Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reverse-Engineering Online Dating

NOT that I would ever do this, but it was funny...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nole, the Joker

With Ana!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

TMI: Leamur might have to move to CA after all

(Northern California, that is. Leamur is so not a So-Cal gal.)

But between the retreat to green a car and this way-cool vid of the FireDrums 2013 event...

...Leamur might be Going to California.

Meet you up there where the path runs straight and high. ;)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

TMI: Leamur luvs orange cars...

...and this Ghia is a babydoll (for $30K, she'd have to be):

Here, he talks about how to choose a vehicle to convert:

Choosing a motor & etc:

Brakes & shocks and they offer a hands-on workshop! They're about 2 1/2 hours up the 5 from Sacramento. So for $500, plus airfare & rental, lodging, and meals, Leamur could hang out with a bunch of (other?) middle-aged hippies, greening a car. Just wow. :)

Mounting the adaptor/coupler, flywheel, clutch, your basic dry-run before installation:

Dr. Richard, where do batteries come from?

Battery installation considerations:

Soup to nuts:


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Callie Khouri did it

Leamur has mentioned before that Country music is not her fav. And yet, Tate Stevens and some of the songs on Nashville "got" Leamur. But so far not one with Hayden Panettiere, although Leamur was certain they would come up with one.

Well, they were saving it for the Season Finale, of course. (duh)

So, here it is, Nothing in this World Will Ever Break My Heart Again:

This is the best YouTube could do right now. It'll do.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Douchebag Section at Goodwill - bwahahahahaha!

If I owned anything from Abercrombie & Fitch, or even knew anyone who owned anything from Abercrombie & Fitch, I would totally do this:

But of course, I'm not one of the cool kids, just an old hippie, I guess. Honestly, I thought Hollister had killed and replaced A&F ages ago. You know, like that thing from "The Thing"?

Of course, for me, the best use of that particular nightmare-meme was Gene Wolfe's "The Fifth Head of Cerberus". A must-read, seriously. It's like that Emily Bronte quote:
I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Gene Wolfe is that kind of awesome. And it seems unlikely that he has ever worn anything made or sold by A&F. Coincidence?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lies, Damn Lies, and BP

A Must-Read: What BP Doesn't Want You To Know About The 2010 Gulf Spill

In a nutshell, sweet crude wasn't poisonous enough, so they added "Corexit" to make it more poisonous, but invisible.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ben Bridwell! (Band of Horses)

Great sound quality for the back of a cab! (Seriously, I'm impressed.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

TMI: Leamur has moral "tastes"

In graphs! Graphs, people!

Leamur has a moral foundation, and can now prove it with a graph:

Leamur is more satisfied with life than most Liberals or Conservatives:

Leamur is less psychopathic than you are, but just as deviant anyway:
The idea behind the scale is that psychopathy is thought to be continuously distributed in the population so that individuals have varying degrees of psychopathic traits which can be measured. In addition, the concept of psychopathy is often separated into two factors, each with emphasis on a different aspect of psychopathy.

The first type, primary psychopathy, more closely resembles the prototype description of a psychopath and emphasizes a lack of emotion as well as other personality features. Primary psychopaths are often described as glib, superficially charming, grandiose, lying, conning, manipulative, lacking empathy or guilt, emotionally shallow, and callous.

The second type, secondary psychopathy, describes individuals characterized mostly by deviant behavior. Features include a need for stimulation, proneness to boredom, impulsivity, irresponsibility, risk-taking, and poor behavioral control. Overall, psychopathy is often thought of as the epitome of immoral behavior....

Please note that psychopathy has been found to correlate positively with other personality traits such as extraversion, adventure-seeking, and other traits which are often valued in leadership and competitive environments, so higher scores may not necessarily reflect deviant or immoral behavior, but instead reflect more outgoing personality styles.

Leamur has a stronger preference for furniture over drugs than either Liberals or Conservatives:
Positive scores indicate a greater implicit preference for Drugs relative to Furniture, and negative scores indicate an implicit preference for Furniture relative to Drugs.

Your score appears in the graph below in green. The score of the average Liberal visitor to this site is shown in blue and the average Conservative visitor's score is shown in red.

[If I could digress for just a moment here: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAA!!!!! Cripes that's probably true. I am so effing OLD. OK, back to the graphs.]

Leamur is less Hedonistic and more Benevolent than you are. (But not more modest.)
The idea behind the scale is that there is an internal order and structure to values. Using various statistical techniques, Schwartz has found that the ten basic human values show a pattern of relationships... Political liberals have been found to endorse the "openness to change" values, while conservatives are more likely to endorse the "conservation" values."

The values are described by Schwartz as follows:
POWER: Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources
ACHIEVEMENT: Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards
HEDONISM: Pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself
STIMULATION: Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life
SELF-DIRECTION: Independent thought and action - choosing, creating, exploring
UNIVERSALISM: Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature
BENEVOLENCE: Preservation and enhancement of the welfare of people with whom one is in frequent personal contact
TRADITION: Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that traditional culture or religion provide
CONFORMITY: Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms
SECURITY: Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self

That was fun. But seriously, this article about what this all means in the context of The Culture Wars in the U.S. is excellent reading and has the links in it to the fun & games above.

[Yes, Leamur really is making you click through to the article to get to the fun & games. Such a Puritan!]

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Growing your own food is like printing your own money."

Los Angeles:

Todmorden (Dafuq?!, you say? It's in England.):

A New York City apartment:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Grace/Luck: You Didn't Earn It

Although it might seem odd for a Buddhist -- I do believe in karma, absolutely -- but from a practical, day-to-day, this-is-your-life perspective, I totally agree. This is actually a very Buddhist message, about ovecoming the ego.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maryland Public Television: Foster Care Stories

The program is interrupted at intervals by interviews with program administrators in Maryland, providing information about Maryland resources. The interruptions are a bit jarring (and repeats Kendra's story), but the information is worthwhile. The program originally aired 3 years ago, so the information isn't far out of date.

Watch Foster Care Stories: A Place to Be on PBS. See more from WMPB.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Look at me now, Ohhh!"

Love this. It's a "TED Talk" by a couple of girls who made it through the system to college. They are giving advice on how to do it, and referring others to info about AB 12, a California Act that provides transitional benefits to youth aging out of the foster system.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Without hope you have no trust in anything or anyone."

This Op-Ed in the LA Times is well worth the read. This particularly stuck me: "...nearly 50% of all children who enter county foster care are 5 or younger."

Nearly 50 percent. Are 5 or younger.

I was talking to some coworkers recently about adoption and specifically, about adopting an older child out of foster care.

One coworker, married, has 2 beautiful young children, and her baby boy just turned 1 year old. She developed diabetes during the last month of her pregnancy. She was explaining how she had been telling her husband that she did not want to put her body through that again. She said if they want another child, they will adopt, but only a baby or toddler. She thinks that after that the children have been too affected, will be too hard to fit into the family.

The other coworker is still very young, still single. I think she basically agreed with the married lady, but also she was telling her that she understood my position, that the older kids need help, too. (I don't believe that it's too late to help them, too late to make a difference.)

But now I read this, I am armed for the next time it comes up: Nearly 50 percent. Are 5 or younger. They are not too old, to damaged already to become part of your family.

But me, I'll still want to help an older child.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wedding Vid or Car Commercial?

BMW (for the party crowd):

Prius (for the earnest individualists):

Audi (ummm...):

Because nothing says "I'll love you forever" like 50 or so of your best buds surrounding your vehicle firing shotguns as you drive through town. (Really, to me, that says something more along the lines of "I'm taking her, what are you going to do about it?" but that's probably just my cultural prejudice, right? Right?)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Everything is Connected: Quantum Climate Change Science

Be sure to watch this all the way through to see the point. Livestock issues are complex and poorly understood, but with planning, can actually improve climate and land instead of damaging them.

Industrial livestock operations are an outdated failure.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

JT on Jimmy Fallon Again (Yay!)

And one of the classics I hadn't posted before:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TMI: Leamur's "Nashville" Favs

I don't know if my imaginary reader will remember my saying that the post about Tate Steves (the guy who won The X Factor) would likely be the only time Leamur ever posts country music to her blog...

I blame T-Bone Burnett. Here are Leamur's Nashville favs (so far).

Starting from the beginning of the season, If I Didn't Know Better:

No One Will Ever Love You:

And last week just blew me away, Pour Me Something Stronger:

I'm loving Hayden in the show (so glad they saved the cheerleader), but they haven't yet given her a song that really got me... I expect they'll fix that by the end of the season.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Vance's View on Congress's Vacay

Here's that vid I couldn't post the other day:

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Jim Vance Speaks Out

On the Redskins' vulgar name:

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

I wish I could posted what he said last night, but it's not up yet. :/

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Post-Modern Love

I so want to MST3K this first one. Except instead of being robots exiled to space, we could be xenopologists (is that a word? like anthropologists, except studing aliens instead of human beings?) looking for a place to safely land and settle.

Daddy has some fun with his daughter kicking off the reception dance:

(TMI: Leamur loves her dress. If Leamur got married in that dress, she could put up her hair and show off her tat.)

And the so-cute-I-could-ralph,-but-awwww! award goes to...CrazyMonkeyStudio:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Home Energy Improvement

Home installaton of solar panels:

Installing a home wind turbine:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tolerance is not a Weakness

This is one of the ads going up in the DC area to try to raise people's awareness of the meaning of Jihad to moderate Muslims. "Religious struggle" and "holy war" are not equivalent ideals. I like this one...

...but I'm not sure most people will get it. What it's saying is that there is a stereotype that a woman wearing a hijab is living under oppression, but that really she is not being weak, she is being modest, and it's something she chooses to do in order to be more virtuous, to become a better person. To me, it's a bit like a woman who chooses for religious reasons to shave her head or wear it very close-cut (like a Buddhist nun). The idea is to force people to see the person, not her adornments. It is also an outward sign of submission to God. I just kinda wish the ad had said "Modestry is a strength", instead of "Modestry is not a weakness."

This commentator explains it well, I think, although I simultaneously get an Ick! feeling from her knee-jerk soul-searcing about how it could somehow be her fault that a sleazy ignorant guy on the bus thought it was OK to quiz her about whether she's available while she's wearing a hijab.
No, sweetie, it is not your fault that sleazy ignorant guys are legion.
Hey! Legion of Sleazy Ignorant Guys: a woman wearing a hijab is signalling that she is asserting her right to be viewed in a non-sexual way, so NO, she does not want to talk to you about dating or how pretty you think she is.
(cheez whiz!)

I thought this would be a good opportunity to look at the viewpoints of some young women who wear the hijab.

This young lady is a convert to Islam. In Texas. From her perspective it has partly cost her her career. I think she explains the concept of jihad well, that it is a test of her faith. As a convert to Islam, she is also grappling with the change in her identity, both internally and as viewed by the community in Dallas, Texas. For her, the whole issue is more complicated than just signalling that she claims her right to be seen as a person rather than a sexual object. There are employment issues, prejudices, and what seems to go the deepest for her, her example to younger girls. The video is long-ish at 13 minutes, but I think well worth the watch for an honest look at someone struggling with these forces.

This lady in England addresses what she sees as the common misunderstandings about hijab:

Another set of women discussing misunderstandings about wearing the hijab:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Go Red!

This is awesome:
"Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC) Primary Stroke Center Coordinator, Mirian Medina, RN, and Foundation Development Director, Gina M. Mancini decided to create a dance video to help promote awareness of the dangers of heart disease and stroke to women after being inspired by an innovative health awareness movement at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center's (in Portland, Oregon) Pink Glove Dance video.

RBMC is a proud supporter of the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" movement. We inspired 260 energetic employees from 38 departments to strut their inner dancer while garbed in red. We videoed over two days at the hospital's Old Bridge and Perth Amboy locations in New Jersey dancing in sync to various songs. Produced by NineteenEightyFiveProductions.com"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Future of Fingerprinting Technology

A while back, RORC featured a NOVA episode about problems with current use of fingerprinting. At Thinking Digital 2012, Simona Francese spoke about advances in the technology and possible future uses for forensic investigation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How To Stalk Cooties, with Dr Jennifer Gardy, "Contagion Terminator and TV Scientist"

First, an alphabetic introduction to cooties:

"I am a molecular epidemiologist. I work with cooties."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prelude in C Sharp Minor w/Art Nouveau Visuals

The BSO's Rachmaninoff weekend finishes this afternoon with "Ravishing Rachmaninoff".

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Critical Thinking about Cheese Sandwiches

"When the headlines rolled, what happened is the marketers came calling."

("Neuroflapdoodle" is my favorite, too, Molly.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Let's Rewrite the Narrative Together"

(TMI: Leamur thinks Jamil Abu-Wardeh is one of the most beautiful men she's ever seen.) That's totally beside the point. The point is, he reminds us of needed truths in a funny way. Enjoy.

More recent fun from the Axis of Evil:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Public Health Emergency declared in Boston

The state has 18 flu-related death so far this season. They are now providing flu vaccination for free. Enlightened of them.

This is Maryland DHMH's flu info page.

This is your momma:

While we're talking vaccination, don't forget Menningitis:

Or Whooping Cough. (This video is heart-breaking. Please get your Td boosters every 10 years. It's not about you, it's about the babies and children you might come into contact with.):

Vaccinations are not just for children. This links to a chart of the CDC's adult vaccination guidelines. (Whooping cough is pertussis, part of the Td/Tdap.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data

(btw, that phrase I titled this with seems to be trending; I'm seeing it a lot lately; it leads the comments in the linked blogpost)

Here's where Leamur gets on her soapbox again and re-posts a whole article so the Imaginary Reader doesn't even have to click through.

To bottom-line it: Having a gun in your home doesn't make you safer. It increases the risk that you will become a victim of gun violence. (And IMO there is just no need for any of my neighbors to own an assault rifle like a Bushmaster "for self-defense." That's just idiotic. There are not elephants roaming the streets of our towns and suburbs.)

I should preface this by noting explicitly that this is not really about the Fox-bashing (well-deserved as it is), although that seems to be the hook writer Chelsea Rudman begins with in this blog post on Media Matters. Here it is:

Fox News has repeatedly hidden the danger of keeping guns in homes behind a handful of anecdotes about home owners who frightened off criminals with their own firearms. Research actually shows that guns kept in homes are far more likely to kill or injure those living there than deter crime.

On Monday's edition of America Live, host Megyn Kelly juxtaposed reports that the White House may push for laws to prevent gun violence with a story about a homeowner near Atlanta who successfully repelled a burglar with her gun. Kelly said that the home invasion "could have ended tragically for a family, but for the fact that the mother had a .38 revolver and knew how to use it."

As correspondent Mike Emanuel gave a report on the White House's interest in gun-violence legislation, text aired on-screen that read: "Mom's Shooting of Intruder Puts New Twist On Gun Control Debate."

[In the blogpost there is an embedded video of the offending news clip, which I have declined to reproduce here, since it does not deserve the attention.] The blog piece continues:

On the December 5 edition of The Five, the co-hosts recited two stories of homeowners who had repelled invading criminals with firearms in the first five minutes of the show. Co-host Andrea Tantaros concluded that "burglars are less apt to break in if they think they might have their brains blown out."

Yet Fox's emphasis on these reports hides the fact that such successful self-defense stories are extremely rare. In a 2011 report summarizing scientific literature about the health risks and benefits of having a gun in the home, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, found that one study in Atlanta determined victims of break-ins used firearms in self-defense 1.5 percent of the time. Hemenway cited a second study that found guns were used in self-defense by victims of sexual assault in fewer than 0.1 percent of incidents. He concluded that "genuine self-defense gun use is rare" and that "the evidence does not indicate that having a gun reduces the risk of being a victim of a crime or that having a gun reduces the risk of injury during the commission of a crime."

In fact, research has repeatedly found that a gun kept in one's home is far more likely to injure or kill those inside the home. Hemenway wrote that many studies found "that a gun in the home is a risk for homicide in the home" and determined, "The evidence is overwhelming for the fact that a gun in the home is a risk factor for completed suicide and that gun accidents are most likely to occur in homes with guns." The Harvard Injury Control Research Center described a separate study [Click through to this! You won't be sorry!] conducted by Hemenway by saying that "[g]uns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime." A 2004 study [This one, too! Actual data included!] published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that "having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home."

The blog-piece ends with this very poorly worded mess from the Brady Campaign website that should actually read, "For each time a gun kills or injures in self-defense, there are corresponding incidents in which a gun has been used..." etc. It's not the same gun, and the 11 attempted or completed suicides, 7 criminal assaults or homicides, and 4 unintentional shooting deaths or injuries per instance of use in self-defense are not happening at the same time or in any way in tandem with the use of the gun in self-defense. I realize the Brady Campaign's website employs flacks rather than journalists, but really, guys? Are you excused from making sense when you're paid to make a point? Aren't you also paid to not embarrass your cause? Chelsea should have left this out. :/

On its website, The Brady Campaign, citing a 1998 study by public health expert Arthur Kellermann, states:

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:
■11 times for completed and attempted suicides (Kellermann, 1998, p. 263).
■7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
■4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.

Now I'm not against the 2nd Amendment; I think our Constitution is great. I am against Propaganda For Fun And Profit, aka Lying To People In A Big Way Because Our Sponsors Pay Us To. People need to know the facts in order to make informed decisions. That's what this is about. People need to know that guns don't make them safer, that to the contrary, they increase risk. That's why this re-post and rant.

And TMI: While there were all those news stories out about Adam Lanza's poor mom and what a great person she was, all I could think was "What kind of mother keeps any guns in the home where she lives with her mentally impaired/disabled son? And a Bushmaster?! Seriously?!" But me, I was pissed when someone sold my schizophrenic 2nd cousin (who patiently played chess with me when I was a child, even though he was much better than me) the gun he used to blow his brains out in the woods near Sag Harbor because he thought all the people he knew had been replaced by robots. Maybe that makes me biased, I dunno. But that's my anecdote, and according to *actual* data, there are a lot more people out there with anecdotes like mine than like the mom-shot-an-intruder one. But when ours make it to the news, nobody puts it in the context of gun control/availability.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013