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16 January 2011


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You'll be warmer with a little Laphroaig to sip by that fireplace. Hope you are well soon.

John Minnerath

A good hot drink, with lots of brandy, in front of a fire, does wonders for the January crud.


Rather slim evidence for Northern Virginia not being 'Southern' anymore. I wonder where I can get a grant to see if D.C. is still as 'American' as the rest of America?

Norbert M. Salamon

A rather scary article regarding the USQA/Israel present to Iran, a.k.a. the Stuxnet virus:


My comment on this stupid effort is that such actions will ask other powers to return the compliment to the
USA - with dire consequences


Nothing better than a nice fire, a sipping refreshment and a good football game this time of year.

Patriots to win today and we will watch Rex Ryan's mouth being dragged around the field afterwards. Though Rex may like that as his mouth may be near his feet.

Hope the crud departs quickly and may the best team win.



I recommend an old tried-n-true German drink for cold winters -- Glühwein (Hot spiced wine). Yum, yum, yum. My wife and I both enjoyed sipping Glühwein during their cold snow driven winters when we lived there.



The better team won today, not mine.



I think they'll just send the same virus to us since we use the same kind of electronics. The IT version of biological warfare. No one is immune.

Paul in NC

Don't get unvented anything. I don't care what they say, you won't like it. Lowers the oxygen level of the air you're breathing. Not unsafe, just unpleasant.


Inhale Scots Whiskey..and get some eucalyptus oil as well - only inhale the vapours, don't drink it.

different clue

Colds and stuff sometimes go around among the staff at the hospital. If it lasts a week-and-a-half or more, we call it the creeping crud. After one gets it about all one can do is treat the symptoms and try resting and/or powering up the body to wear down the viral invader.
People have no doubt offered
advice such as chicken soup with garlic and tabasco sauce, sucking on zinc lozenges, sleeping overheated as long as possible, and etc.

Just after college I became a restricted-income security guard and ate a low-budget vegetarian diet. Over time I noticed I got almost no colds at all. When I became a dishwasher one perk was free all-I-could-eat from the basic steamtable food-glop supplies. I missed meat and so ate lots of spaghetti and meat sauce and so on. Over time I started getting sicker more often and finally got so sick I went to the health clinic. It was a super bad cold and they could do nothing for me. It scared me partway back to vegetarian eating and I found my acceptable tradeoff point between "some" meat and "some" colds. Perhaps there is a useful principle somewhere in there.

A pharmacist co-worker told me that after a couple months of taking cod liver oil, he got very few very mild colds. But he disliked cod liver oil so much that he quit and went back to having more colds.

I recently read something interesting about mild vitamin D defficiency correlating with greater susceptibility to flu infection. And people are more vitamin D defficient during the low-sunlight winter months when flu outbreaks start to happen. So perhaps vitamin D supplements from fall into spring might boost immune function? Here is an interesting article about that from what I believe is a reputable journal.

John Minnerath

What is with the return of Jean-Claude Duvalier to Haiti?
I hadn't thought about him in years.
Ideas of retaking the country?
He still does have supporters there.


Col. sir,

May I suggest some long-term remedies --



Slow but effective. Please consult your local certified Chinese physician.

Just my 2 fēn.

nick springer

Trust col lang brought in a great new year with a rousing old lang syne....

keep em on their toes col.

regards from a former 7th and 10th special forces b team s2 to the good col and all other sf operators.

de opresso liber ....

and like goethe wrote,
"no people are more enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free"

anybody know what ever happened to the SF Resister?


Is Duvalier back for money?

I figure he probably is, so what can be done to get him out and back to France?

different clue


I think I read somewhere that sugar metabolism requires the consumption of some of the B-vitamins. I can't remember which ones. And these B-vitamins are involved in parts of the immune response. So perhaps
the sweets are lowering inbody reserves of B-vitamins needed for proper immune function?

There may be a way to test this at the personal anecdotal-observation level.
If you can stand to go for a year without sweets you could see whether you get less colds over that year. If you do, then for the next year after that you could go back to normal sweets consumption but also take heavier B-complex supplements and see what happens at the end of that next year.

William R. Cumming

A friend offered a single-malt to me recently from the Highlands. TOMATIN. Very nice.



So what have you decided as your drink to drive away the January crud? I say it's still hard to beat the German Glühwein outside of a Hot Rum Toddie. But again, there are sooo many good tasting variables (corn squeezings, etc.)

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,
Sorry about the crud, get well quick. Its too bad you don't have a wood-burning fireplace of the Count Rumford type with a cord or so of split hardwood conveniently located by the back door. That, a comfortable club chair, and a good whiskey in hand would work wonders in the good cheer department. WPFIII

William P. Fitzgerald III

I find that I can only get 3 or 4 sentences in before reaching the bottom of the POST A COMMENT box. Does anyone have any ideas for a remedy?


The Twisted Genius

Norbert and Fred,

Unless the people behind the stuxnet virus step forward and prove that they did it, we will never know the real truth behind it. The U.S.-Israeli theory is plausable as is the China theory. I have always believed that it was within the capability of a serious group of hackers and not just a national effort. Check out this discussion of the stuxnet code.


These are serious coders capable of producing work that any government coder/researcher would be proud of. One in particular, Halvar Flake, is IMHO capable of assembling a team to design, produce and employ a stuxnet-like exploit. The only thing he couldn't do is replicate the physical centrifuges at Dimona to test the virus as claimed in the WaPo article. However, I think he could get his hands on actual SCADA code that controls the centrifuges. That would be enough.

Except for the actual dissassembly and analysis of captured stuxnet code, everything else that has been written about the virus is unsubstantiated conjecture. We can't even be sure it damaged the Iranian centrifuges. Iran could be using stuxnet to hide their own technical falures. Even if we never know the full truth, stuxnet may signal the beginning of a new phase in network exploitation simply because it didn't destroy the internet or cause a shooting war. It may have thankfully prevented one. The gates are now open for governments, criminal enterprises or "1337 c0d3rz" to do something similar... especially with the stuxnet code now available for anyone to study.

I've been following virus coders since the days of the Dark Avenger. I was known as "crash 1nterupt" back in those days. Winston Churchill's addage about "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" definitely applies to this world. It's an exciting and fascinating world, but also very dangerous.

different clue

The Twisted Genius,

I am analog in a digital world, so I don't understand
coding, hacking and etc. very much at all. I have read a little of Bruce Sterling's articles and explanations about the hacking and coding communities for the lay
reader and they are certainly fun to read. But I don't even know enough to know if Sterling really offers useful insights or not.

For example, Sterling recently wrote his explanation of Assange's behavior and mission and what it all means for the wider world.
( http://www.webstock.org.nz/blog/2010/the-blast-shack/ )
Does Sterling know whereof he writes? If such a question is even worth your time and attention, this lay reader would try understanding whatever you care to answer.

The Twisted Genius

different clue,

I had to read Sterling's article several times before understanding what I think he was getting at. He introduced some interesting comparisions which really got me thinking. I'll write something up this weekend. I think I'll call it reality cracking. Google that term and I think you'll find some interesting reading... and you don't have to be a coder to enjoy it

Sidney O. Smith III

Seems to me that the more that the military continues to abandon its traditions and mimic the collective psychology of a civilian corporation, then the higher incidence you will see of PTSD when the combat is sustained.

If true, then the rise of the incidence of PTSD, at least as I see it, is the unparalleled danger posed by certain progressives and their alter ego, rapturists, because they are the ones who diminish the intensity and horror of war simply to promote their own agenda in wartime conditions.

You see this phenomena in “progressive” action adventure genre as well as from rapturist writings. Both reflect an escapism that, in turn, is founded upon an infantile psychology. When seen in that light, they are just one and the same. And the probability of hysteria will increase. Don’t see how it can be otherwise.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that a civilian psychology and the psychology of soldiers-- at least those who see the military as a vocation -- are different. It needs to be respected.

I am not military but I would never want to fight for a platoon leader who believes when things get tough, he will be raptured away, Hagee style, and the rest of us hoi polloi and unchosen are“left behind”. Hell no. From what I can tell, it is extremely unwise to rely on deus ex machina or any sense of justice during war.

Progressive memes lead to the same result.


Hello every person.
Have a happy day.

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