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23 May 18:19

Japan, China have extracted methane hydrate from the seafloor

by Megan Geuss

h/t PheliX

Enlarge / A photo from the China Geological Survey. The researchers extracted methane hydrate from the bottom of the South China Sea. (credit: China Geological Survey)

This month, teams from Japan and China have successfully extracted methane hydrate, a hydrocarbon gas trapped in a structure of water molecules, off the seafloor. The substance looks like ice but can be set on fire, and it’s energy-dense—one cubic meter of methane hydrate can contain 160 cubic meters of gas.

This makes searching for methane hydrate an attractive research project for several countries. According to the Department of Energy, methane hydrates are abundant on the seafloor and under permafrost, and they contain “perhaps more organic carbon that all the world’s oil, gas, and coal combined.”

Such vast reserves of fossil fuels are untapped because of how difficult it is to extract them. As a 2012 post from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) stated, until recently, methane hydrates “provided more problems than solutions.” Preventing their formation around deepwater oil and gas drilling operations has been a crucial part of planning ocean wells. The “ice” substance that contains the gas generally can’t just be picked up off the seafloor because it disintegrates outside of its high-pressure environment. The South China Morning Post wrote that current extraction efforts involve machinery “to depressurize or melt [the methane hydrate] on the sea bed and channel the gas to the surface.”

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23 May 13:35

IBM makes quantum computing breakthrough with 'fastest' 17-qubit processor

by Allen)

h/t Roumen.ganeff

IBM makes quantum computing breakthrough with 'fastest' 17-qubit processor

Prototype is 'at least' twice as powerful as before

23 May 13:22

The Rise of the Crypto-Natives

--- ### *Thinking about cryptocurrency as a social phenomenon* --- I don't know who coined it, but the first time I remember reading the insightful term, "digital natives," was probably around the late 1990s or early 2000s. The term went along with the observation that a generation of children had been born who will never know what life was like without the Internet. The digital natives would never check a newspaper to find the movie listings. They would never use a telephone book to look up a phone number. They would never use a magazine to check the television schedule. The digital natives would never have a time when they couldn't sit down at their computer and find an answer to almost any question they could think of or buy all sorts of products and services. Because of social media, this generation will never know what it's like to lose touch with their high school or college friends after graduation. Life is different for them, but more than that, they will never even know how it is different because the old ways of doing things will be fading. The digital native generation is shaped by technology, and in turn, they reshape society. They take the new order for granted. It's the old order that seems alien to them, and even when the old order survives, in many cases the digital natives simply will not tolerate it. ###### * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* Something that occurred to me recently, as I was thinking about a number of steemit posts from steemizens who are as young as 15, 12, and even 7 or 8, is that steem is on the cusp of creating a generation of crypto-natives. To their parents and grandparents, cryptocurrency is a dark art, but to them, it will be as natural as the cell phone. Is any other cryptocurrency creating crypto-natives? None that I know of. Case in point, I'm pretty confident that my son, @cmp2020 was the first student in his high school to experiment with any form of "[Internet Smart Money](," and he started with Steem. I still remember the shock of my first lifeguarding paycheck when I was 16 years old. I was earning minimum wage - $3.35 per hour - so I was expecting a check for 40 hours in the amount of $134. What I got was more like $85. My family laughed at my surprise and said something like, "Yeah, that's how it works." And I shrugged it off because no one around me could imagine anything different. Now comes the vanguard of the crypto-natives, and not only can they imagine a different system, but they've seen one! These kids get paid for their posts, and there's no invisible withholding taken away before they ever get their eyes on it. They get 100% of the payout. Radical! They're not paying monthly fees to the banks to keep their steem in their wallets, and when they exchange cryptocurrency with their families, it happens almost instantly and they don't need a bank or post office to make it happen. Things operate the way that we would expect - intuitively, but yet in a way that is markedly different from the world where the rest of us grew up. ###### * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* So what happens when the crypto-natives meet the existing order? In [@cmp2020]('s case, that will probably be college. He's already too old to be a crypto-native. He remembers life before cryptocurrency. But he's had a taste of it. How is that tax shock going to be different for him than it was for me all those years ago when he eventually converts his steem and bitcoin to USD to help with tuition costs? What happens when a whole generation of kids - not just in one country, but across the globe - comes of age after their virtual piggy-banks were filled with cryptocurrency from the time they were toddlers? I don't pretend to know the future, but I think the rise of the crypto natives will usher in monumental changes to society and governance around the globe, and I'm excited to see what happens.
23 May 13:21

Climate alarmism: The mother of all availability cascades

by Anthony Watts
Guest essay by Iain Aitken An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that gives the perception of increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse. Availability Cascades and Risk Regulation -Timur Kuran, Duke University – Department of Economics, Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard Law School; Harvard…
22 May 05:22

Hilarious Peer Reviewed Climate Hoax: “The conceptual penis as a social construct”

by Eric Worrall
Guest essay by Eric Worrall From the “phallic climate model” department, h/t James Delingpole / Breitbart – a pair of hoaxers have demonstrated that random garbage, some of it computer generated, can pass academic peer review – providing it seems to conform to left wing social prejudices about masculinity, capitalism and climate change. THE CONCEPTUAL PENIS…
22 May 04:39

[Opinion] Public school music performances should use public domain music

###### * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* ### Introduction During the early 2000s, a debate began about the public's right to access scientific research that was funded by public tax dollars. The debate continues, but a reasonable position is that when science is funded by public tax dollars, the public should have the right to read the journal articles that it pays for. [This debate]( gave rise to open access journals like [PLOS]( and government provided public access databases like [PubMed]( In my view, too much publicly funded science is still locked up behind paywalls, but the current situation is far superior to the lay of the land in the 1990s and before. It recently occurred to me that there is an analogous situation in the space of public school music performance. The community pays for the music. The community pays for the instrumental and vocal instruction. The community pays for the concert venue. Yet the community has no rights to record or share the musical performance that it funds. Further, as the parent of a [budding musician]( and public school student, I see first hand how our tax dollars and our children's labor are being coopted by the music industry. Although it is routinely ignored, musician's families are frequently lectured about the importance of respecting the composer's copyright and intellectual property, and even prohibited from recording our own children's performances! If we have the temerity to violate the prohibition and post such recordings on [youtube]( so that grandparents and cousins in other states can view them, the copyright owner claims the rights and gains revenue from our children's performance and our community's tax dollars. In a very real sense, our young public school musicians are having their hard work conscripted by the music and publishing industries. Of course, I'm no lawyer, but I assume that under existing copyright law, public schools are on solid legal ground when they prohibit recording, and that the music industry is perfectly entitled to monetize our children's work. Yet, I consider this situation to be unacceptable. A parent should be able to legally record their child's performance and share it with grandparents, or anyone else, without some corporate behemoth interfering with the transaction. Likewise, the community should be free to enjoy the performances that it pays for on its own terms. The only way I see to resolve this tension among the rights of the publisher, the rights of the performer, and the rights of the community is for public schools to eschew the performance of copyrighted material. There may appear to be some irony when a patent-holder makes this argument, but I am not arguing to abolish copyright, just that its use is inconsistent with public funding of music. In this essay, I will discuss three possible counterarguments: Music composers can't survive without copyright protection; Public domain music is lower quality than copyrighted music; and Interscholastic organizations require the use of copyright protection. ### Music composers can't survive without copyright protection #### (aka: Your son wants to be a composer. Have you really thought this through?) Being a composer has never been easy, and it gets harder every year. I wrote about this in [Thoughts About Parenting: Career Advice]( Composers don't just compete with their contemporaries, but they also compete with every work that's ever been written and recorded, over the course of centuries. So it's fair to ask if the public schools should make the life of a composer even harder? First, I'm not saying that composers shouldn't continue to make use of copyright protections. Composers should be free to use the copyright laws if they think it's in their best interest. I'm just saying that public schools should not use copyrighted works for their public performances. The composer could still sell copyrighted works to any other customer. If a composer's business model depends upon conscripting the labor of a nation-full of school children, then perhaps their livelihood deserves to be jeopardized. However, I think the premise is flawed. ###### *! Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* The same argument has been made about software, but the Linux operating system and open source software movement have proved that it is possible for talented programmers to earn significant income without relying on intellectual property monopolies. There is no reason to believe that musical composers can't do the same. In fact, using history as a guide, if the public schools create a market for public domain music, then composers would also be free to reuse and recombine all of this material without worrying about infringement. Hence, I would expect a Cambrian explosion in opportunities for composers to match the one that we've seen for programmers and developers over the last couple of decades. In fact, no matter what, I think that open source software using blockchain accounting and innovative delivery mechanisms is going to be a big part of an unavoidable musical Cambrian explosion. Like it or not, the world we know is about to change. We can go along for the ride, or we can cling to obsolete practices that are sure to be supplanted. I say we should ride the wave. ### Public domain music is lower quality than copyrighted music I'm not qualified to agree or disagree with this claim, although I suspect that it's dubious. Regardless, there is a ton of high quality public domain music available from genres such as classical, folk, and contemporary music including composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and Scott Joplin. Existing web site resources include: [The International Music Score Library Project](, [MusOpen](, and [The Mutopia Project]( Certainly, this is already high enough quality for nearly all instructional cases. ###### * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* Additionally, again using open source software as our guide, we can expect that if public schools across the country restrict their music to the public domain, many composers will start placing some or all of their works into the public domain in order to increase their audience and exposure. Although some composers may continue to rely exclusively on copyright protections, new business models will emerge as others open some of their works to the public domain, and still others place all of their works in the public domain. The end result can only be an increase in quality over what's available now (which is already high quality). In addition to the aforementioned arguments, another important point is that public domain music will save money for the taxpayers. In addition to lowering the cost of the existing operations, this may also lead to opportunities to hire new teachers and thereby support instruction for more musicians. In the long term, this will also serve to raise the overall quality of music. ### Interscholastic organizations require the use of copyright protection My son's marching band competes against other bands in an interscholastic league that imposes even more restrictions on recording than the publishers themselves. This really isn't optional. If the extracurricular entity joins the interscholastic organization, then they are agreeing to the terms of participation, and the interscholastic organizations all do it. In this situation, there are (of course) two ways to respect performer, parental, and community rights when dealing with interscholastic organizations. First, public schools could refuse to join any interscholastic organizations that prevent parents and the community from fully enjoying the musical performances; or second, as an extracurricular activity, the school organization could fund itself entirely through private and voluntary contributions. ###### * Image Source:, License: CC0, Public Domain
* These interscholastic organizations get their revenue from public school membership, so if enough public schools adopt a policy requiring public domain performances, then market discipline will force the interscholastic organizations to do the same. There would probably be a difficult transition period, but tax-paying communities should eventually demand that interscholastic organizations who depend upon them for revenue should yield to the interests of the communities who fund their operations, the musicians who perform for them, and the parents who support it all. ### Conclusion (TL;DR) The question of private use of publicly funded resources occurs in many forms. As noted in the introduction, it has been discussed for over a decade in the sciences. A similar question also arises in [college sports]( As with those fields, it is important to look at the incentives of participants in the performance and funding of music in America's public schools, and to make sure that all stakeholder interests are protected. It appears to me that the only way to harmonize the rights and incentives of composers, publishers, students, families, and tax-paying communities is to ensure that public funding is not used to advantage copyright holders at the expense of all other stakeholders. In addition to harmonizing the incentives for all stakeholders - as we saw in the software industry - making use of public domain music in our public schools would also reduce the cost of music instruction, lead to new revenue models for composers, and lead to generalized improvement and innovation in the quality of music that's available to society. --- **Thank you for reading!** Here's a reward for anyone who made it this far: --- Steve Palmer ([@remlaps]( is an IT professional with three decades of professional experience in data communications and information systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in computer science, and a master's degree in information systems and technology management. He has also been awarded 3 US patents. ---
18 May 23:55

Campus Rape Facts: Who Yah Gonna Believe?

by Mike McDaniel


The statistics are unquestionable–at least to the social justice warriors inhabiting American colleges: something between 20 and 25 percent of women will be raped during their four (or more) years of college. Presumably, women sticking around for a master’s or doctorate degree face even more daunting odds.

What kind of father would allow his daughter to go to college facing those odds? Pretty much every one, because even if they are progressives, they don’t really believe those hyperbolic statistics. They’re just useful for imposing progressive policies on the deplorables, and particularly white male deplorables, the source of all evil in the world. Forget about all that due process nonsense; brand ‘em all rapists and expel ‘em!

USA Today appears to be distributing heresy:

Most U.S. colleges — 89% — reported zero incidents of rape in 2015, according to American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of data provided by schools to the U.S. Department of Education.

Well, that puts a hole in social justice agitation about rape on campus, doesn’t it? Not so fast. USA Today certainly wouldn’t let evil white men get away with that:

Reported is the key word. Just because a school had no rape reports doesn’t mean no rapes happened.

AAUW’s findings very likely do not reflect the true state of sexual violence among college students, since a majority of incidents go unreported. In fact, a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that 80% of student victims don’t report their rape or sexual assault to police, based on data from 1995–2013.

Still, the 2015 AAUW report isn’t as rosy as the previous year’s. In 2014, 91% of schools reported zero rapes, based on annual crime data disclosed by more than 11,000 colleges and universities.

The rest of the article works very hard to paint as grim a picture as possible. Progressives just know women are being raped at a record pace on campus, and they’re not going to let studies that say otherwise get in the way.

There does not, for the purposes of reporting or compiling studies, seem to be a common, universal definition of rape. As I explained in Campus Rape And Social Justice: All Men Are Rapists, the crime of rape has very specific elements.  If what happened does not match the elements, it wasn’t rape. It may be some other crime, but it is not rape. This is true of all crimes.  The reasonable person has to be able to tell what is and isn’t unlawful. For social justice purposes, this is entirely unsuitable. What matters is the social justice narrative that 20% to 25% of women are going to be raped. If the facts and the law don’t conform to the narrative, to hell with the law, and the facts will have to change. Actually, what’s more likely is the definitions will have to change.

The studies cited in the article are remarkable, however. Colleges tend to be very reluctant to report accurate crime rates on campus. It’s bad for business. Therefore, crimes of all kinds are mischaracterized, or otherwise explained away. If it’s not a crime, it doesn’t need to be reported. Often, colleges don’t report felonies to the police unless there is no way to avoid it. But the rape craze presents a unique problem.

Colleges can’t achieve true social justice purity unless they have significant rape rates, which requires kangaroo courts, which expel rapists. To prove they’re a hotbed of rape, colleges are in the bizarre trap of categorizing just about anything as rape, even when the police investigate and discover the female “victim” made a false report.  Young men have been branded rapists and expelled even when the police have refused to refer cases for prosecution. Again, that’s the difference between the rule of law and social justice. Verdict first– kangaroo court to reach it later.


Under social justice, just about anything might be rape. If two students were so drunk they can’t remember anything about what they did, but the young women is convinced by her friends something bad must have happened, it’s rape. If a breast was briefly fondled after a young lady said “no,” it’s rape. Kissing, stroking, anything but forcible penetration is often construed to be rape. What matters is how the “victim” feels, not the actual acts. Few colleges dare be thought of as weak on rape, yet 89% to 91% of colleges reported no rapes in 2015 and 2014.  As reluctant as colleges are to report such things, it’s reasonable to believe there were even fewer rapes on campus than reported.

But that doesn’t matter. Who are you going to believe? The rape deniers and the facts, or the narratives of the victims, even though they don’t come close to fitting any legal definition of rape? One might be forgiven for worrying about the graduates of America’s universities. On one hand, they’re just certain to be raped any minute; rapists are lurking behind every shrub and statue on campus. On the other, most universities are reporting that rape is rare, and very few female students will ever be raped, yet they maintain formal rape investigation bureaucracies to not only indoctrinate everyone in the horrors of the campus rape culture, but to find rapists where none exist and to burn them at the figurative stake. Do un-raped graduates think themselves rape survivors?  Does anyone escape college without psychological damage?

I ended the aforementioned article thus:

Social justice ideology not only fools the credulous into believing that consensual, willing sexual relations are rape, it not only damages relations between men and women, but it trivializes the genuine trauma and harm caused by real rapists, while ensuring that actual rapists go free. It ensures that the jobs of police officers become still more difficult, even as it denigrates them. Yet another great, forward-looking progressive accomplishment.

As usual, what matters is the narrative that campuses are overwhelmed by a rape culture, requiring the suspension of civil liberties to eradicate, and as always with progressive ideology, facts cannot be allowed to get in the way of a useful narrative.

Who yah gonna believe?

Filed under: Education Tagged: AAUW, campus rape culture, rape, USA Today
18 May 23:46

Pandora stock is soaring following a report that SiriusXM is in talks to buy it (P)

by Nathan McAlone

Tim Westergren

Pandora stock is soaring on a New York Post report that satellite-radio powerhouse Sirius XM is in "active discussions" to buy the internet-radio pioneer.

The stock is up ~7.5% in trading this morning.

Pandora has endured on-an-off M&A rumors for months, as it tries to re-invent its business with the launch of an on-demand competitor to Spotify and Apple Music. That product finished its rollout last month.

Liberty Media, which controls satellite-radio powerhouse Sirius XM, has been seen as the only real buyer in town.

That means Pandora has had to endure stock swings whenever Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei talks publicly about the company — which is often.

Most recently, earlier this month, Maffei talked unenthusiastically about Pandora's KKR investment. In its quarterly earnings report, Pandora announced it had taken $150 million from private-equity firm KKR, and given KKR a seat in a boardroom shakeup. “My guess is they needed cash,” Maffei said. “I’m not sure it creates an opportunity. It speaks to the cash needs of their business.”

Maffei reportedly made an informal offer for Pandora at roughly $15 a share early last year. But in March, Maffei said that Pandora was “overvalued,” and that $10 per share was something that could work. On Thursday morning, the stock was trading at around $9.60 per share.

SEE ALSO: This media mogul has wreaked havoc on Pandora’s stock price for months — and he’s not slowing down

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Malaysia just seized more than 300 endangered tortoises being smuggled in suitcases

18 May 23:33

New Video : Fraud And Collusion In The Global Temperature Record

by tonyheller
18 May 23:14

'Yay, I got accepted': Watch the moment teenage Mark Zuckerberg got accepted to Harvard (FB)

by Alex Heath

Mark Zuckerberg teen

Before Mark Zuckerberg was the fifth-richest person on earth and one of the most powerful CEOs, he was a teenager who aspired to study at Harvard.

He ended up dropping out to work on Facebook, but next week he'll return to give this year's commencement address and receive an honorary degree.

Thanks to a video taken by his dad and shared on Facebook, you can watch the moment Zuckerberg found out he was accepted to Harvard. Clad in his pajamas and surrounded by chunky computer monitors next to his bed, Zuckerberg opens the email confirming his admittance.

"Yay," Zuckerberg says softly. "I got accepted."

Watch the full video:

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg confirms that he is not, in fact, a shape-shifting lizard person

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Facebook bug was telling people they died

18 May 20:39

10 Of Brahms' Compositions in Honor of His Birthday

11 days ago was [Brahms](' 184th birthday. Brahms made advancements to music in the wake of Beethoven. I would have posted this 11 days ago, but technical difficulties with Tchaikovsky prevented me. Here's a little bit about Brahms:
**The Life of Brahms** [Johannes Brahms]( was born on May 7th, 1833, in Hamburg Germany. At an early age, Brahms' father, a contemporary musician despite his family's disapproval, taught Brahms to play Violin, and the basics of Cello. From 1840 on, Brahms would study piano with Otto Friedrich Willibald. Willibald is known to have said that Brahms "could be such a good player, but he will not stop his never-ending composing." By 1845, Brahms had already written his first Sonata in G-minor. This disappointed his parents, as they thought he would prosper more as a performer than a composer (They disapproved of his composing). Brahms made his performance debut at the age of ten, playing pieces such as [Beethoven's quintet for piano and winds Op. 16](, [a piano quartet by Mozart](, and an [étude of Henri Herz](
Brahms was first introduced into "Gypsy" style music when in 1850, he met and performed with Violinist Ede Reményi. Many popular pieces would come out of his exposure to this style (I think of the Hungarian Dances [Which I just realized Wikipedia also has listed]). 1850 was also when Brahms first contacted [Robert Schumann]( His friends encouraged (and persuaded) him to send Schuman a package of his compositions, but Schumann sent the package back unopened. On a tour in 1853 with Reményi, Brahms was first introduced to a lifelong friend, violinist and composer Joseph Joachim at Hanover. Brahms had seen Joachim play a Beethoven violin concerto, and was deeply impressed. At the same time, Joachim was impressed by Brahms' solo piano works. It was through a letter of introduction (from Joachim) that Brahms would meet Robert and Clara Schumann. Schumann was so impressed by Brahms' work that he published an article called "Neue Bahne" or New Paths. It was in this article that Schumann wrote that Brahms was "fated to give expression to the times in the highest and most ideal manner." A quote that caused Brahms to feel a little self-critical. He wrote to Schumann in 1853 that this phrase "arouse such extraordinary expectations by the public that I [Brahms] don't know how I can begin to fulfil them." Schumann's encouragement led to Brahms' first publication of compositions. In 1863, Brahms met [Richard Wagner]( for the first time. Brahms would play his Handel Variations for Wagner. Wagner would later make insulting comments about Brahms' music.
Brahms announced that he was starting his First Symphony to private friends in the early 1860's. He was very cautious and nit picky about details. He criticized himself writing to friends that it was "'long and difficult,' 'not exactly charming' and, significantly 'long and in C Minor' which, as Richard Taruskin points out, made it clear 'that Brahms was taking on the model of models [for a symphony]: Beethoven's Fifth.'" He would not complete (and debut) his first symphony until 1876 almost 2 decades after he had announced plans. Even after it premiered, Brahms would continue to "revise" the second movement until its publication. After his first symphony (often called Beethoven's 10th, I'll talk about that in my commentary in the list), Brahms was considered a major figure in music. He had participated in a jury which would award the (now) famous composer, Antonín Dvořák, the Vienna state prize three times. Dvořák actually dedicated his String Quartet, Op. 44 to Brahms.
In 1896, Brahms was diagnosed with cancer of the liver, a disease his father had died from. His last known public appearance was when he saw Hans Richter conduct his 4th Symphony. The audience gave Brahms an ovation after each of the 4 movements. Brahms died on April 3, 1897, at the age of 63. He is buried in the Zentralfriedhof cemetery in Vienna.

**10 Compositions** Here are ten of Brahms' compositions (with commentary) 10\. **Symphony no. 4 *(Movement 4)*** This movement can be extremely soft at times, and extremely loud at times. I love the brass coral in the beginning, and how he uses the tympani to hold a bit of suspense throughout the flute solo. I also love towards the end, the horn interludes that he incorporates. I feel that composers are wise to use the horn for themes. This movement ends with a bold exhilarated sound (as the fourth movement of a symphony should end). 9\. **Piano Concerto no. 1 *(Movement 3)*** I LOVE the horn solo at 9:34 in this movement. This movement is definitely the energetic movement. But, the horn theme is what provides some tenderness to the whole movement. Then how Brahms incorporates the piano horn, oboe, and bassoon as a little transition towards the ending theme is genius. This movement is fun to listen to, and in my opinion, the best movement. 8\. **4 Serious Songs** These songs are definitely serious. This style often reminds me of the songs Schubert wrote. These songs are an awful lot like [Der Leiermann]( and [Der Müller und der Bach]( Both of those are "serious," and have a similar style. I have no idea why the person who made this video put these pictures in. 7\. **Horn Trio in E-Flat Major** I have included this piece in multiple list. This is definitely one of my favorite pieces by Brahms considering that it "features" a French horn as the main instrument. It is relaxing and energetic, and demonstrates the skill of the performer in dynamics (and endurance considering that it's thirty minutes and has only three instruments). 6\. **String Sextet Op. 18** This piece is subtle, and easily fades into background music. Certain parts sound as if they were inspired by a baroque composer such as Bach. 5\. **Violin Concerto *(Movement 3)*** This piece sounds really cool! this movement is very energetic, and it is incredible to watch the violinist (Julia Fischer)'s fingers as she plays. From the pieces I have heard, Brahms really seemed to have liked writing music for strings (violin), though he does do a lot with French horns. 4\. **German Requiem** This piece is beautiful. I didn't know that requiems could be in anything but Latin, so it was cool to see a Requiem in German. I have selected the 4th movement, and very similarly to the Fauré requiem, this movement is also very relaxing. The title is "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place" 3\. **Symphony no. 2 *(Movement 4)*** One thing I will say about Brahms (as much as I may dislike him), he is pretty good at writing symphonies. I will talk about his advancements in the next selection, but this Movement is pretty good. It has everything a fourth movement needs, vigor, excitement, and a powerful ending. As much as Brahms can seem "boring" to me, he knew what he was doing (especially with symphonies). 2\. **Lullaby** This is probably Brahms' most famous piece. I have never heard it performed in something outside of a T.V show/cartoon. The strings part is actually quite beautiful. In German, the piece's name is *Wiegenlied*. I think almost anybody reading this list will recognize this Brahms classic. 1\. **Symphony no. 1 *(Movement 4)*** What an awesome piece to end on. Brahms is not one of my favorite composers, but this piece is really cool. Brahms spent over two decades writing it, and advanced the art of symphony writing from where Beethoven had left off with the 9th symphony. This is why this symphony is often referred to as Beethoven's 10th. I chose this music because 1, the 4th movement is usually the most energetic, and 2, there is a beautiful horn solo. This movement reminds me a lot of the first movement of [Schubert]('s [9th Symphony *"The Great"*](, a piece I love. A lot of the themes sound similar, and it has the same kind of vigor in a way. **Sources** ** *Information* ** [Wikipedia]( ** *Photos* ** [Wikipedia]( **Previous Composer Birthdays (In order by how recent it was) [5/12 - Gabriel Fauré]( [5/7 - Johannes Brahms]() [5/7 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky]( [4/1 - Sergei Rachmaninoff]( [3/21 - Johann Sebastian Bach]( [3/4 - Antonio Vivaldi]( [3/1 - Frédérick Chopin]( [2/28 (29) - Gioachino Rossini]( [2/3 - Felix Mendelssohn]( [1/31 - Franz Schubert]( [1/27 - Wolfgang (Amadeus) Mozart]( The Next Birthday will be [Richard Wagner]( on May 22nd.** Thanks for reading this! Sorry this took so long to make, as I wrote Brahms isn't exactly my favorite composer, so I procrastinated this a lot. But, I now have a greater respect for Brahms as a composer after hearing some of these pieces! Please let me know which piece was your favorite, and remember to check back later! **Also remember to check for: My weekly 7 post, As Well As My Composer Birthday Posts**
18 May 18:33

YouTuber's Guide to Re-Monetizing with STEEMIT! And thank you to my first 253 subs!

Hey fellow current and future Steemians! I'm Alexander, and in 2006, we created a Youtube channel **vlogolution** where we developed several themes such as **HotRoast**, **moMoneyTV**, and **PassMeThePork** with the hope of educating and sharing a bit of wisdom and insight through satire, parody, and entertainment. Because of the constant "flagging" and "harassment" issues we seemed to have with our more "**libertarian / classical liberal**" political stance (especially after google took over YouTube), we eventually tried moving away from that sort of content and focusing on our **Naughty Tipples Cocktail Recipes** show (hosted by @michellectv who just recently also joined steemit). By 2011, our channel had nearly 100,000 subs (when that still meant something) with some pretty decent revenue. However, around mid-2011 our best viral videos were flagged down again, and this time (for no apparent reason at all) YouTube Support decided that many of our videos were no longer "appropriate" for the site (**ie. we disagree with your politics**). One video alone had **over 30 million views**, and still exists on copycat channels that YouTube never took down despite multiple requests (apparently, *our videos* were only "inappropriate for YouTube" on *our own* channel). Worse, all our new videos were often quickly flagged and rarely allowed to be remonetized (talk about targeting), and our monthly revenue collapsed. "YouTube Partner" meant squat. It got so bad that soon after, we gave up producing new video for our channel altogether. And YouTube didn't just uphold the demonetization of these videos, they even blocked a bunch of them completely! At which point, all their views also disappeared from our channel. At first, I was shocked that channels such as Alex Jones, Milo, Steven Crowder, Mark Dice, Blaire White, and others managed to survive and seemingly flourish on the site. And then, YouTube pretty much came after all of them too. As Mark Dice says in this video, **"if you work at McDonald's, you're probably making more money now than a YouTuber with 1 MILLION subscribers!"** He also describes many of the "tricks" YouTube used with us years earlier, back in 2011... ## Is there no hope?! # We've been searching for the ideal next generation "censorship-resistant" platform ever since. In the past year alone, the censorship and banning of "dissenting opinions" is worse than ever not just on YouTube, but across all major social media. And even reaching your own subscribers has become more difficult than ever. However disgraceful this banning and censorship may seem, it again points to the impending demise of fully centralized social media platforms, and the importance of migrating over to new censorship-resistant models. **STEEMIT**, while still constantly improving, excited me as the first alternative to address **censorship and monetization** in an entirely new and unique way that may finally be able to compete with these entrenched "regressive left" centralized mainstream behemoths. It even inspired me to once again test the waters, do a bit of posting, and dip my toes back in the game. And the opportunity to be rewarded for the privilege of doing what many are already doing for free on other platforms, it's all the more just extra **frothy whip cream on your deliciously creamy hot chocolate**! ## A Light at the end of the Tunnel?! # For others who see the writing on the wall, consider sharing this and other incentivizing STEEMIT articles with your fellow suffering YouTubers and other friends across social media as one more reason to **"make the leap"**. As more people realize there's really no downside, and worst case they may still end up with a few extra bucks in their pockets to boot, a critical mass will be reached and they'll start flocking over in droves. I mean, just for some perspective, **let this sink in for a moment**... I'm so proud, I **finally** got @michellectv to make her first post yesterday! She's now up to 8 STEEMIT followers, and her #introduceyourself post has gotten nearly 40 votes and $22 so far! That one single introductory post has already made more money than most people make from their youtube + twitter + facebook + instagram combined! That's probably **MORE MONEY** than a YouTuber with **1 MILLION** subscribers currently earns! And that's just the beginning. Once she finds her groove on STEEMIT with her captivating work, the sky's the limit! Link: Michelle - I'd like to introduce you to my Naughty Tipples and more... It's also important to note that I didn't start out as a WHALE or DOLPHIN on STEEMIT either. I literally started from scratch, learning the subtle nuances of the platform, trying to be a good community member, and sharing content that I believed others would also appreciate and enjoy. Additionally, I quickly learned that STEEMIT has an amazingly passionate culture and community of people that believe in it and support it, which is critical if the platform is to ever receive widespread adoption. And to think... my "measly little STEEMIT channel" is now already worth considerably more than "chump change", and has just hit over 250 followers, literally just doubling again the past few weeks alone! Getting that first 50 or so was the hardest part and seemed to take forever. After that, it sort of skyrocketed from there. Note that this was done completely organically, without using any bots or old "twitter tricks" such as following thousands of people, hoping to gain a small percentage of them as "follow-backs" (a trick I've noticed a bunch of newer steemians using now). So **THANK YOU** fellow steemians for your "vote" of confidence, and appreciation of my "work"! STEEMIT in 2017 feels very much like when we first started on YouTube in 2006, when it was just a budding platform with no monetization whatsoever... EXCEPT that now, we're **ALREADY MONETIZING**! ## Finally, in Conclusion... # On STEEMIT, I've also come across a bunch of truly "intriguing" characters sharing ideas from all walks of life, and producing some really excellent, thought-provoking quality work. I look forward to getting to know even more of you, sharing a few more ideas, and seeing where this new platform can go. And if we can figure out a viable way to monetize older content (including music, videos, etc) with STEEM as well... seems we're getting sooo close to potentially turning this into **"the next big thing"**! # I suppose I should also mention I've been a trader and investor for over 20 years. I built and programmed the tymoraPRO tradeSCAN trading platform, offering unique trading tools, execution, and proprietary trading and decision-support algorithms for stocks, futures, forex, and options traders (myself included). # And here I am again, singing "Ron Paul is a Virus!" in support of Ron Paul's 2008 electoral run:
18 May 17:26

The US Senate Is Using Signal

by Bruce Schneier

State governors and legislators should do the same.

The US Senate just approved Signal for staff use. Signal is a secure messaging app with no backdoor, and no large corporate owner who can be pressured to install a backdoor.

Susan Landau comments.

Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I think we just won the Crypto War. A very important part of the US government is prioritizing security over surveillance.

18 May 15:40

The President Is Not the Commander in Chief of the United States, Nor Its CEO

by Tenth Amendment Center

by David Boaz, CATO Institute

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday that “the president is the CEO of the country,” and thus “he can hire and fire whoever he wants. That’s his right.” Leaving aside the question of whether the president can fire everyone in the federal government, she is wrong on her main point. The president is not the CEO of the country. He can reasonably be described as the CEO of the federal government. The Constitution provides that in the new government it establishes, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”

Meanwhile, too many people keep calling the president—this president and previous presidents—”my commander in chief” or something similar. Again it’s important for our understanding of a constitutional republic to be clear on these points. The president is the chief executive of the federal government. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces, not of the entire government and definitely not of 320 million U.S. citizens. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.

Too many people who should know better keep getting this wrong. The highly experienced former first lady, senator, secretary of state, and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for instance, who declared last year on the campaign trail, “Donald Trump simply doesn’t have the temperament to be president and commander in chief of the United States.” (She had also used the term a year earlier, and in her previous campaign she expressed a determination to be the “commander in chief of our economy,” so this wasn’t just a slip of the tongue.)

And also third-generation Navy man, senator, and presidential nominee John McCain who declared his support for President George W. Bush in 2007, saying, the Washington Post reported: “There’s only one commander in chief of the United States, and that’s George W. Bush.”

Now Donald Trump is getting the same treatment. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Daily Mail, a popular newspaper in a country still headed by a monarch, would write

President Donald Trump sent a message to ex-FBI director James Comey and his detractors as he told Liberty University graduates that ‘nothing is more pathetic than being a critic’ during his first commencement address as the commander-in-chief of the United States.

But how about Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, writing in a Capitol Hill newspaper to mock President Trump’s historical ignorance:

How apropos that this famous and very fitting quote was likely used by the Abraham Lincoln, the president who actually was the commander-in-chief of the United States when the Civil War happened.


And here also Tim Weiner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA”: “Our commander-in-chief has made a serious miscalculation.”

The Military Times should know better than to write, “Business mogul Donald Trump was sworn as the nation’s 45th commander in chief on Friday, promising to return government to the people and return American might to the international stage.”

Even Joy-Ann Reid, who hates Trump, gives him a title he doesn’t possess, declaring that Trump’s “greed and neediness and vaingloriousness have made our commander in chief a national security threat.”

In this time when we worry about threats to the Constitution and our liberal republican order, we need to remember the basics.

This is a constitutional republic, and we don’t have a commander in chief.

That’s an important distinction, and it’s disturbing that even candidates for the presidency miss it. Hillary Clinton may well have wanted to be commander in chief of the whole country, of you and me, and to direct us and our economic activities the way the president directs the officers and soldiers of the armed forces. But if so, she would have needed to propose an amendment to the Constitution—an amendment that would effectively make the rest of the Constitution irrelevant, since it was designed as a Constitution for a limited government of a free people.

Donald Trump is not my commander in chief. Neither was Barack Obama. Each was elected president, charged with leading the executive branch of the federal government.

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

17 May 14:32

Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain

by Stan Higgins
Digital media streaming service Spotify has acquired blockchain startup Mediachain Labs as part of an undisclosed deal.


15 May 21:32

Has the Internet killed real estate agents yet?

by Daniel Lemire

Back in 2002 when I was first interested in buying a house, I went on the Internet and found lots of houses for sale, directly from the sellers. I bought the house I own right now directly from the seller. At the time, I was convinced that the days of real estate agents were counted. I remember telling a friend who wanted to go into real estate that the Internet would soon kill this industry.

It made sense. Idiots like myself could buy houses from other idiots, that is people without any training in real estate, without any other intermediary than the Internet. How long could the real estate agents last?

Real estate agents don’t inspect houses, they do not have power of attorney, they do not provide deeds, they do not provide the financing, they do not provide the insurance. Real estate agents may take the pictures and post them on the Internet, but iPhones take decent pictures.

A home inspection (not covered by the agent’s fees) might cost you $300. A lawyer will charge you a flat fee to represent you in the transaction (maybe $1000, not covered by the agent’s fees). The bulk of the transaction costs are taken up by the real estate agent.

Yet real estate agents are still with us, charging 5% in commission. That’s a sweet deal: sell a single home and you can charge half of what many people make in half a year.

It hurts my ego to admit that I was badly wrong: the Internet has not affected real estate agents in the least.

You’d think people would be eager to keep the commission fee for themselves (it is tens of thousands of dollars!). The Washington Post tell us that nothing of the sort is happening:

And over the past decade, the Internet has disrupted almost every aspect of a transaction that sits at the core of the American Dream. Everyone now has free access to information that used to be impossible to find or required an agent’s help. But as a new home-buying season kicks off, one thing remains mostly unchanged: the traditional 5-to-6-percent commission paid to real estate agents when a home sells. While the Internet has pummeled the middlemen in many industries — decimating travel agents, stomping stock-trading fees, cracking open the heavily regulated taxi industry — the average commission paid to real estate agents has gone up slightly since 2005, according to Real Trends. In 2016, it stood at 5.12 percent. “There’s not a shred of evidence that the Internet is having an impact,” Murray said, sounding like he almost can’t believe it himself.

The article argues that the sale of a home is a complicated transaction. Oh! Come on! That’s a pathetic explanation: planning a trip abroad is complicated and, yet, we have no qualm doing away with travel agents and using the Internet instead. Of course, the transaction cost is higher which makes it worthwhile to pay someone to help. But 5% of the transaction is lot. In Canada, that’s about $25,000 to sell a single house (5% of $500,000): the price of a brand new car. And selling and buying houses is really not that complicated. It is not $25,000-complicated.

Recall that real estate agents do not provide home inspection, insurance, financing, legal titles… all of these things are separate expenses provided by separate people.

Whether real estate agents have expenses, and how much of the 5% they pocket is irrelevant. The fact is that this 5% has remained the same for decades. This means that, in real dollars, real estate agents cost the same today as they did decades ago.

To put it another way, the productivity of real estate agents has, if anything, decreased in recent decades despite all the technological progress. In comparison, all industries confounded, productivity grows by about 1% a year. That’s why Americans, on average, are much richer than they were decades ago.

On average, workers are at least 20% more productive today than they were 20 years ago. But not real estate agents.

Another way to describe a stagnation or decline in productivity is to say that real estate agents, despite all their new tools, are not getting any better over time, and are probably getting slightly worse since their cost is rising.

They have cheap mobile phones, the Internet, databases, fancy software… all of that has not, in the least, made them more productive.

How well do the real estate agents serve the interest of their clients? Maybe not so well:

Those selling without an estate agent were more satisfied and the gap between sales price and asking price was smaller than for those selling through a real estate broker. (Stamsø, 2015)

Our central finding is that, when listings are not tied to brokerage services, a seller’s use of a broker reduces the selling price of the typical home by 5.9% to 7.7%, which indicates that agency costs exceed the advantages of brokers’ knowledge and expertise by a wide margin. (Bernheim and Meer, 2012)

Many real estate agent recommend that sellers lower their prices (thus making their job much easier) on the belief that buyers are going to bid on the house. Yet this is a terrible strategy for their clients:

While the (…) recommendations of real estate agents (…) favor underpricing, alluding to a potential herding effect, our market data do not provide any support for this strategy. (Bucchianeri and Minson, 2013)

Can you do better with a cheap, flat-fee broker? It seems you can:

Brokers with a flat-fee structure who charge an up-front fee (which is substantially lower than the average fee of traditional brokers) and leave the viewings to the seller sell faster and at – on average – 2.7 percent higher prices. (Gautier et al. 2017)

So knowing all this… why hasn’t the Internet at least forced the real estate agents to lower their commission fees? If Uber was able to break the cab driver’s back, why can’t we come up with the equivalent for real estate?

I have nothing against real estate agents, I am just curious. And please, don’t tell me it is the “human element”. People don’t go around hugging their real estate agents, not any more than they hugged their travel agents.

Update: A comment by Panos Ipeirotis suggests that travel booking sites also charge a large percentage (15%-20%) on hotel reservations while AirBnB charges 6% to 12%. This would mean that real estate agents might not be such outliers. I went looking for signs that travel agents had disappeared and it seems that there are still many of them, though their work was transformed over time. This makes me question the belief that “the Internet has pummeled the middlemen in many industries” as stated in the Washington Post.

15 May 03:54

The advent of ADVENT

by Eric Raymond

A marvellous thing has just occurred.

Colossal Cave Adventure, the original progenitor of the D&D-like dungeon-crawling game genre from 1977 and fondly remembered as ADVENT by those of us who played it on PDP-10s, is one of the major artifacts of hacker history.

The earliest version by Crowther and Woods (sometimes known as 350-point Adenture) was ported to C by Jim Gillogly in ’77 just after it first shipped. That has been part of the bsd-games collection forever.

What I have have just received Crowther & Wood’s encouragement to polish up and ship under a modern open-source license is not the Gillogly port; it’s Crowther & Woods’s last version from 1995. It has 18 years of work in it that the Gillogly version doesn’t.

I feel rather as though I’d been given a priceless Old Master painting to restore and display. Behooves me to be careful stripping off the oxidized varnish.

15 May 02:47

James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons

by Michael Barone
Why did President Donald Trump fire FBI Director James Comey now? The answer, as my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York has argued, is that he waited until after his impeccably apolitical deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, was in place as Comey's direct superior. Rosenstein was confirmed April 25, and his memorandum titled "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI" was appended to Trump's firing letter exactly two weeks later. In that document, Rosenstein characterized Comey's July 5 statement on the FBI's investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's secret email...
15 May 01:29

A prime example of why correct facts don’t matter to climate alarmists

by Anthony Watts
Respected climate scientist refutes false claim that tree died due to climate change, and the pressure to not do so Toby Nixon writes: The Seattle Times ran a hysterical story about how climate change killed a large tree at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of…
15 May 00:29

Simply WOW: $10,000 Bitcoin Investment in 2010 Now Worth $200 Million, Gold $9,900

by CoinTelegraph by Joseph Young

Over the past seven years, Bitcoin experienced a meteoric rise in terms of market cap, user base and value, while gold failed to live up to the expectations of its investors.

15 May 00:02

Bob Owens: Patriot And Friend

by Mike McDaniel

Sad. I really liked the Confederate Yankee blog. It was very disappointing when they took it down.

Instead of my usual Tuesday article on firearms and related issues, I have, today, a sad duty: writing about the death of a great friend of the Second Amendment, and a great friend of SMM, Bob Owens (1969-2017).

It was in mid-2010 that, browsing the Internet, I chanced upon the long defunct Confederate Yankee blog. I enjoyed the commentary of the proprietor—Bob Owens—and often commented on his articles. Eventually, Bob wrote of wanting to build an AR-15—he was very interested in firearms and writing about them, but had little experience at the time—and I offered some advice, which began a lively and friendly correspondence.

It was circa September, 2010 that Bob published an article on the shooting of Erik Scott, who was murdered by three panicky, undertrained cops in Las Vegas on July 10, 2010. Reading that article, my cop sense, like Spiderman’s spidey sense, began tingling like mad. Even though I knew little entirely accurate information was available from official sources, everything about the case, done and not done, felt wrong. I had no idea at the time how accurate my cop sense was, and readers may refresh their memories with the Erik Scott case archive, here. 

My correspondence with Bob about his article led to his invitation to produce a guest article on the case. That guest article, published on September 21, 2010, and reader response to it, led Bob to write: “You Sir, are my co-blogger.” Thus began my sojourn on the stormy seas of the Blogosphere.

For something more than a year, Bob and I, with the occasional article by Brigid, worked to expand Confederate Yankee beyond its then current state, and with some success. Though our articles contained our respective names, readers often, judging by their comments, thought articles I wrote were written by Bob. Bob and I often laughed about that, and I always considered it a compliment.

Bob was among a rare breed: writers confident and humane enough to be generous and helpful toward other writers. I appreciated his counsel.

Eventually, Bob felt the siren call of gun blogging, and decided to bring Confederate Yankee to an end. Bearing Arms was the result. As he worked to raise Bearing Arms to the top rank of world gun blogging, I established this scruffy blog. Bob, of course, helped me sort out all the issues relating to establishing a blog—I was pretty much clueless—and in my first post on October 09, 2011, I wrote:

Welcome to my new blog!  My prior blogging home has, for more than the last year, been Confederate Yankee where I was fortunate and pleased to work with Bob Owens and the mysterious and wonderful Brigid.  I’ll be making the final transition to this, my new home, in the very near future.  We’ll keep CY open for the archives, and I’m excited about the opportunity to try new things.

The Confederate Yankee archives remained available for less than a year. Though I kept copies of all my articles, I did not keep copies of Bob’s. We often regret such omissions so easy to overlook at the time.

Among my first articles on SMM was a reprise of my initial guest article on Confederate Yankee, which I began thus:

September 21, 2010:  I published my first article on the Blogosphere (at Confederate Yankee) with the kind encouragement of Bob Owens.  After gauging the response to the article—which I found surprising—Bob offered me a position as his co-blogger, a position I gladly accepted.  To paraphrase Casablanca, it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

And so it was. Characteristically, Bob asked me to contribute articles to Bearing Arms, a practice I’ve continued to this day. At one point, he offered me something of a staff position, but my other life obligations made that impossible, something I’ve always regretted.

In the Internet age, we often make friends, kindred spirits, people with whom we are comfortable, though we have never met them face-to- face. So it was with Bob. Most of our correspondence was via e-mail, though we did converse by phone upon occasion. Bob was at the top of my “travel and spend some time with one day soon” list, a list I intend to work through when I retire in the near future. It’s a happy task I’ll never have the opportunity to undertake, for Bob has, according to reports, apparently taken his own life.

In a long police career, and in teaching, I’ve often dealt with suicide, which is the apparent preliminary finding in Bob’s death. In my experience, never could I have predicted when others would commit suicide, though had I known, perhaps I could have prevented it, for a time at least. I sometimes was able to do that as a police officer. Not this time.

I had no idea Bob was in distress, and our last correspondence in April, when he posted another of my articles, was as cordial and upbeat as always. I never met his wife Christine, or his daughters, Kate–9 and Maya–17, but never had reason to doubt his love for them. A Go Fund Me page has been established, and I encourage you, gentle readers, to contribute to aid the family of a good man, a patriot who worked to preserve the Constitution.

A man’s legacy may be determined not only by his accomplishments, but by his friends and enemies. Bob worked tirelessly to educate, and to convince all of the value of the Second Amendment, and with great success. He lauded and supported his friends, who are numerous, and mocked and exposed the ill will of his equally numerous enemies, the enemies of liberty, of the God and gun clingers of flyover country, a company Bob was proud to number himself among, as am I.

Among those friends are Andrew Branca, who has written a eulogy at Legal Insurrection, his colleague at Bearing Arms, Jenn Jacques who also wrote of Bob, and my friend, and Bob’s Bookworm.  they’re far from the only loving articles about Bob, but by all means, take the links. They’ll give you a sense of Bob’s influence.

And so I mourn the loss of a friend and colleague whose hand I was never able to shake, whose family I was never able to embrace, a legacy of the Internet age. Yet, without the ‘Net I never would have known Bob, I would not be writing this on this scruffy little blog, and never would have had the opportunity to be thankful for that relationship, and to pray that Bob’s family and he will know the peace which passeth all understanding.

Ave atque vale, Bob; requiescat in pacem.

Filed under: Culture, Firearms Tagged: Andrew Branca, Bob Owens, Bookworm, Confederate Yankee, Erik Scott, Jenn Jacques, Legal Insurrection, NRA, Patriot, second amendment, Stately McDaniel Manor
14 May 23:55

Why I’m Crying…Happily

by lskenazy

This ad is overwhelming. Maybe it’s already been seen by every person on the planet. But just in case, here it is:


I can’t summarize the storyline because it unfolds so wonderfully. But as for its connection to Free-Range Kids, I must paraphrase Prof. Jon Haidt yet again (I found the ad on his Twitter feed): What creates understanding and community is working toward a common goal, rather than focusing on our differences.

Unfortunately, on at least one campus he was telling me about, incoming students are lined up in the middle of the gym. Then some administrator reads a bunch of different descriptors: “If you were raised in a two-parent home, take one step forward.” “If you are of X background, take a step back.” “If English is your first language, take two steps forward…” I’m not sure of the exact categories, but they were clearly about race and class and “privilege.”

In the end, the students were asked to look at how very different they are.

Instead of a great rush of community — the excitement of starting a new adventure together — they were already, officially divided.

That strikes me, and possibly Heineken, as exactly the wrong way to create the kind of world where people bond and go forth more powerful, more optimistic and happier.

By the way, kids get this bonding experience when they play on their own, without anyone telling them to obsess about particular differences. Let’s make sure kids get ample time to play and open up to new friends, rather than just labeling them. – L.


What if we got to know each other BEFORE labeling each other?


14 May 05:37

When will Brass Golem arrive? “What” and “When”, or “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

by Julian Zawistowski

The problem with every piece of bleeding-edge technology is that one often runs into unknowns which take time to both understand and solve. This is no less the case with Golem, a tremendously complicated piece of technology. Of course, we are making tremendous progress: we have already conquered numerous problems which we had not considered at the start of the project, and we are still on path, finding new problems and challenges, and conquering them one by one.

Despite being the most informed person on the team, I too find myself lacking information as yet another “unknown” is discovered and slowly finds definition. This leads, inevitably, to release delays, and that is in fact where we stand now. At the beginning of the project, May seemed an eminently reachable goal for Brass Golem, but now I am quite sure that this will instead be June. But to be clear, I am not going to give any new date apart from saying: it is not May 2017.

“Rather than giving you a release date, and then risking that, under pressure to meet that date, something important slips through the gaps that another day of work would have caught, we are going to tick off items in the release process as we go.”

That was written by Vinay Gupta in March 2015 about Ethereum (see the full blog post here), and to be honest I feel that this is exactly what every bleeding-tech project should communicate. At the same time, we have given you dates in our whitepaper, and overall I still find that schedule as realistic as I did in November 2016. What’s more, I still think we need that schedule, and we will be doing our best to meet it. Not because it matters technology-wise, but because Golem (and every tech project) has to make rapid progress to be successful business-wise. We already have some competitors and imitators. We are well ahead of them all, and we intend to make sure we continue along that track.

What is more, the fact that Brass will be coming a bit later than anticipated is also due to the strategic decisions we have made over the past few months: instead of patching the alpha to make it as seaworthy as possible, we decided to start repaying our technological debt right after the crowdfunding. That means that we had to do a lot things which were not needed for Brass per se, but which will make the whole development process and architecture much better for the long-term. The most profound decisions here were switching to devp2p (originally planned three years from now), and scrapping the Qt interface; you have not seen it yet, but the new Electron-based interface is coming with Brass, and it is beautiful. Likewise, we have spent a lot of time — and plan to spend even more — researching payment/transaction protocols. You might have a glimpse about that in this blogpost by Alex.

We feel a bit like Achilles in Zeno’s paradox, but we will get the tortoise, no worries. Graphic by Martin Grandjean (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Brass is coming and it is very close. We are now implementing the final features we want to have in Brass, and it should happen over the next few weeks. And then, Brass will be upon us! Once that happens, we’ll have a product which is actually useful for the first group of users: Blender artists. We will start the onboarding process of Blender users, scaling the network. However, at the beginning, we will still remain in a testnet environment, subsidizing providers to make sure that the UX for early adopter-requestors is truly great. We consider this the best plan, because:

  • We will be able to effectively offer requestors a testnet for free, making adoption very simple.
  • We will scale up while still in the testnet environment, to run the whole course of tests and audits, in order to improve security before switching to the production environment.

When will Brass Golem be switched to the mainnet? When we are sure we are ready to do so, and not a day before.

To sum it up, here is what we need to do before Brass Golem’s arrival:

  • Finish the implementation of our new UI, which is already very advanced
  • Implement devp2p, which is almost ready but needs more testing — again, this is three years earlier than planned.
  • Remove some annoying bugs and problems which we’ve experience in many areas, including HyperG.

Once this is done, we will begin scaling the Brass Golem user base, but we will need to do the following before switching it to the Ethereum mainnet:

  • Scale up, testing the network under different workloads;
  • Implement additional security mechanisms, protecting providers from not getting paid
  • Introduce the registration contract to mitigate sybil attacks
  • Perform an external security audit.

At the same time, there are some things we are definitely not going to do:

  • We are not going to do anything with Golem Factory’s endowment (12% of all GNT) for at least next 12 months (and most likely for longer time).
  • All the devs have declared that they will not sell their endowment tokens for at least the next 12 months. Some minor moves to exchanges are possible, as a few GNT from that pool went to people who helped us with crowdfunding and are not related to us in any way, any longer.
  • We are not going to confirm or indicate any dates any more. But, you will be always informed about our progress, and we are always available to answer any questions. That said, do forgive us if you have to wait a moment or ask again.

For those of you who live in New York area, or come to New York for Consensus and/or Token Summit, we will organise a meeting some day between 23rd and 25th of May, where we will be happy to tell you more about our short, medium, and long term plans.

Thanks for sticking with us; we’re looking forward to delivering you Brass Golem in the very near future.

When will Brass Golem arrive? “What” and “When”, or “Do’s” and “Don’ts” was originally published in The Golem Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

14 May 05:20

An amazing video showing why free trade is great… produced by China - Publications – AEI

by James Pethokoukis

An amazing video showing why free trade is great… produced by China

So China has this strategic commercial and diplomatic plan called One Belt One Road that will “create a network of infrastructure projects linking itself with over 60 Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries,” according to an AEI report. And New China TV has produced this catchy video promoting the project.

Whatever the implications of the initiative,  I am absolutely sure this video ends up promoting the benefits of trade in a pretty awesome way. (Thanks to Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal and the FT’s Matthew Klein for highlighting it.)

When trade routes open up, that’s when the sharing starts;

Resources changing hands, and shipping auto parts;

Ideas start to flow, friendships start to form;

Then things impossible, all become the norm.



An amazing video showing why free trade is great… produced by China
James Pethokoukis

14 May 05:16

Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries - Publications – AEI

by Mark Perry

Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries

The map above (click to enlarge) was created (with assistance from AEI’s graphic design director Olivier Ballou) by matching the economic output (GDP) in each US state (and the District of Columbia) in 2016 to a foreign country with comparable nominal GDP last year, using data from the BEA for GDP by US state and data for GDP by country from the International Monetary Fund. For each US state (and the District of Columbia), we identified the country closest in economic size in 2016 (measured by nominal GDP), and for each state there was a country that was a pretty close match – those countries are displayed in the map above and in the table below. Obviously, in some cases the closest match was a country that produced slightly more, or slightly less, economic output in 2016 than a given US state.

It’s pretty difficult to even comprehend how ridiculously large the US economy is, and the map above helps put America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $18.6 trillion ($18,600,000,000,000) in 2016 into perspective by comparing the economic size (GDP) of individual US states to other country’s entire national output. For example:

  1. America’s largest state economy is California, which produced $2.60 trillion of economic output in 2016, just slightly below the GDP of the United Kingdom last year of $2.63 trillion (IMF data here). Consider this: California has a labor force of about 19 million compared to the labor force in the UK of 33.7 million (World Bank data here). Amazingly, it required a labor force 77% larger (and nearly 14 million more people) in the UK to produce the same economic output last year as California! That’s a testament to the superior, world-class productivity of the American worker. Further, California as a separate country would have been the 6th largest economy in the world last year, ahead of France ($2.46 trillion) and India ($2.25 trillion) and just slightly behind the UK.
  2. America’s second largest state economy – Texas – produced $1.60 trillion of economic output in 2016, which would have ranked the Lone Star State as the world’s 10th largest economy last year. GDP in Texas was slightly higher than Canada’s GDP last year of $1.52 trillion. However, to produce about the same amount of economic output as Texas required a labor force in Canada (20 million) that was more than 50% larger than the labor force in the state of Texas (13.2 million). That is, it required a labor force of almost 7 million more workers in Canada to produce the same output as Texas last year. Another example of the world-class productivity of the American workforce.
  3. Even with all of its oil wealth, Saudi Arabia’s GDP in 2016 at $639 billion was below the GDP of US states like Pennsylvania ($725 billion) and Illinois ($791 billion).
  4. America’s third largest state economy – New York with a GDP in 2016 of $1.49 trillion – produced more economic output last year than South Korea ($1.4 trillion). As a separate country, New York would have ranked as the world’s 11th largest economy last year, ahead of No. 12 South Korea, No. 13 Russia ($1.28 trillion) and No 14 Australia ($1.26 trillion). Amazingly, it required a labor force in South Korea of 26.6 million that was almost three time larger than New York’s (9.5 million) to produce the same amount of economic output last year! More evidence of the world-class productivity of American workers.
  5. Other comparisons: Florida ($926 billion) produced about the same amount of GDP in 2016 as Indonesia ($932 billion), even though Florida’s labor force of 9.8 million is only about 8% of the size of Indonesia’s workforce of 127 million. GDP in Illinois last year of $792 billion was just slightly higher than economic output in the Netherlands ($771 billion), even though the labor force in Illinois (6.5 million workers) is 28% below the labor force in the Netherlands (9 million workers).

MP: Overall, the US produced 24.7% of world GDP in 2016, with only about 4.5% of the world’s population. Three of America’s states (California, Texas and New York) – as separate countries – would have ranked in the world’s top 11 largest economies last year. Together, those three US states produced $5.7 trillion in economic output last year, and as a separate country would have ranked as the world’s third largest economy and ahead of No. 3 Japan ($4.9 trillion) by almost $1 trillion. And one of those states – California – produced more than $2.5 trillion in economic output in 2016 – and the other two (Texas and New York) produced $1.6 trillion and $1.5 trillion of GDP in 2016 respectively. Adjusted for the size of the workforce, there might not be any country in the world that produces as much output per worker as the US, thanks to the world-class productivity of the American workforce. The map above and the statistics summarized here help remind us of the enormity of the economic powerhouse we live and work in. So let’s not lose sight of how ridiculously large and powerful the US economy is, and how much wealth, output and prosperity is being created every day in the largest economic engine ever in human history.

Putting America’s ridiculously large $18.6T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries
Mark Perry

14 May 05:06

Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet's

by Cara Giaimo

h/t Whig Zhou


When someone mentions Florence Nightingale, who was born this week in 1820, one particular image likely comes to mind: A caring presence, head covered by a shawl, holding a lamp as she ministers to patients in the dark. The "Lady with the Lamp," as she was known, still serves as a symbol for nurses everywhere.

But for every hour Nightingale spent burning the midnight oil to help a sick soldier, she likely spent another up late doing something else: working on some of the world's first explicitly persuasive infographics. In addition to caretaking and advocating, Nightingale was a dedicated statistician, constantly gathering information and thinking up new ways to compare and present it.

In August of 1856, Nightingale headed home from her famous stint at Scutari hospital in Crimea, where she had successfully lobbied to improve conditions and to expand the role of nurses. Upon her return to Britain, she was greeted as a hero—the press knew her as "a 'ministering angel'," and luminaries were eager to donate to training funds established in her name.


But in private, she had two things on her mind: death and statistics. Even if the most recent war had ended, there would be more, she reasoned, and without some kind of permanent reform, Nightingale feared all future wars would look much the same—full of needless deaths, even off the battlefield. "Oh, my poor men who endured so patiently," she wrote to a friend in late 1856, thinking back on the soldiers she had treated who hadn't made it. "I feel I have been such a bad mother to you, to come home and leave you lying in your Crimean graves, 73 percent in eight regiments during six months from disease alone."

Nightingale had always had an affinity for math—as a child, she filled notebooks with tables of data about the fruits and vegetables in her garden, and according to one of her contemporaries, Francis Galton, she believed that statistics were the most effective way to "understand God's thoughts."

Her months in the war hospitals of Crimea provided her with plenty of opportunities to gather information, something that, in her view, those in charge had been fairly lax about. "The Army Medical Statistics… do not appear hitherto to have contemplated the necessity of [tabulating the sick at a given time]," she later wrote. "It cannot be ascertained correctly even for the Crimean Army."


When she returned, sheafs of stats in tow, it was to a Britain gripped by its own numerical fervor. In 1834, scientists there founded the London Statistical Society, which aimed at "procuring, arranging and publishing facts," in order "to illustrate the condition and prospects of society." Three years later, the country set up a General Register Office to record births, deaths, and marriages. Soon, journalists and politicians were comparing sets of numbers in order to demonstrate particular correlations—between education and crime, say, or relationship status and longevity.

When, in February of 1857, the Secretary of War reached out to Nightingale and asked her to "communicate her opinions" about hospital treatments in Crimea, she saw her chance. Rather than drawing up some brief notes, she quickly began work on what would become Notes on Matters Affecting Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration in the British Army, an 850-page report that combines stories and observations with tables, graphs, and charts.

The report took her two years of near-constant work: peers, she wrote, accused her of "making my pillow of Blue-books." It also taught her something surprising—far more Crimean War soldiers had died from preventable diseases than from anything else, including combat. What's more, after a sanitary commission was sent to Crimea to clean up the hospital, death rates plummeted. These conclusions—and the data that supported them—were "like light shining in a dark place," wrote her mentor and collaborator, the epidemiologist William Farr.


With such a massive tome on offer, though, Nightingale feared that this most vital conclusion might be overlooked. So she developed a series of charts meant to make it even clearer to the reader. Her most famous graph, displayed at the top of this article, shows the number of soldier deaths per month from various causes. Each pie slice represents a different month, from April 1854 through March 1856, and each color stands for a different cause of death. It takes just a quick glance to achieve the two main takeaways: that disease, colored blue, killed far more soldiers than either "wounds" (red) or "other" (black), and that it was reduced greatly in 1855.

Nightingale called this chart type—which she seems to have invented— "the coxcomb," due to its shape and color. Although she wasn't the first person to present statistics in chart form—that honor goes to William Playfair of Scotland, who published a book of infographics in 1786—"she may have been the first to use them for persuading people of the need for change," writes the historian Hugh Small.


After she completed her report, Nightingale worked hard to turn its conclusions into common knowledge, privately distributing it to influential people and writing several more reports, many of which included coxcombs. When she received pushback from Army doctors, who thought sanitary measures a waste of money, she even leaked some of her charts to the press.

Eventually, Nightingale defeated said critics, and her findings won out. By the 1880s, sanitation standards in the British Army had greatly improved—soldiers were given the space and time to wash their clothing, bedding, and selves more regularly, among other reforms—and these gains had spilled over into the general population as well. As the statistician Jil Matheson told the Guardian in 2010, "the 'Lady with the Lamp' was also a lady with powerful ideas"—and it's those ideas that truly helped Britain shine.

14 May 05:05

10 Of Gabriel Fauré's Compositions in Honor of His Birthday

Today is [Gabriel Fauré]('s 172nd birthday. Fauré created his own unique style by purposefully avoiding the composition of "grand music" (Symphonies with loud and triumphant sounds). Instead, Fauré, a French composer, wrote subtle yet powerful music. In this article, I will write about the life of Gabriel Fauré and share 10 of his compositions with my own commentary (I am taking 7 of the pieces I included in my weekly7 *[7 Pieces by Gabriel Fauré YOU Should listen to This Week](*, but I will create different commentary). Here's a little about Gabriel Fauré:

**The Life of Gabriel Fauré** [Gabriel Fauré]( was born on May 12th, 1845 in Pamiers, Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, the youngest of 6 children. At the age of 4, Fauré was sent to live with a foster mother until his father was appointed director of the École Normale d'Instituteurs, a school that trained teachers. Here, there was a chapel in which Fauré could experiment with music, as taken by an account from later in his life. . . >I grew up, a rather quiet well-behaved child, in an area of great beauty. ... But the only thing I remember really clearly is the harmonium in that little chapel. Every time I could get away I ran there – and I regaled myself. ... I played atrociously ... no method at all, quite without technique, but I do remember that I was happy; and if that is what it means to have a vocation, then it is a very pleasant thing.

When Saubiac, of the National Assembly, heard Fauré's talent, he recommended that Fauré's father send Fauré to École de Musique Classique et Religieuse, a conservatory being set up by Louis Niedermeyer in France. After a year of contemplation, Fauré's father agreed. At the age of 9, Fauré was sent to study in Paris. Here, Fauré, would be exposed to mainly religious music until Louis Niedermeyer died in 1861. At this point, Camille Saint-Saëns took over the piano department, and exposed students to modern composers such as [Schumann](, [Liszt](, and [Wagner](

After 11 years of studying, Fauré left the Musique Classique et Religieuse, and was appointed organist at the Church of Saint-Sauveur. Over a period of four years, he would earn a living through teaching. He even composed, but none of the pieces are accounted for in modern times. Eventually, after showing a lack of commitment (leaving mid-service to smoke, and showing up for a mass in average clothes), Fauré was asked to resign. Almost immediately, he would be appointed assistant organist at the church of Notre-Dame de Clignancourt, but resign a few months later and join the military. He took part in the siege of Paris, and even received a Croix de Guerre for his service.

Fauré married a woman named Marie Fremiet in 1883. This marriage failed due to Fauré's constant love affairs, and absences from home. Together, they had two children. One became an internationally recognized biologist, and the other, a writer. Eventually, Fauré would settle into a relationship with Marguerite Hasselmans which would last the rest of his life. At this time, Fauré was making a good deal of money from his compositions due to the fact that his publisher bought them straight from him (rather than promising him a percentage of the profit). He also continued to teach piano and harmony. Fauré was cheerful as a child, but as he went through his thirties, his lack of major success and failed engagement caused depression. After a failed attempt to write an opera (due to the poet), Fauré's friends were seriously concerned with his health.

In 1909, Fauré was elected as the head of the Paris conservatory. He would hold this position until 1920, when he retired due to increasing deafness weakness. In 1922, Fauré was publicly praised for his achievements as a composer by Alexandre Millerand, the president of the republic. During his last years, Fauré's smoking caught up with him, causing poor health. During his last months, Fauré worked hard to complete a String Quartet. He had put it off for years, telling his friends that it was too hard (Beethoven had complicated it by writing String Quartets without a piano part, scaring many composers including Fauré). Fauré would complete this quartet, less than two months before his death (September 11th, 1924). Fauré would die of pneumonia on November 4th, 1924, at the age of 74. He is buried in the Passy Cemetery in Paris. **10 Compositions** Here are 10 of Fauré's works: 10\. **Barcolle no. 6 in E-Flat Major** This piece is absolutely beautiful. This piece accurately represents Gabriel Fauré's style as both a composer, and a pianist. It is complicated, yet still retains elegance in its musical structure. The first time I heard this piece, the girl before me in piano lessons was playing it. I actually heard her practicing it privately the other day (my teacher wasn't there, so she was using his piano). This piece is very relaxing (which is to be expected of Gabriel Fauré). 9\. **Violin Sonata no.1** I agree with what I wrote 6 months ago > I think this is (sic) Sonata sounds amazing not because of the complexity of the parts, but because of how well the parts can coexist, and still maintain a complex sound. The theme that Fauré develops seemingly early sounds really nice. It sounds like sailing in a dream. I'd like to point out that even when Fauré's music seems to be harsh, he still manages to keep a reasonably firm grip on his unique style without sacrificing dynamics, which truly demonstrates his genius. 8\. **String Quartet opus 121** This piece definitely sounds gloomy. If you'll remember from earlier, Fauré began to feel depressed more and more as he got older. I wonder if this piece was him writing out his depression. It has a depressed sound, it is not purely evil like [Dies Irae from Verdi's Requiem](, and it's not extremely happy like Mozart's [Eine Kleine Nachtmusik](, it's somewhere in the middle. 7\. **Piano Quintet no. 1** This piece sounds like music that should be played during a flashback scene in a movie. It has a rather reflective story line sound. Perhaps this piece, came out of Fauré's depression as well. It does not sound cheerful, but rather remorseful. Yet, it still fits Fauré's overlying style of subtle yet strong. 6\. **Nocturne No. 6 in D flat** This piece is rather easy going. It is easy to listen to, and overall blends in as background (elevator music). That's not always a bad thing, sometimes in your face music is unattractive (like when trying to sell something). Either way, this is a beautiful piece that can be used on a sleep playlist, or a relaxing playlist. 5\. **Pavane** I have enjoyed this piece for a few months now. It is one of my favorite pieces by Fauré. As I have said before, I could see this as a folk song, or even a background theme to the Hobbit. It is detached throughout most of the piece with a few dramatic moments, similar to the Hobbit. This is the choral version, I have grown attached to it, and didn't even realize there was an instrumental version. 4\.**Sicilienne** This piece sounds rather sad, similar to the other pieces I have listened to thus far. It sounds similar to *What Child is this?*. The extent of my Fauré experience has been more happy music, so it is surprising to hear so much gloomy. 3\. **Apres un Reve** This piece sounds gloomy too! It sounds remorseful. It is interesting to know that Fauré was trained in religious music, how he veers away from writing religious music, and has so much instrumental music that doesn't seem to have anything to do with religion. 2\. **Cantique de Jean Racine** We sang this piece for choir. It wasn't until I heard the piano part that I realized how beautiful this piece can be. The title means Hymn of Jean Racine. It is peaceful, relaxing, and fits Fauré's usual style. He wrote this as a student! 1\. **Requiem** This piece is absolutely amazing to see live! My church choir performed it this year, and the whole time (watching) I had chills going down my spine. Fauré wrote this after his mother's death. His intake on a requiem was different than any other composer. Many composers made requiems sound angry, but Fauré took the meaning of requiem (rest), and made it peaceful. **Sources** ***Information*** [Wikipedia]( ***Photos*** [Wikipedia]( **Previous Composer Birthdays (In order by how recent it was)  [5/7 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky]( [4/1 - Sergei Rachmaninoff]( [3/21 - Johann Sebastian Bach]( [3/4 - Antonio Vivaldi]( [3/1 - Frédérick Chopin]( [2/28 (29) - Gioachino Rossini]( [2/3 - Felix Mendelssohn]( [1/31 - Franz Schubert]( [1/27 - Wolfgang (Amadeus) Mozart]( The Next Birthdays will be [Johannes Brahms]( on May 13th (Hopefully).** Thanks for reading this! Fauré is one of the most underappreciated composers of all time. His unique style, and beautiful sound definitely makes him great. Music would be a lot different without him in the picture. Please comment your favorite piece, and check back later (I'll be live streaming later)! **Also remember to check for: My weekly 7 post, As Well As My Composer Birthday Posts**
12 May 18:10

Steemit will bring down the crime rate in South Africa


And many other places.


People are such fascinating creatures.  We come from different back rounds, religions and we all have our own moral and value system.  We are each so very unique in our own special way.  But there is one thing that brings us together...MONEY..... 


We all need money to survive....

Because of the current economic situation in our country, both parents have to work.  Some people even work two jobs just to keep head above water. 


Instead of moving forward, we drown in debt and everyday becomes more of a fight to survive. We work longer hours, spend less time with our families, and our children are left to fight for themselves because parents are too busy to give them the necessary attention they need.    

Jobless people just can't find jobs as the country is overpopulated and there are just no jobs available. People turn to crime and steal whatever they can lay their hands on just to support their families.  The crime rate is skyrocketing. We live in jails to prevent others from stealing, and this is not the way to live.  We were intended to be free and enjoy our lives and not be scared of becoming just another statistic in this country. 

What if I told you that there is an answer to your problems? 

This will not cost you one cent.  All you have to do is to open an account on and follow the instructions on the signup page.  This is not a get rich scheme.  In fact it is no scheme at all.  Steemit is literally that money tree that we have always wanted.  


Image source

Let me explain:  

Steemit is a social media platform.  People write posts about different topics.  They post recipes, jokes, memes, photos, art, stories, and advice. Just like on Facebook.  Most of us have accounts on Facebook will not earn you any money, in fact, the only thing that Facebook does is to use your data, which by the way cost money.  There is just one difference....

On Steemit you can earn money.  REAL MONEY.  

Every time you post on Steemit you will earn some money.  Initially you will start earning very little but as time goes on, and your reputation climb, you will get more followers and the more you interact with others the more upvotes you will get.  The more upvotes you get, the more money you will earn.  On Steemit you earn Steemdollars.  These Steemdollars is an online currency.  Cryptocurrency.  Now whatever you earn, you can pay out at any time. 

If you have no idea about cryptocurrency please read these posts where I explained cryptocurrency in detail in an easily understandable language.

This is a short explanation of how to pay out your money on Steemit

1.  All you have to do is to pay over your Steemdollars to your Poloniex account at  

2.  Now you buy Bitcoin.  (This happens in a matter of seconds.) 

3.  Once you have bought your Bitcoins, you transfer the Bitcoin to your  Luno account.

4.  Once the Bitcoin is in your Luno account it is changed to Rand.  You basically sell your Bitcoin to Luno and they pay you in Rand. Once this is done, the money is paid straight into your personal bank account.  


I am living proof that this can be done.  I started in August 2016 and currently my account value is nearly R 65 000.  I post every day, and have build up quite a follower list.  If you are not good at writing, you can even earn money by commenting on other people's posts. There are people from all over the world here on Steemit.  I believe that South Africans have an advantage because of the low value of the Rand. 

Whatever you do on Facebook, you can do here on Steemit.  

By just earning 5 Steemdollars you can convert this to Rand. If you post daily, multiply that with 30. At the end of the month you would have earned a 150 Steemdollars.  At the current exchange rate that is worth approximately R 2800 that you earned.  Just for posting one post per day.  

Instead of stressing about milk and bread money, just write one post per day.  Engage with this wonderful community and start earning money.  There are quite a lot of South Africans already on this platform, but we want to share this wonderful opportunity with you.  

Remember there is 


You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Please follow me 

12 May 18:09

When science had no shame. Part 1: Why are nearly all sci-fi movies anti-science dystopia?

by Guest Blogger
Guest essay by Phil Salmon (“ptolemy2”) “When science had no shame, Part 1: Why are nearly all sci-fi movies fire-and-brimstone anti-science dystopia?” (I repeat the title since on the mobile phone WUWT page, titles of articles appear to disappear after the first click – at least on my iPhone.) This is the first of two…
12 May 18:07

Microsoft will offer 3 flavors of Linux in the Windows Store

by Andrew Tarantola

h/t Roumen.ganeff

Microsoft made headlines at last year's Build developer conference when it announced that it would build support for the Bash shell and Ubuntu Linux binaries directly into Windows 10. Doing so enables devs to run command-line tools while building app...