October 2015 Archives

More rain in the offing

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Had a big pulse of rainfall come through last evening and we are gearing up for an even larger pulse tonight. A wet trick or treat.

Here is the chart from our local river:


Five conservative principles

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A great video from Bill Whittle:

Trump for president?

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Would Trump willfully damage the Trump brand?

An interesting observation from Scott Adams blog:

Trump’s Selfish Motives (Please explain them to me)
One of the biggest complaints I hear about Donald Trump is that he wants to become president for personal reasons. Apparently it has something to do with a combination of his narcissism, his ego, and his desire to make money.

I can’t think of three worse qualities for a president to have: narcissism, big ego, and a selfish desire to make money. That mix of personality flaws would be a disaster to our communist system of …

Wait, sorry. I forgot we are a capitalist country with lots of media scrutiny and a republic form of government. In that specific case, you want your leader to be a narcissist with a big ego who wants to make lots of money and look good doing it.

I want a president who thinks, “Why can’t they add one more head to Mt. Rushmore? All I need to do is perform my job really, really well, while the world watches my every move. I can do that!”

And the money quote:

Correct me if I am wrong, but a president Trump would have every incentive to do the very best job, both for the country and for the Trump brand. To do otherwise would be breaking with his lifetime pattern of at least trying to excel at whatever he does. And it would be odd for him to throw the Trump brand under the bus.

Makes perfect sense to me. Trump is not my first choice (Ted Cruz or Carly Fiorina) but I do not think he would be bad for this Nation and he would clear a lot of the self-perpetuating deadwood out of Washington.

I for one

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welcome our new Pumkin Overlords.

A thing of beauty

For the last several months, our community has been hit with a bunch of housebreaks, theft and trash dumping. The vehicle was spotted -- very recognizable -- but nobody was able to catch them in the act and get the cops out here in time.

Until today:


There were a lot more officers responding - I took this photo about an hour after they had been cornered in this parking lot.

There is one other suspicious vehicle out there so work is not done but we got these mokes.

UPDATE: Well crap - the driver had license and registration and proof of insurance and there were no outstanding warrants for either her or her passenger so they were let go.

alt.energy in Canada

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Another government subsidized program has failed. From the Ontario, CA Mississauga News:

Metrolinx pulls plug on Lisgar GO station wind turbine
Metrolinx has packed up its 31-metre-tall wind turbine at the Lisgar GO Station after it produced 91 per cent less electricity than projected.

The provincial transportation agency has officially dumped a pilot project aimed at creating renewable energy using a $620,000 wind turbine. Unveiled in 2009, the turbine was slated to produce enough energy to power 80 per cent of the Lisgar GO station’s electricity per year – 98,550 kilowatt hours (kWh). It fell far short of its targets, producing less than ten per cent of that.

Less than 10% - that is a serious mis-calculation. This kind of engineering is not difficult. And the waffling begins:

Aikins told The Mississauga News possible reasons the turbine didn’t perform as anticipated include a change in wind patterns, due partially to new developments in the area, including a Wal Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Home Depot and The Keg Steakhouse and Bar.

“When developments are approved and built, patterns of wind can change,” said Aikins.

But according to Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) executive director Nicole Risse, development should have been accounted for in the planning stages.

“When you’re thinking about constructing something like this (wind turbine), you consider what’s going to happen in the future. Of course, there are unforeseen circumstances, but you do as much forecasting as you can,” said Risse.

And a bone is thrown:

Despite the setback, Aikins said Metrolinx has been firm on its commitment to an energy management program, installing solar panels on new buildings, using energy-efficient lighting, implementing temperature controls and collecting and monitoring data on a consistent basis.

Should have done this in the beginning.

Quote of the week - Robots

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Despite the optimistic writings of Isaac Asimov and others, robots have not developed intelligence, even with the advance of Moore's Law and increases in computer power. No robot has developed sentience, yet. (If they have, they're keeping quiet about it - which is a pretty darned good sign of sentience!)
--The Silicon Graybeard

The whole article is worth reading.

Rain rain go away

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The rain peaked last night but is forecast to keep coming down solidly through Sunday. There is even some mention made of snowfall above 5,000 feet.

Most of the precip is hitting the Olympics - Mt. Ranier is getting pounded. Possibility (but no warning issued as yet) of some flooding.

First big storm of the winter. I love it here!

Feeling a lot better this morning

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Slept in and no gastric distress for all evening. Whatever it was, I want nothing more to do with it.

Heading out for Coffee in a few minutes.

Dr. Tim Ball has worked with a number of Russian climate scientists and presents an excellent look into the two ways of doing science.

From Watts Up With That:

Vladimir Putin; Climate and Political Realist?
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
The Daily Caller headline said, Russia’s Putin Says Global Warming Is ‘A Fraud.” What Putin is doing and saying is nothing new. He always knew that the IPCC climate was wrong he simply changed his political position as the situation dictated. Soviet and latterly Russian climatologists are far better than most in the west. I know Chinese climatologists are their equals because I worked with both.

I worked with several Soviet climatologists during the Cold War. It began when I wrote a chapter in a book titled Climate Since AD 1500. The editor had chapter authors review other chapters. One that I was assigned titled “Documentary evidence from the USSR” by E. P. Borisenkov reported on the value of the Russian Chronicles. I became very familiar with the work of Mikhail Budyko, who essentially changed the approach from synoptic climatology to energy budget climatology. His work was influential to current climate science.

And the money quote:

During the Cold War, most Soviet science publications were not available until a significant change occurred when Jewish scientists who escaped from the Soviet Union set up translation services in Israel. In approximately 1990 a divergence in climate science emerged between Eastern block countries and the West. The Soviets believed climate was cyclical, the sum of a multitude of cycles. The challenge was to identify them and how they interacted. Cyclical climate events pervaded Russian thinking particularly since the publication of Nikolai Kondratieff’s 1926 article titled “Long Waves in Economic Life.” The concept of climate cycles has flourished in economics and stock market prognostications ever since. Michael Zahorchak’s book “Climate: The Key to Understanding Business Cycles” is a good example. The western view revolved around Chaos Theory that weather was unpredictable beyond a couple of days because of randomness; Lorenz and the butterfly. This created an ongoing contradiction for AGW proponents. If you can’t forecast accurately for a few days, how can you be so certain about 50 and 100-year forecasts?

The fascinating thing about the east-west scientific, intellectual and philosophical difference is that it was interpreted as political and ideological. It wasn’t, and Putin’s position is a manifestation of the difference. What is fascinating is his recognition that the IPCC and Kyoto was a political agenda to suppress development, except that he believes it is only applied to developing countries. In fact, it was designed to promote equal and limited development by weakening developed nations and minimally improving developing nations. All this comes after the developed nations paid for their sins and the money went to the developing nations who suffered. It takes a communist to recognize an attempt at one-world government. Putin is not opposed to this as long as Russia is in control.

Much more at the site - Dr. Ball knows what he is talking about and is able to convey it very clearly.

There is now zero reason to beat the Anthropogenic Global Warming drum - it is dead. The wheels have come off the bus.

Now this will be interesting to follow

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There are a lot of different systems to integrate but it is an interesting start. From The Toronto Star:

New fully digital Humber River Hospital aims to be a model
It’s hard to be envious of anyone stuck in a hospital bed, but the new Humber River Hospital draws more comparisons to a swanky hotel than a gloomy facility reeking of antiseptic and teeming with nerves.

Step through the doors of the state-of-the-art hospital and you’ll find robots that mix drugs and transport goods, bedside touchscreens that allow patients to video-chat with doctors, and machines that process blood samples in minutes, automatically entering results into electronic records.

All of that catapults the facility, set to open Sunday at Keele St. and Highway 401, light years ahead of its former digs, which were desperate for an upgrade.

Definitely the way of the future - still, I would like to have it get a few years under their belt before I check in for anything. Never run Version 1.0 of anything...

Pure evil genius

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Download the app here: Got This Thing

Appears to just work for the New York City area for now - no Bellingham listings.

Feeling a lot better

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Thank God this only lasts 24 hours.

Only problem is that my butt is sore from sitting for so long. My hip is also hurting a lot - I was in Costco yesterday and something shifted. Back to the crutches again...

DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder

Nails it - from John Moore:

DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder
A. A pervasive pattern of progressive political and inter-personal thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents). This disorder often coexists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    1. Utopian thinking, e.g. a delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.
    2. Lack of historical knowledge and perspective, and repression of personal memories dissonant with this belief system. e.g., the national mood post 9-11, including that of PPD patients, is suppressed in order to avoid conflict with subsequent reversal of beliefs as the PPD delusions were reinstated - hence the downplaying of terrorism as a threat and the obsessive concern for the "rghts" of temporarily feared and hated terrorists. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. neurotic or psychotic delusions necessary to sustain these beliefs. )
    3. Anthroplastic delusion, e.g. The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

Much more at the site - this nails it perfectly.
DSM-IV is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition

Diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV-TR = 301.9)
This diagnosis may be given when no other personality disorder defined in the DSM fits the patient's symptoms.

Four personality disorders were excluded from the main body of the latest version of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR) but this diagnosis may be used instead. The four personality disorders are:

    • Sadistic personality disorder
    • Self-defeating personality disorder
    • Depressive personality disorder
    • Passive–aggressive personality disorder

Heh. Not so much the first one but 2, 3 and 4 are spot on.

A big tip of the hat to Gerard for the link.

On my bucket list - The Atacama Desert

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From the The Washington Post:

The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after a crazy year of rain
The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as the driest place on Earth, is awash with color after a year’s worth of extreme rainfall.

In an average year, this desert is a very dry place. Arica, Chile, in the northern Atacama holds the world record for the longest dry streak, having gone 173 months without a drop of rain in the early 20th century. In another Atacama neighbor to the south of Arica, the average annual rainfall in the city of Antofagasta is just 0.07 inches.

But strong El Niño years can be a rainy boom for the region, located just to the east of the warmest ocean water on the globe. In March, heavy thunderstorms brought 0.96 inches of rain in one day to parts of the Atacama Desert. This doesn’t seem like that much, but it was a huge rainfall event for the desert — over 14 years of rain in one day. The torrent caused the typically dry Copiapo River to swell far beyond its banks. Flooding killed at least nine people that day.

As El Niño strengthens, so does the rainfall increases across South America. As areas of low pressure swing east into the Andes Mountains, the usually warm waters off the coast provide more than enough water vapor to fuel extreme rainfall events.

A photo:


Gorgeous - more photos at the site. Because of the dryness, the Atacama is also host to a number of telescopes: here, here, here and here

Needlesss to say, this is on my bucket list of places to visit.

Shipwreck discovered

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Make that shipwrecks - 22 of them with more expected to be found next year. From Discovery:

22 Shipwrecks Found in Single Location in Greece
Underwater archaeologists have discovered 22 shipwrecks around a small Greek archipelago, revealing what may be the ancient shipwreck capital of the world.

Hailed as one of the top archaeological finds of 2015, the discovery was made by a joint Greek-American archaeological expedition in the small Fourni archipelago with an area of just 17 square miles. This is a collection of 13 islands and islets located between the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Icaria.

"Surpassing all expectations, over only 13 days we added 12 percent to the total of known ancient shipwrecks in Greek territorial waters," Peter Campbell, of the University of Southampton and co-director from US based RPM Nautical Foundation, told Discovery News.

And the 22 found?

Funding was provided by the Honor Frost Foundation, a UK charity that supports research in the eastern Mediterranean through an endowment from pioneer maritime archaeologist Honor Frost.

"In a typical survey we locate four or five shipwrecks per season in the best cases," Greek director George Koutsouflakis said.

"We expected a successful season, but no one was prepared for this. Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere."

A bit surprised that Clive Cussler hasn't contributed to the exploration.

How not to do it - saving a life

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Unreal story from New York City's FOX 5:

EMT suspended for trying to save choking girl
A heroic New York EMT who tried in vain last week to save a 7-year-old school girl choking on her lunch said he was suspended because it is against company policy to make a stop without being called.

Qwasi Reid, who works for Assist Ambulance, was transporting a nursing home patient last Wednesday with his partner when he said they were flagged down at a red light by a frantic man who told them that a student was choking. Reid said his partner, who was not reprimanded by the company, told the man they already had a patient and there was nothing they could do.

Reid, who has driven ambulances for four years, said he knew the choking girl took a priority over the transport, and against his partner's urging, jumped out of the ambulance's back door and administered first aid to the girl, who he said had already turned blue. No one at the school was rendering first aid, he said.

"I don't regret it," Reid, who said he is suspended without pay, told FoxNews.com. "I'd do it again. If I know there's a child choking, I'm going to do my best to help her."

Emphasis mine - you are saying that no one from the school even tried to help - they just let this poor little girl suffocate? Is there no mandatory first aid training for teachers? This is something that only takes 20 hours - you can knock it out in two weeks of casual study and would help save lives like this one.

Hell has a name and it is the New York City School System.

Just for grins, I googled Assist Ambulance and got this website: Assist Ambulance For some strange reason, all of their pages display the following:


Maintenance - another word for Damage Control?

Hillary's emails in the news

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State Department just released another tranche of them (4,432) and one out of 16 of them are classified. These were being held on an unsecured private server.

From the London Daily Mail:

Latest installment of 4,432 emails from Hillary's secret server contains 272 classified messages – that's 1 out of 16 – but State Department aide says 'we have better things to do' than catalog them
The State Department released 4,432 emails on Friday that once lived on the secret server in Hillary Clinton's upstate New York home.

In all, the messages fill more than 7,000 pages, bringing the total released to more than 27,000.

State Department Spokesman John Kirby said Friday's installment contains between 200 to 300 messages that were deemed 'classified' by intelligence analysts. Those messages were censored in part or completely.

And from the New York Times:

White House Seeks to Keep Some Clinton Emails Secret
The White House will try to block the release of a handful of emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, citing longstanding precedent invoked by presidents of both parties to keep presidential communications confidential, officials said Friday.

The State Department discovered the emails between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton as part of its effort to release the former secretary’s emails, several thousand more of which were scheduled to be made public on Friday. Mr. Obama’s correspondence was forwarded for review to the White House, which has decided against release.

That decision could intensify the political struggle between Mrs. Clinton, who is running for president, and congressional Republicans, who have pressed for disclosure of her emails as part of an investigation into the administration’s handling of the attacks on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

If this was someone like you or me, we would already be in jail looking at serving 30+ years but Clinton can walk away from it - what difference does it make.

Time to get some more sleep

Leap seconds in the news

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From The Register:

Time Lords set for three-week battle over leap seconds
An upcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference is about to become an international battleground over whether or not to retain the leap second – the periodic adjustment of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) so it stays in agreement with atomic clocks.

A bit more:

In spite of frequent predictions of a leap second apocalypse, the last leap second passed pretty much without incident. Still, factions in the world of international standards keep the issue ticking over.

That wasn't the case in 2012, when Australian airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia both staggered when the Amadeus booking system crashed, and servers run by Mozilla, Reddit, Yelp, and FourSquare struggled. By contrast, 2015 was so unremarkable that some people argue we've worked out how to deal with leap seconds, so we may as well keep them.

In the blue corner there are the traditionalists, who point out that if we don't adjust clocks to keep them in synch with Earth's gently-slowing rotation, midday at Greenwich will be half an hour off – by the year 2700.

I am all in favor of keeping things precice. If a system cannot handle something as simple as a leap second, how is it going to handle January 19th, 2038?

The chicken soup is staying down

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Just hope it doesn't race out the other end. Feel like crap. Told Lulu to stay in Bellingham one more day - no need to subject her to this...

Dropped a glass jar of KimChee on the floor - cleaning it up is so much fun - very fragerent...

Up early this morning

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Came down with something  - there is a 24-hour bug that is kicking a** around here.

Spending today lying low so as not to spread the joy...

Good news - I did not post about it when it first became public but someone had one of the prototype NASA Moon Buggies and sold it to a scrap metal dealer. Fortunately, the metal dealer knew what he had and saved it.

From Motherboard:

Heroic Junkyard Owner Says He Saved Priceless Moon Rover From Scrap Heap
Tuesday, we told the sad story of a prototype NASA lunar rover that was sold by an Alabaman to a scrap yard. That is true, but there's a twist: A heroic scrap dealer has saved the buggy, which appears to be in good condition.

The scrap dealer spoke to Motherboard on the condition of anonymity because he says he wants to speak to his lawyer about his next steps, but he did send me the recent photo of the buggy above to confirm it's in his possession. The rover matches a historical NASA image we believed to be the rover in question. It also matches the description given by NASA in its investigatory documents.

"The man who originally bought it, from my understanding, he bought it at an auction. He was a road conditioner [in Alabama]," the junkyard owner told me. "I can't confirm this is true, but he bought it at a NASA auction many years ago. NASA just discarded a lot of that stuff back then. When it was brought to my scrap facility, I set it aside because I knew what it was. The unit does exist today. It is not scrapped. I have that unit in storage."

"I've done quite a lot of research on the unit and it's an artifact that needs to be saved," he added.

And there is more at the link - NASA is trying to 'borrow' it - the metal dealer wants cash.
I vote for the metal dealer - sell to the highest bidder!
After all, NASA auctioned it off to someone who was looking for scrap value.

Thermite and pumpkins

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I actually have six charges of copper thermite waiting for a day or two of dry weather - this will be used to weld the ground rods for my ham radio antenna system. More on this (as well as video) later...

Back from town again

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Just got back from another day in town - surf for a bit and then to bed...

Ted Cruz for President

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From tonight's Debate:

The state of education

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Gun grabbing - baby steps

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From Reuters:

Los Angeles council OKs law requiring handguns to be locked up
Handgun owners in Los Angeles would have to keep their weapons locked in a box or disabled with a trigger lock under a measure aimed at protecting children that was given unanimous approval on Tuesday by the city council.

The provisions would not apply to people carrying a handgun or having one in their immediate control, such as when cleaning it, said Ian Thompson, a spokesman for Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian.

The measure is expected to be signed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and would go into effect 30 days later.

With that, Los Angeles would join the California cities of San Francisco and Sunnyvale, which have similar rules, Thompson said. The states of Massachusetts and New York also have laws requiring guns to be locked up.

And then, there is this little law

This summer, Los Angeles adopted a law banning the possession of a handgun or rifle magazine holding more than 10 rounds.

I own several firearms that violate this law - sometimes you need a lot of firepower especially if someone is cranked up on PCP or other drugs.

They do not want to try an out and out grab, instead, they are using a moving window of creeping infringement - an Overton Window

A matter of trust

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Politicans have been lying more and more - not enough backlash from We the People so they feel that they can get away with it.

Great post by John Nolte at Breitbart:

President Barack Obama is a serial-liar of the first order. That is not partisanship talking, that is history and science. And when Obama says, as he did Tuesday in Chicago, I’m not going to “take everyone’s guns away,” that means he’s coming for them.

Did I mention Barack Obama is a liar? Not only is Obama a liar, this “not gunna-gunna” ploy is a tactic the President has effectively used many times befo

    1. By lying and saying he’s “not gunna,” Obama lulls his opponents into a false sense of security.
    2. By lying and saying he’s “not gunna,” it allows Obama’s DC Media allies to attack as liars and extremists those who say Obama will take their guns.

Let’s look at the science, shall we?

Much more at the site - John provides links to Obama's admiration of Australia's gun confiscation. 680+ comments agree.

Interesting use of technology

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Avalanche control by drone - from Outside Magazine:

The Newest Tool in Avy Control: Bomb-Carrying Drones
In 2010, Jackson Hole ski patroller Mark “Big Wally” Wolling was using hand charges to set off controlled avalanches when the slope above him broke free. He was carried over a cliff, buried, and died three days later.

Though it’s rare for the job to be fatal—since 2009, one ski patroller has died each year in the United States—it’s not uncommon for avalanche-control personnel to be in some precarious situations. Paul Baugher, head of the ski patrol at Crystal Mountain in Washington, has been buried three times. “We do mitigation work with explosives, which have inherent danger, and we do it in bad weather,” says Baugher. “If you can reduce someone’s exposure to dangerous snow conditions, that’s huge.”

In December 2013, ski buddies Brent Holbrook, Warren Linde, Gray Byers, and Robert Blank launched Mountain Drones, based in Telluride, Colorado, to do just that. How? Take the bombs out of the patrollers’ hands, strap them to an octocopter, and let the unmanned craft do the job instead.

 A bit more - the drone and its task:

The Prospect has eight 30-inch-long propellers and a seven-foot wingspan. It flies for 45 minutes on one battery and can carry half its weight in dynamite, enough to clear five avalanche paths in one flight.

Here’s how it would work: Instead of spending hours bootpacking to a ridgeline to drop a hand charge, ski patrollers would select a preprogrammed route for the drone to fly and manually drop the charges to clear the slope from a safe distance. Onboard sensors will calculate the snow-water equivalent—a measure of the snowpack’s water content—and depth, allowing patrollers to identify persistent weak layers and breaking points and helping them determine where to make drops.

Still waiting for FAA clearence - flying with explosives is a bit outside their comfort zone. Still, this would make things a lot safer for everyone. Having onboard sensors will make it much more accurate.

The Mountain Drones website can be found here: Mountain Drones

Now this will be interesting - IBM

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From the New York Times:

IBM to Acquire the Weather Company
IBM hopes it has a new use for Watson, its artificial intelligence business.

The company announced on Wednesday that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire most of the assets of the Weather Company, including its Weather.com website, a large number of weather data collection points, consumer and business applications and a staff of over 900 people.

IBM would not say how much it was paying for the business, but an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal put the deal at over $2 billion. The Weather Channel, a cable television outlet, was not part of the deal, but it would license weather forecast data from IBM.

David Kenny, the Weather Company’s chief executive, said his company’s data had many corporate uses. “Airlines use it to manage turbulence,” he said. “Insurance companies use it to judge risk. Agricultural companies use it to manage crops.”

If combined with Watson, a computing system skilled at parsing unusual types of data and making statistically based decisions across a range of industries, the data could be more valuable, he added. “We can process it better,” Mr. Kenny said. “Forecast whether someone should fly or delay a trip. Exactly where to evacuate people from a hurricane. Be more cognitive.”

This is a major score for IBM - they have the number crunching ability and the Weather Company has the sensors and data-collection network.

Serious weather inbound

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Friday and Saturday are going to be wet.

From the National Weather Service:

Hydrologic outlook
National weather service Seattle WA
301 pm PDT wed Oct 28 2015

...heavy rains possible over the mountains Friday and Saturday...

A wet pattern will develop Friday and continue into Saturday. Rain will decrease Saturday night. Rain will be heavy at Times... especially over the mountains. Minor flooding is possible by Saturday for some area rivers.

Fun times ahead... 

Say goodbye California

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At least the educational 'system'

From The Daily Caller:

Students In California School District Now Guaranteed ‘C’ Grades For DOING NOTHING
Officials in a public school district about 50 miles north of San Francisco have found a new and exciting way to coddle kids. Under a new policy, students will be able to earn passing grades with scores of just 20 percent — and a solid C for doing absolutely nothing at all.

And the new grading system?

An accumulated percentage of 41 percent — which merits a well-deserved grade of F across most of the country — will now warrant a C- from the Northern California school district.

A measly percentage of 20-40 warrants passing grades between D- and D+.

Also, a school district-wide rule forces teachers to give every student a score of 50 percent even if they don’t complete a scintilla of homework or make an effort to mark down an answer on a test or quiz.

Paradoxically, then, students who refuse to do any work at all can be awarded a respectable C grade in the Cotati-Rohnert Park school district while students who actually put forth effort could receive lower D or F grades.

This nation is in the best of hands... I can not imagine hiring a graduate from this school district. What skills will these snowflakes have?

Quiet morning

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Slept in a bit and finished taking care of the critters. Heading out for coffee and running some errands.

The weather has transitioned to steady cold (46°F) rainfall - hello winter!

More later tonight...

Quite the find in Greece

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From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Ancient warrior's tomb and huge treasure hoard found in Greece
US archaeologists in Greece have uncovered the skeleton of an ancient warrior that has lain undisturbed for more than 3,500 years along with a huge hoard of treasure, the Greek culture ministry announced Monday.

The treasure is "the most important to have been discovered in 65 years" in continental Greece, the ministry said.

The wooden coffin of the unknown soldier -- evidently a person of some importance -- was found on the site of the Mycenaean-era Palace of Nestor on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula.

He had been laid to rest with an array of fine gold jewellery, including an ornate string of pearls, signet rings, a bronze sword with a gold and ivory handle, silver vases and ivory combs.

University of Cincinnati doing the digging. Let us hope that the treasure finds a home in some museum outside of Greece - they are about this close >< to being overrun with muslims.

Full moon rising

Looking very Halloween-ish tonight - high clouds and the silhouetted trees:


Love the little pumpkin ghost face to the right - no photoshop, this was as shot in camera.

Happy bloggy birthday

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Twelve years ago, 20,756 posts and 1,661 comments from wonderful readers I posted this Hello World


It has been a great and wonderful ride and showing no signs of slowing down.

Except for yesterday - I was in town running some errands, had dinner out and came home to a dark house - the power was out for the evening. Such is life in the country - lit some candles and finished a book I had been reading...

News about Toshiba

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I was reading one of my favorite photography websites (Digital Photography Review) and saw this article:

Toshiba to sell sensor business to Sony for $165 million
Toshiba is finalizing plans to sell its image sensor business to Sony for an estimated $165 million (¥20 billion) in a bid to raise cash after a $1.3 billion accounting scandal. Toshiba, who manufactured sensors for the Nikon D5200 and D7100, among others, has been unloading assets (such as medical devices and elevators) as part of its restructuring plan.

Sony currently has 40% of the growing image sensor market, and is quadrupling spending to keep up with demand for both smartphones and digital cameras.

$1.3 billion accounting scandal??? Seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Turns out I have been living under a rock for the last two months.

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal:

5 Things To Know About Toshiba’s Accounting Scandal

    • Profits were overstated by more than $1 billion
    • Two former CEOs get particular blame
    • A wholesale house-cleaning is under way
    • Corporate governance is getting more attention in Japan
    • It’s not over yet

You can read more at Bloomberg, Investopedia, Fortune and Reuters.

Crap - that sucks. They made the sensors for a couple of my Nikons and I am really happy with the results. I hope that Sony does not gain a monopoly market share as this would stifle development.

Yep - so did I

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From YACHT - I thought the future would be cooler

Great cri de cœur from the Boston Globe:

Why food allergy fakers need to stop
From gluten to garlic, diets and dislikes are being passed off as medical conditions. Chefs and real sufferers have had enough.
BEFORE WE GET INTO IT, let me make one thing clear. This intervention is not aimed at those with life-threatening food allergies or similarly grave medical conditions. I would never question people whose faces will balloon if they ingest trace amounts of shellfish. Or people who risk going into anaphylactic shock with a whiff of peanut dust. Or people whose ingestion of a smidge of gluten will send their bodies on an autoimmune witch hunt that over time will eat away at the lining of their small intestines and potentially lead to everything from infertility to cancer. Those problems are very real, and everyone who is afflicted with one or more of them has my sympathy.

I’m talking about the rest of you. Those of you who don’t eat garlic because you detest its smell or avoid cauliflower because it makes you fart or have gone gluten-free because you heard it worked wonders for Jennifer Aniston or Lady Gaga or Dave, your toned instructor from spin class.

When you settle into your seat at a restaurant, don’t be shy about telling your server your food preferences. By all means, ask if your dish can be prepared garlic-free or cauliflower-free or gluten-free. You’re paying good money, so you should get the meal that you want, not one that leaves you riding home in a foul mood and a plume of fetid air. The days of the imperious no-substitutions chef, telling you to take it or leave it, now seem as dated as a rerun of that Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode from 20 years ago.

But for the love of Julia Child and the sake of every other soul in the restaurant, particularly the underpaid line cooks sweating their way through another Saturday night shift, please, please stop describing your food preferences as an allergy. That is a very specific medical term, and invoking it triggers an elaborate, time-consuming protocol in any self-respecting kitchen. It shouldn’t be tossed around as liberally as the sea salt on the house-made (gluten-free) breadsticks.

A bit more:

But it shouldn’t be taken for granted. And we’ve come to a tipping point, thanks to the explosion of faddists and bandwagon-jumpers and attention-seekers who wrap their food dislikes in the packaging of allergy and disease. After witnessing enough diners who make a big fuss about how their bodies can’t tolerate gluten and then proceed to order a beer or dig into their date’s brownie dessert, fatigued chefs and managers are beginning to adopt a less accommodating approach. But the people who may ultimately pay the price for this pushback won’t be the “free-from” fabulists. They’ll be those with serious conditions.

Really - I see this a lot when shopping for food - people will have gluten free breads in their carts but also a box of cereal or a six-pack of beer. It is only about 1% of the population that has any kind of gluten intolerance. We sell a lot of GF products at the store and there are some people for whom this is life-saving. There are a lot of faddists as well. Well written article presenting both sides of the problem.

California's train to nowhere

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Another big social planning money-pit. From the Los Angeles Times:

Special Report $68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets
The monumental task of building California's bullet train will require punching 36 miles of tunnels through the geologically complex mountains north of Los Angeles.

Crews will have to cross the tectonic boundary that separates the North American and Pacific plates, boring through a jumble of fractured rock formations and a maze of earthquake faults, some of which are not mapped.

It will be the most ambitious tunneling project in the nation's history.

State officials say the tunnels will be finished by 2022 — along with 300 miles of track, dozens of bridges or viaducts, high-voltage electrical systems, a maintenance plant and as many as six stations. Doing so will meet a commitment to begin carrying passengers between Burbank and Merced in the first phase of the $68-billion high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

However, a Times analysis of project documents, as well as interviews with scientists, engineers and construction experts, indicates that the deadline and budget targets will almost certainly be missed — and that the state has underestimated the challenges ahead, particularly completing the tunneling on time.

"It doesn't strike me as realistic," said James Monsees, one of the world's top tunneling experts and an author of the federal manual on highway tunneling. "Faults are notorious for causing trouble."

Much more at the site. They haven't even agreed on the route or acquired the right-of-way. Over budget and over time. I wonder what the ridership will be once the novelty wears off - other light rail projects have cost so much that it would be cheaper to buy every rider a Prius and give them $10,000 every year to spend on gasoline.

News you can use - unbreakable passwords

Diceware explained at The Intercept:

It’s getting easier to secure your digital privacy. iPhones now encrypt a great deal of personal information; hard drives on Mac and Windows 8.1 computers are now automatically locked down; even Facebook, which made a fortune on open sharing, is providing end-to-end encryption in the chat tool WhatsApp. But none of this technology offers as much protection as you may think if you don’t know how to come up with a good passphrase.

A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one.

For example, when you encrypt your hard drive, a USB stick, or a document on your computer, the disk encryption is often only as strong as your passphrase. If you use a password database, or the password-saving feature in your web browser, you’ll want to set a strong master passphrase to protect them. If you want to encrypt your email with PGP, you protect your private key with a passphrase. In his first email to Laura Poitras, Edward Snowden wrote, “Please confirm that no one has ever had a copy of your private key and that it uses a strong passphrase. Assume your adversary is capable of one trillion guesses per second.”

In this post, I outline a simple way to come up with easy-to-memorize but very secure passphrases. It’s the latest entry in an ongoing series of stories offering solutions — partial and imperfect but useful solutions — to the many surveillance-related problems we aggressively report about here at The Intercept.

It turns out, coming up with a good passphrase by just thinking of one is incredibly hard, and if your adversary really is capable of one trillion guesses per second, you’ll probably do a bad job of it. If you use an entirely random sequence of characters it might be very secure, but it’s also agonizing to memorize (and honestly, a waste of brain power).

But luckily this usability/security trade-off doesn’t have to exist. There is a method for generating passphrases that are both impossible for even the most powerful attackers to guess, yet very possible for humans to memorize. The method is called Diceware, and it’s based on some simple math.

Very clever and very secure. A five word passphrase could take up to 14 quintillion tries (a 14 with 18 zeroes) to crack assuming that they do not get lucky...

Wealth redistribution explained

People like Bernie Sanders and the usual crew of progressives think that we need to redistribute our country's wealth.

Penn and Teller explain this in a short video:

The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

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From an email - bizarre 25 minute silent film staring Douglas Fairbanks and written by Tod Browning. Main protagonist is the detective Coke Ennyday

From the Wikipedia article:

In this unusually broad comedy for Fairbanks, the acrobatic leading man plays "Coke Ennyday", a cocaine-shooting detective who is a parody of Sherlock Holmes. Ennyday is given to injecting himself from a bandolier of syringes worn across his chest, and liberally helps himself to the contents of a hatbox-sized round container of white powder labeled "COCAINE" on his desk.

Fairbanks's character otherwise lampoons Sherlock Holmes with checkered detective hat, clothes and even car, along with the aforementioned propensity for injecting cocaine whenever he feels momentarily down, then laughing with delight. A device used for observing visitors, which is referred to in the title cards as his "scientific periscope", bears a close resemblance to a modern closed-circuit television. What is apparently a clock face has "EATS, DRINKS, SLEEPS, and DOPE" instead of numbers.

The film displays a lighthearted and comic attitude toward Coke Ennyday's use of cocaine and laudanum. While he catches a gang of drug smugglers, he does so after consuming most of their opium.

 How this got past the censors is beyond me. 

And a good night to all

Heading out to the radio room and then to sleep.

I think that I am kicking that bug that has been nosing around Lulu and my immune systems - feel a lot better but planning on getting to bed early and sleeping in.

Have a water board meeting tomorrow night - making meatloaf & mashed potatoes for dinner then. Saute some of the last of the rainbow chard as a side. We got a lot of food out of the garden this year...

Freddy Fabris Photography

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An amazing set of photos - set in a mid-west car shop but evoking the Renaissance painters. Here is his Last Supper:


More at his website here: Fabris Photography

From Charlotte, SC television station WBTV:

Man arrested after 7,000+ stolen guns found near Pageland
Deputies estimate that they've seized between 7,000 and 10,000 stolen guns from a house and warehouse near Pageland. Deputies have arrested Brent Nicholson in connection to the stolen goods.

Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks says the seized guns, ammunition, and hundreds of other items were all found on a single property off of Highway 9 outside of Pageland city limits.

Brooks says the guns alone filled one tractor trailer and ammunition filled another.

Nicholson was arrested and charged with trafficking opium and heroin, earlier in the week in Union County. Deputies reportedly went to serve him with a subpoena Friday and noticed what appeared to be stolen goods in his front yard.

Talk about a life well-lived. Hope he gets locked away for a very long long time.

A very nasty trick for coders

Programming is done with English-language command words and punctuation. If you do not get something correct, the program will crash and the location of the error is not always obvious.

Some evil genius noted that the Greek question mark (;) looks a lot like an English semi-colon (;) - used a lot in programming. Substituting one for the other provides endless hours of hair pulling and gnashing of teeth.

Some other evil genius wrote a program to make the substitutions automatically - surreptitiously run your cow-orkers code through this and sit back and watch the fun.

I present mimic:

[ab]using Unicode to create tragedy

mimic provokes:

    • fun
    • frustration
    • curiosity
    • murderous rage

It's inspired by this terrible idea floating around:

MT: Replace a semicolon (;) with a greek question mark (;) in your friend's C# code and watch them pull their hair out over the syntax error
— Peter Ritchie (@peterritchie) November 16, 2014

There are many more characters in the Unicode character set that look, to some extent or another, like others – homoglyphs. Mimic substitutes common ASCII characters for obscure homoglyphs.

Fun games to play with mimic:

    • Pipe some source code through and see if you can find all of the problems
    • Pipe someone else's source code through without telling them
    • Be fired, and then killed

Awwww - polar bear cub tries to roll over

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Good news from down south

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Monster hurricane Patricia is now tropical depression Patricia with sustained winds of 35 MPH.

In other news, as of today, it has been ten years since the continental USA has been hit by a hurricane of CAT 3 or greater.

From Anthony Watts:

Al Gore and the media were wrong: U.S. Major Hurricane Drought Now One Decade and Counting
As of today, October 24th, it has been 3652 days (including leap years) or a decade (10 years) since the US has been hit by a Category 3 or greater hurricane.

The last such hurricane was Wilma on October 24th, 2005. Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Each day forward will be a new record in this decade long hurricane drought period.

Needless to say, Anthony has all the data to back up his statements as well as a wonderful collection of hyperbolic "news releases" about how we are going to get storm after storm and it is all due to global warming.

Somebody forgot to tell this to the storms as they have been quite absent...

First frost of the season?

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Checking the temps before I head upstairs. 33°F

Looks like we will be getting our first frost of the season tonight...

I love this time of year - a bit melancholy to see the end of Summer but Fall and Winter are great seasons too.

Spring is just cold wet mud until it gets dry enough to plant...

U.S.A. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue.

From the Everett, WA Herald Business Journal:

Chamber of Commerce targets ultra-conservatives
Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pledged Friday to “double down” on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail against the ultra-conservative forces that he said threaten the business community's agenda.

Those forces, which have helped buoy outsider presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, represent “an articulation of frustration” from the American people, Donohue said. Hard-line conservatives also helped wrest the gavel from chamber ally Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

The accompanying photo is a great one - just another rich bitter old white man:


Just go away and leave us to our businesses and our freedom. You do not represent American Small Business - you never have and you never will. Honestly, you probably think that we are a burden - we drag you down.

You're ideal is crony capitalism - let a business succeed and rise to the top and then let them lobby for Federal government subsidies and protection so that no other business will be able to fairly compete or unseat them. This practice is not free-market capitalism and it is free-market capitalism that made America great.

Sod off General Electric - it is time for you to defend your turf by making better products and not by using your influence to crush any and all competition.

Memo from Turner comes to mind:

That Canadian election

Let us all sing along to The Justin Trudeau Song

Be sure to sick around for this video: The Trudeau Deception

Not looking that good for ¡Jeb!

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The GOP really wants us to have another re-run of the Bush family but We the People are not having any of it. His popularity was high att he start but has been dwindeling when it became clear that he didn't have any original ideas in his pointy lil' head.

From the Federalist:

Is Jeb Bush Getting Ready To Drop Out Of The Race?
Jeb Bush has been having a rough couple of days.

According to Politico, Jeb has decided to cut the salaries of all his campaign staff in an effort to save dwindling funds. Employees were informed that their salaries would be reduced during a conference call this morning.

The move to cut staffers salaries makes sense, as Bush has been hemorrhaging cash for a while now. The most recent financial disclosure reports reveal that Bush burned through 86 percent of the $13.4 million he raised over the past three months. He currently has less cash on hand than opponents Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. This recent cutback is only the latest of his campaign’s attempts to trim down costs. Over the past several months, staffers salaries have been incrementally slashed and the campaign has been staying in cheaper hotels when they travel.

Money woes aren’t Bush’s only concern, though. He’s been slipping in the polls lately and has been struggling to gain double-digit favorability among voters in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire. He currently is tied for fifth place in Iowa with Carly Fiorina and is trailing behind Carson, Donald Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.

Time to say Buh-Bye - he was a competent governor in Florida but is not Presidential material (but that did not stop our current pretender to the throne).

I do love what Donald Trump has been doing - shaking up the establishment and making the people take a good clear look at what the real problems are. My choice would be Ted Cruz or Carly Fiorina. Jphn Bolton as Secretary of State.

Say hello to 2015 TB145. Never heard of it? Nobody had until it was discovered two weeks ago.

From NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab:

2015 TB145
2015 TB145 was discovered on 2015 Oct 10 by the Pan-STARRS I survey.  The object will approach the Earth within 0.00326 au (1.3 Lunar distances or about 490 000 km) on 2015 Oct 31 at about 16:57 UT (9:57 AM PDT).  The asteroid is in an extremely eccentric (~0.86) and high inclination (~40 deg) orbit.  It has a Tisserand parameter of 2.937 hinting that it may be cometary in nature.  Its absolute magnitude of 19.8 indicates that its diameter is probably within a factor of two of 320 meters.  At closest approach the SNRs/run at DSS-14 are expected to be over 20000, so this should be one of the best radar targets of the year.  We hope to obtain images with a range resolution as high as 2 m/pixel using DSS-13 to transmit and Green Bank (and possibly Arecibo) to receive.  The flyby presents a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object.

The encounter velocity is 35 km/s, which is unusually high. 

This is the closest approach by a known object this large until 1999 AN10 approaches within 1 lunar distance in August 2027.  The last approach closer than this by an object with H < 20 was by 2004 XP14 in July 2006 at 1.1 lunar distances. 

A city-buster that we only discovered two weeks ago. What else is lurking out there?

Stuff like this sure puts our own problems into perspective...

Hurricane Patricia

Our prayers go out to the poor souls in its path - sustained winds over 200MPH - a solid CAT5. It escalated from a tropical storm to CAT5 in about 24 hours - unusual but not unheard of. Overall, this has been a very quiet hurricane season but every so often, we have these outliers.

Here is a link to the U.S. National Hurricane Center's report.

Going to pass near Guadalajara - gorgeous old city.

Back from town

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Got most of what I needed but a second trip tomorrow will be necessary. There is a photocell for the lights in the front of the building that is broken and needs to be replaced. Also need to get some ethanol-free gasoline for the mower and string trimmer. Ethanol in gasoline kills small motors in about 20 hours of operation - it absorbs moisture from the air.

Getting ready to heat up last night's left-overs - the usual blog spew a little bit later tonight...

Busy day

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Heading out for coffee and to pick up Friday's delivery of pastries for the store. Then, off to town to pick up some things for the building - got a friend working with the boomtruck fixing and painting the soffits.

Gotta go!

Well - I lied

Said that there was going to be more spew later tonight but cannot find anything to post.

Hillary is being Hillary - the Benghazi hearings are getting the full "progressive" media smoke screen and nothing much else is happening in the world. Lots of large movement behind the scenes (China, Japan, and Russia - oil prices and other stuff) but no smoking guns as yet.

To top it off, Lulu and I may be coming down with something - it was nosing around our immune systems a week ago and it is back. Taking some herbal meds.

Heading out to the radio room - the cornbread was awesome and the ham and bean soup came out really well.

Done for the day

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Got a bunch of light fixtures fixed and found out what was needed for the rest of them. Fixing ham and bean soup for dinner tonight - baking cornbread to go with.

The boom lift is way to much fun - the joke about getting high at work was used a few times to often...

More spew later tonight.

A lawyer's television advertisement

Meet Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk:

Definition of the month

Islamophobe: Islamophobe (is-slahm-o-fohb) A non-Muslim who knows more than they are supposed to know about Islam

Tip 'o the hat to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple

The Benghazi hearings

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Trey Gowdy is wonderful - this image sums it up:


Excellent rant by Tyler O'Neil writing at PJ Media:

Is Big Government Holding Us Back… From the Future?
In the 1989 “Back to the Future” sequel, Marty McFly and “Doc” Emmett L. Brown travel to October 21, 2015 — and the world is unrecognizable. “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” Doc Brown declares, as the DeLorean soars into the air.

Contrary to the film’s prophetic vision, our cars don’t fly, or run on nuclear energy, converting trash into fuel. Our teenagers do not fly around on hover boards, and our shoes don’t automatically lace themselves up. What happened?

Big government happened — the explosion of regulation and administration has held America back from all sorts of innovations, from sunscreen to nuclear power. Last year, the government added 77,687 pages of federal regulations, costing American consumers and businesses nearly $1.9 trillion, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” has created 13,000 pages of new regulations, caused a mass consolidation of the healthcare industry, and has increased prices across the board. No less than eight CO-OPs — nonprofit insurers created by Obamacare – have folded this year.

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized what may become the most expensive regulation in history, using false science to argue that making ozone rules even stricter will improve public health. Some are even claiming that, with self-driving cars, we need to make the switch to automated drivers, and outlaw human drivers. Talk about the furthest thing from flying cars.

I am still waiting for my jetpack - they promised me a jetpack!


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Off to get high

Taking delivery of a 45 foot tall boom truck this morning - doing some overdue maintenence on the store building as well as here at home.

Photos will be taken.

The game is afoot...

Somebody is doing some nasty shit out there. From Ars Technica:

New attacks on Network Time Protocol can defeat HTTPS and create chaos
Serious weaknesses in the Internet's time-synchronization mechanism can be exploited to cause debilitating outages, snoop on encrypted communications, or tamper with Bitcoin transactions, computer scientists warned Wednesday.

The vulnerabilities reside in the Network Time Protocol, the widely used specification computers use to ensure their internal clocks are accurate. Surprisingly, connections between computers and NTP servers are rarely encrypted, making it possible for hackers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks that reset clocks to times that are months or even years in the past. In a paper published Wednesday titled Attacking the Network Time Protocol, the researchers described several techniques to bypass measures designed to prevent such drastic time shifts. The paper also described ways to prevent large numbers of computers from successfully connecting to synchronization servers.

The attacks could be used by malicious actors to wreak havoc on the Internet. An attack that prevented sensitive computers and servers from receiving regular time-synchronization updates could cause malfunctions on a mass scale. In many cases, such denial-of-service hacks can be carried out even when attackers are "off-path," meaning the hacker need not have the ability to monitor traffic passing between a computer and NTP server.

The article is looking at computer security and encryption but messing with time can have some major problems with public communications too - Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) cell service depends on accurate timekeeping to locate your cell phone in the event of an emergency, even if said cell phone cannot acquire a GPS link. There are GPS receivers at each cell site and they use the accurate timing from these to be able to triangulate your location from simple time-of-flight determination.

I am sure that patches are being worked on as I type but this is nasty stuff - the people trying these attacks should be banished to the lowest level of hacker hell - they should be confined to a 10' by 10' cell with a Commodore VIC-20 and dial-up service on a very noisy telephone liPHoyO7yoIbo7NklhnL098Gioiyi8t

Fun and games in Washington State

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Got an email earlier this evening (5:02PM to be exact)  from our Department of Transportation announcing this:

Statewide Public Transportation Plan
The draft Washington State Public Transportation Plan (pdf 7.26 mb) is a blueprint to help guide decisions and integrate all modes of public transportation to better meet our needs over the next 20 years.

The people of Washington are invited to help! The draft of the plan will be available at meetings in local communities all over the state through the end of 2015. Please take a look at the meeting itinerary to find out when meetings will be held near you. This itinerary will be updated frequently as more meetings are scheduled.

I am interested in this - the Transportation Plan is the usual 103 page document filled with bland bureaucratese. I go to take a look at the schedule of meetings:


Happy happy joy joy - the only meeting in my area is tomorrow AM. The initial meeting in Seattle started over seven hours before the email was sent out. They say that they are going to schedule additional meetings but when will these be announced - the same sort of scheduling. This reeks of a shoe-in for some preferred contractors and exclusion for the general public.

These people work for us - they need to be reminded of this. I lived in Seattle during the monorail fiasco (here, here and here). I do not want to be stuck paying more taxes for something being built for the sole benefit of people in Bellingham or Seattle.

Holy crap! - amazing resource for map geeks

I confess - I am a map geek. The United States Geological Survey has digitized and placed online all of its Topological Maps.

Here are the links to their Map Locator & Downloader and their Historical Topographic Maps

Download speeds are a wee bit slow (wonder why) but should be better once the novelty is over - couple of weeks...

Here are two views of my little hamlet - first from 1972 and second from 1919 - this is a lot of fun as a lot of the mines are shown on the older maps. Also to note is that Maple Falls was a lot larger in the 1919 map - home to about 2,000 people whereas today, it is about 90+  houses and 350+ people. Also of note is the hatched line - this was the railroad that served Glacier as well as the sawmill just south of where I live.




Happy BTTF day!

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BTTF? Back To The Future

Chaos theory

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Chaos theory is an interesting branch of mathematical study - one aspect is the butterfly effect where a small input to a system can have an unforeseen major outcome down the road.

From an email:

"In Chaos Theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic, nonlinear system can result in large differences in a larger state."

In other words, a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas can cause a typhoon in the Japanese Sea later.

Think about it, in mid-20th Century America , an 18 year old hippie, in a Honolulu college had sex with an older, alcoholic Kenyan politician on a student visa, who had a wife and child back in Africa. 

And from this "roll in the hay" comes the collapse and dissolution of the United States of America in the 21st Century.

Interesting isn't it.

It makes you a firm believer in the "butterfly effect."

Justin Trudeau wins in Canada

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Justin Trudeau - son of Pierre - won big in Canada. This will be interesting to see over the next five or six years. I liked Steven Harper in that he got the spending under control. Now the liberals come back into power with the debt reset to zero and the bank balances ready to plunder on free stuff and fairy dust again. The never-ending cycle of boom and bust. (click and watch the video at this link - great explanation of the differences between Keynesian and Austrian economics)

Here is Ezra Levant from The Rebel Media outlining who also won big-time:

It's the same damn fools and useful idiots we got down here...

From zero. There is now one proven cancer patient. From Japan's NHK News Service:

Fukushima worker to get cancer compensation
Japan's labor ministry says it will provide compensation to a man confirmed to have developed cancer as a result of working at nuclear power plants including Fukushima Daiichi.

The man was in his late 30s when he worked from November 2011 to December 2013 at various nuclear plants. They include the Fukushima Daiichi plant that suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

The labor ministry says the man discovered he had the illness after quitting his job at Fukushima Daiichi. He applied for compensation granted to workers suffering from work-related illnesses.

The ministry decided to accept the application and notified him of the decision on Tuesday. Ministry experts determined that he was likely to have contracted leukemia following cleanup work at Fukushima Daiichi. They found he had been exposed to a total of 19.8 millisieverts of radiation from his work at various plants. He was exposed to 15.7 millisieverts at the Fukushima plant.

And the overall state of the Japanese Nuclear Industry?

Ministry officials say that so far, 13 nuclear plant workers have been granted compensation for work-related cancer. This is the first such case involving the Fukushima plant.

And some more pesky numbers:

About 45,000 people have been involved in work at the Fukushima plant since the accident. More than 21,000 of them have been exposed to annual radiation levels of 5 millisieverts.

Anything more is just scare-mongering and does nothing to advance science, medicine or the credibility of those people who would like to shut down both.

Holding your ears and yelling LALALALALA is not evidence...

Eating our own entrails

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This election cycle is showing just how far out of touch both political parties are. The 'elites' in the Republican party are trying to sabotage Donald Trump because they felt that it is another Bush's turn at bat and nobody else should be campaigning.

Great story from the New York Post:

The plot against Donald Trump
Back in the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate, Donald Segretti had a word for it.

Unfortunately, I can’t use that word in a family newspaper, but suffice it to say it had something to do with rats and everything to do with a vulgarism for political dirty tricks: using plants and double-agents in order to embarrass a candidate and boost their own man’s chances.

Last week it was GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s turn to get, well, ratfreaked.

A young woman at a campaign event in New Hampshire — self-righteous, hands on hips, a-quiver with indignation — popped up to declare, “I don’t think you’re a friend to women.” (“I knew I shouldn’t have picked her,” Trump immediately joked.)

Oops. Turns out that the woman, identified as Lauren Batchelder, 18, is a college volunteer for the fading candidacy of Jeb Bush.

Are these 'elites' so out of touch that they do not know that we will know everything that they attempt within a few hours - look at how long Ethan Krupp hid in the shadows when he posed for the Pajamaboy photos... A few hours at most?

These idiots are out of touch and need to gracefully leave the scene. The political machine of their grandfathers is dying and the new blood either needs to adapt or get the fsck out of the way...

Back from town

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I have a 45 foot boom truck being delivered on Thursday morning for one week of building repair and assorted fun and games. Photos will be taken and posted. The soffits on the grocery store building need some attention and want to get this done before the winter rains set in. Also planning to use it at home to set up my long ham radio antenna (160' carolina windom).

I am turning 65 in a few weeks and the Social Security people had my birthday wrong - the date I was born and the date the birth certificate was issued are a few days apart and the little snowflake at S.S. entered the wrong one many eons ago. Finally got it fixed. Got my drivers license renewed too. That was a case of entering the twilight zone as I was in and out of the DMV office in under fifteen minutes. The people there were really nice too! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with that?

Fixing dinner (shrimp cocktail and a big salad) and then surf for a while...

Off to town today

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Picking up some stuff and doing some banking. More later this afternoon.

Nice break in the weather - was supposed to be raining this weekend and it turned out quite nice - cool and overcast.

Too early to say right now but this year's El Niño is looking a lot like the one of 1997-1998. From Watts Up With That:

NASA: current El Niño ‘appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98’

Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water — sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event. This warm condition, known as El Niño, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia. This winter, the 2015-16 El Niño event will be better observed from space than any previous El Niño.

This year’s El Niño is already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Niño on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. All 19 of NASA’s current orbiting Earth-observing missions were launched after 1997. In the past two decades, NASA has made tremendous progress in gathering and analyzing data that help researchers understand more about the mechanics and global impacts of El Niño.

Emphasis mine - what happened right after the 1997-1998 El Niño? From NOAA, August 2, 1999:

It's official – Mt. Baker, Wash., has set a new record for the most snowfall ever measured in the United States in a single season, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported today.

The Mt. Baker Ski Area in northwestern Washington State reported 1,140 inches of snowfall for the 1998-99 snowfall season. The figure was scrutinized by the National Climate Extremes Committee, which is responsible for evaluating potential national record-setting extreme events. The committee, composed of experts from NOAA, the American Association of State Climatologists, and a regional expert from the Western Regional Climate Center, made a unanimous recommendation to the director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center to accept the figure.

"In accepting the validity of the 1,140 inches of snowfall at Mt. Baker, the National Climatic Data Center recognizes that a new record has been set," said Tom Karl, director of the center. "The previous U.S. seasonal snowfall record was 1,122 inches, set during the 1971-1972 snowfall season at Mt. Rainer/Paradise, a station located at 5,500 feet on the slopes of Mt. Rainer, about 150 miles south of Mt. Baker."

There is a lot that can happen between now and 2017 so do not hold your breath but, like I said, things are lining up. The drop in temperatures will help a lot as lately we have been getting enough precipitation but it has been too warm.

Check out the Google Images page: Mt Baker record snowfall

In the best of hands - more email hacking

From the New York Post:

Teen says he hacked CIA director’s AOL account
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email scandal didn’t stop the head of the CIA from using his own personal AOL account to stash work-related documents, according to a high school student who claims to have hacked into them.

CIA Director John Brennan’s private account held sensitive files — including his 47-page application for top-secret security clearance — until he recently learned that it had been infiltrated, the hacker told The Post.

Other emails stored in Brennan’s non-government account contained the Social Security numbers and personal information of more than a dozen top American intelligence officials, as well as a government letter about the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects, according to the hacker.

And a bit more:

And he also got into the online Comcast account of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and posted a redacted screenshot of a billing page. He claimed that he listened to Johnson’s voicemails.

The hacker's twitter account is still up and running: https://twitter.com/phphax

AOL for Christ's Sake? Come on - really?

Time to make a big bowl of popcorn and watch the whack-a-mole game...

Obama's foreign policies - a two-fer

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This time it is editorial cartoons.

First - Henry Payne from the Detroit News:


Second - from Gary Varvel at the Indianapolis Star:


 And a tip of the hat to Mostly Cajun for the links...

Wind power - doing the numbers

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Great article from James Delingpole at Breitbart:


Wind power now UK’s cheapest source of electricity – but the Government continues to resist onshore turbines.
That was the headline in the Independent this time last week. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you’re an Independent reader but suppose for a moment you were: what do you think your reaction might have been?

Mine, I suspect, would have been not dissimilar to that of the eight thousand readers who decided it was worth sharing – and indeed that of the two or three who used it to needle sceptics on Twitter.

“Take that, evil deniers!” I would have gone in my smug, Independent-reading way. And it would never have occurred to me to question the premise for a number of reasons.

James lists the three sources of fact published in the news article and then proceeds to write the following:

Well, since the story ran, Paul Homewood has been doing a bit of homework. And guess what? Yes, that’s right. Wind power isn’t the cheapest source of electricity in the UK or anywhere else in the world. Not by a long chalk. It’s at least twice the price, for example, of electricity generated from that hated but remarkably cost-effective fossil fuel, gas.

How then did Bloomberg New Energy Finance manage to concoct so flagrant a lie?

Why, of course, by doing what cunning financial types will refuse ever to admit is a lie. They prefer the phrase “creative accounting.”

Basically what Bloomberg’s analysts have done is to pretend that all the subsidies paid to the wind industry are effectively free money which comes from a magic money tree and that all the levies imposed by government on fossil fuel industries in order to level the playing field for renewables aren’t really a tax but are more like lovely little bunnies with cute floppy ears which bounce up and down harmlessly outside the headquarters of Shell and BP and Exxon contributing nothing but wholesome springtime joy to the companies’ balance sheets and shareholders’ dividends.

The link to Paul's article has links to the government data and show the actual costs of the major forms of energy production. Nuclear is one of the more expensive "conventional" production methods - about the same as advanced coal and about three times the cost of natural gas turbines. However, when you look at the total lifetime cost including fuel, it is very competitive - Geothermal comes in as cheapest.

Quote of the day

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The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
-- Anonymous

That's it for the night

The radio waves have cleared up a lot - came in to fill my wine glass (again) and heading back out to surf the aether.

Here is a shot of part of the radio room:


And here is a short video looking outside at the antennas when I am transmitting:


This looks like fun - Bo-taoshi

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From Bayou Renaissance Man:

From the Wikipedia entry:

The game played by cadets at the National Defense Academy of Japan traditionally on its anniversary is famous for its size, wherein two teams of 150 individuals each vie for control of a single large pole. Each team is split into two groups of 75 attackers and 75 defenders. The defenders begin in a defensive orientation respective to their own pole, while the attackers assume position some measure away from the other team's pole. A team is victorious if it is able to lower the pole of the opposing team (which begins perpendicular to the ground) to a thirty-degree angle (respective to the ground), before the other team reaches this goal. Until a rule-change in 1973, the angle of victory was only forty-five degrees.

Radio Active

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Had the net but conditions were really poor and the repeater was barely intelligible. Came back into the house for a glass of wine and have the radio scanning - see if I can pick up anything interesting.

Looking forward to trying out the new tripods tomorrow - get that antenna up higher...

Busy day today too

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Drove in to look at a Craigslist item - SCORE! It was a pair of stage lighting stands - heavy tripods and a mast that can extend up to about 12 feet tall. Perfect for ham radio antennas. I had been using some smaller ones and the base was not wide enough - a good gust of wind tips them right over. These puppies will stay up through a gale.

Have my WECG radio network in 20 minutes - fun stuff.

Lulu came out from Bellingham today - we had dinner at the new restaurant in town - pulled pork - really delicious. Almost as good as mine! (your humble sysop)


More Faster Please

Tip 'o the hat to Gerard.

Great news from Israel

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Want to visit there sometime. From The Times of Israel:

Major oil reserve said found on Golan
A company drilling for oil on the Golan Heights claims to have found “significant amounts” in the plateau.

“We’re talking about a layer 350 meters thick,” Yuval Bartov, chief geologist of Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of the American company Genie Energy, told Channel 2.

The layer is ten times larger than the average oil find worldwide, Bartov said, “and that’s why we’re talking about significant amounts. What’s important is to know that there’s oil in the rock, and this we know.”

Three drilling sites on the Golan have uncovered what is potentially billions of barrels of oil, enough to fulfill the Israeli market’s 270,000-barrel-per-day consumption for a very long time, the report claimed.

This comes at an interesting time as troubles in neighboring Syria are brewing and Russia is trying to bring the price of oil back up.

Problems for Ronald McDonald

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Things do not sound too good for McDonald's - from Business Insider:

McDonald's franchisees say the brand is in a 'deep depression' and 'facing its final days'
McDonald's franchisees believe the brand is in a "deep depression" and could be facing its "final days," according to a new survey.

"We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing," one franchisee wrote in response to the survey by Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski. "Probably 30% of operators are insolvent."

Another wrote, "The CEO is sowing the seeds of our demise. We are a quick-serve fast-food restaurant, not a fast casual like Five Guys or Chipotle. The system may be facing its final days."

More than a dozen franchisees expressed frustration with McDonald's management, saying that CEO Steve Easterbrook's turnaround plan — which includes initiatives like all-day breakfast and a shift to digital ordering kiosks — is a distraction from the core issues of McDonald's, like food quality and customer service.

"The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another," one franchisee wrote.

A second wrote, "I have been in this business since the early 1970s but have not seen us this leaderless in all my time."

The company's reaction to their frustration, one franchisee claimed, is for operators to "get out of the system" and quit the business.

Holy crap - for the CEO to be that out of touch with his clientèle is grounds for him being replaced quickly with someone who gives a shit. As if all-day breakfasts and digital kiosks will change the publics opinion of the brand.

I like their fries and will occasionally pop in and get a bag of them. The McDonald's I go to has gotten seedier and seedier - if this is any indication of corporate health, they are in deep trouble and the rot starts at the top.

They used to have a strong corporate culture - time to rebuild that.

Global warming?

Not so says the London Daily Express:

SHOCK CLAIM: World is on brink of 50 year ICE AGE and BRITAIN will bear the brunt
Crippling blizzards, snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures threaten a yearly dose of Arctic misery for the next FIFTY YEARS at least - and possibly decades more.

Climate experts warn a rare pattern of water cooling in the north Atlantic will trigger a chain reaction of events leading to a “fully-blown ice age”.

The say the UK is on alert for a “serious climate situation” with regular winter whiteouts pushing emergency services to the limit.

A bit more:

AccuWeather long-range expert Brett Anderson added: “When there is an anomaly with either the atmosphere or ocean temperature you can bet there will be some effect on the other nearby or far away.”

The warning comes just months after the Met Office warned Britain might be facing another maunder minimum period of cooling.

A recent report warned the amount of light and warmth released by the sun is nosediving to levels "not seen for centuries".

Al Gore unavailable for comment.

Back from town

Picked up a couple of things at the hardware store and got the SATA cables for the photoshop computer.

Hungry and do not feel like heating up any leftovers so heading out for a bite - there was an Italian restaurant that changed hands a while ago. See how the new owner is doing...

Our priorities

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Just wonderful - from CNN:

DOJ pivots from ISIS to U.S. anti-government groups with new position
Domestic terror groups pose a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda, a Justice Department official said Wednesday.

To help combat them, the department has created a new counsel that will coordinate the investigation and prosecution of anti-government and hate groups.

Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who oversees national security at the Justice Department, announced the new position -- the Domestic Terrorism Counsel -- following a number of violent attacks or plots against the U.S. that he said were motivated by "anti-government views, racism, bigotry and anarchy, and other despicable beliefs."

A bit more:

Groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda, who are inspired by religious extremism, are designated by our federal government as terror organizations, which makes it illegal to support or assist them. But no such statute exist to prosecute white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan or anti-government extremists, forcing federal law enforcement to find more concrete charges to lock them up.

Emphasis mine - seriously. Whisky Tango Foxtrot? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Watching paint dry - day two

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Getting the last of the Windows updates downloaded and installed. Next up, take a disk image (Acronis) and start installing the applications - Photoshop Elements (not a heavy PS user so elements is just fine), Adobe Lightroom (where I spend most of my time), Topaz, Premier for video editing and CorelDraw.

Heading into town to the computer store in an hour or two - need to get a couple SATA cables for the raid array - the ones I have are too short.

Upgrading a computer for photoshop/lightroom/video editing. Installing a bunch of updates and utilities. Windows 7 of course...

Waiting for the files to download is like watching paint dry.

It will be a nice system when done - SSD for OS and scratch files, RAID array for working space and another hard drive for bulk storage.

Getting closer - El Chapo

Mexican drug lord El Chapo broke out of jail and was very close to being captured. From NBC News:

'El Chapo' on the Run: Mexican Drug Lord Has Leg, Face Injuries: Sources
Fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is believed to be suffering from injuries to his leg and face as he continues to evade Mexican authorities, NBC News has learned.

Mexican Marines zeroed in last week on the Sinaloa cartel kingpin after U.S. drug agents intercepted cell phone signals suggesting "El Chapo" was hiding at a ranch near Cosala in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains in western Mexico, according to three sources with knowledge of the operation.

Marines raided the ranch in helicopters, but were forced to turn back after taking fire from suspected Guzman security forces. The Marines later entered the camp on foot and discovered cell phones, medication and two-way radios, but Guzman and his accomplices are believed to have fled on ATVs.

I bet he is captured or killed in a couple months - too many people want a piece of him.

Taking down a hacker (the bad kind)

Security writer Brian Krebs had a run-in with a hacker and nailed his cojones to the wall.

Note - a hacker can be either a good person (white hat - someone interested in exploring a system) or a bad person (black hat - a criminal or punk)

Hacker Who Sent Me Heroin Faces Charges in U.S.
A Ukrainian hacker who once hatched a plot to have heroin sent to my Virginia home and then alert police when the drugs arrived had his first appearance in a U.S. court today, after being extradited to the United States to face multiple cybercrime charges.

Sergey Vovnenko, a.k.a. “Fly,” “Flycracker” and “MUXACC1” (muxa is transliterated Russian for “муха” which means “fly”), was set to appear in a Newark courtroom today on charges of stealing and selling credit card and banking data, emptying bank accounts, and running a botnet of more than 12,000 hacked computers and servers, among other alleged crimes.

I first became acquainted with Fly in 2013, when his Twitter persona (warning: images here may not be safe for work) began sending me taunting tweets laced with epithets and occasional attempts to get me to click dodgy-looking Web links. Fly also took to his Livejournal blog to post copies of my credit report, directions to my home and pictures of my front door.

Fly's great idea for Brian?

Not long after that, I secretly gained access to his forum. And none too soon: In one lengthy discussion thread on the forum, I found that Fly had solicited donations from fellow fraudsters on the forum to donate Bitcoin currency for a slush fund Fly created for the express purpose of purchasing heroin off of the Silk Road — which was at the time the leading source of illicit drugs on the Dark Web.

Fly’s plan was simple: Have the drugs delivered to my home in my name, and then spoof a call from one of my neighbors to the local police informing them that I was a druggie, that I had druggie friends coming in and out of my house all day long, and that I was even having drugs delivered to my home.

Needless to say, Brian called the cops and showed them all of the links - they told him to call them when the package arrived which he did.

There is a lot more at the site - the whole story is quite the read! Brian also writes more about the heroin deal here: Mail from the (Velvet) Cybercrime Underground

How not to fight a fire

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From the Kansas City Star:

Man tries to put out garbage fire by driving over it in a van loaded with ammunition
A Clay County sheriff’s deputy retreated to a safe distance from a van burning in a field Tuesday afternoon after he heard the sound of live ammunition going off inside it.

The deputy found the van burning near Old State Highway 210 and Bluff Road, south of Liberty, about 2:30 p.m., said Jon Bazzano, a spokesman for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy had been in the middle of a traffic stop when he saw black smoke on the horizon and headed that way to investigate.

Eventually, the deputy found the owner of the vehicle watching the fire from a distance.

The deputy learned that the owner had been burning garbage in the field and accidentally let the fire get out of control. In an attempt to put the fire out, he drove his van back and forth over the flames.

This made matters worse, as the tires of the van caught fire. Realizing that the van was loaded with firearms ammunition and a full tank of gas, the driver evacuated the area for safety.

A bit more:

The deputy did not immediately cite the owner, who declined to make a report for a possible insurance claim.

“It seems like he’s just going to have to take a loss on that vehicle because I don’t think they’re going to cover it,” Bazzano said.

Hey - I'm going to burn some trash out in a field. Fire is getting a bit out of control so I am going to drive my van on top of it. 

I cannot imagine the thought process that went on in that poor sap's brain...

The algorithm used for most data encryption is Diffie-Hellman which requires that both parties have a key which, in this case, is a large prime number. It seems that this has been hacked by the NSA and they are now able to read VPN traffic as well as some HTTPS and SSH connections.

This had been alluded to in this 2012 article in Wired and more recently, Snowden has leaked similar information.

From the paper (PDF file):

Imperfect Forward Secrecy: How Diffie-Hellman Fails in Practice

We investigate the security of Diffie-Hellman key exchange as used in popular Internet protocols and find it to be less secure than widely believed. First, we present Logjam, a novel flaw in TLS that lets a man-in-the-middle downgrade connections to “export-grade” Diffie-Hellman. To carry out this attack, we implement the number field sieve discrete log algorithm.

After a week-long precomputation for a specified 512-bit group, we can compute arbitrary discrete logs in that group in about a minute. We find that 82% of vulnerable servers use a single 512-bit group, allowing us to compromise connections to 7% of Alexa Top Million HTTPS sites. In response, major browsers are being changed to reject short groups.

We go on to consider Diffie-Hellman with 768- and 1024-bit groups. We estimate that even in the 1024-bit case, the computations are plausible given nation-state resources. A small number of fixed or standardized groups are used by millions of servers; performing precomputation for a single 1024-bit group would allow passive eavesdropping on 18% of popular HTTPS sites, and a second group would allow decryption of traffic to 66% of IPsec VPNs and 26% of SSH servers. A close reading of published NSA leaks shows that the agency’s attacks on VPNs are consistent with having achieved such a break. We conclude that moving to stronger key exchange methods should be a priority for the Internet community.

Time to strengthen your keys or switch to a different algorithm... For casual communication between a few people, one-time pads are a wonderful way to go - you can make them yourself (here and here).

Typical tyranny. From the UK Telegraph:

Judges plan to outlaw climate change 'denial’
We might think that a semi-secret, international conference of top judges, held in the highest courtroom in Britain, to propose that it should be made illegal for anyone to question the scientific evidence for man-made global warming, was odd enough to be worthy of front-page coverage.

Last week I mentioned that the Prince of Wales had sent a message to this conference calling for the UN’s forthcoming climate meeting in Paris to agree on “a Magna Carta for the Earth”. But only a series of startling posts by a sharp-eyed Canadian blogger, Donna Laframboise (on Nofrakkingconsensus), have alerted us to what a bizarre event this judicial gathering turned out to be (the organisers even refused to give her the names of those who attended).

Including senior judges and lawyers from across the world, the three-day conference on “Climate Change and the Law” was staged in London’s Supreme Court. It was funded, inter alia, by the Supreme Court itself, the UK government and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

And the law - the person being quoted is Philippe Sands - a professor of law at University College, London.

Although his audience, Sands said, would agree that the scientific evidence for man-made climate change was “overwhelming”, there were still “scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential individuals” continuing to deny “the warming of the atmosphere, the melting of the ice and the rising of the seas”, and that this is all due to our emissions of CO2. The world’s courts, led by the International Court of Justice, said Sands, could play a vital role “in finally scotching these claims”.

“The most important thing the courts could do,” he said, was to hold a top-level “finding of fact”, to settle these “scientific disputes” once and for all: so that it could then be made illegal for any government, corporation (or presumably individual scientist) ever to question the agreed “science” again. Furthermore, he went on, once “the scientific evidence” thus has the force of binding international law, it could be used to compel all governments to make “the emissions reductions that are needed”, including the phasing out of fossil fuels, to halt global warming in its tracks.

They are now realizing that they do not have any body of evedence to support Global Warming so they are doubling down on the political end. Some people are getting very wealthy through this and they do not want to have their gravy-train shut down.

And meanwhile, I am still waiting for my check from Big Oil...

Now this is how you do it

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This is being driven by Manoj Bhargava - the billionaire who developed the five-hour energy drinks.

The project website is here: Billions in Change

From Don Surber:

Co-founder of IPCC authors "Carbon Dioxide: The Good News"
Indur Goklany co-founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, perhaps thinking it would be about science and not politics. As the IPCC has veered off the rails become a propagandist front for those pushing worldwide socialism, real scientists jumped ship and opportunists like Michael Mann have jumped on board.

Goklany finally had it and has published "Carbon Dioxide: The Good News" online. He got Freeman Dyson to write the forward. Dyson is the man who proved Robert Oppenheimer wrong. Richard Feynman mentored Dyson, and Albert Einstein was a colleague at Princeton.

"Indur Goklany has assembled a massive collection of evidence to demonstrate two facts. First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial. I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence. Goklany and I do not claim to be infallible. Like the climate-model experts, we have also evolved recently from the culture of the cave-children. Like them, we have inherited our own set of prejudices and blindnesses. Truth emerges when different groups of explorers listen to each other’s stories and correct each other’s mistakes," Dyson wrote in his forward.

You can download the book as a PDF - Carbon Dioxide: The Good News

An easy read at 64 pages of which 13 are citations and links to source materials. Well written and worth printing out and handing to any warmist you know.

Another day in paradise

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Spent the day puttering around outside and then went into town to get a few things for a plumbing project.

Gorgeous weather today - balmy in the 70's. Went out for a couple of beers at the new restaurant - a lot less hectic tonight. Planning to give it a week before eating there - give the crew time to settle out.

Surf for a bit and then an early bedtime - I am still waking up too late for my taste (10:00AM) so trying to get to sleep earlier. By the time I get the critters and myself taken care of, it's 2:00PM already and most of the day is shot. Downing a couple Benedryl and see if that does the trick...

Some fun weather geekery

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Check out Olympex - NASA just launched a spiffy new weather satellite and they need to calibrate its sensors with boots-on-the-ground measured data.

This is happening next month in the Pacific Northwest.

Website for Olympex

Nice write-up from Cliff Mass

Look up tonight

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The Red Rum Getaway

Wonderful mashup of Hitchcock and Kubrick:

From Gump.tv

Upcoming movies

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Very cool - from Legendary:

Following Legendary’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2014 success with the global reinvention of the Godzilla franchise, the companies have come together to create an epic, new shared cinematic franchise. All-powerful monsters become towering heroes for a new generation, revealing a mythology that brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new. Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases.

The announcement that the reinvention of monsters continues was made today by Legendary CEO, Thomas Tull and Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. The initial trio of films are 2017’s KONG: SKULL ISLAND, GODZILLA 2 in 2018 and then GODZILLA VS. KONG, arriving in theaters in 2020.

This is a fun time to be alive! Always been a very big fan of Gojira since the first 1954 movie and adding Kong to the mix is just casting genius!

From the UK Telegraph:

France's top weatherman sparks storm over book questioning climate change
Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country's state broadcaster, reportedly sent on "forced holiday" for releasing book accusing top climatologists of "taking the world hostage"

The meat of the story: 

Now Philippe Verdier, a household name for his nightly forecasts on France 2, has been taken off air after a more controversial announcement - criticizing the world's top climate change experts.

Mr Verdier claims in the book Climat Investigation (Climate Investigation) that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.

In a promotional video, Mr Verdier said: “Every night I address five million French people to talk to you about the wind, the clouds and the sun. And yet there is something important, very important that I haven’t been able to tell you, because it’s neither the time nor the place to do so.”

He added: “We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.”

His outspoken views led France 2 to take him off the air starting this Monday. "I received a letter telling me not to come. I'm in shock," he told RTL radio. "This is a direct extension of what I say in my book, namely that any contrary views must be eliminated."

More at the site - this is a perfect example of mau-mauing anyone who doesn't toe the official line. The higher up they are, the harder they hit them.

Pssst - the emperor is buck naked! CO2 is the gas of life and the Earth has not warmed for the last 18+ years and in fact, may be well entering a major cooling cycle.

Back from town

Had a meeting tonight but I ran late so bagged it for this month.

A new restaurant opened up in Maple Falls - Crav'n - they do burgers and such. Food looks really good. Service was a bit erratic but this was their first night. I know their cook well and he is really good.

Surf for a bit and then off to bed.

Nothing much today either

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Got some errands to run today and then a 6:30 meeting of our local emergency preparedness group. They just graduated 13 new CERT members so the group is doing well!

More posting later tonight...

A long day

Just got back from a very long Radio Club meeting. Don't think that I shall be actively participating in these meetings on a regular basis and I do not want to raise my voice about how meetings should be run because I would get nominated to run them. Still, it was good to put names to faces and I will be participating in club activities, just not regular meeting attendance. They have a Digital Group that sounds interesting - they meet next Tuesday so I will swing by for that and see what is up.

Came home and stopped in at the store as I was expecting some packages from UPS - good thing too as a neighbor was just starting to have his blood sugar crash and I gave him a lift home. Did not know that he was a diabetic but called his wife and she was waiting for him with a glass of juice.

Surf for a bit and then head upstairs...

Off to town again

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Got the critters taken care of and heading out for coffee and then into town - picking up some coffee for the store as well as a few things I forgot yesterday for projects out here.

Mount Baker Amateur Radio Club meeting tonight at 7:00PM so minimal posting today...

From Miranda Devine writing at Australia's Perth Now:

Miranda Devine: Perth electrical engineer’s discovery will change climate change debate
A MATHEMATICAL discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.

A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.

He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.

He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.

It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says.

“Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the IPCC says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20 per cent of the global warming in the last few decades”.

But our computer models?

His discovery explains why none of the climate models used by the IPCC reflect the evidence of recorded temperatures. The models have failed to predict the pause in global warming which has been going on for 18 years and counting.

“The model architecture was wrong,” he says. “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.”

My thought all along - it's the Sun

Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming.

He predicts global temperatures, which have plateaued, will begin to cool significantly, beginning between 2017 and 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3C in the 2020s. Some scientists have even forecast a mini ice age in the 2030s.

If Dr Evans is correct, then he has proven the theory on carbon dioxide wrong and blown a hole in climate alarmism. He will have explained why the doomsday predictions of climate scientists aren’t reflected in the actual temperatures.

Exactly! Sunspots are a great proxy for solar activity and sunspots can be seen and counted without the use of a telescope. Records go back to early Chinese times (PDF file). The sunspot records have always had low numbers during periods of colder weather. These include the Maunder and Dalton minima as well as the little ice age, the Wolf and the Spörer - all periods of low sunspot activity and colder than normal temperatures.

Considering the low state of our Sun these days and this proposed explanation for the periodic cycles, we would be much better off if we were preparing for an extended cold period than wasting all our efforts on something that would be an annoyance at worst and would result in more crops at the very least.

Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the link!

Back from town

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Got back in from town 45 minutes ago - had a couple phone messages to process and spoke with Lulu.

Grace has a bit of the runs so got her some Pumpkin Pie filling - a great remedy. She must have gotten into something at the farm.

Back in for a meeting tomorrow - the local amateur radio club. Talked to the members a lot on the air but this will be my first face-to-face with them in the two years I have been on the air.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - long day tomorrow.

Saw this sign when driving through Bellingham, WA this afternoon:


Gotta love L’accent aigu over the final 'e' - that is Mister bow-Zay to you...

Reminds me of the always wonderful W.C.Fields in The Bank Dick with his character of Egbert Sousè.

Rainy day

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The rain is softly coming down - not the downpour we had the other day. Fall is definitely here - the leaves are a gorgeous orange and red. 50°F outside - almost time to think about the first fire of the season...

Heading out to pick up the pastries for the store and some coffee and then driving Lulu into town for a few days. I have meetings tomorrow and Wednesday so will be keeping busy in her absence.

On the air

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Been checking in to a couple other radio networks - a lot of fun and a very good community.

Spending this evening in the radio room. It was fun yesterday with the power outage - I had a catalytic propane heater to take the chill off and was running the rig from a couple car batteries that I keep on float charge. I can operate for almost a week with the three batteries and have a 100 Watt solar panel to top them off if there is no power.

Our EPA in the news

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From Investor's Business Daily:

Does EPA Need Guns, Ammo And Armor To Protect The Environment?
The Environmental Protection Agency spent millions of dollars over the last decade on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities, according to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books.

The report raises questions about why EPA's enforcement division employs well-armed "special agents" who appear to be conducting SWAT-type operations on American businesses and households it suspects of wrongdoing.

Illinois-based Open the Books scanned tens of thousands of checks written by the EPA and totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014.

The audit discovered hundreds of millions of dollars of questionable expenses, including high-end luxury furnishings, sports equipment and "environmental justice" grants to raise awareness of global warming.

It also revealed that seven of 10 EPA workers make more than $100,000 a year and that more than 12,000 of its nearly 16,000 employees were given bonuses last year despite agency budgets that were supposed to be constrained by budget caps and sequester cuts.

EPA's $8 billion budget also found room for more than 1,000 attorneys, which would make the agency one of the largest law firms in the nation.

A bit more: 

But the eye-grabber in the report is the agency's ongoing military-type purchases. Some $75 million is authorized each year for criminal enforcement, including money for a small militia of 200 "special agents" that appear to be snooping on industry and preparing to use deadly force to enforce EPA edicts.


Asked for comment on the Open the Books findings, EPA said purchases of armaments are necessary for "environmental crime-fighting."

"For more than 30 years," it said, "there has been broad, bipartisan agreement about the importance of an armed, fully-equipped team of EPA agents working with state and federal partners to uphold the law and protect Americans."

The equipment is needed to "access potential crime scenes as quickly as possible," it added.

One former EPA administrator with more than 30 years at the agency says of the Open the Books report: "EPA has been increasingly captured by the environmental left, and the purchases of military-style armaments has increased accordingly."

They are a rogue agency and need to have their funding cut by 80% - let them get back to their core competencies.

The report is here: Open The Books Oversight Report - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

From The Washington Post:

In the U.K., Deloitte will stop looking at what school job applicants attended
Resumes say a lot about job candidates: where they've worked, what they've accomplished, how long they've stayed put on the job and, of course, where they went to school. While employers may think that last piece of information tells them something about applicants' intelligence and capabilities, it also creates a huge potential for bias about the person's background and level of affluence.

To try to correct that problem, Deloitte's U.K. business announced Monday that it will begin using a school-blind hiring process to help address unconscious bias. As it recruits its next crop of 1,500 entry-level employees and junior associates out of school—roughly half of the 3,000 employees it hires each year in the United Kingdom are new graduates—the professional services firm plans to "hide" education pedigree from its recruiters and interviewers up until an offer has been made, unless the applicant actively chooses to disclose it.

Deloitte also plans to use software from the diversity recruitment firm Rare to compare applicants' grades against standardized data. The software, which is already in use in the U.K. at more than a dozen major law firms, reveals how applicants performed relative to their peers within their school, an effort to help better contextualize candidates' abilities.

All Hail Diversity!!! I wonder how long they will keep this practice in place - the ability to get into a specific school shows a lot about a person's drive to succeed. If I was hiring, I would want the best people I could afford. The idea of muddling everything into a dull monochromatic gray has no appeal. This has happened before in our fire departments with poor results. (here and here).

Our political betters - Hillary

This could get interesting - from the New York Post:

Clinton’s camp says she ‘could have a serious meltdown’
Hillary is furious — and while Clinton advisers think that may save her, it’s making the lives of those who work for her hell.

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work,” says a campaign aide. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

A bit more:

Bill Clinton and Hillary’s campaign team are concerned that her anger may surface at the wrong time. They are concerned that she could have a serious meltdown in front of TV cameras, which would make her look so out of control that voters would decide she doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief.

Now that would be fun to see! I am still waiting for Hillary supporters to name three things she accomplished either during her run as Senator or in her position as Secretary of State. And those three things are?





About those guns

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Another excellent video from Bill Whittle:

Out and about

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Went out to get coffee and check in at the store - a large number of trees were knocked down by last night's storm. Gusts up to 40MPH here and almost two inches of rain.

Back home fixing some Chicken and Corn chili (with the usual obligatory recipe tweaks) for dinner and leftovers... Have my emergency communications radio net tonight so need to check in at 7:00PM for that.

le déluge

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We had qute the rainstorm last night - knocked out power for eight hours.

Here is the flow of our little river - the Nooksack:


Assault Rifles - some numbers for 2014

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People want to ban the sale of rifles - specifically rifles that have been given the scary name of assault rifles even though there is no such thing. These are just rifles taken to the next stage of development. I own one and Eugene Stoner's design is wonderful - accurate, reliable, easy to use and to take apart for cleaning. From an engineering point, this design is pure rifle perfection.

Some interesting numbers for 2014 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation - from Shooters Log:

FBI 2014 Data: Hands & Feet, Knives, and Clubs Beat Out Rifles in Deadliness
The FBI just released its 2014 Uniform Crime Reports “2014 Crime in the United States” summaries, and there are some notable statistics gun owners might find interesting:

The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 0.2 percent in 2014 when compared with 2013 data, according to the FBI figures released Sept. 28. Property crimes decreased by 4.3 percent, marking the 12th straight year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

The 2014 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 365.5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,596.1 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate declined 1.0 percent compared to the 2013 rate, and the property crime rate declined 5.0 percent.

Lots more numbers at the site but the numbers for rifles are especially interesting:

Because of ongoing calls to ban or restrict the capacity of AR-style rifles—or what some gun illiterates refer to as “assault rifles,”—it’s worth noting that murders by all rifles (as reported by the FBI) totaled 248.

“Other weapons,” aka clubs, bats, rocks and so on, were used in 1,610 murders.

Knives or cutting instruments were cited as the instruments in 1,567 murders.

In fact, the total number of murders committed by assaulters’ hands and feet totaled 660—more than double the homicides committed by all rifles.

Heh - the numbers do not fit their narrative. Does this stop them from crying out against the evil assault rifles? No. When someone presents me with compelling evidence that I am mistaken, I educate myself and change my mind. What do the progressives do? Hold to the same narrative because it fits their utopian religion. Stalin used the wonderful term: "Useful Idiots"

Now what could possibly go wrong?

From the St. Louis, MO Post-Dispatch:

Disaster plan developed in case fire reaches nuclear waste
Beneath the surface of a St. Louis-area landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of Cold War-era nuclear waste, separated by no more than 1,200 feet.

Government officials have quietly adopted an emergency plan in case the smoldering embers ever reach the waste, a potentially "catastrophic event" that could send up a plume of radioactive smoke over a densely populated area near the city's main airport.

Although the fire at Bridgeton Landfill has been burning since at least 2010, the plan for a worst-case scenario was developed only a year ago and never publicized until this week, when St. Louis radio station KMOX first obtained a copy.

County Executive Steve Stenger cautioned that the plan "is not an indication of any imminent danger."

Sure - an I have a bridge you might be interesting in buying. It's a great investment.

The cause of the fire is unknown. For years, the most immediate concern has been an odor created by the smoldering. Republic Services is spending millions of dollars to ease or eliminate the smell by removing concrete pipes that allowed the odor to escape and installing plastic caps over parts of the landfill.

Directly next to Bridgeton Landfill is West Lake Landfill, also owned by Republic Services. The West Lake facility was contaminated with radioactive waste from uranium processing by a St. Louis company known as Mallinckrodt Chemical. The waste was illegally dumped in 1973 and includes material that dates back to the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb in the 1940s.

And this is not uncommon:

At least 98 underground mine fires in nine states were burning in 2013, according to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

I grew up a couple hundred miles from the Centralia fire - it was in the news a lot when it first broke out.

Few underground fires can match one in Centralia, Pennsylvania. In 1962, a huge pile of trash in the town dump, near a coal mine, was set on fire, and it has burned beneath the town for more than half a century. Only a few people remain in a community that once had 1,000 residents.

This will be fun to watch - the discovery process in a trial can be a bitch.

From Breitbart:

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of an exercise band that he claims “broke or slipped” while “mounted to a sturdy object in his bathroom” as he used it on January 1, causing injuries that blinded him in one eye.

“The lawsuit is really going to open the doors if the company’s defense counsel wants to go after Harry Reid,” an attorney and expert on product liability tells Breitbart News.

“Through the discovery process they can get access to his bathroom (where this allegedly happened) medical records, records from his protective detail and much of Reid’s personal information such as bank records,” the expert says.

The civil liability complaint in which the 75-year-old Reid and his wife, Landra Gould, are suing Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Company, The Hygenic Corporation, and Performance Health, LLC, three intertwined corporations that manufacture and distribute the TheraBand exercise band, was filed in Clark County, Nevada District Court by Reid’s attorney, James M. Morgan of the Las Vegas law firm Lanzone, Morgan LLP on Wednesday.

It is an “action for damages which exceeds the amount of $50,000, exclusive of costs, interest, the expenses of this litigation, and attorney fees.”

The general theory is that Reid was beaten up by some people he was screwing over. He was injured over a much larger area of his body than a simple resistance band could cause, even if he fell after the accident. He entered the Senate with very little money and is now very wealthy through property deals in the Las Vegas area.

Must have stepped on someone's toes a little too often... I hope the TheraBand lawyer is a pit-bull and starts digging deep. The bank records will be interesting to say the least.

Try Nature

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Love it!

From www.nature-rx.org
Remember - results may vary. Golf is not Nature.
WARNING: Nothing in Nature is clickable.

Some researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have succeeded in making a rectenna that works at light frequencies:

From Hack-a-Day

Using multiwall carbon nanotubes, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have created what they say are the first optical rectennas–antennas with rectifiers that produce DC current. The work could lead to new technology for advanced photodetectors, new ways to convert waste heat to electricity and, possibly, more efficient ways to capture solar energy.

A paper in Nature Nanotechnology describes how light striking the nanotube antennas create a charge that moves through attached rectifiers. Challenges included making the antennas small enough for optical wavelengths, and creating diodes small enough and fast enough to work at the extremely short wavelengths. The rectifiers switch on and off at petahertz speeds (something the Institute says is a record).

It takes billions of rectennas to produce significant current and the efficiency of the devices is less than one percent. However, researchers believe that a rectenna with commercial potential may be available within a year. Given that the devices are made with vapor deposition nanotechnology techniques, they might be hard to make at the local hackerspace. On the other hand, hackers are a resourceful bunch and who knows what we might see in the future?

This has great potential - commercial solar cells hit an efficiency wall at around 23% - if these arrays can be scaled up successfully and cheaply enough, the efficiency could be a lot higher and solar power could become viable without the current huge government subsidies...

Very cool!

Quite the list

Sean Hannity has compiled a list of laws that Hillary Clinton has potentially violated:

Here’s The List Of The Laws Hillary Has Potentially Violated
As new details about Hillary Clinton’s email servers trickles out, the number of potential criminal violations she has committed continues to pile up.

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani now estimates that Clinton has run afoul of 13-15 federal statutes. The list potentially includes the improper transmission and handling of confidential information, mail fraud statutes, wire fraud statutes, and obstruction of justice.

 “The case is getting so strong now that it’s going to be really hard to have an intellectually honest decision and walk away from it,” the former federal prosecutor claimed on Thursday’s Hannity adding that, “she has also proven that she is completely grossly negligent in the handling of sensitive information, and we want someone like this for President of the United States?”

Sean lists the big four and the penalty: 

Unauthorized Removal And Retention Of Classified Documents Or Material
18 U.S.C. § 1924
Class: A Misdemeanor
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment for 1 year and/or $100,000 fine
Text: “Knowingly removing materials containing classified information of the United States with the intent to retain said info at an unauthorized location without the authority to do so”

Gathering, Transmitting Or Losing Defense Information
18 U.S.C. § 793
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years and/or $250,000 fine
Text: “Allowing [by means of gross negligence] any document relating to the national defense to be removed from its proper place of custody or destroyed –or- willfully retaining unauthorized documents relating to national defense and failing to deliver them to the United States employee entitled to receive them –or- failure to report that unauthorized documents relating to national defense were removed from their proper place of custody or destroyed”

Concealment, Removal, Or Mutilation Generally
18 U.S.C. § 2071
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment of no more than 3 years, a fine, or both
Text: “Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same”

Destruction, Alteration, Or Falsification Of Records In Federal Investigations And Bankruptcy
18 U.S.C. § 1519
Class: Felony
Possible Penalty: Imprisonment of no more than 20 years, a fine, or both
Text: “Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States”

And, of course if it were one of us, we would be in jail already. If this was a Republican, the media would be up in arms and the lynch mob would be outside their house.

Hillary? Not a peep.

Off for a bit

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Farrier came and went - heading out to pick up pastries for the store and get a mid-afternoon coffee. Check the mailbox too.

Got a couple of steaks thawing for dinner - oven roasted taters and some frozen corn.

A new Coen Brothers film - Hail Caesar

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Looks like a lot of fun:

Nothing much this morning

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Waiting for the farrier to arrive to give Sam and Rocky their mani-pedi.

Got a couple other things I need to get to so wondering when they will arrive. At least the forecast was wrong and it is not raining buckets...

Back from the meeting

It ran a little long tonight but it was really good - I come away from these with several sheets of stuff to Google and learn and tonight was no exception. Various radio networks, sending digital information over the air, a very cool antenna design, a couple things that FEMA is doing so that various governmental agencies can work with ham radio operators and two pieces of software that look like fun.

Whew! Decompressing with a glass or three of wine and then off to bed. The farrier is coming out tomorrow to take care of Rocky and Sam. Supposed to be raining buckets but we can work in the barn.

RIP - Paul Prudhomme - from the New Orleans, LA Times-Picayune:

Internationally known chef Paul Prudhomme dies at age 75
Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana chef who ignited a nationwide craze for Creole and Cajun cooking and profoundly influenced American cuisine, died on Thursday (Oct. 8). He was 75.

Mr. Prudhomme, whose fame spread through tours, cookbooks and videos, became nationally prominent shortly after he and K Hinrichs, the woman he would marry, opened their restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, in July 1979 at 416 Chartres St.

At first, it was a neighborhood restaurant, a dim, even cozy spot in an unpretentious brick building, designed for French Quarter residents and their friends. But word of its specialties — redfish Czarina, sweet-potato pecan pie and, of course, blackened redfish — spread, and out-of-town food writers — most notably Craig Claiborne of The New York Times — joined the line outside the door. They came out raving over what they ate inside.

A star was born.

Crap... He will be missed.

Pick and Place

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Electronics geeks have always made their own devices - I have personally designed and etched circuit boards and stuffed them with components and built various devices ranging from audio and electronic music to computer interfaces and some scientific instrumentation./ Fun stuff.

With the advances in electronics, one aspect is that the parts have become much smaller - leading to a situation where some components are physically too small to be placed on a circuit board by hand - not accurate enough. Common components can be as small as 0.4 by 0.2 millimeters. Tiny!

The workaround is called a Pick and Place machine but these have been huge machines ( up to ten foot square) and correspondingly expensive (hundreds of K-bucks). Fortunately, other people have been working on this problem  and here is one solution: LitePlacer From their website:

LitePlacer – The Prototyping Pick and Place Machine
LitePlacer is a pick and place machine aimed for a prototype building stage. LitePlacer:

  • is accurate! – Reliably places 0402 passives
  • is easy to assemble! – No special tools or precision instruments needed
  • has vision! – Two cameras
  • is affordable! – DIY kit is $1299

This is truly a fun time to be alive! There are now Chinese companies who will make good quality printed circuit boards for amazingly cheap. We will now see people setting up board stuffing businesses to take these boards and populate them with the required components and solder them. The Maker movement is solidly underway!

Off to town for the day

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Heading into town in 30 minutes or so - need to return some hardware (already had what I needed) and will be attending an Emergency Communications meeting tonight at the county emergency center. (soooper seeekret location!). Getting a bite to eat in town too. Lulu is making a quiche - not my favorite dish so she can enjoy it while I am out.

The mind boggles

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I was surfing Craigslist this morning and this advertisement caught my eye:


Always wanted to get in on the ground floor of a UNIGUE publication. Especially one with an Internet presense.

I hope they get a decent copy editor - they are clearly not up to the task themselves. Talk about being barely literate...

The proximity of French train hero Alek Skarlatos to the muslim shooter at Umpqua Community College in Oregon was an interesting coincidence.

Now, we have this from California's Sacramento Bee:

French train attack hero Spencer Stone stabbed in midtown Sacramento
French train hero and Sacramento native Spencer Stone was stabbed in midtown Sacramento early Thursday, but police say he was not targeted because of his worldwide notoriety.

Instead, Sacramento police said on Twitter that the incident, which occurred after midnight near a strip of bars, appeared to be alcohol related and was not a terrorist act, the tweet said. Stone was one of the three men from Sacramento who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a train bound for Paris in August.

“Airman 1st Class Stone is in stable condition,” the Air Force said on its Twitter account. “Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.”

And a bit more:

Stone, Alex Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler are three friends who were hailed as international heroes after thwarting a gunman armed with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in August. They since have visited President Obama in the Oval Office and were honored by a parade in Sacramento.

Probably unrelated but still...

Aaaand that is it for the evening.

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Lulu is running a fever and I am feeling something niggling around my defenses. We both started taking shots of Elderberry tincture today but still...

Nothing more tonight. Heading into town tomorrow to pick up a few things and an emergency communications group meeting later that evening.

Heading out to the radio room to surf the aether for an hour and then to an early bed - been sleeping in too late recently so need to get back on a (what passes for) normal schedule.

Running Windows 7?

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Right click on the desktop, select New. Select Folder.

Your new Folder will appear on the Desktop and it will be named New Folder.

Click once on it with your mouse to select it, hit [F2] to select Rename and give it this name:

(Windows Cut and Paste works wonders here)

The Folder icon will change and it will look like your Control Panel icon.

You can now enter Windows 7 God Mode. (a debugging tool for developers)

You are welcome!

More options from cNet - a lot of this info is five years old but I have never been one to be invited to the cool parties...

Was there a specific target? We know that the shooter had ties to islamic radicals - who could have also been at the school that day?

From Matthew Vadum writing at American Thinker:

Was the Oregon mass shooting an Islamist attempt to assassinate Alek Skarlatos?
Was last week's massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon a failed attempt to assassinate a Christian American hero for thwarting a Muslim terrorist train attack this summer in France?

There may simply be a series of unlikely coincidences at play, or there may be circumstantial evidence suggesting that anti-jihadist hero Alek Skarlatos was an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who put several Christians to death in an Umpqua classroom on Thursday, Oct. 1 for being Christian.

Read on and decide for yourself if Harper-Mercer may have wanted to make an example of Skarlatos for the world to see.

And although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by Islamic State, plenty of evidence suggests the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad.  Maybe the massacre was intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit.

Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua.  The tweet states, "Again #Oregon #USA #WashingtonDC #IslamicState #ISIS #USA[,]" and displays a graphic with the words “Slay Americans” in front of an image of a man in the process of being beheaded.

In August the very high-profile Skarlatos, a devout Christian, helped to disarm Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan with ties to radical Islam, on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.  The Islamist was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a Luger pistol, and a box cutter.  Skarlatos and his two American friends traveling with him received France's highest honor, the Legion d'Honneur, from French President François Hollande.  Last month they were feted at the White House and the Pentagon.  Skarlatos received the U.S. Army's Soldier's Medal.

Skarlatos has publicly acknowledged that he is currently a student at Umpqua, near Roseburg, Ore., and that he was supposed to be attending classes there on Thursday when Harper-Mercer went on a bloody rampage.

More specifically, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be present that day in Snyder Hall, the same building where Harper-Mercer carried out his massacre.

There is a lot more at the site - Matthew builds a compelling argument.

The shooter was not the conservative that the media make him out to be - his sympathies were aligned with the Irish Republican Army (known to work with PLO and Hezbolah), Hitler's Schultzstaffel (S.S.) and one of his two MySpace links was with Mahmoud Ali Ehsani who hosted a photo album titled, “Classic – The Mujahideen Collection LOL,” featuring Islamic terrorists from several countries, including Palestine, Iran, and Pakistan, among others.

Another pathetic islamofascist nutcase.

Working on a document and heading out to the radio room to browse the aether for an hour or two...

Got some rain scheduled to come in over the next couple of days.

Fun movie inspired by Georges Melies

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Got to get me some of those Acme Helium Pills. Be sure to watch the final couple of minutes when the special effects are revealed. Fun use of forced perspective, stop motion and green screen.

Hat tip to James Gurney for the link.

Hutton’s Unconformity

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One of the most famous geological sites in the world:

It was what convinced Scientist James Hutton that the Earth had to be extremely old.

Hat tip Gerard.

Think twice about tossing your old boarding pass - especially if you fly frequently.

From security expert Brian Krebs:

What’s in a Boarding Pass Barcode? A Lot
The next time you’re thinking of throwing away a used boarding pass with a barcode on it, consider tossing the boarding pass into a document shredder instead. Two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal of information, and the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account.

Earlier this year, I heard from a longtime KrebsOnSecurity reader named Cory who said he began to get curious about the data stored inside a boarding pass barcode after a friend put a picture of his boarding pass up on Facebook. Cory took a screen shot of the boarding pass, enlarged it, and quickly found a site online that could read the data.

“I found a website that could decode the data and instantly had lots of info about his trip,” Cory said, showing this author step-by-step exactly how he was able to find this information. ‘

“Besides his name, frequent flyer number and other [personally identifiable information], I was able to get his record locator (a.k.a. “record key” for the Lufthansa flight he was taking that day,” Cory said. “I then proceeded to Lufthansa’s website and using his last name (which was encoded in the barcode) and the record locator was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number from the Star Alliance.”

This is just surreal - I could see encoding this information if you were flying out of a grass airfield somewhere without internet access but from a major airport?

Much more at the site. Your best bet is to keep it and shred it later.

The middle east 112 years ago

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It is a cess-pit now and it was a cess-pit then. Check this out (click to embiggen):


Judge was a satire magazine of the late 1800s through as late as 1947 when it ceased publication.

Hat tip to The Silicon Graybeard for the link.

Firefighters at risk from chemical

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This story just in from Call The Cops:

Report finds Firefighters at risk due to exposure to the chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide
It seems everyday there is a new risk to being a firefighter. Chemicals found on fire scenes and absorbed into turnout gear have been linked to many illness. Now a chemical found in fire hose is raising an alarm.

Fire Attack - A newly published scientific study in the Journal of Chemical Reaction and Human Hazards in Extreme Workplace Environments, sheds light on this new chemical danger.

According to the study…

Dihydrogen Monoxide is a colorless and odorless chemical compound. At room temperatures it is a non-viscous liquid, but at high temperatures as found in fires it can turn into a vapor.

Inhalation of Dihydrogen Monoxide can cause respiratory distress. Death will result from an excessive amount being inhaled.

Exposure to the vapor from Dihydrogen Monoxide will cause burns. Again death is a possibility with an excessive exposure.

Fire hoses release Dihydrogen Monoxide during normal firefighting operations.

The researchers offered no recommendations on dealing with the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. There have been no long term studies to check the effects Dihydrogen Monoxide contact has with human and the likely hood of it triggering other illnesses.

More studies on the effects of Dihydrogen Monoxide will be needed to find out the full extent of the danger to firefighters.

Please note: Call the Cops is a satire site and Dihydrogen Monoxide is just the scientific name for plain old water.

Ban Chicago

Canadian writer Howard Galganov offers the following thoughts:

It’s Time To Ban Chicago
In 2013
– according to the FBI – 8,583 people of all ages, and under all circumstances died from some form of FATAL SHOOTING.

In 2013 – according to the US Department of Transport - 10,076 people of all ages died specifically at the hands of DRUNK DRIVERS.


THUS FAR . . . from January 1, 2015 to DATE – And I really do mean up to the minute, because from the writing of this editorial (October 4, 2015), there have already been 2,332 SHOOTINGS IN CHICAGO.

From this Chicago Tribune Statistic . . . the only conclusion I can make is . . . BAN CHICAGO.

He makes a good point...

And that is it for the night

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Surfed a bit - nothing caught my eye so heading upstairs to sleep.

Back home - a fun day

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The turnout was pretty good - our side had about 50 people and their side had about ten. We had some nice discussions back and forth - Bellingham is like that.

Their side wants to Gerrymander the county council districts to include large chunks of Bellingham city in three of five districts. Our side wants proper representation of rural residents and we do not want the citizens of Bellingham to gain an unfair advantage in the polls. Bellingham has 40% of the population of the county - their representation needs to stay at that level.

I did not go into the county council meeting - after standing on the sidewalk for an hour, my hip was talking to me so I headed home. Dinner was a Costco hot dog around 4:00PM - good but not what I am used to eating...

On the road

Got the book-work done and heading into town in a few minutes. The rally is at 6:00PM so I will grab a bite to eat in town.

Picking up a few things at Costco and Home Depot (antifungal for the fruit trees - got some canker growing that I need to nip in the bud).

Back around 8:00PM or so...

Off for coffee and then to town

Heading out for coffee and to deliver the pastries to the store. Doing a bit of bookkeeping and then heading into town for a demonstration later this evening.

Some people are trying to rewrite our county charter to give the urban liberal voters more representation in the county council. Lots of money is coming in from out of state and from the Seattle area in favor of this so we need to put up a show of numbers and make sure that we retain our representation. What is good for Bellingham is not necessarily good for the rest of Whatcom county and there is zero reason why we should have to pay an increased tax to fund Bellingham projects.

The Merchant Vessel El Faro is presumed lost. From gCaptain:

Debris Found in Search for Missing Cargo Ship ‘El Faro’
The search for El Faro and its 33 crewmembers continues near Bermuda after covering 70,000 square nautical miles since Thursday. Two Coast Guard cutters were expected to stay in the area and search through the night Sunday.

The U.S. Coast Guard said search crews on Sunday located ‘multiple objects’ in the water in the search area for the American cargo ship El Faro after the ship went missing in Hurricane Joaquin on Thursday.

Life jackets, life rings, containers and an oil sheen have been located by Coast Guard aircrews, the Coast Guard said in an update Sunday morning. The debris was not confirmed to be from the El Faro at the time of the update, the Coast Guard added.

“The debris is scattered about over several miles,” said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss. “It’s going to take some time to verify. The items would appear to be consistent with the missing ship.”

Late Saturday, the Coast Guard said that search crews had found a life ring that was confirmed from the El Faro approximately 120 nautical miles northeast of Crooked Island, Bahamas, near the ship’s last known location.


The El Faro, a 790-foot roll-on/rolloff cargo ship, departed Jacksonville, Florida on September 29th en route to San Juan with 391 containers, 294 trailers and cars. The last communication from the ship was a Inmarsat satellite notification received Thursday morning (Oct. 1) at 7:30 a.m. stating that the El Faro was beset by Hurricane Joaquin, had lost propulsion and had a 15-degree list. The crew reported the ship had previously taken on water, but that all flooding had been contained.

Our prayers go out to the 33 souls who were on board her.

The Pearl Harbor Switch

Excellent rant found over at Spillers of Soup - just three paragraphs, go and read the whole thing.

"Non-whites do not understand White people. Muslims do not understand Christians. We Snow Folk seek peace and justice, and will go to tremendous lengths to avoid war and indiscriminate slaughter as per Jesus' instruction. We hold back because, in general, no one ever poses a threat to us great enough to justify a full effort on our part. Nuking the Vietnamese or Saddam Hussein would have been like smashing a hamster with a tire iron: pointless and messy.”


“Care to bet? I guarantee you that right now, right this very minute, that there exists somewhere in the Pentagon a detailed, step-by-step plan for the destruction of Islam by means of military force, from the Ka'aba right down to the shabbiest plywood shawarma stand in Karachi. Do you really think that the United States lacks the capacity to carry out this plan? Friend, there are weapons in existence of which most people could never dream that could do the job in an afternoon.


"Everyone knows that Switch is there. The whole reason for the War on Terror and everything that flowed from it was to keep that Switch from flipping. Bush and Obama put our boys in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to deflect the righteous anger of White, Christian people from the actual backers of 9-11: the Saudis, and the worldwide network of assassins they fund and cover for. By sending in our boys to kick a little strawman ass, Bush and Obama kept Whitey's fingers far enough away from the Pearl Harbor Switch to keep it from being flipped.

And a big tip of the hat to Gerard for the link. 

From The New York Times:

Legionnaires’ Bacteria Regrew in Bronx Cooling Towers That Were Disinfected
The 15 water-cooling towers that were found to be contaminated this week amid a new cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases had been disinfected less than two months ago, New York City officials said on Thursday, raising questions about how successful the city can be in containing the disease.

After an outbreak of the disease killed 12 people in July and August in the South Bronx, the city required every building with cooling towers, a common source of the Legionella bacteria that cause the disease, to be cleaned within two weeks.

Despite that order, as well as new legislation mandating quarterly inspections of cooling towers, the city found this week that bacteria had regrown in at least 15 towers that had been cleaned recently in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. The testing occurred after a fresh outbreak in that area that has killed one person and sickened at least 12, and spurred an order from health officials for the towers to be disinfected again.

Building owners have complained about the costs of the mandatory cleanings. Disinfection specialists said the bacteria’s quick return was not surprising because the bacteria thrives in warmer weather, and supported the notion that the cleanings were only a short-term fix.

Surprised that they don't run the cooling water through an ultra-violet light sterilizer - that would wipe it out. It's the constant humid atmosphere that the bacteria like and if you put a sterilization chamber in the loop, it will not be able to gain a toehold - here, here and here.

From The Moscow Times:

Russia's New Rocket Won't Fit in Its New Cosmodrome
Work at Russia's new $ 3 billion spaceport in the Far East has ground to a halt after a critical piece of infrastructure was discovered to have been built to the wrong dimensions, and would not fit the latest version of the country's Soyuz rocket, a news report said.

The Vostochny Cosmodrome, under construction in the Amur region, north of China, is intended to become Russia's primary spaceport, replacing the Soviet-built Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The cutting-edge facility was meant be ready for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets in December, but an unidentified space agency of a of a told the TASS news agency of a of a late Thursday that the rocket would not fit inside the assembly building where its parts are stacked and tested before launch.

The building "has been designed for a different modification of the Soyuz rocket," the source said, according to news website Medusa, which picked up the story from TASS.

And it is not the only problem they have been having:

The problems with the testing and assembly building are the latest incident in a saga of corruption scandals, embezzlement cases, high-profile arrests, worker strikes, and construction delays at the Vostochny cosmodrome.

The project has come under strict scrutiny from Russian officials such as President Vladimir Putin - who last year demanded the facility be ready for a first launch in December 2015 - and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has threatened to rip the heads off any contractors that slow up construction efforts.

Ahhhh - the joys of centralized planning and government. Good news that we do not have any of that here in America...

Heh - Barry takes a phone call from Al Gore

Heh - checkmate!

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It generally takes a couple of days for the details to come out and in this case, it was what I thought.

From The Washington Post:

Afghan official: Hospital in airstrike was ‘a Taliban base’
The acting governor of Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province said Sunday that Taliban fighters had been routinely firing “small and heavy” weapons from the grounds of a local hospital before it was apparently hit by a U.S. airstrike over the weekend.

In an interview, Hamdullah Danishi said the Doctors Without Borders compound was “a Taliban base” that was being used to plot and carry out attacks across the provincial capital, Kunduz city.

“The hospital campus was 100 percent used by the Taliban,” Danishi said. “The hospital has a vast garden, and the Taliban were there. We tolerated their firing for some time” before responding.

Yep - what I figured... This enemy is not an honorable one. The people claiming to be palestinian hide in ambulances, children's schools, mosques and churches. Scum of the earth.

A bounce in the polls

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Funny but makes a lot of sense - from Breitbart:

It is no accident that Dr. Ben Carson is enjoying one of his biggest lifts in the polls as the media savages him for views that offended them. It is a formula that has upended the GOP nomination fight.

Recall: just over a week ago, GOP candidate Carson drew heavy attacks from the media for saying that he wouldn’t support a Muslim for the Presidency. Predictably, the media was outraged and promoted radical Muslim activist group CAIR to condemn Carson’s remarks.

Less predictably, Carson suffered no negative impact on his standings in the polls. Rather, in the latest poll of the Republican nomination, Carson surged into a lead. The most recent IBD/TIPP poll found Carson leading the GOP field with 24 percent, followed by Donald Trump at 17 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio at 11 percent.

During the second GOP debate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina scored the most points with a passionate attack on Planned Parenthood and the scandal engulfing the organization over its alleged harvesting and selling of baby organs. It was a moment widely credited as a reason she “won” the debate.

A bit more:

The end result of the media attacks on Trump was his dominance of the field for the Republican nomination. His hold on the top spot has already forced serious candidates Rick Perry and Scott Walker out of the race. Many others stand on the precipice of an early exit.

The common denominator in all of the media attacks against the Republican outsiders is that the candidates are voicing positions much more closely aligned with the views of the public than the mavens on 6th Avenue.

Like I said earlier, this makes a lot of sense. The media is out of touch with most of the American people. We see obvious things that worry us and do not see our politicians or media addressing them.

Another day in paradise

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Gorgeous Indian Summer day with a bunch more in the pipeline. Got some showers scheduled for later this week but more sunny warm days to come after that.

Just back from coffee and checking in at the store - working on some stuff in the radio room and garage. Also going to do some tractor work - move Beautiful Dreamer into her winter spot and get her plugged in and hibernating.

Fixing a bite to eat for now...

Fisking the New York Times

Like shooting fish in a barrel. Fisking is defined here: Robert Fisk with more here.

On September 29th of this year, writer and pajama boy stand-in Brian Lombardi penned an article called 27 Ways to Be a Modern Man. A bunch of people have been having waaay to much fun with this list but it was best-selling author Larry Correia who knocked it out of the park. Hat tip to Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

Fisking the New York Times’ Modern Man
More like modern pajama boy man-child. This New York Times article is so remarkably stupid that it has already been mocked across the entire internet.  However, as a manly man of manliness, it is my responsibility to address this piece of fuckwittery. The same way that as a professional working writer I am compelled to respond to stupid writing advice that might otherwise screw up aspiring authors, I have to Fisk this.

See, I have two sons. As a father, it is my duty to point out really stupid shit, so they can avoid becoming goony hipster douche balloons. So boys, this Fisk was written for you.

As usual, the original is italics and my comments are in bold.

Even the header is wrong. This article is the opposite of self-help. This is like the instruction guide for how to live life as a sex-free eunuch. 

27 Ways to Be a Modern Man
Alternate Title: Does the Touch of a Woman Confuse and Frighten You? 27 Ways to Avoid Girl Cooties.

Who took time off from his busy schedule at the nail salon to write this.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015
Being a modern man today is no different than it was a century ago. It’s all about adhering to principle. Sure, fashion, technology and architecture change over time, as do standards of etiquette, not to mention ways of carrying oneself in the public sphere. But the modern man will take the bits from the past that strike him as relevant and blend them with the stuff of today.

My sons, as you go through life you will learn that libprog rags like the NYT, Slate, and HuffPo usually start their bullshit articles with a paragraph that sounds all sorts of reasonable. Beware. It is a trick.

What follows is one dude’s bizarrely specific pronouncements, which range from preachy but passable, to full turnip. Now, if this jackass had just lived his life according to his own code, real men wouldn’t give a shit, but of course not… This is the New York Times, bastion of bullshit, which will not be content unless it is telling you how you’re living your life wrong. 

1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

Who the hell buys shoes for their wife? As you grow older you will learn that many women like to shop for clothing and shoes. No. I don’t understand it either. But as a manly man, your duty is to work and provide money to your woman, so that she may go and do this sort of thing if she wants.

As for knowing sizes, no. As children, your mother buys clothes for you. Right now your requests for her seem to be “Get a shirt with Deadpool on it” and that is good. But as men large of stature you will eventually purchase your own clothing from the Extra Large Casual Male Outlet or the Cabella’s Catalog.

For you who are descended from giants, you know man sizes starts at 2XL (or 3X if you need to carry your pistol concealed under an untucked shirt) and shoes sizes begin at 15, but unlike the wimpy New York Times reporter, manly men understand that all men are different, and we do not judge them, even if they shop in the children’s section.

As for knowing your woman’s sizes, no. Your mother owns like 40 pairs of running shoes. She doesn’t even know which brands run big or small, and she has a uterus.

Pure gold! There is a reason Larry has sold so many books. Here are two more from the list:

4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

A real man lets other men eat what they want and isn’t a self-righteous prick about it.

But this talk of steak is just more trickery, sons. This is a Pajama Boy trying too hard to sound like a man, because steak is considered a manly food. Note that he spells filet wrong. That piece of meat isn’t fatty, and what kind of doofus burns a good piece of meat?


14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

Who cares?

No, really. You write it on a piece of paper, put it on your phone, scribble it on your hand with Sharpie, fly by the seat of your pants buying whatever you feel like, or your wife does the shopping… NOBODY GIVES A FUCK.

You sensing a trend yet, boys?

This guy is a symptom of a much bigger problem. People like to make themselves feel more important by telling other people that they are having Wrongfun. Judging others makes them feel special.

Twenty-four more at the site - Larry is best known for his Monster Hunter International series. A wonderful read if you like science fiction and zombies (and other creatures of the night). 

Also, Wu-Tang Clan was mentioned and in the comments, there is a link to one of their songs. It has been synced to some My Little Ponies footage and is hilarious: 

Our prayers go out to South Carolina

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Home to a 200-year storm and severe flooding. The major news media are reporting it as being Hurricane Joaquin related but Cliff Mass has the actual data:

Extraordinary Flooding Possible In South Carolina
Although I generally keep my view on Pacific Northwest weather, the forecasts for South Carolina and vicinity are so unusual and threatening that I wanted to mention it. And because of Boeing, there are concerns about what happens around Charleston, SC.

Huge rainfall totals are forecast to hit that region, with 10-20 inches being expected in some locations.  Flooding should be expected.

This flooding is NOT directly associated with Hurricane Joaquin, but with the confluence of tropical moisture streams.

More at the site - Cliff posts some charts that plainly show Joaquin and the Carolina rainfall as two separate entities.

Dr. Roy Spencer has some more information including the wonderful information that Governor Nikki Haley has already declared a State of Emergency so now the Federal government can start sending aid. It was Governor Kathleen Blanco's failure to do this during Katrina that caused the several-day delay in FEMA aid during that disaster.

Barry and Vladimir

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Nails it:


Drone edition - a concern from the International Business Times:

FAA fears 1 million Americans will receive drones for Christmas and use them unwisely
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that up to a million new consumer drones could be sold this Christmas, and it is terrified of what civilians with no air safety knowledge might do with them. Rich Swayze, the FAA's Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment told the Airlines for America (A4A) Commercial Aviation Industry Summit in Washington on 28 September that the state agency is rushing to implement a consumer education campaign before the holiday season begins in earnest.

"We're trying to get out and educate people about potential dangers," he told delegates, according to Aviation Week. "A lot of people who don't have a pilot background are operating these things in the airspace."

US retail giant Walmart is currently selling 19 different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that range in price from $19.99 to $274.95 (£13.19 - £181.47), and the FAA will be sending a representative to a pre-Christmas staff meeting to educate salespeople on what they need to tell customers about the safe operation of drones.

The FAA is spreading a bit of FUD - Fear Uncertainty and Doubt - a classic tool to use when you do not have actual hard data to cite. The drones you buy from WalMart for $20 have a range that is measured in tens of feet and flight time of a few minutes. No way are these going to be entering flight paths. They are toys. The worst that can happen is a personal injury from collision.

The professional drones start at around $2,000 for a complete kit with extra batteries, spare propellers, camera and controller. No way would any owner of these imperil their investment or risk having it taken away. The fact of spending two grand motivates the buyer to self-educate.

Obama's domestic legacy

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Hard on the heels of his Foreign policy legacy (with three key players resigning within a few days of each other), now this - from The Washington Post:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down at end of year
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan plans to step down from his Cabinet position by the end of the year, leaving the Obama administration more than a year before the president’s term will end.

As I said, we are seeing the rats deserting the sinking ship. Barry has no legacy to look forward to unless you consider narcissism, incompetence and failure to be something worthy of remembrance.

Lazy day

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Feeling very relieved with the diagnosis of the hip. Had a very deep and relaxed sleep - heading out for coffee and then working in the radio room getting a long-distance antenna put up.

Minimal posting today and tomorrow as I have a couple projects that need my attention and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous.

As the East Coast breathes a lot easier

What a difference a day and a half makes - from the National Hurricane Center:


Compare with yesterday morning's chart:


Obama's foreign policy legacy

Like rats deserting a sinking ship. A three-fer:

Sep. 22, 2015 - Obama's hand-picked ISIS war czar is resigning

Sep. 29, 2015 - Pentagon's top Russia official resigns 

Oct. 02, 2015 - Top Obama Cyber Security Adviser Quietly Leaves Post at White House 

Want to know why Obama was so outspoken about the Oregon shooting? He needed to deflect public attention from the real disaster happening in the middle east.

Devoted to underwater telephone and telegraph cables.

Check out Atlantic Cable - lots of stuff there including links to other cable fancier's websites.

Great news on the medical front

Got some x-rays taken of the hip and the actual joint is just fine - no damage or displacement. What I am experiencing is a deep muscle bruise with swelling and I need to take it easy and do some exercises to restore range of motion.

Good to have a concrete answer as to what was happening.

Stopped off in town and picked up a couple to-go boxes of Chinese food so we will be eating tasty leftovers for the next day or so - keeping things low-key at the farm...

Making a big bowl of popcorn

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On September First, a group of twenty scientists published a letter saying that Climate Deniers should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes. The letter has subsequently been taken down but an archived copy of it can be found here (PDF). People started looking into the scientists who signed this document and it seems that they were engaged in a wee bit of financial fraud.

For the story leading up to today visit here, here, here, here and here.

From Anthony at Watts Up WIth That:

Jagdish Shukla’s #RICO20 blunder may have opened the ‘largest science scandal in US history’
Yesterday, Shukla and GMU got notice that they have piqued the interest of a congressional committee, and via a written notice are required to preserve documents for an impending Congressional investigation and to provide proof that all employees of IGES/COLA have been notified that they are aware they can’t destroy documents. As we follow the unraveling behind the scenes and new FOIA documentation, rumors of some aberrant behavior in the past have begun to surface from former colleagues that suggest we might be dealing with the same sort of ego induced blindness that led to the downfall of IPCC chairman Rajenda Pachauri. The combination of information WUWT is being given behind the scenes suggests to me that this episode is going to get far worse for Shukla and GMU before it gets better.

At issue is at least 63.5 million dollars from the National Science Foundation, and where it went, whether it was used for the purpose intended, and who benefited from that money. The problem at hand seems to be that there may have been more than a little “double dipping” going on with that grant money as Steve McIntyre pointed out in Shukla’s Gold.

And the upshot of this - follow the money:

There’s apparently an $800,000 annual salary and an organization full of Shukla family members that has produced next to no results for the millions received. Even NSF on their own web page acknowledges that only one paper has been produced out of a 4.2 million dollar grant.

Just think of what climate skeptics could do with money like that if we actually got it rather than the purported proverbial “big oil check” we are so often accused of getting?

In addition to the Federal law related to NSF grants, the other real teeth of the matter here is the law governing state employees: state employees may not be compensated by another employer for work that falls under their state employee remit. In this case that would include scientific research by a Professor (a state employee) i.e. Shukla himself.

One could not ask for a more perfect example of the Streisand Effect. And yes, I am also still waiting for my big oil check.

Be sure to read the 240+ comments - some wonderful stuff in there.

Off to see the wizard

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Heading in to see my orthopedic surgeon this morning - check out the hip.

Really hope it is just a bad sprain. My recovery from the replacement surgery was fast and not that big a deal - still, I do not want to have to go through it again if I can avoid it...

Barry on the golf course

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Just classic:


Hippie tears

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This video has been around for a long time - a classic self-centered clueless moment. I have heard it many times and still laugh:


It just got bumped by this video:

And it comes with the following caption:

During a solo kayak trip, intended to go from from Ketchikan, Alaska to Petersburg, Alask, a bear attacked my kayak. This incident occurred outside of a US Forest Service cabin in Berg Bay, Wrangell District, Alaska. I had just carried my tent, food, and all my gear into the cabin to dry while I went on a 4 mile hike that begins just behind the cabin. I heard something outside as I ate my lunch, and well, I never got to go on that hike. This video is taken 5 minutes after the attack began, he continued to gnaw on it for another 5 or 10 after the video ends. Shortly after the bear left and I drug the kayak back to the cabin door step. Then I swam to the S/V anchored in the bay. They did not have their radio on and I feared I would be stranded! The German flagged S/v Caledonia took me and my things to Wrangell where I am trying to repair my kayak now.

Rule #1: - when arriving at a new campsite, secure everything first. Then break for lunch.

Rule #2: - Bears are innately curious and will explore all new items in their territory, especially if they smell like food. If your Kayak was clean, it would not have gotten anything more than a cursory sniff.

Rule #3: Bears do not speak English (or French or whatever).

Rule #4: Even if the bear did speak English, they would not like being pepper-sprayed and would do whatever they wanted to do to get back at you if you did pepper-spray them. The bear here knew exactly what it was doing. It did not attack the person, it just f*cked up their transportation. A teachable moment as they say...

Always classy - our President

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As noticed by the fine folks at Grabien:

Less than six hours after the mass shooting today in Roseburg, Ore., President Obama called a press conference to demand new gun laws, a move he predicted would spur critics to accuse him of politicizing the issue. If they don’t accuse him of that, they might accuse him of making the tragedy about himself.

During today’s 12-minute address, President Obama referred to himself 28 times. (For those counting at home, that's almost three times per minute.)

Note that in arriving at this calculation, we included mentions of "we" when he was clearly including himself as part of the plural pronoun; the many uses of "we" in referring to America at large were not included.

Somehow I am not surprised... Our Narcissist in Chief at work as usual.

Great quote from Nikola Tesla

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Tesla is one of my major heroes. The guy did so much for modern power and electronics yet he is considered to be a crackpot by many people who should know better. He invented a few things that we use today: The 60Hz system of three-phase power generation and transmission, the fluorescent light, radio, radio remote control, the alternating current motor. The list goes on and on and on...

Saw this today:



Substitute Climate models for mathematics and you have a great description of the current state of climate science; especially that part which insists that it is warming precipitously despite the 18+ year hiatus. The climate models say one thing but actual boots-on-the-ground measurement says something entirely different...

Very clever

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Fun video:


From the folks at SkullMapping.

Feel the Bern

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A lot of low-information voters are going nuts for Bernie Sanders. I like the guy's personality but his leadership and economics are simply not there. A good indication of how good he would be as President is how his State of Vermont is doing. Not very well according to these two news reports.

First - from Vermont Watchdog:

Vermont jobs outlook possibly worse than college students think
A recent survey shows college graduates are leaving Vermont because they think the state has a bad jobs outlook. Depending on which employment data they look at, the situation may be even worse than they think.

In a survey conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor and St. Michael’s College, more than 60 percent of graduates, and 75 percent of seniors, said they planned to leave Vermont after college — or said they already left.

Second - from CBS News:

Heroin epidemic hits Vermont community hard
As heroin addiction takes over entire families and neighborhoods, even the U.S. government describes it as an epidemic. And when the governor of Vermont devoted last year's entire "State of the State" address to battling heroin, the nation took note: the state with perhaps the greenest image is struggling with a dark side.

In Rutland, police sergeant Matt Prouty has watched the heroin problem build for a least a decade. He took CBS News on a ride-along through some of the hardest-hit areas of the city, pointing out drug dens that have physically transformed the community.

"It used to be that I only knew maybe a handful of people that used heroin. Now it's hard to go down the street and not see somebody that you know is in recovery or actively using," Prouty said.

In 2014, the state treated 2,258 people for heroin use, a staggering 64 percent increase over 2013. More than 400 users are on waiting lists for detox.

I rest my case...

At least that is what I take away from this press release from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

HHS enhances preparedness with new products to treat severe burns
Four novel products to treat severe thermal burns will be developed and acquired under contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). The products are intended to enhance the available treatment options for disaster response and are being designed to find uses in routine clinical burn care.

ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will leverage authority granted under the Project BioShield Act of 2004 to purchase one of the products currently available commercially and fund late-stage development and procurement of the other three. These products will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) or managed by vendors to help protect people from burn injuries resulting from radiological and nuclear threats.

The detonation of an improvised nuclear device would produce intense heat, resulting in many patients with severe burns. The treatments for such burns require complex procedures including surgical skin grafting that is resource-intensive and technically demanding. With only 127 burn centers nationwide, a mass casualty incident of this scale could easily overwhelm the nation’s burn care infrastructure.

“To protect health and save lives from the impacts of multiple types of disasters, we have to address critical challenges in burn care,” explained BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D. “These products are intended to offer greater options and help create a continuum of care in a mass casualty incident; together they have the potential to eliminate resource-intensive steps, shorten hospital stays and improve patient outcomes.”

Emphases mine - if we spent more time rooting out the terrorists who are attempting to gain this capacity, we would not be in such a predicament. Our "treaty" with Iran is going to put nukes in terrorists hands in five years or less.

From Seattle Station and FOX News affiliate Q13:

Shooter at Oregon community college; multiple fatalities, injuries reported
At least seven people were reportedly killed and more than 20 others injured in a shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning, Oregon State Police spokesman Bill Fugate told CNN.

CNN reported that the shooter, a man, had been “neutralized.”  More information about the shooter was not immediately available.

Ray Shoufler, Douglas County Fire Marshal, told CNN the shooting occurred in at least one classroom in the science building. There is a very strong indication the shooter posted online prior to the incident, CNN reports. Investigators are examining social media postings made by a man, thought to be in his late 20s, who they believe is the suspect in Thursday’s shootings.

And of course:


It will be interesting to learn more about this a**hole - most of them have been far-left liberals on some kind anti-psychotic medication.

What a surprise - ISIS

And of course, it is being reported by a media outside of the United States.

From the London Daily Mail:

Isis planning 'nuclear holocaust' to wipe hundreds of millions from face of the earth', claims reporter who embedded with the extremists
Islamic terrorists Isis want to wipe the west off the face of the earth with a nuclear holocaust according to a journalist who spent ten days with the group while researching a book.

The terror group allowed Jürgen Todenhöfer to embed with the group because he has been a high-profile critic of US policy in the Middle East.

The German journalist claimed the terror group wants to launch a 'nuclear tsunami' against the west and anyone else that opposes their plans for an Islamic caliphate

And he offered this cheery little note:

He said the West has 'no concept of the threat it faces' from the Islamic State and has underestimated the risk posed by ISIS 'dramatically'.

Our administration is willfully clueless and they are deceiving us - time to clean house...

The Big Short

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Comes out this Christmas - looks good:

Based on the great book by Michael Lewis

Prayers going out to those on the East Coast

Hurricane Joaquin looks like it might do some damage this next week.

From the National Hurricane Center:



Cliff Mass has a nice analysis: Will Hurricane Joaquin Be This Year's Superstorm Sandy?

From Breitbart:

Mexican Federales responding to a serious car crash just south of this border city ended up seizing 25 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the vehicle’s airbag compartment. The suspected smugglers died as a result of the crash.

Talk about stupid criminal...

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Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Next Big Future

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2015 is the previous archive.

November 2015 is the next archive.

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