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Papa  Vox Archive:
January through June, 2010

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June 7, 2010

BP Deepwater Horizon disaster: who's to blame? A handy and informative pie chart.
(Sara Palin says environmentalists caused the disaster.)

"Enhanced" interrogation techniques (that is to say, techniques that don't leave physical scars as evidence of torture) cause "severe" or "serious" physical and mental harm to detainees. It's torture, folks. Always has been, always will be.

Toxoplasma: induces rats to commit suicide by making them sexually excited by the smell of cat urine. (True.) Turns human men into risk-taking, impulsive motorcycle riders, and human women into affectionate, seductive sex kittens. (Maybe.)

The "Hedge Fund" tax loophole.

OK, so maybe it wasn't a huge asteroid after all: 65 million years ago, continental drift blocked global oceanic circulation. This dramatically cooled the Earth and caused the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event.

Cool, manly, leather bags, fit for a globe-trotting archeologist. They are pretty but they ain't cheap.

"Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop."

Take a picture of a cop, get busted big time, even if the encounter involves you and recording it may be necessary for your physical safety and legal defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists. Prove the cops beat you up for no reason, go to jail because you filmed them.

A cave painting of this really large extinct bird may be the oldest piece of art in the world: 40,000 years old.

One milkshake, 2010 calories, 68 grams of saturated fat.  But trust me, you can do even worse.

Sunscreen; good idea, mostly bad execution. Ratings and advice.

Igor Stravinsky got arrested for writing his arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner. How weird is that? (alert reader pointed out that this was a hoax...)

The phenomenon of supremely confident incompetent people. (I won't mention any names.)

I bought a tiffin -- got the bamboo utensil set, too. Love them. Found some great recipes.

Do it right, guys; how to fold a pocket square.

May 3, 2010

Steven Hawking tells us how to build a time machine, but  warns us not to talk to aliens.

Cool stuff: Mighty Bright, one of the more innovative LED light companies, making handy lights for crafts, reading, music stands and laptops.

How to pronounce that dang Icelandic volcano.

Rapid healing of wounds; suction works. You can rent the $100-a-day machine, or you can use this $3 gizmo invented by an MIT student.

From an anonymous blogging executive at one of America's 10 largest banks: "The system is built to be gamed."

Yellowstone Park, before and after the wolves came back.

Glutathione is good for you.

Treating women like second-class citizens; Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.

Bush and Cheney “had absolutely no concern that the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent."

The "Tweed Run" looks like ripping fun; it's on bicycles, not on foot, and it involves tweed. Organize one in your town.

Somebody really needs to explain this to police nationwide: TASERS are a weapon. TASERS injure. TASERS kill. Using them, for example, on thirty high-school students so they'll know "what it feels like" is idiotic. But the following examples (all true) also apply:
  • Using them on people in a diabetic coma is idiotic.
  • Using them on pregnant women is idiotic.
  • Using them on deaf people because they didn't answer a shouted question is idiotic.
  • Using them on drivers who don't produce their license "fast enough" is idiotic.
  • Using them on someone for refusing to sign a parking ticket is idiotic.
  • Using them on peaceful, compliant protesters is idiotic.
  • Using them on an elderly man in a wheelchair is idiotic.
  • Using them on a frightened retarded man hiding in bathroom is idiotic.
  • Using them on "suspects" who are already handcuffed is idiotic.
  • Using them on a nine-year old handcuffed girl is idiotic.
  • Using them on a mentally disturbed man who has soaked himself in gasoline -- causing him to burst into flames and burn to death -- is idiotic.
Or maybe idiotic isn't the right word...
With over 300 TASER deaths, it's time for reform.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My old IBM M4 keyboard is still a bit flaky; works pretty well most of the time, but occasionally needs a tap or two over the place where the keyboard circuits connect to the cord. Even so, they remain the best keyboards ever made. Look for one at your local second-hand store. And if you find two, I need a spare..

Beautiful pictures of facial reconstructions; how our hominid ancestors probably looked. Startling and lifelike.

The perfect Martini, at least as London sees it.

How Sony is messing up big time; producing a bewildering array of redundant gadgets with more flash than utility.

Getting the DNA of extinct birds from old eggshells; will we soon say of the Dodo; "tastes like chicken"?

Self-explaining chart; Canadians really like their hockey.

Twitter about the G-20 summit; go to jail.

Fluir; the best hand lotions ever made, by hand, by a really nice lady who knows her stuff.

Gene-expression; why stress changes your offspring's DNA.

Getting your P.S.A. frequently checked is... maybe not such a great idea after all. Mostly it's all about BPE; "benign" being the important word here. And research shows that the frequently prescribed drugs have many troublesome side effects. Herbal remedies can do as well or better, although Saw Palmetto can cause whopping headaches. While mainstream medicine says prostate massage "doesn't work," over a third of men who have tried it say that they got substantial relief from BPA, and half said it helped. 

Fail to "Promptly Obey" a customs officer, go to jail for TWO YEARS.
"This isn't about safety, it isn't about security, it isn't about the rule of law. It's about obedience."

What the health-care reform bill means to Americans: the top 18 changes.

Biketech: say goodbye to the bicycle chain, say hello to the carbon drive belt.

Golden-ratio calipers; useful for... I don't know. But they sure are pretty, and I want one. Or rather, 1.618.

Teens need sleep. Let them start school later in the day, and everyone wins. So why don't schools and school boards make the change?

What hard-core Republicans believe is... just silly.

And if you though the "Catch Me if you Can" kid was a young criminal mastermind, you should see THIS kid.

The cycling universe: bang, crunch, repeat.

X-Woman; neanderthal plus homo sapiens.

Some reasons why the i-Pad may suck.

The collapse of complex business models: "When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification."

One ugly bug.

Monday, March 8, 2010

OK, I've been bad. An "alert reader" finally noticed that nothing's been posted here for three months, and complained in a pathetic email. So here's some stuff.

Picture of the day: we just got another two feet of snow.

Law and politics
The Arts

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Law and Disorder:
General weirdness:

(See the "Archives" for previous posts -- here's the most recent)

Proud to be a "True Blue" American.
Freedom in America today

What's my ISP connection speed?

Papa Vox Archives:

Oct, Nov, Dec, 2009
July, Aug, Sept, 2009
April, May, June, 2009
Jan, Feb, March, 2009
Oct, Nov, Dec, 2008
July, Aug, Sept, 2008
April, May, June, 2008
Dec 07; Jan, Feb, Mar, 2008
Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, 2007
May,June, July, 2007
April, 2007
March, 2007
February, 2007
January, 2007
December, 2006
November, 2006
October, 2006
September, 2006
August, 2006
July, 2006
June, 2006
May, 2006
April, 2006
March, 2006
February, 2006

Hacking yourself:

An experiment in the supposition that shoes are bad for you with reviews of various "nearly barefoot" alternatives to the evil shoe.

An experiment in lowering the set-point as a means of safe, rapid, nearly-effortless weight loss.

The miracle of medical massage.

Where do your tax dollars go?

Want your vote to count?




Cool links:
Your daily Peanuts ®
Astronomy Picture of the Day

Don't be suckered by a dubious email that smells like an urban myth. Look it up and find out:

 David Brin's Blog
One of today's greatest SciFi authors. A rational, scientific approach to modern life and governmental policy -- what a radical concept!

Websites worth visiting:
Big Brass Blog
Black Box
Center for American Progress
Crooks and Liars
Daily Kos
Dem Underground
Groupnews Blog
Huffington Post
Left in the West
Media Matters
MM News
Susie Bright's Journal

Papa's Reading list:
  Good books. 

Contact your members of Congress:

 Educate yourself:

The US Cabinet
Your State Government
Executive Orders
Amnesty International


Free Anti-Virus programs.

I currently use:
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Ad-Aware  anti-adware  download
Spybot   anti-spyware  download
CCleaner  system & registry cleanup  download
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"Eudora OSE" Eudora-style
version of  Thunderbird -- free
Stable release 1.0

is a free open-source media player. Secure, private -- and it plays just about everything.

Miro media player




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