Pundit one and LAX

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The mighty Glenn Reynolds has written another of his edifying columns out at Fox, this one on the LAX shooting.

As expected, he echos the other punditry’s concensus that the shooting was an act of terrorism. Hadayet was from Egypt, most likely hated Jews, objected to an American flag over his apartment and might possibly have met with an Osama Bin Laden associate in 1995. Therefore, this wasn’t the act of a man who went beserk, grabbed some guns, found a target and started shooting – this was the pre-planned, carefully thought out action of a terrorist.

What do you know, terrorism is occurring on the streets of America every day. Fancy that.

I’ll give him this, the Pundit One does have a different take in how to deal with these types of situations:

The clearest lesson of the Los Angeles International shooting is that diffuse threats like terrorism are best answered with diffuse defenses: lots of people, preferably armed, who are ready to respond in a hurry.

Lovely idea – arm a paranoid populace with guns and tell them they’re America’s first line of defense against terrorism.

Glenn Reynolds is nothing more than a thinking person’s chew toy.


Cooler breezes

A thunderstorm rolled through today, breaking the heat spell. The temperature should be in the 80’s for the next couple of days, though dewpoints are high.

Before moving to St. Louis, I talked about humidity. Now I talk about dewpoints; I am becoming one with the area. I loved what the weather person said yesterday in regards to the high dewpoint, “Today’s a very juicy day!”

Speaking of weather, are you curious about how the Heat Index (HI) is calculated? Of course you are. Following is the simple formula:

1) Heat index(HI), or apparent temperature(AI)= -42.379 + 2.04901523(Tf) + 10.14333127(RH) – 0.22475541(Tf)(RH) – 6.83783×10**(-3)*(Tf**(2)) – 5.481717×10**(-2)*(RH**(2)) + 1.22874×10**(-3)*(Tf**(2))*(RH) + 8.5282×10**(-4)*(Tf)*(RH**(2)) – 1.99×10**(-6)*(Tf**(2))*(RH**(2))

Piece of cake, do it in my head.

I finished closing up my California bank account and transferring the funds into the St. Louis account. The people in St. Louis are so nice! The teller at my new bank, Courtney, spent an extraordinary amount of time today helping me get what was a mess – of my own making – cleaned up. What blew me away is that she knew every single person who came in while I was there – by name.

I am now “Miss Powers”, so show a little respect you dweebs.

Tomorrow promises more thunderstorms and cooler weather. If the dewpoint drops a bit, I found a nice little trail close to home I want to try. As a break from writing and ThreadNeedle and other coding. Of course.


Bad boys

Seems as if Dick Cheney, fearless co-leader of the US, is being sued for artificially boosting stock prices while he was CEO of Halliburton.

This follows on the SEC’s investigation of Halliburton’s accounting practices. Not surprising – Halliburton’s accounting firm was Anderson.

I worked for Sierra Geophysics, a subsidiary of Halliburton in Seattle. SG was great. Halliburton was shit, closing down our productive and successful operation primarily because we were in the Northwest and got uppity at times.

Anderson was the company that recommended Halliburton close us down.

Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do
What you gonna do when they come for you.

Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do
What you gonna do when they come for you.

Diana King, Bad Boys, 1995


Alt attributes

Mark Pilgrim’s tip for today Providing text equivalents for images is one of the few tips that I do follow, or at least attempt for follow.

All of the images in this weblog should have a text equivalent.


Touching the Untouchable

At what level of discourse will I step over the boundary of comfort? I came close with the postings on anger, but thankfully, we were able to box these in with an objectively intellectual viewpoint that pushed the topic safely and correctly back into manageable bounds.

So now, let us up the ante on human emotions and see if words can truly strip away all context and feeling and pain until nothing else is left except a black and white description of an act.

In a posting today, Jonathon talks about attending a Japanese film festival and the increasing discomfort of the audience when the expert who introduces the film abruptly stops speaking about Japanese morals from an ‘intellectual’ perspective, and begins to speak of them from an experiential one.

This expert, Donald Ritchie broke the taboo’d boundaries of an intellectual discussion with a story based on humor, and real life, and actual sensuality. And the elite, the intelligencia, reacted in open and overt hostility. Jonathon writes:

But for the majority of his listeners he had already said far too much. The forced atmosphere seemed to choke off any further questions and soon the audience was filing out, a restrained silence replacing the excited chatter that followed most screenings.

I found Jonathon’s posting to be eerily timely and apropos for me because I had spent last night and this morning wrestling with whether to talk about Gene Kan.

I wanted to talk about Gene because if nothing else, we owe him that. And I didn’t, because I was brought up in a society where one doesn’t do certain things. Such as get angry. Such as admitting going to a Japanese brothel.

Such as talking about suicide.

Gene Kan killed himself. He was 25 and he took a gun and he killed himself. He did not have an “accident” as the Sun spokesperson described. And we can’t bury his final act with a recitation of all of the accomplishments of his very short life.

Gene’s final act is one few of us would contemplate; yet it is the one act – the only act – over which any of us could have ultimate control. To deny this act is, in many ways, to deny the actor.

I said earlier that I was angry that Gene had killed himself, and I am. Incredibly angry. But I’m also angry that we’ve euphemized his suicide, boxed it in with platitudes, and reduced it to a sound bite.

Kent (fishrush) found Gene’s last resume (thanks Kent), which I’ve copied to the bottom of this posting. Read it.

Gene Kan


Sad example of a human being. Specialising in failure.

1990-current Failure specialist

Executed numerous technical, commercial and personal
projects, typically resulting in failure.

References available upon request.

And that’s all I have to say, now.