Saturday, May 15, 2021

We, Terrorized Part 3 ~ Re-imaged Jack Nicholson's 1963 movie "The Terror" as a silent era film

This is Part 3 of the amazing adventure of Lt. Duvalier as he searches for the Baron's castle in search of answers about the mysterious Helene.

The Terror is a 1963 movie that Jack Nicholson (yes, *that* Jack Nicholson), Francis Ford Coppola (yes, *that* Francis Ford Coppola) and others may wish to forget they made, but something about this movie works as a silent film stylized to fit the 1910's.  This movie has been re-imagined as that serialized black-and-white silent film.  Jack's acting style of his early career seems appropriate for this reinterpretation.  What results is a film that will terrorize us all, "We, Terrorized"!

The Terror is a public domain film with expired copyrights.  All music is also public domain, being entirely from the Silent Film Era prior to 1923.  This silent film adaptation, "We, Terrorized Part 2", is wholly an original work that is Copyright © 2021, Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Whiteout (2009) needed some white-out on the script

I originally was going to write a very short review on IMDb for the movie Whiteout with Kate Beckinsale.  It was going to something like "This is a movie that violates the laws of physics worse than most Sci-Fi's."  However, as I typed, it turned in a reasonably long rant, so here it is.

Whiteout is a 2009 crime thriller film based on the 1998 comic book of the same name by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Directed by Dominic Sena.  The movie stars Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerritt, and Alex O'Loughlin. The movie was released on September 11, 2009.

The movie is set in Antarctica, where Special Deputy U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is planning to leave in a few days. After finding a dead body, Stetko is attacked by a masked killer who is trying to get hold of the cargo in an old Soviet plane that crash-landed in the ice during the Cold War.

Somehow, this thriller demonstrates massive violations of the laws of physics worse than your average Sci-Fi movie. There is magic wind that only works when the plot needs it, and frictionless ground (sometimes, when the plot needs it). The escape from the buried Soviet plane is pure plot magic.  That's not even getting into uncovered faces when characters spend a long length of time outside in -55°C (and worse) weather.

Worse still, the villains are completely illogical (magical), as though they are straight out of a horror flick. One of the villains (Russell Haden played by Alex O'Loughlin) keeps appearing out of nowhere and disappears into nothing, even though there's nowhere from which the villain could come nor is there anywhere for the villain to vanish in the small base camps. The main villain (and the associated reveal) make absolutely no sense, even within the context of the story. It feels like the writers wrote themselves into a corner and decided, "Well, dang, I'll just make the base's doctor the secret villain."

Beyond that, the good guy (Robert Pryce played by Gabriel Macht) acts as the red-herring throughout the movie. He is found in such illogical situations near crime scenes, the only way he isn't the villain is because the writers decided he wasn't. For example, he was literally found hiding within feet of murders or life-threatening assaults multiple times, but he ignores the victims and just hides while rummaging around the scene until Kate's character discovers him. In reality, he would've been arrested (he being UN or not) after the first time he was found *at* the murder scene.

There's a bunch of other illogical stuff to, like taking a tractor out to a possible crime scene, when the plane that the heroes were already using would've literally been faster and safer. The movie already demonstrated earlier that you could take a plane to pretty much any location in Antarctica because it's so flat everywhere.

Then, movie twist... There's no logic for a Soviet plane to be carrying hand-carried nuclear materials in Antarctica; but the double-twist reveal is that the plane was actually carrying uncut diamonds; which makes even less sense!

Basically, in my opinion, this movie is a mess. The fairly unique setting of Antarctica is an excuse to create danger, but it does so in ridiculous ways. If you want to watch a horror flick set in a cold and isolated place, check out 30 Days of Night or The Thing. If you want to watch a murder mystery in a cold an isolated place, check out Fargo. If you want to see Kate Beckinsale naked, check out Uncovered. If you want to see people surviving the challenging Antarctica environment while investigating meteorites, check out Eight Below.  If you want to watch a beautiful hero with special ice powers, see Frozen.  Pretty much any thing Whiteout tries to do is done significantly better by another movie.



One the plus side, Kate's attempt at a generic American accent (playing a U.S. Marshal) was pretty good.

Friday, April 30, 2021

We, Terrorized Part 2 ~ Re-imaged Jack Nicholson's 1963 movie "The Terror" as a silent era film

This is Part 2 of the exciting adventure of Lt. Duvalier as he searches for Helene, a mysterious girl that helped rescue him.

The Terror is a 1963 movie that Jack Nicholson (yes, *that* Jack Nicholson), Francis Ford Coppola (yes, *that* Francis Ford Coppola) and others may wish to forget they made, but something about this movie works as a silent film stylized to fit the 1910's.  This movie has been re-imagined as that serialized black-and-white silent film.  Jack's acting style of his early career seems appropriate for this reinterpretation.  What results is a film that will terrorize us all, "We, Terrorized"!

The Terror is a public domain film with expired copyrights.  All music is also public domain, being entirely from the Silent Film Era prior to 1923.  This silent film adaptation, "We, Terrorized Part 2", is wholly an original work that is Copyright © 2021, Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Fun and Important Words - Boondocks

Boondocks is a word that is borrowed from Tagalog, being carried over from the Philippines by US soldiers in the early days of US colonization. In Tagalog, the origin word "bundók" actually means "mountain".  However, usage in the English language sees a meaning of a rural and sparsely populated area.  Another word for this is sticks.[1](1

It is common to hear both "boondocks" and "sticks" used similarly, such as "out in the boondocks" and "out in the sticks".[2]  

Either word can have negative connotations, being used to refer to areas where the people are backwards and unsophisticated.  However, when I occasionally use "boondocks", it's really just to describe an area that is out-of-the-way and deep in rural country.

Although "boondocks" is often cited as entering English around the turn of the 20th Century, ngram shows it's use in writing didn't really take off until World War II.

We, Terrorized (Part 1) ~ A re-imaging of Jack Nicholson's 1963 movie "The Terror" as a silent era film

The Terror is a 1963 movie that Jack Nicholson (yes, *that* Jack Nicholson), Francis Ford Coppola (yes, *that* Francis Ford Coppola) and others may wish to forget they made, but something about this movie works as a silent film stylized to fit the 1910's.  This movie has been re-imagined as that serialized black-and-white silent film.  Jack's acting style of his early career seems appropriate for this reinterpretation.  What results is a film that will terrorize us all, "We, Terrorized"!

The Terror is a public domain film with expired copyrights.  All music is also public domain, being entirely from the Silent Film Era prior to 1923.  This silent film adaptation, "We, Terrorized", is wholly an original work that is Copyright © 2021, Matthew Lorono, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Why I don't fear a US Constitutional Convention and yet still do not want one

Also read Article 1 section 2
paragraph 3 of the U.S.
Constitution and why you
aren't being represented!
There are four methods to change the Constitution via the Amendment process.  

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” -Article V, The United States Constitution, 1787[1]

That is to say:

  • 2/3rds approval from the House and Senate, followed-up by ratification by 3/4ths of all states' legislators. This process has been used for 26 successful amendments.
  • 2/3rds approval from the House and Senate, followed-up by ratification by state ratifying conventions within 3/4ths of the states.  This process has been used for 1 successful amendment.
  • 2/3rds of state legislators applying to Congress (House and Senate) to create a Constitutional Convention, followed-up by ratification by 3/4ths of all states' legislators.  This process has never been used.
  • 2/3rds of state legislators applying to Congress to create a Constitutional Convention, followed up by ratification by state ratifying conventions within 3/4ths of the states.  This process has never been used.

Guess what It's actually harder to change the US Constitution via the Constitutional Convention method.  Congress is still heavily involved in the process. 

A Constitutional Convention doesn't get to magically change the Constitution at will.  All the Constitutional Convention does is provide a forum separate from the US House and Senate to discuss a proposed Amendment, then vote to bring the proposal to individual states, with a 2/3rds super majority required to do so. The requirement for ratification of the Amendment is still the same. 3/4ths of all state legislatures or 3/4 of ratifying conventions from all states.

The Constitutional Convention is a very unstable route to take, as fundamental questions about the process are not addressed in the Constitution.[2] For example, there are no quorum rules for discussions once the convention is underway.  Also, does each state get one representative at the convention, or is representation equal to the Electoral College with voting among the representatives of a state to decide their state's vote?  Then, what happens if a state rescinds its application for the convention and the convention is no longer requested by the required 2/3rd of states?  What happens if such an application is rescinded during or after the convention takes place?  Since the convention is still organized by the US Congress, does Congress have the ability to limit the scope of the convention (i.e., "what's your hot take on this proposed amendment" as opposed to "go ahead and write a new amendment")?  Do the state applications limit the scope themselves?  If the scope is limited, could Congress or Federal Courts invalidate the convention approval if the scope is deemed to be exceeded?  Etc.

Anyway, I foresee that we'd have nothing short of a political quagmire if a Constitution Convention is ever established.  Most likely result is no changes will come of it, save for a bunch of lawsuits questioning every step along the way.  Those lawsuits may answer some questions about the process by the courts, but that would only benefit future generations in their attempts to have their own Constitutional Conventions.

Also see: How to find your US representatives and tweet them

Friday, April 16, 2021

Doctor Sleep and all, without spoilers

Movie sequels often fail in many aspects.  Sequels that come many years after the original often fail for even more reasons.  The filming style of the original movie is often clearly a product of the time within which the movie is made. If a sequel comes much later, there's very little chance of successfully capturing the same style and general feel of the original movie.  This is especially true of Kubrick movies and their sequels.  But the sequels don't have to be failures, even when they fail to recreate the original.

Two Kubrick movies now have cinematic sequels (not including TV series).  2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) continued the story of 2001: A Space OdysseyDoctor Sleep continued the story of The Shining.

2010, briefly

2010 was a good movie.  To its credit, it doesn't appear to even attempt to recreate 2001's style and feel.  Much like 2001 was a movie of its time (1960's), 2010 was very much a 1980's movie.  However, unlike 2001, 2010 hasn't aged well, though it is still enjoyable to rewatch (if you can overlook some of the inferior special effects and filming techniques).  If you wish to see full reviews, please see 2010: The Forgotten Odyssey - A Video Essay and 2010: The Year We Make Contact Review.

Doctor Sleep

Although Doctor Sleep (2019) borrows heavily from The Shining (1980) in terms of certain imagery and plot points, it is its own movie in other ways.  Mainly, Doctor Sleep is very rewatchable.  It pulls the curtain back on some of the supernatural elements of The Shining (trying to explain them), but does so in a way that works well for the story.  Doctor Sleep actually does a much better job of character development and arc.  

In The Shining, Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson never feel like a couple.  Also, the viewer never really gets the sense that it's the hotel itself that drives Jack's character mad; characters being very one-dimensional.  Despite the praise Kubrick often gets for his movies, and the fandom of The Shining, it's not a true masterpiece in my mind.  In fact, if you compare Rotten Tomatoes (RT) scores of Kubrick's films, The Shining is actually near the bottom of the list.  Even though Eyes Wide Shut has a lower RT score, I actually think it's a superior movie to The Shining.

Table featuring the critical reception of films directed by Stanley Kubrick
YearFilmRotten Tomatoes[62]Metacritic[63]
1964Dr. Strangelove98% (91 reviews)97 (32 reviews)
1956The Killing98% (41 reviews)91 (15 reviews)
1957Paths of Glory95% (60 reviews)90 (18 reviews)
1960Spartacus93% (61 reviews)87 (17 reviews)
19682001: A Space Odyssey92% (113 reviews)84 (25 reviews)
1987Full Metal Jacket92% (83 reviews)76 (19 reviews)
1975Barry Lyndon91% (74 reviews)89 (21 reviews)
1962Lolita91% (43 reviews)79 (14 reviews)
1971A Clockwork Orange86% (71 reviews)77 (21 reviews)
1955Killer's Kiss86% (21 reviews)N/A
1980The Shining84% (95 reviews)66 (26 reviews)
1999Eyes Wide Shut75% (158 reviews)68 (34 reviews)
1953Fear and Desire75% (16 reviews)N/A

Character of Danny in Doctor Sleep is the adult version of Danny as a child in The Shining.  However, in Doctor Sleep, Danny is fully-fleshed-out character with purpose and solid reasons for doing certain things.  As with 2010, Doctor Sleep is more conventionally filmed than Kubrick movies.  But with Doctor Sleep, there is a unique style that makes it uniquely enjoyable, particularly when it explores supernatural interactions.  

The Shining has a few iconic scenes for which the movie is loved by many.  There's no question that The Shining has influenced our culture far more than Doctor Sleep can.  However, for me, I'd rather rewatch Doctor Sleep rather than The Shining.  That said, due to some of the choices made by the writer and director of Doctor Sleep, the movie cannot stand on its own in other ways.  It still needs The Shining as its foundation, due to all the callbacks and fan-service.  Even still, I wouldn't watch The Shining and Doctor Sleep back-to-back since the movies are so stylistically different; there isn't a good flow between them (even though they share some imagery).  Watch both, but watch them at different times.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Fun and Important Words - Fussbudget

Fussbudget is a word with a strange composition, and no one is really sure as to why.  A fussbudget is a hard-to-satisfy person who is excessively anxious, bothered or concerned about many little details; that is to say, a fussy person.[1][2](1

The word "fussbudget" is presumably a compound of the words "fuss" and "budget". 

The "fuss" portion of "fussbudget" is kinda obvious, if one takes it to mean "fussy" rather than just "fuss".  "Fuss" is simply to show unnecessary excitement about something.  Whereas "fussy" is being worried about details or not easy to satisfy. 

The "budget" part of "fussbudget" is much harder to identify.  Many sources take it to mean a leather bag.  So, it might be said that the term comes from the idea of someone having a bag full of concerns.  This kinda makes sense, since we also have the word "fusspot" (fuss+pot) which carries similar meaning, but referencing a pot instead of a bag.[3][4](4)  
I use this word from time to time.  I'm not going into details as to where and why since the word can carry negative connotations.  However, it's a fun word to use.

In American English, there seems to be a marginal preference for "fussbudget" over "fusspot" according the ngram.  However, British English shows a strong preference for "fusspot".

Monday, April 12, 2021

Fun and Important Words - Whopperjawed

Whopperjawed is a awesome word that really does roll of the tongue.  It's not a common word (yet).  You won't find it listed in any printed dictionaries.  However, there are some great entries for whopperjawed on Urban Dictionary.

Whopperjawed describes something that is disheveled, askew, crooked, stuck in an awkward position, or any combination thereof.[1][2][3](1)(3)   

One of the difficulties with establishing a common usage of the word is that it has many regional variations, such as lopper-jawed, wapper-jawed, whomper-jawed and others (with a hyphen or not).  Of these, "wapper-jawed" seems to be the most historic, with a recording as early as 1825.  "Whopperjawed" appears in a letter by Mark Twain in 1863.[4](4)
Although I don't use this word everyday, I do use it regularly, as situations arise.  It's is a fun word to say.  It's also fun introducing "whopperjawed" to others who haven't heard it before.

Sometimes, but not always, the word may appear with the intensifier "all", as in "all whopperjawed".[5](5)

Based on an ngram chart, "whopper-jawed" variant seems to be the most common.  "Whopperjawed" without the hyphen is the second most common.  Arguably these are the same thing since compound words often start out with a hyphen that is eventually dropped.  Whomperjawed/Whomper-jawed is the next most common variant.  

Photographic example: Whopperjawed house

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Fun and Important Words - Gobbledygook

Gobbledygook is a great sounding word that almost rolls of the tongue (for English speakers).  According to Oxford, it's a word used to describe words, phrases and speech that are "unintelligible by excessive use of abstruse technical terms".  In simpler language, it's hard to understand or nonsensical jargon.[1][2][3] (backup links 1, 2, 3)  It's ironic that the Oxford definition for gobbledegook sounds like gobbledygook itself. 

The word is derived from an onomatopoeia of a turkey sound, though the use of gobbledygook is technically not the turkey noise itself.
Typically I do not have the need nor opportunity to use this word in every day language, but it does come up once in a while.  As far as I remember, my first exposure to the word is from normal family conversations while growing up (1970s/80s).  For me personally, that says a lot about the commonality of this young word.  Despite it's recent entry into the English Language (1944), the word has found its way deep into our common lexicon, often in politics or government-related rants.[4](4)  
Weirdly, there's a blip on the ngram usage graph for gobbledygook from 1921.  Without any way to see the source referenced by Google, it's hard to tell if this is an earlier coining or if it's a false-positive.
Gobbledygook is sometimes mentioned along with gibberish when discussing lexicon.  However, gibberish is a more general term used to describe nonsense speech, regardless to reason.  Gobbledygook is more specific, referring to technical language that is nonsensical. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Trail 3 - Hike, Hiking and then something else

I recently purchased a book called 60 Hikes within 60 Miles for Denver and Boulder.  The book includes 60 parks and paths for hiking, including various skill levels from Easy to Moderately Hard.  It's not a comprehensive book of every hiking or walking trail in the Denver region.  What I like about the book, though, is that many of the trails are full loops, with little to no backtracking.  I prefer loops.

Sixty is an achievable number.  I could conceivably hike every trail in the book with a reasonable effort.  I'm not going to try to hike 60 trails in 60 days.  Instead, the attempt will be to hike all 60 trails over the next few years.  I've already hiked some of the trails before.  For those, I'll only count them if I hike them again.  All hikes will be journalled here, on my blog (at least the first attempt for each), with the assigned label of 6060Denver.

Today was the first day of this journey.  Allie and I hiked the trail at Bluff Lake Nature Center.  It's a very easy trail, listed as trail #3 (not a ranking), within the Denver (Including Foothills and Plains) section.  Though we are in Spring, the area is still a bit bare.  There are no leaves on the trees; and the grass and shrubbery are still brown.  The day was partly cloudy, with plenty of sun.

We did see a few prairie dogs, including one critter that vocalized very clearly that we should leave him alone.  We obliged, though we did take a couple of photos from a distance.  

There were also some geese, including this watchman on the side of the trail.

Afterwards, we explored Stanley Marketplace, about a mile West in Aurora, CO.  For lunch, we tried the restaurant Annette for brunch.   Though the food was good, there were some distracting quirks, such as very small portions for beverages (like, smaller than what one might expect for "child size"), and no refills for iced tea.  Main course prices were about right for the quantity and quality of each dish.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Avoided disaster - active shooter in Boulder

Though Monday's mass shooting in Boulder, CO was 15 to 20 miles from our home, our vet is located in that same shopping center.  Joie had an appointment for a checkup at 5PM.  Sometime before 4:30PM, Allie received a call from our vet.  They had to cancel our appointment because of an active shooter in the shopping center.  Everyone was ordered to shelter-in-place.  Even under such stress, our vet rescheduled Joie's appointment for another day.

This isn't how we found out about the unfolding crisis.  At first, we didn't think too much of it.  Active shooter alerts happened before.  Sometimes, it's a mistaken report, or just someone wielding a weapon in public, or targeting a specific person, such as a love quarrel gone bad.  

We quickly found out that this was so much worse.  There's really nothing I can say to sum things up or even make the story more personal.  The worse we had was a rescheduling of an appointment, avoiding the situation ourselves by a couple of hours.  Allie and I are OK and unaffected by the crisis.

Of course, Allie had a couple of family members contact her within minutes of the incident making international news.  Several coworkers also checked with me the next day during meetings that I attended.  

Thankfully, we avoid the whole situation.  Others were not lucky.  Their families are suffering, such as one Erika Mononey, who gave a tribute to her father on Twitter (backup link).

Here's the link to the Wikipedia article for sourced information about the horrific event.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Elite Dangerous: Rescuing inhabitants of Lave Station after the Nine Martyr's Attack


Full walkthrough of one mission to rescue inhabitants Lave Station after the Nine Martyr's Attack. Runs from launch at the rescue ship all the way through collection of rewards for successful mission completion. Includes some pointers a long the way for an easier journey.

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Up and up building, or that's no murder!


Up and up; new building under construction in North Cherry Creek

It's not a murder of crows, but it's a gang of some menacing avian creepers keeping eyes on this intersection.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pay it to Payphones or don't

So, I went down a short rabbit hole when I saw a payphone in a movie review for Secret Obsession.  The movie is really bad, in my opinion.  I tried to watch, but had to stop.  This movie review does a good job at explaining why:

The movie shows the protagonist stopping to use a payphone to call 911.  Unfortunately, she didn't have change (coins) or phone card.   There's a problem with this scene.  I tweeted this, thinking that was all I was going to do:

That wasn't the end of it, though.  I remembered that there's still some payphones in service, so I looked it up.  That's when I ran into the fact that there's still over 100K payphones in the US, and that each payphone can still earn a profit with as few as three 50¢ calls per day.

Was that the end?  No.  I remembered that I somehow ended up at the movie theater to see Phone Booth back in 2003.  It's about this guy of questionable morals who is trapped in a phone booth by a sniper out to prove a point.  The guy is played by Colin Farrell.  The movie was made near the end of the payphone era.  Had this movie come out just a few years later, it would've already been too dated for people to relate to it.

So, that brings me back to start.  Secret Obsession was released in 2019.  The entire plot is built upon the conflict that starts with the main character who gets out of her car while being chased to run to a payphone in a phone booth to call 911 (emergency services in the US).  She doesn't have change, so the phone doesn't work.  It's 2019.  Why doesn't she have a cellphone?  Even if that option was somehow not available, all payphones in the US allow 911 calls without payment, as noted in my tweet (and the movie review shown above).  For who was this movie made? 2019?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Recent news tour of our Solar System from Mercury to FarFarOut

Some recent news tour of our Solar System:

Friday, January 29, 2021

How to find your US representatives and tweet them

Twitter is a fact of life in politics these days in USA.  Fortunately, that gives us an opportunity to contact our representatives on an open platform in a manner that is sorta like an open letter, with a limit of 240 characters.  Contacting your representatives at both the state and federal level is fairly easy, and can even be grouped together into one tweet.  The information below is meant for both experienced users (who can skip over comments on how to tweet) and new users.

All you need is a Twitter account and the Twitter handles of your representatives.

Once you have a Twitter account, get the names of your representatives.  

  • For your representative in the US House of Representatives, goto the Find Your Representative website. 
  • For your representatives in the US Senate, goto the Senate state map and click on your state.
  • For your representatives within your state, do a Google search for "find my legislator [your state here]", without the quotes and replacing "[you state here]" with the state in which you live.  One of the first two links in the search results should get you to the websites to find both your local state Representative and Senator.  Although this step is optional, it is still important to let the political parties know at all levels where the people stand.
Once you have the names of your representatives, do a Google search for each person's Twitter account using the search phrase "official twitter account [representative's first and last name] [your state, if applicable]", again without the quotes and replace "[representative's first and last name]" with your representative's first and last name.  If the representative is at the state level, be sure to add your state to the end.  You'll have to do this once for each person.  

Typically, the first item in the search results will give you the link to the person's Twitter account profile page.  Look for the @ tag.  This is their Twitter handle.  In my case, one of my US Senators Twitter handle is @Hickenlooper.  

Don't worry if one or more of your representatives are not members of your political party.  That doesn't matter for this activity.

Create your tweet within the Twitter App or website.  Keep the statement simple, clear and to-the-point.  Brevity is important since your tweet is limited to 240 characters, and a portion of that limit will be consumed by your representatives' Twitter handles.

Here's an example:

The message is simple, short but contains enough information to get the point across.  In your tweet, you can add more detail until you reach 240 character limit.  Once you post your tweet, you cannot edit it.  If you find a typo or wish to change it, you'll need to delete your tweet and create a new tweet.

If you already have a well established Twitter account with a number of followers, then receiving likes and retweets by your followers will help bring attention to your tweet.

Happy grassrooting

Also read: 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) Mining in Iran causes blackouts and smog?

2021, things will get better, right?  Well...  

In a strange dystopian twist last week, a story has been developing in Iran.  Massive power disruptions have been sweeping across Iran.  Apparently this has been an issue since January 13.  At the time, the cause was unclear, as reported by GardWorld.  

The dystopia is worse.  Due to the demand on power over the past month, power plants in Iran have been forced to switch over to burning low-grade fuels oil, causing massive "toxic" smog around the capital city, as reported by Bloomberg.  Other reports about increased smog go back to January 3.

Here's what makes the whole thing even more surreal.  According to Iranian officials, a major contributing factor (in addition to the unusually cold winter) is apparently illegal cryptocurrency mining operations, as reported by the Washington Post.  However, this is may not be a major cause, as cryptocurrency miners state their operations have nothing to do with the current power crisis.

Iran reportedly cracked down on cryptocurrency mining operations on Sunday by confiscating 45K machines.  Supposedly, these machines were consuming 95 megawatts per hour, while paying a reduced rate on the electricity.   However, the crackdown may not be about power consumption, as other reports suggest power consumed in cryptocurrency mining has only a minor role in Iran's current power crisis, as reported by coindesk.  In July 2020, "Iran penned a registration directive forcing [cryptocurrency] miners to disclose their identities" and "the size of their mining farms".  

Friday, January 15, 2021

Deadly Decoy in CSGO


Sometimes, just sometimes, it's a bad idea to ignore a decoy in CounterStrike: Global Offensive (CSGO)

Saturday, January 09, 2021

G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th 2009, 12 years ago


#TBT Pontiac G8 and GTO cruise 2009, stopped  for lunch at the crossroad of Woodside and Skyline at Alice' s Restaurant.

The road you didn't take because of a lie

I thought of writing about Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken because many (most?) people misinterpret it.  Well, Today I Found Out covered the topic so well, there's no sense in my writing about the poem's meaning.  Please enjoy their video:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference..