Posted on July 25th, 2016 No comments
Songbird is an amazing California trained three year old filly who won big yesterday at Saratoga in an exciting early race. Saratoga is one of the two great old race courses, I have to mention Del Mar as the other, for reasons that one of my readers knows well. Many will dispute this opinion but Saratoga means Summer and another time to me.
About eight years ago there was a colt named Birdstone who won the Belmont in an amazing upset over Smarty Jones who that year had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and was favored to win the triple crown. Birdstone went off at 36 to 1 and the night before the race there was a dinner at Belmont honoring my cousin Joe Hirsch an executive columnist for the Daily Racing Form. I sat next to a man who was the head of a national racing organization and casually asked him who he would bet if he wanted a long shot. Birdstone he replied. Now here the story gets sad. I placed a 20 dollar bet via email and watched the race as Birdstone not only won but in one of the great and exciting races in Belmont history. The person who was supposed to place the bet didn’t open his email until Monday morning… all true story.
Posted on July 9th, 2016 No comments
There is an exhibit at the FDR Library at Hyde Park of the Pearl Harbor attack and the events of that time.
The notes with FDR’s changes is below. What we need is a good person in the White House and a good ten cent cigar.
Let’s get ready to rumble — tomorrow is the big weigh in … for the 100th edition of the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest from Coney Island. Friday’s event will feature a ceremonial stare-down between rivals like Joey Chestnut, Matt Stonie, and women’s contenders like Miki Sudo and Sonya Thomas ahead of the contest on July 4th.
Here’s what I could find about Miki Sudo:
Miki Sudo is a top-ranked female competitive eater: Top Female and Third-ranked in the world with men and women combined. Her most significant accomplishments are her victories in the women’s competition at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2014 and 2015. Her 2014 victory in the contest unseated Sonya Thomas, who had won the women’s competition since its inception in 2011.
Sudo was born in New York to a Japanese father and American mother. At the age of five, she moved to Japan with her family, and lived there for seven years before returning to the United States.
Sudo entered the competitive eating circuit in 2013, winning a pho eating contest. In 2014 she became Major League Eating’s top ranked female competitive eater, and in 2015 reached the top three overall.
Here are two videos: Sooouee
I have a friend from over in Ulster County who says every morning when he goes to shave and looks in the mirror, his father is looking back at him. I somehow got on a website showing how they looked then and how they look now. Both the good and the bad.I figure the Beach Boys with the hats are probably bald. Not pictured is Jane Fonda who I saw recently in Grace and Frankie or was it Frankie and Grace. She is still good looking and more important, a wonderful actor who I remember best as the girl in Cat Ballou an oldie but a goodie. I assume this post is politically incorrect but you know about political correctness these days!
I recently got ticketed for stopping on the side of the road of the Taconic Parkway. The ticket was $120 and I promptly sent a check. It was reurned as the state police no longer take personal checks, only postal money orders or cerified checks. The letter which I am sure came promptly said it had to be returned by a date which already had passed.
Maybe Robot Lawyer is the answer. The below article came from the Daily Telegraph in London so may be suspect at best but feel free to try it out. I’ve already gotten the check certified and returned it.
A “robot lawyer” created by a British teenager has overturned tens of thousands of parking tickets in London and New York.
The chat bot designed to help people dispute parking violations in just 30 seconds has negated 160,000 fines since its launch last year.
DoNotPay is the brainchild of 19-year-old Joshua Browder, originally from London. Browder, who is currently in his second year at Stanford University, describes the chat bot as “the world’s first robot lawyer”.
Users chat with the robot lawyer, which can offer advice on a range of subjects beyond parking tickets CREDIT: DONOTPAY
The chat bot, which is free to use, took Browder three months to create between school and university. “It was a huge challenge,” he said. He watched hours of YouTube tutorials and spoke to machine learning experts to create the intelligent bot that could understand human messages.
Browder initially designed the DoNotPay bot as a “pet project” for family and friends after being issued with 30 parking tickets. But after it gained traction in London he made it available across the UK and New York, with Seattle to follow soon.
“It’s really difficult as every city has different laws,” said Browder. “The US parking authorities are less likely to dismiss tickets. In the UK they’re a lot more fair.”
The bot asks a series of questions designed to work out if a ticket can be appealed, including whether there were clear parking restriction signs or if the driver was travelling to hospital urgently. After determining that an appeal is viable, it then walks the user through the steps of appeal.
It is currently only available through the DoNotPay website, but Browder is in talks with Facebook to incorporate it in the Messenger app.
Over 250,000 people have used the service so far, according to Browder. Of the $4 million (£3 million) worth of tickets overturned, about 150,000 were in London. In the UK around 10 million parking tickets are issued a year, generating millions of pounds in revenue for local councils.
DoNotPay’s service also has a selection of pictures of unclear or confusing road markings taken from Google Maps to help motorists with relevant claims.
“Many motorists leave the scene of their parking ticket without taking photos of the road markings,” he told The Telegraph after the service launched.
Browder plans to expand the artificial intelligence lawyer, which can also work out compensation for delayed flights, to help vulnerable groups navigate complicated legal systems, including people who are HIV positive and refugees in foreign countries. The latter will use IBM Watson to translate Arabic and English.
“The success of the parking tickets has made me realise this is bigger than parking charges. I think there’s a real value in providing free legal help through a chat bot,” he said. Browder is spending this summer working on his different side projects. “When I’m not working on them, I’m sleeping.”
At the moment he is working entirely for free and on his own. But he has plans to hire some designers and in-house lawyers as the chat bot lawyer’s capabilities grow.
Silicon Valley giants have all released chat bots in recent months, including Facebook and Microsoft, that are mostly designed to help users with day-to-day tasks such as ordering food, booking a taxi and organising their diaries.
Posted on June 28th, 2016 No comments
The below article is about a great oak tree, but no where does it say how they know its age. There is a mighty oak on the Appalachian Trail in the Town of Pawling that is, I think the largest on the whole trail. I’ve never seen any information about how without cutting it down a tree’s age is determined.Here is a picture of the Dutchess County oak tree.
Basking Ridge, N.J., is contemplating how to let go of the white oak tree, now in failing health, that has stood in its midst for more than 600 years.
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Well before Columbus sailed to the New World and even before Gutenberg invented the printing press, there grew a great oak tree in a land that would one day be called New Jersey.
The oak was already old when farmers built a church beside it in 1717. And when the people came and kept coming, a town called Basking Ridge was built around the church that was built beside the tree.
Town and tree would always be inseparable, or so the people thought.
In 1740, English evangelists James Davenport and George Whitefield preached beneath the tree, spreading the word of the “Great Awakening” to more than 3,000 people. George Washington’s troops drilled on the village green in view of the ancient oak, and the general picnicked beneath it with his friend the Marquis de Lafayette. On his way to the Battle of Yorktown, Gen. Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau marched 5,500 French soldiers past the oak and into history — and soon after the tree shaded the graves of 35 veterans of the revolution.
Through war and natural disaster and a thousand storms or more, the tree survived. In the 1920s, four men scooped out part of its rotted trunk and then stood inside it, amazed at its girth, before pouring concrete into the cavity to save the oak. They also added cables and “crutches” to ease the weight of the branches grown longer than the tree was tall.
Under the sprawling branches of the historic “Holy Oak” in Basking Ridge, N.J., a plaque notes the tree’s dimensions half a century ago. (Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)
And when drought parched the community in the 1970s, residents didn’t mind when volunteer firefighters slaked the oak’s thirst. “And if at any time, we have another drought and people are told they can’t water their lawns, they can’t fill their swimming pools, there will always be water for this tree,” a town historian said years later.
But what if, eventually, all the tender loving care isn’t enough? A couple of springs ago, people noticed that the tree was less green in the top of its canopy and its gray denuded branches seemed to scold the sky. They worried over what was happening to their beloved oak — the oldest white oak in the country and perhaps the world. Scientists were called in, plans were offered up, and everyone waited to see what the next spring would bring.
Posted on June 28th, 2016 No comments
I read an article about this genius recently in a ham radio magazine and was directed to the below YouTube video. One of her subjects is “Maxwell’s Equation in 45 Minutes.”
I can’t begin to understand any of this lecture and I challenge my readers to get through it. Feel free to skip to the next post. The T shirt with the equation is apparently quite popular.
Here is what Wikipedia says about Maxwell’s equation:
In the 1860s James Clerk Maxwell published equations that describe how charged particles give rise to electric and magnetic force per unit charge. The force per unit charge is called a field. The particles could be stationary or moving. These, together with the Lorentz force equation, provide everything you need to calculate the motion of particles in electric and magnetic fields.
Maxwell’s equations describe how electric charges and electric currents create electric and magnetic fields. Further, they describe how an electric field can generate a magnetic field, and vice versa.
The first equation allows you to calculate the electric field created by a charge. The second allows you to calculate the magnetic field. The other two describe how fields ‘circulate’ around their sources. Magnetic fields ‘circulate’ around electric currents and time varying electric fields, Ampère’s law with Maxwell’s correction, while electric fields ‘circulate’ around time varying magnetic fields, Faraday’s law.
Posted on June 27th, 2016 No comments
Posted on June 23rd, 2016 No comments
Lisa Alamia was born and raised in Texas but you wouldn’t know it by her accent.
“People asked me where I’m from,” said Alamia.
She went in for lower jaw surgery in December and when she came out of the surgery she had a British accent. Her husband, Richard, noticed it right away.
“I said, ‘Doctor is that normal for her voice?’ He said, ‘Oh ya. It will go away in a couple of days,'” said Richard Alamia.
But it didn’t go away, so Lisa went to see a neurologist.
“Very unusual. I can’t think of a reason the jaw surgery would cause it. I went back and looked at the operative report to see if there were any complications from surgery but there weren’t any,” said Dr. Toby Yaltho of Houston Methodist Hospital Sugar Land.
After tests, Dr. Yaltho was able to determine Lisa had a rare neurological disorder where someone’s voice can alter or change after a surgery or traumatic event.
“I’d read about it and heard about, but I never thought I’d see it,” said Dr. Yaltho.
Lisa was nervous about coming forward because she feared people wouldn’t believe her.
“You’re going to have your skeptics,” said Lisa Alamia.
With support from her friends and family she’s embracing her new accent. With the accent slowly decreasing, she hopes to have her old Texas accent back.
Posted on June 20th, 2016 No comments
When I was young there was a great old white mulberry tree in the front yard. Every year when the berries were ripe, all kinds of birds would come as well as raccoons carrying their young up the tree to eat the berries.
The tree died about 25 years ago and from time to time I tried to plant a new one but they all died.
Two years ago I saw a tree choked by weeds up on the hill. It was a white mulberry and had somehow grown there without having been planted. I cleared the area around it and it has flourished. The mulberrys are ripe just this week and the birds are flocking in.
Mulberrys are bland and tasteless but it seems the birds dont care.