DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Here’s What We Should Learn From Nigeria’s Incredible Effort to Shut Down Ebola

16th October 2014

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Nigeria is much closer to the West Africa outbreak than the US is, yet even after Ebola entered the country in the most terrifying way possible — via a visibly sick passenger on a commercial flight — officials successfully shut down the disease and prevented widespread transmission.

Usually Business Insider is Just Another Oxymoronically Named Lefty Rag, but they may actually be growing up into real journalists.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Nearly Every USGS Topo Map Ever Made. For Free.

16th October 2014

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been producing detailed topographic maps for more than 125 years. Today they are nearly all digitized and free to download through the USGS Map Store, an incredible treasure trove for both map junkies and casual hikers alike.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

Lawyer Says It’s Copyright Infringement to Use Her Own Blog Posts Against Her in Disciplinary Proceedings

16th October 2014

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This sort of thing (and this sort of people) is why I don’t practice law.

It is also, I think, why politics is full of lawyers — the only career field where you can make a lot of money by being absurd.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | No Comments »

Pencil Makers Go Back to Drawing Board

16th October 2014

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Pen and pencil makers are going back to school, learning to sell writing implements in the age of smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Good luck with that.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

16th October 2014

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Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho has talked of her discomfort that the internet is made by humans who have a penis.

The former Martha Lane Fox, CBE, told the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival in Salford that she felt uneasy “that something that is now fundamental, like the water, for everybody’s daily life has been entirely produced by men.”

Alas, she’s right. Unlike Cuban cigars, which according to legend are rolled on the thighs of (female) virgins, internet packets arrive through a brutal, phallus-dominated patriarchy. It’s enough to make anyone queasy.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | No Comments »

Amazon U.K. Taps Newspaper Distributor For Same-Day Deliveries

16th October 2014

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More innovation from Amazon. No wonder ‘progressives’ hate it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Government Intervention Resurrects Long-Dead Retail Practices

16th October 2014

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Everything that is old is new. Denim jeans, gratuitous use of neon, retro glasses, and nü-metal have all returned from the dead to plague the living. In the spirit of making the old new and relevant, Walmart has kicked off its seasonal layaway program, a practice that was discontinued in the mid-2000s but resurrected in 2011.

For those who can’t remember this antiquated ritual, which was a common practice during the Great Depression, here’s how it works: after the customer makes a small down payment, the store will “lay” the item “away” until the customer completes payment. You might ask: Why didn’t people just use their credit cards? The answer is that credit cards didn’t really exist back then. Some stores engaged in financing and extended credit to select customers, but the interest rates were high, and, keep in mind, these were stores, not debt collectors or banks.

With the bad economy of the Great Depression, consumer credit dried up as risk of default increased. Layaway was beneficial because it allowed the consumer to guarantee a good’s availability while the store minimized its risk exposure. The availability of goods was a concern because supply chains were not as developed, and when a store ran out, it might be out indefinitely.

Layaway largely disappeared during the 1980s with the massive expansion of consumer credit and credit card companies. Credit card companies were able to offer lower rates because they specialized in analyzing and pricing risk. They also took on the burden of debt collection. This shift was a win-win for everyone involved. Customers benefited by being able to immediately enjoy their purchases. Stores benefited from getting the full value of the purchase upfront while simultaneously freeing up storage space that was previously occupied by layaway.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

Will the FCC Try to Tackle ‘Redskins’?

16th October 2014

George Will finds that his bullshit alarm has gone off.

Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust and it prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let’s hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to broadcasters who use the word “Redskins” when reporting on the Washington Redskins.

Using the FCC to break another private institution to the state’s saddle for the satisfaction of a clamorous faction illustrates how the government’s many tentacles give it many means of intimidating people who offend it. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, empowered to ban trademarks that “may” disparage persons, has already limited trademark protection of the Redskins’ name.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

NIH Spent Millions Studying Origami Condoms, Poop-Throwing Chimpanzees Instead of Ebola

16th October 2014

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Hey, it’s all about priorities.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

Lockheed Martin Announces Its Skunk Works Wants to Build a Fusion Reactor

15th October 2014

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Most existing fusion devices slam together atoms using a tokamak, a magnetic device that contains the superheated plasma required for fusion to occur. Invented in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, it’s what most nuclear fusion devices use. The problem is, the energy required to sustain the reaction is almost as much as what’s created by the reaction.

Lockheed says they’ve figured out how to solve that problem, using their CFR, a jet-engine-sized device. They’ve changed the process for holding the plasma in a way they say has 10 times the output of a tokamak.They also say there’s no risk of a meltdown, and that radioactive waste will be considerably lessened.

More here.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Why Government Websites Cost More and Perform Worse Than Private Sector Sites

15th October 2014

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Aside from the obvious fact that government employees were obtained from the lowest bidder.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

Hillary Clinton Charges University $225K for Speech on the High Cost of Tuition

15th October 2014

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Only Hillary Clinton can take a $225,000 speaking fee from a public university and then, in the speech, lament how high the cost of higher education is.

Your tax dollars at work.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | No Comments »

Navy’s Exoskeleton Could Make Workers 20 Times More Productive

15th October 2014

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For the past couple of years, Miller has been leading a team of engineers and designers to create one of the first industrial-use exoskeletons. Called the FORTIS, the exoskeleton is able to support tools of up to 36 pounds and transfer that load from a worker’s hands and arms to the ground. The goal is to lighten workers’ loads, ultimately making them more productive and skilled at their jobs.

The U.S. Navy recently bought two of the exoskeletons and plans to test them over the next six months to see how they might be used in an industrial situation.

Mobile Infantry, here we come.

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Michael Mosley: Should People Be Eating More Fat?

15th October 2014

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It really is the sort of news that made me want to weep into my skinny cappuccino and then pour it down the sink. After years of being told, and telling others, that saturated fat clogs your arteries and makes you fat, there is now mounting evidence that eating some saturated fats may actually help you lose weight and be good for the heart.

Everything bad is good for you. Michelle, put a sock in it.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Dutch Biker Gang Grabs Rifles, Joins Kurds in Fight Against ISIS

15th October 2014

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Members of a massive Dutch motorcycle gang, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, recently joined Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq, vowing to “exterminate the rodents.”

The leader of No Surrender — which has dozens of chapters in the Netherlands and across Europe — told state broadcaster NOS on Friday that three of its members have traveled to Mosul in Northern Iraq to take up the fight against ISIS, AFP reports.

A photo posted on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account last week shows a heavily-tattooed man in military garb flashing the “victory” sign alongside a Kurdish fighter inside a bunker.

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

Big Brother in Texas: Houston Demands Pastors Turn Over Sermon Notes, Private Communications

15th October 2014

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Houston city officials are demanding that city pastors opposed to Houston’s “Bathroom Bill”–“a law that allows members of the opposite sex into each other’s restrooms”–turn over sermon notes and “communications with church members” to ascertain which pastors have (or haven’t) “opposed or criticized the city.”

The Houston City Council passed the “Bathroom Bill” in June and in July citizens of the city responded by collecting three times the number of signatures needed for a referendum to have the measure repealed. The Houston Chronicle reported that citizens gathered over 50,000 signatures for the referendum, where only 17,269 were needed to put it on the ballot.

Every gene pool has a shallow end, and the Democrats in Texas tend to gravitate to the cities and go into politics. Austin’s Travis County is the biggest blue pustule on the otherwise rosy butt of Texas, but Houston (and Dallas and San Antonio) aren’t far behind.

 

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

Medical Research Org CIDRAP: Ebola Transmittable by Air

15th October 2014

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The highly respected Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota just advised the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that “there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles,” including exhaled breath.

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Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama

15th October 2014

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… Energy East, an improbable pipeline that its backers say has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude.

Its end point, a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply.

As well, Vladimir Putin’s provocations in Ukraine are spurring interest in that oil from Europe and, strange as it seems, Saint John provides among the fastest shipping times to India of any oil port in North America. Indian companies, having already sampled this crude, are interested in more. That means oil-sands production for the first time would trade in more than dribs and drabs on the international markets. With the U.S. virtually its only buyer, the captive Canadians are subject to price discounts of as much as $43 a barrel that cost Canada $20 billion a year.

And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Historical Library of European Martial Arts Books

14th October 2014

Check it out.

Wiktenauer is an ongoing collaboration among researchers and practitioners from across the Western martial arts community, seeking to collect all of the primary and secondary source literature that makes up the text of historical European martial arts research and to organize and present it in a scholarly but accessible format. The Wiktenauer project started in 2009, later receiving sponsorship from the Historical European Martial Arts Alliance, and is named for Johannes Liechtenauer, grand master of the oldest known longsword fencing style; his tradition was also the best-documented of the early Modern era, the subject of many dozens of manuscripts and books over a period of more than three centuries.

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In Illinois, Substitute Teaching for One Day Reaped Nearly $1 Million in Taxpayer-Funded Pension Money

14th October 2014

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In 2011, the Chicago Tribune exposed a pair of Illinois teacher union lobbyists, Stephen Preckwinkle and David Piccioli, who substitute taught for one day and stood to collect nearly $1 million in state teacher retirement pensions from a severely underfunded system. The five Illinois pension systems have a $100 billion liability and the teachers fund may run out of money as early as 2029. Newspaper editorials, elected officials, the governor and citizens cried foul. Legislation was quickly passed to stop the abuse.

In order to understand this massive pension “reform misunderstanding,” we questioned the Public Relations Spokesman for the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) David Urbanek, who explained:

“Mr. Preckwinkle and Mr. Piccioli received a TRS pension following the enactment of House Bill 3813 because House Bill 3813, now Public Act 97-0651, did not stop them from collecting a TRS pension.” read entire email response

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

ISIS Says the Quran Allows Enslaving Women. Will Clerical Leaders Respond?

14th October 2014

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Sure … with calls for sympathy and understanding.

Islam has no problem with slavery; indeed, substantial sections of shari’a deal with slaves and how to treat them,

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

Rock-Star Capitalism

14th October 2014

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What does it tell you when the leader of the world’s best known rock band has a better grasp of modern tax policy than those responsible for making it?

The front man for the rock band U2 got some people’s Irish up after he defended the low taxes of his homeland. “Tax competitiveness has brought our country the only prosperity we’ve known,” said the singer about the Emerald Isle. He’s absolutely right.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

New Dimensions in Racial Tensions

14th October 2014

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The Daily Mail added a little further down in its story: “Some members of the South High School community said that the violent incident was the culmination of ongoing tensions between the eight per cent of Muslim students of Somali de[s]cent and the 20 per cent who are African Americans.” See also the local CBS news report (quoting a South High student: “I know it’s a pride thing between Muslims and black people. They want their pride back for something. I don’t know.”) and the local NBC news report (“students claim this brawl was more than just a food fight, telling KARE 11 racial tensions have been boiling between Somali and African-American students for some time.” On the other hand, the CBS story also quoted another student: “A big riot. It was all types of races.”)

I guess it’s not enough to be African-American, you have to be the right kind of African-American.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Why the Kitchen Computing Dream of the 80s Never Caught On

14th October 2014

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But Computer Programs for the Kitchen seems to be written for an audience that has zero knowledge of either cooking or computers; a curious alien, perhaps. In addition to building a recipe storage program, Chapter 5 outlines the structural features of a menu, in case the reader has never eaten a meal, and offers “proven menus” sure to impress your boss or other important dinner guests (Oysters Rockefeller, anyone?). There are dinner party preparation flowcharts (p 142), figures detailing the many kinds of pots found in a kitchen (p 149), and a table that lists the “mother” sauces that can be modified to make a range of different sauces.

The final chapter is a guide to becoming an insufferable 80s wine snob—it is titled “Is Wine Important?” and offers advice like, “The following list of French wines should be programmed into your computer…”

Only someone who does not need to make dinner right now with a toddler attached to their leg has the luxury of turning it into a weekend-tinkering pursuit.

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Alleged Bitcoin ‘Creator’ Is Crowdfunding His Lawsuit Against Newsweek Using Bitcoin

14th October 2014

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They couldn’t get ‘diversity’ in there because it would make the title too long, but there is ‘diversity’ in it nevertheless.

It’s  like Homecoming for trendy memes.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Is “Huh?” a Universal Word? Conversational Infrastructure and the Convergent Evolution of Linguistic Items

14th October 2014

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

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Liberal Bias in Academia Is Destroying the Integrity of Research

13th October 2014

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How reliable is academic research? Not very, it seems, after noting that the Journal of Vibration and Control, a reputable academic publication, had to retract 60 different papers over the summer.

Just how bad is the problem? It’s not just that few academics voted for Mitt Romney. At a recent meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Haidt asked the audience by show of hands to identify themselves by their political orientation.

He estimates the resulting ratio of liberals to conservatives at 267:1. If anything, it was probably worse, since many conservatives don’t want to be “outed” to their colleagues.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Beyond the Bounds

13th October 2014

The O’Flynn finds that his bullshit alert has gone off.

One is quickly stuck by a notion: How transgressive is it to stand up and bravely face the applause of one’s peers?

All of these actually sound like affirmations of the consensus reality within the world of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The only one that might get pushback from its own readers is the last one, regarding the obsolescence of science fiction itself. There will certainly be no sense of outrage over the suggestion that Christianity is based on a literary misunderstanding. Instead, there will be knowing nods and a hint of a smile. Contending that “we ought never stop thinking” is hardly a controversial theme.

‘Progressives’ are always patting themselves on the back for being ‘brave’, said bravery consisting of shouting loudly what all of their friends agree with. Tom Lerer lampooned this attitude in ‘The Folk Song Army‘, but it didn’t stick.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

You Can Only Buy This New Pepsi in One Place

12th October 2014

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

Pepsi is embracing stevia-leaf extract with a new soda called True, but you won’t find it at your local grocery store. Curious beverage fans will have to buy it on Amazon.

Speaking as an Amazon shareholder, I welcome our new artificially-sweetened masters….

Seriously, I hope that this product is different from all the other reduced-sugar products I’ve tried over the years. Pepsi is one of my few culinary indulgences, and in order to keep from looking like a beach ball I have to restrict the amount I drink in a day quite rigidly. It doesn’t help that most ‘diet’ alternatives taste like something that they ought to be paying you to drink, not the other way ’round.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Famed Antikythera Wreck Yields More Treasures

12th October 2014

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Treasures found on an ancient Mediterranean shipwreck suggest that the massive vessel met a stormy, violent death, and scattered remains over a much larger area than previously thought.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

HAPPY DANCE SUNDAY

12th October 2014

Knock on Wood

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | No Comments »

Report: 92 Percent of Mass Shootings Since 2009 Occurred in Gun-Free Zones

12th October 2014

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Of course … that’s where the victims are….

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

NBC News Crew Under Mandatory Ebola Quarantine After Isolation Agreement Broken

12th October 2014

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The NBC news crew that returned from Africa after one of its photographers contracted Ebola is reportedly under a mandatory quarantine now because Dr. Nancy Snyderman may have violated the self-imposed quarantine.

On Thursday in Princeton, New Jersey, Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical correspondent, was reportedly spotted by many people “sitting in her car outside of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell Boro”:

Perhaps we could start a new holding camp, á la Gitmo, for journalists — in Monrovia….

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

11th October 2014

SlideBelts.

Kernel-Filtering Popcorn Bowl.

VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools.

DUXTOP Portable Induction Cooktop.

Magnetic Shoe Closures.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Hawk Takes Out Quadcopter Drone, Reclaims the Sky

11th October 2014

Read it.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | No Comments »

U.S. Military Probed: Bought Afghans $468M in Planes, Sold as $32K Scrap

10th October 2014

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Including maintenance costs, the Air Force’s total tab was $596 million before officials decided to park the planes, and ultimately sell them for scrap at six cents a pound.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

Analysis: Does the Islamic State Really Have ‘Nothing to Do with Islam’?

10th October 2014

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As is invariably the case these days in the wake of the terrorist violence, brutality, and atrocities carried out explicitly in the name of Islam, a host of dissimulating Islamist activists, other Muslims in a state of psychological denial, and apologetic Western pundits insist that the actions of the terrorist group calling itself al-Dawla al-Islamiyya (IS: the Islamic State) have little or nothing to do with Islam.

Not long ago, many such commentators also argued that the horrendous actions committed by the Nigerian jihadist group Jama’at Ahl al-Sunna li al-Da’wa wa al-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram (Western Influence is Sinful), had nothing to do with its members’ interpretations of Islam.

In all such cases, however, the perpetrators of these violent actions not only proudly insist that their actions are inspired by the Qur’an and the exemplary words and deeds of Muhammad himself (as recorded in the canonical hadith collections), but explicitly cite relevant Qur’anic passages and the reported actions of their prophet to justify those actions. Therefore, to argue that jihadist terrorists are not directly inspired and primarily motivated by their interpretations of Islamic doctrines and by clear precedents from early Islamic history, one must stubbornly ignore what the actual protagonists keep telling the entire world.

“Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ ears?”

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

“America’s biggest hypocrite” — Vote for the Video

10th October 2014

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In an email announcing the contest, MoveOn urged applicants to “make a 30-second ad to wake up America to the crisis of big money in our politics.” In its call for submissions, MoveOn declared: “The scale of the problem is clear. The corporate wing of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts keeps insisting that money is speech and corporations are people. Shadowy, unregulated front groups are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into elections.”

American Commitment has answered the call with a video starring Tom Steyer, perhaps the biggest left-wing gazillionaire funding Democratic campaigns in 2014. He is certainly the biggest hypocrite funding Democratic campaigns this year. American Commitment’s video contest submission is aptly titled “America’s biggest hypocrite.”

Petard, prepare to hoist. (Oh, and go vote for the video. You’ll be glad you did.)

Posted in Whose turn is it to be the victim? | No Comments »

The Bigger the Rock, the Shorter the Marriage

10th October 2014

Freeberg lays out some inconvenient truth.

My personal experience supports the thesis. Which made it a bit awkward when I learned about this, by way of a Facebook FOAF I don’t know myself, who put up a post making use of the militant-feminist cadence of “Oh how much I hate this thing, come gather around and help me hate it.” Does that mean the FOAF is a mil-fem? Probably not; knowing what I do know about our mutual friend, I count that as unlikely, albeit possible. But regardless, I don’t think my participation was any more welcome in that circle, than it is in a typical mil-fem round-table.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | No Comments »

Thought for the Day

10th October 2014

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

ISLAMOCOPIA FRIDAY: What’s New in the Religion of Peace

10th October 2014

Islamic State Video Calls Western Jihadists To Attack At Home

ISIS’ NEXT TARGET: Terror group warns US vet next to be beheaded

ISIS beheads British hostage Alan Henning in video; says US vet is next

Pakistan bus station bombing kills 5

Baghdad priest: Iraqis in city fear possible ISIS attack

Islamic State group downs Iraqi attack helicopter

Detonation in Grozny

FBI Director Comey says roughly a dozen Americans fighting with extremist groups in Syria

Thousands flee clash between India, Pakistan troops in Kashmir

Iran releases journalist wife of Washington Post correspondent

Ben Affleck gets into heated debate with Bill Maher over Islam

By the Numbers: U.S. Military Strikes in Iraq and Syria

Report: Two dead after explosion in Iranian nuclear facility

ISIS reportedly enters strategic Syrian town near Turkish border

For Western jihadists, path to ISIS runs through Turkey

British-Iranian woman held at Evin Prison goes on hunger strike

UN warns of pending ‘massacres’ as ISIS closes in on Syrian city

White House reportedly frustrated with Turkish inaction against ISIS

Source: Air Force father, son targeted online by ISIS followers

Nine Terror Groups Gunning for the United States

Baghdad car bomb kills 13

FBI: Militants may be working on plan to strike US

Twisted Ivy: Harvard Students Say US Bigger Threat to World Peace Than ISIS

Dozens reportedly killed in suicide bombing in Yemeni capital

Family of Iranian woman on death row in dark despite report she could be spared

Mother of ISIS hostage pleads for news of his fate on Twitter

Turkey cracks down on Kurds demanding action against ISIS

ISIS fight in Kobani cause for alarm in Turkey

Benghazi victim’s mother says son’s death could have been prevented

Boko Haram reportedly beheads 7 in revenge attacks

Orthodox Priest Kidnapped by Syrian Rebels in Idlib; Faces Charges in Shariah Courts

Posted in Living with Islam. | No Comments »

Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing

10th October 2014

Read it.

First, of course, you have to pick the right exam.

Across a variety of experiments, psychologists have found that, in some circumstances, wrong answers on a pretest aren’t merely useless guesses. Rather, the attempts themselves change how we think about and store the information contained in the questions. On some kinds of tests, particularly multiple-choice, we benefit from answering incorrectly by, in effect, priming our brain for what’s coming later.

That is: The (bombed) pretest drives home the information in a way that studying as usual does not. We fail, but we fail forward.

Often our study “aids” simply create fluency illusions — including, yes, highlighting — as do chapter outlines provided by a teacher or a textbook. Such fluency misperceptions are automatic; they form subconsciously and render us extremely poor judges of what we need to restudy or practice again. “We know that if you study something twice, in spaced sessions, it’s harder to process the material the second time, and so people think it’s counterproductive,” Nate Kornell, a psychologist at Williams College, said. “But the opposite is true: You learn more, even though it feels harder. Fluency is playing a trick on judgment.”

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

‘Air’ Plastic and Mushroom Cushions – Dell Packages the Future

10th October 2014

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The process has been certified as carbon negative by Trucost and NSF Sustainability, and actually costs less to produce than oil-based plastics, says Mr Campbell.

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

Obamacare Sends Iowa Health Insurance Premiums Skyrocketing

10th October 2014

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On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported that the state’s insurance commissioner has approved Des Moines-based Wellmark to hike its rates between 11.9% and 14.5%.

The premium spike will affect 19,000 Iowans.

“That increase is for individual policyholders who have Affordable Care Act-compliant plans,” reports the Register.

CoOportunity, one of the main companies offering health insurance on the Obamacare exchange, will increase its rates 19%.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | No Comments »

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

9th October 2014

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

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

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

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

I would not hesitate to use such a system.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | No Comments »

Captive Orcas Speak Dolphin

9th October 2014

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Two years ago, scientists showed that dolphins imitate the sounds of whales. Now, it seems, whales have returned the favor. Researchers analyzed the vocal repertoires of 10 captive orcas (Orcinus orca), three of which lived with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the rest with their own kind. Of the 1551 vocalizations these seven latter orcas made, more than 95% were the typical pulsed calls of killer whales. In contrast, the three orcas that had only dolphins as pals busily whistled and emitted dolphinlike click trains and terminal buzzes,

Posted in News You Can Use. | No Comments »

NASA: Biggest Cap of Antarctic Sea Ice Since 1979

9th October 2014

Read it.

How about that Global Warming, huh?

Posted in Think about it. | No Comments »

Obama Slams Billionaires at the Home of a Guy Named Rich Richman

9th October 2014

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Richman, who built his $10 billion company developing rental housing, lives in the Conyers Farm area, where the minimum lot size is 10 acres. Twenty-five donors paid $32,400 each to get their photo taken with the president. Others paid $10,000 for dinner.

It’s like he’s not even listening to himself, but just reading from a teleprompter loaded by the cast of Saturday Night Live.

“If Republicans win, we know who they’ll be fighting for,” Obama said. “Once again, the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class.”

Those two sentences are correct, but not in the way he arranged them.

Obama arrived from New York City — where he had attended a fundraiser with hedge-fund billionaires George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones — in a convoy of four helicopters that landed at the Greenwich Polo Club.

Sometimes it is good to be the king, even King Putt.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | No Comments »

School Told to Call Kids ‘Purple Penguins’ Because ‘Boys and Girls’ Is Not Inclusive to Transgender

9th October 2014

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“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

I am not making this up.

Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.

This is the way we wash your brain, wash your brain, wash your brain….

Anybody who sends a kid to a government school is perpetrating child abuse.

The Other McCain blows the whistle:

The point is that this kind of radicalism can’t be contained to college campuses. Inevitably, the feminists who learn “gender theory” in Women’s Studies programs will want to implement those theories throughout society, including your local public schools — even in Nebraska!

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Why Academics Stink at Writing

9th October 2014

Steven Pinker turns over a rock.

Together with wearing earth tones, driving Priuses, and having a foreign policy, the most conspicuous trait of the American professoriate may be the prose style called academese.

No honest professor can deny that there’s something to the stereotype. When the late Denis Dutton (founder of the Chronicle-owned Arts & Letters Daily) ran an annual Bad Writing Contest to celebrate “the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles,” he had no shortage of nominations, and he awarded the prizes to some of academe’s leading lights.

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