Media Dangerous

We once more have a MASSIVE FAIL on the part of “local” media. In particular, the Huntsville Weather Beavers at the local television studios have missed morning mimimum temperatures by over five degF.

Lots of bad results from this.

Dangerous results. And their incompetence is putting people at risk.

We have to wonder if this is some sort of plot to make people think these winter storms aren’t as bad as they really are? Or worse, some attempt to make work for local plumbers?

Anyway, stern condemnations of these weather beavers.

Overestimating the minimum temperature when that temperature is below the phase change point is borderline criminal.

ORF Add-Ins

I run across some of the most amazing Stercus on website like Lifehacker. For a site that is supposed to be about hacking existence, it is often abysmal.

I ran across an article [Link] entitled “The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For” this morning. It purports to be a list of excellent apps, presumably for Android and iPhoney but unspecified. I don’t expect any other OS to be offered because this web site is basically an arrogant iPhoney fanatic place. After scanning the list I found ten passable to good apps and 40 pieces of Stercus.  Frankly, better than I expected.

This is typical of their lists. Not very good. Mostly, I suspect, written by junior journalism graduates who think being a journalist (and having a job) makes them a deity. Journalism, after all, these day si a cult of self with nothing to do with accuracy or veracity.

So in bemused irritation I am going to start commenting on decent to good add-ins. Mostly for browsers since I am ORF and this who slablet addiction thing is more than a bit orthogonal.

The starting point is an add-in called “Print Friendly.” Not gonna bother with an URL because we ORFs can do searches without Mommy’s help. What Print Friendly does is strip down what’s on a web page to nut meat. It’s rather like dressing a deer, which is something only the redneck denialist GEN Ys know anything about and then not very well. But I don;t expect any of the GEN Ys to be reading this except by error.

Film at Eleven.

Tar Strokes

Heard yesterday and this morning that Florence Henderson and Fidel Castro have discorporated. Musing on this I was struck with the thought that both got rather a rough deal.

Ms. Henderson was a gifted actress but got damned with her maternal role on a nauseating family situation comedy. Zero depth, zero creativity. Horrible fate for an actress.

Mr. Castro was a gifted leader who got damned by the Capitalist Oligarchy of Amerika because they didn’t like him sacking their puppet in Cuba.  Walled in. Reviled. 

Two character lessons that we seem doomed to repeat.

Brisket Thursday

Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill yesterday in spite of the petrol shortage. FD SCP had to have her eye cut upon. Obscured lens. So I did the little-old-man drive thing, to the annoyance of the petrol grasshoppers, to the city.

I went through this myself earlier in year and it was a nasty, tedious business. This conversion to day surgery substantially increases the pain and discomfort of the victims and the cash flow of the cutters. Of course with the hospitals once more a place of discorporation, this also reduces the cutters’ liability as well.

So I got to sit about and be the responsible (????) adult responsible for all the ash and trash that the medicalist community wants to get rid of as fast as possible.

But the affair was not without a bit of humor. I got to experience a blatant example of “Secretarial Arrogance.” This is the phenomena whereby direct and usually unshared singleton reports take on the importance of their employer. It used to be most obvious in the personal secretaries of executives who adopted the command prerogatives of “their” executive. The term has been generalized to any subordinate who assumes the authority – real or imagined – of their superior.

In this case the example was the “assistant” of the cutter. This assistant emerged once the surgery was over with the mission of relieving the cutter of the nasty, odious task of dealing with the victim’s friends and family. The assistant did this in the most stilted and legal Teflon (R) fashion possible which unfortunately struck me as horribly humorous. Like watching some silent movie comic aping a pretentious oaf. And while the cutter in this instance is pretentious, he isn’t an oaf. 

I suspect the closest association is with a Kosher butcher. A Kosher butcher has to be a Rebbe, essentially. Which is rather an overkill for someone who dismembers discorporate animals. This is why a lot of cutter jobs can be done by robots. Daniel Olivaw, M. D. Accepting the pretentiousness of a Mesopotamian emperor is part of the price we pay for medical care. Not in this case would a butcher do, of course, since we rather don’t want discorporation or dismembering, but the education analogy is not inapt.

Anyway, the assistant had assumed some of the pretension and I was struggling not to roll on the floor in frame shaking mirth. So I redirected my laughter into incessant questions to see how far the arrogance could be stretched. Not very far as it turned out. So there is hope for the assistant. As a real human, that is.

Meanwhile the petrol shortage is still worrisome and has the benefit only of diverting us from the upcoming catastrophe on Tuesday.


Occasionally a Good prevails

I ran across this article [Link] about the bigot Chief Justice of the Alibam Coven of Justicers being sacked again, this time for royally messing up the state’s standing with the Yankee government and vertically copulating the standard of living in Alibam.

As one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, proclaimed on the FaceScroll, for once the Sokratic Good emerged.

And I am AMAZED.

This is, after all, Alibam where the standard of government and politics is mostly unadulterated evil.

The Chief Justice was typical of Alibam political office holder, too immature to cope with his own insecurity. Hence his evil.

Sic Semper….

The Good of a Pen

Five Day. Last day of gym under the new schedule. And an intense hope the weekend will actually be enjoyable.

The first morning of BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Bundled up like Nanook. Southrons and heat are nasty but Southrons and not-heat are just plain pathetic. Even more pathetic than Clinton-Trump supporters. 

The podcast this morning was the second half of an episode of Linux Luddites. Passable. Consumed the time well. But not much in the way of ideas. So my mind wandered to the subject of writing and then to pens.

I sometimes listen to Brad Dowdy’s “The Pen Addict” [Link] podcast, mostly when walking. He sometimes has useful things to say about pens. But mostly he waxes adoringly on Field Note paper. Not that it isn’t good paper but pocket notebooks aren’t real notebooks. At least in my frame of reference.

Which brings me to note taking and composition and writing. One of my colleagues, Force Spring Constant, gave me an Economist article entitled “The Comeback of Cursive” [Link] about why cursive is making a comeback in schules mostly because – they claim – of push-back from Common Core and the extra-office existence of corporate serfs these days. Neither seems a good reason but then humans almost never do things for good reasons. Mostly they glandular. 

I have nattered on writing and note taking previously so I won;t compete with a search of the blog site. And get to the marrow. How do I rate a pen?

Importance 1: How well does the pen put into on the page? This is primarily about the interstices of the pen. Does it skip? Does it drag? Yes to either question is failure. And the pen ends up next the telephone to write down pointers.

Importance 2: How well does the pen feel. Is it comfortable both at rest in the hand and while writing? No to either is a fail.

Importance 3: Is the pen painful in any way? Is it unendearingly ugly? Or nastily garish? Depending on the depth of 1 and 2, a Yes may be a fail. But not usually. This is a distant 3.

The problem is that we can assess these with opposite order of ease. A glance and a touch answer 3, A bit of manipulation and test writing answer 2 and much of 1. But a new pen does not perform like a developed pen. So sometimes we buy and then amass at the telephone. 

So when someone tells you they buy pens for visual appearance or cheapness, you know they are a BOG. Pity them. Perhaps they will abstain from reproduction. 

Cleaning out tabs. Ran across one [Link] entitled “Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex” and was a bit offput by it. I noticed the author is located in Italy so this may be an Italian/European thing.

The guy is railing against the fun/easy thing being propagandized by a lot of Geek Leaders. Notably Fruit Folk. The article states that

“Unfortunately, this rosy portrait bears no relation to reality. For starters, the profile of a programmer’s mind is pretty uncommon. As well as being highly analytical and creative, software developers need almost superhuman focus to manage the complexity of their tasks. Manic attention to detail is a must; slovenliness is verboten. Attaining this level of concentration requires a state of mind called being ‘in the flow’, a quasi-symbiotic relationship between human and machine that improves performance and motivation.”

which is largely Stercus Tauri. (To use an Italian language.)

Yes, programming is rather strictly grammatical. In fact it is the strictest in a grammar sense but there is still plenty of wiggle room to abuse the grammar. The reason for this is fairly simple. Compilers aren’t very smart. The strictness has to do with the conversion of conversation – code – into executable.

Second, the mind set isn’t that uncommon. When I was an undergrad, almost all STEMs learned how to code. (The notable exceptions were biologists and boundary people like anthropologists and psychologists.) So unless the author thinks STEM skills ate rare, coding mindset isn’t uncommon. Disciplined, maybe, but not uncommon.

Is it fun? It is for me. Yes, it is frustrating but when the code runs there is an adrenalin rush that is indistinguishable from fun. It’s also soothing and enveloping. A sort of womb thing.

Ethically challenging? Is this one of those science fiction “Is there a God?” things? If you’re a back-to-nature kill off the human rave to hunter-gatherer levels arealist than maybe, but not otherwise. At least based on the author’s arguments. Which are sparse and vapid.