Ten Second News (Beta)

Morning Ed: World {2016.11.17.Th}( 30 )

Ariel Sabar writes of the rush to save dying languages, by writing it down at least. It’s a weird thing where the same things that would have previously assured the written survival of these languages are the things killing them off.

Iraq: The land of hospitality.

Stop trying to get me to like Daylight Savings Time, it’s not going to work.

Who says libertarians never win? They won in Johannesburg! Well, a self-declared “capitalist crusader” did.

Is the International Criminal Court falling apart? First domino?

Russia has never really been a naval power, but they have a plan! The British Navy, meanwhile, is ditching the missiles. And a plan for Donald Trump.

Narendra Modi is looking at easing India’s cash crisis by eliminating low denominations and cracking down on hidden hoardes of untaxed cash. Also, a look at Indian history.

A treasure trove of sunken ships. Speaking of which, I want to do a 2:40 audio play using this video.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.11.16.W}( 192 )

Well, they’re not as smart as smart glasses, but they look smarter.

There are things we should look at doing to avoid scaring women away from STEM, but ditching Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons is a bad idea on multiple levels.

Speaking of Dungeons and Dragons, Ethan Gilsdorf says it needs to be kept in the basement. And here’s a song that makes me wish D&D had been my thing.

A look at the world’s youngest Formula One driver.

I think we’ve talked about this before, but William Newton’s piece on museum hoarding is pretty good.

A friend from high school that I never liked very much has become more interesting over the years, doing some pretty amazing things with Legos. I was reminded of him when I read this story about a bloke who does even more amazing things with Legos.

Meredith Gray (err, not that Meredith Gray) comes up with some helpful tips on how to let your beloved know that you’re currently crushed under a bookcase.

I plan to write my own, but this guide to listening to audiobooks on your smartphone is a good start.

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Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November( 69 )


revenge photo

Image by jrandallc Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[P1] Sean Trende was right. On middle class whites, the fragility of the Democratic majority, the floor among minorities, and more. Much to his chagrin.

[P2] There is no Latino vote. Which creates problems for “demography is destiny”… depending on what the GOP does.

[P3] This election may be a blip on the radar – with an inverted result at that – in the tide of change that demographic change takes the country, but seriously, it may not be.

[P4] Shikha Dalmia sees a new era of minority activism. Benjamin Wittes also has some ideas.

[P5] Will revenge be sweet? Maybe, though there are limits to what they’re going to be able to do, and Ryan and McConnell are potential buffers.


boston city hall photo

Image by leighblackall Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[M1] I suspect we’re going to hear a lot more about the alleged weaknesses of The View From Nowhere. Opinion journalism (I’ll call it that, even if the journalists argue that they are reality-based, have a monopoly on reason, and the debate is settled actually) is valuable, but it will be seen for what it is.

[M2] What happens when you’re setting the narrative, but the truth escapes it?

[M3] Sean Trende points out that the polls weren’t as wrong as the pundits. It’s true, to an extent, but mostly we just forgot what “margin of error” means because the last two instances simply erred in a relatively inconsequential way. And important polls were wrong in a consistent direction.

[M4] As we try to figure out what Trump will do as president, we really have no idea what he’ll do as president. My only prediction is that there will be no (non-ceremonial) wall. Which, given the way things have gone, probably means there will be one that will put the Game of Thrones wall to shame.

media photo

Image by TimothyJ Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[M5] Sometimes the media really does live up to the stereotype.

[M6] Did a North Carolina overstep by censoring Dave Chappelle? Their explanation, if accurate, does make a lot of sense.

[M7] This doesn’t absolve Trump of anything, because he could have made a comment independently and he’s going to need to do better on this, but CBS really should have released that portion of the interview.


Image by Beverly & Pack

Image by Beverly & Pack Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[G1] Jane the Actuary takes a look at the Electoral College, why we had it, why we don’t need it, and what we should replace it with.

[G2] The end of a Georgian Land Tax experiment.

[G3] And, for those who missed it, Washington state’s carbon tax did not pass.

[G4] In San Fransisco, soda taxes passed.

[G5] I’m waiting for other shoes to fall, but the first one for me has: Totally Wicked Ejuice is throwing in the towel and pulling out of the United States. The good news is that since they’re not based out of the US, they can stay in business until close to Hatchet Day in 2018.


Image by garryknight

Image by garryknight Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[I1] Tom Rogan hopes that flattery may help with a UK-US trade deal, though May’s advisors are suggesting caution. Trump’s win may be bad for Scottish independence.

[I2] Nigel Farage is doing a victory lap, though I don’t think he’s going to get that ambassadorship. Jeremy Corbyn also seems pleased. Common ground on Russia, maybe.

[I3] One of my earliest political memories of elite/commoner divide was around 2000, when Everybody Knew the Tories needed to embrace the EU. The problem was that the EU was and always has been pretty unpopular.

[I4] The Italian government is in some pretty serious need of reform, but it’s getting a lot of resistance. Now, with Trumpism International.


doom photo

Image by KAZVorpal Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[R1] Justin Caffier got a couple, final days of respite. I more-or-less had election day blocked off to do nothing else (except vote, of course).

[R2] Karol Markowicz has some advice on what to tell your daughters about Trump’s victory.

[R3] Harry Enten explains that ticket-splitting is dead. On the state level, that looks true, but we’re seeing some sub-state data in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that make it uncertain. It’s something to keep an eye on.

[R4] Who would have guessed that Team Trump had better analytics than Hillary Clinton?

[R5] Among those who didn’t see this coming? Donald Trump, of course. He thought he would be out by October.


doom photo

Image by devlon duthie Linky Second Tuesday After The First Monday In November

[D1] Facebook seems to be under the impression that SMOD won.

[D2] It’s not clear what Trump will be able to do without support from congress and/or the courts, but he can do a lot with this, which is of immediate concern.

[D3] Aaron Carroll wants to be charitable towards Trump and his supporters, David Frum is less sanguine. Chidike Okeem is even less so.

[D4] In the greater scheme of things this is “not normal” in a pretty trivial way, but it’s really not normal. On the other hand, if he wants to spend his time as Head of State from Trump Tower and let some combination of Pence, Ryan, and McConnell act as Head of Government… well, that’s not the worst outcome.

[D5] Trump may not have been ready for this, but the universe was

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2016.11.14.M}( 66 )

A mother who had been raped explains the difficulty she had confronting her rape apologist son.

An survivor’s rendition of The Paris Attacks.

Customer service!

Cool. Ceremonial garb is important.

Sorry your dad was slain and everything, but

So is our government in the child porn business or not?

It’s going to be a long time before we’re going to be able to sort out the fact, fiction, and rumors surrounding the Trump crime and harassment (as well as the alleged anti-Trump violence).

This is clever. And creepy.

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Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy( 31 )


vancouver photo

Image by JamesZ_Flickr Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy

[C1] Nicole Gelinas looks at expensive cities, cheap cities, and economic mobility.

[C2] Vancouver has implemented an enormous tax on vacant housing.

[C3] If you’re concerned about your children, here’s where you should move.

[C4] This reminds me of the olden days when I used to have a map of Colosse pinned to the wall so that I could easily know where stuff was. Printed maps. Those were the days, weren’t they?


[P1] Green energy is not looking so good anymore, thanks to the Trump victory.

[P2] Winner? Keystone! Maybe. And oil.

[P3] Climate Change delegates are pretty distressed.

[P4] The EPA is modifying its wind and solar rules on federal lands to protect wildlife, among other things.

[P5] Fracking is apparently not the culprit in Wyoming’s water problems.


amazon warehouse photo

Image by thisisbossi Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy

[B1] Maybe tech hasn’t changed economics as much as its evangelists would like you to believe.

[B2] My experiences with the Amazon products have been good, but this sort of sets me on edge. If I don’t mind Walmart house brands, though, I’m not sure why this should bother me.

[B3] The Netflix library is shrinking, but that’s okay. I wasn’t even aware they had a good children’s selection. I may need to give it a test-run.

[B4] Everything you ever wanted to know about the dangerous field of crop dusting.


[Te1] This will end badly.

[Te2] Tim Worstall says that everything is going to be great, though.

[Te3] This will cause great fun in the news and especially fake-news industry.

[Te4] Texting… for cows.

[Te5] Here’s a kind of cool history of dreams of automation and artificial intelligence.


gondola photo

Image by flightlog Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy

[Tr1] Gondola! Gondola!

[Tr2] The Trolly Problem has a pretty easy solution, as far as Mercedes is concerned.

[Tr3] Is it time to lift the speed limits of flight?

[Tr4] A look at Trump’s transportation plan. Whatever it is.


olive garden photo

Image by Paula Satijn Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy

[F1] The making of the McRib. I personally think it went overboard on the PR when it told of how the pigs would raise their arms saying “Me next! Me next!”

[F2] From 2014: Minneapolis is micromanaging food sales.

[F3] Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass ended, and Hayley Peterson talked to some people who took advantage and ate at Olive Garden every day. Apparently, the only downside was the food.

[F4] If your food lacks zing, maybe you need a zap from the spoon.


logic puzzle photo

Image by PlaSmart Inc Linky Friday #192: Everything Is Groovy

[M1] This Freddie piece on withdrawing into yourself hit pretty close to home.

[M2] I thought we already knew this, but people dream even when they can’t remember them. And yeah, those high school anxiety dreams

[M3] Nautilus looks at the hardest logic puzzle, and how to solve it.

[M4] Why time speeds up as we grow older.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.11.10.Th}( 20 )

Yassin Al-Haj Saleh says that for all of its faults, Daesh is the lesser of evils as far as many are concerned.

The sad fate of refugees refused from Australia. Incidentally, a lot of Aussies are pretty happy about our election’s result.

Also maybe happy, the Governor of Okinawa.

It’s bad form to go to North Korea, fake being famous golfers, and bringing shame to your family.

Toby Orr explains why the Brexit and Africa are best buds.

In addition to the US, Putin may be picking up Estonia.

Welp, Michael Cain called it.


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Linky First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November( 448 )


Donald Trump photo

Image by Gage Skidmore Linky First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November

[C1] A nice word for the Secret Service, who aren’t getting paid for a lot of their current work.

[C2] Well this is surprising: Donald Trump believes in some nutty things. Trump is not a conservative, but even if he were you only get a maximum of three crank beliefs. (I haven’t filled all three of my slots and am accepting applications.)

[C3] At Outside the Beltway, James Joyner gives his very reluctant endorsement to Clinton. Some, however, are much more enthusiastic.

[C4] Laura Ingraham makes her closing argument for Donald Trump.

[C5] Given how the primary has gone, I’m sure Reince Priebus will have no trouble keeping the Trump White House orderly.

[C6] Will Trump concede? Will he cry foul? Will he just disappear into the abyss?

[C7] I’m incredibly disappointed that the GOP electeds didn’t put forth more resistance to Trump than they did, but at the same time I do try to remember the degree of resistance is unprecedented.


Newspaper Seller with a Mask in Paris, France, 1929

Newspaper Seller with a Mask in Paris, France, 1929

[E1] Not just a hotel clerk, but elite!

[E2] Michael Medved has paid a price for not getting on the #TrumpTrain.

[E3] Erik Faust argues that our two-party system is broken beyond repair due to polarization. With charts! I’m still not sold on a multiparty system, but it sure would be nice to have a more fluid and dynamic two-party system. Lilliana Mason’s piece on our anger also makes sense.

[E4] John Cassidy explains how Donald Trump has the support that he does, from one of the Two Americas. {From Saul}

[E5] We have to live together. And, at the end of the day, we have to live together.

[E6] Maybe, but actually low information voters are a crucial part of every political coalition.


suffrage photo

Image by LSE Library

[V1] And what can we learn from early voting? Maybe good for Clinton, maybe not.

[V2] On the ballot in Maine, Krist Novoselic wants to know if IRV can save the electoral process. Simon Waxman says no. I will write more in the future, but while I agree with Waxman and would prefer another method for general elections, I also believe we should not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

[V3] Is Duverger’s Law applicable outside the United States? I’ve commented before that the US has additional barriers to FPTP, and this might be indicative of that.

[V4] Steven Shepard writes of the future of exit polling. I think we’re in for some changes before and on election day. We’re going to need to get creative, and we’re going to need to be patient while they sort these things out.


[P1] YouGov makes a stronger argument for stability in the presidential race than I’ve seen from most “stable race” advocates (whose arguments seem to thrive on “If you smooth out the data, the data looks smooth).

[P2] Conor Sen has some words of sympathy for Nate Silver. But not too much sympathy, as their words have consequences.

[P3] Before anyone gets too excited about this, I should point out that Ross Perot won my middle school in a landslide in 1992 and Clinton won in my high school in 1996. It didn’t take. {Also}

[P4] Maybe there is no Shy Trump Voter. Or maybe there is, but it’s not enough. I discuss this, as well as some research suggesting a Shy Wives For Clinton Effect, in a Hit Coffee potpourri post.


hillary clinton photo

Image by @boetter Linky First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November

[I1] Democrats are arguing that WikiLeak emails are forged, but Zaid Jilani wants to know if they can prove it.

[I2] We talk of Trump’s Russian support, but what of his Macedonian support?

[I3] Try it, Russia. We dare you.

[I4] Edward Lucas argues we should fight Putin – allegedly up to no good in Montenegro among other places – by ostracizing his help.

[I5] The convergence of right and left in France. Also, with Russians.

[I6] Hillary Clinton is unpopular, Donald Trump is more unpopular, but Park Geun Hye and Francois Hollande are really unpopular.


[H1] Benjamin Straumann argues that republicanism, in the classical sense was something of a smokescreen during the founding of the United States.

[H2] Vaclav Havel’s thoughts on the temptations of political power, and religion, are worth reading.

[H3] The nationalist right is fascinated with Thermopylae.

[H4] Meet Victoria Woodhull: Presidential candidate, newspaper publisher, and stockbroker, psychic, and free love advocate… in the 19th century.

[H5] Beware the female president!

Image by DonkeyHotey Linky First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November


[U1] Robert George talks about his decision to vote for Hillary.

[U2] From Damon: Popehat has an excellent post regarding the elections. I prefer the Balvenie. And…..discuss.

[U3] Doggie!

[U4] It’s not just about the presidency, as there are some important DA races around the country.

[U5] I suspect we’re going to be hearing more about this. I don’t know whether we’re going to hear things that are true about it, or not.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.11.07.M}( 79 )

Vigilantism in Stockholm.

What South Carolina is doing to employ former inmates.

Alyssa Rosenberg’s look at the history between police and Hollywood is fascinating.

British anti-terror experts are worried about  gun terrorism (W$J).
There can be only one.

Well this is a bummer.

I thought that maybe the headline here wasn’t as bad as the article, but it is. (Though I suppose my objections are as much abstract as direct.)

Good luck and godspeed, ACLU.

From marijuana mecca to pot business ban.

(Ed note: I changed one of the blurbs that I must have written when I was in a bad mood.)

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Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh( 199 )


python photo

Image by laughingface2 Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh

[C1] If you get a pet python, take care of it… or else.

[C2] This is just what we needed. Not gonna miss this, though.

[C3] Smart chimp. I did not generally inhale when I smoked, either. Not that it doesn’t get in your lungs anyway, of course.

[C4] Vampire saliva! It’s in humans!


[C6] The Beavers return to Britain.


Of all the betrayals this election, it's Curious George that hurts the most.

Of all the betrayals this election, it’s Curious George that hurts the most.

[E1] 8-Man is pretty cool, made all the cooler by the fact that his powers came from smoking. One of the interesting things I’ve discovered reading golden age comic books is how many of them were basically pill-poppers.

[E2] So Hello Kitty. What is she, exactly?

[E3] I loved Disney’s Robin Hood as a kid. Turns out, it wasn’t really supposed to be Robin Hood.

[E4] “I am a moderately well-drawn ketchup-colored poodle and my storyline is the closest thing this book has to a plot. I am the only thing pulling the narrative along. I’m well-groomed, enjoy skiing, and have enough disposable income to amass a comfortable hat wardrobe.”

[E5] There is a big of Everything Is Problematic in our culture, but Curious George is uncomfortably problematic. For real. Did they ever re-do the origin story? It wouldn’t be that hard.

[E6] Rob Liefield is so bad that he destroyed the great potential of comics he didn’t even work on.


sneakers photo

Image by jontintinjordan Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh

[B1] Just as it is with superheroes: All the good names are taken.

[B2] How KFC managed to take own Japanese Christmas.

[B3] The amazing science behind the disposable diaper.

[B4] Wait, there’s an equivalent of the Kelley Blue Book for… used sneakers?


[R1] Drill, baby, drill.

[R2] There’s gold in them West Texas plains, from wind farms.

[R3] Silicon Valley couldn’t build cars, but maybe they’ll save the planet.

[R4] Oops. Salvation?

[R5] Sweet! Well, if it encourages people to use them, anyway. Function is form, as far as I’m concerned.

[R6] Lindsay Allen explains the ecological ramifications of deforestation.


wikileaks photo

Image by dkalo Linky Friday #191: The End Is Nigh

[M1] Bad Vox! I’d actually had the same thought as Vox, but the evidence they bring to the table is pretty thin and it’s a hefty charge. Speaking of WS-related bad moves

[M2] Questions of “fairness” aside, this is a problem if it convinced/convinces the uncommitted to dismiss criticisms of Trump and/or his successors. It’s. . .  hard. 

[M3] Chris Ladd explains how cable news is becoming civic poison.

[M4] Police spying on reporters to find out if police are informants for reporters.

[M5] Ryan Grim explains why the media is reticent to explore the Trump-raped-a-thirteen-year-old allegation.

[M6] I tend to side with ESPN in this case. The culpable party is the medical professional that turned it over to them.

[M7] I’m glad that the New York Times is ran a prominent piece pushing back on The Vaping Menace. I just hope that they recognize the role they’ve taken in playing it up. {More}

[M8] The CNN Tape to be broadcast at The End of the World.

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Morning Ed: Europe {2016.11.03.Th}( 53 )

Tony Blair is probably not the best spokesman for Brexit-blocker, though many believe he’s still more electable than Corbyn.


It appears that Bregret is finally starting to set in, just a bit.

Meanwhile, Daniel Korski looks at what Remain did wrong.

And the banks are making their plans, vultures are circling, but Sweden offers an olive branch.

While everyone’s eyes are on Britain, the EU might should be more worried about Angela Merkel’s potential departure.

I am a bit iffy on Britain’s libel laws in general, and I’m not sure the newspaper is the proper target, but this nonetheless pleases me. The level of truthiness involved in some of this is downright Trumpian.

Robert Colvile explores what we can learn about refugees from the “Calais Jungle

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.11.02.W}( 179 )

Can you spare a bro a password to an illegal torrenting site?

Dana Goldstein argues that maybe we shouldn’t try 25-year olds as adults. Well, okay, but what about voting, drinking, and other substantial risks?

We’re pretty much doomed.

I wouldn’t mind a fifth liberal Supreme Court Justice for this one.


The Democrats may have disposed of its crap, but some Republican vandals are apparently replacing it. (Seriously, isn’t that stuff kind of expensive?)

Peak Florida Man.

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Tuesday Tech Links {2016.10.27}( 75 )


Bendable Concrete

Regular Concrete is very strong and hard, and has incredible compressive strength.  We embed rebar into concrete in order to give it additional tensile and bending strength, but concrete just does not bend, not like metals do.  It’s also very brittle, so if concrete does bend, it almost immediately cracks and begins to shatter.  Add some tiny polymer fibers to the concrete mix, however, and you get a very strong, kinda bendy concrete.  I expect civil engineers all up and down the West Coast will be very interested in this.

Carbon Reveals Yet Another Solid Structure

I’m starting to wonder how many ways we can figure out to arrange carbon atoms in novel and useful configurations.  I mean, come on, a simple laser and we get electrically conductive sheets of diamond that glow!  Goodbye Gorilla Glass.

New Composite Alloy That Is Lightweight and Strong

Magnesium, despite it’s reputation as something firefighters hate dealing with, is an industrially useful metal.  It’s lighter than aluminum and a lot cheaper, but not quite strong enough to be a contender in aircraft and racecars.  Alloy it with nanoscale ceramic particles, and suddenly it’s giving aluminum a run for the money.  They key here seems to be the nanoscale size of the particles.  Microscale doesn’t work.

Metallic Surface Etching Allows for Strong Metal to Anything Bonding

Aside from welding, geting metals to form a strong bond is a trick, and getting metals to bond strongly to dissimilar metals (welding dissimilar metals rarely ends well), or other materials is also hard to do.  Etch the surface of the metal (probably with a laser) to form nanoscale structures, and non-welded strong bonds are possible.  Whether or not this could replace welding remains to be seen, but welding is used in a lot of constructions where it’s overkill, but it’s used because nothing else works.  Likewise, metal is often attached to non-metals with fasteners (screws, bolts, etc.) because a glue bonded surface won’t do it, but punching holes through things in order to use fasteners weakens the part, so more material is needed (thus increasing costs, weight, etc.).

I Have a Fascination With Anything Made From Spider Silk

It’s synthetic spider silk, but still, it’s spider silk, and hello, we can produce a synthetic spider silk in sufficient quantities that we can build a car seat!

Novel Concrete Block Design Allows For Faster Construction

I gotta admit, this is such a simple idea I’m honestly not certain why anyone still uses traditional concrete blocks (cinder blocks).  Or have similar ideas been tried in the past and found wanting (or killed by established players)?


Airlander 10 Hybrid Airship

I just really like airships, especially hybrid airships, and the Airlander recently did it’s maiden flight (even though it still has some issues).  Even if airships took off again as a mode of transport, they’ll probably never replace high speed jetliners, but I could certainly seem them as a niche option like cruise liners, for people who have the time, and want the experience of the journey.  Just imagine such an airship, with a windowed lounge on the dorsal surface, on a clear night…

The IKEA-fication of the world is nearly complete.

First off, it’s from the guy who designed the McLaren F1.  Second, it’s cheap.  But most importantly, it comes flat packed, probably with an Allen wrench included.

I Just Want One – Seriously, that’s it.

Using MicroTurbines Instead of Otto Cycle Engines to Power Hybrid Vehicles

So there is a reason cars come with piston engines and not turbines.  Turbines are annoyingly loud, do not produce a lot of torque, and are very finicky about maintenance.  There are ways to overcome the first two issues, but that last one has always been a bugbear.  People are just really bad about personal vehicle maintenance, and turbines, while very reliable and robust, demand that you do the regular maintenance if you wish them to remain reliable and robust.  Still, with tight machine tolerances, and very limited operating ranges, you can have a turbine that is much more forgiving.  Attach that turbine to the generator of a hybrid vehicle and you have, by definition, a tight operating range.  Better still, spinning a small generator is not a high torque operation, so no massive gearbox to turn high speed into torque.  It’s not a bad idea.

Primer on Asteroid Mining

Erect that Space Elevator and this gets a whole lot easier…

The Double Bubble Airliner

Wing and Tube has been the go-to design for airliners for decades, and while ideas like flying wings have been kicking around for a while, those are still a ways off.  Putting two tubes side by side is something we can do, today (pretty much).  The benefit is that large, twin aisle airliners are mostly empty space.  The passenger deck runs pretty much through the center of the fuselage, so you get lots of standing headroom, and a whole lot of empty cargo space below the passenger deck.  Usually airlines take on other cargo besides your luggage so that empty space is making some money, but while an airline can usually keep the seats full, filling the cargo hold is not as much of a sure thing.  A double hull gives you more seats to fill without adding a ton of extra empty space.  Plus you get other aerodynamic benefits (check out the brochure at the link).

Hydrogen Fuel Cell 4-Seater Aircraft

It’s a fuel cell aircraft that isn’t a gossamer gimmick.

Packing Batteries To Power Supersonic Airliners

I’m going to be honest here, the specifics of battery tech are not my thing, but the idea intrigues me,  We couldn’t do something like this with current energy densities, but if Workman is right, it’s not entirely out of reach.  Plus, it sticks with the tradition of keeping the fuel in the wings.

Using Hydrogels to Prevent Biofouling

This one is more about the hydrogels than it is transportation, but the application is ships.  The short of it is, barnacles are a drag, current coatings to prevent barnacles are toxic and leach into the ocean.  Hydrogel coatings could prevent barnacle attachment and be non-toxic.  Just gotta see if they can withstand the rigors of sailing the ocean blue.

Green Tech

Bubble Wrapped Sponge Can Boil Water With Sunlight

Another case of, how has no one ever noticed this before?  OK, to be fair, this isn’t that obvious, and they were careful in their selection of materials.  I wonder how long before this becomes a staple of middle school science classes?

Big Step Toward Solar Power Windows

Imagine if all the windows in a tall, glass skyscraper were transparent solar panels.  Now they can be.

Storing Energy In Molten Silicon

We all know one of the big issues with solar is night.  The obvious solution is make extra power during the day and store it.  One way being kicked around was using molten salts, but salts can be expensive, and extremely toxic.  Enter silicon.  Massively abundant, non toxic, and better heat capacity that most salts.

Nano-Structured Catalyst Turns CO2 Into Ethanol

Or, we could turn CO2 into ethanol, then use the ethanol at night.  To date, the process to capture CO2 into ethanol has been energy intensive enough to not be worth it.  But recently, a team took a well known catalyst that allows for the low power formation of ethanol from CO2 and stepped it up a notch with nanoscale structures formed from the catalyst.  The process still requires power, specifically a little bit of electrical current through the catalyst, but if scalable and economic, it could be a game changer.

Artificial Photosynthesis

Or we could use solar to produce hydrogen with artificial photosynthesis cells, then push the hydrogen through fuel cells at night.

Genetically Modified Photosynthesis

Or we could skip the artificial part and just use photosynthesis directly to produce hydrogen with GMO algae.

BioTech and BioMimicry

Absorbing Oil Without Absorbing Water

Cleaning up an oil slick on open water usually involves soaking up a ton of water with the oil, that must then be separated from the oil, tested and cleaned, and then discharged.  But if can just avoid soaking up the water…  Taking a cue from a hydrophobic plant leaf, now we can do just that.

Beer – It’s Almost As Widely Useful As Carbon

Beer waste water can be recycled to make batteries by turning into into carbon electrodes.  So down a pint, you are making batteries.  Also, I am not surprised in the least that this comes from the Boulder campus.

Also, Spent Coffee Grounds Are Surprisingly Useful

Coffee grounds can be turned into water filtration foam, and lots of other useful things beside garden compost.

Causing Salt To Bloom Out Of Soil

Don’t we have a soil scientist lurking hereabouts?  This reminds me in a way of using plants to extract heavy metals from soils, since plants often draw the metals up in through their roots.

If It Works For Beavers…

I can wait to see fuzzy rubber surfers on the Oregon coast!

Cicadas Aren’t Just Summer Noise Machines

Aside from making it hard to talk to another human during the summer, it seems those wings have other uses.  Not only are the nanostructures on the wing surface antibacterial, they are also antireflective in a way that might be very useful for solar cell efficiency.  Still annoying loud bugs.

Electronic and Other Tech

Desktop WaterJet Cutter

We got desktop 3D Printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, and now water jet cutters.  When can I get a desktop vapor dep so I can build IC chips at home?

Acoustic Holograms

Not sure how useful this is right now, but the video at the link is cool to watch.

Study Shows That Complaints Against Police Plummet With Body Cameras

I’m going to resist saying “DUH!”, but in all seriousness, this right here should be all we need to get every honest police officer on board with the idea in general, even if the specifics of implementation, usage, and storage still need to be hammered out.

Full Color e-Paper

My phone is going to get even thinner, isn’t it.  Especially when I can put a layer of diamond on top of it.

Creating A Quantum Bridge To Network Quantum Computers

I doubt I’ll ever have cause to write code for a quantum computer in my lifetime, but the technology side of this does seem to keep marching right along.

Image by UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences Tuesday Tech Links {2016.10.27}

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.10.31.M}( 249 )

The Trump Effect on grade school behavior may not be as bad as we have been lead to believe.

Obstructionism is just bad for government, but it doesn’t work. Then again, neither did the cooperation between 1994-96…

Gracy Olmstead is worried about the Big Sort and hopes that we manage to avoid making it worse.

If the choice is between taste and calories, should we get to make the choice or should the government?

Michael Lind does a write-up on Maine’s efforts to move forward with IRV. I’ve personally shifted my preference to straight runoffs (except in primary situations), though another option would simply be approval voting. Perhaps the best method would include more than one element (such as IRV or approval to get the number of candidates to two, followed by a runoff). Whatever the case, plurality victories have got to go.

I’m on board with 4.5 items from this list of things economists love and politicians hate. a lot depends on the particulars, though.

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

I’m still coming to grips with the notion that Erick Erickson didn’t just come out on the right side of the Trump thing, but may actually be turning a corner.

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Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment( 444 )


dracula photo

Image by lucyfrench123 Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment

[A1] Jeffrey Tucker says that writing a book is easy, and publishing it is easier. These things aren’t false, though writing a publishable book (as in one you would want others to read) is more difficult.

[A2] A volcano caused three years of darkness, and gave birth to Frankenstein and Dracula.

[A3] Sometimes you can actually tell instead of show.

[A4] It’s like renaissance art, but with auto mechanics.

[A5] Animations of Kafka, if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, the first animated Soviet movie.

[A6] Van Gogh? Here you go.


toddler tablet photo

Image by Muhammad Ashiq Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment

[E1] Innovating with dual language learners Deep In the Heart of Texas.

[E2] Well this doesn’t sound good.

[E3] Jon Marcus explores the unexpected pros and cons of free college. Looks like there’s some interest in bringing back tuitions, in some form or another.

[E4] Borrowing down, college prices up not as much.

[E5] This seems creepy, but I could actually see it being really helpful.

[E6] Everything bad for you is good for you! Or, at least, maybe not as bad as we thought?


Image by devendramakkar

Image by devendramakkar Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment

[M1] America: We got all kinds.

[M2] Pitting liberal values against one another: Labor vs diversity (and the arts!).

[M3] The ABA Journal looks at why minority women are disappearing from Big Law.

[M4] Net migration from Mexico is no longer the story.

[M5] Dr Farah Khan explains how she deals with racist patients and the frustration of being denied as an Indian and an American.

[M6] Black Enterprise looks at the state of inequality in the black community.


[G1] How women fit in (and aren’t allowed to fit in) to the national security establishment.

[G2] Things men and people with homes don’t have to think about: How homeless women handle their periods.

[G3] When men are outearned by women, they don’t do less rather than more housework… except cooking. {via Vikram}

[G4] Ester Bloom says that we shouldn’t give up on the gender wage gap, with some ideas on how to fight it.

[G5] Ruth Graham reports on the new face of pro-life activism.


addiction photo

Image by getchaos Linky Friday #190: Health & Enlightenment

[H1] It seems noteworthy that while Democrats are (marginally) more worried about the safety of vaccines, that it’s GOP politicians that have campaigned on the issue. A product of Republican beliefs that parents should make the decisions, Republican politicians just more willing to pander (to some types), or temperamental paranoia making the Republican electorate?

[H2] I’d always thought that orthodontic braces typically were health-positive rather than just being cosmetic, but Michael Thomsen takes issue with that. Julie Gunlock writes more about straight teeth.

[H3] It seems that 2013 was the first year that primary care physicians brought in more net revenue to hospitals than specialists. (PDF)

[H4] Stanton Peele says that if you’re asking whether coffee or nicotine is more addictive, you’re asking the wrong question.

[H5] Everybody knows what smoking is, and second-hand smoke and third-hand. Sensible Smoker helps out by explaining fourth-through-tenth hand smoking.

[H6] Ben Stiller talks about being diagnosed with cancer. Tangential, but if you haven’t seen Funny People, I recommend it if you like stories that involve questions of mortality and can tolerate Adam Sandler.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2016.10.27.Th}( 182 )

Democrats and some Republicans are getting behind criminal justice reform, but the public isn’t exactly on board.

Why don’t victims of domestic violence call the police? Well

Meanwhile, a lawsuit in Canada.

Digital piracy is taking its toll on the Nigerian film industry. In response, a pastor gave away his cars.

The story of a Nigerian scam, with a twist ending.

Anthony Ray Hinton talks about his rest, his 28 years on death row, and his exoneration. Life after exoneration, though, can be tough.

James Bell worked at WikiLeaks, and talks about Sean Hannity’s new hero.

Donald Trump, what a guy.

Erick Erickson explains how the Democrats could steal the election. One in twenty Republicans are ready to take up arms in the event of an election loss. Also, one in ten Democrats.

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Morning Ed: Science {2016.10.26.W}( 50 )

Meteorites are shootin’ the moon and there’s something going on with Saturn.

NASA isn’t looking for planets at the edge of the solar system, but are ready for you to find one.

Attention Michael Cain! It’s like that population-skewed map, but with elements!

I think the argument is stronger than the other hand I am not sure if you are inclined to be a part of the equation for the most part the equation is to be a part of the world where murder rates are on the cusp of believing that the amount of offense taken is often related to how one expressed their disinterest.


Maria Konnikova looks at how we develop our sense of fairness.

More information may not lead to better decision-making, a bartending robot demonstrates.

David Dorn wonders what happened to scientific rigor?

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.10.25.T}( 143 )

I was literally thinking last week how cool it would be to have a new Winnie the Pooh story.

The experts aren’t always right, and sometimes they even conflict with one another. So when experts collide, what are we to do?

What are birds? What is art? A philosophical investigation. {Via Jaybird}

The UCF-UConn rivalry remains one of the craziest in college football. I don’t mean “unpredictable” crazy so much as I mean “obsessed stalker” crazy.

This will end badly.

Noah Berlatsky argues in favor of fan influence in popular art.

Beware the black-eyed, for they have traveled through time.

Declutter your life by reserving all fish and giving none.

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Morning Ed: The Circus {2016.10.24.M}( 81 )

They didn’t get to silence Trump on Facebook, but did nick Dennis Prager on YouTube.

Weird, you’d think if anyone would share Trump’s animosity towards illegal immigrants, it would be Native Americans. (As an aside, we’re not especially anxious to have That Discussion, but my Native American brother-in-law-in-law maaaaaaay be voting for Trump.)

Between this and the scary clowns, it’s been a rough year for circuses.

Well, I guess it’s a good thing that the Democratic campaign bus is no longer full of crap.

Marine Le Pen says that in the battle against Islamic terror, Jews (and others) must make sacrifices.

President Hollande has some loose lips.

From cranks to the governing party, the Pirate Party may be a part of Iceland’s next governing coalition.

The Jester strikes back!

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Linky Friday #189: Tattooed Introversion( 193 )


[C1] The question may boil down to: When you own stuff, do you really own it?

[C2] Being a girl.

[C3] Operation Smoke and Mirrors: It didn’t happen if the Chicago Police Department head honchos say it didn’t happened.

[C4] KKKanada.

[C5] For kids, Virtually Life Without Possibility of Parole gets the death penalty.

[C6] A group of Asian-Americans wants to abolish prisons. (The article is an interesting look at the history of Asian-Americans and the prison system.)

[C7] Anarchy in Pennsylvania! In the 1680’s, that is.


business park photo

Image by udo geisler Linky Friday #189: Tattooed Introversion

[B1] Marco Marandiz wishes that Silicon Valley would get to work actually solving real problems. Maybe they should do a start-up where they do a blood test with just a few drops of blood or something.

[B2] Well this doesn’t sound good. I wonder how is Madrigal Elektromotoren is doing.

[B3] This explains their attempts to crack down on misbehavior: Salesforce and Disney don’t want the Twitter Trolls.

[B4] Navigating tattoos in the workplace. I’m not a tattoo guy, but people outside particularly open-to-such-things of society where they cannot be covered up baffle my conservative soul.

[B5] Samsung: From bad to worse to video games. I’ve been going back and forth on whether my next phone should be Samsung or LG, but will I have a choice?

[B6] Apple may not lead the self-driving car revolution after all. Getting into the car business seems a bit more difficult than getting into the phone business.


louisiana swamps photo

Image by finchlake2000 Linky Friday #189: Tattooed Introversion

[H1] There are more opioid prescriptions than people in Louisiana.

[H2] If your life is feeling incomplete, maybe suicide is the answer.

[H3] Tattoos with a cause. I have to get over my anti-tattoo biases, but it sounds really cool.

[H4] The degree to which generic drugs are identical to the name brand may be overstated, which is unfortunate in multiple respects.

[H5] An eight year old on a mission.


romance photo

Image by One From RM Linky Friday #189: Tattooed Introversion

[R1] Madison Moore explains how difficult flirting is with the introverted.

[R2] Sometimes when women allude to having a boyfriend, they’re really just gently blowing you off. These men are OUTRAGED!

[R3] Cohabitation doesn’t seem to filter out bad couplings, and isn’t likely to endure as a marriage, but it does make women feel as good as if they’d gotten married. Scott Stanley takes some issue with that, though.

[R4] Unsurprisingly, I am on Team Separate Bedrooms, when feasible. Spousal benefits come with being married.

[R5] According to The Onion, more Americans are putting off marriage (until ultimatums are issued).


removed tattoo photo

Image by Perry Wilson Linky Friday #189: Tattooed Introversion

[S1] There’s lots of money in tattoo removal.

[S2] When is the concept of us a fiction created by Big Data?

[S3] Tania Lombrozo argues that there are no controls in evaluating how events shaped our lives, and so we should beware of the fictitious cause-effect we assign to them.

[S4] Smartphones as “companions to our emotional lives.”

[S5] This does correspond with my own experience. I really do divide my life into where I was living at any particular time (even within Colosse). Even so, I’m tired of moving.

[S6] Jessica Abel explains that if you’re thinking too much about how great something you’re going to do is going to be, you’re not doing the thing that’s supposed to be great.

[S7] Introvert. Asshole. Hero.

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Morning Ed: Food {2016.10.19.W}( 124 )

Wasabi KitKats are something I must try.

Bitter living through Bitrix.

We might associate it with American hippies or religious nuts, but anti-GMO sentiment in the US has nothing on Norway.

Ferris Jabr went to Peru and learned about potatoes from their apparent evolutionary birthplace.

Buy local! Or not, whatever. The BBC reports that the food miles argument is pretty bunk.

So… what exactly is Mountain Dew?

You, too, can make Taco Bell food. When I feel too lazy to go out for food, though, I feel doubly too lazy to prepare something that requires effort.

Peter Meehan says that mustard is the king of condiments! I think foods that use condiments should be pluralistic democracies, myself. There is room for mustard, mayo, and ketchup.

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Morning Ed: The Planet {2016.10.19.W}( 44 )

Jon Ware wants a worldwide explosion in green infrastructure.

Our coal ash recycling efforts appear to be going well!

The Manhattan Institute says that to go completely renewable, we’d need the landmasses of Texas and West Virginia.

Desalination is almost certain to be the answer to droughts and water shortages eventually, but Justin Fox reports that we’re a long ways away.

In Washington state, meanwhile, there may be a compromise.

A look at what the relationship between fracking and earthquakes is and isn’t.

Josiah Neeley wants to know why conservatives are so fond of geo-engineering as a potential remediation for global warming.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.10.18.T}( 64 )

Love is in, chastity is out: A look at how what men and women want in marriage has changed.

Without a conference home, many have suggested that New Mexico State would drop to FCS and join the Big Sky. They have $1.4 million reasons to resist, however.

Kevin Clark writes of the NFL’s age problem. Most, though not all, of this cries out for a development league. The rest… as we start worrying about concussions, I think we’re just going to get used to inferior play for a while until things get sorted out.

Jack Bauer may be gone from 24, but we may get Tony Almeida! It would be cooler if we got him without the baggage that the series left him with. Which was a problem with that show generally, how it burned through characters.

We all mourned David Bowie’s death, but none of us could appreciate what it portended. {Via Aaron David}

It looks like gender differences in spatial tasks may dissipate if you simply reframe the terminology.

Judith Shulevitz looks at the conflicting aims of privacy and equality as it pertains to gender and transgenderism.

Lauren Young explains how Candid Camera puts conformity theory to the test.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.10.17.M}( 260 )

Like some other cities, Kansas City is awkwardly split between two states, but they’re trying to work together. Good! Both states need a strong Kansas City.

Houston needs to hire call banks out of Utah and Idaho, which have the most affordable and conscientious phone agents in the country. It might prevent things like this.

The prisoners are going on strike.

When talking about whether the media fumbled this election, it’s important to make distinctions between print media and television media. The former ran the spectrum, the latter really lost their way.

A $15 minimum wage really does seem like a bad idea to me. If you don’t trust me, trust Democratic advisors.

Broadband providers are hoping to turn poor areas into loss leaders for future profits.

These suckers need to be sent back to Australia. I mean, I don’t know that they’re from Australia or anything, but I assume.

Peter Ubel explains why he believes the government’s efforts to fix primary care came up short.

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Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton( 122 )


Image by spaztacular

Image by spaztacular Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton

[C1] For professional clowns, the creepy clown craze is actually rather scary.

[C2] Interesting and counterintuitive: When men outnumber women, crime rates are lower.

[C3] This is the sort of story that, when I see it on a TV show, I think the screenwriters are being manipulative. The same goes for this. Egad.

[C4] Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

[C5] I will bet money that at some point or another this guy said that his problem with girls is that they don’t appreciate nice guys. Update: Hoax/misunderstanding!


Image by cogdogblog

Image by cogdogblog Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton

[Ed1] A teenager in Britain who didn’t know what the word “lottery” meant. Or else it wasn’t made clear, in which case he learned a valuable lesson about what people in positions of authority tell you.

[Ed2] Reading? Who needs it! This is actually sort of how I learned to love audiobooks. It may not be the ideal way to consume stories, but the way I do it costs me almost no time.

[Ed3] Gosh, with that kind of money, you could get a football coach for a season.

[Ed4] EducationNext looks at the “teacher pay gap” and finds that teachers aren’t making less than they used to be (but also aren’t making more).

[Ed5] Kay Hymowitz says a new study demonstrating racism on the part of preschool teachers may be more nuanced than reported.


Temple Mount Jerusalem photo

Image by yeowatzup Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton

[R1] James Poulos wonder if Elon Musk is religious enough to colonize Mars.

[R2] I’ve been on the cusp of getting my hate on for evangelicals, but maybe I should take a deep breath.

[R3] Freddy Gray talks about life defending pedophile priests.

[R4] So it turns out that the Temple Mount is not really connected to Judaism. Or something. {Note: This was discussed here yesterday}

[R5] Oklahoma’s governor is urging residents to pray for black rain.


Image by Banalities

Image by Banalities Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton

[P1] It looks like the geeks are giving up on the fake island.

[P2] Meet Moore’s Law’s evil twin.

[P3] Oh thank god.

[P4] How mustard gas lead to chemotherapy.

[P5] “Yes, there are a lot of people who would like to be able to work on a computer at home. But would they really want to carry [a portable computer] back from the office with them? It would be much simpler to take home a few floppy disks tucked into an attache case. For the majority of consumers, a second computer for the home office is usually an inexpensive clone of the one at work. Not only is such an alternative more convenient, but it is more cost effective as well. In fact, one ends up with better technology. ” –NYT, 1985


oil rig photo

Image by Graf Spee Linky Friday #188: Master of Muskiton

[En1] What politicians know that David Roberts apparently doesn’t is that “no more new fossil fuels anywhere” is like saying “No more sin.” I mean, I guess unlike a lot of sin it can be regulated in theory, but in practice if that’s what is required then we need to focus on handling the fallout of the looming disaster.

[En2] Fluctuation problems in a wind farm in South Australia caused some blackouts.

[En3] Wind farms are also killing a wider footprint of birds than we realized.

[En4] So does this mean the next time someone calls me a climate change denier I can point out that Hillary Clinton does, too?

[En5] Peter Burrows isn’t so sure about Elon Musk’s SolarCity plans.

[En6] The everlasting aftermath of Deepwater Horizon.


marsterraformed[S1] Okay, let’s say we get people on Mars. How do we get them off Mars?

[S2] Watch atoms keep their distance.

[S3] This sort of thing is not helpful to science.

[S4] Gabriel Rossman has some smart words about excessive statistical controls, where if you don’t like the effects of X, you simply control for X.

[S5] Experts are not so expert as we are lead to believe. So when should we believe them?

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Morning Ed: Health {2016.10.13.Th}( 108 )

Kidney donations may be very much a public good, but what about regrets? Meanwhile, Tina Rosenberg looks at the kidney market in Iran.

Marco Bronx explains what he learned from chronic pain.

Well, maybe Soylent isn’t the future after all.

Trippin’ and Codin’.

This… is a tough story to read.

So is this one, though they aren’t otherwise related.

Some of these problems can be very serious and could lead to death. It´s not a fun thing to look at but The Inheritance Experts can help you with their belonging and give them out to who really needs them the most.

Could subliminal messaging and positive stereotyping help smooth the aging process?

I already knew this, but in case you didn’t: Don’t get sick or injured in July.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.10.12.W}( 106 )

A look at Brazilian Love Motels.


Via Aaron David, another article on the CIA’s infiltration of the mid-century art community.

Chuck Yeager apparently really doesn’t like the Brits.

The Trump Taj Mahal has closed. I hear it’s really gone to pot, like much of Atlantic City. Which actually makes me wish I had visited there, under different circumstances.

Well this should surprise nobody, though I am a bit surprised by how far inland some of the red goes.

Given that a lot of sign language is spoken-language related, and that some of the affectations used in sign language relate to culture, it’s not surprising that sign language isn’t global.

The power of diversity! Or is it the power of segregation? Either way, our interconnecting world may be ill-equipped to innovate and face future challenges.

Tyler Cowen explains how the suburbs may benefit from tech.

Today, Alex Balk had to write about Ken Bone.

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.10.11.T}( 178 )

Charles Mudade explains how Uber and Lyft reduce taxi cab racism.

That’s what I’ve been saying! Sometimes creative industry is more about what the creators want to create than what consumers want or need to consume.

NFL viewership is plummeting. Should networks be worried?

Given what he did to the USFL, I suppose it makes sense Donald Trump would destroy the NFL, too.

Turn on the lights: Men are better that way.

Is Law & Order SVU going soft on crime? It’d be weird if they deviated from their Freaks Everywhere formula.

Erik P Hoel ponders what books can offer that television and movies can’t. Different stories lend themselves to different media, and there are some stories that are simply better told in print. The biggest thing, though, is that books require less capital and so allow for more individual effort and experimentation.

Noah Berlatsky reviews The Day After, which was featured in the most recent season of The Americans. I hear a lot about how that movie scared people, but for me the Cold War was winding down when I saw it.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.10.10.M}( 66 )

Bruce Anderson says that Theresa May and Ruth Davidson are the future of the Conservative Party now. {More}

The Brexit may be hard.

British expats will now all be allowed to vote. I thought the fifteen year cutoff was pretty reasonable, to be honest. That (or maybe even just ten) is about what I would favor if we ever did away with the electoral college.

Farage is back! Albeit temporarily.

Jay Cobb (aka JayFromBrooklyn) explains why it’s okay to vote for Hillary, even if you’re conservative.

Megan McArdle has a worthwhile tweetstorm on Republican disaster management and how it conforms with how a lot of businesses behave.

The Obama administration is looking at the possibility of an adopt-a-refugee program.

Obamacare was written with jobs in mind, which may have been a bad move.

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Linky Friday #187: Your Money Or Your Life( 243 )


car fire photo

Image by Pitel Linky Friday #187: Your Money Or Your Life

[C1] Hey, we can prevent gun violence. Or we can not. Up to us?

[C2] Congress would like the TSA to please stop confiscating breast milk, which has been an ongoing problem, and rights ignored are worse than rights denied.

[C3] How did we end up with so many cops in schools? Unions, of course. Speaking of which

[C4] It’s not just Muslims: A high schooler in Oregon was suspended for a homemade charger.

[C5] If you’re going to burn your cheating ex’s car, make sure that you burn the right one.

[C6] Meet the Dallas Cowboys’ fixer.


new coke photo

Image by adrigu Linky Friday #187: Your Money Or Your Life

[M1] Ruth Graham on the rising costs of raising children, pertaining to child care.

[M2] Don’t follow your dreams: Merrit Tierce wrote a successful book and then went broke.

[M3] Noah Smith says that trade with Asia is pulling Americans west. {Related?}

[M4] Huh: spouses often don’t know how much one another brings in.

[M5] New Coke was easily the biggest fiasco in soft drink history. Despite its infamy – or perhaps even because of it – I’m surprised they never tried a re-release. I bet a lot of people would love to get another chance to try it and see if it was as bad as remembered/advertised.

[M6] The hardship of being obscenely rich.


raccoon photo

Image by ZeMoufette Linky Friday #187: Your Money Or Your Life

[N1] It’s the “again” that I can’t get over.

[N2] In the vein of “If you shoot at the king, don’t miss”… If you hit a deer, hit it hard, because it might hit back.

[N3] Should I just rename the Nature section the Australia section?

[N4] Killjoy.

[N5] Bees going extinct does sound like it might be a problem. Maybe we can release some genetically modified bees into the ecosystem, though. You know, ones that don’t sting.

[N6] The story of a man and a cat.


asthma photo

Image by PhylB Linky Friday #187: Your Money Or Your Life

[H1] So what else can we add to stuff to improve the population? (Other than fluoride, I mean.)

[H2] From Vox, the radical origins of vegetarianism.

[H3] Some civic-minded investors are asking Walmart to stop selling so much meat.

[H4] If you don’t want your children to get asthma, get a cow as a pet.

[H5] There was a burst of economic activity at the FDA deeming turnover and grace period. That makes sense. I know my hardware provider released a whole spate of new products right under the wire, while like convenience stores I am waiting for the shoe to drop on the companies that aren’t going to be able to comply with PMTA.

[H6] Even if you’re a skeptic of Big Pharma, you ought to keep in mind that at some point you’re not just going after icky corporate entities, but also their suffering, struggling, saved customers.


[W1] Maria Teresa Hart explains her start-up snob experience. She sounds as insufferable as she describes herself, but we all go through phases.

[W2] Some good advice from Robert Heinlein about writing.

[W3] Wayne Hale writes about accident investigations and why they take so long.

[W4] Colorado’s biggest paper is evidently striving to find out how close to the bone things can be cut.

[W5] The Wall Street Journal has a cool piece on the tech jobs that are landing in flyover country.

[W6] Matthew Yglesias makes the case that small employers pay less.

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Morning Ed: World {2016.10.06.Th}( 35 )

Given that this is Canada, I was thinking the headline “Can an atheist lead a Protestant Church” was in reference to a legal question (can a pastor be fired for being an atheist) rather than a religious question.

The Chinese housing bubble may have an expiration date.

Well this doesn’t sound good.

Saudi Arabia is going gregorian.

Abortion in Poland is illegal except for rape, incest, the woman’s life, or irreparable damage. Some are seeking to change that by losing the exemptions.

After a recent high-profile defection, South Korea’s leader wants more.

The Americas Society explains the barriers to and history of a US-Mexico wall.

This is a terrible story. I can barely imagine.

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Morning Ed: Listicles {2016.10.05.W}( 69 )

I always thought the GoBots origin was way more interesting than Transformers. Cracked has a list of dark toy origin stories.

Cobra-La was so damn stupid. Anyway, here’s 17 facts about the international terrorist organization.

Here at 10 hit songs detested by the artist.

You know what’s a popular policy? Requiring voter ID is a popular policy. So, too, is early voting. The lesson here is to ignore popular policies among voters about voting.

“Okay, I’ll be up front and admit Street Sharks wasn’t exactly the vanguard of the women’s rights movement. That said, here’s what I managed to scrape together to show that Street Sharks was a feminist show years ahead of its time.”

But I like mayo, though. It’s actually a really good base to add stuff to.

Need some extra money, guy? Here you go.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.10.04.T}( 63 )

The creator of Pepe the Frog is voting Hillary and Katy Perry and Madonna are… whatever.

Toby Young is skeptical that a broad-left anti-Tory coalition is going to succeed. Which would be good for the Tories, because they may be heading into a civil war over Brexit.

Go, Maine, go! Next up, primaries!

Terrell Jermaine Starr explains how elderly black women may put Hillary Clinton in office.

Hillary Clinton is going after my vote so hard I am getting to the point that I would feel bad not giving to her.

See, computerized voting never actually seemed like a good idea to me.

Given that it’s one of the Trumpiest states in the country, Democrats holding the governorship of West Virginia would be quite the accomplishment.

I haven’t dismissed any friendships, or had any friends dismiss me, over Trump support. But there are some relationships that aren’t going to be the same.

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Morning Ed: Education {2016.10.03.M}( 123 )

In two separate referenda, Colombians reject peace and Hungarians reject immigration. The former was very close but valid, the latter was almost as lopsided as a vote can be (98% vs 2%), but invalidated due to turnout.

Jessica Leigh Hester writes about the importance of free museums.

Spain: Homework strike! Homework strike!

Yes, absolutely.

At Harvard, George Orwell would apparently be a B- student.

Sigh. It seems like Tennessee is at the center of a disproportionate number of these stories.

One of the issues with our school system is the bundling of schools and real estate. Conor Williams says that a number of those Millennials feel the same way.

When we talk about the costs of college, we should also talk about the opportunity costs of college. In the first part of my career, it seemed like the experience from when I worked while I was in college helped more than the college degree, though that did change as time passed.

Far from being too stigmatized, in Massachusetts there are waiting lists for vocational schools. {More}

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The Next Frontier?( 14 )

Ghosts of Mars (HQ-Trailer-2001)

Terraforming Mars review: Turn the “Red Planet” green with this amazing board game (Nate Anderson, Ars Technica)

Terraforming Mars is a board game inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson’s hard sci-fi “Mars trilogy.” Though not endorsed by the author, Sweden’s Jacob Fryxelius has enlisted his family members to produce a science-driven game that is pure homage to Robinson’s classic series; even the players in the manual’s examples are named “Kim,” “Stanley,” and “Robinson.”

The goal is simple: make Mars habitable. Forget Matt Damon as the primitive first “Martian”; Terraforming Mars takes place much further in the future and unfolds over centuries, ending with a green and blue map of a Red Planet covered with cities, vegetation, and oceans.

The result is one of 2016’s real board game surprises. Though buzzed about in the runup to Gen Con, Terraforming Mars had nothing like the hype of Scythe or Seafall. Yet Stronghold Games sold out its stock on the first day, and despite some serious art and component weaknesses, the buzz from those who played the game was red-hot. Terraforming Mars, people said, was flat-out fun.

Elon Musk’s Dream For Colonizing Mars Just Took A Massive Step Forward (June Javelosa, Futurism)

Today, Musk outlined his SpaceX Mars architecture in an attempt to prove that this mission is something that humanity can undertake and complete. He began by noting that going to Mars, becoming a multiplanetary species, is not merely a choice—it is a necessity. “We will stay on Earth forever, and eventually there will be an extinction event…and the alternative is to become a spacefaring and multiplanetary species—That’s what we want.”

The problem is, we don’t have the technological capabilities to get to the Red Planet. “Right now, you cannot go to Mars for infinite money.” To that end, the biggest hurdles that Musk outlined is making our technologies and making them economically viable. He emphasized the need to make moving to Mars the same cost as the median price of a house in the United States. According to Musk, that this the only way to make a truly sustainable society on Mars, as it would ensure that people could actually afford to move there.

Elon Musk Mars mission will send people to die on Red Planet on hope of colonising it (Andrew Griffin, The Independent)

Tech billionaire Elon Musk plans to send people to die on Mars so that his private space company can colonise it, he has said.

The PayPal co-founder’s private space company, SpaceX, intends to stake its claim on the Red Planet and have people living on it within decades, he said at an event announcing his plans for our nearest planet.

The trip will make use of the company’s Mars Vehicle – a specially designed spacecraft built for sending people to other planets. It can carry 100 people to Mars in just 80 days, he said.

Why didn’t Elon Musk mention where colonists will live on Mars? And how will they survive? (Alessandra Potenza and Loren Grush, Verge)

During his hour-long announcement of the SpaceX Mars colonization plan, CEO Elon Musk didn’t say where exactly Martian colonists will live once they arrive on the planet — and how exactly they’ll survive given the harsh environment.

Musk seemed particularly unconcerned about solar radiation. “The radiation thing is often brought up, but it’s not too big of a deal,” he says. There is a “slightly increased risk” of cancer, he says, and there will probably be some sort of shielding. He talked of creating an artificial magnetic field on Mars to deflect high-energy particles, especially to protect colonists from solar flares. But Musk didn’t provide any information of how this magnetic field would be created.

Musk says SpaceX’s goal is to build the transport system, like building the Union Pacific Railroad. “Once that transport system is built,” Musk says, “there’s a tremendous opportunity for anyone who wants to go to Mars and create something new or build the foundations of a new planet.” People will be able to go to the planet and build “anything from iron refineries to the first pizza joint.”

Elon Musk Says SpaceX Is Already Spending ‘Tens Of Millions’ On Spacecraft To Colonize Mars (Alex Knapp, Forbes)

Musk went over quite a few details regarding the spacecraft that SpaceX is developing. The company intends the system to be fully reusable, from the booster rocket to the spacecraft itself, which would make return trips from Mars using fuel produced on the Martian surface. To that end, Musk said the company intends to focus on a mix of methane and oxygen to fuel the spacecraft, since the materials to create more fuel – carbon dioxide and water – exist in relative abundance on Mars.

Another key detail is that to reduce the size of the rocket needed to go to Mars, the primary spacecraft will actually be refilled in Earth orbit before firing its rockets to head to Mars. Musk noted that it wouldn’t be necessary to just send one spacecraft at a time. Since there would be two years in between the best orbital alignments between Earth and Mars to make the journey, there’d be time, he said, to get multiple ships into orbit that could then all leave at the same instant. The average length of the trip, he said, would be between 90 and 120 days.

“The Mars Colonial Fleet would depart en masse,” he said. “Much like Battlestar Galactica.”

How Crazy Is Elon Musk’s Mission to Mars? (Maddie Stone, Gizmodo)

A critical goal of the Red Dragon missions will be to test and refine propulsive landing technology for entering Mars’ atmosphere, descending, and touching down softly. All robotic missions to the surface of Mars so far have relied on parachutes to slow their descent through the atmosphere, but the Dragon-2 is going to be the heaviest human-made object to touch the Red Planet by a wide margin—and that means it’ll need beefier brakes. No doubt, SpaceX intends for the this propulsive braking technology to feed forward into more ambitious, crewed missions to Mars, which, based on some of the details we heard yesterday, will feature spacecraft that are utterly enormous by modern standards.

It isn’t clear how many uncrewed Red Dragon missions SpaceX hopes to fly to Mars, nor is it clear how much these interplanetary test-runs will cost. In July, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, told Space Policy News that he estimates SpaceX will be spending some $300 million on the program.

NASA will also be making a contribution to the Red Dragon missions, mainly in the form of engineering consulting, which Reuter has valued at roughly $32 million worth of time over four years. In exchange for advice and communications support during SpaceX’s robotic missions to Mars, the space agency will be privy to precious flight data collected during the Dragon-2’s entry, descent, and landing—data that it will likely need to inform its own strategy for getting boots on the Red Planet’s surface in the 2030s.

Seeking to make Earth expendable is not a good reason to settle other planets (The Economist)

MARS has been much possessed by death. In the late 19th century Percival Lowell, an American astronomer, persuaded much of the public that the red planet was dying of desertification. H.G. Wells, in “The War of the Worlds”, imagined Martian invaders bringing death to Earth; in “The Martian Chronicles” Ray Bradbury pictured humans living among Martian ghosts seeing Earth destroyed in a nuclear spasm. Science was not much cheerier than science fiction: space probes revealed that having once been warmer and wetter, Mars is now cold, cratered and all-but-airless.

Perhaps that is why the dream of taking new life to Mars is such a stirring one. Elon Musk, an entrepreneur, has built a rocket company, SpaceX, from scratch in order to make this dream come true. On September 27th he outlined new plans for rockets that dwarf the Apollo programme’s Saturn V, and for spaceships with room for around 100 passengers that can be refuelled both in orbit and on Mars. Such infrastructure, he says, would eventually allow thousands of settlers to get there for $200,000 each—roughly the median cost of an American house. To deliver such marvels in a decade or so is an order tall enough to reach halfway to orbit itself (see article). But as a vision, its ambition enthralls.

How odd, then, that Mr Musk’s motivation is born in part of a fear as misplaced as it is striking. He portrays a Mars colony as a hedge against Earth-bound extinction. Science-fiction fans have long been familiar with this sort of angst about existential risks—in the 1950s Arthur C. Clarke told them that, confined to Earth “humanity had too many eggs in one rather fragile basket.” Others agree. Stephen Hawking, a noted physicist, is one of those given to such fits of the collywobbles. If humans stick to a single planet, he warns, they will be sitting ducks for a supervirus, a malevolent artificial intelligence or a nuclear war that could finish off the whole lot of them at any time.

You can live in South Dakota.

{Thanks to CK MacLeod and Chris for their contribution of the Economist article and the movie trailer respectively.}.

Feature Image by Trumwill, adapted from the work of Daien Ballard and an image from NASA.

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Linky Friday #186: Guns, Bombs, & Dead Raccoons( 180 )


[Ci1] Richard Florida talks about sprawl’s ongoing triumphs, but Justin Fox says we don’t need to surrender.

[Ci2] Apartment in San Francisco, or castle in France?

[Ci3] Wendell Cox explains why increasing density doesn’t increase affordability. Not if done by fiat, anyway.

[Ci4] Dammit. Okay, everybody move to Canterbury now!

[Ci5] I don’t know, this looks kind of cool. I’m a fan of unique structures. But it might do more good in Tampa or somewhere than Manhattan (though I’m informed that the place in Manhattan isn’t really Manhattan.


deepwater horizon photo

Image by EPI2oh Linky Friday #186: Guns, Bombs, & Dead Raccoons

[R1] In terms of carbon neutrality, hydropower may not be all its cracked up to be.

[R2] Karen Mahon feels betrayed by the Trudeau government.

[R3] I’ve commented before that I am open to a carbon tax provided that it’s revenue-neutral. According to Greg Ip, environmentalists in Washington are saying no deal.

[R4] Goodbye World, we’re doomed.

[R5] Which is too bad, because apparently we managed to decouple economic growth and carbon pollution too late, and alsotoo energy use and renewables are getting an upgrade thanks to Big Data.

[R6] New Mexico is taking a hit with the most recent oil bust, and investors are becoming increasing skeptical of OPEC’s ability to hold prices.

[R7] If you haven’t seen a movie, and the movie involves an oil company, assuming that the movie makes the oil company look good is a really weird assumption. (Sonny Bunch reports on Twitter that it does not, in fact, make the oil company good.)


sloth photo

Image by lorentey Linky Friday #186: Guns, Bombs, & Dead Raccoons

[Wi1] Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. And so it was with this snake.

[Wi2] It’s like sending your rival a dead fish, except skunks and raccoons.

[Wi3] Wait, is saving crocodiles supposed to make me like markets?

[Wi4] Sloths & Moths: An enduring partnership.

[Wi5] When birds don’t have to worry about predators, they can really get down and boogie. (Video)


[Cr1] The Christian Science Monitor has a good article on grandparents raising the children of their opioid-addicted children. My wife runs into this a lot.

[Cr2] The mythical clowns in the woods become real.

[Cr3] Leon Neyfakh wonders if the media should downplay the murder strike. When the headlines don’t match the image you wish to convey, change the headlines? (Actually, it’s a very nuanced take on a complicated concern.)

[Cr4] Nothing to stop the bad guy buy a good woman with a gun. Unless they violate department store policy.

[Cr5] Some PUA’s crossed the line into rape. Here’s the story of the victim who took them down.

[Cr6] Sorry I tased you.

[Cr7] Crazy Eddie died this month. Here is the story of his rise and fall. It’s kind of interesting that apparently at no point did they intend to be a legitimate, non-criminal enterprise.


[Wa1] Recently department former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres claims to have stopped Netanyahu from bombing Iran.

[Wa2] Attention Mr Blue! A great New Yorker article on the Spanish Civil War, and the Americans who fought in it. {via Saul}

[Wa3] In a small plot of land in Northern France, Americans have buried their dishonorable dead from World War II.

[Wa4] Alex Rawnsley and David Brown write of the history and folly of the Limited Nuclear War.

[Wa5] Meet Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the deadliest female sniper in history. And Gertrude Sanford, who outsmarted the Nazis by playing dumb.

[Wa6] Here’s a fascinating 1918 video on plastic surgery (on disfigured soldiers) in 1918.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2016.09.29.Th}( 84 )

So hey, about sex and politics. Liberals tend to be both more ambitious and less satisfied with their sex lives than conservatives.

Trump seems to be having difficulty finding mosques for photo ops.

None of the Above is kicking some 7-Election arse.

Go, Obama, go!

How pigeons choose their leaders.

While the US only had two debate participants, we tell other countries to have more. Maybe we should take from the page of the GOP primaries and have an undercard.

Residents in Boris Johnson’s Turkish ancestral homeland are willing to forgive him.

I maintain my prediction that whatever happens, the two parties will be Republicans and Democrats. I could be wrong! I’m not so sure about the proposed party’s name, however.

I agree with this: Let pictures be taken.

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