Saturday, March 8, 2014

R&B Trip

Way back yonder, when I was completing High school in Jersey City, once, having started it in Massachusetts. I was bused, mornings, from Jersey City to a Vocational School in North Bergen and transported back to the Jersey City High School around noon.

The bus driver was a crusty old timer, of Italian heritage, or so I believe. He could have been Irish, he was definitely not German. Don't ask me how I know. I'm guessing.

The driver had installed a radio in the bus. These were the days when the boom box was peaking, just before the Sony Walkman. So it was either a student boom box, or, the astute bus driver's work around.

However, the good intentions of the bus driver, installing that radio at his own expense, it wasn't long before a strong disagreement, as to what type of station to play, threatened the peace and tranquility of the ride, which lasted about half an hour, one way.

So, the driver had the idea of dividing the listening pleasure, between two stations the students would agree upon. If the Urban R&B station played in the morning the Rock station played in the afternoon, and then the following week, the driver would switch the stations to Rock in the morning and R&B in the afternoon. The stations were PLJ and BLS (always imitated but never duplicated)

Here is a big R&B hit I remember listening to...


B-29 pop-up card

I guess I really wanted to use a transparent layer for the airplanes. 

The idea is for circular clouds to substitute for a transparent layer. Originally I planed three layers of clouds, the center layer to carry the planes, all that without obscuring the quilt work landscape too much. That did not work so well within the restrictions, 1/2 inch elevation too low for a layer of clouds, so 1" the lowest cloud level and that carries the six planes. With a minor level of clouds above the planes in areas already obscuring the landscape. 

But now circular like that looks like antiaircraft fire, and that's fine with me.

I want to try it again with different planes, or maybe with human forms like the Muse album cover. I like the idea. This falls short of my vision.

We artist-types talk like that, suggesting we visualize things better than we do. It looked better in my head. 

Psych. It was an experiment all along.

"Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald's for six months"

"John Cisna, a high school science teacher in Colo, Iowa, who gained national attention for his experiment, says he has lost 56 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and lost a total of 21 inches off his chest, waist and hips while dining only at the fast food emporium."
As enthusiastic as Cisna is about the results, even he’s incredulous about what he’s done. He documents his experience, which ends on March 15, in the new book, ”My McDonald's Diet.”

“It’s kind of scary to realize that in nine days, I’ll have spent half a year of my life eating nothing but McDonald’s,” ... read more 

John Cisna before and after
Via Instapundit who files is under "Health News". 

"Shall we talk a bit about movies that aren’t about Christ, but use blatant Christ imagery for effect?"

An excerpt from a conversation titled 'Jesus On Film'...

"Few things in cinema give me so severe a case of the eye-rolls as the use of the crucifixion pose to underline the importance and nobility of any sacrifice a character makes. I’m looking at you, Keanu Reeves at the end of The Matrix: Revolutions, Charlton Heston at the end of The Omega Man, and Sigourney Weaver at the end of Alien 3."

"I have no particular problem with films that equate a protagonist with the Messiah in relatively subtle ways, especially if they’re creative about it—that Marlon Brando Superman monologue, equating Jor-El with God sending his only son to Earth to save it, was a pretty brilliant way of drawing out the significance of two icons by combining them—but the crucifixion image itself always strikes me as laying it on too thick. Even in a sequence that otherwise works well, like Spider-Man’s dangerous self-sacrifice to save the lives of a train full of New Yorkers in Spider-Man 2, can easily overdo any parallels, at which point iconic misappropriation turns into pretension. Even people with no religious beliefs might admit that Spider-Man momentarily exhausting himself to stop a train isn’t exactly on a level with Jesus voluntarily dying to save the world from hell."

"Mostly, I just hate having the imagery thrown into my face. Fiction is full of characters who die for the greater good and then are resurrected, from Gandalf to E.T. to Spock to “American Jesus” Alex Murphy in RoboCop (as we discussed in the film’s Movie Of The Week Forum). But it’s always a more effective plot gambit if the writers don’t point out its religious DNA." read more

United Airlines to drop Cleveland hub

"United Airlines’ (UAL) decision to quit its Cleveland hub this spring—Hopkins International doesn’t rock, apparently—isn’t the first time a major city has lost its bragging rights as an airline base, and it won’t be the last.
Memphis and, to a lesser extent, Cincinnati, have both lost their hub status since Delta Air Lines (DAL) absorbed Northwest and rationalized its network, cutting financially underperforming flights. A similar story played out at Hopkins, a former Continental hub inherited in United’s 2010 merger that hasn’t been profitable for a decade, according to a recent memo (PDF) sent to Cleveland workers by United Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek.
A successful hub needs two main ingredients: a large metropolitan area and a dominant position by an airline. Think of Atlanta and Delta, or Houston and United. With the newly minted American Airlines (AAL) behemoth working on its own megamerger with US Airways, other lesser hub cities would be right to grow nervous.
American is run by a core group of executives from US Airways, which dropped Pittsburgh as a base after its long-ago merger with America West Airlines. Highest atop the proverbial wall of worry is Phoenix, a US Airways hub that finds itself at a geographic and competitive disadvantage within the airline’s new network. Geographically, it’s between Dallas/Fort Worth—American’s home airport, and one where it dominates both financially and operationally—and Los Angeles, a huge market that could, under American, become a true hub for the first time."

Bloomberg Businessweek
Has  anyone been affected by this type of airline change-up, for good or for ill?


Saturday morning sing along.

CNN: 'Michigan woman's auto-payments hid her death for six years'

"Neighbors didn't notice anything unusual. The woman traveled a lot, they said, and kept to herself. One of them mowed her grass to keep things looking tidy."
At some point, her bank account ran dry. The bills stopped being paid.

After its warnings went unanswered, the bank holding the mortgage foreclosed on the house, a common occurrence in a region hit hard by economic woes.

Still, nobody noticed what had happened inside the house. Nobody wondered out loud what had become of the owner.

Not until this week, when a worker sent by the bank to repair a hole in the roof made a grisly discovery.

The woman's mummified body was sitting in the back seat of her car, parked in the garage. The key was halfway in the ignition.
Skipping down to the good stuff all the way at the end...
Dr. Bernardino Pacris, the county deputy medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, told the Detroit Free Press that the woman's skin was still intact, but that the internal organs had decomposed.

Bouchard, the country sheriff, noted that her body was inside a closed vehicle inside a closed garage -- and, thus, not exposed to outside air or other factors that might contribute to decomposition.

Pacris told the newspaper that during the mummification process, skin develops a parchment-like consistency and leathery texture. Finding a body in such a condition is unusual, he said, but "once in a while, we see this."
If you disappeared, would anyone miss you?


Where the beat goes on.

Section 1

Here is a very famous and beautiful poem I thought we might explore together. Every week, or so, I'll put up a brief section, and I hope we can have a good discussion. Consider reading each section aloud, as it will help reveal the beauty of the poetry.


Let us go then, you and I, 
When the evening is spread out against the sky 
Like a patient etherized upon a table; 
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 
The muttering retreats 
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels 
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: 
Streets that follow like a tedious argument 
Of insidious intent 
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .                               10 
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" 
Let us go and make our visit. 

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

Elena Shumilova, photographer.

Russian mum, two small children, dog, cat, rabbits, ducks, Canon Rebel.
“I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is” 
I can. It is your subjects, come on, with subjects beautiful as this it not possible to go wrong, and it is your eye, and it is your lenses, and it is knowing your camera, and it is knowing the things that you love.

More at pulptastic.

Earlier today I was trying to place a memory but I could not. I did finally deduce the place, Ohio, by my age, this age, by the absence of a baby sister and by the relationship with my mother, changed after that, I'd be more on my own with her attention diverted. The memory had to do with a chicken coop, the only real live chicken coop I ever owned, my parents did, and I was too young to appreciate how ace that is but at least I got to live the dream for that one fleeting hour.
Come on. Put your hand in there and check to see if there's an egg.
The chicken may as well have been a pecking pterodactyl. I could not reach in there and feel for an egg far less grab one. It was all so beyond me. I was terrified of even going in the coop, a lean-to affair on the side of a larger barn. Mum did. Brave woman. She is amazing. Found one. Handed the egg to me and I held it as if it were a bomb. For about half a minute. All the way out of the coop then I handed it back and added to the other less dramatic eggs. It was a big deal. The dirt path, the scraggly plants around, the wooden threshold type board to step over, the relative darkness of the coop, the atmosphere inside.  It was a huge new thing to venture into where the chickens are, the edge of my known universe. The smell is unforgettable. Chicken coop poop. Seared in memory. It is a primal smell right up there with kneaded erasure.

Benedict Cumberbatch: “These are very complex questions and very difficult arguments to be very clear about, so to ask the questions is to stimulate the debate”

"In New York he was visiting his friend Zachary Quinto, who acted alongside him in “Star Trek,” seeing some movies, going to some museums and trying to keep a low profile. He is currently unattached, and is gearing up for his next batch of work. One question that has excited “Star Trek” fans is whether his character, who all but stole the last film, will appear in the next one. There is certainly that possibility: He ended the film frozen in a pod and stored away in space.* (“That was a stupid thing to do,” Cumberbatch said, referring to Starfleet Command. “They should have just blown me up.”) He pulled a cap over his head and prepared again to withstand the public. He says he has a way of negotiating big-city crowds: “If you pick a point far behind them they perceive you as not seeing them, and you’re the obstacle they have to get around.” For a moment, he sounded positively Sherlockian. “There is a way of just shadowing through,” he continued. “The higher the walls, the more dark the windows, the bigger the sunglasses — the more people are going to look. The greatest disguise is learning how to be invisible in plain sight.”

The last paragraph of a NYT Magazine Men's Fashion section article on actor Benedict Cumberbatch titled The Case of the Accidental Superstar (*spoiler)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughn Sound Check

Stevie Ray Vaughn's sound check is better than more than a few concerts I've been to.  In this video Vaughn checks and tunes all the guitars he'll use in performing later that night.

Dude could play.


The irrepressible Steve Marriott had the ACA figured out decades ago on this version of Ray Charles' 1966 R & B hit. His Cockney accent is priceless. Click on his tag for a bit more.

A young Peter Frampton played lead guitar and can be heard singing the chorus.

Guest Post: A great evening at the Laugh Factory

A couple weeks ago some friends and I went to the Laugh Factory in Vegas. The comedians were Chris Farley's brother, a guy formerly on Saturday Night Live, and Pauly Shore's Dad. We sat right at the front with our feet against the stage. All the acts made me laugh like hell till my cheeks were chapped from the tears. Mr. Shore is in his mid-80s, looks exactly like an old Pauly Shore, was very sharp, articulate, and funny, but he also made a remark that was not intended to be humorous at all, was completely out of left field, and kind of ruined his act for me even though I had been enjoying it. He brought up Obama just long enough to call everyone who didn't like him "old fat White racists", and in a very serious way.

Now, despite the fact that these live shows tend to get pretty racy, irreverent, and uncensored, nobody else for two hours of jokes had to say something that stupid, racist and offensive. If not for that one stupid and totally unfunny (nobody laughed at it) line the show would have been a perfect night that everyone enjoyed. Why do some people need to express their bigotry so publicly in the middle of a good time? Still, it was a great evening.

Commenter Bagoh20

Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

I Don't Need No Doctor

Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of Rahm) and Bill O'Reilly go at it in this contentious clip. They both have good points, and they both overstate their points, but healthcare is evolving, and some of it is devolving away from physicians.


El Niño may return this year

"Government forecasters issued an alert Thursday saying there’s a 50 percent chance that warming El Niño conditions will develop during the summer or autumn — potentially bringing rain to drought-stricken California and the South, as well as fewer hurricanes along the East Coast and higher temperatures across the globe.
The last El Niño watch was in 2012, although it fizzled out unexpectedly, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But when the weather phenomenon struck in 1997-98, it was blamed for all sorts of calamities, from devastating floods in South America to droughts in Southeast Asia.
The El Niño cycle can take up to seven years to develop as weak trade winds allow warmer water from the Pacific to move east as part of a climate event that usually sticks around nine months to a year."

Irena Sendler

Yesterday's news that Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize stands as a reminder of how flawed and politically correct the Nobel selection process has become in recent years.  Consider the 2007 Peace Prize.

Irena Sendler and Albert Gore, Jr. were nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  The Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Gore, based largely on Gore having written the book An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, in which Gore claimed that human-caused global warming is a settled scientific fact.   Gore's book was later seen as bunk, with more than 30,000 scientists signing a petition that flatly denied the claims made in Gore's book.

You may not have heard of Irena Sendler.  Her name has not become a household word.  She didn't write a book, or run for elected office.  Yet her Nobel nomination was jointly submitted by the President of Poland and the Prime Minister of Israel.
What did Irena Sendler do that merited a Nobel Peace Prize nomination?  She didn't write a book of climatological fiction; she merely smuggled 2,500 children out of the Warsaw ghetto, saving them from being sent to their deaths in Nazi camps.

‘Knockout Game’ Claims Another Victim

(CBSNewYork) – "Kyle Rogers woke up in an ambulance Sunday morning, completely unaware of the random attack that put him there."
The 23-year-old man and his parents then investigated, eventually tracking down surveillance video showing a man running up to Rogers and sucker-punching him before walking off.

Rogers, who broke his jaw and suffered facial lacerations, told CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider he’s positive he was a victim of a “knockout game” attack.

The attack had locals talking Thursday.

“It’s the middle of the city, there are crazy people running around everywhere, and when you’re walking around late at night, you just have to keep your head on a swivel and keep an eye on your surroundings,” said Jeff Wolinsky, of Sunnyside, Queens. read more
Click read more for video


Where a window opens when a door closes.

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

A gap is the design for memorial for Breivik victims

Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg says the Memory Wound reproduces the physical experience of taking away reflecting the abrupt and permanent loss.

Rubble taken from this slice to be used to form part of another memorial in Oslo where Breivik detonated a bomb.

The design of this project strikes me as hauntingly beautiful and thoughtful while so much of this story strikes me as odd, so very odd, like it's happening is some strange alien place, some foreign country or something. Breivik was sentenced to 21 years for killing 77 people. Gauche as it is calculating 1 year for each 3.6 children killed, still wouldn't life until he's dead dead dead be a minimum amount considered? How is it justice the man still lives and breathes? What sanctimony is served by that? Secondly, isn't it odd turning a site of national horror into a tourist attraction? Exquisite apart from those two things.


Common misconceptions

The derisive multipurpose phrase does not originate from "pluck yew," but I wish it did. Ping. Ouch. That stinging penetration stuck. 

Predominately American misconceptions wikipedia page.

My misconception was I thought long bows were longer than that. This looks like a regular bow to me, not a long bow. But if he says so, fine. 

I read in a book, a novel so made up, the Huns developed laminated composite bows that fused a layer of sinew on one side and a layer of horn on the other, one material resists stretching the other resists compression but I do recall which does which seems to me they both resist both but that's what the book said. Wait. Horn at the handle, sinew on the ends, stretching of sinew plus compression of horn stores more energy than wood. That means you had to have stronger arms to pull it, and do that on horseback. Pluck yew.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FoxNews: "'Upskirt' ban passed by Massachusetts legislature after controversial ruling"

"Massachusetts lawmakers approved a bill Thursday to ban those who secretly take 'upskirt' photographs of women or children in public."
The bill comes one day after the state Supreme Court ruled that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of female passengers riding the Boston subway didn't violate state law, because the women were clothed.

"It is sexual harassment. It's an assault on another person whether it's a child or an adult," Senate President Therese Murray said moments after the Senate unanimously approved the bill. "Woman and children should be able to go to public places without feeling that they are not protected by the law." read more
The problem with these cell phones is that they can shoot for as long as the memory drive and battery capacity will last. Cellphone companies are hard at work right now expanding the duration juice of a battery charge. Why does anybody need a cellphone that can shoot thousands of photographs on a single charge? Cellphone magazines don't need to be so... long lasting.

Cellphone camera control. The next picture you don't take, maybe your own... or something.


I'm surprised that no one big has covered this Dylan song. But it is from "that" 1979 album. Mark Knopfler plays guitar on it. They toured together a year or so ago when I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl.

Bob Dylan - Precious Angel by butterflyah

Zero Hedge: "Vladimir Putin Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize"

"It would appear the Norwegian Nobel Institute is starting to lose it. Just a few years after President Obama won the Peace Prize (while mired in overseas wars), the director of the prestigious entity announced today that Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused of invading Ukraine - suspiciously un-peaceful action - has been nominated for the Peace Prize. Putin joins NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai as a nominee for the award to be announced in October." read more

I thought this was some kind of early April fools. It is not. It appears to be very real.

Density Matters

Great Lakes flooding hazard because of excess ice and snow


This is related to why frozen soda cans expand and sometimes burst and also why ice floats.

Random Man Posed As Chef, Cooked On TV Morning Shows

Talk about a prank. According to Deadspin, during the holiday season chef Keith Guerke went on five network morning shows in Wisconsin and Illinois to promote his new cookbook and show viewers at home recipes for leftovers. The only problem: chef Keith Guerke doesn't actually exist and he purposely made morning show hosts eat some seriously disgusting concoctions.
Apparently no one properly vetted Guerke, whose real name is Nick Prueher, because he successfully pranked five network television shows. Prueher's seemingly inedible creations included a ham, pie, and gravy smoothie, as well as a mashed potato ice cream cone with corn sprinkles. The brave hosts fearlessly dug in after Guerke "cooked" for them and not one of them seemed the wiser. The food used for all of the segments was day-old KFC.

"Chef" Guerke appeared on one of the television stations near where I live.  That station's morning show team is not known for being particularly astute.  Here's the video.

Hilarious. And they fell for it!

Scientific American: "Equations Are Art inside a Mathematician’s Brain"

"When mathematicians describe equations as beautiful, they are not lying. Brain scans show that their minds respond to beautiful equations in the same way other people respond to great paintings or masterful music. The finding could bring neuroscientists closer to understanding the neural basis of beauty, a concept that is surprisingly hard to define."
In the study, researchers led by Semir Zeki of University College London asked 16 mathematicians to rate 60 equations on a scale ranging from "ugly" to "beautiful." Two weeks later, the mathematicians viewed the same equations and rated them again while lying inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The scientists found that the more beautiful an equation was to the mathematician, the more activity his or her brain showed in an area called the A1 field of the medial orbitofrontal cortex.
Skipping down to the last three paragraphs...
The study found, for example, that the beauty of equations is not entirely subjective. Most of the mathematicians agreed on which equations were beautiful and which were ugly, with Euler's identity, 1+eiπ=0, consistently rated the most attractive equation in the lot. "Here are these three fundamental numbers, e, pi and i," Adams says, "all defined independently and all critically important in their own way, and suddenly you have this relationship between them encompassed in this equation that has a grand total of seven symbols in it? It is dumbfounding."

On the bottom of the heap, mathematicians consistently rated Srinivasa Ramanujan's infinite series for 1/π most ugly.

"It doesn't sing," Adams says. "I look at it, and I don't learn anything new about pi. And those numbers, 26,390? 9801? As far as I am concerned, you could switch in other numbers, and I couldn't tell the difference."
Scientific American

Meet Lammily

Barbie and Lammily

"Lammily is the forthcoming plastic doll whose motto is, "Average is beautiful." Her body shape is based on averages of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that is more often used to track the American obesity epidemic. She is not affiliated with Mattel's Barbie.

Last year, graphic designer Nickolay Lamm created some concept images of the "Normal Barbie" that became very popular around the Internet. (If you didn't see them, one is to the right.) Today Lamm is launching a project to put the design into production and make the dolls a reality. It's crowd-sourced, it "promotes realistic standards of beauty," and it can be under your holiday tree by late 2014 if enough people support the project.

Pictures at the link.


What do you think of her? Is it important that your daughters and granddaughters play with fashion dolls that are  proportionally correct as compared to Barbie dolls?

The Danger of Earbuds - A True Story

Earbuds.  Insidious devices that let one shut out all other sound and hear only what comes down those tiny, tiny wires and into one's outer ears.  Earbuds block other voices, other sounds.  The wearer can be magically transported into a private reality of music; a reality not shared with other people nearby.  Or farby, for that matter. 

Case in point: moi yesterday at the health club.   I'm happily logging miles on the treadmill, getting ready for warm weather outdoor activities that take some endurance.  Making my heart and lungs stronger.  Making the blood just whoosh through arteries and veins and capillaries and organs and such.   The treadmill area is on a balcony overlooking the weights and machines and mats and bosu balls and foam rollers and such in a big area below.

It's 10:30 AM, the time when the club is populated with fitness moms.  Moms who can afford not to work, who drop their kids at the daycare room then work out work out work out until noon, when they all disappear.  Moms with muscular arms and shoulders and abs and legs.  Moms with not-a-hint of excess fatty tissues on their frames.   Some are near me, on the treadmills or the ellipticals or stair climbers or the bicycles that go nowhere fast.  it's a pleasant environment for exercising my peripheral vision, while not looking or staring. Okay, well, glancing maybe, but only once.  Or twice.

 Run run run pant pant pant.  Then this comes down my earbuds.

Stevie Nicks singing a favorite from long ago.  Singing in a tempo that perfectly matched my running tempo and mood.  Perfectly.  I start humming, thinking to myself stan ding in a line... doing a quick foot shuffle in time to Mick Fleetwood's drumming.

Then singing stand back stand back.....stan ding in a na na nah nah nah.. 

I AM Stevie Nicks, shaking my head, pretending I have hair. But I need a little sympathy!

So I walked, walked out of man did not fall when he asked me....  Waving my arms, fist clenched like I'd just won a gold medal.  Thumping my feet onto the treadmill in perfect time to music only I could hear.  If I had had silk scarves with me, I swear, I would have twirled.

'Sall right!  'Sall right!  Then the music stopped.  I hopped my feet to the side of the treadmill so I could fish the iPod out of my shirt pocket and hit replay.  Great song, man.  Then I noticed that people - fitness moms - were looking at me.  Looking askance, then averting their eyes.  Ah, shit.  It dawned on my that I had become that guy at the club who sings on the treadmill.

They all looked away.  I pretended nothing had happened, toweled off, turned off the treadmill, took a slug of Gatorade out of my bottle, and casually walked away.  No one seemed to have noticed.  But the last woman on the last treadmill in line whispered "Dude!" as I walked past.

Maybe I'll skip the earbuds at the club this morning.

Politico: "Crimea lawmakers schedule vote on joining Russia"

"Lawmakers in the embattled Crimean region of Ukraine decided Thursday to hold a referendum March 16 on whether Crimea should become part of Russia, a move likely to further ratchet up tensions."
"This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev," Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the local Crimean legislature, said. "We will decide our future ourselves."

The parliament in Crimea, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78 with eight abstentions in favor of holding the referendum. Local voters will also be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.

There was no immediate response from the Ukrainian central government to the vote...

A U.N. special envoy sent to Crimea came under threat from armed men who forced him to leave the region.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe...


Where we use our inside voice.

Ballerina in Red by Degas

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;   
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:   
The shapes a bright container can contain!

CBS On the Road

Ohio  boy, 8-year old Miles Echard finds $20.00 bill in restaurant parking lot, plans immediately formulate automatically, a world of possibilities opens in an instant, video game! His immediate plan changes immediately, touching story evolves. 

And so the life pattern is set early for Miles and an early lesson learned, money is like water, Miles, easy come, easy go, right though your little fingers, they cannot hold onto it. 

Unless you try super hard and deny all impulses to part with it, and prevail with everything pulling against it. You must be a true miser to do all that  and who wants to do that? Some do. Saving must be the main thing, the overriding urge for years on end, and there must be enough money around to do that or else urgencies take it away.

The great part of that pattern is easy come.

Pay it forward. Good grief. Was it requirement to introduce bathos to a perfectly good story with that unthinking sniffing ostinato?  Is this not a child displaying generosity of spirit to a grown man in or near retirement self-actualized in every way and basically playing with airplanes an example of paying it backward not forward? What a stupid way to tag generosity with a banal impulse, the kind that is spurred by a grave and gaping psychological and emotional hole. 

winter garden

Experiment. They're always experiments. This tomato is only two weeks old, it is growing awfully fast, already reached the top of its little plastic greenhouse and will soon need to be moved. The chiles are popping up and taking right off, multiple secondary and third dairy leaves within the first week. It's like I'm a botanist over here. 

The thing that sprouted from the clay pot of death is cilantro. That would have been whole seed from the spice cabinet I smashed to halves. Only two sprouted. The pot is loaded with various seeds and the only sign of life. I'll put the cilantro on an omelet or something. 

Soon their little caps will have to come off, their little private greenhouses.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Open Thread

Speaking of traps, I remember this game as a small child:

I remember it because I swallowed the metal ball. My parents had to buy me a special potty chair and they waited a few days until they heard the fateful "clunk."

I know an Althouse trap when I see it, but, I can't help myself

Althouse wrote yesterday: "My blog is pretty left-wing today. I'm skewing left."

Don't get me wrong, Althouse is free to sail whichever political winds she feels more comfortable sailing. Far be it for me, to berate her on that score. I've enjoyed reading her "vortex" vortices for years.

However, at a time when we have a dictator light president, making a mockery of the rule of law and the separation of powers, it is not an appropriate response for Law professor Althouse to be playing footsy with the left. An ideology, who's proponents sole purpose for existence, these days, seems to be to prop up president "I can do whatever I want" Obama.

Why encourage more of that kind of presidential worship (something I thought she disliked) by even hinting that she might like what they are doing, what Obama is doing. If there was ever a time NOT to turn left, this is it. Althouse, come back to your good senses.

And you readers, please join us with your thoughts and comments, but before you do, 'read the post and see what topics are raised. Address these topics. Express ideas and make good observations. Don't make any personal remarks and don't go back-and-forth with another commenter (except at the level of responding to ideas about the topic under discussion).


How about a thread "how to properly iron a shirt?"

We at Lem's aim to please! Here you go.

He has a British accent, so he must be an authority. There's also book How To Iron Your Own Damn Shirt.

EDIT!  How to press trousers.

"Edward Snowden to Speak at SXSW Interactive Via Videoconference"

"On Monday, March 10 at 11:00 am, join us for a conversation between Edward Snowden and Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union. The conversation will be focused on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance. Hear directly from Snowden about his beliefs on what the tech community can and must do to secure the private data of the billions of people who rely on the tools and services that we build."
This session will be moderated by Ben Wizner, who is director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Edward Snowden’s legal advisor. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions.

However, if you cannot be at SXSW Interactive on Monday, March 10 at 11:00 am CST, then you can watch a free livestream of the session courtesy of The Texas Tribune.
If you had the opportunity, what would ask Snowden?

I would ask Snowden for his thoughts on his obfuscatingneighbor invading, missile test lunching host, Vladimir Putin. But, maybe, I would not be allowed to ask that.

SXSW Interactive

Hillary on Putin, Ukraine

"In a speech at a health care forum in Florida last week as the [Ukraine] conflict was unfolding, Clinton said she was still talking to some of her former governmental colleagues and predicted Putin would “look seriously” at consolidating his country’s position in eastern Ukraine.

Putin “sits as the absolute authority now in Russia and it is quite reminiscent of the kind of authority exercised in the past by Russian leaders, by the czars and their successor Communist leaders,” she said, according to CNN. She added that it was imperative for the U.S. to back a “unified Ukraine.”

On Monday night, the pro-Clinton group Correct the Record, which hadn’t weighed in on the Ukraine issue before, came to her defense."

“Secretary Clinton worked to successfully secure Russia’s cooperation toward anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, and worked with Russia to secure critical, crippling sanctions against Iran. Not to mention, Secretary Clinton oversaw passage and enactment of the New START Treaty reducing nuclear weapons and making us all safer. This is another case of selective memory lapses by Republican opportunists,” communications director Adrienne Elrod said in a statement, after the group posted tweets to that effect."


If Hillary were to be inaugurated into the presidency in January 2017, Putin would be president of Russia until May 2018, and possibly six more years after that if he chose to run again and won. Wouldn't that be cute?

NY Post: "Parents sued by teen don’t have to pay up — yet"

"A disgruntled New Jersey teenager lost her first bout in family court on Tuesday, when a judge refused to make mom and dad immediately fork over money to fund her private-school education."
Judge Peter Bogaard said there was no emergency need for the parents of 18-year-old Rachel Canning to open their wallets and pay for her education at Morris Catholic HS, where she’s a 12th-grade honor student, and other daily living costs.

In a potential precedent-setting lawsuit, Rachel accused parents Sean and Elizabeth Canning of throwing her out of their Lincoln Park home — but claims they should still be held responsible for paying school tuition, room, board, transportation and expenses.

Despite Tuesday’s setback, Rachel’s lawsuit is still going forward.

The teen has been living with a family friend ever since leaving home. The friend’s dad is former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino, who is reportedly footing Rachel’s legal bill.

“For whatever reason, he’s [John Inglesino] enabling her and I don’t know why. I just know this is destroying my family,” Sean Canning said.

The dad claims he’s never been asked by Rachel’s hosts to sit down and talk about the awkward situation.

“It’s been completely through legal channels,” he said. “There’s never been talks with a middle ground.”
Could this be some sort of publicity gateway for a reality show?  Nothing is what it seems anymore. Now, where did I used to read that?

NY Post


Where the buck stops.

What is your least favorite house cleaning chore?  Which one do you kind of like? Any good tips?


Fusion, fission, same difference, they're both explosions.

No it isn't.

Regarding nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, fission is splitting of atoms and fusion is fusing them together into bigger atoms.

Declassified historical photographs at alternate wars. Loading the bomb. I am shocked. Frankly, I'm shocked how gay everybody looks. Short pants, Really short pants. You would call these men scrawny. Boy, people in the past sure were thin. I could photoshop cocktails in their hands and it will look like they're enjoying a summer party.

Somehow my attention landed on the weldings (riveted on the rivets) of "the device" scrolling back up several photographs titled "the device," "the device," "the device," ah there it is, little boy, the actual bomb and the welding at the fins are lumpy. I thought. Lump, lump lump lump lump lump lump lump all the way across like an amateur welder, a real beginner welder was sitting there melting a rod onto it like a caterpillar crawling across leaving a line of metal caterpillar poops.

The scene in a book opened up in my mind of the welder in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where the author's bike breaks down and needs repair. There is a wait, they meet the repairman and observed the craftsman welder at work described as artist, true artist with his craft, the flashing back and forth, carefully pre-heating the metal and keeping it the right temperature, depositing just enough of the rod to fill and work it in so that no repair is apparent, the kind of craftsmanship that places high value on quality. That is the point of the book, to recognize quality. Artistic quality not apparent in this fin welding, and it makes you realize, wow, they just threw that together.

Should have had the hippy guy do the welding on the fins and the box behind them. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In Case You Missed It

Our commenter Father Martin Fox is part-way through a three month sabbatical that has taken him (thus far) to the Holy Land, Turkey, Malta, and Rome.  The narrative and photography are wonderful and engaging.  You might give his blog a look - well worth the time.

Bonfire of the Vanities.

Latent Heat Of Fusion

I opened my latest copy of Chemical & Engineering News and saw an intriguing "letter to the editor." [The letter is behind a pay wall].

The writer offered a simple reason why the oceans and ambient seas have failed to warm during the past dozen years: the latent heat of fusion of water.
The calorie is historically defined as the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water by 1 degree C. The energy required to convert 1g of ice to water is about 80 calories.
No one can argue with the fact that glaciers and polar ice masses are shrinking dramatically. That consumes a staggering quantity of energy and could well explain the recent flat change in surface temperature. 
He could have added that the energy added to melt ice does not raise the temperature of the water -- it all goes into tearing down the rigid structure of ice -- but his audience already knew that. Did you?

Here's a visual that every chemistry student is exposed to:
The author is drawing attention to the first flat red line labeled "latent heat of fusion."  Melting the polar ice caps will not raise the temperature of the seas until the last ice is melted. We know that the arctic ice cap is melting rapidly, but what about the antarctic ice mass?  What is the overall balance?

The difference between melting and freezing is infinitely small in degrees Fahrenheit and is measured instead in degrees of freedom.  link

Another Day, Another ObamaCare Delay, Announcement Expected

The Hill: "The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats."
As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.

Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
The administration is further delaying the delay announced last November. At this rate, ObamaCare is going to be delayed smack dab into the middle of 'Hillary for president' campaign season. Clintonistas must be wondering.
The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.
What cancellations? I thought Harry Reid said... Didn't Harry Reid say cancellation stories were lies?
The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.
Keep tight control, is how I would describe it.
“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.” read more
The Hill

CBS Sacramento: "Illegal Pot Grows Adding To California’s Water Woes"

"Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman has a new mission: catching illegal marijuana growers for stealing water."

“We’re now becoming the water police,” Allman said.

He estimates thieves will use up to five million gallons of water a day in the fall — and that’s water Mendocino County simply doesn’t have.

“People will just be taking water out of the shared, you know, out of a creek or other water source so it’s having a really negative impact on our forest lands, on our streams,” said Willits Mayor Holly Madrigal.

In Calaveras County more than four hours away, one rancher told CB13 that he’s got pot growers with cartel ties living on his property – stealing water. He’s discovered a half-dozen grows on his vast land by looking for the signs.

“Yup there’s a scale in here.”

Frank Zappa: “The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes and Common sense is contagious”

Interview with Trooper Charles Ash (November 3, 1981)

That's not funny!

Male brains above, female brains below. 

"By analyzing the MRIs of 949 people aged 8 to 22, scientists at the University of
Pennsylvania found that male brains have more connections within each hemisphere, while female brains are more interconnected between hemispheres.

...By analyzing the subjects’ MRIs using diffusion imaging, the scientists explored the brains’ fiber pathways, the bundles of axons that act as highways routing information from one part of the mind to the other. After grouping the image by sex and inspecting the differences between the two aggregate “male” and “female” pictures, the researchers found that in men, fiber pathways run back and forth within each hemisphere, while in women they tend to zig-zag between the left, or “logical,” and right, or “creative,” sides of the brain."

NYT Oped: "The Downside of Inciting Envy"

"THE Irish singer Bono once described a difference* between America and his native land. “In the United States,” he explained, “you look at the guy that lives in the mansion on the hill, and you think, you know, one day, if I work really hard, I could live in that mansion. In Ireland, people look up at the guy in the mansion on the hill and go, one day, I’m going to get that bastard.”
Alexis de Tocqueville phrased it a little differently, but his classic 19th-century text contains the same observation. Visiting from France, he marveled at Americans’ ability to keep envy at bay, and to see others’ successes as portents of good times for all...
In 2008, Gallup asked a large sample of Americans whether they were “angry that others have more than they deserve.” People who strongly disagreed with that statement — who were not envious, in other words — were almost five times more likely to say they were “very happy” about their lives than people who strongly agreed...
Unfortunately, in the wake of the Great Recession, such a shift may well be underway, given the increasing anxiety about income inequality and rising sympathy for income redistribution. According to data from the General Social Survey, the percentage of Americans who feel strongly that “government ought to reduce the income differences between the rich and the poor” is at its highest since the 1970s. In January, 43 percent of Americans told the Pew Research Center that government should do “a lot” to “reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else.”

Why the shift? The root cause of increasing envy is a belief that opportunity is in decline. Read More
NY Times, Sunday Review (* link)


Where shiny objects distract us.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
    Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
    Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
    Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
    Jenny kiss’d me.


Jay Carney said, "Time and time again we've heard these stories trotted out and time and time again they've been proven not true." He was backing up the effrontery delivered by Harry Reid earlier. Jay Carney is spokesman for the administration, no? Then the administration follows Reid's lead and proclaims their reality at odds with reported reality, that their version is the real one.

Not so.

Bozo. I feel abused. Abused by government. Disputes about basic things like Constitutionally protected rights, enumerated powers, misappropriation of resources, Departments run amok, racism kept alive and fanned, borders, federalism and the like, truth, reality.

I don't care to be an expert on psychological disorders, nor misled with bad information, but what does wikipedia say about gaslighting? It's different from limelight isn't it? Neon is a gas. Maybe gaslight is neon.

Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse. False information presented to make victim doubt thier memory, perception and sanity. Ranges from simple denial to staging bizarre events to disorient.

... the term was further popularized in Victor Santoro's 1994 book Gaslighting: How to Drive Your Enemies Crazy, which outlines ostensibly legal tactics the reader might use to annoy others.

Clinical examples

Sociopaths frequently use gaslighting tactics.
Sociopaths consistently transgress social mores, break laws, exploit others but are typically charming convincing liars who consistently deny wrongdoing.

Gaslighting involves the projection and introjection of psychic conflicts from the perpetrator to the victim. This imposition is based on a very special kind of transfer of painful and potentially painful mental conflicts.

Projection and Introjection, not just rivers in Egypt. So there you go. I have come to understand more clearly now with this little dip into how the disturbed mind operates, yes, wikipedia has helped this time.


More awesome muted.

Monday, March 3, 2014

8 Great Philosophical Questions (Which The Author Believes) We'll Never Solve

"Never" is a long, long time on which to place a bet that something will not happen.  Never presupposes time without end; an infinitely long time.  The nature of philosophy is work through difficult questions and cause them to be solved.  That will most certainly happen within the time assigned to "never." 

Or will it?

The 8 questions are described in this article.   What do you believe, and based on what philosophical proof?  Several of the questions, in my opinion have been (or can be) answered.

Question  4, for example: Does God exist?  Thomas Aquinas developed a philosophical way for demonstrating God's existence in  Summa Theologiae.  Aquinas begins with the idea that every effect requires a cause, and that nothing that exists in the physical world is the cause of its own existence.  This is known as the principle of sufficient reason.

When we encounter a chair, for example, we know perfectly well that it did not come into existence spontaneously.  It owes its existence to something else: a builder and previously existing raw materials.  An existing thing Z owes its existence to cause Y, but Y itself, not being self-existing, is also in need of a cause.  Y owes existence to cause X.  But now X must be accounted for, and X owes its existence to cause W.

We are faced with the following problem: Every cause of a given effect itself demands a cause in order to account for its own existence; this cause in turn requires a cause, and so on.  If we have an infinite series on our hands, in which each cause itself requires a cause, then nothing could ever have come into existence.

Aquinas explains that there must, therefore, be an Uncaused Cause - a cause that is not itself in need of a cause. Aquinas says this it God.  God is the one self-existing being whose existence is part of His very essence.  No human being must exist; there was a time before each one came into existence, and the world will continue to exist after the last one perishes.  Existence is not part of the essence of every human being.  But God is different, He cannot not exist.  All humans and all things ultimately track back to God.  And He depends on nothing prior to Himself in order to account for His existence.

Which of the author's eight great philosophical questions can you tackle?

Jonah Goldberg: 'Best dog video I've seen in a while'

“Warren Buffett: Supposed Increase in Extreme Weather 'Hasn't Been True So Far'”

"Buffett told CNBC March 3, that extreme weather events haven't increased due to climate change, saying that weather events are consistent with how they were 30-50 years ago. Buffett, who is heavily invested in various insurance markets, said that climate change alarmism has simply made hurricane insurance more profitable, driving up premiums without increasing risk."

"Buffett said the supposed increase in extreme weather "hasn't been true so far, Joe. We always think it's cold. We always think it's cold in Omaha. But, it was cold in Omaha 50 years ago." CNBC's Becky Quick asked Buffett on March 3's "Squawk Box" if extreme weather events have increased, affecting insurance markets. Buffett responded that "the effects of climate change, if any, have not affected our - they have not affected the insurance market." Read more

CNSNEWS.COM (video at the link)

ADDED: Instapundit DRUDGETAPOSITION: at the jump

shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture

The brunette nails it. Look for "out the do-o-o-o" The other interpretations leave out "for sure" they simply know, but do not know for sure, and there is no door, they leave but do not walk right out the door. So there is no rhyme with sure and door, the whole attitude of the song is missing, I became discouraged, hardly worth the effort of recording and uploading, but this brunette here is different from the rest, she adheres to the lyrics while retaining their full meaning, maintaining the dance beat and interpreting the whole attitude of the original song. She knows what she is doing.  I wouldn't doubt she taught the blond.

WND: "Racial mobs blamed for collapse of London night clubs"

"Black mob violence is ruining their business, say the owners of a popular nightclub. Just like it ruined the businesses of 15 other nearby night spots which recently closed."
Except this is not in America. These hot spots are in London.

This declaration of racial violence came from the owners and managers of the Fridge Club, an iconic three-story venue where as many 300 people can be found staying up all night to dance, drink and often use drugs. But lately violence is ruining the buzz:

“The absolute majority of people who have disrupted these venues are black men and increasingly some black women,” said the owner and managers in a Facebook posting. “There, I said it. It is true, I have witnessed it and there is both anecdotal and empirical evidence that what I say is true.”
The post lists 15 South London clubs that recently closed because of black mob violence: “Almost every single venue has closed because of violence, the threat of violence, disrespect to their staff and coming to the inevitable conclusion that it is better to close than putting up with that bull—,” they said. “Unless and until young black people (18-35) learn to conduct themselves in a civil manner then the night time economy will be closed or severely restricted to you. Read More
WND (formerly World Net Daily)

"Crimea dispatch: 'There will be no war. We're not going to point our weapons'"

"Colonel Sergey Starozhenko walked out of the gates of the 36th border guards brigade base in Perevalnoye on Sunday afternoon, and trudged down a grassy slope toward a line of 20 huge green Volga trucks."
Backed by a mobile radio truck with a towering antennae, half a dozen armoured jeeps, a field ambulance and a handful of UAZik's – the Russian answer to the snatch range rover – this line of trucks was the command post of the Russian invasion force that has held his base under siege since morning.

But the Colonel was calm, despite the standoff.

"There will be no war," he said, after climbing back up the hill from a meeting with his counterpart.

"After negotiations with the Russian Federation, we have agreed not to point our weapons at one another, and that they will not enter the base."
Meanwhile, president Obama wants everybody to know he is on his phone... minus his pen.

"Johns Hopkins doctors remove baby's brain tumor that contained teeth"

"Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital have removed a rare tumor that contained several fully grown teeth from a baby boy's brain."
The tumor was found in the then-4-month-old from West Virginia in 2012 after a pediatrician noticed that his head was unusually large for his age.

Doctors wrote about the findings in an article that appeared this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The discovery could someday help researchers trying to cure diseases or grow new organs, medical experts said.

"It gives us more insight into the origins of the tumor," said Dr. Edward Ahn, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins who was the lead surgeon in the case.

"We had to think twice," Ahn said. "We first thought they were flakes of calcium. When we looked at it closer, we were like, 'Those really look like teeth.' "
Chicago Tribune

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Where we feel your pain.

The very bird,
grown taller as he sings, steels
his form straight up. Though he is captive,
his mighty singing
says, satisfaction is a lowly
thing, how pure a thing is joy.

-Marianne Moore

"The Social Oscars: Academy Award Predictions From Across the Web"

The Social Oscars

"Last year we proved that social buzz could successfully predict the Academy Award winner for Best Picture. So this year we wanted to see what else social could predict for Hollywood’s big night."

Adapted Screenplay

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
Social Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Original Screenplay

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska
Social Winner: Her

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
  • Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
Social Winner: Jared Leto

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
  • Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
  • June Squibb for Nebraska
  • Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
  • Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
Social Winner: Lupita Nyong’o