If the 4.9 million barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deep Water Horizon spill was a ecological disaster, the two million gallons of dispersant used to clean it up apparently made it even worse -- 52-times more toxic. That's according to new research...
Actually crude oil isn't toxic. It's just snacks for bacteria. Big quantities of it can suffocate critters in the immediate vicinity, but that's only because it's gloppy, not because it's poisonous.
But that's not the most annoying part....
If these grotesque peabrained psychopathic wackos had been reading any ACTUAL FUCKING SCIENCE they would have KNOWN this would happen. Same fucking thing happened after the Exxon Valdez spill. A couple years after that spill, ACTUAL FUCKING SCIENTISTS compared the coastal areas that had been carefully degreased with the areas that had been missed. The untouched areas recovered faster than the degreased areas.
Non-random thoughts about random
The recent big lottery brings up randomness again. Lotteries are a very rare case, maybe the only situation in common experience, where a mathematical randomizer shows up in PURE or raw form.
The vast majority of "randomized" events in our lives are THRESHOLDED random.
Let's see if I can illustrate the difference.
This first animation shows some bars rising and falling by a pure mathematical random process. The height of each bar is decided separately at each frame of the movie. Notice that this set of motions looks fully random; you can't see any pattern in it.
Now I've added a THRESHOLD across the bars. This makes the situation far more realistic, corresponding to many random-driven events in ordinary life. From this angle it still looks unpatterned.
Now we're looking at the same THRESHOLDED situation from the top. Now we can see all sorts of patterns! At each moment we can see CLUSTERS of bars that have popped above the threshold, and we can't see the bars that are below. Most importantly, we don't see the continuously variable heights any more; we only see the DECISION. Each bar has turned into a yes-no vote.
Everything we sense is thresholded. These bars might represent sounds coming from all sorts of things (crickets, doors, cars, dogs in your yard, dogs in China, rivers in Argentina.) All of those things are in the air, but you only hear the nearest and strongest. Same with points of light, or weights on your hand, or differences in income and status between you and your neighbor. You only sense values that pop up above your internal threshold.
The most direct analogy for this image might be a field of grass seeds popping through the soil. They are driven by temperature and moisture, so they will tend to sprout within a limited range of time; but each one has a unique micro-climate depending on shadows, bacteria, earthworms, etc.
Another prime example: Cancer clusters. Each bar corresponds to one person, with a varying number of cancerous cells. Everyone has some cancerous cells all the time, but we don't register a case of cancer until the number of cells pops through the threshold of a screening test. Each frame in the animation might correspond to a map of cancer cases in one year. Some of the frames show very definite clusters of cancer cases! Better look for known carcinogens where those clusters formed! Is there a power line? A kerosene lamp? A cell phone? No, it's most likely just random stuff.
Or we could be talking about weather events. Rivers rise and fall all the time, but we don't call it a flood until a river rises above the line of the nearest occupied land. Some of these bars seem to be flooding several years in a row! It's global warming! No, it's most likely just random stuff.
But not always. In some cases a repeated flood is just part of this clustering effect, but repetition is actually more likely than plain clustering would imply. Everything in Nature depends in infinitely complex ways on previous events. If Wildcat Creek floods in March, the ground is still wetter than usual in May, so it takes less rain than usual to bring the creek up to flood stage. The threshold has moved. There are also long-term trends like sunspot cycles and El Nino / La Nina ocean oscillations. If conditions favor big rains this year, the trends are likely to favor big rains next year as well. Probably have to wait several years until the cycles return to a dry phase.
To illustrate, I've moved the threshold up and down in a sine wave. First as seen from the side, just to show what's really happening:
Now from the top. Wow! We got 500-year floods everywhere, for several years in a row! And then we have terrible droughts everywhere, for several years in a row! This can't be random!
Yes it can. The bars are still moving in the very same pattern; the driving forces haven't changed. It's just that the conditions for popping each event above the threshold are changing from year to year as they do in Nature.
People who see life through the prism of statistics have trouble handling thresholds. Abstract academics have to shoehorn life into closed-form real-number equations, and you can't use a threshold in that context. Thresholding is perfectly natural to a binary computer. An on-off choice is easy to write as code, and the computer can handle it more precisely than a continuous number. But this naturalness doesn't penetrate the academic mind. If you can't write a continuous function suitable for a slide rule, you can't begin to think about the problem.
Record-breaking?Big headline:Moscow blanketed by record snowfall"A record-breaking snowfall in Moscow has disrupted flights and created havoc on the roads."
Wowie! I know Moscow is a super-snowy super-wintery place, so it must be about 100 inches to break their records!
"The weather service said today that a third of November's typical amount of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours, creating a 4.7in (12cm) cover - and more is forecast."
Huh? FOUR INCHES? We had four inches a couple weeks ago, and we hardly noticed it.
"Roads in the capital were clogged up and about 70 flights were disrupted."
That sounds more like the way Atlanta or Miami would respond to four inches of snow. Seriously, is Moscow in Florida? Is its reputation all wrong?
¶ 3:53 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
More on Heimatkunde
Continuing from previous post on Heimatkunde, after reading Richard Dodge's 1903 Home Geography text. Dodge doesn't specify a grade level, but the vocabulary suggests 4th grade to me.
Here's a set of Review Questions from Dodge's chapter on rivers.
Note the absolute concentration on experiment and experience, learning about your own world with your own eyes and HANDS. Note also how Dodge is trying to develop the power of prophecy.
Now here's a set of Review Questions from a rivers chapter in a modern McGraw-Hill online geography text, listed as 4th grade:
Not asking the kids to perform any experiments or examine the real world. Not even asking for bloody generalizations from the text. Only requiring precise verbatim repetition of the precise words in the text.
Best article about teaching
I was doing my 1901 thing, trying to locate a specific account of Puget Sound around 1900 to prove or disprove acidification there. Along the way I was bowled over by an unspeakably beautiful piece of advocacy. In an 1898 journal of the Royal Geographical Society, a brief piece by Richard Dodge of New York Teachers College. (Starts on page 182 of the PDF file.)
I'll transcribe the important part here without any comment except some bolds and italics. Dodge's concept is too brilliant to spoil with my crude attempts at explication. Too bad nobody ever listened to him, in geography or any other topic.
Leaving aside, then, the question as to the power of geography, let us see what the aims of geographical education are, and what they should be. Hitherto the aim has been to give a knowledge of the world in its relation to man, and in some cases a knowledge of the world with very little thought of man.
Now, we recognize that the teacher has not accomplished his task or fulfilled his duty thoroughly until he has trained his pupils in the ability to gain more education after they have left him than they have gained with him.
They must leave school with the ability to study, to interpret, and to apply; with the power of gaining knowledge for themselves from maps, textbooks, encyclopedias, books of travel, and all other sources of geographical information.
If the end to be sought by geography teaching is the power of knowing and applying oneself, then surely this power is more important than mere information. Broadly, geography should train the pupils in an understanding of the features of the Earth, of their origin and structure, of their life-histories and ends; it should develop in the pupils a love for nature and outdoors, a desire to study geography firsthand and to come in contact with the Earth; it should leave them in a questioning spirit and with the power of thought.
All these points have been more or less dwelt upon by our teachers and geographers, but there is another point we hear less about, and it is this: that the training in geography should be along scientific lines, and should lay the basis for scientific thought which the pupils may use in later years. If the three steps which any scientist must follow before he comes to a decision are those of observation, inference and proof, then our training is unscientific if we stop with mere observation and the study of relationships. We should develop in our children the power of prophecy, and the power of proving the prophecy. By prophecy I do not mean guessing, but I mean the power of foretelling the relationship of man to any part of the world from the study of a good map or other representation of that region.
From my experience in teaching I know that this power of prophecy can be developed early in the child's life, and that it is vastly helpful in future training. The prophesying, however, must be founded on familiar conditions, and must start in a simple way. We all know that the German custom of making home geography [Heimatkunde] the center for future study of the world is coming to be recognized as the true beginning of geographical work. If home geography is so taught in the early years that the children get an understanding of causal conditions, it becomes a basis for the study of prophetic geography later.
From the home geography we should go to a map representation of the facts, and from the home maps to maps of other regions drawn in a similar way. From these latter maps the pupils should be able to read the physical conditions, and to prophesy from these conditions certain great lines of geographical development. Climatic conditions, the lines of drainage, the character of the topography, the altitude, the occupations of the people, the places of residence, the manner of life, the lines of communication by water or rail (or lack thereof); the probable position of the great centers of population, and many other points, should at once be suggested to the child as the only results possible under such conditions.
Diana Carney has expressed sympathy for the anti-banking Occupy movement and suggested that global financial institutions are “rotten or inadequate”.
She has described the notion that humans should halt all consumption to save the environment as a “good point” but “very hard given the way our societies function”, and has also lamented the “relentless exhortations to buy and the fact that much of our sense of self is tied up in our possessions”.
In an article this month, Mrs Carney said that income inequality in countries such as Canada and Britain was “the defining issue of our time”. ... Attacking the “visibility and excess” of top earners, she added: “I perceive a fear that the institutions that underpin our country and the global system are either threatened, rotten or inadequate to face down the challenges of the future.”
Mrs Carney also urges readers of her website to live frugally. Describing herself as a “farmer’s daughter” she wears recycled vegan shoes, describes environmentally-friendly ways to tackle head lice and recommends “gardening with cow poo”. “Reducing consumption, or returning it to levels that are sustainable, is critical overall,” she wrote online. “Fortunately, it has been repeatedly shown that having more stuff does not make us happy, so we should be able to make that step”.
Frugality. Live within your means. Global institutions are rotten.
Until very recently, these attitudes were solidly bourgeois, firmly associated with political parties that could be called conservative or right-wing. Jennings Bryan and Calvin Coolidge talked this way and meant it.
Even recycled vegan shoes and gardening with cow poo used to be more closely linked with 'right-wing' attitudes. Think of Henry Ford and W.K. Kellogg.
Now all of these bourgeois and agrarian values are solidly associated with the Left, and with apocalyptic ecowacks. The parties with 'conservative' or 'right' labels are now the advocates of wretched excess, living on credit, and rotten bankers. Tax evasion (i.e. not paying your obligations) is the sole unifying principle of modern Repooflicans.
Before 1970, Diana Carney's attitudes would have seemed quite proper and admirable for a banker's wife. Now they're peculiar and inexplicable.
How did we get here? I'm tempted to start with the 1968 LBJ/Nixon cultural switchover, but I suspect that was more symptom than cause. The twist was already underway at a deeper level before that event.
¶ 3:42 AM
After days of protests, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi announced Monday that a sweeping decree issued last week that exempted his decisions from challenges in court will remain in effect on issues pertaining to “sovereign matters,” a result that some were calling a compromise but that appeared to be a sweeping victory for the Islamist president.
He has the people on his side, and the people have him on their side.
Satan aka "American media" is firmly and solidly favoring the judges, making no pretense whatever of objectivity. Satan views Morsi's rejection of the old regime as a "power grab".
Best of all, Satan aka "media" calls the judges Liberals.
This tells us several things without needing further specification: (1) The judges hate normal humans. (2) The judges like Israel more than their own country. (3) The judges like foreign stock investors more than their own businessmen and workers.
All of those characteristics are bad for Egypt; bad for ANY country where they dominate.
¶ 5:13 PM
Last laugh on a bully
Cruel bullies describing themselves as modern avant-garde "artists" have done immeasurable harm to gullible cities and other institutions, and have permanently destroyed the whole idea of art.
I've mentioned the vicious filthy monster Dale Eldred, now fortunately deceased, who created costly and dangerous "works" of "art" in Kansas. Foolish officials weren't smart enough to see what he was doing, and went along with his sadistic psychotic plans because it made them feel cool and fashionable. Eldred's vicious "works" were so harmful that they had to be taken down after ordinary people saw through the cruelty.
The grandest bully of all is Christo, who has wasted huge quantities of public money to produce his very large thingamajigs.
Now it looks like a government is going to get the last laugh on Christo. Abu Dhabi is preparing to fund a huge pyramid made of empty oil barrels.
Christo denied that choosing oil barrels to build the structure was a comment on the region’s chief source of wealth and stressed that his idea was not born out of economic or political events, just ‘joy and beauty.’
Construction of the Mastaba will take 30 months, with hundreds of people involved. A German company has been commissioned to supply the coloured barrels.
A nearby ‘art campus’ will include an exhibition on the project, as well as housing a luxury hotel and restaurant.
Christo pretends that it's "not a comment", but with art bullies it's always a comment, and it's always an ironic nasty sneering lip-curling eye-rolling contemptuous comment, drooling with toxic civilization-rotting venom.
Clearly Abu Dhabi understands the comment, and is happy to repurpose the comment in a straightforward non-ironic way. Yup, we've got lots of oil money. This pyramid is a proud monument to our oil money.
= = = = =
Sidenote: There's a more precise Gotcha, a beautiful and genuinely artistic ending, to Eldred's nasty vile story. After a lifetime of murderously building terrorist weapons designed to fall on the unwary observer, Eldred was actually killed when his own "art" fell on him.
¶ 4:20 AM
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Modern Satanist-Stalinists are crowing and screeching and prancing in serpentine sibilant joy over the recantation of Willie Wilkerson.
Most sons, after growing up, realize that Papa was right. I was slower than most, but finally reached that conclusion. I constantly regret my adolescent rebellion, and constantly realize that every word I write here is either a direct continuation of my father's ideas or a direct result of the logic he taught by example and parable.
Not so with Willie Wilkerson Junior. It's hard to think of a more cowardly act than apologizing on behalf of your own father when it's clear to any objective observer that the father was correct and courageous and didn't intend to apologize for his courage.
A quick check of the facts shows that Willie Jr isn't even accurate in his depiction of history. He's claiming that Willie Sr started the blacklisting of Hollywood Soviet Agents in 1946, as revenge for their failure to hire him.
Nope. Not at all.
From wiki, which is generally a leftish source:
Martin Dies along with Samuel Dickstein created the House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities, initially nicknamed the Dies Committee, later becoming HUAC in 1946. Dies was its first chairman, serving from 1937 to 1944. Samuel Dickstein, himself was named in the Venona project as a Soviet agent.
In pre-war years and during World War II, HUAC was known as the Dies Committee. Its work was supposed to be aimed mostly at German American involvement in Nazi and Ku Klux Klan activity, such as the German American Bund. As to investigations into the activities of the "Klan,", the Committee actually did little. ...
While there had been earlier Congressional hearings on communist and Nazi activity, such as by Hamilton Fish in 1932 and McCormack and Dickstein in 1934, the Dies Committee hearings captured greater public attention and scrutiny. In 1938, the Committee was criticized for including Shirley Temple, who was 10 years old at the time, on a list of Hollywood figures who sent greetings to the leftist Communist-owned French newspaper, Ce Soir.
And the Dies committee continued after that, expanding into other committees and also into Reagan's efforts at Screen Actors Guild.
So it wasn't Wilkerson Sr who started the attempt to clean up Hollywood. He was just one of the participants.
In NPR's interview with Wilkerson Jr, the real motive for his craven apology emerges. It sounds like Junior is trying to get back into Hollywood's good graces to advance his own career. Commies never forgive. They are aristocrats above all, firmly tied to the notions of inherited class, inherited virtue and inherited guilt. So they weren't taking Junior's calls because they remembered his father.
Nice little mirror. Junior hates his father for acting out of personal revenge, but loves the cool people when they act out of personal revenge.
This has echoes of recantations in the real Soviet Union, but most of those men suffered years of hard labor and torture before they recanted of their sins against Stalin. Junior has suffered only career limitation.
= = = = =
Sidenote: Seeing the mention of Agent Samuel Dickstein at the start of the committee, I wondered if the whole HUAC thing was a Soviet 'provocateur' effort. It's clear that the final McCarthy train-wreck was completely scripted and operated by Agent Jewfag Roy Cohn, but it doesn't appear that HUAC was operated by Dickstein. According to this compilation, Dickstein took quite a bit of money from the Russians in exchange for information about pro-German groups, but failed to provide any information. KGB codenamed him 'Crook'. When Dies became chairman, KGB broke off all connections with Dickstein.
¶ 5:13 PM
Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers directed by Professor Geneviève Belleville of Université Laval's School of Psychology after having examined the relationship between the moon's phases and the number of patients who show up at hospital emergency rooms experiencing psychological problems.
To determine whether the widespread belief linking the moon to mental health problems was true, researchers evaluated patients who visited emergency rooms at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis between March 2005 and April 2008. They focused specifically on 771 individuals who showed up at the emergency room with chest pains for which no medical cause could be determined. Psychological evaluations revealed that a sizeable number of these patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders, or suicidal thoughts.
Using lunar calendars, the researchers determined the moon phase in which each of these visits occurred. The results of their analyses revealed no link between the incidence of psychological problems and the four lunar phases. There was one exception, however; anxiety disorders were 32% less frequent during the last lunar quarter.
You fucking monsters, that's not an "exception", that's a highly significant connection between moon phases and psychological conditions, and it's in the predicted direction. If anxiety was LESS FREQUENT in the last quarter, that means it was MORE FREQUENT near the full moon.
Beautiful example of confirmation bias in a study designed to disprove confirmation bias.
Supposedly doctors and cops are aware that the moon is full, so they tend to attribute every unusual event during a full moon to the tidal effect. These "scientists" were determined to disprove the full-moon confirmation bias, because "scientists" believe above all in absolute randomness. Anyone who tries to impute a cause to any event must be ruthlessly and murderously dissuaded from his Mistaken Infidel Beliefs. (The one big exception to universal randomness, of course, is Today's Bad Weather, which is always caused by Evil KKKarbon. Anyone who tries to impute randomness or natural cycles to Today's Bad Weather must be ruthlessly and murderously dissuaded from his Mistaken Infidel Beliefs.)
These "scientists" were so full of their own arrogance and bias that they had to treat the significant correlation as a "minor exception".
= = = = =
Later thought: There's no such thing as randomness, of course. Anything that appears "random" in Nature, whether it's "random" jumping of genes or Brownian motion, is actually the result of a chain of causation. We call it random when we can't untangle or locate the chain of causation. This doesn't mean the event is uncaused or indeterminate; it only means we're egotistical and arrogant. When a phenomenon is beyond our present understanding we give it a special name. If we're humble we call it supernatural or mysterious. If we're arrogant assholes we call it random.
¶ 2:57 AM
Friday, November 23, 2012
Checked the radar to see if rain is likely to continue all night. Looks like it won't, so stopped worrying.
But the shape of the storm might be an omen. It's Europe! (Well, sort of.)
¶ 5:03 PM
Ocean acidification.... disproof?
Today brings more of the usual Carbon Cult raving about dying oceans, acidification, etc.
I decided to find a past source for comparison. (I like to check publications between 1890 and 1910, which was pretty much the peak period of realistic science. Before those years, instrumentation wasn't well-developed; after those years, most of science was destroyed by Leninism or bizarre abstractions and delusions.) A highly readable and lively 1895 report of an oceanographic voyage to the Bahamas gives a precise figure for dissolved CO2 in that area: 50 cc of carbon dioxide per liter of water.
Then located a passage in a 2011 book, 'Essentials of Oceanography' by Garrison.
Hmm. Still 50 cc per liter after a century. So where's the extreme gasification and acidification? Maybe nowhere.
Back at you, peabrains.
The usual peabrained Yankee fuckheads are getting weeweed up about Egypt's Morsi. He is solidifying his power, which is an absolute necessity if a revolution is going to succeed. Satanic peabrains seem to be especially weeweed about Morsi's clampdown on "independent judiciary", i.e. black-robed saboteurs.
Well now. The 1776 revolution in America had to take similar steps. Your fine 'democratic' heroes, Washington, Adams, Jefferson et al, had to clamp down hard on the ancien regime.
Anti-Tory laws in all the new States prohibited Loyalists from suing, holding office, owning guns, serving on juries, voting in town meetings, practicing law or medicine, preaching or teaching, buying or selling land. A fairly small number of Loyalists were tried and executed or sent to Canada.
Morsi should have followed in the footsteps of our harsh Founding Fathers. Should have eliminated those Loyalist judges before they had a chance to make trouble.
Later: It appears that the Loyalists don't have much support in Egypt, despite the attempts by our Satanist media to overrate their power.
= = = = =
Polistra and Happystar continue praying hard for Morsi's health and success.
¶ 6:48 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Language update (special Thanksgiving edition)
Professor Polistra is thankful for a new (small) load of misused or strange words. She leads off with one that came in a uniquely appropriate story today:
= = = = =
Raucous as noun:
Neighbors were forced
to call police early Thursday after hearing a raucous out in the street. When they looked outside, it turned out to be a group of squabbling turkeys!
Police responded to the scene near 18th and Rockwood to check on the turkeys. They appeared to have settled the squabble and wandered off on their way.
= = = = =
Euphemism for "meth motel".
Officers say the fight broke out at the longer-stay hotel in the 12000 block of E. Sprague. Police are still looking for the suspect.
= = = = =
Progress as verb:
We acknowledge the appointment of Dame Janet Smith to lead the BBC commissioned review into this matter and recognise her need to progress this important work.
= = = = =
BBC's version of the word. Most Americans pronounce it defibulator.
= = = = =
New universal meaningless response to the universal meaningless question Howareyou.
= = = = =
Antithical:New Wash gov Inslee says he'll move quickly to implement the referendum that legalizes pot: "I don't think there's any reason that that's antithical to national security or interstate commerce."
Not an accidental omission, because he puts the accent on the second syllable. Clearly this is his version of the word.
= = = = =
Undiscover:A neat story. Oceanographers working near Australia realized that a substantial island, present on all navigational charts for a long time, simply isn't there. Never was there. The seafloor is uniformly deep in that area, with no indication of any protrusions or outcroppings. So 'Sandy Island' has now been officially undiscovered.
= = = = =
Professor Polistra hopes to see lots more undiscoveries in years to come. If science wants to regain sanity and respect, it will have to undiscover a huge pile of alleged "things" and "facts" that have been on the charts for a long time. "Global warming", biodiversity, quantum physics, evolution by mutation, most current ideas in economics and psychology.
Never cool, always cool
The Spokane paper, always conforming to rigidly orthodox Satanism, carries only genocidal pseudoscience. All the cool people agree that Gaia is the only god and Michael Mann is Gaia's Prophet. The newspaper's local Mannite High Priest, locally the coolest of the cool, has written a piece using the so-called "global averages" to make a dramatic point. He says that young people have never known a cool month. Specifically, if you were born after 1985, you never experienced one month that is cooler than some "global average."
This might be true if you are a slime mold covering exactly the points that NOAA uses to form its invalid "global average temperature", and if you are capable of sensing your overall temperature by the same algorithm that NOAA uses to form its invalid "global temperature".
Unfortunately, theoretical globe-covering algorithm-following slime molds don't exist, and if they did exist they wouldn't read newspapers. (They would already be able to sense everything that's happening on earth.)
Actual newspaper-reading humans occupy a much smaller piece of real estate per individual. So let's assume the reader resides somewhere in the state of Wash. Admittedly I'm doing a larger-than-human average here, but I know from examining the records that Wash pretty much moves together on temp. In other words, I'm reasonably close to the trends experienced by an actual human around these parts. (This wouldn't work with precip averages.)
Here's my usual montage of NCDC century records, one for each month. I've highlighted the years since 1985 when the nominal young reader has been alive. (PSP file here for better resolution.)
To my eyes, our hypothetical young Wash reader would have experienced months below the century average as follows:
Total cool months: 103
Total months (26 years * 12) = 312
These years are unquestionably on the warm side, but the Mannite assertion is nonsense.
Looking at it crudely by seasons: Winter is warmer than the previous 50, returning to the 1890s. Spring is nothing special. Summer is warmer because the nighttime lows are rising, typical of UHI. Fall is definitely cooling.
So we have some trends in some months, but they don't show a rising baseline as you'd expect from a GLOBAL warming trend. Mainly we have the effects of PDO and UHI.
Pope Retard XVI is getting even more retarded. A few months ago he picked up on the fact that American nuns are Stalinist bulldykes. This happened in the '60s, and was perfectly obvious to most Americans in the '70s.
Now RXVI has picked up on the fact that Jesus was born a few years before 1 AD. This fact has been known to religious and secular scholars for at least 200 years, maybe more. Even biblical literalists know that the AD era was incorrectly calibrated.
What next? Will RXVI inform us of the Breaking News that Luther and Zwingli are thinking of starting a rebellion against Rome? That the Nicaean Council has reached a compromise on a new Credo?
¶ 5:58 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Commies get a reason to hate the UN
Some branch of the UN is strongly complaining about the new legalization of pot here in Wash and in Colo.
The head of the U.N. drug watchdog agency is urging U.S. federal officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Raymond Yans says the approvals send "a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad."
Yans heads the International Narcotics Control Board. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes Attorney General Eric Holder "will take all the necessary measures" to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S.
Meanwhile, local police are happy with legalization. They've been unenthusiastic about enforcing pot laws for a long time.
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper is among those signing the letter, which calls on federal officials to stay out of the states' decisions to legalize pot possession. "This is not a challenge to you, but an invitation - an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place," the letter said.
The UN's typical murderous aggression, applied this time to an atypical issue, may finally give idiot "American" hippieshits a reason to hate the monster.
They came for the cars and I said nothing. They came for the guns and I said nothing. They came for the nuclear reactors and I said nothing. They came for the Christians and I said nothing. But finally they came for MY POT and it was too late!
¶ 5:51 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012
See what happens when you LOOK?
Wonderful example of what can happen when you decide to look closely at something, instead of fucking around with numbers and potentialities and apocalyptic religious delusions. In other words, when you do ACTUAL FUCKING SCIENCE.
Katydids are thoroughly familiar insects. We've all heard them, seen them, probably handled them or batted them away when they jumped on us. We knew that they made sounds with their legs, and that they somehow heard with their legs.
Now someone finally decided to look closely, with amazing results.
A team at Lincoln Univ in Britain used electron microscopes to examine the ears, which are inside the front pair of legs.
I've done a 3d pic and animation based on their descriptions.
Each of the front legs has a pair of tiny openings. Behind each opening is a tympanic membrane, much like ours.
I've shown one side of the leg here. Each Tympanic Membrane (eardrum) has a 'plate' or lever on one edge, serving as a leverage multiplier like our Ossicles. The plate transfers the wave motions to a fluid-filled Acoustic Vesicle, which plays the same role as our Cochlea. The Vesicle picks up the waves from both drums in this leg. It contains hair cells that wave back and forth, sending neural signals to the katydid's brain. Fluid inside the Vesicle is a dense version of the insect's blood, again just like the fluid in our Cochlea; and the hair cells are tuned for different frequencies, just like ours.
Eardrums need to avoid being moved by changes in atmospheric pressure, which can be much larger than sound pressure. Mammalian ears balance the pressure on both sides of the drum via the Eustachian tube that opens into the nasal passages, insuring that the middle ear chamber stays at the same pressure as the air outside the skull. The katydid solves the same problem with an Acoustic Trachea, a tube running up the leg, into the body, and thence into one of the insect's 'lungs'.
When sound impinges, each eardrum transfers its energy to a 'pinch' on one side of the Vesicle.
Aside from the pairing, there's only one major design difference between mammal and katydid. The katydid's paired eardrums push on the side of the Vesicle, while our eardrum pushes on the end of our cochlea:
The pair of eardrums on each leg makes me wonder.... does the katydid move its legs to do a complex form of localizing? With two pairs of ears that can be moved separately, you could triangulate in ways that we can't imagine! Or does it pick up polarized sound? Under normal conditions the longitudinal waves of airborne sound can't be polarized, but mechanically carried high-freq sound inside a plant stalk might be different. Paired ears on a leg, with the eardrums at a 90 degree angle, would be uniquely suited for picking up the separate polarizations. (Think of a stereo LP record to get the idea.)
Some amazing examples of what Katy might hear on the literal grapevine!
In any case this gives evidence for the notion that the Grand Blueprint is more a 'specification of purpose' than a 'specification of materials'. The permanent genes determine what an organism intends to do in life, not merely how to build a subsystem that serves the purpose.
PM Cameron is an interesting figure. He seems to understand reality better than any recent American president, and sometimes does the right thing. (American leaders always pick the wrong path.)
He's done another extremely right thing:
You know what the global race means because you’re living it. And I’m here today to tell you this Government gets it. We get that the world is breathing down our neck. And we get what British business needs.
You need us to deal with our deficit. To cut business taxes so we can compete. To have a proper industrial strategy to get behind the growth engines of the future. To reform education so we turn out the brightest graduates and school leavers. To reform welfare so it pays to work.
These are the key steps to Britain thriving in this global race. But it’s not just about policies, it’s about attitude. You need us to be tough. To be radical. To be fast. I’m going to tell you what that means.
But we need to do more because government can still be far too slow at getting stuff done.
You know the story. The Minister stands on a platform like this and announces a plan then that plan goes through a three month consultation period there are impact assessments along the way and probably some judicial reviews to clog things up further. By the time the machinery of government has finally wheezed into action, the moment’s probably passed. Government has been like someone endlessly writing a ‘pros and cons’ list as an excuse not to do anything at all.
Consultations, impact assessments, audits, reviews, stakeholder management, securing professional buy-in, complying with EU procurement rules, assessing sector feedback this is not how we became one of the most powerful, prosperous nations on earth.
It’s not how you get things done. As someone once said, if Christopher Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be stuck in the dock.
So I am determined to change this.
• Cutting back on judicial reviews.
• Reducing government consultations.
• Streamlining European legislation.
• Stopping the gold-plating of legislation at home.
'Judicial review' in Brit jargon means allowing ecowacks to sue the government into submission. Cameron promises to cut that down to an absolute minimum.
If an American president ever had the guts to assert good old sovereign immunity, we might start to move again. But it won't happen. Team-D presidents get money from trial lawyers, and Team-R presidents want to get money from trial lawyers. See Polistra's dog-bowl rule.
¶ 3:39 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Presidents can sometimes use a fairly insignificant incident to start a war, and sometimes not. Wilson used the Lusitania to get us into WW1, a war that had no connection to American interests. Later LBJ used the Tonkin Gulf "attack" (which turned out to be mostly fake) to get us solidly into Vietnam, a guaranteed loss. Clinton didn't use several major incidents (first Twin Towers bombing, Nairobi embassy attack, USS Cole) to start a war. Bush The Son used the second Twin Towers bombing to start a guaranteed-loss war against various randomly selected countries.
Obama has gone back to the Eisenhower/Clinton non-response mode, and most Americans are with him. We're in one of those momentary and transitory moods when we actually learn from history.
Now the Repoofs are trying to bring back the Wilson/LBJ/Bush mode, saying that the Libyan embassy attack justifies another war. It's not working. Their secondary attempt to use the same incident to discredit Obama isn't working either.
I don't know how long the current learn-from-history mood will last. The Repoofs seem to be betting it won't last long, betting that a constant hammering will eventually bring back war fever.
¶ 7:21 AM
Come on down!
Hey Uncle Sam! Come on down! You've been up there on McMansion Hill for 30 years, and it's not where you belong. You've been playing poker with the vultures, and they've been winning every game. Look at them circling!
Nothing is real up there. It's all wind and false fronts. It's all false values, false science, false theories, imaginary platitudes, imaginary money. It's all borrowed [carbon-neutral] smoke and quantum mirrors.
Down here in Homette Valley everything is modest,self-contained, paid up. Values (both kinds) are solid and real. Down here people improve the land and make things.
The trip down the fiscal cliff won't be easy. You'll get scratched and bruised, but gravity will help. Just let those tax cuts expire and let the Simpson-Bowles plan take effect.
Come on down here where the values and the prices are right!
¶ 2:59 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
TribalNPR reports a "study" by some idiot sociologist. The idiot sociologist took his car through lots of full-service carwashes, leaving lots of money in the car. Sometimes he placed a girlie mag and beer cans in the car, sometimes not. When the girlie mag and beer were present, more money was stolen.
The original idiot sociologist, NPR's idiot discussers, and most of the commenters, get it bizarrely and weirdly wrong, invoking all sorts of abstract incomprehensible lunatic schizy word-salad with precisely zero connection to human nature.
Exactly one commenter gets it exactly right. It's tribal. If you show signs of drinking and driving, you're not likely to snitch on another law-breaker.
¶ 6:56 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Another design question
Were birds designed to look like leaves, or vice versa?
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Sidenote: I bought this digital camera recently after many "I wish I had a camera!" moments. Predictably, those moments ceased immediately after buying the camera. This one picture finally justifies the purchase. Looked out the door, saw all those birds, did a double take, realized they were leaves. "I wish I had a... Hey! I do have a camera!" Fortunately the illusion works as well on 'film' as it did in real life.
= = = = =
Next day at the same time: Glad I caught it. The leaves are still hanging on the lilac, but the illusion doesn't work now. They're just leaves. Must have been something unique about the light at that moment.
¶ 9:05 AM
Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë intends to outlaw by September 2014 the use of cars and utility vehicles more than 17 years old and lorries or buses more than 18 years old.
Motorcycles built before 2004 will also be forbidden, as the mayor said they were the "most polluting and noisiest". The "old banger" ban will apply to all vehicles inside the A86 motorway that surrounds the French capital. If the measures go ahead, classic old cars like 2CVs, Peugeot 205s and Renault 4Ls will be a thing of the past in the capital, along with sputtering but charming old Vespas and other two-wheelers deemed too dirty to drive.
Polistra takes strong exception to this idiocy. Old French cars get excellent gas mileage, and the BEST way to conserve resources is to keep old things running. The French understand this point deeply. Idiot mayor is forcing American behavior, buying new stuff instead of maintaining the old.
¶ 7:48 AM
Finally a good question
Listening to mostly useless crap about Petraeus. The same old epistemological shit: what did you know, when did you know it.
Doesn't matter. Knowledge is irrelevant. Action counts.
Someone finally asked a good and useful question, more or less incidentally: "Why didn't the CIA know that the FBI was looking at emails of the CIA's own director?"
Though it's phrased as a knowledge question, it's really an action question. CIA's job is to know what's happening. If FBI can penetrate CIA's own director so easily, we can be sure that anyone and everyone can penetrate CIA's own director!
Not surprising, of course. We've been very sure for a very long time that CIA is totally penetrated by all our enemies. Totally incompetent organization, should be disbanded.
The only question I'd like to ask: Jill Kelley is listed as "social liaison to southern bases." Why does the milifairy need Social Liaison Officers? How do they help defend the country?
Never mind. The milifairy hasn't defended the country since August 1945. It's a huge organization without a purpose. Should be disbanded.
From UK Guardian:
"The emails between the two women were of a childish, jealous nature and showed some oneupmanship of trying to come across as being more important to Petraeus, the official said."
That's what you get when you fill an organization with intense mission-minded people and then fail to give them a mission. You get cliques working amazingly hard to gain and undermine personal status.
= = = = =
Bit later: Of course there's another explanation. These Khawam twins have been working in a purposeful way to gain access to powerful positions, and their beauty has been the key that opens every door. Smells strongly of honeytrap, but I can't figure out who the honeytrap serves.
¶ 2:22 AM
Monday, November 12, 2012
Winter is starting early this year. Two inches a few days ago, four inches today. Not meaningful amounts, but the shape of the first storm is worrisome. It was one of those brace-n-bit storms. Get centered directly on Spokane, rotate slowly for 24 hours until all energy is used up. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of moisture available for that one, but the brace-n-bit pattern is exactly how we get 30-inch monstersnows. If that's going to be typical this winter, we've got trouble.
¶ 10:46 AM
We must face the reality that we may be on the losing side of the culture war.
For decades, the "religious right" has focused its energies on winning the day through political means. But this year, voters in more than one state appear to have clearly passed referenda supporting gay marriage. This marks the first time for any state to legalize same-sex marriage by the expressed will of the people rather than through court rulings or legislation. While this certainly does not mean we should stop legal or political efforts completely, it does mean that we should begin thinking about what it looks like to be the church in a "post-culture war" era. We need to be prepared to defend the protection of religious liberty as we move into the future.
The reason for the loss is obvious. Evangelicals allowed their cause to be allied with RICH FUCKHEADS, who were callously using the evangelicals to increase the power and wealth of RICH FUCKHEADS. As their power increased, they were able to impose their Satanic anti-civilization beliefs on all of society while contemptuously giving minimal lip service to platitudes about "life" and "family values".
The alliance was created by Satanist psychopath Lee Atwater, who openly disdained and hated normal humans. It was carried on by Karl Rove, and by Rush and his cohorts.
On the religious side, the Prosperity Doctrine types built the matching 'receptor' for this bad medicine: they claim that great wealth is a sign of superior morality and salvation, which is EXPLICITLY contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
Within the bonds of this poison-pill alliance, working-class evangelicals and Catholics were unable to defend their own economic interests. If they wanted to hear meaningless pro-life platitudes from their politicians in DC, they had to swallow NAFTA and bank deregulation and outsourcing and open borders and ZERO TAX FOR GOLDMAN SACHS at the same time. Thus normal Christians not only lost the moral battle, they descended into poverty while RICH FUCKHEADS got all the money and all the Satanic cultural power.
Only one major candidate tried to create a more appropriate alliance, but he didn't try hard enough, and the RICH FUCKHEADS broke him. Santorum had always been the defender of working-class economic interests AND working-class values. He allowed the media to pigeonhole him as an exclusively religious figure, and allowed the Rush cohorts to paint him as a socialist.
This alliance distorts the other side in a mirror-image way. A Dem politician who wants to speak for the working class is able to speak against free trade, open borders and outsourcing, but only if he also supports the abortion industry and Fag "Marriage".
Nobody is allowed to represent all interests of normal Americans, as FDR did.
Life imitates art
A fantastic new type of primitive animal has been found at the bottom of the sea, which raises a number of design questions. Good pictures here,official abstract here.
Only a few of these sponges (Chondrocladia lyra) have been spotted and brought in by robotic submarines. Their behavior and functions are only partly understood. Apparently the pads at the top of each stem are sperm carriers; eggs form in temporary nodes along the vertical shafts. Apparently the critter feeds by trapping little shrimp and other plankton in Velcro-like hairs along the vertical stems. The shrimp is dissolved, and the nutrition passes into the vertical stem and gets distributed through the entire animal.
Three design questions:
(1) How do the stems grow perfectly vertical and equally spaced? Is there a gravity sensor as in plant roots? If so, how does it compensate for ocean currents?
(2) How and why do the stem lengths form a 'musical' series? Does each stem pick up a different frequency, corresponding to the motions of a different type of plankton? Do they have different enzymes to digest their own preferred shrimp?
(3) How do the main sections form nearly perfect angles? Apparently there isn't a single symmetry standard; some specimens have two harps, some have four (as I've modeled), some have six. Each pattern is nicely regular.
This discovery breaks down one old and basic rule. Until now, we thought Nature refused to make straight lines, and strongly refused to make parallel equally spaced straight lines. If you saw such a pattern, you could be sure it was a human artifact. Now we can't be sure!
Proportion, not statScience Daily focuses on some experiments showing (unsurprisingly) that quick intuition often works better than formalized thinking. These experiments are the usual Game Theory stuff with college students as subjects, which limits their universality. An earlier writeup on the same topic was more substantial.
One point in the latest experiments by Marius Usher begs for a better explanation.
Of course, intuition is also subject to certain biases, explains Prof. Usher, and leads to more risks -- risks that people are willing to take. That was shown when the researchers engaged participants in tests that measured their risk-taking tendencies, and were surprised to discover that the majority of the participants didn't play it safe. When faced with a choice between two sets of numbers with the same average, one with a narrow distribution, such as 45 and 55, and another with a broad distribution, such as 70 and 30, people were swayed by the large numbers and took a chance on the broadly distributed numbers rather than making the "safe" choice.
I'd bet the broad distribution isn't the cause. More likely this difference comes from the logarithmic nature of our senses.
Usher apparently used the arithmetic mean to create ranges that supposedly had the same 'center'. A range of [45,55] has an arithmetic mean of 50, and [30,70] also averages to 50. But our senses don't use sums and differences. The numerical sense (like all others) works on proportions and percentages. The sensory comparator would be looking at 55/45 versus 70/30, not the sums or differences. 70/30 is about twice as large as 55/45, so 70/30 would be seen as the higher value.
Might as well chime in
Nobody reads this, but just between me and the computer, I might as well stab one more fork in this stale turkey, since everyone else is doing it.
If Repooflicans really want to recapture a meaningful majority, they should stop playing demographic games, stop pandering to Mexicans and blacks and Jews. Stop appealing to people who will NEVER vote R under any conditions. Instead, appeal to a group that wants to be represented by a party on your side; a group that is currently unrepresented.
First, purge Norquist and get rid of the tax-evading ethic. Normal Americans see tax evasion as a form of low-grade treason. If you're unwilling to support the country financially, you're not entitled to crow about your exceptional and God-given moral superiority. Jesus ordered you to pay your taxes. Obey him.
Second, get rid of Soviet Agent Alyssa Rosenbaum (alias Ayn Rand) and all of her strange acolytes. Agent Rosenbaum wanted to destroy America, and you've helped her do it. Stop the Taker/Maker crap. It's poison.
Third, listen closely to Jennings Bryan:
We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; the miners who go down a thousand feet into the earth, or climb two thousand feet upon the cliffs, and bring forth from their hiding places the precious metals to be poured into the channels of trade are as much business men as the few financial magnates who, in a back room, corner the money of the world. We come to speak of this broader class of business men.
It is for these that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!
When you understand fully and correctly what Bryan meant, and when you act on his meaning, then you'll be a proper opposition party.
= = = = =
Of course the Repoofs have to get beyond a more obvious and basic stupidity before they can try to provide a meaningful agenda. In this election, raw political calculation said Obama's weak points were jobs and health care. A conservative opposition party would counter those weak points with a governor who had created jobs in his state, and had taken conservative steps to improve health care. In other words, Rick Perry. Instead, the Repoofs nominated Vulture Romney. He spent most of his life shipping jobs to China, and he specifically and personally invented the health care plan that Obama implemented. You simply could not imagine a more perfectly and diametrically wrong candidate. Not in a thousand years. If you looked hard for the WORST POSSIBLE candidate against Obama, you'd instantly find Vulture Romney.
¶ 6:07 AM
Friday, November 09, 2012
Ten years of semi-retired frugality!
I've been 'off the clock' since November 2002, doing some contract work and living carefully. The real landmark happened earlier this year when Social Security kicked in; that's the goal I'd been working toward. Still, this is an anniversary, so might as well celebrate it.
= = = = =
Contrast: the precise opposite of frugality. A local jewelry store is advertising some kind of special two-day event featuring a load of Super-Jumbo diamonds. The biggest one weighs 17 carats, normally $500,000. Now reduced to $250,000.
I don't get it. Can't begin to understand it. The ad tells you straight out that the diamond has no meaningful price. They were able to cut the "original" price in half without any trouble, and you can be sure they've got plenty of room for deeper cuts. Thus you have no assurance of any particular resale value.
What's the actual value of that material? Quick calculation: 17 carats is the same as 3.4 grams. If you bought the same weight of carbon in the form of coal, you'd nominally spend about 0.00025 dollars. That's 25 thousandths of a cent. $250000/$0.00025 = 1,000,000,000.
Would you rather pay the actual value, or ONE BILLION TIMES the actual value? Really? Why?
Coal is crude, so let's try a more appropriate comparison. A pencil lead is mostly graphite, and involves a considerable amount of processing and manufacturing. It's about the same weight as the 17-carat diamond, and costs about 5 cents. In this comparison the diamond costs only FIVE MILLION TIMES as much as the equivalent manufactured piece of carbon. Wow! That's a great bargain comparison, in comparison to the coal comparison! I'm going to rush out and buy one of those diamonds right now, before the price goes down even more!
¶ 6:11 AM
He ain't heavy, he's Big BrotherNews:
Apple has patented a jammer or 'kill switch' that can be used by cops to disable all Portable Cellular Telephonic Devices in an area.
The new technology would act as a 'kill switch' for smartphones, disabling any cameras on the devices and blocking their connection to mobile networks.
Apple stresses that the function would be most likely used to prevent copyright theft, such as in cinemas, or to stop phone cameras being used in inappropriate places, like department store changing rooms.
However ... the company adds that 'covert police or government operations may require complete blackout conditions'.
If disrupting is the goal, this is unnecessary. An old-fashioned brute force jammer would do the job just as well. Rig up a powerful transmitter for the band used by iDevices; set it to sweep continually and randomly across all relevant freqs. That will disrupt all communications in the area, in a way that can't be counterhacked at the software level.
Therefore I suspect disrupting isn't quite the full goal here. Smart governments don't want to eliminate all communications, because that leaves them 'deaf'. They'd rather be able to listen and pick up connections by traffic analysis.
One thing we can be sure of: There won't be any mass boycotts or abandonments of Apple products. Leftists who normally worry about foreign sweatshops don't worry about Apple because Apple is cool. Leftists who think everything should be free have no problem with Apple's monopolistic pricing because Apple is cool.
Earlier dictators weren't smart enough to figure this out. First establish yourself as the coolest thing in the world, then you'll be totally immune from all objections and protests and lawsuits. You can do absolutely anything you want.
¶ 3:12 AM
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Athena? Brutus? Who? What?
The Weather Channel has decided on its own to start naming winter storms. My first impulse is "Aaarrgh! Media idiocy!"
But after a bit of thinking I like the idea. We've always landmarked major winter storms, but we've had no firm way of remembering them. "The Blizzard of '88" only works if there was one blizzard in '88. We're naturally built to use personal names as memory handles.
If nothing else, this will break the current media idiocy of naming every major winter storm "Snowpocalypse".
¶ 12:22 PM
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= = = = =
"In the wake of the GOP’s disappointing election, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday signaled a willingness to accept higher tax revenues as part of a deficit cutting deal."
Slippery-ass slimy-ass fairy-ass fucker.
¶ 5:08 AM
Frustrating Brooks, again
As usual, David Brooks comes up with a deep and valid insight mixed with a pile of false crap. Last night in an NPR discussion about what the Repoofs need to do, Brooks said the obligatory crap about demographics (which is not even typical of his long-standing emphasis on the white working class!) then came up with the important insight.
Approximate quote: "Republicans need to get rid of the outdated vision of the solitary entrepreneur as the foundation of the American economy. Every ethnic group understands the value of hard work, but most of them understand that you also need help from government and social structures."
Basically right. The Randian vision leads to destruction. But the Randian vision is not outdated, it's more like undated. It's not a vision that worked in the past, it's a vision that never works.
(1) The solitary entrepreneur without support rarely succeeds. Most successful startups latch onto government contracts at some point, and wouldn't make it otherwise.
(2) Very few people have the qualities to start a company. Persuading everyone to follow that path diverts most folks from paths that would lead to success.
(3) Favoring the high-roller distorts society. Bourgeois civilization requires a foundation of stable non-gamblers. High-rollers occasionally start something productive, but mostly they leave a shambles behind.
(4) A family-based civilization can't function when most people are trying to start businesses. It needs large smoothly running enterprises.
The last point is most important. In an industrial world, raising a family requires a full-time mother and a father who isn't completely exhausted. America achieved that condition in the era of big industries, thanks to Henry Ford's insight. We've lost it since 1980, as the Randians collaborated with the feminists to move all industry to China.
Brooks gets the timeline backwards, calling the Randian ideal a pre-1980 concept. Nope, that's when it started, not when it ended.
¶ 1:59 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Misteromney's Neighborhood FINAL.
As far as I can tell, nobody ever read my previous Vulture Romney cartoons. Exactly zero views. Nevertheless, the sequence needs to be completed. Authorial integrity or something.
Bye, Vulture. Good fucking riddance. It hasn't been fun knowing you.
¶ 5:31 AM
Good, more or less.
We deserve a much better leader than either of these fuckers, but given that we're stuck with these two, I'm glad Obama got firmly re-elected.
Goldman wins both ways as always, though it appears that Goldman would have been slightly happier with Vulture. Doesn't matter. Obama still won't do anything about the banksters. They will continue to smash the world and steal trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions.
Also good that the defeat was resounding. Florida won't matter, and all those idiotic polling-place problems won't matter. Al Sharpton won't be able to poison the country with his fucking Satanic bitching, and the Rs won't be able to play 'We Wuz Robbed' as Gore did after 2000. Instead, the Rs could try thinking for once, could figure out a way to become a real opposition party, could find a halfway competent candidate. Of course they won't. They'll pick the wrong way and the wrong candidate. They'll out-green and out-fag and out-outsource and out-WallStreet the Dems. But who knows? Maybe after a few dozen more resounding defeats they'll finally figure out what it means to have two parties. Somewhere around 2312 AD.
One absolutely good thing nationally: Elizabeth Warren. If she doesn't get absorbed into the miasmal swamp of the Senate, she could stir up some real trouble for the banksters.
= = = = =
Locally, also more or less good. For Wash gov, Inslee beat Tinkerbell McKenna. Both of these dudes are weak and ineffectual, but Tink is evil.
Propositions matter a whole lot more than any candidate. Among those, only one result will make a real positive difference: Prop 502 legalizing pot has passed solidly, with support in all parts of Wash. The only real opposition came from the small "medical" marijuana businesses, who are making money from the current bizarre "medical" law. Those folks may have to find another line of business, but overall it's better to have a clean break from Prohibition, better to get rid of hypocrisy.
Two other props are still too close to call: 74 to approve fag "marriage", and 1240 to approve charter schools. Both are narrowly leading. 74 will help to destroy civilization in the long run but won't make any immediate practical difference. Charter schools will be immediately positive if approved.
¶ 3:30 AM
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Sometimes a Laffer is just a Laffer
I've tried to point out how the ideas of both Laffer and Keynes are misused by their respective partisans.
However, Laffer's curve, properly used, can be an excellent predictor. In cases where the public has a practical choice of evading a specific tax, there is undoubtedly an inflection point, a point of negative return. And Wash has gone way beyond that point on taxing cigarettes.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan ... studied cigarette smoking in most of the 50 states. Mackinac found that 36 percent of all cigarettes consumed in Washington are contraband.
"The bottom line here is that many governments are making tobacco products as valuable as illicit narcotics," said Mackinac's Michael LaFaive.
In 2010, as the financial crisis mounted, Washington state increased its cigarette tax by a dollar a pack, now the fourth highest state tax in the nation.
The Washington Department of Revenue is about to release its own study of cigarette tax evasion. Spokesman Mike Gowrylow doesn’t expect the state’s figures to be as high as Mackinac’s. He expects it will put the number of contraband cigarettes at about one in three.
Well, one in three is pretty much the same thing as 36%, isn't it?
In the state’s last estimate in 2011, 94,000,000 packs of contraband cigarettes were consumed. At $3.02 per pack, that’s a tax loss of $284,000,000 per year.
In other words, about 1/4 of the state's deficit last year was caused by raising the cig tax.
= = = = =
Later thought: Of course it's entirely possible that the tax was intended to move more cigs into contraband channels. In this part of the country, nearly all the contraband smokes are sold by Indian tribes. Most of the state's legislation is shaped to suit the tribes, who have more money and political influence than anyone except Microsoft.
¶ 3:23 PM
Monday, November 05, 2012
Somebody gets it rightAccuweather discusses how the weather is likely to affect voting patterns, bringing in a professor who knows the counties and the demographics and so on.
Working from west to east, they first note some rain moving into Seattle, and then dismiss it immediately: "But they vote by mail up there, so it won't matter."
Then they spend several minutes on the NON-MAIL states, with painful details about how each thunderstorm or snowstorm or Superstorm Snooki might affect D or R turnout in this county or that city.
Highly unusual and refreshing to hear a national news program that understands the truth. With mail voting, NO DRAMA IS POSSIBLE. Storms can't affect the election, Black Panthers with baseball bats can't affect the election, misinformation about polling places can't affect the election, deliberate closing of polling places can't affect the election.
NO DRAMA and NO HURRY. Voters have time to think and mark in privacy, officials have time to count ballots carefully as they arrive over a two-week period.
Contrast Accuweather with this writer for local TV, who doesn't understand mail voting. Clearly the writer has never voted here; maybe she's actually in India working for some outsource outfit like Journatic.
¶ 7:18 PM
She's la Femme
Back in '55 and '56, Dodge produced a limited-edition car aimed solely at the female buyer. It was unnecessary and didn't sell, mainly because women had always played a major part in selecting the family sedan. Women didn't want a special tribute; they wanted convenience, room and comfort. Adult men wanted pretty much the same, with less emphasis on convenience. [Teenage males, of course, wanted speed, speed, speed, speed, speed, speed and speed. With a side of speed. Plus a little speed for dessert.]
The Dodge La Femme was pink and gray, and...
came with a keystone-shaped, pink calfskin purse that coordinated with the interior of the car. The purse could be stowed in a compartment in the back of the passenger seat, and its gold-plated medallion faced outward.
Each purse was outfitted with a coordinated set of accessories inside, which included a face-powder compact, lipstick case, cigarette case, comb, cigarette lighter and change purse, all made of either faux-tortoiseshell plastic and gold-tone metal, or pink calfskin and gold-tone metal, and all were designed and made by Evans, a maker of women's fine garments and accessories in Chicago.
On the back of the drivers seat was a compartment that contained a raincoat, rain bonnet and umbrella, all made from a vinyl patterned to match the rosebud interior fabric. Marketing brochures stated that the car was made "By Special Appointment to Her Majesty... the American Woman."
Car magazines have made fun of the La Femme over the years. Most of the writers and readers are men with a healthy contempt for feminism, but presumably the writers had to say the expected shit to avoid lawsuits.
= = = = =
Ah, but if you're cool you don't need to worry about Gloria Allred jumping down your throat. Honda is cool. So Honda has now brought back the La Femme!
The $16,000 Fit "She's" is rolling into showrooms in Japan.
Its windscreen blocks 99 per cent of wrinkle-causing UV rays and the "Plasmacluster" air-conditioning system pumps out ionically charged particles, thought to make skin softer.
There are baby-pink details throughout the car - pink stitching in the seats, steering wheel and floor mats, as well as pink metallic around the gear stick and displays.
If anyone but Honda did this, the Satanist-Stalinist media would be piling on with gravelly roars of PATRONIZING! and OBJECTIFYING! and CONDESCENDING! and all the other usual Satanist-Stalinist ratshit. But Honda can get away with it. Honda is cool.
= = = = =
Of course Honda, cool or not, will have to change the name if they're going to sell it in the West. The name She's is just too much like Engrish, and would give even Satanist writers the twitches.
The She's's upholstery is luxurious? No! I took the She's for a test drive? No! I took the Her's for a test drive? No! I took the Her for a test drive? No! I took Her for a test drive? No..........
¶ 2:08 AM
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Riots and afterimages
Half-formed thought, more or less trailing from here.
All of our senses form afterimages, both static and dynamic. The static visual form is completely familiar: after looking steadily at a red object, we can look away and see the same object in green. Dynamic visual form is somewhat familiar: After driving for a while, with a constant flow of road-details moving downward as seen in the eyes, we can close our eyes and see a flow of road-details moving upward.
Vestibular dynamic afterimages are also common: after spinning leftward, everything seems to be spinning rightward.
Well then, how about afterimages in more subtle senses like number and status?
After our numerical sense has been counting upward, does a halt make us feel like we're counting downward? After our sense of comparative status has been sliding upward for a while, does a time of stability make us feel like we're drifting down in status?
This would correspond to the actual cause of riots and terrorism. If we get accustomed to rising status, a sudden stop or rejection, a broken dream or broken heart, will often lead to violence.
Contrarily, if we feel a constant low status for a long time, we're not inclined to riot or go postal. Any constant stimulus fades into nothingness; it ceases to be a stimulus. Conventional political 'experts' continue to blow this fact entirely, despite decades of deadly proof. They continue to attribute violence to steady low status, usually termed "grinding poverty and lack of education".
¶ 1:38 PM
Laughingstock of the world
Britain and Australia have given us a good hard look at our suicidal bizarre insane wacked-out electoral system.
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The 'expert' has a couple of details wrong, but his description of the system as primitive is spot on.
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BBC explains how a tie could give us a President Romney and VP Biden for the next four years.
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Consummation devoutly to be wished. It's the only way our two fucking "parties" could ever be persuaded to give up the primitive Electoral College. You'd think 2000 would have been persuasive, but it wasn't. The "party" operatives love the EC because it gives them infinite leverage over the process. Without the EC, the whole nation would vote, forcing "parties" to campaign on broad questions that interest the whole nation. With the EC, only a few hundred people in Florida actually vote, and the operatives can put the whole country in debt forever to bribe those few actual voters. Just like a leveraged hostile takeover. In 2000 the R-team operatives happened to win the bet, but the D-team understood that they could have won just as easily by playing a few cards differently.
Neither of Goldman's two "brands" could handle a real national election. That would require them to manufacture a real product, to present opposing arguments and competent candidates. It would force them to compete on quality. Unthinkable! Betting is so much more fun!
¶ 3:32 AM
We're all weeping along with you, Abigael. It really is a nightmaer.
¶ 2:09 AM
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Urge that didn't need to be urged of the week
Apologies to the great Harry Hill for the title.
Comrade Streisand has made a video urging fellow Jews and fellow Commies and fellow fairies and fellow amorphodites to vote for Obama.
Since all of those groups are physically incapable of marking the letter R on a ballot, this is the least necessary political persuasion in history. But at least it's consistent. Comrade Streisand's entire career is 'surplus to requirements' in the same sense.
¶ 5:10 AM
Friday, November 02, 2012
Essex lion is back!
Around the end of August I photographed an Essex Lion in the neighborhood. I'd been noticing him for a long time, sometimes in my yard and sometimes along my daily walks. He seemed to cover the same territory that I do.
Immediately after that, I stopped seeing him. I was afraid he might have gotten nabbed by a bigger predator or by the dogcatcher, and I halfway missed him. Felt like I might have jinxed his presence somehow by publishing his monstrous and frightening image.
Today he's back, and I'm glad.
Overall, this week has been sort of like playing last week's country record backwards. All the things I was worrying about have been reversed, repaired or reconciled.
Hmm... Looking at the beast's belly and thinking about a two-month absence from wandering. Maybe this is an Essex Lioness, and maybe she spent those two months bearing and nursing a pack of Essex Cubs.
¶ 4:30 PM
Spokane has been slacking off in the Dumb Criminal department recently. Fortunately this lady has decided to pick up the pace:
Spokane County deputies responded to the area of 31 Avenue and Glenrose Road just after 4:30 a.m. Friday. According to deputies at the scene, the woman crashed her car into two power poles and then stopped in someone's front yard.
Deputies said the woman told them she was robbed at gunpoint at 2nd Avenue and Crestline Street, and was speeding away from the robber. She claims the robber took her purse and then asked for her number so the two of them can go on a date sometime.
Animals use their noses to focus their sense of smell, much the same way that humans focus their eyes, new research at the University of Chicago shows.
A research team studying rats found that animals adjust their sense of smell through sniffing techniques that bring scents to receptors in different parts of the nose. The sniffing patterns changed according to what kind of substance the rats were attempting to detect.
Though this is very early and tentative, it sounds similar to the ear's mechanism for distinguishing frequencies.
We're familiar with how the eyes focus: each eye rotates to center a target on the retina, and the pupil contracts to protect against excess light. We can see those actions. The eye distinguishes frequencies (colors) with separate sets of rod and cone cells.
The mammalian ear has similar functions. Though humans have lost the ability to rotate the ears for directional focus, we still have the other functions. We distinguish frequencies (pitches) by a resonant mechanism that causes a wave to stimulate different parts of the cochlea. And we protect against excess sound with a 'pupil' that tightens up the eardrum.
With soft sound the Tensor Tympani muscle is loose:
When sound gets loud, the Tensor Tympani tightens up so the eardrum doesn't move significantly more than it would with weak sounds:
There are also some protective mechanisms inside the cochlea, which are still fairly mysterious. Each hair cell has a nerve that takes its signal into the brain, as you'd expect. But each hair cell also has a nerve that brings it a return signal from the brain. As currently understood, these nerves are a classic feedback loop, serving to cut down the size of the hair cell's signal when it gets louder; but they may also stiffen the hair itself to focus the overall frequency response on a desired range.
The nasal version of the Tensor Tympani or the pupil is clearly the muscles that pinch the nostrils, plus internal constrictors that kick in when the air is cold.
The cochlear frequency response appears to have its counterpart in the nasal mechanism described above. The rats are directing airflow to different parts of the chemical sensor area, just as the cochlea's resonators direct different frequencies to different parts of the cochlea. Perhaps there are also neural suppressor loops, to suppress smells from inside the animal such as a nasal or oral infection.
Another common factor to all three senses is 'stereo-ness', obvious with vision and well-known with hearing but poorly explored with smell. Bekesy found back in 1963 that humans can reliably distinguish which nostril is receiving a specific smell. Presumably dogs and other smell-talented mammals use this ability fully, though humans seem to ignore it.
Needless to say, all three sensory systems, reflecting an identical underlying 'circuit diagram' with very different actual components, arose purely by random selection.
BBC website mentions a bit of research that sounds at first like the usual Green claptrap, but actually makes sense.
Drying laundry in the home poses a health risk to those prone to asthma, hay fever and other allergies, according to new research.
A study carried out by the Mackintosh School of Architecture found that many homes had too much moisture indoors. Up to a third of this moisture was attributed to drying laundry. The researchers have called on housebuilders to build dedicated drying areas into new housing to address the health concerns.
A study of 100 homes by the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit in Glasgow found 87% dried their washing indoors in colder weather.
Researcher Rosalie Menon said people were not aware how much moisture this added to the air. "Going into people's homes, we found they were drying washing in their living rooms, in their bedrooms. "These spaces should be independently heated and ventilated. It's very much going back to the airing cupboards we saw in more historical types of housing."
Of course you could put a modern dryer in the house, like most American houses of every class, but apparently that's not culturally feasible in Scotland.
The airing closet is an excellent idea, and was common in the bungalow era. Here's a larger house from the 1926 Sears kithouse catalog, with every closet ventilated:
Note that all those windows are under the wide roof overhang, thus pretty nearly rainproof.
And here's a very similar house in my neighborhood, built in 1910. Shows that the Westly was echoing popular features, not inventing something new:
¶ 2:59 AM
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.