Thursday, February 5, 2015

So cute it hurts...

So cute it hurts...

Oh, ain't that the truth!

Oh, ain't that the truth!  My mother said it, so it must be :)
During a woman’s medical examination, the doctor says, "Your heart, lungs, pulse and blood pressure are all fine.

Now let me see the part that gets you ladies into all kinds of trouble."

The lady starts taking off her panties but is interrupted by the doctor: "No! No! Just stick out your tongue!"

Bumper snickers...

Bumper snickers...  Friend, former colleague, and inheritor of my SSH bugs Tim B. passes along a couple of funnies:

Reading that second one got me to thinking... Here in Paradise, Utah, what we see is:
  • The sense that choices like home schooling or private schooling are smart and admirable.
  • Everybody owns guns.  I quite literally have yet to meet someone here who isn't a gun owner, and doesn't shoot.
  • I haven't heard a protectionist word.
  • There is intense opposition to government-dictated healthcare in general, and to ObamaCare in particular.
  • Even though smoking violates the LDS church's health laws, and 90+% of the people here are Mormon, there are still a lot of smokers.  More, in fact, than in California (I've read the rate is about double).  Unlike in California, there is wide acceptance of smoking (and drinking, for that matter).  Several of the tradesmen I've hired are Mormons and unabashed smokers.  Surprisingly, to me, there doesn't seem to be nearly the stigma associated with smoking here as that which we see in California.
  • None of the tradesmen I've hired here are union members.  I've asked them all (it's a selection criteria for me).  I've been told repeatedly that nobody here joins a union unless they're forced to by job circumstances, and even those folks are ashamed of themselves.
  • I've met several fellow incandescent bulb hoarders.  
  • All the stores here default to plastic bags, though you can generally get paper bags if you ask.
  • Logan is a small city (49,000 people).  It has two Walmart supercenters, plus a Sam's Club.  We go there often.
  • The local restaurants, and all the homes we've eaten at, all serve plenty of red meat, sugary treats, and fatty foods.  There seems to be a general sense that food guidelines issued by the federal government are somewhere between foolish and Communist sabotage – and they're completely ignored.
People here have heard of places like California, so the bumper sticker would still make sense to them.  But they wouldn't relate to it personally...

The next Turing test?

The next Turing test?  Computer-controlled robots are now writing letters with pens.  The motivation is direct mail marketers who want you to open their letter, instead of just throwing it in the recycle bin.  Here's an interesting piece on that topic.  This passage caught my eye:
But the other half the time I’m kind of cracked up by the fact that the most avid prosecutors of Alan Turing’s sly and audacious 1950 thought-experiment have been not philosophers or computer scientists or advanced A.I. labs but … marketers. The former folks have foundered for years on the difficulties of understanding the fractal contours of human consciousness. The latter just want you to open up their damn mail. Comprehending the mysteries of human thought and behavior is hard. Emulating it? Not so much! It’s partly why Turing’s test is so unsettling: Man, are we really that easy to copy?
Marketers (of all kinds, not just direct mail) have long been pushing hard on technologists.  Another classic example is animation – a lot of early computer-generated animations were done with marketing money.  The linked article doesn't mention it, but there's another odd-at-first-glance driver for a lot of high tech stuff: pornography.  Pornographers were amongst the first to see a way to earn money from online video, and they provided a lot of the funding for early video-on-computer development.  Actually, they're still doing so – only these days their focus is on 3D video technology, online.

“Americans are begging for a deal...”

“Americans are begging for a deal...”  So says a high-ranking Iranian military official.

Ordinarily I'd dismiss such talk as posturing twaddle from an entirely unreliable source.  These days?  It's all too believable that the Obama administration would place more value on the appearance of a deal than on the substance of Iran being armed with nuclear weapons.  The more paranoid on the conservative side even posit that Obama wants a nuclear-armed Iran, to counterbalance the nuclear-armed Israel.  Is that likely?  I don't think so.  Is it plausible?  Unfortunately, yes.  Yes, it is.

Sick kitty...

Sick kitty...  Maka Lea is sick, and we don't know what the problem is.  He's our sweet little wobbly cat –  he has some neurological damage from high fevers when he was a wee kitten.  Though the photo at right was taken eight years ago, he still looks exactly like this.

Debbie first noticed that he had problems with urination, but two trips to the vet found nothing wrong.  Yesterday afternoon he started vomiting, and last night it continued.  He looks ok otherwise, and as any cat owner knows well, a cat vomiting isn't necessarily a sign of a problem.  However, when it's repeated (as his has been) and combined with another symptom (like the urination problem), it's worrying.  So we're off to the vet again today...