Saturday, August 23, 2014

U.K. official: British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State far surpasses those in armed forces

If you look across the whole of the country (UK), and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate,” Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, told the magazine. Mr. Mahmood believes that there are at least 1,500 British Muslims now fighting in the Middle East on behalf of the terrorist organization. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense tallies the number of Muslims in the British armed forces at 600, Newsweek reported."

There seems to be a difference of opinion between the White House and the pentagon, as to the severity of the ISIS threat. Contrast the statements by Secretary Hagel: ISIS threat is "beyond anything we've ever seen" and President Obama milder "A group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century".

What is your ISIS threat assessment and who do you believe is closer to the truth? Bearing in mind the Iraq war, which was triggered by the post 9/11 assessment.

'STEM Crisis' In American Workforce May Not Be Real

'The vast majority of workers who have been trained in science and engineering are not currently working in a STEM occupation,' the Census Bureau report said. In fact, an average of just 26 percent of science and engineering graduates, aged 25 to 64, worked in a STEM occupation in 2011, instead working in jobs such as management, health care, law, education, social work, accounting and counseling.  Link
There are lots of other choice phrases and truths at the link.

In the name of efficient economics, we do import STEM workers -- not because they are better than American workers but because they will often work for less, and employers get leverage, viz. visas. This is a brutal and harsh reality but also one which affects the on-going and relentless push for more H1-B visas. The policy figures into the grand immigration debate, but at the "high end" rather than the "low end."

Romney says Clinton won't be able to distance herself from Obama

Are they running again?
"At a book event for Rep. Paul Ryan, his former running mate, Romney said that Hillary Clinton distancing herself from some of President Barack Obama's foreign policy was reminiscent of the campaign he ran against the President."

"She was very critical of the president’s foreign policy, and basically said ’he doesn’t have one,’" said Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. "I used to say that during the campaign."

How to confirm valid 500 Rs note

A life hack in India. Pay careful attention, this could spare you a good deal of trouble.

Friday, August 22, 2014

ham, sourdough



Someone in Saudi Arabia has searched and found this ham sandwich on sourdough:

The sourdough is from a Northwest starter that I bought from a vendor on eBay. I think. I still have it around in thick putty form. It is a very good culture. It went into its storage bag white and over time as it languished turned the whole bag icky brown.

But also, WTF about this? 

Germany, land of the original hotdog looking at my hotdog over and over. This hotdog gets looked at way more than it deserves. The site is not all that well visited, but this hotdog page is among the top viewed pages from all over the world. I have no idea if viewers are interested in homemade buns, or what. I do not understand this at all. They're looking at this photo.

The bun is not sourdough, just regular fast bread.

Recently I revitalized an old Maui culture. It took much longer than I anticipated and that made me fear it had died in putty form, languishing for years in the crisper. 

I also collected fresh Denver culture and that also took longer to activate than I expected. 

I baked with them both, and they both turned out fine. I kept the Maui, put it back in the refrigerator, and discarded the Denver. Collected Denver culture from outside again, one quickly overnight, another slowly over a week. So, two new Denver cultures.

The new Denver collected overnight was taking longer than expected by the heat of a 100W lamp. Then yesterday I realized it had actually cooked inside the jar. Oops. Just like an Easy Bake oven. After days of lamp treatment and discouraged I discarded that one too. Now I am cultivating the third Denver culture, the ugly one, the one that's been out on the terrace for a week with the hope of having some rain fall into it. I gave up on rain. Even though every single day there's been this:

Today it's been like this all day but no rain. It can be seen falling right out of the clouds but evaporating before hitting the ground. Weird.

So now the new Denver ugly culture is cultivating by the warmth of 40W fluorescent light under a towel, a makeshift proofing box. 

Along with a previous Denver culture that had been frozen as flakes. The frozen one is showing no signs of life yet, The ugly Denver collected for a week is starting right up bubbling. I can tell the ugly gross one is going to be spectacular. 

The Denver culture that was frozen, I think, was collected in winter and has its own unique characteristics that are cold-anured. Cool fermentation hardly affects it at all. Does not slow it down. It too is spectacular once it gets going. It just keeps right on rising inside a cold refrigerator. I think that is the one. I did not specify on the label. If not then there is yet another in putty form.

The Maui culture was put back in cold storage while I collected new Denver culture. Now it is taken out again and revitalized again and it sprang back to life in just a few hours. It is an especially virile complex culture eager and ready to go. 

So, presently I am cultivating three separate sourdough cultures, Maui, revitalized from near death, Denver, frozen for years, and new Denver, collected over a prolonged period to become gray and ugly with foreign bits blown into it, tiny bugs and such undesirable things as tiny flower petals and rotten fruit. I also had peaches that ripened so far they began to self-ferment so I nicked off a small wedge of soggy peach and threw that into the jar as well. All that together will make for one heck of a regional culture. That will be the one I keep active, most likely. 

They're a pain in the butt. One alone is a pain in the butt, three is not worth the trouble. Two will be brought to full bubbling activity, used, and shut down and stored again, leaving just one of them active. I think I already made my choice.

There are other cultures too that are languishing. Those need to be revitalized the same way and re-stored. Or else give up on keeping collections.

Then, by way of curiosity, I double checked on Sourdough International for instructions on how to activate their sourdough cultures. Come to find out I misremembered, it takes three days to activate their freeze-dried collections and not 24 hours as I was recalling their process. That whole time I was thinking something was dreadfully wrong with my cultures, I was mistaken, they were behaving normally. And in the case of Denver gross out culture that I ceased waiting for rain even though it looks like it is going to pour any minute, behaving quite abnormally fast. 

Over time, I bought several starters from Sourdough International and each one I tried is excellent. I have no explanation for why mine are still not around while others that I collected myself here and there are still around stored in various forms, dry, putty, and frozen. I do not know how I managed to allow them to perish. Carelessness, I suppose. I do recommend them. It is a very reliable company and their prices are reasonable. The owner is nice. When I wrote to him directly about the S.African culture failing to lift 100% whole wheat flour, his responses were careful and thoughtful. 

Incidentally, that Sourdough International S. African culture is outstanding, the flavor extraordinary. But then so is Denver sourdough when made into whole wheat loaves. The affect is very similar. It's just that the loaves cannot be 100% whole wheat flour or else the loaves turn out like bricks. The yeast cannot lift the weight and microscopically the husk bits slice the gluten molecules. Still, the result cannot be matched by anything you could ever buy from a bakery. Bread that extraordinary simply does not exist for sale. Even as bricks and cut exceedingly thinly as dense deep rye bread is sometimes cut for tiny sandwiches, it is totally worth it. But now I have a new trick up my sleeve. A new way of baking, a whole new approach by a wet-dough and clay cloche method. The trick as the S. African fellow who collected his culture states is to bring up the culture trained on whole wheat to begin with. The organisms that prevail in the culture will be geared toward whole wheat. It can still be used for white flour and for rye flour and combinations of those, but it will be trained on whole wheat, and the whole wheat itself contributes significant flavor, in combination with sourdough culture it is out of this world.

Senator Reid addressed Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce

"I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are."

"One problem I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

Reid being Reid 

Ebola or ISIS (or IS, ISIL)

US talks with regional actors about how to push IS out of Mosul

(Click map to enlarge.)

"The IS capture of al-Rutba  has given the terrorist group “a direct shot to the Saudi border and the Jordanian border,” the official said, while the Iraqi-Syrian border at al-Qaim is “basically gone. … This is a tremendous threat to everybody, and it is really sharpening the minds.” Asked if the United States had directly discussed the IS threat with the Syrian regime, the US official said “not that I’m aware of.”"

"It started with a bottle of orange juice 30 years ago"

"The national legal standards that govern when police officers are justified in using force against people trace their lineage to a 1984 case from Charlotte, North Carolina. In that case, a diabetic man's erratic behavior during a trip to a convenience store for juice to bring up his low blood sugar led to a confrontation with officers that left him with injuries from head to foot."

"Dethorne Graham's subsequent lawsuit against police for his injuries led to a 1989 Supreme Court decision that has become the prism for evaluating how police use force. As soon as Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, the Graham v. Connor case became the foundational test for whether Wilson's response was appropriate or criminal." (read more)


I was struck with how beautiful these birds are. And how small, almost like hummingbirds. And how arrogant. 

Prisoner's Dilemma

So the Europeans fund ISIS via ransom payments, while we do not. Instead, we release captive prisoners in exchange for captives (Bergdahl).

Try and convince me or anybody else that they're not the same (ISIS vs. Taliban).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ice bucket challenge


Can't Happen?


Ban Ki-moon

"LiveLeak bans future ISIS beheading videos"

"We will not be showing further beheadings carried out by ISIS."
"We've shown the world the true horror of this form of execution more than once in the past and we cannot find any compelling reason to even be thought of as promoting the actions of this group," LiveLeak said in a statement.

"There is no reason at all to show more beheadings," they added. (read more)
What do you think? Should there be a site where this material is available? or do you agree, that it serves no purpose other than propaganda for ISIS.

Mike Ditka: Redskins name debate is ‘so stupid it’s appalling’

What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said. “It’s so much [expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.

Mike Ditka
“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”

“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is,” Ditka said. “It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the 60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.” (read more)


Sure, IS grabbed a lot of land viciously and successfully, but then what? Sure they grabbed the oil fields, now what? Yes, we see they snatched U.S. military equipment given to Iraq government, and we see what they do with it, then what?


It appears quite the martial success. The thing is, oil fields take engineers to manage or else they go straight to hell. They need upkeep, maintenance, management. Ideologic fierceness does not interpret directly to oilfield management.

Those vehicles need tires and continuous maintenance. Are they up to it?

What happens when the guns run out of bullets? Buy more from France? From Russia? From some place with the wherewithal to provide them? Some place like Iran? Iran couldn't build a nuclear reactor themselves without help from North Koreans. Saudi Arabia couldn't pull oil out of the ground without help from the West. Iran cannot even build a drone without back-engineering a downed American drone. And then proudly produce a goofball drone at that.

Russian consultants report Arabs MIG pilots are the worst. Utterly undisciplined. They just don't have the juice to fly Russian MIGs as Russian pilots train, too much praying required, there is a vast difference between Russian and Arab MIG pilots. Far more distance between maintaining, much more distance building their own planes.

All that stolen equipment requires constant upkeep, that is a huge part of owning it,  and jihadists just flat do not have the training and discipline and wherewithal to keep any of that up. Their so-called religion holds them back.

That is not saying they cannot do untold damage. Obviously they can, but they are like bulls in china shops tearing things apart. And it is possible to tack together a caliphate on tearing things apart, but then in the end there is a caliphate locked in the 6th century middle east and that's it, stuck there forever without outside assistance without any chance for evolution.

I awoke from a strange dream in the middle of explaining this to a group of Washington D.C. youngsters eager to become wrapped up in political affairs, we were moving through dangerous territory. Washington wannabes with no clear idea of their existential enemies. The eager avid young Washington political wannabes underestimated the viciousness of their foes, and their brutal cleverness, while overestimating the endurance-potential of their immediate military fierceness. Yes, they can cleverly build jury-rigged Kalashnikovs but they cannot  build turbine jet plane factories if their lives depended on them, and their lives will depend on them. They couldn't build and maintain rocket security systems if their lives depended and they will depend. They are good at one thing, slicing throats, and that's it. Beyond that they've got only their antique religion and imported psychopaths. That is the enemy. They are insufficiently clever to sustain themselves in an evolving world. Simply put, successful in the short run, they are doomed in the long run.

Bizarre survival, motorcycle crash car cam recording

Uploaded April 2013, over 4,000,000 views and copied several times. Apparently verified by Belarus police. Commenters say this was covered on CNN and ABC, those bastions of truth and journalistic integrity. 

Comments are depressing. Skepticism, critical thinking, are very good things we agree. We're all for them. But then we reach a point where everything we see is fake and nothing bizarre is possible, and nobody ever does win any lottery ever. If stupid people doing stupid things never survived, then we'd all be geniuses by now this late in our evolution. If seemingly impossibly good luck never happened then we'd all be dead or never born. On the contrary, we are alive now and advanced as far as we have precisely because our ancestors did incredibly risky things and survived, and were amazingly lucky at times, and many times did die along the way doing careless things fraught with danger and still do die doing them (after procreating sufficiently to assure survival of our species) 

But comments are depressing for the knee-jerkness of them. The comments that are automatically dismissive. The comments that chide, instinctively it seems, or at least habitually, for lack of critical assessment or for lack of education that fail themselves in their own critical assessment and are studded with errors that education is provided to fix, and how they devolve to off topic nationalism loaded with stereotyped preconceptions, often wrong, themselves media driven. 

"Russians drivers are insane" 

It's Belarus, not Russia. Big difference to a Russian but no difference at all to American commenters.

"Stupid Americans don't know the difference between Russian and Belarus."

That was an Australian commenter, not all stupid comments in English are American." 

"Stupid t.v. watchers, haven't learned anything about gravity."

Did you mean Newton's three laws of motion? Those would seem as important as gravity. At lest the commenter got the Newton part right. Just enough education to be arrogant, to know about gravity. I too wonder about such things as, say, how fast a bullet drops when shot straight out of a gun, the same as if simply dropped, except calculated over distance depending on the caliber and force of the gun? Let's see, what are Newtons ideas again, relating to this motorcycle accident besides gravity? 

1) a body in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state (like a planet) unless an external force acts on it (like smashing into a car that is also moving)

Something like that.

But here the motorcycle is accelerating and smashes into a car that is also moving, the two vehicles with different masses. The x factor is force.

2) Something about the relationship between mass (m) of an object and its acceleration (a) and force (F) 

F= ma  That's it. 

Here we have two of them with differing masses and differing accelerations and then I suppose force is the unknown being challenged. Why the man didn't fly in front of the car and be killed if the video were real is the question. Rule 1 would take affect, a summersault would affect forward momentum somewhat, don't you think? The difference in accelerations and the difference in masses upon impact, and then deceleration, braking of the car after the hit, are the vectors to be charted. Luck, skill, and agility, bodily protection, are variables not reliably chartable. 

3) Every reaction has equal and opposite reaction such as pool balls making it possible to position a ball in specific spot thus setting up the next shot. 

Those three things taken together make it possible for the video to be real by a long shot, referring to firearms or pool again (but not photography), long shots actually are sometimes successful. My long shots are not often successful but long shots using firearms and pool cues do sometimes occur, thus snipers and pool sharks, and in this case, circus act gymnastic agility. One can assume for every 100 or so times this motorcycle crash trick is tried, 99 or so fail catastrophically, and then on the other hand the whole world  sees  half a dozen or so Russian (or Belarus or whatever) automobile video cam recordings of a meteorite exploding in the atmosphere, and what are the chances of that being recorded before insurance scams made Russian car video camcorders as necessary as insurance coverage? Zero, that's what. So this could happen and it is not so easily automatically dismissed as faked. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hermit returns to society after living three decades in woods

"I don't think I'm going to fit in," he said in the story that will appear in the magazine's September issue. "It's too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia."

Obama: "ISIS speaks for no religion"

"Intelligence officials were poring over a video showing the beheading of an American journalist in Syria on Wednesday, urgently seeking confirmation of James Foley's fate as well as clues about the identity of his executioner."

"The graphic video shows Foley reciting threats against America before he is killed by an Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militant. The voice narrating the video speaks fluent English and the U.K.'s foreign secretary suggested he might be British — a troubling but not altogether surprising development. Western officials have been sounding alarm bells for months over the flood of foreign fighters taking up arms in Syria and Iraq."

“Looting Tourism”

"One looter who came out of a QuikTrip told The Washington Post that he was proud of what he was doing."

I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community,” DeAndre Smith told The Post. “St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.”
Meanwhile, in NYC...
Minnie Mouse and the Penguin from Batman huddled together, looking concerned. They were soon joined by Super Mario, Elmo, Hello Kitty and Goofy, who was carrying his big, plush head in his hands. After a few minutes of talking, they lined up in a row and began to clap and cheer: “Si se puede! Yes we can!”
“The city created a new Times Square for tourists, and when the tourists come, people come to do business here,” he said.

“Now that they’re here, the city doesn’t like them anymore. The city created a Disneyland here, and now they’re upset that it’s Disneyland.”

Papa Americano


"A Google Street View Car May Have Run Over A Dog In Chile"

"When your job is to drive a car down every street on the planet, taking photos to create a map of everything on earth, you're probably going to accidentally hit some animals who dart out in front of you."

a dog appears
and then disappears (blurred image)
re-appears hurt by the side of the road
"We (BI) asked Google for comment and we'll update this story if we hear back."


I promised to go back to 1958, but I'm skipping back to 1956 first. This video shows (I think) the transitory nature of rock and roll in 1956. What's there in 1956 certainly wasn't there in 1951 (or maybe it was -- in pieces, constituted differently). And it wasn't like this in 1964. The late 1950's rock and roll was a transitory phase -- on its way to someplace else. Oddly, I thought the same way about the SS Great Eastern, the most famous ship to have sails, paddle wheels and a screw propeller -- literally the past, present and future of ship propulsion. I subsequently thought the same way about evolutionary "missing links." Their existence is so fleeting and chimerical that it's no wonder there is no fossil record of them.
The video gives a great snapshot of the extant "lingo" in 1956.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Interrupt Ferguson Coverage For A Feel-Good Story

This kind of thing is why I love car people. 
In the spending orgy that Pebble Beach week has seemingly become, I witnessed something special last night that will probably get lost in all the talk of $38-million Ferrari GTOs.
There was a 1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon on offer at Gooding that carried a pre-auction estimate of $100,000-$125,000. For those of you not familiar with the '57 Caballero Estate, it's a pillarless hardtop station wagon—a rare car that stood atop the 1957 Buick lineup. Being a wagon fan, it was on my list to follow after checking it out at Thursday's preview.
As the car rolled up to the block, David Gooding introduced Jay Leno, whose Big Dog Garage restored the car at no cost to benefit The George W. Bush Military Service Initiative, which honors post 9-11 veterans and works to help them transition back to civilian life.
The Buick, signed by President Bush, sold for a staggering $300,000
Then something magical happened.
The new owner walked up to the stage—a highly unusual occurrence at an auction—and donated the car back to David Gooding. The auditorium erupted in a two-minute standing ovation.
With Leno still up there, the car was auctioned off a second time and sold to the original runner-up bidder for $280,000. Another standing ovation followed.
I blame Bush!

Erica Payne's monkeyshines

Weekly Standard,

Left wing activist Erica Payne, founder of Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface Paul Ryan's new book by replacing its cover jacket with one she designed for it. Apparently it is not enough to simply get your message out there, where dialogue fails you must shut down the voice of your opposition and  ridicule them in whatever mischievous manner your perverse little mind can concoct  by whatever funding and energy available to you. She falls back on the absurd "pushing grandma over a cliff" meme demonstrating again that she is flatly not listening, just talking over, now acting over, encouraging other to act over the rational voices that counter her antagonism.

That silly reindeer game is played by two or more, Little Sister.

Paul Ryan's actual book cover:

Erica Payne's bogus cover for Paul Ryan's book:

Ha ha ha, good one, Little Sister. That again. It worked so well on your dummkopfs before. We see that you're stuck. Keep it up, Little sister, you're going to be naughty stepped.

Thing is, you have a book too. A lot less imaginative, natch, so easy to mess with that hardly anybody will notice a difference. All that is needed is a home printer, a can of spray glue and a visit to the bargain bins, psssssst, stick, BLAM, new cover.

Ericka Payne's actual cover

Yuk. I do judge a book by its cover, and I can tell your book is a drag. Mine is better. This here is what you call satire. It looks so close to the original you can hardly make out a difference. Your satire is too obvious. Whereas one could honestly take this for the real cover. Not just another silly little girl act out. This took three whole minutes on account of your actual cover being so achingly unartistic. 

Bogus cover for Erica Payne's book. 

Erica designed a whole jacket, not just a glue-on defacement. See? There's Grandma again on the back, screaming in fake distress, and there's the cliff again on the inside fold. These silly things could become framable collector's items for complete FAIL. 

Ericka Payne's bogus jacket for Paul Ryan's book:

Bogus jacket for Erica Payne's book, some folding required:

WSJ: "What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras"

So it is in Rialto, Calif., where an entire police force is wearing so-called body-mounted cameras, no bigger than pagers, that record everything that transpires between officers and citizens. In the first year after the cameras' introduction, the use of force by officers declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88%.

What happens when police wear cameras isn't simply that tamper-proof recording devices provide an objective record of an encounter—though some of the reduction in complaints is apparently because of citizens declining to contest video evidence of their behavior—but a modification of the psychology of everyone involved. (read more)

Video: Liberals Shoot Guns For The First Time

Don Pardo RIP

"Don Pardo, the magisterial announcer of Saturday Night Live for nearly 40 years — the highlight of seven heard and hardly seen decades at NBC — has died. He was 96."

CNN: Caller says she has the officer's side of the Ferguson shooting (Update*)


"The officer who killed Brown says the teenager rushed at him full speed in the moments before the shooting, according to an account phoned in to a St. Louis radio station and confirmed by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation."
According to the version on KFTK, phoned in by a woman who identified herself as "Josie," the altercation on August 9 began after Officer Darren Wilson rolled down his window to tell Brown and a friend to stop walking in the street.

When Wilson tried to get out of his cruiser, Brown first tried to push the officer back into the car, then punched him in the face and grabbed for his gun before breaking free after the gun went off once, the caller said.

Wilson pursued Brown and his friend, ordering them to freeze, according to the account. When they turned around, Brown began taunting Wilson, saying he would not arrest them, then ran at the officer at full speed, the caller said.

Wilson then began shooting. The final shot was to Brown's forehead, and the teenager fell two or three feet in front of Wilson, said the caller, who identified herself as the officer's friend.

A source with detailed knowledge of the investigation later told CNN the caller's account is "accurate," in that it matches what Wilson has told investigators.
Update*: Local St. Louis sources said Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.” This comes from a source within the District Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.

stuck in baby chair

Drink responsibly.

IIRC, the tray on my brother's highchair slid forward.  Surely he can undo a screw, or just break it open. 

Also, I saw this before and now again on Twitter. It is an excellently smooth kind of dance as if the man's legs are made of rubber and as if the autonomic gyroscopic balance mechanism still functions partially to put the foot where it needs to be to stay upright, but lacks balance for the whole body to adjust to the new placement. Almost. Like something entirely elastic, with motor / balance malfunction. It is fascinating how well the man stays up for so long given his sensory/motor coordination is shot.

But I hated the way the video abruptly stops. So I removed a few frames, although each frame did show a change in movement, but I had to remove a few frames in order to turn video into gif so that it can be looped. Then added a few frames to to get him to stand up and return to where he begins. It is of a piece with Rosemary Lehmberg, He could be Travis County's new Asst. D.A, possibly head the Public Corruption Office. Perhaps head their Family Justice Division or set up a Children's Advocacy Center. 

It still fascinates me. The 12-pack of Dr Pepper is part of the balancing act. 

I keep reading alarm notices such as "he was tested with marijuana in his system," as so much reefer madness, but this is what alcohol does. I've never seen anyone high or stoned on marijuana do anything more outrageous than become paranoid about going out in public and having to interact with people, or driving exceedingly carefully as old people do, or become wearisomely philosophical, or conversely withdraw. And worst of all simply doze off to sleep, but nothing at all like this or how Rosemary Lehmberg behaved.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Extreme Tech: "By 2025, ‘sexbots will be commonplace’ "

"According to a new report that looks at how continuing improvements to artificial intelligence and robotics will impact society, “robotic sex partners will become commonplace” by 2025. A large portion of the report also focuses on how AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics will impact both blue- and white-collar workers, with about 50% of the polled experts stating that robots will displace more human jobs than they create by 2025."

The report, called “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs” and published by Pew Research, is a 66-page monster [PDF].
h/t David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog

WaPo: "West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis"

"As of last month, nearly 60 percent of the state is officially in an “exceptional” drought — the highest level, above “severe” — and meteorologists are seeing no immediate change in a relentlessly dry forecast. Indeed, scientists are warning that the state’s cyclical droughts could become longer and more frequent as the climate warms."
If that happens, the elaborate infrastructure built to deliver water to the state’s 38 million residents and 27 million cultivated acres may not survive the challenge, new research suggests. Already the drought has led to the “greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture,” said a study last month by researchers at the University of California at Davis.

For Sutton, whose family has farmed the region for three generations, any outing to church or the local store was apt to include an awkward exchange with a neighbor worried about what could happen if the drought lingers for a fourth year.

“It is unparalleled crisis, unlike anything we’ve experienced,” he said. “People are emotional. There’s a fear of losing farms that have been passed through families for generations.”
To the left of California, there is an ocean of water. Why is desalination not the answer?

Rosemary Lehmberg, Cîroc

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Truth or Lie?

Darren Wilson's Facebook Comment (Update*)

"CNN News Editor Ryan Sloane claims that CNN confirmed that this Facebook account is a fake and does not belong to the real officer Wilson. Sloan did not elaborate on how CNN confirmed this nor link to a story discussing the matter."
h/t Evi L. Bloggerlady

*Update 2........
It's CNN and they didn't elaborate with any facts.  Caveat Reader.


Hot August Night

My mom and all her friends had that album in the '70's and I grew up listening to it. My favorite is "Solitary Man" at around 12 mins.

I never got that pose on the's very Jim Morrison-esque. You don't you suppose Mr. Diamond was exaggerating something, do you? Perhaps we'll have to wait for the remastured version to come out.

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

"U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has asked for the Justice Department to arrange an autopsy on the body of Michael Brown by a federal medical examiner."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said in a news release on Sunday that Holder asked for the additional autopsy because of the "extraordinary circumstances involved in this case" and at the request of Brown's family.

The 18-year-old Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer on Aug. 9. Brown was black and unarmed. Officer Darren Wilson is white.
Withhold the video revealing the action of Michael Brown earlier that day, but, let's take another look at the body.
Fallon says the autopsy will take place as soon as possible.

He also said the Justice Department will still take the state's autopsy into account during the investigation.
Arrange, as opposed to... curate?

Casting Dispersions

Overread in a previous post:

"It appeared to cast dispersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw."

Of course the Governor meant "cast aspersions" and not "cast dispersions."  The words are related at their core as a simple analysis reveals:

aspersion (n.) Look up aspersion at
mid-15c., from Latin aspersionem (nominative aspersio) "a sprinkling," noun of action from past participle stem of aspergere "to sprinkle on," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + spargere "sprinkle, strew" (see sparse). Originally in theology, the shedding of Christ's blood. Modern sense of "a bespattering with slander" first attested 1590s. To cast aspersions was in Fielding (1749).


dispersion (n.) Look up dispersion at
late 14c., from Old French dispersion (13c.), from Latin dispersionem (nominative dispersio) "a scattering," noun of action from past participle stem of dispergere (see disperse).

Both crowd aspersion and crowd dispersion are happening in Ferguson. The latter got me interested in tear gas, it being chemical and all. From the Wiki:
Tear gas, formally known as a lachrymatory agent or lachrymator (from lacrima meaning "tear" in Latin), is a non-lethal chemical weapon that stimulates the corneal nerves in the eyes to cause tearspain, and even blindness. Common lachrymators include pepper spray (OC gas), CS gasCR gasCN gas (phenacyl chloride), nonivamidebromoacetonexylyl bromidesyn-propanethial-S-oxide (from onions), and Mace (a branded mixture).
Tear gas usage is long and storied -- most famously perhaps during the First World War (cf. xylyl bromide, by the Germans, a century ago). I note how many (but not all) contain a halogen -- but no halos are being generated around the heads of the police.  Some lacrymators are wholly synthetic in origin. I expect the human rights and lefties to begin a movement to extend the Geneva Convention to the trenches of American Civil Rights movements, banning tear gas except for the "Mr. Natural" ones -- especially the one derived from The Onion. Or least we'll see some trenchant warfare against their use.

Wait for it.

"Gunshots, tear gas, arrests amid Ferguson curfew"

"Seven people were arrested and one person was shot early Sunday as police and protesters clashed again in a haze of tear gas despite a curfew that took effect at midnight."

The curfew, put in place by Nixon, was designed to quell ongoing unrest in the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. Several days later, police identified officer Darren Wilson, 28, a 6-year department veteran, as the shooter.

They also released a surveillance video purporting to show Brown stealing from a convenience store and roughing up its clerk about 15 minutes before the confrontation with Wilson. 
"We were unaware they were going to release it, and we certainly were not happy with that being released," Nixon told ABC's This Week on Sunday. "It appeared to cast dispersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw. "

Canticle Of The Turning

Or a more secular version if you prefer.

Modern art. How do you hang this?

On a trip to Hawaii with a small group of friends, we kept encountering people we know back in Denver. In just a few days our roving group doubled, all with ideas of things to get up to. At one point we gathered at a rented high-rise suite some twenty floors up for a pre-dinner cocktail party. Upon entering the condominium the first thing one notices is a slapdash painting in blue tones and values. All heavy brushwork indicating stormy weather and roiled water and atmosphere with no clear subject such as a boat or building or lighthouse or fish. I said to the host, "This painting is hung upside down." He snapped, "No, it's not." I said, "I believe that it is." Now four or five of us stood in front of the painting and became involved in discussing the painting, its oddness, modern art in general, proper manners upon entering someone's home, who would know better about such things, owners, renters, or visitors, minding my own biz wax, keeping one's opinions to oneself, art being subjective and the like. At length as the discussion petered, the host admitted he turned the painting upside down to fake us out and to see if anybody could possibly notice, since the whole thing is blue and scribbly, then asked how did I notice and how did I  know. It depicts the blurring of ocean meeting sky in a storm and water is heavy. It's top heavy. A glance creates a tension that flips the weight to swing it around. That's how I know. And in this manner I won the admiration / aggravation / condemnation / awe of my peers, all my senior I must note, by being my usual irritating pedantic self.