Friday, March 24, 2017

THE JOKER VS THE KING

The Denver Nuggets are returning to being watchable, with big help from Nikola Jokić aka The Joker.  The Nuggets recently trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers, and The Joker handled The King, aka LeBron James.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CHUCK BERRY

https://cdn1.nyt.com/images/2014/09/13/arts/berry-chuck-adv-obit-slide-W3AH/berry-chuck-adv-obit-slide-W3AH-videoSixteenByNine1050.jpg

You can find plenty of write-ups about Chuck Berry and his death at age 90, such as here and here.  However, one lesser known fact about Berry was mentioned in this article:

There was a also a darkness and suspicion in Berry, for those who cared to look.  He was notorious for making concert promoters pay him in full before his shows, cash only.....Years later he was convicted of tax evasion.

I learned about his concert scam a long time ago when he was brought in to perform at the Elkhart County Fair.  One of our friends was on the fair board, and the board had caught wind of Berry's tactic.  So, shortly before going on stage, Berry demanded more money or else, no show.  The board had a check made out for the sum requested - Berry went on to perform, but the board had the check cancelled immediately.  I never did hear of any consequences, so Berry must have chalked it up to being scammed on his scam.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE OLD HOME PLACE

Every year the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp hosts a Men's Retreat, and one of the best parts is the music.  We sing everything from a capella hymns to bluegrass to roots to rock and roll.  There are so many songs that deserve attention, but here is one that I particularly enjoyed this year since we had guitars, mandolins, banjo, and bass.


Monday, February 20, 2017

BARRACUDA

Barracuda - the fish, the car, the song, the ride, the gun, the hockey team, the airplane, the bicycles, the swim wear, and I am sure there are more......

I have only seen these at an aquarium

http://thumbs.imagekind.com/2427670_650/Charlie-the-Barracuda_art.jpg?v=1392267480

The Hurst Hemi Under Glass circa 1965.  I saw this in Indianapolis at the Nationals.
Note the rear bumper rockers that allowed all four wheels to get off of the track!

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/cb/b3/0c/cbb30cb14acd3bcb874f0353f970e100.jpg

A great song by Heart


I cannot find a picture of the Barracuda ride, but it was a very popular attraction at the Elkhart County Fair back in the day - rode around fast in wavy circles with the music blasting.

Barracuda guns - don't own any 😆

http://14544-presscdn-0-64.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/fn_barracuda_police-01.jpg

http://cdn3.volusion.com/tjmda.vbkky/v/vspfiles/photos/Barr-4.jpg?1465348080

http://picturearchive.gunauction.com/8244073713/8077173/98997197cf42c4131d818ad791cb3965.jpg

The San Jose Barracuda - obviously the AHL farm team of the Sharks!!

http://www.sjbarracuda.com/assets/img/home_team_logo-1.png
Lots of different Barracuda airplanes

http://www.key.aero/central/images/gallery/237.jpg

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/photos/airliners/2/1/4/1889412.jpg?v=v40

http://www.uasvision.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Barracuda.jpg


 http://www.dealmywheel.co.uk/img/artikel/722607.jpg

https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzY4WDEwMjQ=/z/rFQAAOSwqfNXimXO/$_86.JPG


http://barracudausa.com/wp-content/themes/barracuda-usa/assets/img/images/home_page_swimmer_1@1920.jpg



Sunday, February 12, 2017

KAKISTOCRACY

kak·is·toc·ra·cies. Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. Origin of kakistocracy. Greek kakistos, worst, superlative of kakos, bad; see caco– + –cracy.

This is a new word for me, to be added to other -cracies such as the diametric meritocracy, and unacceptable -cracies such as plutocracy and theocracy.  Most troubling about the current US kakistocracy is its fundamental practice of passing off lies as alternative facts.  Indeed, such alternative facts can lead to completely misguided policies that unfortunately resonate with a certain portion of the population.  The list of such prevarications is too long to even summarize here, and grows daily.  However, I would like to examine the executive order on banning certain immigrants.

The President's pretense for the EO is to "make America safe."  Although I realize that many Trump supporters are immune to facts, let's just have a look at some data.  First, let's review the number of terrorist killings in the US since the 9/11 attacks - in the fifteen years after 9/11, jihadists have killed 94 people inside the United States, right wing extremists have killed 50 and left wing extremists, 5. 

Next, here are data that summarize the foreign born terrorists by country of origin, total number of terrorists and total number of deaths from 1975 to 2015.  Note that to date, in 2017, not a single Syrian has killed anyone in the US via a terrorist attack.  The nations on the President's banned list have produced zero terrorist killings in the last decade or so.  Even Obama critic-in-chief Charles Krauthammer believes that the EO immigration ban is "stupid." 

Terrorists
Murders
Saudi Arabia
19
2,369
United Arab Emirates
2
314
Egypt
11
162
Lebanon
4
159
Kuwait
2
6
Cuba
11
3
Kyrgyzstan
2
3
Pakistan
14
3
Palestine
5
2
Armenia
6
1
Croatia
9
1
Taiwan
1
1
Trinidad and Tobago
2
1
Afghanistan
3
0
Algeria
4
0
Australia
1
0
Bangladesh
2
0
Bosnia
1
0
Dominican Republic
1
0
Ethiopia
1
0
France
1
0
Ghana
1
0
Guyana
2
0
Haiti
3
0
India
2
0
Iran
6
0
Iraq
2
0
Japan
1
0
Jordan
4
0
Kazakhstan
1
0
Kosovo
2
0
Libya
0
0
Macedonia
3
0
Mexico
1
0
Morocco
3
0
Nigeria
1
0
Serbia
2
0
Somalia
2
0
South Korea
1
0
Sudan
6
0
Syria
0
0
Turkey
1
0
United Kingdom
3
0
Uzbekistan
3
0
Vietnam
1
0
Yemen
1
0

And if it's the safety of Americans that is a Presidential priority, here are some interesting data of one's probability of succumbing to a terrorist attack versus other ways of buying the farm:


BI Graphics_Odds of Dying

And here are the actual US mortality numbers for 2014: 

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_age_group_2014_1050w760h.gif

So, given the data, what would a rational proposal to "keep Americans safe" look like? Since suicide is the 10th leading cause of American deaths, and homicides are right up there as well, it would seem worthwhile to implement policies that would lower such deaths.  This of course would require a serious discussion about controlling the possession of guns, and we all know that that won't happen in the near future.  Indeed, this administration wants to, among other things, loosen any requirements for gun purchases by the mentally ill, and lower the restrictions on silencers and imported weapons.  That should really help solidify these data!!!

 http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/15BEB/production/_85876098_us_gun_terrorism_624_v4.png