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Bernie "xyzzy" RSS Feed (Arlington, Texas)

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The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Stoll. Cliff ( 2005 ) Paperback
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Stoll. Cliff ( 2005 ) Paperback
by Cliff Stoll
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $2.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriately titled, April 17, 2016
A cuckoo bird will lay its egg in another birds nest letting that bird raise the offspring as her own.

I saw the TV program on this story before reading the book. Coming from a UNIX background it was fun to see a system I recognized. It could have been titled "The story of Ping" oops that title has been taken. I remember being billed for time on the computer and could only gain access at 2 AM. Many of these skills are now lost to people that do not have a shell account. I especially like how they kept the intruder on the line ling enough to track. The hunt was intriguing and it makes you wonder what is happening today. While this book deals with such things as passwords, the many new avenues created on today's Internet may afford for a newer mystery. Until then this is the classic.

A student managing the computer at Berkley notices an unusual charge to his account. He finds that someone is hacking before it was fashionable. To track down the culprit(s) he must first learn the tracking skills. This process is in its infancy so he even has to invent a few of the skills himself. The use of timing and knowledge of the speed of light allows for a good guess at the distance. The only way to go through the old timing switching stations was to hold the intruder on line ling enough. This required the creation of a dummy database with intriguing information.
Who's this mysterious intruder(s)?
Will they be caught?

What implications does it hold for us today?

The KGB, The Computer and Me

Bram Stoker's the Mummy
Bram Stoker's the Mummy
DVD ~ Louis Gossett Jr.
22 used & new from $0.31

2.0 out of 5 stars Should have stuck with the book name, April 16, 2016
This review is from: Bram Stoker's the Mummy (DVD)
Everyone seems to have trouble translating the book to film. They tried first with “Blood from the Mummy's Tomb” and “The Awakening.” Each has its shortfalls. However this was the worst rendition. I suspect the producers never read the book and through in everything but the kitchen sink. I even saw pieces of “Cat Creature.”

The film was so busy trying to cram so many goofy effects in to each minute that they forgot there is a plotline.

It was fun watching the different actors trying to keep a straight face.

I am going to say something I hate to see in reviews. Read the book first then the film will make more sense.
“The Jewel of Seven Stars”

Marianne Faithfull Sings Kurt Weill (Montreal Jazz Festival)
Marianne Faithfull Sings Kurt Weill (Montreal Jazz Festival)
DVD ~ Marianne Faithfull
Offered by CV Trading Corp
Price: $7.72
18 used & new from $0.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Weill, April 8, 2016
I guess I am too used to Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife and even the more commercial versions. The sons are more slowed down and have a different emphasis.

There is a break in the show where Marianne tells the story of the demise of her old drug buddy.

Paul Trueblood is an excellent pianist for this venue.

A had full of other people to perform Weill were:
Lotte Lenya
David Bowie
The Doors
Bette Midler
The list goes on.

Bottom line you have to like the Marianne Faithfull unique style to appreciate this presentation form the Montreal music festival.

Practical Psychomancy And Crystal Gazing: A Course Of Lessons On The Psychic Phenomena Of Distant Sensing, Clairvoyance, Psychometry, Crystal Gazing, Etc. ... - Scholar's Choice Edition
Practical Psychomancy And Crystal Gazing: A Course Of Lessons On The Psychic Phenomena Of Distant Sensing, Clairvoyance, Psychometry, Crystal Gazing, Etc. ... - Scholar's Choice Edition
by William Walker 1862-1932 Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.75
23 used & new from $14.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't scry for me, April 8, 2016
Decades ago, I took classes and hypnosis at the Fort Worth Institute of Hypnosis. One of the courses was on Crystallomancy. However, we did cover several other subjects that are in this book. We dealt with past lives, out of body experiences, etc.

I have a hard copy of this book in my library near my crystal ball mounted on a black velvet cloth. I still periodically dabble in scrying for the fun of it. You will find it easy to do and quite addictive.

For such a small book, this is packed with a lot of great information, some of the practical some of that informative but all of it useful especially if you are watching movies that tout any kind of psychic phenomena or capabilities. It is divided into easy to read chapters dedicated to the different skills and clarifies terminologies.

If you find yourself reading books by Sax Rohmer, Alice Hoffman, or the like, you will want to read this book first. It is even useful for such movies as "Vibes" (1988) with Cyndi Lauper.

I also keep an electronic version to refer to when I am on the go.

by Bram Stoker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.95
25 used & new from $22.33

5.0 out of 5 stars "For the dead travel fast", April 8, 2016
This review is from: Dracula (Hardcover)
Surprisingly "Denn die Toten reiten schnell" or "For the dead travel fast" is more than an opening line to this tale of love in the dangerous moon light. After watching several Drac movies and a few Nosferatu's, I pretty much though I had a handle on the genera. Little did I know what a wonderful world of mystery and suspense that Bram Stoker opened up for me.

The story is told mostly third party though the papers, diaries, and phonograph recordings (on wax cylinders) of those people involve in a tale so bizarre that it almost defies belief. The general story line is that of a Count that plans to move to a more urban setting (from Borgo Pass to London) where there is a richer diet. There he finds succulent women; something he can sing his teeth in. Unfortunately for him a gang of ruffians (including a real-estate agent, asylum director, Texas cowboy and an Old Dutch abnormal psychologist) is out to detour his nocturnal munching. They think they have Drac on the run but with a wing and a prayer he is always one step ahead.

Of more value to the reader is the rich prose chosen by Stoker as he describes the morals and technology of the time. We have to come to grips with or decide if we can perform the rituals that are required to eliminate vampires verses the impropriety of opening graves and staking loved ones. The powers in the book differ from the movie versions in that they are more of persuasion and capabilities to manipulate the local weather. At one point the Dutch Dr. Van Helsing, is so overwhelmed by a beautiful vampire laying in the grave that he almost for gets why he is there and may become vamp chow.

All in all the story is more in the cunning chase. And the question as to will they succeed or will Dracula triumph. Remember "For the dead travel fast."

It Happened Tomorrow Dick Powell, Linda Darnell 1944
It Happened Tomorrow Dick Powell, Linda Darnell 1944
Price: $17.19
2 used & new from $17.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Tomorrow belongs to me, April 7, 2016
What would you do if you had access to tomorrow’s paper today?

Watch the 1944 movie with Dick Powell and Linda Darnell. We have seen many versions of the same story and can get jaded. The story and even many of the elements are predictable.

On the other hand the movies were well presented. All the actors have chemistry. We have fun with the not so secret twists and turns.

A new paper team has fun speculating on what it would be to see the future. Would you want to know when you were going to die?

One reporter falls in love with a fortune teller and they predict that they will make their 50 year anniversary with all their relatives about them.

The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Capra, Fritjof (2010) Paperback
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Capra, Fritjof (2010) Paperback
17 used & new from $33.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Parallels are not equivalents., April 6, 2016
There are many solid books on connections and continuity in history and religion and physics. However Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man", would turn me over in my grave if he found out that I was reading such books as this. There are too many quasi science quasi religion books that want to take some principle and reinterpret it to be a New age truth or prove the some old blind philosopher beat us too it for example (The Seat of the Soul.)

Dr. Capra is drawing parallels in two fields and not trying to say, "See I told you so". He takes the time and pages to describe the science and also does a pretty good job of distilling complex religions down to single chapters. I leave it up to Dr. Capra and you to determine if there really is any parallel. A parallel does not mean equivalents. If you are a Gary Zukav sort of person this book will not help you at all.

The Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin's Extraordinary Adventure Aboard FitzRoy's Famous Survey Ship
The Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin's Extraordinary Adventure Aboard FitzRoy's Famous Survey Ship
Price: $13.19

5.0 out of 5 stars You can't tell me he wasn't having fun, April 6, 2016
Remember this says "Journal" and that is what it is. It is his first parson adventures on and off the Beagle. He even includes stories about the people on the ship, the ship's life, and maintenance. He is always going ashore and venturing beyond the ship charter to go where no Englishman has gone before. He makes friends with tyrants and the down trodden. Once, to get an animal to come to him, he lay on his back and waved his arms and legs in the air. Whatever you do, do not turn your back on him. He is always knocking something on the head and taking it back for study. It is fun trying to match the old names for places with the new.

The Amazing Transparent Man
The Amazing Transparent Man
DVD ~ Edgar G. Ulmer

3.0 out of 5 stars Quit ogling Marguerite Chapman's legs, April 3, 2016
This review is from: The Amazing Transparent Man (DVD)
We start out with sirens, searchlights, and dogs. Yep Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy) appropriately named is back from prison. Laura Matson (Marguerite Chapman) sprang him to do the bidding of her employer, the megalomaniac Maj. Paul Krenner. Also captive by the Major is a nuclear scientist Dr. Peter Ulof (Ivan Tries Ault). The Major intends to add the safecracking talents of Faust and the invention of Ulof to accomplish his evil plan.

Will he get away with it or will greed put an end to it?

Twelve O'Clock High
Twelve O'Clock High
DVD ~ Henry King

5.0 out of 5 stars "We'll Meet Again" - Vera Lynn, April 3, 2016
This review is from: Twelve O'Clock High (Blu-ray)
The 918th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force is known as the hard-luck group. Gen. Frank Savage (Gregory Peck) does not believe in luck and chalks it down to attitude and discipline due to their leader getting too evolved with the men.

The general plans to take a different tact. We watch as it is applied and the results. You may pretty much have guessed the steps and outcome as there have been several movie of this type.

This movie however is exceptional good at the acting and story.

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