If no other read this year, read this book

Mostly free, only two chapters paywalled: THE PREMONITION, A Pandemic Story It's important for you to read this book. Really important. Every chapter has multiple amazing insights like... 'when you closed schools and put social distance between kids, the flu-like disease fell off a cliff. (The model defined “social distance” not as zero contact but as a 60 percent reduction in kids’ social interaction.) “I said, ‘Holy shit!’ ” said Carter. “Nothing big happens until you close the schools. It’s not like anything else. It’s like a phase change. It’s nonlinear. It’s like when water temperature goes from thirty-three to thirty-two. When it goes from thirty-four to thirty-three, it’s no big deal; one degree colder and it turns to ice.”'... “I couldn’t design a system better for transmitting disease than our school system,” he said after his visit. “There is nowhere, anywhere, as socially dense as school classrooms, school hallways, school buses... " - “They reall



What Should Be Done First

I was led to a post of someone who set up the worst possible case for arming teachers .  Fortunately, there are commonsense alternatives. In the FEMA course on defending v. Active Cowards I took in Oregon's oldest synagogue ( NEVER AGAIN! ) I was taught to Lock the door between me and the Coward If the place I am at does not care enough to have solid core doors, barricade the doorway, and get out of sight Only after 1) and 2) do I try any active defense. 1. can be accomplished absolutely with a bent or welded piece of lightweight aluminum made in shop class as an exercise by high school students, notched to drop over the door handle on the inside so the Coward cannot see it is in place. If there's no shop class, well, it can be bought commercially: The Device # 2 , if installed 34" to 48" over the floor, would comply with fire code, so teachers in a wheelchair could easily use it (and, no, I have no connection to the manufacturer). Door blocks are also

Cutting the cord cheaply

Tired of your cable bill? 500 channels, and nothing you want to watch?  When my  $80/mo.  cable TV obligation ended, I had it turned off.  Internet costs $45/mo. from my phone company, is easily 12x faster at downloading and definitely more reliable. I could even do without that and use my phone as a WiFi hotspot, if need be. Here's my solution's details: 1. Call your cable TV provider and find when your contract is up, and put that date in your or other calendar system. 2. Where to put the antenna? Find where your TV stations are . Then, look at your windows, and see which window is best to use. You want the window that's closest to a right-angle line, or perpendicular to, the line between you and the TV station. 3. Today, make an antenna. Measure the distance from your TV to a window, measuring from the TV to the ceiling then along the wall to the window, and add 10' in case you need to move the TV. Buy, or scrounge,

Do not buy an Affinity TV or anything else from Affinity!

The links below show me I am not alone in never getting a response from the 'customer service' department of Affinity.  The original phone number and website in the original manual were disconnected! I had to web search to find their new site, not that has done me any good. Have been trying to speak to someone there for over a month, numerous emails and phone messages have been ignored. Think twice about buying anything from Woot! (as they sell no-support junk equipment), and definitely never, never, buy anything from Affinity!

Turn PayPal into Gift Cards, Win8 Product Keys and better Linux Icons

Converting PayPal to Gift Cards lets you monetize the PayPal balance, even if your merchant of choice does not accept PayPal: Need to find your Win8 Product Key? Look no further: Niftier icons for Linux can be freely downloaded using the tips at

What to do about Windows XP

Updated 22 April 2014 with new items 9-11, enhanced item 1. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft issued  their last update to Windows XP . They will update the Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus for another year, but a) traditional viruses are no longer the majority of security and malware problems, and b) Microsoft has been explicit that Microsoft Security Essentials was a minimal anti-virus system, anyway, and formally recommends getting a better anti-virus . I do recommend migrating to Win7 or Win 8.1 Upgrade 1 if your finances and hardware will permit. A free utility from Microsoft downloadable from  makes it easy to move your data to the new Windows, and  (not free, around $80) does that  and  lets you move compatible Windows XP programs, as well as data.  But, what to do, especially if your system is not powerful enough to run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and the new (free and required)