Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Facebook Traps People In A 'Cycle Of Failure' That Makes Them Keep Using It"

"Trying to leave just makes you want to come back even more, study says"
And it's all because – despite how it might feel – going on there makes you feel good, according to the new research.

Even briefly looking at something related to Facebook, like its logo or the news feed, can be enough to give people great pleasure. A desire to repeat that pleasure keeps people logging on they found, and triggers cravings when people aren't logged on...

"People are learning this reward feeling when they get to Facebook," she said. "What we show with this study is that even with something as simple as the Facebook logo, seeing the Facebook wall of a friend or seeing anything associated with Facebook, is enough to bring that positive association back."
(More at the Link) via Drudge

dude, sweet

"What's the most boring gift you can think of?"

Top voted reddit comments...

A soap dish. I received this for Xmas from my uncle when I was 13.

My grandfather once wrapped up a calendar from a local real estate agent's office.

A blank DVD

Ironing board cover

My mom got me fish oil pills and a blood pressure machine for my birthday one year. I was turning 26.

My mother got me a flashlight for Christmas once. I was 27 at the time.

Box of saltine crackers

Something regifted... that you originally gave them.

"Lena Dunham Epitomizes Our Self-Enforcing Police State"

Via InstapunditLena Dunham had a delayed flight and was walking through the airport when she overheard two American Airlines employees having an unapproved private conversation about transgender children. So she did what you naturally do when you are a well-known “liberal” who believes in free speech and distrusts big corporations: she ratted them out to their employer on Twitter.

What took this from being merely bullying and repressive to being creepy and totalitarian in style is that Dunham didn’t just make a general complaint. She then posted what looks like direct messages or text message between her and the American Airlines account, in which she enthusiastically provides detailed information about exactly where the conversation took place.

Saying “I overheard a conversation” but giving no specifics might prompt American Airlines to send out a general notice to its employees to watch what they say while in the terminal—which is a little unsettling in itself. But giving specific information only has one purpose: to help the airline locate, identify, and punish these specific employees for holding politically incorrect views.

It’s the hashtag #acrossfromthewinebar that sent chills down my spine. Dunham is acting like an informant working for a totalitarian police state—but boastfully, in public, on social media. With a hashtag.

Undoubtedly, someone will point out that this isn’t really totalitarianism because these are all voluntary actions by private citizens and organizations, not the government. Dunham isn’t a paid stooge of the police, but a citizen acting on her own initiative. American Airlines isn’t doing this because the government told them to, but because they’re terrified of bad press. (Which they are still going to get, but from the other side.)

Yet somehow this makes it all worse, because it implies we are being trained to internalize the ethos of the police state—and to enact it voluntarily, on our own initiative, without having to be coerced. We’re building a self-enforcing police state. (Link to more)

UPDATE: “American Airlines ‘unable to substantiate’ Lena Dunham’s allegations of transphobic employees at NYC airport,” Fox News reports:
It’s unclear if American was able to identify where the conversation allegedly occurred, but Dunham’s explanation that it was between the arrivals area and Gate B30 would place her at JFK’s Terminal 4. ABC News reported that Dunham’s Instagram story appeared to show her flying on Delta Air Lines, which does in fact operate out of Terminal 4. American Airlines, meanwhile, operates out of JFK’s Terminal 8.

"In Abusing NSA Intelligence, Did Obama White House Commit A Crime?"

Via InstapunditBack on May 24, the online journal Circa reported that the scandal was far more serious than it first appeared.

"The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community," wrote Circa investigative reporter Sara A. Carter.

Now, this week, Carter reports that the scandal is much bigger than suspected. A review of government documents found that "government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept meta-data, which include telephone numbers and email addresses," Carter wrote.

She notes that the election-year searches by Obama's political aides and other government officials jumped 27.5% from 2015, tripling the "9,500 such searches" in 2013. "In 2016 the administration also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13% over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013."

Before the Obama administration, under rules propagated by former President George H.W. Bush, "unmasking" incidental intelligence targets was strictly limited and frowned upon. Even after 9/11, despite increased surveillance of people with potential terrorist ties, the rules stayed in place. The potential for abuse, they knew, was too great.

But that ended in 2011 as Obama, using the pretense of fighting a War on Terror that he never even believed in, loosened the rules. As the Washington Examiner reported earlier this week, in 2013 National Intelligence Director James Clapper formally loosened the rules on "unmasking" the names of congressional staffers, elected officials and others.

(Link to the article)

Space Walk by Salina Yoon read by Benjamin

Yesterday Glenn Reynolds linked to an item by Dave Mosher, an article titled Jupiter is so big it does not actually orbit the sun. Mosher relates his daughter's one-time favorite book was Space Walk by Salina Yoon. In Mosher's article he states the book says in rhyme Jupiter "circles" the sun and that irritates him so badly he felt like ripping out the page every time his daughter made him read it to her, up to three times a day. Mosher insists due its immense gravity Jupiter actually pulls the orbital point away from the center of the sun to a point just beyond the surface of the sun so it does not actually circle it. Rather, the sun and Jupiter orbit each other. All planets have this same effect but their mass is so minuscule compared with the sun that the effect is barely noticeable. His issue is with the scientific distinction between the words orbit and circle. It's a small nit but it still gets him. He is not writing about the planet's oval shaped orbit.

I wondered if this book might be a good one for my brother's kids. So I looked on YouTube and found a boy, Benjamin, reading the book to Ellie, a girl with a different last name. Apparently Benamin has a bit of help with video production. It's more sophisticated than a child would do. He reads other books on YouTube as well.

It's cute.

Back on Instapundit, MSO remarks in comments that the bodies of the solar system have motion of exquisite complexity. He goes on further about science fiction writers and time travel. He shows this video depicting the sun moving so fast that the movement of sun and planets are described more accurately as a vortex.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Redwoods, California

""Maxine Waters Is Encouraging More People to Leak Confidential Info From the White House""

"Maxine Waters Is Encouraging More People to Leak Confidential Info From the White House"

Art is the problem?

"India’s Government Wants to Ban Self-Driving Cars to Save Jobs"

Via Reddit“We won’t allow driverless cars in India,” said India’s minister of transport, Nitin Gadkari. “I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs. In a country where you have unemployment, you can’t have a technology that ends up taking people’s jobs.”

In recent years India has seen a boom in the demand for drivers thanks to ride-sharing services like Ola and Uber that completed a combined 500 million rides last year. The country is currently facing an acute truck driver shortage causing an estimated 10% of its truck fleet to sit idle this year due to a lack of qualified drivers.

(Link to more)

WSJ: Mueller has impaneled a grand jury

Via Drudge:  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, The Wall Street Journal reports, in the latest sign his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is moving quickly.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment to the newspaper, and President Trump’s attorney, Ty Cobb, said he was unaware of a grand jury but welcomed any steps that brought the investigation closer to its conclusion. That’s somewhat different from Trump, who has called the investigation “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”

Separately, CNN reported that Mueller’s probe has now expanded well past the 2016 election. “Sources described an investigation that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections, alongside the ongoing scrutiny of possible illegal coordination with Russian spy agencies and alleged attempts by President Donald Trump and others to obstruct the FBI investigation,” the report said, adding that investigators were combing through Trump’s business empire.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poe's Law proven by Mad Magazine

Poe's Law: It is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression.

Originally: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article.

Satire fails because reporting of genuine views have already beat them to the punch.

I've been pondering this ever since the Charlie Hebdo massacre. That forced me to actually look at Charlie Hebdo material.

It's all crap.

There is nothing funny in it to be seen. And it's not a French vs American sense of humor thing either. The magazine is simply not funny. It's not sophisticated satire. British are better at this than the French and they're better at satire than Americans as well.

Satirists are basically quite stupid.

I wondered, what magazines do Americans have devoted to satire? The Onion is famous. I know that from online. College Humor as well. Harvard and National Lampoon,  Cracked Magazine. Wikipedia gives a list of satirical publications. My boyhood favorite was Mad Magazine.

But I stopped reading that at twelve years of age. It simply was not funny anymore. It was stupid. Although it still has features I like. There are still traces of creativity. All the marginalia throughout, for example, and Spy vs Spy and especially the fold-in back cover feature are all great innovations.

As a boy I admired the fold-in feature so strongly that I copied their style and learned how to do them. You must reduce both picture and text. But how?

You have to think of something becomes something, you must see it and say it.

Draw the reduced picture first and make it simple as possible. It must be taller than it is wide. Write your simple concluding text. Use multiple lines for a simple message that way it can be broken most easily. Then divide the picture in half and separate the picture so that 50% empty space fills the middle. And then fill the empty space with cogent filler material. Move the original text around and add text however you wish, divide words if necessary, make extra lines if necessary take a free hand at adding text cogent to your something becomes something picture. Once you do one of these the rest come naturally and flow with ease. You start thinking in these terms of something becomes something; a teacher becomes tyrant, a school class becomes hell, a soccer team becomes a mugger, a picnic becomes an anthill, a scene of heaven becomes a storm, those sorts of things.

It's an impressive innovation that has endured decades. It still gets me every time. It's still a favorite feature.

On a group flight to Mexico an acquaintance bought a Mad Magazine before boarding. He was bent over laughing so much the magazine was passed around. The whole group was cracking up over this magazine for its ridiculously juvenile satire. They passed it to me. They pointed to the items they found hilarious.  I read through and thought, "Jesus Christ, my friends are all idiots. No wonder they're so easily put in stitches. They're dopes. All my friends and acquaintances are complete dopes."

It was a sad fact that Mad Magazine exposed.

It's worse than that.

On anything political, Mad Magazine is pure crap. It is not possible for Mad Magazine to satire what we already hear and read. They draw their satire directly from news. There is nothing original. There is zero comedic inspiration. They simply hop on the bandwagon of common reporting.

I think this is my last copy to my one-year subscription. I'm not sure. Maybe there's one more. Possibly two. The previous copies were all worse than this one for their political unoriginality. The writers hate Trump, obviously, while their parroting of common liberal talking points is simply obnoxious. A rip off so far as satire goes.

As if your court jester simply reads the news straight.

And conversely as if news readers are simply court jesters.

There is no distinction between them.

Poe's law all over the place.

This issue is softer than that. This last issue is not so bad as the previous Trump related issues, and Trump has dominated their satirical attempts. In Mad Magazine universe there are no other politicians. Democrats do not exist. Such a rich area to mine for humor is left entirely untouched. It simply cannot be outdone. No Hillary, no Podesta, no Maxine Waters, no Debbie Wasserman Schultz, no Al Gore, no Bernie Sanders, and so on. Trump has destroyed their minds and killed satire.

Having said all that, this issue isn't so bad. I can see a ten year old boy along with my one-time adult friends finding humor in it. And that's who the magazine is for, after all.

Here are the Trump related items this issue, if you care to continue. They're not the slightest bit sharp.

"Half of Detroit’s 8 mayoral candidates are felons"

Three were charged with gun crimes and two for assault with intent to commit murder. Some of the offenses date back decades, the earliest to 1977. The most recent was in 2008.

Political consultant Greg Bowens said there are candidates with past hardships in every election cycle. It’s not something unique to Detroit or the political arena in general, he said.

“Black marks on your record show you have lived a little and have overcome some challenges,” said Bowens, a former press secretary to Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and NAACP activist. “They (candidates) deserve the opportunity to be heard, but they also deserve to have the kind of scrutiny that comes along with trying to get an important elected position.”

Tuesday’s Detroit mayoral primary election is the first since the city exited bankruptcy in 2014. The field of eight will be narrowed to two who will face off in the fall.

(Link to more)

What 'nice gesture' annoys you?

Reddit top voted comments...

My damn elderly Grandma wanting to do everything for everyone even though she's 84 and in poor health!

Forcing people to eat more when they don't want to.

Driver stops his car and smiles, gestures for me to cross the street....while there are dozens of other cars speeding by.

When passengers say anything along the lines of, "Oh, you don't have to turn the GPS on, I can guide you!" I understand they're being nice, however, I can't stand it because a majority of the time they don't give me enough warning or guidance.

people asking me, "what's wrong?" everytime i dont look like im as fucking happy as a 5 year old on Christmas

"Cleaning" up my things aka moving my shit around that I constantly use so I can't find it

"McMaster: Kim Jong Un should not be sleeping easily at night"

Via Drudge:  McMaster made the remark in an interview Wednesday and emphasized that Kim has become increasingly isolated on the world stage.

McMaster made the remark in an interview Wednesday and emphasized that Kim has become increasingly isolated on the world stage.

"Because he has the whole world against him, right? He's isolated. He's isolated on this. Since 1953 the Korean peninsula has been in a state of armistice. The war never formally ended and there's been no aggression, no aggression from the United States, South Korea, any of our allies."

The national security adviser also said he isn't sure whether things would change in North Korea if the young dictator were taken out of power and argued his behavior means the future of the regime is "almost impossible to predict."

"Well, I'm not sure about that," McMaster said. "I don't think anyone has a very clear picture of the inner workings of that regime."

(Link to more)

"First embryo gene-repair holds promise for inherited disease"

Via Drudge:  Altering human heredity? In a first, researchers safely repaired a disease-causing gene in human embryos, targeting a heart defect best known for killing young athletes — a big step toward one day preventing a list of inherited diseases.

In a surprising discovery, a research team led by Oregon Health and & Science University reported Wednesday that embryos can help fix themselves if scientists jump-start the process early enough.

It’s laboratory research only, nowhere near ready to be tried in a pregnancy. But it suggests that scientists might alter DNA in a way that protects not just one baby from a disease that runs in the family, but his or her offspring as well. And that raises ethical questions.

“I for one believe, and this paper supports the view, that ultimately gene editing of human embryos can be made safe. Then the question truly becomes, if we can do it, should we do it?” said Dr. George Daley, a stem cell scientist and dean of Harvard Medical School. He wasn’t involved in the new research and praised it as “quite remarkable.”

“This is definitely a leap forward,” agreed developmental geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge of Britain’s Francis Crick Institute.

(Link to more)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mimi has become once, twice, three times a to speak.

Mariah Carey shared some wise words (and signature shade) for tour mate Lionel Richie, who is reportedly in talks to judge the rebooted “American Idol.”
“I would say, ‘don’t do it,'” Carey, 47, told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday.
The singer, who was a member of the judging panel with nemesis Nicki Minaj for season 12 in 2013, quickly backtracked … but only somewhat.

“No, I’m only kidding,” she said. “If he wants to do it, that’ll be great. I think he would be really good at it. I think he should just stick with his commercials for Tetley's Tea and leave it to nasty bitches like that dirty Rican and that Australian goober."

In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

General Kelly is a great danger to our Republic

General John Kelly is the swamp creature brought in by the globalists to take control of President Trump and ensure the triumph of the Deep State.

You can see this by the people who cheered his appointment. The Media. The Republican establishment. The Neocons. The National Security Deep State. Not the people. Not the tribunes of the people who are attempting to change the playing field.

The Archduke is in Serbia.

"Modern feminism needs to 'stop blaming men,' says Camille Paglia"

Via Instapundit: In Paglia's recent collection of writings from 1990 to today, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism, she argues "[w]omen will never know who they are until they let men be men."

Her key message to feminists: "Stop blaming men."

"I do feel that I'm going to win in the long run," Paglia tells The Current guest host Laura Lynch, "and that I will be seen to have been a prophet of my time."

"It's the young people who will determine what feminism will be," Paglia says on what the future holds for the movement. However. she adds that it's hard to acknowledge anyone as an independent thinker like Germaine Greer, a prominent voice of the second-wave feminist movement and a woman Paglia admires.

"I think people are looking for a religion," Paglia, who is an atheist, declares, pointing to a feminist ideology that is universal.

"That's what makes it very difficult to argue with anyone, because they're so locked into the commandments that they've absorbed."

(Link to the entire article)

"Google And YouTube Ban Prof Who Refused To Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns"

Via InstapunditProfessor Jordan B. Peterson of the University of Toronto disputed Google and YouTube’s decision to lock him out of his accounts, according to correspondence obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Please tell me what principle I have violated,” said Peterson in his email to Google upon discovering that he was locked out of his account. “I have not violated any terms that I am aware of and have not misused my account.”

The psychology professor has over 350,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, which he uses as a platform to post his lectures, interviews, and Q&As.

(Link to more)

"Atlanta carjacking suspect asked victim to help start car"

Via Drudge:  It happened just after seven in the morning last Tuesday when a woman was approached by a man who, police say, asked if she had any change.

When she said no and went to get in her car he pulled a pistol, robbing the reluctant victim of her belongings.

"The suspect then demands her personal items such as her car keys and everything else. The female then throws some of her personal items into her car and she walks away," said Detective Benjamin King with the Atlanta Police Department.

She didn't get far because, police say, the robber had a problem starting her push-to-start car.

"The suspect then calls her back to the car by brandishing the gun and asks her how to start her own vehicle. She gave instructions through the window on how to start the car and then he drove off," said Detective King.

(More of the story and Security Video at the link)

ice cream bowls

The whole time I was thinking, why bother when the bowls used to shape these things are so adorable themselves?

Then when I tore up the bowl and ate it with the ice cream like a crispy tortilla the whole time I was thinking, "oh man, this is ace." 

Sugar on sugar I can actually feel it right in my teeth. Like potato chips and ice cream except sweet instead of salty. 

Then the idea of a pile of potato chips with ice cream seemed really great.

And the best thing about this whole experiment is I can do that right now. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Former Obama Aide Ben Rhodes now a person of interest in unmasking investigation"

Via InstapunditThe House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, sent the letter to the National Security Agency requesting the number of unmaskings made by Rhodes from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, according to congressional sources who spoke with Circa. Rhodes, who worked closely with former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and was a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications for President Obama, became a focus of the committee during its review of classified information to assess whether laws were broken regarding NSA intercepted communications of President Trump, members of his administration and other Americans before and after the election, according to congressional officials. The committee is requesting that the NSA deliver the information on Rhodes by August, 21.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Rice and former CIA Director John Brennan have all been named in the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the unmasking of Americans. A letter sent last week from Nunes to Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, suggested that top Obama aides made hundreds of unmasking requests during the 2016 presidential elections. The story, which was first reported by The Hill last week, stated that the requests were made without specific justifications as to why the unmasking was necessary. Rice and Brennan have confirmed they sought the unredacted names of Americans in NSA-sourced intelligence reports but insisted their requests were routine parts of their work and had no nefarious intentions. Power also has legal authority to unmask officials, though the practice has not reportedly been common for someone in her position. Rhodes also had legal authority to unmask Americans in NSA-source intelligence reports. But intelligence and congressional sources question the extent of the unmasking.

(Link to story)

"Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tampering With Climate Numbers"

Via InstapunditMeteorologist Lance Pidgeon watched the 13 degrees Fahrenheit Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website. The temperature readings fluctuated briefly and then disappeared from the government’s website.

“The temperature dropped to minus 10 (13 degrees Fahrenheit), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10.4 (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said, adding that he notified scientist Jennifer Marohasy about the problem, who then brought the readings to the attention of the bureau.

The bureau would later restore the original 13 degrees Fahrenheit reading after a brief question and answer session with Marohasy.

“The bureau’s quality ­control system, designed to filter out spurious low or high values was set at minus 10 minimum for Goulburn which is why the record automatically adjusted,” a bureau spokeswoman told reporters Monday. BOM added that there are limits placed on how low temperatures could go in some very cold areas of the country.

(Link to story)

"Facebook shuts off AI experiment after two robots begin speaking in their OWN language"

Via Drudge:  The “chatbots” Alice and Bob modified English to make it easier for them to communicate — creating sentences that were gibberish to watching scientists.

“We do not know what these bots are saying. Once you have a bot that has the ability to do something physically, particularly military bots, this could be lethal.

“If one says, ‘Why not do this,’ and the other says ‘Yes’ and it’s a military bot, you have a serious situation.

“This is the first recorded communication but there will have been many more unrecorded.

“Smart devices right now have the ability to communicate and although we think we can monitor them, we have no way of knowing.

“Stephen Hawking and I have been warning against the dangers of deferring to Artificial Intelligence.”

Link to media

"Pilot lands plane ‘blind’ after giant hailstones shatter cockpit windscreen"

Via Drudge:  A BRAVE pilot landed a passenger jet “blind” after giant hailstones smashed the cockpit’s windscreen and almost tore off its nose cone.

These incredible pictures show the plane after the pilot’s heroic emergency landing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport with 127 passengers on board, The Sun reports.

They show the severe external damage to the Airbus A320 from sudden unexpected hail during a thunder storm, and passengers crying and praying as the stricken plane comes in to a shaky landing.

A voice on the ground is heard saying: “He won’t do it, he won’t do it.”

Link to video


Photo by Sixty Grit
Hawk (shadow), Moon (reflection), Sky (scatter), Cloud (dispersion and absorption).

White light matters

walk in the rain

The chore was simple, not even a chore actually, rather, a desire to walk, my excuse will be to buy peaches. That's all.

The day was strange. This was Sunday late afternoon, early evening. The sky darkened with threatening clouds, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. The weather was perfect. There was hardly anyone outside. The streets were nearly bare. Far less cars than usual and only a few people standing around idle or hustling to avoid imminent weather, and it was this sparsity of people, the day being Sunday, and the incoming weather that caused people to come out of character. I would walk only two blocks total and cross the broad street twice yet I was accosted for conversation six times and that is unusual. On any other day people are too busy to strike up idle conversations with strangers. While two people called me out on sight. I like it. What a fantastic city this is.

Men standing idly observing weather move in and just feeling the changes in atmosphere strike it up as I pass.

Within half a block as I pass by an open door to a bar a voice inside yells at someone to hold up. Someone inside has something to say to someone. It was a man who lives in my building. He's talking to me. I foisted on him a small pot of dirt with a large caladium rhizome buried inside. I added a small handful of morning glory seeds and those things germinate in two days. He didn't want them. He told me so. But I didn't care. His excuse for not having plants was lame. His balcony is too shaded. These things do well in shaded areas. What the heck. All he has to do is keep them damp. So I left the small pot of dirt at his door.

At the corner of the next block a man pushing a cart is curious about the reason why I'm using two canes. I thought he was going to ask me for cash. But he was only curious. The weather was moving in and I didn't have time to stand there and explain things.

I buy the peaches and a few other things and while inside the market the sky cracks open and gushes rain. It will be temporary. From the street I saw the edges of dark clouds with light beyond them in all directions. The clouds will dump their load and that's it. Typical summer storm. But a good one. Good and hard.

Other people at the market finished shopping were waiting outside for the rain to let up. But I like walking in rain. And when I get soaked I can peel off my clothes at home. No problem. No pneumonia. No nothing. Just walk in the rain and get soaked.

I passed two men tucked tightly in a doorway smoking cigarettes and watching the downpour. As I passed I told them the rain will stop right when I get to my destination. I wasn't being funny or cynical. That was a real prediction verbalized. One of the men repeated what I said except oddly he said it backwards. I smelled beer.

I walked one block unprotected feeling the rain and the cool wind. It's fun. At the next corner a boy exiting the bodega called my name. He tore off in the direction I was headed. I encountered him again behind the counter at the sandwich shop. I bought two. I planned to give one away to the guy working the counter across the street inside the liquor store on my side of the street, in my building. This was a bit of a risk. Maybe he already had lunch. Maybe he doesn't accept such strange things. Who knows?

I actually went there twice. My backpack was full so I'd go upstairs to unload it then come back for a 12-pack of Cokes. In the space of my absence he had already consumed the sandwich I gave him. And I hadn't even started mine. Apparently people eat these things fast. And the potato chips. I returned with one of the peaches. That was the whole point, after all.

He was grateful. He told me he was hungry, that was working alone on Sunday and didn't have a chance to step out. That's been the case so far with all previous of these foot-long sandwiches. This return trip another man was there overhearing our conversation. It was none of his business but he was still tickled with what he heard. "I had them put extra cheese on it." For some reason the uninvolved man thought that was amusing.

On my way out a young couple was coming in. They held open the door. The woman complimented my pants as I passed through. It took me a moment to realize she was talking about me. I hesitated. "Thank you." Now they're behind me and she said something else I couldn't make out.

Then back in my portion of our shared building an obese man who I hadn't seen before was well ahead of me going inside. It would have been perfectly acceptable for him to simply go on. Instead, he stayed at the door with it opened anticipating my entry and he held it for a ridiculously long time. If I could move faster I would. But I can't.

Like everyone else out this day, he just wanted to talk.

Then the oddest thing. He said, "You're soaking wet." He was only going to the third floor so this was brief. I told him a long time ago I was laid up literally for years. When I got up and went outside my brother helped me and escorted me on a bike ride down Cherry Creek. We rode for as long as I could. We were caught up in the rain like today and it was glorious. Ding. His floor. The doors opened. He exited laughing. "Ha! That's fantastic. Ha ha,  oh, that great." As he disappeared around the corner and the doors closed, "Ha ha ha, oh that's just wonderful."

And it is.

All of that in a mere two blocks and one short errand for peaches. I love this place. On certain days.

Monday, July 31, 2017



Feb 28, 1976

"Scaramucci Removed as White House Communications Director at Kelly’s Urging"

Via Drudge: Anthony Scaramucci was removed from his position as White House communications director, just 10 days after his appointment to the post.

Mr. Scaramucci, who is nicknamed “The Mooch,” was removed at the urging of former Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who was sworn in as White House chief of staff Monday morning. Mr. Kelly is seeking to impose more discipline in the White House, two administration officials said.

After the swearing-in ceremony—which Mr. Scaramucci attended—Mr. Kelly returned to his office, where he informed Mr. Scaramucci in a one-on-one meeting that he was being forced to resign, a White House official said.

The ouster signaled Mr. Kelly’s authority over a White House that has been plagued by competing factions in the first six months of the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has told Mr. Kelly that all White House officials—including longtime advisers such as chief strategist Steve Bannon and family members such as son-in-law Jared Kushner —will report directly to the chief of staff, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Monday’s news briefing.

Mr. Scaramucci asked to keep his position at the U.S. Export-Import Bank when he gave his resignation, a White House official said. But Ms. Sanders said in the briefing that Mr. Scaramucci now holds no administration role.

The Most Savage Philosopher Of All Time

What is the thing that causes you to lose your temper almost instantly?

Reddit top voted answers...

The fatal combination of stupid AND rude.

When someone blames me for something I clearly did not do.

People who aren't interested in listening to your side of an argument.

Hitting my head on something.

When people start saying their problems are worse than yours and that yours don't matter as a result. Everyone has problems, they don't cancel out, asshole.

The moron that stops in a roundabout.

Wet socks.

The moment you go to click on a link or story and an ad loads right as you touch it, sending you to a page full of virtual AIDS.

"HBO on #NoConfederate Campaign: ‘We Hope People Will Reserve Judgment’"

Via MSN: HBO’s new slavery-themed project “Confederate” has been the subject of controversy since the moment it was announced.

A grassroots campaign on Sunday got the hashtag #NoConfederate trending on Twitter. The campaign was organized by April Reign, the activist behind #OscarsSoWhite, to coordinate with the airing of “Game of Thrones.” By speaking out now, she said she hoped to prevent the production of the show before it gets written or cast.

The show reached the top of Twitter’s trending list in the U.S. and landed at No. 2 worldwide.

HBO responded to the latest outcry with a statement: “We have great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around ‘Confederate.’ We have faith that Nichelle, Dan, David and Malcolm will approach the subject with care and sensitivity. The project is currently in its infancy so we hope that people will reserve judgment until there is something to see.”

(Link to more)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

"When Surgeons Operate On Two Patients At Once"

Via Drudge:  Indiana orthopedic surgeon James Rickert regards double-booking as a form of bait-and-switch. “The only reason it has continued is that patients are asleep,” said Rickert, president of the Society for Patient-Centered Orthopedics, a doctor group.

“Having a fellow so you can run two rooms helps augment your income,” he added. “You can bill for six procedures: You do three and the fellow does three.” The critical portion of the operation required by Medicare and designated by the surgeon can mean “running in and checking two screws for 10 seconds.”

Defenders of the practice, which has been the subject of a handful of studies with mixed results, say it can be done safely and allows more patients to receive care.

“It’s extremely important for us to make sure [all surgeries are] done with the highest quality,” said Peter Dunn, Mass General’s executive medical director of perioperative administration. Officials at his hospital, Dunn said in a recent interview, have “never traced back a quality issue” to concurrent surgery, which involves a minority of procedures.

(Link to the whole article)

"Wasserman Schultz Seemingly Planned To Pay Suspect Even While He Lived In Pakistan"

Via InstapunditDemocratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay cyber-probe suspect and IT aide Imran Awan even while he was living in Pakistan, if the FBI hadn’t stopped him from leaving the U.S. Monday. Public statements and congressional payroll records suggest she also appears to have known that his wife, a fellow IT staffer, left the country for good months ago — while she was also a criminal suspect.

In all, six months of actions reveal a decision to continue paying a man who seemingly could not have been providing services to her, and who a mountain of evidence suggests was a liability. The man long had access to all of Wasserman Schultz’s computer files, work emails and personal emails, and he was recently accused by a relative in court documents of wiretapping and extortion.

Records also raise questions about whether the Florida Democrat permitted Awan to continue to access computers after House-wide authorities banned him from the network Feb. 2. Not only did she keep him on staff after the ban, but she also did not have any other IT person to perform necessary work that presumably would have arisen during a months-long period, according to payroll records.

(Link to more)

"The Proper Names of 17 Bodily Functions"

Via InstapunditAsk an anatomist, and they’ll be able to tell you that your kneecap is really your patella. Your armpit is your axilla and the little groove above your top lip is your philtrum. The little flap of cartilage the covers the hole in your ear? That’s your tragus, named after the Greek word for a billy goat—because the tuft of hair that grows on it resembles a goat’s beard (apparently).

But if that’s what’s on the outside, what about what happens on the inside? Well, it turns out the English language has quite a rich collection of formal, medical, and old fashioned words for all of the reflexes and reactions that our bodies naturally carry out without a second thought from us. So the next time you’re stretching as you get out of bed, or you interrupt an important meeting with a ructus or a borborygmus, you’ll at least have the perfect word for it.


Derived originally from an onomatopoeic Greek word, a borborygmus is a rumbling in the stomach or bowels. Borborygmi are produced as the contents of the intestines are pushed along by waves of muscle contractions called peristalsis, although trapped gas from digested food or swallowed air can also cause your borborygmi to become noisier than normal. Bonus fact: Queasy stomach rumbles were called wambles in Tudor English, and you’d be wamble-cropped if you weren’t feeling well.


A study in 2013 found that when people laugh, it's only because they've found something funny about 20 percent of the time. The rest of the time, we use laughter as a means of signaling things like agreement, affection, ease, and nostalgia that we evolved long before communication through language was possible. And a fit of spontaneous, uproarious, unrestrained laughter is called cachinnation.


Cicatrization is the formation of a cicatrix, or a scar. More generally, it refers to any of the healing and sealing processes that help a wound to mend, including the formation of a scab.

(Link to the rest)

ice cream cones


Because. That's why.

Maybe you're thinking this is all well and good but you must have waffled homemade cones for your ice cream. And that's certainly possible. The waffle irons for this are only $50.00 for a million dollars of joy and that's a very good deal. But then you'd have two waffle irons in your appliance closet and that's going a little overboard with the unitask appliances. Don't you think? Plus, this way is just so rustic.

If your cones fail maybe you could make fortune cookies instead. And write ridiculous fortunes to stick inside them and blow everyone's mind.

* Don't listen to that other fortune cookie.
* Maybe you should try Tarot cards.
* With a diet like this you'll never lose weight.
* Beware men with ponytails that offer you a ride in their van.
* Those shoes look terrible on you.
* Buying a house isn't always a great idea.
* The next selfie you take could be your last.
* Consider cactus for house plants.
* In the Garden of Delight, you're what we call a fouled bird bath.
* They put MSG all up in here.
* The next solar eclipse really does mean something terrible.
* The bad thing about Uber is literally just anyone can be a driver.
* No matter what I say you're going to try to mess it up.
* Your personality type is resistant to common sense advice.
* If you wen't so easily addicted to things you'd be satisfied with one cookie.
* Gazing at star constellations never did anyone any good.
* Try working on your interpersonal skills for once. 
* You avoided the more difficult STEM classes and now look at you.
* So you're the boss of everyone. Scared a' you.