Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just an Early Notice

Bump - change your clocks tonight.

This Coming Sunday November 6th ..Daylight Savings Time again.

Don't forget to turn your clocks back!

My Baby's Got the Bends, Oh No!

Where do we go from here?
The planet is a gunboat in a sea of fear
And where are you?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America's unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.
Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent - a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment. Nearly one-third of America's 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more.
Congress is expected to decide by year's end whether to continue providing emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. If the emergency benefits expire, the proportion of the unemployed receiving aid would fall further.
The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as annual income below $22,314 for a family of four. 
READ MORE ( news)

Seriously? $22,314. for a family of four? 

Friday, November 4, 2011


Dubstep is a form of music I've been paying attention to lately. Wikipedia says,  "Dubstep (/ˈdʌbstɛp/) is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in south London, England. Its overall sound has been described as 'tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals'.[1]

Some dubstep I like, and some I hate. It's not a genre that I can say I love, but there are interesting things happening there.

My Book Report

I just finished reading the second in a series of books by New York Times book critic, Lev Grossman. These books can be sort of equated to a grown up version of the Harry Potter books, by J.K Rowling. The first book, The Magicians (2009) and the second in the series, The Magician King (2011) were very excellent. The ease of read, the wry humor, and the modern references made it very fun to pick up and hard to put down. 

While the characters in Grossman's books strive to achieve magical prowess, (much akin to Rowling's books) these novels have a much more adult themed plot. Their logical progression through magical references in history, literature, religion, human failures/ weakness and needs, the sexual realm of humanity and the unexplained, all lead them to their destiny. 

I was not happy with the ending to the 2nd in the series. The disappointment,  however, leaves the reader wanting more, wanting justice. It is enough to hope that Grossman will deliver more to this story and it's characters in a future endeavor. 

particularly like the passage where a magician wannabe joins an online group. It is sort of reminiscent of all online groups, maybe a reference to the JTI?  I think you might enjoy this passage:

"Free Trader Beowulf had fourteen members, and Julia made it fifteen. It was only a message board, but it felt more like home than anything had since the two hours Julia had spent at Brakebills four years earlier. The people in FTB got her. She didn't have to explain herself. They understood her gallows humor and her Godel, Escher, Bach references, her sudden rages and her long silences. She picked up their arcane in-jokes and running gags pretty quickly. Her whole life she'd felt like the last living member of a lost Amazonian tribe, speaking her own extinct dialect, but here, finally, was her ethnic group. They were a bunch of depressed, overeducated shut-ins, but they seemed human to her. Or maybe not human, but whatever Julia was, they were too.

References to real life were tacitly discouraged on FTB. You didn't use real names (....) FTB just wasn't a meatspace thing. Outing another member's real-world identity was an offense punishable by expulsion, or it would have been if it ever happened, but it never did. Welcome to Facelessbook: an antisocial network."

I have the book, The Help on hold for my next foray into escape. It is about an aspiring writer, who, during the 60's civil rights movement,  interviews African-American maids point of view on the white families for whom they work. A movie was recently released based on this book. IMDB The Help 2011

And From the "Outstanding Citizen Award" Dept.....

WHOA! You bet these guys won't be getting the key to the city anytime soon. From for your Friday enjoyment.....

Daniel Everett Child Sex Abuse

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Four for Fridays after a long and exhausting week. This week's questions, once again, are random...

1) What kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?

2) For the girls-Do like facial hair on men?
For the guys-How much make-up should women wear?

3) Do you remember your dreams?

4) What did you do for your last birthday?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday & Weekend

Have a wonderful day and an even better weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

JTI Statistics, November 2011

We did it!

Veni, vidi, vici....

(Now, onward to the million!)

Tweeting Curiosity

I am happy to announce that I have been selected to attend the launch of the Mars Curiosity Rover as part of the launch tweetup! The launch is currently scheduled for November 25th.

Curiosity is the next rover headed to Mars. It is much larger than the previous rovers, Spirit and Opportunity and will carry a much larger suite of instruments. Although Curiosity is not designed to directly look for life on Mars, it will continue our attempts to determine if Mars had life on it in the past and if there are any pockets where life could still exist. It's nuclear power source will let it cover a lot of ground and power more advanced instruments (and it won't have solar panels that can get covered with dust!) It will be able to drill into rocks and scoop up soil and dust to analyze.

A rover this large can't land with airbags. It has a really cool crane type system that will lower it to the surface of Mars while the crane unit is held aloft by rockets. Kind of hard to envision, so here's the really cool animation. As you watch the video, remember this all has to happen automatically. Real time communication is not possible at that distance so there is no chance to fix any problems that may develop!

150 Twitter users have been selected to attend the launch tweetup. We will spend November 23rd touring the Cape, talking to mission scientists and trying not to get into too much trouble. We will have a day off on Thanksgiving before watching the launch from the media center on November 25th. Of course we will all be tweeting and blogging about our tours and the launch. You can follow me on twitter @halfastro (for my facebook friends, all tweets are automatically posted to facebook). You can also follow @marscuriosity, @nasatweetup or the #nasatweetup has tag.

Obviously, I will be blogging and tweeting a lot that week!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bedtime Games

Bedtime Games

Installment 15

Make your best guess and.... GO TO BED!
Answer revealed tomorrow.

Yes, you've seen this.... somewhere, maybe a lot of places... but what, specifically, is THIS?????

No crying, no whining, make a dang guess. And, remember, I ♥ you guys. hehehehehe

We have a WINNER.... but once again, an irregularity. IF an irregularity happens frequently, is it then a regularity???
Fungi's proposal was spot on, but why not's answer was 'sort of' correct also.  You know, sometimes with the language gap, specific terminology can get confused in translation. We sure don't want to have the International Gaming Review Board become involved!  Let's not forget, we have jedwis' inflammatory comment  about why not claiming the win another week...  

I'm following Switzerland's brilliant neutrality position. I'm letting group consensus name the winner. (aka - sitting back while you guys duke it out!)

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my scampering squirrels! How are you? Are you enjoying the color still available in the area? We’ve had a fairly warm fall so far and the show seems to be going on a little longer than usual. I love the reds, yellows, browns, and greens backlit by the sun low in the sky. I’ve more or less stopped taking pictures of the foliage, though. I have so many photos from past years that I never look at. It’s a gorgeous repeat performance every year.

After a restful bye week, our marvelous, magnificent, and mind-blowing Green Bay Packers are destined to defeat the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, this Sunday, Nov. 6th, at 3:15 PM. Hail, hail Packers! Enjoy the weather while you drain the Charges of their power. Not even the Energizer Bunny will be able to get them back up after the Packers are through.

I received two messages this week, my dears. The first is from our own Sheriff:

Dear Madame Zoltar:

Although the spam filters work well, we still receive an occasional unsolicited email at the JTI. The one below is a request for a link exchange. Considering the source, I thought it best to refer this one to you, dearest Madame. We haven't done link exchanges in the past, but if you advise us otherwise on this one, then perhaps we will consider it.

Thank you for your time and effort.

The Sheriff

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 6:05 AM
Subject: Link Exchange Inquiry to Relevant Site


I was browsing the web when i saw your site, and when i look at it, the relevancy is the same to my site, would you mind if I offer you to have a link exchange (reciprocal link exchange) with my site, here is our site

Here is our site info

Title : Psychics


Description : Enjoy a complete site encompassing Online Live Free Psychics.

Get link from

If your interested make this link live and you can email us back with your site details, looking forward to grant my request. You can put link it anywhere close to homepage.


Dear Sheriff, my psychic advice to you is to avoid like the plague it is. They are unscrupulous charlatans preying on the weak on the web. It disgusts me. Always check for the PPPA (Professional Psychics Pseal of Approval) somewhere on the site, literature, or on display in the room of any psychic. It is there to protect you.

The second message came from our beloved Ms. kk:

Dearest Madame. I recently found this advertisement.(attached)
I really don't know what to say.... I never recall you pulling at your clothes like that during any sessions we've had together.


Dear Ms. kk, Thank you so much for contacting me in regard to this practice. Again, I can almost assure you that this “psychic” is not certified by the PPPA. Her lurid tearing and rending of her clothing is to assure the rapt attention of her audience while her partners in crime pick their pockets and purses. One of the oldest tricks in the book. How shameful! I detest faux “psychics” that give us a bad name.

Thank you all for reading my blog this week. It is an honor to be visited by you. You make me what I am. I love all Irregulars and regulars. I am here to help you and guide you on your journey. Never hesitate to contact me if you have a problem.

You can reach me here: In an emergency, meditate upon me and chant my name three times. I will appear. Or I overshot my mark again and I’m in your neighbor’s wall. Oh my.

Have a safe and sane week my wonderful friends. The Christmas onslaught has already started. Try not to let it spoil your holidays. However, if I ever have to endure Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer again, I will not be responsible for the consequences. Cosmogenic!

Love 1950’s style

Open Blog - Wednesday & Thursday

Ah, to be a child again...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are you a “Black Friday Shopper”?

When I was working I use to listen to some of the ladies discuss their “Plan of Attack” for the day. It was some serious business to them; they would have it written down on paper exact time of when and where they would be. “Pick up Susie at 4am, go to Denny’s for breakfast, be at Target at 5 and yada, yada, yada, I got a big chuckle out of it.

I see now Kohl’s has joined in the “early opening scheme’ along with other large retailers such as Macy’s and Target. These stores have now committed to opening at midnight November 25th and remain open for 24 hours.

I think it’s a good idea verses fighting the long lines at checkout. I wouldn’t doubt in the next few weeks 24-hour restaurants will advertise specials for the wee early morning shoppers.

Archie Bell & The Drells - "Tighten Up"

I remember the song well, but I think this is the first time I ever saw them.

Binary Clock

As long as we're on a clock kick, here is the binary clock from my desk (surrounded by cats).

Yes, I can read it, can you?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

JTI Statistics, October 2011... Update

As we approach the HALF MILLION mark, I wanted to share with you something many of you may not be seeing. Many of you come to the JTIrregular page, but are not aware that we also have a Facebook Page. Here is the most recent screenshot from our Facebook connection:
Yes, we generate statistics on Facebook, too! The more posts from "The Sheriff,"  the more hits we generate. All of you who have a FB account can post to the JTI Facebook page. We currently have new followers on Facebook who also are forwarded to our regular website. We just need to get these behind the scenes folks  to post some comments to add "flavor" to our fun....

FYI..... we only need about 1,600 more pageloads to hit the half-million mark! 
Party On, JTI!  (and I mean that in a good way!)

Happy Birthday, Tender Heart Bear

Happy Birthday! Celebrate! Slide down a rainbow into a marshmallow cloud.