Saturday, July 5, 2014

Train carrying Boeing fuselages derailed in Montana

Six photos at

Nineteen cars westbound derailed near Superior Montana. Ended up in Clark Fork River. Nobody was hurt. Story posted yesterday, tracks expected to be reopened almost immediately, today, in fact.


I already mentioned the 1964 hit song by The Supremes, "Where Did Our Love Go?"

Here is the second one, "Baby Love," also from 1964:

From the Wiki:
The Supremes became the first Motown act to have more than one American number-one single, and by the end of the decade, would have more number-one singles than any other Motown act (or American pop music group) with 12, a record they continue to hold; Stevie Wonder is currently in second place with ten number-one singles. link

BBQ Time

What are you up to?

True Detective

video link to a clip

I finished watching season one a couple days ago and highly recommend it. McConnaughey and Harrelson have a magical chemistry. They're crazy if they don't go on to do movies together.

True Detective is an anthology and the next season will be a new story with three new leads, two women and a man, set in California, "not Los Angeles, but some of the much lesser known venues of California---and we're going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambiance of the place, much like we did in season one."

'Radio Host Fired After Racist Twitter Rant Calling Black People “Animals”'

"Opie & Anthony radio show host Anthony Cumia has been fired by satellite radio company SiriusXM, which cited his "racially charged" and "hate-filled" remarks on Twitter as the reason."
Cumia's response Friday on Twitter included an obscenity in relation to SiriusXM. He said he was fired over material that was not aired and was not illegal.

Earlier this week, Cumia posted Tweets and photos about what he said was an attack on him as he took photos in Times Square.

He said a woman, angered at being photographed, called him a "white mother [expletive]" and then repeatedly punched him. He said he defended himself without hitting back.
The second link goes to Buzzfeed, were some of the offensive tweets are posted. This is not the first time a radio personality has been kicked off the air for remarks considered offensive. Imus was fired in 2007 over racially insensitive remark, but he managed to return. I would imagine the same will happen here. I predict Cumia will return to radio.

News Report: Video Shows Officer Punching Woman on LA Freeway

"The California Highway Patrol is investigating video of one of its officers straddling a woman lying on the ground and punching her in the head on a Los Angeles freeway."

"CHP Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn said at a news conference Friday that the officer was trying to restrain a woman who'd been walking on Interstate 10, endangering herself and people in traffic."

Video at the link.

Lee Hardcastle, black bulbs

Friday, July 4, 2014

Guest Post: Have a great 4th of July

"Damn right I am "proud" to be an American. Here is what American soldiers do
every single time they get a chance. We're suckers. I did it in my time, and
hard men and women still do it. It is the only way to remain sane." - Aridog
Have a great 4th of July - Aridog

Digg: "Words Can't Describe How Bad This Yoko Ono Performance Is"

If American Idol William Hung (I checked the spelling) had dated or married a rock star, do you think he would have faired better? What do you think... who was better?... Yoko or Hung?

LA Times: "No bond for Georgia dad accused of sexting while son in hot car"

"The Georgia dad accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son in a hot car had read articles about living a child-free life and was sexting with six women the day his son died of heat exposure, police said at a court hearing Thursday in which a judge denied bond and ordered the case to trial."
Justin Ross Harris, 33, also had two life insurance policies on his son, Cooper, and had twice watched a video about overheating deaths in cars before his son died June 18, according to police testimony given at a probable-cause hearing in Cobb County. After a more than a two-hour hearing, Judge Frank Cox found that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to try Harris for murder and second-degree child cruelty.

Harris’ attorney argued that his client had simply gotten distracted, and that prosecutors had only brought up the sexting to “publicly shame” Harris, who is married. Two of Harris’ friends and his brother testified that he seemed to be a loving father, but none of them said they had known about Harris’ sexual dalliances. (read more)
It was horrifically bad enough the kid was left to die in a hot car, the dad was apparently not really working, the whole time.
Let me ask you to be a dispassionate juror, if you will. Does sexting while the child was dying make the case of "depraved indifference" worst? Or do you believe, as a defense attorney on Fox seem to insinuate this morning, the dad sexting should have no bearing on the case?

Happy USA Independence Day

Wikipedia: "Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States."

Graphic designer responds to Craigslist ad

From a couple who are opening a restaurant named Two Tomatoes and who needed a logo.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Lyrics after the jump.

National Review Online: "A Heroine for Our Times"

"The narrative of decline is one of a slow and silent accumulation of ills. Looking backwards, we don’t remember a special moment when the evil days came, or the years drew nigh when all would be changed, but only the painful contrast between the days of our youth and the decrepitude of age. So it is with countries. We fail to see sharp breaks where we can say: There, there is where it all happened."
And yet such moments do exist, the points of inflection where the curve changes from positive to negative. We might have thought little of the changes at the time, perhaps, but they made all the difference, and it is the task of the historian to bring them to light.

I am no historian, but I have one such moment in mind. It was when The New Republic’s senior editor Jonathan Chait wrote in 2003, “I hate President George W. Bush.” TNR was always a liberal journal, but under editors such as Andrew Sullivan (before he went mad) and the restraining hand of Martin Peretz, it prided itself on its reasonableness. The magazine might have been coma-inducing boring, but by God it was reasonable. (read more)
The reason why I chose to highlight the h word from the passage, is because shortly after reading the entire piece I thought of posting it, but I didn't, because I didn't have something to ad to it right away, nothing came readily to mind. But, apparently the crux of the piece stay with me, because hours later, the Nixon quote “Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them...” came to my mind. The quote comes towards the end of this video.

Do you remember other "such moments" when, now looking back on it, the toxicity levels where so high, alarm bells should have rung out, condemnations even.

Shannon Maureen Conley

Colorado woman. Seems to me a lot of these women come from Colorado. Maybe those are the ones I hear about most or notice more often. Even before pot was legalized, so it isn't that. Might be the altitude, but that's a joke, probably not. Might be high female to male ratio within the dating age range. Oops, not that. I bet I know what it is. But the answer will not be seen in Huffington Post comments run through Facebook.

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone: "lack of political will to protect our borders"

"At a raucous town hall meeting in Murrieta Wednesday night, city officials had a message for residents who a day earlier successfully blocked immigrant detainees from entering a local Border Patrol processing facility: Blame the federal government."

At the meeting, during which roughly 750 area residents peppered local representatives and law enforcement personnel with their concerns over plans to move detained immigrants through the facility, Murrieta Mayor Alan Long reiterated the need for the federal government to do more to address the influx of undocumented immigrants.
Citizens, he said, should direct their complaints not to local representatives but rather to Congress and the White House, which is using “frightened women and children” to score political points in the immigration debate.

A sharp increase in immigration on the Rio Grande border -- 77% from countries other than Mexico so far in 2014 -- has overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities in Texas, leading facilities in other areas such as Southern California to take up the overflow, according to Paul Beeson, chief patrol agent with the Border Patrol’s San Diego division. (read more)


The people visiting my neighbor couldn't decide what they wanted to do.  Some wanted to trail the boat to Lake Superior and motor around the Apostle Islands.  Others want to say home and play fooseball because it is still cold up here.

The reached a compromise.

The Times Picayune: "Conservative website hotel blackouts..."

"[T]he curious matter of conservative websites consistently getting blocked at the Hyatt Place hotel in Riverhead, Long Island. The company that runs the desktops available to guests there, Uniguest, did finally respond to my query, but several e-mailers from around the country described similar experiences at hotels blocking access to perfectly legitimate conservative websites."
The Uniguest e-mail was "sent on behalf of Uniguest's Marketing Director who was traveling and not able to respond personally." Here's the meat of it:
"Was sorry to hear about your disenchantment in being limited in your ability to surf freely. As I trust you can appreciate, in an effort to protect our Internet users in hotels and other public spaces throughout the world, content filters are placed on our software that attempt to provide a safe browsing experience free from explicit sites and hateful content. Importantly, in some instances, the filters rules have unintended consequences and block sites that common sense would deem safe. For example, occasionally small portions of content will trigger the filter until that content is removed. This can temporarily affect websites with frequently updated content as the filter operates in real-time. The block would occur whether the domain name was, or any other site that meets the filter's threshold of flagged keywords.

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It appears that the problem has resolved itself and the websites you pointed out in your article are available for viewing at the writing of this email."
I was a bit puzzled by that "hateful content" bit, and unsure if Uniguest means sites like The Drudge Report, Instapundit, and PowerLine are now available on all the company's computers or just at the Hyatt Place in Riverhead. I've asked for clarification on those points.

The column also generated considerable e-mail, almost all of it from people who said they have experienced very similar blackouts of conservative sites at hotels across the country. (read more)

"Cops: Spurned Woman Pulled Knife On Man"

A 56-year-old Florida woman is facing an assault rap after allegedly threatening a 25-year-old man with a knife after he “rejected her sexual advances,” police report.

Elizabeth Highley (seen at right) is scheduled to be arraigned July 11 on the felony charge, for which she is free on $3500 bail.

According to an arrest affidavit, Highley was entertaining victim Crue Finley in her Jensen Beach home when trouble began around midnight on June 16. Finley told St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office deputies that he and Highley “are not a couple.”

Finley, investigators reported, said that Highley “wanted to have sex,“ but he “rejected her sexual advances causing her to become angry and violent.” Highley allegedly grabbed a knife and sliced Finley’s left thumb as he fled her Windmill Village home.

Cops subsequently encountered Highley as she ran after Finley, who is pictured at left. Highley, carrying a large knife and a broken wooden cane, complied with Officer Paul Hutchinson’s order to drop the weapons and lie down on the ground.

Highley, the cop noted, was “angry, crying and appeared to be intoxicated” when taken into custody. She was released later in the day after posting bail on the aggravated assault count. (1 page)

Scan of the arrest affidavit at the Smoking Gun link. The top rated comment there says...

Scott Moyer · EMC
Why are you identifying the victim in this story? You wouldn't identify a female victim if an alleged sexual assault.

improbable landing

Harrier jet's nose gear malfunctions. A stool wooden stool is prepared specifically for this situation. Pilot places jet spot on.

My hang glider was a Haririer II (pdf), I have a warm spot for Harriers. Irrational, I know, but still.

It amazes me how young the pilots seem. As a kid and military pilots were around all the time, generally pilots seemed old and brave and worldly. Now they seem young, a bit scared and vulnerable. seen on Little Dead Animals, well spotted, Kate!

Hard Choices

I just bought a copy of Hard Choices. I'm going to hollow it out to hide my stash. Nobody would ever think of looking in there. Plus the book's smell of rot will throw off the dogs.


No Seriously. Did you watch Wimbledon? I didn't. I do not follow sports. It must be foisted upon me so I did not understand this photoshop titled "rather a dramatic exit from Wimbledon"

I thought it was a fox howling as coyotes do, but foxes do not howl. That I know of. They seem rather quiet. The picture file is titled "Murray burster" so now I guess that is his chest bursting open. But I do know enough about sports to spot a mixed sport metaphor. Sometimes. At, their piece is titled "Below par Andy Murray feels force of Grigor Dimitrov" where I learned Murray became quite cross and expressed himself most unsportingly and where commenters there are arguing that Murray is English when he wins but Scottish when he loses. Silly Americans, never do get the whole British thing straight. Things like par conflated with tennis would throw me off, and cause me to thing Wimbledon is golf and not tennis. For instance, I thought it was Wimbleton not Wimbledon, just as I thought the Super Bowl was a gigantic dome like the Duper Dome. As a boy I had visited the Super Dome in New Orleans. So when people spoke of the Super Bowl about which I knew nothing, it was a natural mistake.

I am fascinated, though, by people like Murray who can make their mouth shaped like a square. I cannot do that without inserting four fingers and spreading my mouth unnaturally, and I cannot forget the man from another country I encountered on South Beach who did that in natural speech. I spoke with him for awhile observing his mouth shaped like a near perfectly straight line, impossible to lipread, that he opened into a near perfect square to say the single word, "oh" in reply to me talking about my plans. Repeatedly, a round o came out of his square mouth, a dark square hole, like an improbable sound ring, and I marveled,  a rather cartoonish encounter altogether. I'm still fascinated. I'm tempted to photoshop an ooooo coming out of Murray's mouth, but his curved teeth are wrecking the effect. I'd have to darken them out and square off the corners to match the traveler on South Beach.

The lost art of the cutaway

More at the

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

NYC Tonight

thank you pop-up card

Simple cover that can be drawn as easily as if it were calligraphic writing.

This card is fast and carelessly constructed. 

The arm arcs upwardward 45°as if to gesture, "Here's some flowers."

The man is glued to the edge of the stepped platform, but anything can be glued there. His arm with the flowers is glued to half of the inside of the crimp. But it can be any content at all. 


Do not become married to the content until you see how it works. Make sure the content tucks into  the card before gluing anything. Paperclips are useful for this. 

The crimp is a made directly onto a fold and cut across it and pushed inward so that it folds oppositely to the step. When the card is fully opened the step is completely flat with the card. It is only a proper step when the card is opened to the 45° position. That is how you can check for accuracy during construction. The card can be constructed and glued in its flattened state.

When the card is completely closed, the step folds opposite to the card and the crimp folds opposite to its step. 

Content (the arm) is glued to only half of the crimp. The crimp works in wonderful and mysterious and confounding unpredictable ways. Experimentation is necessary in determining which direction to cut the crimp and which half of the crimp the content will be glued. So two decisions there. In this case to lift a human arm, but it can be anything, a rising sun, a concealing bush, an animal head, anything.

The glue tabs can be any size at all. They can be concealed behind additional content, or they can be inserted through slots cut into the card. But this card is simple so the tabs clearly show. The glue tabs can be much smaller than this. They can be tiny extensions. 

You can see how the whole thing can be loaded up with more content. So much content that the tabs and the step platform are all concealed. I could surround the man in a swamp. In fact, the opposite side of the crimp can be used to attach an arm that lifts up a bush larger than the man. And the opposite side of the step can can be used for multiple crimps to be placed on the same step. There can be additional steps. There can be crimps that are cut in the opposite direction. To this day, I still cannot visualize in advance how the crimps will function exactly. I must experiment each time. Maybe you can visualize it better than I. 

I used two of these crimps cut into the same step on opposite ends in opposite directions, with content that overlapped, basically two discs, to make it appear like a dung beetle pushing a ball of dung. It is also how I made two overlapping discs appear like a snake uncoiling.

"Poll: World Cup a liberal's game; just 30% of nation following it"

Partisan politics seems to be everywhere, even when watching soccer and this year's World Cup.
And according to poll published hours before the U.S. plays Belgium on Tuesday, liberals and moderates are tuning in far more than conservatives.

YouGov reports that 35 percent of liberals, 34 percent of moderates and just 27 percent of self-described conservatives are watching the World Cup.

As for soccer viewing when the World Cup is not being played, 24 percent of liberals, 21 percent of moderates and a tiny 14 percent of conservatives watch the sport.

Overall, 28 percent of the nation considers the sport the “most boring to watch.”

Strip politics out of the equation, and just 30 percent of the nation is paying attention to the World Cup, with 70 percent watching it "not closely" or "not at at all."


Where entropy rules.

I became acquainted with Juanita Hall's blues when I found this used 8-track in a record store in Honolulu. I wasn't aware till much later that she was Bloody Mary in South Pacific.

What are some of your favorite blues songs?

The Weekly Standard: The Obama Doctrine

"In the past week alone, President Obama has twice been rebuked by the Supreme Court for having run afoul of the Constitution (a 9-0 decision) or federal law (5-4).  Unchastened, he brazenly picked the very day that the second decision was announced to reassert the Obama Doctrine — namely, that if Congress refuses to pass a political loser that Obama is championing, Obama will take the law into his own hands." (read more)

Nancy Grace, Eddie Lizzard


"Ex-French president Sarkozy detained in corruption probe"

"Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was detained Tuesday and reportedly questioned by financial investigators in a corruption probe that could cloud his chances of a political comeback."
The detention — a very unusual move for such a high-level figure — dominated French news broadcasts. The investigation is the latest in a string of probes to target the former leader.

French media reports say Sarkozy is being questioned in an investigation linked to financing for his 2007 presidential campaign, notably allegations that late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave Sarkozy millions of euros in illegal campaign donations.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Cop 'cannibal plot' case tossed"

"A former New York police officer has left jail after a judge overturned his conviction in a bizarre case accusing him of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat young women."
Judge Paul Gardephe ruled overnight (NZT) that there was insufficient evidence to support a jury's guilty verdict in the kidnapping conspiracy conviction of Gilberto Valle.

His lawyers had argued that the alleged plots were really fantasy online role play that never put anyone in harm's way.

Valle - dubbed by the tabloids as the "Cannibal Cop" - smiled at his family and hugged his lawyers in court. The judge set bail at US$100,000 (NZ$113,930) and ordered home detention for the defendant after prosecutors told him they intended to appeal his ruling.

"The government believes the jury got it right," said Assistant US Attorney Hadassa Waxman. (read more)

Reddit: TIFU by peeing too hard

TIFU is a subreddit where people post stories about mistakes they have made and the consequences. Here's an example:
I had a meeting at work today. There were about 30 people in the meeting, and it was very important. It was only supposed to last 1-2 hours, but it went way over time. 3 hours after the meeting started, I really had to pee. But seeing as it was already an hour over time, I was confident I could hold it till the meeting was over. No one else had gotten up since the meeting started, and seeing as I've only been employed there for less than a month, I wasn't going to be the first one to do so.

After 4 hours, my bladder was about to explode. I battled myself mentally, trying to convince myself to just go pee, while the other half of me didn't want to make a bad impression this early in my career. Right as I was about to jump up and just go for it, they wrapped up the meeting. As soon as they dismissed, I jumped from my seat and ran straight to the bathroom.

I started unzipping before i had barely made it into the bathroom, and I was already peeing 2 steps from the urinal. I settled in at the urinal and unleashed a fire-hydrant load of urine. Apparently I wasn't the only one who had to use the restroom, because there were more and more people coming in and using the toilets or standing along the wall behind me, waiting for the urinal to open up.

Not wanting to stand there and pee forever, I tensed up by bladder, peeing as hard and as fast as I could. I guess when you do this you also hold your breath. Either way, I pushed way too hard, for way too long. I started getting really light headed and lost my balance. I took 2 steps back and passed out, falling straight on my back. I was probably only passed out in the floor for less than 5 seconds, but that was plenty enough time for about 10 of my coworkers to see me stumble back, fall in the floor with my dick hanging out of my pants, and then piss into the air like an angel statue in a park all over myself and the floor. I'm not sure I can show my face there tomorrow.


Where love is the fifth element.

What is your favorite musical? Mine is South Pacific.

"New York police to city's subway acrobats: siddown"

The Guardian: The New York Police Department is cracking down on the subway showmen who use the tight quarters of the nation's busiest transit system as moving stages for impromptu — and illegal — pass-the-hat performances. More than 240 people have been arrested on misdemeanors related to acrobatics so far this year, compared with fewer than 40 at this time a year ago.
Police Commissioner William Bratton acknowledges he is targeting subway acrobats as part of his embrace of the "broken windows" theory of policing — that low-grade lawlessness can cultivate a greater sense of disorder and embolden more dangerous offenders.

"Is it a significant crime? Certainly not," Bratton said recently. But the question is, he added, "Does it have the potential both for creating a level of fear as well as a level of risk that you want to deal with?"

The subway acrobats say they're just out to entertain, make a living and put a little communal levity in New York's no-eye-contact commuting. (read more)

Unconfirmed rumors say that the roundups began after a 'dancer' landed on Trooper York ;-)

Bloomberg: Google Rebuffed by U.S. High Court on Privacy Lawsuit

"The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Google Inc. (GOOG), leaving the company to face lawsuits accusing it of violating a federal wiretapping law by secretly collecting personal data while developing its Street View maps."
The justices today left intact a federal appeals court ruling that the U.S. Wiretap Act protects the privacy of information on unencrypted in-home Wi-Fi networks.

Google, the world’s most-used Internet search engine, is accused in class-action lawsuits of gathering e-mails, user names and passwords while using a fleet of camera-equipped vehicles that drove around the country to collect images for Street View.
The Daily Dot: Erasing your home from Google Maps is way easier than you think


Clutch, Greta

Monday, June 30, 2014


This song is the third most played one in my iTunes. It came out when I was in college and a couple years after I had seen them. It sort of revived my flagging interest in them.

The song deals with profound loss -- of what we don't know. Here are the usual "theories" link

I gave Fleetwood Mac another listen after seeing Dave Grohl's "Sound City"; he interviewed Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks about how that studio brought that band together then.

Shane's Hobby Lobby

Shane, of Wal-Mart fame, goes to work for Hobby Lobby, and immediately get's into trouble ;-)


Stuart Hammeroff and quantum consciousness

I've keyed this video to begin in the middle, where Hammeroff speaks of the microtubules within neurons that are at the heart of his theory that consciousness arises at the quantum level...where the fate of Schrodinger's Cat is determined. Or not determined? 

Here is a good interview that further explores his ideas.

from The Large Idea Collider blog by Michel Trottier-McDonald:

"Another way of looking at the problem between quantum field theory and general relativity comes from basic knowledge of both theories. If you know something about general relativity, it is that matter and energy bend space-time. If you know something about quantum mechanics, it is that you can’t know velocity and position of a system as accurately as you want simultaneously. This fact about quantum mechanics implies that in quantum field theory, you will have arbitrary amounts of matter and energy fluctuating in and out of existence, and the smaller the scales you probe, the larger these fluctuations will become. I know this is far from a straightforward conclusion, but I’d rather be incomplete than inaccurate in my explanation. For now bear with me. Putting these two facts from both theories together, you get that at small enough scales, there will be enough matter-energy fluctuating to distort space-time, transforming space-time into some kind of fractal foam."

Supreme Court: Unions Can’t Charge Fees to Certain Non-Members

"In a case that threatened the future of public employee unions, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled so-called agency fees charged to certain non-union members violate those members' First Amendment rights."
The high court stopped short of barring all public employee unions from charging agency fees to non-members. The employees in the case before the court-Illinois homecare workers-were not “full-fledged” public employees, the court said. 
Justice Elena Kagan, joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented. (read more)
The Supremes also ruled in favor of Hooby Looby.

News Report: Boeing 737's emergency evacuation chute accidentally opened en route to California

"A United Airlines flight en route from Chicago to California with 101 passengers aboard made an unscheduled stop late Sunday in Wichita, Kansas, after the Boeing 737's emergency evacuation chute accidentally opened."
Public safety personnel at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport said the slide deployed in the cabin of Flight 1463, KAKE-TV reports. The plane, which was flying from Chicago's O'Hare airport to the John Wayne Airport near Los Angeles, landed at Wichita airport around 10:30 p.m.

A statement from the airlines said there were no injuries and the plane flight landed safely, ABC News reports.

Daily Beast: ‘Degree Mills’ Are Exploiting Veterans and Making Millions Off the GI Bill

"The GI Bill, designed to help veterans live the American dream, is being gobbled up by for-profit colleges that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees."
Nowhere is this a bigger problem than in California, where nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars go to for-profit companies—institutions created to make money.

In fact, The Center for Investigative Reporting found that since a generous new GI Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans went into effect in 2009, more than $600 million has gone to California schools so substandard that they have fail to qualify for state financial aid.
There is little oversight to ensure the effectiveness of the program.
On a Friday morning in early May, a team of inspectors from the California VA pulled into the parking lot and headed to a conference room, where the college’s staff had laid out piles of student veterans’ transcripts and financial records.

The audit’s purpose is to ensure that GI Bill money is properly spent, but auditors don’t sit in on classes or review the qualifications of instructors. “That’s not a part of the visit at all,” said Latanaya Johnson, one of the agency’s senior inspectors.

Auditors look exclusively at paperwork, she said, to make sure schools aren’t billing the government for students who don’t exist. No one from the state or federal government is checking to see if the education taxpayers are paying for is helping veterans find jobs. (read more)

Back it up! Roll, Baby, roll, Baby, roll, Baby, roll.

Mesmerizin' innit. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014


An old gem for all The Who fans out there:

A YouTube commenter writes that this is "[w]hat happens when your bassist, drummer and guitarist all play lead at the same time."

Keith Moon's drums were miked exceptionally well for that show, which is great because it was one of his best live performances at the band's peak. Moon had a leg up on many drummers of his era in that he used all four limbs in an active way. Most right-handed drummers have a lazy left foot and use it to control the high hat cymbal (the one that opens and closes). Many drummers will keep time with it, and it's audible on many studio recordings, making a little zit-zit-zit sound. Not Moon. He played a double bass drum kit, and pedaled out bass drum rolls and triplets with both feet, actually doing some of the work of his hands. In this song, you can hear how he keeps a cymbal crashing or riding the entire time, which required frequent attention of his right hand. This left only his left hand to patter and batter around the snare and the tom-tom drums. You can really hear this beginning around 2 min, 40 sec. Amazing to this day, IMO.

"I, a feminist father of the Pill, foresee no male Pill"

That's Carl Djerassi, in a not-so-new "Wired Magazine" article which I missed last fall:
Scientifically, we know how to create a male Pill. Yet despite much clinical research, the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have shown zero interest in taking such a product to market. Aside from big pharma's focus on older people (a resounding "yes" on treatment for erectile function, an equally resounding "no" for contraception), the biggest problem is the fact that a young man's reproductive span is two to three times longer than a 20-year-old woman's. 
A young woman will not ask whether continued use of her Pill would affect her fertility at 45 or 50, whereas many 20-year-old men would require a guaranteed answer. To provide an epidemiologically valid answer to a young man would be expensive, time-consuming (thus cannibalising most of the potential patent life) and open to lawsuits, since men may blame their Pill for age-related erectile dysfunction and prostate-gland problems. Link
Djerassi is an interesting man in his own right. I wrote a bit about him back here, Djerassic Perk, in which I incorrectly predicted that he would win the Chemistry Nobel Prize. Every year, I still wonder why not. He's over 90 years old now and won't be around forever.

Djerassi has his share of detractors, but the Pill has certainly had important social consequences. Then there apparently is an Austrian newspaper interview in which he regrets some of the subsequent demographic changes his co-invention wrought. You can read about that here. I'll bet the original article is in German and I'd like to get my hands on it.

Shane, knock it off

Or you're fired!

Whiteboard notes from Walmart management to a goofing employee. A dozen messages.


Real? Eh, who knows? More pretend Shane in comments.

You mean someone, other than the Mainstream Media, manipulates news?

"Aside from being the world’s largest social network, Facebook is also a sociologist’s dream. With 1.28 billion worldwide active users, the social network has created the most formidable data set ever seen for studying human behavior."
Not one to let your data go to waste, the company employs a team of data scientists to conduct experiments with user data and behavior, as it did in a recent study, first reported by NewScientist.

According to the study, Facebook manipulated the News Feeds of 689,003 users to study whether online emotions can be contagious. For a week, some users were shown posts in News Feed containing a higher number of positive words, others were shown posts with more negative sentiments.
Whatever you think about this, as to whether or not Facebook went too far, do you believe people fully realized the implications of what they were signing up for?
I'm not so sure that if people were aware at sign up time, they would have agreed to a terms of service that includes this type of manipulation.

Videos: Potato Peeling and High Ball Stepper

As a suggestion, play both videos simultaneously and experience what you may get out of it.

Boston Globe: "Thad Cochran’s victory shows voting rights well protected"

"Tea Party insurgent Chris McDaniel came tantalizingly close to knocking off Senator Thad Cochran in Mississippi’s Republican primary runoff last week, but a surge in black voter turnout saved the six-term incumbent’s bacon. Cochran’s election to a seventh term in November now seems a foregone conclusion, and boy, are a lot of conservatives mad."
“There is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats,” McDaniel fumed on election night, slamming Cochran and the GOP establishment for “once again reaching across the aisle [and] abandoning the conservative movement.”

But whatever else the election outcome meant, Cochran’s “reaching across the aisle” made his victory a noteworthy instance of something that supposedly doesn’t and can’t happen in Mississippi even today: A white GOP politician sought support among Democrats, and particularly black Democrats. And far from being politically powerless, they tipped the election. (read more)

Paper Art

So Chip has inspired me.   I've been collecting seeds from my garden as various flowers get done and realized that I could make paper packets pretty easy.  I scanned a sketch of the flower and made four to a page with Word.  The hard part was remembering were the "turn text sideways" button was.  And then I colored each individually with colored pencils.   I think they turned out pretty well and will make nice additions to Christmas presents this winter.  (Which is why I can't show them off to family!)

The pictures are pretty bad, but I think it shows what I did.

Braveheart -- extra final scene

If you choose to view comments you will see people of the English speaking lands simply cannot take a joke. That is, take the jokes of each other. Every single jape and jab falls flat.

One commenter says, "You got your accurate history in my shitty movie! I'm personally offended, even though I've never been to Scotchland." 

Clearly a joke. A joke! Along the lines of "Merkinland." I find it quite funny, actually. But then another commenter misses the humor, or humour, and pedantically corrects the usage. While it is common understanding Americans are stupid and they're not entirely wrong but not for the reasons they assume. This is stupidly chalked up to stupidity. Nyaaaah, what a bunch of nincompoops, what ul-ta-ruh maroons.

That would undoubtedly be chalked up to being stupid and possibly corrected, missing the connection to Bugs Bunny entirely. 

Not your cup of tea? Er, coffee? Coca cola? 

How about this instead?

What if DVD Fever were archaeologists?

It'd be a bit like Mystery Science Theater 3000

I like this a lot.

This is twice tonight I've seen the arrow shot from the inside of the bow (The first was Pawn Stars). That is, right handed, the arrow held on the left side of the bow. It doesn't seem right. I've always shot from the outside of the bow. Have I been doing it wrong all along? It could happen. You're (I'm) holding the bow in a fist and the arrow mounts over your (my) thumb, with the third feather away from the bow. I can triangulate with my eyeballs better that way for a more accurate shot.

Incidentally, the ASL sign for Greek refers to the nose guard that is missing on the helmet the guy in the video refers to. It is an awkward sign to make because you must twist your wrist uncomfortably to form the word properly. You see a lot of improperly formed words.

But I see other countries use our word for "salt," "flick a bug off your shirt," "can't + person," "warning," "ancient helmet nose guard (done differently two ways),"  "headband," "man + climb + marching along + person," "clean + can't +person," and "yell." While the U.S. does not contribute for the word Greek although they do contribute for "Greece."  And this is why I never do understand these people. It's like when them ferners are talking, it's all Greek to me. (The word must be entered into their search. Then the flag for the country tapped.  I cannot link directly)