Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Duck Fathers Chicken!

Well, we were warned that if we started down the road of gay marriage, things like this would happen.

Next, the Turducken: Scientists Say a Duck Has Fathered a Chicken

Seriously, this is a little creepy but still a pretty neat application of genetic engineering. In addition I learned a new thing: I'd never even heard of a "turducken" before.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let Them Eat Shit.

This self-absorbed bitch illustrates just how out of touch DC is with reality.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Sequester nearly starving staffers

Automatic federal cuts are bringing staffers to the brink of starvation, suggested Debbie Wasserman Schultz, at a recent House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

Restaurants on the House side of Congress are increasing in cost so much that aides are being “priced out” of a good meal, she said, as Fox News reported. The comments came by way of a discussion about the impacts of the sequester on lawmakers’ office budgets. Rep. Jim Moran said he may be forced to lay off a staffer — and then Ms. Wasserman Schultz weighed in with her tale of hard times.

Just to clarify: An 8-ounce bowl of Ham and Bean soup at the Cannon Office Building’s carry-out cafĂ© costs $2. A gourmet wrap or sliced bread sandwich sells for about $5. And in the Longworth Building’s sit-down cafeteria, a serving of stuffed chicken, asparagus and mashed potatoes sells for about $7, Fox News finds.

Meanwhile, Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s staffers earn between $60,000 and $160,000 per year, Fox News reports.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Here is Something a Little Weird

I came across a forum post on a obscure Russian made revolver called by the uninspired name of the "AEK 906". Out of curiosity I searched a bit more and found this page briefly describing the gun in both its 9x18mm and 9x19mm variants. What makes is unusual is, as you can see from the image below, it fires from the bottom chamber rather from the top like a conventional revolver.

Sound familiar?

The weird part in all this is that the AEK 906 was also known as the "Nosorog" which is Russian for "rhinoceros"! I wonder if the folks at Chiappa Firearms knew about that when they named their new revolver the "Rhino".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Will no one rid us of this meddling zombie?

New Gun Laws in Colorado

Earlier this month, Colorado Sheriff John Cooke said he would not enforce new state gun laws.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke won’t enforce new state gun measures expected to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, arguing the proposed firearms restrictions give a "false sense of security."

Yesterday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bills into law. Looks like it is nut up or shut up time in Colorado.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Thin Blue Whine

A picture truly worth a thousand words.

A three-year investigation into the police’s habit of fixing traffic and parking tickets in the Bronx ended in the unsealing of indictments on Friday and a stunning display of vitriol by hundreds of off-duty officers, who converged on the courthouse to applaud their accused colleagues and denounce their prosecution.

As 16 police officers were arraigned at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, incensed colleagues organized by their union cursed and taunted prosecutors and investigators, chanting "Down with the D.A." and "Ray Kelly, hypocrite."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dumbass Gun Owner Award

Dumbass Gun Owner Award

And the nominee is:

Cops: Pa. guard shot finger trying to remove ring


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal prison guard has been charged with shooting his own finger in a drunken attempt to remove his wedding ring during an argument with his wife at their northwestern Pennsylvania home, police said.

A criminal complaint said Bradford police were called just before 9 p.m. March 2 and were met by Alfredo Malespini III, 31, who told officers he was "trying to get rid of his wedding ring" and decided to "shoot it off." The Bradford Era first reported the shooting on Friday.

The gunshot badly mangled Malespini's finger, but didn't remove the ring, police said.

All I can say about this is, "Stupid has consequences."

Friday, March 8, 2013

End the Public Library?

As I read a recent article from Fast Company entitled Best-selling Author: "Public Libraries Deprive Writers Of Royalties" I was reminded of a line from the movie Good Will Hunting:

See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you're gonna start doing some thinking on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don't do that. and, two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fucking education you could've got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

How many of the self made men of the past got their education from borrowed books and the reading room of a public library? Abraham Lincoln is, arguably, the American icon of such achievement. Frederic Douglas, Thomas Jefferson and Lysander Spooner also come to mind as mostly self taught men.

I know some -- maybe most -- publishers would like to do away with the lending of books and even eliminate the used book market. My anarcho-libertarian sympathies are on the side of letting them try. However, beginning in 1656 when a Boston merchant named Robert Keayne willed his collection of books to the town of Boston, the publicly accessible library has worked pretty well to help spread knowledge in this country. Hence, my conservative inclination is to preserve the institution even if I question the wisdom of supporting it through taxation.

H/T to Grant Cunningham and The Revolver Liberation Alliance

The Continuing Failure of the Tax-Supported School System

Officials: Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help Before Entering CUNY Community Colleges

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.

The above quote sums up the problem. Tax-supported education is failing the very people is was created to help. Despite the bleating of the Teachers Unions, a system that fail eight out of ten times is not generating a net benefit. It is a disastrous drag on the culture.

When future historians write about the history of 20th and Early 21st Century America, the tax-supported education system will likely be recorded as the single greatest mistake we made. That is if that horribly dysfunctional educational system we created leaves us a future that can afford the luxury of historians.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tales of the Assault Pop-Tart

Just when I think the hoplophobes have scraped the cultural bottom, they discover new depths of depravity and dumbness to plumb.

School Offers Counseling to Kids "Troubled" by Gun-Shaped Pastry

Amanda Collins at HB 1226 Hearing

In the following video you can see that Sen. Hudek clearly deserves a nomination for Most Egregiously Stupid Comment in a Committee Hearing. Ms. Collins, OTOH, deserve a award for telling the idiot masquerading as a Senator that the right to effective self defense trumps any touchy-feely horseshit about teachers feeling comfortable.

Frankly, if a teacher is uncomfortable with any of his students carrying a gun -- openly or concealed -- he needs to find a different line of work. Fast food service would be appropriate.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Risk Assessment

I'm always being asked about computer and data security. My answer is always some variation on the same theme. Employees will get serious about security when management proves it is serious about security.

Brice Schneier has an excellent short essay from 2009 on how people evaluate risk and some implications for securing corporate computer systems and data.

It is not enough to just publish a policy. If an employee perceives the risk from violating the policy are less than the risk of completing a job assignment late, he will circumvent security in favor of the assignment.

It seems to me that his co-workers understand the risks better than he does. They know what the real risks are at work, and that they all revolve around not getting the job done. Those risks are real and tangible, and employees feel them all the time. The risks of not following security procedures are much less real. Maybe the employee will get caught, but probably not. And even if he does get caught, the penalties aren't serious.

Given this accurate risk analysis, any rational employee will regularly circumvent security to get his or her job done. That's what the company rewards, and that's what the company actually wants.

Related but not mentioned explicitly in the essay is a requirement that my experience in systems security indicates is equally important: Management must live with its own rules. If an employee believes that managers are avoiding the security rules then he will conclude that management is not really serious about it. Sure the manager can fire the employee for a transgression but then other employees will see the situation as fundamentally unfair and morale will suffer

People Understand Risks -- But Do Security Staff Understand People?

Saturday, March 2, 2013