Friday, June 9, 2017

Cardiology


Atrial Fibrillation: when the small chambers of the heart, where the electrical impulse for heartbeats should originate, succumb to spasms. Often benign if treated with medication.

AFib:

Ventricular fibrillation: when the major chambers of the heart spasm, failing to produce sustainable beats, and threatening to exhaust themselves in flat line. Potentially lethal. Bring out the paddles.

VFib:

British Fibrillation: When the English political system becomes spasmodic, and unable to produce consistent or sustainable results about much of anything.

Cause: some say Monty Python, others Martin Amis. Still others give a nod to "Gulliver’s Travels."

BFib




Tuesday, June 6, 2017

British Elections

Not sure what I'd do if I were voting in the British elections.

I couldn't vote for Theresa May, not only a Tory, but a wishy-washy and dishonest specimen thereof, who, among other things, cut funding for police, though it was already understood England was a prime terrorist target.

But I have problems with Corbyn, since in the past he's called the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah liberation movements, allies in the socialist struggle for a better world. Corbyn either doesn't recognize anti-Semitism when he sees it or doesn't care. If you think there's no such thing as left anti-Semitism or wonder what it might look like, consider Corbyn's leadership and you'll know. 

Still, I prefer Corbyn on principle, being fundamentally for Labor's goals. But I don't believe left anti-Semitism should go unnoticed or unpunished.

Perhaps Corbyn will win, leaving May, and England, in a lurch within the lurch within the lurch they're in. Remember, Cameron called a referendum to shore him up against the demand for Brexit. And where did that get him? It got him Brexit. Since then, one leader after another has flip-flopped or run away from responsibility. Major called this snap election to shore her up in negotiating Brexit. If Corbyn wins, Britain is right back to square silly, crackers, and inane.

Simply and crudely, the United States saved Great Britain in two twentieth century wars. If you doubt it, consider Churchill's dictum uttered when he first heard of Pearl Harbor. Churchill didn't say, "I send you my condolences, cousins", or if he did it came right after exclaiming jubilantly, "We have just won the war!"

But there's nothing America can do to save Great Britain from, first, its Cold War against Europe and its by turns amusing and awful war against itself.


Which it seems to be losing.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

AlphaGo

Weiqi, better known in the west by its Japanese name, Go, is the oldest game of pure skill in existence and is older by far than all variants of chess. Though it's been years since chess players could stand a chance against computer chess programs — World Champion Garry Kasparov lost to IBM's Deep Blue in 1997 —  it's only recently that computer programs have begun to establish dominance in Go.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dumphik Wakes Up One Morning

What I worry about is this: Dumphik wakes up one morning on the wrong side of a twitter feed.

Melania looks at him funny. She calls him Trumpledumple and pulls his ears. He tells her to go get a name change, since Melania reminds him of melanoma, which, if she didn't know it, due to the bimbo effect known to afflict Slovenian ex-models, is the kind of bad cancer you can get from the sun. Donwald likes the sun. He'd like to own if not the sun than at least a share, a slice, a solar flare. He'd like to build a casino for all the planets to see.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Against Impeachment.

About Trump being impeached, let me say, strategically thinking, I'm opposed. Let's keep Dumpf where he is, contending with his own shit and endlessly, helplessly generating more of it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Kiosk

There's meeting tonight — 5/11/17 — ­at Cambridge City Hall in which a petition will be presented to the city council pushing for landmark designation for the Harvard Square Kiosk.

I won't be at that meeting. To put it bluntly, long-term Cambridge resident that I am, I don't much care what happens to the kiosk. Some years back, Out of Town News, which has been housed in the kiosk, was an essential stopping point for getting periodicals from all over the world, on all sorts of topics. These days, that function is superseded by the Internet.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Thank You Paul Krugman

It turns me on that Paul Krugman says the following in his most recent NY Times op-ed ("What's the Matter With Europe?" 5/5/17):

On Sunday France will hold its presidential runoff. Most observers expect Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, to defeat Marine Le Pen, the white nationalist -- please, let's stop dignifying this stuff by calling it "populism."

Thank you Paul Krugman for refusing to cede without  argument the term "populism" to what may be a noxious mix of revanchism, racism, misbegotten protectionism, misogyny, woeful ignorance, and yes, rank nationalism. I said, may be. But thank you Paul Krugman for bringing it up.

And thank you NY Times for continuing to give the invaluable Paul Krugman his platform. I know that many people think the Times putting climate change denier/doubter Bret Stephens on the editorial page is a shame. About that, I agree. But some go on from there to assert the entire Times editorial page is a sham.

How ignorant, silly and wrong.