Beware the Exploding Frogs. Residents of Hamburg, Germany have an unusual problem to deal with: exploding frogs. The frogs appear perfectly normal. However, at night they swell to three… [SciScoop — Science News Forum]
This is from the end of the article:
bq. Germans are particularly attached to toads and they have become, in some respects, a symbol of the Green movement. The Government has allocated
MARK BRADY: Iraq Still Isn’t an Election Issue. Brendan O’Neill explains why here. Sad but true. [Liberty & Power: Group Blog]
The article addresses the hypocrisy of “anti-war” types who are opposed to the conquest of Iraq, but were perfectly happy to support previous wars of aggression such as Kosovo. The article is directed at Tony Blair and British politicians, but it applies equally to “anti-war unless it’s our war” Americans.
AEON J. SKOBLE: Know what this is? Guess I didn’t.. This NYT story is interesting in lots of ways, but what struck me the most was the revelation that that famous photo of the helicopter evacuating people from the embassy roof in Saigon is actually something else. Have a look!
In other news, my promotion to Associate is now official. Woo-hoo! [Liberty & Power: Group Blog]
A very interesting story by the photograher who took the picture.
Old Horseman -
Police State in Progress: Less Lethal Weapons… — cops have taken
a liking to the supposed non-lethal weapons, e.g. pepper spray and
tasers. Problem is, they’re not really non-lethal, only less-probably
lethal than their pistols. And pepper spray in the eyes or a taser zap
could reasonably be called torture. So why is it OK for cops to use
them on people whose only “crime” is disobeying orders? It’s not OK,
of course. And we should remind the cops in question that they’re
engaging in torture and risking murder when they do it.
Police forces in America should be stripped of tasers, pepper spray,
and other instruments of torture until they get it through their heads
that you don’t hurt people who are doing no harm. Citizens are
not cattle to be prodded and punished because the guy behind the badge
doesn’t like their attitude or is such a chicken-shit coward that he
can’t stand eye to eye with a citizen and talk to him like a human
If cops keep acting like Nazis, treating the citizens like the Enemy,
sooner or later, the citizens will respond in kind. I personally
consider pepper spray and tasers to be lethal weapons, and would
respond to anyone attacking me with them in exactly the same manner as
I would if they were armed with a gun or knife. (Which is to say, with
opposing lethal force.)
The husband of the old woman
who was double-zapped was arrested for “interfering with an
officer” when he confronted the jackboots over their attack on his
wife. In all honesty, if he’d shot the cop through the head with a
rifle from his window, he would never have been convicted with me on
[End the War on Freedom]
It’s not just tasers and pepper spray, either. the military has been working on new ways to torture large groups of people from a distance, and you can be sure that the cops will be using them too.
Blogging on multiple machines. One of the disadvantages of blogging applications that sit on a single machine rather than on a server is that you are tied to that machine when you want to write. Every time I want to shoot something to this place, I have to run over to my laptop. No blogging from work or from the other machines that sit on the home network.
If you’re going to be blogging from multiple machines and locations, it’s something to consider when you are choosing your tools. [code: theWebSocket;]
I’ve run into this myself, since Radio is one of those apps that sits on a single machine. For a while, I was running it on my desktop PC at home, and connecting to it with my laptop from whereever I happened to be. Unfortunately the IT department at work, in its ongoing quest to make life difficult for workers, started blocking my access. Now I keep Radio on my laptop, and just carry the laptop around with me.
This isn’t a perfect solution, though, because of the reliability problems I’ve had with my Mac laptops. When one goes down I can move Radio to the other and run it from there, but if both go down at once (which has happened), it’s much harder to move to my PC laptop.
From one of the mailing lists I subscribe to:
bq. My only quibble is this: as Jeff Cooper has pointed out, in my presence and *pointedly* to a cop who called non-cops “civilians”: cops are _also_ “civilians.”
Cops are not military, they are “civil authority.” Only the ignorant
copy use the term civilians… the others call us “little people.”
Russell, this is not only complete bullshit, it’s dangerous bullshit,
even if Jeff believes it. I once had a disagreement on this same issue,
with one of those “almost a libertarians” you hear about, a police chief
friend of Aaron Zelman’s, who regurgitated the same lame theory.
Cops are armed when civilians can’t be, often with weapons civilians
can’t have. I can’t tell you how sick I get of seeing notations in
catalogs like Brogade Quartermaster that certain items are for cops only.
Cops live and operate within a strict hierarchy, usually with titles like
“sergeant”, “lieutenant”, “captain”, and so forth. Most of them wear
military-style uniforms, and an argument can be made that so-called
“plainclothes” operations ought to be outlawed. Increasingly, they wear
military battledress and carry military weapons.
Cops form a culture all to themselves, like professional soldiers, and
usually have little to do with those who are not cops. They do call us
“civilians”. I never heard this term “little people” before. They also
call us “assholes” and say that the public just consists of criminals
who haven’t been caught yet. I know because I was there at one time.
Yeah, I understand the theory that they’re civilians, too. I repeat that
it’s bullshit. What they are, in fact, is an occupying military force,
with strategic bases in every hamlet in the nation — which is why they
and their hangers-on lie to us and possibly to themselves about being
They are the very standing army that the Founding Fathers were afraid of.
And for good reason.
L. Neil Smith
I have the same opinion of cops, but I couldn’t say it half as well.
Manuel Roig-Franzia at The Washington Post -
Fla. Gun Law to Expand Leeway for Self-Defense — it seems that
Florida slipped one under the radar of the Brady Bunch. For some
reason they don’t understand that if somebody comes at you with a
knife, he has forfeit his right to life, and you are completely
justified in shooting him dead, no questions asked. Fortunately, the
Florida legislature understands the reality of the situtation. Bravo!
The Florida measure says any person “has the right to stand his or her
ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she
reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great
Florida law already lets residents defend themselves against attackers
if they can prove they could not have escaped. The new law would allow
them to use deadly force even if they could have fled and says that
prosecutors must automatically presume that would-be victims feared
for their lives if attacked.
The overwhelming vote margins and bipartisan support for the Florida
gun bill — it passed unanimously in the state Senate and was approved
94 to 20 in the state House, with nearly a dozen Democratic
co-sponsors — have alarmed some national gun-control advocates, who
say a measure that made headlines in Florida slipped beneath their
[Florida lobbyist Marion P.] Hammer, a 4-foot-11 dynamo with a
national reputation for her persuasive powers, dismissed the papers as
“liberal, anti-gunners” and “Chicken Littles.” The current law
unfairly forces Floridians to make split-second decisions about a
criminal’s intent, she said, and NRA lobbyists like to note that was
deemed impossible generations ago by legendary Supreme Court Justice
Oliver Wendell Holmes. “Detached reflection,” Holmes said in one of
his most oft-quoted pronouncements, “cannot be demanded in the
presence of an uplifted knife.”
[End the War on Freedom]
I’m pleased to see this development. It’s strange that Florida actually had worse self-defense laws than California, and I’m happy to see that at least partially rectified.
Just got a call from the brother. He said he’s been getting a lot of positive feedback this week after pointing people to my posts regarding macro tools for Windows.
This may be one of the big “misses” in the Wintel world. In the Mac world, we’ve had tools like Applescript, iKey, Quickeys, and TypeIt4Me (among others) for years. We’ve just taken it for granted that you can use automation tools with good user interfaces to improve productivity in our personal workplace.
(Later: There’s a Quickeys for Windows? Who knew?)
Not so in the Wintel world. When you ask Winheads about text replacement, for example, they start talking about how fast they can accurately type. They miss the point — no matter how fast you type, the computer can do it faster. If you have to type it over and over again, it’s faster and easier just to automate the process. Dull, repetitious, tedious work is best left to the CPU on the desktop, not the one between your ears.
It’s not like the tools aren’t there. There are macros in the Office Suite as well as stand alone programs like ActiveWords, PowerPro and Macro Express that can automate much of the mousing and keyboarding we do every day. But it’s not a widely promoted feature, and you have to wonder why — this is the sort of nonsense that computers were supposed to make easier.
I’m impressed that the utilities exist, and disappointed that they aren’t pushed harder by Microsoft and the Wintel blogging press. It’s an area worthy of much more attention, and — at least from what I’ve seen — get’s short shrift when talking about reasons to stay on the Wintel platform. [code: theWebSocket;]
I didn’t know there was a QuicKeys for Windows. I used to use it on the Mac years ago, before moving to OneClick, and I’m happy to see that it’s available on Windows. I’ll have to check out the trial version.
“School shootings happen because the overwhelming majority of students
are never trained in the techniques — and more importantly, the
attitude — of self-defense. And of course the most reliable
means of self-defense, firearms, have been demonized by those with a
political agenda and an endless supply of dull-witted followers. It
also appears now that mind-altering prescription drugs like Prozac and
Zoloft play a part. But chiefly, these incidents illustrate the
consequences of having too few guns around, not too many.” –
L. Neil Smith
[End the War on Freedom]
How to Survive a Zombie Attack. I finally saw Dawn of the Dead (2004), and I just have to wonder, did these people even think about how they would survive a zombie attack? Since we’ve had a rash of zombie movies lately — 28 Day, Shaun of the Dead — I think someone needs to publish a zombie survival guide to help these people out. And that someone is me, because I for one don’t welcome our new zombie overlords. [kuro5hin.org]
You never know what kind of useful information you’ll find on the Internet.