Monday, November 24, 2014

You know, for kids...

Something for them to do while waiting for their copies of Unspeller to arrive: learn the names of all the animals featured in it.


Again, don't use Internet Explorer, or it won't work. This is not something I am ever going to fix, so please download and install Firefox or Chrome.

The Only Way to Stop the Empire

Dear friends,

The final days of US empire are fast approaching. Perhaps its end will pass slowly and gradually, or perhaps the event will unfold rapidly and catastrophically. Maybe chaos will break loose, or maybe its demise will be organized well and proceed smoothly. This nobody knows, but the end of empire is coming as surely as day follows night and sun follows rain. Overexpansion, overreach and over-indebtedness will take their toll—as all past empires have discovered. Empires are like bacteria in a Petrie dish; unthinking, unseeing, unfeeling, they expand until they run out of food or contaminate their environment with their waste, and then they die. They are automatons, and they just can’t help it: they are programmed to expand or die, expand or die, and, in the end, expand and die.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Unspell gets a glowing review

How To Teach Your Kids To Read Good In Bad Sitchuwayshins by Don Feathers. Long but heartfelt.

Unspell Sound Charts

The Consonants
Here is a nifty interactive tool to help people with learning Unspell. Click on a shape, and hear my careful rendition of the associated sound.


It was put together with all free software: OfficeLibre for design, Audacity for audio, Aquamacs for coding and Mozilla for testing/debugging.

The Vowels
If you are on a slow internet connection, the sounds will take a little while to load the first time you click on them.

It was tested with Firefox, Chrome and Safari. It probably doesn't work with Internet Explorer because it uses Wave files for the sounds, which are originally a Microsoft standard, so it makes perfect sense that it works with every browser except Microsoft's.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Calling all English teachers!


It's been brought to my attention that English teachers are not immediately receptive to Unspell. When presented with a copy of Unspeller, they ask the rather obvious question: Why do my students need to learn this? And so here is the answer. If you are an English teacher, please read this. And if you know any English teachers, please send the link to them, and tell them that this is something they need to read. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's official: US stole Ukraine's gold

This just in: it turns out that the rumors were right after all. At least part of the reason the US State Dept./CIA staged a coup in Ukraine that overthrew its democratically elected government and installed a neo-Nazi puppet regime was to steal Ukraine's gold. Rumor had it that shortly after the coup the gold was quietly loaded onto a plane that took it to the US. And now comes the official revelation: Ukraine has no gold reserves left. The gold was sold to pay for a failed military campaign in Eastern Ukraine, and to prop up the fake paper gold market for a little bit longer. One would expect that once the fix is off, the price of gold will skyrocket, the US dollar will drop like a rock, and Americans will need to add the word “hyperinflation” to their list of national woes.

Happy talk about the climate

Mathiole
[Update for the rest of you: I've had smarter insects go splat on my windshield than these climate denialists whose comments I don't even bother reading. Do your best to learn to ignore them.]

[Update for climate change denialists: please save me the trouble of marking your comments as spam. This blog is not for the willfully ignorant or the scientifically illiterate, so a hearty good-bye to you all.]

The non-binding climate deal which the US and China just signed will allow the Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to go to 500ppm and beyond by the end of the century, far past the current concentration of 400ppm. Historically, this concentration was sufficient to produce an ice-free Arctic, significantly higher ocean levels, and an environment unlikely to be able to sustain large human populations.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Twilight of the Oligarchs

Michael Murph
Last week I published a brave prediction:

I see the political elites and their oligarch puppet-masters becoming endangered species in the United States before too long as the populace, including their own bodyguards, turns against them.

As usual, I made no attempt to specify what I mean by “before too long” because making predictions as to timing is a fool's game. And, as usual, I got a flurry of emails expressing a wide range of rationalizations but all adding up to the same sentiment: “not any time soon.”

Friday, November 07, 2014

Well that didn't take long...

Back in early August I made a very specific prediction as to the effect of US/EU sanctions against Russia:
I see tractors clogging the streets of Europe's capitals and dumptruck-loads of manure decorating the steps of government buildings before too long.
 Here's the photographic evidence from Toulouse, France: irate farmers fling poo.


In this case, ”before too long” = 3 months. But in other cases it may be a bit longer. This is, after all, only the beginning. Take this prediction, for example:
I see the political elites and their oligarch puppet-masters becoming endangered species in the United States before too long as the populace, including their own bodyguards, turns against them.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Odds and ends

The last post produced a few comments and quite a few emails that I would like to respond to.