DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for May, 2010

Life in the Third Realm

31st May 2010

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It’s that time of the month again. Yes: it’s time for Life-form of the Month.

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Software that Learns by Watching

31st May 2010

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The new software system, called KarDo, was developed by researchers at MIT. It can automatically configure an e-mail account, install a virus scanner, or set up access to a virtual private network, says MIT’s Dina Katabi, an associate professor at MIT.

Crucially, the software just needs to watch an administrator perform this task once before being able to carry out the same job on computers running different software. Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on simple and repetitive IT tasks, according to reports from the analyst groups Forrester and Gartner. KarDo could reduce these costs by as much as 20 percent, Katabi says.

Considering my experiences in dealing with tech support, I would welcome the opportunity to have an expert system give it a shot.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Helping the Brain to Help Itself

31st May 2010

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Support cells in the brain called astroglia can be turned into functioning neurons, according to a study in this week’s Public Library of Science Biology. Researchers found that they could transform the cells into two different classes of neurons, and that the neurons could form connections with one another in a dish. Although the research is at an early stage, the finding suggests that scientists could someday recruit existing cells in the brain to repair the brain and spinal cord after a stroke, injury, or neurodegenerative disease.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Lotto lout Michael Carroll going back to being a binman after blowing £9.7m win

31st May 2010

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Yet Another Example of the eternal truth that most poor people are going to wind up poor no matter how much money you give them. They’re poor because of defects in character, not because of some sort of bad luck.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

I have a question….

31st May 2010

Why do people use ‘emeritus’ when they mean ‘retired’ or ‘former’? ‘Emeritus’ means ‘for merit’ — you can look it up — and certainly retired people can be given ‘emeritus’ positions, but there is a distinction there that seems to be rapidly becoming lost.

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Using a cellphone seems to protect against two types of brain tumors.

31st May 2010

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Everything bad is good for you, it seems.

This is why I don’t put any faith in the ephemeral pronouncements of ‘scientists’, because I’ve seen too many times when they’ve completely reversed themselves farther on down the road.

And this is why giving power to government bureaucrats is always a bad idea, because they take the latest trend in ‘scientific research’ and go rushing off to ‘do something about it’, typically making what might be a bad situation into one that is almost certainly worse.

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Snapfinger lets you order food using your iPhone, may spell the end of waiters

31st May 2010

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Which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your viewpoint.

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Convertible Coffee Table turns into desk

31st May 2010

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Wouldn’t mind having one of these. I’d be curious as to how stable it is with a respectable amount of weight on the surface when extended; you might need to put some extra weight in the base to steady it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 2 Comments »

Not Dead Yet

31st May 2010

P. J. O’Rourke is always worth reading.

One bright idea isn’t going to solve the problems of the American newspaper industry, but it’s one bright idea more than the American newspaper industry has had in 40 years. What I propose is “Pre-Obituaries”—official notices that certain people aren’t dead yet accompanied by brief summaries of their lives indicating why we wish they were.

With the Pre-Obituary we can abandon pusillanimous constraint and false hope and say what we think about the lives of public nuisances when their lives are not yet a dead letter. And we won’t be stuck in the treacle of nostalgia and sentiment. We won’t find ourselves saying of some oaf, “His like will not pass this way again.” Or, if we do say it, we can comfortably add, “Thank God!”

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IDF officer on Gaza flotilla: “It was like a well-planned lynch. These people were anything but peace activists.”

31st May 2010

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Upon boarding the ships, the soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes. The soldiers used non-lethal measures to disperse the crowd. The activists, according to an IDF report, succeeded in stealing two handguns from soldiers and opened fire, leading to an escalation in violence.

Not really news, but a useful reminder.

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Gaza Human Shields and The Turkey Problem

31st May 2010

Read it. And watch the video of the ‘peace activist’ stabbing an Israeli soldier.

Let’s be clear, this flotilla had nothing to do with humanitarian supplies, which could have been shipped by land. The flotilla, if successful, would have opened the door to military supplies to Hamas concealed in later shipments.

The flotilla was a collective human shield operation in which civilians, including reportedly including an 18 month old child, were put on the ships either to dissuade the Israelis from stopping the ships, or alternatively, to create an international incident. Prior to the flotilla launching, the leader of Hamas announced that it would be a triumph  regardless of whether the flotilla landed or was stopped by Israel.

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I have a question….

31st May 2010

When did ‘out of pocket’ come to mean ‘out of touch’ or incommunicado?

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

A Tenancy of Will

31st May 2010

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This Memorial Day, we might ask whether the language of property rights is really condign to explain the sacrifice of one’s life for one’s country, whether such language does not, in fact, diminish the sociality of our everyday lives and the constitution of each of our lives as a gift from our parents, our ancestors, our communities and governments, and ultimately and most efficiently from God.  We can scarcely breathe without realizing how little of ourselves belongs to ourselves, how there is nothing that is simply “me,” because there is nothing that is me that I have not received from another.

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And So It Begins: Michigan Considering Law To License Journalists

31st May 2010

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A Michigan lawmaker wants journalists to be licensed.

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The Kilogram and the Kitchen Sink

31st May 2010

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It’s all about priorities.

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La Raza and the Reconquista Myth

31st May 2010

The Other McCain turns over a rock.

What you are seeing here is an attempt to delegitimize the United States in the same way Palestinian nationalists have attempted to delegitimize Israel. Like the “Zionism is racism” argument that Palestinians use to justify their terrorism against Jews in israel, the advocates of a Mexican reconsquista proclaim that the mere desire of Americans to control their borders — to have an orderly system of immigration — is “racist.”

What these activists are attempting to do is to propogate a racist/nationalist myth — a sort of fascism. What else to say about their claim that, because most Mexicans have some native ancestry, that this gives them to a right to reside hundreds of miles north of the homelands of their own peoples? It’s as if the Mayan Empire had belatedly laid claim to Arizona.

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A Tired Propaganda Battle At Sea

30th May 2010

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The voyage is symbolic because Israel routinely allows food, medical supplies, etc., into Gaza. Israel has invited the activists to dock at an Israeli port, where the cargo will be unloaded, searched, and then shipped into Gaza. But that, the flotilla’s organizers say,  is a “ridiculous and offensive” suggestion. This is what passes for argument in the world of the Palestinians.

Now, Israeli naval vessels are moving to intercept the flotilla. They will tell the ships that they must proceed to Ashdod harbor or else be boarded. Israel’s Government Press Office also responded to the activists’ claim of hardship in Gaza by recommending the Roots Club in Gaza City. “We have been told the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended,” the Press Office said in an email to reporters.

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Cage fighter ‘ripped out heart of training partner’

30th May 2010

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A US cage fighter ripped out the heart of his training partner while he was still alive after becoming convinced he was possessed by the devil.

Jarrod Wyatt also cut out his friend’s tongue and ripped off most of his face in a brutal assault that police said looked like a scene from a horror film.

They found the 26 year old standing naked over his friend’s body with body parts, including an eyeball, strewn around the blood splattered room.

I wonder whether this guy does requests….

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Climate Change Myth Threatens Noble Savage Myth

30th May 2010

The Other McCain points out a little-appreciated problem.

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Ever Hear of the Civil Rights Act of 1875?

30th May 2010

Read it.

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Regulating

30th May 2010

Freeberg is not afraid to ask the hard questions.

I’d sure like to know what magical power, what birth star, blood line, what is it exactly? — What’s supposed to make these government regulators so much wiser than the people they’re regulating. I’ve talked and talked and talked to these “we need more regulation” people and none of them have ever been able to tell me.

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Feedbooks: A Primer

30th May 2010

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If you use an e-book reader, you need to know about Feedbooks.

If you’ve been hesitating to buy an e-book reader, you REALLY need to know about Feedbooks.

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How to Spot Counterfeit Money

30th May 2010

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And,  no, ‘can’t be converted into silver or gold’ doesn’t count.

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Had Enough Government Yet?

30th May 2010

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New armoured dinosaur with four foot horns on its head found by scientists

30th May 2010

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Although I rather doubt that the eye was located at the base of the horn, as in this illustration.

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Discriminating Between Discriminations

30th May 2010

Jacob Sullum has an excellent piece on maintaining legitimate distinctions.

Libertarians such as Epstein, Bernstein, and Sanchez would like to have prevented this one exception from multiplying. “When you say, this is such a wonderful idea, let’s carry it over to disability,” Epstein says, “you create nightmares of the first order.” But if one thing can be confidently predicted based on the history of U.S. government, it is that exceptions made for one particular purpose will be extended to others, to the point where they become the rule rather than the exception.

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Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries

30th May 2010

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For best results, substitute tallow for the peanut oil. Trust me on this.

UPDATE: Some people are more serious about this stuff than others.

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‘DIY U’ and the future of public education

30th May 2010

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Listen to the Crust talk to itself.

Follow the chain of logic here: State governments committed themselves to paying for everybody to go to college because of some vague feeling that it would be an ‘investment’. (Considering how much the degeneration of modern culture is caused by these college-educated people, I find this assumption ludicrous on its face, but let’s accept it for the sake of argument.)

As the population grew and more and more people took advantage of this freebie (Extend your adolescence for 4/6/8 years at taxpayer expense! Make more money when you get out than your parents ever dreamed of!), they discovered that, no, they couldn’t afford such an open-ended project.

When you can’t afford something, you either have to find more money or cut back spending. You can’t just wish yourself more money (unlike the Federal government).

The people riding the gravy train, of course, object to being expected to pay for their own improvement. (Mom! Dad! I need more money!) So this is all a plot by some unnamed set of villains to screw the poor. Women and minorities hardest hit, etc., etc.

I’m working on a concept here: How about the people who benefit from something are obliged to pay for it? And if they can’t pay for it, they don’t get it?

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Hollow Phobos

30th May 2010

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In other words — the MARSIS radar reflections officially published on the official ESA Phobos website… contained explicit scientific data, from multiple perspectives, which strongly “supported the idea that this is what radar echoes would look like, coming back from inside ‘a huge … geometric … hollow spaceship’

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

25 Best Cities for College Grads

30th May 2010

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Wherever you are is wrong. Move.

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15 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers

30th May 2010

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Don’t say we never have useful stuff here.

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Acupuncture does work as it stimulates a natural pain killer, scientists find

30th May 2010

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Obviously not the same scientists that have been consistently claiming up till now that acupuncture does not work and cannot work.

What would we do without scientists?

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Theo Jansen – Animaris Rhinoceros

30th May 2010

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Wind-powered sculpture. I have to confess that this creeps me out.

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Great Wall of China’s strength ‘comes from sticky rice’

30th May 2010

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The secret of the strength and longevity of the Great Wall of China lies in the sticky rice that was used as its mortar, Chinese scientists have found.

Sort of changes your view of Chinese food, doesn’t it?

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SMOKE ’EM IF YOU GOT ’EM: CIGARETTE BLACK MARKETS IN U.S. PRISONS AND JAILS

30th May 2010

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

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Mexican prison warden abducted, dismembered

30th May 2010

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The first job of a government is to protect its citizens. Looks like Mexico is falling down on the job.

No wonder we’re getting so many illegal immigrants. I wouldn’t want to stay in Mexico, either.

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Ice Jacket ensures extremely cold drinks all the time

30th May 2010

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I won’t say that this is a cool product, but….

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Samsung develops USB-powered desktop PC monitor, plans 2011 street date

30th May 2010

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This strikes me as an important development.

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The Hard Sell on Salt

30th May 2010

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By all appearances, this is a moment of reckoning for salt. High blood pressure is rising among adults and children. Government health experts estimate that deep cuts in salt consumption could save 150,000 lives a year.

And that’s exactly all that the New York Times spends on what we Real People would consider the fundamental question: Is the purported link between salt and high blood pressure actually a fact? Or merely a suspicion? For the Times, saying “government health experts” apparently settles the question — a remarkable bit of handwaving from a publication that is disinclined to accept the word of “government experts” in any field where said experts disagree with the preconceptions of the Times.

I wish I had a nickel for every time that “government experts” were damned sure of X, only to be equally damned sure of -X five years later. And of course I an congenitally disposed to think that, if “government experts” say X, the truth is more likely than not to be -X.

But that aside, one would think that an article discussing the Crust’s attempts to strong-arm the public into using less salt would delve a little deeper into whether such fascist thuggery is actually in truth justified.

Since processed foods account for most of the salt in the American diet, national health officials, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Michelle Obama are urging food companies to greatly reduce their use of salt. Last month, the Institute of Medicine went further, urging the government to force companies to do so.

But no.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

A Breakthrough Cure for Ebola

30th May 2010

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Last week, in what may be the biggest medical breakthrough of its kind in years, a group of scientists published results in The Lancet describing a completely new type of anti-viral treatment that appears to cure Ebola. They report a 100% success rate, although admittedly the test group was very small, just 4 rhesus monkeys.

So it’s not really a cure yet, but a major milestone suggesting that a cure is possible. Still, an amazing achievement.

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Carbon Tablet

30th May 2010

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You can make a mainframe from the things you have at home.

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In Czar Peter’s Footstep

30th May 2010

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The interesting part is that the New York Times suffers from the same blindness that Peter the Great did: The conviction that change proceeds from the top, and the only question left to answer is what particular technique will produce the best results.

But other people don’t wear those blinkers:

“Competition produces innovation,” said Cliff Kupchan, a director at the Eurasia Group, a global risk-consulting firm based in New York. “I still don’t see a working appreciation of that.”

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Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it.

30th May 2010

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In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP‘s Deepwater Horizon rig last month.

But of course. Who cares what happens on the fringe of the SWPL world?

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Pirates Threaten Boats on U.S.-Mexico Border Lake

30th May 2010

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Twice in recent weeks, fishermen have been robbed at gunpoint by marauders that the local sheriff says are “spillover” from fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.

At the fishing camp his family has owned for 50 years, Jack Cox now sleeps with a loaded shotgun at his feet and a handgun within reach.

In the American waters, Cox said, “you’re safer, but you’re not safe.” Mexican commercial fishermen regularly cross to set their nets illegally, why wouldn’t gunmen do the same? he asked.

The first duty of a government is to protect its citizens. This administration can no longer be trusted to do that.

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LEGO Star Wars

29th May 2010

Watch it.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | Comments Off

Royal Navy launches anti-sub war against drug cartels

29th May 2010

Read it.

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Frenchman Builds a Dream Château on a Grand Estate in the Ozarks

29th May 2010

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The real thing hasn’t been dug yet. But construction of the castle itself is under way. The first layers of hand-hewn rock are rising from a hillside clearing. The turrets are taking shape, and the arched entry that will one day support the drawbridge. You can hear the plink of chisels, the creak of wooden carts, and the grunts of local laborers who are building the massive fortress by hand, using only tools available in the 13th century.

This castle’s web site is here. The French castle’s web site is here.

“Most jobs in masonry last three or four months. Out here, we got 20 years,” says Mr. Fire Cloud, who hides his Dr Pepper in a burlap bag to keep the ambience authentic. “That’s job security.”

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Celebrities Who Served Their Country

29th May 2010

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Just a reminder that they aren’t all shits.

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

Wisconsin Army Veteran Allowed to Keep Flag on Display

29th May 2010

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Under mounting nationwide protest, Charlie Price, 28, of Oshkosh, Wis., and officials at Midwest Realty Management struck a “mutual agreement” that allows the veteran to continue displaying the patriotic symbol, according to a statement posted on the company’s website on Thursday.

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Calif. College Offers Scholarship to Illegal Immigrants

29th May 2010

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