Saturday, April 29, 2017

From Page to Screen Part One

It is always very interesting when one of your favorite books makes it onto the screen be it TV or movies. You always wonder if it will be portrayed the way you imagine it. Before the extensive use of CGI and computer effects it was never even attempted. Large scale epics were just way too costly. Only big budget movies could even attempt it.

But it is all different now. The Lord of the Rings being the most prominent example along with Jurassic Park. Computer generated CGI lets you have armies of orcs and elves and dwarves. Even a pissant little series like “Once Upon a Time” can really generate great special effects at a much reduced cost. So books that you never thought could be on the screen are suddenly viable. What is interesting is the ones that they choose and the ones that are successful.

The one that most people point to is George Rape Rape Martins “Game of Thrones.” It has become one of the most popular and talked about fantasy series of all time. Most of it is pretty true to the books. The problem for them is the Martin is famously lazy and can’t seem to produce more books for the series to produce for TV. They caught up to him pretty quickly.

"What historical fact blows your mind?"

Top voted Reddit comments...

Commodus, son of one of history's wisest, most revered leaders, gathered all of Rome's disabled people as emperor and had them fight to the death in the Colosseum. How did a man like Marcus Aurelius give birth to such an evil...

In the 1870 Paraguayan War, Paraguay's losses amounted to 70%... Of their entire male population (civilian AND military). Women weren't exempt either... They just fared slightly better. Overall population loss was about 60%.

It took several decades before they were considered to have "recovered."

That at the same time the U.S. Civil war was going on, which killed about 600,000 people and served as probably our greatest national tragedy, China was in the throes of the Taiping Rebellion. The Taiping Rebellion is the largest civil conflict in human history, and best estimates put the death toll somewhere north of 20,000,000. Really reminds you of just how many more people live in Asia.

The number of aircraft destroyed during WWII is greater than the number of aircraft that currently exist in the entire world today.

After being shot during a duel, Andrew Jackson lived with a bullet next to his heart for 39 years.

That the Romans and the Chinese knew about each other, and actually communicated semi-regularly.

"Elon Musk Slices the Idea of Flying Cars with a 'Guillotine' Insult"

Via RedditThe first-ever flying car conference got underway earlier this week in Dallas, a two-day affair put on by Uber called the “Uber Elevate Summit,” which was chock-full of panels and a big prediction: By 2020 Uber will be testing out its commuter aircraft. On Friday, Elon Musk seized another opportunity to shoot down the idea before it lifts off.
“I’m in favor of flying things,” Musk told interviewer Chris Anderson during his lengthy interview at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, before repeating a biting joke he first made in a February Bloomberg article.

“There is a challenge with flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy, the wind-force generated will be very high,” Musk said. “Let’s just say that if something’s flying over your head, if there are a whole bunch of flying cars all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation.”

“You don’t think to yourself, ‘well, I feel better about today,’” Musk deadpanned to laughter in the audience. “You’re thinking, ‘did they service their hubcap? Or is it going to come off and guillotine me as they’re flying past?’” (Link to more)

"Political Media Earns Poor Marks From Americans"

Via Drudge:  As political journalists prepare to gather at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday to celebrate their work, a new Morning Consult poll is likely to make many of them cringe.

In the new poll, roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media “is out of touch with everyday Americans,” compared with 28 percent who said it “understand the issues everyday Americans are facing.”

President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.

(Link to more)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Art, If you had to pick one to hang which one would you choose?



What is the worst part about wrecking a race car?

"THE NO QUESTION, hands-down worst part about breaking a race car is the bit where you sit there, strapped into the thing, waiting to be towed back to your trailer."
You think about a lot of things, stuck there on the side of a racetrack.

Mostly, you think about how you are an idiot.

Conventional wisdom holds that sometimes, machines just break. This truth lives in an entirely separate reality from the bubble around your average racetrack, where everyone knows that broken race cars are always the driver's fault. It doesn't matter if the guy behind the wheel actually did anything wrong; everyone in the paddock will see that busted or crashed-up heap and choose the simplest answer:

You dorked it.

But that's the sport. Racing is a responsibility sponge; it does nothing so well as produce cause for blame. Like any sport, the pastime also lends itself to examined choices—smart ones, dumb ones, and the space between, like that time your driver sat outside the trailer until well after midnight, singing Paul Simon's Graceland LP start to finish with a crew guy and a bottle of rye, when each of those individuals had a 6:00 wake-up call the next morning, for an early qualifying session. (For the record, this is not a hypothetical situation; I was there. I was also there when the driver in question woke up for said session with a blinding headache, then proceeded to set fasttest lap of the weekend for the whole class. Which, in turn, prompted obvious questions: Was it the Simon? The inherently mind-clearing nature of pain? The tone-deaf murder of "You Can Call Me Al"?)

Naturally, there are trends. In race cars, as in life, most people don't hyperanalyze good choices. It's the train wrecks that take root. Even if a given mess wasn't your fault, you will wait for that tow truck feeling like God's own moron. Wondering where it all went wrong.

There are so many ways for it to go wrong.

Sometimes, of course, you do something stupid.
Link to the rest of the article

"The Democrats’ First 100 Days"

Via InstapunditDemocrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters, reduced to 16 governors, 30 state legislative chambers, a historically low number of state legislative seats, 193 members of the House, 46 senators. The Democrats are leaderless, rudderless, held together only by opposition to Trump. The most popular figure on the left refuses to call himself a Democrat while sitting alongside the newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. That chairman, dirty-talking Tom Perez, represents a professional, technocratic class that supports Wall Street and globalization as long as there is room for multiculturalism and social liberalism. That is a different strategy from both the 50-state approach of Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel, and Schumer that brought Democrats control of Congress in 2006, and the anti-Wall Street, protectionist, single-payer left of Bernie Sanders. Perez fights with Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi over whether there is room for pro-lifers in the party—Perez thinks not. Pelosi enjoys the distinction of being an American political figure less popular than Donald Trump.

What is the Democratic agenda?

(Link to the whole thing)

"Female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances"

Via TwitterFemale dragonflies use an extreme tactic to get rid of unwanted suitors: they drop out the sky and then pretend to be dead.

Rassim Khelifa from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, witnessed the behaviour for the first time in the moorland hawker dragonfly (Aeshna juncea). While collecting their larvae in the Swiss Alps, he watched a female crash-dive to the ground while being pursued by a male.

The female then lay motionless on her back. Her suitor soon flew away, and the female took off once the coast was clear.

“I was surprised,” says Khelifa, who had never previously seen this in 10 years of studying dragonflies.

Female moorland hawkers are vulnerable to harassment when they lay their eggs since, unlike some other dragonflies, they aren’t guarded by their male mates. A single sexual encounter with another male is enough to fertilise all eggs and copulating again could damage their reproductive tract.

Khelifa found that the females often retreat to dense vegetation near ponds at this time, probably to hide. And they often act dramatically when they emerge.

(Link to more)

"Yale Grad Students Go on ‘Symbolic’ Hunger Strike Where They’re Allowed to Eat"

Via InstapunditA group of Yale University graduate students announced Tuesday evening that they would be undertaking a hunger strike to pressure the administration into granting them better union benefits. The strike is taking place in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home.

"Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait … until we give up and go away," the eight members of the graduate student union Local 33 announced. "We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating."

Yale doctoral students currently earn a stipend $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full, according

As it turns out, the hunger strike might not put anyone's health in peril. According to a pamphlet posted on Twitter by a former Yale student, the hunger strike is "symbolic" and protesters can leave and get food when they can no longer go on.

(Link to more)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Trump says 'major, major' conflict with North Korea possible"

Via Drudge: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

"There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely," Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he said.

(Link to more)

Ireland and Switzerland

Limerick, Ireland (Link to source)
Blausee, Switzerland (Link to source)

WKRLEM: Lie to me.

"New website offers US women help to perform their own abortions"

"Fearful that Donald Trump’s presidency poses a once-in-a-generation threat to US reproductive rights, an international advocacy group this week is unveiling what is sure to be a controversial response: a web portal dedicated to helping US women terminate their own pregnancies with abortion-inducing drugs they have obtained outside of a medical setting."
The project, launched by Women Help Women, is a nod to the fact that many US women may already be taking matters into their own hands as abortion options in this country contract.

Women in the US have been and are using the pills without good guidance,” said Susan Yanow, the US spokeswoman for the group, Women Help Women. “If a woman is anxious and has the pills in her hand, and doesn’t know what to do … we can help her understand what to do. We can help her understand what signs to look for, and what’s going on.”

Several studies have shown that many of these women, particularly those living along the US-Mexico border, are using misoprostol, a miscarriage-causing drug that can be legally purchased over the counter in many Central American pharmacies. In the US, it is illegal to administer the drug outside of certain medical clinics.

Rules for taking misoprostol are easy to find online. What Women Help Women has done differently is connect US women with counselors who can provide step-by-step instructions, and answer questions, in real time.
What could go wrong? (Link to more)

"Party of diversity cancels 82nd annual Portland Rose Parade because it was going to include – Republicans."

Via Instapundit: One of the staples of Portland, Oregon —”Portlandia” to TV viewers— is the annual Rose Festival, now in its 82nd year, and it has for several years now featured a kickoff parade, akin to the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1 every year. But this year’s parade, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled. The reason: It was going to include—gasp—Republicans! And this is too much for the hardened left, which threatens to shutdown the parade by violent means if it includes Republicans. And the city of Portland has caved.

(Link to more)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Thanks for preserving that, Jonathan.


This one too:

"Chelsea Clinton Gets Another Award"

Via Drudge:  Like her mother before her, Chelsea Clinton appears to be creating a cottage industry for herself in receiving random awards for her unparalleled contributions to society, scintillating takes on current events, and incredibly generous heart.

Not content with just her Variety-sponsored “achievement award,” Chelsea on Tuesday night accepted the annual City Harvest Award for Commitment in fighting hunger in New York City.

Before we claim that she’s done nothing to earn a major award, aside from sitting in a privileged position atop her family’s namesake foundation, or say that she has few actual commitments aside from spending her family’s money and attending a single board meeting for Expedia lest she forfeit the several hundred thousand dollars she earns in her honorary position, in this case, it appears Chelsea did do at least something to earn her award.

On a single day in 2017, she helped City Harvest pack some grapefruit.

(Award to more)

"Is the Decline of Free Play Causing an Epidemic of Childhood Depression?"

Via InstapunditBoston College psychologist Peter Gray says a cultural shift in child rearing is having dire consequences.

"School has become an abnormal setting for children," says Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College. "Instead of admitting that, we say the children are abnormal."

Gray, who is the author of the 2016 Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, says that a cultural shift towards a more interventionist approach to child rearing is having dire consequences for the well-being of kids. "Over the same period of time that there has been a gradual decline in play," he told Reason's Nick Gillespie, "there are well documented, gradual, but ultimately huge increases in a variety of mental disorders in childhood—especially depression and anxiety."

Whose that author?

If my dream was true, then everything we know, everything we think we know is a lie. It means the world's about as solid and as reliable as a layer of scum on the top of a well of black water which goes down forever, and there are things in the depths that I don't even want to think about. It means that we're just dolls. We don't have a clue what's really going down, we just kid ourselves that we're in control of our lives while a paper's thickness away things that would drive us mad if we thought about them for too long play with us, and move us around from room to room, and put us away at night when they're tired, or bored.

Whose that meataphor?

All at once, Robert was screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife. Behind him was Roger, fighting to get close. The chant rose ritually, as at the last moment of a dance or a hunt.
"Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!"
Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering

Good News Sports Fans!

ESPN is taking on water and fired 100 people. Mostly on air talent. The on air talent that was spouting politically correct garbage. They didn't fire any conservatives or populists because none of them remain at that network. So many people cut cable that they are hemorrhaging subscribers. Recently I was reviewing my old cable bills. I was paying nine dollars a month as a sports surcharge. Now I didn't have any special packages like MLB or the NFL. So why should I have to pay nine clams a month to subsidize ESPN?

ESPN has totally alienated a huge segment of it's viewers. Most sports fans are lunch pail blue collar guys. Not millennials. Not tofu eating social justice warriors. Shot and a beer guys who like a bratwurst or a meatball hero. They spit in our eyes. So we cut the cord. I know I did.

What is funny is all the tweets that these guys are sending out. Their whole gig is telling us that this guys should get cut and that coach should get fired. Now it's their turn.

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

"Top Mexican Official Calls U.S. Border Wall a 'Hostile' Act"

"Mexico's foreign relations secretary on Tuesday called U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall not only a "bad idea" but an "unfriendly, hostile" act and said he didn't think a barrier would accomplish anything."
And while Trump has repeatedly asserted that he will get the U.S.'s neighbor to pay for building the wall, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray repeated in a meeting with legislators that Mexico's won't pay a cent for it.

Trump had requested that Congress provide U.S. funds to begin the wall, but he signaled Monday that he would not insist on it, saying he might be willing to wait until September for the funding.

Videgaray also said Mexico's government would consider reducing security cooperation with the United States if talks on immigration and trade issues don't go well.

"If the negotiation on other themes — immigration, the border, trade — isn't satisfactory to Mexico's interests, we will have to review our existing cooperation," Videgaray said. "This would be especially in the security areas ... and that involves the national immigration agency, the federal police and of course, the armed forces."

Mexico at present cooperates with the United States in fighting drug cartels and other forms of transnational crime.
(Link to more)

"Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air"

Via RedditA chemistry professor in Florida has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time.
The process has great potential for creating a technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, while also creating a clean way to produce energy.

"This work is a breakthrough," said UCF Assistant Professor Fernando Uribe-Romo. "Tailoring materials that will absorb a specific color of light is very difficult from the scientific point of view, but from the societal point of view we are contributing to the development of a technology that can help reduce greenhouse gases."

The findings of his research are published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
Uribe-Romo and his team of students created a way to trigger a chemical reaction in a synthetic material called metal-organic frameworks (MOF) that breaks down carbon dioxide into harmless organic materials. Think of it as an artificial photosynthesis process similar to the way plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and sunlight into food. But instead of producing food, Uribe-Romo's method produces solar fuel.

To see an explanation see this video:

It's something scientists around the world have been pursuing for years...

(Link to more)

The "Please Clap" Guy and a Guy with the Clap buy a baseball team!

Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter have won the auction to buy the Florida Marlins. They paid 1.3 billion to get the South Florida team. That's right. 1.3 billion. Where did they get all that money.

I bet Jeter is window dressing. There have to be a lot of big money guys involved. Jeter must think he can run the baseball end of things. Big mistake.

Jeb has said he will be the controlling force. But I don't think so. The will be a big money guy who will call the tune. They just used Jeb and Jeter as a front.

It was the same deal when the Boss bought the Yankees. Mike Burke thought he was running things and Lee MacPhail thought he would do the baseball decisions. Just like this set up. Instead the Boss took over everything. I bet that is what is going to happen here.

Jeter is making a big mistake because he is going to tarnish his image by being involved in the management of another team. He needed to go off and enjoy his life outside of baseball. He could have been an icon like Mantle and DiMaggio were back in the day. Instead he is a hack connected to a another team. Big mistake.

They should stick with what they are famous for in real life. Jeb for asking people to clap for him in his hapless run for President. Jeter for giving celebrity bitches the clap. It is hilarious that if you go to a celebrity social disease site every one says "Derek Jeter gave her herpes."

Now he is giving it to the National League. What would Ricky Branch say?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Who loves you......Willie?

It is always fun to watch classic TV and see how the world has changed. The clothes. The cars. The way people talk. The events in the news that they decide to rip off. It is hilarious.

I am continuing my Kojack binge and I got to episode 3 of Season 1. It is a convoluted rip off of the shooting of Joe Colombo at the Columbus Day Rally of the Italian American Civil Rights league. Of course they changed everything. They made it at a street fair. The Don being shot wore a vest and wasn't hurt. Instead of the Gallo's trying to kill Colombo to get his turf it was this own Mafia guy setting himself up to blame a rival. They only kept one element. A black guy shot the Mafia guy.

But that was not what was really fun. It was the language.

At the beginning of the episode Captain McNeil goes to Kojack "What do expect from these schvartzers." Hilarious. The Yiddish epithet for blacks like Moolie in Italian. He just comes out and says it on a prime time TV show. Funny shit.

Later they roust a bunch of black guys. One of them runs and Stravos grabs him and goes "Where you going Wille? Calm down Willie. Take it easy Willie." I laughed my ass off.

You see Willie is what the cops and the fireman of the 1960's and 1970's called black guys. Universally that is how they referred to them. Whenever we would be in a bar and the older guys would tell a story it was all Willie did this or Willie did that. I think it was sort of a back handed compliment to Willie Mays.

Man this episode took me back. Bell bottoms. Long Hair. Willie.

It is like a time machine.

"An artificial womb successfully grew baby sheep"

"The lambs spent four weeks in the external wombs and seemed to develop normally"
Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop — much like they would have inside their mothers. Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb. One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus — but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.

It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies, eliminating the health risk of pregnancy. But it’s important not to get ahead of the data, says Alan Flake, fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of today’s study. “It’s complete science fiction to think that you can take an embryo and get it through the early developmental process and put it on our machine without the mother being the critical element there,” he says.

Instead, the point of developing an external womb — which his team calls the Biobag — is to give infants born months too early a more natural, uterus-like environment to continue developing in, Flake says.
(More at the Link)

"Judge blocks Trump’s sanctuary city order"

Via Twitter:  President Trump can’t force “sanctuary cities” like the Big Apple to cooperate with immigration officers by withdrawing their federal funding, a federal judge in California ruled Tuesday.

In the first legal test of an executive order Trump issued five days after taking office, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco said the president was exceeding his constitutional authority by trying to punish local governments that disagreed with his immigration policies, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Orrick’s decision followed a hearing April 14 in federal court over San Francisco’s and Santa Clara County’s request for an injunction that would stop enforcement of Trump’s order, the paper’s website reported.

The two jurisdictions argued that the order threatened billions of dollars in federal funding.

But an attorney for the Justice Department, Chad Readler, said at a recent court hearing that it applied to a limited set of grants.

Federal law doesn’t define “sanctuary cities,” and the Trump administration has given differing descriptions of the policies it’s going after.

But more than 300 cities and counties nationwide have placed limits on how far their law enforcement agencies are allowed to cooperate with federal immigration officials looking to detain and deport immigrants for crimes or illegal entry.

(Link to more NY Post)

Batman Robin

"Trump opens the door to delaying funding for border wall"

Via InstapunditThe White House continues to send mixed signals about whether it will draw a hard line on requiring that funding for a border wall be included in any spending bill that hits the president's desk.

President Trump signaled to a gathering of conservative media on Monday that he may be open to a delay in funding for his proposed border wall.

He said, according to tweets from conservative media at the gathering, that his administration could get the funding for the wall this week or could come back to it in September.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., seized on the remarks, saying in a statement Monday evening, "It's good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations. Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues."

"Entire Senate to Go to White House for North Korea Briefing"

Via tweetTop Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said Monday.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.

While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.

U.S. officials have expressed mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

Buddy Cole

I wanted to find a Kids in the Hall sketch where two of the guys walk together along what appears to be a small town and they're speaking as some kind of designers that have the magical power to eliminate whatever in the scene they don't like as they pass it.  One character points out an object in the scene and both would say affectedly,

"Ha-a-a-t-e-d  i-t!"

And the object would disappear, flowers, fences, lawn furniture, shutters, lawns, driveway, people, and so on as they go. They actually like very little.

But I cannot find it.

They did the characters a couple of times that I saw but apparently the skits never took hold as other skits have enough to have them uploaded to YouTube. Never took hold enough to be chosen among the fan favorites.

I watched this video because it promised a discussion of skits at the end. I hoped they'd discuss the "hated it" sketches. But they do not. It's a dead end.

[sidebar] Your Honor, I like the Buddy Cole character but this sketch isn't funny. Skip to 4:38 for the discussion. But if you do choose to bear with it, do you notice how similar this Buddy Cole character is to the comedic urbane Milo Yiannopoulos character?

This is the skit they are talking about.

They were right the first time. It's not funny. 

And yet the commenters on YouTube consider this to be a Kids in the Hall classic. The original cast critique is right, the whole thing is a string of clichรฉs and like the cast I don't understand why the audience elevates this above all their other truly imaginative skits. 

But then that all together spread out over time to the end with the post mortem interview with the cast finally coming around to accepting the public's verdict as funny when they, the moderators of what is and isn't funny, deemed otherwise and with solid comedic reasoning, really is hilarious.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The miracle of native grass

"The greatest conservation tool ever made..."

Bill Nye the Social Science Guy

Bowling a perfect game under 90 seconds

"The 23-year-old two-handed bowler rolls 12 strikes in 86.9 seconds"

"what is the biggest change in our society no one mentions?"

Reddit top voted comments...

The idea of a telephone number being tied to a place, rather than a person.
It used to be, "Call the office, leave a message on the machine", or "call the break room, someone will answer". Now it's mostly just "call or text me" and I'll get the message wherever I am.

"You have a collect call from HI MUM IT'S ME I'LL BE OVER IN 2 HOURS, HANG UP SO YOU DON'T GET CHARGED, if you would like to accept these charges, please press 1"

Repair shops. There used to be TV repair shops, vacuum cleaner repair shops, shoe repair shops. Things would break and then you would take them to a shop, or even go and buy a part, and fix them. Now everyone just buys a new whatever.

Nobody I know ever mentions getting lost anymore. Even idiots that used to get lost everyday. Having GPS on everyone's phone has made asking for directions a thing of the past in 99% of situations.

my great grandfather, who I had the pleasure of knowing until I was 18 had some insight when I asked what invention had the most impact on him. He was nearly 90 years old at the time and his response still intrigues me to this day. He said that screens in his windows to protect him from the bugs at night changed his life more than anything else. He grew up on a farm in the thumb of Michigan, and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at night was awful.

I asked him why his response wasn't the use of the telephone, TV, or even the radio. His response was "all of those things involve other people. Screens directly effected whether or not I could sleep."

I used to always be planning my social calendar several days ahead. If I was meeting a friend or girlfriend it always had to be at an appointed landmark, so you wouldn't miss each other. Everything now seems spur of the moment. It's a lot more flaky with people deciding in the moment what's their best option for a good time.

Hardly anybody claims to have met space aliens...they no longer have any excuse for not having pictures.

"Sean Hannity Accused of Sexually Harassing Fox News Contributor"

"Sean Hannity is the latest Fox News personality facing allegations of sexual harassment."
During a Friday interview with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based radio host Pat Campbell, former Fox News contributor Debbie Schlussel accused Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room before and after a debate with a pro-Palestinian guest in Detroit. Schlussel said she rejected Hannity’s alleged advances and that she was never invited on his show again.

Schlussel and Hannity were scheduled to speak together at the Detroit show, Schlussel said. But before the show, Hannity allegedly invited her to an event at a nearby bookstore.

“He had some event at a bookstore where he signed his book for people standing in line. He asked me to come meet him at this book signing,” Schlussel said on Campbell’s show. “So I met him there and it was very awkward. He had me up there with him while he signed books and I felt very weird. These people don’t know me and they didn’t come for me to sign their books. Then I left to get ready for the show, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come back with me to my hotel?’ and I said no, I have to get ready for the show.”

Shortly before the show, Hannity allegedly told Schlussel they would team up against another panelist. But Schlussel told Campbell that the move was a “head-fake” against her.

“Sean came up to me and said we’re gonna double-team (which was a weird phrase to use) this Palestinian guy that I was up against on the show,” Schlussel said. “And then every time I tried to open my mouth and say something, they yelled at me and said obey your host, you can’t say anything or else we’re gonna shut off your microphone.”

After the show, Schlussel claims Hannity made another advance on her. “My dad and my brother were there in the green room,” Schlussel said, claiming that Hannity “tried to get me to go back with him to the hotel after the show.”

Schlussel claimed she rejected the offer a second time, and was not invited on any future Hannity programs.
(link to more)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The French first round

"High turnout as France votes in first round of presidential election"

"Polls will be closing in much of France in 20 minutes, at 7 pm. In Paris and other large cities, polls will close at 8 pm."

Live coverage..

"Professor Says Male Student’s Paper Was So Triggering She Had Trouble Distinguishing Him From Her Rapist"

Via Instapundit:   A feminist professor said she was so triggered by a male student’s paper that “I began to have trouble distinguishing him from the man that [raped me].”

Writing anonymously in Inside Higher Ed, the professor described a lesson on rape culture she included in her gender class, saying she was frustrated with male students skeptical that it exists.

But one male student’s paper left her “thrown back into a pit of traumatic, fragmented memories,” she wrote.

The student cited a men’s rights advocacy group, referenced a case where a woman raped a man, questioned whether feminism was relevant, and said that concerns about gender inequality were overblown.

The professor thought the paper was not well sourced, and that the argument wasn’t sufficiently supported. But that wasn’t all.

(Link to more)

"How Carl Sagan Ruined Science"

Via Twitter:  I am a Carl Sagan fan from way back. His 1980 TV miniseries “Cosmos” hit me at just the right age and inflamed a lifelong love of science. But we’ve had nearly 40 years to assess the long-term effects and see how Sagan unwittingly contributed to a trend that muddled public understanding of science. This weekend’s so-called “March for Science” is a perfect example of what went wrong.

All you really need to know about the “March for Science” is that it is scheduled for Earth Day. The organizers may say the march is nonpartisan and has a variety of goals, but it’s mostly just about global warming. It’s not just about whether global warming is actually happening, or whether it is caused by human activity, but about a specific political program for dealing with global warming.

To be sure, there are other goals involved in the march and some contention, even among the organizers, about the extent to which the march should embrace causes like “diversity.” So the goals run the gamut from the left to the far-left. And that’s the problem. The “March for Science” is an attempt to equate the Left’s political goals with Science Itself, claiming the intellectual and moral authority of science for the Left’s agenda.

You can see why they would want to do that. The Left’s latest worker’s paradise—this time in Venezuela—is finishing up the usual devolution into mass poverty, starvation, dictatorship, chaos, and gang warfare. Given this ongoing track record of destruction, the Left has to seize on the illusion of moral authority however it can.

This is an old campaign—the Communists used to claim that they represented “scientific socialism”—but its modern form was largely shaped by Sagan, by way of “Cosmos.” He is remembered as a great popularizer of science, explaining the achievements of physics, mathematics, and astronomy in glowing, inspirational terms. But he faced the basic problem of all such popularizers.

Science has its own unique language and methods: the language of mathematics and a method of systematic observation and experimentation. The reason science tends to be opaque to the public is because it ultimately requires that they understand its language and learn to use its methods. But how do you communicate the history and meaning of science to those who don’t yet speak its language? You turn science into something they can understand. You make it into a narrative, a story.

Sagan mostly turned it into a story about brave and honest scientific pioneers fighting against the forces of superstition and obscurantism. He made it into a narrative of good guys versus bad guys, of the forces of light and progress against closed-minded reactionaries. This was sometimes oversimplified, but it wasn’t entirely wrong; the religious authorities who persecuted Galileo definitely weren’t the good guys. But Sagan fell into the temptation to make this narrative about science fit just a little too closely with the agenda of conventional late-twentieth-century liberalism, so he used “Cosmos” as a platform for the Cold War-era moral equivalence of the “anti-nuclear” movement and homilies about environmentalism.

“Cosmos” is an interesting intellectual time capsule, because it was broadcast just at the point when predictions of global environmental catastrophe were tipping between global cooling and global warming. So he presented the two as equally likely scenarios that required further study (and, of course, massive government funding).

But he dropped his guard at this point, forgot his own admonitions about following the evidence wherever it leads, and indulged the conceit that science would just happen to line up neatly with his own political preferences. What he didn’t do was entertain the possibility that human beings aren’t destroying the planet or cruising toward planetary catastrophe. He did not even consider this null hypothesis as a possibility.

It was a glaring hole in scientific objectivity, and it set the path for the popularizers of science who would follow in his footsteps. He had fixed the narrative in place, and they followed it.

(Link to more)