. It makes time-tracking software that keeps an eye on what workers do and where they go online.

On a typical day, it suggests, most people conduct about 22 searches on the Google page, each one lasting about 11 seconds.

Putting Pac-Man on the page boosted that time by an average of about 36 seconds, the firm said based on the browsing habits of 11,000 Rescue Time users.

The firm believes this is a relatively low figure because only a minority realised that the logo was playable. To play, people had to click on the “insert coin” button which replaced the more familiar “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on 21 and 22 May.

Extrapolating this up across the 504 million unique users who visit the main Google page day-to-day, this represents an increase of 4.8 million hours – equal to about 549 years.

In dollar terms, assuming people are paid $25 (£17.50) an hour, this equates to about $120m in lost productivity, the firm said.

For that money, suggested Rescue Time, it would be possible to hire all Google’s employees and put them to work for about six weeks.

With numbers like these, I’m amazed a number of entities in Corporate America don’t file a class-action lawsuit against Google for productivity lost.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Britain Bans “Vaccines = Autism” Doctor

A little too late in my opinion, since the damage has been done.  But it makes it harder for his defenders to claim the man’s competence.

A doctor who persuaded millions of parents worldwide that a common vaccine could cause autism was barred from practicing medicine in his native Britain on Monday after the country’s top medical group found he conducted his research unethically.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was the first researcher to publish a peer-reviewed study suggesting a connection between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. That prompted legions of parents to abandon the vaccine in moves that epidemiologists feared could lead to outbreaks of the potentially deadly diseases.

Vaccination rates in Britain and other rich countries have not fully recovered since Wakefield and his colleagues’ research was published in 1998 and there are measles outbreaks across Europe every year. There are also sporadic outbreaks of the disease in the U.S.

His study in the medical journal Lancet was widely discredited, however, after Britain’s medical regulator found it did not meet ethical standards; other studies found no link; and a British journalist revealed Wakefield had been paid by lawyers of parents who suspected their children were harmed by the vaccine.

Wakefield, 53, moved to the U.S. in 2004 and set up an autism center in Texas, where he gained a wide following despite not being licenced as a doctor there, and faced similar skepticism from the medical community. He quit earlier this year.

Britain’s General Medical Council was acting Monday on a January ruling that said Wakefield and two other doctors acted unethically and showed a “callous disregard” for the children in their study. The medical body said Wakefield took blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party, paying them 5 pounds (today worth $7.20) each and later joked about the incident.

The council, which licenses and oversees doctors, found him guilty of serious professional misconduct and stripped him of his right to practice medicine in the U.K. Wakefield said he plans to appeal the ruling, which takes effect within 28 days. The investigation focused on how Wakefield and colleagues carried out their research, not on the science behind it.

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Short Thoughts on RPW 2010

1) Trust me when I say, I think I might have been the first one on Twitter to break the “Leinenkugel Out, Endorses Johnson” news as it was happening during his speech.  Odder feeling than you think.

2) Talked with an old Green Campaign co-worker now with the Johnson campaign after the convention adjourned and he told he literally wasn’t in the room when the Leinenkugel speech was going on; didn’t know what was going on until he heard the commotion from the ballroom.

3) Saturday Night Hospitality Suites

Best Food: Paul Ryan’s again.

Best Drink: Sean Duffy, lots of great stuff I haven’t had since college at UW-EC that you can only find up in Northwestern Wisconsin.

Best Theme: Sean Duffy, lumberjack everything.

4) Where’s the Duffy Interview you ask?  Yeah, hoped to do it Saturday, both mine and Sean’s schedules got in the way. (Really need to stop live-tweeting Lt. Governor votes at future conventions)  Talked to Sean about rescheduling it on Sunday at his hospitality suite, but again, schedules got in the way on Sunday.  I’ll probably just email my questions to his campaign manager, and post the answers in the future.

My sincere apologizes, and I take full responsibility for not getting it done during the weekend.

Final Thought: This was probably the most fun I had covering the State GOP Convention since the first one I’ve went to in 2003.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Best Intro Video at 2010 RPW Convention

The first 56 seconds from the submission by the Brett Davis for Lt. Governor Campaign are sheer genius, regardless of ones ideology given the nature of the Lt. Governor’s office in Wisconsin.

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