Friday Morning: Thank a Goddess
Hope you were prepared for snow if you live in eastern U.S.; Frigg won’t be as much help to you as a decent snow shovel. Same with keeping the kids busy on a snow day. Maybe you could coax them into writing a story about Frigg calling up a snow storm, replete with drawings?
Speaking of weather…and climate…
These news stories suggest snowpocalyptic events here in the U.S. aren’t the only unusual conditions affecting the way we do business today.
- South African’s wine production will be affected by recent wildfires. Wonder if Australia’s will be, too? Oh definitely, by too much rain as well as drought and bushfires.
- Milder than usual weather hurt retail spending in UK. Lucky for our former British overlords we’ve exported our Black Friday to give them a temporary boost in sales.
- The worst drought in two decades spurs Zimbabwe to seed clouds. Ugh. Not good. If they’re seeding there, what happens to rainfall in Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar?
Note: My spell check app offers “snowpocalypse” and “snowpocalypses” after I wrote “snowpocalyptic” — even spell check insists mega-sized snowstorms are now a regular occurrence.
Dutch tech firm Philips’ sale of Lumileds division halted
No specific details were shared, but the Senate Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) blocked the sale of Philips’ California-based lighting component manufacturing subsidiary. Note the article refers to “Asian buyers,” and mentions further down the story that Chinese firms were involved in the buyers’ consortium.
Seems odd this sale was blocked by CFIUS, but not that of chipmaker OmniVision Technologies last May, or Freescale Semiconductor in March (though perhaps the previous owners of Freescale may have been a factor).
Military vendor for AV and building systems sold devices with backdoor
Not only a hidden backdoor, but packet sniffing capabilities found in the AMX brand NX-1200 model building controls device.
But backdoors are a good thing, right? No?
That’s a wrap on this week. Hope those of you along the east coast expecting heavy snow are prepared with ample alcoholic beverages for what appears to be a long weekend. Make an offering to Frigg and see if it helps. Offer another to the person who shoveled your snow.
FWIW Snowpocalypse and snowmageddon were local D.C. area slang for blizzards a couple of years apart. Climate change by any name would smell like sleet.
D.C. may be one of the worst areas in the country during snowstorms. The population turnover in the area is around 50% a year. Every year there are a bunch of new folks who have never seen snow before. It’s a mess in a hurry. A couple of days ago an inch fell during rush hour and gridlocked the metro region. Some people didn’t get home until 2-3 am. Next morning lots of roads were still impassable with things like cars strewn over entrance and exit ramps.
Richmond area may be worse. Even the jacked up 4x4s do 25 when snow is forecast. There’s a local theory that the south lost the war when the Yankees spread a snow warning and waited around the markets to round up the Confederates when they all rushed in for panic buying.
And speaking of weather, I thought I’d take this opportunity to pitch a good read in the event you’re snowed in this weekend. This book came to mind when I read a post here recently about “connection chaining” (likely EW). It’s “Elizabeth is Missing” by Emma Healey, a novel narrated by an aging woman who is slowly losing her present day memory but has a strong set of memories of days gone by. The narration shuffles between present day and past, and brilliantly explains how seeing one thing or discussing one topic can bring on a memory of something else (from the past?), and then lead you to do or say something that seems yet further “unconnected”. The jumps and the segues (of the mind)are so smooth and believable, that you realize how it is quite logical for Grandma to suddenly pipe up and say something unrelated to what’s actually going on. Oh, and it’s a neat mystery story, too. A slow, gentle read.
Friday is my favorite day of the week, for the obvious reasons, and for some not obvious reasons
I actually share a nationality with many people in Western Michigan. My Great, great (not sure how many greats) Grandparents came from Friesland (actually Ost Friesland), which was named after the Norse Goddess, Freyja (Freyja’s land)
One legend / myth is that they descended from her. The other is that they descended from her brother Freyr, who was associated with prosperity, sunshine and fair weather
FWIW, I guess it’s in my DNA to read and enjoy emptywheel. My ancestors rejected authoritarian, unjust, undemocratic, and unfair feudalism by the autocratic corporatist oligarchy of 1/10 of one per centers of their day, and were proud of their freedoms – Fryske frijheid
PS the first political body to officially vote to recognize the United States as a sovereign country was a Frisian legislature inside the Netherlands
Backdoors and packet sniffers in building control systems, interesting. When the story is told we are going to be stunned at all the ways the boys and girls at NSA gamed the web. They are bright folks assigned a mission and given money to execute it. In addition to their own technical skills it looks like they’ve made a lot of mfrs offers they couldn’t refuse.
Hardware, software, firmware, pervasive collection and traffic analysis; every place you look they’ve had their fingers in it. I don’t like it much, but have to admire their technical skills. As always, hats off to Snowden for giving us a primer, and folks like Binney, Drake, Wiebe and Loomis for standing up for the Constitution and whistle blowing.
Anyone know what was behind Hillary’s cryptic comment at the debate about Silicon Valley not being as resistant to cooperating with Govt as touted?
i’ve come here several times today and could never but stop to admire that magical print you put up, rayne.
a goddess spinning clouds. what a beautiful, poetic vision.