Monthly Archives: July 2012

Curse the appearing ghost menus

Do you know what I’m talking about? They are everywhere. Here are a few places you can find them:

  • In recent WordPress installs, in the comment management section, the menu that gives you “save, edit, spam” etc choices is invisible until you move your cursor near it.
  • In Unity, all the menus are invisible until you approach them, even the entire set of application menus that are not mac-esquely along the top (but invisibly so).
  • Also in Unity, all the other menus, as I recall. (I ditched Unity as soon as I learned how, about two hours after installing it.)
  • Gnome 2-point-whatever (the current version, contaminated by Unity) the damn scroll bar does not appear until you approach it with your cursor, and you better damn well know where it is because otherwise you won’t find it very easily.
  • There are a few such menus in Mac OS X, mainly the top menu bar when you’ve maxed the app…but that is actually when the menu is supposed to disappear, so that’s appropriate.

There is no way that most of these “I won’t be visible to you unless you know that I exist and where I might be and try to click on me good luck with that” (iwbvtyuyktieawimbatrcomglwt or just “glwt” for short) user interfaces are good. They are just a style. It is a technology that came into being and is now being used and abused and foisted upon us by user interface “designers” (I use that word laughingly) for no other reason than that it exists. It. Is. Stupid.

How long does it take for these fads to pass? Let’s try to speed it up, folks.

Obama Will Forward the Country. Period.

Yes. I just verbed “forward.” Why? Because according to some Grammar Gits, the only correct single-word sentences are those that have a single verb in them. Strange. Surprising. Didn’tknowhtat.

Anyway, the Re-Elect Barack Obama campaign came up with a new slogan for their signs and stuff: Forward. That’s right. Forward. Punctuated. With a period. So the slogan is:


and the slogan is not:


(without punctuation).

It is said that Obama thinks of it as “Forward. Full stop. No questions asked.” That is a great slogan because it implies that a second term president will be asking fewer questions of, say, the Congressional Yahoos or This or That Base all of which have been making it difficult to get. things. done. Others say that the period is a downer for some reason. Like “Forward. Full stop.” but with a different implication than when I said the same exact thing a few seconds ago (assuming you did not take a break while reading this paragraph).

The Wall Street Journal is, of course, hot on this story. Hat Tip: Tricia McKinney


670,000,000 people without power in India (AGW-linked)

What is probably the worst power outage India’s history had has taken out electricity for fully half the country; This is apparently the “second outage” in two days. I’m not entirely sure how they count outages, however. I’m thinking it is more like a big giant outage that then got much smaller then got much (much much) bigger.

There have been all kinds of secondary effects; minors trapped in mines, people succumbing to fire in trains.

The reason for the outage is said to be incorrect levels of draw down from the grid by certain provinces. The ancient and out of date electric grids used in countries like India and the United States require a near perfect balance between production and demand, or this kind of thing can happen. (Go read this book to learn about that.)

In addition, irrigation with ground water reserves has been required due to climate change induced drought in some regions. This uses a great deal of electricity to run pumps.

Romney Aide To Press: “Kiss My Ass” and “Shove It”

Shove what? Shove it where? He was not clear.

As Romney was walking away from Pilsudski Square toward his vehicle, reporters asked him about his string of gaffes and whether he had any comment for Palestinians…Romney ignored the questions and got in his car.

But his traveling press secretary was furious.

“Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” said aide Rick Gorka. “Show some respect.” [he then went on to tell a reporter to shove it]


For the most part, according to Jonathan Martin of Politico, Romney has avoided the press for the last week.

The isolation from the press has worked, as Romney has not been heard making an Polish jokes.

Martian Landing Imminent

In just a few days, NASA will land one of the more amazing pieces of equipment ever sent into outer space on the Angry Red Planet. On August 5th, at about 10:31 Pacific Time, Curiosity will land on the surface of mars in one of the more spectacularly complex space engineering feats ever attempted. You will not want to miss this.

But before that, starting on Thursday, August 2nd, there will be a series of briefs and press reports that are generally open to the public and that may be quite interesting. There is a schedule, and links, HERE at NASA’s JPL site.

Pussy Riot Is On Trial

The Russian Feminist Punk Rock group Pussy Riot, or at least part of it, is on trial and faces several years in prison for acting up. Debbie Goddard has the story in detail.

You may be asking yourself why I’m writing about this. As an activist and organizer, I try to pay attention to other groups’ campaigns and activism efforts, whether populist or fringe, especially when led by young people. I’ll share a few of the reasons this situation is particularly interesting to me….

Read The Rest

Are Mexicans and Palestinians Inherently Second Rate?

American Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney says they are. (Which is funny because he’s Mexican, but whatever…)

Speaking of the accomplishments of Israeli Jews in the middle east, Romney said

“… I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things” including … business climate, … history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Romney had previously made disparaging remarks about their Olympics to the British and is now on his way to Poland where he will probably tell some Polish Jokes.

Romney’s strategy is clear: Outrage the people of various foreign nations as he travels around the world, and cause the American press and the TV Talking Heads to express outrage as well. This is an excellent strategy to secure his base, who hate all things foreign. We can expect Romney to make a few extra disparaging remarks about France just after his return in order to shore up his position as a George-Bush like World Class Ass.