Friday, May 31, 2013
  WWPD? 1

After making an analogy between trees and economies, it occurs to me that we could learn a few other things from plants. We won't, of course, because we never learn anything. We always draw precisely reversed conclusions from every experience. But just for my own amusement....

= = = = =

Repeating the tree-height analogy.

Trees limit their height by sensing when they can no longer pull water from roots to tip. When the downward water pressure in the top branch grows heavy enough to pull in air bubbles, the siphon breaks and growth stops. An economy should limit its growth the same way. Keep growing as long as you're pulling real value (labor and raw materials) from your roots. When you see bubbles forming, you know you've reached the limit of real value. The top branch is starting to pull in counterfeit value. (Stocks, derivatives, overpriced real estate, QE.)

= = = = =

Plants can answer a few other questions as well.

= = = = =

Trade and immigration. How should we deal with foreigners?

Plants say:

Use foreigners when they help you to propagate your own species. Use color, smell and electrostatic fields to attract bees to your flowers, and to attract birds and mammals to your fruits.



Repel and kill foreigners when they harm your interests. Grow thorns. Poison the soil to keep other plants from intruding on your rootfield. Poison any insect that tries to eat your leaves.

How do modern western governments deal with foreigners? We deal with them only when they will help us commit national suicide. We let China take our jobs and our ideas. We let in foreigners who are likely to be thieves or terrorists, carefully exclude those who might produce healthy families. We make war against people who didn't attack us, pissing them off so they will attack us.

= = = = =

Who should we protect when times get tough?

When plants sense drought or other potentially deadly conditions, they spend valuable energy to send seeds into the world. Make more flowers!

When modern governments sense tough times, they protect immigrants, criminals and fags. Die-Versity laws and "due process" guarantee that the least productive elements get the most protection, while normal families get killed by the protected criminals.

= = = = =

Should we drill for oil?

Plants are constantly seeking new sources of energy. Plants bend and twist and climb to find the best sunlight. A tree will drill horizontally several hundred feet under a house or street, and will fracture rocks to reach water.

No plant would seek a source of energy that only works when it's not needed. Only modern western governments are idiotic enough to build wind turbines.

= = = = =

Is carbon dioxide a poison?

Plants say:

Are you crazy? CO2 is our food, and we are your food! Why do you want to starve us after we've gone to all the trouble of designing fruits and leaves and nuts that you enjoy and need? What in the holy fuck is wrong with you? If you want to commit suicide, don't take us along for the ride, you monstrous gibbering ungrateful wackos.

= = = = =

Later followup here.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013
  In email just as in snailmail

Several times I've wondered why the Repooflican party sends out donation requests in envelopes that look way too much like official IRS notices. It's on the edge of the law, and it has to be counterproductive. Back when I was still a fairly loyal Repoof, willing to give if approached properly, these IRS-notice letters turned me off.

They use a similar puzzling technique with email.



The first email in this list is from the Wash State Repoofs, and it's typical. Blank return address. Subject looks like Nigerian spam. No sensible person would ... Oh. That's it! Nigerian spammers make their appeals blazingly obvious to filter out sensible people. Cultivating a mark takes a fair amount of work, and there's no point in starting the process with a prospect who might see what's happening. Same with Repoof spammers.
 
  Resilience 2

Speaking of resilient plants.... I added a new block to my morning walks this week, and noticed this fantastic Hypotenuse Tree.



It's clearly been that way for 50 years; somehow got tipped at the start, then decided to keep growing in its own way. Damn the perpendicular, full speed ahead!

The top of Hypotenuse Tree is even with nearby Vertical Trees, which means that trees don't set their growth limit by length of trunk. (Hypotenuse Trunk is about 40% longer than Vertical Trunk.) They must be using sap pressure, which would depend solely on vertical height. This doesn't seem to be a well-understood subject, but one theory is that the tree stops growing when the downward water pressure in the highest branch is heavy enough to pull in air bubbles and break the siphon effect.

= = = = =

Come to think of it, that's a good rule for human organizations such as a national economy. Don't assume you can grow to an infinite height. Grow as long as you're sucking real value (labor plus raw materials) up from the roots. When you sense that the siphon is breaking, as shown by bubbles starting to appear, stop growing. [Expanded this thought later.]

= = = = =

Couldn't resist.



= = = = =

Update three weeks later: Hypotenuse was cut down!



I suppose it's fortunate that I noticed it and saluted its stubborn and unique life force before it was obliterated.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
  Watching the radio

In the same way that Nature provided everything in the original genome, it seems that most successful inventions were present in our imaginations before they were invented. Television was always present in radio, and radio listeners always 'watched' the dial of the radio. Manufacturers soon understood this, and gave 'watchers' lots of entertainment in the dial. Colorful band indications, multiple pointers, Magic Eye tubes. The zenith of dial-entertainment was, of course, Zenith.

This picture, from a 1922 Radio World magazine, may be the first recorded instance of 'watching'. Serious broadcasting was only two years old, but radio was instantly popular everywhere, including a haute couture shop in Paris. Interesting dials hadn't developed yet, so someone built a frame where you could create your own images. (The frame resembles the oval I've always used when Polistra is watching her Philco.)



Wonderfully clever. And sure enough, the clerks and models 'watched' the frame, though their ears undoubtedly knew that the sound was coming from the speaker off to the right!

= = = = =

Sidenote: The ingenious builder of this frame, and the makers of entertaining dials, understood human perception vastly better than Marshall McLuhan did. I've always been irritated that McLuhan's wildly ignorant reversal has received so much respect and repetition. MM decided, contrary to every scrap of evidence and observation, that books and radio were 'hot', forcing you to accept an externally generated picture, while TV was 'cool', encouraging your mental and physical muscles to create your own image. I have no fucking idea how he reached these bizarre conclusions, and I have even less fucking idea why so many idiots blindly accepted his dogma, ignoring their own experience.

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  Gee thanks, Microshit.

Microshit automatically updated Internet Exploder to version 11 a few days ago. I use IE sometimes because some websites won't work with Firefox 3.6.

Well, let's try it out. Start IE 11, look at Weather.com's excellent radar. Hmm. The mouse wheel doesn't do anything. Well, that's OK; don't really need scrolling for radar. Closed IE; found that the mouse wheel wouldn't work ANYWHERE. Not in Firefox, not in offline programs. Mouse wheel gone. Had to reboot to get it back. Tried this a couple more times to be sure I wasn't mistaken. Same thing each time.

Tried to revert into IE 10, but the installer won't let you revert.

Thanks, Microshit! You forcefeed a destructive program, then make it impossible to fix the destruction. And I can't simply uninstall IE, because several offline programs stupidly depend on it for the 'Flex' GUI.

Few days later: More detail. When you open IE without touching the mouse wheel, nothing bad happens; but if you scroll inside IE even once, the wheel is broken. "Use it and lose it."

= = = = =

A month later: Found the solution. You can't revert IE by the usual download-and-install procedures, but you can roll it back by a non-intuitive method. Open the Control Panel, select Windows Update, then Installed Updates. In this list, find and uninstall the update that says simply "Internet Explorer 10." This takes it back to IE 9, which doesn't cause mouse problems.
 
  Resilience

BBC reports that scientists are shocked! shocked! shocked! to find some plants, long frozen in permafrost, have awakened and grown in the current Arctic warm phase. The only halfway unusual part of the report is that the scientists failed to use the canary-in-coal-mine metaphor.

As usual there shouldn't be any surprise. If plants were not resilient to all sorts of changes,


The only thing MORE resilient and everlasting than plant life is the abysmal STUPIDITY of scientists. A scientist, exposed to FACTS for an entire lifetime, will never abandon even one myth or delusion.

Unrelated example in recent AP story:
Research in teens adds fresh evidence that the 1980s "crack baby" scare was overblown, finding little proof of any major long-term ill effects in children whose mothers used cocaine during pregnancy.

Some studies have linked pregnant women's cocaine use with children's behavior difficulties, attention problems, anxiety and worse school performance. But the effects were mostly small and may have resulted from other factors including family problems or violence, parents' continued drug use and poverty, the researchers said.

They reviewed 27 studies involving more than 5,000 11- to 17-year-olds whose mothers had used cocaine while pregnant. The studies all involved low-income, mostly black and urban families.
AP, perhaps showing its new independent spirit after Obama's wiretapping, manages to give the correct picture. Clearly these scientists haven't picked up the correct picture; otherwise they wouldn't still be wasting money and effort on a subject that didn't fucking exist to begin with. I speak from direct experience on this one... around 1992 I was helping with the software end of an academic study that reached the same conclusion. The difference between cocaine-using mothers and non-users was not correlated with the cocaine, but it was correlated with race. The researchers decided not to publish their incorrect result. Since no scientist can ever admit that

the completely useless studies will continue forever. All differences MUST be attributed to EXTERNAL THINGS because people are identical passive lifeless grains of sand. We must continue studying and studying and studying, over and over and over, until we find some little .000000001% aspect that can be attributed to EXTERNAL THINGS.

Absolutely invincible ignorance, adamantine and immovable through centuries of exposure to facts. Myths and idiotic notions regrow every time.
 
Monday, May 27, 2013
  No, that's not "conservative"

Local radio, mostly autopilot on an ordinary day, gets even worse on a holiday. All programs are old taped stuff, and nobody is on duty to notice a complete loss of signal. One of the national news services was clearly using interns or Siri to write its scripts, resulting in:

"Memorial services were held in the US city of Oklahoma today for 24 victims of the wind tunnel."

City of Oklahoma? Wind tunnel? Jesus.



Finally found something that wasn't taped, but it wasn't an improvement. Local R-party talker "Rydell" was reciting the R-party talking points against the Online Sales Tax bill. He was claiming that small online businesses would fail entirely if forced to keep track of multi-state tax.

Absolute nonsense in three different ways.

(1) If you're a constitutionalist, you should be gloriously happy to see states getting more revenue. Some of the states are still civilized, and if they have more revenue they can become stronger in comparison to the Feds, who have been 1000000% Soviet-Satanic since 1989.

(2) If you favor anything resembling civilized values, and if you favor small business, you should be gloriously happy to see Amazon and Google paying more tax. This means that smaller businesses, both online and physical, will have less of a disadvantage against the 100000000% pure Satan Amazon and Google.

(3) The idea that small online businesses will be overwhelmed is nonsense. I once worked as bookkeeper for a small construction company that operated in 5 states. We paid sales tax in all 5 states, and it was nothing special. I kept a set of blank tax forms for each state, and kept separate tallies in the journal. Quarterly returns took maybe a few hours. Of course this was loooong** before computers were available. Pencil and paper, Olivetti Summa. Now the task is automated, and this particular bill would provide free software.

By definition, small online companies do a small amount of business with a limited number of locations. The task is not going to be difficult.




= = = = =

**Footnote: Well, actually it wasn't all that loooong. This was around 1975, which was the same year IBM offered their first desktop computer for office use. Spreadsheets and accounting software weren't widely accepted until 10 years later, which still isn't a loooong time! I guess those particular 10 years were a subjectively loooong time in my own life, with two major career changes and several major changes of 'operating mode'.
 
  Good flip / Bad flip

This neighborhood has purely returned to the 1950s. Kids playing outside till sunset, parents watching and playing in their own ways. The snideness and alienation of the 90s have disappeared.

Following up on earlier thoughts about form and function, I decided to 'build' a little salute to the default 1950s house.

Default House is dull, styleless and practical, and it was repeated by the thousands across the north side of Spokane. Yet it has survived 60 years of heavy snow and light maintenance, while newer and nicer houses bent and broke under the burden.



A simple house is like a simple dog. If she feels cared for and respected, she'll give loyal service through good times and bad. If she feels humiliated, she'll run away or die.



How do you humiliate a dog? Dress her up like Ronald McDonald or Elvis. How do you humiliate a house? Dress her up like a McMansion.


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Sunday, May 26, 2013
  Phono-faradic therapy

In my continual reading of 1901-era technology, I'd noticed considerable action in the area of 'electrotherapy', using small currents to help or cure various medical and mental conditions. Wasn't paying much attention to this; had always heard that it was quackery.

A recent bit of science news described a similar use of small currents across the head (now called TCDS), with seeming benefit in mood and memory performance.

Decided to look closely, and found that electrotherapy was emphatically NOT quackery, though some practitioners overstated its benefits. Early big-name neurologists like Erb and Duchenne were experimenting with electricity, and they had a precise understanding of how it worked. They knew which locations, which polarities, which current strengths to use for various conditions, how to stir up an inhibitory or excitatory response, how to dilate or constrict blood vessels.

They were able to document positive results in many areas, including improved mood, sleep, and memory; helping broken bones mend; and clearing cataracts.

Most impressively, they had a solid understanding of emotional conditions, and a properly humble view of their ability to fix or repair them. When electricity helped, they used it. When it didn't, they abandoned it.

All of this was firmly established several decades before Freud came along.

Well, what did Freud do? He replaced their direct and careful experimental results with a pile of non-observable and wildly complicated fantasies and epicycles. He replaced the long-standing (and probably innate) 'healer' model with a sequence of non-observable interactions THAT NEVER WORKED. Freud's system failed from the start. It's been exposed as a failure over and over, from within the psychiatric profession. But the Freudians are in charge, so any attempt to reassert facts is ruthlessly smashed.

Modernists always commit the same crime when they infest any field of human endeavor. They toss out centuries of facts and experiments and functional theories; replace the facts with instantly disprovable theories, lies, abstractions and epicycles THAT DON'T WORK; then ferociously obliterate anyone who tries to restore the facts. You can see it in climate "science" with Michael Mann, John Holdren, Lord Stern; in politics with Marx, Betty Fried[m]an, Irving Kristol; in economics with Marx, Milton Friedman, and Paul Krugman; in jurisprudence with Louis Brandeis and Stephen Reinhardt; in physics with Einstein.

= = = = =

Polistra and Happystar will demonstrate one particular use of electrotherapy, described in this book on p.38. Caught my attention because it's a wonderful gadget with a wonderful name, because it supposedly cured tinnitus, and because it sort of resembles a modern impedance audiometer.

The inventor, Dr Henry Houghton, was attempting to provide simultaneous physical and electrical manipulation to the auditory system. He added electrodes to a stethoscope, pushing electrons into the ears in pulses. The circuit is closed by an anode on the back of the head. Simultaneously, pulses of air are pumped into the stethoscope itself. He got results with one patient:



= = = = =

Well, let's try it. Happystar is feeling low, oppressed by tinnitus and anxiety.

Polistra decides to try Houghton's Phono-Faradic** device. At lower left is the air diaphragm; in the middle is a magnetically-pulled pendulum or metronome that turns the current and the diaphragm solenoid on and off.



Here goes:



I'm tempted to build a modern electronic version, without the air pulses. A 555 timer switching a JFET current-source should do it.


= = = = =

**Footnote: Phono refers to sound, of course. The electrotherapists used faradic for treatments where a pulsed current flow was the important variable, and galvanic for treatments where a steady voltage gradient was the important variable.

= = = = =

Much later footnote: A new look at causes of tinnitus seems to validate Houghton's method.
According to their report, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, they have identified that the process called stimulus-timing dependent multisensory plasticity is altered in animals with tinnitus. They claim this plasticity is "exquisitely sensitive" to the timing of signals to a key area of the brain.

The dorsal cochlear nucleus is where signals from the auditory nerve enter the brain. Neurons in this area integrate this auditory information with other sensory signals, such as touch. In tinnitus, when the sounds from the ear are reduced, the signals from the somatosensory nerves in the face and neck - which relate to touch - are amplified. Prof. Shore and her team are now developing a device that combines sound and electrical stimulation of the face and neck in order to return the neural activity to normal.
Sounds familiar! Simultaneous pulsing to re-sync the nerves.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013
  Not really contradiction

Listening to various discussions of Apple, Google, Amazon, tax shelters, "post-box companies." As rich countries pretend to criticize corporations for tax evasion, I notice an interesting contradiction on the surface, which disappears at a deeper level.

= = = = =

On the surface:

(1) In matters of trade, all rich countries insist that tariffs are evil. Free trade is God, and massive free trade organizations like EU and NAFTA are God's prophets.

(2) In matters of taxation, all rich countries insist on having their own tax policy. No coordination, no treaties. Protectionism is God. Even EU countries have their own tax policies.

= = = = =

Deeper level, looking at consequences and inferring intentions:

(1) In matters of trade, rich countries insist on sending all jobs to poor countries. We must NEVER allow any of our own people to have good jobs!

(2) In matters of taxation, rich countries insist on sending all taxes to poor countries. We must NEVER balance our own budgets. We must NEVER serve our own people!

= = = = =

The common factor is clear. We'll do whatever it takes to freeze and starve our own people, whatever it takes to collapse our own country, in order to enrich a few super-rich fuckheads!
 
Friday, May 24, 2013
  Well, this will be good for Campfire

Now that the Boy Scouts have become the Fag Scouts, there will be plenty of new business for the Campfire outfit. Back in the '70s when the Girl Scouts became the Dyke Scouts, civilized parents moved their girls to Campfire. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Somebody might start a new "Traditional Boy Scouts" organization, but I sort of doubt it... "Classic Coke" retronyms generally don't work well, and there's no point in reinventing an alternative that already exists.

It's sharia time, folks.
 
Thursday, May 23, 2013
  By the victors

Technological history, like national history, is written by the victors.

Gates and Jobs rewrote the history of desktop computing to make Gates and Jobs the pioneers, ignoring the 10-year runup to the PC by IBM and Dec and HP. All three of those stodgy old companies had desktop computers in the late '70s.

Similarly, the history of the Web has been rewritten so it starts with Tim Berners-Lee. Example of adulation in an NPR feature:
The story of the Web began in 1989 at a European particle physics laboratory called CERN. Hundreds of the world's smartest scientists were putting together huge experiments to hunt for new particles. They worked in teams; each scientist would build one little part — a circuit board or a piece of software. Then they'd put it all together.

Tim Berners-Lee was working at the lab as a computer scientist, and he noticed a growing problem: Files from one computer rarely worked on another because researchers were coding information in different formats for different operating systems. "So, in fact, often you just had to go into the corridor and buy [the other guy] a coffee to find out how things worked," Berners-Lee says.
Pure nonsense. All sorts of data were being moved around the (mostly academic) internet in 1975. Compuserve began online operations in 1978, and offered pretty much everything you can get on the Web now. It was severely limited by slow modems at the start, so big files like videos were wildly impractical but not impossible. You could download a one-minute video in MIME form if you were willing to tie up your phone line exclusively for a couple of days.

Berners-Lee contributed a protocol that removed the 'proprietary-ness' of Compuserve and opened the Web to a wider variety of computers, but didn't really add any functionality. Fast data transfer is what added the functionality.
 
  Why do they keep saying this shit?

The fucking Experts and fucking Authorities always assure us that CIA never never never never never operates within US boundaries. It's solely a foreign intelligence agency.

Shit. If you've ever been involved with activities that CIA finds interesting, you know that CIA operates here. It doesn't even bother to hide.

Now we have an official acknowledgment of the fact IN STATE LAW, and yet the Experts continue to pour ratshit on our heads.

The Kitsap Sun newspaper, operating for some unknown reason as actual journalists, exposed the fact that Wash state (along with all other states) issues secret aliased drivers licenses to CIA folks for undercover activity. The state legislature slavishly responded by rewriting the law to make such secret licenses definitely permissible. Thanks, fuckheads.
 
  Woolwich

Two things seem to be missing in the discussion so far.

1. Why the fuck wasn't the soldier carrying a gun? If he was armed, why the fuck didn't he defend himself? The attack wasn't a surprise ambush; it apparently took a couple of minutes, with lots of verbal warning from the attackers. Has England completely lost the whole concept of self-defense?

2. Linkage seems to be a confused matter. All the authorities are saying you can't link the action to Islam, and you can't link it to British foreign policy. Nonsense. The links are there. Don't ignore the links. Instead, try to understand the links correctly, and draw the correct active conclusions.

On the link to Islam: Sheikh Osama has made his purposes clear. He was acting as a paladin for the Arab people, and he was using their Islamic beliefs as a sort of accelerant. If most Arabs had been Buddhist, he would have used their Buddhist beliefs as an accelerant. Osama's war is against foreign interference with Arab nations, not about Islam vs Christianity. The neocons (ie Israel and its slaves) have propagandized us into believing that it's all about Islam.

On the link to foreign policy: You have to ask the cost vs benefit question. UK and US have been interfering with Arab nations for a long time. UK since 1920, US since 1950. What benefit have we received for fucking around in the Arab world? Zero. What's the cost to us? Thousands of soldiers directly killed in the wars, billions of dollars wasted, thousands of civilians killed by Arabs angered by our fucking around.

Zero benefit, huge cost. Answer: Stop fucking around. BRING EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE HOME.
 
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
  Who's free?

News item:
Iran's electoral watchdog has barred moderate ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from standing in a June 14 presidential election, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. Eight candidates won approval to stand -- five conservatives close to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as two moderate conservatives and a reformist, according to AFP. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a close but controversial aide to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was also omitted from the list, AFP reported.
Hmm. I thought Persia was a one-man dictatorship, with "swivel-eyed loon" Ahmadinejad as the unquestioned Maximum Leader. Then how come his chosen successor was eliminated from running for office? How come he has to petition the election agency, with no real hope of winning?

That would never happen here in Free And Fair And Democratic America. Our Maximum Leader's chosen successor is never eliminated. Anyone chosen by one of Goldman's two "parties" automatically becomes president, whether he's qualified or not.

Our Maximum Leader is absolutely Free to choose his successor! Hooray for Freedom!
 
  Perfect freudian

BBC announcer introducing a feature about tax shelters, with emphasis on Apple: "Here's a statement from Apple CEO Tim Crook ... aaah, excuse me, Tim Cook...."

Right the first time!


= = = = =

Next day, same announcer, roughly same time of day:

"As we know, women are far more likely to suffer from a wide variety of menstrual, excuse me, mental, problems..."

Right the first time!
 
Monday, May 20, 2013
  Moore gets flattened again



Listening to news of OKC, Shawnee and Moore feeling Nature's whip again.

Meanwhile, we've got sunny and 72, expecting a half inch of rain tomorrow.

I'm sad for my old stomping grounds, but thankful that I didn't succumb to temptation in 2009. After one terrible winter here, I seriously considered moving back to the Plains. Would have been exactly the wrong time for that move. Since 2009 we've had one half-bad winter and three nothing-special winters, and lots of purely heavenly summers and falls. Since 2009 Okla and Kansas have been slammed with terrible tornados AND terrible snowstorms.

We give thanks for good sense or inertia or providence or whatever!

= = = = =

Later: It appears that Okies have forgotten some hard-learned lessons about tornado safety, resulting in an unusually high death toll. Judging from the news reports, houses are being built without any sort of shelter. These are big new houses with wide roof spans and lots of expensive features, but without underground storm cellars. Wrong priorities! Back in the '50s most houses had either a partial basement or a separate storm shelter.

Makes me wonder.... did securitized lending cause lenders and insurers to abandon caution? When a banker expects to get a payback on his own money, he wants the borrower to stay alive. When the loan is splintered among thousands of investors, and all ratings are fraudulent, nobody cares if the borrower gets splintered.

= = = = =

Later again: Death toll has been revised downward to a range that seems more Okie-normal, given the size of devastation. Apparent shortage of shelter still bothers me, though.

= = = = =

And again: UK Telegraph finds a partial explanation for the shelter shortage.
Oklahoma City suspended a programme to subsidise safe rooms "due to insufficient federal funding" while the destroyed city of Moore put its plans on hold as it struggled through the process of applying for money. The Safe Room Rebate Programme is designed to allow families to apply for thousands of dollars to construct shelters in which to seek refuge during severe weather. It is funded through federal dollars made available when the president makes a major disaster declaration for a badly-damaged area.

Authorities in both Moore and Oklahoma City said that the relatively few disaster declarations [since 1999] meant there was little money available to help families build shelters.
Still not a good excuse. Builders and owners from the '30s to the '50s somehow managed to add cellars without being subsidized. These new houses obviously have lots of unnecessary square footage and fancy features. Could have included a safe room or cellar by eliminating the three-story Great Room or the 50-foot Florentine Marble Plasma TV.
 
  Don't worry, they won't...

Yahoo has bought Tumblr, and idiot boss Marissa Meyer "promises not to screw it up."

Instantly reminds me of a good one-liner from Tom Bergeron on AFV several years ago. Bergeron is introducing a clip in which a teenage dickhead is preparing to jump off a bluff into a rocky creek. Dickhead's friend says "Don't do nothing stupid, dude!" ... and Bergeron interrupts, "Don't worry, dude. He won't not do nothing stupid."

The grammar doesn't quite work out, but the point is perfect. Teenage Dickhead is incapable of NOT being stupid. Yahoo is incapable of NOT screwing up everything it handles. That's their job.

Tumblrites should get ready for new rules, such as

ACHTUNG! Alle Tumblrbrauchr müssen beim Desk von 0700 Uhr bis 1800 Uhr sitzen werden sollen haben kann! Heimatsarbeit ganz verboten! Deskarbeit macht frei!

ACHTUNG! Alle Tumblrbrauchr müssen von TumblrFührerin Marissa Meyr Permission bekommen, wenn sie zum Pissr oder Schittr gehen wollen gehabt sein sind geworden!
 
Sunday, May 19, 2013
  Wow! AP is SERIOUSLY PISSED.

For the first time in human history, an Associated Press writer doubts the Eternal Truth Of Gaia[pbuh], and even dares to criticize Our Lord And God And Guardian Angel Barack Obama[pbuh].
The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation has found.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Each death is federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind energy company has been prosecuted, even those that repeatedly flout the law.
Of course these facts have been known and discussed for many years among lovers of facts, but they've never been touched by the national media before. When AP starts treating Obama with the same contempt they formerly reserved for Repooflicans, you know the romance is over! When AP sounds like James Delingpole or Art Robinson ... or me! ... , you know the world has turned upside down. And all because of a few phone-hacks.


 
Saturday, May 18, 2013
  Glottal girls

A strange girls-only intonation is spreading fast in England. Somewhat parallel to the girls-only patterns in Japan, but with an extra flip added.

Jap girls lengthen the last vowel in a sentence and slide the tone up then down, stopping short of a dominant key. Males go the opposite way, with a sharp short toneless ending on every sentence.

Example

= = = = =

The new English girl-tone has a similar downturrrr\`\rrrrnn, but with a strange glottal stop in the middlll\`\lllle. Best example is the British sorority girl in this TV Burp episooo\`\ooooooode.

Starts at 1:55 in the clip.
 
Friday, May 17, 2013
  Francis gets it

The new pope is coming on strong. Unlike Benedict, he's fully aware of modern trends. Bennie seemed to be stuck in 1964, like people who call into radio shows and worry about the Kitty Genovese incident. Francis sees the present mess accurately and clearly.

His latest speech is worth copying and pasting, since the news articles seem to be skipping the best parts.

Best parts, with a few inserted links:
The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight the distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have begun a throw away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy.

While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good.

A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.

Concealed behind this attitude is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativizes money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people: because ethics leads to God, who is situated outside the categories of the market. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, even dangerous, because he calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery.
Perfect diagnosis. Not much on the prescription side yet. We await more details....

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Thursday, May 16, 2013
  Annoying but right

Howard Dean is annoying and arrogant but his realistic view of human nature is rare among Officially Approved Commentators. Yesterday on some NFR show he was comparing this week's Three Scandals. He said that IRS was the most important and most likely to damage Obama ... but only IF the Repooflicans handled it right. And he knows the Repoofs will NOT handle it right.

After that, I tuned to one of the second-string Repoof shows, and sure enough they're still running full force on the completely insignificant Benghazi thing. This has actually replaced ZERO TAXES as their sole topic of discussion for the last six months.

I like to use the Seven Second Test on talkers of various types. Tune to any talk show and start counting. You will hear a mention of the current Sole Topic before you hit 7. Up till last September, you could count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, TAX. Now it's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, BENGHAZI.

Repoofs have somehow convinced themselves that Benghazi is the Magic Touchstone Of Impeachment. If only WeThePeople could learn its Universal And Urgent Importance, it would guarantee the end of Obama.

Nope. If you have to spend six months persuading WeThePeople of any topic's importance, it's a lost cause. Repoofs made the same mistake in '98 with Clinton and sex. They convinced themselves that WeThePeople would rise up and impeach if only we could be taught and persuaded. Didn't happen. WeThePeople didn't care. WeThePeople did care about Clinton's treasonous romance with China, but the Repoofs couldn't bring themselves to focus on that, because they were on the same treasonous side.

Same thing now. Outside the echo chamber, we don't even know what the Benghazi thing is about. Who's Susan Rice? Why does it matter if she was telling the truth or not? Nobody in government ever tells the truth.

From my viewpoint, the only scandalous aspect is the fact that we still have embassies. The development of international telephone and radio service in the 1930's made embassies unnecessary; now they only serve as targets for protests, kidnappings and attacks. Bring everyone and everything home, dammit.

= = = = =

More generally, anyone who pushes for impeachment is an unrealistic fool. It's a reliable shibboleth. (Of course the top-level talkers understand this; they are only manufacturing anger to increase their confiscatory advertising rates.)

Plain fact: Impeachment is not going to happen. Guaranteed. Even if it did happen it wouldn't accomplish the goals you imagine. As originally designed, impeachment could have been effective because the Pres and Vice Pres were meant to come from different factions. Since 1804 (though not required by law) the P and VP have always been from the same party, so impeaching the P only gives you another politician with precisely the same agenda. This should be blatantly obvious, but apparently it isn't.

In 1974 the Soviets in Congress understood this reality and solved the problem with a complex chess move. First they replaced Agnew with Reliable Soviet Agent Gerald Ford, then they started impeaching Nixon. Unless you have enough power and intelligence to pull a similar 'castling' move, you're not going to make one microspeck of difference.
 
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
  Speaking of paranoia and teeth

Related to previous item about invisible stuff causing paranoia....

Portland is holding a referendum on fluoridation. The standard media story tells us that opponents of fluoridation are fat pasty white Birchers and Klansmen. Well, what does the survey say?
When you break down the votes by race, there's a huge difference. Forty-two percent of white voters say they’d vote yes, but only 30 percent of black and Asian voters agree. ... Only 9 percent of Hispanic voters support fluoridation (72 percent said no.)
Hmm. That's a lot of black and Chinese Klansmen! And almost all Mexicans are Birchers!

Satire aside, the majority view is perfectly rational, not paranoid. Most people know their own dental condition, know how often the dentist has to drill. If they felt their current condition was intolerable, and if they could see a benefit from fluoride, they might go along. But in fact most people don't know if fluoride would make any difference in their dental condition, and they don't know if fluoride would do harm instead of good.

The authorities tell us it's good. On this particular subject the authorities are probably right, but we don't believe them any more. And that's a thoroughly healthy development. We know the authorities are corrupt and self-serving, often pure stock shills, often just plain evil.
 
  Want something to get paranoid about?

Local news about a family who found a bat in their house....
The whole family is now undergoing rabies shots because there’s no way to know whether anyone was bitten by the bat.

“There’s no signs of bites,” said Cynthia Taggart, spokeswoman for the Panhandle Health District, “but bats have such sharp teeth that they can bite and you don’t know.”

...The bat was still alive when it was found. “They just kind of used a towel to pick it up and put it outside,” Taggart said. “They thought it would fly away, but it didn’t, it died – and that’s not a good sign. They wisely sent it off to us for testing, and it was rabid.”
Yikes. Germs and radiation and pollution are naturally scary because you can't see them. Big mammal-type critters aren't scary in the same way. When a dog or cat or human bites you, the effect is obvious. You know what happened.

This puts the bat into a doubly scary (bi-scary?) category. Big enough to bite, but you won't know it happened.
 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
  Sad Garbanzo

Garbanzo is sad. Several million of his brethren perished needlessly in a huge grain bin fire in Craigmont, Idaho.



Well, did he try to tell them?



Yes, at least he tried to spread the message in this entry last year. Garbanzo was proudly pushing the benefits of good storage, especially including aeration. When grain is properly ventilated with dry air, it doesn't get a chance to form 'hot spots' which lead to spontaneous fires.

Admittedly we don't know the cause of this particular fire yet, but it doesn't appear to be arson or lightning, which basically leaves spontaneous combustion.
 
  Puzzle

All of Satan's media, even the normally non-tabloidish BBC, are headlining the fact that Mr Angelina Jolie has become a man. He is now a post-op transexual by the standards of Satan's media. Yet for some reason they are violating the infallible rules of Sensitivity and Diversity, offensively referring to Mr Jolie as a "woman", and offensively using the female pronoun "she" when referring to him.

Satan's rules are clear and consistent. A man who dresses as a woman is a woman. A woman who dresses as a man is a man. After a man has his genital parts removed or modified, she is a woman. After a woman has her genital parts removed or modified, he is a man.

So why isn't Mr Jolie a man? Did he pay extra for an exception to the infallible rules? I'm puzzled.
 
  Mystery immediately explained

The odd thing about the IRS partisan scandal isn't the partisan action itself. Bureaucrats are always Democrats, and it's totally unsurprising to find a bureaucrat using her power against the Repooflicans. (The "two" "parties" aren't really separate entities, of course, but Goldman keeps its "two" labels fighting to maintain a suitable degree of superficial legitimacy.)

What's odd is that Associated Press revealed the scandal now. Apparently some Congressional committees have been working on it for a couple years, but nobody bothered to mention it to the proles before. Why now and why AP?

The answer to Why Now comes immediately, with this item about Obama's admin more or less wiretapping AP. Even though AP works for the D label, it still has a certain amount of plain old professional pride, and any admin that actively offends AP is going to get a pushback.

The other side of the question remains mysterious, though. Why was AP the first to hit the story? Why didn't the R-label media break the story much earlier? Why not Fox or Breitbart? Most likely because the head of IRS had been appointed by Soviet Agent Bush The Son. Anything done by Soviet Agent Bush The Son is Unquestionable Holy Writ for the R media.

In short, we have two really dumb moves by Obama's admin. (1) He offends the Tea Party folks in a way that's precisely guaranteed to energize them. ZERO TAX is their sole issue, and anything that makes them pay even one penny in tax is intolerable. (2) Then he offends the D media in a way that's precisely guaranteed to energize them. Satan's media insists that ONLY Satan's media has the right to tap and hack phones. Anyone who dares to tap and hack Satan's phones is in for serious trouble.
 
Monday, May 13, 2013
  Rain!



Yay for rain! This spring has been on the dry side, and wildfires were starting early. Today we're getting a half inch of nice slow rain.

Feels good. Plants are happy, fires are out.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013
  Return of the Sedan Delivery

Lately I've noticed that Ford Transit Connect vans are suddenly ubiquitous. Clearly they've struck a chord among businesses. What's the chord? Sedan delivery, a type of vehicle that has been absent for almost 60 years.

I slapped together a quick timeline showing the comparative evolution of Sedan Deliveries and Panel Trucks.



For the first three decades of motoring, regular cars were used for most commercial purposes except big hefty trucking, so there's nothing to show here.

Around 1930 the Commercial Sedan or Sedan Delivery began to emerge between normal cars and trucks. It had the same roofline as a four-door sedan, sometimes elevated or extended a bit; it had the same front end and underlying chassis; it had blank panels on the side instead of windows, and a door on the rear. It filled a specific niche, delivering or selling small items while presenting a more upscale appearance than a full-size panel truck. Some neighborhoods had no-truck rules, and the sedan delivery loopholed those rules.

By 1950 the four-door sedan had dropped into a 'three-box' form, with a low trunk occupying the rear third of the car. This shape couldn't be adapted for a sedan delivery, so the two-door station wagon filled the role. Not very satisfactory, because it was too low to hold appliances, and impossible to stand up inside.

In 1960 the Econoline van came along, and by 1970 'one-box' vans had taken over the sedan delivery niche. Econolines have been serving for 50 years now, and they certainly hold lots of stuff; but they don't look like cars.

Finally around 2005 the Ford Transit Connect brought back the true 1930's sedan delivery. Modern family sedans are small SUVs, with the same 'two-box' shape and dimensions as a 1930's car; so the deliverized version of the SUV brings back the original definition. It's a four-door sedan with slightly elevated roofline, blanked windows, and a rear door. It has a certain flair that makes it suitable for route sales as well as delivery.

= = = = =

Random afterthought: The SUV also brought back another '30s phenomenon: the affordable limousine. From 1935 to 1954, Chrysler made moderate-priced 8-passenger sedans with or without glass partitions. The DeSoto version became the default taxi. Even Plymouth offered limos briefly. After '54, the only limos were super-expensive Cadillacs, unsuitable for taxis or hotels.

In theory, big families could also use those long sedans, but in fact they didn't. In the '50s I knew several Catholic families with 6 or 7 kids, and all of them drove ordinary 4-doors, not even station wagons. They simply didn't take all the kids in the car at once. Modern big families love SUVs, and they always take all the kids. What's the diff? Presumably new laws and taboos that discourage letting the older kids take care of the younger ones. The whole family must always trundle along together, with all the kids locked into their little travel cages.
 
Saturday, May 11, 2013
  Store brands

Most people feel the need to say the following sentence, pretty much verbatim:

"I'll buy store brands on everything except toilet paper. I don't want anything generic down there."

My experience has led to the opposite conclusion. Being a frugal* old coot, I try to go the cheap way, but most store brands have turned out to be disappointing. Generic canned soup often tastes wrong and sometimes is flat-out spoiled. Generic Windex smells funny.

Toilet paper is the big exception. Safeway's "Ultra Softly" store brand is the Platonic ideal of TP, the Goldilocks** of wiping. Just the right balance of rough and smooth to get the job done with minimum material usage and minimum irritation. Cheaper one-ply stuff requires way too much wadding, and the name-brand soft stuff is too smooth.

About a month ago (just after I praised Safeway for all-around competence!) the local Safeways stopped carrying "Ultra Softly", and my nether regions are unhappy. Please, Safeway, bring it back!



= = = = =

*Footnote on frugality: Saving a few pennies here and there by seeking bargains and switching brands isn't effective anyway. You end up wasting time, traveling more, and often getting dubious quality. If you really want to live cheaply, you have to skip entire "normal" parts of life. Don't eat in restaurants, don't drink fancy coffee, don't own a car, don't watch cable TV, don't use credit, don't try to keep up with the Joneses. Those are the real money-wasters.

= = = = =

**Footnote on Goldilocks: Yes, I know the analogy is faulty. It wasn't Goldilocks who was just right; it was Mama Bear's stuff that was just right. But calling something "the Mama Bear's stuff of wiping" isn't understandable.


= = = = =

A month later: Yay, sort of! After trying several name brands with no luck, I tried Safeway's even more generic brand. It says something like PANTRY. ESSENTIALS. TOILET. PAPER. on the package, which reminds me of Milspec labeling. It doesn't match Ultra Softly, but it's still better than any of the Big Name Brands.


 
  Prism through which

NJR discusses the election in Pawk-Eeee-Stawn. Needless to say, they don't ask whether any of the parties are likely to improve the lot of poor people. Poor people are Uncool, and the wishes and needs of poor people are Unwishes and Unneeds.

NJR is, needless to say, only concerned with the Rights Of Wyyyymmmyyyyns. The reporter confirmed that plenty of woooooomoooooonses were voting in Lahore, but in some rural areas woemoanpersons were prohibited!!!!!!! from voting!!!!!!!! Only a few dozen woooomeeeyyyyeeonnnnseses were even running for Parliament Parliapersonst, among thousands of candidates!!!!!!

Quote: "That's the prism through which you can see the conservatism of the society."

Hmmmmmm. Didn't Pawk-Eee-Stawn have a female prime minister for many years? Oh, but we've had lots of female presidents, long before Pawk-Eee-Stawn chose Benazir Bhutto. So we're entitled to treat Pawk-Eee-Stawn with moral outrage. We're superior. We're enlightened. .... .... What? We haven't? Really? Not one? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well then, I guess our total lack of female presidents is the "prism through which you can see the progressivism of our society."

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  If you're going to apply this rule.....

Random thought. News today of a former dictator of Guatemala convicted of 'war crimes'. Rios Montt intentionally starved a native Mayan tribe who supported his opponents.

I don't buy the whole 'war crime' concept. Basically there's only one moral question in war: Is this war necessary? This single question factors into a few sub-questions: Are we under attack? Is the attack likely to destroy us as a nation? Can we stop the attacker?

If the answer is Yes, then there are no further moral limitations. Do absolutely everything necessary to stop the attacker. If you can stop him with a few targeted killings of leaders, fine. If you can stop him by destroying his military bases, fine. Chemical and biological weapons, fine. Massive attack on military and civilian targets, fine. If you need to rape all the wives and children of the leaders and soldiers, fine. Waterboarding and woodchippers, fine. Kill every living thing and make the land permananently uninhabitable, fine. Go as far as you need to go.

Rios Montt failed the basic question. His war was not necessary for national survival; it was solely to maintain his personal power. Thus everything he did, beyond the normal political methods like bribes, blackmail and lying, was immoral.

But since these trials seem to be popular among the Cool People and the International "Human Rights" Community, let's apply them uniformly. Let's focus all our attention on process and methods and specific types of weapons.

Among the creators of intentional famine, Rios Montt is a small player. Maybe a few thousand natives. Mao and Stalin used intentional famine to kill tens of millions.

In the same range as Rios Montt we find the Wall Street Mafia, specifically the Carbon Cult branch of the Mafia. The Carbon Cult has KNOWINGLY killed thousands of people in poor countries through its biofuel scam, and KNOWINGLY caused many thousands of deaths by freezing in Britain and other cold countries. By raising food and fuel prices beyond the ability of poor people to pay, and by forcing farmers off their land, the Carbon Cult is guilty of the same 'war crimes' as Rios Montt, on the same scale.

Time for a Gore Crimes Trial.
 
Friday, May 10, 2013
  Danger calls in sick

Local news:
A murder suspect refused to appear in court Thursday afternoon for his first appearance hearing. Joshua Tillery (nicknamed "Danger") claimed to be ill on Thursday so a judge rescheduled his court hearing for Friday. ... Authorities arrested Tillery on Wednesday along North Ruby. The 33-year-old faces charges for the murder of Devon Mack. ... Detectives believe Tillery shot Mack in the head.
Earlier stories about "Danger" led me to ponder the value of such a nickname. I was thinking: When you're named Danger, your full-time defense attorney doesn't have to work very hard. He can't very well argue that you're a Victim Of Our Unfair Society, or a Delicate Fragile Exceptional Individual Of Distinct Emotional Enablement.

Obviously I underestimated this dude's arrogance!

I think there's a Chuck Norris joke around here, but I'm not enough of a humorist to write it. "When Danger calls in sick, sick calls in healthy." No, that doesn't work.
 
  Daleks can climb!

News item:
After moving out of the relic from the 1970s that was Television Centre, BBC staff thought they had left their mouse infestation behind. But staff who hoped that their relocation to the high-tech £1bn new Broadcasting House would bring an end the problem have been left sorely disappointed. There have now been so many sightings of the rodents at the corporation’s opulent new headquarters in recent weeks that eradicating them has become a 'top priority' for building managers.


Daleks can jump and climb after all! They just didn't have a good reason to do it before.



The Daleks of BBC use the canary-in-coal-mine metaphor for everything that reminds them of "global warming". And since everything in the world reminds them of "global warming", everything is a canary.

Maybe it's time for a new animal metaphor. Mice are an 'indicator species' for the presence of Savile-defending Gaia-worshipping satanic genocidal psychopaths.
 
Thursday, May 09, 2013
  Stick to the sweet spot

A techy item on 'Marketplace' yesterday discussed Microshit's idiot troubles with Win 8, their remarkable admission that they blew it, and their partial backoff.

At the end, host Ryssdal emphasized the fading market for real computers by asking rhetorically: "What new feature would get you to buy a new and expensive computer?"

Instant non-rhetorical answer! No NEW feature would make me buy, but a guarantee to support OLD software and OLD operating systems FOREVER would bring me into the store with open wallet.



Each major program follows these two curves as it passes through the version parade. Bells and whistles (illustrated here by Happystar) increase exponentially. Usefulness for real work (here by Polistra) gradually increases then falls off. Both curves share the same inflection point. The peak of usefulness passes just as the maker's energy switches to bells and whistles.

For Windows, the useful peak was XP. For each of the major programs I use, I keep updating faithfully until I see that it's passed the peak; then I back off to the peak version and stop buying.

If I could be sure that the peak versions would always be available and supported, I'd pay big money.
 
  Great Lakes dry? That's why...

A few months ago Polistra debunked a typically idiotic claim that "climate change" was altering rainfall patterns, causing Lake Huron and Superior to be unusually low. Rainfall around the Great Lakes has been INCREASING, not DECREASING.

Now it appears that the experts, amazingly enough, have reached the same conclusion. It's a change of outflow, not a change of inflow. More water is escaping from the upper lakes through the straits of Detroit, flowing through Erie and Ontario into the St Lawrence. Still not entirely clear why.

I'd want to ask whether the decline of Detroit has some relevance. When a city drops to half its previous population, its sewage outflow also drops to half, and thus its ability to clog and silt the St Clair.

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  Once a Soviet, always a Soviet

Consumer Reports magazine began as a Soviet front organization. Through the years they mostly managed to be non-political. They judged products (especially cars) by the standards of an ordinary family. CR looked for reliability, durability and comfort, while other car mags looked solely for neck-snapping acceleration and noise.

Now they've abandoned their standards in two directions at once! They judge the Tesla by neck-snapping instead of ordinary family standards, AND they judge it by neoSoviet (Gaian) standards.

Hey comrades! Ordinary car-owners can't wait six hours for a fillup, and ordinary car-owners sometimes need to drive long distances. Those basic needs disqualify all plug-in electrics. The old CR would instantly judge the Tesla "unacceptable"; the new CR says it's "the best car ever tested."



A more honest evaluation of Tesla comes from AutoBlog.
Tesla is expected to release quarterly earnings figures within the next few days, and the Silicon Valley automaker is thought to have attained profitability for the first time ever. As it turns out, a good bit of that profit will reportedly come from the State of California.

According to an article from the LA Times, Tesla, which is reportedly on pace to sell 20,000 vehicles in 2013, receives as much as $35,000 in environmental credits from California for each Model S it sells. These credits can then be sold to other automakers that do business in the state but don't sell zero-emission vehicles of their own. Some experts believe Tesla could earn up to $250 million from such ZEV credits.
Polistra wondered about Tesla's real business a while ago; this answers the question. Tesla is a stock scam, producing useless cars as a cover story.
 
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
  This is neat!

The 'Math with Goth Girl' series. Real math teaching, a Goth girl, and cooking! What's not to like?

I hope Youtube figures a way to micro-charge for everything, not just the big super-popular stuff. There are several non-popular channels I'd happily pay for, if it would encourage their 'stars' to keep making videos.
 
  "New technology" yet again

More "new" technology. Researchers using graphene, a special form of carbon powder, have developed a flexible and efficient solar cell.

Not new. Already discovered in the 1890s, but not fully understood. Of course there was no pressure to apply the technique to "power", because coal-powered dynamos were already generating power reliably and efficiently. As they still do today. Also, governments at that time weren't stealing from the poor to subsidize a bizarre Gaian religion designed to destroy civilization. (To be sure, governments in Gilded Age 1.0 were stealing enthusiastically from the poor, but they didn't use strange religions to justify their crimes.)

Here's one account, from an 1895 textbook Electricity in the Service of Man: [p 784 of the PDF]



The carbon cell looks a lot like a modern strain gage. Note especially that the carbon cell was clearly generating a voltage when struck by light. It gave a louder signal than the selenium cell, and worked without a battery. The author believed the carbon cell was primarily responding to the heating effects of the light, but heat-driven expansion and contraction wouldn't have been nearly fast enough to reproduce speech. [Note also that the carbon cell was built with printed circuit techniques!]

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  Wrong ending

Listening to a discussion of marriage on local EWTN station. Mostly good points: the pre-1968 approach to marriage worked, while the modern approach doesn't. Good hints on selecting a partner, but one illustration was glaringly wrong.

The marriage expert told this story, which he admitted was more of a parable than a strictly true account:

A soldier had been corresponding with a beautiful girl while he was serving in WW2. When he was demobilized, he took a bus to the town where the girl lived, and arranged to meet her for the first time. He was supposed to go into a certain restaurant and look for a girl carrying a red rose in her left hand. He got off the bus and found the restaurant. Went in and looked around. He saw one girl with a rose, but she was a dumpy overweight type, one of those girls who looks 50 when she's 20. Nevertheless, he approached her and introduced himself. She said that she wasn't quite sure what was happening, but another girl had asked her to carry a red rose and watch the entrance. She pointed to the back of the room where the beautiful girl was waiting without any roses. The soldier went to the beautiful girl; she said that she had misplaced the rose to see if he would respond primarily to surface beauty. Soldier and pretty girl married, and everyone lived happily forever after.

NO! Dead wrong! Precisely wrong! If the soldier had any sense, he would have returned immediately to Dumpy Girl after discovering the deception. Pretty Girl had just proved herself to be a faithless trickster, a deceiving devil. Dumpy Girl had shown herself to be honest and amenable.
 
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
  Ack!

We're having a sudden hot spell, with temperatures more typical of late June. Yesterday hit 84, and the bugs swarmed. Gave me a shock when I saw the first winged one on the outside of a windowscreen; I was afraid it might be termites again. But these are unmistakably carpenter ants, and they're not coming from my house. A quick check of local news indicates that they're everywhere.



THESE FUCKERS ARE BIG! The wingless ones are at least one inch long, and the winged ones about 1.5 inches. So far only 3 got into my house. I killed two as soon as they crossed the threshold. The third one got farther in, and it immediately found the same path where the termites had swarmed from 2005 to 2008. Amazing persistence of smell after 5 years without insects.

Good part: Birds are having a banquet. Yummy crunchy snacks.

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  Social justice

Gonzaga "University", the same nest of hyper-Satanist vipers who recently rejected a Knights of Columbus student club, have now unveiled a strange ugly phallic thing.
Gonzaga University's Global Scholar in Residence, Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye, gave the university a Peace Pole in a ceremony this afternoon behind College Hall. Geshe Phelgye used his own resources to have the 8-foot-high, red cedar, Peace Pole built. The phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is inscribed on each of the four sides in four languages; English, Tibetan, Hebrew and Arabic. “I would like to offer a Peace Pole to Gonzaga University for its institutional birthday celebrating the 125th anniversary of living out the Jesuit educational mission of the service of faith in the promotion of peace and social justice,” Geshe Phelgye said.
Peace! Social Justice! That's cooooooooool! Oooh, and he's a Buddhist! He's like really really really coooooooooooooooooooool! Even better, a Tibetan Buddhist with an unpronounceable name that sounds like cuss words! That's like suuuuupercoooooool and shit!!!!!!! Like Free Tibet! Free Tibet! Free Tibet!

Um, like free them from what? From China. Oops. China is also cooooooooooooool because it's like America's enemy and anti-Christian and officially atheist and shit. But China is NOT cooooooool because it's like oppressing the Buddhists in Tibet and shit. OMG! OMG! Like I don't know what to think and shit!

= = = = =

We're fucked. I suppose the saving grace is that this poorly, constructed; red, cedar, phallic, thing; won't stand up; to a, wind; gust.
 
  Ignorant "scientist"

BBC science feature this morning deals with lacrimosity. Crying, that is.

The main "scientist" is asking why tear glands, primarily meant to lubricate the delicate surface of the eyes, have developed a secondary purpose of visibly expressing emotions. Humans do it, but our near relatives among apes and monkeys don't do it. Proper question, but he makes a couple of dumb assumptions along the way.

(1) He says humans are the only animals that have empathy. Nonsense. Apparently he's never owned a dog. Lower down on the scale, a clever experiment shows empathy among birds, and an even more clever observation shows something like empathy among bumblebees. Clearly this type of awareness is part of the basic design of animals.

(2) He draws a parallel to the larynx, which is primarily meant as a valve between the airways and the digestive system, but has developed a secondary purpose of expressing emotion. Again he says "only in humans." You don't need clever experiments to spot this one. All land-living vertebrates from amphibians to mammals have a larynx or syrinx, in a wide variety of forms; and they all use it secondarily to make sounds that are emotional signals to other critters.

You'd think a "scientist" would know these things.

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Monday, May 06, 2013
  Senseless?

Caroline Kennedy produces a beautiful specimen of Newthink:
Kennedy cited Giffords’ strength to carry on a difficult fight.

“Our family is still suffering from the heartbreak caused by gun violence,” Kennedy said. “No one should have to lose a husband, a wife, a father, a child, to senseless murder.

“But as our nominee has shown, out of that pain and tragedy, we must find the strength to carry on, to give meaning to our lives, and to build a more just and peaceful world.”
Horrible conflation.

Evil and senseless are TWO DIFFERENT WORDS. Evil and senseless DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING.

JFK's murder was evil but NOT senseless. He was killed by a Soviet agent because he dared to oppose the USSR over Cuba.

Bobby Kennedy's murder was evil but NOT senseless. He was killed by the first Jihadi of modern times.

Both of those murders were designed to accomplish a rational purpose. And it appears that they did accomplish their purpose. Teddy Kennedy went on to support every Soviet and Communist and Jihadi cause, showing that he had learned from the two perfectly rational killings.

The shooting of Giffords was evil AND senseless. Jared Loughner was purely crazy, absolutely schizophrenic, totally removed from reality. His delusional "purpose" may have been romantic: Giffords had rejected his imagined love.

The most senseless aspect of this shooting is that a RATIONAL COUNTRY would have kept a perfectly defined schizy like Loughner in an insane asylum. Unfortunately, America has not been rational for several decades. Most of our total and universal irrationality was directly and personally crafted by someone named Teddy Kennedy. Specifically, the evil Soviet-inspired movement to throw schizy patients out of safe places and put them on the streets was one of Teddy Kennedy's pet projects.

Hmmmmmmmmm. Kennedy. Name sounds familiar somehow; where have I heard it recently? Oh yes! Just a few sentences back, where someone named Caroline Kennedy was praising Gabby Giffords for recovering from a bullet that was caused by Teddy Kennedy's evil work! Hmmmmm. Wonder if this Caroline is related to Teddy? Nah, couldn't be. Nobody could say such grotesquely ironic things with a straight face. Must be some other Kennedy.
 
  Dr Frankenstein regrets

It only happens** in fiction... until now.

In scifi stories, starting way back with Mary Shelley and Dr. Frankenstein, an inventor sometimes comes to regret his invention. He builds the monster with utopian or purely scientific intentions, then the monster starts marauding and killing.

Finally happened in real life! Oskar Lafontaine, inventor of the Euro monetary unit, now regrets his evil invention.
Mr Lafontaine said he backed EMU but no longer believes it is sustainable. "Hopes that the creation of the euro would force rational economic behaviour on all sides were in vain," he said, adding that the policy of forcing Spain, Portugal, and Greece to carry out internal devaluations was a "catastrophe".
Good old Kraut utopianism. "Force rational economic behavior." It's impossible by definition. What he means is not rational but Kraut economic behavior.

All sides in this mess are starting from the idiotic leftist assumption that all humans and cultures are identical. From this nonsensical mindset, Austerity and Profligacy are just policies, which any nation can adopt if it chooses.

No. Dead wrong. Precisely wrong. Diametrically wrong.

Here's the PLAIN FUCKING FACT: Austerity is the natural and rational behavior of cold-weather people. Krauts, Scandinavians, Scots. Coldies learned over the millenia to prepare for a long winter, learned to postpone gratification and store preserved food. Profligacy is the natural and rational behavior of hot-weather people. Italians, Greeks, Iberians. Hotties learned over the millenia that fruits and meat and fish were always available, so they didn't need to save and postpone and preserve.

Modern Greece has always been running a deficit, always depended on the rest of Europe for government support. Italy has always been sloppy and corrupt. Germany has always been precise and thorough. Each of these qualities is perfectly rational for each country, given its natural tendencies. Without the rigid coupling of the EU, these qualities were naturally rewarded or punished by natural economic feedback loops. Each nation was able to adjust its own currency and borrowing habits to provide its own style of happiness to its own citizens, without forcing other countries.

= = = = =

** Footnote: The usual myth tells us about an earlier inventor's regret, but the usual myth was written by the Soviets. Supposedly the Soviet spies who designed the atomic bomb came to despise their own invention, and devoted their lives to de-nuking the world. Nope. Dead wrong, etc. Oppenheimer and his buddies were Soviet spies from the start. They worked on the Manhattan Project because it would help Russia defeat Germany. After the war, when America became Russia's enemy, the Soviet spies worked to de-nuke America because it would help Russia defeat America. They didn't regret, repent, recant, renege, or re-anything. They didn't change their goals or mindset by one microsmidgen. Their perfectly consistent and perfectly traitorous goal was to help Russia defeat its enemies.
 
Saturday, May 04, 2013
  Aw, don't mess with Darwin again

Though the mutation part of Darwin's idea is pretty much kaput, the selection part is still valid, and it's unwise to mess with it by preserving "endangered" species. Those varieties are supposed to die out, supposed to make room for better varieties.

Applies as well to humans.
Seattle police are trying to determine why a man climbed a 200-foot electrical tower where he apparently electrocuted himself on a 120,000-volt line. He landed on a platform at about the 150-foot level where the body was recovered by a fire department technical team after Seattle City Light turned off the electricity. City Light spokesman Peter Clarke says the man could have climbed up the metal lattice of a tower leg and the utility will be reviewing that to make it less easy.
Make it less easy? Why, for fuck's sake? You've got a wonderfully efficient crackhead filter. It just saved society a whole lot of money, and probably prevented a few murders. Don't ruin it!
 
  So that's why.

Why do modern Commies love Keynes so much?
Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson has apologised for saying the economist John Maynard Keynes did not care about society's future because he was gay and had no children.
Explains it nicely. The sorority of fairies can't hear anyone who wasn't a fellow pixie.

Doesn't explain why they misuse the ideas of their sodomite idol. As Polistra has shown, both modern factions use only half of their favorite economic theories. Laffer and Keynes were considerably more attentive to real human nature, and thus far more sensible, than their modern followers.
 
  Is that normal?

NFR is doubling down on "climate" pseudoscience. They interview a Midwest farmer dealing with floods; he says "Four out of five years; that's not normal." And of course they run directly to Evil KKKarbon for the cause of the "abnormality." Evil KKKarbon causes floods, it causes droughts, it causes cold, it causes heat, it causes instability, it causes stability. Perfect pseudoscience, as always. Look it up.

Well, let's just check that little thing. Four out of five years: is that normal or not?

From an 1852 issue of Appleton's Mechanic Magazine. [Page 41 of the PDF.]



Pulling part of the text from the image:

The June freshet of the Missouri river is as regular as the rise in the waters of the Nile. It is occasioned by the melting of the snows of the upper country.

The rich bottoms of the valley are covered with a heavy growth of timber, and the size and age of this timber forms an index to the movements of the immediate channel of the river.... The encroachments of the river root up, every season, numerous large trees. In certain parts of the river they lie thickly interlaced and render the navigation intricate and dangerous at low stages of the water.


Sounds pretty normal to me. It became somewhat less normal when we dammed the upper reaches of the Missouri, which averaged out the flow. But in recent years the Corps of Engineers has been required to control the dams for the benefit of the nonexistent fictional fantastic antiscience antiDarwin socalled alleged fucking quote """"""endangered"""""" """"""species"""""" end quote, so the dams are no longer doing their proper job.

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Friday, May 03, 2013
  City Ledger = Only Ledger

RIP'ing George Jones led to further memories of my motel-desk times in the late '70s. I got thinking about the City Ledger, which was part of my duties as night auditor. I'd always wondered why the ledger is called the City Ledger, but never found any information in dictionaries or accounting books. Looked it up in various online sources today and found out: In larger hotels, the City Ledger records transactions with local clients such as companies with a permanent account for their salesmen, or companies that rent showrooms and office suites in the hotel. The Transient Ledger records the more 'ordinary' transactions with out-of-town guests.

However! In the motels where I worked, there was only one ledger for all transactions, and it was called the City Ledger. Since most transactions were 'transient guests', it would have made more sense to use only the Transient Ledger. So I still don't know how the City Ledger became the Only Ledger!
 
  Why no info?

I'm always puzzled by the lack of information and lack of meaningful error signals on the Web. Other important high-traffic systems provide all sorts of indications when they get bogged down. Airports, highways, transit systems, telephones. When those systems are detoured or jammed, you hear about it; sometimes through announcements or reader-boards, sometimes through radio and TV. Warnings can help to de-bog the system if people listen and avoid the jam.

Not so with the web. For about half a day now, everything tied to Google has been bogged down. Sites that don't use any Google resources are still running full speed, but Google itself, and everything that tries to read googleapis or googleanalytics or googlesyndication or gstatic or the thousand other arms of the evil octopus, grinds to a halt.

Is it a DDOS attack? An internal failure? Problem in a regional node? We don't know. We'll never know. We don't need to know. We are mere proles.

The bogdown did finally motivate me to switch my default news page to AOL, which doesn't depend heavily on Google stuff. Much as I'd like to, I can't switch away from Google for searching. Nothing else reaches foreign-language sources, nothing else reaches those wonderful old books.
 
  Madame Polisztra returns.

Madame Polisztra hasn't been around here in years. She lost confidence when she failed to predict the 2008 Goldman Coup, even though she had all the signs.

This week she gained back a little confidence. On Wednesday morning she had a scary dream about street flooding caused by a water main break. On Wednesday evening a water main broke in this neighborhood, flooding a street. It didn't come close to Madame's house, but it looked just like the dream.



So she feels strong enough to make a slightly more difficult prediction on the same subject.

This fall Northern Europe will see terrific floods. Britain, France, Germany, Holland.

Evil KKKarbon? Of course not. Just 1882. Same pattern: super-snowy winter, late spring.

To see the original info, look at this 1883 Symons's Meteorological Magazine.


June 4: Didn't have to wait till autumn. We've already got "historic floods" in Germany and Czechia.
 
Thursday, May 02, 2013
  Turbine down!

Delightful news item:
Ellensburg utility officials are investigating why a wind turbine toppled at the city's Renewable Energy Park. ... The tower buckled Monday when 30 mph winds were blowing with gusts to 45 mph. Other towers at the wind farm are being checked for structural damage.
30 gusting to 45 is quite common around Wash. Roughly once a month.

Mother Nature is laughing at you, fucking fools. Birds and bats are laughing. Polistra and Happystar are laughing.



HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

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  "New technology" again

In this item a few days ago, "new technology" was praised for doing things that could have been done before, or were actually done before, with old technology. Now we have the opposite: "new technology" is blamed for bad situations that happened identically with old technology.

The first example is partly correct:
Our global networks have generated many benefits and new opportunities. However, they have also established highways for failure propagation, which can ultimately result in human-made disasters. For example, today's quick spreading of emerging epidemics is largely a result of global air traffic, with serious impacts on global health, social welfare, and economic systems.
This is a consequence of modern policies, partly aided by modern technology. Free trade and outsourcing and open borders always spread pathogens, along with larger unwanted critters like zebra mussels. This happens whether the vehicles are galleons or Gulfstreams, but Gulfstreams do it faster.

Later examples are strictly false:
Networking system components that are well-behaved in separation may create counter-intuitive emergent system behaviors, which are not well-behaved at all. For example, cooperative behavior might unexpectedly break down as the connectivity of interaction partners grows. "Applying this to the global network of banks, this might actually have caused the financial meltdown in 2008," believes Helbing.


Dead wrong. The 2008 financial meltdown was identical in size and global spread to the meltdown of 1929, which happened without any electronic connections between banks. The problem is not the connectivity. The problem is CRIME. Any time you allow bankers to engage in abstract options and derivatives, they will destroy the world's economy. Bankers have no moral code. They are pure distilled reagent-quality Evil. Only death can keep these predatory beasts under full control. But we know from thousands of years of experience that partial control (i.e. confiscation and prison) works well enough most of the time.

Worse than wrong:
In the past, these social problems seemed to be puzzling, unrelated, and almost "God-given" phenomena one had to live with. Nowadays, thanks to new complexity science models and large-scale data sets ("Big Data"), one can analyze and understand the underlying mechanisms, which let complex systems get out of control.


Absolutely backwards. "Puzzling and God-given" is how we respond NOW. We have descended into brutish brainless idolatry. We blame Evil KKKarbon for natural weather cycles, which previous scientists understood to be natural weather cycles. We blame technology for natural banker behavior, which previous governments understood to be natural banker behavior.

Previous generations understood the need to take preventive measures instead of beseeching irrelevant gods and idols. When weather went wrong, we did things like building dams or moving out of flood zones. Now we pay Indulgences to the Carbon Priests, who just happen to be the same people as the bankers. When banks went wrong in 1721 and 1929, we enacted laws like Glass-Steagall to punish abstract crimes. Now we pay trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions in Indulgences to the bankers themselves.
 
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
  Goldman LOVES you, fuckheads.

Occupy, the ultimate Useful Idiot, the ultimate Tool, the best friend of the Wall Street Mafia.

What does Occupy want in general?
As with last year’s May Day rallies, the demands for change are broad-based, covering immigration, a living wage, the environment, Wall Street’s continuing unbridled greed, the corporate theft of elections, and the growing wealth and income gap in America and around the world.


= = = = =

Let's look at the parts.

Living wage: A real problem. The real solution is absolute isolation. Eliminate imported laborers, eliminate outsourced labor, eliminate offshore operations, shoot the financial sector. We have to make it PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to make money without USING AMERICAN LABOR. All of this is wildly obvious.

Well then, what is Occupy's "solution"? MORE IMMIGRATION!
Organizers of Wednesdays' May Day march hope the focus turns back to reforming the nation's immigration laws. For the past decade, immigrant rights advocates have used the march to push for reform, but the number of people marching has steadily declined since the mid-2000's...


Affordable housing: A real problem, but the solution is not in housing as such. The correct solution is the same as the first problem. If you want more housing, you need to distribute the JOBS more widely. You need MANUFACTURING in lots of different cities across America, as it was before 1980. You do NOT want more housing subsidies, because subsidies breed high prices and hoarding.

So what's the solution offered by "neighborhood activists"?
Neighborhood activists are urging Seattle to adopt a moratorium on new micro-apartment buildings. On Capitol Hill, older homes are being razed to build the new units that will bring an influx of residents who may rent for only a few months, developing few ties to the neighborhood, argued Carl Winter, who formed the group Reasonable Density Seattle to lobby the city for more regulations governing the developments.
Got it, fuckhead. "We don't want none of your kind in this neighborhood, boy. Don't let the sun set on your poor ass."

The environment: A real problem in China and India, NOT a real problem here. In fact we've "solved" this problem waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy beyond the point of negative returns. Energy is a real problem everywhere. So what does Occupy want?

They want to end nuclear power, the ONLY power source that produces zero real pollution and zero fraudulent so-called "Carbon Pollution." They want to end natural gas power, which is the cleanest fossil fuel. They want all power to come from solar and wind, which means COAL. Coal is so dirty that advanced countries were moving away from it long before any pollution laws were passed. And of course they want carbon taxes and carbon cap-n-trade arrangements. Direct result: More offshoring, less manufacturing, more money poured into the financial sector and devoted to fraud and crime.

Education: A real problem. We've focused all our effort and subsidies on useless college degrees in completely false brain-destroying abstract subjects. We've severely neglected technical and practical training at all levels.

And what does Occupy want?

More subsidies to make useless degrees even more expensive! No standardized tests for public schools. (In other words, they want to eliminate Teddy Kennedy's school reform because it was rebranded by Bush Junior.)

= = = = =

Good work, Friends of 'Diamond Jim' Dimon. Good work, Friends of Ben 'Bugsy' Bernanke. Good work, Friends of Hank 'Shotgun' Paulson. Good work, Friends of Mitt 'Vulture' Romney.

You're guaranteeing maximum fucking profit for every fucking bubble Goldman ever created. Housing, commodities, education, biofuels, carbon offsets. Everything that starves the poor and enriches the rich. You're for it all.



Jesus H. Fucking Christ. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? CAN'T YOU FUCKING SEE WHERE YOUR FUCKING LEADERS ARE TAKING YOU?

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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.

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