All posts by Rick

Writer, educator, and consultant in cybersecurity; author of three books.

The Postcolonial Wood Badge Story

Wood Badge beads

Adult Scouting leaders world-wide take part in a training program called Wood Badge. Baden-Powell (B-P), the founder of Scouting, hosted the first Wood Badge course in 1919. Every nation in the World Organization of the Scout Movement today recognizes Wood Badge training.

B-P’s first adult leader course was called a “scoutmaster training course.” When the course was finished, the participants asked B-P for a token to mark their achievement. B-P hadn’t thought about it, but he came across a necklace of wooden beads he acquired as a war prize during his military career. He gave beads to the participants. This gave the course its name: Wood Badge.

The beads have a story of their own.

Continue reading The Postcolonial Wood Badge Story

Extremists Storm the Amercaijan Capital

A friend stole this from his sister who posted it on Facebook. So it must be true.

(Rewters) Extremist al-Māgha forces loyal to the regime of Dun’īlad at-Tarāmfi stormed the Amercaijan center of government this morning, declaring the results of the recent Ameri election in favor of his opponent Yūsuf Bayḍin to be invalid. The election, considered valid by UN observers, was immediately declared fraudulent by hard-line Māghanites, who began amassing at the capital building, only being emboldened after yesterday’s Bayḍini victory in the Jawrjiyat province. “What may be hard for non-Ameri readers to comprehend,” reported an anonymous source from the capital district, “is how intense the cult of personality surrounding at-Tarāmfi really is. These Māghanite supporters of his are so indoctrinated to believe that he is this messianic, godlike figure that it is nearly impossible to deprogram them. If he were to stand in the main thoroughfare of the City and slaughter innocents, his supporters would still stand by him — as he said so himself.” President at-Tarāmfi has refused to disown the attack, declaring his “love” for the al-Māgha rebels as they looted the offices of high-ranking political figures. Although calls for him to resign have been heard from multiple members of the Bayḍini camp, they seem unlikely to be heeded, and the future of Amercaijan seems more uncertain than ever.

Draft: Advancement for Scouts with Special Needs and/or Disabilities (SNDs)

This links to a series of videos on advancement for Cubs and Scouts BSA with special needs or disabilities. The videos include:

  • Do’s and Don’ts for Advancement: how to do it right and avoid trouble.
  • Scouts BSA Alternative Requirements and Extensions: how to apply.

The contents may be rearranged to better present the information.

DISCLAIMER: While I have based this production on official information and have tried to ensure accuracy, it has not been reviewed and endorsed by any official organization within the BSA.

Cato Went Bogus

At some point in the past 30 years I signed up for a $50 sample membership in the Cato Institute, a residue of my libertarian proto-objectivist streak. Originally they tried to be an honest purveyor of political analysis: they had a strong bias but they backed up their conclusions with factual arguments.

Today I received one of their occasional junk mail pieces, “Cato’s Letter.” As I often do, I read the first few lines before tossing it into recycling. But this time I couldn’t just throw it away. The second sentence sounded wrong (highlighted).

Continue reading Cato Went Bogus

Lord of the Rings, II?

This DVD cover comes from a pirated DVD, circa 2001. The English text provides a classic example of an English translation adapted for appearance instead of relevance. The movie was sold in the black market in Beijing, so the Chinese text was what mattered to most buyers. There are at least three separate movies described in English, none of which matched the included DVD.

Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Continue reading Lord of the Rings, II?

Chevy Bolt: A Tour Under the EV’s Hood

Some friends and I were talking about my Chevy Bolt and, of course, we had to lift the hood and look inside. Seriously, I had no idea what I was looking at. In a conventional car, the internal combustion engine dominates the space under the hood. It’s a part of our culture to know what the major components are. This doesn’t help you at all when looking under an EV’s hood.

Now I know what’s inside a Bolt. I produced a 4-minute Youtube video on it.

Continue reading Chevy Bolt: A Tour Under the EV’s Hood

Seventh Grade Virginia History, 1963

I used that history book.
The teacher wasn't a Virginian,
Her accent was deeper South.

Every 12 year old in every public school
used that book.

3 chapters on Jamestown and settlers.
3 chapters on Washington, Jefferson, Mason,
  Madison, Henry, Lee Sr., and the Revolution.
3 chapters on Lee, Jr., and 
  the War between the States.
(my book fair buy was controversially titled
  "The Civil War")
1 chapter on Reconstruction.
1 chapter on the 20th Century.

Our class discussed the Confederate flags
(there were a half dozen to choose from)
and picked their favorite.

That summer, across the river in DC,
Dr. King had a dream.