Monday, December 31, 2007

Revisionism

This man is Buzz Aldrin.

I once had a conversation with him about why he administered communion to himself shortly after landing on the moon.

He told me he thought SOMETHING should be done to mark the event, and he never did figure out what would be appropriate, so he borrowed from a ritual he had learned as a deacon in the Presbyterian Church.

There are those who believe he never walked on the moon.

There are those who believe that the photograph above was constructed via special effects.

One such person aggressivily accused Buzz Aldrin of never landing on the moon and Buzz Aldrin decked him.

But should such people be silenced by law?

Our favorite Conspiracy Nut has stumbled across a story that the EU has outlawed Holocaust denial.

Now, are these guys that say we never landed on the moon and that Hitler never exterminated millions of Jews whatck jobs?

You betcha'.

Do they give you somethign to think about though?

Oh, absolutely.

For instance - notice there are no stars in the picture above. You might have never noticed that if it hadn't been for the nuts that say this picture was taken on a sound stage.

It takes a moment even for a brilliant photographer like myself :) to figure out - oh - this was a Hasselblad camera using conventional film to capture an image that was illuminated at the level equivalent of a SUNNY DAY WITHOUT A CLOUD IN THE SKY ON MIAMI BEACH or something of the sort. With ISO 100 speed film, you'd have to set it at - what? - about 1/250 and f11 to get a decent exposure.

Just try it - take a camera with manual settings - get a good exposure on the beach, then lock those settings down, take the camera out at midnight, point it straight up in the air and take another picture at those settings and see if you see any stars.

However, as Carl Sagan once mentioned with speaking of Immanuel Velikovsky, what is really signficant is not that he came up with some whoppers about Venus being spat out of Jupiter and so on, but rather that The Powers That Be at the time tried to supress him.

Similarly, if I crash into interesting alternate interpretions of certain observations, unless those observations are completely stark raving insane, I'm generally going to be inclined to cover them.

I'm PARTICULARLY going to be inclined to cover them if there is traffic flying around saying, "Oh, for the love of God, don't print THAT!" Unless it's some utterly totally personal BS about someone getting their plumbing rotated or something of the sort, if I hear, "Please, please, please don't repeat this ...", I tend to lean towards the possibilty that the person trying to cover something up of some considerable IMPORT.

On the other hand, considering my personality, I'm beginning to come to the distinct conclusion that when I hear, "Please don't repeat this ...", certain people know DAMN well it's going to be repeated so they must actually be trying to broadcast something they would be too embarrassed to say themselves, so they give it to me so they can later feign, "Axinar did it!"

Now, back to this bizarre phenomenon of these Malaysian Indians and African-Americans having it in for the Jews ... :)

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Cab Rides Inside 275 New Year's Eve (513-768-FREE)



Once again, MADD and AAA are offering FREE CAB RIDES via the "Care Cab" program through Towne Taxi and Community Yellow Cab, if I understand it correctly, from 6pm Monday, December 31, 2007 until midnight Tuesday going into Wednesday January 1, 2008 for those who are calling from a public establishment and trying to get to a private residence both within the I-275 loop and are too f*ck*d up to safely make it home during - for those of you from Malaysia - our annual holiday celebrating the joys of abject inebriation.

Now, a reminder of this service was picked up by the Cincinnati Blog, and believe it or not, has actually triggered controversy with people actually implying that the sorry state of public transportation in the Cincinnati area is actually caused, in part, by MADD.

One participant in the discussion has actually provided a link to Modern Drunkard Magazine.

"Care Cab" can be reached at 513-768-FREE (513-768-3733).

Those OPPOSING the program can be contacted via their favorite blogs ...

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Friday, December 28, 2007

How In The HELL Did Some Black People Get So Damn Anti-Semitic?

Now apparently actor Will Smith started talking smack in a Scottish newspaper with this little bit about Adolph Hitler: "Hitler didn't wake up going, 'Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.' I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.'"

The Anti-Defamation League rightly jumped his sh*t and Will Smith issued an apology.

Then of course our good friend Denmark Vesey adds "Why is it so important to Jewish Lobbyists to maintain Hitler and what happened to Jews in WWII as THE MOST AWFUL thing to ever happen to human beings?".

Of course I find myself asking WHY is it that some Black people are SO damn anti-semitic.

I swear to God - even Mrs. Axinar - when we got talking about if there would be ANY religion that might be mutually suitable she, over the course of several conversations, pretty much said that just about anything is on the table except turning snake handlers or Jewish.

I honestly don't get it.

One would think that if one group had the experience of being KIDNAPPED and robbed of its language, identity, culture, history, and dignity, because of no other reason than their RACE that they just might have some sympathy for another group being systematically rounded up, GASSED and BURNED TO A CRISP for the same reason.

You know - if you have the experience of sometimes being looked down upon, thought of as inferior, called six-letter words, and being told to go somewhere else, you'd think you might have the TINIEST bit of sympathy for someone who has the experience of being called EVERY name in the book in EVERY language and being systematically supressed, abused and exterminated for MILLENIA.

No, Denmark, someone who would imply that someone who gets up in the morning and has the thought, "Let's kill all the Jews today," either wasn't thinking at all about what he was about to say or needs about a year of cultural diversity training or both.

As for someone who could POSSIBLY defend such a statement ...

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Lakota Indians SECEDE

A few years back I remember telling some friends that, in 15 years or so, the United States territorially would not be quite the same that it is today.

In perhaps the first act of this process, descendants of American Indian chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse yesterday declared their independence from the United States, withdrawing from 150-year-old treaties with the federal government.

Russell Means, an Indian rights activist, travelled to the State Department in Washington, DC to deliver the message, "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America."

The Lakota territory includes parts of Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming and will be issuing passports, drivers' licenses and would not tax its citizens.

Oh, I hate to think about how this one might go down.

In fact, I believe it was actually December 20, 1860 when this tribe with rather strange customs called South Carolina decided to tell the Federal Government what to go do with itself. A few months later they started lobbing ordnance at Ft. Sumter and we KNOW how that one turned out ...

On the other hand ...

Doing a little more careful research - who exactly does this Russell Means represent anyway??

Related:
Lakota Freedom Delegation
Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status - Lakota Freedom / CommonDreams.org
Russell Means Challenging 150 years of Broken Treaties - Third Party Watch
MSM Exaggerates American Indians Claims of Seceding From USA - NewsBusters
Lakota Sioux Declare Sovereignty - UN Observer
Land War: Lakota Indians Tribe Secedes, to File Liens on 'Stolen' Land - The National Ledger


Original USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Model, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC



Every Star Trek fan needs to visit this site at least once ...

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The 12 Indian Days Of Christmas



Now that that time of year is at our throats ... :)

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Greenspan Suggesting Cash Infusion For Mortgage Crisis

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan seemed to suggest today that a direct cash infusion might be the best solution to the mortgage crisis.

"Cash is available and we should use that in larger amounts, as is necessary, to solve the problems of the stress of this," Greenspan prattled on ABC's "This Week."

This seems to be interpretted that Greenspan is suggesting a tax cut or something of the sort as opposed to fixing home prices or interest rates.

Greenspan also sees the very real possibility of 1970's-style stagflation on the horizon - a condition marked by a BIZARRE combination of economic growth stagnation and high inflation.

Basically the problem is - if you're going to manipulate the ecomony and the markets at all, you need to make specific interventions.

Basically the only tools the Fed has available to it are nuclear in scale. If the economy is freaked out over 9/11, the ONLY thing you can do is pump in these massive amounts of money at the highest levels of the banking system. Since everyone was already freaked the f*ck out over Enron, Worldcomm, and other stock scandals, all the new money started going not towards capital investments, but real estate. It formed a bubble JUST like the Dot-Com's and now the real estate bubble is bursting, and looking to do even MORE collateral damage than the Dot-Com implosion.

No - if you see a problem that has formed due to lack of oversight or just plain stupidity and you want to lessen the burden on common folk, you need to DIRECTLY address the problem.

Don't pump all this money into the broader economy and trigger off $10/gallon milk, $12/gallon gas and all that mess - put the money DIRECTLY where it is needed.

Yes, if the government had the SLIGHTEST bit of intestinal fortitute, they would lend EVERYONE enough to pay off their current mortgages at 6.5% for 40 YEARS.

Period.

End of story.

THAT would fix the problem.

Case closed ...

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Time-Warner Granted Ohio Statewide Video-Service Authorization

Well, I'm not 100% sure what this MEANS, but apparently Time-Warner has been granted a 10-year Video-Service Authorization for the State of Ohio as of 12/14/2007.

AT&T was ALSO granted Ohio Video-Service Authorization on November 7, 2007.

HUH???

I guess this is somehow different from the local franchise agreements. Back in the day, individual municipalities would grant franchises to one (and only one) cable provider and then that community was stuck.

Some hubbub went around a few months back about Ohio going to this state-wide system - a change that was heavily lobbied for by AT&T, but now I am WAY confused as it looks like both AT&T and Time-Warner now have these Ohio Video-Service Authorizations.

Apparently there were some consumer protections built into the law - including a requirement that provicers restore service within 72 hours of a service interruption or other problem.

Well, I'd have to say some of this bizarre behavior from the Scientific Atlanta 8300 box constitutes a "problem", so I'm wondering if I can call the state on them now.

Eight additional companies have also applied for authorization - including Cincinnati Bell. Seeing the way they handle Fuse and Zoomtown I am REALLY afraid.

Of some concern also is that Hamilton County doesn't seem to be on the list for either AT&T OR Time-Warner.

Now, can anyone explain to me what the deal was with this thing? I thought the whole STATE was going to be franchised to a single company ...

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Harlan Ellison on Star Trek Rumors and WGA Strike



Who needs Joy Rolland when you have Harlan Ellison??

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Star Trek: Enterprise PC Mod


Yes, my friends ... there are people out there with even MORE time on their hands than ME ...

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

How YOU Can Help Make Axinar's A Better Blog

A while back my good buddy The Dean of Cincinnati described me as "a staff unto himself" as I have been able to cover topics covering such incredibly diverse subjects on Axinar's.

Of course now that there is a Mrs. Axinar's who takes up a pretty serious amount of my time, I'm pretty much at the point where I DO need a staff of sorts.

Pretty much what I desperately need are a few volunteers who can browse through RSS feeds.

Now, despite the near-certain objections of ConspiracyNut, as of right now it looks like one of the easiest RSS readers to use is Google Reader and they have just recently added a feature where you can see the "shared items" of anyone on your GMail or Google Talk friends list.

Pretty much how this would go is this:

If you don't have one already, go to GMail and click on the big gray "Create an account" button in the lower right hand corner.

Once you're set up, send me a note from your new account to axinar@gmail.com and let me know you want to help screen RSS feeds. Once I reply to you we will be on each others GMail friends list.

Next, go to Google Reader and click on "Add subscription" towards the middle of the left column. One simple one to start with is "Yahoo! Top Stories": http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories.

As you read through the stories on this feed, if you see one you think looks interesting, simply click "Share" at the bottom of the item, and that item will be visible to me after you click "OK" on the "Share with friends" message just above "Add subscription".

If I see something of IMPORT in your shared items, I will write a piece on it and, if you would like, I can credit you.

Let me know if you have any questinos!

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What DID Happen To The Chat Rooms?

John C. Dvorak ran a piece the other day in PC Magazine called "Chat Rooms Are Dead! Long Live the Chat Room!" that I've been meaning to mention.

The topic of course is so large as to be almost impossible to cover in a single blog posting, but I shall try.

He starts out with "Chat rooms kind of began with the CompuServe CB simulator around 1979."

"Kind of".

Actually it might be a bit difficult to pin down exactly when something that functions like a "chat room" as we now understand first came into existence. Generally speaking, anything that someone claims was done first on the Internet or the old "online services" (CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy, GEnie, etc. circa late 1980's) invariably turns out to have been done first on amateur radio and many times even on landline telegraph. Anecdotal accounts put "online porn" all the way back to radio fax transmissions possible as early as the 1920's and the first well documented "online romance" goes back prior to 1891.

But, yes, for many of us in the "40+ crowd", our first exposure to something like a chat room was via the CompuServe CB Simulator.

As a matter of fact, I remember getting my first CompuServe membership because I had heard that they had an Atari SIG. SIG was short for Special Interest Group - a term I suspect may have been borrowed from Mensa. It's parallel to what's usually called a "Group" today - a place where you post messages and other people can read them and reply to themas they wish. The Atari SIG sounded like a great place to exchange information about the Atari 800 I had at the time.

However, I also read in the CompuServe manual about this feature called the "CB Simulator" and I thought such a thing would be of limited value. I remember thinking, "Who would be interested in talking to strangers?"

Well, I found the answer to that one REAL fast.

Some of the "strangers" were young ladies close to my age who, despite being on Long Island or in Chicago or Maryland, shared my interests in computers, science fiction, photography, etc. Of course we really didn't HAVE digital cameras back then, so we would "snailmail" snapshots of one another back in forth back in those days and when I came ot find out that some of these "geeky girls" were also incredibly CUTE, I nearly lost my little teenaged mind.

Over the years other services picked up this idea of live keyboard-to-keyboard communication.

Probably the most famous was AOL. Back in the late '80's and early '90's, the AOL chat rooms were the place to be. I even heard tell that there were in-person gatherings of local users of the AOL chat rooms. Of course AOL charged by the hour back then and I was pretty happy with a combination of CompuServe and the local BBS's, so I never got on AOL chat rooms until - what? - about a year ago.

Yep ... back in August, 2006, AOL decided it was going to an advertiser-supported business model like Yahoo!. All the software and services were now free and mostly accessible via a web browser.

However, there was one exception. To get on the AOL Chat Rooms, you had to download the AOL 9.0 software and you had to give them a credit card number. Of course giving AOL a credit card number can be a little scary, but having waited damn near 20 years to check out these chat rooms, I went ahead and risked it.

Currently, if you want to check out the AOL Chat Rooms, you have to download AOL 9.1, and I presume you still have to give them a credit card number. They charge you something like $1 and then they immediately refund it. I guess this is in an attempt to keep minors away.

AOL 9.1 is still pretty intrusive software though. You have to go through a "custom" install to keep it from installing all kinds of toolbars and other nonesense and then Spybot S&D's Teatimer program still reports the thing is trying to install some registry nonesense called "HostManager" and "AOL Fast Start".

However, if you do get everything installed and set up and then go to "People" then "Chat" then "View all chat listings", double click on "Places" and you'll see the "Cincinnati" room, which generally has about 30 people - who rarely say anything to one another. They must be "private messaging" in the background. And, judging by some of these handles - they must be private messaging about some PRETTY interesting things - one of them has a handle that includes "GFE" - lingo associated with the escort service business. This person's profile also has a link to an add offering "a special for all pre-booked appointments starting Monday December 10 until Sunday December 23". Sounds like more than the department stores are running holiday specials ... :)

Dvorak mentions that MSN shut down its chat rooms entirely in October of 2006 - he thinks maybe because there were too many spambots on there. However, if memory serves, the shutdown came after MSN's discovery that one of the major uses for chat rooms was for people trying to arrange sexual encounters with underaged kids. Of course it seems like there are people being busted DAILY for attempting to set up meetings with police officers claiming to be 14-year-old kids so there must be chat sites out there SOMEWHERE that cater to law enforcement professionals who like to claim to be 14-year-old girls.

Yahoo! Chat has added a CAPTCHA verification, but there ARE an enormous number of spam and pseudo-spam type entities on there. Some of them are automated, but, what scares me is that I think a healthy proportion are actually sweat-shop workers in southeast Asia who spend probably 12 hours a day trying to lure people to pay sex sites.

Yahoo! ALSO figured out there were way too many law enforcement officials hanging out on its "user named" chat room. Yes, at one time you could flat out get on Yahoo! Chat and name a room something like "Looking for Boyz", and, sure enough, some heavily armed 35-year-old with a badge would be more than happy to claim to be a 14-year-old bi-curious youngster and try to arrange a meeting with you in a park in Xenia or some such so he could arrest you.

Yahoo!'s solution to this problem was getting rid of the "user named" chat rooms. Now when you go onto Yahoo! Chat you get a nice "orderly" list of chat rooms, which unfortunately does not including a "Cincinnati" room. It does, however, including a "Jewish" room which can get pretty entertaining at times.

Ironically enough, Yahoo! chat rooms a number of years ago added the ability to actually communication via voice if you have a microphone and speakers, thus making it REALLY like the old CB radio.

Of course, as the decades have dragged on, particularly Yahoo! Chat has gotten easier and easier to use, and, at a certain point it stopped being just the ├╝bergeeks who were hanging out in chat rooms and the unwashed masses started showing up and it just wasn't as much fun any more.

Second Life DOES function as a chat room of sorts - as a matter of fact, I had a WILD conversation with Amanda Baggs there a couple of months ago, but Second Life of course is MUCH more than a conventional chat room. Of course Second Life does still have a little of a learning curve and requires a computer with some pretty decent power, so it does tend to discourage the riff-raff pretty well.

Now, while all these commercial chat services were developing, there was another technology being developed on the Interent called IRC. It is beyond question THE most difficult to set up and use of the common chat applications. It is not just one network but several dozen independent networks. It functions through a "client application", arguably the simplest of which currently available is XChat.

It's hard to get a handle on exactly what is going on with these IRC networks these days. At one time the two biggest were EFNet, and Undernet. Apparently there are some bigger ones now like IRCNet and QuakeNet. I generally look for the #Cincinnati channel and see if thre's much activity. So far I haven't seen much.

Judging though from some highly bizarre stuff that ConspiracyNut has sent me, apparently there is some MAJOR IRC activity going on out there, but, thus far she has not divulged to me where she hangs out there exactly.

But, yes, what Dvorak's guest said is probably correct - for right now, it looks like MySpace is how the youngsters prefer to communicate. Sort of a mixture of the functionality of a blog and a chat room, who can blame them?

What I want to know though is how they keep from going into seizures and losing their hearing on that thing ...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Only Man In North America Who Has Never Heard Of Vanessa Hudgens Caught On Video



Precisely why Axinar's should be required daily reading anywhere in the world where there is electricity ... :)

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't Own The Mortgage? Then Don't Foreclose

Looks like Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steven E. Martin figured out a way to delay the foreclosure on a North College Hill house by ruling that Wells Fargo Bank couldn't even prove the owned the mortgage.

Similar rulings have been handed down in other parts of Ohio in the past month.

Of course once nasty thing about the mortgage business is that very often mortgages are sold and resold after they are originated. And, increasingly, the companies that "service" the mortgages - handle the actual payments and whatnot - are not the same companies that actually own the mortgages.

Looks like the judges are starting to rule on the side of the consumers and maybe will be able to help slow down some of the abuses that have been going on in the mortgage business ...

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Severe Problems With Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR?

As I alluded to in the E.R. 300 Patients post, there is a SERIOUS problem with Time-Warner's new Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR.

Now, I had an HD-DVR from Time-Warner back when they first came out. Now, mind you, an HD-DVR IS a pretty complicated device. Back then they wouldn't even let you install the thing yourself - a technician had to come out, and, for starters, chastise you thoroughly about making sure that you had it set up in a place where it could get enough air.

However, the vast majority of the time, the old one WORKED. It would usually pick up MORE than you wanted - for instance on a channel like National Geographic that doesn't have a separate West Coast feed, usually, say, if there were a show on that you wanted to record at 8pm, it would also pick up the West Coast feed at 11pm, but, aside from that, it was pretty reliable.

Well, over the spring and summer, Mrs. Axinar and I weren't really here all that much, so we took the cable box back and downgraded.

Then, as autumn rolled around, our schedules reduced quite a bit and we knew we were going to be home more so I called Time Warner and asked them what kind of specials they had going on.

I knew what they offered me was probably too good to be true.

Pretty much for what we were paying for "cable ready" plus 5 Mbit/sec RoadRunner, they gave us an HD-DVR, "HD Tier", Cinemax and 8.5 Mbit/sec RoadRunner.

Of course, in life, there is no free lunch.

This box is haunted.

I knew there was trouble when it first booted up.

I saw this caption come across the front of the box that said "OCAP". I had never seen that on the old box.

Then I saw some logos including "Java" - yikes - on a computer that would be fine - on a cable box I'm thinking that might be a little dicey.

Then I see "Mystro" and this countdown from L-13 to L-1 that took a LOOOOOOOONG time.

Now, they warned me when I first got the thing that it might take a whole day for all the patches to download.

Now, this would be no different than trying to download all the Windows XP patches all that once, but I think most of us as used to a little smoother "out of box" experience with a cable tuner than with a computer.

Now, if the f*ck*ng thing had worked after a whole day worth of downloading patches I wouldn't have minded, but it didn't go that smoothly.

Usually what happens is that it starts freaking out late at night. Like Thursday night it was having some sort of brain freeze and missed recording a very pivotal episode of E.R.

It also sometimes will go completely black when you try to tune to something innocuous like CNBC and it seems like the only thing that will get it working again is to unplug it for 30 seconds, then plug it back in and let it go through its 5+ MINUTE reboot routine.

Mrs. Axinar got so sick of it she started calling customer service herself.

One of the customer service people said she had one of the newer boxes herself and has had nothing but trouble with it.

I personally watched it reboot by itself THREE TIMES late on Thursday night going into Friday when I was up with my cold from hell.

Time-Warner even had a message up on their customer service line over the weekend that said, "If you are getting a message saying that you haven't subscribed to a basic channel, please unplug your box, etc., etc. ..."

Mrs. Axinar really gave them the business this morning but they are really not offering any solutions.

I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to try as they are pretty much only charging me what they would for the "cable ready" service and slower RoadRunner, but I wish to God they would get their act together and issue a box that actually WORKS.

After all, we are talking about quite probably the LAST episodes of E.R. EVER coming up here - to say nothing of the last season of Battlestar Galactica starting up here fairly soon ...

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Drooooopy Vs. Amanda Baggs



I stumbled across Amanda Baggs quite a number of years ago when I first started suspecting that The Old Man had a scorching case of Asperger's.

Now Amanda was generally comforting in a way because I would tell her about some particularly troubling habit my father has and, generally, she would top it with some story from her own background that was even WORSE.

Of course then along came "In My Language" and CNN's discovery of Amanda, so, like any good blogger who follows autism topics from time to time, I started setting up RSS feeds to see what might come up on "Amanda Baggs".

Well, as initially shocking as it may seem, Amanda has detractors. Apparently some of them are so convinced that Amanda is in some way up to no good that lawsuits have been flying.

If I understand it correctly, one of the main assertions is that Amanda has somehow deliberately copied key elements of the persona and life story of a certain YouTube user called Drooooopy.

Yes, there does seem to be a certain surface similarity - apparently up to and including the model of the speech synthesis unit they both prefer to use. What of course was a little frightening to me as I was looking through Drooooopy's videos is that MY OWN "tics" in many ways are even more reminiscent of Drooooopy than they are Amanda.

Now, there's someone else out there I'm beginning to grow suspicious of due to there being SO many places where he has posted over and over and over again something to the effect, "Look, I have dealt with Low Functioning Autism day after day for over a decade and because Amanda does X and the other person with Autism does Y, Amanda couldn't possibly be autistic."

Of course just about everyone who has had any experience with the condition can tell you how TREMENDOUSLY heterogeneous it is.

Take for instance Amanda and Drooooopy vs. The Old Man. Amanda and Drooooopy both make YouTube videos. Amanda makes appearances on CNN, British television stations and also, if I understand it correctly, speaks frequently at autism spectrum conferences. It also sounds like Drooooopy, under the right circumstances, would be willing to do similar things.

The Old Man is so paranoid he wouldn't even get an account on Tri-State Online years ago because he was afraid to sign the "indemnify and hold harmless" clause of the user agreement. On many, many occasions I've told him some TV coverage might be helpful with some situation he is facing, but he really, really, really doesn't want to be in the public eye in any way, shape, or form.

Does this take away from the fact that he can't take loud sounds, has to do exactly the same things at the exact same time of day, eat exactly the same foods, wear special clothes that he doesn't find irritating and a good half dozen other "tics" common among many others on the autism spectrum? I don't think so.

But probably the most interesting of the "anti-Amanda" traffic is the attempt to analyze her early web postings. Yes, it's pretty clear she's gotten a number of different diagnoses over the years. But, then again, so did John Elder Robison.

As a matter of fact, if Amanda's actual SYMPTOMS have drifted considerably over the years, I, for one, would be even MORE fascinated as everyone in my family has noted a steady deterioration of The Old Man's functional level over the years.

Why, as a matter of fact, should the theory be off the table that there is such a thing as adult-onset autism?

Thimerosal has been used in vaccines since the 1930's, and yet the explosion of autism cases has not taken place until the last 20 years or so.

Presuming for a moment some OTHER environmental factors in place over the last couple of decades, is it not possible that similar damage could be done to an ADULT brain as is done to the brains of younger children with autism?

Yes, as some of the people seem to point out at the conferences Amanda attends, there are things about her case that are different from other autism cases. Then again, all autism cases are different.

Does her case follow closely that of any specific person who is currently an autistic child? Maybe not.

Is Amanda simply some sort neurotypical actress ala LonelyGirl15 with some entirely different form of mental malfunction? Well, maybe, but somehow I don't think so ...

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Friday, December 7, 2007

ER "300 Patients"

And because my HD-DVR from Time Warner failed to record this AGAIN, I have no choice but to post:















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Thursday, December 6, 2007

McDonald's Advertising On REPORT CARDS

Just when you thought this joint couldn't get any MORE evil, it turns out that McDonald's is now advertising on REPORT CARDS.

These fools picked up the $1600 tab for printing report card jackets for the 2007-2008 school year in Seminole County, FL and got to print a Happy Meal coupon in return.

That comes out to "less than 2 cents per impression".

Let me get this straight - under threat of having my house sold at auction, I'm forced to pay for a public school system that is allowing a PRIVATE operation like Mickey D's to push GREASE and SALT on ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGED kids?

Yep - I'm thinking it just may be time to leave the country.

Apparently Mickey-D's is also offering a FREE Happy Meal to students with all A's and B's, have two or fewer absences or have high marks for good behavior are entitled to a free happy meal at a local McDonald's -- so long as they show their report card.

Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, describes this move by McDonald's as an "all new low".

Someone named Regina Klaers from the school district said that Pizza Hut had been sponsoring the printing up until now.

Well, Pizza Hut is bad enough, but at least they are selling FOOD and selling it DIRECTLY.

Flipping Mickey D's, for starters, is spending MILLIONS every year to try to make sure YOUR 4 - 10 year old children know which TOY they can get in the Happy Meal every month and then spending even MORE to CALL your children to make sure they are harassing YOU to take them to McDonald's to get the toy.

Now come on - letting these corporate vultures loose on a CAPTIVE audience under compulsory attendance is just plain WRONG ...

Monday, December 3, 2007

The First 100 Registered .com Domains

Slashdot found an interesting page today - a list of the first 100 domains registered under .com.

The first three .edu's were cmu.edu, purdue.edu, rice.edu and ucla.edu in April of 1985.

I didn't even start college until September of 1986 and I never even HEARD of the Internet until August of 1991, so this is a fairly stunning piece of information.

The very first .com was symbolics.com from March of 1985. There's not much there now but it looks like they were some sort of custom workstation company.

The second was bbn.com - an early player in Internet infrastructure development.

Many of the other names you might expect - dec.com, hp.com, sun.com, intel.com, att.com - all registered in late fall 1985 to early spring 1986 - when, ironically enough, I was still hanging out on a 300 baud modem on CompuServe and PeopleLink.

Quite fascinatingly, relatively late to the list was cisco.com in May, 1987 - right abuot the time, if I remember correctly, I was learning how to program in FORTRAN on a VAX or something of the sort.

Oh, yes ... how far we've come ...


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