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Hometown: New Mexico
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 102,755

Journal Archives

Opeator Starsky talks Kalashnikovs

Wait for the punch line. Really.

Cats Remember Each Other's Names, Japanese Study Suggests

In recent years, scientists have shown that cats actually bond deeply with humans. These complex creatures can and will communicate with us, and they even track our movements when we're not around.

Even more amazingly, cats can recognize their own names (an ability we mostly associate with dogs), and now new research shows that this feline feat goes much further than we realized.

In a new study, scientists discovered that in addition to knowing their own names, cats also appear to recognize the names of other cats they're familiar with, and may also know the names of people who live in the same household.


My old cat (now long gone) loved to watch Maru videos. She'd sit in my lap, glued to the screen, chirping at him. She was bored by everything else, including fish, although videos of big cats would hold her attention for a minute or two. Maru could keep her happy for half an hour or more. She especially loved to see him surf boxes across the floor.

So yeah, not surprised about this study, at all.

Why the Ukrainians threw Yanukovych out and don't want another Russian puppet, ever

Yanukovych is said to have stolen in the upper tens of billions, mostly through the corruption at Ukrainian oil and gas companies, most notably Burisma, a company that put Hunter Biden on the board as a signal that Russian corruption would no longer be tolerated.

Here's a stroll through his pleasure palace, something I find overdone and my standards were formed by the pleasure palaces, er summer cottages, of the Robber Barons in Newport. Just the car collection goes on and on and on and on...

So now we know why there is a war, Putin and Yanukovych (in exile in Russia) want their favorite money maker back. I imagine Yanukovych is the originator of the Nazi fiction and Putin's cupidity prevents him from seeing how foolish it makes him look.

Partially successful test of helicopter grabbing a returning rocket out of the air

This is pretty neat stuff and more efficient than the Flash Gordon Space X touchdowns:

Apparently there was a partial splashdown and that's why the load felt different.

Starsky video, truth testing a POW interview

**Please use skepticism when watching any videos from the war. Thanks**

I posted this because of several things that seem to be true. First, the drug injections. The drugs sounds like Arbidol, which is a Rissoan antiviral, seems odd although it was developed from a tramadol analogue.. Second, the story about Russian soldiers breaking into Ukrainian army stores for underwear, socks and boots is most likely true, I've seen that from a UN observer and an NGO worker, neither of whom had contact with the other at the time.

One NGO worker wisecracked that the Russian troops were from Bottlestan, there were so many empties at the camp sites, probably liberated from stores and wrecked houses. I don't think anyone had to force them to drink. I can see them needing to get so blotto that they shuffle, zombie like, into Ukrainian gunfire, so that seems accurate.

In any case, this guy is done, even if he goes back behind the lines, he'll most likely choose jail over what he's already been through.

I disbelieved about 1/3 of this interview. That makes it uncommonly truthful for a war zone interview. My disblief of part is because he seemingly missed the point of being in the army while not seeming that dumb, and the shifty eyes indicating he was trying to please somebody off camera.

Happy May Day!

Builly Bragg updated the words to the Internationale and I can't find much to disagree with in 'em. So here goes:

It should be noted that Communist countries fell far short of the ideal, installing strongmen who enriched their cronies at the expense of everyone else. Communism as it was practiced is not what this song is about.

Before You Pour All That Maple Syrup on Your Pancakes, Here's What You Should Know About It

And no, it’s not just sweet. “Maple syrup is a lot more complex than sugar,” says Laura Sorkin, who owns Vermont-based Runamok Maple with her husband, Eric. “There’s a lot more nuance than what you would get with granulated sugar.” The flavor can vary depending on the time of year, but Sorkin says toffee, caramel, honey and apple are among the notes she can pick out. There’s also a balance of sweetness and acidity.
Still, here is the rundown of how the government describes the grades aimed at individual buyers (there is a processing grade that can be used by manufacturers making other products), ordered from least to most intense, as well as early to late season:


Good description of FDA grading system. I avoid "Grade A Fancy" because I find it super sweet and lacking in flavor. Health food store Grade B was my go to before the FDA muddied the waters, it was less sweet and a mahogany brown, perfect for almost everything I wanted to do. Granulated maple sugar did the rest, sweeter than sugar and with a pronounced flavor.

Grade C was available and OK for things like maple breads, but it looked as black as tar and wasn't very sweet, at all.

Scientists Ran an Experiment to Identify the Personality Profile of an A-Hole

(from the "was there ever any doubt?" files, I'm sure)

While the field was broad, though, the 'assholes' identified in the study were mostly male, and typically middle-aged.

People perceived as 'assholes' were associated with 315 categories of offensive behavior across the participants' responses, which the researchers categorized into 14 broad themes: aggression, anger, arrogance, bigotry, callousness, combativeness, domineering behavior, externalization of blame, immaturity, inconsiderateness, irresponsibility, manipulativeness, rudeness, and other (including hypocrisy and playing favorites).

When we talk about behaviors, the asshole was not necessarily being antagonistic toward people, but they just didn't really care about what others were thinking or how they were perceived by others."


Tanis: 'First dinosaur fossil linked to asteroid strike'

The sturgeon and paddlefish in this fossil tangle are key. They have small particles stuck in their gills. These are the spherules of molten rock kicked out from the impact that then fell back across the planet. The fish would have breathed in the particles as they entered the river.

The spherules have been linked chemically and by radiometric dating to the Mexican impact location, and in two of the particles recovered from preserved tree resin there are also tiny inclusions that imply an extra-terrestrial origin.


Grrr, BBC and their "we don't know how to do paragraphs, so we separate all sentences." Also, it's a misleading headline. The jury is still out on the dino leg, except it was tipped off the animal and not by a predator. There are a couple of vids with the story that are worth watching.

Still, the fish prove what a bad day it was for everyone.

What We Know About The New Omicron Subvariant BA.2 Spreading Around The World

Some scientists have called BA.2 a "stealth" variant because, unlike the BA.1 variant, it lacks a particular genetic signature that distinguishes it from the Delta variant. While standard PCR tests are still able to detect the BA.2 variant, they might not be able to tell it apart from the Delta variant.
It is worth noting that while BA.1 has dominated case numbers around the world, it causes less severe disease compared to the Delta variant. Recent studies from the UK and Denmark suggest that BA.2 may pose a similar risk of hospitalization as BA.1.
A recent study suggested that people previously infected with the original BA.1 subvariant have robust protection against BA.2.


Those are the main takeaways. The article is readable but there is some alphabet soup in it. They are hoping the vax is as effective as it was against BA1, producing only mild illness in most people who got breakthrough cases. Vaccine studies have been done in Europe but are not yet peer reviewed.

So not to worry, it's not going to be 2020 all over again, so stop panic buying toilet paper. Please.

Oh, and there's also a BA3 variant, but nobody seems to be particularly worried about it, it doesn't seem to be spreading rapidly.
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