Soda Rot

It is hard to write that gym week is over, since I only made it to gym twice this week. Temperature deficit syndrome, I fear. And the weather beavers are already crowing about the depredations we shall experience next week. Perhaps it is time to invest in a cave?

Of course on the bright side I did miss all the nastiness of the educationalists and weight bouncers at the gym.

Speaking of nastiness, Marshall county’s champion of tent erection, Mr. Ain’t Worthy, wrote a positively evil letter to the probate judge denouncing him for following the law. And the editor of the local rag saw fit to publish this piece of filth. On the positive side, I now have a greater understanding of the saying:

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not themselves.”

Mr. Ain’t Worthy certainly seems to be a paragon of the idea that the primary threat to the nation is Christian Terrorism and political parties. 

On the other positive side, at least young impressionable people don’t read newspapers any more.

On the azimuth of evil, I noted an article [Link] about work at Johns Hopkins U that indicates that sodas with cola in them are linked to cancer. We have to wonder given, obesity, stupidity, and now cancer why the soda industry is allowed to poison the electorate. The answer is probably politicians and religionists?

I have to admit that while I did not drink much soda in my youth, I now enjoy it in my seniority. Maybe one bottle of artisanal soda every month or so. And no Fructose. It goes immediately to fat. And I only drink it late in the day when my mental capacity has been about used up. And since cancer is also caused by defects, it seems a reasonable risk. 

On the other hand, we have no good data that indicates that politicians or religionists cause cancer. But we can suspect it. 

Cinema of Nonsense

Lots of grrr brrr over the Sony hack and the movie theater chains punching out.

First, the hack may be news but it’s more-of-the-same. Computer security in the Yankee republic is a joke. If we’re going to get upset about a hack, get upset about Target, not Sony.

Second, I hear that we have lost this cyberwar. Good! We lost a war over a movie? And not a very good one from what I have seen. So don’t cry over bombs in the sand. But do learn and improve so we can win the next. Russel Weigley told us all about it. It’s an American thing. Let’s make sure we keep it.

Brave New Buying?

Survived two successive days of dental attention. Maybe. It never ceases to astonish me how after thousands of years we humans still communicate so poorly. And with such effort. But somehow our social programming seems to get in the way.

I was thinking this morning about the merchant suggestion conspiracy. Back when on-line merchants, like Amazing, started keeping detailed records of our purchases and used that to make suggestions of other stuff to buy, a lot of folks freaked out. My reflection was that yes, all those folks do it, but they do it SO poorly. Even worse than our communication.

I have been keeping score. I get several emails each day from Amazon suggesting stuff to me. It is at least three nines (0.999) inaccurate. If I factor in things I had already thought of before they suggested them, it comes closer to four! So from my perspective Big Brother is failing seriously in this regard. Not that such isn’t also dangerous but that’s another azimuth.

Holiday Harrumphs

Once more into the breach – of week in, that is. And it portends to be a particularly nasty and trying week. The great American holy day is this week with all the falseness and pretense that has been attached to it, especially by the religionist-corporatist cancer. But this morning has not been bad. The air temperature is not at all bad and the rain seems to have abated for now. Lower temperatures are foretold for the end of the week which should improve the holy day enormously by offering up all sorts of excuses for ‘why bother?’

The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s "Best of Ideas" was about the social impact of drones in Pakistan. It was singularly unconvincing. Even the natives supposed to be man-in-the-street discriminated came across as theological fascists and distilled evil. It occurs that with all the intensification of religionist fervor, that religion is becoming the hardest aspect of diversity to advocate. Even christianists seem fascist these days with gleams of death camps in their eyes?

While we’re on the morbid side of maudlin, I ran across an article [Link] yesterday about a research out of U Leeds that those air blowers for drying one’s hands in institutional toilets spread a multiplier of 27 more microbes than paper towels. Even the new burst blowers have a multiplier of five! I realize this sounds like a throwaway Sheldon line on "Big Bang Theory" but since this has an academic source it has at least been refereed somewhat, so probably not too far off.

This might be ok if towels were a ready alternative and folks could vote with their selection but my experience is that most of these places only have the blowers and frankly don’t care if they kill you. So the only way to vote is by absence. Which is hard if it’s a public school or governmental building.

On a more positive side, I see the campus of the Boneyard is having a Winter Holiday Chemistry Magic Show. [Link]

I have rather fond memories of such despite the rather distasteful association of science with magic. I find that chemists are more prone to do this than most science nerds, mostly because of their historical roots – supposedly! – as alchemists. Of course alchemy was marginally legal in most places and could get one an involuntary roasting or worse. But that’s all part of the bad boy of science image that a lot of chemists try to project. I suspect it’s the intimacy with ethanol and self-constructed controlled substances. Still the activity is both entertaining and educational; I know that one of the reasons I studied science, which includes chemistry, was due to George Toffel and his chemical demonstrations. Closer to the campus, I seem to recall Gil Haight doing some such although he wasn’t quite the showman George was. But the idea of the show does dispell some of the horror of the season.

And lastly, one of my colleagues sent me this cartoon:[Link]

yesterday during the interminable rain. I found that my weather app, from Weather Underground, performed admirably, provided data by the Yankee government’s National Weather Service, which has proven itself the last winter or so to be more accurate with its predictions than the local television weather beavers. And I don’t have to abide the grating idiocy of the news readers. It is a sad indictment of Amerikan television that the weather beavers are the (relatively) erudite ones.

Also, we should never forget that Mother Nature is a feminist.

Cold Out There?

Gad! A foul night. And I sorrowed for the fowl. Watched a crowd of wee birds engulf the watering bowl I service in warm times for them and the tree mammals. But the outdoor taps are now shielded up for the season and the horrible temperatures last night precluded any refilling. 

On which matter it is 20 degF as I write this which is a good 4 degF lower than predicted by the weather beavers. They did this last winter, overestimating the minimum temperature, and it made for some stressful and frightening times. When one lives in PTSD of ruptured water pipes, such errors are dangerous. But my tap dripping seems to have prevailed last night with the only penalty being an absence of REM sleep after midnight. And a lot of achy this morning. But a stout shower bath has helped and almost steeled me to assay forth into the exterior world on a variety of errands. 

But given that stress some good news needs be recognized. First, that the Repodenialist Tsar of the Yankee government lower house of thieves legislature has rejected draft legislation that would impose sales tax collection on the internet.[Link] I suspect that the real reason for this is unmentioned, that collecting sales tax on the internet will damage it irreparably. I have this vision of the lord high mayor of Greater Metropolitan Arab dispatching an Arab police constable to Maine to extradite some Maine entrepreneur who makes some craft stuff that he/she sells on the internet and can’t afford the overhead of capturing taxes for all the petty villages and shires of the Yankee republic. I am not sure who I feel more sorry for, the constable or the crafts-person?

In a sense this is rather analogous to Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”. If enough people commit a crime then none are punished. If commerce is too dispersed then tax collection fails. This is why taxes and cities go together. Or as my Great Uncle George would say “doesn’t matter how hot the knife eventually you can’t spread the oleo any further.” uttered – he claimed – during the days of rationing during the Great Patriotic War. 

The second is that the powers of FOSS have defeated the corporate barbarian Groupon who brazenly tried to steal a long standing FOSS trademark.[Link] I personally was quite in favor of the use of tactical fusion devices on the headquarters of the vile capitalist pirates. One of my other colleagues was in favor of enforced sterilization of the staff and their offspring so that such evil can be rooted from the gene pool. This colleague also has conventional religionist leanings.

The combination of the two indicate one troubling thing: capitalism and democracy have become incomparable and one must cease. I fear war is inevitable.

But then my brain is addled from too little sleep and too much temperature deprivation. 

Boom Payoff?

I caved this morning. Looked at the readouts of air temperature sensing and made a command decision to ride my stationary bicycle instead of venturing out into the park for constitutional. First time I have used the bicycle since spring. Batteries still have stored charge so I didn’t have to do any dark cursing except to pick up piles of books toppled by the pedals. Not as enjoyable. Understatement. No distraction of falling down when leaving the path by wandering – or teetering. No great thoughts for some reason? Environment too sterile? Or is it the absence of the Nature connection?

Anyway, I ran across an article [Link]. entitled “An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?”

and my immediate thought was “Vanguard”. As a child I saw the evening news the day the Yankee navy blew their dominance in the “Space Race” big time. Much worse. Probably. Lost the dreams of the Yankee Space Navy with space battleships and vacuum suits with gold braid and epaulets.

But they did have good fireworks. And my father wasn’t out of a job. And I got to grow in in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. In third world Alibam.

On a less pleasant note I noted [Link] that Winders VII is now ‘officially dead’. I now have the enviable position of having no ‘live’ Winders installs in Castellum SCP. Which is somehow rather sweet.

I wonder if MegaHard is aware of this? Because if I feel that way so must many others.

Next, I ran across several articles [Link][Link] about the competition between Apple and EVERYONE ELSE on ‘mobile pay’. Not sure I care. Not sure I plan on using mobile pay anytime soon. Like after Tartarus thaws out.  Why? Because every major player on both sides has been hacked. At least once. So simply put, negation of trust. That probably won’t deter the GEN Ys so the corpratists likely won’t care about me but it will give me opportunity to complicate their operations and buy from other places.

Besides, I don’t trust my cellular telephone. It crashes at least once an hour when it is turned on. And it is slower than my old 8086 IBM PC. Even with the lousy bandwidth actually provided by the Oneonta Telephone Company.

Time to move on. Film at Eleven.

Cherry Cartoons

To observe pseudo-shabbat, I ran across a couple of cartoons to comment. First: [Link]

which led me to “MalWart – the store that offers only what you don’t want.”

And second: [Link]

which affirmed to me that the baggers at grocery stores, whether MaWart or a real grocery store, can’t bag correctly. So the only way one can get groceries bagged correctly is to bag them yourself. I usually have to put up with their bagging because of in-my-face niceness but I decline the bagger pushing my buggy to my motorcar so that I can rebag as I transfer.