The Big Think

August 31, 2016

Just A Million Eggs Broken

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 8:33 am

IRS doesn’t tell 1 million taxpayers that illegal immigrants stole their Social Security numbers – Washington Times:

“The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday. Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled — and fell woefully short anyway. As a result, most taxpayers don’t learn that their identities have been stolen and their Social Security files may be screwed up.  

‘Taxpayers identified as victims of employment-related identity theft are not notified,’ the inspector general said. The report alarmed lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who were shocked that the IRS had gone for so long without fixing the issue. ‘It is stunning that the IRS has chosen to aid and abet identity thieves for so long instead of protecting the innocent victims of the theft,’ said Sen. Daniel Coats, Indiana Republican.”

Oh yes, let’s be sure to mention that a Republican was “shocked”. As if that’s a relevant point.

*Yawn* Move along, nothing to see here. It’s just the little people who are affected.

May 30, 2016

R2 – First Welds!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:06 am

I met with Keith at Techshop yesterday for a 2 hour TIG welding master class. The guy is a riot of old-school enthusiasm and energy and I learned a lot from him. At the starts of the session I showed him my practice welds (I have a plate of about 20 welds on it that I’m particularly proud of) and wanted to spend the time taking about the pieces I’d brought and how I would eventually weld them together. What does he see when he sees those pieces? How does an experienced welder view a part? What’s the best approach for clamping? What about cool down time?

He’d have none of this “planning” stuff.

Instead, he looked at my test piece with approval, said “you can weld”, then chucked the test piece aside, grabbed the horseshoe pieces, and said “you’re going to weld this…. right now”.

And so I did.

He did the first couple of tack welds to hold the part together, get things heated up (welding a part is much easier when it’s already hot), and generally give me a start, and then he handed me the torch and we went after it. If I made a slight mistake he jumped in and either corrected it or talked me through how to fix it, and then handed the torch back to me.

Over the next two hours we welded up the horse shoe and then aligned and welded up the center ankle. I feel really good about how things went, especially considering the fact that I didn’t think I’d be working on actual parts for a few weeks. Keith is a “get ‘er done” sort of guy that encourages students to jump in there and start even if they don’t know everything. I’m much more careful about parts that I’ve spent months and lots of money making, but Keith is kind of a whirlwind that you just get sucked up behind.

The hardest part of the process was the angles and orientation. I’d been planning on carefully laying out the parts so that the joint to be welded was flat and parallel to the ground. That way I could approach the weld exactly like I’ve done each weld in practice. Keith’s attitude was this is real welding! and he’d proceed to put the joint at some funky angle and then challenge me to do it. Sideways, angled, even upside-down at one point! Really awkward and tough stuff. And this was on my actual parts! It really freaked me out, but like I said, he was there to correct things when I got them wrong.

And boy,did I ugly up some of the welds. Black, splotchy, butt-ugly welds. They’re strong enough, sure, but I’ll be spending some real quality time with the grinder once I clean them up. Keith kept saying “don’t worry! You’ll improve!” and I kept saying “but I could do this if we could just lay it out flat!”. He’s respond with “no way! This is REAL welding!” and then make me bend myself into some impossible orientation to get ‘er done. It was stressful, but I learned a lot from the experience. The chief thing I learned was that, unless you completely destroy the metal with heat, you can fix just about any bad weld. Keith didn’t do much cleaning or anything and still managed some good welds. We talked pedal control, getting REALLY close to the puddle (he was probably 1/32nd from the weld with the tungsten!), using a different tungsten (I’d been using the red 2% thoriated and he recommended the purple 2% seriated because it holds a cleaner and more consistent arc), speed, power (150 amps!) and other stuff.

I got a couple of decent tingle/zaps from the setup when my left hand got soaked with sweat inside the glove. With 150 amps of 6v electricity, even with protective gear, getting a damp hand in the current can cause some discomfort. It didn’t hurt as much as it was just unpleasant. Some tingling like touching a 9 volt with your tongue. Lesson here is to take breaks and make sure you’re dry. But that’s hard to do when you’re in the Keith whirlwind.

So I’ve got both horse shoes welded and the center ankle. I’m going to mill up a special part for the center ankle to reinforce the mounting holes. I don’t think the 1/8″ of aluminum there is strong enough if R2 hits a good bump. It’s technically an “off spec” part but it’ll be hidden underneath R2 way up inside along the bottom of the frame so I don’t care. Better that than have the whole ankle shear away. An extra 1/4″ of aluminum there should work nicely.

No pics on these parts yet. I can’t have my expensive iPhone in my pocket when I weld lest I zap it. And usually I’m so tired and grubby after a 4 hour session that I just want to get home and take a shower. I’ll take pics later.

Next step is to do the outer ankles. I feel really good about my approach now that I’ve watched Keith do it. Then I’ll weld up the leg assemblies and then maybe the feet. I’ll leave the battery boxes for the end since they’re going to be a real challenge to align and tack up without them warping all over the place. Slowly, slowly.

Onward!

May 9, 2016

All The News That’s Fit To Tell You

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 5:54 pm

Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News: “Several former Facebook ‘news curators,’ as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially ‘inject’ selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

‘I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news..I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.’

The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. ‘I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,’ the former curator said.

Other former curators interviewed by Gizmodo denied consciously suppressing conservative news, and we were unable to determine if left-wing news topics or sources were similarly suppressed.

Managers on the trending news team did, however, explicitly instruct curators to artificially manipulate the trending module in a different way: When users weren’t reading stories that management viewed as important, several former workers said, curators were told to put them in the trending news feed anyway.

…When stories about Facebook itself would trend organically on the network, news curators used less discretion—they were told not to include these stories at all. ‘When it was a story about the company, we were told not to touch it,’ said one former curator. ‘It had to be cleared through several channels, even if it was being shared quite a bit. We were told that we should not be putting it on the trending tool.’

‘We were always cautious about covering Facebook,’ said another former curator. ‘We would always wait to get second level approval before trending something to Facebook. Usually we had the authority to trend anything on our own [but] if it was something involving Facebook, the copy editor would call their manager, and that manager might even call their manager before approving a topic involving Facebook.’

I’m waiting for the online counterargument to go from “this couldn’t possibly have happened” to “well, all news is biased so this isn’t really a big deal”.

What’s a big deal is getting a filtered view of reality when you think you’re getting the straight information, and trying to make decisions based on that assumption.

All the people in favor of this sort of corruption are only in favor of it because it helps their side. Give it to me straight and let me make up my own mind. 

April 18, 2016

College Kids Say the Darndest Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 8:48 am


Link


“It shouldn’t be hard to tell a 5’9” white guy that he’s not a 6’5” tall Chinese woman, but clearly it is. Why?

And what does that say about our culture?

And what does that say about our ability to answer the questions that actually are difficult?”

Watch the video (sorry if the link is small. Working on an issue with MarsEdit).

March 29, 2016

Testing New Software

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:57 am

Just upgraded my MarsEdit software so I’m taking it for a spin. Testing testing.

Links here:

MarsEdit: “”

And here’s a picture of us on our recent trip for testing

IMG 1924

September 12, 2015

Why is Modern Art so Bad?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:48 pm

May 22, 2015

The Trigger-Happy Generation

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:28 am

The Trigger-Happy Generation – WSJ:

“Well, here are some questions and a few thoughts for all those who have been declaring at all the universities, and on social media, that their feelings have been hurt in the world and that the world had just better straighten up.

Why are you so fixated on the idea of personal safety, by which you apparently mean not having uncomfortable or unhappy thoughts and feelings? Is there any chance this preoccupation is unworthy of you? Please say yes.

There is no such thing as safety. That is asking too much of life. You can’t expect those around you to constantly accommodate your need for safety. That is asking too much of people.

Life gives you potentials for freedom, creativity, achievement, love, all sorts of beautiful things, but none of us are ‘safe.’ And you are especially not safe in an atmosphere of true freedom. People will say and do things that are wrong, stupid, unkind, meant to injure. They’ll bring up subjects you find upsetting. It’s uncomfortable. But isn’t that the price we pay for freedom of speech?

You can ask for courtesy, sensitivity and dignity. You can show others those things, too, as a way of encouraging them. But if you constantly feel anxious and frightened by what you encounter in life, are we sure that means the world must reorder itself? Might it mean you need a lot of therapy?

Masterpieces, by their nature, pierce. They jar and unsettle. If something in a literary masterpiece upsets you, should the masterpiece really be banished? What will you be left with when all of them are gone?

What in your upbringing told you that safety is the highest of values? What told you it is a realistic expectation? Who taught you that you are entitled to it every day? Was your life full of . . . unchecked privilege? Discuss.

Do you think Shakespeare, Frieda Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes and Steve Jobs woke up every morning thinking, ‘My focus today is on looking for slights and telling people they’re scaring me’? Or were their energies and commitments perhaps focused on other areas?

I notice lately that some members of your generation are being called, derisively, Snowflakes. Are you really a frail, special and delicate little thing that might melt when the heat is on?”

Happily, these special little snowflakes seem to still be in the minority (let’s hope they stay that way). 99% of the students I work with are hardworking and– tellingly— somewhat embarrassed about the reputation that their generation has garnered. Let’s hope the good ones can change that reputation for the better. My own Gen X did, so there’s hope.

November 7, 2014

Mother Wins Case to Kill Her Disabled Daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:17 pm

Mother Wins Case to Kill Her Disabled Daughter:

“We don’t treat dogs this way. We don’t execute murderers in such a cruel manner. If a serial killer on death row was executed by forcing them to undergo starvation and dehydration, there would be widespread outrage. But because this girl, a child, is severely disabled, it’s considered acceptable. Putting a bullet in her head would have been kinder, because it at least would have been immediate. But then we can’t tap dance around the fact that what this mother did is murder.

Wise assumes, as many people do, that a person wouldn’t want to live in such a way. But no one knows how her daughter felt about her quality of life and whether or not she wanted to live. No one knows how her daughter felt in those 14 days that she was being starved and dehydrated. And no one cares. Nancy Fitzmaurice was disabled and could not speak, so she was brutally, cruelly murdered, with the permission of her government. And notice that the suffering Wise spoke of repeatedly was her own, not her daughter’s. She couldn’t bear seeing her daughter like that. She was going through ‘torture’ watching her daughter in pain. So she petitioned the court to get permission to force her daughter to die a slow, painful death instead of seeing palliative care.

It’s become appropriate in the United Kingdom to kill a person now because it’s too much of a hassle to keep them alive. It’s legal for parents to murder their children because they’re disabled, because they can’t speak for themselves, because the parent has decided that their lives are not worth living anymore. And we call it death with dignity…

The judge praised Wise for her “love and devotion” towards her daughter… which was shown by her fight to kill Nancy. The judge ruled that she had no quality of life anymore, and therefore, she should be killed by refusing to give her any food or water until she died. It took her 14 days to die. Wise claimed that she wanted to end her daughter’s suffering and give her death with dignity, but she chose to do that by making her daughter suffer a slow, agonizing, painful death. How does that make any sense?”

If you ever dare argue with me that the “slippery slope” is merely a weak logical fallacy I will call you a liar to your damn face.

October 12, 2014

Play the Hand

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:19 am

October 8, 2014

We Apologize for the Global Pandemic

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:46 pm

A Frisco deputy that was in the ebola apartment is now showing signs of the disease.

I wonder how that DA felt that went to the press conference with the international press and wore the same clothing from his tour of the same apartment now feels.

“Whoops. My bad. We apologize for the inconvenience. But, you know, we still have faith in the system. It works! Just look! On second though, don’t look….”

Seriously, I’ve had it about up to here with people who think it’s funny to be snarky on social media about all the people who are nervous that a communicable, universally fatal hemorrhagic disease might actually merit some concern. I guess it’s hip to post clever signs poking fun at the nervous nellies.

Reading assignent: The Hot Zone.

September 5, 2014

Mere Happiness

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:57 am

The Osteen Predicament — Mere Happiness Cannot Bear the Weight of the Gospel:

“Victoria Osteen’s comments fit naturally within the worldview and message she and her husband have carefully cultivated. The divine-human relationship is just turned upside down, and God’s greatest desire is said to be our happiness. But what is happiness? It is a word that cannot bear much weight. As writers from C. S. Lewis to the Apostle Paul have made clear, happiness is no substitute for joy. Happiness, in the smiling version assured in the Age of Osteen, doesn’t last, cannot satisfy, and often is not even real.”

Good article.

February 22, 2014

The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 3:25 pm

The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe – James D. Stein’s Cosmic Numbers: “‘If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”

Fascinating thoughts.

February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple, R.I.P.

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:26 am

Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85 – Yahoo News: “Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died, according to publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.”

(Via .)

December 9, 2013

Bumped

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:00 am

United Airlines blows it. American (naturally) picks up the slack.

WWII Vet en route to Pearl Harbor ceremony booted from United flight.

November 11, 2013

We Wish to Register a Complaint « Pejman Yousefzadeh

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:58 pm

We Wish to Register a Complaint:

“Maybe some people actually believe this . . . stuff, but since adequate measures were clearly not taken in order to ensure that Obamacare would work for as many people as possible, I’m not buying what they are selling. And what’s more, I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that there are a lot of people out there who are only pretending to be utilitarians about this entire calamity, and who would drop their faux-utilitarianism in one-one millionth of a nanosecond if it were their lives and fortunes being affected by a bad policy, and if the bad policy in question were being pushed by a president and a party they disapproved of. I am further willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the real motivation of the faux-utilitarians is to shut people up, to keep them from complaining and dissenting, to shame them into accepting a deal that is plainly against their interests, a deal that hurts them right in the pocketbook and right when they need quality healthcare the most. After all, the more complaints and dissents there are, the greater the possibility that Obamacare may be either significantly amended or replaced, and the greater the chances that President Obama and all those who pushed for Obamacare may be made to look bad politically and suffer electorally as a consequence.

And certain people just can’t have that. Remember: Dissent was only the highest form of patriotism when the previous guy was in the Oval Office.”

October 25, 2013

Towering Inferno

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:42 am

Wow

Code.png

October 24, 2013

The Other Side of the World Is Not So Far Away

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:37 pm

Iran gives Christians 80 lashes for communion wine as UN blasts human rights record:

“Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United Nations report blasted the Islamic republic for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims.

The four men were sentenced Oct. 6 after being arrested in a house church last December and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the theocracy’s strict laws, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. They were among several Christians punished for their faith in a nation where converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty. According to a new October UN report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, such persecution is common, despite new President Hasan Rouhani’s pledge to be a moderate.”

Despicable.

September 30, 2013

Slide

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:35 pm

Chaffee County rockslide kills five family members – The Denver Post

My old stomping grounds. Agnes Vaille falls is a popular side hike right on the slopes of Mt. Princeton. Sorry to hear about this.

June 5, 2013

Olivia Goes to Market

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:29 pm

Offerred without comment except to say that no, it’s not a joke.

969628_524032360966765_2091277715_n.jpg

April 23, 2013

Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 8:31 am

Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse?

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress