atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3517: First Friday in August, got errands and a crapton of links!

So many links that my browser is chunking, so let's get started on closing some.

First up, Chick-fil-A:

Civil rights lawsuit filed against Chick-fil-A, even though the corporation has not discriminated against anyone in its hiring or sales practices. All that has happened is that the company's president has stated that he believes that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.

But the LGBTBLTBBQ folks are saying:
In our current high speed media and social media environment, Chick-fil-A has announced and caused to be published, to hundreds of millions of people, that LGBT people are unacceptable and objectionable. They have made it clear the lives of LGBT individuals are unacceptable to them and that same-gender families are unwelcome at Chick-fil-A.
...except that Chick-fil-A has said no such thing. I'd like them to point out where--in the corporate advertising and other PR--it says "that LGBT people are unacceptable and objectionable" or "that same-gender families are unwelcome at Chick-fil-A."

Waitasecond. Let's say me, my brother, a couple of his boys, and my sister's boy all go to Chick-fil-A. Are they going to tell us we're unwelcome? We are, after all, a "same-gender family", aren't we? (Okay, the women are not there and it's just a stag trip for some delicious food. Still, how would they know?)

Of course not. Chick-fil-A has maintained throughout this nonsense that they--based on sex, race, creed, what-have-you--do not refuse to serve anyone, nor do they refuse to hire anyone.

Again, all that has happened is that the company's president has stated that he believes that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.

Another story on Dr. Dickbag.
"I don't know how you live with yourself and work here," he tells the employee at the window. "I don't understand it. This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better."

”I’m a nice guy, by the way … totally heterosexual," he continues. "Not a gay in me, I just can’t stand the hate.”
He says, while spewing hatred at a hapless grunt in the trenches. *rolleyes*

Meanwhile, "Chick-fil-A employs many homosexual people in its stores, [and] things have been tough for them lately" because idiotic morons are saying stupid things to them, among other things. (Fixed the comma splice in that sentence. F-ing journalism majors--don't they teach grammar and composition any longer?)

And the company itself confirms that it was a record-setting day for them. Just watch--other fast food companies (particularly the less-successful ones) will now try having their CEOs spout controversial statements in hopes of getting similar results.

Considering that I'm thinking of going to Orland Park to pick up some gyoza today, I might just stop in at the C-f-A there to pick up some tasty food, myself. I think today's supposed to be a gay "kiss-in" day, but that'd give me a chance to roll my eyes at a bunch of dorks who think that kissing people of the same sex in public is a viable form of protest.

BTW, Borepatch says, "The new hotness: politeness. Manners cost you nothing, King Douche."

* * *

Except for the inconvenient fact that THE OZONE HOLE CLOSES EVERY YEAR, of course.
The researchers blame the disease on a couple of factors. The Great Barrier Reef lies directly below the largest hole in the ozone layer, which means the region receives significantly more UV radiation than other place on Earth. In addition, they believe that the three fish species may be crossbreeding with each other, resulting in offspring that are more prone—due to the loss or mutation of certain genes—to UV-induced skin cancer.
The article starts out by describing how scientists crossbreed certain species of fish to get fish that can get skin cancer--and then people are surprised that it can happen in the wild too?

Oh, no no no! It's because of TEH OZONEZ!! ONOES!~!!!~~!111213

...the fish receive "significantly more UV radiation than other place on Earth" (SIC) but THE FISH ARE UNDERWATER. They're not laying on the f-ing beach unless they're DEAD, in which case they've got a slightly BIGGER F-ING PROBLEM THAN SKIN CANCER!

Okay, calm down, deep breaths, there we go.... Sorry about this, but I'm gonna have to haul out the ozone rant again.

The ozone "hole" is a thinning of the ozone layer which occurs every year over Antarctica. This odd phenomenon is an annual occurence which lasts a couple of months out of the year, and it was first observed in 1956. The magnitude of the annual thinning of the layer has remained approximately the same for the past fifty-six years, AND IT HAS ALWAYS, ALWAYS RECOVERED.

That is to say, there isn't this strange lack of ozone over the south pole which persists to this day. The meteorological phenomenon is called the south polar vortex, and it so happens that September 21 is springtime in the southern hemisphere. So what happens is, you get this gigantic swirling of air around the south pole, high in the atmosphere and at a few hundred miles an hour, which interferes in the formation of ozone for a couple of months because of how the chemistry of the stratosphere works. The ozone concentration dwindles to around 100 dobson units for a little while; but once the SPV shuts down ozone production ramps right back up again and shortly the ozone layer is back around 300 dobson units.

The dirty little secret of ozone formation is that ultraviolet radiation is what makes it.

Ozone is an unstable molecule. When you pour hydrogen peroxide into a metal container, it fizzes because hydrogen peroxide is essentially a water molecule with an extra oxygen atom hanging on. The extra O doesn't have a good grip, and the molecule comes apart fairly easily; the same is true for ozone. The oxygen molecule is two oxygen atoms; add a third and, well, "three's a crowd". It'll hang together, but not very tenaciously.

Now, the oxygen in our atmosphere is what absorbs ultraviolet light. Let's have a gander at this first-year Fungus about this issue:
Skin cancer is caused by the longest wavelengths of ultraviolet light, which cruise right past the ozone layer like grease through a goose. (It also does not pass "GO" or collect $200.) These wavelengths--the 320-400 nm band, also called UV-A--penetrate the epidermis and can cause genetic damage to the skin cells underneath. If the ozone layer disappeared in its entirety, right now, the concentrations of UV-A would remain utterly unchanged at the Earth's surface.

Now let's look at this first-year Fungus:
And the "inconvenient truth" about all this is that even a healthy, un-depleted ozone layer won't protect you from skin cancer. Skin cancer is caused by Ultraviolet-A (UVA), which utterly ignores the ozone layer on its way to Earth's surface. It passes right through the ozone layer; it does not pass GO, it does not collect $200. Ultraviolet-B (UVB) is stopped by ozone; and the UVB which gets through the ozone layer simply makes more ozone near ground level, where it contributes to smog. The UVB which lands on your skin causes sunburn, but it also prompts your body to make Vitamin D. And Ultraviolet C, which would fry you to a crisp in relatively short order, doesn't give a rat's ass whether the oxygen molecule which intercepts it has two or three oxygen atoms in it.
(Have I really been writing about this for six years? WTF.)

Because ozone is a fragile molecule, it is constantly forming and being destroyed in the upper atmosphere, and ultraviolet light is what forms it. An oxygen molecule absorbs a UV photon and busts apart with sufficient energy that its two atoms are highly ionized--highly enough that they can glom onto an oxygen molecule and stick, because combined the three oxygen atoms have enough electrons that each has its electron shells filled, albeit with shared electrons. The two oxygen atoms in the oxygen molecule are electrically neutral, but that third oxygen atom is so highly ionized that if it bangs up against the oxygen molecule, it sticks, because damn does it want its electron shells filled. (Free oxygen radicals are such sluts.)

So, to get back to the fish?

"Skin cancer is caused by Ultraviolet-A (UVA), which utterly ignores the ozone layer on its way to Earth's surface."

The fish are not getting skin cancer due to the ozone hole AND NEITHER IS ANYONE ELSE! SHIT!

* * *

It would be an unprecedented disaster but I don't think it would kill "90%" of Americans.

...and I still think that if Iran has any brains at all this is what they're planning--not the Gulf of Mexico but the eastern seaboard, because EMP-bursting the east coast would stop the entire country.

If you did the burst over the middle of the country you might not get the east coast, and the east coast is the most economically vital part of the country, simply because that's where NYC and DC are. They're hubs of communication, finance, and government, and you want to be sure to knock them out if you're going that route.

We don't know what kind of weapons Iran is building. We think--we hope--they're building simple single-stage devices, because those can't produce much more than 20 or 30 kilotons, and the EMP burst from one would be relatively small even at the edge of space.

But a boosted-fission weapon can go much higher--hundreds of kilotons--and would be comparatively more dangerous. A big enough weapon, fired high enough into the sky, could knock out the entire electronic infrastructure of the United States in a matter of seconds.

But Barack Hussein Obama has assured us that Iran is "too small to be dangerous" to us. Don't you feel better?

* * *

Facebook stock is declining. That's because Facebook doesn't produce anything and the dot com bust happened over a decade ago. Zuckerberg et al are the hucksters who will remain rich; those who bought the stock are the suckers.

What did a share of Facebook cost at the IPO? About $41 per share. People who got in on the ground floor are headed into the basement, and capital gains taxes are a one-way street: if you lose money on a capital investment the government doesn't issue you a refund.

This is probably the only thing preventing mass suicide in the California state government right now: their plans for all that lovely capital gains tax money are in ruins because the capital in question is not gaining, but losing.

* * *

$3.40 per bottle? Are you kidding?

What idiot at Amtrack is paying $3.40 per bottle of Pepsi at wholesale? Fire that person right the fuck now.

Saw this last night and I'm going to cut-and-paste my comment here in lieu of further commentary:
A 6-pack of 24-oz bottles of Pepsi costs about $4 near me...when it's not on sale. That's at retail. in the hell is Uncle Sugar paying $3.40 per bottle at wholesale?

Answer: graft. Corruption. Padding the invoice. "It's government money, so who cares?"
Seriously, I can't get my head around that. $3.40 per bottle? At wholesale?

Sometimes the utter incompetence of government manages to surprise even me.

* * *

And speaking of incompetence, Obama's jobs creation record is abysmal!

In terms of job creation, Obama is the worst President since Harry Truman. And by a biiiiig margin, too.

And Ace adds, "Two words: Un. Precedented." Emphasis his, because awesome.

The propaganda wing of the Democrat party says the labor figures are "essentially unchanged" and Karl Denninger digs into the nitty-gritty to say "that ain't so, bub."

Vox Day: U3 is 8.3% and EPR is 58.4% which is down 0.2% from last month. More people leaving the workforce because there are no GODDAMNED FUCKING JOBS OUT THERE.

Meanwhile, Ann Barnhardt, replicated here since she's not linkable:
The Knight Capital computer algorithm abortion yesterday is even worse than originally thought. The losses are being quoted now at $440 million. Egan Jones just downgraded Knight to junk CCC with this warning:
Tough math - KCG probably needs $600M of equity capital but its market cap is only $300M and therefore probably can only raise $80M to $90M using normal rules of thumb. A sale of the firm would take 90 days under good conditions and therefore only an equity or quasi-equity investment makes sense. However, with weakness in the markets, there is likely to be few likely buyers. In a good year KCG earns $115M and therefore the $440M loss is debilitating. (Watch for the secondary losses related the loss of client confidence.) Net revs for the June quarter declined by 13% YoY. The Market-Making segment revenues were down 21% with pre-tax income down 84% from $39.2M to $5.9M due to trading losses related to the Facebook IPO. June quarter oper inc was down from $29.5M to $5.4M. We are downgrading.
So Penson collapses and within a matter of weeks the firm that bought Penson collapses. MF Global. PFG Best. Who will be next?
The rest is an annoyed rant about morons who can't seem to understand that she's no longer in the markets because the markets are pure poison. There is no regulation of them thanks to governmetn corruption and the game has been rigged by the big banks such that "heads we win, tails you lose".

* * *

March of 2010 seems like a century ago already but I was writing then about "ominous creaking noises" and they're only getting louder as time passes.

Borepatch has a post up which uses a different metaphor; while he's saying essentially the same things I said 2.25 years ago, his discussion is about what will come of it rather than simply a warning that storm clouds are gathering.
This November will see the crushing of what seemed an invincible army of community organizers, ward bosses, and a corrupt media that does not realize that nobody believes them anymore. It will be a landslide election, the biggest since 1984. It will be the first part of the People throwing off the chains that generations of the Elite have wrapped upon them.
I sincerely hope that Borepatch is right.

* * *

"I adore my 64!

...I got mine in the summer of 1983, so for me it's been 29 years. But yeah, the C-64 was introduced about this time three decades ago.

My best friend--using money he'd saved from Christmas and birthdays and odd jobs--bought one in January of 1983 at the original MSRP of $595, with a Commodore "Datassete" cassette drive. It took nine minutes to load the Monopoly clone he'd bought with it, but it was an actual computer that was a shitton cheaper than the Apple ][, which still cost well over $1,000 with a single floppy drive.

But in the summer of 1983 my Dad came home with one under his arm. When I asked if I might be allowed to go buy a cassette drive for it (they were like $50) Dad showed me the receipt...and there was a C-1541 disk drive on it. The 1541 was on backorder for a long time that year because Commodore simply had not anticipated the demand for them--but in 1983 a floppy drive for $200 was simply unprecedented and if you were already getting a full-featured computer for $200 why not spend the extra $200 on a floppy drive? It was certainly more convenient than cassette!

Luckily, I got my floppy drive relatively early on and I have never forgotten what it felt like actually to have my own computer.

Sure, these days the damn things are everywhere and you can buy a complete rip-snorting machine with monitor for the $600 my friend spent that day in early 1983...but in 1983, having a computer at home was very, very unusual, and few people did.

There are all too many Fungus posts on those early days, and I won't reiterate all that stuff here. But damn--thirty years? Already?

$5 says an iPad's got enough computing horsepower to emulate a C-64. Jeeze.

* * *

Another homebrewed Garfield Without Garfield:

Today's just the day for ice cream, too.

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