Thursday, February 11, 2016

find out if you can be a pearl sorter: how well do you see colors?
my results were average for being male and old.

LIGO finally pays off, gravity waves detected in black hole collision.
This proves that black holes do exist, and that gravity waves do exist, something Einstein predicted but hadn't been verified until now. LIGO's data has always been negative so far, building better bigger more expensive tax-funded antennas, and reporting back "still no gravity waves."
Now they found them. I am not a fan of tax-funded science, especially in the United States which the founders set up to be a small government which would be an umpire in society.
On the other hand, there have been military applications of Einstein's theories, and this work could be considered part of that, although there are no known immediate applications. Sometimes investing in basic science pays off better than more boots on the ground. Gravity waves probably won't lead to some fancy new space drive or weapon, but it's also too soon to rule out possible future applications.
Answering fundamental questions about the structure of reality is a useful step in designing new methods of space travel or universe-hacking. In the short term, this will be a Nobel prize Obama can take a little credit for, unlike his last one. In the longer term, I don't know what the fallout will be from this discovery. I am snowed in in Indiana and neglecting my chores to write instead about things like gravity waves, as though I were back in Jr. High. Still, it's one of the more exciting things that's happened around here today.
Good discussion of practical applications.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Justice Department has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, one day after the city council voted to revise an agreement aimed at improving how police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb.

Wind power produced half of Iowa's electricity in November, and produced half of Scotland's electricty last year. That's cherry picking the data for places with a lot of wind and small populations,
but it's a model the rest of the world can follow. Wind power costs have come down 66% in the last 6 years, said one source I looked at. The 4th quarter of 2015 was the third highest quarter for installation of new wind capacity. The tax credit program was extended for this year, with gradual phaseout over 4-5 years as the market takes over. I don't know what the current crash in oil prices is doing to the wind energy market.

Meanwhile it's 13 degrees out and I'm trying to stay in and bundled up.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Murphy Arts Building

It was First Friday, so I went to  a gallery space in hipsterville. Had a good time, a drink and half, saw some art, ran into someone who's met met before and his friend invited me to their jazz house shows after I commented on his miles davis button.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


i endorse these, except the one about wearing wool, for vegan reasons, and also he's talking about merino wool, otherwise it would be itchy. i sometimes buy second hand wool suits but have not tried the other wool stuff he wears - socks underwear etc. i don't run into it at thrift stores, but then i haven't been looking.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


I liked this article because up until now I didn't know what this new "Horace and Pete" product was. Now I'm torn between my love for Louis and my hate for Alda. I could see this being well suited to a "netflix and chill" type date, if I ever get one of those. I mean, I'd be ok with spending $5 to watch this with someone else, when I might not spend that much just to watch it myself. I have pretty strong sales resistance when it comes to not buying things online, or at least that's what I tell myself. 
(posting this comment here on my blog because i couldn't post it at flavorwire without it raping my twitter to google+ or facebook or whatever, and i've forgotten my openID logon.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

practical rats.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

or http://brightside.me/article/this-is-how-our-favorite-foods-look-in-their-natural-habitats-66605
foods in their natural habitat, bananas, pepper, peanuts, etc.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

When I used to be a lawyer, my most famous case (in certain obscure circles) was Majors v Abell.
2 days ago the DC circuit in Van Hollen v FEC quoted from that case 4 times.


It's a tiny bit of validation, letting me think I'm still a player in that game.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


how's it get to be january 20th already? so i missed not just my brother's birthday but the night of january 16th. TIL they made it into a movie in 1941. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033954/
and then in 1942 they made a movie of We the Living.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFUu2GbkbSc trailer.
http://www.wethelivingmovie.com/ whole film. free online, not sure if Rand would approve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

take care clause bombshell.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

What kind of challenges did you face bringing this series from its early years to today's success. Were there any specific issues that come to mind?

It's been hard to market these books so that all of those whom they will appeal to will find it. In the early years if a chain store passed on a book, it would take years to build an author or series back up with that chain, even if you could prove they were losing sales. These are not easy books to put covers on, too, and the cover is your primary advertisement about the content of the book, especially before an author has built up a reputation. The Vorkosigan Saga is about heroism—but how can you portray a short guy with bone problems heroically? How do you paint charisma? The books are about family and loyalty and honor—great to read about, hard to portray in concrete images. They contain epic love stories—but how to put that on a cover without alienating the people who are first attracted to the interesting world-building and scientific extrapolation, which are also integral? Probably we needed to put three or four covers on each printing of each volume in the saga!

I've always felt like that's the right way to market this kind of book, 4 covers, to appeal to the sf, fantasy, bodice-ripper and adventure novel buyer.

LMB: Years ago I read an interview with a forensic pathologist who said he had never gone into a bad crime scene, where he had to clean the blood off the walls and whatnot, in any place where there were a lot of books. It occurs to me that because books give us escape even though we may be physically trapped wherever we are, they give us a "time out" space. People who don't have this have to stay in the pressure cooker as the pressure goes higher and higher, until they finally explode into violence expressed either externally or internally in stress illnesses. Books give readers a place to go. This is good for your health and potentially good for the health of the people around you as well. In that sense, I think reading can be a form of self-medication.

That's been the case for me. A stressful environment can be managed as long as I have a good book or an internet connection. Right now the room is too cold, outside is colder,and there is the babble for 20 people talking over each other,but I'm fine, because I'm reading the above interview online.

The Supreme Court Friday took a handful of new cases. Mostly intellectul property cases that don't interest me, but also one each on the 4th Amendment and the Takings clause of the 5th Amendment.

Manuel v. Joliet, Ill.: Whether an individual who claims to have been a victim of police fabrication of evidence has a right to sue for discriminatory prosecution under the Fourth Amendment — an issue left open previously by the Court.

Murr v. Wisconsin: Whether, when a property owner claims that a government regulation amounts to “taking” of the property, two parcels that are distinct but next to each other be treated as one for this analysis.

Friday, January 15, 2016


greening the desert. 10 acre farm by the dead sea.

JANUARY 15, 2016
PARIS — One man was brain dead and three others faced possible permanent brain damage after volunteering to take part in a trial for a painkiller and anxiety medication based on a natural brain compound similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, French authorities said Friday.

Read more: http://jalr.proboards.com/thread/868/ignored-patients-risk-says-article?page=1#ixzz3xM0D7XJF

Thursday, January 14, 2016


update found 4 sample chapters of the new book, so i'll have something to read tomorrow while we are sitting at our desks for 4 hours after taking the study pill.



great review of a new book in the miles vorksomethingian saga. this is a book that comes out day after tomorrow but some people have bought the unedited proof or the 3/4 done ebook.
at one point the other 16 books were available free online and i read them, but that offer seems to have gone away. i did download a few other free ebooks from baen books. the room where i am spending 3 weeks has exactly 4 books, two bodice-rippers, a good kid's book i'll read, and a piers anthony Xanth novel I left the last time I was here. I should have kept my william gibson novel to re-read, i left it at the hostel in baltimore as a trade for a book i borrowed there one time.

here's a sample chapter of an earlier book about same main character

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A page of Hayden symphonies.

In the past week I've stayed at hostels in Baltimore and St Louis. It's more social than a hotel, and a bit cheaper, but more convenient than couchsurfing.com. Had very different experiences, but a lot in common. Baltimore is a narrow rowhouse with 24 hour staff, free breakfast, laundry, lots of group activities. In St Louis, I was the only guest, and the friendly assistant manager came by to let me in. Hostels International USA is providing some free stays to groups doing volunteer work in the communities near the hostels, and has other volunteer opportunities, so I'm passing on the link.
To search for opportunities near you please enter your zip or city and state in the search box on the volunteer page of our web site: www.hiusa.org/volunteer. 
I am in a medical study in Missouri this month so maybe I'll get to catch up on my blogging a bit.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


chad vader goes to vote

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