vendredi 22 septembre 2017

Odds on what just happened on The Price is Right?

For anyone unaware of the rules:

You have 2 tries to get 100 total. If you get 100 on the first spin you stop. The wheel has slots in increments of 5 from 5 to 100. (So 20 slots.) (I don't think it matters but here is the sequence: 5¢, $1.00, 15¢, 80¢, 35¢, 60¢, 20¢, 40¢, 75¢, 55¢, 95¢, 50¢, 85¢, 30¢, 65¢, 10¢, 45¢, 70¢, 25¢, 90¢.)

Here is what happened today on the second spin the wheel segment:

First person got 100 in 2 spins. ($10,000)

Second person got 100 in 1 spin. ($10,000)

Third person got 100 in 1 spin. ($10,000)

(They now all get 1 more spin for more money.)

First person gets 100 in 1 spin. ($25,000 bonus for a total of $35,000)

Second person got 100 in 1 spin. ($25,000 bonus for a total of $35,000)

$80,000 given away in a matter of minutes.

(And just in case you are wondering, the Third person damn near got 100 in their extra spin away. They were 1 slot width away.)

What are the odds of 5 people in a row getting 100 if the first 3 get 2 spins to total 100 and the last 2 only get 1 spin?

(Even though 2 of the first 3 didn't need their second spin we have to follow the actual rules of the game to find the exact odds of this happening again.)

I'm not sure about that one exactly.

Bonus question. What are the odds that 4 people in a row land on 100 in 1 spin?

(I suppose this one is 1/20 times 1/20 times 1/20 times 1/20.) Which is .0000062 or 1/160000. That is, this would statistically happen once every 80,000 episodes. (Because this game occurs twice per episode you divide the 160,000 by two.)

There have been over 8,000 episodes of this game show. So that isn't really that crazy. :D

(This next article has some details incorrect.)

via International Skeptics Forum

Bkgd checks for voters?

John Lott's opinion piece on vetting voters in the USA.


Last week, in testimony to the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, I suggested using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to screen for ineligible voters. Democrats have long lauded this system, calling it simple, accurate, and in complete harmony with the second amendment right to own guns. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer(D-N.Y.) bragged that the checks are done “without in any way abridging rights.” Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that expanding the system to cover all private transfers of guns would not be “in any way imposing on or impinging on the rights that the Second Amendment guarantees.”
So should a person agree to a bkgd check prior to exercising a civil right? I have to do so now in my home state of WA prior to even holding a gun in my hand in most circumstances.

Mother Jones view on the proposal.

Lott himself has said that background checks for gun purchases “only makes life easier for criminals” and that the background check databases are “rife with errors,” raising questions about why he’d want to use such a system for voting. His recent writings suggest that his idea might be more about embarrassing Democrats than serious policy. “Applying the NICS background checks to voting would undoubtedly elicit a long list of other concerns from Democrats about how the system interferes with people’s right to vote,”

via International Skeptics Forum

Handmaid's tale and ISIS

(Not in history and arts as also touching current events)

Have read and seen a bit about the series Handmaid's tale.

Apparently some people are of the opinion, that it shows a remotely realistic dystopia.

That leaves me my head scratching; regarding classic dystopias 1984 and Brave New World, they both seem far more realistic; after all for example Stalinism or what is going on in North Korea has/das to some extent decent parallels to 1984 (for example manipulation of history by erasing people from photos etc.; and of course a brutal thought-control police, though a bit shy in efficiency compared to the 1984 version).

Handmaid's tale is just so off.

Exacpt for one thing:

The society they try to build has some parallels, e.g. women as property, hanging gays, etc. all based upon quoting some scripture.

Therefore if someone would argue that except for basing the tyranny on Christianity Handmaid's tale is in the sense realistic, that it portrays a unfortunately quite real ISIS clone tyranny, ok, fits somewhat.

But that leads me to three questions:

1. What happens in the mind of people who actually consider such dystopia based on Christianity to be somewhat realistic?

I cannot fathom how they can miss:
a) there is no christian ISIS and has not been for at least 200 years.
b) there are no christian thinker remotely going in such a direction
c) the actual ISIS is not christian

2. Why not a series about ISIS takeover of a society?

That then unfortunately would be a "plausible" dystopia aka one actually to some extent currently or at least just a few years ago happening.

Of course, one could not base it in the US; but for example Egypt (ISIS is trying hard there); or Lybia; or many other countries (Saudia-Arabia maybe not, cause some viewers might have difficulties to notice the differences between today Saudi-Arabia and one after an ISIS-takeover).

3. Could it be, that the more murderous islamist get, the more some people start to fear radical christians, because not having the same fear about radical christians as about murderous islamist would be islamophobic?

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 21 septembre 2017

Suppressed black powder rifle; no tax stamp

Since 1934 an unlicensed person like me has had to purchase a $200 tax stamp in order to make/buy/register a machine gun, silencer or other NFA firearm. This is one reason why silencers are so expensive in the USA; people want a durable and high quality muffler for their gun. There is a bill in Congress that would remove silencers from the NFA registry, but it has no traction; Trump certainly isn't interested in the bill at all even if one of his kids is supporting it.

Silencerco has taken a Traditions muzzle loading rifle and permanently attached a muffler to it. Federal law says that any device intended to suppress the report of a portable firearm is a silencer; in the USA federal law does not include muzzle loading rifles using loose black powder in their definition of a firearm. So the device welded to this rifle is legally not a silencer.

Here is a video; it is a bit more cumbersome than the usual muzzle loading rifle.

I think this is the rifle used by Silencerco as the base unit. It is about $400, with their moderator attached they sell it for $1000.

State laws vary, but Silencerco claims you can buy one through the mail;

New Jersey
New York City and its incorporated
territories, which includes the following
counties: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, Queens,
Richmond, and New York
Washington D.C.
If it's legal in CA, I'm sure someone there will be quick to pass a law making is harder to own.

From the CNN link;

But, the company also says it has already run into legal challenges from California, Massachusetts and New Jersey -- three states with stringent gun laws.
What a surprise. :)

This dipstick sure has his panties in a bunch.

"Since its inception, the gun industry has been manufacturing loopholes to get guns and suppressors into as many hands as possible, regardless of how dangerous those hands might be," said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "Literally the only thing workarounds like this accomplish is they make it easier for people we all agree shouldn't have guns, much less sound suppressed ones, to get them."
Really? And I thought it was only law makers who could manufacture loopholes since they are the ones passing legislation in the first place. Sounds like Kris Brown is actually the one manufacturing an imaginary problem so he can get his name in the news.


But the lack of federal oversight and the absence of a federal background check means the Maxim 50 could be purchased by a felon, according to the ATF. However, they couldn't necessarily own the ammo for it and certain state and local laws might prohibit possession of the muzzleloader or silencer by convicted criminals depending on how those localities define a "gun" or "firearm."
This statement is lame. The "ammo" for any black powder firearm is loose black powder poured down the barrel and a lead slug or shot wad pressed over the top of the powder.


via International Skeptics Forum

Another identify the Sci fi book request

Okay, this is an odd one, because I've been trying to find a book I read as a kid... and I actually know exactly what this book is called. But it doesn't help!

The book was a sci-fi novel called "His Master's Voice". The problem is that is was most emphatically NOT the one written by Stanisław Lem. And by god, google will not accept the idea of searching for a sci fi novel of that name that isn't Lem's one. No matter what I put in the search box, even specifically excluding returns with "Stanislaw" or "Lem" in it, I get nothing but his book.

But the one I have in mind was a very pulpy, juvenile-type sci fi action story. It starts with a bunch of humans living a primitive, Native American style life. But then a bunch of aliens show up to "harvest" the humans. And you find that the aliens do this every few generations, taking the natives and turning them into soldiers in a vast alien war. In fact, this is what the planet is - it's not Earth of the past, but a planet somewhere in space, one of many that have essentially been set up as free-range human farms.

We follow the hero through various war adventures, until finally he gets involved in a rebellion and an attempt to escape the war.

Can anybody help me find out who wrote this book? I'd love to indulge my nostalgia and re-buy it.

via International Skeptics Forum

The Deep State and its real motives

Oh that whacky Deep State. It can be anything you hate whenever it wants. It can't defend itself because it either doesn't really exist or is out playing a friendly against the CFR with Rothschild serving as a referee. So why not also say that it is actually just about sex with children?

And, hey, while were at it why not prop up Putin as the hero that wants to bring it all down?

via RightWingWatch

On yesterday’s episode of “The Alex Jones Show,” Cernovich accused liberal Hollywood actors of spreading conspiracy theories involving Russian president Vladimir Putin because Putin is opposed to pedophilia.
Cernovich speculated, “What I think is actually going on here is Putin is actually very anti-pedophile and has done a lot of things to fight the –“

Jones interrupted, “Oh no, that’s what it is. There’s a global anti-pedophile network. Now if you’re not for the pedophiles, you’re against them and that’s what it is. And anybody for the deep state is now a pedophile.”
Did you follow that through the Möbius strip of logic? All the Russia stuff is just a "conspiracy theory" and the real reason the Deep State hates Putin is because he is "very anti-pedophile" because reasons.

Now someone might think it is probably not a good idea for these two men to be so willing to throw around the pedophile accusation after they sorta accused a humble pizza joint of actually being the seventh seal to a Willy Wonka land of underage rape. An accusation that might have led to some unpleasantness. But people that would think they should probably not go down that road don't get just how awesome they think they are.


“They’re fighting hard to shut us up because, why?” Cernovich asked. “What is the common theme, Alex?”
“We’re not pedophiles. We’re not psychopaths. We’re not in the psychopath club,” Jones replied.
“Yeah, if we quit talking about pedophiles and the pedophile rings then they would leave us alone,” Cernovich said. “That’s what this is really about.”
Yeah people. They are just fighting the good fight against imagined enemies. Who cares if there are real world consequences?

And that Deep State? Clearly it just wants to protect its crimes against these valiant heroes as they maybe will get a pizza joint that actually does do things wrong next time. Maybe. Next time.

And you might be wondering? Why isn't this in the Conspiracy section? Well, because what is the difference these days? The Deep State isn't something that only commenters on the net talk about. It is front line politics.


via International Skeptics Forum

‘Straight Black Men Are The White People Of Black People’

‘Straight Black Men Are The White People Of Black People’


[Snip]..when black women share that we pose the same existential and literal danger to them that whiteness does to us; and when black women ask us to give them the benefit of the doubt about street harassment and sexual assault and other forms of harassment and violence we might not personally witness; and when black women tell us that allowing our cousins and brothers and co-workers and ****** to use misogynistic language propagates that culture of danger; and when black women admit how scary it can be to get followed and approached by a man while waiting for a bus or walking home from work; and when black women articulate how hurtful it is for our reactions to domestic abuse and their rapes and murders to be “what women need to do differently to prevent this from happening to them” instead of “what we (men) need to do differently to prevent us from doing this to them”, their words are met with resistance and outright pushback.
After demanding from white people that we’re listened to and believed and that our livelihoods are considered, our ears shut off and hearts shut down when black women ask the same of us.

I noticed this article recently and saw a bit of backlash against it's premise. While it's title is a bit over the top, I found the premise and the backlash/defense against it's positions interesting.

It very much mirrors the perceived cop outs by 'white people' in regards to privilege, although with some minor differences. To me, generally, white privilege denial stems from an individuals circumstances and experiences, while the rebuttals I've read use race wide data to refute any power structure allowing black men to exert their male privilege over black women.

By and large though, what I've pulled most from it is individuals inability to really view the plight of others through their eyes. The idea of privilege seems to always bring about 'what-aboutism's' as an immediate defense mechanism against any possible lowering of one's own success and accomplishments. It's interesting to view.

Anyhow, just my take. Found it interesting and a good push for introspection in regards to these things. How about you guys.

via International Skeptics Forum