Saturday, October 5, 2013

Antivirus programs

I have used Norton and Kaspersky, which costs money. Currently I use Avast, which is free. If you look around, and decide to go for a free brand, make sure and completely remove the previous antivirus program. You may find removal tools on the internet or you may have to email the company, and they will email you the removal tool, which you will download and run on your computer. What antivirus program do you use?

Can You See The Real Me?

When I first blogged about this song, a commenter wrote:
I love this track because EACH part of it, (drumming, guitar, vocals, and bass) is really great and really distinct! It's very easy to concentrate on any one part and notice how great it is...
That, I asserted, was the songwriter's intention, because he wanted to peel back the four layers of character (Quadrophenia) in an analytical way and then put them all back together again.

Notice what Townshend does with his guitar during each of the four sequential "acts" or verses of the story line.  In the first, the "Doctor" verses, he plays very-odd sounding clipped chords instead of letting them ring.  In the second "act" (about his mother) he clips his chords even shorter. He's slowly disappearing, and this has the effect of revealing Keith Moon and John Entwhistle, and Roger Daltrey even more. In the third "act" about the paving stones and the girl, he's factored himself out, disappearing completely!

Who is leading during those verses? Entwhistle, Moon, Daltrey?

In the last and fourth act, the one about the "preacher," Townshend's guitar really comes back and drives hard, herding them and getting them to harmonize, just before they all shatter apart again into divergent paths.

Slogging is blow tonight, sorry about that.

Season Of The Witch

Halloween is fast approaching and after that, the holiday season.


Like many people my age, I have an iTunes library. Perhaps unlike others, I meticulously delete the "genre" column entry and insert instead the year that the song appeared or was released.

This song for example is from 1966. The background organ sounds very much like the organ playing of Ray Manzarek around that time. Coincidence?

Lester Bangs Really Loved This Song

"Lester bangs" is transitive and demands an object.

Have you ever heard of Silk Road or the Deep Web?

"On Wednesday the federal government raided and shut down online drug marketplace Silk Road and arrested its alleged proprietor, Ross William Ulbricht. Silk Road had been in operation since roughly January 2011, but was obscured from normal web traffic because it was hosted on something called the “Deep Web.”"


"Why don’t you just run it and say what we say?”

"In an interview with Sports Spectrum TV earlier this year that’s only recently gone viral, Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) admitted that fake bleeps were inserted into the show even though there was no cursing happening."

“The inserted fake bleeps … like somebody had used profanity, but no one had used profanity,” Robertson said. “I ask those guys that produce the show … ‘What’s the point of the fake bleeps?’”
Robertson admitted that there are up to 20 editors who are “arranging the scenes” on the show so they might think that’s where cursing likely happened.

“Of course these people probably thought that there was some profanity going on which there was zero,” Robertson stated.

CBS Houston - (video after "read more")

If one parent is just as good as two, what would more than two be?

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill allowing more than two legal parents

"Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation allowing children to have more than two parents."

Read more here:
Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, stressed that his measure applies only to families with more than two people who meet the state's definition of a parent. It does not apply to stepparents, grandparents, girlfriends or caretakers. In an interview, Leno said he expected the law to be used sparingly, such as when a child could be at risk of unnecessarily entering the foster care system."

Leno's measure grew out of an appellate court case involving a biological mother, her same-sex partner and a man who had an affair with the mother while she was temporarily separated from her female lover. In the 2011 case, the California Court of Appeal held that courts could not recognize more than two parents even if doing so would protect the child from harm."

Twitchy , The Sacramento Bee , (video after "read more")

Joe's hikes

A National Park in California. Joe said, but I forgot which one specifically. We did not discuss the closings. The guy with the backpack likes to make a point of touching snow on as many peaks as possible. Joe took the pictures, just turned eighty-years old a few months ago.

Snake in the yard eating a groundhog that drowned in the pool. Enwraps it, embraces it, makes sweet sweet furry mammal love to it, devours it. 

You sick snake. 


Step ladder. 


Evan Izer, 1967, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Shaman's Blues

Another Parable of a Madman

THE MADMAN----Have you not heard of that madman who logged into Blogger in the bright morning hours, clicked over to Lem's, and cried incessantly: "I seek GOP! I seek GOP!"---As many of those who believed in GOP were hanging around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has GOP gotten lost? wrote one. Has he fallen ill without insurance? snarked another. Or is he cowering in Washington, D.C.? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a Cruz? immigrated?---Thus they snarked and laughed...

#Shutdown Showdown Showcase

@DLoesch ...and shut the valve on Niagara Falls. Cage all the Grizzlies in Yellowstone; and fill in that grand canyon; in Arizona

Kayaking Down a Drainage Ditch

Kayaking Down a Drainage Ditch

edutcher was wondering...

I mentioned The Blonde's interest in doing a blog. She wants to do it on nursing, where she feels she has a lot of knowledge to impart. Of the commenters here, what's your expertise, the field on which you think you can really expound for all the world to see? And maybe critique?

You know you have one.


"Stagehands Striking at Carnegie Hall Average More Than $419,000 Per Year"

Here is a full list of Carnegie Hall's highest paid employees, according to the non-profit's 990, with union stagehands in bold. (Believe it or not, these salaries are actually after pay cuts in recent years.)

2. Dennis O'Connell, Properties Manager: $464,632
3. James Csollany, Carpenter:$441,223
4. Richard Matlaga (Chief Financial Officer, not listed on Carnegie Hall's staff website): $429,259
5. John Cardinale, Electrician: $425,872
6. Aaron Levine, Chief Information Officer: $406,048
7. John Goodson, Electrician: $395,207
8. Ken Beltrone, Carpenter: $371,813
9. Anna Weber, General Manager, Artistic and Operations: $368,255
10. Susan Brady, Development Director: $317,110
11. Richard Malenka, Director: $315,277
12. Theodore E. Phillips, Director of Finance: $259,812

The Village Voice

"The shutdown, the White House argues, ..."

"The Obama administration bristles at the idea that they've been unwilling to negotiate or compromise. They went on a widely covered "charm offensive" back in the spring.... 
And so the White House says that their position is simple, and it will not change: They will not negotiate over substantive policy issues until Republicans end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling."

The Washington Post

Intro for Treehouse of Horror XXIV Couch Gag

Guillermo del Toro for this year's treehouse of horrors episode.  They've been on twenty-four years. I did not know that.

I'm not that great at maths. In Algebra for Business we were asked the first day what we hoped to get out of the class. 

I thought back at a frustrating math situation. Renting a car. Days plus miles. Which offer is the best deal? How could I prove mathematicaly what I intuit is true based on my stay and anticipated miles? And right off the bat, that was the very first word problem in the book. Turns out to be a break even thing, you find mathematically where they are even. 

This video is 640 X 360, says so in the embed code that is copy/pasted into the html here,  and the width in this blog template is 550, comfortably 525. So the math is this:

640   525
360 =  x

I think what you do is multiple 360 x 525 then  divide 640  = 295.3125

But I'm not sure. So I opened a new document in Photoshop with dimensions of 640x360 and changed the width to 525 keeping proportions and it filled in the answer close to 295.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

stay steady

"Woman tries to ram car into White House barricade..."

"A dental hygienist from Connecticut was the female driver who tried to ram her car into a White House barricade and was shot dead near the US Capitol after a high-speed chase through Washington streets Thursday afternoon, law enforcement sources told The Post."

Sources said Miriam Carey, who formerly lived in Brooklyn, was licensed to practice in New York and Connecticut and had a permit to work as a hygienist in Connecticut prisons."

The incident ended at 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue, two blocks from the Capitol and between the US Supreme Court building and the Hart Senate Office Building."

New York Post

Attention to detail

"They spent an entire day working to put it together and what emerged shows just how incredible the attention to detail in this world [GTA V] is. Yes, it’s obviously computer generated, but the tiny details the developers built in helps the time-lapse not to seem strange, but perfectly normal."

Random V - Timelapse
"Obviously virtual worlds can’t replace real life (though some people might disagree…) but it’ll be interesting to see how these experiments evolve. Eventually we might have fine art photography from inside a game. Then again, at that point, who owns the photo? Is it the photographer? Or the people who created the world you’re photographing?"

Fukushima: 'arrogance, secrecy and complacency'

""There were studies which showed a one-in-1,000-year probability of the Fukushima coast being hit by a 10m tsunami," he said. "Unfortunately, those studies were dismissed. The nuclear industry didn't think it would happen, so they didn't prepare for it," [Tatsujiro Suzuki, of Japan's Atomic Energy Commission] said.
...Prof Kurokawa blames what he calls "regulatory capture", a process by which the nuclear power industry "captured" the bureaucracy that was supposed to regulate it.
...The result was a nuclear industry imbued with a culture of arrogance, secrecy and complacency. Lessons learned after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in the US were not implemented here. When disaster struck, Japan was woefully ill-prepared.
An investigation by Japan's NHK broadcaster last year found that simple equipment, things like mobile generators and battery packs that could have helped prevent the meltdowns, were sitting at a depot just 25 miles (40km) from the Fukushima plant.
After the tsunami knocked out the plant's electrical system there was still time to bring in the back-up equipment. Army helicopters were on standby. But there was no plan. Chaos ensued.
A senior company official in charge of logistics was asked by the NHK team why he had not dispatched the equipment. "We had a very long list of things they needed. We had no way to prioritise which should go first," he said."

The archetype of the Japanese as careful and dutiful is not borne out here.

Is Scything Addictive?

h/t: Cody Jarrett at Trooper York

Rest Stop


AP: "Russian Embassy in Libya evacuated after attack"

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Thursday evacuated all of its diplomats and their families from Libya, the day after a mob attack on the Russian Embassy, and issued a warning to its citizens against visiting the country.

An armed mob broke into the embassy compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli, climbing over walls, breaking down a metal gate and shooting in the air. One of the attackers was killed by the gunfire, and four more were wounded, Libyan officials said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in Thursday's statement that Moscow decided to evacuate the embassy after Libya's Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz visited its grounds and told the Russian ambassador that Libya was unable to protect the personnel.


“Deliberate effort by Obama to hurt the public”

Mount Vernon is the former plantation of George Washington and is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which doesn’t receive any government funding. The attraction’s official website reads, “NO SHUTDOWN HERE – The Federal government may be shut down, but Washington’s home remains open. Mount Vernon has remained a private non-profit for more than 150 years.”


Now that is poor sportsmanship. 2001. Israel Cristostomo Alcántara kick Jeremy Salazar in the face mask then charges and throws unsuccessful punch at Cedeño.

Seen on the Imagur photostream linked earlier, the comments go to reddit where the wikipedia entry on the incident is pointed to.

Where also a commenter says, "With moves like that he ought to check out Japanese Binocular Soccer."  Is that even a thing? Why, yes, apparently it is.

Harry Reid

Give it three seconds.

I know I am but what are you?

No wait, I meant to say, I know you are but what am I?

Oh man, I should'a said.

Nobody was obsessed at all, not one single bit, until your Party went from the droning single line message that all drones drone at once, all across the land, the exact same wording all at once, and you have no idea how irritating this is, every drone droning the precise phrase, "Our healthcare system is broken and must be fixed" because that phrase cannot be improved by any single unimaginative drone, droning out all conversation, all of it, and the situation cannot be improved either by any careful measure, no cautious steps are acceptable so those are droned out, "Republicans have no ideas for fixing our healthcare system at all" I cannot recall how many times I've read that in comments, because you actually honestly cannot hear anything  like "check reckless malpractice suits, and make policies transportable across states to name only two Republican suggestions unheard by drones, to come from that to your Party busting your anxious moves on ushering socialized healthcare, federalizing healthcare, the Party's aim all along, that you even faced the opposition you caused, and knew you would cause. And don't give me this sterling crap about providing 30 million Americans with health care insurance, you know, I know, everybody knows this bill does no such thing. Your craptastic bill is taller than I am, and if you think of one millisecond that is acceptable then you are quite mad. Obsessed, I must say. The downs check the acrosses. Busting your emotional moves on 2nd amendment constitutional rights, (reasonable, yes, you have an answer for every little nibble), Buying out ammo, stockpiling all government Departments. Fast and Furious. Early issuing terrorism warnings about right-wing groups. And now great effort to prove you don't have resources to bar citizens from their own parks, fitting the pattern of using Public resources for Party ends,  These citizens wanted to be left alone to their own thing, their homes their families are their interest, they say so, politics is not their interest, not their desire, but no, they would not be left in their comfort zone, that is stated outright, that with this administration you will not be left alone as democratic republics are intended. We do see you strongly prefer disruption at all points. Do you really think all those tea partiers types are as excited about politics as you and your drones? Believe me, they are not. The obsession is yours. Observe: strange sinister crackpot Senator who gets government process backwards, especially regarding committee bills and budgets, your obsession is checked.

But what came out instead was, "Oh yeah?"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Trooper is getting a Ticker - Beat Goes On

"It looks like they are putting the gadget in on Thursday at around eleven. It is a combination pacemaker, defibrillator, can opener and Pocket Fisherman. You see me heart doesn't just run fast it also runs slow. So this will fix me up more or less."

Madonna - Beat Goes On (Sticky & Sweet Tour in Buenos Aires)

Tampa Bay at Cleveland for AL Wild Card

"These are tough, gritty teams with, at least lately, good pitching, and with managers who inspire players, and entertain us."

8PM...who's stoked?

Ancient Chinese Secret

The ancient Masters were profound and subtle,
Their wisdom was unfathomable.
There is no way to describe it;
all we can do describe is their appearance.

They were careful
as someone crossing an iced-over stream.
Alert as a warrior in enemy territory
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Shapable as a block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Clear as a glass of water.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

-Lao-tsu, Tao Te Ching

Shooting The Elephant

I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posturing dummy, the very figure of "The Man." For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "native born," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had to go shoot the GOP elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle, even though I abhorred guns and supported PETA. A man has got to act like The Man; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand Manhattanites marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing — no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life on the East Coast, was one long struggle not to be laughed at. 
~The future mémoires of Andrew Sullivan  (h/t: Althouse)

Poll: "Two in Three Uninsured Americans Plan to Buy Insurance"

"Nearly two in three uninsured Americans say they will get insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, rather than pay a fine as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while one in four say they will pay the fine. Less than half of the uninsured say they plan on getting health insurance specifically through a federal or state health insurance exchange."
"Gallup asked a nationally representative sample of 5,099 Americans between Sept. 17-26 about their awareness of several pending ACA provisions and their anticipated healthcare choices in the months ahead."

"Precocious puberty can be completely cured..."

"A three-year-old boy in India has undergone brain surgery to cure premature puberty, which made his genitals grow, deepened the timbre of his voice  and caused acne to sprout on his face."

The boy was just 18 months old when his parents noticed the physical changes that normally start to develop in a boy at least a decade later. His behaviour had also become aggressive."

Precocious puberty occurs because of an abnormal production of oestrogen. It is often caused by damage to the brain or cerebral disorders."
It is more common in girls than boys and resulted in the youngest mother on record, Lina Medina, who gave birth at the age of five years and seven months in Peru in 1939."

International Business Times.

Do not buy Barilla pasta

But not because Guido Barilla is a homophobe, not because Guido Barilla makes a point of not being supportive in their ads, that is, do not buy Barilla pasta but not for being homoindifferent, homohaughty, homounhelpful, homopococurante, but rather because they use silicon dies and not bronze dies. It makes all the difference in the world.


And, ew, I hate that. Bronze dies leave a rough texture on the pasta that you can feel with your fingertips, like sandpaper The faster, slicker, easier to replace, less expensive silicone dies preferred by producers result in slick slippery feeling pasta. Rough textured pasta hold onto sauce a lot better, sloughs more and helps create a sauce better. So look for it. It makes a difference.

DeCecco at the grocery stores. This reminds me. I see a lot of harsh words towards Whole Foods, a friend calls it Whole Paycheck, but you can go straight to their house brand pasta and pick up a few boxes of spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, and such, they're about a dollar, a little more, about the same price as elsewhere, if more then nothing worth noting but certainly worth taking advantage of, even if that is not what you had in mind, just grab a box or two and you will see the difference in how it cooks, tastes, and holds sauce, even sauce so light as plain oil. 

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land

And people complained that Bob Dylan had a poor singing voice.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"handy guide to the [baseball] playoffs for the casual fan"

To read the chart go here. I cant duplicate the right size for this chart, so that is readable here. 
Thanks ChipS, at Trooper, for the tip.

Who To Root For In The Playoffs

What else sends some people into fear-based silence?

1) Because it involved "Israel", which sends some people into fear-based silence; 2) Because it happened in the middle of Syria, which took up most oxygen; 3) Because the New York Times published nothing about it, for ignominious and self-serving reasons highlighted by its own public editor; and 4) Because there is some NSA fatigue: a sense that nothing that is revealed can surprise any longer."

Why do you think the leak about forwarding data to Israel received relatively little attention compared to other leaks?

We're Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson of the Guardian US, and we’ve been breaking stories on the NSA Files since June. Ask Us Anything!



Why? ... Because Obama

"Netanyahu: Israel won't let Iran get nuclear arms"

Netanyahu: Iran president, 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing'
Associated Press
Israel's prime minister declared Tuesday that his country will never allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone, and dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's "charm offensive" as a ruse to get relief from sanctions.

Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, played the spoiler to Iran's overtures to warm ties with the U.S. after decades of estrangement. Last week, the U.S. and Iranian presidents spoke on the phone, the highest level contacts between their countries in 34 years.

Netanyahu said Israel's future is threatened by a "nuclear-armed" Iran seeking its destruction and urged the international community to keep up pressure through sanctions.

"Ben Carson: ‘I had my first encounter with the IRS’ after challenging Obama"

"At an event in Birmingham, Ala. Monday night, former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson revealed that he had received a visit from the Internal Revenue Service following his much-noted remarks at a National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year.

I had my first encounter with the IRS this year, unsurprisingly after the prayer breakfast,” Carson told an audience that at the annual Business Council of Alabama Chairman’s Dinner, according to a report from Cliff Sims of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Yellowhammer News.

Daily Caller , Yellowhammer

UPDATE: IRS targeted Dr. Ben Carson after Prayer Breakfast speech

FSA to protect CW dismantlers

"The OPCW team had to drive from Beirut into Syria because of clashes on the airport road in Damascus

A team of international disarmament experts has arrived in Syria to begin work on dismantling the country's stockpile of chemical weapons.
...Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said that seven out of the 19 chemical weapons sites declared by the government last month are in combat zones.
...A spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Monzer Akbik, told the BBC that the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) would ensure that inspectors "will be protected, and granted access to all locations".
However, the FSA is only one of several rebel factions operating in Syria, and its local commanders have often displayed a high degree of autonomy."
I feel cautiously optimistic. Is this a step toward world peace? I wonder how much leeway will be given for the inevitable uncontrolled-rebel strike? 

Applause or Contempt for the "boner"?

"Fairhair approached women naked, with an erection, in public. Even more distressing, several commenters applaud him for this brave display of sexual-harassment-as-entertainment, calling him “awesome” and declaring a newfound “respect” for Fairhair’s tactics.
Perhaps this is more accepted in a country like Norway than the United States, where this man would likely be arrested or maced. But regardless of audience, these pickup videos add nothing to the conversation; they just inspire more lame pickup videos, where intimidation is misconstrued as “confidence." Can we just ban them already?"

Do we see a re-write, coming up?

video after "read more" click

" is already broken"

The first day of healthcare signups for the Affordable Care Act — more commonly known as Obamacare — got off to a bumpy start Tuesday morning, as the website suffered technical glitches before being temporarily shut down altogether.
“We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” the website told users who attempted to sign up for health insurance. “Please try again later.”
Prior to the site shutting down, users who attempted to create an account were guided through various steps (such as picking a user name and password) but the process came to a grinding halt when it came time to pick various “security questions” for the account. The drop-down menu of security question options simply didn’t work.
“And is already broken,” complained Kelly Campbell on Twitter, who joined others in venting their frustration online. “Can’t sign up for an account because all the security question options are blank.”
 Surprise! Obamacare health insurance exchange websites don’t work; a total mess

Read more here:

Read more here:

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste"


Speaker Boehner is Expected to Cave

"On Monday afternoon, about eight hours before the government shutdown began, House Speaker John Boehner was asked whether he would consider passing a "clean" continuing resolution -- that is, a measure to fund the government without attachments that defund, delay, or limit Obamacare. "Is the clean CR off the table?" asked a reporter. "Is that not going to happen?"
"That's not going to happen," said Boehner.

Fast forward to 1:15 a.m. Tuesday..."

After Boehner's opening statement, a reporter asked, "Will you permit a vote on a clean CR?" Boehner's response, in its entirety: "We are hoping that the Senate will take our offer to go to conference and let us resolve our differences." Boehner said nothing about "not going to happen" or "don't see that happening." Instead, he sidestepped the "clean" resolution question entirely."

Some influential Republican insiders believe the funding standoff will eventually be resolved by the House passing the "clean" CR that Boehner had categorically rejected earlier. Boehner did nothing to stop that speculation with his brief statement early Tuesday morning."

Washington Examiner

Shut Down

The government is shut down.  Will we notice?  Maybe. Will government employees notice, certainly.  Will, the President notice?  Likely not.  It's not vacation season.

Here in Southern California, governments are shut down because of budget crises: bad budgets led to bankrupt counties and cities.  My dad lost his job teaching literature and literacy in  San Bernardino County because they didn't have enough money to keep teaching juvenile felons how to read.  I suspect there was not much budget cut out of the perks and salaries of the highest officials.  

We're in a dangerous time in our country. Corruption has always been present, but what has kept the US strong is our rejection of corruption as the default.  But, looking at government now, corruption abounds, is assumed. People go into politics in order to make money, get rich. 

That has got to change.  It won't change today. I'm very happy at least some officials are taking a stand.  The media won't.  The Senate won't. The President certainly won't. 
It's not about helping the rich get richer, it's about keeping the politicians from getting richer. It's about those Americans who are poor and don't want to stay that way.  Corruption is hatred of the poor.  Which is why I'm a conservative.  Which is why I support taking a stand against the corruption. How many government agencies encourage a culture of corruption and entrenched political bias?  Shutting them down is a first step.

But, I have a limited perspective.  I'm curious if there are, if you notice, any real repercussions.

We're all Americans, we're all on the scene of this government shutdown.  What do you see?

“It’s on the president’s head, he’s got to lead, he’s got to talk”

"So let me be clear about this.  An important part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect tomorrow no matter what Congress decides to do today.  The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place.  You can’t shut it down.  This is a law that passed both houses of Congress; a law that bears my signature; a law that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional; a law that voters chose not to repeal last November; a law that is already providing benefits to millions of Americans in the form of young people staying on their parents’ plan until they’re 26, seniors getting cheaper prescription drugs, making sure that insurance companies aren't imposing lifetime limits when you already have health insurance, providing rebates for consumers when insurance companies are spending too much money on overhead instead of health care.  Those things are already happening."


Woodward on MSNBC Morning Joe...

Woodward: If Shutdown or Debt Ceiling Causes Economic Crisis, It’s on the ‘President’s Head’

For 2014,we are pleased to announce an overall reduction in total medical premiums of 7.5%.

What? That is a first. I tell you, a very first. I get these letters every year, I don't like opening them. Official looking, FRB seal, always a fresh look at health coverage, review significant changes, enroll in program. So much reading and decision making every single year.

Can't we just do this once a decade? Or less? Why so unsteady? The FRB is self-insured, they use companies to administer their programs, not pay claims. The letter continues, the reduction is attributed to lower medical claims costs incurred by Tenth District plan participants allowing the Bank to pass these savings onto employees. No changes to medical plan offerings. Enhancements and vendor changes have been made to offer more comprehensive vision coverage and improve prescription drug plan service.

This should make me very happy.

Easy enough to understand, why must I always be so suspicious? Why do I keep thinking I'm being played? Why? What could possibly cause such a mental dysfunction as to be this distrustful? I should simply celebrate a 7.5% reduction for the nonce however temporary before soaring. Oh there I go again being pessimistic, can't I just be a happy optimistic person?

No. That would be absurd.

"We Don't Do Pinpricks But Sometimes We Elect Them"

Good on her.

Monday, September 30, 2013

One Simple Graph Explains It All

From Legal Insurrection

This is a disequilibrium situation seeking correction. The pressure is palpable.

Expect Biden to fundraise on government shutdown in 3...2...

That was a tweet I read last night, something very close to that, and I thought in the moment, "Yeah, the bum."

But wait.

I bet tea party fundraises on it too. They would anyway, they would fundraise on everything. And so they have just now fundraised on this shutdown. And why wouldn't Biden? Come to think of it, why wouldn't any Democrat or any Republican? They will all say the same or similar thing.

I feel my nation played. Played like a ukulele.

And an accordion. And a drum kit. And a saxophone. A bagpipe.

The noisy instruments. For some odd reason this reminds me of a story I just now found on my laptop, Blinding of Truth by Falsehood.

He actually blinds him. The whole thing is odd because Truth is usually personified by Maat and this story diverges from the norm and makes Truth a male in conflict with his brother, in the end neither is vanquished, rather, the situation ends in balance, unsatisfactory, but very, oh well, Egyptian.

Falsehood wants to kill his brother Truth so he goes before the nine gods the so-called Ennead and told them a big fat lie about his brother stealing a blade, a ridiculously described blade that shows that the Ennead is none too familiar with the material world, a mountain forms the blade, a woods form the haft, the god's tombs form the scabbard and a herd forms the belt, the whole thing is epic, he claims Truth stole that blade and must be blinded for punishment, they do, he is blinded and the story develops about how Truth's son eventually has vengeance.

Blinding is just the first part, Falsehood tries to kill Truth and believes he is successful and that Truth is dead. But Truth lives and had a son.

At the critical point of discovery, the boy asks his mother who is his father because all the lads are making fun of him for not having one even though he excels in every way imaginable, a real stud this kid, masters all subjects and an excellent athlete, his mother says, "see that blind guy over there watching the door? That's your dad."

Here is were we lose something in the translation. This is not so clear.

Then he said to her, "You deserve the members of your family be gathered together and  a crocodile be summoned."

What does that even mean? Chaos would be the hippopotamus, their crocodile is of two types, curved tail and straight tail, In hieroglyphics, the curved tail does mean gather. The straight tail is determinative for crocodile. The word for crocodile is m-s-h mesh, and s-b-k sobek is the word for crocodile god.

The text is in demotic badly smudged, rubrics unintelligibly faded, lacuna all over the place. Basically smeared wiggly lines. I'm amazed anyone can make sense of any of it.

Even in demotic, you'd think a crocodile will stick right out, that your eye can go straight to it, but no. Even with all three translations, demotic, hieroglyphic, English, one cannot match them up so easily. Even with rubrics, they do not match. As if they are not saying the same thing.

I discovered a copy in hieroglyphics yesterday on my computer and wondered why I would have such a thing on this little laptop. I did not download that but it is just the sort of thing I'd go for. There is no point in transcribing demotic into hieroglyphics, that would be silly, except for etude and I didn't sign up for a study group for this. I think it came as part of JSesh program library or addendum to a dictionary.

The crocodile is there in the text but disappointingly tiny. You can hardly see it at all. The font does that. Ordinarily it would be big and it would end a line or a register. [Just like 'baby' and "song" and  "lullaby," in the Beatles Golden Slumber in asl you cannot slap a baby around like that so they must be changed when used together.]

Locating the crocodile, bringing the family together with its tail would stick out in pictures if painted on a wall, is what made me think of these two things together. These politicians do inform us of their  Parliamentarian machinations and leave it to us to figure out which outrageous 12-sided dice-rolling Dungeons and Dragons playing geek is truth and which is falsehood, all the while all of them and their freshly minted opposition too fundraising on it. Over an dover.

The ancient story frankly sucks, it is disappointing. You're hoping for some ancient insight but there is none worthwhile. Truth is blinded by Falsehood, son of Truth blinds Falsehood in revenge. Now Truth and Falsehood both watch doors, blindly.

Harvard v. MIT

Top MIT scientist: Newest UN climate report is ‘hilariously’ flawed

MIT has long been at odds with Harvard while the latter still furiously sounds alarms, as exemplified here.

I wonder if the faithful are waiting to proclaim "It Is Risen!"
Added: Coming soon, roving bands of envirothugs.

Breaking Bad

The final episode
almost perfect
meh free polls 

'Catch the villain in the act'

"Computer algorithms combine crime statistics and criminal behaviour models to produce ‘predictive areas’ where burglars and muggers are likely to target."

Officers are then deployed to those areas, which cover a radius of no more than 250 yards, to act as a deterrent or even catch the villain in the act."

Analysis suggests the computer algorithms are ‘seven times more accurate than chance’. A pilot scheme saw ‘significant reductions’ in burglaries in Hackney, Wandsworth, Newham and Lewisham."


"Carlos Danger Got Two Votes For New York City Mayor"

The official New York City Democratic mayoral primary vote count is in. And two people wrote in Anthony Weiner's alter-ego.

According to the New York City Board of Elections, two write-in votes for mayor went to "Carlos Danger," the online name that Anthony Weiner used for explicitly sexual conversations with a woman after he had resigned from Congress.

For some context: Bill Clinton also received two write-in votes for mayor. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins received one vote. So did Noam Chomsky and former mayor and airport-namesake Fiorello Henry LaGuardia, who has been dead since 1947.

National Journal

"People Occasionally Get A Little Confused"

Sir Patrick Stewart aka "Captain Jean Luc Picard" is so recognizable... Or is he?

What Happens when a fan would rather take a picture of your statue? 

"An Interpretive Dance For My Boss"

An Interpretive Dance For My Boss Set To Kanye West's Gone

“I don’t think (Obama) wants to compromise”

"[S]aid Victor Davis Hanson of the conservative Hoover Institution. “In the past, he’s always done better when he can accuse somebody of some terrible thing and go campaign against them. I think he wants to say that Obamacare is working ... He’ll want this war to continue.”

Democratic strategist Jason Stanford said the latest offer is a sign of GOP weakness, “tacit-ly admitting that they’re not getting what they were going for.”

“The president has said he is not negotiating on this and the House continues to try to negotiate on this,” Stanford said. “I think the government’s going to get shut down and Republicans will initially say, ‘See, this is no big deal.’ The stock market will have another opinion. This will hurt the economy and people will feel it in their 401(k)s.”

The Boston Globe, Bloomberg video, via Intapundit

"Glenn Greenwald working on new NSA revelations"

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what one called a "U.S. assassination program."

The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted.
Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars," said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
For more click here AP

For Lem, Who Seems Obsessed With Patrick Stewart

t-shirt design

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Paddling Out

Miike Snow - Paddling Out in session on BBC Radio 1

"Looks good on paper"

"DISGUISED as employees of a gas company, a team of policemen burst into a flat in Beijing on September 1st. Two suspects inside panicked and tossed a plastic bag full of money out of a 15th-floor window. Red hundred-yuan notes worth as much as $50,000 fluttered to the pavement below."

Money raining down on pedestrians was not as bizarre, however, as the racket behind it. China is known for its pirated DVDs and fake designer gear, but these criminals were producing something more intellectual: fake scholarly articles which they sold to academics, and counterfeit versions of existing medical journals in which they sold publication slots."

As China tries to take its seat at the top table of global academia, the criminal underworld has seized on a feature in its research system: the fact that research grants and promotions are awarded on the basis of the number of articles published, not on the quality of the original research. This has fostered an industry of plagiarism, invented research and fake journals that Wuhan University estimated in 2009 was worth $150m, a fivefold increase on just two years earlier."

Chinese scientists are still rewarded for doing good research, and the number of high-quality researchers is increasing. Scientists all round the world also commit fraud. But the Chinese evaluation system is particularly susceptible to it."

Read the rest of the Economist article here.


Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science at the jump.

"... what's wrong with this picture?"

"The Cambridge University neuropsychiatrist Dr Valerie Voon has recently shown that men who describe themselves as addicted to porn (and who lost relationships because of it) develop changes in the same brain area – the reward centre – that changes in drug addicts. The study, not yet published, is featured next week in the Channel 4 TV show Porn on the Brain. Neurosceptics may argue that pictures of the brain lighting up in addicts tell us nothing new – we already know they are addicted. But they do help: knowing the reward centre is changed explains some porn paradoxes."
In the mid-1990s I, and other psychiatrists, began to notice the following. An adult male, in a happy relationship, being seen for some non-romantic issue, might describe getting curious about porn on the burgeoning internet. Most sites bored him, but he soon noticed several that fascinated him to the point he was craving them. The more he used the porn, the more he wanted to.
Yet, though he craved it, he didn't like it (porn paradox 1). The cravings were so intense, he might feel them while thinking about his computer (paradox 2). The patient would also report that, far from getting more turned on by the idea of sex with his partner, he was less attracted to her (paradox 3). Through porn he acquired new sexual tastes.
For the rest of the article click here.


A romantic comedy, called Don Jon (2013) , now playing in theaters, is about the life of a young, middle class male who's addicted to pornography. The movie was written, directed and starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

 A favorable review ...
If you can handle the porn, go see this movie, if for nothing else than to experience how very talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt truly is. September 28, 2013 Full Review  Jeanne Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan
An unfavorable review ...
Filled with frank conversation and gutter language, mysogynistic with misandry thrown in, it's probably not possible to make a tasteful movie about a subject as distasteful as masturbation, but this movie doesn't even try. September 28, 2013 Full Review Tony Medley Tolucan Times
Is this movie an introduction of porn into the mainstream? Or is the mainstream more porn than anything else?

Don Jon (2013) Trailer after the jump

The Clowns

Video Clowns

“Their flag is out of context...”

CHESTER, Va. — Hundreds gathered Saturday in freshly cleared woods along Interstate 95 to celebrate the raising of a Confederate battle flag, an event that stirred strong opposition from those who view the flag as a symbol of division.

Those who attended the raising of the 15-by-15-foot flag from the Army of Northern Virginia said the ceremony was not intended to offend, but to honor the South’s war dead in the Civil War.

“The reason why we’re here is to honor the soldier,” said James Thompson, 50, a North Carolinian now living in Richmond. “We don’t see it as a slavery issue.”

Like many who attended, Thompson said his ancestors fought for the South. A Civil War re-enactor, he wore a slouch hat and a rough wool uniform and carried an Enfield rifle.

Washington Post

"What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys..."

"Toronto literature professor and Giller prize-longlisted author David Gilmour has found himself at the eye of a literary storm after declaiming in an interview that he doesn't teach books written by women or Chinese authors, because he's only interested in "serious heterosexual guys".
Gilmour – not to be confused with his namesake Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour – shared his views with Shelf Esteem, a blog by Random House Canada, which offers "a weekly measure of the books on the shelves of writers, editors and other word lovers".
Eyeing the rows of books in his office, Gilmour said: "I'm not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women."
He went on: "What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth."
The comments set Twitter atwitter."
A self proclaimed feminist student responds to the controversy.
I am a feminist, a writer, and, most importantly, a woman, who has voluntarily enrolled in David Gilmour’s 300-level course. I write this not as a staunch attack or defense of Professor Gilmour, but because the responses to his troubling interview have been troubling as well; this kind of dialogue, predicated on illogical, emotional responses to contentious issues, can easily snowball into a lynch-mob style reaction. And, from what I can tell, this is exactly what has happened.
For more go here.

the guardian, the globe and mail

Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls

I was reminded of this book today and I suddenly thought, "Hey, a prison chaplain's memoir is the sort of thing a bunch of people at Lem's would probably like." So...
I haven't read it, but I've heard that it's very good.

Russian dancers

It's so full of glee I could explode.

The original is terrible. Trumpets. Oi the blaring. And other horns. Full on orchestra. And you think, man, these Russian soldiers sure can dance, I meant, these Russian dancers sure do look like soldiers. Thank you DMC for making this 10 X better.