Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coffee and Provocation

Guns and coffee. What could go wrong?
Russia Started with Dog Head Transplants. Now Humans
An Italian surgeon has announced he’ll be attempting the world’s first human head transplant. A donor has been found in Russia. Russians were, in fact,the pioneers in animal head transplants with dogs back in the 1930s.

Dogs Versus Drones
This is how the war begins.

This is How to Commute to Work
Terrier-powered skateboard.

Spark Electric Vehicle Just $14,995
After tax rebates from the feds and the state, you can get a Chevrolet Spark electric vehicle for just $14,950 in some states (such as Maryland). If you want to lease, there's also a $139 per month "sign-and-drive" lease for a term of 39 months, with $0 due at lease signing, including security deposit but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Since fuel savings is estimated to be about $83 per month compared to a gas vehicle doing 24 MPG highway, you are getting a new e-car for just $2 a day over the price of gas on your current car. Not bad!

China Abandons Coal
China's coal imports have been cut in half in the last year and the decline will continue as the country switches to conservation, nukes, solar, and wind.

The Push for Solar in India
Solar power is clearly the future for India where about 25% of the population has no access to electricity. They are going to start with the railroads and the military, but Prime Minister Modi has raised India’s solar ambitions from a 22 GW target in 2022 up to 100 GW, which would equal 25% of the country’s installed power capacity. Can they do it? We shall see!

Why the USA is in Debt
In the race to the basement, Kansas is in the lead, but the GOP is trying to push the rest of the country down the stairs for a beating as well. Under current law, only individual fortunes worth over $5.43 million can be taxed, an amount that doubles to $10.86 million for wealthy couples. There are only 4,700 such estates in the U.S. but the represents massive fortunes. A Republican proposal before Congress would eliminate all taxes on theses larger estates. The result: heirs and heiresses of America's largest fortunes will get a $269 billion tax break which they will use by smashing up Lamborghini's, snorting cocaine, detox, and divorce lawyers.

The American Lobbying Addiction
From Brookings: "Lobbying, in Drutman’s telling, is a habit-forming addiction for America’s corporations. Once a corporation takes up the Washington game, it rarely quits; indeed, the more it plays the more its lobbyists are likely to convince it of further opportunities worth pursuing." 

Nostalgia TV for Geezers
Ken Levine who wrote for Mash, Cheers, and many other TV shows (and some movies too), has a nice blog I subscribe to. He notes that the rise of nostalgia TV had a lot of promise but it mostly illuminates how bad old TV shows really were: "The old DANNY THOMAS SHOW used to make me laugh. Now, Danny Thomas’ character just comes off as a bombastic misogynistic asshole. How did grown-ups back in the day not see this at the time? I was a kid. I had an excuse.... The other depressing thing is the commercials. GIDGET, a show about fun loving teenagers who surf and hang out at the beach is now sponsored by Depends and drugs to prevent strokes. Where are the 'Pepsi: For Those Who Think Young'  commercials? With all the girls running around in bikinis at least advertise Viagra."

Groupers Starting to Dine on Lion Fish
Now it's a race between Lion Fish killing reefs and Groupers killing Lion Fish.  I would bet on the Lion Fish.

Oldest Tools in the World?
A set of 20 stone flakes and anvils, found off the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, appear to have been crafted more than 3.3 million years ago — 500,000 years before our genus Homo, designating the first fully fledged humans, came into being.

Pissed Off and Loaded
An estimated 9 percent of adults in the U.S. have a history of impulsive, angry behavior and have access to guns, according to a study published this month in Behavioral Sciences and the Law. The study also found that an estimated 1.5 percent of adults report impulsive anger and carry firearms outside their homes.

Bristol Palin is Queen of the Grifters
Sarah Palin's daughter is Queen of the Grifters. She had been paid over $250,000 a year by the Candie Foundation as a representative for "abstinence" while she herself has gotten pregnant out of wedlock and shacked up with a revolving set of boyfriends. While paying Bristol Palin over  $250,000 a year, the Candie Foundation managed to burn through another $950,000 on additional "overhead," leaving just $35,000 of all donor sucker rube dollars to go to charitable causes.

New Monkey Species Identified by Testicles and Scrotum
No, we are not making this up.  It's the defining characteristic. "[Th]e white-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys), was recently identified as a previously unknown species due its distinctive penis and scrotal coloration that distinguish it from other macaques residing in the same area."


jeff hays said...

Pissed off and driving big trucks, fast cars. SO where is the public carnage from pissed off gun owners? HOW ABOUT COWBOY COPS who seem to delight in shooting innocent dogs and black men?
EVERYONE is entitled to opine on any subject, does not mean opinion equals fact.I am more afraid of some hack cop than a concealed carry private citizen.
Just sayin'.

PBurns said...

I have the facts. And they are on this blog if you had searched to find them. See

jeffrey thurston said...

Your gun piece on this post just proves how even with "impulsive, angry behavior" on the part of 9 MILLION people and "impulsive, angry behavior" on the part of 1.5 MILLION people running around carrying guns only a tiny fraction mange to murder anyone and those are probably criminals outside of "Behavioral Sciences and the Law" 's statistical reach. Guns are very safe! I live in Oakland CA- one of the most violent cities in the country- yet I have no fear of getting shot because I'm not in the demographic group who gets killed by gun violence- in our town that's around 85-90% African-American or Mexican young people shooting each other. The police manage to shoot quite a few also. That's why ALL gun control schemes are simply idiotic- like trying to reduce car accidents by picking on insured safe drivers. Law abiding gun owners kill almost no one- not even accidentally...

Mary Pang said...

The problem with guns is that by the time you've changed your mind it's too late. In the UK, it's knives that are the problem, same story different weapon.
As for head transplants, do you get to choose the body? It must be slim pickings. I made a joke about putting a human head on an animal body or vice versa and was told it's already been tried. Which is not funny. I daren't even google that to see if it's true.

PBurns said...

Guns are INHERENTLY dangerous. So too are knives and cars. We generally recognize that and act accordingly.

"Impulsive, angry behavior" is also INHERENTLY dangerous and we act accordingly, by not hiring these people, not marrying these people, and trying to get them out of our lives. And we jail millions and millions of them.

Alcohol is also an INHERENTLY dangerous. So too are a few other drugs.

Combine any two INHERENTLY dangerous things and you dramatically increase the potential for harm.

Guns, of course, are different from the NRA. The NRA has always had a racist reflexive past as has the GOP since the 1940s or so.

Don't believe it? Just talk about arming black and all women in order to shoot back at police and other civil rights abusers. Think that's fantasy? Nope. When that happened, Ronald Reagan announced his support for gun control, and so too did the NRA. See >>

jeff hays said...

I did take the time to read your post, even though using a smart phone I had to google the keywords as no hyperlink existed.
I will be less inclined to post after reading that, knowing you have a more thoughtfull complex concept of gun ownership.
I remain more concerned about law enforcement cowboy actions than getting dusted in traffic road rage incident.Really out of hand with law enforcement deadly force incidents, especially with Dogs and Black Men. Gun freedom has always been easier for Waspy guys FUNNY you should mention the Black Panthers and similar, I was just thinking about those times in relation to the latest deadly force incident.
Did you know there is a facebook page dogs shot by police ? Cowboys just gotta shoot something.

PBurns said...

The police kill about 1,000 civilians a year in the U.S. Not criminals -- civilians. Bad shoots are epidemic and racism is off the chain. I post a lot about it in other forums. Basically, we need to defund police departments and demilitarize them. We have too many cops doing nuisance harassment revenue collection actions, and too little focus on solving homicides. The cops are armed like Rambo, and what we need are thinking detectives who catch criminals.

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