Joybelle Scott

Barb’s mom Joybelle, as I reported earlier, died on November 30th.  The funeral was December 4th.  The obituary in the paper does a good job as far as it goes.  Some of the highlights:

Building memories and caring for people was more important to her than acquiring things.  Education and learning were her life’s work whether it was teaching children in the first and second grade, reading to her children and grandchildren or helping in the community.  Her legacy to education and learning is evident in the numerous degrees her children and grandchildren have earned or are earning in education, physical therapy, computer science, business, pre-med, science, social science and political science.

Some of the things which aren’t explicitly said are the following:

  • Her determination to stand up to the prevailing thought when she believed them wrong.
  • Her sense of humor.  She would make some dry comment with a straight face and an innocent look that would fool half of the people listening making it all the more funny to me.
  • I sometimes joked that I never believed any of the mother-in-law jokes until I actually had a mother-in-law but I can’t complain about her.  She and I would never have been best friends due to our completely different approaches to things (she was very intuitive, I am very factual and concrete) but we never had a fight in the 30+ years I knew her.  She never was a problem in my relationship with her daughter or anyone else.
  • After ‘retiring’ in addition to the volunteering for various public causes she “made the rounds” to her kids and helped with the grandkids for a month or more at a time before moving on to the next.
  • I can’t think of a single time that she declined a request for help from us in any way.  She let us stay at her place any time, she fixed us countless meals and she took care of our kids when we needed help such as when I was working on my master’s thesis. Even after her stroke which left her paralyzed on her right side she insisted that she would live with her daughter Nancy, who had some health problems at the time, and help her with her kids.  Barb had to force Joy to confront her own health situation (the stroke had affected her mind to the point she didn’t realize how handicapped she was) by asking her to show how she could help by standing up out of her wheelchair.
  • She gave our kids so many books we sometimes thought we would be buried under them.  This started before we had our first child because she was afraid some of her favorite children’s books would be out of print before we had children.

Her funeral was the first one I didn’t find myself my attention drifting.  Katie did such a wonderful job of being ‘right on’ with her comments about Joy that I was very impressed.  Joy probably would have been a little bit embarrassed by all the praise Katie and others heaped on her, but it was all deserved.

Debunking a 9-11 conspiracy

The following email exchanged occurred during the last few days:

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 11:23 PM
To: Joe
Subject: Since you have experience with explosives…

would you like to take a closer look at the photos from the Pentagon security camera and help settle the dispute over whether the flash is from an explosive or from jet fuel?

Here is a video here that can help you understand why there is a controversy:

You can find that video, and more infor, here:

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 7:43 AM
Subject: RE: Since you have experience with explosives…

I looked at several of the presentations and I didn’t see the security camera with a flash.  Could you give me a direct link to that image or video?



—–Original Message—–
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 10:38 AM
To: Joe

Subject: Re: Since you have experience with explosives…

Sorry, I assumed you knew about those security videos. They have been creating controversy around the world for years. This is why “French Fries” became “Freedom Fries”.

In case you never saw this, the site in France that started this controversy is still available:

That web site scrolls left to right, not up and down.

The issue has since been looked into more deeply by people around the world. The security camera videos I refer to, along with an analysis of them, can be seen in the videos here:

Look near the bottom of the page for:

         To download the free Internet Version
         of “Painful Deceptions” DVD click on
          the following links

Then watch those videos. Prepare yourself for the possibility that some of our government officials might be dishonest. Those videos should help you understand the anger towards the USA that you find in Europe.

That video is available in DVDs if you want higher quality, and for as low as $10 with shipping included at:

Jimmy Walter is also selling the DVD at 888-Investigate, along with books, in at attempt to cover some of his advertising costs.


—–Original Message—–
From: Joe 
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 10:13 AM

Subject: RE: Since you have experience with explosives…

I got a chance to review one of the videos that gave some pretty good shots of the Pentagon.  In terms of the fireball I don’t see anything suspicious about it.  The fireballs that I produce are done with one to four gallons of gasoline and one to four pounds of explosives.  Take a look as some of these.  Go through them frame by frame and you will see the fireball does actually expand.  As long as the fuel supply is increasing the fireball with increase in size.  In the case of a plane smashing into a solid object it seems entirely reasonable to me that a fireball starts shortly after the exposed fuel ignites and then as the rest of the fuel is exposed as the tanks are flattened and ripped apart the fireball grows in size.  And consider that some of my fireballs are 30 to 40 feet across with only four gallons of gasoline.  With thousands of gallons of jet fuel much larger fireballs should be expected.  But depending on how it is dispersed and ignited the fireball could be almost any size from non-existent to several hundred feet across.  You will also see that the flame appears to be white hot and actually causes the video camera to adjust the exposure compensating for the brightness to the point that the surrounding landscape turns dark although it is during the middle of the day.

In the case of explosives, properly oxygen balanced explosive mixtures do not generate a fireball at all. There may be very short flash but not a fireball. TNT, by itself, produces a fireball because it has a shortage of oxygen.  Or in other words an excess of fuel.  As the fuel gets exposed to the air it will produce a fireball.  What is usually done is that another compound is added to achieve oxygen balance.  That is why “fuel oil” or diesel is added to ammonium nitrate.  During detonation the AN produces excess oxygen and by adding a fuel the oxygen can be used to increase the heat and hence the pressure of the detonation.  The increased heat also means the reaction is easier to initiate and it propagates easier.  The reason this is important is because I would expect any missile to have an efficient explosive and not have excess fuel to produce a fireball.  Hence if there is a fireball it would have to come from the target not the missile.  Since I doubt the Pentagon was struck in an office containing a tank of some sort of fuel I have to conclude it came from the object that struck it.  Hence, a plane containing fuel is an entirely plausible explanation for the fireball.

I can’t explain everything in the video but many of the things are out of my area of expertise.  I can tell you why I would put the gravel on the lawn however.  Heavy trucks were going to be hauling debris away and new material in.  If the ground had any significant amount of moisture in it the repeated truck crossing would have softened soil and they would have gotten bogged down and stuck.

With the selected set of evidence presented in the videos I can see why people would have some questions.  But I don’t see anything I consider conclusive evidence that anything other than a commercial jet struck the Pentagon.

Here are some specific fireball videos to demonstrate my points:

Or for a fairly complete collection of my fireball videos see this page:
If you have any other questions about this feel free to ask.



I don’t think he got the answer he expected.  And I doubt he will stop selling his DVDs and books.  But at least I didn’t bolster his crackpot ideas (there were lots of unbiased eye witnesses that saw the plane slam into the Pentagon).

I finished my airplane defense essay

I keep seeing references to the problems with airport screening and decided it was time to finish my essay on airplane security.  I also added some material to the problems with existing security.  This was inspired by an article I had run across some time ago but never got around incorporating until now.  I now have an answer, but not really a solution, to the concerns over explosives being brought on board.  Read the essay if you are interested in that aspect.

To help get more notice of my thoughts on the subject I also posted a couple links in the comments section of Bruce Schneier’s blog posting about airplane security.