What is shite?

I love learning new words, and I was reading a blog today where a British person said that they were an “old shite”.

English people are so quaint, with their made-up words, and I needed a good definition for shite.

At first I thought that a Shite was one of those Arabic tribes, like the Sunni:

Shite and Shiite are different

Then, I postulated that the word “shite”, was British for the “S” word, but I was wrong again:

I finally had to look-up shite in my Funk & Wagnall . . .

Evidently, the word “shite” is uniquely British/Irish:

Where do you find a horse with no legs?”

Everyone knows the old riddle “Where do you find a horse with no legs?” (1), and everybody knows about the horse with two legs:

The two-legged horse

But this is the true story of a horse with no legs.

It’s sad when a beloved horse dies, but funerals for dead horses are expensive, involving backhoe’s and other heavy equipment, not to mention the cost of a horse casket:

Horse caskets are large and expensive

North Carolina is horse country and there are many services for dead horses:

– If your horse dies in the NC State horse hospital (the “horspital”), they offer a cremation service, largely because a traditional funeral is a big undertaking.

Do not try to cremate a dead horse

– In North Carolina you can get a necropsy from the Rollins lab in Raleigh, a low cost service that includes disposing of the dead horse. The cost for an equine necropsy is currently $75 plus a necropsy carcass disposal fee based on weight of the animal: $15.00 (0-100 lbs.); $25.00 (101-500 lbs.); $50.00 (over 500 lbs.). Necropsy fees include ancillary diagnostic tests necessary to obtain a diagnosis.

It’s a fascinating lab, but it stinks to high Heaven, with the stench of rotting flesh that would gag a maggot . . . .

Just like a Medical Examiner’s office and you need to dab your nostrils with Vicks Vaporub to tolerate the stench of decomposing equines.

If you ask, they will let you watch the horse autopsy, fascinating to see what’s inside. . .

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person” – Teddy Roosevelt

Unfortunately, this low cost horse necropsy is abused by cheapskate horse owners who use the service as a funeral home for dead ponies.

I knew one lady who lost a nice mare to founder and called the NC Rollins lab, thinking that they would dispose of her dead horse at little cost to her.

But the lab is wise to this game . . .

Because founder is a disease of the hooves, the body is not needed for a necropsy . . .

So, instead of accepting the corpse, they just took a hack saw and cut off the horses legs!

Imagine her surprise to see that she was left with 1,200 pounds of rotting horse with no legs!


(1)- “Where do you find a horse with no legs?” – Right when you left him!

The funniest gory movie ever made

Personally, I detest the gore of CSI and the gratuitous bloodletting of some movies.

If I remember my psychology classes, there is a physiological reaction to gore, but taken to the extreme, you become desensitized and blood and guts provokes a laughter response.

South Park understands this phenomenon and they deliberately overdo the gore for the humorous effect, like the epic “Whale Wars” eipsode:

Face it, sometimes gore is so extreme it’s actually hilarious!

It’s the opening scene of the movie “Ghost Ship”, very creative!

WARNING – Funny gore inside

The greatest decades of technological change in human history

The two decades between 1935 and 1955 were the two decades of the greatest technological change in the history of mankind.

Propelled by war, technology advances quickly.

When my father enlisted in the US Army Air Corp in 1936, he was trained as an aircraft mechanic, working on the B3 bomber, a canvas covered biplane bomber with a tiny payload:

The B3 bomber was state-of-the-art in the 1930’s

War is hell, but it also drives amazing technology, and in less than 20 years, America went from creaky biplanes to the B-52 Bomber, introduced in 1952:

In less then 20 years, America went from the stone age to the jet age

After the nightmare of December 24th 1945 when the USAF destroyed their entire inventory of B-17, the government said “never again” and they began hanging-on their old warbirds.

Interestingly, the USAF plans to keep the B52 in service for 100 years, and does not plan to retire then until the 2050’s.

Department of Justice modifies the ADA to specifically provide for Guide Horses!

Attorney General Eric Holder has signed into law a modification of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) to specifically provide for Guide Horses!

Janet and I were honored to be summoned to the US Justice Department in Washington DC in 2008 to advise the DOJ on how to modify the ADA, and we are happy that our suggestions have been codified into Federal Law!

This is a huge win for all blind people who want to have many mobility options!

The new law specifically says that ONLY miniature horses and dogs qualify for rights under the ADA, and by omission, service monkeys and other species are excluded from the definition of a service animal.

It also says that a miniature hose is allowed to perform other tasks other than guiding the blind!

This is a major victory for all Guide Horse users, all across America!

Here is the new text:

Miniature horses. (i) A public accommodation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

(ii) Assessment factors. In determining whether reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures can be made to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility, a public accommodation shall consider–

(A) The type, size, and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features;

(B) Whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse;

(C) Whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and

(D) Whether the miniature horse´s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation.

(iii) Other requirements. Sections 36.302(c)(3) through (c)(8), which apply to service animals, shall also apply to miniature horses.

Here are the supporting notes for allowing Guide Horses:

Miniature horses.

The Department has been persuaded by commenters and the available research to include a provision that would require public entities to make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by a person with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

The traditional service animal is a dog, which has a long history of guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, and over time dogs have been trained to perform an even wider variety of services for individuals with all types of disabilities. However, an organization that developed a program to train miniature horses, modeled on the program used for guide dogs, began training miniature horses in 1991.

Although commenters generally supported the species limitations proposed in the NPRM, some were opposed to the exclusion of miniature horses from the definition of a service animal.

These commenters noted that these animals have been providing assistance to persons with disabilities for many years.

Miniature horses were suggested by some commenters as viable alternatives to dogs for individuals with allergies, or for those whose religious beliefs preclude the use of dogs.

Another consideration mentioned in favor of the use of miniature horses is the longer life span and strength of miniature horses in comparison to dogs.

Specifically, miniature horses can provide service for more than 25 years while dogs can provide service for approximately 7 years, and, because of their strength, miniature horses can provide services that dogs cannot provide.

Accordingly, use of miniature horses reduces the cost involved to retire, replace, and train replacement service animals.

The miniature horse is not one specific breed, but may be one of several breeds, with distinct characteristics that produce animals suited to service animal work.

The animals generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the withers, or shoulders, and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.

These characteristics are similar to those of large breed dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, and Mastiffs.

Similar to dogs, miniature horses can be trained through behavioral reinforcement to be “housebroken.”

Most miniature service horse handlers and organizations recommend that when the animals are not doing work or performing tasks, the miniature horses should be kept outside in a designated area, instead of indoors in a house.

According to information provided by an organization that trains service horses, these miniature horses are trained to provide a wide array of services to their handlers, primarily guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, pulling wheelchairs, providing stability and balance for individuals with disabilities that impair the ability to walk, and supplying leverage that enables a person with a mobility disability to get up after a fall.

According to the commenter, miniature horses are particularly effective for large stature individuals. The animals can be trained to stand (and in some cases, lie down) at the handler´s feet in venues where space is at a premium, such as assembly areas or inside some vehicles that provide public transportation. Some individuals with disabilities have traveled by train and have flown commercially with their miniature horses.

The miniature horse is not included in the definition of service animal, which is limited to dogs. However, the Department has added a specific provision at § 35.136(i) of the final rule covering miniature horses.

Under this provision, a public entity must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.

The public entity may take into account a series of assessment factors in determining whether to allow a miniature horse into a specific facility.

These include the type, size, and weight of the miniature horse; whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse; whether the miniature horse is housebroken; and whether the miniature horse´s presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements that are necessary for safe operation. In addition, paragraphs (c)-(h) of this section, which are applicable to dogs, also apply to miniature horses.

Ponies and full-size horses are not covered by § 35.136(i).

Also, because miniature horses can vary in size and can be larger and less flexible than dogs, covered entities may exclude this type of service animal if the presence of the miniature horse, because of its larger size and lower level of flexibility, results in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the programs activities, or services provided.

Asymmetrical gear examples

Gears have always had a place in machinery, but these non-circular asymmetrical gear designs are intriguing and hypnotic:

This video of non-circular gears is also interesting:

I like this “gear ring”, quite attractive

Tongue texting!

I have never understood the concept of texting:

It reminds me of when I used to do Morse code on SSB radio . . .

But testing while driving is just nuts.

Somebody needs to create a safe way to text while driving, maybe a way to convert the text to audio?

Why didn’t I think of this idea?

via J-Walk

The MIT invisible mouse

I always wondered about the “mouse” as a GUI interface, it seemed outdated when it was first introduced.

Today’s telephones have the “finger swipe” technology, but I wonder that will replace the traditional mouse?

This is very promising, the invisible mouse from the wizards at MIT:

Do Illegal Immigrants cause increased crime?

With the new Arizona law suggesting that illegal immigrants are a criminal threat, there are interesting arguments on both sides of the fence (pun intended).

The Frito Bandito: Malicious or misunderstood?

Back in the 1980’s, I moved away from Albuquerque New Mexico after my home was repeated robbed.

The last straw was when I was robbed by an entire family illegal Mexicans, (including two minor children who assisted in the burglary).

The police caught them all after they openly kicked-down my front door while I was at work, and there was a police chase through the neighborhood with guns drawn.

I expected Albuquerque child protective services to take the kids and I looked forward to attending their trial, but the police told me that their punishment for robbing me was merely a bus ticket to visit their extended family in Mexico, and they were probably back in America within a month.

It makes one wonder if people who don’t respect immigration laws might not be law abiding in other areas of their lives . . . .

According to US government records, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Let’s examine the evidence in this debate about the millions of illegal Mexicans pouring into America.

Statistics on crime by illegal aliens

Some say that illegal Mexicans are normally law-abiding people whose only crime is disrespect for our immigration law, while others say that the illegal immigrants are common criminals, people with poor social mores, who are far more likely to commit other crimes while hiding out in America.

Fortunately, we can look at reliable evidence to see if these concerns are founded.

With the illegal population soaring to over 10 million, one out of every 30 people in America is here illegally, making this an important social issue.

Are illegal Mexican’s a threat?

Let’s take a look at the government statistics on crimes by illegal immigrants.

Government evidence confirms that illegal Latino’s are twice as likely as the general population to commit a felony and three times as likely to be imprisoned for drug-related offenses.

Some say that Mexicans bring their culture of crime and corruption to American shores

Does America really want to accept immigrants who have no respect for our laws?

There is also evidence that they are straining local hospital and school systems, as in the case here in North Carolina where caring Louisburg residents had a fund raiser to help save the life of a sick illegal Mexican girl.

Sadly, she died, and her illegal Mexican parents repaid our kindness and generosity by suing the hospital, taking millions of dollars.

Last week there were more reports of Mexican drug lords beheading people in Juarez.

WARNING: The picture below is graphic, please scroll down if you are squeamish

Beheaded Mexicans in Mexico

This CBS News report says that the concerns about increased crime by illegal aliens are well-founded:

“Officers say thousands of immigrants and smugglers still cross the border illegally into Arizona every day.

They commit a disproportionate amount of crime.

Illegal immigrants are just seven percent of Arizona’s population, but make up nearly 15 percent of the state’s prison population.

They represent 14 percent of all inmates jailed for manslaughter and murder, and 24 percent of inmates on drug charges – troubling to many Arizonans”