Ever wanted to ‘knock someone up’ for a living?

I remember my early encounters with American-English with some amusement.  Since I spoke (and largely still speak) English-English, some expressions (I learned) didn’t translate very well.  There was the time I said to an American lady, who wanted to see the sunrise from a well-known vantage point, “Sure, I’ll come by and knock you up at 5.30 tomorrow morning.”  From the utter horror on her face, I deduced that to ‘knock someone up’ meant something a little different on this side of the Atlantic to what it implied on the other side (where it meant, and still means, to knock

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Even more jobs are now threatened by automation

We’ve seen how many blue-collar and service industry jobs are threatened by automation.  The continuing impact of the post-2008 recession has also driven many ‘traditional’ jobs offshore, and they won’t be coming back. Now the Financial Times reports that the jobs of researchers and analysts are threatened by advances in artificial intelligence systems. If Daniel Nadler is right, a generation of college graduates with well-paid positions as junior researchers and analysts in the banking industry should be worried about their jobs. Very worried. Mr Nadler’s start-up, staffed with ex-Google engineers and backed partly by money from Google’s venture capital arm,

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Ice!

Miss D. headed out the door at oh-dark-thirty this morning, slipped and slid down the steps and crunched across the lawn to her vehicle, then promptly turned around and came back inside.  Even for an Alaskan-trained driver, there was too much ice on the road to be safe. As the light grew, so did the ice on the road and every paved surface.  Our back yard and the neighbor’s are white at present, not with snow, but with a steadily increasing thickness of ice.  There are accident reports from all the major freeways and Interstates around town, and the sound

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Around The Blogs 2014-03-02

Lots of interesting stuff around the blogosphere this week. # # # Courtesy of Beloit Ballistics’ blog, we learn that all the concern about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider nuclear accelerator perhaps producing black holes that would swallow up the earth may, indeed, have had some foundation in fact.  There’s even video evidence at the link. # # # Looks like plenty of bloggers are suffering from the same crud that Miss D. and I have been fighting for the past month.  El Capitan shares his experiences over at Baboon Pirates.  Bourbon is involved. # # # For the technically sophisticated

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Riddle of the day

From CenTexTim, cataloging differences between Texans and everyone else: Q:  What’s the real difference between a Yankee Zoo and a Texas Zoo? A:  On the cage, a Yankee Zoo will have the common name of the animal and then the scientific name in Latin. A Texas Zoo will have the common name of the animal and the recipe. Heh.  There’s more truth in that than some will like to acknowledge . . . and us African boys are just as bad.  The first time Miss D. and I visited the local zoo, we wandered past several exhibits of African animals

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A jackbooted thug unmasks himself

A Connecticut State Police officer has just exposed himself as an archetypical ‘jackbooted thug‘. In a video posted Thursday to YouTube, Connecticut State Police Spokesman Lt. Paul Vance is heard telling a woman identified as “GMN Producer Guerilla Girl Ashley” that she sounded anti-American for questioning the state’s new gun control law. Ashley said she called regarding a letter her husband received saying he must either sell, turn in or destroy his firearm, which was deemed to be an “assault weapon” by a new law passed in the state. Lt. Vance explained the letter spelled out the options her husband

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First Ukraine, then the South China Sea?

I’m sure readers are familiar with the current crisis in the Ukraine.  Russian troops appear to have de facto taken over the Crimea, a former Russian province ceded to Ukraine by the former Soviet Union in the 1950’s.  Other Ukrainian provinces that are dominated by ethnic Russians – most of eastern Ukraine, in fact – are in turmoil as the latter agitate for Russian intervention there as well.  They see the pro-Western provinces of Ukraine as having acted against their ethnic interests when their partisans overthrew the pro-Russian government of President Yanukovych last week. Meanwhile, President Obama continues to make

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Who holds the seven keys to the Internet?

The Guardian brings us this video report on the individuals who – in theory at least – exercise ultimate control over the entire Internet. Interesting. I wonder how long it takes the NSA to crack the encryption of those keys? I’m betting minutes, if not seconds . . . they seem to have destroyed everyone else’s privacy, after all, so why should they give a flying figment about ICANN’s? Peter

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