Why "High Functioning" Autism Is So Challenging

By Lisa Jo Rudy

The autism spectrum is very large.  If you think of it as a rainbow (or a bell curve), you'll note that there's an awful lot of the spectrum that is at neither one end nor the other -- but somewhere in the middle. 

Here are just a few of the issues that get between people on the high end of the autism spectrum (including those diagnosed with the now-outdated Asperger syndrome) and personal success.

1.     Sensory issues.  People at the higher end of the spectrum are just as susceptible as people in the middle or lower end of the spectrum to sensory dysfunctions.  These include mild, moderate, or extreme sensitivity to noise, crowds, bright lights, strong tastes, smells, and touch.  This means that a person who is bright, verbal, and capable may be unable to walk into a crowded restaurant, attend a movie, or cope with the sensory assaults associated with malls, stadiums, or other venues.

2.     Social "cluelessness."  What's the difference between a civil greeting and a signal of romantic interest?  How loud is too loud?  When is okay to talk about your personal issues or interests?  When is it important to stop doing what you enjoy in order to attend to another person's needs?  These are tough questions for anyone, but for a person on the high end of the autism spectrum they can become overwhelming obstacles to social connections, employment, and romance.

3.     Anxiety and depression.  Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are more common among people with high functioning autism than they are among the general population.  We don't know whether the autism causes the mood disorders, or whether the disorders are the result of social rejection and frustration - -but whatever their causes, mood disorders can be disabling in themselves.

4.     Lack of executive planning skills.  Executive functioning describes the skills we use to organize and plan our lives.  They allow typical adults to plan schedules in advance, notice that the shampoo is running low, or create and follow a timeline in order to complete a long term project. Most people with high functioning autism have compromised executive functioning skills, making it very tough to plan and manage a household, cope with minor schedule changes at school or at work, and so forth.

5.     Emotional dis-regulation.  Contrary to popular opinion, people with autism have plenty of emotions.  In fact, people with autism can become far too emotional in the wrong situations. Imagine a sixteen year old bursting into tears because of a change in plans, or a grown woman melting down completely because her car won't start.  These are the types of issues that can arise for people with high functioning autism, who are capable of doing a great many things ONLY when the situation is predictable, and no obstacles arise.

6.     Difficulty with transitions and change.  Lots of people have a hard time with change -- but people with high functioning autism take the issue to a whole new level.  Once a pattern is established and comfortable, people with autism (by and large) want to maintain that pattern forever.  If a group of friends goes out on Wednesdays for nachos, the idea of going out on Thursdays for chicken wings can throw an autistic adult into a state of anxiety or even anger.

7.     Difficulty with following verbal instructions.  A person with high functioning autism may be more than capable of doing a task -- but unable to follow the spoken instructions provided. In other words, if a policeman says "stay in your car and give me your license and registration," the person with autism may process only "stay in your car," or only "give me your license."  The same goes for instructions given, say, at a ballroom dance class, at the doctor's office, or by a manager in an office setting.  As you can imagine, this can cause any number of issues, ranging from serious problems with the police to inadvertent mistakes at work.

8.     Speech and Language Issues.  A person with Asperger's often has a pronounced lisp, or stutters, or starts with hesitation (ehh, ahh), or speaks too fast to be understood, swallowing sounds.  People with more severe Autism always have speech issues.

9.     Hygiene issues.  A person with Asperger's often ignores personal hygiene, dresses poorly, keeps a messy house or apartment, is a "pack rat", and so on.

10.  Attitude issues.  A person with Asperger's may exhibit an attitude that he or she is "right" and everyone else is "wrong".  They tend to see things in "black and white" and don't understand any "grey" areas of understanding a situation, and have difficulty in seeing the other person's POV.

Many people who are not in the Autism spectrum can also have one or more of these traits.  But usually, these "normal people" can easily overcome most any difficulty or issue, and can function successfully and normally in most of life's challenges without outside help. It is only when a person has multiple difficulties and issues with situations which are of relatively minor severity, and constantly requires help and supervision, that the Psychology profession suspects a case of Autism Spectrum. 


At this point in history, we don't have good information to tell us whether MOST people on the autism spectrum are "somewhere in the middle," but it is clear that the lion's share of media attention goes to folks at the high and the low ends of the spectrum -- that is, the profoundly disabled and the very high functioning.


As you can see, the term "high functioning" does mean what it says.  But high functioning autism is not an easy or simply diagnosis to live with.  For those caring for, employing, teaching, or working with people on the higher end of the spectrum, it's important to remember that autism is autism.


If the media is to believed, the high end of the autism spectrum is peopled largely by eccentric geniuses --


Bill Gates and Albert Einstein are often mentioned, along with Dan Ackroyd and Daryl Hannah -- who by and large do very well indeed, though they march to the beat of their own drummer.  The reality, however, is that "high functioning autistic" and "genius," "business tycoon," and "Hollywood star" rarely go together.

In fact, people with high functioning autism may not have a higher IQ than their typical peers.  They may have very little of the kind of intense motivation for public success that sends a Bill Gates to find funders or an Einstein to find a publisher. 


They may also have significant challenges which stand in the way of living a comfortable life, succeeding in work or romance, or achieving a sense of self-worth.  Those issues are made more challenging, in part, because they surprise and upset others who don't anticipate odd behaviors or reactions from people who "pass for normal" in many situations. 


In addition, while people with more severe autism are not generally expected to just suck it up and get through difficult moments, people on the higher end of the spectrum are expected to do just that.  Lastly, people with high functioning autism are, in general, very aware of their own difficulties and extremely sensitive to others' negative reactions.


Although there are many more males than females that are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum, it just may be that females exhibit fewer of the visible traits (hygiene, speech, cluelessness), but do exhibit the traits that require analysis to detect (sensory, anxiety, depression, planning, emotions, transitions and change, following instructions).  If so, then it could be a fact that there would be equal numbers of males and females in the Autism Spectrum.  



Dear Tom and John

Because to win the war against radical Islam - and let me tell you, it is absolutely a war, whether liberals admit it or not - we need determined leaders like John McCain. 
In Service, 
Tom Cotton
United States Senator 
Dear Tom and John
Sorry, can't do that.  First, I am not in John's district.  But mostly, John has been so negative to the Donald.  Why is John so negative to the Donald?  I don't understand that.  
The Donald has at least one thing going for him.  He tells the truths, at least as he sees it.  
The Donald has said the only true statement in the whole campaign.  
"I could have gotten a better deal (with the Iranians)."  Absolutely.  And he says it from the heart.  And I believe him.  
So, Tom Cotton, I will not be donating to John McCain's campaign this year.


For Emily D

For a poet who never published, except for a few, 
and lived recluse, except for a two. 

The poems sing and metaphor fine
She wrote for herself amusement, and not for mine. 

Some do crosswords, some do puzzles, but she wrote poetry. 
Here is my New York Times crossword - see how finely 
I filled it in!

So I find it awkward to peep and peek and voyeur in.


"dangers" of an AI revolt.

 Finally, a little common sense and logical thinking on the "dangers" of an AI revolt.  Thinking, as we know it, is not what computers do.  Making computers act as humans - there is a word for that - anthropomorphism.   As a human, you project your own thought process onto others and other things. We do that for animals too; dress up dogs in clothes and talk to them like people.  Dogs have feelings, yes, but they are not people.  Machines have voltage levels, that are arranged in useful configurations by smart programmers.  
I have a blog post that predicts what computers and robots will be able to do, when properly programmed (by people). That is, robots will be able to build just about anything, and will be able to do all of the tasks involved, from mining the metal ore, fabricating the computer chips, assembling the finished product.  And one step further, robots will build robots, and also build robot factories that build robots.  Robots will reproduce themselves, (and still not be "alive" in the animal sense.....)  But when this happens, and it will, then all goods will be essentially free.  When that happens, and it will, how will we as a species react and accept?  I propose legislation now that will declare such robots son of robots, after enough generations, as ownerless or owned by all humankind, sort of like a copyright that eventually expires.  Otherwise, without this declaration, all of the wealth will be owned by Bill Gates and his like.  


Dental "cleanings"

If you go to your dentist for a cleaning, be sure to get a prescription for antibiotics.  Most dental cleanings push mouth bacteria under the gums, and into the bloodstream, causing abscess and blood infections.  The abscess causes tooth loss. The bacteria in the blood causes heart problems.   
Baruch Atta



My opinion is that NINETY PERCENT OF HUMAN SUFFERING IS CAUSED BY MEN WITH GUNS. By "guns" I mean any weapons. But these men justify invasion, robbery, rape, and so on. Stop the violence and struggle, and much of the world's problems are resolved. Hitler viewed war as normal. ISIS views their battles as justified. Hamas and Hesbolah too. This is the world view that men may unite and invade others, beheading, burning, raping and expelling at will. There are 200,000 dead in Syria, and four million in exile. This is the REAL PROBLEM.  
"... a goal to "end poverty in all its forms everywhere," they cover gender equality, food security, peace, health, clean water and sanitation..." are laudable, but all for naught, when men with guns look to get their way.


brand loyalty

My father always complained that when I left a light on "do you have stock in the Electric Company?"  Which is the same as the trend that people who participate in surveys for a brand have better loyalty in that brand.  
My "research" then points to a new "fact".  If people DO OWN STOCK in a brand, then their brand loyalty is almost assured.  
The conclusion is simply that the best advertising for a brand is TO SELL STOCK in the company to all the consumers.  Here is a great suggestion:  Instead of coupons, or airline miles, or other offers, a brand should offer STOCK in the company for brand loyalty.  Wow. What a concept.  You heard it here first, folks.  I own stock in Ford, so of course I own one.  Or two.  


Ninety percent of human misery is caused by men with guns

Ninety percent of human misery is caused by men with guns. (that is the dirty little secret) Men with space ships are not the problem. So, stopping the space ships will not help the cause of resolving human misery.


"...Break up government monopolies..."

There is no proof to this.  It is simply a convenient assumption of yours for your agenda.  You bring no proof in your article, and there isn't any.  
I believe that Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and Public Schools are vital and should be supported as we do.  I believe that Obamacare is a mess.  It should have been a VA style medical system for ALL, combined with an optional private care insurance system.  I believe that free education should be supported through four years of college FOR ALL, with optional private college, in which no government guaranteed loans would be available for private college.  

"...Break up government monopolies, such as Medicare, the Veterans Administration, and, most important public school systems. Introducing competition into these areas of the economy is vital to improving them, because competition, and competition alone, produces hard work and innovation. Monopolies—private and governmental—are always fat, dumb, lazy, and devoted to maintaining the monopoly...."


Universal University ("UU")

PO Box 468
Annapolis, MD 21404



Hi Mr. O'Malley

I hope you read your emails from your fans!


Good idea, making college more affordable.


But how about making it FREE?


No excuses.


I would pay for Universal University ("UU") with a one tenth of one percent tax of every stock market transaction, and a one tenth of one percent tax of stock and real estate ownership. These are new taxes, but justified, and would affect only the top half of the economy, and affect mostly just the one percenters.


Thanks for thinking of me.


Joe Cotton




On Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:34 AM, Martin O'Malley <info@martinomalley.com> wrote:



Sounds like a pipe dream? It shouldn't be.

When my dad returned home from flying a B-24 Liberator in WWII, the GI bill was what enabled him to go to school, open a law practice, and support a family.

Today, our kids aren’t getting the same bargain that my dad did.

The majority of students are graduating with significant debt. This is debt big enough for the down payment on a new house. And instead of buying a house or starting a business, recent graduates are struggling not to default on their student loans.

It's outrageous that we can figure out a way to bail out big banks, but we can't figure out a way to make college affordable.

Sent from my Dell Optiplex 780 at 3.0 GHz with 4 GB RAM, 2.0 TB Hard Drive, keyboard, mouse and double monitors.


Temple Mount Dream

Temple Mount Dream
When I was in kindergarten, I was taught to "share" and that sharing was a good thing. When will the Arabs learn to share? 

I dreamt that I was up on the Temple Mount (Har Habayet).  The mount was still under the control of the Arabs.  But right there next to the mosk was a library with Jewish books, chumashim, gemorras, meforshim.  I was on a tour led by a Muslim cleric.  He was happy to point out the library. 


It would be a great "Confidence Building Measure", if the Muslim authorities would allow such a library on the Har Habayit.  That would also show a willingness to share and share alike. 


The "to-do" list in Outlook

I have a "Draft" message in Outlook.  It has my daily tasks, my weekly and monthly tasks, my open projects, and my future projects.  The email is addressed to my manager, but I never send it.  

Every morning first thing, I "reply all" to the Draft, thus creating a new copy. 

Then I go down the list of "to do" and work on tasks and projects according to pre-set priorities.  I modify the list as necessary, noting status on my projects, and so on.  I save it back to Drafts.    

At the end of the day, I save the previous day's draft in a folder on my hard drive. (But I hardly ever look at the saved drafts.  Just nice to know I am keeping track.)  The current day's draft is saved in Outlook Drafts folder for use tomorrow.  

One of my daily tasks is to read my email and respond to them.  But this is one of the last daily tasks.  Just keeps it in perspective. 


Ah, the secret of a successful restaurant.

Ah, the secret of a successful restaurant.  Sure, you need good food, good prices, and atmosphere.  But the main reason people come back is emotional.  The owner treats his customers as guests, as in his own home.  Greets them, shmoozes them, thanks them. 

In your own house, you wouldn't invite friends or relatives over, drop a meal on the table, and walk away...would you?  

That, my friends, is the secret to a successful restaurant.    


My outrageous idea is for students to organize their own college.

How much should college cost?
There are many college majors that need only textbooks, and teachers in a classroom, and now-a-days, laptop computers. Such subjects include English, History, Psychology, Math, Languages, Political Sci, Computer Science, and so on.  

How much should a college degree in these subjects cost?  Let's do an analysis.

The professors should be paid by tuitions, I believe,  but tuitions should not pay for anything else but professor's salaries. Tuitions should not pay for buildings, libraries, or research.  Especially, undergrad tuitions should not pay for research.  

How much should college cost?  
Making the math simple here: let's say one professor teaches five courses, each course has 20 students.  Each student takes five courses per semester.
Each student pays 1/20 of the professor. If the prof makes 80K/yr then tuition should be $2000 per semester. Or $16K for a four year degree. 

Professor teaches 20 students per class, times five classes per semester, times two semesters per year; equals 200 student-courses.  Professor makes $80,000 per year, divided by 200 student-courses, equals $400 per student-course. Student takes five courses per semester or ten courses per year, that equals $2000 per semester or $4000 per year or $16,000 per four-year degree.  

I understand this would be only for subjects where it is all classroom, such as Math, History, Literature, and the all important Liberal Arts.  

I also understand that this does not include "overhead" such as classrooms, library, dorms, cafeteria, etc.  I believe that donation should pay for buildings, not the students.  And doing the math for classrooms and such, it comes to a relatively small amount, like $200/semester.  

Technical subject like the Sciences would cost more, due to lab costs. 

Athletics pays for itself, through ticket sales. 

Library should be paid for through donations from alumni.  

That is how much college should cost.  But even in-state tuitions are triple this.  Go figure. 

So, with this in mind, what can a High School graduate do?  A four-year college degree tuition would cost a minimum of $48,000 at a state college, to $200,000 or more at an elite Ivy League school.  Granted, a person with a college degree earns more, even double over a lifetime, than a High School grad.  So it is desirable to obtain that college sheepskin, even at those rates.

Are there options?  One option is to take college courses on-line from the many online colleges,  schools like Phoenix and Strayer.  But the cost is still very high for these schools too.  It is just perhaps more convenient, but still costly.   

Here is an outrageous idea. 

First let's review the college business model.  Colleges are all businesses, some are not-for-profit, and many are for-profit.  The business model is simple; colleges provide services (classes) and receive payment for the services.  Unlike most businesses, colleges generally select their customers, instead of the usual practice of customers selecting the business that they want to use.  

A Co-op business, however, has a slightly business model.  In a co-op business, the customers provide the services to themselves.  For instance, in a buying co-op, the business model is for the customers themselves to purchase items at wholesale prices, and then distribute the items at the wholesale price.

My outrageous idea is for students to organize their own college.  In this business model the students would hire the teachers (hopefully qualified teachers), and rent classroom space.  The teachers and professors would teach the students the classes and subjects that the students would need to complete a course of study that would be equivalent to the same four-year degree at an established college.  

For example, a four-year course in computer science would contain classes in programming, data structures, algorithms, compilers, data mining, computer security, machine learning, math courses, and so on.  See the syllabus below.  A student-led college would offer all the same courses or similar courses given by qualified professors.  A student that completes the courses would be fully qualified for a career in computers.  

Issues would remain.  The biggest issue is how would prospective employers accept these students who take such un-accredited courses?  And how would an accredited college accept these students who took such un-accredited courses?

One possible solution would be for the professors who give the courses to give the courses in association with one of many accredited institutions, so the students' course work would be accredited.

Also, the courses could be offered in conjunction with companies that need graduates.  For example, my company has many opening for people trained in computers.  One opening received dozens of applicants.  But unfortunately, none were "qualified".  Students who take courses with intention for certain companies and openings would be more likely to step into good jobs from the start.  

Has there ever been a college that has been student led and run as a co-op business?  


Year 1 Semester Fall
MATH 104 (3 credits) Statistics
MATH 140 (4) Calculus I
CMSC 131 (4) Object-Oriented Programming I  
Engl 101 (3) Writing
PhyE 101 (1) exercise

Year 1 Semester Spring
MATH 141 (4) Calculus II
CMSC 132 (4) Object-Oriented Programming II  
CMSC 216 (4) Introduction to Computer Systems
Engl 102 (3) English Literature

Year 2 Semester Fall
CMSC 250 (3) Discrete Structures
CMSC 330 (3) Organization of Programming Languages
Hist 101 (3) American History
CHEM 101 (3) Chemistry and Biology

Year 2 Semester Spring
CMSC 351 (3) Algorithms
CMSC 420 (3) Data Structures
CMSC 406 (3) Systems Analysis
Hist 102 (3) World History and Government

Year 3 Semester Fall
CMSC 412 (3) Operating Systems
CMSC 404 (3) Computer Architecture
CMSC 405 (3) Assembler language
PSYC 101 (3) Psychology 
LANG 101 (3) Foreign Language TBD

Year 3 Semester Spring
CMSC 417 (3) Computer Networks
CMSC 424 (3) Database Design
SOCH 101 (3) Sociology and Social Science
ARTS 101 (3) Painting, Sculpture, Music, Dance
LANG 102 (3) Foreign Language TBD

Year 4 Semester Fall
CMSC 435 (3) Software Engineering
CMSC 436 (3) Hand Held Programming Devices
CMSC 505 (3) Software Capability Maturity Model
PHYS 101 (3) Physics Mechanics
LANG 103 (3) Foreign Language TBD

Year 4 Semester Spring
CMSC 452 (3) Theory of Computation
CMSC 466 (3) Numerical Analysis
CMSC 506 (3) Software Project Management
PHYS 102 (3) Heat, Sound, Electronics
LANG 104 (3) Foreign Language TBD


Fwd: Fw: Prohibited video: The San Remo mandate 25 April, 1920_ מנדט סאן רמו, 25 אפריל 1920

Very informative and every Jewish person should watch this video.


> The San Remo mandate 25 April, 1920

> The video that they do not show us :

> The San Remo Mandate resolution gave the Jews all the land of Israel (Palestine - the name that the Romans called the land of Israel ) and the Arabs took Syria Lebanon Jordan and Iraq
> - the film (not an Israeli) proves that the Jewish settlements, on their historical land, has always been legal !!!

> http://www.youtube.com/embed/BmMmJ46O-3Q?rel=0

> חובה  להפיץ  לכל  אנשי  הקשר בארץ  ובכל  העולם


D0 people believe - that everyone else is just like them?
General rule: a cheater suspects everyone else...of cheating. A pure heart id pure and does not.
Joining the 21st century and blogging from my cell phone. I'm sure that I have an audience of one.


Global Warming or Climate Change

Points to ponder. . . 
1.  Global Warming or Climate Change is hardly perceptible.   It is Not really an important issue.  The Facts are that the average global temperature has gone up (only!) one degree centigrade in the last 100 years, and the rate has been steady and linear.  Likewise, ocean levels have risen inches in the last 100 years.  Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  Carbon monoxide is.  Methane could go either way, depending on the source (cows or industry).
2.  However, energy conversation, and replacing fossil fuels with renewables should be a very high priority, for many reasons, including pollution, reliability, safety (think Chernobyl) and conservation of non-renewables.  I would like to see solar electric panels on every house and building in the state and nation.  There is no reason to waste sunlight energy that would end up as waste heat on these roofs. It is a fact that installing today's solar panel technology would repay itself in a few years.  


Best of 2013: Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life | MIT Technology Review


Operating Systems - Windows, Vista, iOS and zOS

Never upgrade an operating system. If it came with Vista, it stays
Vista. If you want Windows 7 or 8, buy a new computer.
BTW I use Vista and am very happy with it. Never a problem. Of
course, I never tried to upgrade from XP and never tried to port
software from XP to Vista. Don't do that.
If you want upwards capability, then get a mainframe. IBM Mainframes
are very good at compatability to previous versions. Some are still
running code that was written in the 60's and 70's. Really.


Letter to Sci Am on MOOGs and learning style

Stuying works, and material is retained, when the material is presented in a manner that works for the student.  
I am a perfect 10.  That means that I need to be presented with a fact or other item ten times, before I retain and and can access easily.  
For example, take the Spanish word for grandfather - you could tell me once, and I will forget it in a minute.  Ask me for it, and force me to try to recall it, and then when I can't, tell me again.  Do this ten times.  And it must be ten separate times, not ten time in a sequence.  
Everyone has a number, mine is ten.  
Some lucky people have the number one.  Some unfortunates have a much higher number.  
And, with my number of ten, that is why Elementary and High School were so easy for me.  Teachers teach and repeat routinely, and I was able to retain after my magic ten times repeated.
But college professors present any fact or idea one time.  The student is assumed to be responsible to retain the information, and study on his own.  That is why college was hard for me.  
My point, after all that introduction, is that these MOOG courses are mostly in the form of a college course, where the information is presented once.  
What about presenting the same information in a High School format, where the information is reviewed, and referred to repeatedly?  
I understand that at elite colleges (MIT, Stanford) that they demand excellence.  But why do the MOOG courses also?
I took a course from Coursera by Andrew Ng, the Machine Learning course.  Even though the course was well presented, and clear, and concise, I still needed to review and review and still do not really retain.  Even according to Dr Ng, only 10% of the students that take his course ever "pass".  I didn't.  But I secretly downloaded all of the videos and other material, and will take the course again when reoffered.  I am the type of learner that needs to learn all the material before taking the course. I am not stupid, I hold a technical position and deal with technology, and have a technical degree.  Nevertheless, my learning style conflicts with the presentation at the university level, and most MOOG courses.  Dr Ng and all courses would experience a higher success rate if the courses were presented in a slower, more repetitive manner.  
Thanks for looking.
Baruch Atta  



(It's probably plagiarism to copy a work, verbatim, but Only Doing It Once.)

CAIRO—According to late-breaking reports emerging from Damascus, Gaza, Baghdad and elsewhere across the region, the deadly, generations-long conflict in the Middle East was not resolved today.

Reporters at Mideast bureau offices as well as scores of eyewitnesses on the ground are confirming that, as of press time, local militant groups, government forces, insurgents, and religious fundamentalists in multiple countries had neither reached a ceasefire agreement nor secured a peace deal, and as a result did not usher in a new era of tolerance and stability to the region Monday.

Additionally, 100 percent of accounts confirm that the situation is presently violent and unsettled.

"We can officially announce that lasting peace was not established across the Middle East today," said head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Department Hervé Lasdous in an afternoon press conference, confirming that the decades-old clashes that pervade nearly every country in the area had not been solved during the past 24 hours. "Ongoing political disputes, sectarian violence, and terrorist activity have not, as of yet, been brought to an end today, as no sides came together to seek a peaceful conclusion to the bloodshed and turmoil. A peace deal was not even considered, let alone drawn up or ratified."

"After years of bitter, bloody conflict, we can state that the atrocities and violence that were once synonymous with the Middle East are still very much synonymous with the Middle East," he added.

Lasdous' comments were corroborated by numerous Middle Eastern heads of state, leaders of terrorist organizations, and tribal warlords, all of whom separately confirmed that the most entrenched and divisive conflicts of the modern age, which have left millions dead and disaffected tens of millions more, have not been settled in any military, diplomatic, or humanitarian sense in the past few hours.

At the time this article went to print, the latest reports indicated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the Syrian civil war; the Sunni-Shia conflict; the war in Afghanistan; the Iraqi insurgency; violent protests in Turkey and Egypt; fighting between Arabs and ethnic Kurds; the Sinai insurgency; internal unrest in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen; and dozens of other conflicts were, in fact, still ongoing. Moreover, dozens of sources confirmed that brutality and strife, and not peace and prosperity, continued to dominate daily life in the region as of 6 p.m. local time today.

According to high-level sources with knowledge of the situation, the conflict is likely to persist into tonight and may continue into tomorrow as well.

"Neither we, nor our enemies, set down our arms today in the spirit of building peace," said Abu Ubaida, a leader of the Palestinian resistance group al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, who stated that the idea of putting aside differences with his adversaries and working toward a mutually agreeable solution "really didn't cross [his] mind" either this morning or this afternoon. "We did not find any common ground with the other side. We did not develop a roadmap to peace. And we certainly didn't sit down in good faith with our historic enemies with the shared recognition that what both sides truly desire is a future for our children in which they are safe from harm. That definitely didn't happen."

"It's safe to say that, since we awoke today, we haven't taken any measurable step toward ending the persistent cycle of hatred and hostility that has defined our lives for generations," Ubaida continued. "In fact, our sworn enemies remain just that, and we're actually quite committed to going on killing them."

Hailing the day's developments as "pretty much the same" as those of any other day, sources throughout the region reported feeling not even the slightest bit hopeful about the prospect of a brighter future, citing no discernable change in the level of fighting and instability they experienced relative to the day before. Additionally, residents noted that the detonation of multiple car bombs, the massacre of innocent civilians, the perpetration of dozens of kidnappings, and the use of chemical weapons against a state's own citizens were all concrete realities that had occurred within the past several hours, suggesting that, if anything, their lives may have actually grown worse since yesterday.

In addition, the region's top diplomatic figures confirmed that they did not broker a historic peace accord Monday and therefore did not finally bring tranquility and a spirit of reconciliation to a people who had known nothing but war and hardship for generations.

"Didn't happen today," said President of the Syrian National Council George Sabra, speaking to reporters amid audible gunfire and occasional nearby explosions. "Nope. Not even close."

Added Sabra, "We'll let you know if it does."

The Onion will continue to follow this story as it develops. Readers are encouraged to continue checking this website for hourly updates on whether the Middle East conflict has been resolved.


Emily Dickinson

A well done analysis of rhyme and meter.  Thank you.
I just recently re-discovered poetry after, say, 40 years since college and English 101.  Actually, I recalled Frost's "the secret sits in the middle and knows" and thought it was Dickinson.  I bought the Complete Dickinson and read all the poems, (mostly) and did not find that poem, but had a good time of reading Emily.  
I read a note about E. Dickinson (probably Wikipedia) which I liked and agree.  "Emily did poetry like most women of the time did embroidery."  That is, without thought of fame, or any other motives other than just something to keep busy.  I feel that reading Emily is like reading her diary - with innermost thoughts, revealing her soul.  It is, you know.  Most of her writing probably was never shown to anyone, until after her death.  Or so I am informed. 
Your last comment - my comment - "...Dickinson's refusal to be bound by form. She alters the rhyme, rhyme scheme and meter...". Well, if so, why the scholarly analysis of rhyme and meter here - Emily is not bound by it so why bother?  Perhaps you can find others who color inside the lines and analyse them, perhaps?


Pensions are good for companies

Companies have a mercenary attitude, now they want mercenaries for employes, then they wonder why they can't keep the good talent, or how their competition knows too much about how they operate. Then they start loosing business to the european companies when they expand stateside. There was a reason why the business moguls of the early 20th century had pensions, it wasn't for humanitarian reasons, it was because loyal employees kept companies in business. Look at how many companies have gone under since 401ks came about and pensions disappeared. Look at how Asian and European companies have started to come to America and build factories while American companies disappear. This is just one part of the problem. But we did this to ourselves, and we are going to pay for it.


Syrian civil wars

If they just wage war amongst each other is one thing. But what happens after this war? They will unite and wage war against us. And their soldiers will be veteran experienced at the art of war. Formidable. So I wish that they all would stop shooting at least. Their war is our problem because they will later turn on us.


supply golf products from China 2013-06-03 03:40:09

Dear Sir/Madam, Good day. We are a golf products supplier from Shanghai, China. Our products include golf equipment,golf fashion,golf accessories and more. If you are interested in our products, please reply to my working email: merry2003@vip.163.com I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks. Best regards, Bob


Is it just me? Or are women afraid of everyone?

Is it just me? Or are women afraid of everyone?

I was standing outside of an x-ray/imaging clinic, waiting for my wife to get her MRI.

First observation: 95% of the workers and patients entering were FEMALE.
Second observation: no one would look at me. I was just sitting on the bench, looking as harmless as I could. I said good morning to a few, and got a grudging reply.

What is it?

The morning was delightful, a nice sunny day, cool but not cold. The location was a suburban large town, Columbia, Maryland. There were a few cars in the parking lot, but many spaces left.
I felt insulted and denigrated. What, am I invisible? No that was not it, because I often got the dreaded "look away". That is when a guy is walking down the sidewalk, and passes a woman, and she intentionally looks away from him, to whatever is the other direction.

Can someone tell me what is happening here?


Monster.com only 1% of hires

Last year, almost a billion dollars was sucked up by just one online "job board," Monster.com, which was reported as the "source of hires" only 1.3% of the time by employers surveyed.


I am so happy that there is a LEBANESE web site dedicated to peace. Wishing you all success for peace! I will settle for "no war", also. Thanks Baruch Atta http://www.free-lebanon.net/syria/mike-rogers-thinks-syria-crossed-a-line-even-if-no-one-else-does/#comments


Western Run Park

I frequently take walks along the beautiful Western Run Park. Unfortunately, I need to walk on a sidewalk or in the street. There simply is no trail that leads through this park My suggestion is to beat a walk path through the park. Especially between the intersection with Western Run and Greenspring, down to Mount Washington, would be a really nice walk, and I wouldn't need to walk in the street. I would build a path on both sides of the stream, so walkers could walk down one side and up the other. I am willing to volunteer to be a part of a community effort to put in a path. what do you think?
Instead of chiseling away at the Social Security cornerstone, let’s bolster it into an improved national retirement system. There are a number of ways to shore up the program’s underlying finances without cutting into benefits. For example, raising the cap on wages subject to payroll taxes from its current $113,700 for 2013 to around $250,000 extends the projected date of 2033 for exhausting the system’s reserves for another four decades or so. Eliminating the cap altogether essentially gets rid of any funding shortfall for the next 75 years. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/social-security--good--but-could-be-better-144919859.html
“The search you are about to conduct is being monitored and recorded by Google and might be used in the future for advertising or other purposes” Read more: http://techland.time.com/2013/03/27/googles-dance/#ixzz2OxajlT5J


Can Technology End Poverty? See:http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/can_technology_end_poverty.html?referral=00563 Short term answer: No. “Poverty” will not end with current level of technology. Long term answer: Absolutely. My projection is for robot technology to advance to the point that even the production of robots will be automated. And even the construction of factories to produce robots will be largely automated. Projection about the future is always iffy, but here are my thoughts. I take what exists today and project where it will go in the future. Today we have robot driven cars. There is no reason that this technology can’t be extended to trucks, boats, planes. The post office, UPS, Fed Ex, will not need delivery personnel. Robots are in factories and do a large part in manufacturing of cars and electronics. There is no reason that this technology can’t be extended to all manufacturing. Machines plant and harvest on farms. There is no reason why this can’t be further automated. Mining could be done with robots. And so on. Any task that can be described in physical terms can be programmed and done with robots of some form. The entire production cycle can be done with robots. So there is no reason that factories to manufacture robots can’t be built by robots. It follows that this process can be mostly automated. Doing the math, it would appear that the cost of any robot would be drastically reduced to almost nothing. Of course, the robots would need to be directed and programmed. The design process would still require people. Architects and programmers. But that would be five or ten people to direct armies of robots. With the cost of robots reduced to almost nothing, the cost of any product would also be next to nothing. Robots would farm, harvest, drive delivery vehicles and run restaurants. Any mass manufactured goods would also cost next to nothing, because the goods would be manufactured by robots. The limiting factors would be only raw materials and energy. To that, we realize that silicon and aluminum are very abundant. And energy could be obtained from the sun, with advanced solar cell panels. There are plans to convert every roof top to solar. And every street and highway could be laid with high impact solar cells. And this task would be done with robots, of course. And large areas of desert could be used to array solar panels. Fossil fuels, nuclear, and wind are really not necessary. The world would be a vastly different place with the advance of robotic automation. Any product would cost nothing. All menial work would be automated and done by robots. And poverty, as we know it, would be eliminated. (But knowing the human spirit, some may choose poverty, anyway.) So the question about poverty is answered in the abstract. Let me explore the question in the concrete. How would people react to this situation where no one need work for substance? My intuition leads me to think that people would not have as many children, if all physical needs would be provided without labor. World population would drop. Which leads to the question of ownership of the army of robots. Who would own them? Would one very rich person control everything? Or can the propagation of automation be communalized or publicly owned? What I would like to see is the robot army to be owned by the people, communally, and not privately. What will probably happen is the opposite. That is why I am proposing that a new law be enacted now, before the need arises. I would enact a rule that robots that are created by robots, and robot factories that are created by robots, be communal property and owned by the people, and not owned or controlled by private interests. In order for my vision of utopia to happen, the product of a product must be communal, not private. This is the original “means of production” vision of Marx, with a twist. The means of production may be private, but the fruits of the means of production should be shared and publicly owned. You might ask then, why would any investor want to invest in this? Well, today we have groups that create software and other endeavors in the public interest, such as the Software Commons, Public Broadcasting, and so on. There is no reason why this couldn’t be extended to create the first robot factory to produce robot factories, all in the public interest. The only limit would be raw materials and energy, and the human will to make it happen. All this projecting to the future is simply extending today’s technology to the fullest. There is nothing in this projection that is impossible or depends on some new discovery. It depends only on incremental improvements to current technology. So I am confident that these improvements will happen. It is in the interest of the people, especially people in “poverty” for this to happen. Oh, and there will not be a “singularity” where machines become “conscious” and self-aware. That would require a new discovery. This would not be an extension of current technology. Even the IBM Watson is just a pattern matching machine. It doesn’t “think” and is not self-aware by any measure. Ray Kurzeil’s vision of the singularity is based on his calculation of the improvements to computer processors and computer memory, extending Moore’s law to the time when machines will have the processing power equivalent to a human brain. Unfortunately, he fails to understand that neuron count does not equal self-awareness. He does not provide any solution to the problem of how thinking would start. He basically is saying the process would be something like “…better machine…better machine…better machine…magic happens…the machine thinks.” I don’t believe in magic.


the median person, of course

To quote the late great George Carlin:

Just think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

That would be the median person, of course.



Condescension is the natural result of superiority.  Get over it.  


Terrorizing his own Citizens (1992)


Terrorizing his own Citizens (1992)


August 28, 1992

a Dry Bones cartoon: Kirschen, the West, Assad, Saddam, Iraq, Syria, Terrorism, Politics, mid east, Arabs,
Today's cartoon is from 1992.
Twenty years ago this month!

Twenty years have passed and the West still does not understand "How Arab governments work".

The Arab head of State back then was Iraq's Saddam Hussein. The Arab head of State surprising the West these days is Syria's Bashar Assad.

-Dry Bones- Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973


Fwd: Park Heights and Strathmore proposal

Hi Rikki
Please see the attached image.  This image is from a letter that we received from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.  It is confusing.  Please make sure that the BICYCLE LANE is installed on all of Park Heights Ave as indicated in the photograph.  
We consider bike lanes in the city a civilized and modern improvement.  
I could write for hours on how much we would appreciate the bike lane, for safety and community.  And Park Heights is never so crowded or busy and that one single lane of through traffic should be sufficient.  
Thanks for your help !

Joseph Cotton
For Beth Abraham Synagogue

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Joseph B Cotton <cottonj@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 9:10 AM
Subject: Park Heights and Strathmore proposal
To: transportation@baltimorecity.gov
Cc: Kenneth Lasson, Seth Moshman 

Mr Zaied and Mr Brown

Thank you for the letter proposing a traffic calming project at Park Heights and Strathmore.  
But we are confused with the letter.

The photo indicates a situation with a SINGLE lane of traffic and A BICYCLE LANE.  Let me emphasize that WE ARE IN FAVOR OF THIS PROPOSAL.  We urge you to make a safe BICYCLE LANE along ALL of PARK HEIGHTS Avenue.  We are in favor of bicycle lanes for all major streets.  

However, the drawing included with the photo does not include the bicycle lane.  Is this an error?  

Please modify the drawing to include the bicycle lane.  

Joseph Cotton
for Beth Abraham Synagogue


Yes, Life Is Recursive.

Ok - a little research might help.  Scientists implant electrodes in brains of mice, then have them run the maze.  Sure enough, when running in a new maze, their little brains are wizzing away.  But in a familiar maze, their brains are mostly asleep, and they can run the maze without thinking, just by rote.  How much of our lives are done by rote!  How much more interesting it would be if we could WAKE UP and think?  Get our little brains a wizzing too!  Think!  Be aware.  Ask "why".  The little child asks "why" and asks again with each answer.  Maybe the child knows more how to live than we adults do.  Ask "why" to everything - that you hear, that you read, that you see.  What is my purpose in life?  My purpose is to ask "what is my purpose..."  Yes, it's recursive.  


Peace is not a process.

Peace is not a process.  Either you have it or you don't.
Peace requires two things - no violence and a little love.  
With peace, everything else will be resolved - borders, settlements, and all.  
Without peace, nothing can be settled, unless it is a victor/vanquished relationship after a war.  
But with war - there is no peace.  
So I say - the parties need to make PEACE first, then settle differences.  It is of no use to try to settle differences without already having peace.  No war or violence and a little love.  That's all.  


I just got out of prison.

 I just got out of prison. I was in prison to support the release of a new software package, to be used by the guards. I noticed that the prison system just tears down. In summary, a person adapts to his environment, and prison environment is mostly other prisoners. The guards have as little contact as possible, and anyway, the guards seem to be somewhat defective souls also. (No offence intended) In the ideal world, each offender would be put in an environment where he is surrounded with good people, who would guide the offender. We do just the opposite, we surround the prisoner with other prisoners. Bad. That is simply why recidivism is so high, everywhere. I was in a "pre-release" unit where the environment is like a boy scout camp. However, the prisoners only see other prisoners, mostly. My two days in prison were so depressing for this reason. Also, it reminded me of High School.


CW Artist on Eighty Meters - the Band of Brothers.

There is a certain feeling that I get when I am Operating CW -  I operate my rig, and I am alone in the shack, because it is really hard to hold a conversation with someone in the shack and also copy code.  I get into a focus when I copy code, and when I am going well, I get into a groove, I get into the "zone", like a top athlete or artist.  But a CW artist is not ever alone.  He is connected, literally, to a Band of Brothers.  I like to say "Eighty Meters - the Band of Brothers".
I like that - I aught to copyright these phrases - "Band of Brothers" and "CW Artist".  

Israel is NOT the " No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid"

Response to an article

First - Israel is NOT the " No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid". That should be Iraq and Afganistan.  Trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives.  
Starting during the Vietnam war, Israel rightly claims that not one American soldier risks his life in defending Israel.  That is a big point.
Second - in response to "warmonkey" - why are you so "outraged" for "supporting the interests of another Nation"?  Huh?  Response 1 is that we support the interests of other nations when it is in line with US interests.  Response 2 is that the USA is a democracy and support of Israel is the  opinion of the overwhelming vast majority of its citizens.  Everything else you say is just un-nuanced propaganda.  
Response to "go4dan0" is simple.  Again you are wrong in so many ways.  First, the armistice lines of 1949 were not recognized as borders by any nation.  If and when the Arabs return to the negotiation table and resolve the borders and recognize the existence of Israel, then you can claim "illegal".  In Arab eyes, the mere existence of Israel is "illegal".   And Israel has vowed not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region, so they will do so in response to another nation doing so first.
And Mr Reid brings the old "apartheid" accusation  - this falsehood has been rebuffed many times. 
It has been shown many times that Israel is the ONLY full democracy in the region, with many Arab and Druse and other citizens who vote and have full rights.  I don't want to get into a digression here, but this is also an accusation with no merit. 
If Israel is an "apartheid" then what is Saudi Arabia or Iran?  


An intriguing thought experiment (http://physics.aps.org/articles/v4/102)

The experiment is an extension of the double slit experiment. It seems that the photon "knows in advance" whether the second slit is open or closed. (http://www.hotquanta.com/wpd.html#BM2Slit)

It seems clear that there is some sort of feedback loop between the sensor of the wave/particle and the single/double slits.

In normal experience, we see both waves and particles as moving in one direction, and as time passes, the wave/particle moves along. I would like to theorize an additional dimension besides the four common (three space dimensions and one time dimension). This fifth dimension is outside of time or has no connection to time. So the wave/particle exists in the fifth dimension in a way that is different than the way it exists in the other four dimensions. In the fifth dimension, the wave/particle is the same object both at the single/double slit and at the sensor.

Let me provide a metaphor for this fifth dimension. Let's say I have a box with a dial on the box. I can turn the dial to zero thru nine. I put the box on the table, and turn the dial to zero. I take a photograph of the dial. I put the box on the chair and turn the dial to five. I look at the photograph, and it shows the dial at five.

Let me do a thought experiment. Consider the classic double slit experiment. Only this time, the source of the photon is a galaxy one billion light years away from the single/double slit. Then the sensor is another one billion light years away from the single/double slit. Assume that the wave/particle that exists in this fifth dimension uses the fifth dimension as a feedback. The wave/particle travels from the source galaxy to the single/double slit where a scientist is standing, and then travels to the sensor. When the scientist standing at the single/double slit opens the second slit, the scientist at the sensor sees a wave. When the scientist at the slit closes the second slit, the scientist at the sensor sees a particle. Because the fifth dimension is outside of time, the effect is immediate. It is as if the wave/particle at the sensor is in the same position, fifth dimensionally speaking, as the wave/particle at the sensor, even though the two are separated by a billion light years in the normal three dimensions.

Ok, that's the hypothesis. Now you do the math.

Here is the original article.

A new thought experiment makes it clearer than ever that photons aren’t simply particles or waves.

Proposal for a Quantum Delayed-Choice Experiment
Radu Ionicioiu and Daniel R. Terno
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 230406 (2011)
Published December 2, 2011
C. Orzel/Union College
Which way did it go? In a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, photons can appear to go along either of two paths (particle behavior) or along both paths (wave behavior), depending on whether the second beam splitter is in place. A new thought experiment would allow both behaviors simultaneously.

Quantum physics tells us that a photon isn’t strictly a particle or strictly a wave. And yet most of us will revert back—whenever we can—to familiar concepts of billiard balls or vibrating strings when picturing photons in our heads. A new thought experiment, proposed in Physical Review Letters, hopes to break us of these old habits. The authors imagine a type of quantum switch that controls whether a simple optical measurement tests for particlelike or wavelike behavior in a single photon. This slight reworking of a famous experiment demonstrates with logical precision the futility of trying to label the photon as a particle or a wave.

The wave-particle duality is often illustrated by splitting a light beam so that it travels along two separate paths that later merge to form an interference pattern from the combined beams. For a dim beam delivering photons one-at-a-time, this interference suggests that each photon is a wave that travels down both paths simultaneously. But if the paths are observed individually, then the photon will behave like a particle, traveling down only one path or the other and generating no interference. The fact that no experiment can measure both the wave and the particle behaviors simultaneously is called the principle of complementarity.


What Incentive Does Netanyahu Have to Make More Concessions?

What Incentive Does Netanyahu Have to Make More Concessions?

Yesterday, I asked why Israel should keep signing agreements with the Palestinians if the world won't enforce previous ones? This question has an important corollary: Why should Israel keep making concessions if it gets no credit for previous ones?

A recent New York Times editorial demonstrates the problem in microcosm. While various parties share blame for the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, it opined, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has been the most intractable, building settlements and blaming his inability to be more forthcoming on his conservative coalition."

In reality, Netanyahu is the only prime minister in Israel's history to impose a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction, a move even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared "unprecedented." Indeed, there has been less construction in the West Bank – and East Jerusalem – during his term than under his predecessors. But he gets no credit for this; instead, he's the premier who obstructs peace by "building settlements." So what incentive would he have to make further such gestures?

As for being insufficiently "forthcoming," Netanyahu, like all his predecessors, has repeatedly expressed willingness to cede most of the West Bank; what he's refused to do is cede the entire territory in advance. By contrast, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hasn't yet agreed to cede anything Israel wants (settlement blocs, the "right of return," recognition as a Jewish state, etc.), but the Times omits him entirely from its list of parties who share the blame. So Netanyahu, who has already ceded most of the West Bank, is "intractable," but Abbas, who has ceded nothing, is blame-free. Given this, what incentive does Netanyahu have to make further concessions?

The problem, of course, is that on this issue, the Times accurately reflects the international consensus – not merely on Netanyahu, but on Israel as a whole. For the last 18 years, Israel has offered nonstop concessions. It evacuated territory and uprooted settlements; it repeatedly offered a Palestinian state in most of the West Bank, Gaza and parts of East Jerusalem; it even offered to cede Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount. Throughout this period, Palestinians haven't offered one singlereciprocal concession – not the settlement blocs, not the "right of return," not recognition of a Jewish state; they won't even acknowledge the Jews' historical connection to this land. Yet still, the world deems Israel the "intransigent" party, the one that must concede even more. Hence most of the Quartet (comprising the U.S., EU, UN and Russia) thinks the appropriate recipe for restarting talks is to demand yet another new concession of Israel –accepting the 1967 lines upfront – while still demanding nothing of the Palestinians.

The consequence of this behavior is that fully 77 percent of Israeli Jews have concluded"it makes no difference what Israel does and how far it may go on the Palestinian issue; the world will continue to be very critical of it." And if there's no quid pro quo for concessions in the form of increased international support, there's obviously no point in continuing to make them.

The only surprising thing is, the world still seems to find this reaction surprising.


Sent from my...
Dell XPS 8300 Performance Desktop PC
Intel Core i7-2600 Quad Core Desktop Processor
8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
AMD Radeon HD 5670 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless.  
Beat that with your tiny cell phone!