George Rucker's Newsletter for November 25, 2016

Well met on another Tuesday,

Some of you may wonder where I get the material for my letters.  Many times it is from conversation with others.  Some times it is something that my wife mentioned that perked by interest.  I also get some information sent to me from people on my email list.  I am not sure but I am beginning to think the military members are not getting my Tuesday email letter both the military and Department of Defense civilians, perhaps I am just paranoid.  There was a time when they provided me with some good stuff.  It could be like the trouble with the Town of Bourne server but have found a way to get past the system.  It was very simple as the system just did not like multiple email addressees combined in the “To or Info” line, by multiple, I use about 30 per line.

I sometimes just bookmark a page to revisit for another topic while looking up something else.  These I put in a file named “Use then Delete.”  All this information available to me was like white noise filling my head, noise I heard when young and a Navy Radioman.  Something I remember was my ability to pick out the ships call sign from all the dits and dashes filling the airwaves.   While eating, in the Mess Deck I would occasionally jump up to go and answer the call as I had a message to copy and then deliver it to the Captain.  My call sign was NDRN or (dash dot, dash dot dot, dot dash dot, dash dot) It was like somebody calling my name.   People in the Mess would rather I play music on the speaker but I needed to listen to the Naval Ship to Shore channel while on duty but away from my post.  I would return music to the  Mess or other parts of the ship when returning to my duty position in the Radio Shack.

This next article is from my “Use then Delete” file.

In this era of technology, we find that raising children is a bit different from those times before the iPOD, iPHONE, computers, Internet, and all the other amazing gadgets that consume us. Children played outside. They kicked a ball across a field. They played with cards rather than chasing Pokemon on a screen. Children played outside until the street lights came on and they knew they had to go indoors. We are raising children very differently now than we did twenty or thirty years ago. But, perhaps it’s time to return to basics.

This is a new world. Children born in this time automatically are given gadgets to entertain them. But, what are we missing? Psychologists at Harvard University have been studying what makes a well-adjusted child in these changing times. They have concluded that there are several elements that are still very basic.

Here are 5 secrets to raising a good kid, according to Harvard psychologists:

1. Spend time with your children.

It’s a simple suggestion. But, we are living in challenging times when we are on 24/7 through technology, work, and the bombardment of busy lives trying to stay afloat. It’s not just social media – the news, emails, texts, or the fluctuation of being on call at all times strains our relationships. We have become accustomed to the addiction of putting ourselves out there. It’s easier to give a child a toy or an Xbox console to keep them busy.

Spending time with your children means putting everything down, reading a book, kicking a ball, hiking, or just playing an old-fashioned card game. In simplest terms, it means that you interact with your kid person-to-person. These are the things they will remember. They will forget what you bought them. They only want to spend quality time with their folks.

2. Speak out loud to your children.

According to the Harvard researchers, “Even though most parents and caretakers say that their children being caring is a top priority, often children aren’t hearing that message.”

It goes back to spending time to find out what’s going in your child’s life. Check with teachers, coaches, tutors, and other caretakers. Find out if there is a shift in behavior. Allow your child to feel comfortable to come and speak with you. Your child needs to hear that he/she is top priority in your life. It’s not enough to show them by giving them things, keeping them safe, or feeding them. Children require acknowledgment through words. Words are important. Invite them to sit and share their stories about school, homework, friends, and so on.

3. Show your child how to solve problems without stressing about the outcome.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the ability to analyze and solve problems. Trust your child to decide for himself what he wants. You cannot solve their issues all the time. It’s healthy to allow them to experience life through their own lenses. Achievement is important and, in allowing them to determine what they want, you are gifting them awareness.

4. Show your child gratitude on a regular basis.

The researchers say that “studies show that people who engage in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving–and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.”

Parents should be giving their kids chores and then expressing how grateful they are for their accomplishments. It’s important for children to see that gratitude is a remarkable gift. Whenever they do something, honor and acknowledge them for their performance. The Harvard psychologists did find that parents are giving praise only to “uncommon acts of kindness.”

5. Teach your children to see the larger picture.

This goes back to showing them gratitude. Let your child experience the world through your compassion. Researchers say that “almost all children empathize with and care about a small circle of families and friends.”

For the complete article go to
 https://www.powerofpositivity.com/5-secrets-raising-good-kid-according-harvard-psychologists/

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It turns out that Braniff did not fly 707s from Dallas to New York like Jessica Leeds says she was on, and that was the flight that Trump octopused her.  In fact, we've got the old yellowed schedules that you used to be able to buy as published pamphlets. Newark and New York from Dallas? If you wanted to fly Braniff, you had to fly a Boeing 727.  Now, I'm sure that Ms. Leeds would say, "Well, I don't know 707, 727. What difference does it make?"  Well, it's gonna turn out to make a lot of difference.

My other question would be where are the witnesses, others traveling in first class, plus the stewardess, in those days, 1979 there was a single stewardess handling first class while two or three would be for the rest of the passengers.  This was 37 years ago.

I was going to try and stay away from politics but couldn’t stand it any longer.

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Next, I guess will be the invention that is changing mankind.  It happens to be one I have used while visiting Disney.  I can’t wait for it to be in all houses and used by all.

Training for Space.  NASA astronauts use virtual reality hardware inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility in order to practice tasks they will undertake when deployed to the International Space Station.

Wondering what life would be like on the moon - - all while we remain tethered to Earth - - used to be the job of children and daydreamers.  But the advancement of computer displays and 3-D technology allows us to immerse ourselves in worlds as varied as car racing, the battlefield, and deep space in experiences that have come to be known as virtual reality.

The definition of virtual reality as we understand it today was commercialized by computer scientist Jaron Lanier in the 1980s.  Lanier’s fantastic vision included interactive, computer-generated environments that allowed users to travel through space and time to visit other lands or wander through the human body.  But a filmmaker named Zmorton Heilig in the 1950s is probably responsible for the first commercial virtual-reality experience .  Using his “sensorama” console, viewers watching a film while sitting in a chair that could move were able to smell odors and feel sensations associated with what was on the screen.

In the mid-1960s, computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, funded by NASA, developed systems liked to computers that supplied graphics and sound and later developed into early flight simulators, Other industries, including architecture, construction, and medical field, also embraced the emerging technology.

Virtual reality systems for consumer use developed in the 1990s Wearing headsets and goggles, participants would stand in a three sided booth that displayed images of an alternative environment.  Gloves with applied computer sensors allowed the indivual to open doors, travel pathways, and change perspective, all while feeling immersed in this “virtual” world.  Critics of this early technology argued that the immersive experience was not rich enough, as it did not allow participants to forget about their actual surroundings.

Video game programmers nudged the concept further, creating graphics and interactive features that employ a sensor to enable the user’s body to deliver directive cues in a game.  The sensor hardware includes a video camera for face recognition and body detection, a depth-detection component and an array of four microphones to pick up sounds made by the different players in the room.  The most exciting development in virtual reality in years, however, is the Oculus Rift, announced in 2014, whose headset provides more range of movement, a wider field of vision and less lag time.

Virtual worlds take a lot of time and expense to create, making them slow to be developed.  But programming that allows users to smell the enticing odors of a thai food stall in Bangkok or feel the heat of the Santa Ana winds in California desert may, at last be closer than we think.

Founder Palmer Luckey says about his Oculus Rift virtual reality system: “This isn’t about sharing pictures.  This is about being able to share experiences.”

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Courses will be released according to the following schedule:

10/18/16: Introduction to Virtual Reality; VR Scenes & Objects

11/01/16: Github Profile Review; Scripting VR

12/01/16: Designing for VR

01/01/17: VR Platforms & Applications; VR Portfolio

03/01/17: Concentrations Part 1

04/01/17: Concentrations Part 2


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TIMELINE Total time between today and graduation day depends on your weekly commitment. On average, our graduates complete this Nanodegree program in 6 months. 
6 MONTHS

SKILL LEVEL Intermediate: No programming skills required, just a smartphone! Video editing, image editing, or desktop publishing skills recommended.

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BASE SALARY: AR / VR ENGINEER

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During my life I have eaten many types of food, depending on the time of the year and who I might be living with.  While on the farm, it was pretty much what was in season.  It also had a lot to do with what animals were recently butchered.  In the winter we ate smoked meats and canned vegetables.  There was always eggs, milk and cheeses, plus my Grandmothers home made breads.

When living with my father and step-mother I could pretty much tell the day of the week by what we were having.  I think that is pretty much like most city folk.  Eating with a routine is easier to plan and budget the grocery list.

When I was in the Navy at 17 I pretty much ate the mess hall food as our pay was meager and the chow was included by the military.

Well my first Asian meal as I remember was “Sweet and Sour Pork.”  It was truly enjoyable and a real treat.  I have always like the taste of Sweet and Sour foods.  Some jellies have that taste like currant or raspberry.  Rhubarb and strawberry pie also has that taste.  The recipe I have today also has that flavor and I was happy with the outcome.  I did however add some crisp vegetables like Vedalia onion, red bell pepper, and bok choy.  The last three were only cooked for about two minutes so they would retain their crispness.

This recipe is by Gail Kennedy, page 98 of “What’s Cooking at Moody’s Diner.”  One year with our five children, Patty and I rented a camper and happened to stop for breakfast at Moody’s Diner while on a Maine vacation.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients:

4 to 6 pieces of chicken tenders (I used 7)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup catsup
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp cornstarch
½ cup cold water
1 cup pineapple chunks

Cook chicken and set aside. (I used additional oil and cooked till brown on each side)

In the same saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch, water and pineapple chunks.  Heat to boiling.  Add cornstarch mixed with water, then add pineapple.  Remove from heat and add chicken.  Let stand a few minutes befor serving over cooked rice.

Note one: I put my veggies in just after it started to boil.  I also kept boiling until sauce thickened not sure if important to the recipe.

This is also very good when prepared ahead and marinated overnight.  Just reheat and serve.

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Baiji dolphin

China's baiji dolphin, or Yangtze River dolphin, is listed as critically endangered, but scientists say it may already be extinct. In 2006, scientists from the Baiji Foundation traveled up the Yangtze River for more than 2,000 miles equipped with optical instruments and underwater microphones, but were unable to detect any surviving dolphins. The foundation published a report on the expedition and declared the animal functionally extinct, meaning too few potential breeding pairs remained to ensure the species' survival.

The last documented sighting was in 2002, but in October 2016, a team of amateur conservationists claimed to have seen the creature near the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui province. “No other creature could jump out of the Yangtze like that,” team leader Song Qi told the Chinese website Sixth Tone. “All the eyewitnesses — which include fishermen — felt certain that it was a baiji.” However, the team wasn't able to photograph the dolphin and had no other conclusive proof of its existence. Plus, none of the people who witnessed the sighting were experts on the animal.

The decline in the baiji dolphin population is attributed to a variety of factors including overfishing, boat traffic, habitat loss, pollution and poaching. Deemed "the goddess of the river," the dolphin's skin was highly valuable and used to make gloves and handbags.

Sorry I just found this interesting so included it in my letter.

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Golden toad

The golden toad, which is sometimes referred to as the Monteverde toad or the orange toad, was a species that lived only in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. It was once a common species, but no specimen has been seen since 1989. The toad’s breeding sites were well-known and closely watched — in 1988, only eight males and two females could be found, and in 1989, only a single male could be located. Extensive searches for the golden toad since then have failed to locate another specimen, and the species was declared extinct in August 2007. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, airborne pollution and global warming probably contributed to the species' demise.

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Hawaiian crow

This native Hawaiian bird was declared "extinct in the wild" in 2002 when the last two known wild individuals disappeared. Some birds remain in captivity, and between 1993 and 1999, more than 40 birds were hatched in a captive breeding program. The birds were released into a lightly managed habitat and closely monitored, but releases were abandoned in 1999 because of increasing mortality. A reintroduction plan is being developed, but about 75 Hawaiian crows would be needed for the plan to work. The reasons for the bird's extinction is not fully understood, but researchers speculate that an introduced disease, such as avian malaria, might have played a significant role in the species' decline.

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I want to say a bit on crows, since I have started to feed them on an irregular basis they seem to be trying to talk to me.  This has been going on for a while and I find it interesting.

They are one of the thirteen animals on the planet that use tools, humans, primates or monkeys with chimps seen actually fishing, elephants, crows and ravens, sea otters using stones to break open shells, dolphins using sea sponge, octopuses using seashells and coconut shells to hide from predators, the octopus has also used a man o’war stinging tentacle as a weapon,  .  There are some that are not really tools but manipulation of the environmental elements such as ants, some who use certain leafs to grow a fungus for food, beaver lodge and dam, and the bower bird nest.

Back to the crows, here are some interesting facts.

Crows living in suburban areas require only 10% of the nesting territory that crows living in the wilderness do, and are much more tolerant of range overlap. They also will build fake nests to fool predators.

Dubbed ‘Anting’ by John Marzluff, crows will crush an ant and rub it all over themselves like perfume! The Formic Acid in the ants helps ward off parasites.

Pet crows give their owners names. This is identified by a unique sound they make around specific people that they would not otherwise make.  (This makes me feel like the two or three around my house have a name for me.)

Female Crows mate for life, but males will cheat, which explains the next one:

Male crows have no penis.  Their sperm is transferred from their cloaca to the female cloaca and copulation only lasts 15 seconds. It is a wonder the females are so loyal!

Crows can count to six!

Crows sunbathe for Vitamin D.

Healthy crows help crippled crows but they have a dark side.  Crows occasionally murder each other for reasons that mystify scientists.  (A flock of crows is called a murder.  On the murder part I think the one they murder is the one above keeping watch and a predator managed to get through and get another.  Just a guess it is a form of punishment.)

Crows have been observed chasing sparrows into buildings in order to stun them. The result is sparrow for lunch. Don’t worry, they pick on birds their own size – mobbing crows can seriously injure hawks.  Scientists suspect an eagle was even killed by mobbing crows.

Crows have been reported to eat over 1000 food items, including insects, worms, berries, birds eggs and nestlings, small mammals, bats, fish, snakes, frogs, salamanders, animal dung, grain, nuts, carrion, fried chicken, hamburgers, Chinese food, french fries, and human vomit. They can be weirdly picky though – an experiment showed crows prefer French fries in a McDonald’s bag over those in a brown paper bag. To top it off, a nestling can eat 100 grasshoppers in 3 hours.

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This was written in June of this year in response to an article about fighting cats.  Crows are extremely intelligent animals, they have problem solving intelligence, tool making intelligence, and aside from humans and apes, are the only animals that have the intelligence to make specific tools in order to make a tool, they have verbal communication that is as complex and equally efficient relaying information as talking is for humans! From what you observed I would say the birds were juveniles, and juvenile crows are just like juvenile humans, they were prolly just amusing themselves, a pack of juvenile crows is as bothersome and troublesome as a pack of 15 year old boys looking for trouble! You should check out some video’s on YouTube regarding the intelligence of corvids, it is amazing their level of intelligence, but also can be creepy, I have one as a pet, I’ve had him for almost 11 years now, and no exaggeration at all, he understands everything I say to him, he can count to 6, he can change the tv channel up or down if I ask him too, same with volume, knows colors, can read my facial expressions, can tell when I’m being sarcastic or serious, he likes some of my friends, hates others, shows off In front of ladies when they come over……..it’s goes on and on! You really should look into it, they’re amazing animals.

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Below are the 13 acts of treason committed against the United States:

    1. Qatar gives Bill Clinton $1,000,000 for his birthday:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/8396#efmAEOAGW

    2. Saudi Sheikh won’t donate money to Clinton Foundation unless he receives a phone call from Bill Clinton. Staff responds: Bill won’t do it “unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/6775#efmACoADwAIqAJzAOXASM

    3. Iran Deal (which Hillary negotiated and defends) “condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf”. John Podesta responds with “Yup”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/727#efmAAGAAJABQAEL

    4. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta owned 75,000 shares in Putin-connected energy company:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4635#efmAFyAGUAWLAYP

    5. Transcripts from Hillary Clinton’s lucrative closed-door paid speeches delivered to elite financial firms and other special interests groups (which she has refused and failed to disclose to the public after much demand) have finally surfaced:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927 (See Attachment)

    6. Clinton staff conspiring to stage ‘leaking’ of favorable excerpts from wall street speech, in efforts to calm down the public while leaving out more damaging parts:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/8086#efmAYqAgR

    7. Leaked private speech, Clinton: “You Need Both A Public And A Private Position”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927#efmAaQAdiFjUFkd

    8. Leaked private speech transcript shows Clinton’s warm ties to Wall Street’s most powerful figures: Clinton: “There is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives” The pressure on officials to sell or divest assets in order to serve, she added, had become “very onerous and unnecessary”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927#efmDEMDKk

    9. Leaked private speech to Goldman Sachs, Clinton: “Wall Street was only accountable for the financial crisis for political reasons. The blame placed on the United States banking system for the crisis “could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927#efmA2YA5Q

    10. Leaked private speech, Clinton: US will “ring China with missile defense” and has right to rename Pacific Ocean the “American Sea”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927 (See attachment)

    11. Hillary Clinton flipped her public position on TPP after her team discussed how she would be “eaten alive” by Labor:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/8452#efmAH1APRA0NA5c

    12. Clinton speechwriter: “We are trying to find a good way to leak her opposition to the pipeline without her having to actually say it”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3855#efmAAGADH

    13. Leaked private speech, Clinton: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with  open trade and open borders”:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927#efmFjUFkd

That is it for now as no more room.....George