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May 26, 2016

Of Male Bonding And Friendship

This is the first video from GoPro that includes other brands of cameras.

Filed under GoPro,Photography,Sports | permalink | May 26, 2016 at 09:28 PM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2016

Illegal Cultivation Site Discovered

You want to know what stupid is? Here's stupid:

Back in January the City Council approved the Bunch Palms Trail cultivation facility that would be new construction at the corner of Cabot and Two Bunch Palms Trail. It is one of the few cultivation sites that plans to use greenhouses. The owner (or one of the owners maybe) John Van Beek, without putting a shovel in the ground, went down the block and started cultivating at Francisco's Auto Repair on Little Morongo Road completely without ANY permits.

It was other legal cultivators who dropped the dime.

IOW, the guy with complete legal entitlements to cultivate decides to forego that and open an illegal cultivation site in one of the very few cities in California to permit legal cultivation. It's double-stupid. He gets it for the illegal grow, and he ain't gonna make much progress on his legal site after this.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Marijuana,Public Safety | permalink | May 19, 2016 at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2016



Filed under Shopping | permalink | May 13, 2016 at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

Vandalism At Devil's Hole

Devil's Hole is a non-contiguous part of Death Valley National Park over on the Nevada side. It's completely off limits to tourists as it is a home to the rare pupfish. It made the news (a little bit) in 2010 when it showed dramatic effects of the Mexicali earthquake hundreds of miles away.

On April 30 three men broke through the fence surrounding Devil's Hole by shooting off the locks. They then proceeded to vandalize the area and actually enter Devil's Hole itself.

One of the men waded and swam in Devils Hole, causing potentially significant disruption to their habitat. The shallow underwater shelf is vital to the Devils Hole pupfish’s survival, providing algae and invertebrates for food and a spawning surface. Video footage recorded this man walking on the shallow shelf, potentially stressing and crushing pupfish, which are slow-moving, docile, and as they have no natural predators, curious by nature. April through May is the peak spawning season for this annual fish, and so the intruder likely crushed and destroyed eggs on the shelf. Many peer-reviewed reports, published scientific studies, as well as a Supreme Court case (Cappaert v. United States 1976) have identified the integrity of the shallow shelf ecosystem as critical to the survival of the Devils Hole pupfish. Any impact to the habitat of this critically endangered species is a concern.

At this link you can see the underwater security video of the man walking on pupfish habitat.

A map of Devil's Hole:

UPDATE: The vandals have been identified, but not apprehended yet, I think.

Filed under Science | permalink | May 13, 2016 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2016

LG Action Camera

LG has announced a new action camera. Specs are a bit meager, but it doesn't look like it shoots 4K. But, it's claim to fame is that it's able to stream your video via 4G. No longer will you have to wait until you get within range of some Wi-fi as you are shooting some police on civilian action to share with the world. Will also be handy in revolutions, but never to be used at a nude function. The price is supposed to be comparable to a GoPro, which hardly narrows that down.

Filed under GoPro,Photography | permalink | May 12, 2016 at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2016

Robbers Nailed In DHS

May 11, 2016

Sgt. G. Paiz

On Monday May 09, 2016, at about 1403 hours, Officers were dispatched to the 11900 Block of Palm Drive, regarding a robbery that had just occurred. The victim said two suspects, a male and female, robbed her of her purse and its contents, at gunpoint. The suspects were last seen running north from the location. The victims property along with the weapon were dumped at a nearby trash bin. An area check was conducted but the suspects were not found.

On Tuesday May 10, 2016, at about 1157 hours, the robbery suspects were detained to the front of 7-11, 65971 Pierson Blvd. One of the suspects had the victims stolen property on their possession. The suspects were arrested, booked and transported to RCJ-Banning.

Suspect-Marcus Eugene Benavidez-Downing 38 years old
M, H, 5-7, 250, Bro , Blk,
Desert Hot Springs resident

Suspect-Marlena Contreras 27 years old
F, H, 5-5, 200, Bro, Bro
Desert Hot Springs resident

Marlena Contreras
Marlena Contreras
Marcus Eugene Benavidez-Downing
Marcus Eugene Benavidez-Downing

Filed under Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | May 11, 2016 at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2016

A Story Of Two Brothers

Over a period of a few months one Reddit user has a told a dramatic and heart-swelling story of losing and re-finding his brother after many years. He did this in three postings. You can read a summarized version here. But I think the full story should be read, but I know my readers don't want to go slogging through Reddit trying to find the parts, so here it all is, verbatim. Typos too.

Written about three months ago.

I'm trying to write this in a way so that no one will be able to research and find out who I am (or my brother is). But it's the Internet and everyone's a super sleuth.

My brother went missing years ago. And when I say "missing," I mean that his case was declared one of those "creepy unsolved mysteries." It was on the news. I distinctly remember my parents interviewing for the news in our living room.

I think I know what happened to him.

I was very young when he went missing. I barely remember him, but I do remember that I loved him a lot. He would pull me around our block in a wagon. Most kids his age didn't do that.

The days before he disappeared, I remember him staying home and babysitting me. I stayed in my room and played Nintendo 64. Throughout the day, a guy came over. I remember him. He was older, almost our dad's age. My brother made me go into my room whenever I heard the doorbell.
Later, after the guy left, my brother would ask me not to say anything about the guy. With my brain only being focused on video games and extra dessert at that age, I agreed. I didn't care, nor did I comprehend the gravity of the situation.

The day before he disappeared, I remember the older guy coming over. I was in the kitchen and remember looking up and seeing him kiss my brother. They hugged. They didn't care that I saw them. The older guy waved at me and I waved back, then I kept watching cartoons.

I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to my brother whispering outside our front door. "Don't worry, he's asleep," he said.

The older guy said something I couldn't hear. Then my brother said something I couldn't make out, but I made out the words "visit them" or maybe he said "visit him"? Either way, I know the word 'visit' was in his sentence. The man raised his voice and said no. Then I heard "plan" and "city."

Then I fell asleep again.

The next morning--the day he disappeared--my parents were at work. My brother was acting very strange. I remember he kept checking the clock. In the afternoon, I remember him picking me up and asking me if I wanted to go in the wagon. I was too hooked on Nintendo 64 and said no. He almost begged me and I said no again. Then he told me he had to run to our neighbor's house for something, I don't even remember what he said. I said okay. He reminded me to not open the door for anyone, only mom and dad. I shouted at him "OKAY!" because Super Mario was getting on my fucking nerves and he wasn't helping.

He gave me a hug and told me he loved me and left. He never came back.

All these years--decades--later and I think he was in love with that man. I know he was. The memories randomly came flooding back to me earlier, I'm not quite sure why. But it has been taking over my thoughts lately. I can't sleep because I keep thinking about it.

I think my brother left with that man and they ran away together. Or maybe something worse happened. But I don't think that's the case.

My freshman year of college, I was part of a sports team that got national recognition. I remember my team's picture was on ESPN and with our university's name. A few days later, I got mail at my dorm. It was a gift basket. I thought it was from my parents, so I didn't read the card. I threw it away immediately and ate what was in it, but it was nothing but candy. Nerds, jolly ranchers, Tootsie Rolls and Hershey's Kisses. I called my dad and thanked him for the gift basket and he said he didn't send one, neither did mom.

Then I got to thinking: all of those candies were what I used to eat as a kid. Literally all I ate for the earliest years of my life were those candies. I tried to find the card, but I couldn't. Then I began to think about how my brother would wheel me in the wagon to the gas station close to our house so I could get candy after dinner, even though it was a punishable-by-death "no-no" from mom.

Months later, during Christmas, I got an unmarked Christmas card. The only thing written on it was a :) smiley. Since then, I've heard nothing. No one I know sent that card. I have never responded.

I wonder, every day, if he's out there. I have never told anyone this. When the police asked me what happened that day, I told them that he went to the neighbor's because that's all I remembered, honestly.

It destroyed my parents. My mom became addicted to pain killers and my dad has had three extra-marital affairs (which, I know this tragedy is no way an excuse to cheat, but it sure didn't help). It has ruined our family, and maybe my brother knows what he did. Maybe he regrets it and knows he can't come back home.

But if I could see him today, I would just want to tell him that he is always welcome in my home. I love you so much, brother. We have so much catching up to do. Please come home. Please.

Written 27 days ago.

It's 4pm and I'm drunk lol

These past few weeks have been insane. I posted on here before....my brother went missing a long time ago. I thought he ran away from home. Long story short, I got into contact with some detectives that our family has known since my brother went missing. When I started asking questions, they told me that my brother was no longer on any missing persons registry. When I asked what that meant, they told me that he was removed per my parent(s) request.

I asked my parents--my dad, actually. My dad ignored me. My mom told me my brother is alive and okay ("as far as she knows"). They found my brother years ago--a very, very long time ago--and found out he was living with another man. He's gay, and it disgusted my parents. He tried reaching out to them. They told him they didn't want anything to do with him and that I didn't remember him adn wouldnt' want to see him.....
I went ballistic. My parents weren't fazed by it. They sincerely hate my brother for who he is--for being gay. They kept him a secret from me all my fucking life. My brother missed the birth of his nephew, he missed my wedding, graduations, EVERYTHING. just because of my parents. they lied to me.

I've been able to get a phone number and contact information from police officers. my brother left it all open in case anyone from our family wanted to contact him. i still can't work up the nerve to call him. the address i have for him is across the fucking country. but he's alive. my brother is alive. i'm drunk as fuck right now because i can't deal with any of this. i haven't talked to my parents in weeks and i never plan on speaking to them again. not for what they've done to me, or my brother.

this is real and it happened. it happened--it is happening right now. i dont know how to process this at all. my parents let me blieve my brother was dead or kidnapped forever, when in reality he just ran away and when he wanted to come back they disowned him

im fucking crying right now. how could you do that? fuck you, God. fuck you christians and jesus. idont even know i'm so fucking--i'm sorry

Written three days ago.

Here's an update for you all: The day after I made my last post, I woke up and called into work. I told my wife (who is essentially my confidant and I tell her everything) the whole story. She wasn't really surprised; she's not a fan of my parents much. But like many of you, she told me to call the number I was given for my brother immediately. She insisted on it. She took herself and my son out for a day together so I could be alone to talk with him.

I dialed the number about seven times before I actually pressed the "call" button. It started ringing and I hung up. Then I got frustrated at myself and called the number back. It rang and rang and I got a voicemail, but it was the automated voice, not anyone else's. I didn't leave a voicemail. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. I called my wife and told her to come home and she refused until I had talked to someone on the other end of the phone.

About an hour of pacing and drinking two glasses of scotch at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, I called the number again. It rang three times. I panicked. I hung up. But this time, the number was calling me back. I swear to whatever God(s) above, I thought my heart was going to stop. I almost threw up right there. I answered the call.

The first thing I heard on the other end of the line was a guy laughing in the background. There was wind on the phone. The person on the other end was outside and it was windy. "Who is this?"

It was his voice. I knew that voice. It was my fucking brother. My brother! Who had been gone for my entire life! I covered my mouth with my shaking hands and just sat there. He kept asking me who it was. The guy in the background was trying to talk over him. He hung up on me. I called him back right away. He answered again.

Me being a creepy ass, the first thing I said after decades of not seeing him and thinking he was dead, I blurted: "I got your number."
He asked me who I was and what I wanted. I said, "It's me." There was a really long pause. I thought the call had dropped. Then I heard him tell someone to turn the radio down and roll the window up. The sound of wind stopped… and then he asked me my name. I told him and he said that I was lying. I told him I got his number from the missing children's network and detectives. I heard him gasp. He asked me what color shoelaces he wore to a picnic when we were kids, and I remember my mom getting mad at his orange laces with blue shoes. It was the last time we were together as a family.

I could tell he was crying. The first thing he asked me was: "Where are you?" and I told him I lived a few hours away from home. Without hesitating, he told me, "I'm coming."

He went straight to the airport without any luggage, bought a plane ticket, and flew straight to me. We stayed on the phone with each other the whole time. When he was walking through the gate, I knew who he was right away. He is middle-aged; salt and pepper hair, muscular. He looks just like our dad, only better. I know if I told him that, that would make him mad.

I literally pushed an old lady out of the way and I just hugged him. He's about two inches taller than me. He was able to pick me up. He was crying, I was crying. I was having a breakdown. We went to a bar at the airport. He wouldn't let me out of his sight. He kept holding onto my arm. He kept telling me how unreal it all was. He apologized to me. He kept crying, telling me he felt horrible. I told him to forget everything and tell me about his life.

He's married. His husband is a doctor—a pediatric oncologist. They live in the Pacific Northwest. They have two children—girls, 12 and 8. He works as a legal consultant and has his own firm. He has an amazing life. He told me that he thought I hated him and wanted nothing to do with him. We sat at the bar for hours. Literal hours. I think we sat for about six hours before I begged him to come home and meet my wife.

We got home, and my wife was a mess. She hugged him and insisted he stay with us. At this point, his husband was going insane and kept calling him. He had no idea what was going on. He thought he had eloped or something. It was crazy for a couple of days until everything was explained and out in the open.

My son and my brother were like two peas in a pod. Honestly, I never wanted children. My son was an amazing accident, but I'm not good with kids. I'm always afraid I'm going to break them. But my brother is a pro. Kids love him.

He stayed with us for two weeks. And in two weeks, everything about my life changed. His husband and two daughters flew in to stay with us. My brother-in-law and my two nieces. My family. They were my family. They are my family.

My brother wants my wife and I to move to be closer to him. My wife is on board. I work as a professor at a university and have already started to send out feelers to see if there are any open positions, and I've found one that is actually tenured and higher pay.

I do not plan on forgiving my parents, but my brother still loves them. He went by their house and knocked on the door. My father shut the door in his face. My mother gave him a hug and told him to take care of himself. Then she shut him out. I can't forgive them for that. I have no reason to stay close to them. I want to be with my family. I want to make up for all the lost time.

It's 2am right now and I'm drinking a tall glass of scotch and grading papers. My beautiful, wonderful, smart, amazing wife is asleep on the couch. She likes to watch me grade papers. My son is asleep in his room cuddled up with all the stuffed animals his uncle brought him. And I'm here, so happy, so fulfilled knowing that my family has grown and doubled in size so suddenly. My heart is happy. I am so happy right now, Reddit. I am so happy.

| permalink | May 10, 2016 at 06:08 PM | Comments (2)

May 5, 2016

It finally worked!

How many millions of fake excuse notes have been written by how many millions of students, to no avail? But one girl got Sheldon Elementary school in Harris County, Texas to fall for her obviously fake note.

The explanation is: Texas.

| permalink | May 5, 2016 at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2016

Rocket Video

UP Aerospace Inc.attached a lot of GoPros to a rocket they launched last November. One camera is on one of the stages jettisoned from the main rocket. This allowed them to catch clear images of the rest of the rocket just sitting there in space like a 1950s science fiction magazine. Here’s the video.

Filed under GoPro,Photography,Science | permalink | May 4, 2016 at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2016

Brain Map Of Responses To Words

A couple of scientists, using MRI, have mapped which parts of the brain respond to certain words. If you want the original article in Nature, here it is. But what you want to see is this easy to understand video.

And then what you want to see is this interactive 3D map of the brain. Click on a spot and it tells you the words that activate that area. Here are some sample results:
Brain Word Map 09.41.34

Brain Word Map 09.41.48

Brain Word Map 09.42.55

Brain Word Map 09.43.16

Ideas: they need to do this with other languages too, and with different dialects of English, to see the differences and similarities; where are the obscenities?; technical words and jargon - let's see how those get mapped.

Filed under English,Technology | permalink | May 3, 2016 at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2016

Apple Campus Update

Another drone video of the construction of the new Apple Campus. This one has a few captions, so we know what we're looking at.

Filed under Architecture,Technology | permalink | May 2, 2016 at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2016

Zen Of The Day

See Windows 95 boot up and run on an Apple Watch!

Story here.

Filed under Technology | permalink | May 1, 2016 at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)