Posts by rustbucket

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey wants climate change warnings on gas pumps

    12/09/2017 3:02:04 PM PST · 65 of 102
    rustbucket to Zakeet

    And here I thought the Government was against endorsing religious views.

  • Two ships collided in Halifax Harbor. One of them was a floating, 3,000-ton bomb.

    12/06/2017 8:13:22 AM PST · 61 of 80
    rustbucket to njslim
    SS GRANDCAMP - Texas City

    I was there as a child in 1947 getting ready for the afternoon session of Danforth Elementary School (there were so many kids, they divided us into morning and afternoon sessions).

    I was getting dressed in my bedroom upstairs. The window in my room faced the Texas City harbor and the refineries. We lived about a mile from the Grandcamp. All of a sudden my window, glass, blinds, and all blew straight over my bed and into the opposite wall. I had bent down to get my shoes, so the window didn't hit me. Outside there was a big column of dark smoke rising from the harbor. There was glass all over my bed.

    My father worked at a little oil company across the road from the harbor area. He was reported as missing over the radio a day or so later, which, of course, upset my mother no end. She didn't tell my little brother and me, but had some neighbor ladies look after us for a while. Actually, after the explosion my father had been fighting tank fires for more than 24 hours straight and had run from a collapsing burning tank and had passed out or was resting in a fence by a roadway. Some people on the roadway found him and took him home with them. He was OK, but other people didn't know where he was and reported him missing.

    My grandfather (my mother's father) and my mother's uncle drove in from Houston in the uncle's Cadillac and had gotten through the police lines around the city by my grandfather claiming to be a doctor. They picked up my mother, my little brother, and me, and drove us to Houston. Mother had left a note at our apartment for my father, in case he was OK, telling him where we had gone.

    Before the explosion my father's boss had asked him to go with him to the harbor area to look at the fire. My father was busy up on a tank and didn't go with him. The boss's body washed up a week later.

    It was a scary time. Some of the walls at my elementary school collapsed during the explosion because of the shock wave. I don't remember for sure if some kids had been hurt or killed at the school. I ended up eventually staying at my grandmother's house (my father's mother) in Austin and temporarily going to school there for weeks.

  • Texas Man almost stepped on this Humongous Rattlesnake

    10/18/2017 7:51:44 PM PDT · 43 of 43
    rustbucket to TXnMA
    They are beautiful animals. We came upon this one dead by the side of a road in South Texas very early one morning. A car must have hit it.

    I showed the photo of it to the staff at Laguna Atascosa NWR, my destination for the morning. I was sure it was a bobcat, but I wanted confirmation from the staff there that it wasn't one of the rare ocelots from their Refuge. When my wife and I drove back on that road a few hours later, the carcass was gone. We think somebody picked it up for the skin or to take it to a taxidermist because it was in such good shape (aside from being dead). Its fur was in perfect condition.

  • Texas Man almost stepped on this Humongous Rattlesnake

    10/18/2017 10:58:48 AM PDT · 41 of 43
    rustbucket to TXnMA
    Not a bobcat; too much tail...

    Here is a closeup of a dead bobcat sporting a tail much like that of the cat above whose identity you question. The identity of the bobcat in my photo below was confirmed by a biologist at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

    Dead bobcat - 9730

  • Texas Man almost stepped on this Humongous Rattlesnake

    10/17/2017 7:22:35 AM PDT · 28 of 43
    rustbucket to buffyt
    We live in Balcones wildlife preserve N.W. of Austin.

    Do you mean the large Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge north of Lago Vista, or one of the tracts of wild, undeveloped land belonging to the unrelated Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system in Travis County? We live next to one of the latter. We hear coyotes and occasional turkeys at night, have found a rattlesnake in our garage, a copperhead in our yard, coral snakes in neighbors' swimming pools, and neighborhood dogs bitten by rattlesnakes. Like you, we've had scorpions in our house (I once found one in the hair on my head).

  • Favorite"Lookin For Love Songs".Tell us your Favorites.Freeper Canteen 9~14~17

    09/14/2017 7:46:54 PM PDT · 128 of 184
    rustbucket to fatima
    French, from the 1500s:

    "Belle qui tiens ma vie" by Thoinot Arbeau

    There is a translation of the lyrics down in the comments to the YouTuve video that starts, "Beauty, you who hold my life captive in your eyes ..."

  • Trump to donate $1 million of his own money to help with Harvey relief

    09/01/2017 6:41:35 AM PDT · 58 of 88
    rustbucket to notaliberal
    Has anyone heard from Jeff Bezos, Zuckerberg or any of the billionaires in Silicon Valley???

    Jeff Bezos grew up in Houston. I met him there once when he was a child.

  • Sheriff to seek charges against Durham protestors who pulled down Confederate statue

    08/15/2017 10:28:13 AM PDT · 82 of 85
    rustbucket to Geronimo
    The young people doing this appear to be the forerunners of an American version of the "Red Guards" of Chinese high school and university youth in 1966-67. From Wikipedia:

    After the 18 August rally, the Cultural Revolution Group directed the Red Guards to attack the 'Four Olds' of Chinese society (old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas). For the rest of the year, Red Guards marched across China in a campaign to eradicate the 'Four Olds'. Old books and art were destroyed, museums were ransacked, and streets were renamed with new revolutionary names and adorned with pictures and the sayings of Mao.[12] Many famous temples, shrines, and other heritage sites in Beijing were attacked.[13]

    The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked in November 1966 by a team of Red Guards from Beijing Normal University, led by Tan Houlan.[14][15] The corpse of the 76th-generation Duke Yansheng was removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in front of the palace during the desecration of the cemetery.[16] Attacks on other cultural and historic sites happened between in 1966 and 1967. One of the greater damages was to the Ming Dynasty Tomb of the Wanli Emperor in which his and the empress’s corpses along with a variety of artifacts from the tomb were destroyed by student members of the Red Guard. Between the assaults on Wan Li and Confucius’ tombs alone, more than 6618 historic Chinese artifacts were destroyed in the desire to achieve the goals of the Cultural Revolution.[17]

    The property of individuals was also gone after by Red Guard members as well if considered to represent one of the Four Olds. Commonly religious texts and figures would be confiscated and burned. Other times items of historic importance would be left, but defaced, with examples such as Qin Dynasty scrolls having their writings partially removed and stone and wood carvings having the faces and words carved out of them. Re-education came alongside the destruction of previous culture and history, throughout the Cultural Revolution schools were a target of Red Guard groups to teach both the new ideas of the Cultural Revolution; as well as to point out what ideas represented the previous era idealizing the Four Olds. ...

    Attacks on culture quickly descended into attacks on people. Ignoring guidelines in the 'Sixteen Articles' that stipulated that persuasion rather than force were to be used to bring about the Cultural Revolution, officials in positions of authority and perceived 'bourgeois elements' were denounced and suffered physical and psychological attacks.[12] On August 22, 1966, a central directive was issued to stop police intervention in Red Guard activities.[20] Those in the police force who defied this notice were labeled "counter-revolutionaries." Mao's praise for rebellion was effectively an endorsement for the actions of the Red Guards, which grew increasingly violent.[21]
  • Former Google Employee: ‘There Are Efforts to Demote Anything Non-PC from Search Results’

    08/09/2017 8:17:36 AM PDT · 32 of 36
    rustbucket to wastoute
    If anyone wonders about Google’s propaganda just enter “American mathematicians” or “American scientists”. You will be shocked, I guarantee.

    That was an eye-opener. Thank you.

    The diversity thing hit MIT years ago. When I was a student there long ago, women made up about 2 percent of the student body. In the 1980s came the push to enroll more women and minorities. MIT may have lowered or changed admission standards to greatly increase the number of women and minority students. As I remember, some on the MIT faculty then complained that the students could no longer do the work required in their courses.

    Apparently, fewer women than men have extremely high mathematical ability. And more men than women have extremely low mathematical ability. Those differences may be related to the y-chromosome that men have and women don't. See for example the following argument:

    Such genetic difference between men and women might explain why more males go into fields like computer programming. And it is a fair question: should Google force diversity in a field where genetics favors one sex more than the other? Shouldn't a company, or a university for that matter, base their hiring or admissions and promotions on ability and demonstrated performance?

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions to hold news conference on leak investigations Friday

    08/04/2017 8:36:12 AM PDT · 99 of 198
    rustbucket to kabar

    FYI, today’s Wall Street Journal has an opinion article by Kimberley Strassel entitled “The Scandal That Matters” (page A13). The article focusses on Awan and his family’s IT service for top Democrats and mentions Ms. Wasserman Schultz. I had been surprised the WSJ hadn’t covered this situation before, as far as I knew, but I was pleased to see them cover it today.

  • Mitch McConnell refuses to pull the plug on stalled Obamacare repeal plan

    07/19/2017 7:06:28 AM PDT · 90 of 102
    rustbucket to fortheDeclaration
    The GOP was given power to get rid of Obamacare-period.

    Their failure is the current GOP's "No new taxes" moment.

  • IT’S HAPPENING: New Photos Reveal Trump Admin. Preparing U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Construction

    07/17/2017 12:11:38 PM PDT · 33 of 37
    rustbucket to davikkm

    I’ve been to Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge many times. There is already a levee and a canal that runs through the Refuge a few feet south of the Visitor Center. The government could put a wall on top of that levee leaving an opening for visitors to head to Refuge trails and a gate for tram tours and maintenance vehicles to head south of the levee.

    I have seen Border Patrol vehicles in the Visitor Center parking lot on several occasions. The Refuge land extends to the Rio Grande.

  • Were Confederate Generals Traitors?

    07/13/2017 12:55:14 PM PDT · 461 of 461
    rustbucket to rockrr
    Without concordance it is rebellion, not secession.

    "Concordance" as in "agreement"?

    Here is somebody who agrees with me that states seceded from the British Empire, John Remington Graham, author of the book, "Free, Sovereign and Independent States," 2009, Pelican Publishing Company. From page 117:

    "These colonies did not all break away at once, but began to secede from the British Empire one by one. Before the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, five colonies had formally seceded, and the remainder had established provisional governments, each of them autonomous of the others. In practical effect all thirteen were free, sovereign, and independent States."

    I posted one of those secessions from Britain above. You will note in that document that Virginia termed itself a country.

  • Were Confederate Generals Traitors?

    07/12/2017 9:52:29 PM PDT · 453 of 461
    rustbucket to rockrr; Jim 0216; jeffersondem
    An aspect of secession, as illustrated in more depth here: is identified by the adjective formal - “The act of secession is the formal withdrawal from a union or confederation”.

    From the June 29, 1776, Virginia Constitution (Link) which listed grievances against the rule of George III and then declared (red bold emphasis mine):

    "By which acts of misrule, the government of this country, as formerly exercised by the Crown of Great Britain, is TOTALLY DISSOLVED."

    Is that formal enough for you? Note that the United States was not mentioned.

    Consider South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession (Link2):

    AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

    Sound similar to the 1776 Virginia dissolution? From the Wikipedia link you provided: "Secession (derived from the Latin term secessio) is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity (a country), but also any organization, union or military alliance.

  • Vanity Question - Is Houston a Good vacation spot for the family?

    06/27/2017 10:41:36 PM PDT · 78 of 137
    rustbucket to jonno
    Grew up in the Houston area without air conditioning. Lived there for almost 40 years minus 4 years ib New Jersey (my foreign assignment).

    The Houston museum of Natural Science is very nice as is the nearby Fine Art Museum and the many other museums in the Museum District:
    Houston Museum of Natural Science
    Houston Museum District (scroll down to the list)

    Nasa (Space Center Houston) is great, and nearby you can watch the many boats going in and out of Clear Creek to Galveston Bay from a number of Kemah restaurants.
    Kemah Restaurants
    Space Center Houston

    In Galveston, check out the Strand and Moody Gardens. You can rent a house at the beach on the west side of Galveston Island. The beach is OK but not the greatest. You can sit on an upstairs deck of your rented beach house, drink beer, and eat shrimp while enjoying the sea breeze on many evenings.
    Moody Gardens

  • House drops Confederate Flag ban for veterans cemeteries

    05/11/2017 2:18:23 PM PDT · 1,747 of 1,747
    rustbucket to rustbucket
    I'm not sure I have posted the following on this thread, so here from a New York Times article on April 12, 1861 is how they think the Sumter battle will go:

    Sumpter [sic] on the one side and the Fleet off the North Channel on the other, will effectively cover any relieving expedition, whether of open boats, tugs, or small vessels, from any maritime attack, and confine all resisting operations to the land batteries. Experience has shown -- as in the case of Gen. WILKINSON’S passage down the St. Lawrence during the last war [the Mexican War doesn’t count as a war in the Times view?], with five hundred boats, suffering but a trifling loss, in the face of strong shore batteries – that batteries cannot effectually prevent the passage of an armament. Still less can be done when the batteries themselves will be exposed to such a terrific fire as Major ANDERSON can for some hours at least, pour with his whole force on Moultrie and the battery near Cummings' Point, the only two places from which boats or light draft vessels can be fired upon to any purpose.

    But ANDERSON’S fire will not be the only one to which Moultrie may be exposed, as the smaller vessels can take with impunity positions from which shell may be thrown with great effect. No matter how brave or skillful the Southern troops may be, they will be under a fire which will render the entire stoppage of relief to Fort Sumpter [sic] nearly impossible.

  • House drops Confederate Flag ban for veterans cemeteries

    05/11/2017 1:45:44 PM PDT · 1,746 of 1,747
    rustbucket to DiogenesLamp
    Good find and good analysis of Lincoln's probable thinking. Makes sense to me. The other Union ships might have tried to force their way in but the seas were to rough over the Charleston bar making it likely that the ships would run aground like the Star of The West had scraped bottom several times making its exit from the harbor over the Charleston bar in January.

    Plus the tugs that had been obtained to deliver the supplies to the fort had not shown up. The tugs had been delayed or prevented from proceeding by the same storm and rough seas that had delayed some of the larger ships of Lincoln's armada.

    Although there were no tugs, the Pawnee had a boat that could carry in supplies. However, the heavy and rough seas were a problem for the Union ships that might provide cover for the Pawnee supply boat. The Baltic itself had already run aground in heavy swells on a shoal off the harbor and took time to get free.

    From Maury Klein's excellent book, Days of Defiance"

    Everyone [on the Union ships] had wanted to assist Sumter regardless of the batteries, but without pilots, buoys, or marks they dared not make the attempt.
  • Friend Who Lived in France Says Their Health System Superior

    05/06/2017 1:39:59 PM PDT · 159 of 166
    rustbucket to Nifster

    Another complication of my Paris gallbladder surgery was that about ten years later I had bile duct blockage from scar tissue from the earlier surgery. I gather that you can die in a day or so from bile duct blockage in some situations. My blockage caused me to shake like crazy as though I were extremely cold. I called a surgeon I knew, and he got me into the hospital ASAP. An endoscopic procedure was then used to burn a hole through the scar tissue.

  • Friend Who Lived in France Says Their Health System Superior

    05/06/2017 1:11:24 PM PDT · 157 of 166
    rustbucket to Nifster

    You are right. My gallbladder surgery was in the late 80s. Laparoscopy became available sometime after my Paris surgery.

    I did have robotic surgery a few years ago for another problem. I believe it was an improvement over conventional laparoscopic surgery. It was sort of laparoscopy done with precise robotic control (forgive my non-MD description). Much simpler procedure and easier recovery than what I went through in Paris.

  • Friend Who Lived in France Says Their Health System Superior

    05/06/2017 8:31:02 AM PDT · 100 of 166
    rustbucket to PeaRidge

    Hey Pea,

    I had my gallbladder removed in Paris some years ago while on a business trip. I had a severe attack lasting hours in my hotel. The hotel sent a doctor to my room. He diagnosed my problem as stomach flu. I told him that it was something more serious.

    At my insistence he sent me to a place to get an ultrasound image taken. There were several pregnant women there getting ultrasounds of their babies. They looked at me strangely. I was sprawled out horizontally on some of the chairs in an attempt to get comfortable. The ultrasound showed that I had a large gallstone The doctor apologized for his earlier diagnosis and sent me to the American Hospital in Paris, which may well be the best hospital in Paris.

    I was glad that was where I was being sent. This is the place the sheiks come to get medical treatment. They apparently come to the American Hospital in Paris for medical treatment rather than to other French hospitals, but I’ve not seen statistics on where the sheiks go.

    I do not remember the nationality of the doctor who operated on me. I only met him briefly, but I was almost out of it in pain at the time. He did speak English. I looked just now at the papers recently published by members of the hospital staff. Based on their last names, most of the doctors who authored the papers appear not to be Americans, but they could well have been trained in the United States.

    I had a fever, so the hospital doctor thought I should have the gallstone removed there in Paris quickly, rather than having me fly home to the States to have it removed there.

    Anyway, the operation was successful. The gallstone they removed was an inch in diameter. I had to stay in a hotel in Paris for about nine days afterward until my incision healed enough for me to fly home. This was before robotic procedures were developed to remove gallstones through very small incisions. My operation left a large scar across my abdomen.

    About a year after the gallbladder and stone removal I developed a large hernia on the incision scar. The surgeon at home who repaired that hernia shook his head that the Paris doctors had only sewed up one layer of muscle at the incision rather than two layers of muscle as he would have done.

    The French nurses were something else. When I was taking a shower, they would come in and suddenly open the shower curtain. Maybe that practice would enliven the care we get in our prudish American hospitals.

    On checking out of the hospital in Paris I sat waiting about 30-40 minutes while the check out lady on the staff just ignored me and handled other later arrivals at the discharge office. That was the only time I have ever seen rudeness from a French person. Finally, in desperation, I asked one of the other people in the office so that the rude lady would hear, that I was doctor so and so (well I am, but a PhD, not an MD), and I wanted to check out of the hospital and pay my bill. I’m pretty mild mannered and wouldn’t have ordinarily spoken up like I did later, but I had politely told the rude lady when I arrived that I wanted to check out. My later frustrated statement to others got the rude lady’s attention, and she immediately started processing me out, perhaps fearing that a “doctor” like me might tell the French doctors of her behavior.

    That was my experience with the semi-French health care system at the American Hospital in Paris.