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Rubenerd Show 373: The extinguisher episode

Rubénerd Show 373

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01:04:49 – A discussion on adequate fire extinguisher deployment. Not to be taken seriously. Also cappuccinos, stomach flu, evenings, evolving vocations, writing, sodium lamp feedback from Chad Bowers, film anachronisms, John Nettles, undesirable bulb emissions, ElectroBOOM, a Kallen anime figure, Cyril Figgis, and other randomness. Audio from Back To Work, Security Now, and Who Ha. Recorded January 2018.

Recorded in North Sydney, Australia. Licence for this track: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. Attribution: Ruben Schade.

Released February 2018 on The Overnightscape Underground, an Internet talk radio channel focusing on a freeform monologue style, with diverse and fascinating hosts.

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A railroad made of human bones

This is the most powerful, lucid piece of journalism I’ve read so far this year; and I don’t even watch superhero movies. This is the opening of Jelani Cobb’s Black Panther review for The New Yorker:

The Maison des Esclaves stands on the rocky shore of Gorée Island, off the coast of Senegal, like a great red tomb. During the years of its operation, the building served as a rendezvous point for slavers trafficking in a seemingly inexhaustible resource: Africans, whose very bodies became the wealth of white men. A portal known as the “Door of No Return,” leading to the slave ships, offered the forlorn captives a last glimpse of home, before they were sown to the wind and sold in the West. For nearly four centuries, this traffic continued, seeding the populations of the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Central and North America, and draining societies of their prime populations while fomenting civil conflict among them in order to more effectively cull their people. On the high seas, the vessels jettisoned bodies in such terrible numbers that the poet Amiri Baraka once wrote, “At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean there’s a railroad made of human bones.”

Homebrew serendipity

I always see interesting stuff when updating Homebrew, much of which I have no idea what it is:

$ brew update
==> Updated Formulae
==> allure      frugal   jenkins-lts  paket
==> bro         geth     jvgrep       plank  
==> chronograf  iperf3   mariadb      suricata
==> ffmpeg@2.8  jenkins  mpv          

$ brew info bro
==> bro: stable 2.5.3 (bottled), HEAD
==> Network security monitor

$ brew info suricata
suricata: stable 4.0.4 (bottled)
Network IDS, IPS, and security monitoring engine

Whoa, by sheer chance I picked two that were network security monitors.

Codeine in Australia

While I’m doing politics today, here’s something else!

I get migraines. Not as often as in my teens, so I must be doing something right. But a few times a year I’m blinded with kaleidoscope imagery — less beautiful than it sounds — then such pain behind my eyes I have to close the curtains and sit still in darkness for hours lest I throw up.

This is problematic for someone who lives with carpet, doubly so if one lives in rental accommodation and regular housing inspections.

White Tiger Balm

Turns out, codeine and a bit of cooling Tiger Balm on the forehead works where paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, or some contrived combination of the above do not. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Codeine became prescription–only in Australia starting this month. It made my last migraine at the end of January especially fun; because everyone was buying out stocks to hoard, I couldn’t get it anywhere. You know, when I felt a migraine coming on. It was horrible.

Now I have to waste taxpayer money going to a GP to get a prescription for it, when other people go waiting.

It hasn’t stopped certain members of the press corps applauding the decision though, on the basis that it can be abused. Interesting that ibuprofen and paracetamol aren’t mentioned, likely because the medical literature is rife with examples of their abuse causing damage as well.

A redacted post about an Australian politician

Photo of a bus with an advertisement reading ‘ROGUE’ driving in Chatswood

I’ve pulled this post.

I started this blog fourteen years ago, and have written more than 6,000 entries. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve pulled a post, and they weren’t ever by anyone forcing me to.

I feel like I can do better. It also wasn’t a topic I relished seeing in my timeline a few days later. It was an inane story about the indiscretions of a politician who has every reason to step down because of numerous other financial, legal, and ethical reasons that make him unfit for office.

Expedia spam

I booked a business trip with Expedia on Sunday. By this morning, I’ve received the following trove of messages. Important one(s) are highlighted green.

  • Welcome to Expedia! Access Member Pricing
  • Expedia travel confirmation - 7 Mar. - (Itinerary #number)
  • Important Info about your hotel -
  • Congrats! Now you can earn rewards for your travel
  • Feedback Request on behalf of Expedia
  • Review your recent experience with Expedia
  • Your February statement is here
  • Travel smart and safe-with insurance

Given two of these concerned feedback, consider my distate for spam to be the most pressing response.

The one time I installed Chrome

Chrome HAL icon

I don’t use Google Chrome, but had reason to install it yesterday for some testing. This is what you get when you try to enable the otherwise ineffectual Do Not Track header:

Enabling ‘Do Not Track’ means that a request will be included with your browsing traffic. Any effect depends on whether a website responds to the request, and how the request is interpreted. For example, some websites may respond to this request by showing you ads that aren’t based on other websites you’ve visited.

Oh no, the humanity! Whatever will I do!?

On a more serious note, this is the modern web in a nutshell. Track people across sites without their explicit consent, then warn people when they try to opt-out. And to think most people voluntarily use this browser, yeesh.

Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data – for example, to improve security, to provide content, services, ads and recommendations on their websites, and to generate reporting statistics. Find out more

At least this is a fair point.

Thanks to xylomon on DeviantArt for the great HAL Chrome icon.

We are not spammers

There must be an English term to describe those who are betrayed by their descriptions. Like a prestigious award winner; if the award were prestigious, you wouldn’t need to qualify it. Or an exciting announcement; if it were exciting, you wouldn’t need to… you get the idea.

This is the greatest spammer footer ever:

Disclaimer: We are not spammers. We found your email through a Google search when looking for companies in your niche. You can simply reply with “Remove” and we will delete your email from our lists. Thanks again.

If you have to tell people you’re not spammers, you probably are. Still though, I’m tempted to reply to ask them what other companies are in my niche.

Niche sounds like a delightful pastry appealing only to a small group of people. Though why you’d need to peel a quiche niche is beyond me.

Which also remids me, I used to be trolled so much by Subway Niche in Singapore; assuming it was an American carbohydrate chain. They had a branch in The Forum in Singapore, which I felt looked just like that bridge in Moscow in that previous post. Wild.