And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Linkee-poo time has come today

So, sometimes I love the internet. Re: alligator quotient, www.ismercuryinretrograde.com.

"At a Photokina that’s set to be dominated by mirrorless full-frame cameras that cost thousands of dollars, Fujifilm has announced something even more advanced, opulent, and headline-grabbing: the 51.4-megapixel GFX 50R, which combines a medium format sensor with a rangefinder-style body." Here's the thing, if I want a medium format camera (and you bet your bottom dollar I do), I really don't want a rangefinder body. The whole point of medium format is the focal length of the body which gives you a deeper depth of field (there are other benefits, but that's the biggie).

"NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with branding expert Allen Adamson of the company Metaforce about the news that Weight Watchers will now be known as 'WW' and Dunkin Donuts as Dunkin'." Rebranding is a serious endeavor and it should only be taken as a method of last resort. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to the current marketing thinking.

"Five students at a Chattanooga high school were hospitalized on Wednesday with an illness that apparently stemmed from ingesting some sort of prescription medication, police and Hamilton County School officials said." But it totally wasn't an overdose, so say the police.

"The anniversary of a disaster gives us a moment to reflect on whether we have learned the right lessons — or any at all. This week, we examine the narratives that have solidified ten years after the financial crisis, and one year after Hurricane Maria." On the Media episode on how history tends to rhyme. Also on learning the right lessons (not necessarily the media narrative). Highly recommended.

"In a late act of drenching the Carolina coast, flood waters from Hurricane Florence are set to pour into Georgetown, South Carolina."

"The seven classic McDonald’s burgers sold in the U.S. are now free from artificial preservatives, flavors and colors, the company announced Wednesday."

"The first thing that hit Ashley Simpson when she opened her car door was the smell: a rotten, stale, mold smell, leftover from the sewage-contaminated floodwaters that engulfed her silver 2010 Chevrolet HHR Cruiser during Hurricane Florence. The next thing to hit her were the gnats flying out that had been breeding amid the mold for nearly a week." And some of those cars will find their way into the used car market.

"Canada-based Aurora Cannabis Inc. tripled its revenue thanks to bigger weed sales in the final quarter of its fiscal year, but the pot producer’s profit gains were mostly the result of a different business: investing in other marijuana companies." Who knew weed was such a good business?

"The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time this year." Again, smart money at the beginning of the year was saying "2, maybe 3" rate increases this year. More than likely they will also raise the rate again in December.

"As rates continue to climb, it could place greater pressure on families who have been relying on their credit cards and mortgages to get by."

"Texas (AG) backs school that expelled girl over pledge of allegiance." Texas will lose this case.

"Take the cost of deportation: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has its own airline operation to fly deportees back home. So far this fiscal year, it's $107 million over budget." Also this year border crossing are up. So that's how well our "Zero Tolerance" policy has worked.

"The Department of Health and Human Services says it is reviewing all medical research involving human fetal tissue." Because of course they are. Can't say you're truly "pro-life" unless your against fetal tissue research.

So what does a Blue Wave look like? "The Texas voter rolls have grown to 15.6 million people, a new record, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos confirmed." Yeah, that's one way. Also, just a programming note here, lots of polls about Democrats winning big in November, don't believe them. Don't be complacent. Get out and vote like your vote would be the deciding one. Because if there is a Blue Wave, it needs to be a shout, not a polite cough. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

"One of the men accused of poisoning a former Russian spy in England has been identified as a high-ranking of Russia's intelligence service." They were tourists in the same way the Russian military members fighting in Eastern Ukraine were "on vacation."

"Twitter activity around the protests also shows accounts believed to be linked to Russia's ongoing disinformation campaign helped to amplify the anti-Nike sentiment. 'They were definitely participating in the Nike hashtag and in particularly driving it at the beginning,' says John Kelly, the CEO of Graphika, a social media analysis firm that uses machine learning to monitor state-sponsored disinformation." (Waves to my Russian friends) (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"The legislation also includes a full year of funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services and a short-term extension of the Violence Against Women Act; but it has no new money for Trump's proposed wall with Mexico." Remember last year when the president said that would be the last time he signed a spending bill that didn't including funding for his wall? Apparently he's folding. Also, while it includes a full year of funding for the DoD, but the rest it kicks down the road until December. Congress fails to do its duty, again.

"President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that China supposedly respects him for his 'very, very large brain,' during a news conference where he addressed wide-ranging issues including trade, North Korea and mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanuagh." I'm torn between doing a zombie thing, a "that's not how brains work" thing, or just pointing and laughing. I think I'll go with that last one. Also, it's not China that's paying the tariffs, because that's not how tariffs work. The companies importing the goods are paying the tariffs. So if Walmart orders 1000 washing machines, the factory in China doesn't pay the US government. It's Walmart that pays the tariff as the product they ordered arrives in port. And guess who pays Walmart to cover that tariff? Our "stable genius" president, everybody.

"In a statement on Wednesday, Graham called Avenatti a 'lawyer to porn stars' — he represents Stormy Daniels, who has alleged a sexual affair with Trump — who had 'taken this debacle to an even lower level.'" Dear Senator Graham, I think it's Brett Kavanaugh already took this far lower. This is attacking the messenger. (Grokked from someone, sorry, lost the link)

"Kavanaugh has been accused now of five - five - different episodes of attempted sexual assault or misconduct. Three were from women who went public with their allegations. Two more came in anonymous reports to the Judiciary Committee, which Kavanaugh was asked about in a call with the Judiciary Committee staff."

With the Kavanaugh hearing you may be asking yourself just how misogynist is the USA? "Jared Hensley, the athletic director and assistant principal at Soddy-Daisy High near Chattanooga, was placed on administrative leave Wednesday afternoon, soon after he said girls 'pretty much ruin everything' in a video he had made for the student body." All because of a ban on athletic shorts. I'm not sure why that's the girls fault, but that's from the administration. We'll overlook the Bible lesson in the morning announcement as well.

"Commentator Cokie Roberts talks with Rachel Martin about the history of outside counsels asking questions in hearings on Capitol Hill." Unprecedented.

"A California man who admitted to unwittingly facilitating Russian interference in the 2016 election and later cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the subject now fears for his safety, the man's attorney said in a court filing Wednesday." And that fear is not without reason. Frankly, Manafort should be more afraid. Not only is he providing state evidence (one assumes), but he has screwed over some of Russia's oligarchs (and then attempted to "make good" by providing access into the Trump campaign).

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