Posts filed under ‘Musings’
I was so loving how early the sun rose last week. The sky began turning purple at about 5:50 a.m. and I snapped a screenshot it in my head in case I woke up early wondering what time it was. If I looked out the window above my bed and there was any light at all I was sure to know what time it was.
I’m a morning person so I was so happy we were crawling out of this dreadfully cold winter.
But then, yesterday hit and we sprang forward.
This morning it didn’t start getting light until just before 7:00 a.m. and now it’s 7:07 p.m. and the dogs are all messed up. They don’t know whether to go outside or to go to bed. Neither do I.
I hate it. Why do we mess with ourselves like this?
Upps. Silly me. It’s all about (of course it is) MONEY!
So what is the point of Daylight Saving Time?
Money, money, money, money!
The Chamber of Commerce was an early supporter of extending post-workday natural light because it knew factory workers were more likely to go shopping following shift work if the sun was still shining. Later on, people were more likely to fill up the tank and head to sporting events or the mall, which to this day greatly benefits the oil industry.
Because so much extra gas is sold during Daylight Saving Time, the lobby representing convenience stores—places that sell tons of gas—are among the biggest backers of keeping the time change intact.
Downing says the golf course industry also loves Daylight Saving Time because it’s the one sport for which it still isn’t economical to use artificial lighting to extend hours. “The golf industry makes about $200 to $400 million in extra greens fees during Daylight Saving Time,” he notes.
I have so much fixing of things to do when I become queen.
The decriminalize marijuana train is on the tracks and it’s only a matter of time before every state in the country starts drooling over the money Colorado’s raking in after having legalized it:
Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday in the world’s first accounting of the recreational pot business.
The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.
Colorado legalized pot in 2012, but the commercial sale of marijuana didn’t begin until January. Washington state sales begin in coming months.
The pot taxes come from 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. Voters approved the pot taxes last year. They declared that the first $40 million of the excise tax must go to school construction; the rest will be spent by state lawmakers.
At this rate (more shops are opening all the time) Colorado stands to make roughly $24 million in the first year. Politicians are going to love the moolah. No way is this law ever going to be repealed. Yes, the first $40 million is slated for school construction but beyond that, I can imagine brawls at the statehouse over how to spend the millions that will roll in as time passes.
On Wednesday the District of Columbia’s “Water and Sewer Authority” warned residents to boil their water due to a power outage at a pumping station. Pretty amazing when people in a nation’s capital have to boil their water.
Today, the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs notified its employees that its headquarters building,
…located at 810 Vermont Ave., NW are CLOSED. Telework-ready employees must follow VA policies.
Due to an apparent collapse of the DC sanitary sewer line connected to the building, for the safety and welfare of employees, 810 Vermont Ave., NW in Washington, DC is CLOSED in accordance with direction from Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Poetic justice, isn’t it, that these things are happening in Washington? Maybe (not holding my breath) they’ll spur our inept leaders into taking some action.
This is funny:
1 in 10 Americans Think HTML is an STD, Study Finds
- 77% of respondents could not identify what SEO means. SEO stands for “Search-Engine Optimization”
- 27% identified “gigabyte” as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
- 42% said they believed a “motherboard” was “the deck of a cruise ship.” A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.
- 23% thought an “MP3″ was a “Star Wars” robot. It is actually an audio file.
- 18% identified “Blu-ray” as a marine animal. It is a disc format typically used to store high-definition videos.
- 15% said they believed “software” is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.
- 12% said “USB” is the acronym for a European country. In fact, USB is a type of connector.
Sheesh. Once a person hits a certain strata in our society, the money and bennies just pour in.
Check out what’s inside the $85,000 Oscar nominee gift bag, i.e., literally a bag of goodies given to every single Oscar nominee, of which there must be roughly 200.
How about a $2,560 home spa system?
A $15,000 trip to Japan?
Laser hair removal valued at $5,000?
A $16,000 hair transplant procedure?
$1,571.89 in electrolyte supplements for your pooch?
Must be nice.
I can’t wait to hear Jeremy Scahill’s take on it.
William B. Chambliss, the kind and gentle but fierce sociologist and my lifelong friend, died on February 22.
Bill had a yearning for the street; he simply loved to be among those who were on the receiving end of an exploitive social system shaped by race and class.
After earning his sociology B.A. in 1955 under the tutelage of Don Cressey at UCLA, Bill spent a year hitchhiking between labor camps as a migratory farm worker. There he learned first-hand about the everyday lives of the men, women, and children who lived in the most ragged of quarters.
He also enlisted in the military, serving with an intelligence unit in Korea. When his unit became involved in gathering intelligence based on the torture of suspected north Korean spies, Bill risked being court martialed when he refused to participate (he was eventually transferred to another unit, and eventually honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant).
This important work sought to show how lower-class black crime was rendered more visible than middle-class white crime, resulting in much higher rates of criminalization among blacks.
In 1986 Bill relocated to the Sociology Department at George Washington University, where he remained until his death. There he turned his attention to more local victims of state organized crime: residents of the District of Columbia’s poorest black neighborhoods. To show the relationship between race, class, and criminalization, Bill amassed extensive statistical data about neighborhood characteristics, crime, and incarceration.
At the time of his death Bill was writing an article on the sociology of criminal conspiracies, along with a four volume edited collection (with sociologist Chris Moloney) on State Crime; the first volume will be published next year.
This is a video his daughter Lauren posted on Facebook yesterday. I’m posting it here too and dedicating it to him.
Love you Bill. I hope I’ll see you later.
Watch this to the end when the optical illusion is revealed. It’s maddening.
Here’s the makeup of the jury in the Michael Dunn trial:
No black MEN.
There were no black MEN on the George Zimmerman jury either.
Fast and imho, claustrophobia-inducing:
Check out some of the astounding charts Mother Jones put together illustrating how vulgar the amount of money spent on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is, here.
Here’s an example:
Here’s an easy, interactive calculator to let you figure out if you could live on your state’s minimum wage.
I took the “test” and learned I’d have to get a second job and work 28 extra hours a month to meet my (bare-bones, just-the-necessities) expenses.
Fifty years ago today my mother told me she heard that a new “folk” group was going to be on the Ed Sullivan Show that night. She said they were called “The Beatles” and they were like Peter, Paul & Mary (where she got that I have no idea). So we watched together in our family room. I was on the couch and she was behind me ironing.
She didn’t like them.
I was instantly in love with their music and with Paul.
50 years ago. Wow.
Check out this “World Prison Population Watch List,” complied by Roy Walmsley of the International Center for Prison Studies, a partner of the University of Essex in the U.K.
Far as I can tell, it lists every country in the world, their total prison population by date, the population of the country as a whole and the percentage of people imprisoned per 100,000 people.
The United States wins hands down: As of the end of December, 2011, we imprisoned 716 people per 100,000:
Heck. Rowanda is at 492 per 100,000. Belieze is at 476/100,000. St. Kitts and Nevis is at 714/100.00. India is at 30/100,000. Japan is at 51/100,000. Russia is at 475/100,000.
After a quick perusal of the list (it’s five pages long) no country other than St. Kitts and Nevis comes close.
USA! USA! USA!
Here’s an ad for Cheerios that aired last night during the Super Bowl:
Wingers, apparently, are having a fit because the family depicted in the ad is biracial. Not to portray myself as holier-than-thou, but when I saw the ad I locked onto the little girl who plays the part of “Gracie,” and loved her. The look she gives her “dad” when she moves a Cheerio to the middle of the table and tells him they’re going to get a puppy after her new little brother is born, is priceless. For someone five or six years old to glare at her “dad” with a look that says so convincingly this is non-negotiable and it’s going to happen because I say so is pretty remarkable. I could watch it over and over again.
“Gracie” is quite the little actress.
The press is all over the new revelations about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s involvement (or not) in “Bridgegate” tonight and they’re re-airing video of his nearly two-hour press conference on January 9.
Excuse my snark here but that has caused me to notice his podium. It’s huge. It had to be built to hide his body.
Sad. I lost 60 pounds five years ago and thank goodness I’ve kept it off. I know how it feels to hide behind things.
Check out this exchange I had with my local city government on Twitter today:
Amazing. My street is clear now.
Thank you Boulder!
Aye yie yie.
I haven’t had time to think about it yet but I think this is a good idea. Maybe. Then again, it could get crazy. I mean, how deep into the minutia do we want to go? www .HedgeHogs?
Get ready for the biggest real estate boom in a decade. Only this time, it’s digital real estate in trendy new Internet neighborhoods, with names such as .art, .book, and .singles.
The Internet — until now largely confined to just a few domain names, most notably .com — will soon have hundreds of distinct new addresses that will more sharply define the websites in those neighborhoods, making it easier for Internet users to find exactly what they’re looking for.
The first of the new domains in the Latin alphabet will debut Wednesday, and include .bike, .clothing, .singles, and .plumbing.
“It introduces creativity back into the domain space,” said James Cole, a spokesman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.
“These names are all very specific, and that was the point,” said Mason Cole, a spokesman for a Bellevue, Wash., company that has spent nearly $57 million applying for the rights to some 307 new domains. “They’re far more specific and relevant than the existing namespace.”
It’s generic, but it means something,” said Colin Campbell, a Florida businessman who is applying for the rights to the .club domain. “It helps with the search itself. If you were actually trying to join a Billy Joel fan club . . . that might direct you to billyjoel.club.”
Campbell hopes to sell .club addresses to social groups around the world for around $20 each.
But some critics warn that in a climate where cybercriminals are stealing the private data of millions of consumers, the proliferation of new domains could introduce a whole new arena for fraud.
Jon Leibowitz, a former Federal Trade Commission chairman, said online criminals could use the new domains to create countless fake websites designed to simulate the sites of legitimate businesses.
I don’t like the feel of it. As usual, it all comes down to $. I want my lil’ ol’ internets back.
One thing that strikes me is that, obviously, the GOP is going to give a response to Obama’s SOTU speech, as is the Tea Party (to drag their members even farther to the right). Why not progressive groups, like the Congressional Progressive Caucus? Why aren’t they making their voices heard to try to drag Democrats back to a sane center instead of where they are now, as in to the right of Dwight D. Eisenhower?
Too bad. That said, Seattle’s Socialist city council member Kshama Sawant is going to respond and make some noise.
If you’re interested, go here to link to her speech after Obama’s.
The 1945 Trinity nuclear explosion (the first nuclear bomb ever detonated) 16 milliseconds (16/1000 of a second) after detonation:
Nuclear bombs are evil and this one sure looks it.
Wow. Drone footage:
I was raised on Pete Seeger and the Weavers.
His banjo: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender:”
Today, First Look’s website debuted with a video explaining the thinking behind the venture and its goals.
Go here to look around and to watch the video.
This music makes people happy. Watch the crowd bob to its beat:
Check out the incredible transformation of Dubai in just 21 years (via History in Pictures):
I find it appauling that President Obama would nominate someone who knows absolutely nothing about a country, in this case Norway, to be my/our representative to that country.
From Norway’s News in English:
Future US Envoy Displays Total Ignorance of Norway
The US’s next ambassador to Norway has committed a jaw-dropping diplomatic blunder before he even begins, describing politicians from the Progress Party, which has seven ministers, as “fringe elements” that “spew their hatred” in a US Senate hearing.Asked by Senator John McCain what he thought it was about the “anti-immigration” Progress Party that appealed to Norwegian voters, Greek American businessman George Tsunis seemed unaware of the party’s role in the ruling coalition.“You get some fringe elements that have a microphone and spew their hatred,” he said in the pre-appointment hearing. “And I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce them.”McCain interrupted him, pointing out that as part of the coalition, the party was hardly being denounced.“I stand corrected,” Tsunis said after a pause. ”I would like to leave my answer at… it’s a very,very open society and the overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount of people in parliament don’t feel the same way.”The blunder came after a faltering, incoherent performance from Tsunis, in which he made a reference to Norway’s “president”, apparently under the impression that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.
[Tsunis] donated $267,244to the Democratic party in the 2012 election cycle, and $278,531 in 2010, making him one of the party’s top individual donors.
Isa Leshko photographs elderly animals:
I am creating these photographs in order to take an unflinching look at aging and mortality. My maternal grandmother had dementia during her later years, and now my mom has it. I am scared of developing Alzheimer’s disease and I get nervous whenever I lose my keys or forget a person’s name. Photographing geriatric animals enables me to immerse myself in my fear of growing old. I have come to realize that these images are self-portraits. Or at the very least, they are manifestations of my fears and hopes about what I will be like when I am old.
I also want my images to inspire greater empathy toward animals, particularly farm animals. It is very rare for a farm animal to actually live its full natural lifespan given that most of these animals experience brutality and death early in their lives. By depicting the beauty and dignity of these creatures in their later years, I want to encourage people to question and challenge the way farm animals are currently treated.
A friend’s rescued, 11-year-old greyhound (her “heart dog“) has but days to live as he’s dying of cancer. My next door neighbor’s 68-year-old brother died last Thursday, just as she was flying to Arizona to see him. My husband was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in March. For some reason, the universe directed me to this video today, when I can really use it.
Thank you Isa Leshko.
You probably heard about the execution of Dennis McGuire last week in Ohio. The state couldn’t obtain the drugs it used for executions in the past so it used a new, untested, concoction to kill McGuire. Witnesses said it took 26 minutes for him to die.
Here is an account of what happened, as told by Lawrence Hummer, a Catholic priest who first met McGuire in November of last year:
At 10.27am, the syringe containing the untested concoction of midazolam and hydromorphone was injected into him. At 10.30am, three minutes into the execution, he lifted his head off the gurney, and said to the family who he could see through the window: “I love you, I love you.” Then he lay back down.
At about 10.31am, his stomach swelled up in an unusual way, as though he had a hernia or something like that. Between 10.33am and 10.44am – I could see a clock on the wall of the death house – he struggled and gasped audibly for air.
I was aghast. Over those 11 minutes or more he was fighting for breath, and I could see both of his fists were clenched the entire time. His gasps could be heard through the glass wall that separated us. Towards the end, the gasping faded into small puffs of his mouth. It was much like a fish lying along the shore puffing for that one gasp of air that would allow it to breathe. Time dragged on and I was helpless to do anything, sitting helplessly by as he struggled for breath. I desperately wanted out of that room.
Putting my opposition to the death penalty to one side, there remains what I saw with my own eyes last Thursday. I don’t know how any objective observer could come up with any conclusion other than that was an evil act.
Execution is such a tidy word. How about state-sponsored murder? If a nation professes to be against murder, it shouldn’t murder. Period.
On December 21, 2013, a man named Dustin Slaughter, of Boston, MA, filed a FOIA request with the CIA asking for information, “pertaining to any Central Intelligence Agency relationship to, or interest with, Dennis Keith Rodman, aka, ‘The Worm’.”
Today, Slaughter released a copy of the letter he received in response, dated January 15, 2014. In it, the CIA says: “In accordance with section 3.6(a) of Executive Order 13526, the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified…”
So, that’s neither a yes or a no so the answer could be either, meaning it could be yes.