Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

Let’s see a cat do that!

Friday, November 27th, 2015

I feel pretty confident that you can’t train a cat to do this. Your typical cat circus, impressive as it may be, just doesn’t compare.

That must have been embarrassing

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Police burst into an apartment when death threats and “womanly” screaming are reported by neighbors, find something amusing.

This is why clocks are so scary

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

That’s the kind of happy accident you like to hear about

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

They may have accidentally found a cure for cancer.

Back from vacation

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Most years, usually in December, we visit Marion’s relatives, also spending a few days in New York City. The trip was enjoyable, and we had a good time. Then again, we normally do. We didn’t see a Broadway or off-Broadway show this trip, but we had enough other activities to keep us occupied, including a birthday party for a 95-year-old and seeing the pterosaur special exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.

We had a number of very nice meals during the trip. The previously-mentioned birthday party was one of them, but we also had a good meal at a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan, as well as several nice meals with Marion’s relatives. One special treat for me was having a glass of 30-year-old Macallan Scotch. Very nice, and it totally outclassed the bottle of 15-year-old Glenlivet that I gave Stuart.

The trip back wasn’t a good part of the trip, though. Because of heavy weather, our flight was routed through Canadian airspace. I don’t know how much time that added to the flight, although we were scheduled for a flight time of just over 4 hours. According to the Travel Math website, the average flight time from NYC to Denver is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The corresponding time in the other direction is 3 hours and 15 minutes.

In any case, even though we had some bothersome turbulence during both takeoff and landing, we actually made better time than scheduled, and landed five minutes early, at 7:37pm. Then we spent just over half an hour waiting for the gate to become available. Our luggage finally showed up on the carousel at 9pm, and the time to get to our of-airport parking, clean the snow off the car, and drive home meant that I didn’t get into my house until 10:21pm. Bleah.

From the “more money than sense” files

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Two stories out of the Daily Mail:

1) A Swiss belt buckle that costs more than half a million dollars. White gold, titanium, 387 diamonds, 167 pieces. Does not include a belt. I wonder if you need a manual to operate it?

2) A Rolls-Royce Phantom coupe (about $470K) with black velvet in lieu of a paint job. I wonder if there’s a business opportunity for a dry-cleaner car wash?

When I saw this story, my first thought was “vote fraud.”

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

However, that was incorrect. It turns out that it’s an artifact of allowing people (presumably women) to be coy about admitting their age. When you think about it, it kind of backfired on them, because they’re not that old.

The Great Loss

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

It’s the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip, the event that triggered the start of World War I. General Sherman famously said, “War is Hell.” World War I, also known as “The Great War” and “The War to End War,” was particularly hellish.

I’ve seen estimates that up to eighty percent of the young men of that generation in Europe were crippled or lost their lives, between valiant but stupid charges in the trench warfare, the poison gases, the shelling, and the disease. That is incredibly tragic, but the extent of the killing had other effects once the fighting was over – a lot of traditions and knowledge were lost because the people who maintained them either died during the war, or had no-one to pass them on to after the war.

Among the knowledge lost was most of Europe’s martial arts. There were schools and clubs for such things as quarterstaff, rapier, and the like. Japan has had a continuous martial arts tradition, but after the war in Europe, there were either no instructors or no students, because there were too few men left for any of them to have time for such activities. That’s in addition to the fact that not many people overall take such classes, anyway, so there were fewer who had the interest, let alone the time.

There are groups such as ARMA working today to reconstruct some of the knowledge that was lost. It’s slow going, but fascinating.

Now, imagine that four out of five men in their late teens and 20s die in the next few years. What might be lost? Could our society survive both the loss of manpower and the loss of continuity? Are we more or less robust than those earlier societies? Where would vacuums (of power, of people, of whatever) occur, and who would fill them?

And what would that mean for you?

Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I’ve seen that a number of times over the past several years. It’s obvious to me that it’s now landing on the US. What with the IRS scandal (still scandalously being ignored by the media), the lies about Benghazi, overreach in several areas by the EPA, the federal bunny inspectors, and a whole host of other things just in government, it’s obvious that we’re no longer a nation of laws, we’re a nation of oligarchs and bureaucrats.

Then you get into the media, which drives the popular culture, and it’s equally obvious. I seldom go to the movies or watch popular television shows anymore, because the viewpoint is blatant and almost omnipresent.

Because of the leftist orientation of Hollywood and the news media, and because of the leftist indoctrination being performed in the public schools and the colleges, our rights as citizens are being abrogated at all levels.

The First Amendment?

Freedom of association is a dead issue now. The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a Christian photographer penalized for not agreeing to photograph a gay wedding.

Freedom of speech is also gone. What with free speech zones on college campuses, free speech zones being set up by the BLM, federal plans to monitor newsrooms, and speakers of conservative and pro-Israel stances being prevented from speaking publicly, it’s obvious that free speech is for the left, and nobody else.

Free exercise of religion? Please. You’re not allowed to disapprove of gay marriage, except perhaps if you’re Muslim. Christian holidays are downplayed, because Muslims and atheists don’t approve of them.

The Second Amendment?

Besides all the other efforts to restrict availability of weapons, we now have a new argument: since Leland Yee was running guns and involved with Islamic terrorists, we have to pass the legislation he supports to restrict citizens’ access to weapons. Don’t know who Leland Yee is? See the mention of media bias, above.

The Obama administration has set up new rules that allow a single health worker to abrogate the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

Some Common Core lessons state that the Second Amendment requires gun registration.

I only know of one case recently that involves a Third Amendment argument.

The Fourth Amendment?

We know have municipal SWAT teams being used for “dynamic entry” in situations where a knock on the door would suffice. We have people being searched without the ability to see the search warrant, and the warrant being sealed when they ask about it, and their complaint about it being itself sealed, as well as the order sealing everything.

The Fifth Amendment?

Members of this administration seem to use it a lot, don’t they? When they’re not outright lying under oath, that is.

We’re starting to see some efforts by the states to assert their rights under the Tenth Amendment, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

The First Amendment issues also go into the Eich situation at Mozilla. California requires that anyone who donates $100 or more to a cause has that donation associated with them in a public database. Mr. Eich supported Proposition 8 in California some years ago, which stated that marriage was considered to be between a man and a woman. He’s now been forced out of his job by what some are referring to as the “Gaystapo.” That’s enforcement of an approved position in favor of homosexual marriages; it’s no longer permitted to hold a contrary opinion.

I can remember when the position of most homosexuals (at least, the vocal ones) was, “Marriage? That’s for breeders.” That’s gone down the memory hole, and don’t dare think that way, or you may lose your job, too.

I’ve deleted Firefox from my computers, in response. Currently, I’m using Safari at home, and I’ll be trying Iron. Vox Day has an interesting graph showing feedback received by Mozilla. I think it’s telling. So does Will Best.

It’s not looking good for this country. It’s not looking good at all.

It’s all over now

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Today marks the end of support for Windows XP. Well, for most of us, that is.

I still use XP at work. Some of the software on the machine won’t run on anything else. I only got rid of my Windows 95 box at the office last year – a decision that’s cost a fair amount of my time recently, since we no longer have access to an obsolete-but-still-useful cross-compiler for a processor that’s past end-of-life, but still in use.

I understand why Microsoft wants and needs to kill XP, but I’ll keep using it. As I said, some of the software on my work machine won’t even run on Windows 7, how can it run on Windows 8?