RealTalk: Ebola Outbreak Doing God’s Work.

I don’t believe that story at all.

Why not? Is the reports by multiple newspapers not enough to convince you? How about a report from a local (me)? It’s true, that they believe such crap is fact and is undisputed.

But even if it’s true, what we’re dealing with here is an ignorant, uneducated population most of whom don’t have access to information, don’t watch the daily news, don’t (can’t) read newspapers, haven’t ever heard of the germ theory of disease, and with a government the members of which are enriching themselves in the traditional African way through corruption, coercion and violence.

You’re way off base there. Look up the Marikana massacre. The idiot miners, all well past high-school with extra vocational training, went to a witchdoctor who gave them a muti that they could rub all over their body that will make them immune to bullets. They not only believed it (because that particular belief is common in this country), they bought the stuff, smeared themselves with it and then performed an all-out balls-to-the-wall assault on some 200 armed police officers (who also believe in this shit).

The results were as bad as you would guess.

The problem is not one of ignorance – everyone goes through the school system, no exceptions. The problem is one of stupidity; even those locals with advanced degrees still believe in muti that makes one bulletproof, or the virgin cure for HIV. The locals here are just plain stupid and no amount of education over the past two decades has managed to shake them of their beliefs in bulletproof vaseline and/or virgin cures and/or anything else that is stupid.

Thankfully the situation in Africa is slowly improving, though I think the current generation in this locality is probably doomed to plod on in ignorance regardless.

 

Slashdot comment on some Africans who looted an Ebola treatment center.  They will all likely contract the disease and spread it amongst their villages and they will all die painful deaths.  None of them will learn anything because, as people who have lived among them know, they are morons.

 

FreeWheel: Carbon Free Cargo? Or Creating More Emissions?

I got stuck behind this bicycle that advertised “Carbon Free Cargo“. We were going five miles an hour down a busy road. I was not the only box truck that was stuck behind this bicyclist delivery driver, and we all missed a light because of this guy.
I believe it is erroneous to call deliveries made by bicycles driving down the middle of the road in a large city during business hours as emissions free. Every single car they are holding up is belching out carbon, more carbon than would be expelled if there were no bicyclist slowly making his way down a busy road.

Cat on Roomba and Baby Duck

Netflix: Video Lags Behind Audio – Fix

My girlfriend watches a lot of netflix.  We don’t even pay for it, one of our friends gave us a login and apparently netflix doesn’t mind that multiple streams are going from the same account to different geographic regions.  She gets upset if there is any kind of an interruption in service and she can’t watch television, and after the switch she noticed a terrible lag of netflix video behind audio.  I must admit it is annoying.  I recently switched to CenturyLink from Xfinity and I did notice a drop in speed, so I chalked this problem up to smaller pipes.  However, we could see the video was still caching far ahead of where we were watching so I suspected something else was up.

Sure enough, a cursory search on google turned up other people with this problem and also a miraculously simple fix.  All you need to do is turn off HD video.  My poor little computer couldn’t process this high resolution video!  A happy ending for all.

CenturyLink Service: First Impressions After 1 Week

CenturyLink mailed me their dsl modem along with some windows software and booklets and when I opened the box I was confronted with the most abnoxious BPA smell ever.  After 1 week it hasn’t dissipated.  It still stinks.  I hung it out the window just because not only is it stinky but it also has some kind of little air cooler fan inside it that blows plastic smelling air all over in my living room.  Just sitting on the couch is now a trial, and it shouldn’t be that way.  Unfortunately DSL modems are not as popular and you can’t find them cheaply for after market purchase.  I am sending this one back as soon as I do find one though.  Reading about all of the leukemia that the Chinese are getting from manufacturing this bullshit gives me pause, I don’t want the same poisonous stuff floating about in my living space.

Speed: I knew I would probably take a hit on speed since I am paying $10 less than I did for Comcast.  Most of the speed problem is Youtube and Netflix.  I have large downloads but it isn’t like I am standing around watching operating system updates download and install!  I don’t sit around and watch torrents download, either.  Unfortunately, Netflix and Youtube especially have a lot of lag.  I tested to see if Centurylink were rate limiting these websites and could not find evidence of this.  I wouldn’t blame them, my girlfriend watches about 8 GB per day in video on average.  I am really getting my money’s worth!   I am paying $35/month I think which includes the stupid smelly modem.

I haven’t had any outages yet either.  I want to watch less television so all in all I am happy on every front.  Comcast can suck it.  They should have kept their a la carte service at $25 or $30 per month and I would’ve continued putting up with their shit.

Ladies, Either Drive or Pull Over and Text Your Friends

Not a day goes by that I don’t have to lay on my horn at a light because people won’t move their asses.  I can see through their rear window that their heads are pointed down, probably at some sort of electronic device or other.  If I am able to I like to pull up next to them and stare at them at the next light or stop sign, and if they continue looking at their phone and don’t notice traffic moving I really lay on the horn.

Lots of times it is men too, but I would say 3/4 it is a woman.  A few days ago, a light turned green and the first car missed his cue.  She went, then the person after her didn’t notice.  Finally, two cars after that person, another woman did not notice that the light had turned.  When people do this it should be legal to bump their vehicle and give them whiplash.  If I counted up the minutes every day I waste in traffic because some miserable boring woman is reading facebook instead of watching traffic, I could cook breakfast and dinner with that time every day.

The answer I propose is technological.  You can’t make these ladies stop looking at their phones.  Therefore I propose a new system, required in all new vehicles henceforth, wherein every time a light changes or a vehicle in front of you moves there is an audible beep or the dome lights flash in your car or something.  It would be good for the environment, for our clogged streets, and for my blood pressure.

The Dancing Headless Girl Sticker

Many a time have I pondered what strange secret society would have a dancing headless girl as its logo.  I saw them on SUV’s and Subarus all the time.  Then a few days ago the answer was revealed to me: I saw the headless dancing girl who appears to be in the “crane position” from Karate Kid but without a head, and underneath some cryptic writing (cryptic because it was small).  I drove really really close to the guy’s bumper so I could read it and in a crescendo of knowledge I read “Official Dave Mathews Fan Club”.  I felt like the kid in “A Christmas Story” when the secret decoder ring reveals that the secret message he has been obsessing about is an advert.

Imagine my disappointment.  I was hoping that despite driving uninteresting Subaru Legacies and Toyota Rav4′s these people were all members of some society that ate sushi off of headless naked bodies or something.  Instead they are fucking DAVE MATHEWS FANS.  I now actually dislike Dave Mathews, whereas before I was only mildly averse.

The Official Dave Mathews Fan Club Headless Dancing Girl.

The Elephant Never Forgets

When does this expression ever come into play?  Who says this, and under what circumstances besides people at a zoo or Africans who are in frequent contact with elephants?

fix: usb device descriptor read/64, error -110

I figured out how to solve this problem which has been plaguing me for some time.  Worst case, my computer goes to sleep and won’t wake up when I move the mouse or hit a key because they have been disconnected due to this error.  The cause of this error, I have learned, is having too much shit plugged in to usb.  I ripped out some unnecessary peripherals and turned off my printer and now I don’t get the error.  This solved issues I was having with my mouse, keyboard, printer, etc all not being recognized.  Who knows, maybe it will also make my internet faster for this machine.

Another thing I haven’t tried that might solve this error is getting a bigger power supply.  I also want to go into bios and disable everything I don’t ever use.  Like parallel ports and that sort of thing.  So if you are having this issue, just yank some stuff out.  Careful you don’t accidentally pull out the power cord!  Also check to see if dust and stuff is clogging the air intake and causing your fan to go into overdrive, that sucks power too.

 

Time Travel

My girlfriend is obsessed with time travel movies, so I have had a lot of time to reflect on the concept of time travel.  One aspect that is not addressed in these movies is that the position of the Earth in space is different during different times.  It is moving hundreds of thousands of miles per hour around the sun.  If we were to actually achieve time travel, I imagine we would do it with a parachute, because you don’t want the scientists to fuck up and put you in the middle of a mountain.  A small miscalculation and you will be 500 feet above the surface of the earth!  Imagine if you were to go back 100 years in time.  It isn’t too difficult to calculate where the Earth will be at that time, but it IS difficult to calculate the geography of the Earth and what land mass will be where at a certain point in time.  You can’t just expect to go back in time and magically appear with your feet on the surface of the Earth.  Best bet would be appearing 2 miles above the surface and parachuting down and then walking to wherever it is you hope to go.  Michael Crichton did a great job making people think about time travel in his book Timeline.  I don’t think he gave enough thought to the position of the Earth with regard to time, though.

You wouldn’t just appear in an alleyway, like in Terminator 2.  You  wouldn’t just appear driving on a road like Back to the Future.  You would end up either above the surface of the Earth, or within the surface of the Earth.  I guess we will know that people have attempted time travel when we start noticing bodies floating around in outer space near the orbit of the Earth, or bodies plummeting to Earth.

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