Saturday, September 26, 2015

offline no blogging

Internet problems

Monday, September 14, 2015

Family news

This if for family reading the blog (Hi Chona)

we are still locked out of the upper floors and western garden.
The wash machine has been moved to a tiny alcove next to the kitchen, where the water will drain  onto our washer women's feet and the nearest electric outlet is five feet away.

Electric safety? WTF?

and exactly where are we supposed to hang all the clothes? My garden of course. I hope George the killer labrodor peas on them...

Never mind. The goal, I am now told, is to move Joy and Ruby into my house, which means emptying the junk from the spare bedroom, most of which is not mine of course.

The electric bill is due this week: I am taking bets if I will be requested to pay it again this money. Sigh.

And I will be short of money this month since I have  scheduled plastic surgery for a skin lesion on my face later this week. I probably should have had it removed  months ago, but Lolo was sick and afterward I didn't do anything for awhile.

Kuya hasn't done anything about getting the will certified in court, so until that is done, Joy and Ruby have no income from the properties given to Ruby by Lolo.

And again I am the one paying for her tutoring fees.


Factoid of the day

Via the presurfer:
Toys that were originally invented to do something else.

Slinkys, playdoh, paintballs...

all were invented and used for other things.

But silly putty? Trying to find a substitute for natural rubber, but no one could find a use for the stuff, except that the lab people liked to play with it..

.Earl Warrick of Dow Corning and James Wright of General Electric. Working independently on crafting a rubber substitute, the men discovered that combining boric acid and silicone oil produced a bouncy, elastic putty with a high melting temperature. Unfortunately, while this bouncing putty entertained the lab workers, it wasn’t the viable rubber substitute needed for the war effort. Wright sent samples to scientists around the world to see if they could find a practical purpose for this new substance, but no one could.

What is past is prologue

David Warren notes the press pushing emotional issues rather then not that most of the so called refugees are not families fleeing war, but young men and mostly those who were living quietly but poorly in Turkish or other refugee camps.

If much of the pushback against the refugees is in Eastern Europe, maybe it's because many of these people suffered from Turkish aggression. Seige of Vienna anyone?

In that one, it was the Polish who did the crowning blow to stop the Turks, but almost no news reports tell of the decimation of the Balkans or Hungary from the Turks, or that locals remember their ancestor's suffering.

I remember when the elites lamented the destruction of the famous Muslim bridge in Mostar: But locals hated the bridge, because the Turks would hang people from the bridge, including priests who wouldn't convert.

But the Turks weren't the first:

Medievalnet has a link about Edward I of England and the Mongol connection.

At the outset, England acted “normally,” as an enemy of the Mongols. In 1241 Pope Gregory IX appealed to Henry III to take up arms against the Tartars plundering Hungary. Gregory agreed to transfer the crusading vows already taken against the Muslims to an enterprise against the Mongols. The crown of England was one of the first to respond positively; when the pope proclaimed a crusade in Eastern Europe in 1253, King Henry and Prince Edward assumed the Cross and enrolled to fight in Hungary. Although Henry III fixed a schedule for his departure (for 1256), due to the negotium Siciliae he did not fulfill his oath. Thus, after the 1259 assault of the Golden Horde, Prince Edward himself was urged to come to the aid of Hungary, as Khan Berke envisaged a great assault against Western Europe. The pope also asked Richard of Cornwall to engage in the defense of the eastern boundaries of Christendom.

Strategypage notes how India is worried at Chinese's slow war of aggression, and that the liberals in the state department won't help the Philippines for fear of upsetting China

Freakonomics reports that teaching boys at risk to react peacefully instead of causing fights will cut down on fights.
Part of the discussion is the lack of men to teach the boys how to be mature men.

Echoing DavidWarren is this Instapundit link to the Anchoress, who quotes Peggy Noonan: The art of the painless coup.

well yes. And again much of it is about the bread and circus distractions and how the propaganda in the media is a big part of this.

 but if you dare to point out how traditional ethics actually is based on human experience, not utopian talking points, you are sexist, racist and homophobic, or interpreted as political spin (i.e "theocracy" danger).

Confucius call your office.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Watch the Eyebrows, Brucy baby

From Improbable reasearch

Can you tell a person’s gender from just a glimpse of their eyebrows? Could a computerised system do the same? To find out, a project was undertaken by Yujie Dong (of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Clemson University) and Damon L. Woodard (now at the Biometrics and Pattern Recognition Lab, University of Florida) in 2011. The team used Minimum Distance Classifier (MD), Linear Discriminant Analysis Classifier (LDA) and Support Vector Machine Classifier (SVM) algorithms to extract eight eyebrow features from images (rectangularity, eccentricity, and isoperimetric quotient etc.) and were then able to determine a subject’s gender with an average accuracy of 96%

ahh, but what if you pluck them?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dolly Parton alert

Follow orders? No, become a hero instead

Dave Barry's essay on Flight 93.
 we know that the people on the plane fought back. On a random day, on a random flight, they found themselves - unwarned, unprepared, unarmed - on the front lines of a vicious new kind of war. And somehow, in the few confusing and terrifying minutes they had, they transformed themselves from people on a plane into soldiers, and they fought back. And that made them heroes, immediately and forever, to a wounded, angry nation, a nation that desperately wanted to fight back.And now these heroes lie here, in this field where their battle ended. This cemetery. This battlefield. This hallowed ground.

After 9-11, Peggy Noonan wrote an essay saying real men were back.

But we all know what happened: A loud propaganda campaign of hate and disinformation blaming Bush, mainly for political reasons because he "lost" the popular vote.

And of course, everything since then that could be twisted to blame was blamed on America..
Remove America the policeman and guess what happens?
The Badguys in the Middle East get the message.
The "choice" is ISIS (run by Saudi money) or Iran. Hitler vs Stalin, and if Israel, like Czechoslovakia, is destroyed by Obama's peace plan with Iran, well, never mind: PEACE IN OUR TIME.

Yet there are rumblings that ordinary folks, who are still telling pollsters what they want to hear (at least the ten percent of folks who actually answer polls).

 demagogues like Trump and Saunders aren't the only sign that people are tired of being told lies and that they need to bow down and obey our betters.

Given enough time, Some people say no.

When 9-11 occurred, the meme was to stay quiet and obey hijackers, and usually everything would go well.

But things changed, and the passengers decided they needed to disobey orders of the government/airline policies and fight back.

and, if Hollywood is sniffing the wind, the real harbingers might not be a film about a transvestite operated on by an incompetent Nazi surgeon, but a film that people actually go to see.

It's not just Katnis that bodes ill for the elite who run things.

Two upcoming films might hint that obeying orders of faceless bureaucrats who follow the instruction book are not the way to go.

The Benghazi film 13 hours is about the SEALS who disobeyed orders and rescued people from the embassy.

And in the Martian, not only does the astronaut manage to keep alive, but his crew disobeys orders and rescues him.

One hopes that the craziness of the election will actually turn things around, as Reagan did.

But I am not optimistic.

Friday, September 11, 2015


From the UKTelegraph:

Dominic Greyer said organisers of the WI's Centennial Fair in the spa town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, asked him to cover up the "offending" mugs and tea towels.
He was selling merchandise featuring some of Britain's saucier-named towns and villages. 
The tea towel that had to be censored  Photo: Ross Parry / SWNS / Dominic Greyer

a lot of this is merely a change in language, or the fact that we now have double meanings for innocent words.

My sons once attended a school named "Blacklick" (i.e. dark stream),

Wikipedia:lick is a small watercourse or an ephemeral stream. It ranks hydrologically between a rill, ... and a stream...

And of course whether or not you are offended depends on if you yourself have a dirty mind.

I remember when my mom and I laughed when we saw "The Young Frankenstein" in Africa, and were the only one who laughed at the comment "What a pair of knockers".

And of course, the Hobbit is PG despite Dain's R rated vocabulary which went over the head of the American censors...

Clover is the culprit?

A lot of modern chemicals have mild estrogenic side effects, including some plastics and pesticides.

and of course, estrogens from birth control pills is found in the waste water.

But now MomJones writes that modern horticultural fads might be causing problems: what's the culprit? You might think it's all the chemicals people tend to dump on their lawns. But the study's lead author, Yale researcher Max Lambert, told me that while he and his colleagues tested the suburban water for "a couple of" pesticides, they didn't find any. He said that while lawn chemicals couldn't be ruled out as a cause of the sex changes, the main driver may be endocrine-disrupting chemicals that occur naturally in some plants, known as phyto-estrogens. These compounds turn out to be rare in most forest plants but abundant in common lawn plants like clover (often added to lawn grass mixes) and various ornamental shrubs,
I was aware that sweet clover (plus fungus) turned into coumadin in hay,

but the problem with red clover can be read about here.
Most of the research on the subject has been done in Australia, where the focus has been on subterranean clover.  The types and levels of phytoestrogens in old varieties of subterranean clover can cause severe reproductive disruptions.  Newer varieties that have been selectively bred to have low levels of phytoestrogens cause little or no reproductive disturbance.  We do not grow subterranean clover in the Northeastern United States.  There has been almost no research done on this subject in the U.S.  See:Sheep Infertility from Pasture Legumes (Australia)
Some researchers in the U.K. and Australia have documented impacts of red clover on ewe reproduction.  Other researchers have found no adverse impacts. 
- See more at:

Podcasts of the week

NewBooksPodcast discusses utopian ideas in 19th century China.

. Why did utopian movements proliferate in the nineteenth century? What tactics did utopians use to make their actions in the city seem to resonate in empire and cosmos? What kinds of urban change resulted? What does this nineteenth century story tell us about the emergence of the ideals of republicanism and citizenship in the twentieth century? 
Librivox reads articles on the Reil's rebellion of the Metis of the NW against Canada.

I mentioned Hannibal awhile back. Professor Bob's podcast has several about this recently (check his archives).


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trivia and stuff from around the web

If you are an exploration junkie, you might have heard about the disastrous Franklin expedition, but have you heard about how the McClure expedition, sent in from the west to rescue them, got caught in ice, stranded, and had to be rescued themselves?


Atlas Obscura on Spaceport USA in New Mexico


IncredibleThings links to a Foodbeast post about making miniture Sushi...

if you're not into sushi, how about a minature hamburger?


if you are into miniature dollhouse etc. check out Buttercup miniature and their blog.


Via Presurfer:

Noticing compares the diets and metabolism of elephants vs shrews and then asks the question of the day

Why don't elephants explode?

go to the site to find out why.

(physiology lesson of the day)


Project secret identity

Join EFF and Access for a cosplay activism campaign during Dragon Con (Sept. 4 – 7) to raise awareness of how anonymity and privacy are key to free expression.

Hide your identity from the snoopers

Via Gizmodo

yes, even my computer has "facial recognition" when I sign on.


Global warming? No problem. Just geoengineer a cooler climate.


“Generally, our results suggest that the cooling effect associated with enhanced DMS emissions would offset warming across the globe, especially in the Arctic,” says the study’s first author, Benjamin Grandey, a senior postdoc in Wang’s group who configured the model simulations and analyzed the data. “Precipitation would also decline worldwide, and some parts of the world would be worse off. Europe, the Horn of Africa, and Pakistan may receive less rainfall than they have historically.”
Grandey and Wang warn that the lower rainfall could reduce water resources considerably, threatening the hydrological cycle, the environment, and livelihoods in the affected regions.


how words are formed...they are made up? Or is the sound of the word related to it's meaning?

Have you ever wondered why we call a dog a dog and not a cat? Is this an arbitrary decision, or is it based on iconicity—the resemblance between word structure and meaning? New research shows that for Indo-European languages, like English and Spanish, iconicity is more common than previously believed.
The discussion is interesting but vague.

However, using the words "dog" and "cat" might not prove their argument, because although Cat has IndoEuropean roots, the word dog does not.

from the OnLine Entomology Dictionary:

dog (n.) Look up dog at Dictionary.comOld English docga, a late, rare word, used in at least one Middle English source in reference to a powerful breed of canine. The word forced out Old English hund (the general Germanic and Indo-European word; see canine) by 16c. and subsequently was picked up in many continental languages (French dogue (16c.), Danish dogge, German Dogge(16c.)), but the origin remains one of the great mysteries of English etymology. 

actually I first learned this at the excellent History of English podcast



Slate asks: How long could you survive on beer alone?

what will kill you is scurvy, from no vitamin c

But Archeoblog notes:

modern beer is different from beer from the past:

 Remember, however, that what we think of as beer and what really pre-industrialist people drank as beer are very different things. Staple beer was much more gruel-like and lower in alcohol than today’s recreational brews

I remember how African women in Zimbabwe brewed beer, which was grey and full of yeasty stuff.

MbuyaVaChinjanja blog discusses it here.

You heat some water in a drum and add mealie meal as if you are cooking sadza, Let it  cook for a good 4 hours. Cool the porridge down, add chimera and yeast  and leave over night. The next day you sieve, to remove the pulp/draff/dregs or maseses. Do not throw masese away because they attract a lot of flies but rather give is to the local fishmonger. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar and people can start drinking on Saturday morning. Keep your mbira players away from this one.
Wikipedia has a more elaborate recipe (South African).

and a scholarly article on sorghum/maize beer here tells of it's high Vitamin B content and discusses the problems in it's commercial brewing.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

as glaciers melt

BBC article on bodies that flow down with slowly moving ice of glaciers in the Alps, and how some have recently been identified.

The normal time span for anything trapped in an Alpine glacier to be washed out is, he suggests, between 20 and 50 years, though it can take up to 100 years. The recent examples of Conville, Kobayashi and Oikawa are broadly line with this - it was 34 years in one case, and 44 in the other.
But this part is interesting:

In some areas, nails from Roman boots have been found

As well as Oetzi, the mummified 3,000-year-old man found near the border between Austria and Italy in 1991, 5,000-year-old items of clothing and household utensils have been found in the mountains south of Berne, shedding light on a Bronze-Age Alpine civilisation that was far more sophisticated than originally thought.
Hundreds of Roman shoe nails have emerged from the ice too. "That is really interesting," says Grosjean. "Each shoe nail has a kind of a bar code, showing the year it was made, where it was made, and whether these shoes were used for military troops for the Roman army, or for civilian shoes."

hmmm...wonder if they'll find the remains of the thousands of men and a couple elephants who died crossing the Alps with Hannibal.

1984 NYT on Hannibal's lost elephants. Local elephants from the Atlas Mountains or imported from India? Only one survived the trip from Spain over the Alps to Italy.

More HERE.

Men on foot usually panicked at the sight of the huge ferocious bellowing elephants, who had archers on their back. Closest thing to a tank in the ancient world.


Roman discipline enabled them to be neutralized:

Faced with the choice of smashing into the heavily armed legionnaires or running unimpeded through the gaps in their formations, most of the elephants took the path of least resistance and passed harmlessly through the Roman army. Others, frightened by the blasts of massed Roman trumpeters, ran down their own cavalry.

How Grandmom made us human

For later reading from the UKMail.

Human females often live decades past their child-bearing years - and that may have begun with our early Homo relatives 2 million years ago. The grandmother hypothesis says that before then, few females lived past their fertile years. But changing environments led to the use of food like buried tubers that weaned children couldn't dig themselves. So older females helped feed the kids, allowing their daughters to have the next baby sooner. By allowing their daughters to have more kids, grandmothers' longevity genes became increasingly common in the population and human lifespan increased.

I'm not sure I agree with the premise, since primitive societies have a bad reputation for caring for the elderly, especially the older women who have less status.

But hunter gatherers often breast feed for 4 years, farmers only two. Not mentioned in the article is that many tribes traditionally forbid sex when breastfeeding...

African proverb: Man with four wives, all pregnant or breastfeeding. He might as well be single...

Don't tell Thorin Oakenshield

A British play about Snow White is replaceing the "dwarves" with "friends" because the producers say the word dwarves is not politically correct.

a spokeswoman for De Montfort Hall said the word dwarf is "generally not a word that people feel comfortable with" so the roles were dropped. Instead, the fairytale will have "friends". 

Thorin Oakenshield could not be reached for comment.

But Flitwick is not amused:

Warwick, 45, said that political correctness was a "smokescreen" and the decision was more likely to be financial. He said: "Personally, I find it quite patronising when people are offended on our behalf.

of course, the Dwarves in the Hobbit were played by full sized men, unlike Warwick Davis, who has a form a dwarfism.

Dwarfism means short limbs and normal trunk. Midgets are usually from endocrine problems, and are normal ratio.

The most common form (70%) of Dwarfism is Achondroplastic Dwarfism, and this sydrome has a common facies. And the children have certain health problems, especially if the parents both have a form of dwarfism. See Davis' story here.

of course, the "dwarfs" in Snow White were miners, and often children and dwarfs were used in mines because of their small stature. And many ordinary miners who worked since childhood were short from malnutrition and lack of sunlight.

and until 1938, after Disney's film and Tolkien's book, dwarves were often portrayed as bad guys in fairy tales.

But I notice the article uses the word "Dwarves". Blame Tolkien for this.

The Grammarist explains:

Dwarfs is the standard plural of the noun dwarf. Dwarves is a newer variant popularized (though not invented) by English author J.R.R. Tolkien in his fantasy fiction works, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien spelling is appropriate when referring to little people in fantasy worlds. Dwarfs is better everywhere else. (There is controversy over whether dwarf is ever a polite term for real-life people, but we won’t go into that here.)

Bioethics at work (/s)

The reason Stevie Wonder is blind is that he was a premie, and given too much oxygen. This cause overgrowth of retinal blood vessels, which resulted in blindness. about 400 cases are reported each year (and often the docs are sued when this happens: Something that is never part of the discussion). More HERE.

So today, the NYTimes reports on a study where some premies were given lots of oxygen and some given low levels of oxygen.

And (as we have been aware for years) guess what? The death rate was higher in those given less oxygen.

this is supposed to be a valid study, even though the death rate was higher in the low oxygen group of babies.

So why was the study done at all?

contrary to the NYTimes and the NEJM, the definitive study was done in 1980 (maybe they need to do a wikipedia search before they publish.

Studies on rats made this cause seem more likely, but the link was eventually confirmed by a controversial study undertaken by American pediatricians. The study involved two groups of babies. Some [20] given the usual oxygen concentrations in their incubators, while the other group had "curtailed" oxygen levels. The latter group was shown to have a lower incidence of the disease. As a result, oxygen levels in incubators were lowered and consequently the epidemic was halted. Each case of ROP avoided by withholding oxygen "may have cost some 16 deaths".[21]
Silverman, William A. (November 1980). Retrolental fibroplasia: a modern parable. Grune & Stratton. Retrieved 21 September 2013. Chapter 8: "The Consequences of Oxygen Restriction"

So someone sued, and lost because this was "not proven".

“This decision will mean, from a policy and practical point of view, that this kind of research is going to move on,” said Arthur Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. He said if the judge had agreed to hear the case, “we’d have research slowing down, everyone waiting to see the outcome of a trial before starting projects.”
As for the New England Journal of Medicine authors, “they are a little enthusiastic,” he said, “but they are mainly right because they are breathing a giant sigh of relief that the legal system didn’t find enough to call the Support study researchers to task.”
ah but here is the point:
the article says it was lost on a technicality.

“As the old axiom goes, correlation does not equal causation,” Judge Bowdre wrote. She said the babies’ extreme prematurity “already put them at a very high risk.” The fact that the babies’ injuries “are consistent with” oxygen levels that could have inflicted them “does not show” that those levels caused them. 

 maybe not, but in these days when even small town GP's have pulse oximetry to monitor hypoxia in their patients, one wonders about the details, i.e. if the low oxygen level in the bloodstream was notice in the nursing notes.

Coffee and cocoa and black beverage

The Amerindians did invent cocoa, and there is an argument if it was only used by their aristocracy or if ordinary people used it. Well, maybe in South America, but in North America, caffiene containing beverages were used quite a bit.

WesternDigs reports:

A recent study — the largest of its kind ever conducted — analyzed nearly 200 samples of pottery from Southwestern archaeological sites, ranging from Colorado to Chihuahua and spanning 650 years of human occupation.  The results revealed that more than 20 percent of the ceramics contained traces of either cocoa or a potent concoction known as ‘black drink,’ made from yaupon holly, known to scientists as Ilex vomitoria.

what is most interesting is not that caffiene beverages were used, but that the plants didn't grow this implied an active trade network.

“There are no known plants in the Southwest or Northwestern Mexico that have caffeine,” said Dr. Patricia Crown, an anthropologist at the University of New Mexico who led the study.
“So these caffeinated drinks required acquiring — through exchange or direct acquisition — materials from a distance: Mesoamerica, for either plant, or perhaps the Gulf Coast for the holly.” 

the "black drink" made from a holly type plant is discussed HERE. 

wikipedia article HERE.

more on Yaupon holly HERE.

and during the American Civil war, Yaupon tea was used as a substitute for imported tea or coffee...

Imagine: Catholics want the Pope to be Catholic

via Drudge at the WAPO

Conservative dissent is brewing inside the Vatican.

for "conservative dissent", read Catholics who believe in what the church has always believed and are tired of being pushed around by self styled "reformers" who destroy the mass, taught our kids in Catholic schools that masturbation was normal and not sinful, and who looked the other way when priests schtupped their sons.

theWAPO site won't let me sign in (maybe because I have a foreign connection or won't pay to read them).

But here is GetReligion's take on the matter.

quick summary: Conservatives hate Pope Francis because he is the liberal that we – as in the mainstream press – say he is, even though, dang it, he hasn't actually changed any of the loathsome doctrines that we think are so terrible. But we love this pope's quips, as opposed to his actual sermons and writings, and we'll keep printing those quotes over and over.
Oh, and if your don't like the version of Pope Francis that we're describing, then you oppose this pope. Or words to that effect.
But the key is that conservatives inside the Vatican are planning a revolt of some kind. We know this because some of them are talking about "confusion" in the church, confusion that – this is crucial – has nothing to do with the media's consistent portrayal of the pope as a heroic liberal seeking doctrinal reform, although he hasn't changed any yet. And why does the pope keep urging everyone to go to confession? Doesn't Francis know that no one goes to confession anymore, because that would imply that sin is real?

they say that the Pope is only letting "both sides" argue in the open.

No big thing about that. But the press has decided who are the "good guys" and ignore or demonize those fuddy duddies who are Catholic, while making their average readers think that the church is changing so shut up if you protest.

But there are protests and pushbacks

 Ignatius Press (which is run by faithful Jesuits in the USA) is not only publishing books about what the church understands as being marriage, but has now published a book on how a small coterie of European bishops tried to hijack the Bishops' meeting on the family.

 This too was reported on EWTN which has a nightly news program.

there are a lot of prophecies in both Catholic and Pentecostal circles about how the Catholic Church may schism when the career type bishops (mainly in Europe and some in the USA) would try a takeover of the church to make it the superchurch subservient to the NWO.

Reminds me of the Arian kerfuffle, where the sides argued and several of the emperors of Constantinople took the Arian side... but Athanasius, a "conservative dissenter" opposed him, was perseccuted, and the rest is history. (Athanasius eventually won).

and in the USA, the revolt against the "reformers" who did an Alinsky type takeover of the bishop's bureaucracy and many religious orders started here:

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Cyberwar updates

GetReligion post about a HufPo article discussing how American Muslims are fighting against ISIS etc. propaganda on line.

Includes one Somali Muslim from Minneapolis and discusses the ISIS tweet campaign (again see below).

The "I can't believe it's butter" post of the day

Dead Racoon art honors a dead racoon.

#DeadRaccoonTO was resurrected at this year's butter sculpture showcase at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
The dead raccoon, which Torontonians posthumously named Conrad,attracted a sidewalk vigil complete with flowers, a framed photograph and a donation box when its lifeless body lay on a sidewalk for more than 14 hours one July day.
headsup DaveBarry.

PJMedia article on garbage art.

no, they are not cute: They bite and they carry rabies.

Refugees? We don't want the Irish

To read the papers, one would think that the Syrian refugees were the first wave of such refugees since World War II.

Yet Europe (and all those US "anti war" activists of the 1970's who ignored the consequences of their activisim) forget the boat people.


The Indochina refugee crisis was the large outflow of people from the former French colonies ofIndochina, comprising the countries of VietnamCambodia, and Laos, after communist governments were established in 1975. Over the next 25 years and out of a total Indochinese population in 1975 of 56 million, more than 3 million people would undertake the dangerous journey to become refugees in other countries of Southeast Asia or China. Hundreds of thousands may have died in their attempt to flee. More than 2.5 million Indochinese were resettled, mostly in North America and Europe. Five hundred thousand were repatriated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.[1]

and the Pope is asking for Catholics in Europe to welcome them...of course, since Vatican II Catholicism is pretty well dead in Europe, but never mind.

Yet it was churches and charity groups who did work to resettle these Vietnamese refugees in the west

The Roman Catholic Church, given its long history with the Vietnamese people, facilitated the relocation of a large number of Vietnamese boat people through its many Orders and charities. Involved in this work was the work of the Vietnamese Refugee Office of Caritas Italiana, a major Catholic Italian charity, under the leadership of Monsignor Tran Van Hoai.

But in the US it wasn't just the Catholics:  here is an article in People magazine telling ordinary Americans how to help. Lobby and give money to charities are in their list, but then there is this:

This may be the most urgent need. Unlike the earlier relocation effort after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, agencies now recommend that groups rather than individuals sponsor new arrivals. The reason: If the responsibility is shared, there is less chance of something going awry. Convince your church, fraternal or civic group to become a sponsor. If you are not affiliated with such an organization, create one of your own with friends or neighbors. With the help of proper agencies, you and your group should be prepared at the outset to arrange for housing and jobs and to give advice on health care, language training and schools for the refugee or refugee family.

I remember when refugees were housed in old military bases, such as IndiantownGap, which was no longer an active base but used to train reserve/National Guard at the time.

And I remember how churches "adopted" families to help them in transition as they were resettled.

Thanks to propaganda, ISIS is openly bragging about their murders, but how many know about the "high death rate" in VietNam's "reeducation camps" or that Reagan arranged for the liberation of some prisoners to the USA?

Or that China resettled many ethnic Chinese (300thousand) who fled because they owned businesses and were considered the enemy, or later after the Chinese/Vietnam war made them unwelcome?

another story to remember: Although the local rich Arab states don't want to resettle these refugees, it is not just from selfish motives:( Yes, they are not integrated into these countries, and as a result,  often become "fifth column" infiltrators to terrorism).

One difference is that refugees are more welcome in the USA, despite the no-nothing rhetoric of Trump and his minions.

the Europeans who moan that the US/Canada should accept more ignore the huge influx of Mexicans and Central Americans that Obama is allowing to flow essentially unregulated into the USA.

Yet once this is regulated they will also be assimilated because most Americans are prejudiced, but still are Christians in culture and willing to accept strangers, albeit grudgingly, be they refugees from the Highland cleansing, the Irish potato famine, the kulturekampf, the Nazis, the drug wars of the Americas, or just ordinary folk like most of the Mexicans living in the USA or my husband's family who want to be able to find a decent job and raise their family where they are welcome.

Monday, September 07, 2015

More signs that TEOTWAWKI is nigh

Film about black family and people turning to God makes more money than a Hollywood film about "Rap" artists.


A follow up on the 43 students killed in Mexico by local cops and finds the Mexican military were involved.
Editorial blames "our" gun and drug "habits" presumably made worse by open smuggling across the border.

 You mean Trump is right: maybe build a decent fence?

Strategypage background on what type of border fence actually works HERE 
and background on Mexico's problems of violence and corruption HERE.

But I shouldn't point fingers: The perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre are still awaiting trial.


Ebola Reston is still present in monkeys in breeding farms in the Philippines. But it hasn't made anyone "sick"...

Last outbreak just killed some local pigs and infected some butchers in a nearby city, making them mildly ill but none died.



Sunday, September 06, 2015

Call a tub a tub? has a list of phrases that originated in the Middle Ages, including this one:

To call a spade a spade
The ancient Greeks had popular proverb for plain speaking: “to call figs figs, and a tub a tub. However, when the scholar Erasmus created his Adagia, a collection of Greek and Latin proverbs, he mistook the Greek word spade for tub. In his version, it was written ‘to call a spade spade’ and it became popular ever since.

Title VII and Holy Fools

So the latest two minute hate on Facebook is against a holy fool who refuses to add her signature of approval of gay marriage in Kentucky.

Imagine daring to hold the same opinion as President Obama (who had this opinion until two years ago).

Never mind. Not my fight (although with the Love nest fence now turning into solid walls, and other open coercion for not approving of the lifestyle, it may soon become my fight).

The only comment that I have put in some of the comment sections on articles discussing this news story was: What about Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Law?

Well, someone finally noticed, and Volokh at the WAPO indeed has a long legal analysis of this.

Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, both public and private employers have a duty to exempt religious employees from generally applicable work rules, so long as this won’t create an “undue hardship,” meaning more than a modest cost, on the employer. If the employees can be accommodated in a way that would let the job still get done without much burden on the employer, coworkers, and customers — for instance by switching the employee’s assignments with another employee or by otherwise slightly changing the job duties — then the employer must accommodate them

yes, that is how I had always understood the law.

But I stand corrected on the actual law

my point so far has been simply to describe the American legal rule as it actually is, and as it has been for over 40 years (since the religious accommodation provisions were enacted in the 1972 amendments to Title VII). 

Those who are hyperventilating that Christians are exaggerating this as if they are victims, forget that those of us who opposed abortion went through these fights in the 1960's and 1970's.

I was "failed" for refusing to cooperate with abortion in medical school (the school backed down since I was a known Catholic. And yes, I would have sued).

 My best friend was not "exempted" because she was Hindu, and so was given the choice to fail her residency (and lose both her green card and ability to support her student husband), so she complied.

But what is interesting is that when the same hospital/medical school tried to force their Muslim residents to do abortions, they refused. Again,  the residency program gave them the same order. And you know what?

Their reply: If you do this, every Muslim in training in OB will resign.

The residency program backed down.

Notice that those saying nay were not Catholic or Christians?

But of course, the "message" had been sent. Because after my bad experience in Medical School I decided I could not get a residency in OB/Gyn.

Oh what about taking a residency in a Catholic hospital? Well, my best friend actually chose a Catholic hospital for that reason...but she spent three months rotation at the University hospital for specialty instructions, and they had power to terminate her in her residency. (No, I don't know if the nuns running the Catholic hospital were aware of the problem)

So yes, a holy fool in Kentucky has gone to jail for a trivial opposition that could easily have been accommodated by the government.

That sends a chilling message, as do all those politicians who wail: IF you can't follow the law, resign.

Oh, you mean you want ethnic cleansing of Catholics/Muslims/Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians from government jobs?

Or do you mean we should just follow orders?

Which brings me to this article, in FirstThings: The Ethnic Cleansing of the Medical profession.

Wesley Smith is right: north of the border there is a concerted attempt to erase the conscience rights of doctors, by demanding referrals for the killing of the unborn (who do not need to put in a request) and of the terminally ill (who thus far do) and, for that matter, of any other procedure deemed “medical.”...

Yes, the fight is coming.

And just the idea that we will have to bow to Government fiats instead of taking care of patients.

And you thought Sarah Palin's "Death panels" were paranoid nonsense.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Feeling depressed? Check out these Alpaca photos 


Headsup Presurfer

Stories below the fold

It is the centennial of the Simarillion. The first stories were written in the trenches of the Somme (although the seed of the fantasies goes earlier to his school days).
If Tolkien's books are proliferating, it is because his son Christopher has edited his father's writings for publication, writes Birzer...


1984, the Ballet.


StrategyPage reports that ISIL trolls are using Twitter to spread their message and make people think it is more popular than it actually is.

And they use quadcopter Chinese UAV's, (i.e. drones) which are available commercially for a fairly low price. They are used to spy out the enemy.


BBC posts ten photos of refugees fleeing war, economic and political tyranny.

also from the BBC:

Who built the lost tunnels of Liverpool, and why were they built?
and since they were used as a garbage dump, lots of interesting historical artifacts are being found in them.

a couple weeks back, I posted a link and video about sea silk.
BBC now has an article about it HERE.

AngloSaxon used alliteration for poems, which is why this headline caught my eye: (via Instapundit)

Macroscopic mechanical manipulation/ controls molecular machine array


Friday, September 04, 2015

Stories from around the world

The saying "say the black do the red" is one of Father Z's sayings, but David Warren points out that the use of the two inks goes back to the ancient Egyptians.


Father Z reports there is now a LEGO Mass set. for kids to play with.

Gimodo asks: What disease was behind the Antelope die off in Central Asia? No answers yet.

a new book by JRRTolkien is being published.  Sounds like a downer, worse than the children of Hurin...

. Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. In addition to it being a powerful story in its own right, The Story of Kullervo – published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes and lecture-essays on its source-work, The Kalevala – is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world.’


Back to school shopping list...from the Middle Ages.

Number one: a wax tablet to use for notes...because parchment was expensive.

But even here, "scrap paper" is often reused for notes I was reminded when I asked the bank for an envelope and got a used one.

here is how to make a wax tablet at home.

slate tablets for scribbling notes/math in schools were used up to modern times: I am reminded of Anne of Green Gables, who smashed Gilbert's slate tablet over his head when he called her carrots.

MrsBrewer'sParlor has an article on their use HERE.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Green lifestyle hint of the day

TiaMaria and I predate clothes driers, and lived back to the days when you hung the laundry in the back yard. So she sent via email these tips for using a clothesline:

Remembering Mom's Clothesline. 
THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES:  (If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.) 

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top. 
2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands. 
3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes -   Walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around   the lines. 
4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always   hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first. 
5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail!   What would the neighbors think? 
6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend,   Or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake! 
7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could   Hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies,   y'know!) 
8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... Clothes   would "freeze-dry." 
9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!   Pins left on the lines were "tacky"! 
10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that  each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item. 
11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in  the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.  IRONED??!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject! 
12. Long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the lotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.)    didn't brush the ground and get dirty. 

 And now a POEM... 
A clothesline was a news forecast,To neighbors passing by,  
There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry. 
It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew If company had stopped on by, to spend a night or two. 
For then you'd see the "fancy sheets", And towels upon the line; You'd see the "company table cloths", With intricate designs. 
The line announced a baby's birth, From folks who lived inside, As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride! 
The ages of the children could, So readily be known By watching how the sizes changed, You'd know how much they'd grown! 
It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung; Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung. It also said, "On vacation now", When lines hung limp and bare. It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare! 
New folks in town were scorned upon, If wash was dingy and gray, As neighbors carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way. 
But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much  less. Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody's guess! 
I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign 
When neighbors knew each other best... By what hung on the line. 
Here in the Philippines, the wash is still traditionally done in a tub, wrung out by hand and then hung out.

when we moved here, we had a US style washer, but it broke and since then, we use the local style: which washes and drains but doesn't spin dry. So we have a combo that includes a small spinner for this.

the clothes are traditionally washed and hung up on the roof, so they are not stolen and to catch the breeze to dry faster, but I have seen clothes hung out in the sunny side of the street in our neighborhood...

And here is a "how to wash clothese Filipino style" instruction video:

Gift Item of the Day

via Toxel:

Wake up to the smell of BACON

more about this at an old Wired article.               

but alas, the links to where it is sold have disappeared, so I suspect it is a joke      

more Bacon related products at Toxel HERE.   

yes, they sell bacon here, but locally what is available is lousy...

But you can find it in Manila, and the bacon cheezeburger I shared with Ruby in Manila last week was pure heaven...              

"They're digging at the wrong place!"

From Indiana Jones:

[the old man reveals writing on the back of the medallion, which states that part of the staff must be removed]
Indiana: Balloq's medallion only had writing on one side? You sure about that?
Sallah: Positive!
Indiana: Balloq's staff is too long.
Indiana, Sallah: They're digging in the wrong place!
well, in film 3 of the series, they "found" the Holy Grail in...Petra. (not really Petra, but that was the place where they filmed)

But today's Atlas Obscura has a post about the real place where the Holy Grail is located...
well, not really the Holy Grail, but a replica of the replica...

Tucked high in the Pyrenees, San Juan de la Peña ranks among the most important religious sites in the Aragon region of Spain thanks to centuries of royal pilgrimages, paired with legendary tales linking it with Christianity's most coveted treasure: the Holy Grail. (according to one story)  a Roman soldier acquired what is claimed to be the much sought-after Holy Grail at some point during the 3rd century CE. After transporting this most coveted relic back to his home at Huesca, a Moorish invasion caused the cup to be transferred to San Juan de la Peña where it would be safe from marauders. Little did they anticipate that Aragonese King Martino V would abscond with it to his palace in 1399...
source: Spanisculture 

more information here...

Guilty of being cute

CuteOverload will soon be celebrating it's tenth anniversary of promoting smiles.

Here is post number one:

and no, the site is not limited to cats:

Happy stories below the fold

Forgiving others protects women from depression....

but not men unless the men felt they themselves were forgiven.


Silk bio-ink might help 3 D printing of organs etc.

The researchers combined silk proteins, which are biocompatible, and glycerol, a non-toxic sugar alcohol commonly found in food and pharmaceutical products. The resulting ink was clear, flexible, stable in water, and didn't require any processing methods, such as high temperatures, that would limit its versatility. The researchers say the novel material could potentially be used in biomedical implants and tissue engineering.


Canada: Lentil capital of the world.

Canadian writer David Warren relates the immigrant that is behind this.

Canada; or more precisely, Saskatchewan; or more precisely, a certain Murad Al-Katib, is now the major player in the world trade for lentils, chickpeas, various other pulses and beans. Note that definite article.In anno 2001, none of us were growing lentils. (I’m still not.) And yet, then as now, much of Saskatchewan was as close to ideal lentil-growing territory as the planet could offer.

Family news

So not only does our business compound have a third floor love nest, keeping our maids from washing clothing on the roof, but now there are metal mesh fences and locks to keep us from using our west garden, the laundry, and the tools/ladder that are stored in the garage.

There is a part in the will saying I am allowed to "enjoy" the entire property, but the will hasn't gone to court to become legal, because "there is no money", so I really have no legal rights here...presumably the next step is to insist that I pay the electric bill for this side of the compound.

So someone wants to play games.

But what bothers me is that the smaller white watch dogs are locked in there all night, no food no water...which means no protection for Joy or the granddaughter in the second floor apartment or the office... (Me, I have three dogs: Two of lolo's dogs and George the killer Labrador, all sleeping in the bedroom for protection. No, I don't have my Glock anymore).

Well, the good news is that I still don't think that "thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain" hasn't been broken, but the other nine, well, fuhgeddaboudit.

This post is just an update to Chona and family members who read the blog....The few non family members who read this blog can ignore this post.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Reading list: E.T. and Baptism

Right now (on Scribd) I am listening to the book Would You baptize an extraterrestrial..

So far it's great: and as a Catholic one is happy that scientists can explain the faith vs science kerfuffle is mainly a straw man argument used to manipulate the public.
One of the authors gives a talk here.

Stories below the fold

Stocks are tanking....there goes my retirement income.

Ah, but what is the story about South Korea and the Philippines being a bright spot now that China is tanking?

Don't ask me. I'm a doctor, not a banker.

so is the Philippines cracking down on corruption, the problem that discourages investment? Well, the old leftie bishop Cruz notes that the priorities are gay marriage, divorce and abortion. But this is merely kissing the tush of the Obama administration, not a grass roots issue, since 70 percent of the public oppose it despite propaganda here similar to that we saw in the US.

So is the move against the InC church partly to silence it's politically active voice against immorality?

As for corruption: Things are the same as usual: Three reporters killed last week, for pointing fingers at whose fingers are in the till.


Grace says stop picking on the dentist who killed a lion. No, she doesn't have any "official" status, but like Hillary, she might succeed her husband.

Most of the outrage is astroturfed by animal rights types, of course, and they are pressuring the gov't to arrest all involved.

Zim is in big trouble again with China tanking, but now there is a rumor that a rich Nigerian will invest money there. They have trouble attracting foreign investment because they changed the law so that only locals could own factories/mines etc. The idea was to keep the money inside the country instead of exporting the wealth, but the result was, of course, discouraging people from investing because, hey why invest when you can't make a profit?

Here in the Philippines, a law limiting business and land to citizens is gotten around by businessmen marrying a local girl and putting the investment in her name.

Since China has a shortage of marriageable women, maybe they should encourage their businessmen etc. to stay and marry. Lots of Educated Zimbabwe ladies are available.

Maybe someone should tell Grace.


what does Confucius have in common with Orwell?

Emphasizing the importance of correct language. Belmont club explains.

The ancient Chinese sage put great store on the use of the right name. Called theRectification of Names, his doctrine asserted that “social disorder can stem from the failure to call things by their proper names, and his solution to this was the rectification of names.” Names, said Confucius, had to convey the truth.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. … Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.

The pope will visit the US, and Mom Jones is excited that it might mean Catholics will learn about his ecotheology and obey him and support President Obama's push to destroy the US economy.

from Pathos

As he showed on his July trip to Bolivia in a speech to members of popular movements, he also knows how to bypass the politicians and speak directly to the people, tapping into their desire for change. “He comes as a pope with a vocation to renew politics, leading change from below,” says Ivereigh.

Change from "below"? Bullcrappie.

The powers that be will spin this to try to bully people from above.

If the Pope really wants to talk to the "marginalized", maybe he should start with the middle class, who follow the rules and work hard and try to keep their families intact despite a hostile culture.

If he does try to push this crap, what really might happen will be similar to what happened in South America when the theologians pushed liberation theology or it's pale imitation of socialism in the name of Jesus: A rush of believing Catholics to join their local Pius X church, or if that is not available, the local Assemblies of God, where one can go to church to worship and to learn about the deity instead of being told that recycling and no air-conditioning is the way to go to heaven.