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John Jay Hooker Has Died

From The Tennesseean: ‘Charismatic’ John Jay Hooker has died

John Jay Hooker, who was perhaps Nashville’s most recognizable and charismatic political figure, and one of its most controversial, died Sunday morning.

He was 85.

Mr. Hooker, who had been battling cancer since January 2015, died peacefully with family and friends at Alive Hospice in Nashville.

“We have lost another legend,” said Tom Ingram, who, as a reporter for The Tennessean, covered Mr. Hooker’s first campaign for governor in 1966. “Seig (former Tennessean editor John Seigenthaler), George Barrett, and now John Jay. They were giants …”

I met Hooker at BlogNashville in 2005. Here is a post from back then.

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Are you listening or waiting for your turn to talk?

Are you listening or thinking about what you'll say?

This graphic from Facebook reminded me of a scene in the extended version of Pulp Fiction. In the extended version, Vince (John Travolta) goes to pick up Mia (Uma Thurman) for their night out. She greets him with a video camera. She starts asking him questions, questions she designed to find out more about a person.

The first question is Beatles or Elvis, but she doesn’t bother asking him, because she thinks it’s obvious Vince is an Elvis man. That’s why, later in the movie at Jackrabbit Slim’s, Mia calls him an Elvis man. (That scene didn’t make sense in the theatrical version, because the earlier video interview scene was cut.)

This question is the one I want to talk about:

MIA: In a conversation, do you listen or wait to talk?
VINCE: I have to admit that I wait to talk, but I’m trying harder to listen.

Watching that opened my eyes. There are a select few people I have a hard time communicating with and now I know why. They aren’t listening to anything I say, which is why they ask me the same question within minutes of getting an answer or reply with a non sequitor.

One way you can tell the other person isn’t listening – the split second you stop talking they immediately jump onto their chance to talk. They can respond so quickly because they were thinking about what they were going to say while you were talking, instead of listening to what you were saying. Their responses can come so quickly that the conversation can have the rhythm of an argument even when it isn’t.

DSLR Video – “Higher Calibre, Higher Mindedness: The Story of YoGun”

So last weekend Melissa and I went to the Knoxville 24 Hour Film Festival. The idea was for teams to shoot a four minute in 24 hours. The required elements were:

  • A bounty hunter.
  • A large body of water.
  • The phrase “So there I was minding my own business.”
  • Fire.

This video ws about YoGun, the fictional merger of yoga and guns and the inner peace one acquires from shooting. Guns and video, what’s not to like?

“Spring Rain, congratulations. You have progressed from level one to level four, revolvers and the associated calibers. You have now graduated to Zen level five, semi-automatics.”

NRA Dispels Conspiracy Theories About Large Federal Ammo Purchases

Good stuff.

Much of the concern stems from a lack of understanding of the law enforcement functions carried about by officers in small federal agencies. These agents have the power to make arrests and execute warrants, just like their better-known counterparts at agencies like the FBI.

For instance, the Social Security Administration solicited offers for 174,000 rounds of pistol ammunition. But the agency has 295 special agents who combat Social Security fraud that costs tax payers billions each year, so the order works out to roughly 590 rounds of ammunition per agent for training, mandatory quarterly qualification shooting and duty use. More than a few NRA members would use that much ammunition in a weekend shooting class or plinking session.

Aleksey Vayner is Dead

Daily Mail‘Do not, anyone, sell this idiot ANY pills!’ The desperate last messages to former Yale student infamous for ‘Impossible is Nothing’ résumé who is reportedly ‘dead at age 29 from an overdose’

Vayner was someone I had feastured as a bullshit artist:

First, watch Aleksey Vayner’s video resume, above. Among the claims he’s made in the video and elsewhere:

  • Can serve a 140 mph tennisball and lift 915 pounds.
  • Is the second greatest martial artist in the world.
  • Received a letter of recommendation to Yale from the Dalai Lama.
  • Was tennis pro to Sarah Michelle Gellar and Harrison Ford.
  • Served simultaneously in the Greek Mafia and the CIA.

Then read IvyGate Blog’s dissection of his fraud. Dude lied about starting an investment company, lied about starting a charity, plagiarized a book about the Holocaust and sold it on, and much more. Yale’s Daily News is now on the story.

Most of the bullshit artists have done impressive things. For whatever reason they have some internal standard that’s never satisfied with their actual accomplishments, or a compulsion to cheat, so they have to make up accomplishments. That was Vayner. He was too young to have much in the way of accomplishments, but he was smart enough to get into Yale and was a good athlete. For whatever reason, he didn’t think that was enough. Rest in peace.

New Tumblr Thing – WTF, Evolution?

The burnt hotdog evolved in the ocean millions of years ago. This mutation later provided the perfect camouflage to protect it at Boy Scout camps and tailgate parties.

Poor frog:


The Word Genius is Used Too Often

But this is genius.

DxOMark Scores for Mobile Phone Cameras

DxOMark now has test results for mobile phone camera. Tops right now are the Nokie 808 Pureview, Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Apple iPhone 4s, and Apple New iPad.

Canon Finally Enters the Mirrorless Camera Market

Canon released the Canon EOS M mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It uses a new, smaller lens mount. It can use existing Canon EF lenses using a $199 adapter. Lots of mirrorless cameras have lens adapters. One nice touch on Canon’s is a tripod mount to prevent strain on the camera from big lenses.

There’s no electronic viewfinder, either built-in or optional. There’s no built-in flash, but the hotshoe can use existing Canon flashes, which is cool.

Digital Photography Review preview

Imaging Resources preview, which does not have kind words for the autofocus speed: Read more of this post

Tough as a Tiffany lamp, hot as a Boston summer

On Facebook JayG mentioned the heatwave up in his Massachusetts stomping grounds.

I grew up in Tennessee. We have mild winters and hot summers. I figured if northern states have supercold winters it just stands to reason they’d have mild summers.

When I heard northerners complain about hot summers I just assumed they wouldn’t know what a real summer was if it bit them in their accents. One July down here and their poor little heads would melt. No wonder Florida beaches were covered with the bloated carcasses of sunburnt, blistered yankees.

Then I took a few trips to Macworld Boston. Two things surprised me. One, they played country music on the shuttle buses between the conference centers. I don’t know what I thought they’d be playing, but it sure wasn’t Garth Brooks.

Two, it’s freakin’ hot in Boston in the summer. Really hot. Hot enough that vendors had bottled water with their company logos to give out at their booths. My supercold winter/mild summer theory went right out the door. So yeah, stay cool, y’all.

Least Self-aware Person

From via MetroPulse:

My Worst Fear As a Mother-to-Be? A Burning Cross on Our Front Lawn

Right now, IÂ’m four months pregnant with a biracial baby, and I live in the South. In a small town.

My husband, Fred, and I … moved to Knoxville, Tenn., last September before I was knocked up, and I have to admit that I had my reservations (read: visions of burning crosses and white-hooded men protesting our union) while we were packing up the moving truck…

Right, because everyone knows that Southerners have prejudiced notions and hateful, bigoted opinions about certain groups of people. Keep pointing that finger in the mirror, lady.

The State of Florida’s Lousy Case Against George Zimmerman

Tom Maguire – The George Zimmerman Bail Hearing

It’s hard to pick the lowest of the low, but the darker moments for the prosecution included:

– The admission by co-lead investigator that he had not personally interviewed George Zimmerman;

– the admission that he had not requested Zimmerman’s medical records from the hospital;

– the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that, following the advice of the police dispatcher, he headed back to his car;

– the admission that the state has no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that Martin assaulted first.

–  the admission that the investigtors have not been “given any insight” by the voice experts at the Orlando Sentinel and the FBI who attempted to identify the screams on the 911 tape (My ‘told you so‘ moment).

Jeralyn Merritt at Lean Left also thinks the prosecutor did a terrible job and doesn’t see how they can convict Zimmerman.

No one is entitled to respond to being followed or verbally confronted with physical force. No matter how much of a saint Martin was before that, if he threw that first punch, I think Zimmerman’s only burden is to show some evidence, not a lot, that as a result of the force used against him, he was reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or death.

Even if he is saddled with the extra burden of showing he couldn’t get away (which in my view he shouldn’t be), his medical records showing a broken nose (which O’Mara offered to produce today) and the photographic evidence of his head injuries taken three minutes after the shooting, should easily suffice to meet it.

#GameofThrones: Joffrey is redecorating the castle. Pro Tip: you can never go wrong with a Van Halen poster.

Why Rick Santorum Hates Libertarians Like Me and Vice Versa

Turns out Rick Santorum is against everything I’m for as a libertarian. I knew that already, but it’s amazing to see him spell it out in so many words.

I’m proudly one of those libertarians who thinks the government should leave people alone, not overtax them, not overregulate them, and not tell them what to do in the bedroom.

Hat tip to New Jovian Thunderbolt.