Friday, June 28, 2013

Freedom Sucks

Non-libertarian Cal Thomas:
One doesn't have to approve of the Court's "reasoning" in order to hand it to the gay rights campaigners. They have done a magnificent job advancing their objectives, but they couldn't have done it alone. A verse from the Old Testament warns about the detrimental effects such "advances" can have on individuals and nations that abandon moral boundaries: "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." -- Judges 17:6, NIV
Then, fortunately, there came an era in which the potty-mouthed could be stoned to death.*

*The Lovely Daughter and I were coming home from a doctor's appointment the other day and there was a shirtless crazy guy on the opposite corner swearing away. A sweet little old lady approached us and said "They should make public swearing illegal." The Lovely Daughter can say "bullshit" in Chinese with a good accent, but unlike her dad has decorum enough to refrain from calling elderly ladies crazy and fortunate to possess a shirt.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Henry and Glenn Forever

Since a certain Bastard has yet again made fun of Glenn Danzig, I suppose it's worth someone's while to point out Henry and Glenn Forever.



And of course an image search will net you much more.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mixed Blessings

In the vast pool of people threatening to chop off your head and keep it as a souvenir, Ray Charles was less of a threat than most.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Free Labour

After all that LGM internship stuff, more internships:
Two former interns have filed complaints with government against Bell Mobility, alleging the telecom giant broke labour laws by not paying them for work they did for the company.

“It felt like I was sitting in an office as an employee, doing regular work. It didn’t feel like a sort of training program,” said Jainna Patel, 24, who was an unpaid intern with Bell for five weeks last year.

“They just squeezed out of you every hour they could get and never showed any intent of paying.”
Jainna Patel says her internship with Bell Mobility was no different from an entry-level job, plus overtime, except that she didn't get a paycheque.

She filed a complaint with federal authorities in May 2012, which has yet to be resolved.

Patel and others were "associates" in a Bell program that invites 280 post-secondary grads per year to work voluntarily in Bell’s Mississauga, Ont., complex, for three to four months at a time, on projects that are supposed to enhance their future careers.
Thankfully, it's CBC reportage so...
Toronto lawyer Andrew Langille has studied the laws regarding internships and has helped interns with claims against several Canadian companies.

Overall, he estimates up to 300,000 young people are now working as unpaid interns in Canada. He suggests the vast majority of those arrangements are illegal.

“My estimates are somewhere above 90 per cent should be paid and they are not being paid,” said Langille.

[...]

“We’ve seen explosive growth within intern culture in the last 10 years in Canada and particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis,” he said.
So interships weren't an integral part of higher education for ever and ever and ever?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Autoluminescent

Jeepers, a Rowland S. Howard bio.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Bible is TRUE!

Newsflash!
I enjoy collecting information about studies that relate to some aspect of the Bible. Over and over, social science data tends to confirm the Scriptures.

A new study verifies the truth revealed in Paul’s statement in the Bible that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Paul didn’t say that money is the root of evil---although I’ve heard people misrepresent the Bible as supposedly saying that. Nor did he say it’s the lack of money that is the root of evil, although I’ve heard some people say that’s what it should say.

Yet I’ve known some poor people who were very greedy, and some rich who were not.

Well, a new study validates what the Bible said 2,000 years ago---not that it needs validation---that the love of money is indeed a corrupting influence.

Writing for CNBC, Mark Koba penned a report, “Just the Scent of Money is Corrupting: Study.”

Koba writes, “The report by University of Utah and Harvard researchers found that individuals who could gain monetarily through unethical behavior were more likely to demonstrate that behavior than those who weren't offered a financial gain.”
It's a pity there weren't other books on earth that mentioned this tendency, but few are as perspicacious as crazy desert zealots. This certainly confirms the story of Jesus filling up a pig with demons.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Inconvenience

Katie Kieffer makes the pro-life argument for universal health care:
I agree with the president in that, as women, we have the right to make our own health decisions. However the right to look after our own health is totally different from our right to kill, which is only a “right” if we kill in self-defense. Save for the extraordinarily rare cases where carrying or delivering a baby naturally will result in the mother’s death, there is no argument for killing an innocent baby out of self-defense.

I am sure it must be very distressing and frightening to face an unplanned pregnancy. For the young woman, I can see how she would feel like she should have the right to choose to end her baby’s life so that she does not need to deal with the expected inconvenience. But how can we compare inconvenience to life? It seems like they cannot be weighed against each other.
Quite an argument to present at Townhall, Katie, but keep plugging away and one day you'll get your socialized medicine.

Free Textbooks

Here are five free textbooks from OpenStax College. Whatever the hell that is.

Thus far:
College Physics
Introduction to Sociology
Biology
Concepts of Biology
Anatomy and Physiology
What the hell is it again?
OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax College is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.
POOP!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Intersection

Here's an intersection near my place:



This is at night, about 20 minutes ago. Back to basics in Quartz Composer. Top level:



Render in Image is piling up images from the stuff contained within it, according to how those things display colour. There's also a white background, as the image coming through is a few colours and as literally nothing as you can express on a computer. Inside there:



Video Input is split, one path removes the colour and ups the contrast to near black-and-whiteness. The black goes to alpha, which is transparency. That masks the plain video so the only things that poke through are bright chunks of the image. The Blending setting of the Billboard is set to Over, so images it produces are drawn on top of previous ones. The Blending setting of the Sprite is set to Add: a smidge of really dark nearly transparent colour eventually adds up to white, producing the fade. Might have to up the Sprite colour value a little there... It's another approach to get at this, and much less of a strain on the processor.

Soundtrack...um...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vancouver Draw Down

Get here quick!
Check out the Main St. Poodle Doodle, join a Comic Jam, draw on a sports field with field marking chalk and much much more.

The Vancouver Draw Down celebrates creativity and challenges everyday ideas about what drawing is and what it can do. On June 15 over 35 FREE drawing workshops will take place across the city in community centres, museums, art galleries, neighbourhood houses and public parks.
The Lovely Daughter wants to be a hippie:
Tune In, Turn On, and Draw Down at Kitsilano
Liquid Light drawing with Sydney Hermant
Saturday, June 15, 2013 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Kitsilano Community Centre, Lobby Room, 2690 Larch St., Vancouver
FREE

Using techniques developed for psychedelic overhead projection in the 1960s, join Sydney Hermant to create and trace moving murals, accompanied by a psych-rock playlist.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Trees



Sound for the above from OBS:



I've been playing with filtered video in Quartz Composer. What I'm eventually aiming at is some kind of image accumulation; I'd like whatever's in motion to add to the image and whatever's static to stay. A big problem there is that video is inherently noisy, so if your method of accumulation is registering change, everything in every frame is changing pretty much all the time. The scary trees above are not entirely the product of psychedelic mushrooms, but instead are oak trees in the yard with two layers of edge-detection combined, one produces black edges and one produces coloured edges, the theory being that images might be best accumulated with edge detection because the rest of the image is undisturbed; a little jitter and a spot of colour remains, outlined in black. And indeed there are a few dead spots. Unfortunately the colours are like a plastic robot vomiting tinker toys, but it's a step.

Hmm, maybe there could be histogram comparisons between images and a drastic enough change produces an addition...

Play in Quartz Composer is probably something of a dead end now that Apple's new developer tools are out and there's not really any mention of it. Other things are out there that produce varying levels of satisfaction along these lines, but they're just not as easy/developed yet. I'm hoping that Field gets a little more usable for me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Immigration

There are about 450 outfits offering nursing degrees in the Philippines, so this is an interesting news story:
Attention nursing students and parents of nurse aspirants, check with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) if your school is accredited while there is still time to transfer and/or refund your tuition. This after the CHED ordered the closure of 218 nursing schools nationwide for sub-standard education.*

According to the CHED, these nursing schools are being closed for having consistently done poorly in nurse licensure examinations conducted by the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) biannually.

The list of nursing schools up for closure has not been released yet because some have appealed the CHED's decision. When these are resolved, the full list will be made public.

For now, nursing students and their parents can contact the CHED directly at telephone no. 441-1228 to check if their school is in the list.
The education system there has a large component that exists solely to export people. And I gather there are lots of reasons to leave. So welcome, poorly qualified friends!

*Goes in the "believe it when you see it" file.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All Hail the Cloud

Via Tom Slee in comments at Crooked Timber, a nifty little presentation on scalability issues around really huge graphs. From the National Security Agency. Topical geekery! I didn't know about Accumulo for instance.

Anyway...start at 8:20. Haven't got the time to figure out YouTube embeds again.



Golly, if the NSA people manage to get the brain graph going someone will have a head in the cloud.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cheap and Nasty.

Noticed here.

See Also L. Ron Hubbard

Joel B. Pollak:
The Andrew Breitbart documentary Hating Breitbart is about to break an obscure but fitting Hollywood record: namely, the record for defying media critics.

According to Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter, the Breitbart film has recorded the largest-ever gap between audience ratings (96 percent) and critics' ratings (0 percent) on the popular industry website RottenTomatoes.com.

The current record is a paltry 82 percent.

The record will not be official until Hating Breitbart receives ten critical reviews. Currently, it has eight. To miss the record, the two additional reviews would have to score the film at 70 percent or higher.
Fingers crossed!
The fact that audiences love the film, and journalists hate it, perfectly exemplifies Andrew Breitbart's persona.

There could be no more fitting rebuke to the critics--and no more fitting tribute to Andrew.
Conclusive proof that Joel B. Pollak is not a journalist.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Neighbours

Mary lives a few doors down:
I was driving this big red Chrysler convertible down to T's with my five-year-old to pick up a 100-sheet of blotter acid. I go into the bar and get what I need to get and I come out and my daughter is leaning out of the car yelling "MOM! DID YOU GET THE DOPE?" and it was okay: I knew nobody thought it was me because my daughter's dad was black.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Flipped

How many other blogs give you famous political figures with certain exceptions* chopped into pieces and commingled with selected** animal parts? NONE OTHER BLOGS.


*John Key and donkey is just too easy.
**If our gentle reader would be so kind as to please see the footnote immediately preceding this one all questions will be put to rest without further interruption or delay or indeed aggravation. Fuck you.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hooray!

Ever forward.
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, allowing investigators to examine e-mails, photos and other documents that can be used to track people and their contacts over time, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
I wonder if there's going to be any fallout from countries with meaningful privacy laws.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Better Than I Thought

I've always enjoyed this by Spike Jones:



The middle thing, though, with the "honeychile" stuff always struck me as kinda racist. But I've been listening to The Ink Spots and I guess it's, uh, spot on:



Look at how weird this is:

Monday, June 3, 2013

◲◱

The genius of Thomas Sowell:
Too much of our current immigration controversy is conducted in terms of abstract ideals, such as "We are a nation of immigrants." Of course we are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of people who wear shoes. Does it follow that we should admit anybody who wears shoes?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Usability

Does your system work?
Based on my Tripod experience, I’d offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for two purposes: pornography and activism. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media – it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test – if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable.
Via this:
If you want to play, you have to play where the people are. If you do anything with erotica and porn, that means shunning the platforms where you’re wholly unwelcome, pushing yourself as far as possible onto the platforms where you’re somewhat tolerated, and enthusiastically exploiting the platforms where you’re truly welcome. But it’s important to understand that companies and platforms have life cycles, and there seems inevitably to come a time in all of them where porn that was formerly welcome (often, porn that played a fundamental role in building the popularity of the platform) will get kicked to the curb or shoved behind a sleazy curtain at the back of the store. Although I believe in making this process as embarrassing and painful as possible for the companies that do it, I don’t really believe it can be prevented, or even mitigated much. All you can do is expect it, prepare for it, diversify as much as possible onto as many platforms as possible, and stay agile.

The pornocalypse comes for us all.
Pronunciation guide for Ikea products.

Rape joke debate: "... also you were probably kind of asking for the Holocaust."



Artists in Laboratories:

During the show we will be talking about how she managed to get her hands on a fresh human brain but Helen will also discuss some of her broader projects such as The Body Is A Big Place, a large-scale installation that explores organ transplantation and the thresholds between life and death.