The next step would be to consider adding weak lights behind the subject: either to light-up the background, or to highlight the subject’s hair. A third light isn’t needed here, because the white backdrop reflects so much light.
So let’s go to the history books, as citizens of this country so seldom do. The Pledge of Allegiance started in 1892 as a set piece in a magazine, nothing more, nothing less. It was written by a man named Francis Bellamy in honor of Columbus Day, a holiday that scarcely exists anymore except in terms of department-store sales and parades. The words “under God” were nowhere in it, hardly surprising since Bellamy had been squeezed out of his own church the year before because of his socialist leanings. His granddaughter said he would have hated the addition of the words “under God” to a statement he envisioned uniting a country divided by race, class and, of course, religion.
Those two words went into the pledge nearly 50 years ago, and for the most deplorable reason. It was the height of the Red scare in America, when the lives of those aligned or merely flirting with the Communist Party were destroyed by paranoia, a twisted strain of uber-patriotism and the machinations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, after whom an entire vein of baseless persecution is now named. Contrary to the current political argument that “under God” is not specifically devout, the push to put it in the pledge was mounted by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic men’s organization, as an attempt to counter “godless communism.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill making this law, saying that the words would help us to “remain humble.”
(Originally posted as /archives/4408 from a 2009-09-28 American Motorcyclist Association Press Release)
September 28, 2009
The AMA has developed model legislation for use by cities seeking a simple, consistent and economical way to deal with sound complaints related to on-highway motorcycles within the larger context of excessive sound from all sources.
The model legislation offers an objective method for municipal jurisdictions to evaluate motorcycle sound through science-based measurement. It’s based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) new J2825 standard, “Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles.” The AMA produced similar model legislation for off-highway motorcycles several years ago.
“Many cities and other jurisdictions already have excessive sound laws on the books, but when they get citizen complaints about loud motorcycles, they sometimes decide to single out the riding public with unfair or overly restrictive ordinances and laws,” said Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager. “We believe that motorcycles shouldn’t be singled out, but should be regulated as part of a comprehensive sound management policy that also addresses cars, trucks, leaf blowers, generators and other sources of excessive sound.”
The J2825 standard, issued by the SAE in May, is based on a comprehensive study of a wide variety of on-highway motorcycles. It establishes instrumentation, test site, test conditions, procedures, measurements and sound level limits.
“Too many times, jurisdictions responding to citizen complaints about excessive motorcycle sound create laws that simply don’t work in the real world,” Szauter said. “They either set an unreasonable decibel limit, leave it up to a police officer to subjectively decide whether a bike is too noisy, or come up with another plan that is arbitrary or unworkable. Our model legislation is objective, workable and fair.”
The model legislation adopts the SAE J2825 standard for stationary on-highway motorcycle sound testing, specifies the type of sound meter to be used, and allows for each city to specify the penalties for violating the law. Szauter stressed, however, that the sound-testing procedures and decibel limits established in the SAE J2825 standard should remain unchanged to ensure that the law remains objective and fair.
Under the SAE J2825 standard, decibel limits range from 92 dBA at idle for all motorcycles, to up to 100 dBA at certain RPMs for various motorcycles, depending on the type of engine.
In 2003, the AMA organized the National Summit on Motorcycle Sound to bring together riders and user organizations, representatives of the motorcycle manufacturers, the aftermarket industry, racing promoters, government agencies, law enforcement and others to develop proposals regarding the increasingly controversial issue of excessive motorcycle sound. The creation of a new on-highway motorcycle sound measurement procedure was a top recommendation of the summit’s Motorcycle Sound Working Group.
“The motorcycling community, local governments and police officers have sought a practical sound field test for streetbikes for many years, and now it exists, thanks to a collaboration between the Motorcycle Industry Council and the SAE,” Szauter said. “The next step is for jurisdictions struggling with motorcycle sound complaints to adopt fair and objective laws, and the AMA is providing the tool for them to do that.”
Szauter encourages motorcyclists and government and law enforcement officials to download the model legislation from the Rights section of this website.
Note from dangerismymiddlename.com: We did not find the model legislation. We did however find these resources there:
(Originally published on 2016-03-29 as /archives/7136)
The Old Homestead
I used to live in the-middle-of-nowhere: no electricity, no running water, no phone, no mobile service, no sewer, etc. The house was built in the 1800s. We lived on the front porch, used unleaded-fuel in our Coleman lanterns, flushed the toilet by poring buckets-of-rainwater into the bowl, and showered on the back porch over a rattlesnake’s home. I showered fast.
I actually attempted to order phone service from the phone company. They told me that they would provide it, if I would pay them to install all of the telephone poles, from the closest street with phone service, to our house. Riiiight.
Some animals lived in the walls of the main house, we stayed on the porch, The critters in the walls of the main house were mostly mice, birds, and raccoons: although a black bear did hibernate in the basement the previous winter: Grizzly Trucking Adams.
Someone shot a raccoon near the house. It managed to climb into a second-story window, and drag its sorry-self all the way down to the first floor hallway with its intestines trailing behind. Where it died.
Our friends from college would spend the weekends out there at the house, and there was so-little light pollution, that we would lie on the cars and see man-made satellites with the naked eye.
What can I tell you about roughing it? Peanut butter does not need to be refrigerated.
Fun With Fuel
I would put our trash into a 55 gallon drum, and burn it to make it smaller (yeah, yeah, global warming). There was no trash collection service available. One time I was getting aggressive with the trash tamping, and there were some fuel-filled rags down low, and I was tamping some other trash on top and BOOOOOM! The damned-thing shot raining-fire all over the place! Like the Trash Cannon From Hell. Trash falling here: sidestep. Trash falling there: sidestep.
I had one coworker once, that misjudged the fuse-length on a home-made explosive that he and his buddy were shooting out of their cannon. They wanted it to explode in the sky. It blew a hole in the Post Office. The FBI came to visit, and it was a bad-scene all around.
…and the cow jumped over the fence
Heifer: a female bovine too-young to give birth.
Bullock: a male circumcised bovine, AKA, a steer.
We had heifers living on the land. Around half of the dairy farmers that visited said, “If one cow learns to jump the fence, then all the others will follow her,” and the others said, “Cows don’t jump fences.” I imagined the latter folks wasting a lot of time looking for holes in fences. The heifers at our house would jump, oh yes, and in the morning I would look out at the just-jumped bovines, and say, “Them’s some real heifers.” The heifer owning people? Their last name was – Remember the definitions up above? – Bullock.
One night: SLAM!!! “WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!” SLAM!!! “WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!” I say to L.: “You open the door, and wait behind it. I’ll hit that thing over the head with this log splitter.” SLAM!!! “WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!” She opens the door, and there waits a pet racoon. It just kinda stands there for a minute, and then gets cosy in our bed. Great. OK. The racoon can stay for a little while: the alternative is door slamming, and racoon screaming. This did not last long. Raccoons like to rock-and-roll all night, and sleep every day, and you know what? I had a job to go-to.
There was only one solution; wrap “Rascal” in a blanket, and drive him far enough, that he can’t find his way back. I drove home imaging the little guy going to the very first door that he could find. SLAM!!! “WHEEEEEE! WHEEEE! WHEEEE!” BOOOM (shotgun blast)!: he then manages to climb into someone’s window, and drag his sorry-self all the way down to the first floor hallway with its intestines trailing behind him.
There goes the neighborhood
Let’s take a step back in this story. Our house had no neighbors since the beginning of time. What happens as soon as we move in? An 18-wheeler mother-trucking-flatbed pulls up with a huntin’ cabin on back, and drops said huntin’ cabin directly across the street, fucking-up my pristine view of our 100% Maple Syrup producing Maple trees. Why? Mr. Bullock got a two-for-one deal on used huntin’ cabins, and really only needed the one.
A few weeks later a family of three moves in. My new neighbor wants to provide for his family: in a place with zero jobs. So, he made a deal with Mr. Bullock: “I fix your fences. You let me live in your extra huntin’ cabin.”
Our neighbors also lacked the comforts-of-home. They did however have a Honda generator hooked-up to a TV.
So, the new neighbor tells me how racoon mommas yell bloody murder, but they won’t actually attack. He tells me how this momma racoon chose the huntin’ cabin for birthing her babies. So he removed each of the baby racoons one at a time, and then he removed the momma racoon, but he kept one baby there. This baby grew up to be Rascal. I believe that Rascal had a doggy-door that he, and the dog, could use to go in-and-out. He also had a buddy to play with: the dog.
We went camping for our summer vacation. The woman from across the street came to visit:
“Where did you go last week?”
“Our cabin had running water and electricity!”
Momma neighbor gets sick of pretending that “our life is fun just like camping”, and says, “I am going to move in with my parents. You can stay, or you can come”, and that’s how Rascal ended up with no home.
(Originally published on 2008-10-30 as /archives/1147)
I suspect the real reason that negative ads are made is because the people who pay for the ads are negative.
None of the opinions below are those of my past-or-present employers. I have worked with members of the advertising community outside of the two marketing firms that I have worked-for, and I have learned by observing those experienced people.
People belief that advertisers know how to subconsciously control our buying habits, but the truth is this: they know far more about selling advertising services.
The advertiser learns what the client wants through a creative process that includes iterating over design elements until they have an ad that fits the client’s sensibilities. This process is basically the same for all of the great firms, although they each have a registered-trade-or-service-marked name for that process, and they each claim that their process is special and unique. The firms that don’t know what they are doing? They have registered-service-marks for non-existent processes, and they depend on being lucky when they propose a new ad:
The advertiser then produces an ad to fits the client’s sensibilities, wants, and desires. These sensibilities, wants, and desires were learned in step (1).
The ad is presented to consumers.
The firm collects statistics.
The firm communicates those statistics in a way that says, “Yes, Mr. Client. You were correct. This ad that we made to-fit-your-sensibilities was very effective at selling your product!” Please note: these sensibilities are not necessarily those of the company that sells the product: they are those of the most influential individual that regularly met with the advertising firm.
The firm then asks: “May we work together some more in the future?”
Man, if I were a magician I would be kicked-out of the guild for revealing my tricks.