Friday, November 30, 2012

Can you stand the excitement?

Mark your calendars. Next week, we'll be announcing the pre-order for the Atlas Shrugged Part II Special Edition DVDs.

Any bets on sales figures?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I haz a vision

Some recent advances in really hard computer problems:

Deep-learning systems have recently outperformed humans in certain limited recognition tests.

Last year, for example, a program created by scientists at the Swiss A. I. Lab at the University of Lugano won a pattern recognition contest by outperforming both competing software systems and a human expert in identifying images in a database of German traffic signs.

The winning program accurately identified 99.46 percent of the images in a set of 50,000; the top score in a group of 32 human participants was 99.22 percent, and the average for the humans was 98.84 percent.

Getting better at listening, too:

Deep learning was given a particularly audacious display at a conference last month in Tianjin, China, when Richard F. Rashid, Microsoft’s top scientist, gave a lecture in a cavernous auditorium while a computer program recognized his words and simultaneously displayed them in English on a large screen above his head.

Then, in a demonstration that led to stunned applause, he paused after each sentence and the words were translated into Mandarin Chinese characters, accompanied by a simulation of his own voice in that language, which Dr. Rashid has never spoken.

The feat was made possible, in part, by deep-learning techniques that have spurred improvements in the accuracy of speech recognition.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Is this more math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

John Boehner golfing Never mind what your lying eyes see on the tee.
I just hit a 350-yard drive that landed on the green.

Hate to pass along this sour note on what should be a day of good cheer, but denialism like this should not pass unremarked.

In an op-ed article for the Cincinnati Enquirer today, [Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Obvs.)] said that “we need to repeal Obamacare” because it adds to the debt and is unaffordable. As a result, he wrote, “the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge.”

That ignores the plain words of the most reliable and non-partisan judge of these things — the Congressional Budget Office — which said in July that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t add to the debt, it lowers the debt. Repealing the law would add $109 billion to the debt through 2022.

Oh, it gets better.

Never trust anyone over thirty

Who denies the reality of anthropogenic global warming, at least.

The National Climatic Data Center has just reported that October was the 332nd month in a row of above-average global temperatures. As the environmental Web site Grist reported, that means that nobody younger than 27 has lived for a single month with colder-than-average global temperatures …

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wow. Her again.

Of course she is not, but I would like to imagine the woman in the ad to the right is getting residuals.

(Remember way back in 2010?)


See NewsHounds and Wonkette if you would like to read about the latest stream of stupid squirting from Blowhard O'Reilly's cakehole.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everything has a firesale point

'Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Brass Money Clip'And apparently, that point has come for Atlas Shrugged Part 2, Longer, Lamer, and Even More Expensive. Big sale in the online store! says their recent email. Get cool stuff like that thing over there on the right, for 25% off! Or 40%! Or more! And they also have lapel pins! (Comments are a must.)

You may remember a few weeks ago, when we celebrated the results of the first ten days. I was going to update the charts several times, but for some reason, Box Office Mojo never showed any more data after Day 24. So I guess this is the final report?

Data from Box Office Mojo: part 1 | part 2

Better get in line now for tickets to Part 3!

(title: cf.)


Writers like Rod Dreher and Daniel Larison tend to be ...

On the other hand, Daniel, it was David Brooks doing the lumping together.

(If you don't already know those two names, this'll illustrate it as quickly as anything: Larison | Dreher.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Probably you do not eat at any of these restaurants ...

... (your good taste already in evidence from your choice of online reading material) but sometimes, when you're traveling, especially for work, say, in a place like Orlando, Florida, you might be presented with main streets filled with corporate franchise Neighbo®hood ®estau®ants. I am speaking of places like Papa John's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Applebee's. You don't want to, but there doesn't seem to be much choice, and hey, one's pretty much like another, right?

In many ways, yes. But maybe not all. So if you're a patron of any of the above, however reluctantly, I encourage you to read "A Children’s Treasury of CEOs Throwing Very Grown-Up Tantrums Over Obamacare."

Job creators? Nah. Plutocrats. And that's how they do.

(pic. source)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Set that bad news (#obamasfault) aside. Thanksgiving is saved!*

Homemade Twinkies

Already on the NYT's Top 10 Most Emailed list! Thank you, Leite's Culinaria!

HOWEVER. Let this not diffuse the important effort pointed out to me by KK.

* (Until the copyright trolls come along, of course.)

Strange bedfellows

The Environmental Protection Agency declined on Friday to relax its requirement on the use of corn ethanol in gasoline, rejecting a request from several states related to a steep decline in the nation’s corn production.

A summer drought that withered crops led to a spike in prices, hurting the livestock industry and others that depend on corn for food. Estimates indicate that as much as half of the nation’s crop will be used to produce ethanol this year to meet the federal renewable energy standard for transportation fuel.


That would put some environmentalists in rare alignment with the oil industry, which is required to use an increasing amount of ethanol in its fuel production but complains that its system is glutted with the substance.

Since Congress specified a year-by-year gallon quota for biofuels in 2007, total fuel demand in the United States has dropped, so the percentage of ethanol fuel in gasoline has reached unexpected highs.

I don't know enough about the issues to comment, beyond agreeing with the environmental point of view that ethanol made from corn isn't much of a clean energy alternative, but I thought both the article excerpted above and the link in the blockquote were interesting enough to pass along.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Email reply of the day

Since there are some parts of being a 14 year old boy I've never outgrown, you will be unsurprised what my first question was for my niece, the new EMT. Her answer:

... and no, I haven't driven more than 100 mph yet. I tried! But there's a safety feature on the ambulances - you can't go over 90, so I've done that a few times.

(Hope her mom is still boycotting my blog.) ;)

I'm gonna say no, categorically, but it's still fun to dream

Evidently, the post-election giddiness has not quite subsided.


Line of the Day: 2012-11-16

(h/t: George Takei, via MK)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Nate Silver post that is not about politics

And he even gets through it without mentioning WAR.

For baseball nerds only: "The Statistical Case Against Cabrera for M.V.P."


[Update 2012-11-17] Nate's argument evidently did not persuade the voters.

Cabrera, the third baseman for the Detroit Tigers, won 22 of 28 first-place votes in the American League, a somewhat surprising margin of victory over Mike Trout, the electrifying rookie outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels.

Headline of the Day

Man Who Gave Nation Sarah Palin Opines
On Someone Else’s Lack Of Intelligence, Qualifications

Yep. John McCain is back in the news.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New leader in the Post-Election Butthurt Sobfest

A few of you may remember my pointing out this Nate Silver post from last week:

So guess who is now whining long and loud?

Line of the Day: 2012-11-14

When Ohio was called, it really caught me off guard: Right in the middle of furtively scanning the returns from Virginia, or wherever, I heard them announce in the background, "Obama has won Ohio, and with it, is reelected." I could finally stop worrying! It was over! We won! Yeehaw! By that time I had 25 tabs open in my browser and was refreshing 10 of them at a time and flipping back and forth between them like a hyperactive gerbil. (Can gerbils use mice?)
    --Jack, via email

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Actual ad seen on some wingnut blog that
claims to have proof of how Obama stoled the 'lection.

Nothing against his actual biological offspring, mind. It's just that this is the image that comes to mind when I hear the phrase "Breitbart's Children."

(pic. sources: J.O'K. | Bobbsey Twins)

So mean. So good.

"Watch Mitt Romney's Facebook Likes Decrease in Real Time."

It's really amazing when you consider how furiously Jennifer Rubin is creating fake Facebook accounts just to keep liking him again.Willard

(h/t: Neetzan Zimmerman)

Now, who will clean
up his Twitter account?

It was 70° yesterday, but piles of snow remained, and hence, driving conditions were still hazardous

And here's an early-morning shot of vestiges from the storm before that:

Driving to work was an amazeing experience for a few days there.

[Given all the new sudden dead ends and the
winding path I eventually figured out, I mean. -bjk]

Monday, November 12, 2012

#slatepitches are so yesterday

Because now there's Room for Debate!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Needz Moar Ghey

Other than that, this is a perfect image of what a lifetime inside the wingnut echo chamber makes you see as you watch the results of the election roll in:

(h/t: Doktor Zoom)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Line of the Day: 2012-11-08

In 2009, White House communications director Anita Dunn called Fox News "either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” I don’t know about the “or” part. With massive funds and infinite air time, Roger Ailes’ little network that could spent the past four years demonizing president Obama (after a year of demonizing candidate Obama), and obsessively churning up non-news to scare the shit out of white guys and feed into the GOP bloodstream: from the Black Panthers’ remarkable rise to political power to that thing about the guns and Mexico named after an awesome Vin Diesel movie to the multifront war on Christmas/Christians/Christ to The Great Benghazi Conspiracy of 2012.

And what do they have to show for it? Not a Republican president. Not a Republican Senate. Not a repealed health care law. Adding insult to Tuesday’s injury, Eric Holder is still a free man.
    -- Allison Benedikt

Too good!

Swiped from a Tumblr you will love: White People Mourning Romney.

(h/t: David Weigel)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The GOP? They've come a long way, baby.

A few months ago:

A few years ago:

(pic. sources: top | bot)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I suppose I should be glad they didn't say they were Working Hard to bring me this Awesome feature

While I think Mozy is a fine company ...

Dear Mozy Customer,

We’re pleased to announce an exciting new way of managing your Mozy account and accessing your files. Effective later today, when you log into, you'll go directly to your files.

Increasingly, our MozyHome customers have told us that they come to the Mozy website to quickly access their files. We've facilitated this by updating the default "log in" location as your backed up and Stash files, instead of the "Account Home" details page. [...]

... I do not think saving me one mouseclick is "exciting."

Monday, November 05, 2012


That Jeff Zeleny, he has got it covered!

In other news:

Shape of Earth: Views Differ.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Okay, that hurt a little bit

Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.
    -- Howard Nemerov