Also, the sky is blue.

So a friend of mine recently offered to sell me a coveted “euroswitch” for my ’03 Passat.  The stock light switch for the American market has three positions: off, on, and on + fog lights.  The euro switch, however, has: off, parking, parking + fog, on, and on+ fog.  Plus it has additional positions for turning on the rear fog light (which I would need to wire, but at least now I’ll have the switch for it).  My experience with cars made since at least the mid-90s is that you cannot operate the fog lights independent of the low beams.  If the fog lights are on, the low beams must also be on.  This switch removes that limitation, leading me to believe that the reason for said limitation is due to legislation.  Which brings us to the topic of this post: my friend and I sought to discover whether it was truly a legal issue by trying to consult the laws.

Of course, he took a reasonable course of action, starting at the Pennsylvania DMV website, locating the PA Vehicle Code (Title 75), and then proceeding to search through there.  I also looked, but just googled for the information, and landed at Transportation (Title 67) instead.  Both titles seemed to address lighting codes but contained different information.  And beyond that, the PA Code didn’t contain a Title 75, and in other places I found, Title 67 wasn’t Transportation at all!  After quite a bit of confusion, here’s what I learned (disclaimer: I AM NOT A LAWYER (IANAL), and this may still all be wrong):

The two sources of rules/regulations/laws are: The Pennsylvania Code (officially published by Fry Communications, available unofficially via their site, pacode.com) and Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (officially published by the PA Legislative Reference Bureau as the “Laws of Pennsylvania”, unofficially published by Westlaw as the “Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated“, available unofficially via their site, government.westlaw.com).  The Consolidated Statutes are the laws as passed by the legislature, signed by the Governor, and enacted.  The Pennsylvania Code is the rules and regulations as enacted by various agencies of the executive branch, as delegated to them by the language of the laws (thus the Code references its Authority from the PA C.S.).

So, if like me you’re asking “which of these apply when there seems to be a conflict,” the answer seems to be that they both do.  Although it probably seems like you could make a case that the Consolidated Statutes should trump the Code where they overlap, the reality is probably a complex legal situation in which lawyers would need to argue about the definition of the word “is.”


State College is full of beer.  Unfortunately, most of it is Natty Light.  I couldn’t find a good list of all of the local six-pack shops, so I decided to make my own.  Please post any additions/deletions/corrections to the comments.

I put ’em all into a Google Map.

Downtown

Ordered West to East:

Brewsky’s Bottle Shop (Beaver/Burrowes) – (814) 272-1074

222 W. Beaver Ave
State College, PA 16801

Zeno’s To Go/Take Six – (814) 237-4350 – zenospub.com

100 W College Ave
State College, PA 16801

The only place to buy Zeno’s Rye!  Also, if you actually go downstairs to Zeno’s, they sell obscure and interesting singles (to go) at the bar.

The Phyrst – (814) 238-1406 – the-phyrst.com

111 E Beaver Ave
State College, PA 16801

Upstairs, next door.

Brewsky’s Bottle Shop (Days Inn) – (814) 238-8454 – lioncountrylodging.com/daysinn

240 S Pugh St
State College, PA 16801

Thrifty Bottle Shop (Sharkies) – (814) 238-3566

110 Sowers St
State College, PA 16801

Sharkies has probably the best selection this side of Wegmans.

Kildare’s Irish Pub – (814) 272-0038

538 E College Ave
State College, PA 16801

Uptown (lol)

By “State College Cardinals” (where North is not North…)  And then ordered closest-to-downtown to furthest-away for each.

North

Champs Sports Bar & Grill – (814) 234-7700 – champssportsgrill.net

1611 N Atherton St
State College, PA 16803

All the way in the front of the restaurant, in case you get lost.

Hi-Way Pizza (North) – (814) 237-0375 – dantesinc.com

1688 N Atherton St
State College, PA 16803

If you can call it a bottle shop…  Two stand up coolers and nothing outside of the macros and maybe Sam Adams.

Jack’s Six Pack and Bottle Shop – (814) 238-8066

1669 N Atherton St
State College, PA 16803

Okay selection, but you might as well go to Wegmans, which has more and is cheaper.

Wegmans (Market Cafe) –  (814) 278-9040

345 Colonnade Way
State College, PA 16803

If there’s a better bottle shop in State College, I have not found it.  Best selection and best prices.

Otto’s Pub and Brewery – (814) 867-6886 – ottospubandbrewery.com

2235 N Atherton St
State College, PA 16803

Otto’s only sells their beer and Keewaydin cider, which is available at other bottle shops around town, too.

East

Olde New York – (814) 237-1582 – oldenewyork.net

2298 E College Ave
State College, PA 16801

Olde New York’s liquor license is still issued to Schnitzel’s, Inc.  Moment of silence, please.

South

CLOSED: Hi-Way Pizza (Westerly) – (814) 237-1074 – dantesinc.com

428 Westerly Parkway
State College, PA 16801

Brewsky’s Bottle Shop (PA Pizza on Branch Rd) – (814) 237-8005‎

1663 S Atherton St
State College, PA 16801

I think the phone number is actually for the Super 8.  It’s all the same property.

Home Delivery Pizza – (814) 237-7777 – homedeliverypizza.net

1820 S Atherton St
State College, PA 16801

Kelly’s Bottle Shop – (814) 466-3090

306 Boal Ave
Boalsburg, PA 16827

West

Brewsky’s Bottle Shop (Prospectors/Cato Park) – (814) 238-0015

2070 Cato Ave
State College, PA 16801

Questionable

These are places I suspect may have a bottle shop, but I don’t know for sure.

The Lion’s Den – (814) 237-5081

114 S Garner St
State College, PA 16801

The Arena – (814) 237-8833 – thearenabarandgrill.com

1521 Martin St
State College, PA 16803

Distributors

If you’re new to buying beer in PA, if you want to buy anything more than 192oz. at a time, you can’t buy from any of the above bottle shops.  You have to buy from the distributor, where the price per unit is lower, and they have the most selection, but you have to buy in cases (i.e. ~288oz. or more).

Happy Valley Refreshment – (814) 466-6360 – hvrbeer.com

420 Boal Ave
Boalsburg, PA 16827

They are generally more expensive than the other distributors and I don’t think their selection is quite as good, but they have much better hours.

Pletcher’s – (814) 235-0957

330 W Aaron Dr
State College, PA 16801

Best selection out of the distributors, and you can browse the entire selection yourself (at the others, most beers are just listed on a board).

Nittany Beverage – (814) 237-2542 – nittanybeverage.com

139 N Patterson St
State College, PA 16801

W. R. Hickey – (814) 238-3057 – wrhickey.com (warning: site may cause eye cancer)

1321 E College Ave
State College, PA 16801

Beer Belly’s Beverage – (814) 237-BREW – beerbellysbeverage.com

258 W Hamilton Ave
State College, PA 16801

New distributor in Hamilton Square.  Great craft selection.  Prices on college favorites and some crafts seem to be a bit better than others.

want to think there’s a bottle shop in here, but I really don’t know.

If you watch TV at all, you’ve probably seen the ads which have been playing for about a month and a half now, featuring some frat pack actor guy, talking about how great AT&T is, in comparison to Verizon. You probably also know that these ads are in response to an earlier Verizon ad which shed light on AT&T’s comparative lack of 3G network coverage.

I’m not a fan of either company, but it’s been interesting to watch how this has played out, especially when you take note of the chain of events:

  1. Verizon airs “There’s a map for that” ad (a parody of iPhone ads) with the message that Verizon offers 5 times more 3G network coverage than AT&T.
  2. AT&T sues Verizon, laughably claiming that their ad is misleading – non-technical users will believe the ad states that Verizon has 5 times more network coverage (of any sort, not just 3G) than AT&T[1].  AT&T loses.
  3. AT&T fights back with ads starring that frat pack guy:
    1. Explaining that AT&T has service (not 3G) covering greater than X percentage (where X is some suitably large number) of the US population[2].
    2. Explaining that on Verizon’s network, you can’t talk and use your phone’s data features at the same time.
    3. Explaining that Verizon doesn’t have AT&T’s “rollover” minutes.
    4. Explaining that AT&T’s 3G network is faster than Verizon’s 3G network.

What’s interesting about all of this is that none of the statements in any of these ads were false:

  • Verizon really does have around 5 times the 3G coverage vs. AT&T,
  • AT&T does have the fairly large (mostly non-3G) coverage they state,
  • Verizon can’t support concurrent voice and data,
  • Verizon doesn’t have rollover, and
  • AT&T’s current[3] 3G technology is indeed faster than Verizon’s.

So what’s happened is that AT&T has engaged in a misdirection campaign[4] of their own.  “Hey, forget what Verizon said.  We’re not saying they’re wrong, but just forget what they said.  Here’s all the great stuff about AT&T!  Oh, and we really have great coverage!  What’s that?  It’s not 3G?  Shut up and just look how blue our map is!”

It’s clear that AT&T got really pissed off about that original Verizon ad.  But was this overblown response really necessary?  I’ll do some speculation, since I have no data to work with.

I’d guess that most people don’t care.  People know what kind of coverage they get on their phone, the places that they go.  They probably know what kind of coverage their friends on other networks get in the same places.  Was that ad really going to get people running out to their local Verizon store (especially considering contract termination fees), begging to switch, because they were terrified that AT&T didn’t have coverage where they needed it?  What’s more likely is that most of the people who would even care about what the ad was saying (who has more high speed data coverage) probably understood the point. Do you go lots of places?  Do you want more 3G coverage?  Verizon is better[5].

It’s too late now, but what I’d really like to see would be the results of a survey commissioned after the Verizon ad, before any retaliation by AT&T.  Did people understand the original ad?  If so, did it cause anyone to switch?

Instead of answering the questions, AT&T went to court, and paid some frat pack guy a bunch of money.  I wonder which would have cost more.

[1] Okay, maybe not entirely laughable – that people would not understand what Verizon was saying is a valid concern. The laughable part is the premise of the lawsuit – that Verizon should be legally punished for stating fact.
[2] Interestingly, the frat pack guy rattles off a list of places, but they’re all major cities where AT&T probably has 3G anyway – which is even more misleading – isn’t the point of this response campaign to explain that you have more nationwide coverage than Verizon?
[3] What constitutes “3G” is a bit fuzzy anyway as some things may be faster or slower than what was originally called 3G. For example, both AT&T and Verizon are using technologies that the industry considers to be 3.5G, and 4G is not long off.
[4] A pretty big one, too, judging from how often I have to hear the frat pack guy’s smarmy voice in between shit I’m watching on TV.
[5] Right now.  Who knows when you’re a year in to that Droid contract.

Realtors

28Jul09

We used to have this great site called happyvalleyhomes.org that provided public access to the region’s MLS.  So I could easily search for real estate listings from wherever I wanted, with no pressure.  Seems like a nice modern resource for the public, right?  But go visit it now.  What happened?  The greedy scum-sucking realtors decided to take it down, that’s what.  And now how do I find out what’s for sale?  That’s right… I call up my friendly neighborhood Realtor(tm).

I already had a pretty low opinion of realtors.  This is just another nail.


Here on the 5th floor of Wartik, our bathroom (like many bathrooms) has a paper towel dispenser. But it wasn’t always this way – in fact, at one point, we had 3 paper towel dispensers. One of them was part of a large frame that’s recessed into the wall (which might have at one point additionally housed a trash can). The second was a standard wall mount type. These two served well for a long time, but then without warning, a third appeared, almost exactly like the second.

My confusion over this situation was soon resolved when both of the original dispensers were subsequently removed (in the case of the first unit, leaving behind a useless large recessed metal frame). Interestingly, the new unit was purchased from Kimberly-Clark, a company who has donated quite generously to the University in the past.

This third dispenser (our only remaining one) is currently broken, the gears are stripped and you have to apply pressure to the front of the unit to make it dispense towels. So in this act of corporate back-scratching, we’re stuck with a broken product that replaced two perfectly functioning products.  I love it.


Trainwreck

01May09

In this continuing series, I criticize the argumentative abilities of Collegian letter writers.  Today’s fruit is rather low-hanging.

Allowing guns on campus will not prevent shootings

While I understand the right to bear arms, I disagree with allowing guns on campus as a solution to school violence. The chance of a shooting is actually much smaller than the media has led many people to believe. If someone is going to commit this crime, they’ll find a way; why make it easier for him or her? I would not be comfortable in class knowing the kid next to me has a firearm.

As pointed out by phalenor, she makes an excellent argument against herself here.  If someone is going to commit this crime, they will indeed find a way.  However, this does not make it easier for him or her, it makes it impossible for anyone to defend against him or her.

I do have my own concerns about legalizing weapons on campus – namely, that in the case that a shooting does occur, many students having guns might cause confusion as to who the real shooter is.  But I think the chance that someone could take down a shooter before he can do the kind of damage we’ve seen is worth the danger.

It is hard for me to take advice on gun laws pertaining to school shootings from someone who graduated college before these mass murders started to become more frequent. Security and sense of security are very different now than they were then. This is a reality we deal with everyday we go to class, but it wasn’t so much before incidents such as Columbine.

Argument from personal incredulity as well as special pleading.  Just because someone isn’t in the situation doesn’t mean they can’t reason using the facts available and speak on the subject.  Say where the argument is wrong, not that he doesn’t have the right to make it.

What is next, suggesting that high schoolers be able to carry guns to prevent tragedies? Many high school seniors are legal adults, but I highly doubt that would be the proposed solution to shootings on these campuses.

This is actually a valid concern, if you apply the argument universally this does seem to be the fair outcome.  Perhaps someone who (against my advice) reads this blog can formulate a good response.  Maybe it’s not appropriate to apply this argument in a high school setting?

As for the comment about journalism majors lacking intellectual rigor, I apologize if this letter didn’t contain enough of it for you. Perhaps you shouldn’t insult the very people who supplied the venue for you to express your opinion.

Woah there, back off on the snark a bit.  And with this last sentence, she drives off a cliff.  Is Ms. Mueller, a journalism major, really suggesting that people not criticize poor journalism?  I practically consider it my duty.  And I agree with the original author’s assertion that as a whole, modern journalists DO lack good rigor.  A glance at most science articles will reveal how much is cribbed directly from press releases.

Amanda Mueller

junior-journalism


Global warming alarmists creating unnecessary fear

This letter is in response to the April 23 article “Students urged to go green, hug a tree.”

Whenever I hear a person shouting “The debate is over” I get suspicious. Usually, this is code for “Everyone who disagrees with me can shut up.” You see, if the debate really is settled, then no one objects to having it. It should be easy to win.

Assuming your opponents play by the rules.  Attend a debate featuring a Creationist like Duane Gish and you may find how hard it is to “win” despite having all the facts and evidence on your side.  I agree that the debate (as in scientific, not club) is not over on this issue and anyone shouting that it is is wrong.

This is why I find professor Jon Krosnick’s remarks to be so revealing. As the Collegian reported, “Krosnick argued the media’s inclusion of global warming skeptics in reports on the phenomenon led the public to believe scientists disagreed on the issue. By reporting less balanced stories, the public would be better informed.” Got that? Global warming alarmists need the media to silence their critics because they consistently lose when they debate.

They do?  News to me…  Anyway, debate is worthless, what we should be striving for is fair reporting.  Fair reporting does not mean reporting on every viewpoint that every person with an opinion on the subject holds.  When reporting on a scientific issue like global warming, it means reporting on the findings of the scientists doing the actual work, and any differences in the findings of those scientists.  It means reporting on the analysis of those findings by qualified individuals who understand how to interpret them.  This “they’re trying to silence the opposition!” cry has become standard rhetoric – and it’s bogus.

Anyone trained in the scientific method can review a paper for basic methodological errors.  But for the more complex issues, a layman attacking or rejecting the data without the background to fully understand the field is a rather arrogant position.

I’ll give you an example. This January, I had the privilege of seeing an “Intelligence Squared” debate in New York City on the topic of global warming legislation. Before the debate, 49 percent of the audience agreed with the alarmists; 16 percent agreed with the climate realists (“skeptics”). After the debate, only 48 percent still held with the alarmists, while a whopping 42 percent agreed with the realists. A 27 percent shift!

Completely irrelevant, not to mention the silly alarmist/realist language.  A good debater could probably get 27% to agree to The Final Solution (hi, Godwin!).  Attendees at a debate are not educated in the details of the field, and debates are not science.  Even if 99.9% thought the sky was yellow, it wouldn’t make it true.

The fact is that Americans are starting to get wise to the alarmists’ tricks. A recent Rasmussen poll had only 34 percent of Americans believing in anthropogenic global warming –the lowest finding in the poll’s history; this observation is supported by numerous other polls.

As before, public opinion does not decide science.

Last March, more than 800 scientists and legislators gathered for the International Conference on Climate Change, and roundly denounced the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

I’m unclear on the credentials of this group, and whether it’s really 800 or mostly just Fred Singer.  Regardless, they have yet to publish anything other than the Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

In international news, the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (a prestigious scientific body) just released a report disputing the anthropogenic nature of global warming.

Excellent!  This is what the “against” side should be doing.  Let’s see more, and get it peer reviewed and published in journals.

Global warming hysteria is coming to an end. People are realizing that the sky is not falling, and that the carbon dioxide you and I breathe out is harmless.

It sounds like to him, the debate is over… hrm.

All of this said, anyone with sound evidence can topple the current consensus on global warming.  It’d be a career-making breakthrough, and no doubt many prestigious journals would be interested in publishing the findings.  So please, let’s see the science, not just rhetoric.

Samuel Settle

freshman-political science

Always love to hear YAF chime in. =P  I expect to continue to see great stuff from Mr. Settle (as we’ve already seen in the past).