Saturday, March 21, 2015


Ray Davies writes in his book, "Americana":
It originated from a few evenings spent at Studio 54, where Bob Feiden and Michael Kleffner sometimes took me to see what, in their opinion, was "happening." I joked with them that I might write a disco song that could be played there. I understood some of the cultural origins of disco, but I really was not a fan of pure pop disco music. Yet it was in vogue at the time [1979] and I thought it would be fun to take a stab at it, more for my own amusement than anything else. Feiden and Kleffner had thrown down the challenge, so when I got back to England for our next recording session and rehearsals for the upcoming UK tour I wrote "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" with a disco beat straight out of Saturday Night Fever. The lyrical content, however, was different. The lyrics reflected the political situation in England. The "winter of discontent," the three-day week, the power strikes, the lorry strikes--everybody seemed to be on strike. I wrote this song about a world-weary person who was experiencing this unrest. The only light at the end of his tunnel was the fact that he imagined he could fly like Superman in an attempt to liberate himself.
So far so good. I kinda knew that already. What I didn't appreciate were the efforts of the other Kinks--drummer Mick Avory in particular. Davies continues:
Listening back to the recording I thought what a trouper Mick Avory had been to do take after take on the drums until he got it right. During the recording he obeyed my instructions slavishly while I bobbed around next to him in the studio indicating when to play louder and when to play softer, and to mark the beginnings of verses and choruses. Then halfway through the track I made a gesture that indicated that I wanted to break up the monotony. Mick slipped in a skipped a beat, almost like a jazz player, but fell right back into the rhythm so that the listener felt change but was unaware of what happened. Only a drummer from Mick's generation could have done that. There were two rock drummers in the world capable of doing it at that time--one was Mick and the other was Charlie Watts.* No one listening to the finished record would be aware of this subtlety except me and Mick, but to me, it validated the whole rhythm track--it showed that the backing track was not robotic but had a human element.
 *Mick Avory had auditioned for the Rolling Stones before Charlie Watts, and played at least one show with them.

"New Orleans airport machete suspect is dead"

"White was shot three times at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport during his horrific attack and was pronounced dead at 5:02 pm Saturday."
Authorities say the suspect in the brazen machete attack may have been planning to bomb the site as well.

Bystanders caught in the chaos said police quickly fired shots to subdue the alleged attacker, sending passengers fleeing and ducking for cover.

"Mostly everybody was getting down to the ground and trying to hide under chairs," Nicole Danjean told The Times-Picayune. Danjean, who had been traveling from New Orleans to Washington, D.C., said she was at her gate when she heard three or four gunshots, then heard someone yell, "Everybody get down!"

"Map: The strange things people Google in every state"

"What strange goods and services is your state researching on Google? Apparently California has been looking into the price of facelifts, tummy tucks, swimming pools and marriage licenses, while Oklahoma is curious about the cost of breast lifts, liposuction, gas and daycare, according to, a cost-estimating website."

"Fixr created the map below with Google Autocomplete, typing “How much does * cost in Sacramento, California?” into Google for each state or state capital, and then marking down the most commonly searched-for good or service."

 (enlarged Link)

You've Got Mail*

To: Camille Paglia
To: Camille Paglia
From: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Re: Our college Days
CC: Bill Clintion, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, NOW, Emily's List

Dear Cami,

I have been reading  your latest screed and I must say I am very disappointed. I see where you go after Bill again about that stupid tramp Monica. Get over it already. It is no big feminist issue.  I don't care if he used young girls to service him so I can concentrate on implanting my plans for world domination. Don't you remember all those times in college when we were in the steam room at Lucille Roberts talking about how we were going to topple the patriarchy and take over the world? I mean then you could put your finger on it. I mean you always put your finger on it.

Don't you remember the good times?

By the way I still have those pants. Huma wears them now. She loves to get into my pants.

Please be a dear and donate some of your vast riches to the Clinton foundation or at least use my Amazon portal to show your appreciation for my activities as a model for women. I think I deserve much more than obscure college professors who are drunk and disorderly even if they do write about you on their failing blogs.


*A guest post from Trooper York

"Fire extinguisher factory destroyed in massive blaze"

"A Chicago factory that makes chemicals for use in fire extinguishers was destroyed in a massive blaze Thursday night."
More than 150 firefighters responded to the scene and it took them nearly three hours to extinguish the fire. The crews had difficulty getting enough water to the building because of a lack of hydrants and had to perform an "inline operation," in which six trucks were spaced out over a mile and connected by hoses to pipe water, the Chicago Tribune reported.

High flames from the blaze could be spotted from miles away and thick black smoke choked a nearby highway.

Ramses II, seated

I admired the little statue of Ramses II for its detail even though it has an odd face that looks not Egyptian. It looks goofy. The face on the original statue really is like that and the space inside the hook really is filled like that, and there are no hieroglyphics on the side of the throne on the original either, itself an hieroglyphic symbol, nor on the back even though there usually are hieroglyphics there, come on, they are loathe to waste such perfectly good flat space to put bragg-y claims and long strings of royal epithets. So I bought it.

It does waste a lot of writing space that could have been used for bragging and for epithets like Diana Troi introducing her mother, Lwaxana, Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. The statue wastes space for all kind of formulaic stuff like that.

True as the replica is, the statue is missing a few things. I can see that right off. There are not nearly enough hieroglyphics but they are too tiny for me to read, it seems to be missing the names on the shoulders, and I know what the necklace looks like; one outer row of teardrop gems with five inner rows of parallel bar-shaped gems. I think. Maybe seven rows. A lot of rows. I have the little statue sitting right here in front of me like a paperweight in the semi dark, while having dinner,  appreciating its fidelity to the original in the Museo Egizio at Turin even though it is so small and I would really like to peer in closely to check how deeply true its authenticy-tah.

I'm using the camera to look closer at detail. I cannot see so well in IRL as this lens shows, it's better than a magnifying glass. This statue is excellent proportion and detail. I'm impressed. Very close to the original. But no cigar. There is only one row of these teardrop gems in the original and several rows of small long narrow bullet-type jewels, more as beads.

Too bad.

Here, this is the necklace on the original statue. You can enlarge the photograph of the statue onscreen to impressive detail by clicking it and looking closely at the necklace. In the original, the background around the gems is chiseled away leaving a very shallow bas relief. Ha, six rows of parallel beads. Whereas on the tiny replica the beads are stamped with a tool, like a leather-working tool would be tapped with a hammer.

The shoulder shows a mark, but it is not the appropriate cartouche. It needs to be this cartouche, as the original. It reads ah, m-n, n, m-r "Amun beloved," (the god) Re, M-s, s.

This is what we need to see on the shoulder:

Ramses beloved of Amun. This is his main name. The three fox skins stick out as belonging to members the Rameses dynasty. The rest you see everywhere but the three fox skins, for "mes" is fairly unique to Ramses pharaohs. When you see these fox skins, inside a cartouche you go, "Aha! A Ramses pharaoh." To specify which Ramses pharaoh precisely with no mistaking, another cartouche on the other shoulder will pinpoint him. The tiny replica statue does not have it.

User, I learned long ago, "Waser" and "Weset" the jackel-dog head on a stick is a deity that refers to the West, to the land of the dead. Maat, the goddess depicted seated and identified by the feather on her head stands for "balance," Re, of course, a circle. So far, "UserMaatRe" 

The circle is Re, the god again, but now a circle and not a seated deity of a falcon with this circle on its head and holding an ankh as the previous cartouche, that is an overly elaborate version of something that can be shown much more simply as this circle. Why did they go to all the trouble of chiseling all that when they could get by with a circle? 

They were paid by the month. 

They did it to line up the symbols by height. For aesthetics. This name can be and is written in different ways. The "Re" can be a circle and the final "S" can be another symbol drawn horizontally rather than vertically. Different versions are seen. It is an individual scribe's choice. 

The "re" symbol is in ligature with an adz on a block, the adz symbol stands for the triliteral sound S-T-P, easily remembered by the fuel additive. The zig-zag water symbol means the sound "n," so, "setep-en-Re," both together, "UserMaatRe SetepenRe" 

These are the two cartouches that should be on the shoulders of the replica as they are on the original in Turin. But they are not there. And to show that you do see "gold" everywhere, unabashedly plastered all over, just stuck in places as word-decoration, the symbols appear under each cartouche for Ramses II, in monumental form, and drawn as a seat more than as a necklace, and fairly well showing the names for Ramses II are seated on gold. 

Ugh. Okay, now I know. This would be a Dj-re ligature. It is clearly a tool stamp. Kind of wish I didn't see this. This explains everything else. The snake does not match either of two hieroglyphic snake types, not the horned asp, nor the longer desert snake that denotes "eternity" in royal offering formulas, otherwise a 'Dj' sound. 

* bowl with handle = "k" sound. Without a handle it would mean "lord" 
* eye = "ib" I believe it means "to make" 
* h-k-r, hookah, easy to remember because it is a shepherd's hook, "dominion," it is also the object the king is holding. He is holding an hieroglyphic symbol of dominion and power, as a shepherd. 
* h-k-r has a "q" in front of it. It is the side of a hill, a cutaway view of a hill, so then literally, "q+h-k-r" does not make sense in this context.
* Dj-re This ligature could be "given by re" it appears to be nonsense in this context.

This is the place on the skirt band where we need to see a royal cartouche and it's not here. Preferably with a "mes" symbol in it that will convince us on sight we reading "Ramses." 

But what do we have?  Sun and duck standing for "Re" and "son" It is a common "son of Re" ligature that precedes a royal cartouche, but there is no royal cartouche on the replica. 

Rope twisted into three loops is a hard "H" sound. The flag = N-T-R, meaning "God." So, H-god, it is meaningless. 

The next symbol is a necklace, it means N-B-U, for "gold" a very common symbol seen everywhere in tombs. Gold is extremely important to Egyptian royals. They thought about it constantly, all of them had gold fever and had it badly, and they wrote about it all the time and all over the place. They chiseled their affection for gold in stone. Bragged about how much of it they used. They show deities sitting on seats, and the seat is this symbol for gold, so the symbol is tucked inside pictures as if is not even a word and yet there it is yelling GOLD! 

It's easy to remember from Naboo planet in Star Wars. 

The last two symbols shown on the replica's skirt band is a feather, "eh"  and a lasso, "wah." It means nothing.

It is a weird little statue because of his goofy unEgyptian face and because he is wearing the khepresh, the war crown, the blue crown. It is always weird when a child wears a war crown. What are they trying to prove? 

And what is weird also today, we Egyptologist-types call the khepresh  "blue" war crown no matter what color it is. We know it is supposed to be blue, never mind our lying eyes are showing us the crown is red, we know the crown is supposed to be blue.

We tell ourselves the blue wore off. We convince ourselves there are faint vestiges of the original blue color.

Conclusion: The statue is splendid in its proportion and in detail to a point. The necklace is bogus, although still nicely detailed, and so are the hieroglyphics, bogus but still nicely detailed.. Too bad for these minor flaws. Otherwise it is a fine little statue, surprisingly true to original form.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A lion getting a CAT-scan

'What I dream is that for one election ...'

'every black person in America vote Republican' said ESPN host Stephen A. Smith.
“Black folks in America are telling one party, 'We don’t give a damn about you,’” Smith said. “They’re telling the other party, ‘You’ve got our vote.’ Therefore, you have labeled yourself ‘disenfranchised’ because one party knows they’ve got you under their thumb, the other party knows they’ll never get you and nobody comes to address your interest[s].”

Smith compared voting with “shopping around” to let store owners know they have to cater to you to win your business.

“We don’t do that with politics, and then we blame white America for our disenfranchisement," he said.
For the last couple of days a hashtag #GOPHatesPoorPeople has been trending. It begs the question why would the GOP love a vote that is constantly and blindly one sided?

"College Professor Bans Student From Class For His Views On Rape"

"The 19-year-old told BuzzFeed News that his professor, Pancho Savery, warned him repeatedly that his views made his classmates uncomfortable before he told him in a March 14 email that he was no longer welcome to participate in the “conference” section of his Humanities 110 lecture-seminar class."
“Please know that this was a difficult decision for me to make and one that I have never made before; nevertheless, in light of the serious stress you have caused your classmates, I feel that I have no other choice,” Savery wrote in the email, obtained by BuzzFeed News.

True, whose Facebook page says he studies “How to Annoy People” at Reed, takes pride in challenging his classmates’ opinions. (read the whole thing)
Via twitter


Via Imgur

But wait there is more... Not just a solar eclipse!

"Today sees THREE astronomical phenomena take place as the supermoon and spring equinox align"
While people in the UK were treated to an eclipse, other events took place

Today marks the spring equinox, when day and night is roughly equal

And it is also a supermoon, with the moon at its closest point to Earth

It is very rare for the three events to occur at the same time
Closer to our neck of the woods.... 36 Million Americans Under Some Type Of Winter Weather Advisory On First Day Of Spring.

Camille Paglia

Excuse me, Miss Paglia?
That's Pa(g)lia.
Did you order decaffeinated coffee, Miss Paglia?
Yes I did.
Oops what? 
Oops there goes my tip.

This video produced by Reason is trending all over my timeline tonight. Nick Gillespie gives us a great interview sticking with Paglia all the way through never letting Paglia wander too far afield and never showing annoyance with her unnecessary urgency that leads directly to stuttering and disjointed associations along her very strange speech pattern that jams emphasis on key words by doubling the volume on one of the word's syllables, and her insane speed. I know a guy with this same cadence and pattern except he is even more annoying because whereas his form of avid conversation is to challenge your every sentence so that conversation advances slowly if at all, continuously redirected down desultory unhelpful avenues, by contrast Paglia's avid conversation is to expand the idea, explain and expatiate by using her own history, splashing it in overlapping daubs crammed in rapid sequence.

To me Paglia is most interesting when talking about history and art history. Her perspective is interesting, in discussing what has become of academic humanities, she answers that canon is not determined by art critics sitting there analyzing art, the canon is determined by other artists. The canon is identified by who influenced the most artists over time. She draws an organization hierarchy chart in the air as she continues, "this is the story of art history, that I believe in, that has been discarded."

I like that.

I cannot find it now, one of the Twitter threads, commenters take issue with Paglia singling out Dianne Feinstein as the type of female leader who fits Paglia's model of female leader that Paglia had been waiting for decades. She is the only one. Some viewers stopped at that point because nothing that follows can balance that inanity and make the trouble of watching further worth the pain. Paglia is looking for character traits that she sees in Feinstein, strength, understanding, compassion. They run an early film clip of a young Feinstein responding to the San Francisco murders of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by another City Supervisor Dan White and you can see by the film how this demeanor by a woman right there in the next office at the time of the murder, at the time so grabbed  Paglia's interest. Paglia is making a comparative analysis of quality female leaders who confirm to Paglia's preconceived template, over time, then explaining how she got from where she was then, but because of recent events and because of how Feinstein exited so damagingly and with such partisan impetus and with bogus government report constructing, viewers were unable and unwilling to follow.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where I come from...

Lem's earlier post caused this.

C-span troll

Via link

"Men having vasectomy surgery so they can skip work and watch NCAA?"

"A growing number of men are planning vasectomy surgeries around the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, with the procedure’s recovery period ensuring they won’t miss one bounce of the ball on Thursday or Friday."
“It seemed like a great combination because you're supposed to be on the couch for a few days,” recent vasectomy patient Tony Brokens told Iowa’s Gazette newspaper.

“The first round of the NCAA tournament represents that perfect three or four days that you need for recovery after a vasectomy,” Dr. Brad Erickson, a urologist with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, told the Gazette. “We don't want them to be doing too much physical activity after surgery.”

"Obama: Maybe it's time for mandatory voting"

"The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too."
Asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it's time to make voting a requirement.

"Other countries have mandatory voting," Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics, and was asked about the issue during a town hall.
The idea conjures up a few questions. Like, what would be the penalty for not voting? and can Obama declare mandatory voting via his executive power?

"Why should I lose my job when the work still needs to be done?..."

"Why is the government doing this to me and my family?"
You've spent twenty plus years loyally working in Information Technology (IT) for Southern California Edison, and eighteen months ago your boss tells you that they are going to study outsourcing but not to worry, "your position is safe." On the one hand you are worried because you know many stories of American IT workers losing their jobs to outsourcing, but on the other you feel comforted that you've been loyal to SCE and provide a critical service. Then eight months ago they tell you that they are outsourcing most IT functions and that they want you, get this, to train your guest worker replacement. If you say no, SCE will terminate you with cause and you would lose not only a severance package but also eligibility for unemployment insurance. This is the common story I heard from many workers at SCE.

The work that the 400 SCE IT employees do isn't disappearing, instead it and their jobs are being taken over by foreign guest workers here on H-1B visas. Those guest workers are employed by the two leading India-based outsourcing firms, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys. (read more)

Suspicion lingers after arrest of suspects in Nemptsov murder

They've arrested five Chechen suspects and another suspect committed suicide, but Russian people still have their doubts about all this and still hold the Kremlin responsible.

Blaming a building, that's absurd.

Skeptics hold Putin either directly or indirectly responsible. 

Jack Caravelli at Free Beacon breaks it down further by considering two interpretations. One, Putin directly ordered the murder, and two, although responsible for the Russia that Putin brought into being, he did not actually order the murder nor want it. Hey! That is the same thing as saying directly or indirectly responsible, it's not breaking it down further at all, and I suddenly found myself #not caring.

I was scrolling the Free Beacon site and as this photo came up in the lower periphery it looked like three dogs. That is all. That is the extent of my caring. Shallow, I know. Sort the political murder over there in Russia, our American administration has its own ways of using government departments to murder its political opposition. 

The cat in the doll house

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Blaze quotes Azealia Banks

Link to the Blaze, where the quotes are said to be lifted from a Playboy interview with the rap star Azealia Banks.
“I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans… All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms… Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma — that’s really America.”

“As long as I have my money, I’m getting the f*** out of here and I’m gonna leave y’all to your own devices.”

“Black people need reparations for building this country, and we deserve way more f***ing credit and respect… When you rip a people from their land, from their customs, from their culture — there’s still a piece of me that knows I’m not supposed to be speaking English, I’m not supposed to be worshiping Jesus Christ…All this s**t is unnatural to me.”
Azealia Banks

Ask Reddit: "What "fake" thing that happens in movies pisses you off?"

Top answers...
Unemployed actors living in huge Manhattan lofts.

Hero always finds a parking spot right out front, too.

When someone is being chased by a car. Why the fuck do they ALWAYS continue running on a straight road?! You obviously cannot outrun a car.

When two people want to talk privately and they casually step like 5 feet away in the same room, like nobody else in the room wouldn't be able to hear them.
Please share your annoying movie "fake thing" recollections. 


I came across this video, via twitter, and was very impressed by what this guy had to say. Please, let us know what you think.

Link in case video display goes awry

It Wasn't Even Close: Bibi Netanyahu Stays as PM of Israel

"On CNN this morning, White House aide David Simas avoided congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli elections. Instead, he would only congratulate the Israeli people on having an election."

Via Weekly Standard. Link to Election Results.

brown beer, bitch

This idea came up a while ago after hearing an ad on t.v. featuring Rolling Stone's song Paint it Black. Believe it or not I hadn't heard the song before. Looking into it I cannot see how I managed to miss it. I know how, but it still seems impossible.

I want to get the files off the laptop.

I liked the song immediately. I thought it was new. How stupid. After discovering how wrong I was, how slow on the uptake, how far behind everybody else, now that I know what it is about, I checked to see what the kids did with the song in ASL, as my wont. The song has been covered several times.

This interpretation is the best. After watching a few times I concluded, these two interpreters were asked by a third party to participate due to their known skills and not by one of them particularly taken by the song. They too are seeing the lyrics printed for the first time. Somebody requested, "please sit down and show us how you would say this." And they kindly obliged.

I like this song for its strange and powerful visual imagery, perfect for this sort of thing. The singer is talking about a funeral. The singer's impression of a funeral and the affect the death has on the singer.

Two items at the beginning of the song are worth pointing out, and one of items serves as example that will support my 'brown beer, bitch' pitch.

If you care to, look at how each translator handles the phrases at the beginning,  "line of cars" and "dressed in their summer clothes."

Both male and female show how to say the word "black," an index finger pulled across both eyebrows as if drawing a thick unibrow. 

The sign for summer is similar, an index finger, sometimes curled, pulled across the forehead. The original version, I was taught several decades ago, flicks sweat off the finger after the forehead swipe, so, a two-motion sign, wipe, flick, but who does that? Flick sweat. The final flick is abandoned. 

Very similar signs. For black you MUST pull a line across the eyebrows, for summer you MUST pull across the forehead, it is the only difference between them. In the hands of some signers, there is no difference between them.

The male signer makes no distinction between "black" and "summer." Unfortunate. Both words appear in the same song. That is his one flaw right off the bat. He has the girls walking by wearing "black" dresses and not wearing  "summer" dresses and it makes a big difference in the visual imagery forming in a viewer's mind. (Although admittedly it makes no difference in a song about a funeral. It's just a notable incongruity within the song.) 

See, the cars and the dresses and the door really should have been black, but they weren't, so paint them. Black, to fit the mood the singer feels. That is what must be conveyed, and I am not seeing it. I am not seeing pictured in air the essential idea of the song. 

Worse, there are a lot of signs with this motion of a finger or a flat hand drawn across the face, under the chin, over the chin, across the lips, under the nose, across the nose, across the eyes, across the top of the head, all meaning different things, for "ugly," "dry," "forget," "because," "better" for example, I can show them all but it would be a long list of such animated gifs or short videos. The point here is there is a clear difference between "black" and "summer," that must be shown no matter how similar, they are still distinct.

The female interpreter is reading the lyrics "I see a line of cars and I want them painted black" and she signs "line of cars" eloquently as if she were speaking to a friend who knows her intimately and what she is on about, as if a single vehicle (unspecified) is drawing a line. She uses "vehicle" to draw a line on the table. It is a sweet way to abbreviate that phrase but it looks exactly like a single car is skidding on a flat slick surface and not like a row of individual parked cars lined up. She make a pun on "line."  Had she been given time to prepare, even time to read the lyrics first to see what is going on, then she could have drawn a more appropriate air-pictue, she would know the visual imagery of a line of cars is called for, parked there for a funeral. They should be painted black. The male does better with this conveying the visual imagery the song is conveying.

How are cars painted? 

With spray paint. That is different from the regular sign for paint. Look how slaphappy the sign for "paint" is. 

The best interpretation would be use the male's version of a row of cars, and spray paint the whole row in time with the music. However the cars are painted, with spray as they would be, or slapped on with a broad exterior house painting brush as sign convention has "paint"  we do need to see the whole row of cars parked in a line being painted. That is what the song is saying. The mood is black, the cars should be black. Neither of the translators does this. The female skips "painted" altogether, she just wants the cars black. She skips the whole idea of painting. If you do not see this flappy sign then you do not see something being painted, a red door, a row of cars, whatever, Unless, of course, you see spray paint. 

Another non-song example might be useful for describing the need to distinguish between similarities or be lost. The sign for "brown" is a "B" but so is the sign for "blue." The blue "B" is shaken comfortably at pectoral height, and the brown "B" is lifted to the cheek and drawn down. 

I have no idea why that is "brown." Sometimes you just have to accept convention. It is similar to the word for "beer" except beer does make sense, it is beer foam dribbling down the side of a beer-drinker's mouth. 

As if that happens.

The sign for brown starts up higher and slides down further, but that is up to how individuals sign them. There IS a difference between signs, but it is minor. In sign, brown and beer go together.

If the "B" is sort of chopped at the cheek, or chopped straight toward the lips then the word becomes "bitch."  Some people make no distinction between these three signs.

If the "B" hatchets the whole face then the word is "bastard." But the word for "bitch" has to start somewhere and be brought up to the face to begin, and the setup for "bitch" looks like the word for "bastard," in effect, out at large, there is no difference between them.

If the "B" originates from the lips (but it must be brought to the lips first!) then the word is  "be." Strangely, all of the "to be" verbs that are so essential in all other languages are nearly useless in this language because all this motion is already in a state of being. Being is inherent to movement. This sign is useful for people coming to ASL from English. We need the "to be" verbs, they do not. At any rate, the sign "be"  looks like bitch and bastard. 

Now, after all that, given similarities between signs, and given variances in personal style, how important it is that each individual make a distinction between them or else risk having none of it straight

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Birdscapes a Pop-Up Celebration of Bird Songs in Stereo Sound

By Miyoko Chu with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, pop-ups by people I hadn't heard of and you will not know.

This is my favorite pop-up book. My copy did not work and I fell in love with the setup of the book without sound, the whole idea is excellent. The pop-up scenes loaded with birds and the birds collected in the scenes are divided by type of ecologic area.

I am afraid these two videos below do not do the book justice. I almost made another one. They leave out what makes this book so impressive.

What these two videos do not show is the flap on each page contains a map of the birds, a photo of each bird that has been recorded. The individual bird photos overlap as the individual bird calls overlap. It sounds like a cacophony when each page is opened, the sound is actually a string of bird voices overlapping. You hear one bird clearly then another picks up while the first is still calling. The first call drops, there is only the second bird, briefly, then a third bird picks up and so on until all dozen or so birds on the page sing. The map shows by bird photos how the bird songs overlap and then what to look for within the pop up. Until you can identify who in the pop-up is calling. The pop-ups arranged by ecology, the recorded songs carefully sorted and arranged, the birds photos mapped to their calls, it is all very clever and exceedingly carefully well done.

The sound did not work on my copy. What a bummer.

I enjoyed the book anyway mightily impressed with each scene. I looked for the scenes that seemed to fit Colorado. Tundra sort of matched what I see here and so does the grasslands page, the worst page of all pages with only eight birds to match and not much to pop up, hardly any vegetation, mainly a fence, but it has a nest! With eggs! The other pages have up to a dozen birds. In the back of the book there are more words using forest ranger language explaining the characteristics of each ecological region. So it's all very educational and scientific with its bird-knowledge ornithology, it's geology, biology and ecology and its sound recordings and playback, so much that its science almost overtakes its art, but its science does not overtake its art, it contributes for a delicious double layer art/science educational entertaining book-cake that can be owned and eaten too.

* Sonoran Desert
* Pacific seabird colony
* Eastern deciduous forest
* Arctic tundra
* Cypress swamp
* Grasslands
* Pacific rainforest

No fair, Pacific gets two pages. But that's okay, Colorado got two pages too. Maybe even three with Sonoran Desert.

Then I bought 3 triple A batteries and changed them out with the batteries in the back of the book and BAM the whole book came alive with sound, a bit noisy actually, as you hear in these YouTube uploads, and I am in LOVE with this book for it being so outrageous. It is not so easy to sort the bird calls, they go quickly with no pauses, like I mentioned the calls overlap and some sound a bit similar, but it is excellent training.

It is the sort of book a person can become completely wrapped up in. Especially a child, I think. You know how children get with their "Read me the Big Mouth Frog, Daddy" over and over again. They'd have all these sounds memorized and be able to ID the birds based on their calls. They'd have fun matching photo to sound to bird in the pop-up.

Know what sound I did not hear and bird I did not see? Here's a hint.


I'll be buying this book for my younger brother's boys. I can see them pouring over it, all its details the way my older brother and I poured over a book about airplanes that identifies military aircraft by profile and by silhouette. That book did not pop up.

The demonstrator, so careful with gloves, races though turning pages before the calls finish. There is no time to take in anything, far less all of it in. The camera does not go bird to bird to bird to bird as they are calling. It doesn't even mention the map nor the information in back. It's all there but the demonstrator does not show it. Probably because they do not know it. All they show is a pop-up with sounds. It happens. You do get people with no appreciation for the treasure at hand. This is a terrible sales job. Look at the key frame showing, the swamp, you know the swamp to be water-level flat, yet the pond surface is stacked toward the back in layers. All that is pulled upward and backward by a large flat V upright mechanism with Cyprus trees photographed as background. It also drags upward with it a few forward trees that perform as theatrical scrim. Most of the scenes follow this basic construction.

This video is even shorter, but it does get in closer.

I am cross with these two people for giving this amazing book such short shrift. The book is much better than they are showing it. The book is not to be raced through like this. Now you get right back there and start over and this time show what the book is giving us. Show us why this is an important book.

How else can you justify $5.78 a page?

Lowest price presently, $36.44 (used) + $3.99 shipping = $40.43 / 7 pages = 5.775

Get back there and give us $5.78 a page worth. It's there when one appreciates what this book is doing. The book is showing who it is making all that racket out there. If nothing else the book shows what to aim for.

Should property rights shield openly naked man?

Police say naked man standing in doorway is not breaking law, neighbors fed up
People in the Cardinal Glen neighborhood in north Charlotte say the man has been doing this for nearly ten years and on Friday, they called police again.

"I was out rolling the trash can on Friday and I just happened to look over there and he was standing there buck naked," neighbor Pecolia Threatt said. "It's not good to have people walking around here naked like that a grown man like that with all these kids out here you know,"

“Because my daughter grew up in this neighborhood. Even this week, when she was home from spring break, she would call me at work and say 'Mom, I'm getting ready to go outside, but let me check if he's out there first'. That's how bad it is in the neighborhood,” another neighbor Adrienna Harris said.

Harris says she's called police numerous times over the last ten years to complain, but nothing has been done. (read more)

"DC Comics pull cover of Batgirl menaced by Joker after online protests"

"It was meant as a homage to 1988’s seminal Batman standalone story The Killing Joke, written by Alan Moore, in which the Joker attacked – and probably sexually assaulted or raped – Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, leaving her in a wheelchair."

Teresa Justino, writing on the female-centric comics website The Mary Sue, said: “It’s disturbing. And while it’s certainly drawn well, and it references a classic story from The Joker’s history, the fact is, it’s not what many of Batgirl readers of any gender want to see for one of DC’s few female heroes currently with her own title.”

However, a counter-movement sprang up, with others calling on DC to #SaveTheCover – among them American actor Adam Baldwin – and saying that pulling the cover would amount to censorship.

Happy St. Paddy's Day... all you Hibernians and those in hibernation. This one's for you:

I made that one as a retail display for a local store. It will be retired after today.

Please link all your favorite Irish tunes throughout the day.

"Al Gore: Punish climate-change deniers"

"For the third time in the last few years, Al Gore, founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project, spoke at the festival on Friday. Naturally, his interactive discussion focused on addressing the climate crisis. The former vice president focused on the need to “punish climate-change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting ‘accepted science,’” said the Chicago Tribune."

"Gore said forward-thinking investors are moving away from companies that invest in fossil fuels and towards companies investing in renewable energy. “We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore told the Chicago Tribune, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.” (read more)

Monday, March 16, 2015

BBC News: "BBC investigation into Jeremy Clarkson under way"

"Clarkson was suspended from Top Gear last week following an alleged altercation with producer Oisin Tymon."
Jeremy Clarkson
The row was said to have occurred because no hot food was laid on for the presenter following a day's filming in North Yorkshire.

Writing in his column in the Sun newspaper, Clarkson appeared to hint that he was close to quitting, calling himself a "dinosaur" and adding: "These big imposing creatures have no place in a world which has moved on."
View from our kitchen window

Trooper's Hillary Series: "You've got mail"

To: Ambassador Stevens
From: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Ambassador Stevens please don't be such a pussy. The demonstrations in Benghazi is really just a bunch of towel heads letting off steam. You are in no danger whatsoever. If anything happens you can be sure that the full power of the United States will be exerted to protect you and the embassy.

I have your back.

I mean what are they going to do? Storm the embassy and kill you or something? Get real.

I enclose an attachment to allow you to donate to the Clinton foundation. I am making up my lists for my Administration in 2016 and I have several open positions that you might be interested in the future. If this method does not work you then you can always use my Amazon Portal to order your holiday gifts. This is a great way for you to show your appreciation for my work as Secretary of State. These powder blue pant suits will not wear themselves you know.

Via Trooper York

"Durst will return to L.A. to face murder charge"

Eccentric real-estate heir Robert Durst waived extradition Monday in New Orleans and agreed to go to Los Angeles to face a murder charge, hours after an HBO documentary was aired in which he mumbled "What did I do? Kill them all, of course."
"There it is. You're caught," Durst is heard mumbling to himself, adding "What the hell did I do? Killed them all of course."

Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki told Good Morning America on Monday that his team didn't notice Durst's bathroom ramblings for two years because the recording had no video and "you're making a film."

"It took a while to really understand the impact of it," Jarecki said. "It was so chilling to hear it."
If you are following this bit of news, do you hear a confession or do you hear something else? People say all kinds of things all the time that sound like a confession. I don't know.


I heard somewhere, Twitter, some hole-in-the-wall run down backwater biker bar, there is a contest of some sort to caption this photo, but you now what? After reading all the fawning vapid celebrity-worship comments to the photo, one after another, here and there, the original posting and the twitterer who posed the challenge, I cannot think of anything amusing. And who would waste their time with such an absurd challenge anyway? Gawl. Don't these people have anything better to do?

I am against such idle captioning activities. Down with this sort of thing. The original is a particularly egregious photograph, look at it again to see for yourself it is taken at that precise angle that makes the president's ear look idiotic as if a malevolent puppet maker formed a carelessly cut leather cone and crammed into the side of the puppet's head for a cartoon character's ear that doesn't hear anything. And that's just mean. So I fixed that with Leo DiCaprio's face. That worked out rather nicely, don't you think?

But the whole time I was thinking, oh man, that guy has a Nikon. I bet it's a flagship full-frame. A camera that cannot take a bad picture. And now I'm back to being jealous of other people's cameras and the crap photos they manage with them. The cameraman for this photo did catch a precious moment by being ready, kudos, one that the president's shallow adorers can wet themselves over but he also caught his mockable monkey ear that remind all the rest of us we're living a parody of a satire.

Like this:

These are among the funniest scenes in the Princess Bride, actual satire. The actor depicts an official officially officiating while affecting a mockable debilitating speech impediment. That the man rose to high office of bishop or whatever is what makes it so funny. So absurd. The scenes are nothing without it. It implies corruption because you ask how the character got there. I noticed they've done this with Barry Kripke's character on the television show The Big Bang Theory. It's funny imagining the character delivering an important speech.

But that is comedy and this is life as we live it replete with it comic moments and even among people doing important things. It is humanizing. Imagine for a moment Bush II goofing around like this, as we cool guys do, but as president, and a photo like this is taken in such a way that shows Bush II's close resemblance to Alfred E. Newman to perfection, and the flash of white pain that stabs the spine of each of his detractors when they see it. The original photo, goofing around, goofy ears, the imagined photo goofing around goofy face. I tend to become disgusted when I think neither side deserves this doubling down on goofiness, I'l mention, not fair to everyone in between these two parties, unaffiliated, even all those people too uninterested to vote still do not deserve choices so open to parody. That is the satire of limited choice offered by two parties, the corruption of two controlling parties. There are much better people available in the United States than what these two parties offer. We can do much better than this. We deserve better than this, and one way or another we shall have it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Ides of March

Time for an Obama gesture caption game

The most high performance wheels in history

Where the difference between 'cast' and 'forged' metals is demonstrated.

I've seen this video a few places. It must be trending. Commenters are impressed with the forklift driver. I am too. One commenter remarked the forklift movements are all computerized and that makes sense, they show another guy in a control room, but that begs the question why have a driver at all. 

Toronto Public Health punked

"Bored? Attach a chute to your snow machine and drive it off a cliff"

From: Popular Mechanics via