George Rucker's Astounding Marvelous Newsletter for September 5, 2017


Good morning once again.  I am having a bad week with an extremely slow computer speed.  I am used to very fast reading and file transfer speeds, much faster than most.  I am having Xfinity send me a new modem.  My house phone also uses the internet and it too is not doing well.


Sometimes I get an email that is outright hilarious.  Although many times it is pure fiction.  This one was difficult for me as almost all of the responses were posted this year and seemed to agree.  I will let you know after your read this brief bit if it is “Truth or Fiction”

An Interesting Fact About Manure

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything for export had to be transported by ship.

It was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common. It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles - you can imagine what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM! Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined  just what was happening.

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction Stow High In Transit, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this "volatile" cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ' SHIT ' , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did I.

I had always thought it was a golf term.

Now that you have read the email, you are probably doing the same thinking as I did.  If it was not for the golf term notation I was in the bag with the sender.  The last line is what made me want to find the origin.

This email is a hoax.

There is no historical evidence that “Ship High in Transit” aboard ships was the origin for the word “shit.”

The eRumor has circulated on the Internet since about 2000.

This issue is specifically addressed by the folks at the Online Etymology Dictionary who say that “Despite what you read in an e-mail, ‘shit’ is not an acronym.”

The Merriiam-Webster dictionary dates the word back to 1526 and says that is from the Old English scite and akin to a related word –scythian and means to defecate.

A writer for the Online Etymology Dictionary points out that the use acronyms didn’t develop until the 20th century so a word that is hundreds of years old would not have originated as an acronym.


Have you looked at your email choices of late??  You can store some in different folders you have created.  You can “Delete,” which happens more than people think.  You can “Forward” to your friends if you want and of course “Reply,” to the email you just received.  I do have a “Spam,” folder but it is limited to 500 addresses.  All my Spam messages automatically get deleted.  The highest Spam day for me in August was 20.  These messages were either known “Spam” or just “Spam” I identified.

Well guess what?

U.S. Government Wants us to Return Malware Back to Sender.

To me this makes sense and I rarely even open any email that I am not expecting or know the sender.  (Unless letter is in the subject line)  With the increased cyber crime the world is facing today, countries are beginning to look for alternative methods to divert malware attacks.  The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency is doing just that.  In recent reports, there have been talks of rerouting malware attacks back to the same sender it came from.  Essentially, a “return to sender” method.  Lieutenant-general, Vincent Stewart of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency recently stated,

“Once we’ve isolated malware, I want to reengineer it and prep to use it against the same adversary who sought to use against us. We must disrupt to exist.”

This may be a way to “teach the hackers a lesson”.  But how many times have we heard how difficult it is to catch cyber criminals because they leave virtually no tracks?  How would spending the time and money to implement this, be worthwhile?  Could it be?  Perhaps, but it’s a long shot.  Also, who is to say the hacker won’t see the “return to sender” occurring and reroute it elsewhere — thus making the U.S. government appear as a hacker to an innocent third-party?

There are several ways to look at this, but perhaps we focus on the biggest flaw of them all.  Why not stop the malware attack from beginning in the first place?  Block the threat, and you won’t have to return it back to the original sender.  Or work on remediation efforts.  Most solution providers have been complacent.  They haven’t advanced their technology to effectively combat today’s cyber threats.  Instead, they have continued to use an archaic blacklist approach which has proven time and time again, it is not effective.

Instead of consistently hoping for the best, knowing your slowing catching up to the hacker — why have the best security solution and stay one step ahead?  By implementing a default-deny approach, or application whitelisting technology, any unknown threats will be tested and proven safe before they are allowed to execute.  Thus, catching each new malware variant before it can worm its way into devices.

What are your thoughts on the government’s latest proposed approach?

Well you know my favorite is to just delete them.  For me to reply to a message I would need to open it and I see no point to put my computer at risk.  I would use an auto return if available for all spam I guess.  Perhaps I should ask my provider to have such a service.  Since I can’t reengineer any malware, for me I will still just delete unknown senders.


"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools." – Plato

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.  One is by the sword, the other is by debt”      John Adams


Arguing in a circle: If you have already assumed in your premise what you are going to state in your conclusion, then you have ended where you began and proven nothing.

I saw the above sentence and felt it not true as with math problems you can actually prove the answer.  That is unless you want to prove that there is no square root of two, because there is not.


I did not include a recipe last week so here is an easy classic tomato salsa.  This is a good recipe to add with chicken in the crock pot.

This recipe makes about two cups and takes 10 minutes.

1/4 medium white onion, peeled
2 tablespoons diced jalapenos (from a can) OR 1 medium fresh jalapeno, stem removed and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (14.5 ounce) can Hunt's fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
½ fresh lime, juiced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Add onion, jalapeno and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the bits are your desired size, about 5 or 6 times. Open cover, scrape down sides. Add remaining ingredients, pulse 1 or 2 times to combine.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately or transfer to a pint jar and store in the refrigerator. It becomes even more flavorful the next day.  Enjoy!

COOK'S NOTES: Salsa keeps fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

MILD SALSA: remove the veins and seeds from the jalapeno
UTTERLY MILD SALSA: use 2 tablespoons green chiles
MEDIUM SALSA: Prepare as written
HOT SALSA: Use 2 jalapenos, veins and seeds included

The canned diced jalapenos are packed with citric acid NOT vinegar. Add about 2 tablespoons (canned jalapenos) per 1 fresh jalapeno with seeds and veins (called for in the recipe) . If you want medium-mild, start with 1 tablespoon.

To see the recipe being made visit this web site...


To All My Handyman and Shade Tree Mechanic Friends. Enjoy, a farmers definition of tools.

SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make boards too short.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light.
Also removes fingerprints and hard earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ‘Oh shit’.
Will easily wind a tee shirt off your back.

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

CHANNEL LOCKS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

VISE GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads.  If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for igniting various flammable objects in your shop and creating a fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity. Very effective for digit removal!!

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut large pieces into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge. Also excels at amputations.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of all the crap you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

PVC PIPE CUTTER: A tool used to make plastic pipe too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit. Also very effective at fingernail removal.

UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door. Works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use. These can also be used to initiate a trip to the emergency room so a doctor can sew up the damage.

I hope this information was informative.


Sunday Morning Sex

Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went straight to her grandparent’s house to visit her 95 year-old grandmother and comfort her.
When she asked how her grandfather had died, her grandmother replied, “He had a heart attack while we were making love on Sunday morning.”

Horrified, Katie told her grandmother that 2 people nearly 100 years old having sex would surely be asking for trouble.

“Oh no, my dear,” replied granny. “Many years ago, realizing our advanced age, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would start to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous, simply in on the Ding and out on the Dong.”

She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued, “He’d still be alive if the ice cream truck hadn’t driven by.


Weekly I get a report from the virus and malware check by PC Matic on the status or health of my computer.  I usually just check it over to see if my computer drivers were up to date or if PC Matic had any problems that I should check out.  This week I noticed it had found four viruses and deleted them from my computer.  This is very unusual for me.

All of the viruses were included in programs for the printing of coupons.

If you have programs of this sort you might want to scan them with your anti-malware or virus program to make sure they are fine.

Just a tip to avoid any problems.  I remember when these were loading as I had complained to BJ’s their coupons would not print.  They sent me to a site to fix the problem and that is where I must have picked up the virus.


This is from a study taken in December 2013 by Michael Bastasch

Study: Earth was warmer in Roman and Medieval times

If you think the Earth is hot now, try wearing plate armor in the Middle Ages.

A Swedish study found that the planet was warmer in ancient Roman times and the Middle Ages than today, challenging the mainstream idea that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main drivers of global warming.

The study, by scientist Leif Kullman, analyzed 455 “radiocarbon-dated mega-fossils” in the Scandes mountains and found that tree lines for different species of trees were higher during the Roman and Medieval times than they are today. Not only that, but the temperatures were higher as well.

“Historical tree line positions are viewed in relation to early 21st century equivalents, and indicate that tree line elevations attained during the past century and in association with modern climate warming are highly unusual, but not unique, phenomena from the perspective of the past 4,800 years,” Kullman found. “Prior to that, the pine tree line (and summer temperatures) was consistently higher than present, as it was also during the Roman and Medieval periods.”

Kullman also wrote that “summer temperatures during the early Holocene thermal optimum may have been 2.3°C higher than present.” The “Holocene thermal optimum was a warm period that occurred between 9,000 and 5,000 years ago. This warm period was followed by a gradual cooling period.”

The Kullman study points to mounting evidence that climate is largely out of human control, as humans were not burning large amounts fossil fuels during Roman and Medieval times.

Some scientists have pointed to solar activity as the predictor of where global temperatures are headed. Researchers have pointed to falling sunspot activity as evidence that the planet will cool off in the coming decades.

 Others have looked to natural climate systems for explanations for answers to the 15-year pause in global warming.

A study by Dr. Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama, Huntsville found that about half the warming that occurred since the 1970s can be attributed to El Niño weather events, which had a warming effect on the planet.

The Pacific Ocean’s natural warming and cooling cycles last about 30 years, with La Niña cooling being dominant from the 1950s to the 1970s and El Niño warming events dominating late 1970s to the late 1990s. Spencer suggests that the world may be in a La Niña cooling period.


Since that study was from 2013 and we have many skeptics reading this letter, how about a study finished last month that has Al Gore scratching his chin by Dr Jennifer Marohasy

The world would have warmed throughout the 20th Century even without carbon dioxide emissions from the industrial revolution, according to a new study.

“This suggests that even if there had been no industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels, there would have still been some warming through the twentieth century – to at least 1980,” according to lead author Jennifer Marohasy.

The world was about as warm in 1980 as it was during the Middle Ages when the Vikings settled Greenland and “when men dressed in tunics and built grand cathedrals with tall spires,” Marohasy wrote in The Spectator Australia on Tuesday, summarizing her study’s results.

Climate scientists Marohasy and John Abbot used a sophisticated artificial intelligence-like computer system to see what temperatures may have done since 1830 without human influence based on proxy climate records going back to 50 A.D.

This is called the “divergence problem,” Marohasy wrote. “Rather than address this issue, key climate scientists, have been known to graft instrumental temperature series onto the proxy record from 1980 to literally ‘hide the decline.”


My personal belief is mankind is nieve to think we can change the weather.  We should get in line as first and foremost, the weather changer for Earth is the sun.  Second in line is our own planet with volcanos, tectonic plate shifts etc.  I think if any changes to the weather can be attributed to mankind it would be infinitesimal.

Any changes in fuel or material use for our living decisions should be made for reasons of conservation and preservation and not the weather.

Have you notice that Hurricane Harvey rescuers are all using internal combustion vehicles and engines and no electric or air.


Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they’re looking for ideas. ~Paula Poundstone


A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job.


 I am a nobody, nobody is perfect, therefore I am perfect.


<iframe width="854" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The number of people working for the federal government has declined by 11,000 in 2017 while the number working for state governments has declined 2,000, according to data published today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But because the number of people employed by local governments has climbed 12,000 so far this year, the overall decline in the number of people employed nationwide by government has only dropped by 1,000 in 2017.

Meanwhile, even though manufacturing jobs have increased by 137,000 this year, the number employed by government in August still exceeded the number employed in manufacturing by 9,818,000.

I like comments on articles ... the above had quite a few but these three are great.

        Excellent news about fewer federal government employees. But still a long, long way to go. Does anyone know why we need 17 different intelligence agencies?

        Because 16 aren't smart enough!

        That's probably the only reason that makes sense.



As usual for a copy of this weekly letter put “Letter” in the Subject line and email

Older copies available at with video and pictures added by Walter - my liberal friend who owns the site.