George Rucker's December 20th, 2016 Newsletter

Hey this fine Tuesday (Swedish for Hello),

My grandmother who spoke sort of broken English would always tell me “Hay is for horses and C is for cows.”  So I used the greeting very little during my younger years.

On TV news last Wednesday they said that Clinton won the “Bellwether” states, and that Trump won all the rest.  First I did not think bellwether was spelt like that and always tied weather with prediction.  This is not a joke yet I found it funny so I am passing it on.  This is from Miriam Webster so I am not making it up.

: one that takes the lead or initiative : Leader; also : an indicator of trends

Here are some examples.  She is a bellwether of fashion.  High-tech bellwethers led the decline in the stock market.  This county is a bellwether in national elections.

However did you know?

We usually think of sheep more as followers than leaders, but in a flock one sheep must lead the way. Long ago, it was common practice for shepherds to hang a bell around the neck of one sheep in their flock, thereby designating it the lead sheep. This animal was called the bellwether, a word formed by a combination of the Middle English words belle (meaning "bell") and wether (a noun that refers to a male sheep that has been castrated). It eventually followed that bellwether would come to refer to someone who takes initiative or who actively establishes a trend that is taken up by others. This usage first appeared in English in the 13th century.

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In my last letter I made mention of Genetic Modified Organisms (GMO), or transgenics.  I truly did not like what I read.  Genetic Engineered foods have quite a foothold in our food supply and it is difficult to find food without a GMO component.  Transgenics is taking two or more DNA strands and creating a new altered one.  It is sort of a shortcut from the old way that worked for centuries of plant grafting to make a hybrid third type of plant.  Sometimes it was not grafting but just using pollination of one plant with another.   GMOs require blasting apart a cell and inserting the DNA from another species.  Guess what some of the species are?  Humans, spiders, bacteria, and other stuff.

I think the 1973 movie “Soylent Green “ has come to be a forecast of things to come on earths voyage through the stars.  The last line in the movie is “Soylent Green is people.”

Did we not learn anything from the problem with Mad Cow’s Disease in Europe.  Well it certainly did as 64 countries now require GMOs to be on the outside of every package of food that contains it.  Currently more countries are being added to the list, to either ban it entirely or require food to have a bold label if it contains any GMOs.

Back to the Mad Cow Disease, it has not been in the news for years so some of this is from memory, and at 75 years old it is not as sharp as when I was young.  I remember cattle farmers used sort of a plastic sponge, that would be able to absorb rendered parts of possible infected sheep or cows.  At least stuff that could not be sold on the market.  This would be fed to cattle to supplement protein intake.  Yes, cattle are grazing creatures, but their diets may be supplemented with protein from another animal source.   Cattle don't immediately get sick from eating the prions.  It can take months or years for Mad Cow Disease to develop.  Simply put, prions are proteins that can cause the disease.  Feeding the nerve tissue (e.g., brain) and various ground meat products and by-products that happened to carry the infectious agents.   Once eaten these plastic like sponges would be cleaned from the cow waste (poop) and recycled with more of these byproducts and  fed back to the cows.  . . Thank God that process has been discontinued.  It seemed that people were becoming affected with mental disorders along with some of the cows or it probably would still be in use today due to the money if saved the farmers in providing food for these poor animals.

What I am saying is certain foods are not meant to be eaten.  If rice with the human gene currently utilized by some pharmaceutical companies happens to get into our food supply,.  I think it very scary.

Corn that needs no pesticides due to the pesticides being it’s DNA and bugs just leave it alone, I also think scary.  I wash my corn before eating but how does one wash the inside of the cells or corn.

Tomatoes with spider DNA can tolerate colder temperatures again I find scary.  I say just grow it where the temperature is tolerated like the old days.

I find we have been doing this DNA manipulation to our food for about 20 years now.  They say it is fine.  I say bull shit.

Our countries longevity has dropped for the first time in 22 years  for the entire population, not just certain groups.

Women can still expect to live longer than men -- 81.2 years vs. 76.3 years -- but both of those estimates were lower in 2015 than they were in 2014.

Looking for a cloud in this premature death rate, the old saying of location, location, location comes to mind.  I could not find any great spots to move to live longer.  Perhaps Hawaii but they are just one of the slightly lower areas.  I see a small spot of white in Alaska center but most of Alaska has the worst rates.  My area of Massachusetts is also not a horrible area but still the same color as Hawaii.  If I squint at the map to combine colors the lower third of the country is the worst.  Those are the places I go  for the vacations.  Bummer.

Drug overdose could be a reason as they seem to be mostly the young people and would skew the rate but they do not have the same map density for deaths and I notice that both Hawaii and Massachusetts are in the highest color areas which is 18+ deaths per 100,000 people.

They are looking at insufficient sleep as a reason and again Hawaii and Mass are in the bad areas as 36% to 47% don’t get enough sleep.  I get plenty of rest and will take a nap to energize frequently.  I do not think sleep is the issue.

They also looked at the black/white segregation but again Hawaii and Mass are in the highest group 58% to 91%.  I think they are grasping at straws to need to put together this sort of map but I do notice that they are more or less the Democratic states with the mid west being the least segregated or under 3%

I think sooner or later they will come around to looking closely at GMO food additives as it is common to all areas.  I know I already think we should look much more closely.

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When NASA started sending astronauts into space they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity.

To combat this problem, Congress approved a program and NASA scientists spent a decade and over $165 million developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, on almost any surface and at 20 below zero temperature .

The Russians used a pencil…

Your taxes are due again on April 15, 2017.

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HISTORICAL FACT

    Who says building a border wall won't work?

    The Chinese built one over 2,000 years ago and they still don't have any Mexicans.

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I happen to use PC Pitstop for my computers.  It pretty much does everything for me on auto pilot.  Lately Microsoft has been trying to get me to use their Malware program.  I have not given in and now I find that the Microsoft Malware program is four years old.  Sorry Microsoft but PC Pitstop almost constantly updates with every problem discovered.  Myself since using Pitstop I have had no software problems for over a year and my only problems have been with the equipment or Hardware.


PC Pitstop partnered with AV Comparatives to create a comprehensive and superior detection rate test that hopefully will focus purchase decisions on detection rates. The test overcomes many of the flaws of prior public tests.

The test is involuntary, that is no participant was aware when the test was being performed. Products were downloaded from each of the web sites, and run in default mode. The current model between the testers and the testee is financial. The testee pay the testers and submit their products.

Since it is involuntary, the test can be comprehensive permitting the public test results for both Malwarebytes and Webroot.

A criticism of AV testing are the small sample sizes. AV Test and AV Comparatives typically employ samples sizes measured in the hundreds which is a contrast to the Virus Bulletin, which has sample sizes in the tens of thousands. This test bridged the gap with a sample size of 5000. None of the samples were known to Virus Total at the time of the test. No vendor, including PC Pitstop, provided samples for the test.

The samples were categorized into ransomware and non-ransomware samples. In addition to the first comprehensive test, this is one of the first tests to analyze ransomware detection rates.

The tests were run “On Execute” with the internet connection enabled. Each sample was run through a script and executed, and then analyzed to see if the AV product in question was able to properly detect the sample.
Conclusions

This is the first of many tests that we plan to develop to further the discussion of detection rates in the security industry. The MPG rating is certainly not perfect, but the world is better off for having it. In fact, another automotive acronym is YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Our new test is not perfect, but it is ground breaking in many ways, and we believe that it will force the industry to improve detection rates to thwart the threat of ransomware. We’re planning to do more involuntary tests with AV Comparatives, if you’d like to stay up to date when new results are released click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Sorry for the advertisement above but it is one program I truly believe in.

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I guess I am lucky to have had so many adventures in my life.  I have gnawed on sugar cane fresh cut from the field.  It is a rather nice treat but I do say that I do not like the smell of the milling process but during my life have smelled many types of mills.  I must say every one of them has smelt bad.  Meat, paper, leather, good god leather is one of the worst, and then there sugar which also makes molasses a form of less refined sugar and probably the reason for its smell.  Most of these smells can carry in the air for over 10 miles and never is  a good neighbor.  Want to know what brings this topic up   Well Hawaii’s last sugar mill just wraps up its final harvest this December.

PUUNENE, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii's only remaining sugar mill wrapped up its final harvest Monday with one last cane haul.

Hundreds of workers, retirees, and community members watched the delivery during a commemoration event at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company's Puunene factory. With operations winding down, many workers are unsure what they'll do next.

"You do this all your life, then you gotta figure out something else to do," said Robert Luuwai, vice president of factory operations.

Alexander & Baldwin, the parent company for HC&S, announced in January that it would phase out sugar production this year, after reporting a roughly $30 million agribusiness operating loss in 2015.

"Hawaii produced over a million tons of sugar per year for over 50 years. At one time that was 20% of all the sugar that was consumed in the United States," said Robert Osgood, a retired consultant for the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and co-author of "From King Cane to the Last Sugar Mill."

"We had a very good run. We were struggling for many years, but the heart of the people made it last long," said Luuwai.

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We had a very funny text the other day.  My daughter-in-law was talking to someone about the location of our house as they live in the same area.

“Oh, I know the house.  It is the singing house!

We have a karaoke machine and my wife sings a lot.  During the summer months or when the air conditioner is off, we keep the windows open.  I usually ask her if she wants the air on and the windows closed.

Her response is usually, “Oh nobody can hear me.”

What do I say . . . “Ah Ha.”

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Every once in a while I will mention Ben There, my Massive Multi Player Online Game avatar, I have played with the same name in about six games now, but few know  I also have another avatar with the name of Don That.  It is a name I rarely use but keep around as sort of a place holder.  I primarily keep it as a spare banker just to hold items of value in the game.

Well anyway the other day the largest online battles took place and it never hit the news.  On December 13, after a one month long siege, a death star was defeated on the final weekend.  During the battle 5,700 players from around the world gathered to destroy a Keepstar citadel, a tremendously expensive player-built defensive position that was introduced during an April update.

I am not sure I would want to participate in a battle that could take thirty days.  I have been in a few that took about 10 hours and felt that was overboard and had to break away for a bathroom break and some food.  During a long quest like that it is usually my son and his friends that save the day.  Most dungeons take less than two hours.

I think the longest dungeon Patty and I together have completed was only perhaps four hours, most much shorter.

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Well it is time for me to find another invention that changed mankind for the better.  A few weeks back I talked about the telegraph.  Well for the telegraph to have worked we need a code to transmit.  This weeks invention will be Morse Code and by the way used in my first adult job as a Navy Radioman (age 17 to 21).  I still at times will change text into Morse code in my mind at 75.  I could never get much past 30 words per minute but worked with a First Class Petty Officer who get into the mid 40s.  He also used a Stirling silver speed key and a mink elbow pad.

Disguised in a language of dots and dashes, Morse code helps people communicate instantly over a telegraph.

There are too many instances to count of Morse code relaying vital information.  For instance, the only surviving accounts of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 are the Morse code transcripts sent out by the doomed crew.  In 1966 Admiral Jeremiah Denton, a POW in Hanoi was able to blink in Morse code during a television interview to alert American authorities that the North Vietnamese were torturing American captives.  In 1973, during a war games exercise, the navy destroyer USS Wood lost power and became stranded in shipping lanes.  Without any other means of communication, the ship’s crew used battery-powered lanterns to flash Morse code and alert a nearby Russian destroyer of the Wood’s position.

When communicating by Morse code, the sender and receiver follow an international standard in order to decipher a message named after the inventor, Samuel Morse.  The short signals are called “dits” (represented by dots) and long signals are called “dahs” (represented by dashes).  Dits and dahs are used in a pattern that represents a specific letter.  For example, the most well-known usage of Morse code, SOS, is three dits (S), followed by three dahs (O), and followed by three more dits (S).  The code requires user to allow a standard of time to elapse between each letter, so the message comes across clearly and accurately.

Today Morse code is no longer used by any major organization, as other technology that replaced the once-critical method of communication.  The Federal Communication Commission dropped the Morse code requirement for ham radio operators in 2006, and even Coast Guard has stopped listening for SOS signals at sea.  However, some enthusiasts hope to keep the system relevant.

Although no practical uses may exist, Morse code still has the potential to emerge as effective communication in unanticipated ways, due to the fact that anything can be used to tap out a message, using telegraph and flashlight, or through finger taps or blinking.

Paul Saffo, a fellow for the Institute of the Future, explains to the New York Times how he will keep the code alive:

“Morse will now become the object of loving passion by radio heads, much as another ‘dead’ language, Latin, is kept alive today by Latin-speaking enthusiasts around the world.”

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Eric says:

My youngest is being tested for the gifted program at his elementary school and my other son thinks his toothbrush is haunted.

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From someone with a good sense of humor:

Me: Play dead
My dog: Drives to my office and starts doing my job

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From Mark:

The problem with teaching a man to fish is that eventually somebody will microwave that fish in the work break room.

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Famous Misquotations . . .
“The ends justify the means.”

Machiavelli never said this.  What he actually said is, “One must consider the final result,” which isn’t as eloquent but still just kind of common sense.

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A few days after the presidential election Patty was assessing Hillary’s popular vote win.  She jokingly referred to Hillary as the “President of California.”  As she watched the vote totals climb, she wondered why, “our fair and balanced press” didn’t point out that Hillary’s lead was dominated by only one state – California.  Trump did not campaign in California.

Finally the vote totals were posted in the NY Times for the popular vote.  California is as follows : Clinton 8,753,788
               Trump 4,483,810

  Clinton won by 4,269,978          (1.2 million in Los Angeles alone!!

Here are totals for the other 49 states:
              Trump 58,474,401
              Clinton 57,064,530

   Trump won by 1,409,871

When you add California to the other 49 states Clinton wins the popular vote by 2.8 million.

So if you are still questioning the “legitimacy” of the election, review the following as well;

Number of States won: Trump 30, Clinton 20

Number of electoral votes: Trump 306, Clinton 232

Average margin of victory in winning states: Trump 56.7%, Clinton 53.6%

The electoral college ensures that a popular regional candidate in a populous state not dominate the national election.  It allows all states and regions to be represented

This year’s election demonstrates the genius of the nation’s founders.

So as the electors met yesterday, imagine for a moment that these numbers were reversed and the republicans were calling for the electors to change their votes. I am guessing the press would be calling Trump “a poor loser.”  They would say he was undermining the “will” of the American people and calling into question our electoral process.

What I found funny is that Clinton lost 4 votes of her 12 from the state of Washington.  3 went to Retired General Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle a Native American who has been protesting the pipeline.

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 child asked his father, "How were people born?"

So his father said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on."

The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now."

The child ran back to his father and said, "You lied to me!"

His father replied, "No, your mom was talking about her side of the family."

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Well here we are almost at the end of the 9th page.  My letter is finished.  I will see some of you at exercise later in the morning.  Smile.

George

For a copy email grucker@capecod.net with Letter in the subject line.

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Older letters can be found on www.capecod-beaches.com towards the bottom.