From Moe Lane at RedState, on Hillary's latest foot-in-mouth incident:
... no, actually I’m not particularly angry that Hillary Clinton called me a terrorist.  After all, I know that it’s not true.  On the other hand, I suspect that some of her partisans will be rather upset to find out that I called Hillary Clinton a joyless, incompetent hollow woman of a candidate with no greater accomplishments than existing. Largely because they know that it is true.
Ouch.  That's gotta sting.

Personally, I think that describing her as a "joyless, incompetent hollow woman of a candidate with no greater accomplishments than existing" is overly generous.  "Deperate, incompetent, dishonest, ineffectual joke of a candidate" is more accurate, but even that still doesn't quite capture the je ne sais quoi that is Hillary.

"Dumber than Forrest Gump" Is Being Charitable, I Think

Chris Hernandez has a few things to say about the recent kerfuffle on a train:
First: bravo to the three Americans who took down an armed terrorist on a French train. Those men are true heroes, and as a National Guard soldier myself I’m extremely proud that one is a fellow Guardsman. I have nothing but praise for them, and hope to shake their hands someday.
As someone who literally does this sort of thing for a living, he Has Opinions about those who want to use this particular event as Proof That You Don't Need Guns™:
Having said that, and I’m in no way detracting from their bravery or heroism, but they got lucky...
Generally speaking, you don’t bring a nothing to a gunfight and expect to win. It can happen, but you don’t make “use your bare hands to take down a guy with an AK-47” your Plan A. I know this because I have training, experience, and a brain. The blithering idiots at Addicting Info, however, looked at this fluke, consulted fellow blithering idiots who know nothing about lethal force, and published an article titled Proving The Best Defense Is A Good Guy WITHOUT A Gun, Unarmed U.S. Soldiers Foil French Gunman.
I’m pretty sure Addicting Info’s writers are literally the dumbest people on earth.
I don’t know much about AI’s writers or editors. I haven’t seen their IQ test results. I’m sure they’re all educated, and probably know many things about important topics like white privilege or microaggressions. But anyone who believes you’re better off unarmed when someone tries to shoot you with an AK has to be dumber than Forrest Gump. 
Among other things, Chris goes on to list a number of recent shootings where the proverbial Good Guys Without A Gun confronting the Bad Guy With A Gun ended up achieving the most statistically likely outcome in that particular situation, i.e., dying.

Funny how those pesky facts don't disprove their thesis, isn't it?

Go, RTWT, as they say.

Your Zen Website of the Day

  1. Go to openpuppies.com.
  2. You now have puppy footage looping.
  3. Tap the spacebar to advance to the next puppy.
  4. Laugh. D'aw! Teh kutes!
  5. Check the clock and wonder where the last 15 minutes went.
  6. Repeat as needed.


I'm working with an open source project right now that uses a __location__ macro to identify source files and lines for debugging.

If you happen to not be familiar with this concept... the __location__ macro is a #define, designed to take the standard c pre-processor macros for __FILE__ (the name of the current source file) and __LINE__ (the line in the current source file) and use some c language macro trickery to turn it into a single string that consists of the file name (foobar.c) and the file line (255) jammed together (ex, "foobar.c:255").

This was apparently done to simplify logging.  You want to know where something went wrong? Well, then - just log the __location__ of your output, and now you know!  Wonderful! Why futz around with two macros (__FILE__ and __LINE__) when you can just use __location__ instead?

Except... each and every use of __location__ now creates a unique string.

And the compiler, when it goes to optimize read-only data, can no longer consolidate all those references to __FILE__ into a single string in rodata.  Because you have helpfully replaced all (or almost all) of those references to __FILE__ with a reference to __location__, and now instead of on instance of the string "foobar.c" in your binary, you have strings for:
... and so on, and so on.  One string for each __location__.

Quick calculation shows that, for this project, 10% of the size of the stripped binaries - over 15 megabytes of data - consists of these debugging strings.


My current pet project is to work on replacing the use of __location__ with the explicit use of the standard __FILE__ and __LINE__ macros, and (hopefully!) reclaim that space.

Senseless Waste

Region-locked printing ink.  Seriously.
So, it appears that if you attempt to forcefeed a Xerox printer not-from-around-here ink, it will potentially brick the device. At that point, you're forced to ask for a Xerox rep to drop by and unlock your purchased printer for you...
Sure, it's only 10 minutes of work, but it's $60 being shelled out by a paying customer just so his printer will go back to printing. The only thing actually "broken" is Xerox's business model. 
It's ink, for the love of heaven!  INK!

The whole idea of intentionally breaking something that is functional makes me twitch.

Whatever idiot at Xerox came up with this particular idea should be manhandled into the nearest convenient alleyway and beaten with garbage can lids until whatever is broken in their brain starts working again.

Cause and Effect

Research indicates that Google can influence elections by up to 12.5%:
With a group of more than 1,800 study participants – all undecided voters in India -- the research team was able to shift votes by an average of 12.5 percent to favored candidates by deliberating altering their rankings in search results, Epstein said.
"Deez Nuts" is now the most successful independent candidate for president in two decades:
“Then I saw the slop bucket that we call the GOP field, the one-woman show on the Democratic side, and the lack of any third party candidate and thought ‘Man, Deez Nuts would be better than any of these guys,’” Olson continued. “So after that I just ran with it.”
Scary conclusion: someone at Google really likes Deez Nuts, which is why he is polling at something other than statistically insignificant levels.

Scarier conclusion: someone at Google really hates Deez Nuts, and he should actually be polling at around 25%.

Scariest conclusion: It really doesn't matter.

Gaming The System

This is the story of how a talk radio pioneer (and his devoted fans) concocted a wildly preposterous hoax – and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. 
To fully appreciate this tale, you must first understand Jean Shepherd, the satirical genius who was a masterful storyteller, helped create the talk radio format, and was a gifted writer who gave the world A Christmas Story...
One thing that astonished him about New Yorkers was (and still remains) their slavish obsession with Top 10 lists... Shep felt New Yorkers blindly followed whatever appeared on those lists without thinking or questioning them. The one that got his goat most of all was The New York Times Best Seller list for books. 
The Times has been printing this highly influential list since 1931. But here’s the thing: in Shep’s time, despite its name, the criteria for making the list involved more than just book sales. It included customer requests for and questions about books to book sellers.
As they say, RTWT.

I'm In

"One does not simply use the word 'Hobbit'."

One does not simply use the word 'Hobbit'. The Tolkien estate is guarded by more than just Lawyers. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye of Warner Brothers is ever watchful of its Intellectual Property. Hollywood is a soulless wasteland, riddled with narcissists and Democrats and Kardashians, the very society is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you defend this. It is folly.

Yinz Guys Got To Try Them Buckeyes

A nice little article on the Pittsburgh tradition of having cookie tables at weddings:
The cookie table at a Pittsburgh wedding is twice as important as a $500 four-tiered buttercream cake, and five times more delicious. 
It's a tradition that's said to originate in Southwestern Pennsylvania by Eastern European, Italian and Greek immigrants, who wanted to bring a taste of the homeland to the New World. Today tradition still trumps convenience, as wedding cookies are mostly homemade by family and friends.
We have two weddings coming up, and yes, both couples are already planning their cookie tables.

There are a few other wonderful Pittsburgh wedding traditions as well: making sure there is rigatoni at the reception, and ensuring that the Chicken Dance is played after dinner.  Having your reception in a fire hall is optional, but considered good form.

Linked List : Curiosities

There is an angel on Mars:
She is standing on a small rock and, calculating from the scale of the picture, she is just shy of four inches high... I would say the "parasol" is actually a flaming sword. She is, after all, a Martian angel, not an Earthling angel, charged to defend the honour of that planet, and not ours. Notwithstanding, an angel is an angel, and the family resemblance between theirs and ours is plain enough.
When Danes were under Prussian rule, they were forbidden from raising the Danish flag.  So they bred the Protest Pig instead. (H/T: Scandinavia and the World)

... there is a ham radio on the space station like the ones used by amateur radio enthusiasts around the world. It is how space station astronauts conduct Q&A sessions with students, for instance. The space station's ham radio frequencies are publicly available and you too can try to call the space station when it passes 250 miles above. That does not mean anyone will answer, but sometimes one of the astronauts will be there and will converse.
What are the odds that a plane will be hit by a meteor?  About one in a billion.

Linked List : History Edition

For whatever reason, there were a bunch of interesting articles on history in my feeds this morning...

To start things off, an archaeologist believes he may have found clues to the fate of some of the original Roanoke colonists:
Mr. Luccketti, 66, chose his words carefully as he described the fruits of their latest work. "I'm trying to make sure that I say this correctly," he said. "We have evidence from this site that strongly indicates that there were Roanoke colonists here." In Chapel Hill, N.C., on Tuesday, the foundation will reveal its findings, which have been submitted for peer review, and the theory that at least a few of the settlers moved inland to Site X.
Next, an article on the American program to eavesdrop on enemy radio communications in Europe and Africa... from Scituate, Rhode Island:
Seventy years ago this week Rhode Islanders swarmed into the streets with other joyous Americans celebrating the end of World War II. It would be three more months before the world learned of Rhode Island's top-secret role in defeating Germany and Japan. It was a tale of espionage, now virtually forgotten, centered in, of all places, an old farmhouse in Scituate.
Also related to WWII - excavation while building luxury apartments in Bethnal Green, England turned up a 500lb bomb:
The Royal Logistics Corps was on site preparing to stabilise and defuse the device, dropped during the Blitz in 1941. It was found by builders working on a site behind Temple Street. Photographs released by the Ministry of Defence showed the rusting shell embedded two feet below the ground encased by mud.
Finally, via Peter Grant - a.k.a Bayou Renaissance Man - a report of the recovery of the ship's bell from the HMS Hood by a team funded by Paul Allen:
The bell was brought up from the shattered wreck lying in the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland at a depth of more than 9,000 feet. The bell will now spend a year undergoing restoration before being placed in the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.
Update: Almost forgot that I wanted to include a link to cracked.com's article on "5 Insane True Stories That Change How You Picture WWII":
#5. The Nazis Had A Supervillain Arctic Base To Make Nukes ... And 11 Men Took It Out
#4. Japan Was Building A Tesla-Inspired "Death Ray"
#3. Hitler Saved America From A Nazi Bioweapon Plot
#2. An American Citizen And A Downed Japanese Pilot Teamed Up To "Invade" Hawaii
#1. Japan And Germany Planned To Send A Dirty Bomb To America Delivered By Kamikaze Submarines

The Cognitive Dissonance Is Strong In This One

From the Competitive Enterprise Institute, via a friend on the Book of Faces...
FIRST 10 MINUTES: You are overcome with a sense of smug satisfaction. You didn’t just make a healthier choice than those fools drinking caffeinated, sugary beverages. You’re a better person.
I noticed that they wisely left out the description about actually drinking the stuff.

Libertarian Baby Owl Says...

It It Just Me?

Or does anyone else have problems telling the difference between John Kasich and Senator Stern?

I mean... maybe someone should toss a "Hail Hydra" John's way.  See how he responds.

Just sayin'.

And Here It Comes

Earlier today, I wrote:
Yeah... just waiting to see how the MSM manages to paint support for a black surgeon, a Latino lawyer, and a female CEO as racist, sexist, and anti-intellectual.
Time to the first attempts?  Less than 24 hours.

One More Thing...

House is done, we are moved in, and as promised, a long-ish post about the building process will follow sometime Real Soon Now™.  With some stability in our life, and the kick off of the quadrennial American Silly Season last night, I am hoping - and expecting - to get back to blogging on a more regular basis.

Believe it or not, I really do miss taking the time to fill up the ice cream machine for y'all.

Awwwwwww, yeah! DEBATE!

Time to get my political junkie on!

While I did not listen to either of the debates last night, I did stay up late reading various commentaries, opinions, and such not.  In addition, I paid attention to various social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) where friends were commenting on the debates.  So what you are going to see here is not a review of the debates, but a distillation of the debate about the debates.

Capisce?  OK, let us proceed...

Keep in mind that I am a fundamentalist Christian, Tea Party sympathizing, conservative libertarian.(Yes, a Christian libertarian.  Despite what you may think, the world views are quite compatible.  Our motto: "If you like your handbasket, you can keep your handbasket!")  The vast majority of my reading last night was from sources that aligned with me in one way or another: friends, fellow Christians, small-government Republicans, small-L libertarians and independents.

From what I was seeing, none of those folks were were looking at the debate and trying to decide who was the overall winner.  They saw it as more of a chance to get a feel for who the candidates were and what they believed... which is also where I am at at this point in the process.  In other words, think of it as more of a formal introduction to the field of candidates and less of a debate.

Out of all the commentaries, certain names kept on bubbling to the top of the list.  Based on what I saw, the candidates who came out of the debates on the positive side were Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina.  Yeah... just waiting to see how the MSM manages to paint support for a black surgeon, a Latino lawyer, and a female CEO as racist, sexist, and anti-intellectual.

Cruz was popular with the small government segment, which actually crosses a lot of political lines. Carson seemed to resonate with those who are tired of the same ol' same ol', "Whose turn is it now?" attitude from the GOP, and people seemed to be impressed with him as a person.

Fiorina?  Very positive across the board.  Lots of wondering why she was not included in the main debate.  Yes, yes, I know - they based it on poll numbers.  From what I was hearing, though, she managed a very broad appeal, and outside of the debates, she seems to be doing well in terms of making her mark on the field.  Time will tell, but I think that given that time, she may end up included in the next round as a contender.

Walker got some good mentions, and also got lots of props for being the adult on stage: calm, even handed, slow to start but strong at the finish.  Several commenters seemed to think that a smaller debate forum would have served him much better.  Provided he makes it to the point where he can speak in that kind of environment, he is definitely someone to keep an eye on.  I suspect that he is in the odd position of being the #2 pick for a lot of folks, which means that if he ends up getting the nomination, he would have a very large base.

It sounds like Rand Paul made a great case for himself - just not for President.  Whoever eventually does get the nod should definitely consider him as a potential nominee for Attorney General.  Rubio got some positive mentions, but seemed to be eclipsed by Cruz - of the two, people seemed to think that Cruz did a better, more forceful job of laying out the same positions.

Of the remainder - Bush, Huckabee, Christie and Kasich - none won any sort of accolades, and most folks, if they mentioned them at all, had negative comments about their performances and/or policy positions.  I actually had to look up the list of participants to remind myself that Huckabee was in the debate, given how little mention he received.  Christie apparently made a couple of comments that caused folks to have a strong "Thanks, but no thanks" reaction.  Bush, in particular, got a lot of "Yeeeeeah, no" responses... though those seemed to come mainly from sources that already had an issue with him.  Kasich did seem... acceptable... to most folks, in a bland sort of way.  As in, if every other candidate dropped dead tomorrow, people would be willing to hold their noses and vote for him.  Just not with any sort of enthusiasm, mind you.

Trump?  Trump who?  Heard lots of people talking about him, but not in a positive light.  His ego and comments about his past interactions with politicians were pretty much the opposite of what folks were looking for.  The whole "willing to run as a third party candidate" thing was, as far as I could tell, another nail in the coffin for him.  Here's hoping.