Friday, February 26, 2016

Review of City of Glass Up

My Review of City of Glass is up here.
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Preview
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Swim Call

There is a very cool set of photos of the Navy and Marine personnel taking a break and swimming around the world.  Just a set time for them to relax for a few minutes.
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It took me back to the joy of doing this off a little tiny sailboat in the Mediterranean.  The pictures are great LINK.
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example

Re: Below - see what I mean Salon can be terrifically funny!

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And then my brain immediately imagines these two watching the debat - and knowing that crazy ass Mel is cheering on the most superficial religouslyness person.
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This CNN Closed Captioning Cracks Me Up [unintelligible yelling]

We all know I read Salon.  I love their site, although over the last 3 years they have gotten too crazy ass liberal for me (they changed their management from Joan Walsh - a realist liberal*  to someone who is more knee-jerk, feel the Bern, liberal).
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Anyway, one of their very good writers is essentially deaf.  So he watched the debate last night and had to grab a screen pic of the CNN Closed Captioner's annoyance at one point.  And it is funny.
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* realist liberal isn't a category that is really recognized.  I kind of made it up for people like Joan Walsh and me.  You know, liberals that want to function in the real world and tend towards the middle of the political spectrum expect about women's bodies and gay marriage - where we are decidedly liberal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Really?


This was posted on our internal board.  I think it is odd.
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I mean who decides to buy opened, second hand cologne?
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And get you get cut-rate stuff that isn't real on the street?
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My guess is we will have sweet smelling garbage soon.

Cool Video About Great Britain's Qualification in Men's Snycro


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One of the interesting things with the internet and spread of easy connection is shared stories.  Tom Daley - British Diver (and engaged to US movie director Dustin Lance Black) - has won medals and is Britain's star of diving.  He and his partner just qualified for the Rio Olympics in syncro diving.
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It's interesting because he goes through the story quickly, but gives me things I didn't know.  Like 12 make it to the final round and only 9 qualify for the Olympics (I did wonder why only 9 were in Beijing, were Eddie and I watched it).
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Anyway, it is kind of interesting.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chinbat


I sponsor a child via the Christina Noble Children's Foundation in Ireland.  This is the second child I have sponsored there (there first graduated High School already).
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I got my yearly update just now and I am not sure I can put my feelings into words.  I feel happy to make a difference, petty for complaining (ever :-), sad for the family, but glad the boy is doing better and they have a home.
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I sponsor a child through Worldvision as well.  I try to make the world a little better.
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I have to do more.
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Here is info about my sponsoree.
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A little bit about YOU… (To be completed by a parent or carer on behalf of the child with as much of their help as possible!) My name is Chinbat. I was born on 05/June/ 2005. I’m in year 5at primary school. I live with my mother and she is 58 years old. The games I love to play are checkers, football and skate. In my spare time my favorite things to do are drawing pictures and watching movies. When I grow up I would like to be Mongolian drawling song singer, because I like to listen to drawling songs.
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What’s been happening in the last year? At school I have noticed I am getting better at sports. My favorite moments from the year were receiving my sponsor money, buying new clothes and watching movie with my sponsorship money. My biggest challenge was living in the entrance of the building. Life has changed for me this year because our life condition has changed a lot thanks to the sponsorship money. I am able to provide my clothes with my sponsorship money and also I have my own home.
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And how about next year… My goals for next year are studying well and developing myself. I am looking forward to develop my talent.
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What special words do you have to send across the world to your sponsor? Dear Scott Mitchell, How are you? We are sincerely grateful to you and the sponsorship money is big help to my family. We had lost our home in the fire after my husband died. After that we used to live in the entrance way to the building in very hard living circumstances. I used to work as the housekeeper of the apartment block and a cleaner for 3 years. I have taken retired pension loan for buying “ger” (Mongolian traditional felt tent). I’m bedridden and I’ve been diagnosed brain tumor. Thank you very much for your kind help and support for us. We really can’t thank you enough. With best wishes and sincere thanks, Chinbat’s mother Tulgach

Patterson: Great Falls and Tired City

Eddie and I went out to Patterson New Jersey this week-end.  I wanted to see the waterfall, we both ended up learning a lot about someplace very close geographically, but very far away in time and temperament.
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So the Great Falls of the Passaic are in town.  There have been power plants here for a long long time.
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The Great Falls of the Passaic (see people on upper right for scale)

The falls and the Power Station (this one rebuilt in 1912)
Turns out Alexander Hamilton worked with Pierre L'Enfant to drive commerce here.  They damned above the river and then built a series of 3 "Raceways" which were canals to divert the river to drive factories.
Walkway on left, old water "Raceway" for power on the left.  Old factories in Patterson
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Patterson turned out lots of things, but in the 1860s began to focus on silk fabrics and trimmings due to a set of odd tariffs dropped by England, that destroyed British Silk Textiles to the French, and tariffs raised by the Americans during the Civil War - that made the home market really profitable.
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A Silk Loom - towards the most modern at the time (early 1920s)

Says it right on it: Soft Silk Skein Winder

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The built a LOT of other things as well.  Here are some examples we saw at the Patterson Museum.
Wright / Crosley engines (yes, the Wright Brothers).  Used in the Spirit of St. Louis

Submarines.  The foreground was the prototype, found in the Passaic River in the 1920s by a scout troop.  The distance is a early version that held more people.

Colt build pistols here!  Who knew?


 Patterson, the city, is very poor now.  Manufacturing started leaving in the early 1900s, off for states with less labor laws.  The unions were powerful, and when new machines increased output, but cut workers, they struck.
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Manufacturing continued to leave throughout the century, until there was nothing left by the 1980s.  It is know a poor town where poor people commute to New York City by bus.  Some of the old factories and mills are getting new life as art studios, schools and museums, but it will be a long slog.  There is a big backlog of cruddy housing and bad memories.
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So it was a cool, but sad week-end trip in many ways.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

And now, back to Reviewing

If Marco Rubio is the Option - I'm for Trump

That sound you hear, the powerful hoof beats of the Republican Establishment towards Marco Rubio, are not the sounds of a well-oiled machine.  It is the  sound of a freaked out stampede.
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For those of you not familiar with John Wayne movies or The Lion King, let me define what I mean.  It is not the sound of a well considered opinion of one of America's governing parties that a President Marco Rubio would be the best possible choice for President.
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It is the gun-fire that the Republican base of voters - pushed farther and farther to the right, away from reasonableness and towards the fairy land where conspiracy reigns by talk-radio and FOX News - has unleashed in the form of support for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.  These two have set of a pathetic and deranged attempt to brand Marco Rubio the "Establishment" Candidate.
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Lordy.
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The Smiling Face of Evil (with toupee)
Marco Rubio is the smiling face of stupidity, opportunism or evil, depending on how much credit you give him instead of his handlers.
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What he is not, is principled or steady.  His two most recent policy changes have convinced me he is the worst of the bunch, not the best.
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  1. Woman's Right to Choose. In a pander to the most absolute of anti-choice foes, he "believes"* that life begins at conception and therefore a zygot is a Human Being, allowed full protection under the Constitution.  He would outlaw abortion at all stages of pregnancy, including in cases where the pregnancy is the result of a rape, incest and if carrying the embryo to term would kill the mother.  Because God.  He has stated that science proves this (a zygot at conception is a Human life).  One wonders what he believes should happen to in vitro zygots and frozen embryos, given his stand, they are "people" at conception and would, therefore, be given constitutional rights.**
  2. Immigration. He once worked with a non-partisian group of senators (8 of them, 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats) to:
    (A) create a reasonable immigration plan that responded to past and future legalization.  Once he found that any kindness towards immigrants would be punished at the ballot box, he dropped this like a gay zygot with Zika (aka - a hot potato).
    (B) First he created the plan in the Senate, but he didn't help push it through the Senate.  He didn't obstruct, but didn't help.
    (C) Then he actively turned against his own plan when the Republicans in the House of Representatives balked at it.
    (D) Now he claims to have never supported it.  And claims he never supported it in Spanish to rub it in the immigrants' face(which is just, you know, screwed up).
    (E) For the immigrant's son to complete his drive to worship at the feet of hate though, that wasn't enough.  He now wants to "on Day One" repeal Obama's directive to protect "Dreamers" - and immediately deport them.
- "Dreamers" are those that were brought to the United States by their parents when they were minors (usually under age 10).  They grew up in the United States.  If they never committed a crime, if they are now over 18 and if they go to college or are in the army, President Obama has issued a directive not to deport them until Congress passes a law to cover them.  Many do not speak the language of the country they would be deported to.
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- Dreamers are the best of people, caught in a system they didn't create, by parents, but are still valuable members of the US Society.  So much, in fact, that 16 states (including Texas, California, Utah and New York) offer in-state University tuition (and obviously freedom from deportation) to those children of immigrants - legal and illegal - that attended all 4 years of High School in the state.
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If this is a moderate Republican - then the preface "moderate" in this context is devoid of meaning. I would rather vote for the true asshole than the lying smiling toupeed asshat.
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*"Believes" in this context is hard to define.  Let's define "believe" as something he tells voters that he truly wants and will work for.  It can also be defined here as a possible lie or fiction designed to stroke a voter's ego long enough to get a vote.
** I do, occasionally, wonder at the results of this doctrine, which has been voted on by a couple of states (to date always voted down).  It means, of course, minors would be able to everything 9 months earlier; drive, smoke, drink, marry.  Since your "life" began at conception - you are 21 years old 3 months after your 20th birthday.  I wonder even more on the status of the frozen in-vitro embryos.   Does their age start at conception?  If they are frozen, is that included in their age.  Given Marco Rubio's "life begins at conception" does that mean that frozen zygots or embryos age until they are used?  Could you then be born at age 21?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hypocrisy Watch : Is Donald Trump our Best Friend?

The Pope weighed in on a question the other days, as he does when asked.  What did he think about Donald Trump's plan to build a wall across the Mexican Border.
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He said that someone that supported that (D.Trump) wasn't Christian.
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Which has blown up into a Pope versus Trump war.

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But in reality - all the main candidates for the Republican nomination have been piled on the "Wall Only" Idea.  Cruz and Rubio have argued (in Spanish) who is the most anti-immigrant.
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Instead of weighing in The Donald, look at what the Pope said.  He said someone that supported that wasn't Christian.
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This isn't the Pope vs. Trump: this is the Pope vs. American Policy AND the Pope vs. Israeli Policy AND the Pope vs. Russian Policy AND the Pope vs. Chinese Policy AND the Pope vs. European Policy towards Syrian immigrants.
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We (Americans) need to pull out of a knee-jerk parochial viewpoint and look at the world around it.  Every candidate says the World cannot be safe without a Strong America.  Well, we need to be strong AND informed if we aim to keep our country and the world safe.
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The Pope wasn't only blasting Donald Trump, but each of us that turns a blind eye towards our brothers and sisters in the world.  Which is, kinda, the Pope's job.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Zoltan Pali: Amazing House

I guy I went to UCLA with, Zoltan Pali, is an amazing architect.  We haven't kept in touch or anything, but I love his stuff.
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I remember him because once he class he told me how he got the name.  His parent escaped Hungary during the uprising in 1956.  The worked their way to the US, mom was pregnant and they decided to give their son the most normal name they could.  Like John or Jeff.  But in Hungary the "typicakl" name is different, hence Zoltan.
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I also took geography classes with his brother, Christopher. Mom learned her lesson after Zoltan.
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link to house if you have 7.5 Million burning in your pocket

Thursday, February 11, 2016

And Now A Word from a Female Feminist For Clinton

There is an article on slate (link) which describes how a woman who was a giant Obama backer now is  a Clinton Backer.  And it is so accurate - so on point as to how I feel (although I was a Hillary backer in 2008) that I had to include part of it.
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The whole thing is here, but here are some key takeaways.
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...[first part of article] ...

But it’s still a problem, for her and for those of us who want her to win. Part of what’s so frustrating about being a leftish Clinton supporter is that much of what her progressive critics say about her is true. She’s a hawk. She spoke in favor of welfare reform during her husband’s presidency. She believes Wall Street has a significant role to play in the economy. She’s cautious and calculating.

There are other things about her that are also true. By most accounts, she accepted her husband’s pursuit of welfare reform grudgingly, after her attempt to create a universal health insurance program was blamed for the disastrous 1994 midterms. Her overall voting record in the Senate was to the left of both Obama and Joe Biden. She’s defied her billionaire backer Haim Saban to enthusiastically support Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. She has been a staunch, consistent defender of reproductive rights.
For a progressive, how you reconcile conflicting truths about Clinton depends, to some extent, on how much you empathize with her. Supporting Clinton means justifying the thousands of concessions she’s made to the world as it is, rather than as we want it to be. Doing this is easier, I think, when you are older, and have made more concessions yourself. Indeed, sometimes it feels like to defend Clinton is to defend middle age itself, with all its attenuated expectations and reminders of the uselessness of hindsight.
Empathizing with Clinton, however, is a painful business. It means wincing along as she endures yet another round of public humiliation, another batch of stories about women’s indifference to her feminist appeal, another explosion of punditry about her lack of charisma. It means being constantly reminded that people on the left as well as the right find aging women pathetic. It means watching the Sanders phenomenon, in most ways a hugely welcome renaissance of American socialism, with dread as well as delight. There was no shame for Clinton in losing to Obama. But the fact that she’s fighting for her political life against Sanders, a man who initially joined the race more to make a statement than to contend for power, is a mortifying public rebuke.

City of Cleveland: DickTown USA

Tamar Rice was 12 years old.  Playing in the park with a toy gun.  Someone called 911, said a person in the park was aiming a gun at people, but it might be a toy gun.
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The Police responded, THEY SAID they told the child (CHILD) to put down the weapon between 2 and 4 times.  After repeated requests, the person pointed the gun at them and they shot him dead.   The police then tried to save him by administering medical services, but the person died.
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Then a video showed up, WHAT HAPPENED  was the police car rolled up on the grass.  Within 1.5 seconds of exiting the vehicle, they shot the child.  Tamar Rice never reached for anything, although he was turning towards them (cops drive onto a playground - you turn towards them). The toy was tucked into his waistband and the child never reached for it.  They shot him, and ignored him (no CPR, no checking on him) for at least tow minutes (that is all the video they release).
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The DA decided not to file charges - even though this is a "open carry" state where you can carry a gun AND the original police report was a lie.  According to the District Attorney - a 12 year old child with a toy gun in the park provides enough reason for a policeman to fear for his life.  If that child is black.
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Today they billed the family $500 for emergency medical services.
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Dicktown USA. (LINK)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I LOVE Gene Kelly - so I though this was very interesting.

Haven't I Seen This Before

In 2008 I supported Hillary Clinton over Barak Obama, not because I disliked President Obama, but because I though Hillary would be better placed to get things done.
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President Obama has been a reasonably good President, given what headwinds he faced.  But, I feel, he could have been better.  I feel he fell down exactly where I thought he would - by expecting the Republican Caucus to be reasonable.  I think Hillary would have been better.
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Now I support Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.  Not because I dislike Senator Sanders, but because he doesn't have a history of implementing his vision after two decades in the Senate and his foreign policy understanding seems remarkably light for someone in Congress for two decades.  I think Hillary would be a better President.
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But I have to respect the voters didn't just choose Bernie in New Hampshire by a little.  They decided he was a better answer by a LOT.
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I admit to also being not thrilled by a contest between two people who are both beyond retirement age - hell I am only 56 but my mind gets foggy a lot.
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Oh well, at least MarcoBot 2000 was exposed as a fraud.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Clapper... Clapper, why does that name ring a bell????

Today we heard some terrible news from our intelligence committee.  Terrible!  ISIS is goign to try to attack America in 2016.
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Wow!
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Who knew?
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That is the kind of keen intelligence we pay billions for - and he wants billions more.
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You know what, pay me 5% of what he is making and I can give the same "shocking" answer.
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But that name, James Clapper.  Where do I know that from?  Where?
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Oh right, he is that lying sack of sh*t!
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Don't remember?  Let me remind you.
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The Lie

On March 12th, 2013, during a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Senator Ron Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper the following question:
"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
Director Clapper responded "No, sir."
Incredulously, Senator Wyden asked "It does not?"
Director Clapper responded "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertantly perhaps collect, but not wittingly."
So that he would be prepared to answer, Senator Wyden gave these questions to Director Clapper's office a day in advance of the hearing. Upon the hearing's completion, he also gave the Director a chance to amend his answer. He opted not to do so.

The Revelations

On June 6th, 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to the world that the NSA was engaged in a secret program to collect tens of millions of Americans' phone call records. Further revelations would unveil NSA programs collecting Americans' web browsing histories, chat logs, email usage and even their physical locations.
The NSA had been collecting data on hundreds of millions of innocent Americans, and continues to do so.
Finally forced to acknowledge his remarks as "erroneous", Director Clapper claimed that he "misunderstood" the question (which he had been sent a day in advance) and that he had simply "forgotten" the relevant section of the Patriot Act covering these programs.

This Site (sm:LINK)

If you or I had given this testimony before Congress and lied as Director Clapper has, using the same excuses that he provided when caught, we would be charged with perjury. Until such time as the Director is indicted for this crime, as Americans we can only assume that there are two sets of laws: One for the architects and enablers of the NSA surveillance state and another for the public at large.

Is Kasich Good or Just Adequate in a Year Where the Threshold is Very Very Low?

Not his normal Karate Chop hands
So in listening to the (Republican) debates, I tend to lean towards John Kasich.  I just wonder if it is because he is reasonable, or in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King?
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He doesn't poll particular well in Ohio (where he is Governor), but that is a trait of each Governor in this race.  I know he is very conservative, particularly with regards to women's rights - but he says some intelligent things on a raise in the minimum wage and on immigration.
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So he seems reasonable, for a Republican.  I hope he does well.  Because - well, I would like a choice this November.  And I would like it between 2 people that might reasonably perform as President.

San Francisco Buildings

So I saw some very cool buildings in San Francisco.  I am including them here, grouped.
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First the new Federal Building on 7th right near Market.  It is a little brutalistic, but I liked it.
This is the new Federal Building.  It's kind of cool


Detail of the fencing.
The next interesting building was the addition to the Contemporary Jewish Museum.  It houses the Museum Store and some upstairs space, but the whole "cube dropped on a corner" vibe worked for me.  Particularly against the dullish facade of the CJM and directly behind an older traditional church.
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It sits behind a church off the plaza, near a hotel entrance that serves as a walkway . alley between Mission and Market.

The addition (dead center) to the Jewish Contemporary Museum (right) and old church back (left).


Finally I saw the Federal Court building (opposite the new Federal Building) and it was 180 degrees different.  I think it was built in the 1990s, although it is a Federalist style.  I particularly liked the lights.
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Monday, February 08, 2016

I Loved Hail Caesar - But It Probably Isn't For Most People

This wee3k-end we saw Hail Caesar. Now, it is true that this is a very white film.  It is set in the early 1950s during the Studio System, and it reflects that.
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On the other hand, if you can see past that, it is wonderful.  The references to Gene Kelly, Ester Williams, Roy Rogers and Charleston Heston, it is hilarious.  Look at the stills, there is a technicolor beauty that is almost alive.
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Tilda Swindon as Hedda Hopper (and Louella Parsons with a different hat)

Scarlett Jonhansson somehow pulls off Ester Williams and Lana Turner combined

Channing Tatum can see and dance

Alden Ehrenreich - plays a western cowboy pressed into a High Society role.

Torture Schmorture - Is It a Big Deal? YES

So there is this UN Thing - that the United States INSISTED upon after World War II.  It is call the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  It is a statement of 30 Basic Human Rights every person is endowed with (by God, or the UN or whomever you want to believe in).  Thing is, it was US,  not "us" just the Good Guys out of World War II, but us Americans.
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Here is article #5 "No Torture".  This is not complicated.  Not, "no torture unless a nuclear bomb is going off in LA and Jack Bauer can find it by chopping off the fingers of a random bad guy."  Not, "no torture unless it's an Arab."  Not, "no torture unless you are a Republican and Obama is a wuss."  A Basic Human Right is to be free from Torture.
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Here is the Republican Debate Responses:(LINK)

Not a popular stance among the Republicans
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Meanwhile, the rest of the debate was notable for its return to enthusiastic bloodlust and torture. The real GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, went for it. When asked about waterboarding he eagerly endorsed it, and more:

MUIR: … Mr. Trump, you said not only does it work, but that you’d bring it back.

TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what. In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before — as a group, we have never seen before, what’s happening right now.

The medieval times — I mean, we studied medieval times — not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

This was greeted with ecstatic applause from the audience.

When asked about it further the next morning he was more explicit:

STEPHANOPOULOS: The issue of waterboarding front and center last night as (INAUDIBLE). You said, I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

What did you have in mind?

TRUMP: Well, George, you’re not talking about what I said before that. I said we’re living in a world where, in the Middle East, they’re cutting people’s heads off. They’re chopping a Christian’s head off. And many of them, we talk about Foley, James Foley, and you know, what a wonderful young man. Boom, they’re chopping heads.

So then I went into this. I said, yes, I would bring back waterboarding. And I would make it a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes.

What did you have in mind?

TRUMP: I had in mind going worse than waterboarding. It’s enough. We have right now a country that’s under siege. It’s under siege from a people, from — we’re like living in medieval times. If I have it to do and if it’s up to me, I would absolutely bring back waterboarding. And if it’s going to be tougher than waterboarding, I would bring that back, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As president, you would authorize torture?

TRUMP: I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective. If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do we win by being more like them?

TRUMP: Yes. I’m sorry. You have to do it that way. And I’m not sure everybody agrees with me. I guess a lot of people don’t. We are living in a time that’s as evil as any time that there has ever been. You know, when I was a young man, I studied Medieval times. That’s what they did, they chopped off heads. That’s what we have…

STEPHANOPOULOS: So we’re going to chop off heads…

TRUMP: We’re going to do things beyond waterboarding perhaps, if that happens to come.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

middle of the night idea: Audubon's Birds - The Carolina Parakeet

My middle of the night ideas are always odd.
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Last night I thought it would make a fascinating study to show the Audubon Bird Plates (which are gorgeous - we saw a display at the New York History museum this last year) and then next to it, put two data plagues.  The first showing original and current ranges.  The second showing the population change since the paintings were done.
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Here is the Carolina Parakeet.  The northern most ranging parakeets.  They were once found as far north as New York and Wisconsin.  There were probably millions of them - almost a million in Florida alone.
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There are now zero.  They went extinct in 1916.  My guess is that a lot of Audubon's birds have been lost (besides the famous Passenger Pigeon) - but I am guessing.  Maybe they have thrived.  I know that damned Canada Goose is everywhere and leaves turds bigger than Trevor's.
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Anyway, here is a copy of Audubon's Plate of the Carolina Parakeet - note there are parakeets in the wild now in California and some other areas, but they are feral (escaped) pets.  They were beautiful.
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Friday, February 05, 2016

Post from Photographers Without Borders

So I am working with Project 1948, an non-profit group working in Bosnia.  This year we are doing a collaboration with Photographers Without Borders - and they did a great write up on the group.  The write up explains it better than I do - for those of you who ask what the group is all about.
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http://www.photographerswithoutborders.org/blog-content/2016/2/1/the-rights-of-being-human-the-fusing-narrative-of-project-1948 (link)
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Nothing to do with Project1948, but I did love their cover photo!
This year many of the participants (of Project1948.ngo) are working with Syrian refugees in Bosnia.  It is very cool.

Meanwhile... Over at the Peace Journal

I am blogging about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Peace Journal at Project1948.ngo (link).  Today's is so basic, and yet still we see this.
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Ok - Sometimes I am Wrong..

Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, I am wrong.  And then I must admit it.
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So... I was having coffee with a neighbor this morning (which is so NOT me, but whatever).  And i was talking about how kids don't have to learn anything anymore with the google and the internet and the attention span of a gnat.
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And she says, "Well, they maybe are learning differently."
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I did not argue, although I may have snorted a bit with derision.
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"For example," she says.  "My grandson is very much an inventor."
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Now you, like me, probably nod and go, Of course, everyone's grandchild is brilliant.  But my neighbor continued...
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"He invented this toothbrush" and she shows me " that screws onto a toothpaste bottle.  He had a hard time squeezing the toothpaste onto the brush when he was five - a big glob would pop out, so he had the idea to have the toothpaste come out through the brush.  And he sold it to Quirky. "
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So yeah, I felt like a bit of an idiot.
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There is a funny follow up to this, but the main story is - okay, maybe all kids aren't coasting by.  And yes, that's a picture of him on the front - Houston Diaz.   Unfortunately Quirky has gone bankrupt through no fault of Houston's, so you can't buy them right now, but good idea, right (and patented... "Yes, that's right.  I got my first patent at 5."