Hang gliding over Mt. Ascutney

It was an awesome experience and I highly recommend it. Ya know, at least if you like flying 2500 feet over New Hampshire, looking into Vermont (the far side of the river in the picture), then I suppose you should do it.

Contact Morningside Flight Park and go.

Scale of the Universe

There’s an amazing interactive application I just came across which shows the scale of the Universe. It ranges from strings up to the entirety of the Cosmos (i.e., beyond merely what we can observe). Give it some time to look through all the graphics; it’s pretty mind boggling.

via Starts With A Bang.

Religiously-based divide in Germany

As usual, religion is spurring divide in the world. And, without surprise, Christianity is the aggressor.

Germany’s attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend, calling on the country’s immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values.

Merkel weighed in for the first time in a blistering debate sparked by a central bank board member saying the country was being made “more stupid” by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants.

“Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

“This approach has failed, totally,” she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany’s culture and values.

“We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here,” said the chancellor.

Hitler’s (creationist) Christian values didn’t work out too well for Germany. Nor have Christian values led to better nations, families, or individuals in general. The fire of this religiously-based divide that Merkel is stoking isn’t going to lead to a better world; homogeneity is a concept foreign to the religious realm. Every attempt to attain such a state has led to death and suffering and evil.

Oh, and the “Christian values” Merkel wants would mean she couldn’t be a world leader.

Thought of the day

Thank goodness atheist Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to New Jersey schools.

Grand Rapids officer illegally puts men out of business

Anthony and Willie Mills opened up a restaurant in Grand Rapids. It wasn’t much of a place, but it was making them enough money to stay open, give them some autonomy, and do a little to help out the local economy. But then an unnamed officer came in one night, made erroneous claims, and shut the whole operation down.

Here are two brothers who came and tried to open up a legitimate business. They weren’t in violation of the law. There wasn’t criminal activity going on in the business. They were just doing the best they could here in Michigan and because of what happened they have lost that dream. They have lost that opportunity to succeed,” said Benjamin Mills, a partner at Gruel, Mills, Nims & Pyleman who is now representing Anthony and Willie Mills.

The Mills brothers opened the now vacant restaurant called Chili Willi’s on Eastern and Burton 5 months ago. They say the new business was just making enough money to keep the doors open then on August 30th a Grand Rapids police officer came in and improperly shut them down for not having a license they in fact did not need.

“He closed me up and told me if I sold anything that I would go to jail,” said co-owner Willie Mills.

After this story first got press, the city looked into what was going on. They’ve admitted guilt.

After losing their business the Mills brothers needed to know why this happened to them and wanted someone to be held accountable. They contacted 13 On Your Side and we went to police and city leaders to get some answers.

“Well after your story it brought this whole thing to our attention. We realized a mistake had happened. We are not out trying to hurt any type of business,” said Lt. Ralph Mason, Spokesperson for Grand Rapids Police Department. “A mistake happened. We are humans. We now have to figure out how to get this thing behind us.”

First, a police officer should know better than to admit error publicly. It’s just as bad as a citizen talking to the cops. I suspect if the city is sued, Mason’s statements will be thrown back in his face. In all likelihood, by admitting his guilt he just forced a settlement by the city (which should be at least $25,000, the amount the Mills brothers are out). Second, really? He wants to “figure out how to get this thing behind” the city and police department? How about he gets the Mills brothers back in front of all their debt? That would be the decent thing to do, at least.