Speaks for many

Joel, December 10, 2016 

Garrison Keilor

“He will never be my president because he doesn’t read books, can’t write more than a sentence or two at a time, has no strong loyalties beyond himself, is more insular than any New Yorker I ever knew, and because I don’t see anything admirable or honorable about him. This sets him apart from other politicians. The disaffected white blue-collar workers elected a Fifth Avenue tycoon to rescue them from the elitists — fine, I get that — but they could’ve chosen a better tycoon. One who served in the military or attends church or reads history, loves opera, sails a boat — something — anything — raises llamas, plays the oboe, runs a 5K race now and then, has close friends from childhood. I look at him and there’s nothing there.”

Then there’s this:

Somebody not right in the head you know?

Paradigm shift

Joel, December 9, 2016 

Puny.

Byron Callisto, December 7, 2016 

Love these.  Helps with the feelings of Certain Doom.  Great Music.

Morby

Byron Callisto, December 6, 2016 

Wonderful little story from How We Die by Sherwin Nuland.  A mother of three was at some sort of public market, and was busy buying something for one of the daughters when another one screamed.  The girl screamed because a man had grabbed her sister, thrown her to the concrete, and was busy stabbing her repeatedly.

Two men tried to stop him; they couldn’t.  The stabber simply shrugged them off.  One of the men repeatedly kicked the assailant in the head; he didn’t notice, he just kept stabbing the girl over and over in the head, neck, and chest.

A larger group of men finally got the man off the girl.  He had been serving time for a similar crime, but was released to a halfway house where some measure of autonomy was granted.  At the first opportunity, he signed himself out, bought a seven inch hunting knife, and attacked the ten year old girl.

Once the mother could reach her child, she could do nothing but watch her daughter die.  The little girl’s face demonstrated no fear or pain; endorphins were rushing through her system, an evolutionary tactic designed to release humans from the grip of fear and panic and allow them to move when threatened with a predator.  Within a minute the girl’s eyes glazed over, and a few minutes later she died of blood loss.

The point that struck me — when Max is finally caught by that lion, it’s not going to hurt, unless he survives.

Thanks, evolution.

All Right, Let’s Just Do This Thing.

Byron Callisto, December 3, 2016 

Fuck.  This.  Shit.

DemocraticUnderground

We are joined by long-time election fraud investigator and author Richard Hayes Phillips, to discuss all of that and his detailed report about the unusually large apparent voter turnout numbers in many rural WI municipalities and the difficulty citizens have in verifying and overseeing those numbers. As Phillips explains, there are horrible public reporting requirements for both results and for same-day voter registration provisions in the state.

“At a minimum, the problem is a lack of transparency,” Phillips tells me today. “We have no way of knowing how many registered voters there are . If you don’t know how many registered voters there are, you don’t know if too many ballots were cast.” His report finds that, based on the latest state-reported voter registration numbers, there were “193 towns with turnout of 90% or better, 25 towns with turnout of 95% or better, and 7 towns with turnout of 100% or better.” Those exceedingly high turnout numbers are likely lower in reality, due to same-day registration in WI, but the lack of reporting requirements for those numbers is “unacceptable”. – Brad Blog 11/28/16

Moron-in-Chief

Joel, December 2, 2016 

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.

On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.

I have a feeling they tried really hard to make him sound intelligent.

Much needed optimism

Joel, December 1, 2016 

If you were starting to like this guy…

Joel, November 30, 2016 

…here’s the antidote:

I made it almost halfway before something started coming up from my stomach so I declined to finish it.

Cool idea!

Joel,  

naturspeicher_windturm_mit_wasserspeicher-fundament_jh-e1477838180408

Germany is building the world’s first wind turbines with built-in hydroelectric batteries

Wind blows. Water falls. But for the first time, one is now powering the other. Engineers in Germany are storing water for hydroelectricity inside wind turbines allowing the towers act like massive batteries once the wind stops blowing. It’s the first major example of the two technologies being physically integrated to supply reliable renewable energy.

I think there’s a bit of water in and around some of those places that voted for Trump. Maybe a better use of it than for water cannons to spray on protesters in sub-zero weather?

Bronze age thinker found in Israel

Joel, November 27, 2016 

Humans have been kind of weird for a long time.

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Bizarre 3,800-Year-Old ‘Thinking Man’ Statue Found in Israel

This jumped out at me for a couple of reasons. One, I just love archaeology and ancient history and this is a pretty remarkable find displaying exquisite craftsmanship. More interesting to me, though, is the visions it conjures of life in the times in which it was made.

3800 years ago would place this in a region that would become known as Canaan, a loose confederacy of city states under control of the Amorite kings. The best known of these was Hammurabi of Babylon, but this would have been just before or immediately after he took power relatively far off to the east. He was still laying low for a while to avoid the wrath of the powerful kings of Assyria who were nearing the end of their first period of dominance.

It was a fairly cosmopolitan era, as the manufacture of bronze tools and weapons required an extensive trading network, the raw materials being copper which was mostly found on the island of Cypress and tin which had to come all the way from what is now Afghanistan. The specific locality was along the eastern Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Syria near modern Tel Aviv.

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Egypt was a strong influence in the area, but the Middle Kingdom was coming to an end and they were starting to have major internal problems. It was probably an exciting time with the native culture beginning to come to fruition as the invaders from North and South were in relative retreat.

A fascinating thing happened about this time of great importance to humanity’s destiny. An alphabetic script known as the Proto-Sinaic was being developed which some think was the earliest ancestor of the Phoenician alphabet from which Greek was eventually derived. Up until then there were only two types of writing known; hieroglyphic picture writing in Egypt and wedge shaped cuneiform in the rest of the Near East. Here’s an example:

script

According to the caption, the translation includes something like “to the lady.” The romantic in me wants really bad for this to be a very special message accompanying this amazing piece of art a wealthy and highly imaginative resident of the area may have presented to his beloved. Unfortunately, as the name implies, the script came from far away in the southern Sinai peninsula so was unlikely to be known in this region, but who knows? Maybe the dude had good connections. Fun to imagine.

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