(In)equality

“Men are more likely than women to be arrested, die violently, commit crimes, be victims of crimes, go to jail, and be addicted. They also die more often on the  job, have more heart attacks, commit suicide in greater numbers, and live shorter lives than women” (David Murrow)

Equality between the sexes is easy! We’ll have it when…

  • Women serve the same jail sentences as men for the same crime.
  • Infidelity in females (“She wasn’t satisfied”) is treated the same way as it is in males (“He’s a jerk”).
  • A woman has no right to a man’s financial support unless she is married to him.
  • The state quits paying women to have babies.
  • Violence against men is taken as seriously as is violence against women (statistics show that the former is actually more common, though less severe).
  • Women are required to register with the Selective Service (aka “the draft”) or lose the right to vote — the same way as men are.
  • “I was drunk and had sex” no longer equals to “I was raped”.
  • Men live as long as women.
  • Paternity Fraud (where a woman attempts to force a man support a child that is not his) is treated the same way as tax fraud – with jail time.
  • Women start tipping like men.
  • Men and women have equal standing in child custody disputes (as opposed to the current system, in which “The bad, bad man is bad, bad, bad” ).
  • Women are required by law to leave toilet seats up.
  • Financial support for breast/cervical cancer is matched by testicular/prostate cancer (the latter actually kills more people, but gets far less money).
  • Either Paternity leave is mandated (unlikely) or Maternity leave is abolished (impossible).
  • All governmental organizations dedicated to women either have a complimentary men’s equivalent or are abolished.
  • Men can have babies.

The elephant in the room is that we don’t have equality, and probably never will. And I for one say “Vive La Difference”

I have found that when many women talk about “equality” what they mean is “to have all of the same rights and rewards as men, but without the responsibilities and/or the work required“. That’s childish behavior, and the last time I looked, children were not allowed to vote and had to be told what to do.

Today is “Women’s Equality Day“, whatever that means. Enjoy!

Hyperexotics

Another day, another version of Real Racing 3. This version takes a break from previous versions (1.12, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3.5, 1.4, and 1.5) and kicks it up a whole major version it to 2.0.0. However, the big leap in version numbering is perhaps a little disingenuous, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between this and the last version (1.5).

Two new Cars

Screenshot_2014-04-10-03-50-04This version features the debut of two new cars — the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Veneno. Both incredibly sexy, incredibly fast — and incredibly expensive — so much so, that if you have to ask “how much?” you can’t afford one:

The McLaren P1 costs $1.15 Million, and there are fewer than six hundred in existence

Screenshot_2014-07-01-21-01-53

The Lamborghini Veneno costs a jaw-dropping $4 million and there are only three in existence.

Screenshot_2014-07-03-20-22-01

Both production runs of both cars are completely sold out, but thanks to the magic of the Firemonkeys, you get to drive both in a brand-new Series — the Vertex — along with the Porsche 911 RSR (2013) (known irreverently as the “Porsche SuperGrip”, due to it’s hamsters-with-gluepots ability to stick to the road) that was introduced way back in the 1.3.5 “Seven Bloody Porsches” update.

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The Death of the Delorean

Since the release of the game early last year, the game has offered a different “deal” every week, including some free or half-price cars. However, those in the know were aware that it was possible to put your device in airplane mode, set your device’s date to back when the discount was available… and purchase.

The not-so-awesome race.

Screenshot_2014-07-13-08-24-55The “Awesome Race” is gone. The ’69 Charger Endurance race that used to go on forever has now been well and truly fixed.

Onward and Upward to V2.1 – Aston Martin

All this and Ferrari II

It’s been a while since I have blogged on my favorite game, Real Racing 3. Time to put that right. Last time round I was less than impressed with the first three Ferraris (yes, that is apparently the correct plural) introduced in version 1.4, but what I didn’t know at the time was that the Men from Modena had another three cars ready to go — the 458 Spider, the 599 GTO, and the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

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Unlike the previous three, these new offerings were a little more what I expected of the Marque; Better performance, better handling.

There was also an unexpected addition to the Real Racing stable, a debut from a new manufacturer, ladies and gentlemen, presenting the mighty name of… Hyundai?

Screenshot_2013-11-27-03-29-35

In the last version of the game, I noted that “Ferrari Faceoff” had been put at the end, after “Zenith”. In this version, it has been moved from it’s ill-deserved ultimate position at the top of the tree to further down.

This is the last version of the game that featured “the Awesome Race”, my name for the everlasting endurance race with the ’69 Dodge Charger that was introduced in Version 1.3. I took advantage of this to run a blistering 1500-mile race over the course of a week.

1500 Miles

The likes of which the world has never seen…

New feature: Weekly Time Trial Tournaments

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-53While this is a new feature, I cannot comment on it, since weekly time trial tournaments require that you have the latest version of the game installed, which this isn’t.

Race Replay

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-58This is a wonderful feature. After completing a race you have the option of watching it again from a series of trackside cameras, or from any of the driving views. Very nice. The only thing that is missing is the ability to save that replay for watching later, or showing to your grandchildren. Assuming that you can take enough time away from the game to actually have any children, that is…

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-43-04

AWD Attack

AWD AttackThis is one of those events with only one car — the brand-spanking-new Hyundai. I20 WRC Don’t be fooled – the I20 WRC is a little beast of a car, with a beastly price tag to match. It’s a four-wheel-drive rocket-powered roller-skate, although when fully upgraded, it is almost feels too fast, and feels skittish in the corners. It also gets my vote for the coolest product placement I have ever seen in a a computer game.

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Oh, the irony…

Grand Tourer Supremacy Series

Grand Tourer Supremancy SeriesNo new cars to be found here, but a chance to make some extra R$ and Gold from the cars you already have. This series showcases the two Bentleys (Continental Supersports and Continental GT Speed) and two of the three Mercedes-Benzes (SLS AMG and SL 65 AMG Black Series). Sadly they left out the third Benz — the sexy SLS AMG GT3, but it would not have fitted in here.

Spirit of Ferrari

Spirit of FerrariMamma Mia! The Italians are at it again! Race the three new Ferraris. You start off with the 458 Spider working your way up to the 599 GTO before unlocking the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

Enzo Ferrari Triumph

Enzo Ferrari TriumphThe mob at Ferrari must have been mightily impressed with the Enzo Ferrari; they named it after their founder. “Enzo Ferrari Triumph” joins “AWD Attack” and “The Legend Continues” to become the third single-car series — and like the other two, this series is optional.

The name's Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

The name’s Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

 

When Permanent Employment Isn’t

In Grandpa’s day, you finished your education, started your job, and worked in the same place until you retired. That was it.

These days, things aren’t so easy. Downsizing, Rightsizing and “Returning to our core business” have conspired to make employees largely expendable and interchangeable – except for the ones who aren’t. The ones who actually design and produce stuff and get things done. For every one of those there are ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred replaceable HR Drones, Mid-level Managers and paper-shufflers.

The recession of 2008 made things even worse. The large-scale loss of factory jobs — mostly held by men — meant that for the first time there are more women in the workplace than men. While I have nothing against women in the workplace, the presence of more people seeking employment means that employers can afford to be picky. They’ve also gotten stingy, offering lower salaries and fewer benefits in what seems to be a race to the bottom.

I became a freelancer in 1989 after losing a job. It was an accident, but a fortunate one – the best deal on the table at the time was a freelance gig. Thirty-five years later, I still work in consultancy; my current “temporary” assignment is now in its fifteenth year. As a result, I still have the freelance mentality — even though my employment is technically “permanent”, I am under no illusion that my employers will fire my proverbial as soon as I am no longer profitable for them. It amazes me that so many people actually believe that their employer somehow “owes” them a job, benefits or perks. Life isn’t fair, to be sure, but I have found that people generally get what they deserve or settle for, though manyof us have deluded ourselves into believing that we somehow deserve better.

In Grandpa’s day, everyone wanted a cushy office job that didn’t involve “getting your hands dirty”, and this is what parents still steer their children towards. But the stable jobs in the future are those that provide services; plumbers, welders, mechanics, looking after children/pets/old folks – these are the jobs that can’t be outsourced. That may not sound glamorous, but it’s more sensible than running up huge student loan debt to get a Master’s Degree before ending up working as a Barrista.

My message to young people today is a simple one: Follow your dream, as long as your dream involves producing something of lasting value. If that happens to intersects with your passions, fine. I know of a chap who loves being outdoors and found a job working as a Park Ranger. But if your passion is street-art (aka Graffiti) or Video Games, do not delude yourself into thinking that there is a lucrative career to be had. Above all, don’t go to college unless you can afford it or have a clear career path mapped out.

There is nothing wrong with getting a boring/uninteresting job, as long as you are aiming for something better. A highly-paid job that you hate is the closest thing there is to hell on Earth.

Figure out what you love to do, and find a way to make it pay.

What we don’t know…

There has been a log of kerfuffle in the news of late regarding “The Spreadsheet Guy”. The story goes like this:

  • Sexually-frustrated husband gets tired of repeated refusals of intimacy from his wife, so he compiles a spreadsheet showing all of her excuses over a period of X days.
  • He then sends this spreadsheet to her when she is leaving on a business trip.
  • He then goes radio-silent, ignoring her phone calls, emails etc.
  • She then posts it on Reddit, presumably to get sympathy/hugs/validation of her position.
  • The story goes viral.

Here is the spreadsheet:

Here's the proof.

Here is her initial post, gleaned from various sources.

“My husband [M26] sent me [F26] an immature, inflammatory email as I was driving to the airport for a 10-day work trip. Now he has cut contact.

Yesterday morning, while in a taxi on the way to the airport, Husband sends a message to my work email which is connected to my phone. He’s never done this, we always communicate in person or by text. I open it up, and it’s a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won’t miss me for the 10 days I’m gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate s*x since June 1st, with a column for my “excuses”, using verbatim quotes of why I didn’t feel like having s*x at that very moment. According to his ‘document’, we’ve only had sex 3 times in the last 7 weeks, out of 27 “attempts” on his part.

Witness the awesome power of female delusion

  • Her general tone is condescending and dismissive. Or, as one astute commenter postulated, she was “acting throughout this thread as if she had nothing to do with any of this and in fact she dismisses it as ‘not a real issue’.”
  • She somehow manages to accuse him of sarcasm even when he provides solid data to back up his position. If a woman had sent such a message to a man about being starved of emotion, connection, intimacy or cuddles, it would be called a “cry for help”. But since he’s a man, his motives must be impure, so it’s a “sarcastic diatribe”.
  • She puts several words (excuses/document/attempts) in quotes, as if trying to discredit them without actually providing real data: “Even with the spreadsheet in front of her, she still seems to think that it’s made up or exaggerated. In her mind, she is not that bad, even when the proof is right in front of her.” (source)
  • She fails to understand the basic truth – that men process stress as anger. And this looks like the work of an angry man.

My primary intention here is not to comment on the story so much as to comment on the comments. There were 500 in total before the thread was locked. Some were so t made me roll my eyes at the apparent stupidity of the writers. And most of those comments were variations of one of the following themes:

  • How could he do something like that?!” Simple answer: Desperation and anger – this has gone on long enough to be a deal-breaker; he’s ready to bail, and wants her to know why.
  • He has no right to expect sex from his wife!” So what, exactly, does “to have and to hold” mean? And how long must sexual deprivation continue before it becomes the passive-aggressive equivalent of infidelity?
  • He’s not entitled to sex” (Yes he is; see above).  This translates loosely into “Even though they pledged sexual fidelity to one another for the rest of their lives, and even though sex is a central part of marriage and a fundamental human need, it’s his wife’s right to make a unilateral declaration of celibacy for both of them.”  (source)
  • Variations-on-a-theme of “Dude, she ain’t having sex with you because she is having sex with some other guy“. Prejudicial and Irrelevant, though eminently possible.
  • That’s not going to make her want you more.” Irrelevant. This was not an attempt to negotiate desire, he was obviously well past that point. For all we know, he may have already given up and moved out. This was an attempt to confront her with hard evidence that was undeniable… and yet, when confronted with the unpleasant truth, she somehow still managed to remain in denial.
  • He needs to man up/do more/help with the dishes“. This is a clear example of the female female delusion that helping with the household chores somehow makes a man more sexually attractive to his wife (it doesn’t, and there is at least one study which proves this). There is absolutely no evidence that he is not pulling his weight around the house. There is, however, ample evidence of her priorities. Work, Gym, and watching re-runs of “Friends” are apparently more important than keeping her husband sexually satisfied.
  • What an immature, passive-aggressive way for a man to behave towards his wife.” Prejudicial: assumes that this was the first attempt at communication. It could very well be that he raised the subject on any number of occasions, and she dismissed, delayed, avoided, or evaded, as so may women are wont to do with confronted with a difficult conversation.

I went through the comments, and counted the first thirty non-neutral ones; three were in her favor, the rest – about 90% – were supportive of the husband and exhorted her to get it together before what is left of their marriage goes down the tubes.

At around this time, possibly because of the firestorm of criticism she was receiving, she deleted her original post. Naah… must have been pure coincidence…

What we have here are a bunch of people making unprovable assumptions based on their personal viewpoints and vendettas. I suspect that of those who took sides, most women took her viewpoint, while most men took his. So, as an interesting diversion, let’s play “Flip the script“, and rewrite the story with the roles reversed as best I can.

  • The uncommunicative, uncaring jerk of a husband puts everything before her (work, gym, golf, sports, entertainment)
  • As a result, he is too busy/tired to meet her emotional needs, whatever they may be.
  • As the aggrieved party, she posts a plaintive cry for attention on the Internet.
  • Women show up from miles around to give her validation, cuddles and sympathy.
  • He is widely castigated as a uncommunicative, uncaring jerk, as is anyone who agrees with him.

Yep, that looks about right…

What happens next?

As it is, things are not looking good; by sending out this spreadsheet, he has effectively carpet-bombed his marriage, and the situation will probably escalate into Global Thermonuclear War. By sending the message and then going Ninja, he is effectively saying “we’re done”… but then her posting it online for the world to see wasn’t exactly smart, either, and only helped his cause. What he did was not clever (though it might be argued that it was necessary); what she did was bloody stupid.

I suspect that she will return from her business trip full of righteous anger. She will most likely require and demand an abject apology from him. This he must not do; if he knuckles under, he is doomed; women are generally not attracted to weak men. The only way their marriage will survive is if he holds his ground while she rages and he remains unmoved by the inevitable temper tantrums and testing that will come his way. This is unlikely to happen, as a) he has a weak reputation that will take a long time to change and b) it will require her finding the humility to admit that she was wrong — and going by the content of her post, I’m not betting on that.

Personally, I think it’s time to stick a fork in this one, it’s most likely done.

Attraction for Dummies

Hold tight folks, things are about to get politically incorrect…

Over the past few years I have become something of a relationship hacker. I have observed the actions of others, and the consequences of those actions. I have seen plenty of thoughtless stupidity — mostly from men — and delusional rationalization — mostly from women.

Over the past century, the average age of first marriage has gone up by about ten years. In Grand-dad’s day, a young woman would go from her father’s house to the altar and then on to home, hearth and family. In these enlightened days, however, women are encouraged to avoid early marriage at all costs, get an education, become independent and generally “find themselves”, before seeking marriage… if they feel like it.  This is generally thought of as a good thing, but I wonder if it really is; after all, marriage has become disposable, and women seem to be a lot less happy than they used to be…

The Economics of Attraction

We all have standards. There are things that we find attractive, and things that we simply don’t. But some of the lists that women come up with are unrealistic in the extreme. This is partly because most women overestimate their attractiveness to men, and partly because during her prime years or attractiveness, (16-28), women enjoy awesome power and a plethora of options. The more attractive she is, the more attention she will receive and the more discerning she will have to be.

However, what Mother Nature provides most bounteously, Father Time takes away with alacrity. Gravity and birthdays will inevitably conspire to reduce their power to command the attention of men and rob them of options. Men stop noticing them, pursuing them and making a fuss of them. But like the proverbial boiling frog, they are often slow to realize this until it is too late. As one wag put it: “Cinderella has arrived late to the ball, only to find Prince Charming has long since departed, and all that is left is a few middle-aged peasants leering at her from the punchbowl.” By the time most women go shopping for a husband, they have acquired the skills that will make them girlfriend material but lost the qualities that would make them good wife material. And then they are surprised when men turn away from marriage.

Did you hear that sound? I think someone’s head just exploded.

What men find attractive.

We’ve all seen the lists that women compile, but two can play at that game. Here is a very good one for men:

“…ideal Beauty can vary depending on culture, but there are still certain physical features in women that carry across most cultures: a feminine face with strong facial symmetry, large breasts, a low waist-to-hip ratio, smooth and unblemished skin, etc. Beauty is essentially a purely visual attribute,  indeed well over 95% of that which men use to determine the attractiveness of a woman falls under visual Beauty… the remaining features which determine attractiveness include how the woman smells, what her voice sounds like, and what her body feels like to the touch.”

Someone recently tweeted two graphs, ostensibly taken from a prominent dating site: The first graph shows what women consider to the the perfect age for a man:

Age Graph for men“My age plus or minus five years”

The second was what men consider the perfect age for a woman:

 Age Graph for women“twenty-one plus or minus three years”

What is amazing to me is that the person who tweeted the graphs described them as “disturbing”. I can only surmise that it must have been a woman, as I, like most men, found them a statement of the obvious. The fact is that a twenty-one-year-old-“hottie” will be lusted after by pretty much every male she meets — from thirteen-year-old boys whose hormones have just dropped all the way up to ninety-nine-year-old-geezers on their deathbeds. Some people (i.e., older/less attractive women) don’t like this, which is understandable. But just like the female predilection for cute shoes and drama, the male sex drive is not up for negotiation, and they are simply arguing with biology. Most women prefer men who are tall, strong, confident, dominant and independent, but get upset when men chase after women who are young, slim, pretty, submissive and vulnerable. You can’t argue with biology, and you can’t negotiate attraction.

What is annoying is that some are seeking to criminalize unwanted behavior — there are actually folks out there who want any kind of unwanted advances to be labeled as “harassment”. The problem with that is the difference between “cool” and “creepy” behavior is simply one of attraction, and as such, is highly subjective and arbitrary. Any law which keeps bad/undesirable men from approaching a woman will also keep the hot/attractive guys away as well. Good luck with that…

You. Me. Lunch

In conclusion, a few sayings that to mind:

  1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder“. This means he decides how attractive you are. Not you, your friends, or the media.
  2. Self Praise is no recommendation” Women talking about how “hot” they are automatically lose points.
  3. Beauty = Fertility + Love” My own work, I believe, but it explains why a man will remain attracted to a woman after her looks are gone. It also explains why divorced women find it much harder than they expected to get a date — her husband’s treatment of her may have caused her to inflate her value. As a bonus, it also has the added effect of making certain people’s heads explode.
  4. Men age like wine. Women age like milk“. Dunno where i heard this one, but the more I ruminate on it, the truer it becomes.

Why progressivism is bunk

I have commented on Elizabeth Warren’s delusional thinking before, but her recent speech: “Eleven Commandments of Progressivism” made me laugh and cry at her tragicomic grasp of reality. So here are her eleven commandments — apparently she need more commandment than God, make of that what you will — along with a dose of real-world analysis and rebuttal.

“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

Sounds good, but how do you legally define “Honesty”? And what happens when the cost of regulation gets so onerous that Wall Street decides to move to another state, or — God forbid — another country?

That aside, I don’t believe that Wall Street is the source of my problems — but K-street might well be. No matter which way you slice it, the lobbying business is essentially legalized corruption. And while we’re on the subject, how much money have you, Senator Warren, taken from the lobbyists? How much have the universities, the law firms and “Women’s Issues” organization paid you to legislate for them and champion their causes?

Personally, I have never had a problem that Washington DC has solved, though I can think of a fair few that they have created.

“We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

This is what is known as a Non Sequitur; the two clauses have nothing to do with each other. It certainly sound warm and fuzzy, but it makes no sense at all. Reminds me of the joke “Close the door! It’s cold outside!” “So if I close the door it will be warm outside?

Does everyone who believes in science really have a responsibility to protect the earth? Scientists, after all, invented nuclear weapons, biological warfare, and genetically modified crops. And if you don’t “believe” in science, does it then follow that you don’t have a responsibility to protect this Earth? The American Indians lived in harmony with nature for millennia before we got here, and they were hardly “scientists”.

And by the way, real scientists do not “believe” in science — they do it. Once you start “believing” in science, are you not in danger of turning it into a religion? There certainly seems to be enough cult thinking among scientists for me not to trust them with the future of the planet — this is one of the reasons that I don’t buy into the eco-terrorism that is being passed around as science these days. The global warming fanatics have the same batting average as the Apocalypse Apologists, and yet we somehow give the former credibility while dismissing the latter as kooks. These good, well-meaning folks can’t even predict the stock market, or even next week’s weather — and they expect us to believe them when they say they know what will happen eons hence. They have been so spectacularly unsuccessful with their predictions that in my lifetime the problem has gone from “Global Cooling” to “Global Warming“, then on to “Climate Change” (translation: “we don’t know, but it’s gonna be bad, so everybody do as we say…”).

“We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

Net Neutrality is a laudable goal, and one which I support. But like Capitalism, pure, undiluted, unbridled Net Neutrality can be a bad thing. And it contains one major flaw that I dealt with here.

“We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

Another couplet of unrelated factoids. The assumption here is that the minimum wage is the best and only solution to poverty. Typical socialist delusional thinking. You want to see the way out of poverty? Ask up-by-their-bootstraps folks like Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice… but you won’t, cos they know something that you refuse to admit; that success takes guts and perseverance, and people of that caliber are rare. And it doesn’t exactly help that they are Conservatives…

“We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

I believe that people get paid either for what they do, what they know, what they are owed, or what they own. Since fast food workers are paid for what they do, they are expendable and replaceable. Any such job will have low wages, and the best way out of that trap is to make yourself more useful to society. So quit wasting your free time watching reality TV and game shows. Get some skills/give up your vices//start your own business. That is the American way, but it is apparently not the “progressive” way. Thanks for clearing that up.

“We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

Consider the source: Warren is the product of the government-funded and government-backed education system, and has been heavily financed by the education “industry”. She is not likely to be particularly inclined to “fix” the system that got her where she is today, though I am pretty sure that she will support any measure that will “solve the problem” by throwing more of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars at it.

Education is a good thing, but it is NOT a human right. Students are not “entitled” to anything, least of all an overpriced and probably useless degree at somebody else’s expense. The fact is that tuition costs are spiraling out of control, but I suspect that has more to do with easily-available government-backed money than anything else.

“We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

Consider the source: As a Senator, Warren is not going to be getting Social Security, she will be getting a Government pension. But rest assured, she’ll fight for you… just like all the other politicians who promised to “fix” the system.

Fun Fact: Retirement is actually a modern Western invention that is less than a century old. The norm throughout history and geography is to work until you die, you can’t work any more, or you can live off your savings or your kids.

Ever wondered why we retire at 65? Because Social Security said so. But when Social Security was invented only one in fourteen people lived to 65… which means that Social Security was a scam on day one. Medicare is a promise that the government knows it cannot keep, as the currently-shifting goalposts mutely testify. One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was “Don’t assume that the government will have any money for you when you retire“. That was way back in 1989.

Bottom line, if you want to retire comfortably, live within your means, spend less and save 15% of your income. the government will also take 15% — half from you and half from your employer. We’ll see which plan pays off.

“We believe-I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014-we believe in equal pay for equal work.

Consider the source: There is no evidence that Ms Warren, has ever worked a real job in her life. She’s an academic, with all of the ivory-tower philosophy that goes with it.

Like so many things politicians say, this sounds good in theory, but the word “equal” means different things to different people. Is a kindergarten teacher (usually female) “equal” to an Oil Rig Worker (usually male)? Is a receptionist (usually a woman) “equal” to a roofer (usually male)? Which is more dangerous? Don’t you think that greater risk should carry greater reward?

According to Department of Labor statistics, there are now more women in the workplace than men. There are more women getting degrees than men (though not in the hard STEM subjects, where men still heavily outnumber the women). And yet, salaried men work longer hours than women in the same job, for the same money — and in some cities, women get paid *more* than men for the same or less work. How much more “equality” do you want?

“We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

More equality talk. Lovely. Let’s look at the facts, shall we?

Men are more likely than women to be arrested, die violently, commit crimes, be victims of crimes, go to jail, and be addicted. They also die more often on the  job, have more heart attacks, commit suicide in greater numbers, and live shorter lives than women” (David Murrow).

Men can also be drafted and are expected to bear arms for their country if needed. They work all the dirty/difficult/dangerous jobs (when is the last time you saw a woman plumber/construction worker/roofer?). Does that sound “equal” to you?

Fun Fact: Women have more “equality” then they have ever had. and they are less happy than they have ever been. The inescapable conclusion: “equality” is over-rated.

When I got married, the expectation was that I would work, and she would look after house and, when they came along, do most of the child-rearing. Yeah, I’m old-fashioned that way, and so is she. I would help around the house (fixing things and doing “man stuff”), and she would feed me good, healthy, home-cooked meals and do her part to make me the best man I can be. A quarter-century later I have the best marriage a man could with for. The idea alone is enough to make some women’s heads explode, while others silently wonder “why can’t I have that?”. The reason you can’t is that thanks to feminism and changing cultural norms, women have changed, as has the institution of marriage: these days, it is a rigged game, where the deck is heavily stacked against men. Women can (and do) blow up a marriage at any time and for any reason (three-quarters of divorces are filed by women), and female-friendly courts have an overwhelming tendency to give the wife everything. These days, a woman can throw her husband out of his house and into a prison cell by merely accusing him of divorce. So who has the real power?

But change is a-comin’. Men are finally waking up to this fact, and are beginning to realize that those same changes mean that they can have all of the perks of marriage while freeing them from the obligation of having to buy a ring and sign on the dotted line — and are turning away from marriage. Ladies, you have won. Enjoy your victory.

“We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

No it doesn’t you twit; that means looking to the principles laid out in the constitution and defending our borders. What is is with all of these non-sequiturs?

Here’s a nice little definition for you. An immigrant is someone who has been through the legal process of immigration. I know whereof I speak — I was one. Someone who sneaks across the border in the dead of night is not an immigrant, they are an illegal alien. In large enough numbers, this may be considered an invasion. If they do so with the backing of a foreign government, it is, in effect, an act of war. Mexico secures their southern border; we should too.

I love immigration. If folks want to come here, pay taxes, take part in the great American Experiment and pay their way in life, Good for them: let them do it legally like I did. But I did not come to America to learn Spanish and live in a Barrio.

Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that should these invaders get citizenship they would overwhelmingly vote Democrat — that would not be at at all… or would it?

“And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

Typical progressive yowling: Three clauses that have nothing to do with one another. Let’s break it down:

“And we believe that corporations are not people…”

They aren’t and shouldn’t be. But Hobby Lobby is effectively a family-run business that has made it clear that they will run their company their way or go out of business. You have your principles, however misguided they may be — let them have theirs.

“…that women have a right to their bodies…”

Ah, yes, that old chestnut. So why is it that prostitution is illegal and and partial-birth abortion (a revolting practice that involves sucking out their brains of your unborn child) isn’t? Because one is “exploitation” and the other is “a choice”. Is this what you call “empowerment”?

“…We will overturn Hobby Lobby.”

Uh.. Sorry Ms Warren, but Congress does not get to “overturn” Supreme Court cases — they get to create laws. But if you want a law that destroys a business and puts thousands of people out of work, knock yourself out.

Fun Fact: Hobby Lobby did not infringe anyone’s rights, and it hasn’t deprived anyone of anything — just the right for women to get four abortifactants (in their opinion) at someone else’s expense. This case turned on four out of the twenty birth control mechanisms — you still get the other sixteen for “free”. You want one of those those “banned” medications? They’re not really banned – you can pay for them like everyone else. They’re not expensive – If you can afford a cellphone, you can afford the meds. Can’t afford both? Choose.

According to Warren, “Getting free stuff because you are a woman” (presumably paid for by men) is yet another definition of “equality”.

And the main tenet of conservatives’ philosophy, according to Warren? “I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.”

And the main tenet of Socialists/Feminist/Progressives’ philosophy, according to Wizard Prang? “Give us enough money and power, and we, the government, will solve all problems, make everything fair for everyone and create utopia

Socialism explained

Good luck with that

The problem with Net Neutrality

Why a good idea will destroy small businesses.

Like most responsible Netizens, I am in favor of Net Neutrality — the principle that ISPs should not discriminate based on content. In principle, it sounds like a good idea: you, the customer, should have access to whatever services you want, without having to pay extra for it, and without the ISP “throttling” internet traffic that competes with services that they may be offering — for an additional fee, naturally.

But there is trouble in paradise, and its name is Netflix.

The Netflix paradox.

Netflix, you see, is the biggest single source of Internet traffic in the world; it is estimated that as much as 40% if the bits flowing through the system come from that one source. And that places a load on ISPs, who have to purchase additional bandwidth and hardware to handle all of those bits wending their way from Netflix’s servers, across the public internet, to the ISP’s customers. Unlike consumers, ISPs have to pay for the “Public Internet” bandwidth they consume. The big ISPs have a solution: they do a deal with Netflix, where Netflix installs a server within the ISP’s Datacenter. This saves on bandwidth, as the movies on that server can be accessed by customers without having to go out on the public internet ad all the way back to Netflix. It saves on costs, as the ISP does not have to pay anyone for the bits that flow around within their networks.It also makes for a better experience for the customer, who is blissfully unaware that all of this is going on.

This is all well and good if you are one of the big boys — Cox, Comcast, Time Warner — as they all have deals in place with Netflix. But what if you are a small ISP? Netflix won’t talk to these little guys — not worth their time. They have to pay full-freight; as their customers sign up for Netflix, they are shifting massively more data, which pushes their bandwidth costs go up accordingly.

Their customers, however, won’t pay more just to watch Netflix. And there, as they say, is the rub.

Network Neutrality says: “Thou shalt not block or throttle Netflix”. Customers say “I want my Netflix!” And the small ISP says: “If it’s all the same to you, I would like to make a little bit of profit here, so I can feed my children? (won’t somebody please think of the children?!). Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The elephant in the room is bandwidth; most residential internet customers in this country are used to paying a flat fee for “all-you-can-eat” service. This means that those customers who are not Netflix subscribers are effectively subsidizing those who are.

The bottom line is that small ISPs are being punished by a perfect storm; on one side we have fixed-price, customers fattened on “all-you-can-eat” unlimited data. On the other is a major bandwidth hog who won’t cut them a deal. And Net neutrality means that they cannot throttle Netflix traffic or charge their customers a surcharge to make up for their real increased costs.

Residential Internet service is the only utility where most customers do not pay for what they actually use.
Water, gas, electricity, these are usually metered. But not Internet.

For them, the only fair solution is to change their pricing model from all-you-can-eat to a-la-carte, where customers pay for the bandwidth they use. And customers who have been spoiled by unlimited data won’t want that — I certainly don’t.

This is not meant to be a screed against Net Neutrality — it is a good idea, and one which I support in the main. My intention here is not to criticize the idea or derail it in any way. My intention is to draw attention to the fact that the law of unintended consequences will always bite you in the… rear.

Finally… Ferrari

The Prancing Horse arrives in Real Racing 3

Without a doubt, the most-requested marque in Real Racing 3 has to be Ferrari. Over the course of last year I have seen scores, if not hundreds of posts on FireMonkeys and other forums, begging for Ferrari to be added to the game.

Screenshot_2014-06-22-20-41-57

Naturally, the addition of a marque to the game requires an intricate mating dance in which information, money and data changes hands before permission is finally given. For a prestige marque like Ferrari, this dance is a particularly intricate one.

Well, it’s finally happened; the legendary Italian marque has been added to the impressive roster of cars currently available in the game, bringing the total to 74.

The new offerings include the Ferrari FF, 45B Italia and F12Berlinetta. In addition, Lexus has added the IS 350 F Sport (2014), which is an almost insignificant addition — an afterthought when compared to the three Italian offerings.

Screenshot_2013-10-22-21-05-39

The new Ferrari — apparently the plural of “Ferrari” is “Ferrari” (who knew?) — are raced in two new series. The first of these, Ferrari Faceoff — or “Ferrari Tear-Your-Face-Off”, as I call it — is a career series. Curiously, it is found right at the end, after Zenith. This is odd, since the Ferrari offerings are not really in the same class as the Bugatti Veyron, Agera R, etc. In my opinion it should have been inserted earlier in the series, perhaps around the “Lexus LFA Showcase Series”, after the appearance of the last Lamborghinis (or should that be “Lamborghini”?), which are their closest competition.

The second event — Battle Italia — is an optional series. It is also rather unusual in that it pits the three new arrivals against two of the Lamborghini(s) that have been in the game since Day One.

There is also a new track — Circuit de Catalunya, in Spain. Like the Dubai Autodrome, it is a collection of tracks of varying length and complexity. Like Dubai, it is kind of irritating, but at least there are no twilight races (and a little less sand).

Screenshot_2014-06-22-20-42-06

There is also a new type of Event: Ghost Challenges. It is an evolution of Time Trials, in which the player can challenge any other player on the Time Trial ladder.

Screenshot_2014-06-22-20-42-18

Another new feature is “Meet The Crew”. This motley bunch consists of “The Manager”, who will double the payout of the next race, “The Agent”, who will similarly double the fame earned in the next race, and “The Mechanic”, who will magically erase the damage caused by the next race.

Screenshot_2014-06-22-20-42-12

But these bonuses only work if you win the next race. The crew can be hired for one gold piece each, but if you win enough races, they will work their magic for free.

Another welcome change is that the Monkeys increased the payouts: My “Reference Race” (Classic American Muscle, ’68 Dodge Challenger Indy Speedway Endurance, 50 miles) yielded R$29990 and 5990 fame in 1.3 and 1.3.5; in 1.4 it was increased to R$41960 and 7980 fame — a substantial increase, and much appreciated.

Off Track - Invalid Lap

The only fly in the ointment was that a change was made to Time Trials such that invalidated the result if if all four wheels left the track. This was an annoyance, but an understandable one. The result has become the bane of my existence.

The Verdict

Perhaps the biggest surprise about this version is that three new the Ferrari are really not that impressive. The first two (FF and Italia) are under-performing, and only the third has performance that could grudgingly be called “impressive”. But all three cars are skittish and skiddy; the defining thought that kept popping into my mind when taking one around a track was a Douglas Adams/Zaphod Beeblebrox quote: “Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow”. Racing the F12Berlinetta against its closest Lamborghini opposite number — the Aventadora — highlighted the difference. The Lambo was a joy to drive; fast yet forgiving, with plenty of warning when Bad Things Were About To Happen. The Ferrari, however, lost grip far too easily, and when if did so, the “departure from controlled flight” was quite vicious.

Perhaps FireMonkeys did not model the cars correctly, but assuming that they did a good job — the models would have to have been approved by Modena, after all — the new additions were disappointing and not that impressive.

The Ban Hammer strikes again

The Endurance Race that I mentioned earlier is, of course, the same race that I mentioned in my review of V1.3.5. The bad news is that apparently the large payouts from those long Endurance Races was apparently enough to trigger a week-long automatically-generated ban. What is incredibly irritating is that there is no appeal mechanism against this ban. Given that I had not actually done anything that might be considered as cheating I decided that if I was going to be labeled a cheat I might as well be one, so I got a friend to “bless” my profile, by adding a few thousand gold coins. I didn’t ask for any R$ — I could earn that honestly enough. I asked for about 4k; to my surprise he added 57k. That should be far more than I will ever need…

Naturally, that triggered another week-long ban, but at this point I really don’t care. In fact, I still haven’t been back on-line, even though the ban expired a week ago, and I don’t have any plans to go online anytime soon.

Ban 2

Onwards to 1.5!

Food for thought

A disparate and semi-random collection of random nutrition-related thoughts and opinions:

  • “Cow’s milk is natures perfect food… if you are a baby cow” (Mark Hyman)
  • Fat doesn’t make you fat; sugar makes you fat. Decades of low-fat diets have left us fatter than ever. But when the manufacturers removed the fat, what was left tasted horrible, so to make it taste better they added… sugar.
  • Unhealthy Breakfast:.Cereal + Fruit Juice + Toast.
  • Healthy Breakfast: Eggs + Ham + Fruit
  • Whole Milk Good. Low-fat milk Bad. Fat-free/skim milk Ugly
  • The three most profitable foods in the supermarket are soda, salty snacks and breakfast cereal. You don’t actually need any of them.
  • If is doesn’t rot, don’t eat it.
  • You don’t need much sugar to function: Normal blood glucose level is 100mg/dL. Which is a gram per liter. You have five liters of blood on average. So the sum total of your blood glucose is about five grams – which is about a teaspoon of sugar.
  • Restaurant food is bad for you: They want you to enjoy the experience, so to make the food taste better they add sugar and/or salt. So… if you’re fat, stay out of restaurants… unless you work there.
  • Eat Butter.
  • Drink lots of water. There is no habit as conducive to long-term health as drinking plenty of water.
  • “If it tastes good, spit it out”
  • Walk! Americans do not walk enough. Get a pedometer (or install a pedometer app on your smartphone)
  • Sugar is a poison – treat it as such.
  • Avoid white foods
  • Shop “on the edge”. Most supermarkets have the fresh (perishable) foods around the edges of the store, with the non-perishable stuff (Twinkies, anyone?) in the center, mainly for logistical reasons. This works to your advantage. Staying out of the middle makes shopping simpler, too.
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