Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This is so wrong

I... Etsy seller LaboratorioAltieri guts old cameras, and gives them new lives as stylish USB docks for iOS devices.

More here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Capitalism a Sin?

Who knew Catholic's were such radicals. There here three interviews with christian leaders in the film. The above is the first. Couldn't find the second and third one's which quoted a MI Catholic Bishop and Priest. I did find this more "measured" Catholic response.

When there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the defenceless and the poor have a claim to special consideration. The richer class has many ways of shielding itself, and stands less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back on, and must chiefly depend on the assistance of the State. It is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong to the latter class, should be specially cared for and protected by the Government.

Centesimus Annus by Pope John Paul II

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Belated Tech Friday

A truly honest review of the new iPad.
Why isn't it called the iPad 3? Because that wouldn't be pretentious enough.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Retro Friday: Soviet Concord

The Tupolev Tu-144 (Туполев Ту-144) was the world's first supersonic transport aircraft. It was built in USSR, and flew in 1968, one year before the Anglo-French Concorde.

While the Tupolev did closely resemble the Concorde (amid speculation that Soviet espionage was behind the resemblance) the two planes did differ in many technical aspects. The Concorde had better range, braking and engine control but the Tupolev had vastly superior aerodynamics. The Tupolev's wings also included two small retractable canard surfaces—for generating low-speed lift—that the Concorde lacked. It was also generally perceived as less stable in flight, especially at supersonic speeds, than its counterpart.

Read me here.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Life with Dogs

Dogs seem to universally love snow. They many not like being out too long in the cold, but they can't resist romping and playing in fresh snow. Its always surprising to see a dog waiting at the door covered completely in a layer of white fluffy snow.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A quiet moment for the afternoon

Life with Dogs

We have two dogs. One is a Labrador mix, and the other is a snow dog mix. The snow dog mix deliberately walks around mud and puddles. The Labrador mix obliviously walks through them. So typically spring is the time of dog filth at our house. The Labrador mix typically walks in the house covered in mud and dried grass, while the other dog looks like he has been dry cleaned.

Open letter to the wing-nuts out there

So many of you are bemoaning Rush's recent half-hearted apology to Sandra Fluke. It angers you Limbaugh had to admit he was wrong for verbally brutalizing this woman. You claim that this is just Rush being Rush (boys being boys anyone?), and that liberals such as Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Ed Schultz, and others are equally guilty.

Well in one sense you are right. This is Rush being Rush. He's been out of control, spewing vitriolic hate for decades. He especially likes to attack the spouses and children of those he disagrees with, such as when he referred to 13 year old Amy Carter as the White House dog. With quotes like these:

What is it with all of these young, single, white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent.

and being on his fourth marriage, I'd say he clearly has issues with women. So what is different this time?

I suspect that the big difference this time that has got his sponsors fleeing his show was not his foul comments about Sandra Fluke's imaginary lascivious behavior, but rather this quote:

So Ms. Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch ...

Not only is this creepy, but anyone with a daughter that isn't horrified by this statement is a questionable parent.

This is where Limbaugh's comments and behavior completely diverge from that of the "liberals." Limbaugh attacks those who aren't pundits or public officials, and Limbaugh attacks to savage the person. These others have only been guilty of attacking public figures, and for the few who have crossed that line, they've been suspended and even fired from networks such as MSNBC. Rush has experienced none of that sort of push back.

But I hear you also moan that his first amendment rights are being trampled on. This is a puzzling charge by people who claim to love the Constitution so. He can still talk until he turns blue. No one is stopping him. But no one is required to give him radio time to do so.

His sponsors run companies that are responsible to shareholders. They are required by law to do nothing that would damage the brand. If they feel Limbaugh has become a liability then they are obligated to drop him. It will be interesting to see how many sneak back when things have cooled off.

Now lets get to Sandra Fluke. She is not a pundit. She is not a public official. She is a private citizen exercising her first amendment rights by testifying before congress about women's health care. What is Rush's response? He employs his usual tactic of vitriolic character assassination because he doesn't like what she has to say. There is a saying that when you can't attack the message, attack the messenger. Here are a few of Rush's choice comments:

What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke … who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

She’s having so much sex, it’s amazing she can still walk

Ms. Fluke, have you ever heard of not having sex?

This isn't all. He goes on like this for hours.

And what did this woman say to enrage Limbaugh so? She simply wanted to make it clear that hormonal birth control is used for a number of women's health issues unrelated to contraception. That's it! That is the terrible thing that the Republican congress was afraid to have her say and that Rush savaged her for.

So enough of the trutheness, here are some facts.

Listen to the testimony. Nowhere does she describe the lascivious behavior repeatedly attributed to her by Limbaugh. Her testimony focused exclusively on family planning for married women and women's health care not related to sexual behavior.

Despite the shrieking claims to the contrary, no one is asking you to pay for her birth control. If insurance companies cover Viagra because it addresses a medical condition, then they should cover hormonal birth control for the same reason. Most policies already do.

Lastly, hormonal birth control can be expensive. Different types of the pill have different side effects. They can't always be interchanged with the cheap generic variety. So give up the argument that it only costs $9 a month. I've seen it cost as much as $200 per month with insurance.

As a final point, all that Rush's attack does is attempt to intimidate women from exercising their first amendment rights. Bullies like Rush only succeed when others do their dirty work by repeating the libelous attacks.

Isn't this sort of intimidation exactly what you accuse liberals of doing! You should know better!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Is Mr. Burns more humane than Mitt?

Life with Dogs

Andy, our younger dog, likes to bark wildly at things moving about the yard at night. Typically these thinks are just rabbits. As far as I can tell, death await[ing] you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth is not a concern.

Friday, March 02, 2012

duck duck go

Google has been in the news lately because of the way they handle their user's personal information. It has recently become common knowledge that Google harvests user information to better sell ad space. So basically they make money on your personal information. On the plus side that pays for the free service they provide. On the down side its an invasion of privacy.

Google also tailors their search responses based on the users search history. That means that two separate users may get completely different search results when searching for the same thing. Sometime this makes sense. Potentially it allows Google to make a better judgement about what you may be looking for. But sometimes it hides what you want from your search.

For all these reasons and more, I've been looking for an alternative to the Google search engine. I recently discovered
Duck duck go. Its a nice alternative to the Google search engine. Has a great interface and gives useful search responses. It also has a no harvest policy. They don't sell personal information, and they don't filter search responses based on your search history.

I recommend that you give it a try.

Retro Friday: Mickey Mouse gas mask

Long before my time.

On January 7th, 1942, one month after Pearl Harbor, T.W. Smith, Jr., the owner of the Sun Rubber Company, and his designer, Dietrich Rempel, with Walt Disney's approval introduced a protective mask for children.

Read more about it here.