Happy 40th Birthday

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Industrial Light & Magic was founded in May of 1975

Here is an all-too-short brag reel of their work:

Their homepage is here: ILM

One of the videos from the Internet Archive in the last post:

Lots of Government Educational films - great stuff and free - our tax dollars at work!

Manuals - a collection

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Ho. Li. Crap. The Internet Archive is an amazing website.

Just found out that they have a collection of manuals for various products - Music Synthesizers, Computers, Firearms, Vending Machines, and much much more. Plan to spend several hours...

From Warren Meyer writing at Coyote Blog:

Heisenberg's Theorem on Green Energy Measurement
Theorem:  A media article on a wind or solar project will give its installation costs or the value of its energy produced, but never both.

Corollary 1:  One therefore can never assess the economic reasonableness of any green energy project from a single media article

Corollary 2:  For supporters of green energy, there is a good reason for Corollary #1.

So true - it is very difficult to get these numbers because the 'green' energy projects are not profitable without huge government subsidies. Given that the government does not make any money to speak of, it only spends what it takes from us as taxes, that is our money being used to prop up unworkable alt.energy scams.

Happy 35th Birthday

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Pac-Man was released on May 22, 1980 - from Wired:

PAC-Man turns 35 today
Pac-Man, the biggest arcade game of all time, turns 35 today. Here’s a look back at the era when Pac-Man fever ruled the world.

Released by the Japanese company Namco on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man was like nothing else at the time. At a time when Space Invaders and Asteroids and other games with abstracted, monochrome graphics ruled the arcade, Pac-Man offered a colorful cartoonish design with an appealing central character. It revolved around eating, not shooting; and it was designed to appeal to young women and couples, not dudes in sketchy bowling-alley bars (although they all played it too).

The colorful design and unique collect-the-dots maze gameplay—plus the wonderful tension of running away from those darned ghosts, then scrambling to eat them once you got a power pellet—made Pac-Man almost instantly addictive, eating quarters as rapaciously as its protagonist swallowed pixels. By one count, Namco sold 400,000 Pac-Man machines, head and shoulders above anything that had come before, or since. And it’s still highly playable and popular in a way its contemporaries are not—few people are paying for Asteroids or Space Invaders updates today, but Namco Bandai still makes and sells variations on Pac-Man on every platform imaginable.

WikiPedia has a nice write-up.

Patriot Act? Give me a break. From The Washington Times:

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

It's not about protecting United States citizens, it's about grabbing power and building your bureaucracy. The 'protection' is just a scam to justify the agencie's existence.

The Israelis are doing incredible work without this wiretapping of innocent citizens. They are using their brains and actually profiling their enemies.

Ted Cruse rocks!

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Here he is talking to a reporter:

He would make an amazing President.

Tip of the hat to always awesome Maggie's Farm.

Light posting next few nights

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Finishing off a very large electronic music project I had started over six months ago. A voyage of discovery and the end result is turning out to be pretty frikkin' awesome...

More in a month or two.

Stormy weather

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Forecast is for T-Storms with possible hail tonight - had some last night and I can hear rumblings over Mt. Baker. Gorgeous clouds driving back from town tonight.

Email spam

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Been an interesting couple of months as I have been getting increasingly more and more email spam in my inbox. I have a script that eliminates 99.9% of the comment spam on this blog so now have been looking at a similar treatment for my email.

A lot of servers are hacked - I will see clusters of spam coming from the same subnet of an ISP or web hosting company. I found an application that allows me to scrape the email messages and write them to one big text file. I then use Windows PowerShell to extract the offending IP Addresses of the spammer and upload them to my mail scanner on my server.

Only problem is that this is like playing Whack-A-Mole as the spam is coming in from new IP addresses every day. Time to sign up with Spamhaus and get rid of the problem once and for all...

Script kiddies living in their mommy's basement.

Pournelle's Iron Law:

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

This is happening with NOAA, Humpback Whales and Hawaii - from the Cornwall Alliance:

NOAA Seeks to Expand Federal Oversight of Hawaiian Waters: New plan will limit use of Hawaiian coastal waters by surfers, fishermen and tourists
With the incredible recovery of humpback whales, NOAA recently proposed to delist them as an endangered species. The logical follow-up step is to dismantle the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Instead, NOAA is moving forward with a 24 million dollar proposal to expand their focus to much more than whales, while increasing regulations and restricting use and enjoyment of areas within the revised sanctuary boundaries.

Located mostly in state waters, the current sanctuary encloses only a fraction of the whales’ Hawaiian wintering grounds. Not only that, when the sanctuary was finally, and somewhat reluctantly, approved by the state in 1997, humpbacks were already well on the road to recovery.

While it is impossible to measure the effect of the sanctuary on whale populations, it has at least raised awareness and educated many about humpback whales. However, a laundry-list of non-governmental whale conservation organizations have been at least, if not more effective, including the Pacific Life Foundation, who recently released a giant screen film on humpback whales. An artistic masterpiece, I was glad to see the filmmakers describe how increasing whale populations are benefitting some Pacific Island economies like Hawaii by bringing in whale-loving tourists.

If the Hawaiian sanctuary were dismantled today, the scores of NGOs and businesses, together with the Hawaiian government, would make sure that humpback whales are here to stay. Unfortunately, NOAA’s monstrous 456-page Draft Management Plan reveals they have no intentions to dismantle the sanctuary. Instead, they want to expand it and attempt to micromanage everything from climate change to sea turtles. The new proposal also includes a name change to Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Of course, along with their expanded focus comes an increase in federal regulations that could have a significant negative impact on the Hawaiian economy in three key areas: whale and dolphin viewing, surfing, and commercial fishing. NOAA’s new proposal seeks to place excessive restrictions on approaching whales and other marine mammals. And the proposed increase in sanctuary size, together with increased restrictions on anchoring within the sanctuary, could restrict access for both commercial fishermen and surfers. Big wave surfers must anchor boats and jet skis in order to access choice surfing spots.

Classic Bureaucratic power grab - more at the site. Click here to place your comment - this needs to be stopped.

The Hillary interview

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Dan Joseph from the Media Research Center:

Takata air bag recall

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U.S. DOT Announces National Recall of Takata Air Bags
At the insistence of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Takata has determined that a defect exists in some of its air bag inflators. Takata has agreed to a national recall of certain types of frontal driver and passenger side air bag inflators used in vehicles manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. These inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures that have been blamed for six deaths worldwide. The action expands the number of vehicles to be recalled for defective Takata inflators to nearly 34 million.

34 Million is a lot of vehicles - check out your vehicle's VIN at this site.

Remember the riots last January?

It was discovered that many of the rioters were from out of town and funded by one of George Soros' front groups. Read about it here, here and  here.

Now, five months later, it seems that the flow of money has shut down. From The Washington Times (sorry for the very obnoxious self-loading video clip):

Hired Black Lives Matter protesters start #CutTheCheck after being stiffed by ACORN successor group
Hired protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement have started a #CutTheCheck hashtag and held a sit-in at the offices for the successor group to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Missouri after the group allegedly stopped paying them.

FrontPage Magazine reports that Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to demonstrate in Ferguson. Last week, hired protesters who haven’t been paid held a sit-in at MORE’s offices and posted a demand letter online.

MORE is the re-branded Missouri branch of ACORN, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010, FrontPage reported. MORE and other groups supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have received millions of dollars from billionaire financier George Soros.

The group Millennial Activists United posted a letter on their blog demanding MORE “cut the checks” to demonstrators.

There was a flurry of tweets about this which have since been scrubbed - fortunately, Weasel Zippers saved them for posterity. Check them out in all their millenial self-absorbed glory here and here.

More at American Thinker.

You will remember ACORN as the group that got seriously pranked by James O’Keefe when he secretly video taped their members in several offices. Congress quickly voted to defund them and they went bankrupt only to re-emerge with different covers:

Corruption at ACORN
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was a massive, unaccountable taxpayer-subsidized group that the Obama Administration was using to conduct the Census, register voters and sign people up for government programs. Posing as a “pimp and prostitute,” James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles visited eight ACORN offices around the country, seeking advice on how to secure a home loan to run a brothel.

Findings
The corruption was shocking and widespread. In Maryland, Giles was told to list her stated occupation as “performance artist.” Another office gave O’Keefe advice on being a landlord… of the brothel. Time after time, O’Keefe and Giles were advised by ACORN employees to lie to the police, lie on government forms and illegally secure government funding for their clearly-stated goal of opening and operating a brothel.

This scandal was what put Andrew Breitbart on the map for most people.

This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by Pizza Hut:

Pack my own food - from Arab News:

2,745 restaurants shut for health violation
Samples of food items and drinks taken from more than 2,000 restaurants in Jeddah were found to be contaminated with 11 types of harmful bacteria, a municipal source has said.

The shocking results of food samples, which were tested at municipal laboratories, forced the authorities to close down as many as 2,745 restaurants in the last four months, local media reported on Monday.

The bacteria found in the food samples included coliform, which thrive on contaminated food and can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever.

More at the site - it is like nobody cares. The royals are above it all and the slaves they import have no motivation. Talk about dysfunctional culture - no desire to visit there.

Tell me again why we are beholden to these ticks for their petroleum?

Wonderful essay from Alan Carlin - a senior (45 years) EPA analyst:

Why Skeptics Should Encourage Energy Use from Fossil Fuels Where Economically Justified
I was actively involved in environmental protection as a Sierra Club activist and senior EPA analyst for over 45 years, but about eight years ago I concluded that I could not support the energy use/CO2 reduction objectives of the environmental movement and many governments in the developed world. These objectives are not just unlikely to be successful; they are genuinely harmful to humans and the environment.

What the world needs is not decreased fossil fuel use but increased use with careful control of conventional pollutants using conventional controls where needed and justified. Conventional controls are much less expensive and much more certain to be effective than attempting to reduce fossil fuel use in order to reduce conventional pollution.

The much maligned carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as EPA and Obama claim, but rather a basic input to plant photosynthesis and growth, which is the basis of life on Earth. Decreasing atmospheric CO2 levels would decrease plant productivity and therefore the food supply for the rest of the ecosystem and humans, and vice versa. Further, attempts to reduce it will prove enormously expensive, futile, harmful to human welfare, and in the longer run, to environmental improvement. It is now increasingly evident that efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by governmental coercion will have important non-environmental adverse effects in terms of loss of freedom of scientific inquiry, economic growth and development, and the rule of law.

Much more at the site. Dr. Carlin's book is available at Amazon - am looking forward to reading it.

Food coma - Beef Brisket

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It was in a low and dry smoke (Applewood) for eight hours and the taste was amazing - we cleaned our plates.

There are still about five pounds remaining and am putting it in the oven tomorrow under wet steam to get it to the 'pulled' state.

The brisket had a nice large fat cap and we chewed that to get the flavor but the dogs were especially happy to get what we left on our plates!

My old dog Finnegan is starting to have some health issues (beyond being deaf, senile and blind) and the other critters are a bit on edge tonight - aware of his plight or reading our concerns. I do not know how old he is as he was a pound puppy - he came to me as an adult dog eight years ago. A really dear friend and boon companion.

Another UN power grab - they are irrelevant and trying to accumulate power by presenting the fantasy of 'world governance' to socialist nations who salivate at the idea of large government just as long as they get to sit at the big table with the rest of the elites. We are funding most of this organization - time we stopped and let the kleptocrats pick up the tab.

From Reuters:

California, international leaders sign climate change agreement
May 19 California and leaders of 11 states and provinces signed an agreement on Tuesday to limit their output of heat-trapping greenhouse gases 80 to 95 percent by 2050, a goal they hope will help prevent runaway climate change.

The target, which is based on a 1990 benchmark, will allow the individual governments, which collectively represent more than $4.5 trillion in GDP and 100 million people, to tailor reduction plans to fit their regional needs.

Called "Under 2 MOU" for a Memorandum of Understanding designed to help keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, the pact seeks to provide a template for countries to follow to cut emissions.

The temperature mark is the warming threshold at which governments say climate change could become catastrophic and irreversible.

Later this year at a United Nations climate change conference in Paris, negotiators will attempt to reach an international agreement for nations to cut emissions.

"This global challenge requires bold action on the part of governments everywhere," California Governor Jerry Brown said on Tuesday. "It's time to be decisive. It's time to act."

Signatories of the agreement were Acre, Brazil; Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Baja California, Mexico; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; Ontario, Canada, British Columbia, Canada; Wales, and the U.S. states of Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Yeah, you read that right - Oregon and Washington signed on to this nasty piece of anti-growth. Nothing about it in the local media as yet (Bellingham, Everett and Seattle) You might want to write some letters to the Governor and your State representatives.

Here is the website for Under 2 MOU

Here is the page for Washington State

The idea that we are causing a significant warming of this Earth by our industry is laughable - it is all based on the predictions of computer models - computer models which have failed every real-world test given to them. These models, when fed purely random numbers will show "dangerous runaway warming". These models can not hind-cast - we have 200 years of decent weather records - plug this data into the computer models and the results have zero bearing on what the Earth did during that time. The models do not take into account the fact that our Sun is a variable star and has been very quiet for the last 20 years or so. Our surface temperature has not risen for over eighteen years.

Anthropogenic Global Warming? Bollocks!

And in other news - California continues to hemorrhage jobs - from Breitbart:

Abbott Continues Texas Tradition of Taking California Jobs
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has successfully moved yet another California Company to Texas. Abbott announced on Thursday that Kubota Tractor and Credit Corporation is relocating its corporate headquarters to Texas. It is expected the move will create at least 344 new Texas jobs and $51 million in capital investment in the Lone Star State. The State has made a grant offer of $3.8 million to Kubota from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF).

“I’m proud to extend a warm Texas welcome to Kubota and I know their investment in Texas will allow their company to grow, prosper and create even more jobs in the coming years,” said Governor Abbott in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Thanks to our low-tax, low-regulation environment that allows all businesses to thrive, we are able to bring job creators like Kubota to Texas. As the top state in the nation for agriculture, Kubota is sure to find fertile ground for its products and distribution network.”

Kubota will be moving from Torrance, California to Grapevine, Texas. A team effort that included the City of Grapevine, the Dallas Regional Chamber and the Governor’s Office worked together to convince the tractor manufacturer to move to Texas.

Kubota is a great company - I own their products and love them. Glad to see them taking some decisive action.

Gorgeous day - working outside

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Title says it all - lighting the burn pile later this afternoon (if the wind stays quiet).

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