July 9, 2015 archive

How to Survive the “Apocalypse Dow”

Most of us didn’t even notice the New York Stock Exchange went “dark” for over four hours after a computer, or something, hiccuped. This isn’t something new and it probably won’t have any impact on trades or the market itself. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and her guest Kelly Evans, host of CNBC’s Closing Bell explain the past history of outages and the causes, mostly squirrels.

The new host of CBS’ “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert, aka Supply Lord of The Afterscape, gives his reaction to the black out and how to survive “Apocalypse Dow.”

Get your survival kits and bulk supplies from Costco.


The Breakfast Club (Pure as the Driven Snow)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgFirst of all it will be another sucky blogging day because unless you’re interested in the Donald (I think he’s a hoot and hope he wins, TMC thinks he’s a disaster and has gone all prepper) or Greece (who knows and if Tspiras really was hoping he’d lose the referendum he should be the first one against the wall) or are convinced that Anonymous is attacking the tools of corrupt capitalism in the form of the NYSE, WSJ, and UAL (we can only wish it were true) instead of it being the logical outcome of their tightfisted parsimony and corporate beancounting ignorance, there isn’t really much new news, at least in science and technology.

However I did discover this sponsored link ad fishing around for material-

New Website Reveals Personal Information Even Google Can’t Find

9:06am Friday, June 5, 2015

Been issued a speeding ticket? Failed to stop at a stop sign? What about your family members? And friends? If you are like most of us, the answer to at least one of those questions is “yes”-the vast majority of us have slipped up at least once or twice.

Instant Checkmate aggregates hundreds of millions of publicly available criminal, traffic, and arrest records and posts them online so they can easily be searched by anyone. Members of the site can literally begin searching within seconds, and are able to check as many records as they like (think: friends, family, neighbors, etc. etc.).

After that, search all of your family members. If your aunt gets a speeding ticket every month, you’ll know. If your parents have kept arrests hidden from you, you could uncover them instantly.

One of the most interesting aspects of Instant Checkmate is that it shows not only criminal records, but also more general background information like marriage records, divorce records, various types of licenses (medical, firearm, aviation, etc.), previous addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, estimated income levels and even satellite imagery of known addresses-it’s really pretty scary just how much information is in these reports.

Mine?  Not so much.

Oh, I admit (kind of desire actually in a perverse sort of way) that ek hornbeck has left a screaming stain of infamy and obnoxiousness across the Tubz in 10 years of activity, but that’s not my real name.  In the Army they have what is called a “Good Conduct” medal that is jocularly awarded for “years of undiscovered crime” and that’s true enough (though I have never been a member of any armed service).

Under ek my record of shame is easily discernible, under my real name not at all.  Google doesn’t find me in it’s first 100 results and this service suggests 5 individuals, none of them me, and at that with the head start of the state I reside in.

Oh sure, if you happen to know my address you can get it on Google Maps, my phone number is pretty hard because it’s registered to my business, not to me.  I’ve had my occasional run ins with Johnny Law, traffic tickets and such, but apparently they are not electronically available.

So why am I so despised and yet so hidden?  It’s simple enough and I certainly encourage you to take these steps unless you are already compromised (and I’ll have some advice on how to fix that below).

I have never used my real name on the Tubz except in business situations (unavoidable if you want to buy stuff) and my credit cards are all business.  Personal stuff I pay for in cash.  Since there’s hardly any point to keeping your money in a bank at 0% I use one only where I must.

I belong to no social networking sites except Facebook (and blogs).  All of my accounts lead to blind e-mails and when requested for personal information I lie my ass off.  None of your damn business anyway.  There is no page in my real name and even ek doesn’t have one.  If you are my friend you know my friends only name (no, it’s not my real one) and that is strictly policed for privacy using independent accounts I haven’t revealed to anybody, to the average enquirer there is my Avatar and Background- that’s it.

Now what I’m mostly concerned about is casual harassment from companies that want to sell me stuff and people I’ve pissed off with my sentiments (you ‘Good Germans’ and rapist apologists know who you are).  Surprisingly I still maintain my Welcome New Users mailbox so if you hate me enough you can direct your spam there where I can report it troll.

Nothing is going to conceal you from a government agency with sufficient interest so you might as well give up on that, but it’s impressive the amount of hassle and garbage you can avoid if you’re reasonably careful.

That’s all well and good, but I’m hopelessly exposed.

Say goodby to all that.  What I mean is that you must abandon all your old accounts except as curiosities and contact points.  Change your IP or get a VPN.  Change your bank, preferably to a small credit union.  Change your name if necessary (marriage is good for that and hardly raises an eyebrow, better yet get gay married).

Most importantly and hardest to do, you have to change your habits and the people you’re associated with.  Not that I would, but if I were to sock dK in a serious way (I have half a dozen accounts I have access to, I don’t use them because dK is boring and silly) the very last thing I’d do is show up in the Daily Show diary posting as if nothing had changed.

As a matter of fact I got bit by troll hunting the other day at European Tribune.  BruceMcF had said it was a good place to keep up on Greece and I hadn’t visited for a really long time.  When I tried to log in I found out I had never registered.  Ok- ek hornbeck, I’m not ashamed of my history, I have a body of work and I called out people who were assholes and bullies (that includes you Denise and you too Meteor).

In my introductory comment I mentioned my association with some past members of ET which generated the instant “How is it that this n00b knows these figures from our past?  He must be a witch!”

Well, you know, better late than never.

Anyway my point is if I were looking to sock I would have been very careful indeed not to say anything which would indicate I had any experience at all other than what you’d randomly find in a casual Google covering the past couple of weeks.  As it is I’m not very interested in being anyone except ek at this point nor do I have a need to.

Science Oriented Video

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

On This Day In History July 9

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 175 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1995, the Grateful Dead gave their last concert at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL.

For mishima

Odds or Onions

Can you pick The Onion without hovering your mouse over the links.

Hint: It has nothing to do with gardening.

Connecticut town’s Boom Box Parade celebrates its 30th year

WILLIMANTIC, Conn.- The town’s annual Independence Day parade once again will include the traditional Little League teams, floats sponsored by local businesses, fire trucks and politicians. But, for the 30th consecutive year, there will be no marching bands.

In what has become an offbeat tradition, the participants and the spectators will instead be carrying radios tuned to the same local station, which will provide traditional marching music. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the town’s annual Boom Box Parade, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“I didn’t think the idea would work,” said Wayne Norman, the WILI-AM radio personality who has served as grand marshal for all 30 parades. “I didn’t think people would get the concept. Boy was I wrong.”

The parade dates to 1986, when the town couldn’t find an available marching band for its Memorial Day parade. Organizer Kathy Clark approached the radio station for help. Station officials said it was too late to organize and publicize for that holiday, but they began planning with Clark for July Fourth, and the tradition was born.

Norman said the staging area was empty two hours before the parade but by the time it was ready to start more than 2,000 people were there, all carrying boom boxes.

Norman said there were some evolutionary pains as the portable radios, ubiquitous in the 1980s, went the way of the cassette tape and were replaced by iPods and other portable electronic devices.

He said any radio or device with a speaker and a way to access the radio station is welcome. “We ask people to please not wear headphones,” he said. “We don’t outlaw them, but it kind of defeats the purpose.”

The parade, he said, celebrates independence in all its connotations. There is no registration to march. Anyone can participate, and people are free to bring signs, promote causes, even advertise for their businesses.

Norman said that in an ironic twist the Windham High School band, which was not around to march in 1986, this year provided a recorded piece that will be played during the parade.

A lot of groups just have fun with the event. That would include the Traveling Fish Head Club of Northeastern Connecticut, which Norman said walks up from the nearby Hop River to join the parade disguised as a giant fish made from wood, wire and papier-mache. “We don’t have many rules,” Norman said. “We just ask people to wear red, white and blue and bring a flag and a radio.”

Members of the state legislature and Congress and the governor often march in the parade, though Norman said they usually get a bigger turnout of politicians during an election year.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal shows up every year. He said he loves the parade because it has a spirit that is quintessentially American. “It’s good old Connecticut ingenuity,” he said. “Let’s use boom boxes if we can’t have a band. Let’s make do. Let’s invent. Our ingenuity will make it happen.”

‘Vampires’ keep doctors in the dark for fear of stereotyping: study

SALMON, Idaho- It is not easy being a vampire, and even harder to come out of the coffin to a physician or therapist for fear they will misinterpret the habit of ingesting the blood of willing donors or succumb to stereotyping, a study finds.

Research led by D.J. Williams, director of social work at Idaho State University, indicated that people who identify themselves as “real” vampires – that is, needing others’ blood to gain energy – would not disclose their practices to those in the helping professions and risk reactions like ridicule, disgust and possible diagnosis of a mental illness.

The paper, published in the latest issue of Critical Social Work, a peer-reviewed journal based in Canada, found that authentic vampires as opposed to “lifestyle” vampires – black-clad figures with phony fangs – might be stereotyped by clinicians whose fields discourage biases.

Williams, who has studied self-identified vampires for nearly a decade, finds they come from every walk of life and profession, including doctors, attorneys and candlestick makers.

“They are successful, ordinary people,” he said. Except they are very, very tired. That’s apparently the chief reason they find a consenting adult willing to allow them to use a scalpel to make a tiny incision in the chest area so they can ingest a small amount of blood for energy, the study found.

Williams and another researcher based the paper on the responses of 11 people who had identified themselves as vampires for many years and could be relied on to be open and honest, and who gain permission from practicing adults before ingesting their blood, he said.

“The real vampire community seems to be a conscientious and ethical one,” Williams said. The challenge is finding non-judgmental clinicians to whom vampires can disclose their alternative lifestyles, he added. “Most vampires believe they were born that way; they don’t choose this,” Williams said.

The global vampire population is thought to number in the thousands, he said.

Trump Tells Iowa Dairy Farmers He Has Cows 500 Times Bigger Than Theirs

ARNOLDS PARK, IA- Appearing at a campaign event in the early primary state, real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump told an assembled group of dairy farmers Monday that his cows were 500 times bigger than theirs.

“Your cows are small and scrawny, and you should be embarrassed to milk them,” said Trump, adding that each of his cows was the size of “at least” a dozen Cadillacs and had “udders that’ll make your head spin.” “No one raises dairy cows as gigantic or successful as I do; everyone knows that. My cattle are winners, and you people would be lucky to have them graze here.”

Chatting with patrons at a diner later in the day, Trump reportedly said the apple pie was a disgrace and that his pies were a mile wide, with a perfect crust that made all the losers jealous.