Cranks make testable predictions

Working in severe weather, I have gotten used to getting the occassional email from cranks, even ones with credentials that make you want to take them seriously. For example, a couple of years ago, I was pestered repeatedly by a professor of civil engineering at a well-known university.  He claimed to be able to predict the path of tornadoes based on terrain, and it was all I could do to deter him from coming to Norman to talk to our group.

And of course, there was the infamous physics professor who wanted to build a wall in the Great Plains forgetting that there are mountain ranges that high in the Midwest that do nothing to stop 'em twisters.

But the email I got today was a first.  The crank makes a testable prediction:

We , at Swami Hardas Foundation, India,  have developed a  super advanced calamity forecast technology, which is capable of forecasting  calamities  much ahead of other technologies. The following are our latest likely predictions :1)    Severe storm at eastern Alabama likely around 26th January, 20152)    Mount Fuji , Japan is likely to start spewing lava during the last week of March,2015. There may be emission of smoke, debris etc during the weeks prior to it.

Since when have cranks started making testable predictions?  Since severe storms are more prevalent in Alabama starting in March, this is not a climatological prediction.  And while there have been a few small earthquakes near Fuji, and the Japanese have evacuation plans in place, there is no heightened state of alarm.

Controlling her spirit

The kids and I are playing The Settlers of Catan .  The daughter is winning and has 9 points (10 to win), but the son is close behind and will probably get a longer road, thus reducing her to 7 points on the next turn.

She is about to pass the die off to me, when I suggest that she look again at her hand.  "Why don't you use your 2:1 port to convert some of your cards," I ask her, "and upgrade one of your houses to a settlement?".   She doesn't quite get it.  "What does that mean?," she asks.

At which point, the son interjects:  "Because she doesn't want to, Appa.  Don't control her spirit."

p.s. You may have noticed that my blogging frequency has reduced.  This appears to be a side-effect of working in the private sector -- I am reluctant to post anything that is even tangentially related to work, and that obviously cuts down on what I can post.  The bridge blog continues apace of course, because there is nothing there to self-censor.