Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Attention Climate Changers...

What's wrong with this picture? Plenty! The leaves are coming out, and it's snowing in the hills at a time of year when we might normally be frolicking in our outdoor pools. This kind of climate change is all too visible, and entirely too close for comfort. 

Related to 'Dubya'? One wonders....

I could say something derogatory, like "If he had one more brain cell, it would be very lonely!" but I won't. Instead, let's pause for a moment to consider the effect upon history and the present which is the result of the misinterpretation of the intent of the Second Amendment and its resulting psychology of 'guns everywhere' promoted by the NRA and enshrined in law by gutless politicians who would rather bow to pressure from conniving gun interests than stand up for the prevention of senseless slaughter going on in the world.

That particular mindset which glorifies firearms, and the long-gone 'wild west' and the idea that anyone with a gun can play God if they're crazy enough or angry enough or stupid enough has had a seriously detrimental effect all over the world - not just in America. That's because Americans have roamed the world believing that with enough guns and enough ammunition, they can and should do anything they damned well please. And that simply isn't how the civilized world ought to be conducting its interpersonal relationships, because it prompts others to respond in kind - and then all Hell breaks loose. And that's just what we've got going on right now.

Woof! Videohound might say.

You can watch this video here and decide for yourself if you think it's a 'train wreck' or not. When I watched it, I had a lot of trouble believing this gal is really 29 years old. It seems like it ought to have been done by someone closer to puberty - much closer. Woof!

Obscured by Clouds...

If smart business types are questioning the wisdom of placing too much faith in 'the cloud', shouldn't we be equally cautious? How many strangers are you willing to trust?

Another question: (You know the answer.)

If Daddy wasn't famous, would we be subjected to this sordid but all too common tale?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today's trivia...

Who says things don't last? I made an interesting discovery this afternoon.....

My Canon Starwriter 30, similar to the one shown, purchased in 1995, still works just as well as it ever did. I wrote a letter on it today to send by fax, and my almost-as-old 1996 Sanyo Fax Machine works equally well. I'm quite pleased that both of these well-used but carefully cared for machines are still able to do their thing as well as ever.

The Canon word processor might have been a real world-beater, except for two things: Windows 95 came out right on top of it, and its computer language isn't the most popular one used by the vast majority of computers. But for its time, it did (and still does) some amazing things. It can type in 20 languages, in case you know that many and most of us don't of course, and it can calculate using formulas and add columns, and even print your own greetings with illustrations, if you wish. And if you ran out of ribbons, it can use the heat-sensitive fax paper, if you're absolutely desperate - but you wouldn't want to use that for anything you were sending out, of course. This word processor is very possibly the best of the breed anywhere, and I've written thousands of pages on mine, and it is still working just as well as the day I first unpacked it from its shipping container. And it's 19 years later. That's a pretty good testimonial for Canon, and it's a shame it got clobbered in the market by full-blown computers, because it is about 95% computer itself. If it had a built-in fax machine, you could probably throw out your computer and avoid all that malware, and still be able to transmit messages just the same. 

An explanation about yesterday's posting...

To Tom and Ron and my other American readers (the whole three of you!) my apologies for choosing an inappropriate response to that article (above) and its remarks about results on the question of technology being used to improve intelligence. I'd like to explain....

The subject of technology being able to help with intelligence, or in other words 'genetic engineering' is something that I'm  sensitive about, because ethically applied genetic engineering could possibly eliminate problems like being born bipolar (manic-depressive) which is the result of chemical imbalances in the body caused by defective or missing genes in the DNA. These missing or damaged genes are responsible for the chemical imbalances because they are unable to instruct the central nervous system to save and use certain trace chemical elements which are essential to maintaining a normal balance in the chemistry of the blood plasma electrolytes and central nervous system generally, without which, the system tends to 'swing' or 'hunt' for its proper balance point, never successfully finding it unless supplemented by additional doses of specific medications designed to compensate for these missing trace chemicals. So the person experiences mood swings expressed sometimes as 'temper tantrums' or periods of wild elation or severe depression, and episodes of inappropriate behavior because of this lack of control which came with the system.

All of that can result in life becoming much more difficult than it needs to be, and result in loss of friends, difficulties with employment, marital problems, and a generally unpleasant kind of life, involving prejudice, discrimination, and a few other antisocial consequences. And I would know, because in the spring of 1977 I was confined to a Psych Ward for just over a month, during which extensive tests of several different kinds including brain scans and ECGs and blood tests galore were done on me, and the doctor then informed me that I'm a manic-depressive, and needed to take my medication regularly if I wished to enjoy any kind of 'normal' life. - His 'normal', not mine, because my 'normal' apparently wasn't, but it needed to be, obviously.

So, to make this story shorter, yes - I would favor genetic engineering if it was conducted ethically, scientifically, and only for certain specific deficiencies. I wouldn't want it misused as today's plastic surgery seems to be, and I wouldn't want it leading to anyone trying to create some kind of 'super race' like 'Der Fuhrer' envisioned in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. There would need to be controls in place to prevent that for sure. But it might be nice if we could augment the intelligence of guys like 'Dubya' or Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, to improve their cognition and 'common sense' factors by a few points. That might be very tempting....

And to Tom and Ron, I'm really sorry if my yesterday's remarks offended you. That was not my intention. I was trying to be a smart-ass, and I wasn't thinking it through, and I apologize. I sometimes even yet open mouth before engaging brain, and yesterday was one of those.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Note to the Royal Plasterer....

Is it my imagination, or is some of the crack-filler coming loose? 

Another Question:

It says here: "And when it comes to altering our DNA to improve our intelligence or resistance to disease Americans are firmly opposed."

Translation: "We insist on our right to being born stupid, and losing ground ever since."

And will someone please tell me why these robots must look like people, rather than like a vacuum cleaner or an R2D2 ? And speaking of R2D2, has anyone seen him lately?

Uncle Ron points out that we can have our very own R2D2 for a mere $200.00 + taxes and shipping & handling. But he's only 15 inches tall (R2D2, not Uncle Ron!) and that's $160/ft., batteries not included, which seems a bit much for a 'bot that can't reach the door knobs or answer the phone. But I'll bet it could drive the cat crazy!

Question Everything:

Question Everything: Why should I give a damn?