pyesetz: (woof)
(Brown text = post-election edits.)

It’s been almost six years(!) since the last time I linked to the blog of my American friend and colleague, Dr. J.  Gotta cross-link to your homies to keep our Google rankings up!  Anyway, Dr. J works for the US gov’t, so he may be obligated to write political tracts in support of the incoming Stalinist dictator Constitutionally-limited president.  He published this tract on a Sunday, perhaps to hide the fact (if it is one) that he was required to write it on paid government time.  There is a law against that, but it’s widely ignored like most good-government laws in the USA.

The didactic form that Dr. J chose is the “in an alternate universe, Hillary is actually guilty of something” meme, which isn’t bad as propaganda styles go.  Certainly it is less objectionable than the style chosen by Dr. Phil Plait, who basically starts from the reasonable “Global Warming is the most important issue” and the unreasonable ”politicians do not lie” and somehow manages to conclude that Hillary is the best candidate — even though she is pro-WWIII and Donald is against it and the world wars show up as spikes on the historical temperature chart.  So I guess I could perhaps join in on this fun, although personally I endorse Jill Stein because she tells the fewest lies.

Before we begin, I should note that Dr. J’s piece is actually funny, which is probably more than I can hope to achieve with my own work.  His Churchillian grammar reference is excellent and I found myself agreeing with the imaginary crowd furious at Hillary’s misquote.  It’s “shall not”, I say!  Yet even in an alternate universe, it is still the anti-Hillary forces that are correct.

 
Alternate Universe № ❰∞,∞,∞,26,∞,0,19,∞̅…❱ (see supernatural numbers, which I don’t actually believe in because ∞ is a figment of the mathematical imagination; Objective Reality probably doesn’t contain any numbers larger than around 10⁸⁵ or so).
      Conceit: In this universe (which we can never locate because its ID number is transfinite), Hillary actually had a legitimate reason to operate her honeypot email server that provided live feeds to Russia and Al Qaeda and Goldman Sachs containing the classified info that she received.
      Resulting difference: Not much, really.  The Espionage Act of 1917 says it applies to everyone, including the president.  It does not offer any exemption for politicians who possess a legitimate national-security reason to burn an agent’s cover; if that action results in another agent’s death then the politician is supposed to get the electric chair.  So Hillary Clinton is basically in the same category as Dick Cheney.
 
Alternate Universe № 5.2761 (but keeping in mind that fractional numbers which are not ratios might not actually exist; they might instead be mere measurement conveniences arising from the enormous gap between human-sized units and physics-sized ones).
      Conceit: In this universe, Hillary actually still has a shred of decency left in her, so she does not make a big deal of Donald’s misogynistic ways.  Because, you know, her husband Bill has done most of the same things — except only Donald dared to talk about it when he knew the mic was on, thus showing that Donald is an idiot.  And Hillary has insisted all along that absolutely nothing Bill has ever done was actually wrong, so therefore (for her) those same things should also not have been wrong when Donald did them.  Donald's contemptible attitude toward women could certainly be criticized by other Democrats (such as Huma Abedin, who divorced her own husband for less) but this would lead to questions about Bill that Hillary doesn't want to hear.
      Resulting difference: None.  It doesn’t matter which acts of muck-raking Hillary decides are beneath her (if any).  Barack Obama has already announced that the winner of the election shall be Hillary.  He has also hinted that if for any reason the vote-counting machines ring up “Donald” as their answer, that could only mean that the machines were hacked by the Russians because the American people do not have permission from their president to vote for Donald.  HeilHillary!  It outta be a crime not to love her!
 
Alternate Universe № 3141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375110⁴⁹.  (This ratio *might* be the true value of π, if transcendental numbers do not actually exist.  In any event, because our home universe is quantized, there is probably no physical experiment that could ever be performed which would prove that this *isn’t* the true value of π.)
      Conceit: In this universe, Hillary is openly working for Goldman Sachs, the vampire squid that wants to RULE THE WORLD by installing its Manchurian candidates as the leaders of all major governments.  None of the policies she espouses on the campaign trail have anything to do with her actual plans for her presidency, which consist of transferring all remaining wealth from Main St to Wall St while waging a causeless war against Russia in order to bring about the Nuclear Apocalypse, thus ensuring the Second Coming of Jesus Christ among the poor bedraggled survivors on a burnt-out planet.
      Resulting difference: Um, there seems to be a technical glitch in our Inter-Universal Counterfactuality gizmo.  Apparently the ID number for this “alternate universe” is actually a synonym of our own.  Anyway, by the Reflexive Property, there cannot be any difference between two universes that differ only in name and not in character.
pyesetz: (woof)
Well, you *knew* I wouldn't let this "warmest Christmas Eve in recorded history" go by without a comment, right?  Every place I've been over the last ten years is in the part of this map that's been described as "the molten inside of a Hot Pocket", which represents temperatures 18°F to 36°F above normal for the day.

Some people claim that Global Warming will kill a billion people, or 14% of the planet's human population.  That's almost big a reduction as the 17% that the planet got from the Black Death.  And, you know, after the Black Death the relative power of Labour vs Capital was improved considerably!  So if you think that people have no power and corporations own everything, just wait until you're negotiating your next raise while all your co-workers' bodies are rotting in the streets!  (Disclaimer: this refers specifically to Europe, where half the people died of plague; fatalities from Global Warming are expected to vary widely across the planet, affecting outsourced programmers in Bangladesh much more than those in Ukraine).

Recently I heard that jobs for computer programmers in the USA are expected to drop by 8% over the next decade, while jobs for software developers (previously called "Programmer/Analysts") will grow by 17%.  Of course, these estimates assume that current off-shoring trends will continue unchanged, but the one thing you can be certain of about trends is that they eventually change.

Happy ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah!  We celebrated our tradition with a Christmas Eve visit to a Chinese restaurant, like all the other Jews.

Did you know that "kwanza" is the unit of currency in Angola?
pyesetz: (woof)
Global warming must be a hoax because there's snow on the ground outside my window!  2014 was the coldest year since 1980 for pretty much everywhere I actually go in meatspace (my "world", if you will).  Maybe Timbuktu or Australia or Pluto had a warm year, but those places are not part of my world.

Hey, have you ever been in a store after dark and purchased suncreen?  Why?  You don't need it!  If television evolved from radio, why are there still radios?



2014 once again broke the record for warmest year ever (except where I live).

source
pyesetz: (song-doesnt-end)
"Although not as warm as previous months, the temperature for September was still 0.7 degrees above average. This now marks a full year and a half (18 months) where the monthly overall temperature has been above average."

source
pyesetz: (Default)
I made a shiny thing!  Click to embiggen.  It is supposed to show off how effective my new stock-trading strategy is, but we'll have to see whether that really works out.

I had to piece this together from images in my Firefox cache due to bugs at the stockcharts.com website, which silently throws away colour-spots on the left of the picture if you add "too many" spots on the right — surely nobody would want to add over 100 colour-spots to their chart, right???  And there are many other bugs at that website, that often cause all the colour-spots on a chart to be silently thrown away.  Remind me again why I am paying them a monthly fee to use this crappy software?

* * * * *

Earlier this month, after four years of putting it off, I finally got my attic insulated!  And it cost NOTHING, as long as I agreed to apply urethane foam-sealant and weather-stripping elsewhere in the house, and pay $300 to have the house inspected twice.  In return for that, I will get a government grant for the attic insulation that is LARGER than its out-of-pocket cost, plus I'll get a prize for having done a good job sealing up my house.  The prize only *partially* pays for the inspections and sealant and weather-strips I had to buy (and would have covered those completely if I had sealed up the house just 3% better and gotten into the next prize category).  Net cost: $200.  Supposedly these improvements will pay for themselves with one winter's savings in heating bills, but it's hard to tell this year because it's been a very warm winter so far.

Dear diary: I never did get around to telling you that, after three years of putting it off, I finally got a sump pump installed back in Fall 2010!  It works great!  The basement is now dry-er but of course it's still damp.  During last spring's rains the pump got quite a work-out, but the water never rose above floor-level.

Last summer, I got my air-conditioner replaced.  It was quite old and its evaporator coil was full of pin-holes and so could no longer hold refrigerant — and the refrigerant that it used has since been banned for contributions to Global Warming.    The replacement unit works very well!  And hopefully it will work even better next summer, when the new attic insulation will help keep the heat out of the house so the A/C doesn't have to work so hard.  Last month, the people who installed it for me called to say that the government grant they had promised me hadn't been issued yet, and would I go to Ontario's website and click some buttons and scan+upload a copy of the receipt?  So I did that; hopefully there'll be a cheque in the mail sometime soon.
pyesetz: (Default)
The black line runs off the top of the graph!  The accompanying text says, "We have only had one September in the past 10 years that was colder than the 1971-2000 average (and that was only by 0.1 of a degree). So even though it was full degree above average this year, it was still the third coldest September of the past decade.".

pyesetz: (Default)
The children’s book section at my local Border’s has been voted “Most Likely to be a Total Fucking Disaster” for three years running.
Rands

* * * * *

The website WorldMeets.US is frequently quoted in the RSS feed I get from TheModerateVoice.com, so I finally went there for a look.  At the bottom they mention the various newspapers they use for sources, including The Canadian which I've never heard of, so I looked at a few of its articles.

The Canadian has a strong focus on LGBT stuff, which is a poor match for the heteronormative lifestyle I'm leading these days, but that's okay.  The articles seem like they were written by people with ADD, veering from one subtopic to another.  Example: this Global Warming article starts out strong, talking about the world's two plutocratic cabals who have taken opposing sides in the debate about what (if anything) we should do about Climate Change.  I was actually hoping that this article would tell me something of interest.  But then it veers off to a discussion about environmental science.  The intro paragraph focuses on "elites" but the concluding paragraph is all about "scientists".  Didn't these people ever learn how to write a five-paragraph essay?

But this article is over the top, treating the domestication of dogs and the existence of alien visitors in flying saucers as equally plausible.  I don't think I'll be adding The Canadian to my RSS feed.  Oh wait—they don't offer RSS!  I guess you can be "socially progressive and cross-cultural" while still living in a Low-Tech world.  And maybe they'd get more respect if they spent $30 to buy a website that's actually named for their paper?  Just a thought...

* * * * *

My laptop works much better now that I finally got another 1GB of RAM for it!  "swapon -s" shows only 5 MB of swap space in use, much better than the 400 MB that I used to see.  Resuming from suspend no longer hangs waiting for lots of disk I/O.  Terminating Opera no longer hangs waiting for whatever it is that program does instead of immediately exiting like I told it to.  Not bad for an upgrade that cost only $56 with tax and shipping.  Still no fancy Compiz effects though.  Those stopped working when the LCD was replaced.  Maybe I could restore them by installing a new OS?  I've had this one for a year.  I'm still running Linux 2.6.27!
pyesetz: (Default)
Last weekend the temperature dipped below freezing again, making May '09 the eighth month in a row with freezing temperatures.  I didn't realize I was signing up for that much winter...  According to NASA, my region (between lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron) had "near-normal" temperatures last year, even though the local meteorologists said last summer was exceptionally cool and last winter was the worst in 15 years.  Last night's dog-walk was the first one this year where I didn't wear a coat.

* * * * *

The Province of Ontario produced a report in 2004 on how wonderful their healthcare system is.  The report is notable for what isn't in it: there is no mention of dentistry or chiropractic.  They talk about all the stuff they're doing to prevent heart attacks, but they don't mention that gingivitis is a risk factor.  They talk about "improving quality of life" but there is no mention of back pain.  If you have a broken bone, the province will fix it for you—unless it's a tooth bone, then you just have to live with it.  If you have a sprained muscle in your ankle, the province will help you—but if it's in your back they won't.
      I understand that these are cost-saving measures, based on the willingness of Ontarians to call dentists and chiropractors "not-real-doctors" and thus undeserving of provincial funds, but it is ridiculous for them to say that their mission is "to keep people healthy and care for those who are sick" when there are large classes of sickness for which they offer no prevention and no treatment.

* * * * *

HuffPo.  The Chrysler dealer in Cherry Hill NJ is slated for closing. Also, the dealer that I bought my first used car from (Runnemede NJ) is closing, along with the one in Maple Shade NJ from whom I bought two used cars. However, the Chrysler dealer in Langhorne PA from whom I bought my only new car has apparently survived the chopping block, for this round anyway.

* * * * *

I actually blogged about something *before* Cory Doctorow did!  He just found out about the Internet Identity Workshop's logo, which is reminiscent of the cartoon "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog".  I blogged it 3½ years ago!

* * * * *

Yesterday was the end of Kid #2's last year as a Cub Scout, so his pack went bowling.  In one game, I got a spare, a strike, and a double-strike, for a total of 173 points!  My best score ever at 5-pin bowling.

Wanna bet?

Dec. 22nd, 2008 03:15 pm
pyesetz: (Default)


After two solid months of below-average temperatures, the forecast now calls for two weeks of warmth -- most of it actually above freezing!  My dog "Walnut" will be so happy that the days of -20°C wind-chills will soon be over.  Happy days are here again!

Anyone wanna bet that a "Colorado low" or a "quick-forming storm over Texas" will invalidate this forecast and give us another two weeks of snow-every-day?

* * * * *

I'm not sure how this relates to Global Warming.  Apparently the melting in the Arctic is causing overheated weather in Russia this year, while Canada (and much of the USA) gets Russia's usual weather due to a 90° shift in the usual Arctic wind patterns.  La Niña is in "neutral" this year, while the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in a medium-term "cool" phase which is covering up some of the long-term Global Warming effects.  When will I be able to plant a palm tree in my back yard?
pyesetz: (Default)
Wifey and I emailed our absentee ballots on Monday.  On Tuesday she received an email acknowledgment that her vote was accepted.  I did not get any acknowledgment.  Oh well—every candidate I voted for won anyway.

On Tuesday I got a promotion to Team Leader.  The *fifth* person I've tried to hire as an underling accepted the job.  On Friday he sent in his work for the week.  I wrote back that it was "not the correct solution" and went into considerable technical detail as to exactly why his program doesn't do what is needed, ending with "you did a great job on everything I didn't complain about!"  We'll see if he comes back next week for more punishment.  Hey, in today's economy, a job with an obnoxious boss is better than no job at all—right?

If he does come back, I guess I'll refer to him as ‘Я’ on this blog.  The letter ‘Я’ appears frequently in English parodies of Russian text because it looks like a backwards ‘R’, but it is actually not a very common capital letter: the ‘Я’ section of a Russian dictionary is very short.  But IRL, both Я’s name and mine contain this letter.  (Actually, I've never seen his name in Russian, but I *think* it has a ‘Я’ in it.)  A millennium ago, the letter now written as ‘Я’ represented a nasal vowel, perhaps like French "in", but this fact might not have anything to do with the history of my family's name, where the initial sound might have been the same as today's palatal approximant back when Slavs were writing Я as Ѧ and sounding like Frenchmen when they pronounced it.

So, how about them Team Democrat folks, eh?  Some of them still can't believe they actually won for a change.  President Obama gave a press conference where he announced that he is NOT THE PRESIDENT yet—meanwhile Harper is already trying to get Obama to do a North American deal on global warming so Canadian firms don't get penalized by the new US cap-and-trade system.  Even Dictator Chávez of Venezuela is saying that it's a new day and maybe he doesn't have to hate the USA anymore.  Did you know that Obama is the first-ever US president whose name ends with ‘a’?  It's true!  All previous president's names ended with a consonant or a silent ‘e’.  Also, he's the first-ever US president with a living grandmother in Kenya.  Some pundits have already started using the word Dholuo when referring to the president's family-in-the-Old-Country, while the more idiotic pundits use the word "Swahili" which is the official language of Kenya but is spoken by a completely different group of black people in that country.

The John McCain we saw making his run for the presidency (unlike the real John McCain, who gave his concession speech) was utterly unqualified for higher office, yet 47.5% of American voters pulled the lever for him.  That's like 70 million Americans doing something that no reasonable person should ever do, no matter what their positions might be on abortion and gays and whatnot—you should not hand over the football to a man who is willing to pretend to be a spineless hack!  So no, I will not be moving back to the States any time soon.

pyesetz: (Default)
According to some back-of-envelope calculations, the USA annually expends 93 megawatt hours for every man, woman, and child, which is the equivalent of each citizen having 186 human slaves toiling away at 12-hour shifts.  In the old days, if you wanted a breeze, you had a slave wave a fan over you.  Now we use electricity.  Aren't modern conveniences grand?

Most plastics are made from oil, and are only cheaper than wood and metal because oil is cheap.  But it won't be cheap much longer!  We might be seeing a resurgence of coopers and metalsmiths in the next generation, as plastics become restricted to rich men's toys only.  Hopefully we won't be going back to horses and buggies—the streets were full of horseshit back then.
pyesetz: (Default)
James Lovelock, the independent scientist who invented the Gaia Hypothesis 40 years ago, says we have twenty more years before "it" hits the fan.

link

On the other paw, he compares our current situation to 1938-9, when the shit did hit the fan quite quickly thereafter.

Weather

Dec. 2nd, 2007 11:18 pm
pyesetz: (Default)
Omigod!  It's a continent-wide snowstorm, just as Global Warming predicted!  THE END IS NIGH!!!

Today in Cherry Hill NJ: freezing rain followed by snow and then rain.
Today in Wilmot ON: freezing rain followed by snow and then rain.
Yesterday in Colorado: ditto.

Finally got enough snow to cover the grass.  Shovelled the sidewalk and the driveway apron.  Didn't bother with the driveway itself, which will probably get melted by tonight's rain.

So I was talking to this biochemistry professor at a homeschooling-parents meeting.  It was the usual "Americans have a warped reality" and "the local water table is in serious trouble" and "local schools aren't good enough for my child" and so forth.  I think she was shocked when she realized that my response to Global Warming was to move to where she was already living.  Everybody thinks things will be better someplace else, but really you're just trading one set of problems for another.  Fursonally, I'd rather have western Ontario's problems than those of southern New Jersey (which are mostly local versions of national US problems).

My NJ house was supposed to be sold on Friday, but obviously it didn't happen.  The house is worth less than the mortgage, so I have to send some money before it can be sold.  I'm waiting to hear how much.  I hope my broker remembered to turn the heat on!  I left the air conditioning on when I left because late September is still "hot season" in New Jersey.

Forecasts by Government of Canada, the Weather Network, and CityTV:
PrecipitationWind km/hTemp °C
gcwnctvgcwnctvgcwnctv
Tonight rain, snow, & ice pelletsrain & snow 50-8030 −1−1
Tomorrow snow60% chancesnow 50-8045 −10−3
Tuesday snow40%snow windy20 −3−4−3
Wednesday 70% chance of more snowcloudy with sunny breakscloudy, snow (70%) 10 −1−4−1
Thursday 60% chancecloudysunny, cloudy, snow (30%) 10 −1-2−3
Friday 60% 10 0
Saturday 40% 25 3
So, not much hope for a lot of melt-back before the weekend.

pyesetz: (flag-over-sunrise)
I have yet to find a source of weather predictions for my area that is accurate enough to be of any use.

(Northeast lawn of my house)


(Northwest lawn of my house)
Yesterday and the day before I received 11 emails from Environment Canada entitled "WINTER STORM WARNING for Waterloo—Wellington".  These two citites are 300 km apart; apparently the forecast is aimed at all 30,000 km² of Western Ontario.

The official statements:
Date/TimeStorm locationSnowfallWarns
WedThu
21-Nov 12:01Missouri5-105-10Ice pellets
21-Nov 17:35Illinois1010Ice pellets, Low visibility
21-Nov 22:46Illinois1010Ice pellets, Low visibility, in a line from Toronto to Goderich
22-Nov 00:25Ohio1010Ice pellets, Low visibility, in a line from Toronto to Goderich
22-Nov 05:01Ohio--5-10Freezing rain in progress from Cobourg to Kingston
22-Nov 05:40Ohio--5-10Ice pellets, freezing rain in progress in Kitchener
22-Nov 07:34Pennsylvania--5-10Freezing rain in progress in Kitchener
22-Nov 09:13Lake Erie--2-5"The worst is over", snowsqualls from London to Barrie
22-Nov 10:39New York--2-5"Ended", snowsqualls from London to Barrie
22-Nov 13:53New York--2-5"Ended", lake-effect flurries
22-Nov 16:59New York----It's over

What actually happened:
  • Rain turned to ice pellets around 2 AM.
  • ½ cm or less of freezing rain fell during the wee hours (note: not predicted until already in progress)
  • About 5 cm of snow during wee hours of Wednesday night, approximately 0 on Thursday.  Not even enough to cover the grass!
  • No snowsqualls or lake-effect flurries.  No white-out blizzards.
The overall effect here is of a weather service that is so afraid of missing a Big Event that they predict 15 of the last 10 recessions.  I don't know what they're talking about re "traditional snowsquall belt from London to Barrie"; the never-wrong Wikipedia says lake-effect snow only rarely gets even as far as Kitchener.

And the stupidest thing?  Starting Wednesday night it was abundantly clear from radar that the storm was passing well to the south of the line from Waterloo—Wellington!  Don't these meteorologists actually *look* at their equipment, or are they required by law to recycle successful forecasts of the past?
pyesetz: (arctic-fox)
It's October in Canada.  I'm still walking around outside without a coat.  Temps are 10°C above historical norms, but then Global Warming is the "new normal".  Québec now has thriving blueberry farms!

The moving van finally arrived today; no more sleeping on an air mattress!  A few bits of minor breakage (van driver gave me $5 for a broken mirror, apologized for a broken lamp which I managed to fix, etc).  Now I am the proud owner of a house full of packing boxes.

Rogers.ca is disappointing.  I'm supposed to get 7 Mb/s broadband speeds, but I'm actually getting only 1.5-3.5.  Being out in the country has its downside!  The physical plant in my town is old and can't support broadband-telephony or any digital-TV tuner that was made during this century.

I've been here for almost a week and still feel like a fish out of water.  My passport says I'm a permanent resident, but I'm still "an American in Canada", hiding out from the US Fascists.  It seems most of the people on my street are twice my age.  The local hardware store has a cartoon that makes fun of people with college educations who don't know the stuff that really matters.  Maybe I need a local job.  UWaterloo is hiring for a Linux administrator position, but the required qualification is just "a college degree in computer science", so I'm probably overqualified with a master's.

Didn't get anywhere near as much for my NJ house as I had hoped, so the ON house has a lot of debt on it.  Thankfully I moved mucho dinero up from the States back when 1 CAD = 0.97 USD.  Now it's 0.99975 USD.  That makes a difference for a down-payment on a house!
pyesetz: (Default)
Over at the Libertarian site Inactivist there is a discussion of how Al Gore's 191 megawatt-hour annual electric bill proves that his views on Global Warming deserve "unmitigated derision and ridicule".  I would like to point specifically to the comment by user "ctw", who did some actual research (but also pulled some numbers from his ass).

My electric bill shows average daily consumption for each month of the last year.  If I average the averages and multiply by 365, I get about 10.2 MWH for my family of four with three computers and whole-house air conditioning, compared to the "national average" (whatever that means) of 11.2.  So what's your annual electric usage?

Also, the same utility bill shows my annual usage of natural gas is about 617 CCF, which is 61,700 cubic feet of methane at STP (or 638 "therms" = 63.8 million BTU's).  I have records for how much I've spent on gasoline over the last year, but prices have been unstable so it's hard to determine how many gallons I bought.  Anyway I've been working from home this year so my gas usage is way down from previously (not by choice).  What's your "carbon footprint"?

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