Saturday, August 9, 2014

Queen Beatrice is invited to convert to Islam during a concert.

I was told this is the conductor but I am not so sure. I cannot find his name anywhere on the pages I viewed, the man, conductor or not, interrupts a concert to deliver a lecture, a standard testament of faith and proselytization. Beginning with customary victimization, "We tried contacting you directly but we were ignored."

The musicians walk off. The man is escorted out. The place searched for bombs even though the man told them there are none, they're not taking any chances. In other words, he is not taken on faith.

This happened a few months ago. The link came to me just now as a forward, originally a discussion between two friends between themselves, who have little to no interest in such things. I never hear these two talk about politics. It's always either business or nonsense between them. I expected more nonsense. It surprised me, actually. One of them knows I have such interests, the other one wishes I didn't.

As if musicians walking off were as good as the concert they paid to see and troubled to attend, commenters on this thread respond with the following gif:

And this gif tiled to create a full audience.

There is more to the story.

Queen Beatrice takes on the leader of her country's anti Muslim party by dismissing as nonsense their criticism of her wearing a headscarf on visiting a mosque.

Eh. My mum wore headscarves and it had nothing to do with Islam. It had more to do with wind and convertibles, and keeping her do in place. But that was then and this is now, and that was America and this is a mosque in the UAE. When in Rome, as they say. But you have to admit, she does look like the Queen of Tarts in the Photo.

Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile to wreck your concert. The same response would be given a Christian or Jew or Buddhist or whoever pulled this. What thick skull these people have. A concert is a concert, not another opportunity to press and impose one's faith.

All the squiggly backward writing in comments on YouTube to this video is the same wearisome recitation of Quran sutras you see anywhere and everywhere, completely and purposefully missing the point. Commenters talking right past each other.

"The Speck Of Matter God Had Not Welcomed At Creation..."

Today marks an anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bombing by the so-called "Fat Man." Many forget that we dropped two kinds of atomic bombs in the span of three days in 1945: the first, "Little Boy," contained all of our laboriously accumulated U-235; its design was so simple it didn't need testing: Fire one subcritical U-235 mass at another U-235 subcritical mass and blammo! --  the whole thing went nuclear.

The second was a plutonium bomb -- and its design was so radical that it had to be tested first, hence "Trinity" at Yucca Flats.

The bomb makers knew early on that U-235 would be the limiting factor: only 1/140th of any uranium source was useable for a bomb. The rest was the unusable U-238 isotope. But the eggheads (really a who's who of nuclear physicists and chemists) figured out that nuking the otherwise useless U-238 with cyclotron radiation would transmute that useless uranium into heavier elements. Thus began a series of top secret experiments at Berkeley which extended the Periodic Table one element at a time.  That sort of work still continues.

First came element 93, the very first transuranic element, now known as neptunium, and synthesized by Edwin McMillan and Philip H. Abelson in 1940. That element proved unusable as a fissile material, so the search for the next heavier element continued. The work quickly became a rather dirty job -- separating the toxic gemischt into identifiable components --and one more suited for chemists. Glenn T. Seaborg, and a graduate student, Arthur C. Wahl, did the yeoman's work. By early 1941, they knew that they had something new, but were unable to separate it from co-produced thorium.  Seaborg and Wahl pressed on, working in a cramped third floor laboratory in the chemistry department at Berkeley. Success followed and by early March, 1941 Seaborg recorded:
With this final separation from thorium, it has been demonstrated that our alpha [particle] activity can be separated from all known elements and thus it is now clear that our alpha activity is due to the new element with atomic number 94. 
Within weeks, and after gathering enough material, tests showed that element 94 was fissile -- bomb material. He was already way ahead of anyone else. It was immediately apparent that chemical separation of elements was easier than isotopic separation, and element 94 production became a second major project in the Manhattan Project, running in parallel to uranium isotope separation.

Richard Rhodes wrote in his incomparable "The Making Of The Atomic Bomb:"
Not until 1942 would they officially propose a name for the new element that fissioned like U-235 but could be chemically separated from uranium. But Seaborg already knew what he would call it. Consistent with Martin Klaproth's inspiration in 1789 to link his discovery of a new element [uranium] with the recent discovery of the planet Uranus and with McMillan's suggestion to extend the scheme to Neptune, Seaborg would name element 94 for Pluto, the ninth planet outward from the sun, discovered in 1930 and named for the Greek god of the underworld, a god of the earth's fertility but also the god of the dead: plutonium. 

I can't inspect the plane from my vantage point

I'm waiting to board a flying tin can.
Im on a window seat, I'm going to have to swith.

Larry Correia lays some smack-down on NPR

I do so appreciate some Larry Correia snark.  I don't think he could fail to be entertaining if he tried.  However, his smack down of NPR "looking to manufacture some outrage" over the under-representation of Hispanics in film is not precisely *funny* which makes me think that Correia just might be slightly, actually...  annoyed.
 "When NPR says that some of the Latin actors aren’t “easily recognizable” that means that they aren’t conforming to accepted liberal suburban Ivy League stereotypes. NPR wants Latinos to play beaners in sombreros, hotel maids, or gang bangers… "

When NPR bases their argument on the fact that Jennifer Lopez is not easily recognizable as Hispanic in a movie, you know they've thoroughly jumped the shark.   OTOH, you probably already knew that, seeing as we're talking about NPR here.

Larry Correia fisks NPR.

Especially mindboggling... the part where NPR complains that Zoe Saldana played the part of a black person in Star Trek.

More Larry... as I said, he's a compulsively funny guy, but I think he's just a wee bit P.O.'d too.
"Yes, Latinos, NPR just called you stupid. How DARE you enjoy movies and be entertained? You should totally boycott them to salve some white suburban liberal’s white guilt!
Annoying twits put their perpetual outrage ahead of their enjoyment. Everything has to be filtered through their obnoxious white guilt. Meanwhile the rest of planet Earth is throwing piles of money at a movie with a sentient tree and a talking raccoon."

David Wiswell

Apparently David Wiswell is a San Francisco comedian, I think, but this video is recorded in NY. David uploaded it to a links board to garner comments and we gave them. They are jokes that he wrote and posted on Facebook and he has people he meets in NY read off his phone. His jokes are better than their reading of them but hilarious to me nonetheless. It is the one video this night that had me laughing outright. His jokes strike me as very funny, in fact, I intend to steal them. They are already internalized.

The thing is, some of the comments chided him for spamming. They can be touchy over there and one commenter took issue with the length of his group membership, some four years, showing none of the usual participation so he considered the upload to be spam. They look at his profile and see "0" in places that show he did not do any of the usual group participant things throughout those four years. They're looking for videos that he liked, they are counted automatically, his responses to videos, there are none, questions of the week that he responded to, there are none. They looked at best answers to questions, there are none, and very few messages. He responded, "Well I guess I don't know the rules of the board." They'e not rules, it's just that they show no participation, no interaction on the board, then this video appears out of the blue then it seems a bit spammy.

I don't do any of those things either. I rarely engage conversationally. Never, in fact. I say my bit and move on. Post my gif or video link and leave. That is my habit. Their criticism of him can apply to me. And I've been a member some nine years or so. I must appear terribly aloof.

But then he did the worst thing of all. After collecting comments, most of them good, most people were encouraging about his jokes, encouraging about his career. I was encouraging, they're very good jokes, in my opinion, like I said, I was laughing for once, he deleted the thread. And that is a crime on that board. On that site it is. I'm quite confused why he did that. The thread was fine and dandy when I left. I went back for it and, poof, it was gone. I know where it was, and now it's not there and search turns up no results. Boy, do they ever become cross when people do that. They will let him have it should he return, and now I know why,because their thoughtful responses are wasted. Luckily I had changed over to YouTube so I can view his upload there full screen and that is how I found it again where it shows in history, by then I had forgotten his name. David Wiswell has pages of uploads on YouTube along these same lines, stand up and skits and such, this and that random thought acted out, and they're all amusing in the same twisted way.

I cannot display it here because, come on, this is a family site. Wiswell mixes wry sexual insight with wry Christian bathos, sacred with profane. I viewed a few of his uploads (I always struggle with a reconstruction that avoids the obvious redundancy "I watched videos" = "I watched I view") and they seem to follow the pattern: sexual, sexual, Christian bathos, sexual sexual, Christian bathos.


An admirable attempt to paint the song with van Gogh's work.

My 7th grade art teacher had that Don McLean album in the classroom along with one of those boxy portable record players:

I wonder now whether he thought we were little vessels to be filled, or little fires to be kindled.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thus Spoke Zoroaster

The Yazidi are on everyone's radar at the moment. I was struck by the mention of their religion as being "Zoroasterian-like." The "real" Zoroasterians, founded by Zoroaster (cf. Zarathustra of Nietzschean fame) were known to early Christians as the Magi -- see for example the 13th century story of The Fire Worshipers first related by Marco Polo.

The Sunnis of ISIS (or ISIL depending on what the meaning of IS is) despise the Yazidi, mostly because they identify their most venerated angel as Shaitan. Shaitan is a species of Jinn (associated with Barbara Eden in American culture) but despised by ISIS zealots for denying Eve's lineage. Go figure.

Political donors.

Open secrets top organization Contributions: All Federal Contributions. A very interesting list. The top 20 most are labor unions all giving to Democrats. Very handy list to know for countering such things as, Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.  Koch Bros.   when seen in comments and articles and conversation and so on. Koch brothers rings in at number 36. But that is on the  list or organizations, not individuals.

Who are the people who contribute independently? That is what I want to know. What do they look like. How can I recognize them. How can I know should by chance I run into one. You never know. You could meet one shopping, perhaps flying around. If you fly first class, they could be sitting right there next to you. These lists tell you who and how much, as far as they know, but they all fail to show you what they look like. It took for e-v-e-r to look up their photos. And some of them manage to stay very well hidden.

Goodness, there is a lot of money out there being thrown around. I knew that already by the Democrat Convention being hosted in Denver. Most the activity was right here outside. The whole place overrun. I mentioned before at another place in that remote time continuous helicopter traffic directly overhead back and forth for days on end. Steady streams of limousines outside. Lines of limousines all over the place. An obnoxious ostentatious display of wealth. And I must mention, every single person I met was completely charming and nice to me directly. Graceful to me personally. I went clomping around with my shirt off and with my little camera before I had a Nikon, and every single person I met was beautiful without exception. And I mean it. There were disruptions, but I was not a party to any of those things. That was not my experience. Michelle Malkin had difficulty when recognized by a mean-spirited radio personality, and I was there in that crowd, but that was not my immediate experience. From my point of view the whole thing was fun, and it was nothing if not all about money. Lots and lots of money. Even Code Pink who dropped her pink toy battery-powered loud speaker that smashed open and spilled batteries right in front of me had me cracking up laughing at the silliness of it. I was there at the Mint levitation. I had to see that. Fail. 

I knew it was too heavy, what with all those coins inside. 

The list of organization contributors goes to 50. But the list of individuals goes to 100. I  searched photos only for top 50 of those because I got tired of looking, and my browser history filled up, and the whole project a bit out of hand, and the amounts donated got smaller to under half a million. eh, still probably worth looking up their photos. 

These people don't mess around. Generally they donate 100% one way or another. There are only a few that donate to both parties. 

1) Tom Steyer  20, 451,300 

Founder Farallon Capital Management manages 20 billion in capital for institution, primarily college endowments, and wealthy individuals
co-founder of OneCalifornia Bank -- Oakland-based community development bank
created TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University
partner and member of Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a S.F. private equity firm

Disposed his carbon-polluting investments in 20012. Made tens of million from developing Australian Maules Creek coal mine.

Created TomKat Ranch, Pescadero, CA that underwrites healthy food programs and co-produces independent films

Helped found OneRoof to bring technology to rural India. Opened computer centers to connect poor residents of india with information revolution.

2) Michael Bloomberg  9,495,798

Founder 88% owner Bloomberg L.P. global financial data and media company.

3) Fred Eychaner $5,803,200

Chairman of Newsweb Corporation

4) Paul Singer  $5,101,349 

Founder and CEO of hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation and The Paul E. Singer Foundation.

5) Richard Uihlein $4,326,950

Uihlein worked in international sales for General Binding Corp, a company founded by his father, until 1980. That year, Uihlein and his wife founded Uline
45 more to go.

No News Noon

Check out @FOX5Atlanta's Tweet:

stormy, stormy night

Stormy, stormy night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Real time wind map around Hawaii 8/7/2014,19.04,889

Hurricanes in the Pacific are Typhoons, I think. That is how I always understood it anyway. 

Having experienced giant destructive typhoons and furniture rattling earthquakes I couldn't wait to experience a hurricane. The early stages of a typhoon was the only thing that could get my poorly constructed box kite to fly. My dad came out to the playground area behind our house, grabbed me by my arm and dragged me home berating me and insulting my intelligence the whole way. He was an imposing scary dude in his uniform. The next day surveying damage he pointed out a red terra cotta roof tile dug into our yard and instructed me to pull it out. I could not pull it out. He said. "That could have been your head, you dumb ass." Then when I did experience a hurricane, I thought, "Hey, that's the same thing!" And I couldn't wait to experience a flood. When I did experience a flood I couldn't wait to experience hail. When I did experience hail I couldn't wait to experience a giant immobilizing snow storm. When I did experience a giant city-stopping immobilizing snow storm that you could dig tunnels through and ski off your roof I couldn't wait to experience a tornado and when I did experience a tornado they came in a group of seven tornados all at once, and finally I said to myself, "That will do." 

Severe weather events are deeply personal things.

I gave up on the idea of riding an avalanche. Seems I had a misunderstanding of those. But the idea lingered much longer than it should have. And now that I think of it, I gave up on wanting to experience a  tsunami too once I saw the photos of parking meters in Honolulu all lined up and bent in the same direction. I had an immature misunderstanding of those as well. I figured I could ride the wave and swim. I didn't account for all the debris slamming around.

I don't have a point. 

I'm only saying that for all the millions of dollars of damage, for the lives lost, the destruction of property, the hard-won things lost, the hopes and dreams dashed, the struggle to regain footing, the plight of recovery, a kid does not think of those things. To a kid who does not understand larger things, with  no understanding of physics, nor of economies, unfazed by adult concerns, and protected by grown ups a good scary storm is a thrill of a lifetime. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cut a watermelon

Executive action

A few points on this piece by Justin Sink at the Hill where Obama defends executive action.

Obama vows to "scour our authorities" looking for opportunities to act wherever he has the legal authorities to make progress. 

That means have his  advisors, ideologues all, do the scouring for him to act on his and their ideology while he twiddles his thumbs.

I am quite weary of the conceit that "the American people" do not want Obama standing around twiddling his thumbs waiting for Congress to do something. That threadbare and re-patched chide wore out years ago, apparently he doesn't know that it only still works on his IQ<85 Party faithfuls. He does not speak for the American people anymore than a parrot, he only thinks that he does, he does not read our minds properly, he only thinks that he does or says that he does. And his catchall 'Congress doing nothing' refers here to Senate that is sitting on hundreds of bills passed by the House. So, Congress is doing something, the House is writing bills and the Senate is sitting on them. The lauded most deliberative body on Earth has ceased deliberating due to one man specifically, his own Harry Reid. Traducing all Congress for the malfeasance of one individual, his individual, is flatly transparently disingenuous. I so tire of this form of gas lighting that works so well on his supporters who constantly repeat his conceits in comments everywhere. And then using that to find ways to use his departments to sidestep the House is completely unacceptable. Obama gives Republicans and Independents reason to disband those departments so that they cannot be used this way so inappropriately. What remains of his base of course agrees with his simplified one-sided  and childish churlish uncooperative approach, for now, but they will be screaming bloody murder at the top of their voices when the situation is reversed inevitably -- and reversed precisely because of actions like this.

Of course Obama has hundreds of advisors for every area of governance.  Chief among them: 
Nancy-Ann DeParie, 
Susan Rice
Kathy Ruemmier 
Lisa Monaco 
David Plouffe
Valerie Jarret

Hundreds of foreign policy advisors. It would be difficult enough sorting through advise of a few dozen if one were serious, imagine sorting the whirlwind of advice of thousands in total. On immigration specifically there is T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Dean of Georgetown University Law, Senior Associated at Migration Policy Institute. Mariano-Florentine Cuéllar Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law whose work focuses on migration, international security and criminal justice.

On national security Obama has James Steinberg, dean of LBJ School of Public Affairs. Susan Rice recently Senior Foreign Policy (and known bald-faced liar) with a team of over 40 members.  

Additionally advisors on Health Care, on Energy and Environment, Education, Economic advisors.

For Technology, Innovation & Government Reform Obama's advisors are Blair Levin a media and tech regulatory and strategy analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. Sonal Shal who heads Google's global development. Julius Genachowski of Rock Creek Ventures and LunchBox Digital. Warren Buffett on board as group member along with over thirty other  members. 

They will all be scouring for ways to subvert Congress beyond the damage Reid has already inflicted, that tired withered shell of an old man that does so much damage by doing nothing at all save for attacking two particular citizens so that their names fall off the tongues of anyone and everyone who knows exactly jack shit about current events, so that when the name "Koch Brothers" is invoked the shibboleth is uttered that reveals the speaker knows nothing at all save for one single thing. The thing Harry Reid said a million times, so insignificant in total to everything else.  That is what Obama means when he states "I will be scouring," he will be twiddling his thumbs while all these ideologues scour ways to subvert Congress and present their cherry ideas, for him to sign in his clumsy way, full arm taking the whole table to mechanically scribe a giant O as a three-year old struggling to hold onto chopsticks. 

On immigration the pressure from Democrats and from immigration activists say the president should act since the House has ignored the Senate's immigration reform legislation.

Well, Democrats and immigration activists really do need to have a crash elementary course on how legislation is passed by United States government. Hint: laws do not arise in the Senate. They arise in the House. Laws are not written in the Senate, that august body does not write them, should not write them, they overstep their duty by writing them, they are exceedingly presumptuous to write them then hand them to the House to be handed back to Senate for approval of the law they wrote themselves. 

Perhaps a cartoon would be useful. One such as run on Saturday mornings to instruct children on how laws are passed in the United States so they grow up with this basic awareness by the time they are of age to vote. Perhaps immigration activists missed that early American type of  education, perhaps by not being in America. (disclosure: I missed these too by not being in America) Obviously Democrats and activists are talking about bills originating in Senate committees, and that's fine, but they are completely and subversively ignoring the bills originating in House committees. 

Schoolhouse Rock, I'm just a bill  

And that deadlock, Friends, is how our system is supposed to work. It shows the system is working. Deadlocked at impasse until something shakes. Either in the House, the body closest to the people (folks, as it is), as the situation has developed now, or conversely by Senate majority changing in alignment to House by voting. As is occurring now. Deadlocked until something shakes. Give it a few months and observe the shakes. Brace yourself, it's going to be something. Not by presidential fiat. That is desperation. That means the writing on the wall is read and understood, "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin." You are weighed and measured and found wanting. New laws are not made by Executive departments using their regulatory power granted them by Congress. Again, ideologues all. Those things, those departments can be removed as easily as they were established by Congress.

Lazy Congress, see what happens?  

At the same time, Obama said his administration will "make sure every time we take one of these steps we are working within the confines of my executive power." 

And therein lies the real problem. Congress has allowed far too much executive power through government departments that the executive branch controls. 

"We have a broken system, it's under-resourced and we've got to make decisions in how we allocate personnel and resources.

That conceit too is threadbare. I must have heard and read it previous iteration "our healthcare system is broken" at least 1,000 times if not more. It's axiomatic. It is the primary premise required for predetermined conclusion in the liberal syllogism leading to doing whatever they wish including turning a whole nation socialist. Actually out socializing the straight up socialists while claiming otherwise. 

Goes like this: You have the conclusion, single payor healthcare, we will have socialized medicine in the form of single payor. It can take a few steps to get there but that is beside the point. We're being honest with ourselves here, for once. You contrive the primary premise, Our healthcare system is broken, and drill that premise until it is the only statement that remains. All other statements follow that one. Keep repeating it until it is axiom. Everyone accepts it. If even to challenge it, they still accepted the sentence as premise to challenge. It's there, and Man is it ever there. It precedes every position statement.

1) our healthcare system is broken
2) ___________
3) Healthcare reform (-----> single payor)

See how the thinking proceeds? What goes in the second syllogistic premise? Anything you like. Anything that makes sense to you. 2) Americans always fix broken things 2) We'll fix this with you or without you 2) Congress must fix things while it can 2) We must bust a move while we have the chance 2)We're the only advanced nation without universal healthcare. Pretty much anything goes into premise 2 there to complete the liberal syllogism. 

And now we have the same setup for immigration. What, our immigration is not clearly broken? Then break it and claim it needs to be fixed, then fix it in the manner desired all along. If you cannot see right through this then perhaps it need be finger spelled into the palm of your hand Hellen Keller style. 

Immigration experts, those ideologic advisors vast in number mentioned earlier, say Obama could issue a prioritization memo on deportations directing prosecutors to focus deportation efforts on individuals (illegal immigrants) convicted of serious crimes rather than immigration violations.

Woah, Nelly.

Immigration violation is a serious crime. That is where we differ in outlook. That is precisely what makes reformers ideologues. They are forcing their way legalistically, having created an immigration crisis then using departments contrary to American law so that 99% of illegal immigrants are granted citizenship skipping due process, to advance the aims of Party and not to the benefit of United States and making each state complicit in their scheme, complicit in their crime.

The rest of Obama's immigration syllogism, stated so acceptably.

1) premise: our immigration system is broken (No it is not!)
2) premise: it is under resourced (No, it is not! That portion of government purposefully overwhelmed due to contrived crises, yes, but we still have all of various government departments, divisions, and units to respond in a multitude of ways to enact law as written. The laws are fine, our resources admirable.)
3)conclusion:  We've got to make decisions on how to allocate personnel and resources. (Yes! Precisely. That is the job of executive. Just make sure the allocation is not ideologic in subverting laws and Congress to advance Party over nation -- the thing Democrats and immigration activists are insisting. That is what the "folks" are demanding. That is the writing on the wall you are reading.)

The second area of presidential law-making through executive action is less interesting but equally important and pressing, the area of tax inversion. This refers to action being considered apart from Congress to curb American companies from relocating their head offices outside the United States in order to avoid onerous U.S. taxes, at this point completely out of line with international standards. Unreasonable corporate taxes to keep in place an unwieldy oversized, overarching, overreaching, over regulating government. Who wouldn't want to relocate given all that? Stockholders insist. The one alternative seen is higher taxes on citizens to make up the shortfall. That is the only alternative available by their thinking. Their lights illuminate no other way. That is how government as a whole thinks. It never ever considers shrinking itself on its own, the way, say, a state would do, the way a company would do and does, a household would do, an individual would do and does every day. No. It will think of new ways of making new laws apart from Congress, apart from traditional United States law, using its thousands of high level ideologic advisors to keep companies captive. In effect, build a wall that rivals the iron curtain to keep its companies inside and not wander off to less hostile lands. That is how they think, and they'll have a million reasons to justify their thinking, considering themselves just so essential, but they will never think of shrinking themselves and unburdening corporations nor individual citizens. They view everyone as captive and pack mules to their version of utopia.

Knoxville Nationals Thursday

The races were rained out yesterday, so today will be a double program.  Racing will last until midnight or later.

This is Nate.  He's my cousin's grandson, and is racing the car his grand father used to race.  The type of car is called Legends Car.  They are small, relatively simple and powered by a 150 hp Yamaha engine.  They ate the smallest class racing here.

Nate is going to race in an event memorializing fallen police officers, and will carry my late brother's name on his car.  This week marks the 25th anniversary of my brother's death. 

Time to go - I've been wrangled I to crew duties and a transmission needs changing and camber has to be set.

More later!

Into the Mystic

cupcake snake pop-up card

Larger photos, more explain-o here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adventure Time Dream of Love

Several examples are given of Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig grossing out the whole town with their PDAs. They ruin a public concert, they ruin an outdoor movie, they make everyone sick and disgusted. Finally Finn instructs the couple to keep their affection hidden. Several ridiculous examples are shown of Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig failing to stay hidden. They show up everywhere caught smooching, and necking, and cuddling and Frenching each other. Finally Finn and Jake separate the couple by force.

Touch'n innit. The real life human kids love this song. They make several covers, on the ukulele, piano, guitar, comically poorly performed duets, serious remixes, various languages the song is even sung in Chinese. If you care to, check out the comments left here. Commenters say they cry every time they see this.

Full 12 minute episode here. Some very amusing touches throughout.

Finn is voiced by this young man, Jeremy Shada.

Jake by John DiMaggio.

Tree Trunks by Polly Lou Livingston.

Mr. Pig voiced by Ron Lynch.

In its sixth season, and signed for a seventh, Adventure Time has been a ratings success for Cartoon Network from the beginning. The cartoon is created by Pendleton Ward who explains he tries to include beautiful moments along with subversive sometimes dark humor.

The cartoons are developed through the use of storyboards rather than by scripts pitched to network executives. This allows teams that work visually for artists and writers to grow together. And, Man, do I ever understand that.


My own work team in Purchasing at the FRB wanted to do something together as a group for Halloween. I suggested Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but none of my team had heard of them. That suggestion fell flat. They wanted more suggestions. I provided more group-related suggestions that I knew would work, because I've seen them work, Pirates, "No!" Cave men, "No!" Disney characters, "No!" Mer people, "No!" Characters in horror movies. "No!" 

"Look, I'm not going to keep generating ideas run them up a flagpole just to have you shoot them down with a word. I'm stopping unless you discuss the pros and cons with me." 

"Fine. What do you want to discuss?"

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." 

Their shoulders slumped. They did discuss the idea with me but I got nowhere. The cartoon was new at the time, They were out in video game form and in cartoon form but not yet widely popularized. So I drew a picture of what a character looks like. The simple elements of their costumes. Their individual weapons. Their masks. Their shell. On another memo paper and drew an oval, drew the shell design of blocks, cut out wedges then taped it back to form a simple shell from paper and showed how the shell can be held into place by a simple cloth band run through slashes in the cardboard that matches the achingly simple mask, a swath of cloth of the same color with eyes cut out. Each turtle a different color belt and mask. 

It was those two things that conveyed the possibility. Until I showed them in paper form it was all impossible idea that they could not grasp. They're bankers. They do not think in visual terms. And they are overly impressed with people who do. As if that is all visual people can do. 

Although not visually-oriented, they are research-oriented and they all got right on their phones. Within minutes they confirmed the idea is a good one and became quite excited with the idea. They could see it. They knew the names of the characters, their favorite food, the weapons and personalities of each turtle. They are impressive researchers when they set their minds to a specific task. 

I was assigned the job of converting raw pre-formed cardboard boxes used to transfer checks between banks into shells using their box sealing tape. Not the plastic kind, The brown paper kind of box tape. I sealed the punch holes used for handles, created a template, cut the boxes, taped them into shape exactly the same as the paper example. Painted them green and brown, outlined the shell segments to look like a shell. Produced enough for our team with extras. In one half day I produced a stack of cardboard turtle shells. All right there in the FRB garage. All on bank time. I did the shopping for spray paint right there downtown and took as long as I  needed to make the shells while my team picked up my portion of real work, and they were happy to do it, and so was I. 

They loved their turtle shell costumes. The next day they all dressed in green and wore their cardboard turtle shells all day long. It was quite funny. The whole bank was amused. Serious work being done by turtles. Hilarious. We marched up and down the 16th St. Mall together yelling "Cowabunga!" We won the internal bank costume contest. I won the admiration of my peers. They took their shells home and gave them to their kids. One woman reported the shell was too big for her son who fell backwards off a porch step during trick or treat into his shell and could not get back on his feet. She was laughing too hard to pick him back up. She had the whole office cracking up laughing describing her son struggling as an actual turtle turned over. It's still funny when I think about it because the kid is a little terror. I kept three or so of the shells and passed them along. They were used in other costume contests as well. We got a lot of mileage out of those cardboard turtle shells. They were wonderful costumes and they would never have happened had I not shown my team the idea by cutting paper first. The same thing as a storyboard. 

End anecdote.

Per Wikipedia, Ward says the stories begin with team members relating something that happened to them during the week and building upon that. When they get stuck they brainstorm and toss things out, whatever comes to mind. They produce a two or three page outline with a few important beats. Then passed on to storyboard artists given a week for a thumbnail storyboard and to fill in with details, action, dialogue and jokes. Reviewed by Ward who makes notes and returned for the notes to be incorporated. The revision can take a month. Voices recorded, animatic compiled to get the the cartoon down to 11 minutes. Character and background designers then clean up the designs. Then the animation process begins. Coloring in Burbank, animation in Korea. Animation takes three to five months during which retakes, music scores, and sound are completed. Sent back to the US for review, mistakes noted, returned to Korea for corrections. 

Ward describes dark comedy as being scared and happy at the same time. It is his favorite way to feel so there is a lot of that in the show. 

Welcome Paddy O's Oliver

Was Malaysia flight MH17 shot down by aircraft?

"German pilot and airlines expert, Peter Haisenko,  thinks that Malaysia Flight 17 was not blown up by a ground-based antiaircraft missile, but shot down by the type of double-barreled 30-mm guns used on Ukrainian SU-25 fighter planes.  Haisenko presented his theory in a widely-circulated and controversial article which appeared on the Global Research website titled “Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile….”  (“Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile””, Global Research)

Haisenko notes that the munitions used on Ukrainian fighters–anti-tank incendiary and splinter-explosive shells–are capable of taking down a jetliner and that the dense pattern of metal penetrated by multiple projectiles is consistent with the firing pattern of a 30-mm gun.

The fact that Russian radar spotted a SU 25 in the area where MH17 was attacked, has persuaded many that Haisenko’s analysis is credible.  Adding to the controversy, international monitor Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first inspectors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reach the crash site and who spent more than a week examining the ruins–also appears to be convinced that the ill-fated jetliner was not hit by a missile but downed by machinegun fire consistent with the myriad bullet-holes visible on the fuselage.  Here’s what he told

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pock-marked. It almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else.
We’ve also been asked if we’ve seen any signs of a missile?
Well, no we haven’t. That’s the answer.” (“Malaysia Airlines MH17: Michael Bociurkiw talks about being first at the crash site“, CBC News. Note: The above quote is from the video)

 The burden of proof now falls on Washington to produce whatever hard evidence they may have via radar or satellite imagery that will persuade the public that their story is credible.  The best way to do that, would be to provide whatever relevant information and data they’ve compiled but refused to release for the last two weeks.

What we know about the crash so far, is that MH17 was rerouted from the flight-path that other Malaysia “Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur” flights had been taking for the two weeks prior.

Why was the flight path suddenly changed? Why was MH17 rerouted through a war zone? Why was the pilot told to fly at a lower altitude instead of the 35,000 ft he had requested?  Why was the flight path suddenly adjusted 14 kilometers north just as the plane entered the war zone?"


"Warning Isn't Blame"

"In most facets of life, we understand intuitively that there are things we can do to reduce the likelihood of bad things happening to us. If we lock our doors, we are less likely to have things stolen. If we avoid walking alone late at night in bad parts of town, we are less likely to be mugged. And if we choose whenever possible not to associate with people who have shown themselves to be violent, we are less likely to get hurt."
Yet, increasingly it appears that discussing steps women could take to reduce the chances of bad things happening to them is out of bounds in our society. I am here to respectfully suggest that, for all their good intentions, the actions of people concerned about “victim blaming” are ultimately making women less safe.

Saying that some behaviors make me more vulnerable to assault is simply not the same as saying those behaviors “justify” the person who assaults me. We teach our children not to talk to strangers. Does anyone believe that doing so transfers blame away from the person who commits a crime like kidnapping? Of course not. A person who harms a child is at fault, full stop. Nothing about the child’s behavior changes that. So why is it that telling young women that they can do things to decrease the likelihood of something awful happening to them is viewed as transferring blame from aggressor to victim? (read more via US News & World Report)
Talking about the likelihood of something awful happening to a woman got ESPN's Steven A. Smith suspended from the highly rated sports network. Here is the video of his talk that got him in trouble... and what have you... failing to put his finger on the problem... and what have you.

Hey Jude

Seriously, Haz, You're Going To Iowa?

I yam.  And I'm rolling to Iowa right now while you are sipping your morning coffee and eating your bacon and eggs and bacon and reading Lem's blog.  Mrs. Haz and I are in the Hazmobile, full fuel load, radar detector set to sensitive, radio set to country, cruise control set to too-fast, and sunroof set to fully open.

We're on a mission.  It involves methanol, eleven hundred horsepower engines, men with large arm muscles, a young relative, an older relative, a dead cop, plenty of dirt, and something called The Granddaddy Of Them All.

We'll be in Iowa for four days.  There will be updates.  Carry on.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Jonathan the turtle

Maliki to aid Kurds against ISIS in the north

Mosul Dam

The Iraqi government has finally come to the aid of the beleaguered Kurds in their fight against ISIS. Prime Minister Maliki, alarmed by a string of ISIS victories in the north, sent his air force to support the Kurds.

The air force began by bombing targets Sinjar, the most significant town captured by ISIS in the region so far. It then expanded its operations to a broader area, before returning to Baghdad.

Apparently, fear of seeing ISIS gain control of Iraq’s largest dam spurred Maliki into action. The dam remains under the control of the Kurdish fighters for now. But these fighters still lack ammunition, thanks to the unwillingness of Baghdad and Washington to provide them with it [my emphasis].

Hydro-electricity may be one driver of Baghdad’s policy, but oil is the primary one. The Maliki government and the Kurds are embroiled in a legal war over the sale of crude oil from the Kurdish region. Until now, it seems, Maliki has been willing to use the threat of ISIS to coerce the Kurds into turning oil revenue over to Baghdad.

The Obama administration has sided with Maliki. Its position, as stated by Brett McGurk, is that the oil belongs to the entirety of Iraq and that, consistent with the Iraqi constitution, the revenue should be shared.

This position may be reasonable in the abstract. In practice, however, it gives Maliki the whip hand, even though he has shown little regard for the constitution or the rights of minority groups like the Kurds. Ironically, Maliki’s abuses towards Kurds and Sunnis generally were the Obama administration’s excuse for not doing more to help his government fight ISIS.



Is there an upside to allowing Iraq to to fall to the Sunni?

 A big criticism of the Iraq War was that it unbalanced the mutual animosity between Iraq and Iran, throwing majority-Shiite Iraq into the arms of Shiite Iran. 

On the other other hand, ISIS-controlled Iraq would make Iran look like Ghandi and perhaps hasten their acquisition of nuclear weapons.

He was comically nattily dressed in a pastel striped seersucker suit with a broad solid scarf

I realized I was dreaming when I encountered a group of people familiar in dreams. Their presence signals depravity and betrayal. 

They were walking towards me nattily dressed just having enjoyed breakfast arranged by some mysterious but banal group. Their own special group that I do not belong. Their dress was a sort of holiday costume, summer seersucker pastel stripes and solids that you wouldn't be caught dead in ordinary circumstance. They were having a good time and I am the fly in their ointment. They were not pleased to encounter me out there on the street.

I had just learned that the principal had failed in his official duty to protect an incoming ship. It was a wooden sailing mercantile ship, a barque of some kind. I learned of it but did not actually see it. The ship was damaged and docked. Badly damaged, lain asunder by mismanagement right there at port. Its goods pilfered and spread through the city, the profits unrealized, capital squandered, its crew of questionable origin dispersed. Derelict in duty but here he was  enjoying base entertainments such as amusing colegial breakfasts immune from prosecution protected by his station started at birth, protected by his class. Walking toward me then passing by.

I was hungry in need of a meal. Every place I looked at was closed. Except one that I found.  Inside, a woman is yelling a repetitive song announcing her breakfast fare. She looked like a cafeteria employee. Chopping large trays of prepared food with a large spoon and slopping it onto plates. Her song did not match the food she was shoveling. Now I am in a line. I ask her why doesn't she sing about the food she is actually serving and not another unrelated song? She takes umbrage with my questioning something so simply understood as that. It should make no difference to me one way or another, she insists. We argued. "Why don't you just sing cockles and mussels alive, alive ho? It would make as much sense as this." The line is pressing. I move along. But I still haven't sorted the whole misalignment of the entire activity as I reach the cashier I am still in discussion when the people behind me move ahead of me as a group and as if it is my choice to step behind them and not their aggression in moving ahead of me and then I had enough of the whole thing and open my eyes to leave the world where I dream and enter the world where I live. And it is dark outside and I am fully awake.

And then I realized. Oh, that came from this, and they are them. 

But It's a Really Cool App!

Yes, it is.  Super cool, in fact.  At least that's what sheeple thought when the new Facebook Messenger app became available for their phones, and iPads, and other mobile devices.  So cool, in fact, that more that one million people downloaded it tout de suite as soon as it was announced.

Without reading the Terms of Service, as usual.  Heavens, why do that?  That thing is all fine print and legalese and boring and you can't change it so just click on 'accept' and poof! here comes the new app!

El grande mistake, amigos. The Facebook Messenger app invades your privacy like no app before it has ever done.  Here's part of what the TOS Agreement does:
By agreeing to the TOS for the Facebook Messenger app  on a mobile device, the user is essentially agreeing to give up things to Facebook that the police would need to get a warrant to obtain, under most circumstances.

Why get a warrant now, when it's easier for law enforcement to go right to Facebook for your personal information, including video and audio of you doing and saying whatever in your own home?

Privacy.  It was nice while we had it.    Full article here.  It's always good to read the TOS Agreements before installing any software on devices you own.

Candido e verde fiore

Study: "Flexible Ears Help Horses Communicate"

"According to researchers at the University of Sussex, horses are sensitive to not only facial expressions of other horses, but also to their eye and ear movements. The keen sense of observation helps these animals remain cautious of predators."
"Our study is the first to examine a potential cue to attention that humans do not have: the ears," said Jennifer Wathan of the University of Sussex, according to a news release. "Previous work investigating communication of attention in animals has focused on cues that humans use: body orientation, head orientation, and eye gaze; no one else had gone beyond that."

"However, we found that in horses their ear position was also a crucial visual signal that other horses respond to. In fact, horses need to see the detailed facial features of both eyes and ears before they use another horse's head direction to guide them," said Wathan in a news release.

Project Vigil: D-Day 2014

This video came through the Tachikawa Yahoo group. Member AndyHariKat related this is the son of a friend of his.

At seven and a half minutes the video runs slowly. I guess I am impatient with purposefully slowly running videos. I played it at double time but stopped it at 3:57 to linger. I ask you, have you ever seen a face so pure?

Sometimes I despair. Then a video will come through that wipes that away. This video is such.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Whole wheat bread without kneading.

The technique is to bake a biga for country-style bread without additional flour and water, at high temperature within an unglazed clay cloche, a glazed casserole dish, or heavy cast iron pot with a lid but without any plastic handle. If your heavy pot has a plastic handle, then unscrew it so that it doesn't melt.

The dough is exceedingly wet. That is what makes it work. The heat high as your oven will go so the bubbles inside will expand quickly to maximum before the surface sets. The enclosed vessel helps the dough stay wet long enough to behave like a balloon. More like thousands of tiny balloons contained within the skin of the loaf.

This technique advances the results of the home baker to that of professional bakers.

No Worries; It's Just Honduran Kids Who Want a Better Life Crossing the Border

That's what Americans have been led to believe.  Honduran families are scraping together money to pay coyotes to smuggle their kids through Mexico and across the US border.  There are no opportunities in Central America, see, and poor healthcare, and violence, and so forth, and what parent wouldn't want his or her children to escape to America?  We'd be crazy right-wingers to not welcome these children and young adults to our country.

It isn't true.  Americans are not being told the truth by our government, by politicians in both political parties. The truth is that open borders have drawn people from all over the world, according to this report leaked by Customs and Border Protection.
Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.
The only ones who are counted are the ones who were apprehended, or who turned themselves in to authorities.  Isn't that comforting?
As of July 20, 2014, 1,443 individuals from China were caught sneaking across the porous U.S. border this year alone, with another 1,803 individuals either turning themselves in to U.S. authorities at official ports of entry, or being caught attempting to illegally enter at the ports of entry. This comes amid a massive crackdown by Chinese authorities of Islamic terrorists in the Communist nation
The list of nations from which those apprehended emanate includes: Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, China, Nigeria, Liberia, and Somalia.

Are we right to be angered?  Yes, we are.  And we should be.  The Obama administration's illegal lifting of laws and rules about immigration should make every American angry.  Every one of us.  Our nation is placed in danger by this administration's illegal activities.

Where are the politicians?  Where is the president?  If this is indeed a national emergency, why are they all on vacation?  True leadership would be the president staying in DC, and telling the leaders of both parties to do the same so they could sit down and hammer out a resolution to this.

Absent that, the opposition party should be in the courts everywhere they can be, petitioning for an order to tell the US government to enforce immigration laws now on the books.

There are no innocent sides in this argument.