Thursday, June 22, 2017

Washington Free Beacon: Canadian Sniper Takes Out ISIS Terrorist From Over 2 Miles Away

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Canadian Sniper Takes Out ISIS Terrorist From Over 2 Miles Away
BY: Stephen Gutowski

Sets new world record for longest confirmed kill

A Canadian sniper in Iraq took out an ISIS terrorist from more than 2 miles away, Canadian Armed Forces confirmed on Thursday.

"The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 metres," the forces told the Globe and Mail.
...
War stories are notoriously unreliable, but the Globe and Mail said its sources confirmed there is video evidence of the shot confirming it was made at 3,540 meters or about 2.1 miles.

All I can say is "Wow!".

Monday, June 05, 2017

Happy Apple ][ Day!

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http://www.geekbookofdays.com/archives/1308

Today in 1977, the Apple II was released, joining the ranks of the TRS-80 and the Commodore PET in home computing power. Best known as the adorable lovechild of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the Apple II came in two forms: fully functional, with all the bells and whistles of a color monitor, power supply, keyboard and case, or just the brain in circuitboard form so you could have all the fun of building it yourself. The computer operated on BASIC programming, so you could go totally off the reservation and even build your own applications.

The Apple II became hugely popular, especially since it had a spreadsheet program people could use instead of lugging around ledgers. Within ten years, the computer would evolve into the Apple IIe and end up in schools across the country because of some brilliant and crafty marketing. Whether you were one of those geeks building it in your own garage or a later generation learning the joys of dot-matrix graphics and programming, Apple II still has a place in your solder-covered heart.

I'll be celebrating tonight with a game of Spare Change or maybe Hard Hat Mack on my (still working beautifully) Apple IIGS.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Washington Free Beacon: Prominent Democratic Feminist Camille Paglia Says Hillary Clinton 'Exploits Feminism'

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Prominent Democratic Feminist Camille Paglia Says Hillary Clinton 'Exploits Feminism'
Sam Dorman. May 15, 2017 10:00 pm

Camille Paglia is a woman of seeming contradictions. She’s a lesbian who thinks homosexuality is not normal, a Democrat who often criticizes the party’s 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a self-described "transgender being" who calls sex changes for children "abuse," and a feminist who says abortion is "murder."

Decades after she burst onto the scene with her best-selling book Sexual Personae, Paglia is back with a timely commentary on sex and gender. Her recent book Free Women, Free Men argues, among other things, that feminism is "stunting the maturation of both girls and boys" and that "if women seek freedom, they must let men too be free."

Paglia talked to the Washington Free Beacon about a variety of topics including Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) alleged populism, Megyn Kelly's performance as a moderator during the first Republican presidential primary debate, and whether misogyny played a role in Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential bid.

Paglia is a liberal Democrat, make no mistake, but she's one of the few that I respect. She does not blindly accept the dogma of the activists in the Democrat party but forms her own, often controversial, opinions based on facts and careful reasoning without regard to what the rest of the world may think of her as a result.

Read the entire interview for very interesting and not-commonly-discussed opinions on many of the issues in today's political scene. Whether or not you agree, it is a very good read.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

May The Fourth Be With You

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Yeah, it's May 4th again. I'm not doing anything special, but GoComic put together a page full of comics related to Star Wars.

Enjoy

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The FCC's (lack of) a new rule and government overreach

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In the news today, the FCC chairman nixed plans to allow in-flight cell phone usage. That's not worth commenting on. But his reasoning is. He wrote:
I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America's flying public against the FCC's ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest. Taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.
Please note his rationale. This has nothing to do with airline safety. Nothing to do with overburdening the cell phone infrastructure. Not even to do with airlines keeping their monopoly on in-flight communication. It's because he doesn't want someone next to himself talking on the phone.

What a complete BS answer. I guess he's unaware that people have been yapping on (expensive) AirPhones for over a decade and that anybody today can have data access to the Internet if they want to pay the airline for on-board Wi-Fi. And I guess he's never sat next to a couple having a loud conversation or a crying baby. Or for that matter, the plane's own engines. There is no such thing as a "moment of quiet at 30,000 feet" and never has been.

But that's not even my point. My point is that this is none of the government's business. The FAA is responsible for making sure that our planes safely get where they're going. The FCC is responsible for making sure our communication system works properly. It is not the responsibility of either (nor anybody else) to decide whether or not someone is allowed to talk while in the air.

Only the airlines should be making rules like this. Let them, and let the market decide what policies should be. If United wants to allow cell phones and American wants to prohibit them, both should be allowed to make their respective decisions. If I want to use my phone in the air, then I'll book my ticket on an airline that allows it. And if I don't want to be on a plane with phone usage, then I'll book my ticket on the airline that prohibits it. But under no circumstance do I want a bunch of government bureaucrats to be making that decision if it doesn't affect the safety of air travel or the stability of the mobile phone network.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Center for Consumer Freedom: Former PETA Employee: PETA Killed Adoptable Puppies and Kittens

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Former PETA Employee: PETA Killed Adoptable Puppies and Kittens
March 28, 2017

A new document filed in the ongoing dognapping lawsuit against the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demonstrates the long-term, systemic pattern of trespassing, pet theft, and killing that occurs as part of PETA’s pet slaughterhouse operation at its Norfolk headquarters.

Lest anybody still think that PETA is telling the truth in their press releases, this is a sworn affidavit from a former PETA employee. They routinely steal pets from people's property and immediately kill them.

This isn't the animal welfare group they claim to be. This isn't even the animal rights group some accuse them of being. This is the act of a bunch of bloodthirsty sociopaths who get off on slaughtering cute animals.

They should be completely shut down and their employees should go to prison for a very long time. There's a special place in Hell for monsters like this.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mental Floss: Don't "Chai" and "Tea" Both Mean the Same Thing?

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Don't "Chai" and "Tea" Both Mean the Same Thing?
by Haley Sweetland Edwards

Almost 5,000 years ago, when folks in China started sipping a yummy, steeped beverage made from dried leaves and buds, different regions had different names for it. Most Chinese languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese, referred to the stuff by a word that is pronounced like “chá.” But other dialects, including Min Nan Chinese, which was spoken around Fujian, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan, referred to it by a word that sounds more like "te."

Fascinating article about the origin of the word "tea". And the fact that "chai" technically has nothing to do with "flavored with milk and Indian spices".

h/t The Devil's Panties:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm too nerdy for my survey

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I get small surveys all the time from a variety of apps that I run. Today I got one that read:
What's your favorite bird of prey?
  • Buzzard
  • Caracara
  • Eagle
  • Falcon
  • Hawk
  • Kite
  • Osprey
  • Owl
  • Vulture

I took one look at the question, and before I saw any of the choices, my first thought was "Klingon".

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pamela Geller: JDL Facebook page pulled for 'raised fist' logo: Only 'hate speech' when Jews use it?

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JDL Facebook page pulled for 'raised fist' logo: Only 'hate speech' when Jews use it?
By Pamela Geller - on February 20, 2014

For the second time in a month, Facebook took down the page of the Jewish Defence League of Canada, citing its “community standards” policy on “dangerous organizations.”The social media giant removed the JDL’s Facebook page earlier this month.

The JDL believed it was because of its well-known logo, a raised fist silhouetted on a yellow Star of David.

Within days, the JDL put up a new page, with a new logo.

But on Feb. 15, Facebook took down that page, too.

Also taken down on Feb. 15 was the public group page “Jewish Defence League of Canada."

Both JDL pages "are not allowed to be on Facebook, so they were correctly removed," Facebook spokesperson Meg Sinclair told The CJN via email.

She sent a link to Facebook’s "community standards" and its section on "dangerous organizations," which states that it does not allow "any organizations that are engaged in the following to have a presence on Facebook: terrorist activity, or organized criminal activity."

So now it's official. Facebook believes that Jews have no right to defend themselves against antisemitism, and organizations that disagree are to be branded "terrorist" or "organized crime" and are to be banned from Facebook.

I am so so so glad I deleted my Facebook account years ago. Every time I read something new about them, it makes me even more disgusted.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jerusalem Post: How a pro-Palestinian American reporter changed his views on Israel and the conflict

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How a pro-Palestinian American reporter changed his views on Israel and the conflict
By Hunter Stuart - February 15, 2017 12:17

A year working as a journalist in Israel and the Palestinian territories made Hunter Stuart rethink his positions on the conflict.

IN THE summer of 2015, just three days after I moved to Israel for a year-and-a-half stint freelance reporting in the region, I wrote down my feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A friend of mine in New York had mentioned that it would be interesting to see if living in Israel would change the way I felt. My friend probably suspected that things would look differently from the front-row seat, so to speak.

Boy was he right.

A great article. Every liberal in America should read this and realize that their opinions on Israel are the product of propaganda, not reality.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sean Carroll: Entropy and Complexity, Cause and Effect, Life and Time

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Entropy and Complexity, Cause and Effect, Life and Time
Posted on November 3, 2016 by Sean Carroll

... I had a very fun collaboration with Henry Reich, the wizard behind the Minute Physics videos. Henry and I have known each other for a while, and I previously joined forces with him to talk about dark energy and the arrow of time.

This time, we made a series of five videos (sponsored by Google and Audible.com) based on sections of The Big Picture. In particular, we focused on the thread connecting the arrow of time and entropy to such everyday notions of cause and effect and the appearance of complex structures, ending with the origin of life and how low-entropy energy from the Sun powers the biosphere here on Earth. Henry and I wrote the scripts together, based on the book; I read the narration, and of course he did the art.

Enjoy!

Please click through to the original article and watch the videos. Each one is about 3 minutes long and is easy to understand even without any scientific background.

Monday, January 16, 2017

NIH: Hard water is good for you

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775162/
Pallav Sengupta, 2013 Aug; 4

In the past five decades or so evidence has been accumulating about an environmental factor, which appears to be influencing mortality, in particular, cardiovascular mortality, and this is the hardness of the drinking water. ...

Hard water has no known adverse health effect, WHO says at its Geneva Conference. In addition, hard water, particularly very hard water, could provide an important supplementary contribution to total calcium and magnesium intake. ...

In most large-scale studies, an inverse relationship between the hardness of drinking-water and cardiovascular disease has been reported. ...

Important findings in this field were provided recently by Taiwanese scientists. In most of their studies, the authors indicated a negative statistical association of various types of cancer morbidity/mortality with the hardness of water and calcium. ...

For years, I've been (jokingly) telling people that I drink tap water because "calcium and iron are good for you". Apparently, there are studies that back this up.

Read the full article for all the details. The upshot of it is that although additional study is needed, it seems that hard water is either beneficial to health or has no impact, depending the health aspect in question.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Light Reading: AT&T, Ericsson & Qualcomm Get Ready to Test 5G Radio in 2017

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AT&T, Ericsson & Qualcomm Get Ready to Test 5G Radio in 2017
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor. 1/4/2017

AT&T, Ericsson, and Qualcomm say that they are getting ready to test the initial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) specification in the second half of 2017.

The trio are preparing to test high-band frequencies for next-generation 5G technology, which should deliver "multi-gigabit Internet service" over the air. For the average Jane or Joe Blow on the street, this would mean an HD film downloaded wirelessly to their phone. Mobile 5G services are expected to arrive around 2020. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), however, are trying to push out fixed 5G wireless before that, with friendly trials expected this year. (See 5G in US: Will Spectrum Be the Speed Bump?)

Although 5G consumer services are still several years away, I'm glad to read that the big players in the business are far enough along that they will be conducting trials later this year.