Thursday, July 02, 2015

Factoid of the day

Medieval net asks: Did Robert the Bruce suffer from leprosy?

The dentists say probably not.

but this discussion, along with r  rated photos of facial reconstruction showing leprous nodules of the face, suggest maybe he did.

you know, when I worked in Africa, we had exactly one case of leprosy, since sulfone and public health docs had pretty well knocked it out (and it was treated by outpatient clinics). But one of our older sisters, who predated WWII, said that the disease had a distinctive when we got a man admitted with severe nodules, I had her check it and she said it didn't smell like leprosy. She was right. It was widespread kaposis sarcoma, probably from HIV, although in those days no one knew about HIV....

Headlines below the fold

StrategyPage discusses how the Islamofascists are not a new phenomenum, but is about Muslim fanatics killing those they think are not Muslim enough.
But they also report on wars that the MSM don't notice, like the drug wars that have killed 85000 in Mexico since 2007.

Luckily, Obama is letting those refugees into the US without papers, so there is no local uprising there; however, when Drudge links to a report that 35 percent of Americans would like to live elsewhere, it doesn't bode well. Where should they go? Canada? Well, the Philippines is a nice place to retire, at least until the Chinese take the place over.

when I was a kid, we used to have a saying: Don't make a federal case out of it, meaning that don't make a big thing about a trivial thing.

now things have changed: Smoking cigarettes? Check. Tacos in schools? Check. Transfats? Check.

Nor is it just the gov't: as I have noted earliers, donations to religious causes or jokes picked up by the twitter two minutes of hate can now get you fired. Corporate American has bowed down and said yes sir

I mean, when Dukes of Hazzard is censored, one wonders if indeed the dictatorship of the (social activist) Puritans has arrived.

Madonna ridiculing Catholics? No problem. Miley Cyrus doing sex on stage? No problem.

Daisy Duke AGGGHHHH.

podcast of the week

For insight on how the Middle East works, all you have to do is check out the feuds and wars during dark age England.

 From the British History podcast: The fall of Mercia

 not a lot is known about King Beornwulf. It’s thought that he was a distant relative of the original Royal dynasty of Mercia, but exactly how he was connected to the family isn’t known. What is known is that this was a pretty rough time to be a Mercian. When King Ceolwulf died and Beornwulf took over, it wasn’t like everything immediately stabilized. Chaos during periods of transition seem to be par for the course in the heptarchy. How many times have we seen a kingdom rise to the top of the pile with phenomenal cosmic power concentrating upon a single man… only to see things go completely crazy when that man dies and the power gets redistributed, either to another noble within the kingdom or to other kingdoms vying for control. Even when mighty King Offa took power, you’ll remember that there was a lot of infighting. So a bit of trouble was to be expected. But it looks like the death of Ceolwulf, who only reigned for 2 years, and the subsequent rise of Beornwulf was worse than most… though that /is/ often a consequence when you enact a coup.
so imagine that: Remove a dictator and you get chaos.

Nah, it could never happen in today's civilized world.

Although what we really need to do is thank God that there have been peaceful revolutions in modern times, including our own EDSA revolution which put in Cory...

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

west Philippine sea/ south China sea podcast

strategypage podcast link

it's not just Islamofascists and Putin who think Obama is a wimp and see it as a green light to grab what they can from their weaker neighbors.

At least Putin is trying to get back land that was Russia's a few decades ago. China wants to take over the sea routes that they haven't controlled for a couple hundred years (unless you consider the Chinese pirates who bribed the Ming gov't to let them terrorize locals as part of China).

Computer back on line

I mean electric electric cord was bitten in half by the half blind PapaDog, aka Bad Brad, who sleeps most of the time on a pillow on the floor at my feet. The cord was bothering him, so snap...luckily he didn't get burned but it took two days to get a new cord.

As for the news: the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

So what else is new?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Spread the Love

Earlier, I posted a lecture about the questions of who were the Native Americans and when did they arrive.

apparantly a special about it is/was shown on PBS, and the video link is here.

my one caveat would be that maybe the later arrivals didn't wipe out the coastal immigrants but intermarried (something that is discussed in video two of the series).

number two mentions that this didn't just happen in Europe/the Levant but also in Africa.

rewrite the history books

and if you look hard enough, maybe you might find footprints in the sand:

WesternDigs  article here.

Stuff around the net

Lots of art history books at the Metropolitan museum are here for your downloading pleasure.

Today's book: Pharaoh Hatsheput.

it's not PC to say this, but she was only a regent who usurped her stepson after he came of age. Luckily he was in the army so presumably that kept him from killing her, and she was probably protected from the military by the priests, but after she died, he "erased" her from history until modern archeology figured out who she was and that he was a "she".

So did ordinary locals object to her rule? Well, none of them were available for comment, but one famous x rated graffiti in a small side room (where workers probably rested at lunch) suggested a bit of disrespect for her in the local population.

Her temple reminds one of the Parthenon (almost a thousand years earlier).


3d printed faucets, now available for  you if you have an expensive printer.


from NotCot: The evil chemistry of cookies


the dog ate

The dog got annoyed at the electric wire connected to my computer, so bit it in half.

so until our handyman comes in to do repairs, I am on my tablet.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The "WAGD" post of the day

CNBC article discussing if the ordinary bird flu that is raging in the US could affect humans:  HERE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that human infection, though rare, has been known to happen when people come into contact with an infected bird. Most recently, the H7N9 variant of bird flu infected some people in China, according to the CDC.
"Our work and that of others suggest that H7N9 has pandemic potential," saids Janies, who is also a research associate in the invertebrate zoology department at the American Museum of Natural History, "but we have not seen human to human transmission yet."
From Poultry news: Novel Avian Flu found in China

right now, in the US, the price of eggs is going up due to so may birds having to be destroyed for being infected with bird flu.

But this article is more ominous: it's an avian/human hybrid

CHINA - Chinese researchers who analysed influenza viruses from poultry in live-bird markets say they have discovered a novel H5N9 virus, which is a hybrid of various other avian influenza viruses.
The hybrid received a highly pathogenic H5 gene from the H5N1 avian flu virus and an N9 gene from a human-infecting H7N9 virus, along with other elements. However, the virus only caused low mortality rates when tested on mice.
this has been perculating for two years in China, so not a big thing yet...yet...

and don't worry: MERS is still perculating along at a low rate in Korea...

if we are worried, it is because we have a lot of medical personnel working in Saudi, and one already brought it here (with no secondary cases, thank God).

But now there is a worry about tourism spreading it: Baguio is a favorite site for Koreans to vacation or study...
no cases here yet, although there is one case in Thailand...


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another Sign that the End of the World is Nigh

The King (of Pop) has been seen in the heavens:

GOOCHLAND, Va. — Six years after his untimely death, Michael Jackson made an appearance in the skies over Central Virginia.

Credit: John Plashal
the good news: No zombies are with him.


Zombies as metaphors

World War Z lecture: the USA as the world's landlord, who is blamed for everything.

Hmm....maybe I should read the book.LINK1

Factoid of the day: He is the child of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Factoid of the day

In LOTR, the Palantir was a way to spy on what was happening.

Palantir is a type of software used in data analysis. And it's better than what was designed by the tech masters in the military, so StratPage say the troops prefer it to the gov't version but the beancounters in Washington are trying to stop them from using it.

Troops in combat zones and especially SOCOM prefer to use an intelligence database management system called Palantir....
the U.S. Air Force developed a data mining and analysis system that, when adapted for army use (as DCGS), turned out to be more expensive and less effective than commercial products (like Palantir). A 2012 government investigation reported the problems in great detail. But senior army commanders and Department of Defense procurement bureaucrats continued to block the use of commercial products the troops preferred. For nearly a year now SOCOM (Special Operations Command) troops have been complaining that a superior system (Palantir) they have been using since 2009 is becoming more difficult to obtain because of more aggressive interference from the procurement bureaucracy  

Thanks Obama for making me safer

Just joking.

What he has done is say it's okay to pay money to ransom you if you are an American kidnapped in the third world.

so why is this bad?

FilAm Fernandez at Belmont Club elaborates.

In a sense Barack Obama’s policy change isn’t offering to get the kidnapped parties off the hook from the terrorists or criminal gangs so much as offering to get the government off their backs.  ”I can’t help you but at least I’m not going to make it worse”.  Gee, thanks.
There is one other thing worth considering in the economics of ransom. The risk to the kidnappers. The difference between the kidnapping of Europeans in the Sipadan dive resort in 2000 and the Dos Palmas kidnapping of Tim and Graciela Burnham wasn’t the rescue operation.  There wasn’t much success at that. The difference was in the “subsequent events”. Nearly everyone involved in the Burnham kidnapping either died or faced a long stretch.

so what has changed?

Mindanao went wild after the 2000 Sipadan kidnapping as the Abu Sayyaf used the millions they got from the Europeans to buy weapons. They kidnapped lots and lots of people in the aftermath. Arguably the Europeans had no choice, as they have no assets worth the name in the region. In the case of the Burnhams the effect was far different. Sure kidnappers got paid. But the only place most of them got to spend the money was in hell. 

so we are all Europeans with targets on our backs now.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Factoid of the day

from ABC Australia: a worm so ugly it is named Hallucigenia:

The team's analysis showed that Hallucigenia's mouth was surrounded by a ring of spiny teeth, probably used to suck up food, while the throat was lined with a row of needle-like teeth which possibly prevented its lunch slipping back out.
At a mere one to five centimetres long, the armoured worm lived during a period of Earth's history called the Cambrian Explosion, when most major animal groups emerged.
First identified in the 1970s, Hallucigenia's closest living relative is the toothless velvet worm...

and here is a short video about the toothless velvet worm, that slimes it's prey to death:

Where are the drones?

My granddaughter took me to see the latest Jurassic park film, Jurassic World.

It actually resembles a B remake of Jaws more than the original, because the plot is about men trying to kill the monster, not about the innocent in jeopardy.

True, the kids run, but you never feel they are in real this to the horrifying scene of the original, where the raptors are chasing the kids hiding in the kitchen.

And the aunt? What a stupid lady.

Instead of running the park to do the logistics to evacuate the 12,000 visitors we have  her running around trying to save her nephews.

The evacuation should have been HER job, but like San Andreas, actually doing your job is not "sexy". In reality, a lot of people probably would have died because she didn't have her priorities straight (especially since the SEAL guy could have done a better job finding the kids without her slowing him up).

But watching someone on the phone trying to arrange a large evacuation is not as fun for a teen age male audience as watching a lady in a wet teeshirt running high heels.

Yes, for the entire movie, she is in heels and her business suit with a tight straight skirt... Of course, by the end, she has discarded the suit's jacket, leaving her only in a tank top (to please the teenaged boys in the audience)....but you know, tight fitting skirts don't have pockets, nor do tank tops: so how can she carry her cellphone (in her cleavage?).

But the real problem is the failure of park security to have a way to kill dinosaurs, even though the danger of escape is a known risk.

Because they were carrying ordinary military guns (only the one on the helicopter would kill that large a beast, said one webblog). And the bullets didn't seem to work very well, Presumably they were ordinary bullets, not the type that make a big hole when it hits you, or bullets that can pierce an armoured vest (or tough skin).

Come to think of it, why send men out with rifles at all?

I kept yelling: Where are the drones with the hellfire missiles".

I mean, even when the crazy guy called in the military, they didn't seem to be able to get anything more advanced than what Jesse Ventura carried in the original film Predator (only one weapon that shot a hand grenade, for example, and he got off only one shot).

The "explanation" was that they didn't want to kill these poor animals. Right. So let the dinosaurs kill the security guards instead.

And there is a crazy subplot about GM modification to make the dinosaurs into weapons (uh, fellahs, the Ape in the book Watchers would be just as scary and a lot more smarter and lethal).

The crazy guy who was supposed to be in charge of the weaponizing of dinosaurs was just that: crazy. He would be too unstable to be in the military. But again, that is Hollywood dissing the military, and has more to do with their agenda than with reality.

The irony is that the way that they destroyed the large dinosaur is the way that the crazy guy suggested: Sic the raptors and other dinosaurs on him. Imagine that...

In other words, a b movie but probably better than what else is out there. But if you want a good movie, watch the original.

And am I the only one who thinks that monster dino resembles Smaug without wings?

Maybe instead of yelling "You Need a BIGGER GUN" the audience should have yelled: "you need a  bigger trebuchet". (And a magic black arrow, preferably with an explosive tip).

Why not? It worked for Bard the Bowman...

flags and sports teams and forgiveness, oh my

Medical marijuana doesn't work very well in the studies that have been done and needs more studies before doctors order it.

But I suspect it makes you high, so you don't care if you hurt. Whether or not it helps you to live a normal life is another question: You can live and work taking narcotics at a level that takes away pain but not so much that makes you high. Is this true for marijuana? Not enough studies to know.

Pain relief is not the same as the drug seeking behavior of druggies, whose entire life revolves around getting high. Give a patient in pain some methadone and he will be able to function normally. Give a druggie some, and he will sell it to get a stronger drug to get high.

there is a good argument that a lot of the propaganda push to legalize pot comes from a few millionaires, who fund organizations, whose ultimate aim is to legalize all drugs, yet no one asks why.

Dirty little secret: keeping the Irish (and the Native American) drunk helped keep both these people from throwing out those who wanted to take over their land.


Related item: I am reading a biography of Mother Drexel, who once tried peyote to understand the culture of her native American students. She said it was bitter and the ceremony reminded her of receiving communion. This comment suggests she attended a ceremony, since the ceremonial use of Peyote was not to get high but to help heal and reconcile people with their families and people.

Of course, this was decades before hippies started pushing peyote for egotistical reasons, which had little in common with the traditional uses.

Our tribal council in Oklahoma had a mural of those who helped the tribe, and it included Mother Drexel and another (local) nun who had started schools to train local students.

The modern "multiculturalists" decry such schools for "destroying culture", which I find amusing, since this is the reasoning behind apartheid...and culture changes anyway.

and Mother Drexel also had her sisters educate southern Black students in a time when there were few decent schools. At one time, a large percentage of black teachers in Louisiana were educated at her college.

What America has always done is incorporate outsiders, in th same way that ancient Rome allowed non Romans to become citizens.

So those pc multiculturalists arguing that Jindal is not Asian "Indian" also means that Maria Tallchief is not an Oklahoma "Indian".

those who insist that children learn only their own culture sound very much like those in South Africa's days of old, who argued against missionaries training African children to become "europeans" and who saw apartheid as the way to let Africans live in their traditional culture.

So what's taking them so long? I mean my great grand uncle fought in the Civil war, and they are finally trying to ban the flag of those he fought against?

 The rush to ban the Confederate flag is one thing, but to ban "Gone with the Wind" is another thing.
Rewriting the past is dangerous. The "reply" to GWTW is Roots. And that is how it should be.

And should we remove the names of Confederate Generals from military bases? Fort AP Hill, anyone? Ah, but how far should that go?

That is like removing Native American names from sports teams (which use these names to honor their fighting spirit).
I wonder if they know that both Spartans and Vikings were slave holders, and Celtic tribes practiced human sacrifice....

but if you are going to ban things, why ignore recent history? Che of teeshirt fame was a murderer, the USSR and Mao killed more than the Nazis, yet they remain politically correct and few movies discuss their victims.

I had Ruby read "Animal farm" to teach her about propaganda and communism.


No, I am not commenting on Charleston because due to brownouts I haven't been following what is going on there.

I should note that I had worked at a place where a teenager shot up and killed many at his school. He was immersed in white supremacist and Nazi hate sites on the Internet. Ah, but he and his victims were Native American....and he was full of hatred because of terrible family problems/abuse.

The hatred starts with the family and a few lost souls, many of whom are slipping into psychosis, find hate groups that let them focus who to project their hatred on.

And those who note all these killers are on psychiatric drugs seem to ignore the real reason: they are mentally ill. In the past, their delusions would have put them into hospitals. Now they are given a shot of Haldol and some prozac and sent home.

GetReligionBlog notes that the people in Charleston's answer to racial hatred is forgiveness and reconciliation.