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Friday, February 5, 2016

Hey! Who broke the Internet?


The internet was down solid around six this morning. It's working now, mostly, but I just got this cute little error when I tried to access a site. Never heard of CloudFlare before, but evidently it's a real thing. Wikipedia even has a page about it.

The Internet Really is a Series of Tubes

When Movies Fly: How Your Modern Internet Experience is Made Possible by Airplanes

(Image of data center via Google)
“Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.” – Andrew Tanenbaum, Computer Networks
The version of that quote that I remember involves a 747 full of Compact Discs, but the idea is same. In any case Detroit Steve sent me a good story about how that data being transported on the internet actually gets around.

Most Important Political Development of the Week

Ohio governor John Kasich pledges to reunite Pink Floyd
The Republican presidential hopeful is making a reunion between Roger Waters and David Gilmour one of his priorities
 John Kasich with musician Rod Webber: ‘I promise you Pink Floyd if I’m made president.’ Photograph: John Minchillo/AP
Wednesday 3 February 2016 05.33 EST
Ohio governor John Kasich has pledged to reunite Pink Floyd if he’s ever made president. Forget climate change, inequality and Islamic State: the Republican presidential hopeful is making a reunion between Roger Waters and David Gilmour one of his priorities. In an interview with CNN, he set out his case.
“Roger Waters is a remarkable artist,” he said. “I saw The Wall in Pittsburgh; it was absolutely incredible. And if I’m president, I am going to once and for all try to reunite Pink Floyd to come together and play a couple of songs.”
As with anything in politics, it won’t be easy: last year, Gilmour declared that the band had run its course, saying: “I’m done with it.”
Gilmour, who recently released his latest solo album Rattle That Lock, also said that he was “pretty certain” that the band’s 15th album, 2014’s The Endless River, would be their last. Pink Floyd haven’t performed together since appearing at Live 8 in 2005. - the guardian
On account of I think American National Politics is a waste of time for everyone involved. Big money runs the world. Changing the President isn't going to change that one whit.

Via Detroit Steve, who asked: Where are the Democrats on this issue? I think he has identified a key question for the 2016 Presidential Election.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fat Man Waddling

Me outside Reb's Cafe in Benson, Arizona, last fall.
I finally realized I am fat. For a long time I 'knew' I was fat. Every year the numbers on the scale creep up: 200, 205, 220, 250, 265, but I never really considered myself fat. I'd look in the mirror and I'd think that I've gained a little weight, or maybe I'm getting a little chunky, but me, fat? No way.
    That all changed when I went to see my brother in Arizona last fall. Not quite sure what caused my outlook to change. I supposed watching my brother struggle with his hip joint might have had something to do with it, but there was no inciteful moment, it's just when I got back I realized what those numbers on the scale meant. They meant I was fat.
    I have lost of few pounds since then but it's going to be a year at least before I have anything to celebrate. I have lost a few pounds several times before, but I always climbed back on the chow wagon after a few weeks.
    Part of the problem is that I enjoy eating. It's a visceral experience, kind of like sex, or drinking, or having fun. Just the taste and texture of a spoonful of chocolate ice cream is enough to send me into rapture, and the first thing I want after one spoonful is another, at least until I get a belly full.
    Restricting my food intake is key. Exercise helps keep me healthy, but I'm not going to exercise all this fat away, I get tired too quickly. And it doesn't take much in the way of food to replace the calories consumed.
    I started keeping a detailed food journal when I got back from Arizona. I was eating 2,700 calories a day. After about a month of that I was able to cut down to 2,000 calories a day. I think I did it by I eliminating snacks. And I wasn't adding up my calories every day, I would wait until Sunday and then add up the entire week.
    To start with I was eating 19,000 calories a week and I was able to cut down to 14,000. You can see from these numbers that 10 calories here or there doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Even if it's 10 calories 10 times a day, 7 days a week, it only amounts to 700 calories. 100 calories 3 times a day comes to 2100 calories a week, which might be enough to make a difference on someone who is half my size, it's not going to make much difference to me. I needed to cut 250 calories 3 times a day. Somehow I did it. We shall see if I can maintain.

Previous posts on the subject.

Free Shipping

ValoreBooks Free Shipping Banner Ad
AbeBooks canceled my order, no surprise there. It's kind of curious that they are claiming the book I ordered is unavailable, but they do not mention my refusing to pay the extra, after-the-fact shipping charges.

So I look around for Introduction to Solid State Physics and I find a copy on ValoreBooks for $18, which is almost as good as Abe, and a small fraction of what everyone else wants. How can they be so much cheaper? Perhaps because they are ordering their books from Abe by the container load. A notice on their web page might be a clue:
ALTERNATE EDITION: International Edition. Paperback. Brand New. Different ISBN number and Cover Page but contents similer to US edition. No CD/Access code with this. Legal to use despite any disclaimer on cover as per US courts. 
Shipping is $4, which is reasonable. That's the standard rate for Amazon for 3rd party book sellers. Actually it's unbelievably cheap. If I had to ship a book I'd want $50 for my trouble. I'd have to root around for packaging and tape, labels and stamps, wrap it and weigh it and cart it off to the post office of UPS. $50 would barely cover my time, trouble and expense. There wouldn't even be enough left to buy me a coffee.

Anyhoo, I get to the checkout page and they make me this offer which has oh-so-many benefits, it sounds like a vacation package on a cruise trip, or a Ronco TV ad ("but wait, there's more!). No explanation of how it works, but I suspect it's all email, all the time. Yes, no, I don't think I want any. I'll pay the $4.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Girls with Guns

Steampunk Doll by Lorenzo Sprelonga
I kind of wonder what kind of blunderbuss needs a scope. Obviously some kind of advanced technology that I have not been informed of.

Portland International Film Festival


39th Portland International Film Festival Trailer

39th Portland International Film Festival
97 movies over 17 days. We'll probably see a couple. Somebody let BettyLou in to see press screenings:
We saw two films I might recommend.  The first is Eye in the Sky which is a disturbing but important film about the use of drones in warfare.  Of course it is not as precise and simple as the media would have us believe.  This afternoon we saw Road to La Paz.  It was an enjoyable film.  I heard lots of "I loved that" in the restroom after the screening.  I can't say that I loved it because parts of it seemed superficial and glib but I understand why folks liked it.  It would be a fine choice if you don't want to feel uncomfortable. It's Argentine.  Philip and I don't mind and sometimes prefer being uncomfortable after a film (see Eye in the Sky if you think that describes you). We both thought that Court and April and the Extraordinary World were a bit tedious.  April... has some amazing animation ideas but the story drags a bit.