Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I cannot begin to impart upon the reader the in-studio anchor's absolute shock, panic and inabilty to improv during this live broadcast. Happy Joy.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
A New Jersey administrative law judge has ruled that a first-grade teacher
who wrote that she was a "warden for future criminals" on Facebook earlier this
year should lose her tenured job.
The state education commissioner now has
45 days to accept, reject or modify the decision regarding Jennifer O'Brien.
The Paterson teacher posted her remark to 333 friends on March 28. But it
was forwarded and several parents saw it.
O'Brien's lawyer, Nancy Oxfeld,
tells The Record newspaper (http://bit.ly/v8ERLR) that her client will appeal
the ruling, which was made public Tuesday. O'Brien had testified that she wrote
the post in exasperation because several students kept disrupting her lessons
and one boy had recently hit her.
But the judge called O'Brien's conduct
Friday, July 1, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Scenario: Rise of the machines!
Overview: Humanity succeeds in creating Artificial Intelligence, only to have the ungrateful bastards turn on us.
Pros: Less Traffic
Cons: Having your X-Box chasing you around your home. Noob.
Reality Check: While probably more likely than aliens attacking, I doubt a scenario would arise involving Austrian weightlifters throwing around witty one-liners while time traveling and chasing/protecting various Conners. I think that an AI would become sentient without all of those tribalistic characteristics that make humans so lovable and eager to get along. We probably wouldn't have to worry about them immediately looking to "terminate" us. Unless we kept poking them with sticks. That's really annoying.
Can we stop it: Maybe. AI is an inevitability. It's the next step in evolution. The most likely scenario, I believe, is that there would be some sort of merging of the human and AI intelligence. It doesn't necessarily have to be nasty. The great Dr. Michio Kaku shares some of his thoughts on the subject and how a nasty scenario may be preveneted (see below)
Streaming-Madness.net – Watch Top Documentaries Online.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Scenario: Alien Invasion
Overview: The question of whether or not there is other life in the universe has been answered. In spades. Their giant, 15 mile-wide metallic emissaries of death are perched above every major city on the planet just waiting for the word from the mother ship to unleash fiery death upon humanity. And all the puppies, too! Checkmate.
Pros: Justification of the SETI program.
Cons: Anal probes.
Reality Check: Stop with the nonsense. If an advanced civilization somehow manages to make it to earth, it ain't gonna be with giant mother ships made of anything remotely resembling metal. Forget the impossible physics behind it, it's just so hack. No, sorry, there isn't going to be any dog fighting between advanced alien ships and drunken cropdusters. Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you, "Independence Day." The only way that movie would be plausible is if it is revealed that the aliens are actually a bunch of rebellious alien junior-high school kids who took grampa's old clunker out for an unsupervised joyride and ended up in our neck of the woods.
Can we stop it: No. If they come, that means they didn't destroy each other in their early industrial period. If they're still assholes despite having achieved such a high technological state, I'm sure they would have a little switch that would simply turn our brains off. Assholes.
Rating: 1/10. NaNu NaNu.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Bozhe moi! have I been posting a lot about God, religion, the rapture and what-not. This isn't surprising to me, especially the rapture part. It's not a question of belief. It's a question of annoyance. Allow me to explain.
I've always been obsessed with doomsday scenarios. Not judgment-day-rapture-repent! horsecrap, I mean things that could actually happen. As a kid it was nuclear war. Growing up in the early '80's I spent many a sleepless night waiting for the bombs to fall. Any time a test of the Emergency Broadcast System or the giant "Special Report" flashed on the TV screen, my stomach dropped and my heart raced. And when the made-for TV "The Day After" came out? fuhgeddabout it. I was inconsolable. What can I say, I was a nervous kid.
With the fall of the Soviet Union and the onset of puberty, I suppose I grew out of that fear and daily obsession. But I still spent plenty of time worrying about things that could REALLY happen.
And that brings me back to the annoyance part. I don't for one second believe that the world will end because some crackpot read about in a book of fables, but it does bother me that said crackpot receives so much attention. It was everywhere. Even on the friggin' Mets-Yankees Broadcast Friday night. [If you don't know who John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are, count yourself among the truly blessed and fortunate.]
John Sterling: That's it from Yankee Stadium. We'll see you tomorrow, first pitch 7:05. That is, IF there's a tomorrow. -chortle, chortle-
Suzyn Waldman: Oh Jawn...
I find it immeasurably annoying that so much attention is heaped upon this heap of crap and zero attention is paid to actual dangers to human civilization. Heck, It was one of the first things I ever blogged about back in Aug., 2009.
So what am I going to do about this? I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to BLOG about it. That's right. I am going to present different doomsday scenarios that are actually plausible and rate them on whatever categories I want. I'll do this until it sort of fizzles out and I find something else to impotently rail against. God I hope Michelle Bachmann runs...
Anywho, I give you...Rate The Doomsday Scenario, part the first.
Scenario: Killer Asteroid.
Overview: The intergalactic game of billiards continues as it has for billions of years as a several miles wide hunk of iron slams into a planet. Only this time countless of conscious beings will be snuffed out of existence. And all the puppies, too!
Pros: Those lucky enough to be directly under the rock will be instantly atomized.
Cons: Those left behind will eventually starve to death as the ensuing cloud of debris will encircle the earth, blocking the sun and, subsequently, photosynthesis. Well, at least after the canned peaches run out.
Reality Check: It's only a matter of time. It's happened before, it'll happen again.
Can we stop it: There are plenty of theoretical techniques that could change the course of an asteroid enough to miss. Unfortunately, these techniques rely upon a big time advance notice. We're talking years, not next Teusday.
Rating: 8/10. cuz I say so.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
There ain't no God. Well, at least according to renowned physicist and ne'er- do- well Stephen Hawking. The good Dr. gave an interview to the Guardian recently. Here's an excerpt, from the Guardian...
Sartre would be proud. A meaningless existence does not need to be without meaning. An acceptance of the void gives one the freedom to be.
What is the value in knowing "Why are we here?"
The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can't solve the equations, directly in the abstract. We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those societies most likely to survive. We assign them higher value.
You've said there is no reason to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper. Is our existence all down to luck?
Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.
So here we are. What should we do?
We should seek the greatest value of our action.
You had a health scare and spent time in hospital in 2009. What, if anything, do you fear about death?
I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
What are the things you find most beautiful in science?
Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology, and the fundamental equations of physics."
I am a stout atheist. But there is something to be said about a Universe that forms within itself a consciousness that allows It to contemplate Itself. Chance? Probably. But what a wondrous chance it is.
Should anyone proclaim a monopoly on absolute Truth? Should an ant claim to understand the inner workings of a flashlight? No. That would be a foolish (albeit gregarious) ant.
Don't tell me that your God is the one true way and that only those of a certain socio-economic background will experience salvation.
Please, also, don't tell me with absolute certitude that this mortal coil is simply a matter of happenstance, and that the pinnacle of human thought and achievement is anywhere close to understanding the flashlight.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Used to be, one could be a YouTube sensation simply by getting kicked in the nuts or by having one's cat get stuck in a ceiling fan. It makes one shudder to think what's next...
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I would never define people as a whole as a "big picture" group. No, we are a reactionary lot. Forget "what have you done for me lately?" Try "what have you done for me in the past five minutes." Because those past five minutes will define everything there is to know about a certain person or subject.
I live in the vast NY suburbs. As such I am privy to an incredibly diverse set of AM radio options. However, you'd be surprised how, after awhile, these options all seem to morph together into one steady drone. Seven conservative talk-show hosts repeating the same playbook. Traffic updates on the tens, although the traffic reports should be reduced to, simply, "everywhere." Stock updates. Curtis Freakin' Sliwa (don't ask.) Commercials. Commercials. Commercials. Commercials. And Sports Talk Radio!
I love Sports Talk Radio, and not only because I love sports, I love the callers on which Sports Talk Radio depends. Nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE can one find the type of reactionary behavior of which I speak. Sports Talk Radio is THEE microcosm of the human condition. Hear me out.
Enter Derek Jeter of the New Yankees; 5 time World Series Champion, World Series MVP, four Gold-Gloves, multiple all-star appearances, Banger of the Stars, most recently Minka Kelly....
"Ya know, nowt fuh nuttin, maybe, ya know, he's gettin' old. no disrespect awe nuttin."
"Jeetah couldn't hit the side of uh bawn wit a beach bawl."
"He's swingin' like a rusty gate ova heeya."
Sorry, it's hard to capture, phonetically, the essence of the NY accent. Anyway, this is all well and good. Jeter is a lifetime .313 hitter. Jeter is pushing 37 and plays maybe the most demanding position outside of catcher while hitting 1 or 2. It isn't unfair to question his viability in the long term. And these comments of his apparent demise have come about over the first 30 games. Optimistic feelings have gradually turned into legitimate doubts. And then Sunday, May 8. Derek Jeter goes 4 for 6 with 2HRs. Let's go to the phones...
"I knew, I'm tellin ya, awe boys back!"
"This is it! numba 28 [number of world series the Yankees would have won should they win this year] heeya we come. Screw the sawx!"
"Yestahday rivaled the birth of my first bown son and the ressah rection [the caller does believe that resurrection is, in fact, two words] of awe lowd and savya Jesus Christ."
There you go. Even though these 6 at bats represent less then 5% of Jeter's performance over the 2011 season, and the 2HRs he hit represent the only two HR's he's hit all year and 40% of the extra base hits he's hit this year, all doubt had been cast aside. All realistic questions of his age and performance related decline be damned! He was El Kapitan once again.
Enter the Fukushima Plant. Please, if you would, from the NY Times. It's a tragic situation. But to completely restructure your country's energy policy because of a freak accident that has resulted in relatively little consequence? Unfortunately, providing unlimited energy to millions of people comes at a certain amount of risk. Ask coal miners. Or off-shore oil-rig workers. Or every single American that has died in the Middle East ensuring, if nothing else, that America has open and continual access to oil. Let's go to the phones...
"Nowt fuh nuttin' but newclea powah ain't safe"
"I don't give a rat's ass if dehs ove 400 hunnerd plants operatin' wowldwide. Aintchoo seen da news?"
"I don't want my kid glowin ova heeya. Fuhgeddaboutit!"
3 months later, [for the sake of argument and my silly blog,] The U.S shuts down all of it's nuclear power plants in response to the reactionary fervor over nuclear safety, lets go to the phones...
"If I can't get my friggin Gowge Fowman Grill runnin' I'm gonna busta head."
"Yoo got any idea da last time I looked at intanet pawn?"
"Yankees awe on in 5 minutes. Grams, stawt pedalin!"
Friday, May 6, 2011
Geek Alert! Looking for something free and fun to do tonight, or any night?
Look for the International Space Station!
Um, AnnoyingJoe, isn't it, like, y'know. in space and whatnot?
Sure is! But thanks to a fairly good sized reflective surface and an active, mediocre, middle-aged yellow sun, you can see it right from your own back yard. Weather permitting.
Gee whiz. Where do I look?
Up! Well first follow this little linky-link riiiiight............HERE! Then enter in the information as to your location as requested by the website. If you can't find your EXACT town, don't worry. Just pick the town closest, it shouldn't make too much of a difference. You should see something like this....
|Wed May 04/09:33 PM||11 above W||19 above SW|
|Thu May 05/08:23 PM||41 above WNW||10 above SE|
|Fri May 06/08:47 PM||14 above W||11 above S|
Now don't be intimidated. It's all very simple. ISS is, of course, the International Space Station. The time denotes the time in which the ISS is actually visible
The Duration measures how long the ISS will actually be visible from your location.
MAX ELEV is the highest point the ISS will reach as it arcs through the sky. The zenith, directly overhead is 90 deg.
APPROACH is the location at which the ISS initially becomes visible, and Departure is the location at which the ISS disappears from view.
Here is an excellent diagram from NASA with an example of an ISS sighting...
There you have it. If you haven't yet seen the ISS flying overhead, I highly recommend it. It is surprisingly bright and smooth as it glides on by and is a testament to what we are capable of. And the kids love it! Happy viewing.
The launching of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, initially scheduled for last week, has been pushed back to at least May 16th. The May 16 launch is supposed to be the US space program's second-to-last shuttle flight to the International Space Station, followed by Atlantis in June. After that, the 30-year-old shuttle program will end.
This launch has garnered some attention because the Endeavour is to be commanded by US astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head sustained in January.
This sad coincidence aside, these last two launches are receiving little or no attention. Go ahead, turn on the news, open the paper, visit any of dozens of news/current event websites. I dare you to find one mention of the fact that, after the June Atlantis mission, the United States will have no means with which to launch American astronauts into space. Well, no domestic means. There's always the Russians. That's right. We'll be hitch-hiking rides on Soyuz capsules to get to and from the International Space Station. Ironic that the entity that was the singular impetus and driving force of America's absolute dominance in space has morphed into a space taxi.
I know this hasn't been my best post. I just find it all sad and bittersweet. I also find it concerning and alarming that the we give such small regard and priority to an endeavor that I believe is the most important to the long term survival of our species.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Oh sure. Mass Murder. Complete subjugation of women. Intolerance on a scale not seen since the late 1930's. Women and children as human shields. Been there, done that. But Grumpy Old Man? Really? From the Times of India...
"They thought the house belonged to a drug-dealer, or perhaps a smuggler, and local people had learned to leave it well alone. When the milkman delivered he did not even ring the bell but simply left it outside the green double gates. If anyone ever stopped and leaned against the wall someone would emerge and tell them to clear off. Cricket-playing children who exuberantly hit their shots over the compound's high, barbed-wire topped walls were given money to go the local shop, but they were never allowed inside to retrieve their ball. "
As the longest game of whack-a-mole in history drags on, a kinder, gentler Osama bin Laden has popped up his furry head long enough to release a new audiotape. From the Daily Telegraph...
"A voice purporting to be that of the al-Qaeda leader calls for the creation of a new relief body to aid Muslims."
From jihad to the Red Cross...Say what you want, he's got range...
"It was the third message in recent weeks from al-Qaeda figures concerning the massive August floods that displaced 8 million people in Pakistan, signalling a concentrated campaign by the terror group to exploit public discontent and present itself as protectors of the poor."
I knew there was a catch!
"'What governments spend on relief work is secondary to what it spends on its armies,' bin Laden says on the 11-minute tape called, 'Reflections on the Method of Relief Work.'"
Available soon on i-Tunes...
"Bin Laden said a new 'well-funded' relief organization should be created to study Muslim regions near bodies of water to prevent future flooding, to create development projects in impoverished regions and to work on farming and agriculture to guarantee food security."
As long as this funding does not interfere with the funding for strapping bombs to kids and having them run into mosques. Where Muslims are.
"He called on Muslim merchants to direct their resources to cultivating agricultural land in countries like Sudan that aren't used for farming."
Oh that's nice. This just in...still subjugating and denying basic rights to women.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Came across this today on PoliticsForum.org. It felt strangely appropriate...
There are two distinct varieties of Ideologue, conservative and liberal, but each being smug and self satisfied in his certitudes, they are really flip sides of the same coin. Though Ideologue's "opinions" merely represent a loose collection of intellectual conceits he is nonetheless astonished, bewildered and angered when his views are not immediately embraced as Truth. He regards honest disagreement as a form of cognitive dissonance that can only be cured by relentless propagandizing. The conservative iteration of Ideologue parades himself as a logical, clear thinker, while the liberal version trumpets his higher level of mental, spiritual and social awareness. Troglodyte is the natural ally of conservative Ideologue, and for liberal Ideologue it is Weenie. Whether conservative or liberal, Ideologue is a fierce, but very predictable Warrior.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Not content with ridiculous accents, traffic, hairdo altitude, and social class polarization, Long Island, NY is striving to lead the way in another area; privacy infringement. From the Buffalo News...
A wealthy Long Island village is planning an extensive network of security cameras that scan license plates to help reduce the number of property and home invasion crimes.Elitist much? Well, you can't blame the fine people of Kings Point. I mean, look at the rampant crime inflicting their humble dwellings as evidenced by THESE crime statistics. This is a neighborhood under siege, people!
The 3.3-square mile North Shore community is home to 5,000 residents. The plan calls for 44 cameras to eventually be installed at the village's 19 entrances. That's about one camera for every 120 people.
Mayor Michael Kalnick tells Newsday the project is needed to protect residents.
The system runs the license plate scan through criminal databases and if a match is found immediately notifies police.
Initially, three cameras will be installed. One has been operating on a test basis for 18 months and police are using two mobile units on patrol cars.
It's not clear when the project will be completed.
I almost forgot...check out the income statistics HERE. Getting the picture?
Monday, April 11, 2011
Holy Shit it's April.
I use Yahoo!. A lot. Force of habit, really. But I'm thinking of going cold turkey. I made the mistake of clicking on "Two Changes That Will Improve Your Odds of Retiring" today. This is what I found...
No shit, really? If I work longer I'll end up with more money? So, I "will improve my odds of retiring" by...not retiring? Oh, and if I continue to sacrifice and lead a spartan existence, I will have enough money to not enjoy since I will be pissing and shitting myself by the time I do retire/am-deemed-unfit-for-work? Yaaaaaa HOOOOO-a-woooo! Assholes.
1. Working 5 More Years
Fie you could save $15,000 a year for each of those 5 years. The extra savings helps boost the plan barst, consider how much of an impact working five more years could have on your retirement. Let's assume you're 65 and have $1,000,000 in retirement assets. If you could earn 5% a year on those funds, your retirement plan would be worth about $1,275,000 at age 70, or about 28% more than at age 65. That means it could support almost 28% more in distributions.
Plus, let's assum
lance to $1,360,000, or about 36% more than at age 65.
By waiting five years, you've increased your retirement assets and potential retirement income by 36%.
2. Reducing Your Lifestyle
Now let's assume you also reduce your retirement lifestyle expectations by 15%. That means you'll need 15% less in savings to meet your goals.
• For a couple targeting $100,000 of retirement income, that means living on $15,000 less a year. A good rule of thumb for producing distributions in retirement is that every $5,000 worth of distributions will require about $100,000 of assets at age 70. If you reduce your lifestyle needs by $15,000 that means you need $300,000 less in assets to support your retirement.
You might not be happy about the prospects of a reduced lifestyle, but you may find it works just fine if you adjust your expectations. It really comes down to how important it is for you not to work. If that 15% reduction provides you with the freedom to retire, it may well be worth it.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stirred up controversy in the Middle East yesterday by calling the crackpot gunman charged with shooting Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords an "extremist" -- but offered no evidence of a political agenda or a cause that would drive him to violence.
"We have extremists in my country. A wonderful, incredibly brave, young woman Congress member, Congresswoman Giffords, was just shot by an extremist in our country," Clinton said during a televised town hall-style meeting at a college in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Clinton brought up the slaughter by Jared Lee Loughner when questioned about why Americans appear to blame the entire Arab world for 9/11.
"We have the same kind of problems. So rather than standing off from each other, we should work to try prevent the extremists anywhere from being able to commit violence," she said.
"The extremists and their voices, the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV, that's not who we are, that's not who you are, and what we have to do is get through that and make it clear that doesn't represent either American or Arab ideas or opinions," added Clinton
By stating that "We have extremists in my country" and "We [U.S. and the Arab world] have the same kind of problems," the Secretary of State makes an excellent point about how much the U.S. and the Arab world have in common, the common problems we face and the effective and humane manner in which we deal with those problems. Like the U.S., the Arab world is rife with examples of groups with opposing ideas and values calmly and successfully presenting their positions to a populace that is then allowed to give their lawful consent via a popular vote. Like the U.S., the Arab world is a model of peaceful transfers of power, non-violent political activism, and a free exchange of ideas. Oh wait...
One mentally ill person does not a Jihad make. Lets not label all who reside in the Arab world as anything but people that just want to live their lives in peace, but let's not make silly comparisons. When Tea Party or ACORN folks start running into each others meetings strapped with grenades, then maybe we can talk. Otherwise, No, Hillary, we do not have the same kind of problems.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
I suppose everything that could be said has been said regarding the proposed removal of the word "nigger" from Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." Most editorials I have read denounce the removal of the word as needless censorship and an attempt to sanitize the past and conform a representative piece of work to the current era's feeble sensibilities and sensitivities.
This is all well and good, but what I find intensely interesting is the refusal of most editorials to actually use the word "nigger" to defend it's use in Huck Finn. Take good 'ole Rich Lowry's piece in the NY post today. While making a surprisingly eloquent argument, Lowry just can't bring himself to use the actual word, "nigger," instead relying on the safe euphemism we've all come to know and love, "N- word." He even takes the hangman approach, quoting a passage of the book by exchanging "nigger" with "n_ _ _ _ _." Incidentally, Lowry has no issue with spelling out the term "injun."
Really? Is there any recognition or understanding of the concept of "context" anywhere in the media, or society as a whole? Are we that pathetic that we have to be protected from seeing the word "nigger" written, even in a newspaper and under these circumstances? Sheesh.
Is there any hope for us? On a hunch, I took a look at the current Billboard 100 chart. Currently sitting at #17 - 'Lil Wayne's newest gem, "6 Foot, 7 Foot." Here's an excerpt of the lyrics...
black and white diamonds, f-ck segregation
f-ck that shit, my money up, you niggas just Honey Nut
Young Money running shit and you niggas just runner-ups
Am I missing something?