Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's probably bad that this looks good to me...

The Knights of Badassdom

‘Disco Sucks’ Night at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1979

"It was a hot, sticky, muggy night. And as the evening wore on, you saw kids trying to climb through the catwalk, which was this chain-link fenced area near the scoreboard. I don’t know how people climbed up the exterior wall. The next thing you know, there were They were literally pouring in from every crevice even though it was sold out, the gates were closed, etc."

"They do the seventh inning stretch. Everybody stands up to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Out comes Steve Dahl in this jeep, wearing a demolition helmet, ROTC jacket and a Hawaiian shirt. That was kind of his uniform and there were other people in the audience wearing this stuff. He makes the announcement that they’re gonna blow up the records. And he had a dumpster. You know, like when you’re clearing out drywall and construction material, out in front of your house: they had one of those things filled with disco records."

"They used dynamite and they blew up the records. And the next thing I know, there’s shrapnel flying through the air. How people weren’t losing limbs with all this vinyl flying, you couldn’t believe it! Smoke everywhere. Fires on the field. Next thing that happens: kids are rushing the field. And they’re going nuts, jumping around, fanning the flames with their shirts."

"And all the ballpark officials are just freaking out. The announcers were trying to get everyone back to their seats. That was not gonna happen."

Look before you leap, some people never learn

"A White House aide set off a stampede of liberal media criticism for Internet news pioneer Matt Drudge over Obamacare – but his critics don't seem to understand how small businesses pay taxes."
The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not 'getting covered'... I'M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.”

Jesse Lee, the Director of Progressive Media at Barack Obama's White House, responded that that was a “Flat lie, no fee for previous year,” adding, “Scary how much influence he once had.”

Lee’s response to Drudge set off a firestorm in the liberal media, with many mainstream media and left-wing reporters countering him on Twitter and in their own articles to claim he does not have to pay Obamacare’s Individual Mandate tax until next year. The individual mandate went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and most people paying their taxes right now are paying taxes for 2013.

“Dude, there's no penalty until next yr,” Sahil Kapur of the leftwing Talking Points Memo tweeted.

Kapur’s colleague at TPM Dylan Scott wrote a full story with a headline alleging Drudge was “probably lying.”

“Americans don't pay a penalty for not having health insurance until they file their 2014 taxes -- in 2015,” Scott wrote. “So either Drudge is lying or he paid a huge penalty a year earlier than he needed to.”

“Penalty isn't collected until 2015,” Sam Baker of National Journal tweeted at Drudge.

The Huffington Post’s Jeffrey Young wrote a full article in which he described Drudge’s tweet as “weird” and a “little head-scratching” because the Obamacare tax does not kick in until the 2014 tax year.

Drudge indicated in his followup tweets that since he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS’s website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly.

“As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,” the IRS website reads.

So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance—like Drudge just did. read more
All they had to do was check with a CPA or whatever. Why didn't they do that? and instead risk a humiliating exposing, at the hands of an internets mega force - Matt Drudge. I love it.

Do you think Drudge set out to bait them?

What's lighting up the NYT's Commentorati: "Students See Many Slights as Racial ‘Microaggressions’"

Apparently, and despite all that 2008 talk of the dawn of a post racial America, race talk, the race conversation is still going on. So, I have to go where the conversation goes, I can't just sit here and pretend that Althouse is staying above the fray. I have to bang the gong, bang the gong, get it on. Years ago, a boxing referee would forcefully say after the bell signaling the first round... "lets get it on"!.. I'm digressing. Lets get back to Race/Mix race...
A tone-deaf inquiry into an Asian-American’s ethnic origin. Cringe-inducing praise for how articulate a black student is. An unwanted conversation about a Latino’s ability to speak English without an accent.

This is not exactly the language of traditional racism, but in an avalanche of blogs, student discourse, campus theater and academic papers, they all reflect the murky terrain of the social justice word du jour — microaggressions — used to describe the subtle ways that racial, ethnic, gender and other stereotypes can play out painfully in an increasingly diverse culture.

On a Facebook page called “Brown University Micro/Aggressions” a “dark-skinned black person” describes feeling alienated from conversations about racism on campus. A digital photo project run by a Fordham University student about “racial microaggressions” features minority students holding up signs with comments like “You’re really pretty ... for a dark-skin girl.” The “St. Olaf Microaggressions” blog includes a letter asking David R. Anderson, the college’s president, to address “all of the incidents and microaggressions that go unreported on a daily basis.” READ MORE
I get mistaken for a Hindu/Pakistani sometimes. When I go to Dunkin Donuts, sometimes I get a stare that I recognize as "are you one of us?" kind of thing. Nothing to get hung up about.
However, if you read the linked column carefully, I believe the students are talking about something slightly, maybe not altogether different. Microaggression IS NOT ChipA taking a bat to his Microgreen Garden. I don't want you to jump into a conclusion. As difficult as that may sound,  "jumping into a conclusion" is never recommended. Like I said, read the article and please say something, even if it's of the microagressive variety.

What blog is hot now: 'My Husband Stupid Record Collection'

"Where I listen to my husband's record collection, one record at a time, and tell you what I think."

I came across the blog "My Husband Stupid Record Collection" via Jesabel's Tracy Moore observation/diatribe (depending on your point of view) that, among other things, she, Tracy, finds it sexist? perhaps? that a woman outsider writing about music... I tell you what, why don't I just copy and paste what she is saying and let you figure out if she makes a good point or not.
A woman named Sarah O'Holla has a tumblr devoted to going through her husband's record collection, reviewing every single album to get to know more about it (and him). She's not a music critic; she's a librarian who waxes earnest/sarcastic about the records while her dude, husband Alex Goldman, who owns 1,500 LPs, offers context. I am not shocked that she's reviewing 1,500 records; I'm in awe that dudes aren't giving her a bunch of terrible shit for it. In fact, many are actually into it.

For the record (har), I, a woman, am way into it, premise-wise. It's cool to show an interest in things the person you love loves, and also, because records... 

But as someone who also wrote about music professionally while female, I can't help but notice the jaw-dropping difference in response to a woman who sits down to riff on music as an admitted outsider being greeted with an enthusiastic thumbs-up by dudes, VERSUS being a woman who sits down to riff on music as an insider and being greeted with a shit-fuck-ton of vitriol by dudes. The latter experience would be mine...
Here, I'm skipping over the part where Tracy cites some of the glowing? praise "My Husband Stupid Record Collection" is getting. NPR & Slate. (question mark after glowing because I'm guessing is glowing, I'm not reading it) Back to Tracy...
... but nobody loves to tell you all the fuck about music like a dude with a bunch of records, trust. So O'Holla may not have gotten direct shit, but in a way, she got shit for not getting shit if that makes sense. Because what O'Holla is doing fits really perfectly into a very traditional notion about how men impart knowledge to women, especially music. That is, we are cool with dudes teaching women things and we love when they are eager students. We are less cool when women are doing the knowledge-dropping with anything like authority. This is not her individual fault or anything for wanting to review some records, but the response is useful and emblematic.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that "how-men-impart-knowledge-to-women" what Althouse calls "mansplaining"? I haven't checked, hence, the cover of this post.



Where we dare.

Last time we had two conflicting views the meaning of:

"Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table."

Valentine Smith saw it as portending a journey of internal examination:

"There are also lines in [Dante's Inferno] Canto II that shed light on the turn in Line 3, "Like a patient etherized upon a table;":

"As one who unwills what he wills, will stay 
strong purposes with feeble second thoughts 
until he spells all his first zeal away—

so I hung back and balked on that dim coast
til thinking had worn out my enterprise,
so stout at starting and so early lost."

How ambivalent, how human. So, in a mere 3 lines Eliot establishes the paradigm he uses as a template for his own journey inward."

While Mitch H. saw it as promise of a calculated autopsy:

"The bit about etherization is the polar opposite of sympathetic or celebratory. It suggests, as I've said before, a chilly and arrogant attitude of satire, of analysis - of antiseptic, scalpels and the surgeon's very own god complex.

In short, that Elliot proposes to put his little clerk - with his sad little hesitations about peaches and small, carnal dreams without the animal courage to grasp them - on the table for vivisection."

Here is the next section we will discuss:

 The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes 
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes 
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening 
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, 
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, 
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,                               20 
And seeing that it was a soft October night 
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. 

  And indeed there will be time 
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, 
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 
There will be time, there will be time 
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; 
There will be time to murder and create, 
And time for all the works and days of hands 
That lift and drop a question on your plate;                                30 
Time for you and time for me, 
And time yet for a hundred indecisions 
And for a hundred visions and revisions 
Before the taking of a toast and tea. 

  In the room the women come and go 
Talking of Michelangelo. 

tempest stele

The Storm Stele. Commissioned by Ahmose I, an inscribed stone  found in pieces in the third pylon at Karnak.

A pylon is a giant stone or brick structure, one built to impress, used as a gateway to a temple compound. There are usually two upright pylons together as a pair, they represent the hieroglyphic "akhet" the Egyptian word for horizon. Their horizon is not a flat line like our horizon, their horizon is two mountain ridges with the sun between them.

In the Egyptian imagination when the king walks through the two pylons it is the sun in its place on the horizon right there on Earth with them, especially emotionally moving and impressive at certain times of year certain times of day.


Inside a structure like the above. Rubble used as filler. Junk. That is what the tempest stele is, an earlier commemorative official statement issued by Ahmose I considered junk by later Egyptian monument builders and a treasure to be pieced and puzzled by later archeologists and historians and linguists and theologians. 

The commemorative stone says the same thing on both sides making it possible to piece together more completely than otherwise but it is still riven with large areas of lacunae. The translations online are incomplete. They relate the storm, the important part, but not the other bits about the settlement, the subsequent buyout and cleanup. 

The storm was incredibly disruptive. Much worse than the usual cyclical predictable catastrophe. It was so bad, changed so much, wiped out so much that modern historians link it to a major geologic disruption along the lines of volcano eruption that cast darkness for weeks, rained for weeks, sunk temples, floated off entire towns, flooded burial sites. 

Each house, ///// each shelter (or each covered place) that they reached //////// 11 ////// were floating in the water like the barks of papyrus (on the outside?) of the royal residence for ///////// day(s), 12 with no one able to light the torch anywhere.
Things were floating right up to the royal residences. That is when things get personal. 
 His Majesty set about to strengthen the two lands, to cause the water to evacuate without (the aid of) his (men?), to provide them with silver, 16 with gold, with copper, with oil, with clothing, with all the products they desired; after which His Majesty rested in the palace - life, health, strength.
The buyout. It sounds like he paid off the gods, the priests, dusted his hands, and that is that. Everything is fine. 
 It was then that His Majesty was informed that the funerary concessions had been invaded (by the water), that the sepulchral chambers had been damaged, that the structures of funerary enclosures had been undermined, that the pyramids had collapsed(?) 18 all that existed had been annihilated. 
Only then did the king set about really fixing things. He had to be reminded. He was not attuned. Things you'd imagine already fixed by paying off the principals, the priests and his viziers, his nobility immediately below him, but his council enumerated the damage done throughout the country and the stele records the king's restoration efforts in detail. 

This stele has caused no end of speculation and heated debate. Biblical scholars intuitively connect the flood recorded here with the Nile flood recorded in the bible and the exodus. 

Other scientists connect the event with a known eruption. 

Sometimes a researcher will make a connection extended a bit too far, make links that are not valid and they would know better if they knew more about a specific history, but this episode coincides with cultures that nobody knows all that much about and about which there is still much speculation. It is very odd to read about Hyksos one's whole life and never really get a solid idea who these people were who had such an extraordinary influence on Egyptian politics. Nobody seems to know. They come and go, back and forth. Asiatic people who took over Eastern Nile delta, set up a capital there, a Canaanite population situated at the Eastern Nile delta but ranging throughout Palestine up through Syria, back and forth, in and out. Described as both an invading hoard and a creeping infiltration. 

We know of Joseph as Viceroy and Moses as some kind of alien prince or leader within the Egyptian court with an odd sort of storybook beginning, a leader of his own people. There is so much similarity between how Hyksos (foreign rulers) are described by early historians and Egyptian wall paintings, and biblical descriptions of early Hebrew records, presumably history.

When one off-the-wall crackpot type researcher makes a connection between the obscure payout that the king thought satisfied the gods and restored balance to his kingdom, before his court pointed out he had actually not even started rebuilding anything, sounds so much like what you would pay Hyksos to get out of the wasted area permanently, be gone and done with you and your meddling ways.
Then his Majesty began ... to provide them with silver, with gold, with copper, with oil, and of every bolt [of cloth] that could be desired. Then his majesty made himself comfortable inside the palace.
On the stele the gods had already been paid off. Although the country had not been completely restored. It is not clear what this second offering is for. Ralph Ellis believes the list describes materials used for a mobile temple. The same mobile temple described exactly the same way in Exodus. Ellis believes the transaction is recorded twice, once by Egyptians and secondly by Hyksos (Hebrews in this instance to Ellis) 

Exodus 25:3 
These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; ... "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
Everyone hates it, of course. Nobody scientifically-minded wants to supply proof of biblical texts. The very thought drives them nuts. Yet the similarities in precise wording and items from wildly various sources is remarkable and cannot be easily dismissed. I'm actually thankful for having discovered this rather crackpot connection published because it has helped me understand better these so-called Hyksos, a made-up name, and early Jewish tribes when both were wandering intermittently, collecting occasionally, irregularly constructing a temporary tent city at a place they named Salem, and the same tribes collecting at the same elevated spot renamed Jebu, then Salem again, then back to Jebu, then Salem, Jebu/Salem, Jerusalem. The various nomadic tribes wandering around back and forth, getting all up into Egypt's affairs, and into Syria, eventually coalesced, settled, whatever their portions are called throughout all that nomadic shepherding there is no reason to doubt and there is reason to accept at least some of those tribes were in some of the instances called and looked like Hyksos. 

Friday, March 21, 2014


Bang a gong...
Get it on...

"You are standing on a hill, and you can fall in this direction, you can fall in that direction, and if you're drunk, eventually you must fall. Inflation is instability of our space with respect to its expansion"

"On Monday, March 17, scientists announced new findings that mark the first-ever direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space-time created just after the universe began. If the results are confirmed, they would provide smoking-gun evidence that space-time expanded at many times the speed of light just after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago."

"The new research also lends credence to the idea of a multiverse. This theory posits that, when the universe grew exponentially in the first tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, some parts of space-time expanded more quickly than others. This could have created "bubbles" of space-time that then developed into other universes. The known universe has its own laws of physics, while other universes could have different laws, according to the multiverse concept. [Cosmic Inflation and Gravitational Waves: Complete Coverage]"

"It's hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse," Alan Guth, an MIT theoretical physicist unaffiliated with the new study, said during a news conference Monday. "It's not impossible, so I think there's still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously." READ MORE


Closer to home


These three lights were not replaced as instructed so this is running underpowered. They are proprietary lights, more expensive than need be, that bums me out and causes me to resist their wily marketing ways, plus they sure are bright. These three are actually quite old. I've been using the whole setup without plants as photography lamp for a year. That right there is bad and yet the thing is going satisfactorily if not going full blazes. 

Other plants from seeds are doing well by the 40W fluorescence I bought on the fly through eBay. I have fifty of them. They bummed me out too, at first, because they start out not so bright, you can watch the bulb brighten as it warms up but not in a spiral as you expect because the spiral is two tubes, the in and the out twisted together, so it weirdly fills in with light. Blinding light. The baby plants love it. Grow right up to it to touch it. And fast too. Tomatoes, and chiles, different types. And oranges from navel oranges that oddly grew seeds this year. I planted them and they are growing. 

Trooper York Must Live: "Art Book Depicting Murder Inc. Is No Steal"

Crime in early-20th-century New York was run by old-time Sicilians called ‘Moustache Petes,’ ” writes the author, Larry E. Sullivan, associate dean and chief librarian at John Jay College. But newcomers in the tenement underworld made for friction, and in 1931, five Jewish gangsters, including Samuel (Red) Levine (“who, if possible, never killed on the Sabbath”), rubbed out the second of two fearsome Sicilian Mafia bosses, opening the way for Jews, Italians and Irish to carve up the rackets."

“Crime became diverse,” Mr. Sullivan writes.

"Public Enemy No. 1, the book says, was Lepke — devoted to his mother, wife and son — who with Albert (the Mad Hatter) Anastasia controlled the contract execution squad called Murder Inc., responsible for about 1,000 hits." READ MORE

As many of you who frequent here and elsewhere know, Trooper is quite the mob raconteur. By the looks of this NYT story, that racquet can really turn in a pretty penny some day, 'if Trooper plays his cards right.'

"Ryan, Obama and 'Racism'"

The Wisconsin Congressman has been looking into the problem of upward economic mobility and how effective federal programs are in combatting poverty. Appearing on Bill Bennett's radio program, Mr. Ryan observed that antipoverty assistance can often create "incentives not to work and to stay where you are, that's not what we want in society. . . . There are a lot of people slipping through the cracks in America that are not reaching their potential and we as conservatives should have something to say about that."

He also mused: "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, so there's a cultural problem that has to be dealt with." (bold emphasis added)

The liberal online organ Think Progress led with the headline "Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy 'Inner City' Men," and it was off to the races. California Democrat Barbara Lee denounced his "thinly veiled racial attack," adding, "Let's be clear, when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'" Others were less charitable about his imagined neo-Confederate sympathies.

Mr. Ryan put out a statement saying he had been "inarticulate" but reiterated his point that "the predictable result" of the poverty trap for society at large has been "multi-generational poverty and little opportunity."

But don't take his word for it. "We know young black men are twice as likely as young white men to be 'disconnected'—not in school, not working. We've got to reconnect them. We've got to give more of these young men access to mentors. We've got to continue to encourage responsible fatherhood. We've got to provide more pathways to apply to college or find a job. We can keep them from falling through the cracks." (bold emphasis added)

Those were the words of President Obama, speaking less than a month ago about his "My Brother's Keeper" project to help "groups who've seen fewer opportunities that have spanned generations," especially boys and young men of color. "It's going to take time. We're dealing with complicated issues that run deep in our history, run deep in our society, and are entrenched in our minds." READ MORE
When it comes to issues of race, gender and inequality, politicians are judged not by their actions, nor the content of their words, but by the letter of party affiliation.


This is three times in a row where I read "hence" when there is no hence about it and each time I wonder, "What am I missing?" I stumble. I stop. Look back. Analyze. And realize, no, it is not me, it is you.

I'm looking for brownies.

The delicious chocolate dessert item, not the out of doors girls' group.

I looked at some four or five recipes online and they all called for baking powder and that is wrong. The whole thing came about by a failed caked, and baking powder would be the most likely point of failure.

So I brought out a book. Baking, James Peterson. It is a very large book so that proves it is official. Kidding. He confirms my idea. No baking powder. But one thing leads to another and I notice for cinnamon rolls he has suggestions for regular yeast and what he calls natural starter.

2 cups natural starter (see page 311)
Making a natural starter, which can be more or less sour, allows you to extract more flavor from the flour than any other method of making breads. Natural (and hence sourdough) is made in two stages.
I am not going to argue with this. But boy, do I see things differently. You do not make a natural starter, you cultivate a sourdough starter by leaving alone flour and water for a few days allowing the yeast and bacteria already on the surface of the flour when it was milled to grow. This seems very odd but it works unfailingly every single time. Various yeast species and various bacteria are growing in there over time, a few days, hence a culture.  

It can also be collected, over time by allowing airborne organisms to fall into your little puddle of flour/water sludge and combine in the puddle with the yeast/bacteria culture already present on the flour, on your body, in your hair, following around you in the air like the Peanuts character Pigpen, I'm imagining, it's all over the place, it's creepy just thinking about it, nonetheless the culture is passively collected and cultivated not actually made.

The flour/water changed because the organisms are devouring it, mating in there, reproducing, budding into it,  using the flour and the water to construct their own bodies, and dying in there. They're farting, gassing up the place, producing cO2 and alcohol then living in that mess, struggling a bit with their ruined environment, the whole thing become quite acidic over time, if allowed a few days fermentation, the organisms collectively create a depleted environment hostile to its own self.

And it is delicious. Yeast death.

It is more or less sour depending upon how long you allow the finished dough to ferment. Fresh flour and water will help the fermented dough burst into new life with fresh food but it also dilutes the fermented sour built up.  I'm saying, you control how sour the loaves are by how long you have the loaves ferment. Days. Say, three. Additionally, the starter itself tends to become more sour over time. It can become too sour.

You do not extract more flavor from the flour. Rather, your good clean freshly milled flour contaminated with yeast and bacteria as it is has fermented and gone sour. Flavor in the form of waste material of biological process is added to it, not extracted from it. Naturally. By itself. You do not extract anything.

Natural (and hence sourdough). Lordy, how do you get sourdough from natural? Nothing is sour until allowed to ferment. Natural does not imply sour.

The term sourdough describes people not dough. That is where the hence belongs, with people.

Yukon gold rush. For their starter to work reliably depended on it staying warm, a particular difficulty in their frozen area. The prospectors mining for gold held a wad of dough in a pouch suspended round their necks kept warm close to their bodies. Their big burly hairy stinking bodies heavily layered with clothing and unlike yourselves they were not in the practice of bathing daily they did smell distinctly of fermenting yeast, hence, Sourdoughs.  The townspeople referred to the prospectors as Sourdoughs when they walked into the shops they blew out the place, and that term was extended to the bread itself later in history, after the isolation of single yeast cell Saccharomyces cerevisiae when everything baking-wise changed. Before that, all bread was made of natural yeast. Now by better living through science we have fast and convenient and reliable yeast uniform in its nature, one-dimensional in flavor, bland actually, but it is fast as far as yeast goes.

In some areas of the world, you can make dough, let it sit there a while outside, and the airborne yeast is so heavy in the air, along with the organisms already present on the milled flour, that the dough becomes inoculated immediately, the organisms spread through the dough rapidly, it rises on its own in the span of a day. Beer is made similarly in such biologically rife places. Oahu is such a place. I tried it. Not dough, but I had active incredibly stinky wet cultures bubbling away within hours. Three separate times.

Drudgetaposition of Women, the Villain and the artist formerly known as Superhero


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!


Where no strings are attached.

When the airless wind shall sing,
When the broken circle mends,
When the brightest day dawns without light,
And the brittle night comes softly without darkness,
I shall yet remember.

-Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

The First Lady Goes To China, On Taxpayer Dime, without Free Press to Watch

"First lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, and her mother touched down Thursday in China for what’s being touted as a weeklong feel-good tourist event, amid increasing murmurs back home about U.S. taxpayers having to foot the bill."
Mrs. Obama is supposed to use her visit for soft diplomacy only, and shy from the more controversial topics that plague U.S.-China relations, namely human rights and economics. No reporters accompanied the family on the trip.

“The nature of her visit is really quite different,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters ahead of the trip. “What the first lady really brings is the power of her own story, the power of American values.”

The White House also announced that Mrs. Obama wouldn’t field any questions from journalists she encountered in Beijing, which rankled some members of the press and the private sector, given her trip — complete with an entourage of about 70 — was still being paid for with tax dollars.
Any chance the first lady will bring up income inequality to the Chinese?

big plans

I'm glad your dad is dead.

The old sign-swap.

I'm a terrible Christian, just terrible.

"Lord, please forgive my hateful thoughts. I cannot help it."  

Lord: "Okay"

There's No Butter In Hell!

Lem was looking for movie suggestion the other night. "Cold Comfort Farm" is a favorite of mine. Here's a clip that reminds me of Fred Phelps:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"If the Equal Rights Amendment were proposed today, would it go on to become a Constitutional Amendment?"

"The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification. The ERA failed to receive the requisite number of state ratifications (38) before the final deadline set by Congress of June 30, 1982, and so it was not adopted. Feminist organizations continue to work at the federal and state levels for the adoption of the ERA."

Think about it. 30 Years ago, did you ever imagine gays and lesbians being granted the right to legally marry? Compared to the ERA, gay marriage, must have seemed that much far afield, off the radar (to use a topical metaphor), a political impossibility.
I submit that the reason why the ERA didn't become the law of the land was because it's time had not come. Now that it's apparent time is here, why do you think it hasn't been picked up again?

"NASA Study: "Collapse Is Very Difficult To Avoid"

"As any long-time reader of this column knows, we routinely draw from historical lessons to highlight that this time is not different."
Throughout the 18th century, for example, France was the greatest superpower in Europe, if not the world.

But they became complacent, believing that they had some sort of ‘divine right’ to reign supreme, and that they could be as fiscally irresponsible as they liked.

The French government spent money like drunken sailors; they had substantial welfare programs, free hospitals, and grand monuments.

They held vast territories overseas, engaged in constant warfare, and even had their own intrusive intelligence service that spied on King and subject alike.

Of course, they couldn’t pay for any of this.

French budget deficits were out of control, and they resorted to going heavily into debt and rapidly debasing their currency.

Stop me when this sounds familiar. READ MORE
"[T]here are no safeguards in human nature. We're wired to overreach. Look at history, all the countries that have ever ruled the world - Portugal, with its big, massive navy... All they've got now are salt cods and cheap condoms... And Brits? Now they're just sitting in their dank little island, fussing over their suits." - Limitless (2011)

"CNN’s Don Lemon: ‘Is It Preposterous’ to Think a Black Hole Caused Flight 370 to Go Missing?"

"CNN’s Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something “supernatural” happened, but on Wednesday night, he actually asked panelists about the possibility a black hole was involved."

"Lemon brought this up along with other “conspiracy theories” people have been floating on Twitter, including people noting the eerie parallels to Lost and The Twilight Zone, and wondered, “is it preposterous” to consider a black hole as a possibility?"

"Rand Paul gets standing ovation at Berkeley: ‘Your right to privacy is under assault’"

"Delivering a rare speech for a Republican at this bastion of liberalism, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday was given multiple standing ovations by the left-wing audience after railing against government surveillance and warning the students: “Your right to privacy is under assault.”
“I am here to tell you that if you own a cell phone, you’re under surveillance,” he told the crowd.

Paul’s address at the Berkeley Forum on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley focused on the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone metadata and the debate over privacy.

During his remarks, the potential 2016 Republican candidate discussed California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s claim that the CIA had spied on her congressional staff, and announced that he plans to call for a special committee on Capitol Hill to investigate the domestic spying by government agencies .

“No one should be allowed to invade your privacy,” Paul said. “That’s why I’m announcing today that when I return to Washington, I will push for a select committee styled after the Church Committee that investigated the abuses of power of the intelligence committee in the 70s. It should be bipartisan. It should be independent, and wide reaching. It should have full power to investigate and reform those who spy on us in the name of protecting us.”

Added Paul: “It should watch the watchers.”
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been lying (apparently) about his knowledge of the NSA domestic spying programs.

"Merkel Declares G-8 Defunct Given Crisis in Ukraine"

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the Group of Eight leading nations defunct given the current crisis in Ukraine, in a clear message to Russia that the world's seven other major industrialized countries consider its actions in Ukraine unacceptable."
"As long as there is no political environment for such an important political format as the G-8, the G-8 doesn't exist anymore, not the summit nor the format," said Ms. Merkel, in Germany's parliament, the Bundestag.

"Russia is widely isolated in all international organizations," the chancellor said. read more
 Wall Street Journal

Rogallo wing

Francis Rogallo began developing an idea for a flexible wing with his wife Gertrude after WWII, she helped with sewing and by contributing their curtains. The two used household electric fans and boxes for wind tunnels and they got patents in both their names, the due diligence required for later space-related projects led to further patents.

The Rogallos developed two types of self-inflating kite wings that would go on to become the parasail and the hang glider.

Wikipedia has several articles, self-contradicting if you read them all, this first result for [rogallo wing] begins:
The Rogallo wing is a flexible type of airfoil. In 1948, Gertrude Rogallo, and her husband Francis Rogallo, a NASA engineer, invented a...
Giving the impression Gertrude played the more serious role. It is the husband with the degrees in engineering, the interest, the government jobs in aeronautics and NASA.

Another contradiction here is the confusing statement:
The wing itself is not a kite; neither is it a glider nor a powered aircraft, until the wing is tethered or arranged in a configuration that glides or is powered. In other words, how it is attached and manipulated determines what type of aircraft it becomes. 
It is a kite when tethered. All kites are tethered, or else they're a glider.

Another Wikipedika entry for Francis Rogallo draws a clear picture of his career.

Another Wikipedia entry for Parasev, the Rogallo wing developed for NASA reentry that never got ... off the ground. It had deployment issues. And over 4,000 parts. And was slower in development. Due to haste and urgency of making a moon landing happen by Kennedy's arbitrary goal, the project was put on low priority, like seven out of ten, and then eventually dropped. Losing Rogallo wing from Gemini. 

The wing went on to sweep the world of recreational flight but NASA has no interest in any of that.

The frame is flexible. There is give to the construction. The tail end of the wing are flexible not rigid. They are not flapping around but they give, and because they give that means the glider does not need a tail section, "empenage" in aviation. It is more like the feathers of a bird, not the rigid wings of an airplane but sometimes stiffened with battens inserted into tight sleeves sewn into the sail.

Francis Rogallo died recently, 2009, at age 97.

This nytimes article notes Francis Rogallo chose to live near Kitty Hawk to be near his inspiration. It says that he met Orville Wright in 1939 and that he took up hang gliding himself at age 62 there at Kitty Hawk dunes, taking his last flight there at age 80.


There was a very old man on our training hill in our beginning class. He astonished all of us just by being there. We were all in our 20's.  He looked exactly like Popeye the sailor man. We asked him, "What are you doing here? Why are you trying this? What is your impulse? What makes you think you can do this? What do your friends think? Does your mother know you're out here? Aren't you worried about breaking your fragile bones? What has got in to you?"

"I want to."

He shut us all down. That was our reason too. He was automatically hero to all us. Inspiration because he gave us all hope for the future. The distant future. Hope that adventure and wonder is not lost, does not fade, does not die in us. We were all determined to be like Popeye the sailor hang gliding man.

The Times article cites 50,000 people hang glide annually. Some paying $4,000 for gliders.

That is a lot. A lot of people and a lot of money.

My Harrier II (pdf) was $1,000.00 This guy says he wouldn't pay more than $250.00 now. Ha!

Sounds about right. It's a dinosaur. Pterodactyl.

But boy, was it hot then. I just reminded myself of something touching. That whole thing was free. I was talking to a group of people about my desire, about my intention to follow through, about what I learned up to that point, what I needed to continue, what glider I had my eye on at the time, how long I thought that will take.

The next day I was presented a check for $1,000 and a note saying, "Go on then."

I forgot completely about that until this moment. Somebody I know, a fairly good friend, wanted me to get started with my own glider right away now that I passed the initial beginning instructions, or else wanted me dead.

I accepted the cash, bought the glider, advanced to intermediate level, crashed continuously throughout, had very many very satisfying flights that can be shared with nobody, crashed very badly, sold the glider on the spot. Another hang glider pilot out on the hill had already expressed curiosity about my glider, it was beautiful, asked about buying it. So when I crashed everyone comes running to see if you're dead or what.
I hate to take advantage of a catastrophic situation but are you still interested in selling your glider?
The thing was a heap. The aluminum tubes crimped. Wires shorn. But the sail was not torn.

Tubes and wires are cheap. Sort of. I told him I'll have it repaired and if still interested then maybe so. I'm losing interest in crashing. I got this whole flying like a bird thing work out of my system. "Where is my car?" 

I didn't know this then, but my hang glider was gay as hell. The gayest hang glider in the world. It veritably screams GAY GAY GAY on account of it being a rainbow. A beautiful rainbow. 

But that was then before rainbows were gay.

I sold the glider for $1,200.00 and presented the cash to the person who originally gave it to me. The original thousand was a gift, but that entire effort turned out a profit. I did fly like a bird. Crashed as birds do too. They're dying out there by the thousands like nobody's business, I needn't be one of them. I'm too much a klutz for flying like birds. 

All of that brings me around to ask, because I do wonder, what took so long? 

Why did humanity have to wait for Francis Rogallo and his wife Gertrude to invent this arrangement of parachute wings? 

Why didn't Chinese invent this 1,000 years ago? 2,000 years ago? Honestly, what was the holdup? 

I'm losing respect for creativity on a global level because there is no good reason I see why this wasn't invented centuries earlier, given intense interest throughout history. It's not just me thinking this, it's everybody. So what took so long? 

They had an interest in kites, they have the perfect building material, bamboo and silk, nobody else had those two wondrous materials yet they failed to use them for human flight. Come on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Push the button

"Do you ever push the button?" No answer. "Can you push the button?" It is a real question. I'm not even sure she can reach it. She's not sure it is okay to respond to the man in the elevator talking to her. We both look to her mum who nods affirmatively, "Would you like to push the button?" I step back. "What floor?" Mum answers, "P1" I point to the button and give room.

This is important.

Vitally important. Who pushes buttons is important. Especially when it comes to children. Training and all that, you know, courtesy, power and such. And everybody is so pleased when it works out right. In an odd way Mum knows she's not alone in a dangerous city raising a child among strangers, all threats, in an uncaring world, a child sees not all tall men are meanies, and finally the proper buttons get pushed and there is no confusion as to floors.

"This one is for me and the next one is for you." And Mum doesn't have to explain everything. She smiles as I step off. And not just a regular smile either, an appreciative smile, the warm kind, not the perfunctory kind.


Where the livin' gets even easier...

Open Thread -- suggested topic: how stupid is it for the WH to restrict access if they are worried about image? link

This Just In. Saturated Fats May Not Be Bad For Us.

If you wait long enough, nearly every medical study will be reversed, at least that's my belief.  This time the reversal, or maybe semi-reversal as the article is couched in tentative language, is that eating saturated fats does not lead to an increased probability of heart disease.
For decades, health officials have urged the public to avoid saturated fat as much as possible, saying it should be replaced with the unsaturated fats in foods like nuts, fish, seeds and vegetable oils.
But the new research, published on Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, did not find that people who ate higher levels of saturated fat had more heart disease than those who ate less. Nor did it find less disease in those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated fat like olive oil or polyunsaturated fat like corn oil.
I read Gary Taubes's excellent book a couple of years ago in which he made the same point and  suggested that the real culprits in heart disease are consuming excessive carbohydrates and refined sugar.
He said that looking at individual fats and other nutrient groups in isolation could be misleading, because when people cut down on fats they tend to eat more bread, cold cereal and other refined carbohydrates that can also be bad for cardiovascular health.
This article and the study on which it is based is not a green light to go on an all-cheese diet.  But it does signal the importance of keeping a balance in your diet, and avoiding refined sugar and high carbohydrate foods.

And you can enjoy that steak without guilt.

Restaurant Owner Refuses To Serve Minority Group

The owner of  Backstreets Pub & Deli in Clemson put this sign in his window:

Plus, the owner called gun owners losers and douche bags.  Such a hater.

It's clear the owner does not want business from gun owners even though they have concealed carry permits simply because they choose to exercise their rights. 

It's like refusing to bake someone a cake because you disagree with them.  I mean, if you have a business license, you have to serve everybody regardless of your own opinion, right?  That's what the courts have decreed.

Read more.

"Boeing Says They Believe The Plane Is In Pakistan".

"It's about 3,500 miles, seven hours, 500 miles through, let's say. So -- and they went north for a part -- say 3,000 miles, 3,200 miles, something like that. Of course there now appears to be evidence that there was a direct course through India flying in the shadow of a Singapore Flight 68. That hasn't been verified. The only thing that I have seen that is starting to become verified is the report from Boeing saying they believe the airplane was in Pakistan, which I talked about on Friday."

According to retired Lt. General Tom McInerney, during his interview Tuesday evening on Sean Hannity's television program.

Watch the video.

Volokh: "Choosing What to Photograph Is a Form of Speech"

"The past year has been good to advocates of marriage equality. The Supreme Court struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. Six more states extended marriage rights to same-sex couples—Illinois will join them June 1, becoming the 17th state overall—and federal courts struck down same-sex marriage bans in four more states (now on appeal)."
We support the extension of marriage to same-sex couples. Yet too many who agree with us on that issue think little of subverting the liberties of those who oppose gay marriage. Increasingly, legislative and judicial actions sacrifice individual rights at the altar of antidiscrimination law. READ MORE (bold mine, for emphasis)
The article concluded...
The Supreme Court's ruling in Wooley guarantees the right of photographers, writers, actors, painters, actors, and singers to decide which commissions, roles or gigs they take, and which they reject. But the ruling does not necessarily apply to others who do not engage in constitutionally protected speech. The U.S. Supreme Court can rule in favor of Elane Photography on freedom-of-speech grounds without affecting how antidiscrimination law covers caterers, hotels, limousine drivers, and the like. That's a separate issue that mostly implicates state religious-freedom laws in the more than two-dozen states that have them.

The First Amendment secures an important right to which all speakers are entitled—whether religious or secular, liberal or conservative, pro- or anti-gay-marriage. A commitment to legal equality can't justify the restriction of that right.
Wall Street Journal

Deportation Deportes

"Obama to Hispanics: We won’t deport relatives because you enroll in ObamaCare."
President Obama on Tuesday sought to assure legal immigrants that they can sign up for ObamaCare without worrying that “the immigration people” will come for family members who are in the country illegally.
It's a question of presidential priorities these days. Never mind the laws. 'I want, I need people to sign on to my Health Care system and I don't care where they come from. Draft them if you have to. Lets get those numbers up people', I can easily imagine Obama saying.
In an interview with Univision Deportes, a Spanish-language sports radio show, Obama said immigration officials won’t have access to the personal information that consumers provide when signing up for healthcare on the new exchanges.

“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with … the rules governing immigration,” Obama said. “And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are … legally present in the United States.
As the president of the United States I'm telling you I call the balls and strikes. I say who is safe and who is out. I'm the sole arbiter; I'm the controlling legal authority, don't you know who I 'am?
“You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information.” read more
Here is the thing that caught my attention, yesterday, about the implications of this article, which aside from Obama's desperation tone... isn't it cringeworthy, to have a president appearing to be willing to say anything, to sell insurance? The president of the United States!
Aside from that (as if it wasn't enough) didn't our government promise to share information amongst the agencies as, at the very least, one of the ways to ensure against another 9/11?

On the other hand, Obama didn't build that... let somebody else make that happen.


Where the living is easy.

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling off was there!

Pilot's explanation

Insty linked this item by Chris Goodfellow on Wired yesterday that I find the most straightforward explanation of all for the missing jetliner full of passengers. 
We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise.
He sounds like one too. There is a walk-through-walls sureness to the tone that rings. He is fairly certain, make that certainly certain of his theory with this:
...or the fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. You will find it along that route–looking elsewhere is pointless.
They talk like that. They're not going to let "but the pilot's wife left him that day!" dissuade his assessment. No amount of "but the course was changed by computer!" will affect it. He placed himself in the cockpit and imagined what could possibly have happened. 

His theory appeals to me. His sureness in telling it does. So when commentators say, "The copilot had a simulator, he was checking other airports." I think, well of course he was. That is what simulator programs are for, practicing emergencies. In fact that reminded me of a pilot's basement I was in where I saw a pile of index cards and asked what they were, and he answered pilot-related things he used to memorize for his earlier training. After it reminded me of the simulator Barksdale AFT donated to my nearby High School just when I thought I had escaped such things by being in High School and not being on the Air Force base. 

Chris Goodfellow believes some emergency happened, most likely electrical, he mentions two types of possible fires, one possibility electrical fire, another I hadn't thought of and hadn't even heard of before. 

He brings up the possibility of a wheel flame out on take off, it's happened before where the landing gear is burning, heavy load, hot day, low inflation, the tire blows out and is pulled up burning, not becoming a problem inside until already at altitude.  His piece runs through the scenarios. 

It is the most straightforward theory and explanation I've heard. It starts out criticizing coverage, specifically CNN. It was interesting too clicking through as I do, noticing Chris Whatshisface on CNN, and seeing this same exact photograph featured on Goodfellow's article cycling back to CNN, a bit of eerie recursion as if responding in near real-time publishing-wise to criticism within the article Chris Goodfellow wrote. 

Human jukebox

This whole time I thought it was jute box. 

Levity: AllenS Finds Missing Jet

Test your mettle. Write a caption.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The sidewalks are crap but it seems that the city is trying.  It is a patchwork affair on the area I am traversing. I passed by a basement café and that is a bit weird walking above outside diner's heads like that with them sitting down as they are, and one of them is sitting there reading and flicking his cigarettes up here to the sidewalk and has been for a while as if that makes them disappear, and it does for him, and displays an unadmirable sensitivity to city environment besides.  

A shirtless man on  bicycle passed  looked back over his shoulder, went ahead then circled around passed me again the opposite direction,  now behind me again, up on me again and passing me again in the original direction. I'm wondering, what's up with that.  He's going to ask me for money. I bet. It's the logical thing, but he pedals ahead on down a ramp leading to the cafe I had just passed. 

A few of the sidewalk segments are are perfect for several addresses in a row and then one that is all messed up eroded or made of an original material or some earlier pour, sections become driveways for parking lots or for businesses and for apartments, some segments are  brand new others old and depilated and eroded and filling in with weeds or with gravely bits and chunks of material, some areas strewn with landscaping rocks, then I pass over a fresh pour with footprints in it and I think, "How stupid" as I continue I see more of  the same foot impression in a line, and they're very small footprints, I notice, a child's footprints captured as the ancient dinosaur footprints are captured on Dakota Ridge renamed Dinosaur Ridge for its footprints where I had been sitting above chipping away searching for troglodytes not knowing they were beneath the layer I was exploring. A few big footprints and a whole meandering line of little footprints in both cases. It tickles me, it really does, this kid I'm imagining does, I became vastly amused right there while walking on top of the footprint impressions, the thought of a child, a girl's shoe, I can see, a little girl wandering around on the freshly poured cement, the construction workers gone home for the day, seeing her stroll over their work recorded as the dinosaurs are. That suddenly becomes hilarious to me while walking. I'm so glad I saw that. Like the Family Circus guy.

Bil Keane. Like his wandering boy. "Come straight home." 

"I will!" 

walks straight: **~~/\_/*~~**\_/^*|__/\/**\/\/*

jumping puddles, trying the playground swing, see-saw, twirler, trash can, fire hydrant, peeks in window, climbs trees, pets a cat, walks around bush, looks at baby in carriage, jumps on hood of car, rides a skateboard the length of a yard, rides a shovel down a hill, buys candy, looks in store window, picks a flower for his mother, bothers the postman, hops over fences, drinks out somebody's garden hose, plays with dog, throws rock at a bird, comes straight home. 

Can you believe Bil Kearne started out drawing things for the Stars and Stripes? At Ease With Japanese.

Chaplin's office. Ha!

That child earlier, blithely strolling across wet concrete knows what she is doing. She is intimate with her immediate environment after all, if utterly unaware of concerns immediately beyond it. Completely free of responsibility or any sense of it for that matter, utterly free of any adult concern that could ruin the fun of walking on something slidey and sticky and grabby like mud but not mud. It's fun.

Oh man, I love that girl I'm imagining. 

Right as I pass the last girl-trodded segment and feeling amusement up to my ears with it, a man approaches the opposite direction, another hipster-sort  from those parts, and I say, "Notice the footprints." and he answers back cheerfully delighted I notice without hesitation affirming familiarity with them,

"They're awesome!"


Would you like to rule the world?  How about your own world?

I think her cover is better than the original. YMMV

Tuesday News Dump

All the news that fits!

Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move" Initiative May Have Increased Obesity Rates.
US Government Ceding Control of Key Internet Body.
Malaysian Airlines Expands Investigation To Include General Scope Of Space, Time.
Latest Estimate Of Illegal Alien Population Exceeds Unemployed.
Denver News Station Accidentally Puts a Big Ol' Penis On The Air.
Novelty Sex Toy Made To Look Like Vladimir Putin.
Marine Corps Muster Rolls Reveal Military History Of Ted Williams, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Bea Arthur.
1939 Delahaye 135 Roadster Sells At Auction for $6,600,000.
In Effort To Maximize Page Views, Huffington Post Now Covers Porn.
Huffington Post: Fox News MD Promoting Homophobia and Misogyny.
Waffle House Employees Hold Their Wedding At Waffle House.