LJ Archive Fixed!

This is good news, and solves a problem that’s been annoying me for almost a year. The LJArchive utility, that did an excellent job downloading LiveJournal entries and comments into a searchable form, broke last year. LiveJournal had made some changes internally to deal with DOS attacks, and the downloader for LJArchive would no longer work.

After a bit, I realized that it was the comments downloader that was broken — the entries could still be downloaded. But then I moved to a new computer, and no longer had even the old comments to work from.

The fix has been made — not by the oriiginal coder (who has apparently abandoned the project) but by someone else. See this site for the details.

And here’s the new LJArchive installer. It is indeed working on my system, and downloaded my comments (more than 30,000!) in just a few minutes. This makes it possible to find any text in any of the entries or comments quickly, as well as having them safe just in case.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Bullheads and Steelheads

The Los Angeles Times article is quick to blame anything possible — and even things impossible — on Global Warming. This article, on the effect of Global Warming on fishing and hunting, is no exception.

But when it comes to details, the article is slyly worded, evasive, short on facts and long on projections of future doom. I’m not an active hunter or fisherman, but many my family are. This article rang false, independently of its wording. It manages to say, repeatedly, that this early spring is bad. It doesn’t matter that most people would consider it good, it’s always bad. The program gets tiresome: “Let’s state the worst possible case, even if we have to make it up.” The reporters are amateur catastrophist climate scientists.

The article begins with a close-up shot of a steelhead trout. And this caption: “In this March 13, 2012, photo, Chris Melohusky releases a steelhead trout he caught in Buffalo Creek during the warm winter weather in Elma, N.Y. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation says that warm temps and low snowpack could adversely affect trout and fishing. (David Duprey / Associated Press / March 28, 2012)” Ah … despite the doom that is supposedly already happening, this actually says only that it might happen someday.

So let’s look at this — is “global warming” (of course, it’s only local here) the cause of the decline of the steelhead population? Hardly. Here is a detailed examination of those factors, from an enthusiast drawing upon many reports. Global warming figures into this only in the sense of noting that its effects have not been seen. The decimation has other causes, and has long since taken place according to this report (PDF file). The biggest factor killing the steelhead population? Human-farmed salmon.

But the LA Times is killing the truth. As usual.

As an aside, this article talks about current and recent “extreme weather” and its lack of relationship to global warming … according to the IPCC.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Hunting Polar Opposites

I’ve written about polar bears before — first a bit of poetry for a friend, and then shortly thereafter a longer piece when I dug into the science involved.

I remember when President Clinton signed a bill to allow the taking of polar bears by US citizens as trophies. (The increasing polar bear population is something of a nuisance — and danger — around some human habitations.)

The Chinese have followed in Bill Clinton’s noble footsteps, and now offer trips to Canada (for wealthy Chinese) to hunt and kill polar bears.

As an aside, it is still quite legal and acceptable for Alaskan & Canadian natives to take polar bears, and the natives (at least in Canada) can then sell their licenses to visitors. The Canadian government charges $50CAN for a permit, and $750CAN for a polar bear trophy fee. What to go? Here’s one place that will help.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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John Carter

My Lady and I just got back from seeing John Carter. We thought it was very good indeed!

The film was a study in contrasts — the melodic, almost romantic music in the middle of a major battle scene — and yet it made sense in the context presented. There was a hostage crisis in the film, and my Lady laughed aloud. We did not share at all Tars Tarkas’s comment: “Thank the godsĀ that’s over with!”

This is NOT a fantasy, a “titans” or “gods” mythology romp, though that is exactly what the “coming attractions” before the movie were featuring. Stanton made this film “science fiction with liberties,” not just silly magic, and I appreciated that.

Since I don’t watch television and see relatively few films, this was my first exposure to Taylor Kitch. He did fine, it seemed to me. Both my Lady and I were reminded of Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. I’ll echo the thought about Lynn Collins (as Dejah Thoris): The leading lady would be a shoo-in for Wonder Woman if they ever bring that old series back.

It is amazing to me that people are heaping so much abuse on the film. It has become trendy to dislike it, which is very unfortunate for Andrew Stanton and probably insurmountable. It seems to have nothing to do, really, with the film itself. I’ve just looked around, and seen complaints that about 30 minutes of it was set back in the 1800s. Why is this a problem? There are entire films set back in the 1800s! And it provided a needed backstory (not exactly the same as the book, but it works) which plays much into the doings later on. Nicely done, I thought. But perhaps this is too much for people who have short little attention spans.

It is a very enjoyable film, and I do now understand why the name was changed to just John Carter. I recommend it. You’ll believe that tharks CAN fly!

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Follow-up on the Breitbart video

Pursuant to my little research from yesterday: PBS is being just a little coy about this. They did air parts of this footage in 2008 in their biography of Barack Obama:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/government-elections-politics/the-story-behind-the-obama-law-school-speech-video/

What they aren’t saying in this write-up (though they now admit just uploading this “this week” — I had determined that it had to have been later than July 2011), is the fact that the video aired in 2008 was bits of Obama’s speech, overlaid with commentary and interleaved with interviews on how wonderful Obama is. Continue reading

The Breitbart Obama College Video Source

I’ve been digging into this a bit. The Breitbart video is apparently from a PBS “Frontline” public television feature aired decades ago. It is now on PBS’s website (as of this writing, 8:30 Pacific time on March 7):

http://video.pbs.org/video/2207363899

This is a much better copy, with more material, though it does not change the essential story. Has it “always” been there on the PBS site? No. Continue reading