Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself

Just finished this book, an entertaining tale of swords and sorcery with some well done action sequences. Joe Abercrombie has written maybe a dozen books about his fictional world. I might have to read another one. I've been trying to read books for several months but haven't been making much progress. Didn't quite understand what the problem was. A couple of weeks ago, after four months of fiddle-fartin' around,  I finally got the heater fixed on the SUV. The next day I was reading again. Weird.


Friday, March 29, 2024


Old Gloves

I threw my old gloves away today. I was proud of those gloves. I've been using them for years whenever I had some work to do. Admitted there wasn't a lot of work, not like I was putting in 40 hours a week. I'd pick up a little project, or my wife would decide something needed to be done and I'd put my gloves on and go tackle it. I dunno, it was probably 20 years ago when I realized cuts were taking longer to heal and maybe I should start wearing gloves whenever I am working with tools, and so I did.

If you, or least I, don't take particular care of your gloves they will wonder off into the weeds and the next time you need them you will spend so much time looking for them that you will decide to just buy another pair. What do leather gloves cost these days? $20? Shoot that's lunch money. So I started taking care of where I kept them. Right now my newer gloves are in one of the pockets of my jacket. My knit hat is in the other.

I like leather gloves. I've tried plastic and rubber gloves a couple of times and I can't stand them. Can't explain it. I would rather get my hands dirty and risk getting a cut than wear rubber gloves. I can tolerate dishwashing gloves because they aren't skin tight. I still don't use them.

Most of the finger tips on my old gloves are missing. Still, they comforted me. I am sad to see them go, but I have newer gloves and they are only missing one fingertip and I wear them. I probably haven't warn my old gloves in a couple of years. Time to let them go.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Turn and Burn

Kirian Mirabet Vidiella

Cute trick. Via IAman.

Sea Shanty

I wrote a sea shanty
Elle & Toni

The video starts with a minute long introduction. The song starts at 1:25.


French Assignat from the 1792 issue: 400 livres

Everyone thinks of inflation as being purely a financial phenomenon. However, it is much more than that. It is also a social phenomenon. As the inflation accelerates, an opportunist class rises to the top of society, and the productive class is impoverished. Inflation re-orients all economic activities, encouraging speculation at the expense of work, and forever changing the people who experience it. This societal aspect is rarely discussed.

Via ZeroHedge

Successful businesses, real estate and precious metals are the only things with real value. Money is defined by what it can buy. The stock market keeps going up and up and up, but it's not because all those companies are being more productive, it's because the dollar is worth less and less. Nobody with any money is hanging on to it because its value continues to go down, down, down. They are buying things that have real value.

30 years ago going out for lunch at a sit down restaurant cost about $5. Now it's more like $25. That's like a 5% increase every year, except since Mr. Mumbles rolled into town. Now it's like 25% every year.


Assignats were paper money (fiat currency) authorized by the Constituent Assembly in France from 1789 to 1796, during the French Revolution, to address imminent bankruptcy.

By 1796 they were pretty much worthless. We aren't there yet, but we're edging ever closer to the edge.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Battle of Trafalgar

HMS Victory Copper Bottom

Liz goes for a cruise on the River Tawe and picks up some tidbits:

Three facts from my trip: Swansea has the second biggest tide in the world; the battle of Trafalgar was won thanks to the copper-bottomed boats of the British Navy, the copper having been produced in Swansea; and the only known occasion when yellow fever was transmitted in the UK was when a number of infected mosquitoes travelled to Swansea from Cuba with a cargo of copper ore.

Liz, Swansea and the River Tawe are all in Wales. Have I posted anything about Yellow Fever before? More than I realized. 

Dial Up Modem

Dial Up Modem Handshake Sound - Spectrogram
Scotty H is a public service for dial-up users. It's purpose is to allow users of old, vintage, and outdated hardware to dial in with real modems to real systems.

Via Detroit Steve



Starlink Satellites

Go Elon, go:

SpaceX Starlink

Starlink is the world’s most advanced satellite internet constellation, beaming terabytes per second to the most remote parts of Earth. Made possible by the advent of reusable rocketry, Starlink marks the beginning of a new age of orbital technology.

In the Starlink constellation, there are 5,601 orbiting satellites.

The links go to a page that shows the satellites in motion. With so many satellites in orbit, it's hard to believe that they are not colliding with each other all the time. Of course, space is a big place. Even if all of the starlink satellites were all following the same orbital path, they would still be four miles apart.

Norfolk Southern Proxy Fight

East Palestine Train Derailment Explained
Practical Engineering

Seems that every year publicly owned companies select people to serve on the board that governs the company. Normally, if the company is making money, these proxy votes, as they are called, are of no interest  to anyone and the election of the board is uncontested.

Every once in a while something comes along to upset the apple cart and then we get a proxy fight. I got a notice of one at Norfolk Southern this morning. I doubt whether my few shares will make any difference, the fight will be between big factions. It might be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Ancora Holdings Group is challenging the board. They wrote a letter to the current chairman that included this line:

We made clear that your current CEO has presided over industry-worst operating results, sustained share price underperformance and an ineffective and tone-deaf response to the preventable derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

You remember the train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, right? 

A train derailment occurred on February 3, 2023, when 38 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, United States. Several railcars burned for more than two days, with emergency crews then conducting a controlled burn of several railcars, which released hydrogen chloride and phosgene into the air. As a result, residents within a 1-mile radius were evacuated, and an emergency response was initiated from agencies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Phosgene is some nasty shit. 

Longevity Vs. Retirement Age

California Bob sent me a paper from the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals that contained this table:

Table 1 – Actuarial Study of life span vs. age at retirement.


Age at


Average Age

At Death































Numbers are based on retirees from Boeing Aerospace. Curious, the longer you work the sooner you die. I suppose these numbers could be peculiar to the working environment at Boeing, but I find it hard it to imagine such a situation.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

War On Drugs

Stupid groupthink is what has got us into this mess, and make no mistake we are in a mess. A certain amount of groupthink can be beneficial. If you are trying to organize people to all work together on some massive project, it helps if most everyone agrees with what you are trying to do. But when your group gets locked into one way of thinking, and everyone in that group is making money, it's almost impossible for any divergent opinions to be heard.

Lots of people are dying from overdoses of strong drugs, even more than the number of people dying in automobile accidents. Near as I can tell there are two problems at play here. One is that you don't know exactly what you are getting when you are buying drugs on the street. Some shifty-eyed dude tells you the pill is Ecstacy, but he doesn't know, he's just telling you what somebody told him. Only the guy who made it knows what's in it, and he may have added Fentanyl to the mix.

A second problem is that the line between adequate pain relief and dying can be very thin, especially for heavy users. The more you use, the more it takes to get the same amount of relief and then one day you step over the line and that's the last step you take.

A third problem is that while many people use narcotics to relieve chronic pain, many others use it to get high, which some consider to be relief from mental pain. There are other ways to relieve mental pain, but they require working with other people, and working with other people can be painful in its own way.

American Gangster Official Trailer #1 - Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe Movie (2007) HD
Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers

What we need is a trusted agency that certifies the purity of drugs. It would be nice if it was a government agency, but that ain't gonna happen anytime in the near future. I remember in the film American Gangster, Denzel was marking his heroin packets with some kind of logo. Here's a guy providing a public service, but because he wasn't paying off the right people, he got busted.

Blue Magic Heroin Packets

I suspect that the economics of dealing drugs is forcing prices down and the general level of morality of drug dealers is going down. The economics are that since more people are out of work, more people are looking for a cheap way to kill time, and more people are getting into the business, and Fentanyl is cheaper than heroin. Thanks, Uncle Joe.

Wikipedia page about the movie.


Max Planck Society

Entrance of the administrative headquarters of the Max Planck Society in Munich

Saw this topping yet another article on Aljazeera whining about the poor, miserable, murderous thugs in Gaza. Frank Underwood, Aljazeera.

Anyway, saw this and now I wanna know what the story is. Found this on Instagram:

The six-metre-high Minerva sculpture made of dark green granite is located in front of the entrance to the Administrative Headquarters in Munich. Sculpted by the Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara, the goddess’ likeness symbolizes the world of the spirit, ideas, and thoughts. On the opposite side, to the right, is the negative profile, which embodies the world of matter.

 Six meters high? That's 20 feet. Those are a couple of big chunks of rock. Fernando makes some interesting stuff.

Sarah Lezito

I believe I can fly
Sarah Lezito

French woman has a bunch of videos up on YouTube. She is a treat to watch.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Random Thoughts

People and Things

There are four kinds of people, or maybe four personality traits:

  1. Makers - people who make things. People who work in the construction trades, craftsmen, artisans.
  2. Hoarders - people who store things. People who run stores and warehouses.
  3. Users - people who use things to get something done. People who use things that the makers made and the hoarders stored to get something else done.
  4. Breakers - people who destroy things. Garbage men, demolition crews, soldiers, children.

When people talk about capitalism they talk about money as if they were the same thing. But capitalism isn't really about money, it's about working with people. A good idea and a pile of dough won't get you anywhere unless you can convince other people that your idea is a good one. Matter of fact, you don't even need a pile of dough. There are plenty of people with loads of money who are just looking for some place to invest it. All you need to do is convince them that your idea is a good one.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Today's Chuckle

Found on RT:

US told Kiev to stop strikes on Russian oil sites – FT

The White House is reportedly concerned that a possible hike in gas prices could threaten Joe Biden’s re-election bid

US officials have repeatedly warned Ukrainian military commanders that their attacks on Russian oil infrastructure could trigger global energy price hikes, the Financial Times revealed on Friday. Washington is reportedly worried that this could threaten Joe Biden’s re-election bid.

 P. S. Financial Times is the Brit's version of The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Photos by Wire

How Photographs Were Transmitted by Wire in the 1930s
The Shell

Given the number of technologies involved in getting a photograph from the other side of the country and into the newspaper it's amazing it worked at all. And this video just glosses over how the printing plates were made, another complicated process.


Top 5 Private Militaries That Are Stronger Than Most Countries

The only one I've heard of is Blackwater, and they've changed their name. I don't know, but I suspect that some of the larger outfits are only doing logistics and support, not actual combat. Still, a bunch of big outfits that I've never heard of.

Saturday, March 16, 2024


Why Melted Bugs On Candy And Lemons Fuel A $167 Million Industry | Big Business | Business Insider
Business Insider

Weird. I remember in middle school shop class we used shellac to finish our woodworking projects. That would have been around 1965. Don't think I have used it since.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Balance Beads

GoPro Inside a Car Tire (With Balance Beads)
Warped Perception

I enjoyed the heck out of this video. Comment from @GlutenEruption explains how they work:

They work because the tire is rotating around its *center of mass*. If the tire has a heavy spot, the center of mass is going to be offset towards it, Meaning even though the heavy spot itself wants to be flung outward from a static reference frame, from the rotating reference frame of the tire, the heavy spot is actually staying closer to the center and the light spot is being flung outwards the farthest. The beads, which are free to move and not a connected to the tire at all only move via centripetal force of the tire trying to pull them back to the center, and they'll collect in the high spot which is the light spot.


Good Morning Mafia

Hot thought for this morning. All governments are mafia-like organizations. They project a facade of serving the people, but behind the scenes they are all busy stuffing their pockets with cash. If you are a member of the ruling cabal, you've got it made. If you're not, you're screwed.

That's the way it is all over the world no matter whether the government is a democracy, a republic, an oligarchy or a dictatorship. The problem is not the form the government takes, but whether it is competent at taking care of the things governments are supposed to take care of, like ensuring that the food supply, the infrastructure and the military are all up to snuff.

If the government is incompetent we get the mess we're in right now.


Damsel | Official Trailer | Netflix

A silly little fairy tale, complete with fairy tale castle and a horrible, fire-breathing dragon. The opening portion of the movie is stilted and tedious, but then we enter the dragon's lair and things get interesting very quickly. 

The damsel Elodie is played by Millie Bobby Brown who we enjoyed in Enola Holmes. It doesn't take much to imagine this as the origin story for the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones. Robin Wright plays the evil queen. I know her from House of Cards where she played Kevin Spacey's wife. She has appeared here in Land. Angela Bassett has a small role as the good stepmother. She has appeared here before in Strange Days.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Femme Fatale

Lauren Bacall

Via Bustednuckles, who has a whole bunch of pictures of actresses with guns. Some of them I recognized, some I didn't. The real test is figuring what movie the pictures are from. I was only able to name a couple of the movies.

Queen's Quay Toronto

Queen's Quay Toronto

Pretty picture, but the puzzle caption only said 'Canada', so where is this exactly? Google image search gave me a clue and then Google Maps helped me narrow it down.

Queen's Quay Toronto

Streetivew gave us a nearly identical viewpoint.

War Elephants and Mob Psychology


Stolen entire from According to Hoyt 


Around 2,200 years ago a guy named Hannibal and thousands of his closest friends took a stroll over the Alps to vacation in Italy. This laid the groundwork for the many restrictions about traveling with pets. If they ever figure out which route Hannibal took, some joker can post a sign at the Italian border that reads “No elephants.”

On ancient battlefields elephants could wreak major havoc. The tricky part of that idea is the question, “To which side?” See, war elephants could just a easily go berserk and start crushing your own side as the enemy. That’s why the Carthaginian ‘drivers’ were equipped to kill the elephant if it flipped out and started killing the wrong team. With one as-hard-as-possible downward strike in the right spot and Dumbo was done. However, if the driver was killed, fell off or dropped his prod all hell broke loose for everyone.

A very strong analogy can be made comparing mobs to war elephants. While there are many comparisons, where the analogy really works is a berserk elephant and the driver (Indian term, mahouts) having lost the prod. The mob, like an enraged elephant, doesn’t care who it crushes.

It is common for conspiracy types to talk about shadow forces manipulating and whipping up the mob. There is an equally strong tendency among the middle-class, self-certified intellectuals to poo-poo the idea that such dark organization exists. Into this mix we also have the media and politicians, who are doing everything in their power to downplay that it is, in fact, a mob. (Read, “Yes there was a disturbance downtown. But it wasn’t a berserk elephant rampaging the streets.”) Both the conspiracy types and the pseudo intellectuals use this media-downplay as proof of their position. Which initially doesn’t seem to make sense, but if you turn your head and squint, you can see how that works.

Here’s the problem, even if the conspiracy theorist are right about shadowy, goading mahouts or, the faux-intellectuals are correct, and there are none—that’s still a rampaging elephant coming down the street at you. In other words, no matter why it’s there, you still have to deal with the mob.

Yep, that’s a pissed off, self-righteous, very dangerous mob of people deep in a part of their brains that most Westerners don’t understand —and more importantly, apparently don’t want to. It’s much easier to pretend ‘people don’t do that,’ even if it means dismissing evidence we see with our own eyes.

See it’s an inconvenient truth that humans are social primates. Yes we’re individuals, but at the same time, we’re very much pack animals. Using a “Lie to Children” to introduce an extremely complex subject, humans have a switch inside our heads, that once thrown our thinking and behavior isn’t individual as much as it’s more of a hive mind. This is “group think” on a cocktail of steroids and meth. We stop thinking for ourselves and become part of a collective. While this can work for all kinds of good, it can also—just as easily—turn nasty, hateful, xenophobic, and violent. But, most of all, it’s mercurial, and that is where the real danger lies.

Thing is, even in the deepest and darkest depths of this phenomenon, we never quite lose our individuality. (That’s why we can deny the idea and that we’re susceptible to it happening to us.) What we do however, is accept certain ‘group’ beliefs as unquestionably true and reject any information that would challenge, disprove, counter or limit the idea. It’s easy to demonize anyone who doesn’t think like us and it’s even easier to declare them our enemy. Rome delenda est. (Brownie points if you see what I did there.) In short, when this switch is thrown, we become zealots for these ideas. Fanatics who, even if we don’t physically act out ourselves, we approve of the behaviors of those who do. In a mob scenario, that means not everyone will be smashing windows, throwing bricks, and busting heads of those-whom-the- mob-has targeted. In fact, most won’t, but they’ll cheer on and encourage those who do. (Look up the tricoteuse—women knitting during the guillotinings of the French Revolution/Terror.) It is this support that spurs on the violence. Violence that we know is wrong, but because it’s for the ‘Cause,’ that makes it all right in our minds.

And yes, anytime you have a mob of adrenalized, ideologically excited people, you’re a thin hair away from violence erupting. Like a fume-filled room with gasoline on the floor, all it takes is a small spark. Or, in this case, finding a target. That target doesn’t have to be legitimate. When people are in this mindset, the slightest accusation or interpretation will be enough to green light the attack. For example one person screaming “Fascist” at a particular individual will be enough to trigger a mob attack. Another example, is while rampaging down the street smashing a Starbuck’s front window because the person with the club decides that store represents “Corporate and capitalistic oppression.” While it seems like a whim decision, the ground work for that decision to ‘just happen’ has been laid a long time back.

Before we get to the mahouts let’s take a look at the rampaging elephant (a.k.a., the mob)

This is where we leave ideological motivations and get into …well, I hate to call it psychology, but there’s something very important to understand about being in a mob rampaging down the street. That is it’s fun, exciting and a SERIOUS power-trip. You and your fellow rampagers are gods among mere mortals. You can act out your worst impulses with impunity. You are unstoppable. All must give way before your self-righteous anger and power. At least that is what it feels like.

In truth, it’s more like a pack of dogs that got out of the yard. They can do a lot of damage yes, but only until someone shoots them. Opening fire is the historic and effective counter to mobs. (That, by the way, is the difference between a city response and a country response. City authorities will quietly destroy dogs behind closed doors after they’ve captured them. Rural response is to shoot any dogs that threaten livestock on the spot.) But shooting into angry mobs is frowned upon in civilized society. The combination of perceived power and delayed response (or outright lack of response) encourages the mob mentality in cities.

And once people are in the grips of this, they don’t want to let it go. It is an exhilarating, heady, and most of all, addictive rush. Individuals becoming addicted to this rush is a serious problem. In fact we can run with the addict analogy. For anyone without experience dealing with addicts, to an addict there is only one priority, feeding the addiction. That is what it is all about. Everything else goes out the window and they will fuck over anyone and everyone to feed that addiction. One of the best summations I ever heard of this phenomenon is “addicts are appetites with legs. They crave the rush and don’t care how they get it.

That’s what turns things into rampaging elephants. The ‘Cause’ becomes an excuse for the behavior. Who gets crushed is less important than the act of smashing. And, the people most likely to be crushed are those nearest. In this case, those who are ideologically closest, also known as those ‘on your side.’

I’m going to use a specific example, but it is far from the only one. What I am talking about is a very human behavior, no matter who is doing it. Something many people in the West don’t know about (but especially those who have been told by academics how wonderful Communism is) are the decades of intense internal purges against those who were not ideologically pure enough or who had fallen from the ‘true path.’ A useful and commonly understood term from Maoist China is “struggle sessions.” These were crazed —and sanctioned —attacks on fellow communists that the mob deemed had fallen from Mao’s narrow interpretation of communism. And for the record, this whole situation met the standards of behind the scenes forces, namely Mao destroying anyone who might pose a challenge to his power and control. The thing is, like a berserk elephant, the mobs rampaged through the streets and halls of power taking down anyone they turned their attention to. Oh yeah, one more thing. a lot of the rampaging mobs were young, idealistic and whipped up by local ‘mahouts.’

But, after a certain point, it was mob mentality that was driving the attacks and purges, not the ideology. It became about the rush and addiction to hurting people. Who did it hurt most? Other communists and countrymen. That’s the rampaging elephant crushing the side it’s ‘supposed to be on.’ Because hey, when you’re feeding your addiction to this power, it doesn’t matter who gets crushed, it’s all about the crushing. What originally appeared mercurial, starts making sense in the context of feeding an addiction.

If the idea of addiction doesn’t sit well with you let me give you another take. There is a lot of fear, anger, envy, resentment and entrenched hatred out there that is easily molded into mob action. What’s even more dangerous is boredom. As Eric Hoffer said: Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.

Now let’s look at the conspiracy nut’s position that there are shadowy, behind-the-scenes, conspirators pushing the mob forward for their own purpose. Thing is, it’s very doubtful that there is a single, Mao-like overlord or group driving this behavior in the US and Europe. In other words there is no uber-mahout with countless mini-mahouts doing ‘his’ bidding, driving elephants for ultimate and unified goals.

Having said that, that doesn’t mean there aren’t behind the scenes –or often pretty open about it—people/groups out there organizing mobs and whipping people up to target others for an agenda. These groups are often at cross purposes, but just as often closely aligned and using the same mobs. These groups have weaponized mobs and use the threat of and actual mob- violence for their own agendas. The outright denial of this reality is just as nuts as the idea of an ultimate-mahout pulling the strings.

The problem with using mobs as your war elephants is how easy it is to lose the elephant killing spike when the elephant goes berserk and turns on your side (or you even). Now you have a rampaging elephant and no way to stop it. That’s the danger of weaponizing a mob. They start picking the targets, not you. Sure you can do it. A mob can cause a lot of damage to your enemies and it’s really easy to recruit more to replace burnouts, jailed, and the fallen. This especially in light of how many mass movements recruit young, idealistic and the diagnosed mentally ill for their cause. These people act as goons and torpedoes for the person/group at very little direct cost –or negative consequence—to said person/group. Usually it’s not these shadow players who get their heads that get split or thrown in prison, but the ‘addicted’ mob members. Remember, like meth, it’s real easy to get addicted. And addiction that ‘works’ until the addict crashes and burns. That’s how it usually works, until it doesn’t. This is when the mob turns on its handlers. As happened in Evergreen University, where packs of armed students roamed the campus looking for a professor. The war elephant they’d spent so much time developing, turned on administration and faculty

There’s also another historical point that needs to be brought up. But before we go there, ask yourself this. “Which side is the elephant actually on?” Thinking about an out-of-control elephant crushing it’s own side is actually a misnomer. The only side an elephant can be on is its own. The mahouts are using the elephants for their own purposes. They have a side and it’s not the elephant’s. They’re using the elephant for their own ends. Destruction is going to happen to whoever is in front of the rampaging elephant, that’s why traditionally mahouts were equipped and ready to kill the elephant. But it goes further than that. War elephants can outlast their usefulness. The historical example I’m talking about is how the Nazi Party purged the Brownshirts after they’d served their purpose and the Nazis had come to power.

I mean really, who want’s to keep thugs around after they beat up who you wanted them to? But that reality isn’t likely to be seen to someone who has become addicted to the rush of being part of a mob.

All of these factors go into why you should pay close attention to what someone who is trying to whip up a crowd is actually saying. If it involves motivating a crowd and calling for a action the situation has been taken out of everyday activity and daily routine. It’s moved into a different territory. Is it dangerous? Don’t know yet, that’s why you have to pay attention.

What is this person saying and implying? Not what you think he or she means, but what are the actual words and what are other ways to look at it? This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s really important. If you automatically assume you know what the person is saying, you’re likely to get worked up about it—for good or bad. Instead, stop and consider other interpretations of that message. Often you’ll find there to be two or three ways it could be interpreted if you weren’t automatically filling the blanks and ascribing motivation. This is to say way too often people either assign the best or worst intentions to what someone ‘meant’ without considering alternative interpretations. Then they argue that position as if it is an unquestionable truth.

This especially when it comes to ‘calls for violence.’ There are many currents and levels at play here. There are absolute fanatics who will choose to act violently no matter what was actually said. As such, a fair point can be made that a person’s words didn’t encourage or promote violence; so claiming the loony acted on ‘orders’ is over the top. On the other hand, another way this can go is when someone actually does encourage violent action against enemies of the “Cause” and it’s dismissed as “He didn’t really mean that.” Uhhh, Yes, yes he did. He came out and clearly said it.

In between these two extremes there are many shades of gray. Especially with the lighter shades, there is a lot of plausible deniability. “It was just a figure of speech” as an example. In the darker end of the spectrum there’s a lot of blame, hatred, finger pointing and vitriol at a group to work the mob up to attack, without actually telling them to attack. From there it’s just a small step to cross into violence. (I’ve seen this taken to the point of while some of the instigating group are loudly talking, more quiet members of the same group bring backpacks of broken bricks and frozen water bottles. When the person whipping the crowd up urges them to turn around, the mob finds projectiles conveniently being handed out.) Did the speaker actually encourage those to be thrown? Nope. But the mahouts have been busy.

There’s no real simple answer to this issue, but the idea of mobs being used as war elephants makes a lot of sense. So if you know someone who has been recruited or is trying to be recruited, or even if you’ve found yourself addicted, hopefully this information will be useful to you. If nothing else it can help you better understand the perspectives of those arguing over “He’s encouraging violence” vs. “No he’s not.” Because it isn’t black and white.



High Altitude Lightning

High Altitude Lightning

Space Weather report from 2019:
On Oct. 15th, however, pilot Chris Holmes had no place to go when lightning started to crackle in thunderstorms around his aircraft. “I was flying 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatan Peninsula when a super cell started pulsing with light,” he says. “It wasn’t just ordinary lightning, though. The cell was also creating lots of sprites and jets leaping up from the thunderhead.”

Via dailytimewaster 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Boogie With Stu

Led Zeppelin - Boogie With Stu [HD] [MP4]

@verbo108 comments: This is Mexican comedian Resortes dancing with Silvia Pinal


Spring in Kyoto, Japan

Is it Cheesecake? Or is it Memorex?

Cute girl

Pull up a story about unemployment statistics on ZeroHedge and this photo pops up. Or is it a photo? I suspect it is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated image (her right hand might have too many fingers). Her attire and the office setting are entirely incongruous. Also, there are no credits.

The story was impenetrable, or maybe I'm just too lazy to expend the energy trying to understand it. The gist of it, I think, is that unemployment continues to be high and the government continues to lie about it, so nothing really new there.

Doubt: A Parable

Here we have another review stolen from Variety.

Sister Aloysius (Amy Ryan), Sister James (Zoe Kazan) and Father Flynn (Liev Schreiber) - Joan Marcus

‘Doubt: A Parable’ Review: Liev Schreiber’s Performance Cuts Through a Somber and Confining Single Act  By Aramide Tinubu

Unfortunately, no one makes it to adulthood without forming a series of preconceived notions. These points of view often determine how we judge certain people and observe various circumstances. John Patrick Shanley’s 2005 play “Doubt: A Parable,” set in 1964, opens with a sermon on doubt from the affable and modern-minded Father Flynn (Liev Schreiber). He speaks to his parishioners (the audience) about skepticism and how that can quickly transform into a crisis of faith, as one isolates oneself in a singular perspective. Charismatic and warm, the priest brings a different energy to St. Nicholas’ church and school, which has been a very formal center of learning run by the stern and unyielding principal, Sister Aloysius (Amy Ryan).

Father Flynn’s presence isn’t the only massive change the parish is experiencing. Twelve-year-old Donald has enrolled in the school, making him the sole Black student among the Italian and Irish pupils. (Interestingly, no children are actually showcased in the play.) Guided by a particular and antiquated view of education and the church hierarchy, Sister Aloysius is immediately unsettled by Father Flynn’s interest in Donald. After pulling some more information from a naive teacher, Sister James (Zoe Kazan), the principal begins crafting an unsubstantiated narrative centering on an inappropriate relationship between the priest and the young Black student.

Across the copious amounts of dialogue squeezed into a 90-minute run time, the audience races to examine everyone’s unique understanding of the matter. There is Sister James, who is too unsure of herself to form an opinion. Donald’s mother, Mrs. Muller (Quincy Tyler Bernstine), is solely focused on shielding her son from his father and getting him through the end of the school year to graduation, despite hearing Sister Aloysius’ concerns. Meanwhile, the principal is steadfast in her beliefs, while Father Flynn’s defensiveness of the situation can be read as sheer horror at the accusation or complete denial and guilt.

With just four characters, “Doubt” works best when it showcases what happens to controlled environments like churches when people no longer abide by archaic rules or standards of behavior. A small encounter between Father Flynn and a pupil early in the school year shifts Sister Aloysius’ perception of him, and immediately puts her on alert. Though she’s determined to get to the bottom of what’s happening with the priest and Donald, the principal’s desire to be right colors everything she sees around her. In contrast, while Father Flynn fancies himself a progressive, as soon as he’s questioned, he clings to the church’s sexist hierarchy as a means to protect himself.

Like the nuns, viewers waver between certainty and suspicion, so the production remains intriguing despite the wordy dialogue. Moreover, amid the heaviness of the subject matter, humorous quips focusing on dirty fingernails, Sister Aloysius’ previous marital status and reflections on squawking birds work to infuse some light into “Doubt.” The play also works because of its modern-day relevance. Though it’s set 60 years in the past, the horrors and rot at the center of the Catholic Church have since come to light publicly.

Amid David Rockwell’s beautifully built rotating set depicting the church’s windows, a garden and the principal’s office, what’s exceedingly interesting about “Doubt,” aside from Schreiber’s standout performance, has nothing to do with Sister Aloysius’ indication or righteousness or if Father Flynn is or isn’t a pedophile. Instead, the play highlights how easy it is for influential people to prey on the vulnerable and how the systems we revere are complicit in demonizing those with the most to lose, while shielding the powerful from harm and repercussions. Uncomfortable and thought-provoking, the themes of “Doubt” have never been more urgent. Yet, the moral lesson at the story’s center worked best in the 2008 film, when the performances and characters could stretch beyond the limits of one confining act.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Flying Squirrel

Sugar Glider
NA Daily

Cool. Seems like I'm always hearing about flying squirrels, but I don't think I've ever seen one other than the infamous Rocket J. Squirrel from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show and that doesn't really count, does it?

According to one of the comments, it's actually a sugar glider, not a flying squirrel. Wikipedia tells us that they are from southeast Australia. They are very similar to flying squirrels.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Kings Of Leon - Sex on Fire

Kings Of Leon - Sex on Fire (Official Video)
Kings Of Leon

Came across this tune the other day. I hadn't heard it in a long time, but it sure rang a bell when I heard it. Listening to it now I can't quite make out the lyrics. Look 'em up and they are nothing like I thought they would be. Matter of fact, they don't sound anything like what I hear on the recording. Never mind the lyrics, I like the way it sounds.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

High Ground

Stolen entire from The Othosphere 

There is “High Ground” and High Ground by JMSmith

“At this point I have no lingering interest at all in the ‘high ground’. This is war, and we should do what we can to win, rather than do only what we may, and lose.” 

Malcolm Pollack, Comment at Maverick  (Feb. 28, 2024)

“Every exertion of physical force if made upwards is more difficult than if it is made in the contrary direction.” 

Carl von Clausewitz, On War (1832)

There is in war ‘high ground’ and high ground, the former most useful as a source of consolation after defeat, the later most useful as a means to clobber the enemy with fire and steel.  “High ground” is occupied by what Sam Francis called “beautiful losers,” high ground by scruffy roughnecks who are not too good to win.  Francis said American conservatives lost, albeit beautifully, because they had thought to win political battles with their erudition and eloquence, and so, through a long string of defeats, had assumed “that it was only a matter of time before their own beliefs would creep up on the Left, slit their throats in the dark, and stage an intellectual and cultural coup d’état, after which truth would reign.”

An old adage tells us that “fine words butter no parsnips,” and to this we might add that fine words also slit no throats. Conservatives boast that they are students of history, but seem not to have reflected on the fate of Cicero, that giant of erudition and eloquence.  He orated and wrote until, at last, his severed head and hands (which had written so beautifully) were nailed up in the Roman forum, after which his silver tongue was cut out and stabbed with a pin.

Erudition and eloquence are not enough.  And neither is sportsmanship when one’s opponent fights dirty and the referees have been bought.  What we require is high ground, where the laws of nature will be on our side.

In war, Clausewitz tells us, high ground (he calls it a “commanding position”) confers three advantages.  A downhill shot is more likely to reach its mark.  Climbing a hill is hard, even where there is no storm of fire and steel.  Those occupying the high ground always have “the better view.”

In Malcolm Pollack’s “war,” a “commanding position” is an office of political, institutional, or cultural power.  To make our shots into “downhill shot,” we must present our arguments with erudition and eloquence, but also with more tangible—some might say cruder—inducements for others to see their merit.  To make our enemy’s charge into an “uphill charge,”  we must make it painful and costly to speak against our side or our beliefs (we can go back to free speech when our enemies go back to free speech).  To make our view “the better view,” we must look much, much farther into the future.  We must certainly look beyond the next election, and should probably look beyond all elections conducted after the present form.

As Clausewitz wrote,

“No army can maintain itself in the valley of a great river if it is not in possession of the heights on either side by which the valley is formed.”

The Housing Problem


The middle class is offically gone 😔🏡

♬ original sound - Freddie Smith

The Federal government spending zillions of dollars that they don't have is what's causing inflation. Inflation is the reason so many people are being squeezed out of the housing market.


Friday, March 1, 2024


Voice actor performs 10 popular styles of voice over
Tawny Platis

This is great. I have noticed that there are different styles of speaking, like the flat, disjointed AI reading a script and the super annoying woman on the radio cramming more emotion into an ad for something useless, but to have all these different styles laid out is just wonderful.


Police Shootings

In the last episode of Wrong Side of the Tracks, a woman gets shot by rogue policeman. The scene didn't really fit in with the plot, the woman was one of the main characters and there was reason for her to be shot. I figured the actress had gotten a better offer for a role in a different show and they needed to hurry up and remove her from the story. Then I'm looking over a story on Aljazeera about Biden, blacks and crime and they mention Niani Finlayson.

So a search for Niani leads me to a story on The Grio, and man oh man, does it sound bad. It sounds as bad as the scene from Wrong Side of the Tracks. So maybe that scene wasn't so out-of-place as it seemed. Bad things happen, that's just the way it is when you are dealing with people. 

Hamas Sympathizers

At first I thought the Americans protesting Israel's war on Gaza were ignorant, deluded fools. I still think so, but I think I understand them a bit better. They are living in country where the major media outlets function as propaganda bullhorns, blasting the government's story everywhere, all the time, and the government has proven to be a big fat liar. So we don't really know what's going on, not in detail anyway. In a situation like this where everyone is lying, who can say one agency's lies are better than another? Well, I can, but who is listening to me?