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daily Monday, May 09, 2005


rutabaga curlingThe Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute

Got this from CoolTools email today:
Twenty Questions... a neural net that has been learning for 17 years. Inventor Robin Burgener programmed a simple neural net on a DOS machine 1988. He taught it 20 questions about a cat. He then passed the program around to friends on a floppy and had them challenge the neural net with their yes/no answers to the object they had in mind. The neural net learns only when it plays a game; no data is added except for the yes/no answers of visitors. So the more people who test it, the more they teach it. In 1995 Burgener put the now robust neural net onto the new web where anyone could play it (that is, train it) 24 hours a day. And they did. Burgener's genius was to turn the hard tedious work of training a neural net into a fun game for humans.

Cool! Tool! So anyway, I went there and "thought" of the word "rutabaga". The thing guessed it after 26 questions, 15 of which I answered UNKNOWN!!

I knew then that taterhead needed to know more about rutabagas (if not neural nets), and a quick search brought me to The Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute. Awesome site! Did you know that "the extreme density of ordinary rutabagas is sufficient to confer upon them a measurable gravitational force. In a repetition of Galileo's apocryphal experiment, students from the University of Pisa simultaneously released rutabagas and spheres of platinum-iridium alloy from the top of the famous Campanile ("Leaning Tower of Pisa"). Amazingly, the rutabagas..."?? Likewise, did you know that "the rutabaga may have had extraterrestrial origins. Fossilized rutabagas from the area surrounding the Syrdar Crater in southern Uzbekistan were distributed in a "splatter pattern" characteristic of ejecta, the debris from meteorite collisions." ??

But the image I liked best for this post is from ARSI's link to the International Rutabaga Curling Championship, where they claim "Random steroid testing will be performed on site." but don't say if it's testing the curlers or the rutabagas.

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CEO capped at $5580 yearBush SS Scam - Animation Winner [FLASH]

MoveOn sponsored this. I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that Social Security withholding tax, 6.2% of your paycheck, is CAPPED at $5580 a year, so anything over $90K pays the same as $90K, $5580, and if we dropped the cap Social Security would be fine:
In his nationally-televised prime time press conference, George W. Bush showed his cards - embracing massive cuts in Social Security benefits as part and parcel of Social Security privatization. Today, we're announcing the winner of Bush in 30 Years - a grassroots contest to find the best Macromedia Flash animation or game that explains the Republicans' Social Security scam.

Lots of brilliant Flash animators worked long and hard...

And the winner is..."If it ain't broke, don't privatize it!" by Andy Menconi of San Francisco, California. Both the judges and MoveOn members picked "If it ain't broke" as their favorite—a popular and critical smash hit!

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real ID of SensenbrennerFAX your Senators Now on National ID Card Vote

If you go to the site you'll be asked to compose a FAX to your Senators, of course with your true name and address. I did various copy actions from the site, edited, added, and pasted into their FAX form. Here it is, in case you want to copy, edit and paste:
Dear Senator,

Please read the fine print in the bill coming up for your vote tomorrow, the one that would keep our fighting men and women taken care of in Iraq and Afghanistan. It calls for establishing a National ID card, called "Real ID". I have some real concerns with privacy on this bill. It will only lead to further erosion of the Bill of Rights. We cannot allow terrorists to change American life. It looks like a step toward a totalitarian country like Communist China. Supporting our troops means making sure they come home to a free nation, not a surveillance state.

The Department of Homeland Security, which will be crafting the regulations implementing Real ID, has made clear that it wants a remotely readable RFID chip. That would make private-sector access and systematic tracking even more easy and likely. Can you imagine walking down a sidewalk and having your personal information available by radio frequency to anyone with the right receiver?

This national ID card will make observation of citizens easy but won't do much about terrorism. The fact is, identity-based security is not an effective way to stop terrorism. ID documents do not reveal anything about evil intent - and even if they did, determined terrorists will always be able to obtain fraudulent documents.

Please rewrite the bill, excluding this Real ID, and then bring the Real ID issue before the American people.

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real ID of SensenbrennerSenate Votes on National ID Card tomorrow

In case this seems more good than bad, be sure to read What Is 'Real ID'?
open quote Papers, Please! - Real ID = National ID Card

This Tuesday, the US Senate is scheduled to vote on the implementation of a national ID card system. The Real ID Act is nothing less than a Real National ID Act. The only thing left to the individual states is to decide which pretty picture they will choose to put on the card: everything else will be controlled by Washington DC bureaucrats.

The Real ID Act has never been debated on the US Senate floor. They've never talked about it in any committee. Heck, most of them haven't even read it! Yet they're planning to vote on it on Tuesday, no questions asked.

In order to make a single irresponsible Congressman with totalitarian leanings happy, the Senate leadership let him write the bill and then slipped it into a another bill, one that would keep our fighting men and women taken care of in Iraq and Afghanistan. Supporting our troops means making sure they come home to a free nation, not a surveillance state.

Take action now! Contact Your Senators Here! close quote

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root.cellarUpdated: 9/17/2006; 8:43:53 AM.