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Manchin madness, McDonald's AI, caffeine danger, lab leak theory
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Published Tuesday, June 08, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 08 2021

Manchin's opposition clouds future of Dems' elections bill. "Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen," Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote. But how can you have bipartisan support when one of the parties has dedicated itself to subverting the democratic process?

CO2 concentration levels hit record high, show no impact from pandemic. Although carbon emissions fell 17 percent globally in spring 2020, they were on the rise again by September, with research from the World Meteorological Organization indicating they fell only a net 6.4 percent last year.

McDonald's is testing Siri-style AI technology at drive-thrus. Reminds me of the joke Jay Leno made when the chain announced it would start using robots in their kitchens: "You just know these were the robots that weren't smart enough to work for NASA."

Five ways to keep your brain sharp as you age. I'm certain one of them should be avoiding cable news.

Fact check: Video falsely presents joke as confession to QAnon blood-harvesting conspiracy theory. I'm no longer wondering - a large portion of our population is insane.

I just want to point out that "Who is the President of the United States?" is a question they ask people to tell if they are sane.
-Paula Poundstone

Warning: high caffeine consumption may increase risk of blinding eye disease. It works out to about three or four cups of coffee per day. Swell.

Frozen in siberian permafrost for 24,000 years, microscopic animal comes back to life. Gee, what could go wrong?

The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the fight to uncover Covid-19's origins. State Department investigators say they were repeatedly advised not to open a "Pandora's box."

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is

On this date:

Birthdays

Miscellany

UK commandos fly over the sea with new jet pack. It's the 21st century. This is way overdue.

Putin says he has no intention of reinstating Trump. "I think if I were planning to put Trump back in power, I would know about it,"" the visibly annoyed Putin said. (Andy Borowitz)

No shirts, pants or undies needed on bike ride, just a mask.

The average home goes through 2,184 pounds of laundry a year — the weight of an adult black rhinoceros. Kids may be a large part of the reason why. The average child goes through three outfits on a typical day.


Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Caffeine, Coffee, Covid-19, Environment, Joe Manchin, McDonald's, QAnon, Voting


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UFOs: can't rule out aliens; F. Lee Bailey; caffeine and your brain
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Published Friday, June 04, 2021 @ 1:22 AM EDT
Jun 04 2021

I want to believe

U.S. finds no evidence of alien technology in flying objects, but can’t rule it out, either. The report determines that a vast majority of more than 120 incidents over the past two decades did not originate from any American military or other advanced U.S. government technology, the officials said. That determination would appear to eliminate the possibility that Navy pilots who reported seeing unexplained aircraft might have encountered programs the government meant to keep secret. But that is about the only conclusive finding in the classified intelligence report, the officials said. And while a forthcoming unclassified version, expected to be released to Congress by June 25, will present few other firm conclusions, senior officials briefed on the intelligence conceded that the very ambiguity of the findings meant the government could not definitively rule out theories that the phenomena observed by military pilots might be alien spacecraft.

Whistleblower threatens run for Congress if Pentagon UFO report watered down. The hotly anticipated Pentagon report on UFOs may be nothing but space junk, warns a former Department of Defense employee.

F. Lee Bailey dies at 87.

Regular caffeine consumption – from coffee, cola, or energy drinks – affects brain structure."Our results do not necessarily mean that caffeine consumption has a negative impact on the brain, but daily caffeine consumption evidently affects our cognitive hardware, which in itself should give rise to further studies."

"SpongeBob" and "Transformers" cost u.s. taxpayers $4 billion, study says. A new report details ViacomCBS's use of a labyrinthine tax shelter to sell rights to its shows and films overseas.

The ugly truth behind your fancy rewards credit card. America’s poor foot much of the bill for credit card points, miles, and cash back. "The American payment system has evolved into a reverse Robin Hood whereby middle-class and working-class Americans who pay with a debit card, prepaid card, or cash are subsidizing the wealthy, who pay less for everything..."

Why America's gas pipelines are an easy target for hackers. (Video)

Cartoon: shortest life spans
Dave Whamond | Copyright 2021 Cagle Cartoons

Donald Trump is getting worse. The former President is only listening to "the bottom of the bottom of the crazies in the barrel."

Science fiction for the demented: QAnon grifter tells followers she can time travel — and says Trump will be "reinstated".

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is Audacity to Hope Day, Hug an Atheist Day, Hug your Cat Day, International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, National Cheese Day, National Cognac Day, National Doughnut Day, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, National SAFE Day, and Old Maid's Day.

On this day in 1411, Charles VI granted a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

On this day in 1940, Winston Churchill delivered his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech to the UK Parliament's House of Commons.

On this day in 1974, the Cleveland Indians held a Ten Cent Beer Night promotion. A ninth inning drunken fan riot interrupted the game, which the Indians forfeited. Another Ten Cent Beer Night was held on July 18, but with a two cup limit.

On this day in 1982, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" was released in the US. Its first day box office gross set a world record.

Birthdays


Categories: Caffeine, Coffee, Credit Cards, Donald Trump, F. Lee Bailey, QAnon, Ransomware, Taxes, UFOs


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Zero tolerance, zero brains; Bob Dylan; solar storms; spermageddon; canine-spread coronavirus
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Published Monday, May 24, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 24 2021

One of the problems associated with being thrown into Facebook jail is ignorance of the alleged offense.

The announcement states that your post has violated Facebook's "Community Standards," a dense, 27-page litany of offenses that will get you kicked off the platform.

I found the section which I believe addresses my post:

"We care deeply about the safety of the people who use our apps. We regularly consult with experts in suicide and self-injury to help inform our policies and enforcement, and work with organizations around the world to provide assistance to people in distress.

"While we do not allow people to intentionally or unintentionally celebrate or promote suicide or self-injury, we do allow people to discuss these topics because we want Facebook to be a space where people can share their experiences, raise awareness about these issues, and seek support from one another."

"We define self-injury as the intentional and direct injuring of the body, including self-mutilation and eating disorders. We remove any content that encourages suicide or self-injury, including fictional content such as memes or illustrations and any self-injury content which is graphic, regardless of context."

Here's the offending cartoon:

I maintain this isn't a cartoon about suicide- it's a cartoon addressing the power of social media to influence otherwise sane people to do insane things. If anything, it's an anti-suicide cartoon.

I've appealed prior suspensions and won, because it was obvious the artificially intelligent bot or stressed human outside contractor didn't grasp the concepts of satire, parody, or irony and made a bad call. Most of the time Facebook admitted it was in error and unhid the post. But I don't think it's going to work in this instance, because self-injury is one of those categories of which Facebook seems to have a zero tolerance policy. There is no way to contact any human at Facebook to offer a defense. And a small potatoes page administrator with a mere 10,134 followers really can't create enough media outrage to get Facebook executives involved.

I suspect Facebook adopted this policy to aggregate a number it can use in its "we're doing our best, but we can't catch everything" defense. They can point to their mountain of context-free suspensions and say, "Look, we suspended n accounts in the last month for violating our policy against self-injury."

Supplementary viewing/reading:

25+ best memes about jumping off a cliff

Little evidence supports the claimed effectiveness of zero-tolerance policies.

"The whole principle is wrong (censorship); it's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't eat steak."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future."
-James Thurber

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"The first way to answer the questions in the song ('Blowin' in the Wind') is by asking them. But lots of people first have to find the wind."
-Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman. He's 80 today.)

Actor Gary Burghoff is 78 today. The video above is the 1984 pilot episode of a M*A*S*H spinoff that wasn't picked up.

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The first text message: On this day in 1844, Samuel Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.

On this day in 1940, Igor Sikorsky performed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.

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NOT REAL NEWS: a look at what didn't happen last week.

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Pentagon's UFO footage- and Obama's curiosity- ratchet up expectations for a big reveal. When Congress passed the $2.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill in December, it included a requirement that the Pentagon and a number of intelligence agencies prepare a report laying out what they know about UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena), which is the new military-speak for UFOs. The report is expected to be delivered as early as June 1, and at least part of it will be made available to the public.

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Good news for a Monday morning: "...greater coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality."

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Liz Cheney's GOP primary challenger admits to impregnating 14-year-old when he was 18. Liz Cheney's GOP primary challenger admits to impregnating 14-year-old when he was 18. The Facebook video he released, called "Senator Bouchard takes on the fake news media," claimed "I was young" and "you've heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story," he said, neglecting several glaring differences like the Shakespearean characters were fictional and neither was running for Congress in the so-called "family values" party.

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Can the news be fixed? The fix is already in. Oh, you mean like repaired.

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The Great Amazon Purge... "About three weeks ago, several major Amazon brands were suddenly kicked out. Most people were unaware of the names of more than 12 disappearing Chinese companies, such as Mpow and Aukey. However, these two sell a number of electronic devices, such as phone chargers and external batteries for smartphones. If you click "Buy" on Amazon's first phone charger or wireless headphones, it could be from one of the sellers currently suspended."

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Alabama will now allow yoga in its public schools (but students can't say 'namaste'). But on the other hand, Alabama becomes latest state to legalize medical marijuana.

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Life as we know it:

Solar storms are back, threatening life as we know it on Earth.

A massive heat dome is about to make the Southeast sweat. "Temperatures starting on Monday will run between 10-15 degrees above normal, and border on record maximum temperatures, both for daily highs and lows."

Spermageddon: Could men be infertile by 2045? One word: parthenogenesis.

New coronavirus discovered- and dogs are spreading it. It could be the eighth coronavirus known to cause illnesses in humans.


Categories: Alabama, amazon.com, Anthony Bouchard, Bob Dylan, Coffee, Covert Comic, Dogs, Drugs, Facebook, Fact check, Gary Burghoff, Helicopters, Igor Sikorsky, James Thurber, January 6, Liz Cheney, M*A*S*H, News Media, Republicans, Robert A. Heinlein, Romeo and Juliet, Samuel Morse, Self-injury, Spermageddon, Suicide, Telegraph, The Sun, Weather, William Shakespeare


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