Building Gnuplot on Mac OSX

Published at 09:22 on 20 May 2015

There’s not much out there on how to do it, and what’s there is either flat-out incorrect (fails to produce a binary that’s actually useful for anything, because it can’t directly display data on the Mac) or needlessly painful (involves things like MacPorts which end up needlessly bloating your computer by building most of the open source Linux universe first).

  1. Download and install the latest version of AquaTerm, available here.
  2. Download the most recent production version of the source for Gnuplot, available here.
  3. Type the following commands to build and install Gnuplot:
    ./configure --with-readline=builtin --with-aquaterm
    sudo make install

Note the two options to configure. The built-in readline library in many MacOS releases is buggy and makes things crash, and the configure script is too stupid to automatically realize that Aqua Term is present. The hard part about building Gnuplot on the Mac is building a binary that’s actually useful; the configure script will by default merrily create a configuration which will crash on loading or cannot actually directly display anything on the Mac screen.

At least, this worked for me. I’d be interested in hearing whether or not it works for you.

Indian Point May Be Worse than They Say

Published at 08:28 on 11 May 2015

Much worse, in fact.

The reason is not nuclear contamination, but chemical contamination. Specifically, PCB’s. Yes, they are banned. But the ban started only in 1979. Indian Point dates back to the early 1960s. So it’s entirely possible that the transformer that caught fire contained PCB’s. One that caught fire there in 2011 did, in fact.

If so, there is now a major environmental contamination event in progress. Worryingly, there is no mention in the Establishment media that the transformer in question did not contain PCB’s. That makes me suspect that news that it did is being hushed up.

It’s the only reason I can think of for not bringing up the subject of PCB’s in the news about this event. If it was known that the transformer was in fact PCB free, it would be in the interest of plant’s operator (and its regulators) to make this fact well-known. Omitting such information only becomes in the Establishment’s interest if PCB’s are in fact present.

It’s much like the subject of asbestos (known to be widely-used at the time the World Trade Center twin towers were constructed) was conspicuously absent from news accounts at the time the 9/11 attacks happened.

No, this doesn’t prove anything, but it certainly raises valid suspicions.

Forget “Brown-Nosing”

Published at 07:35 on 3 May 2015

NPR just aired a piece on Saudi Arabia which goes beyond the territory of mere brown-nosing and might more properly be described as brown-tounging. It once again replicates the tradition of the Establishment media approving of tyranny so long as the tyranny happens to be pro-US-empire.

It was a discussion of the succession to the Saudi throne. First, they spoke in approving tones of how the first in line to the throne has extensive experience in the Ministry of the Interior. Imagine if Cuba announced such a successor; stories would be chock full of the ominous implications such a move held for the future of more openness in society (and rightly so). But not here. Instead, there’s praise for the Ministry of the Interior’s work on fighting terrorism.

And then they discuss how “popular” the second-in-line to the throne is, citing as evidence how billboards have popped up all over Riyadh with his image on them. Well, whoop-de-doo. There’s billboards all over Pyongyang with Kim Jong-Un’s image on them. Does this in any way prove he’s immensely popular with those whom he rules?

Keep all this in mind if Hillary Clinton wins the election and starts to amp up efforts to undermine the tottering government in Venezuela, and NPR fawns in approval because the government there is “authoritarian”. Which, of course, it is, but it is also far less repressive than the absolute monarchy they aired an approving story of today.