.- .–. . / -.-. — -. / — -.– – ….

Print out the chart below, head over to LearnMorseCode.com and in one minute KB3BYT will explain how you can become a Morse code pro.  This chart is the key…

You go left for a dash (dah), right for a dot (dit).  Pick a letter below, walk through it once above, and all will be clear.

Why learn Morse code? -… . -.-. .- ..- … . / -.-. — -.. . … / .- .-. . / -.-. — — .-..

Think of it as binary for humans.

And the possibilities…  Imagine if we all really invested ten minutes a day learning Morse code over the next few months and then spent the rest of our lives occasionally going out to restaurants and banging on the table the whole time while not saying a word.

If you’ve got a better idea, .–. .-.. . .- … . / … …. .- .-. . / .. – / .. -. / – …. . / -.-. — — — . -. – …


Welcome Back to the Internet!

posted in: External Screenshot, Smog 0

Receiving 100% of your search results from Google is a little like getting all your information from the popular kids at school.  The top results might satisfy most needs, but there’s a whole lot of internet out there beyond that first page of links.  Not that anyone wants to go beyond the first page or even the first result.  Thanks to SEO, it can all start to look like the yellow page equivalent of AAA Web Content after a while anyway.

Luckily, a new search engine has come along that gives you a chance to dig deeper without having to bother with a second page.  Meet Million Short, where you can exclude the top 100 – 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 – and yes, 1,000,000 web sites from your search results.

There are so many angles to explore.  While leaving out the top million sites is interesting, knocking out the top 100 is… a revolution.  All that effort to get there and now you’ve got a simple tool to completely ignore them.  Take out the top 10,000 and it’s like driving through a city without seeing a single chain store.

Welcome back to the Great Unknown!

[via Hacker News]

Bank of Coal (or Did Santa Give it to Them?)

No one is happy with Bank of America.  As their annual shareholder meeting draws to a close in Charlotte, NC today, four days of protests will be reaching their height while BofA’s stock continues to languish at lows it has not seen since the early 90’s.

There have been calls to stop doing business with Bank of America.  There’s a petition and song about breaking up the bank.  It was ranked #5 among America’s least reputable companies and named the second worst company in the country two years in a row.  They tried to raise debit card fees, backed down from the resulting outrage, and yet are already working more fees back in.  And now, as the possibility of their own credit rating getting a downgrade looms, their CEO’s pay has quadrupled

Where do you even begin cleaning up that mess?  An apology would be a start, but this one turned out to be a bit of economic fan fiction.  Meanwhile, Bank of America continues doing business, such as being the largest financier of the U.S. coal industry, which earned their stadium in Charlotte a recent rebranding campaign.

Aside from generating 42% of the electricity produced in the U.S. during 2011, there’s not much good to say about coal either.  If you’re tired of the usual laundry list of coal’s consequences, then maybe a report from Harvard pegging the best estimate of coal’s annual cost to the U.S. public at a third of a trillion, $75 billion in Appalachia alone, might be of interest.

The most alarming thought, however, is the simple combination of a desperate bank and a literally dirty business.  If no one is walking away from money on a good day, Bank of America will likely be the last to admit that it’s $4.3 billion coal business is as toxic as it’s purchase of Countrywide, a contender for the worst deal in history.  …  That’s why they’ll probably need a little help.

If you’d like to join in breaking the news to them, there’s a protest going down, a petition going around and a good chance you haven’t heard the end of this story.

[Stock Chart from Google Finance, Image from Rainforest Action Network via WeArePowerShift.org]

Never Try to Discourage Thinking for You are Sure to Succeed

In 1951, Bertrand Russell wrote a piece for the New York Times Magazine entitled “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism,” which concluded as such

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

It’s quite the ‘eat your vegetables’ kind of list. But what would the other side of this coin look like?  Would the essence of the Conservative outlook of the time really sound something like…

1. Feel absolutely certain about everything.

2. It is worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, because there’s a chance the evidence won’t come to light and until then it will benefit you.

3. Discourage thinking.

4. When you meet with opposition, overcome it by authority and not by argument, for you might lose the argument.

5. Have respect for authority, for they are right.

6. Use power to suppress opinions you think harmful, for it will suppress them.

7. Fear to be eccentric in opinion, for though an opinion might one day be accepted, until then it will be suppressed.

8. Find pleasure in passive agreement.

9. Be scrupulously untruthful, even if the truth is convenient.

10. Envy the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise.

What a frightening experiment.  You could see why no one would promote such a set of ideas explicitly, but, other than tactically, could anyone truly believe in them?

[h/t Marginal Revolution]

You Can Pick Your Friends and You Can Pick Your Nose, But More Than Likely You’ll Just Vote Democrat or Republican

Still months away, the 2012 U.S. presidential election is already shaping up to be a real chore/bore.  It’s as if we used up every bit of inspiration in 2008 and are now left to vote along party lines that are neither fun like a party nor straightforward like a line.

With the economy, it’s difficult to imagine either party promoting themselves, but given the likelihood that they will, here’s Businessweek’s recap of Obama’s efforts to straighten the ship

(click for full size version)

Now we just need a chart on how this relates to reality.

The State of Corruption (or The Barn Door is Open)

Will there be a point before the robots take over when we elect machines to public office?

Consider the question again after looking at The Center for Public Integrity‘s Corruption Risk Report Card for state governments in the U.S….

Who would get the job with a transcript like that?  Unfortunately, those are the jobs’ ratings!  Now, fill the role with a human, factor in that power tends to corrupt and how power without status can produce worse results.  Where are our expectations now?

The Center for Public Integrity’s plan is to bring attention to the specific risks of corruption and move along the slow process of reform.  They’ve already helped accelerate efforts in five states and have set it up so you can help do the same in yours.

Check out your state’s results and click to send them on to your representatives so they know you know they know, you know?

11 Ways To Occupy If You Have to Work on May Day

Not everyone who supports the Occupy Movement is going to be able to skip work or school for the General Strike on Tuesday.  Some might not be able to avoid shopping.  Others are going to need to use an ATM or wash the dishes.  Life isn’t stopping on May Day, but the key to a successful action is avoiding an all-or-nothing attitude.  Anything you can not do on May Day counts, so don’t let working get in the way of your strike.

Here’s some ideas on how worker bees can make the most of the day…

1. GO AFTER WORK – The simplest solution to not being able to get out of work for the General Strike is to join the action as soon as you can after work, or before if you work nights.  Same goes for school.  Check the schedule in your town and in most cases you’ll find that events are going on all day long.  No need to explain your absence during the day for you are better later than never.

2. SPREAD THE WORD – Know someone with the day off?  Make sure they know what’s going on.  Post it on Facebook.  Text it, tweet it, reddit it, digg it, pin it, whatever.  Scream it out the window.  Work the word ‘occupy’ into any conversation you can and then speaking of ask, “Did you hear about the General Strike today?”

3. INVITE YOUR CO-WORKERS – If you detect any interest as you spread the word, let them know you are dropping by after work and invite them along.  Not everyone knows what going to a march or rally is like and might be interested but anxious.  More will make it merrier.

4. OCCUPY YOUR CUBE – Print out a few posters from Occuprint, crank up a live stream and your striking day can begin at 9am.  Looks like you’ve got eight hours to brainstorm the perfect sign and a captive audience to test them out on.  Hello, supply closet!

5. OCCUPY THE WATER COOLER - Everyone loves a good office joke and it’s the perfect cover for turning your office into the next encampment.  Start with a funny little sign for your water cooler or coffee machine.  If it’s well received, spend the day seeing how far you can go with it.  You know, for fun.

6. INTER-OFFICE MARCH – Go big with signs, chants and a consensus-established parade route or orchestrate a coincidental moment in time where everyone just happened to want coffee at once.

7. LUNCH HOUR OCCUPATION – If you work close to the action, get yourself and your crew out into it for a long lunch.  If you don’t, eat outside the nearest bank.  Bring lunch from home for bonus points.

8. THE IT’S OCCUPIED – For all those whose workplaces won’t tolerate monkey business nor talk of strikes, you’ve still got options.  The bathroom is humanity’s most tried-and-true refuge.  You could go old school and write something on the wall or just hang out for a while with the paper.  Oh yeah, it’s occupied.

9. OCCUPY THE COPIER – To add a little mystery to the day, take your favorite poster from Occuprint and leave it in the copy machine for someone else to find.  Also good for printers though be mindful if everyone on the network will know it was you.

10. THE PRE-OCCUPY – If you really had your heart set on striking and can’t let it go, try distracting yourself and your colleagues with links to the most draining websites you’ve ever found.  Nothing torpedoes a work day like addictive games such as Desktop Tower Defense or cool Tumblrs like AwesomePeopleHangingOutTogether.

11. DONATE – Since you’re spending the day earning, consider giving a bit to your local Occupy or any Occupy you hear about having trouble with the police. Legal funds are being raised to help folks who get arrested and you’ll sleep like a champ at night knowing you helped someone get out of a holding cell quicker.

Got other ideas?  Please share your own in the comments.
Got something going in your office?  Please share that too.

Still got questions about May Day?  Check out Every Thing You Need To Know About May Day * But Were Afraid To Ask.

100 Years Ago in Cleveland…

The Time Bandits
Internal Memo
April 27, 2012

Re: 100 Years Ago in Cleveland…

This poster from The Industrial Worker seems straightforward…

(click through to enlarge)

..but in the end begs the question, how critical are little girls with shovels to the structure of our society and do we owe them thanks or… what?

[via Disinformation (via Retronaut)]
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