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the Life of Zim

10th January
2014
written by dzimney

Oh, man, I’m pumped! Once this trickle down golden shower effect kicks in, all of us in the middle class are gonna be rollin’ in the dough! w00t! w01t! F***ing ridiculous. It is utterly disgusting how brainwashed and uninformed we all are (myself included). If you watching this and think it’s not a big deal, you’re brainwashed. If you had no idea, you’re uninformed. If you don’t know where to begin to fix this imbalance, you’re human. Pay attention to where you spend your money. Support small local business. Small steps. And even still it seems impossible.

13th March
2013
written by dzimney

13th March
2013
written by dzimney

Originally posted here, the following is an unedited version of a letter to the New York Times from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.

That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.

A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.

When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.

One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
New York, Aug. 21, 2011

31st January
2012
written by dzimney

To quote an email from my father-in-law,

Here in Lawrence Kansas it was 67°F yesterday. December had 12 days 50°F and above, 2 of which were 60°F and above. January had 16 days 50°F and above, 5 of which were 60°F and above. There has been no snow. Our local weather is anecdotal, I know, but this isn’t – watch 131 years of global warming in 26 seconds…

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | Climate Central


Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds
Climate Central bridges the scientific community and the public, providing clear, honest information to help people make sound decisions about climate and energy.


Thanks for sharing, Rob.

8th November
2010
written by dzimney

4th November
2010
written by dzimney

This is from a post I put up recently in a friendly family political debate I’ve been having on Facebook. Basically Republicans talking about how fiscally responsibly they are. I thought it was good enough to repost here on the blog. Don’t want to loose good info like this. All of which was provided by www.treasurydirect.gov, by the way.

Honestly though, it really fucking pisses me off when Republicans talk about how good they are with money. Why? For the following reasons:

Not to be the bearer of facts and all here, but you all do realize that the national deficit increased by more (percentage-wise) in Reagan’s 8 years as president than in any other 8 year period over the last 30 years?

In fact, the national debt went up by 160% in Reagan’s 8 years in office, the Bushes were also top dogs increasing the deficit by 114% over their 3 terms. While Clinton only increased the deficit by 28% in his 8 years. Now, it is important to note that that much of the increase from Clinton and GW’s terms was due to the interest accumulating on the national debt. However, in those 28 years, interest considered, Clinton was the only president to provide a surplus at the end of any presidential term.

And if you want to get into Obama’s economics, in his two years the national debt has gone up a little under 14%. Which is almost a third better than Bush Sr.

So maybe Democrats are just better at Reaganomics than anyone else in the past 30 years, but I gotta tell you folks, I’m really sick of hearing people talk about Republicans being fiscally responsible with numbers like these.

10th August
2010
written by dzimney

It seems over the past decade there has been a increasingly disappointing decline in the quality of the news organizations of the United States. Maybe it started with the popularity of reality tv. Or maybe corporate america just hit that breaking point of flooding into every outlet available. Or maybe I was just ignorant to the whole thing and am just now realizing how crooked this world is.

It seems that most major news sources like Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have started spending most of their energy reporting anything that can stir up a group, regardless of credibility or relevance. In fact, I find it hard to even call them “news”. In my opinion C-SPAN is really the only credible cable new source around. And I get it. C-SPAN is boring as hell. And most people don’t watch it because of that.

I’m really struggling here not to go off on a tangent of all the shit that any news source has covered over the last decade or two, from OJ Simpson to Monica Lewinsky to Tiger Woods. Somehow the “tabloids” have made their way into the “main stream” and it’s bullshit. Credible sources and hearsay are interchangeable and titles like ‘opinion’ and ‘news’ are overlooked. No one reads the fine print anymore. If it’s spoken on tv or read from a news paper it’s seen as fact. In short, we as Americans have gotten way too into the habit of serving the lowest common denominator. And the lowest common denominator around here is pretty fucking pathetic.

Enter the New York Times.

I’ve known that the cable and even local news networks have been crap for some time, but for some reason I’ve assumed that print was still fairly credible. And in general I still believe that to be true. Which is why I was so disappointed by this article from the New York Times. If you notice, the word could is used in each of the first seven sentences of the article. One fact the article did get right is that Google and Verizon (one of the nation’s largest ISPs) are talking to each other about what to do about Net Neutrality. However, rather than factually reporting what the two companies have been discussing, the article goes into what the two companies could be discussing or rather what the result of their discussions could be. The first sentence states that the two Internet giants are “nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” It does say why the author might think this could happen, it just says that it could. The New York Times and Edward Wyatt don’t really know anything about the specifics of the discussions between Google and Verizon, but they saw fit to publish some possibilities.

Immediately upon reading this article I was questioning it’s credibility. Since it’s inception, Google has been an amazingly strong proponent of an open and free Internet. Something at the essence of Net Neutrality. Probably because of this, the uproar over this accusation has been incredible. People and organizations have been up in arms over Google apparent slide into an evil empire. I’ve received emails from numerous organizations like MoveOn.org and Color of Change asking to sign petitions against Google. People like to have something to bitch about and the whole thing got blown way out of proportion.

The New York Times article was very inadvertently accusing Google of going against it’s informal corporate moto of Don’t Be Evil. Immediately after the publication of the article both Verizon and Google refuted the article’s claims. And more recently Google has published a statement describing a joint proposal from Google and Verizon on Net Neutrality. Furthermore they’ve published a Legislative Framework Proposal that will be submitted to Congress on Net Neutrality. The statement and proposal are everything you would hope to expect from a company that “does no evil.”

In short, the accusations made by the New York Times are all completely false.

I’m feeling rather unsatisfied with this rant. Probably because there’s so much to this story and even more to the greater issue. I get that opinion is opinion and often tech articles point to speculation, but especially after witnessing the aftermath of this New York Times article, I believe it was simply irresponsible journalism (if you can call it that). The article should never have been published and the New York Times and Edward Wyatt should make an effort to correct the damage that was done to both Google and Verizon.

1st February
2010
written by dzimney

Seems that since 1980 Republicans have found a new meaning to the phrase “fiscally responsible” which ironically has nothing to do with being fiscally responsible. I also find it interesting that (according to this graph) is appears that George W Bush’s contribution to the national debt seems to have doubled in the final year of his presidency. Burn and run Bush. Burn and run. Turns out he wasn’t as immature and irresponsible as we’d thought. I really don’t know who he could have learned it from either? Hmm…

1st February
2010
written by dzimney

7th January
2010
written by dzimney

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