A Happening on Old Nogales Highway

This morning, while traveling north toward the airport on Old Nogales Highway, I saw a young man in a light colored shirt waving his arms rather frantically on the east shoulder of the road. Uncertain what he was going to do, I began slowing down from 55 mph when he suddenly dashed across the road, a car or two in front of me.

Just then another guy came out of the scrub to the same point. He was also waving his arms to get people to slow down. Barefoot, he dashed across both lanes two or three cars behind me.

Next was a policeman hopping into a sheriff's SUV facing south on the east shoulder. When he flipped his lights on, I jammed on my brakes, allowing him tear into the southbound lane, surely in pursuit of the two jaywalkers, or jayrunners.

What was going on?

Make Metallica Great Again

When I was younger, I was something of a metalhead. While I never cared for Iron Maiden or Megadeth, I did like Metallica. When I finished college, whether because I was that much older or because they had tuned that much lamer, or both, I quit listening to Metallica with frequency. I haven't bought anything from them since ...And Justice for All. Metallica just kept decaying, so I moved on.

Then I stumbled across this Photoshopped bit of fun: James Hetfield of Metallica with a Trump swoop and "Make Metallica Great Again,"  because they sure aren't now.

Trip to San Carlos, Sonora State, Mexico

My current internship began May 23rd, but It began with PTO (Personal Time Off) for my expected period, so I took some to have a five-day Memorial Day weekend in San Carlos, Mexico. My friend and I had planned it months before I came to Tucson. We loaded his truck and 16.5-foot boat with everything we could and set off for the border at 5:30 am. Around 8, we exchanged money on the US side then crossed over.

The drive was on much better roads than I had expected, but there were very few shoulders along the way. We passed a road crew assaulting a section with a pick axe, picked up a hitchhiker and let him sit in the truck bed, saw a fatal traffic accident with the dead body covered with a blanket, and were accosted by squeegee boys in Hermasillo. Some towns looked quite decent, while others were bleak. I heard how the Federal police patrol the highway during the day and conceal their faces to avoid being identified and killed; at night, the gangs control the road.

Arrival in San Carlos was uneventful until we started to make a wrong turn. The police car behind us honked but my friend the driver kept going anyway, whereupon the police pulled us over. They said we were going downtown, but 200 pesos solved that problem. My friend did make a mistake, so it was not a simple shakedown. We then launched the boat in the marina without incident.

Over the next couple of days, we made five dives and cruised up and down the coastline. While he spent every night sleeping on his boat, I slept on the back of a larger boat owned by one of his friends. In the course of my dives, I saw a sea lion swim about us, watching; many small beige rays and one large manta ray that had not tried to cover itself in sand; countless spires of kelp around 8'–10' tall; a lamprey eel in its recess and another large leopard-like eel; many starfish and various sea fans and other things. Perhaps the most amazing encounter was with two breaching orcas that later followed our boat, one approaching so class to the small boat's rear ladder that it seemed as if it wanted to come aboard; it rolled onto its side so we could see it eyeballing us, after which it slipped beneath the waves and disappeared.

It was a very good time, and I look forward to returning once more.

The Internet of Manipulation

This morning I stumbled across an interesting story about a man who has allegedly rigged elections through out Latin America for nearly a decade. He wanted to rid the continent of its leftist politicians and dictators, like Chavez in Venezuela. Through hacking and social media manipulation, he became able to influence substantial numbers of elections, if the charges and evidence against him are true. It is a fascinating read yet depressing in its portrayal of how effectively public opinion was manipulated.

It also makes me wish the simple paper ballot would return for my elections. While nothing is tamper-proof, a penciled X on a scrap of paper cannot be changed remotely by a hacker in Colombia.

While I have no nefarious intentions, I do plan to take an introductory networking course in the fall. There is much to learn, and I know little about it.