Sunday, April 26, 2020

Nikola Tesla

One of the more interesting and misunderstood stories is that of Nikola Tesla, the "Mad Scientist" who almost certainly was the single most creative mind in many generations.  He emigrated to this country with an ideal, and the desire to work for the American inventor Thomas Edison.

But Edison wasn't particularly interested in Tesla, in fact you could say that Edison was more interested in using his young protege.  He saw the intelligence and the imagination Tesla had, and he wanted to capitalize on it.

Edison tried to steal Tesla's ideas, and discredit the man.  It was kind of crazy if you think about it.  And for a period of time, Tesla was winning on every front. He patented his own ideas, and fought hard for the use of Alternating Current (AC) for use in homes.  Edison went so far as to kill elephants on the streets of NY just to try and prove his Direct Current (DC) was better.  Tesla went on to work with Westinghouse to produce AC and things were looking up.

Tesla invented motors, power creation and distribution,  radio, laid the framework for wireless transmissions, and a whole lot more.  Marconi literally stole his idea for radio, and is remembered for it; Tesla won a posthumous victory when the patent was awarded to him in the 21st century.

But the thing about Tesla was that he was working for a greater good.  This wasn't about him.  It wasn't about profit.  He had more intriguing ideas, and he had the likes of Westinghouse backing him financially.  But at some point it became clear to his financiers that they weren't going to profit from Tesla, and so they pulled the plug.

And that left Tesla without funds to continue his work, and living in a hotel in the later years of his life, on credit.

But it gets deeper and darker, as Westinghouse, Edison, and others went back on the trail of discrediting and completely undermining Tesla.  They called him crazy, leaked things about his work (that almost certainly were untrue) like him creating a “death ray.”  And that brought the attention of the FBI as WWII was getting under way.  J Edgar Hoover himself investigated Tesla as a possible nefarious character.

And so Tesla ultimately died penniless, alone, and his only "friends" were pigeons in the park.  The FBI came in and seized his documents and inventions - some of which disappeared (according to legend).  And in a weird turn of fate, the items he held as possession were inventoried by a John Trump,  the Cheeto's uncle.

And he was almost erased from history.  When I was growing up, he was mentioned from time to time, but his contributions were mostly overlooked.

Its not until maybe the early 2000s that his name started to come back to prominence.

And there was one other weird thing that happened.  Edison had created a company that managed all motion picture creation and distribution.  He was so mad/vexed at Tesla that he took any audio and video recordings made of Tesla and saw to it that they never saw the light of day, and probably destroyed them. So other than a few assorted still pictures, we have to film or audio of Tesla.

Tesla had ideas to deliver power, without using a power plant, for free to the world.  He wanted to be able to communicate over long distances, essentially for free.  He wanted electric power to overtake coal and oil.  And of course, that made a lot of enemies.

Its just so weird that a man who might have been the most intelligent / most forward thinking man so easily was erased from history.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Using the kids as pawns

The state of Florida is still peeved that the Indian tribes here have gambling and that Charlie Crist as governor had made a gaming compact with them, without consulting the legislature.

That money was used mostly for the primary education system.

And our state officials decided "Meh. We don't need no stinking compact" and chose not to renew it last year, hoping to stop the gambling. Of course that was an epic fail. The feds said they can't stop them, and now the tribes don't have to give anything to the state!

So there's no compact. And there was going to be a budget hole.

Enter coronavirus. And the lack of tourism.

So now the state is saying "whelp that lack of tourism means less tax money, so we're gonna have to cut 25% out of the measly amount we give you for education. Good luck"

So they totally screwed the kids in this state. And now they are blaming it on the lack of tourism....and I've already heard the "that's why we need to open up!" Cry coming in.

American exceptionalism

Here's one photo that sums up everything I've been saying about this topic -

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

If it weren’t sad it might be funny

No cure. No real defense. No immunity. Yet there are many protests against lockdowns, because, Murica!

Unabashed stupidity and ignorance are on full display. This is what we've become.

But the thing that strikes me about every protest are these things:
Everyone is white. Most are men. Some are armed. And there are invariably, always, trump hats, signs, and such.

I have to wonder if these are truly protests, or if some of the folks are somehow being paid to do this. There is some evidence; his rallies have hired people to organize and speak loudly and stand front and center.

I wouldn't be surprised.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


There were an unusually high number of cases of pneumonia and pneumonia related deaths in Florida back in February, but the medical community and state couldn't explain it. Looking at the evidence, it now becomes clear that these were early Covid19 cases. This was before it was called a pandemic, and before cases were seen in other states.

They think the reason for the spread was, in fact, the cruise industry, though surely some may have come from number of tourists we in the state in the spring. And for the record, those number of deaths will not be included in the official count.

Anyway, governor dimwitty left the state, and the beaches, open far too long to get ahead of the spread, so spring breakers were here frolicking and carrying on, because that's what they do, and surely they helped it propagate here and elsewhere as they left.

Finally, we got a stay-at-home order, but after a couple of weeks, he decided to amend it to allow for more movement. He decided to allow the beaches in Jacksonville to reopen. Why he did this is open to much debate, but I would my proverbial money on it being that it was a political favor (like some wealthy donor couldn't get to his yacht) or it was somehow about money.

Of course, the plan was to have no sunbathing and no swimming. But as soon as word got around, everyone went there and started walking on the beach, and the #FloridaMorons hashtag became a thing.

Look our beaches are a phenomenal resource that should be enjoyed. And there was talk early on about making them accessible all along...but then people went and did this; and this is why we can't have nice things.

I get that people are bored. I get that people want their freedom. But there are better ways to approach this problem. Why does it have to be political? Just saying.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stop the insanity!

The attached was not written by me, and I don't know the origins of it. But I thought it was worth sharing.

We need to do everything we can to make the world a better place

I think the thing most people don't understand is that the lock down is in place to slow the progression of the disease, NOT to eradicate it by end of May.

I think people are missing the point because they naively think the Govt. will somehow get rid of it so life goes back to normal. These are people who have ignored the global reality since January. This is the dangerous delusional thinking that some people are applying in their assessment of the situation when advocating we should stop the lockdown because they are literally only waking up to this thing now, or when we were initially shut down. So let's lift the curtain a bit.

1. Flattening the curve means slowing down the disease so that hospitals can cope with the sick. It does not mean eradicating the disease all together.

2. No government will be able to eradicate the disease this year. It's here until a cure or a vaccine is found.

3. A vaccine is at least a year away. That's April 2021. The earliest vaccine trials just started late last month. It takes 18 to 24 months to make, test & assess the efficacy of a vaccine.

*So 1 year is literally a Hail Mary.*

4. There is NO going back to normal. Your normal will not exist for at least a year. Economies globally will keep bleeding & we are likely to have rolling lockdowns until a vaccine is found.

5. Even when the ban is lifted, tourism & hospitality industry, and many others will not see an increase in business for at least a year or maybe two. Until a vaccine is found people will continue to self-isolate even when a lock down is lifted.

6. The only reprieve we are going to get is if we have thousands of people who have been infected & recovered & minimum deaths so that we have some level of herd immunity. That is also still a theory that is yet to be proven because some countries think they may be seeing people get re-infected. Even with that in place, normal is not feasible because fear still reigns & people will remain isolated until safety is guaranteed- cure or vaccine.

Refer to point 3.

7. The above is still 6 months away. *We are projected to reach our peak in September. That means, bleeding economy, rolling lockdowns, death & chaos until then.*

8. The decisions made in the lockdown like no alcohol & no dog walking or running & no e-commerce are not made with the privileged in mind. They are made with the masses in mind.

What you allow in the suburbs you must allow in the townships & these two things look very different in execution.

Now our government is doing the best it possibly can & they have certainly & definitively reacted much much faster than most developed countries.

Our progress is still far better than most & right now we're riding the dumb hope that somehow BCG gives us some fighting chance (still unproven).

*So please please we all need to do whatever we can to help our neighbours, help each other, and support our government & stop having delusional ideas about any level of normalcy at the end of this month. Adjust your projections & hunker down.*

*This is not a Joke & the shit is not even anywhere near any semblance of real yet.*

*Normal is dead for now.*

*Let that sink in.*

*But hope is very much alive!*

Friday, April 17, 2020

American exceptionalism

Although we like to think of it as exceptional, the true definition is 
 The actual phrase "American exceptionalism" was originally coined by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1929 as a critique of a revisionist faction of American communists who argued that the American political climate was unique, making it an 'exception' to certain elements of Marxist theory.

Which today is kind of funny given our relationship with Russia. 

So I was giving some thought to our current situation and the pandemic. 

As I listen to people - especially the trump supporters - I hear a lot of "we need to get economy open! We can take some amount of mortality, and besides it can't happen to *me*"

Which is patently absurd on every level. But in particular it's the belief that it can't happen to them. This virus affects every human. Doesn't matter, if you breathe you are susceptible. 

But then we're not different from everyone else. We have to better! Better economy. Better jobs. Better cars. Better religion. That's how this works, right?

In other cases, like 9/11, there was an element of exceptionalism that made some amount of sense. Patriotism. Pride. Everyone agreed that we gotta do the right things to protect ourselves.

There was an enemy and we were "better" than them and we vowed to beat them. Military industrial complex do your thing and chants of USA.

But for this it's different. There's no enemy. If we stand here and be defiant and make the economy strong but lose millions of lives then we are in some ways "better." Because we didn't do what everyone else did.

And if the person at the top just clangs the cymbals like a dime store monkey then it generates this weird sense of nationalism. 

So for what should be the gold standard for how to be best at fighting the virus, at finding good solutions, about using technology to track the spread, and finding solutions. 

Instead we're going to be at this for a long time. Never forget trump is in it solely for himself. And he doesn't care about you, me, or the legions of supporters. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

WWE ‘following appropriate guidelines’ during Orlando shows

I find this story to be weird. I mean, essential? really? But gov dimwitty thinks he has an idea what he's doing. And there's probably some odd connection because the front man (Vince) is friends with trump.

But stranger still is this: earlier in the day the xfl filed for bankruptcy. The xfl was fully bankrolled by...Vince. So he's shutting down one operation and essentially absolving himself of liability. Meanwhile he'll make money on continuing the wwe.

Ahhhh capitalism.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Nitwits. Self serving nitwits.

Earlier today, I was thinking about republican logic (TM).  

  • They are okay with people dying from this virus
  • They want to assert that “corporations are people too”
  • But yet they are unwilling to let corporations die, when they are impacted by the virus. And instead bail them out.

Tell me again how smart they are?

Oh wait they’re just in it for themselves. Nothing to see here.  Move along. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Fauci: Kids could get ‘infected’ if Florida reopens schools

I take from this that governor dimwitty here in Flori-duh is planning to reopen schools around May 1st, meaning that they'd be back in the classroom for about one month before the school year ends? Yeah, that's not gonna cause any issues in terms of logistics...and sure support staff and bussing will be back up and running with the snap of a finger.

And as for trump's comments ... forehead slap. I guess he is the supreme chancellor?

Friday, April 10, 2020

Oh the irony.

The trumpster Fire was going on about absentee ballots being okay. But voting by mail isn't. Potato potatoe kind of stuff.

Anyway someone pointed out to him that in the primary he didn't vote *absentee* but rather by mail because of a technicality.

He sluffed it off of course and that he had to vote that way.

Later, someone else looked into it. Turns out his vote was mailed to mar-a-lago and someone picked it up for him and carried it to dc and then was involved in returning it.

That's ballot harvesting and may (or may not?) be legal in Florida. or dc. Or across state lines.

But in any case *that* is the bigger concern as far as voter fraud goes.

The irony. 😂

"Weird Al" Yankovic -This Is The Life Trump(MUSIC VIDEO)

This is a fun fan service(?) video.

Obama talks about the prospect of a pandemic

Just in case anyone needs a refresher on what an actual leader looks like. He saw a problem out there and put resources into protecting against it. While the dotard removed funding and blamed Obama. 

Why does anyone believe a word out of trumps mouth? Why do they support him? He’s a criminal and a failure. 

On China, good video

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

From the world of sports.

Oh my. So much confusion. So many competing priorities. So much money at stake!  I think there will ultimately be turbulent waters ahead for all sports, and it seems likely there there will be lots of litigation to settle some of it. 

I mean, the olympics chose to postpone rather than cancel because there was a huge financial stake and undoubtedly the olympics would have had to cease operations. Can't let that gravy train go!

As for college basketball, cancelling the tournament was in the best interests of the students and the universities - though they let go of lots of money. Funny though, that the Florida legislature took time out of dealing with pandemic and state issues to decide to vote on making florida state the champions of college basketball. 

And in the quirkiest twist of fate, it means that one of the best teams, who should have forfeited their season for the good of the students and university now has to. 

Hockey and the nba are done for the year, in spite of their continuing efforts to try and come back. Ain't happening. 

Baseball is funny. Again it's about money. Some agent - whose income relies on there being games - floated a crazy idea to play games in one city. And because there's money and talk is cheap, the idea grew into something stupid. There are many reasons why, but my two biggest are (1) as David Samson pointed out its impossible to test players every single day. 1,000 or so tests per day, when the general population can't get tested? Makes sense. 

And (2) money. Baseball's tv deals in regional markets is what drives most money for the team. If they have to air games in a market that's not in the same time zone, or at strange times to accommodate the small number of stadiums, they won't generate revenue. Deal breaker. 

So don't believe the hype. The reality is that it's unlikely they'd get anything started until August, at the earliest. And they'd have to warm up again.  Which means the season is a wash. 

And now to football. College students typically report in late July to start conditioning. There really was no spring football, so they'd have to compress a lot into a short timeframe. But. There also is the problem that nearly every major university has moved to online classes for the second half of the summer - essentially meaning the universities will be closed until sometime in August. They'd have to return and start the program after that. So I would argue that there will be no college football until late September / early October, at the earliest. 

Pro football wants to go at it full steam ahead. It's all about this illusion that they're well run and that somehow what they do matters. So the draft comes up in conversation a lot. You know scouts have meaning and they have to pick players. Some in team management want more time to do those evaluations and done want more picks. Both are hilarious. 

The draft is a way to allocate the top talent among teams, to level the playing field. It's a crapshoot, and in general too much emphasis is placed on the outcome. Who can say how a 22 year old will perform in a year or two with money and fame. 

Adding draft picks? You can still sign these I drafted players. So who cares? Just put offers out there and be done with it. 

But the one that made me spit out my morning coffee was Jim Harbaugh saying he was worried about a virtual draft because someone might hack it. I'm not quite sure what he means. Someone might join the draft that doesn't belong? Someone might submit a pick for team? Someone might alter the outcome and pick all kickers for a team that they don't like?


Who knows when they might start. Or if they'll play in front of crowds. And the scary part for the league is: what happens if there are no crowds and interest is either really high or really low?

And one last thing and it's about the money. Several of the big broadcasters have met with ad executives and league executives to keep everyone happy. Gotta make sure the money train is still running! Because the alternative is...more litigation. 

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Fact-checking Trump’s optimistic hydroxychloroquine claims - STAT

Would it surprise you to learn that mr. Trump has a stake in the company that owns the drug? It shouldn't.

My question is, will the idiots that blindly follow this man start taking this drug? And will this turn out like the tragic following of Jim Jones and his infamous kool-aid mass suicide?

When are people going to wake up and see him for what he is? A snake oils salesman. A fraud. A self aggrandizing fool who is only after your money and the power that comes with it.

The answer is rhetorical. It won't happen. As Mark Twain famously said "I have found that common sense isn't so common"

Friday, April 3, 2020

Still not clear on this...I guess he’s embodying “Florida man?”

Florida's gov desantis issued his executive order about safer at home. It was different than what he said it would have in it, in some ways and wasn't specific enough in others. Lots of confusion from cities and counties. Lots of questions. So he created a second one that...he talks about but hasn't posted or sent yet.

And as far as the religious exemptions he included in there, he said that he wants people to congregate for Easter ... and that he doesn't think government can regulate religious institutions.

Ummmm. They're business where people go in groups greater than 10, right?

Why? Just why?

Oh the irony.

"Senator" Ron Johnson believes they economy should re-open because this is no worse than the flu. And besides, he says, "death is an unavoidable part of life"

And this appears on his official government website. Tone deaf? Or just following orders from Republican Jesus (TM)?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Let this sink in.

"Roughly 280 million masks in warehouses around the U.S. were purchased by foreign buyers on Monday alone, according to Forbes. A FEMA spokesperson said the agency 'has not actively encouraged or discouraged U.S. companies from exporting overseas'."

And now mike pence says he'll stop. Because he got caught I suppose.

Do you see it yet? Trump does not care about you. It's all about him. He's inept and should be removed from office immediately.

MLB season likely to start without fans in quest for most games

I saw this and thought "hey, every team is going to emulate what the marlins have been doing for two decades!"

How to not compose an email.

Way to go Moes!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My thoughts on the confusion that comes from those in power

You may not want to hear it, but make no mistake: this is a Trump problem. He is bumbling his way through this crisis, with no thought or regard to the spread of the virus, nor the deaths that result.

He's sent many conflicting messages, most of which focus on the stock market, the success of the wealthy, and his own re-election.  He didn't take it seriously until it was too late (to wit, he called it a "hoax" and was dismissive of it early on), and claims he is in no way responsible for... anything.  Yet, he was the one who neutered most science organizations and research, and dismantled the office established specifically to combat a pandemic.

And then there's Desantis, Florida's governor, who can't get out of his own way. He waited far too long to close beaches (and never did!) and declare a state of emergency.  And currently is acting as indecisive as you can imagine, making contradictory statements - sometimes on the same day.  I see two issues here: he's trying his best to protect Florida's tourism at the expense of the long term health of it, and he wants to appease the Trump (one would assume that this is because Trump has made clear he wants people to laud him or he will withhold aid, though of course it could be that he’s a fanboy and wants to appease the nincompotus).

This is a time for action, and for solid leadership. They are failing us on all counts.