The Watering Hole: November 30 – The Phonograph

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on any topic.

Mankind’s first efforts in sound recording and reproduction were achieved by acoustic carving of materials and the playback of same by a tracking device. This is the basis of the phonograph. The medium that these devices used was called the record – a true example of function equals form. When it came time for NASA to attach an explanation of who we are, this medium was chosen as the best case method.

Magnetic media would decay within years and optical media would be difficult o interpret. So NASA sent along an audio record with operating instructions on the sleeve:

By the time one of these two releases is found, it will be a true golden oldie.

Sunday Roast: Doctor Who, Father’s Day

Going back a few years (and one Doctor incarnation), the Doctor and Rose go back in time to meet her father who died when she was six months old.  By preventing his death, she creates a paradox and inadvertently releases the Reapers, and leaves the Doctor powerless.

Part 1 of 5 (each about 10 minutes long)

Part 2

Continue reading

Saturday night cesspool party: Quitter edition


Hi! I quit!

HT:  Kay at White Noise Insanity for the pic.

Apparently there’s nothing this woman won’t quit.  Even her smile quits before it reaches her eyes, and teabaggers toy with the phrase, “We’re just not that into you,” after having been left in the cold and rain.

The chimps said they’d quit if I put up another picture of the scary lady, and they are nowhere to be found.  I thought they meant Batshit Bachmann or Virginia Foxx!

I guess you know what this means — totally open bar!  Check your firearms and lipstick at the door, you won’t need ’em here.


The Watering Hole: November 28 – Linotype Machine

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on any topic.

From the late 1880’s to the 1960′ and sometimes beyond, newspaper typesetting involved sitting at a Linotype Machine and breathing in metal vapors. The text for an article was assembled a column line at a time , proofed and cast. Each line of text was sent to a stacker or assembler where a complete article was assembled in as many columns as required. Many large city newspapers used the stacker option which allowed them to  better fit the articles to a partial page and move some text to a later page where article text started on Page 1. After an edition was printed, the type slugs were melted down and used in future editions.

Linotype-Photo from the German Museum in Munich by Clemens PFEIFFER, Vienna. Annotations by Paul Koning

Amy Goodman gets grilled by Canadian border officials

I didn’t realize this was still happening now that Bush and Cheney were gone.

Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now!) was stopped by Canadian border guards as she tried to cross into Canada in order to speak at a couple of functions. She was held for over 90 minutes and was issued a “control” document, basically a temporary visa. She and her crew were photographed and told they had to show proof of leaving Canada by midnight today.

She felt quite threatened. As they were held, the guards went through their car and actually went into their computers. Specifically, the officials demanded to know if Amy Goodman was going to speak against hosting the 2010 Olympic games in Canada. It is quite chilling listening to her description of what happened. She was unaware of being on a ‘watch list’, but now wonders.

In this video Goodman also went into some detail about her arrest at the Republican convention in Minneapolis while there covering the protests.While listening to her describe what happened at the Canadian border,  I couldn’t help thinking the guards were sending her a strong message meant to intimidate her, warning her somehow to watch the content of her speech she was about to give. It just doesn’t sound like a friendly, open society. She felt violated.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Listening to Goodman speak reminded me of the old German Nazi films, and the Gestapo saying… “Your papers please..?”

Open Thread – Thanksgiving

A year ago, most of the country, and the free world, was elated over the election of Barak Obama.

We’ve now had a year-long reality check. Republicans are not interested in cooperating with anyone but one of their own. Obama really ran as a moderate – but compared to McCain/Palin, he appeared very left-wing.

The fact of the matter is, there are not enough progressives in Congress to move forward with an agenda that puts people over profits. I believe Obama is doing the best he can with the hand that was dealt him, on all fronts.
Continue reading

Rogue and Ready

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Matt Davies
NY Journal News


Rough and Ready History

One of the first settlements in Nevada County was Rough and Ready some five miles west of Grass Valle. Established in the fall of 1849, it quickly grew to a thriving town of 3,000, and went down in history as having seceded from the Union.

The Watering Hole: November 25 – Extinction and Global Warming

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on any topic.

Today, we are faced by the possible disappearance of at least 5% of animal species on Earth before our children die and 10-15% more before our great-great grandchildren take over the world (This assumes the age grouping from 30-70, average age 50.)  This will affect all lifeforms from bacteria to human beings.

What is happening is that land organisms will run out of land as seas rise. Entire island based environments will simply disappear. Organisms that rely on a specific temperature range to survive will have to establish new ranges. Those that live near the poles will have no place to go as warmer temperatures create an uninhabitable  environment with no available alternative.

One of the starkest images is that of Mount Killmanjaro. Here it is in 2008:

Today, it is far worse, most of the ice field to the left is entirely gone. I could not find images without copyrights.

In 1950, it was a snow covered mountain at the same time of the year the image above was taken.  When Hemingway wrote his epic novel, it was a land of ice and snow. Now, it is the rock slides that occur as the ice glue that kept them in their place disappears.

What organisms that inhabited this mountain will either lose their niche or have lost it.

Those, below, who depended on the spring melts are also feeling the pinch.

And, by the way, nations are meeting in Denmark in order to discuss the problem. We are confined to a single planet. Mountain, planet – it is all a matter of scale.  Those people orbiting in the ISS can not survive without support from the surface. In truth, we are all in the same boat.

Fear, Scare, and Play Unfair

Fear, Scare, and Play Unfair
Original words and music “Here, There, and Everywhere”, by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

To lead a fettered life they need my mode to be fear…

Fear, making the case through the year
Continue reading