Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sonnenuntergang aus Woherichsitze

Sunset from Whereisit. It's very Wagnerian sometimes. I just happened to glance to my right and saw this. 





Klicken sie für die größe und herrlichen! (Ich denke)

Sunrises are just as pretty.

The stunning orange reminded me of another incident that leads me to believe Hawaiian people are easily tickled. 

My brother James wanted to see sunrise at the top of Haleakala. It's a thing. That involves getting up very early for a long drive. Freezing cold. At the top of the mountain, much like Lookout Mt. over Golden, people are standing around waiting in darkness for this right here in reverse. There is a bowl of mountain tops that fills with clouds viewed from above them. But not a regular mountain range, the rim of a gigantic volcano making up a good part of the island with steep sides and a spattering of volcanic cones inside it, now covered in clouds about to be lit up by the morning sun. People are waiting oddly bundled up for winter on a tropical island wrapped in quilts but also shorts and sandals and all with their cameras. Quiescence and solemnity characterize the crowd. Looks like this.

I can see people around me making a mistake. I offer, "The light situation is the bright light behind you. You will be a silhouette, a nice effect. Most point-and-shoot pocket cameras have a setting for this situation that sets f-stop and shutter speed for brightly lit clouds and also provides flash for the people in front of it." 


They were receptive to my insight. They get to use a button! 

They cheered my good camera-sense. They appreciated the warning.

And that beats the heck out of "shut up and mind your own business." But my Nikon does not do that. It just has "automatic." It can, though, take three or five or however many I tell it pictures in a row and change the f-stop between shots within a range then the same photo taken differently stacked and combined, not for an average, but for the best of each one of them. 

Waiting for the sun, I recalled to James, whispering, as everyone does up there, a television advertisement that shows father and small son observing a tropical sunset. As a blazing orange sun disappears behind the horizon the father says, 

"Going..." pause... "going..." pause... "gone."


The sillouette of the boy turns to look up at his father, in awe-struck whisper,

"Do it again, Daddy." 

An Hawaiian guy nearby roared laughing breaking the mystical spell that everyone was under, a sort of sleepy early morning trance was shattered and people began speaking normally. And it's not that funny.


That's Kate Pierson of The B-52s singing back-up.

I almost picked "Watching The Detectives" by Elvis Costello because I've been watching "True Detectives" -- up to episode six so far.  I'd like to hear from people regarding how they think the show will continue. Consider this a continuation of deborah's earlier post. Who will play the detectives?  Will they be up to it?

"The number of women in the workforce has fallen to levels not seen in nearly 30 years"

Women have begun to depart the labor force in a way that’s similar to men,” says Mark Hamrick, Washington, D.C. bureau chief of personal finance website But he says it’s not just because of economic factors. The ratio of job losses due to the recession among men versus women were 2.6 to 1, in part because women held more jobs in less cyclical, services-related industries. (Male labor participation was 69.1% in September for men aged 16 years and older, down from 69.2% in August.)

The article lists some of the reasons why women are leaving the workforce. Among them "younger women are staying in college or graduate school longer" and more are choosing to be "stay-at-home moms".
Why do you think more women are leaving the workforce? What does it mean to the feminism ideal?

Shocking Beauty

Book by Thomas Hobbs

David W. Pittelli writes amusing review on Amazon. David says Thomas Hobbs is what he says he is, an avant-gardist gardening snob. He quotes Hobbs from the book a few times to illustrate:
Some gardeners will never learn the art of plant assemblage... As I drive by their predictable efforts, I often wonder, "Is Life Easier?"
Ha ha ha, good one. 
Being a left-handed, Gemini breach-birth ALLOWS me to love tetraploid daylilies. It is WHO I AM BOTANICALLY.
Ha ha ha, another good one. I looked up tetraploid day lilies and they look fine to me.
Bowling balls are appropriate in Marcia Donahue's garden/gallery in Berkeley, California, because SHE DID IT FIRST.
Ha! These are all quite good examples of garden snobbery.

My favorite personal example of garden snobbery is guest 2 being shown by guest 1 the entry way gardening efforts of host 1 and casually remarking, "I see what he's trying to do here." Meaning tried and failed.

David describes Hobbs as obsessed with rejection of the common and clichéd, but then his featured gardens are also clichéd with repeated elements of Hobbs' own commonalities.

David's own meta opinion is that peoples' enjoyment of the arts is such because they have already done what is pretty and handsome, and current practitioners are jaded by the work of their predecessors and in their desire to be original they often produce work most non-experts find ugly. Amusingly, David says this is seen in architecture, painting, music and so far horticulture has escaped the curse of avant-guardist ugliness, but not in this book. David wondered if it is fair to say that Hobbs has passed 'Shocking Beauty' and created a book that is ugly. Then he comes to Hobbs writing at the end:
I have noticed a switch in gardening, from "pretty" to what I call "the New Ugly." I find this fascinating and very, very attractive. In gardening, UGLY HAS BEEN REDEFINED by brilliant plantsmen and -women who get absolutely no thrill from trying to make a pretty picture. By increasing the dosage of all that is weird and unexpected, these thrillseekers are creating powerful, unforgettable experiences.
"Umh, NO IT HASN'T!" Cries David. "If we wanted 'powerful, unforgettable experiences' of ugliness, we would just move into a junkyard next to an oil refinery! That said, if the book's title or dust-jacket reflected this decadent philosophy, I could rate it 4 stars"

Hobbs adds a campy dramatic element to his discovery of his Vancouver house:
I will never forget ringing the doorbell, expecting "Max," [from Sunset Boulevard] or at least Harvey Korman dressed as "Max," to open the door. Instead, a very short Alfred Hitchcock type greeted us, with a badly-wigged woman peering over his shoulder.
It isn't until the last page David learns how the garden is therapy for Hobbs, about talking to plants, which most people can't do ("and it shows"!) and about remembering gardeners who gave him plants and then died of AIDS. Life is a veil of tears, so maybe we should cut him some slack, even if we are not in love with ugliness.

That surprised me.

I bought both books and tried to overlook my umbrage with this photoshopped cover for the paperback version. These photos are copyrighted, maybe I should paint a mustache on them.

Tell me I'm wrong. The cactus does not grow in the cracks of the cement pot like that isolated from the group. The baby hen and chick cactus plants are connected to the group. They do not grow like lichen or moss. Even so, the photographs inside the book are intriguing. They are mostly vignettes and nothing so useful as garden plans and instructions. 

The thing is, I poured over the five books of Pamela Crawford's absorbing things visually and less so by words, besides, the books repeat. Now I can look at her pictures of plant groupings and name most of the plants, along the way learning which ones are good for shade and such, but I keep coming back to a lot of what makes container plant groups extraordinary is the planters themselves and you just do not see that much uncommonly beautiful things all that often. The container used for the paperback cover is beautiful. It also looks handmade from cement. 

The trick to interesting groups is when you see unique containers that you like and you can see fitting in with your other things then buy them without compunction. 

Etsy, for example, has tons of results for large containers depending on how you word the search, but this is the only thing that I saw that could work, $70.00. Not bad at all, but it is not big enough.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Slate finds "disturbing" that so many of the docs fighting Ebola are missionaries.

CDC chief: Isolating Ebola Stricken Countries 'Wouldn’t Work'

"Appearing on MSNBC, Frieden was asked about potentially prohibiting air travel between the U.S. and West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak is most widespread. He said that such a restriction would likely be ineffective and would make it harder for health officials to root out the virus".
“The only way we’re going to get to zero risk is by stopping the outbreak at the source” in West Africa, Frieden said.

“Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work,” the top health official added. “People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here.”
Excerpt from a link to an article of an Ebola virologist interview posted by Pogo this morning (Pogo is a doctor btw)
Q: There has been speculation that the virus could mutate or has already mutated to spread more easily. How likely is that?

A: I don’t think there is any data right now to support that. If you look at the virus sequence, it falls within the normal range of Zaire Ebola strains. Of course any of these mutations could have a dramatic effect, which we don't know right now. But there is nothing obvious that would point to a more transmissible, more virulent virus, or a change of transmission route. (bold mine)
Could "nothing obvious" mean something that isn't obvious is being missed?
You can speculate in every direction, of course, but I think it should be fact-based, it should be data-based, and I think it makes absolutely no sense to bring in aerosol transmissibility as a potential. I think this is really not helpful, unless you have data to support that.
I take that to mean nobody knows with a 100% certainty how this strain of Ebola is spreading. I could be wrong, but that's what I come away with from what I've read and heard so far.

This didn't happen twenty years ago

We've been having great stormy weather around here, especially in the afternoons. It rained hard. Gradually dark and suddenly windy overwhelmingly drenching with rain and as a complete pouring is winds down somewhat the sun comes out while this is still happening as if the clouds are used up while rain is still being delivered from altitude then the rain wind and darkness suddenly stop and all that is left is a bright cloudless day and birds that dare coming out.

And the whole time I was thinking, I bet I am in a rainbow. If you were on Federal I'd be in a rainbow. This is like the fifth time this happened similarly this year.

About this same time last year was an even more severe rain storm. I'm such a dunce sometimes. The lens I was using is perfect for this. It is made for this goofy light reflecting situation. The lens has a nano crystal coating inside to prevent light bouncing around in there. It also has two extra low dispersion elements and precision glass mold aspherical lenses to control chromatic aberrations. The cloudscape was incredible and dynamic all day, the drama showing in degrees of grey. My camera conceit is so complete that it never occurred to me to put it on automatic and let it do its thing. I cannot possibly do as well myself with settings as the camera can do in such an odd light situation as this. The camera always reliably takes better photos of clouds than I do. But the whole day I never thought of setting it to automatic. The camera would have done much better with this rainbow. It was more distinct than this. And a full-size camera would have worked even better with this lens made to fit, it is less effective on my regular 3/4 size camera.

The rainbow seemed to contain the barn. A seventy-year old man whispered in a wonder-struck voice of a child, "I've never been this close to one." 


Let's get in real close. Yeah, hover right here so I can get a picture. Rotor wash? What's that? 

What if we're being punked? It could be a regular cleanup situation at a random apartment. And then I looked closer at the patches of dirt and started getting depressed.

To alleviate the depression I thought of ways to fix it. You could fill in the patches with sod and they'd be torn up, peed and pooped on by dogs, worn out again in a week. It is an area where shortcuts to and fro trump landscaping. But if you did then given the apartment steps, must be a path in the shape of an X in each dirt patch. That leaves only 4 tiny triangles to pack some ground cover exceedingly sturdy. 

It reminded me of Tamerisk in Breckenridge. The place was new. We just bought the place on the first floor from a ghoul we called Uncle Brad who lived on the third floor in either two or three condos connected. We trod back and forth from the parking lot through the snow between a tight copse of Aspen ignoring the sidewalks apparently set for people going somewhere else we were accosted by a creaky old ancient straight off American Gothic bundled to look like Mr. Green Jeans and with some implement in his hands. He addressed us directly, "Does this look like a good place for a path?"

He surprised us. Actually, it would be a good place for a path. Why deny it? So we both said, yes. Thinking ourselves something of a couple of smart asses. 

In the short time it took us to return a path had been established in white stones. It was a sincere question. He was an avid caretaker, eager to meet the needs of the buyers and he had only just started.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Diana Ross is by far my favorite Diva.

"Come See About Me," recorded 50 years ago and released in October 1964, was the third consecutive #1 single for The Supremes. KLEM FM already covered the first and second. Two more followed in 1965. All five were written by the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland team, and were musically supported by The Funk Brothers, and recorded at Hitsville USA.

"Ebola Patient's Family Ordered To Stay Inside After Trying to Leave"

"Out of an abundance of caution, we're starting with this very wide net, including people who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient's home," Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson Carrie Wilson said in a statement. "The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection." 

"We are stopping Ebola in its tracks in this country," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in the release. "We can do that because of two things: strong infection control that stops the spread of Ebola in health care; and strong core public health functions to trace contacts, track contacts, isolate them if they have any symptoms and stop the chain of transmission. I am certain we will control this."

A tweeter suggest it would be "xenophobic" to restrict Ebola pathways into the United States.

'Kelechi Obi' appears to have deleted her tweet, charging calls for flight restriction from Ebola afflicted countries, to the US, as "xenophobic".

Matthew McConaughey gives the talk

Bruce Foster, pop up author

Foster did the pop ups for Harry Potter pop-up book. I do have that book. Also another book having to do with Genesis. I had two copies of that. Gave one away to a religious lady and she told me she considers it a remarkably beautiful book. Oops, I just checked, mine were a similar thing from a different author. Man, 66¢? What a steal.

You could buy the Genesis books by the dozen and pass them out among your Christian friends and they'll love you forever. It is a very nice book, but too many words to suit me, too much biblical text for my taste. Innovative with colored plastic sheets for stained glass.

Here Bruce Foster is giving a speech with a visual presentation. The most interesting parts are, I think, where he must collaborate and the manufacturing of pop-up books. I always imagined the books being produced in Latin America but here it looks like China.

Entering Bruce Foster's name in Abebooks search produces tons of results having to do with children's books mostly collaborations to turn them to pop-ups. 

I read on another site that his America's National Parks is good. I imagined I could buy one for pennies, but not so. For some reason that particular book is not discounted to the extent all his other books are. I bought both of them. It's just odd that Puff the Magic Dragon is already discounted to 1¢, how embarrassing, and the other National Parks does not discount at all. In fact used copies become something of a keepsake. [41 Amazon reviews National Parks pop-up]

Halloween at the Zoo has also kept its price. 

I bought another one tonight, second one within a week. The first one came in the mail but was stuck in the mailbox. I had a backpack, my arms were full, a woman helped me pull it out. It was jammed in there really tightly. Another woman joined the tug of war on my behalf. I asked, "Wanna see what's in it?" 


She flips through the book and falls in love with it instantly. I say, "It's yours. You earned it."

The last copy of Gift Wrapping didn't make it past the mailbox so I bought another copy for 1¢. Plus shipping, of course. 

Back to National Parks pop-up that is not discounted. Plug your ears for the singing if you care to click. This la-and is your la-and this land is my la-and from New York City to California.

Yeah, just try jumping the fence to our house and dashing inside through a few famous rooms and see how long it takes to get yourself tackled if not shot.

All that aside, I see why one reviewer knocked it on Amazon for dull colors.

Food, diet

Nudge. Government compulsion. They are good causes but unfortunately compelled by dint of will of an unelected nonofficial holding no official office but through government agencies nonetheless and that does not work unless you are universally loved and Michelle Obama is not. Together the pair does not set an attractive enduring committed internalized example.

With everything going for him, nutritionists, dietitians, physicians, White House chefs, nagging Klingon warrior wife, Google Images:  [Obama eating]

It's embarrassing. Michelle does better. She is shown pedantic index finger extended, in front of fruit displays, at vegetable markets, behind vegetable baskets and also stuffing her face with junk food from disposable containers. Again, with a full staff to keep things going the way that she wants them: [michelle obama eating]

That's the thing, disposable containers are ugly.

This is on my mind because I've been avoiding shopping for over a week. I'm out of everything. I just do not want to go. I want to do other things instead. Plus I have to drag it all back up, put it all away, cook it, clean up the mess I make. So, having a staff to do some of that would make things a lot easier and attractive. Compare Barak and Michelle Obama with a regular bloke who lacks such a supportive staff to do shopping to hauling to storage to cooking to cleaning. [thingsimadethenate]

I noticed this last night. It's like being plunked down upon an island of food-serinity where confusion and dispute, nudging and power struggle about food does not exist.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Woman sues sperm bank after getting pregnant by black donor"

"A white Ohio woman is suing a sperm bank, claiming that she was accidentally inseminated with vials from a black donor."
In the lawsuit, Jennifer Cramblett claims the lab mix-up has caused her and her partner added stress and anxiety as they struggle to raise their 2-year-old biracial daughter, Payton, in their “racially intolerant” community of Uniontown, Ohio, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The mother also complains that in order to get her daughter’s hair cut, she has to travel to a black neighborhood, “where she is obviously different in appearance, and not overtly welcome.”
I almost called her baby by mistake.

Suez Canal Collision

Yesterday these two vessels crashed into each other in the Suez Canal, sending four containers into the sea.

"Hong Kong Protests Mark Twist in History of Umbrella Symbolism"

From 1930s England through the Kennedy and Nixon years in the U.S., to display an umbrella was to allege political softness, says Edward H. Miller, an academic at Boston’s Northeastern University. “If you are compromising, you are umbrella man.”

“It seems the umbrella is used for the opposite purpose (in Hong Kong),” Mr. Miller said in an interview with China Real Time. “It’s a symbol of strength, a symbol of defiance.”

When photos spread over the weekend of Hong Kong protesters unfurling umbrellas to protect against tear gas shot by local police, their protest movement earned the moniker “Umbrella Revolution.”

"Iraq Pilots Mistakenly Gave Food, Ammunition to ISIS Militants"

Some pilots, instead of dropping these supplies over the area of the Iraqi army, threw it over the area that is controlled by ISIS fighters,” said Hakim Al-Zamili, a lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament who is a member of the security and defense committee and acts as a security liaison for service members and commanders formed by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. “Those soldiers were in deadly need of these supplies, but because of the wrong plans of the commanders in the Iraqi army and lack of experience of the pilots, we in a way or another helped ISIS fighters to kill our soldiers.”

green chile Philly

Green chile Philly with extra green chiles.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Ebola case in Dallas confirmed by CDC, first diagnosis in U.S."

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the media at 3:32 p.m. Tuesday that Dallas has the first diagnosed Ebola case in the nation."
The federal agency scheduled a media briefing at 5:30 p.m. from its headquarters in Atlanta. Dallas County officials are expected to participate.

A blood specimen from the patient was sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, a testing process that can take 24 to 48 hours to confirm an Ebola infection -- or not.

The results came back about 3:32 p.m.
Dr. Thomas Frieden CDCP Director
CNN Update.

"White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths"

"The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq."
A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.”
Obama was for protecting civilians until he was against it.

Rosie O'Donnell: Penalizing Muslim NFL Player 'Propels Us to War'

"According to View co-host and 9/11 truther Rosie O'Donnell, a Muslim NFL player being penalized for praying after a touchdown is the kind of thing that "propels us to war." Talking to the other women of the show about Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah, Whoopi Goldberg wondered if Americans are "feeding into Muslim fear."
"Yes. I think as a nation we are. I think that, you know, it propels us to war. You have to rally the country in order to bomb a country that did nothing to you and you need to rally them and so that's what I think that was."

She added, "Anyone is allowed to represent their joy in whatever way possible for two minutes on a football field and I think it's anti-Muslim bias."

"‘Breaking Bad plot’ was fantasy, says woman accused of trying to kill mother" (Update*)

"She said: “By this time, because of the messages I received from my mum and because I couldn’t cope with it and I wanted to escape from it all, I started to fantasise about trying to kill myself or my mum."
“It was as if I was thinking through it as if I was in my own TV programme or a character in Breaking Bad. I was in a really strange place in my mind.”

She said the person who wrote the emails “doesn’t resemble me”, adding: “I know how it appears, but the truth is I didn’t do anything. It’s all fabrication.

“It escalated and I had to go to work and pretend like everything was OK and I had to be at home and pretend everything was OK.

“But I was living this other life. This was my own way of coping – it was my coping mechanism. It was how I survived daily.”
Patel denies trying to murder her mother, who sits on the bench at Thames magistrates court, and acquiring a biological agent or toxin.

Patel wiped tears away from her eyes and told the jury: “I didn’t do it. I didn’t put anything in my mother’s coke.”
* Graphic designer who 'fantasised about being character from Breaking Bad' is cleared of trying to kill her mother... but convicted of acquiring biological agent or toxin.

You two bruddas!

James and I walked diagonally across an open parking lot toward a cluster of low unattractive and uninteresting buildings cast in the shade of palm trees. James said he needed a haircut. 

"You two brudduhs. Right? You two brudduhs." 

"Yes, we are brothers."

"Ha ha ha! I knew it. Ha Ha Ha. I see you two already. I say, 'you two bruddahs.' Ha ha ha I knew it! You two bruddas. I knew da whole time, you two bruddas. See? I can tell. Ha ha ha, you two look like twins dressed different.  You two bruddas."

This person is a little too well chuffed at guessing about us before we decided to enter. This seemed more of a lady place anyway, not what he is looking for. James is amused.  All women inside. 

"You older, you younger. Right?

That just flat pisses off James. 

We had been getting that the whole previous week in San Francisco. James is outgoing and he is easy to engage. For some reason people want to. If you met him, you'd want to talk to him. It occurred a few times that people James met took an interest in him and me secondarily and insisted on knowing but then not accepting when told, no, we are not boyfriends, we are not twins either, and he is younger than I by seven years. That was made more difficult as our jackets said otherwise. I was returning and James was wearing a windbreaker jacket I stole from him that had 'Colorado Buffalos' embroidered on it. Now he lives in San Francisco. It is a perfect Jacket. He left it at my house in Denver and I loved wearing it all over the place. I did not want to give it back and said so. Then he felt guilty for demanding it back and his Christian heart felt required to ransom it with a gift jacket exactly like it, but the new jacket is embroidered 'San Francisco' and I am wearing that one. Our jackets said we were lying about who is who and from where because explaining the details that say otherwise is too complex. James mentioned being bugged by that repeated age-guessing thing people do on us and continuously guessing him older not younger. It's making him review things. And now he doesn't like the subject. And for that, neither do I. But he is not having my advice to men whose hair is thinning, that is, counterintuitively, do not emphasize the thick portion that remains, on the contrary, de-emphasize the remaining hair or else you'll look like Mao Tse Tung.

Maybe I should have made sure James is old enough to know who that is and what Mao Tse Tung looks like. 

The place will do. James is being set up.

I am left to my amusement. The shop we are in emphasizes a nail polish display. 

It is the exact same thing as a display of tiny paint bottles for model airplanes.  The names of the colors are all ordinary attractive-sounding enamel colors for ladies. James has already given his instructions that will lead to him looking like Mao Tse Tung. It is a quiet moment in the shop, I pick up bottles and read a pretend nail-color  to my brother, by way of fake-out interest, and put them back, one by one, 
* post apocalyptic burns
* radioactive waste grime 
* oil rainbow swirl on acid rain puddle
Something like that. The women listening in take a few moments to realize they're being put on James well used to my nonsense always up for a game begins formulating his own unhappy color described miserably as possible, "Oh, look and see if they have 
*speckled hagfish pale slime ell transparency." 
"Okay. I'll keep an eye out for it. But right now I'm looking at  
* biohazard mixed sludge"
* nuclear fallout harsh geiger 
* abandoned Mars explorer rust 
The joke was for my brother but that is not how things are in hairdressing shops that small, and the ladies wanting more names and wanting the previous names repeated so they could start their own line showed me again and surprised me again, how easily given over to laughter Hawaiian people are. The joke was not that funny. They were not offended we were making fun of their nail colors. They wanted more. They were having a great time imagining colors described miserably. They seem ever open to humor and there had already been a few phrases tossed to my brother intercepted by a nearby Hawaiian who burst out laughing at something incredibly stupid to the point they just seem to me open or willing or eager for humor. "More fun than a barrel full of monkeys" in reference to a wire basket filled with carved coconut monkeys is not that funny but it left a guy laughing over his steering wheel as he drove away from a convenience store, while my brother is all, "how droll." Are these people humor starved? Irony starved, wry observation starved? cynicism starved? I wondered.

The hairdresser did a great job on him given what she had to work with, shined him right up, but James emerged from the hut-like shop onto the brightly sunlit parking lot mad as h-e-double pu'ili sticks. In explaining why the hairdresser failed his direct instructions that would have made him look like Mao there was no consoling him. She did the right thing. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

"The Human Genome Is In Stalemate in the War Against Itself"

"There’s a sense of futility about this. Much of our genome seems to be engaged in an ultimately pointless duel whether neither side can give or gain any ground. But these battles aren’t quite as fruitless as they might seem."

"The team found that KZNFs partly suppress the genes around a retrotransposon too. When the cops finds their target, they tell all the bystanders to the lie on the ground too. This is important because it seriously affects the activity of many human genes, beyond retrotransposons. It means that KZNFs can eventually be used to control the activity of genes that jumping genes land next to. (“Excuse me, officer, but while you’re manhandling your suspect, would you mind also rescuing my cat?”) This arms race could have given rise to more complicated networks of genes, and perhaps more complicated bodies or behaviours." (read the whole thing)

You Belong to Me

"California adopts 'yes means yes' sex-assault rule"

"Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he has signed a bill that makes California the first in the nation to define when "yes means yes" and adopt requirements for colleges to follow when investigating sexual assault reports."
"Every student deserves a learning environment that is safe and healthy," De Leon said in a statement Sunday night. "The State of California will not allow schools to sweep rape cases under the rug. We've shifted the conversation regarding sexual assault to one of prevention, justice, and healing."

The bill requires training for faculty reviewing complaints so that victims are not asked inappropriate questions when filing complaints. The bill also requires access to counseling, health care services and other resources.

When lawmakers were considering the bill, critics said it was overreaching and sends universities into murky legal waters. Some Republicans in the Assembly questioned whether statewide legislation is an appropriate venue to define sexual consent between two people. There was no opposition from Republicans in the state Senate.
Link to the text of the bill  "SB-967 Student safety: sexual assault."

Twan meets David Hasselhoff

The lad's touched. Stay for Twan saying goodbye to Kitt and you're touched too. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Emotional Hot Air

T.C. Chamberlin, American Geologist 
In 1899, T. C. Chamberlin proposed that the CO2 content of the atmosphere decreased during times of enhanced continental erosion, ultimately resulting in glacial epochs.*

It seems fitting that two years earlier, the same man wrote presciently about the pitfalls of "emotional science:"
Love was long since represented as blind, and what is true in the personal realm is measurably true in the intellectual realm. Important as the intellectual affections are as stimuli and as rewards, they are nervertheless dangerous factors, which menace the integrity of the intellectual processes. The moment one has offered an original explanation for a phenomenon which seems satisfactory, that moment affection for his intellectual child springs into existence; and as the explanation grows into a definite theory his parental affections cluster about his intellectual offspring and it grows more and more dear to him, so that, while he holds it seemingly tentative, it is still lovingly tentative, and not impartially tentative. So soon as this parental affection takes possession of the mind, there is the rapid passage to the adoption of theory. There is an unconscious selection and magnifying of the phenomenon that fall into harmony with theory and support it, and an unconscious neglect of those that fail of coincidence. The mind lingers with pleasure upon the facts that fall happily into the embrace of the theory, and feels a natural coldness toward those that seem refractory. Instinctively there is a special searching-out phenomenon that support it, for the mind is led by desires. 
There springs up, also, an unconscious pressing of the theory to make it fit the facts and a pressing of the facts to make them fit the theory. When these biasing tendencies set in, the mind rapidly degenerates into the partiality of paternalism. The search for facts, the observation of phenomena and their interpretation are all dominated by affection for a favored theory until it appears to its author or its advocate to have been overwhelmingly established. The theory then rapidly rises to the ruling position, and investigations, observation, and interpretation are controlled and directed by it. From unduly favored child, it readily becomes master, and leads its author whithersoever it will. The subsequent history of that mind in respect to that theme is but the progressive dominance of a ruling idea. 
Briefly summed up, the evolution is this: a premature explanation passes into tentative theory, then into an adopted theory, and then into ruling theory. 
~ T. C. Chamberlin, The Journal of Geology18975: 837-848.  Link 
Geochemical evidence supporting T. C. Chamberlin's theory of glaciation.  A while back, I wrote a brief piece on calcium's role in sequestering CO2 and how the weathering of rocks releases more calcium: "This Is Calcium's Finest Hour."

Derek Jeter final at-bat

Politics: "In big races, debates few and far between"

"In many of these cases, incumbents are rejecting debates they, or their predecessors, had readily agreed to in the past. Voters who rely on debates to clarify their thinking, to connect with a candidate or to get an answer to the question candidates choose not to discuss on the campaign trail, will have to make their decisions without that input."

"The troubling trend of debate-skipping is not limited to one party, one region, or one type of officeholder. It is evident in both close-fought campaigns and blowouts alike."


I saw this linked at TOP (major LOLs in the morning):

Tiny Detectives

I just started watching "True Detectives"

h/t Saint Croix

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

A brilliant jazz/blues medley from his One Night In San Francisco album, arguably one of this five best albums.  Not bad for a pop singer from northern Ireland.....

The entire One Night in San Francisco live album is on YouTube, if you haven't heard it, or if you want to hear it again.  Here is the link.

Blessings of the day to you.


It's The Turtles all the way down:

That may be the very worst lip synching I've ever seen; the drummer is even faking hitting the drums.

Is that John Belushi's older brother singing?

When it stops being Science...

So... there's this thing.

And I'll start by saying that I'd like to be clear.  I don't spend much of any time crabbing about NdeGT.  In this instance he's just a symbol of a larger problem.  He's an illustration.  I wish I'd bookmarked a rant I saw a couple weeks ago about people who think it's so cool to claim to love science but in reality would never want to DO science... and hey, it's okay if you don't.  We don't all like the same things.  But it's so very Hip just now to claim to be all into that sciency crap.  And the best way to prove your bonafides is to publicly proclaim yourself a NdeGT fanboy or fangirl. It's like... all the coolness of being into science with none of the Math. That's not really his fault, I think, so I try not to blame him for it.

But all that is just context.

What I actually wanted to complain about was something that happened in class the other day.

It began completely unobjectionably.  We were discussing the interpretation of alluvial sediments and the implications for subsurface formations related to a paper that we'd read for class.  The author of the paper had gotten his doctorate on the basis of work he'd done showing a particular relationship that his newer paper entirely disproved.  Geology is full of such reversals of accepted truth.  The prof laughed and asked what things we might all believe to be true now would students be laughing over 20 years from now?  As an answer to that rhetorical question she started mocking the idea of CO2 not causing global warming or the world being only 7 thousand years old.

Anyone with any measure of OCD is twitching right now.

There is a point when it stops being science and it possible to locate that point by the moment when a rational person who has been presenting information logically begins to present it emotionally.  Widely derided ideas do not represent the scientific consensuses *today*.   The scientific consensus is the opposite.  But we'd entered a non-scientific state where politics and belief reside.  It doesn't matter how right she was about either CO2 or the age of the Earth, it matters that she slipped from logic to illogic... and at that point it's not science anymore.  At that point it's an excuse to mock to affirm moral superiority or political righteousness.  A little strawman pinata is tossed up there to bat at and destroy.  At that point it's illogic and disorder.

Connecting with that point, where the scientist passes over into emotion is the point where the fanboys and fangirls find they LOVE science.

Because math is hard.

(Here's a nice picture to make up for listening to me whine.)

What 1.1 Billion years looks like.