Does Global Warming Cause Hurricanes?

14 Sep 2017 /

Anyone who thinks global warming causes hurricanes should be required to explain in detail:

  1. the cause and effect mechanism they believe to be in operation; and
  2. what used to cause hurricanes before global warming.

What Happened?

13 Sep 2017 /

According to this review by Piers Morgan, Hillary has narrowed down the list of people and entities responsible for her 2016 election defeat to James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Mitch McConnell, the mainstream media, the New York Times, Matt Lauer, Fox News, Jill Stein, men, women, white people, black people, Joe Biden, Anthony Weiner, and the Electoral College.

Notably absent from the list: Hillary Clinton.


The Perfect Murder?

12 Sep 2017 /

Realtor Who Vanished During Harvey Found Dead, Ex-Husband ArrestedYahoo! News

Bathtub

That probably seemed like a good plan at the time, murdering your former spouse under cover of a natural disaster.

I bet that happens all the time. A woman is discovered drowned . . . who’s to know you actually drowned her in the bathtub ahead of time? I’d like to see ’em prove that in a court of law.

That being said, I still think the best way to kill someone and get away with it is to push them off a cliff.


61% Say It’s Time for Hillary Clinton To Retire

12 Sep 2017 /

61% Say It’s Time for Hillary Clinton To RetireRasmussen Reports

I feel like this is something the whole country can agree on.

Granted, 61 percent is not 100 percent but you have to take into account that 25 percent of Americans think the sun goes around the earth, nearly 30 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 cannot locate the Pacific Ocean on a map and half the residents of Detroit can’t read.

Hillary Clinton has come out of seclusion just as we remember the 16th anniversary of 9/11, and as both Texas and Florida are underwater, and all she wants to talk about is Hillary Clinton.

This woman is completely tone-deaf, always has been and apparently always will be . . .


Convincing

12 Sep 2017 /

xkcd


Making it Through High School Alive

10 Sep 2017 /

Baltimore schools spend a staggering $16,000 per student – the fourth-highest rate in the nation – and still an investigation by Fox45’s Project Baltimore revealed that at six city schools, not one student scored proficient on the statewide tests for English and math.

At West Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High, one of five high schools and one middle school where not one student scored a four or a five on the state test, only one out of 185 students who took the test last year scored a three, while 165 students scored a one, the lowest possible score.

Frederick Douglass

The schools are:

  • Booker T. Washington Middle School
  • Frederick Douglass High School
  • Achievement Academy at Harbor City
  • New Era Academy
  • Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High
  • New Hope Academy

It looks like if you live in Baltimore, you want to avoid sending your child to a school whose name includes the word “Academy” or the name of an eminent black American.

The mother of one Frederick Douglass student is quoted as saying, “That’s absurd to me. That’s your teacher’s report card, ultimately.”

In Irvine, CA, where I live, the school district spent $9,488 per student last year, so I think it’s fair to say that Baltimore parents are not getting good value for their education dollar, but I also think that Irvine parents would be much more likely to say that sub-par educational performance indicates a problem in the home rather than with the teachers.

Accentuating the positive: At Excel Academy, 300 seniors started the school year, 104 graduated and 5 were shot to death. In some towns, just making it through high school alive is an accomplishment.


A Fake News Taxonomy: 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

9 Sep 2017 /

First Draft makes an interesting effort to classify different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false), based on the type of content, the motivations of those who create the content and the ways that content is disseminated

Here are the categories they came up with, in descending order of intent to deceive:

  • Fabricated Content: New content that is 100% false
  • Manipulated Content: Genuine information or imagery is manipulated
  • Imposter Content: Impersonation of genuine sources
  • False Context: Genuine content is shared with false contextual information
  • Misleading Content: Misleading use of information to frame an issue/individual
  • False Connection: Headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content
  • Satire or Parody: No intention to cause harm but potential to fool

We used to have the Five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. Now we have the Eight P’s:

  • Poor journalism
  • Parody
  • To provoke or to “punk”
  • Passion
  • Partisanship
  • Profit
  • Political influence
  • Propaganda

Management Tips From the Pros: Put the Best Employees on the Drive-Thru Window

8 Sep 2017 /

If you manage a fast food restaurant and you’re reading this, I beseech you to put your best employees at the drive-thru window to mitigate problems that wouldn’t arise in a face-to-face transaction.

Drive-thru window

For example, I drove through Del Taco today for lunch . . . after the obligatory “Hi, welcome to Del Taco, would you like to try our new Queso Something-or-other,” I said “No, thank you, I’d like a Spicy Grilled Chicken Burrito and a large Coke Zero.”

“Would you like a churro or something sweet for dessert?”

“No but thanks for asking.”

“OK, your total is . . .”

After several seconds of silence, I decided to pull forward, give her some time to work through the math, and get the total at the window.

After I’d gone about 10 feet, I heard her say “Wait, you wanted a burrito?”

The car behind me hadn’t moved up, so I backed up to the speaker and said “Sorry, I thought we were done.”

“Hi, welcome to Del Taco . . .”


De-sensitivity Training?

7 Sep 2017 /


We’re Dreamers Too

6 Sep 2017 /

There are lots of people who went to school, worked hard, provided for our families, raised our kids, tried to do the right things . . . no one lionizes us but we’re dreamers too . . .

A Real American


For Some Reason, I Thought Transgender Models Would Be Smarter Than Regular Models

4 Sep 2017 /

L’Oreal SACKS its first transgender model after she blasted ‘ALL white people are racist’ in shocking Facebook rantThe Sun

The Facebook post, since deleted, said (WARNING: British spellings ahead):

Munroe Bergdorf

Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people.

Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour.

Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggression to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.

Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.

Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk.

Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears.

That’s the “shocking” rant?! I’m yawning here because I’ve heard this same “rant” a thousand times. Usually it’s not called a rant. It reinforces the speaker’s image of the kind of person they are and it helps them fit in with the groups that they want to fit in with.

The shocking thing is that someone got fired for saying white people are all racists, which is a pretty mainstream progressive position.

People who picked their audience correctly (e.g., the BET Awards) have said the same thing to great plaudits.

I love people of all skin colors, hair colors, eye colors, genders, the poor, the handicapped, except for white people who are ALL VIOLENT RACISTS.

OK thanks for the message of acceptance and unity.

Not a fan of people being fired (or “sacked” as the Brits say) for their opinions but I am glad to see this kind of unhelpful, holier-than-thou bullshit getting some blowback . . .


Biggest CFB Upset Ever

4 Sep 2017 /

Biggest CFB upset ever


Walter Becker, 1950-2017

3 Sep 2017 /

Walter Becker

It’s hard times befallen the Soul Survivors
She thinks I’m crazy but I’m just growing old

RIP Walter Becker


Don’t Stare At It Directly

31 Aug 2017 /

Eclipse


A University Professor Suggested Harvey Was Karma for Texas Republicans

30 Aug 2017 /

Then — he was fired.

The tweet, since deleted, from Kenneth L. Storey, formerly of the University of Tampa, read: “I dont believe in instant karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesnt care about them.”

In a follow-up, he said that “good people” in red states like Texas and Florida “need to do more to stop the evil their state pushes.” He continued: “I’m only blaming those who support the GOP there.”

Let this hurricane be a lesson to the evil people of Texas: Vote Democrat!

Embed from Getty Images

If you’re a university professor, left-of-center opinions usually won’t get you fired, but exceptions may occur.

Another professor, Kathy Dettwyler, was fired by the University of Delaware in June for writing in a now-deleted Facebook post that Otto Warmbier, who was taken into custody in North Korea, then fell into a coma and died, was “typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes. Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?”

I’m going to say yes, thinking that certain people deserve to be killed for their immutable qualities is wrong.

A Google search reveals that Kathy Dettwyler, while maybe not rich, is white and clueless, and must have been young at one time.


To Young Women Considering a Career in Technology

30 Aug 2017 /

You’ve probably read a lot of articles about how sexist and awful the culture is for women in technology.

I think if anything deters young women from technology careers, it’s this glut of articles saying how sexist and awful the culture is.

Young female technologist

I’ve worked in software development for 30 years. In my experience — and feel free to discount this because I’m not a woman — the culture is not tough for women. If anything, men give women the benefit of the doubt because they’d like to have more women around.

As Holden Caulfield used to say, “I like to be somewhere at least where you can see a few girls around once in a while, even if they’re only scratching their arms or blowing their noses or even just giggling or something.”

Yes, I have seen bad things happen to women in tech, but I’ve seen bad things happen to men and I’ve had bad things happen to me. I’m also aware of bad things happening to women in other professions. We’ve all had our ups and downs.

How to explain this? Bad things happen to women because they’re women and bad things happen to men because — what? We deserve it?

You’ve probably also read a lot of articles about a “diversity chasm” in tech, usually written by women who work in tech and can’t understand why every young woman in America is not making the same career choices they themselves have made.

Women, like any group, are under-represented in some professions (like tech) and over-represented in other professions — education and health services, for example.

Is a software engineering career objectively better than being a nurse or a teacher or a therapist or any of the careers that women seem to prefer?

I’m happy to admit that I don’t know what the “right” male-female ratio is for any given profession and that I don’t know what other people should be doing with their lives.

Programming has been a pretty good career for me — I like to build things and I like to solve hard problems — but I’ve spent most of my life alone in a room or cubicle staring at a computer screen. It’s not for everyone. There are pros and cons like any other job.

I don’t have a daughter but my son never took an interest in programming and I never pushed him to do so. He graduated college with a degree in business. I have no reason to think his life will be less fulfilling because he’s not working in a technology job.

TL;DR:

  • Don’t pursue a technology career because someone else thinks you should.
  • Don’t pursue a technology career to make some point about gender roles in society.
  • Don’t be scared off by inaccurate (IMO) generalizations about anti-female culture.
  • Follow your heart.

Thus spoke The Programmer.


There’s No Perfect Place to Live

30 Aug 2017 /

Orange County isn’t in a flood zone like Houston but it may be within range of a North Korean missile . . .


When You Lose the Mayor of Berkeley, You’ve Lost America

29 Aug 2017 /

In the aftermath of a right-wing rally Sunday that ended with anarchists chasing attendees from a downtown park, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin urged UC Berkeley on Monday to cancel conservatives’ plans for a Free Speech Week next month to avoid making the city the center of more violent unrest.

“I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street,” Arreguin said, referring to militants who have also been called anti-fascists or antifa.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin


Fighting Fascism With Mob Violence

28 Aug 2017 /

Here’s how different media outlets covered yesterday’s Berkeley rally . . .

USA Today and the Sun-Sentinel, a Florida paper, play it straight up, telling us what happened and who was responsible: Black-clad anarchists stormed the rally, fighting against hate by kicking and punching people until police intervened.

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Berkeley-California/113857331958379?source=whfrt&position=2&trqid=6459150791684243580

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Berkeley-California/113857331958379?source=whfrt&position=2&trqid=6459150791684243580

Even the Washington Post, the most left-wing, anti-Trump paper in America, which recently informed readers that there is no political violence on the left, got this one right.

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Berkeley-California/113857331958379?source=whfrt&position=2&trqid=6459150791684243580

The Daily Mail uses the same photo as USA Today but reports only that violence broke out between the two sides. If they know any more about who was responsible, they’re not saying.

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Berkeley-California/113857331958379?source=whfrt&position=2&trqid=6459150791684243580

Finally, NPR reports that scattered violence between left and right marred an otherwise peaceful protest. NPR notes that a radio host tried to protect a man he was afraid would be beaten to death by “a group of protestors.” If you click into that story, you see that the next sentence is “It’s unclear how the aggressors were aligned.”

True story, NPR couldn’t figure out how the “aggressors” were “aligned.” They must have had some big brains working on that one.

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Berkeley-California/113857331958379?source=whfrt&position=2&trqid=6459150791684243580


Some Things You Never Get Used To

27 Aug 2017 /

Our whole family has been seeing the same doctor for about 15 years.

I had an appointment with her today and she was a nervous wreck. She told me she’s flying to Houston tonight with her son, who’s starting college at Rice University.

I’ve already had a child move away for college so she asked, “How did you handle this? I feel like I have a rock on my chest.”

“Well, it’s a challenge when you love someone so much and they leave. Maybe prescribe yourself some Xanax.”

“What do you do at the end? How do the parents leave? Does everyone just hug and say goodbye?”

“You probably have to follow your heart on that. My goal was not to cry in front of the boy and I did accomplish that. I hugged him, I said ‘I love you, I’m proud of you,’ he walked into the dorm and I got in the car and drove home.”

She started grasping at straws. “I guess you get used to it over time,” she said.

“Not really. It’s been six years and I still haven’t gotten used to it.’


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