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For the near future, I won’t be posting, anymore. I upgraded to a “Pro” plan a few months back. That was a bad move. I was on “Premium” prior to that, knowing that WordPress would, eventually, corral everyone into the Gutenberg (block) editor…some kicking and screaming. I thought about coughing up more money for a “Business” plan but, never could come up with the funds. Premium is $99 a year, which translates to, roughly, $8 a month. When Pro showed up as an interim choice, I added the $80 upgrade to my Premium renewal and thought I would be good to go. I did get two very nice plug-ins…and everything else went to hell.

I have gone many, many rounds with the “happiness engineers” to no avail. One of their “explanations” for my site going nuts is that, Pro is on a different server and the “migration” didn’t work very well. Hm. Why didn’t you PHP geniuses figure that out before fucking up my site?

So, now, if I upload a video to my site, it will play in the phone app but, not the Reader (in a browser). If I embed my videos, they will play in the Reader but, not in the phone app…and they used to, even if off center from viewing.

Another piece of blowback on all of this is, my site, viewed in a browser on a phone, is whacked. It used to be a clean & polished looking mobile site. Not anymore. I was told by another loopy engineer that it was because my theme was “legacy” and it didn’t work well with AMP. My Premium account didn’t use AMP so, my site looked just fine. The suggestion was for me to find another theme. Um…why? I’ve had my theme for five years and I worked very hard to set it up the way I liked it. WordPress should step in and clean up THEIR mess, not require me…A PAYING CUSTOMER…to deal with their self-imposed shit.

My frustration level has been off the charts. During a recent chat with a WP genius, something really weird happened to my Reader in Brave. When the chat ended, I noticed that all the icons were gone. The Reader has icons next to words. They were all gone. When you looked for the “like” stars or the “comment” symbols, they were all gone. In their place were numbers, only. If there were no likes or comments, it was blank. I don’t know what the PHP genius did but, the Reader operates fine in Firefox. I was told to “clear my cache”, which I do everyday, to no avail.

This has ruined my desire to blog at all. My hell has been paid for, for the next year, so…here, it will sit. Unless something changes, I won’t renew, again. I read, recently, that Matt Mullenweg, Mr. WordPress, himself, isn’t hands on, anymore. Everything has been turned over to The WordPress Foundation. That is nearly as ominous-sounding as the World Economic Forum and we all know how well they fuck things up.

That being said, this site will not be shuttered. I maintain too much important information on my landing page:

Chris Thomas

I encourage everyone to read, watch & listen to everything I have posted on that page. I also own a documentary that is hidden because of copyright issues. If you would like to view it, send me an email.

I will be around… ~Vic

Story Sunday: Can Opener Bridge

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Can Opener Bridge Image One
Photo Credit: Amusing Planet
Photo Author: Mark Clifton
Click for a larger view.

At 11 foot 8 inches [sic], the Norfolk Southern-Gregson Street Overpass, located in Durham, [NC] […], is a bit too short. The federal government recommends that bridges on public roads should have a clearance of at least 14 feet [but], when this railroad trestle was built in the 1940s, there were no standards for minimum clearance. As a result, trucks would frequently hit the bridge and get its roof scrapped [sic] off.

Durhan resident Jürgen Henn has been witnessing these crashes for years from across the street where he worked. Wishing to share these hilarious mishaps with the rest of the world, Henn set up a video camera in April 2008 and began recording them for his ever popular website 11foot8.com. By the end of 2015, more than one hundred trucks had their tops violently ripped off. These scalping videos, which are also available on his YouTube Channel, have racked up millions of views bringing this particular bridge, nicknamed “the can opener”, a fair amount of international fame.

As Jürgen Henn explains in his website [sic], the bridge cannot be raised because doing so would require the tracks to be raised for several miles to adjust the incline. North Carolina Railroad doesn’t want to pay for the enormous expense it would entail. The bridge cannot be lowered either because there is a major sewer line running only four feet under the street.

Can Opener Bridge Image Two
Photo Credit: Amusing Planet
Photo Author: Mark Clifton
Click for a larger view.

Instead, the city authorities installed an alert system that detects when an over-height truck tries to pass under and flashes yellow warning lights several feet ahead of the bridge. [However], many drivers either do not pay attention or fail to heed the warning and crash into the bridge. The railroad department, who owns the bridge, installed a heavy steel crash beam in front of the bridge that takes most of the impact, protecting the actual structure of the train trestle. This crash beam is hit so often that it had to be replaced at least once.

As far as both parties are concerned, the city of Durham and North Carolina Railroad, adequate steps have been taken to solve the problem. The railroad authorities’ concern is with the bridge and the rails above, not the trucks, [hence], the beam. The city, on the other hand, has posted prominent “low clearance” signs from [three] blocks away, leading up to the trestle, over and above the automatic warning system that is triggered by vehicles that are too tall. Apparently, these measures are not enough to prevent accidents. On average there is one crash every month.

When Henn interviewed a few drivers as they deflated their tires to lower their vehicles enough to free them, some told him that they didn’t know their trucks’ heights, while others insisted they didn’t see the signs. Durham officials are now trying out a new tactic. A few months ago, they installed a traffic signal at the intersection before the bridge and hooked up the height sensor to it. When an over-height truck approaches the intersection, the light turns red and stays red for a long time. The light eventually turns green but, the city hopes that the long delay will give the drivers enough time to realize their truck will not fit under the bridge. Unfortunately for the drivers, and to the delight of the rest, the bridge continues to shave the tops of over-height vehicles.

The Infamous Can Opener Bridge
Amusing Planet
Kaushik Patowary
December 17, 2016

I can attest to this bridge, personally. I lived in Durham for two years in the middle 90s. Why those folks don’t turn off onto Peabody Street or Pettigrew Street, coming from the other side, I don’t know. They just plow right under it. It is right behind Brightleaf Square. ~Vic

Jürgen Henn’s Website
Henn’s YouTube Channel

Additional:
11 Feet, 8 Inches… (99% Invisible/Kurt Kohlstedt/08-29-2016)
Durham’s Bridge of Death Will Decapitate Any Tall Truck (Bloomberg/John Metcalfe/10-25-2012)
Trucks Have Hit This Low Bridge More Than 100 Times… (Vox/Timothy B. Lee/01-06-2016)
A Little Off The Top… (Indy Week/Danny Hooley/01-06-2016)
Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass (Wikipedia)

Compilation of Crashes

Funny Friday: Stress Reducer

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I’ve had this one for a while. It’s dated November 2007 but, I don’t remember where it came from. ~Vic

Thumbnut Thursday: New Religion

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Actually, this should be labeled “Thumbnuts”, really. Boggles a thinking mind. ~Vic

Silly Sunday: Cubism

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This thing is 20 years old. I don’t even remember where I got it from. ~Vic

Thoughts Thursday: Consider This

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Groucho Telegram Image One
Image Credit: Telegram
Shayne Vibes Telegram Image Two
Image Credit: Shayne Vibes/Telegram
Lost Friend Telegram Image Three
Image Credit: Telegram
Kate Spencer Telegram Image Four
Image Credit: Kate Spencer/Telegram
Anonymous Telegram Image Five
Image Credit: Telegram
Pleiah Ikafa Solfeggio Telegram Image Six
Image Credit: Pleiah Ikafa Solfeggio/Telegram
Don’t believe the above?
Get this book: Everything
And, this book: Case Histories

Thumbnut Thursday: Arrogant Jerk

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Don’t even get me started… ~Vic

Happy New Year 2022…Maybe…

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Brain Washed Image
Photo Credit: Telegram

Thumbnut Thursday: Biden Vaccine Mandate

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Upside Down Turtle Brownstone Image
Photo Credit: Brownstone Institute

Yep. New heading. What is a thumbnut? From Merriam-Webster:

Wing Nut

What is a good definition of wing nut? From the Urban Dictionary:

A [piece] of metal that can be easily turned with the fingers used to anchor screws into wood or other material…[OR]

From Wikipedia: [A] pejorative American political term referring to a person who holds extreme, and often, irrational, political views.

President Biden has decided to go hard on the virus. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Sadly for him, those tiny little pathogens don’t pay taxes, don’t vote, don’t have Social Security numbers, can’t be drafted and don’t answer phone calls from poll takers, which is to say that he, and his agencies, cannot really control them. That must be frustrating, poor man. Instead his plan is to control what he can control: people and, most immediately, federal workers and the employees of large regulated companies. For him, the key to crushing the virus is the vaccine. Not enough people are obeying his demand for near-universal vaccination.

In a maniacal move of wild desperation, or as an excuse to try out the most extreme powers of his office, he is using every weapon that he believes he has to assure compliance with his dream of injecting as many arms as possible. Only then will we crush the virus, all thanks to his leadership…all the complaints about “freedom” be damned…and never mind that the realization of his dream did not work in Israel or the UK.

What are the immediate problems here? At least five:

[1] The Biden mandate pretends that the only immunity is injected, not natural […] even though all science for at least a year…actually, you can say centuries…contradicts that. Indeed, we’ve known about natural immunity since 400 B.C when Thucydides first wrote of the great Athens plague that revealed that “they knew the course of the disease and were themselves free from apprehension.” Biden’s mandate could affect 80 million people but, far more than that have likely been exposed and gained robust immunity regardless of vaccination status.

[2] This natural immunity is long-lasting, and broad, and we’ve known that since last year when the first studies revealed it. You can say that the addition of a vaccine provides even more but, it’s new, and untested, relative to most drugs approved by regulators. [Many] people are concerned about possible side effects of this vaccine, that was approved much faster than any drug in my lifetime, and there is not one living human being in a position to say with certainty that these skeptics are wrong.

[3] The mandate presumes that everyone is equally susceptible to severe outcomes from getting exposed to the virus, which we’ve known is not true since at least February 2020. In this entire 18-month fiasco, we’ve not seen any serious high-level communication about the huge range of demographic gradients in infection based on both age and overall health. This ignorance is a consequence of poor public-health messaging and is grossly irresponsible. The aggregated mandate from the Biden administration ignores this completely, as did the models that suggested lock-downs in the event of a virus from the Spring of 2020.

[4] Biden seems still of the belief that vaccines stop infection (he claimed this many times) and spread but, we know with certainty that this is not the case. [Even] the CDC admits it. The best guess at this point is that it can help in preventing hospitalization and death but, this experiment is still in its early stages. [The] relationship between cause and effect in human affairs is not as easy as throwing around two data sets and saying one caused the other. Most cases in the developed world, now, are occurring among the vaccinated…and we all know this because we have vaccinated friends who got Covid anyway. Some have died. We are not idiots, contrary to what the Biden administration believes, [nor] do any of us have all the knowledge and answers. [It] is precisely because science is uncertain that the decisions surrounding it need to be decentralized, depoliticized and open to correction rather than being imposed by top-down mandates.

[5] Biden’s order flies in the face of basic human freedoms and rights. There is no other way to put it. [It] is this fact that is the most prescient for the multitudes who are, right now, seething in anger that one man, who happens to hold power, can make health decisions for the whole population regardless of their perfectly rational judgements. When the needle filled with liquid is forced into the arms of people who either have natural immunities or do not fear exposure to the pathogen, it gets personal. [People] get really mad, especially after they are still forced into masks and denied other essential rights.

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