Saturday, July 24, 2010
...a dengue fever outbreak that has since led to more than two dozen confirmed cases in Key West, and, health officials fear, may be headed north.
Good news, it probably won't kill you. Bad news, you'll wish it would. Why have you never heard of this fever? Well, that's an interesting story.
Once widespread in the Western hemisphere (including the Southern U.S.), dengue fever was largely eradicated in the 1960s after the carrier mosquitoes were targeted with the pesticide DDT. The disease slowly rebounded after those efforts were discontinued, however, and while it generally stays confined to the tropics now, a handful of small, scattered outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. along the Mexican border over the past 30 years, according to the CDC.
Thank you, Rachel Carson.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Zachary Chesser, 20, is accused of trying to join Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based Islamist militant group suspected in the recent bombing attacks in Uganda that left 73 dead and dozens more injured as they watched the World Cup final.
Chesser, who just two years ago was a high school football player and crew member in Fairfax, VA, is now one of 34 Americans accused of and charged with having ties to international terrorists in the past 18 months.Sources say this trend represents an unprecedented spike in homegrown terror and is an emerging threat that has them deeply concerned. What they consider to be most alarming is the fact that many of those charged were radicalized on the Internet, with thousands of Americans reportedly frequenting terror websites that espouse mass murder.
Well now, FBI says kids are getting radicalized into Muslim jihadis by the Internet. How interesting.
Given the recent "off switch" law which allows the president of the USA to shut down the American web backbone in an "emergency", I wonder if we are going to have an "emergency" in November this year?
I'd think that was crazy, but we've seen these clowns doing too much crazy stuff lately.
Shut-update! : CNN talking head wants to shut bloggers down! We know these dorks don't state their own opinions in public (too risky, they might want to watch Limbaugh die of a heart attack) so this would appear to be the opinion Somebody Important told dorkboy to say.
About 80 miles from the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona, the desert has become a battlefield for armed civilian patrols who claim they are ready to kill drug smugglers crossing the border. Steven Fabian reports.
Total revelations in the video, the double-plus ungood, unauthorized, uncertified, unofficial, racist!, non-union civilian vigilantes captured two illegals and did not kill them to death with their deadly yet sexy assault weapons. (They turned them over to the cops, damn!) But they did find a corpse, so the desert is kinda dangerous. But not as dangerous as [gasp!] civilians with guns, as the brief clip of some Pinal County cop is quick to point out.
These bad vigilantes should all attend racial sensitivity reeducation and leave the patrolling to proper (unionized) government employees. After they get out of jail for being RACISTS.
The title is my very favorite part: Neo-Nazis Patrol US Border. Stay classy, CBS.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
SketchChair is a piece of software that takes the engineer out of engineering furniture. In a child's-dream-come-true you draw the outlines you'd like to have, add some legs, and the software pops out a design ready to be laser-cut.
From the web site:
The Sketch Chair software allows a novice users to take part in the entire process of designing and building their own chairs. Chairs are designed using a simple 2D sketch-based interface and design validation tools. Thereafter chairs are fabricated from sheet materials cut by a laser cutter, CNC milling machine or papercutters.
Even when you catch one babysitting 7,500 pot plants in a national park.
Everybody got that? "Displaced foreign traveler". Very important, use in all press releases from here on. As you were.
The Displaced Foreign Phantom
Monday, July 19, 2010
More women than men are working these days, and at better jobs. Lots of single parent families with Mom working while Dad is down and out in the gutter, can't make child support payments, can't get a job, can't keep the one he's got. Hollywood cougars have boy toys instead of Hollywood moguls having trophy wives. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Could be that this women working/men starving phenomenon is the result of men being slacker assholes who can't do anything except fight, fuck and eat as the article broadly suggests. But I doubt it.
More likely, its a shift from the old manufacturing model of big factories to whatever the hell is coming next. Right now all that has happened is the big factories have moved from here to China, where their pollution and worker abuse can't be regulated. Our high school aged lads over here have no future, know damn well they have no future, and behave accordingly. They don't take anything seriously and lie back in the large, cushy social safety hammock so thoughtfully provided for them by the nanny state. Your voice is too loud, you're too hairy, you're too big and too scary to work with the girlies in the office, and you can't turn yourself into a chick without basically killing your own nature. Why the hell wouldn't you lie back and say "SCREW IT, I'm playing Nintendo! Wake me up when you want the lid taken off a jar of pickles!"
My personal humble opinion is that Big Business is falling apart under the weight of socialism. They finally broke it, probably around 1975. That's when things in America really started to go down hill, that's when my old dad really started to freak out that the world was coming to an end. Turns out he war right, the social contract that used to exist between employer and employee was broken. Now we see the results playing out, as the cracks open up into chasms and chunks fall off.
Women will probably continue to do better than men as bureaucracies continue to replace productive work. The production part stays in China, what's left over for Canada/USA? Offices. Men -suck- at office work. Men like to make stuff, move stuff, do stuff. They don't like to sit in meetings and talk about stuff. Women LOVE that, that's all they do if left to their own devices.
How long can that keep up? Given the way things are shaping up, not very long. Mega companies like Walmart can only stay in business with mega-consumption. That stops, the whole model comes apart. Its stopping. Because NOBODY HAS A FRICKING JOB. DUH! God these people are geniuses.
What will replace it? I think mass customization will, eventually. Men have to do -something-, if only to relieve the boredom. What they will do is make stuff in their garages and basements, join together on the internet, sell their stuff on-line, and generally do an end run around the whole big business/nanny state arrangement. You want to buy a grapplegrommet that isn't a cheap piece of shit made by slaves in China? Joe's Garage makes them one at a time, with pride, in Moose Antler Ontario where land is cheap as dirt.
Example, there's a boat building joint in Parry Sound just got orders for more aluminum boats than they will ever be able to make in a million years, because of the oil spill. I figure two thousand guys welding up specific aluminum parts in the garage might be able to help them out, eh? Beats the hell out of trying to move two thousand aluminum welding employees to Parry Sound, don't you think? They put contracts on the web for parts, they do the QC on the delivered units, they can even farm out the assembly if they have to. Smart garage guys will buy or lease a welding robot and a CNC mill, and make some real money out of it.
Multiply that by everything consumed in North America, that's the future. Not to be found in university, my friends. Maybe at comminity college, maybe at MIT, but not in the Ivory Tower. They think you can't keep a job because you're a testosterone soaked moron.
So buck up lads, the chicks still need you to get the lid off the pickle jar. If you're not around, they ain't gettin' any pickles. And God help them if wolves come and you're not home, eh?
The Industrious Phantom
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Y'all will be aware by now that the RACIST! state of Arizona, where everybody is a RACIST! according to Dear Leader Barack H. Obama, passed a RACIST! law recently whereby police are required to ask suspects they stop for any reason about their immigration status. Which is clearly RACIST! and Eric Holder is suing the state for being RACIST!!!
Here's a story about -why- Arizona is so RACIST!
The bodies of 40 illegal immigrants have been brought to the office of Pima County Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Parks since July 1. At that rate, Parks said the deaths could top the single-month record of 68 in July 2005 since his office began tracking them in 2000.
"Right now, at the halfway point of the month, to have so many is just a very bad sign," he said. "It's definitely on course to perhaps be the deadliest month of all time."
From Jan. 1 to July 15, the office has handled the bodies of 134 illegal immigrants, up from 93 at the same time last year and 102 in 2008. In 2007, when the office recorded the highest annual deaths of illegal immigrants, 140 bodies had been taken there through July 15.
Parks said his office, which handles immigrant bodies from three counties, is currently storing roughly 250 bodies and had to start using a refrigerated truck because of the increase in immigrant deaths this month.
Please note, these bodies are not all the remains of adult men looking for work. Nor even all adults. Get the picture?
Clearly, the RACIST! state of Arizona is a bunch of RACIST! bastards for insisting the US Border Patrol do their FREAKING JOB and keep these people in Mexico, rather than letting them across the border to DIE in the Arizona desert.
Or that's what the DemocRats in Washington would have you believe, anyway.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Felons Voting Illegally May Have Put Franken Over the Top in Minnesota, Study Finds.
What we hear is...
They are all still out there of course, and even ecoweenies still have to make the rent. So what are they on about to make those column inches? The heat wave, of course.
A.C.'s obvious public-health benefits during severe heat waves do not justify its lavish use in everyday life for months on end. Less than half a century ago, America thrived with only the spottiest use of air conditioning. It could again.
Yes friends, Mr. Stan Cox of the Washington Post would like us all to shut off the air conditioning and save the world. Its for the children, you know. And the spotted pelican darter.
In a world without air conditioning, a warmer, more flexible, more relaxed workplace helps make summer a time to slow down again. Three-digit temperatures prompt siestas. Code-orange days mean offices are closed. Shorter summer business hours and month-long closings -- common in pre-air-conditioned America -- return.You first, Stan baby.
Business suits are out, for both sexes. And with the right to open a window, office employees no longer have to carry sweaters or space heaters to work in the summer. After a long absence, ceiling fans, window fans and desk fans (and, for that matter, paperweights) take back the American office.
And don't for f- sakes mention the oil spill that's STILL SPILLING down there in the Gulf, eh? Or the oil skimming ships that are still not skimming oil due to federal EPA regulations. Wouldn't want it to look like Barry Obama ain't The One who's bringing the Hope and Change we've all been waiting for, would we? Its only been three months, give the poor guy some time eh?
The Air Conditioned Phantom
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Well, finally a transformer on the line serving downtown overloaded and went on fire due to being loaded to 100% capacity and not serviced. BZZZZ-pft.... Blackout took exactly as long as the repair to swap in a new transformer, because there's only one path to downtown T.O.., the largest, most concentrated electric load in Canada. Sheer fracking genius. Thank you David Suzuki et al.
The transmission system serving downtown Toronto is operated at its limit, with no capacity to spare. As a direct result, maintenance schedules are squeezed or eliminated, a factor that may well have played a role in initiating the event. The ability of grid operators to transfer load from one transmission path to another in the event of failures is severely limited, a factor that directly determined the scale and duration of the blackout. The large number of customers blacked out and the duration of blackout was a function of the system's flawed design.
Environmentalists, including the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Foundation Canada, Peter Tabuns of the Ontario NDP and Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher, have played leading roles in blocking the development of another transmission line into the city's core.
Many environmental organizations, working with the Ontario government's Trillium Foundation (which distributes the government's gambling profits), the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and others formed an umbrella group in 2007 called Transforming Toronto. The new group was developed specifically to oppose a new high-voltage transmission line into Toronto. In Ontario's highly politicized electricity policy environment, affected electric utilities and agencies have not challenged Transforming Toronto's fluffy assertions that transmission reinforcement is not needed.
I suggest a trip to Princess Auto or Canadian Tire, to pick up a gas powered generator big enough to run your fridge and your window air conditioner. Going to be a mighty loooong summer otherwise, eh? I have a rather nice one with remote start, just push the little key-fob thingie and vroooom, my freezer is safe and my sump pump will still push water out of the basement. Princess Auto, $600 rasbucknicks.
Best part, it will -really- piss off all those tofu eating Greenies when a blackout comes and all they hear is a half a million gas generators start up.
Funny how they run away from these ideas and policies as soon as somebody turns the light on. Why can't we find and FIRE the stupid sonsabitches who keep coming up with this same crap year after year?
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Test run of a new program to rid the internet of "controversial opinion?" Who cares? I can mail y'all the Phantom Soapbox digest on a CD, encrypted out the wazoo. That's how they do it in Cuba. Thumb drives and SD cards work pretty well too I hear. This freedom genie ain't going back in that little bottle so easily.
[The memo] states that as of July 1, TSA employees will no longer be allowed to access five categories of websites that have been deemed "inappropriate for government access."
The categories include:
• Controversial opinion
• Criminal activity
• Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content
The email does not specify how the TSA will determine if a website expresses a "controversial opinion."
Still, it will be interesting to see what they block. We can probably predict it with 99% accuracy, the only question is do they have the stones to go ahead and confirm our suspicions?
Shut-update! Big Sis backs off the "controversial opinion" part! Drudge gets results, baby!
Monday, July 05, 2010
A photographer taking pictures of a BP refinery in Texas was detained by a BP security official, local police and a man who said he was from the Department of Homeland Security, according to ProPublica, a non-profit news organization in the U.S.
The photographer, Lance Rosenfield, said he was confronted by the officials shortly after arriving in Texas City, Texas, to work on a story that is part of an ongoing collaboration between PBS and ProPublica.
Rosenfield was released after officials looked through the pictures he had taken and took down his date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information, the photographer said. The information was turned over to the BP security guard who said this was standard procedure, ProPublica quoted Rosenfield as saying.
Rosenfield, a Texas-based freelance photographer, said he was followed by a BP employee after taking a picture on a public road near the refinery, and then cornered by two police cars at a gas station. The officials told Rosenfield they had the right to look at the pictures taken near the refinery and if he did not comply he would be "taken in," the photographer said according to ProPublica.
BP gave ProPublica the following statement after the incident:
You mean -this- refinery?
"BP Security followed the industry practice that is required by federal law. The photographer was released with his photographs after those photos were viewed by a representative of the Joint Terrorism Task Force who determined that the photographer's actions did not pose a threat to public safety."
Didn't take long to find this baby next to Texas City, from the comfort of my own living room. Street names and everything. Wanna see what's in that blacked out square? How close can we get?
If you blow this section up to max size you can tell what make of pick-up truck is parked on the dock and see guys standing around on the ships. From Ontario, Canada. On a crappy DSL line to boot.
So you Amercans, rest easy in the knowledge that your Department of Homeland Security is keeping you safe from the mean terrorists and spending your money wisely. Uh huh.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
We can only hope that our American friends enjoy their national holiday weekend. Let them wave their flags, enjoy their picnics and show their love of country, because they need a holiday.Yes friends, insofar as Mr. Simpson is concerned protecting the First Amendment was bad, protecting the Second Amendment was worse, and Barack Hussein Obama is "the most gifted President in several generations". Oh, and its Bush's fault.
It is disturbing these days for the country's friends to watch the Great Republic's politics, to wonder about its economy, to tremble at its deficits, and to shake their heads at its Supreme Court that has struck down corporate contribution limits in politics and reaffirmed the right to bear arms, to the intense joy of the gun lobby.
The United States gave itself the most gifted President in several generations, handed his party a majority in both houses of Congress, only to watch his presidency be swamped by the doleful legacy of the Bush years, a worldwide recession and its parlous aftermath, and a ferocious Republican opposition bent on a search-and-destroy mission of his presidency.
This is what passes for thought among the Liberal elite these days.
Just thought y'all ought to know. Feel free to tell Mr. Simpson and the Globe & Mail geniuses what you think. firstname.lastname@example.org