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Mysterious Objects In Space

  • Posted on: 12 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image © AFAM/CARA/G.Sostero,P.Camilleri,E. Guido,M. Jaeger,E. Prosperi,W. Vollmann/AP:

A mystery object from space, as seen from the Skylive-Grove Creek Observatory in Australia, is about to whizz close by Earth. Scientists are stumped by what exactly the object, 33 to 50 feet wide at most, is.

Flying home, the alien took a shortcut.

Kansas' Judge Overturns Sixth Commandment

  • Posted on: 12 January 2010
  • By: rba

[Update, Wed, 13 Jan: "This trial is going to be on TV, but it is not a TV trial - it is a real trial," defense attorney Mark Rudy said.

Master of the obvious.]

"The damage is done: The judge has agreed to give him a platform," Hern said. "It is an act of incomprehensible stupidity on the part of the judge, but he is carrying out the will of the people of Kansas who are trying to get out of the 19th century."
[Roxana Hegeman/AP: Some fear Kan. ruling may spur abortion violence]

Just plain cuckoo. If this holds Kansas will have officially sanctioned reduced sentences for vigilantes.

PEJ Report: How News Happens

  • Posted on: 11 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image © Fadi Abou Ghalioum/Daily Star (Lebanon)

PEJ: How News Happens:

... while the news landscape has rapidly expanded, most of what the public learns is still overwhelmingly driven by traditional media -- particularly newspapers.

In the growing echo chamber online, formal procedures for citing and crediting can get lost. We found numerous examples of websites carrying sections of other people’s work without attribution...

Good report for the editors and publishers to read. They might even wake up enough to avoid total collapse.

Code Wars

  • Posted on: 11 January 2010
  • By: rba


Margo Roosevelt/LAT:

Environmental groups try to block parts of California's green building code
:

The proposed code, likely to be adopted Tuesday, would slash water use, mandate the recycling of construction waste, cut back on polluting materials and step up enforcement of energy efficiency in new homes, schools, hospitals and commercial buildings statewide.

Well, lessee here. Houses out here have been energy efficient since back in the mid-70's. Builders installed dual-pane windows, insulated walls and ceiling/roof assemblies, sealed around all vertical and horizontal openings, and installed far more efficient HVAC systems. Our drought brought added requirements for low-flow fixtures, 1.5 gal toilets, even a move toward drought tolerant plants. (I'll give them the increased attention to waste, even though our locals have been source-separating for decades, because those were not Statewide requirements.)

So why the whine? The enviros want to mandate use of a proprietary set of 'standards' developed by the private sector, for which the building industry and manufacturers have been paying dearly. Screw that. I'll stick with the State's new code set. One State, one set of standards. The Earth Biscuit Brigades can take a hike.

Experts of the Unexpected

  • Posted on: 7 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image: Aerial View and Portraits of Poultry Farmer Experts - Petaluma, CA @ AllPosters

I suppose I could link to what passes for 'news' on point here, but there is no value in the content. Another morning where some jackass who thinks he's a reporter makes a few calls to other jackii who think they are 'experts', for reaction to a government report filled with WAGs. 'Experts' are 'surprised' at the 'unexpected' [rise/fall/no change] in the [insert relevant report here].

Out West we have a word for that practice: chickenshit. In the mediasphere it's neck deep and rising.

Empty Chairs

  • Posted on: 6 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image © James Thompson/BBC

I don't think there has been a better opportunity for the activist 'progressive left' to fill soon-to-be-empty Senate seats in at least a decade. The loud but growing group of marginally effective backbenchers who inhabit the alt.universe of e-com have failed miserably thusfar, but now have a slim chance to actually promote and elect two U.S. Senators.

My take? No way, no how. Too scattered, fragmented, and disingenuous. Plus, no candidates. Good luck wid dat.

Screening

  • Posted on: 5 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image @ A la mode.com

The most fascinating thing about new tools, is the fact that it has taken decades of effort by the world's greatest engineers to produce devices that replicate a piece of paper with print, with the added bonus of programs that will allow any human capable of it to write as if on paper.

Brilliant, no? At least sixty years of brain-numbing, massive study, and intense global competition to make tools that function almost as good as the originals.

I'll make a note.

NYT: Ssssmokin'

  • Posted on: 4 January 2010
  • By: rba

NYT: Oil Surges Above $81, Driven by Several Factors:

HOUSTON — A combination of frigid weather, expectations of an improving economy and new tensions between Russia and Belarus...

The technical term for this usless information is 'bullshit'. I mean, do these 'old-style media' types even read what they put into these articles? Jesus H. Christ, how many different reasons for oil price fluctuations can you blithely put to print before you become at least *marginally* aware you're printing doo-doo? Twenty? Fifty?

Like my ol' daddy used to say, gimme a puff on dat 'fore you throw it away.

Brake the Cycle

  • Posted on: 4 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image: USDA Press Release, 7 May '09

And now, for something completely expected and ordinary: nothing changes. Farmers get a few millions to split between two countries to help them grow food, the 'enemy combatants' get a coupla hundred bucks to kill anyone who accepts the cash, and - perfectly on cue - mercs get a few hundred million to kill them *and* their crops.

Idiot. Stop.

  • Posted on: 3 January 2010
  • By: rba



Jeremy Hilary Boob on the Sea of Holes @ Wiki

Marc Ambinder: Predictions 2012: The GOP Nomination

Pro'bly just me, but for a minute it looked like two-boobs-in-a-pod. You know, both, um, 'characters' putting out volumes of useless writings. Not so sure now. Jeremy's writing always had some value to someone somewhere. And he's never been mistaken for anything but a 'toon.

Can't say that about the other boob.

Fishwrap

  • Posted on: 2 January 2010
  • By: rba


Image ©DemotivateUs

NYT: U.S. Loan Effort Is Seen as Adding to Housing Woes

*Who*? 'Some'.

    ...some economists...real estate experts...borrowers...[financial] experts ...

'Some': derived from the Nor'Eastern 'some'rs', meaning 'somewhere'; a place or persons unknown to the writer. Commonly used by lazy reporters, copy editors, and editors to 'shade' articles in a manner designed to create bias, and/or advocate for a given position by hint and allegation. Fishwrap. One more:

AP: 2010 situation grows more difficult for Democrats

It's like, the idiots have lost their village.

Time Wasis

  • Posted on: 30 December 2009
  • By: rba



Image © RCA @ TV History.tv

See the tv. The entire device - including the case - was made here in the US in 1959. As were all of our vehicles, and all of the materials for our buildings, highways, roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals. Not to mention our clothes and food.

Today? Most of what we live in, wear, drive on, and eat comes from somewhere else, and it's the 'why' of those changes we need to understand. All of the reasons are simple, the view is unobstructed, the entire history available online, so go find out. (Hint: nothing changes.)

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