Pale Moon web browser

I’ve installed Pale Moon in place of Firefox, hoping Pale Moon doesn’t impose any political or religious litmus tests. It looks good, and all the extensions work so far.

It must be that what the left really hated about the anti-communist witch-hunts of the 1950s was not that they were witch-hunts, but that they were anti-communist. You can tell because today the Gay Rights Nazis for Tolerance are happy to black-list anyone who disagrees with them, or even anyone who doesn’t cheer with enough enthusiasm.

“In response to Eich’s move, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said that, ‘Mozilla’s strong statement in favor of equality today reflects where Corporate America is: inclusive, safe and welcoming to all.’”

Well, Mozilla is not quite safe and welcoming to “all,” is it?

Use super glue to hold a screw on a screw-driver

I needed to mount a shower valve to a stud with a couple of wood screws. To avoid tearing out more of the wall, this needed to be done through an existing hole in the finished wall. So as a result, I wanted to put a good-sized screw on the end of the driver, and then carefully insert it through a hole in the wall, then through the mounting hole on the valve, and so into the stud. There are screw-drivers that have a clip on the end to hold the screw, but I don’t have one. I do have a magnetic screw-driver, but the screw was too heavy for the magnet.

I put a drop of super glue on the screw head, put the driver in the slot, and let it set up for a minute, then slid it through the wall into the hole, and screwed it down. Wiggling the screw-driver easily broke it loose from the screw, and I did the whole thing again to run in the second screw. It’s an obvious trick that’s no doubt occurred to lots of people, but maybe it will save someone a little trouble.

Tin-foil tent

The president has one. Should you?

“When Cabinet secretaries and top national security officials take up their new jobs, the government retrofits their homes with special secure rooms for top-secret conversations and computer use.

Following a several-hundred-page classified manual, the rooms are lined with foil and soundproofed. An interior location, preferably with no windows, is recommended.” — Barack Obama’s portable secrecy tent (some assembly required), seen here.

So it’s true! It’s all true!

Or is it? Why are they letting the tin-foil truth come out now, just when we’re finding out about the Nazi art hoard? Or is it “hoards,” eh Mister Mugabe?

They won’t fool me that easily. I refuse to be panicked into taking measures the state’s attorney can then point to as evidence of clinical paranoia.

Sleep and death

a forced connection between unrelated links

Apparently researchers have noticed that “convective fluxes of interstitial fluid increased the rate of β-amyloid clearance during sleep.” Yet again, scientists trumpet their rediscovery of a simple truth our grandparents took for granted.

Score one for the Benedictine Monks. The US Supreme Court says the State of Louisiana cannot require someone to have an embalmer’s license to sell a coffin. It is striking how hard the State fought to sustain the monopoly of the funeral directors.

State-of-the-art slot machines

“Modern slot machines are programmed for fast, continuous, and repeat betting. Players insert plastic, not coins; they tap buttons or touch a screen rather than pull levers; they place bets in denominations ranging from a penny to a hundred dollars on multiple lines that spin across a screen with each rapid tap of the button. The laws of pure chance or probability no longer dictate wins and losses on slot machines. Modern slots are hooked up to a central server that collects player information, preferences, and speed of play and has the capacity to program each machine to each player’s style. The trend in slot design is to provide a slow and smooth ‘ride,’ with small wins that are less than the amount bet, but nonetheless encourage repeat bets and prolonged ‘time on machine.’” — Four Reasons Christians Should Oppose Casinos

Modern times

Names have been changed to protect the innocent

Carol: …and then there’s one channel that’s all commercials. Just commercials, all the time!

Walt: We got the hopper. Do you have the hopper?

Carol: What is it?

Walt: Because if you have the hopper, hulu comes with it. Then with slingbox for dish, your netflix queue lets youtube connect wirelessly to the joeys app without commercials.

Carol: I don’t know what any of that means. It’s just all commercials, the whole channel, all the time.

Karl: If you get a Wii, they throw in a slingbox with it. Then with hulu for netflix, youtube comes up on your dish wirelessly, and you don’t need Joey’s app.

Carol: Hush up, Karl. So I should get a hopper? What does it do?

Walt: You should only get the hopper if you have a slingbox.

Karl: Don’t mess with the hopper. If you can hula, post a video on youtube and they’ll send you a roku dish. Then with an interociter you can watch netflix with Joey, wirelessly.

Carol: Hush! Where do I get a slingbox?

Walt: Mine came with the wireless dish adapter for the dvr.

Carol: Is that the gray box with the fat cables coming out of it?

Karl: Those are the U-tubes.

Walt: Is there a picture of a kangaroo?

Carol: There’s no kangaroo. Oh, “hopper!” Cute.

Walt: Well, I don’t know what that is then.

Carol: Maybe it’s the Skype phone?

Karl: It’s what the NSA uses to see what you’re watching.

Art: I thought that’s what they were using Google for.

Connie: Ed’s got a hopster, and he loves it.

Art: I thought they shut down hopster.

Connie: If you call Ed’s cellphone, his TV tells him who’s on the phone.

Art: I can watch TV on my phone.

Karl: I can watch TV on my TV.

Carol: It doesn’t matter if you can watch TV on your microwave, if there’s nothing on but commercials.

Walt: With Skype you can call your house when nobody’s home and see who’s there.

Art: But that only works if you buy a subscription from Comcast.

Carol: Karl just has an antenna.

Walt: Ed skypes on the bench outside the library with his smartphone, and he can play blueray on it.

Art: My granddad and his friends used to play boo-ray.

Carol: Comcast says you can get a free box for two years, or five if you’re on Medicaid. And I thought it was “blue-ray”?

Karl: What kind of box?

Carol: Some box you need if you don’t already have some other box, because they’re encrypting the cable. Hoestly, I’m tired of the whole business. I don’t even like TV that much. I’d just as soon cancel all the cable and everything and just watch movies on dvds.

Walt: You need netflix. Then you can just go to hulu and youtube if you have broadband. I don’t know if the hopper works with hulu.

Carol: I thought I’d just go to the video store.

Karl: They’re closing. Everybody has the internet now.

Emission testing

…or not:

“Only problem with this is that emission testing here doesn’t really test the emissions any more. They used to have probes they would stick in the tailpipe and actually sample the actually exhaust gases (actually!), but now they just plug in their computer to the vehicle’s computer, and two computers hash it out and decide whether you are worthy or a sinner.” — Catalytic Converter , by Charles Pergiel

I did not know that. Interesting, though it doesn’t matter to me. They don’t test emissions around here, and a good thing too.


Wesley J. Smith correctly observes that apes don’t have rights, humans have duties.

Joe Carter lists nine things you should know about the scopes monkey trial. Among them,

“The biology book that was used by Scopes was George William Hunter’s Civic Biology. Although a standard biology text, it included the author’s championing of eugenics and white supremacy, his contempt for people with disabilities, and his dislike of charity for the ‘inferior.’” — linked above

In 1925 eugenics was main-stream science, widely promoted by the best minds. Twenty years later it was malicious right-wing nonsense, and nobody had ever believed it.

Education technology

“…the very same technology mavens who insist that excellent education can be provided, via MOOC, to people dispersed all over the world … do not themselves act as though physical proximity to smart, gifted, exciting people is a matter of no significance. Rather, they consistently pay premium prices in housing to live in one of the handful of places in the United States – Silicon Valley, Seattle, Brooklyn, Austin, Cambridge – where they can count on a critical mass of like-minded people being present. They clearly believe that not just their personal well-being but also their intellectual sharpness depend on regular face-to-face encounters with others like them. Yet they proclaim that for hoi polloi none of that matters.” — Do As the Technologists Say, Not As They Do, by Alan Jacobs

This reminds me of those who say that people should live in high-density housing in the city center, and that people should travel by public transportation. That’s not what they do, of course, unless they do it cushioned by a six-figure income and an entourage. But it’s what they say people should do.