Ten Second News

Morning Ed: Wildlife {2018.08.15.W}( 9 )

[Wl1] The case against granting rights to giant apes.

[Wl2] Everything you wanted to know about crows copulating with their dead.

[Wl3] Somewhere in here is a superhero origin story. Probably some weirdo Dark Horse comic book type hero, though.

[Wl4] Flatfish camouflage! This is pretty awesome.

[Wl5] Tigers are patient, vengeful creatures who can jump really high.

[Wl6] While it’s no Australia, Florida is also trying to kill you. Meanwhile, in Virginia, a python in a toilet.

[Wl7] Behold, flying octopii!

[Wl8] Mess with bison, getting arrested isn’t even the worst thing that can happen to you.

[Wl9] Farmers in Australia can now shoot kangaroos.

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Tech Tuesday 8/14/18( 8 )

TT01 – New class of materials may make for Lithium Ion batteries that can charge in minutes, rather than hours.  Like how you can fill up your gas tank in minutes, rather than hours.  Unless you are at the Costco gas station on a Saturday.

TT02 – Another day, another new way to make better batteries, and another bit about 3D printing.  But wow, that is a seriously small print head.

TT03 – Another day, another new way to use graphene and lasers to improve a battery (Sodium Ion, this time).  Who remembers the good old days when the big news in batteries was Ni-Cad rechargeables?

TT04 – OK, this makes a ridiculous amount of sense.  UPS is testing out electric delivery trucks.  The kind of delivery work that UPS, FedEx, etc. do is perfect for electric vehicles.  Gas and Diesel engines just do not like have to restart over and over again (OK, it’s not as hard on a warm engine, and we’ve gotten a lot better at that part of the design, which is why cars now come with idle shut down features, but it’s still hard on the engine).  Electric motors just don’t care.  Obviously this will be just for urban and suburban deliveries, as it just won’t have the range for getting out to the boonies, but then the boonies aren’t as concerned with the pollution and noise of idling vehicles.

TT05 – Growing Alzheimer’s in a dish to look for treatments.

TT06 – I am not even going to pretend I understand what they are doing here, but it’s a novel approach to optical computing and deep learning, so I’m putting it up.

TT07 – Aaron W. brought this to my attention, but the link he sent me went to a page that was so loaded with ads and videos that by the time it finally loaded, I had to shave my head again.  However, it was interesting, so I poked around a bit and here are some less than annoying links about Positron/Electron Antimatter Reaction Engines.  Yes, NASA is aware of it and interested.

TT08 – Astronomers detect a noisy rogue brown dwarf.  This is not the back cover description of a pulp scifi/fantasy novel.

TT09 – The famous wrestling move meets cancer treatment.

TT10 – Honestly, this should always have been the first GMO modification worked on.

TT11 – Yeah, this was just a matter of time

TT12Anti-aging drugs?

TT13 – A new spin on a re-entry heat shield.

TT14 – A wearable gill, for when your city is partially submerged by rising sea levels.

TT15NASA’s ‘Tipping Point’ technologies, and the six companies who are getting awards to move those technologies forward.

TT16Robotic skin that makes your skin look numb in comparison.

TT17 – Keeping things cold without letting them freeze.

TT00 – Urban overlay maps showing the past and the present of major US cities.

TT000 – JPL releases plans for an open source, erector set Mars rover.

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Morning Ed: Relationships {2018.08.13.M}( 50 )

[Re1] Tinder… in Antarctica.

[Re2] William Buckner explains monogamy to Vox.

[Re3] Jack Peterson was a virgin who found the incel movement, and managed to get out. Meanwhile, Hayley Morrison was a female incel. {More}

[Re4] If courtship were a map

[Re5] Regarding the pedophilia therapy potential with sex robots, I don’t know if it would help or make things worse but I do know we will probably never know because we will never feel comfortable enough with the concept to give it enough room to find out. And I still maintain that help or hurt will probably track to whatever the effects of pornography are.

[Re6] This certainly makes sense to me. While second chances can work out, third (and subsequent) chances rarely do. And in my own history, second chances only “worked out” by providing slightly better closure than the first.

[Re7] A new study suggests that chivalrous chauvinism has its allure.

[Re8] The universal sagely advice is not to sacrifice your future for a teenage boyfriend or girlfriend. Sagely. I at least partially ignored it and let my then-relationship influence my college decision, but I had a good nearby option and no clearly superior option far away. Which is good, since the relationship didn’t work out.

[Re9] First date stories to make you cringe.



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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 21 )

When you’re glad to be alive, good ideas come. The reason good ideas don’t come today is because we’re all bottled up with greed and anger. We’re mad.
– Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors

Music Links

[Mu1] Madonna, at 60, has apparently reached the “get of my lawn” stage of her career.

[Mu2] Weezer and Toto have been a viral sensation covering each other’s hits, so how did this cross-generation love fest start? The comparison is below, to judge for yourself.

[Mu3] It’s been 50 years since The Band recorded Music from Big Pink in a basement in Woodstock, NY, and Robbie Robertson is reflecting on it.

[Mu4] Among the many shows Amazon is producing, this one by AR Rahman on Indian music might be one of the more unique.

Art Links

[Ar1] Original comic art is proving to be a very high dollar item.

[Ar2] Maritime art is a personal favorite, but this exhibition of Dutch maritime art is missing some of the more unpleasant aspects of naval history and people are noticing.

[Ar3] The trade war with China is apparently going to affect Chinese art as well.

[Ar4] “How to build a rust belt art boom”

History Links

[Hi1] The Battle of Thermopylae has gotten plenty of treatment both in print and film, but geology had as much to do with the proceeding as anything.

[Hi2] Tis the season…so here are the 5 most destructive hurricanes in Florida history.

[Hi3] Video: History of the Boeing 747. Though now retired from passenger service, specialty and cargo roles will keep the airframe busy for many years to come yet.

[Hi4] With the 10 millionth Mustang rolling off the line, Ford can rightly proclaim the pony car as a piece of automotive history.

[Hi5] Israel, Cyprus, and a Personal Journey Through the Crusades By Nathaniel W Horadam

Food Links

[Fo1] Turns out “eat a variety of foods” was meant to offset poor quality with quantity, so lean more towards the former, according to this study.

[Fo2] Always fun…the top craziest state fair foods, by state of course. Wisconsin coming on strong here with the deep fried turducken on a stick…

[Fo3] A truly legendary chef, Joel Robuchon passed away this week, and in this profile he attributes his success to, among other things, a mastery of mashed potatoes. His Vegas property at the MGM Grand might be one of the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, and was worth every penny.

[Fo4] From a Twitter conversation some of us was having, the question rose along the lines how somewhere with lots of hunting, fishing, and other natural resources like West Virginia be considered a “food desert”. This article does a good job breaking it down, and explaining how it is a complex question with few good answers.

Architecture Links

[Ac1] Blurring the line between art and architecture in public spaces.

[Ac2] Fighting colonial influences by designing…really wild churches? This town in India is doing just that.

[Ac3] “Design like you give a damn,” gets tested when debating the merits of “Jenga,” as in the game, architecture.

[Ac4] Seems to me that these things are a natural cycle, but there is a swing to a revival of classicalism. Again.

Video – Skrillex and the surviving members of The Doors. My favorite part is Ray Manzarek going all watch-this-kid by telling him to go back to square one, then improvising what would become the main riff of the song, followed by the subtle advice to “pump the living S#$% out of it, man.”

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Morning Ed: Labor {2018.08.11.Sa}( 14 )

[Lb1] Bill Murphy explains how we can do a better job with our vacations.

[Lb2] The jobs are coming back to West Texas. Blessed be the Boomtown.

[Lb3] A patriotic woman in North Carolina is being denied a job because she can’t speak Spanish even though this is America dag nabbit.

[Lb4] This, the nitpicker and the tone, reminds me of something my wife went through at a previous job. Given how expensive they are to recruit and the shortage you might think that doctors would be more immune to this kind of treatment, but it’s surprisingly common (my wife’s experience was not unique, nor was that the environment as the next job was worse just not as directed at her).

[Lb5] Having worked at an equivalent at one of their competitors, I can say that this actually isn’t as bad as all that. It’s not great for the employees living in purgatory, though it’s an opportunity to “try before you buy” for them which itself represents an opportunity for those auditioning.

[Lb6] This seems correct: It comes with accepting an occupational environment where you are used and abused as a pawn to make corporations a lot of money and then completely discarded and left to rot as soon as you cease to become useful to them.

[Lb7] I am relatively sanguine on aggressive minimum wage hikes where cost of living is high to begin with and constraints make it so that it’s actually in the city’s interest to kick lower-wage employers out of the city, but that’s not Minnesota so I’m watching their minimum wage hike with great interest.

[Lb8] Organizational conglomeration breeds hiearchy and bureaucracy, and we’re becoming a conglomerated world. Holacracy doesn’t stand a chance.

[Lb9] I guess the main question is whether or not the subsidy was enough to live on, and in what conditions, which is what makes all the difference in the world.

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Linky Friday: Blood and Guts( 23 )

There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success. – Paul Bryant

Linky Friday: Blood and Guts


[Bl1] The horrific “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire in Oakland that claimed the lives of 36 people might finally be getting some closure, as the two men responsible go to sentencing after pleading guilty.

[Bl2] A new variety of Asian blood-sucking tic has arrived and is doing exactly what it did there, spread disease and worry.

[Bl3] The death toll in the Lombak earthquake in Indonesia is up to 347, and expected to rise as aid is hard to deliever to some areas.

[Bl4] 66 shot, 12 killed, zero arrests in Chicago. That’s just last weekend.

[Bl5] Well, I guess it’s better than cookies. Red Cross offers Amazon gift cards for blood donations.

[Bl6] Like a Fitbit, but for your wrist and monitors your blood pressure.

[Bl7] This is how you write a headline, folks: “Think these movies are too gory? The Greek myths they’re based on are worse.”

[Bl8] The name is perhaps more well known for the long serving aircraft carrier named for it, but the Battle of Oriskany was one of the bloodiest of the American Revolution, in no small part to native forces that broke treaty and began fighting amongst themselves during it.

[Bl9] If you aren’t familiar with military tactics, specifically how good US joint operations have become at coordinating air-ground forces, this is a great play-by-play of what happened when Syrian troops and Russian mercenaries decided to test US forces in Syria. Spoiler alert: They got their ass handed to them.


[Gu1] Heart health and gut health may be linked. A new study finds that people with better cardiovascular fitness have more of a certain type of bacteria in their gut.

[Gu2] More of this, please: LA County DA honors citizens for bravery in taking action while crimes where being committed.

[Gu3] The 36 minutes it took for a kitchen fire to consume the Grenfell Tower, kill 72, and raise all kinds of questions about housing, immigration, safety, and UK government involvement in all three also contain extraordinary tales of bravery.

[Gu4] 9 Aussies that participated in the Thai cave rescue are awarded bravery medals.

[Gu5] The London Bridge stabbing attack had it’s share of heroes, including 3 police officers and 5 civilians.

[Gu6] Inside the “guts” of a shredded star 2k lightyears away, and the rare molecule scientist think they may have found there.

[Gu7] The guts of leech bacteria, more specifically their ability to become almost instantly resistance to drugs, and what that might mean.

[Gu8] The brave Danish resistance fighter who saved Jews from the Nazis in WW2.

Inside Out

[In1] What is the inside of a “Tier 3 Data Center” like? Something like this.

[In2] This is fascinating: “Tiny tunnels inside garnets appear to be the result of boring microorganisms”

[In3] Inside the Paul Manafort trial. Needless to say, security is pretty tight.

[In4] Tiny spider drone robots that one day might perform surgery inside the body.

[In5] More bad news from inside Tesla, as it’s NY solar facility is now coming under scrutiny.

[In6] Even after becoming public knowledge and a tourist attraction since 1992, the former Congressional Fall-out bunker under The Greenbriar Hotel still has it’s secrets. I’ve been there several times and it’s an amazing piece of history.

[In7] Another WV place, if you ever go inside the “quiet zone” around the Green Bank Observatory where there is no cell, radio, or WiFi signals. Which is ironic since WiFi was developed by radio astronomers.

[In8] Inside active shooter training in a rural elementary school.


[Re1] Analytics comes to behavioral science and recovery services, and it is needed in a field where the human toll isn’t just on the patients.

[Re2] Getting hit by lightening, but surviving it with a month in a coma and six months in hospital recovering.

[Re3] Celebrating 40 years of recovery on the Fond du Lac reservation.

[Re4] The long, slow recovery from Maria in Puerto Rico has brought the bright spot of small farms driving the agricultural recovery.

[Re5] Demi Lovato is recovering from an overdose, and it was paramedics with Narcan that saved her life, a story that has played out thousands of times for others.

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Morning Ed: Media {2018.08.09.Th}( 36 )

[Me1] Amanda Ripley explains why the media shouldn’t avoid complexity for the sake of a cleaner and ostensibly more easily understood narrative.

[Me2] This was a dumb op-ed but memory-holing it was even dumber. and even dumber than that is pretending that it had something to do with areas of expertise that these outlets only drag out when there’s wrongthink involved.

[Me3] Brad Slager wonders if our terrible media isn’t actually making us better consumers.

[Me4] I’ve commented before that local news is an opening for conservatives to exploit. Also, sort of, Russians. (They’re mimicking local news rather than taking it over, but they can only do it because of its value.

[Me5] The thing is, The Nation has always had a benign view of Russia and its predecessor state. It’s only recently that the broader left thought that was an especially bad thing.

[Me6] This explains why a lot of journalists’ Twitter accounts look as they do.

[Me7] Trump gets accused of defying the spirit (if not the letter) of the First Amendment under some pretty flimsy contexts, but false positives don’t detract from true positives.

[Me8] Sometimes we only find out that there is more to the story after the mob has formed. My unpopular view: Even if the initial read had been correct, people get swept up in excitement sometimes and of all the ways for that to happen this is worthy of cutting some slack.

[Me9] The New York Daily News is gutting its editorial staff… but their executives are still doing alright even when accused of sexual harassment.

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Morning Ed: Entertainment {2018.08.08.W}( 29 )

[Et1] Anne Holmquist argues that classic cartoons helped make the unwashed culturally literate.

[Et2] My mind has difficulty processing the concept that comic books (as opposed to comic book properties like movies) are doing really well. The last comic book shop in town actually closed last year. This is the story I am much more familiar with.

[Et3] For Deadspin, David Bixenspan writes about the fate of Brian Christopher and the state of entertainment wrestling.

[Et4] I don’t know, seems to me like there is a big difference between not having a book in you and not having a best seller.

[Et5] Richard McKenzie wrote about his lunch with Mr Rogers.

[Et6] Urban Meyer may be in some real trouble, but Art Briles is coaching again (in Italy).

[Et7] Publishing sales are going up! Digital audiobook sales are going up more… but ebook sales continue to fall.

[Et8] Phoebe Maltz Bovy writes about trends in women’s entertainment and how the work/family/life prioritization is treated therein.

[Et9] I understand concerns over PC and everything, but puppets or not Punch and Judy really are problematic.

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Linkworld: Russia vs USA( 10 )


Linkworld: Russia vs USA[Ci1] Yeah but on the other hand, they provide shade!

[Ci2] Cities talk about wanting to tackle the car culture for the sake of the environment, but when the time comes they often pass on the opportunities to do so.

[Ci3] A new study suggests that in Chicago, African-Americans aren’t getting their share of the new jobs.

[Ci4] Meanwhile, Conor Sen argues that Sun Belt cities need to look towards Chicago as a template for their growth, both in terms of what to do and what not to do.

[Ci5] Richard Florida on the astronomical costs of parking.

[Ci6] The housing bubbles in Sydney and Melbourne are said to be deflating.


Linkworld: Russia vs USA[Ru1] It’s Baltic Elves versus Russian Trolls!

[Ru2] Russia’s spy school isn’t what it used to be, apparently. But maybe it never actually needed to be any good.

[Ru3] The Duke vs the KGB. Meanwhile, Natan Sharansky on Andrei Sakharov’s famous essay: Thoughts on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom.

[Ru4] Our sanctions on Russia are causing problems with their currency, while the value of Soviet currency gains.

[Ru5] While there is still no evidence that vote totals were influence, this is still highly disturbing.

[Ru6] Did Russian treasure hunter find the haul of a lifetime?

[Ru7] There was a solar eclipse of sorts (not really) in Russia and it was the Devil that done it.

United States:

Linkworld: Russia vs USA

Photo by adactio

[US1] This seems like the plot to a b-grade cable network disaster movie.

[US2] When you’re black and white are you black or white? An interesting perspective from somebody from a family that doesn’t uniformly identify. (And also, that last paragraph…)

[US3] Joseph DiStefano looks at Philadelphia and why it isn’t growing, and the relationship between poverty, income, and attracting businesses.

[US4] Yeehaw.

[US5] I’m imagining this shark in a bib and baby outfit like out of some silly cartoon.

[US6] This is like something out of a crime novel: the theft of $8,000,000 in rare books.


Linkworld: Russia vs USA[Wr1] Teaching computer programming in the military could save taxpayers a lot of money!

[Wr2] The military needs to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting hackers: “The intersection of people who can run a 15-minute two mile and dissect a Windows kernel memory dump is vanishingly small. “

[Wr3] Women fought the military on maternity leave and won the ability to graduate cleanly from academy.

[Wr4] Congress is considering a dramatic overhaul to the officer promotion system.

[Wr5] Follow the weapons.

[Wr6] Being on the no-fly list is bad, but being on the Kill List


Linkworld: Russia vs USA

Photo by Defence Images

[Wt1] James Rogers writes of the geography of British power and the history thereof. Speaking of naval history, this thread on Polynesian war canoes is fascinating even if it leads to killjoyism on space colonization.

[Wt2] How a deep sea mollusk stops eating and grows to giant proportions.

[Wt3] What we learn about ourselves from the brains of octopuses.

[Wt4] A hybrid dolphin was discovered off the coast of Hawaii.

[Wt5] Man-made Waterfalls and God-made waterslides are awesome.

[Wt6] Sir David Boaty McBoatface has launched.

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Morning Ed: Energy {2018.07.06.M}( 22 )

[E1] Behold, panda power!

[E2] Ocean City, Maryland says not in our back yard and won’t be paid off with free energy.

[E3] Axios tries to explain the relationship between the oil boom and gasoline prices.

[E4] There have been some tremendous breakthroughs in nuclear power, but is it too little too late?

[E5] France, you’re killing me.

[E6] India’s pivot away from new coal production has been dramatic.

[E7] Texas is poised to jump into the #3 spot in oil extraction.

[E8] Oil and natural gas prices have traditionally been locked together, but that’s changing.

[E9] Can we conquer climate change with the profit motive?

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 3 )

Father don’t you recognize your own kin?
It’s been a lifetime, or maybe two
My hair is longer, and my face drawn thin
From years of searchin’ for the truth

We all wander through this shattered old world
Gettin’ more glass in our feet
Leavin’ bloody tracks everywhere we turn
Like a morbid hide-and-go-seek

Two plus two ain’t always four
And sometimes black ends up white
And here’s a million shades of gray in between
When you manage to shed a little light

I’ve been in every patchwork revival tent from here to yon
So brothers don’t you recognize your own kin?
I have returned like a prodigal son – Ballad of the Prodigal Son, Lincoln Durham

When I wrote about first hearing jazz live at Jim Cullum’s The Landing, that’s him and that was the place.

Music Links

[Mu1] Teaching immigrants English by writing an article all about Appalachian music, which was a mashup of all the immigrant’s music that settled there. Has a nice synergy to it, doesn’t it?

[Mu2] Everyone agrees the Music Modernization Act, which deals with music rights and copyright law, will have far ranging impact. That is where the agreement ends…

[Mu3] You probably don’t think of MIT when thinking of music, but with a new course marrying engineering, computer, and music at least one famous composer is impressed.

[Mu4] Music has always been a business disguised as art. For these investors, it’s also seen as a smart business opportunity.

Art Links

[Ar1] Orra White Hitchcock didn’t mean to become an artist, but sketching the studies of her husband produced groundbreaking scientific drawings that were used by others, and have stood the test of time even if credit for them did not.

[Ar2] The Smithsonian is going Virtual Reality with several different forays into merging tech with its extensive art collection.

[Ar3] Intertidal Art Gallery. It’s a first as far as I can tell, and amazing in several ways.

[Ar4] The museum was showing protest art. Then the artist started protesting the museum.

*Video note: Don’t blame us US rednecks for this one, these guys are actually Finnish

History Links

[Hi1] Linen and Bacteria: The Hidden History of Microbiology

[Hi2] The mostly forgotten Elaine massacre, and how it started a series of Supreme Court rulings, specifically on the 14th amendment applying to people of color, that would pave the wave for the later civil rights wins both in and out of court.

[Hi3] “Today’s common drum kit is just 100 years old, even though drums have been around for millenia.”

[Hi4] How cans of black olives in 1919 killed 18 people and changed how food was consumed in America forever.

Food Links

[Fo1] Good. I hate these things, and not just because I have trouble with my hands; rethinking ketchup packets

[Fo2] Chipotle can’t stop having food safety issues, which according to this Quartz article is inevitable

[Fo3] The popularity of food and food culture has the attention of venture capitalists.

[Fo4] Blockchain meets the food chain, or at least the food distribution and supply chain.

Microsoft Windows™ – the waltz

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Linky Friday: Family and Friends( 29 )

The length of one’s days matters less than the love of one’s family and friends. -Gerald Ford

Linky Friday: Family and Friends


[Fa1] The Atlantic details how those family reunifications at the border really work.

[Fa2] It is not just migrant and illegal immigrant children the government mishandles, the foster care system is not doing much better.

[Fa3] One families amazing story from the fields of North Carolina, on what has and hasn’t changed over the generations.

[Fa4] A family of six Americans survived the Aeromexico flight that crashed this week, and their story is right out of an action movie.

[Fa5] The Manson “Family” is about to be all over pop culutre again, with two major motion pictures slated to revist the cult-like followers of Charles Manson.

[Fa6] What do you do after you’ve sold thousands of orchids? If you’re the Matsui family, you give out over $8 million in scholarships

[Fa7] The Swedish Royal family has a few less crown jewels, after several pieces loaned out for display were stolen in a brazen smash and grab job in broad daylight.

[Fa8] Most parents would be nuts to invest $250K into their son’s fledgling business. Unless, of course, your son is Jeff Bezos and that investment is now worth nearly $30 Billion. Not a bad return.


[Fr1] Though it’s been very ugly since the 70’s, America and Iran actually have a long history of friendship, and hopefully one day will again.

[Fr2] It’s regaled as sport, but Special Olympics is really about friendships made and common bonds share.

[Fr3] One of the harder parts of parenting, knowing when your child has a toxic friendship, and what to do about it.

[Fr4] Speaking of kids, friendship patterns in school is the subject of a new study, and of all things discovers boys might be even more clique centered than girls.

[Fr5] So how do our German friends view friendships, both with and without benefits.

[Fr6] After eight years of working together some folks are sick of each other, but these two guys still grab the occasional lunch and catch up. Of course, if the two guys are former President Obama and former Vice-President Biden, it gets a bit of attention.

[Fr7] The science of friendship, or to most of us, common sense advice on how not to be a jerk to others.


[Un1] One trend among the #metoo monsters, bad guys who think they are good guys.

[Un2] The psychology behind why being nice at work often doesn’t get you ahead.

[Un3] Video: Bad crooks robbing badly, and being really bad at doing it. Also, don’t bring a hammer to a gun fight.

[Un4] The rise of the millennial pre-nup

[Un5] In case you didn’t know by now, but Facebook isn’t your friend, it’s a business; treat it as such.

[Un6] I Hate you Seattle: A Love Story, and also a really creative piece.

[Un7] Though a long time ally, Turkey has taken a turn towards the despotic under Ergodan, and the rift between him and the US is getting more public by the day.

[Un8] The science behind breakups.


[Re1] The journey of a portrait that was lost, and traveled 1000km to get back home

[Re2] After 74 years, Capt. Lawrence Dixon is finally home from Italy, where the Tuskegee Airman was shot down and killed during WW2.

[Re3] A sliver of good news from the awful Carr Fires; a horse somehow survived, and though skiddish and evading capture, they finally got it settled and home safely.

[Re4] If you wanted to attend the Alcatraz reunion, which has been held every year since the prisons closure for guards, inmates, and residents of the island, this year will be the last one.

[Re5] 51 years after being shot in Vietnam, this Air Force vet finally met the man who saved his life by taping his ID card over the wound in his chest.

[Re6] Returning the remains that possibly could be Korean War dead was just the first step, identifying the remains is a daunting task that will take some time.

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Morning Ed: History {2018.08.02.Th}( 17 )

[Hi1] Andrew Jenner writes in the Scalawags that the US and Brazil have selective memories.

[Hi2] Brentin Mock argues that we ought to be looking at “The Great Migration” more as refugees than migrants.

[Hi3] Medieval armor was amazing.

[Hi4] Sebastian Purcell looks at the moral philosophy of the Aztecs.

[Hi5] This story sounds like the plot of a ridiculous-but-catchy 80’s pop song.

[Hi6] A really interesting look at the black homesteading pioneers of the west, and their disappearing communities.

[Hi7] A fascinating history of sorcery, up to the modern day with its gossips and rumor-mongering…

[Hi8] Our moral failure on race became the Soviet Union’s tool.

[Hi9] Introducing what might have been the Roman Empire’s transit system.

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Morning Ed: Mindspace {2018.08.01.W}( 55 )

[Ms1] Well, duh!

[Ms2] In all likelihood, those in positions of authority would probably rather these people just be depressed.

[Ms3] Whew. Nothing good comes from any alternative.

[Ms4] James Suzman writes about some bushmen, the hidden hand of envy, and what we can learn about ourselves from them.

[Ms5] We may be self-absorbed, but we’ve got our reasons.

[Ms6] Ahhh, the universal bias of bias.

[Ms7] Check out the CIA’s report on French Post-Modern philosophers.

[Ms8] There is nothing so obviously and unambiguously good for us and necessary as sleep, and we know this as well as we can scientifically know anything and yet we still order our society in the direction of deprivation.

[Ms9] Okay, but who do we talk to about increasing our hard drive space?

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Tech Tuesday 07/31/18 – Back In The Saddle Edition( 6 )

TT01 – Oh my, that’s a wee bit nippy.  By the way, at those temperatures, things get seriously weird.

TT02 – Well I like this news, and I agree with the conclusion.  One of the reasons I got my E-bike was because I hate having to dismount and walk because I can’t get up the hill.  I hate it enough that I’d avoid riding my bike.  With the electric assist, I can get up the hills without walking, even if I am sweating heavily at the top.  It makes me enjoy riding more, so I am willing to do it more.

TT03 – Move over graphene, there is a new 2D material for everyone to geek out over.  Hematene is 2D(ish) iron, and so far, the excitement is all about it’s photo-catalytic properties, which boils down to it could be very useful as a solar catalyst for splitting water molecules.

TT04 – Flex it baby!

TT05 – I am certain Einstein appreciates being proven right, again.

TT06 – Speaking of black holes, we think we got to see one being born.

TT07 – I am certain everyone has heard about the big lake of water under the surface of Mars, but just in case you haven’t…

TT08That time, it was everybody’s business, including the Turks.

TT09 – The Navy has a new hull paint that is omniphobic.  In the biz, that is what we call a ‘Slip Wall’ boundary condition.  It gives some very interesting fluid effects.  Note that it won’t eliminate drag, just reduce friction drag.  You still have pressure drag, and induced drag (if any).

TT10 – Adobe has an AI it thinks can spot the digital manipulation of images.

TT11 – It’s not enough to just hide the IR signature of the object.  This can emit a false IR image as well, so you can’t just hope to find the cloaked object by looking for the void.

TT00 – Pretty interstellar picture time!

Photo by NASAblueshift Tech Tuesday 07/31/18 - Back In The Saddle Edition

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Morning Ed: Labor {2018.07.30.M}( 18 )

[Lb1] Adam Ozimek argues in favor of subsidizing working. Ideologically I prefer basic income, but my experience tells me job guarantees are better when and if the time comes.

[Lb2] Not bad work if you can get it, in part because of how hard it is to lose it.

[Lb3] How American corporations smack down worker interests.

[Lb4] I hope they at least give these permits a cool name like, I don’t know, “medallion” or something.

[Lb5] Maya Salam wants women to stop volunteering to do housework at work.

[Lb6] I know this is ultimately a good thing because reliance on human labor has lead to a lot of inefficiencies in the industry and it’s easier to move things to West Dakota and West Texas than people, but it still makes me nervous even more than most automation stories because of my fondness for boomtowns.

[Lb7] For people hiring, things are just tough all over.

[Lb8] It turns out, if they’re doing work you gotta pay your employees, even if you’re Starbucks. I’m find with some flexibility in theory but in practice I’ve seen it too effortlessly abused.

[Lb9] Unemployment keeps going down but there’s still more down to go.


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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 3 )

Geologists have a saying – rocks remember. – Neil Armstrong


[Mu1] Been there and endorsed: No one knows how long the Native Peoples met there, but there has been music performances at one of America’s best and most unique venues since 1906, and still going strong. Just mind the steps…

[Mu2] Jazz Pianist Erroll Garner has a “lost” concert from 1964 that has been found, remastered, and released.

[Mu3] Knowing my clan’s affinity for it I’m sure you’ll find me there as well; The Sound of Music is returning to the big screen for a limited run.

[Mu4] Nick Douglas takes a shot at introducing classical music to the uninitiated. My own gateway, and what I’ve recommended to skeptics, is to try and get folks that are not that into it to experience it live.


[Ar1] Every art fan, dealer, and collector dreams of having that rare find of valuable art. This Chelsea gallery owner details what it’s like when it happens.

[Ar2] It’s satire-we distinguish since it’s been in the news this week that some folks have trouble discerning that-but The New Yorker takes on “Curated Starbucks Art”

[Ar3] “Drawn into the painting,” takes on new meaning when virtual reality can put you inside the artist studio as they create.

[Ar4] These live art installations are endlessly creative and fascinating, and this one by Damian Ortega is something.


[Hi1] We touched on this before, but The College Boards flip-flopping again on “lopping off” 250 years of history by changing the cut dates for AP World History to the very odd 1200 from 1450. Underlying issue: the fact that the previous 9K years of history is too much to cover in one class.

[Hi2] The rare lunar eclipse of this past week drew lots of interest, but in history and in many cultures such events were not causes for celebration.

[Hi3] The global history of ketchup

[Hi4] The unusual history of government cheese, which the government still has plenty of since it was, shockingly, not very well received. Not the least of reasons was the smell, and taste that crossed the palate as mixture of overly salted Velvetta and socio-economic despair. But mostly the smell.


[At1] The Blue Mosque isn’t the only color there, as this piece finds lots of color in Istanbul

[At2] Humanitarian motivation for participatory design, and how the closing of one initiative spurned new progress.

[At3] Kiev as a bucket list architecture city.

[At4] When you think of London, and specifically the tube, a certain picture and aesthetic comes to mind. The new “crossline” project might have been so meticulously planned that it’s design is just plain dull.

*When the first wood stage was put in at Red Rocks, pretty sure they didn’t envision the need for noise restrictions, but EDM has that effect on people and culture…

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Morning Ed: Politics {2018.07.28.Sa}( 8 )

[Po1] What if Andrew Cuomo isn’t the governor of New York at all?

[Po1] We can add woodchucks to the list of people who don’t like Paul Ryan.

[Po1] This strikes me as fundamentally correct: David Souter has a very, very long shadow. He doesn’t come up as often as Bork does, but it’s ever-present.

[Po1] Be prepared: Chris Beck explains how to avoid becoming the next Red Hen.

[Po1] Matt Welch says that if you want good governance, elect libertarians.

[Po1] People who live on the web dramatically overestimate how many people live on the web.

[Po1] When you’ve lost Ian Milhauser

[Po1] I consumed Bill Clinton’s recent novel as potential post-fodder but found that it wasn’t actually interesting to write about except for the psychoanalyses we’re seeing a fair amount of.

[Po1] The Natural Law Party lives on! In spiritv, if not in name.

[Po1] A lot of people on the left are taking it as an article of faith that Trump proves you can win an election through motivating the base instead of reaching out to new voters because swing voters don’t exist anymore, but that’s not what happened.


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Linky Friday: Worldwide( 51 )

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

Linky Friday: Worldwide


[Wo1] The world order is cracking, according to this Foreign Policy piece, and, they say, the reasons and fixes are not going to be easy.

[Wo2] Take these numbers with a whole lot of salt, but here is the number of nuclear weapons in the world, give or take the fact that their existence and numbers are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world.

[Wo3] Grist takes the current events and news as further proof of climate change being an imminent threat.

[Wo4] Bloomberg takes a different tact with the world being on fire, both figuratively and literally, by blaming the jet stream and an odd climate “kink”

[Wo5] The more we accept marijuana, the less we know about where in the world it is coming from, according to Vox.

[Wo6] Turns out the world is full of artificial cities.

[Wo7] The dream of quitting your job and travelling the world is an old and universal one. Now it can make you rich…by selling that dream to others as a financial planner.


[Me1] Just how much are the world’s biggest celebrities making on Instagram? You might be surprised…

[Me2] Was the rise of Facebook, or at least something similar, inevitable? This Atlantic article thinks so.

[Me3] The next generation of networking to build everything from movies to digital content might be sitting in your social media feed already.

[Me4] FCC is blocking Sinclair’s purchase of Tribune Media, and the president is not happy about it.

[Me5] Ethan Epstein says Trump is bad for the print media, just not in the way you are thinking about. For all the press he creates, his tariffs include the base material for, of all things, newspaper print.

[Me6] AI and news media…what could possibly go wrong?

[Me7] The old saying is there is no such thing as bad publicity, but for Breitbart, the media attention flood slowing to a trickle might be fatal.

[Me8] There are lots of media companies, but according to this Fortune write-up, only about six control what you are consuming.


[Na1] There is an international crisis about migration, but less talked about is that most refugee and immigration law, especially in Europe, was designed for the ravages of WW2 and doesn’t fit today, and is more often ignored or flouted without being fixed.

[Na2] The Baltic nations, who were the subject of much focus by NATO over the years, disagree with President Trump’s assertion that NATO is obsolete.[Na3]

[Na4] Nobody has a clue how the EU will view the UK post-Brexit, least of all the EU

[Na5] G20 seeks cryptocurrencies regulations. I know there are many that think crypto and blockchain is the be all/end all, but skeptics-myself included-have long warned to wait till the nations of the world take aim at it.


[Pe1] The worlds first “test tube” baby turns 40

[Pe2] Wherever you fall on the “death with dignity” euthanasia debate, if you have to hold down the patient, consent is, at the very least, questionable. In the Netherlands, they found it to be criminal.

[Pe3] The world’s oldest computer algorithm has sold for $125K. The fact it was written 200 years ago by poet Lord Byron’s daughter is a story in and of itself.

[Pe4] Hard to argue that one of the biggest outside factors to change people in recent years is the phones, and the communications and information ability they now contain.

[Pe5] The largest group of people in the US, the boomers, might be getting eclipsed, but their retirement is going to have a large effect.


[Cu1] They keep flirting with each other but are yet to hook up. Science and culture and trying to mesh the two.

[Cu2] Jonathan Gold has passed away; this review touches on how his turn to being a food critic was just as much commenting on culture as the dishes.

[Cu3] In the UK, a major study shows that sexual harassment is embedded in the workplace culture, and no one seems to know what to do about it.

[Cu4] Its a hard thing to quantify but the BBC takes a shot at it: 5 countries that influence the world with their culture.

[Cu5] Fan culture, or more specifically aggressive fan culture, is starting to flood into the real culture.

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Morning Ed: Planet Earth {2018.07.26.Th}( 8 )

[PE1] Ford is ahead of schedule on cutting carbon emissions.

[PE2] Policies against climate change proposals are often more popular in theory than in practice. One of the advantages of a revenue neutral tax is that people like the money. The words British Columbia get no mention in an article about climate change pushback.

[PE3] Ordinarily I’d say this is collateral damage I can live with, but the concerns seem reasonable.

[PE4] For the most part, we’re still not acting like we believe climate change is going to be that bad.

[PE5] Climate change is confusing the geese.

[PE6] Well, it may be destroying the planet for us, but climate change is making for some cool photography.

[PE7] How not to clean up nuclear waste.

[PE8] What do we do with decommissions wind turbines? It’s a problem.

[PE9] New research further supporting the existing conclusion: CO2 levels are likely to cause a heck of a lot of ocean acidification in the years to come.

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Morning Ed: Space {2018.07.24.T}( 17 )

[Sp1] More on the fascinating Saturnian moon Enceladus.

[Sp2] Looks like space truckers’ future jobs are not safe from automation.

[Sp3] Is China about to take the lead in the space race?

[Sp4] Sex positions… in space!

[Sp5] Scientists managed to spot a planet being born.

[Sp6] Douglas Rushkoff warns the the rich are going to leave the rest of us behind with space exploration, and the digitization of our minds. And Alex Knapp writes about their space adventurism.

[Sp7] Next year, Mercury will travel across the face of the sun (from our vantage, naturally), which is actually pretty rare.

[Sp8] I only happened to know about Io’s volcanic infrastructure thanks to The Expanse.

[Sp9] James Poulos looks at our attraction to Mars.

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Morning Ed: Health {2018.07.23.M}( 4 )

[He1] Nurse practitioners are helping to fill some gaps in ruralia.

[He2] An alternative will be telemedicine, which has potential but will probably require desperation before it takes of. My wife actually has a non-compete that would more or less prevent her from doing telemedicine for another part of the country as long as she is broadcasting within a 30 mile radius of where we are now.

[He3] Between obesity and Alzheimer’s, it’s interesting to think what we’d never guess might be caused by viruses and bacteria.

[He4] Urban bias among physicians is not strictly an American problem. In fact, in India it might be an even bigger one. A look at rural healthcare in India.

[He5] An argument for diversity and/or affirmative action: With black patients, black doctors may be better doctors simply for being black.

[He6] Well, it will still have the benefit of preventing me from now being able to move my shoulders without feeling great pain.

[He7] It’s really disappointing that they haven’t found someone to take over this work. I hope some foundation or consortium manages to do so.

[He8] We should eliminate them as best we can, but medical errors will always be with us.

[He9] Scott Alexander looks at melatonin. My problem is that I really need the 10mg and there’s not much that can contradict my experience here.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 11 )

“Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.” – Mark Twain

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


[Mu1] With the end of CDs these things will go away as well, but Now That’s What I Call Music made it to the century mark. Not a bad run.

[Mu2] It doesn’t happen often, but the San Francisco Opera went the distance and did Wagner’s entire 17 hour Ring Cycle. Who knew there were Wagner die-hards known as “ring-nuts” who travel the world chasing the full presentation?

[Mu3] The music copywrite debate will only get more complicated, and CATO has a write-up on the Music Modernization Act (MMA) that is currently winding its way through congress, and what it means.

[Mu4] OK, then…“A detailed musical analysis of how ABBA’s ‘Mamma Mia’ is literally a perfect pop song”


[Ar1] The Art of a Fired Cartoonist

[Ar2] Turning a radio telescope into a giant art installation

[Ar3] Using AI to make art, in this robotic art competition.

[Ar4] Las Vegas is many things. Come for the gambling, shows, and the rest of it… and take in one of this list of art galleries and exhibits.


[Hi1] The college board reverses itself and decides not to trim 250 years off of history.

[Hi2] Have you ever considered where your brush came from. Or where they might have been? If you are this company in Buffalo, NY, after 150 years of making your product brushes along a lot of history.

[Hi3] With streaming on your devices all the rage, good time to remember the original mobile streaming: the drive-in movie theater.

[Hi4} Steamtown National Historic Site does the hard work of archiving everything from handwritten notes, half-destroyed books, and tons of paper, but it’s the 20K glass plate negatives that really bring the history to life.

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


[At1] The viral video of the racoon scaling a building was all over the place; here’s the breakdown on how the architecture of the building lended itself to the furry critter’s climb of glory.

[At2] The Museum of Modern Art is doing a full on exhibit of socialist architecture from the former Yugoslavia and the radical ideas they came up with. Who knew you could do so much variation in cement buildings.

[At3] Don’t have Baku on your to-go list of architectural cities not to miss? You should. My personal favorite here is the carpet museum in the style of a rolled up rug.

[At4] Los Angeles is a city of people from somewhere else coming to live and build dreams, so of course the architecture would reflect that, with a decidedly California twist when it came to buildings meant to get attention for businesses.

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Linky Friday: From Which Other Things STEM( 16 )

I tell students that I believe STEM majors have the most exciting opportunities than any other majors in college. – Emily Calandrelli, BS Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering West Virginia University, MS Aeronautics and Astronautics MIT, MS Technology and Policy MIT

The Offspring. Frontman Dexter Holland, PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Southern California


[Sc1] It could be right out of Jurassic Park: “A mid-Cretaceous embryonic-to-neonate snake in amber from Myanmar“, or for the rest of us the world’s oldest snake embryo found cased in amber.

[Sc2] Fake news also applies to science headlines sometimes. Not an article, but a good back and forth here on discerning “a spitball in a giant spitball fight in this community of scientists”

[Sc3] The U.S. government is investing $3-billion-a-year in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. So how did an Intel executive with no federal or known STEM advocacy experience land the lead role? Fascinating write up on Gabriela González’s path from immigrant to running point for the NSF effort to get young girls and women interested in science fields.

[Sc4] When a scientist runs for public office, it’s the intangibles and outside factors that often decide the race as opposed to the evidence-based positions or expertise in a field.

[Sc5] The University of North Carolina is one of the finer academic institutions around, so when one of UNC’s highest profile and highest paid employees, held a press conference in which he delved into science, CTE and effects on the brain, and some sociology about how these things might affect our country, people noticed. Problem is Larry Fedora is the head football coach, and probably should have stuck to recruiting and game plans.

[Sc6] One thing science may never fully understand is the human brain. For example, turns our that first memory you have? It probably isn’t yours.

[Sc7] How an early version of Photoshop and coloring the grainy, grey-scaled images from the Hubble space telescope revolutionized how we see the universe.

[Sc8] Speaking of space, while some are still waiting for the Sweet Meteor of Death to come, how about a double asteroid, whose two parts are orbiting each other as they careen through space.

Queen. Guitarist Brian May, PhD in Astrophysics, Imperial College London


[Te1] The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or at least Microsoft and Walmart are finding common cause in the cloud to compete with Amazon.

[Te2] Asia-Pacific factories are leading the way in high-tech, digital technology in production and manufacturing.

[Te3] How’s this for counter-intuitive: tech reporters who limit their own tech usage.

[Te4] China is leading the world in surveillance technology, facial recognition, and related fields, but don’t ever ask the question “can this be used for good?” when dealing with a totalitarian regime, since that answer will always be a resounding “no”.

[Te5] Weather forecasting is mocked on the news, but to airlines it can be make or break for thin margins. JetBlue is investing heavily in new weather forecasting tech to address that very issue.

[Te6] This is sure to stir debate: studies are starting to come out that tech usage is affecting ADHD-type symptoms.

Boston. Guitarist Tom Scholz BS, MS in Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


[En1] There is no such thing as perfect, but modern tech and precision engineering sure are making a run at it.

[En2] “Is a race car driver an athlete?” is an old debate, but according to world champion Jenson Button, it was a lack of understanding the engineering and tech that went into his car that held him back initially. “It almost ended my career being bad at engineering and not having any understanding of a racing car.”

[En3] This is just one example of local reporting on it, but robotics camps are everywhere these days for students, and many are hoping they do for engineering and sciences what little league does for future pro players.

[En4] Speaking of kids, Girls Scouts is now doing badges in robotics, engineering, space sciences, and other associated fields.

[En5] If you are going to jump out of plane from nearly 5 miles up without a parachute, you better have your engineering of the stunt down tight. Here’s the story of Luke Aikins not dying thanks to “a rather nervous civil engineer, John Cruikshank, who helped design the audacious stunt”.

[En6] People think that the long-promised drone delivery systems will have a lot of high tech involved, turns out the biggest engineering challenge isn’t the drone but the hook.

Dan Snaith, stage name Caribou, PhD in Mathmatics, Imperial College London


[Ma1] Who needs a formula when you can just knit two throw pillows and compare? This Carthage College class is teaching math through knitting.

[Ma2] Understanding Math vs Understanding Math

[Ma3] Fighting a fear of math, and how to get over it. I can relate: “I studied in an education system that said science and math are the important factors … and each student was analyzed and measured by their math and science grades.”

[Ma4] This is fun. Trust your math project by making a cardboard boat. With you in it.

[Ma5] For people who have a hard time learning math, making it hands-on might be the ticket to success.

[Ma6] We kind of figured this, but someone actually did the research on it; coffee, or at least in this case the scent of coffee, appears to boost the ability to do math.

[Ma7] There are many stories like this on, from many different school districts, of not nearly enough math teachers to go around.

Physics and Jazz:


Queen Guitarist Dr. Brian May (PhD Astrophysics) touring the ESO’s Paranal Observatory

Featured photo: On 28 and 29 September 2015, ESO’s Paranal Observatory welcomed a very special visitor — British rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, Brian May. Famed for being the lead guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen — May also has a passion for astronomy. This picture shows Brian May in one of the domes of the ESO Very Large Telescope.

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.07.19.Th}( 48 )

[LO1] This guy’s mug shot looks so cocky… but I guess he’s earned it. And these two

[LO2] I would be mighty tempted to charge her with fraud and identity theft and leave it at that.

[LO3] Seems like we have some work to do on guardianship and preventing the fleecing of the elderly. Boston Legal had a pretty good episode on this.

[LO4] I’m pretty sure this is the start to one of the seasons of 24. You just see it’s going to end up in the hands of some defense contractor who intends to use it on American soil.

[LO5] Hindsight is 20/20 but it sure seems noticeable that everybody who works at this place seems really large.

[LO6] Well, gotta give her credit for making the most of her ill-gotten opportunity.

[LO7] Crime and Justice News reports on the ruralian crime wave.

[LO8] Convicted on the sixth trial.

[LO9] … probation?

[LO0] Wow.

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Morning Ed: Education {2018.07.18.W}( 12 )

[Ed1] This is one of those things that sounds a lot more fair and egalitarian than it likely is. (And I say this as someone who is not a particularly good test-taker.)

[Ed3] Apparently there is a cheating problem at Caltech and the university is in denial.

[Ed4] Stephen Gutowski looks at teacher firearm training in Colorado.

[Ed5] Arvind Dilawar argues that universities are dropping the ball when it comes to protecting students from right-wing harassment campaigns.

[Ed6] Jason Delisle points to the University of Maryland’s online program and its astronomical failure and debt rates. If so, this mostly tells us that online education has a lot of work to do on getting better, cheaper, or both. (Having looked at online programs, Maryland was one of the most expensive.)

[Ed7] Yeah, you gotta be careful with this sort of thing.

[Ed8] Joanne Jacobs says that while more people are going to college, a lot of them are dropping out. That is more or less the worst-case scenario, from an investment standpoint.

[Ed9] One of the bigger knocks against school secessions (pulling out of the larger districts) is racial segregation, but apparently it may be more complicated than that. Remember that Robert Verbruggen has written quite a bit on how resegregation isn’t happening.

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Morning Ed: Science {2018.07.17.T}( 4 )

[Sc1] A look at the lie that was the Stanford Prison Experiment.

[Sc2] For The New Atlantis, Robert Zubrin writes about anti-humanism and the merchants of dispair.

[Sc3] If scientists can get beyond 1000 followers, they can start really reaching people.

[Sc4] Nadia Eghbal writes on the self-financing of science.

[Sc5] This sounds important.

[Sc6] The science of the emoji.

[Sc7] Six (non-conservative) psychologists and sociologists in three studies suggest there is a substantial ideological bias in social science research. Piercarlo Valdesolo argues that neutrality of perspective, and not equality of perspective, should win out.

[Sc8] There may be a correlation between migraines and cold-climate adaptivity.

[Sc9] You know who’s not having a replication crisis? Philosophy!

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 19 )

Then I headed down the streets, And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing, And it echoed through the canyons, Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk, Oh, I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned, Cause there’s something in a Sunday, That’ll make a body feel alone.

And there ain’t nothin’ short of dyin’, Thats half as lonesome as the sound, Of a sleepin’ city sidewalk, And Sunday mornin’ comin’ down. – Kris Kristofferson


[Mu1] This is becoming a trend in many areas, but music especially seems prone to “stans”, where the obsessive fans of a particular artist/group are no longer loners but can ban together to target and harass dissenters. If you doubt this, tweet something negative about Beyoncé and watch what happens.

[Mu2] GayC/DC is using their love of AC/DC to win over fans on and off stage. And it seems to be working, as they have carved out a niche for themselves.

[Mu3] The Prince estate is finally ready to open for business, after nearly two years of sorting, cataloguing, and planning. First up, the release of a long-rumored but unheard recording found on TDK cassette tape, one of 8,000 such unlabeled tapes found. The amount of music found in “the vault” is mind blowing. (video below from that upcoming release “Piano & a Microphone 1983”)

[Mu4] If you want to be the official musical advocate for a major city, and want to live in Vancouver, well, they are hiring.

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links

Robert Dighton


[Ar1] “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is an age old saying, so obviously we need to get some research labs to look into why that is. The growing trend is called “experimental aesthetics”, using multi-disciplined scientific research to explain things like art and why we like it.

[Art] “Body of work” is another phrase often used, and at the World Bodypainting Festival serious artists find quite a bit of freedom with a human canvas. (link contains some potentially NSFW but artistic nudity)

[Ar3] Murals are becoming very popular as “neighborhood art”, unless you’re in LA and the new Lebron James mural is removed by the artist because folks can not refrain from defacing it.

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


[Hi1] Luzhniki Stadium will host the World Cup Final, but in the 50s when built and named for Lenin, the stadium was a symbol and tool of Soviet power projection, and in 1982 was the scene of a crowd disaster that injured hundreds and killed at least 66.

[Hi2] Appropriate for summertime, the history and psychology of rollercoasters.

[Hi3] Since it’s been the focal point of his administration in many ways, here is a run down on the immigration history of President Trump’s family.

[Hi4] The snarky answer is “because they are the ones who can write it,” but the author has a point in the question “Why is history always about humans?”

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links

“I am a Muslim and I love my Christian siblings” – graffiti in Egypt 2011


[Re1] A new twist in the never-ending legal wrangling between Christians, Atheist, and government; this time it’s license plates in Kentucky.

[Re2] It’s not just a legend; the doors to St. Peter’s Basilica were made by an atheist, and the Pope did it on purpose.

[Re3] Interesting Op-Ed by Rose Hamid, a Muslim activist who attended the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, and who wants the 2020 Convention to come to Charlotte.

[Re4] It’s a small sample size, but let us take hope where we can find it. Researchers found that children in an area of India that has constant Muslim-Hindu violence still have a high regard for religious tolerance.

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Retroactive: ICYMI From Ordinary Times This Week(Comments Off)

Retroactive is the ICYMI listing of all the great reading from the week that was.
This Week:

The School Choice DebateCharter schools can play a valuable role in education reform.
By Scott J Davies

What’s so Great About the Truth Anyway?
Should we believe in falsehoods when doing so works better?
By Vikram Bath

Jazz, the Devil, and the Axeman of New Orleans
A jazz loving serial killer walked the beautiful but vaguely ominous streets of 1918 New Orleans, chiseling his way into back doors of the homes of local merchants…
By Em Carpenter

You are Going to Die
Is it possible that the idea of death tickling at the back of our mind is pushing us to be more ideologically rigid as our population ages? Is fear driving our new partisan gulf? As a thought experiment let’s be brave and think about death for just a moment.
By Mark Kruger

Road Movie To Berlin, The Original Motion Picture SoundtrackLife, put to music.
By Will Truman

Linky Friday: SummertimeLinky Friday is Ordinary Time’s Friday tradition of compiling stories from around the world and across the web straight to you. This week, Summertime is the theme, and clicks are easy, the stories are jumping, and the world is yours to read, share, and discuss. From Gershwin to Manafort, plenty to occupy your dog days of summertime.
By Andrew Donaldson

Saturday and Weekend posts by Jaybird

TSN: Ordinary Times quick links

The Case(s) Against The Straw Ban
Private Person, Unwilling Celebrity
DAG Rosenstein Announces Indictments of 12 Russian GRU Members
Find The Nearest Black Kid?
The Denmark Dilemma
Steve Ditko’s Legacy
AI is Coming, But What Culture Will Influence It?
Introductory Rates & Inertia

Ordinary Times is a group endeavor to explore and illuminate culture, with the word “culture” interpreted broadly. Here, you will find discussions of politics and law, art and sports, family and faith, laughter and grief, food and fiction.

Among other things, we pride ourselves on the civility, inclusiveness, and intelligence of our commenting culture, the diversity of perspectives our contributors offer our readers, and the eclectic mix of topics discussed on these pages.

Liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and everyone else may not come to agree with one another here, but we hope that if nothing else, they will at least come to understand one another. An assumption built in to much of our debate is that exploring disagreements is often a productive way for everyone to learn more, and a normal and healthy part of social discourse.

Welcome to Ordinary Times.

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Linky Friday: Summertime( 21 )

Linky Friday: Summertime

These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.” Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

The Heat

[He1] Your toaster regularly turns electricity to heat. Pretty simple. If you can make the reverse happen and turn heat into electricity, you might really be onto something.

[He2] Mapping the “heat island effect” in urban areas. The idea is using the data to help city planners prevent the temperature phenomenon found in dense urban environments.

[He3] A Harvard study shows that heat can slow down the brain as much as 13%.

[He4] The old timers already know this, but when it’s ” It’s hotter than Hell and half of Georgia” the weather makes everyone more aggressive. But that shouldn’t be a problem in our calm, well-mannered society…right?

[He5] The high cost of electricity is causing concerns in the desert, where air conditioning, lack there of, or a power grid failure, spells troubled for thousands of elderly who tend to flock there for retirement.

The Living

[Li1] “According to the U.N.’s estimates, 3.97 billion people cram themselves into the highly populated countries of China, India, the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, or Nigeria.” That’s 50% of the human race in seven countries.

[Li2] Paul Manafort was getting “VIP treatment” in prison, a fact he probably should have kept to himself as the judge has now ordered him moved for that very reason.

[Li3] An amazing story how a 28-year old farmer had a freak occurrence, died alone, but touched many. Incredible story of life and living.

[Li4] Living organ donors and advancements in procedures and technology have made the once-miraculous kidney transplant almost routine.

[Li5] Living free is a right in America, living free of a microwave is a statement of choice.

The Sounds

[So1] Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” is a classic, but NASA has the real thing from the Cassini spacecraft.

[So2] Speaking of NASA, some cool video of an Atlas V ripping a rainbow and cirrus formations to shreds with the sound wave it’s generating. Also a video on how water and mist is used to deaden the sound of blast off.

[So3] Yes, the sound of your own voice really does sound that bad, makes you cringe, and you aren’t alone. Here is the science to why the old adage is true.

[So4] “We can fix it in post” doesn’t work on a crab boat in Alaska: How the sound guys for shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “Amazing Race” make the reality in reality TV sound so good.

[So5] “A Quiet Place” was a huge hit movie, and the sound-or lack their of-was as much the main character as the humans. So the sound designers have some suggestions for making the home experience of silence more like the theater.

The Strange

[St1] Stormy Daniels, yes that one, was arrested at a Columbus, OH strip club for touching what turned out to be undercover police officers during her performance. Chargers have been dropped, but with Avenatti on the case I doubt it’s the last we hear of it. Something seems off about this story.

[St2] Strange tingling in your legs? Probably nothing, unless you are this woman and it turned out to be parasites in her spine.

[St3] It’s titled “Strange Days” but as art installations go, this one using a brutalist building as it’s backdrop for 21 artist is pretty amazing.

[St4] I admire the ability it takes to perform it, but the Cirque shows always present as varying degrees of weird to me. When Montreal Cirque Festival gets into full swing, the weird and the wonderful go full bore.

[St5] With the pending vacating of the LA Times building, a short video of some of the stranger nooks and crannies of the papers long time home.

The Madness

[Ma1] Brian Howey sees no method to President Trumps madness, while Victor David Hanson suggests reciprocity is the driving force behind Trump’s method.

[Ma2] Scientists want to go Jurassic Park and test tube the recently extinct (earlier this year) Northern White Rhino, but conservationist and naturalist are not happy about it.

[Ma3] Sometimes I just reflexively feel we are too quick to write off things like mass shootings to mental illness, and now some research is starting to find the same thing, that the mentally ill are more likely to be victim than perpetrator of crime.

[Ma4] Stanley Cavell, philosopher who pushed for “ordinary language philosophy” and writer of several books including “Pursuit of Happiness” died recently.

[Ma5] The, frankly, bizarre saga involving MSNBC personality Joy Reid and years old blog posts is finally showing up in her ratings.

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Morning Ed: Arts & Entertainment {2018.07.12.Th}( 64 )

[AE1] At Splice Today, Tom DeVinti looks at the legacy of Hank Williams and Chris Beck at the top ten country songs about cities and towns.

[AE2] The Hindu Times has a story on Conan Doyle, Sherlock Homes, and colonialism.

[AE3] The problem with Game of Thrones, says Craig Bernthal, is that it is a history without redemption.

[AE4] Sean T Collins announces that the only good fandom left (and he means left) is Dune.

[AE5] The rare books collection community is largely a men’s club, but some women are doing well.

[AE6] ESPN may be losing subscribers, but they’re gaining money.

[AE7] It seems to me that Netflix’s audience doesn’t lend itself to classics, and in between Netflix and Filmstruck is Hulu, which is built more on nostalgia and less on original programming.

[AE8] Given that HBO is profitable and Netflix is sailing on a wing and a prayer, it’s odd that AT&T seems to want to turn HBO into Netflix.

[AE9] Of all the Hitchcock movies, Vertigo has among the most staying power. Nicholas Barber explains how it resonates in a world of catfishing and #MeToo.

[AE0] Question of the Day:

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Morning Ed: Labor {2018.07.11.W}( 99 )

[Lb1] Every now and again I start feeling bad for employers who can’t get the people they need – unlike some I don’t assume the problem is 100% pay – but then articles like this come up and I lose that sympathy. The first step to hiring people in the current job market is to stop acting like it’s the job market from ten years ago.

[Lb2] As always, define “fairly“.

[Lb3] This is intriguing… kind of making me wish I had done some of my studies in distribution and logistics.

[Lb4] At Trump resorts, Americans need not apply.

[Lb5] The author of the Odyssey article about the girl whose parents bankrolled a trip to Coachella (who turned out not to be a girl at all) explains how it all started as an attempt to unearth a multi-level marketing scam for writers.

[Lb6] The US has got a trucker shortage going on, though I’m told it’s still not enough of one to change compensation structure much beyond one-time newhire bonuses.

[Lb7] With longer lifespans, a Stanford researcher says we should delay full-time work until we’re 40, allowing us to send the time before that on other pursuits like raising children.

[Lb8] There may be a change in the way legal work is getting done, providing more employment opportunities for lawyers.

[Lb9] That sounds better than this, at any rate, which is unfortunate because that’s the kind of job I could use right now.


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Morning Ed: Transportation {2018.07.10.Tu}( 15 )

[Tr1] In a piece about supersonic air travel, I think James Pehokoukis buries the lede: Environmentalists will likely lose nearly every argument where they are up against immediate and near-term consumer benefit and economic growth… and I don’t see how they win the debate while losing those battles.

[Tr2] I’m always suspicious of arguments that involve aesthetic and value preferences actually saving money, but a guy can hope, right?

[Tr3] Caution: There’s a new danger on the roads in Saudi Arabia.

[Tr4] This is kind of weird. Most of the time when I fly they are pretty good about taking the trash pretty repeatedly.

[Tr5] Georgia passed a new hands-free law with regard to cell phones while driving. I’d thought that they were ineffective, but maybe not.

[Tr6] Pedestrians are getting killed by cars at an alarming rate, and while we initially blame texting and distracted driving the problem appears to be the proliferation of SUVs. Wisely, the article doesn’t bother to suggest we change the kinds of cars we drive, but they do propose a mixed bag of regulations that might help.

[Tr7] According to Politico, Trump is working to derail an important tunnel project.

[Tr8] Good.

[Tr9] Better watch where you’re driving or the planet may eat you up.

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2018.07.09.M}( 32 )

[LO1] One of the things that always makes me uncomfortable with notions that we need to be able to predict who is going to be the next school shooter is false positives.

[LO2] If you’re going to die too young, is it better or worse to die ironically.

[LO3] WhatsApp and mob justice in India.

[LO4] Adeshina Emmanuel and (former Timesperson) Shawn Gude take aim at police unions.

[LO5] Police in Miami had to give a prostitute nearly $20,000 back.

[LO6] Helicopter escape! This seems like a plot I would have come up with in junior high and then thought stupid by high school, but it apparently used to be a regular nonoccurence.

[LO7] A mass shooters disproportionately white? Maybe not. Off the cuff, I would guess that the more narrow the definition of “mass shooting” the whiter the pool of culprits.

[LO8] Scalawag looks at attempts to organize a prisoners’ union in North Carolina.

[LO9] Fish yeah!

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Retroactive: ICYMI From Ordinary Times This Week(Comments Off)

Retroactive is the ICYMI listing of all the great reading from the week that was.
This Week:

Motherhood and Amy Coney Barrett: Objection-Irrelevant.
If you follow the news surrounding hopefuls for the empty SCOTUS seat, you undoubtedly know that Barrett, a federal circuit judge and Notre Dame law grad, is the mother of seven children. In fact, judging by the media’s profiles of her, this is the most interesting thing about her…
By Em Carpenter

Moral panics can crash quickly. Or they can last centuries, as the moral panic over witchcraft did. I have no feel for how long the moral panic over sex work will last. But now that FOSTA is law, the potential damage it will cause has dramatically increased.
By Michael Siegel

There’s a constituency for JanusIf public-sector unions are worth saving, it supporters will have to do a better job at advancing the reasons.
By Gabriel Conroy

Police Keep On Policing Different People DifferentlyThose who defend the police insist that perceptions made in the moment matter most of all and should trump all other concerns and criticisms. They are onto something.
By Sam Wilkinson

American Imagination
Our imagined community is myth that requires some strong juju. We collectively imagine what it “means” to be an American. The fact that we still care about our imagined identity means we haven’t given up on our joint project. We scrap and cuss and “resist” and “maga” because we all still care.
By Mark Kruger

A Philistine Pondering on the Symphony
It may not be Carnegie Hall in New York City, or Royal Albert Hall in London, or Konzerthaus in Berlin, but for that moment-on that night-it could well have been symphony night at the Vienna State Opera with Mahler himself holding the door and Strauss serving as usher.
By Andrew Donaldson

Where Do Metro Denver’s Next Million People Go?
There are places, well within the current confines of the metro area, to stash a lot of people. Here’s one.
By Michael Cain

The GOAT Wars: A Statistical Analysis
As he heads to Los Angeles, we re-present AdotSad’s piece comparing LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
By Adot Sad

The Judicial Depoliticitization Amendment
Burt Likko makes an ambitious proposal.
By Burt Likko

A mildly NSFW music video that, seriously, I cleared with Maribou before posting
By Jaybird

Linky Friday: Wherever I May Roam
Linky Friday: Wherever I May Roam contains links to a whole world of stories. From off the beaten path, the knowledge acquired, to wherever you call home there is something for everybody to explore.
By Andrew Donaldson

Getting better by doing the exact same thing you did last time, just quietly
By Jaybird

A delightful and unexpected sequel:
Dungeon Warfare II
By Jaybird

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Liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and everyone else may not come to agree with one another here, but we hope that if nothing else, they will at least come to understand one another. An assumption built in to much of our debate is that exploring disagreements is often a productive way for everyone to learn more, and a normal and healthy part of social discourse.

Welcome to Ordinary Times.

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Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links(Comments Off)


[Mu1] @ThoroughlyThorp on why that song really does feel like an old friend when you hear it.

[Mu2] I know, I know…we’ve already covered the release of Coltrane’s “Both Directions at Once.” But now fully listened to, it’s quite deserving of the attention it is getting, and this is an excellent write up on the material.

[Mu3] There have been many cross promotions with the World Cup. Improvising music in a church with a pipe organ and live audience to “soundtrack” the game is a whole new level though.

Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


[Ar1] Lots of research show the effects of art on kids, but what about when they have to destroy their own creations?

[Ar2] Ten of the most famous pieces of art ever stolen, and amazingly some have been stolen more than once.

[Ar3] Taking 13 years worth of art to a crematorium, to make more art. And some cookies. But mostly art.


[Fi1] What do Guillermo del Toro and Paddington Bear have in common? Magical realism in movies.

[Fi2] Tax credits are always touchy things. Tax credits for films even more so. Add in MTV’s Jersey Shore and New Jersey legislation, well you have yourself a debate.

[Fi3] It was bound to happen eventually; Sony Films accidentally uploads an entire film instead of the trailer to YouTube.

Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links


[Tr1] Our own Aaron David shared the link to his Mothers travel blog, and it is amazing. Stretching back to 2001, she and her husband are RV’ing the globe. Really must check it out.

[Tr2] Many people travel to make the memories. These folks travel knowing they probably won’t remember it, and how that enhances the experience. Amazing piece on traveling with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a memory issue that often leads to Alzheimer’s, or even Alzheimer’s itself.

[Tr3] Bitcoin might some day rule the world as it’s proponents relentlessly insist, but travel giant Expedia.com has quietly dropped the option, joining cheapair.com, reddit, and others in abandoning crypto for a variety of reasons.

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