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Robert Poole
Software engineer by trade, aspiring writer by avocation.
Software engineer by trade, aspiring writer by avocation.

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Holy crap... Ativan?! Yep, apparently it can cause suicidal thoughts, among other side effects. I had no idea it was frequently prescribed to recovering addicts.

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Looks as though this is getting a lot closer to ready-for-prime-time.

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About damned time for sure!

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Heard about Chris Cornell on XM Octane this morning. At the time, the announcer didn't mention anything about suicide, just that the death was sudden, unexpected, and happened after a great concert that Soundgarden performed in Detroit.

Considering how upbeat he was during the concert, and his upbeat tweet before the concert, this just seems a little strange to me. My condolences go out to his family.

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Furry fandom needs more balanced, mainstream coverage like this.

Recently, I ran into a problem with Fedora 25 on my Dell XPS 15. (For the record, I've got it in a dual-boot configuration with Windows 10.) I've already previously fixed Grub issues, but this is different. The symptoms I'm seeing are:

* Since a recent Steam update, Steam crashes upon startup -- and takes the GUI with it. Possibly, the entire OS is wedging, but it's hard to tell.
* Subsequently, I have discovered that the OS hangs upon shutdown/restart, forcing me to use the power button to get the job done.

Anyone have any idea what might be causing this? Are there diagnostic steps I can take, or should I just blow everything away and start over?

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So I got a speeding ticket today while heading to work on AZ347, which is the main artery out of Maricopa. There were a ton of speed traps set up along the road, so I tried to take it easy, but I still managed to creep up over the posted limit. The road is mostly 65 MPH, but over bridges and near traffic lights it drops to 55; because it's a desert road cutting through a whole lot of nothing, people do routinely speed, and sometimes I feel pressured to speed up when I'm being tailgated by a monstrous SUV.

They were using LIDAR, which has the advantage of being more narrowly targeted than radar (due to much lower beam divergence). While I know I was doing a bit over 60 crossing over a bridge (I was decelerating from 65 without braking), the officer who stopped me claimed I was clocked going 70 MPH. I told the officer that I have a degree in physics, I know the limitations of these systems, and there was no way in hell I was going to buy that I was doing 70. And yes, I did glance at my speedometer at the time; I'm pretty sure it isn't that far off.

I found the linked article and immediately knew they were most likely misusing the LIDAR gun, or else it was out of calibration. The linked article states that at distances of 700-800 feet, the beam diverges enough to not be confined to a single target. It then states, "In an honest courtroom, any laser reading in excess of 800 feet would not be accepted for evidentiary purposes." Some states have set limits higher than that, and many have no such limits at all.

The law enforcement vehicles involved were probably over 1000 feet from me when the reading was taken. Traffic was pretty heavy because it was the tail end of rush hour.

So after I insisted to the officer that, yes, I may have exceeded 60 MPH, but there's no way in hell I was doing 70, he cut me a little bit of a break. No, I didn't get away with a warning, but I was written up for 60 MPH in a 55 zone. The actual statute was ARS 28-702.01A, or "Less than 65 in 55 / Waste of Finite Resources." I was told it was about a $15 fine, so that's something. However, it still sucks that I'm probably going to get points on my license. I don't think I'm eligible for traffic school.

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I'm now seeing an article floating around in G+ posts, some by people I know, with the title "Global Quackery: Earth Has Not Warmed For Past 19 Years." This article purports to cite the Danish Meteorological Institute and makes the astounding claim that sea ice thickness has actually increased recently.

This is the part where I remind you that short-term trends and long-term trends are two different things... as are weather and climate.

Nevertheless, this article appears in The Daily Wire, but cites the Telegraph as its source, meaning that this article as presented is from a second-hand source -- itself a conservative publication that has a known bias against AGW research. The BBC is consistently rated as more impartial, for instance. (See for the rankings.)

So... I decided to head over to the DMI website to check out what they had to say about sea ice extent.

Salient quote: "This switch to new algorithms has led to small changes in the trends of sea ice extent since the first year of the data set, but it has not changed the general picture of ice extent decline."
If you look at the trend lines on the inset graph (labeled "Arctic Sea Ice Volume, 08-May-2017"), you'll see that the overall volume of Arctic sea ice has been generally declining, with the 2017 data closely following 2016 data so far, and the volume in 2016 being lower than that in previous years.

The claim that global warming has been "on pause" for 17, 18, or 19 years has been debunked. You can read about it (and other fallacious claims) here:

The Guardian also weighed in on this:

You can also read about this at and

What really irks me is that the folks posting this crap (some of whom are friends and acquaintances of mine) feel no compunction whatsoever to post drive-by comments on my AGW-related posts, but frequently choose to post their own stuff with comments disabled. Hardly sporting. If I were uncharitable, I'd call that cowardice; if I wanted to be slightly kinder, I could call it a lack of conviction. Either way, I find the asymmetry to be hypocritical.

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I'm wondering when these anti-vaxxer "activists" are going to be charged with creating a public health crisis? At this point, I'm not sure feeding the conspiracy theories about the government and vaccination outweighs the harm being done by these outbreaks.
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