Thursday, August 25, 2016

You can't get there from here

I have a hard time accepting that self-driving cars are on the way. I have a new Subaru with all kinds of radar that will stop itself -- I am told -- before I plow into the car in front of me while texting a pizza order to be delivered by drone.

Dominos will start delivering pizza by drone in New Zealand, and Singapore is introducing self-driving taxies, so what do I know? What I want to know: in a self-driving taxi, who do you talk about the weather with? And who smokes the foul cigar?

Search-giant Google is developing self-driving cars for those who don't know where they are going and need to search. Google will know your interests from the giant database it keeps on you, so you won't have to tell the car where to go. Google will also remember what kind of pizza you like. Someone suggested that Google cars should have "I'm feeling lucky" buttons for those who don't much care where they end up.

One of my favorite bloggers, who calls himself The Z Man, isn't sure about any of this himself.
Why would any of the car companies sign off on robot cars? There’s no advantage for them to do it. Of course, taxi fleets of self-driving cars is about the nuttiest thing imaginable as it just means the death of a number of industries, namely car makers and car insurance firms

Think about it. Your car sits unused most of the time. You take it to work where it sits all day. Then you take it home where it sits all night. You have a car for convenience, mostly. Pubic transportation, where available, is not good for running errands, going shopping or other tasks. Cabs are fine for some of it, but hailing a cab in the rain sucks compared to walking into the parking garage to get into your car. There’s a reason why rich people have car services and limos. They get the flexibility of their own vehicle with the convenience of a taxi

Now imagine that anywhere you are you can order up a Johnny Cab, having it pick you up and take you where you wish, at a low fee. All you do is pull out the phone and order it up and it comes by to haul you to work or take you to the market. It sounds wonderful, especially for old people and alcoholics. The question is, why own a car when you can get the service of a car, without having to own it, store it and maintain it? 
Do a little math and you see that you use maybe ten percent of your car’s useful capacity. The hour commute to work and the hour home means two hours out of a day. Throw in some driving on the weekend and 90% of the time your car is sitting idle. Even assuming inefficiency, one care could serve the needs of five people, which means a world of Johnny Cabs is a world with about 80% fewer cars. That means 80% fewer car sales for the car makers. It also means 80% fewer insurance polices, tax stickers and all the other things that are based on people owning cars. 
If you are in the car business, the plan should be simple. Buy enough politicians to kill off Uber and the robot car people. For their part, the pols should require little bribing as it is in their interest to kill the robot cars too. 
Instead, all of the car makers are announcing plans to produce robot cars aimed at the for-hire business. Uber is doing a test run in Pittsburgh with a fleet of driverless cars. Like those newspaper and magazine guys of the 90s, the transportation industry is fashioning a noose for themselves out the new technology, so they can destroy themselves. 
What I need in a self-driving car is enough cargo space to haul mulch.

Settling for nothing less

"This life is too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and then to be asked what you make of it and have to answer ‘scientific humanism.’ That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e. God. In fact I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything less. I don’t see why anyone should settle for less than Jacob, who actually grabbed a hold of God and would not let go until God identified himself and blessed him."

Morning Rush: Your WiFi router is spying on you, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, August 25, 2016:

Fungi recycle lithium-ion batteries

A brief history of printing

Grow old, be happy

The Red Cross war on Christianity

What causes airline delays?

Harry Reid is a despicable old man

How your WiFi router spies on you

Time for greens to think nuclear

The problem with electronic records

Your TSA hard at work

Yes, a whale can swallow you

Let's crash test a shopping cart

Yes, you can hack a voting machine

Idiot of the Day: John Kerry

Keep your kids out of public schools

Apps: Are your apps sluggish?

Today's Word: lacking in character or substance

Hahaha: Father has faith in son

The Talkies: A brief history of the English language:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This just in ...

Baptists’ Impressive Life Expectancy 
Linked To Casserole Consumption

JOHNSON CITY, TN—It’s been well documented that Baptists live longer than nonbelievers and even members of other faith traditions. A landmark study released Wednesday claims to have discovered the reason for their increased longevity: the casserole.

In the 1980s, researchers at East Tennessee State University set out to observe the life expectancy of members of each major faith tradition—as well as that of the nation’s nonreligious community—with the ambitious Project to Observe Total Lifespans of the Unchurched and Churched (POTLUC), which surveyed roughly 50,000 people over three decades. When researchers took notice within the first few years that the Baptists were living significantly longer than anyone else being studied, they dedicated workers and funds toward figuring out why.

After careful analysis, the main lifestyle factor setting the Baptists apart from all others became clear: Baptist churchgoers eat a tremendous amount of casserole. Significantly more than any other people group in the nation.

“It makes sense if you think about it—this is a dish that can provide all five food groups in one bite,” says nutritional psychologist John Marzetti. “It’s a superfood, really.”

Authors of the POTLUC study are reportedly in talks with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to develop a pill which mimics the casserole’s positive health impact, and, according to rumors, the FDA plans to conduct phase one trials of QASSERYL™ later this year.

Film at 11.

Between you and I ...

... please stop trying to sound sophisticated.

That's why we get these horrors:
“Sally gave the keys to Jim and I.” 
“Congratulations from Susan and I on your time share!”
William Germano, dean of humanities and social sciences and a professor of English literature at Cooper Union, says the fault is:
There’s something about me that makes people uncomfortable, and something about I that reassures. The resistible rise of the first-person singular pronoun sounds like a social one: many speakers, insecure about grammatical rules, default to what sounds formal, and me ain’t sounding formal enough.
And that’s the problem with the problem. People want to sound correct, even if that means putting on what feels like an ill-fitting formal coat to do so.
Here's a simple rule: Don't say it. 

Is Hillary a brain-damaged invalid?

She ain't heavy.
That's the irreverent title on an irreverent article by the irreverent Jim Goad. I use it as the title of this post to annoy some people and cause heads of others to explode.

You know that if the subject was Donald Trump's health, anything would be fair game.

Goad raises questions that are being asked all over these days.
Why does she fall so much? She fell in 2009 and broke her elbow. She fell while boarding a plane in 2011. In 2012, she fainted, fell, and suffered a concussion that left a blood clot on her brain. Earlier this year, either she fell and was helped to her feet by bodyguards, or Ol’ Muffin Ass had trouble scaling a small flight of wooden stairs by herself. Last week she appeared to stumble after introducing Joseph Biden in that Basset Hound bark she has while giving campaign speeches.
Why shouldn't we be concerned tha a 2011 concussion left her with a blood clot on her brain?
And it wasn’t her first blood clot, either—she had deep vein thrombosis in her leg in 1998. But after she fainted and fell in 2012, her philandering hubby Bill says his one-time sex partner suffered “a terrible concussion that required six months of very serious work to get over.” Hillary was diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis—a blood clot in a vein between her skull and brain. She took blood thinners to dissolve the clot and still apparently takes them.
Although her campaign is now trying to dismiss the brain clot as no big whoop, back in 2012 ABC News said it was potentially life threatening. It quoted a physician who specialized in head injuries: 
Imagine this vein, where all the cerebral spinal fluid inside the head and spine no longer flows through this area. You get a big back up and that itself could cause a stroke. In the long-term…the venous system can’t get the blood out of the brain. 
Get a grip.
Then you have other bits of evidence, like the disappearance of Hillary's ever-present syringe man. Then you have the weird incident of a top Hillary aide at the State Department researching a drug and reporting to her that, "Provigil is often prescribed to treat “excessive sleepiness in patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.”

And we have the email from top aide Huma Abedin noting that Hillary "is often confused." And the Abedin email to Hillary telling her: “Reminder fabius at 3:30. Take a nap.”

Hillary does have hyperthyroidism. And we've seen these weird seizure episodes. And a pharmacy company is now targeting articles on seizures with an ad for it's anti-seizure medicine. The ad was probably placed by a computer, who who knows?

The best evidence that something is amiss is that Hillary doesn't discuss this in front of reporters, but rather on a late-night comedy show. She opened a jar of pickles to prove her fitness for the Oval Office. I'm sure doctors everywhere were relieved.

It may not have worked, however: Clinton’s appearance — which culminated in the candidate opening a jar of pickles (which appeared to be pre-opened as it lacked the classic “pop” sound) to prove she’s healthy — was trumped by a 12:00 am showing of “Robot Chicken” on Adult Swim, according to TV By The Numbers.

It's come to this


Morning Rush: Why you need friends, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, August 24, 2016:

May detect Alzheimer's.
This helmet looks inside your brain

A brief history of pink lemonade

They're following you on the Web

The importance of having friends

A new drug that melts cancer

Yes, you can hack voting machines

When can you retire?

Look who wants you to drink water

Why people don't go to church

Alcohol may not be so healthy

The Detroit Democrats created

Obama's war on dairy cows

What happened to the Foster files?

Let's have a moment of silence for DiCaprio

Don't send our kid to Hampshire College

Today's Word: on the other side of the earth

Hahaha: Kimberly-Clark reconsidering toilet paper

The Talkies: A 3D-printed spine

Benjamin Franklin: talents

"Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sun-dial in the shade?"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The correct way to carry a coffee mug

Physicist Jiwon Han has time on his hands. And maybe coffee
He has just published “A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime,” which examines the movement of fluids and how they are affected by a human holding a coffee mug. 
Ultimately, the goal was to find out why coffee in a mug has the tendency to “splash aggressively against the cup,” as opposed to, wine in a wine glass which moves more like “calm waves… gently [rippling].”
The world has been waiting for this.

By measuring the frequency of oscillations in coffee mugs, Han was able to detect a significant difference in spillage between using the handle and the claw model (image on right).

If you don't believe me, or Han:
Well, that convinced me. But if you're still skeptical, try this:
“Since the magnitude of acceleration in the claw-hand model is significantly smaller, the claw-hand posture is less likely to spill coffee,” Han found, adding that walking backwards may also lessen the chances of spilling coffee. “Since we are not accustomed to backwards walking, our motion in the walking direction becomes irregular, and our body starts to heavily rely on sideways swinging motion in order to keep balance.”
This would add a lot of fun to any office.

Your safety is up to you

We can learn a lesson from the flooded out people in Louisiana, Glenn Reynolds writes.
Cajun Navy.
They’ve been helping themselves. A collection of boat-owning volunteers called the ”Cajun Navy” has been rescuing people and transporting supplies, using Facebook to coordinate their efforts. As one said, "In South Louisiana, we don’t wait for help, we are the help.” 
That’s a good approach, because the history of major disasters suggests that it’s a mistake to expect help to come very soon.  
Evacuating Lower Manhattan.
After the 9/11 attacks in New York, when things were paralyzed, an impromptu navy composed of ferryboats, tugboats, and other maritime professionals, along with ordinary citizens in pleasure boats evacuated survivors and brought supplies in.
People at Ground Zero, the Manhattan Waterfront, nearby New Jersey, Staten Island and Brooklyn waterfronts, and crews on the numerous vessels repeatedly used the phrases "just amazing," "everyone cooperated, and "just doing what it took" to describe maritime community responses. Individuals stepped up and took charge of specific functions, and captains and crews from other companies took their direction. . . . Private maritime operators kept their vessels onsite and available until Friday, Day Four, when federal authorities took over.
“Day Four, when federal authorities took over.” That says it all, doesn’t it? 
Yes it does.

Morning Rush: Decide to make better decisions, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, August 23, 2016:

Bethsaida at the Sea of Galilee.
Seeing the land where Jesus walked

Can animals predict earthquakes?

Decide to make better decisions

The HRT/breast cancer connection

Google is tilting the election

Why EpiPens cost so much

What great listeners actually do

The underclass goes shopping

In praise of American cheese

How Obama hoodwinked the court

A brief lesson in breathing

Making bad helmets for our soldiers

Do antibiotics cause diabetes?

Today's Word: quarrelsome, combative

Hahaha: Congress wants funkier bass lines

The Talkies: How does an owl's hearing work?

Antoine de Saint-Exupery: a step

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it."

Monday, August 22, 2016

Please patronize our new sponsor

If you will patronize our sponsors, we will patronize you.

This could be you.

Time to man up and get a grip

"If you’re the average Millennial male, your dad is stronger than you are. In fact, you may not be stronger than the average Millennial female. You’re exactly the kind of person who in generations past had your milk money confiscated every day — who got swirlied in the middle-school bathroom. The very idea of manual labor is alien to you, and even if you were asked to help, say, build a back porch, the task would exhaust you to the point of uselessness. Welcome to the new, post-masculine reality.

"Though this sounds simplistic, never ever underestimate the positive effect that raw physical strength can have on a young man’s development. I’ve seen the impact that weight training has had on my son, and I wish I’d been as diligent when I was his age. I’ve experienced the impact — even as an older adult — of the physical transformation of Army training.

"Our culture strips its young men of their created purpose and then wonders why they struggle. It wonders why men — who are built to be distinctive from women — flail in modern schools and workplaces designed from the ground-up for the feminine experience. Men were meant to be strong. Yet we excuse and enable their weakness. It’s but one marker of cultural decay, to be sure, but it’s a telling marker indeed. There is no virtue in physical decline."

You might want to sit down for this

Not a jogger.
You've heard by now that sitting all day is bad for your health. Now they're saying that you can't mitigate the risk by occasionally exercising.

Right off the bat, I'm not sure any of that is true. My father was a desk-bound executive all his life, and he didn't job, play tennis, or even walk a lot. Yet he lived to a ripe old age without heart disease.

Note the weasel words:
"The evidence to date is suggestive, but not conclusive, that sedentary behavior contributes to cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk," says a team led by Deborah Rohm Young, who as a PhD, Health Education and is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.
Nevertheless, they say:
"Given the current state of the science on sedentary behavior and in the absence of sufficient data to recommend quantitative guidelines, it is appropriate to promote the advisory, 'Sit less, move more'." 
At least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise — walking briskly rather than strolling around the house - should be the minimum goal, they advise.
I'm pretty sure Mark Twain never played tennis. If I could write like him I wouldn't care how long I lived. He was noted:
“I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly.”
I do try to get up every hour and go do some chore or other. And I walk Scout, The Wonder Dog, for about 40 minutes every day. Also, I participate in a triathlon about six times a year. Wait ... that's not true -- I just made that up.

Old Gray Lady shills for old gray lady

Michael Goodwin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, was Executive Editor of the Daily News and prior to that, as its Editorial Page Editor. In 1999, he led the Editorial Board to its first Pulitzer Prize. Prior to that, Goodwin spent 10 years at the New York Times, moving up from reporter to City Hall Bureau Chief.

Here's what he says about the current media scene.
Something is happening before our eyes: the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it. The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.
By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards. No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.
I know because I was one of them, he writes.
I started at The New York Times (known as "the old gray lady") while the Vietnam War and civil-rights movement raged, and was full of certainty about right and wrong. 
My editors were, too, though in a different way. Our boss of bosses, the legendary Abe Rosenthal, knew his reporters leaned left, so he leaned right to “keep the paper straight.” 
That meant the Times, except for the opinion pages, was scrubbed free of reporters’ political views, an edict that was enforced by giving the opinion and news operations separate editors. The church-and-state structure was one reason the Times was considered the flagship of journalism. 
Those days are gone. The Times now is so out of the closet as a Clinton shill that it is giving itself permission to violate any semblance of evenhandedness in its news pages as well as its opinion pages.
You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Morning Rush: Keep your family close, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, August 22, 2016:

Testing in rural India.
New hope for ending blindness

Keep family close, live forever

Hate your job, die young

Or we could just abort them

You don't need antibacterial soap

A war hero targets bad math

Oracle outs Google and Hillary

Music helps kids learn language

Your U.S. Army hard at work

The best perennials for shade

How Facebook targets ads at you

Better ways to fight mosquitos

Hillary throws Powell under the bus

Slurp those lemons and limes

Good girl with gun saves the day

How To: get hot water faster

Today's Word: cause to appear foolish

Hahaha: ISIS releases new terror plan

The Talkies: New ways to use drones:

Henry David Thoreau: alone

"In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Really good bad lip reading

Listen to us!


Vespers: How Blest Are Ye Whose Toils Are Ended

The German organist Ann Horsch plays Johannes Brahms' Chorale Preludes, Op. 122: No. 6. "O Wie Selig Seid Ihr Doch, Ihr Frommen" (Oh How Blest are Ye Whose Toils Are Ended).

Ann Horsch is a German organist. At the age of five years, Anne Horsch started taking piano lessons. She studied organ at the Academy of Music in Munich. From 1995 to 1999 she studied first in Paris and later in Lyon at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse.

Johannes Brahms (German: (1833 – 1897) was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria.

In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable. He is considered one of the greatest composers in history, and is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs."

The Eleven Chorale Preludes, Op. 122, are a collection of chorale preludes for organ  composed in 1896, and published posthumously in 1902. The eleven pieces are relatively short and are based on selected verses of nine separate Lutheran chorales.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translated into English "Oh, How Blest Are Ye Whose Toils are Ended," a piece in the Lutheran Hymnal written by Simon Dach, who lived from 1605 to 1659. The text comes from Revelation 14:13.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Your stomach doesn't know from ugly

Every wonder why the stuff you grow in your garden doesn't look like the stuff in the supermarket? I thought it was just me. Actually, it's the food industry throwing out ugly food.

Here is perfect food:
And close up:

Here is ugly food:
And close up:

The food industry throws out half of what it grows because it is ugly. It's crazy. It's just part of the madness of our time.

Do not be afraid

"The Prophet Jeremiah," Michelangelo
From The Lectionary:

Jeremiah 1:4-10

1:4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

1:6 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy."

1:7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you,

1:8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD."

1:9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Now I have put my words in your mouth.

1:10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Peter McWilliams: acceptance

"Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it 'the first law of personal growth.'"

Friday, August 19, 2016

Casual Friday: Rock and Roll

Just two working days til Monday!

"The first time I got a universal remote control I thought to myself, 'This changes everything.'" ~ Anon

So is air conditioning good or bad?

In its never ending efforts to save the planet and criminals the left often trips over itself.

A few days ago The New York Times weighed in on prisons in Louisiana and Texas that have no air conditioning, elevating AC to a constitutional right.
Judges from Arizona to Mississippi to Wisconsin have declared over the years that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution forbids incarceration in decidedly hot or cold temperatures.
The Times quotes Jim Willett, director of the Texas Prison Museum and a former warden at the state’s death house.
“I just have a hard time sympathizing with anybody over air-conditioning. For the first 20 years of my life, I lived in a house with no air-conditioning,”
I grew up in Louisiana, and for many years we didn't have air conditioning, either.

Now, the same newspaper -- that would be The New York Times -- believes that AC is destroying our planet. This was expressed in an article by on Tatiana Schlossberg.
Can I use my air-conditioner guilt free? 
Not quite. Air-conditioning presents other problems: As of 2009, nearly 90 percent of American homes have air-conditioners, which account for about 6 percent of all the country’s residential energy use. All that air-conditioning releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Times environmental reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal has been on a crusade to get rid of air conditioning. A 2012 article included this text box summary “Air-conditioning makes us feel better, but it's hurting the planet." A year before, she advised China and India to just sweat it out and forgo Western-style air conditioning to save the planet: “As more people in more countries come to rely on air-conditioning, the idea of thermal comfort may need to be rethought to curb the growth in greenhouse gas emissions."

I turn my AC off when I can because I have to pay for it -- a lot, here in Connecticut. Prisoners would get AC free, courtesy of tax payers like me. I'm going to suggest that people convicted of breaking the law do their fair share to save the planet.

Morning Rush: Being a breadwinner isn't easy, and more

Here and there on the Web this Friday, August 19, 2016:

Where's my stuff?
Chart the world's shipping routes

A brief history of the blueberry

How to understand the polls

Being a breadwinner takes a toll

The benefits of being bilingual

Where is Hillary's syringe man?

More backdoor gun control

Miracles: growing corneal tissue

Obamacare was always phony

The most common posture problems

People are leaving high tax states

Don't send your kid to Princeton

A safe alternative to morphine

On the take: Gov. Jerry Brown

How To: write a book

Today's Word: a charlatan or quack

Hahaha: Obama requires lists

The Talkies: How a gas nozzle knows to shut off:

William Penn: speech

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

And stop calling me Shirley

Everyone will agree that Airplane! was the best movie ever made. Acknowledging this, several scientists decided to rank the movie's jokes.

They made a grievous error.

You might want to have the children leave the room while we straighten this out. I would rather not harm a whole generation.

The committee selected this scene as the Number One joke:
1. The “you can tell me, I’m a doctor” exchange. (9.29)

That's just stupid. Everyone knows the best joke is this one:
44. Ted: “Surely, you can’t be serious.” Dr. Rumack: “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” (7.14)

I'm glad we had this opportunity to correct a huge injustice.

You golf, we'll rescue the people

Not likely to flood.
Your president is vacationing again on Martha's Vineyard, where the rich go to play. Meanwhile, thousands of people are out of their homes in Louisiana due to massive flooding.

Even CNN took note:
Amid historic devastation in Louisiana, the state's largest daily newspaper is calling on President Barack Obama, who is being kept abreast of the situation by White House officials, to cut his Martha's Vineyard getaway short to view flood-ravaged areas of the state. 
"A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero," read the editorial published in The Advocate on Thursday. "In coming here, the President can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana's recovery is a priority for his administration -- and the United States of America."
Heck, if I were staying were The O is staying, I wouldn't come out either.
Located on a high ridge overlooking the ocean, the Chilmark property has a private road and is on more than 9 acres, Mr. Wallace said. The home measures about 7,000 square feet and has four bedrooms, as well as a gym and floor-to-ceiling windows. The master suite has a study with a fireplace, his and hers bathrooms, and a private deck. On the grounds, there is an infinity-edge pool, a guesthouse, an outdoor kitchen and a basketball court. There are five outdoor showers.
Get some ducks while you're at it.
Meanwhile, back in Louisiana, the people don't need his help. They have the Cajun Navy.
As thousands were stranded inside their homes as Louisiana floodwaters rose this weekend, social media users shared photos and thanks for the "Cajun Navy." The term was affectionately applied to the many fishermen, hunters and leisure boaters who arrived to provide back up to official first responders backed up with emergency calls for stranded residents.

The "Cajun Navy" faced no less strenuous work, according to one such volunteer. Chris Macaluso, a Baton Rouge resident, used his own boat to help get neighbors to dry ground from his own subdivision. 
"I had access to a boat I could use but, man, they got a lot of (people) in duck hunting boats riding around these neighborhoods who have no idea where they're going, but they're just here to help," Macaluso said. "This is not easy work."
Thank the Good Lord for duck boats.

Will we still do this?

(Maggie's Farm)

Morning Rush: Signs that you smarter than average, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, August 18, 2016:

Oh how those bees get around

Ignoring your computer's alerts?

He is really our greatest enemy

Are you smarter than average?

Why you can't find a job

Exercise won't mitigate sitting

The O raises your taxes again

Why are we ignoring Louisiana?

Start creating your retirement plan

Of course the election can be rigged

Remember: Google is on her side

We're in the Cold War 2.0

Don't move to Poughkeepsie, NY

Good guys with guns save the day

Apps: Your Android may be at risk

How To: use Instagram smarter

Today's Word: a terse maxim or aphorism

Hahaha: Hillary will rename military

The Talkies: Remember, they can vote:

Wayne Gretzky: anticipation

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Scarf that buttah

Will live forever.
Paula Dean is right.

Butter consumption was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with cardiovascular disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes, according to a new epidemiological study which analyzed the association of butter consumption with chronic disease and all-cause mortality.

They didn't fool around.
Based on a systematic review and search of multiple online academic and medical databases, the researchers identified 9 eligible research studies including 15 country-specific cohorts representing 636,151 unique individuals with a total of 6.5 million person-years of follow-up. Over the total follow-up period, the combined group of studies included 28,271 deaths, 9,783 cases of cardiovascular disease, and 23,954 cases of new-onset type 2 diabetes. The researchers combined the nine studies into a meta-analysis of relative risk.
“Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered “back” as a route to good health,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., deab of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston. “More research is needed to better understand the observed potential lower risk of diabetes, which has also been suggested in some other studies of dairy fat. This could be real, or due to other factors linked to eating butter – our study does not prove cause-and-effect.”

Hey, Dariush, you should read this blog.
Trans-palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is not produced by the body and so only comes from the diet. Here's what some Harvard guys say: "Trans-palmitoleic acid may underlie epidemiological evidence in recent years that diets rich in dairy foods are linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic abnormalities. Health experts generally advise reducing full-fat dairy products, but trans-palmitoleic acid is found in dairy fat.
You don't have to be able to pronounce it to eat it.

Why McMansions are so ugly

Between the Reagan years and the crash of 2008, developers absorbed the skyrocketing wealth of the 1% with monuments to bad taste and ostentation: the McMansion, Cory Doctorow writes.
On "Worst of McMansions," an anonymous architecture critic scrapes Zillow listings for these monster homes and ruthlessly marks them up, explaining exactly what makes them so ghastly.
Let's go there to look at just one reason for the dissonance.
Design Principle #1: Masses & Voids 
The mass is the largest portion of a building. Individual masses become interesting when they are combined together to form a façade. The arrangement of these shapes to create weight is called massing. As the pieces are combined, they are divided into categories: primary and secondary masses.

The primary mass is the largest shape in the building block. The secondary masses are the additional shapes that form the façade of a building.

Windows, doors, or other openings are called voids. Voids allow creation of negative space that allow for breaks within masses. Placing voids that allow for natural breaks in the mass create balance and rhythm across the building’s elevation.
In the above house, the entry is too large.

Now look at how a McMansion handles masses.

It's a jumble.

Morning Rush: Dogs prefer love to treats, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, August 17, 2016:

We're all gonna die!
Why airplane windows have holes

A brief history of the super soaker

Threatening your convenience store

Dogs prefer praise over treats

The obesity / cancer connection

How your state spies on you

Diet and exercise vs Alzheimer's

How wealthy lives matter

The Dems' plan for your healthcare

Keep your kid out of public school

Today's Word: a wasp nest

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The Talkies: Watch Hillary lie:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

You've got some nerve

When's the last time you checked in with your wandering nerve?

Your vagus nerve -- the medieval Latin word vagus means "wandering" -- travels all around your body, touching your brain, heart, lungs, gut and other stuff along the way.

It transmits information both ways, but mostly from your organs to your brain, letting the brain stay in touch with what's happening.

It's one busy nerve.
The vagus nerve has the important job of ending your body’s fight-or-flight response once a stress has passed. That’s why vagus nerve stimulation is so effective for mood, and has been approved as a novel treatment for depression. Vagus nerve stimulation can also relieve migraines and rapidly quench inflammation.
With higher vagal tone, there is slight decrease in heart rate with exhalation, and that’s a good thing. Higher vagal tone (and therefore higher heart rate variability) is associated with better general health including better digestion, reduced inflammation, increased emotional resilience and longevity. Lower vagal tone is associated with negative moods, more inflammation, and heart attacks. 
People with high vagal tone have higher levels of oxytocin and are more prone to feelings of altruism. So the vagus has also been called the love nerve, or the compassion nerve. According to researcher Dr Dacher Keltner, it is vagus activation that gives us the warm, expansive feeling in our chests when we experience — or even think about — human kindness.
One interesting recent discovery is that the bacteria in your gut affect, via the vagus nerve, your mood
"These findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut-brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.
You can learn to calm yourself by influencing your vagus nerve, and perhaps the best way to do this is through breathing. There are any number of ways to practice this. One is the 4-7-8 technique. This type of breathing can relax you before any stressful event.

What exactly are we defending?

Theirs didn't last either.
"What 'culture,' what 'way of life,' are Muslims threatening to destroy?

"An unshakeable and deeply held belief in God, His moral teachings and the potential judgement of an afterlife in hell or heaven? God and Christianity is now permanently expunged from Western consciousness, especially in the media, education, workplace and political spheres of life – i.e. the cultural mainstream of society.

"From the end of the Roman Empire through a 1000 years of medieval darkness, to the middle ages of the Renaissance and finally the Enlightenment, Europe (and then America) was a Christian culture, society and people. After 2000 years, it no longer is. Getting angry about it is not going to change this fact. For America or Europe to be Christian again is going to require a miracle. One I don’t see coming anytime soon.

"What about traditional marriage between a man and a woman? Please, we know the answer to that one.

"Again I ask you. What culture is Islam threatening to destroy in the West if it takes over? What values and beliefs are Germans, and many other Europeans, now finally starting to stand up and defend as 'our way of life?'

"What the West is feeling is not simply anger and fear, but sadness and grief at a loss of culture, of values and of traditions that we in the West have allowed to let go. We have no one to blame but ourselves for this loss. Muslims and Islam are simply a reminder of what we once were—proud, distinct and morally grounded in a belief in God, truth and justice."

Morning Rush: Choosing the right bathroom stall, and more

Here and there on the Web this Tuesday, August 16, 2016:

Where'd it go?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Why time flies when we get older

Research seems to show that perceived time moves more quickly for older people making our lives feel busy and rushed,  Christian Yates writes.

Here are some theories about that.
  • One idea is a gradual alteration of our internal biological clocks. The slowing of our metabolism as we get older matches the slowing of our heartbeat and our breathing. Children’s biological pacemakers beat more quickly, meaning that they experience more biological markers (heartbeats, breaths) in a fixed period of time, making it feel like more time has passed.
  • Another hypothesis suggests that the passage of time we perceive is related to the amount of new perceptual information we absorb. With lots of new stimuli, our brains take longer to process the information so that the period of time feels longer. The older we get, the more familiar we become with our surroundings. We don’t notice the detailed environments of our homes and workplaces.
  • Another idea is that we perceive a period of time as the proportion of time we have already lived through. To a two-year-old, a year is half of their life, which is why it seems such an extraordinary long period of time to wait between birthdays when you are young. To a 10-year-old, a year is only 10 percent of their life, (making for a slightly more tolerable wait), and to a 20-year-old it is only 5 percent.
So how much time did you waste reading this post? How fast did it go? Did you have fun reading this? How old are you? Why are you so old?

We can thank The Donald for this

Bill and Hillary did this.
Now we can understand why Hillary is dissembling on Benghazi.

Oh my do people hate The Donald. Just about anything he says results in a media firestorm. Everyone cluck clucks and says he needs to withdraw what he has just said.

The most recent example of this is Trump's assertion that Hillary and Barack created ISIS. My favorite reaction came from Chris Matthews, who seems to have permanently gone off his meds. Two years ago, he said Dick Cheney did it: “He’s the one that created al-Qaeda by taking over the holy land in Saudi Arabia.

Somebody find Chris' pacifier.

Now, as to the Trump's assertion. We now have a Defense Information Agency document written in 2012 that says ISIS is just what the Obama Administration wanted.
The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset, Brad Hoff writes.

This is confirmed by The Guardian, a left-wing newspaper:
A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” – despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.
So what were those CIA operatives up to in Benghazi? The left-wing Salon explains:
The DIA provided a detailed description of how weapons got shipped from Benghazi to Syria, presumably for rebel groups. “During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the [Qaddafi] regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012,” the report explained, “weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya, to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria.” 
The report obtained by Judicial Watch says that the weapons shipments ended in “early September of 2012.” But note what event this second report conspicuously does not mention: The Sept. 11 attack on the State Department and CIA facilities in Benghazi at the same time that the flow of weapons stopped.
We all thought Hillary, and Barack, were afraid that Benghazi would let the American people know that terrorism was still alive and well, even as Barack sought re-election. The truth is more sinister: What if the American people learned that Hillary and Barack were keeping ISIS alive?

Thanks, Donald.