Can you believe it?

Those tree-hugging, Nobel Peace-Prize winning, one-world people are at it again. On 1 November 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released another report—actually batch of reports—alerting us that climate change is real. There will be colder colds. Hotter hots. The oceans will be higher and more acidic. Our human activities are causing the changes and most of it has happened in my lifetime. It is the most extreme change in 800,000 years.

It is possible to mitigate the effects and we shall have to adapt to the changes, but we have to start doing things now. By the end of this century, or sooner, things are likely to be out of hand.

It’s as if they think we only have one Earth!

This link goes to the 40-page summary for policymakers, this link goes to the 116-page full report for those without time challenges, and this link goes to the IPCC Web site where one can find links not just to the summary but to the papers of the working groups and other materials generated by those lovers Polar Bears and other living things.

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xkcd interogative

Over on Hugo-award-winning* Randall Munroe’s xkcd for today, there is the following delight, about which I have only one question: “What, no semi-colons?”

 
I guess perhaps this is some special style of query? There’re lots of other topics discussed on the forum for this comic even in the first few hours after it was posted.

* He won a 2014 Hugo Award for “Time,” which has been wonderfully serialized by James Pryor.

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Hiltzik homers on net neutrality

In “Your complete guide to the murder of net neutrality,” Michael Hiltzik explains exactly why the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to allow Internet service providers to charge certain clients more for access to a fast lane spells the end to new neutrality. The proposal, being championed by Tom Wheeler, President B. Obama’s appointee as chairman of the FCC, is a direct contradiction to positions Obama championed during his campaign for the presidency.

Wheeler’s proposal, which is scheduled for a preliminary vote by the full FCC on May 15, has been assailed as a full-scale retreat from the open-Internet principle traditionally upheld by the commission, and explicitly supported by President Obama. Wheeler claims he’s not backing away from net neutrality at all, and that assertions to the contrary are the product of “a great deal of misinformation.”

He’s blowing smoke. The critics are right. Wheeler’s proposal will turn the Internet as we know it into the private preserve of a handful of rich and powerful companies. It will make them richer and more powerful. And you’ll be getting the bill. If the commission votes for the proposal, it will then be subject to months of public comments. But the risk is it could become law by the end of this year.

In later parts of his column, Mr. Hiltzik explains why the big corporations will be able to use these developments to their advantage and to the detriment of we consumers. He also explains what we can do. It’s well worth reading.

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Pi day again

14 March 2014. Yerp. 3.14 it is.

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Update ye’ iPhones and iPads

If you haven’t already, now’s the time to do it. Run that update. It’s under “Settings:General” And, until Apple releases a patch for OS X, you shouldn’t use Safari to browse the Web when you’re connecting to the Internet via a public WiFi on your laptop, either.

For the geeks, Adam Langley explained over on Imperial Violet and John Gruber of Daring Fireball opined why he figures NSA conspiracy theories are a bit of a reach.

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Admiring Mr. Sam

Dear Michael Sam,

I don’t follow American football—let alone college American football—with the great passion that many people do in my neighborhood or my country. But I do know enough about it to understand that, as a football player, your declaration of your sexual orientation will be met with a lot of passion by people. I fear that the passions many people will express will be thoughtless, heartless, and worse (if that’s possible). I am glad that you will have supporters.

I admire you for pre-emptively standing before all those people and saying, in effect, “Here I am.” Continue reading

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On teens, bullying, and gay bashing in Iowa

Are teen bullying and gay bashing events in Iowa typical or an aberration? I haven’t had the time to research it closely and compare data in a state-by-state fashion; that’ll have to wait. But, consider the following list.

  • Jan 2014: News sources in Des Moines (WHO-TV 1 and WHO-TV 2; KCCI; Des Moines Register) reported that 16-year-old Nathan Rogers suffered multiple facial injuries from a beating he suffered around New Years Eve at the hands (literally) of several other teens, who have been charged with felonious assault. Continue reading

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