Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?        

KDE Project:

I regularly see the same misconception and fear popping up on the mailing lists, bug reports and IRC: if the Akonadi database gets corrupted, I will lose my data.

To make it clear from the beginning: the Akonadi database is NOT your MAIN data storage.
Even if it gets destroyed, removed, your data is still safe.

So what is the database?

1) It is an interface: the Akonadi server and the underlying database is a common interface to your (PIM-alike) data for different applications, so those applications do not have to deal with the data files directly.

2) But I see my email headers and even the body in the database and in $HOME/.local/share/akonadi/file_db_data. Why? Because the database is also a cache towards your data. Common, frequently accessed parts (like e-mail headers) are stored in the database. These are usually stored permanently and kept in sync with your original data source (IMAP folders, mails on the local disc).
Parts requested infrequently are either stored in the database or in the above folder. The actual place is decided upon the size of the data. These parts are from time to time cleaned up from the cache, if they were not used for a certain period of time. Technically it is possible to configure when the cache is cleaned or if it is cleaned at all, but the regular user should not have to deal with it.

3) Is there anything I might lose by deleting the database? Yes, there is, and that is the metadata added to your data. That can be anything extra information that cannot be stored in the format of your data, like Nepomuk tags or other custom information. In case of emails, you might think that read/forwarded/etc. can be lost. Luckily this is not the case (since KDE 4.7.2), as the email storage formats can store these informations natively.

The above explains why you will not lose any critical information by losing your akonadi database.

Good, but where is my data if not in the database? This depends on what kind of data we are talking about.

1) E-mail: in case of IMAP (online or disconnected) your data is on the IMAP server. With disconnected IMAP there are windows when your local cache contains data that is not yet syncronized to the server, deleting the local cache in this case indeed will make you lose the unsynchronized files. This is not Akonadi specific though, this is true for any disconnected IMAP client.
In case of POP3, the mails is stored immediately after download in a local maildir folder. The actual place of the folder depends on your configuration, it can be just as $HOME/Mail, as $HOME/kde./share/apps/kmail/ or $HOME/.local/share/.local-mail (for new installations).

2) Calendars and contact information: they can be either on a server (Kolab server, LDAP server) and only cached in Akonadi as explained, or they can be in local vcard or .ics file. The actual location of these files again depends on your setup. The new standard place for them is $HOME/.local/share/contacts.

Still there were reports of data losing, why? Unfortunately programmers are not perfect and introduce bugs in the codebase. One of the most severe bugs caused real data losing when copying mails from one folder to another. This is fixed with KDE 4.7.2+ and any recent Akonadi server. There are other bugs around, but none will cause losing your original data files.

Finally, what will happen if the database gets corrupted? Of course, it needs to be recreated. You can try by shutting down akonadi server (akonadictl stop), removing the $HOME/.local/share/akonadi and syncronize all your resources again (this will take some time). If the database is not recreated, you need to do a full cleanup by removing also the configuration files under $HOME/.config/akonadi.
Then you need to add back your resources (IMAP/POP3/contact files/etc) and syncrhonize them. In case of emails, you need to check your filters, they most probably try to move the mails into a wrong folder.
Yes, this is a lot of work and should be avoided as much as possible, but it should be done only in the rare case of real database corruption.

I hope this will clear some confusion about the data storage inside Akonadi.

And a few word about the database itself.
We use MySql. I don't know the original reason why it was picked up (ask Volker about that ;) ), but I know some people don't like it for whatever reason.
Most of them try to use SqLite. A friendly warning: don't. This is explained also in the akonadi wiki. All what is written there is true, and I experienced myself as well.
Unfortunately recently I learned that MySQL has some severe issues in certain cases: NFS mounted home directories and failed suspend/resume. In these cases the database gets corrupted (this is a MySQL bug!), and cannot be easily restored. I did not experience this corruption myself, but was reported from time to time.
What remains is trying another database server, namely PostgreSQL. Akonadi supports it, it is possible to change the database backend in the akonaditray or in the akonadiconsole application. Changing backends means importing all your data again to the database, like you'd start from scratch. PostgreSQL support is not that well tested, so expect some rough edges, but we would like to see people try it out and reporting their experience with it.
It is my personal opinion only, but if PostgreSQL proves to work fine, we might switch to that as the default backend, given the problems with MySQL.

What about other database backends? There were plans to use Virtuoso, to reduce the number of database severs needed for a KDE desktop, but the work was not completed. See the techbase aritcle.

UPDATE: Christophe Giboudeaux raised a point about PostgreSQL, that their database format changes between major releases in an incompatible way and there is no automated, easy way for upgrade (you need to dump it with the old version and import with the new one). Sad, that there is no perfect solution.


          Tools: openvpnScraper.sh - Script for dump credential openvpn from memory by rvrsh3ll        

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          Medicines for the Soul        
Christmas in Nazareth

On Christmas Eve my brother invited us to go with him on an urban evening stroll in Nazareth, to experience the holiday at the historic birthplace of Christianity. My brother is a tour-guide, so it's always an experience to go for walks with him. He always knows about more than what meets the eye, and has connections with people where we visit that makes every trip with him, even to familiar places, a different experience.

Our experience started on a rather stressful note, being stuck in traffic in a very narrow, one-way downhill street that would make San Francisco's terrain look rather friendly. There was no traffic control despite very heavy flow of visitors to watch the festivities. We were stuck in what should have been a two minute drive for 45 minutes. When we finally found a 3/4 parking spot between a dumpster and another truck and got out, it was drizzling and cold, as it should be in midwinter in the Galilee.

The large square in front of the Church of the Annunciation was festive with an enormous tree-like construction with many lights and a big glowing red star on top and next to it the customary nativity scene. Many people around were wearing Santa Claus hats, blowing little annoying-sounding horns; but thankfully above it all was a recording of Fairuz singing Christmas songs. Christmas in the Middle East is certainly very different than anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere.

I don't recall ever visiting in Nazareth, even though our family has special ties with the city. My mom's midwife, a Christian-Arab from the neighbouring village of Kfar Yasif is originally from Nazareth. Both our families have five children each (aside from me, my mom has four boys, and her midwife has five daughters). We are all in more or less the same ages. If it weren't for the strange political climate of this country, they'd all be married to each other by now...

Safdi's in Nazareth
Aside from the religious spots (Nazareth's spring, bath house and historic city centre, Mary's Well and its Church, AKA Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, and the Roman Catholic Basiclia of the Anunnciation (كنيسة البشار  in Arabic בזיליקת הבשורה / כנסיית הבשורה) - we also went into the old souk (market) of Nazareth, which is sadly mostly dormant due to modernization. Very few people have the desire or time to find parking in narrow alleyways that were built thousand years ago and wander between merchants to compare prices and negotiate bargains. It's much easier to go to the mall and pay with plastic cards all in one place, and cart your goods to the car underground. It was very sad to see so many stores closed, behind them are beautiful old shops with arched ceilings. Some of the old apartment buildings - although mostly neglected - were used to be effendi's homes, and their ceilings are made of Cedar of Lebanon, and hand-painted by a Lebanese artist from the time of the Ottoman empire. It's a lost world, and only recently some brave entrepreneurs have taken the initiative to renovate such places and open boutique hotels, hostels and cultural centres in the ancient cities of the country. There was also a little shop in the entrance to the empty souk, full of beautiful local craftsmanship. I hope to see more such things develop.

Meicines for the Soul
Once we reached the part of the souk that was still alive, I bought a cupful of coal-roasted chestnuts, reminiscing the cold foggy nights in Vancouver when we'd buy them from Yve's Chestnuts and warm our frozen mittens with their starchy, caramel-scented comfort. At the bottom of the hill there were some of the country's best Halawiyat (Arabic patisseries), where one should stop by for kunafeh - even if they don't have time or room in their stomach. But we were in a group with a different agenda than enjoying life on the stop - and instead continued on to Ziad Safdi's grocery store, which is really more of a magical old-fashioned herb and spice shop, that contains many folk remedies for all kinds of physical ailments, a collection of essential oils from local plants that is distilled in Nablus; speculates such as mastic gum, and mastic-flavoured chewing gum; and last but not least - assortment of medicines for the soul in the form of incense (pictured above) to be burned in special clay pots. You could find there anything from frankincense and myrrh to colourful and sparkling blends typically burned in churches.

Fine Nazarethi Baclava
As we continued on, we stumbled upon other interesting merchants, such as this man who brews coffee in a special pot decorated with olive branches and misbaha (prayer beads) that has hot charcoal in a pipe in the middle, and sends impressive steam to the air. We continued to El Babour Mill - Nazareth original steam-powered miller (the name is a mispronunciation of the English word "vapour") -  now more of a live museum for old mills, sieves and pieces of history from the family that keeps this tradition - and a spice and candy shop. I bought there a jar of black-coloured nigella spread, and green frikeh (charred green wheat berries). The tour ended there and once everyone spread to all four direction of the winds, my brother, daughter and I stopped at a more humble bakey and bought some spinach-filled sambusac, date-filled sesame balls, and karakish - savoury cookies that look like hard flatbreads studded with fragrant seeds of sesame and fennel.
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          Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

Dog Training
          Bedrøvelig bot & betraktelig bedring        

Vinterferie! 
For et deilig ord! For en fantastisk oppfinnelse? 
Fryd og gammen fra ende til annen...

Både fotoalbum og hjernebark er tapetsert med solfylte øyeblikk drapert i kakao og kvikklunch, appelsin og latter, med englebarn som suser både opp og ned bakker uten å mukke. I vår fantasi er det nøyaktig slik en vinterferie er. Både når ferien omtales i ettertid og i fremtid, bare ikke i nåtid....

For når man er midt oppe i en vinterferie så merker man seg gjerne at det for hvert memorable blinkskudd finnes hundrevis av fortrengende vådeskudd; Dagevis med pakking, uendelige bilturer, umulige GPS-koordinater, ufortjente fartsbøter, bunnskrapte bankkontoer, sutrende unger, misfornøyde koner, våte sokker, forbyllede gnagsår, bakglatte ski, snø i hanskene, solbrente øreflipper, tørre brød, iskalde utedo, søkkvåt ved, omgangssyke i fremmed seng, hemser uten ståhøyde, bleier som lekker, manglende vaskemaskin, skittent snø-smeltevann, fleezegensere marinert i steke-os fra lammelår, voksne som tisser på potte, 7 dagers svettelukt lagvis fordelt mellom iskald Palmolive... osv, osv, osv...


Som dere kanskje forstÃ¥r har Blomsterstjernen nettopp kommet hjem fra vinterferie... Og for hver dag som gÃ¥r viskes de forglemmelige øyeblikkene diskret ut av minnet, samtidig som de uforglemmelige øyeblikkene forsterkes og glorifiseres til evig tid. 

Etter kun 2 dager på jobb tenker Blomsterstjernen tilbake på ferien som århundrets vinterferie! Sol fra morgen til kveld, deilig mat, hyggelig selskap, sjarmerende tømmerhytte, fantastiske barn, nydelige skiturer på drømmeføre.


Det er kun ett negativt minne som fremdeles gjenstår... Forbrytelsen!

For til tross for sin slÃ¥ende likhet med nr 767-167 i B-gjengen, er Blomsterstjernen en temmelig lovlydig mann. SÃ¥ ogsÃ¥ nÃ¥r han kjører bil. I 50-sonen ligger han derfor konsekvent mellom 50-52 km/t, i 60-sonen mellom 60-63 km/t, mens han i 80-sonen av og til kan frekke seg opp mot svimlende 86 km/t!!! (Hold dere fast). Dette gjelder selvsagt bare i 9 av 10 tilfeller. 

På vei til vinterferien inntrådte uheldigvis det tiende tilfellet akkurat når det ikke skulle inntreffe...

I en 80-sone rett etter Voss havnet Blomsterstjernen typisk nok (ref) bak en trailer som knapt klarte å holde 40 km/t i oppoverbakke (!). Men veien var smal, kronglete og glatt. Blomsterstjernen holdt seg i skinnet. "Vi har ikke hastverk" smilte han mens han luntet avgårde i et påtvunget snegle-tempo verden aldri har sett maken til. Bak ham hamret det på med rusende, brølende biler i kø som konstant prøvde å finne smutthull der de kunne forbipassere både den maskerte herremann og den forbaskede snegle-trailer. Uten hell. Veien var for smal, for glatt, for farlig.


Endelig var bakketoppen nådd. Endelig ble veien oversiktlig, bred og tørr. Og endelig satte traileren inn syvende gir og suste fra køen i hundrevis av kilometer i timen, kun blårøyken hang igjen. Blomsterstjernen våget seg opp i hele 87(!!!), vel vitende om at speedometeret normalt viser 4-5 km/t for mye...

Men uansett hvor mye han gasset, så ville bare ikke den uendelige halen av irritable biler slippe taket, til tross for denne svimlende fart. Blomsterstjernen fungerte nærmest som hode på en illsint susende, tutende, brølende Midgardsorm


Men sÃ¥ kom 60-sonen... Lovlydig bremset hærføreren ned farten. Kanskje ikke helt ned i 60 blank... men sÃ¥ langt ned han følte var forsvarlig med dette illsinte vendetta-hungrige bilfølget pÃ¥ slep. Og det var da det skar seg noe sÃ¥ skjebnesvangert. "NEI!!!" ropte konemor. "Politikontroll!!!". Som eneste bil i følget ble Blomsterstjernen vinket til side.  Midgardsormens hale luntet glisende uskyldig forbi... Noe sÃ¥ sjofelt!?!

"Du kjørte nok litt for fort" sa den hyggelige politimannen. "Umulig, speedometeret viser jo 4-5 km/t feil?" parerte en betuttet stjerne. "Mulig det, men vi har også trukket fra 4 km/t i feilmargin på målingen vår. Din fart reduseres derfor fra 72 km/t til 68 km/t..." Stjernen var svar skyldig. Han var blitt presset frem som uønsket hærfører for solhungrige Porcher, Mercer og Volovoer - som alle slapp unna! Selv den lynraske traileren hadde blåst ubemerket forbi politikontrollen!

Men sånn er det å være hærfører. Man tar rosen når det går bra, og støyten når det går galt. Hadde man bare blinket meg inn til siden og tatt til takke med stillingen som pil-og-bue-skytter..? Men Blomsterstjernen var herskesyk! Heldigvis var straffen overkommelig. 1600,- sure kronestykker. Tilsvarende 133 pakker Kvikklunch... Gulp!


Men sÃ¥nn er det. Bøter skal svi! Og heldigvis ble det betraktelig bedring allerede neste dag! Ihvertfall sett med et etterpÃ¥klokt renset sinn. 

Golsfjellet leverte tross alt en ultra-fantastisk vinterferie! Vi kommer gjerne tilbake! Da helst uten fartsbot...


Hvor er ditt vinterferieparadis?


Uansett. Hold fartsgrensen, blink til siden, nyt livet.








P.S. Det er absolutt ikke å anbefale at konemor finner bilde av en ukjent lettkledd blondine på din telefon akkurat i overgangen mellom 80-sone og 40-sone med påfølgende fartsdump... Uansett hvor rent mel man har i posen :)






          Hva er motivet?        

Noen ganger nÃ¥r man kikker gjennom bilder, hovedsaklig andre sine bilder, kan man fra tid til annen lure pÃ¥ hva som egentlig var motivet? For det som for fotografen ofte er et helt Ã¥penlyst motiv kan i andres øyne være helt usynlig... 

En uhyre sjelden gang kan ogsÃ¥ fotografen være i stuss.... Og det kan skje selv i de beste hjem! Ja selv maskerte fotografer kan havne i uføret fra tid til annen. Tro det eller ei, men vÃ¥r alles Blomsterstjerne ble nemlig i stuss opp til flere ganger da han i gÃ¥r kikket gjennom sine siste "blinkskudd". 

Men alle motiv trenger vel ikke være utvetydig Ã¥penlys? Noen bilder har bare godt av litt fortolkning. Og sagtens. SÃ¥ snart Blomsterstjernen tok pÃ¥ seg tolkebrillene ble samtlige motiv krystallklar som natten! 

Men er vi samstemte? Jeg ønsker i dag Ã¥ teste leserne i motivanalyse av et par bilder. 

Hva ser dere?

MOTIV 1: Sjøen? Fjellene? Furubuskene? Oljeplattformene? Annet?

MOTIV 2: Høyblokkene? Skyene? Den gule busken? Vannene? Fjellene? Morgenstemningen?

MOTIV 3: Fartsdumpskiltet? Rognebærtreet? Varebilene? Støvskyen? Lastebilen?  Himmelen? Solen?

MOTIV 4: Stavanger? Bergen? Finse? Tsjernobyl? Jeriko? Vågå? Landåstorget?

MOTIV 5: Loddefjord? Boknafjorden? Hardangerfjorden? Sognefjorden? Glomma? Adriaterhavet? Svartehavet?

MOTIV 6: Hjulsporene? Gresset? Grønnfargen? Brunfargen? Det gode mot det onde? Helheten?

HVA ER MOTIVET?
HVA VAR MOTIVET FOR MOTIVET?
HVA MOTIVERTE MOTIVATOREN TIL Å MOTIVERE MOTIVET?


Lykke til!
Vinnerne vinner absolutt ingenting!










P.S. God helg!




          How To Play Funk Guitar – Do You Want To Learn How To Play Funk Guitar?        

Learning how to play funk guitar from your home is only possible if you use the right source that is authentic and teaches you in a step-wise approach.

Nowadays, life has become so busy and fast paced due to family, work and other daily niches that we are unable to get the time to fulfill our little desires as playing a guitar. Even if you do get the time to go to a professional, the cost is too high to afford. But, what we fail to realize is the universal usefulness of internet for our daily niches, which simply means, it is now possible to do almost anything through the internet, including learning how to play funk guitar. The only thing that you need to know is where exactly to look and what things to consider. You will come across numerous sources that guarantee your transformation to an expert in no time, but in most of the cases; the end result is totally different.

In fact, most of them are misleading you, just to get your hard earned money. So, when looking for a source to learn how to play funk guitar, make sure you are certain about its reliability and the quality of the content offered. This can be done through checking feedback of people who have used it before, or reviews by experts, which allows you to establish the effectiveness of a program and take a decision accordingly.

You can learn how to play funk guitar through a number of approaches; you can benefit from educational videos, tutorials, software and lessons, or you can find one source that offers you all there is to know about how to play funk guitar in one comprehensive and complete package. It is essential that you verify the source, before investing into it. Furthermore, the outcome should be measurable throughout the process, along with positive results at the end. An important thing to remember when mastering the art of playing guitar is that no matter how authentic and effective the source may be, if you are not persistent and patient, then you will struggle to fully benefit.

There will be days when nothing works in your favor or you repeat the same mistake. You should realize this is a normal part of the learning process and through a systematic and step-by-step approach you can overcome this common problem. Additionally, you should use practice regularly to strengthen your skills. Remember to choose a source that takes a step-wise approach towards teaching you the secrets of becoming a pro in guitar playing. Beware of sources that only want your money and in return dumps huge amount of information that makes no sense or is of no good to you.

The best place to learn how to play funk guitar is Learn and Master Guitar review, which offers you a systematic approach to mastering this art.


          RE: Not Good Pricing At All        
and based on your adept and saavy business acumen, this is why you too run a multi billion global corporation? Apple knows their pricing and their market. First the arugment was if they made a headless imac, i'd buy it. delivered. Then it was but it doesnt run windows. delivered. then it was it was, now if theyd just put an intel chip in it, delivered. now its well it could be cheaper and needs to have this this this and this and this before me and others like would buy it. I have a better idea; get a job, dump or get off the pot and just get one. if not, ok, but read the article and move on. i tire so much of people that know more than the beleagured apple thats been slowly dying and going out of business and making missteps against MS and others since 1990.
          RE[2]: Not Good Pricing At All        
" Apple knows their pricing and their market." Obviously not; Apple bombarded us with the "switch to mac" since OSX came out and they just admitted in their last WWDC that only 50% of their new sellings were for Winodws customers; from this we can see that Apple cares about windows users -unlike you-, while they cannot reach the heart and dollar of them because they don't listen quickly to such wishes that they even promote you to send on their web site. "now if theyd just put an intel chip in it:" Actually, it wasn't customers wish for intel chip but rather Apples choice to get rid of IBM ignorance and disrespect to Apple's Buisness demands especially for laptops product line. "get a job, dump or get off the pot and just get one." You are either amature for what you said or you are a frustrated Apple's customer support guy. There is a wise say for you: Those who don't believe FACTS, must suffer till they respect them.
          [Tips] 如何给SVN资源库降级        

问题起因: 帮同事排查一个SVN资源库导入后无法使用的问题,checkout时报错
  Expected FS format '2'; found format '3'
  æœŸå¾…文件系统(FS)格式 “2”;找到格式“3”

熟悉SVN的朋友应该知道,Subversion大版本更新时有可能会对其文件格式进行调整,因此内部有文件格式版本的说法,以上报错信息在网上搜一下就知道,版本2和版本3分别对应Subversion的1.4.x和1.5.x,于是问题归结为如何给资源库降级,从而得到与1.4兼容的dump文件。方法很简单,记录如下,供需要的朋友参考:

首先在1.5.x的Subversion环境下新建一个与1.4.x兼容的资源库
  svnadmin --pre-1.5-compatible create project01

然后将之前无法正常导入1.4.x的dump文件(dumpfile.old)导入
  svnadmin load project01 < dumpfile.old

最后再做一次导出即可
  svnadmin dump project01 > dumpfule.new

回到1.4.x的Subversion环境,新的dump文件(dumpfile.new)就可以正常导入和使用了。



laogao 2011-02-16 19:34 发表评论

          Trailer Dumper         

Normale prijs: € 59,95

Aanbiedingsprijs: € 47,95


          Down in the Dumps        
Ok I don't know why but I'm down in the dumps today. Maybe I do know some of the reason and that's because I'm tired.....I'm tired of being overweight, tired of not losing weight, tired of being lonely, tired of being hurt, tired of work, tired of being stressed out, tired of being over worked, tired of being broke, just plain tired. I know other people have bigger problems and I do feel for them.....people dying unexpectedly, people having cancer come back, bad knees, problems at home, etc....
          CD-i floppy inventory        
Last weekend I future-proofed my CD-i floppy collection. A bit to my surprise, all floppies except one turned out to be perfectly readable (nearly twenty years after they were last written!). Luckily, the one exception was a backup copy so I didn’t lose any contents.

I had originally intended to use the borrowed CDI 182 unit for this (it has two floppy drives). The primary motivation for this was that my unstowed CDI 605 could not read beyond track zero of any floppy, but after giving the matter some thought I decided to try my other CDI 605 first, the primary motivation for this being speed (see below). It turned out that this 605 could read the floppies perfectly, including the three 38U0 format ones that gave problems on the 182 unit. Microware has defined a number of OS-9 disk formats for floppies, the 38U0 one supposedly being the “universal” 3.5" format (there is also a 58U0 “universal” 5¼" format).

The problem with the “universal” formats is that track zero can be (and on my floppies, is) in a different density which makes it a bad fit for most tools, both on CD-i and PC. It also means that only 79 tracks are used for data storage, giving a raw capacity of 79 × 2 × 16 × 256 = 632 KB. The 3803 format used by all my other CD-i floppies uses all 80 tracks and consequently has 8 KB more of raw storage for a total of 640 KB (these are both double-density, double-side formats (DS, DD) with 16 sectors of 256 bytes per track like nearly all OS-9 disk formats).

Before unstowing my other CDI 605 (it was nearly at the bottom of a 150 cm stowed equipment stack) I tried reading the floppies with my trusty old Windows 98 machine which still has floppy drives. I could not quickly find a DOS tool that handled the 256 byte sectors (not even raread and friends), although I suspect that Sydex’s TELEDISK product would have handled it just fine. I also tried Reischke’s OS9MAX which should handle all OS-9 formats under the sun according to its documentation. The demo version ran under MS-DOS and gave me working directory listings, even for the 38U0 floppies, but it does not support actually reading the files and I am somewhat doubtful about the current availability of the paid-for full version (even apart from cost concerns).

Why did I decide to use the 605? It was not a question of reading the disks (the 182 did this mostly fine) but of handling the data thus read. The 182 unit has a SCSI connector but I have no drivers for it (yet) and dumping my full floppy collection over the serial port did not really appeal to me for speed and reliability reasons (it could have been done, of course).

The 605 player has a SCSI connector and includes drivers for it so I could have just connected it to the SCSI disk in my E1 emulator and copied the floppies to hard disk (I would still have needed to transfer them to my laptop which would have been a two-step process via the Windows 98 PC as I have no SCSI connection on my laptop).

Instead I used the BNC network connector of the 605 to directly transfer floppy images to my laptop (it needs a network switch supporting both a BNC connector and the modern RJ45 connectors, but luckily I have two of those, even if they are only 10 Mbit/s). Starting up the network environment of the 605 took only two OS-9 commands at the command shell prompt:
ispmode /le0 addr=10.0.0.120
mbinstall
After this I could just ftp in to my laptop where I ran ftpdmin, a very minimal ftp server program, and transfer floppy disk images directly:
ftp 10.0.0.110
bin
put /d0@ floppy.dsk
(where /d0@ is the raw floppy device, for 38U0 I used /d0uv@, both are built-in for the 605).

The transfers ran at the maximum speed of the floppy drive (way below the 10 Mbit/s network speed), and the resulting .dsk files are perfectly readable using the –v option (virtual disk) of Carey Bloodworth’s os9.exe program even though that program was originally written for Tandy Color Computer OS9/6809 floppies (the floppy disk format was not changed for OS-9/68000 which is at the core of CD-i’s CD-RTOS operating system).

For easy access I also created a “tar” format archive of each floppy on a RAM disk:
chd /d0
tar cvf /r768/floppy.tar .
and ftp’d those to my laptop as well (the /r768 device is a 768 KB variation of the /r512 built-in 512 KB RAM disk device of the 605 player).

I ended up with the following collection of unique floppy disk images:
  • 605h3 - 605 H3 Driver Update (1 floppy)
  • 605upd - 605 Driver Update (1 floppy)
  • bcase - Basecase Tests (1 floppy)
  • eboot41 - Emulation Boot Diskette (1 floppy)
  • eburn41 - Emulation and CDD 521 Boot Diskette (1 floppy)
  • inet - CD-I Internet Installation Disk - V1.3 (1 floppy)
  • nfs - OS-9/68000 Network File System V.1.0 (1 floppy)
  • os9sys - OS-9 System Diskette (1 floppy)
  • pubsoft - OptImage Public Domain Software (2 floppies)
  • pvpak - OptImage Preview Pak Installation Disk (1 floppy)
  • ubridge - OS-9 UniBridge Resident Utilities (3 floppies)

The 605* and eb* floppies are mostly interesting for CD-i 605 or E1 emulator owners, but the bcase floppy contains a set of CD-i standard conformance test programs that.

The inet and nfs floppies contain a full set of Internet software including Telnet and FTP servers and clients and an NFS client (all except the latter are also in the 605 ROMs).

The os9sys floppy contains a full set of Professional OS-9 programs and is my original source for most of the OS-9 CD-i disc that I described earlier (most of these are not in ROM on any CD-i player that I’ve seen so far).

The pubsoft floppies contain miscellanous utilities such as bfed, du, kermit, umacs and vi, most of which can be obtained elsewhere, some CD-i specific utilities such as da (CD-i disk analyzer) and iffinfo (CD-i IFF file dumper) as well as library source files for the CD-i IFF file library.

The pvpak floppy contains preview software for CD-i images that will preview CD-i IFF files from an NFS-mounted host file system directory.

The ubridge floppies are the goldmine (and also the 38U0 format ones) as they contain a full set of native Microware C compiler/assembler/linker/debugger software for OS-9 complete with CD-i header files and libraries and C runtime startup sources. Both the srcdbg and sysdbg debuggers are included as well as the rdump utility for dumping ROFF (Relocatable Object File Format) files.

Unfortunately, most of the above software except for the pubsoft contents is copyrighted property of Microware (now Radisys) or OptImage (a former Philips/Microware joint venture) which means that I cannot distribute it, even though they could be very useful to CD-i homebrew developers. For that the hopefully soon-to-be available GCC cross-port will have to be enough...

While investigating all of the above I also stumbled upon a 450 MB OS-9 hard disk image for MediaWorkshop. The os9.exe program recognizes it just enough to say that it does not support it so I have no real idea about its contents except the obvious.

To remedy that problem I’m in the process of adding SCSI disk support to CD-i emulator so that I can use the SCSI support in the CD-i 605 ROMs to mount the disk image and look at it. This should also allow the CD-i 180 to boot from a SCSI disk if I ever find drivers for it (a possible path to that has just appeared, we’ll see...).
          CD-i 180 experimentation        
Early this week, CDinteractive.co.uk forum user Erroneous came by and we spent an interesting evening taking apart our CDI 18x units and figuring out serial ports.

Whereas my set consists of a CDI 180/37 and a CDI 181/37 unit, his set is the full 180/181/182 ensemble with the added bonus of supporting 220V power. I was not previously aware that such units even existed, but it turns out he has a 180/20 + 181/20 + 182/00 combination.

I’ve taken some photographs from his set, both intact and in various dismantled states, and these can be found here on the CD-i Emulator website. Nothing particularly surprising except for the small size ROM in the 182 unit, it’s only a pair of 27C512 chips which hold 32 KB each for a total of only 64 KB!

Erroneous sold me his spare CD-i 180 remote unit and serial port adapter so I now have a mostly functioning CD-i 180 set. Unfortunately, it turns out that my 180 CD drive unit has problems so I cannot play actual discs, but the set works fine using the E1 Emulator.

It turned out that his set, however, has some defect in the 181 MMC unit which prevents it from reading discs, either from the 180 CD drive or from the E1 Emulator. Using my 181 and his 180 and 182 units we managed to get a fully working set, albeit running on mixed 120V / 220V wall power!

Because at first we couldn’t get a working command prompt on the serial port of his 182 unit, he undertook to solder a spare DB9 connector to the 181/182 interconnection bus, based on the pinout of the serial adapter which attaches to that same bus (which matches the pinout I had previously figured out by tracing the circuit board). This gave output but not a working command prompt either.

It finally turned out to be a feature of the OS9 System Disk that we were using; it boots properly when you select “Floppy Application” from the “System” menu, but it’s final step starts a command prompt for the /term device and it turns out there is no such device in the 180 player. It has three (!) serial port devices but they are named /t0, /t01 and /t2 (see below) whereas the 60x players for which this disk was apparently intended do have a /term device. On the 180, avoiding the startup script by choosing “System” / “CD-RTOS” works fine however.

When we figured this out, we could get a command line prompt on either serial port, the ROMs are smart enough to select the device where a terminal is actually connected.

We confirmed that the serial I/O chip in the 182 unit is indeed an 68681 chip as I previously suspected, which supports two serial port devices of which only one has a connector on the outside of the unit. The connected device is supported with the /t0 device name, the unconnected one uses /t01. In addition to the 68070 built-in serial port this means that the 181+182 combination actually has three serial ports, but the usual hardware setup makes only one of them accessible at a time (connecting the units uses up the interconnection bus which means that the serial adapter cannot be connected at the same time).

At this point, it was getting late and Erroneous departed for home, graciously allowing me to temporarily borrow his 18x set for some more experimentation and dumping.

When the serial port allowed me to take look inside the running 180 player, it turned out that the four ROMs that I previously dumped were not in fact co-located in the address space. The “system” ROM pair lives at $180000 as expected but on Maxi-MMC it is only 256 KB; the other 256 KB ROM pair lives at $700000 (I’ve called it the “asset” ROM because it contains only a font and pictures). Leaving out the asset ROM inside CD-i Emulator gives a working player but without any background images or buttons, just the text over a black background. You can still start a CD-i application of play a CD-Audio disc, though...

Another small factoid is that the 182 ROM contains a single picture ps_child.dyuv that at first appears to be a revised version of the identically-named one in the 181 ROM, but both pictures are bitwise identical except for the module edition number and CRC. Weird...

Dumping the ROMs of Erroneous’s 181 set turned up nothing new; they are bitwise identical to the ones from my own unit (not really surprising as both units have big “1.1” stickers on the back which signifies the “final” ROM update that all Philips 18x players received shortly before the market introduction of CD-i).

Having the 182 unit ROMs I have now extended CD-i Emulator to also support the two additional serial ports, even though the second of these is not usable on the actual player! The floppy controller and the parallel and SCSI port remain for the future.

Later this week I also took apart my new CD-i 180 remote unit, which can be used over infrared but also supports a cable connection (I’ll need to make my own cable). Pictures of this are on my site here. I suspected that the interconnection would use the I2C protocol and this indeed turned out to be the case. The unit contains another 84C21 mask-programmable microprocessor labeled “REMOCON Ver. 2.0” and its I2C SDA and SCLK pins are more or less directly connected to the cable connector, which also has RESET, GND and +5V power connections. This should allow me to connect any home-brewn pointing device over I2C.

From a bit of running system and driver inspection I also found out some more details about the bus locations of the floppy and SCSI controller chips in the 182 unit. There are two surprisingly empty ROM sockets on the SCSI extension board that are probably intended for SCSI driver and application software; except for booting support the other ROMs contain none of this.

With the information learned so far I have expanded the cditypes.rul file with CD-i 180 ROM recognition and put it in the CD-i Types section of the site.

Having two working floppy drives also allowed me to review my CD-i floppy collection and most of those appear to be perfectly readable; they may yet turn out to contain something interesting.
          CD-i 180 adventures        
Over the last week I have been playing with the CD-i 180 player set. There’s lots to tell about, so this will be a series of blog posts, this being the first installment.

The CD-i 180 is the original CD-i player, manufactured jointly by Philips and Sony/Matsushita, and for a score of years it was the development and “reference” player. The newer CD-i 605 player provided a more modern development option but it did not become the “reference” player for quite some years after its introduction.

The CD-i 180 set is quite bulky, as could be expected for first-generation hardware. I have added a picture of my set to the Hardware section of the CD-i Emulator website; more fotos can be found here on the DutchAudioClassics.nl website (it’s the same player, as evidenced by the serial numbers).

The full set consists of the CDI 180 CD-i Player module, the CDI 181 Multimedia Controller or MMC module and the CDI 182 Expansion module. The modules are normally stacked on top of each other and have mechanical interlocks so they can be moved as a unit. Unfortunately, I do not have the CDI 182 Expansion module nor any user manuals; Philips brochures for the set can be found here on the ICDIA website.

Why am I interested in this dinosaur? It’s the first mass-produced CD-i player (granted, for relatively small masses), although there were presumably some earlier prototype players. As such, it contains the “original” hardware of the CD-i platform, which is interesting from both a historical and an emulation point of view.

For emulation purposes I have been trying to get hold of CD-i 180 ROMs for some years, there are several people that still have fully operational sets, but it hasn’t panned out yet. So when I saw a basic set for sale on the CD-Interactive forum I couldn’t resist the temptation. After some discussion and a little bartering with the seller I finally ordered the set about 10 days ago. Unfortunately, this set does not include a CDI 182 module or pointing device.

I had some reservations about this being a fully working set, but I figured that at least the ROM chips would probably be okay, if nothing else that would allow me to add support for this player type to CD-i Emulator.

In old hardware the mechanical parts are usually the first to fail, this being the CDI 180 CD-i Player module (which is really just a CD drive with a 44.1 kHz digital output “DO” signal). A workaround for this would be using an E1 or E2 Emulator unit; these are basically CD drive simulators that on one side read a CD-i disc image from a connected SCSI hard disk and on the other side output the 44.1 kHz digital output “DO” signal. Both the CDI 180 and E1/E2 units are controlled via a 1200 baud RS232 serial input “RS” signal.

From my CD-i developer days I have two sets of both Emulator types so I started taking these out of storage. For practical reasons I decided to use an E1 unit because it has an internal SCSI hard disk and I did not have a spare one lying around. I also dug out an old Windows 98 PC, required because the Philips/OptImage emulation software doesn’t work under Windows XP and newer, and one of my 605 players (I also have two of those). Connecting everything took me a while but I had carefully stored all the required cables as well and after installing the software I had a working configuration after an hour or so. The entire configuration made quite a bit of mechanical and fan noise; I had forgotten this about older hardware!

I had selected the 605 unit with the Gate Array AH02 board because I was having emulation problems with that board, and I proceeded to do some MPEG tests on it. It turns out the hardware allows for some things that my emulator currently does not, which means that I need to do some rethinking. Anyway, on with the 180 story.

In preparation for the arrival of the 180 set I next prepared an disc image of the “OS-9 Disc” that I created in November 1993 while working as a CD-i developer. This disc contains all the OS-9 command-line programs from Professional OS-9, some OS-9 and CD-i utilities supplied by Philips and Microware and some homegrown ones as well. With this disc you can get a fully functional command-line prompt on any CD-i player with a serial port, which is very useful while researching a CD-i player’s internals.

The Philips/Optimage emulation software requires the disc image files to include the 2-second gap before logical block zero of the CD-i track, which is not usually included in the .bin or .iso files produced by CD image tools. So I modified the CD-i File program to convert my existing os9disc.bin file by prepending the 2-second gap, in the process also adding support for scrambling and unscrambling the sector data.

Scrambling is the process of XORing all data bytes in a CD-ROM or CD-i sector with a “scramble pattern” that is designed to avoid many contiguous identical data bytes which can supposedly confuse the tracking mechanism of CD drives (or so I’ve heard). It turned out that scrambling of the image data was not required but it did allow me to verify that the CD-I File converted image of a test disc is in fact identical to the one that the Philips/Optimage mastering tools produce, except for the ECC/EDC bytes of the gap sectors which CD-I File doesn’t know how to generate (yet). Fortunately this turned out not to be a problem, I could emulate the converted image just fine.

Last Thursday the 180 set arrived and in the evening I eagerly unpacked it. Everything appeared to be in tip-top shape, although the set had evidently seen use.

First disappointment: there is no serial port on the right side of 181 module. I remembered that this was actually an option on the module and I had not even bothered to ask the seller about it! This would make ROM extraction harder, but I was not completely without hope: the front has a Mini-DIN 8 connector marked “CONTROL” and I fully expected this to be a “standard” CD-i serial port because I seemed to remember that you could connect standard CD-i pointing devices to this port, especially a mouse. The built-in UART functions of the 68070 processor chip would have to be connected up somewhere, after all.

Second disappointment: the modules require 120V power, not the 220V we have here in Holland. I did not have a voltage converter handy so after some phone discussion with a hardware-knowledgeable friend we determined that powering up was not yet a safe option. He gave me some possible options depending on the internal configuration so I proceeded to open up the CDI 181 module, of course also motivated by curiosity.

The first thing I noticed was that there were some screws missing; obviously the module had been opened before and the person doing it had been somewhat careless. The internals also seemed somewhat familiar, especially the looks of the stickers on the ROM chips and the placement of some small yellow stickers on various other chips.

Proceeding to the primary reason for opening up the module, I next checked the power supply configuration. Alas, nothing reconfigurable for 220V, it is a fully discrete unit with the transformer actually soldered to circuit board on both input and output side. There are also surprisingly many connections to the actual MMC processor board and on close inspection weird voltages like –9V and +9V are printed near the power supply outputs, apart from the expected +5V and +/–12V, so connecting a different power supply would be a major undertaking also.

After some pondering of the internals I closed up the module again and proceeded to closely inspect the back side for serial numbers, notices, etc. They seemed somewhat familiar but that isn’t weird as numbers often do. Out of pure curiosity I surfed to the DutchAudioClassics.nl website to compare serial numbers, wanting to know the place of my set in the production runs.

Surprise: the serial numbers are identical! It appears that this exact set was previously owned by the owner of that website or perhaps he got the photographs from someone else. This also explained why the internals had seemed familiar: I had actually seen them before!

I verified with the seller of the set that he doesn’t know anything about the photographs; apparently my set has had at least four owners, assuming that the website owner wasn’t the original one.

On Friday I obtained a 120V converter (they were unexpectedly cheap) and that evening I proceeded to power up the 180 set. I got a nice main menu picture immediately so I proceeded to attempt to start a CD-i disc. It did not start automatically when I inserted it, which on second thought makes perfect sense because the 181 MMC module has no way to know that you’ve just inserted a disc: this information is not communicated over 180/181 interconnections. So I would need to click on the “CD-I” button to start a disc.

To click on a screen button you need a supported pointing device, so I proceeded to connect the trusty white professional CD-i mouse that belongs with my 605 players. It doesn’t work!

There are some mechanical issues which make it doubtful that the MiniDIN connector plugs connect properly, so I tried an expansion cable that fit better. Still no dice.

The next step was trying some other CD-i pointing devices, but none of them worked. No pointing devices came with the set, and the seller had advised me thus (they were presumable lost or sold separately by some previous owner). The only remaining option seemed to be the wireless remote control sensor which supposedly uses RC5.

I tried every remote in my home, including the CD-i ones, but none of them give any reaction. After some research into the RC5 protocol this is not surprising, the 180 set probably has a distinct system address code. Not having a programmable remote handy nor a PC capable of generating infrared signals (none of my PCs have IrDA) I am again stuck!

I spent some time surfing the Internet looking for RC5 remotes and PC interfaces that can generate RC5 signals. Programmable remotes requiring a learning stage are obviously not an option so it will have to be a fully PC-programmable remote which are somewhat expensive and I’m not convinced they would work. The PC interface seems the best option for now; I found some do-it-yourself circuits and kits but it is all quite involved. I’ve also given some thought to PIC kits which could in principle also support a standard CD-i or PC mouse or even a joystick, but I haven’t pursued these options much further yet.

Next I went looking for ways to at least get the contents of the ROM chips as I had determined that these were socketed inside the MMC module and could easily be removed. There are four 27C100 chips inside the module, each of which contains 128Kb of data for a total of 512Kb which is the same as for the CD-i 605 player (ignoring expansion and full-motion video ROMs). The regular way to do this involves using a ROM reading device, but I haven’t gotten one handy that supports this chip type and neither does the hardware friend I mentioned earlier.

I do have access to an old 8 bit Z80 hobbyist-built system capable of reading and writing up to 27512 chips which are 64Kb, it is possible to extend this to at least read the 27C100 chip type. This would require adapting the socket (the 27512 is 28 pins whereas the 27C100 has 32 pins) and adding one extra address bit, if nothing else with just a spare wire. But the Z80 system is not at my house and some hardware modifications to it would be required, for which I would have to inspect the system first and dig up the circuit diagrams; all quite disappointing.

While researching the chip pinouts I suddenly had an idea: what if I used the CD-i 605 Expansion board which also has ROM sockets? This seemed an option but with two kids running around I did not want to open up the set. That evening however I took the board out of the 605 (this is easily done as both player and board were designed for it) and found that this Expansion board contains two 27C020 chips, each containing 256Kb of data. These are also 32 pins but the pinouts are a little different, so a socket adapter would also be needed. I checked the 605 technical manual and it did not mention anything about configurable ROM chip types (it did mention configurable RAM chip types, though) so an adapter seemed the way to go. I collected some spare 40 pin sockets from storage (boy have I got much of that) and proceeded to open up the 180 set and take out the ROM chips.

When determining the mechanical fit of the two sockets for the adapter I noticed three jumpers adjacent to the ROM sockets of the expansion board and I wondered… Tracing of the board connections indicated that these jumpers were indeed connected to exactly the ROM socket pins differing between 27C100 and 27C020, and other connections indicated it at least plausible for these jumpers to be exactly made for the purpose.

So I changed the jumpers and inserted one 180 ROM. This would avoid OS-9 inadvertently using data from the ROM because only half of each 16-bit word would be present, thus ensuring that no module headers would be detected, and in the event of disaster I would lose only a single ROM chip (not that I expected that to be very likely, but you never know).

Powering up the player worked exactly as expected, no suspicious smoke or heat generation, so the next step was software. It turns out that CD-i Link already supports downloading of ROM data from specific memory addresses and I had already determined those addresses from the 605 technical manual. So I connected the CD-i 605 null-modem cable with my USB-to-Serial adapter between CD-i player and my laptop and fired off the command line:

cdilink –p 3 –a 50000 –s 256K –u u21.rom

(U21 being the socket number of the specific ROM I chose first).

After a minute I aborted the upload and checked the result, and lo and behold the u21.rom file looked like an even-byte-only ROM dump:
00000000  4a00 000b 0000 0000 0004 8000 0000 0000 J...............
00000010 0000 0000 0000 003a 0000 705f 6d6c 2e6f .......:..p_ml.o
00000020 7406 0c20 0000 0000 0101 0101 0101 0101 t.. ............
This was hopeful, so I restarted the upload again and waited some six minutes for it to complete. Just for sure I redid the upload from address 58000 and got an identical file, thus ruling out any flakey bits or timing problems (I had already checked that the access times on the 27C100 and 27C020 chips were identical, to say 150ns).

In an attempt to speed up the procedure, I next attempted to try two ROMs at once, using ones that I thought not to be a matched even/odd set. The 605 would not boot! It later turned out that the socket numbering did not correspond to the even/odd pairing as I expected so this was probably caused by the two ROMs being exactly a matched set and OS-9 getting confused as the result. But using a single ROM it worked fine.

I proceeded to repeat the following procedure for the next three ROMs: turn off the 605, remove the expansion board, unsocket the previous ROM chip, socket the next ROM chip, reinsert the expansion board, turn on the 605 and run CD-i Link twice. It took a while, all in all just under an hour.

While these uploads were running I wrote two small programs rsplit and rjoin to manipulate the ROM files into a correct 512Kb 180 ROM image. Around 00:30 I had a final cdi180b.rom file that looked good and I ran it through cditype –mod to verify that it indeed looked like a CD-I player ROM:
  Addr     Size      Owner    Perm Type Revs  Ed #  Crc   Module name
-------- -------- ----------- ---- ---- ---- ----- ------ ------------
0000509a 192 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 fba055 copyright
0000515a 26650 0.0 0555 Sys a000 83 090798 kernel
0000b974 344 0.0 0555 Sys 8002 22 b20da9 init
0000bacc 2848 0.0 0555 Fman a00b 35 28611f ucm
0000c5ec 5592 0.0 0555 Fman a000 17 63023d nrf
0000dbc4 2270 0.0 0555 Fman a000 35 d6a976 pipeman
0000e4a2 774 0.0 0555 Driv a001 6 81a3e9 nvdrv
0000e7a8 356 0.0 0555 Sys a01e 15 e69105 rp5c15
0000e90c 136 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 f25f23 tim070
0000e994 420 0.0 0555 Driv a00c 6 7b3913 tim070driv
0000eb38 172 0.0 0555 Driv a000 1 407f81 null
0000ebe4 102 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 cf450e pipe
0000ec4a 94 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 f54010 nvr
0000eca8 96 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 17ec68 icard
0000ed08 1934 0.0 0555 Fman a000 31 b41f17 scf
0000f496 120 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 61 dd8776 t2
0000f50e 1578 0.0 0555 Driv a020 16 d0a854 u68070
0000fb38 176 0.1 0777 5 8001 1 a519f6 csd_mmc
0000fbe8 5026 0.0 0555 Sys a000 292 e33cc5 csdinit
00010f8a 136 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 6 041e2b iic
00011012 152 0.0 0555 Driv a02c 22 e29688 ceniic
000110aa 166 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 c5b823 ptr
00011150 196 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 a0e276 cdikeys
00011214 168 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 8 439a33 ptr2
000112bc 3134 0.0 0555 Driv a016 11 faf88d periic
00011efa 4510 0.0 0555 Fman a003 96 a4d145 cdfm
00013098 15222 0.0 0555 Driv a038 28 122c79 cdap18x
00016c0e 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 35f12f cd
00016c94 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 d2ce2f ap
00016d1a 130 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 1 1586c2 vid
00016d9c 18082 10.48 0555 Trap c00a 6 5f673d cio
0001b43e 7798 1.0 0555 Trap c001 13 46c5dc math
0001d2b4 2992 0.0 0555 Data 8020 1 191a59 FONT8X8
0001de64 134 0.0 0555 Desc 8000 2 c5ed0e dd
0001deea 66564 0.0 0555 Driv a012 48 660a91 video
0002e2ee 62622 0.1 0555 Prog 8008 20 ec5459 ps
0003d78c 4272 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 9f3982 ps_medium.font
0003e83c 800 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 c1ac25 ps_icons.clut
00040000 2976 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 0a3b97 ps_small.font
00040ba0 7456 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 764338 ps_icons.clu8
000428c0 107600 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 7b9b4e ps_panel.dyuv
0005cd10 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8001 1 2a8fcd ps_girl.dyuv
00065730 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 e1bb6a ps_mesa.dyuv
0006e150 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 8e394b ps_map.dyuv
00076b70 35360 0.0 0003 Data 8002 1 c60e5e ps_kids.dyuv

File Size Type Description
------------ ------ ------------ ------------
cdi180b.rom 512K cdi000x.rom Unknown CD-i system ROM
cdi180b.rom 512K cdi000x.mdl Unknown CD-i player
cdi180b.rom 512K unknown.brd Unknown board
Of course cditype didn’t correctly detect the ROM, player and board type, but the list of modules looks exactly like a CD-i player system ROM. It is in fact very similar to the CD-i 605 system ROM, the major differences are the presence of the icard and *iic drivers, the absence of a slave module and the different player shell (ps module with separate ps_* data modules instead of a single play module).

It being quite late already, I resocketed all the ROMs in the proper places and closed up both players, after testing that they were both fully functional (insofar as I could test the 180 set), fully intending to clean up and go to bed. As an afterthought, I took a picture of the running 180 set and posted it on the CD-Interactive forums as the definitive answer to the 50/60 Hz power question I’d asked there earlier.

The CD-i Emulator urge started itching however, so I decided to give emulation of my new ROM file a quick go, fully intending to stop at any major problems. I didn’t encounter any of those, however, until I had a running CD-i 180 player three hours later. I reported the fact on the CDinteractive forum, noting that there was no pointing device or disc access yet, and went to a well-deserved sleep. Both of these issues are major ones and those I postponed for the next day.

To get the new player type up and running inside CD-i Emulater, I started by using the CD-i 605 F1 system specification files cdi605a.mdl and minimmc.brd as templates to create the new CD-i 180 F2 system files cdi180b.mdl and maximmc.brd. Next I fired up the emulator and was rewarded with bus errors. Not unexpected and a good indicator of where the problems are. Using the debugger and disassembler I quickly determined that the problems were, as expected, the presence of the VSR instead of VSD and the replacement of the SLAVE by something else. Straightening these out took a bit of time but it was not hard work and very similar to work I had done before on other player types.

This time at least the processor and most of the hardware was known and already emulated; for the Portable CD-i board (used by the CD-i 370, DVE200 and GDI700 players) both of these were not the case as they use the 68341 so-called integrated CD-i engine which in my opinion is sorely misnamed as there is nothing CD-i about the chip, it is just the Motorola version of an 68K processor with many on-chip peripherals in remarkably similar to the Philips 68070 in basic functionality.

Saturday was spent doing household chores with ROM research in between, looking for the way to get the pointing device working. It turned out to be quite involved but at the end of the day I had it sort of flakily working in a kludgy way; I’ll report the details in a next blog post.

Sunday I spent some time fixing the flakiness and thinking a lot about fixing the kludginess; this remains to be done. I also spent time making screenshots and writing this blog post.

So to finish up, there is now a series of 180 screenshots here on the CD-i Emulator website as reported in the What's New section. A very nice player shell, actually, especially for a first generation machine.

I will report some ROM and chip finds including new hopes for replacing the missing pointing device in a next blog post.
          Finalizing input record/playback        
Today I resumed working on the input record/playback code to get it towards its final specification for this beta.

I want the record/playback code to be generic, by which I mean:

1. Recorded input files must be dumpable (e.g. by cdifile) without having to know intimate details of the recorded devices and messages. This can be achieved by labeling all input channels with name and type and recording the formats of all input message types, which is now mostly done.

2. Recorded input files must contain all the information required for faithful playback, which includes things like CD-i player model, DVC cartridge type, extension roms, PAL/NTSC and special startup options and emulated disc insertions.

The ideal is that "wcdiemu -playback" will just work without the need to fiddle with emulator options to reproduce the recording environment. This is now also mostly done except for the disc insertions (they are recorded but cannot yet be played back).

3. It must in principle be possible to play back on a different CD-i player model or with a different DVC cartridge. This means that the input channel matching must be somewhat "intelligent". The groundwork for this is in place but the actual channel matching is not yet there.

All of the above are needed to get the feature usable for extensive compatibility testing, which is a goal of this beta: it should be possible to exchange input recordings that reproduce crashes or rendering bugs, even when they require some time to reproduce. Emulator state snapshots would make this even better, but that is too much work for now.

Recorded input files are in IFF format with the following generic structure:
- each file contains a single FORM chunk of type INPT (recorded input)
- the first chunk inside the FORM is an IVER chunk (version information)
- the next chunk inside the FORM is an ICHN chunk (channel information)
- the final chunk inside the FORM is an IMSG chunk (input messages)

Input messages are recorded in binary format to keep their size small; the first time that a message type is used, the message format string is prepended.

The cdifile dumping code will not be released with this beta, there's too much unfinished code in there (i.e. the -dir[ectory] option to display the directory of a CD-i disc image file).

I will attempt to finish this tomorrow, but it's just barely achievable...

Until then, you'll have to do with this picture:


          IFF reading and AVI writing bugfix        
I've taken a few days off from CD-i work, mainly to catch some sleep. So there is only a small amount of progress to report today.

Yesterday I wrote and debugged proper IFF reading code. Well, it turns out the IFF reader itself was pretty much "obviously" correct but there were major bugs in the interaction of buffering and the SetPosition / SetLimit functions of my CArchive class.

Once finished, I added rudimentary IFF dump code (just chunk header info) to cdifile and proceeded to use that to test the IFF code against some "real" files (mainly WAVE and AVI).

Using my "bad" Burn:Cycle AVI from before I found the cause of the badness: the dwLength field of the audio 'strh' chunk was ridiculously large. Turns out I misread Media Player: the AVI claimed an audio length of 33 minutes although in reality it was only about 6. It had to be some bug in the aviio.c file that I've taken from MESS/MAME (this is allowed by the license for that file, which is now BSD).

I did come code reading and tried some "obvious" fixes, but not until I added tracing code today did I find the culprit: the total number of samples was being incremented way too much on each audio buffer flush. The fix was an obvious oneliner that I've also submitted to MAME and MESS.

You can download the fix here.
          Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier        
 Image from Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind 

The idea of the beach in winter is one that has always captivated me. I think most people would agree that beaches are strictly summer territory, no question about it. And I, eternal child of all that is summery, have placed the idealistic scene of warm, gleaming rock pools and lolly-sticks on sandcastles high on my personal pedestal of Special, Sparkly places. Beaches are places for feeling sunburned and sandy and windswept, with salt in your hair and the sun in your eyes. For most people, that eternal, golden setting of the sea side in summer will live on forever in their minds, as it does in mine, as the stuff of sweet summer childhoods spent playing in the surf, and adolescent flings on grassy campsites by the sea.

I'd always thought of the beach in winter, therefore, as a sort of forlorn, forsaken landscape; almost post-apocalyptic in it's state of eerie desertion. The sand looses it blinding, sunlit glare, and dims to a dull, pale, yellow, while the sparkling sea becomes iron grey and choppy, not to mention freezing. But in a way, the beach in winter is also sort of beautiful. There is something almost calm and reassuring about it's ghostly emptiness and the softer, less harsh hues of a murky, glass green ocean, and a pearly, clouded sky. I think it was actually the film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind that gave me this new appreciation of windswept, winter beaches, not lit up, arcade-like, with the brazenness of a bright, summer's day, but bathed in the gentle tones of soft grey sheet rain gathering on the horizon, or smooth, blue pebbles hidden in the shadows of clear, shallow pools. The film opens with Jim Carey's dejected and jaded-looking character suddenly deciding not to board his usual train to work, and instead running flat out to jump on a train heading to the seaside town of Montauk.

The scenes of him walking the shores of a deserted beach complete with rickety wooden windbreakers and long dry grass dancing in the wind made me start to think of the beach during winter not as a sad, forgotten place, but as a place of recovery and escapism. There isn't really anyone around, and feeling like you are alone with something as vast and powerful as the ocean has got to be the ultimate place to think things over and take deep lungfuls of fresh, salt-flecked air if you're feeling a little down in the dumps. The film then continues to revisit the beach via the character's memories of his now-ended relationship, one time at night as the couple break into a deserted beach house, one time when it is covered in thick blankets of snow, and one time during a surreal scene that involves the couple waking up in bed on the open, windy shore. If you haven't seen this truly stunning, unusual and generally amazing film, then you really, really should, but I wanted to mention it here because the idea of wintry beaches, blustery air that requires snuggly layers, and the muted, soft colours of a dully lit beach cocooned by a soft, shell coloured sky is exactly what is inspiring me sartorially right now.
           Image from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The reason that I am suddenly feeling all these beachy, windswept, freezing-cold-winter-merging-into-sightly-less-freezing-cold-spring vibes, is partly down to my new magazine collage wall. Let me explain: my boyfriend and I have currently just moved into our new place together, and much to my surprise and delight, he was all for my 'lets decorate the walls in millions of pages from all my old Glamour magazines' idea. Well, he was all for decorating one wall in them, which was good enough. Therefore, whenever I sit in our shiny new dining room to eat my lunch/attempt to do some writing, I am now surrounded with all of my most beloved fashion and beauty moments from the dog-eared copies of Gamour I've been collecting for absolute donkey's years.

Several of these images are from my absolute favourite ever Glamour fashion feature, entitled 'Have a Pretty Day', which is from a few seasons back now, I think. Anyway, the pictures were shot at Brighton Pier, which is one of my favourite places in the world. It was a spring shoot, but, unusually for a fashion magazine, the stylist had actually taken note of the fact that spring in England isn't all sunshine and blossom and clear, blue skies, and had dressed the model in a series of sugary, sweet outfits in soft creams and muted pastel tones, compete with coats, jackets and opaque tights, albeit in pretty spring hues. Not only does this whole 'Winter Beach/ Pastels on the Pier' look perfectly embody the current trend for pretty ice-cream pastels, but it also packs personal connotations to my love of beaches and fascination with the muted, soothing beauty of the sea side in crisp, early spring and deepest, darkest wintertime. Not only this, but the images in this shoot are also rather sixties inspired, making me fall in love with micro minis, swing coats, shift dresses and big, Bambi eyes.

To achieve this sweet, pier-worthy look, think pale muted colours, and work with a palette of cream, white, mint green, powder pink, toffee and palest lavender.Team a snowy-hued shift dress with white opaque or semi-sheer tights, and wear with light tan lace-up brogues and a powder-blue swing coat. Blend in with the fairground carousel with pastel separates or sugary vintage dresses in floaty fabrics, and pick your way over the pebbles in elegant Mary Janes with a metallic sheen for a spot of mermaid-esque shimmer. Team the look with gently tousled waves, nude or chalky lips and long-lashed Bambi eyes for a nod towards sixties chic. 

Lucky for me, my birthday is coming up next month, and I'm hoping that my boyfriend will whisk me away to the quiet, secluded shores of Brighton on a blustery spring day, to share huge clouds of pink candy floss and throw pebbles into a foamy, wind-whipped sea. Therefore, my head is currently full of the dancing images of lilac vintage day dresses, little candy-coloured knitted tops and sweet white mini skirts worn with sixties swing coats and pale, dainty plimsolls. Here are some of the images from the oh-so-pretty Glamour shoot now adorning my dining room wall, along with some of the sweet, sixties-inspired items that I am just longing to fling on for a skip through the whirring lights of amusement arcades. Be inspired to dip a toe into the not-so-chilly sea of cute, transitional winter-to-spring sea side chic, and remember to, above all, have a pretty day...    









  Images from Glamour magazine (on my magazine wall!)




Keep the sea breeze at bay with these snuggly vintage coats from Rokit.com


Look like a stick of Brighton rock in these pretty pieces from Rokit.com





Stock up on shoes, socks and iced gem tops from Topshop.com
          The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

It seems the truth will out.

After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………


JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

TURNBULL
Good evening.

TRUMP
Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

TURNBULL
I am doing very well.

TRUMP
And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

TURNBULL
He is a great mutual friend yes.

TRUMP
Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

TURNBULL
Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.

TRUMP
Good.

TURNBULL
I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

TRUMP
That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

TURNBULL
Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

TRUMP
Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

TURNBULL
Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

TRUMP
Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

TURNBULL
Can you hear me out Mr. President?

TRUMP
Yeah, go ahead.

TURNBULL
Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

TRUMP
Who made the deal? Obama?

TURNBULL
Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

TRUMP
Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

TURNBULL
Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

TRUMP
That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

TURNBULL
This is our experience.

TRUMP
Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

TURNBULL
I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

TRUMP
Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

TURNBULL
stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

TRUMP
Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

TURNBULL
With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

TRUMP
Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

TURNBULL
The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

TRUMP
No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

TURNBULL
I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

TRUMP
Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

TURNBULL
But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

TURNBULL
Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

TRUMP
Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

TURNBULL
That is the point I have been trying to make.

TRUMP
How does that help you?

TURNBULL
Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

TRUMP
Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

TURNBULL
Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

TRUMP
Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

TURNBULL
Correct, we have stopped the boats.

TRUMP
Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

TURNBULL
These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

TRUMP
Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

TURNBULL
They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

TRUMP
They were from wherever they were.

TURNBULL
Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

TRUMP
What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

TURNBULL
No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

TRUMP
I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

TURNBULL
You will not.

TRUMP
Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

TURNBULL
You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

TRUMP
I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

TURNBULL
Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

TRUMP
[inaudible] this is crazy.

TURNBULL
Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

TRUMP
It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

TURNBULL
You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

TRUMP
I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

TURNBULL
Okay, thank you.
END OF CALL

* My yellow highlighting.

          Lindsay's Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray        
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Book One in the Gemma Doyle Series
Published on December 9th, 2003 by Simon and Schuster
Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
403 Pages
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.

Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a sucker for cute, cheesy romance books without a whole lot of substance. I thought it would be hard to read this book because romance was not the main plot, but I was pleasantly surprised.

A long time ago I remember reading one of the books in the series that my older sister let me borrow. I'm not quite sure which one it was, but even though I don't remember much, I'm left with fond memories of the beautiful place where the girls go. Something about it kept drawing me to this book so I finally picked it up.

Gemma is a wonderful main character. In the times where she's meant to be a proper lady who never speaks her mind, she struggles with keeping her opinions to herself and acting the way she's supposed to. On top of that she's very cunning, making the exchanges with the other girls very interesting and exciting to read because of how the pages turn with her choices.

Her friends, who you dislike at the start of the novel, become very real when you get to know them as Gemma's friends later on. They have valid reasons for the things they do, and even though sometimes they say things that are blatantly uncalled for, you get where they're coming from because of the lives they lived.

Even though the characters were very realistic and relatable, I felt like parts of the world were missing. I couldn't imagine the clothes they wore in that time, what the places in London were like. Maybe it's just me, but I had trouble putting images around the characters because of so.

One problem I had, and I'll try to be vague to keep from spoiling, was what happened at the end. I felt like the chapter touching on it should have been longer and more in-depth for such a big twist, but instead it kind of rushed by. When something big happens you want to know the details, to read what's happening to other characters, but it was over in a few measly pages and then shortly after the book ended. It might be the writer in me overreacting, but I really wanted more.

A Great and Terrible Beauty sucked me right in, making it nearly impossible for me to put down. Even though there was a romance only as a minor sub plot, I hardly noticed it. The book kept me flipping pages to find out what happens after each twist and I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

          Tori's Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver        
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: â™šâ™šâ™šÂ½
Pages: 408
Published by HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
Amazon | B&N
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
I expected a lot from this book. I didn't get exactly what I was hoping for, but I wasn't disappointed either. The pace was decent, and the plot was sort of thrilling. The characters were typical, but I connected with them a bit as in they made decisions that seemed realistic and matched their personalities. In a way, the characters made the plot predictable, but not too terribly so. The world-building, in all, was pretty good, and I wasn't left hanging.

This book had been raved about a lot, therefore I was expecting something spectacular. Sadly, Panic is pretty average. The pace wasn't fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. A bit slow at first, but after the first 50-60 pages, it picks up more. I read it in a single night, because I had to know what was going to happen to Heather and Dodge next. It was a page turner for sure!

Dodge was dodgy to me. Really. I like an unreliable narrator though, so I sort of liked Dodge. The one thing that really got to me about him was that he was obsessed with Nat, Heather's (the main character's) best friend. It was cute at first, but after so long I got irritated with him and his infatuation. The same thing goes for Heather and her obsession/infatuation with her ex-boyfriend Matt. There was this line at the beginning of the novel that I felt was extremely true.

There's just something about her.

Something about her. Which meant: Nothing about you.

I felt like that is how a lot of girls feel after a guy uses the line, "It's not you; it's me." Not the same line, but still. Same meaning. Trying to pin the blame on themselves or some imaginary force that doesn't exist. Heather just seems so dead set on being with Matt. It's sort of sickening, and it got annoying. Plus, the players' motives for participating in Panic didn't really fly with me. Their backgrounds/histories were a bit shady, which ultimately made them shady as characters.

The one character I liked through and through was Biship. His motives were a bit predictable and cheesy, but in the end I liked him a lot more than the other characters. I originally thought I'd like Dodge, but I ended up not liking him as much. I liked Bishop more than Dodge.

On the world-building side of the story, it was good. There was a page or two in the beginning that explained the background of the city Carp. Usually, this wouldn't work since it would be considered a form of info-dumping, but since the book is written in third person (she, he, they), I think it worked out a lot better than if it was in first person (I, me, we).

Panic was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be more action-y and adventurous, but it ended up being thrilling and suspenseful, maybe even a bit mysterious. I'd recommend it to people who have liked Oliver's previous works since the writing is still really good as well as people that are just interested in the synopsis in general. I don't think you'll be too disappointed with Panic if you're already interested in reading it. I think I'll leave this review with my favorite quote.

"That's the thing about trust. You don't know [if you can trust me]."

          ä½¿ç”¨ Kdump 检查 Linux 内核崩溃        

kdump 是获取崩溃的 Linux 内核转储的一种方法,但是想找到解释其使用和内部结构的文档可能有点困难。在本文中,我将研究 kdump 的基本使用方法,和 kdump/kexec 在内核中是如何实现。

使用 Kdump 检查 Linux 内核崩溃,首发于文章 - 伯乐在线。


          Clean Kali: All eyes now on govt        
Teaser: 
The water of East Kali is heavily polluted. It would hopefully change with the NGT taking notice of it.
The polluted Kali river. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

Rampura, situated in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh, is one of the 1,200 villages on the banks of the 300-km long East Kali, a tributary of the Ganges. The river is named after goddess Kali who, according to the Hindu mythology, is fierce and fights evil by ingesting it.

Till the 1980s, the river was a symbol of purity. Things have changed now with the river turning into a nullah brimming with industrial effluents. “We used to drink its waters when young. Today, it's so toxic that forget drinking, I dread touching it,” says Devendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Panwadi, a village in Meerut district. The river’s toxic water now symbolises death and not life.

Foul flows in streams

As per a study by Neer Foundation, a Meerut-based non-profit working on environmental issues, as the river is polluted, the groundwater of the area which gets replenished by the river too has turned into a receptacle for toxic waste. Unsuspecting people, however, continued to draw water through the handpumps till recent studies rang an alarm bell.

The study conducted in 2015-16 reveals that in Rampura, the groundwater recorded a total dissolved solids of 1760 mg/litre, way above the permissible standard of a maximum of 500 mg/litre for drinking purposes. Soil stratum was harmed as iron and lead contamination spread from river water to aquifers (underground reservoirs that hold groundwater) that are recharged by it.

A study by Neer Foundation reveals that the pollution load in the river is unmanageable. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

Lead is recognised as highly toxic, and damages the nervous system in humans while iron is therapeutic in low doses but lethal when present in excessive quantities.“This toxic water gets distributed and is used for drinking and irrigation purposes in rural areas. This has a severe health impact on us and our animals. The outfall of water from nullahs to the river must stop,” says Satish Kumar, a farmer from Jalalpur village in Meerut district.

The water from handpumps has shown iron concentration measuring up to 0.35 parts per million, which is enough to cause water to turn reddish brown in colour. Lead concentration too was high at  0.5 parts per million in Rampura. According to Indian standard drinking water specification 1991, the highest desirable limit of lead in drinking water is 0.05 parts per million. “The possibility of geogenic contamination i.e., naturally occurring contaminants in the water, too cannot be ruled out. The Central Ground Water Authority is studying these aspects,” says Atulesh Yadav, regional officer, Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, Meerut.

Rampura is one of the several villages of the eight districts of western Uttar Pradesh where people’s lives at one time depended on the river water for everything--from drinking to irrigation. The village that once boasted of lush green guava orchards has no original water left in its river. The prime villains in this regretful story are the ceaseless discharge of industrial wastewater and municipal sewage into the river.

“The three main cities of Meerut, Hapur and Bulandshahr through which the East Kali passes have several sugar mills, allied alcohol manufacturing distilleries, paper industries, dairies, tanneries and textile mills that discharge their effluents into the river,” says Raman Kant, director of Neer Foundation. The effluents from the sugar and paper mills are highly toxic and these two industries are enlisted among the 17 most toxic waste releasing industries by the standards provided under the Environment Protection Rules, 1986.

The pollution load in the river is unmanageable and it can barely assimilate the pollutants. Dilution with freshwater isn't a viable treatment option any longer. In most villages--right from Antawada in Muzaffarpur where the river originates, to Kannauj, its confluence with the Ganga--the water, laced with industrial toxins, is lifted from both the river and under the ground for irrigation. “Water flows from the underground caverns in the forest adjacent to our village forming a river that used to collect rainwater. Once a life-giving force, the river is dry at its origin and gets polluted by industrial effluents a few kilometers downstream,” says Bilam Singh, a farmer from Antawada. “The effect of this on our food is mostly unknown. It is possible that some of the most toxic chemicals like cancer-causing dioxins and organochlorines released by factories are present in the water that is irrigating the farms,” says Raman Kant.

Water flows from the underground caverns in the forest at the origin of the river. (Image source: Neer Foundation)

In 2001, Neer Foundation tested the water quality in government accredited laboratories which showed the presence of persistent organic pollutants or PoPs in the two samples near Saini village, downstream of Nanglamal sugar factory. PoPs are known for their impacts on human health and the environment as they are resistant to environmental degradation. “Farmers knew of the contamination but continued to irrigate from the river,” adds Raman Kant.

“It is only on the river’s downstream stretch as it crosses the city of Aligarh that its pollution level declines as freshwater is added to it from the upper Ganga canal. Besides this, industrial wastes are not added in the river’s stretch between Aligarh and Kannauj,” says Raman Kant.

The green court takes note

Many civil society groups have raised the issue of river clean-up. Come monsoon and stretches of the effluent-laden river turn red as it passes through industrial sites. An otherwise seasonal river has now turned into a perennial one, thanks to the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewater into it. For years, this has been a concern as villagers were left with no option but to drink this contaminated water. The union environment ministry had in 2012 directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to monitor the quality of the river water and the major wastewater outfalls. “The Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board too does regular monitoring of the river waters,” says Yadav.

Yet small pockets of industries are polluting the waters of the predominantly rural catchment that is largely dependent on the untreated water from the river as well as the ground. This is leading to the spread of cancer and various other life-threatening diseases. Seeing the impasse, Raman Kant put up a public interest litigation (PIL) which was heard by the principal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, chairperson, National Green Tribunal (NGT). Neer Foundation had two demands--the Environment Protection Rules, 1986 that prescribes the standards for effluent discharge is followed and municipal authorities who are responsible for managing municipal wastes adhere to the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016.

“The industries not only abstract large volumes of water during their manufacturing processes reducing dilution of pollutants present within the surface water bodies but also contaminate the river by draining their effluent wastes into it,” the PIL states.

The NGT has, in an order dated May 24, 2017, asked the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board to test the groundwater along the course of the East Kali river. The order is applicable to districts of Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Kasganj, Aligarh, Kannauj and Farrukhabad through which the river passes. The NGT has directed the authorities to test the water immediately and seal those handpumps that supply contaminated water. The PIL also says the Kali clean-up is a prerequisite to cleaning the Ganga. The green tribunal’s order has come as a temporary respite for thousands of villagers living along the river. They are nonetheless waiting for the government to establish long-term policies to resolve the crisis. This could be in the form of a comprehensive action plan for cleaning the East Kali river.

“The Supreme Court had in 2014 transferred a public interest litigation by noted environmental activist M.C. Mehta, pending since 1985, to the green tribunal. It deals with issues of the river Ganga, especially those involving discharge of domestic sewage and other sources of pollution in the Ganga. This is the larger case which is being heard on a daily basis by the tribunal. As a result, some of the prayers of the petitioner in the case of Kali river were not heard separately,” says advocate Adarsh Srivastava, one of the applicants on behalf of the petitioner.

“We hope to get an official assessment of the water quality in the riverside villages as per the present order on the East Kali river soon. However, since we have been working on the river’s revival, we look forward to the tribunal’s orders on the Ganga pollution case. The court is likely to give directions on strict measures and penalties to prevent hazardous materials and pollutants from being dumped into the rivers,” says Abhishek Tyagi, secretary of Neer Foundation.

Without this, it is hard to tell whether the issue of pollution will be resolved in the near future.

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          Now, Narmada is also a living entity        
Teaser: 
Policy matters this week
Narmada river (Source: Wikipedia commons)

Following Ganga and Yamuna, Narmada river also gets living entity status

The Madhya Pradesh cabinet has passed a resolution declaring Narmada river as a living entity in order to control pollution, illegal mining on the river banks and to save the river from depletion. The conservation programme for the river has already been started and the government is planning to initiate the conservation of other rivers like Kshipra, Gambhir, Ken, Betwa and Kali Sindh with public participation soon. Also, considering the new status of the river, the state government will be drafting a bill for the Narmada river to ensure strict legal action against those polluting the river. 

Fine of Rs 1 lakh for dumping e-waste near Ramganga: NGT

The National Green Tribunal has announced a fine of Rs 1 lakh as compensation on those found dumping e-waste on the banks of the Ramganga river in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. A committee has also been constituted to immediately remove the waste lying on the river bank and to submit a detailed report within two weeks. Also, it has come to the notice of the tribunal that the Ramganga river which is a tributary of the Ganga carries a BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) load of 128 tonnes per day and is heavily polluted due to the discharge from various industries. Moreover, the officials have turned a blind eye to the river's pollution and no action has been taken against the violators. 

West Bengal government creates a hurdle to the success of Namami Gange

The Namami Gange project is facing a roadblock as the West Bengal's chief minister Mamta Banerjee has refused to attend meetings to discuss riverfront development projects in the state under the Centre’s flagship programme. So far, no work has been initiated towards the riverfront development of Gangasagar, Belur and Dakshineswar due to the non-cooperation from the state. Along with this, the state government has shown apprehensions towards the linking of Manas-Sankaosh-Teesta-Ganga rivers that aims to benefit Assam, West Bengal and Bihar in irrigation, drinking water crisis and flood control. 

Centre approves Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project 

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has approved the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project worth Rs 30,000 crore that aims to utilise the Chambal river water for tackling drinking and irrigation requirements of 13 parched districts of the state. The 13 districts include Bundi, Kota, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Swai Madhopur, Baran, Jhalawar, Jaipur, Tonk, Dausa and Alwar. Following the CWC approval, the state government is planning to prepare a detailed project report in the coming weeks and will also seek national status for the project.

SC notice to Kerala over maintenance work on Mullaperiyar dam

With respect to the maintenance work on the Mullaperiyar dam, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Kerala government for creating hurdle in the repair works. The notice has been issued following a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government which has been given the right to maintain the dam while Kerala will take care of its security. The 120-year-old Mullaperiyar dam has been an issue of contention between both the states. In 2014, however, the Tamil Nadu government was allowed to raise its height to 152 feet after strengthening measures were taken on the dam.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 2 - 7, 2017. Also, read the news this week.

 

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          News Corp Dumps MySpace For $35 Million        
When you buy something for $580 million, the goal is not to part with it for $35 million a few years later. Yet that’s exactly what News Corp has done, ending its 6-year ownership of the sputtering social networking site by selling it for scrap. Don’t feel bad for News Corp, which made its money back when it struck an …
          Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from cooks.com and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!


Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce


I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
It is a very easy recipe.
Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
2 large beetroot, finely grated
1 carrot, finely grated
2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
1 large egg
2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
3 teaspoons pepper
1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
Instructions
1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
4. Enjoy!
Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.



Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
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The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
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The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
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I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
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The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
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My normal simmered meatballs
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The interior of the meatball
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I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
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Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
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Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
(optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
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Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs


This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.



Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
4 lime leaves,finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
4 slices galangal, finely chopped
2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
Juice of 1-2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
Meatballs
1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze


This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
2 large eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
Method
1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
4 sage leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
Method
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls








Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
(optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

Method
Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls



.
Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
1 onion, chopped, fried
1 carrot, grated, fried
optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
Method
Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.


I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
4. vegemite,
5. wasabi powder,
6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
7. 1 large egg (not shown)
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I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
How to make the meatballs
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The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Method
1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
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Chicken balls

I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
300 gm chicken, mince
300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
500 gm chicken, mince
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
2 lime leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

          Operation Tonsils        
Hospitals still give me the creeps, the kind that raise goosebumps on your arms, and that, like many things, can be traced to my childhood.
Every year for a number of years, since I was small, I had to have tubes put in my ears so they would drain properly. It was a 10-minute procedure. I had this done five times. I always got sick from the anesthetic.
But the reason I think I'm still afraid of hospitals isn't because of the tubes. Not one of those operations traumatized me nearly as much as the time I got my tonsils out.
I was 5, and I think the gas mask was the worst of it. They strapped me down to the bed, which was really a cage with sheets, and held the mask over my face as they wheeled me into a room filled with stern faces, alien-bright lights and a lot of cold steel. Now, remember, I was 5, and as far as I knew, they were going to do all kinds of horrible experiments on me, the kind I did to one of my teddy bears a couple months ago, because no one had told me any different. No one explained anything to me, in fact. That book I got explaining the surgery and how I was going to get to eat dump trucks full of ice cream after it was over? LIES. So I fought. Nurses, back then, were all sized to be NFL linebackers, and they were about as mean, and they sat on me and held me down, scowling at my tears. Then they put the mask over my face, again, and a thorny python wrapped a dizzy body around me. 
"I feel funny!" I screamed, and one of the doctors laughed, which sounded evil at the time, and this horrible blackness swept over my eyes, as if I was being thrown into a pit.
When I woke up, kicking and hollering, because, remember, I was being tortured when I fell asleep, I cried for Mommy, and one of the linebackers came over, grabbed my legs and strapped my arms to the bars on the side of the bed. Then I noticed my throat felt as if it had been torn out. 
Then I threw up blood that night.
Needless to say, when we learned Jayden's tonsils looked to doctors like the size of beach balls - some of the biggest ones he's ever seen, one told us later - I was dreading the day they would have to come out.
That day was last week.
Jayden was in tears as I pulled in the garage from an eight-mile run with our new dog. I told him I would meet him there. I needed to shower. I also didn't need him to see me. I would pull it together in the shower, I told myself, and put on a brave face for him. But now wasn't a good time.
• • • 
When I walked into his waiting room a half-hour later, he was dressed in blue spaceman scrubs, which looked cozy, and watching Elmo on a TV that came with the bed, which looked like a bed, not a cage with sheets.
Elmo?
And yet his emotions were the same as mine 35 years ago.
"Daddy," he said. "I'm scared."
Well, I'm glad you can tell them that, I said. It's OK to be scared.
Three times, a nurse, a doctor and the guy putting Jayden to sleep came in and explained what was going to happen. Apparently medical people have figured out that most kids, just like most adults, do better when they know what's going to happen to them.
They've also figured out Elmo helps as well.
Sleepytime Doc came in later, heard that Jayden was nervous, as he told everyone, and said he could give Jayden something for that. Jayden said sure. Doc brought back a cherry-flavored liquid. Jayden gulped it down because, hey, it looked good, and it WAS good, and five minutes later, he was loopy, like he'd had a few too many shots. Jayden, apparently, is a happy drunk.
The doc wouldn't tell me what it was. I don't blame him. I could make a killing on the street. Give me that before a marathon, and I'm qualifying for Boston.
Then a nurse came in two minutes later and had Jayden try on the mask. Ah, the dreaded mask, I thought to myself. There's no sugarcoating this. 
Jayden took a sniff.
"Yum," he said.
Yum?
"Yeah," the nurse said. "The gas smells like Skittles."
Skittles?
Are you kidding me?
I turned to Jayden and used a cliche. I rarely use them. But this time it was appropriate.
"Jayden," I said, as I hopped off the bed, right before they wheeled him away, "this is not your father's tonsil operation."
• • •
They called me in a half-hour later, one of the very few times that Jayden's wanted me over Mommy, and Jayden was in bed with an orange popsicle in his mouth. It was his second one already. He was not strapped down. His nurse didn't look like an NFL linebacker. She looked a little plump, a little cute and very sweet.
"You'll see some blood on his hands or face. Don't let that worry you," a nurse said.
"Cool," I said.
I'm big on battle scars. I always liked to bring home a small gash after climbing a mountain. We called them souvenirs. Besides, there had to be something from this operation that made me squirm.
After his third popsicle, the nurse told Jayden she could move him to another room. There was a TV in there. He could watch a movie. They had "The Incredibles." She offered him a slushy. Blue.
"I have a secret recipe," she said.
Of course she did.
• • • 
Lest you think I was hoping my son would suffer, of course I didn't want that. But HOLY COW I couldn't help but feel a little, well, jealous of how much better the experience was. It made me feel proud that our country actually has evolved in some areas. We CAN make improvements on procedures and things other than cell phones. Technology does have a purpose beyond Angry Birds. But it also made me feel old. My operation seemed like from another time, like it was back during World War II or something.
That was, until we brought him home.
We've been up every night at least a couple times since that night. The third night, when we moved him back to his room from our bed, he woke up screaming and shaking the pain was so bad. We haven't been up this consistently in the middle of the night since the girls had their first birthday.
Just the last couple of nights have been better. When he does get up, it's briefly, and after some medicine, he goes back to sleep. He doesn't demand slushees around the clock now. His scabs appear to be healing a bit. But if I ever did get tired of his whining and was tempted to tell him to suck it up a bit, all I had to do was look at the gaping holes in the back of his throat.
• • •
Technology has helped us as well as Jayden. We have a ice treats machine that I relentlessly teased my wife for buying a year ago — it seemed to me to be like a salad shooter, an appliance invented just because our basic needs were so met that we think we need something that can fire a radish across the kitchen — that's now, I think, the best thing we've ever bought. It makes one of those slushys in two minutes, and when it's 2:30 a.m. and your boy is hollering from the pain upstairs, it's a lifesaver. I wish they had one for breast milk about five years ago. It would have saved us a lot of sleep.
He's spent a lot of time on his Nintendo DS. Super Mario, like Coedine, tends to numb the pain.
I don't remember much beyond the hospital after my tonsil operation, but I do remember that first night. Dad stayed up with me most of the night as I tried to cry my pain and sickness away.
Despite the cushy parts, this hasn't been easy. We've made about a billion of those slushees now. Jayden is so sensitive that he wants one of us to sit next to him at night at all times, especially when it's time for him to go to bed. He's been nasty and sad and sometimes he's still been our first baby despite the fact that he's 6.
He needs us now.
Technology will never replace parenting. At least I hope not. If Jayden doesn't have to go through these rough patches with his own kids I'll be jealous again. Only I'll also be a little sad for him.



          The Series Finale of The Money Shot...        
Well, we did it.  This is the 2,385th and final post at The Money Shot.  February 4th, 2015 is probably going to be talked about more than 9/11 and Pearl Harbor combined when the new history books are written.  As I've mentioned over the past week, this day was coming at some point--I just did not know when.  Now that we are here, I'm strangely at peace.  It just seems right.  Helping ease the powerful feels is the next chapter of our internet lives anyway but we'll get to that later.

I started The Musings of GMoney (nice name, douche) in July of 2006 while I was living in a one bedroom apartment on the east side of Cleveland.  The idea was sprung on me by a current college football DL coach who thought that I could carve out a decent niche on the worldwide web with my unique opinions, brash style, and gorgeous looks.  Ironically, the plans for this site were hatched at the wedding reception of Ace's basketball coach cousin.  Dickhead was actually there when this site was mentally born and he didn't even know it.  Hell, we probably didn't even know each other at that point.  Either way, solo living isn't easy and I started randomly writing to get through the boredom and loneliness (very little of it was any good though).

Once I moved to Columbus, I started doing this daily.  I'm not sure if anyone remembers this, but I used to write posts as soon as I came into work every morning.  How mad would you jerks be if I was posting at 9 am every day still?  LOL SO MAD BRO.  We eventually started to build a following whether it be through lifelong friends from Nap, through message boards/links, or picking up losers off the scrap heap (Drew).  We added Mr. Ace along the way to lessen my burden and then he quit.  After a high stakes contest to replace him, we gained an Iceman.  Iceman then eventually died out of stupidity, came back as someone else, killed that guy off, and then became a born-again Iceman.  Never forget that this was all necessary because he is an idiot.  Then Mr. Ace came crawling back again and we had a threesome that was loved and hated and lusted after by all.  We developed our own played out words and phrases.  We LOLZed.  We cried.  We got erect. We got married.  We had kids.  We had incredible discussions about pornography.  It was everything that I ever wanted.

Over the years, and especially recently, people have asked what the goal was for The Money Shot.  Did I have bigger aspirations for the site?  To answer that question as plainly as possible.  No.  This is exactly what I wanted it to be.  I didn't secretly want to work at The Dispatch or whatever.  I can only imagine submitting this site as a writing sample and the sports editor saying, "Have you seen how this guy uses the word 'faggot'?  Incredible!  Let's put him on the Crew beat post haste!" I wanted a relatively small and tight-knit group that I could see myself arguing at a bar with over sports and life or whatever only doing it every day on the internet.  I had no intention of making it big as a blogger (LOL).  The only thing that I wanted from this was a distraction from work and/or life.  I love talking about sports and I REALLY love being right.  That's all that I've ever needed.  Finding a group of assholes with the same zest for internet life was all that I required.

No one has ever asked, but I do have two big regrets here.  It's nothing major but there were two stories/concepts that I wanted to address but never got around to it.

*Big Boy Work Stories - In high school, I was a server for six months or so at Big Boy.  Burke was a cook and a handful of our bros also worked there.  It was seriously the worst restaurant ever.  We picked on the mentally challenged dishwasher (she threw a butter knife at me once!), fucked with nearly everyone that tried to order via the drive-thru (I will never forget one guy screaming at the top of his lungs, "I WANT A GODDAMN PEPSI WITH NO ICE"!), and who could forget the fake shit.  I will tell that tale really quick.  Juan Negro and myself were the only servers on the floor one night and it was about an hour before close.  The only people in there were the regulars that just drank coffee and smoked a lot.  We see a car pull in and neither of us want to deal with them.  Black decides to put a lump of the plastic fake dog shit on the floor mat so it is the first thing that you see when you walk in.  This foursome opens the door, I smile at them, they look down, and then immediately retreat back to their car.  LOL!  Black and I went back to working on our Paul Bearer impressions probably.  There are so many good stories from that dump and I wish I had dedicated more time to telling them.
*The grandest finale - For YEARS, I had my exit planned.  It just didn't work out due to laziness.  It was going to be an incredibly high concept week-long post in the style of Vh1's Behind The Music.  Prime, Ape, Iceman, and myself would have formed a rock band and everyone who has contributed here in the past would have played some role in our story.  One day would be the rise then the break-through then the peak of popularity then the fall and to end with the redemption story.  It was going to be great.  I was mentally writing this thing for three years.  But it would have taken forever so I just never started.  SPOILER ALERT: Ape lost an arm in a fight with his savage dogs, Prime was murdered by Boogie Cousins, Iceman became addicted to ribs and was living inside a smokehouse, and I left the band to do acoustic sets under the backdrop of old Peter King columns called "Ten Songs I Think I Sung".  I was the one with the gigantic ego OBVZ.  And it would have ended with all of us burying the hatchet and going on one final Prime-less tour with each of carrying 50 pounds of fat on our frames just like every band.

So what happens now?  Where do we go from here?  I believe that I promised some sort of message board option?  To quote the great Walter White, "you're goddamn right".  Starting RIGHT NOW, the next chapter has begun.  When one door closes, another one opens.  That door has a big sign on it that reads ELITE TAKES.  Yes, ELITE Takes dot com is now your source for 24 hour smack talk and comment accountability.  It is intentionally a bare bones site.  No site banner that screams "not appropriate for work".  No spam.  13 threads and nothing but the best.  I have asked so little from all of you over the years (outside of Iceman and Mr. Ace).  I do ask that you register for the board and give it a chance.  What are you going to do?  Work?  Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!

That is it for us here at The Money Shot.  The comment section will be open until about 4 pm today until I shut down comments for good.  That will be sad.  The site will remain forever though because I am still very proud of what we have done and also because people need to be held accountable.  We've done some great work here, people, and you should all be pleased with what you've added.  I wanted to close with a quote from one of America's finest poets:

Not about to see your light
And if you wanna find hell with me
I can show you what it's like

--Glenn Danzig

LOL!  Iceman thinks that he's hot.  Never forget.  Enough of that though.  One more time, thank you all for your support over the years.  We could not have done it without you.  Nine years is a long time.  Hell, this site can officially try out for Little League.  But it's time to send it out to stud and move on.  Adios, Money Shot, your services were always beloved by all yet are no longer needed.  We will love and miss you forever.  Goodbye.
          STOP TALKING ABOUT AIR PRESSURE        
I admit that when Ballghazi initially broke, I was all about bringing those cheating bastards to justice.  I mean, it's TOTES OBVZ that they are lying to everyone and we all know it.  But I can't handle any more Belichick science lesson pressers or Brady playing dumb or ALL THE HOT TAEKS.  Congrats, lame stream media, on killing the shit out of this borderline story.  There was something there that perhaps may have brought down a dynasty (at least I hope) but this John Elway has beaten to death so much that I don't care.  GIVE IT A REST.  There is a Super Bowl to play on Sunday.  I'd rather talk about YAC (or RPY = Rings Per Year) than PSI.  And I speak for everyone with that opinion.

I'll give my quick rundown of what it's like to work the NHL All Star Game Fan Fair at the end.  Unfortunately, there wasn't really much to go a full post on so we're going to address some properly inflated topics.

*It ain't no Champions Lane - Ohio Buckeyes took 12 days to actually throw their dick-sniffing party for some reason but they did so on Saturday morning at their dump stadium.  I was surprised that only 45K were there and I think Poopson counts as two thousand.  Fake fans IMO.  Of course, our dipshit mayor had to go change the name of Lane Ave to Undisputed Way.  Idiot.  Champions Lane is still the superior street.

*RIP Mr. Cub - Ernie Banks died on Friday and if you think that his corpse would avoid jokes here then you have no idea how this site works.  Poor guy nearly made it 84 years all while being a loser every day of his entire life.  I never understood why he always wanted to play two games other than he sure did enjoy losing.  If only he would have chosen the superior Chicago team he would have been able to hoist a trophy in 2005 while the manager called him in a "pendejo".  Yes, that will do.

*The NHL Fantasy Draft is a solid watch - I highly doubt that any of you watched this on Friday night but it was enjoyable.  All the players are waiting to get drafted fantasy football style onto their All Star team while getting blasted on top shelf liquor.  More sports need to get their best players drunk on live TV while Ovi is campaigning to win a free Honda Accord (what they give to their Mr. Irrelevant).

*LOL Dumb Teams - The 2011 NBA Draft was quite a significant amount of garbage.  Yeah, Kyrie was a legit #1 pick and is a star but the rest of the top ten is a real who's who of role players and feces.  I say this because Klay Thompson, the #11 pick that year, went off for 37 points in one quarter on Friday night.  Here are a few guys taken before him in 2011: Derrick Williams, Bismack Biyombo, Jan Vesely, and JIMMER!

*G$ as Ambassador - Fun weekend in Columbus.  And just being a part of it all was cool.  Thursday, I helped out with a street hockey clinic which was kind of boring but whatever.  Friday and Saturday, I helped run the Precision Passing station which was enjoyable.  I got to do some serious work on my stick-handling, puck possession, and saucer passes.  Friday, Phil Kessel and his bruhs came by these game areas and were trying them out (not Kessel himself who was attached to this smoking hot Asian broad) but his boyz did.  I can't even begin to tell you how BRAH these guys were.  I tried to explain how these simple drills worked and all of them might as well have replied with a "CAN IT GO OFF-ROADIN' BRAH!"  Hilarious.  And Kessel's boys are terrible.  Sunday, I worked the Fantasy Draft location where people could get their pics taken where Friday's event was held.  Big -Rex stopped by to say hello.  Nick Foligno showed up randomly and took pictures on the stage after saying hello to me.  We are bros now.  The only thing that I regret is not getting a picture with the Cup.  The problem was that my shifts never lined up where I could achieve that.  If you closed the convention down, it was easy.  I never did.

It was enjoyable and a good experience.  From everything that I've read online, the city has blown away NHL officials and fans and that is a good thing.  Columbus done good.  I would recommend doing something like this.  In FACT, I will probably look into the MLB All Star Game this July in Cincy.  Peace out, bruh.
          The Worst of The Divisional Round Vol.VIII        
Ohio can not compete with this.
Some time around midnight tonight, we will have our first ever College Football Playoff Champion or as the Big 12 would say, ONE TRUE CHAMPION.  Hey, that's great.  But go ahead and read this real quick.  Ohio starts second semester today and generally you would say that skipping the first class or two is not the best idea ever.  Ohio has around 60K students.  Let's say 10% of them are in Dallas right now.  Unless they worked out some sort of deal with a professor that they don't know, 6,000 kids could be dumped from their course schedule before they get back to Brohio.  I would imagine that many faculty members would be cool with this but no way all of these academic types will be.  There will be issues.  It's an interesting dilemma indeed.  One that I think is pretty important and a big reason why an 8 game playoff probably should never happen.  You can LOL and scoff at the notion of prioritizing academics and student athletes all you want but it will always be the driving force of what makes college "college".  It's a tough sitch no guff and I'm not sure what I'll do when the RedHawks are playing for a title next year and I have to tell my boss to fuck off.  Will happen!  Final prediction for tonight coming at the end.

Let's turn the conversation over to the superior brand of football.  The kind that correctly doesn't glamorize marching bands or "Band of Dorks" as Jim Rome calls them.

Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels - Roger Goodell was in New England sitting among the people like the people person he is.  I assumed that the B on his Cowboys-colored hat stood for BLOWS.  The NBC team just couldn't stop talking about how much integrity he has and America collectively puked.  Oh sure, his buddy's report "proved" that he didn't lie, just that he's incompetent.  Good for him!

Big Joe ELITE - There are very few things in the world that I love more than hopping on the Playoffs Flacco bandwagon and being obnoxious about it.  And for three quarters or so, I was the jolliest asshole this side of the nuthouse.  But he had two bad interceptions (which were definitely the receivers fault probably) and, like a leader, accepted the blame himself.  Still, the guy has 8 straight playoff games of at least two touchdown passes which is an NFL record.  Maybe one day he can play some of these games at home.

Danny Amendola - This guy is terrible.  I know that he scored twice but he sucks so much.  Also horrible: Brandon Bolden.  What does he do?  You might as well punt if you give him touches.  The Pats had 14 rushing yards...it might be time to stop being a smug dick and play Jonas Gray who is their best RB and always has been.
  
John HarBRAH - Oh, Johnny, you are certainly one of the best coaches on the planet but you got outsmarted by Josh fucking McDaniels and bitched and bitched and bitched some more about it.  I understand why as your opponent is widely known for their blatant cheating but they got you good, you fucker.  It was nice to actually see a flag thrown when some raving derelict comes storming out onto the field though.  Should be more consistent with that IMO.  Great game though...until next year Team ELITE.  Try to stay out of the news this offseason.

Dick LeBeau - QUITTER!  You could tell that he always had one foot out the door.  He was never committed to that football team IMO!

Marshawn Lynch - He didn't have a very good game and the Hawks, for some reason, give the ball way too much to NFC Brandon Bolden AKA Robert Turbin, but he made up for it with his "I'm thankful" replies to the media after the game.  Lynch is the best.  Media shitheads complaining about him make me love him more.

Cam Newton - You know, I thought that Carolina played about as well as they could.  Even a perfect game from them probably was not going to be enough.  But Cam had that game-clinching pick and that was that.

Richard Sherman - I just don't get this.  He should have lined up across from Kelvin Benjamin for the entire game and the Panthers would have done nothing.  But he stays on his side and Cam kept throwing at the back-up corner.  This feels stupid to me and Sherman is a good enough player to be able to dominate anywhere on the field.  Revis does.

Kam Chancellor - He is only here because somehow he missed both field goal blocks on his amazing first half line leaps.  I have no idea how he missed either one of those.  But then he had a pick six and nearly killed Bowling Ball Mike Tolbert on a tackle so whatever.  The important thing here is that the boring ass Panthers are out.

Not the Bills - We got a good laugh at their expense last week for how Doug Marrone completely owned their ass but they ended up with a giant upgrade as Rex Ryan is bringing his foot fetish upstate.  Great hire...there isn't a better coach for an incredible defense and a horrendous QB situation than Rex.

POETIC FUCKING JUSTICE!!! - Yes!  THAT was perfect.  You want to steal that win against the Lions?  Then how about losing the next week in the signature Lions way!  I loved that so much.  Does the rule suck?  Of course it does but it hasn't been changed since it was initially bullshit so you DEAL WITH IT.  That was not a catch.  Period.  But as really stupid people argued last week, Dallas didn't lose because of that one play DURR!

I mean, seriously, how fitting was that!!! - Dez is ELITE but he deserved that shit for getting off last week.  I love it when sports right OBVZ wrongs.  As someone who has hated the Dallas Cowboys since birth, yesterday was an ELITE day.  Some of you hate the Packers and I get why, but the Cowboys are pure fucking evil.

Aaron Rodgers Calf - Bruh, that thing better heal up quick because if he can't move around better next weekend then the Seahawks are going to murder #12.

NEW YORK BOZO - This GB line call was probably in reference to Chris Christie even though the state was wrong and he didn't call him a whale, but I like to think he was poking fun at the Knicks.

Trent Richardson - INACTIVE!  The Browns traded him for Johnny Manziel and STILL won that trade.  Amazing.

Demaryius Thomas - Dropped everything!  He was so much better when he had a great QB like Timmy Tenor throwing to him.

John Fox - I'm 99% sure that the championship that the Broncos title window is closed, but if it isn't then they need to fire this guy and get a real coach.  Fox sucks.

Mike Carey - WRONG AGAIN!  This guy is so bad.  Mike Pereira adds something to the broadcasts probably because he is always loaded on Tito's Vodka.  Carey is the absolute worst.  It isn't even funny anymore that he is always wrong.

Peyton Manning - And then there was King Choke.  Bros, it's over.  His arm is shot.  He can't throw at all.  I would not be surprised if he retired.  That was embarrassing.  That Colts defense is BAD and they looked like the 2002 Ravens out there.  And the Manning era ended like it should have...with another pathetic home loss to an inferior team.  I look forward to everyone coming around and saying that I was right.  Peyton is the most OVERRATED QB in NFL history.  BOW DOWN.

SEA/GB and IND/NE...I find it hard to see an upset there.  I think that both home teams win and the only thing that matters is the spread.  Either way, DALLAS AND PEYTON ARE GONE!

We'll close with my prediction for tonight's title game.  I think the fine line between winning and losing is quite simple: whoever runs the ball better, wins.  I would say that the first team to 200 yards on the ground is going to be the champ.  I've been pretty steadfast all along that Ohio Buckeyes are going to win.  I mean, I could see this being a Coronation of a King sitch where Mariota ends his college years on top, but I just don't see Mark Helfrich out-maneuvering Meyer.  Plus, I heard that Oregon's coaches don't yell at their players and believe in "horizontal leadership".  In other words, pussies.  Ohio Buckeyes 38 Oregon 32. And I will be a very sad panda tomorrow.  Still though...QUACK QUACK NOGG!
          Walt Behrman Approved NBA Post        


"Imma fuck so many fat hood rats in Cleveland...starting with Gloria James"



So we officially have one college football game left.  The Ohio Turd Suckers vs. the Oregon (not Ohio) Ducks.  Normally Tuesday is reserved for blistering hot college football TAEKS but I think Tuesday is a little too soon to get all of the "100-0 Buckeyes win" National Championship predictions.  I'm sure G$ has something cooked up for Friday anyway.  Instead we will visit a topic that has been ignored more than the kids Ace used to hang out with all day.  The NBA.

Josh SMIFF

This water balloon full of cat piss is the worst player in the league.  There's not a close second.  The Pistons are 5-0 since telling SMIFF to GTFO and the Rockets are 3-3.  What more evidence do you need?  The Pistons went from two midgets shitting in the same bucket to looking like a playoff team by telling one guy to get fucked.  ONE GUY!  Granted the Pistons haven't played the best team during this miraculous winning streak but they were losing badly to these same awful teams a month ago.  Progress!  Enjoy the poop salad you just signed, Houston.

Dion Waiters

HE GONE.  This really doesn't come as a surprise to me.  I always felt like Waiters was the odd man out when LeBron and Love came whoring back to Cleveland.  Plus it feels like no one likes Waiters.  At all.  Not even his own family.  This sounds like a great deal for all parties involved with the exception of Cleveland being forced to endure J.R. Smith's toxic aura for however long they plan on keeping him on the roster.  Smith is a certified fucking mental patient and when he's off...boy is he off.  Shumpert is a real solid add for the Cavs and I'm not sure why New York was so eager to get rid of him.  Probably because Carmelo thought Shumpert was shooting too much.  Oklahoma City gets a pretty solid player while New York is obviously dumping salary so they can give more money to Melo in order to break the record for shittiness.  LOL.

Larry Sanders

While we're on the topic of the mentally unstable...what the fuck?  Apparently this guy is telling anyone who will listen that he doesn't want to play basketball anymore.  Larry has sat the last six games for personal reasons and sounds like a real nutty turd.  Even if this report turns out to be mildly bogus...it came from somewhere and there has to be some truth to it.  $33 million says he rejoins the team and plays.

Cleveland Cavs

While I am enjoying every last bit of this monumental collapse in Cleveland, I don't think it will last unfortunately.  I'm sure there are Cavs fans throwing virgins into volcanoes as we speak trying to right the ship.  The meltdown I'm seeing from fans is about the greatest thing on the Internet right now so I hope the Cavs keep up the hilarity.  We all know it takes time for guys to gel and figure out what role they play on a team loaded with talent so I still put this team in the NBA finals when the dust clears and the blood pressure goes back to normal.  Mainly because the Bulls always blow it and the thought of the Hawks or Raptors in the finals is about as believable as Ide's stories.

The New York Knicks

Remember how we all thought the Sixers would be the worst team in the NBA this year?  It appears as the Knicks took offense to that notion.  Jesus Christ!  I won't fault you if you say no...but has anyone actually watched a Knicks game this year?  It's like they aren't even trying.  And don't blame it on the triangle offense everyone is claiming they can't figure out.  It's like the easiest fucking offense to run.  I don't think there is a single person in that organization who gives a holy horse shit right now.  And no one wants to play with Carmelo.  Because he's a selfish dick fart.

The Western Conference

I'm loving this shakeup of power in the west right now.  Golden State is ruining everyone's butts spearheaded by my ELITE MVP candidate, Steph Curry.  Portland is solid and Dallas trading for Rondo makes them a legit contender.  It looks like age may finally be catching up with San Antonio (4 years after everyone said age was catching up with San Antonio) but they've shown it's careless to count them out at any point.  Great shit so far.

Rajon Rondo

Speaking of Rondo...so this guy hasn't played defense in years?  Typical Kentucky/Seal guy.  If that's true, bruh...keep that shit to yourself.  Admitting you don't play defense is just going to give people a reason to shit on the NBA and the lack of defense played even more.  Rondo talks too much.

It's the NBA today, n-words.  DEAL WITH IT.  I'm sure this will really move the Internet needle this afternoon but fuck it.  Two tears in a bucket.  I'll write whatever the fuck I please.  And congrats to Ace and Prime for starting new jobs.  I'm sure fingering horses is a very rewarding profession.  FUCK YOU CAKES!
          Solutions to some Hat Problem AND some points of interest.        
In my last blog here I asked three (known) hat problems since they may be new to you (one of them I just learned last week) and I had a point to make about them. I have WRITTEN UP the proofs  here since html is clumsy with math (or I'm clumsy with html-math), so this post is mostly about the points to make about these problems. I would urge you to read the writeup pointed to before reading the post.

1) N people 1,...,N, two colors R,B, Hats put on RANDOMLY (no adversary).

People are in a line and pe sees person j's hat iff i ≤ j .

There is a well known strategy where nobody passes which guarantees n-1 get it right (see here), but that strategy has EVERYONE get it right 1/2 of the time. We want MORE than that. LOTS more.

The following strategy works: For i=1,2,..., N person i does the following: if nobody has said RED yet AND ALL of the hats i sees are BLUE then i says RED. Otherwise Red passes

This fails on B^n. It works on everything else with the last R getting it right and everyone else passing. So the prob of getting it right is 1- 1/2^n.

POINT: I originally didn't have one to make, but a commenter misread the problem (or I miswrote it) in an interesting way. My problem was: Hats put on randomly, players are deterministic. They thought it was Hats put on by an adversary but players can use a randomized strategy. That problem (which frankly is more intersting) has a similar solution to the above: the players get a random string of R,B of length n and treat that like I treat B^n above.

2) omega people: 1,2,3,... and as above. We want to get all but a finite number of people get it right. See my writeup of it pointed to above. The proof I use uses the Axiom of choice and this is needed (see here).

POINT: some of my students didn't like that the players need uncountable memory. How much does this bother me: not even a little. A fellow blogger thought this result was so non-intuitive that he now thinks the axiom of choice is wrong (see here) Personally I am a lot more bothered by the Banach Tarski Paradox (see here), though that paradox has lead to what my wife calls either the best or the most obscure math joke ever: what is an anagram of Banach-Tarski? Answer: Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski.

3) omega people: 1,2,3,... and as above but now we want to get at most ONE wrong. You CAN do this! see the writeup.

POINT: When I first learned problem (2) I assumed you could not get it down to a finite bound. And I was sure I could prove it, though I never got around to it, prob because I thought it was true and easy. Well, my turn to eat humble pie (an expression only said on TV and not in real live)--- you CAN do this with only one error.  The problem where you have an infinite number of people, they all see each others hats, and they all shout at the same time- that one I am sure you can't do with at most 1 error. I might need to eat humble pie once again.

4) n people, c colors, everyrone sees everyone else's hat, simul shouting, deterministic, and want to maximize how many get it right. OH- and adversarial.

Can do it with floor(n/c) but can't to better. See writeup.

POINT: The argument that you can't do better is a probabilistic argument! That's great! It may help bridge the gap between recreational and serious math (is there even a gap anymore?) that we use a Prob method on a fun hat problem! 

          Two hat problems you may or may not have seen but I have a point to make about one of them        
Hat problems are fun and often require clever solutions. I have posted about one type of hat problem here.

In this post I ask three. For two of them I have a point to make which I will make when I post the answer later in the week. Feel free to post your thoughts and answers, BUT be warned that if you don't want to know the answer then don't look at the comments.

1) N people stand in a line and are numbered 1,2,3,..,n. If i < j then person i can see person j's hat color.

Hats are going to be put on the heads RANDOMLY- prob of RED or BLUE is 1/2. (so no adversary)

The people, in order 1,2,3,..., n either say RED or BLUE or PASS.

We want to maximize the probability that (1) someone does not say PASS, and (2) ALL who do not say PASS are correct.

They can meet ahead of time to discuss strategy but after the hats are on ALL they can say
is RED, BLUE, PASS and only when they are supposed to.

(Also try with 3 colors, 4 colors, etc.)

(ADDED LATER- some comments I got inspire a clarification and a new problem.

Clarify: NO adversary. The players are deterministic. So the prob of failure is based on the randomness of the hats. So you want to minimize the number of seq of R and B where the players mess up.

Another problem: Their IS an adversary but the players are allowed to flip coins. Now the prob of failure is based on the players coin flips.
)

2) omega people in a line are numbered 1,2,3,...  If < j then person i can see person j's hat color.

An ADVERSARY is going to put hats on peoples heads RED or BLUE.

The people in order 1,2,3,... either say RED or BLUE

They can meet ahead of time and discuss strategy as in problem 1. The Adversary KNOWS the strategy

a) Prove or Disprove: there is a protocol  such that they always get all but a finite number of hats right

b) Prove or Disprove: there is a protocol such that they always get all but at most ONE right.

3) N people in a circle (so they see each others hats).

An Adversary is going to put hats on peoples heads- there are c hat colors.

The people AT THE SAME TIME shout out a hat color.

Give a protocol that maximizes how many get it right (in the worst case).  Show there is no better protocol.







          Comment on How To Hack WhatsApp And Telegram By Using SS7 Flaw: Ultimate Method by morgan clarkson        
Do you want to access or penetrate a facebook account, instagram, tinder, gmail, yahoomail, school grade upgrading .remove links from website, youtube. .Retrieval of lost file/documents .Database hack. .Sales of Dump cards of all kinds. etc. Contact us; godseyes@hackermail.com, +12092641076
          Westwood lunch meet-up        
MeFis, soup dumplings, scallion pancakes, stir-fried green beans, who could ask for anything more? Meet for a late lunch of authentic Northern Chinese food at Northern Cafe at 1064 Gayley Ave. in Westwood. Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. At our Game Haus meet-up, Room 641-A mentioned a newish authentic Chinese casual restaurant on the Westside. Of course we had to check it out. The Westwood Northern Cafe is the newest location of a small SoCal chain. No website, but you can check it out on Yelp. We're meeting at 2 because that's when they can accommodate a larger group. It's located on the east side of Gayley a few doors south of the Whole Foods. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Sun March 26 at 2:00 PM, Northern Cafe
          Amos Oz "Judas"        
DÃ¥ skola vargar bo tillsammans med lamm och pantrar ligga tillsammans med killingar; och kalvar och unga lejon och gödboskap skola sämjas tillhopa, och en liten gosse skall valla dem. (Jesaja 11:6, 1917 Ã¥rs Bibelöversättning ) Schmuel har dumpats av sin flickvän. Hans pappa har gÃ¥tt i konkurs och kan inte bidra med pengar till […]
          12 Gambar TERBAIK (Part 2)        
Ini untuk bahagian ke 2, siapa yang terlepas bahagian pertama, bole tengok kat sini PART 1













Fotografi terbaik eh... =)

          12 Gambar TERBAIK (Part 1)        

12 gambar untuk tontonan sekadar mengajak melihat dunia luar =)













MANTOP!!

          Victim had been dead for days when body was found        
SAINTS steward Paula Poolton had been dead for at least a few days when she was found dumped in the boot of her car, a court heard.
          Humpty Dumpty: The Fall of Humanity        
A new MP3 sermon from Harmony Primitive Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

Title: Humpty Dumpty: The Fall of Humanity
Speaker: Daniel Samons
Broadcaster: Harmony Primitive Baptist Church
Event: Sunday Service
Date: 11/7/2016
Bible: Genesis 3
Length: 54 min. (64kbps)

Overview: Like Humpty Dumpty, man's condition after the fall was such that neither the King's horses nor the King's men will be able to fix the problem. It takes a direct miracle of the King of Kings to fix it. This truth separates the Primitive Baptists from the majority of those in professing Christendom today.
          Some things that piss me off        
In no particular order:

- Lawyers, they created a market for themselves with all those crazy legal terms which as a consequence requires the existence of lawyers to make the world go.

- Commercials for prescription medications, especially ones where the side effects are worse than what they cure. (Ex. "May increase chance of asthma related death" for an asthma medication)

- That Wendy's commercial where the guy is like "What would george washington have thought if he knew one of his dollars could buy a whole burger!" Ya, well back in his day the dollar was worth more. In the depression, you could buy 20 REAL burgers for a dollar.

- Swine flu. It's the freaking flu, and like what, 20 people died from it and like 200 are sick in mexico, so the world panics? Maybe if you washed your hands after taking a dump you wouldn't get the swine flu.

- XNA. People are like "DO OU USE XNA? YOU SHOULD USE XNA OMG YOUR GAME WOULD ROCK IN XNA" without really knowing what xna or c# is. Nevermind I use a mac, and XNA would tie me down to a platform which I hate, without the power of c++ and without the market penetration of flash.

- Windows and it's horrible DLL system

- Builds of software libraries where they give you the source and expect you to compile it yourself. Then you do, and the lib only works on my computer, even in release mode. What am I supposed to do? Compile the sources on install for everyone's computer? Just give me the headers and the .lib/.dll/.a/framework!

- Conservatives who are calling for an impeachment of Obama after 100 days, just because he's not on the same side as them and they're bitter for losing. Newsflash, Bush did way more questionably legal things than Obama, and yet I still didn't think he should have been impeached, despite not agreeing with him at all, and thinking he should have never been elected.

- Not having a car whilst in college really ties me to my apartment and makes me dependent on amazon for delivering food, which really sucks when I'm low and in a pinch.

- Commercials for "magic weight loss" products. Hey I got a product for you, the secret's in this pamphlet and it'll only cost you 4 easy payments of $19.95+s+h, but you get the first half of the first word for free! Excer____.

- Commercials for "magic beauty products" which are like "YOU HAVE A PIMPLE YOU UGLY BUY OUR CREAM OR YOU FAIL AT LIFE"

- Axe body spray commercials. "Hey buy our spray which smells like ass, and women will have sex with you." Unfortunately it doesn't work that way, and its sad to think people fall for this.

That is all for now
          ï»¿What Does Interfaith Mean?        
When I am tempted to dump all my grievances onto the adherents of a particular religion—including my own—I can remind myself of these bridges of compassion and affection. And I can encourage myself—and all of you—to do more bridge-building, to practice that most sacred and ancient religious practice: Hospitality.
          News Quiz: Managing Iowa’s Landfills        
Iowans dumped 2.7 million tons of garbage into landfills last year. One method the Iowa Department of Natural Resources promotes to reduce the negative influence of dumping all that garbage has on the environment is called the Environmental Management System, but many Iowa landfill operators are reluctant to adopt this new system. How much do you know about Iowa’s efforts to reduce garbage put into landfills?
          July Visiting Teaching Kit        
Hello! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer! It's been crazy over here but much fun has been had! Thank you to everyone who has been so patient with me in June.

I've been thinking a lot about the pioneers lately and that gave me the idea for July. It comes with the message, "Come to the Temple and Claim your Blessings". A Chicken and Dumpling Soup recipe, and the game Cat's Cradle with instructions.

Have a great month!





Price $5.50

          Thing #10: Online Image Generator        
(This image was made with Comic Strip Generator)

For this discovery exercise, we just want you to have fun. Find a few fun image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result. Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a colleague for help. In looking at several of your blogs, it’s easy to see that we have lots of people in the district who have figured out how easy it is to add images to their blogs.

Discovery Resources:
Comic Strip Generator
Custom Sign Generator
Image Chef
Happy Face Generator
Big Huge Labs
Kid-Friendly Image Generators
Dumpr
Wordle
Glogster

Trading Card Maker
Also try a Google search for online generators, text generators or image generators!




















(This image was created in Trading Card Maker)

Discovery Exercise:
1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.
2. Create several different types of images and save them to your computer.
3. Describe your discovery process in your blog.
Note: Be sure to include a link to the image generator(s) you used, so other participants can discover it too.
4. In your post, be sure to include ways you might use these image generators in the library 0r classroom. Take some time and have fun with this exercise. (And remember to be tasteful too!)
          Eclipse 07-20-2014 with Aaron Ladley, Rico, And Mimi The Masala        
Playlist:

De La Soul- Stakes Is High AL Remix - Unknown
Bob James Common Guru- State Of Clearity - Unknown
EdoG M1 Of Dead Prez- Speak Ur Mind - A Face In The Crowd
Big J Beats- Not A Game - Computer J Fox
Evidence- Chase The Clouds Away - The Weatherman
DJ Jazzy Jeff The Fresh Prince- Summertime - Homebase
Jurassic 5- Concrete Schoolyard - J 5 Deluxe Edition
Common- This Is Me - Unknown
Peanut Butter Wolf- Definition Of Ill feat Planet Asia - My Vinyl Weighs A Ton
Large Professor- I Juswannachill - 12
Crown City Rockers- Bboy - Unknown
Casual- All Around The World - Smash Rockwell
WuTang Clan- Older Gods - WuTang Forever
Del The Funky Homosapien- XFiles - Future Development
Dilated Peoples Talib Kweli- Kindness For Weakness - 2020
RunDMC- Hit It Run - Ultimate RunDMC
JLive- A Charmed Life - All Of The Above
Eric B Rakim- Dont Sweat The Technique - Dont Sweat The Technique
CL Smooth Pete Rock- Go With The Flow - All Souled Out EP
- Burning Spear - Super Breaks
J Dilla- Dime Piece - The Shining Instrumentals
The Roots- The Fire - How I Got Over
DJ Inform- Ive Got A Feeling - The Fair Use Project
Adriana Evans- In The Sun Adriana Evans - Muzik Of The Mind And Spirit A Concept Compilation
Studio Group- Tonites Tha Night SoundALike As Made Famous By Kriss Kross - Almost Hip Hop Help Me Make It Thru The Night
Talib Kweli- Get By - Unknow
EPMD- Da Joint - Incredible
Erykah Badu- Love Of Life - Unknown
MF DOOM- Get Down - Unknown
EPMD- Da Joint - HipHop Origins
Dilated Peoples- Worst Comes To Worst - Expansion Team
Lauryn Hill- Care For Me - Unknown
Slum Village- Tainted - Trinity Past Present And Future
Mos Def Diverse- Wylin Out Kut Masta Kurt Remix Instrumental - Wylin Out Kut Masta Kurt Remixes Single
SWV- Right Here - Its About Time
A Tribe Called Quest- ICU Doin It - The Lost Tribes
Jurassic 5- Unified Rebellion - Unknown
Sunz Of Man- The Man - Unknown
Main Source- Peace Is Not The Word To Play - Breaking Atoms
A Tribe Called Quest DJ Dan- Pubic Enemy - The Essential Old School Vs New School
Vibrettes- The Humpty Dump - Unknown
Double Dee And Stienski- Lesson 2 - Unknown
Method Man- Judgement Day - Tical 2000 Judgement Day
The Temptations- Standing On The Top Pt 1 - The Definitive Collection Rick James
Treacherous Three And Spoonie Gee- New Rap Language - Unknown
Laurent Garnier Carl Craig- Aretha Franklin Rock Steady - The Kings Of Techno
Various Artists- Cramp Your Style - Miami Sound
Macombo- The Next Message - Unknown
Showbiz AG- Soul Clap - Party Groove Soul Clap
Zion I- Inner Light - The Alpha 19962006 Digital Box Set
Common- I Have A Dream - Sountrack Freedom Writers
JADE- Dont Walk Away - Jade To The Max
Mos Def- Bounce - Black On Both Sides
KOs- Cat Diesel - Unknown


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/101/playlistDate/2014-07-20
          Fukushima hot particle update        
SUBHEAD: New study of hot particles shows full radiation risks from Fukushima meltdowns are not recorded.

By Arne Gundersen on 27 July 2017 for Fairwinds Associates -
(http://www.fairewinds.org/newsletter-archive//press-release-radioactively-hot-particles-in-japan)


Image above: Scientist gathers particle sample along curb in Japan for radioactive analysis. Photo by Mikeo Kawasaki. From (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0).

Today, the scientific journal Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) published a peer-reviewed article entitled: Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment.

Co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education, the article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns.                          

Highlights

  • Radioactive particles from Fukushima are tracked via dusts, soils, and sediments.
  • Radioactive dust impacts are tracked in both Japan and the United States/Canada.
  • Atypically-radioactive particles from reactor cores are identified in house dusts.
  • Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray analysis is used for forensic examinations.

Based on 415 samples of radioactive dust from Japan, the USA, and Canada, the study identified a statistically meaningful number of samples that were considerably more radioactive than current radiation models anticipated. If ingested, these more radioactive particles increase the risk of suffering a future health problem.

“Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen said. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”
The same level of risk exists in Japan. While most people have an average level of risk, a few people get an extra spark from a hot particle.

According to Dr. Kaltofen, “The average radiation exposures we found in Japan matched-up nicely with other researchers.  We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result.  We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives.

Combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models,” he added, “we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem.

This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

Fairewinds’ book Fukushima Dai-ichi: The Truth and the Way Forward was published in Japan by Shueisha Publishing, just prior to the one-year commemoration of the tsunami and meltdowns. “Our book,”

Mr. Gundersen said, “which is a step-by-step factual account of the reactor meltdowns, was a best seller in Japan and enabled us to build amazing relations with people actually living in Japan, who are the source of the samples we analyzed.

We measured things like house dusts, air filters, and even car floor mats.  Collecting such accurate data shows the importance of citizen science, crowd sourcing, and the necessity of open, public domain data for accurate scientific analysis.”

Fairewinds Energy Education founder Maggie Gundersen said, “We are very thankful to the scientists and citizen scientists in Japan, who sought our assistance in collecting and analyzing this data. We will continue to support ongoing scientific projects examining how people in Japan and throughout the world experience radioactive dust in their daily lives."

The complete peer reviewed report and project audio description by Dr. Kaltofen are available here at the Science of the Total Environment website.  

Interactive data and the supporting materials are available here at the Fairewinds Energy Education website.

Also see slide presentation by Dr. Marco Kaltofen (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0


Video above: Arne Gundersen about hot particles. Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in the USA. From (https://vimeo.com/38995781).

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: E-Fukushima bosses on trial 6/25/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco plan to dump tainted water 7/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop Fukushima as Olympic venue 5/10/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than ever 2/5/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation on West Coast 1/13/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup cost to double 12/9/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Tokyo damaged by nuclear pellet rain 9/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: High radioactivity in Tokyo 8/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
Green Road Jounral: Balls filled with Uranium, Plutonium 2/19/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
ENE News: Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo 8/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima, What me worry? 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11 

.

          Saving Hawaiian cultural sites        
SUBHEAD: Fearing future development of a valley rich with Hawaiian history, community members want preservation.

By Blaze Lovell on 31 July 2017 for Civil Beat  -
(http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/07/the-fight-to-save-ancient-hawaiian-archeological-sites/)


Image above: Tim Pickering, the owner of about 400 acres in Ohikilolo Valley. He said there are no plans now to develop the land. From original article.

This is a fight to save ancient Hawaiian archeological sites. Fearing future development of a Leeward valley rich with cultural history, some community members are pushing for preservation.

Glen Kila’s family has defended parts of the Waianae Coast from development for generations. The family traces its genealogy to the aboriginal inhabitants of the area.

They consider one of their most sacred sites to have been under threat by foreign developers and mainland owners since the 1980s.

Now, luxury developments in nearby Makaha have spawned a new round of worries that this area in Kea’au Valley, known as Ohikilolo, may face a similar fate if nothing is done to preserve the land.

More than 600 acres of former ranchland in Ohikilolo have been eyed at various times as a possible landfill, golf course and luxury subdivision.

What is so important about this valley?

Drivers passing by the ranchland just off Farrington Highway see just trees and possibly some cows grazing in a field. But beneath the brush hides the densest collection of archeological sites on the island, according to an archeological study conducted in 1992.


Image above:  Detail part of of Moku & Ahupuaa map of leeward Oahu showing ahupuaa areas of Waianae including Keaau and Hikiolo done by  Juan Wilson. Click to enlarge.  From (http://www.islandbreath.org/hawaiinei/M6Oahu/M6OahuRasterFile.png).


The study was originally done for a proposed golf course, and researchers recorded 461 sites in just 60 acres of the valley.

What may look like piles of rocks to some people are actually the remains of a once-vibrant community that existed more than 1,500 years before the time of Kamehameha I.

Kila, a former teacher and principal on the Waianae Coast, is spearheading a movement to turn Ohikilolo into an area for kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) to practice their culture as well as a place for the public to learn about that culture.

“There’s a lot of history that hasn’t been shared … right now we are releasing it so that we can protect the land,” Kila said.

Other community members, including state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, are on board with the idea of trying to preserve Ohikilolo.

Most of the land is owned by the Pickering family of Arizona, and any push toward creating a state conservation district in Ohikilolo would require approval by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and cooperation from the family.

One of the family members, Tim Pickering, told Civil Beat that there are currently no plans to develop the area.

As a first step, community members have asked Shimabukuro to request that the state conduct a study that not only considers the archeological sites in the area, but also analyzes how those sites relate to Hawaiian culture. Such a study could be used to recommend the property to the National Registry of Historic Places.

Sacred Lands
The aboriginal families of the Waianae Coast considered Ohikilolo to be part of Kanehunamoku — the sacred lands of Kane, the Hawaiian sun deity.

They believe that in this valley, the first human, La’ila’i, was born. In the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation story, La’ila’i becomes the mother of the Hawaiian race.


Image above: From ().

Ohikilolo and the rest of the Kea’au Valley represent a complete ahupua’a, a land district stretching from the mountains to the sea.

Residents of each ahupua’a depended on the others for survival. Coastal dwellers would often trade their fish to valley residents for taro or sweet potatoes, for instance.

“It was a living community made of Native Hawaiians that took care of the land,” Kila said.

In Ohikilolo, the people adhered to the concept of Ka’anani’au — meaning to manage the beauty of time — that regulated land areas through wet and dry seasons.

Kila says the archeological sites could demonstrate the interplay between Native Hawaiian religion and culture. The 1992 study found tools for agriculture and fishing, rock piles that may have once been heiau (Hawaiian temples), foundations for dwellings and walls to divert water for farming.

“The archaeological remains here may be the last representative of a complete prehistoric settlement system on leeward Oahu,” the report said.

After being deeded to a servant of Kamehameha I, spending much of its history as a ranch, and getting glances from a Japanese corporation for a golf course and the city for a dump, parts of Ohikilolo became the property of the Pickerings.

Residents On The Lookout
Cynthia Rezentes, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board chairwoman, said possible development in Ohikilolo by the Pickerings has been an issue for seven years. In 2007, Robert Pickering acquired 735 acres of land in Ohikilolo and the surrounding area for $3.8 million, according to property documents.

Around 2010, the Pickerings first had the idea to put a luxury housing development on the property, Rezentes said.

Tim Pickering told Civil Beat that the land was never developed because he couldn’t find any investors nor could he negotiate retrofitting the area with roads and adding sewer lines. Pickering hasn’t filed for any building permits or conditional use permits on the agricultural land.

Residents were worried when they recently found a $3.5 million real estate listing from Chaney Brooks & Co. for the 60 acres that includes most of the archeological sites, but representatives of the real estate company told Civil Beat that the listing is from about six years ago and the property is no longer on the market.

In the time that Pickering had the property on the market, even creating a website to try to sell it himself, he only had one person who ever contacted him about it, but that “faded pretty fast,” he said.

“It’s just staying the way it is,” Pickering said. Development “wouldn’t happen for a long time if it happens at all.”

In March, residents worried that Makaha La, another development, would stretch into Ohikilolo.

But Tom Tisher, a real estate agent working with Makaha La, said that the new subdivision would be in Makaha, not Ohikilolo.

The potential for development of Ohikilolo still troubles some community members.

“It’s a waiting game to see whether or not they want to package something again,” Rezentes said. “But they need the draw. If you can get investors to tap into something like this you can potentially build something.”

Hiking To A Temple
On a recent weekend, Chris Oliveira took a small group of hikers up a Makaha hillside to a sacred site. The people of Waianae have traditionally been stubborn, said Oliveira, Kila’s nephew.

In fact, while other Hawaiians were converting to Protestantism, many who lived in Waianae became Catholic. Stories tell of the people’s ancestors being so bold as to call the fire goddess Pele a malihini — a foreigner, he said.

From the road, the hillside wouldn’t necessarily catch anyone’s eye. But the terraces are actually man-made retaining walls stacked to create a temple out of the mountain.

Hawaiians “believed that the preservation of land is more important than the ambitions of man,” Oliveira said. “You see constructions that add to the already natural surroundings … Who could build a bigger temple than this?”

The temple has been ravaged by time and desecrated by a large water pipe that once ran across the hill, Oliveira said.


Image above: About 200 acres, parts of which contain burial sites and petroglyphs, are being used for a solar farm. From original article.

Next to the temple is a large solar farm covering burial sites and petroglyphs.

A solar farm and other military developments such as the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station and U.S. Army practice range in Makua Valley are just a few in a long line of developments that have covered up the history of the Waianae Coast, Kila said.

In World War II, the beach fronting Pokai Bay became a recreational center for military officers.

Kila’s relatives once owned portions of that land and refused to leave. They were onipa’a, he said — stubborn. When they resisted, the military shut off their water and electricity and moved them away in trucks.

In the 1960s, much of the coast was designated for hotel developments. Many landowners, including Kila’s family, stood to gain financially if they sold out to would-be hotel and condo builders, Kila said.

Pokai Bay was supposed to become a yacht harbor for residents who would have moved into condos along the coast. The development would have destroyed a heiau that is still used for cultural practices and ceremonies today, Kila said.

Kila’s family went door to door along the coast to convince property owners, as well as legislators who originally backed developers, to block the proposals. It worked. Now, the only buildings near Pokai Bay are the military recreational center, several small home and one apartment building.

The World As A Canoe
When Kila was being taught by his elders, no videotaping or even writing was allowed. Stories, prayers and chants needed to be remembered and passed on orally.

In addition, public sharing of their cultural practices was forbidden.

They were even reluctant to reveal the location of many sites for fear they would be destroyed.

He’s more open now, however, and wants to fight further development by educating the public on the cultural significance of different areas.

“We believe that by preserving Ohikilolo, not developing it, and expanding it as an educational system, the whole world can learn about who we are as human beings and our relationship with the ‘aina,” Kila said.

Kila and Oliveira run the Marae Ha’a Koa, a cultural learning center in Waianae. Its focus is the “preservation and perpetuation of the rich cultural heritage of the Waianae Coast,” according to its website.

Oliveira has taken the helm of education efforts on culture and regularly takes community members to historic sites. He also has authored several children’s books on Native Hawaiian culture.

Kila said his kuleana, or responsibility, is to pass on his knowledge; Oliveira’s is to spread, chronicle and contextualize it.

In the 1992 study, researchers recommended that the area surveyed in Ohikilolo should be recommended to the National Registry of Historic Places. The study was only done on about 60 acres of the Pickerings’ land, and some community members think more archeological sites exist in other areas of the valley.

To eventually protect the entirety of the valley, Kila has suggested the state conduct a Traditional Cultural Properties study.

TCPs go beyond analyzing physical features and include the cultural significance of an area.
Shimabukuro said she will contact the Historic Preservation Division of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to see what can be done to begin the TCP process.

Community members have requested that she also ask for access to Ohikilolo for cultural practices.

Shimabukuro, who has been involved with preserving Ohikilolo since earlier this year, said that eventually she, and others in the community, want the land to be designated as a conservation district.

The state law for creating a conservation subzone in Ohikilolo includes cooperating with the landowner as well as creating maps and conducting additional studies of the area, according to state documents.

Because of its archeological sites, Ohikilolo could be eligible for the highest conservation subzone, protective, which would effectively ban most development there.

“This world is one canoe. If we jump up and down in a canoe, it hulis. It turns over, and we all perish,” Kila said. “We can’t have people hurting it or one group of people jumping up and down and turn the world into nothingness.”

Read the 1992 archeological study below.
(http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3899943-Kea-au-Valley-Study-1992.html#document/p1)

• Blaze Lovell is an intern for Civil Beat and a senior at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu and graduated from Pearl City High School.

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          Sinclair Broadcasting is Trump TV        
SUBHEAD: The owner of  the most TV stations dumps Fox News to become Trump's mouthpiece.

By Staff on 30 July 2017 for Common Dreams -
(https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/30/classic-propaganda-sinclair-broadcasting-pushes-aside-fox-news-become-trump-tv)


Image above: The Sinclair Broadcasting cut a biased deal with Jared Kushner and the Trump campaign. Now the Trump FCC is paying back the favor. From original article.

“It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input”

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, the Sinclair Broadcasting group cut a deal
with Jared Kushner for “good” coverage of the Trump Administration, which seems to have paid off.


Politico reported last December:

Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 viewers[sic]— than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.

With Fox News suffering several major setbacks in the past year, Sinclair Broadcasting is making moves to become the new giant of right-wing media. Many are now calling Sinclair 'Trump TV.'
David D. Smith built Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. into the largest owner of television stations in the U.S. after taking over his father's television company (with his brothers) in the late 1980's.

With David as president and CEO, the Sinclair Broadcast Group blossomed to 59 stations in less than a decade. By 2014, that number had nearly tripled to 162. Smith stepped down earlier this year and became executive chairman.

The Smith family has heavily funded conservative Republican candidates. David Smith's Cape Elizabeth, Maine summer home, just 5 miles down the coast from Common Dreams' Portland office, regularly serves as a meeting place for right-wing politicians like Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams.

Journalist David Zurawik, who has covered local television for roughly thirty years, is speaking out against Sinclair Broadcasting Group. In a recent segment on CNN on Sunday, Zurawik said:
“They come as close to classic propaganda as I think I’ve seen in thirty years of covering local television or national television. They’re outrageous! Whatever the White House says, you know, President Trump believes there was voter fraud and he sets up this commission to get data from the states and the states rightfully push back because it’s very intrusive data — Boris Ephsteyn’s piece on it ends with, the states should cooperate with President Trump.”
And John Oliver took aim at the Sinclair Broadcasting group earlier this month, examining the far right station’s ownership of many local TV news stations:
“National cable news gets a lot of attention with their big budgets and their fancy graphics packages. Meanwhile, local news often has to do a lot more with a lot less.”
The Sinclair Broadcasting group has close ties to the Trump administration and is forcing local stations to air pro-Trump news segments. Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai rolled back a key Obama administration regulation that had prevented Sinclair from further expansion. The green light from the Trump administration allowed Sinclair to purchase 42 more local stations from the Tribune Media company, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households.

Oliver went on to show clips of broadcaster Mark Hyman railing against “political correctness and multiculturalism”.
“Hyman is a commentator and former executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Sinclair may be the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. Not only are they the largest owner of local TV stations in the country, they could soon get even bigger.”

“If the opinions were confined to just the commentary or the ad breaks, that would be one thing. But Sinclair can sometimes dictate the content of your local newscasts as well, and in contrast to Fox News, a conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting, with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors, the two people who you know, and who you trust, and whose on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as two people.

“You may not realize it’s happening because Sinclair and its digital news subsidiary Circa not only produce and send packages to their stations; they even write scripts that local anchors use to introduce the pieces. For example, this Tuesday night, anchors at Sinclair stations all over the country introduced a story about Michael Flynn like this.”
Oliver's footage then showed multiple Sinclair broadcasters in different locales introduce a report about Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, by downplaying the investigation as just a “personal vendetta” against Flynn.

They are called “must-runs,” and they are sent every day to all the local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting — video reports that are centrally produced by the company. Station managers around the country must work them into the broadcast over a period of 24 or 48 hours.


Today, the Portland Press Herald (Maine) reported:
Marc McCutcheon of South Portland was watching WGME’s evening newscast as he has for half a century when something came on that shocked him.

In the midst of the local news, a taped commentary from President Trump’s former special assistant Boris Epshteyn appeared on the screen, trumpeting the administration’s position with what he thought selective use and abuse of facts.

McCutcheon, a small-business owner and political independent, describes the experience as “surreal,” “extremely jarring” and “so out of place with the friendly, local broadcast from news people I’ve come to trust over the years.” There was no rebuttal, no context, no alternate point of view – a situation he found concerning.

WGME-TV (Channel 13) and WPFO-TV (Channel 23) each carry the segments nine times a week on orders from their owner, the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the nation’s largest owner of local television stations and an aggressive, unabashed disseminator of conservative commentary supporting the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

“It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input,” says Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, a Washington-based group that opposes media consolidation. “The idea of having local stations offer an array of viewpoints is great, but what we get with Sinclair is one set of political leanings being broadcast everywhere.”

Epshteyn, a 34-year-old Russia-born investment banker, is a friend and former Georgetown University classmate of the president’s son Eric Trump who ascended rapidly within Trump’s campaign.

“Bottom Line With Boris” commentaries echo the White House’s own talking points. After former FBI director James Comey said in televised congressional testimony that the president had pressured him to let go of parts of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Epshteyn asserted to Sinclair viewers that Comey’s appearance had been more damaging to Hillary Clinton than the president.
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          Harrowing Stories Of Greyhound Abuse & Slaughter        
It's been a few days since my last post and I have very little time on my hands today so I thought I'd just provide a few URLs that might be of interest to thoe of you that are as disgusted by the Greyhound slaughter occurring worldwide as I am. These links prove that Greyhound slaughter does actually take place and that it is not a figment of our imagination... as some people seem to think it is.

The links below are to news sites and so offer details of cases that are hard to read. They are somewhat graphic in nature and may not be good bedtime reading for those that cannot stomach such details. However, I highly recommend that you take the time to read them and pass them on to anyone you feel might be interested in spreading the world and adding their voice:

Concentration camp for more than 30 greyhounds, article here

Hartelpool greyhound found dead with ears hacked off, article here

Pregnant greyhound found killed with ears hacked off near Bristol, article here

Greyhound found drowned in the river Foyle (Ireland), article here

Dumped greyhound found in Sittingbourne, involved in a road traffic accident, article here

Greyhound found stabbed to death in Sunderland, article here
          Pregnant Greyhound Found Mutilated In Bristol        
Another week goes by and another horrific story of Greyhound abuse and cruelty is presented to the world. This one is especially disgusting. Although every incidence of cruelty, of beatings, of needless destruction and of physical harm gets to me, this particular story really hit a nerve.

On Valentine's Day (Feb 14th) a PREGNANT Greyhound was found on wasteland in Iron Acton, Bristol (just 30 miles away from Swindon's licensed racing stadium). Not only had the poor girl been abandoned whilst heavily pregnant but she had also been MUTILATED. She had no ears because they had been cut off so she could not be identified.

Imagine being pregnant and then enduring the most horrific torture. This beautiful dog had no idea what was going on and why she must suffer such pain. She could have died, her pups along with her, but luckily she was rescued in time. Furthermore, she deliver 6 beautiful Greyhound pups just a few days later. Mum and pups are doing fine.

There are few owners and trainers in that area so this Greyhound had to belong to someone and the RSPCA are looking to track them down. She is quite distinctive in terms of her looks - black with white markings under her chin and a white blaze between her forelegs, as well as two white spots on her throat.

John Atkinson, an RSPCA inspector said:

This is a very distressing incident for all involved and we are investigating every possible avenue. If any member of the public saw people dumping the dog, or knows of a dog answering this description, I would urge them to contact the RSPCA at once.


For more information and the full story, please head to This Is Bristol.

If a "human being" can commit this cruelty on a heavily pregnant and trusting Greyhound, just imagine what he or she could do to other animals. if you know anything, please please please get in touch with the RSPCA.
          What Do I Call My Mailbag? The Cage? I Forget        

Friday is finally here and with that Nut Up or Shut Up Week is in its final leg.  I gotta be honest and say that I’m relieved that it’s finally over and I really didn’t think I had it in me (funny story: at least 8 different women said the exact same thing to me during my four years of college).  But alas, here we are.  To celebrate, let’s take a look at some emails sent in from the Trillion Man March.  Like I say every time we do this sort of thing – all of these are real emails sent in by real members of the Trillion Man March, except for the ones that aren’t.  Now, in the words of the chick from Cake Farts, let’s get this done.


Since there are no large bodies of water near tOSU, where did the boosters hold their Yacht sex parties?

-Mike

I wish I knew.  I never got invited to them :(

So, who do you hate more: the NCAA or The Villain?

-Ben

The only logical way to answer this is to first make a list of pros and cons, so here it goes.

The NCAA

Pros

  • Provides an opportunity for thousands of people to get a free education while playing a sport they love at a highly competitive level
  • March Madness
  • Headquarters located in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the finest cities in America

Cons

  • Has a budget that exceeds $5.5 billion and exists solely because of 18-23 year old athletes, but won’t let the 18-23 year old athletes see hardly any of that money in the form of cash
  • Makes players sit out a full season after transferring, while the coaches making millions of dollars off the athletes who do the exact same thing face no punishment whatsoever (in fact, the coaches typically get raises since it can be assumed that they’re leaving for a higher-paying and better job)
  • Has no interest in even remotely exploring serious reform, despite the increasing uproar from the media and general public about how archaic and unfair their rules are
  • Supports communist principles

Evan “The Villain” Turner

Pros

  • Provided me with seemingly unlimited entertainment for three years in the form of killing fools on the basketball court
  • Provided me with seemingly unlimited entertainment for three years in the form of losing his mind over something petty on a daily basis
  • Wore a CLUB TRIL shirt during pregame warm-ups on my senior night at OSU
  • Indirectly contributed to the success of this blog
  • Once called my blog “amazing”
  • Passed the ball to me one time in practice

Cons

  • Would frequently reach into his pants and furiously scratch his butthole during film sessions and team meetings and consequently make everyone in the room uncomfortable
  • Tried to fight me no less than 3 times during our tenure as teammates
  • Gave my fiancée a bear hug that he held for five seconds when he first met her, which in turn caused her to tell me later in the night that it was weird and creeped her out
  • Never called me by my name when we were teammates but instead referred to me as “walk-on”, “bum”, “couch potato”, or “mooch.”
  • Borrowed $5 for a haircut from Keller and never paid him back
  • Apparently gets $5 haircuts

I really think this might be too close to call.  Evan probably is more of an annoyance to me personally than the NCAA is, but the NCAA is more detrimental to society as a whole so I think I’ll go the unselfish route and say I hate them more.  Plus, somewhere under Evan’s rough exterior is a momma’s boy who doesn’t want any trouble and just wants to cuddle with his teddy bear.  Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that underneath the NCAA’s rough exterior there is nothing but a gigantic pit of molten lava that they throw puppies into after they mouthrape them.

What is the over/under on the number of times Deshaun Thomas will get the "the only type of shot he doesn't like is when he is at the Doctor's office" comment from TV announcers this year?  2500 ?

There has to be some sort of drinking game created with Deshaun Thomas.  Something like.... every time he passes, you must chug a 40 oz of Olde English and punch a leprechaun.

-Scott

I love this idea.  I know I’ve said this many times before, but I really don’t think I can say it enough – Deshaun Thomas is my favorite Ohio State athlete of all-time (primarily because he doesn’t pass and has no problem acknowledging that he doesn’t pass) and he hasn’t even started his sophomore season yet.  He might not be a popular guy among Buckeye fans, but I absolutely love the guy and actually yelled “Everybody shut the hell up, Deshaun’s checking into the game!” on a few occasions last year while watching OSU basketball games with friends (who obviously don’t appreciate him as much as I do).  The guy is like the Manny Ramirez of college basketball - you don’t know for sure what’s going to happen, but you do know that when he’s in the game he’s going to have some sort of effect (good or bad) and is going to at least provide some form of entertainment (in that regard, he’s like the exact opposite of me).

Anyway, how about this for a Deshaun Thomas drinking game – match Deshaun shot for shot.  Every time he takes a shot, you do too.  I even came up with a name for it: “suicide by alcohol poisoning.”

What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in front of a member of the opposite sex?

-Kevin

I once dated a girl from Indiana who went to a college other than Ohio State and hadn’t grown up as an OSU fan.  Because of this, she didn’t have any OSU clothes, so when she visited me in Columbus one time I told her I’d take her shopping and get her some Ohio State clothes.  That way she could be decked out when she came to our games once the basketball season rolled around.  Anyway, we went to Buckeye Corner or something and she picked out a bunch of stuff she wanted, but she felt bad because she thought she was making me spend too much money.  I  told her not to worry about it and just get what she wanted because I was still on a basketball scholarship and was basically being given free money from Ohio State.

Just to be polite, she asked if I was sure that she could get everything and I promised her it was cool.  But I couldn’t just say, “Seriously it’s cool” and leave it at that.  No, I had to somehow make myself seem more awesome than I really am.  So instead of just saying “yeah it’s cool” or whatever, I decided to jump at the opportunity to flaunt my money a little bit.  Since most college kids are dirt poor, I figured her privates would get moist over my scholarship money, so I decided to explain to her how rich I was.  I said something like, “Yeah it’s really not a big deal.  I get paid so much money by Ohio State that I really don’t think I could spend it all even if I wanted to.”  And just like that, I knew I had her hooked…

…until my debit card got declined because I apparently only had $17 left in my bank account. 

Because she didn’t bring any money with her since I told her I was going to buy her stuff, she couldn’t get anything she had picked out and had to go put everything back.  A couple of weeks later, she dumped me. Whoops.

Help settle an argument that has been raging since the onset of puberty amongst 2 of my friends and myself.  Friend A is convinced that given an opportunity he could score one point on any NBA player in a game of one on one.  Not win mind you, but simply put the ball in the hoop. One time. Versus a highly motivated pro, putting forth his best effort in a game to 11 by ones and twos. Friend B and myself think friend A is an idiot and have told him so many times.  Friend A (5'9, 165lb), friend B and myself have been playing ball all our lives and while none of us are awful we could not play varsity basketball at a moderately large high school.  Those are the facts.  We are in our 30s now and need an answer. Or possibly you could shut him out for us and end this 20 year debate.  Either way Judge Titus your help/ruling would be much appreciated.

-Travis

I’m going to make this response short because there really isn’t even an argument here and I’m kind of annoyed that this is wasting my time.  Here’s your answer: your friend is out of his mind if he thinks he could score on an NBA player in a game to 11.  He’d have to be completely delusional to think otherwise, especially if he’s 5’9” 165 pounds. In fact, I don’t think I could even score on an NBA player (cue the “that’s why you were a benchwarmer scrub” jokes).  If he had infinite chances to score on the NBA guy, then yeah, I’m sure at some point he’d be able to throw up some garbage and get lucky.  But in a single game to 11 against an NBA player playing as hard as he possibly can?  He’ll be lucky to even get a shot off.

I could give a detailed and realistic explanation of what would happen if he played any NBA player, but I think it would take far less effort for me to just play him one-on-one and shut him out myself than it would to explain how everything would go down.  And make no mistake about it – based on what you’ve told me about the guy, I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident about anything in the world as I am in thinking that even I could shut him out.

So there is a hypothetical fight between 2 identical twins. They both are equal in all physical attributes (size, strength, speed) and they both train for one week with a fighting master. However one gets a pool stick and the other gets a hunting knife. Who wins in a cage match to the death?

-Brian

The bell rings to start the match.

Guy with pool stick swings at guy with knife.  Guy with knife ducks, forcing guy with pool stick to miss.  As guy with knife stands back up, he violently thrusts his knife into the torso of guy with pool stick.  Guy with pool stick stumbles backwards as he reaches for the knife that is protruding from his torso.  After he falls to the ground, he pulls the knife out.  He immediately realizes that this was a bad idea because blood furiously pours out.  With blood rapidly flowing out of his body, his only option is to take his pool stick and jam it into the wound to stop the bleeding.  He chooses this option.  After he plugs the wound, he stands up to continue the fight.  As he stands up, he reaches for the knife in the same spot that he had dropped it when he removed it from his torso. 

But it’s not there.

As guy with pool stick turns his head to continue his search for the knife, guy with knife sneaks up from behind him and slits his throat, instantly killing him. 

Game over. Guy with knife wins.

I was in a corporate video twirling the baton while wearing my Fundamentals Montage shirt. Don’t you think that’s awesome?

-Ann

Yes. Yes I do.

Speaking of that shirt…

Even whilst living in the depths of the globe here in Australia I have managed to procure myself a (somewhat striking) 'Fundamentals Montage' tee. I would argue that the tee contains the single most obscure reference of any other t-shirt in existence. So my question is - has there ever been anything less prominent than a 3 second screengrab from a basketball-based Youtube video that has justified it's existence on a t-shirt available for public consumption?

-Berko

Let me first say that this is one of the finest backhanded compliments I’ve ever received, even though it shouldn’t count for anything because it’s from an Aussie.  And I truly mean that. 

Secondly, to answer your question, I’m not sure there possibly could be one.  I mean, Mr. Rainmaker wasn’t exactly a viral video and really only reached cult-like status at best, so right off the bat there’s a very limited market for the shirt right there.  Then, like you said, the Fundamentals Montage only makes up a small part of the video, so really we’re only talking about a few seconds of a mildly popular video.  I really don’t see how there could be a shirt with a more obscure reference that is lost on virtually everyone but the wearer than the Fundamentals Montage shirt.  I’m guessing this is why Homage discontinued it.

Since we’re apparently on the topic of Club Trillion shirts, here are two more relevant emails…

A few months ago my house was robbed. I still live with my parents so there was actually some stuff of value to take. They mostly took electronics like tvs and computers, but after about a week I realized they took something else. They took my Club Tril shirt. No one else had any clothes taken and all my other clothes were still there except for that shirt. I know I didn't lose it somewhere else because I'm a badass and had recently had my mom wash it. What kind of monster would do this? This also makes me question the types of people you draw to your blog.

-Zane

Can whoever took Zane’s shirt please get it back to him?  This is why we can’t have nice things.  I’m sure he’ll let you keep the electronics, but please don’t make him suffer anymore by making him live in this world without his CLUB TRIL shirt.

Now that we got that out of the way, I gotta say that I can’t help but feel a little flattered about this.  I mean, it sucks for you and your family and everything, but a part of me is honored that someone places such a high value on one of my shirts.

Also, I think I might have an idea of who did this.  A couple of months ago someone showed me this mug shot that was taken in Naperville, Illinois.  I’m pretty sure it’s the first and only time someone was wearing a CLUB TRIL shirt in an official police mug shot, which is pretty awesome.  Anyway, my theory is that this kid had to change out of his shirt and put on an orange jumpsuit after he was arrested and when he was released the cops “accidentally” lost his shirt.  But he knew the truth – one of the cops liked the shirt and wanted to keep it for himself.  So when this kid got released, he went from town to town on a rampage looking for the cop that took his shirt.  After two months of breaking into the all sorts of houses, he finally broke into yours, saw your shirt laying there, and just assumed that your dad was the cop that took his shirt.  And to really get back at him, he took a bunch of electronics too.

Yeah, that’s gotta be what happened.  That’s your guy for sure.

What is more effective when attempting to court a female, throwing up the shark or wearing the club tril shirt? This of course is assuming that it is impossible to do them both at the same time.

As you can see from the picture provided, doing them in unison has such an enormous power over the female nether regions, that it would even turn a guy like Justin Timberlake into a jealous doucher. (In case you can't see me because I am drowning amongst a litany of marginally attractive college coeds, I am the one throwing up the shark, rocking a club tril shirt, while also wearing a daytona 500 hat)

photo1

-Sam

First of all, I’m pretty sure the bitches swoon over the CLUB TRIL shirt more than the shark fin.  From what I can tell, the shark fin is more of a thing for the fellas.  But I’ve been wrong before, so what do I know?

Secondly, I’m saying that there’s about a 98% chance that you were photobombing this picture and weren’t in the preliminary stages of a orgy like you are trying to make it seem.  But I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and say that this particular instance is included in that 2%, and all these girls huddled around you for this picture, immediately ripped their clothes off right after it was taken, and then all jumped on board the Sam Tram for an express trip to Pound Town.

I recently turned 29 years old and in about a month I'm going to (hopefully) celebrate my second wedding anniversary.  Most of my friends are in a similar place that I am, either in the trying to have a kid or two phase or already have 1-3 kids.  I love kids but I have a small problem with them.  See I love college football and I love the Buckeyes.  So on Saturday afternoons in the fall I want to drag myself out of bed just in time for College Gameday then watch games all day long until I can hear Herbie telling Mussburger to shut his Michigan loving trapper.  For some reason all parents (and when I say parents I mean wives) want to do is throw their kid's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  Like people don't have anything else to do.  I mean come on your kid is 2 years old, do they really care what day of the week their party is on?  No but some of us adults would like a say in the matter.  If 75% of all Buckeye games are on at 12:00 on a Saturday and 75% of all birthday parties are scheduled at 1:00 someone didn't do their planning.  Throw the kid a party on Tuesday night.  Heck I will even leave work early just to be there on time. 

This is why with my wife I have proposed a dry season.  No babies shall be born within the period of September 1st and early December as to not cause any confusion with birthday party planning.  So as soon as the Rose Bowl ends until the end of March Madness we go into protection mode.  I am very happy to say I made it through my very 1st dry season and my wife and I recently found out we are in line to have our first child with a due date of March 31, 2012. 

The dry season can be implemented for any season.  I don't know where you plan on living once you get married but if you are planning to stay in Ohio I propose we get this trend started as soon as possible.

-James

You’re doing the Lord’s work, James.

I have a older gentlemen neighbor who apparently has an odd sense of dressing in the warm summer months. He often feels that it is so hot out that he can't wear a shirt, but cool enough to still be wearing jeans. Do you have any experience with this phenomena? Please help rationalize his logic.

-Chris

He has prosthetic legs and gets embarrassed when people find out. He fought in Vietnam for your freedom and at one point during the war, he stepped on a landmine and it completely mutilated both of his legs. He should’ve died and the doctors said he was never supposed to walk again, even with prosthetics. But the doctors never accounted for his resolve. He wasn’t going to just give up. Not after all those years of fighting.

So he worked his ass off for years just so maybe he could one day walk again. Day in and day out he did hours of strenuous physical therapy, unsure of whether or not it would ever really pay off. Like anything else, there were good days and bad days, but through it all he kept pushing. He kept thinking about his goal – one day walking down his driveway and getting his paper without any help. It wasn’t a very glamorous goal, sure. But he was a high school dropout from the south side of Chicago who had served five years fighting a war with no end in sight in the unimaginable hell that was the Vietnam jungles. Nothing about his life was glamorous.

Every now and then, he’d think back on that fateful day and ask God why He would let such a terrible thing happen to him. Why God didn’t just let him die right then and there. Why God made him suffer through all this pain. It was impossible not to think that way. After all those years of wondering whether he’d ever walk again, he felt like he had every right to feel sorry for himself every once in a while. Can’t say I fault the guy.

Eventually all the physical therapy took its toll on him. He couldn’t take it anymore. He was ready to tell the doctors that he had finally given up. That he had accepted that he was going to be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. That that landmine had finally gotten the better of him. But he thought he’d do one last therapy session before he threw in the towel. For old time’s sake. He owed himself that much.

The physical therapist walked into his room like she had all those days before, always optimistic that that particular day was going to be the one that they’d have their breakthrough. She’d never been right, of course, but he appreciated her optimism nonetheless. It was something that he himself couldn’t even muster these days.

She strapped him into the harness and set up the guide bars like she had done every other day for the past few years. She would never admit it to him, but while she was optimistic for some sign of progress on the outside, on the inside she was just as jaded as he was. She knew that nothing significant was going to happen that day. But she was wrong.

She gave him the same routine commands she always had and he mumbled under his breath while she talked just like he always had. When she finished instructing him, he rolled his eyes and said, “Here goes nothing” as he attempted to take a step. He expected the same results as before, but this time something happened. This time the prosthetic moved. It was the breakthrough they had been waiting for all these years. He couldn’t believe it.

That moment breathed new life into him. He was back. No more feeling sorry for himself. He was going to walk again. No excuses. Over the course of the next couple of months, he made steady progress. Nothing too crazy, but it was progress dammit. Nobody could take that sense of accomplishment away from him.

Not any more than a year after that initial breakthrough, his physical therapy was complete. He could walk again. Not very well, mind you, but it was a start. He had the rest of his life to figure out his new legs. For the time being, he was going to celebrate his victory by simply walking out of the hospital on his own power. That was all he ever wanted.

These days he keeps to himself for the most part. He’s a simple man with a simple life but he’ll tell you he wouldn’t change a thing about it. He’ll tell you that he’s lived more life than most people. He’ll tell you that he’s proud to have fought in the war and served his country. He’ll tell you that he’s got all he ever wanted out of life. But he’ll also tell you that the prosthetics embarrass him. He can’t help but feel guilty that he didn’t give enough. So many of his brothers perished and all he gave were his two legs. The more he thought back on everything, the more surviving became a burden.

But he’s learning to cope with it. He’s finally finding peace with himself and what happened on that day that forever changed his life. But he still doesn’t like revealing his prosthetics to people just because there is too much baggage that comes with people knowing. He doesn’t want to have to tell the stories and relive the horrors. Most importantly, he doesn’t want to deal with the judgment. He knows he’ll be looked at as either a freak or as a hero. He thinks both labels are unfair. He’s just an old man trying to live out whatever years he has left to the best of his abilities.

So he always wears jeans to cover his fake legs and his very real memories. He’s not sure how much time he has left on this Earth and when he’s going to be reunited with his fallen brothers, but what he is sure of is that he’s going to spend most of that time with his family and loved ones. And any free time in between he’s going to spend tending to his garden and wondering why the dipshit kid next door always gives him weird looks when he walks around with his shirt off.

Either that or he’s just a crazy old man who really loves his jeans.


Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          The Miami Mess        

When I first heard about the Yahoo! Sports report that a Miami booster provided cash, cars, jewelry, use of mansions and a yacht, prostitutes, bounties for taking out the opposition, and an abortion for Miami football players, I had three immediate thoughts: 1) Holy balls, Miami knows how to party, 2) This wouldn’t even be that big of a deal if the NCAA weren’t an unprecedented and corrupt cockblock that gets away with a  multibillion dollar scam year after year, and 3) Having said that, the rules are the rules and – if the allegations are true – I’m not sure there has ever been such a flagrant breaking of NCAA rules in the history of both the NCAA and their explicit rules against soliciting prostitution and boosters paying for abortions.

Let’s start with what’s really important – the partying.  Now, thanks to depictions of Miami in all sorts of TV shows and movies (and at least one music video), I’ve always thought that I had a relatively good idea of just how much the city likes to party.  I mean, anyone who has seen Will Smith rocking a wifebeater while hollering at hoochies, Tony Montana burying his face in a heaping mound of blow, Ace Ventura talking out of his butthole, Horatio Caine smoothly putting on his sunglasses after pausing midsentence, and Dexter Morgan saran wrapping criminals to a table and driving a knife through their chest before dismembering their bodies, putting the remains in a bunch of garbage bags, and dumping the bags in the Atlantic Ocean should fully understand that the city of Miami is all about having a good time.  But even with all of these depictions of Miami being a zoo fully packed with party animals, I was still pretty surprised when the Yahoo! report came out and revealed that the average Miami football player apparently breaks the BYU Honor Code 14 times before they even eat breakfast.

What made the report so surprising to me is that even though the fact that this all took place in Miami shouldn’t make it all that shocking, we’re still talking about 18-22 year old kids here.  Sure it seems like “18-22 year old kids” and “partying” are synonymous, but if you really think back on your days in college, I’m guessing “partying” just meant drinking a bunch of cheap beer, listening to music that was turned up way too loudly only because whoever was hosting the party wanted to show off their sound system, crossing your fingers that the girls you were hitting on were too drunk to notice how ugly you were, and drawing penises on the foreheads of your friends who passed out before you did.  Every now and then maybe there were people passing around a joint or two, but for the most part that is what a typical college party entails. 

Nowhere in that description did I mention yachts, mansions, cash, jewelry, or – most importantly – prostitutes, which is why the Miami allegations are shockingly awesome to me.  According to US census data taken in 2010, less than 1% of American citizens have ever partied on a yacht or with prostitutes, so for a bunch of Miami football players to allegedly have done both before they were even old enough to legally rent a car  is truly a remarkable thing and is something I won’t hesitate to admit makes me jealous (hell, I’m sure a lot of them went to these parties before they were even old enough to legally drink).  Then again, I guess all of this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Miami emphasized how wild the Hurricanes were back in the 80s and 90s, and the 7th Floor Crew song in 2004 (very NSFW language) revealed that dorm room gangbangs are apparently as much of a current Miami football tradition as pissing and moaning about a pass interference call from almost a decade ago.

Anyway, now that we got the important and fun part out of the way, let’s discuss what is rapidly becoming the bane of my existence – the NCAA’s steadfast refusal to let athletes profit from their own abilities even though those same athletes’ abilities are the reason the NCAA and the schools the athletes represent rake in billions every year.  As a guy who had to wear the NCAA handcuffs for four straight years (although, let’s be honest, since I was a walk-on my handcuffs weren’t that tight) and couldn’t even accept a free sandwich if I was offered one, I think it’s nothing short of ridiculous that the NCAA continues to cockblock their athletes. 

As far as I’m concerned, the Miami football players getting cash, jewelry, cars, access to yachts, etc. shouldn’t even be an issue, just like the Ohio State football scandal should have never been an issue, because there’s no logical argument as to why the athletes shouldn’t be entitled to all those things (the OSU scandal especially shouldn’t have been a big deal since I’m of the opinion that the players technically earned the things they sold).  Now, the prostitutes and the bounties that were allegedly paid to Miami players to take out opposing players are obviously a big deal, but I’m focusing on the free cash and gifts right now.  As shady and corrupt as college sports may seem, at the end of the day the superstar athletes that generate millions for their schools have every right to accept all the cash and gifts they want because they aren’t anywhere close to being as fully compensated as they deserve to be.  That’s right, I said it – it’s criminally unfair that college athletes (read: football and men’s basketball players) aren’t paid.

The prevalent argument against paying players is that the players are already getting paid in the form of a free education and a monthly stipend, but I have two issues with this argument. First, from experience I can tell you that the stipend is basically just enough money to survive on and typically isn’t a large enough sum of money to result in very much discretionary income for the players, so really it isn’t even worth mentioning (as I’m sure you all remember me infamously discussing in a certain earlier blog post). In all honesty, when you think about all the hours the players put into their respective sports, the stipend is probably just a little bit higher than minimum wage. Obviously there are many people in America who are living off of minimum wage (or in this economy, no income at all), but these people also aren’t bringing in millions upon millions of dollars for their schools and conferences like the star athletes are, so it’s not exactly fair to just say “if other people can make it work, college athletes should be able to also.”

Secondly, while you and I might place a high value on a college education, many superstar athletes are in college solely because they want to prepare for the pros, so a free education doesn’t really mean much to them. I mean, if you really think about it, the fundamental purpose of college is to gather all the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce in your desired field. Keeping that in mind, for a lot of these guys the sport they play is essentially their major and taking classes and graduating is really just their form of an extracurricular activity.  Much like how you wanted to be an accountant so you went to college and majored in accounting, these guys want to be NFL linebackers so they go to college to major in breaking spines and ripping the heads off of timid receivers coming across the middle.

This notion is obviously a stereotype and doesn’t apply to everyone who is a shoo-in to make it to the NBA or NFL, but for the most part the All-American college athletes really only care about their education to a certain extent.  At the end of the day, their primary focus is making it to the big leagues, so while a free education would mean a great deal to people like you and me, for the superstar athletes who are likely going to leave college early anyway, a scholarship is the equivalent of being a paraplegic and being given a brand new motorcycle.

People who are against paying college athletes and have a hard-on for protecting the concept of amateurism also often cite the fact that NCAA athletes know what they’re getting into because they sign all sorts of forms that explain how the system works, so they have no right to complain about anything.  But having gone through this form-signing process four times, I can assure you that it’s not nearly as simple as signing a contract with, say, a cable or gas company might be.

When I was at OSU, we would have compliance meetings at the start of every academic year where we would be given a stack of papers to sign.  I specifically remember a handful of times when our compliance person would explain what the form we were about to sign meant and I would consequently think, “This is BS. I don’t want to sign this.”  On one occasion, I actually said this out loud to the compliance person and his response was, “Well, then you’ll be ineligible.”  So really, my hands were tied because my choices were to either sign the forms or essentially quit the team and miss out on the plethora of poon that comes with being an Ohio State athlete.  Negotiating was not an option so I had no choice but to sign the forms as they were.

Now, I wasn’t really all that worked up and was mostly just trying to be a pain in the ass with the compliance people to screw with them a little bit because I knew that giving Ohio State and the NCAA the right to use my image and whatnot wasn’t really that big of a deal since, well, frankly I knew that they would never actually use my image to promote anything.  But at the same time I couldn’t help but think how pissed I’d be if I were someone who was a big time Ohio State athlete like, say, Terrelle Pryor.  Pryor was essentially forced to sign the same forms I had to, only when he was signing them, he was signing away thousands if not millions of dollars in potential earnings. 

So for someone like him, the choices are either to not play or to let the school and NCAA profit boatloads of money off him while he gets essentially nothing in return.  In other words, for all intents and purposes, all college athletes are pretty much forced to sign these papers, especially since the fact that the NBA and NFL both require draft entrants to be a certain age leaves these guys with no viable alternative to playing in the NCAA (football in particular since high school kids can at least play professional basketball overseas instead of going to college while foreign football leagues versus big time college football is as laughable of a comparison as Qdoba versus Chipotle).  So the “they have no right to complain because they know what they’re getting into” argument holds no water from my perspective.

I guess we could argue about whether or not college athletes should be paid until we’re blue in the face, but in the end it won’t really mean much because the NCAA isn’t going to change their ways anytime soon. The fact of the matter is that the only real way to get the rules changed seems to be for the players to essentially just go on strike and cause a lockout. But this will never happen because the players simply aren’t around long enough to make it happen.

It can be assumed that the upperclassmen and the superstar freshmen and sophomores are the ones who are missing out on the most money (simply from the fact that they’re the ones who put butts in the seats at the games and would likely be the ones getting endorsements and whatnot), but by the time they realize that they’re getting screwed and they actually get upset enough to take action to stop the exploitation, they are already gone to the pros or have graduated and moved on to more important things in their lives. After those guys leave, the carousel continues to spin as a new crop of college athletes comes in and goes through the same cycle of sitting on the bench for a couple of years, finally playing toward the tail end of their careers, and not realizing that they’re getting exploited until it’s too late and they’ve got other things to worry about (and most importantly no longer have any motivation to see that college athletes are justly compensated).

Because the athletes can never get enough traction to seriously challenge the NCAA, nothing gets changed and the exploitation continues. The NCAA knows that they will always have this advantage over the players, which is why I’m fairly certain they all sit in their offices and just cackle, rub their hands together with malevolent glee, and twirl their mustaches all day. I can’t decide if I think everyone involved with such a corrupt organization should be thrown in prison for eternity or if they should be congratulated and given some sort of award for successfully pulling off a multibillion dollar scam on unsuspecting kids year after year (the real irony here is that the NCAA – an organization that profits from screwing people out of money – is most likely going to punish the Miami kids for hanging out with a guy who screwed people out of money).

But I digress.  The bottom line is that, if the allegations are true (it’s more fun to just assume they are, isn’t it?), the Miami players knew exactly what they were doing and knew that what they were doing was a blatant violation of NCAA rules, so it’s impossible to feel all that bad for them (especially if the stuff about the hookers and bounties is true – that really is indefensible).  Sure the rules are archaic and unjust, but ultimately they’re the rules and until they change, it’s probably best to just abide by them and not choose to break them in the most ridiculous and flagrant ways imaginable.  In the meantime, until the rules change, all us fans can really do is just sit back and hope that someday we can all look back on this era of college sports like we now look back on Prohibition (and will most likely look back on the illegality of marijuana and the concept of age of consent) and wonder, “What the hell were the people in charge thinking?”

The world is a better place when yacht parties featuring hookers are plentiful and that is a fact.  The sooner the NCAA realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.


It’s inevitable that at least one of you will think my hatred for the NCAA stems from the fact that I was forced to donate all the money from my shirt sales to charity when I was playing at Ohio State, so I thought I’d address that real quick.  First of all, let me say that the money went to a remarkable charity and was no doubt put to great use and I couldn’t be happier to have been somewhat responsible for that (I know it’s cliché to say that and you probably don’t believe me, but screw it – it’s the God honest truth).  At the same time, though, of course the selfish side of me would have loved to have had that $50,000 to spend on whatever I wanted.  You’re lying to yourself if you think for one second that some part of you wouldn’t feel the same way.  Who in their right mind wouldn’t want $50,ooo just handed to them while they were in college?

But the reason I wasn’t all that upset that I couldn’t get that money and the reason I’m not necessarily pissed at the NCAA for that is because I knew that I wasn’t being exploited since I was a walk-on benchwarmer.  It’s not like Ohio State or the NCAA was making tons of money off of me, so I really didn’t have that big of a problem with me not being able to make money off of me either (I still thought it was dumb, but I wouldn’t say I was ever “pissed” about it). 

No, my hatred for the NCAA comes from the fact that they use their athletes to gain a profit (which is completely understandable and fine) but won’t allow the athletes to use themselves to gain a profit (which is complete horseshit).  It sucks that I couldn’t make money from selling my shirts, sure, but the idea that Jared Sullinger won’t be paid a single dime for singlehandedly selling a bunch of tickets and jerseys this upcoming season is pretty disgusting to me.  I know this kind of thing goes on with corporations all over the world, but since I played college basketball and was around the NCAA’s exploitation on a daily basis, this particular instance is the one that I really get fired up over.  Pair my anger with the breaking story about Miami and the fact that I really don’t have anything better to do with my time and it explains my motivation behind this blog post.


This is your last reminder that I’m writing a mailbag post on Friday, so don’t be a doucher and send me an email.

Also, we’ve got a few more additions to my list of things that make people lame if they aren’t good but complete badass if they are good.  Here are a few more of my favorites that the Trillion Man March sent in:

Drinking Beer

From Laine:

“Shotgunning a beer – if you've never done it before or if you're bad at it, it can squirt all over you (that's what she said) and make you soggy and smell like beer all night. If you're a pro, you take it down in one gulp and game over (again, that's what she said.)”

From Evan:

How is drinking in college not the gold standard for novices sucking and experts being amazing? Everyone wants to be like Frank the Tank and hammer that beer bong all night at the party. Depending on the size of your wood, you may or may not want to go streaking through the quad, but that's only a problem for those who can survive a night long of heavy chugging first anyway. But the kid who just got to the party, shotgunned 2 cold ones, and is already passed out puking in the bathroom? He's the biggest loser douche at the party and is going to wake up to shame and a lot of Sharpie dicks drawn all over his body.

A related subject, beer pong. The guy at the party who always lets his partner shoot first because he never misses and will hit any cup is pretty awesome and can definitely keep that hot streak going all night right into some hot mama's bed. But the guy who can't hit a cup and then is running around the house naked showing off his tiny schlong because his team got shut out? Not so cool to be him.”

Criminals (specifically thieves)

From Trevor:

“In real life, its fairly common to hear about people who try to rob a convenience store and end up getting held at gunpoint by the guy at the counter while the cops come. This is lame, even I could do better than that. On the other hand, real (ok, mostly fictional) hard core criminals are incredibly badass. Kaiser Soze? His nickname is the devil, pretty hardcore. Then there are all the other bankrobbing movies, The Oceans (11 through 13) Inside Job, etc. Then in real life you used to have Jesse James and all the wild west types. There just aren't cool robberies anymore really, its almost a pity.”

I also thought about this one when I heard about the Miami football story and Nevin Shapiro’s Ponzi scheme and couldn’t help but think, “Even though that guy screwed a bunch of people out of a ton of money and should no doubt be locked up for a very long time, a small part of me is kind of impressed.”  I feel the same way about guys like Pablo Escobar, D.B. Cooper, Al Capone, etc.

Cops

Also from Trevor:

“Now on the other side of the spectrum, we have cops. There's the stereotypical cop, drinking coffee and eating donuts, kinda pathetic. Then you have supercops, like in the movies. I assume that the CIA and FBI are pretty intense in real life too, but I don't really know what they actually do.”


Proud to Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          Coping With A Realization        

Before I get started, let me first remind everyone that the Bloodhound Gang’s most popular CD was not only entitled “Hooray for Boobies”, but the actual disc was flesh-colored (for white people anyway) and came with instructions to stick your tongue through the hole of the disc to make it look like a boob. I think I speak for everyone who was 12-years-old when that CD came out (like I was) when I say that this was quite possibly the single funniest thing in the world at the time.  I actually think I may have called the Bloodhound Gang “geniuses”, which looking back might have been giving them maybe just a little too much credit, but still. The fact of the matter is that they made a CD that looked like a boob, and for 12-year-old guys, that’s all it really takes to earn the “genius” label.  I regret nothing.

(By the way, getting a group of guys together and dressing like the Bloodhound Gang from “The Bad Touch” video would make a phenomenal Halloween costume.  I suggest you get on that now.  You’re welcome for the idea.)

Since I’m kind of on the topic of being 12-years-old and since – let’s be honest – I have no idea what to write about with this blog post and I’m basically just spitballing at this point, I guess I could discuss how I had a revelation since you last heard from me and realized that I live pretty much the same lifestyle I did when I was 12 (and school was out for the summer).  I mean, I still don’t have a real job and can therefore do whatever I want all day every day, I still have the exact same diet as I did 11 years ago, I still watch the same TV shows, and I still get nervous when I talk to attractive 14-year-old girls (whoops – um, please disregard that last part).  In fact, the only real differences now are that I have bills to pay (but even so, I only pay them when I feel like it), I can actually get arrested for egging my neighbor’s house and taking a dump in their shrubs, and I don’t sneak down to my parents’ basement to watch scrambled Cinemax at 2 in the morning.  Oh, and I now have a crippling amount of debt thanks to student loans and overusing credit cards (and apparently not paying my bills on time).  Can’t forget about that one.

Anyway, the first time I should have known I was recently living a 12-year-old’s lifestyle was when I went shopping for groceries with my fiancée last week and she put gross things like lettuce, asparagus, and broccoli into the cart and I honestly loaded up on nothing but cereal, cookies, ice cream, and Spaghetti O’s.  Anyone who knows me on a personal level will tell you that I’m a notoriously picky eater, which is to say that I basically only eat meats and sweets (“Meats & Sweets” kinda sounds like it could be the name of a gay club, doesn’t it?), and I’ve been that way my entire life.  I’ve never really given much thought to the fact that I’m 23-years-old and I’m basically still eating from the kids’ menu, mostly because I think the food I eat is delicious and don’t see a reason to change.  I’ve just always poured myself a tub full of Cap’n Crunch’s Oops! All Berries, wolfed it down, and not thought twice about it.

(I’ve got two things I need to get off my chest real quick: 1- As far as I’m concerned, Oops! All Berries is the best mistake in the history of mankind and will most likely remain at the top spot on that list until my first child is born, and 2- How have the Cap’n Crunch people not corrected the mistake by now? They’ve been making Oops! All Berries for almost 15 years. At this point, I think it’s clear that it’s no longer a mistake and they know exactly what they’re doing. Because of this, I think they need to change the name to “This Perceived Accident Was Actually Premeditated! All Berries”.  Just saying.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right – I’m a picky eater.  So, about five days ago I got a terrible stomach ache and thought it was nothing more than some strange coincidence because my last blog post was probably my favorite piece of writing I’ve ever done in my life and it focused almost exclusively on pooping (side note: I was happy to see The Relationship Poop Cycle was so well-received by the Trillion Man March. You guys are awesome).  I expected it to be just a routine stomach ache that would pass with a painful 30-45 minute poo, but it turned out to be much, much worse.  Starting on Saturday, for about four days straight, it felt like a swarm of bees flew up my rectum, stung the sh*t out of my bunghole, and then set off a bunch of firecrackers to top it all off.  In other words, it has not been a pleasant week for me. 

After a few days of battling the stomach ache, I realized that my original thought that this was somehow related to “The Relationship Poop Cycle” was dead wrong.  That’s because, after further review, I’m fairly confident that my stomach aches are directly related to the fact that my dinner pretty much every night consists of two cans of Spaghetti O’s, two PB&J sammiches, and one big ass bowl of ice cream for dessert.  I can’t say for sure, but I think my body has finally had enough and is trying to tell me to grow the F up and start eating foods that aren’t exclusively found at the tip of the food pyramid (I like my food pyramid like I like my foreplay – “just the tip”).

(Let’s do another one of my patented paragraphs in parentheses.  Alright, so after eating Spaghetti O’s for about a week straight, I have another irrelevant theory.  Here it is: I’m fully convinced that Campbell’s spent millions of dollars on years of research to figure out the size of the average American fork prong, and then made the smallest Spaghetti O just slightly bigger than that.  Think about it.  Once you eat most of your Spaghetti O’s and you’ve only got a few stragglers left, what do you do? You start looping those bitches on your fork until you can’t fit anymore on there, that’s what.  Well, when I was eating the Spaghetti O’s this week, I noticed that the smallest O’s barely fit on the fork and you can usually only get one or two stacked on each prong at a time, which was something I somehow missed all these years.  The way I see it, Campbell’s purposely made these Spaghetti O’s this small because they wanted to stimulate kids’ brains and make them really focus on looping the biggest O’s first, the medium-sized O’s second, and top the stack off with the smallest O’s.  This way you can’t just randomly loop the O’s but instead you have to have a strategy to attack them.  Well, Campbell’s, I’m a product of the ADHD generation and don’t have the attention span for your manipulative games now that I’m a grown-up.  So do me a favor and get rid of the small O’s, because my only other option is to use a spoon.  And in my household, using a spoon to eat Spaghetti O’s is the highest possible form of blasphemy.)

Last Friday, I was again reminded that I was living a 12-year-old’s lifestyle when I stayed in that night to watch Friday Night Smackdown! instead of going out, getting drunk, and making terrible decisions like pretty much everyone else my age does.  I haven’t watched pro wrestling in years, but ever since The Rock announced his comeback recently, I’ve started paying a little more attention to what’s going on (it was obvious Triple H wasn’t going to beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and I don’t understand how anyone could’ve possibly thought he would.  Also, hearing about Edge’s injury damn near brought a tear to my eye.  He was a master on the mic and was one of my all-time favorites, which is why I paid tribute to his career by spearing my fiancée as she walked through our front door the other day).

Anyway, much like my prolonged stomach ache has made me reconsider my juvenile diet, there are three reasons why I think it’s time for me to grow up and stop following WWE again (the same three reasons I stopped watching in the first place).  The first of these is simple – the WWE is racist. Now, I know that the WWE has a long history of pumping up racial stereotypes when creating characters (the most notorious example of this being Tony Atlas’ alter ego, Saba Simba), but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  No, I’m more concerned with the fact that it’s always the Hispanic announcers who have someone bodyslammed through their table.  Sure the American announcers get their table destroyed every now and then, but it’s almost always after the Hispanic guys get theirs annihilated first.  In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, 94% of the time that only one announcing table is destroyed in a WWE match, it’s the Hispanics who are left to deal with the damage.  Just try and tell me that’s not racism.  You can’t.

The second reason I’m frustrated with the WWE is because they still have women’s matches.  That’s right – I’m all about racial equality, but gender equality can S my D and make me a sandwich.  I’ve got nothing against women per se, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve made love to more than 258 of them and even plan on living with one for the rest of my life.  My problem is more with women’s sports, especially the masculine sports like wrestling, football, and boxing.  On paper, women’s wrestling seems like a great idea.  Put smoking hot women in skimpy clothes and have them catfight? R U SRS? I’ve got a half chub just thinking about it.  This is just about every man’s initial reaction to women’s wrestling.  But when their matches actually start, it only takes somewhere between 10-20 seconds to figure out that there is literally zero chance that any of the girls will inadvertently lose their tops.  And that’s really the only reason for watching women’s matches in the first place.  Once it’s established that that’s not happening, all you’re left with is a bunch of unathletic chicks screwing up simple wrestling moves.  Sure their matches never last too long, but by the time you factor in their intros and the commercials before and/or after their match, that’s a 5-10 minute block that’s basically going to waste.  Coincidentally, because women’s matches are such a waste of time, that’s usually the part of the broadcast that I get up and make myself a sandwich.  And by that, I obviously mean that I have my fiancée make me a sandwich cause she’s a woman and that’s her job.

(Relax, ladies. I’m only half serious.)

Finally, the last and most important reason I’ve more or less given up on pro wrestling is because I just can’t stomach a WWE where guys like John Cena, The Miz, Wade Barrett, and Jack Swagger are marquee names.  This has nothing to do with these wrestlers being faces or heels (good guys or bad guys, for those of you who didn’t know), but rather because all four of these guys seems like world champion douchers.  The WWE I know and love featured Stone Cold Steve Austin flipping people off, drinking beer in the ring, and reminding everyone that Austin 3:16 says I just whopped your ass. The WWE I know and love featured The Rock dropping The People’s Elbow on fools, laying the smack down, and putting his boot straight up your candy ass.  The WWE I know and love never revolved around a bunch of douchey white guys with terrible personas who basically look like stereotypical frat boys with (more) steroids pumped into them.  Simply put, you’re never going to hear someone say, “The Miz is such a badass.”  And, the way I see it, that’s a serious problem.

So that pretty much sums up my last week and a half.  I still enjoy the fact that I can sleep in and play video games all day if I want to (who wouldn’t?), but it’s clear that it’s time for me to start making some changes to my 12-year-old lifestyle, starting with trying some vegetables and watching more thought-provoking shows on TV (you know, like Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives).  Much like Uncle Joey and the Toys R Us kids before him, I’ve always prided myself on celebrating youth and not wanting to grow up.  But this past week has been a wake-up call, and writing all of this down (in an admittedly disjointed and improvisational manner) has been pretty therapeutic for me.  I need to make some changes and I need to make them now.  The only problem, though, is that my mom just brought home a ton of groceries and my Super Mario Kart isn’t going to play itself.  So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Fruit by the Foot and a date with Bowser on Rainbow Road calling my name.  I’ll start growing up tomorrow.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          The Relationship Poop Cycle        

With the exception of benchwarming, FIFA, making it rain on the basketball court, the Rubik’s cube, belching the ABCs, singing “Sister Christian” at a karaoke bar, Facebook stalking, making fart noises with my armpit, eating ice cream, and destroying every aspect of the Presidential Physical Fitness Award in elementary school except those sumbitch pull-ups, there aren’t too many things in this world that I claim to be an expert at (my mom always stressed to me the importance of being modest). But now that I’ve been engaged to my fiancée and future first wife for almost a year, I’m starting to think that I just might be an expert on romantic relationships. Sure I’m only 23-years-old and sure most of my relationships have started on Facebook (and coincidentally, ended on Facebook), but that’s irrelevant because I’ve already discovered that all it takes to have a successful relationship is to have some sort of income, to not buy anything that costs more than $100 without first talking it over with your partner, and to not put your wiener where it doesn’t belong (or if you’re a lady, don’t let other guys put their wiener where it doesn’t belong). You can worry about “communication”, “being compatible”, and “maintaining that spark” later. Just so long as you make a little money, don’t spend too much of it, and don’t let other ladies ride your bologna pony, you’re set.

Ok, ok…you got me. I’m not really a relationship expert, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been dumped infinity more times than I’ve done the dumping. Instead of saying I’m a relationship expert, what I meant to say was that I’ve been in a handful of failed relationships and now that I’m in one that seems to have the legs to go the distance, I feel like I have enough experience to accurately measure just how serious a relationship is. And what I mean by that is that over the weekend I came up with a concept that I wanted to write about, so I first decided to write a couple paragraphs about how I’m a relationship expert just so it could maybe sort of serve as a transition into what I really want to discuss. After all, it would’ve been a little weird for me to talk about The Relationship Poop Cycle right off the bat. In fact, from what I’ve been told, that’s the first rule they teach you in journalism school – “Don’t talk about The Relationship Poop Cycle right off the bat.”

So, now that I’ve introduced it, what is this Relationship Poop Cycle anyway? I’m glad you asked. It’s something I came up with while – you guessed it – taking a dump this past weekend that will surely revolutionize how you view your relationships. Here’s the gist of it: I’m of the opinion that you can gauge how seriously you view a romantic relationship and how much you like/love your partner based solely on your behavior when you are in their presence and, to alter a phrase from the 69 Boyz, you feel a poop coming on. The way I see it, as time passes and the relationship gets stronger, you will go back and forth with how comfortable you are pooping in front of your partner, which is why I refer to it as a “cycle”. Instead of trying to explain it further, I think it would work best if I just went ahead and jumped right into what the different phases of the cycle are. And by the way, since I’ve yet to even slightly figure out the female thought process, the cycle was created with the fellas in mind (but it’s still worth reading if you’re a woman because you’ll definitely learn how seriously your man views your relationship).

PHASE ONE – Don’t want her to know that you ever poop

This is in the preliminary stages of the relationship, usually within the first couple dates. Chances are that you aren’t yet an actual couple and since she doesn’t know much about you, you’re hesitant to excuse yourself because you don’t want her first memorable experience with you to be associated with defecation. Even if you can already tell that there won’t be a second or third date and you’ll never see her again for the rest of your life, you still don’t want her to know that you have to poop because it will forever haunt you to think about her friends asking her how the date went and her responding with “he left the table for 15 minutes to take a dump” or “he had to poop the entire night but didn’t want to be rude” (nobody wants someone’s lasting memory of them to revolve around feces). If you’re in this phase and you have to drop a deuce, your only real option is to tell the chick you don’t feel well, end the night early by taking her home so you can go back to your place and relieve yourself, and either reschedule another date within the next few days or never talk to her again. Or if you’re superhuman and can somehow take a sh*t in less than 5 minutes, I guess you could just excuse yourself like you were going to go #1 and then play it off like nothing happened (but be warned: unless you’re absolutely sure that you have the bowels of a god, I would strongly advise against this, as there’s a solid chance this could end up doing much more harm than good).

PHASE TWO – Comfortable enough to excuse yourself

At this point you’ve been on a few dates and she’s had the chance to get to know a little bit about you, so if you excuse yourself for 10-15 minutes, it won’t be the end of the world. After all, you’re human and pooping is the great common denominator of every person who has ever lived. Sure it’s not the best situation, but she understands and it’s not like she’s going to associate you with poop if she already likes you enough to go on four or five dates with you.

PHASE THREE – Explicitly announce that you have to poop

This is my favorite phase of any relationship and is exactly what it sounds like. By now, you know each other pretty well and she’s most likely your official girlfriend, so you see no reason to hide the fact that you just ate a couple of Chipotle burritos and will now be busy for the next 15-90 minutes. This is the phase where you basically tell her how it is and if she’s disgusted and can’t handle it, you’ll find someone who can. An interesting note here is that Phase Three is also the first significant phase in The Relationship Poop Cycle, because it most likely marks the first instance in which your girlfriend is on the same level as your friends and family.

PHASE FOUR – Comfortable enough to poop at her place

Phase Four is one of the most underrated phases because it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you’re in a relationship and it happens. Everyone knows that once you step outside the confines of your own house, it’s a whole different ball game, but in a relationship the stakes are raised that much more because clogging her toilet or having a Dumb and Dumber moment could very easily be a deal breaker for her. It’s common knowledge that before taking a dump in someone’s house, a man must always make sure he knows that there’s a plunger on hand, he knows where the backup toilet paper is, and he is confident that the bathroom fan could effectively mask the sound of any potential disturbingly gross drawn out farts. But that’s just the bare minimum. For some guys it takes much more than that to get comfortable enough to poop at their girlfriend’s place, and can sometimes take months for them to get to that point. Others, like me, though, don’t need quite as much time, which makes this phase the most debatable in The Relationship Poop Cycle (it’s probably actually Phase Three for me, but I know a lot of guys that this would be Phase Five or Six for). Either way, there’s no denying that pooping at your girlfriend’s place is definitely a big step in the relationship.

PHASE FIVE – Poop with the door open

Again, this phase is pretty self-explanatory and usually occurs a few months into the relationship at the absolute earliest (and almost always occurs after the relationship has at least gotten to third base). You don’t necessarily want her to see you taking a dump, but at this point you don’t care if she does because keeping the door open maintains good airflow, and that’s essential considering how majestic of a load you are capable of unleashing into the toilet. This phase basically tells her that you have officially integrated her into your life and you are now going back to the pooping behavior that you utilized before you met her, which is a pretty big deal if you really think about it.

PHASE SIX – Poop in front of her

This is similar to Phase Five, but is slightly different in that she’s actually in the bathroom with you as you poop. This is one of the more disgusting phases on The Cycle and is so disgusting, in fact, that some people save this phase for marriage. The important thing to remember here is that Phase Six doesn’t necessarily mean that she has to be in the bathroom with you every time you take a dump, but rather it means that you don’t mind if she brushes her teeth or does her makeup at the sink while you drop bombs in the toilet, usually because you both are in a hurry and can’t afford to wait on each other. As gross as this phase is, the good news for the women is that it’s almost exclusively for guys who are taking their relationship very seriously, think it has some real long-term potential, and aren’t afraid to admit that they’re in love. That’s right, ladies – he can get you all the flowers, chocolates, and stuffed animals in the world, but it won’t mean a thing until he busts down the bathroom door while you’re putting on your eyeliner, drops his drawers to his ankles, spreads his cheeks, and lets last night’s dinner ooze out of him without thinking twice about it. Then and only then will you know for sure that he loves you.

PHASE SEVEN – Respect her too much to poop in front of her

For what it’s worth, this is the phase I’m currently at with my fiancée and is really the entire inspiration for The Relationship Poop Cycle in the first place. This phase is reserved for guys who are either newly married, engaged, or have already figured out that they’re going to marry their girlfriend but they don’t have the money to buy a ring yet. At some point in your relationship, it finally hits you that your spouse/fiancée/girlfriend is going to be your life partner and the mother of your unborn (or born) children, and upon realizing how precious and special she really is you also realize that it’s incredibly disrespectful to poop in her presence. I like to think of this phase as the most romantic, because it’s basically your way of showing your significant other that you care for her so much that you want to shield her from the horrors of the world, namely the heap of toxicity coming out of your butthole. This is accomplished by shutting the door, doing your business, and sometimes even giving a courtesy flush and some aerosol spray to help dissipate the odor when you’re done. It’s the little things that mean the most.

PHASE EIGHT – Just stop caring altogether

At this point in the relationship, you’ve been together so long that the honeymoon feeling has worn off and you really just don’t have the energy to care anymore about whether or not you should poop in front of your wife. Besides, by now pooping in front of her probably wouldn’t even crack the top 50 most disgusting things she’s seen you do, so it’s really not even that big of a deal for either of you. In fact, the relationship has most likely reached the point where you poop in front of her without even realizing what you’re doing. You carry on a conversation while you’re on the toilet and even while you’re wiping, all without taking a second to step back and process how gross the situation actually is. The epitome of this phase is the middle-aged couple who have been together for so long and are so inseparable that they basically are the same person at this point and do everything together, including pooping. And yes, I did write that last sentence solely because I wanted all of you people who are my age to think about your dad taking a dump with your mom standing five feet from him (if you weren’t before, you are now!). You’re welcome for that mental image.

PHASE NINE – Getting on and off the toilet becomes a challenge

With the exception of Phase Ten, this is the saddest of the entire Relationship Poop Cycle. With this phase, you are so old and your body is so weak that squatting down onto the toilet and trying to get back up has become a real chore for you. Because of this, you want to close the door while you poop so your wife can’t see you in your feeble condition. I can’t say for sure (and am only speaking based on how I’ll probably act when I’m older), but I imagine these elderly men love their wives so much that they don’t want them to see how much trouble they have when they take a dump, because their wives will inevitably want to help and the men will feel guilty for being a burden. And so, they slowly drop their wrinkled cheeks to the porcelain, defecate with all their might, and methodically stand back up without so much as letting out a single groan. And they do it all in the name of love.

PHASE TEN – Swallow your pride and admit you need help

This is the final phase in The Relationship Poop Cycle and is undoubtedly the most depressing one. Whereas the other phases reflect how much a man cares for a woman, this phase is really more of a testament to how much the wife cares for the husband. After a few months or even years of living in Phase Nine, you finally swallow your pride and admit to your wife that you just can’t poop on your own anymore. Your fragile body can’t handle squatting up and down, and in some cases you might even have trouble twisting around to give your crack the proper wipe it needs. This is sad for all parties involved, but in a way it should be celebrated because it shows just how much love exists between you and your wife. In all seriousness, with all joking aside, and (insert whatever your favorite phrase to convey sincerity is), if I could define love with a single picture, it would be one of a wife wiping the bunghole of her ailing husband. You can’t possibly name me a more selfless act in this world than that.

And that’s The Relationship Poop Cycle. Personally, I think this needs to replace the relationship status feature on Facebook, as telling the world that you are Phase Six with a chick gives people a better understanding of the magnitude of the relationship than if you were to just put “in a relationship” with a chick. Anyway, there you have it. Fellas, if you were unsure how you felt about a girl you’re dating, let The Relationship Poop Cycle be your guide. If you tell your friends that you don’t love her, but you poop with her in the bathroom with you, you’re lying to both them and yourself. And ladies, if you wanted to know how your man really feels about you, now you know. If he says he loves you, but he’s never pooped with the door open and you in the other room, he’s just saying he loves you to get in your pants (or to avoid pissing you off). But if that’s the case, don’t let it get you down. I’m sure someday you’ll find Prince Charming and will eventually get the Phase Ten relationship we all strive for. And when that time comes and you’re wiping in between your 90-year-old husband’s scaly pale asscheeks as you’re overwhelmed with the feeling of love in the air, your entire life will be validated and suddenly all your failed relationships will be a distant memory. Mark my words.


As I mentioned in the last blog post, Brooks Godwin of Wake Forest won the inaugural contest among college basketball walk-ons from all over the country that I had been referring to as The Belt. Originally, the belt was basically just going to feature a bald eagle and that’s it, but after talking with the company that will make it, I apparently have more creative freedom than I initially thought. Having said that, I proudly present to you the mock-up (created by Keller) of the most badass thing these eyes have ever seen…

belt2black

If you plan on rubbing one out to this picture, I suggest first clicking on the belt to make the image larger.

Yes, the belt will be made of basketball leather, and yes, that’s Fundamentals Montage lightning in the background. Unfortunately, as of right now I can’t say for sure whether they can make this exact belt or not, but you can bet your balls I’m going to do everything I can to see that they get as close as possible to it. And with that, we can all officially start being jealous of Brooks Godwin now.

By the way, in case you cared here’s the final tally for what is now being referred to as the 2011 Club Trillion National Player of The Year award. It should be noted that Jarrett Sutton actually tied Brooks Godwin for total trillions, but Brooks dominated with the tiebreaker and thus claimed the belt. Anyway, props to Jarrett Sutton for making it a hell of a race (and props to Matthew Dorwart for making a late push).

The Belt (Final)

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          Like a medium fat person going to a Hometown Buffet        
Like a medium fat person going to a Hometown Buffet Like a medium fat person going to a Hometown Buffet

          London Photo Dump        

  Yes I know. There is no excuse for the quality of these photos but…

The post London Photo Dump appeared first on Oh The Savoir Faire.


          The Mysterious Case of Elisa Lam        

The Mysterious Case of Elisa Lam

leadlam
There are mysteries that are so eerie and strange that they boggle the mind for days on end. The case of Elisa Lam is one of them. In February 2013, this 21-year-old student from Vancouver, Canada, was found dead inside the Cecil Hotel’s rooftop water tank in Los Angeles. The L.A. County Department of Coroner ruled the death “accidental due to drowning” and said no traces of drugs or alcohol were found during the autopsy. However, there is much more to the story than what is implied by police reports. The first piece of evidence that needs to be considered is an elevator surveillance tape that recorded Elisa’s behavior only a few moments before she lost her life.
The four-minute video posted on YouTube shows Elisa pressing all of the elevator buttons and waiting for it to move. Seeing that the elevator doors are not closing, starts behaving extremely bizarrely. Here’s the video.
Right after the events of the video, Elisa apparently gained access to the rooftop of the hotel, climbed to its water tank and, somehow, ended up drowning in it. Her body was found two weeks after her death, after hotel guests complained about the water’s taste and color. Incredible.
At first, Elisa enters the elevator and apparently presses all of its buttons. She then waits for something to happen but, for some reason, the elevator door doesn’t shut. She starts to look around, as if she is expecting (or hiding from) someone. At 1:57, her arms and hands start moving in a very strange matter (almost not human) as she appears to be talking to someone, something … or nothing at all. She then walks away. The elevator door then shuts and appears to start working again.
Seeing the surveillance footage, most people would conclude that she was under the influence of drugs. However, Elisa did not have a history of drug use and her autopsy concluded that no drugs were involved. When one looks at the context and the circumstances of this death, things become even more mysterious.

Cecil Hotel’s Dark History

Built in the 1920s to cater to “businessmen to come into town and spend a night or two”, Cecil Hotel was quickly upstaged by more glamorous hotels. Located near the infamous Skid Row area, the hotel began renting rooms on a long-term basis for cheap prices, a policy that attracted a shiftier crowd. The hotel’s reputation quickly went from “shifty” to “morbid” when it became notorious for numerous suicides and murders, as well as lodging famous serial killers.
“Part of its sordid history, involves two serial killers,  Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.
Now on death row, Ramirez, labeled “the Nightstalker”, was living at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, in a top floor room.  He was charged 14 dollars a night.  In a building filled with transients, he remained unnoticed as he stalked and killed his 13 female victims. Richard Schave, said “He was dumping his bloody clothes in the Dumpster, at the end of his evening and returned via the back entrance.”
Jack Unterweger, was a journalist covering crime in Los Angeles for an Austrian magazine in 1991.  “We believe he was living at the Cecil Hotel in homage to Ramirez,” Schave said.
He is blamed with killing three prostitutes in Los Angeles, while being a guest at the Cecil.
In the 50’s and 60’s the Cecil was known as a place that people would go to jump out of one of the hotel’s windows to commit suicide.
Helen Gurnee, in her 50s, leaped from a seventh floor window, landing on the Cecil Hotel marquee, on October 22, 1954.
Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window, on February 11, 1962.
Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window after an argument with her estranged husband, on October 12, 1962.  Otton landed on George Gianinni, 65, who was walking on the side walk, 90 feet below. Both were killed instantly.
There was also a murder of one of the residents.  “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, known for protecting and feeding pigeons in a nearby park, was found dead in his ransacked room on June 4, 1964.  He had been stabbed, strangled, and raped.  The crime still remains unsolved.”
Elisa Lam’s case is yet another sordid addition to the hotel’s history and can lead us to ask: “What the hell is wrong with that place”?

The Movie “Dark Water”

dark_water
The story of Elisa Lam is eerily similar to the 2005 horror movie Dark Water. Dahlia, the main protagonist of the movie moves into an apartment building with her young daughter Cecilia. Both of these names are relevant. Black Dahlia is the nickname given to Elizabeth Short, a woman who was the victim of a gruesome murder in 1947 – one that appeared to be particularly ritualistic. The case was never solved. According to LA Observed, it is rumored that Black Dahlia was at Cecil Hotel right before she lost her life.
“The Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, is alleged in at least one book to have hung out at the Cecil and drank at the bar next door before she disappeared in 1947, though cultural historians Kim Cooper and Richard Schave of Esotouric say that’s just rumor.”
- LA Observed, Serial Killer Central
In the movie, the daughter’s name, Cecilia, is, obviously, quite similar to the name Cecil Hotel.
After moving into her apartment, Dahlia notices dark water leaking from the ceiling in her bathroom. She ultimately discovers that a young girl named Natasha Rimsky drowned in the building’s rooftop water tank, which caused the water to turn black. The owner of the apartment building knew about this fact but refused to take action. Elisa Lam’s body was  in the water tank for over two weeks, causing hotel guests to complain about foul tasting “black water”.
The ending of the movie is also eerily relevant: The apartment buildings elevator malfunctions and the ghost of Cecilia’s mother braids her hair. Is Elisa Lam’s death one of those ritualistic murders that are synchronistically mirrored in a Hollywood movie?

Another Strange Coincidence

Shortly after the discovery of Elisa Lam’s body, a deadly outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Skid Row, near Cecil Hotel. You probably won’t believe the name of the test kit used in these kinds of situations: LAM-ELISA. That is hardcore synchronicity.

No Foul Play?

LA authorities ruled in June 2013 that Elisa Lam’s death was accidental and that she was “probably bi-polar”. That being said, some questions remain unanswered. How did Elisa, who was obviously not in her right mind, end up in the hotel’s water tank, an area that is difficult to access? Here’s a news report describing the water tank area.
 As the reporter states in the video, the rooftop area is protected by an alarm system and the water tank is difficult to reach. How did Elisa reach that area? Also, how did she close the water tank lid?
As is usually the case for strange deaths, authorities have been incredibly secretive and non-transparent during this investigation. What truly happened here? Why are there so many strange coincidences? Why was Elisa Lam acting so strange in the elevator? Was there a ritualistic aspect to this death? Why is the Cecil Hotel a hotbed for these kinds of stories? Is there some paranormal stuff going on there involving dark entities? The mystery appears to be whole and authorities do not seem to be wanting to probe further. Maybe I should cite here the slogan that appears on Dark Water movie posters : “Some mysteries are not meant to be solved”.
Read more at http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mysterious-case-elisa-lam/#FZs5Pi7g3Eb2zD3o.99
          MySpace – Where the Kids Are        

Modern advertising says if you’re releasing a movie or launching a new TV show to saturate your audience, with a ton of TV commercials. If the movie/show’s parent studio also owns a TV station – better still. You can advertise the commodity for less on your own airwaves (e.g. 300 and Fox). But recently I’ve developed a flurry of MySpace pages for burgeoning network shows, and began to wonder about the efficacy of this new marketing avenue. With the exception of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force flick, it seems advertisers are steering away from guerilla marketing campaigns in favor of a presence on MySpace.

From a ground-level designer/advertiser perspective, the deal is you design the look of the MySpace creative as well as produce any/all of the Flash and video assets that are to reside on the page. Hand over the layered Photoshop files, Flash files and videos to MySpace with $250,000 and they put the custom page together and give you some preferential ad space.

Let’s back up the truck… a $250,000 media buy. You can argue that the ad space inside of MySpace is almost worthless, so that full media buy price is really going to just seaming the page together. For a large-scale movie release, $250k represents a small fraction of what they spend for on-air. However, for network shows that comes close to being their entire advertising budget – dumped right onto MySpace. This is like going to Vegas and laying down your entire life’s savings on the roulette table and proclaiming ‘black’… only without the ensuing ‘Vegas Wife’ that your kids refer to as such, so as not to confuse her with ‘Weekday Mommy’. The consequences are just as dramatic too. If your MySpace creative fails to capture the audience, you haven’t been able to hedge your proverbial bets advertising in any other medium. So, is it worth it? In a word, absolutely.

MySpace has roughly 80 million profiles, and it’s pretty much 1-to-1 relationship on profiles to people, so you’re talking about 80 million people in a captive environment. On TV’s best-rated program, American Idol, you’re looking at 30 million viewers. Thirty second spots on Idol are running around a million dollars per 30 seconds. Overly simplistic analysis: For one fourth the price, you’re nearly tripling your potential audience, and your presence will run a lot longer than 30 seconds (often weeks). Suddenly, it’s easier to understand why advertisers are flocking to MySpace.

Back to ground-level regional advertising… You have a client, an up-and-coming musician, a young actor, whatever. Basically, we’re talking about a client who needs the MySpace exposure, but needs something slick (not MySpace templates) and oh yeah, doesn’t have $250k. What do you do? The answer is simple. Same thing you do on any of your other projects – hire a good graphic designer to design a custom page and hire a really good programmer who can break MySpace’s layout. MySpace is built with old school HTML tables, which by definition keep content locked into little squares, which in turn keeps your pages looking like generic low-brow MySpace profiles. However, as I have discovered with a little persistence you can break free of the MySpace layout by breaking the tables. Insert false table-close arguments at the top of the page and all of a sudden you’re free to go to town with < DIV > boxes required to really make a custom look flourish... or you can hire this happy little firm to do it for you.

          JAVA Thread Dump 分析综述        
     摘要: 转载自:http://blog.csdn.net/rachel_luo/article/details/8920596最近在做性能测试,需要对线程堆栈进行分析,在网上收集了一些资料,学习完后,将相关知识整理在一起,输出文章如下。一、Thread Dump介绍1.1什么是Thread Dump?Thread Dump是非常有用的诊断Java应用问题的工具。每一个Java虚拟机都有及时生成所有线程在某...  é˜…读全文

疯狂 2015-12-14 18:04 发表评论

          HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER (2017) – SUBTITLE INDONESIA        
An aging Latin lover gets dumped by his sugar mama and must fend for himself in a harsh world.
          The German Woman        
The German Woman
author: Paul Griner
name: Ruth
average rating: 3.14
book published: 2009
rating: 2
read at: 2009/11/28
date added: 2016/07/29
shelves:
review:
In his credits, the author thanks his editor. I can’t quote what he says, the book’s gone back to the library, but the idea seemed to be that good editing was what turned a messy ms into a real book. I think more work was needed. The editing seams show. Sections, and even sometimes sentences, jump around in a disconcerting manner. You know, the kind of thing that happens when you move chunks of text around in a word-processing program.

Add to that a plot that is confusing in and of itself and it makes for a confusing trip. I was doing fine until Part I left the English nurse and her husband abruptly and we were dumped again about 20 years for Part II, and an entirely new protagonist, a supposed film writer, entered the scene. I was soon lost, and remained so until the end of the book. Despite Protagonist I being introduced into the life of Protagonist II, I saw little connection between the two parts of the book. In particular, the relationship between the two did not seem real or likely to me.

Despite its having started out with real promise, I have to give this one only 2 stars.


          JVM内存模型以及垃圾回收        

JVM内存模型以及垃圾回收
内存由 Perm 和 Heap 组成. 其中

Heap = {Old + NEW = { Eden , from, to } }
具体可查看javavisualvm

JVM内存模型中分两大块,一块是 NEW Generation, 另一块是Old Generation. 在New Generation中,有一个叫Eden的空间,主要是用来存放新生的对象,还有两个Survivor Spaces(from,to), 它们用来存放每次垃圾回收后存活下来的对象。在Old Generation中,主要存放应用程序中生命周期长的内存对象,还有个Permanent Generation,主要用来放JVM自己的反射对象,比如类对象和方法对象等。
 

垃圾回收描述:


在New Generation块中,垃圾回收一般用Copying的算法,速度快。每次GC的时候,存活下来的对象首先由Eden拷贝到某个Survivor Space, 当Survivor Space空间满了后, 剩下的live对象就被直接拷贝到Old Generation中去。因此,每次GC后,Eden内存块会被清空。在Old Generation块中,垃圾回收一般用mark-compact的算法,速度慢些,但减少内存要求.
垃圾回收分多级,0级为全部(Full)的垃圾回收,会回收OLD段中的垃圾;1级或以上为部分垃圾回收,只会回收NEW中的垃圾,内存溢出通常发生于OLD段或Perm段垃圾回收后,仍然无内存空间容纳新的Java对象的情况。

当一个URL被访问时,内存申请过程如下:
A. JVM会试图为相关Java对象在Eden中初始化一块内存区域
B. 当Eden空间足够时,内存申请结束。否则到下一步
C. JVM试图释放在Eden中所有不活跃的对象(这属于1或更高级的垃圾回收), 释放后若Eden空间仍然不足以放入新对象,则试图将部分Eden中活跃对象放入Survivor区
D. Survivor区被用来作为Eden及OLD的中间交换区域,当OLD区空间足够时,Survivor区的对象会被移到Old区,否则会被保留在Survivor区
E. 当OLD区空间不够时,JVM会在OLD区进行完全的垃圾收集(0级)
F. 完全垃圾收集后,若Survivor及OLD区仍然无法存放从Eden复制过来的部分对象,导致JVM无法在Eden区为新对象创建内存区域,则出现”out of memory错误”

JVM调优建议:

ms/mx:定义YOUNG+OLD段的总尺寸,ms为JVM启动时YOUNG+OLD的内存大小;mx为最大可占用的YOUNG+OLD内存大小。在用户生产环境上一般将这两个值设为相同,以减少运行期间系统在内存申请上所花的开销。
NewSize/MaxNewSize:定义YOUNG段的尺寸,NewSize为JVM启动时YOUNG的内存大小;MaxNewSize为最大可占用的YOUNG内存大小。在用户生产环境上一般将这两个值设为相同,以减少运行期间系统在内存申请上所花的开销。
PermSize/MaxPermSize:定义Perm段的尺寸,PermSize为JVM启动时Perm的内存大小;MaxPermSize为最大可占用的Perm内存大小。在用户生产环境上一般将这两个值设为相同,以减少运行期间系统在内存申请上所花的开销。
SurvivorRatio:设置Survivor空间和Eden空间的比例

内存溢出的可能性

1. OLD段溢出
这种内存溢出是最常见的情况之一,产生的原因可能是:
1) 设置的内存参数过小(ms/mx, NewSize/MaxNewSize)
2) 程序问题
单个程序持续进行消耗内存的处理,如循环几千次的字符串处理,对字符串处理应建议使用StringBuffer。此时不会报内存溢出错,却会使系统持续垃圾收集,无法处理其它请求,相关问题程序可通过Thread Dump获取(见系统问题诊断一章)单个程序所申请内存过大,有的程序会申请几十乃至几百兆内存,此时JVM也会因无法申请到资源而出现内存溢出,对此首先要找到相关功能,然后交予程序员修改,要找到相关程序,必须在Apache日志中寻找。
当Java对象使用完毕后,其所引用的对象却没有销毁,使得JVM认为他还是活跃的对象而不进行回收,这样累计占用了大量内存而无法释放。由于目前市面上还没有对系统影响小的内存分析工具,故此时只能和程序员一起定位。


2. Perm段溢出
通常由于Perm段装载了大量的Servlet类而导致溢出,目前的解决办法:
1) 将PermSize扩大,一般256M能够满足要求
2) 若别无选择,则只能将servlet的路径加到CLASSPATH中,但一般不建议这么处理

3. C Heap溢出
系统对C Heap没有限制,故C Heap发生问题时,Java进程所占内存会持续增长,直到占用所有可用系统内存

其他:

JVM有2个GC线程。第一个线程负责回收Heap的Young区。第二个线程在Heap不足时,遍历Heap,将Young 区升级为Older区。Older区的大小等于-Xmx减去-Xmn,不能将-Xms的值设的过大,因为第二个线程被迫运行会降低JVM的性能。

为什么一些程序频繁发生GC?有如下原因:
l         程序内调用了System.gc()或Runtime.gc()。
l         一些中间件软件调用自己的GC方法,此时需要设置参数禁止这些GC。
l         Java的Heap太小,一般默认的Heap值都很小。
l         频繁实例化对象,Release对象。此时尽量保存并重用对象,例如使用StringBuffer()和String()。
如果你发现每次GC后,Heap的剩余空间会是总空间的50%,这表示你的Heap处于健康状态。许多Server端的Java程序每次GC后最好能有65%的剩余空间。
经验之谈:
1.Server端JVM最好将-Xms和-Xmx设为相同值。为了优化GC,最好让-Xmn值约等于-Xmx的1/3[2]。
2.一个GUI程序最好是每10到20秒间运行一次GC,每次在半秒之内完成[2]。
注意:
1.增加Heap的大小虽然会降低GC的频率,但也增加了每次GC的时间。并且GC运行时,所有的用户线程将暂停,也就是GC期间,Java应用程序不做任何工作。
2.Heap大小并不决定进程的内存使用量。进程的内存使用量要大于-Xmx定义的值,因为Java为其他任务分配内存,例如每个线程的Stack等。
2.Stack的设定
每个线程都有他自己的Stack。

-Xss 每个线程的Stack大小

Stack的大小限制着线程的数量。如果Stack过大就好导致内存溢漏。-Xss参数决定Stack大小,例如-Xss1024K。如果Stack太小,也会导致Stack溢漏。
3.硬件环境
硬件环境也影响GC的效率,例如机器的种类,内存,swap空间,和CPU的数量。
如果你的程序需要频繁创建很多transient对象,会导致JVM频繁GC。这种情况你可以增加机器的内存,来减少Swap空间的使用[2]。
4.4种GC
第一种为单线程GC,也是默认的GC。,该GC适用于单CPU机器。
第二种为Throughput GC,是多线程的GC,适用于多CPU,使用大量线程的程序。第二种GC与第一种GC相似,不同在于GC在收集Young区是多线程的,但在Old区和第一种一样,仍然采用单线程。-XX:+UseParallelGC参数启动该GC。
第三种为Concurrent Low Pause GC,类似于第一种,适用于多CPU,并要求缩短因GC造成程序停滞的时间。这种GC可以在Old区的回收同时,运行应用程序。-XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC参数启动该GC。
第四种为Incremental Low Pause GC,适用于要求缩短因GC造成程序停滞的时间。这种GC可以在Young区回收的同时,回收一部分Old区对象。-Xincgc参数启动该GC。



疯狂 2011-03-08 13:16 发表评论

          Five doves found dumped in a box near Newport        
FIVE doves were found dumped in a cardboard box near Newport and the RSPCA Cymru has launched an urgent appeal to find out where they came from.
          Trump Hints At New Limits On Steel Imports        
President Trump is hinting that he may impose tariffs, quotas or both on imported steel in an effort to protect the domestic steel industry. "Steel is a big problem," Trump told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One en route to Paris, where he landed Thursday. "We're like a dumping ground, OK? [Other countries are] dumping steel and destroying our steel industry. They've been doing it for decades and I'm stopping it." "There are two ways," Trump said, "quotas and tariffs. Maybe I'll do both." The Commerce Department has been conducting a review of both steel and aluminum imports under a rarely used 1962 statute designed to protect industries deemed vital to national security. Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters in April that imports now account for more than a quarter of the U.S. steel market, while domestic steel mills are operating at just 71 percent of capacity. Trump railed against what he called unfair trade practices throughout the campaign and has continued to advocate
          Houston : Repurposing Older Furnishings to Make Them New Again for Your New Home in Houston        

Sometimes a piece of older furniture is an antique that has been passed down through the generations or purchased simply for a love of the piece. Other times, a piece of older furniture is just a piece of old, worn-out furniture that doesn’t seem to have a place in your new home in Houston. However, don’t send it off to the dump just yet. With a little TLC, it’s amazing how old junk can become valuable home decorations.

Perhaps you have a sturdy-but-worn, thrift-store kitchen table left over from your first apartment. If the table itself is still functional but not looking its best, give it a makeover and turn it into a unique, stylish addition to your new home. The top has most likely seen its share of wear and tear, so give it a facelift with squares of old wallpaper samples or cover it in decorative tile. Give the legs a quick sanding and then paint them a bright, complementary color to add new life to an old table.

Another way to breathe new life into old furniture is by repurposing it. By using an old piece in a new way, you can create one-of-a-kind pieces that give your home character and style. For instance, if you have an old wooden headboard that your child has outgrown, trim the legs and turn the main headboard into a coat rack to hang by the front or back door. If necessary, paint it a color to suit the space and then add some attractive hooks along the base. They can be used to hang everything from school backpacks to house keys, helping you keep track of everything you need as you rush out the door. Use decorative numbers or letters found in most craft stores to add a personal, decorative flair.

Even something as unusual as a wooden ladder can be turned into a useful and attractive piece of furniture in your new home in Houston. A wooden ladder can be sanded down then stained or painted and placed at an angle against the wall in a family room near the sofa. It soon becomes a great way to display blankets for snuggling under during cooler weather. The steps can also be used to hold photos or other small decorations.

The next time you come across an old piece of furniture that seems like it has outlived its usefulness, give it another look. New paint or a new purpose can add years to the life of almost any piece.


          The ‘Legend’ of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH        
Shock Till You Drop
The ‘Legend’ of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

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SHOCK dissects the first and best adaptation of Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH.

Dr. Robert Morgan is not a well man. A mysterious airborne, plague-bearing dust storm has smothered the world, killing every man, woman and child and reviving them as sluggish, dull witted and eternally ravenous vampires. And yet, somehow, someway, Morgan has remained immune, completely unscathed…well, physically, anyway. He lives his life like a machine, by day rising early, clearing the streets of comatose, emaciated ghouls and throwing their barely living bodies into an eternally burning tar pit, tracking the sleeping stronger ones to their lairs and driving his specially made stakes through their hearts.

But by night, when the sun sinks below the horizon, the fanged echoes of mankind come-a-crawling out of their hiding spots, stumbling towards Morgan’s garlic and mirror fortified bungalow, clawing at his windows, screaming for his flesh and his blood. Such nerve shredding conditions might drive a weaker man to madness but, though he skirts insanity often, Morgan instead opts to play his jazz records loud, pour scotch, crawl into bed, squish a pillow against his head and wait, always wait, for the break of day when he’ll get up and start the horrible cycle all over again. Unbeknownst to Morgan however, he’s being watched by something other than the monsters, something that views him as an even bigger threat than the red-eyed viral vampires themselves.

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This is the story charted in directors Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo Ragona’s 1964 Vincent Price vehicle THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, the first (and to date, best) stab at adapting influential dark fantasy author Richard Matheson’s still blistering existential 1954 vampire novella I AM LEGEND to screen. Written, then disowned, by the notoriously cranky author, the low budget Robert Lippert (THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING) Italian/US co-production had often been dismissed as a failed attempt to capture the psyche-destroying , bloodsucker-staking exploits of Matheson’s eternally put upon virus survivor, Robert Neville. Thankfully, that perception has changed through the years. Because although it inexplicably changes its hero’s name from Neville to Morgan, and tweaks the ending somewhat, it otherwise seldom strays from the novella’s narrative and perfectly captures it’s bleaker than bleak tone, downbeat mood and broken heart.

The history of I AM LEGEND and its checkered journey to screen is rather fascinating. Matheson’s gripping, intelligent and horrifying novella became a hit in sci-fi /dark fantasy/pulp fiction circles upon release, eventually landing squarely on the radar of fledgling UK studio Hammer Films. The lads at Hammer commissioned Matheson to self-adapt a screenplay, which he did, reportedly brilliantly and faithfully from a straightforward text that almost read like a script to begin with. But, when the British censor skimmed that script, they were disgusted, promising that the downbeat, violent and depressing film would never, ever get passed. Hammer, still in their relative infancy, were terrified of the all- powerful board and released Matheson from his contract, his screenplay left untouched and un-filmed.

The property floated around for years before American born, British based B-movie producer Robert Lippert got his mitts on it, finally inking an Italian co-production deal, oddly altering the script, hiring a fresh from Roger Corman-ville Vincent Price to play the lead and shooting the whole affair on a shoestring in Rome. When Matheson heard of the changes and rewrites to his script, and the casting of the larger than life Price as his reluctant working class hero Robert Neville, he balked and demanded his name be removed from the credits, instead sticking his often used pseudonym Logan Swanson on the final print. The movie was dumped into drive-ins, dismissed by critics and almost completely forgotten.

Title: LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE (1963) ¥ Pers: PRICE, VINCENT ¥ Year: 1963 ¥ Dir: SALKOW, SIDNEY ¥ Ref: LAS111AB ¥ Credit: [ THE KOBAL COLLECTION / AIP ]

But what makes THE LAST MAN ON EARTH the superior cinematic vision of Matheson’s somber, frightening text is the profound way it handles Morgan/Neville’s search for grim purpose. His is a life pushed to the brink and beyond and yet, as his heroic, defiant nature dictates, he fights back; through his terrifying nights, his blood-drenched days and his bittersweet dawns, Morgan refuses to succumb to his hopeless situation, refuses to even abandon his ramshackle bungalow. He becomes a kind of lone wolf, a vigilante, and then a kind of prophet, finally a martyr but always he’s a caretaker, one whose life’s work is to dispose of the sub-human monsters that have insidiously infested what was once a bright and beautiful world and have so cruelly cannibalized any fond memories he may have once had anything resembling a happy life. And though they come to scrape at his windows like clockwork and though the rotting females pout and slink in a vulgar attempt to arouse him, he accepts the vampires, he adapts. To quote Matheson from an interview I conducted with him many years ago, it’s the ultimate “portrait of an everyday Joe confronted with the arcane and emerging somewhat triumphant.”

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Even more resonant is the fact that THE LAST MAN ON EARTH retains the absolutely pivotal character of Ben Cortman (though Anthony Zerbe’s mentally unbalanced mutant albino cult leader Mathias in the second and strangest version of the story, THE OMEGA MAN, is certainly a loose variation on him). If you’ve read the novel, you’ll recall that Ben Cortman was a friend, neighbor and colleague to Robert Neville who, post plague, became his chief vampiric adversary. Along with his tireless pack of drooling undead, Cortman is really Neville’s perverted connection to his former humanity, a distorted nightmare logic vision of the man he once was. Over the span of time that the action in Matheson’s story unfolds in, the presence of Ben Cortman is both horrific and hopeful, distilling our hero’s misery and re-focusing it as anger, as a need, a divine mission to kill Cortman, a desire that almost single-handedly saves him from suicide. Cortman is in essence Neville’s ‘El Dorado’ his quest, his reason for waking, yet the kind of quest in which the searcher secretly pines to never complete, lest he be left with nothing to chase. LAST MAN keeps this disturbing dichotomy and mutually corrosive relationship wholly intact. In flashback, the film shows Ben Cortman (here played by Giacomo Rossi-Stuart from Mario Bava’s KILL BABY, KILL) and Morgan socializing at their children’s birthday parties, then trying to develop a cure for the plague, before finally emerging as otherworldly enemies, as a constantly reversing of the hunter/prey dynamic.

It’s a crucial narrative element that’s deftly handled and is both appropriately unsettling and almost overwhelmingly tragic.

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Just as beautifully rendered are the final days in the lives of Morgan’s wife and daughter. As the rapidly disintegrating government insists on incineration of the deceased plague victims remains, Morgan, in a temporary fit of unbearable grief and searing madness, goes after the federal body burners in a vain attempt to rescue his little girl’s corpse from the fire. When he returns home, morally beaten and empty handed to find his wife dead, he takes her corpse to a nearby field for a proper burial. Later that night, while Morgan reclines in a chair and waits for the inevitable, a la ‘The Monkey’s Paw’, his spouses’ now gurgled voice chants ‘Robert, Robert…”, her unseen dirty and bloodless hands twisting the door handle, as she grins and moves in to give her still living husband the kiss of death.

And what of poor Vincent Price, the chief reason Richard Matheson turned up his nose at the film to begin with? How does this hammy, wonderfully theatrical icon of horror fare as the haunted, tortured last living man on the planet? In the context of the film, fucking great, I’d say. Price’s hangdog, wounded face and melancholy internal monologue voice-overs are amazing and, if not quite the blue collar Neville of the book, his Robert Morgan is never anything but believable and sympathetic.

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Ultimately however, the three (four if you count Romero’s 1968 self-proclaimed LEGEND rip off NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) filmed versions of Matheson’s soul-destroying masterwork fail to translate his unpretentious majesty verbatim, but really why would you want them too? Movies are dreams. They should be visions of their inspirations, not duplicates. I love THE OMEGA MAN for its bombast, its 70’s action movie bravado, affecting Charlton Heston performance, its then topical sexual/racial politics and of course, that brilliant Ron Grainer score. I really like the 2007 Will Smith version for its haunting urban decay tableaux, its wrenching isolation and magnification of the heart sinking Neville/dog incident and relentlessly sad tone (though the film falls apart in the final reel). But thus far, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is the only one that has managed to exist as an aggressively depressing and lyrical nightmare, taking all that was profound and painful in the source text and re-presenting it as a low-budget but evocative and funereal slice of semi-cerebral pulp.

Flawed but unforgettable, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH deserves multiple viewings and a secure place in the annals of classic horror cinema. The recent inclusion of the film in Scream Factory’s second Blu-ray Vincent Price Collection means you can see this once though lost to the public domain gem in glorious high-def and the commentary on that release by horror historian (and SHOCK scribe) David Del Valle is marvelous.

If you haven’t seen it…see it. Soon. And to the late, great Richard Matheson, wherever you are….thanks man.

The post The ‘Legend’ of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.


          Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television        
Shock Till You Drop
Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television

GameMarshall

 

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SHOCK goes wild and reveals ten horror legends and their ventures into mainstream television.

It’s a sad fact that theatrical feature films are today suffering through a sort of creative dormancy, causing Hollywood’s top talents to migrate over to television’s artist-friendly climate. The horror genre has been especially affected by this trend, with beloved directors seeking work in TV not only for a paying gig, but also to stretch out with subject matter not usually brought their way. Many of these directors have actually been tacking television for years, as the examples below illustrate. Now, this list isn’t to showcase horror folks doing yet more scary stuff on the small screen, such as stints on TWILIGHT ZONE or HANNIBAL or THE WALKING DEAD, but are a look at familiar filmmakers using (or having used) the dominance of television programs for the chance to do something a little unexpected…

CASEBUSTERS (Wes Craven)

No filmmaker felt more ghettoized by the horror genre than the late Wes Craven, and he famously leveraged his SCREAM clout for the opportunity to direct Meryl Streep in the cloying biopic MUSIC FROM THE HEART. But in 1986, well before his Streep gambit, Craven was thinking of the kids—his film DEADLY FRIEND was something he hoped would connect with younger audiences, and it was instead hijacked by the studio and loaded up with ridiculous gore sequences. That same year, Craven would finally get to make a genuine kiddie flick, as he went into league with the House of Mouse to direct an installment of their stalwart WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY program. Craven’s effort, feeling very much like an aborted series pilot, is called CASEBUSTERS, and it concerns a brother (Noah Hathaway of TROLL) and sister, the latter of which is obsessed with detective novels. The duo are helping out their kindly, podgy grandpa (character actor Pat Hingle), who happens to be a private investigator-slash-neighborhood watchman. Teaming up with local delinquent “Ski”, Grandpa and the youngsters take on a geeky Rick Moranis clone and a harridan in mom jeans who are out running a lame counterfeiting scheme. From hilariously awkward and misplaced narration by Hingle, to three (!) ineptly-staged car chases, to dumbed-down and preposterous plotting (the little sister blackmails a guy into chasing down the baddies by threatening him with a fine for dumping garbage?), CASEBUSTERS is juvenile, moronic fluff. Sorry, Wes.

GAME OF THRONES (Neil Marshall)

Fiendishly popular GAME OF THRONES has no shortage of epic set pieces and enormous battles, something Neil Marshall had previous experience in mounting through his swashbuckling 2010 film CENTURION. Marshall got the nod to direct two of GAMES’ heaviest episodes, and it’s difficult to discuss the particulars without spoiling any of the series’ intricate political machinations. Suffice it to say that when Marshall’s name flashes up on the credits of a particular episode, in-tune viewers know that they are primed for scope and scale—it was Marshall who marshalled the massive brawl between the sentries of the Night’s Watch and the feral tribe known as the Wildlings, and the results can be witnessed in the clip below:

NEW YORK UNDERCOVER (Mick Garris)

Having set or broken ratings records with his Stephen King miniseries, it makes sense that Mick Garris would be recruited over the years to hop aboard a number of successful programs. Garris has thus demonstrated his ability to work with the darker corners of teen-driven dramas like PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and RAVENSWOOD, and macabre grownup fare like THE WITCHES OF EAST END and HAPPY TOWN, but it was his helming an episode of Dick Wolf’s mid-nineties cop actioner NEW YORK UNDERCOVER that comes out of left field. UNDERCOVER was part of the then-upstart Fox network’s attempt to coax a younger demographic, and featured regular performances from hip-hop and R n’ B stars of the day. Garris’s episode has cool-guy detectives Williams and Torres backing a local reverend against an evil cigarette conglomerate’s attempts to discredit him, and boasts an appearance by controversial social critic Al Sharpton.

CSI: MIAMI (Rob Zombie)

For Rob Zombie’s many critics who would dearly love to see him direct a script that he didn’t write himself, look no further—in 2010, Zombie was behind the camera for an episode of CSI: MIAMI, conjuring that Bruckheimer beige glow around star David Caruso. There are traces of Zombie’s visual flair during an opening party sequence, and members of the Zombie zoo show up in the form of William Forsyth, Malcolm McDowell, and Sheri Moon Zombie (and there’s also a cameo by ZZ top’s Billy Gibbons!), but the episode hews closely to the standard CSI procedural outlay. The far more amusing result of Zombie’s network television dalliance is his interview anecdote regarding the notoriously crotchety Caruso, starting at 3:55:

DREAM ON (John Landis)

John Landis will the first person to tell you that he’s hardly a horror icon, having only ever made two features in the genre. He most definitely has a dozen blockbuster comedies to his name, so it was hardly an out of character move for Landis to concoct his own sitcom, bringing in FRIENDS’ Marta Kaufman and David Crane to assist in developing it. Alongside TALES FROM THE CRYPT, DREAM ON was a key component of HBO’s early wave of original programming, and Landis would direct many of the episodes himself. The show starred Brian Benben (with whom Landis would reunite in the awful MASTERS OF HORROR episode ‘Deer Woman’) as Martin Tupper, an NYC book editor fumbling through post-divorce dating life. The show’s gimmick is that Tupper spent so much time in front of the television as a child that footage from ancient programs would be spliced in to comment on the action, as Tupper’s brain presumably would do. While DREAM ON’s risqué humor, spicy language, and frequent instances of nudity broke ground for the TV sitcom format, the plots were repetitive and the clips themselves quickly become annoying. Still, Landis can take heart in knowing that his show was in on the ground floor of the towering program slate for which HBO has since become renowned. Here’s a trailer for the show, in German:

 HAWAII FIVE-0 (Joe Dante)

Joe Dante has made the odd venture into television throughout his career with a number of forgotten series, such as the excellent kid-oriented spookshow EERIE, INDIANA. And like Rob Zombie, Dante dipped his toe into the CSI world by directing an Amityville-themed 2009 episode of CSI: NY. It’s no big stunner to see that Dante can handle horror on large or small screens, but the surprise is how he became a staple of the HAWAII FIVE-0 revival, directing a total of nine episodes of what has proven to be a solid and consistently entertaining cop series. Of course, the assignment of shooting this year’s atmospheric Halloween-themed HAWAII episode went to Dante, and here’s a nasty, maggoty clip of that particular work:

SCALES OF JUSTICE (David Cronenberg)

As most die-hard fans are aware, David Cronenberg veered into television by directing an episode of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES, a show that conveniently shot in Cronenberg’s hometown of Toronto. Less prominent on Cronenberg’s T.V. resume is his direction of two episodes of SCALES OF JUSTICE, a crime re-enactment program hosted by esteemed Canadian defence attorney Edward Greenspan. SCALES was adapted from a long-running radio program of the same name, and the screen version was, to be honest, a stiff and amateurish Northern answer to slicker U.S. fare like UNSOLVED MYSTERIES. Surviving episodes are almost impossible to find—though a brief, unremarkable clip from one of Cronenberg’s efforts can be viewed here:

THE WINNERS (George A. Romero)

Laurel Entertainment was the name of the Pittsburgh production company founded by George A. Romero and partner Richard Rubenstein. In addition to Laurel’s involvement with feature films, the company also produced a series of sports documentaries during the mid-seventies under the title THE WINNERS. Romero himself would cut several episodes of THE WINNERS together; besides a celebration of legendary Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell, there was also a 1974 ode to the gridiron accomplishments of one O.J. Simpson. In retrospect, this short doc is arguably the most horrific project of Romero’s career, but at the time Simpson was a spotless paragon of athletic prowess and adored for his affable, approachable public demeanor. The documentary itself amounts to standard sports-profile fawning, and fairly drips with hilarious seventies’ funky-flute music and graphics, but brush aside the now-odious subject matter and it stands as an excellent example of Romero’s tremendous editing skill, especially in the short pre-credits locker room sequence.

THE EQUALIZER (Tobe Hooper)

In between shooting his features TCM2 and SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION in the late eighties, Tobe Hooper also got sidetracked by several TV projects. There were the shows that one might expect, from Spielberg’s Garris-guided AMAZING STORIES to the pilot of FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES, and a real curveball among them—an episode of righteous action-drama THE EQUALIZER, a sort of upscale A-TEAM in which a retired British spy (played primly by THE WICKER MAN’s Edward Woodward) is contacted via personal ad by New York’s downtrodden, and then Woodward goes to work in their defense. Hooper’s episode has a family battling a slumlord, and features an uncharacteristically restrained performance by a young Michael (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) Rooker, which balances a hilarious, over-the-top Michael (BARTON FINK) Lerner as the heartless slumlord. As with most EQUALIZER episodes, the two-dimensional melodrama is laid on thicker than mayonnaise, and Hooper can’t manage to impart enough of his personality to rescue a single minute of this soppy network slop.

RAKE (Sam Raimi)

Sam Raimi is no stranger to filling up T.V. schedules with Renaissance Pictures’ output in the capacity of producer, and he very recently directed the opening salvo of the Starz channel’s ASH VS. EVIL DEAD series. Less acknowledged is his participation in 2014’s Greg Kinnear vehicle RAKE. Any inch of film or byte of DV directed by Raimi is prized by film nerds for its visual inventiveness, but beyond the splatstick of the EVIL DEAD trilogy or the grandiose spectacle of his SPIDER-MAN and OZ films, Raimi is also an unheralded master of slow-burn drama (Sure, THE GIFT may be spotty, but A SIMPLE PLAN is an American crime classic). RAKE sits squarely in the comedic side of Raimi’s repertoire, and gives him another puffed-up protagonist to torture through karmic misfortunes; this one deftly played by Raimi’s GIFT star Kinnear. Kinnear’s character Keegan Dean isn’t quite in Ash’s delusory league, but roguish attorney Dean is a pretty flawed hero nonetheless. Raimi directed RAKE’s pilot, guest starring the great Peter (FARGO) Stormare as a serial killer, and returned for episode four. Entitled ‘Cannibal’, the episode has AMERICAN HORROR STORY’s Denis O’Hare playing a debonair flesheater that Kean is hired defend in court—before horror fans get too excited, know that this cannibal is handled mostly for laughs, and that the consumption turns out to be consensual. Overall, the short-lived RAKE was a witty, acerbic show gone too soon. (And yes, Raimi devotees, “The Classic” makes a split-second cameo at the end of ‘Cannibal’.)

The post Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.


          Losing, Then Gaining It At the Little 2014        
  After my dismal performance at RUTS, I was hoping for the Little to go a little better.  I saw my doctor on Tuesday after RUTS and talked to her about a few things; mainly how much walking could I do and if a support belt would help.  She told me I could walk as much as I wanted and a support belt may help.  So I bought a cheap one that would lift my expanding belly up some, hopefully up off of my bladder.  I was hoping I could complete one loop without having to stop midways at the little (one loop is 2.95 miles) but it was reassuring that the loop was like a figure 8, so that if I needed to stop, I could.
  Although I hadn't been training, I had a secret mileage goal.  I always have some sort of goal at my races, whether time or distance, and this one was no different.  I shared my goal with one of my mentors via email.  His response was,
“i wish you luck.
the exercise is good for you and the young one....
maybe as little more regular activity would help!”
That last line really ticked me off, which was probably his goal in the first place, but it wasn't like I had been sitting around eating bon bons.  I had been working in the yard a lot for the past month putting out over 80 bags of mulch and clearing a fence line.  (Why I feel so compelled to get the yard right before the baby comes is beyond me, but it is what it is).  So there I was, fired up and heading to Ohio.
  I stopped at Crack and ate dinner and also ordered 2 side salads for during the race before heading to Shane’s house.  I was looking forward to seeing everyone, and especially looking forward to watching my friend Amber go for her first 50 miler.  Stu, Brad, and Scott (all vol state alumni) were already there and getting stuff set up.  I settled in helping anyway I could.  We headed out with the wheelbarrow marking the course.  I was surprised how much I remembered of the course, but there were a few sticky spots that I didn't remember, but Scott cleared us up on it.  Shane and Karen arrived and he checked the course markings and we were good to go for tomorrow.  I retired to the bus for some much needed sleep.
  I quickly found out that I don’t maneuver as well 5.5 months pregnant in the back of the bus, let alone sleep well.  I am a belly sleeper and I quickly found out that sleeping on my sides in the bus was very uncomfortable.  I had to keep turning sides throughout the night because my hips were going straight thru my mattress.  It got quite chilly that night also, so when I had to pee, I wouldn't let myself get up because it was too cold.  Not to mention when I finally got up, I had a hard time getting my shoes.  Literally reaching for my shoes in the floor board was hard.  I practically fell out of the bus when I climbed out, accidentally hitting Amber’s vehicle with the door (sorry again Amber!).  It was pretty comical if I wasn't so tired, but oh well, get up and do your best.
  I got my number from Stu and got everything together.  I already put most of my stuff out last night at my table.  I also told Amber that I had way more stuff than you should ever need for a race.  I didn't want her to pick up any bad habits since I had brought so much stuff.  The main thing my doctor cautioned me on was not to get overheated and not to get dehydrated.  Also, to keep food in me for the baby.  So I came prepared mainly for those guidelines.

  It wasn’t long and Stu started the race and we were off.  I tried jogging a little and felt fine.  I caught up to Karen Riddle, who is doing vol state this year, and we chatted about that race.  It wasn’t long before we went through the halfway point and I stopped and used the port o potty before heading out again.  That was a tiny bit discouraging, but I quickly headed back out and soon was coming in from the first lap.  It took me 48 minutes.  I was super happy about that.  I headed back out again still jogging a little but about a third of the way I realized I didn't have the fitness to keep jogging and switched to walking.  I was okay with that though.  I knew I hadn't been training and I knew going in that I would be walking the majority of the race.  No big deal.  I also decided that I would try to get 3 laps in before I sat down to rest my legs.  I was a little concerned about swelling and knew that if I was going to be walking and on my feet that long, then I probably should get off of them for a few minutes.  Plus, it was a great motivator to get done with laps.  Second lap only took 49 minutes.  I was still feeling great when I came into the AS but my stomach had started to grumble a little.  So I grabbed one of the side salads out of the cooler and put dressing on it and headed back out.  The first section is shorter, so I figured I could eat while I walked along and then dump it when I passed thru.  I chuckled to myself wondering at how many other races you see someone walking along on the course carrying a salad and happily munching along.  I knew I couldn't afford the time to sit and eat it and with my stomach growling so loud, I needed something in it.  It worked…not to mention, I was just happy to be there.  No one was competing against me and I surely wasn't competing against anyone.  It took me 55 minutes to finish my third lap.  I walked all of it, so I knew this would be closer to my pace that I needed to stay on top of my goal. 
  Since this was my third lap, I did sit down and prop my feet up.  I figured I had done almost 9 miles, so I gave myself 8 minutes of rest.  Then I got up and headed back out.  With that rest break added in, my fourth lap took me 62 minutes.  The fifth lap, I was able to get my time back to where it should be without the rest break and stopping to grab a handful of trail mix.  Fifth lap was 54 minutes with the thought of grilled cheese sandwiches propelling me onward.  I was excited to head out on the sixth lap because it was getting close to lunch and my belly was letting me know it again.  I had been thinking about grilled cheese for over an hour now and I finished the sixth lap in 57 minutes. 
  I had brought my camp stove and quickly got it going and dug out my bread and butter for my sandwiches.  When I grabbed the cheese out though, it had water all in the package, and not just plain water but one of the ranch dressing cups had leaked into the cooler so everything was a milky white.  I drained out the water and pulled chunks of cheese apart to try to get some cheese for my sandwich.  About that time, Amber came through and I asked her if she wanted a sandwich and she agreed.  I sent her out on the loop with thoughts of grilled cheese upon her return.  I quickly got her sandwich finished and then worked to get enough cheese pulled apart to make mine.  I hoped they would be edible.  Apparently they were, Amber and I both ate ours, but I wanted one more.  At that time, Shane came in and I showed him the cheese debacle and he offered some cheese in the house.  He said his mom was in there working on some and asked if I could help her.  So I headed in to see what I could do.  Shane had a Panini maker and neither one of quite knew how to work it and it was taking so long, I eventually headed outside with a plate full of bread and cheese and restarted my stove and got sandwiches made.  I didn't mind helping out for the return of some cheese, but I knew I was losing some time trying to get the sandwiches cooked.  We eventually got a loaf of sandwiches made for the runners and I ate one more and then headed back out.  I am not sure what time I started back out, but my 7th lap shows me taking 2 hours and 4 minutes to complete.  So I was an hour behind where I wanted to be, but I did get my belly full, other runners got their bellies full, and I was still moving.  I have to say, at this point, I was feeling pretty good about things.  Although it was getting hotter and I was having a love/hate relationship with the field of dreams.  I loved the field because it meant you were at the end of your lap.  Yeah another lap completed!  But there was about zero shade cover and it was just hot out there.  I had brought an umbrella for that specific section, but for some reason I never remembered to get it out.  Baby brain I guess?  I was happy that the support belt did seem to help.  After my short stint volunteering, I had forgotten to put it on.  I did actually notice a difference and was glad to get back to the AS and put it back on.  So it was nice to know that it was money well spent.  I wish I would've had it at RUTS.

  The seventh lap took me 63 minutes.  I was starting to slow down some and starting to look forward to the ninth lap where I could sit and take a load off.  I was also worrying that I was beginning to dehydrate.  I wasn’t peeing as much.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had to go pee, but not as much flow coming out.  I thought a couple of times about asking Shane to use the indoor bathroom so I could check my pee’s color since the port o pot was useless for that, but that idea didn't sit well with me.  At this race, I kind of pride myself on being self-sufficient.  So even using the indoor plumbing didn't jive with me.  At least I worked for my cheese.  J   I came in from lap 8 completing 23.66 miles and finished lap 8 in 63 minutes.   The thought of getting closer to sitting down for a break, propelled me a little faster to get lap 9 done.  I finished in 58 minutes and I promptly took my sitting rest break.  I took about 20 minutes sitting and eating cantaloupe, which I also offered to anyone that came through.  I wished I hadn't of ate all of my strawberries on the drive up to the race.  I already had doubled my efforts from RUTS but I knew I was having a harder time moving forward.  I gave the rest of the cantaloupe to Stu and headed out on my 10th lap.  I didn't think I could keep going to get 50 miles in.  That would be 8 laps to go, counting the lap I was starting.  It was already after 3:30 in the afternoon.  Without any rest breaks at all, that would have me finishing at 12:30. Plus, I knew I wanted to stop to see Amber finish her 50 miler.  I was having difficulty working out the time in my head to do that.   Then the thought of sleeping in the bus just about had me in tears.  I was caving.  Mentally, I was giving in and I was bringing home all of the reasons to stop.  Not even my friend’s goad in his email could fire me up to continue.  Somewhere along the 10th lap I decided to chuck 50 miles and go for 50K.  I came in from the 10th lap in 82 minutes, with sitting rest break before start of lap.

  I had 29.5 miles in with one more lap to go to complete 50K.  I headed out trying to keep moving forward.  I felt that I was still moving well but that I was starting to trip here and there.  When I came to the muddy areas, which were way less than last year thankfully, I made sure to take my time.  No reason to be stupid and fall on Plaxico.  I was a little discouraged even though I hadn't been training and I had tripled my RUTS mileage.  By the time I reached the field of dreams I was getting kind of teary eyed because even though I was disappointed I didn't reach some secret goal I had set, I looked back over the past year since I finished the 100 miler last year here.  I quit vol state after one day.  Then battled a severe UTI that took three rounds of antibiotics and almost 4 months to clear up.  I had a miscarriage and the surgery for it.  I was pregnant again.  I know the UTI and miscarriage has given me additional mental anxieties for when I run that I will have to overcome, but I also knew that at 5.5 months pregnant I was pretty happy to be back out there even attempting the race.  I had just finished putting some perspective on my year and my race when Chris S. came up from behind me and spooked me.  I didn't even hear him come up on me I was so lost in my thoughts, but I was glad to see him out there.  It reminded me that I am not finished yet, I just may have to adjust my goals for now.  I happily headed in for my slowest 50K ever.  Finishing the 11thand last lap in 65 minutes for 32.53 miles at 5:59pm.  (Secretly thrilled that I got it under 12 hours.)  lol  I didn't wear a watch, so I had no idea all day how long I was taking or what time it was until I finished my laps.


  I got to see Amber finish her 50 miler in spectacular fashion.  I regret not hanging out much after the race as I normally would do but I was tired, hungry, and ready for a nice shower.  Amber headed to Taco Bell for us and I got us checked into a room.  I was glad I stopped when I did because I was getting dehydrated and I was not getting as many calories in at the end of the day with the heat.  Not to mention, I was getting too hot out there.  No race is worth compromising Plaxico’s well-being, even though the little bugger must have enjoyed the walking cause when we laid down for bed, he kicked me like crazy.  He must have been bummed that he didn't get his first 50 miler.  Next time, Plaxico, next time.
One lap left

Two of my favorite people
Bagged her buckle!




          Not Worried....Nope, Not At All        
Training from Blister In The Sun Marathon (8/04) until Honest Abe Marathon (9/22)

   I admit it.  I was nervous.  I had just started running on Monday and the race was Sunday.  Sunday was my last day to take my antibiotics.  I was worried that the weather would be warm and I haven’t done well with warm weather on antibiotics.  I wasn’t sure if the UTI was cleared up.  I wasn’t sure if I would start bleeding again since the surgery was a little over a week out.  We put on our trail race on Saturday morning and then a wedding that evening.  I had a horrible headache at the wedding and reception and left early Saturday night.  I felt sick on the way home and told Pat I didn’t thing I could do the race.  I wasn’t sure if I could even get out of bed.  I was worried.  
He told me to see how I felt in the morning and if I could get up, just go run one lap and come home.  I had my answer.  I had my reassurance from him.  I would try.  I would see how I would do.  I would test myself.  I would see how badly deterioted my fitness had gotten since the Blister In the Sun Marathon 6 weeks ago and the subsequent events that followed.  I knew that if no bleeding or effects from the antibiotics cropped up, that I would push myself to finish the race.  I wanted to finish.  I needed to finish.  The race cut off was 7 hours, with a 5 hour cut off at loop 2.  Three loops.  I told myself try to get each loop at two hours and then I had an hour for disaster to happen.  I was nervous.  I was worried.  BUT if I could get out of bed Sunday morning, I would try.
  I didn’t sleep well and I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm was to go off.  I hurried and got myself together and headed out into the crisp morning.  I arrived at the race an hour early, picked up my bib, and promptly laid back down in the bus to rest. 
      Before long I went to line up and saw Brian.  I met Brian during LBL.  He was doing his first 60K (and first trail run) and was having a tough day.  He said I encouraged him to finish.  Today I would use close to the same words I gave him that day to encourage myself, “I have 7 hours to get it done.  Don’t stop unless you get timed out.”  I saw Craig B. and got to meet Debbie, who I only know from Facebook until now  Shortly, we were off.  The marathoners had to do a lap around the parking lot, while the 14K’ers got to start immediately on the trail.  I watched as everyone pulled on away from me.  I tried to level my pace and my breathing, but I felt so uncomfortable and couldn’t catch my breath around the parking lot.  I finally made it to the trail and still even saw a few people ahead of me.  I knew it would take me about 20-30 minutes to feel comfortable.  And it did.
There was an aid station midways through the loop and another one at the start/finish line of the loop.  I wore my hydration pack to make sure I stayed hydrated since I was still on antibiotics and I wasn’t sure how slow I would be going.  Before long I had passed 7 people.  I didn’t care that they were probably 14K runners.  I was passing people and it felt good.  One did pass me back but I caught him at the aid station.  He was a marathoner and I would play leap frog with him the rest of the race. 
After we left the AS and I was ahead of him, running next to a creek I heard some rustling and looked to my left just in time to see two deer.  I stopped to watch them and they stopped.  The other runner caught up and I pointed them out to him.  I was sad because I didn’t have my camera to take a pic and my phone was tucked in my pack.  Oh well, I headed off hoping for a port o pot in the near future.  I had to go really bad, although I was nervous about it.  When I did BITS marathon, the wheels starting coming off more and more after each potty break as the UTI raged.  I don’t know if I am finally over it or not, but I finally came upon an outhouse and was about to find out.  I quickly ran in, set down, and just felt hot pee coming out (sorry so graphic).  No pain, no blood, and best of all, no burning crying my insides are falling out sensation.  Victory!  
There was a ton of wooden bridge crossings and I made sure to walk across them everytime because they were slick.  Even walking, I slid a couple of times.  The rest of the loop was uneventful and I was looking forward to seeing the so called “zig zag” bridge.  Apparently, the RD has some complaints about the bridge and people have asked him to re route the course.  I came upon a long wooden bridge that went on 
forever and then turned and went on some more.  I thought maybe that was the zig zag bridge.  It was cool, but why would people complain about it.  It was slick but so were the others.  I came upon an old home site and a fenced in well.  That is also when I came upon the “zig zag’ bridge.  It was so cool and I made sure to tell the RD that he should never re route the course (if people don’t like it, they can find another
race to run- it was unique!).  It was basically a hillside with a ramp bridge, then it would turn and angle down the other way, then turn again, and it went on for several levels until it dumped you out at the bottom.  My pics do not do it justice.  Right after it, I came to the end of the first loop and stopped at the aid station.  Since I had forgotten my watch, I had no idea how long it had taken me, but I felt really good and
headed out onto the second loop.  As I got away from the AS, I texted Pat to let him know I was starting my second loop.  I had promised him I would.  (Although he had given his blessing for me to go, I know he was concerned also.)  I checked my phone and it was roughly two hours, 9:30ish.  I wasn’t sure if we had started on time either, but I felt good about that.
The second loop I had some doubts, which are normal for me.  I always struggle in the middle of a race and today was no different.  What was different was the way my legs felt.  They felt heavy and like they were not connected to my body.  A couple of times, it felt like they were going to crumble underneath of me.  A very uncool giving out sensation.  It was just such a strange sensation.  I finally made it to the AS and was at a mental low.  I even told the guys thanks a ton, in case I wouldn’t be
 back around the third time.  They were very nice and encouraging.  I grabbed some more pretzels and headed out.  I was trying to push myself and keep jogging along with walking the uphills only but as I left the AS, I was pushing myself just to walk.  I started to feel a little better but then I really realized what was wrong when my belly started growling.  It’s probably lunchtime at home!  (the race was in central time
zone) Let me tell you, I don’t like to miss a meal and you can probably tell it!  I was hungry!  I finally got to the next AS at the end of loop two and grabbed me a gel to suck down and another handful of pretzels.  I figured the caffeine would help and it did.  I felt so much better!  I texted Pat again and let him know I was starting my third loop.  Roughly about 4 hours into it.  I was still on par with my game plan of two hours and
I had a three hour cushion to finish this last lap.  I finally let myself breathe easy.  I knew I would finish and I knew the last lap wouldn’t be too bad because I can usually finish strong.  As a treat, and because I thought I was in last place since the leap frog runner had passed me again in the middle of the second loop, I put my headphones on and pushed on.  I was so happy.  I also tucked my phone in sports bra so
that I could take pics.  I knew it was my bell lap and I had time to savor the lap and get some pics of this beautiful course.
  I made it to the middle AS for the final time and joked about being the “sweep”, but they informed me that there was two more runners behind me!  Well, that put a fire under me as I hurried and ate another gel, 

orange, and handful of pretzels.  I hurried out of there hoping to keep from being last after all.  I still took my pics though and after taking one of the beautiful lake is when I had my toe catch on a root or something and I went sailing through the air.  I am not very graceful, but I managed to stay upright and probably gave the people in the paddle boat a good laugh if they saw me.  Man, my big toe smarted after that!
  Right when I got to the zig zag bridge, another runner caught me.  Darn it!  But she was very nice and offered to take a pic of me as I was putting my headphones away.  Tamara from Cincinnatti was running her 95th marathon and we happily chatted as we ran in together, stopping to grab her drop bag and my jacket/arm sleeves that I had discarded after loop one.  We were chatting so much, that I did not see the time when 
we crossed the finish line.  After I had changed, I asked the RD my time and they accidentally gave me the girl before me –so I thought I finished in 6:03:04, but when the results came out I see that Tamara and I finished in last place together at 6:07:22 (even though I tried to get her to go ahead of me in honor of her 95th finish).  I guess the other person must have dropped.  So I finished in last place just like my very first trail 
marathon but this time it was actually a better time.
  I am thrilled to see that I haven’t lost that much fitness and mentally I was able to keep pushing.  I also know that I had some help out there.  I felt Him blessing my every step.  LBL last year was my first race after my dad had passed and I was worried that I might be a blubbering mess at this race, but I only had one time that I teared up.  On the third loop 
going up the last big hill, a Christian song called “What Are You Waiting For” started playing and I teared up as I climbed.  Fighting over 2 months to clear up a UTI, the loss of our baby, the no training due to all of it.  I thought of it all and then I also thought, just like the song was saying, I’m not waiting for tomorrow.  I am able to get out here.  I may be slow, but I can get out here and enjoy his creation.  
I am glad I got out of bed.  I needed to see if I could do it. And I needed to see if I could do it on my own and alone.  And I did and I am still excited that I was able to pull it off.
  If you ever have a chance to head to Lincoln Park, Indiana, put this race on your list.  The RD and his merry band of volunteers were awesome and encouraging.  The course is beautiful and the price is right!  I loved every bit of the race and look forward to doing it again.  Especially with the fond memories it has now been given.  I was worried, but I found victory!

          Blog Post: A game should be fun to play...        
...And unfortunately The Last of Us is not. I've lived with the hype of TLOU for a full year; now that I have finally played it I am disappointed. As a character driven narrative TLOU is nearly perfect. The small moments between characters are a joy to watch. While TLOU's story and characters are impeccable it's gameplay is not. Stealth is mostly trial and error and gunplay is shaky at best. Aside from the poor shooting and stealth the ladder/pallet/dumpster moving segments of the game work fine. As a story TLOU excels, but as a video game it is simply not fun to play.
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          A Dangerous Harbor        
A Dangerous Harbor
author: R.P. Dahlke
name: Jinx
average rating: 3.68
book published: 2011
rating: 5
read at: 2012/03/25
date added: 2012/03/25
shelves:
review:
A Dangerous Harbor, R.P. Dahlke, Kindle version


Katrina Hunter's life had suddenly spun out of control. One day she was a San Francisco cop, engaged to be married soon, and the next she was on suspension for a shooting, and her fiancé dumped her to protect his political career.

With time on her hands until the investigation for shooting her sister's stalker is settled, she set off to drown her own sorrows via a single-hand sail to Mexico on her sailboat, Pilgrim. A good voyage with the exception of that floater she snags off Ensenada.

The victim was young, female, and very dead. Katrina was alone in foreign country and did what most Americans are told never to do; she reported the body to the Mexican Navy, resulting in her passport being seized, and her being held in a Mexican jailhouse for questioning.

A Dangerous Harbor is a romantic suspense novel, not my usual cup of tea, but this book is good. The author catches the spirit of boating in Mexico, along with all the off-beat characters one meets along the way. A very handsome Mexican policeman, a bevy of loose women, an old flame, and the usual dock jockeys turn Katrina's Mexican vacation into a suspense-filled nightmare while she tries to find out who is killing off first the girl, then one of the suspects.

I highly recommend A Dangerous Harbor.


          reflexiones del corazon.        
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the independent agency that advises Congress on the Medicare program, recently released its June 2017 Data Book: Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. The report is a 201-page wonktastic data dump. Chapter 10 focuses on prescription drugs.

In 2015, the most recent year available, Part B spending on drugs reached $25.7 billion. Hospital outpatient sites now constitute more than one-third of Medicare spending and have been crowding out physician offices. Part B payments to physician practices are growing much more slowly than payments to hospitals.

For some time, I have been tracking the evolution of the buy-and-bill system for provider-administered drugs. These new data confirm my predictions that physician offices’ will account for a declining share of the buy-and-bill market. Still unknown: Is this good or bad for patients?
Read more »
        

          Platypuses killed and dumped in 'brutal' attacks near Murray River in Albury        
Authorities investigate the killing and public dumping of three platypuses, two of which were beheaded, near the Murray River on the border of New South Wales and Victoria.
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Oh, you are still not able to your Yahoo account and have to schedule that important appointment with your client the next day. But the next day you have to dump, as the IT person has not been at your doorstep. This helps to call Yahoo support number  them optimally use their resources in the most productive manner. 


          Import and Export 3D Collada files with C#/.NET        
Looking at what kind of 3D file format I could work with, I know that Collada is a well established format, supported by several 3D modeling tools, with a public specification and a XML/Schema grammar description, very versatile - and thus very verbose. For the last years, I saw a couple of articles on, for example, "how to import them in the XNA content pipeline" or about Skinning Animation with Collada and XNA, with some brute force code, using DOM or XPath to navigate around the Collada elements.

Now, looking at the opportunity to use this format and to build a small 3D demo framework in C# around SlimDx, I tried to find a full implementation of a Collada loader, derived from the xsd official specification... but was disappointed to learn that most of the attempts failed to use the specification with an automatic tool like xsd.exe from Microsoft. If you don't know what's xsd.exe, It's simply a tool to work with XML schemas, generate schemas from a DLL assembly, generate C# classes from a xsd schema...etc, very useful when you want to use directly from the code an object model described in xsd. I will explain later why this is more convenient to use it, and what you can do with it that you cannot achieve with the same efficiency compare to raw DOM/Xpath access.

I had already used xsd tool in the past for NRenoiseTools project and found it quite powerful and simple, and was finally quite happy with it... But why the Collada xsd was not working with this tool?


Patching the Collada xsd

Firstly, I have downloaded the Collada xsd spec from Kronos group and ran it through the tool... too bad, there was indeed an error preventing xsd to work on it
Error: Error generating classes for schema 'COLLADASchema_141'.
- Group 'glsl_param_type' from targetNamespace='http://www.collada.org/2005/11
/COLLADASchema' has invalid definition: Circular group reference.

This error was quite old and got even a bug submitted to connect "xsd.exe fails with COLLADA schema. Prints circular reference problem". Well the problem is that looking more deeply at the xsd schema, the glsl_param_type doesn't make any circular group reference... weird...

Anyway, because this was just an error on the GLSL profile part of Collada spec, I removed this part, as this is not so much used... and did the same for CG and GLES profiles that had the same error.

Bingo! Xsd.exe tool was able to generate a -large - C# source file. I found it so easy that I was wondering why they had so much pain with it in the past? Well, running a simple program to load a sample DAE collada files... and got a deep exception :

Member 'Text' cannot be encoded using the XmlText attribute

A few internet click away, I found exactly a guy having the same error... from the code:
/// <remarks/>
[System.Xml.Serialization.XmlTextAttribute()]
public double[] Text {
get {
return this.textField;
}
set {
this.textField = value;
}
}
XmlTextAttribute specify that the "Text" property should be serialized inside the content of the xml element... but unfortunately, the XmlText attribute doesn't work on arrays of primitives!

Someone suggested him several options, and the simplest among them was to use a simple string to serialize the content instead of using an array... This is a quite common trick if you are familiar with xml serializing in .NET (and also with WCF DataContract xml serialization from .NET). So I went this way... It was quite easy, because the file had less than 10 occurrences to patch, so I patched them manually... with the kind of following code:
/// <remarks />
[XmlText]
public string _Text_
{
get { return COLLADA.ConvertFromArray(Values); }

set { Values = COLLADA.ConvertDoubleArray(value); }
}

/// <remarks />
[XmlIgnore]
public double[] Values
{
get { return textField; }
set { textField = value; }
}
I put a XmlIgnore on the renamed "Values" property that use the double[] and add a string property that performs a two-way conversion to that values (while adding the ConvertFromArray and ConvertDoubleArray functions at the end of the xsd generated file.

And... It was fully working!

Using Collada model from C#

With the generated classes, this is much easier to safely read the document, to access collada elements, having intellisense completion to help you on this laborious task. I have also added just 2 methods to load and save directly dae files from a stream or a file. The code iterating on Collada elements is something like (dummy code):
// Load the Collada model
COLLADA model = COLLADA.Load(inputFileName);

// Iterate on libraries
foreach (var item in model.Items)
{
var geometries = item as library_geometries;
if (geometries== null)
continue;

// Iterate on geomerty in library_geometries
foreach (var geom in geometries.geometry)
{
var mesh = geom.Item as mesh;
if (mesh == null)
continue;

// Dump source[] for geom
foreach (var source in mesh.source)
{
var float_array = source.Item as float_array;
if (float_array == null)
continue;

Console.Write("Geometry {0} source {1} : ",geom.id, source.id);
foreach (var mesh_source_value in float_array.Values)
Console.Write("{0} ",mesh_source_value);
Console.WriteLine();
}

// Dump Items[] for geom
foreach (var meshItem in mesh.Items)
{

if (meshItem is vertices)
{
var vertices = meshItem as vertices;
var inputs = vertices.input;
foreach (var input in inputs)
Console.WriteLine("\t Semantic {0} Source {1}", input.semantic, input.source);
}
else if (meshItem is triangles)
{
var triangles = meshItem as triangles;
var inputs = triangles.input;
foreach (var input in inputs)
Console.WriteLine("\t Semantic {0} Source {1} Offset {2}", input.semantic, input.source, input.offset);
Console.WriteLine("\t Indices {0}", triangles.p);
}
}
}
}

// Save the model
model.Save(inputFileName + ".test.dae");

One thing that could be of an interest, is that not only you can easily load a Collada dae file... but you can export them as well! I did a couple of experiment to verify that importing and exporting a Collada file is producing the same file, and It seems to work like a charm... meaning that if you want to produce some procedural Collada models to load them back in a 3D modeling tool, this is quite straightforward! But anyway, my main concern was to have a solid Collada loader that is compliant with the spec and performs most of the tedious fields conversion for me.

Of course, having such a loader in C# is just a very small part of the whole picture in order to create a full importer supporting most of the Collada features for a custom renderer... but that's probably the less exciting part of developing such an importer, so having this C# Collada model will be probably helpful.



Note: You can download the C# Collada model here. This is only a single C# source file that you can add directly to your project!

The model is stored inside the namespace Collada141 (in order to support multiple incompatible version of the Collada spec), and the root class (as specified in the xsd) is the COLLADA class, which contains also the two added Load/Save methods.

Also, a nice thing about the generated model from xsd.exe is that it allows you to extend the object model methods outside the csharp file. All the classes are declared partial, so It's quite easy to add some helpers method directly inside the Collada object model without touching directly the generated file.

Let me know if you are using it!
          Corp. Evans, F Company 31 Reinforcement        
Have found silver plate presentation platter, very ornate, presented to "Corp Evans" from the Officers and NCO's F Company, 31 Reinforcement. No further information on platter - unknown which army, which war, but was found several years ago in a dump in Australia. If anyone has any further information, or is related to Corp. Evans, I'd love to see this in the possession of his family.

          A Reason to Clean        
I loved the shorts from the first moment I set eyes on them at my local Kohl's store. A vibrant floral print with a tropical flair, they were bold and pretty – and a grand departure from the Nike Tempos I typically wore.

But I resisted buying them last summer. I had no great need for the shorts, and I could never line up the sales and coupons the way I liked. My willpower, which seems to be nill at Kohl's, was quite remarkable.

Then, as if someone had noticed my fortitude, I was rewarded. In the late fall of last year, I found one pair ... in my size ... on clearance ... for 80 percent off ... and I had a 30 percent off coupon. It was mean to be.

To boot, we had unseasonably warm weather last fall (and winter) and so I was able to wear the shorts a couple times before packing them away.

A photo posted by Kimberly (@foot.notes) on

Or so I thought I packed them away in the plastic storage bins that line my cinder-block basement walls.

When I switched out my running clothes at the first sign of warm weather in the spring, the shorts were nowhere to be found. I shrugged it off, assuming they were in a bin that I had decided not to unpack. Maybe I would find them when I switched to winter ... again.

But then two of my workout tanks came up missing. They weren't anything special. In fact, the GapFit styles were rather ill-fitting and I rarely wore them. Still, I wanted to know where they were.

And on one randomly free Saturday, I set out to find the tanks. I cleaned up the floor of my closet, and put the toys that seemed to occupy the space back in Miles' room. I put away belts and hung hats. I cleared the top of the dresser that is in the closet and put pieces aside for a future garage sale.

Finally, it was time to pull out the piece of furniture. My eyes darted quickly around for the coral and aqua tanks but they were nowhere among the mess.

Mess.

In the pile, I found my shirt from the Go Girl Triathlon, myriad T-shirts ... and THE SHORTS. I found my favorite shorts. In November. When It would be unlikely that I could wear them. Obviously, I didn't care. I was just happy to have them.

"Who cares about the tanks?" I thought.

And then again, the universe must have sensed my shift because a week later, without intending to, I found the tanks.

I was organizing my summer running clothes, including putting said shorts in a bin, when I began pulling out the drawers of the dresser and dumping them on the bed. (Rule No. 1 of cleaning: You must make a bigger mess before achieving success.)

When I pulled out the last one, there were some items that had been pushed over the back of the drawer and fallen to the bottom ... including the two tanks. I was shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. They were right under my feet the whole time.

So I picked them up, gave them a good shake and a hard look ... and then threw them in the bin with the other summer items. We'll see if they are still ill-fitting in 2017.
          Apple Recipes        
Apple Recipes Mouth-Watering Apple Recipes The ultimate cookbook for America's Most popular fruit 85+ Delicious Apple Recipes Contents APPLE CRISP RECIPE APPLE CAKE APPLE SAUCE CAKE APPLE CHARLOTTE APPLE COMPOTE APPLE-ORANGE COMPOTE APPLE DUMPLINGS APPLE FOOL APPLE FLOAT APP
          Lindsay Lohan Hospitalized After Bad Wreck        
Lindsay Lohan was hospitalized Friday morning after she was in a serious car accident. She was on her way to the set of the Elizabeth Taylor movie when she rear-ended a dump truck. She totaled the rental Porsche that she was driving... Continue reading…
          Enlarged Prostate        
There are sixteen different supplements that you are able to add to your prostate health diet. But let start with the ones you need to begin using immediately. The 1st one you need to begin to use is beta-sitosterol.

Come visit us right here for more Prostate Cancer and Prostate Signs Info and get a bunch of great Prostate Cancer Signs Ebooks Enlarged Prostate Dogs. http://prostatecancersigns.org


Both of these herbs don't have enough beta-sitosterol to be of real worth in giving you prostate health. Now, beta-sitosterol, which can be obtained from sugar cane pulp, can be purchased in capsule measures of 300 - 600 mg, which gives you an effective dose to dump your enlarged prostate. Pygeum can only provide around thirty mg and you need upwards of 600 mg daily.

Go to the internet to find a good beta - sitosterol price and quantity.
Flax Seed or Fish Oil

The more omega-6 use, from olive oil and other veggies oils, the more likely you'll be to prostate problems. This is not correct with omega-3 oil and this has been determined through clinical studies.

Omega-3 protects the prostates cells and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Use 1 - 2 grams of flax seed or fish oil per day.
Soy Isoflavones
Soy Isoflavones have been shown in clinical studies to have good results on your prostate and will be added to your prostate health diet. These isoflavones are flavones and have no photoestrogen so the have no estrogen effects in the body.


Ionic Minerals

The prostate needs minerals. Adding these to your prostate health diet is vital. Ionic Minerals are absorbed immediately into your blood stream soon after they enter your mouth.

In addition to these ionic minerals, you need to make sure you get lots of zinc and selenium. The prostate has more zinc than any other part of the body. So take fifteen - twenty mg every day and not to surpass 40 mg.
Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another imperative vitamin that you want to ensure you get lots of. If you're out in the sun a lot, then you won't need to bolster with this vitamin. Otherwise, use up to eight hundred IU of this vitamin.

Vitamin E
Use up to four hundred mg per day of the natural mixed tocopherols. Clinical research has shown that vitamin E can reduce and suppress prostate trouble cells.

There you have it. Use, beta sitosterol, isoflavones, minerals, vitamin D, and vitamin E in your prostate health diet and see improvements in your prostate symptoms and health.
.

Come visit us right here for more Prostate Cancer and Prostate Signs Info and get a bunch of great Prostate Cancer Signs Ebooks Enlarged Prostate Dogs. http://prostatecancersigns.org
          Selbst die "taz" ist befremdet vom Online-Pranger der Grünen – News vom 27. Juli 2017        
1. Wenn selbst die dezidiert feministische Berliner "tageszeitung" ("taz") befindet, die Verantwortlichen für die Schwarzen Listen der Grünen hätten ihren Kritikern den Vorwurf, es handele sich um einen "Online-Pranger", leicht gemacht, sollten diese Verantwortlichen sich vielleicht doch endlich fragen, ob sie sich von den Grundsätzen politischer Moral allzu weit entfernt haben. Oder gilt ihnen inzwischen selbst die "taz" als ein Blatt der rechten Szene?

Zwar pflegt auch die "taz"-Autorin Carolina Schwarz ein sehr übersichtliches Weltbild, indem sie Menschen, die ihre Ideologie kritisieren, als schlichte Dumpfbacken karikiert: "Antifeministen hauen wilde Thesen raus" heißt es bei ihr. Aber immerhin erkennt sie, dass es dem grünen Online-Pranger an "Zahlen, Fakten und transparenten Arbeitsweisen" fehlt. Das Erstellen von Schwarzen Listen über den politischen Gegner kenne man eigentlich von Rechten, "die beispielsweise auf Twitter Feminist*innen oder Homosexuelle auflisten, um diese anzugreifen und zu beleidigen." Dass Andreas Kemper & Co. die Strategie derMenschen, die ihnen am meisten verhasst sind, längst übernommen haben, hören sie indes nicht zum ersten Mal.

Unklar bleibt indes, ob Carolina Schwarz wirklich keine Schwarzen Listen wünscht oder nur ordentlicher geführte. So wirft sie zum Beispiel den grünen Akteuren vor, bei ihren Denunziationen Bundesrichter Thomas Fischer übergangen zu haben, obwohl der "frauenverachtende Thesen" schreibe. Der Link indes, der suggeriert, er würde diese kühne Behauptung belegen, führt ins Leere. Offenbar musste die "taz" den betreffenden Artikel löschen. ("Gerad das Fischer-bashing war doch so ein peinliches Eigentor, müßt ihr das echt noch mal rausholen?" kommentiert unter Carolina Schwarz' Beitrag ein genervter Leser.)

Empört äußert sich inzwischen auch die "Tagespost" in dem Artikel "Wie Kritiker des Feminismus denunziert werden". Ein Auszug:

In Deutschland hat das seit dem Nationalsozialismus und der DDR Tradition. Listen erstellen, Stigmata zuordnen, mundtot machen. Heutzutage geschieht das am medialen Pranger. (...) Noch werden die vermeintlich Schuldigen "nur" an den digitalen Pranger gestellt. Weiteres muss nicht ausgeschlossen werden. Wer einmal anfängt, Stasi-Methoden zu verwenden, setzt eine tödliche Spirale des Hasses in Bewegung. (...) Die selbsternannten Gerechtigkeitsvertreter erzwingen eine Form von Konformität, indem sie andere ächten.


Die "Tagespost" kritisiert weiter, dass diejenigen, die mit dieser Website andere Menschen namentlich denunzieren, selbst zum größten Teil auf ihrer Anonymität bestehen. Immerhin aber würden sich die ideologischen Köpfe dieser Aktion namentlich outen:

Die "Agent*In"-Redaktion setzt sich aus dem Münsteraner Soziologen Andreas Kemper und Henning von Bargen (Gunda-Werner-Institut) zusammen. Man muss sie nicht kennen. Doch wenn man den Fokus auf sie richtet, stellt sich die Frage, ob "Der Mythos vom Niedergang der Intelligenz" (Kemper) mit dem Vergleich von Bargens beginnt, der "Antifeminismus gleich Antisemitismus" setzt. Und das meint der bitterernst! Unglücklicherweise trifft das Vorhandensein mangelnder Empathie auf die Anmaßung des Vergleiches. Die Abwesenheit eindeutiger Kategorien ruft offenbar eine schimärische Selbsterhöhung zur Manifestierung eigener Schuldkomplexe hervor.


Bei diesem lagerübergreifend negativen Echo in der deutschen Presse dürfte die aktuelle Denunziatons-Kampagne der Grünen ein weiterer Rohrkrepierer werden. Der aktuellsten Forsa-Wahlumfrage zufolge hält Schwarz-Gelb seine regierungsfähige Mehrheit. Vielleicht sollte das linke Lager doch irgendwann auf Dialog statt auf Ausgrenzung setzen.



2. Der Tagesspiegel berichtet, wie sich Berlin mehr und mehr in Kapriolen genderpolitischer Korrektheit verstrickt.



3. Die Post. Einer meiner Leser schreibt mir heute:

Gestern veröffentlichte das akademische Wissens Magazin The Conversation, einen Artikel mit der Überschrift: "Men forced to have sex with women aren’t being properly recognised by the law." Zu deutsch: "Männer die von Frauen zum Sex gezwungen werden, werden vom Gesetz nicht berücksichtigt."

Der Artikel kritisiert das englische Sexualstrafgesetz, das für Vergewaltigung nur Männer als Täter vorsieht.

Heute, einen Tag später, ist dieser Artikel nicht mehr aufrufbar.

Aber über Google Cache kann man ihn noch finden.

          15 Strategy Consulting Interview Questions That Make You Feel Stupid        
Estimate how much time it would take a single dump truck...

19 Vote(s)
          Police: 2 Women Hurt After Dump Truck Knocks Down Power Lines        
Forest Lake police say two woman are in the hospital after a dump truck knocked down power lines Thursday morning.
          Working with Emotions        
I actually dreamed about writing this blog.  Sometimes, when I am laying down to sleep, and I know I have something to do the next day that requires some creative inspiration (like writing a blog!), I'll ask for inspiration while I dream.  I had this dream about my mom and a sister (which I don't have...) getting into an argument, and struggling to overcome the emotions involved in order to work things out.  And I remember clearly thinking, while dreaming, that this was what I was to blog about.

I almost scrapped it when I woke up.  I thought it was something I have blogged about before (though a quick check over the last year and a half doesn't show any obviously similar blogs...I really need to get better with my blog labels).  And I wasn't sure it really fit with the stuff I typically write about.

But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I was leaning towards writing it.  As an empath, I deal with emotions all the time (both my own innate emotions, as well as borrowed ones).  I also feel that we all interact with others in many different ways, and when emotions rear their heads, being able to navigate those emotions is helpful for anyone.  And finally, if I am going to ask for inspiration I shouldn't ignore what I receive.

So, when thinking about emotions, I think there are three basic categories:  personal emotions, borrowed emotions and other people's emotions.  Personal emotions are ones that well up from inside of you, are inspired by experiences in your own life and are innate to yourself.  Borrowed emotions are ones we feel because of some outside source.  This is typically what I think of when I think of emotions bleeding over as an empath.  If I see a commercial on the tv and start feeling emotional, that is a borrowed emotion, just as if I am around another person who is deep in an emotion so I start feeling it too.  Other people's emotions are the things they are feeling and going through while you are interacting with them.  Even if you aren't borrowing their emotion, trying to work with someone who is deeply sad or caught up in anger requires separate tools.

I think it best to start with personal emotions, as they are ours.  Everyone feels stuff, and you may notice that you have certain emotions that you feel easier than others.  I definitely have my share of anger (and the deep, brooding kind, not the flash in the pan kind) as well as a sort of baseline melancholy.  Over the last couple of years, I feel like I have developed a lot of anxiety around different things.  I definitely feel happy and content a lot of the time, but I also don't feel like those emotions need dealing with.  When I have emotions I need to sort out it is almost always anger, sadness, anxiety/fear or confusion.

My basic process for working with emotions is to really express them.  For me this typically manifests in two methods:  physical expression and journal work.  Physical expression doesn't always mean that I go outside and scream out my anger to the sky (although that can work..assuming that your neighbors don't call the cops on you), but it definitely involves some kind of physical action.  Sometimes, if I know I am angry, but I also know that the thing I am angry about isn't worth making a fuss about (I do get angry for no good reason sometimes...especially when I'm emotionally off kilter and something small and trivial sets me off).  At times like this, repetitive action works very well to help me burn off that emotion.  So I clean!  I will find something in the house that needs cleaned, and really go to town on it.  But other repetitive things can work too:  sewing, sanding, folding laundry...really anything that gets my body moving and lets my mind tune out.

I also like to dance as a form of physical expression.  I'll load up a song that really fits my mood and start moving.  It doesn't have to look pretty (I do this when I'm alone mostly), and you don't have to match the beat or anything.  Just loose yourself in the music and move!  Sometimes I'll sing along if I feel the need to.

But my favorite way to work through emotions is journaling.  I've worked with quite a few different methods of journaling now, from more or less standard "write about what your feeling" to very specific techniques that use journaling as part of something bigger.

One of the first emotional journaling techniques I learned I called the brain dump.  You grab some kind of paper (something that you can destroy later), and write everything and anything, as fast as you can.  Scribble out your feelings!  Write big and angry and fierce.  Don't worry about grammar or anything like that, you can make little doodles if you need to, or just write single words.  Just write until you feel like you are done.  Once your page is written, you may want to do a little ritual of releasing.  You can crumple up your page and hold it tight in your hands and whisper to it the reasons you appreciate the emotion but don't need it controlling you right now.  You can bless the paper to transform the emotion into something else.  Then you destroy it!  Tear it into little pieces, burn it, flush it down the toilet, bury it in the back yard. 

A slightly different version of this is the 'to whom it may concern' version.  This time, you are writing a letter, to someone who is making you feel what you are going through.  It may be to a specific person (your mother, an ex-partner, your gym teacher, your boss, the guy who cut me off on the road today, my younger self) or it may be a generic letter, addressed to the universe or to Divinity.  In the letter, you pour out all the things you are feeling.  You can say those things that you wish you could say (but often don't really mean) or the things you wish you had said (but didn't).  These letters can be burnt as well, to send the message out into the world.  I find this works really well when my emotion is directly aimed at a particular person.

I am really enjoying transformational journaling right now.  I'll start by journaling about a topic, then I'll transform my journal page in some way.  I may meditate on what I need to move forward and then paint or collage a new image over the words.  Or I might tear up my journal page and use those pieces to make a mojo bag or paper mache them into a totem to further work with that emotion.  The key here is to take the thing you wrote and turn it into something new, something that helps you further your work with that emotion.

When it comes to borrowed emotions, I find that the first thing I need to do is identify the source of the emotion (especially noticing that it is NOT my own emotion).  Even if I use one of the same methods to work with the emotion, I need to be aware that it is from an outside source and not an internal one, because that changes how I respond to the emotion.  If I treat a borrowed emotion as a personal one (or vice versa....) trying to work with it becomes much harder as I am not actually working with the source of the emotion, merely treating the symptoms (which often means it will come back).

I am extremely emotionally tied to the stories I encounter, in books and tv/movies.  It is very common for me to identify quite strongly with a character, to the point of going through the emotional states they go through.  Most of the time this isn't a problem....unless I don't finish the story!  If I set a particularly moving book down when I am only halfway through, especially if the character I am identifying with is caught up in a big emotional conflict, I will find myself manifesting that emotion myself.  The easiest way for me to fix this is to finish the story.  But, if for some reason I can't, I can pick up another story and essentially overwriting the emotion with new ones (which I can then see to completion).

When borrowing emotions from other people, I definitely turn to shielding.  I like knowing what other people around me are feeling, but I don't always want to be going through it myself.  I also feel it is very important, especially when I am trying to interact with someone who is going through an emotion, that I not because lost in it myself.  This becomes particularly counterproductive.  If you have a friend who is sad and you want to help them, but instead you join in their misery, you may find yourself not able to actually help them.  If you are in an argument with someone and you let their anger overcome you, it becomes much harder to present your perspective in a way that they will understand and appreciate.

My first step when shielding a borrowed emotion is definitely a deep breath and grounding/centering.  I want to pull myself back into myself, so that I can separate what is me from what is coming from outside.  For borrowed emotions, I think of my shields like glass:  I can see what is going on outside them, but things can't get in to me.  This way I can still empathize with the other person, but I am no longer borrowing their emotions and being effected by them.

Sometimes, a borrowed emotion will trigger a personal emotion though, and you will need to work with both sources at the same time.  If you only work with one, you won't fully work through the emotion. 

I think the hardest thing for many people to work with is other people's emotions.  There is a tendency (especially with empaths!) to treat other people's emotions as you would your own.  But not only do we all often respond to the same emotion in different ways.....other people's emotions aren't truly yours to deal with!  We can work with other people and help them work out their emotions, or we can work around someone else's emotions, but the work of actually dealing with the emotion has to fall on them.

My husband and I are a great example of how emotions manifest differently in different people.  He is very much a flash in the pan anger person.  He will get set off by something (things that, to me, seem silly and inconsequential) and his anger will flare!  He will get very angry, very quickly, and rant and rave.  But two seconds later, once the stimulus is past, he is over it.  Like absolutely over it, and confused by why I am still even thinking about it.  I, on the other hand, stew.  When something makes me angry, it will be like a little glowing coal deep inside me, and it will stay there for days or months.  I may not look angry on the outside, but that anger is there, waiting to burst into flame.

If I try to treat my husband's anger like I do my own, it doesn't work.  When I am really upset about something, I often want to talk about it.  My husband, in the throes of anger, just wants to lash out and burn it off.  Trying to talk to him just fans the fire.  Instead, if I remove myself from the situation or tune it out, it passes quickly.  So what I have found is that it is important to make sure you are thinking about other people's emotions from their own perspective, and not yours.

Sometimes this means that you have to give the other person time to work things through before you try to interact with them.  I think this is especially true for both grief and anger.  Some people need to figure things out on their own, before they can deal with other people.  If you try to interact with them too soon, they lash out or close up, because they just aren't ready yet.

Other people need support, they need someone to help them drag themselves those first few steps.  They may need a shoulder to lean on (or cry on).  You may not need to do anything at all, just to be there.  In this case, you might need to resist the urge to try to help them too soon.  They may need to fully express their emotions before they can start to work on them.

Emotions are ultimately a very tricky and individual thing.  Your emotions are different from my emotions, and I need to remember that when working with someone else who is in the throes of an emotion.  But my own emotions also stem from many different sources and I need to do my best to fully understand where an emotion is coming from in order to work through it.  And all anger isn't the same, what works for one situation might not work for another. 

By figuring out your general process for identifying and working through emotions, you can have a roadmap that helps you plan out how to work with any particular emotion.  Like any plan, you may have to adjust it along the way, but it will at least get you headed in the right direction.  And the more work you do with your personal emotions, the better you will become at working with other people who are caught up in their own emotional crisis.  Emotions can be overwhelming, but they don't have to be insurmountable!
          Tracking Russian Propaganda In Real Time ... Kevin Rothrock for Meduza        
NEWS
Tracking Russian propaganda in real time The trouble with a new automated effort to expose Moscow's ‘active measures’ against Americans
 Meduza  04:31, 03 августа 2017 
Pixabay edited by Meduza
On August 2, The German Marshall Fund of the United States unveiled a new online tool — a “dashboard” — designed to “provide a near real-time look at Russian propaganda and disinformation efforts” on Twitter. The organization describes the project as a direct response to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, noting that “many have warned Putin will be back in 2018 and 2020.” In an opinion piece for Meduza, Kevin Rothrock reviews the recent history of American efforts to unmask Russian propaganda, and takes a critical look at potential flaws in this latest online resource.

What was PropOrNot?

Last November, The Washington Post published a remarkable article about how a “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’” during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, citing a report by “experts” at an anonymous website called PropOrNot.
After initial excitement about the story, the newspaper came under fire for promoting unverified allegations against alternative American news outlets. Critics called PropOrNot a “McCarthyite blacklist.” To PropOrNot, merely “exhibiting a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream” was “enough to risk being labelled a Russian propagandist,” Adrian Chen wrote in The New Yorker.
Simply put, PropOrNot bungled its mission completely. On the one hand, the anonymity of the website’s managers invited suspicions about their expertise and agenda. On the other hand, PropOrNot was so transparent about its methodology (talking openly about “red-flagging Russian propaganda outlets” and of course naming specific websites) that it was easy to dispute and dismiss the blacklist. Add to this PropOrNot’s childish, sometimes obscene behavior on Twitter, and it’s no mystery how this project ended up a humiliating dumpster fire.

What is the Hamilton 68 dashboard?

Hamilton 68: A Dashboard Tracking Russian Propaganda on Twitter
The Alliance for Securing Democracy / The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Researchers at The Alliance for Securing Democracy, an initiative housed at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, say they’ve been observing and monitoring â€œRussian online influence” for three years, so it’s a good bet that they took notice of PropOrNot’s spectacular failure, while developing the “Hamilton 68 Dashboard,” released on August 2.
According to The German Marshall Fund, the “dashboard” is designed to “shed light on Russian propaganda efforts on Twitter in near-real time.” The “Hamilton 68” website offers a dozen automatically-updated columns tracking “trending hashtags,” “trending topics,” “top domains,” “top URLs,” and so on.
“Our analysis is based on 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence activities online,” Laura Rosenberger (a senior fellow at the alliance) and J.M. Berger (a non-resident fellow) wrote in a blog post on August 2.

How does Hamilton 68 differ from PropOrNot?

Hamilton 68’s propaganda list is a secret. Unlike PropOrNot, Hamilton 68 does not disclose the identities of the 600 Twitter accounts. All we know of the project’s methodology is that its researchers selected 600 Twitter accounts according to three types (whether there are 200 accounts for each type is unclear): “accounts that clearly state they are pro-Russian or affiliated with the Russian government”; â€œaccounts (including both bots and humans) that are run by troll factories in Russia and elsewhere”; and “accounts run by people around the world who amplify pro-Russian themes either knowingly or unknowingly, after being influenced by the efforts described above.”
The German Marshall Fund says it refuses to reveal the specific accounts in its dataset because it “prefers to focus on the behavior of the overall network rather than get dragged into hundreds of individual debates over which troll fits which role.”
The lack of methodological clarity (for the sake of avoiding “debates”) has already led to some misleading coverage in the media, with outlets like Business Insider reporting that “Hamilton 68 is now working to expose those trolls — as well as automated bots and human accounts — whose main use for Twitter appears to be an amplification of pro-Russia themes,” despite the fact that the website doesn’t actually reveal the names of any Twitter accounts.
For people unimpressed by talk of “600 Twitter accounts,” J.M. Berger told Ars Technica that his team could have expanded the dashboard to “6,000 almost as easily, but the analysis would be less close to real-time.” If that doesn’t sound scientific enough, Berger also emphasized that the 600 selected accounts were identified with a “98-percent confidence rate.”
The German Marshall Fund is no ragtag bunch. Unlike the anonymous potty mouths who launched PropOrNot, Hamilton 68 sports some impressive talent. The project is reportedly the brainchild of Clint Watts, a “former FBI special agent-turned disinformation expert,” who worked alongside J.M. Berger, a fellow with the International Center for Counterterrorism studying extremism and propaganda on social media; Andrew Weisburd, a fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security; Jonathon Morgan, the CEO of New Knowledge AI and head of Data for Democracy; and Laura Rosenberger, the director of the German Marshall Fund's ‎Alliance for Securing Democracy.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy has a hell of a mission statement. It begins simply, “In 2016, American democracy came under unprecedented attack,” before outlining the organization’s commitment to “documenting and exposing Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.” Putin’s name appear six times in the text.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy also boasts an all-star Advisory Council that includes members like former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former Estonian President Toomas Ilves, journalist and conservative pundit Bill Kristol, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Admiral James Stavridis, just to name a few.
With figures like these backing Hamilton 68, it’s no surprise that the project is enjoying a lot of favorable attention from prominent people on Twitter.

What are the problems with Hamilton 68?

The researchers say “the accounts tracked by the dashboard include a mix of such users and is the fruit of more than three years of observation and monitoring,” citing a November 2016 article by Weisburd, Watts, and Berger, titled, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.” The text outlines a wide array of Russian “active measures” designed to erode Americans’ faith in their democracy, including efforts as serious as military-orchestrated hacker attacks. Hamilton 68, however, doesn’t claim to track secret Russian hackers, and what we (supposedly) get is relatively underwhelming.
“Attributed government or pro-Russian accounts.” We actually have some idea which accounts Hamilton 68 is tracking, when it talks about this group of Twitter accounts. At the top of the dashboard, there is a widget called “Top Tweets of the Last 24 Hours” featuring a repeating rotation of “top tweets” by Russian state Twitter accounts. At the time of this writing, the accounts displayed belong to the Russian Foreign Ministry, RT America, RT.com, Sputnik International, and RT UK News.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy says its goal with this project is to “spread awareness of what bad actors are doing online” and to help journalists “appropriately identify Russian-sponsored information campaigns.” But what journalist needs a “dashboard” to know that the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account belongs to “Russian-sponsored information campaigns”? And what is the use of singling out that RT America tweeted about a school explosion in Minneapolis on August 2? Perhaps Russian “active measures” aim to “erode trust between citizens and elected officials and democratic institutions,” and maybe reporting on tragedies or infrastructure failures in America furthers this aim, but characterizing such tweets as “what bad actors are doing” comes eerily close to branding such journalism a Russian propaganda effort.
“Bots and human accounts run by troll factories.” All we know about this category in Hamilton 68’s methodology is that researchers periodically have to “replace accounts that are suspended,” meaning that the dashboard possibly doesn’t monitor a full 600 Twitter accounts at all times, if the deleted bots on the list aren’t replaced automatically. According to Weisburd, Watts, and Berger, bots are a “key tool for moving misinformation and disinformation from primarily Russian-influenced circles into the general social media population,” citing fake reports about a second military coup in Turkey and a gunman at JFK airport.
These incidents stand out, however, because they’re so rare and extreme, and Hamilton 68’s focus on bots risks overlooking the typically futile background noise these accounts produce online. Because the accounts aren’t identified, moreover, there’s no way of knowing if the bots reflected in the dashboard weren’t temporarily hired to promote pro-Russian content before some other client — a shoe company or a vitamin manufacturer, for instance — ordered the latest campaign. This may be a wild, silly hypothetical, but we don’t know any better, with the raw data hidden from us.
“Accounts run by people who amplify pro-Russian themes after being influenced by Russian propaganda efforts.” This is far and away the trickiest, most problematic aspect of The Alliance for Securing Democracy’s new project, and it’s also presumably where researchers wanted most to avoid “debate” about their selection criteria. How do you identify “pro-Russian amplifiers” if Russian propaganda’s themes dovetail with alternative American political views? One of the problems with PropOrNot, in Adrian Chen’s words, was that it unfairly targeted media outlets that “exhibited a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream.”
Hamilton 68 tries to dodge this issue by concealing the people it says are “pro-Russian amplifiers.”
J.M. Berger says the project’s selection process has a “98-percent confidence rate,” but that’s an easy claim to defend, when you won’t tell anyone who's on the list.
Kevin Rothrock

          Ready to Dump the U.S.? By Geniusofdespair         
Checking out the West Coast of Canada for livability... just in case. So far, after one day, things look promising. They like tea. That is an excellent sign of civility. They have tea brewers in the hotel. I had an excellent scone. There is more bird shit here than I have ever seen in one place. The streets and awnings are mike covered with it. That is strike one.  It stays light until 9 pm but that is only in the summer. The country is officially bi-lingual, French and English. Since I am mainly hanging out with tourists, it is hard to make sweeping generalizations-- but no one has said: Gee you have a great President. No talk of 45 here.

I haven't made any other startling findings. That is it so far, tea likers.

ALERT: I am told the dreary white sky in Victoria and Vancouver is smoke from the fires around the National Parks burning out of control. That is exactly where I was headed.
          FAKE SCIENCE dominates Florida. Bullsugar explains it all for you ... by gimleteye        
NOTE: The heart of Florida's water emergency is the sacrifice of the public interest by Gov. Rick Scott and Republican aspirants including Adam Putnam and their embrace of FAKE SCIENCE. That is to say: using science to fit predetermined outcomes instead of letting science instruct policy. It is no coincidence that President Trump has embraced the same enthusiasm for FAKE SCIENCE.

There is only one way to put this lethal idiocy to rest: voters must to make their decisions based on the priority of removing the GOP from power in the state legislature and in Congress.

2018 is just around the corner. Be informed, now.

****

Last week, and three years running now, Lake Okeechobee was covered in blue-green algae. In 2015 and 2016, it turned into extremely toxic cyanobacteria. In 2017, it will in all likelihood do the same.

Fortunately, initial FDEP test results have not detected toxins in the water yet. However, a bloom that tests non-toxic one day can turn toxic the next. We need frequent, scheduled testing with published results so we know as soon as the water is unsafe to touch.
In 2015, Bullsugar.org broke the story on social media. Once it was public, Joe Negron told the Army Corps to close the locks, and they did -- for a whole two days, before resuming the dumping at high volume.

In 2016, the bloom was visible from space, and the toxic discharges coated our estuaries and beaches in putrid "guacamole-thick" slime.

NASA 2016 satellite image of Lake O algae bloom

While this created a national embarrassment for Florida, and awoke many to the links between cyanobacteria and scary diseases like liver cancer, Alzheimer's and ALS -- some of sugar's closest friends (like US Rep Tom Rooney) continued to insist "Lake O was not toxic" and Martin County septic tanks were to blame for the toxic mess.

To which everyone with a brain, eyes and a conscience said, ahem, "Bullsugar."

So now the Lake is once again covered in blue-green algae.

Thanks to Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch and her husband Ed for this shot

After three years in a row, isn't it clear that The Weather Channel got it right last December -- Lake Okeechobee has a toxic algae problem?

Can we agree it is immoral and unacceptable to discharge toxins on the nearly million people who live, work and play along the path of discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee, let alone without warning them? In 2017, in the United States of America?

Can we agree that it would be criminally negligent to delay the solution, or only do a half-way solution? That $20 billion worth of Everglades Restoration needs a written goal of "Zero Toxic Discharges?"
Is there a Florida politician who will introduce legislation with these 4 points?
  1.  Our government shouldn’t poison us.
  2.  If our government must poison us because the plumbing is broken, warn us first.
  3.  CERP is a $20 BILLION project, and counting. Fix the plumbing so you don’t poison us anymore, and do it as fast as possible.
  4.  We (the taxpayers and the ones being poisoned) expect and deserve #3 in writing.Make it a written goal of CERP. Zero Toxic Discharges.
Due to a dry spring Lake O is not yet high enough for another bout of toxic discharges this year, and for that we are grateful. The Toxic Summer of 2016 was one we don't want to repeat ever again.  But what about the people who live, work and play near Lake Okeechobee?
Last year, the sugar industry called us "rich, coastal elites" for complaining about the slime, and said we were trying to use the algae bloom to attack Glades residents. As we dealt with the green slime, we did not feel "elite." Our aim was not to destroy others but to protect our residents against what has clearly been identified as a serious public health hazard.
On the coasts, local county health departments warned people to stay out of the water and avoid eating fish from the estuary.

Local coastal county health departments warned people to stay out of the water
As far as we know, there were no such warnings on Lake Okeechobee where there was a 200 square mile toxic algae bloom. Children played in the water at lakeside beaches. Residents and tourists ate the fish from the Lake. Workers in the EAA dealt with irrigation water from the Lake.
Those who claimed that they were the ones who cared about Glades lives -- Glades Lives Matter, Clewiston Chamber of Commerce, Lake O Business Alliance, EAA Farmers and many others -- completely ignored the health threat to the nearly 100,000 souls living around the Lake.
The coasts might (or might not) dodge the bullet of toxic discharges this year, but we are concerned about the long term health effects of the current lake bloom on all those who live around the lake and who visit the lake.

As Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch so eloquently stated in her blog last week:
“I happened to notice when I visited the DEP website that DEP states:  â€œBlooms are naturally occurring.”  â€¦Yes this is true; so is cancer."
It is way past time that state and regional officials implement a plan for tracking, testing, and research that protects everyone exposed to these blooms. This is not about coastal residents vs. farmworkers. This is about all of us.

- Chris Maroney
Bullsugar.org
http://www.bullsugar.org/
P.S. 
Thank you to everyone contributing to Bullsugar.org. Your generosity has kept us sharp and independent as we fight for clean water. If you haven't given, please click here to make a donation today to help us fix Florida's plumbing for good.

          An open letter to County and City of Miami Commissioners. By Geniusofdespair         

With respect to all County Commissioners,Tomorrow, while considering settling with FPL on the lawsuit to bury Turkey Point Transmission Lines, also consider that this is an encroachment on our power as a community, our health and our environment.  
Settling would require the City to dismiss other critical suits against FPL, including challenging the utility company's:

1) application to license and operate two new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point

2) siting of its two new nuclear plants

3) ability to charge the public for the construction of the new plants that will likely never be built

A settlement would also require that the City not get involved in other ongoing cases against FPL at a time when the City has been making progress on these issues. 

SOLAR, WIND, and WAVE ENERGY is RIGHT NOW ... and it's CLEAN, it's GREEN. 

You can't help but notice the bombardment  of TV & radio ads from FPL,  trying to convince us they provide only clean energy! Must be spending MILLIONS $$$$ on that campaign. 
Yet they pollute our bay waters near Turkey point, overheat it's cooling canals to the algal choking point, charge us for future enterprises that will be obsolete as of ... yesterday, and force us to pay cleanup costs for their spills. What kind of deterrant is that?!
Yet their investors profit at our expense. 

And they're seeking Federal Approval to dump nuclear waste below our aquifer!!! What could possibly go wrong with thatEVERYTHING. Do you think the Feds care about our aquifer?
Just check out all the toxic mishaps from deep waste well drilling around the country (Google will pop 'em right up for ya). Energy companies pay the light fines and keep polluting.

FPL is a bully. Ask any Solar enterprise in Florida. 

We need to send a strong message to FPL to move forward ... or get out of the way! 

Thanks, 
Pat Bonner Milon

          Travel to Boston: Not Your Grandmother’s Tea Party        
Boston has traditionally stood as the beacon of New England thought, culture and historical direction, and consequently has been the major force behind the independent progress of the United States of America. Boston’s well preserved colonial architecture gracing the tree lined streets or the original oak seats of Fenway Park baseball stadium add insurmountable character to the historically indispensable city. With a nickname like “the Hub of the Universe,” given by Oliver Wendell Holmes, it is impossible to justify not visiting Boston to discover the inspiring source of this pseudonym!

The Cradle of More than Liberty
Boston spearheaded the fight for freedom and independence from Britain during the Revolutionary War through both thought and action. The Old South Meeting House in the city center is where colonists gathered in 1773 before disguising themselves as Native Americans and dumping British tea into the harbor to protest taxation without representation. The Meeting House is open today for tours, concerts and historical reenactments. The site of the Boston Massacre and the Battle of Bunker Hill are also nearby. While in the city center, stop by the Paul Revere House, which is notable both for being the oldest building in Boston, built in 1680, and for being the home of the legendary patriot who warned colonists of British military action.

Further strengthening its earned title as the ‘Cradle of Liberty,’ Bostonians were firm supporters of abolition and the Underground Railroad. Boston has long remained on the progressive edge of education and social reform, boasting a plethora of elite universities and academies that include Harvard and MIT among their ranks. For an all around journey through time, travel to Boston and take the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail, which starts in the excellent shopping area of Boston Common and continues through the city past 16 historical sites, terminating at the USS Constitution.

Up to Speed
Not only a key player in American heritage, Boston is a continually updating metropolis that helps shape the evolving modern identity of the United States. Newbury Street is Boston’s ultra-chic shopping area that will bedazzle you with specialty shops, designer boutiques and private galleries. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a stunning collection of classic works housed in a breathtaking Venetian-style palace situated about a four-story oasis-like courtyard. As Boston is the Kennedy Family hometown, the beautiful marble John F. Kennedy Museum and Library was opened here in 1979 and is considered to be one of the city’s shining architectural highlights. Boston is also known for its large immigrant population. Feast on the spoils of multiculturalism and head to the North End of Boston for an authentic Italian meal, and don’t forget to order the cannoli for desert!

A trip to Boston is fundamental to understanding the foundations upon which the United States of America was built. America’s pastimes and ideals are firmly entrenched in the people’s history of Boston and its independent and free-thinking spirit that still permeates the city’s culture today. Also, when you travel to Boston, make sure to get out and explore the beautiful countryside of Massachusetts. Even nearby Boston Harbor Islands National Park has 34 islands accessible for hiking and biking.


china history


Shenyang China


ancient china map
          Ipswich the 'dump capital' after waste levy scrapping        
Ipswich becomes the "dumping capital" after a waste levy is scrapped to make it cheaper for interstate businesses to get rid of their rubbish in Queensland, the Acting Mayor says.
          One Nation dumps Queensland election candidate John Cox        
Pauline Hanson's One Nation party drops Queensland state election candidate for Redcliffe, John Cox, who earlier this year questioned the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
          Queensland's first openly gay MP, Trevor Evans, wants same-sex marriage vote now        
Brisbane MP Trevor Evans wants a free parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, calling on the Turnbull Government to dump its election commitment to hold a plebiscite.
          Vandals paint word 'die' on Brisbane Hare Krishna temple, police investigating        
A Hare Krishna temple is vandalised with the word "die" spray-painted on a wall on Brisbane's southside, just two days after a pig's head was dumped at the Islamic College of Brisbane.
          Pig's head dumped outside Islamic College of Brisbane        
Two young men are caught on security cameras leaving a swastika-labelled bag at the Islamic College of Brisbane with a pig's head inside, in what the school labels "a disgusting act of cowardice".
          Baloch woman sprayed petrol by Pakistan army & threatened to call her brother and hand him over. BNM        

https://www.thebnm.org/single-post/2017/07/29/Baloch-woman-sprayed-petrol-by-Pakistan-army-threatened-to-call-her-brother-and-hand-him-over-BNM

Baloch woman sprayed petrol by Pakistan army & threatened to call her brother and hand him over. BNM

July 29, 2017

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Baloch woman sprayed petrol by Pakistan army & threatened to call her brother and hand him over. BNM

July 29, 2017

Baloch National Movement spokesperson issued a statement in the media and said while mentioning the brutalities and barbarism in Balochistan by Pakistan, in the 1970's, the Pakistani Army, committed massacre and genocide of Bengalis, violating the international laws. The silence of international institutions on the issue gave the certificate of continuing the process by giving exemption to Pakistan for genocide of other nations. 

Today, the same Pakistan is engaged in Baloch genocide in Balochistan. Baloch children, youths, elders and women have become mentally ill by living under the shadow of Pakistan military’s guns and fighter jets. Similarly, a large number of Baloch children, youths, elders and women have been abducted and their whereabouts remain unknown for years.

Thousands of them have been killed.

The central spokesperson added that Pakistani forces have started to harass and abduct the relatives of Baloch political activists. 

Last night, in Pasni ward No. 6, Pakistani forces stormed into the house of previously killed Sabir Baloch and sprayed petrol on his sister and mentally tortured his old and sick mother. 

Pakistani forces forcefully abducted martyred Sabir Baloch Wali Mohammad on August 4, 2014, and handed over his decomposed body to hospital administration in Gwadar on November 2, 2016, and staged a false drama that he was killed in encounter. 

Along with Sabir Baloch three more dead bodies of missing Baloch persons were dumped. Among them were young Zafar Baloch, Salahuddin and Sajid Ali. 

Many people left their cities and homes due to this act of Pakistan, they live in exile or have migrated to other safe places. 

The men of Martyr Sabir's family have also left their town Pasni and moved to a different place. 

In recent incident, Pakistani forces have entered the house of Martyr Sabir and threatened his family to call Sabir's brother in Pasni and hand him over to Pakistan security forces. Or else, his sister will be abducted. 

The family members fear that the other brothers of Sabir Baloch will also get killed. 

Due to the fear, they have left their native area. With this threat Pakistani forces sprayed petrol at the family members, which is against all human rights and international laws.

Similarly, in recent days, Pakistani forces broke the windows and doors of BNM’s senior exiled leader Zafar Ali Baloch’s house and then occupied the empty house in Hub, Balochistan. 

After twenty-four hours without any intervention, the forces left the house and went back. But this is a policy to keep the entire family in mental pressure. Note, this house was vacated when the Pakistani forces raided and abducted Zafar Ali Baloch's cousin Safar Ali s/o Qadir Bakhsh on October 23, 2013. He is still missing. 

Similarly, BSO Azad’s leader and Safar Ali’s cousin Shabir Baloch, was abducted by Pakistani forces on October 4, 2016, from Gwarkop area of District Kech, Balochistan and his family is being constantly threatened.

He further added that, Political inmates are facing constant threats from the Pakistan army and other organizations, that they should quit their political activities. Otherwise, their families will have to face extreme consequences. 

Pakistani forces have abducted and murdered a number of relatives of the political workers affiliated with BNM or any other political organization working in Balochistan including the relatives of BNM leaders in exile. 

UN and Human Rights Institutions should bring Pakistan into


          11/27/06 - "The boy in the picture."        
I feel nauseous. And not just a little, but completely sick to my stomach. This is a common reaction of mine to break-ups, and I'm trying to keep that in mind, but it's still bothering me. I feel like I could be okay, if only this feeling would subside. My mind could move on if my body would quit reminding it to be upset.

Last night I went through a few stages of grieving for the last two months; first sadness, then anger, and finally a little bit of relief. I've been so caught up in all of his problems, trying to tip-toe around his issues and be a source of support, trying to be fun and sexy and not too needy and on and on, putting my needs aside with the idea that I was building on something. It's taken up a lot of energy, which I've been aware of (and noting in a journal, because I had allotted six months for this "experiment," and was going to re-evaluate if the effort was worth it after that). The relief was stronger when I woke up this morning, and I even left the house on time and caught the bus, breaking a three-week streak (at least...) of taking cabs to work because I'm lazy and don't get up on time. That's over. A lot of things are over, actually. Drinking more than three nights a week. Potato chips. Snacking (or dinner) after 9:00 pm. I've been feeling fat lately anyway (metabolism slowing down, too many beers), but nothing can make a girl feel like an elephant than getting dumped for someone else. I don't know who she is (I have an idea, but it's based on nothing but intuition, which I've learned is not as reliable as I'd like it to be), but I can only assume she's incredibly hot. Please, Lord, let her be hot. I would much rather he be shallow than me be uninteresting.

After I got to work, though, the relief wore off some, and the sicker I feel the harder it's been to be "okay" with everything. Constant questioning by coworkers wondering how my holiday weekend was didn't help, and while "good" ruled my responses, I told my supervisor that I had been broken up with, so I wasn't feeling well. Which made me tear up a little again, but I was able to keep it together. Ugh. This is so not worth crying over. My roommate and my brother both just got out of three-year relationships, and both break-ups were instigated by the girl. That's worth some tears. But two months? When we weren't even technically going out? What is my problem? I was a disaster after Eric, too, and that was only one month. Something is seriously wrong with me. I used to have a much thicker skin. I also used to be the dumpER, though, not the dumpEE. When did that change? When did I acquire the stink of desperation?
If he has just ended it a week and a half ago for emotional reasons, as he had tried to, I would be fine. It's that he changed his mind, said that he enjoyed being with me and wanted to keep seeing me. That night, he had said he still needed to be alone, to straighten out his thoughts. We said goodnight and I closed the door. Then a few minutes later he called, asked if I had made new plans yet, asked if he could come back up. He said he was wrong, he did want to be with me that night, and invited me back to his place to watch dvd's. I thought it was so romantic. We went, watched, had a couple beers. It was really nice, I felt like things were right again, and we had a rejuvenated round in the bedroom that, to me, spoke of good things to come. We saw eachother again on Sunday; unbeknownst to me at the time, that was our last sleepover. Then fast-forward to Wednesday. We spend the day together at the Seattle Underground, I meet his coworkers, we get our picture taken (yeah, I'm really glad I have that little memento now...). I had to go to class, so we part ways, but discuss possibly getting dinner later, he says he'll let me know if he can. I get a text a few hours later saying he's going to hang out with his friend Lindsay instead, who I've been hanging out with recently as well (which means I could have been invited along, but I wasn't), and then... silence. I thought I was doing him a favor by giving him the space he has professed to desire, but... I'm getting ahead of myself.

After some scattered text mesaging throughout the day, at about 8 o'clock last night I leave him a very lighthearted message asking if he'd like to have a snowball fight, and he texts back saying he was out to dinner, but would call me later. Later ended up being almost four hours later, close to midnight. We chat a little, and then he gets to the meat of it - he's been spending the last few days with someone else. I'm a little taken aback, and ask more questions, and he throws out fun cliches like not wanting to hurt me and wanting to still be friends. Not understanding his whole meaning, I say that fidelity isn't high on my list of priorities, that I'm fine with something being open, but he says that he isn't, he can only see one person at a time, and I'm out. She's in. I don't think being a little upset over this was unreasonable. He apologizes, says he feels like a jerk. I let out the leash on my inner monologue and come back with a sardonic laugh and "Maybe you feel that way for a reason," or something to that effect. Not my finest moment, but biting my tongue has never been a strength. In defensive mode, I try to end the conversation by telling him to "Have fun." He says he doesn't want me to say that to him, he doesn't want me to be mad. I respond that it's okay for me to be mad right now. I tell him I'm going to be mad for a little bit and that I think that's perfectly reasonable. There's more conversation, it loses its importance. He told me to call him when I'm ready or something like that. After we hung up, I remembered that I have a cake pan and a pair of earrings over there. It's subconscious, but I know part of me does that on purpose. Like, by leaving things there, I'll be harder to disentangle from. It obviously doesn't work, but I'll probably keep doing it.

So, unlike the first break-up attempt over him not being able to deal with how "serious" this felt, this one is a horse of a different color. This isn't being emotionally unprepared, this is liking someone else better. After all of four days, if his assertion at the "suddeness" of it all is to be believed. How is that not supposed to be hurtful? How can he possibly expect me not to be at least a little upset? He's said many times that he was sort of a mess before he met me (and has admitted to still being a mess in some ways), and that he feels so much better now, and I've done so much, and blah blah blah. In retrospect, it was wrong to be giving if I was expecting something back; if I wanted to help him, it should have been just for the sake of helping him, not with the idea that maybe he'd make a good boyfriend some day. I still think he will make a good boyfriend some day; just not to me. I was the bandaid, but now my job is done, and he wants to go back out and play.

What I'm probably most ticked off about is when this first started, not the first night but that first week for sure, I specifically said that I'm tired of being the girl that people spend time with until they find something better. I've become a placeholder, and I hate it. I'm not trying to settle down for the rest of my life or anything, but I want some stability. I want someone who cares about me, not what they can get from me. Why is that proving so difficult? When I was younger, I felt like I was constantly being held down by guys that wanted more serious commitments than I was capable of. Now that I actually desire some sort of commitment, there's no one in sight. That's not completely true, in fact there are two people I could call right now and immediately pick up a dating relationship, but... meh. The ones that want me are never the ones that I want.
Just now I had to go downstairs and break Beth for lunch, and leaving this up here, with my phone too, allowed me to think about other things for a while. It was nice. I don't feel like so sick anymore - the little nausea I have left is mostly hunger-based, considering all I managed to choke down earlier was a small fruit smoothie this morning and half a salad at lunch. When I came back up I had a voicemail from Lindsay, who I had texted earlier to see if she'd be out tonight, and I called her back and while we were talking I wasn't even thinking of her as his friend, I was just excited to be seeing her tonight. It was a light-hearted conversation, and probably the first time all day I've laughed and meant it. So... yeah. See? I really did just have to get it out. Things are already better.

I guess the last thing I'm mad about is that he was supposed to go to my company Christmas brunch thing with me this Sunday, but now, obviously, doesn't want to go. He knows how I feel about plans; bailing on me at the last minute is like a slap in the face. Ha, that and as soon as we got off the phone, he logged on to Myspace and took me out of his Top Friends. Seriously. I never even asked to be there, he did that all on his own. Like a week after we met, too. But now? Gone. Can you say petty? Boy, do I know how to pick 'em.
          What's Cooking?        
This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.

In-depth investigation into unlabeled genetically-modified foods which have become increasingly prevalent in grocery stores. Unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat.

Also available in: e-video

The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras-as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Also available in: e-video

Explores how large corporations and government agencies control agriculture and food processing, and how those practices affect human, environmental, and economic health.

Also available in: e-video

American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline, and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Explore a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected, and dangerous place to eat.

Also available in: e-video

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

Also available in: e-video

From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities goes coast to coast to tell the stories of these intrepid urban farmers, activists, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country feeds itself. From those growing in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers find that urban farming is about much more than simply good food.

Also available in: e-video

Examines the possibility of eliminating diseases like heart disease and diabetes through a plant-based diet.

This chronicles what director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn't fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty-year-old science. He searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!.

An A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts.

How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? These and other questions take director Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

Looks at some of the scientific aspects of food, including the chemistry involved in cooking a turkey, the nutritional benefits of cooking, and how taste works.

When a marketing executive for a huge burger chain finds a nasty secret ingredient in their burger recipe, he goes to the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate and finds that the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow.

Also available in: e-video

Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.

Frontline investigates the dangerous pathogens in meat, particularly in chicken.


          Comment on Dave Matthews Band – SPAC – 6/12/09 by Tammy        
To "Chris" I am not an ivy leager, a starbucks drinker or the driver of an Audi my parent bought for me. I am a 32 year old mother of 4 who has been listening to DMB for over 12 years now. As everyone says you're entitled to you opinion but may I ask.... were you dumped by some chick who likes DMB? Or have you gotten your ass kicked by some DMB fan? because for you to have such a passionate negativity towards this band (but more seemingly it's fans) it must be about more... I completely agree with what Blair said with the exception of the comment about Dave's lyrics not being deep... I disagree with that. in most cases Dave's lyrics are extreamly deep even when they come across not so much. I agree that yes, there are some not so deep songs but not as a general statement. You won't find many bands who's members are all amazingly talented and loved by so many. and by the way, there the #1 grossing touring act for years so.... If you don't like DMB then don't listen to them but why are you using so much energy hating them....seem like there's more to it than you may let on..... or maybe your the genius and the MILLIONS of DMB fans are all just wrong
          Home Coffee Roasting        
There is little doubt that I am a foodie. I made the switch to home brewed coffee long ago and will only get something from Starbucks these days as a last resort before having Folgers. No, there is no doubt that I have high standards, but where do I go from here in my quest for ultimate foodie-ness?

I am among the lucky. I say that because I know a friend that roasts coffee. I've talked about him before; Spunky Monkey Coffee. My friend uses a common and inexpensive method of home roasting. He utilizes an air-popper, typically used for popcorn, only slightly modified. I've discovered that he is much more an artist than just a coffee roaster because with these air poppers one can only judge the roast by eye. He is rarely off by much.

Here is how it all starts: With the beans.



These are Tanzania Pea Beans. Notice that they are not half beans like most coffee. They also tend to smell more like caramel when you roast them (my opinion).
Now, with these raw beans, all he did was to plug in the air poppers, get them going and pour in a cup (a measurement he found by trial and error) and start swirling the poppers.

The beans will start to turn golden brown as you swirl them around. The whole reason for swirling is that you need to move the beans around. After they have roasted for a little while, they will expand and become lighter. Eventually the air popper will move them around on its own. Soon, the beans will start "popping" and shedding their skins. At this point, you will realize the wisdom of doing this outside as the bean skins or hulls start swirling around every where. The beans will eventually stop popping. They are now through what is plainly called the first pop. At this point the beans will be somewhere around a medium roast. If you keep on roasting you will enter into the "second pop" - so aptly termed. During this pop the beans sound more like the crackling of a camp fire. Then its all a matter of seconds as you go through medium dark roast, to a light french roast when the second pop starts dying down. A few seconds after the second pop stops you have reached a dark or true french roast (about 10 seconds following the second pop - give or take). A few more seconds you will be at espresso. After that you will have achieved charcoal. When your bean gets to the desired roast level, dump them out on a baking sheet to cool them and stop the roasting. After a few batches you will have a wonderful smelling pan of beans.






(Notice the bean skins all around the tray? Best not to do this inside)
That's it folks. Bag those beans up in a paper bag or put them in a resealable container and you've got good coffee for a week or so... depending on your level of addiction! So that is not to bad of an ordeal. I hope I have de-mystified the secrets of coffee roasting here. If I have left anything out or not explained something well enough please post your questions and I would be happy to clarify. Also, if you have any other tricks to add, please share!







(The "tricks" of the trade)
          The Pain Game: 5-year analysis (2008/09 - 2012/13) - Part II        
This is the second of what will undoubtedly be a brief series of data dumps and inconclusive-yet-attractive charts aggregated over the last five (four and a bit...) NHL regular seasons, updated to include the bit that was the 2013 bit of a season.

Analyses of individual seasons (including explanations of the CHIP figures and their limitations) plus my previous aggregate analysis (aggreganalysis?) are at the following links:

2013 

Firstly, an updated ranking of teams by aggregate CHIP over the last five seasons (playoff teams highlighted; click to enlarge image):


Again, no obvious strong correlation between playoff qualification and the degree and quantity of injuries/illnesses suffered (see Part I for a more detailed representation of this).  Clearly still some quite wide differences in aggregate CHIP and MGL between top and bottom over the whole period.

As touched on in my end of season analysis, no great evidence to suggest that the incidence of injuries in the compressed season was greater than in previous years and the aggregate league CHIP figure as a proportion of the pro-rated cap was actually marginally the lowest of the five year sample.

The same figures grouped by division:


As was notable last year, the Pacific still appears to have suffered significantly fewer and less costly injuries (the four teams at the bottom of the aggregate CHIP table are all Pacific teams), the gap widening further since last year.  Just attributable to random variation over a relatively short period or a sign of better injury management or prevention by those teams (despite the complaining about travel schedules)?
          The Pain Game: 5-year analysis (2008/09 - 2012/13) - Part I        
This is the first of what will undoubtedly be a brief series of data dumps and inconclusive-yet-attractive charts aggregated over the last five (four and a bit...) NHL regular seasons, updated to include the bit that was the 2013 bit of a season.

Analyses of individual seasons (including explanations of the CHIP figures and their limitations) plus my previous aggregate analysis (aggreganalysis?) are at the following links:

2013 
4-year analysis (2008/09 - 2011/12)

 Is there a correlation between injuries and a team's performance?

This is a plot of standings points per game against CHIP per game for each team over the last five seasons (click to enlarge):

 

By no means a comprehensive or detailed analysis - I suspect there are more than a few confounding variables creating a lot of noise - but this does at least suggest the correlation might not be as strong as you might initially expect (the R-squared coefficient is only 0.057, for what it's worth).

Do injuries increase with age?

Again, a reasonably crude measure, but the following chart shows total man-games lost to injury/illness over the last five seasons, distributed by the age of the player (as at the 1 January during each season - or before the 2013 season), plus the total number of games played by all players.

I've not attempted to make any adjustment for the fact that some of the games missed are attributable to season-long or career-ending absences, or that the games played number for goalies doesn't reflect the number of games they were available and dressed for.


A fairly useful illustration of the age profile of the NHL player population and the distribution of injury absences, but to make this a bit clearer, the next chart shows the crude proportion of games missed by each age cohort, expressed as MGL / (MGL + GP):


Sample sizes get pretty sketchy below age 20 and towards the late-30s, unsurprisingly, but enough here I think to support the ultra-controversial hypothesis that old people get stashed on LTIR by the Flyers when not wanted hurt more for longer.

Part II may well include another big fat grid of MGL and CHIP numbers by team and division over the five-year period, perhaps including an adjustment for distorting season-long absences.  Hold your breath.

          Comment on Goldengate 12c Troubleshooting Using LogDump Utility by JayaKishore        
Hi I have doubt. Installed goldengate 11 in my server and when i do HELP it is not giving. [oracle@ip-172-31-22-99 gg_11g2]$ pwd /u01/app/oracle/oradata/orcl/product/gg_11g2 [oracle@ip-172-31-22-99 gg_11g2]$ ./ggsci Oracle GoldenGate Command Interpreter for Oracle Version 11.2.1.0.17 17888650 OGGCORE_11.2.1.0.0OGGBP_PLATFORMS_131215.2328_FBO Linux, x64, 64bit (optimized), Oracle 11g on Dec 16 2013 03:43:25 Copyright (C) 1995, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. GGSCI (ip-172-31-22-99) 1> help No help available. why?
          Comment on Oracle Datapump Encryption by Ragip Avdijaj        
Dear mr.Natik, Can we encrypt dump file in oracle 12c Standard Edition. If yes how to enable? I have this error message when I try: Connected to: Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition Release 12.1.0.2.0 - 64bit Production ORA-00439: feature not enabled: Dump File Encryption
          Comment on Goldengate 12c Troubleshooting Using LogDump Utility by saitheja        
Very Nice article for beginners..!!
          Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2        
Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
Release Year: 2017
Studio: BreedMeRaw
Cast: Trey Turner And Michael Roman
Video language: English

As soon as Hans Berlin deposited his load there was another buddy that responded to Michael’s texts to cum dump a load. It was Trey Turner and his fat cock getting shoved in Michael’s used hole. Trey loves sloppy seconds and kept the rhythm going, fucking Michael the way he should be fucked — like a slut! As soon as Trey dumped his load he left Michael to jerk his hot cock, knowing he now had two loads up his jock ass. He no sooner finished shooting his load and he starts texting the next slut to come fuck him…Teddy Bryce!

Format: mp4
Duration: 12:44
Video: 1280x720, AVC (H.264), 2929kbps
Audio: 156kbps

Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2 Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2 Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2

Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
File size: 287.9 MB

Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2

Bareback Scene — Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
http://svalka.ws/
          On Cum Vol. 4        
On Cum Vol. 4
Studio: Treasure Island Media

For the most extreme in cum-guzzling, you dont have to look any further than the On Cum series from Treasure Island. In this fourth installment, the cum eaters put it all on display, taking as many loads as they can into their mouths. Yes, these men swallow!The first scene focuses on two cum guzzlers, Will and Daemon, who service a roomful of horny hung tops ready to dump their seed in these two pigs willing mouths. Sure, some of the cum misses the mouth, but inevitably, one of the other two is there, ready to lick up any spilled cream. And the cumshots come one right after another. A third cum guzzler, Phoenix Sanchez, soon joins them and he manages to kick up the intensity a notch. Hes equally cum-hungry, but quite giving as well, swapping loads back and forth from his buddies mouths! What pigs!Erich Lange is the hungry cumsucker in the second scene, paired up with a ginormous cock. Soft, this top is bigger than many men when theyre hard! Erich doesnt have any trouble deepthroating that monster! The scene ends with Erich rewarded with a sweet load in his mouth.Mike is a supposed straightboy, and he lets cumhungry Dominic suck him off for money. Mike has one incredible (and fat) cock! And his body is no less impressive! Size queens will definitely be jealous of Dominics cocksucking encounter! (Dominic cant even get the whole thing in his mouth its so big!)Tils a cumhungry muscle dy, and his cocksucking skills are put on display next. Hes mowhawked and inked, and looks like one nasty fucker, and here he shows just how nasty he is, servicing a group of mostly young guys to orgasmic joy! This is a collection of especially well-hung men! Woof!In the next scene, Skye services Dan Fisk, a man who loves having his -cock serviced. Dans cock is about as perfect as the come, with a huge set of balls to match, and he cums completely inside Skyes mouth. To leave no doubt, Skye then spits the cum back up into a cup, before ing it. Pig!The final scene features Brad Davis sucking off muscular stud Ma Garrett. Brad has no trouble deepthroating Mas oversized cock, and hes rewarded with a warm load of seed in his stomach!The second disc features a cumshot compilation (which is quite extensive, given the number of loads spilled), as well as a bonus scene with Ja Croft, a young cocksucker who delights in sucking on the balls of two straight men as they jerk off. Theres another bonus scene where cocksucker Will from the first scene gets his neck tattooed, as well as another scene where Will sucks off a guy who spills a never-ending load!This is one helluva video. Cumshots abound, so much so that even within some scenes, one loses count. Paul Morris has got several cocksucking cumhungry whores on display here, and they do not disappoint!

Format: avi
Duration: 1:38:48
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On Cum Vol. 4 On Cum Vol. 4
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http://svalka.ws/
          FOCA Metadata Analysis Tool        
Written by Pranshu Bajpai |  | LinkedIn

Foca is an easy-to-use GUI Tool for Windows that automates the process of searching a website to grab documents and extract information. Foca also helps in structuring and storing the Metadata revealed. Here we explore the importance of Foca for Penetration Testers


Figure 1: Foca ‘New Project’ Window


Penetration Testers are well-versed in utilizing every bit of Information for constructing sophisticated attacks in later phases.  This information is collected in the ‘Reconnaissance’ or ‘Information gathering’ phase of the Penetration Test. A variety of tools help Penetration Testers in this phase. One such Tool is Foca.
Documents are commonly found on websites, created by internal users for a variety of purposes. Releasing such Public Documents is a common practice and no one thinks twice before doing so. However, these public documents contain important information like the ‘creator’ of the document, the ‘date’ it was written on, the ‘software’ used for creating the document etc.  To a Black Hat Hacker who is looking for compromising systems, such information may provide crucial information about the internal users and software deployed within the organization.

What is this ‘Metadata’ and Why would we be interested in it?
The one line definition of Metadata would be “A set of data that describes and gives information about other data”. So when a Document is created, its Metadata would be the name of the ‘User’ who created it, ‘Time’ when it was created, ‘Time’ it was last modified, the ‘folder path’ and so on. As Penetration Testers we are interested in metadata because we like to collect all possible information before proceeding with the attack. Abraham Lincoln said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Metadata analysis is part of the Penetration Tester’s act of ‘sharpening the axe’. This Information would reveal the internal users, their emails, their software and much more.

Gathering Metadata
As Shown in Figure 1, Foca organizes various Projects, each relating to a particular domain. So if you’re frequently analyzing Metadata from several domains as a Pen Tester, it can be stored in an orderly fashion. Foca lets you crawl ‘Google’, ‘Bing’ and ‘Exalead’ looking for publicly listed documents (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Foca searching for documents online as well as detecting insecure methods
 You can discover the following type of documents:
DOC
DOCX
PPT
PPTX
XLS
XLSX
SWX
SXI
ODT
PPSX
PPS
SXC

Once the documents are listed, you have to explicitly ‘Download All’ (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Downloading Documents to a Local Drive
 Once you have the Documents in your local drive, you can ‘Extract All Metadata’ (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Extracting All Metadata from the downloaded documents
This Metadata will be stored under appropriate tabs in Foca. For Example, ‘Documents’ tab would hold the list of all the documents collected, further classified into ‘Doc’, ‘Docx’, ‘Pdf’ etc. After ‘Extracting Metadata’, you can see ‘numbers’ next to ‘Users’, ‘Folders’, ‘Software’, ‘Emails’ and ‘Passwords’ (Figure 5). These ‘Numbers’ depend on how much Metadata the documents have revealed. If the documents were a part of a database then you would important information about the database like ‘name of the database’, ‘the tables contained in it’, the ‘columns in the tables’ etc.


Figure 5: Foca showing the ‘numbers’ related to Metadata collected


Figure 6: Metadata reveals Software being used internally
Such Information can be employed during attacks. For Example, ‘Users’ can be profiled and corresponding names can be tried as ‘Usernames’ for login panels. Another Example would be that of finding out the exact software version being used internally and then trying to exploit a weakness in that software version, either over the network or by social engineering (Figure 6).
At the same time it employs ‘Fuzzing’ techniques to look for ‘Insecure Methods’ (Figure 2)
Clearly Information that should stay within the organization is leaving the organization without the administrators’ knowledge. This may prove to be a critical security flaw. It’s just a matter of ‘who’ understands the importance of this information and ‘how’ to misuse it.
So Can Foca Tell Us Something About the Network?
Yes and this is one of the best features in Foca. Based on the Metadata in the documents, Foca attempts to map the Network for you. This can be a huge bonus for Pen Testers. Understanding the Network is crucial, especially in Black Box Penetration Tests.

Figure 7: Network Mapping using Foca
As seen in Figure, a lot of Network information may be revealed by Foca. A skilled attacker can leverage this information to his advantage and cause a variety of security problems. For example ‘DNS Snoop’ in Foca can be used to determine what websites the internal users are visiting and at what time.
So is Foca Perfect for Metadata Analysis?
There are other Metadata Analyzers out there like Metagoofil, Cewl and Libextractor. However, Foca seems to stand out. It is mainly because it has a very easy to use interface and the nice way in which it organizes Information. Pen Testers work every day on a variety of command line tools and while they enjoy the smoothness of working in ‘shell’, their appreciation is not lost for a stable GUI tool that automates things for them. Foca does the same.
However, Foca has not been released for ‘Linux’ and works under ‘Windows only’, which may be a drawback for Penetration Testers because many of us prefer working on Linux. The creators of Foca joked about this issue in DEFCON 18“Foca does not support Linux whose symbol is a Penguin. Foca (Seal) eats Penguins”.

Protection Against Such Inadvertent Information Compromise
Clearly, public release of documents on websites is essential. The solution to the problem lies in making sure that such documents do not cough up critical information about systems, softwares and users. Such documents should be internally analyzed before release over the web. Foca can be used to import and analyze local documents as well. It is wise to first locally extract and remove Metadata contained in documents before releasing them over the web using a tool called ’OOMetaExtractor’. Also, a plugin called ‘IIS Metashield Protector’ can be installed in your server which cleans your document of all the Metadata before your server is going to serve it.

Summary

Like many security tools, Foca can be used for good or bad. It depends on who extracts the required information first, the administrator or the attacker. Ideally an administrator would not only locally analyze documents before release, but also take a step ahead to implement a Security Policy within the organization to make sure such Metadata content is minimized (or falsified). But it is surprising how the power of information contained in the Metadata has been belittled and ignored. A reason for this maybe that there are more direct threats to security that the administrators would like to focus their attention on, rather than small bits of Information in the Metadata. But it is to be remembered that if Hackers have the patience to go ‘Dumpster Diving’, they will surely go for Metadata Analysis and an administrator’s ignorance is the Hacker’s bliss.

On the Web


●                     http:// www.informatica64.com/– Foca Official Website


          WPA / WPA2 Handshake Cracking WITH Dictionary using Aircrack-ng | How To | Wireless Hacking        
Written by Pranshu Bajpai |  | LinkedIn

If you are planning to hack your nearest WPA/WPA2 network (with No WPS), I have two words for you: Good. Luck.

In all my experiments with penetration testing, I have found dictionary attacks on WPA/WPA2 handshakes to be the most annoying and futile exercises. This is because:
  • going through each word in a dictionary file containing millions of words is time-consuming.
  • success is not guaranteed (the passphrase may not be present in your dictionary).
During my experiments in India, the WiFi passphrases are usually a combination of Hindi and English words or a Hindu name which are, of course, not present in any dictionary that I download no matter how exhaustive it promises to be.

If you are still brave enough to try a dictionary attack on WPA handshake, here's the procedure.

How to launch a Dictionary Attack on WPA Handshake

You might get lucky and your nearest WiFi password may be based on a common dictionary word or number sequence. In such a case, you may succeed with a dictionary attack.

Step 1: Enable monitor mode on wireless interface
#airmon-ng start wlan0
This will start the monitor mode.

Step 2: Take note of the nearest WiFi networks.
#airodump-ng mon0
Step 3: Take note of the channel of your target network, dump packets from that channel and save them to a local capture file.
#airodump-ng -c6 mon0 -w capture_file
Step 4: Wait for WPA handshake capture

At this point, you can use 'aireplay-ng' to de-authenticate an associated legitimate client from the network. The point is that as he/she will authenticate again shortly, we will capture the handshake without having to wait too long:
#aireplay-ng --deauth 0 -a <AP_MAC> -c <CLIENT_MAC> mon0
If you don't know the MAC of any associated client, simply 'broadcast' a 'deauth' to all clients:
#aireplay-ng --deauth 0 -a <AP_MAC> mon0


Step 5: After you grab a WPA handshake comes the hard part of brute forcing using a dictionary. Use 'aircrack-ng' for this:
#aircrack-ng capture_file-01.cap -w /media/Pranshu/...../dic/dark0de.lst



Now say your prayers and hope the passphrase is present in the dictionary you chose.



You can also use online distributed WPA/WPA2 handshake cracking tool on this website:

Note that if the Access Point has WPS Enabled, it becomes easier to recover the WPA / WPA2 passphrase as there are only 11,000 possible combinations needed to brute force the WPS PIN due to an implementation flaw.

Disclaimer: This is for experimentation or authorized penetration testing purposes only.
          Hacking Neighbour's Wifi (Password) | Hacking Neighbor's Wireless (Internet) | Step by Step How To        
Written by Pranshu Bajpai |  | LinkedIn

Disclaimer: For educational purposes only: This is meant merely to exhibit the dangers of using Poor wireless security. Please note that prior to beginning the test you should seek explicit consent from the owner if the access point does not belong to you.

Hacking into a Neighbor's Wifi access point

OS: Kali Linux
Test Subject: Neighbor's WiFi Access Point
Encryption: WEP

I noticed 4 wireless Access Points in the vicinity. 3 of these were using WPA / WPA2 and I was in no mood for a dictionary attack on WPA handshake, since it takes a long time and success isn't guaranteed. I found one access point using WEP Security and as you know it is an outdated protocol with poor security.

I tested penetrating this WEP access point using the same Aircrack-ng Suite of tools as I have mentioned in this previous post.

Step 1: Discovered the WEP AP having SSID 'dlink'  (Notice the weak signal power from neighbor's house to mine)




Step 2: Collected the required number of Data Packets from the WEP Network. Meanwhile, I used 'aireplay-ng --arpreplay' to increase the data rate since I am not a Patient soul.



Step 3: Saved the data packets in a file called 'neighbor-01.cap' and cracked the password using 'Aircrack-ng'


The Key for the Neighbor's Wifi turned out to be: "1234567890"   -    (An easily guessable Password, just what I expected from someone using WEP Security in 2014)

Step 4: I connected to the wifi using the decrypted key, it allocated an IP to me using DHCP (192.168.0.102)



Note: If you want a better step by step on how to hack a WiFi, check out my previous post here.

5: I was connected to the Internet.

6: Since I was part of their network now, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to scan the network and see who else is connected. I found 3 devices in the network:

One was my Laptop
Another one was my cellphone (I connected my cellphone to the network earlier)
And third was the Dlink router itself (192.168.0.1)
None of the neighbor's own devices were connected to the network at the time.

nmap told me that the dlink router had an open port 80, which reminded me to check out the control panel of this dlink device.

Step 7: So I fired up my browser and went to '192.168.0.1:80' which opened the login panel for dlink access point control panel



Step 8:  Quick google search revealed that defaults for login on dlink devices are:
username: 'admin' and password:blank
Step 9: A tried logging in with defaults and got access to the control panel.




(Again BAD security practice: leaving defaults unchanged!)




Step 10: I was getting weak power from the AP and decided to upgrade their firmware and see if it made a difference.

The Current firmware of the neighbor's wifi was '5.10'

I checked for latest Firmware available. It was '5.13'



I downloaded the upgrade on my machine ("DIR********.bin")

Step 11: I made a backup of the configuration of the Access point before upgrading. I saved backup 'config.bin' to my laptop from the neighbor's wifi

Step 12: I went ahead and upgraded the Firmware. I uploaded the DIR****.bin from my laptop to the access point and it went for a reboot.



I lost access to the WiFi after the upgrade.

I figured the new upgraded firmware changed the Password for the WiFi now and I couldn't connect to it anymore. Moreover, since I lost access to the Internet now along with the WiFi, I couldn't Google the default password for the upgraded firmware anymore.

And I couldn't crack it either because this time no one--not even the neighbor himself--would be able to authenticate to the WiFi with the new unknown password after the firmware upgrade and hence no data packets would be generated and I will have nothing to crack.

Step: I fired up 'Airodump-ng' again and noticed that the firmware upgrade simply changed the access point security to "open", ie, no password is required to connect to it.

Step: I connected to the "Open" wifi and restored the Configuration settings using the 'config.bin' backup I made earlier.

I manually selected WPA2 security and provided the same password as used earlier by my neighbor ("1234567890")

Disclaimer: Please note that I had explicit consent from the owner before commencing this test. If you do not have such permission, please try it on your own access point. Failing to do so will result in illicit activities.



          Comment on Hair pulling – Trichotillomania? by sarah        
My name is sarah dixon, am from Dublin. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man DR.OLUWAKEMI brought my husband back to me, i had 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn't worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that's why i want to say a big thank you to oluwakemiprosperityspell@live.com This great man made me to understand that there no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at:oluwakemiprosperityspell@live.com
          The Seven Deadly Sins Of Radio Station Imaging        

Clear Channel New York/Director of Creative Services and Z100 legendary production guru Dave Foxx warns against committing the Seven Deadly Sins of Radio Station Imaging.

  1. LUST – Dumping every effect at your disposal into the piece, even though it has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

  2. GLUTTONY – Overusing a favorite effect.

  3. GREED – Allowing your effects to take over the promo. Your effects never should dominate the mix.

  4. SLOTH – Sloppy music edits. A good producer never says, “It's good enough.” If you can’t dance to it, it needs to be fixed.

  5. WRATH – Getting mad about what the competition is doing and letting that affect your promos. (Example: You believe the competition is copying you, so you start adding words such as “original” and “first.”) Those words only invite the listener to check out the competition.

  6. ENVY – Making your work sound like someone else’s. Aspiring to sound as good as Eric Chase, John Frost, Eric Edwards, Dr. Dave, Pat Garrett or Rick Party is healthy...until you start ripping off their work.

  7. PRIDE – Don’t believe your own hype.

Now is a good time to listen and evaluate all of your imaging against the 7 Deadly Sins while planning your creative strategies for Fall. What sins are you and your creative staff indulging in right now? Stop sinning and start winning.

Want to learn more of Dave’s radio imaging secrets? See what he reveals at
AskDaveFoxx.com.

>> Bonus: Classic imaging insights! Dave Foxx explains his radio imaging philosophy at NAB/Europe 2004. Check out the YouTube video below or click
here to see!




          Kiwi attacked in Poland before being dumped across border        
A New Zealander visiting Poland has been reportedly beaten and robbed in a daylight attack that ended when he was dumped across the country's border into Slovakia. The incident happened on Sunday, about 1.30pm local time, in the...
          A New Look for the Livingroom        

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. I have so many things I am working on that had to be put to the side. I last wrote about our huge undertaking to clean out the garage. It took us four hard days of cleaning, sorting, hauling and piling in a huge pile outside to go to the dump. I didn't take before photos because it was that bad! This is what it looks like now:

 I still need to haul the shelves downstairs and all the tools to be put on them plus various other small chores but it is close to being done. The huge pile on the left is our wood we use in our wood stoves. We probably have enough to last us through this coming winter (we have another big pile downstairs for the downstairs stove). This week we plan to get the floor painted and today we are getting plugins installed hopefully.
 
Yesterday our electricians arrived. I was expecting a short visit. Several plugs to be installed in the garage and a box replaced downstairs. Last night when they left they hadn't even touched the garage. 

Downstairs: one whole wall of boards removed, one section of ceiling destroyed, furniture out in the yard, piles of rubble everywhere, no electricity in my studio and I was told to not go near the bathroom when they left because it was 'hot'. I'm afraid of what I will be facing when they leave tonight!

Well on to what I really want to talk about. 
Sorry for the quality of the pictures but being on the southern slope, even on overcast days, the light can be quite bright in this room making pictures difficult.. 

We finally decided on what to do with the windows! 
We had talked of several things and nothing seemed to be right. 
Big curtains and curtain rods just wouldn't work with our windows. 
We tried the cinema curtain that I showed you in this post, and though it did work it only worked if we never moved our furniture. 
I thought about roman shades but I didn't want to lose any of our view. 
It's just that good! 
So finally after much discussion and looking we decided on these:

I think they are perfect! 
They fold out of the way when we don't need them, take little room and they look great in this room. I was really nervous waiting for them to arrive. I was sure they would look awkward and not fit in with the decor but they seem to be the perfect fit.

Added bonus, they block the light splendidly when needed. 
Since we sit on the southern slope of the mountain it can get quite bright in the summer time so this was a much needed feature.

What do you think of our solution?

          Sometimes Life is Dull        
          
       I haven't put a post up for awhile and I really do want to keep you up on what I am doing around here but this week has not been fun. For one thing it is raining, long gray and wet days. Secondly, we are cleaning out the garage and really, trust me, you do not want to see the mess that is in there! 

         I am also going through my first week on the elimination diet trying to locate a possible food sensitivity. It is so much harder that I thought it would be! I did fine tapering off the coffee. I just mixed it with decaf and added a bit more decaf each day till it was full decaf. After that, dropping the coffee wasn't a problem so I went into this thinking if cutting coffee was easy everything else will be a breeze. Wrong! If you were a fly on the wall you would see this sad soul wander into the kitchen over and over and just stand there. What can I eat? I want salty, I want sweet. Pitiful! I will get through it though. Yesterday I spent the time I wasn't cleaning out the garage with scouring the internet for recipes. I think once I have a good pile of recipes to work with it will be easier. I did make a delicious green smoothie with an apple, celery root and avocado so there is hope.
Wish me luck.

     I do have several projects in the making so I will be writing about them soon. Well, as soon as I conquer the garage. It is full of not only our stuff but all the stuff the previous owners left behind. It will be a nice weight off our shoulders when that is hauled away to the dump and we have a cleaner more organized house. I promise, THEN I will take pictures.
So I will see you soon, hope you have a great weekend!

          Never enough hours in the day to paint!        
 
I paint about on anything that I can find. I always tell my boys don't stand still too long cause you may be next! Not really just funning around.  This watering can was a bright Kelly green when I got it.  I didn't like it much so I set out to make it more to my liking.   I hand painted the key on it and like it a lot better now. 


These two rusty things came from an auction. Actually they didn't sell and were left to the pickers that hover over the sale at the end scooping up anything left behind. I am not above dumpster diving or stopping along the side of the road to pick up discarded goods.  I painted a chalkboard rectangle on the front and put flower pots full of geraniums in them.  This is definitely something you can't find at Hobby Lobby.
 
 
 
Rusty stuff rocks as does this grater.  I mounted a clip to it and it now holds pictures. 

Bird Table.  I love to watch the telephone wire out front of our house collect with birds.  They inspired me to paint this table.  I mixed the blue paint myself and stenciled the birds on the wire.
 

 Just a decorative wall key I found and painted my special blue.  It was originally gold, I like it much better now.
 

This is just a cupboard I painted shabby. 




          BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2        
BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
Studio: BreedMeRaw
Cast: Trey Turner And Michael Roman

As soon as Hans Berlin deposited his load there was another buddy that responded to Michael’s texts to cum dump a load. It was Trey Turner and his fat cock getting shoved in Michael’s used hole. Trey loves sloppy seconds and kept the rhythm going, fucking Michael the way he should be fucked — like a slut! As soon as Trey dumped his load he left Michael to jerk his hot cock, knowing he now had two loads up his jock ass. He no sooner finished shooting his load and he starts texting the next slut to come fuck him…Teddy Bryce!

Format: mp4
Duration: 12:44
Video: 1280x720, AVC (H.264), 2929kbps
Audio: 156kbps

BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2 BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2

BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
File size: 287.9 MB

BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2

BreedMeRaw Trey Turner And Michael Roman — Part 2
http://svalka.ws/
          State-by-State Redux: IX of X - Americanized Chinese Cuisine Revisited - Tso many dishes, Tso little time...        
Chinese food in the United States is typically, at best, "Chinese" food.  This is changing, of course, as more Chinese immigrants are opening more restaurants with authentic Chinese cuisine (or maybe they've been here all along, but everyone else is now patronizing them more often).  But "Chinese" food has evolved into something uniquely American, shaped by the first immigrants to the West Coast in the 19th century, and to points all over America today (mostly from Fujian province).  And different communities from the Chinese diaspora master different food feats in different parts of the world - shredded beef in the UK, for example, or ma po tofu in Japan [Lee 2008].  In the US of A, that Chinese dish that's gripped the nation is named after General Tso.

Snacking State-by-State Redux IX of X: Americanized Chinese Cuisine

What is it? Traditionally, a unique mix of Chinese cooking techniques and American ingredients, here since the 1840's.  Since then it has evolved into something not terribly recognizable in China, but instead is peculiarly American.  More recently, actual "Chinese" Chinese food has crossed the Pacific in the form of dim sum and other dishes that a Chinese tourist would actually recognize.
Where did it come from? See above


General Tso's chicken is not a real thing in China, but that doesn't stop Jennifer 8. Lee from seeking it out.  In her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food [2008], Lee analyzes the origins and state of Chinese food in America, from fortune cookies (actually based on a Japanese cookie) to chop suey to the ubiquitous General Tso's chicken.  Lee's quest to find this last dish took her all the way to a remote village in Hunan Province to find the origins of this dish, one which few Chinese chefs - scratch that, no Chinese chefs - had actually heard of.  As Lee notes:
The refrain was consistent: "We don't have General Tso's chicken here" or "We've never heard of it."  Even after I showed them pictures of the dish on my digital camera, they would frown and look at me blankly, then helpfully suggest another chicken dish, often  the local specialty, mala or kung pao.  One waitress at a three-hundred-year-old restaurant pressed me to try another dish associated with a famous Hunan personage: "This is what Mao Zedong and his circle ate when they used to come here."
But nothing they offered ever resembled our crispy General Tso's, nor his American cousins: sesame chicken, lemon chicken, sweet-and-sour chicken.  In fact, any batter-dipped, stir-fried chicken dish was hard to come by in this urban corner of Hunan. [Lee 2008: 68-69]
The closest Lee ever got was the home village of Zuo Zongtang, the 19th century local leader and statesman for whom this dish - the same one that has nothing to do with him whatsoever - is related.  There a distant modern relative to Zuo was befuddled by the photos Lee had of General Tso's - Zuo's - chicken on her phone.  Her informant did offer to cook dog, however - the kind "raised for eating" and not for pets.  Lee was, of course, taken aback: "I pictured how Americans would react to General Tso's puppy on their take-out menus" [2008: 73].

Lee never finds what we call General Tso's chicken, but that hasn't stopped Chinese-American chefs from trying to recreate this uniquely American dish.  How "American" is it?  Lee's schoolmate from Beijing University, Wang Wei, tells her why it's so American:
"It has broccoli.  Americans looove broccoli.  They add broccoli with everything."  She continued: "Americans like chicken.  You can go to a supermarket and you buy chicken breast, chicken legs, chicken drumsticks, chicken wings, boneless chicken.  All different types of chicken," she said, gesturing to various parts of her body..."It's very American.  It's all-American: very big pieces of chicken, fried and sweet." [Lee 2008: 74]
Since Lee can find no recipe for General Tso's chicken, I had to look elsewhere.  After finding many much healthier and more typically Chinese-style General Tso's chicken (Ching-He Huang's recipe being the most notable), I wanted something more typical of the Chinese fast food takeouts that Jennifer 8. Lee and myself are more familiar with.  I found that in Diana Kuan's Appetite for China blog (which she just turned into a cookbook).  Kuan is also familiar with Lee's aforementioned book, and tried to find out more about it herself.  Kuan tries out various versions of the dish before perfecting one that is as authentic as she can get it, deep-frying those chicken pieces with a whole lot of cornstarch.

It is Kuan's version of the General's chicken that I interpret below.  Unlike most recipes I have done, this time I am pretty much following this one to the letter, save for the addition of broccoli, which she doesn't specifically mention in her recipe.

The Recipe: General Tso's Chicken

To make Kuan's version of Zuo's chicken, assemble the following:


* chicken (Kuan calls for a pound of chicken thighs, boneless; I went for 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs, bone-in, and went from there.  I don't buy a lot of chicken, so I justified the expense of the less expensive thighs at the Whole Foods.  Actually I don't think they had boneless)
* cornstarch (I bought a new canister, about $1.50, because I needed a lot of it - about  a cup and a half, instead of the usual one or two teaspoons)
* sugar, salt & pepper (had them all)
* dried chiles (had this too)
* garlic (this too)
* sesame seeds (yup)
* green onions (getting pricier these days, about $1.50 a bunch)
* oil for frying (I had some of that high heat point rice bran oil from H-Mart)
* Though not pictured, I also added broccoli, as Jennifer 8. Lee's friend mentioned.  Because Americans LOVE broccoli!  Okay we don't all love it, but I am used to broccoli in my General Tso's chicken, so in it goes.

You will also need to marinade the chicken.  For that, assemble:
* sesame oil (had it in the fridge)
* soy sauce (I had this too)
* egg whites (discard those yolks, folks)

And for that famous sauce, assemble:
* chicken stock (I used that Better Than Boullion in the fridge)
* soy sauce
* hoisin sauce (got a new jar for about $2)
* rice vinegar (same)
* chile paste (I used the garlic chile paste from that Washington Dungeness crab recipe)
* more sugar, more soy sauce, and more cornstarch


It takes about six chicken thighs to yield one pound of meat.  Remember that when shopping.


Mix the marinade ingredients - the sesame oil, the egg whites and the soy sauce.


Marinade the meat for at least ten minutes.


Next, assemble the sauce ingredients.


Mix together in a bowl and set aside.


And mix salt and pepper into the massive amount of cornstarch.  You will coat the chicken in this.,


Heat your oil in a wok until at deep frying temperature


To prepare your marinated chicken for frying, plop each piece in the cornstarch mixture...


...and shake off the excess.


Fry several at a time for about five minutes, turning once.


Drain on a paper towel.


When done frying, reserve the oil (okay, dump it somewhere to cool down until you can just dispose of it), wipe out the wok and quickly fry your chiles and garlic in oil.


Add your sauce for a minute or so...


...and then your chicken to coat.


I added the broccoli bits until no longer frozen (I did also nuke it in the microwave to expedite the process).  Serve with scallions and rice.



Granted, the next time I may just be lazy and buy it ready-made.  Still, now I can make General Tso's tasty chicken at home.  It wasn't as sweet as I'm used to, but I've actually found orange chicken to be the really sweet one.  When I order Chinese I usually go back and forth between orange and General Tso's chicken.  What's good about this one is that it isn't stringy and all "mystery meat"-ish like the kind you sometimes buy at a Chinese take-out place.  It's tender, somewhat crispy (less so when you reheat it - pop it in the oven and not the microwave if you are concerned about that), and just sweet enough.  Plus, it's satisfying to know that you made it yourself without opening a packet of seasoning or a big-ass can labeled "Chun King".

- - - - -

Well, this feels pretty strange, y'all, but the next State-by-State post is it - THE LAST one!  I thought for a while about how to sum this up.  Unlike my Beltway Snacking series a few years ago, where I wrote a long summary, for this I'm just making an all-American meal instead.  Next week you will find out what it is, but more importantly who wrote the recipe: the most quintessentially American of chefs herself.

Also: as noted yesterday, look at the blog on Tuesday morning (February 26).  I have a big announcement to make about what I'm up to next, now that this State-by-State series is fast approaching its end.

Sources:

Kuan, Diana.  "General Tso's Chicken".  Appetite for China, posted August 30, 2011.

Lee, Jennifer 8.  The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.  Twelve Books: New York, 2008.

Some information also obtained from the Food Timeline State Foods webpage.

          Kitchen Experiments: Popping Sorghum (and Amaranth) Part II        
Now that I have a bit more time to do stuff, what with recent blogging projects done (again: PHEW), I thought I would give the sorghum popping experiment from a few years ago one last revisit.  As you (and the various commenters who have visited) may remember, this experiment did not go too well for me: popping it in a still or shaken pot yielded few kernels, and using the hot air popper just caused a big mess of, again, mostly unpopped, slightly toasted sorghum kernels.  I say "slightly" because most were blown out of the hot air popper before I knew what hit me.  (Scratch that: the sorghum hit me.  Literally.)

Based on research I've done lately, including from links provided by several of the commenters in the first post, I've come to a few conclusions about what went wrong:
  • Some folks had suggested adding moisture to the seeds.  Perhaps the seeds I used were kind of low quality and a bit desiccated already.
  • Maybe use a dome popper.  One gentleman from Texas said he and his have been popping it for a few decades, and he uses this method.
  • Another commenter from Georgia notes that of all the things she tried, putting the sorghum in a deep pot with the lid on got her the best results, specifically if you turn down the heat in the last munite way low.
  • Growing your own sorghum might work out well for you.  Check out the many mail-order non-GM seed companies (one list is here, or else just do a Google search).
Thanks to Andrew Zimmern, sorghum popping has become just enough of "a thing" that some companies have begun specifically selling it and posting helpful videos on Youtube.  Just Poppin was a site whose folks posted once or twice, and had some videos that were useful.  Two in particular stood out for me.  In the first one, they use two teaspoons of olive oil in a pot and (I never caught the exact measurement but it looked like) 1/4 cup of sorghum.



For the second one, they show how to dry-pop it.  And as I discovered too late for my other experiments, one key here is to use a vessel that is not dark on the insides.  Yep, as great as cast iron is, this is one time you need to put it away, unless it's one of those enameled ones that is beige or something on the inside.  Mine is not.



With those ideas in mind, I set out to give a proper finish to my sorghum popping experiment.  The goal: to get as much as possible, and to note which conditions led to that.

The sorghum I used in this experiment was a brand new bag of Shiloh Farms Sorghum Grain.  This stuff is not as easy to find as I remembered - even many of the natural food markets were out of stock of this stuff (though they do normally carry it), but I did find it eventually at the Natural Market in Timonium, where I figured their big shelf of whole grains had it nestled in there somewhere.  In fact, they had a few bags of it.


Oh, and this time I took photos.

I had started with a bag that was a few years old, with pretty lackluster results, prompting my search for fresher stuff.  Maybe one or two kernels popped out of an entire 1/4 cup.  There is my first thing I learned: use fresh ones.

I set up a few experiments on my stovetop.  I gathered the following things for this round of experiments:
  • bag fresh sorghum (here: Shiloh Farms brand)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 measuring cup and teaspoon
  • long wooden spoon
  • cast iron crock pot and deep sided stainless steel pot (this latter one yielded the best results)
Though several people have had success with the dome poppers, I opted not to buy one.  My reason: knowing my luck, it will work for everyone but me, so I will just save the $30 to $40 and not buy a new one after all.  However, if you do decide to try a dome popper, make sure it is one that circulates the sorghum.  The ones that blow from the bottom, from what I have read elsewhere on the internet, don't yield the best results.  Also note: the blow hot air poppers typically blow from the bottom.

Experiment 4a: Popping 1/4 cup sorghum in a crock pot with oil while stirring


For this, I waited until the oil was starting to shimmer.  I had the heat up to middle intensity...


...and dumped in a quarter cup of sorghum.  It may not have been as "shimmering" as I needed, because it didn't start popping for at least 20 seconds.


I might have also used more oil than I needed.  I wonder if maybe I almost "deep-fried" the sorghum, in a sense?



At any rate, I wound up with very few popped kernels of sorghum.

Experiment 4b: Popping 1/4 cup sorghum in a crock pot with no oil while stirring


For the next quarter cup of sorghum, the only difference was a lack of oil.  The results are on the right: substantially more sorghum kernels popped than with the oil.  With that, I decided I would likely have the most luck by leaving out the oil and just dry-popping the sorghum.

Experiment 5a: Popping 1/4 cup sorghum in a stainless steel pot with no oil while stirring

One problem remained: a large number of kernels simply burned instead of popping.  It was then that I re-watched the second video, and noticed that the Just Poppin' folks specifically recommend using a stainless steel pot for popping sorghum without oil.  Apparently the blackness of the cast iron just holds too much heat.



After all these years, you might be surprised that I do not, in fact, own a stainless steel stock pot.  I do now.  Seventeen bucks at Target.



First, heat your pot for a minute or two on medium.  Dumping the sorghum into a cold pot will not help pop your sorghum.  Shake the pot to distribute the sorghum evenly, and turn down the flame to low.


The kernels started popping pretty quickly, and with constant stirring I got lots of sorghum hitting me in the hand.


The result is the bottom plate: over half of the kernels popped, though the ones that didn't really didn't, becoming even more scorched than with the other methods.

Experiment 5b: Popping 1/4 cup sorghum in a stainless steel pot with no oil, lidded with no stirring

I also tried popping sorghum with the lid and no stirring, just maybe occasionally shaking the pot.



With this method, it is again important to make sure everything is evenly distributed.


With the lid on, I got a few kernels and a lot of smoke.


Still, this method gave me results that were better than those in the cast-iron skillet, though I also got a lot of scorched kernels.

Experiment 6: Popping amaranth in a stainless stell pot with no oil, while stirring and not stirring

One final thing I tried was popping amaranth.  I understand that you can do this as well, and whatever the case it is easier to do.  As with the sorghum I found a video for it, courtesy of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, neither of which I knew existed but both of whose existences do not surprise me.



Not so hard, is it?  It's even kind of adorable.


Apparently, amaranth is easier to find in the Baltimore area than sorghum.  It is particularly easy to find in bulk.  The Natural Market in Towson and MOM's in Timonium carry this in bulk.  I got this one at MOM's.


For the amaranth, make sure you even it all out at the bottom of the pot.  Note: I really am using waaaaaaay too much in this photo.  This is a quarter cup.  But it still started popping immediately.


I got a significant amount of popped amaranth.  It was kind of adorable, almost like "Barbie Popcorn".


I also tried covering the amaranth and not stirring it.  This time I only did an eighth of a cup.  Again this was too much.


And again, lot of tiny, tiny popped amaranth seeds.

Conclusions

So I have finally found that I have had the most success with popping sorghum if I do the following:
  • use small amounts of sorghum (and amaranth for that matter)
  • dry pop it instead of using oil
  • use a light-colored vessel, specifically a stainless steel pot
  • constantly stir it instead of leaving it to pop all on its own
  • heat the pot first, keep it on medium until the kernels get to popping, and then turn down the heat to low.
Now that I've finally found success with popping this stuff, my next goal is to find out what else I can pop.  I've seen videos for rice and wheat on the internet.  This deserves the old college try, doesn't it?

          Live Blogging: Chopped - Make No Mistake        
I haven't live-blogged in a while, and I'm now feeling bitchy enough to critique that intense "create it in a heartbeat" cooking competition show Chopped.  I originally thought this was a finale to the Chopped Champions program.  I don't think this is the case, so I may be live-blogging a new episode.  So here I am, ready to live-blog the "Make No Mistake" episode of Chopped!  This ep featuring four former first-round losers was aired on Sunday, when most people were watching various characters get killed off on The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey and The Grammy Awards.  So it's not new new, but it is one of the newest.

Let us proceed.  Just as soon as Face-Off is over.

10:00 This is not a show for those of us with ADD.

10:01 Let's meet our former losers: first up, fireman-cum-chef John.  Messes up buffalo wings.  Dude.

Chef Monica: I remember her!  She got ingredients she had never used. Oopsie.

10:02 Chef Owen didn't put anything on his plate?  Really???  Maybe he'll actually get stuff on his plate this time.

10:03 Chef Marja gave her least favorite dish: raw dough!  Hold the cookies.

10:04 And now the goodies: mix pulpo (octopus), chioggia beets, fava beans and pickled garlic.  Hey, not so bad.  At least there's no cotton candy or gummy fish.

10:05 I should have had beer with me.  I now remember one reason why I never liked this show: SOFASTPACEDOHMYGODDDDDD!!!!!1!!!

Hey, at least Monica is playing for a cancer charity.

MY mother never shelled fava beans :p

10:06 Aaaaaand tonight's douchebag judges: Chris Santos, Amanda Freitag and Geof Zakarian!

10:08 Y'know, I think Ted is actually semi-excited at the thought of the pasta being done in time.

10:11 I bet they include these VitaMelts in a future Chopped challenge.

10:12 There ya go, John, multitask for us.  Just don't julienne a finger or something!

In general, what they're making looks god.  I just hope some of our intrepid chefs know what t do with this stuff ***COUGHMONICACOUGH***

10:13 This is actually mildly exciting.

Aaaaaand already we may have an appetizer round loser.  Shoulda grabbed those julienned beets, John, or really hope everything else sucks.

10:15 One man's "carpaccio" is another man's "carpaccio-style pulpo".

10:17 So overall the dishes are creative and not bad.  Man, I was hoping for some suck.  We might have some with all that sesame oil in Marja's dish though.

10:20 Gee, I'm finding this is not terribly interesting an exercise.  Something a bit sillier, on the level of The Next Food Network Star or Top Chef might be more fun to do.

10:24 And so Marja packs her knives and goes again.  We hardly knew ye and yon fava beans. FFFFFFFFFFFF.

10:25 Okay, a slightly weirder set of ingredients: wild boar roast, nopales, sweet potato chips and açai berry juice!

10:26 I did not realize that boar was dry.  See I wouldn't have known that were I in that situation.  Not a fan of nopales I might add.  Too slimy for my tastes.

Oh shite, will John know to scrape out the spines?  Doesn't matter: they've apparently been de-spined.

10:27 Liking the idea of that salad of Monica's. Doubting John's plans for the nopales.

10:29 Interesting.  Frenchifying the nopales by treating them as green beans.

10:30 Is she using the boar to thicken the sauce???  No. What is she doing? SCREW IT JUST SLICE THAT SHIT AND PLATE IT!

10:31 Okay, what did John forget this time?  The açai.  Sigh.  The judges really are pulling for him though.

10:36 Oh John.  So sad what happened to ya.  But apparently his is not the only one that sucks.  Monica's is not terribly edible either.  Let's see about Owen.

10:37 So dumping sweet potato chips on a plate is not acceptable to you Americans?  Bah!

10:38 Maybe they could just send 'em all home...

10:39 Good point: give John a few extra minutes and he might finish the whole thing.

10:40 And the next Chopp-ee... after these commercial messages.  Wah waah.

10:42 My God, how many of these cooking competition shows are there???

10:43 MONICA goes home??? Seriously?  Again they went with the taste.

10:44 Frenchy?

10:45 The dessert round includes tangerines, cranberry sauce, chocolate chip cookies, and.. gorgonzola dolce???  I know what John's leaving out this round...

10:47 Learning by baptism with that ice cream there.  And of course the French guy adds wine!

10:49 When life gives you little bits of lemons, er, gorgonzola ice cream, grab shot glasses.  Wait, gorgonzola ice cream?

10:49 The judges' reactions to the kitchen drama are priceless, by the way.  Not so douchey as in the early episodes of this series.

10:52 That moment when you realize that turkeys actually have heads: priceless.

10:54 And now for the assessment - Gorgonzola parfait: seductive, successful, mellowed.  Gorgonzola ice cream and cranberry CCC crumble: almondy, oddly delicious, beautiful.  Hey, way not to f*** up, guys!

10:56 Can we just fast forward to the winner?  I'm getting sleepy.

10:59 And so John heads home after making his best dish.  Congrats to the French guy!

Conclusion: Not sure if I would want to live-blog this program again.  It pretty much follows the same formula, doesn't it?  Still, the show has gotten better since it first started.  The judges always seemed to be assholes, gratuitously so at that.  Now they're cheering on our intrepid chefs.  But for live-blogging, it really doesn't work.  Ah well.
          State-by-State Redux: VI of X - African-American Cuisine Revisited - From Dr. George Washington Carver's recipe collection to yours        
Dr. George Washington Carver is best known to America's schoolchildren as the inventor of scores of peanut products for home and hearth.  That's where most school curricula stop.  It must be known, however, that Carver was a maestro of much more, and was one of America's leading botanists and agriculture scientists of his time.  In her book The African American Heritage Cookbook [1996, 2005], Carolyn Quick Tillery explores many of Carver's historic recipes, generally a reflection of Southern cuisine, and specifically of African-American cuisine

Snacking State-by-State Redux VI of X: African-American Cuisine

What is it? Foods traditionally cooked by African-Americans in the South, often overlapping with the cuisine of the South in general.
Where did it come from? African-American cuisine (also known as "soul food" since the 1960's) is a combination of cooking techniques and ingredients (sorghum, okra, rice) brought from West Africa, plus ingredients from Europe, the Middle East and Native America.  Again, African-American cuisine shares many similarities with Southern cuisine in general.

As pointed out by food author Celia Barbour for O Magazine, African-American cuisine (or "soul food" as it was first called in the 1960's) is traditionally a cuisine of "[e]ating organically, sustainably [sic] and locally" [2010].  A culinary tradition that was grown out of resourcefulness, specifically in the South.  She first had the idea of it being excessively fattening and unhealthy.
Like most culinary traditions, African-American cooking was long a balance of wholesome and unwholesome elements. The good ones kept the bad ones in check, until this equilibrium was upset by the processed and fast food industries. In the past few decades, traditional dishes have been supersized and made with nontraditional ingredients, and meals that were formerly eaten only on special occasions have been marketed as everyday fare. (It was hard to gorge on fried chicken when you had to first catch, slaughter, gut, and pluck the obstinate bird; quite another matter when it came in a bucket for $6.99.) Processed foods also recalibrated taste buds: "normal" came to mean excessive amounts of fat, salt, and sugar. It was a toxic mix. [Barbour 2010]
The truth, as she found out, is somewhat different.
I leafed through a book called Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America, by Frederick Douglass Opie, a professor of history at Marist College. I learned that for thousands of years, the traditional West African diet was predominantly vegetarian, centered on things like millet, rice, field peas, okra, hot peppers, and yams. Meat was used sparingly, as a seasoning. [Barbour 2010]
That includes, specifically, the many vegetables, nuts and fruits that African-Americans and others throughout the South grew wherever they could find room to grow it.  As for George Washington Carver, professor at Tuskegee Institute, he was an authority in growing these many varied crops: okra, snap peas, black-eyed peas, corn, collard greens and mustard greens, garlic, onions, etc., etc.

Carolyn Quick Tillery [1996, 2005] collects many of Carver's recipes for the modern chef and historian.  For more historical context, as she notes, so many African-American sharecroppers were forced to grow cotton and not food on the land outside their homes, being forced to buy whatever food they needed from the plantation's commissary at sky-high prices, keeping them poor and dependent upon them.
Upon his arrival [at Tuskegee], Washington observed that the common diet of sharecroppers was fat pork, corn bread, and, on occasion, molasses.  When they were without fat pork, sometimes their only food was the corn bread, served with black-eyed peas, cooked in plain water... Washington urged [the sharecroppers] to ask for a small plot of land on which to grow food and raise chickens.  [He] showed them how to maximize production of the plots or to live off "nature's bounty" where no plot could be obtained...  In addition to showing subsistence farmers methods of increasing their yield, Carver, an accomplished cook, shared recipes and preservation methods with their wives, and as a result, the women began to participate as well. [Tillery 1996, 2005: x-xi]
As Tillery found out while researching her book, she found that "the first Tuskegee students grew their own vegetables" [Tillery 1996, 2005: 124].  George Washington Carver himself noted in his Up With Slavery his relationship to agriculture:
When I can leave my office in time so that I can spend thirty or forty minutes in spading the ground, in planting seeds, in digging about the plants, I feel that I am coming into contact with something that is giving me strength for the many duties and hard places that await me out in the big world.  I pity the man or woman who has never learned to enjoy nature and get strength and inspiration out of it. [Washington Carver, quoted in Tillery 1996, 2005: 125]
I've tried to fancy up most of these last ten recipes in this State-by-State series, but this time I'm keeping leaving it un-zhuzh'd, so to speak, and doing Carver's recipe straight up.  You can find the following recipe for collards and cornmeal dumplings (with exact measurements) on page 127 of Tillery's African-American Heritage Cookbook.

The Recipe: Dr. Carver's Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings


* collard greens (Duh.  I was in Whole Foods when I bought these.  Since George Washington Carver's foods would have been, by default, "organic" by modern standards, I went ahead and bought as much, $3 per bunch for two bunches.  Had I bothered to go to the farmers' market first, I would have found the same ones for about $2 a bundle.  Wah waah.)
* ham hock (the recipe says you can also use a turkey wing.  One package was about $6 at Giant)
* onion (just one, about half a dollar)
* dried chile pepper flakes (had one laying around)
* jalapeño (a few cents for just one)
* garlic powder (had garlic salt, which meant I didn't need to use actual salt.  But I did use...)
* seasoned salt (or in this case, Old Bay.  I rarely miss an opportunity to use this for something)
* sugar (had it)
* pepper (same)
* bacon (had that too)


Start by sautéing your bacon in a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven.


Meanwhile, wash your collard greens and chop up.  I took my kitchen shears and minced them up in their bowl.


After chopping your onion and chile, sauté them with your bacon.


Then throw in a ham hock and fill the pot with water until the ham hock is about c