Monday, September 26, 2016

Scandals: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (video)

In the race for worst, John Oliver announces the clear loser and both candidates take fair punches but the knockout comes, probably not too surprisingly, along with more raisins than you ever saw in your life.  You know Trump is going down hard behind it but Oliver doesn't give Clinton a shining pass.  She does get a fair inspection.

"On the Beach" and Tap Dancing with Jesus

"On the Beach" is sci-fi from 1964 with the consequence of a nuke war and everyone dies.  We have the joy of watching how they spend the ends of their lives.  Ava Gardner was too cool to die but of course she would be.  It was remarkably civilized overall with no particular breakdown in society except a crop of religious people who flew a banner:  THERE'S STILL TIME.

After everyone was dead, the banner came into view and with that the movie faded to black.

Nothing changed other than more powerful weapons and also the endless sneaking of the idea, well, a tactical nuke war might be alright, you know.  You do have a dance card for Jesus, right?

During this campaign they have spoken casually of 'glassing the Middle East' and that's a standard from people who quote "Apocalypse Now" a lot but probably have no idea how easy it is to make napalm themselves.

There's the endless dancing and the band went home years ago because it's such a simple song.  There's no way to win a nuke war because by winning it you lose it.  There's nothing any of the nuclear powers will hold back in defense of their homelands and that inevitably means nuclear.  Any provocation which risks that is thus foolhardy and irresponsible, just as we have been seeing from Obama in his attempts to intimidate Moscow.

The premise is to stop Russian imperialism but America is the only country which engages in it and no place on Earth knows that better than the Middle East.  Nowhere has observed more assiduously than Russia or China how America has behaved in the Middle East.  Expectation of trust from them after that makes little sense.

The most recent officially announced setting of the Doomsday Clock—three minutes to midnight—was made in January 2015 due to "[un]checked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals" (WIKI:  Doomsday Clock)

There needs to be a better name for you than 'y'all 5%-10% lot' so how about Kaninchen.  Ya, y'all Kaninchen, you can see this stuff and are clear on the problem but then you see headlines about Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie and wonder if you're on the right planet.  Tip:  we're not and they're going to blow it up.

Therefore, it's incumbent on us to find transport to another planet (i.e. unlikely) or to talk them out of it (i.e. also unlikely).

However ...

Vorsicht vor dem Kaninchen!

Beware the Rabbits!

Note:  it sounds just like it reads with kah-nin-chen.  It sounds kind of kung fu ... but not.

The Jane Goodall of Magellanic Penguins

Dee Boersma, a University of Washington professor of biology, has been studying Magellanic penguins for thirty-four years and has discovered within that time evidence of natural selection within that population.  (Science Daily:  How natural selection acted on one penguin species over the past quarter century)

There's hanging about with the bird club to watch the little aviators with binoculars but Dee Boersma goes out there to catch them because it's necessary to band them to track them year after year.  In that way she and her team can observe changes in behavior and identify which of their birds were manifesting it.  Imagine, if you will, just how much work is necessary to observe every aspect of the behavior of many, many birds for the purpose of correlating those behaviors to identify patterns.

So, wanna know how hard it is to fall in love with them?

Take your pick:

- San Francisco Zoo

Dee Boersma has dedicated her life to studying and understanding them and we so much respect her passion for life.

Scientists Have Invented Pills ... Again

These pills are special Jack in the Beanstalk pills and not at all like the pills Mother gives you which don't do anything.  With these pills, you add water and they start making proteins for whatever medical purpose may be necessary.  (Science Daily:  To produce biopharmaceuticals on demand, just add water)

The science of this one is way past my pay grade but, well, sorting socks is beyond my pay grade in my present regrettable circumstance.

The pellets, which contain dozens of enzymes and other molecules extracted from cells, can be stored for an extended period of time at room temperature. Upon the addition of water and freeze-dried DNA, the pellets begin producing proteins encoded by the DNA.

"It's a modular system that can be programmed to make what you need, on the spot," says James Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT's Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). "You could have hundreds of different DNA pellets you can add in the field."

- Science Daily

Unknown why they should be reluctant to call them pills and they're too tiny to be pills as we know them but the definition should be flexible enough as a 'small, inanimate thing for medical purposes.'

How about we let your twisted minds run wild with the idea of freeze-dried DNA since maybe Elon Musk can send his Dragon to Mars with a colony in a test tube.  Just add water ... if you can find any.

(Ed:  no, no, go to Europa.  That's where NASA discovered signs of life!)

Um, Dagwood, that's where Twitter said NASA found signs of life but NASA hasn't held the press conference yet.  Of one thing we're sure, if NASA does find signs of life, it won't be on Twitter.

Here's a summary of Twitter comments about Europa.  Behold the magnificence.  (RT:  ‘Surprising Jupiter activity’: What will NASA reveal? (POLL))

Note:  NASA is to hold a press conference today about 'surprising activity' on Europa.

For Epic Wit, Vocabulary Must Rise to It

CNN said the debate will be an epic battle of wits and we rather more than disagree with that but we have the Word of The Day if either Trump or Clinton says anything of more interest than a kid telling elephant jokes.

(Ed:  at least the kid has a chance of being funny!)

Good point, Dagwood.

Welcome to the world of the scintillating wit of the bon vivant who has been blessed by the love of Political Jesus and here's an example:

He was an extrovert and a character, again like his mother, with a knack for tossing off the perfect bon mot. Once at a dinner party, he told his seat mate, "We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

- Craig Shirley, December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World, 2011

In New York that's regarded as wit and that's as good a reason as any not to go there, with or without glowing worms.

Yesterday the WOTD was 'albatross' as if it needed any further reinforcement we have the curse of Washington relentlessly destroying our lives.  They've even made it a game show to put it on TV.

Hopefully tomorrow's WOTD offers something more challenging.

The Ship Bound for Nowhere

Clinton and Trump will this evening pretend to argue over where the ship should go even though a casual inspection will show the ship isn't going anywhere.  Even so, there won't be any shortage of sailors willing to go to sea with them ... just as soon as they can find one.

They draw the sailors from the pool of LQ Americans and one of the most insulting things Europeans can say to anyone who really does care about navigating ships is that we may be one of them.  It happens a lot because white people all look the same when it's a European looking and being cast with the LQ's means you amount to no more to them than a New York bedbug, an unfortunate consequence of visiting here.

Note:  most HQ Americans don't vote because the country never offers candidates with any honor.

You can tell them you're not one of the LQ's but they won't believe you.  The probability is too high based on that long line of sailors for the grounded ship that you must be one of them.  They ask where is the evidence of HQ Americans and there's not much to say at that point.

Euros are much more politically astute than Americans and they can kill any claim to civilization by America with a single word:  Kissinger.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Some Twisted Time Machine Pictures from Cadillac Man

All the Young Dudes at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., some time in the mid-70's.

Left to Right:  Andy, Freddie, Larry, Alan

These are the re-integrated Young Dudes since this was post-military and it doesn't look like any of those wastrels are old enough to have been near an Army base.

Amazingly enough, none of this crew ever ended up spending any time staying anywhere at the pleasure of the state ... well, except for a few over-nighters.

Of that lot, two businessmen, one teacher, and the Silas emerged.  No-one would have guessed it.

Hanging Out at the Bluffs in 1980

Left to Right:  Rick, Don, Alan, Sara, Ron

Smoggy as hell Cincinnati Riverfront in the background.  Welcome to a Midwest temperature inversion and plan to sweat ... a lot.

The Young Dudes had started by this time to become domesticated and this was the beginning of the end.  It was the strangest thing since many became ex-Dudes about the same time and stayed that way for about twenty years, lost to all civilized contact.  They came wandering back, shell-shocked, after decades, muttering, "I knew what I was doing.  Really, I knew what I was doing."

Sure, you did.  Sure, sure (larfs).

Whoa, this one is even before the best of the motorcycle crashes.

As far as I know, all remain in an animated state although some may have become Republicans.

Rick was the Goose Master and he would probably get arrested or shot today but, girl, he was just being Italian.  wtf, the rules were different then.  He had to get serious after a while in life but hopefully not too serious.

Some may remember the Ultimate Rick Goosing at Reflections one night when he goosed some girl as he walked along one of the aisles and he never broke stride so she never knew who did it.  The audience of pre-pubescent males who watched thought he gave a splendid performance but in time we did mature to some extent.

Out of this lot emerged one PhD in Econometrics and you can be safely assured it wasn't me.

Never Seen Anything But War in All My Life in America

My first awareness was of Vietnam and exactly the same aimless military chaos takes place now so the entire panorama of my life is nothing but one failed conflict after the other and so many tens of thousands of pointless deaths.  None of it ever accomplished anything and that's what has dominated every minute of my adult life in America.

Cadillac Man observed even our parents with WWII didn't live with war for as long as we but the distinctive part is never seeing anything else.  My health is such that it's not likely I ever will see anything else.

There was a cartoon when I was young which showed a young Vietnamese kid asking an old man, "What is peace like?"

He replied, "How should I know?"

Now I know what he meant.

I should have accomplished more and the music was an utter disaster but I had to try whereas burning thirty years in computers to pay for it was a catastrophic mistake.  There wasn't another available channel since it was possible then to weasel into computer support without knowing much about them.  That was the first time it was clear some entity liked what I was doing and that'll hook you ... for thirty damn years.

The day began with a lady in tears because she doesn't have enough income with her MEDICARE to pay for her prescriptions.  Probably none of the Boomers anticipated this would be a problem when we got old in that there wouldn't even be a way to get medicine.  We are in the untouchable under class which is off the rolls for just about anything and does not even exist within the mainstream realm.  They can't see us and they have no interest to look.

Cops have become sterile steroidal martinets with guns who are the emblem of a failed system with their profound brutality and screams of psychic pain but really they're just toy soldiers on a parade ordered by the generals who so enjoy marching bands and distant gunfire.  There has been so much gunfire lately that we lose all track of which shopping mall or disco was last the site of a mass killing or stabbing.  It's not clear what the martinets do but they don't stop that.

No matter if it was someone shooting wildly because the network canceled his favorite show on television or because Taylor Swift never answers his letters of love, the cause of the shooting is always Islam or black people trying to start a race war.

Cops have become the modern day nightriders.

There was a bar in New York City at one time called The Mineshaft and it had a national reputation for the most sordid behavior possible in life with descending levels of depravity as the novitiate went lower into its bowels.  Imagine the worst of what most would consider nonsexual fetishism and welcome to the party.

America became The Mineshaft and now we're floating in shit but we're supposed to be singing for joy at how thrilled we are for the experience and you better salute that flag or we will stomp your face.  They would kill us if it were not illegal and they're constantly enraged that they can't.

We are the Boomers and we were supposed to fix that.  We couldn't have failed worse if we planned it and there's nothing more obvious than there's no plan whatsoever.  There's no One World Order, there's no Star Chamber, and the rule of law is a living Vonnegut satire; there's only a cabal of greedy feudal mongrels who have left the world nothing but their table scraps.

Too bad the Millennials don't learn anything from it but they're too busy trying to teach us to ever learn anything.

My connection with the world is minimal now and, y'all 5% - 10% crew, it's on you to pull sense out of it but you're so outnumbered.  No matter how much you want to talk of the greater dignity of Man, there's a thousand vacant zombies who don't think wooden dinosaurs in the Ark should be anatomically correct.  Kornbluth's "The Marching Morons" was biting satire in the fifties but it's documentary now.

What's Hot on the Blog 9/25


Nothing We Know - on the original Earth, we would have died instantly and it's remarkable how it changed itself to become hospitable enough for us to live on it

A Debate - welcome to the farce of a debate and bring on the dancing girls

Playing to Big Laffs - hooting at Trumpites because they don't understand the need for them to stay silent in their evil but the Clintonistas don't understand that either

What's Hot

Building Vocabulary - no way this would draw a big crowd in the modern world

Salem, MA - the place most famous for witch killing in US

Still Trippin' - I am but most of America isn't so I suppose that's evolution in action

Catching Fish

Any Day


A Debate with Powder Sugar Donuts

While less than edible, the candidates are big bloated donuts covered in powdered sugar and the confection we can anticipate will be a People magazine masterpiece of dodging, side-slipping and jinking.

Note:  'jinking' is a term from back in my days as a fighter pilot, you know.  If not for me, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick might have been lost.

(Ed:  the Duchy of Grand Fenwick did not have an air force)

True but I learned.  That's where I learned, see.

No-one will talk about the US escalation in its nuclear weapons either in terms of capability or sheer number.  The candidates have agreed on a safe dance card which steers well short of anything substantive or anything anyone actually has to deliver.

The only thing which has changed much at all is Obama getting all mealy-mouthed about killing Assad.  It's a big deal and then it's not a big deal so right now it seems like it's not a big deal.  Maybe 'global imperialism' stopped trending on Twitter.

The entire stage is loaded with powder puff donuts.  All it needs is a rack of Vegas show girls and a song by Adele.

It's Vonnegut's worst nightmare and Diana Moon Glampers is the Democratic Party candidate.  If she pulls out the shotgun, Trump is doomed.  She's killed before and she will kill again.

Dayum I wish I had some actors as I would be staging a debate right before your unbelieving eyes and you bet your ass Diana Moon Glampers would be in it.  She is America's Worst Puritan and she is stone evil.

Note:  if you didn't read "Harrison Bergeron" yet then fuckin' read it for most satirical discussion of equality you may ever find.  It's short:  Harrison Bergeron

I need a Terry Gilliam set with big Pillsbury Donut debaters and another donut for the President plus a boatload of showgirls with huge multi-color hats.

Yah, that would set the stage and you can script that one yourself just fine.  Use the transcript from the real one and it will be funny just reading it.

At the bottom, none of it means anything unless they overturn Congress and do y'all see any indication of that (wink, wink).  America fell into a big vat of Crisco cooking fat.  It's all just a matter of doing right by each other but they are so determined not to do it.  As much as the Pope and the Dalai Lama can scream anything, they're calling that one out.

It's unclear how many are in the Disenchanted Majority since the blurbs about the election only poll 'likely voters' and gloss over altogether the percentage of Americans who will not vote.  Unknown what it takes to spill it into reality but there's more talk of a market bubble so that would do it.  Presumably you have seen that and have yourselves appropriately covered but what a dayum train wreck.  It's like Monty Python and every time it crashes, they shake it off and say, "That didn't hurt."

Ridiculouser and ridiculouser.

Playing to Big Laffs in the Rockhouse at the Expense of Deplorables @fubaglady

Any time you get a big laff, the first challenge is to draw another one and Yevette was practically falling down over my abuse of Deplorables on Twitter.  The general thinking was deplorable is so amateurish so let's show them absolutely low-down despicable.  With each new element of despicability, there were bigger laffs from Yevette so, oh sure, let's keep throwing these.

There's comedy, for some, in seeing something stated clearly when previously it's existed but always couched in PC Puffs so it doesn't look as evil as it really is.  When people are presenting such hateful things, ridiculing it with complete contempt will play big to the symps but, regrettably, Deplorables will send the goons around after show, as they always do.

Stand back for despicable ...

Hordes of Deplorables bugging the fuck out of me because they want to kill all the Muslims in US. As animalistic as the Puritans. @fubaglady

Gather round, Deplorables, and we will kill everyone who isn't absolutely lily white as Barbara Bush. Kill those motherfuckers. @fubaglady

Indians, Mexicans, Outer Space Aliens, we are the Deplorables and we hate you before we even meet you. Die you non-white filth. @fubaglady

And you goddamn Muslims, we hate you even if you're white. We are the Deplorables and we will kill everyone for Jesus. @fubaglady

Hey, you were warned.

While I was slamming those Tweets out there, Yevette was watching and was practically falling down laughing and it's not so much the content but rather my lack of concern for what they may think of it. She still thinks the Twitterati mean something but to me they're just parts of a pinball machine.  When I see the content, I see zero reasons to take them seriously.  If they want respect, they use a remarkably strange way of showing it.

We bow to no-one and we salute nothing.  Freedom, it may feel strange at first until you get used to it.

Tip for the debate on Monday (?):  if you look at it like you're watching Saturday Night Live, it will all make sense.  The big score is for any disruption by alternative parties since that could make it most interesting.  Let's see how fast you think now, richie li'l honkie donuts.

There's not much intention to watch but it's repulsive also to watch the soundbites later with some asshole trying to tell me what they mean.  Between the two, it's still a race for last and watching them do it doesn't add anything.

I have no vote and it's a waste of time participating.  When I see the manic obsession with the most racist hatefulness I've ever seen, it makes me think the country has fallen back to the barbarism of when they shot buffalo from train windows.  Life means nothing to them and I'm not going to vote for that.

Nothing We Know Could Live on the Original Earth

Earth as it was originally delivered was deadly poisonous to any form of life we know and it took three billion years before there was enough oxygen for much of anything to live.  (Science Daily:  Oxygen levels were key to early animal evolution, strongest evidence now shows)

Perhaps you're surprised to discover the early Earth was a hugely inhospitable place so that's a bit unusual but it's probably not such a surprise to discover it took a great while to make enough oxygen for anything to live.  In part this article is a tribute to algae since they're the lowly creatures which did it and we can go straight to the sci-fi with some terraforming with algae, if you have three billion years to wait.

"Red Planet" is a movie which featured seeding Mars with various types of growth and they anticipated it would be breathable in a jiffy but perhaps not quite a jiffy although we're willing to spend quite a bit of time waiting when Carrie-Anne Moss is the captain although we will have to find a way to lose Val Kilmer.

Evolution in which small mammals become bigger ones is interesting but the really fascinating aspect is making life out of nothing.  We have already reviewed the fact you're not fundamentalists and the fact I'm not trying to bash religion so we have quite a bit of latitude to review but there's not much review necessary since creation of the oxygen was one step of the process.  The science looks pretty good for how that happened but this is still well past the actual creation of life.

Some process originally got the first organic molecules functioning to make the algae in the first place and there's plenty of study in that process to last likely the rest of your days.  I suspect, actually, the knowledge of that process will be fairly complete over the next fifty years.  I started into it fifty years ago with "The Origins of Life on Earth" and that story had incomplete sections but it has developed significantly since then.  It seems likely another fifty years should show scientists stating with certitude how the process took place.  Fundamentalists still won't believe it but that's their problem since what they believe is no-one's problem but their own to resolve.

Some do want to stir a measure of religion into this and the best insertion point I've seen in some while is how anyone explains the existence of white people.  We saw humans evolved in Africa where an unprotected white person will die because our skin cannot tolerate the sun.  However, in that environment which would kill us, the human genome had the genes necessary to make the switches to present white people some time in a different place.  If you want to call that 'intelligent design' then I really don't have much of an argument against it.  White people are just about as improbable as it's possible to get and yet here we are.