SSH public-keys and private-keys

 understanding public key private key concepts, Blake Smith, 08 Feb 2010
Still confused about SSH public and private keys?

Blake Smith's 2010 article, "understanding public key private key concepts" provides the absolute best analogy I've come across.

This brief article lays it as simply and memorably as it gets.

SSH keys beautifully explained

How to set up public key ssh authentication (
How to set up public key ssh authentication (
Understanding how SSH keys work and how to properly use them has long baffled even some of the most venerable programmers.

In the physical world, a given key usually fits just one lock. We have to special order multiple locks keyed the same for entry doors and such. To share access to something, we give out multiple copies of these physical keys.

It's thus tempting to imagine the shared "public key" to be analogous to a physical key and the "private key" to be the lock.

Actually, it's the other way around.

Wogan explains in "How to set up public key ssh authentication" (January, 2014).

Patient, Heal Thyself

Meet the GynePunks Pushing the Boundaries of DIY Gynecology, August 21, 2015

With information no longer sequestered by the privileged few, perhaps we are on the precipice of unprecedented progress.

Those that have a need are increasing able to "do for themselves" like this. No longer must they wait passively for a capitalist to imagine a profitable solution to fill that need.

Because they are the ultimate judge of "good enough" for themselves, they can judge the value of a limited solution instead of waiting, perhaps forever, for the "perfect" solution.

My first thought on reading this was, "What about the lack of sterilization of these plastic implements?" Though I'm sure they are far less uncomfortable than cold stainless steel, the later is used cause it can be sterilized. Plastic cannot. (At least not to the degree we've come to expect in modern medicine.)

Then it occurred to me that tampons, douches, toys and "those other things" are not sterile, so why do speculums need to be sterile? A thorough cleaning between uses should be sufficient.

If the privileged insist on hoarding all the traditional resources, then we've no choice but to fend for ourselves.

In the mid-1700s, Britain ruled its colonies much like American business rules our country today. There comes a point where the hardships of going it alone are more tolerable than a futile struggle to live on the crumbs that slip between the fingers of opulent barons.

GynePunks are but the beginning.

Itching Ears


And now for something completely different...

A friend asked me about this recently and I responded with a lot of detail. Posting it here so I don't lose it. Hope it helps someone.

How do I treat persistently itching ear canals?

I have been fighting with the same problem for several years. Tried everything. Read a lot. Here's what works best for me...

First... have found no permanent solution. Just treatments that have to be repeated every few days.

Second... most common cause of itching is soap/shampoo in the ears. Use the mildest thing you can when washing hair and face and dry out ear canals well afterward. I even use blow dryer for this. Dermatologist got me on Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap years ago and I use it in place of shampoo as well. It contains more oils than any other soap. Lather once to remove grease (sweat and hairspray). Rinse. Lather again to put oils back in that make hair smooth and soft (not stuck together). Rinse.

On Q-tips... Without them, this problem is pretty much only treatable by a physician (read: expensive). Since the Rich are preventing Democrats from having the money for constant medical care, we are left to our own devices. Read on...

On Q-Tip Safety...

1) NEVER use Q-Tips on someone else because you cannot know when you reach the eardrum. I dated a girl years ago whose mother cleaned her ears out with hydrogen peroxide regularly. Her eardrum had been punctured for years and we paid for her to have surgery to rebuild it because her Pentecostal parents refused to. Hydrogen Peroxide is good for lots of things, but I'm not a fan of using it on semi internal mucus membranes like ear canals.

2) NEVER use both ends of the Q-Tip in different ears! That just gives you 2 ears itching instead of 1 at a time. Don't know why they continue to make them double-ended other than the cotton ball makes it easier to hold onto.

3) Insert Q-tip VERY SLOWLY into YOUR OWN EAR with slight pressure against roof of ear canal. Gravity makes wax collect on floor of canal.

4) Listen for the individual threads sticking out from Q-Tip to start brushing your eardrum and STOP when you hear/feel them. NEVER PUT PRESSURE ON EARDRUM. It hurts and it can puncture it. If punctured, water from washing/swimming will enter middle-ear which will cause the most painful infection you've ever experienced.

5) On reaching the eardrum, press down LIGHTLY and pull out, using the Q-Tip to pull the wax out of ear.

On Treating the Itch...
What we just did irritates the ear canal, so actually can make itch worse. But we need fairly clean canal in order to treat it.

Apply any of the following to one end of a clean Q-Tip and gently swab the ear canal:

For intense itching, can use antibiotic plus pain reliever cream. It's the pain reliever that actually stops the itching and the cream soothes the irritated skin. Haven't found a non-antibiotic formulation of this though. Cream is better than ointment because it soaks in.

Next most effective is Chest Rub (Vicks VapoRub or Metholatim). VapoRub and generic Chest Rub are just petroleum jelly (Vaseline) with 2.6% menthol in it. The jelly moisturizes the skin and protects it from fungus and bacteria. It's the natural menthol that treats the itching. The greater the percentage menthol the more effective -- BUT too strong burns, thus making it worse. 2.6% seems okay for ears. Can use stronger concentrations for flea bites, etc. on extremities as that skin is tougher. Most muscle "hot/cold" sprays and such as just high concentrations of menthol (12-16%). Do Not Use In Ears!

For maintenance and minor itching, can just use plain petroleum jelly or any oil like Mineral Oil (very cheap) or olive oil. They used to sell little bottles of "sweet oil" for ears but it was just olive and/or mineral oil I think.

Homophobia and Homosexuality

"No child is born homophobic" from
Are Homophobic People Really Gay and Not Accepting It? (Psychology Today) reports on several well designed studies that say they are.

This pretty credible source substantiates the reports on the Harvard/MIT and other studies that show a strong correlation between homophobia and suppressed homosexual feelings.

As Freud found, and with it launched the discipline of psychology... it is the intense suppression of true feelings that causes harmfully abnormal stress and behavior; not the feelings themselves.

The whole process of growing up and "becoming civilized" is the process of learning to suppress true feelings when they are harmful to others. This is the mandatory requirement in order to have any kind of functional society.

However, looking deeper tells us that (like everything) there are limits.

Too much suppression, too intensely, for too long creates a fragile psyche that can collapse into harmful behavior when stressed.