DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for February, 2013

Millions of Americans Losing Current Coverage Under Obamacare

28th February 2013

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Oh, noes! Do you mean Bary lied to us?

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The Shape of Cheese and Chicken McNuggets

28th February 2013

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On a sponsored media trip to McDonald’s US headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, Barbara J. Booth, the company’s director of sensory science, told Kim Bhasin of Business Insider that Chicken McNuggets come in four carefully designed shapes: the “bell,” the “bone,” the “ball,” and the “boot.”

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

At Minimum, a Big Loser

28th February 2013

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The raises that some workers would get come with a tradeoff: Other workers would make less. Some workers would have their hours cut, at least partially canceling out their hourly raise. Some workers will be shown the door, cutting their hourly pay to literally nothing. Other workers will never be hired in the first place.

This tradeoff causes a regressive income redistribution—precisely opposite its intended effect. Instead of taking from the rich to give to the poor, minimum wage laws take money away from the absolutely poor who lose their jobs, and give it to the somewhat less poor who still have theirs, plus a raise. This is not the way to lift a society out of poverty.

But, of course, the intent was never to ‘lifet a society out of poverty’ — that’s just the Clever Plastic Disguise. The intent is to put the underclass on the government dole permanently.

Just because a progressive proposes a policy doesn’t mean that the policy is, in fact, progressive.

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

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

VAWA Bill Likely to Pass Congress This Week, Despite Violating First Amendment

28th February 2013

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Congress never lets the Constitution get in the way of passing a law with a catchy title. Thus, the Senate’s version of the bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act will likely pass the House this week, even though UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, a leading First Amendment scholar, earlier noted that provisions in it violate the First Amendment. (Legal scholars have criticized other provisions in the bill as violating Articles II and III of the Constitution, and for undermining due-process safeguards.) The House GOP had earlier objected to the Senate’s version, citing various flaws in the bill, but under political pressure, some GOP members in swing districts have switched sides and endorsed the bill, which is backed by Democratic leaders and the White House.

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | Comments Off

Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man

28th February 2013

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In this video, we are reminded that spiders are weird little assholes and that we probably shouldn’t model our superheros after them.

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

DOD Can Start by Cutting Diversity Bureaucracy

28th February 2013

Heather Mac Donald has a modest proposal.

  Ax the “diversity” bureaucracy. In 2012, the Pentagon spent $570,000 on a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan that, as usual, replicated a chain of stultifyingly identical diversity efforts, including the 2011 final report of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission on strategies for enhancing on-going diversity efforts (the report, From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military, contained such diversity chestnuts as “a new definition of diversity for the 21st century,” and recommendations regarding “metrics,” “diversity leadership and training,” “promotion,” and “recruiting”); the 2011 Office of Personnel Management “Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan; DOD’s 2009 Report to the White House Council on Women and Girls; and a 2007 RAND report, Planning for Diversity: Options and Recommendations for DOD Leaders. Put the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) on starvation diets. Suspend the Women’s Equality Day and Women’s History Month celebrations, the Latina Style Symposium, and the Women of Color Technology Awards.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | 1 Comment »

Who is Going to Put an End to the McCain/Graham Circus?

28th February 2013

Daniel Horowitz is fed up.

How often do you find Democrats scoring points for the opposing team on a daily basis?  Never.  Yet that is what Lindsey Graham and John McCain, the defacto leaders of the GOP Senate, accomplish every day.  Worse, they use their bully pulpit to muddle the GOP message in the eyes of the public and convince the rest of the conference to join their merry band of Benedict Arnolds.

What a great idea for a blog: RINO Watch. It would never lack for material.

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Political Asylum

28th February 2013

Mark Steyn examines the wacky world of government.

The federal bureaucracy, per President Obama’s executive order, is as a matter of policy not enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. Nevertheless, midst all the various activities of Undocumented-Americans to which the government remains indifferent (vehicular homicide, drug dealing, etc.), there are some national-security threats that are too serious to ignore — such as home schooling. So the feds have spared no expense in hunting down a handful of foreigners they’re determined to deport.

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

The Times Does Geometry

28th February 2013

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Don’t you wonder, sometimes, how the Times’s reporters and editors did on their SATs? Just remember, next time that paper tells you the science on some topic or other is settled, that you are getting that assurance from people who don’t know the difference between diameter and circumference.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

American Student Punished for Refusing to Recite Mexican Pledge

28th February 2013

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A Texas high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against her school and her teachers after she was punished for refusing to salute and recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance.

Even in Texas, large parts of the educational establishment is in the hands of the Left.

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‘Stormin’ Norman’ Gen. Schwarzkopf to Be Buried at West Point

28th February 2013

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They ought to have given him five stars.

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

Gov. Cuomo Says Hollywood Exempt From Strict New York Gun Control Law

28th February 2013

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Of course not. The Crust takes care of its one. One law for me, another for thee.

God help any kid who gets caught drawing a gun in school, though.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Researchers Claim to Have Found Cleopatra’s Murdered Sister in Turkey

28th February 2013

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Where she was beheaded, no doubt, because she wasn’t Muslim. Hey … it happens.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie. I hope.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Louisiana Health Inspector Destroys Venison Donated to the Homeless

27th February 2013

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A Louisiana state health inspector poured bleach on 1,600 pounds of venison donated to a homeless shelter last month because the health department doesn’t recognize the group that provided it.

Just wait until people like this are put in charge of our health care. Won’t that be fun.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Travel by Pneumatic Tube: 1905 Predictions and the Jetsons

27th February 2013

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Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Why the School Bus Never Comes in Red or Green

27th February 2013

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I always assumed it was for visibility.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Forbes Magazine: Texas Best Place for Jobs

27th February 2013

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But you knew that.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production

27th February 2013

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Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles.

And nary a Union worker in sight. Nirvana. Cheap Nirvana.

Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. The printers he uses create ABS plastic via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The printer sprays molten polymer to build the chassis layer by microscopic layer until it arrives at the complete object. The machines are so automated that the building process they perform is known as “lights out” construction, meaning Kor uploads the design for a bumper, walk away, shut off the lights and leaves. A few hundred hours later, he’s got a bumper. The whole car – which is about 10 feet long – takes about 2,500 hours.

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

‘DNA Origami’ Nanorobots Could Find and Destroy Cancer Cells

27th February 2013

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The nanorobots mimic a cell’s receptor system in order to communicate with cells. The cells can carry materials — a “payload” — to cancer cells, and when the nanorobot detects the cells it’s hunting for, it will spring into action.

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

‘District of Corruption’ Indicts, Traces Roots of Permanent Political Class

27th February 2013

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It has been said that Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal and Bill Clinton’s lies about his affair with Monica Lewinsky respectively started and accelerated the distrust Americans have for both political parties, elected officials, its institutions, and the federal government.

But a new film, “District of Corruption,” directed by Stephen K. Bannon, exposes the real roots of the modern disenchantment with the political system — the commercialization of government started by the Clinton administration, continued under George W. Bush’s administration, and put on steroids by the Obama administration.

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‘Britain’s Atlantis’ Found at Bottom of North Sea – A Huge Undersea World Swallowed by the Sea in 6500Bc

27th February 2013

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‘Britain’s Atlantis’ – a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea – has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews.

Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC.

Cue hordes of Global Warming lemming running around and screaming about how we’re all gonna die when the sea levels rise.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Why Misquotations Catch On

27th February 2013

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Mostly because not every author is the best expressor of a particular thought, even though the originator thereof. Look at the third line of Spenser’s THE FAERIE QUEEN and tell me that it doesn’t read better as ‘Wherein deep dints of old wounds did remain’ than the original ‘Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remaine’. Or Pope: ‘Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.’ is just not as good as ‘Be not the first by whom the new is tried, Nor yet the last to cast the old aside.’

Have you noticed how incorrect quotes often just sound right—sometimes, more right than actual quotations? There’s a reason for that. Our brains really like fluency, or the experience of cognitive ease (as opposed to cognitive strain) in taking in and retrieving information. The more fluent the experience of reading a quote—or the easier it is to grasp, the smoother it sounds, the more readily it comes to mind—the less likely we are to question the actual quotation. Those right-sounding misquotes are just taking that tendency to the next step: cleaning up, so to speak, quotations so that they are more mellifluous, more all-around quotable, easier to store and recall at a later point. We might not even be misquoting on purpose, but once we do, the result tends to be catchier than the original.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

‘Badges’ Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas

27th February 2013

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The spread of a seemingly playful alternative to traditional diplomas, inspired by Boy Scout achievement patches and video-game power-ups, suggests that the standard certification system no longer works in today’s fast-changing job market.

Educational upstarts across the Web are adopting systems of “badges” to certify skills and abilities. If scouting focuses on outdoorsy skills like tying knots, these badges denote areas employers might look for, like mentorship or digital video editing. Many of the new digital badges are easy to attain—intentionally so—to keep students motivated, while others signal mastery of fine-grained skills that are not formally recognized in a traditional classroom.

I think this is a great idea. Establish ‘merit badges’ for specific skills, and establish various educational ‘ranks’ — perhaps even ‘degrees’ — based on specified numbers and types of badges. We could do a lot worse than emulate the Boy Scouts.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Thirty Years of Food in Music Videos

27th February 2013

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Remember when MTV showed music videos? Boy, those were the days….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Pakistan: Muslim Attacks Disabled Christian for Money, Police Refuse to Investigate

27th February 2013

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The kuffar have no rights that the Pakistani police are bound to respect.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

Art, Elephants, and Duct Tape

27th February 2013

Patrick Rothfuss, one of my Recommended Writers, undergoes a life-changing experience.

Because you only get wrapped in duct tape so often in your life, (this is #2 for me) I figured I might as well take some pictures.

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

Students Told to Call 9-11 Hijackers “Freedom Fighters”

27th February 2013

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An Advanced Placement World Geography teacher at a Texas high school who encouraged students to dress in Islamic clothing also instructed them to refer to the 9-11 hijackers not as terrorists – but as “freedom fighters,” according to students who were in the class.

Even in Texas, the Crust has captured a lot of the educational establishment. And I’m sure that, for every incident that makes the news, there are nine others that go unpublicized. Fortunately, parents in Texas aren’t afraid to push back.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Condo Association Asks Soldier to Take Down American Flag

27th February 2013

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I am curious as to why these homeowner’s associations try to pull this sort of thing. Surely they know that it can only attract bad publicity and make them look like assholes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 2 Comments »

Why Speaking English Can Make You Poor When You Retire

26th February 2013

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Strong future-time reference languages (strong FTR) require their speakers to use a different tense when speaking of the future. Weak future-time reference (weak FTR) languages do not.

Speakers of languages which only use the present tense when dealing with the future are likely to save more money than those who speak languages which require the use a future tense, he argues.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Rethinking the Postal System

26th February 2013

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An ingenious idea — for those who are digitally connected. For somebody who lives in the country and barely has electricity … not so much.

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Honor Killing In Israel: Muslim Throws His Daughter Down a Well After Objecting to Her Romantic Relationship

26th February 2013

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Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

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 »

The Science Behind Coffee and Why it’s Actually Good for Your Health

26th February 2013

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A convenient rationalization.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Make Way For Mughalistan

26th February 2013

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The Hindu genocide at the hands of Islam lasted more than a thousand years, and continues in a reduced fashion to this day. It is the largest genocide in recorded history, with many millions of Hindus — possibly over a hundred million — slaughtered by the Muslim invaders, and countless millions more enslaved or forcibly converted to Islam. The sheer wanton destruction wielded by the Islamic conquest staggers the mind — the opulent flower of Hindu civilization was simply wiped out, with idols broken and burned, temples razed, and untold quantities of exquisite artifacts destroyed or melted down for their precious metals. Although it guttered, the flame of Hindu learning was never fully extinguished, but only after the arrival of the Pax Britannica did Hindu scholars regain the ability to realize their intellectual potential.

Posted in Living with Islam. | Comments Off

The Uniquely American Way to Dictatorship

26th February 2013

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Michigan is trailblazing here, and the machinations of emergency rule are still evolving. I’ve called the emergency managers our modern “dictators” because they resemble the old dictators of Republican Rome, who were appointed for a set period of time (one year) with unlimited powers. Yet Michigan is now about to enter the third iteration of its emergency-manager (EM) law. The first, Public Act 72, was deemed too weak to deal with issues like collective bargaining with the public-sector unions that are bankrupting the state’s cities; it was followed by Public Act 4, which was voted down last November by Michigan residents who thought it gave too much power to the EMs. Not surprisingly, the most vociferous opponents of PA 4 were unions, who feared the EM’s ability to unilaterally break and renegotiate union contracts.

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Bring Back the Illustrated Book!

26th February 2013

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 Some of the art from the golden age of the illustrated novel remains a vital companion to the text. It is nearly impossible to go down Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole without envisioning John Tenniel’s drawings of a ranting, bucktoothed Mad Hatter or of Alice eerily elongated after eating the currant cake. George Cruikshank was such a brilliant artist that his emotive illustrations for “Oliver Twist” retain a tenacious hold on the imagination. But we almost never find them in contemporary novels (on the rare occasions that they do appear it’s as ironic anachronism—in Susanna Clarke’s “Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell,” for instance, or Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery,” both of which are pastiches of nineteenth-century genre fiction). Even as graphic novels enjoy a surge of newfound critical appreciation, the common consensus seems to be that pictures no longer belong in literary fiction. It’s reasonable to ask, Why not? What do we know that Dickens and Twain didn’t?

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

26th February 2013

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On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it.

Aha! Obesity isn’t related at all to, you know, actual personal choices that people make! It’s an EPIDEMIC! You catch fatness, like a DISEASE! It’s obviously a Public Health Problem that is (as with all other Public Health Problems, like trans-fats and how much salt to use or soda to put in a container) The Job Of The Government!

“We were very concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food companies.”

In other words, they anticipated (rightly so, based on recent history) that they were about to get butt-fucked by politicians ginning up a crisis in order to demagogue their way to retaining their taxpayer-funded jobs, and so (like prey everywhere) were trying to figure out how to escape — the swine.

A chemist by training with a doctoral degree in food science, Behnke became Pillsbury’s chief technical officer in 1979 and was instrumental in creating a long line of hit products, including microwaveable popcorn. He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children suffering from diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease.

Pillsbury, of course, was obviously holding the little brats down and stuffing popcorn down their maws — the swine.

Food manufacturers were now being blamed for the problem from all sides — academia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. The secretary of agriculture, over whom the industry had long held sway, had recently called obesity a “national epidemic.”

Oh noes! Food companies actually try to make food that people will like! And BUY! The horror! The horror!

Message: You’re too stoopid to know what’s good for you — that’s why God gave you food columnists in the New York Times.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

The Future of Garbage Is … No Garbage

26th February 2013

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Recology, a waste-management company based in San Francisco, is working with the city of San Francisco to help it become the country’s first zero-waste city – in a scant seven years.

If they’re successful, all of San Franciscans’ discarded items will be recycled, reused or composted, and its need for landfills will become obsolete.

Tip: Don’t ask what it will cost.

Prediction: They’ll do what they can until they run out of other people’s money, then reclassify garbage as something else, declare victory, and go home.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Ag Tech Startup FarmLogs Nets $1M in Seed Funding

26th February 2013

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What FarmLogs offers is a one-stop farm management destination loaded with features such as profit forecasting, risk management, expense and crop tracking, and even weather monitoring. “FarmLogs helps farmers plan their year to maximize profit and track what they’re spending during the year,” says co-founder Jesse Vollmar. “We have the tools and do the math to see what the profit per acre will be, which helps with forward contracting and how much risk a farmer is willing to take.”

Vollmar, the son of organic farmers, grew up in the thumb of Michigan in the tiny town of Caro. He was always much more into software than seeds, he explains, so he and his co-founder, Brad Koch, started a business in high school helping people in the community build websites. “It became a real business,” Vollmar recalls. “We went from building websites to building custom software.”

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

The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It’s a Gadget

26th February 2013

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Now that the post-Newtown nation has suddenly woken up to the breakout popularity of the AR-15, a host of questions are being asked, especially about who is buying these rifles, and why. Why would normal, law-abiding Americans want to own a deadly weapon that was clearly designed for military use? Why are existing AR-15 owners buying as many of these rifles as they can get their hands on? Are these people Doomsday preppers? Militia types, arming for a second American Civil War? Or are they young military fantasists whose minds have been warped by way too much Call of Duty?

Preppers, militia types, and SEAL Team 6 wannabes are certainly represented in the AR-15?s customer base. But fringe groups don’t adequately explain the roughly 5 million “black rifles” (as fans of the gun tend to call it) that are now in the hands of the public. No, the real secret to the AR-15?s incredible success is that this rifle is the “personal computer” of the gun world.

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Foursquare Expands ‘Specials’ Discounts to Visa and MasterCard Cardholders

26th February 2013

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Today, Foursquare is expanding Specials to the rest of the world through partnerships with Visa and MasterCard for both credit and debit cards. This means that Visa and MasterCard can approach Foursquare to reward cardholders for checking in to places like Burger King. Merchants, on the other hand, get enhanced analytics from Foursquare about the kinds of people spending money at their location. “Every person in the US has an American Express, Visa, or MasterCard credit or debit card, and the offers now work for all of them,” Product Manager Noah Weiss says.

I wish someone would tell this to the stupid women who stand in the grocery checkout lane taking half an hour to write a check. Sheesh.

Once you’ve initially added a credit card to your Foursquare account, discounts activate automatically any time you check in to an eligible location, like a restaurant or bar.

My bank has a similar program that gives me rebates (miniscule, but better than nothing) when I shop with local merchants and use their debit card. Once I ‘load’ the discount on the card (which takes about a second), I get the rebate whenever I use the card at that merchant. Since I use the card to pay for damned near everything, it’s totally painless for me. At the end of the month, they total up the rebate and credit my account. Granted, the rebates are miniscule, but they’re nevertheless greater than any interest I could earn on my checking or savings account in the Ben Bernanke Era, so I am content.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Spidey Silk Can Actually Halt a Train

26th February 2013

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

In fact, the physicists found that just one spider web could do the job — if it were the web of Darwin’s bark spider from Madagascar. The silk has been found to be tougher than any other known material and more than 10 times stronger than Kevlar.

 

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Garry Wills, Sigh

26th February 2013

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Why Priests? falls below his usual low standards. The main thesis is that priests ruin everything. They’re power-hungry monsters who’ve taken over the Church, destroying the affirming, companionable, and egalitarian message of Jesus. Moreover, the priestly fixation on ritual sacrifice adds a bloodthirsty, prosecutorial, and altogether primitive cast to Christianity, which Garry Wills promises to deliver us from, restoring for the first time in two millennia the original spirit of Jesus and his followers.

Wills has been coasting on the virtues of his one good book, Nixon Agonistes, for about 40 years now. (If you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so; it contains valuable insights about the sixties and seventies, even to those of  us who lived through them.) Like the Republican apparatchik who hates Republican principles (cue Kevin Phillips, David Frum, Conor Friedersdorf, and David Brooks), he makes his living off of pandering to the Crust while pretending to be from the other side. (You’d think they’d get tired of this sort of thing, but they don’t.)

Like many other pretend Catholics, Wills makes the Protestant mistake of thinking that he knows more about what Christ intended than the people who were taught by Christ and or the people whom they taught. (This is an attitude that I have never been able to understand, myself, but it’s sufficiently widespread that it appears to be deeply rooted in human nature.) Odd thought: Nobody ever tries to tell the Latter Day Saints that they’ve got Joseph Smith all wrong. I wonder why that is….

There’s a lot of angry bluster in Garry Wills, but little else.

And that pretty much sums it up.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Experiments on Cadavers Settle 100 Year-Old Puzzle Over Human Skin Strength

26th February 2013

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 Langer lines map out the pattern of forces within the skin but nobody knew what caused them. Until now.

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

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Explaining the Inexplicable

26th February 2013

Victor Davis Hanson scratches his head — as well he might.

The president, as is his wont, blasted the “one percent,” the “millionaires and billionaires,” and the “well-connected” in his recent State of the Union speech — and then he flew off to golf and hang out with the one percent of the one percent in South Florida while his wife and kids jetted to Aspen to ski. Then Obama flew back for more class-warfare rhetoric over so-called sequestration, ridiculing the Republicans as again being for the “rich” — and on Al Sharpton’s radio show, no less (of Tawana Brawley fame).

Obama’s main talent lies in recognizing that there are a ton of Really Stupid People in the United States who will love him even when what he says would make a normal person’s brain hurt. That’s the only possible explanation.

I filled up today in a rather poor Selma (per capita income under $20,000; unemployment over 15%). The cheapest regular gas I saw in town was $3.99. I paid $4.06 a gallon. It was under $1.90 when the evil Bush left office.

If there were a Republican President, this would be on the Evening News daily until the next election. The Magic Negro, however, gets a pass.

I understand why millions come to the U.S., given the wretched poverty of Latin America, the proximity of the U.S. border, the ability to work here, and the generosity of the American people and government. I don’t understand at all the ensuing iconography of the open-borders movement.

Why the obsession with the Mexican flag and the racialist identification with La Raza and the reversion to 19th century ethnic chauvinism? Why the ethnic stickers on cars, on mobile kitchens, and on homes?

For much the same reason as the Boston metro area expats go to New Hampshire in order to enjoy the benefits of low taxes and minimal government intrusion, yet as soon as they get there start agitating for the same thing that they left. I believe that scientists call this ‘shitting where you eat’.

There are no major programs that the president wishes to cancel, but plenty of new ones he envisions. Given the scale of borrowing, and given the abject denial that there is a spending problem, what gives?

Whatever gives, it’s the Republicans’ fault. Some things remain constant in this ever-changing world.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

North Korean Citizens Told: Socialist Haircuts Are AaThing… Go Get Some

26th February 2013

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Next step: Mayor Bloomberg does the same for New York City.

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

City Workers Paint Handicap Space Around Car, Then Tow It

26th February 2013

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This was in Tel Aviv, demonstrating that government workers are much the same the world over.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

Batman’s Boy Wonder Damian Wayne to Die in New Comic Book

26th February 2013

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And about time, too.

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

Hot Air Balloon Crash in Egypt Kills 18 Foreign Tourists, Official Says

26th February 2013

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Hm. Not quite Darwin Award material, but getting close.

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The Case Against Cursive

26th February 2013

Lefty mag Prospect does its bit to jettison another piece of tradition.

The odd thing is that, when most parents watch their child’s hard-earned gains in forming letters like those printed in their storybooks crumble under the demand that they now relearn the art of writing “joined up” (“and don’t forget the joining tail!”), leaving their calligraphy a confused scrawl of extraneous cusps and wiggles desperately seeking a home, they don’t ask what on earth the school thinks it is doing. They smile, comforted that their child is starting to write like them.

As he or she probably will. The child may develop the same abominable scribble that gets letters misdirected and medical prescriptions perilously misread.

Or maybe not. Prior to These Degenerate Modern Times, most people didn’t seem to have a serious problem with it. I know I didn’t, although I would have appreciated the nuns teaching me a nice italic rather than whatever system they used — I believe it was the Palmer system, although I could be wrong about that. ‘Abominable scribbles’, I suspect, are the result of inadequate discipline in teaching rather than the teaching method itself.

The real point is, of course, that “sophistication.” When I questioned my friend, a primary school teacher, about the value of teaching cursive, she was horrified. “But otherwise they’d have baby writing!” she exclaimed. I pointed out that my handwriting is printed (the so-called “manuscript” form). “Oh no, yours is fine,” she—not the placatory sort—allowed. I didn’t ask whether all the books on my shelves were printed in “baby writing” too.

No, the real point is speed — cursive handwriting was developed so that people could write quickly yet legibly, as even a cursory (pun intended) look at the history of calligraphy makes clear. (If this guy thinks that his ‘baby writing’ is equivalent in readability to the books on his book, his is a more than usual leftist arrogance.) The fact that a teacher of handwriting doesn’t know why the method she teaches was originally adopted doesn’t affect the fact that it was adopted for a legitimate reason, nor whether that reason might possibly still apply.

Now, I admire the elegant copperplate of the Victorians as much as anyone. But no one writes like that any more.

Uh, that’s because it’s slow, and was fashionable in an age when we didn’t have typewriters, much less computers, so people’s expectations were correspondingly limited. The whole reason the Palmer method replaced Specerian was because it was faster and plainer, the very things this guy seems to think recommend his ‘baby writing’. If you’re going to pound on a straw man, at least make it into some semblance of your actual target.

How can we insist that to drop cursive will be to drop beauty and elegance, given that most people’s cursive handwriting is so abysmal?

That’s like saying that we ought to drop teaching algebra because most people suck at it. The flaw in this position ought to be obvious.

 

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Beretta May Leave Maryland Because of Gun Ban

25th February 2013

Read it.

Beretta USA in Maryland is thinking of pulling up stakes and moving out of the state because of pending assault-weapons ban legislation. Beretta USA is a division of Beretta, the 500-year-old family owned company which won a contract in 1985 to become the standard sidearm of all U.S. servicemen, replacing the Colt 45.

Funny how that works.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off