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Nov. 18th, 2015 @ 02:36 pm So what is really behind "The Deal"?
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One of the common questions asked is why haven't the "moderate" Middle Eastern governments taken a harder stance against ISIS. Even Turkey, a NATO ally, kept the border rather porous for individuals to cross and join with ISIS, and resisted letting us use our own air strips within their country for strikes against them until the nutcases crossed the border to harass the Kurds. Turkey may hate the Kurds, but their own Kurds are their problem, not ISIS's, to deal with. Jordan as well, has armed their border, but not dared to cross it...but then again, Jordan itself hasn't actually seen a direct threat yet, in spite of their more secular attitudes to personal behavior compared to the hardline ISIS leadership.

Today I read a detail about Beruit that the media, even when finally mentioning that city at all, didn't say.

ISIS's target wasn't the city as a whole. ISIS didn't even target the (eastern) Christians in that city.

ISIS's targets were Shia. All of them. Village and family, it was a Sunni strike against Shiites, not a fundamentalist strike against moderates nor a Muslim attack against non-Muslims, which it would have been if the Christians' neighborhoods had been the target.

A Sunni strike against Shia.

Suddenly, a lot of things made sense.
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Oct. 31st, 2015 @ 08:48 pm Tonight's Thriller Free Zone
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  • The Thriller Free Zone has begun. Warming up with Stick Men improvs and Starless with David Cross.

  • ProjeKct Four - Seizure

  • A Scarcity of Miracles by Jakko Jakszyk, Mel Collins, and Robert Fripp

  • followed by Caitley's Ashes, from Jakko's solo but featuring Mel Collins.

  • Liquid Tension Experiment Osmosis

  • DreamTheater Space Dye Vest

  • A wall of later Pink Floyd - Yet Another Movie, Terminal Frost, Sorrow, Wearing the Inside Out, Keep Talking

  • Zep's No Quarter

  • Alan Parsons Recurring Dream

  • Sting's I Burn For You

  • Queen Who Wants to Live Forever

  • Fleetwood Mac for Halloween? When it is Buckingham's Live version of I'm So Afraid, you better believe. Then Nicks's Straight Back.

  • Back to Robert Plant with Ship of Fools, then

  • Metallica's Nothing Else Matters

  • Into the 80s for realz, with Prince's When Doves Cry, then

  • U2's Indian Summer Sky

  • 80s movies: I'm Falling from Real Genius, Wang Chung's Fire in the Twilight from Breakfast Club

  • Winding down in the late 80s with The Cure: Fascination Street (extended version) and Lullaby

  • Last of the 80s, The Cars Moving in Stereo.

  • Takedown and cleanup to Cirque du Soleil's Corteo

Oct. 31st, 2015 @ 06:09 pm live-tweeting instead of live-blogging this year
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you can follow on https://twitter.com/hashtag/tfz2015?src=hash
Apr. 28th, 2015 @ 10:28 am About JWS :: Been Busy Doing...Nothing Much?
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I've kinda been busy, first with the SubFire player, then with prepping for a vacation, then finally taking said vacation in Orange County, CA (incl Discovery Cube, Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Disneyland and DCA, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, a Signing Time concert for my kid and a friend, and walking through Crystal Cove State Park (incl a Beach with interesting tide pools we don't get on the east coast).

So, watch the photo blog, 'cause lots of pics are coming in the next few weeks.

Plus here I may recap my thoughts on Disneyland.
About JWS :: Been Busy Doing...Nothing Much?
Apr. 7th, 2015 @ 04:59 pm About JWS :: Facebook and Emergency Handling
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Ok, everybody remember 9/11? Of course you do. You also all remember so many of the false stories that the radio stations and sometimes the TV were telling until we all calmed down a little and got to focus on our thoughts (well, until buildings 5 and 7 fell, which kinda shook us all up again).

One example: there were explosions at the state department (false). There were explosions at the capital (false). There were military planes chasing civilian airliners (mostly false). There were military planes shooting other at civilian planes (false). Lots of these little rumors, all called in to the radio stations or reported on the internet (for those of us who had connectivity in that day of ultra over-load). All false.

One of the problems we had, partly due to that internet overload, is that of those rumors still being posted even after they'd long since been discredited. The caches of the news reports, or copies of them, kept getting passed around, or links to the original page continued to be spread around after the news sources had made a new page for the updated information. The old info, out of date and known to be wrong, was still on their site.

The news media took to handling that situation by basically making a master page for the news story, which they would then update and edit as if it was a wikipedia page. Any time you clicked it, it would be the most up to date version possible. This is a reasonable solution.

It is not a solution Facebook is expecting. Facebook's "OpenGraph" system basically caches an image, headline, and summary on the page as soon as somebody shares it with the system. Any one of those 3 items may change later on the actual news page, but Facebook continues to show the original summary which is full of false information, or the original headline which is very leading, subjective, and possibly not even true. All because it has cached that as being the headline for the url.

This is happening today.

Right now, the WTOP story on the DC and Southern Maryland blackout is a rather mild take on a "problem with a transmission line", belonging to PEPCO. But if you were to try to share the URL, the original headline and summary, that there was an explosion in a St. Mary's transmission station belonging to SMECO, is what gets displayed. Lots of false information, but Facebook won't correct it. This is a problem, because someday there WILL be something serious, something full of false headlines and false stories, and people's reliance on links in facebook is going to make things worse, not better.

Facebook needs to solve this problem. And soon.

About JWS :: Facebook and Emergency Handling
Feb. 1st, 2015 @ 07:57 am About JWS :: why I still follow JWZ...
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reasons I love following JWZ for 15 years...

This shit never would have happened when Jobs was around.

I mean, he might have done something objectively even more horrible -- like declaring that iTunes no longer does files at all, it's cloud only, welcome to hell and here's your accordion -- but this nonsense of "we claim it does this thing but that only works like 70% of the time"? That shit, up with which he would not have put.

Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

About JWS :: why I still follow JWZ...
Jan. 12th, 2015 @ 10:15 pm About JWS :: Naughty Little Teddy Bears...
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fof not quite right
My late friend Pete Brown used to sing this often, with his own minor variations, of course, at the Foggs' various pub stops.

Teddy Bears Rave Up

If you go down in the woods today you better go in disguise.
If you go down in the woods today you're sure of a big surprise.
'Cos every bear that ever there was is gathered there for certain because
today's the day the Teddy Bears have their Rave Up.

There's Angel Bears who've come on their bike dressed in their leather gear.
There's gallons of Scrump all green with limps and 'orrible Watney's beer.
Yogi downed a pint of it quick, was very promptly 'orribly sick
and filled up both of Paddington's new wellies

Rave Up time for Teddy Bears.
The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time today.
Grooving to those heavy sounds
that only Status Quo know how to play.
Cresta Bear is freaking out.
He's frothing Man, he's blown his little brain.
Rupert's spaced, he's on a trip. Winnie the Pooh is doing the strip.
They reckon he's on The Game.

Now every bear that's ever been good is sure of a treat today,
for Mummy and Daddy and Baby bear have found a new game to play.
Beneath the leaves where nobody sees there's Goldilocks tied up to a tree.
You bet your life she's getting more than porridge.

So if you go down in the woods today you better not go alone.
It's lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home.
'Cos it's a really kinky scene, a big butch bear is playing the Queen
and they don't call him Sugar Puffs for nothing.

Rave Up time for Teddy Bears.
The little Teddy Bears are having a lovely time today.
Groping in the undergrowth,
Oh what would Enid Blyton have to say?
See them gaily stagger round, collapsing on the ground,
they haven't got any cares.
At 12 o'clock the coppers are coming to take them all away,
'cos they've been naughty little Teady Bears

(Mudcat Credit: This was recorded by Fred Wedlock on his album Oldest Swinger in Town, with Chris Newman. I'm not sure whether he wrote it or if it's attributable to someone else.)
About JWS :: Naughty Little Teddy Bears...
Jan. 5th, 2015 @ 03:15 pm On the Disney Store
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fof not quite right
One negative of growing up is that aside from B&N, perusing a mall, even one as loaded as Tysons, just isn't interesting anymore. Sure, I got a little amusement from looking at the Lego store's Hobbit collection, but my 3 year old just isn't ready for that stuff yet. Who knows what will be the next big thing when she is (besides Star Wars, which will never go away), as even the Harry Potter and PotC sets are now gone. I mock the Microsoft store every time I walk past. I cringe at the Apple store not because I dislike the products, but rather just that I generally dislike the prices...and have no room in the house for a new computer (and I have 2 netbooks that need to find a new purpose in life).

But the Disney store's changes in the last couple of years are the most depressing. Between Disney's acquisition of Marvel and Star Wars, the Disney Princess line, Tink, Frozen (almost as large as the rest of the Princess line combined), and Sophia (from the TV channel), plus the required area for Mickey and Minnie, there just isn't any room for promoting the classical era of Disney films except for one tiny floor stand that was promoting a line of things for 101 Dalmatians (I'll wager the Blue-Ray release is coming up soon). Even Pixar is underrepresented, nevermind the Muppets, and I don't expect the Pixar line to grow with the next film as it seems more for a grown-up audience in the same way that Big Hero 6 is (that film also have almost no merch in the store at all).

Just depressing. Much as I *can* shop online, I actually don't like to.

Original Link.
Dec. 19th, 2014 @ 09:00 pm About JWS :: How should I show the Classics to a Kid?
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lemme sleep
i've always wondered how to handle the aspect of showing classic shows to the kid (currently 3 and a half). we grew up (or more recently, grew older) with certain things happening in a certain order. our parents, too.

my parents had to patiently wait and hope for that next Beatles album. we had to patiently wait for that next Star Wars film, that next (and eventually last...sigh...) MASH episode. as we grew older, that next Harry Potter book and movie. That next (and eventually last) Star Trek episode from a series that didn't suck. What introductions we had to things before us still came from TV - the episodes were only day-to-day on repeats (who knew if they ran them in order, and shows never really had finales in those days except The Prisoner), the movies were seen only when they just happened to come up on a saturday afternoon.

so how do we introduce those to someone much younger (say, my 3 year old), who has today all of that, every movie and ever episode of every series that has ever existed (if it survives) at the click of a remote (and the parents paying for a netflix subscription etc etc)?

do we try to recreate that anticipation we had with seeing it week by week, day by day (or you have to wai three years to see the next Star Wars film), or just get on with it in a huge marathon viewing, the same way we adults catch up to a show we realize we like, and see what the world comes up with that will be this tiny generation's "gotta wait and see..."
original: About JWS :: How should I show the Classics to a Kid?
Dec. 17th, 2014 @ 01:00 pm and queue the far right 'obama is a commie' outrage machine in
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sick of politics