DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for January, 2013

Chicago Suburb Arrests Mothers for Refusing Energy Meters

31st January 2013

Chicago style persists even when the Obamassiah has moved to Trantor.

Many opponents to the meters worry about the type of data the smart grid will collect, opening up a potential for hackers and criminals to know when residents are home or not. Also, because the meters work on a wireless RF system, some are concerned about health safety in their home. Reports of health risks due to the meter’s wireless transmitter’s emission of electromagnetic frequencies surfaced in 2011. People with the meters installed on their homes reported symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, tinnitus, and DNA breakdown.

C’mon, Big Brother knows best! Give up on this individual liberty thing and get with the program!

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Women in Combat: Let’s Get Real

31st January 2013

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It takes a Canadian to turn over the rock and reveal the Hidden Agenda.

Let’s get real. Women cannot equal men in ground combat, the kind of dirty, brutal stuff that (fortunately) makes up a very minor part of modern military life, especially post-Afghanistan. It’s not that they can’t be trained to kill – they can. The issue is that the physical differences between men and women are very large, and on the battlefield, they really matter, and can’t be wished away. Men are better fighters because they are bigger and stronger and can endure far more physical punishment before they break down.

Although nobody elected to political office can afford to admit that.

What happens when women are fully integrated into combat? Fortunately, we have a great example: Canada. Overall, women account for 14 per cent of all jobs in the Canadian Forces, a slightly lower percentage than in the U.S. As a result of a human-rights decision, front-line combat jobs were opened to women in 1989. Yet today, despite strenuous recruiting efforts, women hold just 2.4 per cent of these jobs. Their commanding officers praise their competence but treat them differently, by shielding them from combat. According to a Wall Street Journal report this week, the widespread impression among Canadian female soldiers – much to their frustration – is they are used “only sparingly.” Men serving next to women also exhibit a counterproductive battlefield trait: protectiveness. They want to carry women’s gear and keep them out of harm’s way. As one male soldier told the Journal, “That brother-sister protective thought was always in the back of your mind.”

Political correctness only works as advertised in the academic and journalistic world of the beta male.

In the real world, few enlisted women want to be on the front lines. Like a lot of men (but more so), they join up for the free education and career training, and would really rather not get anywhere near combat. The drive for full combat integration comes from female officers who need front-line experience to build their careers, as well as from a persistent band of activists who have succeeded in making the U.S. military hypersensitive to charges of discrimination.

It’s all about feminist ticket-punching, and Crustian (and would-be Crustian) women do not hesitate to sell their co-genderist Underclass sistern down the river to achieve it.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Be on the Lookout for Credit Card Fees

31st January 2013

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Starting tomorrow (Sunday, January 27th) merchants are free to start applying a surcharge for credit card purchases.

Merchants used to get around this by offering a ‘discount for cash’, but now they no longer need to jump through that particular hoop.

While many merchants will hold off on applying these fees, those who choose to do so are required by law to post a notice at checkout (and/or on their website) so you’ll know before you reach for your credit card.

Debit cards are explicitly excluded, and ten states (of which Texas is one) don’t allow it under state law.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

David Mamet: Assault Weapons Ban an Appeal to the Ignorant

31st January 2013

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Mamet points out that this is just more ‘progressive’ feel-good Security Theater.

Mamet describes it as a “hoax”– a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, because “assault weapons” are used in few crimes, and the very designation “assault weapon” is based on a gun’s cosmetics–i.e., does it look menacing?

Going after such guns makes some people feel safer because they have slowly, and perhaps unknowingly, traded their independence for a “government knows best” mentality.

Think about Ronald Reagan’s 10 most dangerous words in the English language–”Hi, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Reagan saw these words as dangerous because they were indicative of an encroaching government that had taken unto itself the role of determining what was best for you and for me: a role for which our government simply was not designed.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Why We Should Memorize

31st January 2013

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It’s tempting to sentimentalize an era in which poetry—memorized, recited poetry—held so prominent a place in the culture. But its once-substantial role turns out to be a mixed and complicated tale, as thoroughly chronicled in Catherine Robson’s new “Heart Beats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem.” Reared in England, now a professor at N.Y.U., Robson compares classroom procedures in Britain and the United States during the years when recitation held a sizeable and official slot in the curriculum (roughly 1875 to 1950). The rationales for verse recitation were many and sometimes mutually contradictory: to foster a lifelong love of literature; to preserve the finest accomplishments in the language down the generations; to boost self-confidence through a mastery of elocution; to help purge the idioms and accents of lower-class speech; to strengthen the brain through exercise; and so forth. And the construction of a canon—the choice of which poems ought to be assigned to students at various grade levels—grew out of a collision of nationalistic zeal, piety, commercial enterprise (the success or failure of various competitive “readers”—what we would call textbooks), thoughtless imitation, and a fair amount of what looks like happenstance.

Memorizing a poem gives you the immediate power, no matter where you are or what you are doing, to teleport inside of an exciting story and wallow in the magic of the English language.

Of Man’s first Disobedience and the Fruit…

A gentle knight came pricking o’er the plain…

Oft have I travelled in the Realms of Gold….

Now is the winter of our discontent….

It little profits that an idle king….

God of our fathers, known of old,….

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,….

All that is gold does not glitter,….

It’s like having a Kindle without needing to spend the money or weigh down your pockets. And the prevalence of portable recording players makes memorization of poetry (which is deliberately designed to be memorized) easier than ever. (Some poems, like Noyes’ The Highwayman, are like ear-worms; once you hear them, it’s almost impossible to get them out of your head.)

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Don’t Repay the National Debt’

31st January 2013

, Voice of the Crust, lays out the next step in the program: Repeating past mistakes.

They actually pay him to write this drivel. How can I get a job like that? Perhaps changing my name to Emilio Garbanzo would help.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 2 Comments »

Timbuktu, the Fabled Desert City Where Retreating Muslim Extremists Destroyed Ancient Manuscripts

31st January 2013

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It is not known how many of the priceless documents were destroyed by al Qaida-linked fighters who set ablaze a state-of-the-art library built with South African funding to conserve the brittle, camel-hide bound manuscripts from the harshness of the Sahara Desert climate and preserve them so researchers can study them.

News of the destruction came Monday from the mayor of Timbuktu. With its Islamic treasures and centuries-old mud-walled buildings including an iconic mosque, Timbuktu is a U.N.-designated World Heritage Site.

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?
That’s some fine Religion o’ Peace™ you got there, Mohammed.
Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

For Millionaire Athletes, States With Highest Tax Rates May Not Make the Cut

31st January 2013

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The taxes of professional athletes became incredibly complicated in the early 1990s, when aggressive state and local tax collectors began targeting them to pay non-resident income taxes. Technically, all employees who earn money for work done outside their home states have to pay non-resident taxes, but enforcement has focused on millionaire athletes with publicized work schedules to the extent is is commonly called the “jock tax.” Although ballplayers can’t get out of the state and local taxes they pay while on the road, where they play their home games can make a huge difference. California takes 13.3 percent on income above $1 million, but states like Florida, Nevada and Texas are among seven that take nothing.

I heard a report on the radio yesterday that Tiger Woods, by moving from California to Florida, saved about $7.5 million in taxes. That will pay for a lot of U-Hauls.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

IBM Vastly Improves Delivery of Nanomeds That Kill Bacteria Where Antibiotics Fail

30th January 2013

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If this nanomedicine works as broadly as the scientists hope, it could save countless lives and protect vulnerable people such as hospital patients from illnesses that arise from bacterial infections, including staph. The medicine is based on a trick from chip manufacturing, where researchers can isolate certain kinds of cells and attack them. Too many of today’s drugs or disinfectants kill off both good cells and bad cells indiscriminately, but the synthetic polymers that IBM created can identify bacteria cells and destroy their membrane walls.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

In the Dairy Case, Ripe Prose

30th January 2013

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They can tell you about torment. They can describe long, frustrating hours sitting in dark, stinky basements and caves, pen in hand, trying to get the flow of the words just right.

They can tell you, too, about how it feels to be engulfed in a blaze of inspiration. They’ll describe the delirium of bliss when the right lines come. Like all writers, they are keenly aware of the competition, and envy eats away at them when they detect, in one of their comrades, a candle-flicker of genius.

We speak, naturally, of cheesemongers.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

America Has Hit “Peak Jobs”

30th January 2013

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Every year, people complain that we’re soon going to reach ‘peak oil’. No more oil. The world comes tumbling down. And what happens? Every so often we find massive new reserves of oil, some of which are new, some of which technology now makes usable. ‘Peak oil’ has been coming now for about fifty years by my count, and somehow it never seems to arrive.

I suspect that ‘peak jobs’ will work the same way. ‘But where will the jobs come from?’ I don’t know — and I don’t care, because people are clever and they’re always inventing new shit that make jobs (if the government doesn’t get in the way).

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis

30th January 2013

Charlie Stross, award-wining speculative fiction author and knee-jerk socialist, has some interesting thoughts.

Our ability to exchange extended phenotypic traits without genetic exchange (thank you, language faculty!) makes us, as Dawkins pointed out in the 1990s, exceptional.

Because of this ability, we don’t have to invent everything for ourselves, individually; we can borrow one anothers’ good ideas. So we only need to be smart enough to understand and use the cognitive tools created by our most intelligent outliers.

This is a sharp insight. What follows?

The evolutionary pressure selecting for general intelligence (to the extent that general intelligence exists) breaks once a species develops language.

Hmmmm. There’s food for thought. This would certainly explain the conjunction of Charlie’s superb writing skills with his moronic political opinions. I have a theory that the reason most people who write for a living are Liberal Fascists is that they are so accustomed to being able to control every aspect of their stories (whether what they do reflects Real Life, or is even feasible in Real Life) inclines them into an intellectually lazy acceptance of the notion that some wise central authority should surely be able to take action and obviate whatever aspect of Real Life is currently chapping their butts. What is especially amusing, in an ironic way, is that they are the first to claim membership in the ‘Reality-Based Community’, much the same way that totalitarian Communist regimes are fond of naming their concentration camps ‘Democratic Republic of Supressistan’.

Not a source of optimism. But Real Life seldom is.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Iran Unveils Machine for AmputatingTthieves’ Fingers

30th January 2013

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Why fingers for robbery and not the whole hand, as per Qur’an 5:38? Unclear. Perhaps the jurists involved were “moderates.”

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?
That’s some fine Religion o’ Peace™ you got there, Mohammed.
Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | 1 Comment »

Dredding Homosexuality

30th January 2013

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Subracism is thus the stimulation of our racial sense in a social or cultural context in which we cannot admit or express it. This stimulates passions and controversies, and of course media coverage (free advertising) for product that would otherwise have to get by on its own merits. The displaced emotional energy caused by Subracism has always led to big bucks for someone.

But as the recent case of Judge Dredd’s hinted-at homosexuality suggests, this phenomenon need not be limited only to race. Just as threatening human identity by playing games with race creates a media buzz made up of stifled visceral urges, so too with questions of gender identity, in particular homosexuality. This is an instant button pusher, and again the pattern is the same: mass individual repulsion, anger, distaste, shock, or horror that can’t express itself at the social level, quickly followed by dispacement into associated quibbling points, attempts at ironic detachment, and also moral jockeying.

Truly, one can find anything on the Internet.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity

30th January 2013

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Borlaug is an eighty-two-year-old plant breeder who for most of the past five decades has lived in developing nations, teaching the techniques of high-yield agriculture. He received the Nobel in 1970, primarily for his work in reversing the food shortages that haunted India and Pakistan in the 1960s. Perhaps more than anyone else, Borlaug is responsible for the fact that throughout the postwar era, except in sub-Saharan Africa, global food production has expanded faster than the human population, averting the mass starvations that were widely predicted — for example, in the 1967 best seller Famine — 1975! The form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths.

Yet although he has led one of the century’s most accomplished lives, and done so in a meritorious cause, Borlaug has never received much public recognition in the United States, where it is often said that the young lack heroes to look up to. One reason is that Borlaug’s deeds are done in nations remote from the media spotlight: the Western press covers tragedy and strife in poor countries, but has little to say about progress there. Another reason is that Borlaug’s mission — to cause the environment to produce significantly more food—has come to be seen, at least by some securely affluent commentators, as perhaps better left undone. More food sustains human population growth, which they see as antithetical to the natural world.

In other words, the Enviro-nazis and their krewe hate him because he stands in the way of their turning the world into a human-free zone.

Imagine how much better life would be if all of those who worry about too many humans being on the planet decided to Do The Right Thing and subtract themselves from the gene pool. The world would have fewer people and we wouldn’t have to put up with all of their whining. Win-win!

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Gun Dealers Have Problems With Credit Card Processors

30th January 2013

Read it. And watch the video.

McMillan is a has a federal firearms license and is heavily regulated by both the state and federal governments.

But McMillan received an email from Intuit Payment solutions informing him the company was no longer interested in processing his credit card sales.

“They either reviewed several accounts, or it was a company wide policy, because I wasn’t the only federal firearms license dealer that got pushed out the other day,” McMillan said.

In the email the company wrote “Intuit does not support the services you are providing” and then the reason stated was firearms, ammunition, gun parts and accessories sales not sold in a face-to-face environment with the credit card being swiped.

Time to refrain from doing business with Intuit.

 

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Phil Mickelson Points the Way for Rich Folks: Get Out of California, Quietly.

30th January 2013

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Golfer Phil Mickelson made a public relations mistake, and thank goodness he did. While golf is an individual sport, in this case, he took one for the team. At a PGA news conference last week, he spoke out against the new, higher taxes he now has to pay and announced in passing that he might have to make some “drastic changes” to deal with the major tax increases that took effect this month. The liberal press went bonkers, and much of the envious public piled on with insults and ridicule—incensed that anyone making $60 million would dare complain about paying his “fair share.”

I mean really. The nerve of that guy.

Prop. 30’s unintended consequences will blindside all California sports fans, not just golfing buffs. Imagine the Dodgers or the Lakers trying to entice high-priced talent to come to California, where they will have the privilege of paying 13.3 percent tax on all of their income. Fans of the Sacramento Kings have just seen their team sold to new owners in Seattle, where there is no state income tax. And don’t be surprised when professional sports teams in Texas and Florida buy California’s best athletes in free-agency bidding contests. Voters for Prop. 30 who thought “soak the rich” sounded like a great idea may soon regret their choice.

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States Force Jobless To Pay Needless Fees

30th January 2013

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Jobless Americans are paying millions in unnecessary fees to collect unemployment benefits because of state policies encouraging them to get the money through bank-issued payment cards, according to a new report from a consumer group.

People are using the fee-heavy cards instead of getting their payments deposited directly to their bank accounts. That’s because states issue bank cards automatically, require complicated paperwork or phone calls to set up direct deposit and fail to explain the card fees, according to a report issued Tuesday by the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit group that seeks to protect low-income Americans from unfair financial-services products. An early copy of the report was obtained by the Associated Press.

It’s not about helping the jobless — it’s about making sure that government employees don’t join them. ‘Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.’

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

Indiana Couple Fights Charges Over Rescuing Injured Baby Deer

30th January 2013

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Jeff Counceller says a dying fawn he found on someone’s porch three years ago surely wouldn’t have lived had he and his wife not nursed it back to health on their eastern Indiana farm. The Connersville police officer insists they had no clue that they could be breaking the law.

The couple’s good deed put them at odds with the state Department of Natural Resources, and prosecutors earlier this month charged Jeff and Jennifer Counceller with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer, a misdemeanor that carries up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

22 Fictional Characters Whose Names You Don’t Know

29th January 2013

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Unless you’re Robin of Gilwell, of course.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | 2 Comments »

If Cooties Were Real, What Disease Would They Be?

29th January 2013

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We are not afraid to ask the hard questions, here.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Why You Ought to Wear a Bow Tie

29th January 2013

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In many situations, the standard tie has become de rigueur, and so commonplace that it is generally only noticeable in its absence. This is not something that can be said of the bow tie.

Why, to remind everyone that you’re a pretentious dork, of course. Much as a tattoo reminds people that in your heart of hearts you’re an Underclass narcissist.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Compare and Contrast

29th January 2013

Moral High Ground

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

29th January 2013

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The picture’s conceit is that Hansel and Gretel, having survived their childhood encounter with the kiddie-baking cottage witch, have grown up to become a semi-sullen Jeremy Renner and foxy Gemma Arterton. They’re now freelance witch-hunters, outfitted in stylish black leathers and armed with formidable steampunk weaponry. (Gretel’s complicated crossbow can fire in two lateral directions at once; Hansel’s huge scattergun could blow a hole in the moon.) For reasons they don’t understand (a key plot point), they’re immune to witchy spells and curses. This makes their job a little easier, and it’s not brain surgery to begin with. “If you’re gonna kill a witch,” Hansel says, “set her ass on fire.”

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Algorithms That Design Structures Better Than Engineers

29th January 2013

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The engineeringy name for this process is ‘topology optimisation’ – essentially making the best use of shape for structures. It’s been the aim of structural engineers since their existence and evolutionary algorithms are a modern development to help this.

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Muzzling Military Chaplains

29th January 2013

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One of the items on Obama’s second term agenda is to root out traditionally Christian chaplains from the military. He sees them as bigots unworthy of conscience protections. Like Chick-fil-A, they don’t uphold Obama’s “values.”

Obama’s mouthpieces in the military have already blurted this out. In 2010, Admiral Michael Mullen told a Christian chaplain who opposed the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that “If you cannot get in line, resign your commission.” That same year Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, the Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel, said military members who dissent from Obama’s gay rights agenda should “get out.”

“Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them,” he said, as reported by the Washington Times. “But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can’t, they need to get out.”

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 3 Comments »

Congress Passes Americans With No Abilities Act

29th January 2013

The Onion has the scoop … so to speak.

“Roughly 50 percent of Americans—through no fault of their own–do not possess the talent necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said Clinton, a longtime ANA supporter. “Their lives are futile hamster-wheel existences of unrewarding, dead-end busywork: xeroxing documents written by others, fulfilling mail-in rebates for Black & Decker toaster ovens, and processing bureaucratic forms that nobody will ever see. Sadly, for these millions of nonabled Americans, the American dream of working hard and moving up through the ranks is simply not a reality.”

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million important-sounding “middle man” positions will be created in the white-collar sector for nonabled persons, providing them with an illusory sense of purpose and ability. Mandatory, non-performance-based raises and promotions will also be offered to create a sense of upward mobility for even the most unremarkable, utterly replaceable employees.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Are Plastic Bag Bans Making Us Sick?

29th January 2013

Read it.

Hint: Yes.

Basically people were schlepping leaky packages of meat and other foods in their canvas bags, then wadding to the bags somewhere for awhile, leaving bacteria to grow until the next trip, when they tossed celery or other foods likely to be eaten raw in the same bags.

Washing your bags reduces the risk, but let’s be honest: who does that?

Environment theater, to match the security theater we get in the airports. The ‘progressive’ vision, in which posturing substitutes for achievement, and appearance is more important than reality, proceeds apace.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

iRobot’s Medical Robot Gets FDA Approval for Hospital Use

29th January 2013

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Just sitting here, waiting for the autodoc….

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Oath of Deception

29th January 2013

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People already can be blocked from naturalization for affiliating with totalitarian groups, or engaging in or advocating violence to overthrow the U.S. government. The report argues that the totalitarian prohibition can apply to adherents of radical Islam.

“Why totalitarianism? Because under radical strains of Islam, such as Salafism, it is impossible to reconcile separation of church and state,” the report says. “All civil authority bows to the wisdom of religious clerics in a theocracy. The best existing example (if one can use that descriptor loosely) of such a theocracy in action is the Islamic Republic of Iran. The worst example in recent memory is the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan. Can one doubt that both examples point clearly to a totalitarian form of government in which no form of peaceful dissension or religious liberty is tolerated? In fact, dissension and religious differences are dealt with brutally.”

Under the proposal, someone could be barred from becoming a citizen if he or she is a follower of radical Islam to the extent that Islam and sharia law should supersede secular law and liberty in the United States. And citizenship can be stripped if it later is determined the person failed to disclose those beliefs.

This would seem to be a no-brainer — an elementary precaution recognizing that Muslims owe an overriding allegiance to the Islamic umma over any country in which they happen to be living.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to Abdicate

29th January 2013

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In recent decades it has become the tradition for the monarch to abdicate.

Queen Beatrix’s mother Juliana resigned the throne in 1980 on her 71st birthday, and her grandmother Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948 at the age of 68.

I guess she just got tired of all the bullshit.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The History of French Fries

28th January 2013

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Hey, this stuff is important.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

I Could Pee on This and Other Poems From Cats

28th January 2013

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I got yer culture, right here.

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

50 Collective Nouns to Bolster Your Vocabulary

28th January 2013

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A collection of vampires is called a ‘scourge’. Just thought you’d like to know.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

The Race to Harness Graphene Heats Up, as UK Opens New Research Center

28th January 2013

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Here’s a brief rundown of some of things graphene represents:

• The best electrical conductor, at room temperature
• The best thermal conductor, even more so than carbon nanotubes
• The strongest material, despite being the thinnest
• The stiffest material, despite being the most ductile

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Really, Leon Panetta? You Want Sandra Fluke in Combat?

28th January 2013

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The same people who think that it’s a right wing nutjob idea for women teachers to be ready to use force to defend their pupils against school shooters also believe that  there  those same women can use deadly force to defend their country against the Taliban.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »

Scratch Off Yet Another IPCC Doom Warning

28th January 2013

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Scientists analysing ancient ice samples say that the Greenland ice sheet withstood temperatures much higher than today’s for many thousands of years during a period of global warming more than 120,000 years ago, losing just a quarter of its mass. It had been widely suggested – by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for instance – that any such warming would melt the entire sheet, leading to massive sea-level rises.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names

28th January 2013

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

How Much Does it Cost to go to Hogwarts?

28th January 2013

Read it.

 

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Should We Mourn the Death of Cursive Handwriting?

28th January 2013

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No doubt much will be lost if we abandon cursive completely. Without it, how will we be able to understand the full historical significance of Sarah Palin’s motorhome? If we stop practicing looped descenders, will our fine motor skills be honed enough to thread needles and assemble motherboards in hellish Chinese factories? And what will we use to teach our kids the efficacy of valuing style over substance? As Vanderbilt education professor Steve Graham points out in the Journal, “People judge the quality of your ideas based on your handwriting.” According to at least one study he cites, visually impressive handwriting can elevate a “generic classroom test score from the 50th percentile to the 84th percentile” while sloppy penmanship “could tank it to the 16th.”

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

“Hybrid Wing” Uses Half the Fuel of a Standard Airplane

27th January 2013

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Aerospace engineers have long known that ditching a conventional tubular fuselage in favor of a manta-ray-like “hybrid wing” shape could dramatically reduce fuel consumption. A team at NASA has now demonstrated a manufacturing method that promises to make the design practical.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Best Run Cities in America

27th January 2013

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Plano, based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is the best-run city in America. Among households in the city, 14% earned over $200,000 in 2011, the fourth-highest proportion of all cities. Meanwhile, a mere 1.9% of households earned under $10,000, which was the second-lowest of all cities. The city’s 1.62 violent crimes per 1,000 people is the second-lowest of all large cities. Plano is home to many corporate headquarters, including J.C. Penney and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. These companies are among the 10 largest employers in the city. The city appears to be largely unaffected by the housing crisis. The median home price rose by more than 5% between 2007 and 2011, while the national median price fell by more than 10%.

Funny thing, I don’t notice any Michigan cities in the ‘Best Run’ list. Probably an oversight.

Oh, look, there’s Detroit at #4 on the ‘Worst Run’ list. I knew Michigan would make the scoreboard somewhere.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Suicide bomb blast at a Shiite mosque in Iraq kills 42

27th January 2013

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The attack, which also left 75 people wounded, struck at the Sayid al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was killed a day earlier.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?
That’s some fine Religion o’ Peace™ you got there, Mohammed.
Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

How People Smell Themselves

27th January 2013

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You might not be able to pick your fingerprint out of an inky lineup, but your brain knows what you smell like. For the first time, scientists have shown that people recognize their own scent based on their particular combination of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins, molecules similar to those used by animals to choose their mates. The discovery suggests that humans can also exploit the molecules to differentiate between people.

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Nigeria: Muslims Murder 23 People for Gambling and Selling Un-Islamic Meat

27th January 2013

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Sharia in action in Nigeria: eating monkey and pork meat is haram; murdering those who sell it is pleasing to Allah.

What peaceful, friendly people! Wouldn’t you just love to have some for neighbors?
That’s some fine Religion o’ Peace™ you got there, Mohammed.
Of course, as we all know, the real problem is Islamophobia.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Infrascanner Detects Brain Trauma at the Scene of Accidents

27th January 2013

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A portable wand that uses Near-Infrared (NIR) technology can detect hemorrhaging in the brain and help medical professionals assess if a person needs a CT scan or surgery.

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Polio Virus Found in Egypt Linked to Pakistan

27th January 2013

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Last summer, a Pakistani Muslim cleric said that polio vaccinations were un-Islamic. More recently, the Taliban was murdering people who were administering the polio vaccine in Pakistan. And this is the fruit of their quest for Islamic purity.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Nature Has a Formula That Tells Us When It’s Time to Die

27th January 2013

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Living in a Communist country is a major factor.

Being black in a city run by Democrats is another.

Neither of which you will find mentioned in an article on the NPR web site, such as this one.

Just sayin’.

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These Goofy-Looking Glasses Could Make You Invisible to Facial Recognition Technology

27th January 2013

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Until, as with auto radar detectors, they’re made illegal.

Engineers are like ‘progressives’ — they believe that the way things are now will never change.

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Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers per Hour

27th January 2013

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‘Where we’re going, we won’t need … minimum wages?’

 No longer will they say, “He’s going to end up flipping burgers.” Because now, robots are taking even these ignobly esteemed jobs. Alpha machine from Momentum Machines cooks up a tasty burger with all the fixins. And it does it with such quality and efficiency it’ll produce “gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.”

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off