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Thursday, September 11, 2014

You call that news: news priorities

IFLOBS was originally intended to be oriented to news analysis... which it is sometimes.  But I have a lot of other stuff on here too.  Pretty soon I will start a new site dedicated for this purpose... but for now I will but this short post up here.

I get very frustrated with news these days- especially online news.  Priorities are mixed up and articles will change as time passes.  To the latter this is where print news is still more "reliable" and accountable.  If a newspaper gets something wrong they cannot change the printed version... they cannot take it from you and give you an updated copy.  They are on the record, any errors are preserved... not the case with internet outlet.  But this post addresses the greater former, that is- priorities.

On the day of the 9/11 anniversary, and in the midst of what I will call another "war" in the Middle East- lets see who has their priorities straight...

This is how they stack up:

1. CNN.  They cannot resist making the Pistorius trial their top priority.  9/11 is nowhere to be found in the shot.  No wonder their ratings are down.  There is also information that they are laying people off, however I have not been able to find it from a source that is completely reliable.

2. MSNBC.  A much better job done here... making the war top priority, 9/11 the second and they leave the trial below the two.

3. FOX. They focus on the situation with ISIS (ISIL) situation in the Middle East... but have no room for 9/11 considering the same amount of "real estate."  I wonder why.

4. BBC.  These folks are usually pretty good.  But they can't resist the trial either- they dedicate their headline to it.  9/11 is mentioned directly, and the situation involving ISIS is indirectly highlighted only referring to a speech by Obama.

Who cares about the trial?  Well apparently people do.  I will let you take this in and make your own judgments and takeaways.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Haboob - Do you know what it is?

Recently there was a dust storm in Phoenix.  See the article here. USA TODAY: Massive dust storm sweeps through Phoenix.  There was an iReport about it on CNN: Phoenix Haboob | September 6th, 2014.

I use this BLOG to offer analysis of articles spanning various topics.  The other thing I like to do is offer little tidbits I find interesting and perhaps have some educational value.  In this case it is the latter...

So what is a haboob?  Well check it out in Wikipedia: Haboob

Do give you a quick rundown here is the first part of the Wikipedia entry:

A haboob (Arabic: هَبوب‎ habūb "blasting/drafting") is a type of intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current. Haboobs occur regularly in arid regions throughout the world.
They have been observed in the Sahara desert (typically Sudan, where they were named and described), as well as across the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and in the most arid regions of Iraq. African haboobs result from the northward summer shift of the inter-tropical front into North Africa, bringing moisture from the Gulf of Guinea. Haboob winds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Kuwait, and North America are frequently created by the collapse of a thunderstorm, while haboobs in Australia may be frequently associated with cold fronts. The deserts of Central Australia, especially near Alice Springs, are particularly prone to haboobs, with sand and debris reaching several kilometers into the sky and leaving up to a foot of sand in the haboob's path.
The arid and semiarid regions of North America—in fact, any dry region—may experience haboobs. In North America the most common terms for these events is either dust storm or sandstorm. In the U.S., they frequently occur in the deserts of Arizona, including around the cities of Yuma and Phoenix—and in New Mexico and Texas. During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm's travel, and they move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm's travel.
(Photo: Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic) via
I wrote this article on the suspicion that most people wouldn't know the word.  I know I didn't.  I think the fact that spell-checker points out every instance of haboob in this post suggests it is not commonly used or known.

 Happy vocabulary and watch out for the haboobs!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Economy of Obama - A good source for facts.

Well there is a lot being made about the status of the economy "under Obama."  Everything says it is pretty good...I am no economist- but from everything I see I thought  "that it's not that bad, but probably pretty good (especially in the long haul)."

Much of the news gives the impression that the economy is bad or that the recovery is not enough, or fast enough.  If they do not say that they tend to ask themselves questions for which they have no answer.

I really don't like to address the economy in a forum like this... it is very complicated.

So if you are like me and want some facts to inspire substantive points you can make regarding the economy under Obama you can read this article released by Forbes.

FORBES: Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth and Investing

Now when you ask yourself questions about the economy, or more importantly when someone else does- you will have some real facts to work with.

I would love to work with a social studies class to guide them into making a powerpoint presentation on this.

Today's Word: "kilter" a bit about language, and I am a fan of Enya

I am not very appreciative of other languages or the beauty-of-languages as some people may see it.  I guess I appreciate that there are words in some languages that do not have a word in others.  My only beef with that is when these things are pointed out... it is often in such a way to make English seem inferior.

I don't think any language is the best.  To me it is a matter of efficiency- English is the language of business.  Though it may not be the most prominently used when considered in terms of headcount.. it is probably the most effective to have in the international business world we live in today.  This is my opinion and hypothesis... if for some reason you think there is another language that meets this criterion please let me know as I love to be educated.  Even better yet- offer me proof and references.  I thought I would look very quickly and I found this on Forbes just now. It's not much but it does for the time being.

Lately I have noticed that my vocabulary keeps growing.  I am not trying to say that I have the best and furthermore my grammar probably leaves some things to be desired.  I don't know how talented I am as a writer.

I think it suffices to say that "lately I have been more interested in the language I know"  I just looked up "suffice" and the proper usage of "it suffices to say" just now.  Apparently I was aware of it's correct usage before I looked it up...

I was listening to a song called "Wild Child" by Enya.  Actually I have been listening to that song and other songs by Enya a lot lately.  It is not uncommon for Enya's lyrics are hard to pull out of the music prompting you to look them up.  There is a part in the song that goes:

Only take the time 
From the helter skelter
Every day you find
Everything's in kilter
You don't need a reason
Let the day go on and on

According to Merriam-Webster The term "helter skelter" is defined as...
1:  in undue haste, confusion, or disorder 
2:  in a haphazard manner
That is its definition as an adverb.  As a noun Google or whatever it is Google search uses to show you a definition of something... defines it as a noun meaning "disorder; confusion." Google gives it a similar meaning as an adverb.  They are pretty well in-sync.

But on to "kilter."  When I heard that in the song, as it is one of the few words one can actually pick out- I thought "what does this word mean exactly."  Then I thought to myself "it has to do with the general state of circumstances."  But I didn't know if it described those circumstances as positively arranged or negatively arranged.  And I still don't know.  Check this out...

Google defines it as "out of harmony or balance."  I would call this "describing things in a way that most would consider negative."  I don't know what is positive about being "out of harmony."  But then see the definition offered by Merriam-Webster: "proper or usual state or condition."  That sounds like something would generally consider as a positive set of circumstances.  I mean who doesn't like proper and usual?  Well not me.

So what is it?  People say "out of kilter" and they usually mean "out of order..."  or out of their usual state.

I literally just now grabbed a copy of "Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary: Unabridged, Second Edition"  I'll take a photo of the beast...

Webster's defines it as "orderly arrangement; proper disposition, good condition-" a noun.  Sometimes old-school has to settle the argument.  In other words that based on the multiple definitions I am settling on the one which conveys something positive.

People often use "in kilter," and "out of kilter" to describe circumstances. I think they use "out of kilter" more often- usually to describe a situation as a mess... a SNAFU if you will (you can look that one up yourself).

I guess Enya confused me because she said "in kilter" and not "out of kilter" to describe a situation that seemed out of kilter- the day in the life of a wild child.

FINAL LESSON: Google is not always right.

Cheers and fat.

I am hereby coin the internet abbreviation for FAT as "forgive all typos."  1946 EST 20140907

Friday, September 5, 2014

Here we go again: I am back and time to do some debunking- Darren Wilson (he did not have a smashed eye-socket)

First of all I want to say that I do not mean to insult anyone by writing this... as the family member I speak of will probably see this post.  They should know they I am just telling a story to demonstrate an example of thorough research (at least what us laymen would consider "thorough")....

Well it has been some time since I posted on this blog.  And I feel it is unfortunate.  I was looking back at older posts and not to be arrogant...but I was surprised how much I liked reading what I read.

So let's get to it.  Very recently a family member sent me an email.  It was regarding Officer Darren Wilson who was involved in the Ferguson shooting. Here is what the email said...

No wonder he shot him.

How much of the rioting might have been avoided had this been published immediately? 
 Finally, a released picture of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.  No wonder the race baiters didn't want the photo released.
He was punched in the face before he emptied his weapon into the drugged “unarmed teenager” who was trying to get his gun. Here is what a broken eye socket looks like!

it included this picture..

The font is the same as was in the email.  It was apparent to me that the email was drafted by someone else other than the family member and that person just believed it and casually forwarded it.  Whoever it was needs more practice with formatting a document.  Anyway- in the spirit of critical thinking... which includes some suspicion about what you are told, and a drive to ensure one's understanding of a claim is accurate... I immediately said "this smells like fake."  But I had to prove it.

I found a link on which cited CNN tweets citing an anonymous source.  I sent that to my family member when I raised my concern of it possibly being fake.  The response I received was basically- "and how do I vet my material, CNN?"  Fair point.... the reputation of CNN is in the johnny flusher and they used an anonymous source.  I needed something better...

Snopes to the rescue...

I decided to see if I could find a Snopes article as they are usually pretty reliable and sure enough I did. Here is the Snopes page I am referring to  It includes the CNN tweets... and I thought- oh rats this isn't any better... but then at the end it had this to say...

In fact, the photo above is not of allegedly battered Officer Darren Wilson, but rather of now-deceased motocross rider Jim McNeil. McNeil, who was killed in an accident in 2011, sustained the injuries seen in the image above back in 2006. 
I believe this is sufficient to establish that it was not of Wilson. Go ahead and look up Jim McNeil...

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on this.  And please keep following... I am going to be authoring regularly again.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wiki of the day, April 11, 2013: Scrooge McDuck

His dominant character trait is his thrift, and within the context of the fictional Disney universe, he is the World's richest person.

link to the entry 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

FROM FACEBOOK: Double standard on company rights.

This was shared on Facebook.  The caption is the comment the person who shared it attached to it.

My comment is: When you protest chick-fil-a when the head of the company speaks out against gay rights you are a whiner and extremist and he is just exercising his first amendment rights.  When pharmacists (professionals) do not want to sell birth control they are just being principled.  But when Buffalo Wild Wings doesn't want guns in their restaurant raise all hell... they are a government tool!

My wife and I stopped in for a bite at one of our favorite restaurants. This is what we walked up to. It is clear that they have drawn their line in the sand. So have we. I am boycotting Buffalo Wild Wings.