tagryn: (Tomananaapur_WDW)


Lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/o/oingo+boingo/just+another+day_20102758.html

Trivia: OB's lead vocalist was Danny Elfman, now famous as the composer of such film scores as The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Simpsons theme.
tagryn: (Tomananaapur_WDW)
Ever encounter a piece of art or song that you found particularly moving or meaningful, only to read an interview with the artist later where they said effectively "That piece of junk? Yeah, big mistake, never going to do that again!" or "It was *meant* to be a joke (and the fans didn't get it)." Did knowing that its creator regards it as garbage affect how you viewed it going forward?

6/14 - ...and there's actually a trope for this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OldShame
tagryn: (Tomananaapur_WDW)
Twitter finally shut down their support for RSS feeds (the things readers like Feedly use) last month. This is a workaround:
http://www.labnol.org/internet/twitter-rss-feeds/27931/
tagryn: (Tomananaapur_WDW)
According to the CDC, there are ~2.5 million deaths in the U.S. annually. In 2012, 151 of those deaths were due to mass shooters, or 0.00006% of all deaths or 0.009% of all homicides. So this rates as a major issue requiring large-scale deployment of resources and training...why again, exactly? The odds of being killed by lightning are about the same as that of falling victim to a mass shooter, yet we aren't talking about mass deployment of lightning rods across the nation.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
If you read Twitter feeds using an RSS reader like Google Reader, this is some useful information to know about. My regular searches using Twitter's RSS feed stopped picking up new posts - not sure why - but using the format "http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=from%3A_inserttwitteruseridhere_" seems to work OK for getting the reader to pick up new Twitter material.

Also see:
http://sociable.co/social-media/twitter-removes-all-search-rss-links-from-its-site-now-users-must-resort-to-hacks-to-get-feeds/
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)


Funny how people talk about how they want compromise and results from their government, then reelect the most strident partisans (Bachmann, Grayson, Webster, Warren) and vote out moderates (Scott Brown). Gee, no wonder things don't get done. Fiscal cliff, here we come...

related:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/07/is-demography-destiny.html
(analysis of the "demography is undermining the GOP" argument)
http://www.volokh.com/2012/11/07/a-few-thoughts-about-the-election/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/06/obama-will-probably-win-reasons-for-republicans-to-be-cheerful.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-obamas-victory-settles-a-bitter-argument/2012/11/07/00be6164-2892-11e2-96b6-8e6a7524553f_story.html
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/03/vote-the-bums-out-the-eight-worst-congressmen.html
(I note that six of the eight named Congresspersons in that last article won last night(only Richardson and Walsh lost).)
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
Popehat ‏@Popehat
Just been shown some top-secret exit polls. Very disappointed. The victor is a guy who will continue the War on Drugs. He's a guy . . .
‏@Popehat
. . . who will continue to grow the security state unabated. He's a guy who offers only lip service to the constitution. He's a guy . . .
Popehat ‏@Popehat
. . . . whose economic plan is fanciful nonsense. You know who.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
"That is why I took up the gun - not to shoot, not to kill, not to destroy, but to stop those who would do evil, to protect the vulnerable, to defend democratic values, to stand up for the freedom we have to talk - about how we can make the world a better place."

via Michael Yon.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
background:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/12/us/pennsylvania-penn-state-paterno/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

http://www.wingheads.com/index.php?showtopic=68529&st=30&gopid=234978&#entry234978
As an alumni who never knew anything but Paterno as PSU's head coach, and by the time I was there (early '90s) the mythology of JoePa was already well entrenched, I'm still processing exactly what this means retrospectively. I suspect it's going to be one of those things that looks contradictory at first - JoePa the forger of young men's character, demanding class and education as well as football, vs. JoePa who participated in covering up ongoing child abuse - but actually makes a kind of sense:

I can believe that Paterno, half not wanting to believe what he was being told by multiple sources, sensed a threat in Sandusky's activities to the thing he loved most - the football program - and to all the good he thought he was doing with it, and so wanted that threat to go away as quickly and quietly as possible so that the program wasn't tarnished. That was the priority, as near as I can tell: preserve the program at all costs, justified in the name of everything Paterno believed he was accomplishing. And it became something straight out of a Greek tragedy - by totally losing perspective on what was more important, by choosing to cover up rather than confronting a terrible thing, everything Paterno did and worked for is now tarnished with a black brush of evil.

Perspective. If permanently dissolving the PSU football program, or even all college football, or even all football, could prevent even one more boy from having to go through the torture that Sandusky's victims went through, would that be worth it? How about if doing that prevented what happened to *all* the victims since '98? Isn't there a point where you have to say, no, football just isn't that important. And I think that point is way, way short of the line where someone, anyone, ends up scarred for life.

For Paterno, the program was his life, his legacy. I suspect a lot of coaches have this problem - Lombardi, George Allen, Vermeil before his burnout. This skewed his sense of right and wrong, and those kids paid the price. For myself, I did buy into the JoePa persona, even when I was probably old enough to know better, to know that everybody is a mix of good and bad, and of contradictions. Its something I think all PSU fans will have to confront eventually about this: did we help build up JoePa and the program to the point that it became this larger-than-life thing that a lot of people at Penn State, including Paterno, thought was more important to keep safe, at any price, than some nameless (to them), faceless (to them), kids' lives?

This is hardly something limited to Penn State - if you've been in a major college football stadium filled to capacity on a Saturday, you know that its a huge deal to a huge number of people. The question becomes, at what price? If not a child's innocence, is there still a price worth paying to preserve the program, or to make that program a winner? Payola? Recruiting violations? Injury pools to take out another team's best players? And at what point do you just have to say "no, this is nuts, its still just football, just a game, doing this is wrong." And if there's a long history of not being able to make the right decisions on that, at what point do you just have to say the whole thing needs to be scrapped, to start over or just to go away forver, because the price is too high? That is basically one of the objectives of the NCAA death penalty, after all: you force the whole thing to reset by denying any football for a period of time.

Anyway, that's where I am with this now.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)

Our vegetable garden as of today. The tomatoes are loving all the heat we're having. Had to cut the wire cages off the zucchini and cucumber plants because they were constricting their growth.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
On Thursday the House voted to eliminate the American Community Survey that the Census conducts every year. Because of its size - its the largest survey conducted in the U.S, and probably the world - its the primary source of local, state, and national data used by business, government, and scientists to study the nation.
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http://directorsblog.blogs.census.gov/2012/05/11/a-future-without-key-social-and-economic-statistics-for-the-country/

Even otherwise-hawkish-on-cutting think tanks like Cato and the Heritage Foundation have come out and said this is a very bad idea. I've complained about the dumb decisions that countries like Canada and Argentina have made in regards to statistical information, and this is right along those lines. There's a long way to go - it'd still have to pass the Senate and probably wouldn't pass a veto from POTUS - but that it passed the House at all is alarming. I've written a letter to a Congressman who I've contributed to in the past, something I rarely do, so important do I consider this issue. Simply, if this goes through, it will blind us to what's happening at the local level in terms of demographics, economics, and social trends.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abide_with_Me
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
Fresh from our breadmaker and oven:
tagryn: Owl icon (Default)
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The 1940 census records should be available online via ancestry.com for free. I've also heard that the National Archives will have a similar arrangement, but haven't found confirmation of that yet.

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