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Bob Is A Racist
08.23.12 (3:05 pm)   [edit]


 
Four Health Care Lessons from The Cheesecake Factory
08.09.12 (10:24 am)   [edit]

Atul Gawande, a doctor in Boston and a writer for The New Yorker, wrote the best piece on health care I’ve read all year. Besides telling a good story, he goes into what I dub, “The Cheesecake Factory Way.” The restaurant chain combines good process, quality control, teaching, and scale to produce meals from a menu of 308 dinner items for over 80 million people yearly at its 160 restaurants.

This may not be what pops into your head when you think of “innovation,” but designing and institutionalizing an effective system makes for a pleasant, consistent eating experience. How The Cheesecake Factory approaches food could be the future of American health care. Here are some lessons we can learn from The Cheesecake Factory on improving health care.

1. Process

Each Cheesecake Factory is essentially a made-from-scratch meal factory where process is critical. Refrigerators and prep stations in the back of the kitchen supply the manufacturing “floor”—the grills and griddles--with ingredients. Computers and touch screens above the grills show the cooks what has been ordered, the recipe, what the final dish should look like, and cooking times.

Great points.  Go read the rest.

 http://www.freeenterprise.com/four-health-care-lessons-cheesecake-factory



 
New Facebook tool may turn friends into enemies – for the Democratic cause
08.03.12 (12:30 pm)   [edit]

Imagine having a friend on Facebook who matches up your privately shared data to a public voting record -- then flags you for more frequent campaign calls and contacts.

That’s exactly what the Democratic party is doing. The upcoming presidential campaigns are eager to get their hands on the treasure trove of voter data that 900 million users have voluntarily posted on Facebook. Enter Social Organizing, a new tool developed by Democratic activist group NGP VAN. Using it, your friends can log in to Facebook and tell the service about you. You can then be added to a caller database, pinged for ads and harassed during the entire election.

Many users think the information they post to Facebook cannot legally or ethically leave the site’s confines, noted Roger Kay, a technology analyst with Endpoint Technologies. They may be in for a surprise.

“[Facebook] was born on the idea of taking information about people and making it available to others … With political information, this sharing has become a notch more like selling out your friends,” Kay told FoxNews.com.

To use the tool, supporters log in at a campaign site. Social Organizing lets them connect to Facebook and locates friends. The supporter can then choose the relationship for those friends, such as co-worker or business partner.

Supporters earn badges and points as they flag these friends. The data is then matched to voter records.

For example, a supporter might have 500 friends, but the tool might know that 300 of those friends are already identified as donors or loyal to the campaign, based on voting record. The supporter can then focus attention on calling or e-mailing only the 200 friends who still need persuasion.

President Obama tapped this company, which describes itself as “the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations” and only works with the Democratic Party, to gather voter data in 2008.

 Beyond creepy, you zombie Obots...

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/08/02/new-facebook-tool-may-turn-friends-into-enemies-for-democratic-cause/

 



 
1930s actress Hedy Lamarr-inventor of cellphones, Wi-Fi and GPS
08.02.12 (9:32 am)   [edit]
Hedy Lamarr is remembered as a stunning legend in Hollywood's Golden Age. However, most people do not know that she would co-patent the technology for today's cellphones, Wi-Fi and GPS by building a torpedo for the U.S.Navy.

This may have remained the world's best kept secret if it were not for author Richard Rhodes. He had become intrigued with Hedy Lamarr after he finished 30-years of working on a four-volume set about the history of the nuclear age. One of them, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," had earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

 LA Times writer, Adam Tschorn, has reported that Rhodes has just finished writing, "Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World." What has been found is that she was co-holder in 1942 of a patent on spread spectrum radio, a technology that would eventually underlie today's mobile and cordless telephones, the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Tschorn said that this would be similar to crediting the beautiful Fawcett for developing Google's proprietary search algorithm. It is difficult to comprehend or correlate the two together. But in reality, Hedy Lamarr was born as Hedwig Kiesler, an inquisitive young child who had been encouraged by her father to expand on this talent.

She would eventually marry Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer, where she would become involved in a world filled with technical data. When she became involved as an actress in Hollywood, she had time on her hands because she did not like to drink, or go to loud and drunken parties. Invention became her hobby.

That hobby was having an inventor's corner set up in her Hollywood home that included a drafting table and tools. One of Lamarr's major inventions was the bouillon cube that would create a beverage when mixed with water. Howard Hughes lent her a pair of chemists to assist her inventor's lab. In addition to the bouillon she developed a fluorescent dog collar; a special technique to tighten the skin; and modifications to the Concorde airliner.

Fascinating.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/315458

 



 
Power Pwn (Pre-order)
07.31.12 (9:00 am)   [edit]

Now Taking Pre-orders!
Estimated Ship Date: September 30, 2012*

Building on the game-changing success of the Pwn Plug, the Power Pwn is a fully-integrated enterprise-class penetration testing platform. Through it's ingenious form-factor and highly-integrated/modular hardware design, the Power Pwn covers the entire spectrum of a full-scale pentesting engagement, from the physical-layer to the application-layer.

  • Onboard high-gain 802.11b/g/n wireless
  • Onboard high-gain Bluetooth (up to 1000')
  • Onboard dual-Ethernet
  • Fully functional 120/240v AC outlets!
  • Includes 16GB internal disk storage
  • Includes external 3G/GSM adapter
  • Includes all release 1.1 features
  • Fully-automated NAC/802.1x/RADIUS bypass!
  • Out-of-band SSH access over 3G/GSM cell networks!
  • Text-to-Bash: text in bash commands via SMS!
  • Simple web-based administration with "Plug UI"
  • One-click Evil AP, stealth mode, & passive recon
  • Maintains persistent, covert, encrypted SSH access to your target network [Details]
  • Tunnels through application-aware firewalls & IPS
  • Supports HTTP proxies, SSH-VPN, & OpenVPN
  • Sends email/SMS alerts when SSH tunnels are activated
  • Preloaded with Debian 6, Metasploit, SET, Fast-Track, w3af, Kismet, Aircrack, SSLstrip, nmap, Hydra, dsniff, Scapy, Ettercap, Bluetooth/VoIP/IPv6 tools, & more!
  • Unpingable and no listening ports in stealth mode
Product Documentation
Product Comparison Matrix
 
The included unlocked 3G/GSM adapter is:
 
  • Compatible with SIM cards from AT&T, Vodafone, Orange, and GSM carriers in over 160 countries
  • HSDPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100MHz)
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz)


*
Note: Since this is a pre-order and the product is in its first stage of volume production, there may be some delays. Your card will be charged for this purchase and you will be added to our back-order system on a first-come, first-served basis. We will keep you posted with the latest manufacturing updates and you are free to cancel your pre-order any time before delivery for a full refund.

Pricy @ $1,295 USD, but hey, Christmas isn't that far off

http://pwnieexpress.com/products/power-pwn



 
Hey there, Britain!
07.27.12 (9:02 am)   [edit]

We need to talk.

Mitt Romney, a guy who has run an Olympics ceremony, offered some tepid criticism of your security for the games and you folks pretty much freaked the hell out over it.

Could Romney have answered the question differently? Of course. But in this case, he chose honesty over political nicety and you pummeled him for it. I don't mean to be impolite, but your citizens haven't been paragons of diplomatic nicety in criticizing my country's political leaders. I'm just spitballing here, but I cannot recall a protest in the United States where our citizens created and toppled a statue of either Tony Blair or David Cameron. Or where, encouraged by a demagogue, a large group of Americans booed any of your political leaders or candidates.

I have no particular affection for Mitt Romney but I will vote for him in November. However, watching a crowd of Britons jeering an American citizen at the prompting of London's mayor really pissed me off. Watching our media collectively wet themselves in support of those Britons moves my mood from pissed off to blood boiling/higher blood pressure. The special relationship should go both ways. In reality, I guess it doesn't.

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/331349.php



 
Irony
07.27.12 (8:53 am)   [edit]
chickfila

 
Scientific study proves energy efficient bulbs can harm human skin cells
07.23.12 (8:11 am)   [edit]

Environmentalists have pushed to abolish traditional incandescent light bulbs, in order to reduce the amount of electricity needed to light up our homes.

However, a small but vocal minority has insisted that the curlicue-shaped compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) pose a threat to human health.

Now, a group of scientists at Stony Brook University has proven that CFLs do emit ultraviolet (UV) light rays that can harm human skin cells.

Cracks in CFL coating

In the first part of their study, the researchers purchased CFLs from different stores in two different counties. Then they measured the invisible UV rays given off by the bulbs when lit.

The rays appeared to escape through tiny cracks in the white phosphor coating on the inside of each CFL bulb’s glass. The phosphor particles actually glow with visible light as a result of an electrochemical reaction inside the bulb.

The scientists noted that these cracks in the phosphor were present in all the CFLs they studied. They found significant levels of UV were emitted from the bulbs.

Skin cell specialists

The research team included scientists from Stony Brook’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) and the New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM).

The team exposed human skin tissue cells to the CFLs they had collected, as well as to traditional incandescent bulbs with the same brightness (intensity).

The scientists also added titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles to some of the skin cells, because this chemical is commonly used in sunblock lotions to absorb UV rays.

Damage from UV radiation

“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and the lead scientist for the study.

“Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure,” she said.

The researchers found that incandescent light of the same intensity had no effect on healthy skin cells, with or without the presence of TiO2. Incandescent lamps do not emit significant quantities of UV radiation.

Based on a European study

The Stony Brook scientists decided to research the possible effects of UV radiation from CFLs partly because of a 2008 European Commission study, conducted by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR).

The European report had found that some CFLs emit UV radiation, which under prolonged exposures at short distances (less than 8 inches) may approach the workplace limit set to protect workers from skin and retinal damage.

However, at the time of the SCENIHR report, peer-reviewed test data comparing incandescent light bulbs to CFLs was not available to provide a clear answer to the questions of whether CFLs emit UV radiation that may be harmful to particularly sensitive patients, and whether they may be harmful to the general public when in close proximity to the skin.

Four years later, the Stony Brook team published its data in the peer-reviewed journal, Photochemistry and Photobiology.

Double-walled CFLs safer

The SCENHIR report had concluded that the use of an extra glass “envelope” around the curled CFL, making it look like a more traditional bulb, should nullify the risks of UV exposure in most cases.

The Stony Brook researchers agreed. “Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs,” said Rafailovich.

“Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/scientific-study-proves-energy-efficient-bulbs-can-harm-human-skin-cells



 
MS Outlook can't open any hyperlinks. (This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.)
06.15.12 (11:00 am)   [edit]

I ran across a strange problem at work the other day, so I thought I'd share the solution with my loyal readers (both of you.)

 The gentleman over the procurement department came to me yesterday saying he could no longer launch hyperlinks embedded in his e-mails.  When he clicked the link, it would display a dialog box stating:  "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer."  Hmmmm...  I knew I didn't have a Domain Policy restricting this, and no one else on our network was having the same problem.

I'm not going to bore you with a lot of techie stuff, so here's the beef.  Apparently he had uninstalled Google Chrome a few days earlier.  Apparently, this really screws with Windows' default program settings.

Fortunately, the fix is fairly easy, and you can download it from Local IT Guy's site here.



 
Wah wahhhhh....
06.15.12 (8:34 am)   [edit]


 
From Reboot, to Replay...
06.15.12 (8:21 am)   [edit]


 
F-Secure chief warns Siri is 'unsafe for business'
06.14.12 (2:18 pm)   [edit]

Summary: F-Secure has warned corporate users away from Apple’s Siri only a month after IBM imposed a Siri ban on its internal network to prevent the disclosure of corporate data.

Apple’s Siri is unsuitable for business and enterprise networks, according to F-Secure vice-president Maria Nordgren.

Why? Not only has Siri read your contacts, knows your calendar off by heart, and probably knows your partner’s birthday, it may also know your company’s secrets.

Nordgren, speaking at a press conference in Helsinki, said that Apple’s lack of corporate security policies is a major weakness.

“Four out of ten users don’t worry about corporate data and don’t think it will leak. Take Siri, it’s cute right, I like it but if you ask it a question, the data is not stored on the iPhone — it goes to a datacentre in Oregon,” she said.

Siri takes the voice data and uploads it to Apple’s datacenters for processing. The data is converted into text and the query is returned back to the device. This happens in a few seconds depending on network speed.

Nordgren warned of hackers accessing Siri data. Because the assistant can be used to search the Web, access your contacts, and other personal information, the data can be used to build up a wider picture of its user.

However, Apple’s ability to access secret corporate data of a rival or competitor puts the risk factor even higher.

“If anyone was interested in that information you’re screwed,” she said.

ZDNet

 



 
May Unemployment by the Numbers
06.14.12 (1:58 pm)   [edit]

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that only 69,000 jobs were added in the month of May, far below market expectations and well short of the 150,000 jobs that BLS says are needed every month just to keep pace with population growth. While the announcement of any new jobs is welcomed, May marks the fourth straight month of slowing job growth and demonstrates that Americans continue to suffer through a painfully tepid recovery made even slower by the president’s failed policies. The unemployment rate in May also increased to 8.2 percent, marking an inauspicious milestone—the 40th consecutive month that unemployment has been at or above 8 percent under President Obama. In addition, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was near a 30-year low in May. If the percentage of Americans in the work force were as high today as at the beginning of this recession, unemployment would actually be 11.7 percent.

  • 40: The unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. Before President Obama took office, unemployment had not been above 8 percent for this long since the Great Depression. Over three years ago, the Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the “stimulus” was approved.
  • 8.2%: The unemployment rate for the month of May was 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April. May marked the first month that the unemployment rate has increased since June 2011. Since the president’s failed $1.2 trillion “stimulus” was enacted in February 2009 unemployment has averaged 9.1 percent.
  • Less than 6%: The level at which the Obama Administration claimed unemployment would be today if the “stimulus” was signed into law was below 6 percent.
  • 63.8%: The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was near a 30-year low of 63.8 percent in May. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate (from September 2011 – April 2012) can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation as more and more American give up on finding a job. That means that 36.2 percent of able-bodied, non-elderly Americans are not even looking for a job in the Obama economy.
  • 11.7%: If the labor force participation rate were at the same level it was before the recession started the unemployment rate would be 11.7 percent today. 
  • 14.8%: The rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment is 14.8 percent.
  • 12,720,000: There were 12.72 million unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of May, an increase of 220,000 from April. There have been more than 12 million unemployed Americans every month that President Obama has been in office.
  • 8,098,000: The number of Americans forced to work only part-time in May because they could not find full-time employment was 8.1 million, an increase of 245,000 from April.
  • 2,423,000: The number of people who have looked for a job at some point in the last year but are not counted as unemployed because they gave up their search is now 2.4 million, up by 60,000 from April. 
  • 830,000: The number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available is now 830,000.
  • 23,241,000: The total number of “underemployed” Americans is 23.2 million, including those unemployed (12.7 million), those who are no longer looking for work (2.4 million), and those who are working part-time because no other work is available (8.1 million).
  • 39.7: The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job grew to 39.7 weeks in May, up from 39.1 weeks in April. The average time it takes for people to find a job is up from 19.8 weeks in January 2009 when President Obama took office.
  • 5,411,000: The long-term unemployed, measured by the number of Americans unemployed and searching for work for more than 27 weeks, was 5.4 million in the month of May, up from 5.1 million in April. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the number of people unemployed for more than 27 weeks has increased by 90 percent.
  • 552,000: The economy has shed 552,000 net jobs from February 2009—when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law—through May 2012.
  • 49,000: The job growth for the months of March and April 2012 was revised downward by a combined 49,000 jobs.  In May, employment for March was revised from 154,000 to 143,000, and the change for April was revised from 115,000 to 77,000.
  • 15.1%: The official poverty rate in 2010 according to the Census Bureau—up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate and the highest poverty rate since 1993.
  • 46,200,000: The number of Americans who were in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009—the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty.  The number of Americans in poverty in 2010 is the largest number in the 52 years in which poverty estimates have been published by the Census Bureau.
  • $1,154: Since 2008, the year President Obama was elected, median family income has declined by $1,154, falling to its lowest level since 1996. 
  • 46,405,204: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of March 2012 was 46.4 million, the third most in any month in history and up 80,000 from February. Today, 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of 45 percent since President Obama took office.
  • 13th: Where the U.S. ranks in ease of starting a business in the world according to a World Bank report.  In 2007, the U.S. ranked 3rd.
  • 1,367,000: The number of new job seekers that are unemployed is now 1.3 million. The number of new workers who cannot find a job has been above 1 million for 36 months.
  • 24.6%: The unemployment rate among job seekers between the ages of 16 and 19 was 25 percent in May. Youth unemployment has been above 23 percent for 35 months, the longest streak since the Great Depression.
  • 13.6%: The unemployment rate among African Americans in May was 13 percent, up from 13 percent in April.
  • 11%: The unemployment rate among Hispanics and Latinos was 10.3 percent, up from 10.3 percent in April.
  • 13%: The unemployment rate among Americans without high school diplomas was 13 percent in May, up from 12.5 percent in April.
  • $1,178,000,000,000:  The total cost of the Democrats’ “stimulus.” CBO estimates the cost of the bill will reach $831 billion and interest on the debt for the bill will be at least $347 billion.

Link



 
Commentary on The Pledge of Allegiance by Red Skelton
06.14.12 (1:32 pm)   [edit]

As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton’s teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. The last sentence was a prophecy of what would happen decades later. From the Red Skelton Hour January 14, 1969

You Tube link of Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

I: Me, an individual, a committee of one.

Pledge: Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance: My love and my devotion.

To the Flag: Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.

United: That means that we have all come together.

States: Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

And to the Republic: Republic - a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation: One Nation - meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible: Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty: Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice: The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

For All: For All - which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine. And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God.

Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that it's a prayer, and it would be eliminated from schools, too? --Red Skelton



 
How To Negotiate With Terrorists
06.08.12 (12:18 pm)   [edit]

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of a line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker introduces himself. The terrorist kills him.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker asks, "why did you kill my friend?" The terrorist kills him and rapes his wife.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker says, "Stop that!" The terrorist kills him, rapes his daughter and kills his wife.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker says, "I'll pay you $1000 if you stop attacking us." The terrorist agrees to the deal, takes the $1000, and kills him.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker appeals to the United Nations. The United Nations says the peacemaker is at fault. The terrorist kills him.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker now has a gun, and threatens to use it. Other peacemakers start chanting the old 60's whine, "Can't we all just get along?" The peacemaker hesitates. The terrorist kills him.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker tries to convince his peacemaker friends that the terrorists aren't going to respond to negotiations, but they insist that if he kills the terrorist it'll just make the other terrorists mad. The peacemaker reluctantly agrees to try negotiating again. The terrorist kills him., his entire family, and his neighbor's family.

A heated debate now ensues between the peacemakers who want to be nice to the terrorists and the peacemakers who believe that there can never be peace until the terrorists are all dead. While they are debating, the terrorists kill 15 more peacemakers.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker asks himself, "Which is more important: being liked by everyone, or protecting my family?" The terrorist pulls a knife to kill the peacemaker, but the peacemaker pulls a gun and kills the terrorist first. The United Nations condemns the peacemaker's use of unproportional force. Many of his peacemaker friends turn against him.

A peacemaker walks up to the left side of the line. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line. The peacemaker apologizes for what his friend did to the other terrorist. The terrorist kills him, his entire family and his neighbors, and threatens to destroy the city as soon as they develop a bigger weapon.

A peacemaker refuses to meet at the line because every time a peacemaker goes to the line the terrorist kills him. A terrorist walks up to the right side of the line and fires rockets into the peacemaker's town. The United Nations condemns the way the peacemaker provoked the terrorist by refusing to come to the line and meet with him.

Generations pass and not much changes until one day when the son of a peacemaker decides that the old strategy simply won't work. He walks up to the left side of the line a little early. As the terrorist approaches the right side of the line the peacemaker shoots him. Another terrorist approaches to replace the first, and the peacemaker shoots him too. This scene plays out several more times. Then a terrorist approaches carrying a white flag, but he also has weapons. The peacemaker shoots him. A terrorist next approaches with a ceasefire resolution from the U.N. The peacemaker shoots him also. A large group of terrorists approach and the peacemaker shoots them all and drops a nuclear bomb on the city they came from. The peacemaker continues killing the terrorists until the terrorists are all dead.

There is finally peace on earth and the United Nations takes the credit.

Outstanding.

Hurricane Harry



 
Astronauts: Cool It on Warming
05.11.12 (3:27 pm)   [edit]
To the long list of right-wing, knuckle-dragging know-nothings who dare question so-called “global warming,” environmentalists now can add six Apollo astronauts, two rocket men who flew aboard Skylab, and a pair of former directors of the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

These veterans of America’s space program are among the 49 retired NASA employees who recently asked the agency to halt what they consider its unscientific advocacy of climate alarmism.

In a letter to NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr., these rocket scientists, space explorers, and other men and women of reason requested that “NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites.” They added: “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.”

“The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements,” the March 28 letter continued.

 “We feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” the document concluded. “At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.”

The letter’s signatories share at least 1,168 years of combined service to NASA. They include Gerald C. Griffin and Christopher C. Kraft, both of whom ran the JSC; former Space Shuttle Program director Leroy Day; Skylab astronauts Ed Gibson and Joseph Kerwin; and Apollo astronauts Phillip K. Chapman, Walter Cunningham, Charles Duke, Richard Gordon (also a Gemini veteran), Harrison Schmitt, and Al Worden.

Among these brave men, Duke and Schmitt walked on the moon, and Gordon and Worden flew there without landing.

These serious names should retire the notion that skeptics of so-called “global warming” are either mindless mouth-breathers or corporate shills who challenge “settled” climate science so that Big Business may molest Mother Earth.

Until this year’s AWOL winter in America (and a simultaneous deep freeze in much of Europe), satellites have observed global temperatures remaining below peak levels measured in 2000. Even if the last eleven years of cooling disguise a deeper warming, skeptics like these NASA alumni point to natural — rather than man-made — causes for such phenomena.

“I think the climate has been changing for billions of years,” Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, told London’s Daily Telegraph. “If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favor of just taking short-term, isolated situations and depleting our resources to keep our climate just the way it is today. I’m not necessarily of the school that we [humans] are causing it all. I think the world is causing it.”

Of course, Surrogate will along directly to call them Flat-Earthers and Moon Landing Deniers...

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/299649/astronauts-cool-it-warming-deroy-murdock#



 
Americans with Disabilities Act covers ‘bashful bladder syndrome,’ could cost employers billions
05.10.12 (9:06 am)   [edit]

It could cost U.S. employers between $2 billion and $4 billion to comply with an obscure Americans with Disabilities Act regulation meant to protect workers who are gun-shy in public restrooms.

According to an informal discussion letter the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued in August 2011, “paruresis” — more commonly known as “shy bladder syndrome” — qualifies as a disability under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.

The International Paruresis Association defines the odd affliction as the “inability to urinate with others present.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard of psychiatrists, categorizes it as a social phobia that affects roughly seven percent of the population — approximately 17 million Americans.

The Association alleges that thousands of people who are afflicted by paruresis have been unfairly fired because of their inability to urinate in a public restroom during random drug screening tests.

And while the EEOC suggests that providing alternative drug-testing methods is one way to accommodate these sufferers, the next frontier could be the claim that they are entitled to pee in privacy during the normal course of daily work.

If every employer large enough to be subject to the ADA were to hedge against future lawsuits by adding segregated restrooms for timid tinklers, the cost would exceed the gross domestic product of many small nations.

*Facepalm*

http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/10/americans-with-disabilities-act-covers-bashful-bladder-syndrome-could-cost-employers-billions/



 
Americans with Disabilities Act covers ‘bashful bladder syndrome,’ could cost employers billions
05.10.12 (9:05 am)   [edit]

It could cost U.S. employers between $2 billion and $4 billion to comply with an obscure Americans with Disabilities Act regulation meant to protect workers who are gun-shy in public restrooms.

According to an informal discussion letter the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued in August 2011, “paruresis” — more commonly known as “shy bladder syndrome” — qualifies as a disability under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.

The International Paruresis Association defines the odd affliction as the “inability to urinate with others present.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard of psychiatrists, categorizes it as a social phobia that affects roughly seven percent of the population — approximately 17 million Americans.

The Association alleges that thousands of people who are afflicted by paruresis have been unfairly fired because of their inability to urinate in a public restroom during random drug screening tests.

And while the EEOC suggests that providing alternative drug-testing methods is one way to accommodate these sufferers, the next frontier could be the claim that they are entitled to pee in privacy during the normal course of daily work.

If every employer large enough to be subject to the ADA were to hedge against future lawsuits by adding segregated restrooms for timid tinklers, the cost would exceed the gross domestic product of many small nations.

*Facepalm*

http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/10/americans-with-disabilities-act-covers-bashful-bladder-syndrome-could-cost-employers-billions/



 
Happy Star Wars Day! Saber 2: Return of the Body Wash
05.04.12 (1:16 pm)   [edit]


 
Happy Star Wars Day! Saber 2: Return of the Body Wash
05.04.12 (9:37 am)   [edit]


 
"If I wanted America to fail"
04.25.12 (2:14 pm)   [edit]


 
The Left No Longer Finds Dissent Patriotic
03.26.12 (8:33 am)   [edit]


Via Redstate

 
Formula 1 comes to America! - Red Bull Racing takes first lap in Texas
02.22.12 (7:20 pm)   [edit]


Can't freaking wait!

 
DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains
02.17.12 (12:05 am)   [edit]

Analysis Cyber-crooks may be able to keep malicious domains operating for longer - even after they are revoked - by manipulating the web's Domain Name System (DNS).

A weakness in the cache update logic of many widely used DNS servers creates the potential to establish so-called ghost domains, according to a recent joint study by a team of researchers from universities in China and the US. These DNS servers are critical to the running of the internet: they convert human-readable domains into numeric addresses that networking kit can understand in order to route, say, page requests to the right websites.

In their paper Ghost Domain Names: Revoked Yet Still Resolvable, the researchers – Jian Jiang, Jinjin Liang, Kang Li, Jun Li, Haixin Duan and Jianping Wu – explain:

Attackers often use domain names for various malicious purposes such as phishing, botnet command and control, and malware propagation. An obvious strategy for preventing these activities is deleting the malicious domain from the upper level DNS servers.

In this paper, we show that this is insufficient. We demonstrate a vulnerability affecting the large majority of popular DNS implementations which allows a malicious domain name to stay resolvable long after it has been removed from the upper level servers.

Our experiments with 19,045 open DNS servers show that even one week after a domain name has been revoked and its TTL expired, more than 70 per cent of the servers will still resolve it.

The researchers found that DNS server implementations by BIND, Microsoft, Google and OpenDNS are all potentially vulnerable. There's evidence that the vulnerability has been exploited, and the prevalence of the flaw make the possibility of attack far from theoretical.

"This vulnerability can potentially allow a botnet to continuously use malicious domains which have been identified and removed from the domain registry," the Sino-American team warns.

Whoops.

The Register



 
The Obama Doctrine
02.16.12 (10:20 pm)   [edit]

The Obama Doctrine can be summed up as the assertion that for the United States to have influence and standing on the global stage, it must first abandon its interests and its allies.

The doctrine is rarely described as bluntly as that by its proponents who employ euphemisms like multilateral policies and honest broker to mean much the same thing, denouncing the previous administration and all the preceding administrations going back to old Tom Jefferson for alienating the world by pursuing American interests and cutting deals with non-progressive allies.

The easiest way to spot the problem with this approach is to try and distinguish it from the UN. That's hard to do because except during the occasional pro-forma trade dispute there is no distinction. It's the same policy of multilateral human rights interventions, global mediation and stability, and promoting the welfare of the angrier parts of the Third World. And if America's agenda is identical to that of the United Nations, than for all intents and purposes there is no American foreign policy.


This leaves the United States as less than a nation, a version of the United Nations with its own military and a great deal of wealth. It has no interests except reaching out to befriend its enemies and it has no allies except those enemies willing to pretend to be its allies, at which point they will become enemies. But the United Nations was designed to be a forum in which nations pursue their own interests, it is not supposed to have interests or allies. The United States is a nation and it is meant to have both. If the United States cannot articulate interests apart from the UN agenda then it no longer functions as a nation on the world stage.


The Obama Doctrine dispensed with America's traditional allies and pursued relations with its enemies without improving America's standing or influence in the world, though it did garner its overseer a preemptive Nobel Prize. Even the Libyan War was more of a European project than an American one.


The truth that dare not speak its name in the ink stained pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post is that the Obama Administration has been standing by the sidelines of world events with a very limited influence on what happens anywhere. The United States will not decide what happens in Syria. France, Germany, Qatar and England will decide what they want to do and will allow Obama to sign on if he wants to. Exactly the way it happened in Libya.


The United States still has mass, but it no longer has momentum. It does things like abandon Mubarak or bomb Gaddafi because other countries think they are a good idea. It responds belatedly to events from the outside world and then does its best to take credit for them.


Part of that is inexperience. The White House is headed up by a junior Senator who was a State Senator five years before he ran for the highest office in the land.  The Secretary of State is a former First Lady who spent eight years in the Senate before doing the same thing and then oddly enough landed as head of the country's foreign office. But it's not all of it.


The real problem is that the United States no longer has national interests. Its leaders act like they are the Secretary General of the UN, rather than the President of the United States. They jostle for standing on the world stage and play international philosophers preaching higher principles to the world, instead of looking out for their own country. Rather than representing the United States, they speak for some global ethical consensus on human rights and democracy.


The problem did not begin with Obama. LBJ may have been the last president who was satisfied with being a national leader, rather than an international leader, but it significantly worsened with Obama because he lacks even the vestigial allegiances that Biden or Kerry retain on some level. If they think like Americans at some gut level, Obama doesn't and he has no reason to. He is the figurehead of an ideology that champions an end to American interests.


The Obama Doctrine has not actually repaired America's foreign relations or made the world a better place. What it has done is taken American interests off the table.

Sultan Knish



 
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