Monday, October 31, 2016

What's Hot on the Blog 10/31


Happy - today is Doc's birthday so I gave him a fantastically sexy beautiful Russian actress

When - there comes a time when you need to know whether creepy drones can stand up to the Pumpkin Cannon

Ontario - an interesting social experiment with a whole different approach to welfare

2016 Toyota Hilux - the vehicle is dangerous and read to find out in what way

The Science - some counterintuitive science about what happens with the progeny of undernourished mothers

The Russian Robots - they're coming ... and they're charming

In the Satanic Spirit - if you have never felt you have been touched by demons then a visit with the California Dream Boys should do it

Thank You - tomorrow is my birthday ... because my parents were strange like that.  Today I am the same age as Doc.  I also gave myself a fantastically sexy beautiful Russian actress because of my thirst to learn the Communist ways.

Can You Pick - some sheep are fed-up and maybe you can find them

What's Hot

In the Satanic Spirit of Halloween, We Give You the California Dream Boys

You aren't in Hell.  Noooo, you only think you are in Hell.

OK, now you're in Hell.

Frankly, mates, if this is what it takes to get laid then it ain't fookin' worth it, is it.

We have no idea which demonic portal exuded these monsters of distorted protoplasm but it may be the one by the Great Salt Lake in Utah.  There are demons coming out of that one constantly and no-one really appreciates the battle Mormons wage against them.  When there are hordes of demons coming at you and they're all dressed in tiny thongs like Chippendale dancers, you're clearly in the presence of the Dark Lord of the Underworld.

Earlier, Mrs Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, posted this timely advisory for such a spiritually dangerous time.

Here at the Rockhouse, we are thankful to her because otherwise we might have missed this one.

Costumes lead to Satan and homosexuality.  OK, we see it now and it all makes sense.

Ed:  are you saying those California Dream Boys are homosexuals?

Gay as Liberace, my man.  Gay as Liberace.  Mrs Betty Bowers was right ... of course.  It was the costumes.

When you're getting groped by all those women, even if you don't like them, and you're not making a bone then you're either dead or you're gay.

Ed:  or you just had wild sex with a fantastically sexy beautiful Russian actress.

Say there, Gaylord, take another look at those bozos and tell me any of them will ever get within a thousand kilometers of a fantastically sexy beautiful Russian Actress.

Thank You, Mystery Lady, for the Birthday Card

Mystery Lady, the card came in a festive yellow envelope but I did not open it yet because I will save it for the day tomorrow.  There's nothing like a bit of anticipation to make it even more special.

Since you probably didn't include a picture of a fantastically sexy beautiful Russian actress as I did with Doc's birthday greeting, here's one.  (Ithaka: Happy Sixty-Fifth to Doc)

Introducing Nastasya Samburskaya and she has got to be dangerous.  At least, I hope so (larfs).

For some it may appear unusual that Doc's birthday is today and mine is tomorrow so, for today, we are the same age.

Well, it is unusual since Doc was born on Halloween and I was born on All Saints Day so the influence of the supernatural was clearly strong but it didn't work so well for me.  The Dark Powers didn't care so much in my case because I was conceived in sin so I'm damned to Hell for all Eternity anyway (sob).

Ed:  you reveal family secrets!  How dare you?

I tell you what, Archibald of the Archives, when they made it known they wanted to be remembered as fucking each other for Eternity, I'm so seriously not worried about whether they're concerned about reputation.

The anticipation of Mystery Lady's card is sweet since she may have used her latest technique with adult coloring books.  Before you get dismissive, Mystery Lady can make art with crayons if it suits her to use them and sometimes it does.  She can also paint acrylics which become family heirlooms and that's even in families other than her own.  If she touches something then, by definition, it's art so I'm curious.

The adult coloring books require some type of special media since the pencils can deliver more nuance than regular pencils and that's exceptional when pencils can deliver quite a bit of nuance anyway.  She has gone with this for a while but she may switch to batik or back to painting since she does those switches on a regular basis and she uses whatever medium best delivers whatever she tries to say.

It was frustrating in earlier times since I would be feeling like the good supportive doobie with her work but then she would suddenly switch to some other medium.  I would be thinking, whoa, where did I screw it up.  After a while I realized I didn't screw it up as that's just how she does that thing she does.

One leg of the Autumn Supernatural Birthday Triad stepped out and I tip my Rockhouse hat while I silently say, "I wish you could have stayed in the game a little longer ... or, ideally, a lot longer."

For the general Rockhouse health, nothing got significantly worse although one aspect got more puzzling because the cause and effect which seemed clear isn't consistent.  It doesn't get any worse and sometimes even gets better so that's the cause and effect part which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Ed:  expecting things to make sense doesn't last long into adulthood!

Quite so (larfs).

I got myself an early birthday present a couple months ago for fifteen bucks to get the Touchie Feelie LED Lamp.  Touch to turn on or off or slide lovingly down the length of it to dim the light.  Sometimes I screw with it just because I can.  Were things ever so supposed to get so absurdly easy?

Ed:  I won't remind you again about expecting things to make sense.

Thanks because, well, you know I probably wouldn't have heeded it anyway (larfs).

Happy Sixty-Fifth to Doc

Sixty-five is a weird one, isn't it.  Waking up in the morning, there's that kozmik moment of, oh, fuck.  I'm old.  I'm so fucking old.  Sixty-five is the same as near-death, right?  (larfs)

Hopefully that didn't last long and you could get right back to the equilibrium afforded by this moment in the fact breathing is vastly better than not breathing.  So long as there is no crying need for a satisfactory bowel movement, at this age we are generally satisfied.

So long as most of the parts pass the morning checklist then, ok, it's time to roll ... or at least get up.

Well, maybe not get up quite that fast.

Meet Natalya Rudova who is here to teach you about the living hell of Communism.  She simply asks quietly, "What can I show you about Russia first?"

А ты говоришь по русски.  (Do you speak Russian?)

Нет? Я должен научить вас.  (No?  I must teach you.)

But a Mature Man has no concern with frivolous matters of the flesh since we're much more interested in frivolous matters of politics and there may be nothing which ever got more frivolous than political email particularly in concert with Anthony Weiner.

Here is John Oliver to deliver the words so many of us feel about this clusterfuck of an election ...

Please Make It Fucking Stop!

That would be the Oh Hell No gesture from John Oliver.

Hopefully you get a laugh and that seems a peach of a way to start off a birthday.

2016 Toyota Hilux Fails the Moose Test ... Badly

The Moose Test is a sudden swerve to avoid a large hazard in the road.  The test in this example was performed by a testing representative from Teknikens Värld (YouTube channel) and his summary after seeing the same behavior in this model of Toyota vehicle nine years ago then seeing it again now is Not Good Enough.  The vehicle damn nearly rolled and every other test vehicle navigated the Moose Test successfully.

The vehicle is likely pitched as an all 'round utility vehicle with four doors so it's fun for the whole family ... until it rolls over.  That Toyota did not detect this prior to the vehicle's release is scandalous in light of a history of this type of failure in the same model of the vehicle.

Given that evidence of their corporate irresponsibility and the demonstration in the video, we rate this one Unsafe at Any Speed.

Sometimes I run a PSA and now because this is just bullshit.  It's bad enough when you build a rolling crash cart but this one will probably often carry kids and that puts it into another world of bad news.

Note:  'crash cart' is also a term for the cart which brings all the kit for responding to medical emergencies in hospitals.  In the example of the Toyota Hilux, it appears it will be creating the medical emergencies.

When the Creepy Ghoul Drones Face the Pumpkin Cannon ...

When you think of the Pumpkin Cannon as orange justice then you will surely know who the ghost and ghoul drones represent.

Let's Rumble ...

There's nothing quite so amusing as smart rich kids with too much time and money on their hands.  They're going to blow some shit up every time.  Be thankful it was pumpkins ... this time.

Check out the Pumpkin Cannon as that one kinda puts that li'l Texas Potato Gun to shame, don't it.  She gets some major altitude and velocity out of it so she is definitely one Dangerous Lady.

She's hot, too ... but definitely dangerous.  We're sure you will like her.

Ontario Tries Another Way to Kill Welfare Programs

Unlike America, Ontario is trying a healthy way to kill welfare and this is through recognition there aren't enough jobs to go around and some people aren't capable of doing them anyway.  Therefore, we want to eliminate the creation of an immense artificial bureaucracy to dole out welfare for little more reason than the selfish disingenuous sanctity that imparts to those doing the doling.

We want a universal income such that those who do not find work or those who are not able will still be able to survive with no loss to their personal pride nor to their feeling of acceptance in their communities.  The object is to remove the stigma from those who do not work so we focus on the elevation of those who do since any employer knows you're looking for the job because you want to do it rather than you're motivated by the fear of welfare.

The Guardian:  Ontario pilot project puts universal basic income to the test

The idea of Universal Income is fundamental to the Rock Cities since we have run many articles from Ithaka regarding the advent of the Age of Robot Automation in which a whole packet of human jobs will evaporate only there won't be jobs building the robots since that will be automated as well.  That the jobs will go is a fundamental premise here and there's nothing to be gained by belaboring the point.

The idea is a fundamental tenet of Marxism and Socialism in that one will 'take according to need and give according to ability.'  In the Rockhouse observation, the more we stray from that the more confused we get about just what the hell we're doing and why we're doing it.

There's no need for Economic Philosophy 101 since we can see around the world stress due to lack of jobs and concomitant social dysfunction which comes from it.  The question comes, what will you do about it.

We're looking to Ontario and we have seen similar efforts with mixed results in providing housing for the homeless but that's an emergency provision rather than any real recognition of the bigger problem.  Ontario seems to see it so we dearly hope their model is effective.  We have no doubt of the fundamental Marxist principle but it's easy for frail humans to bork the implementation and it wouldn't be the first time.

Just as their ubiquitous tin soldiers are often wont to do, capitalist Republicans will feel every button on their boards was pushed since every aspect of this is anathema to them; they are guaranteed to react but not altogether too well.

- Insert gratuitous editorial on perennial ostrichism of Republicans -

As to why you want the Universal Income when you're one of the esteemed good guys who sought work and wanted to do it, there is one salient reason it's good for you that stands above the others.

Every dollar disbursed through any Universal Income has one guaranteed destination:  we will fucking spend it.  We still won't have enough to buy that pink Cadillac all the Welfare Mothers are said to have but we will buy the things we need and this is one hell of a lot of us.  The economy will love us and it's because we buy stuff.  The more we do it the better it gets for you.

Life becomes peaches for everyone and the richies stay richer than any imagination but they aren't quite as filthy richie rich as they were.  It will cause them no pain because, despite the bitching, we don't cost that much.  It doesn't even cost that much to feed every starving person in the world.

Ed:  if you get Kumbaya then ...

There is no fucking Kumbaya and that's the point.  It's work to make it happen and that doesn't include making excuses so it can't, dancing away from reality, and generally letting everything go slip sliding away while kicking back to eat richie bon bons.

Eat the fucking richie bon bons, fucking choke on them if you like, but first share a slice of the wealth and then everyone can kick back with a brand-new vibe none of us ever felt before.  Then kick up that Kumbaya but not before.

The Science of Starvation ... in Nematodes

When Mother Nematode was malnourished during her pregnancy, her Baby Nematodes gain the ability to handle famine better than their compatriots who were born to mothers who received normal levels of nutrition.  (Science Daily:  Underfed worms program their babies to cope with famine)

C. elegans worms whose mothers didn’t get enough to eat during pregnancy cope better with famine.
Credit: Richard Pell, Carnegie Mellon

- Science Daily

How you're supposed to discern which of these nematodes are malnourished is for you to discover.

That a poorly-treated mother can impart anything to her progeny is not the intuitive thinking since she should be weakened and consequently she would have weaker babies but instead she gives them a strength other normal nematodes do not have.

Millimeter-long C. elegans worms live in soils and rotting vegetation, where they feed on microbes such as bacteria.  A team led by Duke assistant professor L. Ryan Baugh fed one group of pregnant worms a normal diet of bacterial broth, and another group of expectant worms a watered-down version.

The researchers then reared the offspring of both groups without food for the first eight days of life, and monitored their growth and fertility over their lifespan.  As expected, after eight days of starvation, the deprived larvae grew slower and were less fertile than worms that had a healthier start in life.

But surprisingly, starved worms whose mothers ate watered-down food during pregnancy weren't as stunted as the offspring of well-fed mothers.

The differences lasted throughout their lifetimes. Baby worms born to underfed moms continued to make a better recovery long after the famine ended.

- Science Daily

There's the observation and you see from that the progeny from healthy mothers did poorly relative to the nematodes from the stressed mothers and that increased resilience lasts for life.  This had to surprise the scientists observing this since it doesn't seem to make sense.

The molecular mechanisms behind the buffering effects of maternal diet are still unclear.

Dwindling food supplies during pregnancy seem to trigger worm mothers to make bigger, better-provisioned eggs for the lean times that may lie ahead, the study shows.

One possibility is that hunger during pregnancy slows the rate of ovulation, so that the developing egg has more time to grow before it gets fertilized.

It's also possible that maternal diet causes changes in gene expression that are passed down to her offspring.

- Science Daily

Gene expression changes since the genetic complement passed to the progeny at conception is only the starting point for development and it changes during the course of development.  The degree to which it changes seems to be the surprise for science of late since there's quite a bit of it and this is one more example.

That any philosophical consideration should come from a nematode is unusual but we need to be open to anything, my brothers and sisters, because such is the nature of science.

Ed:  oh, God, that was so pontifical.  I think I might getting excited.

Hey, when we see progeny of normally-nourished nematodes all do the same but the progeny of malnourished nematodes do better in the stressed environment than their compatriots with ostensibly healthier backgrounds, we have a Bona Fide Existential Phenomenon and we must ask, with all due reverence, What Does It Mean?

Ed:  should we anticipate the gratuitous anthropomorphic reference to such a phenomenon in humans?

Naturally, since Ithaka aims to please and, after all, there's no science like bad science or we wouldn't need Facebook.

A kid from the inner city will do one hell of a lot better surviving on the street while a suburban wimpy boy won't last six minutes even after having lived in the perfect environment and his body was kept free of the horror of gluten.

Ed:  what horror is there in gluten?

There is no horror.  I made that up ... but so did corporate America so my duplicity don't fret me none.

In our human example, a city kid whose mother was likely malnourished due to poverty imparted survival strength to her progeny which the suburban kid does not have and it goes far beyond the ability to quickly learn street lingo.

Ed:  you're right as that's not just bad science, that's piss poor science.

At least we admit it.  Let's see you find an example of that from Dr Sanjay Gupta.

Ed:  who's that?

Gupta is a CNN doctor who discovered he can do more for medicine by making bank on CNN talking about it rather than, you know, wasting his time saving lives.

Ed:  do you look to him for science?


While our human example is crap, the Bona Fide Existential Phenomenon is real in the discovery by these scientists that weakened mothers make offspring who are better able to cope with adverse conditions.  No doubt they will go back to find the biochemical answers for what happened but that still doesn't tell us why.  According to our paradigm, only the strong survive, this is upside-down since the ones who were born strong have less chance of survival than those who were not.

Are you grokking the glimmering, my brothers and sisters, since this also counts as Really Fucking Strange.  We did not expect this but ...

Ed:  such is the nature of science.  You already did that one.

Take it easy, Cynical One, as you can mock my delivery and, verily, you certainly do but there's no slap down for the content since we see it really does happen.

Ed:  sure it happens ... in little fucking worms.  What reason is there I should care?

You're really not buying it with the Everything is Everything vibe, are you.  How about if I tell you scientists can differentiate strains of swine flu by the presence of any human DNA in it.  Live virus can incorporate DNA from organisms it infects and bacteria can do it too.  That's part of what makes them so crazy good at killing us and how they get better at it over time.

When a major survival skill comes from a weakened mother, we see a counterintuitive logic and we want to know how else this applies.  Nematode DNA probably isn't present in humans, at least not in any other than politicians, so we wonder if we evolved similar measures of resilience.  We have all seen the phenomenon in which big healthy tough guys can easily fold under pressure and that's why it's always important to punch the bully when he hits you since, more often than not, he will fold.

You should get your ass kicked from doing that and, at least some of the time, you will but the interesting part is how many times you won't.

Ed:  just which bully do you mean here, Pontifical Preacher?

Ah, you always were good at inductive reasoning, weren't you.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

There's Not Much Science on a Sunday

Of course there's not much science on Sunday since this is NFL day when men get paid big bucks to get concussions by cracking their heads into one another and calling it sport.

Ed:  same thing as diplomacy with America.  Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

Yah but they don't have teams coming up with worthless tied scores just because they have a shitty name like the Redskins.

Ed:  well, that game was in London where everything was marginalized by BREXIT anyway.

Heya, matey, mate.  You're supposed to be the straight man.

Ed:  if I'm not allowed to make jokes then I might as well work for Clinton.

She's not funny!

Ed:  yah, I know but that way I will always win.

Cripes, you probably want a rim shot from the band for that.

Maestro, rim shot, please.

There was some science about autism and genetic damage to mitochondrial DNA but I'm so fucking tired of hearing about autism after so many vegetative anti-vaxxers have said vaccinations cause it when really we have known all along the Russians did it.

Note:  it's a safe bet vaccination did not cause the damage to the mitochondrial DNA since it would be observed in one sibling in a family but not in the others.  Unless Mother was one really nasty bitch who only vaccinated one of them, that theory is shot all to hell.

Ed:  it already was, years ago!

Right you are and you win the Chevrolet.

Johnny, tell him how to pick up his prize.

Instead, we have Jim Jefferies in Amsterdam where he discovered the Porno Warehouse which he said was on par in size with Wal-Mart.  Naturally or perhaps not so naturally given what he bought, he had to go and then tell us what (cough) came of it.

You may want to try that at home and we're fine with that ... so long as it isn't this home which isn't even my home but you still can't do that here.

Sometimes we fall afflicted here at the Rockhouse to the scourge of Youtubia which, as you may know, is following the suggested videos chains in YouTube just to see how weird shit gets.

Sometimes we wind up with Jim Jefferies talking about the plastic fantastic artificial vagina which vibrates like a Motel 6 bedroom or we end up with ocean-going vessels crashing into each other.  As to how weird shit will get, there is no apparent limit.

Today's favorite was the wingsuit loon who posted a video of his flight which ended abruptly when he flew into a tree.  It did not kill him because he lives by the premise he's too dumb to die which often works for drunkies as well.  It's not clear why he posted it but we're assuming it's like the cracker who posted a video of catching catfish with his penis.  Of one thing we're sure, if that wingsuit 'flier' ever goes fishing, he will wind up singing falsetto for life.

And still it gets stranger than that.  Nevertheless, the study is vital.  It's science, my brothers and sisters.

The Russian Robots Are Coming, The Russian Robots Are Coming

Starring Alan Arkin, it's a laff riot for the whole family when a Russian submarine runs aground off the New England coast.

-  WIKI:  "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" (1966)

Ed:  you idiot!  There were no robots in that movie!

There were also no injuries and that's our clever point since the Russian Robots are coming and, just like Russian Bond girls, they're hotter than the others.  (RT:  Russian android plans to redefine how humans and robots talk to each other)

See, we're talking "From Russia with Love" here, fo' real.  Damn robot has already practically got the Blondie's sweater off and that's just from making goo goo eyes at her.  When a high school boy tries that crap with goo goo eyes, girls laugh at him.

“Sales shot up by three times,” said Krivokurtsov, who said that people were “captivated” by the sheer novelty of the talking android.

- RT

Captivated?  This fuckin' robot is such a fickle bitch he's hookin' like a politician and he goes straight for the hot babes of which there are, of course, many because he is in Russia.  You see for yourself these aren't the Taco Bell tyros for ten tons of fun, these are some slinky females.

Tatiana Romanova from "From Russia with Love."

Ed:  what was from Russia with Love?

She was.  How do you like Moscow so far?

But according to the company, few robots combine so many functions in one body, and fewer still can compete on price.  Though more and more affordable androids – including ones that perform similar functions to Alan Tim – are coming on the market, the top models can still retail for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Alan Tim costs between $6,000 and $10,000 and export orders have come from as far away as China and Ireland.

-  RT

Tell me that's not a Saturday Night robot when it's telling you how many functions its body has got.

The manufacturer notes the top models can cost for hundreds of thousands of dollars and that's also true in the West as well but there the top models are addicted to heroin.

Ed:  damn, you are one snarky bitch!

Tell me it ain't true, Ann Landers.

Can You Pick Out of the Crowd the Sheep Which Won't Vote

Borgarfjörður, Iceland
Sheep pose for a group shot

Photograph: Einar Örn/REX/Shutterstock

There are some sheep which want to see more than the backside of the sheep in front but can you pick which ones they are.

What's Hot on the Blog 10/30


Why - one more thing from Apple which I seriously did not need

MegaCities - the Pentagon makes a dramatic case about the perils of the city of the future but it's just self-promoting crap when their purpose is to present themselves as the only way to protect yourself

How China - the 816 Nuclear Military Project is a wildly cool and incredibly gigantic cave project

Russia - whatever the problem, Russia and / or Putin caused it, just ask the Egg Man

The Glorious - five states have legalization of ganja for recreational use in the vote on Election Day plus some others for medical use

In Case - why any thought of procreation needs this perspective before continuing forward to the same result with a daughter, a pumpkin, and a mother with a video camera

Touch Bar - kind of a cool thing but we wonder who will ever see it after those with MacBooks

You Get - we're looking to start a war across the entire western Pacific theater, just because we can and we want to see it

Just in Case - it could be worse ... the Ted Cruz Christmas commercial could still be part of it and that one may be the worst political commercial of all time

Articles - this one has a link to the article on Thought Crime in the context of Monica Belluci