Friday, September 28, 2012

update: 10/10/12. After 2 months and 6 emails, I finally got Google to tell me the balance on my adsense account. It was about what I expected, $30.96, after 8 years of blogging and 50,000 hits. It wasn't about the money anymore, it was about the 5 years I wasn't able to log into my account because they broke it. I don't hate google; I love google. I just don't have the kind of traffic to make adsense worthwhile. Maybe I will look into project wonderful (ryan north's comic ad auction thingy), or some penis enlargement ads. I guess I will wait till after january 1 to get my check... oh wait. if I get my check now, can I deduct the cost of my last 5 computers, and what I've spent on internet access? may have to go consult H & R Block.
Robbin Stewart 
12:47 PM (1 minute ago)

to Google
Please pay attention to what I'm actually asking for and stop sending non-responsive form letters. I want to know how much you owe me,and I want to receive a check for that amount. It is probably a small amount. For some 4 years I have been unable to log into my account. I am not seeking to re-instate my adsense account because of your erroneous determination that some page of mine 6 years ago violates your policies. (I think it doesn't, and three times in the past you have reinstated my account, but I just don't care anymore.) I only want to cash out and be done.

On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 6:19 AM, Google AdSense Policy Enforcement <adsense-support@google.com> wrote:
Hello Robbin,

Thanks for your email. However, please be aware that because your site was
found to be in violation of our program policies, it is no longer eligible
for participation in the AdSense program.

Your account remains active, and you are welcome to place Google ads on
other sites which comply with AdSense policies.


The Google AdSense Team

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This might be a scoop for this blog. Just received this comment from a guy in Guam whose pro se case has been granted a hearing at the supreme court:

It is I. 
I am fielding many offers of representation. 
All along I have been confident about the legal issue because the Supreme Court has said that the right to  bodily integrity is a fundamental liberty specially protected by the Constitution And the plain language of the Gonzalez Act section 1089(e) supports that.
[fixed my editing mistake here -ed.]
Assuming success at the Supreme Court, I will still need to prevail at a bench trial.  So far, I am worried that discovery has been inadequate.  I made a FOIA request to the Navy.  That was denied in its entirety.  When the case resumes, I pray that a Federal Judge will order that most, if not all, of my FOIA requests be honored.

From: Robbin Stewart <gtbear@gmail.com>
To: [redacted]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 1:17 AM
Subject: are you the guy who the supreme court just granted cert to?

or is that some other steven alan levin?

if so, congrats, and any comment?

Court grants appeals from 2 people without lawyers

 Levin v. United States, 11-1351: Whether the Gonzalez Act, which immunizes military medical personnel from claims arising out of the performance of their health care functions by designating the Federal Tort Claims Act as the exclusive remedy for such claims, authorizes a battery claim against the United States.

I had never heard of the Gonzalez act, and neither has wikipedia, but Justice Stevens' dissent in Smith v Unites States (1991) explains that it is intended to provide for suits against the united states when army doctors commit malpractice. (Part of the idea is that an army doctor might have shallow pockets.) So I'm guessing we are dealing with a statutory interpretation question as to whether the act also covers battery. I will try to find the 9th circuit opinion. Lately the 9th circuit has not been overruled as often as the 6th, but when the court grants cert in a pro se case decided by the 9th, I would not bet against the plaintiff.

There is a split between the circuits; the 10th has ruled that Levin is right about what the statute means. The equities of the case lie in his favor; it is unconscionable that navy doctors would have license to go around beating people up with no civil liability. The 9th makes some decent points about statutory interpretation required by precedent. I think the case is rightfully before the high court. It's not plain error by the court below; it's one of those tangles that only the supreme court has the authority to fix. So it'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Steven Levin
10:35 PM (45 minutes ago)

to me, bill
If you email me with more questions I'd be happy to reply.  Here are more personal reactions after a little more reflection and relaxation:
The cert grant announcement was made near the end of the Days of Awe on or about Yom Kippur.  I felt as though I were on the mountain with Moses, G-d had to check his hat in the cloak room, so all I got to see were 9 people, six or seven of whom aren't even Jewish.  Some derivatives and reasonable versions will have to do.


New comet might blaze brighter than the full Moon
a year away, and might turn out to be a dud, but could be exciting.


a fairly useful tool for finding which candidate's positions you share. says i'm 99% libertarian, sounds right.

What I'm reading: Robert Caro, Passage to Power, 4th of 5 books in his LBJ bio. $38 plus tax, would have been half that on amazon. I have read the half of the book I was interested in,and will go back and read the part about LBJ's bored depressed vice-presidency later.

Jennifer Government. Suspense, satire, hi-concept science fiction. Had great reviews so I picked up a used copy. It's a world where corporations and marketing rule, and the vestigial government fights for survival. Many of the characters are clueless, but not Jennifer. Books like this are intended as critiques of a market economy, but I'm kind of enjoying its world.

Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix. Picked it up at the hostel for some light reading. It's ok. I had not read the books or seen the movies. Rapture of the nerds already mentioned.

I am not doing the 50 book challenge this year and have only read a handful of books.

I'm not sure what I have accomplished this year. One of my houses burned down, so I've been doing enough medical studies to catch up for that loss, so I will break even for the year. I'm still shopping for a replacement house.I fritter away most of my time on reddit and tumblr.

Court grants appeals from 2 people without lawyers.

If Mr. Levin returns my email with a quotable comment, I'll update. 

Did Tyler McNeely's lawyer commit malpractice? Convicted of his 3rd DUI on the basis of an unwilling blood test with no warrant, his conviction was tossed by the Missouri Supreme Court.
But now the USSCt will review the case, and he could lose. I've only seen press reports, which are unreliable, I haven't read the decision. If McNeely's lawyer didn't raise arguments under the Missouri constitution, he might have thrown his case away. If he had won under the state constitution as well, the USSCt would not have been able to take the case.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Thursday, September 20, 2012

 two of the things i forgot to do this summer were to go to worldcon in chicago and to the beach.
last chicago worldcon i went to was around the time my nephew was born  and he's a college graduate now.



SAVE THE PLANET: Buy an AR! “It’s like the health benefits of red wine or coffee. Is there anything an AR can’t do?”
Posted at 7:01 am by Glenn Reynolds  

happy talk like a pirate day

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


He's affordable, at $22K. Now just train him to run a TofuHut. From the irobot people who brought you roomba.

cyborg monkeys on cocaine

Saturday, September 15, 2012

new monkey



Friday, September 14, 2012

When i was a kid, my dad would have me weed the purslane out of the garden. Later I learned purslane is a vegetable. It grows wild along city sidewalks. two days ago I found out there's a flowering variety. I plan to get seeds and plant this.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm probably not going to spend $12 to visit the Albight-Knox museum while I'm in Buffalo, so this is one of the paintings I won't see. Update: I'm in that neighborhood now and might wind up going, haven't decided yet. Did. http://www.albrightknox.org/

The usual, van gogh, picasso, renoir, cezanne, rodin, pollock, warhol, gaugin, degas, magritte, dali. they had a cornell box, and a few moderns i hadn't seen, and a movie i'll have more about later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


http://www.mruniversity.com/ marginal revolutions university

Monday, September 10, 2012

kid plants millions of trees.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

your mission, should you choose to accept it:
write a short story about a smart rug.
TECHNOLOGY: Smart carpet detects falls and strange footsteps.
A team at the University of Manchester in the UK has developed a carpet that can detect when someone has fallen over or when unfamiliar feet walk across it.
Optical fibres in the carpet’s underlay create a 2D pressure map that distorts when stepped on. Sensors around the carpet’s edges then relay signals to a computer which is used to analyse the footstep patterns. When a change is detected – such as a sudden stumble and fall – an alarm can be set to sound.
By monitoring footsteps over time, the system can also learn people’s walking patterns and watch out for subtle changes, such as a gradual favouring of one leg over the other. It could then be used to predict the onset of mobility problems in the elderly, for example.
The carpet could also be used as an intruder alert, says team member Patricia Scully. “In theory, we could identify footsteps of individuals and the shoes they are wearing,” she says.

bill hicks (youtube)

note to self: obtain san diego press pass for december trip.

IJ's Clint Bolick wins AZ Supreme Court case that tattoos are free speech.
Clint Founded IJ, www.ij.org, in the 80s, and retired to Arizona, where he set up the first IJ state chapter and got interested in state constitutional law. I haven't read the decision yet, but I know the complaint discussed both the state and federal constitutions.

http://supremeambitions.com/2012/09/05/preface/ david lat's new novel

Saturday, September 08, 2012

More Les Paul.
Inventor of the 8-track.

Monday, September 03, 2012

NYT chart of modern language evolution, starting in turkey 8000 years ago.


Sunday, September 02, 2012

the new normal, new ryan murphy sitcom on hulu

the inbetweeners, worse american version of a so-so british show
whoops, this will expire shortly and only be on hulu plus. well you didnt miss much.

the ruling class, peter o'toole

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Ed. Note: There's been a lot of buzz online recently about the recipe for the White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter, including a popular petition on We the People, the White House's online petition platform.
With public excitement about White House beer fermenting such a buzz, we decided we better hop right to it.
Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen. After the few first drafts we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop. We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own. To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before.
As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there's no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House. (Although we do know there was some drinking during prohibition…)
Since our first batch of White House Honey Brown Ale, we've added the Honey Porter and have gone even further to add a Honey Blonde this past summer. Like many home brewers who add secret ingredients to make their beer unique, all of our brews have honey that we tapped from the first ever bee-hive on the South Lawn. The honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn't sweeten it.
If you want a behind the scenes look at our home-brewing process, this video offers some proof.

So without any further ado, America – this one's for you:

Download a printable PDF of both recipes.

White House Honey Porter

  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light unhopped malt extract
  • 3/4 lb Munich Malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb crystal 20 malt (cracked)
  • 6 oz black malt (cracked)
  • 3 oz chocolate malt (cracked)
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 10 HBUs bittering hops
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur Aroma hops
  • 1 pkg Nottingham dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for bottling
  1. In a 6 qt pot, add grains to 2.25 qts of 168˚ water. Mix well to bring temp down to 155˚. Steep on stovetop at 155˚ for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of water to 165˚ in a 12 qt pot. Place strainer over, then pour and spoon all the grains and liquid in. Rinse with 2 gallons of 165˚ water. Let liquid drain through. Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil. Set aside.
  2. Add the 2 cans of malt extract and honey into the pot. Stir well.
  3. Boil for an hour. Add half of the bittering hops at the 15 minute mark, the other half at 30 minute mark, then the aroma hops at the 60 minute mark.
  4. Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
  5. Place 2 gallons of chilled water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons if necessary. Place into an ice bath to cool down to 70-80˚.
  6. Activate dry yeast in 1 cup of sterilized water at 75-90˚ for fifteen minutes. Pitch yeast into the fermenter. Fill airlock halfway with water. Ferment at room temp (64-68˚) for 3-4 days.
  7. Siphon over to a secondary glass fermenter for another 4-7 days.
  8. To bottle, make a priming syrup on the stove with 1 cup sterile water and 3/4 cup priming sugar, bring to a boil for five minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 1-2 weeks at 75˚.

White House Honey Ale

  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz Bisquit Malt
  • 1 lb White House Honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming
  1. In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
  3. For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavoring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.
gypsum - that's drywall, right?

i need to get around to updating my blog roll. this one is the best place to follow judge kozinski's movie career.


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