25 March 2014

Tuesday Tidbits...
And, it's going to be an interesting "Spring" day...
The snowfall originally predicted for yesterday has take it's own sweet time getting to the Hoosierland, so we're getting it TODAY.
We're expecting about 1/2 inch later this morning, with temps never getting past freezing...and breezes gusting to 30 MPH...sound likes MORE than a bloody "breeze" to me...sounds more like WIND (break out the kites). Might even see the sun after this passes.
Call it partly sunny or partly cloudy, depending on how YOU feel about it.
In the meantime, pour another cup of your preferred beverage and let's get this show on the road.
*** First out of the garage today, is the FACT that Hoosier homeowners are "quietly" getting those "smart-meters" (from NIPSCO) for the natural gas lines to their houses.
And this comes from (of all things) a letter to the editor of today's Journal-Gazette.
Here's the link to the letter:
Now, I blogged about this quite some time ago (archive post - 20 May 2010), and most recently, 13 Jan this year.
Pretty sneaky of NIPSCO, isn't it?
The company that MAKES the smart-meters.
Granted the original post dealt with the ELECTRIC grid (initially), but you just had to know this would also apply (eventually) to both natural gas and water utilities. The trickle down effect of "Big Brother"...because the government "cares"...(yeah, right).
The company INSTALLING the meters.
I will be checking into the phone number given (1-855-368-2494), and see about getting on the DENIED ACCESS list (add that to the no-call list that too many telemarketers don't pay attention to) and see about the legitimacy of this crap.
*** Next up, Indiana has become the first state to dump the Common Core curriculum.
Here's the story:
Be afraid...be very afraid.
The state board of education will be tasked with drafting new standards that will outline what students should be learning in each grade.
There are some who believe that whatever OTHER standards are set, they will be akin to common core, and will appear to have little difference from what was done before common core, which many say was similar to common core.
Sounds like a damned if you do, damned if you don't potential scenario to me.
*** Wifey came home yesterday and told me something that I could not believe came from the mouth of a teenage student.
A PRE-Spalding model.
He maintained that basketball was invented by "some black guys in the ghetto"...
With ALL the technology that can provide information at the touch of a button (or screen) and THAT is the best this kid can come up with???
I'd say this boy needs to get his brain wrapped around a sports-history book, or better (and easier) yet, let's see the WIKI, Bob...
Well, there 'ya go then...it was invented by a WHITE guy  - Canadian doctor James Naismith, back in 1891 at Springfield University (Mass.)
HE invented the game...period.
Now who could have figured THAT one out.
And, it was originally invented to condition FOOTBALL players during the winter months.
The advent of BLACK basketball didn't start until 1906 on Brooklyn, NY when the Smart Set ATHLETIC CLUB established an all-black team to play other athletic clubs.
The Smart Set Athletic Club players
There was nothing even close to an "NBA" at that time.
-- In 1910, Howard University became the FIRST college to have a varsity black team.
-- The (then all-white) National Basketball League began to integrate in 1942, with 10 black players added to rosters.
-- By 1951, the NBA had been established and was integrated.
-- Chuck Cooper - first black player drafted into the NBA.
-- Nat Clifton - first black NBA Player to sign a contract.
The rest, as they say...is history.
I don't even LIKE basketball, and I can find all this sh*t out in a heartbeat...
No excuse for being dumb these days...absolutely none-at-all.
To this misinformed student...get your primate nose into some REAL HISTORY, and use that smartphone for something PRODUCTIVE for a change.
Wise up, kid..
*** Next,  George Will was talking with Bill O'Reilly last night, and they got into this whole missing airliner media buzz, and how it's been on front pages and at the top of every news program for the past two weeks.
The word sensationalism came up a few times, and I have to say I agree with them. This HAS been the "top story" for way too long, and that's not to minimize or marginalize the families that have suffered with the loss of loved ones on that flight.
But, as George Will stated, it has become part of our "CULTURE"...there's that dreaded "C" word again.
I admit we seem to live from one bombastic event to another...and like I have said here many times...it's all about being "entertained".
It's the whole "Bread and Circuses" thing.
We've grown too accustomed to that, and shrugged off more responsible pursuits.
*** The UK  show TOP GEAR had a marvelous two-part show as the boys trekked off to Myanmar (Burma) to travel over 1200 miles to the river Kwai and build a bridge over it.
That's NOT the Kwai river.
It was some of the most beautifully scenic, AND hilariously funny 3 hours I've spent in front of the TV for some time.
That land is a real study in contrasts, especially when it comes to the SHAN province, where civil war has been the "deal of the day" for the past SIXTY YEARS. Fortunately the film crew did not encounter any of that.
They looked a LOT worse later on.
The trucks the boys got for the journey were utter rubbish, too, and as time and miles rolled by, it became all too evident.
It was remarkable to see the capital city of Burma with paved roads 18 lanes wide...and NO traffic on them, as if they were built for the future...that never did show up to this day. In some ways, it did mirror roads in SPAIN (and we know how bad THEIR economy is).
You got to see the side of a country the travel brochures never tell you about.
*** Lastly today, have you been mulling over the question I posed yesterday about CULTURE?
Well, we all should be, because it's in our face every day.
When we talk about culture, we're typically talking about a certain set of say, values, foods, music, heritage...all of that, right?
But, what should be properly defined AS culture has become so much more than the simplistic aspects I just mentioned.
And all of that becomes an aside to what is being defined as SUB-cultures, for there are a plethora of them as well now.
What we need to do, is to sift through ALL the chaff to find the wheat, as it were, and we shall be doing that in upcoming posts (where time and space permits). To do a strict multi-part series would be a huge undertaking, and at MY age, I shy away from things than mention "undertaking"...LOL
(ain't ready for that pine box yet, he said confidently)
So stick around, become enlightened, and maybe we can unravel this Gordian Knot regarding culture.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


Disgusted said...

NIPSCO's subcontractor "upgraded" our neighborhood last week. So it contains a lithium battery. Looks like the meth heads will have a pretty good supply for their cooking.

Bob G. said...

I hadn;t even THOUGHT about the lithium batteries & the meth-makers around town...

That just tosses another (dangerous) log onto a fire we don't really need, doesn't it?
That's scary.

Perhaps you can call the number in the article and have the meter DOWNgraded?
Just a thought.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

Remember the youtube link I sent you? "The easiest way to hide something from a black man- put it in a book. He'll never find it."

Bob G. said...

How right you are, brother!

And I already KNOW which group that teenager belongs to, because most certainly not ALL black men are allergic to bound paper and ink...lol.

Thanks for bringing that link back into recent memory.
And thanks for commenting today.

Stay safe up there.

Slamdunk said...

Well we saw flurries here as well Bob.

I am surprised as well about how many misconceptions young people have about stuff. As you argue, 5 minutes of Internet digging beyond Wikipedia, and they would have all the info they need. I did not know exactly about blacks with basketball--thanks for the education.

gadfly said...

The term "smart meter" was first used by utilities who had time-of-day service. In that case the utility not only read usage from the meter, it could be used to turn off electricity controlled by the meter for hot water heaters and sometimes air conditioners at certain times of the day and certain dates in the year when demand is high. Lower rates are offered as in the case of I & M wants us to subscribe to according to the letter I got from them last week.

I see no reason to doubt that the gas meter installed is just like the City Utilities water meter remote - it broadcasts but does not receive signals.

Look up two-way meters and AMR meters on Wikipedia.

Lithium batteries are usually safe but some have caught fire. That kind of puts them in the "handle with care" category with other inflammable stuff like propane and gasoline - and nobody has stopped using either of these items.

Bob G. said...

If there is one thing I have learned about the Internet, and have said to Wifey all too often, it's that I basically view all this "virtuality" as one HUGE library...or Encyclopedia Britannica.
Sure beats leafing through ALL those stacks (and pages)...LOL.

And most times, the best teacher we can find is staring back at us in the mirror, right?

Thanks for stopping by today to comment.
Stay safe out there.

Bob G. said...

I did some checking on the AMRs, and while some of them "appear dumb" in nature, and basically sit there STATIC, they CAN be "turned on" at the utility's discretion (or presidential executive order).

Must be my cynicism showing, but I rarely have any trust of agencies who are "looking out for MY best interest".
After all, I spend more time with ME than anyone else, so who better to know what I "need" or even want more than myself?

I honestly think it's part of the "smart-grid" control for everyone.
And if we're willing to PAY for it, we should be able to USE it.
(no redistribution of wealth, utilities or anything...let that stay with the altruistic and entrepreneurs)
Yeah, I'm an old fogey...lol

Thanks much for dropping by and commenting.
Good information.

Stay safe out there.