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Black-crowned Night Heron January 23, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
6 comments

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I love how stubby this bird is.  Usually when I think of wading birds, I think about long, skinny necks and legs, but not this guy.

JCVJ January 19, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

I finally got around to watching Jean Claude Van Johnson, the Amazon mini-series with the premise that Jean Claude Van Damme’s movie career was a front for his real life as a secret ops guy.

And it was funny as heck.

It’s funnier if you’ve seen a few of his movies, but I think you can get the gist even if you haven’t. And JCVD’s acting was better than I’ve ever seen it.*

jcvjstatue

They only made six episodes, so I quickly hit the web to find out if there was a second season in the making, only to find out that Amazon cancelled it the previous day.

But still, it’s worth a gander if you like action comedies with lots of meta-jokes.

*I know what you’re thinking, but it was even better than that.

Frightening January 18, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Family.
5 comments

Can you see yourself?

Officer Pterodactyl is unimpressed with your excuse for speeding through a school zone January 17, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
12 comments

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Self-Deprecating and Possibly Humorous Morning Anecdote January 17, 2018

Posted by skinbad in Lurkers, Music, Nature Shit, Obama's Legacy, Personal Experiences, Privacy.
5 comments

So, I was in the shower this morning. The Mrs had done her morning ritual and was out and on to the kitchen activities. I believed I had the room to myself. Then, unexpectedly, I made a . . . sound. It was surprising in both volume and duration. I almost burst out laughing, but caught myself when I heard my wife’s voice say, “Need more conditioner?” I looked down at the nearly-empty conditioner bottle (nowhere near me) and said, “sure.” Momentarily, a new bottle was pushed around the shower curtain. I took it with a “thanks.”

Let’s just keep this between fake internet friends, OK?

If You Want to Guesstimate What the New Tax Law Will Do To Your Paycheck January 17, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
3 comments

…check out Political Calculations online calculator:

The Bottom Line for Your 2018 Paycheck After the Tax Cuts

Dog Bark Translator, A Decade Later January 17, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

This is from the Mirror, so take it with a heavy dose of grainosaltium, but check it out anyhow:

Scientists are busy working on a “pet translator” that could finally let owners communicate with their dogs and cats.

Using artificial intelligence to analyse vocalisations and facial expressions, the researchers from Northern Arizona University believe they’ll have the tech ready in under a decade.

The ultimate goal is to create a gadget that can translate what your dog wants – so “woof woof” becomes “I want to go for a walk”.

Of course Pupster wrote a similar post almost exactly 10 years ago, where Hungarian scientists were claiming the same thing. Pupster’s vision of how it might work went like this:

dog-translator

Hopefully this time it’s for real, but honestly, I really want the reverse translator. Just a few phrases would do:

“It’s just the mailman!!”

“It’s too cold for a walk!”

“It’s not dinnertime yet!”

“You don’t get a treat if you don’t actually pee before bedtime! Wandering around the yard sniffing doesn’t count! No, don’t look at me like that – we had a deal. Yeah, a deal. Do not look at me like that!”

Ridiculous Thoughts January 15, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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RIP Dolores O’Riordan

Pyro Birds January 15, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

Alfred Hitchcock blew the whistle on those beady-eyed b*st*rds, but we all thought it was just a movie. Not so:

A new study incorporating traditional Indigenous Australian ecological knowledge describes the largely unknown behaviour of so-called ‘firehawk raptors’ – birds that intentionally spread fire by wielding burning sticks in their talons and beaks.

According to the team, firehawk raptors congregate in hundreds along burning fire fronts, where they will fly into active fires to pick up smouldering sticks, transporting them up to a kilometre (0.6 miles) away to regions the flames have not yet scorched.

“The imputed intent of raptors is to spread fire to unburned locations – for example, the far side of a watercourse, road, or artificial break created by firefighters – to flush out prey via flames or smoke,”

Belated Brief Movie Reviews January 13, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

Blade Runner 2049: By and large, cast did well, cinematography was cool, but plot was underwhelming and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack didn’t catch the mood of Vangelis. The original Blade Runner had a film noir feel in a crowded, dynamic world. The reboot was a desolate post-apocalyptic feel in a very lonely world.

Not  a bad movie, but it will never be the classic that its predecessor was.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Kind of entertaining, but a funky morality where drug users are ranked as morally superior to victims of drug crime. Meh.

 

The Presidential Piehole January 11, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
12 comments

…should remain closed unless a teleprompter is on.

It’s been clear from the start that President Trump is not a statesman, nor a diplomat, nor even someone with the normal valve between their brain and their mouth. He is, instead, a blunt businessman who is used to talking to a room full of people who aren’t in a position to criticize his speech.

So, despite all of his policy successes, we have a president who brings media storms down upon himself time and again. Completely unnecessary media storms.

Like today’s sh*th*le controversy.

Let me say straight away that no member of the federal government should ever be referring to other countries in that fashion. While it is fair to criticize an immigration policy that imports people who do not bring skills, money, or business to our country, it is ridiculous for the President of the United States to refer to the parent countries of those people as “sh*th*les.”

Absolutely ridiculous.

In my opinion, Donald Trump has assembled the best collection of policies in decades, but combined them with a demeanor which is completely unqualified for the position of president.

Damn it.

Are Exports Showing Signs of Life? January 11, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

After President Obama doomed exports to stagnation with his ill-considered promise to double them within five years, it’s been saddening to watch them go nowhere, month after month after month. But the latest report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis had some good news: exports in November reached the 2nd-highest value since 2010.

Here’s what that looks like in graphical form:

ExportsJanuary2018ReportPresident Obama informed us back in 2010 that export growth was an essential component of our economic recovery, so you’d think he’d be applauding the November numbers.

Not hearing any applause so far, though.