Quick Hits

The Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is over, and among the sparkling new TVs, Home Automation, and Gee-Gaws that will never go into production, the most important innovation occurred before the show– an Audi A7 with a Journalist at the wheel(sic), and it was a driver less car.

Now, to be certain, the Journalist had to take control after the Audi hit an off-ramp because it was really only designed for freeway work, but Google has the city driving down pat, and Mercedes has prototype driver less cars and trucks.

It’s close. Very close.

I have told the story before of being dragged out of 5-Way heart by-pass recovery at home by my friendly neighborhood MD/Ph. D (Engineering) who carted me off to Victorville, California, to witness a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (one of the few government agencies that actually work) challenge for “Autonomous Automobiles. This was four years ago. No apparatus filled autonomous cars finished the 50 mile city model, but Stanford University did well enough to win the million dollar prize. (Stanford had won the previous “Freeway” Challenge in the desert years before — and another million dollar prize.)

The driver less cars in California will require a special license and a carbon life-form behind the wheel, as did the Audi driven to the Las Vegas convention.

Still 565 freeway miles without a scare is not to be sneezed at.

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We have an entirely analogous situation developing between the good Muslims of the world, Blacks in Detroit and the overwhelming number of good teachers in California.

And there is a lesson to be learned here.

The president and his administration appear to be counting on the Muslim nations and communities to grab hold of their, by any count, small number of atrocity-bound Muslims.

Ain’t gonna’ happen.

By any measure the vast majority of teachers are good or even great teachers, and California has waited for decades for the good teachers to rein in their union and get control of the awful teachers who give them all a bad name…it has not, will not happen.

Similarly, the vast majority of Blacks, even in crime-ridden communities like Detroit and Chicago, are law abiding citizens. They know who the drug dealers, pimps and gang-bangers are — but they draw their blinds and double-lock their doors without calling the police.

Waiting for a modern population to rise up just isn’t going to happen. In the early days of America, certainly — can you imagine the western Settlers sitting in their traffic-jammed cars without heating tar and plucking feathers while marching on the halls of the San Diego Association of Governments who fund freeways too little and mass transit too much?

Neither can I.

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The Islamic Empire had a Caliph called “The Bloodthirsty” who invited opponents to dinner, clubbed them to death, threw a rug over them and dined on the rug as their opponents bled to death.

But being the reason he was called the Bloodthirsty.

But Islam was not the only group where the norm in being bloodthirsty. In the early Middle Ages, Basil II of the Byzantine Empire was rumored to have defeated an army of Bulgarians and put out the eyes of 14,000 soldiers, leaving one out of 100 with one eye to lead the defeated troops back home. That is possibly apocryphal, but that it was even believed at the time served its purpose.

The ISIS group can be accurately termed “Fundamentalists” in that they adhere to Middle Ages norms.

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In my Little Known And Completely Useless Information File: Perhaps you remember the “Ice Man” an ancient Stone Age man discovered a few years ago, who had been frozen as he fell some 5,200 years ago in the Alps. As you may know, newly discovered methods of obtaining DNA even from ancient bone, (Ice Man was not even much of a challenge) but the interesting thing to me is that 16 descendants of Ice Man have been discovered in Austria…..

In a related ice age data, Archeologists now have a new specialty — studying items being released by melting glaciers. It seems that there was a warming spell about 7,000 years ago and a treasure trove of lost items is being released by the current warming spell in Norway. They have recovered mittens, snowshoes and many farming items. (Bet you didn’t know that autos caused CO2 warming 7,000 years ago! We learn every day.)

The study of DNA is very useful in determining the flow of humans, and when they arrived in certain places…

One more note: Not all ancient Egyptians who were mummified were kings — commoners were also mummified. Millions of them!

In fact, in the early 1900s, there were so many Mummies, that Indian trains burned them for fuel.

Well, the Death Masks for Kings and Queens may have been made of gold, but commoners often had death masks made from used Papyrus and glue. Recently, technology has been able to melt the glue and recover the used  Papyrus, and we can read it…and a portion of an unknown Book of the Bible has been recovered. The actual announcement was leaked in 2012, and has just been officially acknowledged, but the contents have not been released.

 

 

 

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Off Vacation: Quick Hits For a Few Days

There are still questions about who really “hacked” Sony.

Programming is a “Black Art” (I am a former programmer, Systems Analyst and computer science professor), and in the Ether anyone can be anyone else.

Tracking back, deconstructing and analyzing a hack is a long and time consuming process. False leads cover other false leads. This is a job for a new Bletchley Park, but it is just possible that NSA alerted the FBI that it had intercepts, and the FBI was covering for NSA  rather than doing the hard work of deconstructing the code.

The question is if it was a disgruntled “inside job” — but no one really knows…yet! I suspect the FBI and NSA are right, but like the shooter on the grassy knoll…

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The Brits are scrambling to contain a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians who come for the huge benefits available — paid by Britain even to those family members who remain in Bulgaria and Romania!

Too late, regrettably — the Brits wanted to demonstrate “Diversity,” and they certainly have done so. Britain has slashed its wrists, and it is only a matter of time…there are camps in Calais, France, just waiting for transportation to Britain!

Britain committed national suicide, and they will willingly die, rather than be thought of as “racist.”

RIP, Britain.

 

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The Left, in this case Bernie Sanders, continue to single out the Koch brothers as the bogie-man of political spending, but he is very selective.

According to POLITICO, Liberal Steyer was the largest donor, and liberal Bloomberg was #2. The Koch brothers have donated more obey to charity than Bernie will ever see in his, and his family’s lifetimes!

 

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Everything you need to know about Christmas and technology is that more than half the devices activated by new users during Christmas Week was an Apple product! That is domination.

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At 1400 hours on December 31, I received my authorization to get my home underway on SOLAR power — right in the midst of snow flurries. The panels have been up, and connected for several days in bright sunlight, but I was not permitted to throw the switch and parallel the electric power of San Diego Gas and Electric.

It is now operable. My interest was not clean power, but that I could cut my enormous electric bill in half

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I support Israel, but their claim that they are an “independent” nation is belied by the fact that we have sent them money for so long they just include it in advance in their budget!

I love Israel, and I love my children, but I cut my kids off when they were 21 years old. I wish we could do that with Israel!

 

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First, almost all men marry above them — it is in the nature of things because men are rotten. Some are more rotten than others.

My wife and I have been married for 57 years, and an unkind word has never passed between us.

The secret is simple: never say “no” to your spouse!

 

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I am astounded that a Court has ordered the chemotherapy of a 17 year old girl, overriding the wishes of both the family and the girl.

Outrageous! Yes, she is technically a minor but Courts start listening to “children” as to which parent in a divorce the “child” wishes to live at 13.

At 17 a “child” is old enough to be listened to about her medical issues? I believe her decision is stupid, but stupid is a permissible offense in America!

 

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The US is planning to close some European bases.

Good! In actuality, GREAT! The Europeans have relied on our charity for decades…the EU nations have between 25% and 50% annual military budgets that we do. They rely on us, while they have about the same GDP as the U.S.!

They have been welfare recipients for long enough!

The Lord helps those who help themselves! The Europeans have NEVER helped themselves, and the U.S. has had to pull their irons out of the fire since WW1.

As a result, we have worn out our ships, tanks and men on a war footing for decades. My submarines were six months at home and six deployed for my entire career, and the six at home were getting repaired. Ships and submarines are not designed for that — and neither are the men.

I had one Skipper who had 21 deployments in 18 years. (obviously, he was divorced.)

Those who favor such activity are seldom those who must perform them.

 

Schadenfreude

 

In spite of my all-too-long ago Naval reputation, I am not by nature a mean person, but I admit to a fair share of Schadenfreude. Witness my contention that in the modern age of transportation, anyone can live anywhere else on the US Mainland in five hours.
 
That is an appropriate observation as the East Coast suffers under feet of Global Warming, while I enjoy 82 degree days in the middle of February.
 
That is my choice. I left Texas at 17 after a year at Trinity University as a Math major, and Enlisted in the Navy. I took a long train ride to San Diego Boot Camp, and while I only pulled a couple of liberties before joining my first ship in Korea, it was pretty obvious that San Diego and my hometown of San Antonio had little in common, weather wise.
 
Upon graduating from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland a few years later, it was obvious to me that just as San Antonio had been to hot, and Annapolis too cold, San Diego was “Just Right.”
 
I spent ALMOST my entire Naval career (Submarines) in San Diego — after telling my Detailer that if he wanted me out of San Diego he would have to send three large men, and he was going to lose two of them.
 
The problems in the middle of the country, and on the East Coast, while recently unusual are within historical “norms” even though near the outside range. Of course those in Southern California and Hawaii are happy that we are not even more crowded, still we wonder “Why.”
 
I remember that when I visited Adak, Alaska, that some men re-enlisted to remain there because they lived hunting and fishing. Obviously, the human mind can find reasons to accept, even love, anywhere. (Adak has the Adak National Forest — a clumping of about 10 trees planted in WWII. Those trees were five feet tall when planted — and are five feet tall today!)
 
I see people living Cheek to jowl in NYC, and in remote ranches in Wyoming, so intellectually I understand that there is a wide range of comfort levels. I even had a rather close family member sent to live with the family of a Musher who raised sled dogs in the wilderness of Alaska — complete with a frozen out-house, and no hot water.  (The Laundromat in a nearby town had showers for those who came in to do their laundry.)
 
Normally, I can sit out on my lanai, and watch the Golfers and my Koi for 10 months a year. This year it is 12 months, and I do so hearing of pile-ups on Eastern freeways caused from snow.
 
But everyone lives where they want to live.

Minus 40 Degrees in Minneapolis is just FINE With Me!

While looking at the -40degree weather in Minneapolis just remember that is what drives San Diego real estate. As a San Diego Real Estate Broker – I revel in their discomfort.

“Schadenfreude” is the German word loaned to English that encompasses the delight one has from the suffering of others – and I do a bit of that every Winter. I have a beautiful Lexus convertible and almost every year on Christmas I take a photo of top-down, shirt-sleeve enjoyment to make my cold-weather friends jealous.

Of course, everyone lives EXACTLY where they want to live. We have thousands of flights daily in the US – you can be wherever you want in just hours. After leaving Texas when I was 17, joining the Navy and being assigned to San Diego Bootcamp. It was obvious where I wanted to be, and I have been here since graduating from Annapolis. Momma didn’t raise no fool!

The inexorable movement to San Diego has been going on for decades.

That has been the case since Harry Summers designed, and built Rancho Bernardo (RB) — a community at that time was outside of San Diego’s borders where Harry could build without much interference — and then he marketed almost exclusively in Minneapolis.

The lure of warmth appealed to those shoveling snow, and they came. Then their friends came, and the train has continued as RB residents continued to tell their friends still shoveling snow.

Not all settled in RB, but those with money came to Southern California or Hawaii, and those who could not afford those places went to Arizona or Florida.

Those who flee the snow drive our market, freeing up those who have lived here longer and built up equity to move up. Minneapolis is just the key catalyst for our growth, and while Minneapolis is just a metaphor for all of deep snow company, actually that community is the driving force.

Temperatures in the -40 range in the upper Mid-West is just fine for us in real estate. Here in San Diego County, our weather is variable right now — yesterday I had the top down, and will again tomorrow — but today it may not reach 70.

Irony Begins New Year

We begin a new year with irony.

We have an explorer ship filled with environmentalists who traveled to the Antarctica to see the great lack of ice caused by “Global Warming” stuck in ice that has been measured at 50% higher than last year! The media features the need to “rescue” the Eco-Freaks, often without ever mentioning why they were there.

The cruise, a BBC/Guardian leftist cruise has brought some derision from the competitive newspaper, the Daily Mail, but otherwise it is the Blogasphere and locals like John Coleman, annoying Weatherman of KUSI, who report on the irony.

Meanwhile, much closer, in La Jolla, the swells who vote liberal and environmental, are suffering (as much as La Jollaians can suffer) from the Odour de Poop. (Bird, Seal, and Sea Lion)

The restaurants and hotels on the coast are begging for relief, but the constipated bureaucrats, bound up in national, state and local environmental rules can’t find a way to solve the problems. This has been a long-standing problem but sun and wind brings relief on occasion, and distress at other times. The New York Times ran a story on the subject more than 15 months ago for the nation to laugh.

“In theory, a solution could be simple. Sherri Lightner, the local City Council member, said there were biodegradable and nontoxic cleaning agents that could be safely used to clean the bluffs occasionally without any ill effects to the environment.

However, because the waters in the cove are part of a coastal area specially protected by the state, multiple state regulatory agencies would have to issue permits before the agents could be used, a process that regulators have indicated would probably take at least two years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/us/california-cove-blessed-with-natures-beauty-reels-from-its-stench.html

Although Sherri is a Democrat, she worked in private industry as an Engineer, and served as president of La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Shores Association, so she is practical and really understands the need for tourism in La Jolla.

In a letter to fellow Democrat, Governor Brown, Leightner wrote, “We need the state to solve this problem. This timeframe for state agencies to process these permits is simply unacceptable.”

http://www.10news.com/news/letter-to-governor-quick-action-needed-on-cove-odor

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know!

Perhaps you don’t remember the prediction by AGW Guru (and Nobel Prize Winning), Al Gore, who, just five years ago predicted that there was a 75% chance that the entire Polar region could be “”ice-free” by summer 2013.

Well, it is 2013, and how is Gore doing?

The BBC reports:

“Data from Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft suggests there were almost 9,000 cu km of ice at the end of this year’s melt season.

This is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25383373

A Hostility to Science? Not Really.

The local newspaper, the U-T (once the San Diego Union Tribune) has a Commentary regarding the Hostility to Science presumably because people still question AGW Anthropological Global Warming.

That the earth is warming is unquestionable and it has been since New York City was under a hundred feet of ice about 22,000 years ago and it will continue to warm, until, well, until it doesnt. The earth has its own timetable, and I am not privy to it. Neither is anyone else.

The hostility to science is promoted by the extreme political predictors, like Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Al Gore, made outrageous claims in the name of science that do not come true. When non-science overstaters, like Gore, win Nobel Prizes it increases their personal and political prestige, but does nothing for science.

One of the problems, other than the verbal overreaching, is the dependence on predictive software which has proven unreliable over the past few decades, leading to more laughter at science than is justified.

But it is understandable.

Global Warming, like Obamacare, is dependent on its visible face computer software for its political support. In both cases, that reliance has been unjustified.

Global Warming exists,  — at least in the macro, although in the micro you might get an argument from across the nation — it is the cause that is debatable.