Saturday, January 14, 2017


"an emergency fund is 1000x better than having more/nicer things"

r/personalfinance:  My wife and I are in our early/mid twenties. We have saved a little more than a third of our income over the past two years so we had several thousand dollars in an emergency fund plus extra savings. The amount isn't really relevant - the point is that we had no plans to use it.
At the end of 2016 we were both in great health, and being young we decided to go with my employer's HDH plan with an HSA. Last weekend we blew through the deductible on my wife and we will likely hit the out of pocket maximum before the month is over. This health issue came out of nowhere and we're very fortunate to have good insurance.

But because we have extra savings, we don't have to make medical decisions based on cost. We can pay the full annual out of pocket maximum and we won't really miss it. If a doctor thinks a test is necessary we can simply authorize it without worrying about how we will pay for it. It has been stressful but I can't imagine how much more stressful it would be if we had to go into medical debt to pay for it all.

We could have eaten out more last year. My wife could drive a nicer car. We could live in a bigger apartment or house. But I wouldn't trade the freedom of having the extra savings for any of that.

This came out of nowhere and was frankly highly unlikely. It could happen to anyone. And we were easily able to pay for it. An emergency fund is psychologically, emotionally, physically, and financially is the most important improvement to your quality of life that you can "buy." in my opinion anyway.
Credit cards are a fools errand.

"TIL If Adolf Hitler's father hadn’t changed his name in 1877, his name would have been “Adolf Schicklgruber.”

Adolf Hitler's family tree is complicated. You will notice that the last name "Hitler" had many variations that were often used almost interchangeably. Some of the common variances were Hitler, Hiedler, Hüttler, Hytler, and Hittler. Alois Schicklgruber did change his name on January 7, 1877 to "Hitler," which was the only form of the last name that his son, Adolf, used.

The family tree is filled with multiple marriages.

Look carefully at the marriage dates and the birth dates of their children. Many children were born illegitimately or born only a couple months after marriage. Although the graph shows Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois Schicklgruber's father, this is a contested issue.

Did you notice that Hitler had a living sister? We often think of him as a loner, but his sister Paula survived him.

Also, Alois Schicklgruber's first wife has not been included. He married Anna Glassl-Hörer (1823-1883) in October 1873. Anna became an invalid soon after the marriage, in 1880 she filed for a separation, and she died three years later. Alois and Anna had no children together.

Via Reddit: link (see family tree at the link)


Nostradamus predicted Trump 400 years ago:

The great shameless, audacious bawler. 
He will be elected governor of the army: 
The boldness of his contention. 
The bridge broken, the city faint from fear.

Century III, Quatrain 81

Friday, January 13, 2017

Neil Cavuto on Trump shutting down Jim Acosta of CNN

This again.

I just notice what an apposite name Acosta is for a reporter who persists, "Can you give us a question?" *jab*
"Can you give us a question?" *jab*
"Can you give us a question?" *jab*
"Can you give us a question?" *jab*
"Can you give us a question?" *jab*

Were this obnoxious journalist's name the result of an author choosing names for his characters for his novel then it would seem a bit trite, a bit like a tongue-in-cheek joke like Ian Fleming gave to 007 secretaries, or "Mr. Black" for someone who practices dark magic and speaks only about terrible things and is actually negro, or "Mr. White for a character that is angelic and albino. There have been so many of these apposite names lately through this past election drama, we noted them at the time although presently they slip my mind. Names that came up through the Wikileaks revelations so apposite the names seemed to be made up for the drama, and through Veritas exposé videos. I'll start a label for them. For fun. (An actual name of the secretary for the manager of the Money department where they sorted cash by the same high speed sorters that the Check department sorted checks was named "Penny Wages.")

This video appeals to me greatly. I like the new angle showing Jim Acosta jabbing and repeating, and I notice a distinct improvement in Cavuto's dynamic colloquial English that drives the points he makes much better than constrained journalese or by pinched imitation higher class English or clever ivy league phrasing. Notice:

Now you're the ones royally foxed, a cute euphemism where the "royally" portion obviously strongly suggests "fucked."

Payback's a bitch.

... the one now kicking you in the ass.

Obama's attacks against Fox were always oblique, made to his bleacher of trained seals and dangerously through perversion of government departments and all that was just fine by his supporters who continue to parrot his perpetually annoying but accidental hissing voiceless denti-alveolar sibilant, Foxsnooze. There's therapy for that. I know, I uthed to thay my etheth like thith until the fifth grade when they forthed me into thpeech therapy, eh, it got me out clath. While Trump attacks directly, embarrassing the reporter on the spot in front of his peers. "No soup for you!" 

The Trump dossier is a Russian provocation

This is a post written by David Satter on Hot Air.

In three paragraphs Satter describes how he is struck by the way the sources in the Steele report comport with Russian propaganda techniques.

1) A senior financial official, "source C," says the Trump operation (say what?) must be viewed in the context of Putin's desire to return to 19th-century power politics, a regular feature of Kremlin propaganda that frames Russian behavior as something other than straight up aggression.

2) The obviously fictional story about Trump hiring prostitutes to pollute the bed slept in by Obama. Satter's own Wikipedia page is altered in a similar fashion.

3) The report saying that Putin is motivated by "fear and hatred of Hillary Clinton" is typical of Russian propaganda to reduce international tensions to personality conflicts. It also distracts from the real goal of undermining American institutions.

So then.

Observation: The Steele report resembles Russian propaganda in various way.

Conclusion: The Steele report is Russian propaganda.

David Satter is familiar with these common Russian propaganda techniques but nobody who's not David Satter  could  possibly convincingly imitate them. No, David Satter apparently imagines that he possesses unique observations.

Why does David Satter need so desperately for the bogus report to be produced by Russians? Why is this so important to him? Man, all this penetrating political opinion and political motivation from Trump detractors, from Democrats, from Republicans, from British, from Germans, from Chinese, from Never Trumpers, from actors and singers and from activist groups is wearisome. So much easier to simply block them all out, disregard them, discard them. So much easier for David Satter to say simply, "The authors of the Steele report have Russian propaganda techniques down quite convincingly. Top trolling."

But it's not top. It's ridiculous on its face. And it's not worth the discussion it's given. And that's why media is forfeiting its authority, its validity, at light speed.

"Scientists Discovered How to Regenerate Human Skin"

The human body can do many impressive things. Despite years of evolution honing its capability to carry out the complicated mechanisms needed to ensure our survival, the body has not refined the process of healing skin. Sure, wounds inflicted on the body’s largest organ can heal, but we are left with scar tissue.

A team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania however, believe they have found a way to do the previously impossible – allow skin to regenerate using fat cells.

Adipocytes, the type of skin that regenerates after we get superficial cuts, is filled with fat cells that allow it to blend easily to the rest of your skin as it heals. Scar tissue (made up cells called myofibroblasts), which occurs as our skin heals from deep cuts, looks very different because it contains no fat cells or hair follicles.

“The findings show we have a window of opportunity after wounding to influence the tissue to regenerate rather than scar,” said the study’s lead author Maksim Plikus, PhD, an assistant professor of Developmental and Cell Biology at the University of California, Irvine.

George Cotsarelis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, explains,”the secret is to regenerate hair follicles first. After that, the fat will regenerate in response to the signals from those follicles.”

The scientists just had to figure out where the signals were coming from. They eventually identified a factor called Bone Morphogenetic Protein which instructs the myofibroblasts to become fat. “Typically, myofibroblasts were thought to be incapable of becoming a different type of cell,” Cotsarelis said. “But our work shows we have the ability to influence these cells, and that they can be efficiently and stably converted into adipocytes.”

While the discovery is indeed impressive, it should be noted that the experiment is still in its early stages and serves only to demonstrate proof of concept.

Via Reddit: Link

"No pocket change: Man delivers 300,000 pennies to DMV"

A Virginia man used 300,000 pennies to pay sales tax on two cars at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports ( that Nick Stafford delivered five wheelbarrows full of change, mostly pennies, at the DMW office in Lebanon, Virginia, on Wednesday. The coins weighed in at 1,600 pounds.

Stafford said he paid in coins to "inconvenience" the DMV.

Stafford was upset because he was unable to find out the direct number to the Lebanon DMV until filing a Freedom of Information Act request. He later sued the state because he says he was denied direct phone numbers to other DMV offices in his area.

Stafford ended up filing three lawsuits, which were dismissed Tuesday.

Via Twitter: Link

WKRLEM: He's the man...the man with the Midas touch


Trump's finger
He's the man, the man with the Midas touch
A spider's touch
Such a cold finger
Beckons you to enter his web of sin
But don't go in

Golden words he will pour in your ear
But his lies can't disguise what you fear
For a golden girl knows when he's kissed her
It's the kiss of death from

Pull Trump's Finger
Pretty girl beware of this heart of gold
This heart is cold

Golden words he will pour in your ear
But his lies can't disguise what you fear
For a golden girl knows when he's kissed her
It's the kiss of death from

Pull Trump's Finger
Pretty girl beware of this heart of gold
This heart is cold

He loves only gold
Only gold
He loves gold
He loves only gold
Only gold
He loves gold

Why Smart People Don't Multitask

You may have heard that multitasking is bad for you, but studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Every time you multitask you aren't just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that's critical to your future success at work.

Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

A Special Skill?

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers — those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance — were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.


Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Multitasking Lowers IQ

Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they'd expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

Via Drudge: Link for more 

Joe's Cup Runneth Over

Joe: "does this mean we are finally ride or die homies"?
Barack:" Goddam...ok Joe, yes we are real tight like that, are, are you crying now?".
Joe:" sniff sheeit, no! Trump is slicing onions down there, my eyes be watering like crazy"
Barack: "right joe"

Via Reddit

Draw an Egyptian lady

She's got no legs. 

Come on. We've done this a million times. All through school, all through college while taking notes. It's based on hieroglyph B1. It's needed for woman, for lady, for goddess, for wife, for sister, and children. We did this ten million times as hieroglyph. 

We drew it so many times writing that everybody, all of us scribe types, got sick of drawing it, honestly, it's wearisome, and the whole thing developed to a shortcut in cursive so B1 came out looking like this in hieratic:

And the classic hieroglyphs were leaned upon heavily for all manner of wall art repeatedly all over the place.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why do killer whales go through menopause? Via

Menopause is an exclusive trait, shared only among humans, killer whales, and short finned pilot whales. According to a new Current Biology study, killer whales go through menopause to avoid reproduction competition with their daughters, allowing them to instead share knowledge to help their family succeed. This explanation also sheds light on why humans share this unique trait with toothed whales.

Darren P. Croft, an animal behaviorist at the University of Exeter, and colleagues used 43 years of demographic data on killer whales to investigate menopause. The evolutionary benefit became clear when they found that in cases where mothers and daughters do have calves at the same time, the calves of the old-generation females are 1.7 times more likely to die than the calves of younger females.

We spoke with Croft to find out more....

Via Reddit: link to the rest of the story

Whose that author?

Morpheus' gifts used to come to me in bottles, Beam and black Jack Daniel's, straight up with a frosted schooner of Jax on the side, while the rain poor down in the neon glow outside the window of an all-night bar not far from the Huey Long Bridge. In a half hour I could kick open a furnace door and fling into the flames all the snakes and squeaking bats that lived inside me. Except the next morning they would writhe with new life in the ashes and come back home, stinking and hungry.

I have to strap it on and go into the street.

Matt Dillon: I'm sorry Kitty. But you knew it when you met me. I have to strap it on and go out in the street and meet my fate.
Miss Kitty: But Matt, I already strapped it on, don't you feel it? Lets go back to the Long Branch. I will let you guess how I came up with that name.
Matt Dillon: Kitty you are the greatest. Hey do you have a guitar?
(Gunsmoke, 1968)

My new favorite Actress!

Nicole Kidman encourages everyone to support Donald Trump 

New York Pos By Lia Eustachewich January 12, 2017 

Nicole Kidman has a message to those still in denial over Donald Trump’s election – get over it.
The Aussie actress, who has dual citizenship, addressed Trump’s surprise victory in an interview with the BBC.
“I just say, he’s now elected, and we as a country need to support whoever’s the president because that’s what the country’s based on,” she said.
The mom of four admitted she’s usually tight-lipped about her political views.
“I’m always reticent to start commenting politically, I’ve never done it in terms of America or Australia. I’m issue based,” she said.
She said she’s speaking out now because the election is over.
“Whatever, however that happened, he’s there and let’s go,” she said.
Kidman, a UN Women goodwill ambassador who stars in the Golden Globe-nominated flick “Lion,” added that she’s “very, very committed to women’s issues.”
(That took a lot of guts. Just saying what is normal to say about a new president is now an act of considerable courage in the cesspool that is Hollywood. The only actress with bigger balls is Bailey Jay. Just sayin')

"Do you expect me to talk?"

Bond awoke and opened his eyes. He was groggy and no idea how he had ended up tied to a table in the basement of Trump Tower. The last thing he remember he had been flirting with a big busted Eastern European model in bar at Trump Tower. From Slovenia. A little old for his taste but still toothsome.

He had ordered extra dry martini’s shaken not stirred. It seems that something had been stirred into his drink. That must have been how he ended up in this predicament.

He heard a purr in the corner. Bond turned his head and saw an orange figure dressed in white. He had an obvious hair piece. He was stroking a pussy. It was him. The mastermind. Mr. Trump.

“I see you are awake Mr. Bond. Finally.”

"Go and grab a jacket"

"There cannot be three of us"
Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock blasts colleague for wearing similar outfit

"Bee placed on endangered list after US habitat loss"

Miami (AFP) - US officials for the first time have placed a bee found in the continental United States on the endangered species list.

Authorities said Wednesday the move was taken after a precipitous decline in the rusty patched bumblebee population, due to pesticides, disease and climate change.

These once common bumblebees are now "balancing precariously on the brink of extinction," said a statement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Abundance of the rusty patched bumble bee has plummeted by 87 percent, leaving small, scattered populations in 13 states and one province," down from 28 states in the 1990s.

The final rule listing the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered appeared in the January 11 edition of the Federal Register and takes effect on February 10.

Experts say the bees are important because they pollinate economically important crops such as tomatoes, cranberries and peppers across the central and northern United States, as well as parts of Canada.

Their decline is likely due to a combination of factors: loss of habitat, disease and parasites, use of pesticides, climate change and extremely small population size.

Via Drudge: Link

"You are fake news," says Trump

This happened yesterday.

I just felt a tingle run up my leg. 

Wait. That was something else. A ferret I'm watching for a friend. His little cage door was opened. 

"Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier"

An ex-MI6 officer who is believed to have prepared memos claiming Russia has compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump is now in hiding, the BBC understands.

Christopher Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, is believed to have left his home this week.

The memos contain unsubstantiated claims that Russian security officials have compromising material on Mr Trump.

The US president-elect said the claims were "fake news" and "phoney stuff".

Mr Steele has been widely named as the author of a series of memos - which have been published as a dossier in some US media - containing extensive allegations about Mr Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.

Via Reddit: Link to the rest of the story 

Rex Tillerson and internet browsers.

I like Google internet browser a lot because I'm big on images. It has served my requirements very well, better than the others and I downloaded a lot of them.

In the Netflix show Dexter a computer geek enters the police department as intern. He is an attractive character at first, friendly, and helpful in tweaking computers in various ways that improve his manager, but he's actually a game designer with an eye to gaining experience on how the department works. He's not as nice as he seems, he's made way more money on his own from games than the department pays and Dexter ends up killing him for causing too much trouble and for causing a death, that is Dexter's criteria, his self-imposed rule. But before all that the character says something like, "Well for starters, get serious abut your browser. Nobody uses that old browser anymore, try updating to Elliot."

So Elliot it is.

I tried Elliot. I don't like it. It's not for me.

I think, for awhile, Glenn Reynolds was pushing GoDuck browser but I didn't like that one either. It's images feature didn't match the breadth of Google's.

Today an item on Instapundit has no link. It reads simply:
DATA POINT: One of my friends, an Arab immigrant who hates Trump and has been blasting him on social media nonstop for a year, watched Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing yesterday and came away very impressed, to his own surprise.
What went on? Was Tillerson confirmed for Secretary of State? He's the Exxxon guy right? Let's look. Here are Google results for search [rex tillerson.]

Google displays three images across the top. One from NYT, one from NPR, one from Mediaite.

The list of results are from:

CNN -Tillerson fails to win over key GOP senators
NYT - In rocky hearing, Rex Tillerson tries to separate from Trump
NYT - Rex Tillerson required to shed Exxon shares, want to defer the ...
NPR - Trup's Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson couldn't recall...
NBCNews - Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson: Russian Hacking "clearly is ...
the Guardian - "No access': Rex Tillerson sets collision course with Beijing in South ...
Washington Post - Who is Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobile chairman who may become ...
USAToday -  4 take-aways from Rex Tillerson hearing to be secretary of State
Politico - What it really means to be a 'friend of Putin'
CFR - A conversation with Rex W. Tillerson - Council of Foreign Relations.
NYT - Tillerson led Exxon's shift on climate change; some say 'it was all pr'

And so on. All the media outlets I've learned to distrust. I don't care for these sources of information anymore. They're not trusted. They must be read with deep skepticism and I don't like that. All clumped together at the top. How far must I read through results for something approaching straightforward and untainted reporting? This is our American press. This is Google. I fell like I'm being played.

Fine. Let's see how Elliot browser arranges its results, the browser suggested on a fictional television show about a psychotic serial killer.

Elliot, [Rex W. Tillerson]

Oddly, the address bar on Elliot  has 'Google' at front. Somehow Elliot is using Google.

Maybe because I went to Elliot through Google. Anyway, here are Elliot results.

Each result has a thumbnail picture in front of it.


NYT - Exxon C.E.O., chosen as Secretary of State -

Washington Post - Who is Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil chairman who may become

DailyNews - What I learned about Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson after spending a

IJR - Woman who didn't vote Trump served on jury with Rex


the Gurardian - Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US ...

NPR - Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump's Secretary Of State pick: what we

Politico - What it really means to be a 'friend of Putin'

CNN - Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobile CEO, is Trump's choice for Secretary

There it is. I'd say at a glance that the fiction suggested Elliot browser is less leftist concentrated than Google. It's tempting to switch for a test run.

When Reddit is asked "which browser do geeks use" the answers are predominately Chrome.


I think I just got punked.

The browser is real and it's not real. It's powered by Google. It's put up by the show knowing that people like me would try it. Here, Yahoo answers  [is elliot search engine on Dexter real?]

First glance fail. What a bummer.

Back to GoDuck or to Chrome or to Firefox (reddit's second choice)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The Meryl Streep stuff is old news. I'm more interested in the discussion beginning around the 6 minute mark when the other guy (who is he?) mentions an AP story on the deleterious effect that repatriating jobs will have on Mexico. Where was this concern when the same jobs were being lost in the US? Why did the Dem party cease to be the party which cared about Americans? It seems it all began when they got the brilliant notion that white middle America was dying and they (the D's), may as well push their elders off the cliff and sidle up to the newcomers from south of the border.* Dems thought that America had reached a political tipping point when it was safe to disrespect white middle Americans. They learned a hard lesson and now they will have to regain the political upper hand, state-by-state. Demography may be destiny but the getting there is unpredictable.
*This view was shared by some on the right -- cf. Kevin D. Williamson.

The box, Duncan Birmingham

I read about politics all day, those are the sites I visit, and frankly it's all discouraging. Our American media, presently our politicized government departments, even our intelligence agencies, our senators are not worth the emotional trouble of discussing. Concentrating on such things and becoming experts in details deforms our personalities and it needn't be so. You've already read the same things that I did today, the bogus reporting that dominates the news. That's why I choose to talk about something else instead. They can all just bite me.

Two recent anecdotes and I'll get on with the box.

A man is missing from the office downstairs, a black dude with an outgoing personality that doesn't rub everyone pleasantly. Not everyone gets on with him and he does have his distractors. But he's gone. And replaced. Instead of asking downstairs what happened to him I wrote to him directly and asked where he is, what happened, what's going on.

He wrote back immediately answering all that and said right out that my contacting him made him feel great. We'll meet for lunch tomorrow. He told me he looks forward to intelligent conversation. He doesn't get much of that. He is Democrat persuasion, a natural Obama supporter and a Black Lives Matter enthusiast as well and all that is based on his low information flow and poor information sources. And there is no good reason on Earth why I should disrupt any of that. No reason to impress upon him advanced contrary political information and discussion such as you harbor yourselves. No reason to argue. We can have fun instead. So we will.

My doctor's office left a voice message yesterday hounding me to come in for a checkup. They're concerned my spaz medicine isn't messing up some internal organ or another. Things are going very well and I tend to put them off. The receptionist started, "First, I have your pop-up card with me right here hanging up in the office." For the life of me I couldn't recall what she was referring to. I really was stumped.  It took a very long while for it to occur to me later in the day that she was talking about the 'Thank you for doing me a solid' pop-up card that I sent them. It was first on her mind, a verbal thank-you for a card thank-you sent nearly a year earlier.

I showed you the prototype here. It's simple drawings of solids with a plain cube inside.

But I didn't use that cube. I didn't like the way the prototype works. I thought back to the basics, "how is a cube usually done?" And resorted to the customary box.

You're lucky, you know. I had to figure this out by myself by studying how pop-up books work and now you have all this available on YouTube by authors of "how to" pop-up books. The whole time I considered this mechanism a table, and called it a table, not a box. I've used it scores of times. I used it first as a hand-shaped table top, my own hand, for a card to my sister. The flat open hand held an actual organic bean glued to it and a single raisin glued to the palm that folds with the card. The message read, "You are the raisin for my very bean."

It is the hand that holds neon tetras pulled out of an aquarium and flipping all around for the 'flip out' birthday card.

It is the logs for the bunnies to pop out for the Easter themed birthday card.

It forms the mound and the means for a meerkat holding a baby to pop out of the ground.

It is the picnic table that holds a 3-tiered cake with the 20 page world of ants beneath it.

And many others besides. This table, described here in this video as a box is one of the more useful mechanisms beyond the simple "V" that is used everywhere for everything. Things can be built out from it, attached to it, and on it. It can be displaced so it's not stuck on the central fold. It can be a car, a truck, a boat, a house, a castle, a human body, an animal, a face, a bug, a burial mask, a robot, nearly anything. It can have a roof that folds in the opposite direction in the shape of anything, a pitched roof or a face or a scarab shell with wings. The video shows how constructors used this table / box mechanism in various ways.

I'm jealous. Learning this would have been so much easier with this set of videos.

What jobs will NOT become obsolete in 10 years?

Reddit top voted comments...

Plumber (trades) The pipes in your house aren't changing any time soon.

Funeral Director. People just keep on dying

Stand up comedian

IT. We'll still need people to make sure our machine overlords don't break down.

Working at the DMV.
Because even AI bots would kill themselves working there.

Congressman/woman. There's no way they're letting their power/money disappear.

What terrible movie deserves a remake?

Reddit top voted comments...

While it's not terrible, just outdated... All Quiet on the Western Front deserves a remake of the Saving Private Ryan caliber.

Spawn; it wasn't the worst movie ever but it wasn't great either and the graphics have aged terribly. For all the dark and gritty comic book adaptations, I think it deserves another chance.

DUNE! It deserves a series, a big one, 3 seasons or more..

Imagine a modern "Maximum Overdrive"

Logan's Run

Aeon Flux


Dragonball.  Hollywood should be devoured by flames of Hades for what they did.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Just be glad I didn't feature this, another favorite which first crossed my mind.

BuzzFeed: "Intelligence report claims Russia has compromising information on Trump"

The online news site BuzzFeed on Tuesday published a letter containing salacious allegations — which even the left-leaning outlet acknowledged are unverified — against President-Elect Donald Trump.

The letter, purporting to come from a retired British intelligence agent, details Trump’s alleged relationship with Russia and contends that the Kremlin has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Trump for at least five years.

It alleges that Russians have been feeding Trump intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, for years. It also details Trump’s alleged “personal obsessions and sexual perversion.”

BuzzFeed acknowledges that it has not verified the accusations and even notes that the document contains a number of basic factual errors. Yet it published the full document.

“Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government,” BuzzFeed wrote.

Even Mother Jones declined to publish the full details and dossier.

"Even Donald Trump deserves journalistic fairness," tweeted David Corn, Mother Jones' Washington Bureau chief.

Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief, defended the decision in a memo to staff.

"Our presumption is to be transparent in our journalism and to share what we have with our readers," he wrote in the email he subsequently shared on Twitter. "We have always erred on the side of publishing. In this case, the document was in wide circulation in the highest levels of American government and media."

Via Drudge:

We need to Make America Great Retail

Why New York’s most beloved stores are dying 

New York Post By Nicole Gelinas November 27, 2016

‘Tis the season to be shopping — but in Manhattan, where?
New Yorkers set in their retail routines are suffering annoyance and anxiety as their favorite places to browse close. And the industry responsible for a big chunk of New York’s recent job growth is facing serious woes.
Last week, The Post’s Steve Cuozzo reported that Gracious Home looks to be in trouble. It’s a huge hardware, housewares and home-goods store that has been a mainstay of the Upper East Side for 53 years. The store’s Upper West Side location is newer, but old enough to be an institution: It opened 18 years ago.
Now, the stores, which employ 300 people, are having a fire sale. Signs are up advertising that everything is 10 to 50 percent off.
This doesn’t seem to be normal Black Friday stuff. The signs proclaim, ominously, that “everything must go.” Last week, a worker stoically told a nervous customer that the stores were “restructuring,” and she wasn’t sure if they’d stay open.

One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

Who are you to say they can't get Married!
New York Post  By Natalie O'Neill January 10, 2017

It’s a strange breed of love.
Two species of completely different animals — a monkey and a deer — were recorded having “consensual” sex for the first time ever, according to a report released Tuesday.
In the rare case of inter-species lovin,’ a Japanese snow monkey and female sika deer were filmed doing the wild thing on Japan’s Yakushima Island.
The bizarre friskiness is likely due to “mate deprivation” and sheds some light on beastiality, according to the report, titled “Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female sika deer.”
The footage shows the snow monkey, also known as a macaque, hop on the backs of two female sika deer and try to mount them. One of the deer rejects him — and the other goes for it.
The bizarre forbidden love is likely the first recorded case of “reproductive interference” between two very different types of animals — a primate and a cervidae, The UK Independent reported.
Only one other scientific study on the phenomenon of inter-species sex has ever been published.
Two years ago, scientists recorded an antarctic fur seal having sex with a king penguin. But their hookup was nonconsensual and scientists said the seal had harassed the penguin by not taking no for an answer.
The new study notes the deer, which was much smaller than the monkey, “seemed to accept to be ridden by the male macaque.”

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, former president of Iran, dead at 82

Left to right, Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani, unnamed NYC mannequin

"What's something that's completely legal, but that pisses you off when you see someone doing it?"

Reddit top comments...

Cutting in line. Fuck those people.

Playing a video or song loudly on their phone or tablet in a confined public place, like the subway, doctor's waiting room, etc.

The people who reply to amazon questions with "i dont know, i bought it as a gift for someone else" and " i dont know, it hasnt arrived yet"

People that stop or hang out at choke points - ie doors, ends of escalators, etc

People who bring 30 items to the express line of 15 items or less.  They're usually the same people who pay in pennies and nickels too.

Clickbait articles, misleading thumbnails, fake news stories.

Driving less than the speed limit in the left lane.

John Quale

Jeeze, you guys are late risers, aren't you?

Say, would you like to see something outrageous and fun? This video came up by way of YouTube suggestion based on videos I watched, the America's Got Talent, Britain's Got Talent, Obscure European Nation's Got Talent. The auditions get compiled into "most outrageous," "auditions that made the judges cry," "funniest auditions," "most amazing auditions" and all that sort of thing. John Quale's original audition blew everyone's mind, judges and audience did not know what to make of it. There was no basis to process what they were seeing.

Don't you hate it when you have to explain yourself?

People were put off at first. Except one judge, Sharon Osbourne. She latched onto this John Quale right away. She got it. Immediately. She dug his schtick right away and played along. Here is Quale's first audition. Recommended, it's very good. I find the video by searching [Prince Poppycock]

It's one of his best. He introduces himself as prince of a fantastic realm. By the end of his act the audience was onboard and the judges realized they just saw something very different.

He became a favorite that year and advanced  to the semi-finals. Here he performs a re-written portion of Freddy Mercury's Bohemian Rhapsody. It is a very different take and one of my favorite videos from the entire "____'s Got Talent" collection of videos.

John went onto the Finals but was buzzed out by Piers Morgan for the terrible crime committed by previous performers of taking himself too seriously. "And the whole point of Prince Poppycock is that you're great fun. You're a great showman. You make me smile. And you didn't make me smile tonight!"

What a bummer!

He did too, from what I can see. Piers Morgan is right. A more down-to-earth singer prevailed. And the thing about that is part of the prize is a Las Vegas show. The Poppycock persona is more appropriate for Las Vegas than the regular singer who is also excellent. But think of what people pay to see in Las Vegas. Poppycock fits that more than the standard non-outrageous singer.

But that wasn't the last of him on America's Got Talent. It's not the final-final. The best of the performers are gathered again and that time John Quale performed with Donna Summer singing Last Dance. In the preview bit that shows preparation for the show Donna Summer drops in on John Quale surprising him, she is one his inspirations, and says to him, "Don't you dare upstage me."

He's gone on to do a lot of other things since. I think I've seen all of the videos on YouTube and they're not all this good, not all high production. The rest come off as drag shows. They are drag shows. The drag queens admire him, they're pleased to be part of his act. The only difference between him and they is that John dresses as outrageous male and he actually sings. I must admit however insane, whatever his approach and whatever my own preferences, he is genuine talent.

Wikipedia [John Quale]

Frozen, pop-up book, Matthew Reinhart

I just now discovered this tonight.

Girls love this movie. They sing the songs all the time. There are tons of videos on YouTube relating to this movie. It's a bit annoying, actually. It's not my cup of tea but it is suitable for a child and for other people interested in the mechanisms. I'm seeing a lot of Reinhart's repertoire of mechanisms repeated and it's interesting to me to see him put them to different and imaginative uses and his new and wholly unique idiosyncratic mechanism blow my mind even for the little sub-mechanisms he tucks into the corners to fill otherwise empty space. So then, the story and the art are not so interesting to me while the work is riveting.

And so what if I don't care for the story myself. So what if the art doesn't grab me. It's still interesting to other people and that makes this book a splendid gift, especially so for Amazon Prime members. If you have granddaughters, or nieces, or even children of friends or acquaintances I can guarantee this book will make an impressive gift.

One boy I didn't even know except through brief clipped stories that nevertheless revealed the young boy is the center of a woman life who I do know. I bought the pop-book Gods and Heroes for the woman to pass along to her boy. I did not expect the strong response. The woman reported he loves the book. He never received a book of his own. He slept with the book. He read all the words in the book. He studied the book.  He took the book to school for show-and-tell and explained each page to his class. This would be such a book for girls.

And here's the thing, an offer you cannot refuse. This book retails for $40.00 and it is discounted on Amazon Prime for $24.00. That's a 40% discount, I think.

This pop-up book is less suitable for very young people. It's a bit dark and bleak and speaks to psychological discomfort. Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven

The book is not so intensely compacted with pop-up mechanisms. It's art is more satisfying for adults. Teenagers would appreciate this book. The poem was one of my favorites back then. It is less of a great deal on Amazon as the Reinhart's Frozen but still a very good deal. In pop-up terms there is less pop-up for your pop-up dollar, less to learn from while the art is more satisfying. It retails for $27.50, discounted on Amazon to $21.78 and that's a 19% discount. I think.

Who wouldn't like to have this?

The Game of Thrones pop-up book is amazing. I have that one. I haven't even seen one single television show episode, and I found the Twitter discussions about it intrusive and unwanted, but there is no denying the pop-up version of the television show is a tour de force. It contains a fold-out map of the whole place that takes up the whole living room floor. Fans of the television show woud love the pop-up book. It's expensive though. $43.43 discounted from $65.00. A 33% discount from retail, I think. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Slow easy crossword.

This puzzle by Fred Piscop is not challenging in the least. If it was published in NYT then it would be a Monday puzzle, the easiest of all. It borders on filling out a hospital form. Honestly, no joke, it can be completed fast as you can write so in real life it would be completed in less than four minutes. But we're going slowly this time so your eyes can skip between the clues at the top and the puzzle below, and we're going straight through with no skipping around area to area as you would normally do. First all the horizontals then the verticals and removing the wrong horizontal guesses as they're disproven as we go. Come on, be a sport and play along.

WKRLEM: Rick Santelli grabs Andrea Mitchel by that P-thing!

Blessed are the Cheese-makers.

Man shoots at wife and daughter over grilled cheese sandwich: cops 

New York Post By Natalie Musumeci January 9, 2017 

He must have been really cheesed off.
An enraged Baltimore man opened fire at his home after someone took a bite out of his grilled cheese sandwich, sparking an hours-long standoff with police as he barricaded himself inside, authorities said.
Cops were called to the Dundalk, Maryland, home in response to a domestic incident around 5 p.m. Sunday, WBAL-TV reported.
When Baltimore County officers arrived, the man’s wife and their daughter came out of the house on North Point Boulevard and told them that shots were fired.
Although no one was struck by the gunfire, police officials said the unidentified man fired the weapon in a meltdown after either his wife or daughter had a taste of his grilled cheese sandwich.

One of the last honest journalists/columnists has passed.

Columnist Nat Hentoff  died at 91
Associated Press January 9, 2017

NEW YORK — Free-thinking author and columnist Nat Hentoff has died.
His son, Tom Hentoff, said his father died on Saturday from natural causes at his Manhattan apartment. He was 91.
Hentoff was a Village Voice contributor and columnist for 50 years and also wrote for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Down Beat and the Wall Street Journal. His more than 25 books included jazz and First Amendment works, novels and memoirs.
A bearded, scholarly figure, Hentoff was as likely to write a column about fiddler Bob Wills as a dissection of the Patriot Act, and to have his name appear in the liberal Voice as the conservative Washington Times.
(Now youse guys know that nobody hates the mainstream media and the press more than me. But Hentoff was an exception. I remember reading his column's in the Voice for many years. Before the Internet I would read every paper I could get my hands on. Every day I would read the Post, Daily News and the Times. The Voice every week. Then I would hit the newstand in Times Square for out of town papers like the Boston Globe or the Chicago Tribune. The Voice had the best listings in town for entertainment and restaurants and stuff.
Hentoff was very liberal but he was honest and fair. If you wanted to know how liberals thought he was a good guy to read. He was vilified for some of his out of the box thinker by fellow libs. Which just illustrated that he wasn't a rigid ideologue in the manner of most of the press today. We won't see his ilk ever again.)

Canada Judge Suspended for Wearing Trump Cap in Court

Montreal: The Canadian authorities have suspended a judge for wearing a cap with Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" in court after November's US presidential election, local media reported on Friday.

Ontario Court Judge Bernd Zabel "stopped being assigned to preside in court December 21, 2016," court spokeswoman Kate

Andrew told the local daily The Hamilton Spectator without commenting about his future.

The decision comes after the court received a series of complaints about Zabel's vocal support for the US president-elect. His official position requires displaying political neutrality.

Zabel - who was appointed in 1990 - entered a courtroom in the Lake Ontario port city of Hamilton the day after the November 8 election wearing the Trump campaign's trademark red cap.

He explained his decision later, saying it was a response to criticism from colleagues who "all voted for Hillary" Clinton, Trump's Democratic rival, the Toronto Star reported him as saying.

Via Twitter: Link to story

Poet criticizes Texas state test after not being able to answer questions on poems she wrote

Poet Sara Holbrook says in a contributed Huffington Post piece that some of her poems was used in the the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, a standardized test across grades three through eight that covers various subjects.

"When I realized I couldn’t answer the questions posed about two of my own poems on the Texas state assessment tests (STAAR Test), I had a flash of panic – oh, no! Not smart enough," Holbrook wrote about her stressful experience with Texas’ infamous standardized test.

In the Wednesday post, Holbrook makes a case against placing too much importance on the results of standardized tests.

"Kids’ futures and the evaluations of their teachers will be based on their ability to guess the so-called correct answer to made-up questions," she said.

Holbrook, who was emailed questions on her poems by an eighth-grade English teacher in Texas, includes the specific test questions she has difficulty answering and writes that, "any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich."

In a follow-up Facebook post about the Huffington Post piece, Holbrook said she was paid $175 for each poem used.

Holbrook wrote that the solution is for parents to reject the system of standardized tests: "The only way to stop this nonsense is for parents to stand up and say, 'No more.'"

Via Reddit: Link to story 

Cadillac Launches Vehicle ‘Subscriptions’

The End Of Car Ownership?

Car makers are worried right now as young people turn away from traditional car ownership. U.S. car sales had a big declinelast year, and meanwhile, people in cities are finding it easier than ever to use ride hailing services like Uber and rental services like Zipcar.

Cadillac is hoping it’s found the answer to reinventing car ownership, with its new luxury vehicle subscription service. The brand’s upcoming BOOK service will give members access to popular Cadillac vehicles without the long-term commitment of leasing, financing or buying — they just have to pay a monthly fee of $1,500.

“BOOK is aimed squarely at Gen X and Y customers who want the experience of a luxury vehicle without the hassles of traditional ownership,” Melody Lee, director or brand marketing, told Vocativ. “BOOK fills a gap between traditional ownership (leasing, financing, buying) and the efficient, but less personal aspect of rental, car- and ride-sharing (Hertz, Zipcar, Uber/Lyft).”

Via Drudge: link for more 


""Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pity ... You must make example of these people. (1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. (2) Publish their names. (3) Seize all their grain. (4) Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday's telegram. Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks and that we will continue to do so ... Yours, Lenin. P.S. Find tougher people.""

Sterile Meeps

Meryl Streep said:
All of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood. Foreigners. And the press. ~ NYT
Really Meryl?  Because to my ear, the most vilified segment of American society right now are Trump voters. When will you learn some history, Meryl Streep?
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. ~A. Lincoln (1861)
h/t: Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

From the Ace of Spades HQ

He stole it himself from Feminist Bullshit's Twitter.

Whose that Author?

Up to a point a man's life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him; then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow. The wish, however, must be implemented by deeds.

Hey there Hossaroni!

"Hey there Mr. Cartwright. Nice to meet you. My name is Armand Ellroy. I wonder if I can get a photo and autograph. My boy is a big fan of yours."
"Sure Armand. Hey what kind of name is that. You one of the Eyetalians?"
"No Armenian actually. I am Rita Hayworth's manager."
"Really? So let me ask you. Are you getting any of that gash?"
"Oh no it is a strictly business relationship."
"That's too bad. I hear she is hot stuff. You know you remind me of my high school gym teacher. He taught me a lot of stuff."
"Really. Like what? Climbing up a rope"
"I guess you can call it that. Hey after this you can come back to the Ponederosa and I can show you my rare clumbersScooch in close now."

Nanny and the Professor!

"Look Nanny Figalily it looks like your cock got bigger."
"Yes dear. That will always happen if you rub it dear."
"Always Nanny?"
"Well almost always dear. Unless he is Irish."

Whose that girl?

She was on almost all of my favorite shows. The Big Valley. Mayberry. Mary Tyler Moore. Love American Style. The Love Boat. Car 54. Rockford.

She flirted with Archie Bunker and fought with Maude.

She always played the slightly dumb sexy chick with the big hooters. Of course to contradict her big movie role she hung them low. At least without the right bra.

Whose that girl?

Pet deer shot dead by game and wildlife warden

A family are inconsolable after a wildlife warden came onto their land and shottheir pet deer five times.

A warden, flanked by two colleagues, entered the Mcgaugheys’ Kansas farm and killed the deer, called Faline, apparently just 10 minutes after handing them a warning notice stating the animal was an illegal pet.

The family had looked after Faline, named after the Disney Bambi character, ever since it followed Kim Mcgaughey home.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Kim’s daughter Taryn, speaking to The Independent.

“One shot to the head would have been enough but then he shot her in the leg and four times in the back.

“He treated her like target practice.”

The family started feeding Faline two years ago, when she came in with a broken leg and then refused to leave.

The three-year-old deer apparently hated the wind, would lock the front door using her head and would often sleep in Kim Mcgaughey’s room.

“She would get on the bed and stand like she owned the place,” said Taryn Mcgaughey, a fashion, fitness and glamour model.

Link to the rest of the story
7:25 minutes of calm yourself down. 

Notice the hobbyists use deep substrate, rocks of different sizes and driftwood of various types.

The light must be strong enough to reach the bottom of the tank or else high-light requirement plants will die off. While the light can be too strong for other species of plants and burn them out or cause algae to form all over the tank. Some plants are low light and slow growing. Other species hog light and grow rapidly. The substrate must have nutrients in it and fish poo is insufficient. These tanks also have CO2 injection and sparged throughout, the holes of an ordinary aerator are insufficiently tiny for that.

I've had four different species of moss and they all takeover the whole tank. They can literally fill a tank in just a month of neglect and starve other plants of light and nutrients and space. So the examples in the video with moss attached to branches of driftwood to imitate above ground trees are maniacally maintained. The owner must trim them at least once a week or else the tanks will rapidly become overgrown and thrown far out of balance. And who has that kind of time and attention for their hobby? Large commercial installations are usually overgrown because once installed there is nobody around assigned to their care. And they do need constant attention. 

Yesterday I discovered that this substrate right here, a clay that is baked and its particle size sifted and available in four different colors (poor photo showing the particles dry and wet) at $80.00 for a 5 gallon bucket, sufficient to layer a 55 gallon aquarium to 3 inches, given names like "Natural Amazon" and "Red River" and "Black Diamond" they are the exact same thing as this product named Turface Pro League, a baseball diamond surface conditioner and mound building product, with the exact same colors but with different sport names, "Heritage Red" and "Pro League Red" and "Champion Brown" priced at $20.00 and less for a 50LB bag, basically, the same amount.

The fish in these planted aquariums are little more than afterthought, often a single species. You notice neon tetras appear in a lot of the aquariums for their tiny jewel-like appearance, along with harlequin rasboras. I saw a few schooling transparent hatchet fish too, notice those tend to stay at the the top of the tank. That's a bit of a bummer having the fish hanging out at the top all the time. 

I wanted the neons to breed in the tank and to do that the conditions must be just so. They are very particular little fish for breeding. The water must be soft and slightly acidic. I do see them breeding in there. They can be seen playing fast games of chase and spewing eggs into plant clusters and the eggs need only 24 hours to hatch and there is sufficient plant cover to protect the fry, but the snails move on the eggs before they can hatch. I attempted to rid the tank of snails and I did. I got it down to no noticeable snails at all, hardly any plants and no fish. I thought I had them cleared, a few weeks elapsed with no sign of snails anywhere. Then when replanted snails and their eggs came with the new plants and boom snail infection all over again and no chance of breeding the tetras. 

The same place that price gouges the baseball diamond baked clay re-packaged and marketed as sifted aquarium substrate also offers cultures of plant tissue, cells grown in agar to incipient plant clones. And they're having an impressive sale of 50% off. But how can you tell what you're getting? You must be already familiar with the plants' Latin names. And this is the amazing thing. Aquarium hobbyists all over the world from the U.S. all through Europe, and even to China and Japan and Korea all use these same Latin names. If you go into a shop in Tokyo you will hear these same names, and by all age groups, from young pre-teens to pensioners, these plants are discussed and identified by these names all over the world. It is a universal language. And once you are introduced to the plants, their properties and their name, then you see the same plants appear repeatedly in all aquariums for their attributes of shape and color and size; for their sword shape or broadleaf or compact foreground attributes and for their rapid covering mossy habit. 

It is art. The tanks are three dimensional paintings. The plants are the paints. And that's why knowing their Latin names is crucial. It's the same thing as going to the art store and asking for "titanium white" or "cobalt blue" or a green "copper resinate" or "carmine." 

Those are not your usual Crayola colors. 

The Latin names for the plants tell the aquarium hobbyist if their plant choices can be used best as ground cover, foreground, mid-ground, or background bulk plant, or as mossy covering intended to accentuate branches or dominate the whole scene by covering rocks and gravel and everything. began marketing plant tissue clones usually $10.00 each, now $5.00 with more cultures to come. Here is a tiny sample of the cultures available at the link.

cryptocoryne beckettii

cryptocoryne wendtii 'green'

elocharis acicularis

hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan'

ludwigia 'super red mini"

myriophyllum tuberclatum 'red'

The variety of aquarium plants is extraordinary. This whole industry has exploded. Everybody is getting into the act. The whole world is joining the fun. Plants are available for aquariums that are not possible to grow in outside gardens depending on location. Aquariums are provided their own climate and that makes exotic underwater gardens possible. The fish are as living shimmering jewel ornamentation. The CO2 introduced for the plants does not interfere with the fish while the plants produce oxygen for the fish. You can actually see the plants produce oxygen. Some species of plants are known for their pearling. The lights come on and within an hour the plants produce bubbles on their leaf surfaces. It's beautiful. 

What follows on the next page are thumbnail photos of the adult forms of these tissue cultures offered by Aquarium Plants that are expected to grow to full form and provided the conditions to do that rather quickly. I think you will be impressed with the range. And this is just the available tissue cultures. There are many more live plants available.