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Saturday, May 27, 2017

News Versus What's Important

Found this quote in a post on Bayou Renaissance Man this morning, and it inspired me to comment. Republishing it here.
"Look at the endless coverage of what Maddow said about what Hannity thought about O’Reilly’s harassment of soft-porn star Megyn  and how much she might make at CNN." - Fred Reed
That's why I don't watch TV News, or soap opera's for that matter.

I don't think you can blame the reporters for what gets published. They may have written something great or something worthless, but it's the people above them, the editors and publishers who decide what gets published. The publishers decide what kind of slant they want their publication to have, and the editors implement it.

The Publisher's agenda is overwhelmingly driven by newspaper sales, the prime directive at every successful newspaper. This is done by stirring up shit: sex, drugs, politics and dirty money. This covers most of what you see in newspaper.

But what's the point of being a media mogul if you can't bend the world to your will, at least just a little? So there might a thin string of stories getting published in a particular newspaper of a particular subject that I didn't cover in the previous paragraph.

We need a better national newspaper. USA Today, is okay I suppose, but I've never found much meat. Seems to be mostly fluff.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Venture Capital

View of downtown Miami from 8th floor of Grove Station Tower in Coconut Grove
My daughter is going to nursing school. She’s 26 and recently married. Since her prince charming is not independently wealthy, she has decided she needs a job that pays real money, and nursing looks like it fits the bill. She already has already put in her time to earn a degree, so she wants a course of study that will take the minimal amount of time. She shopped around and found two schools that offered a one year, accelerated course in nursing: UM (University of Miami) and OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University). She applied to both and was accepted at UM. OHSU put her on a wait list. It would have better if she had gotten into OHSU, being as it is within commuting distance from our house. We waited as long as possible, but we heard nothing from OHSU, so we reserved a couple of seats on a flight to Miami, packed our bags and flew down here a week or two ago.

We spent a couple of days scrambling looking for a place to live, a day shopping for furniture and household supplies (like laundry detergent. I was astounded at the amount of stuff she thought she needed, but I’m not going to quibble. It’s still the smallest expense of this campaign.), a day or two looking for a car and then a day putting together the furniture from IKEA.

It’s been a rough week, but we are almost completely squared away. And then she gets a phone call from OHSU. Explitive. Seems that she now has the opportunity to go to the school that she really wants to attend, Double explitive. So we set about looking at what it would take undo all of our hard work and return to Oregon.

We spent several days stewing on the matter, but yesterday evening I realized something. Miami was good enough when she applied, it was good enough when she was accepted, and it was good enough to pack our bags, fly down here and go through all these monkey motions to get her settled in her new digs. So phooey on OHSU, they had their chance and they blew it, so daring daughter is going to UM, I’m flying home, and we can forget about having to unwind all our hard work.

The apartment in Miami is a little expensive, but all told her living expenses for the year are a fraction of what the tuition is. Sometimes you just got to bite the bullet and see your endeavor through. My daughter hasn’t agreed with my proposal yet, but she hasn’t disagreed with it either. Here’s hoping she sees things my way.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Another Example of Why Mass Media is the Shitz

I've heard of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade agreement, but that is all I've really heard, there's a proposed trade agreement, some people are in favor or it, and some are opposed, but I never got a clear understanding of why before today. Marcel posts a link to an article that contains this bit, that does:
Of the countries geographically able to join the value-chain revolution, the ones that succeeded have agreed to low tariffs, introduction of Western-style peripheral services (express delivery, broadband, etc.), and a business-friendly legal regime, including submission to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which permits corporations to seek arbitration before multi-national bodies. (The prospect that the United States would wind up answerable to these bodies was the strongest argument against the Obama Administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], which the Trump Administration has now scuttled.) - SENDING JOBS OVERSEAS By: Christopher Caldwell (emphasis mine).

Friday, May 12, 2017

Turkey Point?

View from the Balcony
I am in Miami this week helping my daughter get settled. We are staying at a high rise in Coral Gables. Looking out from our balcony on the 17th floor, I see what looks like some buildings on the horizon, but out in the ocean. Looking at a map it doesn't seem like there should be anything there, but there it is.

Condo at top, Power Plant at bottom
Distance is about 20 miles
Since the only thing in that direction that could be big enough to seen at this distance is the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, I think that's what it must be.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mirror Images

Dustbury rightly complains about Xyzal. How do you pronounce that anyway? Seems to me that most words that start with X, like Chinese Names, not techo-terms like X-Ray, are pronounced like they start with a Z, so why couldn't they name Zyzal? Probably because X is the new Z.

Anyway, this Xyzal sounds a whole lot like Zyrtec (which I take), so why would I want to change? Well, maybe because it works better. Claritin, like Zyrtec, is supposed to help with allergies, but it doesn't work for me.

Now we get into the chemical structure and David W. comments:
A slight error in your post: Zyrtec is actually both enantiomers while Xyzal is just the biologically active one. 10 mg of Zyrtec contains 5 mg of Xyzal and 5 mg of mirror-Xyzal. It’s a patent ploy. Although theoretically the non-active component could have side effects with no corresponding benefit, if that were the case here we’d have seen Xyzal much earlier.
D/L vs R/S is explained by Wikipedia, it’s a question of whether you’re looking at the whole molecule or just the chirality center:
What's an enantimomer? Google fills us in:
In chemistry, an enantiomer, also known as an optical isomer, is one of two stereoisomers that are mirror images of each other that are non-superposable, much as one's left and right hands are the same except for being reversed along one axis. Wikipedia

Compelling Entertainment

Plate spinning routine by Henrik Bothe

The Z Man linked to a plate spinning video, which segued into this one. Both were totally compelling, I could not stop watching them. This one turns his near catastrophes in comedy. The introduction features an imitation Ed Sullivan. I don't know what Ed's life was like, but I like to imagine it was pretty great, hanging out in nightclubs, drinking cocktails and watching some really great acts. Yeah, okay, you have to put together a show once a week, but that should be easy, right? I mean everyone wanted to be on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Via Dustbury.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Homer, chalk drawing on Harvard Square
Via Iaman.

The Brave Little Tailor

The Tailor provokes sleeping giants - Alexander Zick
This story popped up while I was talking to some friends this afternoon. They had never heard of it. I remembered it distinctly from my childhood. Did we share it with our kids when they were growing up? Maybe. Anyway, I thought I should post this, just in case someone else who isn't familiar with 'Seven At One Blow' might stumble across this page.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


The Donald launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria. Rumor has it that only 23 hit their target. What happened to the other 36?

There was a big fire under a section of an Interstate highway in Atlanta not too long ago. What the heck was it that caught fire? And who put it there?