Saturday, September 28, 2013

▶ Penn & Teller Fool Us S01 E02 - YouTube

▶ Penn & Teller Fool Us S01 E02 - YouTube: Published on Jul 3, 2013 This is Episode 2 of Series 1 of the UK series "Fool us!" featuring the great Penn & Teller. Hosted by Jonathon Ross, a broad range of the finest magicians, illusionists & sleight of hand artists in Europe perform in front of the two great men of magic. The main aim is to perform a trick which Penn & Teller (sitting in the front row) cannot work out on the spot. Naturally this is a big ask, given Penn & Teller's encyclopaedic knowledge, so some performers instead try to do a world beating variation of a known trick.

Yes, this is a filler.  I've  been a lover of prestidigitation for years, and I've decided to fool you much as they have been been fooling me for years.

My first "fool me" was in a bar in San Francisco in 1975, where a table magician made cards appear and disappear in mysterious ways.  I never figured him out.

Now it's your turn to be fooled.

Or .. not.

( 45 minutes)

And, Episode Three:

AND ... Episode Four:

These are officially "Time Wasters", so if you have no time to waste, don't look at these 45 minute episodes.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Which is the more dangerous sport?

Florida high school basketball player, 18, dies after collapsing during practice | Fox News:

An 18-year-old Florida high school basketball player died on Saturday after collapsing at practice a day earlier, one of his former coaches says.
 When I respond to people who want to sign up for my "Introduction to USPSA" class, I include the following boilerplate text:

"IPSC competition is safer than high-school football."

Perhaps I should widen that comment; perhaps I should say "safer than high-school athletic sports."

I've never seen anyone die on the Playing Fields of IPSC.

Which is more than we can say about Florida High-School Basketball.

Doctor Strangelove

Report: US came close nuclear disaster in 1961 | General Headlines | Comcast:
LONDON (AP) — A U.S. hydrogen bomb nearly detonated on the nation's east coast, with a single switch averting a blast which would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that flattened Hiroshima, a newly published book says. 

 In a recently declassified document, reported in a new book by Eric Schlosser, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories said that one simple, vulnerable switch prevented nuclear catastrophe. 

The Guardian newspaper published the document on Saturday. 

Two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on Jan. 24, 1961 after a B-52 bomber broke up in flight. One of the bombs apparently acted as if it was being armed and fired — its parachute opened and trigger mechanisms engaged. Parker F. Jones at the Sandia National Laboratories analyzed the accident in a document headed "How I learned to mistrust the H-Bomb."

 "The MK39 Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne-alert role in the B-52," he wrote. When the B-52 disintegrates in the air it is likely to release the bombs in "a near normal fashion," he wrote, calling the safety mechanisms to prevent accidental arming "not complex enough."

And we thought the Bay of Pigs was scary!

Obama says fight for gun laws 'ought to obsess us'

Obama says fight for gun laws 'ought to obsess us' | Political Headlines | Comcast:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Sunday memorialized the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting by urging Americans not to give up on a transformation in gun laws that he argued are to blame for an epidemic of violence. "There is nothing inevitable about it — it comes about because of decisions we make or fail to make," Obama said. Reprising his role of the nation's consoler in chief after yet another mass shooting, Obama issued a call to action on gun control measures that failed to pass earlier this year [emphasis added] and show no new momentum in the wake of last week's rampage at a military installation just blocks from the Capitol.

"Our tears are not enough," Obama told thousands gathered to mourn at the Marine Barracks. "Our words and our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we're going to have to change."
Obama said when such senseless deaths strike in America, "it ought to be a shock to all of us, it ought to obsess us [emphasis added]. It ought to lead to some sort of transformation."
But, Obama said, "nothing happens. Alongside the anguish of these American families, alongside the accumulated outrage so many of us feel, sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal. We cannot accept this. As Americans bound in grief and love, we must insist here today there is nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work."
He said no other advanced nation endures the kind of gun violence seen in the United States, and blamed mass shootings in America on laws that fail "to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people."
"What's different in America is it's easy to get your hands on a gun," he said. He acknowledged "the politics are difficult," a lesson he learned after failing to get expanded background checks for gun buyers through the Democratic-controlled Senate this spring. Obama had proposed the measure after the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 20 first-graders and six staff.

Apologies for the extended quote. I kept reading and couldn't find a place to quit quoting the article.

It is just that all, ALL, of this quote completely ignores the fact that mass shootings are not restricted to American shopping malls, as my last article demonstrates.

In America, we are inflicted by the odd single evil idiot (Jerk?  Ass-hat?) who decides that a crowded public "Gun Free Zone" (school, church, shopping mall .. whatever) is the perfect place to "go out in a blaze of glory".

In other places in this sad world, the evil idiot brings his friends along, too.  It's not individual dementia; it's massive political/social/religious dementia which causes the murder of innocents.

Evil is as Evil does.  We will never get rid of Evil.

Politicians may make fart noises noises about The Evil Gun, but deep inside they know that the mere passage of guns will not change societal ills.  Changing Society ... might.  And they have the power to change society, but not the will.

It's easy to pass laws against Evil.  Everybody does it, and too the same lame effect.  Which is to say, passing laws against guns is ineffective at best.  Chicago knows it, but they still try to legislate against guns instead of gangs:

Chicago Police Chief Calls for Nationwide Assault Weapon and High-Capacity Magazine Ban

On Thursday, 13 people were shot and injured in a park in Chicago. The shootings were carried out by an “assault style rifle” with a high-capacity magazine, both of which are already banned in the city of Chicago. Nevertheless, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy has called for a nationwide ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
“Illegal guns drive violence. Military-type weapons, like the one we believe to have been used in this shooting, belong on a battlefield, not on a street or in a corner or in a park.”
Chicago was named the murder capital of the United States by the FBI on Thursday, and has had more homicides this month than several states yearly total for 2011.
 Yes, that's the Same Chicago where Raum Emmanuel went to be elected Mayor .. and even he isn't smart enough to fix the problems!

And ..  the Governor of Illinois isn't smart enough to figure it out, either:
 CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn says he would consider using state resources to help combat Chicago street violence.
Speaking about this week’s mass shooting in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, Quinn says he’s open to talking with Mayor Emanuel or Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy about supplementing Chicago law enforcement with state police or the Illinois National Guard.
He said he’s had no specific conversations but noted state police are helping patrol in East St. Louis, another city that has its challenges with violent crime

The MAYOR of Chicago, the CHIEF OF POLICE of Chicago, and the GOVERNOR of Illinois ... have no idea why innocents in Chicago keep getting shot, and they're really nervous because it makes them look bad.

Let's look at this in just a slightly different way:  Chicago has perhaps the most repressive anti-gun laws in the greatest/most free country in the world, and they don't know why their citizens keep getting shot!  Why do they have one of the highest murder rates in the country?

Hmmm .. guns are illegal.  Gangs are illegal.  Gangs have guns.  Honest citizens don't have guns.

Nope. I give up, too.  I can't see any logical connection.

After all, it's illegal to have guns because "y'all might hurt yourself".  The only  people with guns are cops and crooks.   Why are 3-year old children being murdered in Chicago?

Makes no sense to me.

Obama says that the fight for gun laws "ought to obsess us"?

Seems like it does.

There are a few people who are looking closer at "people control" than at "Gun Control", however:

"Get Homicidal Maniacs Off The Streets"
The nation's mental health system is "in complete breakdown," resulting in not enough of the mentally ill being committed to psychiatric hospitals, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told NBC's "Meet the Press."
"If we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street ... they're going to kill," he said. "They need to be committed is what they need to be. If they are committed, they're not at the Naval Yard."

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The question is too complicated for a mere few to force changes in society ... which is much more difficult than passing new Gun Control laws: ....  Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the co-author of a bill to expand background checks to more gun purchasers, acknowledged the bill remains stalled in the Senate. He told CBS he has no intention of renewing his effort to pass the measure in light of the Navy Yard shootings unless he seems movement on the part of the opponents of the bill.
"I'm not going to go out there and just beat the drum for the sake of beating the drum," he said. "There has to be people willing to move off the position they've taken, and they've got to come to that conclusion themselves."
Makes no sense to me. 

I Agree with John Kerry!

Terrorist Attack at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya:

Today's terrorist massacre of so many innocents is a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world which can destroy life in a senseless instant. I want to express my deepest condolences - and the condolences of our entire nation - to the families and friends of the victims in Nairobi today. While the casualty count is still to be determined, we know already that there are at least 30 innocent men, women, and children dead and 60 injured, including several American citizens. We have offered our assistance to the Government of Kenya and stand ready to help in any way we can.
[emphasis added]

How refreshing it is that America's Premier Idiot (save "The One") has acknowledged that these mass shootings are the logical consequence of Evil People doing Evil, rather than the preposterous example of guns driving good people into a killing frenzy.

Is it possible that John Kerry has been driven sane by a shopping mall slaughter committed on somebody else's soil?

No, I don't think so either.  It's all just more Politics