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Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

Note: I will polish this article later but for now, dinner calls.

It is like meteorologists finally decided they needed to be taken more seriously all the time.  They want to matter, to be valid, to be noticed.

They say that it is for our good:

During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.

Funny, I never found a storm so hard to follow that I needed a name put to it.  This sounds like justifying something that has no real justification at hand.

So a bunch of meteorologists got together and collectively decided that they would name every freaking storm, not just the big tropical ones.  Most tornadoes don’t even really get names, not like Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Katrina, or Hurricane Pasquale.  Tornadoes seem to mainly be named after the town that they most completely wiped off a map.

So, much like a teen announcing suddenly that she no longer wants to be called Marcia, now she is Annette, or Hubert suddenly wants to be called Throck Morton III, or any number of teens “quietly” come out with their disinterested angst and claim to be vegetarians and dress in black and brood a lot, now meteorologists need to name their snowstorms.

I find this to be sad.  As sad as the guy that breaks into a lingerie store and gets caught on tape molesting himself with “devices”.

I am sure this is going to put a little lead in the pencils of meteorologists everywhere, this newfound power to compete for naming rights of the latest atmospheric disturbance, but there’s going to be more excitement in the general population of a prison over the guy mentioned above than there is about storm naming.

So cut it out TWC and any other outfits that think this is a cool trend, because it is… sad.

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In order to bolster your strength for the stuff below, let me give you a kitten booster.  Demonic kitten, but a kitten, nonetheless.

Mel_NewNippySock

The bipedal pic is not a photoshop, it has funky parts because the damn creature was doing her quantum cat act again.

Mel_bipedal

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I listen to NPR because I want to know what the commies are up to.  Here’s the link to last Friday’s transcript of The Week in Politics, and here is the snippet that just steams my clams.

I think it’s an utterly artificial crisis. It’s really the ghost of the Tea Party haunting Washington because the whole sequester comes out of an effort to end the other utterly unnecessary crisis back in 2011 over the debt ceiling. And so they came up with a package they thought would be so bad that no one would buy it and they would come to a reasonable deal.

President Obama has come up with, I think, a very reasonable deal. Indeed, I think my friend David should be embracing the president because he’s doing what David has spent two years telling us we should do: a balance of tax – money raised through tax reform and some reasonable cuts, including by the way, cuts in Medicare spending.

I think the Republicans have an interest in this crisis going on as long as possible. They kind of like to run out the clock because the more time we spend on phony budget crises, the less time we spend on, oh, getting people back to work, investing in the future, easing inequality, promoting mobility.

So they just want to put more and more time between us and the last election, which Obama won. And right now, it’s looking like the public will blame the Republicans more than Obama, but Obama is stuck in a situation where he is losing time to do some of the things he’d like to do.

– E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post

Like in the kid’s Highlights magazine some of us grew up with way back when… how many things could you spot wrong in that picture?

David Brooks of the NYT:

BROOKS: You know, I do think that they gave a lot on tax increases and got zippo in response. And so I do think the next time around, we should do something that’s much more on the spending side. The president has done a little spending, what they call chain CPI in Social Security, to me not enough, and they’re still relying too much on tax increases by closing loopholes, which would undermine tax reform in the long run.

So I do think the Republicans have a point on that. But they’re just in a pretty weak position right now.

BLOCK: E.J.?

DIONNE: I don’t think they have a point at all. I mean, that was 642 billion in revenues. We’ve already done well over 2 trillion in cuts. Obama agreed to a lot of cuts in 2011, and he’s not asking nearly as much in tax increases as either Simpson-Bowles did or he once did. He’d settle for 400 or $500 billion in additional taxes.

You’d still have an enormous ratio in favor of cuts over tax increases if you agreed to Obama’s deal. And so, I think there’s something very disingenuous to say, well, we’ll pass this one – taxes one time only. Boehner himself said he’d be for more tax increases than he’s voted for.

So, you see, I actually risk my life in listening to NPR because I’m about a gnat’s ass away from having a stroke at any given moment.

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Update #2:  Not a fan of french politicians but this guy seems to have been determined guilty until proven innocent.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn feared that one of his political opponents would pay a woman more than $1million to say he raped her, it emerged today.  – Main Online

Yeah, ok.  I’ll tell you what improves your chances even more – don’t be known as a womanizer – or even better yet… don’t be one!  But if you have a history of being a horny perv it doesn’t help your case.  See below for my stance on unnamed accusers being able to make a claim that is nearly undefensible, especially if the sex was actually consensual beforehand.  It’s a lesson to all of us guys – be careful and try not to be a horndog.

But it does stretch my imagination that someone could be that prominent of a figure and be stupid enough to sexually assault a woman as she claims.  I don’t think he’s a stupid man.

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Update:  I am intellectually erect.  The fourth fundamental type of passive electronic isn’t far off in the future.  Memristors, and the HP guys think they’ve got them licked.

Memristor cells can also be built using exceedingly small fabrication processes. Using a grid of nanowires whose crossing points form the memristors, Williams told The New York Times that HP Labs has working devices with three-nanometer memristors that switch on and off in about a nanosecond and could store 20GB in a square centimeter.

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Alert reader mrmacs left a link in a comment today.

“Friday on CNBC, Bill Clinton gave an interview that is causing some unrest on popular news sites today. When asked if there is a role for government in terms of ensuring that the information out there is accurate, he replied, ‘Well, I think it would be a legitimate thing to do. … If the government were involved, I think you’d have to do two things … I think number one, you’d have to be totally transparent about where the money came from. And number two, you would have to make it independent. … let’s say the US did it; it would have to be an independent federal agency that no president could countermand or anything else because people wouldn’t think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out. That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors. And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake.’ His statements have elicited responses ranging from a Ministry of Truth a la 1984 to discussion of genuine concern about internet rumors and falsehoods.”  

– slashdot – http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/05/16/182220/Bill-Clinton-Suggests-Internet-Fact-Agency

The most dangerous man in the world, except one, because at least Clinton was smart and savvy.  I loathe him but I gotta give him credit, he was able to lead worth a damn unlike the current Pied Piper we have in the White House.

Go back and look at this part again:

…because people wouldn’t think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out. That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that

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Yes, I know the lions share of reported rapes are just that.  But not all, and the mere accusation is enough to f*ck up some poor bastard’s life.  You can’t take the innocent until proven guilty fella and trash his life regardless of the outcome of the trial.  Whether he’s innocent or guilty he’s hosed.  The anonymous accuser thing is a bad idea folks.

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Ok, you need some happy stories.

Non-profit Panera Called a Success.  A huge round of applause to FARK for having that link where I could see it.  In spite of all the good results I still have faith in human nature.  (Boy that sure pisses off Cruel Wife when I say that all caustic-ally and cynically like I do.)

Here’s a guy with the balls of a tiger.  Building your own levy around your own house rather than give in.

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Update:

Darn you, Mitchell. (and Stoaty)  Darn you to heck.

I bought the Messiah:Studio5 software…

I will be testing the Cornell Box scene and applying all the applicable textures, reflectance models, ior’s, alphas, recursions, dispersion, lighting, etc. so we can compare apples to apples at least with respect to the final renders.

There’s a lot of monte-carlo, metropolis, photon-mapping, kd-tree, lens simulation, volumetric simulation, light models, etc. to tweak and twist and see what happens.

And the Stanford Dragon and Bunny models with their ultra-high triangle counts need to be looked at as well.

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Hey, awesome!

NPR got Obama’s seal of approval!  In this time of tough cuts, he increased NPR’s funding.

As some Republicans on Capitol Hill try to cut, or even eliminate, its government funding, National Public Radio has sent a public thank-you to the Obama administration for proposing an increase in taxpayer funding for public radio.

“Public broadcasting received a vote of confidence today from the Obama Administration,” NPR said in a statement Monday.  “The President’s FY 2012 budget submission to Congress included $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for the two year advance appropriation for FY 2014, an increase of $6 million over FY 2013 funding.”

Yay!

**sarcasm**

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Update:  I’m out today.  Just not feeling great and tired of going to work no matter what.  It gets old showing up day after day to do your job when all you want to do is lie down.

I know that didn’t sound too cheery.  This ought to help – Got the link on a tip from Monster (cbullitt) over at Aardvark’s and Asshats.  Published in The Canadian.  All through the article the author/compiler peppered the thing with “could”, “could be”, “probably”, “as much as”, and my favorite “if validated”.  Emphasis mine…

Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012

Hydrate hypothesis illuminates growing climate change alarm  – Compiled by John Stokes

To summarize, human activity is causing the Earth to warm. Bacteria converts carbon in the soil into greenhouse gasses, and enormous quantities are trapped in unstable clathrates. As the earth continues to warm, permafrost clathrates will thaw; peat and soil microbial activity will dramatically increase; and, finally, vast oceanic clathrates will melt. This global warming chain reaction has happened in the past.

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rose by a record amount over the past year. It is the third successive year in which they have increased sharply. Scientists are at a loss to explain why the rapid rise has taken place, but fear the trend could be the first sign of runaway global warming.

Runaway Global Warming promises to literally burn-up agricultural areas into dust worldwide by 2012, causing global famine, anarchy, diseases, and war on a global scale as military powers including the U.S., Russia, and China, fight for control of the Earth’s remaining resources.

Over 4.5 billion people could die from Global Warming related causes by 2012, as planet Earth accelarates into a greed-driven horrific catastrophe.

Maybe the Mayan 2012 thing had merit?  Ohgoshwe’reallgonnadie!

The “hydrate hypothesis” (if validated) spells the rapid onset of runaway catastrophic global warming. In fact, you should remember this moment when you learned about this feedback loop-it is an existencial turning point in your life.

By the way, the “hydrate hypothesis” is a weeks old scientific theory, and is only now being discussed by global warming scientists. I suggest you Google the term.

Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing the Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to when we will pass the tipping point and be helpless to stop the runaway Global Warming.

The author paints a picture where all scientists are working day and night as a cohesive organism, grim faced, with scurrying engineers and acolytes – all tirelessly sacrificing to understand the process by which a large portion of humanity will die – all because of greed.

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Whups.  That is going to leave a mark.


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That’s what my mother told me when I finally got my diploma and headed towards the “real world”.

Let’s not analyze her or her remarks too closely but focus instead on a generalization that we can make based on the statement as presented.

Education is very useful, valuable even, but if you are a blithering idiot it’s a waste of your time and dangerous to others.

On NPR’s Environment report this morning I heard a piece about toxic chemicals in things we use every day – cleaning supplies, household goods, and even perfumes.  The idiocy was here:

Ann Steinemann is an environmental engineering professor at the University of Washington, and has studied hundreds of cleaning products. She says nearly all brands on the market, even those labeled green products, contain undisclosed carcinogens – which are considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency:

“According to the EPA, things that are classified as carcinogens have no safe exposure level. There is no safe exposure level. Even one molecule cannot be considered safe.”

Some of the most toxic shit known to mankind, ricin and botulinum toxin – will not kill you with one molecule… NOTHING will.

Nor can it be considered unsafe at any level.  This is such a bogus statement.  Sure it’s technically true but it has no intrinsic value.  It’s like saying human’s diet includes bugs because we get them in chocolate.  Well, yeah, we do get bugs in our chocolate, but so freakin’ what?

The EPA is not the final arbiter of information about what is good and what is bad – they hold no universal truths and they can be wrong.  The problem is that when you start labeling things as toxic or carcinogenic those claims are based on testing that is the biological equivalent of testing to failure in the mechanical engineering fields.   There is no number where you say “Oh, after 10,032 molecules you’ll die of gangrene of the eardrum”.

Why scare people with statements that lead them to believe that even one teensy little bit that can only (maybe) seen wtih a gas chromatograph is going to kill them?  What if it is a thousand times some teensy amount?  Is that bad enough?  It’s not at all clear that even then it’s ok to declare a product “unsafe”.  Just claiming that the presense of a substance is enough to ban it is asinine.

Yes, lots of things are carcinogenic.  Yes, some things are scary.  That doesn’t mean we should freak everybody out with technically correct claims that are still so far removed from reason as to immediately lower the IQ of anyone who hears them.

Disclaimer:  I am not even remotely interested in debating chemicals in consumer goods, not even a teensy bit.  I’m ranting about scary-sounding statements used to make one’s cause seem more urgent, like the one above.

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It is time to come out, come clean… I… I… I am a fountain pen freak.  My father is disgusted – he says “We embraced ball-point pens for a reason!”  Yeah, well, my hand gets tired with BP and fine-point pens – and a good fountain pen is smooth as glass.  And no one steals them, either, because 97.23% of the people out there can’t write with ’em.  Good, I say.

The Skyline model (Eversharp) is something I drool over.  Note the art deco design.

I’m showing an image from that link as a teaser… go look at the beautiful pens…

Note:  The website requested that I only use this image provided… go look at the pens on the page…

PenHero.com Main Page
Read about more great pens at PenHero.com

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I lived in the Tri-Cities for years and met Cruel Wife there so this article caught my attention.

I’m cynical and I piss Cruel Wife off regularly by saying “I have faith in human nature.”   I mean it in the most unflattering way possible.

There are good people around still.  How about that?

I still have faith in human nature.

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A guest on Diane Rhem (NPR – our only unbiased source of news – just ask them!) uttered the words:  “Some people may have the notion that more government involvement in their lives may not be a universal good.”

<crickets chirp>

<crickets chirp more>

<crickets chirp, hiccup, vomit, choke on it, die>

Then a woman from somewhere e:mails in and says women on both sides of the abortion issue should be outraged that the issue is used politically [as in the case of health care reform.]

<crickets can’t chirp because they’re dead>

<John Edwards channels crickets, and they chirp in his voice>

The chasm between the thoughtful conservative and the emotional liberal or the calculating liberal is one so wide that not even education can bridge.  That’s my conclusion.  You’ve got it or you don’t.

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Kind of hard to get fresh air when you’re huffing glue.  Bottled fresh air for city workers.

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How unfair.  Someone should arrest these drug dealers for assault.

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Ok, kids… Listening again to NPR “Talk of the Nation” where the focus is on the latest cover of the New Yorker and the place where facts are rarely factors in decisions – the land where emotion and hysteria trump all.  The source page for the cover shown below is here.

Now, my first thought was – “Gee, that is kind of a slam but given Michelle Obama’s inability to feel pride in her country prior to her husband running for POTUS perhaps… eh, but the rest is clearly satire.”  (my reason for leaning towards satire was that Michelle’s AK-47 should be a Hello Kitty assault weapon)

There were opinions for and against it.  One gentleman called in and said it was great because it exposed the lies of corporate America.  ???  What?  ???  What the hell is he talking about?

Another gentleman, comedian Paul Mooney, called in and was very offended.  He thought that either way blacks win on this election.  Whether Obama wins or loses, blacks would celebrate because a black man has never gotten this far.  His take was that it was just wrong to take something that wasn’t funny and color people’s viewpoints (brainwashed, I think he said) with it.

The host (I think Neil Conan) asked him:  “So do you think that he should be excused from satire because he is a black man?”  (roughly an exact hazy estimate of the wording)

Immediately there was a short pause and then the whole question was avoided by rapid rhetoric.  And when pressed with it again, Mooney became agitated and made his stance above that satire “should be funny”.

Apparently many folks think that Obama should be treated like an endangered/protected species than a presidential candidate.  To crack a joke about Obama seems to be a “bad thing“.

So let me see, Constant Reader… satire is ok as long as you think it is funny, and you have the right to determine what is funny?  How odd, that stance coming from a comedian.

Just wanted to point out another double standard.  Because I don’t recall outcry over these…

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BTW… There was a link by over on DPUD… I want one:   http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/07/15/frakkin_cylon_toaster/

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Hey Bro… you’re like NUMBER ONE, you schmuck.  How does it feel to be a winner when thousands upon thousands of others did their duty regardless of their personal feelings?

(For which I owe them profound heartfelt gratitude, and why I think you are a schmuck.)

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Aw, come on… can’t we suspend free speech for just 30 minutes while we get downright violent with these snakes?

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California.  San Francisco.  Nuttiness and flaky.  Granola.

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NPR this morning (“Know Thine Enemy” is what I live by)…

They were covering the latest not-quite-news-but-still-media-frenzied story regarding Iran’s missile test.

The reporter was questioning an Israeli representative. At one point, she tried to demonstrate parity, contrasting Iran’s weapons development (and potentially nukes) and the fact that Israel has had the capability and in fact demonstrated past willingness to bomb and/or attack other countries.

WTH?

Why does the media attempt to be so “fair” and “even handed” that they stop reporting the news as FACT? Fact and the Media New Fairness Doctrine (MNFD – my spelling-out of that acronym is not family friendly) are in no way compatible. There are always two sides, but the idea that one is no better than the other is dead wrong.

There’s no parity here!

The Six-Day War should ring a bell. As I recall, there was a preemptive strike on Egypt’s Air Force, then others were involved – Syria and Jordan. Troops were supplied by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. My point? There’s a lot of animosity there anyway. Has been for a long time.

Israel has not expressed a clear longing to see another country gone. Go listen to Ahmadinejad – what he has said in the past has been debated, but whatever the final analysis, it wasn’t “Hey, guys, we wish you the best in everything!”

While the topic of Iran’s nuclear pursuits is hotly debated, the fact that Iran has rejected the offer of being given fuel suitable for power generation (but not weapons) must be taken into account. There is the almost-arguable issue of a light-water reactor not allowing them to use home-mined Uranium (reliance on external enriched Uranium sources) but their secrecy in the face of the IAEA does not speak well of their intentions. A heavy-water reactor would use non-enriched Uranium which could then be turned into weapons-grade Plutonium.

Some information from pundits regarding Iran’s intent.

Michelle Malkin on Iran and the NIE.

The View from Alexandria.

Axis of Right.

Moving right along…

The reason I claim no parity is because of one fact:

Israel has not been providing arms and assistance to terrorists and insurgents to target innocent civilians within the borders of other countries. As posed in The Axis of Right link above, “Israel is not engaged in a war by proxy.”

Whereas, state-sponsored terrorism combined with weapons programs present (1) a clear and present danger, (2) a willingness to do harm both covert and overt, and (3) a vastly improved propaganda program through the use of misinformation and martyrs in militant groups in and around Israel. Those who willingly seek the demise of innocents and civilians solely because of who/what they are are indefensible.

There is no parity.

Disclaimer: Iran’s rockets in and of themselves are little or no danger to Israel, as they have great bunkers and lots of advance warning systems. The danger, as I see it, is in providing weapons and/or materials to said proxy groups.

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