The Crystal Method is an electronica group that usually is producing dance music or the soundtracks to action films. But every once in a while they throw me a curve ball, like this song.

This is “Grace” from the 2014 album The Crystal Method. The song features the vocals of country (or is that country and pop?) singer LeAnn Rimes. It could be played on your local pop radio station, but they never play The Crystal Method. (Give it a few seconds, as the intro is almost classic The Crystal Method.)

From the Wiki…

The Crystal Method is made up of two members, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland. Before The Crystal Method was formed, Ken and Scott started working on music while working at a grocery store and while Ken was a local DJ in Las Vegas as well as the college radio program director at UNLV. Ken taught Scott how to DJ, and when Ken moved to L.A. to work for a producer, Scott took over his job DJing at the local club. Scott followed Ken out to L.A., and they formed The Crystal Method in 1993.

They have 9 studio albums, and have provided music to dozens of movie and television productions.

Google Claims “Too Big to Comply” With Wage Discrimination Laws

They say there is no wage discrimination, but they can’t produce the data to prove that because, too big… Accused of underpaying women, Google says it’s too expensive to get wage data | Technology | The Guardian

Kristin Zmrhal, Google’s senior legal operations manager, also testified that the process of compiling data for the DoL has required engineers, lawyers and employees across departments to build new systems, conduct extensive quality reviews of files, redact documents and complete other complex tasks.

“It became too burdensome,” she said, noting Google was forced to hire a third-party vendor to help. “The team was bogged down.”

So we are supposed to believe that there is no wage discrimination at Google because they say so. Because there couldn’t be any wage discrimination at tech companies… Right.

Surveys have repeatedly found that women are often paid less than men for the same jobs across Silicon Valley. An account of sexual harassment at Uber earlier this year has also sparked a widespread debate about misogyny and misconduct in tech.

And then there is age discrimination…

Calling 911 failed. Survivor teaches that you must defend yourself.

Bre LasleyWhen you aren’t expecting something bad to happen, your first thought is that it can’t be happening. And if you’ve never considered fighting back, well if you plan nothing, then you will execute your plan. Attempted murder survivor tells women to fight back – The Daily Universe

First let’s deal with the failures of 911. Several people called 911 – including the two sisters whose home was invaded. (One of whom would be stabbed before the night was over.) The result was not as advertised.

Although both women and several neighbors called 911 during that time, none of the calls was dispatched.

Say it again. The result of calling 911 to report a home-invasion attack in progress resulted in NO cops being sent. An off-duty cop who chanced to hear the call for help, stopped and he killed the attacker.

So today, Bre Lasley teaches that women need to defend themselves.

After speaking to people in the police department following the attack, Lasley learned only 20 percent of women fight back against their attackers, leaving 80 percent of women to be raped, murdered or both.

Lasley said she fell into the 80 percent category in the beginning. She felt completely frozen while her attacker was beating her. It wasn’t until her sister came upstairs, screaming and swinging punches, that Lasley said she got the motivation to start fighting for her life.

So self-defense is mostly about attitude. “There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men” Heinlein wrote that in the 1950s (as part of Starship Troopers), so I guess we will forgive him for his leaving out half the population. I would include women in that.

But self-defense in the absence of the tools of self-defense, is a problem. (See the rest of this blog for my true feelings on the subject.) Still attitude does come first.

This statistic [the 80/20 split listed above] became the foundation of Fight Like Girls, a self-defense program Lasley started with sexual assault survivor Elizabeth Smart to help women everywhere fight their physical, mental and emotional battles.

35th America’s Cup Qualifier to Get Underway Saturday, May 27th

The America’s Cup Luis Vuitton Race is the qualifying regatta. Whoever wins the Luis Vuitton Cup will become the challenger in the America’s Cup match race. The defender is Oracle Team USA. Since the Defender gets to select where the defense will take place, this years festivities are in Bermuda. Not sure how a team that is basically out of California came up with that, but it appears to be a spectacular location. Aside from the fact that today’s early races were canceled due to weather.

The following video is short – a minute or so – from the Bermuda News Service. It has some particularly good views of the AC45’s in action. These are foiling catamarans. The French skipper (in an interview earlier in the month) described it more like piloting a plane than steering a boat. And an unstable one at that.

You Mean They Actually Have to Live Up to the Agreements They Made?

Greece has never really left the news, except that Americans have mostly been ignoring it in favor of more entertaining stuff. Greece fails to reach bailout deal with eurozone finance ministers

Depending on the article you read, Greece has either gotten, a deal, won’t get a deal, or will have any deals pushed off until after the German election in September.

Some people want Greece to do more. Some think that isn’t realistic. But this quote caught my eye.

Brussels wants all previously agreed reforms implemented.

Greece has been bailed out 3 or 4 times. In each case they have made promises, such as raise taxes, or sell nationalized industries to private concerns. They have done some of this, but not nearly all of this because it is hard. And in some cases they have passed laws that will do the hard stuff later this year or next. (Of course they can always change their minds which leaves some people feeling like it is another dodge.)

Why the delay related to Germany’s election? Because Angela Merkel would like to be re-elected. And the average German-in-the-street isn’t happy about all the money she loaned gave to Greece. And if she admits it was a gift and not a loan…. She is already facing a pretty tight election.

After Robbery He Hid From Cops in the Wrong House

His choice of hiding place didn’t work out too well. Man on the run from police breaks into home and is shot and killed by homeowner – Story | WAGA

He robbed a store. Jumped in the back of a pickup truck. Took off running when police stopped the truck. Decided to break into a house to “hide from the police.”

A short time later, police got a call about a home invasion just around the corner. Investigators said MacDonald had broken into a house and encountered a young man with a shotgun.

“He held the shotgun on MacDonald and was yelling and screaming ‘What are you doing here? What are you doing in my house?’” said Capt. Ireland.

Investigators said the young man’s father heard his son’s cries for help, and grabbed his handgun.

One shot to the chest with the handgun, and the story ends.

Self-defense is a human-right. This also illustrates the old truism: Live by the sword, die by the sword. (Though in this case life by the knife, die by the handgun….)

Us & Them

Someone was asking about “favorite keyboard players.” Last Wednesday there was Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This week is Richard Wright of Pink Floyd.

“Us & Them” is a song by Pink Floyd, from their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. It was their 8th album.

First we have just the piano portion by Richard Wright.

After the break you will find the original (well, remastered) version in its entirety.

Sadly, Richard Wright passed away in September of 2008.
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