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User Journal

Journal Journal: Kapla: Spirals

Just building stuff, sometimes continuing the following week: Week 1 Week 2

The booklet had a spiral which took some time to figure out. Basically, 2 pieces in the middle, and 1 on each side of it, which makes it look really cool, and more importantly, supports the turned pieces. They do a slow turn though.

After figuring it out, we went for a 3, that is, 3 in the middle, 2 on each side, and 1 on each side of that. With 1000 pieces, that allows 111 levels of 9 pieces each, which is what a friend built in the picture. The last piece might be lost, but there are 3 warped pieces in there. Got to watch out where to put them!

Kapla is expensive, but with a small table, the enjoyment never ends. In only takes a few minutes for even the ardent to give in and start building!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Establishment vs Establishment 1

The framing of the 2016 election is that this is the establishment vs the anti-establishment. Clinton represents Washington DC. Trump represents the masses.

This is bullshit.

There are two establishments at war here. One is the obvious one, the party elites. Clinton is more or less part of that, though not as much as people suppose. She's actually an outsider who's fought her way in. If you doubt this for a second, examine the first Clinton's presidential period of 1991 to 2001 (I'm counting the initial campaigns as much as the being in office), and notice the entire period was a war between the Clintons, a Republican establishment who despised them, and a Democratic establishment who didn't trust them and only rallied around the cause when the Republicans went over the top.

The second is the general group that's had power and had the government direct power in their favor for as long as the US has been in existence, primarily the rich, but with a white, male, protestant secondary base as a group to keep happy.

These are, to some extent, the same groups, but the second group no longer believes that the party elites can be trusted to keep bowing to their whims.

Hence the fact a third rate reality TV star whose business successes are built upon fraud and deceit is suddenly able to reach this level of electoral success. Trump is a prime example of someone government has always worked for, yet he's untainted by DC itself. His character doesn't matter. He's part of the underlying establishment, and not part of the elite, so he's the person they pick.

Journal Journal: Shouldn't need to say "I didn't care much for Gawker but..." 3

The fact you have to bend over backwards to disassociate yourself with Gawker before pointing out that Thiel's assault on it was a dangerous attack on free speech is a dangerous sign that we've already drifted a fairly long distance towards fascism.

And, FWIW, if Thiel had bankrolled Elton John's (far more legitimate) lawsuits against The Sun newspaper in the 1980s, and bankrupted Rupert Murdoch as a result, there'd have been a public outcry in Britain.

Democrats

Journal Journal: This is not helpful (Updated) 60

As the CEO of the American Baby Mulching Corporation, I usually avoid taking sides when it comes to National Politics. Privately, I would generally consider myself a Republican, but a corporation such as ours must be seen to be above the fray. In 2001, for example, we donated equally to the campaigns of both Mr George W Bush, and Mr Joseph Lieberman.

But it has become abundantly clear that this country is now facing a very real threat in the form of Donald Trump. Mr Trump has made a number of statements we at American Baby Mulching consider to be seriously worrying. Mr Trump has made many statements alienating our allies. Mr Trump has made it clear he considers the use of Nuclear Weapons a viable form of warfare. He has pitted Americans against one another with his extremist anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant positions, slandering hard working Mexicans and creating a climate of fear.

As a Republican, I would not normally be comfortable endorsing the Democratic candidate for President, but in this case I feel I must, and I believe it would be the right thing for our country. Sure, Mrs Clinton and I have our differences. I personally oppose her positions on taxation, and as the CEO of a major company that requires a steady supply of disposable babies, we obviously abhor her position on abortion.

But in my dealings with Mrs Clinton, I have always found her fair and reasonable. She understands the need for corporations such as ours to mulch babies, harvesting their essential nutrients for eventual supply to ammunition manufacturers. She understands that businesses like my own require flexibility when it comes to environmental regulation, that we would be unable to employ so many workers without a low minimum wage, and she understands the need for regulators to overlook the use of undocumented immigrants and prisoners to solve staffing shortfalls.

For these reasons, I will be casting my vote for Mrs Clinton this year and I urge you to do likewise.

Updated: I'm just going to ignore the discussion at this point. It was supposed to be a comment about how things like that former CIA directory's "endorsement" of Clinton, and Bloomberg's, etc, wasn't necessarily helping those of us who are having to hold our noses and vote for a giant leap right-ward by the "left wing" party in the US this November. You know, humor. As far as the comments section goes, I've never seen such bare faced idiocy in my entire life. No wonder Trump is, current slump aside, doing so well. He might even win.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Link o' the day:Raw cookie dough vs health & value judgments

Why public health worries don't have to ruin your cookie dough This and its ilk have been going around for a little while. I especially liked the part mentioning value judgements:

But the key word of the previous sentence is "unnecessarily." Whether something is necessary or not is not a scientific judgment. It is a value judgment. An FDA official may personally believe that eating raw cookie dough isn't important and choose to never eat it. That is their choice. At the same time, I can believe that eating cookie dough (made from flour known to be not part of the recall and pasteurized eggs) is something that I enjoy enough that I'm willing to put myself and my children at (a very small) risk to do.

Someone ought to tell him that in US English, periods go outside the quotation mark.

United States

Journal Journal: Clinton vs Trump 2

I really, really, really, can't decide who will win and whether it'll be a massive victory or a marginal one. I hear my lefty friends absolutely convinced Clinton will get it in a landslide, but, eh...

- Clinton's not popular, even with Democrats
- Republicans virtually always rally around their leader. So the "Even Republicans hate Trump" thing is pretty overblown.
- Everyone knows Clinton and has already made up their minds on her. Trump? Still opportunities, especially now he's not being primaried any more, to shape his public perception.
- They're close, even now.

Me? If Trump stands a chance of winning AND he stands a chance of winning Florida AND Republicans rally around him and indicate they'll work with him, I'll vote for Clinton, otherwise Jill Stein probably.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle/Link o' the day: Keyboard, pi, and more 3

I made a stupid mistake with a keyboard. I didn't realize it until after i bought a raspberry pi 3 to replace it. With a total cost of $65.26 (pi, pi plug, dvi->hdmi cable, sd card) i'm glad i have it.

FWIW, the breakdown in price:
$35.00 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
$8.99 Raspberry Pi Power Supply
$7.99 Shipping
$3.79 DVI->HDMA cable (free shipping)
$9.49 Kingston 32GB Micro SD card ($8.95 + tax, free shipping)

I despise the UN, even referring to them as the UNAI. And now UNESCO (after the earlier brouhaha on the same issue) has decided that the Temple Mount and Western Wall are not Jewish sites.

Ever heard of the NSF funded "Shrimp on a treadmill" study? Here's a video of the shrimp on the treadmill: They ought to turn that into a motivational video. Perhaps the small amount of views over the past decade has to do with an aversion to exercise.

Boaty McBoatface win the recommendation.

I just found out that "scot-free" is ~500 years old and has to do with taxes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Our library in the digital age

Library? What's a library? Oh, books. What's a book?

Well, a library is a place where they have an Internet connection, and people tend to be on the quieter side. A book is where outdated information and stories without update or comment are posted. An anachronistic nostalgia wasting (y)our city's tax revenue. Not to mention our library's the ugly web page, not to be mixed up with a decent page from a library with a deceptively similar name.

I have a friend who works at the library. He works there part time, and has done so for many years. So when i do have an issue, i give him a call and (believe it or not) he is more than happy to help. And every time i do call and ask, i find out more about our library. Cool stuff too. The only prerequisite is a library card (number).

One item of interest is Zinio. IIUC, there's actually two Zinios. One for libraries, the other for personal use. Our library pays for Zinio, so as long as you have a library card you can login. I found the setup process to be terribly annoying, mostly due to error and a stupid process that keeps asking and re-asking. Whatever. Once it is setup, however, it works beautifully. Basically, Zinio has a bunch of digital magazine subscriptions such as Reader's Digest, National Geographic, fashion, hobby, and kids publications. I assume it depends on what the library pays for. You subscribe to it, and as long as there a "copy" available, you can read it. You release it when your done, and it can alert you where there are more. And, because there is an app too, you can read it just about anywhere. Cool stuff.

A second item is only interesting if you like ebooks. OverDrive has ebooks based on your library's subscription, and again, you use your card to login. It too has an app. It's like Zinio, but for books. (Should that be the other way around? :) I find this less helpful because i'm not big on ebooks, and i have a Kindle for that anyway. Nonetheless, between the webpage and app, it's a pretty cool option to have.

A third item, i found about only because my mother thought OverDrive would have it. It doesn't, but it's there, right on top, listed as "Catalog". Certainly you know what that is. Right? It allows you to reserve books and extend reservations (which is what my mother wanted), see what is past due, what you may owe, and so on. It also has a link to MelCat which they alert you not to use unless the other avenues have been exhausted. It's silly to order a book that already exists locally. Anyway, a website checkout for books. What will they think of next?

(When i went to "Catalog" on my mother's computer (via TeamViewer) it was pretty unusable in FireFox. So, i downloaded Chrome and set it to continue the last session on startup. Basically, where she usually uses FF, Chrome can be dedicated to the library. It's easy and simple, assuming it works out in the long run.)

The suggestion box is an email address. I want to tell them how ugly and unintuitive the website is and that the available options are very nice, nonetheless. But send a direct email?! Surely, you must be kidding.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: Got my Raspberry Pi 3

So, i got a Raspberry Pi 3, and it arrive the day after Pi Day. But, as i purchased it from the UK, and they don't have a Pi Day, it's somewhat understandable. My Ukranian coworker asked me about P-day, and in the ensuing discussion she explained that in Russian it is pronounced pea.

And now, the pictures. I got the cord, because it was cheap enough and easy enough to just order it. The next order of business is to load up Linux. Ultimately, i got it to (play with and) give away to someone who needs something better for browsing. I wonder if i can throw LibreOffice on it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: TBD: Posted

The test was responded to, an i tried my hand at writing a JE for it. I quickly came up with something on my mind, and twisted it for the comment below, keeping it short.

Nothing was quoted, so the post had to include whatever material was being comment on, as opposed to specific quotes. Nonetheless, it's a creative effort that could be fun and challenged, if taken seriously (within reason). I'd like to see other people try it.

In related news, i bought some veggies to slice, peel, or whatever to them, and throw them in the freezer until i get the rest of the veggies. I'm much too lazy to do all the work in one shot.

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