The Dawn of Ocean Yacht Racing

Not surprising that the idea was fueled by alcohol. Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic by Sam Jefferson review – the super-rich in a thrilling contest on the waves

The dawn of ocean yacht racing can be pinpointed to a drunken night at the exclusive Union Club, on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, in October 1866.

Because what are a bunch of super-rich playboys gonna do when they are convinced they can one-up each other. The set out on Tuesday the 11th of December 1866.

It was a close race that ended on December 23rd. At least 6 men were lost overboard.

There was much fanfare in England when the boats arrived. The Queen even granted them an audience at Osborne House.

In the opinion of the Times, the Great Ocean Yacht Race was a very American innovation: “We would not say that an Englishman would not have accomplished such a race,” the paper noted, “but the idea would perhaps hardly have occurred to them.”

(That’s the London Times for those not in the know – They never specify which city, because London.)

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They Should Charge These People the Full Cost of the Extra Stop

She was mad because they wouldn’t give her more sparkling wine. Woman threw a tantrum after they wouldn’t give her more champagne on a plane, and had to pay $5,871 for causing an emergency landing

She was booted off the plane, after it made an unscheduled stop. So she didn’t get to her final destination. She has to pay and extra €5000 and she gets to look like an idiot in the eyes of everyone in the world. Still, she got off easy.

They said the 43 passengers on board were never in danger, but the total cost involved in the unplanned stopover likely amounted to several tens of thousands of euros for the airline.

If she was hit with a bill in the tens of thousands of Euros, maybe word would get out that being an idiot is REALLY expensive. They also didn’t publish her name, so the whole shaming thing doesn’t come into play.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack”

The KEY word being “attempted.” The guy built a mostly non-functioning bomb. Terror suspect sets off pipe bomb near Port Authority bus terminal.

This is getting to be too routine. Bombs. Trucks. Knife attacks. Whatever.

Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi native, detonated part of his “low tech” explosive at 7:30 a.m. and was injured in an underground subway passage just 200 feet from the bus terminal at West 42nd St. and Eighth Ave., officials said. Three commuters suffered minor injuries, officials said.

Ullah has been in this country 7 years. He immigrated from Bangladesh.

Only part of the device exploded, so he was taken to the hospital and treated for burns. He isn’t dead because only a portion of device actually exploded.

This could have been so much worse. If he knew what he was doing. If he built a larger device. The gods of luck were smiling on NY City.

The quote in the title of this post is from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

How Women Were Pushed Out of the Tech Industry

Early tech was mostly considered women’s work. So what changed? The First Women in Tech Didn’t Leave—Men Pushed Them Out

In the UK, it was by government policy. Women were held in different job categories, and could not advance. Of course when the .gov tries to control the economy it often doesn’t go as planned.

Not only were the male recruits often less qualified, they frequently left the field because they viewed it as an unmanly profession. A shortage of programmers forced the U.K. government to consolidate its computers in a handful of centers with the remaining coders. It also meant the government demanded gigantic mainframes and ignored more distributed systems of midsize and mini computers, which had become more common by the 1960s and would eventually give rise to the PC, according to Dr. Hicks.

In the US it was discrimination at the college level which started the whole thing rolling.

One of the earliest and most-respected coding programs was at Princeton University, which didn’t admit women at the time, according to the author. Within the cloistered computer-science labs of such institutions, an intensely male “hero” culture of programming was fostered.

The percentage of women getting computer science degrees peaked in 1984. NPR’s Planet Money had a decent episode on this topic not too long ago.

Texans Are Still Armed

Bad guys are still getting shot. Father Shoots Robber Who Pointed Gun at His Children

So a family is enjoying a meal at a Popeye’s Chicken, when a bad guy decides it might be a good idea to rob everyone.

Molina told Herrera that he had no money and asked whether his family could leave. Most of the family left the restaurant, but Herrera then pointed the gun at two of Molina’s children as they walked out of a restroom. In response, Molina drew his licensed handgun and shot Herrera several times, fatally wounding him, police said.

Cops maintain that the shooting was “in defense of a third person,” so in other words, legal.

Self-defense is a human-right. So is defending your family. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

In Honor of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper on Her Birthday

Grace Hopper (Amazing Grace) has to be one of my favorite people of the 20th Century. This post was compiled in 2006. (So some of the links might be broken.)


Grace HopperNot very many women were getting degrees in mathematics in 1928. (Not many are doing so today.) Grace Hopper got her MA in 1930 and a PhD. in 1934. She joined the Naval Reserve in 1943. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was a pioneer. She was one of the founders of modern computing.

Grace Hopper was the one who said, “It’s always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” (This is one of my favorite quotes.)

Grace Murray Hopper often presented a piece of wire about a foot long, and explained that it represented a nanosecond, since it was the maximum distance electricity could travel in wire in one-billionth of a second. She often contrasted this nanosecond with a microsecond – a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long – as she encouraged programmers not to waste even a microsecond.

First Computer BugHave you ever wondered where the term “computer bug” comes from? The Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator stopped working in September 1945. Lieutenant Junior Grade Hopper (who was always good with gadgets) was one of those who took it apart piece by piece until a moth was found stuck between the contacts of relay number 70. The log entry says “First actual case of bug being found,” and the word went out that the machine had been “debugged.” [click on the image for a large view of the log and the bug.]

Lt. HopperAlthough programmers the world over love-to-hate COBOL (the COmmon Business Oriented Language), it was one of the first compiled languages.

Perhaps [Grace Hopper’s] best-known contribution to computing was the invention of the compiler, the intermediate program that translates English language instructions into the language of the target computer.

Her compiler lead directly to the development of COBOL; a major step into the modern world of computing we know today. And there is still a VERY good chance that COBOL wrote your last pay check, printed your last bank statement, tracks your car insurance, …

Amazing Grace even has US Naval vessel named in her honor. The USS Hopper (DDG-70) is a 500 ft. long AEGIS Class Guided Missile Destroyer, generates 100,000 shaft horsepower and was commissioned on 6 September 1997. The ship’s motto is “AUDE ET EFFICE” which translates to “Dare and Do,” a favorite phrase of Rear Admiral Hopper’s when giving advice.

Grace Murray Hopper died in 1992 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, having become the first woman to hold the rank of rear admiral. Grace Hopper’s military awards and decorations include:

  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two Hourglass Devices
  • Naval Reserve Medal

The Navy, fittingly, has named its Data Automation Center in San Diego after her.

What If You Called 911 and Had to Wait 55 Minutes?

Actually it was longer than that. Questions after 55-minute dispatch for armed robbery call in Oak Lawn

55 minutes for the dispatcher to send a car, and 12 minutes for the response by the cops dispatched.

A lot of really bad things can happen in an hour.

Now it could be that all cops were already on other priority calls. It doesn’t say. That happens when there aren’t enough cops to go around to all the crime.

But the point is, people – the Left mostly – say that all we need to do to be safe is call 911. Of course that assumes you can call 911 before you get robbed. Or have some other violent confrontation.

According to the bar owner, who asked not to be identified, he called 911 three times in a one hour time period before watching three suspects board a DART train at the Inwood Station and get out of the area before police could arrive.

No photos of the miscreants in the DART station, so the cops are at a loss.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. It can send all kinds of help your way. But if that is the only thing you are prepared to do, well, you may be waiting a very long time; you may even wait the rest of your life.