When trying to solve problems creates bigger problems, or. The fallacy of technology worship.

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Why do people demand the impossible? Because that is a big part of what drives humanity forward! Wishing for the impossible is an inevitable consequence of the human condition. If it wasn’t for imagination, determination, our intelligence and ability to use tools better than any other creature on this planet we would probably be living the lives not much different from that of the Australopithecus. Nasty brutish and short. Perhaps we would have a similar improvised tool using ability that chimpanzees and other great apes have demonstrated. But we wouldn’t have anything that could be called civilization, metal tools, clothes, literacy, commonly available clean water and of course the Internet that you are currently reading this article on.

We have built wonders, our technologies has become in many ways like Mr Meeseeks. We wish for something and over time. Sometimes a longer time than we would like, some new technology emerges to satiate this request. Many of these technologies would have seemed utterly impossible to even our most recent ancestors.

However wonderful our technologies are we should remind ourselves that, like the Meeseeks, technology isn’t a God. There is only just much we should ask of it. More than that we need to acknowledge when we are using our technologies and perhaps just our efforts are contributing to a problem instead of solving it.
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Kindle version of “A User’s Manual for the Human Experience: 2017 Edition”

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Get the Kindle version of “A User’s Manual for the Human Experience: 2017 Edition” $3.99 on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sJeN9

Keep pets from moving their dishes – a quick, easy and inexpensive how-to

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PROBLEM:

Does your cat or dog constantly move their water or food dish?

There are lots of reasons this can happen: craving attention, not wanting to put their head in a narrow bowl where they can’t see things approach, wanting their food further from the water, or sometimes, like our cat Bob, they like to spill water on the floor and drink from there.

Bob was abandoned as a kitten and spent his first 4 months on the street, then a few weeks in a shelter until we adopted him. He was constantly moving his water dishes to spill the water, then he’d drink off the floor. We figure it’s because that’s what he was used to. Outdoor cats are likely to drink water from a puddle on the ground.

It was a highly annoying activity, and he did it about five times a day. We’d have to clean up the mess each time. It was also surprisingly noisy, and he’d often do it in the middle of the night.

We tried moving the water away from the food. Didn’t work. We tried wider dishes so he see better around him while he drinks. Didn’t change a thing. We tried heavier dishes. Bob could still move them, plus the were nosier when he moved them.

SOLUTION:

We finally solved it by putting the dishes on a high-side tray and using Velcro to hold the tray to the floor:

Use a dish that’s high enough your pet can’t get the dishes off, but not so high or so far wide that the pet can’t get to the dish easily.

Use a wide dish so the pet can see while they drink or eat.

I suppose if this still didn’t work, you could Velcro the dishes to the tray. But don’t use much with a water dish, or you’ll spill when you rip it from the tray to change the water.

Also, change the water frequently (we do twice a day), and rinse the dish out when you change the water (but do NOT use soap or a soapy brush). And have two sets of water dishes (and food dishes) so you can run them through the dishwasher once a week, and there will be dishes out while you do that. Sometimes pets moving dishes can be a pet’s disgust with hair or dirt in their water. Also give them water from a water filter. Filtered water is good for you and it’s good for them.

Get the sticky-back Velcro-like hook and loops HERE. That’s more than you need, but it’s the best kind, and you’ll be amazed how often you’ll find uses for it.

You’ll want a tray that’s longer than it is wide. If it’s too wide, it will stick out on the room and you’ll bump into it. The one we used is 11.5″ x 16″ and about 2″ high. We bought it at WalMart, but here’s one that will work and here is another.

Tip: First make sure it’s clean and dry where you’ll be sticking the tray. Cut the right lengths of the hooks and the loops from the two rolls, and stick the loops to the back of the tray. Then Velcro the hoops to the loops on the tray before placing on the floor. Remove the backing from the ones going on the floor, and place the tray the floor, for perfect alignment.

RESULT

Bob was a little confused but after about a half-day he was drinking from it like nothing was ever different. And he did not spill the water dishes in the tray. (But if he had done that, it would be easier to clean, and would not eventually damage the floor, like what he was doing.)

It didn’t change his mood either. He is still his usual joyful self, and also did not find any other way to “act out.” Only difference is: not dragging of water dishes (he doesn’t even move them in the tray) and no spilled water to constantly clean up.

The other cats quickly got used to it too.

If this doesn’t completely solve your problem, try moving your pet’s food dishes a few feet further from the water.

–Michael W. Dean
Freedom Feens radio show

Miss Sloane, an overly detailed analysis.

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Last year a movie came out that was either a poorly thought out piece of antigun propaganda or a film that badly misjudged or mistimed the cultural zeitgeist. In either case people just didn’t go see it. From a thirteen million dollar budget it grossed three and a half mil in theaters making it on the top one hundred list of biggest box office bombs. I briefly considered seeing this movie in theaters but I decided against it for a variety of reasons and I am not even sure if it was shown at any theaters within a hundred miles of me.

Time goes by, the movie is released on DVD and I am one of a handful of people who put in a request for this film at the local library. Yesterday I saw this movie and I was blown away, I was so overwhelmed by one scene in particular that I literally had to press the stop button and go into my backyard and laugh like a maniac for fifteen minutes straight. Now if you don’t want this movie spoiled for you, go watch it now. Just so you know I rate this thing a one out of five and it earns that rating in ways that I could never conceive of.
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A Generation of Sociopaths. Review.

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Rather crude cover design wouldn’t you say?

A little while ago I wrote an article I am not all that proud of. Essentially it was my grumbling about intergenerational stresses viewed through a stressed prism. It didn’t come out as coherent and logical as I like my articles to be. With that said it seems that I am not the only person who is struggling with these issues.

Full disclosure, my father is both a baby boomer and very likely a sociopath, at least he fits the clinical description to a T. Ironically enough he was the one who told me about this book after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. I put in a request for this book at my local library and they provided me a copy very quickly. If you have absolutely no patience or attention span, I have intention to purchase a copy of this book. Why? Well that is going to take a little while to explain.

First of all, this is the most statist book I have read in a very long time. A point that the author makes (constantly), is that old saw that we do not live in a deeply flawed or nonfunctional society. Our government worked and always worked. It just doesn’t work so well right now because a pack of sociopaths are in the drivers seat. If you are reading this then I imagine you know what a fallacy that idea is.
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ATT Mind radio and Guns of Hollywood podcast review.

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It’s been too long since I have done a podcast review, so how about a pair that make for a really odd contrast? I like to think that I have widely varying tastes in things of an intellectual matter. So how about a sampling from two subject matter that wouldn’t ordinarily be seen anywhere near each other.

Guns of Hollywood is part of the Firearms radio network, a podcast stream with a refreshingly diverse collection of firearms, and sometimes very peripherally related to firearms podcasts. I had the idea to do a show similar to GoH back in 2010, however I didn’t go ahead with it at the time, primarily because I didn’t know anything about podcasting at the time and to be honest, I really don’t like the sound of my own voice. That said I am glad that someone else picked up on the idea.

Those someone’s being Sam Asner and Allie Howe. Once a week they realize an episode analyzing the writing, acting and of course the guns of various movies and TV shows released over the years. Not limited by the inexplicable self imposed rules of most film review podcasts I have listened to, they cover it all. Their conversation is witty and well paced, the audio quality of more recent episodes is good and the occasional guest is a refreshing addition to the dialog. That said, some of their earlier episodes had some audio quality issues, as many new podcasts do. I was one of a few people who wrote in to tell them to step up their game on that front.

ATT Mind Radio deals with completely different subjects, psychedelics mostly. The show is hosted by one James W Jesso. There seem to be more and more psychedelic themed podcasts floating around nowadays. However some are lacking a the use of care and critical thinking when dealing with these substances. If there is one thing that I would like to get across to anyone using psychedelics it is that you should be extremely careful and do plenty of research beforehand. It’s probably not needed to read a massive and somewhat dry tome like The Antipodes of the mind before any use of these substances. But care and critical thought are absolutely essential. There are entirely too many people out there who got their brains fried or wound up in some kind of weird cult because of careless dabbling in psychedelia.

Mr Jesso comes across as someone who uses care and critical thought. Episodes are released on an occasional basis and it is an interview format show. Around an hour long, though often longer. Audio quality in episodes I have listened to recently is decent. Not perfect, although one of the more recent episodes, specifically episode 43 had such abysmal sound that I had to give up halfway through, even though it was an interesting subject.

In short I rate both podcasts as a 5/5. If you are interested in either guns or psychedelics I recommend you have a listen for yourself. If you are some modern day Hunter S Thompson and you haven’t heard of either of these shows yet, you’re welcome.

Technological paths not taken, the potential of Thorium

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I used to be a militant socialist, environmentalist, a big believer in the idea of the Archaic Revival and anti nuclear. The power of deductive reasoning granted to me by the Trivium Method enlightened me that socialism, especially my particularly vicious flavor of it, was a bad idea. I still think I am an environmentalist, but I think the issue is far more complicated and involved than I was told. The Archaic Revival was revealed to me as just another aspect of a centuries old control mechanism. Nuclear technology though, that was a somewhat more complicated issue for me to get a handle on until recently.

When it happened The Fukushima disaster seemed to me to be the final nail in the coffin of nuclear fission power generation. Through a series of admittedly unlikely events TEPCO managed to make uninhabitable a fairly large part of a relatively small country. Pressurized water nuclear fission reactors seemed like a collection of disasters waiting to happen. Even if they didn’t go bang they were still finicky, complicated and expensive contraptions.

My interest in nuclear tech was not limited to power generation. I have an ongoing fascination with nuclear weaponry. In my occasional perusing of writings and videos of nuclear weapons I would hear occasional reference to Thorium reactors. I started hearing references to Thorium reactors in the strangest places. In ads on podcasts, in space exploration, even on PBS. My curiosity was piqued, I watched a few YouTube videos. Joined a Thorium Facebook group and incorporated a few references to Thorium reactors in one of my stories. The Eutopian civilization in my two novels is powered by a combination of Thorium reactors, solar power, advanced hydrogen and methane fuel cells. With a few early generation fusion reactors thrown in for good measure.

Then I watched this.

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$35 frequency analizer

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My phone can do things your phone can’t do!

Hardware versions of this cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Much cheaper on a good Android phone.

You need a phone that can do OTG (check online).
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You need an SDL dongle, I got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GDN1T4S?ie=UTF8&tag=www30dollarfi-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B01GDN1T4S
=-

You need an OTG cable, I got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N9S9Z0G?ie=UTF8&tag=www30dollarfi-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B00N9S9Z0G
=-=-
You need this app:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mantz_it.rfanalyzer

and this driver:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=marto.rtl_tcp_andro

here’s the manual:
https://github.com/demantz/RFAnalyzer/blob/master/doc/rf_analyzer_manual.md

and here’s an interesting video about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkn1ljAqTMw&t=304s

Also, if you want to know more, get this book: The Hobbyist’s Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio