Monday, June 29, 2015

Get the bugs to fight amongst themselves

This is a good bug.
I have a tried and true gardening strategy that has worked every year. I spend upwards of $35,000 on plants, plant them, and something comes along and kills them.

This requires returning to the nursery, where I can actually hear snickering behind my back, and buying even more stuff. I keep this up til the nursery runs out of stuff, and the snows are flying.

I also read Modern Farmer, and I'm nothing if not modern. What they suggest is to attract bugs that kill bad bugs. I'm pretty sure it would work in reverse for me.

Nevertheless, the basic technique is planting flowering plants that attract the good bugs that will kill the bad bugs. Good bugs do this out of the kindness of their very little hearts. Here are some plants to plant:
Spring-Flowering Beneficial Attracting Plants
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officianalis)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum)
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
Early/Mid Summer-Flowering Plants
Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Late Summer/Fall-Flowering Plants
Bee Balm (Monarda didmya)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Aster (Aster chilensis)
Well, if I plant those plants the bad bugs will get them before the good bugs notice they're there. Then the good bugs will show up, and, not seeing any flowers to suck on, will get angry and bite me, causing a disgusting rash.

Thinking about redoing your window treatments?

Oh shut the blinds.
"It's here. It's queer. So what?

"If a couple of normally insane Americans want to get a bunch of friends or Elvis impersonators together, seek out a whompingly liberal priest, rabbi, minister, or Marryin' Sam to hitch them up... so what?

"If yet another brain-damaged, oh-so-victimized minority wants to move into another white, heterosexual fantasyland after white heterosexuals are finished with it, so be it. Nothing like inhabiting the ruins of a dream to make dreams come true.

"Looked at in the right light, there's a lot of upside in this Gay rush-to-nup for everyone in this country.
  • Going in there's a major boost to the retail clothing and footwear industries.
  • Our financially floundering churches (It ain't no real weddin' lessen it be a church weddin'!) are going to get enough in donations to morph themselves into cathedrals.
  • Cathedrals are going to have a five year waiting list.
  • Forget about getting any caterers above the level of the Second Avenue Deli for the duration. They will be either baking enough caviar canapes to drain the Black Sea, or out shopping for Gulfstreams.
  • Salmon will become an endangered species, as will wedding singers.
  • Wedding planners will charge more than Bill Gates' estate lawyers and they'll get it.
  • You want any Spode china, 500-count Egyptian cotton sheets, or monogramed towels? Better snap them up now.
  • Ditto the booking of weeks at any spa resort that offers in-room jacuzzis.
  • Vacations to anywhere other than Bike Week at Daytona are right out too. And even there you'll probably have to sleep on the beach.
  • Don't even mention the word "Disneyland" to your kids for a decade. (See, you just saved about $7,000 right there.)
"Then there's the immediate after effects. Have you been thinking about redoing your window treatments, and perhaps junking that Santa Fe look for something crypto-modern you saw in Dwell? Forget it. Every decent interior decorator in the hemisphere is going on a honeymoon, and not taking on new clients until his or her own window treatments are made new. Relax. With a few push-pins and your worn beach towels, you should be able to weather the storm."

Morning Rush: Robots, magnolias, and more

Here and there on the Web this Monday, June 29, 2015:

Laying brick.
Robot builds a house in two days

Magnolia trees vs cancer 

Is your child a precious snowflake?

How to learn 30 languages 

Laziness is killing us

Those fun-loving Muslims 

Just eat the same breakfast every day

Our bureaucrats are idiots 

Why we must refrigerate our eggs 

This is prima facie child abuse

Can a computer cure cancer?

The Army's war on Christianity

What is your thinking style?

Will Christians become exiles? 

Why investing shouldn't be fun 

The EPA and its "normal people"

Barack never liked the American flag 

Apps: for cooking and shopping

Today's Word: in bad faith

Hahaha: Soldier happy with deployment

The science of bacon:

William Shakespeare: yourself

"This above all; to thine own self be true."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vespers: Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est

The Salt Lake Vocal Artists perform the world premiere of "Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est" written for them by Sergey Khvoshchinsky under the direction of Dr. Brady Allred in Lilia Hall, Kawaguchi (Tokyo), Japan live in concert on October 15, 2013. 

Ubi caritas is a hymn of the Western Church, long used as one of the antiphons for the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday. The Gregorian melody was composed sometime between the fourth and tenth centuries, though some scholars believe the text dates from early Christian gatherings before the formalization of the Mass. It is usually sung at Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and on Holy Thursday evening at the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

In the second typical edition (1975) of the current Roman Missal, the antiphonal response was altered to read "Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est," after certain very early manuscripts. This translates as: "Where true charity is, there is God."

Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with an open heart.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil actions stop, let war and conflict cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our Lord:
The joy that is immense and good,
Where charity and love are, God is there.

Oh the self-righteousness

"As many of my friends are Christian I thought I might risk a short sermon. The rest of you can listen in and see if there is anything valuable for you.

Screwtape is never far from my mind. When we congratulate ourselves on our own symbolic morality, as the nation is now doing instead of mourning, we might not be trading up and becoming better. Our goblins may only be retreating deeper into the mine, chuckling. Division and tribalism are not exceptions to human behavior,... they are the default position. I don't exclude by race - but I have several other exclusions, equally ugly but Less Unpopular.

This is not just theoretical. I see this not only in myself, but in many others, online and in person, who are entirely oblivious to their exclusions and condescensions. I am not seeing victory but fearing temptation this week. Jesus never called anyone out for racism or our other popular sins. He did call people out for self-righteousness. A lot. It scares me deep in the night sometimes."

And a large crowd followed him

From The Lectionary:

Mark 5:21-43

5:21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea.

5:22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet

5:23 and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."

5:24 So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him.

5:25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years.

5:26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.

5:27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,

5:28 for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well."

5:29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

5:30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"

5:31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'"

5:32 He looked all around to see who had done it.

5:33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.

5:34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

5:35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?"

5:36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."

5:37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.

5:38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

5:39 When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."

5:40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was.

5:41 He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!"

5:42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement.

5:43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Edward Gibbon: self

"We improve ourselves by victory over our self. There must be contests, and you must win."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Casual Friday: Sweet Home Alabama

Just two working days til Monday!

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception." ~ Groucho Marx

You'd get arrested today

It's a good thing.
Remember a real childhood?
  1. Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
  2. Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble
  3. Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria
  4. Riding your bike without a helmet
  5. Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
  6. Drinking water from the hose in the yard
  7. Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)
  8. Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
  9. Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)
  10. Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL
  11. Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
  12. Camping
  13. Throwing rocks at snakes in the river
  14. Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
  15. Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
  16. Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
  17. Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school
  18. Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
  19. Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
  20. Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
  21. Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
  22. Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower
  23. Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
  24. Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)
  25. Walking to school alone
What I remember most vividly is going barefoot. School letting out for the summer meant no shoes for three months.

(American Digest)

Morning Rush: Your brain, your laughter, and more

Here and there on the Web this Friday, June 26, 2015:

Of course, you have to have a brain.
How they might monitor your brain

Laughing helps you learn

A money guide for couples

Put the supremes on Obamacare

Does fasting improve your health?

An eating strategy for diabetics

The best Congress money can buy

Does he ever talk to Barack?

The truth about introverts/extroverts

Looks like my neighbor, Weird Al.
Antarctic life is just plain weird

They attack us, we ask to talk about it 

Everything doesn't happen for a reason

Well look whose family owned slaves 

Drive electric, destroy the planet

Idiot of the Day: Bill de Blasio

Emotional and rational brains look different

Apps: Google wristbands inform your doc

Today's Word: inversion of words for effect

Hahaha: South Carolina celebrates ketchup

The secrets of cooking rice:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eat broccoli, live forever

Look, if you're not eating broccoli throughout the day, then don't come crying to me when your limbs start falling off.

It seems to be true that broccoli prevents cancer -- including cancers of the prostate and breast. (You can't have both. Well these days maybe.)

Here's how it works.
Sulforaphane, a sulfur compound, has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.

The broccoli compound glucoraphanin — a precursor to sulforaphane – boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.
Here's how that works.
Studies have also found that sulforaphane normalizes DNA methylation.
Whoa! Time out. I don't want nobody messing with my DNA methylation. Sounds itchy. Anyway, here's how that works.
Methylation is a process by which a methyl group (one carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms) is added to part of a DNA molecule. DNA methylation is a crucial part of normal cell function, allowing cells to “remember who they are and where they have been” and is important in regulating gene expression.
Let me interrupt for a second: Are you still reading this? Do you need a life?
DNA methylation also suppresses the genes for things you don’t want, such as viral and other disease-related genes, and abnormal DNA methylation plays a critical role in the development of nearly all types of cancer.
Well, when I was a teen and going out my father used to tell me, "Remember who you are and where you have been." It made no sense then, either.

What they're saying is you need about 10 broccoli spears a week if you want to live forever. I don't think it's fair to do them all on Monday.

If this is too much then you can always chew on broccoli sprouts.
Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.
There you go. The way you can tell if sprouts are three days old is that they look a bit perkier than four day old sprouts.

I'd suggest going the sprout route, but you'd better be sitting down when that stuff starts messing with your methylation.

The real source of racism

"Ninety percent of the racism in America today comes from the Democratic Party and the Left. They live off it and exploit it. It is unconscionable to the degree they do this, ruining the lives and futures of the very people they say they are helping in the process.

"I am uniquely positioned to say this because I spent most of my life on the Left and was a civil rights worker in the South in my early twenties. I was also, to my everlasting regret, a donor to the Black Panther Party in the seventies.

"So I have seen this personally from both sides and my conclusion is inescapable. The Left is far, far worse. They are obsessed with race in a manner that does not allow them to see straight. Further, they project racism onto others continually, exacerbating situations, which in most instances weren’t even there in the first place. From Al Sharpton to Hillary Clinton, they all do it.

"Barack Obama is one of the worst offenders in this regard. Recently, in reaction to the horrid actions of the deranged, but solitary racist Dylann Root, the president claimed racism is in our DNA.

"How could he possibly utter such nonsense and who was he talking about? The majority of Americans are from families that came to this country after slavery existed. Many of those were escaping oppression of their own. In my case my family was fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe. Many of the members of my family who stayed behind ended up gassed in Auschwitz or starved to death in Treblinka.

"Is Obama telling me that racism is in my DNA? What a wretched and insulting statement. If he means that, he should tell it to me face-to-face."

Morning Rush: Big dogs, good coffee, and more

Here and there on the Web this Thursday, June 25, 2015:

Pretty sure she'll be okay.
Really, really big guard dogs

Stop reading and gulp some coffee

Do you know this about your spouse?

How they cheat on climate data 

A simple trick for making decisions

Are we at war with China?

China seems to think so

Convince anyone of anything

What the Pope thinks of Catholics

Money mistakes millennials make

When the CIA bugged a cat

Where's Barack in all the killing?

How to get your legs in shape

Mad Man of the Day: Peter Singer

How To: grow baby lettuce in your window

Today's Word: inconsistent, incompatible

Hahaha: Marine identifies as sober

Why California is running out of water:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Please patronize our newest sponsor

If you will patronize our sponsors, we will patronize you.

The power of persistence

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." 
~ Calvin Coolidge

Brent Gleeson has been a Navy SEAL and an entrepreneur. He's thought a lot about persistence.
Talent. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. There are no secrets to being successful. It is the result of preparation, hard work, persistence, and learning from mistakes and failure. In SEAL training, it's not uncommon for elite athletes to be some of the first to quit. Talent and skill alone are not enough to be successful.
Intelligence. Many studies show that those with the highest IQ's aren't necessarily the most "successful." Success has many definitions, but it's still interesting data. Similar to talent and skill, intelligence only gets you so far. It's how we apply that intelligence that counts. But a winning combination is when a person has both intelligence (in many forms) combined with the drive to adapt despite any obstacles that come his or her way.
Education. There is a saying that "C students rule the world." A degree, or three degrees, doesn't guarantee anything. I have a undergraduate degree in finance, a master's in real estate finance, and studied English and history at Oxford University in England. So what? I wouldn't necessarily attribute my current success to that, outside of maybe needing to be persistent in my studies because of the drive to succeed. Oh, and I met my business partner in grad school. We own a marketing agency, not a real estate development company.
Discipline. Setting and achieving lofty goals requires discipline. Discipline to work hard. Discipline to keep moving forward. Discipline to not be distracted by things that are out of your control. This is why I believe health and fitness are imperative for success. Getting and staying fit requires discipline. You have to have the ability to prioritize fitness as well as push yourself outside of your comfort zone as much as possible. Health and fitness are perfect for practicing the art of discipline and will impact other areas of your life.
Determination. My favorite quote from the Navy SEAL Creed says, "I will not quit. I persevere and thrive in adversity. If knocked down, I will get back up. Every time. I am never out of the fight." That mentality is so ingrained in your soul as a SEAL that I literally have a physical and chemical reaction when I think of that quote. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I face obstacles every day, because I am constantly entering uncharted waters as we move the company forward. Learning new things each day is great, but determination is the fuel that translates that knowledge into actionable strategies.
At every step of my career, someone I admired told me that I couldn't do what I dreamed of doing. Every one of them was wrong.

They're (still) watching you

"You have zero privacy. Get over it." ~ Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy in 1999

They pretty much know everything:

Secretly installed Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer. First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser – the open source basis for Google’s Chrome – began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users. It was designed to support Chrome’s new “OK, Google” hotword detection – which makes the computer respond when you talk to it – but was installed, and, some users have claimed, it is activated on computers without their permission.

Yes, churches. We know that Facebook has a vast facial recognition database so good that it can recognize you when your face is hidden, that the FBI has built a millions-strong criminal facial recognition system, and that Google’s new Photos app is so effective at face recognition that it can identify now-adults in photos from their childhood. But now facial recognition is starting to pop up in weird and unexpected places: at music festivals (to identify criminals); at stadiums (to weed out “sports troublemakers“) and at churches. Yes, churches.

Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency‘s warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified N.S.A. documents. In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad — including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year, Ford’s global vice-president of marketing and sales Jim Farley, was forced to backtrack and apologize after saying that new GPS technology in Ford vehicles could gather loads of information about a driver, like when he or she is speeding. Said Farely: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone.”

It appears that at least some car companies, GPS, and cellphone service providers are handing over information about where drivers have been to law enforcement. According to the ACLU: “The Justice Department and most local police forces are currently tracking Americans’ cell phones without getting warrants – but just how common and widespread the practice is remains unclear. We do know that the cases number well into the thousands, possibly the tens of thousands. Some of them are especially disturbing, for instance, in 2010, Michigan police officers sought information about every cell phone near the site of a planned labor protest.”

Using super secret technology developed by The Gumbo Blog Department of Technology and Cool Stuff that combines algorithms, vectors and chicken wire, we are now monitoring every move of your stupid cat, and showing videos of it to our neurotic cats, which just sit there staring at me and don't do any cat things to amuse me.

Morning Rush: Seeing again, fat is good again, and more

Here and there on the Web this Wednesday, June 24, 2015:

Mixing up the senses.
The blind "see" with their tongues

There is a god: fat is good again

He created the pink flamingo

Warren Buffet: invest in yourself

Why recycling isn't working

Making bacteria detect tumors

Here comes a "little ice age"

Christians disappoint Obama 

Eat this, live forever.
What you can make with green tea 

Don't make these SS mistakes

Now you can unsend gmail

How to fix your bad breath

Why persistence matters

Is Google listening in on you?

Look what you can buy on eBay

Your sense of smell is unique

Wrong color guy shoots up church

How To: select a bike helmet

Today's Word: a person's nickname

Hahaha: Putin woos Greece

Watch Google's latest gizmo:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to drive a state into the ground

Two great leaders, two great economies.
In 1997, Suzanne Kelo achieved her dream with the purchase of a 900-square foot Victorian home on the water in New London, Connecticut.

But less than one year after moving in, Kelo found out the city of New London wanted to take her property and others to develop it. The city used its power of eminent domain.

Today, her property and 15 others are nothing but an empty field.

This is a microcosm of the state of Connecticut, whose government has seized the property of its citizens through taxes and now has nothing to show for it but a large-scale migration of people out of the state.

It's not over. A Gallup poll last year found that 16 percent of the population planned to move out in the next 12 months, and that more than half said they would move if they could.

But life is good. Since the early 90s:
  • Connecticut raised its 4th grade reading scores by 0.85 percent, but its 4th and 8th grade math scores declined 2.72 and 2.45 percent, respectively.
  • Connecticut witnessed a decline of 17.7 percent in medical workers and hospital employees.
  • Violent crime increased by 3 percent, although property crime saw a 20 percent improvement.
  • Poverty has increased by 14 percent.
  • The state highway system only improved by 2 percent.
The income tax has been raised five times since the early 1990s, and so a state that once had a zero income tax, and started with a low flat rate of 4.5%, now will have a highest rate of 6.99%.

Our esteemed governor, Daniel Malloy, an angry, egocentric, leftist ideologue, recently proposed even more taxes -- until big corporations like GE threatened to leave.

"Aggression elevated Dan Malloy, a strutting mayor of little achievement and less charm, to the governorship of Connecticut, but his truculence now works against him," state Rep. Joe Markley writes.
Driven wrong-headedly by Malloy, our state nears a terminal phase. We have the nation’s heaviest total tax burden, the highest per capita state debt, and the slowest economic growth. How do you escape such a hole? Not by imposing the biggest tax increase in state history — as Malloy did four years ago — and not by raising taxes again,
Instead of direction, Malloy offers misdirection, picking quarrels to distract us from his disastrous stewardship. Craving attention and adrenaline, he taunts Chris Christie and insults Bobby Jindal. The most recent target was Indiana, which he declared off limits for a couple of days. Malloy knew that by pouncing on Governor Mike Pence loudly and immediately, he could make news for himself that didn’t involve the state he actually governs. Attack dog Malloy strikes in all directions, at any target, to get attention on himself and off his lousy record and the dismal mess he’s made of the Constitution State.
The drive to gain office without the personality to exercise it is dangerous. Like President Obama, Governor Malloy thought the job itself was all about taking bows. Both figured the breaks would come their way, since they’re special. An amiable narcissist, Obama has been made morose by failure; as for Malloy, a hostile narcissist, resistance from people or facts enrages him. He can no more back up than a bull: He will charge, come what may.
Obama, Hillary, Emanuel, Brown, Cuomo, De Blasio, Bloomberg, Malloy -- leftist leaders leaving a mess wherever they squat.