Once again, real life imitates Star Trek

You now that scene in Star Trek: The Voyage Home, where engineer Montgomery Scott helped a 20th Century scientist invent transparent aluminum so they could build a whale tank in their captured Klingon Bird of Prey to carry two humpbacks to the 23rd century to communicate with an alien space craft? Yeah, well nothing in that statement makes sense, except for the part about transparent aluminium. That makes sense now.

The US Naval Research Laboratory announced a major breakthrough in materials science on Thursday. After decades of research and development, the NRL has created a transparent, bulletproof material that can be molded into virtually any shape. This material, known as Spinel, is made from a synthetic powdered clay that is heated and pressed under vacuum (aka sintered) into transparent sheets. “Spinel is actually a mineral, it’s magnesium aluminate,” Dr. Jas Sanghera, who leads the research, said in a statement. “The advantage is it’s so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments — so it can withstand sand and rain erosion.”

THIS is why Star Trek beats Star Wars. You don’t see people walking arund with real working lightsabers.

So, what happens after Darin LaHood gets elected to Congress?

Aaron Schock’s resignation has, of course, created a power vacuüm. Someone is going to have to take his seat, and it’s probably — almost certainly — going to be Darin LaHood (but don’t rule out an upset).

Well, who fills Darin LaHood’s seat on the State Senate? I am hearing that city council member Ryan Spain is being considered to fill LaHood’s term. Then who fills Spain’s seat on the city council? I am again hearing that defeated at-large candidate Katherine Coyle is being considered for Spain’s seat.

If so, I object. She had her chance very recently, and the public soundly said “no” to Coyle being on the council.  She would probably be glad to give up her position as Republican County chair, but the taint of professional and expected partisanship remains. The city council is a non-partisan position.

But if failed candidates for council are going to be considered, I suggest Dan Irving. He served the council honorably before losing relection to Casey Johnson, no doubt because of those patently false prostitution charges that should never have been brought in the first place.

Here is another name for consideration: Karrie Alms. She would be a question asker in the vein of the late Gary Sandberg, or present council member Beth Akeson. Former blogger C.J. Summers would also be a good choice.

I have no objection to Spain going to the State Senate. He’s paid his dues, public-service wise. Coyle would be a better fit for LaHood’s State Senate position, if you ask me.

Spain has also been talked up for a run for Jim Ardis’s job as mayor, as has council member Chuck Weaver. Ardis is not likely to run again, and if he does, he probably won’t win.

This is just my two cents, and I am notoriously bad at these sorts of predictions.

You know … I would not be adverse to bringing in a partner or two or a dozen

I’m pretty busy on Valley and Bluff. I’d sure like a few other folks involved who can  write enterprise stories, take photos, draw cartoons, cover a meeting or two who want to share in the copious profits.

Johnny Bough is dead

Johnny Bough is the former pressman at the Daily Eastern News.

He was a sincerely friendly person, who never seemed out of place in a newsroom full of full-of-themself young Newsers. He constantly showed immense patience as we constantly blew deadlines (and I was responsible for more than one blown deadline as I recall).

He had surgery for cancer and I hear he had contracted an infection. He was 73.

I am reminded that newspapers do not spring, full-formed, from the minds of the reporters and editors who write for them.

They are works of art, lovingly crafted by men like Johnny Bough.

Civilization has officially ended

Breaking news: Paris Hilton’s dog is dead. Film at 11.

Some happy birthday Jayne Mansfield eye candy


Jayne Mansfield would have been 81 today. Alas.

After a brief stumble, Valley&Bluff is back and accepting members

I finally fixed the plugin. I am now using the s2Membership plugin, which lts peole sign up at the Valley&Bluff news site for just $3.

If you want to join up and use all the benefits of membership, just click the “$3/$9 membership” link in the black menu bar belpw the header image. You can sign up for a one month membership for $3 or a $9 for three-month (or quarterly) membership.

Membership means:

  • You can read all restricted content posts. Basically, any post that is a press release or breaking news, you can read without paying for membership. Any posts that require any shoe leatheror original reporting on the part of the writer means you have to pay to read it. You also get access to my comics page.
  • You get the ability to comment on any post. Without membership, your role is that of read-only and you can’t see original reporting at all. No police blotters, no liveblogging city council no exposes via FOIA. Nothing. You get access to posts from local blogs that agree to post on this site.

$3 is what you would pay for TWO issues of Peoria’s one and only daily newspaper of record, provided you don’t buy their advertising-heavy Sunday issue.

What am I trying to accomplish with Valley&Bluff: Personally, I’l love to sell a subscription to every single resident of the metro Peoria area and become a millionaire in three years.

Realistically, I’d be happy to sell 100 subscriptions in the first year and I’d be ecstatic to sell 300 within three years. I increased the amount of local reporting I’ve been doing. I find ways to boost it yet again in coming months.

I see Valley&Bluff as the online newspaper of record for Peoria’s classic neighborhoods. You know: Averyville, the Near North Side, the South Side, the West Bluff, Center Bluff and East Bluff. You know, the same neighborhoods that the GateHouse Media publication CONSTANTLY get wrong

I am not some out-of-town conglomerate that is trying to take as much money as possible out of your city to afford to buy some CEO his second yacht, of a fleet sports cars or a bunch of high art . I’m a local guy — born at Methodist Medical Center, went to school at Glen Oak and Woodruff — who cares about local issues and local residents and local businesses.

If you know of a local story that I or the Peoria-branch of GateHouse Media have missed, send me an email here, or better yet CALL ME at (309) 740 6391.

The best, most basic way to support me is to buy a subscription. You can also donate (use the PayPal button on my front page). or if you have a business, buy an ad. I’ve love to promote yu.

Do I need help? I’d love some help. I can’t pay helpers ANYTHING right now, because I don’t make any money. Anyone want to volunteer a ride to or from a meeting, great. Give me a call or an email.

If some enterprising college j-student wants to cover the police blotter one or two days a week, that would also be great. It might lead to some paid part-time work at some point, but no promises.

Starbucks invaded by very tall people …

So, who just walked into Starbucks? Bradley University’s new men’s basketball coach, a bunch of red-shirted assistants and some very tall high school looking kids.  I suppose he’ll be handing out cash and hookers later in the evening …

Just kidding. No Bradley coach has ever distributed cash and/or hookers. Except when they did back in the day. Or when Versace ran the place.

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