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Showing posts from October, 2018

Media reporting.

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"Think Disney is expensive now? Prices just went up — before you even walk in the gate."
http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article220167835.html

The headline for the article is technically correct (they're raising parking fees), but it's a little misleading.

And the article itself is poorly written and links to a piece from March about Disney charging for resort parking - a move that Disney has (for now) rescinded.

And this is exactly what's wrong with the media today. A sensational headline followed by sub-par reporting, with references to reports that are either wrong or which have changed.

I expect more from the media overall.

Elections always have consequences ... make a plan to #Vote

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If you live in Florida, here's the info you need to vote: https://www.dos.myflorida.com/elections
As for polling places, check these links, based on your county: https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/supervisors/

Early voting begins in many places as early as next week! You should make a plan and bring a friend!


The family mystery of sorts

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I mentioned in an earlier post that my grandmothers family history revealed a bit of a mystery.  I wanted to explore that a little....

My grandmother was always fairly secretive about her family and her past.  She would lie, mislead, and otherwise obfuscate her past.  As I mentioned, her mother was around for most of my childhood, so I got some nuggets from her that help me understand this more, and raises more questions.

Here's the story: she was born in 1914 to an immigrant mother, and a father who had been in the country for one generation.  Her mother's lineage is easy enough to trace.  But her father is more of an enigma. 

She was born with a Jewish name, and it seems clear both of her parents were Jews.  But the mystery starts with a decision made in about 1930 when her father decided to change the family name.  Why then?  I realize there were always whispers of anti-semitism, but this was before the rise of Hitler.  And he was a painter by trade and a sometime semi-pro…

Genealogy - my own story.

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I was always connected to my mom's side of the family.  We all knew the basic history, and knew ancestor's names and where they came from.  Sure my grandfather would tell tall tales sometimes, but the basic history matched up.

So when my mom's sister did a DNA test, there were no real surprises.  A couple of things were interesting, but yep, we were descended from Spain and had some roots in Venezuela.  Good.

To me, the more intriguing part of this part of the family lineage came because of who my grandfather's father knew, and how he was connected to politicians and so forth before the second world war.

And then, how my grandfather (and some of his siblings) became defacto spies working for the OSS during the second world war.  The story there is intriguing, and one day I'll have to get into it.

My point here is that on that side of my family, there were no surprises, really. 

Now on my dad's side we thought we knew who we were.  We knew some family names, an…

Trump-Russia news: the past 48 hours in Mueller investigation news, explained - Vox

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Trump-Russia news: the past 48 hours in Mueller investigation news, explained - Vox
https://www.vox.com/2018/10/9/17953560/mueller-trump-russia-news-alfa-bank-psy-group

The past 48 hours in Mueller investigation news, explainedWe've gotten news on Alfa Bank, Psy-Group, and Peter W. Smith — three long-simmering subplots of the Russia investigation.Oct 9, 2018, 10:30am EDT Robert Mueller.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesNew reports over the past two days have brought increased attention to three long-simmering subplots in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.First, the Wall Street Journal revealed new details about GOP operative Peter W. Smith's quest to obtain Hillary Clinton's emails from Russian hackers during the 2016 campaign — including that he raised at least $100,000 for the effort and then pitched in $50,000 of his own money. (Smith was found dead last year, and local authorities ruled his death a suicide.)Second, the New Yorker revisited the …

We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN | Environment | The Guardian

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We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN | Environment | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UNUrgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCCFirst published on Sun 7 Oct 2018 21.00 EDT Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCCThe world's leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Monday say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and fe…

#MakeAmericaSmartAgain Business Insider: A supervolcano that could destroy humanity is ready to erupt — and NASA is trying to figure out how to contain it

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While we sit here and endlessly debate whether the guy is fit to be a justice on the Supreme Court (he's not, how hard was that?), there are actual things happening which could have a more devastating impact on humanity - and which get little coverage. 
Here's one that is dire for humanity. But scientists aim to prevent it and want to harness its energy. How's that for American ingenuity? Why doesn't this get coverage?
A supervolcano that could destroy humanity is ready to erupt — and NASA is trying to figure out how to contain it
Business InsiderBelow Yellowstone National Park, there's a huge magma reservoir that has the potential to destroy humanity. Yellowstone erupts roughly every 600,000 years, and it's about 600,000 years since it last exploded. An eruption at Yellowstone National Park could lead to the end of human civilisation. However, NASA has a plan that could prevent such an explosion and could also create a geothermal plant to generate electricity. Wh…