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A Programming Note:

Annoyed Cat Blogging

Cat Blogging is delayed until tomorrow because I haven’t seen a cat outside all day. We had rain on Thursday and then it got colder, so the cats are in hiding. It should warm up tomorrow.

January 16, 2015   2 Comments

Another First

The BBC version” 2014 warmest year on record, say US researchers

2014 was the warmest year on record, with global temperatures 0.68C (1.24F) above the long-term average, US government scientists have said.

The results mean that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the turn of the century.

The analysis was published on Friday by Nasa and Noaa researchers.

Last month, the World Meteorological Organization released provisional figures that predicted the past 12 months were set to be record breakers.

The warming wasn’t uniform, for example the Eastern US was below the average temperature. Overall however the oceans and polar regions are warmer.

Don’t expect the news to change the mind of people whose paychecks are contingent on denying the reality to please their masters in the fossil fuel industries.

January 16, 2015   No Comments

Missing The Point

I first saw this at Mustang Bobby’s place and found a slightly different version at the BBC: Pope Francis says freedom of speech has limits

Pope Francis has defended freedom of expression following last week’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – but also stressed its limits.

The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people’s faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

“You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit.”

Sorry, but respect is earned not ‘deserved’ and if any institution acts in an outrageous fashion, they should be held up to ridicule.

When a religion discriminates against entire groups of people based on their inherent traits, be it sex, skin color, sexual orientation or any other facet that they were collectively born with, no one is under any obligation to respect them. Religion is a choice, not something humans are born with. Choices don’t deserve any special respect.

Show me a human who has never made a bad choice, and then we can start talking about miracles and holiness.

January 15, 2015   No Comments

Another Slow Day

About the only thing of note was from the ABC: Singapore navy finds fuselage of crashed AirAsia jet. They got pictures of the center section of the aircraft with printing on them that identifies it as an AirAsia aircraft. They will be sending down divers to attempt to recover any bodies.

They have already started to download the information on the flight data recorder which should provide answers to many of the questions about the cause of the disaster.

January 14, 2015   No Comments

FAIL!!!

I got an e-mail this morning supposedly summoning me to a ‘pre-trial hearing’ on a software copyright suit. The court papers were in an attachment.

OK, where to begin? As a programmer who has been dealing with software copyright issues on my own behalf for years the entire body of the e-mail was bogus. The court was wrong, the titles for court officials were wrong, everything was just wrong. There wasn’t a chance in hell of my opening the attachment.

These e-mails are part of the ‘social engineering’ used by spammers and hackers to suck people in and ignore common sense. I knew it was a scam just looking at the e-mail address of the sender, but I opened it to see how bad it was.

They might catch some people who don’t take minimum precautions, but anyone paying attention will just delete it. I’m not aware of any jurisdiction that permits service of a summons by e-mail.

January 13, 2015   4 Comments

Rivet Ball

In the early hours of January 13th, 1969 I was forced to accept something that I had known for a while, but had pushed to the back of my mind: I was mortal and was going to die.

This was the first of several incidents when my chance of survival was a good deal less than 1 in 2. This wasn’t the scariest, but it was the first, and following on the heels of the terrible events of 1968, it had the biggest impact.

In the end the only “death” was an airplane, Rivet Ball, the Air Force’s only RC-135S. The military version of the Boeing 707, the fuselage broke in half, like an eggshell, on impact. A very talented pilot, John Achor, the aircraft commander, was responsible for that miracle.

I provide more detail on my other site.

January 13, 2015   3 Comments

OTOH

I’ve been saying nasty things about the mindless droids who have been attacking Islam lately, so to be ‘fair and balanced’ I should include this gem from the ABC: Snowmen condemned in Saudi Arabia amid concern they ‘promote lustiness and eroticism’

A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, describing them as anti-Islamic.

Most important thing to keep in mind – there are certain parts of your body that you absolutely do not want to expose to the remotest possibility of frost bite. That creates one of the biggest problems of camping in an Arctic winter. [Think about the basic biological functions.]

Anyone who seriously thinks there is any possibility of ‘lustiness and eroticism’ needs a major adjustments to their medications, because the current mix is just not connecting them to reality.

This fatwa is so absurd I have to wonder if this isn’t a salute to Charlie Hebdo … Nah, he really thought he was dealing with a serious issue. :twisted:

January 12, 2015   No Comments

Voice & Data Recorders Found

The ABC is reporting that divers have retrieved the voice and data recorders [Black Boxes] from the AirAsia jet that crashed off Borneo.

Earlier they raised the tail section of the jet from the ocean floor, and are still trying to locate a section of the passenger compartment.

January 11, 2015   No Comments

Muslim Bashing

Australopithecus rupertus has grunted again according to this ABC article:

Murdoch tweeted on Saturday, to his more than 500,000 followers: “Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible”.

In the same article they note:

Australian comedian Adam Hills joined the chorus of scathing criticism with “Oh good, Rupert Murdoch has waded into the Charlie Hebdo debate. I was wondering what an outdated, bigoted, sociopath might make of it all”.

Since the vast majority of the victims of these whackos are Muslims, I have to believe that they really would like these murderers to go away, be put away, or just killed, which is why governments in Muslim countries are at war with them.

More bad news for the French right wing whackos according to a CBC report. The raid on the Kosher supermarket was made much easier when a Muslim employee of the store sneaked out after hiding a group of shoppers to bring the police a key to the store’s security shutters.

January 11, 2015   11 Comments

Frost Bit

Dead Bloom

In the picture of the bush below this was the white bloom alone on the lower right of the bush. The true color is rusty brown, the picture is lighter than reality.

January 11, 2015   No Comments

Warming Up

The French made quick work of the murderers. The one that ‘got away’ may have already fled before the siege at the Kosher supermarket, and is being hunted in Syria.

The group calling itself Al Qaeda in Yemen is taking credit for the attacks, although one of the whackos claimed to be associated with the Islamic State movement in Syria and Iraq. The Yemen conflict is actually tribal in nature has been going on since the 1960s. Fundamentalist groups use the conflicts like Yemen, Syria et al. for recruiting and have no real interest in the reason for conflicts. It is about power, not ideology.

The French police officer killed while trying to stop the attack on Charlie Hebdo was also a Muslim, which is a bit of a problem for the right wing hate groups in France, as is the fact that the murderers were all French citizens.

In other news closer to my home, the high climbed above 40 yesterday, above 50 today, and is forecast to hit 60 tomorrow. I’ll get a picture of one of the pathetic frost-bitten camellia blooms.

January 10, 2015   6 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Cool Cats

Friday Cat Blogging

We want fire, not flash!

[Editor: In addition to it being cold enough to cause a truce for cuddling, Property and Excise had to put up with the flash for the picture.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

January 9, 2015   No Comments

Hiding Behind Religion

Religion is a matter of personal choice to believe something, not an inborn fact of a human being. Humans must be taught to believe and accept that what they believe is not subject to any testing.

Despite claims that this or that religion is the one, true religion, there is no way of knowing, of proving that claim. Individuals tend to create their own personal religion in their minds.

When the Bible says “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain”, I interpret that as meaning “So help me God” at the end of civil oaths, “In God We Trust” on money, “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance are all blastphemy, i.e. “in vain”, but that is what I believe, and I can’t prove it in a rational sense.

What happened in Paris at Charlie Hebdo was murder, not a religious act. It was an act of terrorism, an attempt to censure the media. There are laws in place in many places that already block the satirical magazine’s import because of a perceived need to protect religions from satire. They were passed to protect primarily Christian beliefs in the West, but they also protect other belief systems from ridicule. France and Denmark don’t have these laws, nor does the US.

[Read more →]

January 8, 2015   11 Comments

Frustration

So I started my day notifying tenants of the pending Hard Freeze and the need to drip a faucet to save the pipes. I have mentioned this to several of them, but got up with a few more and put a notice on everyone’s door.

Then it was time to protect the camellia – a total failure. I have black construction plastic that is 10 feet wide and was more than adequate for the job with exterior landscape lamp inside to warm the air. I figured out how to get the plastic over the top, but I didn’t count on the strength of the winds, especially the gusts. The winds just found a way under the plastic and blew it away. The duct tape didn’t want to stick in the cold, so if the wind had been blocked at the bottom, it would have still found a way in and blown it away. Camellias aren’t happy in direct sun and the one surviving exemplar is on the North side of the house, in the direct path of the North wind that accompanies cold weather down here.

All I can do is hope for the best. Bummer…

January 7, 2015   6 Comments