“The Good Ship Lifestyle” and “One By One”

Two songs by Chumbawamba from their 1994 album Tubthumper.

“The Good Ship Lifestyle”.

“One By One”

(Most people can only name “Tubthumping”, sometimes referred to as “I Get Knocked Down” – after its main refrain. But I never really liked that song; it certainly isn’t the best on the album.)

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What is Your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Settlement?

If you ever take a class in negotiation, that is the first question they teach you about. Before you meet with the other side, decide what you are going to do, if they walk away. Greece, and in particular Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, apparently didn’t get that message. He believed that the EU, the Eurozone, Germany, the Central Bank and the IMF would NEVER walk away. Suicide Isn’t Painless – WSJ.

Alexis Tsipras, the left-wing Prime Minister who forced this crisis on the theory that the European Union would never risk a Greek default, discovered too late that his bluff had been called

After the news of Greek’s default broke, the markets hiccuped, and then returned to business as usual. Even Spain, Italy and Portugal were mostly unaffected by the Greek tragedy.

So now Greece will vote on Sunday. “Yes” = accept the terms Europe and the world is offering. “No” = go it alone. Tsipras is campaigning for a No-vote.

If “no” wins, it would mean almost certain default on a $3.87 billion loan payment due to the European Central Bank later this month. On Wednesday Mr. Tsipras assured voters that a “no” vote won’t trigger a euro exit, and a poll this week found 57% of voters on the Prime Minister’s side. Somebody might whisper to Greeks that it’s hard to stay in a currency bloc when nobody will give them the currency.

But then the Greeks elected Tsiprias 6 months – or so – ago, on the promise that he would end the terms that Europe wants to impose.

A “yes” vote might also mean that Greeks have taken the lesson that they can no longer expect foreign governments to underwrite Athens’s bloated bureaucracy and extravagant pension system.

But whatever Greeks choose, it’s at least clear that they can no longer hold the rest of Europe hostage to their politics, and that they are responsible for their own pain.

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So You Want to Swim in the Ocean…

Then you should know that there are always sharks. Man bitten by shark in North Carolina is 7th victim this summer | Fox News.

So the latest victim was bitten several times, about 30 feet offshore in waist-deep water. The shark was about 7 feet long.

The man is the seventh person attacked along the North Carolina coast in three weeks, the most in at least 15 years. Most were attacked in water similarly shallow. The injuries ranged from minor injuries to the heel and ankle of an 8-year-old boy in Surf City to unspecified but initially critical injuries to an 18-year-old man bitten Saturday on a national seashore about 25 miles north of Cape Hatteras.

There are always sharks in the water. Even when you can’t see them. That’s why I used to say that I like to stay in the boat.

I love the ocean, but it is a dangerous place. As long as you recognize that…

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The Sound of Settled Science

But. But. But that doesn’t match the narrative! Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday – The Washington Post.

On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.

Oh. 1978. Hardly the kind of sample that could have any meaning in geologic time.

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Soviet Union 2.0?

Russia reviews Baltic states' independence – Business Insider.

Russia is going to review whether or not it was legal for the Soviet Union to recognize the Baltic states as independent nearly 25 years ago, according to a report by Interfax.

But don’t worry, nothing will happen when if the review reveals that the recognition was not legal.

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You Know, Greece Has Been in Default for a Couple of Years

Everyone keeps going on about how Greece is about to default. They defaulted when they asked for the 1st bailout. Greece teeters toward debt default as E.U. spurns new bailout bid – The Washington Post.

And in order to get that bailout, they promised to do things. Straighten out the tax situation, cut costs, and privatize industries. They haven’t done all of that. Then they asked for a 2nd bailout, because the 1st wasn’t good enough. And they got it, even though they hadn’t done all of that stuff. At the time of the 2nd bailout, they said, “cross my heart” we promise to do all that stuff. Except of course they haven’t done all that stuff. Now they want yet a 3rd bailout, but this time they are saying “we won’t do all that stuff we promised for the 1st and 2nd bailouts, but give us money anyway.”

Do you wonder why the Germans aren’t leaping to their rescue? (They are the ones footing most of the bill.)

The EU, the IMF and pretty much everyone in the world who had money to loan the Geeks were clear on the “meet these objectives, or no more money.” You could say “Or else.”) But in December the Greeks elected themselves a government dedicated to NOT meeting those agreements. Sorry but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Especially not when someone else is paying for the bakery.

Any money that anyone gives the Greeks at this point should be considered a gift and not a loan. Because if you loan it to them, their government has proven (3 times in the past 5 years) that they won’t pay it back.

Would anyone loan you money if you had 2 foreclosures in 5 years? Of course not. You wouldn’t have even been given the 2nd loan.

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Note to Burglars: Florida Homeowners are Heavily Armed

They apparently haven’t gotten this memo. Police: Orlando man shoots alleged robber | www.wftv.com.

Police were called to the home on Bolder Lane about 2 a.m. Sunday.

They said the suspect was shot in the stomach and is being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

If you come to my house at 2 AM, I hope you called first. Otherwise, you will probably suffer from high-velocity lead-poisoning. Just saying. The name of this blog wasn’t chosen at random, and photo of the firearm down the right side of the screen… also not random.

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Leap Second Added Tuesday, June 30th: Expect Internet Outages.

clocksThe slowing rotation of the earth is problematic. June 30th Gets a Leap Second Because Earth's Rotation is Slowing Down.

Most of us live our lives in the steadfast world of coordinated universal time (UTC), where Earth days are treated as precisely 86,400 seconds long. But in the real world, days haven’t been that long since about 1820. That’s because a gravitational tug-of-war between the Earth and the moon is causing our planet’s rotation to slow down, making the days a wee bit longer as the years roll on. Today, the average day is approximately 86,400.002 seconds long.

Because computer programmers like to rely on atomic clocks without really bothering to account for all of the things that atomic clocks do (like inserting the odd leap second), this thing can crash computers. The moral of the story is, “Do your homework.” Don’t assume that you know how things really work. Because you probably missed a few details.

There have been 24 leap seconds since 1972, but that doesn’t mean that computer programmers know about it – or take the correct action.

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Non-musical Musical Interlude: Tori Amos Reissues Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink

OK, so I am bit behind the times when it comes to music news. (These were released in April, just in time for tax-day. Can probably read something into that.) Tori Amos Reissues Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink With Bonus Tracks | News | Pitchfork.

As Pitchfork notes in a more lengthy review of these albums:

Tori Amos arrived in an era when an unconventional, confrontational artist could also be commercial. Both Earthquakes and Pink went double-platinum in the U.S., and although American Top 40 radio never accommodated her, Amos managed to generate modern rock, adult contemporary, and dance club hits for 10 solid years before settling into cult-heroine status.

One of my favorite songs, “Cornflake Girl,” was featured on previous musical interlude.

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Hybrid’s “Dogstar” from the 2006 album I Choose Noise.

I do love Hybrid, in all its forms.

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