Friday, February 02, 2018

Trying To Recover From a Cold

Got to put away this aggravation, because I'm looking forward to New Mexico travel next week for SWPACA 2018! My presentation is entitled "Weaponizing “Falling Down”: “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” Filming Location and Set Semiotics".

Colfax Avenue

A slice of Americana. Anyone who has ever spent time in Denver has a Colfax Avenue story.
As perhaps the nation’s longest commercial street, Colfax is jammed with history, freaks, neon and occasional peril as it cuts through Golden, Denver, Lakewood, Aurora and beyond.

Barber, 49, has spent the last 14 years chronicling the history of Colfax, collecting thousands of artifacts, including a stegosaurus footprint dating back 150 million years to the Jurassic period.

He’s now moving it all from his basement into the new Colfax Museum, a celebration of the road that runs 53.3 miles from the Denver metro area clear through Bennett on Colorado’s eastern plains. It’s actually part of U.S. 40, which once stretched from Atlantic City, N.J., to San Francisco but now ends in Utah.

Breaking Bad in One Minute

Just love this!


Hard times in the Outback.
EMUS have invaded Longreach as extreme weather of drought and flooding rains engulfs the Sunshine State.

Locals have dubbed it an “emu-rgency”, while forecasters predict rain in coming days will offer a welcome break from a scorching 45-degree heatwave and seven-year dry spell.

“It’s very unusual,’’ local Betty Forster, an ex-drover and emu-lover, said yesterday.

“But it’s been so bloody hot and dry.

“We’ve got big mobs of thirsty emu, brolga, jabiru and kangaroo coming into town, looking for a feed and a drink.

“Poor buggers, there’s nothing left out bush for them.’’

Hot Air

Holistic Yoga Cosplay is Finally Here

Review of This Season's Rainy Season

Just a quick review of this season's rainy season, so far.

The entire desert Southwest is dry, with just a few exceptions. The Little Colorado River area of northern Arizona is particularly hard-hit.

Interestingly, even though this map doesn't show it, Sacramento is about normal for the season so far. There was a rain gauge failure in the Sacramento area around January 10th, when an usually-heavy rain hit the city, so this map doesn't capture that impact very well. The area of normality is pretty small and precarious - maybe just urban Sacramento, and no more.

It feels lonely being normal.

Western Montana and northern Idaho are seeing lots of precipitation though.

Uptight With Money

M.: There was a big drop on Wall Street today.

E.: That's how it works. The stock market goes up and down. That's why we have to be uptight with money.

Martian Panorama

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

VW Uses Albuquerque for its Dark Experiments

No earthly clue:
Volkswagen has taken responsibility for diesel emissions tests on humans and monkeys amid mounting fury.

VW chief executive Matthias Mueller said the German car maker had "taken first consequences" for the tests.

...VW has suspended its chief lobbyist Thomas Steg, who admitted to knowing in advance about the monkey experiment, which took place in New Mexico in 2014.

...Last week the New York Times reported that EUGT had exposed 10 monkeys to fumes - in an air-tight chamber - from several cars, including a diesel VW Beetle, at a lab in Albuquerque.

...In 2015 VW admitted having fitted "cheat" devices in the US that made its engines appear less polluting than they actually were.

The scandal has cost Volkswagen almost $30bn.

Last month former VW executive Oliver Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in prison in the US and a $400,000 (£293,000) fine after admitting he helped the firm evade clean-air laws.

Sacramento, a Kind of Middle Earth

Hobbit holes and everything:
Oxford University’s foremost J.R.R. Tolkien scholar, Dr. Wesley Kerrigan, is floored by Gerwig’s attention to detail. “The intellectual dexterity expressed in the creation of this, ‘Sacramento’ world…nothing short of masterly,” he says. “I’m fluent in Elvish, which is absolute cake compared to what Gerwig had to undergo to plot out the big blue house, that bridge, and even a parking lot that kids hang out in—unbelievable.”

It’s true, and unsurprising given its scope, that this project has been a lifelong one for Gerwig. “I spent the first 18 years of my life imagining myself in that world of Sacramento,” she says. “I imagined I was playing on those streets, going to a Catholic school, rooting for this fictional basketball team I called the Sacramento Kings. So, when it came down to making the film, it all came very naturally to me, almost as if I’d ‘lived’ it.”

Rickie Lee Jones, in Her Salad Days

Great video!

Secrets are Harder Than Ever to Hide

Fitbits as spy tools:
Twenty-year-old college student Nathan Ruser has an interest in the Syrian conflict and an affinity for maps.

It's this combination that led him to discover the potential security risks posed by fitness app Strava.

On Saturday, the Australian came across a tweet of Strava's global heatmap, which was originally published in November 2017. Ruser noticed lit up in areas in regions of Syria and the Sahara, often not occupied by civilians, that indicated the presence of security forces working out near military bases and other sensitive locations.

Or, is the Idea to Hand Over America’s Communications to the Russians?

Trump the Decider:
Two options laid out by the documents:

The U.S. government pays for and builds the single network — which would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure.

An alternative plan where wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete with one another — though the document says the downside is it could take longer and cost more. It argues that one of the “pros” of that plan is that it would cause “less commercial disruption” to the wireless industry than the government building a network.

Between the lines: A source familiar with the documents' drafting says Option 2 is really no option at all: a single centralized network is what's required to protect America against China and other bad actors.

The source said the internal White House debate will be over whether the U.S. government owns and builds the network or whether the carriers bind together in a consortium to build the network, an idea that would require them to put aside their business models to serve the country's greater good.

Why it matters: Option 1 would lead to federal control of a part of the economy that today is largely controlled by private wireless providers. In the memo, the Trump administration likens it to "the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System" and says it would create a “new paradigm” for the wireless industry by the end of Trump's current term.

Tortoise Travels an Average of 2 Yards a Day


Makeup Challenges