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General and "Climate Change"Jeff Soyer on 14 Nov 2014 03:29 am

It won’t surprise you that that this study comes from UC Berkley: Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 11 Nov 2014 04:30 am

Today is Veterans Day. I honor all who are or have served. You have my sincere thanks. Blogs such as Alphecca wouldn’t — couldn’t — exist without the sacrifices you and others in the past have made to keep our country safe and free.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 21 Oct 2014 05:56 am

For two days now I’ve been deleting a gazillion spams. So, comments will be held in moderation. And, it’s time to upgrade to a modern edition of WP so I can employ more sophisticated anti-spamware. That will happen this week. Expect little posting until then. Sorry.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 18 Oct 2014 08:46 am

I thought it was time for a new header to top the pages. That’s Lake Fairlee, looking towards the Fairlee side of it (I’m taking the photo from the West Fairlee side). Vermont has many faults, but lack of beauty isn’t one of them, as you Facebook readers of mine know from the photos I post there.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 13 Oct 2014 06:22 am

From the Barre Times-Argus:

A man arrested this week in Boston is expected to be arraigned next week on a charge that he stole a shotgun valued at $89,000 from the Covey and Nye store on Main Street last month. [in Manchester, VT]

[ . . . ]

The shotgun that had been at the Manchester store was made by Luciano Bosis, an Italian artisan who specializes in high-end guns often used for bird hunting or clay target shooting.

Police said media coverage of the theft and tips that came from people who had seen the coverage led them to Goldberg.

More at the link.

General and "Climate Change"Jeff Soyer on 09 Oct 2014 05:20 am

I blame ‘global warming’:

Sea Ice around Antarctic Reaches Record High Levels: NASA.

NASA scientists say that the southern oceans that surround the Antarctic have record sea ice levels. The sea ice in the region has covered the maximum area since 1979 the date when tracking started.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 07 Oct 2014 03:35 am

Lately, some comment spam has been appearing.

I started experimenting this morning. Henceforth, any comment containing even one link — including in the “website” box on the form, will be held for moderation. I’ll try to check it often throughout the day. If you want the comment posted immediately, just leave the website box blank.

Why not just get rid of the website box? It screws up the Gatekeeper plug-in, that box you fill in with a word to prove you’re not a robot.

Why not just get rid of Gatekeeper? Because it blocks an average of 100 spams per hour!

I wish there were a better way. On my book review site, The North Country Review, I tried requiring registration, only to find dozens of phony registrations per day. Sure, their email addresses were phony, so they never got the confirmation emails, and never actually came back to comment, but it clogged up the “Users” database. So, I simply did away with comments there, not that my book reviews ever generated all that many comments…

I thought about using the Facebook comment plug-in, but a surprisingly large number of people don’t have a Facebook log-in. But, spammers do!

I’m still toying with updating Alphecca to a modern WordPress version, but that would mean the loss of the last four years of posts. That would, however, open up some possibilities.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 17 Sep 2014 05:14 am

…What’s left of it.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 03 Sep 2014 07:38 am

I just can’t imagine going through one of these. It starts out bad, and just gets worse and worse:



Update: Video is gone. Oh well…

GeneralJeff Soyer on 28 Aug 2014 04:19 am

I have family visiting.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 21 Aug 2014 05:10 am

I’m not sure that this is a good thing. From the Sidney Morning Herald:

Find yourself thinking that the spider living in your garden is the biggest you’ve ever seen? You could be right.

New research shows some spiders are getting larger and even doing better in cities than in their natural habitats.

In a study published today in PLOS ONE, we show that city living is leading to bigger spiders that have the potential to produce more young.

Here are real photographs taken with actual cameras using genuine film:



(Yes, I like my old cars.)

GeneralJeff Soyer on 12 Aug 2014 05:40 am

There really isn’t a case to be made for that in this article. More like a physical health issue, judging by two of the three examples given.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 28 Jul 2014 10:03 am

From Variety:

Sarah Palin – former governor of Alaska, erstwhile candidate for VP of the U.S. and polarizing public figure – has unveiled a new subscription-based Internet TV network that promises direct access to her and her supporters.

The Sarah Palin Channel, which costs $9.95 per month or $99.95 for a one-year subscription, will feature her commentary on “important issues facing the nation,” as well as behind-the-scenes looks into her personal life as “mother, grandmother, wife and neighbor.” Palin serves as executive editor, overseeing all content posted to the channel.

Um, no thanks.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 04 Jul 2014 10:16 am


GeneralJeff Soyer on 02 Jul 2014 03:24 am

Yeah, actually it’s a thing:

Attention aspiring ufologists: July 2 is World UFO Day.

It’s a day to raise awareness of what some think are extraterrestrial visits to our planet. The day roughly corresponds to the date of perhaps the most well-known UFO story.

In July 1947, debris was discovered on a ranch northwest of Roswell, N.M., that some think came from an alien spacecraft. Eye witnesses claimed they saw alien bodies at the crash site.

An initial statement from the Air Force said a “flying saucer” had crashed. Later the service said the debris came from a weather balloon.

Judging by the fact that I was alone in the theater at the time, I think I was the only person to see the movie, Hanger 18.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 22 Jun 2014 04:32 am

A lot of folks owe their lives to Stephanie Kwolek:

Police Lt. David Spicer took four .45-caliber slugs to the chest and arms at point-blank range and lived to tell about it. Like thousands of other police officers and soldiers shot in the line of duty, he owes his life to a woman in Delaware by the name of Stephanie Kwolek.

Kwolek, who died Wednesday at 90, was a DuPont Co. chemist who in 1965 invented Kevlar, the lightweight, stronger-than-steel fiber used in bulletproof vests and other body armor around the world.

A pioneer as a woman in a heavily male field, Kwolek made the breakthrough while working on specialty fibers at a DuPont laboratory in Wilmington. At the time, DuPont was looking for strong, lightweight fibers that could replace steel in automobile tires and improve fuel economy.

Details about how she came upon her discovery are at the link.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 19 Jun 2014 04:31 am

Having your gun license picture taken while wearing a colander on your head is frowned upon in Australia.



Authorities showed up at his house, took the license and his four firearms, and demanded he see a psychologist. Eventually he got his guns back but they made him retake the license photo. It’s the aluminum hat conspiracy.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 12 Jun 2014 08:25 am

That for alternative content — mostly humorous — ‘friend’ me on Facebook. There’s a lot there that I don’t put up as public posts, only as friend posts.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 05 Jun 2014 10:49 pm

Ten-years-ago, I asked Alphecca readers to come up with satiric newspaper stories showing how modern journalists and ‘thinkers’ might treat our entry into World War II, and D-Day. Many readers and bloggers responded and I put it all together as a 3-page special site. I’d forgotten about it until earlier today when I was meandering through my online host files. If you’d like, see for yourself here. I haven’t edited it at all in all these years. Navigation is located at the bottom of each page.

GeneralJeff Soyer on 26 May 2014 05:05 am

From Arlington National Cemetery, final resting place for many of our fallen heroes:







Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:



Instead of the sale at a big box store, why not take your children to the local monument honoring your town’s war dead? Most towns have one and spending a few minutes there in silent prayer to say, “Thanks,” wouldn’t interrupt your day much.

And, at the barbecue, leave a place setting for the spirit or ghost of a soldier.

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