Ten Second News

Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 15 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] “Those who claim radio is on its way out will second-guess themselves after SiriusXM’s latest earnings report. For the third quarter of 2018, the satellite radio company posted revenue of $1.5 billion — a quarterly record for the company — and got nearly 300,000 new subscribers, bringing its total subscriber count to around 33.7 million. How’s the car-centric subscription radio service doing so well at a time when music is widely available for free listening elsewhere?

[Mu2] “Music and artists are the backbone(s) of culture. They frame fashion, drive social media conversation, invent dance moves and memes and are a loss-leader lynchpin of the first trillion-dollar company. We’ve watched brands like Kanye West’s Yeezy and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty turn entire categories on their head and generate millions in profit as a result.

[Mu3] “The naming of a genre of music is an inexact science. Often a term that’s well-known will be applied to a particular sound because of a geographical association, like disco – short for discotheque – or the music evokes certain feelings, like rave.
Sometimes an archaic term is plundered, and the musical form it is named after goes on to become so universal that the original term dies on the vine, bereft of its original context. But one thing a good deal of popular music’s most iconic genre names share is that they come from vulgar terms describing the grittier side of life, whether that is sex, or drugs or, y’know… rock ‘n’ roll.”

Art Links

[Ar1] The art of pumpkin carving.

[Ar2] Vanished Art Recalled and Reinterpreted: In this exhibition contemporary artworks are paired with works that have been destroyed or lost to the annals of art history.

[Ar3] “Will blockchain revolutionize the art market? The growing number of art-tech startups aiming to bring greater transparency and transactional security to the industry as well as the adoption of the technology among the top players definitely indicates so! In order to best understand what blockchain can bring to the art market, let’s take a look at the main ways that it can be utilized, as well as the opportunities and challenges that they present.”

History Links

[Hi1] The Medievalist Who Fought Nazis With History

[Hi2] Hitler Almost Got Nukes. This WWII Hero Helped Stop Him: Joachim Ronneberg was humble about the almost suicidal operation he led at age 23.

[Hi3] The Hidden History of African-American Burial Sites in the Antebellum South: Enslaved people used codes to mark graves on plantation grounds.

Food Links

[Fo1] The truth about organic food and cancer: Your wallet might have more of an effect than your shopping cart.

[Fo2] The more money you make, the more fast food you eat: A new CDC brief suggests it’s not people below the poverty line doing the buying — it’s people well above it.

[Fo3] A German court has sentenced a man to 12 1/2 years in prison on charges of attempted murder and attempted extortion for poisoning jars of baby food and leaving them on store shelves.

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Wednesday Writs: It’s Spooky Season Edition( 11 )

Warning: some of these links may be upsetting to the sensitive or faint of heart. Those are denoted by asterisk.

Wednesday Writs: It's Spooky Season Edition

[L1]: You know that thing people say about how the owners of a house are required by law to tell potential buyers if the house is haunted? It’s true! Well, in New York, anyway, as decided by the New York Supreme Court of Appeals in our case of the week, Stambovsky v. Ackley. The case was brought by Mr. Strombovsky who, after entering into a contract to buy Ms. Ackley’s house, discovered the abode had a long reputation for being haunted. Stories of its possession by poltergeists were published in Reader’s Digest and the local press. Mr. Strombovsky wanted nothing to do with it, and filed suit to rescind the contract and recoup his deposit. He also sought damages against the real estate agent for not disclosing the information. Strombovsky lost in the lower court, but the appellate division of the state high court overturned. The seller argued that the “as is” clause of the contract encompassed poltergeists, but the court disagreed, stating “defendant seller deliberately fostered the public belief that her home was possessed. Having undertaken to inform the public-at-large, to whom she has no legal relationship, about the supernatural occurrences on her property, she may be said to owe no less a duty to her contract vendee.” However, of the case against the real estate agent, said the court: “plaintiff hasn’t a ghost of a chance”.

[L2]: It’s not just homes that are haunted; many courthouses have a spooky reputation, as well.

*[L3]: Haunted courthouses really aren’t surprising when you think of some of the evil people who have spent time inside them. No, not lawyers; I mean serial killers. Here’s a list of the last words of several of them, before their executions. Number 13 is my personal favorite.

[L4]: Satan is among witches and ghosts for common Halloween imagery, including stories about damned souls who have made a deal with the devil. Would these contracts hold up in a court of law?

[L5]: Fined and jailed for trick-or-treating? You can be in this town, if you’re over 12, according to our crazy law of the week.

[L6]: Podcast recommendation: If you like spooky but not too scary, check out Lore. Each week, host Aaron Mahnke delves into a creepy legend or true-life spooky story, with a historical bent. Mahnke is a great story teller, and most episodes run less than 30 minutes.

*[L7]: Tainted Halloween candy is a story we hear every year, and like most Halloween legends, it has roots in real events. But as this tragic story shows, it isn’t strangers kids need to worry about.

*[L8]: This Wisconsin town holds trick-or-treat before dark, owing to another real-life horror that occurred there over forty years ago.

[L9]: If you missed it the first time around, check out my write-up on the Axeman of New Orleans, a lesser-known and terrifying serial murderer from the early twentieth century.

[L10]: If you get into a brawl on Halloween and decided to punch someone wearing a cop costume- don’t. Our dumb criminal of the week found out the hard way.

[L11]: I would be remiss if I didn’t pivot from the spooky for a moment to acknowledge the news from Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. The legendary Justice O’Connor released a letter to the public in which she announced her retirement from public life due to deteriorating health. She has spent the last decade advocating for civic education for the youth of the United States, and her influence will be missed.

That’s it for this week. I’ll leave you with this hardcore cover of the Misfits’ “Halloween”, by a band called I Am the Law.

Enjoy the rest of Spooky Season!

I AM THE LAW – Misfits Cover "HALLOWEEN"

 

 

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Tech Tuesday for 10/23 Blue Phosphorus and the Flying Dandelions( 7 )

Oscar Gordon’s Tech Tuesday for 10/23

[TT1] Increased CO2 makes plants greener, says NASA. Don’t get too excited that we don’t have to worry about Climate Change, no one knows how much this mitigates things, especially given the rate of deforestation.

[TT2] U-Mich gets $2M to try and advance the development of Algae Bio-Fuels.

[TT3] A sample size of 10 is insufficient to declare that each printer has a unique infill pattern, but I could see it used to match a suspected item to a given printer (i.e. we won’t be seeing federal databases of printer infill patterns).

[TT4] 3D printing batteries to be nearly any shape (other than round or rectangular). It’s early, don’t expect this to be a thing anytime soon, but it’s a neat idea.

[TT5] Can carbon fiber store electrical energy, like in the body panels of a car? I imagine Boeing is paying attention to this and wondering if they can do away with those heavy batteries that were causing them so much trouble a few years back.

[TT6] Novel approach? Yes. Breakthrough, paradigm shifting? I won’t be holding my breath for it. Seems more niche than world changing.

[TT7] Speaking of novel flight, we didn’t really know how dandelion seeds flew. This is some pretty cool base CFD and Aero research. Now I just have to wonder how long before some startup tries to sell this as the next paradigm shift in personal air travel?

[TT8] Going to Mercury on 4 ion thrusters!

[TT9] Levitating things with acoustics is always fun.

[TT10] I am truly glad to see Sandia taking this approach toward the idea of a hydrogen infrastructure. It’s not as simple of a problem as many make it out to be.

[TT11] GE has a new jet engine for the first supersonic business jet. Honestly, business jets make sense for supersonic passenger travel. The economics are better.

[TT12] These guys just won the X-Prize for Water Abundance. Winning required being able to pull 2000 L a day from the air, using only renewable power, and at a cost of less than $0.02 / L. From my read, they didn’t meet the winning criteria, but they got closer than anyone else, so they won. And before anyone calls foul, the X-Prize sets a target that it can’t really know is reachable, so it makes sense that a winner would not always be able to hit all the targets.

[TT13] Blue Phosphorus is going to be the name of my 2D New Age band.

[TT14] OK, a booster a week, that’s ambitious. And I’m curious about how much of the booster is 3D printed. I’ll also be curious to see how long it takes them to iron out the QC wrinkles.

[TT15] “We also discovered that if a shockwave hits a number of surface pores at once, they bootstrap each other. It’s an explosive party, and they party well together.”

[TT16] Brown University thinks they have a better catalyst for fuel cells, one that lasts a lot longer.

[TT17] I think I’ve linked to something like this before, so I’m not sure if this is a new technique, or just an update of the previous, but either way, I hear progress.

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Ordinary World for 22 Oct 2018( 190 )

“But in the meantime all the life you have or ever will have is today, tonight, tomorrow, today, tonight, tomorrow, over and over again (I hope), …”
– Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ordinary World
22 Oct 2018

Civility:

[Ci1] Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why Civility Can’t Return To Politics By Nick Gillespie & Todd Krainin: “If politics these days seem especially ugly, that’s because they are. Not even counting actual physical attacks on Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.) during a congressional baseball practice, politics are more heated, divisive, and physically charged than they have been in years. And for good reason: The people who control politics insist that every piece of legislation, every Supreme Court nomination, every midterm election, every minor rule change is bringing the world one step closer to the apocalypse.”

[Ci2] What people don’t like about civility By Elizabeth Bruenig: “What people don’t like about both civility and political correctness is also – not just coincidentally – the very same thing: the obligation to translate what one really thinks into language someone else will not be offended by. For many, this burdensome process feels a lot like lying, and the resulting “common ground” created in the process seems artificial.”

[Ci3] We Are Trapped In An Escalating Spiral of Incivility by Julian Adorney: “The escalating conflict between Democrats and Republicans erodes the fabric of American society. Civil, democratic society only works as long as we can overcome our fear of the other side and unify as a nation. But for the past two decades, partisan hatred has been on the rise. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and political scientist Sam Abrams point to one cause: “rule changes and culture changes in Congress made it harder to maintain cross-party friendships.” With the decline of these friendships, civility in Washington has frayed.”

[Ci4] Civility is Dead, Hallelujah! by Noah Meyer: “The mask of civility has slipped off, and now there is nothing hiding the ugly reality of politics. For centuries, civility has been the guise hiding the relentless assault on working people from those insulated from reality. There is nothing left to hide behind now. The ruling class has already felt the effects. Protesters occupy their offices, harass them out of restaurants, and shut down the freeways. The most important thing is that they no longer feel safe—a privilege the elite have always had over the rest of us.”

[Ci5] Incivility Isn’t What’s Wrong With American Politics by Sarah Jones:”We do not suffer problems that can be solved with better etiquette. Euphemisms, whether the term is “incivility” or “racially tinged,” have a veiling effect. Viewed through the lens of euphemism, problems don’t look like structural injustice, but like impolitic language. Won’t you be my neighbor? Say no, and suddenly you’re the problem. You’ve forgone dialogue, which is disrespectful, which is the one cardinal sin that the civility framework admits.”

[Ci6] New GOP Message: Your Democratic Neighbors Just Might Kill You! by Elizabeth Picciuto: “Usually, fear-based campaigning constitutes one side accusing elected officials on the other side of posing a danger. If you elect my opponent, she’ll take away your guns/health care/police protections/environmental protections, etc. It’s one thing to accuse representatives of being dangerous. Accusing the citizens who hold opposing political viewpoints is something else entirely. The “angry mob” argument is not only suggesting that voters are in danger of the other side’s policies. It’s suggesting that they are also endangered by their fellow citizens, their neighbors, further increasing the recent bitter divisiveness.”

[Ci7] Civility and Non-Violence by Jennifer Ellen : “The Latin civilas means ‘relating to citizens.’ It’s about citizenship, and citizenship is about where the power and privilege in a society lies. Citizenship is at the heart of what divides us today?—?the legal technicalities of citizenship, yes, but also the full privileges of citizenship?—?both formal and informal. We disagree on who should have that standing, and we disagree on what it means to be a good citizen of America. In this deeper sense of ‘civility,’ it is about what constitutes civility itself that we disagree.”

[Ci8] The Odd Couple by Kristin Devine :”In this climate – two sides at war and both of them convinced that they’re not only right, but are actually God’s/the universe’s Chosen People, where every issue you encounter, no matter how small or silly, looks like a fine spot for a skirmish – why expend valuable energy scrutinizing your own behavior? For surely all behavior, no matter how odious, no matter how divisive, is justified if this is Perpetual War and you are on the side of the angels! If Beloved Tribe has been sanctified by the Holy Forces of Righteousness, surely everything one does and says in its name, no matter how counterproductive or awful or mean-spirited, is justified in the name of the greater good. You may be just a lowly tribesman with a Twitter account, but you are on a sacred mission. You aren’t being an a-hole, heaven forfend! You’re giving witness, testifying your faith, proselytizing to the heathens.”

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 38 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] “How country music has-and hasn’t-addressed the #MeToo movement in a difficult year.”

[Mu2] “As OffBeat magazine’s founder, publisher and editor in chief, Jan Ramsey has been determined to make the world aware of the diversity and economic impact of New Orleans’ music.

[Mu3] “Slate’s New American Songbook, a project dedicated to predicting which songs from the past 25 years will make an enduring impact and become “the new oldies,” reflects several of the most prominent contours of the pop cultural terrain of the past quarter-century: hip-hop’s rise as our most influential form of pop music, the triumph of late ’90s R&B girl groups, and even the persistence of rock more than 60 years after its birth. But what’s less represented is Spanish-language music. Other than a nod to the mortifying salsa-rock kitsch of Santana and Rob Thomas’ “Smooth,” the contributions of Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities are largely absent.”

Art Links

[Ar1] Dungeons & Dragons Art Is Finally Getting the Respect It Deserves, according to Wired.

[Ar2] “What Do Art Critics Actually Do? Artists, collectors, curators, and dealers are all needed for the system to function, but the role of critics is up for grabs.”

[Ar3] “Cristopher Cichocki’s Root Cycle combines installation art with existing architecture in an effort to spark a discussion regarding the relationship between design, both contemporary and historical, and environmental sustainability.”

Speaking of art critics:

History Links

[Hi1] Sears may be heading to the dustbin of history, but their mail-order houses from the catalogue days endure.

[Hi2] Trust helps preserve history, Yorktown battlefield.

[Hi3] “For decades, the principals at a boxy, two-story kindergarten in downtown Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, unwittingly pored over their lesson plans just a few feet above one of the city’s most sacred sites. Today there is a gaping 10-foot hole in what used to be the principal’s office, exposing masonry that once was the back of the bimah, the central platform from where the Torah was read in the city’s 17th century Great Synagogue.”

Food Links

[Fo1] Debate! “If You Had to Survive on One Food, What’s the Best Option?

[Fo2] I doubt it, but interesting to think on: “The New Food Movement And How Blockchain Could Solve Food Security Issues“.

[Fo3] We kind of already know the answer here…”Does microwaving food cause nutrient loss?”

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Ordinary World 20 Oct 2018( 2 )

Ordinary World
20 Oct 2018

[Wo1] A recap for the anniversary of the American and French victory at Yorktown that effectively ended the Revolutionary War.

[Wo2] Usually you add or preserve a lake to improve the view. In England they are going the opposite approach.

[Wo3] While Harry and Meghan have the press enthralled, not everyone in Australia likes the nominal ties that remain to the British Royals.

[Wo4] Horrific Story from India: At least 50 dead as train hits crowd watching fireworks in India

[Wo5] Meanwhile in Mexico: Migrant Caravan Crosses Mexico’s Southern Border

[Wo6] More on Yorktown.

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Linky Friday: Education( 17 )

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
– T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Linky Friday: Education

[Ed1] Elite-College Admissions Are Broken: The racial-discrimination lawsuit against Harvard, which goes to trial this week, raises questions about far more than affirmative action.

[Ed2] Study: Kids’ health outcomes have more to do with parents’ level of education than income

[Ed3] Laying blame after the fact: Ex-Newtown officials defend handling of shooter’s education.

[Ed4] More Money, More Problems: For-Profit Postsecondary Education M&A Poised For Quiet Comeback .

[Ed5] Important distinction between the two: How to Stop Delegating and Start Teaching.

[Ed6] “Higher” education: No retrial for ‘sex on plane’ teacher Eleanor Wilson.

[Ed7] You would think, at least: Teacher banned for life after marrying 13-year-old girl .

[Ed8] Interesting perspective: Six Artists Working as Teachers Share the Lessons They’ve Learned.

[Ed9] Creative: How a Teacher in Rural Oklahoma Started a Science-Fair Dynasty.

[Ed10] Familiar story, this time in Canada: Ontario school board accused of pressuring teachers not to teach ‘racist’ To Kill a Mockingbird.

[Ed11] Somewhat of a moot point, but here it is anyway: Should Brett Kavanaugh be stopped from teaching at Harvard Law School?

[Ed12] Meanwhile, labor trouble brewing for Scotland: Union urges teachers to turn down ‘divisive’ pay offer.

[Ed13] Short Answer? It’s complicated: Why are teachers in Europe paid so much better than those in the United States?

[Ed14] The “Talk” but with more boundaries: The New Birds and Bees: Teaching Kids About Boundaries and Consent .

[Ed15] Old Concept, but renewed interest: Teaching to the student, not the test.

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Ordinary World for 18 Oct 2018( 5 )

“Thursday is perhaps the worst day of the week. It’s nothing in itself; it just reminds you that the week has been going on too long.”
– Nicci French, Thursday’s Child

Ordinary World
Thursday
18 Oct 2018

World

[Wo1] 23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better By Dylan Matthews: “But many of us aren’t aware of ways the world is getting better because the press — and humans in general — have a strong negativity bias. Bad economic news gets more coverage than good news. Negative experiences affect people more, and for longer, than positive ones. Survey evidence consistently indicates that few people in rich countries have any clue that the world has taken a happier turn in recent decades — one poll in 2016 found that only 8 percent of US residents knew that global poverty had fallen since 1996.”

[Wo2] China Is Building A “Social Credit” System. So Is The United States By Tomás Sidenfaden : “This decade will likely be remembered as the final chapter in the unregulated adolescence of our collective digital identities. The many calls to silence critics, curb misinformation, and improve the toxicity of our discourse are a cry for constraints on our freedom. China’s social-credit system seems like an Orwellian dragnet, and it very well may be, but the U.S. is quickly constructing a parallel scheme. Because much of this evolution is inevitable, it is our responsibility to demand transparency from the organizations that seek to catalog and classify us.”

[Wo3] World’s Oldest Fossils Aren’t Actually Fossils, New Research Suggests by George Dvorsky: “Two years ago, researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia shook the science world by claiming to have discovered 3.7 billion-year-old fossils in a rock formation in Greenland, a finding that pushed back the origin of life on Earth by 200 million years. New research is now casting doubt on this discovery, with scientists saying the rock structures are of non-biological origin.”

[Wo4]

[Wo5] This Is the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Mike Pomranz: “If half-a-million dollars for a bottle of wine seems surprising, you’re not alone. Sotheby’s presale estimate for the vino put the top of the range at $32,000. The wine sold for 17 times that amount. And the run wasn’t over: Later, a second bottle from the same vintage sold for $496,000. Both bottles easily broke the record for the most expensive standard-sized bottle of wine ever sold—a title previously held by a bottle from Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold for $233,000 in 2010 in Hong Kong.”

Throwback Thursday

[TT1] Are Political Leaders Responsible for Supporters’ Behavior? By Elizabeth Picciuto: (2016) “There’s one way to look at this, which is that a politician bears no responsibility whatsoever for the actions of her supporters. People are going to do what people are going to do. As long as the supporters are fully autonomous adults, they make their own decisions, they alone are responsible. End of story. And surely each individual supporter is mostly responsible. Almost entirely. Very largely. But politicians are running for their offices in virtue of the fact, in part, that they can offer leadership. They are asking to influence our lives and behavior in the aggregate and showing us their skill at doing it.”

[TT2] Stop Making Excuses for the Internet by Tod Kelly: (2015) “I’ll go ahead and say it: The internet is a terrible, terrible place. Moreover, it’s a terrible place in a way that the rest of the world simply isn’t and people should really stop defending it. This is relatively new belief of mine, and in fact I am still only just beginning to believe it down to my bones. For the longest time I have more or less accepted the Gutenberg Internet Defense (GID). Simply put, the GID states that all new mediums are scary until they aren’t, and therefore criticizing the internet makes you the moral and intellectual equivalent of those who thought the printing press was a bad idea. But I am starting to see that the GID is one of those arguments that works better on paper than reality.”

[TT3] Punching Up, Punching Down, Punching All Around by Vikram Bath: “What is your model for how the number of punches you have to administer changes the number of people who sympathize with your position? Is it a monotonic function? If you punch one person for the environment, is that better than punching zero? I would guess it would be worse. People tend to sympathize with those getting punched. Maybe though, with enough dedicated punching you can change public sentiment. How many punches do we have to administer to get to that point? Millions? Well, we only have one planet but plenty of faces.”

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Tech Tuesday for 10/16 Swimming Bullets and Mortal Coil( 14 )

A bit of a somber note for this weeks Tech Tuesday, as a true giant in the history of technology has passed: Paul Allen, dead at 65.

Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, died Monday. He was an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who influenced many aspects of modern life — from technology and science to sports and music.

Allen was 65, his investment firm Vulcan said in a statement announcing his death. He died in Seattle from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two weeks after Allen said he was being treated for the disease.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, like the less-common Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, said in a statement on behalf of his family. “He was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”

Allen founded Microsoft (MSFT) with Bill Gates in 1975, several years after the two met as fellow students at a private school in Seattle. Allen left the company in 1982 after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.

“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in a statement Monday. “Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Allen’s contributions “indispensable.”

“As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” Nadella added.

Among his many other achievements, Paul Allen donated over $2 Billion to charitable causes over the years.

Oscar Gordon’s Tech Tuesday

[TT1] A swimming bullet

[TT2] Blue continues to be cool.

[TT3] Shrimp vision could boost the capabilities of autonomous vehicles.

[TT4] Illusion proves that the brain fills in gaps in perception, giving further evidence that your brain is a lying liar.

[TT5] Europe is working the frosted spikes ‘do extra hard.

[TT6] How do you thwart the Smash & Grab? Don’t let the thief see anything.

[tt7] The Navy is trying out 3D printed replacement parts.

[TT8] Finding even more Fast Radio Bursts.

[TT9] High Altitude Drones have completed the first set of flight tests.

[TT10] A robot that can build it’s own tube to climb.

[TT11]

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Should the U.S. Copyright Office Have a Political Agenda?( 1 )

America’s Republican-dominated Congress is seeking to fundamentally change how leadership at the Copyright Office is selected. Long story short — they want to make the Register of Copyrights a president-appointed position — just as the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, Labor and Education, among many others — already are.

The consolidation of power into a single dictatorial figurehead with a pro-corporate agenda is a thing to fear. Some feel that it’s important we not write off the U.S. Register of Copyrights as “just another” throwaway presidential appointee. This is a vital position — and its politicization could turn into a serious blow to the free exchange of information.

What’s Congress’s Plan for the Copyright Office, Exactly?

In 2017, the House of Representatives passed a bill called H.R. 1695, which would transform how leadership at the copyright office is selected. The Senate is expected to take up its own version of the bill. At this moment, the Register of Copyrights serves for an unlimited term after being chosen by the Library of Congress.

Not being tied to political and election cycles is what has helped keep it an apolitical institution. This new bill would shorten the term to ten years, but many are afraid that it is a gambit to ensure that, should extreme conservatives retain control of our branches of government, they would be in a position to immediately transform its personnel and priorities into their own image. Namely, the prioritization of the needs and desires of profitable corporations over the needs and desires of the people.

What’s at Stake?

The Copyright Office is not a part of the Executive Branch — it is an appendage of the Congress. The Register of Copyrights, and the Office as a whole, serves these important primary functions:

  • A Congressional advisor in matters of copyright law, which in modern times is under increasing scrutiny thanks to the role information technology plays in our lives.
  • To register new copyrightable works.
  • That’s it.

Even without the changes outlined in H.R. 1695, recent years have seen the increasing politicization of the office and its agenda. The Constitutional purpose of the Copyright Office was, explicitly, to promote and advance the causes of science as well as the “useful arts.” It is an appendage of government tasked with making sure information can move about freely in society and seeking an equitable balance between the ownership and profitability of information and public access to that information.

Different Priorities

The controversy arises because some fear that it has instead simply become a rubber stamp for intellectual property holders and an active saboteur for anyone who doesn’t have a profit motive. In other words, the needs of libraries and other public repositories of information have taken a backseat to the priorities of trade groups, entertainment and mass media companies, and various types of “rightsholders” and “shareholders.”

Under the leadership of former Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, the U.S. came close to passing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261). The goal was, ostensibly, to crack down on websites trafficking in stolen intellectual property, such as torrent directories. It’s the same concept the legal community uses to protect intellectual property and trade secrets, except that in this case, it would have compromised the very structure of the internet in order to do so.

The reality would have been, according to many, a fundamental change in how the internet’s DNS infrastructure works — and an irreparable blow to the very promise of an open, accessible and ultimately democratically controlled internet operated “for the people.” If the plans for the Copyright Office come to fruition, it may pave the way for all these same kinds of problems.

Selling Our Culture to Corporations?

What’s at stake here is how the public interacts with copyrightable works. We need a Register of Copyrights who understands the potential and the perilousness of modern information technology. It is in the Office’s purview, for example, to determine which uses of a copyrightable work constitute an “educational use” and which ones do not.

Also at stake here is the “rewarding” of extremely long copyright terms to corporations who own the rights to older musical recordings, texts and other creative and educational works. The House of Representatives and the Senate have been falling all over themselves trying to find ways to reward companies such as Disney, who seem to desire ownership over culture itself. Disney is one of the most active corporations in copyright lobbying.

They and others regularly and successfully lobby the government to extend copyright terms on works they created, or have since purchased, including classic works that were set to enter the public domain. Copyrights were once valid for the lifetime of the creator plus 50 years. That number is now 70 years and counting, thanks to lobbying.

In doing so, they prevent the public domain — that’s you and me — from ever taking ownership of works of culture after the original creator has enjoyed reasonable earnings from their efforts. They are, in other words, selling the rights to works created decades ago, to people who had no hand in creating them but have the means to exploit them and then tacking on extra decades to the period over which that entity can legally profit from them.

Continuing a Democratic Institution

Some experts, even on the left, have suggested that the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act could be a good thing for various reasons, and indeed, it might prove a positive move.

However, when you take a closer look, there is also a chance that this is just another way our Republican Congress is rewarding predatory corporations at the expense of everybody else. It goes far beyond preserving the copyright on the likeness of Mickey Mouse. Access to educational content, the continuing viability of public libraries and even the structure of the internet is hanging in the balance.

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Ordinary World for 15 Oct 18( 1 )

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Ordinary World for 15 Oct 18

Prognostications, Previews, and Perspectives on Midterm Elections 2018

[Pr1] What Does a Blue Wave Look Like? by Alexandra F. Baldwin: “From 2004 to 2006, Democrats enjoyed a 10.8% net turnaround. Four years later, Republicans rebounded nearly 17%, which was followed by a Democrat gain of 8% in 2012 and a Republican gain of 7.9% in the very next election. That represents some pretty dramatic seesawing in sentiment about the two parties among voters. Certainly some of the changes are a result of the quality of candidates fielded by each party, but with 435 races, we can largely assume that the aggregate candidate quality is pretty consistent throughout the sample period. And what does that “national sentiment” look like this year? It looks blue. Very blue.”

[Pr2] The Anchor and the Waterline by Brandon Allen: “The bottom line is that with President Trump currently under the critical 45% approval mark in over half of the contests taking place this November, Republicans have a lot of exposure. While the current composition of the Senate doesn’t look as though it will change all that much, even a minor shift could give Democrats control of the chamber. And the partisan composition of state governor’s mansions is likely to look very different on Wednesday, November 7.”

[Pr3] Riding high on optimism – but can Democrats really deliver at the midterms? by David Taylor: “After two years of protest and activism, Democrats out for revenge began to dream of neutering Trump by taking back both the House and the Senate from Republican control in the 6 November elections. Each fresh Trump stumble seemed to drive the president’s hardcore supporters further underground and raise Democratic hopes. But the ugly battle over the supreme court confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh has changed the mood, given an energy boost to Republicans and left Democrats wondering if they might be heading for another soul-crushing result.”

[Pr4] What to expect from the 2018 midterm elections by Elaine Kamarck: “Election predictions always rise and fall on one factor: who turns out to vote. Pollsters and pundits can guess and try to figure it out, but in the end, like in 2016, who actually turns out to vote can upend a lot of predictions.”

[Pr5] Michelle Obama Was Right in 2016, and She Is Still Right Today by DA Kirk: “Michelle Obama is right to resist the approach of such a moment. The nucleus of the movement that she and her husband started was a fusion of liberal principles that stand in stark contrast to the strategy Holder and Clinton are proposing. Barack and Michelle Obama’s Democratic Party was supposed to be a tolerant, forward-looking, big-tent party that wasn’t too proud to break bread with its political rivals and embraced the notion that disagreement, debate, and compromise are natural and necessary.”

[Pr6] Democrats and Republicans are both running on identity politics by By Dylan Scott: “Each side has its reasons. The so-called resistance is made up of women and people of color, who are particularly displeased with the Trump administration. Democrats clearly want to tap into that backlash. Older voters, meanwhile, remain the most reliable Republican voters — especially in the Trump era. The GOP needs them to stave off a blue wave.”

[Pr7] We Still Don’t Know What Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Means For The Midterms by By Ariel Edwards-Levy: “Perhaps the biggest unanswered question of all is how much voters will still be thinking about anything that happened last week by the time Election Day rolls around. Nov. 6 is looming closer than ever, and a few early voters have already cast ballots. But trying to predict what will dominate Election Day headlines is more or less a wonk’s version of musical chairs: Remember when the big issue of the day was tax reform? Immigration? Russia? Bob Woodward’s new book? Omarosa’s?”

[Pr8] The Many Storylines Of The Upcoming Midterms by Luis A Mendez “However, control of congress is but one of many story lines one should keep an eye on come election night. There’s many other subplots that could end up just as if not more important. I want to look at all of the ones I find to be the most crucial, not just for what happens for 2018 and into 2019, but what could be story lines that follow us into 2020 and beyond…”

From the Ordinary Times Archive:

[Ar1] Thoughts on the 2014 Midterm Elections and Liberalism’s Future(2014) by Saul DeGraw: “I am writing this on November 4, 2014 at 9 PM Pacific Standard Time. The Republicans have taken back the Senate by at least a 52 vote majority. This result should surprise almost no one. It was a midterm year and the President’s Party usually does poorly during the 6-year itch. The Democratic Party was also facing a lot of tough races in very red territory. The more surprising changes are in the governorships. Brownback, LePage, and Scott have earned their reelections or seem poised to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It is hard to tell whether Brownback helped Roberts or Roberts helped Brownback. Here are some random thoughts.”

[Ar2] The Census and the Republican Victory in the House(2010) by Erik Kain: “The Republican sweep of the House of Representatives is enough a triumph in its own right, but lost in the shuffle is a factor far more important than mere congressional gains: following the 2010 elections, the Republican party now controls 20 trifectas across the United States, up from just 8 leading into the election. This means that the GOP controls the state house, state senate, and governorship in 20 states.
The Democrats, meanwhile, lost at least seven trifectas, down from 16 to 9.

Want to share your own take, prediction, or epistle one the coming midterm? Jaybird has you covered: One Month out from the Election: Give Your Analysis and Make Your Predictions.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 4 )

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] This Is Why Some People Love Music — And Others Really Don’t. “But in a study published today in Current Biology, Spanish and Canadian researchers report on a group of “music anhedonics” — literally, those who do not enjoy music. This is an intriguing phenomenon, and we presume very rare. Importantly, these people are not “amusic” — an affliction that often results from acquired or congenital damage to parts of the brain required to perceive or interpret music. In this study, the “music anhedonics” perceive music in the same way as the rest of the population.”

[Mu2] More than one third of music consumers still pirate music. ““Music piracy has disappeared from the media in the past few years but it certainly hasn’t gone away,” David Price, director of insight and analysis at IFPI, told the Guardian. “People still like free stuff, so it doesn’t surprise us that there are a lot of people engaged in this. And it’s relatively easy to pirate music, which is a difficult thing for us to say.”

[Mu3] Barry White’s Music of Love: Often scorned by critics, the great soul singer was a musical prodigy whose romantic songs helped to create a new mode of modern masculinity
Art Links

[Ar1] “On February 26, 1965, Salvador Dalí woke up with a temperature of 101 and realized his day wasn’t going to go as planned. The surrealist master had agreed to visit Rikers Island—the New York City jail complex located off the shores of Queens and the Bronx—that afternoon to paint alongside the prisoners. He was a sucker for a good media stunt, and the New York City Department of Correction had already heralded the visit with great fanfare in a press release. Dalí was due to arrive ceremoniously by boat, with his wife, pet ocelot, and a gaggle of reporters in tow.”

[Ar2] This Award-Winning Australian Land Art Is Designed to Power 900 Homes…But will it ever be built?

[Ar3] “Art Historical” carvings are taking jack-o-laterns and pumpkin carving to another level.

History Links

[Hi1] A history of loneliness

[Hi2] Way more interesting than you might think: “From music to the moon, postal museum puts distinctive stamps on history”

[Hi3] A history of sexual violence, and those attacks that did, a notably did not, change the course of history.

Food Links

[Fo1] If you missed it, our friend Kristin’s excellent piece “Club Sandwiches.”

[Fo2] Food laws in California, America’s most populous state and a bellwether of change in other states, are changing for the better.

[Fo3] Chicago is quickly becoming a hotbed of investment for startups in the food industry, befitting the city’s history of being the world’s hog butcher and stacker of wheat.

Travel Links

[Tv1] You see, Pittsburgh is far more than friendly, hard working people who welcome tourists with wide smiles and a sincere, “Hello, how are you?” A contagious charm permeates the city that is palpable from the moment you arrive until you decide it’s time to leave.

[Tv2] Can you imagine spending nearly 19 hours straight on an airplane? That’s what passengers aboard Singapore Airlines’ new flight between Singapore and Newark will embark on Thursday, when the route goes into operation. It’s the new longest flight in the world, both by distance and time in the air.

[Tv3] Ekiben (??), an abbreviation of eki (station) and ben (bento), is a prized, and some would say essential, element of long-distance train travel in Japan. While eating in a local commuter train is frowned upon, travellers on longer rides, such as bullet trains or trains that take reservations, are encouraged to take a meal.

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Ordinary World for 13 Oct 2018( 21 )

Ordinary World for 10 Oct 2018

“(Yosemite is)…full of God’s thoughts, a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and enthusiastic action, a new song, a place of beginnings abounding in first lessons of life, mountain building, eternal, invincible, unbreakable order; with sermons in stone, storms, trees, flowers, and animals brimful with humanity.”
– John Muir

*As always, these links are to be read, discussed, and decided on by the reader, not listed as endorsements of the views they offer.

Religion:

[Re1] Why we need “blue laws,” the religious tradition that sanctifies life outside of work By Lyman Stone: ” In other words, blue laws are also a way that the state enshrines a special time for citizens to exercise rights to assembly, religious and secular. Assembly requires that people have time off together, so it doesn’t work to simply mandate that businesses close for any random 24-hour period, because that doesn’t ensure that people have time off together. The state cannot force you to go to church or a community meeting or spend time with loved ones, but it can force your employer to close up shop, raising the odds that you’ll invest in social and civic capital instead of paid labor.”

[Re2] Politics as the New Religion for Progressive Democrats by Emma Green: “Whoever is in the losing party tends to be more energized,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. “They have something to win back.” It’s the segment that’s surprising: Religiously unaffiliated voters, who may or may not be associated with other civic institutions, seem most excited about supporting or donating to causes, going to rallies, and expressing opinions online, among other activities. Political engagement may be providing these Americans with a new form of identity. And in turn, they may be helping to solidify the new identity of the Democratic Party.”

[Re3] Raising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental Health by Alice G. Walton: “Previous studies have suggested similar connections—for instance, that people who are more religious are often happier, and that people who believe in something greater than themselves are more resilient to stress. Other work has shown that in meditation and in prayer, the “me” centers of the brain—those that are active when you’re thinking self-referential worry-based thoughts—quiet down, and areas involved in perceiving the external world as “other” also deactivate. This might suggest that at least one way in which religion/spirituality benefits mental health is to reduce our tendency to think about ourselves and at the same time dissolve our sense of separateness.”

[Re4] Why religion steps in when the state steps back by Sriya Iyer: “Our findings show that as income inequality is increasing in India, members of all religious groups are demanding more education, jobs, healthcare, food distribution, and other services that are affordable and of good quality. Such services may not be adequately provided in all states by the government, and that is where non-state entities step in. Religious organizations are such entities. This pattern is not unique to India. As much research on other developing and developed countries has shown, in the presence of a welfare state, the demand for services provided by religious organizations is reduced, and in some countries, as public services have increasingly been provided over time, the in?uence of religion has weakened.”

Environment:

[Ev1] In Defense of Politicizing Hurricanes – There’s nothing wrong with tying unfolding tragedies to climate change By Emily Atkin: “Climate change is indeed a politically risky topic, owing to years of Republican claims that it’s not an existential threat to the planet, but a liberal conspiracy to regulate big industries out of business. Democrats in swing or conservative-leaning districts are understandably shy about calling Republicans liars, so instead they ignore the issue. It’s simply not worth taking the risk—especially on a topic that historically hasn’t even motivated liberal voters.”

[Ev2] Tax Cuts 2.0 or A Carbon Tax – Why Not Both? by Alex Muresianu: “I suggested the GOP make another round of tax reform revenue-neutral by removing distortionary deductions, such as capping the exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, which favors non-monetary over monetary employee compensation. That would be an ideal reform. But that exclusion is notoriously difficult to curb politically, and the TCJA already significantly reduced many major itemized deductions, such as the deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest, so even if some of those other deductions were eliminated, that might not be enough to make the tax reform revenue-neutral. Enter the carbon tax.”

[Ev3] The Capitalists vs. the Catastrophists by Noah Rothman: “These activists have done a great public service by boiling down the public-policy debate around mitigating the effects of climate change to its most elementary level. If the climate debate becomes about the value of market economics and entrepreneurial dynamism, it’s a debate the capitalists will win. One of the IPCC’s most sensible recommendations to the threat posed by excessive carbon emissions is to popularize the use of “smart thermostats” in homes. But the biggest draw for consumers who purchase relatively expensive Internet-connected devices like those isn’t the marginal contribution they will make to atmospheric stability but the downward pressure they put on the average home’s heating and air conditioning bill. Market forces, economic incentives, and maximum personal benefit are still the most powerful influences affecting mankind.”

[Ev4] The Racism of “De-Growth” or “Anti-Growth” Environmentalism by Andrew Damitio: “In short, economic growth is not a zero-sum game. Improved efficiency can result in improved environmental protection. From an ecological standpoint, it’s a way for humans to increase the carrying capacity of the planet. While it is naive to believe that all environmental issues can be solved through improved technology, opposition to growth completely ignores the technological solutions to some environmental issues, and treats all economic growth as a zero-sum game between progress and the environment, which is simply not the reality.”

Archive:

[Ar1] Why did the Occupy Wall Street protests turn violent and not the Tea Party protests? by Vikram Bath: “Sometimes, it is best to not ask a question. If you’ve ever been around when a kid sees someone in a wheelchair for the first time, you know what I am talking about. We quickly and apologetically explain that there are things we can freely ask questions about and other questions we should keep to ourselves. As adults, we’ve honed this skill of suppressing our curiosities when it is likely to cause discomfort. It is with considerable discomfort that I ask this question:”

[Ar2] Can Anything Stop Internet Mob Justice/Anger? by Saul DeGraw: “The Internet Mob in this case probably did not wait for the wheels of Justice to turn as slowly and imperfectly as they often do. They did not want Palmer to hide behind a lawyer whose legal and ethical responsibility would require him or her to get an optimal outcome for this semi-cowardly hunter even if that means complete acquittal. The problem is that the mob produces a lot of collateral damage as a result.”

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Linky Friday: All in Due Time( 29 )

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Linky Friday: All in Due Time

[Ti1] Real-time trolling: “Politics has always involved shadings of the truth via whisper campaigns, direct-mail operations and negative ads bordering on untrue. What is different this time is how domestic sites are emulating the Russian strategy of 2016 by aggressively creating networks of Facebook pages and accounts — many of them fake — that make it appear as if the ideas they are promoting enjoy widespread popularity, researchers said. The activity is also happening on Twitter, they said.”

[Ti2] It’s a matter of time before the stock market comes back to Earth, so what to make of this weeks “dip”: “Is It Time to Buy the Dip? Wednesday’s stock selloff was bigger than usual, but buying now depends on your investor psychology”

[Ti3] Will touched on this earlier this week, but some are saying it’s time for an Internet Bill of Rights.

[Ti4] Among other nuggets of knowledge discussed in the White House Thursday: “Becoming philosophical, (Kanye) West observed: “Time is a myth. All we have is now, all we have is today.”

[Ti5] Time is undefeated in sports, especially in football, as Eli Manning is finding out right now.

[Ti6] After two years of hand-wringing, time’s up on election security for 2018: “For many, the most intense race leading up to Election Day won’t be among politicians. It’ll be the mad, final scramble by county officials and tech companies to make sure your votes are safe from hackers. But with the slow pace of funding, unprepared campaigns and lack of cooperation among counties, many cybersecurity experts wonder if they’ll reach that finish line by the first Tuesday in November.

[Ti7] The Fed disagrees about what time it is: “It appears that we have come to a critical crossroads: If the economy is decelerating but the Fed doesn’t see it, which would be the logical conclusion from the FOMC minutes and the Chairman’s remarks, then the danger is that, as they have consistently done in the post-WWII modern era, they will over-tighten with recessionary consequences.”

[Ti8] A baseball legend gets the Google doodle treatment: As a Pirate, (Roberto) Clemente would go on to win 12 Gold Gloves (tied for most among outfielders), four National League batting titles, two World Series rings, and the World Series MVP for 1971. He had a batting average of over .300 for 13 seasons and is credited with professional baseball’s only inside the park, walk-off grand slam. He recorded his 3,000th and last hit during the final regular season at-bat of his career in 1972. Hall of Fame numbers, for certain. But it’s also for Clemente’s humanitarian efforts that Google, in the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, dedicated its Doodle on Friday to the first Latin American player enshrined in Cooperstown.

[Ti9] Buying a little more time: “A federal appeals court has temporarily halted the execution of Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski to allow time for consideration of arguments that he had poor legal representation during his trial and sentencing.”

[Ti10] Speaking of death row, these 8 individuals on Washington State’s Death Row are going to having plenty of time on their hands now that their sentences will be automatically commuted to life. Here are some profiles, including serial killer Robert Lee Yates, Jr.

[Ti11] A little less President Trump in prime time lately: “As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.”

[Ti12] Nikki Haley made headlines announcing she wanted some time off, prompting speculation as to what would be in her future. Many are pointing to financial motives, like this money article, but reality is even if you take the high number of $1M in debt, that’s probably covered quickly with some speaking engagements and other private sector work.

[Ti13] Time’s up for Sears, whose long, slow fight to survive might be ending as bankruptcy looms and some of it’s biggest lenders are pushing for liquidation.

[Ti14] “Three Myths That Explain Why Americans Don’t Know Much About History” though as in most things, it starts with how people are taught as children.

[Ti15] The owner of the limo company that was involved in the deadly crash in NY State has quite the timeline with the Feds: “Now, Mr. Hussain’s improbable journey — from asylum-seeking immigrant to petty criminal to trusted ally of government prosecutors, has taken yet another turn. His complicated past is central to the investigation of the nation’s deadliest crash in years.”

[Ti16] Well, that’s one theory of time: “The block universe theory says that our universe may be looked at as a giant four-dimensional block of spacetime, containing all the things that ever happen, explained Dr. Kristie Miller, the joint director for the Centre for Time at the University of Sydney. In the block universe, there is no “now” or present. All moments that exist are just relative to each other within the three spacial dimensions and one time dimension. Your sense of the present is just reflecting where in the block universe you are at that instance. The “past” is just a slice of the universe at an earlier location while the “future” is at a later location.”

[Ti17] Time is undefeated, even against 28 year old space telescopes: “Each time the telescope broke previously, a shuttle mission fixed it. “That we can’t do anymore, because there ain’t no shuttle,” says astronomer Helmut Jenkner of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who is Hubble’s deputy mission head. “This is not a catastrophic failure, but it is a sign of mortality,” says astronomer Robert Kirshner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. Like cataracts, he says, it’s “a sign of aging, but there’s a very good remedy.”

[Ti18] Worth your time to find an obscure piece of history: “This D.C. monument is ‘virtually impossible’ to reach. Here’s how I found it — past the hornets, snakes and swampland.”

[Ti19] One of those “under the radar” indicators of what time it is economically: “Another element worth considering? The biggest buyers probably aren’t buying. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the largest single source of demand for American stocks is the American companies that issue them. Companies are on track to repurchase more than $770 billion in their own stock this year, according to research from Goldman Sachs. That’s more than twice the size of the next largest source of demand, exchange-traded funds, which last year bought $347 billion in shares. ”

[Ti20] Personal note: I hate the BMI, but not sure if this is an improvement, though: “It’s high time we moved past BMI — meet the metabolome

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Ordinary World: Thursday 11 Oct 18( 7 )

World Relief Map

World map with elevation of the land and depth of the oceans-NOAA image

Ordinary World
Thursday 11 Oct 18

Labor, through a rearview mirror darkly:

[La1] Tim Thornton in Appalachian History – The dust-choked air of the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel dig: “People called it tunnelitis. Its more proper name is acute silicosis, a scarring of lungs caused by breathing silica dust, something officials of the companies behind the project – and doctors who testified on their behalf at trials – claimed to know little or nothing about. It’s a condition, Cherniack wrote, that the Greek historian Herodotus mentioned more than 400 years before Christ was born…Chernicack estimated that at least 764 workers died because of working in the tunnel – and Cherniack made it clear he believes that is a very conservative estimate.

[La2] Vince Guerrieri in Belt Magazine – “Within five years of the Campbell Works closure, a total of 50,000 jobs would disappear from the Mahoning Valley, but locals still point to September 19, 1977, as the day the death knell tolled for Youngstown. They call it “Black Monday.”

[La3] Andrew Shakespeare at Flying With Dragons – The Welsh “Rebecca Riots”: “Not many people can claim to have caused a riot. Thomas Bullin could boast two. The issue was the turnpikes that were mushrooming across the country. Supposedly operated by local-community trusts committed to use the money raised by tolls to maintain a stretch of road, a trust was permitted to “outsource” (as we would say today) its duties to a “toll farmer” such as Bullin.”

[La4] Lorraine Boissoneault in Smithsonian – The Coal Mining Massacre America Forgot: “Within 15 minutes, ten people were dead—seven detectives, two miners and the mayor. Three months later, the conflict in the West Virginia coal town had escalated to the point where martial law was declared and federal troops had to intervene.”

[La5] The Library of the University of Washington – The Centralia Massacre: “There is little doubt, from later testimony, most notably that of Dr. Frank Bickford who admitted leading the raid, that the Legionnaires initiated the conflict. It is less clear who fired first, but it seems likely that the Wobblies fired first. In any event, shots soon came from all vantage points. Warren Grimm and Arthur McElfresh of the Legionnaires were killed in this initial confusion of shots. Of the seven Wobblies inside the hall, only Wesley Everest and Ray Becker fired any shots.”

[La6] Legal Legacy – Rock Springs, Wyoming Massacre of Chinese Immigrants: “When the rioting ended, as indicated above, at least 28 Chinese miners were dead and 15 were injured. Rioters burned 75 Chinese homes resulting in approximately US $150,000 in property damage ($3.95 million in present-day money). In Cheyenne, the Territorial Governor Francis E. Warren sent telegrams to the Army and to President Grover Cleveland in Washington asking for federal troops to restore order.”

Port Chicago

Port Chicago Disaster, what was the port facilities

[La7] Mason B. Webb for Warfare History Network – The Port Chicago Disaster: “An underwater crater measuring 66 feet deep, 300 feet wide, and 700 feet around bore mute testimony to the force of the blasts. The human toll was also great. Three civilian workers riding on a cargo-moving locomotive and 16 cars at the port “were never seen again, and pieces of the train were scattered over a wide area,” said one news report. Seventy Maritime Commission seamen died instantly, as did 15 Coast Guardsmen and nine Navy officers. Another 225 sailors—all African Americans working as stevedores at the port—also perished with barely a trace…One survivor recalled, “I was there the next morning. We went back to the dock. Man, it was awful; that was a sight. You’d see a shoe with a foot in it…. You’d see a head floating across the water—just the head—or an arm. Bodies—just awful.”

Throwback Thursday: From the Ordinary Times Archive

[TT1] What Is Politics? by James Hanley : “How can politics be restricted to discussion of large issues when there’s no dividing line between large and small issues? Issue size is a continuous variable, rather than a discrete variable. There’s no point at which there is some step-function distinction between small and large issues, so there’s no point at which you can say “this issue is political, but that one is not.”

[TT2] Lessons From Bar Fight Litigation by Burt Likko: “Typically, the loser of a bar fight who later initiates a lawsuit has been beaten up pretty badly, or at least has the medical bills to suggest significant personal injuries. The loser sues the bar on one of several theories — the most common ones being inadequate security, not having banned a patron known to have a history of fighting, bar employees initiating the violence, or bar employees responding to a situation with unreasonable force. But that’s the boring legal stuff.”

[TT3] Plato, “Crito”, and should we obey bad laws? by Rufus F.: “Now we come to the dialogue “Crito”, which poses the question: What does the individual owe his society? Specifically, if living in a society means obeying the “laws of the land”, do we owe it to our fellow citizens to obey or defy laws that are unjust or wrongheaded? Given Plato’s rather dim view of Athenian democracy, we might imagine the dialogue would argue against obeying the city’s laws, but instead he finds a justification to support the laws, regardless of the will of the people, that is so authoritarian we might wonder if Socrates was served well by this particular student.”

[TT4] Enough Already, with the College Students This and the College Students That by Tod Kelly: “So if kids are still kids, and schools are still schools, what is it that has changed? The answer is: the rest of us. In this mass-media/internet driven world, we are the new and volatile variable that’s been thrown into the mix. We, who so crave bright and shiny new objects to entertain us that we take seriously presidential hopefuls like Donald Trump. We, who joyfully elevate and give undeserved status to goobers who make racist tweets about Star Wars, just so we can revel in the pleasure of talking about them. We, who are just so god-damned bored on a semi-slow news day that we all pretend that something some nineteen-year old said is the fulcrum on which the fate our Great Republic balances. And so we elevate these kids in both fame and importance, and we line up behind our pre-made culture-war battlements, and we either pledge to defend their every immature uttering as Sacred And Previously Unspoken Holy Truths, or we declare them the Enemy whose lives we must destroy for the Good of America.”

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Tech Tuesday – 10/9 – Legoland, Interrupted by SpaceX Edition( 3 )

Our friend Oscar is vacationing, but checked in to deliver his Tech Tuesday links, as well as pics from having witnessed the Space X launch.

I was wrestling with the kids in the room, when my wife called for me to get outside. I saw the plume and knew immediately what it was.

SpaceX

SpaceX launch. Picture by Oscar Gordon

Oscar Gordon’s Tech Tuesday

[TT1] I am here to kick ass and chew bubble gum

[TT2] I love simple ways to do things.

[TT3] Reusable lunar lander

[TT4] Detecting fake news with machine learning.

[TT5] Voyager 2 has left the building!

[TT6] Now I just need to convince my employer that I need a nap after corporate training, or after researching how I might solve a tough problem.

[TT7] At least lax safety concerns are less likely to cause ecological disasters from reoccurring this way.

[TT8] “Wearable tech” needs wearable batteries, pliable ones.

[TT9] The world’s largest hydrogen-based energy system in Japan.

[TT10] Search for the unknown: Exomoons, the natural satellites of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system,

[TT11] Japanese spacecraft drops a third rover on asteroid .

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 7 )

“Sunday is the only day you have to push like a handcart,’ Thomas wrote in The Book Of Everything. ’ The other days roll down the bridge by themselves.”
– Guus Kuijer, The Book of Everything

Ordinary Sunday Brunch


The late, great, Otis Rush

Music Links

[Mu1] “(Geoff) Emerick, who died Tuesday night at the age of 72, was a crucial collaborator in the Beatles’ glory years, helping them find endless new ways to reinvent the way music sounded — and the way people around the world heard it. He’s one of the few non-Beatle voices to appear on one of their records — you can hear him say “Take two” at the start of “Revolution 1,” as John Lennon responds with a cheerful “okaaaay.””

[Mu2] Steve Baltin for Forbes: “In a conversation I have waited years for as well, (Steve) Perry opens up about being absent from music, finding other creative endeavors, rediscovering his love for songs from Led Zeppelin and the Four Tops, getting the blessing from George Harrison’s widow Olivia to cover “I Need You” and stories of classic Journey songs.”

[Mu3] Opera legend Montserrat Caballe has died: “For sheer vocal glory, reviewers wrote, few voices, if any, could rival Ms. Caballé’s. She was possessed of a lyric soprano that, though light and shimmering, was not without heft. It was renowned for its riverine suppleness, and for an ethereal translucence that few other voices could equal.”

Art Links

[Ar1] Banksy gets one over on the art collector set: “The spray-painted canvas “Girl With Balloon” went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London, fetching more than three times its pre-sale estimate and equaling a record price ($1.4M USD) for the artist. Then, as an alarm sounded, it ran through a shredder embedded in the frame, emerging from the bottom in strips.

[Ar2] “It may have taken 13 years, but another painting looted by the Nazis during World War II will be given back to the family of Jewish Dutch art dealer Jacques Goudstikker.”

[Ar3] “Art often imitates life, but when an anthropologist and a geologist investigated a 2000-year-old carved statue on a tobacco pipe, he exposed a truth he says will rewrite art history.”

History Links

[Hi1] Want to stand out for Halloween? Here’s a guide to some great ideas from historical figures.

[Hi2] Pictures of silence and hope: Library partners with deaf school to preserve history in photos.

[Hi3] Sure, the story of King Arthur drawing Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake is pretty cool. But have you heard about the eight-year-old girl who pulled a sword that’s at least 1,000 years old out of a Swedish lake?

[Hi4] “A philosopher explains how our addiction to stories keeps us from understanding history

Food Links

[Fo1] You are never going to win the advocates vs. frayed parents fight: “A new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, released last month, claims that parents are buying more fast food for their kids than ever before.”

[Fo2] I did a five month stint in the hospital a few years ago, and despite the excellent medical care the food was so bad I actually didn’t mind getting mine through tubes. This German chef seems to have found his calling doing something about that.

[Fo3] Hall of Fame worthy headline here: “Sweden’s Disgusting Food Museum hopes to make a gross profit

[Fo4] News you can use: “15 hacks for storing food that can make it last twice as long

Sports Links

[Sp1] Remember Sports Illustrated’s five-part expose into improprieties at Oklahoma State University back in 2013? At the time, it sounded like a bombshell report..In the end, the SI juggernaut suffered death from a thousand pinpricks and the whole thing ended with a whimper. You know it’s bad when the NCAA publicly says your report is unfounded. Most of us pretty much forgot about the whole affair. That is, except John Talley, who filed a lawsuit against SI in July 2014 over some of the claims made in the report.

[Sp2] Russia, Russia, Russia: “U.S. Charges 7 Russian Intelligence Officers With Hacking 40 Sports And Doping Groups

[Sp3] “”I try not to call it gambling. Gambling to me sounds like rolling the dice, not knowing what the outcome is,” he said. “And gamification, powered by big data, you have all of the information that you need to make a very, very reasoned decision.

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Linky Friday: Devil May Care( 21 )

“Come,’ he said, ‘come, we must see and act. Devils or no devils, or all the devils at once, it matters not; we fight him all the same.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula

Linky Friday: Devil May Care



Linky Friday: Devil May Care

[Dv1] The Mahoning Valley has seen this movie before, and heard about savior trade deals only to be disappointed. Instead of the Black Monday of Youngstown Sheet and Tube 40 years ago, this time the devil is in the details on the new USMC trade agreement and the future of the Lordstown GM plant.

[Dv2] Not only is it a bad PR look, but someone should let them know the devil is already inside the house.

[Dv3] There’s that phrase again; “After Paris, the devil is in the details,” according to Brookings Institute on the Paris Agreement.

[Dv4] We actually are having a national debate over the meaning of “Devil’s Triangle,” and since it’s 2018 that means a fight over the Wikipedia page defining the term.

[Dv5] Flames shoot from a hole in the ground as high as 12 feet in the air for 40 minutes, and weeks later nobody seems to know why. It is Arkansas, so anything is possible.

[Dv6] “Gothic self-pity and contempt, and sympathy for the devil: Sarah Perry introduces Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin

[Dv7] “‘Dancing with the devil’: Retired EMT survives life-threatening infection

[Dv8] There’s that phrase, again: “Tax breaks for the rich and a ‘bargain with the devil’: Colorado candidates for governor spar over education

[Dv9] Nice lede you have there: “Houston could have become a real-life Westworld, but instead the city council has unanimously voted to pass an ordinance that effectively blocks a proposed “sex robot brothel” from opening.

[Dv10] So after nearly 40 years of being a cult classic, the Evil Dead films and lore have taken the next logical step…and become a stage musical.

[Dv11] “I’ve read Dracula a million times; it always started with Jonathan Harker on the train. But that’s page 102 of the manuscript; the first 100 pages were stripped out,” adds Barker. “His publisher pushed it back, ‘We can’t do this [say it’s a true story];’ Jack the Ripper was running around, people were scared to death at the idea of a vampire.”

[Dv12] So how exactly did the “evil nuns terrorize” thing get started, anyway? NPR is on the case.

[Dv13] As a Christian, I don’t see a problem with this: “The Satanic Temple Indiana Chapter is “adopting” part of a rural Zionsville highway and the Indiana Department of Transportation this week installed roadside signs displaying the group’s name.”

[Dv14] Asking the hard questions and debating the great issues of our time: The Takeout on “Is candy corn delicious or Satan’s earwax?”

[Dv15] Contrarian opinion: “Mullane: Lighten up, snowflake, the country ain’t going to hell

[Dv16] The Smithsonian takes a look at a book that covers various concepts of hell.

[Dv17] I have been, and continue to be, a Tesla skeptic, and their current excuse of being in “logistics hell” is not helping change my mind. They seem to be really good at big ideas and innovating tech, but if you aren’t good at the important things (such as turning a profit and getting your product to consumers) you are not going to be successful, despite media hype.

[Dv18] The downside to teenage campaign volunteers who care too much: “Abigail Spanberger’s campaign for Congress fired four teenaged campaign volunteers after they apparently left a rude note on the front door of her Republican opponent, Rep. Dave Brat.” “Rot in hell, Dave,” was the message left on the front door of Rep. Brat’s home.

[Dv19] As the father of four daughters, my short answer is, “Ask them, I’m not.” How in the Hell Are People Paying for Weddings? Vol. 2

[Dv20] “Everyone Wants to Go to the Moon Again—Logic Be Damned”

[Dv21] “Damned at birth:” “Anne Hamilton-Byrne is 97 years old and reportedly shrunk and frail. But her influence lives on in the lives of the children who were taken at birth, locked away, drugged with LSD, beaten, brainwashed and starved. The children were given new names, dressed in matching clothing like a bizarre version of the Von Trapp family, many with their hair bleached to make them look like siblings.”

[Dv22] Before “Children of the Damned,” there was the first film “Village of the Damned.”

[Dv23] “The Americans are here,” a German officer wrote, according to historian Edward G. Lengel. “We can kill them but we can’t stop them.” The hell that was America’s bloodiest battle, 100 years ago.

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Morning Ed: Entertainment {2018.10.04.Th}( 7 )

[E1] A look at the relationship between serialization and recaps in the Golden Age of Television.

[E2] Real redheads and fake redheads are different genres of beautiful, in my opinion.

[E3] Easy come, easy go. I still haven’t seen a movie in 3D.

[E4] A glance at feminist comic books in Mongolia.

[E5] Cool: The first ever movie poster.

[E6] It may not be making rock better and it may be making Christianity worse, but Christian rock endures.

[E7] What I would really, really like to see is Netflix and similar companies getting a reputation for actually finishing storylines. They’re in a much better position to implement that change in mentality than the networks are.

[E8] Behold, the lies of the romcom.

[E9] I, too, am not especially fond of very public marriage proposals. Unless, I guess, she’s made it pretty clear that she wants one.

Editor’s Note:
As the post’s tagline indicates, this will be my last post as your regular supplier of daily links. Andrew Donaldson took over Linky Friday a couple months ago, and now he will be taking over the entire linky project. There are some exciting changes in store and I will periodically be submitting entries, but the time has come to pass the baton and I am pleased to have somebody as worthy as Andrew to pass it to.

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Morning Ed: Transportation {2018.10.03.W}( 17 )

[Tr1] I feel sheltered… I didn’t know courier flights were a thing.

[Tr2] But who actually wants a driverless boat? Driverless cars are appealing because driving has become a monotonous chore. We still like boating!

[Tr3] I’m pretty sure that eventually pedestrians are going to put something in their wallet so that cars know where they are at all times. People may even come to like it if you throw in other things. The only question is what access law enforcement will have to the information.

[Tr4] A Wazetown illegally put up signs stating that their roads are only for local traffic. The solution, many places back home discovered, is to actually obstruct everything to a single entrance and exit.

[Tr5] Jonathan English says that when it comes to mass transit, if you build it they will come.

[Tr6] Teresa Mull writes about the Subaru culture. I’m quite fond of ours.

[Tr7] Autonomous school shuttles!

[Tr8] Sure seems like Elon Musk is going down.

[Tr9] Babies are only allowed to cry for five minutes.

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Tech Tuesday- 10/2 – Nuclear Pasta, and Other Changes( 6 )

There will be some changes coming soon to the morning line-up at Ordinary Times forthcoming, including some exciting news about Tech Tuesday. For now, enjoy today’s edition with everything from luxury yachts to manta rays to returning to the moon.

Tech Tuesday- 10/2 – Nuclear Pasta, and Other Changes

TT1 Using light and sound to see into our bodies.

TT2 This is essentially a large scale CNC shop that is packable. Need a custom form or part for the construction job? No need to wait for a custom fabrication shop to get the order, queue it up, produce it, and deliver it.

TT3 Building a luxury yacht, 3 years in 5 minutes.

TT4 Simulating an avalanche.

TT5 Keeping cool with magnetic fields and shape memory alloys, instead of refrigerants.

TT6 Instead of trying to prevent ice buildup, encourage ice to buildup in places it can’t do any harm.

TT7 TESS takes a look at the southern sky.

TT8 Cheap strips of metal (like $10) can clean pollutants from a ton of contaminated water in minutes.

TT9 I’m linking this solely because, “Nuclear Pasta“. (It’s worth reading besides that)

TT10 What could be worse than plastic straws?

TT11 Space net gun captures space debris.

TT12 Japan has launched a baby space elevator. Japan has also landed a probe on an asteroid.

TT13 A battery that turns CO2 into solid Carbon.

TT14 A new attempt to make the Star Trek Tricoder.

TT15 An interactive, helmet mounted HUD.

TT16 NASA has a plan to get back to the moon.

TT17 Manta Rays have a unique filter feeding system that can help us make better filters.

TT18 Pew Pew Pew-ing space junk.

TT19 Yellowcake (Uranium) has been extracted from seawater using acrylic yarn.

TT20 Ammonia as shipping fuel.

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Morning Ed: Mind & Body {2018.10.01.M}( 5 )

[MB1] It seems to me there is a future for bulbs that change hue throughout the day.

[MB2] Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are going to war over a price break non-profit hospitals get on their drugs.

[MB3] If you don’t trust women who say they want their breasts removed, you shouldn’t be in the breast removal business.

[MB4] Using Google Glass to teach autistic kids to read emotions. Also, the secret life of an autistic stripper.

[MB5] The brain’s ability to compensate is truly phenomenal.

[MB6] The FDA toughened antidepressant warnings and teens died.

[MB7] It’s going to be crazy the things we will be able to do to the brain.

[MB8] We appear to be responsive to robot pleas.

[MB9] Hitler: ENTJ

[MB0]

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch( 9 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] “Artists these days have a new concern at the forefront of their minds when designing tours and concerts: how they look not just to live audiences — but also to millions, and potentially billions, of people at home. A chief driver of that worry is Instagram.”

[Mu2] “The Hot New Musical Trend In Zanzibar Is From The ’80s — The 1880s

[Mu3] Marty Balin, founding member of Jefferson Airplane, has died. Grace Slick was a force of nature, but it was Balin’s tenor and songwriting that carried a lot of the psychedelic rock band’s more melodic material. My favorite story about him is how at the notorious Altamont concert he dove off the stage into the crowd to help a fan being beaten by the Hell’s Angels and got stomped for his trouble.

Art Links

[Ar1] The never-ending conundrum in art; having really big, bold, and fantastic ideas but the finished product not turning out the general public.

[Ar2] “Chicago is getting the world’s largest permanent digital art installation.

[Ar3] The unseen chaos and labor of getting a high-profile art exhibition ready, and also a darn fine lead-in to a piece: “It takes six people to get the purple, orange, red, brown, blue and green hair on the mannequin.”

History Links

Hi1 & Hi2 brought to us by our friend Shelia Wallace (@SheLa9876 on Twitter)

[Hi1] “So, the first link I’d like to share is about the story of the Kennewick Man, an intact nine-thousand-year-old skeleton found on the banks of Washington’s Columbia River back in 1996. This story fascinates me and reminds me of a quote from Raymond Tallis, “the history of the world is the history of pain.” – “In Defense of Realism”

[Hi2] “The second link is also about medicine and pain. The novelist Fanny Burney in her ‘Journals and Letters”, wrote a horrific and harrowing account of her mastectomy in 1811. These descriptions have never left my imagination…remind me of how lucky we are to live in modern times with modern medicine.”

[Hi3] The dark history of the color pink: “Yet pink toes a shaky line. Is it a benign means of subtle manipulation? A tool to humiliate? An outgrowth of gender stereotyping? Or some combination of the three?”

[Hi4] Boeing’s Iconic 747 Turns 50: A History in Pictures

Food Links

[Fo1] “Last year, the IPA category grew by 16%, increasing sales by more than $176 million, and boasted a 30% dollar share of the beer market, according to IRI Worldwide. But that doesn’t mean other styles aren’t gaining momentum. The IPA category has become so massive, in fact, that some splintering is occurring.”

[Fo2] The role of storytelling in food is known; now there is actual science that not only does it affect how you enjoy a meal, but can actually change how you perceive taste.

[Fo3] Food delivery apps are all the rage, so CNET breaks down several of their favorites.

[Fo4] Fast food, especially Jack In the Box, can kill you, especially if you open your door in the drive-thru, lean out, and your car gets thrown in reverse and runs you down.

Sports Links

[Sp1] The quickest way to raise national awareness, and increase revenue, for your school is high-profile sports. When scandal hits, both are affected, as the University of Louisville is finding out right now.

[Sp2] End of an era, and more questions about a turbulent sport’s future: “HBO ends 43-year relationship with boxing and will focus on sport storytelling”

[Sp3] The case was Ludtke v. Kuhn. On one side, the most powerful man in baseball. On the other, 27-year-old Sports Illustrated writer Melissa Ludtke, who had been barred from the New York Yankees clubhouse while covering the previous year’s World Series. In response, SI’s parent company, Time, Inc., had sued. Forty years ago this week, the court ruled in Ludtke’s favor.

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Morning Ed: Cities {2018.09.27.Th}( 12 )

[Ci1] Joel Kotkin is concerned that flood plane management will be used to hinder Houston’s growth.

[Ci2] Never believe those “livable city” indices.

[Ci3] How Oklahoma City became a thing.

[Ci4] Too much of a good thing? Amsterdam is looking to limit tourism.

[Ci5] #AbolishCities

[Ci6] Conor Sen argues that what China needs is some sprawl.

[Ci7] I don’t know, maybe we just found a good model to work from!

[Ci8] Alex Hickman argues that the future of Africa is its cities.

[Ci0]

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2018.09.26.W}( 22 )

[LO1] One way to avoid getting killed by the cops is to play dead. You might even walk away scot free. In the Philippines at least.

[LO2] Police officers in Seattle are getting really tired of being demonized, according to police officers in Seattle.

[LO3] If you want to avoid getting killed by Islandic vikings, the answer is to choose your family wisely and grow it.

[LO4] OFFS

[LO5] The files the FBI kept on the literary world.

[LO6] This is not surprising, societal biases being what they are. A lot of it just seems… random. A coach at my high school got convicted and didn’t get any prison time despite it most likely not being the only incident.

[LO7] Solving murder mysteries on Mars.

[LO8] Well this is just lovely.

[LO9] Revenge!

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Morning Ed: Labor & Econ {2018.09.25.T}( 11 )

Labor:

[Lb1] Technology is limited in how much it can act as an HR department, and even where it could it may not be a good idea and should perhaps have human partners. Also, maybe not surgery yet?

[Lb2] The thing is, I don’t think this was a bad idea so much as it was bad imagery and a bad metaphor.

[Lb3] Techies are being drawn to Japan.

[Lb4] The case against mystery shoppers.

[Lb5] Meanwhile, a case for and against the goliath.

Economics:

[Ec1] Steve Bainbridge looks at capitalism’s conservative critics.

[Ec2] What if money really does lead to happiness?

[Ec3] This will end badly.

[Ec4] Modern business learned personnel management by looking at slavery.

[Ec5] When Amazon comes to town, they strike a deal and your electricity bills go up.

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Morning Ed: Diversity {2018.09.24.M}( 58 )

[Dv1] Razib Khan points out that if you prick white people, they do in fact bleed.

[Dv2] Prajwal Kulkarni supports doubles standards when it comes to race, but only for African-Americans.

[Dv3] Annalee Newitz looks at the mark that the caste system left on Indian genomes.

[Dv4] Gustavo Arellano says that instead of splitting it up, California should be reunited. In Southern Victory the Confederacy purchases Sonora and Chihuahua and not Baja, which I always thought made for a weird map.

[Dv5] Univision had the perfect business model and they blew it.

[Dv6] There’s a project in Chicago seeking to match people from those on the north and south sides of the tracks.

[Dv7] The lamentations of the Muslim Republican.

[Dv8] James Kirchick argues that Corbyn is unintentionally making the case for a Jewish state.

[Dv9] The collapse of the center-left and the left-wing case for immigration restrictionism.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 8 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] How British/European “library music” was never supposed to be released commercially, and made it the perfect backbone for American hip-hop sampling. “‘The Champ’, which has gone on to be one of the most sampled tracks in hip-hop history (whosampled.com lists 661 uses, from Afrika Bambaataa in hip-hop’s earliest days, to Frank Ocean and Nicki Minaj today).“I can never understand why anyone goes ape about three organ notes I play in ‘The Champ’,” he says.”

“They’re the right three notes, Alan,” Bennett replies, gently.

[Mu2] Rare bipartisanship in DC, but it was achieved over the much discussed Music Modernization Act; ““For the modern U.S. Senate to unanimously pass a 185-page bill is a herculean feat, only achievable because of the grit, determination and mobilization of thousands of music creators across the nation. The result is a bill that moves us toward a modern music licensing landscape better founded on fair market rates and fair pay for all.”

[Mu3] Discover New Talent At Umbria Jazz, One Of Italy’s Top Music Festivals

Art Links

[Ar1] Fine art is having a good run lately in pop culture.

[Ar2] “This arrestingly unequal pattern of global income distribution has become known, famously (at least to economists), as the elephant graph. What does this have to do with the art market? Well, pretty much everything.

[Ar3] The Art of Puzzle-Making

History Links

[Hi1] Galileo had evidence suggesting that Earth orbits the sun (not the other way around), but he also knew it was a dangerous claim.

[Hi2] How to write a story intro; “The oldest known animal in history has been discovered thanks to some well-preserved animal fat that’s been sitting in northwest Russia for the past 558 million years.”

[Hi3] “Their mother consented and the sisters’ agreed to join. ‘Only later did he tell us what we’d actually have to do: sabotage bridges and railway lines,’ Truus told Jonker. ‘And learn to shoot, to shoot Nazis,’ he added. ‘I remember my sister saying: ‘Well, that’s something I’ve never done before!’

Food Links

[Fo1] About time: a concerted effort to fix hospital food into something edible.

[Fo2] KFC sells some really cool stuff; just not in the USA.

[Fo3] It Will Soon Be Legal to Sell Home-Cooked Food in California: The Homemade Food Operations Act launches a permitting system regulated by California counties on January 1.

Sports Links

[Sp1] “Nike shares have surged 36 percent on the year, making the company the top performer on the Dow’s index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The run-up includes a nearly 5 percent increase since Nike’s Labor Day announcement that Kaepernick would be featured in its campaign, adding nearly $6 billion to the company’s market value.”

[Sp2] Sam has been on the MSU scandal, but this columnist points out the Big Ten has more than one problem right now.

[Sp3] Show Me The Money: Sports Betting Off And Running.

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Linky Friday: Knowing and Not Knowing, Wondering and Wandering( 19 )

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Linky Friday: Knowing and Not Knowing, Wondering and Wandering

Knowing

[Kn1] Spiritual leader admits knowing of years of abuse in his faith…not the Pope, the Dalai Lama.

[Kn2] “Knowing the Risks” a horrific story and inquest from our Australian friends: “An inquest has highlighted the importance of careful decisions in drug withdrawal, after a patient died from being administered an excessive amount of buprenorphine”

[Kn3] Would that we all improve on this: “Knowing When to Say Nothing:” “In addition to evidence that people in non-academic and professional contexts don’t ask as many questions as their interlocutors would like them to, there is some evidence that the performance of teams in solving intellectual problems is linked with well-timed talk.”

[Kn4] An argument about infrastructure improvements costs, but from the supply chain side of things: “Team led by WSU researcher highlighting how aging shipping routes hurt economy”.

[Kn5] Interesting study: Peer pressure and environmental awareness, “Giving people information about how much gas or electricity their neighbors use encourages them to use less energy, research shows.”

[Kn6] One of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time: Caring for elderly with memory issues and dementia by designing their facility with a period-authentic feel.

[Kn7] “In many Native American communities, there’s a fear that any knowledge shared with scientists could end up in published reports—which could, in turn, lead to a familiar story of plundering.”

Not Knowing

[Nt1] This hits very close to home, but an all too common story; “What If the Doctors Had Listen to Her” H/T @samwilkinson.

[Nt2] File this under “things that make you feel old,” getting dragged on social media for not knowing how stamps work.

[Nt3] Unknown outcomes can make us put in either too much work or not enough. Here’s how to avoid both.

[Nt4] This years Miss America Pageant was a mystery with the new format and much discussed ditching of the swimsuit portion. This is Miss Utah’s perspective on the events.

[Nt5] Sign O’ the times: Woman falls 50ft from rocks, poses smiling for picture not realizing her neck was broken.

[Nt6] An academic who used to be a soldier does some pushback on misperceptions he sees on the military in the groves of academe.

[Nt7] Male sports fans might be surprised: “it’s becoming increasingly more likely that the person behind your favorite team’s social media account is a woman. Often considered a “pink-collar industry,” social media’s female-dominated workforce has naturally extended to the traditionally male-dominated sports industry, too.”

Wondering

[Wo1] Meta-analyses were supposed to end scientific debates. Often, they only cause more controversy.

[Wo2] Dark take: “A romantic vision of technology is dangerous. The assumption that it’s an enabler, liberating knowledge and facilitating growth, is fallacious.”

[Wo3] A grandmother notices a difference in the school her grandkids go to compared to their parents, and it is an interesting perspective. “A classroom is no longer a place of silence; thinking can be loud. Students collaborate, bounce their ideas off one another and surprisingly don’t misuse their power when they critique the work of peers.”

[Wo4] You’ve been doing SimCity wrong all these years, and turning an urban planner loose on the classic proves it: “Little did I know that arranging roads on a 6 x 6 grid versus a 4 x 4 grid–in other words, allowing six buildings on each block rather than four– changes the taxable density of a city. As he explains, this slight shift in the grid increases the proportion of buildable land from 64% to 73%.”

[Wo5] “Curators Debate the Pros and Cons of All-Women’s Art Shows

[Wo6] Want to see all 7 Wonders of the World? No problem, just pay your 15K in Pounds Sterling and get in line.

[Wo7] The former Yugoslavia is dotted with massive monuments, but there was a time when they were vital to the quest for national liberation.

Wandering

[Wa1] Camping out and standing in line was bad enough; these two flew to Australia from Britain to be the first to get the new IPhones.

[Wa2] The ruins of an ancient temple to the Aztec wind god discovered in the middle of a metro station in Mexico.

[Wa3] Germany has a housing crisis that is familiar to many places in the world: too much housing in rural areas, not enough in urban.

[Wa4] Say what? “273 corpses were on wandering truck, Mexican officials say”.

[Wa5] Iceland has famously strict “naming laws,” which has run counter to not only a new generation but also LGBT folks seeking name changes.

[Wa6] Horrid: “The IOM also found that approximately 80 per cent of Nigerian women and girls who arrived by sea in 2016 were “likely to be victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Italy or in other countries of the European Union.”

[Wa7] All politics in Thailand apparently involve rice to one extent or another.

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Morning Ed: World {2018.09.20.Th}( 13 )

[Wo1] I’m so tired of them just bringing back all the old shows from decades ago.

[Wo2] Eventually, the laws will bend the knee to the people. France introduces open-air urinals.

[Wo3] Greenland enthusiasts cry in lament.

[Wo4] How Mr Clean conquered Croatia.

[Wo5] A new book looks at the dark side of Tokyo.

[Wo6] Alaska just moved down our relocation list. You’d think if the Sam’s Club model could succeed anywhere, it would be there.

[Wo7] Uncovering Germany’s oldest library.

[Wo8] A look at Soviet housing projects, which were… maybe not that bad?

[Wo9] A tweetstorm on why Mexico is spelled with an X.

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Morning Ed: Sports {2018.09.19.W}( 15 )

[Sp1] The baseball segment in Naked Gun was pretty awesome. Here’s how it happened.

[Sp2] MJ Connolly wants to save baseball by making the ballparks bigger.

[Sp3] This story, of a football player and coach searching for his father, is so amazing it almost feels fake.

[Sp4] You lose a couple of football games and then disband the team? Tisk tisk. Yeah, I probably would have quit, too.

[Sp5] The elites are taking over youth sports. It’s been interesting to watch football kickers go from regular players to foreign nationals who have strong soccer legs to… wealthy suburbanites who can spend their life training.

[Sp6] How baseball is helping American and Japanese soldiers bond.

[Sp7] Are baseball positions no longer a thing?

[Sp8] This feels like the opening sequence of a sitcom.

[Sp9] The sad story of a baseball player whose eventual shot at the majors was rained out. Here’s an article on how the minor leagues take advantage of players that are never going to make it in the bigs.

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Morning Ed: Vice {2018.09.17.M}( 25 )

[Vi1] While it may seem that I oppose all anti-tobacco regulations, I think putting tobacco products in back would actually be effective policy.

[Vi2] The Baffler looks at skateboarding, libertarianism, paranoia, and criminality.

[Vi3] Let them smoke.

[Vi4] It’s hard enough to win one war in Afghanistan, so trying to win a drug war with it over there sounds destined for trouble.

[Vi5] What if Russia’s alcohol problem had been kept in check by Gorbechev’s anti-alcohol laws, and the end of that is why alcohol became such a big problem?

[Vi6] A look at the global Fentanyl drug trade.

[Vi7] Strip clubs are disappearing in Canada, because (among other reasons) liberals are apparently social conservatives never could.

[Vi8] Good news: cocaine is just addictive in the same way that chocolate chip cookies are addictive.

[Vi9] As the US cracks down, the UK is considering giving vapers more leeway. Truthfully, there are different situations in each of the countries and different responses may be warranted… but probably not this different.

[Vi0]

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 7 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

[Mu1] Circuit bending: Hacking a Furby in the name of music.

[Mu2] Contrarian opinion: “Why you should consider buying music on vinyl, CD and music files”.

[Mu3] When rock was the hip new thing: “Observer archive – Rock Around the Clock, 16 September 1956“.

[Mu4] Concert pianist facing burnout, has a radical change of pace: Hauling a piano up a mountain in Thailand to play Beethoven for blind elephants.

Art Links

[Ar1] “As a curator at the Denver Art Museum treated American Indian artworks as aesthetic creations, not artifacts, and championed the artists who made them.” Nancy Blomberg, dead at 72, with a legacy worth reading up on.

[Ar2] Not artistic license: Art School in France caught changing race of students in advertising photos.

[Ar3] String art, done by robot.

History Links

[Hi1] Not the Disney Licensed variety, either: “The surprising history of American pirates”.

[Hi2] “Over the last week, some South Carolinians were talking about a different, folkloric warning sign, a ghost known as the Gray Man, believed to appear in the small town of Pawleys Island as a harbinger of hurricanes.”

[Hi3] The New York Times brings up the seemingly forgotten Wendell Willkie.

[Hi4] The history of dissent, from ancient Egypt to today, as told by the British Museum.

Food Links

[Fo1] 10 years on, a retrospective-and a check up-on the originators of the food truck trend in LA.

[Fo2] In honor of our friend @burtlikko move to PDX, which he writes about here, “The Beer Drinker’s Ultimate Guide to Portland”.

[Fo3] “Food waste” has been a hot topic among foodies for a while now, and this SF based chef is turning it into a restaurant concept.

[Fo4] The very strange, but increasingly violent, story of “fake food:” “The issue has been caught up in xenophobic violence, with shop owners targeted by South Africans . There is very little hard data about what’s referred to as “fake food” in both the formal and informal sectors. This means the issue is politically charged and dominated by opinions, not evidence.”

Religion Links

[Re1] Lots of religious news out of China lately, and it is all bad, for all faiths.

[Re2] One way to look at it: “All ancient religions were once new religions. And all ancient innovators of those once-new religions borrowed ideas from even older religions, blending old ideas with new ideas to create a new religion.”

[Re3] “The case of a Michigan couple charged in the death of their 10-month-old daughter is bringing to light a debate about withholding medical care because of religious beliefs.”

Architecture Links

[AT1] What happens when you turn a trained architect loose on Minecraft? Magic.

[AT2] Fascinating read: “Architecture is rooted in precedent and allusion. An exciting prospect of destabilizing intellectual property is the ability to return to these precedents and allusions for inspiration, dissection, and questioning. Buildings often considered too precious to do anything with, other than analyze the parti, can be challenged, reconfigured, and maybe even perverted”.

[AT3] And they are all worth your time: “7 Short Films About Architecture That You Won’t Find on Netflix”.

[AT4] The Palace of Mexican Music uses steel ribbing to create the effect of “strings” among other features of note.

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Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition( 72 )

The old man down in the Quarter
Slowly turns his head
Takes a drink from his whiskey bottle
And this is what he said
I was born in the rain on the Pontchartrain
Underneath the Louisiana moon
I don’t mind the strain of a hurricane
They come around every June
High black water, a devil’s daughter
She’s hard, she’s cold and she’s mean
But nobody taught her, it takes a lot of water
To wash away New Orleans
– Band of Heathens, Hurricane

Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition

Ordinary Times updating thread of Hurricane Florence and comments can be found here and a piece on preparing for the storm can be found here.

History of Carolina Hurricanes

[Hu1] Hurricane Matthew, October 2016

[Hu2] Hurricane Floyd, September 1999

[Hu3] Hurricane Fran, September 1996

[Hu4] Hurricane Bertha, July 1996

[Hu5] Hurricane Hugo, September 1989

[Hu6] Hurricane Hazel, October 1954

Blow

[Bl1] The financial blow for Hurricane Florence will be absorbed by insurers.

[Bl2] Not what they mean by “blow”: Woman claims cocaine found in purse blew in there by the wind.

[Bl3] Agriculture is always hit hard in these storms, especially farmers and live stock owners.

[Bl4] Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s a good idea: using a blow up mattress to move between islands.

[Bl5] Among enthusiasm for the endlessly promised “blue wave,” some whisperse of concern from Democrats worried that some of their party could still blow it.

Storm

[St1] Florence isn’t the only storm in the Atlantic.

[St2] The Weather Channel has been earning raves for its graphics during the storm; here is how they do it.

[St3] It was already a tough year for fishermen in the Chesapeake, and that’s before hurricane season threatens them.

[St4] The proud, the stubborn, the crazy: Hurricane Holdouts who will not leave no matter what.

Technicalities

[Te1] Scientist have discovered a sort of “nervous system” inside plants that reacts to, of all things, gravity.

[Te2] The fore-runner to the modern food truck was an ornate, very upscale “food wagon.”

[Te3] A look back at when tobacco companies used doctors in advertising cigarettes.

[Te4] Want better schools, improve not just the teachers and students, but the architecture of the buildings themselves.

[Te5] “The small Spanish town using art to tackle mental health stigmas

[Te6] Manipulating the rental housing market is hard, even for a dictatorship.

[Te7] Not exactly reassuring: Federal Judge hears oral arguments over election security.

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Morning Ed: Techlife {2018.09.13.Th}( 5 )

[TL1] A really cool Twitter thread on the history of personal calculators. I remember those old calculators!

[TL2] This could be really good or really bad and I’m not sure which. Microsoft seems to have given up on anti-piracy measures with Windows 10. Is that because they’re going to focus on business or they’re getting us hooked until we pay a monthly fee? I just signed on to OneDrive and boy would it be a pain to have to switch away from it. And also Windows 7….

[TL3] It turns out our phones aren’t listening to us after all.

[TL4] How tech backlash succeeds and fails.

[TL5] In an age of constant communication, does online status even mean anything anymore?

[TL6] Orwell always wins, in the end.

[TL7] Oscar Schwartz worries that the media is getting conned by “AI influencers” {more}

[TL8] Google wants to do away with the URL. They’re certainly a lot less important than they used to be, but I would miss them if they were gone.

[TL9] Rachel Withers argues that there’s no shame in browser clutter. Maybe, but browsers (and more specifically, their memory usage) don’t seem to see it that way.

[TL0]

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Morning Ed: Space {2018.09.12.W}( 5 )

[Sp1] A free range exoplanet (borderline brown dwarf?) may be able to teach us about exoplanet magnetic fields and auroras. Speaking of light shows

[Sp2] If there’s life on Europa, we may not be able to find out for a while.

[Sp3] Commercialize the ISS! Soon you may be able to take an elevator.

[Sp4] A look at what’s in space between galaxies. And other cool stuff.

[Sp5] This seems pretty wicked.

[Sp6] As it expands, the universe disappears. (Well, not really)

[Sp7] The UAE is working to Make Mars Great Again. (Well, inhabitable.) Speaking of Mars, a mystery solved.

[Sp8] Should Pluto’s planetary status get another look?

[Sp9] Keys to unlocking the mysteries of the universe, perhaps, in Antarctica.

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