Fourth of Six

Listen Up! There will be a test!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Noblesse Oblige

This article in the Washington Post, about What is actually annoying about restaurants, according to someone who has been a waiter for 25 years, reminds me of feudalism, and noblesse oblige, and tyranny. There is a little tyrant inside all of us, that, given a little power, will abuse others. You see it with homeowners' associations, city councils, bosses at work. Being a customer in a restaurant is as close as many of us will ever get to having a servant at our beck and call, and how you treat your servants is a sign of your real character, and your real social class.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Restore the Fourth

The constitution for the United States of America, as amended, says:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

From the Restore The Fourth FAQ:

"Restore the Fourth aims to end all forms of unconstitutional surveillance of digital communications by the United States government. One specific program Restore the Fourth seeks to discontinue is known as PRISM, which is directed by the National Security Agency."

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Utmost post

My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, is available for free, online, at, in the classic or updated edition. You can also download the iPhone app in classic or updated, for $4.99. You can also read Our Daily Bread at which also has iPhone, Android, and Kindle apps.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Find a Pro-Life doctor

I understand not wanting to see an obstetrician or gynecologist who does abortions. I don't even want to see a doctor if he is a partner with or shares a practice with someone who does abortions. If you're looking for a pro-life OB/GYN, check for membership in the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists.

There are folks who are so principled against family planning that they won't see a doctor who provides it. There is a list of no-family-planning doctors of all specialties on the One More Soul blog. NFP doctors don't provide contraception of any kind.

Then there are folks who hope to avoid using any of the products or by-products of abortion in their medicine. Cog for Life has a list of pro-life doctors "willing to provide ethical alternatives to aborted fetal cell line vaccines."

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Dreams and memory

Dreams happen when brains are running like computers without a display or memory, just a processor only, no hard drive. Nothing is stored. The reason we can't remember much when we wake up is that the moment we open our eyes, it's like turning on the screen right at the moment of a power failure. Our last glimpse of what's on the screen of our dreaming mind is all we have before it crashes. Reality causes our brains to load everything into RAM, constantly swapping out old information to be replaced with new. Everything is in short term memory until it is swapped out or stored in a long term file. Perception is impossible without memory.

I read an article recently that posited the theory that time perception is related to memory formation. Your perception of the passage of time is directly related to the new-memory density of the time which passed. The older you are, the more you've been there, done that, so fewer things are recognized as new information requiring storage and retrieval.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine says that when you recall your first kisses, early birthdays, your earliest summer vacations, they seem to be in slow motion? "I know when I look back on a childhood summer, it seems to have lasted forever," he says.

That's because when it's the "first", there are so many things to remember. The list of encoded memories is so dense, reading them back gives you a feeling that they must have taken forever. But that's an illusion. "It's a construction of the brain," says Eagleman. "The more memory you have of something, you think, 'Wow, that really took a long time!'

"Of course, you can see this in everyday life," says Eagleman, "when you drive to your new workplace for the first time and it seems to take a really long time to get there. But when you drive back and forth to your work every day after that, it takes no time at all, because you're not really writing it down anymore. There's nothing novel about it."

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shocking bed story

I was playing with my biggest dog the other day. We were on the bed together, and his head was dangling over the side. Suddenly, he yelped and scrambled to escape. The bed had given him a shock! I figured the culprit was his Invisible Fence® Brand collar. He has it on all the time, because if he doesn't, I forget to put it on him before he leaves the house, and then he runs away. I took off his collar and held it close to the bed until it gave off the warning beep. It beeped whenever it was close to the wire running around the edges of the mattress. I guess that wire conducts the Invisible Fence® signal. Now I take care to keep him away from the bed.

I highly recommend the Invisible Fence® for dogs who run away, or yards without a traditional fence. You might need it even if you already have a fence. I have a four-foot chain-link fence, but my dogs are able to climb right over it, so I got estimates on installing a taller fence. I decided on the Invisible Fence®, because it was much cheaper, and could be installed inside the perimeter of the chain-link fence.

The way it works is the dogs wear a collar which signals them with a warning beep to retreat from the boundary. Training is the key. If they cross the boundary, they get a shock. If you don't train them to retreat when they hear the beep, they will go through and get shocked and keep going. I've heard folks complain that the Invisible Fence® didn't work for their dog, but then they admit they failed to train the dog properly. It's 90% training. Don't buy one unless you are prepared to spend about 15 minutes, three times a day, for a month, on training.

I don't make any money from this product endorsement. There are other brands of electronic fences for animals that work just as well, as long as you train your dog. The only difference between providers, in my opinion, is warranty or customer service. The bulk of the expense is the labor involved in installing the fence. You can buy your own and install it yourself, for 10% of the cost, but the labor would be about 50 hours, if you do it with a spade, unless you rent a machine that lays the wire for you. That method takes only an hour.

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Is Picky Eating a Medical Condition That Should Be Covered by Insurance? - ABC News

Duke University is doing an online study of picky eaters to see if Picky Eating a Medical Condition That Should Be Covered by Insurance. I wonder if any of my family will sign up for it?

Mom prides herself on not raising (m)any picky eaters.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Baseball blips

I go to about one baseball game a year, usually when a friend has free tickets. I used to go more when the nephews were younger. I went last Saturday, and I was greatly amused by the sound effects played. You know the stuff: breaking glass when the ball goes over the wall, the Drifters' "Up On The Roof" for foul balls that go, well, you know where, etc. So I went looking online for a compilation, just for kicks.

Instead, I found a great page of links to sources. Some of the links contain links to stuff that's NSFW.

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