Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Study: American public doesn't trust scientists

H. L. Mencken was wrong:
The review, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that while Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted. This may be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm.

In particular, Americans seem wary of researchers seeking grant funding and do not trust scientists pushing persuasive agendas. Instead, the public leans toward impartiality.
Gosh, I keep seeing these things that reinforce my faith in the basic wisdom of the American People.  But what do the researchers say is the solution?
"Scientists have earned the respect of Americans but not necessarily their trust," said lead author Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and professor of public affairs. "But this gap can be filled by showing concern for humanity and the environment. Rather than persuading, scientists may better serve citizens by discussing, teaching and sharing information to convey trustworthy intentions."
So a Psychologist and Public Affairs Professor says that the way to address mistrust caused by the perception of agenda-driven science and featherbedding is by pushing an environmentalist agenda and slick talking.  Riiiight.  Good idea.

Maybe the public's concern about the monomaniacal thirst for grant funding is right, and warps how science is done?  From an old post of mine, Make Big Money doing climate research from home:
Well, I don't know about the "work from home" part, and whether you need to stuff envelopes, but the money's sweet: $79B since 1989, just from the US Fed.Gov. Add in the fellow traveler Euro.Govs and you've maybe doubled that.

Note that's "B" as in "Billion". Skim a lot off the top for Department of Energy and other bureaucrats, and there's plenty of cold hard cash, as long as you toe the line
Or perhaps it's an awareness that scientists are not playing straight with the public?



This is Dr. Richard Muller, head of the Berkeley Earth Sciences department.  He explains precisely how the lead authors of the IPCC reports fiddled their data, and remarks that not only would this never be allowed to be published in any journal he would be willing to be published in but how he won't read their papers anymore (because he thinks they are untrustworthy).

Hey, don't be a Science Denier, Dr. Muller!  A little more focus on the environment and some better warm fuzzy PR spin will totes make this all better!

This was published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, for crying out loud - that tells you just how deep the rot runs.  And just remember, people like Professor Fiske think they're smarter than you and me.  Nicer, too.  Professor Fiske, in future I'd like a higher caliber drivel from you, if you would be so kind.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 30: My Dogs are killing me


Nice collar!

The Silver Comet Trail used to be a rail line that went from Atlanta to Alabama.  As with much of life, it passed its usefulness and ended up abandoned.  But it was redone as a biking trail, and is now an outdoors destination for the ATL.  Like Wolfgang and a dashing (if unconventionally dressed) companion.

I'm keen to see how much we all raised - so far it looks like it's a little off from last year's total.  That would be a shame.  All month Jay, and Kelly, and all the Teams have put their dignity aside for a good cause.  I've found that it's been a wonderful experience, better than I had imagined.

And no, it's not because suburban hausfraus in the Publix parking lot tell me that they think it's hot.  Well, a little, but that's not the point.

This is the point:
This disease is cruel in what it does to the body; any military organization that did even a fraction of this to a prisoner would be guilty of war crimes.

Anger is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, deserving an entire ring of Hell in The Inferno.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned ...
The cancer took Dad, and I'm still a little p***ed about that.  The fact that so many of you have donated means more than I can say.  For those who haven't, there's still another day left - it would be great to beat last year's total.  Remember, if you donate $24 via Team Borepatch, you'll get an autographed copy of my sister-from-another-mother Brigid's amazing Book Of Barkley

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix

Via #2 Son comes this plausibly appropriate-for-the-Zombie-Apocalypse music.  It seems it's what the young folk are listening to.



I'd sure like someone to do a song with these lyrics:
LORD, make me fast and accurate.
Let my aim be true and my hand faster
than those who would seek to destroy me.
Grant me victory over my foes
and those that wish harm to me and mine.
Let not my last thought be “ If only I had my gun ”.

And LORD if today is truly the day that You call me home,
let me die in a pile of empty brass,
Surrounded by the lifeless bodies of my enemies
and with blood and skin on the barrel of my empty pistol
where I beat the last one to death.

Amen

Heaven's favorite

Heaven gives its favourites early death. 
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's  Pilgrimage
Father's Day 2011 was memorable for me: it was the first that I was away from the kids, off in that cold apartment in Austin; and it was the time that Sabra and Pistolero shared their family with me.  That day was a great comfort, passing it with their entirely charming children.

Sadly, those children are now missing their newest sister.  Heaven had other plans:
Psalm-Angel Guadalupe was born Wednesday evening, September 24, 2014, at 6:10 pm. She lived about an hour and a half before she went home to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She got to spend time with Mama and me, as well as her sisters and brother. She knew nothing but love her whole life.
I'm afraid that I do not have words to express my sorrow for tiny Guadalupe or her family.  May flights of Angels sing her to her rest.  If you have a little left over at the end of the month, please consider donating to help defray the costs from their ordeal.
Media vita in morte sumus.
In the midst of life we are in death.
- The Book of Common Prayer

How to roll chaps

This is cool.



This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by get out and ride more, damnitall.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 29: Almost gone


This has been quite a month, with the teams raising over $10,000.  Jay has opened up a comfortable lead, but I'm glad to have done my bit.  I keep thinking that Dad would have laughed his butt off if he could have seen me, but I also think that he would have smiled about it.  Thank you, everyone who donated via Team Borepatch for that particular thought - I means a lot to me.

But the month isn't over, and while collectively we've broken the $10,000 mark, that's just a number.  If you haven't donated yet, there's still time.  Remember, if you donate $50 via Team Borepatch, you'll get an autographed copy of Brigid's amazing Book Of Barkley.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Johann Mattheson - Sonata No.2 in G major

Image via Das Wik
You don't often run across a composer who can fairly be described as "badass".  Johann Mattheson puts the lie to the claim that classical music is for pantywaists.

Mattheson was friends with Georg Frederic Handel - both were born around the same time in Hamburg and grew up in the same musical community.  They had an argument during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704, an argument that soon escalated to swordplay.  Mattheson very nearly killed Handel, who was only saved because a button on the great composer's coat deflected Mattheson's thrust.

The two quickly got over their mutual murderous rage and spent the rest of their lives as fast friends.  Pretty badass, all in all.

Mattheson  went on to be not only a composer, but a diplomat, traveling all over Europe.



A final footnote of badassery is that the complete list of Mattheson's compositions all went missing after World War II.  They were discovered in Armenia in 1998 and returned to Hamburg.  All in all, a wide ranging character, that Herr Mattheson.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 27: Almost out of gas


We're down to the wire, and Blogfather JayG is starting to beat me like a rented mule.  Many thanks to everyone who's donated, and to everyone who has been considering, please help put us collectively over $10,000.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And remember the bonus: the all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of Brigid's amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Abbey Normal

At my annual physical, my PSA was elevated. The doc wanted to redo the test: no biggie, things are sometimes goofy with False Positives.

It was elevated the second time, too, so they sent me to a specialist for a specific test. The office called yesterday.

The Doctor would like you to come in to discuss the results. They were abnormal. How does next Tuesday work?

Well there's some good news. Especially the "We can't see you on Monday so come Tuesday" bit. Not in four weeks, but four days.

I'm getting behind in the kilt pictures. Sorry. I'm a bit distracted.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 26, 2014

Actually, that's exactly how it works


I wonder how you would tap into this

Underground beer pipes:
The Belgian city of Bruges has approved plans to build a pipeline which will funnel beer underneath its famous cobbled streets.

Locals and politicians were fed up with huge lorries clattering through the cobbled streets and tiny canal paths of the picturesque city and decided to connect the De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling factory 3.2km (two miles) away.

It is estimated that some 500 trucks currently motor through Bruges each year on their way to the brewery, which is a famous tourist attraction.

Now they will be kept out of the city limits, as the pipe pumps 1,500 gallons of beer per hour. Construction is set to begin next year.
What's the over/under on how long it takes before they find clandestine taps have been attached along the way?

OK, this sucked me in

I'm not one to spend much time with reality TV, but this sucked me in bit by bit.  Maybe it's because it isn't quite reality TV, and it's all about motorbikes.



If you haven't seen this, it's on Netflix.  And it's impossible to understand Hitler's motorcycle without watching it ...



But seriously, it's sucked me in enough that it's been cutting into my blogging.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Red River Blues and Crow Jane


Batten down the hatches. Again.




5 months after the worst security bug in history comes what may be the worst security bug in history.  I can't blame people at Microsoft if they smirk about this, because Windows is not vulnerable but Unix/Linux/MacOS is.  And the bug turns out to be over 20 years old.

Sigh.

A quick note: if you are running Ubuntu (or other flavors of Debian Linux) you are not vulnerable.  Also, this is a server-side attack, and so it won't directly impact most of you.  However, Linux is embedded in a lot of devices, like your home router.  These are maybe vulnerable.  Stay tuned.

That said, this is about as bad as it gets for web servers:




Those of you who work in IT, life is fixin' to get interesting ...

9 good ideas about home alarm systems

Good advice.

Cool old car

Seen three years ago at the Owl's Head, Maine car show.  Didn't get the make/model, blast it all.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 24: tricky to change a flat tire


I'm referring, of course, to the 1948 TASCO with it's odd wheel pods.  It looks like it was inspired by fixed gear 1930s aircraft landing carriages.  The whole car seemed to be inspired by air frames.



TASCO sands for The American Sports Car Company, and this concept car was the first to have a T-top roof.  The inventor (Gordon Buehrig) sued GM when they infringed on his patent with the 1968 'Vette.

We're coming down to the wire, and JayG in particular has harnessed the power of his fully operational Battle Star blog to pull neck and neck with Team Borepatch. But the point is not the competition, the point is the end goal - all the teams are pushing towards breaking $10,000 in this month's fund raiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

A Programmer gets a PhD

Then he finds that he can't get a job:
I recently completed my PhD in computer science and hit the job market. I did not think I would have difficulty finding a job esp. with a PhD in computer science but I have had no luck so far in the four months I have been looking.
Education is sold as a benefit by people who work in education.  The benefit from people buying more education, so this really isn't a surprise.  But just like with a car dealer, expecting them not to try to upsell you to a more expensive model is like expecting a compass to point someplace other than north.

But the marginal return on a dollar of education is not linear.  Our hero in this story is finding out that the marginal return on his PhD investment is negative.

Now where have we heard that before?

Shanah Tovah

To my Jewish readers, may you have a sweet new year!

Via The Wik

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy birthday, Nintendo Koppai

Founded on this day in 1889 to market a hand painted playing card set. 

Image via Wik-san
It's been a long, long way from there.


Advice from a cop on restoring the public's trust of the police

Lose the military gear.  Wear cameras.  End the War on Drugs.  Word.

Hat tip to Isegoria.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quote of the Day - Dumb ex-jock edition

Chris Lynch brings the hammer down on the NFL TV coverage:
... one of the side benefits of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson allegations is I haven't watched a single minute of any NFL pre-game shows. I need sportcasters and ex-jocks discussing societal issues in my life just as much as I need Hollywood movie stars telling me how I should think politically. I haven't watched any of the shows and I haven't missed them.
Amen.  I have enough sanctimonious jackasses in my life.  Got all I can use, actually.  Happy not to have any more.

Happy Hobbit Day!

September 22 is Hobbit Day:
Hobbit Day is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's popular set of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In the books both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning.)
So go have a pint and smoke some pipe weed ...

One of my favorite films

They were showing this at Japan Fest, along with Anime.  It reminded me just how much I like the movie.



The creativity in this is simply off the chart.  If you have kids between the ages of 7 and 13 or so, this is a great family film to watch with them.  It's perhaps a bit scary for younger kids.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 22: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

I think that the artists who animated the file had actual models to use for inspiration for the wonderful cars in the flick.  Like the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt:

Everything was almost cartoon rounded.


It reminded me of this:


We're two thirds of the way through the fundraiser. Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 21: Heros

The 442nd Infantry Regiment is known as the most decorated unit in World War II, with 8 Presidential Unit Citations and 21 of its members awarded the Medal of Honor.  Amazingly, it was formed from Japanese-American volunteers who went off to fight while their families were interned in concentration camps by FDR.

At Japan Fest, there was a gentleman keeping that amazing story alive.


Those men were badass.  One of the Medals of Honor went to a Hawaiian boy named Daniel Inouye who lost an arm in the action which would win him that decoration.  We should remember these men and their story from a time that was very different than today.

The Kilted To Kick Cancer fundraiser is entering its final leg.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And if we reach $2500 for Team Borepatch, you can watch a video of me riding the motorcycle in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Kodo - "O-Daiko" classical music from Japan

They had drummers at the Japan Fest yesterday.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 20: Domo Arigato, Mr. Kiltobato

Today was Japan Fest with #2 Son.  In addition to cool things Japanese, that meant it was picture time!


I expect I was the only guy there in a kilt, and so attracted quite a lot of attention.  Antonio thought it was badass, but he was dressed up, too.


And I loved this lady of a Certain Age, rocking Sailor Moon.


I'm saving the best for tomorrow, though.  In the meantime, a musical interlude. 
I have a secret
I've been hiding
under my kilt ...



We're two thirds of the way through the fundraiser. Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Vannevar Bush

We went to the beach for a couple of days and stopped in a big junk shop. Along one wall in an alcove there were hundreds of books.Most of them were clearly from one person's private library. College yearbooks, cookbooks, fiction, and non-fiction all mixed in together.

I could see the arc of a life and was pondering what happens to our treasures after we are gone. I found a name in some of the books, looked at them as a senior in college in the last yearbook, considered what books they collected, figured out that at some point they had joined the "Book-of-the-Month" club.

One of those books was written by Vannevar Bush. I'd never heard of him, but he was one of the most important scientists of the last century. The Wiki article on him is extensive. Here's the opening:
Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, whose most important contribution was as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project.
There's a lot more in the article. He invented and built an analog computer in 1927 to do differential equations. His team developed the proximity fuze for artillery shells. He was involved enough to have been there with Oppenheimer for the Trinity test. He was the head of the panel that reviewed the evidence and informed the President that the Russians had detonated a nuclear bomb.

He was also a writer. I bought one of his books in that junk shop for three dollars. That book and it's predictions will be the subject of my next post.

Japanese Bluegrass - We'll Meet Again Sweet Heart

Today is Japanfest, and #2 Son and I will make our annual pilgrimage to enjoy the Rising Sun ambiance.  In this spirit of internationalism, here's a (sadly unnamed) Japanese bluegrass band playing a great old classic.  The World is a small place.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Want


Pretty sure this picture was taken in the Sea of Cortez.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 19: A guy in a kilt walks into a bar ...

The guy in the kilt expects the regulars to take a bit of the Mickey out of him.  But this is the best bar in the world, with Fred (the best barman in the world).


Mac McGee's on Canton St. in downtown Roswell, GA.  It's worth the trip.  Tell Fred that the goofy guy in the kilt sent you.  He'll probably tell stories on me.  Tip appropriately.

I've been repeatedly impressed at how positive the responses are to the kilt, especially once people hear about the cause.

Because it's not a good cause, it's a great cause.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

But at the end of the day it's generous people cutting you slack - and even donating! - for wearing what's most unusual attire.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The worst kind of terrorism


Let's be careful out there.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 18: Kilted Motor Madness and a challenge to you!


Things are getting jiggy in Roswell, GA.  Yes, I rode the bike wearing the kilt.  Yes, it was (ahem) exciting.  The things we do for fund raising.

And so to the challenge.  There are 12 days left in the Kilted To Kick Cancer fund raiser.  Ambulance Driver said that as of a couple days ago Team Borepatch had raised over $1200 (the thanks go to those of you who have donated).  He also said that he'd like to see the (then) total of $5600 get doubled.  I agree.

And so my challenge to you, Dear Reader: if Team Borepatch breaks $2500 by September 30 then I will post video of me riding in a kilt.  There, I said it.  You might not want to watch (what has been seen cannot be unseen), but I will put my dignity on the line for the Cause.

Because it's not a good cause, it's a great cause.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Let's blow this away, everyone.  The Internet expects all readers to do their duty.


The most important thing you will see today

Old NFO has it.  Damn, that's amazing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Heh

Top shelf snark:
Saying he’s fed up with cleaning toilets for a living, local janitor Sean Ritchie announced Wednesday that he’s putting down his mop for good to join the Navy.
At least he'll have regular work hours.

Has anyone heard any news about Goober?

His heart surgery was two days ago.  If anyone has any news please ping me.

Crash likes my luggage rack

The luggage rack for the motorcycle showed up yesterday, and Crash the Wundercat couldn't be more thrilled.  He actually doesn't care about the rack, but the box it came in is his new most favoritist place every.


Ohai!

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 17: Going to the dogs

Well, to the dog park.  Wolfgang is rocking the kilt.


I'm a regular, and so people were happy to take my picture.  We had good conversations on the fundraiser which (hint, hint) is still going on.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So what has Obamacare done for employment?

350,000 jobs lost:
Businesses are cutting jobs due to ObamaCare, according to surveys by several regional Federal Reserve Banks.

Health economist John Goodman noted that "three Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have surveyed the folks in their area and roughly one fifth of the employers are saying they cut back on employment.

“Roughly one fifth are saying they're moving from full time to part time,” Goodman added. “More than one in ten are saying they're doing more outsourcing - all this because of the new health care reform."

Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, said “for the smaller employers -- those that have between 20 and 49 employees -- you get a negative impact on jobs, you get a negative impact on wages in those jobs. What this means for small business as a whole is over $22 billion of earnings gone for their workers and 350,000 jobs."
Man, nobody could have seen that coming.  All the proof that you need that the GOP is the Stupid Party is that you don't have campaign ads 24/7 on this, featuring people who have been put out of work.  #GOPTooStupid2Live.

Outstanding overview of Global Warming for the layman

If you want to get a second opinion, then this is a very good starting point that will make you more knowledgeable than 95% of the people you will run across.  My opinion is that this is the most important thing you will see there:

The yellow band is the model predictions relied upon by the IPCC.  The black line is the observed temperatures as recorded by the RSS Satellite system.  Note that the observed temperatures have been outside the 5% - 95% confidence interval since the early 2000s.  At the same time, we see this:

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising monatomically each year.  These two are what you whip out when some idiot sneers at you that everyone knows the Greenhouse Effect is settled science.  Personally, I find that sort of arrogance to be more than a little annoying.  A sweet reply of "Well then why do the satellite sensors report there's not been any warming for almost 20 years?  After all, the Greenhouse Effect is settled science."  The results of that are usually pretty gratifying, but then I'm a horrible denier-type person.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 16: Cyclone

More specifically, the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone.



Yup - Harley Earl was here.  390 cubic inches of big block goodness and a bubble top.  It had an anti-crash radar system (really!) hidden in these cones.


From back when Detroit dreamed outsized dreams.  This month we're dreaming outsized dreams about beating prostate cancer.  There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So where's the pot of gold?


I was told that there was would be a pot of gold.


I believe that I shall send a strongly worded letter to the appropriate authorities.

Comcast says that if you use anonymity services that you're a criminal

Well OK, then:
Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an “illegal service.” The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.

The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.

The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:
Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal.
Are there any ISPs that aren't miserable Quisling bastards?

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 15: Nice shape!

This is so sweet I could feel myself getting a cavity just looking at it.


That's a 1935 Bugatti Type 575 Competition, designed by Jean Bugatti (son of founder Ettore.  One of these was recently discovered and sold at auction for 3.4 Million euros.  I guess collecting these is like collecting Picassos or Rembrants.


There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is what winning looks like


#1 Son and I shared some Newcastle Brown Ale.  The bottle cap made me laugh.

Ouch

So I've been off the grid, and my posting shows it.  I've been in training for a trip to Panama City Beach at the end of the month for the motorcycle rally.  I've done nearly 300 miles this weekend, which is good practice for the 350 or so miles to PCB.

Ouch.  I'm looking at an Ibuprofin cocktail ...

So heads up - anyone want to meet up in PCB at the rally?  It's between October 1 and 5.  Leave a comment if you think it could be a good time.  And how cool would this be, painted on the bike or a helmet (or a patch for a jacket)?


After a little self-pitying moaning, I'll get back to the regular blogging schedule.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life, Death, and Barkley

I finished reading The Book of Barkley last night. It begins with a puppy. and it ends, as it must, with loss.  It is shot through with fine writing, wisdom, and love.

You can get a autographed copy by being one of the first 20 people to donate $50.00 to Kilted to Show My Bird Legs Kick Cancer. Be sure to select Team Borepatch.

Or just buy a copy.

The author is one of the best writers blogging today and if you are not taking the time to read her on-line efforts, you're missing something valuable. Her nom de plume is Brigid and she posts at Home on the Range. You should go now. She has cookies.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 12: Back To The Future!

I missed yesterday's kilt picture with all the family drama.  But those of you who know me know that I'm nothing if not obstinate, and so it's back to the future!


That's a 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the only one of the cars that I'm been posting where I actually have a price tag.  This one was purchased in 2011 by the Petersen Automotive Museum for a cool €761.600 (around $850,000).  Yowzer.  The keen eyed among you will remember this car from Michael Jackson's 1988 film, Moonwalker.

But the car pr0n (and the kilt, err, pix) are just the surface trappings.  The fundraiser is the thing, and Justin at Kilted To Kick Cancer says that all y'all have donated over $3,500 so far (across all the teams)!  And there are still two and a half weeks to go.  It would be great if this year blew previous years away.

Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.


What does winning mean?

Great comments yesterday on my post, and on ASM826's post about conflict in the Middle East.  It's made me think long and hard on what it takes to actually win a conflict.

We did it in World War II, where we demolished the mythos of the Übermensch and the similar mythos of the Samurai.  We did this by destroying their will to fight, to support the fight, and to want to do it again.

The questions for the Middle East are:
  1. Who fights?
  2. Who supports these people?
  3. Who wants to keep doing it?
If we look at it this way, things get more complicated, and simpler.  The answers are:
  1. Lots and lots of people.  ISIS is only the latest of a long like of jihadis.  We can treat them as the Übermenschen or followers of Bushido.  In the short term, all we can do is kill them in bushel loads.
  2. Lots and lots of people, most importantly the royal houses of the Gulf States.  Not only do the royals not like us, but they have been keen to play the game of shipping their malcontent jihadis off to die fighting us, not at home.  It's no accident that 18 of the 20 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.  We will need to cause these people massive pain to get them to stop supporting the jihadis.
  3. Lots of people.  Large overlap with #2, but also includes Iran, most of Europe's Intelligentsia, Russia, China, and most of the geopolitical stage.  We will need to carefully analyze which of these we can peel off, and how to twist the arms of the others.
I posit that #1 is immediate and tactical, and actually air strikes may not be a bad approach - although we will need serious air power, not the pin pricks likely from the current Administration.

#2 is the most urgent strategic goal.  The approach we should take here is a list of demands for the Royal Houses - round up and kill these jihadis, throttle back on Wahabi exports, dry up the flow of money.  The "Or Else" is that we will (a) open public lands for oil fracking, aiming to drive the price of oil down to $70/bbl (lower than that it's not economic to extract the oil) and (b) withdraw entirely from the region.  No more protection from the US Military for the Royal Houses.

Whether this will work or not, there will be a lot of late night discussions in Riyadh and Qatar.  And in Moscow and elsewhere.

Europe likes to natter on about how we exercise "hard power" while they exercise "soft power".  Well OK, then.  Check out this soft power, biatches.

This game is about changing how people think, just like 1944-45 was about changing how people think.  We will never change that without changing how we think.  Whether the US Government is up to the task is a question for another day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Public Service Announcement

Any other family members who think I'm an a$$hole, please take a number.  The line forms outside.  You can take the door in the back.

Don't let it hit you in the butt on your way out.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the Ad Council in association with Foxtrot Oscar, Ltd.  We now return you to your regular scheduling.

If you used a debit card at Home Depot, change your PIN

Banks see spike in ATM Fraud after Home Depot compromise:
Nearly a week after this blog first reported signs that Home Depot was battling a major security incident, the company has acknowledged that it suffered a credit and debit card breach involving its U.S. and Canadian stores dating back to April 2014. Home Depot was quick to assure customers and banks that no debit card PIN data was compromised in the break-in. Nevertheless, multiple financial institutions contacted by this publication are reporting a steep increase over the past few days in fraudulent ATM withdrawals on customer accounts.

The card data for sale in the underground that was stolen from Home Depot shoppers allows thieves to create counterfeit copies of debit and credit cards that can be used to purchase merchandise in big box stores. But if the crooks who buy stolen debit cards also are able to change the PIN on those accounts, the fabricated debit cards can then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.
If you've used your debit card at a Home Depot in the last few months, change your PIN.  Better safe than sorry.

Does Politics stop at the water's edge?

Congress is making huffing and puffing noises about military action against ISIS:

The president who ran to end the Iraq war announced a broad, aggressive military campaign in the region to stop a new terrorist threat on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a primetime address to the nation Wednesday night, President Obama forcefully laid out plans to dramatically expand U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq well beyond their original missions and to extend the aggressive military action into Syria — all in a “relentless” effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, [the Islamic State] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” he said in an address from the White House's State Room.
When Democrats say this, they mean airstrikes and only airstrikes.  These are photogenic, providing great pictures for the nightly news, but won't be effective.  They never are, without boots on the ground.  And here's the dilemma: since the Democrats haven't supported boots on the ground since LBJ, we can expect a lot of explosive futility from this.

Politics stops at the water's edge hasn't been true for nearly half a century:


The Democratic Party's base is strongly anti-war, having shed pretty much all the Scoop Jackson Democrats and anyone who isn't ideologically pure.  It hasn't been an America focused big tent since, well, since Jimmy Carter drove the party into a ditch.  It's nothing but coercive identity politics now.

And so pardon me if I hesitate in supporting sending our Guys into harm's way under these circumstances.  If I thought that the Administration had a plan other than a flashy media campaign to get this out of the polls, I'd feel different, perhaps.

But I don't trust President Obama on this.  He didn't show any of the "care" he talked about here.  He didn't do any of it.



I don't trust Secretary of State Kerry, who has always been clear what he thinks about the military (and no, this isn't the I voted for it before I voted against it quote).



I don't trust former Secretary of State Clinton, who doesn't support the military any more than Kerry does.



This isn't the rank and file, this is the top leadership.  None of them are interested in doing what it would take.  All of them have been happy to not let politics end at the water's edge.

And so I find that on the anniversary of 9/11, no - I don't support more military action over there.  I don't see how we can ask some kid to be the last guy to die to Barack Obama's poll numbers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vera Lynn - White Cliffs of Dover

Accompanied by some Rolls Royce Merlin engines.



Yes, I'm a sentimental old fool.

Damn

The doctor called, and my PSA is (still) elevated.  Getting referred to a specialist.  Gentlemen, this is why you get screened.


Or get kilted to kick cancer.  Or donate.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Things are loud

Family stuff is speaking in its Outdoors Voice.  May be a while.  I'll be back presently, but have things to do that need doing.

Bonfire Heart

Because this song seems filled with joy and I want to remember good things the next couple of days.

So, how was your day?

Ohai!


I've seen there here at Camp Borepatch.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 9: What happens when you get kilted?


It's been a new experience for me getting out in a kilt, and it's been surprising that the reaction has been 100% positive.  I'm not used to groups of women coming up to me on the street and striking up conversations, but this has happened several times.  My guess is that they figure that any dude walking around in a kilt has some confidence, which they find attractive.  The conversation about the KtKC fundraiser is always good - the nurses at the doctor's office loved this.

A word to the wise, though - it's not just the ladies who like this.  A guy at the art gallery asked me if I was going regimental.  Given that it was Mid-town Atlanta, there's a decent chance he was at least a switch hitter.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And out for a walk with Wolfgang, there was a mom and her kid on a bike.  The kid smiled ear to ear.  Also the big (I mean big) shaved head dude going into the liquor store while I sat outside the pizza joint.  He looked at me and I said, "Yeah, I know."  He cracked up.

In every case but the mom and kid it led to a conversation about KtKC.  Everyone thinks it's cool.  Not sure what I had expected, but it wasn't that.  Next year I think I'll get business cards printed up for this and hand them out.  After all, it's the fundraising that counts.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

And get kilted! Atlanta Kilts got me set up, and they can take care of you, too.  They have quite a good web site that tells you exactly how to get measured for a kilt that fits like a glove, regimental or not.  Don't ask, don't tell.


Grumble

Tired, didn't sleep well.  Stuff going on.  Blogging will be late.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jimmy Buffett - Island

I've been on a bit of a Jimmy Buffett kick lately for some reason.  This has a bittersweet flavor which isn't what most people expect from him.


Global Warming has been missing for 19 years

That's one righteous climate crisis right there:
The Great Pause has now persisted for 17 years 11 months. Indeed, to three decimal places on a per-decade basis, there has been no global warming for 18 full years. Professor Ross McKitrick, however, has upped the ante with a new statistical paper to say there has been no global warming for 19 years.

Whichever value one adopts, it is becoming harder and harder to maintain that we face a “climate crisis” caused by our past and present sins of emission.

Taking the least-squares linear-regression trend on Remote Sensing Systems’ satellite-based monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature dataset, there has been no global warming – none at all – for at least 215 months.

This is the longest continuous period without any warming in the global instrumental temperature record since the satellites first watched in 1979. It has endured for half the satellite temperature record. Yet the Great Pause coincides with a continuing, rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
I have great confidence in the satellite record because (a) it is truly global in scope, (b) it is entirely automated, (c) the sensors are well calibrated, and (d) it is not adjusted, gridded, and otherwise manipulated.  The data as recorded are the data that are reported.  All of this is in great contrast to the surface record.

So a full half of the historical record of the most reliable global temperature data set shows zero warming, despite enormous increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.  None of the climate models have predicted this, which is a layman's way of saying that the scientific predictions from the models has been falsified.


And falsification is at the core of the Scientific Method.  Bottom line: the models are busted.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 8: Spaceman Spiff's car

It's hard to hear things over the sound of this awesome ...


That's a 1953 General Motors Firebird I XP-21 gas turbine powered car.  A Harley Earl design, it sounded like a jet engine and the tail pipe would register 1000°.  Even in the days of cheap gas, it sucked fuel like, well, like a jet.

But you don't get much sweeter looking:


Just paint it red and crash it on an alien world, and you have the whole Spiff thing to a T.


But the KtKC thing is about raising money for Prostate Cancer research.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

The rock and the wave

... every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound like a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity.
- Frederick Breuchner, The Hungering Dark


The rock wears no masks.  It does not resist the wave because it thinks that it should be seen resisting the wave.  It does so because that is its true nature.  The storm howls and the wave crests, and the rock stands immovable.  Because that is what it does.
Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high, 
I fear not wave nor wind
Lord Byron, Adieu My Native Shore
The rock is no fool. We can learn a lot from the rock.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 7: Fabric covered cars

The first airplanes were built from fabric stretched across a light weight frame.  There were good reasons for this: the frame was easily constructed, and the final contraption was very light weight.  When you consider that some of the planes in service at the start of World War I only had 60 horsepower engines (!) then every ounce you saved was critical.

It's interesting to see what's old is potentially suddenly new again, with the fabric covered BMW GINA (Light Visionary Model) concept car:


What's interesting is that the two dynamics that drove early aircraft designers is what motivated the BMW team.  Styling changes will be much easier (read: faster and less expensive) because you're changing the frame that carries the fabric, and so retooling is simplified.  The fabric is much lighter than polymer (and much lighter than aluminum or, God forbit, steel) and so fuel efficiency and performance will be much higher.

The Safety Nazi in me says that this looks like a death trap, but no doubt the Lads in Munchen have an answer for this.  Time will tell.

Gustav Holst - Seven Scottish Airs

This month is Kilted To Kick Cancer.  Hmm ... kilts.  What sort of classical music would you get from that?  As it turns out, quite a lot.  This month will see Sunday Classical selections highlighting the rich Scottish classical music tradition.

First up, Gustav Holst, who we've seen here before.



I was a bit surprised at just how much classical music about Scotland there is, including from guys like Haydn and Beethoven.  Stay tuned this month.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jimmy Buffett - Anything Anytime Anywhere

Nice country cover of the great old Bruce Cockburn song.



Anything Anytime Anywhere (Songwriter: Bruce Cockburn)
Tomorrow may come, it usually does
Don't know what it will bring to the two of us
I just want you to know
What I'm ready to do

Anything, anytime, anywhere
For you

When I'm holding you tight, you give me the power
To burn like a torch in the darkest hour
Tell me what you need
I will surely come through

Anything, anytime, anywhere
For you

Passion runs deep, it's scary sometimes
When it's larger than life or your peace of mind
It's got me all the same
And I'm not sorry that's true

Anything, anytime, anywhere
For you

Kilted to Kick Cancer - Day 6: Get checked

I was at the doctor's office yesterday, by coincidence getting my PSA checked.  And so I wore the kilt.


On the scale, getting my awesome weighed.  Once I explained what it was all about, the nurses loved it.  Remember, get kilted.  If you can't, get checked.

Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Les Kilt Brothers - Bad Romance

Rockin' the kilt.  Literally.



French guys in kilts playing Lady Gaga.  This is sort of the definition of the musical melting pot.

KTKC fundraising update

Happy Medic has a post up on the KtKC blog about what's been raised so far.  A HUGE shout out to you here for your generous donations so far.  And even better, for the regular stream of donations:
Special congratulations to Team Borepatch for having a donation on each day so far!  In addition, Team Borepatch is credited with the first RECURRING monthly donation to KTKC from Dan H in Georgia.  We’ll try to figure out if his donations from Oct-Aug count for you next year.  So far the rules only allow for donations made in the Month.

Dan H, thank you.  And to the others who have donated, thank you.  You are Team Borepatch. 

And to everyone else, please consider giving what you can.  It's not the competition that matters (although that's fun) - it's the end goal that's the point.  Jennifer has a great post about this, and how it's personal with her, too.

To my Gentlemen Readers of a Certain Age, please go and get checked.  I did today, and will have a picture of the kilt in the doctor's office up tomorrow.

The seamy side of Internet Security

I've worked in this business for 30 years, but it's always been on the technical side.  That gets rather antiseptic, really nothing but ones and zeros, a place where the Bad Guys don't shoot back.  But a comment yesterday left by Lotta Joy led me back to her blog.

Guys like me like to thing that we're fighting the Good Fight, and in a sense that's true.  But boy, howdy - not like she's doing:
One night he watched me as I sat in the computer room in Indiana, wanting to be better informed regarding just what the hell I was doing wearing a full headset and my fingers flying across the keyboard of my desktop while making rapid notes in shorthand.

What was I doing?  Pretending to be 14 years old.

I would clock in and go to the internet site I was trolling that night; a chat-room full of young kids, some in their teens, some YOUNGER, chatting. 

The second I would arrive, my screen would be hit with splashes of colors.  Tan was usually a confirmed child under the age of 17.  These I would not answer. Yellow splashes identified those over 21 who were wanting to "chat" with LOTTA JOY.

Yes.  That's where my online name came from - my years of trolling for perverts who were trolling for me:  a young, innocent, 14 year old......or so they thought.

Red splashes signified men who were already being actively investigated.
This is a hard read, written by someone who can only be described as a heroine:
The particular night I'm talking about, I opened a conversation with the young girl, while ignoring the man.  I was aware she was stepping into dangerous territory and, as I had planned, the man "conditioning" her quickly turned his attention to ME.  She was now safe.

When he requested we go into a 'private chat' and Joe  started following the conversation, he ended up getting physically ill.  I couldn't blame him.  I always had the same reaction.

I wasn't too happy either, having the man I loved witness the things I had to pretend to be interested in, in order to lull the man into a sense of safety with a child.
Actually, the word "heroine" doesn't really do full justice to this.  And the feelings I had on reading this are best described as white hot rage.  I can't imagine JayG's response, thinking that these scum might be after BabyGirlG.  I expect that Jay would know precisely how to handle it, and I suspect that more than a couple of all y'all would drive up with me to help him.

Orwell said it well when he said that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.  Sometimes it's gentle women, doing a dirty but sadly necessary job.

If you only read one thing today, this should be the top of the list.