Monday, December 05, 2016

Democrats for diabetes!

Here's a new verb for our times: kellogg. This is the act of a business expressing political values. As in, the Kellogg's cereal company has withdrawn its advertising from the Breitbart website.

Here's the deal:
The website Breitbart is sufficiently beyond the pale for Kellogg's to announce that it is withdrawing its advertising from the site on the grounds that Breitbart does not reflect the company's "values". It is news to me that a cereal manufacturer has "values", other than nutritional values listed down the side of the box - and, just to be pedantic about it, Kellogg's does not really advertise on Breitbart at all: like most Internet advertisers, it has a general ad buy that turns up all over the place according to how many eyeballs each site has. So it's having to spend money to create an algorithm which will detect when a Frosted Flakes or Rice Krispies banner is in danger of airing on Breitbart, and then prevent it from doing so.
What do we know about Kellogg?

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which maintains strong financial ties to the Kellogg Company, has provided at least $930,000 in support of the controversial work of the Black Lives Matter organization.

The institutional left’s funding behemoth W.K. Kellogg Foundation has partnered with and given major donations to George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Tides Center as part of its massive push to promote a far-left agenda.

Kellogg's sells stuff that's bad for you.
In reality, the cereal industry is making billions selling us cheap commodities like corn and sugar, mixed with cheap additives like artificial colors, dumped into a colorful box with cartoon characters. Mainstream cereals are so heavily processed that they do not have natural nutrients, that’s why most of them are sprayed with vitamins, minerals, and sometimes fortified with protein. It’s the ultimate fake food.
In the process of targeting the young, cereal companies also realized that kids don't care about their colons.
They want sugar. Lots of sugar. How did cereal companies reconcile this with their original commitment to the health movement? Taking a page out of Post's playbook, they declared that sugar wasn't bad for you because it gave you the fuel you needed to start your day. With trusted radio personalities extolling the "energy-giving" virtues of cereal, impressionable kids and their frazzled parents rushed to stores.
And today diabetes is epidemic. Thanks, Kellogg's!

Here's your fake news


Morning Rush: How to build better habits, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, December 5, 2016;

Origami in orbit.
It's a tiny "black magic" satellite

Why is The Left so violent?

Eat nuts, live forever

How to build better habits

Buh bye, Harry, and thank you

Hello, Keith and thank you

Why your skin doesn't leak

Survive those holiday crowds

Why Trump really met with Romney

Don't skip your vaccinations

Gitmo prisoners need a safe space

Why cooking is a feel good

Globalistical warmening strikes Hawaii

Idiot of the Day: Nancy Pelosi

Today's Word: writer's cramp

Hahaha: Trump really is like Hitler

The Talkies: The fog catcher brings water to the poor:

Carlos Castaneda: self-importance

"Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone."

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Vespers: Agni Parthene

This is "Agni Parthene" performed by the Valaam Brethren Choir at the Valaam Monastery in Karelia, Russia, located on Valaam, the largest island in Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe. According to the scholarly consensus, the monastery was founded at some point towards the end of the 14th century.

"O Virgin Pure" and sometimes "O Pure Virgin" (Greek: Ἁγνὴ Παρθένε, Agni Parthene) is a non-liturgical hymn composed by St. Nectarios of Aegina, drawn from the Theotokarion (Book of Hymns to the Mother of God). Sometimes performed in Orthodox churches at the beginning of Vespers, or after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy during the veneration of the cross and receiving of anti-doron.

A TV show you need to watch

Let me begin by saying I hate those TV shows in which they fix up some dumb house, or lead a stupid couple around to find a house to buy, or whatever. These shows pale in comparison to Law & Order or NCIS reruns.

I'm going to make an exception, however, for a show called "Fixer Upper" hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The reason is that they're under attack by the leftist media for their pastor's beliefs. Here's a bit of background.
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed ran an exposé on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV's popular show "Fixer Upper." But the article did not focus on any wrongdoing, or even on the celebrity couple's views about a politically charged issue, same-sex marriage. Instead, it focused on their church's teachings about marriage and homosexuality, and asked whether the Gaineses subscribe to the stone-age belief that (SHOCKER!) marriage is between one man and one woman. 
And it's not just one website either: On Wednesday, Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, and Jezebel joined suit — attacking the popular television couple for the unspeakable "hateful, anti-LGBT beliefs" of their pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church. 
Who cares? Chip and Joanna Gaines are famous for their expertise at "flipping" houses and having tons of fun while they do it. Their flirting on national television, and the work-family dynamic which drives the show have entertained and inspired people — and infuriated those who cannot live up to this impossible standard for human relationships.
I confess that I don't know what Buzzfeed is, but now I'm determined not to find out.

This is apparently its goal:
BuzzFeed has not let up on Christian TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, with reporter Kate Aurthur implicitly warning the hosts of HGTV’s Fixer Upper that they will receive more bad press unless the show features a same-sex couple.
Oh really. Do I really need swishy on a flipping show? Squirming is not my thing.

Meantime, before Kelloggs gets wind of this, I encourage you to join me in watching the show. Here's a taste:

Here's the HGTV website for the show. And here's a schedule of their air times.

A shoot shall come out

From The Lectionary:

Isaiah 11:1-10

11:1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

11:2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

11:3 His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;

11:4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

11:5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

11:6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

11:7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

11:8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.

11:9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

11:10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Albert Schweitzer: your place

"Therefore search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity."

Friday, December 02, 2016

This just in ...

Dunbar Family Forced 
To Discontinue Print Edition 
Of Christmas Newsletter

PAULLINA, IA—In an e-mail to readers on Monday, editors of the Dunbar Family Annual Christmas Update announced that due to logistical constraints, they had decided to cease print publication of the newsletter, which will move to a web-only distribution model.

Victims of the new economy.
“Amid a rapidly changing Christmas-letter landscape, the printed word has become a less effective way to keep you informed about Dunbar family affairs,” wrote editor-in-chief Phyllis Dunbar, who assured a readership of more than 60 friends and relatives that the December bulletin would remain the most reliable source for updates on Nathan’s progress in school, pet acquisitions and deaths, and the family’s travel plans. 

“Even as we move to expand our online presence, we have not forgotten our core principles of journalistic integrity and holiday cheer. We are very proud of our digital edition, and we think you will like it too.” 

At press time, sources had confirmed that as part of their transition to the digital age, the Dunbars would be eliminating 37 jobs.

Film at 11.

(Thanks, Rache)

Casual Friday: We're An American Band

Just two working days til Monday!

"I like to reminisce with people I don't know." ~  Steven Wright

The Passing Parade: A visit to the national psyche ward

Barking up the wrong tree.
In which we ask the important questions, e.g., Who are what is Lena Dunham?

Celeb Lena Dunham sought solace in the Arizona wilderness this week as she works to overcome her post-election anxiety. She posted of photo on Instagram that shows her hiking in a fashionable sports bra and flashing a “true smile” while hiking in exclusive Sedona, Ariz. The celeb recently said she was “terrified” that a “predator will soon be residing in the White House.”

A Hillary supporter admitted himself to the psyche ward on election night when he realized that she was losing. Benjamin Ryan said he was “catatonic, plagued by involuntary jerking motions, speech patterns disjointed, weeping uncontrollably. I found out Donald Trump had won the Electoral College while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital. The unlockable bathroom door in this unescapable wing was ajar, and I could hear the victorious Mike Pence’s sinister Sunday-school baritone taunting me with the truth from the hallway television.”

The Nordic Food Lab wants you to eat blood, insects and brains to save the world. “We try to work with every type of produce. "Insects, blood, jelly fish, fermented products that sometimes smell and develop mould, and the products look rotten,” explains Roberto Flore, Head of Culinary Research and Development at the lab. “It’s about giving people more confidence with different produce and reconnecting with process of producing food."

Before he was shot dead while attempting to murder a bunch of people with a car and a butcher's knife, Ohio State University student Abdul Artan was enrolled in a class called "Crossing Identity Boundaries." He had a group project on "microaggressions" due later this week. The assignment required students to find a dozen examples of microaggressions on social media and explain which identity groups were the victims.

Tim Kaine, Virginia senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate, said Monday he was saddened by the “senseless act of gun violence” at Ohio State University, even though the attacker used a butcher knife and a car.

Stephanie Clemons Thompson, the Ohio State University assistant director of residence life expressed sympathy for Somali stabber Abdul Razak Ali Artan in a bizarre Facebook post Monday that has since gone viral. "If you share a picture of his dead body and I see it in my timeline I will unfriend you."

A “feminist” strategy for clearing the roads of snow in Stockholm ended in failure as the city ground to a halt in recent days. A new system, suggested by progressive politicians in the Swedish city, tore up tried and tested snow plow routes and diverted them to areas said to be used more by women. But the inevitable consequence was that other spaces – like main roads – were clogged up for longer, and it became impossible to get around.

In other news, a rogue beaver was apprehended after trashing a store that sells fake Christmas trees.

Morning Rush: Jettison these fitness fads, and more

Here and there on the Web this Friday, December 2, 2016:

Automating genetic engineering.
You, too, can be a bio-hacker

Fitness fads to leave behind

The O just keeps regulating you

Bouncing back after you're fired

Ask your doc about aspirin

Your brain keeps falling asleep

Why can't we care for our vets?

Never too late to stop smoking

They're dying to live in Chicago

Clever school kids defeat evil

Here are some companies to boycott

Most powerful woman in Washington

Productivity tips for freelancers

How To: pull a car from a ditch

Today's Word: Exhibiting dazzling splendor

Hahaha: What mom wants for Christmas

The Talkies: The crazy physics behind skyscrapers

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: insight

"A moment's insight is sometimes worth a lifetime's experience."

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Support your local police

They can't be everywhere.

Making America safe again.

(American Digest)

How to win any argument

The author of this article is right, so don't argue. Besides, her name is Skye Gould. I've never won an argument with someone named Skye.
Don't try to win. Attacking someone's ideas puts them into fight-or-flight mode. Once they're on edge, there will be no getting through to them. 
So if you want to be convincing, practice "extreme agreement" — take your conversational partner's views and advance them to their logical, and perhaps absurd, conclusion.
Be civil. Contrary to what your debate coach said, arguments aren't rational. So respect the other person's perspective, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. "When people have their self-worth validated in some way, they tend to be more receptive to information that challenges their beliefs," says Peter Ditto, a psychology professor at the University of California at Irvine. With that emotional connection established, you can then start getting logical.
Okay, fine, but as a backup always carry a Glock.
Be confident. People don't listen to the smartest person in the room. A 2013 study found that they listen to the people who act as if they know what is right. Bryan Bonner, a professor of management at the University of Utah, says people unconsciously look for "messy proxies for expertise" such as extroversion, gender, race, or confidence level instead of paying attention to what a person is actually saying. "We'd hope that facts would be the currency of influence. But often, we guess at who's the expert — and we're wrong."
That's why a Glock is so effective.
Use graphs. According to a 2014 study from Cornell University researchers Aner Tal and Brian Wansink, people trust scientists. Thus doing something that makes you appear scientific — like using a graph — makes you more trustworthy. "The prestige of science appears to grant persuasive power even to such trivial science-related elements as graphs," Tal and Wansink wrote.
Here's one that gives me confidence:

Morning Rush: Take a nap, live forever, and more

Here and there on the road this Thursday, December 1, 2016:

Diseased? Let Google figure it out.
Using technology to diagnose disease

Why you shouldn't go to bed angry

What The O did to your well being

Smoke dope, lose your mind

Smoke cigarettes, lose your heart

Take a nap, live forever

We need to resurrect honor

How they train for active shooters

But this campus is safe

Boycott Frosted Flakes!

You should continue flossing

How to drain the federal swamp

There won't always be an England

Global warming to strike entire USA

Your Android phone is at risk

Still watching ESPN?

Today's Word: sycophantic, fawning

Hahaha: Obama fulfills campaign promise

The Talkies: Why owls can hear so well:

Harriet Martineau: today

"You better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coping at Work: the office temp

No. 98 in a series ...

When it's definitely too late 
to ask temp's name

It is too late for co-workers to ask an office temp what her name is, experts have confirmed.

Colleagues have been passing the short-term contract worker in corridors for the past six weeks, while going to great lengths to avoid using her name.

Sales administrator Nathan Muir said: “Instead of having to say her name, I’ve been gesturing at her like the Fonze when I see her, clicking my tongue, or just saying a really long ‘heeeeeeeey!’

“I’ve shared too many morning greetings and knowing smiles about the coffee machine to admit I don’t know her name now. I think we both know I don’t know it but, as with my marriage, it’s easier to continue living the lie.

“Hopefully her contract will end soon and I can make a fresh start with the new temp.”

Emma Bradford, the temp’s team leader, said: “I’ve been hoping to overhear someone else using her name but I’m starting to feel like nobody else can remember it either.

“Maybe I’ll just call her an obviously wrong name like ‘Rainbow’ and let her correct me.”

Let's no longer normalize The Left

The latest abuse of the language -- remember diversity? -- by The Left is normalize. It's used by those who don't like Donald Trump to attack him.
Stanford linguist Arnold Zwicky says most of the time the word appears post-election, people are specifically using it to talk about Donald Trump and the racism, sexism, and xenophobia his campaign inspired.
Notice how Emily Dreyfuss, the author of this article in Wired, expresses those charges as if they are fact. In fact, they aren't. But save that for another time.
Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam Webster, examined a range of sources and found that people have used the word twice as much online in 2016 than in 2015, and that this usage spiked after Election Day by as much as 50 percent. But Americans are using it in a different way than they normally do. The country is normalizing a new use of “normalize.”
Ms. Dreyfuss notes:
Most of the time those uses originated from left-leaning sources. In other words, though “normalize” may seem to be bubbling up in the zeitgeist, it’s only the zeitgeist for some. The word is not everywhere: It’s trending among liberals. This tilt jibes with Zwicky’s hunch about the virality of the word, which he guesses “come from left-leaning people like me, people who feel that uncharitable and downright threatening behavior … has come to be treated as normal.”
It is very trendy, but you have to use it the right way. As you do with diversity.

The churches get weird -- and empty

Comfortably filled -- room for everyone to lie down.
One of my favorite writers, who goes by the name The Z Man, recently attended a church service at which a new priest was ordained. Few people were there.
If what I saw in Albany is typical for the church as a whole, I’d bet they are finished in a generation at best. A church without worshipers is a building. 
This is a common story with mainline Protestant churches. 
Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were women. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. 
Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged. 
If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. 
A similar thing seems to be happening in the Catholic Church, which had managed to resist the same fate until recently. The turning point appears to have been the sex scandals, which have been used by the lunatics to push out the sensible. It’s also emptied the pews in many parts of the world, as parishioners simply could not tolerate the handling of these cases. The conservatives in the Church should have gone on the offensive to purge the pink monasteries and the buggerers. Instead they surrendered. 
It is hard to know if the Red Pope will live long enough to destroy the Church, but he will certainly cripple it. There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.” That’s true for the Pope, as well. It’s perfectly fine for the religious to pray for the souls of the wicked, but it is not required. The Pope should be the one guy making that point, but instead he took the opportunity to celebrate the life of a homicidal maniac. The reason is Fidel belongs to the same Church as the Pope – the Communist Church. 
What’s happening with the Catholic Church is it is following the same path as the Protestant churches. They are inviting in people from other religions, thinking they will be Catholic first and communist or Progressive second. It never works that way. The secular faith always comes first, which is why you can never find a liberal Catholic, who is pro-life. Their liberal faith will never tolerate opposition to abortion and their liberalism trumps everything else. A man cannot have two religions; one must be dominant. 
The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal. 
When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see the elimination of the main churches.
A central government seeks power. It cannot tolerate other centers of power. That would include state and local governments, families and ... churches.

Morning Rush: Parents, control your children, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, November 30, 2016:

Body parts on demand.
The first hospital 3D printing facility

Are your children out of control?

Drones: You can run but can't hide

What if we just followed the law?

Why the world is such a mess

Here's your fake news

Which exercise is best for you?

What we can learn from elevators

Time to investigate this mosque

That running conversation in your head

Perhaps leftists have mental issues

Take your kids out of public schools

Today's Word: to defame or malign

Hahaha: Teen goes out "to do stuff"

The Talkies: How Einstein changed everything:

Cicero: be brief

"When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This just in ...

Scholars Discover Translation Error: 
Root Of All Evil Actually Gluten

LA MIRADA, CA—New Testament experts have historically translated the Greek word “philarguria” as “love of money,” rendering Paul’s famous line in his first letter to Timothy as “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

But after researchers at Biola University recently found the word scattered throughout a handful of first century cookbooks, its definition has been expanded to include “a type of wheat protein used for baking bread.”

Citing this new discovery, scholars made an astonishing announcement Monday, asserting that Paul’s original intent in 1 Timothy 6:10 was to warn Timothy not about the love of money, but about about the evils of gluten.

“Paul used grain metaphors throughout his letters, and coupled with the new information, we posit this updated translation with a high degree of certainty,” Biola professor Karter Blankenship told reporters. “When he talks about cleansing out the old leaven, it may not be a metaphor at all. We now know that Paul meant to tell Timothy, and us—that gluten is the root of all evil.”

“Paul continues in the tail end of verse ten, saying that ‘it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs,’—this is a clear reference to people who suffer from gluten intolerance, and the food cravings and piercing abdominal pains that come along with it,” Blankenship added.

“Paul was certainly ahead of his time.”

Do you look like a criminal?

In 2011 a group of psychologists from Cornell University showed that people were actually quite good at distinguishing criminals from noncriminals just by looking at photos of them. How could that be if there are no statistically different features?

Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have used a variety of machine-vision algorithms to study faces of criminals and noncriminals and then tested it to find out whether it could tell the difference.
They took ID photos of 1856 Chinese men between the ages of 18 and 55 with no facial hair. Half of these men were criminals. They then used 90 percent of these images to train a convolutional neural network to recognize the difference and then tested the neural net on the remaining 10 percent of the images.
The results are unsettling.
Xiaolin and Xi found that the neural network could correctly identify criminals and noncriminals with an accuracy of 89.5 percent. “These highly consistent results are evidences for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic,” they say.
Xiaolin and Xi say there are three facial features that the neural network uses to make its classification. These are: the curvature of upper lip which is on average 23 percent larger for criminals than for noncriminals; the distance between two inner corners of the eyes, which is 6 percent shorter; and the angle between two lines drawn from the tip of the nose to the corners of the mouth, which is 20 percent smaller.
Remember, boys and girls, somebody is watching.

Going Mad: Time to put the snowshoes on your camel

If the globe is warming, then it won't be getting colder. Am I missing something?

It's a bomb!
Snowball in hell. Snow covered the desert sand in Saudi Arabia when temperatures dropped below freezing, an unexpected treat for Saudi Arabia's central and northwest regions, which tend to see daily high temperatures of around 68°, even in the November "cold season." While the building of snowmen may seem innocent enough, Saudis who took part in the activity during a freak snowfall in January 2015 were condemned by a cleric who called it sinful and "anti-Islamic."

James Hansen, call your office. A new NASA study admits that ice is accumulating in Antarctica. Satellite measurements show an 82-112 gigaton-a-year net ice gain. That’s 82-112 billion tons per year! Nine zeroes! In other words that is 112,000,000,000 tons. Per year. It’s hard to comprehend how much ice that really is, so let’s put it in perspective. Let’s assume that they’re talking short tons (2,000 lbs). That’s about the weight of an old VW Beetle. Those old Beetles measured 14 feet long. Multiply 112 billion by 14 feet and you get 1,560 billion feet. Divide that by the distance from the earth to the moon (239,000 miles), and you’d have a string of VW Beetles stretching all the way to the moon. Not once, not twice, but 45 times. All the way to the moon. That’s a helluva lot of new ice. Every single year. And we’re worried about global warming?

Ah snow. The people of Tokyo aren't used to snow before Christmas, but the Japanese capital has seen its first snowfall in November for 54 years – and the first accumulation in the city centre since records began in 1875. November temperatures in Tokyo usually average between 48-59 degrees, but on Thursday they dropped close to 32 degrees.

What the El? Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record. The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end. The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America. Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming. Others have argued that the records were caused by El Nino, a complex natural phenomenon that takes place every few years, and has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions by humans. The new fall in temperatures suggests they were right.

Another hysterical turkey. Gale Strasburg, a food scientist, is trying to save the rest of us from a future of dry and stringy Thanksgiving turkeys. Turkeys are vulnerable to heat and cold. Exposure to extreme temperatures early in their development can create changes in the quality of their meat that last all the way to the dining room table. Oh ... Strasburg's latest project, on how extreme temperatures impact turkey development, is backed by a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Globalistical warmening really pays. Right Gale?

Morning Rush: What makes your voice pleasant, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, November 29, 2016:

I see you.
The world's smallest camera drone

What makes a voice sound pleasant

Houston, we have a poop problem

Why your balance gets worse

Dems create Midwestern safe space

Turning nuclear waste into batteries

Oh that voter fraud

How can parents say no today?

Well, ban the guns anyway

Who's afraid of the bureaucrats?

Why are gasoline contains ethanol

Idiot of the Day: Tim Kaine

Wait, there's: Justin Trudeau

How To: beat the fear of flying

Today's Word: conciseness of diction

Hahaha: Macy's parade float gets ticketed

The Talkies: Things you can make out of corks:

Irving Wallace: conformity

"To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Our children don't exercise, and they're growing old fast

Start 'em early.
Which is why we get stories like this:
The most striking trend emerging from a study which looked at 60,000 operations was the number of young people needing procedures we usually associate with old age. For example, haemorrhoid removal and varicose veins were two of the most common procedures for 25-35 and 36-45 year olds. In short, people in their twenties are thirties are becoming old before their time.
 Here's one reason.
Many U.S. schools have seen gym classes cut from the curriculum; nearly half of high school students don’t have weekly PE class, and only 15% of elementary schools require PE at least three days a week for the school year. The result: the majority of American kids and adolescents have so-called exercise-deficit disorder. Meanwhile, childhood-obesity rates have climbed every year since 1999.
From first grade to 12th, I went to PE class daily for an hour. Lest you think it's just entertainment, consider the effect exercise can have on learning.
In addition to the heart, muscles, lungs and bones, scientists are finding that another major beneficiary of exercise might be the brain. Recent research links exercise to less depression, better memory and quicker learning.

So far, they’ve found that exercise improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells, courtesy of the protein BDNF, short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF triggers the growth of new neurons and helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. “I always tell people that exercise is regenerative medicine–restoring and repairing and basically fixing things that are broken,” Bamman says.
In other words, exercise helps learning. It's not something apart from the classroom. The geniuses running our schools today have other ideas.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The government and your Thanksgiving meal

Toss it.
Federal regulations now cost us $2 trillion a year. Barack installed 21,000 of them at a cost of more than $100 billion annually.

Here's how they affected your Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey. Title 9, Part 381.76, of the Code of Federal Regulations directs turkey inspectors on the proper method of examining a frozen bird, to wit: “If a carcass is frozen, it shall be thoroughly thawed before being opened for examination by the inspector. Each carcass, or all parts comprising such carcass, shall be examined by the inspector, except for parts that are not needed for inspection.” 
Cranberries. Title 7, Part 929, establishes a “marketing committee” overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set quotas on the volume of cranberries shipped to handlers from growers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island, New York. The grower “allotments” help to ensure that the price of cranberries remains artificially high. 
Bread/Rolls. Title 21, Part 136, requires anything labeled as “bread” in a bakery to weigh one-half pound or more after cooling. To be legally called a “roll,” each unit must weigh less than one-half pound after cooling. 
Potatoes. Title 7, Part 51.1546, dictates the proportion of allowable defects among specific grades of spuds. Potatoes graded as “U.S. No. 1” may not exceed the following tolerances at the point of shipping: 5 percent for external defects, 5 percent for internal defects, and not more than a total of 1 percent for potatoes that are frozen or affected by soft rot or wet breakdown. An entirely different set of tolerances apply to U.S. No. 1 potatoes while en route or upon reaching the destination, while similar standards are also set for “commercial” grade potatoes, “U.S. No. 2” potatoes, and “off-size” potatoes. 
Green beans. Title 21, Part 155.120, defined green beans and wax beans as “the foods prepared from succulent pods of fresh green bean or wax bean plants conforming to the characteristics of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and Phaseolus coccineus L. The beans shall be one of the following distinct color types: (a) Green; or (b) Wax. The varietal type is either (a) beans having a width not greater than 1 1/2 times the thickness of the bean; or (b) beans having a width greater than 1 1/2 times the thickness of the bean.” 
Cornmeal (for stuffing). Title 21, Part 137.275, distinguishes yellow cornmeal from cleaned white cornmeal: “Yellow cornmeal conforms to the definition and standard of identity prescribed by §137.250 for white cornmeal except that cleaned yellow corn is used instead of cleaned white corn.” 
Pecans. Title 7, Part 65, requires “country of origin” labeling for pecans and a variety of other foods. The declaration may not contain abbreviations or flags. However, the adjectival form of the name of a country may be used to identify the country of origin—provided the adjectival form of the name does not appear with other words so as to refer to a kind or species of product.
I checked. Here are regulations on turkey sandwiches.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

When Thanksgiving dinner is over

This just in ...

How to deep fry a turkey

Another Donald Trump rally

How to lecture Trump voters at the Thanksgiving table

Andrew Rotherham has some good pointers in U.S. News & World Report:
Several years ago, President Barack Obama's political team inaugurated an interesting holiday tradition when they advised Americans to talk about health care policy over Thanksgiving dinner. They were amateurs. After this year's election, with everyone hot to tell their relatives in America's heartland about the errors of their ways, Thanksgiving is going pro. A few talking points to help you:

If home is a Rust Belt community hollowed out by globalized economics and left with inadequate assistance for trade adjustment, mediocre schools and a porous social safety net, then, before the bird is even stuffed, lay into your relatives about how racist they were to vote for the candidate who made opposition to trade a centerpiece of his campaign. Deliver this one with extra force if they voted for Obama.

Let them know they are not fooling anyone with their concern about "economic" pain. Everyone in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and at Oberlin gets what they're really up to. Explain to them what real financial pain looks like. Do they have any idea the cost of Hamilton tickets – and that you have to go several times before everyone on Facebook knows just how woke you are?

Rural voters? Tell them how awful they are for voting for a candidate who actually showed up in places few from the political class ever go.

From coal country? Before the potatoes are passed tell your relatives how idiotic it was for them to vote for a candidate who repeatedly promised to bring jobs back to their region instead of one who got tied in knots explaining how she wasn't really against coal jobs, and then spent precious little time in coal country or the parts of the country coal helped build. Lecture struggling family members about how, despite an opioid pandemic, dwindling economic prospects and the accompanying personal chaos this brings to many families, what they really need to do right now is check their privilege.

Better, just check it for them. You went to Yale, so you know what's up. Working-class voters who are watching their communities dim as income gains accrue more and more to an inbred set of highly educated Americans will have absolutely no idea about structural inequality and will be excited to hear your ideas about all of their privilege. They will be especially interested in anything you picked up in a "workshop" while they were doing the kind of work that leaves one stiff or sore at the end of a day.

People on tight budgets upset about health care prices going up right on the cusp of the election? Please. Sounds like the lamest TED Talk ever.

Seek out family members who are sincerely pro-life, for instance Catholics or evangelicals, and hector them about how basing their vote on an issue that matters deeply and personally to them is kind of backwards. Make sure they know absolutely no one at your co-op in Brooklyn buys the idea they voted their conscience, not even that one guy who sometimes goes to church because it's a good place to find dates. Remind them, repeatedly, throughout the holiday weekend that despite plenty of pro-choice voters who would never pull the lever for a pro-life candidate it is really quite ignorant for them to engage in the same kind of single-issue voting behavior. If you know women who voted for Trump only because of the Supreme Court, then inform them about their "false consciousness." How could they possibly know as much as you do? You took courses on gender studies. At a fancy private school!

And make sure anyone who voted because they're concerned about immigration knows that everyone down at Whole Foods gets how xenophobic they are. Tell them how, as a college-educated professional, you know there are no downsides to immigration. Seems pretty obvious here in Palo Alto.

On the other hand, you should definitely not have a Thanksgiving conversation acknowledging how on many political issues in American politics reasonable people can disagree (and still be close). Do not mention the sprawling nature of this country and the very real frustration with America's political leadership and hunger for change. Under no circumstance acknowledge that people vote for many reasons not just the one you care most about. Do not discuss how both political parties and numerous interest groups have a vested interest in trafficking in division rather than unity. Never entertain the idea that underneath everything more still binds than divides us as Americans.

Most obviously, do not talk about the joys and heartbreaks, triumphs and setbacks and other routine yet rich aspects of life we all share. Keep everything focused on politics, division and difference, all the time.

That way, instead of thinking through why some people voted the way they did and, as importantly, why others are now scared in the election's wake, you can instead fuel the conditions that gave rise to Trumpism.

Sure, the Thanksgiving drums of war from pundits and the mob on social media sound righteous, but they do little but help President-elect Trump cement a second term before even being sworn in for his first one. Do you really want to do that? Especially over turkey and pie? As Trump himself might say: Sad!
Time for some reverse lectures. Remember this.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Amaze your friends at the table tomorrow

I've read that families with differing political views will have a hard time at the Thanksgiving table tomorrow.


If you haven't learned to control your tongue by now (see previous post) perhaps you can learn to grab two pistols and take it out into the back yard.

Here is some history of Thanksgiving that, if you can remember even snippets of it, will allow you to impress your idiot relatives (those who disagree with you politically).

This is from the History of Massachusetts blog, hosted by Rebecca Beatrice Brooks.
The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration held by the pilgrims of Plymouth colony in Massachusetts in the 17th century. What is known is that the pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the successful fall harvest. Celebrating a fall harvest was an English tradition at the time and the pilgrims had much to celebrate.
The 53 pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were the only colonists to survive the long journey on the Mayflower and the first winter in the New World. Disease and starvation struck down half of the original 102 colonists. These pilgrims made it through that first winter and, with the help of the local Wampanoag tribe, they had a hearty supply of food to sustain them through the next winter.
We don't celebrate harvests anymore. We just assume the broccoli will be there on the supermarket shelf. We celebrate "diversity," by which we mean let's all be different. Diversity at the first Thanksgiving meant two peoples who were alike in that they were trying to survive. Things are different in a fox hole.
This feast most likely happened sometime between September and November. No exact date for the feast has ever been recorded so one can only assume it happened sometime after the fall harvest. The celebration took place for three days and included recreational activities.
Touch football, no doubt.
Guests at the feast included 90 Wampanoag Indians from a nearby village, including their leader Massasoit. One of these Indians, a young man named Squanto, spoke fluent English and had been appointed by Massasoit to serve as the pilgrim’s translator and guide. Squanto learned English prior to the pilgrim’s arrival after he was captured by English explorers and spent time in Europe as a slave.
The feast celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621 was never actually called “Thanksgiving” by the colonists. It was simply a harvest celebration. A few years later, in July of 1623, the pilgrims did hold what they called a “Thanksgiving.” This was simply a religious day of prayer and fasting that had nothing to do with the fall harvest. 
Over the years, the names of the two events became intertwined and by the late 1600s many individual colonies and settlements, began holding “Thanksgiving feasts” during the autumn months.
Are you still with me? It gets better.
The Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777 and then in 1789, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving as well. 
These were merely declarations and not official holidays. Future presidents did not continue the Thanksgiving declaration. 
Thanksgiving didn’t become a national holiday until Hale began writing letters to each sitting president starting in 1846. She wrote letters to five presidents: Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln asking them to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. 
Abraham Lincoln was the only president to listen and supported legislation making it a national holiday in 1863. America was in the middle of its bloody Civil War at the time and Lincoln hoped the new holiday would unify the bitterly divided country. The holiday was finally a success and Thanksgiving has continued ever since.
We're gravely divided today, but we have been before. It's interesting, isn't it, what one determined person can accomplish.

Take it from a disdainful, hapless rube

Here in southwestern Connecticut, those of use who vote Republican have learned to put up with insufferable liberal friends who assume we think as they do and have given no thought to the idea that we might not think the same.

They are smug and rude and have no idea that they are. Otherwise, they are lovely people.

Here's an example. A teacher at a local school, known to a Trump supporter, walked into the classroom of a Clinton supporter the day after the election.

"Get out of my room! Don't come back!" the Hillary person shouted.

Why is this?

Emmett Rensin has this thought.
There is a smug style in American liberalism. It has been growing these past decades. It is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what's good for them. 
It has led an American ideology hitherto responsible for a great share of the good accomplished over the past century of our political life to a posture of reaction and disrespect: a condescending, defensive sneer toward any person or movement outside of its consensus, dressed up as a monopoly on reason.
Demographic shifts led us to this, he writes.
Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Over at Mother Jones, a liberal rag, in a piece entitled "Are Liberals Too Smug? Nah, We're Too Condescending.", Kevin Drum responds to Rensin.
There's some smugness in there, sure, but I'd call it plain old condescension. We're convinced that conservatives, especially working class conservatives, are just dumb. Smug suggests only a supreme confidence that we're right—but conservative elites also believe they're right, and they believe it as much as we do. The difference is that, generally speaking, they're less condescending about it.
If you google it, you'll see that a lot of people responded to the Rensin article with their own thoughts, so it must have struck a nerve.

Just. Go. Away.
Remember where this started.
"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion." ~ Barack Hussein Obama
"You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton
I'll just stay on the local, personal level. How do our good friends end up being so boorish? 

Morning Rush: Cook a turkey that tastes good

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, November 23, 2016:

Ready for The Olympics.
This is one record-breaking bat

What screens do to your child

Cook a turkey that tastes good

Check how they monitor you

Smoke that weed, lose your mind

Guess who is shooting blacks

Don't work for more than 90 minutes

These are the people Barack admires

Yogic breathing vs major depression

Somebody explain the law to the DOJ

Eat cheese, live forever

Don't forget to eat your veggies

How the NOAA fudges the numbers

Don't send your kid to U of Mass

How To: paint a ceiling

Today's Word: one who feigns illness to escape work

Hahaha: Mom gunning to befriend babysitter

The Talkies: Sponsor a millennial today:

W. Somerset Maugham: the present

"I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present."