Friday, March 06, 2015

Ideas that have gone past their expiration dates

a transcript of the latest Freakonomics podcast.. summary:

DUBNER:All right, we’ve already heard five ideas that should maybe be sent to the trash bin – the “atheism prerequisite” for scientists, the value of mouse models for human medicine (which, I admit, stunned me), the idea that statistics are as powerful and useful as we think; the idea of “the universe,” and the left-brain/right-brain construct. Coming up on Freakonomics Radio, some other ideas we might want to get rid of, including:
ALDA: The idea that things are either true or false.


BLOOM: The idea that science can tell us everything we need to know about how to be happy.


Michael NORTON: The idea that markets are good.

DUBNER: Really? You sure about that?

NORTON: And the second idea that I think is ready for retirement is the idea that markets are bad.

Iran post of the day

How the revolution allowed women to be free in Iran.

 the government established Azad University. The non-profit, national network of institutions, with branches in large cities, small towns and even villages, provided girls from the middle and lower classes access to education they'd never had before.
"These girls, who like me, were the first in their families to go to university, they are teaching their children equality, because they have grown up with it themselves," Farah says. It inspired competence, and confidence. I ask Farah what she studied at university.
"Women's studies, of course," she answers with a smile.
From the BBC

Food: "bugs" and food

actually, not insects but yeasty beasties and lactobacillus etc.


PJMedia article on the five best food fights in movies.

My choice is this one:

but the article overlooked the food fight in Blazing Saddles which was based on the Great Race food fight....

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Senior Citizen vs computer


WINDOWS: Please enter your new password.   
USER: cabbage

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters
     USER: boiled cabbage

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain  1 numerical character.
USER: 1 boiled cabbage

WINDOWS:  Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.
      USER:  50bloodyboiledcabbages

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must  contain at least one upper case character.
       USER:  50BLOODYboiledcabbages

WINDOWS:Sorry,the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.
USER:  50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon'tGiveMeAccessNow!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.        USER:  ReallyPissedOff50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow

WINDOWS: Sorry, that password is already in use!!
your email of the day from TiaMaria 

Family news

Lolo remains weak, but ate better today.

Chona arranged for a young lady to clean the house last week, and we will have her come once a week for a good cleaning. We do have another girl to come to clean and do the laundry but she only does a routine cleaning, not scrubbing...

Ruby's youth group had a meeting here this evening.

Robin and John arrive Friday evening, so we will probably not see them until Saturday. Nanette arrives Saturday with her husband too.

Danny came also. He is taking early retirement, but Daisy is still working so couldn't come.

Factoid (number two) of the day

Years ago, after sent on a vacation to recover from an infection, I stayed in eastern Zimbabwe (which was Rhodesia back then).

We hiked the mountains behind the mission, and it was terraced with stones about 1 to 2 feet high and flat for 2 to 3 feet, if I remember correctly.

But although these were ancient terraces, I could never find the history of who made them or why.

Right now, on Scribd, I am reading Brian Fagan's book Elixir, about water, and he notes that these were irrigation type farming found in several areas of East Africa...most of what he describes is furthur north but he also mentions these and that the Drackenburg mountains have some.

the Wikipedia article only notes those of the Great Lake Region. more HERE.which is about the SA and Zim terraces.

I'll have to read it more carefullywhen I'm more alert. One problem of reading on line is that it's hard to go back and forth and take notes.

Factoid of the day

Live Long and Prosper hand sign is ....based on a Jewish blessing gesture...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The "WTF" science headline of the day

Homer Simpson "discovered the Higgs boson"

 Photo: Matt Groening/Fox
Homer Simpson predicted the mass of the Higgs boson in a 1998 episode of The Simpsons, according to a science writer.In The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace episode, Homer is shown in front of a blackboard working on an equation..."That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson. ..."It's kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered."

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Biology lesson of the day

Via Cute Overload: Meet the Sparklemuffin spider.

more about these spiders at LiveScience.

and don't miss Incredible Photos of Peacock Spiders

Family news

Since Lolo is spending more time in bed, I bought him some loose Gym shorts to wear instead of his tweed shorts or trousers, bought some more bedlinen so we could change the beds more often, and a few extra pillows so he can sit up higher when he gets asthma.

He isn't eating as well for the last two days, and now requires help to be washed (up to last week he took his own showers).

Sigh. He claims he has no pain, however, so we are taking it day by day.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Stuff around the net

to protest the FCC using a law from the 1930's to justify new regs to let the gov't take over the internet, Verizon posted it's protest in Morse code:

- --- -.. .- -.-- .----. ...   -.. . -.-. .. ... .. --- -.   -... -.--   - .... .   ..-. -.-. -.-.   - ---   . -. -.-. ..- -- -... . .-.   -... .-. --- .- -.. -... .- -. -..   .. -. - . .-. -. . -   ... . .-. ...- .. -.-. . ...   .-- .. - ....   -... .- -.. .-.. -.--   .- -. - .. --.- ..- .- - . -..   .-. . --. ..- .-.. .- - .. --- -. ...   .. ...   .-   .-. .- -.. .. -.-. .- .-..   ... - . .--.   - .... .- -   .--. .-. . ... .- --. . ...   .-   - .. -- .   --- ..-.   ..- -. -.-. . .-. - .- .. -. - -.--   ..-. --- .-.   -.-. --- -. ... ..- -- . .-. ... --..--   .. -. -. --- ...- .- - --- .-. ...   .- -. -..   .. -. ...- . ... - --- .-. ... .-.-.-   --- ...- . .-.   - .... .   .--. .- ... -   - .-- ---   -.. . -.-. .- -.. . ...   .-   -... .. .--. .- .-. - .. ... .- -. --..--   .-.. .. --. .... - -....- - --- ..- -.-. ....   .--. --- .-.. .. -.-. -.--   .- .--. .--. .-. --- .- -.-. ....   ..- -. .-.. . .- ... .... . -..   ..- -. .--. .-. . -.-. . -.. . -. - . -..   .. -. ...- . ... - -- . -. -   .- -. -..   . -. .- -... .-.. . -..   - .... .   -... .-. --- .- -.. -... .- -. -..   .. -. - . .-. -. . -   .- --. .   (etc)

well, why not?
 It worked in Independence Day.
via Sense of Events

Ten Facts about the grapes of Wrath.

of course it's propaganda. But when the USSR showed it in theatres to instruct their people on how poor it is in the USA, it backfired: What the Russian people saw was that the poorest of the poor in the USA actually owned a car...

headsup Presurfer.

Follow the money....Cardinal Pell is finding where the corrupt Vatican officials are hiding and misusing money, so they plant a hit job about him living in luxury in the Australian papers.

Father Z explains it for you.

and no, he doesn't have a Cappa Magna...


congress has all types of people giving them speeches, so why the huge kerfuffle about Netanyahu?

because he'll spill the beans about President Obama's secret negotiations with Iran?


StrategyPage summarizes what's going on here in the Philippines.

Leaf, by Niggle

quick before the copyright cops find it: A fanfilm of Leaf by Niggle.

via TORN

Family news

Robin and John will arrive on the 5th.

Chano is busy getting ready for the party on the 8th...Lolo's birthday is on the 9th but Sunday is easier for the local relatives to come.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Stuff around the net

Filming begins on the Saxon series by Bernard Cornwell (of Shape's Rifles fame).

sort of a combination of the Vikings and the Game of Thrones although I hope it is less bloody...the advantage of reading is that one can skip the battle scenes and concentrate on the story line...


AnnAlthouse links to this absurd article about improving nutritional health in Zambia by making maggot smoothies.but  as commenter Leon notes:
AS SOMEONE WHO GREW UP IN ZAMBIA...this whole mindset pisses me off. Sure Zambians eat a wide variety of food we don't but on a regular basis the type of caterpillar referred to in the article was only ever eaten rarely. mostly because they were seasonal and you had to live in the country to get them. they were dried and sold to the cities for people nostalgic for food from their youth. even 30 years ago the supply was very limited. today probably even more so.

if you scroll down, you will find my longer reply, based on experience.


MoggyMusic purrfect for cat ears.

 (iStockphoto: Astakhova)
...we found that cats showed orientation and approach behaviour toward the speaker with the cat music, often rubbing against the speaker while the music was on," says lead author Charles Snowdon of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Snowdon and colleague Megan Savage worked with composer and musician David Teie, who created cat-centric tunes such as:

not to be confused with Mark Gunn's album: Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers. 


Mary Lincoln, who seems to have been bipolar, consulted spiritualists after the death of her son Willie. And one of them warned Lincoln he was in danger...

ESP? Or because the man had a friend named John Wilkes Booth?  more HERE at Smithsonian magazine.

Headsup TeaAtTrianon.


Digby Chicken and Bombay Duck

via DavidWarren:

Bombay Duck..(is) salty, and so powerful in flavour and scent that it requires careful packaging, is actually a fish, the bummalo.... The fish is actually harvested from the waters off Bombay. It was transported from there by rail, in the good old days of British Imperialism, aboard the Bombay Dhak (i.e. the Bombay Mail), which gave rise to such expressions as, e.g. “You smell like the Bombay Dhak.” Surely, that will be enough to go on...
and this factoid for this Canadian delicacy:

 Digby chicken are in fact intensely smoked and salted herring fillets. The name is an old Minas Basin in-joke, from the arrival of Loyalist settlers with Admiral Digby, after the final evacuation of New York City (in 1783). The first couple of winters were rather a pain, for these effete urban types, but the settlers did have a plentiful supply of fish. They called the herring they had salted away, “Digby chicken.” You see, they were being ironical.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stuff around the net

Bath Univ podcasts are back up...the latest is on the Cassini mission.

50 shades is not just "naughty", it's diabolic.

in California it's been celebrated openly for years without gov't interference....  and your kids will learn how in one of their Health textbooks.

alas, today's meme is: don't be so judgemental.

related item: BoingBoing reminds you: Don't forget to upgrade your acronyms.


CDC report on youth violence.
Most effective prevention approaches work by modifying individual-level (e.g., problem-solving, communication, anger management skills) or relationship-level (e.g., parental supervision, consistent discipline, and communication skills) factors. A growing body of research shows the prevention potential of approaches that modify community-level factors (e.g., physical environments, norms about violence).

RIP Leonard Nimoy, Sgt USAR...

most famous for playing Spock...


they were where they were supposed to be, and no one bothered to look for them...

timeline here.

Nat Geo is blaming the Ben Laden raid for putting polio vaccinations at risk.

They need to fact check: The Taliban and other radicals were killing docs and other health care workers for years before that happened.
Now it has gotten worse, thanks to clueless western press releases...and the propaganda by the anti vaxxers in the US and Europe.

Heck, even the Catholic bishops in Kenya are repeating the urban legend that tetanus vaccine has anti pregnancy chemicals in it...a rumor that I read about in the early 1990's here in the Philippines. (where the Depo Provera shots were being mixed up with the anti tetanus ones...)


we support the PNP

 The war is back on in the southern Philippines.

and locals are fleeing the fighting. The MB says they fear "harassment" by the terrorists, an offshoot of MILF that uses the name BIFF.

(no, I'm not making up those names).

this will let the "human rights" folks lament the evil gov't did know, the same "human rights folks" who didn't notice that most of the 100000 refugees who were forced to flee Zamboanga  a couple years ago by Muslim terrorists were Christian (the city is majority Christian)...

the meme is:

The terrorists attack civilians, and the gov't tries to get them. The gov't is then condemned or told to work "with restraint". It is up to the gov't to "ease the tension" in the area.

Another meme: the military (or in this case, the cops) go after a major terrorist (in this case, an Indonesian bomb maker-- there have been several bombs attacks in the south lately, by unknown people). The local "militants" know the bad guy is there, but have kept mum about it. When the gov't tries to get him, the local "militants" cry foul and come out to kill the gov't ... in this case, the cops, resulting in 40 dead policemen.

Hello, people: This is why Obama is killing people with drones.

Yes, they might "kill civilians" (read hostages and/or family members) but at least you don't end up with dead good guys.

Alas, the left here is stopping these from being used because it means making the US the good guys, and they go out in force to protest any hint that the US is helping against the terrorists. (they are, of course, but it's kept low key).

and the local folks? well the cops aren't from the rich families, but middle class families.

It says a lot that yesterday I saw a local tricycle with a sticker saying "I support the Philippine Police" on it.

(The local cops are constantly being rotated in an out because of problems and are not usually trusted...)

But since we live in the north, we should be okay.

The main threat in our area, the NPA, has been weakened, but kidnap gangs still hit once in awhile. Most of the deaths are political, however, and the mayor is up for election next year...