04 June 2023

Link round-up for 4 June 2023

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

He's a fast learner.

Deal wisely with horses.

The savage beast closes in on his prey.

He seems to have a bit of an attitude.

There are signs of the zombie apocalypse.

Cats are hidden everywhere.

Hey, come back, that's cheating!

Behold, I am the destroyer of all things.

Don't worry, he's kid-friendly.

Sometimes, justice for asshole driving comes immediately.

Cats demand obedience, in their own ways.

And just like that, they have a heat pump.

One does not simply walk anywhere near Mordor.

This exercise machine is too aggressive.

This refrigerator delivery is too impossible.

When riding a bike, watch where you're going.

Do not install these sinks.

This person exists.

Some people take littering seriously.

He pwned an anti-Semite on his own terms.

You can get 241,700,000,000,000,000 angels here.

Would you buy a Persian rug from this vendor?

Sometimes you can get away with talking back to a cop (he's lucky this cop wasn't short-tempered, though).

This thing better have really good signposting.

Don't get on the bad side of Cynthia Khan.

Watch where you're going, especially on the freeway.

It's better for a show to be pirated than to vanish entirely.

Star Trek had some iconic moments.

A lawyer used ChatGPT in his work (part 2 here).  It did not go well.

Humans are quick to take sides in nature's battles (verbal profanity).

Some pictures here from a visit to York in the UK.

Here's a look at some unusual art, plus endangered animals in Africa.

The people of Old Testament times suffered extensively from bowel problems and parasites.

Learn about early sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld and his collaborator Erwin Gohrbandt.

See an eclipse -- from above.

Solar and wind power are set for record-breaking growth this year.

The gays want their flag back.  In one town, they're succeeding.

Update here on what's currently racist, according to the media.

Gavin Newsom misrepresents what's going on at Target.

Now Kohl's is doing itQuit pushing this stuff on kids.  That is the issue.  This isn't hard.

A protest song about Target reached #1 on iTunes.

Most of Hollywood's recent barrage of murky, gloomy, soulless, woke, race-swapped movies have flopped with audiences.  On the latest one, The Little Mermaid, vlogger Midnight's Edge looks at international numbers, media spin, and claims of "review-bombing".

Egypt is suing Netflix for $2 billion over its Cleopatra "docudrama".

The most pathetic new use of chatbots is fake friends and even fake girlfriends you can't even interact with except verbally (found via Silverapplequeen).

Even some classic novelists sound completely ridiculous when writing women characters.

Two blogs I regularly read, Annie Asks You and Dark Thoughts, had blogiversaries this week.

Daily Kos has ads infected with malware.  Make sure your antivirus -- and ad blocker -- are working properly.

Must-read of the week:  It's not just your imagination -- older cities and towns really are more interesting.  Lots of great photos -- be sure to look at each one in its own tab since they are cut off at the right edge.

Read how bad things were in Russia right before the 1917 revolution.  And remember that within less than fifty years after that revolution, the country being described built the world's first nuclear power plant and put the first man in space.

The person who made this exists (disturbing).

Marijuana isn't for everybody.

The right-wingers were right!  There really is a billionaire trying to put microchips in people.

GrubHub is not a good deal for restaurants.

Saying "people" instead of "men" or "women" can reflect several hidden agendas.

If you have internet-connected cameras in your house, get rid of them.  (Who the hell would put something like that in the bedroom?)

See some meaningless gibberish painstakingly dissected.

Some states aren't simply red or blue.  (Probably all fifty, in fact.)

An Oklahoma school is being sued after a girl was beaten up by a boy in the girls' washroom.

Bosses hate work-from-home because it calls into question the very need for bosses to exist.

Legal guidance here in case Pride Month events are threatened by armed extremists (found via Big Whack Attack (NSFW)).

Why can't we have this?

Amazon corporate workers walk out to protest management efforts to drag them back to the office.

This person exists (disturbing).  More about him here (click on the blacked-out text to view).

Academia is dead, and here's what killed it.  Every day I am thankful that I got out.

The insights of John Stuart Mill are more essential to our own time than ever before.

A fallen hero deserves to have his true story known.

"Cheaters get angry when you don't let them cheat."

This sign exists.  Yeah, it's Florida.

Good discussion here about the problems posed by so-called "AI", plus deepfakes, etc.  On the other hand, you don't need deepfakes when you have enough incompetence.

Here's why you shouldn't use "preferred" pronouns.

What's the deal with these people who have ridiculous numbers of bumper stickers and placards stuck all over their cars? (found via Silverapplequeen).

Stop asking people you've just met "What do you do?"  Americans interpret this question as being about their job, which is invariably boring.

A blogger who left fire-breathing evangelicalism behind, but is still Christian, wonders how to fit in.

Samantha Ponder was condemned by the usual toxic prigs because she opposes males in female sports -- but she's getting a lot of support from ordinary people.

Reactions here to the DeSantis Twitter campaign launch.

Christopher Hitchens was a latter-day George Orwell.  I need to get this book.

Annie Asks You blog takes a deep look at Tara Reade's move to Russia.  See also this analysis of her accusations against Biden.

Proposed laws attacking internet privacy are being considered in the US, UK, France and other countries.  I assume there are people already thinking up work-arounds in case any of these get enacted.  They might be as simple as just using a VPN to give yourself a virtual location in a country that doesn't have such a law.

Blogger Green Eagle has his own view of how the debt ceiling deal got done.

Residents of Oakland CA confront officials about the city's skyrocketing violent-crime problem.  Democrats need to stop deluding themselves that this issue is a "right-wing talking point" and actually do something about it.

A woman prison inmate in New Jersey was beaten up by a male inmate, then punished by prison authorities for defending herself.  Discussion here.

Elon Musk kowtows to the Chinese regime (found via Hackwhackers).

"Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences" is a threat embodying the spirit of the thug and the dictator.

Even NRO says "the numbers in this [debt ceiling] deal are closer to fiscal responsibility than the Trump-McConnell-Paul Ryan years -- in part because that’s not a particularly high bar to clear".

There is a double standard that favors men.

Disney's cancellation of a major project in Florida will have substantial consequences for the state.

What does it mean when a homeless person refuses help?

Big corporate CEOs live in a different world than the rest of us.

Fat, porn-addicted, slovenly men aren't what women want.

DeSantis is appealing to Christian nationalism to a degree that even Trump didn't.

The rise of "queer" militancy is destroying gay culture and provoking a backlash that could reverse the progress gay rights have made.

Here's why giving the government draconian powers to fight domestic terrorism is a bad idea.

A tiny ultra-wealthy minority is plundering the world -- time to talk real taxes.

In Canada, June 9 will be a day of protest against gender indoctrination in schools.  It may already be starting.  And yes, people do distinguish.

Wildfires are on the rampage across Canada.

MrMenno reports from the latest Let Women Speak event in London, where the police actually did their jobs for once.

The British media still suppress stories about sexual harassment by their own stars.

Telling the truth is now "hate speech".

Britain's prime minister speaks out for free expression against the poisonous miasma of intimidation which is suffocating universities.

Assholes who "protest" by harassing innocent bystanders provoke a unanimous backlash.

Wikipedia is lying about Finland's worst criminal.

During the pandemic, Germany's laws regulating sex work lurched into the surreal.

"No government can rule with women against them."  Discussion here.

Serbia is a case study on guns -- very restrictive gun laws, one of the world's highest levels of gun ownership (mostly illegal), and, since the laws were tightened, mass shootings.

See video of wreckage from a shot-down Russian missile hitting a road in Kyiv.

Frustrated at the recent pwnage of Russian "hypersonic" missiles by Ukrainian air defenses, Putin is now arresting scientists who worked on them and charging them with treason.  This is a North-Korea-like level of stupidity.

We don't know who was behind this week's drone attack on Moscow, but Ukraine had no plausible motive to do it.  And ordinary Russians aren't as concerned as Putin would hope.

There has been fighting on the Afghan-Iranian border, apparently over water rights.  But between a brutal Sunni theocracy and a brutal Shiite theocracy, there are always deeper tensions that could explode.

The re-election of Erdoğan is very bad news for Turkish democracy, secularism, gays, and the huge Kurdish minority -- and for NATO.

Foreign investors are pulling out of China as its economy stagnates, in contrast with the resurgent US.

Massive heat waves are striking southern China, over-straining its power grid.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced and WAHF.

My posts this week:  the debt ceiling deal, truths and inspirations, and an attack on education in India.

o o o o o

Growing old is not for the weak.

A life lived on someone else's terms is not worth living at all.

The fact that somebody believes or votes differently than you do doesn't mean they're stupid or crazy.  Some are, many aren't.

You can usually identify the Putinist toadies by the fact that they talk about "ending" the Ukraine war as the goal, rather than winning it.

We need to squelch the idea that only certain places in this country are "real America".  It's a culturally-diverse nation.  Manhattan and rural Oklahoma are both "real America", and both equally so.

[Image at top:  Venice]


Blogger Ami said...

I had the same thoughts about the debt ceiling thing and ol' Kevin, but I'm not as eloquent.

04 June, 2023 15:59  
Anonymous spirilis said...

The Iran/Afghan thing is worth watching. Cali might have to consult with Baja in learning to deal with Nevada. Uphill/Upperhand feels like trump to me.

05 June, 2023 09:39  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Lots of interesting stuff here, too much to comment much on, but indeed several good pieces. I also hear that wind and solar is really growing, I hear in Texas here, wind power is probably the largest in the country. But I also been wondering what difference nuclear fusion may make in the future. I remember years ago you speaking about nuclear, and in favour of it. I guess if it can be fairly safe, it's a plus.

I know there has been a lot of concern over AI, and a lot of recent talk about how it could lead to the extinction or near extinction of humanity. I don't really feel quite the same about AI, I look at it as a big plus ... the concern I see is who directs the AI, investors, etc, hoping AI can really do some great things for humanity, well, at least try to catch up with some of the centuries of advancement we lost do to cultural and religous institutions causing stagnation of progress. Actually my granddaughter who got her scholarship at Cornell University, is going into the AI field, she was part of a special team of SEM students here in Dallas, during high school. I turned her on to Jacques Fresco when she was a little kid, she was wondering (or had a fascination) with probable future societies, she was fascinated by the Venus Project ... although some may think of that stuff as tinfoil hat stuff.

OMG ... geeezzz ... the anti-LGBTQ-XYZ shit has been insane, and absolutely hilarious at the same time. I mean, I am actually shocked at how upset people are over so much, and the sensitivity of today, is more than I have ever seen in my life, on both of these polarizing sides. As far as Target, well, I still go to Target, and my wife (RIP) worked there for a few decades, and I still get my 10% discount, so I'll be still buying stuff there, whether they got rainbow flags, or nazi flags {:-). Since we are a market driven society, I had an idea for Target ... maybe they could sell a t-shirt that says "God Hates Rainbows" and under that, have a caption of Leviticus 20:13, and maybe they could get back all the straight christians business, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {:-)

And Congrats to Portland, I been hearing about how they are working on decreasing the homelessness issue there, of course, it isn't a total fix, but at least they are doing something ... below


05 June, 2023 09:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ami: Interesting that the trogs haven't tried to push him out of the speakership yet. Maybe they realize they'd look ridiculous, and there's no telling what they'd get in his place.

Spirilis: It's long been expected that conflicts over water would become a growing problem. I suspect many Americans will be mystified that the Iranian and Afghan regimes are enemies.

Ranch: Texas is actually the #1 state in the country for wind power development. All that flat land with endless wind is finally good for something.

We're nowhere near being able to make nuclear fusion workable as a power source, but conventional nuclear power has its role to play. Certainly the Germans made a mistake by giving it up -- they're actually expanding the use of coal now, which is the worst thing they could do, from the standpoint of fighting global warming.

AI will probably bring great benefits when we finally invent it, which we are nowhere near doing. This stuff they're calling AI nowadays is just programs that do something similar to autocomplete, at a higher level of complexity. There's no "intelligence" involved. The potential for harm springs not so much from what it can do (which is very limited), but from what people believe it can do -- it's being used for all kinds of things it's not really capable of handling, with embarrassing results. But a lot of people will lose their jobs before corporations figure that out.

I think you can imagine what the reaction of most of the customer base would be if Target displayed Nazi flags. The reaction to gender-fiddly stuff aimed at kids isn't much better. If some people can't understand why that is, I don't know what to tell them.

I certainly hope Portland gets something done about the homeless problem -- right now much of the city is completely overwhelmed. Housing is getting more and more expensive. If that "village camp" is the one I'm thinking of, it was completed and ready for use about eight months ago, but hasn't been opened for all this time because of all the fiddle-faddling around setting up a contract to manage it. The people who run this city are idiots.

05 June, 2023 10:23  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I have never had a cat as a pet. My daughter did when a stray cat just walked into her apartment and made himself at home. She took him to the vet and the poor thing can cancer so she took care of the cat until he passed away. At least he knew someone cared for him in his last days.

Thank you for including a link to my blog this week.

I love all things Star Trek. I've been watching Star Trek Discovery and it was pretty good too.

05 June, 2023 12:01  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thank You for pointing that out to me about AI ... I did not quite know the differences, or even too much about it for that matter

05 June, 2023 14:23  
Blogger Daal said...

tx for including me here - as for alexa & her ilk, I'm amazed people ever thought to trust them to begin with...

05 June, 2023 18:37  
Blogger NickM said...

I once had to look after my mother-in-law's beloved moggie Sophie for a week.

One morning, Sophie was just gone. After extensive searching and leaving treats all over the place we finally found her fast asleep in a sock drawer. She looked quite peeved at being disturbed. I don't think I've ever felt relief quite like it.

Because the alternative was to have to say, "How was the trip? Unfortunately your cat is at large somewhere in the Greater Manchester conurbation."

That's cats for you.

06 June, 2023 06:06  
Blogger NickM said...

In 1995 I was offered (I didn't apply, or even inquire). I just got a phonecall from a Prof at St Andrews University to offer me a fully funded PhD in fusion power in conjunction with these guys.


I decided against because I also had a similar offer for an MSc in Astrophysics from Queen Mary in London and... (a) I was 22 and it was the height of "Cool Britannia" and I was fucked if I was gonna go to smallville with a golf course (I don't even play golf) rather than the coolest city on Earth... (b) Economics: London meant a lot more money for me and St Andrews isn't cheap but only London meant the extra cash (the London weighting is a travesty because it is only London - not other expensive places to live - I also got an offer for a PhD at Sussex and Brighton ain't cheap either*). (b+) I had a mate who was an undergrad at St Andy's and the only way he could make ends meet was to sublet during the big golf tournament during the summer vacation which isn't an option for a post-grad. And finally (c) I really couldn't get too excited about something which had been ten years away for fifty years... (c) Was the absolute clincher... I was a smart new physics graduate in 1995 and I thought nuclear fusion was going nowhere. It is still going nowhere. I might have written a very clever PhD thesis but that was only gonna generate energy if I chucked it on a fire. Oddly enough I'm just about to get fusion power to work in Sid Meier's "Alpha Centauri" but that is in 2300AD, on another planet and in a computer game...

*I think I would have gone for that but for the money because it meant field-work studying the Aurora Borealis in a part of Norway where piss freezes before it hits the ground. Yeah, the beer would've been pricey but a load of astrophysicists in the middle of nowhere not making a still is unthinkable. It would have been an adventure and I had studied the Northern Lights but hadn't seen them. Still haven't.

06 June, 2023 07:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary K: That was a nice thing to do for the cat. Most animals probably die very miserable deaths, under natural conditions.

I've always liked Star Trek, especially the original show, but of course what I'm remembering is the good episodes. There were also a few embarrassingly bad ones. They were at the mercy of whatever the writers came up with.

Eighteen years is a remarkably long time to keep up blogging, especially for someone who posts pretty much every day, as you do.

Ranch: It's too bad we're stuck with the term "AI" for chatbots and fake-art programs and suchlike. When real artificial intelligence is developed, if that ever happens, we'll need a different word for it.

Daal: Thanks for the post. I don't know much about what Alexa and suchlike do, but of course their main function is to gather information on their users for marketing purposes.

NickM: That would certainly have been an alarming experience. Cats seem to like getting into small spaces, though, so I imagine they "disappear" fairly often.

If I'd had a chance to stay in London for a while, I'd have taken it as well, money permitting. Even if fusion power somehow becomes workable someday, it would have the same drawback as regular nuclear power -- centralized power generation (one huge reactor powering a large area) as opposed to dispersed (lots and lots of solar panels all over the place powering the same area), making it more vulnerable to disasters, terrorism, etc. Dispersed small-scale power generation is a lot more resilient.

06 June, 2023 11:48  
Anonymous Annie said...

Ah, those wonderful kitties! Plus so much other stuff, including York, which was a memory jogger, and the vernacular architecture. Thanks for the mentions. Now I’ve seen three variations on the blog anniversary spelling: I used blogoversary; you used blogiversary; and Mary Kirkland had her eighteenth blogaversary. The diverse spellings are fine with me.Congratulations, Mary Kirkland! An impressive record!

06 June, 2023 19:43  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Cats are a never-ending source of entertainment -- which would probably infuriate them if they knew.

Have you been to York? I seem to remember you once mentioned you'd been to the UK.

I base "blogiversary" on "anniversary" but I suppose anything pronounceable works since it's not an established word. Either way, I admire bloggers who persevere in expressing themselves.

06 June, 2023 22:29  
Blogger NickM said...

York is OK but a bit up itself. Personally I think Lancaster is more interesting though I really don't wanna re-ignite the "War of the Roses". Infidel, you have a good point about centralisation. I would add that many small rather than a few large also brings about economies of scale in manufacturing. Rolls and Royce may have built the finest car in the World but Henry Ford built the one that changed it. For that reason (amongst others) I would love to see investment in Thorium salt reactors.


Alas, nuclear anything is verboten (I use the German for obvious reasons). As a kid I remember my local council declaring the place a "nuclear free zone". They had posters everywhere. The posters had a happy smiling cartoon of the Sun. They seriously didn't see the weirdess of promoting "nuclear free" with an image of the big fusion reactor in the sky. They also tried to stop my local hospital getting a nuclear magnetic resonance scanner. The hospital got out of that one by calling it a magnetic resonance imaging scanner - which was OK even though it was exactly the same thing. That's why they are called MRIs. It's because people see "nuclear" and think "Hiroshima", "Chernobyl", "Fukushima"... That, amongst other reasons, (mainly epic corruption because Labout had been in charge since, like, whenever) Gateshead went to the Lib Dems. Around that time went to university in Nottingham to study physics where I was taught by this guy...


07 June, 2023 06:20  
Anonymous Annie said...

Yes; we were in York years ago, and it was lovely. Several trips to the UK, though never to Scotland or Wales. I thought your spelling of blogiversary reflected anniversary—and wondered if I was wrong to use the “o.” But the Internet yields variations. Which reminds me: as your comment to my acrostic was an acrostic WITH rhymed couplets, I think your inner poet is eager for some exercise. Just a thought…

07 June, 2023 19:13  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: I can see that molten salt reactors have some safety advantages, but solar power still has far greater decentralization advantages. Solar panels can be built on an individual house to generate electricity for it. In theory every individual building could me made energy-independent, eliminating centralized power plants completely, although there are practical reasons why we'll probably never take it that far.

Still, despite its drawbacks, nuclear power has a role to play in fighting global warming. It's a trade-off. The German mania for getting rid of nuclear power has actually led to increased use of coal. In our present situation, that's insane.

Annie: I still hope to visit the land of my ancestors again someday -- the last time I was there was 1979 and I'm sure a great deal has changed since then. My mother was from Sheffield, which is in the same county as York (Yorkshire) and always felt attached to it.

I have a couple of ideas for poetic pieces in mind, but they take a lot of focus to actually write, and my health hasn't been the greatest lately. Maybe someday soon.

08 June, 2023 04:51  
Anonymous Annie said...

Oh, my. Sorry to hear about your health; hope it improves quickly. And I hope you’re able to make that trip in the near future—once airfare becomes less astronomical.

08 June, 2023 19:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The health issue is somewhat self-inflicted -- I'll get a handle on it. As to travel, I simply couldn't afford it these days -- I certainly wouldn't have been asking for money from readers a few months ago if I had that kind of money to spare for non-essentials.

08 June, 2023 23:37  
Blogger Lady M said...

$25.00 for a straight pin in a jar? What a scam!

10 June, 2023 18:53  
Blogger Lady M said...

I have always hated the way most male authors write women. They make us so one dimensional.

10 June, 2023 19:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

What a scam!

True, but the potential market is people dumb enough to believe angels are real. They may sell quite a few. I half wish I were clever enough, and dishonest enough, to make money via things like this.

Interesting that male authors' difficulty with writing women characters is apparently so widespread. Sometimes it's obvious (Asimov was godawful), but sometimes it's not, at least to me.

Some women authors seem to write male characters quite well.

10 June, 2023 21:12  

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