Monday, December 22, 2014
Maybe when you've lost Variety you've lost the culture: How Obama Took Sony’s Crisis From Bad to Worse | Variety
And what the heck, this again:
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Junior enlisted soldiers - and airmen, sailors and Marines - are sent off on such snipe hunts by slightly more senior and experienced troops. Some of the non-existent items they are sent to retrieve are tent locks, range fans to blow the fog off the rifle range, 50 feet of chow line, left-threaded kanootin valves, a can of radio squelch, bayonet extensions and the like. It's a sort of rite-of-passage thing for noobs. So Pvt. Snuffy is told to see the supply clerk for the item.
The supply sergeant has been around and he immediately understands what's happening, so he says, "I just issued my last propellant recuperator to base piece, try them." So off Snuffy goes to base piece, where he is informed they gave it to the mess section to clean. And the mess section had it just an hour ago, but they sent it to the maintenance section for repair. And around and around and around he goes, never, of course, finding such an item.
Of course, some clever young troops figure out the score pretty quick and realize that they can take a whole day just walking around uselessly while the rest of their section are up to their elbows in grease working on some truck or tracked vehicle.
A perennial favorite snipe hunt is to send Snuffy off for a box of grid squares. Now, a grid square is a real thing. Military maps are printed with terrain features overlaid with thin lines forming boxes, representing to scale one kilometer squares. The squares are numbered by their easting and northing, so it makes perfect sense to refer to grid square 1436. Even new privates know this, so when some authority figure - an older soldier of a rank or two higher - invents a need for a box of grid squares and sends him off to get it, then he does. But the grid squares are printed on the maps; they are not separate features. So there is no such thing as a "box of grid squares."
Usually. But in the artillery . . .
First posted in August 2003:
When I was a second lieutenant in Korea, I was an artillery battery fire direction officer when my battery duty at fire base Four Papa One at the DMZ. One day Pvt. Snuffy, a mechanic, comes to our bunker and says that the Chief of Smoke (an E7, Sgt. 1st Class, whose duty position was Chief of Firing Battery) had sent him to get a box of grid squares.
Now an E7 has no business starting this nonsense. These kinds of practical jokes are played by E4's on E2s, not on E2s by E7s. I looked at the buck sergeant who was the fire direction chief, he looked at me, and we both said almost simultaneously, "Wait right here."
In those days, artillery ballistics computation was not much computerized. We computed firing data manually, using "charts and darts," as we said. We had two large, inclined tables. On one we mounted a large map of the potential targets areas. To keep the map clean we laid over it a sheet of unmarked, transparent plastic that was manufactured gridded in the same scale as the map. We would notate targets and other pertinent data on the plastic overlay and derive terrain information from the map. The other inclined table had no map, just the overlay plastic over white paper. This chart was used only to compute direction data for firing. All the targets were marked on it as well.
The plastic overlays got scuffed and worn from constantly being written on, erased, and written on again. After about three days they had to be replaced. So we had a bountiful supply of used overlays. We'd keep them for several days then burn them all together. And all the overlays were gridded.
So my sergeant and I went to the back of the bunker and retrieved a used overlay. Using scissors, we carefully cut out 12-15 of the grid squares, grabbed an empty pencil box, marked it "Grid Squares" with a Magic Marker and gave it to Snuffy without the slightest hint of irony. He thanked me profusely, since he had been sent from the motor pool to the mess hall to the CP section to the base howitzer to the ammo section and finally to us, all with the stern admonition from the Smoke, "Don't come back here without the grid squares." Now, he had them. He was a happy young man.
I was told by another NCO the next day that Snuffy, innocent as a lamb, went back to Smoke and gave him the box, saying, "Lieutenant Sensing said he can give you all the grid squares you want." And that the look on the Smoke's face when he opened the box to find - sure darn enough, grid squares - was worth taking a burst of six to see.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
But when you look specifically at sex itself, at patterns of actual sexual activity and their link to marital happiness and longevity, direct evidence for a permissiveness premium is extremely hard to find. And for women, almost all the the data points sharply in the opposite direction. Notwithstanding the potential for regrets, women who only had sex with their future spouse are more likely to be in a high quality marriage than women who had a higher number of sexual partners. Divorce rates are higher for women with multiple premarital partners than women who had only one; they’retwice as high for women who have cohabitated serially than women who only cohabitated with their future husband. Independent of marriage, relationship stability is stronger when sex is initiated later, and monogamy and a restricted number of sex partners isstrongly associated with female happiness and emotional well-being, period. And these results hold irrespective of education levels, as this piece by Brad Wilcox and Nicholas Wolfinger points out: There’s a stronger correlation between multiple premarital partners and marital instability among less-educated Americans, but well-educated Americans, too, show much stronger marital outcomes when they have fewer premarital partners. (And interestingly, the usual connection between education and stability disappears entirely for people who married their first partner: They’re equally unlikely to divorce no matter whether they attended college or not.)
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Gizmodo: "Paramount Cancels Team America Screenings Because Everyone's a Coward"
It seems that in the wake of Sony Pictures yanking The Interview from its no-longer-pending Dec. 25 release, some theaters announced they would show Team America instead, which also mocks and brings comedy ruin upon the North Korean gangster regime. Apparently, Paramount, which owns the right to Team America, has put a halt to that.
In the wake of the North Korean victory over American Constitutional rights, a lot of commentators are accusing Sony of surrendering. I beg to differ. It was not Sony who surrendered, it was a number of theater chains.
Sony didn't pull the flick until the three largest theater chains in North America had already dropped it. That's in addition to a large number of other chain that dropped it, too. Altogether, more than 18,000 screens that would have shown the movie suddenly were not.
It costs a studio money just to open a film and to manage it during its run. There are a lot of overhead costs that come into play after the release date. But with no significant number of theaters willing to show the film, paying those costs would just be throwing away money on a movie that now had no hope whatever of even breaking even. Sony made a sound business decision with the rotten facts as they faced them.
It was Carmike, Regal and other chains who surrendered, not Sony. See, "Cowardly U.S. theaters refuse to show 'The Interview' after free speech threats"
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
It's bad enough that driving a hydrogen-powered car, which emits only water vapor as exhaust, will kill polar bears by destroying their environment. Now we know that if all two-thirds-plus Americans who have excess avoirdupois decided to lose that weight, the ice caps and glaciers would melt, sea levels would rise and humanity would face oblivion!
As it turns out, when you shed fat it is not metabolized by your body into energy, it is simply breathed out as evil CO2. And that's going to kill us all!
"There is surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss," says Professor Andrew Brown, head of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.Now, lest you think I jest about global warming and weight loss, the article actually takes the point seriously.
"The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. It goes into thin air," says the study's lead author, Ruben Meerman, a physicist and Australian TV science presenter.
In their paper, published in the British Medical Journal today, the authors show that losing 10 kilograms of fat requires 29 kilograms of oxygen to be inhaled and that this metabolic process produces 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water.
The second most frequently asked question is whether weight loss can cause global warming.Of course he does.
"This reveals troubling misconceptions about global warming which is caused by unlocking the ancient carbon atoms trapped underground in fossilised organisms. The carbon atoms human beings exhale are returning to the atmosphere after just a few months or years trapped in food that was made by a plant," says Mr Meerman, who also presents the science of climate change in high schools around Australia.
I think anyone carrying excess baggage around his/her middle should get a carbon-sink tax credit. The more pounds you are overweight, the more your credit shall be.
HT: American Digest
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The Census Bureau reported in a study released this week that 65 percent of American children lived in households taking aid from one or more federal program as of the fall of 2011.
"Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children," said the Census Bureau, "lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program."
How to be dependent on government is now one of the earliest life lessons America is teaching nearly a supermajority of children.To the Left, this kind of dependency is a feature, not a bug.
The speaker is a Muslim cleric. The audience is entirely Muslim. When asked, the audience denies that they are radicalized. But what do they agree to? See for yourself.
And from 2010: "Vanderbilt chaplain agrees that homosexuals should be killed"
Monday, December 15, 2014
The Associated Press: Your all-electric car may not be so green
Study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, said it is hard to beat gasoline for public and environmental health. The key is where the electricity comes from. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas.Sort of like what I said years ago: Buy a Honda, Kill a Polar Bear!