Boost for kitties' sake

Jun. 29th, 2017 12:09 am
thnidu: our cat (Ista)
[personal profile] thnidu
SiliconShaman's feline companions are both seriously ill. He's asking for he£p to save them. I gave what I could. I know how I would feel about my Ista in such a case!!

Something else not to trust

Jun. 28th, 2017 11:07 pm
thnidu: a dark brown guinea pig we used to have (dunkelpig)
[personal profile] thnidu
I doubt that any of my regular readers would fall for the bogus documentary that is refuted here, but reading about it got me so upset that I had to post this. Five years, nine months, and thirteen days ago I lost my beloved wife of 39 years to metastasized colon cancer, three-and-a-half years after the first symptoms. I do not want anyone else to go through what she and I went through, or what I am still to some extent going through and will be going through for the rest of my life. — For that matter, less than a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer, a very rare one that fortunately is slow-moving even if untreated, and which my treatment seems to be completely controlling; at least, my symptoms are gone and my oncologist is ecstatic over my test results.

I've cut most or all of each section, separately so as to list their headers. Even within the cuts I've skipped some, but to read it all just click on the title line.

From Science-Based Medicine

“The Truth About Cancer” Series Is Untruthful About Cancer
Ty Bollinger has produced a video series he calls The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest. It’s about as huge a misnomer as can be imagined.
Harriet Hall on November 17, 2015

The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest is billed as “the documentary series the mainstream media refused to air.” It consists of eleven episodes and is produced by Ty Bollinger, an outspoken supporter of natural treatments for cancer. Episodes 1 and 2 are currently available online.

Ty Bollinger started his quest because several of his family members had died of cancer despite conventional cancer treatment. He believed they had died not of the cancer but of the cancer’s “so-called treatments” and “false treatments.” He doesn’t explain which cancers they had, what the treatments were, or why he calls them “false.” He was angry, and he wanted his relatives’ lives to matter; he thought he could give their deaths meaning by seeking out alternative treatments that would have saved them and could save others. He was an accountant and bodybuilder, untrained in science or medicine. He started out with the conviction that conventional cancer treatment was a fraud, and confirmation bias had a field day. Instead of learning about cancer from reliable sources, he avoided mainstream cancer experts and researchers and only interviewed alternative practitioners from all over the world who agreed with his premise. He eagerly swallowed everything they told him.

He says, “You are about to learn the best treatments and preventions to cancer, protocols that won’t harm your body, from the world leading doctors across the globe.” He promises to show viewers science and documented evidence. He promises to expose the lies of conventional cancer treatment. He thinks he has information that will eradicate cancer once and for all. He couldn’t be more wrong.

A hopelessly biased sample )

False claims )

Lies about chemotherapy )

The natural fallacy )

War on nonconventional doctors? )

Cancer survivor testimonials )

The myths )

Episode 2 )

Dangerous misinformation )

Bollinger’s approach is as unfair as a trial where the prosecution is given carte blanche and no defense is allowed. This is a very unfortunate series, filled with misinformation but produced slickly, effectively appealing to emotion, and likely to mislead scientifically-naïve viewers and probably even some scientists who ought to know better. I predict that Bollinger will have blood on his hands: people will suffer and die unnecessarily because they believed this was “the truth about cancer” and were persuaded to reject lifesaving treatment.

Just spotted

Jun. 28th, 2017 07:13 pm
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
[personal profile] thnidu
A car with an ornamental front pseudo-license plate reading


I couldn't get a picture, but I recognized it as Irish and was able to memorize it long enough to sit down and put it into Google Translate. It's O'Sheehan, and the English pronunciation of that is pretty close to what I think is the Irish pronunciation is. I keep thinking I should have been able to guess it.

"Troll's Dick" vandalized

Jun. 28th, 2017 11:06 am
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
[personal profile] thnidu
Via Quartz

Norwegians raising funds to fix popular penis-shaped rock formation
June 25, 2017 (AP)

Activists are collecting money to repair a penis-shaped rock formation in southern Norway after the popular tourist attraction was found badly damaged.

The rock formation Trollpikken in Rogaland, western Norway. EPA/Ingve Aalbu

Joggers discovered Saturday that the Trollpikken rock formation had cracked and noted drilling holes in the rock – something that experts say strongly suggests the rock was deliberately vandalized.

By Sunday, over 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner ($10,600) to fix the formation located south of the southern coastal city of Stavanger.

Activist Kjetil Bentsen told public broadcaster NRK that he was convinced the Trollpikken “will be rebuilt” with donated money.

Police are looking for tips to find the person or persons who did it. They could face a one-year prison sentence for a serious environmental crime.

Justice is served

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:54 am
thnidu: Discworld Death. Text: YES, I KNOW WHO YOU WERE... (DEATH)
[personal profile] thnidu
(YouTube 10:04)

Dear Google...

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:12 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Your monthly repetition options need to include "every fourth Xday".

Every month has a fourth Sunday, a fourth Monday, and so on.
"30 days hath September,
April, June, and November",
so they have two "fifth Xdays" each; February has none (ignoring leap years); and the other seven each have three. That's 29 "fifth Xdays" in every year, and so 29 "fourth Xdays" that aren't "last Xdays". 12 x 7 = 84 "last Xdays"; 29 ÷ 84 = 0.345+.

I just joined a group that meets the fourth Saturday of every month. I had to specify "repeats the last Saturday of every month", then go through and manually shift about one-third of them back one week: namely, every occurrence that was on the 29th, 30th, or 31st day of the month. This is the kind of simple-minded, repetitious scutwork that computers can do far better than humans. I've given you all you need to add a very simple algorithm to your calendar, and a compelling reason to add it. Please do so.
thnidu: A maze. (maze)
[personal profile] thnidu
I just bought Cold Turkey on my daughter's recommendation and installed it, then upgraded to the Pro bundle, all with considerable difficulty. The process is like a maze without a map.

I added,,, and to the preinstalled DISTRACTIONS block list.

I set up a block schedule from 3pm to 5pm on Saturdays for the DISTRACTIONS list. That was at about 3:24. It is now 3:33.

Then I tried to log in to Dreamwidth. Much to my dismay, I succeeded.

See subject line.

Wasting time

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:46 pm
thnidu: Oh, noes! (LJ icon) You are in a maze of twisty little LJ entries (check one): All different \ All alike. lj:redaxe (mazeoftwistylittleljentries)
[personal profile] thnidu
Somebody just asked on Quora
I posted the first reply:

Who can tell? Look how arbitrary the QWERTY keyboard is, designed to slow typing down as much as possible so the first mechanical typewriters wouldn’t jam.

I can make a WAG that on a computer keyboard it would be put on Option-S (or Alt-S), which is a logical place for it. Which means that Microsoft would put it someplace else entirely. ;-p

Of courſe, that could eaſily create confuſion if uſers weren’t uſed to it. And that would really ſuck.

Maybe tonight I'll post why I'm procrastinating so badly. Or at least my excuse for it.
thnidu: winged staff with two serpents coiled around it (caduceus)
[personal profile] thnidu

Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading

First comes the unscratchable itching, and the angry blossoming of hives. Then stomach cramping, and—for the unluckiest few—difficulty breathing, passing out, and even death. In the last decade and a half, thousands of previously protein-loving Americans have developed a dangerous allergy to meat. And they all have one thing in common: the lone star tick.

Red meat, you might be surprised to know, isn’t totally sugar-free. It contains a few protein-linked saccharides, including one called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, for short. More and more people are learning this the hard way, when they suddenly develop a life-threatening allergy to that pesky sugar molecule after a tick bite.

Yep, one bite from the lone star tick—which gets its name from the Texas-shaped splash of white on its back—is enough to reprogram your immune system to forever reject even the smallest nibble of perfectly crisped bacon. For years, physicians and researchers only reported the allergy in places the lone star tick calls home, namely the southeastern United States. But recently it’s started to spread. The newest hot spots? Duluth, Minnesota, Hanover, New Hampshire, and the eastern tip of Long Island, where at least 100 cases have been reported in the last year. Scientists are racing to trace its spread, to understand if the lone star tick is expanding into new territories, or if other species of ticks are now causing the allergy.
thnidu: Double spiral, spinning out from the empty space at a common center (heyiya-if)
[personal profile] thnidu
From my synagogue:

17 year-old Nabra Hassanen was assaulted and killed early Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia. This heinous act of violence against a young Muslim woman has transpired during the holy month of Ramadan - and in the wake of increased violence around the world.

We invite you to join your fellow Philadelphians this Wednesday evening, June 21, for an interfaith vigil to honor Nabra's memory and to condemn her killing and the hatred that led to her death. The evening will begin at 8:00 p.m. with remarks from community members.

The vigil will be followed by Maghrib/ Ma'ariv prayers, and a communal potluck Iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner in the park. Water and dates will be provided. All are invited to join us in breaking the fast, even if you are not fasting. People of all faiths are welcome, as are those who do not identify with a religious or faith community. Ours is a table of sacred healing and resistance. By sharing together, we stand against those who would divide us. We will gather for Nabra in the spirit of Rumi’s words:

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”

If you plan to join us for the iftar and are able, please bring something to share: snacks or other food not containing pork or shellfish would be welcome. For help deciding what to bring, please email Raquel or Yosef.

Sunset Interfaith Vigil for Nabra & Communal Iftar

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Rittenhouse Square
8PM Vigil / 8:34 Prayers and Iftar

Sponsored by Sacred Justice, (List in Formation and will be updated)

The song in my head and in the “Music:” tag. YouTube 3:01 )
thnidu: Red pen. Text: The red penis the editor's friend; editing mark "insert space" in "penis". from lj:stormsdotter (editor's friend)
[personal profile] thnidu
Letter to AARP:

Your community page treats "kudos" as a plural. It's not. It's from Greek and it means "praise". "One kudo" is absurd, as bad as "One prai" (singular of "praise", isn't it?). So are "two kudos" and "Who kudoed this?" and "Top Kudoed Authors". Even "two kudoses", "Who kudosed…", and "Top Kudosed…" would be better.

“Stonehenge Decoded”

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:13 pm
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
[personal profile] thnidu
I was planning to watch Year Million on the National Geographic Channel tonight from 9 to 10. Turned on the TV at 8:56. Year Million was just ending. Feh. These schedules are wholly unreliable.

But now I'm watching Discovery, same channel in the time slot. Tonight's program is "Stonehenge Decoded". Here's the narrator at 9:17 (Mike Parker Pearson, then of the University of Sheffield, is the archeologist whose theories and exploration the program focuses on):

Parker Pearson has found the lost city of the builders of Stonehenge. This is the largest settlement found in northern Europe. From the density of houses he's discovered, Parker Pearson calculates that the population ran into the thousands.
There are hundreds of actors, old, young, and children, dressed in skins as the people of the time.* There is some dialogue, subtitled, which makes me curious about the conlang. Gotta wait for the credits for that. (Just wish I didn't have to mute the commercials.)

* Also dogs, boars, and goats, but no dialogue for them.

Very interesting.

(ca. 9:40) Holy shit! The stones of Stonehenge are joined with carved mortise-and-tenon joints to hold the horizontal lintels in place on the upright sarsens, and tongue-and-groove joints to keep the lintels aligned with each other horizontally. That's Huge amounts of carving. ... And they're showing reenactment of the (reconstructed) engineering by which the stones were hauled to the site, tipped into their holes (all of different depths for the different length of the uprights, to keep the tops level), and pulled upright.
Stonehenge Decoded episodes

Stonehenge Decoded examines British archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson’s ground-breaking theory – one that places this ancient monument at the centre of one the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world. His team is unearthing surprising new evidence, supporting a radical new vision of Stonehenge and the people who built it.

Just a few kilometres from Stonehenge, the revelations begin as the team uncovers the first evidence of a 4,500 year-old lost settlement. With at least 300 houses, it is the largest Stone Age settlement ever found in northern Europe. At its centre lie the remains of a mysterious second circle. Now, the excavations and radiocarbon dating reveal that this lost monument was in fact a near replica of Stonehenge built of wood - and that both circles stood at the same time.

As the archaeologists investigate how the two may be connected, they make another astonishing find: a 30-metre wide ceremonial avenue made of packed flint, leading away from the second, wooden circle at Durrington Walls. It is the only road of this type found in Britain, and it leads directly to the nearby river Avon. There are more dramatic discoveries to come. Pits filled with animal bones yield clues about the lives of the ancient people who built Stonehenge. Post holes found on a ridge above the river may give new insight into the way they treated their dead—and the role the great stone circle played in their rituals.

(9:45, funny scene with two huge kaiju fighting over a city. Turns out to be part of a car ad, but it's still funny.)

Steven Brust at Balticon

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:30 pm
thnidu: A propellor beanie with an icebag. Smoffing the Filkers, (fanac)
[personal profile] thnidu

Steven Brust at Balticon, T-shirt photo Steven Brust T-shirt Balticon_zpskwc0twop.jpg

One of my most very favorite authors
He was almost as chuffed to meet me as I was to meet him
Ultra-cool wordies shirt



Jun. 19th, 2017 02:44 pm
thnidu: warning symbol, black exclamation mark in yellow triangle (warning)
[personal profile] thnidu
I'm getting a couple of absurd bills from something called Omnisure. They're a scam (look up "Omnisure" on the web, even the Better Business Bureau site). Rather than write them a nasty letter, I'm deciding to ignore them.

I certainly didn't expect this

Jun. 16th, 2017 08:47 pm
thnidu: a dandelion plant, the symbol of filk (filk)
[personal profile] thnidu
On a copyeditors' list I follow, someone asked about scheduling work and the way the current state of the publishing industry causes dry spells and tsunamis in work flow. One tale concluded
I spent one Christmas week wrapping up five books.
Someone commented
Surely we all do that?
and another replied
That's gift wrapping, right?   :-)

And then my head started boiling over, and this bubbled out:
longish poem )

And I've never even liked rap much, let alone done it.

May it be so for us all.

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