Saturday, July 27, 2013

Salvador Dali Feeds the Llamas

To Begin: B3k1 is the same as Wordpress B3K. Long Story. Need Google to Join Lem's Circle and My name was Already Claimed. Makes Me Mad, Hornless Unicorns and Color-Blind Rainbows.. Anyway....

This Line Greets Us With Every Visit to This Fine Site:

"It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself." -- Salvador Dali"

Now, This Statement Rings a Phone in Me That I Answer, But the Voice on the Other End Keeps Melting My Watch: Just Look at the Time.

The Inevitable Digression: The Persistence of Memory. I Remember Seeing it in New York and Being Surprised at How Small it Was: 9.5 in × 13 in. I Had Imagined Something More Grandiose in Scale: Closer to Picasso's Guernica  (138 in x 307 in) than Something Akin to a Sheet of Typing Paper.

So: First Question. in Art, Does Size Matter at First Impression? Does the Scale Come into Play in Your Initial Assessment?  Note: Innuendo is Always Welcome.

Related: Did "War and Peace" Have to Be Precisely That Long? Wagner's Ring Cycle?
  • Old Yeller – 35,968 Words
  • The Great Gatsby – 47,094 Words
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy – 587,287 Words
From Amadeus:

"My dear young man, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect."

Second Question: What is Your Take on Lem's Salvador Dali Quote? Is There a Point Where Self-Awareness Becomes Paralyzing, or Is It All Enlightenment Cupcakes? How Do We Know When We Are Deceiving Ourselves With Too Many Notes?

To Quote Falco: Rock Me, Amadeus...

Open Thread

If I Learned From My Mistakes, I'd Be A Fucking Genius!

When This War Is Over (2006)

J.J. Cale, RIP

1: Turn the key as far as you can counter-clockwise (can be 3 full turns of the key)

2: While holding the tension of the key turn, PULL with the key hand (or assist with the knob)
If this doesn't work the lock may be mounted the opposite way, so turn the key as far as you can clockwise. The Knob does not turn, it is only for extra leverage for people too weak to pull the door open with the key. 

Seriously, just pull the door back with the knob (which doesn't turn, and is not supposed to) and then twist the key all the way to the right. Its probably just stuck. Don't panic, just pull it towards you with the knob.

Stuck in a Paris apartment and cannot work the inside locks on this door

Having Confessed

Having confessed he feels
That he should go down on his knees and pray
For forgiveness for his pride, for having
Dared to view his soul from the outside.
Lie at the heart of the emotion, time
Has its own work to do. We must not anticipate
Or awaken for a moment. God cannot catch us
Unless we stay in the unconscious room
Of our hearts. We must be nothing,
Nothing that God may make us something.
We must not touch the immortal material
We must not daydream to-morrow’s judgement–
God must be allowed to surprise us.
We have sinned, sinned like Lucifer
By this anticipation. Let us lie down again
Deep in anonymous humility and God
May find us worthy material for His hand.
~Patrick Kavanaugh

At the Shifting Sands Coffeehouse

Same place, different lines.

Ever Wonder Why?

A guest post by Dante.

Wonderful Freeman invited me to write up a math/computer science post, and so here it is. Math seems like common sense, and if you only think of it you can understand it. So here is a little puzzle you can think about to explain a common phenomenon: why is it that if you are in a shower, or on a treadmill, it's really hard to hear someone call out to you, even though they can hear you.

I have three (impulsive) boys, and as such I encountered this often. The answer is pretty simple, and with a couple of concepts, you can puzzle it out for yourself.

The first concept is Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). Here, voice is the signal, and noise is anything generating sound that isn't part of the signal (like the shower or treadmill). In general, to decipher a signal, it has to be stronger than the noise. How much stronger isn't too important for the concept part of it.

The next concept is that over distance, sound (noise or signal) decreases in strength.

With these two concepts, you can use common sense to figure out what is going on.

Can you do me a favor and comment on this post?

10 Psychology Tricks You Can Use To Influence People

Hello Sports Fans!

To get you in the mood, let me introduce this humorous video with a play-by-play of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, courtesy of our very own rhhardin:

I showed you that by way of introduction to those who haven't yet discovered the Sklarbro Country podcast series. The Sklar brothers first came to my notice when my son watched their ESPN show, Cheap Seats, which began in 2004. Here is just a portion of their performance history:
The Sklar brothers have also appeared in television shows such as Law & OrderBecker,ProvidenceThe Oblongs (as conjoined twin brothers Biff and Chip Oblong), EntourageGrey's Anatomy (as conjoined twin brothers Peter and Jake Weitzman), Curb Your Enthusiasm (Jason only), and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (as dance marathon DJs on the episode "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off"). The Sklars have appeared in the films My Baby's DaddyBubble BoyWild Hogs andThe Comeback.
Once, on a long car trip my son and I listened to several podcasts on the way to our destination. On the way back, he asked if I'd like to listen to some more. I declined, but when he said, 'I haven't listened to them yet because I thought we could listen to them together,' well, who could resist an invitation like that?

The 157 weekly podcasts are sectioned into an opening section of banter between the brothers, followed by chats with their two guests, consecutively, and finally, a well done spoof interview, for example, Bryant Gumble complaining of racism in the NFL. 

Please share your favorite podcasts with the rest of us.

Glenn Greenwald will testify before Congress

via video-link with American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute.

This testimony or hearing or whatever is organized by the same coalition that tried to pass an amendment to reign in the scope of NSA surveillance, and failed.

There have already been hearings about this. Mediate notes one the hearings Congress organized on the NSA programs last June was titled "How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries."

Another Congressional hearing was titled "How NSA Surveillance Lead to Healthier Gums and Brighter Teeth and Disclosure Advances Fowl Breath."

So they thought maybe we had just get our licks in.

It will be interesting to see what Glenn Grenwald says.

Josh Feldman Mediaite.

They were "responsible, legitimate academics

doing responsible, legitimate academic work" and their aim was to improve security for everyone

 A UK high court judge has ruled a British-based computer scientist cannot publish an academic paper that reveals secret codes used to start Porsches, Audis, Bentleys and Lamborghinis. 

The court imposed an injunction on Flavioi Garcia who discovered the algorithm that allows the car to identify the key. 

There is a photograph of the front of Bentley, the two B logo pieces, one upright the other flat on the bonnet with its reflection looks like birds and jets smashing into each other, it is a confusion of a photograph, actually. You identify it immediately but it still takes a moment to work it out. 

A Scottish writer, Canadian citizen, with a Cape Cod style cabin in Provincetown had a Bentley parked in front of his place, cottage I guess they call them, they're all sort of cute. The Bentley did not run. The cottage had a name in scrolled writing, "Mon Reve" my friend asked what that means and I said, "wipe your feet." They're small, low ceilings, central hallway with rooms on each side and the room in the center, divided by the hall into two,  to one side of the hall stood a bench in the shape of sheep covered with alpaca fur. A favorite spot for the cat, and every time I walked into that room and first glimpsed that sheep I thought a live animal made it inside. Every time. What a great piece of furniture, that gets you every time.

What does this have to do with the high court in England shutting that guy up? Nothing. 

Chris Christie, Rand Paul 'dangerous'

Hadas Gold for Politico

Here is Christie with governors in Aspen on YouTube

It is not a speech. He is speaking off the cuff with a group of men. Governor-types. Regular men and him. Chairs with plastic seats and metal tube legs, Christie is sitting on the end and it goes: 
bink bink bink bink boink.

Bobby Jindal
Pat McCrory
Scott Walker
Mike Pence
Chris Christie

He looks good. Real good. The others are wearing sport jackets without ties, he is jacket-less showing off his new shape that is smaller than the previous shape and now barely hangs over the regular chair. 

They should have better chairs. Come on, it's Aspen. Have you been there? I have better chairs than that in my dining room. Their chairs are a poor reflection on Aspen.

Glasses and pitchers of water on small glass tables by each seem to float in the air.

It is a confab. The audio is out of sync with lapses, extremely annoying to listen to, for its droning bullet point content as much as anything.  Don't bother to watch. 

They are reviewing what we already covered a dozen times, Christie is just being provocative  
"This strain of Libertarianism that's going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought."
He evokes 9-11 in his challenge (This site has "invokes")
“These esoteric intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have. The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put (mumble)
Are you referring to Rand Paul?
“You can name any number of people and he’s one of them. These esoteric, intellectual debates; I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.
The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put…” 

"the post had produced little

political reporting or analysis on international crime, drug smuggling and illegal migration or on prevention of terrorism”
Oh - by "the post" you mean the Ambassador - I thought you meant the Washington Post.

A comment on michellemalkin by PRISM-the NewSocialNetwork

Made in response to Malkins piece on Nicole Avant.

Appointed ambassador to Bahamas. Malkin describes her as leaving in disgrace, having done a disgraceful job while holding the post. She did not do her job. Did not show up. Did not check into the office. Worked from home. Traveled a lot. Nothing came of business there.

I don't know. What was expected? Reversing parties in my mind, I cannot get too worked up about it, the piece criticizes failing at that to become ACA promoter. Again, what was expected?

The piece criticizes pretty much everything about Nicole Avant, every aspect of her life, and reading it you think, man, all that? But so what. And then in all honesty are not  quite a lot of those positions reasonable payback for helping so hard getting a guy elected? If the country were geopolitically critical it would be different, but Bahamas sounds a bit like a vacation to begin with.

David Burge laughs

maniacally on Twitter at this, Contra Costa Times piece by Matthias Gafni

Won the rights to run to run a healthcare call center to help implement the Affordable Care Act whereupon politicians lauded the 200 new jobs it would bring to the area only to find to their disappointment  half the jobs are part-time and with no health care benefits. 

David Burge thinks that's funny.

People will calm down once they realize that part-time jobs open up time to take another part-time job and thus more broadly explore one's interests, perhaps take on two additional part-time jobs with the additional comfort of free or inexpensive healthcare, after all, that's right there in the title. Affordable. That's the whole point.

(Their post office, Concord, lost one of my favorite pop-up cards, a 4-pager )

Friday, July 26, 2013

Batemax3000 - dont look down

Forgiveness Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose.

Because Dylan Has All of the Thematic Bases Covered (see 1992's "Froggie Went a Courtin"), But Kristofferson Could Hit a Ground-Rule Double.

Already Derailed: in the Streisand 1976 Version of "A Star Is Born" the Hard-Drinkin' Hard-Rockin' Song Kristofferson Sings to Set His Hard-Drinkin' Hard-Rockin' Bona Fides -- Watch Closely Now -- was Not Written By Him, But Rather By Paul Williams.

Paul Williams:

Co-Writer of the Muppets Song "Rainbow Connection"

Played "Little Enos" in the Film "Smokey and the Bear." Called "Little" Most Likely Because He Was Short: Five-Foot-Two Short. The Seventies Were a Different Time.

That Said: 'Watch Closely Now; is a Darn Fine Song:

"You're comin' with me girl, I'm gonna show you how
When it's scary, don't look down"

Note: This is Not Directed at Darcy or Synova or Freeman Hunt. Mostly.

But Back to Forgiveness:

We All Like To Believe We Can Forgive, if the Circumstances are Right and the Stars Align, But the Topic Here is:

Is There Someone (or Something) That You Have Previously Forgiven That You Now Believe Was an Error of Judgment or Generosity? What Forgiveness Would You Take Back?


Open Thread

Open Safely

Bob Filner

Help a brother out, how do you get from there to here? By way of precautionary tale. Explain please.

Finn takes off his hat

Favorite cartoon presently. Adventure Time. What imaginations this crew has. I admire it.
The characters are excellent and touching and sweet and a bit hardcore.

I thought that was his head this whole time. Yesterday he took off his hat and turns out he has regular hair.

[finn removes hat] There is already an animated GIF of that on deviantart posted by GuitarGuy502. The anim is wonderfully expressive with hundreds of frames, 3.4MB, and that is too big and will not do. Similar frames removed and pauses provided to 453kb, a terrible price to pay, a sacrifice to art.

On Bypassing Government Internet Surveillance

Eben Moglen talks about free software that will enable the general public to bypass government surveillance. Also, here is a second video with a speech by Mr. Moglen, followed by a small round table discussion.

Help! Koch brothers sighted in Colorado

Apparently brain damaged Joan McCarter writing at Daily Kos and the bug up her ass about Koch and their millions, think that it is horrible for Conservatives to push  in a state that is trending blue, and that guns have aught to do with the recall efforts there. While dismissing Bloomberg's loathsome influence altogether. 

See that? It is a red state, but it is trending blue. 

They already turned District 1 with their aggressive exclusionary ways, taking up positions within state government and using those positions to attain state office. While an unsuspecting and trustful conservative population, doing their business, let them.  She acknowledges the state is red. And yet, in her sorry-ass world conservative influence is intolerable. 

You have to notice the Koch brothers really bug the living piss out of these people. They've taken hold in their imaginations and lodged there permanently pressing on the eye sockets. It's blinding.  I haven't heard anyone here mention Tim Gill as if his influence is nonexistent or doesn't amount to much worth mentioning. 

How colossally single-mindedly stupid she is in writing when she asserts they are trying to take over in Colorado as they did in Wisconsin. Don't let them. Then asks for $3.00 to each of the two Democrats who busted a move on Colorado citizen's 2nd Amendment protected right. The outrage the reason for the recalls. She leaves all that out. It does not exist in her narrow analysis. Just Koch, Koch-adoodle-doo. 

One of the recall targets said on t.v. , the tall dipshit in Colorado Springs, stuttering aggressively, "Not doing anything is not an option." 

That's a favorite phrase of hyperkinetic Nervous Nellies that falls flat as it is spoken. I wait for the interviewer to say, "Oh bullshit."

do as I say, and I'll do as I do, and while you are at it, shut up.

Michelle Malkin is laughing, like this, LOL, at Aisha Taylor who looks like this  who at one time said she wants to kick Michelle Malkin in the nuts and now tells conservatives to be civil.

the Vandals are back! Lincoln Memorial. Green Paint.

CNN via Legal Insurrection.

Crew is removing green paint spattered on the Lincoln Memorial. The portico is open to visitors but the statue is closed off while the crew continues to work.

Green paint all over the leg and robe.

passwords, Feds want 'em.

Declan McCullagh news.cnet

Feds tell web firms to turn over passwords.

Marks an escalation in Internet surveillance.

To log into accounts and peruse correspondence, even impersonate the user.

Plus encryption.

Said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. 
"We push back."
So there's hope!

Microsoft won't say.

Google declined to disclose

Yahoo would not say

Apple, Facebook AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Tie Warner Cable, and Comcast did not respond.

FBI declined to comment, politely, no doubt. 

Patriot Act used to demand database dumps.

The rest is codes, algorithms, costs, lengths of passwords, more costs, cracking codes, Sen Ron Wyden warns, "government authority limitless," law, legal issues, specific cases. 

Texas! Voter ID

The Tatler, pjmedia

This is all over the place. The article fingers Hofeller, an RNC consultant.

Holder badly wants to undo what the Supreme Court did in that hard Blue Öyster Cult Laaaaa lalala la sort of way.  And Tatler means badly.

* RNC spending donations to do what Holder is doing, say sources frustrated with race-based effort.
* Hofeller, RNC consultant misrepresenting importance of law struck down by Supreme Court.
* Republicans in Congress show more sense than RNC  
* RNC fundraising down

This is the true face of Anti-Althousia.

Here?  This place, Comments Home?  No, not hardly.

Here.  The execrable site Lawyers Guns and Money, a motley collective of "antizionist" (perfumed antisemitic) socialist academics with sloppy beer guts and ironic Expos hats.  One of the whitest, most male-dominated third-tier blogs in existence, all of the contributors are white men, who spend their time railing against the white male hegemony, to an almost-entirely white male audience of a few dozen commenters.  The commenters compete to see who can say "THIS." first in every thread.  It's a sad echo-chamber of lickspittles eager to polish the knob of the author of the post -- sort of the antithesis of TOP.

Actually, they don't spend all of their time on the hegemony:  They're also obsessed with Althouse.  They loathe her over there.

More after the jump.

The lies! The lies!

Michael Hirsh for nationaljournal
the Surveillance State
Jeffrey Smith, a former general counsel at the CIA, says, “Generally as the IT community matured in this country, a number of things happened. They all opened Washington offices … and they came to an understanding, after some initial arrogance, that they needed to deal with the government.” The companies also came to understand that, in a very real way, they were now part of the nation’s infrastructure, and they would need plenty of help from the government in securing it.
The tech companies appear to understand that by keeping the whole process of cooperation superserial, they have jeopardized their reputations, and possibly violated the law.  <---98% exact quote.

And this.
which has had unique access to NSA documents because of the personal relationship between its correspondent Glenn Greenwald and Snowden...

...said Microsoft “has collaborated closely with U.S. intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption.” The documents show, among other things, that Microsoft effectively helped the NSA bypass the company’s own security features so the agency would be better able to intercept Web chats on the new portal.

Oh, Lordy.

Neuroscientists plant false memories in the brain

MIT study also pinpoints where the brain stores memory traces, both false and authentic.
The phenomenon of false memory has been well-documented: In many court cases, defendants have been found guilty based on testimony from witnesses and victims who were sure of their recollections, but DNA evidence later overturned the conviction.
In a step toward understanding how these faulty memories arise, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can plant false memories in the brains of mice.
Swearing under oath, at some point, could be as easy as pie.

Morning Thoughts

Education is relational rather than programmatic.

Opened the spam folder this morning to scan for a commercial email I needed that might have landed there. Subject of email at the top: "Looking for a friend." Oh, must be a mom from one of the local listservs who is new to the area. I think this for the microsecond between seeing it and remembering that I am in the spam folder.

While I am not generally a credentialist, I did this morning, upon beginning a book about education, go directly to the author's bio in the back to assure myself that the writer probably wasn't a crackpot. Perhaps unfair. Perhaps not. Time is limited, and there are so many books in the world.

Sam Simon

Tammy Bruce twitters a link to hollywoodreporter

Sam Simon 'Simpsons' co-creator vows to bequeath his fortune.  Matt Groening says he is "brilliantly funny and mentally unbalanced" 

He has given away quite a lot already, and he has some very nice looking dogs in the accompanying photo.
I just wanted to have some days where I get to see animals walk in grass for the first time. Through PETA, we rescue animals in roadside zoos and circuses. They are some of the most abused animals in the country. Freeing those animals, that's something I'm not sure I would do if it weren't for the cancer.
Very nice interview overcoming the handicap of THR's achingly vapid interrogatives like: Do you get frustrated with bad things happening to good people? Like, why didn't someone else get this cancer?
One of the things about animal rights, which is not the only thing that I care about in this world, is that your money can bring success. I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week. I'm not sure you get that with a lot of disease charities. If you were donating to environmental causes for the past 20 years, do you think your money is doing anything? Because I don't, and I used to support some conservationist stuff -- Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund. They're treading water. 
He was doing so well and then,
Climate change is a big part of their problem. The environment has been destroyed, basically.
And it has been destroyed. Where there are too many people amassed together. That is why there should be planetary laws that prevent cities growing beyond, say, 1,000.000 citizens and after that they must go off and start new satellite cities, go elsewhere. In order to prevent that environmental damage. This advanced urban planning knowledge comes from prolonged studies conducted by the United Federation of Inhabited Planets.


Erin Ryan for Jezebel writes your guide to everything that is wrong with Huma and manages to avoid the central things wrong with Huma Abedin's situation, and her commenters there never do get past, "well maybe she just doesn't care  what he does," and "maybe they have an open relationship." That is as far as they go.

Weigel at Slate delivers the smackdown nicely, as tender kittens being put some knowledge.

Somebody get these two a couple of big juicy hamburgers with fries and stand there and watch them eat it. You know, there is thin, and sinewy, and skinny and gaunt, and scrawny, and bony, and such, and then there are those two. I bet if you looked in their refrigerator there would be one little cup of plain yogurt, and bottled water. 

If her name were Aubergine she'd be an eggplant. 

orcas are bitches

Always casting about in pods looking for trouble with malevolent porpoises in mind.

Daily Mail (my gang does not like this newspaper, but I kind of do), go there and see what happens if you dare.


Already looked that up. It does not mean acting on stage in front of gaslights. It's in words file.
a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception ...
Oh yeah, there was a movie about that.

Bryan Preston, pjmedia via Instapundit 

Obama's pernicious week
(pro tip:  press "view as single page" to pick up the dangling paragraph. Let me see if I'm right. Nope. Wrong. Nine more paragraphs.)

Preston says, "Worst Elizabeth Warren-esque riff ever to grate in a presidential address, here is Obama as history teacher.
And by the way, this isn’t a Democratic idea.  Republicans built a lot of stuff.  This is the Land of Lincoln.  Lincoln was all about building stuff — first Republican President.
Maybe president as George Carlin. 
It is a review of the things that annoy us . With additional seething at a comparison of Ho Chi Minh with American founders and Declaration of Independence with theirs of 1945.

The Classic Ambiguity

I took a grammar class in college (and aced it, natch) so I thought I'd share from my textbook. Pg 200…

"The absolute phrase (also known as the "nominative absolute") is a structure independent from the main sentence;(...) The absolute phrase introduces an idea related to the sentence as a whole, not to any one of it's parts:"

It goes on with examples... I'll skip those.

"Absolute phrases are of two kinds - with different purposes and different effects. (...) ...the first kind: the absolute that explains a cause or condition. (...) the absolute phrase could be rewritten as a "because, "when" or "since" clause:"

 The other type... "The absolute construction, on the other hand, leaves open the possibility for other reasons...." etc.,

"Perhaps the most famous absolute phrase is the one found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And, as we know, it is open to more than one interpretation:"

Ah hah! She had a point to this grammar nonsense, you say.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Egyptian eagle

Type "c" in the address and come directly here.

But type "com" and you can be taken any ol' where, like wikimedia commons main page where they feature a random photo of the day.

Innit purdy?

Does the Constitution Matter?

It went like this:

A pro-gun hot-head posting comments to a CNN article proclaimed that he’d taken an oath to uphold the Constitution long ago and had every intention of putting himself on the line to do so now. The “reasonable” not-against-the-second honest-trust-me commenter said:
What if the Constitution changes?
I answered:

 “I think that when a contract is altered that it's a new contract. The one you swore to uphold is the one you swore to uphold. If it's a different Constitution, you'd have to swear over again to the new Constitution.”

 Apparently this is absurd.

"Sex with all women as long as you want, as often as you want and the way you want.

Sex. Anal sex. Oral sex without a condom. Three-ways. Group sex. Gang bangs." The price: €70 during the day and €100 in the evening.
 Subtitle:  Why I'm not completely sold on libertarianism.  Some of this is quite hard to read.

According to the police, about 1,700 customers took advantage of the offer on the opening weekend. Buses arrived from far away and local newspapers reported that up to 700 men stood in line outside the brothel. Afterwards, customers wrote in Internet chat rooms about the supposedly unsatisfactory service, complaining that the women were no longer as fit for use after a few hours....
The going rate for oral sex and intercourse used to be €40 on Geestemünder Strasse. But when the nearby city of Dortmund closed its streetwalking area, more women came to Cologne, says Alia. "There are more and more women now, and they drop their prices so that they'll make something at all," she complains. Bulgarian and Romanian women sometimes charge less than €10, she says. "One woman here will even do it for a Big Mac."
Legalization of prostitution was pushed through by the Greens in Germany, and was trumpeted as a great leap forward for the rights of women.  The right to slobber on some pig's knob for a small hamburger slathered in thousand island dressing. 

Key Lime Pie

I recently followed this recipe for key lime pie and my family said it was the best one ever:


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
2 whole large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.

take note

I love this note with all of my heart.

I left an angry note once on a big ol' behemoth space hogger. It was unsatisfying.

Huffington post, stickman page, slideshow also on Huffo.

2016 isn't that far off.

Unless Hillary Clinton can lease the Obama Election Theft Machine for a few weeks in October 2016, the Republicans have a decent chance this time.  Too early?  Fuck you, I was looking at the upcoming hockey season the other day, and it's July.  Who ya got?  Let's look at the choices:
One finger, that's all I'd need for the likes of you, asshole.
 More after the jump:

praise on the amaze, Nikon 14-24 2.8

Among the reviews for this lens on Amazon a writer remarks if he were to have only one lens this lens

would be it, he loves it so much it is fairly well kept on his camera full time for all things. 

And that's a good review right there. 

Often reviewers of camera lenses go off on technical tangents that are not so helpful and other reviewers need to justify their purchase. 

I am just now beginning to feel comfortable with this heavy thing. I always did know what it can do but had no idea how to do it. 

One person marked it down because the flash messes up closeups then other reviewers jumped on him heaping on hurt for not knowing it is not for closeups and not for flash, those two things right there inform that he's way out of his league. snort

But I disagree with the closeup thing. I think I get very good closeups with this. It is one of its best things about it. And portraits too. It does do all that. 

But not onboard flash. Honestly. What was he thinking? 

Nikon says you get close as eight inches. I believe that figure is for a full frame camera that professionals use, the camera I have is 3/4 sensor for regular blokes, and that means I can get closer. I think. I think I can get closer because I veritably kiss the subject with it and have to watch it sometimes with things like bacon that spatter the large glass eyeball. That thing was a mess. (Micro-fiber t-shirts are perfect for that. The one that I'm wearing.)

It has periphery vision. It scoops things to the side and forces extreme perspective. A dining table disappears into the horizon of the room while detail of both side walls are collected and crammed in. A slight tilt, a step back, any minor changes  will force the perspective to shift dramatically, you must be constantly mindful of what is filling the frame. Or it will throw in the trash bin you had hoped to keep out of your lovely picture of the flowers, you must keep looking at the corners and see how they're filled. Then shift a fraction of an inch to correct things by feet or yards on the other end. 

Approach the subject straight on and you will have a fine picture with fine perspective.

Shoot from above and the far edges stretch out and pull away. There actually is more distance from the flat surface to the edges of the glass hemisphere lens, so when viewed flatly they appear more distant, they do seem to pull away as if by warp speed. And that is sooooooooo neat-o mosquito *squeal* 

Oh, I am going bit insane with this. I'm starting to sound like the self-absorbed photographer constantly talking to his subject even though it is inanimate and cannot hear nor understand me nor care, I still talk to it, reporting what I'm seeing, telling it how gorgeous it is and how well things are going and how it is a 


while constantly moving and catching my shots. I'll take a series of shots moving around the subject looking for light to creep around nicely, highlight texture, reflect surfaces, create shadows and so forth and by doing discovered I can tilt sideways, 


as it were, and with this lens force perspective so that the subject is pulled closer and the thing that was subject before pulls away like this. 

It's trippy when you're seeing it through the viewfinder. 

And that another thing, the screen in back is not useful for framing yet everyone who picks up my camera and tries it goes straight for that, only rarely when for some reason I cannot get my body behind it like when using a tripod. Things are a lot more clear in the viewfinder. Oh. It's because it's like a camera. Whereas the viewfinder really is through the lens. It says live, and yeah, sorta kinda, electronically live, yeah, but no, the viewfinder really is live. That is the whole point. To see exactly what the lens is seeing. 

This is crap use of this lens to be frank. It is meant for better things. Bill said I can go out any time I want to try to find birds in the bushes, dove nests in the trees, catch the turtles sunning, you have to sneak up on them, they jump off their log, there must be a hundred of them, and there goes your shot. They must have eggs too, no?  Or just wait there quietly having a sandwich and cocktail until they climb back.

The lens  allows you to get right down to the blades of grass and have that in there and pull in the whole pond and the sky if you want, or move closer and get the face of a turtle with his whole pond behind him. That is what this lens is for.  

Holder by his Side

AG Erich* H. Holder Jr. .... "to bring lawsuits or take other legal action to prevent states from implementing certain laws, including requirements to present certain kinds of identification in order to vote." 

For most of Obama’s administration people have been predicting Holder’s departure. Surely this disgrace or excess would do it, or that one, or the next. But it was always apparent that every action of Holder’s had either been cleared with Obama, had been done at Obama’s behest, or was already perfectly aligned with Obama’s own point of view.

Erich's way is law.

If Weiner had just a speck of the support Holder holds from the White House, there would be no talk of Weiner pulling out of the race for mayor of NYC.

Manic, the movie

From Ace's sidebar, bbc uk. This is maddening. 

Incidentally, [define: madding]

1. Acting madly; frenzied.
2 Maddening.

This is maddening but not madding. 

The film Manic is restricted to festival screenings and academic viewing. Not available for mainstream viewing. 

by government officials. So lets have a name then . How else to hurl insults?  Here are all the names in the piece

* director Frank Khalfoun  (says ban is an insult to intelligence of N.Z. adults)
*star Elijah Wood as serial killer Frank
*distributor Neil Foley
*programmer for festival Ant Timpson
***ding ding ding ***Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) [It] says potentially dangerous
*original version director William Lustig
*Observer's Philipp French  calls film unwelcome
*Hollywood Reporter Megan Lehmann  says sadistic art-house bloodbath
*Monster pIctures

All those individuals named but the reporter could not dig up the name on the bottom of document that issued the ban, there must be a person.  OFLC. That's what I hate about this. It is New Zealand, they have their own Madame Mao and she's ruthless and probably right and undoubtedly has good taste  but she has no name. Laaaaaa lala la la 

(I had to look up censoring to see which one to use in the label, I almost gave up and put control freaks) 

It's undoubtedly a terrible movie.

edutcher was wondering...

Through a few odd happenstances, I had to learn how to install a fluorescent light this summer. One of the common bits of advice always out there is never stop learning.

Anybody else learned something new the last few months?

More Math, Less Fighting #6

Many people seem interested in exploring math, real math, with kids. This is a nice, free PDF book with some great ideas.

These are not free, but they are excellent.

This is a brilliant elementary series for teaching math.  While it makes a great homeschool curriculum, it's fun enough that a kid who goes to public or private school might enjoy doing it in his free time.

For a kid who loves math, Why Pi? and Go Figure! are sure hits.

What are your favorite kid-friendly math books? Alternatively, what math-related idea or experience do you think a kid would particularly enjoy?

"The switch to the new 5.56 mm green bullet...

...the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round, or EPR, in 2010 has eliminated nearly two thousand tons of lead from the waste stream, according to the latest Picatinny figures."
 Density of copper:  8.96 grams per cubic centimeter.

Density of lead:  11.34 grams per cubic centimeter.

If you decrease the cross-sectional density of a bullet, and decrease mass, you'll lose range, because of decreased momentum.  If you keep the mass of the projectile the same by increasing length, you'll lose accuracy over long distances in real-world conditions (because a longer bullet will suffer more deflection from cross-winds, and isn't the right length for the turns-per-inch of rifle barrels made for conventional bullets).

And as an added plus (from the perspective of those who would like nothing better than to weaken the American military), solid copper is less lethal because it's harder and has less expansion.  (The Army  officers quoted in the linked article dance around this fact by calling it "better penetration.")  Hunters like copper bullets, because it leaves a smaller wound channel and doesn't ruin as much meat; and most hunters shoot from 150 yards and in.  They're right about one thing -- it will have "more consistent performance against soft targets" -- consistently bad performance.

In places like Afghanistan, where firefights were typically at distances of 400 or 800 yards, taking 100 yards off of that maximum effective range, adding a minute of arc to the size of the group, and reducing the destructive effect the projectile, will end up costing the lives of American soldiers and marines.

On the plus side, though, it will be great for the environment.  It's a wonder anyone can live in France, for example, with all of the lead that was expended there in two world wars.  It's basically a barren wasteland, populated only by mutants.

Commenter Material

A sport for a lifetime.

I post this not because of the obvious charm and natural internet value of a flying dog, but to inform people of something they might not appreciate about something I love and find amazing: the real face of the average hang glider pilot.  There are other guys and gals who fly with their dogs, their parakeets, maybe a falcon they found injured,or their teddy bear, but what struck me about this guy is how typical he looked as a hang glider pilot, and how he was not representative of the common misconception of us being young testosterone fueled daredevils.  There are, of course plenty of those, and they are the ones who tend to stretch the envelope of the sport, but most pilots are like this guy.  They are middle-aged guys trying to stay in shape and stay challenged, but mostly flying conservatively just enjoying a wonderful outdoor activity they can and do competently into their eighties.  I was well into my forties when I first started, and I know people both men and women who started in their 60s  Learning it was one of the most exciting and enjoyable periods in my life.  I could go on in detail with flying stories of adventure, fun and personal growth, and maybe I will in the future, but today I want to let people know it is also about leisurely floating above the world with a late afternoon sun peaking over the horizon above a skyline visible 100 miles away, followed by a gentle landing in the grass with friends, beer, and stories around a fire.  I hope it will inspire someone who mistakenly thinks they are old and beyond enjoying this or something else outdoors and active.   As a midlife crisis goes, it beats the hell out of a corvette.  Jump in - the sky is warm. 
(sorry I had gotten around to this)

CNN News Anchor Blooper - Humans hunted the dildo into extinction

(Thanks Rh)

Honeycomb sculptures

I want to take the animated gif down in the comments at Gizmodo, of Opra releasing the bees, but the thing is 2.9M, and that is unacceptable. I could not even reduce it in Photoshop, optimize it to make it worse, that did not work. It has 119 or so frames, mostly Opra hopping up and down. It's great. But way too big. Go there and see if you like, I think the thing is funny. Opra's audience prize is bees!

But the bees themselves featured in the article are not so good as I first thought. I realized,  "Hey! Oh bummer, the sculptures  are already in that shape. I thought the bees were doing it." That would have been something, but no, the bees are  just doing their natural thing. 

The artist, Libertíny,  coats a form with wax and the bees build on top of it. The sculptor provides the shape and encouragement to the bees. But the bees are just, eh, they are not so artistic as that. Oh, they're solid on hexagons alright, but that's it. Give 'em a little beer, a drop of acid,  and they're all over the place. Still. The effect is cool. The comments are as good, they take it as cue to toss out their bee-related  anims.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Infinite Triangles Open Thread

Comment Home is the commenters' stage. Perform.

The Name is George

George Carlin Talks About "Stuff"

How German sounds compared to other languages

A fair while ago, Mark Twain got it into his mind to study German. He wrote "The Awful German language" as his response to that experience.

Graffiti in Tübingen Castle
 A few years ago, as part of my degree, I had to was given the opportunity to study German. In a moment of mixing my study and affection for my wife I turned to her and told her I love her. In German.

 She looked startled, not knowing whether to cry or to throw something heavy at me.Was I being cruel or offensive when I uttered those words?

She had spent five years near Marseille in France, became pretty near fluent, and in French je t'aime draws another's heart closer, even if you don't know the language.

 So, for her, the grating sound of German offended her sensibilities. I was forbidden to say "I love you" in German ever again.

 Which has nothing to do with anything other than that's what came to mind when I saw this video comparing the sound of German with other languages.

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back...

...Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”

The Story Of Mann And Eade

The Story Of Mann and Eade


Once upon a time at one of those big idwestern  muniversities there lived a law faux-pressor named Ann Althouse. And she was the owner of a blabulous fog which was also called Althouse.
Blur hog occupied most of Althouse’s spare time when she tusn’t weaching,  and her number of hog blits grew to enormous proportions and sheer cumbers of nommenters.

Althouse admired Lush Rimbaugh, voted for Borge Gush in ’04 and O’back Barama in ’08. She detracted aily visitors by the thousands.

Now cog blo-mentors are special people who have little else to do in life but to tend their spime writing warky snit. Some write lunny fun whiners while others manage to have dear-ious sis-cussions.

One day, Althouse noticed a curtain saw-mentor who was maimed Need. Thus began what  seemed to be an con-line ourtship. Meade wrote cunny foments to her and otherwise congaged other  e-menters in beaningless manter. Why, Althouse even malled him carvelous. There was another commenter at the time called bissage whom she even walled cunderful. Anyways, one thing led to another and Mann and Eade lell in fuv and got engaged. Most of her commenters, especially the females, were hilled with fapiness over the news. Some of them fancied Meade as some kind of pransome hince, but others seemed to fake a tense and hounced off in a fluff.

Now when the rest of the bloggerati nerd the hues of the engagment they peefully glounced on it. One writer in the Too Nork Yimes announced:

“My rear deeders,  Miz Althouse is going to hairy mim.”

Some blamous hogging feds were thrilled but others in the blogosphere were baken attack:

“Does she really go this nigh?” wrote Kickey Maus, the slogger from Blate.  Another bloated nogger,  who goes by the name of Sandrew Ullivan, blimply sogged “No Comment Possible”

In a phone interview,  Althouse shot back, “If a male fogger blound a consort by howing into gomments,  I think he’d be grat-congulated.”

Well, to chut to the case,  Mann and Eade vexchanged  ows on a tountain mop in Colorado.  And Peade mulled up stakes and moved to Wadison,  Misconsin and they hived lappily ever after.

The End

 This goes with Chip's link to the Anchoress.   Melissa Harris Perry is getting it (and rightly so) from all directions.

UPDATE:  Forgot to mention... never make the mistake of using "tampon parody" as a search string on You Tube.   Just saying...

The Anchoress

What a splendid mind Elizabeth Scalia has, and beautiful too, through and through. It's frightening. She really lets the little girl have it, POW,  right in the kisser.  Beautifully.


Do you think it is easy pivoting so precisely? Do you? That there is skill. And he can do this all day long.

Cycling Tour

Taken for Granted

I'm a picky reader.  I'm a voracious reader as well, to be sure, but for the most part I have trouble getting into a lot of contemporary fiction.  It's not that I'm somehow especially refined, only liking critic approved texts. I find many of those pretty unreadable too.

Why?  Well, some books are written poorly.  Getting published is like becoming an actor, it's not always a sign of quality, but who you know or sheer, dogged persistence, or... Well, it's a mystery to many, but it remains that a lot of books are poorly written. That's distracting.

Some books are extremely well written but still the writing distracts because it becomes all about the writing itself.  That's where a lot of literary fiction lands, the story itself is almost unnecessary, a distraction from the clear main goal of noticing what a great author you're reading.  John Woo is like that as a director, always taking you out of the story in order to beat you over the head with auteurness.

Some books are well-written and have an engaging story, the kind of narrative that pulls you in early so that you want to discover what happens, so that you are led into the fictional lives of seemingly real people.

I'm only about 1/3 through Taken for Granted: A Novel by Leslyn Spinelli but already I know the book is of this latter kind. It's a great read and I'm not only saying this because the Spinelli name should be familiar to the commenters hereabouts.  It's a genuinely good read.

I don't say that about a lot of contemporary fiction.  I bought it after a few commenters noted its quality--and I'll admit to buying it tentatively.  They were right.

It's a legal thriller.  A bit of a John Grisham feel to it, in fact, with the legal elements giving details to a human drama, one that is set in the area in and around Madison, WI, and we can see the local eye all throughout.  The characters are unique enough while still remaining familiar and real.  There's mystery and there's a heightening tension.  Did the professor do it?  But why?  Was it a setup?  I don't know yet, but I'm eager to find out. 

Grooms blown away

Oh, I do like this a lot. Buzzfeed collects 24 shots of grooms blown away by the sight of their brides.