DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for April, 2010

A new tool makes etching extremely small features relatively easy and cheap.

30th April 2010

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on A new tool makes etching extremely small features relatively easy and cheap.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn demands refund of campaign cash as Crist dumps GOP in Florida Senate race

30th April 2010

Read it.

Wonder whether he ever got any back from Arlen Specter. Don’t recall him asking.

Cornyn needs to review his own proclivity to give cash to RINOs in primary contests. That’s the major malfunction here. Mote, meet beam — take whatever action you deem appropriate.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Texas Sen. John Cornyn demands refund of campaign cash as Crist dumps GOP in Florida Senate race

U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women’s Rights

30th April 2010

Read it.

If that doesn’t demonstrate for all time the total worthlessness of the U.N., I don’t know what would.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women’s Rights

Man Who Found Next-Generation iPhone in Bar ‘Regrets His Mistake’

30th April 2010

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Yeah, now that he might go to jail. I don’t imagine that he plans to give the $5,000 back, or turn it over to Apple.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

No Parking Zona

29th April 2010

Now that’s comedy.

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The Dilbert Cookbook

29th April 2010

Scott Adams needs to get with Michael Ruhlman.

Don’t get me started on the gadgetry of cooking. I could spend hours learning about the best types of bottle openers, the best sauté pans, and the difference between convection and regular microwaving. When we were shopping for a refrigerator for our new home, I totally geeked out learning about how some fridges circulate air between the freezer and the regular fridge, which is apparently suboptimal for freshness. If you’ve read this far, you know what I’m talking about. Cooking tools are way cooler than the food itself.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on The Dilbert Cookbook

Algorithm Reveals Secrets of Leaf Shape

29th April 2010

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Algorithm Reveals Secrets of Leaf Shape

A woman who took up beekeeping as a hobby because she was worried about the decline in their numbers has died after being stung.

29th April 2010

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on A woman who took up beekeeping as a hobby because she was worried about the decline in their numbers has died after being stung.

The Trouble with “Merit”

29th April 2010

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First, the meritocracy is based on an overly narrow definition of talent. Our system rewards those who can amass technical knowledge. But this skill is only marginally related to the skill of being sensitive to context. It is not related at all to skills like empathy. Over the past years, we’ve seen very smart people make mistakes because they didn’t understand the context in which they were operating.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

What Are Your Food Rules?

29th April 2010

Michael Pollan, like most members of the Crust, can’t wait to tell you how you ought to live.

My food rules are:

  1. Food is something that once had a face.
  2. I refuse to eat ‘food’ that originated in a country whose per capita GDP is less than one of my paychecks.
  3. I refuse to eat ‘food’ that originated in a country where the people are trying to move here. (They know something that you don’t, and it probably involves the ‘food’.)

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on What Are Your Food Rules?

10 Ways To Make Yourself (And Everyone Around You) Miserable

29th April 2010

Read it.

Be the first on your block to complete all ten. I’ll race you.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | 1 Comment »

Sheep from Goats: the rise in long-term unemployment

29th April 2010

Eric Raymond is always worth reading.

I said “Increasingly it’s not just the classic hard-core unemployables (alcoholics, criminal deviants, crazies) that can’t pull enough weight to justify a paycheck; it’s the marginal ones, the mediocre, and the mildly dysfunctional.” And I pointed at a cause: “We’ve spent the last seventy years increasing the hidden overhead and downside risks associated with hiring a worker — which meant the minimum revenue-per-employee threshold below which hiring doesn’t make sense has crept up and up and up, gradually. This effect was partly masked by credit and asset bubbles, but those have now popped.”

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Sheep from Goats: the rise in long-term unemployment

Common flower could revolutionise treatment of leukemia

29th April 2010

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An extract from the white flower commonly known as Baby’s Breath can boost the efficiency of anti-cancer drugs by a million times, according to experts.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Common flower could revolutionise treatment of leukemia

US military ‘to seek death penalty over Fort Hood massacre’

29th April 2010

Read it.

It is a measure of how much the world has changed that something like this is considered news.

When I was in the Navy, he would have been tried and hanged by now.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on US military ‘to seek death penalty over Fort Hood massacre’

Putting to bed that whole racial profiling deal

29th April 2010

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Shining a little reality on the make-believe world of the lily-white Crusitian Narrative.

To the people out there, apparently they see these tiny minorities and think of police singling them out as illegal aliens, because in the greater beltway area that group stands out as a foreign element. Not so here in California and Arizona.

You really think that police would or could see a full quarter-to-third of the population and honestly think that just looking like them would cause a reasonable suspicion of illegal immigration status? Do you east coasters think that we, living in states where government-defined “minorities” are the majority (or quickly becoming so) of the population, stare at everyone who looks “hispanic” and suspect something?

Seriously. If the Arizona cops thought they had to stop one out of four people, the law would stop being enforced in a week. Just think, people, before you accuse.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Putting to bed that whole racial profiling deal

OAS Criticizes Arizona Immigration Enforcement Measure; Press Has Ignored Mexico’s Harsher Laws for Years

29th April 2010

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Not really news, but a useful reminder.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on OAS Criticizes Arizona Immigration Enforcement Measure; Press Has Ignored Mexico’s Harsher Laws for Years

First Principles

29th April 2010

Read it.

A society is formed by the voluntary bonding of individuals into overlapping, ever-changing groups whose members strive to serve each others’ emotional and material needs. Government — regardless of its rhetoric — is an outside force that cannot possibly replicate societal bonding, or even foster it. At best, government can help preserve society — as it does when it deters aggression from abroad or administers justice. But in the main, government corrodes society by destroying bonds between individuals and dictating the terms of social and economic intercourse — as it does through countless laws, regulations, and programs, from Social Security to farm subsidies, from corporate welfare to the hapless “war” on drugs, from the minimum wage to affirmative action. On balance, the greatest threat to society is government itself.

And that is libertarianism in a nutshell.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on First Principles

US approves its first offshore wind farm at Cape Cod

29th April 2010

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Most of the power, of course, will be obtained from the rapidly rotating corpse of the late Liberal Lion, Senator Ted Kennedy. The wind farm is just there for cover, as in money laundering.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 1 Comment »

California’s ‘Zero Energy House’ is actually massive fossil hog

29th April 2010

Read it.

‘Zenergy’ eco-home gets award from local senator anyway.

Of course. Facts can’t be allowed to stand in the way of The Narrative.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on California’s ‘Zero Energy House’ is actually massive fossil hog

Some ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Fight Arizona’s New Immigration Law Without Offering Sanctuary

29th April 2010

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As San Francisco and other “sanctuary cities” declare war on Arizona over its new law  cracking down on illegal immigrants, most state and local governments that provide a safe haven to undocumented workers refused to publicly roll out a welcome mat for the estimated 440,000 illegals in the Grand Canyon state.

‘Progressives’ always talk a good fight, but it’s always just talk. They never put their money where their mouth is, because, well, it’s money. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Some ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Fight Arizona’s New Immigration Law Without Offering Sanctuary

San Francisco Leads Charge to Boycott Arizona, But Calls Could Spark Backlash

29th April 2010

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Mayor Gavin Newsom this week suspended all non-essential travel for city employees going to Arizona, meaning no conference in Scottsdale next weekend for members of the city’s housing authorities. The city’s Board of Supervisors also has taken the first step toward an economic boycott, a move that could result in the suspension of existing contracts with Arizona-based companies and a ban on new ones.

San Fransisco won’t do business with us. Oh, don’t throw us in that briar patch.

The problem with boycotts is that they never succeed unless enforced by law, and often not even then. Markets work, even when you don’t want them to.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Pirates rewrite script for Apple’s China iPad launch

29th April 2010

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Apple recently delayed the iPad’s international launch after huge demand in the United States caught the maker of trendy iPhones and MacBooks off guard. But Chinese consumers looking for knock-offs of the company’s latest must-have product need look no further than this teeming electronics mall in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese boomtown near the border with Hong Kong.

Hefty and thickset with three USB ports and a more rectangular shape than the original, this knock-off with iPad aspirations, which runs a Windows operating system, looks more like a giant iPhone. It costs 2,800 yuan ($410), making it slightly cheaper than the iPad’s $499-$699 price tag.

In theory, the whole point of ‘intellectual property’ laws was to foster innovation, the underlying premise being that people wouldn’t innovate without a law-guaranteed return on their investment. As with many fine-sounding theories, that would appear not to reflect what happens in the real world. It would seem time to rethink the whole issue … but, of course, that’s not going to happen.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Pirates rewrite script for Apple’s China iPad launch

Documents show Stalin signed Katyn death warrants

28th April 2010

Read it.

Not really news, but a useful reminder.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Documents show Stalin signed Katyn death warrants

Dating by blood type in Japan

28th April 2010

Read it.

When reading science fiction, I refuse to accept as credible any alien species that isn’t at least as strange as the Japanese.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Dating by blood type in Japan

Author of British Government Memo Insulting Pope Not Afraid for His Life

28th April 2010

Read it.

In response, British officials quickly apologized, and announced that the responsible party had been verbally reprimanded, and shifted to other duties. Note that he wasn’t fired, he isn’t living in hiding under 24-hour guard, and that the streets did not fill with crowds of ranting Irish and Polish youths demanding his death. There hasn’t been an international campaign of violence and intimidation aimed at Englishmen. The bigoted bureaucrat was simply shifted to another job. Hmm…. It almost makes you think that some religions operate differently than others.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Author of British Government Memo Insulting Pope Not Afraid for His Life

New RNC Site: Obama v. Constitution

28th April 2010

Read it.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on New RNC Site: Obama v. Constitution

Indonesia: Thousands of enraged Muslims attack Christian center, destroy cars, burn buildings

28th April 2010

Read it.

Why? There were rumors that the Christians were going to build a church. Sharia forbids Christians to build new churches or repair old ones.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off on Indonesia: Thousands of enraged Muslims attack Christian center, destroy cars, burn buildings

FDA hassling Amish over raw milk.

28th April 2010

Read it.

You can have libertarian Republicans – and, as libertarians are no doubt eager to point out, you can certainly have hypocritical ‘libertarian’ Republicans – but the Democrats are a liberal-run political party these days, and liberals like to expand the state. That’s what liberals do. This can be disconcerting to counter-culture types that are not on the Left’s list of protected lifestyle choices.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on FDA hassling Amish over raw milk.

A Few Extra Pounds Might Not Hurt

28th April 2010

Hah!

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on A Few Extra Pounds Might Not Hurt

Disassembled household appliances

28th April 2010

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Don’t ever say we don’t have useful stuff here.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Disassembled household appliances

Filmmaker Peter Jackson made knight in New Zealand

28th April 2010

Read it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off on Filmmaker Peter Jackson made knight in New Zealand

Demonizing Goldman Sachs

28th April 2010

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Here is what really happened: there was a bubble in housing prices. The bubble was mostly the result of government policy–loose money, combined with pressure on banks to make bad loans to unqualified home buyers. It all worked for a while because Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, under the leadership of Congressman Barney Frank and others, created a secondary market for shaky mortgages. Goldman Sachs participated in this market, downstream, along with many other players. But the whole thing wasn’t an accident or a conspiracy, it was government policy. The home price bubble could have only one possible result. All bubbles burst–there is nothing else they can do–and the bursting of a bubble is always painful. The whole disaster that began in 2008 was the inevitable result of government policy, which is why Senators are so anxious to pass the buck to Goldman Sachs.

I’m not a particular fan of either Goldman Sachs or Congress, but today’s hearing confirms that, given a choice, I’d rather have Goldman Sachs regulating Congress than Congress regulating Goldman Sachs. Goldman’s employees are much smarter, considerably more honest, and far more likely to have my interests at heart.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Idaho Scientists Find 3-Foot-Long Spitting Earthworm

28th April 2010

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Tells you more than you really want to know about Idaho.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on Idaho Scientists Find 3-Foot-Long Spitting Earthworm

U.N.’s Environmental Housekeeping in Chaos, Internal Report Shows

28th April 2010

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My, what a surprise. Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on U.N.’s Environmental Housekeeping in Chaos, Internal Report Shows

Texas governor shoots dead ‘wily’ coyote while jogging

27th April 2010

Read it.

No indication of whether Perry let the coyote draw first.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | Comments Off on Texas governor shoots dead ‘wily’ coyote while jogging

Noah’s Ark remains ‘discovered’

27th April 2010

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A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical Christians said they had uncovered remnants of Noah’s Ark on its legendary mountain resting place in Turkey.

‘Right. What’s a cubit?’

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Underwater ‘safe’ protects £5m shipwreck treasures

27th April 2010

Read it.

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Ancient Building Came With DIY Instructions

27th April 2010

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Sometimes the old ways are best.

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The History of Libraries Through the Ages

27th April 2010

Read it.

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Club-K Container Missile System

27th April 2010

Watch it.

Imagine Hamas or Fatah or Hezbollah buying a few of these.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Club-K Container Missile System

Computer tycoon Sir Clive Sinclair, 69, weds 33-year-old former lapdancer fiancée

27th April 2010

Read it.

That’s what you can do when you’re old and rich.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | 1 Comment »

Declining newspaper sales threaten toilet roll

27th April 2010

Oh, no!

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on Declining newspaper sales threaten toilet roll

Australian girl’s jellyfish sting survival ‘rewrites medical history’

27th April 2010

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A 10-year-old girl has stunned doctors in Australia after she survived being stung by the world’s most venomous creature.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 2 Comments »

Palin Inc.

27th April 2010

Read it.

New York Magazine has a long profile of Sarah Palin up right now. Its focus is more publicity, personality and celebrity, than politics. The profile reduces my probability that Palin will make a serious run (as opposed to a pro forma one) for the highest office in 2012. It also leaves me impressed by how quickly and efficiently she’s leveraged her celebrity and gone from moderately upper middle class** in income (and in serious debt due to legal bills after the 2008 campaign) to wealthy. Some Republicans are apparently worried about her becoming the “face of the party,” something that crops up now and then in the media, but it doesn’t seem like they really have to worry that much unless the party has no real substance and is rooted only in style and the need to get elected. As for Sarah Palin, whatever you think of her politics or personality, she’s offering a concrete product distributed through the private sector. The article mentions that her book was a major reason that Random House generated a profit last year! Whatever criticisms one might lodge, she’s not getting rich by being a rent-seeker, as so many of our public and private sector elites have become. In fact the article points to a whole industry of liberal critique which has emerged around her, so she’s not even capturing all the wealth that she’s responsible for (spillover effects).

Doing well by doing good.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on Palin Inc.

From “Porous” to “Ruthless” Conscription, 1776–1917

27th April 2010

Read it.

Yes, you have to download a PDF, but it’s still worth reading. Conscription would appear to be on its face contrary to the 13th Amendment, and yet the half-dozen times it’s been challenged in the courts such challenges have been dismissed with judicial handwaving that involved no serious consideration of the issues. You can have all the laws in place that you want, but if those who are charged with enforcing the law don’t feel like it, you’re screwed.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off on From “Porous” to “Ruthless” Conscription, 1776–1917

Swastikas Against Racism

27th April 2010

Read it.

Reflect on the fact that there has been more documented violence by opponents of Arizona’s new law than in all the ‘tea party’ gatherings held to day. Compare the amount of handwringing about the latter in contrast to the crickets chirping in the Lame Stream Media about the former.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off on Swastikas Against Racism

Prosecution of Navy SEALs Unraveling

26th April 2010

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Sometimes justice wins one.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off on Prosecution of Navy SEALs Unraveling

A Plague of ‘A’ Students

26th April 2010

P. J. O’Rourke has the key.

Barack Obama is more irritating than the other nuisances on the left. Nancy Pelosi needs a session on the ducking stool, of course. But everyone with an ugly divorce has had a Nancy. She’s vexatious and expensive to get rid of, but it’s not like we give a damn about her. Harry Reid is going house-to-house selling nothing anybody wants. Slam the door on him and the neighbor’s Rottweiler will do the rest. And Barney Frank is self-punishing. Imagine being trapped inside Barney Frank.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off on A Plague of ‘A’ Students

Earth Day predictions of 1970

26th April 2010

Read it.

Now that’s comedy.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

That Old College Lie

26th April 2010

Read it.

The numbers are stark: When Pell grants were named for the senator in 1980, a typical public four-year university cost $2,551 annually. Pell Grants provided $1,750, almost 70 percent of the total. Even private colleges cost only about $5,600 back then. Low-income students could matriculate with little fear of financial hardship, as Pell intended. Over the next three decades, Congress poured vast sums into the program, increasing annual funding from $2 billion to nearly $20 billion. Yet today, Pell Grants cover only 33 percent of the cost of attending a public university. Why? Because prices have increased nearly 500 percent since 1980. Average private college costs, meanwhile, rose to over $34,000 per year.

And why is that? Because a third party – the taxpayer – is paying for it. So demand goes up. What happens when demand goes up faster than supply? Prices go up. This is something that anyone with an elementary grasp of economics can tell you. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t include anybody who has any authority over these stupid practices.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off on That Old College Lie