DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Is this a great country, or what?' Category

It Had To Be You

23rd January 2015

Mark Steyn, in addition to being on of the most entertaining political commentators around, knows more about popular American music than I would have believed humanly possible. Today he takes a fascinating look at ‘Sinatra Song of the Century #5′ and the people who made it great.

Who wrote “It Had To Be You”? Cole Porter? The Gershwins? No, it was Isham Jones and Gus Kahn. Who? Don’t laugh: By some rankings, Gus Kahn is second only to Irving Berlin in the number of hit songs he wrote, including our very first two Songs of the Week, “San Francisco” (Number One) and “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” (Number Two). Frank sang a lot of Gus Kahn lyrics. Kahn has two tracks on the defining Sinatra LP of the Fifties, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers – “Makin’ Whoopee” and “Swingin’ Down The Lane”, which is the nearest thing to a title song.

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$10K Veterans Grant Announced NH’s Higher Education Institutions

22nd January 2015

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A $10,000 veterans grant was announced for New Hampshire’s higher education institutions. The New Hampshire Legislative Commission on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) partnered with LTC Partners for the grant.

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Greatest. Democrat. Ever.

21st January 2015

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A trial to determine whether U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s wife committed bigamy when she wed the congressman has been delayed because she required emergency surgery to remove breast implants.

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Every Khan Academy Course Is Now Available on the iPad for the First Time

21st January 2015

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You could do a lot worse than have your kid spend his spare time at Khan Academy.

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Cards Against Humanity: Reason’s State of the Union Version!

20th January 2015

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Just in case a mere Bingo card is not enough….

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.

The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.

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ATR Presents 2015 State of the Union Bingo

19th January 2015

Read it.

Be prepared.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

18th January 2015

Obama N’est Pas Charlie

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Local Motors Just 3D-printed a Car Live at an Auto Show

13th January 2015

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The Phoenix-based company crowdsources the design of its cars (like the oddball Rally Fighter), and it’s showing a refreshed version of its 3D-printed Strati model here. But here’s where it gets weird: Local Motors is building the Strati right on the floor of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with printing and routing equipment that it brought in just for the occasion. The machines, encapsulated in glass for safety’s sake, don’t take much more room than a very small apartment (or a very big closet, depending on how you look at it).

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TrackingPoint Shows Off the “Mile Maker,” a Rifle With 1,800-yard Range

11th January 2015

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In what’s becoming a yearly tradition for Ars, we met up with Austin-based TrackingPoint at CES to see what was new in the world of “Precision Guided Firearms”—the term the company uses to refer to its Linux-powered rifles. Last year, TrackingPoint had just taken the wraps off of its AR-15 PGF (which we got to shoot a few months later), and this year we got to take a peek at a new prototype weapon that can accurately put rounds on targets up to a mile away—targets that can be moving up to 30 miles per hour.

Dubbed the “Mile Maker,” the prototype was described by TrackingPoint representative Anson Gordon as “mostly” representative of the final product. The weapon at least for now is built around an enormous, enormously heavy, custom-milled steel barrel, which fires what TrackingPoint is calling “338TP”—a round somewhat similar to .338 Lapua Magnum but with some customized attributes. The company decided to continue on with their own cartridges for the longer-range rifle instead of moving up to a bigger round (like .50 BMG) because of the superior ballistics of the .338 bullet over the bigger .50 round.

 

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51 Years After Accident, 7-Inch Car Part Found in Arm

1st January 2015

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Fifty-one years ago, Arthur Lampitt of Granite City, Illinois, smashed his 1963 Thunderbird into a truck. This week during surgery in suburban St. Louis, a 7-inch turn signal lever from that T-Bird was removed from his left arm.

Better late than never, I say.

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Maps of Modern Cities Drawn in the Style of J.R.R. Tolkien

31st December 2014

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I found this link while re-reading the blog of Harry Connolly, one of my Recommended Writers, and it struck me as very interesting.

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Passenger Tossed After Flipping Out Over Staff’s ‘Merry Christmas’

27th December 2014

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Once on the plane, he was warmly greeted by a flight attendant who also wished him a “merry Christmas.” That was the last straw.

“Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!'” the man raged before lecturing the attendants and the pilot about their faux pas. He was eventually led of the plane to a round of applause from passengers.

Good to see bad manners get its true reward.

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‘ I didn’t say get the story. I said get the kid his peaches.’

25th December 2014

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But that was yesterday … and yesterday’s gone.

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The Heart of Dudeness

24th December 2014

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This is the map you’ve been looking for.

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The Most Expensive Home for Sale in Every State

23rd December 2014

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Hey, it’s Christmas. Dream a little.

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Rooms and Mazes: A Procedural Dungeon Generator

22nd December 2014

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Procedural generation—having the game build stuff randomly instead of using hand-authored content—is amazing when it works well. You get a ton of replayability because the game is different every time. As the person implementing the game, you also get the critical feature of not knowing what you’re going to get even though you wrote the code. The game can surprise you too.

People get into procedural generation because it seems easier. Hand-authoring content is obviously a lot of work. If you want your game to have a hundred levels, you have to make a hundred things. But make one little random level generator and you can have a hundred levels, a thousand, or a million, for free!

Back when I was playing RPGs, I would have killed for this tool.

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How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market

22nd December 2014

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SO A GUY FROM Boston walks into a bar and offers to sell the owner a chunk of ice. To modern ears, that sounds like the opening line of a joke. But 250 years ago, it would have sounded like science fiction—especially if it was summer, when no one in the bar had seen frozen water in months.

In fact, it’s history. The ice guy was sent by a 20-something by the name of Frederic Tudor, born in 1783 and known by the mid-19th century as the “Ice King of the World.” What he had done was figure out a way to harvest ice from local ponds, and keep it frozen long enough to ship halfway around the world.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

21st December 2014

Carol of the Bells

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All I Want for Christmas Is a Vitamix: The Kitchen Gift Guide

14th December 2014

Megan McArdle,  in addition to being a very sound writer, is also a foodie. Here’s her gift guide for the foodie(s) in your life.

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When You’re Really Serious about Channukah

13th December 2014

Menosaurus Rex? copy

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Your Smartphone Could Replace Your Driver’s License Someday Soon

10th December 2014

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According to the Des Moines Register, the state’s Department of Transportation is aiming to next year provide a free app that will store your license, for use in traffic stops and any place else you’re asked to provide your ID—even when boarding a plane at an Iowa airport. Such a venture would make Iowa the first state in the U.S. to provide digital identification documents. Iowa is one of several that states already allow for proof of insurance to be displayed on an electronic device.

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Watch the Navy Destroy a Drone With Lasers

10th December 2014

Read it. And by all means watch the video.

Speaking of drones — imagine that is Joe Biden’s head….

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High Speed Robot Hand Dexterity

10th December 2014

Watch it.

Robot hand dribbles, throws a ball accurately, knotting a rope, catching a thrown cellphone with its fingertips.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

7th December 2014

Put Me In, Coach

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Man Wins $14 Million on Slot Machine, Giving Money to Charity, Church

2nd December 2014

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According to the Las Vegas Sun, the man put $20 in the machine and “won $14,282,544.” He was at the casino with an out-of-town guest and had been playing the slot machine for about five minutes when he hit the jackpot.

The church he attends has been holding “services in a high school gymnasium,” and the gentleman is happy that he and his fellow congregants can now build their own building.

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Black Ferguson Residents Armed With AR-15s Save White Owner’s Business

29th November 2014

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A group of black Ferguson residents armed with AR-15s and other weapons stood guard around a Conoco station, owned by a white man, and saved it from being burned after looters began wreaking havoc on November 24.

Because of the armed citizens, the Conoco was not only spared, but the owner did not even have to board up the station’s windows.

Store owner Doug Merello said, “We would have been burned to the ground many times over if it weren’t for them.”

Things are not yet entirely hopeless.

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Navy Vet Spots Purse-Snatching Punk Knocking 76-Year-Old Woman to the Ground — and Issues the Punk a Painful Lesson

28th November 2014

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Yeah, Navy.

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Vandalized Ferguson Bakery Receives $230K in Donations to Fund Reopening

27th November 2014

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Natalie Dubose of Ferguson, Missouri, is a small business owner who was proud to have opened her local cake bakery just over a year ago, but rioters from her own neighborhood destroyed her hard-earned shop this week. Now, thousands of Americans across the country have generously donated over $200,000 to help her rebuild.

 

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Thanksgiving Notice

27th November 2014

The Bluebird of Bitterness sends us this friendly reminder:

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America’s Laser Gun Goes To War

25th November 2014

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Right now, the U.S. Navy has a warship with a laser gun patrolling the Persian Gulf. The USS Ponce is an old ship that first saw service as an amphibious transport in the 1970s, designed to carry troops, vehicles, and helicopters close to beaches. Saved from a scrapyard, the U.S. Navy strapped a laser to its back and sent it forward, turning it into a cold warrior testing the waters of the future.

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Scale a Glass Wall With Gecko-Inspired Adhesive on Your Hands

22nd November 2014

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

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Hot Cakes Are Actually Not Selling Well at All

19th November 2014

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Time to hit IHOP. It’s my patriotic duty.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

16th November 2014

Turn Up the Radio

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U.S. Navy Deploys First Laser Weapon in Persian Gulf

15th November 2014

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The amphibious transport ship USS Ponce has been patrolling with a prototype 30-kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System since late August, according to officials. The laser is mounted facing the bow, and can be fired in several modes — from a dazzling warning flash to a destructive beam — and can set a drone or small boat on fire.

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17-Year-Old Builds Algae Biofuel Lab in Her Bedroom to Win $100K Intel Science Talent Search Prize Read more: 17-Year-Old Builds Algae Biofuel Lab in Her Bedroom to Win $100K Intel Science Talent Search Prize

11th November 2014

Read it.

 

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Thought for the Day

10th November 2014

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In South Carolina, a Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

9th November 2014

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Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

9th November 2014

Takin’ Care of Business

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Ammo Grrrll on Flying

31st October 2014

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Even before Ebola, Ammo Grrrll only flew under extreme duress. Funerals. Emergencies with sick parents. For business, I have driven from Minnesota to West Virginia, Maryland, and Texas. I enjoy long road trips. There is nobody to complain when you play the same Toby Keith disc for 3 hours, followed by Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto and then The Best of Bread ($1.99 in a bin). Eat your heart out, Brahms. Here comes “Baby, I’m-A Want You”.

Flying itself is wretched enough, but nowadays the TSA Experience begins the fun. It apparently is my karma always to be singled out for the full wanding and gunpowder residue tests on my hands. Tests I am terrified I am going to flunk because of the frequency of my shooting, despite Lady Macbeth-level scrubbing.

A woman after my own heart.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

26th October 2014

Like Long Hair

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Carve Anything Out of Metal or Wood With Carvey

21st October 2014

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The home creating space is increasingly moving from the garage to the desktop, and the latest evidence is Carvey, a CNC machine the size of a microwave that can carve pretty much anything you want out of wood, metal and other materials.

It’s a bit like 3D printing, where you start out with a design file on your computer. But instead of building an object from the bottom up, Carvey carves it out of a solid block of material.

And you thought computerized sewing machines were bad.

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Philly Cream Cheese Releases Bacon Flavor

21st October 2014

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And about time, too.

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How Reintroducing Wolves Into Yosemite Park Changed the Course of Rivers.

21st October 2014

Watch it.

I’ll bet you didn’t know what ‘trophic cascade’ meant.

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College Ready by Age 12

19th October 2014

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FBN’s Charles Payne on Kip and Mona Lisa Harding and their 10 children, 7 of whom went to college by age 12.

Homeschooling works.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

19th October 2014

Queen of Hearts

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Amazon Prime Pantry

17th October 2014

Check it out.

 

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

12th October 2014

Knock on Wood

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Hawk Takes Out Quadcopter Drone, Reclaims the Sky

11th October 2014

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Sometimes the old ways are best.

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Why Apple Pay Could Be the Mobile-Payment System You’ll Actually Use

9th October 2014

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Phone in hand, you next need to load it with a credit card, either by taking a picture of your credit card or by approving an existing card that’s already tied to your Apple Store account. Apple is the first vendor to support this loading system—possibly because it may be the first to get permission from the credit card brands to do so.

But this is where things get interesting. When the iPhone scans the number off your card, it doesn’t store it locally, or even on Apple servers. According to Apple sources, Apple mediates a connection to the payment network or issuing bank associated with your card, which then provides a Device Account Number.

If I understand it correctly, and I may not, this is similar to the Kerberos computer network security protocol. In operation, it is much like the way personal information, like passwords and social security numbers, are handled in secure computer systems: what is stored is not the actual information, but a hash of that information; for authentication, a hash of the submitted information is compared to the hash of the stored information — no actual information is either stored or transmitted.

Using per-device tokens means that only the bank that issued the card (or its payment network) ever has your card: You don’t have to trust Apple with it.

I would not hesitate to use such a system.

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HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

5th October 2014

Everyday Is a Winding Road

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