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Profile Information

Name: Steve
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: US
Current location: US
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 26,302

Journal Archives

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: General Keith Alexander Extended Interview (HBO)

Azeroth Armory – Gorehowl (cool blacksmithing video about forging a big battle axe)

Even though this is about World of Warcraft, I think those of you who like blacksmithing will enjoy it. I know nothing about blacksmithing and found this very interesting.

question about electrical power transformers

My condo building and 3 others were notified that today the local power company was going to replace an aging power transformer. We were told to expect an outage from 9 AM to 3 PM, and to make arrangements. To honor the occasion, I made sure my laptop was 100% charged up for Starbucks

The power never went out. I was at home during that entire 6 hours. The power company trucks just left. Is that the norm ? I was expecting the power to go out and for me to have to evacuate Thanks in advance.

DU'ers in Midwest, Plains and South, beware of possible rough weather this week...


Rough weather = severe thunderstorms and maybe a tornado

Major Severe Weather Outbreak Possible This Week


The atmospheric ingredients are aligning for what could be intense severe weather this week, especially on Wednesday and Thursday. A powerful upper-level low is expected to bring the storminess to the Plains, Midwest, and South as it slowly makes its way eastward. The low is now pushing into California, where its power is being put to good use: providing much-needed snow in the Sierras and rain at lower elevations. From 4” to 8” of snow was observed above 3500 feet in the Sierra over the weekend, and winter storm warnings are in effect for 8-16” of higher-elevation snow late Monday into Tuesday, with local two-foot amounts possible on the highest peaks. The San Francisco Bay area could get anywhere from 0.5” to 2” of rain. While this won’t come close to breaking the severe multi-year drought across California, it’ll at least add a few drops to the bucket and give residents a psychological boost. The cold upper-level air may even lead to severe thunderstorms over central California on Tuesday, with a tornado or two possible.

Figure 1. Dew points as of 9:00 am CDT Monday, April 6, had already risen above 55°F across Texas and Oklahoma, with 65°F values moving north from the Gulf of Mexico. Higher dew points indicate richer moisture near the surface; most severe weather occurs with dew points of at least 55°F. Image credit: NCAR/RAL Real-Time Weather Data.

Ahead of the upper low, high-level southwesterly winds will overspread much of the country over the next several days. This flow over the Rockies will help maintain surface low pressure over the high plains of Colorado and Kansas, and the circulation will pull in plenty of moisture. As shown in Figure 1 above, dew point temperatures (the temperature to which the air needs to be cooled in order for the relative humidity to reach 100%) are already near 70°F along the Texas coast--not too far from typical summertime values. This rich moisture will surge north through the week, with mild, humid air possibly making it as far north as Chicago and Cleveland by Thursday. The juxtaposition of muggy low-level air and the cold upper-level storm will produce strong instability over a wide area. However, a very warm, dry layer sandwiched between the two—an atmospheric “cap”—should keep storms from becoming widespread on Monday and Tuesday. Any storms that do manage to break through the cap could quickly become severe, especially along a dry line from Texas to Missouri. Late Monday and again late Tuesday, overnight storms could produce severe wind or hail across parts of northeast Kansas and Missouri.

White Man On White Supremacy & Fear of a Black Nation (xpost from V&M)

you're a good guy, Steve

On a busy internet message board like DU, you get the BEST of humanity and, sadly, also close to the WORST. The best of us value you for your personality, your long service to unions and the Democratic Party, your long-time membership at DU, and your union and pet posts. The worst of us snap off a snarky cruel reply, not caring who you are or the fact you're terminal and actually enjoying whatever discomfort they cause.

When the time comes that this place brings you more discomfort than joy, just write us all a good-bye post and then go enjoy the rest of your life with Marta. That's what I would do if I were terminal. This place is not worth enduring excessive discomfort over. At its best, it's a nice place to converse and discuss with nice people, a possible springboard for real life action and an educational resource. At its worst, it's the internet equivalent of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I exaggerated a bit there, 4chan is undoubtedly the worst.

God bless you and Marta, Steve. Peace be with you.

Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison


ROME, Ga. — Before she fell on hard times and got into trouble with the law, Ashley Diamond had a wardrobe of wigs named after her favorite divas. “Darling, hand me Aretha” or Mariah or Madonna, she would say to her younger sister when they glammed up to go out on the town.

Ms. Diamond, 36, had lived openly and outspokenly as a transgender woman since adolescence, much of that time defying the norms in this conservative Southern city.

But on the day she arrived at a Georgia prison intake center in 2012, the deliberate defeminizing of Ms. Diamond began. Ordered to strip alongside male inmates, she froze but ultimately removed her long hair and the Hannah Montana pajamas in which she had been taken into custody, she said. She hugged her rounded breasts protectively.

Looking back, she said, it seemed an apt rite of initiation into what became three years of degrading and abusive treatment, starting with the state’s denial of the hormones she says she had taken for 17 years. But on Friday, Ms. Diamond and, through her, all transgender inmates won the unexpected support of the Justice Department, which intervened on her behalf in the federal lawsuit she filed against Georgia corrections officials in February.

Microsoft reveals plans to give people with autism full-time positions


In a rather touching blog post on one of Microsoft’s official blogs, Microsoft on the Issues, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Mary Ellen Smith reflects on a recent presentation she made at the United Nations in honor of World Autism Awareness Day and Microsoft’s new pilot program with Specialisterne which aims to help people with autism find employment at Microsoft.

The blog post mentions Microsoft’s other efforts with employing autistic people such as their previous work with Supported Employment and vendor partners to hire people with autism for roles in event services, transportation, and food services. This latest program appears to be much more ambitious in scale and promises to give potential employees full-time positions at Microsoft and while mentioning that everyone is different, praises autistic individuals with an “amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code”.

Mary Ellen Smith, whose own son was diagnosed with autism at age 4, is passionate about helping those with autism and praises Microsoft’s efforts to create a diverse workforce that involves not just those with autism but those from other minority groups as well.

“This represents only one of the ways we are evolving our approach to increase the diversity of Microsoft’s workforce. We believe there is a lot of untapped potential in the marketplace and we are encouraged by the strong level of readiness from the vendors who cater to this segment.

more at link

Microsoft blog post: http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2015/04/03/microsoft-announces-pilot-program-to-hire-people-with-autism/

Greece moves to quell default fears, pledges to meet 'all obligations'


(Reuters) - Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday that Greece "intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum," seeking to quell default fears ahead of a big loan payment Athens owes the IMF later this week.

Following a meeting with the head of the International Monetary Fund, Varoufakis told reporters the government plans to "reform Greece deeply" and would seek to improve the "efficacy of negotiations" with its creditors.

Greece has not received bailout funds since August last year and has resorted to measures such as borrowing from state entities to tide it over. It offered a new package of reforms last week in the hope of unlocking funds, but has yet to win agreement on the proposals with its EU and IMF lenders.

Most urgently, Athens is on the hook for a roughly 450 million euro loan repayment to the IMF due this Thursday.
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