Monday, 29 July 2013

Nothing could be worse

I watched The Purge on the weekend. (Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis below)
If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In The Purge, a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home. In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. Directed by James DeMonaco (writer of Assault on Precinct 13 and The Negotiator), The Purge is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister), Platinum Dunes' partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), as well as S├ębastien Kurt Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13).(c) Universal

My first reaction was that is was nonsensical, but considering it came out before the stand your ground killing of Trayvon Martin, prescient.

Then by pure coincidence I watched The Grey Zone.
The true story of Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jew chosen by Josef Mengele to be the head pathologist at Auschwitz. Nyiszli was one of Auschwitz's Sonderkommandos - Special Squads of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating moral dilemma of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. Together, the Sonderkommandos struggled to organize the only armed revolt that would ever take place at Auschwitz. As the rebellion is about to commence, a group from the unit discovers a 14-year-old girl who has miraculously survived a gassing. A catalyst for their desperate attempt at personal redemption, the men become obsessed with saving this one child, even if doing so endangers the uprising which could save thousands. To what terrible lengths are we willing to go to save our own lives, and what in turn would we sacrifice to save the lives of others?Written by Sujit R. Varma

This was the bleakest most repulsive movie I have ever seen. It makes Schindler's List look like a Disney film. What makes it so horrifying is it is a true account of what actually happened. If this could happen in a modern Germany, the Purge could definitely happen in Modern America.

In the movie commander of Auschwitz Sonderkommandos Eric Muhsfield  is given a relatively sympathetic portrayal. His character portrayed with chilling detachment by Harvey Keitel rationalizes his actions with a compelling case that everyone is just a number or part of the process, the process demands and everyone must give, resistance is futile.(the same theme as Fast Food Nation) That he was in the same kill or be killed position as the sonderkommandos.  The evidence is what actually happened, and what depths humans will sink to to preserve their life if only for a few more days. The movie seems to suggest he was just doing his duty. In reality both he and Rudolf Hoss were a monsters beyond comprehension. Thankfully they were both executed for war crimes. Just as an aside, people were executed for waterboarding in post WWII war crime trails.

The ability of modern propagandists makes Goebbels look like a kindergarten student. The first move is to isolate the individual, flatter them for their special abilities. That is why it is so dangerous to promote individual rights, like stand your ground. Freedom is used as a cover for tyranny, and the last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism. The average individual person is not equipped to out think, the group efforts of special interests, or individuals who have the resources to create mass thought.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Treasure Hunters strike Silver

Tales of buried treasure fill the dreams of everyone. Odyssey Marine Exploration has made a fortune following that dream. Their latest triumph 61 tons of silver.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Swimming Pool Tip

If like me you use chlorine pucks and a skimmer basket filter liner you have probably burned a hole in the filter liner by allowing the fabric to touch the puck. Well I had enough.

So I took a sour cream container roughly the same size as the puck. As you see  I drilled a number of holes in the bottom and sides.

Then I placed it in the skimmer basket covering the puck.

Then I put the basket filter liner over the basket and voila, I never have to worry about burning out the bag again. Furthermore the puck lasts longer.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Reality TV needs to Check this out

Security is a overriding concern that is core programming in our lizard brain. The History of humans is a struggle between security and freedom.  A Ying and Yang fight between our light and dark side. The NYT pulls back the curtain to paint a fascinating portrait of Warriors gone Wild.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Emmys

Legend - I watch it   I have watched it  No Fill I have never watched it
Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey” 
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” Winner
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” 
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” 
Damian Lewis, “Homeland” 
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” 

Connie Britton, “Nashville” 
Claire Danes, “Homeland”  Winner
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” 
Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel” 
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” 
Kerry Washington, “Scandal” 
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Benedict Cumberbatch, “Parade’s End”
Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra”
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”
Toby Jones, “The Girl”
Al Pacino, “Phil Spector” 

Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Asylum” (watched last season not yet this year)
Laura Linney, “The Big C Hereafter” 
Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector” 
Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake” 
Sigourney Weaver, “Political Animals” 
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” 
Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development” 
Louis C.K., “Louie” 
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” 
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes” 
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” Winner

Laura Dern, “Enlightened” 
Lena Dunham, “Girls” 
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”  Winner
Tina Fey, “30 Rock” 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” 
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” 

“The Colbert Report” Winner
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” 
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” 
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” 
“Real Time With Bill Maher” 
“Saturday Night Live” 
American Horror Story: Asylum”  Winner
“Behind the Candelabra” 
“The Bible” 
“Phil Spector” 
“Political Animals” 
“Top of the Lake”
“The Big Bang Theory” Winner
“Modern Family” 
“30 Rock” 

“Breaking Bad” Winner
“Downton Abbey” 
“Game of Thrones” 
“House of Cards” 
“Mad Men” 

Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire" 
Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad” 
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”    Winner, but close with Aaron Paul both fantastic
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland” 
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” 
Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey" 

Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” 
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” 
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men” 
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” 
Morena Baccarin, "Homeland" 
Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones"   Winner, all three in Red deserve to win

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” 
Adam Driver, “Girls” 
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” 
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live” 
Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family” 
Tony Hale, "Veep" 

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory” 
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” 
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep” 
Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock” 
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” 
Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie” 
Jane Lynch, "Glee" 

Violent Gentlemen

Violent Gentlemen is a line of t shits and similar tops celebrating Hockey Fighters.

European Safety Net

Monsanto has thrown in the DNA and will no longer attempt to grow genetically modified crops in Europe. The big hero in this outcome France. I do not know if GMO crops are safe or not, and that's the point. At least if this is another safe product that has a chain of deadly unintended consequences, Europe will be a lifeboat for the worlds food supply.

Fukushima Steams along

Zero Hedge reports steam rising from the Fukushima site. There seems to be a whole lot of bad emissions continuing to flow. What is this doing to the west coast of North America? If you look at the airborne and seaborne waste trails on the simulations, it might indicate the biggest disaster in human history is slowly unfolding. And what do we hear about it? Crickets.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

50,000 page views

ThinkingAboot hit that yesterday. Its kind of mind boggling. Sure its nothing in the big scheme of things, but it still feels a little satisfying.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Paradigm Speaker Company is Fabulous.

I bought a pair of Mini Monitors Series 7 "Demo" speakers on line in Dec 2012. Last week both woofers blew. IMHO the problem was with the speakers, I hardly had the volume on.  Even though the store where I bought the speakers no longer carried Paradigm they said bring them in with a bill of sale and we will look at them. I took them in Friday at 10 AM and by 4 PM they were ready to go with no charge.

I can not rave enough about how fantastic these speakers sound and look, and their customer services is just as great. Thank you Mr. Paradigm you have a great business model.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Finland Rules

I consider my cultural anchor to be Finnish. My last name at one time was Rinne, same as Pekka. We are dark private people but other than that good citizens.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

More Better Digital Sound

The  Astell&Kern AK100 Portable music player seems to be the ultimate sound generator that can fit in your pocket. Believe it or not I was thinking aboot making a music player using Raspberry Pi, a sound card and a USB flash drive. This device does not quite equal that solution, but the packaging is way better and the software all sorted out. The missing link in this device there is no up converting of low bit rate recordings. This means to get the best sound you need to start with high bit rate recordings. On my home system I hear the greatest difference when I shift between analog cables and Optical cables. USB cables should give the same sound quality. So if you can hook the USB up to your car stereo I would expect a big difference between using this device and a I phone  With a list price of $700 will I ever buy one, likely not, but its something to consider. So my dream of making the ultimate player which would cost around $300 remains alive.

I asked I river just to be sure, and my understanding was correct.
Dear iriver customer,

Thank you for contacting iriver customer support. 

Here are the answers to your questions:

1.  No, unfortunately the unit does not convert 16 bit to 24 bit recordings. 
2.  If you want to play the songs from the AK100 or the AK120 you can but not through the USB cable.  You will have to use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable to connect the unit to the auxiliary port on your car. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Thanks & Regards,