Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Let's look at what's happening in Sweden

Here in microcosm we see our problem with the press in its totality. At a rally in Florida, President Donald Trump made the following comment:
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Well, he was ridiculed in the press, which begins with the assumption that he is always wrong. Here's what the press reported: "Donald Trump made up Swedish terror attack based on Fox News story" And:  "Donald Trump Appears To Make Up Sweden Terror Attack"

Except that he didn't. Go back and read his words at the top. He doesn't talk about an "attack." Charlie Martin observes:
People's perceptions are actually being altered, first by their attitudes toward Trump, and then by the reinforcement from various outlets that share their attitudes toward Trump. The media is in a trance. They are concentrating on seeing "Trump the idiot" or "Trump the liar," and no one sees the dancing bear. Anyone concerned with understanding what's actually going on needs to be aware of this.
The next day Trump explained that he was referring to an item on Fox News the night before. That report stated: Sweden has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and rape and violence has since skyrocketed. A journalist took a close look at Sweden's refugee crisis and at what 'extreme vetting' really means.

Here's what's going on in Sweden, courtesy of the "refugees."
Police are reportedly investigating the suspected gang rape of a woman after the attack was live-streamed on Facebook. An online witness said the victim had her clothes pulled off by armed men and was sexually assaulted before cops arrived and turned off the camera. Three people have been arrested after the alleged attack was broadcast in a closed Facebook group last night. The horrific assault took place in an apartment in Uppsala, Sweden.
Savages in Sweden.
Here's more, for all you "journalists" out there.
The first suspect's name is Emillem ‘Lemon’ Khodagholi. Khodagholi was on probation for a variety of crimes (theft, assault, drugs crimes, and death threats) when he participated in this horrendous crime. Shortly before he and his friends raped the poor woman at the point of a gun, Khodagholi announced his plans to his followers. "Listen, today I will f*ck. I swear it on my mother," he said, adding that he would cause "a rampage."
Not long after, he and the other two suspects entered the young woman's apartment in the city of Uppsala. They raped her for a full three hours. The entire crime was broadcast live on Facebook. Yesterday, footage was released of Khodagholi bullying his victim when she was calling someone for help. The poor girl was barely conscious, but her rapist couldn't control himself. "You got raped. There, we have the answers. You’ve been raped," he shouted gleefully at her. He then laughed like a psychopath and continued to make fun of her.
I invite the "journalists" among us to study those photographs.

Meanwhile, as their girls back home are bing brutally raped, Swedish diplomats in Iran delight in wearing hijabs.
Real cute, ladies.
I invite members of the "journalism" profession to continue ridiculing President Trump. Meanwhile, back in Sweden, the Muslims are burning everything down.

So what are they for again?

"So they hate Trump but what are these protestors and their media enablers for?

"As far as I can tell they are for children but also for killing unborn ones with no restriction, no apology, and no need for a fee. They are for LBGT and women's "rights," but ally themselves with Muslims who practice FGM, oppose abortion, treat women like cattle, and promote and engage in honor killings, and advocate death for LBGT people. 

"They are for women's rights, but want men who think they are women to use women's washrooms. 
"They are for free speech, but shut down anybody who disagrees with them, and, of course, ally themselves with Muslims who oppose freedom of speech and thought as part of their core dogma. 

"They are against racism but try to stir up old racial animosities and conflicts that had long been resolved, buried, and forgotten. They are for poor working people, but oppose the tax and the regulatory structures that create jobs. 

"They are for poor working people but favor unrestricted immigration that drives down wages, crowds out jobs, and absorbs the funds of public welfare schemes. They want free education for all, but oppose letting poor and middle class people have the right to choose their schools, unlike the rich people who do. 

"They shout "Love Trumps Hate!" as they bash opponents with bricks and poles. They have spent decades denouncing the military, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI as oppressors of the people, but now want those agencies to sabotage an elected president. 

"The wealthy ones denounce gun ownership and walls but live behind protective shields of men with guns and walls around their exclusive properties. Hollywood stars who made millions living in the land of make-believe denounce non-existent Trumpian "brownshirts" and bravely proclaim their resistance! 

"They are for the environment and prove it by flying to environmental rallies in their private jets."

Morning Rush: He fought the scammers and won, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

"Siri, say ahhh."
Smartphones revolutionize medicine

He fought the scammers and won

Deduct phone and Internet bills

Ivanka Trump gets the last laugh

Twitter may be censoring you

Your TSA hard at work

Your IRS hard at work

A friendship saved Abe Lincoln's life

Does this theory explain depression?

How The Left used Norma McCorvey

Brazilian red berries vs infections

Here's your Russian connection

Tech: Improve your Roku use

Laugh at the Mad Moms of Manhattan

Don't send your kid to U of Washington

Here's your roundup of fake news

Apps: reduce your stress

Today's Word: strong, clear, rich

Hahaha: Local man joins crossfit, says nothing

The Talkies: Here come Amazon's drones:

Andy Rooney: hands

"Don't rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head."

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Sweet Pikake Lei

I stumbled across The Brothers Cazimero on Pandora and became enchanted.

The Brothers Cazimero are a Hawaiian musical duo made up of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland Cazimero on twelve string guitar. Robert also plays piano as a solo musician. The Cazimeros got their start during the Hawaiian Renaissance with ukulele and slack-key guitarist Peter Moon's band, The Sunday Manoa, on their first recording, Guava Jam. Since that time, The Brothers Cazimero have released at least 36 recordings and three DVDs. For three decades, the group performed at the annual Lei Day Concert. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 1989.

This song is "My Sweet Pikake Lei." Pikake is the Hawaiian name for the Jasminum sambac flower. Jasminum sambac is a species of jasmine native to a small region in the eastern Himalayas in Bhutan and neighbouring India and Pakistan. It is widely cultivated for its attractive and sweetly fragrant flowers. The flowers are also used for perfumes and for making tea. It is known as the Arabian jasmine in English. It is the national flower of the Philippines, where it is known as sampaguita.

Rules for living

Ryan Shmeizer has collected these rules for living.

Angelou’s Law: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

Benford’s Law of Controversy: Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no’.

Cunningham’s Law: The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it’s to post the wrong answer.

Dunning–Kruger Effect: Cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.

Godwin’s Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Hitchens’s Razor: The burden of evidence in a debate rests on the claim-maker, and the opponent can dismiss the claim if this burden is not met.

Occam’s Razor: Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Sturgeon’s Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

Vinge’s Law: If you know exactly what a very smart agent would do, you must be at least that smart yourself.

Didn't you forget something upstairs?

In great shape.
I suggest you go find it, and go real fast.

A new study finds that all you need is a staircase and 30 minutes a week to give your body a great workout.

This is why old people are in such great shape: they keep forgetting why they went up or downstairs, so they have to go again, after reversing direction and informing the spouse of what they've just done.

In the study stair sprints were used as an example of sprint interval training, or SIT. This is an unfortunate acronym, no?

I looked it up, and I did find what Google calls a scholarly article confirming SIT is good for you. Kirsten A. Burgomaster, Scott C. Hughes, George J. F. Heigenhauser, Suzanne N. Bradwell, Martin J. Gibala wrote this up in the Journal of Applied Physiology. I wonder if they got into any arguments.

As evidence that this is real science, here's their study's abstract.
Parra et al. (Acta Physiol. Scand 169: 157–165, 2000) showed that 2 wk of daily sprint interval training (SIT) increased citrate synthase (CS) maximal activity but did not change “anaerobic” work capacity, possibly because of chronic fatigue induced by daily training. The effect of fewer SIT sessions on muscle oxidative potential is unknown, and aside from changes in peak oxygen uptake (V̇o2 peak), no study has examined the effect of SIT on “aerobic” exercise capacity. We tested the hypothesis that six sessions of SIT, performed over 2 wk with 1–2 days rest between sessions to promote recovery, would increase CS maximal activity and endurance capacity during cycling at ∼80% V̇o2 peak. Eight recreationally active subjects [age = 22 ± 1 yr; V̇o2 peak = 45 ± 3 ml·kg−1·min−1 (mean ± SE)] were studied before and 3 days after SIT. Each training session consisted of four to seven “all-out” 30-s Wingate tests with 4 min of recovery. After SIT, CS
Alternate plan.
maximal activity increased by 38% (5.5 ± 1.0 vs. 4.0 ± 0.7 mmol·kg protein−1·h−1) and resting muscle glycogen content increased by 26% (614 ± 39 vs. 489 ± 57 mmol/kg dry wt) (both P < 0.05). Most strikingly, cycle endurance capacity increased by 100% after SIT (51 ± 11 vs. 26 ± 5 min; P < 0.05), despite no change in V̇o2 peak. The coefficient of variation for the cycle test was 12.0%, and a control group (n = 8) showed no change in performance when tested ∼2 wk apart without SIT. We conclude that short sprint interval training (∼15 min of intense exercise over 2 wk) increased muscle oxidative potential and doubled endurance capacity during intense aerobic cycling in recreationally active individuals.

That strikes me as fairly concrete, not abstract. Then again, I'm not a scientist. Here is their conclusion, which they turned over to an intern to decode into English.
In conclusion, the results from the present study demonstrate that six bouts of sprint interval training performed over 2 wk (∼15 min total of very intense exercise) increased citrate synthase maximal activity and doubled endurance capacity during cycling exercise at ∼80% V̇o2 peak in recreationally active subjects. The validity of this latter observation is bolstered by the fact that all subjects performed extensive familiarization trials before testing and that a control group showed no change in cycle endurance capacity when tested 2 wk apart without any sprint training intervention. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that sprint training dramatically improves endurance capacity during a fixed-workload test in which the majority of cellular energy is derived from aerobic metabolism. These data demonstrate that brief repeated bouts of very intense exercise can rapidly stimulate improvements in muscle oxidative potential that are comparable to or higher than previously reported aerobic-based training studies of similar duration.
You know that's their conclusion, because, well, they tell you it is.

Okay, I'm going upstairs to hunt for my citrate synthase.

The Deep State is coming for you

"There's a choice to be made now. The President or the Deep State.

"The Deep State is that collection of influential people in the bureaucracies and intelligence agencies who largely remain in place no matter who wins an election. The power of these people lies, for the most part, in regulation, obstruction and the control of government secrets. A law is passed in Congress by elected officials using constitutional means so that we the people have some say in its contents. But the enforcement of that law through regulation is wholly beyond our reach. 

"If an irresponsible and power-hungry president should decide, say, that a law against sex-based discrimination can suddenly be interpreted to cover people who think they're the sex that they're not, it would give the federal government control even over who uses bathrooms in your child's school. I know that's an extreme example of something that could never happen in real life, but the point remains. And those who attempt to stand in opposition to such abusive regulatory power can find themselves in unarmed battle against the Godzilla of government. Massive fines, the destruction of livelihood and even prison can result in violating a rule that poured straight from the pen of a bureaucrat without ever seeing the light of democracy.

"The left and the news media — but I repeat myself — love the Deep State because it gives power to elites like themselves and strips it from those irritating everyday Americans who have no means to influence the bureaucracy."

Morning Rush: How to talk to your infant, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, February 20, 2017:

It's just weird.
Weird life in underground crystals

Do you know what's in your water?

How to talk to your infant

The fake fake news checkers

Yes, vaccines really are safe

The best way to read a book

Manage your money together

Get the feds out of our elections

Spiritual awakening in recovery

Feminism among the barbarians

Feminism among our elites

Tricks for robbing Walmart

Still reading The AP?

How To: hike using GPS

Today's Word: drowsy or inattentive

Hahaha: News media protest news media

The Talkies: Artificial Intelligence gets nasty:

Ralph Waldo Emerson: fine persons

"The best effect of fine persons is felt after we have left their presence."

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Vespers: The Old Rugged Cross

Alan Eugene Jackson (born October 17, 1958) sings "The Old Rugged Cross."

Jackson is an American singer and songwriter. He is known for blending traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and penning many of his own songs. Jackson has recorded 16 studio albums, three greatest hits albums, two Christmas albums, two gospel albums and several compilations.

"The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular hymn written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard (1873–1958). As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of "The Old Rugged Cross" in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912 as a response to ridicule that he had received at a revival meeting.

Published in 1915, the song was popularized during Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns by two members of his campaign staff, Homer Rodeheaver (who bought rights to the song for $50 or $500) and Virginia Asher, who were perhaps also the first to record it in 1921. The Old Rugged Cross uses a sentimental popular song form with a verse/chorus pattern in 6
8 time, and it speaks of the writer's Christian experience rather than his adoration of God.

Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry. A memorial has also been created in Youngstown at Lake Park Cemetery. A plaque commenorating the first performance of the song stands in front of the Friend's Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Always go to the funeral

"Little Girl Outside Church," 
Albert Sorby Buxton
When Deirdre Sullivan was growing up in Syracuse, New York, her father always made her go to funerals.

"You can't come in without going out, kids," he would say. "Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family."

When she was 16 her fifth grade math teacher, Miss Emerson, died, her father took her to the funeral home for calling hours and waited outside while she went in.
When the condolence line deposited me in front of Miss Emerson's shell-shocked parents, I stammered out, "Sorry about all this," and stalked away. But, for that deeply weird expression of sympathy delivered 20 years ago, Miss Emerson's mother still remembers my name and always says hello with tearing eyes.
Today, a lawyer in Brooklyn, she sees a deeper meaning in this ritual.
"Always go to the funeral" means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don't feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don't really have to and I definitely don't want to. I'm talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The Shiva call for one of my ex's uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn't been good versus evil. It's hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.

In going to funerals, I've come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life's inevitable, occasional calamity.
And then, on a cold April night three years ago, my father died a quiet death from cancer. His funeral was on a Wednesday, middle of the workweek. 
I had been numb for days when, for some reason, during the funeral, I turned and looked back at the folks in the church. The memory of it still takes my breath away. The most human, powerful and humbling thing I've ever seen was a church at 3:00 on a Wednesday full of inconvenienced people who believe in going to the funeral.
It comes around.

The thoughts of the wise are foolish

From The Lectionary:

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise.

3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness,"

3:20 and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."

3:21 So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,

3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all belong to you,

3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Vernon Howard: trueness

"You must dare to disassociate yourself from those who would delay your journey. Leave, depart, if not physically, then mentally. Go your own way, quietly, undramatically, and venture toward trueness at last."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Casual Friday: Budapest

Q: How do you get a one-armed Hungarian out of a tree? 
A: Wave to him.

Welcome to Connecticut, Ivan!

"Take me to your Donald."
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

And we here in Connecticut welcome them with open arms.

We're hoping the Russian sailors on the sub spotted off our bankrupt coastline will come on ashore to replace the thousands of people fleeing the state.

It was rumored that Connecticut's distinguished tin pot Marxist governor, Daniel Malloy, had printed up a presentation to appeal to the sailors, but mistakenly used a picture of a Chinese sub. This could not be confirmed.

It was also said that Malloy offered the Ruskies protection in one of the state's fine sanctuary cities, but this was not confirmed.

It could also not be confirmed that Malloy has sent the submarine a tax bill, hoping to mitigate Connecticut's bankruptcy.

What could be confirmed was that distinguished U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal remained in close contact with the Department of Defense as the crisis unfolded. Perhaps he was also discussing his big lie about fighting in Vietnam.
"So you're Dan Malloy. Oh brother."
Showing his commitment to truth and honor, Bloomie declared that the actions again reveal the need for an independent investigation into "possible collusion" between the Trump administration and Russian agents.

Anything is possible, right Bloomie?

Not to be outdone, the distinguished U.S. Rep. Jim Himes agreed it was troubling given the stories of Russian ties and interference with the Trump administration.

I, for one, am deeply troubled.

Not to be outdone, distinguished U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, and distinguished U.S. Reps. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty all agreed it was Trump's fault.

Not to be outdone, Hartford's distinguished newspaper, The Courant, leapt into action, interviewing distinguished local barber Joe Quaratella Jr., owner of Nautilus Barber Shop, named for the first nuclear-powered submarine, who agreed with everyone.

"Mr. Trump made 'em come here."

Morning Rush: When to fight a traffic ticket, and more

Here and there on the Web this Friday, February 17, 2017:

This robot has a wagging tail

A brief history of popcorn

Vitamin D vs respiratory infections

We won't always have Paris

Always go to the funeral

Tax breaks for your children

Tracking the media's fake news

Help NASA find Planet Nine

Oh, those illegal voters

Your IRS hard at work

Never complain, never explain

Al Gore still peddling snake oil

When to fight a traffic ticket

Keep your kids out of public schools

Tech: charge your devices wirelessly

How To: make your own aspirin

Today's Word: a person of great learning

Hahaha: Polo club allows poor people in

The Talkies: A seahorse gives birth

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It's Paula Deen Day!

The science is settled: Cooking with butter may be more heart-healthy than vegetable oil.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have just published a study in the British Medical Journal that suggests cooking with corn oil may be more harmful to your heart than cooking with butter.
Did I mention that this is science? I believe I did.

Here's the only thing: The research team analyzed unpublished nutritional data gathered between 1968 and 1973 in a controlled study of more than 9,400 men and women in six state mental hospitals in Minnesota,

So we may have a chicken and egg thing going on here.

Let's review the bidding. Some people in North Carolina studied decades old data gathered in Minnesota and then published it in a British journal.

The article says it's the British Medical Journal, but actually it isn't. Well, it used to be. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988, and then changed to The BMJ in 2014. Science just is never settled.

The BMJ is edited by Fiona Godlee. Is that a great name or what? You're gonna like this: Fiona was born in San Francisco but became a doctor in the UK. So we have quite a bit of over the pond stuff going on here.

You're really gonna like this: On her paternal grandfather's side, Fiona is a great great great grand daughter of Joseph Jackson Lister, pioneer of the compound microscope and father of Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister.

You're starting to get it, right? The mouthwash Listerine is named after that fellow. But, get this: Listerine was developed in 1879 by Joseph Lawrence, a chemist in ... St. Louis, Missouri. So back across the pond we go.

Here's the thing about Paula Deen. She has been a paid spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk in ... Denmark. There you go with the pond hopping again. You're gonna like this: This company was started in 1923 by August Krogh and August Kongsted in Copenhagen. Are those great names, or what?

August Krogh and his wife Marie Krogh had travelled to ... wait for it ... the United States. They had heard reports of people with diabetes being treated with insulin – a hormone discovered in 1921 by two ... wait for it ... Canadians.

So, boys and girls, what have we learned today? We've learned that when it comes to bad breath, blood and butter, there are no borders.

Thanks, Paula Deen!

Morning Rush: How long a cold is contagious, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, February 15, 2017:

You're carrying some ancient genes

How long is a cold contagious?

The oh so fashionable child abuse

The big box stores on life support

They've found 60 new planets

What Hispanics actually want

Where do insects go in winter?

Going mad in California

When coffee is likely to pep you up

I'm feeling these hacks' pain

Brand yourself for career stability

Don't send your kid to U of Chicago

Climate change denial denial

Keep your kids out of public schools

Apps: Yes, you can make your own app

How To: extend WiFi in your home

Today's Word: in an early, incomplete stage

Hahaha: Tax advice for protestors

The Talkies: The 'soft coup' continues:

Cato the Elder: monuments

"After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Read this and you'll be in a lurch

No. It's not the same.
An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. For example: "raining cats and dogs."

Very old words can be preserved in idioms. We reach the point where we understand the idiom but have no idea what the individual words mean.

For example:


The "desert" from the phrase "just deserts" is not the dry and sandy kind, nor the sweet post-dinner kind. It comes from an Old French word for "deserve," and it was used in English from the 13th century to mean "that which is deserved." When you get your just deserts, you get your due. In some cases, that may mean you also get dessert, a word that comes from a later French borrowing.


If we see "eke" at all these days, it's when we "eke out" a living, but it comes from an old verb meaning to add, supplement, or grow. It's the same word that gave us "eke-name" for "additional name," which later, through misanalysis of "an eke-name" became "nickname."


When you leave someone "in the lurch," you leave them in a jam, in a difficult position. But while getting left in the lurch may leave you staggering around and feeling off-balance, the "lurch" in this expression has a different origin than the staggery one. The balance-related lurch comes from nautical vocabulary, while the lurch you get left in comes from an old French backgammon-style game called lourche. Lurch became a general term for the situation of beating your opponent by a huge score. By extension it came to stand for the state of getting the better of someone or cheating them.

That last one caused me to misremember a Monty Python sketch, which I shall nevertheless share with you now:

Will a robot steal your job?

Looks like a former co-worker of mine.
I don't think so. Remember when automobiles eliminated the jobs of buggy whip makers? Did they go on the dole? No, they went to work for Henry Ford.

The same thing will happen today. We may be in for some uncomfortable adjustment, but when has that not been true? When the big combines eliminated the need for so many farmers, they went to work in factories making the combines.

Nevertheless, you'll hear the hysteria.
A very real problem is going to affect a lot of people in the near future. Jobs that involve predictable manual labor are in danger of becoming obsolete. McKinsey & Company estimates that about 78 percent of those types of jobs (along with 69 percent of data processing and 64 percent of data collecting) could become completely automated. Driving-related jobs are likely to become increasingly automated as self-driving technology improves, and given that those were the most common jobs in 29 states as of 2014, we should absolutely be focused on finding a solution.
This can be a good thing, given that it will affect government bureaucrats.
Government clerks who do predictable, rule-based, often mechanical work also are in danger of displacement by machines. In a recent collaboration with Deloitte U.K., Profs. Osborne and Frey estimated that about a quarter of public-sector workers are employed in administrative and operative roles which have a high probability of automation. In the U.K., they estimated some 861,000 such jobs could be eliminated by 2030, creating 17 billion pounds ($21.4 billion) in savings for the taxpayer. These would include people like underground train operators -- but mainly local government paper pushers.
This issue, like every other one, is political. The government unions will fight automation, of course, and they give lots of money to politicians.

Moreover, we're starting to hear calls for guaranteed incomes as a response to automation. Don't go there.
Universal basic income isn’t necessarily the best solution to the rise of automation. A federal report entitled “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” from December 2016 argues that a better solution would be to simply prepare workers for an AI-dependent world. That means training low-skill employees to perform tasks that mesh well with automation.
My career in journalism imploded when the Internet came along in the mid 90s. In my view, the Internet was as revolutionary as the printing press. Well, I survived -- with a good bit of messy transition -- and so will everyone else.

Somebody has to build those robots and write those artificial intelligence programs.

Morning Rush: The danger of gluten-free, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

Get one for your mother in law.
This watch tells you to shut up

Going gluten-free may kill you

It's the abdominal fat that gets you

Hispanics favor deporting thugs

Do you have enough to retire?

Oh, those moderate Muslims
Exercise alone won't keep you slim

What's happened to the Marines?

The illusion of cohabitation

How your boss will spy on you

How to discover your ideal partner

Still watching the NFL?

There won't always be a Sweden

Apps: Disable those Facebook videos

Today's Word: relating to breakfast

Hahaha: You too can be a fighter pilot

The Talkies: Air pollution becomes ink:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why you put your eggs in the refrigerator

Why we need government.
Because Big Brother is saving your life.
In the U.S., egg producers with 3,000 or more laying hens must wash their eggs. Methods include using soap, enzymes or chlorine. The idea is to control salmonella, a potentially fatal bacteria that can cling to eggs.
People who catch salmonella start growing feathers and scratching in the dirt. I once had a boss who did that. It was just sad.

Here's the rub:
Washing the eggs also cleans off a thin, protective cuticle devised by nature to protect bacteria from getting inside the egg in the first place. With the cuticle gone, it is essential — and, in the United States, the law — that eggs stay chilled from the moment they are washed until you are ready to cook them.
In Europe and Britain, the opposite is true. European Union regulations prohibit the washing of eggs. The idea is that preserving the protective cuticle is more important than washing the gunk off.

This is why people in Europe talk so funny. You can't even understand a lot of them.

Once you wash an egg you have to refrigerate it. This is why refrigerators are such a big business in the United States, and why we can understand each other when we talk.

Well, you can't make an omelet without an omelet pan. Everybody knows that.

Morning Rush: Eat less, live forever, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, February 14, 2017:

Close to the real thing.
The 12-foot Washington Monument

Eat less, live forever

How to get rid of bureaucrats

Shoveling snow is a heart attack risk

Can Alexa learn from her mistakes?

Married people are less stressed

Your TSA hard at work

How to pay off credit card debt

The Pacific Ocean and your weather

The Feds just want your money

What Russia thinks of Trump now

Idiot of the Day: Meryl Streep

How To: write emails that work

Refugee of the Day: Bilal Ahmed Askaryar

Today's Word: strong avarice or greed

Hahaha: He lays an egg on Valentine's Day

The Talkies: This robot can catch fish

Margaret Bonnano: day to day

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Algorithms run your life

An algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. The big computers behind everything today use algorithms.

Consider Facebook.
Every time you open Facebook, one of the world’s most influential, controversial, and misunderstood algorithms springs into action. It scans and collects everything posted in the past week by each of your friends, everyone you follow, each group you belong to, and every Facebook page you’ve liked. For the average Facebook user, that’s more than 1,500 posts. If you have several hundred friends, it could be as many as 10,000. Then, according to a closely guarded and constantly shifting formula, Facebook’s news feed algorithm ranks them all, in what it believes to be the precise order of how likely you are to find each post worthwhile. Most users will only ever see the top few hundred.
That's not all, of course.

When you browse online for a new pair of shoes, pick a movie to stream on Netflix or apply for a car loan, an algorithm likely has its word to say on the outcome. The complex mathematical formulas are playing a growing role in all walks of life: from detecting skin cancers to suggesting new Facebook friends, deciding who gets a job, how police resources are deployed, who gets insurance at what cost, or who is on a "no fly" list.
Algorithms have a dark side.
Algorithms are used by governments and corporations alike to try and foresee the future and inform decision making. Google, for example, uses algorithms to auto-fill its search box as you type into it and to rank the websites it lists after you hit the return button, directing you to certain websites over others. Self-driving cars use algorithms to decide their route and speed, and potentially even whom to run over in an emergency situation. 
Financial corporations use algorithms to assess your risk profile, to determine whether they should give you a loan, credit card or insurance. If you are lucky enough to be offered one of their products, they will then work out how much you should pay for that product. Employers do the same to select the best candidates for the job and to assess their workers' productivity and abilities. 
Even governments around the world are becoming big adopters of algorithms. Predictive policing algorithms allow the police to focus limited resources on crime hotspots. Border security officials use algorithms to determine who should be on a no-fly list. Judges could soon use algorithms to determine the re-offending risk of an offender and select the most appropriate sentence.
I'm concerned about our digital masters like Google and Facebook determining what we know.

Two laws of global warming

Global warming pelts Instanbul.
Law No. 1: If the globe is getting warmer, then it should be getting warmer. 

In reality:
"Snowiest January In A Century At Chama, New Mexico" ~ The Deplorable Climate Science Blog 
"Heavy snowfall paralyses Istanbul" ~ Yahoo News
Law No. 2: If it's real, you shouldn't have to lie about it. 

In reality:

The Daily Mail revealed astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers. 
But a whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data. It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.
His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.
Remember the two laws, boys and girls.

Morning Rush: How fear works on your brain, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, February 13, 2017:

His big idea.
Honest Abe was also an inventor

This is your brain on fear

Losing sleep can make you sick

Oh, those terrorists

Too much stock in your company?

The Left has grabbed the courts

These devices are power hungry

Nobody wants your parents' stuff

Of course perverts like these

Oh, that voter fraud

Your Census Bureau hard at work

So you want to work for GE

Why we can't measure the new economy

Don't send your kid to Georgetown

Take your kids out of public schools

How To: use a shotgun for home defense

Today's Word: to perplex, put at a loss for what to do

Hahaha: Madonna adopts midlife crisis

The Talkies: About those bumps on the sidewalk

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Follow the money

A millionaire who doesn't pay her interns.
During the Watergate scandal, reporter Bob Woodward at one point said to Senator Sam Ervin: "The key was the secret campaign cash, and it should all be traced."

In the movie "All The President's Men," this became "Follow the money." And, indeed, cash explains so much. Whatever you think about the people who voted for President Trump, the first thing you should consider is that they were "voting their pocketbooks." James Carville, Bill Clinton's campaign strategist, expressed it as, "It's the economy, stupid."

So, let's follow the money.

First, immigration.
Why is Washington State mounting such a vigorous challenge to President Trump's executive order temporarily suspending non-American entry from seven terrorism-plagued countries? Of course there are several lawsuits against the president, and there are lots of motives among the various litigants. But Washington State's is the suit that stopped the order, at least temporarily. And a look at the state's case suggests that, behind high-minded rhetoric about religious liberty and constitutional protections, there is a lot of money at stake. 
Judging by the briefs filed by Washington State, as well as statements made by its representatives, some of the state's top priorities in challenging Trump are: 1) To ensure an uninterrupted supply of relatively low-wage H-1B foreign workers for Microsoft and other state businesses; 2) To ensure a continuing flow of high-tuition-paying foreign student visa holders; and 3) To preserve the flow of tax revenues that results from those and other sources.
“I felt like I was more of a salesman sometimes, to sell abortions,” said Marianne Anderson, a former Planned Parenthood nurse. “We were told on a regular basis that you have a quota to meet to keep this clinic open.” Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood manager in Storm Lake, Iowa, explained that if her center met its quota for abortion referrals, employees would be rewarded with pizza parties, paid time off, and other rewards.
School choice offers parents the possibility to opt their children out of a system of education that, while it is remarkably substandard at producing contributing citizens, is remarkably adept at producing activist drones for progressive causes, and forcibly redirecting millions in public dollars towards unnecessary and even counterproductive public employees who reliably vote and agitate Left, and to unions and other leftist organizations that funnel that money directly back into the Democratic Party.:
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and Susan Collins (R., Maine) have each benefited from contributions from the National Education Association. Collins received $2,000 from the union in 2002 and 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Murkowski, meanwhile, has received $23,500.
Elizabeth Warren:
This holier than thou U.S. senator allowed Harvard Law School to think of her as a native American when it needed to fill its quota, for which she was paid $429,981 a year.
And Al Gore, bless his heart:
Liberal billionaire George Soros gave former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars over three years to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming, according to leaked documents.
Follow the money. That's what it's all about.

Morning Rush: Eat pasta, live forever, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, February 9, 2017:

Take a tour of a nuclear bunker

A brief history of calling shotgun

Eat pasta, live forever

What Obama did to the Army

Are you using these new words?

They pay people to eat chocolate

Climb your stairs, help your heart

Her job is to represent the kids

Russia and China prep for war

PP and its dead baby quotas

Maybe your desk needs this stuff

Cleaning up after environmentalists

There won't always be a France

How To: fold a super paper airplane

Today's Word: appearing to be true or real

Hahaha: Dad gets dolled up for trip to Lowe's

The Talkies: This delivery robot follows you:

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

It's bad all over

The word may not end tonight, but it might be smart to hold off on paying your taxes. Here are the Top Ten Signs that We're All Gonna Die, courtesy of The Drudge Report.

10. 'Mass Migration, Disaster and Inner-City Turmoil'
  9.  Bulls break free backstage at bullfight -- cause chaos
  8.  Smell like locker room? Ask app
  7.  Zuckerberg funds mind-reading brain implant
  5.  Thousands of Dead Bees Wash Ashore on FL Beach
  4.  REPORT: Army Preps for Urban Warfare
  3.  China 'has prepared for pre-emptive strike against US military bases'

And the No. 1 reason we're all gonna die ...

  1.  Scientists Warn: Increased Alien Contact Attempts Leads to Doom

What passes for higher education these days

"The colleges have not abandoned moral considerations utterly. Relativism is an unstable equilibrium — imagine a pyramid upside down, placed delicately upon its apex. It might make you break out into a cold sweat to stand in its shade. The question is not whether some moral vision will prevail, but which moral vision.

"The colleges are thus committed to a moral inversion. High and noble virtues, especially those that require moral courage, are mocked: gallantry in wartime, sexual purity, scrupulous honesty and plain dealing, piety, and the willingness to subject your thoughts, experiences, and most treasured beliefs to the searching scrutiny of reason. What is valued then? Debauchery, perversion, contempt for your supposedly benighted ancestors, lazy agnosticism, easy and costless pacifism, political maneuvering, and an enforcement of a new orthodoxy that in denying rational analysis seeks to render itself immune to criticism.

"You sink yourself in debt to discover that your sons and daughters have been severed from their faith, their morals, and their reason. Whorehouses and mental wards would be much cheaper. They might well be healthier, too."

Just the sum of their body parts

"I am still not certain what the Women’s March, which took place over the inaugural weekend, was all about. There was little doubt that they didn’t like Trump but beyond that it appears, based on the rhetoric and signage, that it was solely an exercise in finding as many crude ways as possible to expound on sexual activity and describe female genitalia. Was I supposed to be shocked or embarrassed or moved by all this exercise in gross one-upmanship?

"Well I wasn’t; rather I was bemused as I thought back to those halcyon male chauvinist days of the 1960’s and 70’s when I, along with virtually all American males, were berated because, per the feminists, we supposedly only viewed women as the sum of their bodily parts. It now appears, based on the words of that pillar of intellectual prowess Ashley Judd and others, that women are, in fact, the sum of their bodily parts.

"By the way ladies, congratulations: you have, in public, far exceeded whatever you think the banter regarding women is in the privacy of male locker rooms. So now what is the sequel to grab attention, as so much time remains in the Trump presidency? There aren’t many options remaining beyond an endless cavalcade of public nudity as these so-called feminist groups have pretty much plumbed the depths of verbal depravity. But the nation will be watching and waiting for the curtain to rise on the next act of the Feminist Follies."