Well…whether it was exciting really depended on who we’re talking ‘bout.
Connie…son Bryan…DIL Jen…yeah, they were excited.
Neil…not so much.
As I may or may not have mentioned…Neil and Connie got Apple Watches back in the fall when they returned from the 2019 travel season and they really like them. They waited until the 5th generation because it took that long before they decided the features were worth the price. Your watch pairs with your iPhone and allows getting text, email, voice mail, checking the weather…and importantly you can use it for contactless mobile payments with your associated credit card stored in the Apple Wallet app on your phone. None of those features played a factor in the excitement/non-excitement though.
Series 5 of the watch also includes fall detection…and while it’s really too sensitive and introduces some fall detections that aren’t falls like when you clap your hands vigorously or shake water off of them it’s better to be too sensitive than not sensitive enough. The idea is that if it detects what it thinks is a fall you get an alert on your watch where you tell it whether you fell or not and whether you’re OK or not. If not…then it decides you really fell…and importantly if it thinks you’re not moving any longer it takes action to call your emergency contact numbers which you previously entered into the medical alert section on your iPhone…in Neil’s case those numbers are the cell numbers for Connie, Bryan, and Jen.
As I said…that’s the way it is *supposed* to work…and up until yesterday it always worked that way…you periodically get “you might have fallen” alerts on your watch and answer the questions that you’re not unconscious in the ditch or whatever and you go on about your business.
So yesterday morning…Neil was out on a bike ride and maintaining about a 15.something miles an hour pace except for one stop at a light where a truck was turning left in front of him so he momentarily stopped with his foot down…but later reconstruction showed that this was not the cause of the excitement.
He rides up and down US-41 (Cleveland Avenue/Tamiami Trail) routinely and yesterday he headed south down it, turned left and rode one of his standard routes through a subdivision named Suncoast Estates then back out onto Tamiami and headed north towards home. He passed Del Prado where he had turned left to head over into the subdivision with a bit over 3 miles left home. Now he’s familiar with the fall detection feature and there are a half dozen or so places on his various standard routes that tend to activate the fall detection feature as he bumps over a curb or bump in the bike path and he knows to pick his left hand off of the handlebars to prevent a false detection there. However…none of these places are on the east side of Tamiami headed north towards home. And in any event…he received no fall detections on the entire ride…the watch has haptic features so it vibrates on your wrist and also has a distinctive alert tone…neither of which happened.
However…his watch obviously decided that he had fallen, not gotten up, wasn’t moving and was therefor unconscious in the ditch someplace…none of which was actually true. So…it waited the requisite time period and then commenced to calling his emergency contacts several times each. They then used the Find My Friends feature on iOS devices to see where he was and noticed that he was still moving. Then all three of them started calling and texting him…which would normally have sent alerts to his watch in addition to making his phone ring…and those alerts would have vibrated the watch and made even more alert sounds.
None of which happened. He was just cycling along to the end of the ride and as he passed the house he stopped his cycling tracking app, downshifted and did a quick cool down to the end of Long Pond Road and back…at which point Connie runs out of the house telling him that he’s calling everybody.
He checked his watch…no alerts. Phone…yup…he’s called everybody and they’ve called and texted him but no alerts to the watch and no rings on the phone either.
He’s got no idea why nothing worked as expected this time…but he rebooted watch and iPhone and all is better as he got a fall detection alert this morning when he was making French Toast for breakfast.
He and Neil had a nice date night on Thursday…he ran down and got lobstah bisque and lobstah rolls (warm for him and cold with mayo for Connie) for dinner…and they’e been invited out to eat at some friends one night next week.
Other than that…it’s pretty much same-o same-o ‘round here. He does have some sort of eye thing going on as well that started on Friday…tenderness on the inside lower eyelid next to his nose on the left side. He’s monitoring it and if it’s not better by tomorrow will run down to the eye doctor and get it looked it…could be some sort of tear duct infection or a half dozen other minor things that might need a topical antibiotic to take care of.
And naturally…another day and there’s more stupidity in the news.
First up…ya probably read in the news about the black fellow that was “completely unarmed and was mercilessly gunned down by racist cops up in Kenosha WS…at least that’s the way the WAMM is reporting it. Naturally the riots started that night with multiple shootings, businesses looted and burned, and injuries on both protestor and police sides.
And then…well you actually get a few more facts. Now I’m not saying that this shooting was justified or not yet as the investigation is ongoing. However…there have been a few more facts released in the past few days that tend to cast some doubt on the original WAMM media claims.
- The cops showed up at the shooting location based on a 911 call by a woman who said he (a) had a restraining order against him, and (b) he was trying to steal her keys and car. Not sure how that woulda worked as his car with his 3 kids in it was outside the house…but he was the subject of the 911 call and the cops that showed up knew that he had an outstanding felony sexual assault warrant active at the time.
- He was armed…he told the police at the scene that he had a knife and at some point it was out of his pocket since the police drew their weapons and told him to drop the knife…the young local man who videoed the shooting says that he heard the cops tell him to drop the knife…and the knife was eventually found in the floorboard driver side of the car with the kids in it.
- He fought with the police including putting one of them in a headlock, was tased twice with no effect, and ignored the orders of the cops to stop, put his hands up, and drop the knife…and walked around the front of the car and attempted to getting with a cop pulling on his shirt.
- He appears in the video to be reaching towards the driver side floorboard area in the car immediately before he was shot.
The investigation is ongoing by the local DA as well as the state DoJ…but it’s clear that there is more to this situation than ‘another unarmed black man gunned down by racist police’. I realize that people are frustrated by the situation and there may or may not be systemic racial profiling by the police…but if you look at things without a predetermined outcome it’s also pretty clear that not following the commands of the police and fighting with them might get you shot. Back in 2007 or so…a black comedian named Chris Rock put out a video entitled. “How not to get your ass kicked by the police”…and there’s a lot of truth in it. I’m not sure if he intended it to be just a comedy routine or if he was using comedy to try and convince young black men to be less confrontational with police encounters…but a lot of what he says in the video is 100 percent on point.
Let’s see…what else is there.
Down here in Florida…they’re getting ready to release
750 million genetically modified male mosquitos…this is a form of mosquito control since they have been modified so that when they mate with females the resulting mosquito eggs/larvae will not survive to become adult mosquitos. Now remember that male mosquitos do not bite…only females do that…and that this technique has been tried several times before (although not in FL) and proven successful in lowering the mosquito problem. Also remember…that while these particular mosquitos have been genetically modified by scientists…the net result is exactly the same as selective breeding would have gotten you to as you bred them to enhance certain characteristics.
Mind you…the EPA has approved this test based on proven results in earlier uses of the same technology…and mosquitos transmit many diseases not to mention being seriously annoying.
So let’s see what the linked article says about this
- “With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida — the Covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate change — the administration has used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment,” said Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety”
- “Now the Monroe County Mosquito Control District has given the final permission needed. What could possibly go wrong? We don’t know, because EPA unlawfully refused to seriously analyze environmental risks, now without further review of the risks, the experiment can proceed,” she added.”
- The article admits that people in the Florida Keys are fully in support of this test…but notes that a change.org petition against it has over 240,000 signatures as of earlier this week…but it doesn’t mention how many (few I’m sure) of those people actually live in the Keys.
- People are being used as “guinea pigs” for the “superbug” or “Robo-Frankenstein” mosquito.
- “The release of genetically engineered mosquitoes will needlessly put Floridians, the environment and endangered species at risk in the midst of a pandemic,” said Dana Perls, food and technology program manager at Friends of the Earth, in Wednesday’s statement.
I really don’t understand the outrage. Mosquitos are a problem, this has been tried and worked before…and the modified males survive several generations to help lower the density. Male offspring mature normally with the modified genes and only females…the ones that bite people and animals and spread disease…are killed by the modification.
Nuts I tellya…nuts.
OK…and I need to say up front that this isn’t a complaint about masks…it’s a complaint about manipulating data for fake headlines.
Out in Kansas…the Democratic governor issued a “masks are required everywhere in the state” order back on July 3. Some counties followed her order precisely…and some did not. Those that didn’t largely justified their decision based on low population, no urban centers, and low case count in their county. Naturally…this pissed the governor off so she had her Department of Health issue a chart this week showing how successful her order was in reducing corona cases in those counties that followed it…here’s the graph as issued by the state.
Now look carefully at this graph…the blue line is the no mask counties and the yellow line is the mask counties. From this graph…one would naturally conclude…which was their precise goal of this misleading graph…that counties that followed the governor’s mask mandate showed a significant decline in cases…right?
Well…actually not right…because if you look carefully you’ll see that there are two different y (vertical) scales on this graph. On the left is the mask scale which goes from 15-25 rolling 7 day average per 100,000 population…while on the right the no mask scale goes from 4-14 using the same horizontal graph lines…and they also carefully selected the starting and ending dates on the x-axis on the graph. Thus…one would conclude that clearly those counties who followed the brilliantly issued mask mandate showed a considerable decline in case rate…and that clearly counties that failed to follow the mandate both did not see any decrease and are actually a higher case rate than in the mask counties.
Now it’s clear to anybody that understands math and/or charts and/or statistics that if you’re comparing two things…any two things…you have to use the same axis scale on the graph and over a longer time period.
Luckily for us…the Kansas Policy Institute was on the job…recognized the flagrant lie provided by the above graph…and gave us a more accurate graph. Here it is with the same axis used for both mask and non mask counties.
Again…yellow for mask and blue for no masks. As you can see from using unbiased, fair, and mathematically correct graphing techniques…no mask counties and mask counties case rate both increased but no mask counties have a higher overall case rate and although the percentage increases are in the same ballpark visually it’s pretty clear that mask counties have a higher increase.
Gee…I wonder why the state chose to publish such a clearly biased chart. Probably because an unbiased chart would undercut their contention that the mask mandate was and is a wonderful thing and only those idiot Republican controlled counties are wrong.
The real issue here is…beyond the obviously biased chart…that a mask mandate is not a one size fits all thing. Yes…masks do help prevent an infected you from spreading the corona…and to a lesser extent they protect an uninfected you from being infected when out and about. However…the difference is really an urban verses rural population. In lesser populated places…there will naturally be a lower case rate…and in those places with fewer people and less social interaction with large groups the utility of mandating mask wearing is lessened. Not zeroed out by any means but lessened. The fact that those rural counties tend to be Republican controlled and urban counties tend to be Democrat controlled because of the larger city populations is really irrelevant to the case rate or the wearing/not wearing of masks.
Instead…we get what is clearly a biased graph designed to reinforce the political stance of the governor. I’ll grant you that the Kansas Policy Institute is right of center…but all they did was fairly plot the actual data…the same actual data that the state used to construct the misleading first graph.
What we really need is for our politicians and media to simply stop lying for political gain and…ummm…just tell the truth…ya know, the actual facts without all of the completely BS attempts to spin things to suit their political desires.
Not gonna happen though…as we’ve frequently lamented ‘round these parts all of our politicians of both parties are more interested…well, maybe not all but the vast, vast majority…in making eat other side look bad and getting reelected consumes as close to 100% of their efforts as you can get without actually getting to 100%. Both parties at this point are being run by the idiots on the fringe…despite the fact that those idiots on the fringe stand little chance of winning in any non local election…and despite the fact that most of the population is much closer to the center. Yeah…some are left of center and some are right of center…but largely the population is much more center than fringe. There’s almost no political party left for those of us in the center.
Our upcoming election illustrates…once again…why Neil’s long standing recommendation of having None Of The Above on the ballot…is a simply stupendous idea…and if None wins you have another election and none of the idiots who ran the first time can run in the new election. Unfortunately…that would require constitutional amendments…multiple ones probably…to be enacted and our current two party system is too well entrenched for them to allow citizens to actually vote in an acceptable alternative.
Mike Rowe has another
really interesting column this week. It’s about a black Republican woman named Kimberly Klacik who lives in Baltimore MD and is running for Congress there. She put out a campaign ad showing her walking through bad neighborhoods in Baltimore saying that the people who run Baltimore don’t care about black lives. She says that the city has been run by Democrats for 53 years and shows what Connie and Neil are familiar with from living there as the problems facing black residents in the city. She cites numerous statistics for her claim…and politics side the ad seems pretty factually dead on with the facts…and that she wants to try and make a difference for her city.
Now I’ll grant you that she’s running for office so she is highlighting the problems she says are attributable to Democrat leadership of her city…but naturally the Democratic Party is all in a tither over this ad. However…instead of politicians attacking her or trying to defend their record…apparently they had their friends in the WAMM at the Baltimore Sun put out a
response. Do they defend their policies…umm…no. Instead they call her a Trump enabler and accuse her of trying to blunt black voter support for Mr. Biden. She has responded with a
commentary in the same Baltimore Sun. Her Democratic opponent was kicked out of the NAACP amid allegations of sexual harassment, nepotism and mismanagement…and this is the candidate the Baltimore Sun has endorsed. Her response and positions indicate that she is a moderate mostly center right Republican who is in favor of a lot of the social policies the Democrats want…but I think she’s right in that 53 years of control by the other party have definitely contributed to the terrible situation Baltimore is in.
Go take a look at Mike’s post…as is his norm it’s well researched and while it is clearly an opinion he’s got facts and figures to back up what he recommends…and mostly he is kinda like the guy that says the King has no clothes. He’s only recognizing obvious facts and suggests that it is forcing a long overdue conversation about the rot, corruption, and lack of services in the city…and that after 53 years refusing to have that conversation and trying to figure out a solution is simply guaranteed to perpetuate it for even longer. He doesn’t either endorse or not her candidacy…but he does endorse having the conversation because things will never get better otherwise.
Interesting things found on the net.
So…what’s the easternmost point of the United States? I have to admit that we…like probably 99.99% of the rest of you…thought it was the state of Maine and more specifically West Quoddy Head Lighthouse just south of Lubec which borders the Lubec Narrows with the island of Campobello belonging to Canuckistan to the east.
However…you…like us…would be wrong. Let me show you the actual easternmost point of the US. It is named Semisopochnoi and is the rightmost island in this image.
So just what…and where…exactly is Semisopochnoi. Looking at the name…which means “having seven hills”…it’s obviously a Russian name which probably gives you a clue where it is. Semisopochnoi is an island in the Aleutian chain about 150 miles to the west of Adak Island and about 700 miles from mainland Alaska and 1000 miles from the main portion of mainland AK. What is unique about Semisopochnoi…as well as the additional half dozen or so islands in the Aleutian chain that are west of it…is that they like across the 180th meridian and their geographical coordinates are eastern longitude. Looking at the 48 contiguous states…they’re all in eastern longitudes as well with Maine being about 66 east…while Semisopochnoi is 179.something east and the beginning of western longitude about 5 miles east of the island. So…when considering actual longitude standards…Semisopochnoi is farther east than Maine is and hence is the easternmost point in the US.
Followup question…how far is it from the easternmost point in the US to the westernmost point? Only about 71 miles as if you head east from Semisopochnoi you cross into western longitude and get to the westernmost point the island of Amitagnik.
I have to admit…we never thought of it this way…but on further review as the replay official says…it is correct.
I found an interesting tidbit that…again on further review…one would agree that this would happen ‘Only in Texas’. Before the recent arrival in the area of hurricane Laura there was naturally your typical run on stores for vital hurricanes supplies like milk, bread, and toilet paper. So naturally the HEB store there (HEB is a grocery chain) started enforcing some limits on how much of these vital supplies an individual could buy…and naturally the local TV station put these limitations up so that folks would know ahead of time.
I have to admit…I’ve lived my entire life without knowing that brisket (thick beef roasts for bbq/smoking) were vital hurricane supplies.
Speaking of riots…
And in the dumbest crook of the week…actually probably the decade at least and maybe the century.
After the recent shooting in Kenosha…the WAMM has the normal series of articles with headlines like “Timeline of the shooting” and “What do we know about this racist cop”. In the latter article…they breathlessly report that he was one of a group of officers who were previously sued right at the top of the article.
About 5 paragraphs later when most people have quit reading…they report the actual facts of the suit. Turns out that an inmate in the local hoosegow filed a handwritten federal civil rights lawsuit against him and another half dozen or so officers for “causing damage to his door”. What actually happened was that the cops broke the door down…because they had a no-knock warrant…which means they are legally allowed to break the door down…and that the results of that warrant were what earned the complainant in the suit a conviction and his being in the hoosegow when he filed his lawsuit. So the cops had a proper warrant to search for evidence, entered as allowed in the warrant, found the evidence they were looking for, and the perp was convicted and sentenced based at least partially one would assume on that evidence.
So naturally…he filed his handwritten federal civil rights lawsuit.
Which was summarily dismissed.
Gee…imagine that. I’m shocked I tellya…shocked.
My buddy Randy has the rights to a domain about idiotic lawsuits…they’re known as Stella Awards based on Stella who…at the age of 79 successfully sued McDonalds in 1992 and was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages (later reduced to just $480K) because she spilled a cup of hot McDonalds coffee in her lap and burned her lady bits. Now McDonalds at the time did serve their coffee hotter than your average coffee stand did so that they would get fewer complaints about their coffee not being hot enough…and while there may have been a lack of notification in writing that their coffee was hotter than normal coffee shops…any moron should know that coffee is hot and shouldn’t be placed in between your legs with the top removed (as I recall) so that it can spill onto your lady bits or man bits. Anyway…no new cases are being accepted but since Randy dropped the site due to it not making him any money to make up for his time and effort in maintaining it he still owns the rights so he’s gradually re-releasing the cases. This week’s case deals with Kathleen Ann McCormick who lived in Wilkes-Barre PA and was an obese smoker who had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of coronary artery disease.
Her doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medial Center told her to…amazingly enough…stop smoking, lose weight, and eat a more healthy diet…which naturally she did not do. And then…again, amazingly enough…she had a heart attack which…according to her suit against the VA and her 8 doctors for $1 million…left her a cardiac invalid. According to her…her doctors…with the full and complicit conspiracy of the entire VA and the US government…”did not do enough” to convince her to work to improve her own health…and thus she deserved compensation. The lawsuit was filed back in 2002 and Randy could find no news reports on it here in 2020 except for those that referred to his original post so evidently this suit was also summarily dismissed.
If you want to read more about some of these cases…stellaawards.com will get you to the page where you can sign up for the (approximately) weekly notification of re-released cases. And while you’re at it…thisistrue.com will allow you to sign up for either the free or paid version of This is True…his weekly newsletter of amazing but true stories from the media.