Category: General

Some Changes Coming to the Blog

At the beginning of the year, I stopped posting Friday Quotes. It was becoming more of a chore than a joy – and since this blog is supposed to be fun…

So, starting with April, the Metal Tuesday B-sides will go over to Fridays.

So, for the rest of the year, we should have Monday Links, Tuesday Metal, B-Side Fridays, and Anime Recommendations around the middle of the month.

Plus whatever family journaling or other items of note.

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Dramatic video of the Francis Scott Key Bridge being struck by a cargo vessel and collapsing.

The local paper has its account.

A massive container ship adrift at 9 mph issued a “mayday” early Tuesday as it headed toward the iconic Francis Scott Key Bridge, losing power before colliding with one of the bridge’s support columns. As the vessel struck the bridge, it caused a din that could be heard ashore and immediately toppled an essential mid-Atlantic thoroughfare into the frigid waters.

Several cars were knocked into the Patapsco River and as of Tuesday around 11 a.m., authorities were searching for six construction workers who had been repairing potholes on the bridge. Two others were rescued — one who was briefly hospitalized and another who declined to go to a hospital. Extensive rescue efforts were ongoing.

Baltimore awoke to the tragedy: States of emergency declared by both the mayor and governor, search-and-rescue efforts for those missing, a bridge disappeared.

Before the collision, the ship’s crew notified authorities that the vessel had lost power. That “mayday” allowed Maryland Transportation Authority Police on the highway above to prevent many cars from driving onto the bridge just before the catastrophe.

“These people are heroes,” Gov. Wes Moore said in a morning news conference. “They saved lives last night.”

Moore added that there was no evidence that the collision was a terrorist attack.

Of course, there’s already wild speculation that it was a terrorist attack. Because the internet is a fucking cesspool sometimes.

The administration has already stated that the feds will pick up the tab for clearing and rebuilding. Which, honestly, is what the federal government should do. Still, it’s going to be a long road. And the supply chain is going to be fucked up until the disaster area is cleared.

Still, this whole incident gave me eerie vibes to a local event back in 1980.

Monday Links – Backlog of Reason

It’s been a while since I posted a Monday Links post. So, I’ve got a bunch of Reason links from the beginning of the year that I’m just going to post here.

The former NIH director remarked that ignoring the collateral damage of COVID policies was “really unfortunate.” The politics of COVID is making having a reckoning on the efficacy of government actions near impossible. And will make things worse.

Protectionism ruined U.S. Steel. Cue shocked Pikachu face. Protectionism protects inefficiencies and high prices.

Three economic myths that need to die. There are many more, but these would be a good start.

The modern miracle of cheap aluminum foil.

Is ESG over? Sweet FSM, I hope so.

Wisconsin is trying to make the cottage food industry unprofitable.

A couple of Florida stories that show the danger of single party rule – regardless of which political party rules the roost. Florida legislation would ban civilian police oversight boards. I could see reforming the boards to make sure they don’t get out of control, but do you really want a place like Broward not to have any oversight. Also, DeSantis wants to ban lab-grown meat. WTF? If customers want lab-grown meat, let them have buy lab-grown meat. It’s just as bad to ban the product than forcing it on everyone.

Ring will no longer hand over your camera footage without a warrant. I find it somewhat odd that they announced this about a month before they announced a hefty price increase on their cloud storage services. (link to The Verge)

The ACLU is suing the Ronald McDonald House for not housing folks with assault convictions. Let’s see. We have a charity that is housing the families of children undergoing medical treatment. It’s already a stressful environment. I can see not wanting people with a history of violence in that environment. And I’ll still give money to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. They do good work.

The Oklahoma governor is calling for reforms to civil asset forfeiture. Here’s a reform. Ban the fucking practice. It’s legalized theft.

Hawaii’s high court says there is no individual right to keep and bear arms under the state constitution. Continuing a long string of anti-gun states screaming their defiance of the US Supreme Court.

Musical Transcendence

There are some musical performances that seem to transcend time and place. The Tracey Chapman / Luke Combs duet from this year’s Grammy’s fits that bill. The simplicity, the emotion in the singers, the reaction of the audience. It reminds a person of the basic humanity in all of us.

Blogus Quietus

I’ve been feeling a bit in the doldrums in regards to posting. Part of it is stress with new job. Part of it is stress with the clowder. Part of it is just other things going on in my life.

The bottom line, I may not be posting a lot.

Monday Links

This one is going to be a bit tech heavy. Just how the stories came across my feeds.

First, of course, are a couple of Reason links.

With all the brouhaha over Florida punishing Disney by taking away their special district, this infographic is a good reminder that Disney wasn’t the only one receiving special treatment.

Over the Volokh Conspiracy, an article on the large gap on how the generations view the Israel-Hamas War.

In that same vein, we have an opinion piece from the Times of Israel called Dear World: I Don’t Care.

Here’s a couple of Ground News aggregations.

Homelessness rose to its highest levels. The housing shortage is certainly a factor, in addition to the normal causes.

There’s a growing schism in the United Methodist Church. I have some interest in this as I grew up in a UMC.

Let’s do some gun stuff.

Tam has an article on the state of red dots. At some point, I’ll have probably have to jump on the bandwagon and add one to my carry pieces.

If you have a Taurus GX4. there’s a recall notice.

Now on to tech news. I have a couple articles from a new source – 404 Media.

Polish white-hats are being sued for bypassing a train manufacturer’s attempt to force repairs to their authorized sources. I am fine with manufacturer’s saying that if you repair your stuff or take it to an independent place, that it will void the warranty. I do not support manufacturers actively stopping repairs.

A marketing company is saying it can use what your smart devices “hear” to do targeted advertising. I’m not sure if this is hype or actual, but the fact that someone is claiming they can, means that they will try to do so.

Wired has a look at Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit.

WaPo discusses recent widespread cyber intrusions linked to Chinese PLA hackers.

And finally from Ars Technica, an article about how some cats like to play fetch. The Brother sent this last one over for consideration.

Derek’s Apple Music 2023 Playlist

Apple let me know I have a playlist of songs that I frequently played. I found the top 10 kind of interesting:

  1. Paralyzed – Beyond the Black
  2. Pasadena 1994 – Nanowar of Steel
  3. Hysteria – Beyond the Black
  4. Hurricane – I Prevail
  5. Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
  6. Fields of Verdun – Sabaton
  7. Black Rain – Primal Fear
  8. Halcyon Days – Stratovarius
  9. A Warrior’s Call – Volbeat
  10. Karate – BabyMetal

Monday Links – Super Sized!

Just as a heads up, I have a bit of a backlog that I’m clearing out today. So, buckle up buttercup.

Of course we’re starting with a mess of Reason links.

Do right-wingers believe conspiracy theories more than left-wingers? Short answer, no. Long answer, it’s complicated.

Some are estimating the US has about 20 years to get it’s financial house in order before a debt default becomes inevitable.

The FTC’s case against Amazon is based on a faulty interpretation of one statistic. You mean Kahn’s disregarding logic in her crusade against Amazon?

Re-examination of the teen vaping panic.

Retrospective of the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act at 50.

NLRB looks to change rules aimed at how franchises work – particularly fast food franchises.

Supreme Court issues a code of ethics for the justices. One item of note is that they address recusal and the duty for the justices to stay on cases to avoid strategic recusals.

The Fifth Circuit slaps down the ATF’s recent receiver rule.

On to other stuff.

The Reload has an article on the Supreme Court granting cert on the bump stock ban. I see this less of a gun case and more of a restricting administrative agencies from making people felons with a rule change.

From Ground News, we have Sam Altman departing OpenAI. Not clear if he left on his own accord or was forced out.

From 9to5Mac, Apple surprised everyone by announcing they were integrating RCS alongside iMessage.

From NYT comes an article on a company pulling carbon and trapping it in concrete. I always thought engineering would help the planet better than trying to just cut emissions.

War Is Boring reports the Ukranian Army is trying to transition to a more professional and gender-equitable force. Um, okay. I guess improving its professionalism in the middle of a war is a good thing.

Angry Staff Officer has an article discussing the positive leadership traits of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Honestly, this kind of article was why I started reading ASO.

From The Allspark, Peter Cullen to receive lifetime achievement award.

Our last link is from Ars Technica. The old television series “Connections” is being revived! And James Burke is returning as host!

Monday Links – Catch Up Edition

Due to drama in the Ward household, I haven’t posted Monday links for a couple of weeks. So, this is mostly tab-clearing out some articles.

Let’s start with the normal Reason links.

Police keep harassing the wrong David Sosa. He sued and was joined by eleven other David Sosas. This falls into the police need to have more attention to detail and not just take the easy road. Particularly when it comes to detaining the wrong people.

Tennessee student makes Instagram posts poking fun at the principal and gets suspended. The student sues.

Finally, a judge has ruled that the ATF overstepped its authority by saying inert items are “gun parts”.

Going on to other articles.

The civil trial against the coward Scot Peterson continues – and apparently requires a live-fire reenactment. Article from local tv.

The NY Times’ Wirecutter section has an article on what you need for birding. I only add it to the links because the author neglected any dog treats. Which based on his history and his infamous viral moment, you’d think he would include.

From PC Gamer, an article that 87 percent of old games are unplayable without resorting to piracy of some sort. Umm, yeah. Blinks in City of Heroes.

From the Washington Examiner, an article regarding a study that disputes all the claimed benefits of the transition to electric vehicles.

FIRE explains that the current brouhaha over Jason Aldean’s little ditty is an excellent example of the Streisand Effect.

Finally, from The Verge, a new self-transforming Grimlok toy is being released. It looks nifty, but not $1,500 nifty.