Nashville, an Observation


(Updated: See at bottom) I am merely an observer of these things, okay, but….

Tonight, the Nashville/Davidson County Commission has the chance to both de-criminalize the possession of a small amount of marijuana and reject an ATT/Comcast anti-Google Fiber effort. (Note: For those who are stumbling upon this post, I live in Nashville.)

While I’m merely an observer, let me observe this: When  national media refer to Nashville as the “it city,” this is what they are talking about. (If both measures pass, that is.)

Oh, and another mere observation.

Other than people who work for ATT and Comcast and their families, I can’t think of two companies that people complain about more.

Most civilians, however, love the Google.

“We have Google fiber” is definitely has ‘it city’ cred.

BONUS: I am more than an observer of this. It’s a list of the 50 best bicycle cities in the U.S. Know what city isn’t included? Nashville. There are at least 50 cities (and lots more) that have better bicycle paths and infrastructure and support than Nashville.

That is how a city loses its “it city” cred.

(Updated, 10:30 p.m.)

Nashville/Davidson County Metro Council just voted 35-3 to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. You read that correctly: 35-3. While I’m sure our whacky state legislature will try to override it, this is one of those measures that obviously has legs.

Earlier in the meeting, the council voted by a voice vote to reject Comcast’s and ATTs transparent efforts to squash Google Fiber.

Both Comcast and ATT (neither of which had plans for gigabyte internet when Google Fiber announced their plans) warned Metro they were going to sue if they lost tonight.

While I’m not a lawyer, I do know that both ATT and Comcast exist in their current conglomerated fashions because the Department of Justice were promised in all sorts of ways that their two mergers wouldn’t be harmful to competition.

I’m sure there will be plenty of fodder in those two DOJ decisions — with lots of promises that will not be helpful in their efforts to kill Google Fiber.

But that’s just a guess by someone who is merely passing this along.

Last note: This is the first time in the nearly 40 years I’ve lived in Nashville that I’ve actually watched a Metro Council meeting.

Ralph Stanley, RIP

Ralph Stanley, RIP

Ralph Stanley died yesterday at the age of 89.

Already a legend in bluegrass for creating the “high lonesome sound,”  it was not until his haunting version of O Death in the film O Brother Where Art Thou in 2000 at age 73 that Stanley became known to a wider audience.

The first time Ralph Stanley’s name appeared on this blog was January 15, 2002, 14 years ago.

May he rest in peace.

This is RexBlog, not Rex Block

Typically, I think it’s amusing when I discover something named Rex. This isn’t one of those times.

Typically, I think it’s amusing when I discover something named Rex. (Like hotels, for instance.) This isn’t one of those times.

It doesn’t sound good. (However, it does sound like a great name for an ad-blocking app.)

News Item (via: CNBC) | Hurricane Joaquin and Rex Block to Bring Life-Threatening Floods

Explainer | [via: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (PDF)]

In meteorology, blocking happens when centers of high pressure and low pressure set up over a region in such a way that they prevent other weather systems from moving through. While the block is in place other systems are forced to go around it.

Blocks can remain in place for several days, resulting in monotonous weather for locations under the block.

The “rex block” is named after Dr. Daniel F. Rex, who discovered and analyzed the pattern in 1950. Dr. Rex was a Commander in the Office of Naval Aerology and one of the founding members of today’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Rex blocks are characterized by a high pressure system located immediately north of a low pressure system. These systems are usually analyzed aloft, around heights of ten to twenty thousand feet above the ground.

Air circulates clockwise around the east and south sides of the high to the north, and then turns to the south to go around the west and south sides of the counterclockwise-turning low to the south. Because the flow of the air is basically north-south, there is very little eastward progression of the system.

Rex Block Weather

Unsettled, stormy weather is usually found near the low pressure while dry conditions are typical with the high pressure. Strong, particularly persistent rex blocks can cause flooding in the southern part of the block and short-term drought in the north.

(Thanks: Lewis)

Competitive Outrage

My outrage is more legit than your outrage!

I haven’t commented on the outrage of the week, the killing of Zimbabwe’s “most beloved lion,” Cecil, by a big game hunting dentist from Minnesota named Walter Palmer.

By the time I was aware of the Cecil killing, the internet outrage was far more than anything I could come up with, so I passed even tweeting about it. Besides, the only thing I could think of to say that I hadn’t seen before was how white the dentist’s teeth were — obviously, a Photoshop job.

The competitive nature of internet outrage is fascinating.

Read more “Competitive Outrage”

Heritage of Convenience

A lot has changed during the two weeks since I posted my view of the Confederate flag being used by Southern state  governments in a way that suggests the people of that state are honoring some type of mythological concept of heritage . If you are among the 12 people who read this blog, I don’t need to catch you up.

South Carolina did the right thing. Other states should follow. And, members of the U.S. House of Representatives should also.

From the Washington Post story, “As S.C. prepares to lower battle flag, Boehner calls for Confederate review,” comes this quote that is extraordinary in its irony or ignorance, or both.

Southern Republicans said that their Democratic colleagues did not understand that they were trying to pay tribute to fallen Confederate soldiers who were not plantation owners. “The majority of people that actually died in the Civil War on the Confederate side didn’t own slaves. These were people that were fighting for their states, and, you know, I don’t think they even had any thoughts about slavery,” said Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.). He rejected the position of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a leader in the civil rights movement, who called the flag a symbol of oppression. “Does he understand where I’m coming from?” Westmoreland said. “Well, if I believe it comes from heritage, does he understand where I’m coming from?”

Perhaps I am cursed by a lifetime of reading books about history, many of them regarding the context and battles of the Civil War.

Read more “Heritage of Convenience”