Gray Aftermath

One day. Back to gym. Excellent podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, the fifth in their series on the War of 1812, this one dealing with the “Battle” of New Orleans (actually arguably a campaign but that’s rather historical anathema since the concept of campaign was undeveloped in 1815.) Excellent for a popularization presentation. Almost worthy of the Yankee war college.

Beyond that not much to extol. Air temperature a bit low and I am feeling chilled. And not in a mood to go off on sensation “thermodynamic” vocabulary. Too many errands looming and too little good feeling.

Had to motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill yesterday afternoon. Had to attend a visitation. Singularly a negative experience. The motoring was acceptable, at least to the Tennessee River and noxious until I crossed it again returning. And the staff at the death parlor were evidently determined to make everyone as miserable as possible. Certainly demonstrates the evil of monopoly. I am minded not to ever go there again regardless of the social consequences. My head still hurts with the memory.

I hope to have some words of insight to share later but for now I am only sore in mind and body and ache annoyingly. But I do wonder if the Egyptian servants of the dead were so nasty and obnoxious as there?

Toxic Trousers

One day. Mundane. And schule is sessioning so the Internets will be less burdened. The gym was slightly up on educationalists but their noise level seems to scale as N^2 so the annoyance was moderate. And not many weight bouncers. The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about the funeral business was outright disgusting. Can we direct religionist terrorists to strike there?

This led to consideration of whether we are living too long. I am increasingly amenable to this conjecture. Too many of our problems are caused by too many old people who will not rid society of themselves. I remember reading a science fiction novel on this in my youth and the mental whackedness seemed distant and impossible. How naive I was.

Also to consideration of funerals. Very EXTRO things. In fact the whole funeral business is disgustingly EXTRO. Which sadly makes sense. INTROs are much more sensible about old meat.

Speaking of old meat I am also rather down on the current trend to coat trousers (and shirts?) with noxious chemicals and proclaim them “wrinkle free” and “no iron”. Does anyone other than insecure women iron any more? FD SCP irons cloth all the time but that’s a making not a wearing thing. She had to beat the fabric into submission or some such.

Anyway I have purchased – unknowing – wrinkle free trousers from both the Maine Guide Store and Dirt’s Boundary and both of them have made my lower extremities break out in nasty rash and sores. And no refund shy of litigation. Caveat Emptor! I will probably wait for a toxic rubbish pickup to dispose of them I fear that burning them will destroy the ozone layer or worse. And I am not about to stash them in a charity collection bin. 

They have quite a nice feel to them and are well constructed but if one maintains contact for more than five minutes or so a horrid burning sensation ensues and things go downhill from there. Perhaps these are popular with penitent catholics, the ones who purchase all of the hair shirts? 

Selah. Now is time to avoid using the roads for a couple of hours until the panic of starting morning is past. And then again this afternoon when the rotational parents descend again from their psychotic olympus.

I wonder how many of those children have been bought new schule pants that are treated with these toxic chemicals? I know that the weeks prior to schule were a time for my parents to decide what new clothes I should have. My opinion was irrelevant. And some of the trousers were noxious then too. 

Der Tag

Today is Armistice Day, aka Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Day.[Link] I prefer the first two over the third. The sonics are not as pleasing. Plus, I am a bit of a ‘stick in the mud’. Of course, physicists are supposed to be conservatives; after all, that is what we look for: things that are conserved. It also seems appropriate to remember both military and civilian casualties. The two world wars showed us just how dangerous war could be for everyone and death did not discriminate based on uniform.

The holy day will be observed tomorrow, part of the perversion of Amerikan work philosophy. With a couple of exceptions that are thankfully fixed in date, holy days that occur on weekends when only the poor and ignorable are working are deferred to the next working day for the unpoor and not-ignorable. So much hoopla will be expended tomorrow in the interest of giving the majority a day off from work, and that vacation will be all that most identify with, instead of when selected by those who actually were part of the activities that should be remembered.

That, of course, is what is important, that we remember those who were sacrificed in war.

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Network Septic

I just ran across an article [Link] on IO9 about the “Walking Dead” television series. After writing about cheerleaders with inadequate adult supervision it seemed fitting to continue with zombies.

I do not watch this program. It is not entertaining, for reasons I will detail shortly. As a rule I do not watch any zombie movies except possibly old mummy movies.

The reasons for this are fairly simple:

  • They are not science fiction – they may be fantasy but they are not good fantasy, if I may use such a construction without gagging a bit;
  • Zombie shows are not even good horror shows although they do have a high quotient of disgusting which may explain much of their current popularity – for mental children raised on mind rotting hand sanitizers and over-cleanliness a bit of rot is very attractive, especially if they can walk away from it unfixed; and lastly
  • Zombies are metaphors for bogs.

Think about it. Zombies do not contribute, nor do they create. They do not do maths or any sort of STEM stuff. And they are mentally deficient.

Zombies are bogs. And bogs are not very entertaining except in a depraved Three Stooges fashion. So I don’t watch zombie videos. Or read zombie books.

But a lot of them get watched/read. Presumably bogs like watching/reading about themselves?

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Off Key and Painful

Back to gym with week in and summer seems to have set in in earnest. The only difficulty is the return of the summer seniors who switch to early visitation because of the heat quantity later in the day and generally make the gym a nuisance of social nonsense, detracting and distracting those of us who want to get done and get gone.

The podcast this morning was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with the use of video teleconferencing to give violin lessons and it was horrible. This piece of stercus was more boring than preparing (cooking) grits. So my attention strayed and I noted on the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver that the Los Angeles museum of “art” has placed a rock on display. Now given the interest in cave craft or rock art the last couple of weeks I gave this some attention and my disappointment was deepened. Do not mistake me. There are lots of beautiful rocks out there, large and small. I have several. Whenever I had to go to White Sands I would stay in Los Cruces so I could drive by the Organ mountains. But this rock is not beautiful and IMHO, not art. It’s just a piece of rock and unless you’re a pantheist and have some sort of religionist mania about rocks, not particularly notable as anything more than a swindle on the part of the “artist” and the museum.

On the positive side however, this does enhance the consideration that neandertals may have done those hand outline cave craft ‘paintings’ since compared to this chunk of mass that’s a lot more lookable and enjoyable.

On which note, one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, sent me a link to an article that reports on a survey of New England Journal of Medicine statistics on discorporation causes over time. The actual report is linked but they presented this teaser graphic

The article calls the deaths per 1E5 a “rate’ rather than a period fraction (which we may think of as a probability over a years period?) but then we can’t expect journalists to understand technical stuff, can we? Evidently they can’t be bothered to properly explain what they are talking about either. The underlying information, especially on the journal web site is sound.

I was taken, first, by the decrease of almost 0.5 in only 110 years. The differences are pretty clearly a list of what can now be cured or postponed. Because of that, and the reduced probability of discoporation over a years time, which translates into a greater time to discorporation (RV), indicates the increase in the instances of cardiac, chaos (cancer), and senility (Alzheimer’s). I was also pleased to see suicide on the list. Given the backsliding of medical treatment with mutation and climate change, voluntary discorporation has to become socially acceptable.

Next, I ran across an article [Link] about MegaHard’s imperial conspiracy to lock out Linux from future computers by exchanging the BIOS for a complicated lock that they will sell keys to. And likely none to Apple or Linux competitors. The article dealt with the Canonical and Fedora responses to this which struck me as even worse kludges intended to make life easy for the bogs they keep hoping to attract away from Winders. Let’s see now the idea is that Winders 8’s tile GUI system “METRO” will be so alien that the Winders mindserfs will rush out to embrace the tile GUI “UNITY” of Ubuntu? And MegaHard will prevent this by locking out all other OS but MegaHard’s? Except the lock can be hacked. So why aren’t the distro developers developing hacks instead of caving to MegaHard’s lead? Something smells like rodent.

Lots of off key today. Violins really aren’t very pleasing musical instruments and medical capabilities are going to pot and now we’re going to have to buy computers designed to run Linux? Must be Monday.

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Friday Frolics

This has been a pretty strange week, blogging-wise. There have been quite a few seemingly good articles showing up in feeds and sent by colleagues but somehow they never made it to blogs. So since we are in the twilight zone between week in and week out, it seems not unmoot that I properly disrespect my own rules and start clearing tabs sans die.

I noticed an article in The Economist [Link] on education. Nothing here about the current grrr brrr in the academic world about participatory and group grope activity. Rather this one gets to the underlying question of directive versus participatory learning. The question they raise is whether you only give students the textbook answer or let them go experiment on their own to discover reality? Useful as the underlying aspects of learning are, or as accurate, is the nonsense of posing the question in the rather absolutist way they did. Sometimes we have to wonder if economists, especially economist-mediaists are actually human or some chameleon writ large?

Point being is that either absolute has too many negatives. If you only teach what has been done, the textbook alone, then you end up with students who can’t do anything but listen and memorize. They cannot hypothesize, analyze, investigate, or even think constructively. If you leave the students to do their own thing you not only have no way of knowing what they will get into, but they end up like the Jungle Boy who had to make up everything from scratch and lacks the mass of knowledge of humanity. In economic terms, you cannot afford in the short term to do only the second because of its direct expense and you cannot afford in the long term to do only the first because society will become bankrupt. So the answer is a mixed solution. You give the students enough of the textbook so they have a basis to build on and keep them from going too far astray, and enough of self-exploration to learn the skills that may only be learned and cannot e taught.

Duhhh! Stupid economists. I suppose I could say something about stupid educationalists who seem bent on only ding the first, but that blame is actually stupid politicians. Simply put, Every Child Left Behind mandates the first approach exclusively because the second is almost completely untestable and unquantifiable and thus violates the management principles of those who only value what may be counted.

Next, I noticed a PEW poll [Link] where the sample population consisted of college (university?) presidents and the question was how well prepared today’s students were for college? The statistics are:

which indicates just how bad things are in the public education environment. Again, stupid politicians, and an absence of solidarity and chutzpah on the part of educationalists and parents. Both of the latter, it seems, have given up and are quietly waiting for the dire wolves to eat them. Which will happen if we continue as we are and our society collapses into asapienity.. But that is tomorrow and today we have television and MalWart and drugs.

While we’re on this slope, we may also not the auction of the preserved (?) head of St. Vitalis of Assisi. [Link] Somehow it seems appropriate and illustrative, demonstrative even, of all that is whacked and sad about our society. It also explains why the church of Rome only talks about Francis?

And lastly, on this ride, we note [Link] the discorporation of the physicians, Dr. Jack Kervorkian. Somehow out lives are lessened with this subtraction. Life was somehow more endurable knowing that there were folks, albeit few, who supported ending and did not deny it. And while the persecution of this mensch will cease, its underlying cause is still rampant and tyrannical.

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