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Coffe Cup -- 30 April 2014

1 min read

I bought me coffee this morning and it came with a "stupid little biscuit."  Here's some pictures

IMG_20140430_060118 IMG_20140430_060105

Global Warming / Climate Change

4 min read

Global Warming

This morning, I read this article in the Daily Mail that is dogging the US because 23% don't believe in Climate Change (aka Man Made Global Warming).  Here's a few quotes:

'The great majority of climate scientists have concluded that global warming is happening, mostly human caused and, if left unchecked, will have serious consequences for human societies and the natural world,' the report's authors said.

'Yet, over the years, there has been considerable confusion within the American public about the level of scientific agreement on the subject.'

The study, conducted in November, found About two in three Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening.

'Relatively few – only 23 percent – believe it is not,' they said.

'The proportion who believe global warming is real has remained steady since Spring 2013.

'However, the proportion who do not believe global warming is happening has increased 7 percentage points since Spring 2013.

'The proportion of Americans who say they 'don’t know' whether or not global warming is happening has dropped 6 points – from 20 to 14 – since Spring of 2013.

The researchers also say Americans believe that even if it exists, global warming is not their problem.

One can hear the tone of the article:  we all know this is happening but these stupid American's just won't believe.  Look at them...how stupid are they.

I think most people would consider me a "climate change denier" and one of the 23%; however, that is not the case.  Is the climate changing?  Perhaps or perhaps not.  I don't really know and don't think there is enough evidence to say either (records go back to the 1800s).  I believe the earth is about 6,000 years old and records for--let's be generous--300 years mean we only know for sure what has happened for 5% of the time.  If you believe in Darwin's monkeys to man evolution, percentage wise, you know even less.

Even if the climate is changing, we don't know enough to know if it is naturally cyclical or not.  We can't say whether any change we see puts us at the top of a warming cycle only to cool back down.  Perhaps we've got another 20 degrees to go before we start.  Or, perhaps--since there has been no warming in the past 15 years--we are getting ready to head back down.  The point is we don't know.

The global warmers can't even get their story straight.  Remember the polar vortex?  In 2013, Time Magazine blamed it on Global Warming.  Did you know that in 1974, they blamed the exact same thing--the vortex--on global cooling?  Which is it?  Global Cooling?  Global Warming?

Given the fact we don't know, I--as an American--refuse to believe that I am the problem.  Even if the earth is warming.  Even if humans are responsible.  Why?  Have you seen pictures of the air in Beijing China?  The air there is so stinking polluted they have a name for it:  airpocalypse.  What about India where the Ganges is also way way polluted?  If anyone needs to worry about reducing pollution, it is them...not me and the US.

The US doesn't have a great record either.  In 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire it was so polluted.  I'm sure there are many more examples; however, since then, we've cleaned things up.

In conclusion, I don't think we know enough to say for certain that the earth is warming or not.  The climate changers--just today's code word for the 1980s global warmers--can't even get their story straight (they can't even make their data work without faking it).  But even if it is happening as they claim, they come across as attacking the west and America.  The problem isn't with us...it is with China, India, and the rest of the developing world who pollute way more than we do.

Image from mark sardella via flickr

and how...

1 min read

Are we different than some banana republic?

Secret court -- check
Rubber stamping what the government wants -- check
Listening in just because they choose to -- check

This is not only wrong in the worst way....the US is now no different than .  Stupid patriot act.  Nothing is worth this.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57589495-38/nsa-admits-listening-to-u.s-phone-calls-without-warrants/

Ever Take a Taxi?

3 min read

#1 - Mr. Aiad

Have you ever taken a taxi somewhere?  I have in three different cases:  1) no access to another car and needed to get somewhere farther away than I wanted to walk or 2) I was in a strange city and didn't have a clue where I was going or 3) I needed to get to/from an airport and public transit wasn't running.

I only ever took a taxi once in the US...from BWI to my Aunt Grace's house.  In Cacak, we took taxis around town if the weather was bad or we needed to get from the store with a large shop.  We took a taxi in London once because it was £4 cheaper for the cab than for a single-ride tube pass.  In Belgrade, we took a Mafia taxi ride, went less than a mile, and paid an arm-and-a-leg (and learned how you really get a cab in Belgrade).

Anyway, in the English speaking countries, what this guy points out was true:  the cabbie asked how to get there.  My response....I don't have a clue.  I expect the cabbie to use his knowledge of the local situation and take the quickest/shortest/most economical route.  Anyway, here's what he says:

I used to drive a taxi. I made a lot of money doing it. I learned very early on to never drive someone to their destination if it was a route they drove themselves, say to their home from the airport, or from their home to work or vice versa. Everyone prides themselves on driving the shortest route but they rarely do. Often people develop a route that is based on need -say going by the day care, or avoiding an intersection where they once had an accident or to avoid driving by an ex’s house or skirting road construction long since resolved- but as they become habituated to it, they fail to reorganize their strategy when their needs change. When I first started driving a cab, I drove the shortest route -always, I’m ethical- but people would accuse me of taking the long way because it wasn’t the way they drove. So, I learned to go their way ending up with a lot less grief and a lot more money. If you’ve ever wondered why a seeming professional cab driver will ask you how to get to your destination, this is why. Going your way means they’ll make more money and they won’t be accused of ripping you off. Not to say that in the beginning, I wasn’t stupid. I’d try to show the customer the route on a map but they’d usually be offended that I was contradicting them. It was to their house, if I’d never been there, how could I possibly know better than they did? In the end, experts they consider themselves to be, people are a tangle of unexamined emotional impulses and illogical responses. 

Taking a taxi after walking around town (like in Cacak) was an interesting experience.  The first time, I wondered why the guy went the way he did...but then, I started paying attention to signs as I walked.  As a walker, I made turns where cars couldn't or went the wrong way down one way streets.

Image from jorjev via flickr

ARG Apple!

2 min read

Today's latte, Jython.

Yesterday, CERT issued a warning about a vulnerability in Java 7.10.  No problem.  I do all of my surfing on a Mac using Chrome and Java won't run plugins in Chrome (Chrome is 32bit only while Java is 64bit only).  The ONE thing I have to use Java and Safari for is to connect to a VPN.

I try this morning...it doesn't work.  So I go looking.  It turns out that Apple thinks it has to babysit me.  They have disabled Java on OSX.  STUPID APPLE!  I don't need you to babysit me.  I don't need you to big brother my computer like this.  This means if something goes wrong at the office until this gets fixed, I have to go in.  It also means I can't do any sort of remote work to help people.  I can't do jack squat.

Oh, this also means people who live in places where the government "watches" the internet and they use a VPN so the government can't "watch"...thanks Apple...you've really messed over a whole scad of people.

[Update 2013-01-14 09:48:06] Oracle has released Java 7.11.  I'm not sure if it resolves the bug/hole or not...but it re-enables Java in Safari.  Go to java.com for the new version.

Image from yukop via flickr

Who is to blame?

3 min read

Ted Kennedy at American University

The NRA met with VP Biden yesterday.  According to them, the NRA,

... this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," the group said in a written statement. "While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners -- honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.

They went on to say that

It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.

Quotes from this Fox News article:  NRA rips Biden task force

Exactly.  The people who commit crimes should be punished.  NOT law abiding citizens.  

See the guy in the picture of this post?  That is Sen. Ted Kennedy. His car killed more people that all of my guns, my dad's guns, my uncles guns, and grandparents guns combined.  Don't believe me, go read about Chappaquiddick.  Combine this with the fact that in NYC--New York City--you are more likley to be killed by a car than a gun.  It is clear we need to ban cars (except for licensed taxis of course) from the city.

Of course that is a stupid suggestion.  Accidents happen.  Where there are more cars and more people jammed into a small space, accidents will happen.  People will still use cars as weapons.  That is a risk that must be balanced with the needs of the many to get around.

In the same way, guns can't simply be banned.  I don't think they should be restricted for law abiding sane citizens either.  In this case though, the RIGHTS (not needs) of the public trump what small percent of bad is done.  If anything, the federal government needs to stop stupid programs like fast and furious, start putting away people who break existing laws, and enforcing existing law (I can't find the link now; however, I read an article where Biden was talking about one of his recommendations being to start enforcing existing gun laws because he's been lax).  I don't mind things like the NICS system since no records are kept of what is done:  a simple yes or no is given and the transaction happens.  

GO NRA!

[Update 2013-01-17 08:07:49I'm taking a short break from this topic.

Image from willwhitedc via flickr

SSL Warnings-- Need some Help

1 min read

SSL

Is anyone else getting ssl mixed content warnings on the site?  I've been getting them off and on; however, I can't figure out what it is.  Everything on the page looks to be delivered via https.  Anyone (Bill, Alan) have any ideas?

[Update 2012-12-26 08:13:29] Here's two posts that will need updating once I get this problem fixed:
SSL and Maxsons.org
Website Changes

[Update 2012-12-26 08:29:33] Something (my guess = disquis) was loading a resource from facebook (http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js) via http.  Stupid facebook...why wouldn't they send that via https??  Anyway, I think I've disabled the login via facebook from disquis so this shouldn't happen any more.

[Update 2012-12-26 08:33:21] Well, the error is gone but you can still login via facebook.  ARG....

[Update 2012-12-26 19:48:53] I spent most of today working on the website.  I think I've got everything sorted out with the mixed content messages.

Image from jeff_golden via flickr 

At A&E

1 min read

My finger-Christmas 2012

What a way to spend Christmas evening...at the a&e (that's what they call the emergency room in England).  Why am I here?

 Well Cyndi wanted a food processor.  I got her one.  Themetal blade was in this plastic case tthing.  What a stupid idea I said.  Well, as  was washing it I sliced my finger... quite nicely.  So Cyndi said I should come.

So...here I sit on Christmas eve waiting to be seen.

[Update 2012-12-25 21:53:37] It took about an hour to get seen.  And what did they do?  Put some tape on it and give me a sling.  A sling!  I wanted to ask how I was supposed to drive home.  On one hand, in the states, I would have wanted more for my $100 ER fee.  My first reaction is to say I'm glad I didn't pay.  Then, I remembered the OUTRAGEOUS amount of income taxes I paid here to provide this "free" healthcare.  I want more for my thousands!  Oh, I also added the picture.  Click it if you want to see it in more detail.