Thursday, April 12, 2018

2012 Political Data-Mining: "groundbreaking"


2012 Presidential Campaign Data-Mining Via Facebook
Considered "genius" by some, the privacy intrusions into the lives of Facebook users during the 2012 presidential campaign appears to have been no less than in the 2016 campaign. Facebook's current situation may be "existential" -- and thought by some to not be a problem -- for the social media giant. However, being in a symbiotic position with a presidential campaign that is politically weaponizing the data-mining of users and friends may warrant more prescriptive considerations.

(Excerpt) "In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.

According to a July 2012 MIT Technology Review article, when you installed the app, 'it said it would grab information about my friends: their birth dates, locations, and 'likes'.'

The campaign boasted that more than a million people downloaded the app, which, given an average friend-list size of 190, means that as many as 190 million had at least some of their Facebook data vacuumed up by the Obama campaign — without their knowledge or consent...

This Facebook treasure trove gave Obama an unprecedented ability to reach out to nonsupporters. More important, the campaign could deliver carefully targeted campaign messages disguised as messages from friends to millions of Facebook users...

According to a Time magazine account just after Obama won re-election, 'the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button.'

The effort was called a 'game-changer' in the 2012 election, and the Obama campaign boasted that it was 'the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for the campaign.'"


One hopes that there will be no further erosion of individual privacy or security and that even-mindedness will prevail in current congressional deliberations on this issue -- also clearly present in the 2012 presidential election.


On Topic:
Members of Congress publicly question Zuckerberg, April 2018


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Post No. 278

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

National Border Security: Wall Design

China, historical

Ancient extensive 'Great Wall' border barrier. Width of top surface provides access for guards and strategic equipment.

Source: pixabay

United States, current

Semi truck trailers or metal shipping containers aligned end-to-end can provide a temporary border barrier wall with a top surface for troops and equipment to move around, observe, or defend from an elevated position.


(Excerpt) "President Donald Trump said Thursday [4.5.2018] that he wants to send between 2,000 and 4,000 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border to help federal officials fight illegal immigration and drug trafficking...

[This initial deployment] is lower than the 6,400 National Guard members that former President George Bush sent to the border between 2006 and 2008.

Trump said... 'we’ll probably keep them or a large portion of them until the wall is built.'”



On Topic:

The essence of the steel-and-concrete hybrid system is that steel panels are used on the outside surfaces of wall cavities as forms for the cast-in-place concrete walls. The steel forms remain in place permanently to contribute reinforcement and speed construction time. Higher and higher modules of steel forms can be assembled, and concrete poured into the cavities, without waiting the usual period for the previously poured concrete to cure.

The usual array of professional consultants are responsible for producing drawings and specifications that define the requirements for construction in specific locations.

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Post No. 277

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

SoCal Commute: Fires and Floods Close Hwy 101

Automobile roadway buried under mountainside debris


Overburdened rail corridor temporarily expands passenger trains

(Excerpt) "During the prolonged closure of Highway 101, the Pacific Surfliner served as the only viable ground transportation option between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties...

Beginning on Sunday, January 14, we used the additional northern California equipment [eight additional railcars and three locomotives] to add an extra two to three cars and a second locomotive to each of our six-car Pacific Surfliner '700-series' trains operating north of Los Angeles, resulting in an extra 150-270 extra seats on each of the 10 daily trains serving Santa Barbara, or more than 2,000 additional seats per day. 

Pacific Surfliner trains will continue to operate between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties making all scheduled stops, including Oxnard, Ventura, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta. Despite the additional seating capacity, however, demand for train transportation in the area remains high... Our hearts go out to all those affected by the mudslides, and I would like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding during this difficult time as we continue to work with our community partners to support relief efforts and provide transportation to those impacted by this tragic situation."

Source: Jennifer L. Bergener,  714-560-5462, jbergener@octa.net
Managing Director, LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency
Service Update Santa Barbara County


On Topic:
Commuters flood train stations in wake of Hwy 101 closure
Amtrak Adds Additional Pacific Surfliner
Union Pacific Railroad "...a freight hauling railroad"


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Post No. 276

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Grand Park: NYELA 2018

LA Style of Countdown at (on) LA City Hall's Clock Tower

(Excerpt) "L.A.’s countdown reflects its role as the creative epicenter of our world. LA has always been home not only to creative artists but to artists who are harnessing technology to push new mediums forward. We have done this particularly in filmmaking and animation. N.Y.E.L.A., with its use of 2D and 3D mapping technology sits at the forefront of what art and technology can create. I like to say that it is a true 21st century countdown. The ball is analog."

Source: Grand Park LA

A possible LA style bloviation?

(Excerpt) "...[THIS] is the flagship West Coast New Year’s Eve celebration and is THE place to ring in the New Year alongside not just all of Los Angeles, but also with the world’s capitols."

Well, perhaps THIS is an alternative reality in the minds of moguls for the mainstream media to make appear to be happening at grandiose scale -- or not.


On Topic:

2018 Pasadena Rose Parade Route Cruising Cut Short (10pm)

(Excerpt) "The Pasadena Police Department will shut down roads along the parade route starting at 10 p.m. Dec. 31, 2017...
Impromptu, pre-parade cruising is a tradition and added excitement to the long wait for the people sitting out in the cold... throughout the night... [along the 5 1/2-miles of parade route on Colorado Blvd.]

Concerns about terror cause increased security

Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez said officials decided to close the route off roughly six hours earlier [10pm on December 31, 2017] to prevent the possibility of someone using a vehicle as a weapon...

Sanchez pointed to incidents around the world of trucks and other vehicles plowing into crowds, including the attack in Melbourne this week in which 14 were injured, as reason for the earlier closures.

The Police Department and its federal partners adapt their strategy for the country’s largest New Year’s Day parade in response to incidents throughout the world. This year, they studied the mass shooting in Las Vegas 'extensively' and have taken extra steps for the parade..."

Source: Pasadena Star-News, 12.27.2017


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Post No. 275

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

SalesForce Tower's Illuminated Crown

"Top of the Tower"
At San Francisco's (newest) most visible landmark.

Photo: QwkDrw

Photo: QwkDrw

Illuminated Crown

Artist Jim Campbell has conceived a set of installations for the summit of the tower that, he writes, are intended to be “part of the building, not a superficial add-on.” This will include low-resolution imagery projected onto the crown’s perforated metal skin by 11,000 LED lights.

Source: SF Chronicle

On Topic:
Landmark's Exterior LEDs Face Inward -- creates ambient presence


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Post No. 274

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Thankful for this Hotel

Tomorrow, this will be posted on a wire mesh "tree" in the lobby. It will be with many crowded together notes on paper. Not many will see it, less will actually read it, and maybe a few will think they might see some meaning from their own perspective -- it's about joy!

Thankful for:
The good health
time and type of wealth, to...

Enable
this visit to
this place to
this time to...

Share Christmastime
with pleasant doormen
circling pigeons
The City
you...

And most our family,
if for a moment
a short conversation
heartfelt in busy lives...

Being here
at Christmastime.


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Post No. 273

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Five Kernels of Corn: "Lest we forget."


First Thanksgiving Feast

The American public education system, as best it can, now teaches that migrant European Pilgrims invaded the east coast of a new land to brutally expand their cultural sphere of influence into an undeveloped fertile region. In so doing, the invaders wrecked the eco-system and existence of indigenous peoples.

Okay, some educators may find criticisms of the above description so I'll immediately admit that it's a bias generalization.

It could be noted that these self-assured autocratic Pilgrims also seemed to be extremely unprepared for such an invasion. Shortly after they first arrived, they were debilitated by the region's winter weather in 1620. Over half of the men, women, and children died because of the lack of food. The severe hardships endured that winter were so bad that at one point the daily food ration was five kernels of corn per Pilgrim.

The next spring, the surviving Pilgrims worked with some indigenous people learning how to grow corn. The fall harvests, at some point, inspired a ceremonial communal feast. During the first thanksgiving feast, Gov. William Bradford purposely gave everyone five kernels of corn and said to each one, "Lest we forget."

Source: "Just for You, Editorial Opinions of Steve Abaroa"

Church Children's Message

The 'five kernels of corn' remind us:
Kernel 1
GOD loves us
Kernel 2
GOD provides for us
Kernel 3
the friends GOD gives us
Kernel 4
the people GOD has given us who love us
Kernel 5
GOD hears our prayers and answers us


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Post No. 272

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Escaping from a forest in Iceland

How does one escape from an Icelandic forest?
Answer: stand up (the trees are that short.)





Those Vikings did it!

(Excerpt) "...[Iceland] lost most of its trees more than a thousand years ago, when Viking settlers took their axes to the forests that covered one-quarter of the countryside. Now Icelanders would like to get some of those forests back, to improve and stabilize the country’s harsh soils...

But restoring even a portion of Iceland’s once-vast forests is a slow and seemingly endless task. Despite the planting of three million or more trees in recent years, the amount of land that is covered in forest [estimated at about 1 percent] has barely increased...

When Iceland was first settled at the end of the ninth century, much of the land on or near the coast was covered in birch woodlands.

'The people that came here were Iron Age culture... and they did what Iron Age culture did.'

...[Vikings] slashed and burned the forests to grow hay and barley, and to create grazing land. They used the timber for building and for charcoal for their forges. By most accounts, the island was largely deforested within three centuries...

Eruptions over the ensuing centuries from some of Iceland’s many volcanoes deposited thick layers of volcanic material. The ash, while rich in nutrients, made for very fragile, poor soil that couldn’t hold water and moved around as the wind blew.

A cold land of 'wet desert'

As a result, Iceland is a case study in desertification, with little or no vegetation, though the problem is not heat or drought. About 40 percent of the country is desert... but there’s plenty of rainfall — we call it ‘wet desert.’”

Sheep grazing in the Westfjords

There many sheep in Iceland. One possible complication for reforestation is that apparently sheep love to eat young aspen seedling/saplings.

Source (photos and text): Vikings Razed the Forest...


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Post No. 271

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

SF Landmark Salesforce Tower 'bolted to life

Hong Kong: Two International Finance Centre

Two International Finance Centre (Two ifc)
Architect: Cesar Pelli
Year of Completion: 2003


San Francisco: Salesforce Tower
Architect: Cesar Pelli
Year of Topping Off: 2017

Inspired design.
A landmark building.
Imagined, honed, created
and given life...

...as if by a thunderbolt from heaven.
Height, Top Floors, and Views
Currently, the Salesforce tower in San Francisco is the tallest building (1070 feet) in America west of Chicago. It's good to have that honor back in The City.

Rather than designating the two top floors (60 and 61) for executive offices, Salesforce will keep them open to all employees and their guests.

"...and the views are astounding."

Source: CNBC


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Post No. 270

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Electric Microbus: VW, Tesla, or... ?

VW Twinkie evolves. "Think different." Who will?

Source: unknown

Classic update or expensive boomer accessory?

MEDIA CREDIT: Outsideonline.com


Tesla tentatively teases...



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Post No. 269

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

CFV Point Estero aground at Point Estero

Commercial Fishing Vessel hits sand near rocks at Point Estero


MEDIA CREDIT: Bay News, 8.10.2017

The Odd Oddities of the Odyssey of the Point Estero
As the Bay Flushes
By Neil Farrell

(Excerpt) "A commercial fishing boat rests on the shore of “Abalones,” an obscure coastal trail and secluded beach off the north end of Ocean Avenue in Cayucos; stuck in the sand and the bureaucracy after running aground in an early morning fog.

The CFV “Point Estero,” sits on the beach at Point Estero, which is just one oddity of this odyssey that began in the early morning of Thursday, July 28.

The boat was returning from a trip loaded with slime eels, when for a so-far-unexplained reason, she ran aground 10-plus miles north of the Morro Bay Harbor entrance. Knowing the captain, I can only believe the boat lost steering or had some kind of mechanical failure.

The crew tried to get her off the beach, even dumping their load of slime eels overboard to try and lighten the boat. It didn’t work.

Then the government took notice and efforts to float the run-aground tug ran aground. The Coast Guard, State Parks, Fish and Wildlife Oil Response Team took over, putting the Point Estero stuck on the bureaucracy, as well as the beach.

When I finally got out there on Saturday, July 30, the boat had a line securing it to shore, holding her in place (oddly enough, so the ocean couldn’t float her away) while the wheels of officialdom turned.
They were awaiting a dive assessment team from Santa Barbara, said a Coastie on scene, who didn’t want to give his name. He directed official questions to the Marine Safety Office in Santa Barbara (I called, left my name, title, cell number and email with another anonymous Coastie who answered the phone and who of course knew nothing himself).

The A-Team was supposed to inspect the boat to check for oil and fuel leaks, but there was no sheen on the water Saturday. The Point Estero — with the toughness of a life long working vessel — was still solid.

When I got to the remote area that Saturday just as the tide was coming in at 2:45, it rocked gently with the waves. ‘Thank goodness this happened in summer, when the Pacific is pretty tame,’ I thought while traipsing down a narrow trail to the Estero Bluffs’ edge. She sits on sand just short of a rock that could have hit bow on.

The Coastie said the dive team would oversee removal of the boat’s oil and fuel and any other hazards and by Aug. 2 that had been completed. Some 91 gallons of oil and 2-1/2 cubic yards of “contaminated material” were removed, the Tribune reported.

Then a salvage plan would have to be drawn up and be approved before they’d allow it to be dragged off the beach — if it can be dragged off the beach that is. She was still there as of Monday — 11 days after the Point Estero ran out of ocean on Point Estero.

State Parks, which owns the Estero Bluffs, has shifted responsibility to the State Lands Commission, which owns the offshore area.

So the Point Estero’s future could be dependent on the SLC in Sacramento, which is led by the Lieutenant Governor? And therein lies perhaps the oddest oddity of this whole odyssey.
Good luck to the skipper and crew of the Point Estero. Hopefully the locals won’t be changing the name of the beach from “Abalones” to “Shipwrecks.”

As the Bay Flushes is a light-hearted look at the comings and goings, the happenings and the scuttlebutt and scandalous rumors on Morro Bay’s waterfront..."
Source: Bay News, 8.10-23.2017
(www.yourbaynews.com; search: CFV Point Estero)

On Topic:
7.28.2017
8.2.2017
"Boat that ran aground near Cayucos still stuck; toxic material removed"
(Includes 0:33 video)

Photo below captured 8.22.2017

MEDIA CREDIT: QwkDrw


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Post No. 268

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Monday, August 21, 2017

2017 Great American Eclipse

... the solar eclipse seen through leaves of a tree

MEDIA CREDIT: petitesam

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Post No. 267

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 SF Giants Baseball Schedule

"FinancialForce Performance Player of the Game"
Listen after each San Francisco Giants baseball game to KNBR radio for the "Giants Postgame Wrap" show to learn the player selected as the "FinancialForce Performance Player of the Game."

 Source: FinancialForce

2017 SF Giants Baseball Schedule

Source: SF Giants


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Post No. 266

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Desperate Commuters: Silicon Valley workers in one occupant vehicles

Large commercial footprint and easy transit:
Box Inc. headquarters, Redwood City


Transportation Oriented Development (TOD)


Transportation + Housing + Jobs
A well planned urban region will efficiently link these elements together to provide and function well for the people, communities, and companies in the region. Good urban planning may be interdependent with these three elements in changing and creating the built environment for continued successes in Silicon Valley.

"...more workers are traveling longer distances on increasingly congested roads. Between 2010 and 2014, the proportion of workers who spent an hour or more getting to their jobs [in core Peninsula cities] jumped from 10 to nearly 15 percent...

Higher Rise + Higher Density + Transit-Oriented-Development
Policy experts argue that the key to bringing commute times under control is to address the underlying housing shortage. By building higher-density apartment buildings and townhouses near worksites and along public transit corridors, planners hope to house more workers on the Peninsula and reduce the need to commute from outlying areas.

That kind of dense housing can be a hard sell in suburban Silicon Valley, where residents often fight new construction they fear will worsen traffic and change the character of their communities...

Still, there are signs the worsening housing crunch is making residents more amenable to growth. Voters in Mountain View elected a pro-housing majority to the city council in 2014, community groups in several Peninsula cities are organizing to support new development, and Redwood City is building a cluster of tall new office and apartment buildings near its downtown Caltrain station...

NO Suburban Sprawl
[HOW]... Silicon Valley cities are willing to grow will affect everything from the region's carbon footprint, to whether it can retain teachers, to whether firefighters... will be around in a disaster.

'The Bay Area traditionally has not been the fastest growing region in the state... so it has been ill-prepared for the influx of new arrivals [with high-pay jobs in Silicon Valley].'"
Source: Peninsula Press, 4.6.2016


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Post No. 265

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Silicon Valley

Political Courage Required
The article, "Silicon Valley Needs Some New Highs..." is a quick and comedic assessment from a blogger's fly-over at 30,000 feet. Easy for both a the writer and reader to chuckle and perhaps agree with the requisite truths that activate the humor -- shallow participation where the tire hits the pavement. However, there are DEEP problems to be solved with DEEP opportunities to be realized.

Transportation + Housing + Jobs
These necessitates are linked in Silicon Valley. Not necessarily exclusively or in that order. For many people, the hierarchy is unclear among the issues of jobs, housing, and transportation. However, now it may be helpful to view and manage these issues as interdependent in the fruition of Silicon Valley's continued successes. To mention a paraphrased but perhaps applicable analogy: any of the three could also be the weakest link in the current chain that contributes to successes in Silicon Valley.

Plan Bay Area
(Excerpt) "Plan Bay Area is a state-mandated, integrated long-range transportation, land-use and housing plan that will support a growing economy, provide more housing and transportation choices and reduce transportation-related pollution in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area [including Silicon valley]...

By law (Senate Bill 375), all regions in California must complete a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) as part of a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). SB 375 requires California’s 18 metro areas to integrate transportation, land-use and housing as part of an SCS to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks. In the Bay Area, this requires the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to adopt an SCS that meets greenhouse gas reduction targets adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB)...
Within the Bay Area, the law gives joint responsibility for Plan Bay Area to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)."
Source: Plan Bay Area 2040

California Housing Crisis
This writer is still looking for communities that are walkable with high density and high rise buildings in close proximity to high capacity transportation that facilitates high reduction of individual vehicular traffic.
On Topic: "Solving the housing crisis starts with soul-searching"


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Post No. 264

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Supermoon December 2016

December 13, 2016: last monthly supermoon in trifecta

MEDIA CREDIT: QwkDrw

Supermoon's reflected light bores through marine layer mist
in photo taken approximately 8:30 p.m. on California coast.

(Excerpt) "A full moon occurs each month when the sun, Earth and moon line up, with the moon on the side of the Earth opposite to the sun. The term 'supermoon' is used to describe a full moon at its perigee — the point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to Earth, causing it to appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in the sky...

Other Historical Names for 'Supermoon' Celestial Event
December's full moon is also known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Full Cold Moon and the Long Nights Moon... [and] the full Frost Moon, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac."
Source: Space.com

When is the next Supermoon?
(Excerpt) "The closest distance the moon has ever come to the Earth happened January 1912. It came just under 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) closer than during... [this one in 2016. The next] ...November 2034 supermoon will be even closer to our planet."
Source: When is the next Supermoon?

Update: Supermoon

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Post No. 263

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Unverified Immigration: Tick tick... goes America?

Slow Dance Strategy

MEDIA CREDIT: the blaze, 11.23.2016

(Excerpt) “The jailed architect of 9/11 [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] revealed that al Qaeda's plan to kill the United States was not through military attacks but immigration and ‘outbreeding nonmuslims’ who would use the legal system to install Sharia law, according to… [author James E. Mitchell, PhD].

…[Details from Mitchell’s book] show that Muslim terror groups had a much bigger plan to crush America than just through attacks like 9/11.

Instead, the plan is to fill the country with like-minded Muslims through the country's easy immigration laws and by having babies, and then using the U.S. legal and welfare system to turn the country into a system like Iran.

Consider this passage in the book, Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America, where KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] reveals the plan to Mitchell:

Jihadi-minded emigrants: "'practical' way to defeat America" -- KSM

‘It would be nice,’ he said, if al Qaeda or like-minded Islamists could bring America to its knees with catastrophic attacks, but that was unlikely to happen; ‘not practical’ is the wording he used. From his perspective, the long war for Islamic domination wasn't going to be won in the streets with bombs and bullets and bloodshed. No, it would be won in the minds of the American people.

He said the terror attacks were good, but the ‘practical’ way to defeat America was through immigration and by outbreeding non-Muslims. He said jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States, taking advantage of the welfare system to support themselves while they spread their jihadi message. They will wrap themselves in America's rights and laws for protection, ratchet up acceptance of Sharia law,
 and then, only when they were strong enough, rise up and violently impose Sharia [Shariafrom within. He said the brothers would relentlessly continue their attacks and the American people eventually would become so tired, so frightened, and so weary of war that they would just want it to end."



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Post No. 262

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Silicon Valley Needs Some New Highs...


HIGH walkability to local services, HIGH capacity rail transportation, HIGH density zoning, HIGH rise construction, and HIGH reduction of automobile traffic.

The cities and counties in the "Silicon Valley" (region or area) could become, in a phrase: a high functioning urban organism. See also (somewhere else): sustainable urban organism.

A Mostly New Reality
MOST high tech and other companies could have MOST of their employees living MOST of their lives MOSTLY within a fifteen minute commute to work -- probably not in a single driver automobile.


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Post No. 261

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

US Political Polling Results: inaccurate at best

Methodology of political polling (surveys)
Why has American political polling been so wrong for so long?

The Silent Majority
This concept, that there are a large number of American citizens that do not often speak of personal political opinions -- and almost never to pollsters, seems to have been impossible to capture by nearly all that try.

Bloodless Political Revolution
How could the professionals that DESIGN polling surveys have missed representing this American political revolution that has occurred without a one rife shot being fired?

Increase the accuracy of American political polling
Going forward, accuracy should beget credibility. Those American polls that pander, slant, and misrepresent the data should be recognized for what they are -- inaccurate failures that need improvement to be relevant.


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Post No. 260

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Unstad Norway: Surfing above the Arctic Circle

 Surf Village on Norwegian Sea Beneath the Northern Lights


Source: Unstad Norway

International Location Map



Arctic Surf: Wet suit design expands surfing destinations


Source: unknown poster seen in Reykjavik, Iceland


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Post No. 259

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Migrant Refugee Housing: Swedish summer houses?


MEDIA CREDIT: svd.se

Swedes with summer houses may rent to migrant refugees
(Excerpt) "Sweden’s generous asylum and migration policies have led to chronic housing shortages over the decade. The nation of under 10 million people admitted over 160,000 non-EU migrants last year, exacerbating the problem. Swedish public housing organisation SABO reports that almost half a million new homes must be built in the country just to meet demand."
Source: Breitbart News Network

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GIVE ME A MOMENT a lifestyle
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Post No. 258

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