Pee AND Pool = 1

Since a couple of channels on the cable have started having MASH – the TV program, not the movie or even the actual book – marathons, the subjects of cockroach pornography (sports type) and micturation have been more frequently considered.

Hence, when I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Here’s How Much Pee There Is in a Swimming Pool” I moved into the micturation channel. This is one of those typically (predominantly? ENTIRELY!) Millenial articles that falls somewhere on the spectrum between “Gross” and “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” And the MASH bit gave me the insight necessary to cement the bottom line.

An old summer camp (showing my youth from the ’50’s) trick was to take someone’s arm – while they were asleep – and immerse it in a basin of warm water (liquid dihydrogen oxide.) After a few moments that someone would void their bladder, mush to their embarrassment and the glee of their evil EXTRO camp mates.

Note this is a natural physiological reaction. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be used as a prank.

But what gets missed by all the BOG EXTROs is that it doesn’t just work with an arm; it works with any other part of the body. (Almost.)

So when you take someone and put them in a swimming pool on a day when the water is warm, guess what you get?

Voided Bladders.

Get the idea? Urine in swiming pools is a NATURAL occurrence. The only way to avoid it is to catheterize everyone before they go in the pool.

Shhh. Don’t spread that around. There may be politicians listening.

In Praise of Technical Error

Been a bit of a dry spell. Too many distractions from important stuff. So lots of mumblage here.

The other day I was listening to an episode (number three as I recall) of “Late Night Linux” [Link] which is the derivative of “Linux Luddites”. I have never quite figured out why the change other than a stentorian pronouncement of the new permitting profanity that I have yet to notice.

Anyway, the episode opened with a bit of a natter about 32 bit versions and how this only made sense because only old antiquated boxes are 32 bit. I was familiar with the argument but something – the voices or my environment – led me to consider further on the matter. One definite factor is that I have several of these older boxes and help some folks who have ditto and so I am often looking for distros that are not just 32 bit but non-PAE. 

I mentioned this to my colleague Magnetic Inductance Force and he did a bit of a chuckle-mumble. Admitted he sent them an eMail on the matter, which crystallized my own impression. With some priming from an article [Link] entitled “The Terminal Is Where Linux Begins – and Where You Should, Too” that influenced a conversation I had yesterday with my colleague Total Angular Momentum Inductance about how much command lineing is needful and how it impacts adopters.

The issue, I suspect, is an unacknowledged (denied?) dichotomy in the Linux community. The classical Linux community is geekish – operating code writers who are more at home with the command line than a GUI. But recognizing that elitism is a poor survival population in the modern environment, efforts have been bent to make Linux more attractive to the Winders Generation.

The dichotomy thus is between people who think technical excellence is a sine qua non and people who want an appliance but, for some reason, not a slablet. There are, of course, people in intermediate who are perfectly happy to disdain both the extremes of the dichotomy. And attractive as it may be the dichotomy is close in some senses but not quite the appliance-tool polarity.

I should qualify that I am a tool user, but not of the form of the classic Linuxite. I write code but could care less about writing operational code. I write number crunch code, mostly in FORTRAN. When I was running Winders I wrote in PASCAL and hated all the GUI stercus. I still hate the GUI stercus but one advantage of Linux is I could go back to FORTRAN. And now that LibreOffice has a BASIC built into its spreadsheet, I can go back to low end spreadsheet code.

What does this have to do with 32 bit? Well, the answer has to do with a related but different matter, namely the human-machine interface. Just as one cannot take notes or scribble equations without a machine, in this case a pen/pencil and some paper, one cannot do code (or any other computer activity) without a physical (maybe?) interaction between human and computer. IOW, you gotta have a machine in the middle to write code. The blatantly obvious parts of that machine side are keyboard and visual display.

This brings us to the 32 bit bit. Simply put new computers have terrible, crappy interface hardware. Laptops are especially bad. You have to pay through the nose to get a decent visual display and a decent keyboard is not to be found. For desktops, matters are less dire but not as good as they used to be.

Bottom line old laptops good, new laptops bad; old keyboards good, new keyboards mediocre to crappy.

Now I know I don’t want to run code on a 32 bit computer, especially FORTRAN code. It really doesn’t matter with spreadsheet code because there one is satisfied with two or three decimal places. But heavy nerd code is not for 32 bit boxes.

But one can have one or several 64 bit boxes that one terminals into to run the FORTRAN code. And not give up a decent interface.

But code writing is only part of the nerd story. An equally important part is writing up articles on what you find out in your research. And that also requires an effective and efficient man-machine (sexism here!) interface. Which redoubles the whole 32 bit shtick.

And before you mutter something about nerds being minuscule in numbers and therefore importance, remember how the computer came about in the first place.

So abandon those 32 bit implementations at your own risk.


America’s Claim

Free to All: Air – polluted, cancerous perhaps, but not yet taxed nor charged.

Free Tax Breaks: Rich people only, all other pay for them.

Internet Freedoms:

Free to Download – except the cost of your ISP (or cup of coffee;)

Free to Use – Maybe, but with advertisements; and

Free to Modify – Linux, hated by every politician and corporate oligarch in Amerika.

Free to be Watched: no direct cost for the citizen.

Free to Die: soldiers; seamen; airmen; police; and firefighters. All others have to pay to be interred. And probably for the last rites, medical or religious.

The Actual Beast

Last evening I heard on the evening “news” that a drive-in cinema in Henagar wasn’t going to project a Disney re-do because one of the characters in the cinema is homosexual.

At the time this was another bit of Alibam not-news.

But then this morning I read an article [Link] in LifeHacker about this. And I was vaguely amused.

Let me start by mentioning that Henagar is one of the great cities of Alibam. It is almost in either Jawjah or Tennesse in the upper nawth-east corner of Alibam. It has a population of about 2.5K people. This part of the state is mountains so no industry or large organizations and the people who live there are rather like mountain people have been depicted in videos since the movie about Alvin York.

That would seem to explain what the owner of the motorcar cinema meant by her statement that 

“If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”

since mountain people have all sorts of unusual religionist ideas. In this case thinking that the deity or his supposed offspring are pookas (to stay with the cinema metaphor.)

I should mention that many people in Alibam avoid saying what they really think or feel because they fear starting a feud or being beaten horribly by anyone who thinks or feels otherwise. In a place where one could speak one’s mind, the proper statement would have been something of the order of

“A lot of people hereabout are insecure and dislike homosexuals and just about anyone who isn’t like them and genetically similar (kinfolk) so if we show this movie no one will come and we will loose a whole bunch of money for no good reason.”

I won’t dwell on the nature of why this message wasn’t used since further discussion isn’t going to dissipate the reader’s already substantial disbelief.

Now let me address a couple of other points. First, a motorcar cinema today? Yes, exactly. Bear in mind that this is a small, impoverished mountain community. Land is cheap but buildings are dear. And the population is low so there isn’t much in the way of cable or internet. On in-door cinema. 

Not so say that there aren’t lots of places like Henagar in Alibam that aren’t in the mountains. There are people not more than five miles (yes, we still use Imperial units in Alibam) from Greater Metropolitan Arab, an Alibam metropolis of about 9K peoples who have neither indoor plumbing nor a heating system that doesn’t burn wood. And Greater Metropolitan Arab doesn’t have a motorcar cinema, nor an in-door cinema. But we do have Digital Switched Line. And cable television.

Second, let me take up the matter of movies. Disney movies are a good model of movies in general. Cartoon characters. Magic. Everyday people singing in public. Totally unrealistic stories. 

And that’s why I don’t go to see Disney (or much of any) movies. I have seen an earlier version of the movie in question. This alteration does not make the story any better or worse. It wasn’t real then and it wasn’t real now. 

But happily a lot of people in Alibam don’t and can’t understand that. Much less act rationally about it.

I can say that I have enjoyed two Disney Movies. One as Davy Crockett. It wasn’t a cartoon. And even as a child I realized it was a crock of inaccurate stercus and reveled in my rationality.

I also enjoyed The Black Hole. Not for the title; for the odoriferous inaccuracies. At least the part I got to see. I saw this at a now non-existent theater in Huntsville when I has in grad schule and was asked (demanded indignantly) by management to leave because my laughter and floor rolling was disturbing the other customers and the grease on the floor. I doubt that I was really disturbing anyone else, more likely the opposite but I can see how sopping up the sticky yuck on the floor would require them to spend money on cleaning the floor. And this was one of the nicer in-door cinemas in town. It even had a separate smoking section. The smoking section was in the middle of the rest of the seating but a waist high fence kept the smoke in (and the non-smokers out.)

I am asked why I live in Alibam. Several reasons. First of all, I grew up here. And although it is impossible to be believed by anyone who hasn’t, it’s better now than when I was a child. Second of all, it’s green. I have been lots of other places, mostly courtesy of the Yankee Army of Occupation sending me places I didn’t need to go to but they required me to go there. And after a week or so coming back to the green was a fulfillment.

The third reason is “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” To translate that, anyone in Alibam who is rational and/or educated in something useful – that is, a nerd – is one-eyed. And you don’t get to be king, mostly because no one who is rational and/or educated would want to be king in this place, but you do get a whole lot better job than those who aren’t rational or educated.

What I understand is that when most of the people have a (useful) education, that education is NOT an advantage. By useful, I am not talking about quoting Descartes or Proust; I’m talking about doing instead of talking. (Incidentally, those folks who can quote Descartes or Proust, or even Patrick Henry, are more likely to get beaten horribly. If you know – really know – the calculus then the folks who do the beating run from you in terror as if you were the Attack Rabbit (more cinema vein.) And you get paid pretty good and can enjoy the good parts of Alibam.

Enough. If you ever get to Henagar take your kids to the motorcar cinema. It doesn’t matter what movie is being projected. What counts is that they experience a motorcar cinema for much the same reason the service station fellow in the Nevada desert wished for rain.



Not My Read

Five Day. Last of Gym for the week. Probably. Listened to a Linux Link podcast episode. Discovered no notes so this may be a limited repetition. Maybe.

Needed new SSD for a lapbox. Tried two different on-line sources. Too much bureaucracy. Waiting is for more patience or a better environment.

Ran across an article [Link] entitled “The 8 Books Neil deGrasse Tyson Thinks Every Person Should Read” which is sorta self-explanatory. I looked at the list:

  • “The Bible”: “To learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself.”
  • “The System of the World” by Isaac Newton: “To learn that the universe is a knowable place.”
  • “On the Origins of Species” by Charles Darwin: “To learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth.”
  • “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift: “To learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos.”
  • “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine: “To learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world.”
  • “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith: “To learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself.”
  • “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu: “To learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art.”
  • “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli: “To learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it.”

and was rather amazed at how few I had read. So naturally, I have to make mumble-comment.

And yes, I have read The Bible. At least some of. It’s so full of inconsistencies and things that seem unrelated to religion that I have to wonder about the authors. But I suppose it is a good indoctrination to the nature of organized biblical religion.

I haven’t read the Newton. I did read Principia though.

Read some of the Darwin. Not my sort of thing. No equations. Similar for some of the others. Either not my thing or never tried. Have read Sun Tzu. Several times. Need to vigorously add the caveats that one should read the Griffith translation and NOT the Clavell. The latter is tripe and garbage and is a disservice to Sun Tzu.

Not sure if I am disappointed or not. Probably not. This list likely explains why Chicken Man is so good at outreach. And so many other academics aren’t. And he definitely has a stronger toleration for garbage than I do.

Glory Road Glory Hole

I have heard much about some trash-up error at the “Oscar” telecast and thought the situation might benefit from a bit of leveling:

  • Was anyone worthwhile there?
  • Was anyone worthwhile viewing?

The answer is, of course, NO since this is all Bog Stercus nonsense. It does have a positive side in that it diverts Bogs from other activities, like being political or bullying real people. Otherwise it is just more of their cancer.

Morning Amusement?

Reading daily tabs. Except maybe on Wednesday when I have to go do real stuff. But in the process this morning I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Which is Better, Mac or Windows?” on LifeHacker. This is a podcast and I didn’t listen to it for reason that are (or will become) obvious. Not telling others to not listen, just that it ain’t my thing.

I also have to admit that I have only listened to one LifeHacker podcast and that was only for ten minutes. And controlling the urge to regurgitate kept me from smashing the MP3 player and only erasing the abomination file.

But the idea that there would be people who would listen to a podcast arguing the merits and defects of Apple OS versus Winders was engaging. I had not thought there were any people like this, or at least any statistically significant number.

I have known many Winders users. Almost none had any interest in changing OS. And of the few who did, most were frustrated by the high monetary cost of Apple and the high (?) cognitive cost of Linux. Apple for the exorbitant (but excellent) hardware and Linux for an increased need to actually think and learn and do. 

Hence the mutterings about Appliance Bogs.

Of the Apple folk I have known all had the conviction of rabid christianist evangelicals. Those who believe Sprague DeCamp’s version of Freedom of Religion is holy writ. That the week isn’t good if you haven’t killed an other-believer. Either by actual discorporation or bullying into your perversions. They are better mannered, admittedly, and most are Jewish in attitude towards evangelicalism, namely that you have to prove you are worthy of Apple. Which is maybe better?

Cost aside, there is no real competition here. Apple OS is lots better than Winders. At least 10dB. Maybe more. Winders is for herd bogs who are afraid of learning. Who have been mindwiped by their schules and employers into thinking they have to be well behaved serfs who never learn anything about computers other than surfing and socialing. The make Eighteenth Century chattel slavery look enlightened.

Not that Apple is much better but at least the OS is. And the hardware. But not the chains. Soma by electronics.

But the most bemusing bit was the personal notes of what each commentator was doing. Laughable. I listen to a Linux podcast and the commentators are doing great stuff, either writing code or bashing metal or learning something. These guys are making ice cubes or counting hits on their social media. Makes me wonder what their creds are to actually do a geekcast?

I’m gonna go open an editor and write some code. Then maybe the urge will abate.