atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1973: Clearly we need tougher controls on meat thermometers.

This kind of death is totally preventable if only we would require background checks and registration for the sale of meat thermometers.

Eh? "Reducto ad absurdum"? I'm not entirely certain it is.

* * *

This is the only reason I carp on Obama's birth certificate non-release. All the major news outlets were "McCain birthers" but none of them are even remotely skeptical of Obama's eligibility.

Of course, McCain shut them up by producing his birth certificate. Obama has not; but then the mainstream media is carefully ignoring the story.

If Obama wants to stop all this crap dead, all he's got to do is show us an official long-form birth certificate. Yet he refuses. Why? What's on that form that he doesn't want us to know?

I doubt it's a question of citizenship; I think it's something else which would be embarassing to him. If Obama were a Republican the press would still be hounding him for his birth certificate.

And people say the media is not biased. Heh.

* * *

Another field in which "the science is settled" is that of evolution. But the science--as with "climate change"--is far from "settled" and in fact we know a hell of a lot less about the origins of species than we think we do.

* * *

Limbaugh makes a joke about biased media when he imagines a New York Times headline about the end of the world: "WORLD ENDS: Women and the Poor Hardest Hit."

Apparently women suffer from climate change more than men do. You think I'm joking?
Because many women in poor countries are farmers, and because their traditional tasks tend to use lots of water, they are often the first to feel the consequences of climate change, said Rebecca Pearl of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance.
The "Global Gender and Climate Alliance"? WTF is that about?

I don't need to do anything with that. Its mere existence alone is self-parody. Why they don't just call themselves "Global Feminists For The Environment" is beyond me. Or maybe "Unshorn Sisters of the Patriarchal Eco-Apocalypse" would be more self-descriptive.

* * *

Unemployment is not going to get better any time soon according to this Reuters piece. Well, why the hell should it? The government has done nothing to ease the conditions it put into place which caused this mess in the first place; and furthermore you've got Obama and the Democrats all running their mouths about increasing taxes and seizing 1/6th of the economy by socializing the health care system. No one knows which way to jump.

"Most forecasters assume that the economy will return to its historical path this year, following Okun's two-to-one ratio of changes in GDP and changes in unemployment." But GDP for 2009 was down about two percent from the prior year. Yes, the fourth quarter showed an estimated growth of 5.7%, but even with that estimate the annual total for 2009 was around -2%.

GDP contracted last year. And I'll bet that when the revised fourth quarter estimates come out (probably around the end of March or in early April) we'll find that 5.7% was too high, and that the yearly sum was therefore even lower than -2%. The contraction of GDP, in other words, will turn out to be greater than 2%.

And all of this ignores the fact that the map is not the territory.

I've got this nifty GPS for my Jeep, and it's got a database of speed limits in it, so it tells me what the speed limit is where I'm driving, most of the time. But I've already identified two places in the local area where it's wrong; one in particular tells me the speed limit is 40 when I'm driving past a 35 sign and can see one about a quarter mile ahead which also says "35". The map in the GPS is not the territory; the sign I pass in the real world is the thing to follow. (Yeah: get ticketed for speeding in that zone and try telling the cop your GPS says it's a 40 zone. That'll work.)

This is similar to how the GDP statistic works. It's a proxy; most of the time it's useful for figuring out where our economy is and what it's doing, but it has no essential reality in and of itself.

We find mathematics very useful for describing the world. Voltage equals current times resistance; "I have three apples, and if I pick up two more, I have five;" and so on. But mathematics itself has no inherent reality. There's no equation which can turn your three apples into five; you've got to pick up two more to have five.

When you come down to it, GDP is a number, and it's a number we get from an equation. It is useful for describing certain economic properties of the physical world, but like any number it can be manipulated to make things look better (or worse) than they really are. And the people in charge have a vested interest in fudging those numbers to make things look as rosy as possible.

* * *

I wonder if we'll ever see this kind of editorial about Barack Hussein Obama in the United States?

Make no mistake about it: this thing is damn harsh on the man. And it's about time someone said these things.

The editorial talks about Fox News:
The Fox network is a remarkable cultural phenomenon which almost shocks those of us from a country where a technical rule of impartiality is applied in the broadcast media. With little rest, it pours out rage 24 hours a day: its message is of the construction of the socialist state, the hijacking of America by "progressives" who now dominate institutions, the indoctrination of children, the undermining of religion and the expropriation of public money for these nefarious projects.
This person clearly doesn't understand the American body politic; Fox News is so popular because it's seen as centrist by so many Americans. The other news networks are--and have been for bordering on a century or more--unabashedly liberal, and aren't any more "impartial" than the writer accuses Fox News of being.

Fox News doesn't "pour out rage" any more than CNN or MSNBC do, but what it does is to present a much more balanced picture than its competitors. This is what makes it a "right-wing shill"--it does not report the news with the same leftist slant CBS NBC ABC CNN NYT do; that's what makes it appear to be right-wing.

Take it from me: Fox News is most assuredly not "right wing".

Other than the nonsense about Fox News, though, the article is dead-on.

* * *

Örmüs hit 40th level yesterday afternoon. Except for an hour out to run errands, I played WoW a lot yesterday, and finally got Örmüs his fast horsie and the ability to cast mage portals.

Here's something I don't get: the mage ability to teleport and/or take portals to major cities is granted at level 20 and 40 respectively...except for Darnassus. At 40th level, Örmüs can teleport himself to all the major Alliance cities: Darnassus, Stormwind, Ironforge, and Exodar; and to Theramore, too. He got the ability to create a mage portal to Theramore at 35, and portals to Stormwind, Ironforge, and Exodar at 40.

Darnassus, he has to wait for level 50.

At level 20 Örmüs made the rounds of the cities to get trained in teleporting to them; and he could get to Stornwind, Ironforge, and Exodar at 20--but for Darnassus he had to wait for level 30.


What the hell is so special about Darnassus that mages have to wait an extra ten levels? Darnassus is the home city of the night elves; it sits in a low-level area much the same way Stormwind is in the middle of the human low-level area and Ironforge is in the dwarf/gnome low-level area. You walk out of any of those cities and you run into monsters with single-digit levels.

It's annoying, and it doesn't make any damn sense whatsoever.

Anyway, the mage ability to teleport to major cities is really useful; I didn't expect there to be a portal trainer in Theramore, though. The fact that there is one makes things very easy for me right now, since I'm running quests in Dustwallow Marsh; it pretty much gives me unlimited teleport to Theramore. now every time I come across a mage tower I look to see if there's a portal trainer within.

* * *

Yesterday I took my change in to be counted. I have these two Tootsie Roll banks on my computer desk, and whenever I have change in my pockets I dump it in them. Having bought the headset for the computer I figured now would be a good time; and in fact there turned out to be about $42 in change in the things. I hadn't expected it to be that much.

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