Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cocaine starves the brain of oxygen

Scientists can now SEE what is happening with cocaine in a mouse’s body. 

The Optical Society


For the first time, researchers have been able to prove “cocaine induced microischemia,” a precursor to stroke that arises when blood flow shuts down. The experiment was conducted on mice via cocaine injections. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hydro power to recharge your phone

In Seoul, Korea, they are taking advantage of the river to provide hydro power. To recharge cell phones!

Let’s send them some American greenies to protest against using the resources they have. But the greenies also use a lot of power.

Wall Street Journal South Korea blog

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jimmy Carter at home at Muslim event

President Jimmy Carter will be back home with his best friends, headlining Islamic Society of North America’s conference in Detroit this weekend.

ISNA was recently implicated by the Justice Department as the conduit for $12 million to Hamas, which is a designated terrorist group. Jimmy is at home. Jimmy will tell them how horrible Israel is. He knows; he wrote the book.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Learning math - Memorizing helps developmenet

Us common folks think part of kids learning math is memorizing the multiplication tables (and addition and some subtraction an division). The progressive math educators favor “discovery math,” which is telling the kids to find methods of, say, multiplying. Explore those methods and choose the one that works for them.

We say: Memorizing the “times” tables works.

Now neuroscientists say we are right. The memorization helps the brain in its development. Neuroscientists in Korea and the US did a study using brain scans and reported the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The development sequence is from counting to memorizing to high use of the skills. And memorizing moves the work from active use of the prefrontal cortex to the more passive memory recall from the hippocamus. That makes sense: At first you have to think about doing X, then with practice you do X without thinking.

Read more at National Post of Canada

Apple, you can't update your own software?

Apple gets a D for inability/unwillingness to keep its customers up to date.

Apple has been reminding me to install software updates. I don’t let it happen automatically, because I want to know what’s changed. After several reminders, I accepted an update to IMovie. Not because I use IMovie, but because I will be reminded to update it every two days forever.

Error. Not enough disk space. So I removed a few files and restarted my Macbook Pro, which always gains some. 

Error. Not enough disk space. There is 3.1 gigabytes. 3.1 gig is a lot of space. It is 2.4% of the “disk space” on this Mac.

I blame Apple because they are marketing Macs with small storage space - without disks, only flash memory. When I bought this Macbook Pro I bought - an Apple employee sold me - the Retina 128 Gb model. He impressed me with the superior speed of flash memory over a spinning hard disk. I didn’t buy the 256 Gb because it cost hundreds more. (And this Retina 128 Gb model cost a couple hundred more than the 160 Gb hard drive model.) The Apple employee didn’t tell me he was selling me a dysfunctional machine; that it didn’t have enough memory to enable it to accept updates of Apple’s own software.

I call that dysfunctional. Apple can blame no one but themselves. Apple controls the hardware and software on this Mac. It’s all theirs. Doesn’t work.

(I had walk-in support for a year. Then I could have dropped this problem on them. But it’s over, so it is my problem.) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The un-PC 1900 travel guides from Baedekers

Daily Mail UK

An Englishman on holiday in Spain a century ago found a country with little to recommend it. Waking up on the first morning and consulting his guide book, he would have read the following description: ‘Spain is a bleak and often arid land, with few traces of picturesqueness.’
The towns, the guide continues, are wreathed in tobacco smoke and the cafes are ‘very deficient in comfort and cleanliness’. The guide further warns that the service from waiters, chambermaids and porters is generally very slack and that the traveller should always count his change.
In the Spanish countryside there is great danger of highway robbery, while in the cities the police will arrest anyone they can lay their hands on.

The railway carriages and omnibuses are so filthy that a clothes brush, a duster and some insect powder should always be at hand. As for the national sport of bull fighting, it is ‘the most unsportsmanlike and cowardly spectacle’ a civilised man will ever see.
This is the account of Spain given in the 1914 Baedeker Guide. These small, red books, bound in leather, were the first recourse for an Englishman abroad in the late 19th and early 20th century.

It’s a blast.

Seattle jihdists

For study later:

Michelle Malkin describes for four murders by cross-country serial killer Ali Muhammad Brown loose for two months. Three of the murders were in Seattle. And Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s defense of Islam. She continues by describing six other (one a pair) Washington State Anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadists.

Michelle Malkin

Sunday, August 24, 2014

O lost Mo Do

Obama is in trouble. Even always conventional Maureen Dowd is criticizing him.

New York Times

FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.

I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.

Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.

End ending...

So help me Golf.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Illegals can fly without photo ID

You and I need government-issued photo identification to fly in the US. But illegal aliens are privileged; they don’t need ID. Huh?

At first, in July, Obama’s Transportation Security Agency (TSA) denied this was true. See Breitbart But on August 7 they admitted that illegals can fly by presenting a “Notice to Appear” form I-862. Does it show their photo? No. Does it have security features, like a watermark that prevents photo copying? No.

The TSA has been issuing weasel wording to bury what they are doing. According to TSA It’s not about ID, but verifiable ID. What’s that?

So you and I, American citizens are suspected and harassed by TSA. But illegal aliens “Go right ahead."

 Gateway Pundit tells it in full.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The "other San Juan islands"

The San Juan islands that are not among the four served by the ferry. Life is different. You have three options: Operate your own boat, or “charter” a trip on the Paraclete - much more expensive than the ferry and irregular service - or, on a few islands, fly your own airplane!

It is another world on these islands. Being hard to access, they are very quiet. I remember when staying at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island and looking across the water to Waldron Island. And being amazed that I was seeing lights. How do they have electricity? By generator. Of course lighting can also be by propane. Wow.

Illogically the author includes Guemes Island. It’s not among the main San Juan Islands, being very close to Anacortes. But the problem is, it does have a ferry. It’s not Washington State, but it’s public, reasonably priced and operates throughout the day, seven days a week - Skagit County owned and operated. 

Seattle Times

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Government union begs workers to pay dues

SEIU - Service Employees Intl Union - is begging workers to pay it dues. The U S Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. Quin that dues had been improperly collected from home-healthcare workers. The ruling applies in Washington. Generic Freedom Foundation got hold of a SEIU letter begging nonmember workers to pay.

Fox News

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skateboard-style car accident!?

Skateboard-style car accident? And it killed a passenger. The car driver was trying a stunt they saw in a skateboarding movie. But he tried it at freeway speed... while drunk.

Seattle Times

Monday, August 18, 2014

Empty Truck Putin

Russia President’s widely publicized convoy of 280 trucks carrying aid to Ukraine just fizzled. The trucks were almost empty!

While the 280 trucks sat at the Ukraine border awaiting entry dozens of reporters were there. They started asking questions. “Mr. Driver, what is in your truck?” Answer: “Nothing."

And while the reporters were there they saw multiple military convoys of armored vehicles easily cross the border into Ukraine. Shaun Walker of The Guardian saw a convoy of 23 cross which carried official Russian military license plates!

If Putin were serious about aiding Ukraine he would have given cash to an independent third party charity to deliver the aid. He just wanted a big show for several days.

Let’s call him “Empty Truck” Putin.

The Guardian UK

Via Forbes

Airbus A380 a ... not a success

Airbus introduced the giant-jumbo-mega A380, so it could rule the world of commercial aviation. But the bet wrong on the market and its sales are slow. The A380 program is unlikely to pay for its development costs.

It is a great aircraft and a marvel of design and manufacture.

Airbus bet that people would want to fly their mega marvel so much that they would choose to fly through major hubs like LAX, JFK, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Bangkok, etc. Versus a flight from closer to home, like to Tokyo from San Diego and Boston. Wrong. In fact, people will pay more to avoid a connection! On the other hand Boeing went for more flights by smaller aircraft and developed the 777 and 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus has sold 318 and deliver 138 to date; about 124 are in service. None has been lost due to accident or other cause. So they have a backlog of 180 aircraft. They can continue a comfortable delivery rate of 25 per month for seven plus years. That might be OK if they were expecting future orders, but industry followers don’t see much there.

And the current order book has one unusual risk - almost half the total 318 orders for for one airline. Emirates has ordered 140. Amazing!! But if Emirates gets in trouble the risk to A380 sales is huge. You know, spread your risk. (Not that they should turn down any order.) But it is a big risk for Airbus.

Seattle Times Read it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We have to worry about Ebola virus

Good news is allowed here, but we also have to consider real threats, and Ebola is one.

There is current danger (among others) that Ebola will spread to Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is a chaotic, thriving mix of 22 million people. Ebola there would be a worldwide problem.

You might have the impression that an untested drug can stop it. But it is that - untested and not known to be effective. Second:  The US and Europe are safe because customs agents at airports will see people with symptoms and deny them entry. Picture this: Your job is to watch hundreds of persons per hour arriving at LAX airport and spot the ones who have symptoms of a disease you have barely heard of. You - you are not a trained health-care worker, but a lowest level customs agent trained to check documents and luggage. Impossible assignment.

And, despite Dan Brown’s Inferno, the World Health Organization does not have a massive airplane and a "medical SWAT team” on standby to be anywhere in the world in six hours to bring a quick end to any biological threat.

Lauraie Garrett reports at Council on Foreign Relations.

• •

I am going to send a donation to Samaritan’s Purse. They have people on the ground in Liberia, the country hit hardest. (And have been there for 10 years.)

Climate science does not support IPCC's conclusions

Climate science does not support IPCC's conclusions. 

AGW Medieval warming period to present

S. Fred Singer, the author, is a climate scientist. Here he digs deep into the two main issues and shows the the IPCC’s process takes the science out. It first finds what the science says, then hands that to a political committee who write a summary that tickles their political fancy.

IPCC finds only man-made source because it specifically considers only man-made sources. If there is a natural cause they won’t see it, because their own process says to not look there.

The two issuers: First, future temperatures: Is civilization threatened by warming caused by you and me? Second, sea-level rise: Will lower Manhatten and Seattle’s football and baseball stadiums be flooded in a few years? And again, it’s your fault.

Read Singer’s report atAmerican Thinker


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chuckanut Drive and honeycomb-weathered rock

First, a report about a delightful kayak trip around Chuckanut Bay, south of Bellingham.

Seattle Times

They came upon most unusual rocks - that had weathered like honeycomb. The rock was marked by golf ball-sized cavities. They are called trafone (singular) or trafoni. Chuckanut has trafoni large enough to crawl inside.

Learn more about trafoni in the same area at NW Geology

Also look at the beautiful photo gallery of tafoni around the world at

US military is unable to fulfill the protection we need

The United States military is being starved of funding and is increasingly unable to fulfill the preparedness we need. So says a report by National Defense Panel, which was appointed by Congress. Chaired by Gen. Abizaid and Defense Secretary Perry.

Commentary Magazine

Such a group might be expected to endorse the status quo as the lowest-common-denominator option. But that’s not what they did. Instead they issued a blistering denunciation of the impact that budget cuts–amounting to a trillion dollars over 10 years–are having on the armed forces. These cuts, they warned, “constitute a serious strategic misstep on the part of the United States. Not only have they caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities, they have prompted our current and potential allies and adversaries to question our commitment and resolve. Unless reversed, these shortfalls will lead to a high risk force in the near future. That in turn will lead to an America that is not only less secure but also far less prosperous.”

The panel identified “disturbing” and “dangerous” gaps between the “capabilities and capacities” called for under the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and the actual “budget resources made available to the [Defense] Department.” Specifically the panel determined that both the Navy and Air Force need to grow and the Army and Marine Corps should not shrink as much as currently envisioned.

The Navy, the panel noted, should have between 323 and 346 ships yet it is currently “on a budgetary path to 260 ships or less.”

The Air Force, the panel found, “now fields the smallest and oldest force of combat aircraft in its history” and that situation is going to get much worse because it is going to lose half of its current inventory of bombers, fighter aircraft, and surveillance aircraft by 2019. The panel called for an increase in “the number of manned and unmanned aircraft capable of conducting both ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] and long range strike in contested airspace.”

The panel also found that currently contemplated reductions in Army end-strength go too far. “We believe the Army and the Marine Corps should not be reduced below their pre-9/11 end strengths–490,000 active-duty soldiers in the Army and 182,000 active Marines,” the panel concluded. Yet on the current trajectory the army is likely to wind up with 420,000 soldiers and the Corps with 175,000 marines.

The defense panel rightly warned that “sustaining these significant cuts to our defense budgets will not solve our fiscal woes, but will increasingly jeopardize our international defense posture and ultimately damage our security, prospects for economic growth, and other interests.”

National Journal

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Local people protect forests better

Local people preserve the environment better than government. Shock! But ... but ...

A study found that recognizing the property rights of local people protects resources from overexploitation. Environmentalists say that can't be true; they can do a better job than the people who live there, because they care more. And they know less about the land and resources.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Smoky the Bear lied to me

For decades Smoky the Bear told me "Only you can prevent forest fires," recently changed to wild fires. But he was lying to me.

I learned the truth when I was at the Marblemount ranger station waiting for a rescue (not in our party; we were helping others). In the morning the Forest Service people told us lightning had started 19 fires during the night. Lightning is NOT started by people! And today we learn that the Snag Canyon fire near Ellensburg was started by lightning.

Seattle Times


Everyone is exempt from Obamacare fines

Individual mandate? You can get a hardship exemption from buying Obamacare if you can't afford it. Circular causation. (I am not making this up!)

The exemptions from Obama's mandate climb. There are now 14 of them! Who is going to pay the fine for refusing Obama's insurance mandate? A few unlucky people - only a few.

The mandates to buy insurance are at the heart of Obamacare. It needs young people to buy it to subsidize the more expensive older people. Otherwise its costs will sky rocket. This is big trouble for the central dream if the "government can do everything better" crowd.

Wall Street Journal
Might require subscription.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Five ways Muslims helped build America and change our democracy

President Obama thanked Muslims for helping build the very fabric of America on Sunday. And “strengthening the core of democracy”?? Breitbart

How? Rober Spencer searched and found five ways they built and changed the core of our democracy - at PJ Media

5. The discovery of the Americas continents. Muslims blocked the trade routes from Europe to East Asia. So efforts were necessary to find alternative routes. Christopher Columbus went looking and found the Americas. 

4. Slavery. North Americans didn’t go around the jungles of Africa to capture black Africans to be slaves. They bought them. They bought them from black Africans. The African slave traders were Muslims. After all, the Koran condones slavery. Doubt it? The US outlawed slavery in 1863; Saudi Arabia in 1962.

3. US Marines got their first credit for combat bravery fighting the Barbary pirates in North Africa. You know “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."

2. Dractically reduced economy. Thank Muslim Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda for the 9/11/2001 attacks. It cost them $500,000 to attack us and our economy has lost hugely from it - estimated at $500 BILLION. And our life is more hassled every day as a result.

1. The TSA. Flying used to be fun, even romantic. Now the robotic TSA agents hassle us with phony security measures. And if we look at them cross-eyed they can caused us hassle, delay, missed flights and every arrest. Again, thank Muslim Osama bin Laden

This is from Robert Spence, directer of Jihad Watch.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Oil shipped along Russia's Arctic coast - to Korea

In the “interesting geography department:”

Korea is taking advantage of increased Arctic shipping. Not above North America - the “Northwest Passage,” which is still frustrating boaters who think it thawing out, but along Russia’s Arctic, that Russia calls the Northern Sea Route. Wikipedia

Seattle Times - You have to read deep into the article to make the distinction above, because the writer never clarifies that they are not talking about the Northwest Passage:

Melting Arctic ice is widening a path for ships to deliver European oil to Asia, stoking South Korea’s ambition to become a regional storage and trading hub.

The country, whose proximity to China, Russia and Japan makes it an ideal conduit for oil arriving via the Arctic, plans to add tanks for storing almost 60 million barrels of crude and refined products by 2020, about the same as Singapore’s current capacity.

The nation also seeks to leverage its energy infrastructure, which includes five refineries, to become Northeast Asia’s oil hub, said Kim Jun-dong, the deputy minister of energy and resources policy.

Global temperatures are rising, breaking up polar ice and opening the Northern Sea Route to tanker traffic for a longer period than from July to October. It’s forecast to be ice-free for six months by 2020, boosting South Korea’s appeal for European cargoes that traders could potentially ship again to other Asian countries.

Friday, August 01, 2014

UN condemns Israel for not giving Missile defense to Hamas

Today the UN condemned Israel for not giving missile defense to Hamas. This is not The Onion.

In 1941 The League of Nations told the US to give its spy code books to Germany. Because it wasn't fair to have an advantage. The Onion.

Only the UN can be so absurd.

Washington Times

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said to members of the media at an “emergency” meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council that Israel was falling short in its duty to protect citizens in the Gaza Strip from getting killed by its rockets.