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Monday, October 31, 2011

#Lego Samurai Vs. #Halloween Pumpkin

Guess where we are! (hint: it's #Lego related)

ThePete elsewhere on the 'net!


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

ThePete elsewhere on the 'net!


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The weather right now in NYC (grrrr!)

The weather right now in NYC (grrrr!)

About a minute after I shot this video another tree branch fell off a tree across the street from me.

Never thought about falling tree branches during a snow storm to be a danger.

Another shot of snow falling on green leaves. #nyc #snow #weather #mothernaturewtf

The snow, today, as it began to stick on the leaves on the trees that had no idea today was winter.

If the tree had eyes they'd be wide.

Hm... why does #MotherNature hate my Japanese Movie Night?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bleaching Day is done! OK just the bleaching.

Bleaching Day is done! OK just the bleaching.

Today is bleaching day.

Today is bleaching day.

ThePete elsewhere on the 'net!


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America leaves so many "normal" people behind, it's sadly no wonder transgendered are, too.

This is beyond wrong, but utterly unsurprising.  Found via btx91:



“The average life span of a transgendered person is twenty-three years. The statistic is shocking, until it begins to make sense. Gender non-conformists face routine exclusion and violence. Transgendered people are disproportionately poor, homeless, and incarcerated. Many of the systems and facilities intended to help low-income people are sex-segregated and thereby alienate those who don’t comply with state-imposed categories. A trans woman may not be able to secure a bed in a homeless shelter, for example. Spade writes that just as the feminist movement tended to “focus on gender-universalized white women’s experience as ‘women’s experience,’” the lesbian- and gay-rights movement has focused primarily on a white, middle-class politic, centered on marriage and mainstream social mores.”


Guernica / Trans-Formative Change


Dean Spade is the first openly trans law professor. Meaghan Winter interviews him for Granta.


H/T The Rumpus


FUCKING READ THIS SHIT. NEXT TIME ANYONE THINKS IT’S OKAY TO RAG ON TRANS* PEOPLE (BECAUSE LOLOL THEIR EXISTENCE IS JUST SO FUNNY, ISN’T IT FUNNY THAT SOME PEOPLE AREN’T EXACTLY LIKE ME), I AM GOING TO PRINT THIS QUOTE OUT AND STAPLE IT TO THE ASSHOLE’S FOREHEAD. Fucking read this shit and think hard, think as hard as you can, about how tragic this is. Your tittering and joking and mocking and bullying — which is, painfully obviously, motivated by an indoctrinated discomfort that you are too ignorant or complacent to question the morality of — is what facilitates violence against the trans* community. No, you don’t have to personally pull the trigger, or raise your fist, or deny care and shelter.


All you have to do is systematically dehumanize. All you have to do is deny the weight of your words and the pedestal of your privilege, ignore the suffering that you can conveniently shrug off after an insensitive SNL skit or forum post because what does it matter to me if these people are dying?


(via gadgetry)


If you are not foaming-at-the-mouth angry right now, read that first sentence again (unless you’d like to protect your blood pressure, in which case have a soothing non-invasive hug from me right now).


(via mumblingsage)



Isn’t there something in the Bible about treating everyone equally?  


No, wait, I think it’s more recent than that… ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just a reminder: The USG likes to trump up Terrorist threats, like that last one.

I spotted this tweet two weeks ago and opened it in a tab but then forgot to blog about it. Basically, it’s proof, once again, that the USG doesn’t like to bother with actual terrorists. Instead preferring to pretend people with intent but without means deserve to be arrested for wrongthinking and being stupid enough to trust an FBI plant who is pretending to be someone he isn’t.  So, here’s the tweet:



From @BreakingNews: “More: US officials say their assessment of some Iranian leaders’ plot knowledge is based on history, analysis, not hard evidence - @Reuters”


Original tweet is here.


See, evidence is that thing you need to convict another human of a crime since all humans are guaranteed certain rights regardless of nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference.  At least, I thought that was the case before American citizen Al-Awlaki got blown up by a drone.  So apparently, you don’t need a court OR evidence to decide someone is a terrorist.


Read more about the case the tweet refers to in a post on my blog.

"...What we learned was that the Fed provided $16 trillion in secret, low-interest loans" to every major US bank

I posted this over on my contrarian blog, website666.com but thought it was important enough to post it here, too:
From a great WaPo op-ed by indy Senator Bernie Sanders (it’s on Sanders’ site, too):
Trust in government is at an all-time low. That’s not because Washington is too heavy-handed with Wall Street. Quite the contrary! The American people are angry and disillusioned because they see our government act boldly to protect Wall Street CEOs but not ordinary Americans. When Wall Street needed a $700 billion bailout, the government was there for them. When working families need an end to excessive oil speculation and real relief at the gas pump, the government has failed to act.

The same Dodd-Frank bill that required commodity regulators to limit speculators included my amendment calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve from Dec. 1, 2007, to July 21, 2010, the period of the financial crisis. What we learned was that the Fed provided $16 trillion in secret, low-interest loans to every major American financial institution and to other central banks, large corporations and wealthy individuals. The audit provision was vigorously opposed by the Federal Reserve chairman. It was right, however, that the veil of secrecy at the Fed was lifted and the American people learned about its actions.

This sums it up. The USG effectively fails to oversee the Fed and giving out loans of $16 trillion seriously fucks with our economy.  Think about it: 16 trillion new dollars injected into our economy.  It’s a miracle the USD is worth anything at this point.  It’s like we’re injecting water into our bloodstream because we think the more liquid is in our veins and arteries the more blood we have.  So, when the USG doesn’t bother to audit the Fed like they’re supposed to and when the USG openly bails out big businesses and banks, it makes We, The People, wonder just what the hell government is there for.

“…for the people, by the people,” my ass.  More like “for banks and corporations, by the guys who used to run them.”

Read the rest of Sanders’ piece on his website and learn about how oil prices are being artificially hiked by excessive futures speculation.

It really seems like the US government is indirectly rebelling against the American people, doesn't it?

"...What we learned was that the Fed provided $16 trillion in secret, low-interest loans to every major American financial institution..."

From a great WaPo op-ed by indy Senator Bernie Sanders (it’s on Sanders’ site, too):




Trust in government is at an all-time low. That’s not because Washington is too heavy-handed with Wall Street. Quite the contrary! The American people are angry and disillusioned because they see our government act boldly to protect Wall Street CEOs but not ordinary Americans. When Wall Street needed a $700 billion bailout, the government was there for them. When working families need an end to excessive oil speculation and real relief at the gas pump, the government has failed to act.


The same Dodd-Frank bill that required commodity regulators to limit speculators included my amendment calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve from Dec. 1, 2007, to July 21, 2010, the period of the financial crisis. What we learned was that the Fed provided $16 trillion in secret, low-interest loans to every major American financial institution and to other central banks, large corporations and wealthy individuals. The audit provision was vigorously opposed by the Federal Reserve chairman. It was right, however, that the veil of secrecy at the Fed was lifted and the American people learned about its actions.



This sums it up. The USG effectively fails to oversee the Fed and giving out loans of $16 trillion seriously fucks with our economy.  Think about it: 16 trillion new dollars injected into our economy.  It’s a miracle the USD is worth anything at this point.  It’s like we’re injecting water into our bloodstream because we think the more liquid is in our veins and arteries the more blood we have.  So, when the USG doesn’t bother to audit the Fed like they’re supposed to and when the USG openly bails out big businesses and banks, it makes We, The People, wonder just what the hell government is there for.


“…for the people, by the people,” my ass.  More like “for banks and corporations, by the guys who used to run them.”


Read the rest of Sanders’ piece on his website and learn about how oil prices are being artificially hiked by excessive futures speculation.

My new #Lego-related addiction: #Nanoblocks! This is Kinkaku-ji, a temple in Kyoto

There is something so wonderfully zen about building with such small pieces. The only drawback is the price. This set measures 3.5 inches tall but cost $18. :/ But it was so much fun to build--and very calming. I can't wait to get more of these.



And check out the cool details--you can see inside the thing (sorry about the lighting, but you can see a bit of light sneaking in through the space between two nanoblocks in the back wall inside the temple:



Check out the real Kinkaku-ji on Wikipedia.

You can see the Nanoblocks panda I built last week, also.

Thursday, October 20, 2011



simplyopinions:



neil-gaiman:



I think, for me, this is the crux of what Occupy Wall Street are about.


(Or I could refer you to Lemony Snicket’s Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance …)



This is horrible. WTF America.



Aw, come on!  This is incentive for all homeless people to work extra hard until they can steal hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars and not go to jail at all!!  


SIGH… :

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

kateoplis:




An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. […] 


The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s OWS movement and protesters elsewhere. But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).



“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.” […]



The work, to be published in PloS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships. Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the “real” economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.


When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.



Read on




I think I just found Alex Gigney’s next documentary. Less than 1% of the corporations control 40% of all of them? Awww yeah! Gun, you are smoking, sir!

Nobody should be this wealthy.

Nobody should be this wealthy.

simplyopinions:



Tax them, now.




Holy shit—imagine making $131 million a year!  That’s like winning PowerBall once a year.



theeconomist:



Tomorrow’s cover today: people are right to be angry. But it is also right to be worried about where populism could take politics.



If you have the gall to be worried about where populism could take politics, you’re nothing but a classist fear monger.  THE WHOLE POINT of democracy is that the country does what the majority wants.  That’s why we VOTE.  That’s what it says in the “Democracy” sales brochure, anyway.  And asking the question “can we trust what the majority thinks?” is the same as asking “does the general public have a fucking clue?”


My answer is, of course, no, but whose fault is that?  If you educate the public by forcing holders of broadcast licenses to provide accurate news coverage instead of the biased crap they give us now, We, The People, just might be capable of making a smart choice.  


So, let’s cut education funding and then point to the stupids as an excuse to put more power in the hands of the “rich” and the “educated.”  


What the fuck.  I’m really getting sick of this country.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Latest 3 additions to my #Lego Minifigure collection: Lumberjack, Cleopatra and a royal guard


Very happy with my luck this time around. Ended up with an extra lumberjack in the 4 I picked up but I love that Cleopatra comes with a snake (she is said to have died from a snake bite if I remember correctly). Still hoping for that Godzilla minifig :)

Thanks, for replacing my defective anti-bottle @vapur! I love it!


Last week I got my replacement Vapur-brand "anti-bottle" water bag from Vapur after I had posted a pic of the carabiner hole cracking (squint at the bag on the left to see where the carabiner is about to fly away). The folks at Vapur saw the pic and told me it was a defective bag. Very cool of them to replace it! I love this thing--it's perfect for city life because I can carry it with me everywhere and it gets lighter as I drink it. When it's empty I just roll it up and stick it in my bag or pocket. I love my Sigg but I can't roll it up and stick it in my pocket.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ThePetePics: #OccupyTimesSquare 10/15/11 (#OWS)

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A huge stack of pics from #OccupyTimesSquare #OWS I've heard it doesn't really start until 7!A huge stack of pics from #OccupyTimesSquare #OWS I've heard it doesn't really start until 7!The view past the Times Square Toys R Us ferris wheel of #OccupyTimeSquare #OWSThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22
ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 1-8 of 22ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11
ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 9-15 of 22 10/15/11ThePetePics from #OccupyTimesSquare (#OWS) Pics 16-22 of 22 10/15/11


Honestly, I was not in Times Square yesterday because of the protest. I had been planning on going to the Times Square Toys R Us (because I have a quiet addiction to Lego minifigures) since before I'd heard yesterday was the day the #OccupyWallStreet protests were heading north. I used to be a much bigger protest junkie back in the early 21st Century, but I learned that it's too easy for our leaders to ignore us so I stopped. Not that I blame anyone for trying and I definitely agree with the sentiment of the "Occupy" protests. So, I was very happy to see them grow so much. I hope they keep on growing!

Click the pics above or check out the slideshow below:

Did God have a mother?” Children, when told that God made the heavens and the earth, innocently ask whether God had a mother. This deceptively simple question has stumped the elders of the church and embarrassed the finest theologians, precipitating some of the thorniest theological debates over the centuries. All the great religions have elaborate mythologies surrounding the divine act of Creation, but none of them adequately confronts the logical paradoxes inherent in the question that even children ask.

Did God have a mother?” Children, when told that God made the heavens and the earth, innocently ask whether God had a mother. This deceptively simple question has stumped the elders of the church and embarrassed the finest theologians, precipitating some of the thorniest theological debates over the centuries. All the great religions have elaborate mythologies surrounding the divine act of Creation, but none of them adequately confronts the logical paradoxes inherent in the question that even children ask.

Michio Kaku (via cwnl)


Awesome to see scientists brave enough to speak openly about the absurdities of religion. In science everyone and everything has a “mother”.  It’s called causality.  If God created the universe, who created God?  If my child asked me, I’d explain: “We humans did because we felt too insecure about our own existence to believe that we were not created on purpose.”


To which, my child would likely reply: “But mommy said I was an accident.”


“Ah! Well, that doesn’t make you any less special, does it?”


I guess I’d be a pretty good parent. :)



friendlyatheist:



GODzilla. What a great name for a fictional character.


-FA



SIGH.


WHY would the Japanese be angry at a fictional character?  In other news: the correct pronunciation of the giant monster’s name is “go-ji-ra”.  So, “God” has nothing to do with it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Post-protest pics: #Lego fun (aka what I was originally going to Times Square for--not #OccupyTimesSquare)

Must wait to open these until after I go through pics and vid from the
protest today.

The view past the Times Square Toys R Us ferris wheel of #OccupyTimeSquare #OWS

With the M&Ms passing by in the foreground :)

The results from last night's #Lego quest and build!



While I'm on my way to the Times Square Toys R Us I thought I'd upload pics from last nights building. First up we have the Nanoblocks panda that I had a blast putting together. Ended up with a LOT of extra pieces though. Ikea-overdrive! I know Lego often includes a few extra pieces but this is a lot more than Lego usually includes. Next up we have the hockey player minifigure from wave 4 of the individually packaged minifigs. Looking at some of the others in wave 4 has made me reconsider my earlier-mentioned disinterest in wave 4. I particularly want the geisha-looking one (not sure if she's Japanese or Chinese.) Anyway there are some others in wave 4 I'd dig, too. Not that I want to go all the way out to the TRU in the lower Bronx to get them though. It's kind of a PitA getting out there. Ok, almost to Times Square. Must wrap this up. Wish me luck today!

Friday, October 14, 2011

So after last night's #Lego #Minifigure #questfail I tried again tonight... ever hear of #Nanoblocks?

Couldn't find ANY wave 5 minifigs but I found some wave 4s. I only got one because I don't like the selection so much. I also found a bunch of Nanoblock packs--they're basically like micro-Lego--and went with the panda. They're kind of pricey--$10 though I could have sworn the price on the rack was $8. Still, should be fun to build! Stop by later for the results!

So, I picked up these three #Lego #Minifigures last night but...

I'm a little unimpressed with my luck. I mean, the gladiator is cool I guess, but the dwarf/viking guy's legs aren't even articulated and the clown??? Who the hell wants the Lego CLOWN? So, earlier tonight I went questing for more Wave 5 Lego Minifigures. (See my next post for the results.)

Hillary Clinton Over Joe Biden in 2012? Possible - Jonathan Alter - Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton Over Joe Biden in 2012? Possible - Jonathan Alter - Bloomberg

underpaidgenius:



Will Obama swap Bidon for Hillary Clinton? Interesting possibilities, and Woodward says it’s being discussed.



No, no, no way is Obama swapping Biden for Clinton.  Back in 91, there was talk of HW Bush swapping out Dan Quayle for Dick Cheney.  Ironically, Dick Cheney said he wasn’t interested in politics >_<  The point is, there’s often talk of swapping out VPs, but has it ever happened?  Seriously, I want to know, because I don’t ever remember it happening in my lifetime.



kateoplis:



John Vachon, 1940, from More American Photographs at the Wattis Institute which has commissioned twelve photographers - including Alec SothHank Willis Thomas, and Stephen Shore - to travel the United States documenting its land and people in today’s economic climate just as the famous photography program of the Farm Security Administration did in the Depression era. (via: NewYorker)



I love how the above picture wasn’t taken recently, yet it would be just as ironic if it had been.


Freedom of religion (unless you’re Muslim or Atheist).


Opportunity (where?).


Private Enterprise (assuming you can get a loan from the bank to start it)


Representative Democracy (if you’ve got the money to bribe your politician of choice with more cash than your corporate competitor).