Daily Archives: March 23, 2016

The magnificence of science: scientists develop a cure for the modern college student

New stimulator can upload knowledge directly into the brain.

In a breakthrough which promises new technology like that from The Matrix, researchers at HRL Laboratories have developed a programme which they say can upload new skills and knowledge directly to your brain.

The California-based institution analysed electrical signals in the brain of a pilot and fed the data to people who didn’t have the knowledge to fly planes via electrode-embedded head caps which stimulated the correct regions of the brain.

The participants who were fed the information via electrodes were then pitted against a placebo group on a realistic flight simulation test, which found that the former performed an average of 33 per cent better than the latter, according to the results published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

“Look, it’s obviously not powerful enough to save the typical Sanders voter,” Dr. Andrew McIntire told FWIW, “not yet; but this is really just a prototype. We’re hopeful that we can import a knowledge of western culture, classic philosophy and even economic theory – real theory, not Magic Marxism- into the otherwise empty heads of today’s students.

“We’ll start with state university students, and when we can ramp it up to full power, we’ll move onto the Ivies. I’m not so confident about what we can achieve there, but we’re going to try.”

Rat with electrodes

(with luck) Harvard student, 2021

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And how can you tell when a social justice movement has shot its wad?

Tampon protest

When they no longer teach Adam Smith at Yale, you get this

When feminists move on from equal pay issues to “Menstrual Equity”, and demand that the state and private businesses provide them with free tampons.

It’s really no different from the snow flakes now weeping and cowering on our campuses and demanding safe rooms and the suppression of speech. The issues they might address: interference with economic freedom, oppressive regulations, the decline of the west, are for them not issues at all, so they have to cast about for something to occupy their little minds.

Tampons and chalked walls are their answer.

UPDATE: Or, in Obama’s case, heading to the Supreme Court to crush the religious principles of an order of nuns.  I’m unaware of any such effort on his part to force Muslims to conform to his and the Left’s views on how society should be ordered, but perhaps I haven’t been paying attention.

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When is a new listing an old listing?

150 stanwich

150 Stanwich Road – lights have been off here since 2013

When, like 150 Stanwich Road, it comes on at the same price: $4.5 million, that it’s held firm at for 476 days, especially when it spent the previous 563 days looking for $4.250. Increasing the price didn’t work; maybe it’s time to try another tactic and drop it.

Daring, but so crazy, it just might work.

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Going down?

304 Taconic Road, designer Cindy Renfrew’s place, now down to $5.995 million; it’s been on the market since 2009, when it started at $15.950, and so far, no one wants it.

Perhaps someday, but the last time I checked, this house was further underwater from mortgage debt than its front yard is submerged under swamp waters.

danburnsphotos.comdanburnsphotos@mac.com 646-423-0907

304 Taconic Rd

12 Laurel Lane has taken its first price cut, from $8.995 million to $7.950. I admire owners who take aggressive price reductions rather than undergo the torture of a thousand cuts. It grabs the attention of buyers and sends a message to other agents that the owner is willing to listen to offers. A picayune cut sends exactly the opposite message.

Really nice house on a very good street, by the way.

12 Laurel Lane

12 Laurel Lane

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Two pending sales

50 Binney Lane

50 Binney Lane

50 Binney Lane, final asking price $5.685 million. Owners paid $6 million for it when it was new in 2005, tried for $6.950 for a full year in 2013-2014 without success, and put it back on just a few weeks ago. This time, it worked.

59 Dingletown Road

59 Dingletown Road

And 59 Dingletown Road also has a contract, just 19 days after hitting the market at $3.995 million. I loved this house when it was for sale back in 2012 and said so. It took some time to sell then (it started at $3.950 and eventually sold for $3,261,104 in 2013, (an odd number I explained here), but the new owners renovated it, added a new master bath, pool and a pool house, improved the landscaping, etc., and did quite well, quite quickly.

Either way, a really good house.

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And in Old Greenwich, north of the village

48 Sound Beach Avenue

48 Sound Beach Avenue – Cruz supporter?

48 Sound Beach Avenue has sold, for $1.325. It’s on a busy street, obviously, and judging from its photo is leaning to the right, but the latter may be just a political statement, and I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s a lovely house notwithstanding the traffic, with great charm, and, for Old Greenwich, a large back yard. Seems like a good price.

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Riverside contract

81 riverside avenue

81 Riverside Avenue

81 Riverside Avenue, asking $1.595 million. Last sold for $1.625 in 2005, and for $1.380 in 2001 when, at least its listing claimed, “was recently totally renovated and in absolutely pristine condition”. I’m guessing this sale will be closer to 2001’s price, even if the house is no longer in that state of grace.

When I last showed it as a rental in, I think, 2012, it was in sorry shape, but perhaps it’s been spruced up since then. It’s owned by the First Congregational Church, and they used it to house one of their ministers, presumably a man who’d taken a vow of poverty.

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Even Hillary would tell you that this is a budget cut that should be made regardless of CT.’s budget woes

hc-democratic-convention-20140516-001

I don’t have to pay people to be my friend, they just naturally like me! My mom could have saved her money, back when I was in grade school

Taxpayer-funds to political candidates headed for elimination. This particular boondoggle was supposed to prevent our lawmakers from accepting bribes from special interests, like unions, car dealers and Realtors, but it was as effective, and dumb, as that old “don’t help a good boy go bad – take your keys” campaign.
“Good” boys don’t steal cars, regardless of opportunity and temptation. The same could be said for good politicians, if there were any.

Miss Hillary swears that special interest groups like Wall Street, automobile dealers and the NRA (I made that last one up) who pay her up to $200,000 to show up at their meetings and who, in total, paid her millions of dollars, have never influenced her vote – “absolutely not” – and I, for one, believe her. The woman and her husband stand for integrity, above all else, so why would she lie?

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In fairness, this

Ron Radish: Obama departed from his prepared speech and gave an impassioned call for freedom and democracy in Cuba, mush to the distress ofCuba’s leaders.

Castro must have been shocked when Obama praised those Cubans who had fled to America on planes and makeshift rafts “in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, sometimes leaving behind everything they owned and every person that they loved.” (Castro’s term for such people are “gusanos” or worms.)

Later in the speech he delivered another surprise, praising the initiative and work ethic of the Cuban people. He was not referring to the Communist regime. Instead, Obama said, there is a “clear monument to what the Cuban people can build … [and it] is called Miami.” Eluding to Cuba’s dismal economy, Obama said: “American democracy has given our people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and enjoy a high standard of living.”

Cuba has a one-party system; the United States is a multi-party democracy. Cuba has a socialist economic model; the United States is an open market. Cuba has emphasized the role and rights of the state; the United States is founded upon the rights of the individual.

He repeated that while he favored lifting the embargo and has recommended that Congress do this, even if the embargo was lifted “Cubans will not realize their potential without continued change in Cuba.” That meant access to information available online, which now Cubans are not permitted to get. “If you cannot be exposed to different points of view,” Obama told the Cubans, “you will not reach your full potential, and over time the youth will lose all hope.”

Of course, this is already the case, as virtually all reporters note. That is the very reason more Cubans are fleeing by raft and by airplane and by foot after taking allowed trips to Central America. The past year alone has seen a great exodus of Cubans fearful that Obama’s new opening to Cuba might in fact lead the U.S. to change its favorable immigration policies towards Cuban immigrants.

Good for him; the first step in recovery is acknowledgment that you have a problem.

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Thinking about our Muslim friends

Motor city

Detroit’s a hotbed of Muslim terrorists, so I’d change the term “imported from Detroit” to “exported”

David French: Jihad Everywhere

We’ve known these normal rules of terrorism for years — even if we don’t want to face them. Large Islamic communities can and will shelter jihadists, protecting them with their silence even if they don’t actively facilitate their attacks. Terrorist safe havens that used to exist mainly in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan/Pakistan now exist in the heart of Europe. Jihadists laugh at Western squeamishness (Belgian law actually prohibits nighttime police raids — a policy terrorists have exploited before) and use our sensitivities to facilitate mass murder.

But here’s what we often don’t know. Here’s the mistake we always make after a major terror attack — we believe this is what jihad looks like, and that stopping jihad means stopping violence. But the reality is that terrorist bombings represent merely an aspect of jihad — the most spectacular and bloody, to be sure — but only a part of the sinister whole. In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans were treated to a parade of “experts” who assured a worried public that jihadists were perverting the meaning of the term, that the term really and truly only referred to a peaceful, internal struggle — the quest for goodness and holiness. We’ve learned to laugh at this nonsense, but in so doing I fear that we’ve wrongly narrowed the term. To us, jihad is a bomb. It’s a beheading.

No, jihad is an eternal, all-encompassing unholy war against the unbeliever. It is waged in the mind of the believer, to fortify his or her own courage and faith. It is waged online and in the pages of books and magazines, to simultaneously cultivate the hatred and contempt of the committed for the kafir — the unbeliever — while also currying favor, appeasement, and advantage from the gullible West. Jihad is the teaching in the mosque. It is the prayer in the morning, the social-media post in the afternoon, and the donation to an Islamic “charity” in the evening.

There is jihad in predatory, coordinated sexual assault, there is jihad when Western camera crews are chased from Muslim neighborhoods, and there is jihad when Muslim apologists invariably crawl from the sewers of Western intelligentsia, blaming Europeans for the imperfections in their life-saving hospitality. So don’t make the mistake of believing that Europe or America only “periodically” or “rarely” deal with jihad. We confront it every day, just as the world has confronted it — to greater or lesser degrees — ever since Muslim armies first emerged from the Arabian peninsula. While not all Muslims are jihadists, jihad is so deeply imprinted in the DNA of Islam that the world will confront it as long as Islam lives.

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And speaking of government workers

 

va

More than just an equal opportunity employer, it will hire ANYONE, and keep them on the payroll, forever

VA employee reinstated, with back pay, after being fired for missing work while she was in jail for armed robbery

A Department of Veterans Affairs employee in Puerto Rico was fired after being arrested for armed robbery, but her union quickly got her reinstated — despite a guilty plea — by pointing out that management’s labor relations negotiator is a registered sex offender, and the hospital’s director was once arrested and found with painkiller drugs…

Employees said the union demanded her job back and pointed out that Tito Santiago Martinez, the management-side labor relations specialist in Puerto Rico, who is in charge of dealing with the union and employee discipline, is a convicted sex offender. Martinez reportedly disclosed his conviction to the hospital and VA hired him anyway, reasoning that “there’s no children in [the hospital], so they figure I could not harm anyone here.”

 

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You know where this is heading

malloy

Together at last: Malloy, the Spender in Chief, and state union workers [sic]

Ct. state unions reject concessions, Malloy threatens layoffs to meet $263 million budget deficit.

The Republicans have  a plan that will save $11 million – hahahaha! The budget shortfall with be $4.3 billion over the next four years, and there are two ways to attack that in the Democratic playbook” more debt, higher taxes. Both will be coming our way soon.

The reason budget projections didn’t hit their mark four months into the 2016 fiscal year was because of income tax growth projections, which fell behind estimates. The Malloy administration lowered its estimate for personal income tax growth from 7.1 percent to 4.5 percent in September. In October the withholding portion of the tax was lowered from 5.2 percent to 3.2 percent.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo told Malloy earlier this month that in 2005, when the economy was expanding, the withholding portion of the income tax grew 8.1 percent. But over the past three fiscal years the growth has been below 4 percent.

Actual income tax growth already has been reduced in 2016 by about $195.7 million, according to Lembo.

But it’s not just the immediate problems that lawmakers will have to focus on to solve the budget crisis.

According to the fiscal accountability reports, Connecticut’s long term obligations total more than $70 billion — that’s up $2.7 billion from last year.

Some of the biggest drivers on the spending side include a 10 percent jump in debt service in 2018. In that same year, analysts are projecting a 6.9 percent increase in state employee pay and a 25.1 percent increase in payments to the teachers’ retirement fund.

Malloy’s budget office estimated that the state’s debt service in 2018 will be around 11.8 percent of the general fund and there are plans to increase the amount of borrowing that year to $2.9 billion.

Republican lawmakers have been critical of Malloy and his decision to borrow $2.5 billion this calendar year. Republicans estimated that the governor has moved $1.6 billion in operating expenses to the state’s credit card.

“Connecticut is borrowing excessively for operating expenses, swiping the state credit card for daily necessities. And that card is far from getting paid off each month,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano has said.

In 2013, Connecticut ranked number four nationally in state and local debt per capita, and number 24 in state and local debt as a percentage of personal income.

State employee pay is also a factor in spending growth. Malloy is expected to start salary negotiations with every state union except the state police in January. However, the health and pension portion of the state’s contract with all state employees can’t be reopened until 2022, unless there’s an agreement between the unions and the governor to open it earlier than that.

Republicans also have argued they can offer a retirement incentive to state employees through the legislative process and not through collective bargaining. They estimated they could save $80 million this year by offering three years of service to state employees already eligible to retire.

Malloy also has plans to change how the state employee and teacher pension plans work, but it’s still unclear if he will be able to do everything he wants to do in order to extend the payments another 15 years and split the state employee pension plan into two, one for mostly retirees hired before 1984 and one for active employees who are contributing more now to their pensions.

And from the Greenwich Time article, also linked to above, this:

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said his majority caucus would review a plan on Thursday and he expects to vote on it on March 29.

While union leaders this year have called for higher taxes on the state’s wealthiest to balance the revenue shortfall, that is highly unlikely to occur in a General Assembly election cycle.

“There won’t be any tax increase this year,” [Senate President Martin] Looney told reporters.

If something can’t go on, it won’t; that day is approaching.

 

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