Antarctica Warmer Than Utah?

Penguins

On March 24, the temperature was 63.5°F at Argentina’s Esperanza Base, located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Salt Lake City high temperature was 57 degrees the same day.

[T]he poles are warming faster than any part of the planet and rapid ice melt is being observed at increased rates in Antarctica. According to a new study, ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade.

…While the polar regions are feeling the most severe temperature changes brought on by the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, areas across the globe are setting record highs at a much faster rate than record lows. Since 2010, 46 nations or territories out of 235 have set or tied record highs. Only four have set record lows.

UPDATE:
NASA Scientists Have Frightening Answers About Future Megadrought in Reddit AMA

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How, Not, To Work Your Political Views Into A Conversation

When I was starting out in Junior High School in 1965, they were building a new one to accommodate our large student population in that area. They had already picked a name for the new school, but a fellow student, who was a big history buff decided he wanted the school to be named after a personal hero of his. He began his quest to have the school named after Winston Churchill. I can’t remember all of the details or how difficult, or long the procedure took, but I’ll be damned if the school isn’t named Churchill Junior High today.

You may have already heard about the teacher in New Hampshire who recently decide to teach his fourth grade students how a bill is adopted, so he had them decide on a bill and they took it to the legislature. The attempt to get the red-tailed hawk named as the official state raptor turned into a learning experience for sure, but definitley not one you would have imagined.

After one legislator mocked the bill, saying they’d probably next be naming an official state hotdog, Republican Representative Warren Groen really took the wind out of the sails of these kids by saying:

“The hawk grasps its prey “with its talons and then uses its razor-sharp beak to rip its victims to shreds, to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.’’

I guess this idiot thought these students were being taught to be a bunch of stinking liberals by their stinking liberal teacher. Just let the adults come up with the bills, huh?

The Democratic governor is going to visit the school and try to get the students not to give up trying to be involved in their communities. My sense is that after making the national news, they are going to be even more involved. That’s how these sorts of inane blunders usually work out, but you’ll never convince some ideologues.

19 Comments

How Ironic: The First Tea-GOP Presidential Candidate for 2016 Has A Canadian Birth Certificate

Rafael Cruz

This morning, Senator Rafael (“Ted”) Cruz launched the first 2016 Tea-GOP presidential campaign. Mostly known for orchestrating the last federal government shutdown, every one of his policy positions are opposed by a majority of Americans.

Senator Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. He has a Canadian birth certificate, which arguably means he is not a natural born U.S. citizen (a constitutional requirement for anyone to hold the office of President of the United States). Less than a year ago, Cruz still held Canadian dual citizenship.

Birther heads would explode, except that their level of brain activity probably isn’t high enough for that. BTW Cruz is a first-term senator with no prior experience as an elected official.

UPDATES:
Ted Cruz Is So Proud Of His Role In America’s Near-Default, He’s Touting It On Campaign Site
BTW check out http://www.tedcruz.com/
Yes, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Is Eligible To Run For President

There is still some lingering uncertainty about Cruz’s eligibility. That’s because the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on the meaning of “natural born citizen,” which the Constitution doesn’t define.

31 Comments

Gun Shoppers Learn the Truth – Guns Are Unsafe

Via Media Matters:

States United to Prevent Gun Violence (SUPGV) released a video debunking the notion that gun ownership makes a person safer. (Research has demonstrated that owning a gun increases the risk of death or injury.)

SUPGV conducted a “hidden camera social experiment” to record the reactions of potential gun buyers at a fake gun store they had set up in Manhattan. When prospective purchasers inquired about a firearm, the clerk informed the customer of tragedies — including mass shootings and unintentional shootings involving children — that involved the use of that particular model of firearm. Hidden cameras recorded prospective gun buyers’ shocked reactions.

Each firearm (actually a replica) in the fake gun store was tagged with a history of tragic accidents or mass shootings associated with that model.

More info:
GunsWithHistory.com
NRA Affiliate Is So Scared Of This Gun Safety Video That It Wants A Criminal Investigation

1 Comment

The Middle Class Has Gotten Smaller In Every State Since 2000

Middle class shrinking

Via HuffPo:

A new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline blog, shows that the percentage of middle-class households — defined as those earning between 67 and 200 percent of a state’s median income — dropped in every U.S. state between 2000 and 2013. Median income also fell in most states during that period.

UPDATE:
14 Reasons Why House and Senate Republicans Have Declared Economic War On Average Americans

The GOP-controlled House and Senate budgets not only drastically cut spending on education, retirement, environment, road and bridges, climate change, immigration, job creation, Obamacare, food stamps, and other social welfare programs; but it gives the Pentagon a blank check, and includes tax cuts for the rich and corporations while raising taxes for lower-income Americans.

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When Racism Died a Little in Utah

Villa Theatre in it's heyday

Villa Theater in it’s hey-day


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I don’t know what it is about fried chicken restaurant chains and Salt Lake City, but we somehow played host to the birth of two popular ones last century. Obviously, Kentucky Fried Chicken is still around, but the other one, which was also opening outlets around the country is gone. I’ll get to that later.

I’m old enough to remember what the original KFC, which is still located at 3900 south State Street, looked like. It featured a very large painting of a butt naked child with the caption, “Come As You Are!” Probably something you wouldn’t see today.

The picture above is obviously not a chicken restaurant. It’s the facade of the old Villa Theatre, which was later changed into a rug outlet, at great expense, to keep the structure similar to what it was. The theater was actually pretty famous for it’s day and as late as 2001, was named on a list of ten great classic Theaters in the United States by USA today.

When I was six years old the Villa theater was showing “South Pacific”, and I remember very well how the songs from that movie were being played and sung all over town. The Creators of the play that the movie was based on ran into trouble because of a song in the play called “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, but demanded the famous anti-racism song be included in the production.

From Wikipedia:

Rodgers and Hammerstein risked the entire South Pacific venture in light of legislative challenges to its decency or supposed Communist agenda.

And…

James Michener, upon whose stories South Pacific was based, recalled, “The authors replied stubbornly that this number represented why they had wanted to do this play, and that even if it meant the failure of the production, it was going to stay in.

Also from Wikipedia:

In 1958, the [Villa Theatre] became famous for showing a 10-month-long run of South Pacific, drawing Patrons from as far as Idaho and Nevada.

If I recall correctly, another great anti-racism movie, (West Side Story), played in Salt Lake for almost 2 Years. I always like to accentuate the good in my community because I’ve lived here all my life. After the Villa put up their huge Cinerama screen, which, at first, required three different synchronized projectors to play a film, I saw some great ones, including my favorite: “2001 A Space Odyssey”. I was buzzing with excitement after that one.

The Villa theatre was a place of wonder, but just down the street was the other national fried chicken chain that had it’s birth in Salt Lake.

My family had a get together and we were going through some very old pictures, when I saw something unbelievable.

If you want to look at something really ugly, CLICK HERE for page two.

73 Comments

Comment to Your Hearts Content

Modified Banner

Modified Banner

Of course a blog that is running correctly always lets commenters post immediately, but WordPress uses a spam filter called Akismet which, at least on this blog, only lets about half of legitimate comments show up when posted nowdays. I wish it weren’t so; it’s a huge hassle to log in to the spam filter constantly to see if somebody’s been trying to say something.

It’s especially hard when your computer has to be wiped clean and started from scratch like I had to do this week.

I’m hoping there’s some truth to the old saying, “all things must pass”.

7 Comments

Now I’m Really Upset About Daylight Savings!

That’s it!

This is just crazy!

Daylight savings time is one of my pet-peeves, because it seems like a totally unnecessary annoyance in our increasingly annoying existence. Just one more thing to elevate my blood pressure. This morning, I was watching a program I like on CBS, because it’s not as angering as almost everything else you can see on the public airwaves. It’s called “CBS This Morning” and it usually features interesting stories from almost anywhere that tend to make you feel good.

If I hadn’t called my mother last night, I would have missed the first hour of the show because I wouldn’t have remembered to set my clock forward for daylight savings.

Today’s show included one of those little factoids that you sometimes get before a station break. It said that Benjamin Franklin had originally introduced the idea of daylight savings time for the purpose of saving candles.

I always understood the time was changed to make it easier for farmers somehow, but my mom, who also dislikes daylight sayings time and grew up on a farm, says the only thing it did was confuse the cattle twice a year.

Well, the candles don’t seem worried, the cattle are still confused, and so am I.

Maybe somebody in the congress can tell us why we still do this, but I, seriously, doubt it. What could he/she possibly say?

8 Comments

Taking A Vacation From The Blogosphere

Norwegian Getaway
Eastern Caribbean map

I rarely get out of Utah anymore, so this will be a change of pace. Have fun complaining about my carbon footprint, but I haven’t been on a plane in years and catastrophic climate change is unstoppable now anyway.

12 Comments

Why Are Republicans Legislating From The Bench?

Because they never cared about legislating from the bench anyway, if their side could win by doing that. I didn’t pose that as a question because it’s a fact.

This ACA in the supreme court challenge is a very interesting one and it puts Republican lawmakers right on the hot seat. They have been doing everything they could to kill the legislation that almost everybody seems to like, including hospitals, patients and insurance companies. Nobody’s been complaining; surely not me, who for the first time in eight years, actually has health care.

This never had to get to the supreme court and even if the supreme court decision results in millions of people losing their health care and sending the entire health system into chaos, it will be because the Republicans refuse to clarify four words in the law either before OR after the decision comes down.

Although this is going to directly effect me in a profound way, I’m going to be pulling up a chair and getting the popcorn ready.

23 Comments

All of you Net Neutrality people need a little education on how the Internet works.

The Internet is not like the public highway system where anyone who wants to ride the Freeway can regardless of whether you drive a beater or a Lamborghini. The Internet is a patchwork of thousands of private networks. Some networks owned by the big players are called backbone networks and they handle a lot of the traffic but they only take the traffic so far.

Go to your command prompt or terminal and type in traceroute followed by a url. You will see how many networks and nodes it took to get to your
destination. I did >traceroute youtube.com. I got 10 different networks that were traversed before it got to youtube.com

When you make a request to a server the request and the result of that request can traverse many networks to get to the server that hosts the information. These networks have cooperative agreements with other networks to allow traffic to go through them in return they get reciprocated with their traffic. When one network gets overloaded they cut off through traffic and the packets get rerouted someplace else that can handle the traffic. Sometimes there is no other option so the network has to throttle some traffic to handle the load. This is going to jeopardize this cooperation since they will want to protect their own traffic. The Internet cannot work without Inter network cooperation. If all networks circle the wagons nothing will get in or out and we will be left with thousands of private networks that can only talk to itself.

Why net neutrality will hurt and slow everyone down is because Networks will not be able to manage their networks based on the priority of the traffic so the result will be more traffic on their systems which means they will have to throttle Everyone to handle it. The result is it will take longer to receive packets and with streaming services such as Netflix it means you will see more of the dreaded buffering especially at night when most people want to watch Netflix.

What is interesting too is everyone is so concerned about net neutrality mainly because of Netflix but the funny thing is that Netflix uses a protocol that is low priority. The highest priority is TCP which requires every packet send back an acknowledgement that it was received or it sends it again. This makes no sense with streaming because if a packet doesn’t make it it is too late. Plus the protocol does not require every packet to be received to run the program. If anything you may lose a pixel of two. Netflix uses a protocol that has a “Best effort” protocol which is lower priority. So net neutrality will actually have no net benefit at all in streaming.

There are certain protocols used by the Internet to set priority for traffic. There is QoS (Quality of Service) and COS (Class of Service). These are part of the network protocols are are essential to operate the Internet smoothly and not bog it down. These prioritize traffic based on the nature or importance of the traffic. Net Neutrality is a small part of this and actually has little effect on the Internet and will not change QoS or Cos which means in reality Net Neutrality is mainly a marketing term. Sad something so insignificant has now resulted in the government taking over the Internet.

Obama was all gung-ho and used the full force of his administration to get ISPs to police copyrights but had no interest at all in doing the same thing to get ISPs to voluntarily adopt net neutrality. Rather he went the government takeover route. Hmmm wonder why?

Hey try the Android Game I created called CHOMP. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bingham.ken.chomp.android

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17 Comments

Jon Stewart: 50 Faux News Lies In 6 Seconds

I watched “The Daily Show” last night, and it was obvious this would go viral. Of course, there’s really no way to tally all of the Faux News Channel’s lies. It’s a constant stream every day.

More info:
Jon Stewart Pulls Out The Big Guns, Unveils ’50 Fox News Lies In 6 Seconds’

6 Comments

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