Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's going down --

It is common in Denver for military helicopters to fly low altitude in formation right over the center of the city, back and forth mostly SE -- NW directly over my apartment building close to the capitol. There were three in formation yesterday, whop whop whop whop, most annoying. Apparently they're training. (It was worst of all during the 2008 Democrat convention August 25-Aug 28. Goodness, Democrats have money and are not afraid to show it conspicuously. Continuous streams of helicopters, not just military, every helicopter in the area was put to use, as many as the air lanes could handle. Also entire fleets of stretched limousines filling the streets in steady streams. A visit by the Pope brings the same military helicopters, but minus the limousines.)

Clayton Missouri National Guard completes departure from Ferguson 8/27/2014

Colorado's Ft. Lupton's (I think) has these same helicopters.

"Yearning for freedom brought down Berlin Wall, says Merkel"

"During the course of 1989 more and more East Germans lost their fears of the state's repression and chicanery, and went out on the streets. There was no turning back then. It is thanks to their courage the Wall was opened." In a country with few cheerful anniversaries to celebrate after its belligerent 20th century history, Germans have latched onto memories of the peaceful East German revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall on a joyful Nov. 9, 1989.

"It was a miracle that everything happened peacefully," said Merkel, who was on her way home from a visit to the sauna when she saw crowds of people heading west and joined them. "There had been a lot of excitement for weeks. There were tanks that had been on my street since October 7."

8000 lights currently marking the historic path of the Berlin wall

Check your privilege... on aisle five

What's the Matter with Wikipedia

"Something happened in early 2007 that suppressed growth of Wikipedia contributor population as well as content. What was it?"


Jerry Seinfeld: "I Think I’m on the Autism Spectrum "

Friday, November 7, 2014


Meade said..."I think you're being alarmist about beer and only posted that to dig at Haz." 
Why, chickelit? Because he brags about taking male hormone supplements?
And what is with all these descendants of German immigrants? You are, what — third? fourth? fifth generation? When the hell are you going to give up the hyphen and become just plain "American"? All I ever hear is das Vaterland! das Vaterland! 
Come on, volks. Gott im Himmel!
It's over, meiner Jungs. 
November 2, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Meade, va' fa' un culo!

Watch the videos for the old fotos of The Beatles from die Lederjahre (the leather years).

Just Shoot Me, The Assistant, 1997

This clip is about Nina Van Horn trying out her new vocabulary in order to try to sound smarter than she is. Her problem is she didn't bother to look up any of the words. Finch and Elliot punk Nina with a fake word-a-day calendar to improve her vocabulary. She is so well pleased with herself. The feminist is perfect foil.

What have you learned from your 365 project? How did your style evolve?

A better question would be what haven't I learned from my 365 project. Starting off, I hadn't a clue how to operate my camera outside of 'Auto' mode. Focus was a nightmare, and interesting concepts never occurred to me. Basically, I have learned everything about photography that I know now in the 229 days of my 365 that I have under my belt. And it isn't even just photographically that I've evolved. I have become more in touch with my emotions, more willing to accept and build upon my internal frustrations and glees.

Such a smart lad. 

Look at you. Eighteen stunning self-portraits by seventeen-year old photographer Alex Stoddard.

Alexstoddard Flickr page. (not all self-portraits)

Florida Man Arrested for Feeding the Homeless

I'm Shipping Up To Boston

If Trooper was awake he'd say this is racist.

"AC/DC's Phil Rudd and that drummer stereotype"

"The news that the charge relating to Phil Rudd allegedly trying to arrange a hitman has been dropped mean AC/DC fans can relax and laugh - a little. He's still up on other charges in New Zealand and, according to sources near the band, on the outer with AC/DC's star and powerbroker Angus Young."
Invariably the incident will fire up that perennial cycle of lame drummer gags. Most surround drummers' self-destructive tendencies and supposed lack of intelligence, i.e. What are roadies for? To translate what the drummer says. Groan. Others are a bit closer to the bone. Like this one: what do you call a drummer in a three-piece suit? The defendant. 
Oh dear. 
The truth is, as always, more complex: drummers are as diverse in their flaws and strengths as the rest of the band. But the rest of the band will usually admit drummers really are, well, a bit different. Perhaps distant from the band, they often live up to that corny saying 'marching to beat of a different drum'. And in terms of replaceability, that makes them second only to lead singers. So as much as drummers cop flak - often deserved - they should be celebrated, too.

Adult Swim, Too Many Cooks

So that was 80's television apparently. I wouldn't know. My life was wrapped up in work and school and trying to have fun. The television was a strange unwatched object in an unused third bedroom. I don't even know why I owned one.

But lately, whenever I pass by Fox News the television screen fills with a huge fat guy wearing a plain single color shirt and plain one-color wide suspenders, the most interesting thing about him, and with his elbows on a table and leaning forward toward camera going, "uh, uh, uh...."  

Too many Beckels, too many Beckels, too many Beckels, too many Beckels, too many Beckels, too many Beckels... t.v. is poo. Honestly, they had just rename it the Beckel's Vapid Utterances Network. 

How to scare an old Korean lady


It depends on whom you ask.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"You’ve got to come ready to get dirty and muddy and bloody"

Turkey Slaughtering Is the New Book Club...

So, what’s it all about?
Sharing skills. That’s what we do. Once a month, someone teaches the group something new. The first meeting was at my house. I’ve got angora rabbits so we met by the rabbit hutches and I taught everyone how to care for the rabbits, how to sheer their fur, how to spin it into wool. We have sheep, too, so I like to take the soft fuzzy angora and blend it with the wool and make these great hats for the foggy weather. We also have one woman who knows how to make cheese, so we gathered in my kitchen one afternoon and she taught us all to make ricotta. It’s all very organic, Another member said, I’ll know how to catch wild swarms of bees. She had a whole presentation with handouts, online videos, a bibliography, and everything. I was, like, wow, all I did was talk about rabbits!

What’s up next?
Suddenly everyone wants goats! I’ve already got too much on my plate. But some members started a goat circle. They’ll mentor and milk and help care for each other’s goats. And I just ordered 15 chicks — we’re going to raise heritage turkeys. I told everyone, though, you’ve got to commit to slaughtering your own bird. It’s a lot of work. I’ll teach everyone how to do it, but when the time comes, you take your bird to your own corner. Then we’ll all come together on the tarp and pluck and eviscerate and clean, and take out the guts and intestines and legs and neck and all that slaughtering entails.

"Ted Cruz Threatens to Force Senate Vote on Obama’s Amnesty Plans"

"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and five other Republican senators on Wednesday threatened to use “all procedural means necessary” to force the Senate to take action against President Barack Obama’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants."
The Republicans wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to warn that the Senate must take action to stop Obama from violating Congress’s right to set immigration policy. The letter said they would work with Reid to stop Obama, but warned of consequences if Reid does nothing.

“[S]hould you decline to defend the Senate and the Constitution from executive overreach, the undersigned senators will use all procedural means necessary to return the Senate’s focus during the lame duck session to resolving the constitutional crisis created by President Obama’s lawless amnesty.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and David Vitter (R-La.).

'The Movie Inception Retold by Mom'

"Prince Charles Calls on Muslim Leaders to End Persecution of Christians"

"The Prince of Wales has condemned the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and called on Muslim leaders to help end the "indescribable tragedy" in Syria and Iraq. He called on leaders of all faiths to ensure their followers respect people of other religions rather than "remaining silent".

Speaking in a video played at the House of Lords ahead of the publication of a new report that claims that Christians are the "most persecuted religious minority" in the world and that freedom of religion is most under threat in Muslim nations.

The Prince added that religion is essential to "our future as a free society", adding that "horrendous and heart-breaking" events in Syria and Iraq had brought persecution "to the forefront of the world's news".

He said: "We have learnt with mounting despair of the expulsion of Christians, Muslims and Yazidis from towns and cities that their ancestors have occupied for centuries.

"Sadly, incidents of violence in Iraq and Syria are not isolated. They are found throughout some, though not all, of the Middle East; in some African nations; and in many countries across Asia."

carrying O.

Yay! We got New Hampshire!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Midterm Election Night

How it looks so far.


Lena Dunham: I am sorry If I caused Pain

I am dismayed over the recent interpretation of events described in my book Not That Kind of Girl.

First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.

Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.

As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.

Give Lena Dunham a break

If your father were an artist and filled your childhood walls with his own art, and his art looked like this, then you'd be a twisted sister psychologically damaged too.

Break the cycle of child abuse!

Check Out Google’s Most Popular Election Search Terms In Each State

In honor of election day, the politics team at Google has put together a collection of the most popular election-related search terms, organized by candidate and state. For each state, Google collected and analyzed the most popular search terms that are appended to an individual candidate’s name when people are looking for information about that candidate.

Voter Turned Away After Illegal Voter Pretended to be Him

An impostor illegally used a New Mexico’s man vote three days before the actual person came in to vote. The incident occurred in Rio Arriba County. When the real person came to cast his ballot, he was at first turned away, being told that he had already voted.

Only when the real person contested, saying he had not in fact voted, did election officials review their files and compare the signatures they had on record with the one signed by whoever voted three days earlier.

The signatures did not match. Why the officials did not check this in the first place has not been stated, and required voter ID laws were not in place. (read more)

Google doodle

The "vote" Google doodle today is excellent. I  honestly couldn't do better myself.

Oh wait. Maybe I can. It lacks something. It's not just voting and spinning around, no, it's voting for the expressed purpose of tossing people out of their jobs, firing them, and tossing with extreme prejudice.

I notice Google animators are doing something I see often that does not make sense. If you download their gif and open it in Photoshop you will see they have strings of identical frames at the beginning and at the end. There is no good reason to duplicate frames, far less a string of 10 or so identical frames. If the last frame is the same as the first then eliminate the last and give more time to the first. Eliminating identical frames reduces the file size considerably. That would make uploading to millions upon millions of computers much faster.

They do this for timing.

In GIMP all frames have the same speed. The animator assigns the speed for the frames at saving.

In Photoshop the animator assigns a speed for each individual frame. That was always my least favorite task because it means several taps for each tiny frame, then run the animation to check the speed to see how it looks and make adjustments accordingly. For years this has been a total drag when the  number of frames exceeds, say, twenty-five or so.

Photoshop is so vast one can spend their whole life learning its nuances. I just recently learned how to change the speed of frames in groups, change the speed of all the frames at once if I like. Here's how:

In the timeline window, once layers are transformed to frames, click on the first frame in the string, hold shift key, tap the last frame in the string and all frames in between are selected at once. Change the time of one frame and all selected frames change identically. This relives the tedium of changing times of frames individually, a remarkable savings in tedium. It makes adjusting the speed not bad at all.


No music post tonight -- just a soothing harmonic.

A pendulum interconverts potential and kinetic energy. At the high point of each upswing, the weight is motionless as it reverses course and at that moment all its energy is potential. As the weight swings downward in its arc, potential converts to kinetic energy as it swings through the midpoint. Back and forth it goes, slowed only by the friction of air or of the pivot point.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Joy Cometh With The Mourning

As it's time to start thinking about gifts for our Conservative Mothers, I thought I'd share.  I haven't read this yet (my conservative mother will get a pre-read copy) but I've read other books that Dave has written and am looking forward to getting a sneak peek.  I think if you've got that Kindle thing you can read it for Free when it is released on Kindle.  If you do, leave a review.  :)

Facebook conducts another social experiment on its members

By tweaking the news feeds of nearly two million users to present more hard news pulled from various sources that they claim are neutral. They attempted to increase voter turnout of 2012 elections and may have succeeded in increasing turnout by 3%.

The company made news articles posted by users' friends appear higher up in the stream of status updates and articles that display when users first log onto the site, to see if the stories shared by friends before an election would convince them to vote.

Facebook shared the information with academics but did not publicly disclose their experiment until Mother Jones revealed research the academics intend to publish.
“Voting is a core value of democracy and we believe that encouraging civic participation is an important contribution we can make to the community," a Facebook spokesman said.
Well, look at you. Your sanctimony shines right through.

Facebook also encourages its members to vote by including a clickable button that reads, "I'm a voter" or "I'm voting." According to their findings the buttons increased turnout by 340,000 additional votes.

I wonder if it ever occurs to these get out vote enthusiasts that the vote they get out might not be the vote they're looking for, and that inducing easily manipulated lazy or indifferent voters to act might not be the best idea.

To register your disapproval at the article on Huffington Post you must first sign up to Facebook to comment.

To read the comments to the article on Huffington Post, I must first turn off "do not track me" Safari extension. Half the commenters are fine with it, showing over half Facebook users are on the short side of the IQ bell curve or else none of the commenters would tolerate it. 

So just shut up. Or they will experiment upon you, one way or another, use you, sell your personal information and opinions. There is no advantage to  giving these people power and zero opportunity to make money off you. They're all short a few semesters of business ethics.

"‘Car Talk’ co-host Tom Magliozzi dies at 77"

"Popular public radio personality Tom Magliozzi died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, NPR announced on Monday. He was 77."

Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR, posted a statement from “Car Talk” executive producer Doug Berman:

“Tom’s been such a dominant, positive personality amongst us for so long that all of us in the public radio family — and I include our millions of listeners — will find this news very difficult to receive,” Berman wrote in part.

5 Hilarious Audio Clips From 'Car Talk's' Tom...

Any interview with Mitt Romney...

... on any subject whatsoever, is incomplete until the interviewer asks repeatedly if he intends to run for president in 2016. Prefaced with contradictory random statements by his wife given orbiter dictum to previous badgering.

Have your remote handy at the beginning so you can click off the hemming and hawing. It's old already and we're not even properly started.

Report: How Long did Obama Delay Rescue of US ISIS Hostages?

Did Obama's delay cost two Americans their lives?

"Rovers Disguised as Baby Penguins Can Quietly Infiltrate Penguin Colonies"

"Penguins, like many animals, are freaked out by people. Even if those people are well-intending researchers, the birds' heartbeats race when humans approach. So a team of scientists from the University of Strasbourg decided to design a monitoring method that wouldn't completely terrorize their research subjects, Wired reports."

A robot, the researchers figured, might be less threatening than a living, breathing, potentially predatory human. They equipped 24 king penguins in Antarctica with external heart rate monitors. The next day, they sent a remote-controlled rover into the penguin colony. They observed the birds from more than 650 feet away, Wired describes, and noted that their heart rates were significantly less fluttery and stabilized more quickly than when humans approached the animals. The penguins also allowed the rover to get closer to them before moving away from their nest than they would a human.

The researchers realized they were on to something—but a key ingredient was missing. What if they dressed the robot up to look like a baby penguin? Pursuing this hunch, they outfitted the rover with a big ball of fluff and a little penguin head and arms. The results were even better. The penguin chicks allowed the rover to join them in a creche (basically a big gathering of adorable baby animals that allows adults to keep an eye on them). They even tried to communicate with the rover.

"They were very disappointed when there was no answer," the researchers told the Associated Press. "Next time we will have a rover playing songs."

'Jeff Gordon slugs NASCAR's new bad boy... at Texas Motor Speedway'

"Jeff Gordon has slugged NASCAR's new bad boy in a pit lane brawl at Texas Motor Speedway after a little contact on the race track led to a whole lot of contact when the drivers got out of their cars."
Gordon, NASCAR's 'wonder boy,' was furious at Brad Keselowski for causing a crash at the end of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 that left Gordon finishing in 29th place.

By the end, Keselowski was left spitting blood and Gordon had a cut on his lip.

If looks could kill, Putin would be dead

One assumes heads of state possess some degree of propriety, at least one should be able to presume such, but no, so many are just oafish chavs in expensive suits. 

The YouTube version is subtitled (cc) if this one is not. Check it out on YouTube if you like and see what this no-class jerk says.

Not knowing what Putin said had some viewers taking a stab at translation. One viewer on another site remarked that Putin said that he hadn't seen the Sia Chandelier video. That got a good laugh.

The Sia Chandelier video is controversial because it depicts a young girl of twelve years of age dancing in skin-colored leotard and to admit being fascinated, admit liking the video is tantamount to admitting being a paedo-perv.

So pretend you don't like it. 

The song is about Sia's addiction to alcohol. It is a powerful and beautiful song. The dancing is showing Sia's state of mind, the house, her spirit, in the grip of addiction, a naked girl buffeted between moods of happiness and depression. Swinging by the chandelier is doing whatever she wants under influence of alcohol, shown in the dance. Sia contemplates suicide in real life, shown by the curtains drawn to the girl's neck and waving goodbye. Finally calmed, still depressed but learning to live without addiction. The lyrics clarify the dance, the dance gives form to the lyrics and the immature girl appropriate. The dance is outstanding.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

‘Carry that Weight’ College Demonstration

Today we are carrying mattresses across campus,” said demonstrator Elliot Bomboy ’17. “Mattresses are really heavy. I carried one here from Terra, but the thing is that I would rather carry that mattress to all of my classes everywhere and every day than have to put up with this for one more minute.”
Goals of the demonstrators included, according to literature they handed out, “mandatory, evidence-based education initiatives” and “expulsion as a default sanction for students found responsible of sexual assault.” 

“There’s a lot of misinformation about rape… there are statistics that show that false accusations of rape are incredibly rare, the standards of proof that Stanford have are, I believe, adequate,” Schmidt (age 15, event organizer) said.

However Elisabeth Dee ’16, another event organizer, called on the ARP to actively reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault. (read more)


I see you've got your fist out 
Say your piece and get out 
Yes I get the gist of it but it's alright
Sorry that you feel that way 
The only thing there is to say 
Every silver lining's got a touch of grey

Sabo strikes again

So it appears. Possibly an admirer, the artistic style differs slightly, the promulgation by provocative public posters is the same.  [sabo maxine waters poster]

Sabo was recently interviewed by Secret Service.  I found the interview interesting because it occurs through a studio window, and the Secret Service.  guys seem so casual and because Sabo is so rude and aggressively unsavory. He also disguises his identity as if we do not already know what he looks like.

edit: link fixed, Secret Service, not C.I.A

"Women Having A Terrible Time At Parties In Western Art History"

hi hey
what are you doing over here all by yourself
but you’re facing the wrong way
you’re not facing the party
you can’t even see me talking to you
i know 

Come undone

I am watching grown men come unraveled right before everyones' eyes. Televised.
I'm okay with an imperial president if it makes the country better. My problem is the president hasn't done enough. These Republicans just .... He needs to use the pen and phone more but Republicans only .... I want an imperial president.
Keep talking. Tell us more or your vision for America.
I say, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, take a breather then fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight.
Yeah, that shows. And that in a nutshell is the reason why you sense your despicable criminal Party is having its ass handed it Tuesday. It is the reason why you will forever remain confused and wholly wrong.

What a wonderful day of serious television. I can click through the channels and observe the entire Left come completely unglued, unhinged, unraveled as they realize too late their fierce efforts are so filled with fail.

Those people who listen to Rush Limbaugh three hours a day then turn in to Sean Hannity for three hours cannot be helped.
And neither can you be helped. Jealousy there? Oh, how it shows.

Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder, Robert F Kennedy Jr. (thickest of the lot)

"Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans"

Anyone who expresses an opinion that isn’t regarded as totally compliant with the Equality Act could find themselves ranked alongside Anjem Choudary, Islamic state or Boko Haram,” he (Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of the Christian Institute) said.
He added: “How many times a day do intellectually lazy political activists accuse their opponents of ‘spreading hatred’?

“The left does it, the right does it, liberals do it, conservatives do it, it is routine.

“Hand a judge a file of a thousand Twitter postings accusing this atheist or that evangelical of ‘spreading hatred’ and they could easily rule that an EDO (Extremism Disruption Order) is needed.

“It’s a crazy idea – the Conservatives need to drop this like a hot brick.”
Why would anybody want to hold a hot brick without a proper glove?

Never mind... smart-alecky internet.

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

Into The Mystic, from the 1970 album Moondance.  The lyrics are about a spiritual quest, typical of Morrison's work.   It has been described as "another song where the music and the words seem to have been born together, at the same time, to make one perfectly formed, complete artistic element."

Joe Cocker, looking fresh out of the sauna, sings Into The Mystic here.

Have a blessed Sunday!  The microphone is open.  Step up and say what you want.

Ophelia, controlling one's thoughts

Nice style. I like the shadows on the wall a lot. I have no idea why the characters have only one eye.

Ophelia makes one think of Shakespeare, of course. It makes me think of a painting that I own a copy of, La Jeune Martyre by Paul Delaroche painted 1855, a year before his death.

Delaroche's  painting depicts a 3rd century Christian martyr, not a Danish noblewoman. His Ophelia is murdered, Shakespeare's Ophelia kills herself. 

Three apartments ago I was not doing well at all health-wise and anticipating the worst I gave away all my books to whoever would have them. They were all good books too. No nonsense books at all. Later, when things turned around I took great pleasure in noticing my books on other peoples' bookshelves. Like seeing old friends spread all around.

I felt quite odd displaying my copy of Ophelia-like painting with its watery death subject when my own prospects appeared so poor. Surely my friends would imagine I am now fully death-oriented. They would assume a death-fixation on full display. I worried what my mother would think. As it turned out, nobody even mentioned the painting, as if it never even registered within their visual field. Or else they kindly ignored it. Who knows what they said when I wasn't around. The simple fact is I loved the painting, I found it fascinating, the way the promise of resurrection is depicted so oddly and gracefully. It got me.

There is a Greek Orthodox church a few blocks away at 55 W 2nd. I rang up the church and offered what remained of my books for their sidewalk sale saying due to my weakness I was unable to bring the books to them even though they are so near. They sent a priest to sort through them and take what he would. A straight up Greek Orthodox priest in full Eastern Orthodox garb, a tall black flat-top hat with black fabric hanging off the back, and the man with a full jet black beard, the whole bit. The priest is the single individual who even noticed the painting. It grabbed him the same way it did me. He sat there and stared at it for a good long while. We discussed the displaced halo as if her spirit is lifting through her face. I was delighted to see his fascination and I am certain he would have loved to take the print with him.

I'm tired of it now. I've pulled dozens of paintings out of storage. It needs to be switched out.

It's spooky. 

Completely inappropriate for my bedroom or the guest bedroom. Everything else is brightly lit and happy and filled with life then, thud, that dark thing. 

I want it gone. 

It is the bottom portion of a taller arch-shaped painting, The rest of it looks like this.