Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Obama pledges to hobble US economy for ten years and to ask nothing from China for 15 years*

That's the plan: Link
*He will ask them off the record to keep financing his Cloward-Piven debt and to give generously to his personal coffers and to those of the DNC.

Sophia Loren, Mad Men, opening sequence

Blogger Eric the Fruit Bat said...
Perhaps this might be of interest: LINK.

Somehow, I now find myself reminded of that famous quote about how analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog.

Let's see if it's on the interwebs . . . Super.

The first link goes to Art of the Title where the opening sequence to Man Men is discussed by one of its creators. Among the items I found interesting is this:
MG: We had some great ones in there that we had to get rid of too, which was heartbreaking. We had a Sophia Loren image, where our guy was literally falling through her cleavage, and it was just brilliant. Sophia Loren’s agent said that there was “absolutely no way that we could have that in a TV title sequence.”
Art of the Title, Mad Men (2007)

Like this? Because it sounds like a great idea and my heart breaks about dropping it too. And it's weird because after posing for all those photos of alluring steaming sexuality prominently featuring her breasts, Loren would later become demure about publicity surrounding her earlier norks. And Sophia, thank you, you're so fine you blow my mind, yo Rickie.

Amazon Review

"my friends work requires a doctors note if you call in sick"

Via reddit

It's a good thing Martha


incident at Ft. Meade

The Lost Tweets of John Stewart's Daily Show Replacement Trevor Noah

In fairness, a prominent NY conservative columnist said...   
Here is Trevor Noah, introduced to the Daily Show audience...

Monday, March 30, 2015


This song has it all: a state that's in the news and a "suicide-by-cop" story line:

Buy it on Amazon: link

"U.S. Special Operations holding urban warfare drills in Broward County"

"Police agencies in Broward County are assisting members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces who are undergoing urban warfare training."
The exercises began Monday, will last until March 27 and will be held at locations that the military will not disclose.

The 200 military personnel are from the four branches: Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy.

The goal is to prepare participants in realistic, unfamiliar training conditions before they deploy for combat overseas. Those urban locations can't be replicated on a practice range, the military said.

The exercises will happen in a variety of places but will not be held at the beaches, the Everglades, malls or large population centers, the spokesman said.
Don't ask me how I know, but, I bet there wont be any Military exercises in Ferguson Missouri.

President Obama and Chevy Chase do president Ford


Tim Cook, social justice warrior

This is a screen shot, the link to CEO Apple, tim_cook goes to his timeline.

Well look at you. This is good, Tim. Opposed to what though, treating everybody differently? According to race as our governments do? Or making news items and covering them according to racial script as our legacy media does?  Or adjudicate cases of sexual predation by sex of the accused as our courts and our colleges do? You're cute, Tim. I like this part best, "no matter who they love." That's so sweet, because it so breezily and summarily dismisses everything surrounding the issue and looks only at the puffy little cotton ball of love blowing around in the shoebox corner that occurs here and there in and out for romantic love between two people is tender and evanescent, and everyone loves love. 

Shit. I guess I have to read the whole thing now even though I flatly don't care what Tim Cook thinks.  

He opens ominously that something very dangerous is happening all across the country. Waves of legislation introduced in several states will allow people to discriminate based on their religious prejudices. They can actually cite their religious beliefs to refuse service.

The audacity. Like bakers chosen for being Christian being forced by the state of Colorado to bake a wedding cake for out-of-state activist customers mobilized specifically to challenge their basic beliefs that fill their spiritual lives, their business that is specifically Christian that funds their economic lives, and the state laws that govern their operations? And then, get this, the owners must endure some sort of attitude rehabilitation classes run by the state, and they must also keep records of how many minorities they serve and which type of minority. Nobody is interested in that except government. NOBODY! But, that's how our state government rolls. Those neighbors, Tim?  

But Tim would never have that problem, he'd sell his computers to anybody anywhere. It's a wide open global business model unlike a small local Christian bakery.

I don't know what that means.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Tim cites Texas considering legislation that would strip clerks who issue marriage licenses to gays of their salaries and their pensions no matter what the Supreme Court does with their ban on single sex marriages. He counts nearly 100 such bills.

The next paragraph is a cartoon suitcase bulging with presumption on its stand trembling under strain about to burst its faulty lock. Tim dismisses opposition with a breath.
...rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear.
They're pretending.
They go against the very principles our nation was founded on,
Founded on the principles of gay sex. He means equality, of course. My conversations on this go off the rails when I dare mentioning that gay males always had and always used legal equality to marry any female they want. Looking at it from the interest of state, whatever legal benefit proffered by state or derived by couples from this marriage between male and female, whatever subsidies, tax breaks come to a marriage that is acknowledged by government with their license is a form of bribery by government to coerce two impossibly divergent sub-species to cohabit long enough to possibly pull off raising a few children and supply good solid citizens for the state in their fashion.

Weren't expecting that, were you?

Of course they mean especially-equal, not equally-equal.

Now that wee bit of economic coercion hasn't the effect it once did as government makes itself more and more useful in fulfilling functions that families once fulfilled, we gave government that power to pick up where extended families once functioned and make themselves indispensably useful as surrogate husbands in the realm of nuclear families, so marriage itself is redefined by the support that government gives and so is economic success redefined. Yet marriage laws and tax laws, and inheritance laws, reflect the original almost pioneer era coercion. Why else have them? That is one of the perceived threats to marriage, the loss of government lagniappes. And now as consequence to all this equalizing between especial equalities we're creating inequality between married and unmarried. Why the discrimination? How can this unequal treatment between marrieds and unmarrieds be tolerated?

Our cue ball sets up the next shot.

This all seems so last century yet here we are Tim is finally catching up to the bandwagon. Welcome aboard, Tim, what took so long?

Tim lectures us.

The picture on Washington Post shows Tim with his mouth open in a lecture-y stance. His body configuration reads: "this pile of mud here." If I were a comic I would put one arm akimbo and with the other presenting an invisible pie and say, "For you see...
America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.
Touching. Then no need for Apple to interfere. That bit is self-correcting.

Apple won't discriminate against anybody who can both afford and decides to purchase their axiomatically overpriced products. No matter what. Tim says Apple strives to do business in a way that is just and fair and that is why he is standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation. He wants to start a movement and hopes we will join. He says the bills will hurt job growth and economic vibrancy [but doesn't say how] in these southern places where 21st century economy was once welcomed.

Tim says he has great reverence for religious freedom. He cites his own religious experiences. He recalls his life in the south in the 60's and 70's how difficult discrimination is to extinguish, how it moves to shadows and embeds in our laws.

The rest is a good load of tripe, horn tooting, platitude, bromide, homily and tardiness.
Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.
You're full of shit, Tim. You do tolerate discrimination, you exercise discrimination against anyone unwilling to go along with your company's well known marked up prices. And now you are practicing discrimination against entire states attempting to wrest control of language concerning the institution of marriage. Frankly, it's none of your business's business but if you make it so it will be so and to your company's detriment and that is not good stewardship.

Tim goes on about our fighting men and women and what they fought for:  Gay marriage. He means equality, of course.

We owe it to them to continue to fight. Tim blends military personnel, patriotic duty, race civil rights and sexual preferences again with reference to "whites only" signs on shop doors.

Speaking of that, I actually did see one those signs hand written on a board above an exterior door to a crumby looking place. But that was what, some three lifetimes ago. We were sitting in a restaurant in Bossier City very close to Barksdale AFB, across the street from the main gate actually, perfect Mayberry type restaurant or similar to AFB tarmac type cafes and I asked Mum, "What kind of laundry only does whites?" Seemed a strange business model. I don't know what Tim is on about mixing these two things like this with such glib ease.

A glance at the last paragraph, bink, limelight.
This isn’t a political issue. It isn’t a religious issue.
Yes it is, and yes it is. Moreover it's an economic issue too if you persist in blending your politics and your evolving secular faith with your company's prospects.
This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous.
Yes, of course it's about how we treat each other, but it takes no courage to oppose discrimination, simply stop doing it. As you do discriminate, right here, Tim, against southern states.  Starting out by telling us under your leadership following your spiritual humanity how much better Apple is than all those southern states that are far less righteous than yourself and  that fail to follow the cues dropped by your Democratic Party.

Comments at Washington post to the article are useless. They're still piling up as I write this.

Back to Twitter.

Toot toot. 

"Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Deal"

"Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country."
For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass.

“The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” the official, Abbas Araqchi, told the Iranian media, according to Agence France-Presse. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say"

Via Greg Gutfeld: Post-birth abortion? It aint no joke now.
The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.

They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.
Link to abstract of the article

More "Black Brunch" attacks, this time in Atlanta

"USDA herding internet's celebrity llamas out of the spotlight, owners say"

"The llamas that became a social media sensation while running around a Phoenix-area retirement enclave last month are saying goodbye to the spotlight with one last event on Saturday."
The llama drama that spawned jokes and Twitter hashtags also got the attention of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Freund said.

“If this opens up a can of worms where everybody across the country gets shut down doing this, that’s really unfair,” Freund said. “That’s really a horrible thing to do to people who benefit from them.”

A USDA official contacted the llamas’ owners shortly after the 26 February incident, saying they needed a license to showcase their llamas or even allow people to take photos of them, the couple said.

“They just totally destroyed everything I had planned for my retirement,” Freund said. “We’ve taken them to schools before. Now they’re telling me I can’t do anything, even like a photo shoot.”


"What's a Basketball Jones?

That's simple. A basketball jones is when you love basketball so much that you are like a junkie."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Here comes the rain

previously-unreleased George Carlin

"I love clubs and now I am over them..."

"this is just like a good way for me to go out and get hot and sweaty and not have to wear stupid shoes and dress like a whore," she said."
Partying before breakfast? It's not everyone's cup of tea. But it is the concept behind "Daybreakers," early-morning raves becoming increasingly popular in the United States

"It flips the switch on what everyone knows and used to love in my opinion, which is: you go, you get drunk, you maybe meet somebody, you hook up, you have fun with your friends, you go home, you're hungover the next day," he [Andre Herd, the producer behind the event] told AFP.

But unlike a regular rave, there is no alcohol or drugs: the strongest stimulant available in Los Angeles is coffee, with fruit juices the drink of choice at the bar.

There is, of course, a DJ to keep the rhythms coming.

"DHS Secretary: 'Thousands' of Unaccompanied Children..."

"Still Crossing Into U.S."
Unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States still number in the thousands, probably the tens of thousands, even though the percentages are lower, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress on Thursday.

"For the kids, unaccompanied kids, it's running about 40 percent lower," Johnson said. "I hope it stays that way, but we have to be prepared in the event it doesn't."
(AP Photo)

Clarkson Island


Compression, gravity, Loony Tunes, Darwin Award. It has everything.


A quart of water is poured into the bowl and the pellets drank it like nothing. Another quart of water is poured into the bowl and the wet pellets drank it like nothing. A half quart of water is poured into the bowl and the pellets drank it like nothing, no pool of water on the bottom, nothing, it built up in size and spilled over the top. 

Half the bowl of pellets was scooped out and dumped into a large bag of potting mix. It covered the surface of dirt and was mixed in. Vermiculite also mixed in.

The dirt does not feel like dirt anymore. It feels like wet gummy worms. Although the bulk is dirt. The railing trough baskets did not drain any water when filled. They just kept accepting all the water that was poured into them until it became ridiculous.

This bowl, half full with saturated pellets accepted two more quarts of water and with half quart increments built up so high it poured over the top again. 

This is Denver. The trough baskets if used as directed would dry out in hours. These baskets are lined. But even there, the troughs holding moist dirt are like sponges. With air passing through even worse. The liners in these do not even have drain holes, but the folds are imperfect so they drain excess water anyway,  Even with these hydrogel pellets holding 500 times their weight in water and without drainage holes the troughs still dry out in one day. This hydrogel that holds water for weeks or for months when used in a pile mixed with dirt down inside a hole under a bush or a tree do not work so well as that when the sun beats on them directly and their container is narrow and driest of all possible air passes right through on all sides. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pedestrian at Best - New Song

"Daylight Savings wont fix this"

"Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton wiped her server clean"

While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement.
Clinton was under a subpoena order from the panel for all documents related to the 2012 attacks on the American compound there. But David Kendall, an attorney for Clinton, said the 900 pages of emails previously provided to the panel cover its request.

Kendall also informed the committee that Clinton’s emails from her time at the State Department have been permanently erased.
Will the democrats still give her the nomination?

"Germanwings captain tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe'..."

"...as plane was descending"
The captain of the doomed Germanwings plane reportedly used an axe to break down the cockpit door in the final moments before his co-pilot “intentionally” descended the plane, killing everyone on board.

French investigators said the captain can be heard asking “several times” for access after identifying himself, but received no response. He then banged on the door before trying to forcefully gain entry, with one investigator telling The New York Times: “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”
Internet rumor is that the co-pilot was a Muslim convert... (via Gateway Pundit)

Authorities are not yet calling it a terrorist attack.

"Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers..."

 "Amid wider fake peer-review scandal"
A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications.

The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a lot of robust research of China. We see this as a broader problem of how scientists are judged.”
The Chinese PLA is known to engage in cyber warfare against the United States.

Could fraudulent "peer review" papers be part of that effort? or Am I connecting one too many dots?

Illinois Judge goes easy on "knock out game" convict.

Via Jonathan Turley.
While the rest of the country has been trying to find a way to deter the savage game known as “knock out” (where men randomly punch pedestrians to see if they can knock them out), Judge William Mays in Quincy Illinois appears less than steadfast in his approach of the “game.” Mays had Lamar Coulter, 21, in his courtroom and a compelling record of what appeared two knock out crimes. Nevertheless, Mays let Coulter go without prison time — giving him probation instead.

Coulter was arrested after two separate incidents on June 27th of a 37-year-old man and two 18-year-old men who said that they were suddenly punched by a man who fled the scene in a car. Police arrested Coulter and Calvin L. Snell for robbery and the three men were taken to a hospital.
Are these attacks still going on? You wouldn't know it by watching the news.


The Birth of Satire in the Spirit of Rock Music:

Challenge: Name an earlier than 1965 example. "Rubber Soul" doesn't count because it was recorded and released after this song.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Do not move"

Ving Translation: Do not move When you move the break is like a large bubble of thin glass world #Montale #insomnia tonight

"Hillary supporters warn media against using words of criticism as 'sexist'"

We will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism,” the pro-Hillary group HRC Super Volunteers warned The New York Times’ Amy Chozick Wednesday.
Here are the banned words: polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled.
The Washington Post list of banned words, not to be used when writing about Hillary Clinotn, is more extensive.
So these words are now off the table: "polarizing," "calculating," "disingenuous," "insincere," "ambitious," "inevitable," "entitled," "over-confident," "secretive," "will do anything to win," "represents the past," and "out of touch."
What other words, often used to describe something Hillary Clinton does, do you think she should ask to be banned?

"Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane on purpose"

"A young German co-pilot locked himself alone in the cockpit of a Germanwings airliner and flew it into a mountain with what appears to have been the intent to destroy it, a French prosecutor said on Thursday."
Investigators and grieving relatives were left struggling to explain what motivated Andreas Lubitz, 28, to kill all 150 people on board the Airbus A320, including himself, in Wednesday's crash in the French Alps.

The CEO of Lufthansa, parent company of Germanwings, said its air crew were picked carefully and subjected to psychological vetting.

"No matter your safety regulations, no matter how high you set the bar, and we have incredibly high standards, there is no way to rule out such an event," CEO Carsten Spohr said. (read more)
My speculation, after the pilot's name was released this morning, was that maybe the co-pilot wanted the passengers to have a closer view of the French Alps. Perhaps, similarly to how the captain of the Concordia wanted his passengers to take a closer look ashore and miscalculated. Who knows?

Maybe the authorities will find something to explain his actions, but, maybe they wont.

“It was completely a reaction to the drugs”

"The 23-year-old college graduate was in the midst of a two-week ski and snowboard vacation with family members. Saturday afternoon he and his cousin, Caleb Fowler, took a bus from Keystone to Silverthorne where Fowler says they bought $78 worth of edibles and marijuana."
“He was excited to do them,” Fowler told CBS4.

When the young men got back to Keystone, Fowler said they began ingesting the edible pot. He said his cousin favored some peach tart candies, each piece of candy containing 10 mg of the active ingredient in marijuana, the recommended dose for an adult consuming an edible.

But when Goodman consumed several and experienced no immediate effects he kept gobbling them up.

“Luke popped two simultaneously” after the first two didn’t seem to do anything, said Fowler.

Then he said Goodman took a fifth candy, five times the recommended dose.

When family members left the condo Goodman refused to join them. After they left he got a handgun that he typically traveled with for protection, and turned it on himself.


Rdbrewer posted this painting without comment, Aurora Borealis by Frederick Church and I like it a lot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Solar Eclipse 2015 (update)

(Update) Solar Eclipse 2015: International Space Station Photo Was Fake.

"Bergdahl faces charges of desertion"

"Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was recovered in Afghanistan last spring after five years in captivity, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to his lawyer."

"Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, told The Washington Post that his client was handed a charge sheet on Tuesday. Army officials announced they will provide an update in his case at 3:30 p.m. at Fort Bragg, N.C., but declined to discuss new developments ahead of the news conference."

Florida Florist

Did you see in the news White House florist was quietly dismissed? Speculation is that the florist's French style did not comport with the first lady's more modern preferences. Wouldn't you love to see those emails?

We have no shortage of flowers here.

"Homeland Security exec used 'improper influence' to favor Reid, McAuliffe"

"Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas exerted "improper influence" on behalf of three applicants for a federal program that grants residency to foreign investors in U.S. projects, including one with links to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and another to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe."
Mayorkas created a hand-picked "deference review board" that reversed a series of decisions by the LA Films center to reject applications linked to film projects of Sony and Time Warner. "This board did not previously exist and was never used again after it voted to reverse the adjudicators' proposed denials. Remarkably, there is no record of the proceedings of this board," the inspector general said.
In the Las Vegas example, Mayorkas intervened at the request of Reid seeking "expedited review of investor petitions involved in funding a Las Vegas hotel and casino, notwithstanding the career staff's original decision not to do so." The inspector general said "Mayorkas pressured staff to expedite the review. He also took the extraordinary step of requiring staff to brief Senator Reid's staff on a weekly basis for several months."
Senator Reid is dirty and everybody knows it.

"Kids found in freezer rarely were allowed outside"

"I been staying down here my whole life, and I never saw them outside, to the point where I thought that they actually moved out," said Rocky Ashford, 18, who lives in a neighboring town house at the Martin Luther King Apartments.
The grisly discovery was made Tuesday by a crew that had come to the home to evict the family. Police said the mother was taken into custody in another unit at the same complex as a person of interest in the case, but no formal criminal charges have been leveled this morning.

It's unclear how the two children died. Autopsies are expected to be performed this week.

A person familiar with the investigation this morning said Blair has confessed.

Two other children, a 17-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, were also living in the home, even as their siblings lay frozen in the small deep freezer just inside the front door. Those two children also were rarely seen outside. They were placed in protective custody.

The two children, whose bodies police say may have been frozen for a year or more, hadn't been seen outside the house for years.
Gruesome stuff.

Dan Deacon, When I Was Done Dying.

Animators are loving this to bits.

From the comments:

At a party a very long time ago when I was in my early twenties and still eager to get out to see and be seen at one point I was deeply engaged with a group of people there describing to them a recent dream. The little group was interested in hearing it, interested in analyzing, having fun with me talking about something weird. Approaching from behind, from out of nowhere, and with zero interest in such things so unreal as dreams my date broke in saying, "Then an egg fell out of the sky and hit the ground right in front of you." And I said, "You bitch." When I heard this song I thought, well, that's a bit of overproduced noise. But it grew on me. The lyrics look like a dream and so do these video segments. It's the sort of thing that appeals to me. Animators agree. It's new. Everyone on YouTube and elsewhere are nice about this. With the words right there in front of me open in another window, I kept up with the song signing it with my own hands in ASL, and not just mental impulses, it's a good lot of visual imagery just the sort of thing I look for, then it becomes so disjointed so ridiculous and so long and dragged out that I realize there would be no reason whatsoever to be communicating this to anybody and I lose patience with it. It's meaningless. It's too much physical effort to convey nonsense that nobody cares about and I'm all, then what next? -- An egg come flying out of the sky and hit the ground right in front of me. You bitch.

It's mental.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ted Cruz Defends the Letter

Link in case video play difficulties

How safe is safe?

"I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told "Outside the Lines." "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

"I feel largely the same, as sharp as I've ever been. For me, it's wanting to be proactive," Borland said. "I'm concerned that if you wait 'til you have symptoms, it's too late. ... There are a lot of unknowns. I can't claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long, healthy life, and I don't want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise."
TWO years ago I wrote about my choice to have a preventive double mastectomy. A simple blood test had revealed that I carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. It gave me an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

I promised to follow up with any information that could be useful, including about my next preventive surgery, the removal of my ovaries and fallopian tubes.

I had been planning this for some time. It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe... 
Last week, I had the procedure: a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. 
It is not possible to remove all risk, and the fact is I remain prone to cancer. I will look for natural ways to strengthen my immune system. I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, “Mom died of ovarian cancer.”

Regardless of the hormone replacements I’m taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes. But I feel at ease with whatever will come, not because I am strong but because this is a part of life. It is nothing to be feared.

"German Airbus A320 plane crashes in French Alps"

A passenger plane flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has crashed in a remote and mountainous area of southern France.
A distress call was made by the aircraft at 10.47am, while the plane was “in an abnormal situation”, the French transport ministry said. The crash happened shortly afterwards, it added.

The aircraft disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported. The plane dropped from 11,500 metres to 2,100 metres (38,000ft to 7,000ft) in nine minutes between 10.31am and 10.40am, air radar services said.

The distress call to air traffic control in Marseilles was “mayday, mayday, mayday” and the pilot requested an emergency descent, meaning all airspace had to be cleared below the route of the aircraft.
A chance for CNN and Fox to have people talk and scribble large digital maps a la John Madden.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy National Puppy Day

"Police Find No Evidence of Rape at University of Virginia Fraternity"

"The police here said Monday that they had found no evidence that a woman was gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house in 2012, and they were suspending their investigation, after a lengthy inquiry in which the alleged victim refused to cooperate. But they said the inquiry was not closed."
“I can’t prove that something didn’t happen, and there may come a point in time in which this survivor, or this complaining party or someone else, may come forward with some information that might help us move this investigation further,” Police Chief Timothy Longo told a roomful of reporters here.

The announcement came four months after a now-discredited report of the sexual assault was published in Rolling Stone, roiling the historic university — and the world of journalism. But it was not entirely unexpected; university officials said in January that the police had informed them there was no “substantive basis to confirm the allegations.” (read more)
Should false allegations of rape be punished?

Link to original Rolling Stone magazine article. "A Rape on Campus"

Added: UVA Fraternity Exploring Legal Options to Address 'Extensive Damage Caused by Rolling Stone'

"FEMA to deny funds to warming deniers"

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster-preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard-mitigation plans that address climate change."
"If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn't want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics," said Becky Hammer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council's water program. "The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state" because of his climate beliefs.

The policy doesn't affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood, or other disaster.
(Added) Just a few days ago... Al Gore: Punish climate-change deniers

Ted Cruz to make an announcement today

"Yet critics of Cruz argue that he will have trouble raising high-dollar donations from traditional contributors, will land few endorsements from the nation's political establishment and be unable to escape comparisons to President Barack Obama, who also ran for president in his first Senate term. And if he advances to a general election, Cruz trails likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton solidly in early public opinion polls."
"I don't consider him a mainstream candidate, and usually to win you've got to be inside the 45-yard lines," said Greg Valliere, a political adviser to Wall Street firms who believes that if Cruz did earn the nomination, he would not win more than a dozen states in the general election. "The enthusiasm for him will be tremendous in maybe a third of the party, but another third of the party will be strongly opposed and another third of the party will be wary."

Senior advisers say Cruz will run as an unabashed conservative eager to mobilize like-minded voters who cannot stomach the choice of the "mushy middle" that he has ridiculed on the stump over the past two months in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

"Ted is exactly where most Republican voters are," said Mike Needham, who heads the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America. "Most people go to Washington and get co-opted. And Ted clearly is somebody that hasn't been."

A man hears for the first time.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Who'd have thought that "underground" involved so much UP!

We climbed about 600 feet, not counting the down and back up parts, to nearly 7000ft at the top.  In between we crawled (part of it was crawling) into the Galena King Mine.  I went on this trip last fall, too, but this time I got better interior pictures of the crystal bands above our heads.  The pretty blue is Fluorite.  I'd been asked by someone to look for Wulfenite and the bright orange *might* be, but it was too far above my head to see for certain.  The only minerals of interest to our class (and to long ago miners) were the Fluorite, Galena, and Barite.

looking up... men could stand
on those logs, and did.
The blue is fluorite, but what is
bright orange and pink?

Pretty darn good for a phone camera.

Outside, 7000 feet up.  "Nellie Mine" shaft in the middle
distance.  They dug up a lot of nothing and left a hole.
 Mt. Taylor in the far distance.

Dr. Milton Wolf on Obama

That's not very supportive, Milt.

Apart from its accuracy, the tone of it to my ear sounds like the well-ruminated screed that alcoholics construct by mulling their grievances over and over. Bellied up to the bar and with alcohol lubricant the grievances reviewed and polished and verbalized there in the bar repeatedly until every point is covered and to buffed hardened diatribe. Then outside the bar delivered all at once as brilliant well-considered spew. 

I am not saying that is what this is. I am saying I've seen similar before. It's a polished string of beads, possibly worry beads or rosary beads. 

The next time you're cornered on this subject uncomfortably you can deliver Milt's rosary. 

"Seattle man sent wrong invite for bachelor party now has to go"

"It turns out DiJulio, an information technology worker and a married father of one in Burien, Washington, had been mistaken for a friend of the groom with a similar last name. He sat as a "fly on the wall" for much of the email chain until Monday, when he broke the news after the groom's brother wanted a headcount of people attending the party."
Q13Fox.com reported that DiJulio wrote to the group, "I live out in Seattle, WA and although for a moment I thought it might be funny to just show up and be that guy nobody knows but everyone wonders "who is that guy?", buying a plane ticket for a cross-country flight just to crash a bachelor's party might be a bit over the top (although it would be epic!)

The groom, Jeff Minetti, 34, must have agreed that the party would indeed be epic, so the crew urged DiJulio to pack his bags.The Philadelphia real estate agent asked him to attend both the bachelor party March 28 and his wedding May 2 in New Jersey. The guys started a GoFundMe page called "Bachelor Party 4 Guy I’ve Never Met" and earned enough money to pay for DiJulio's trip, putting any more money raised toward Minetti's honeymoon.

"This is the city of brotherly love," Minetti said, even telling DiJulio he could be his best man. "Any and all are welcome."

“These are the highest-luxury goods man has ever known”

"One of the reasons there’s so much talk about money is that it’s so much easier to talk about than the art,” Zwirner told me one day. You meet a lot of people in the art world who are exhausted and dismayed by the focus on money, and by its dominance. It distracts from the work, they say. It distorts curatorial instincts, critical appraisals, and young artists’ careers. It scares away civilians, who begin to lump art in with other symptoms of excess and dismiss it as another garish plaything of the rich. Of course, many of those who complain—dealers, artists, curators—are complicit. The culture industry, which supports them in one way or another, and which hardly existed a generation ago, subsists on all that money—mostly on the largesse and folly of wealthy art lovers, whether their motivations are lofty or base."

"Since the doldrums of the early nineties, the market for contemporary art, which has various definitions (work created after the Second World War, or during “our” lifetime, or post-1960, or post-1970), has rocketed up, year after year, flattening out briefly amid the financial crisis and global recession of 2008-09, before resuming its climb. Big annual returns have attracted more people to buying art, which has raised prices further. It is no coincidence that this steep rise, in recent decades, coincides with the increasing financialization of the world economy. The accumulation of greater wealth in the hands of a smaller percentage of the world’s population has created immense fortunes with a limitless capacity to pursue a limited supply of art work. The globalization of the art market—the interest in contemporary art among newly wealthy Asians, Latin Americans, Arabs, and Russians—has furnished it with scores of new buyers, and perhaps fresh supplies of greater fools. Once you have hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s hard to know where to put it all. Art is transportable, unregulated, glamorous, arcane, beautiful, difficult. It is easier to store than oil, more esoteric than diamonds, more durable than political influence. Its elusive valuation makes it conducive to extremely creative tax accounting." (long read)

Arsenic In Wine

A lawsuit filed in California claims that dangerous levels of arsenic exist in many popular wines:

I'm not much of a wine drinker but I think that this news could be devastating for California wine producers and those who sell them; they must fend off the claims and charges if they're spurious.

Greenpeace Co-founder: Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

"I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”"

The Sound of Sunshine, ASL

No, don't go, watchmysign. Come back. Come back.

You should watch this lad because he's brilliant.

UMG controls the song and they insist it be viewed on YouTube. It's worth opening another window by B-clicking here.

I do not know why this song is chosen to translate. I hadn't heard it before. But now that I heard it four times it seems to be running on its own. I was not looking for it. The song was way down the list of results while looking for something else. YouTube did not have what I wanted so it graciously provided alternatives that became further remote from my interest as I pursued it. I proceeded aimlessly choosing things to view, I kept picking women and I kept noticing that women are doing the same thing throughout, and becoming a bit cross with the whole thing. They are interpreting their songs, conveying the gist of the chorus, so there's that, then dropping the chorus in favor of bouncing around and club dancing which is entertaining to watch, yes, someone having a good time, yes, but sadly conveys the idea only partially and quite fragmented.

A previous video of this same song I noticed the producing organization first and thought, well, it's some kind of song that an organization will select, some cheerful inclusive praise to people type thing. It looked like the organization that is putting out videos of people who grew up with deaf parents translating songs, so I watched and the woman did what the other women are all doing, a partial job of translating, not sticking with the lyrics as written throughout, with all the rest amounting to basically an audition video that includes, club dancing, attention to hair and to wardrobe, wind machine, makeup, scene and setup, posing, flirting, smooching, smiling gorgeously, as example, the video shot in puddles of water around industrial site flicking water all around with her foot for the song "Radioactive," as in Dirty Dancing and with very little emphasis on accurate signing. Then this lad, watchmysign, does the same song viewed previously that I hadn't heard of and now I'm really wondering what's up with this song.

The first woman, for contrast, if you like. You'll see what I mean immediately.

Watchmysign is very good.

I just want to squeeze his guts out.

His style is very much like my own, he reminds me of myself, and that is why he intrigued me. And that made me wonder why watchmysign didn't work out something more graphic for the song's key phrases, "I'm waiting for this storm to pass" and "that's the sound of sunshine coming down."

Watchmysign does impressively well, just short of graphic linked imagery. 

The hand configuration for "waiting" (in the song) is the the same hand configuration and movement for "fire" and also the same hand configuration for "storm" (in the song) except one hand is flipped so the hands are facing, to contain a storm. "Waiting for this storm to pass" is a very smooth phrase from one concept (waiting)  to the other (storm passing), one hand simply flips from the sign for "waiting" then both hands shift position for a storm passing by, although positioned wrongly for a textbook storm, not up there above the head, but rather as a person passes by. 

I do this sign "waiting" slightly differently than shown to distinguish it from fire. My waiting is dramatic. I throw out both arms rigidly parallel with loose hands wiggling my fingers, slowly or rapidly, the stance and the facial expression, eye rolling, watch tapping, weight shifting, say exactly what kind of waiting and how long and how trying on my patience. 

But this looks like "fire." If I looked up his version of "fire" the flames would be higher and more roiling. 

Storm, a sign that is shown lifted above the head with hands and arms covering the face. We don't like those two things about a sign, but it does has the advantage of passing by within it, so the action verb phrase "passing by" is built into the sign for "storm." 

Storm needn't be up there at the top of the head. This is the textbook example. Because our sign for "storm" is coming from the word for "waiting" and because we don't like words that make us lift our arms that high and expose our sweaty armpits and worse cover our face and hide our lips, it's fine to bring down the storm to body level as long as a good clear storm is shown. 

But it is not fine to bring down the sun, another sign lifted above the head. People execute this sign in different ways. It looks like a lightbulb. Some signers do a little circular squiggle then boink splay fingers for the rays of sun, as a lightbulb. I do the sun as full hand "C," same as shown here, rising stately into its celestial position way up there except with no rays of light as this example and as watchmysign in the song video. For "moon" the same thing with a "C" formed with a single finger and thumb, basically a lower case "c" for moon.

You see the sign for "sun"  is a pain in the butt to display. He lifts his sun right off the screen, turns it around and illuminates the whole world. 

He starts with a broad "C" as a visor, at the eyebrow. He had to pull his arm up there to begin the sign for "sun" and then take the C twice as high. It's a drag to perform this sign all the time. The thing is, if you are going to evoke the nearest star you must lift your whole arm up over your head as far as it will go, no half hearted effort acceptable, no tucking the elbows into one's ribs, no meek sun allowed, or its not a sun. If the word is in the chorus of a song you will be doing a lot of arm stretching, and since the "shine" is "coming" from that up there, then there will be some activity from that direction, rays that are streaming, pouring, flashing, shining, you set the sun in the sky, now the light is coming on you, and this is the sound. It is a phrase that looks like circular movement between the sun in the sky, its rays come to you, and the sound up to your ears. That phrase can be acted as a graphic circular motion and presented as chorus. 

Sun and moon as broad and narrow "C" involve one hand lifted high the other arm idle.  The idle arm can be put to use to show a horizon, so any phrase involving rising and setting of sun or moon can be depicted using both hands, one for horizon the other for a moving celestial body.

Textbook shine. The example is showing shine coming off something. Our shine is not coming off the back of our hand, rather, it is coming off the sun that we placed well in the sky, and our shine for this song is coming to us, not flying off in space, so, shown backward from this. Our shine begins from the sun rays we just finished depicting by showing the sign for "sun." 

Our shine is coming from the sun we placed way up there. Our sign for "come" will be altered from this to conform with our altered "shine", to show quite clearly that we're saying, "sun" "shine"  "comes."

I want to use the sign "come" because it is so odd in this context. The song is odd and I want to be odd too. The "shine" is already coming. The concept of "come" is inherent in the sign for "shine. " Just as movement is inherent in the sign for "storm" so too movement is inherent in the sign for "shine," when we preform "shine" emanating from the sun to us the verb "come" is already part it, but there is no harm in having "shine" become "come" before it gets to you. The sign can start out "shine" and finish "come" then both hands, index fingers extended, flip and slide right into the sign for  "down" to comport with music, sound, lyric and beat.

The oddness of the phrase "and that's the sound of sunshine coming down" might be the reason why this song is chosen for translation. I do not know. Maybe it's a popular song I missed. Sunshine does not have a sound. Maybe that's the thing that makes it interesting to them. Thinking of this graphically one must connect "sound" a finger to the ear or a cupped ear, to rays of sunlight "coming" down. It's an odd phrase, not "streaming down," not "pouring down," not "beating down," not "pin-lighting," not, "flooding," not "raining down," not particularly warming you up nor illuminating you, nor filling you, merely coming down.

Watchmysign does very well with the phrase. It looks to me somewhat Islamic the way watchmysign fills up with heavenly light, it's lovely, and it is the actual sign for Islam. I like it. I would do this differently though, to link signs and be more graphic.

We see the lightbulb form of "sun" already provides the rays of light the same way Akhenaten had his artists depict life-giving rays emanating from Aten. The signer could show those rays "shining" and adjust the word "come" to fit the direction of the rays that were just shown, the hands and arms being prepositioned so the phrase displays like a movie one concept connected to the next. I wonder why watchmysign didn't work out a visual phrase, something simple and graphic that runs in conceptual sequence smoothly using the systems of sign, one so pure and so graphic that would make sense to non-signers.