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September 30, 2013

Hiding from the pizza purists

I had to travel for work this past week, and when i manage to sneak away from my corporate masters i use a Happy Cow phone app to locate nearby vegetarian/vegan restaurants. And this time i found a pizza place called Amici's. It bills itself as "authentic East Coast pizza" and apparently has multiple locations on the west coast. I actually come from the east coast, and i can tell you that from a crust and sauce perspective, it wasn't exactly authentic, but it wasn't terrible. More importantly, though, they offer vegan Daiya cheese.

And it seems to always be the case that the further i get from the source of real New York style pizza, the more likely i am to get vegan options. And i don't know why that is. The greater New York area surely has its share of hippies and vegans and such, and min and i actually live near a college town. So you'd think we'd have these options available to us. But no. You have to go to Portland or San Jose or whatever (i even got pizza with soy cheese in Detroit once, but it was Chicago style pizza and most likely the cheese had casein in it).

I suspect the problem is that pizza makers on the east coast have too much pride in their authentic pizza and aren't about to muck things up with something as weird as fake cheese. So you have to get outside their range of influence before pizza makers (pizzateers?) would even consider Daiya. Hopefully that will change over time.

In the meantime, min and i will keep ordering our cheese-less pizzas and then adding our own cheese (and Field Roast sausage!) after it's delivered.


By fnord12 | September 30, 2013, 12:10 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



September 27, 2013

This Video Has Many Things for Min

It's got interesting coordinated dance moves. *squee*
It's got Shirley Bassey. *squee!*
It's got fancy masquerade ball costumes. *SQUEE!*

Shirley Bassey covers Pink's "Get the Party Started"


By min | September 27, 2013, 3:40 PM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



September 26, 2013

Peanut Butter by the Tablespoon

Looks like my habit of eating peanut butter directly from the jar paid off.

Dr. Graham Colditz, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, said benign breast disease, although non-cancerous, increases risk of breast cancer later in life.
...
The researchers found participants who ate peanut butter or nuts two times each week were 39 percent less likely to have developed benign breast disease than those who never ate them.

The study's findings suggest beans, lentils, soybeans and corn also might help prevent benign breast disease, but consumption of these foods were much lower in these girls and thus the evidence was weaker, Colditz said.

They don't say if it does you any good if you keep eating peanut butter past your 30s. Just in case, i'll make sure to have a tablespoon every day. *nom nom nom* (i'm not kidding with that. i eat a tablespoon of pb prolly 4-5days/wk.)


(can anyone tell me why peanut butter that doesn't stick to the roof of your mouth was a selling point in the 40s? i love gooey pb.)

By min | September 26, 2013, 8:19 AM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



September 25, 2013

Mebbe I Don't Really Need That Hernia Surgery That Badly...

Cause having a little bump of intestine pushing out of my abdomen is waaaaaay better than having holes in my brain.

New Hampshire health officials announced last week that hospitals in three New England states may have accidentally exposed 15 people to prions, the infectious protein that ravages the brain and leaves it full of holes.
...
To disinfect metal instruments, hospitals put them in an autoclave and steam-heat them to 121 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes. That's far more than what's needed to wipe out pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, which succumb to mere boiling temperatures in about one minute. Although autoclaving greatly weakens prions, the process may not entirely wipe out these malevolent proteins.

I mean, sure, my hernia's nowhere near my brain, so it's pretty unlikely i'd get infected with the stealth prions, but the sponge brain pathogen is just the thing they know about right now. Who knows what other stealthy, autoclave-resistant pathogens they've got sitting on their surgical tools?


By min | September 25, 2013, 5:41 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



Hitchhiker

Found this guy when i got to my car this afternoon.

Wish he'd make himself useful and put air in my tires instead of just lazing around like that.


By min | September 25, 2013, 5:38 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



September 23, 2013

Mini-Horde

Reaper Bones miniatures

By fnord12 | September 23, 2013, 7:52 AM | D&D | Comments (0) | Link



September 20, 2013

Trains in vain

The somewhat sad cataloging of my father's train collection.


By fnord12 | September 20, 2013, 3:24 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



I Got Mine For Free

Link

It seems a South Korea trend, known as aegyo sal or "cute skin", has caught on in the wealthy city state. And while, in the West, eye bags are usually associated with tiredness and ageing, the Straits Times reports how the procedure of adding small bulges to the lower eyelid makes its Singaporean fans feel "more youthful and friendly. So much so, it seems they're prepared to pay about £500 a pop to have filler injected.

Beauty clinics say demand has been rising through the year, with one carrying out 20 to 30 injections a month, overwhelmingly on women in their 20s and 30s, the report says. Plastic surgeons told the paper that - unlike bags caused by sleep deprivation - the procedure gives the illusion of larger, friendlier eyes because it mimics the tightening of a muscle that's normally flexed when people smile. One fashion blogger told the paper the injection made him appear younger and, paradoxically, "more awake". Another has put up a YouTube tutorial on achieving the look through make-up that garnered 20,000 hits in one month.

I can give instruction on how to achieve this look without makeup or costly procedures. Many a Monday morning I look especially youthful and friendly.


h/t wnkr

By min | September 20, 2013, 2:23 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



September 19, 2013

Convincing!

For more, see Yglesias. What's interesting is that liberals could have used this same ad to protest the trans-vaginal ultrasounds that some states are requiring as a prerequisite for abortions and it would have actually been more truthful.


By fnord12 | September 19, 2013, 12:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link



A slow growing horde

Reaper Bones miniatures

September was supposed to be a nice relaxing break after the breakneck pace of finishing my comic backissue add, but real life has made a large and unwelcome intrusion. So therefore, among other things, my painting has been going really slow. Here's the latest, all of which were actually finished several days ago. I was holding off taking a picture hoping i could finish more. I did get to do a couple of bigger figures this time, including that Treant which i really like. Was hoping to post a review of painting the Reaper Bones figures by now, but again, real life is getting in the way. (Note that not all of the above figures are Bones.)


By fnord12 | September 19, 2013, 9:15 AM | D&D | Comments (1) | Link



September 18, 2013

TeeVee

So, first, let's all remember that the S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show is starting this Tuesday.

Second, am i interested in this Showtime series that hasn't even been filmed yet? I mean, i'm not fan of Billie Piper, but i am a huge fan of British costume drama, so you see the draw. What i'm saying is

1) tell me what you know,
2) tell me if i'm gonna like it, and
3) one of you take on the responsibility of reminding me about it when it actually airs.

Third, OH MY GOOD LORD IS THIS A REAL THING BECAUSE IF IT IS WTF???

*gurgle*


By min | September 18, 2013, 3:00 PM | TeeVee | Comments (2) | Link



September 13, 2013

At least it's not called Uncanny All-New Origin II #1

Like Paul Jenkins before him, Kieron Gillen is good, quirky writer that really should be staying away from a book like this. This one won't be co-written by the company's publisher (!) but it will have a dual-layer acetate cover, because it's apparently 1993.


By fnord12 | September 13, 2013, 4:17 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link



And when can Snowden come home?

Kevin Drum notes that everyone "welcomes" the debate caused by Snowden's revelations.


By fnord12 | September 13, 2013, 3:14 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Commemeration

Nominate Larry Summers to the Fed chair today.


By fnord12 | September 13, 2013, 2:47 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 12, 2013

Nice to have a philosphy that you can just apply to anything

Grover Norquist doesn't have a position on marijuana legalization, but he knows it shouldn't be taxed.


By fnord12 | September 12, 2013, 7:44 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



US schools are doing fine

Poor Bob Somerby writes a post like this at least once a month, and i think it's worthwhile to link to them sometimes.


By fnord12 | September 12, 2013, 11:47 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 11, 2013

Big trouble

So for work, i read Talent Management magazine, which is normally not worthy about writing about here. But i'm reading an article that starts off like this:

On a Monday night in June I was sitting in bed reading a golf magazine and I said to my beautiful wife Laura, "I'm going to design a golf course, and it will be made of bricks."

She asked; "Bricks? How about grass?"

I replied, "No, bricks."

"And who is going to help you?" she asked.

I said, "The people in this room."

The next thing I remember is a paramedic bringing me into Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California. I was having a transient ischemic attack - a mini stroke.

From there the author transitions into a benign message about how people in HR have to be able to diagnose and solve problems. But holy crap! If a mildly nonsensical conversation is the warning sign for a stroke, min and i are in trouble. Because i guarantee you that min's next line in the above dialogue would be "Well, even if you build the course, you still won't be able to get the dinosaurs to play golf." And then she'd go back to whatever she was doing.

(As an aside, i really don't approve of that semicolon after "She asked" in the quote above, but it's in the original.)


By fnord12 | September 11, 2013, 10:37 PM | My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link



SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Iron Man #15 - Ooh, Carlo Pagulayan! Or rather, "Ooh, not Greg Land!". But i did come to like Pagulayan from his Red She-Hulk issues (and looking online i see he's drawn other stuff i've liked too, like one of the Agents of Atlas series). He seems to be making an attempt to mimic Land's style a bit here but by actually drawing stuff he can't help but be better. This Secret Origin of Tony Stark arc has been weird from an art perspective. After Land handled the previous arc, Dale Eaglesham started this arc, but then the last two issues were by Land, and now we're finishing with Pagulayan. Probably just regular scheduling problems (is Land too busy photocopying faces for Mighty Avengers to photocopy faces for this book?) but i hope no one is actively trying to fit Land in and these other, better, artists are considered fill-ins. Storywise, still enjoying this and hoping there's still time to confirm that the "Secret Origin" is a load of hooey.

X-Factor #261-262 - We had some scheduling hiccups which is why you are seeing two issues of some books. As i've said, i'm less invested in this End Of arc than those who've been reading PAD's run from the beginning, but these seem to work fine for closure. I liked PAD's "deus ex machina from my own personal deus" quip.

Avengers AI #2-3 - Not nearly enough Doombot. I think the art in this book - a little more cartoony, definitely more detailed and action packed - helps this book seem a lot more focused than writer Sam Humprhies' Uncanny X-Force. Of course, i liked the initial X-Force arc too, so we'll see how this goes. But so far, i think this is pretty good.

X-Men #4 - The art here, unfortunately, was pretty sad. I hope the idea is that we're looking at things from Jubilee's perspective, which is why Wolverine looks like a middle aged man with a paunch. Because he's Jubilee's father figure. But i suspect i'm being overly generous with that and he's really just wildly off model. The story was a nice retrospective on Jubilee, although definitely on the sentimental side. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it's funny how the book really just focuses on stuff that *i* know about Jubilee, i.e., her early appearances, the fact that she's a vampire, and the stuff that happened in this book. So the fact that i completely skipped Generation X in the 90s didn't come into play. On the one hand, it kept me on familiar territory and i got all the references. On the other hand, something detailing how she's grown over the years in those later books might have helped me learn more about the character. In any event, this felt a lot like the Scott Lobdell downtime issues that took place in between the incessant 90s cross-overs (like the one where Xavier could briefly walk following X-Cutioner's Song) which were actually some of the better post-Claremont moments.

Daredevil #30 - Loved everything about this. Perfect art. Daredevil controlling the Silver Sufer's board. The jokey idea that he might not have been "sober" back in Daredevil #28 (original series) (he was insanely maintaining a dual identity as his twin brother Mike at the time). An interesting alien with interesting persuasion problems. A nice tie-in with the Surfer's cosmic awareness and Daredevil's radar sense. Basically, this is everything i want from a comic.

Indestructible Hulk #12 - Also good except of course it doesn't have Chris Samnee on art. And continuing min's complaints about the dinosaur from last issue, here the colorist can't even seem to keep it straight. You'd think i'd love me a dinosaur + cowboy + tyrant from the future comic, but i've never been big into time travel stories. I'm more interested in the ramifications of the continuity destruction that i was angsting over in last issue's review than the specifics of the Hulk meeting cowboys (or medieval knights next issue). I enjoy Banner-bot's antagonizing of the Hulk but i hope Waid stays on the book long enough to turn that around and show that it has long term negative effects on the Hulk/Banner relationship. Overall, definitely a fun book, though.


By fnord12 | September 11, 2013, 3:23 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link



September 10, 2013

Thank you British citizens

Pretty amazing news on Syria last night. And if i had any class at all, i'd leave it at that and just be thankful that our involvement in a war seems to have been stopped, whoever gets the credit.

But i've been reading the comments on TPM's site, where people are saying that this was Obama's plan all along (the 11-dimensional chess argument)(P.S. these same people were previously arguing that we absolutely had to bomb and anyone who disagreed was a moral monster). And the idea that this was Obama's end goal is just crazy. What happened is that the administration intended to bomb. But when the British parliament failed to approve it, it was a major blow to us. Obama punted by going to Congress so that, without any partners, he'd have some sort of authority for this. And Congress balked due to the overwhelming and surprising reaction from voters of all political strips. It was definitely not going to pass in the House (there were 230+ confirmed No votes, and Josh Marshall snarkily said that Obama would need 150% of the remaining undecideds to win). And as of last night even the Senate seemed unsure, with Reid delaying the scheduled vote at the last minute.

Meanwhile, John Kerry made an offhand sarcastic remark in response to a journalist asking the question "Is there anything at this point that his government could do or offer that would stop an attack?".

Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week - turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting (of it) but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done...

A statement by the State department confirmed this was a rhetorical argument, not a serious proposal:

Secretary Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used," a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

His (Kerry's) point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment.

But then Russia took the remark at face value and proposed the deal, getting Syria on board. And with Obama facing a sure defeat in congress, they jumped on the life raft.

So it's absolute fantasy to think that this was Obama's plan all along. They were pushing this war hard, making Munich comparisons, having multiple arm-twisting sessions with the progressive Dems in Congress, etc.. It was only thanks to the major surprise resistance that they ran into that they are now going with a diplomatic solution.

And i guess the reason i feel a need to respond to people in the bowels of TPM comment boards is because i thinks it's important to recognize that this was stopped by ordinary people who are sick of the constant wars we are getting into. Primarily British citizens, because if Parliament had authorized it, this would have never went to Congress. But the deluge of calls that US reps got from their voters was the final nail. Surely governments the world over are already analyzing this and making sure it never happens again. But this one time, people stopped a war, and that's huge.

[Two caveats: 1) Of course, there is still a civil war in Syria and that is a tragic thing. As Josh Marshall says here, having a UN presence in Syria may mitigate the war to a degree (much more than us dropping bombs would have), but there's still a war going on. So when i say "stopped a war" i'm talking about the US attacking another country, not the civil war that's already going on.

2) This deal isn't finalized yet and it may still fall apart. But as Marshall also says in that last link, at this point Russia "owns" this now, though, so most likely it won't come back to the US threatening to bomb. Here's hoping, anyway.]


By fnord12 | September 10, 2013, 10:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 9, 2013

Can we bomb them just a little bit, huh? Can we, pleeease?

Kerry has really made an ass of himself on the topic of Syria.

Today is also the day of Obama's "media blitz" to get the public behind this. As Kevin Drum notes, this is a rare occasion where Obama is using the bully pulpit. Drum says the only other time he remembers Obama using it was during the health care debate, but i actually remember him being pretty subdued on that, certainly not pushing for the public option. The only other time i can remember is when they were pushing for gun control. And as i said at that time, on all other occasions, administration supporters would just sort of shrug their shoulders and say there's only so much the executive branch can do, and it's all up to Congress.

But for Syria, the big guns come out. The unbelievably small big guns.


By fnord12 | September 9, 2013, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 6, 2013

Let's end the week with robots

...and how they will adorably take over the world.


By fnord12 | September 6, 2013, 2:28 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



I can't believe i'm quoting Peggy Noonan

Ugh, i feel dirty just linking to her. And there's a lot in her article i don't like ("Wrong time, wrong place, wrong plan, wrong man.", and the whole bit about Washington crossing the Delaware). But she does catch something that i think is pretty amazing about public sentiment.

The American people do not support military action. A Reuters-Ipsos poll had support for military action at 20%, Pew at 29%. Members of Congress have been struck, in some cases shocked, by the depth of opposition from their constituents. A great nation cannot go to war--and that's what a strike on Syria, a sovereign nation, is, an act of war--without some rough unity as to the rightness of the decision. Widespread public opposition is in itself reason not to go forward.

...

A point on how quickly public opinion has jelled. There is something going on here, a new distance between Washington and America that the Syria debate has forced into focus. The Syria debate isn't, really, a struggle between libertarians and neoconservatives, or left and right, or Democrats and Republicans. That's not its shape. It looks more like a fight between the country and Washington, between the broad American public and Washington's central governing assumptions.

I've been thinking of the "wise men," the foreign policy mandarins of the 1950s and '60s, who so often and frustratingly counseled moderation, while a more passionate public, on right and left, was looking for action. "Ban the Bomb!" "Get Castro Out of Cuba."

In the Syria argument, the moderating influence is the public, which doesn't seem to have even basic confidence in Washington's higher wisdom.


By fnord12 | September 6, 2013, 12:48 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Caution: Sharing at open talks may lead to feedback

We are updating our comments policy accordingly.


By fnord12 | September 6, 2013, 10:01 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



September 5, 2013

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Captain Marvel #15 - Considering i'm not following this crossover so i don't know what's going on or who half these characters are, i thought this was pretty good. A decent space battle issue. Some of the action sequences were a little unclear and/or unexciting (like, the cool space battle stuff seems to be happening off panel). I was actually surprised to remember who Pat Olliffe was; surely the guy who drew Untold Tales of Spider-Man can draw clear, clean action. I did like the writing on this issue and i attribute that to DeConnick having a partner again; this time Jen Van Meter, who i know i like. And the story was well told, assuming you're ok with the premise of Carol Danvers now having her personality zapped. Between that and her turning into Binary at the end of the issue, i'm really annoyed by the constant tinkering with her character. Lost in time for the first few issues of the series, then not allowed to use her powers, has a tumor, seemingly dies, and now this. It's obviously all part of an uber-arc that DeConnick wants to put Carol through, but 15 issues in there's been so little of her just being a super-hero. And it's that basic thing that the character needs to take her place as a top level character. I also have to say seeing the ad for Madame Tussaud's in this issue, which still has Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel and in her classic iconic costume really made me realize how little i like this costume. I'm happy about giving her pants and i don't mind the name change too much, but i'd like to see a return of that costume in some form. Maybe after her Binary phase. Tinker tinker.

Secret Avengers #8 - I thought this was going to be focused on Mockingbird for the entire issue, but it shifts a little unexpectedly to other perspectives on AIM island. Which is fine except that what could have been some nice actual drama for this issue turns into a cliffhanger ending due to the time devoted to showing Graviton meditate for an entire page, etc., I still did think this was a decent issue. Don't know if this series is growing on me or actually getting better.

FF #11 - The most tolerable Impossible Man story ever. Honestly, this was downright good! Maximus "disguised" as a HERBIE was fun too. All told, a perfect Allred issue, and there's a seriousness behind the zaniness too (e.g. Medusa reaching out to the Impossible Kid). I don't know where Julius Caesar came from, though.

Young Avengers #9 - Loved it. Nice seeing Leah again. The panel where "mom", in the blank dimension, attacks the alternate universe Young Avengers by manipulating the comic panels was awesome. And just very nice dialogue and character scenes. As some people in the lettercol have said, Gillen and McKelvie have a suspiciously good handle on writing teenagers. I do think it's great that while i've kind of sadly dropped all of the core Marvel books for the time being (at least until Karl Kesel comes to the Fantastic Four), there is some cool stuff happening out here on the fringes.


By fnord12 | September 5, 2013, 10:19 PM | Comics | Comments (4) | Link



Amassing a horde

Reaper Bones miniatures

By fnord12 | September 5, 2013, 11:43 AM | D&D | Comments (3) | Link



September 4, 2013

Need a happy story

Digby and Yglesias both linked to this article today that shows affluent New Yorkers reacting with alarm to the fact that Bill de Blasio is the front runner in the race for mayor. And Atrios too, in his own succinct way. But i really liked Yglesias' take:

But the flipside of this is that in a lot of ways I think rich businessmen would be happier if we could go back to 1950s-style, more egalitarian distribution of pre-tax income. The richest people around would still be the richest people around, and as the richest people around they would live in the nicest houses and drive the nicest cars and send their kids to the best schools... But they'd also have a much better chance of gaining the kind of respect as civic and national leaders that they crave. They want to be seen as the "job creators" and the heroes of the economy, not the greedy exploiters of the masses. But in order to have heroes of the economy, you need a broadly happy story about the economy--one where living standards are rising across the board and prosperity is broadly shared. If all the income growth goes to a tiny slice of people at the top, then responsible politicians have no place else to turn than higher taxes and more spending as a way to generating rising living standards.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2013, 7:22 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Breaking the law

This editorial says what i've been wanting to say about Syria without me really knowing the specific relevant laws and treaties. My version is "It is illegal to use chemical weapons, but it's also illegal to bomb another country without UN sanction".

The editorial's version:

Syria is a party to neither the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 nor the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and even if it were, the treaties rely on the United Nations Security Council to enforce them -- a major flaw. Syria is a party to the Geneva Protocol, a 1925 treaty that bans the use of toxic gases in wars. But this treaty was designed after World War I with international war in mind, not internal conflicts.

...

Arguably, the key legal obligation of nations in the post-1945 world is adherence to the United Nations Charter. It demands that states refrain "from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." The use of force is permitted when authorized by the Security Council or for self-defense (and countries like Jordan and Turkey are considering this route to justify joining an anti-Assad coalition) -- but not purely on humanitarian grounds.

This is in contrast to my Senator, whose statement says:

The mass atrocity committed by the Assad regime in grave violation of international law is searing to the soul and blinding to the eye. To allow a despot to gas their population indiscriminately and with impunity is to fail our values and to compromise our freedoms. There is no fork in the road before us, there is no ambiguity to the evidence, for the use of chemical weapons against the innocent brings us to a point of no return. The Syrian regime and others like it must understand that red lines are indelible, that our foes should never question the resolve of the United States.

I love the pivot to "our foes". Syria is in the midst of a civil war. One side (allegedly) used chemical weapons against the other side. And that is in violation of an international norm, and the attack also killed civilians, and that is absolutely deplorable. But how does that make anyone "our foes" or "compromise our freedoms"?

The editorial's author Ian Hurd goes on to say that he supports attacking Syria on the grounds that it is "illegal but legitimate" from a moral perspective (i'm simplifying his more nuanced and legalistic opinion a bit so please don't rely on my summary).

I don't agree with Hurd's conclusion. There are sadly a lot of atrocities in the word and the US can't solve them and certainly can't solve them by just dropping bombs (per this article that i've linked to previously, if we really want to solve a problem here militarily we have to commit to boots on the ground, something i also don't support and something the administration is equivocating on). So that removes the moral component here. It's ugly but the fact remains that we can't solve Syria's problems with missiles. So that leaves the legal argument that Syria broke the law and we (not the UN; we) have to respond. But Hurd's editorial shows the problem there. So i don't think there's a strong case to be made in favor of bombing Syria.

So here's to hoping again that the resolution in Congress fails. It's seeming more and more likely to pass. Pelosi is supporting it, Boehner is supporting it, my senator is writing the damn bill (and he was just re-elected in 2012 so he's not worried about voters). And i really hate that my allies on this are the opportunistic Tea Party Republicans that are reflexively anti-Obama and anything he supports. But i'm hoping there's enough outpouring of regular voters against this - latest poll shows 60% against - to stop it.


By fnord12 | September 4, 2013, 10:07 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



This will be cool, eventually

Got a little excited when i read about Virtuix which, at "only" $500 seemed to offer complete virtual reality gaming. But then i realized that the $500 is just for the shoes and platform. You'd have to get an Oculus Rift to wear over your face, and right now you can only pre-order a "development kit" for one of those, and it's another $300. Plus you'd need a wireless controller and a sensor, etc.. And it's PC only. But it does look like they are getting there, and one day it'll be cool (and cheaper).

I'm just amazed that it's video games, and not porn, that is blazing the trail here.


By fnord12 | September 4, 2013, 9:59 AM | Video Games | Comments (3) | Link



September 3, 2013

High speed trading

Kevin Drum has a crazy article up about how some lucky companies have the ability to make stock market trades microseconds before an announced trade actually goes through.

Here's how Hendershott's latency-arbitrage strategy worked: Redline allowed him to use its "direct market access" -- cables that run directly from exchange servers to its own. Redline's server was co-located with that of BATS Exchange so that the "latency" on information and orders coming from BATS was cut down to barely one thousandth of a second. As a result, some of the quotes on public feeds such as the crucial "national best bid and offer" feed were a few milliseconds behind those Hendershott could see on his direct link with the exchanges. With a half-decent trading algorithm, Hendershott would have had ample time to buy Apple at a stale price with a guarantee that he could sell at a profit. Every couple of seconds. All day. Risk on the trades: zero.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2013, 2:37 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Unstoppable?

I was pretty impressed and happy when i saw over the weekend that Obama decided to get Congressional approval before bombing anyone. But now i'm seeing the administration saying they have the right to bomb Syria regardless of how the vote comes out. So, like, what's the point? I still hope the vote fails and am contacting my Congresscritters accordingly.

Meanwhile, Kerry comparing this to Munich is up there with the worst of the Bush war mongering.


By fnord12 | September 3, 2013, 2:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



September 1, 2013

From: David Barlow/Reply All: Is Adam allergic to his email now?

I checked the email notification on my phone. Turning to fnord12, i said, "You emailed the wrong address."

Fnord12 shrugs. "I dunno. I just used whatever was saved on that," gesturing at the soap dispenser.

I start going through the rest of the "To" line. "God, I forgot we even had addresses saved on that. I don't even think Adam has this address anymore."

To: Monkeys [something@something], Other Monkeys [yeah@realfriends], Adam [flower_cannon]

By min | September 1, 2013, 9:14 AM | My Dreams | Comments (0) | Link



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