Friday Open Thread

I'm off to visit a client in jail in the mountains. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    This is the song making me weep lately (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:13:34 PM EST
    Same Love (link)

    Keep it going, kids.

    You Know... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 04:41:07 PM EST
    ...when I first heard Macklemore it was that Thrift Shop and I found it amusing and because there was huge void of anything original,I bought The Heist.

    Top music purchase last year and holding strong, daft Punk tried to give it a go, but the kid held strong.  He is deep and has a way of presenting it that is refreshing.  Plus it's it insanely long for a CD, and none none it filler, I have a feeling that kid had leave a lot of good stuff in the studio.  It's that good.


    So the other day I am driving home and this songs comes on and I am jamming to it and wondering who in the hell it is.  Bam, it ends and they tell me it's One Direction.  WTF, this decades N Sync just dropped a damn good song.

    Well it keeps coming on the rock station I listen to in my truck and what am I gonna do, pretend I don't like it because it's a corporate molded 'band' specifically designed to milk every last nickel from teenage girls.  Maybe...

    Turns out they might get a dollar from a 43 year old classic rock devote.  I swear, if I look over one of these nights when I am driving home and some teenage girls is rocking out the same jam, I a going stick me head in the door jam and slam it shut until the pain replaces my shame, which is gonna take some time.

    You be the judge, Counting Stars


    It's not One Direction from London (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 04:55:00 PM EST
    it's OneRepublic from Colorado Springs

    WAY too much credit (none / 0) (#7)
    by sj on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:45:47 PM EST
    being given to One Direction since this isn't their song. By way of comparison, this is their current song. And it's what I thought you were raving about ... all the way to the last sentence. :)

    (You need Shazam. Best smartphone app ever. And this is information I don't care if the NSA collects)


    I Have Sound Hound... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:36:40 AM EST
    ...but why would I use that when they announced the artist, the error wasn't because my lack of technology, it was my lack of synopsis' firing optimally.

    Funny, at least all is right in the world again.  Whats really funny is I was watching the video and thinking damn that harry stiles sure doesn't look like the pic I have seen...


    Big Fat 5, my man (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:46:51 AM EST

    From the policeman is your friend files (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:25:58 AM EST
    95-Year-Old Man In Nursing Home Resists Going To Hospital . . . Police Arrive And Shoot and Kill Him With Stun Gun And Bean Bag Rounds
    There is a disturbing report out of Chicago where police were called when 95-year-old world War II veteran John Wrana refused to go to a hospital for a urinary tract infection. Called by paramedics to assist in getting Wrana into an ambulance, the Park Forest police showed up in riot gear and proceeded to shoot Wrana first with a stun gun and then with a bead bag fired from a shotgun. He no longer needed treatment for the urinary tract problem. He died from internal bleeding and blunt force trauma. He was about to celebrate his 96th birthday.

    Obviously a terrist. As bad as bambi.

    I don't get it. Why waste all this money sending teams of mercenaries anyway? Times are tough and drones are cheap and effective, aren't they?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 133 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:54:08 PM EST

    Have a great weekend, my good peeps.

    I was wondering, Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:09:04 PM EST
    if you could sometime describe to us what it is like visiting in those jails.

    For one thing (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 04:02:46 PM EST
    it's never quiet in jail.  It's all hard surfaces (easily cleaned of ... anything) that bounce back the sound.  And at any time of the day or night there will usually be someone who decides this is a good time to start screaming about something.  And the lights never go all the way down, assuming they can be turned down at all.

    Were (none / 0) (#8)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:36:55 PM EST
    you ever "inside"?

    Not as a resident. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by scribe on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:37:16 AM EST
    I've been there in my capacity as a lawyer.

    It's quite reassuring to know that, once the work one is there to do is complete, one gets to go home.


    "...one gets to go home." (none / 0) (#28)
    by unitron on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:36:37 AM EST
    Theoretically, but remember, they've got the key and you don't.

    I spent a day in Hilo Jail back in 1990 ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:52:28 PM EST
    ... after getting arrested for trespassing along with nearly 500 others, as we protested geothermal development in Wao Kele o Puna on the Big Island, which is the only indigenous tropical rainforest in the entire United States.

    I definitely wouldn't want to see the inside of a cellblock again, that's for sure.



    At (none / 0) (#17)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 05:51:07 AM EST
    least it was for a good cause.

    The closest I ever came to being arrested was when I was with a group of college students driving down from Massachusetts to Washington D.C. to protest nuclear testing.

    The police in Maryland - on our route - stopped us for no reason whatsoever except that we had out-of-state plates.

    We were brought to the police station and questioned.

    The young woman driving the car - her last name was "Kopp" - and I remember that it lightened the atmosphere somewhat when she pronounced it aloud to the questioning officer.

    After this hassle, we were permitted to continue on our way.
    But that was a frightening welcome into the then reality of the the land of the free.

    This is nothing to compare with your having to spend a night actually behind bars. But it was frightening non the less - and an indication of what can happen if you cross the wrong people.


    I am interested in Jeralyn's experiences (none / 0) (#49)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 12:16:56 PM EST
    in the jails.  

    I was a guard for a year in 83-84 at Illinois' Centralia correctional facility.  The visiting centers are located away from the building's that house inmates.  During training, we were inside of Pontiac, Stateville and briefly Joliet.  Those max joints were nasty, greasy, cockroach-infested rat holes with plenty of homemade shanks to fear.  Centralia, a medium security prison, was a country club in comparison to the max joints.  There were 3 classifications of inmates: A, B and C.  Fighting and other serious infractions got you classified as C and sent to segregation to await a trip to a max facility.


    Thinking about getting an IPhone (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:52:51 PM EST
    1 or me and 1 for Grandson. Carrier will be ATT.

    Any advice of any kind but especially on the amount of data usage I should get...


    I won't tell you what Maher just said (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:59:22 PM EST
    about the poor being able to finally buy a cheap lime green iphone now, that makes the havenots phone look like it's wearing crocs....oops

    You may want to check out the Verizon share plans (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by nycstray on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:24:37 AM EST
    my niece and her husband do that with 2 iPhones. My mom and I may do it after I did some quick plan cruising the other day.

    Jim, data usage depends (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:46:39 AM EST
    largely on how much streaming video and audio you and your grandson plan. My usage is around 1 gig per month unless I am streaming audio or video regularly. But I don't play immersive data-heavy games, stream music, or use maps every day.  normally email, web surfing, Facebook. I have the ATT plan that gives me 2 gig a month for $25 and it is usually more than I need.

    If there is a live event I want to stream, such as congressional hearings or a trial, it shoots way up and I pay for extra usage that month.


    Depends on what you want to use it for. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40:31 PM EST
    Given that I don't use my cell phone for anything other than phone calls and text messages, I decided against buying a smartphone. The service plans are generally much more expensive than regular cell phones, and I couldn't justify the additional business expense.

    But I bought an iPhone 4 with a two-year service plan for Younger Daughter, who's a sophomore at UH-Hilo on the Big Island and really, really wanted one. That was her birthday present from her mother and me.

    I would assume that your grandson would be much more enthralled with all the bells and whistles of smartphones than you would be, but if you're going to get one for yourself, you might as well be adventurous.

    If you purchase the new iPhone 5 and service plan from AT&T as you indicated, you'll probably want 1GB or 2GB data capacity with unlimited phone and text, which is fairly standard -- or so I was told by the smooth-talking sales rep. If you're not using the device to regularly send large documents, that amount of capacity should be more than sufficient for you.

    (If anyone else have more accurate info, please feel free to correct me.)

    As for the cost, you can probably count on spending $85 / mo. for the 1GB service plan or $95 / mo. for 2GB with a two-year contract, and $199 for the iPhone 5 itself.

    If you purchase the phone via the payment plan, it's $27 / mo. for 20 months, which to me amounts to usury. So I would think that your best bet would be to purchase the phone outright through AT&T, and sign a two-year contract. I mean, you're going to need a service plan anyway for the device, or it's next to worthless.

    Good luck. Your grandson will love you for buying him one, I'm sure. But he'll still love you anyway, if you decide it's just too much money.



    That's a nice gift (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:40:07 AM EST
    Are you going to add his phone to your plan? Here is the Apple comparison page. I think I'm going with the 5S for the fingerprint identity sensor. But I would really like to try that out first. If the fingertip has to be straight on then I don't see the advantage -- one-handed use can be irregular.

    Why an IPhone? (none / 0) (#29)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:55:41 AM EST
    The Samsung S4 generally has better features, at least as nice of a screen and is easily as reliable -- and not proprietary.

    Just saying.


    This is the phone that Joshua (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    Is hoping for when we switch out.  You can't foist a $1 phone on him anymore.  But they are allowing the kids to use their phones in school this year and have apps applying to their classes to download.

    Everyone! Thanks for the info (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:40:41 AM EST
    To answer some of your questions?

    Why IPhone? Because all his buds have IPhones plus Verizon doesn't function well at our home location. ATT does.

    My use will be some Internet surfing when away from home. His will he heavy. I'll have to push "use your IPad or computer or XBox" at home.


    My iPhone w/ATT has unlimited data w/i in U.S. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:46:24 AM EST
    How much does that plan cost you (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:28:12 PM EST
    If I can be uber snoopy?  Josh's data use is getting a little large.

    A small fortune as I added the iPad mini-- a (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:51:45 PM EST
    separate data package.

    Both you and your grandson could save on (none / 0) (#41)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 05:41:07 PM EST
    data usage by switching your iPhones to the WiFi setting whenever you are in a place with WiFi, like at home or a coffee shop or, perhaps, his school. This simple maneuver can save you quite a bit.

    Others have mentioned getting a family plan. That is often the most cost-effective. And, it allows you to limit your grandson's usage, if, for example, he starts eating up your data limit.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:50:39 PM EST
    Visited ATT today... then Verizon...

    Total confusion. Both were sold out on the 5c and 5s.



    Thanks (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:50:39 PM EST
    Visited ATT today... then Verizon...

    Total confusion. Both were sold out on the 5c and 5s.



    just read that you (none / 0) (#51)
    by fishcamp on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 02:17:07 PM EST
    must wait until October now to order an iPhone from Apple.

    That's why I switched to T-Mobile. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 06:31:05 PM EST
    AT&T's coverage in our valley was spotty at best, and I had to walk outside the back door and face southwest to use the phone. T-Mobile's signal is much stronger.

    Walmart (none / 0) (#54)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 12:03:43 AM EST
    I think is discounting the new Iphones, but that could mean OOS forever.

    I use an ancient phone and pay almost nothing for a text/voice only prepaid Tmobile acct, less than $100/year, but I am wanting a smart phone and plan to get something Android likely around Black Friday.

    What impresses me with the iPhone, friends with no computer skills use them effortlessly and with multiple functions.

    Ditto on the wifi, my goal is to as near as possible only use wifi for anything I can.


    Yup. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:09:01 PM EST
    "McCain: President Obama's decision to think before attacking flies in the face of American foreign policy."

    -- Andy Borowitz

    I wouldn't usually agree with anything attributed to a batsh*t crazy republican.

    Republicans with functioning brains are ok though, even if they're functional.

    "even if there aren't many" (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:09:29 PM EST
    This (3.50 / 2) (#18)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:16:38 AM EST
    parody, while funny, suggests that Obama stopped to think before bombing.

    I don't get the impression he stopped to think.
    I get the impression that he ran into a brick wall.

    Fortunately, this whole issue has just about disappeared from the front pages.

    But, speaking of weapons of mass destruction: there is an article in the Guardian about the USA accidently dropping a couple of hydrogen bombs on North Carolina on January 23, 1961.

    Only one switch, which was highly vulnerable, prevented the detonation.

    How many of these WMDs, flying, floating, underground and undersea are buzzing around 24/7 - and what is the potential for another "accident"?

    The article concludes:

    The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy," he said. "We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here's one that very nearly did."

    Maybe, as the Syria scare winds down and out, we can turn our attention to a danger with which we have been living for the last 70 years - the threat of nuclear annihilation.


    Everything Borowitz says (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:03:11 AM EST
    is satire, including "Obama's decision to think", I think...

    Has there ever been (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:58:55 AM EST
    any technology developed that has not had an accident, in the 'wrong' place, sooner or later?

    No... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:49:40 AM EST
    Not to my knowledge...

    Yet this enormous elephant in the room is never mentioned.

    Chemical weapons are a horror alright.

    But, absolutely nothing compares to the nuclear weapons we and others have that are ready to deploy, and at the fingertips of of people rather low on the evolutionary scale.

    The peoples of the world have had to grow a huge callous on their brains in order to put this horrible reality on the back burner for so long.

    Maybe this little furor about WMDs will reawaken international consciousness about this apparently "legal" source of annihilation.


    Biological (none / 0) (#55)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 12:12:23 AM EST
    weapons I think are worse, don't need a missile to be deployed, and don't need to be a weapon to be hugely dangerous, an accidental release with modern travel patterns could spread uncontrolled all over the world.

    Most serious issue with nuclear is proliferation, and control over existing devices. I've heard Pakistan has no system of interlocks on their weapons, so a single person in the military could fire one.


    PBS Special (none / 0) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:20:51 AM EST
    False Alarms in the Nuclear Age

    The Cuban missile crisis is the best-known example of narrowly avoiding nuclear war. However, there are at least four other less well-known incidents in which the superpowers geared up for nuclear annihilation. Those incidents differed from the Cuban missile crisis in a significant way: They occurred when either the U.S. or Soviet or Russian leaders had to respond to false alarms from nuclear warning systems that malfunctioned or misinterpreted benign events.

    That Guardian article... (none / 0) (#27)
    by unitron on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:34:05 AM EST
    ...is basically "we got hold of a classified document that confirms what has already been public knowledge for years about this incident."

    Also, the detonation, had it happened, would likely not have happened "over" Wayne County, but at or under ground level.


    Yeah... (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:31:20 PM EST
    It would have happened at ground level and blown away about a million people...

    Perhaps not that many... (none / 0) (#42)
    by unitron on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:13:28 PM EST
    ...since that would have been about 25% of North Carolina's population at the time, and eastern NC isn't, and back then definitely wasn't, the most populous part of the state by a long shot.

    I was about 3 counties to the southeast of the crash site at the time, and I think we'd have been eventually alright, depending on wind direction and how close to the ground it got before going off.


    Is (none / 0) (#53)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 08:52:16 PM EST
    the thrust of your comment to say that it would not have been all that bad if the thing had detonated?

    Many people would probably say (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:53:33 AM EST
    it was Rahm Emanuel or barack obama, but personally I think they're just regular guys - for politicians - and as native to Earth as any run of the mill slime mold.

    Seriously though, Is This Our First Alien Encounter?

    Bet you never thought ET would look like this -- or that we'd find him hitching a ride on a weather balloon.

    But that is exactly what a team from the University of Sheffield says happened, according to a new paper in the Journal of Cosmology. Professor Milton Wainright launched a balloon with special sterile studs that would only deploy when it reached the stratosphere, then retract on the way down.

    The studs came back loaded with "biomorphs" -- tiny organisms never before seen on Earth, and too large to be thrown into the atmosphere via anything short of a violent volcano eruption. There have been no major volcanoes in the past half-decade.

    OK I read the paper (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by rdandrea on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:25:19 AM EST
    in Journal of Cosmology.  It was curious how the authors just jumped to the term "biomorphs" with no evidence presented that the items photographed were indeed biological in nature.

    The paper appears to be debunked, or at least critically reviewed, here.

    So I'd have to say that the jury is still out.

    Incidentally, I do believe that life on Earth was probably "seeded" from space.  I just don't think that this experiment proves it.  In fact, I don't think it even adds to the discussion.


    And you are a biologist? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:55:39 AM EST
    Geologist (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by rdandrea on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:03:16 PM EST

    Oh, well that's explains it then. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:17:16 PM EST
    I have always been very highly impressed by the fact that blog commenters can look at a photograph on a website and know more about the subject and results of a scientific experiment than the so-called "qualified" researchers who did the experiments. As a society we sure could save a lot of wasted time and effort and money spent on ridiculous scientific research and experimentation if we would just defund the whole scientific enterprise and conduct blog polls to find out the real truth of most matters.

    I'm sure as a geologist you'd agree.

    Thanks for clearing that up.


    Did you read the original article? (none / 0) (#37)
    by rdandrea on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:25:15 PM EST
    Only six references cited, and four of them were by the authors themselves.

    Well, I'll grant you (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:57:36 PM EST
    that it doesn't "prove" that life on Earth was probably "seeded" from space, even though it doesn't claim to. But the strawman was handy for you, wasn't it.

    I also have to take issue with the claim of a "stratosphere" through which biomorphs could drift to arrive on Earth. I've looked around and I cannot find even one single photo on the web of a chunk of stratosphere anywhwere. An obvious fabrication right there that is more than enough on it's own merits to debunk the whole bunky hypothesis.

    I do like your tendency to think that life on Earth was probably "seeded" from space, however. And it has no need for the silly 'stratosphere' hypothesis.

    Why, after all, would biomorphs have to spend all that time doing something as complex as drifting down through something that obviously does not exist, when with a bit of thought Occam's Razor should tell us that they probably got here through something as simple as Chekhov and Scottie beaming them down, or - even simpler - gawd miraculously plucking them out of interstellar space after creating them, and putting them here.

    Elegant simplicity wins the day as far as I'm concerned.


    You're not much of a critical thinker (3.00 / 3) (#43)
    by rdandrea on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:17:29 PM EST
    Are you?

    Well, (3.67 / 3) (#44)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:41:01 PM EST
    I guess I have been giving you too much credit. Sorry.

    Check other stories... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 12:28:18 PM EST
    There is a big discrepancy...

    When they retrieved it, they found a single particle that appears to be part of a diatom, a microscopic plant. This, they claim, is evidence of life coming from space.


    The studs came back loaded with "biomorphs" -- tiny organisms never before seen on Earth, and too large to be thrown into the atmosphere via anything short of a violent volcano eruption.


    From the how do you like me so far files (none / 0) (#48)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    CBS News this morning...
    the review panel has effectively been operating as an arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA and all other U.S. spy efforts.

    The panel's advisers work in offices on loan from the DNI. Interview requests and press statements from the review panel are carefully coordinated through the DNI's press office. James Clapper, the intelligence director, exempted the panel from U.S. rules that require federal committees to conduct their business and their meetings in ways the public can observe. Its final report, when it's issued, will be submitted for White House approval before the public can read it.
    Obama described the panel an Aug. 9 speech as an "independent group" and said its members would "consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used."

    The formal White House memorandum days later -- effectively the legal charter for the group -- does not specify anything about its role being independent of the Obama administration. It directed the panel to emphasize in its review whether U.S. spying programs protect national security, advance foreign policy and are protected against the types of leaks that led to the national debate in the first place. The final consideration in the White House memo told the panel to examine "our need to maintain the public trust." There was no mention of the panel investigating surveillance abuses.