Ten Second News

Linky Friday #124: Northern Invasion( 111 )


[A1] From Christopher Carr: Conor Williams on setting the bar high for education reform.

[A2] Elias Isquith notes the problem with speaking to political opponents in their language. And he’s right; it’s important not to consistently give up the rhetorical ground.

[A3] Freddie de Boer seeks to find out if Bernie Sanders is a true socialist.

[A4] Jamelle Bouie looks into the unsinkableness of Trump’s campaign.

[A5] Kyle Cupp has moved to the land of Trailblazers and Tod Kelly, a move that has caused him to think about the need to put down roots.


[P1] From Zic: Maybe everyone is entitled to their own facts.

[P2] Canada’s Prime Minister has created a wall between him and the press. Justin Ling can’t fishing stand it any longer.

[P3] Canada is coming up on a federal election, and the Finance Minister is runningaway from the press.

[P4] Is Bernie Sanders correct to focus on economic justice when asked about racial justice? Rachel Cohen say yes. Ben Taylor says no. Personally, I’d say the pro-Sanders position is wrong. Economics matters, but it’s not everything.

Can-Am Relations

[C1] Canada rules baseball. Deal with it.

[C2] The War of 1812 might be over, but a new border dispute is brewing on the east coast.

[C3] Canada rules basketball, too.

[C4] Ignore the War of 1812. Ignore a border dispute in Maine. Shots have been fired…between Glendale and Edmonton.

Justice, Social and Otherwise

[J1] “It could have been me.

[J2] For decades, Canada committed cultural genocide, ripping children away from their families and communities to send them to residential schools. At those schools, children were beaten, raped and tortured. One RCMP officer who took children away is speaking out.

[J3] From James K: Statistics New Zealand has introduced a new standard for collecting data on sex and gender. In a world first, this includes categories for people who don’t identify as male or female.

[J4] From Burt: Can a Tuba bring about a post-racial America? Probably not, but this is still pretty great.

[J5] From Burt: The UK must determine what constitutes a hate crime.


[M1] Throw pillows are the worst, apparently.

[M2] Surfer punches shark. (Do not try this at home.) (Also, why would you have a shark in your home?)

[M3] My town is all about infidelity…but I doubt this is actually true.

[M4] There are times I can’t tell the difference between Vice and Clickhole, but Jar Jar Binks probably could.

[M5] From Aaron: Apparently the truth is not out there!

[M6] Canada has an armed forces base at the top of the world. This is a great read and pretty solid web/mobile development.

[Image: Luke Clennell’s The Press-Gang]


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Linky Friday #123: Middle East Meets West( 104 )


[J1] Four dead, three injured in Chattanooga.

[J2] ThinkProgress has a good story on an Imam talking kids out of joining ISIS.

[J3] So happens when a Jihadi returns home?

[J4] This is disconcerting: a website is creating a blacklist of Pro-Palestinian activists.


[A1] David Cameron is doing a good job of making me think maybe I’d be a Liberal Democrat.

[A2] The thing is, if Australian officials can’t actually be expected to look at every game that’s released, the best solution is not “well, then, games just won’t be released.”

[A3] From Brother Judd: All Anglospheric Politics Is Identical.

[A4] Written before the shooting (but published after), Robert Greene II’s piece about black lives mattering in South Carolina takes on an added significance.

[A5] The HUD SCOTUS ruling was a policy victory for the left, but could create problems politically.

[A6] Canada appears to be (formally) opening the door to ecigarettes.

[A7] Scott Gilmore says that Canada is too self-satisfied with the status of its racial progress. I can’t speak to that, though it seems the comparison with the US (and the racial concerns of African-Americans therein) is rather unfair. Aboriginies/Indians/etc – especially with regard to reservations – are a uniquely difficult issue in the US and Canada.


[L1] From Oscar Gordon: I’m sure someone will find a way to put this in a negative light or just claim they aren’t doing nearly enough.

[L2] This corresponds with my experience: Employees of small and locally owned businesses tend to display more loyalty.

[L3] A medical resident in Mexico was caught sleeping on the job and attempts were made to shame her. Residents from across the western hemisphere responded with pictures of them also sleeping on the job.

[L4] Should unemployment insurance duration terms change with age?


[U1] From Oscar Gordon: I support the idea of public universities, but they need to be more insulated from the whims of political wiles. My Alma Mater had it’s issues, but Walker is taking a sledgehammer to drive a finishing nail.

[U2] Americans may be able to take advantage of low tuition rates in Germany. It’s an intriguing proposition.

[U3] Average SAT scores and graduation rates track very, very closely (in California).

[U4] Mormons pay their debts. Their student debts if they went to BYU, at any rate. Other praiseworthy schools: Vassar, Harvey Mudd, and Notre Dame.


[S1] From Oscar Gordon: The debate has been won, but the winners are so busy trying to wipe out all dissent that they are building distrust.

[S2] From Oscar Gordon: The big one. Why I focus on disaster prep (and also want to be able to own guns).

[S3] From Oscar Gordon: Theory predicts, experiments confirm. Science bitches (it works)!

[S4] A battle of stars versus lawns: astronomers and the maker of robotic lawnmowers are going at it.


[P1] From Oscar Gordon: Nuclear rocket engines!

[P2] From Oscar Gordon: Plastic Roads. I am intrigued. Pros: Light, easy to install, as recyclable as asphalt, more efficient production. Cons: Traction? Strength? Durability? Cost? Feedstock source?

[P3] The Atlantic looks at what it would take to double a cell phone’s battery life. Getting to 24 hours with intense use is something that absolutely happens. If you want to take away my removable batter, you absolutely need to do that first. If Samsung hasn’t by the time I need a phone, I may have to get LG (assuming they don’t flip).

[P4] Michael Brendan Dougherty says we will not all be having sex with robots in the future. I tend to think he’s right about it not replacing traditional relationships (for anybody), but it might make other sorts of sexual gratification more enjoyable.


[C1] Churches are often told they need to liberalize in order to avoid irrelevance, but Alexander Griswold argues that liberalization leads to irrelevance. Along similar lines, Mollie Hemingway is sadly correct when she criticizes the New York Times for calling United Church of Christ (and the Episcopal Church) “major denominations.”

[C2] Here is a thought: If someone goes so far as to change their name to avoid undue public attention, how about we do not actually publicize their new name?

[C3] Damon Linker argues that Choice Paradox is making us romantically miserable, a position with which Jason Kuznicki disagrees.

[C4] From Oscar Gordon: BLM wants more money & lavish accomodations in order to approve the permit for Burning Man

[C5] John McWhorter argues that black people need to stop caring so much what white people think, while John Metta says that white people need to be confronted.

{Feature image adapted from the original WisPolitics.com photograph}

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Linky Friday #122: Lain Edition( 143 )


20150710_110232[H1] Kindred Winecoff has some thoughts on Piketty’s comparison between the debt forgiveness that Germany received and what people are advocating for Greece, but Mainly Macro says that Greece is running a primary surplus.

[H2] The headline says it all: Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California.

[H3] Man, I did not need to see this so soon before our three-legged flight to Alaska.

[H4] A man in Texas says “Fuck that alligator,” gets eaten by alligator. The death was avenged, however.

[H5] I’m not saying this is okay, but I will say that people have died in fights over dumber things.

[H6] Meanwhile, in Toronto


20150704_093724[P1] Nancy Pelosi says that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party and she is, of course, quite right. In terms of non-presidential players, the party is more capably defined by… Nancy Pelosi.

[P2] Erica Grieder shares five takeaways after reading Ted Cruz’s book. Written by someone who has respect but not love for Cruz and what he represents, it’s quite interesting. Especially the thought of Ted Cruz’s natural place on The Court (in a different timeline).

[P3] Marco Rubio isn’t backing off his support for a pathway to citizenship. Ultimately, I think this is the wise course and even if he wanted to trying to reverse his position would do more harm than good.

[P4] Jon Rauch looks at predictions he made nine years ago about gay mariage and rights, and compares them to the current reality.


20150613_183531[T1] Hey! Look at some infamous, interesting, and scary roads.

[T2] In the future, between now and self-driving cars, will cars watch you drive?

[T3] Singapore seems to take the prize for being most enthusiastic about driverless cars.

[T4] Fender benders are almost a thing of the past.

[T5] Kevin Williamson argues that our current transportation systems are royalist. There are actually some good points in here, but they’re not all easy to notice amidst attempts are partisan point-scoring.


2012-10-25 16.17.27[R1] According to Alana Semuels, women are increasingly finding men they know to be sperm donors, instead of going the anonymous route.

[R2] Joe Carter gives nine things you should know about adoption.

[R3] Here’s a story from 2006: A woman was applying for aid and was denied because the maternity test said that she wasn’t her child’s mother.

[R4] When I created my abortion map a year or two ago, I was really surprised by Delaware’s astronomic abortion rate. It turns out, maybe it’s the product of a really high number of unexpected pregnancies.


20150626_194153[S1] This has been discussed somewhat recently here at Ordinary Times, but here’s an article on adults and coloring books.

[S2] Even critics of the Confederate Flag are rolling their eyes at the removing of Dukes of Hazzard from TV, but Tommy Christopher argues that – even though Dukes of Hazzard actually had more black characters than did Friends – it’s actually complicated. Made more so, in my view, that I’m not sure anything legitimized the use of the flag among my generation as much as that TV show did. I’m personally hoping that this spurs A&E to do a reboot with a couple good ole boy weed-couriers driving a car sporting a new design.

[S3] You may be familiar with a famous Mary Ellen Mark photograph of the smoking nine year old. NPR tracked her down, and her life turned out how you might expect. Interesting story.

[S4] At Hit Coffee, I commented on Allison Ng and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

[S5] The thing is, if smoking is to remain legal, smokers need to be able to smoke somewhere. We’re not going to effectively ban it in a giant game of process-of-elimination.

[S6] Gundam/Voltron is happening!


20150615_201906[E1] Western learning techniques are all the rage among the Chinese wealthy.

[E2] “The promise of the management class is that they could manage colleges better than faculty. They have wildly failed at this on every level.”-Garry Canavan

[E3] There’s not much particularly novel in this Glenn Reynolds piece on the cost of higher education, but I hadn’t heard this statistic before: Cal Poly-Pamona has one administrator for every two students.

[E4] Wall Street Journal looks at how colleges are struggling with Chinese student application fraud.

[E5] Meanwhile, Asian-Americans unsuccessfully attempted to lodge a complaint against Harvard and hiring consultants to tell them to downplay the whole ‘coming from Vietnam with $2 in a rickety boat and swimming away from sharks’ thing. (Perhaps swimming lessons are a mark of privilege…)

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Linky Friday #121: Slimy Critters( 168 )

United States:

rural west virginia photo

Image by dbnunley Linky Friday #121: Slimy Critters

[US1] If you’ve lived or work there, Minnesota may owe you money. But if so, they aren’t telling. Some years ago I found out Deltona owed me money (somewhere between $100-200, if I recall). I found out about it shortly before I found out that it was going to claim it outright. My wife just got a notice from Estacado that the state owes her money.

[US2] Once we get rid of the Confederate emblem on Mississippi’s flag, and the Union Jack on Hawaii’s, I want to go after state seals next. Relatedly, here are some great and terrible flags of cities in Texas.

[US3] How Appalachians and ruralians became the new noble savages.

[US4] Francis Wilkinson blames illegal immigration on baby boomers.

[US5] America’s true silent majority: German-Americans. I’ve got some German on my mother’s side.

[US6] A peek inside the birth tourism industry. In the greater scheme of things, this sort of thing isn’t likely to involve the kind of numbers to have an effect.


small house photo

Image by daryl_mitchell Linky Friday #121: Slimy Critters

[H1] Erica Barnett looks at new rules in Seattle that would serve to limit density.

[H2] A report suggests that Austin needs to increase the number of granny flats

[H3] Jes Howen McBride says that small homes make for better cities.

[H4] Sweet: Turning a silo into the ultimate treefort.

[H5] Housing in some suburbs are being consolidated, swallowing up multiple more modest homes to make room for mansions. One of the reasons that inequality is more felt in urban and land-scarce areas than elsewhere. {More}


Photo: Andreas Praefcke

Photo: Andreas Praefcke

[So1] Varad Mehta says that we can’t let the Wookies win, but Anthony Domanico disagrees.

[So2] Friend of Trumwill Abel Keogh is quoted in this story about sex and the grieving widower.

[So3] It looks like Terry Pratchett will have no successor to write the Discworld novels.

[So4] From Oscar Gordon: Gotta hand it to the Girl Scouts: $100K is no small thing to turn down

[So5] In Mansfield, Ohio, Stranger Danger training has possibly saved children from a nefarious man who got out of his car to wave to his children.

[So6] So what’s the deal with the medieval art with knights fighting snails?

[So7] From Oscar Gordon: And so it begins


[E1] Ricardo Hausmann argue that the relationship between education and economic progress is more mixed than we think.

[E2] Cleveland State wants its students to graduate on time, and they’re willing to pay for it. As we seek to hold colleges accountable for the results of their students’ progress, there may be more programs like this – and more done to entice the very students most likely to graduate on time. It’s an interesting set of incentives.

[E3] Jane The Actuary looks at College For All, Lee Siegel, and path dependency, with an eye towards Europe’s different expectations for its college-bound than we have.

[E4] Emma Pierson contemplates being an affirmative action admit.

[E5] Kevin Carey argues in favor of a national university, making heavy use of technology as a way to address runaway costs. This idea might sound familiar to you. The George Washington angle is great. Too bad “George Washington University” is taken.

[E6] The business of fake diplomas. Not those ones from unaccredited colleges that give credit for “life experience”… but rather, completely fake ones from real schools (or, at least potentially, fake ones). I wonder if there’s one I can get for Will Truman from Southern Tech University, to put aside the one with my real name and real institution.


waves photo

Image by ahisgett Linky Friday #121: Slimy Critters

[Sc1] From Oscar Gordon: Cleaning up oil with sugar.

[Sc2] From Oscar Gordon: Wave power test bed.

[Sc3] From Oscar Gordon: New property of light discovered.

[Sc4] From Oscar Gordon: Garbage to gas

[Sc5] Jose Duarte says that the “97% consensus” on climate change is closer to 80%, and InsideClimate investigates why TV meteorologists are among the dissenters.

[Sc6] Relatedly, Francie Diep looks at physicians who don’t believe in evolution.


[N1] Whenever there is a breakout at the zoo, it’s only the flamingos that get away. Here’s why.

[N2] From aaron david: A facinating tale of hippos in America.

[N3] Huh. Ick. Goodness, gracious. What the hell, mother nature? I mean, what the hell? Good grief: what. the. hell?

[N4] On the other hand, ants are really cool.

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Linky Friday #120: Rebels & Empires( 71 )


obama smoking photo

Image by wellohorld Linky Friday #120: Rebels & Empires

[Po1] Though maybe it wasn’t actually a cigarette in Obama’s hand, I agree with Philip Bump that we shouldn’t really care if it was.

[Po2] John Kasich has apparently decided to go Full Huntsman, breaking several of Dan McLaughlin’s rules (3,50,52, and 65) and removing himself from my list of credible candidates.

[Po3] Amber Frost reports back (sort of) from the Commie Con, a gathering of leftists known as the Left Forum.

[Po4] Erica Grieder expresses sympathy for the social conservatives in Texas, who had a disappointing legislative session.

[Po5] The networks made fools of themselves ignoring Ron Paul in 2012. Is Fox continuing the tradition in 2016 with Rand? I find their explanation less than satisfactory.

[Po6] The Republicans should use this data to keep Donald Trump out of the debates.


Fate_of_the_Rebel_Flag[Pr1] I was really surprised to discover that there was a lyme vaccination for our dog, since I knew that there wasn’t for people. Turns out that there is and we just can’t get it either because of anti-vaxxers or market failure.

[Pr2] Among the more surprising about-faces on the Confederate Flag: The Southern Avenger.

[Pr3] I don’t really buy Cyanogen’s alleged plan to steal Android from Google. I just don’t see how they get passed the referenced 800-pound entity. Judging by the closing, it seems like Cyanogen may feel the same way. Which is unfortunate, in a way, because some of the forced tying-in is beginning to grate. (I wouldn’t mind Google wanting me to use their products if their products were actually better or as-good as the alternatives.)

Our_Heaven_Born_Banner[P4] A couple years ago, Sweden instituted a program to text people who knew CPR when there is someone around who needs it, and now they’re texting blood donors when their donated blood is used.

[Pr5] Solar-powered airplane? Cool.

[Pr6] Will virtual reality help college football players practice more safely?


austin photo

Image by adactio Linky Friday #120: Rebels & Empires

[Co1] From Christopher Carr: A friend of mine is doing this staging thing right now. It seems pretty interesting.

[Co2] Amazon is changing how ebook authors are paid under Kindle Unlimited, from “must have read 10%” to looking at page count. Friend of Trumwill Abel Keogh passes along this defense of the plan. I’m wondering – and kinda hoping – that writers try to game the system by adding art to beef up their page count. More books should contain art.

[Co3] Has Silicon Valley been displaced by Austin?

[Co4] Saudi Arabia is claiming success in killing US shale drilling, but production in the US is rising as the drilling costs are falling. My man in Texas says that Saudi Arabia is having some short-term success, but it’s likely to be a Pyrrhic victory as technology advances.

[Co5] How activists investors are improving our lives, Olive Garden edition.


dinosaurs photo

Image by InfoMofo Linky Friday #120: Rebels & Empires

[Cu1] One of the result of family-friendly policies is that women end up being paid less. Whenever Clancy interviewed for a job, I was always concerned that they would see her as a woman of reproductive age – with not a lot of time to spare – who would need some time off in the near future.

[Cu2] Jonathan V Last argues the greatness of Jurassic Park. I watched it again earlier this year, and was really impressed by the movie’s pacing.

[Cu3] That fathers on television are portrayed as bumbling idiots is not new to a lot of people, but the thing about working class fathers being portrayed more generously than middle class ones is interesting.

[Cu4] Teachers – of all races – are more likely to give out harsh punishments to black students.

[Cu5] How Superman kicked the KKK’s butt.

[Cu6] In the past’s future, we were supposed to be able to choose our skin color.


[H1] From Oscar Gordon: Putting WWII in perspective.

[H2] Maybe the answer to the question of how New France survives in one of my alternate timelines is “Napoleon moves there.”

[H3] Harry Mount says the Greeks invented the courtroom drama.

[H4] Stanford Classics Professor Josiah Ober makes a case that, contrary to long-held belief, ancient Greece had substantial economic growth.

[H5] Colin Storer takes issue with the notion that the Weimar Republic was a failed state.

[H6] Camestros Felapton explains that no, the Nazis were not leftists.


[W1] Marshall Islands, where the US tested our nuclear weapons, is suing the nuclear-superpower world.

[W2] Some Tories are complaining that Cameron is rigging the EU referendum.

[W3] I don’t think the use of the Confederate Flag in southern Italy and Donetsk changes the context here in the US, but it is interesting.

[W4] Vladamir Putin’s relationship with Texas secessionists is interesting.

[W5] Lelia Shevtsova looks at Russia’s alleged Weimar Syndrome, mentioned last year by Roger Cohen.


[V1] This is a pretty fascinating discussion between Tim Noah and Wharton Professor Peter Capelli on the current job market, the (alleged) skills gap, H1B visas, on-the-job training (and lack thereof), and whether college pays off.

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BYOL: Bring Your Own Links( 99 )

There will be no Linky Friday this week. I’ve decided that for my sanity I need to reduce my interaction with the Internets for a few days and Linky Friday tends to be a very, very Internets-busy day for me. But I have some submissions to share, and LF is always an opportunity for you all to share your links. So this week, it’s Bring Your Own Links. Linky Friday will be back next week.red bull hoodies

Aaron David Submission:

[1] Confirmation bias confirmed.

Oscar Gordon’s Submissions:

[2] 3D Printed bridge, relating to jobs and automation.

[3] I love designers. They come up with the coolest ideas that are only marginally connected to reality.
monster energy apparel
[4] For a taste of what I do.

[5] Diamonds & graphene come together to for a near perfect lubrication (just don’t get it wet or feed it after midnight)

[6] Water tables: This is both seriously cool (that we can get this data from gravitational analysis) and a bit disturbing (that aquifers are being depleted).

[7] One of the best ways to avoid the shocks from adverse weather is take farming indoors on a large scale. Avoid the effects of drought, pests, weeds, disease, reduce water usage, reduce labor costs, reduce energy consumption & food miles.
fox hats
[8] Related: I’m starting to think that when we finally do build orbital or deep space habitats, we’ll be looking to Singapore for lessons learned.

{Image Source}

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Linky Friday #119: Money & Sport Edition( 402 )


[B1] From Tod Kelly: Alice Hines explores why Utah, of all places, has become the nation’s go-to place for get-rich-quick schemes.

[B2] From Oscar Gordon: Why startups succeed: It’s all in the timing

[B3] From Oscar Gordon: Black market innovation!

[B4] If Firefox is worried about staying relevant in a mobile world, they ought to think less about having their own OS and more on making an Android browser that’s awesome. There are some good Android browsers out there, but no great ones. Make it happen, Firefox. (Or don’t worry about it, and make your desktop browser better.)


[A1] UAB Football program, terminated last year sparking a lot of anger, is coming back. It has a tough road ahead of it, and ifthis is true the university itself as it exists may be doomed.

[A2] The Connecticut Huskies went 2-10 last year, with its only FBS-level victory against UCF. So what they did they do? They made UCF a rival and gave themselves a trophy. UCF is scratching its head, but UConn says that UCF’s permission is not necessary in the declaration of a rivalry. The two schools have played each other three times.

[A3] I don’t know whether the SEC was more obnoxious when they were full of themselves for winning championships, or when they whine when they don’t.

[A4] St. Thomas University has a pitcher who weighs in at three-hundred pounds.

[A5] HBCUs are having a lot of trouble meeting NCAA academic requirements.

[A6] From Tod Kelly: Sometimes — times few and far between, to be sure — the little guy triumphs over Evil.

[A7] Vice argues that the next president of FIFA should be… Mitt Romney, but Mark Thompson tweets explanations as to why that can’t happen.

[A8] Former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M football coach Mike Sherman has taken a new job… at a Massachusetts high school.


[Po1] It has been making the news lately, and here’s an article on what makes Nebraska’s legislature different.

[Po2] Rick Perry is kicking off his presidential campaign with a BBQ. Though I hope not to be in a position to vote for Perry or Jindal, I might want to fly down and attend the latter’s kickoff if it includes a crawfish boil.

[Po3] Will Wilkinson defends Rick Perry’s glasses. I still say Jeb Bush did a better job picking glasses out than Perry’s wife did.

[Po4] Robert Mann explains why Bobby Jindal is so unpopular, and Tunku Varadarajan explains his uncomfortable relationship with his race.

[Po5] As a general advocate of school choice Nevada’s bill makes me nervous in the same way that some of the aggressive minimum wage increases should make advocates nervous.


[E1] In the UK, Nick Cohen says Labour doesn’t realize why it lost, and in Alberta, people – such as myself – may be underestimating the NDP victory.

[E2] The Cameron government wants to ban pleasure. Well, not quite, but they’re drafting some laws so broad that it’s hard to tell.

[E3] From Tod Kelly: Last year the Twitterverse fell for a hoax about a massive chemical refinery disaster in Louisiana. Adrian Chen traveled to find Russia to find the perpetrators of this and many other hoaxes — working in an nice office building and being paid very well to be professional Internet trolls.

[E4] From Tod Kelly: I honestly can’t decide if this European welfare program for the unemployed is one conservatives would embrace or see as the final straw.


[Pl1] From Oscar Gordon: Color me intrigued: Plan to be running on renewables in 35 years

[Pl2] From Oscar Gordon: California sinking: It’s like California dreaming, but more depressing.

[Pl3] It’s like a pimple that showed up on the planet earth, except it’s an 800C pit of fire.

[Pl4] Pluto & her dance partners

[Pl5] When looking for interstellar life, maybe we should look less for water and more at icy planets.


[S1] Erik Kain takes serious issue with how Jonathan McIntosh and Anita Sarkeesian and the Feminist Frequency have characterized a recent video game release.

[S2] From Vikram Bath: Scott Adams says he has old white guy privilege.

[S3] A snake person quest, in cartoon form.

[S4] If you want to know why the words “snake people” have started appearing in my text “snake person” should go, this is why.

[S5] From Oscar Gordon: King Fury is so bad, so deliciously, awesomely bad:

KUNG FURY Official Movie [HD]

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Linky Friday #118: Evil Dentists, Haunted Mansions, and the Scent of the Dead( 348 )


[O1] Erik Kain’s piece on outrage culture is worth a read, in which he starts with this story where Internet Avengers managed to get two elderly hearse drivers fired on account of their need for sustenance.

[O2] Here’s an incredibly sad story of a woman who, on a plane, was texted by her husband that he was going to commit suicide, and the flight attendants wouldn’t let her try to call him to talk him out of it.

[O3] Bryan Lowder seems to really want to put gays in a pretty small box.

[O4] I found #CancelColbert to be silly until I realized that it was just a catchy phrase to raise a pretty ordinary complaint, and found the backlash against Suey Park to be kind of overdone. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig wrote a piece on Park, and Freddie and Jay Caspian Kang had a dialogue about it.

[O5] The “bake my cake” argument, in reverse. A jeweler in Canada who opposes same-sex marriage agreed to make a wedding ring for a gay couple, and the gay couple is upset and wants their money back.


[L1] A DC councilmember wants to restrict charges of assaulting an officer to people who actually assault officers.

[L2] Courts in West Virginia ruled that drug addicts can sue their physicians even if they admit they have obtained the drugs illegally. Frances Coleman argues that bad pain doctors make things more difficult for good ones.

[L3] This pediatric dentist is the supervillain of the nightmares of young children.

[L4] Even though she lost, and I’m not on board with the anti-circumcision movement, I am with Heather Hironimus here. Circumcision should require the ongoing consent of both parents.

[L5] The atrocious ‘Innocence of Muslims’ ruling has been reversed.

[L6] The Supreme Court rules that two states can’t tax the same income. Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, and Sotomayor were in the majority, and Ginsburg, Scalia, Thomas, and Kagan dissented. This will be of limited utility when state borders have sales tax on one side and income tax on the other, however.


[Pr1] From Oscar Gordon: Hover Trike! Oooh, fun!

[Pr2] Australian researchers may have a breakthrough on Alzheimer’s.

[Pr3] From Oscar Gordon: Self-healing concrete via bacteria.

[Pr4] From Oscar Gordon: Energy generating rubber – soon to be found in the rubberized floor of crossfit gyms everywhere.

[Pr5] I… don’t even know how to feel about this: How would you like a perfume that smells like a dead loved one?

[Pr6] I love this: Peeing on a particular wall in Germany was becoming such a problem, they invented a way so that the wall will pee back.

[Pr7] SF author/former marine biologist Peter Watts wants to know Do we really want to fuse our minds together? (via Glyph)

Cities & Towns:

[CT1] From Oscar Gordon: Old ships become new towns.

[CT2] Purple City has a post about edge cities, looking at Chicago and Houston (which, by the way, is very large). An eye-opening tidbit in the second part, the reverse commute in Houston (people starting in town and driving to the suburbs for work) is worse than the traditional commute inside the city’s loop.

[CT3] Gracy Olmstead laments – and collects lamentations – on the expanding empire of child-free cities. Seattle is contemplating membership in the club.

[CT4] It might indeed be “good for cities” to take cars off the road. Except that it’s not what people want.

[CT5] A haunted ghost town is hiring residents.


[Po1] From aaron david: Time heals all wounds?

[Po2] How employers are attempting to influence their employees’ vote.

[Po3] In Virginia, it requires 40 hours of training to be a badge-carrying “conservator of the peace”, and 1,500 to be a barber.

[Po4] During a window in which Alabama had gay marriage, they had a problem with local clerks declining to perform their duties. A new law being passed seeks to prevent that from happening by relieving them of those duties (via aaron david)

[Po5] Leonard Pitts laments the equating of politics and moral character.

[Po6] While it’s as possible for him as it is for a couple other candidates, I’m not very bullish on Jeb Bush’s chances at the GOP nomination.


[S1] Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill has turned twenty. It’s unfortunate that Ironic is the song that will always be remembered from a CD that’s pretty good from end to end.

[S2] Elian Gonzalez is all grown up, and while he would like to visit the US seems happy in Cuba as an engineering student. He’ll share some pictures on Facebook when he “gets enough internet to open a Facebook account.”

[S3] At Hit Coffee, I point to two eccentric mansions and in the comments Murali tells a ghost story.

[S4] If you’ve never heard the song Crossing Muddy Waters, you should. Here you go:

ONE ON ONE: John Hiatt – Crossing Muddy Waters October 14th, 2014 City Winery New York

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Linky Friday #117: Oil Everywhere( 230 )


[L1] Oilman or Cowboy? The oil boom has been enticing more people to the former, creating a shortage of the latter. So what now?

[L2] How the minimum wage moved from a national and state issue to a local one.

[L3] Child care providers in Los Angeles are concerned that they won’t be able to cope with a rising minimum wage.

[L4] Chinese businessman Li Hejun went to a clean energy conference, and lost $14,000,000,000 in the process.


JerryBrown[P1] Reddit users may be wondering “How did Cameron win? Nobody I know voted for him.”

[P2] Obaman-turn-Tory (not quite) Jim Messina has some advice and warnings for the GOP. While most free advice from people who would never vote for your party is worth exactly what you pay for it, Marco Rubio should pin this on his wall.

[P3] Martin O’Malley is trying to suss out his position the The War… of 1812.

[P4] SurveyMonkey correctly called the UK election that others missed. Their different methodology could prove to be very important at cutting through American equivalents of Shy Tory and partisan weighing. Also, the importance of presidential non-candidate Emily Farris.

[P5] Robert E. Kelly says that the Obama administration, like Japan, is getting tired of South Korea’s fixation on past wrongs.


[E1] States (like Connecticut) are often looking for a good excuse to go after homeschooling parents, and some Michigan legislators think they may have found one, and combined with recent events in North Carolina and revelations in Arkansas leave me concerned that “We need to crack down on homeschooling so the government can keep a closer eye on kids” is going to be a more oft-used argument.

[E2] Students attempting to strip a state senator of his college degree for skepticism of global warming were unsuccessful.

[E3] Ronald Nelson, a Memphis high school student, was accepted into every Ivy League school. He chose the University of Alabama.

[E4] Carols Lozada explains why conservatives give better commencement addresses than liberals.


Twin Peaks - Waiting Room[S1] Sady Doyle argues that interconnectivity and branding is ruining the Marvel popcorn movies.

[S2] I find this “Startup Castle” – with rules for residents covering everything from tattoos to exercise – to be intriguing. Though very much in a “not for me” way.

[S3] Freddie really put his finger on what sometimes causes me discomfort with the way that some people gush of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

[S4] David Lynch is back on board Twin Peaks.

[S5] AdultFriendFinder.com has been hacked. If exposed, divorces likely to follow…

[S6] The Mindy Project has been booted off Fox and landed on Hulu. Mary Katherine Ham writes an ode to the show, the protagonist, and its creator. It’s one of only a couple sitcoms I’ve been keeping up with.


[R1] A Mormon Temple in West LA is letting its lawn go brown. Brown lawns have a bad rap.

[R2] California farmers are starting to see the writing on the wall, and are offering to cut water usage by 25%.

[R3] From Oscar Gordon: Simple, yet effective. Going to be a while before PV solar can match solar thermal.

[R4] From Oscar Gordon: I’m telling you, things like this are going to be how large parts of Ag are done.

[R5] From Oscar Gordon: Twenty-five percent of cars is still a huge number, but this is interesting nonetheless. I wonder how this works out compared to places like Germany, where the laws mandate more mechanical maintenance, etc.

[R6] Sometimes, compared to the alternatives in oil transportation, Pipelines aren’t so bad.

United States:

Flood_on_Franklin_Avenue[U1] I don’t object to swapping out Andrew Jackson’s mug from our $20, or with Harriet Tubman being on a bill (or coin), though I am hoping that we hold out for a currency overhaul.

[U2] According to a new lawsuit, a veteran committed suicide after being given a terminal misdiagnosis by the VA. Also in Arizona, a suicide with a message, in front of a VA hospital.

[U3] Chicago’s bond rating is now junk.

[U4] Discussed here recently: The “Florida Man” phenomenon is more a product of Florida’s open government laws than anything to do with the Sunshine State.

[U5] At Hit Coffee, some pictures of the wreckage in Texas.

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Linky Friday #116( 282 )


George H Bush & Barbara[P2] Democrats, it would seem, have no beef with socialism.

[P3] Joe Battenfield argues that if things don’t work out with Hillary Clinton, the Democrats can always go with Kerry. Before Mitt announced he wasn’t running, I was pondering the violently dull (albeit unlikely) prospect of a Kerry-Romney election.

[P4] It feels a bit like corporations are going out of their way to make H1-B visas look bad, but the reality is that they have little reason to care about public opinion. More from Dave Schuler.

[P5] Over at Hit Coffee, I explained how the death of Bush 41 could help make a Bush 45 possible.

[P6] Aaron David sent this neat visualization of the gerrymandering of America.

[P7] From Stillwater: Nebraska abolishes the death penalty. It’s a really amazing story to read, what with the number of political vectors in play. Good on ya Big Red.


Rentgen[H1] From Oscar Gordon: In case you need another reason to vaccinate.

[H2] Sandeep Jauhar looks at the importance of medical cost transparency.

[H3] Texas is moving to become the newest state to allow terminally ill patients the ability to try non-FDA approved medications.

[H4] Leana Wen argues that patients should see their medical records.

[H5] Nathan Washburn looks at the decline of the rural hospital and what can be done about it. Or maybe we shouldn’t worry about it.

[H6] At Hit Coffee, I explained that bureaucratic inertia may be more responsible than profit interests when it comes to explaining why hospitals aren’t developing communicative EMR.


[S1] The DC Cinematic Universe looks like a real trainwreck. Bizarrely so, in my view, given that all they had to do was hire Paul Dini.

[S2] Dear DC Comics, cut this $#!+ out, please.

[S3] Saul-Bait: When should men wear short pants?

[S5] From Glyph: Fascinating and informative piece on the recent historical evolution of gay culture, and drawing distinctions between the concepts of ‘gay’ and ‘homosexual’.

[S6] Alice in Wonderland remains a classic, but its author’s reputation has taken a beating.

[S7] In a restaurant review that isn’t really a restaurant review, Jack Baruth investigates the male privilege of potential invisibility.

Puerto Rico:

Puerto_Rico_departamentos_1886[PR1] Jeb Bush supports Puerto Rican statehood, but I have to agree with the National Review that it’s not presently a good idea for anybody involved.

[PR2] Puerto Rico is losing its middle class, but gaining millionaires.

[PR3] Lydia DePillis looks at Puerto Rico to see what a massive minimum wage hike to $12 will do, because they had a hefty rise from $2.03 to to $3.35. It tries to explain away a whopping 9% drop in employment (Might have happened anyway!) and emigration (It’s good for people to leave!) and despite admitting at the end that raising the minimum wage didn’t do its economy much good. Despite an optimistic tone, it does little to alleviate my concern about what a $12 minimum wage would do to Mississippi.

[PR4] The territory is raising its taxes to settle a budgetary shortfall, but Ike Brannan of the Weekly Standard argues that it should be allowed to declare bankruptcy.


[C1] Muslim shopkeepers in China are being required to sell alcohol and cigarettes

[C2] If they aren’t interested in taking over Pitcairn, maybe would-be seasteaders need to cozy up to the Chinese, offering to be human flagpoles in exchange for relative independence!

[C3] An Indian-American friend of mine argues that one of the main reasons that India never became a manufacturing hub the way that China did is because graft made it impossible. American-expat-in-China Matthew Stinson tweets of this New York Times article, that graft in China is so ubiquitous that it tends to go unnoticed.

[C4] Nuclear power is making a comeback in China, and an Airbnb-type company is making a splash.

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Linky Friday #115: Fools, Criminals, & Politicians( 268 )


[C1] At CATO, Jason Kuznicki argues that property rights matter more for the poor than the wealthy.

[C2] Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re somebody that has (a) stolen a bike and (b) disemboweled a Portland man, you are a “Disemboweler who stole a bike” rather than a “Bike thief to disemboweled a Portland man.”

[C3] Montana joins New Mexico in clipping the wings of asset forfeiture.

[C4] Hawaii’s Swift & Certain program, mentioned by Dan Scotto here, looks to be going national.

[C5] One of Montana’s most wanted is caught when he “likes” his most wanted poster on Facebook.


[D1] A woman’s daughter dates her mother to kiss a random, good-looking stranger. Which she does, and then tries to use social media to catch his attention, and caught his wife’s instead.

[D2] An aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris is evidently part of a secret society dating back to… well there’s some confusion over that.

[D3] An employee at a Waffle House in Georgia was caught on camera pleasuring himself. The only thing missing from this perfect story are the words “… in celebration of his favored SEC team winning a championship.”

[D4] A flight from Florida to Portland was diverted to Salt Lake City after a tantrum by a teenager with autism who wanted/needed hot food.

[D5] A principal in Georgia blamed the Devil for some racist comments she made. Oh, wait, nevermind.


[M1] There’s something wrong with David Brooks.

[M2] Ahh, Politifact, you suck.

[M3] Jesse Walker wrote an opinion piece on Jade Helm 15 for the LA Times, which a publication in the UAE reproduced… except they cut off the second half, leaving it on a pretty ominous note.

[M4] For the second time in the last couple years, the Washington Free Beacon unearths a story only to be omitted from getting credit. Last time (the HRC archives in Arkansas) news organizations initially danced around mentioning them. This time, the targets (George Stephanopoulos and ABC, who have done this before) turned the story over to Politico. Fortunately, Politico’s own Jack Shafer called them on it.


[P1] The “cadillac tax” was billed by Jonathan Gruber as a backdoor to getting employers out of healthcare. Some House Democrats want to quash it.

[P2] Andrew Stiles explains the 2016 election in the only four charts you need to see.

[P3] President Obama is touting community colleges. That’s not the particularly cool part, though. The cool part is that he’s doing it in South Dakota. Thank you, Mr. President.

[P4] I’ve long been of the opinion that Barack Obama will be an activist former president. He’s making noise that makes me more confident of that prediction.

[P5] From Oscar Gordon: John Oliver nails it again


[A1] Some have grumbled at the obligation we have incurred by providing defense for the Marshall Islands, but Greenpeace says they’ve paid a price for it. And for those worried about the Maersk Tigris, while the administration and the Pentagon punted, it was released, and we’ve taken to escorting ships.

[A2] This story, of a Jewish student who was arrested for posting an image of a swastika he’d gotten while in India, raises some interesting questions about iconography and context. Leaving aside freedom of speech (ie even if we assume the legal right is there), are there words and images so offensive that there is no context in which they can be acceptably reproduced?

[A3] According to a new lawsuit, a veteran committed suicide after being given a terminal misdiagnosis by the VA.

[A4] The sale of Staten Island was discussed here recently. Here’s an article from Slate, arguing that it was sold under duress but not without concessions by the colonists.

[A5] Ali Akbar is one of those blacks, that upstanding whites and conservatives can trust, but he wants them to know that there are some race problems in this country.

[A6] Here’s another piece by Akbar on the failures of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and Barack Obama.

[A7] From Oscar Gordon: California water, in context.


[E1] Norway is reducing the incentives to buy electric cars, and in response to Charlie Hebdo retiring it’s blasphemy law.

[E2] PRI shares the story of an American who saved 250,000 people during the Armenian genocide.

[E3] Putin and Medvedev have been comparing their annexation of Crimea to the reunification of Germany, but some historians take issue with that.

[E4] Liberland, mentioned last week, had a good run, but that run is at an end as the nation was invaded and its president arrested by Croatia. Here’s an interview.

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Linky Friday #114: Food, Family, & Fun( 141 )


[Cu1] Full House is the latest “classic” to get a reboot. Naomi Shaeffer Riley argues that this is demonstrative of a hunger for family entertainment. It mentions ABC Family and how it’s kind of gone off the rails. My friend and I were watching TV a few years ago, and there was some ad for a raunchy comedy that I didn’t think too much of until my friend said “Wait, did they say ABC Family?!”

[Cu2] Is Kraft Macaroni And Cheese still even Kraft Macaroni And Cheese if it’s not radioactive orange?

[Cu3] Julian Sanchez explains why the planet of Krypton doesn’t really make sense, when you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint.

[Cu4] From Oscar Gordon: A nice critique of a rhetorical tactic I despise.


[E1] From Oscar Gordon to Chris: The backwards bike will break your brain.

[E2] Want an advantage to take to battle? Wear a crying baby. {via Oscar}

[E3] Joe Carter looks at the implications that an ultrasound-on-a-chip will have for abortion. {More}

[E4] It turns out, men on a sexual hookup site behave quite superficially. I’m not sure what this has to do with men and dating in general, though.

[E5] Andrew Swift believes that reading to your children may be justified, but is the enemy of social mobility, and that things like private schooling cannot be justified.


[B1] From Oscar Gordon: One more reason why I will not willingly give business to Wells Fargo.

[B2] I don’t even know what this game is, but I kind of want to play it.

[B3] Verizon is trying to unbundle cable, which has Disney calling foul.

[B4] I’ve long speculated that the future of legal pot may lie with the much-maligned tobacco industry. Apparently, they’ve peeked into it themselves. I’m caught between believing it’s one thing they could do to perhaps help their image, and believing that opponents of decriminalization need to convince them to throw their hat in the ring immediately.

[B5] Bob Marley’s family is launching a cannabis brand. I’ll bet a certain fictitious tobacco company is hiring lawyers as we speak.


[Cr1] Jailed criminals think pretty highly of themselves.

[Cr2] Alex Tabarrok writes about three felonies a day and its ramifications.

[Cr3] Alice Goffman wrote a book on the fugitive life, and here’s an excerpt.

[Cr4] When we decide to make something illegal, we really need to think through what we’re going to do with the people who do not or cannot comply.


[A1] From Christopher Carr: This map from the New York Times shows where poor children experience the most and the least income mobility.

[A2] An NYPD officer with a replica of the General Lee has been informed that he cannot park the car at the precinct. I really wish the rebooted movie had taken advantage of the opportunity to change the design of the roof.

[A3] Washington, DC, is home to some very historic gravel, apparently.

[A4] A mostly private venture to connect Houston and Dallas with HSR is running in to some opposition. I’m sympathetic to the concerns of guaranteed ridership numbers and bailouts, though not much else.

[A5] Standardized tests are much-criticized among white and middle class parents, across ideology. But they’re popular with minorities.

[A6] A lake in Boulder, Colorado, has a whole lot of goldfish.


[W1] Liberland may or may not exist, but 250,000 people have applied to live there.

[W2] FM radio in Norway is signing off… for good.

[W3] Is Mexico about to be the next failed state? The more curious question is whether democracy has utterly ruined the third most populous nation in the sphere.

[W4] Kyle Smith says that Scandanavia isn’t all that as they have high depression rates, but Scott Alexander says that depression is not a proxy for social dysfunction.

[W5] As we continue to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm presents the contrast between East German and eastern Germany.

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Linky Ole England: Election 2015( 149 )

United_Kingdom_Flag (1)On May 7th, the United Kingdom will be either re-electing their current Prime Minister or electing a new one. On the heels of the Scotland Referendum and what seems to be a significant realignment, this will prove to be one of the most interesting elections in the UK of my lifetime. Probably the most interesting. It goes beyond liberal versus conservative, and lands on existence versus non-existence.

If you are so inclined, take this quiz and share the results with us on who you should be voting for.

The overwhelming coverage of the UK that I have been reading has been that of a nation in distress. The first couple of links appeared on Linky Friday, but I will reproduce them here anyway:

Scotland’s two tribes are more divided than ever – they see reality differently (Alex Massie, The Spectator)

The nationalist advance, it need scarcely be said, is aided and abetted by a Tory campaign in England that has die-hard Unionists in despair north of the Tweed. The idea, peddled by Teresa May, that a Labour government propped-up by SNP votes would be the biggest constitutional crisis since the abdication is the kind of thing to tempt even solidly Unionist Scots to back the nationalists. If you make Scots choose between Scottishness and Unionism the latter will always lose. That seems to be the Tory campaign, however.

Nevertheless, the latest polling confirms that Scotland is two tribes now. Unionist and Nationalist simply see reality differently and there is very little that anyone can do to bridge the gap between these alternate worlds.

The End of Britain as We Know It? (Alex Massie, Politico)

The nationalists believe they have time—and demography—on their side. Only 45 percent of Scots voted for independence last year but the Unionist campaign relied on the votes of older voters aged more than 65 to carry the day. Their younger compatriots voted for change. Of course, demographics are not destiny, but as matters stand, each year the population profile shifts a little towards the SNP.

In any case, in Scotland, this election is merely the first half of the game. Next year’s elections to the Scottish parliament, where the SNP have been in power for eight years, will prove just as important. Another nationalist victory then might make it hard to avoid holding another referendum on the national question. Ms. Sturgeon says there would need to be a “substantive” change in circumstances to justify another “once in a generation” referendum but the thing about politics is that circumstances are always changing. No wonder many Scots fear a so-called “Neverendum.”

The English Threat to the U.K. (Daniel Larison, The American Conservative*)

One problem for the unionists is that they have been making two very different kinds of arguments in Scotland and England, and the one undermines the other. The unionists in the referendum campaign emphasized that independence would be too costly and would leave Scotland worse off than it was. Unionist critics of the ‘No’ campaign complained that it was an uninspired, bloodless case for the union, but it was good enough at the time to persuade most Scottish voters that independence was too big of a risk to take. Meanwhile, the unionist message to English voters is that they should be expected to subordinate their interests to the preservation of the union no matter what. They appeal to an emotional attachment to the union that does not appear to exist for a lot of people in England. The union was pitched to Scottish voters last year as being in their best interest, but it is presented to English voters as something that they must maintain as a matter of duty. No wonder so many English voters are unhappy with the prospect of possibly having the make-up of the next government decided by the election results in Scotland.

Why British politics are even more dysfunctional than America’s (Stephen Collinson, CNN)

Will Jennings, a professor of politics at Southampton University, said the U.K. was caught in a cycle of “huge, pervasive distrust” of political institutions and other traditional centers of power, including the scandal-ridden parliament, print media and the police.

David Cameron became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 2010, leading a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. He is the current leader of the Conservative Party.
UK party leaders 7 photos

The bile that poured out at the leading candidates in the question-and-answer session on Thursday was comparable to the assaults American politicians are used to receiving on conservative talk radio and partisan liberal websites. But in the U.S, candidates rarely confront such copious fury from the general public face-to-face.

When South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during an address to Congress, it was roundly criticized. In contrast, the vitriol at the candidates forum on Thursday night barely raised eyebrows.

The U.K.’s political distemper comes at a consequential time, when the unity of the nation is again in peril from Scottish independence aspirations and support for continued European Union membership is in doubt.

No time for sleep! Dave has just 100 hours to save the country (James Forsyth, Daily Mail)

Miliband, who has benefited from a carefully controlled Labour campaign, had a poor outing at Thursday night’s Question Time session.

His dogged refusal to admit that the last Labour Government spent too much money will have reminded swing voters why they are so reluctant to trust Labour with the economy again. And his failure to shut down discussion about how a minority Labour government might depend on the SNP was telling.

Indeed, the fact that Miliband again felt the need to try to choke off this issue on prime-time TV shows that this Tory attack is cutting through.

Cameron will return to the Scottish question time and again in the next few days as part of his closing argument. As one ally puts it: ‘We’ve got to hammer the SNP thing.’ It is the charge that it is almost impossible for Labour to rebut.

But will a late Tory surge be enough to return Cameron to Downing Street? Even some Cabinet Ministers are sceptical. One told me this week that while he expects Cameron to come back as the leader of the largest party, he didn’t think the Tories would have enough votes to put together an alliance that could command a majority in the Commons. This Minister lamented that ‘in nearly every region, there are a few seats that are in trouble. It makes it very hard to see how David can get back.’

Ed Miliband’s critics hate him for his success (Peter Oborne, The Spectator)

Four brave interventions, each one taking on powerful establishment interests: the Murdoch newspaper empire, the corporate elite, the foreign policy establishment and pro-Israel lobby.

Most people will not agree with all these positions. But there is no doubting Mr Miliband’s integrity or his courage. And he needs these qualities because when you attack powerful interests they use all their influence to fight back.

The Murdoch press is now persecuting Mr Miliband. It is hyping up the attacks on him by big business, while mocking him in a personal way. Recently in a Westminster restaurant I saw a top News International henchman having lunch with David Cameron’s culture minister (and unofficial ambassador to the Murdoch press) Ed Vaizey. The alliance between the Murdoch press and the Tory party, knocked temporarily off course during the phone-hacking scandal, is back in business. Mr Murdoch has powerful allies in other newspaper groups who are desperate to avoid another brave commitment from Ed Miliband — his call for full implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations on press regulation.

Meanwhile, corporate Britain is exacting its revenge on Mr Miliband because of his refusal to share the world view of big business. Donations to the Labour party have dried up, so much so that he will have difficulty financing his election campaign.

However, Tory coffers are full to bursting and much of this money is being used to vilify the Labour leader through questionable techniques of vile advertising imported from the United States.

* – I recognize it’s kind of goofy to cite an American publication on what’s going on over there. Larison is riffing off of a Financial Times article that’s actually reporting from over there. However, Financial Times’s copyright policy is such that virtually any blockquote including more than the first 140 characters or over 30 words is or may be considered by them to be an infringement. This runs contrary to fair use policy, but while Larison is willing to take a chance on that, I will simply cite Larison.

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Linky Friday #113: University Sport Edition( 199 )

Great Britain:

[G1] Sean Kemp argues that British politics are too obsessed with American politics.

[G2] Take a quiz to find out who you should be rooting for in the UK elections! It includes a question on “non-domicile status” which I happened to read an article on a couple weeks ago.

[G3] Alex Massie writes about the two tribes of Scotland, and how the Scottish independence movement isn’t over. Meanwhile, Janan Ganesh and Daniel Larison think that English impatience is the greatest threat to the United Kingdom.

[G4] Benjamin Schwarz argues that urban planners are demolishing Britain’s working families.

[G5] As overboard as I believe our CPS goes sometimes, at least we aren’t Britain, where parents are being warned that they will be reported if kids play the wrong video games.


[A1] Washington state looks to have a 75mph speed limit. Welcome (back) to the west, Washington! Seriously, the low statewide speed limit happens when a majority of people in the state live in a place where something is appropriate for that part of the state and not necessarily the state as a whole.

[A2] Even though they tend to be net beneficiaries of tax dollars, I often wonder if secondary and smaller cities in populous states like New York, California, and Illinois would be better off if they weren’t anchored to those cities. Articles like this touch on why.

[A3] From Oscar Gordon: Today on “Politicians Desperately Seeking Relevancy.”

[A4] From Oscar Gordon: That’s one way to indicate to a union that you aren’t interested.


[L1] It is becoming increasingly apparent that Scooter Libby got screwed.

[L2] The System must be preserved, demonstrable innocence be damned.

[L3] New York has high cigarette taxes, which results in a significant black market. Much of which comes from Virginia. So what responsibility, if any, does Virginia have here? There are some interesting parallels here with NY:VA::USA:Mexico.

[L4] The estate of Marion Barry is suing his kidney donor.

[L5] No serious harm was meant, and no damage was done, but let’s go ahead and charge an eighth grader with felony hacking.

[L6] Henry Rayhons, the guy who was arrested and charged with having sex with his wife (who had dementia) in a nursing home, was acquitted.


[U1] Former Corinthian graduates are going on student loan strikes, while another is suing. But the colleges are shutting their doors.

[U2] Saul bait via Oscar Gordon: Why should states fund university philosophy departments?

[U3] Liberty University is the first FBS school to announce that it’s going to pay its students athletes the full cost of university attendance. Notably, they’re also the FBS school most anxious to move up in to the FCS.

[U4] Meanwhile, Colorado State, which like a great many schools is looking to upgrade from G5 to P5, is taking on a whole lot of debt on a bond to build a new football stadium, in addition to a plethora of student-related goodies like luxury dorms and student centers.

[U5] Louisiana State, on the other hand, can’t even get a bond.

[U6] Jason Rabedeaux was once an attractive rising star in the world of college basketball coaching. He was found dead, fat, and wasted away in Saigon.


[H1] Russell Saunders got his first mammogram.

[H2] From Christopher Carr: My wife was wondering why we hadn’t seen lychees at the supermarket lately and found this.

[H3] The Science of Ouch: Why it hurts so much when you stub your @$*@ing toe.

[H4] News I can use: Facts about urine, including how to train yourself to pee less often.


[P1] From Oscar Gordon: This makes me just want to build my own printer…

[P2] This will not only add economic efficiency to consumer products, but will be great for those of us who are allergic to waste.

[P3] From Road Scholar: An alternative to carbon sequestration?

[P4] David Shultz wants to know if you’ll be able to read modern-day articles in 1,000 years, with an eye towards antiquated hardware. To answer his question, I think the answer is “yes” for text, due in large part from the transition from binary to marked up text. You won’t necessarily have the formatting, but you’ll have something readable. I’m less sure about image files, and skeptical about anything dynamic like video games or interactive anything.


[C1] I recently listened to a graphic audio that was incredibly painful. It was simultaneously so busy that I had no idea what was going on, yet also quite boring. But I had to see it through to the end. Because of that, this story about “purge-watching” (as opposed to binge-watching) really resonated.

[C2] From Glyph: Daniel Scotto asked if I was Herman Kahn, which led me to this not-new but very-interesting profile of the man

[C3] Christopher Carr passes along this link about where binge drinking occurs most in the US.

[C4] At Hit Coffee, I wrote some more about Atlas Shrugged as well as [C5] commuting costs and satellite cities.

[C6] Ben Schwartz argues that we are in an age of a comedic bubble and satirical excess.

[C7] This video – Via Oscar – cannot be unseen, and since life is long, you’re likely to see it at some point. So go ahead and watch it now. I can’t say you won’t regret it, but you will have satisfied the inevitability:

David Hasselhoff – True Survivor (from Kung Fury)

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Linky Friday #112: Campus Edition( 460 )


[C1] pcu2Oscar Gordon: “We should have taught them that it’s shameful to oppose liberty and work to undermine it. We didn’t. They grew up in a world where a man can advise the government to disregard our liberties and waffle on whether the state can crush the testicles of children to torture information of of their parents, only to be rewarded by a prestigious position at a top law school.” -Ken Popehat

[C2] From Oscar Gordon: Remember that Hugo brouhaha?

[C3] College students are drinking less than they used to! They’re also hanging out and going out less, too.

[C4] It seems to me that posting sample photos on a “fake boyfriend or girlfriend” site is kind of counterproductive.

[C5] I sort of suspect that a good part of the sex ed debate is tribalism and signialling. Maybe because I grew up close enough to millenials that this doesn’t surprise me.

International Art:

[A1] cowboybebopAlex Suskind writes on the enduring legacy of Cowboy Bebop. I don’t rewatch nearly as much of my old anime as I’d like, but I find myself rewatching Cowboy Bebop every few years.

[A2] Kotaku looks at how anime art has changed.

[A3] Odessa Jones makes the case for Korean television. I… don’t do well with subtitles, I’m afraid.

[A4] Mapping East Middle Earth.


[H1] inglourious-basterdsBad news! Teddy Roosevelt never rode that moose. Also, that picture you may have seen of yesteryear’s economy (airplane) cabin is totally fake. Relatedly, if you’ve seen that image showing the alleged browning of earth from 1978 to 2012, very misleading.

[H2] The story of Hitler’s attempt to build the perfect Nazi cow, and the story of their attempts to build a Nazi Brides.

[H3] Check out some artifacts of war.

[H4] Adam Ozimek fact-checks Merle Haggard.


[L1] bostonlegalOscar Gordon and I are both quite happy that a biproduct of the Walter Scott killing is the attention that the issue of debtor prisons for child support has been receiving.

[L2] From Oscar Gordon: While I am horrified at the use of police for what seems to be a political witch hunt, part of me is experiencing a bit of schadenfreude when I think of how willingly conservatives were to expand police powers in this direction.

[L3] From Vikram Bath: Do these photos of houses whose owners refused to sell to developers mean property rights are stronger in China than in the US?

[L4] Nobody does lists like Cracked does lists. Here are five really fished up court trials.

[L5] Janet Halley looks at sex, gender, race, and Title IX enforcement of rape charges on campus.


[R1] irongiantRaising the minimum wage has some expected (though eminently logical) new supporters.

[R2] Jesse Walker argues that Philip K Dick was right, the fear shouldn’t be that robots will become more man-like, but that we will be reduced to robots.

[R3] Erik Sofge thinks we’ve been tricked into fearing AI.

[R4] How do we feel about robots taking our jobs? Top scientists are worried about them taking over.

[R5] From Oscar Gordon: Youtube video of 1700 mechanical linkages.

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Linky Friday #111: Pit-Fight Edition( 110 )


[A1] As elections in the UK approach, Ben Lauderdale gives a quick primer on UK’s political history.

[A2] Britain’s Labour Party wants to do away with “non-dom” status, which is essentially preferential tax treatment for people whose primary allegiance is to another country.

[A3] Sadly, Canada appears to be undermining its own census process. Even more than we did, it looks like.

[A4] Tour a Canadian 80’s-era abandoned mining town.

[A5] Russell Saunders says he “probably” won’t #StandWithPaul, but this sounds like an endorsement to me! (Not really.)

[A6] Louis Jordan was lost at sea for over two months, and allegedly survived. Experts say it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

[A7] From Oscar Gordon: I like how they imply that the amendment would sell off National Parks, rather than just transferring some federal land back to the states.


[L1] Should small theaters in Los Angeles have to pay union wages?

[L2] Ron Hira and Hal Salzman argue that the H1-B visa debates aren’t really about immigration. They’re about jobs, and people being laid off to make room for immigrants taking the jobs that Americans can’t and won’t do.

[L3] Do you single-space or double-space after periods? If the latter, it may be dating you on your resume. I actually grew up right on the cusp of the transition. I single-space.

[L4] Take a look at this trippy Microsoft recruitment video. If it weren’t Microsoft, you wouldn’t think it was from 2008.


[G1] I think there is some truth to this article about Gamergate ultimately being about a sort of cultural colonialism. I saw some of this when anime started to gain cultural traction. A non-trivial number of die-hards responded very unfavorably to the prospect of something not being “theirs” anymore.

[G2] “Dragon Age: Inquisition is easily the most personal, well-designed relationship system I’ve ever seen – and if we learn anything at all from the media we consume, then our awkward, virtual sexual encounters in games like this could maybe shape us all into better, more respectful people.”

[G3] The evolution of Lara Croft. Does anyone else remember how amazing the graphics of Pit-Fighter were when it came out?


[C1] It’s Dawn on Ceres, as we look at the universe’s leftovers.

[C2] NASA is pondering airship cities over Venus.

[C3] A new rocket has the potential to take us to Mars. Buzz Aldrin and Elon Musk would approve, as would 200,000 would-be astronauts.

[C4] Laura Dattaro says that we need to stop babying Mars.

[C5] A former NASA employee says that she saw men walking on Mars in 1979.


[T1] As air travel becomes easier and cheaper, European sleeper trains are retiring.

[T2] Everybody knows that bike helmets reduce bicycle injuries… but maybe they do so by convincing kids not to ride bikes.

[T3] Don’t steer, hit the deer. I still haven’t figured out what the deal with this sign is, other than to confirm that it was a turtle and not a hard hat.

[T4] The egalitarian in me agrees with this Kriston Capps article: Airline pre-check status is bull&@#$.

[T5] Matt Yglesias laud’s changes in Houston’s bus transit system.


[V1] From Aaron David: The Mathematics of Hipsters.

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Linky Friday #110: Sprawl Edition( 175 )


[A1] As California tries to figure out its water problem, Alissa Walker argues that people should back off the almond-hate.

[A2] As the city of Houston tries to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, here are some pictures of people who broke in. Yesterday they actually allowed people in for a tour.

[A3] I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that our county isn’t on this list of fast-growing exurbs of DC.

[A4] A while back, I posted on Hit Coffee about Whittier, Alaska, a building and an entire town. Meanwhile, Canada made the decision to close one of its borders in the night-time hours, which left residents of an eastern Alaska town in a lurch because there is no emergency care otherwise. Fortunately, they came to an arrangement.

[A5] Georgia has had a problem of half-built communities. Alana Semuels tells the story of what the town of Covington did about it, to the applause of some and the consternation of others.


[P1] Read an Australian slowly realize that the political organization he’s working for is rather xenophobic.

[P2] Rand Paul’s presidential announcement was taken offline due to YouTube’s copyright system.

[P3] From Oscar Gordon: Dr. Tribe is politically attacked for expressing legal opinions that are critical of Obama Administration policy.

[P4] Mormons and LGBT advocates in Utah came up with a compromise often heralded as what can be achieved by working together. Libertarian-minded conservative and gay rights advocate Walter Olson doesn’t like it. Also, Olson talks about how corporations became liberal culture warriors.

[P5] From Tod Kelly: If you have a half hour, John Oliver might have come up with a way to get Americans interested in debating the Patriot Act’s Section 215: make it about their junk. No, really.

[P6] From Tod Kelly: In the midst of potentially disastrous term politically speaking, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has created a rather amazing fictitious boogeyman to go after: people using food stamps on luxury cruise ships.


[Cr1] A man in Texas was thrown in jail for failing to mow his lawn.

[Cr2] Officials in South Carolina and elsewhere have been very concerned about the illegal exporting of automobiles. Coincidentally, they’ve been seizing said luxury automobiles. The good news (depending on your POV) is that they’re backing off.

[Cr3] From Tod Kelly: From GQ’s Daliel Riley, a rollicking tale of a treasure hunt for buried cocaine gone awry. And just in case you’re wondering, are there elephants? Yes. There are elephants.

[Cr4] “A Louisiana man on trial for murder has claimed that he thought the victim was an alligator.” // I think Florida Man needs to step up his game.

[Cr5] A Pennsylvania phony posing as a lawyer made partner and was president of the county bar.

[Cr6] From Glyph: He who controls the sand, controls the universe.


[Cu1] Katie Kilkenny thinks that Twin Peaks without David Lynch may not be so bad. Two thoughts: First, stop calling everything a “reboot” as this is a continuation, not a reboot. Second, I suspect this will die a quiet death.

[Cu2] After Rolling Stone has announced that it will not fire anybody involved with the atrociously bad Rape on Campus story, you might wonder what it takes to get fired from Rolling Stone. The answer? Giving Hootie and the Blowfish a negative review.

[Cu3] Who knows college basketball? Mitt Romney knows college basketball.

[Cu4] I disagreed with Sonny Bunch about women in comic books. The more I’ve read about recent efforts, though, the more I am thinking he might have been more right than wrong in some respects.

[Cu5] Kristi York Wooten looks at how Atlanta became the backdrop of so many movies.

Suburban Renewal:

[S1] McMansions are back.

[S2] Millenials are flocking to the suburbs.

[S3] But only certain types, says Jordan Weissman. There are class implications, because educated millenials are still moving to the city. Personally, I would guess this is a function of family formation as much as inequality. {link via Saul}

[S4] Are they being driven to home ownership by rising rents?

[S5] More on the exurban revival.


[V1] From Oscar Gordon: I love shear thickening non-Newtonian fluids! (Fluids Geek!)

[V2] A creepy black and white video of the Teletubbies has gone viral:

Christopher G. Brown's Teletubbies Joy Division Edit

[V3] Stone Temple Pilot already touched on telecreepies in the music video for Sour Girl:

Stone Temple Pilots – Sour Girl (Official Video)

My wife hates that music video because she says it makes the lead singer look like he masturbates to pictures of himself. I don’t disagree with that particular assessment, but I kinda like it anyway, even if the teletubby knockoffs kinda creep me out.

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Linky Friday #109( 274 )


[C1] Rose Eveleth argues that free access to science research has its problems. BioMickWatson disagrees.

[C2] Noah Berlatsky argues that the elongated copyright terms restrict scholarship. As the creators’ families and DC fought over the rights to Superman, it was just amazing to me that someone can still own the rights to Action Comics #1.

[C3] The moral, philosophical, and ethical implications of reissuing Mein-Kampf.

[C4] How new apps like Meerkat and Periscope could be major tools of piracy.


[E1] In case you didn’t know, female techies get their knowledge from spider-goddesses. {link via Mad Rocket Scientist}

[E2] High-tech firms are having difficulty filling well-paying sales positions, and are having to reconsider how they advertise these jobs as well as the pay structure.

[E3] Jennifer Deal explains that rest is important for work.

[E4] Two Rotterdam School of Management professors argue that gender quotas in management drive away both women and men.

[E5] Did you know that if you are perceived to be a smoker, you have a higher chance of getting lung cancer?


[B1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Prosthetic limb printed overnight for all of $50 (and the owner had a hand in the design).

[B2] Andre Spicer and Carl Cederstrom argue that we’ve become too obsessed with wellness.

[B3] Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that Uncle Sam is a horrible nutritionist.

[B4] Aaron Carroll talks about penis size.


[M1] Yes! Our experiment in trying to get everybody out of bed earlier has been an abject failure.

[M2] You’ve heard of insomnia. Have you ever heard of insomnia’s opposite?

[M3] I think I’ve heard this before, but I can’t remember: The color blue is a relatively modern invention.

[M4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: According to this study, persons with an understanding of economics are less likely to contribute to a political organization or an org that is seeking to secure a taxpayer subsidy to lower tuition. And this makes them anti-social.

[M5] From Tod Kelly: James Kruppa explains what it’s like to teach evolution to underclassmen at the University of Kentucky, where he has been teaching biology the past twenty years.


[S1] From Tod Kelly: Transgender writer Casey Plett looks at the recent wave of critically acclaimed mainstream novels with transgender heroes. She doesn’t particularly like them. She thinks you should read these instead.

[S2]From Tod Kelly: Saul DeGraw bait: After a particularly aggressive vandal destroyed a sculpture at the University of California San Diego, Teikyo Yakobson asks about the purpose of public art that inspires the committees approving it but not the public at large — in this case, the students.

[S3]There’s still one of these coin-operated kiddie rides at the local supermarket. I never got to ride on them when I was younger. I hope they stick around long enough for Lain to be able to ride one.

[S4]Here are some awards for the weirdest high school mascot names in Texas. In a world of Tigers and Wildcats, I consider these to be a relief and wish there were more of them.


[W1] A Russian stuntman decided to put himself on fire and jump off a building. With video!

[W2] The Atlantic reports on the logistics of the Antarctic winter, where you don’t bother to fly because temperature is below that at which fuel freezes.

[W3] From Tod Kelly: Many in New Hampshire embraced Beatrice Munyenyezi, the Rwanda refugee who wrote “Life in the Middle of Nowhere: Surviving Genocide in Rwanda and Zaire.” Admittedly, her road to the US was a hard one, as this 2010 article shows. Imagine everyone’s surprise, then, when it turned out that Munyenyezi wasn’t a victim of the Rwandan state-spronsored genocide, she was one of the its architects and most vocal champions.

[W4] From Tod Kelly: Matthew McNaught’s recollections of his Arabic teacher in pre-war Syria is beautifully haunting.

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Linky Friday #108( 209 )


[N1] From Glyph: File under “nightmare fuel, to rival Quint’s monologue about the USS Indianapolis’ sinking”

[N2] Who doesn’t want to read vans hoodies a story about beavers, parachutes, and Idaho?
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[N3] You know what we need to extract and recycle rare earth metals? We need fish sperm, apparently.monster energy shirts sale

[N4] Makes sense: Birds flying in formation rotate position.

[N5] That the dude claims to have had sex with a dolphin is creepy. That it allegedly lasted a year? Not mitigating.


monster energy shirts
vans capsmonster energy gears

[V1] BlowtorchFrom Michael Cain: I wonder how many places there are where this particular piece of technology is legal?
dc t-shirts
[V2] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Guns, gangs, and the Glawk 40: A primer on street gangs and how they get arms

monster energy hoody on sale
[V3] Here’s a good interview on the aftermath of a (justified) cop shooting, and the toll it took on the shooter.monster energy shirts sale

[V4] The Washington Post looks at India’s deadly sterilization camps.

[V5] California Sunday magazine has an in-depth look at the 43 Mexican students who went missing, and the change that may occur because of it.


[C1] My favorite description of The Breakfast Club is that it’s about a bunch of stereotypes complaining about being stereotyped. Anyway, Derek Thompson writes about cliques, wondering why they vary from school to school.

[C2] Ann Friedman explains what it’s like to be a 6’2″ woman. I have to confess to being a little bit glad that Lain doesn’t appear to have really picked up our height genes (yet).

[C3] Clickhole tells the inspiring story of young Alex Lambert, who overcame bullying by changing those aspects of his personality that were causing other kids to pick on him.

[C4] Doom rooms! How the classic video game is influencing construction design of hospitals and work environments.

[C5] This is a great story. Men suck. Women are awesome. Maddox begs to differ, though, and perhaps makes a good point.

Urban Design:

monster energy clothing store

[U1] simcityJohn Sanphillippo advocates “Good Enough Urbanism.”
monster dc clothing
[U2] SimCity has a homelessness problem. Or does it?

[U3] Yay Brutalism! (And on Hit Coffee I explain why.)

[U4] John Tammy argues that cities persevere not by keeping industry as much as through flexibility.

[U5] The haunting beauty of Tokyo without advertisements.

Government & Politics:

[G1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Let’s stop using the word Taxpayers, because the GOP likes to use it as code for people who, you know, pay taxes. If we stopped using words that our ideological opponents use in ways we don’t like, it becomes a race to the bottom.
monster energy clothing cheap
[G2] From Mad Rocket Scientist: New Jersey Bias Law found unconstitutional. The discussion at Simple Justice about this is just… wow.

[G3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: This is a… WTF?! I got nothing.

[G4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Cisco is offering to dead drop hardware so the NSA won’t flag it & intercept it.

[G5] I’m not sure anything else in 2015 sums up how vacuous the political dialogue is than those making hay out of Ted Cruz signing up for PPACA. It’s not hypocritical, it’s not ironic, and it’s not even particularly humorous (though neither is it “that’s not funny” not funny… it’s just unfunny). Nor is it an example of PPACA stepping up to the plate where he would have fallen through the cracks (or been forced to use COBRA) prior to the passage of the law. PPACA took away the previous congressional health care option and replaced it with PPACA. So now that he’s not on his wife’s plan anymore, he’s on PPACA, because that’s how the law said that congress would get its employer-provided insurance.

[G5] New Mexico is tightening up its asset forfeiture program. It passed unanimously in both houses. Alas, a veto-proof majority in Wyoming fell apart after the governor vetoed a similar measure there. {via Mad Rocket Scientist}

[G6] When politics and humor intersect, this cartoon seems to be the inevitable result.

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Linky Friday #107( 237 )


[Pr1] From Tod Kelly: A fascinating story of flatworms, the nature of memory, the fickle judgement of science, and the Unibomber.

[Pr2] From Mad Rocket Scientist: I’m not even entirely certain how this works. I’m assuming the polymers that are added to the mix allow the mix to retain the printed shape until water can be applied, kind of like Shape Sand.

[Pr3] Tim Lee says that the in the future, cars will be extensions of your smartphone. This is long overdue.

[Pr4] Introducing a bus that runs on poop.

[Pr5] I have a question for Apple/iPhone peeps: Is it really that hard to selectively turn off app notifications on the iPhone?


Werewolf[Cu1] Karol Markowicz, Soviet-born but American raised, watches The Americans. (Please be stingy with unrot13ed spoilers, as I have not yet seen anything from the new season.)

[Cu2] You may laugh at this, but when werewolves stop at the Georgia state line, you won’t be laughing then.

[Cu3] Here are nine names on the verge of extinction. I’m partial to the name Villan, though I’d go with Miracle in a pinch if I were a salesperson.

[Cu4] Vamien asks and answers the question of whether Arrow is a huge rip-off of Batman. The answer is the affirmative. When watching the Arrow-Flash crossover, it very much made me think of the Batman-Superman relationship.

[Cu5] From Tod Kelly: The surprising history of Monopoly, including the little-known knowledge that the game was stolen from the actual creator — and about an original rule that would have rewarded players for “spreading the wealth.”

[Cu6] From Tod Kelly: The ethics of crowdfunding your medical bills. Related, medical expense crowdfunding appears to work quite well for those uninsured political celebrities who lobbied hard against Obamacare.


[Cr1] While Stand Your Ground laws can go too far, sometimes the laws governing how we can protect ourselves go too far in the other direction. In both The Practice and Boston Legal, there were episodes relating to a burden of proof for self-defense that I found troublesome, as their freedom depended on whether or not they could demonstrate that the deceased was moving in their direction.

[Cr2] Orleans Parish is prosecuting a witness who recanted his testimony from a 20-year old murder case. I doubt Washington Parish will be similarly inclined in this case

[Cr3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Reducing prison populations is not as simple as letting non-violent offenders out. Prisons hold a lot of violent offenders as well.

[Cr4] From honors student to hired hitman, the classic 2012 story from the New Yorker.

[Cr5] Judges in Alabama are so intent on keeping the death penalty alive that they’re willing to overrule juries to send white people to Death Row.


FritzHollings[Po1] Cobb appraises the Giuliani-Obama conflict, saying “really revealing itself in this battle of blather is how much the American electorate has been reduced to bickering over symbols.” What it made me think of is how we’ve turned out leaders into symbols.

[Po2] I attribute one of the dumbest things ever said in politics to Fritz Hollings (D-SC), and his work on copyright has lead to infuriating results, but be can be so dang earnest sometimes. (No pun intended.) I can’t reveal it, but there’s a touching story involving him and someone that I know.

[Po3] Whether you are in favor of Teach For America or against it, a new study backs you up.

[Po4] The administration has backed off plans to ban a particular kind of bullet for the AR-15 that the police said criminals didn’t really use. {second link via MRS}

[Po5] Mickey Kaus quit the Daily Caller after they spiked a piece of his critical of Fox’s “weak” stance on immigration. I am, at times, tempted to roll my eyes at the paranoia at the anti-immigration crowd. But then I remember: the deck is stacked against them, and everybody important on their sidewill likely betray them, if given the chance.


[W1] This article, explaining how much Monsanto could possibly stand to gain from the unrest in Ukraine, makes me wonder if Monsanto won’t become the new Big Oil in the cultural map. Monsanto does seem to be popping up more frequently as a villain on television.

[W2] Anne Applebaum says that Britain is retreating from the world stage, and the world is worse off for it.

[W3] From Tod Kelly: The country with the highest rate of cosmetic surgery, surprisingly, isn’t the Unites States. It’s South Korea.

[W4] From Tod Kelly: Some Indian girls know what’s important.

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Linky Friday #106: Miller High Life Edition( 104 )


[A1] Vice writes about how attempts to Uberize and Airbnb New Orleans is running into a cultural wall in New Orleans. Notably, a friend of mine who lives there and is a free marketeer in most respect hates Airbnb.

[A2] Wallst247 has a list of the worst states for black Americans, while Kotkin has a list of the best cities. The first list definitely not the list you’d expect (one southern state listed), and I’m not sure about the criteria, but I’m also not sure there is any perfect set of criteria.

[A3] More to Buffalo, live like kings I tell ya.

[A4] People look at me sideways when I mention Kansas and Utah as places with tech job opportunities, but there’s a there there, and as Silicon Valley becomes more crowded, I expect it to become more popular among mid-level employees with families. (Also: Austin!)

[A5] I’m still trying to get a handle on the move in Oklahoma to change the marriage set-up to get ahead of the increasingly likely legalization of same-sex marriage. Reason initially praised it for legalizing SSM (though corrected that it would not), while Progressive Secular Humanist says that it would ban atheists from getting married, which doesn’t hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. Section 7.B.4.E seems to effectively replace the county clerk with a notary public, for purposes of certifying marriage. The only potential issue I see that isn’t strictly ideological, is if other states don’t recognize these marriages, and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t any more than a state not accepting Hawaii’s short-form birth certificate. (Links via MRS and Saul)


[C1] China has opened a Hogwarts! For art students.

[C2] Details have been leaked about a new Chinese air craft carrier, but Ryan Faith says they raise more questions than they answer.

[C3] I was actually discussing this with someone recently, but if you want your kid to get ahead, don’t teach them Mandarin but instead plain ole Spanish.

[C4] The “ghost city” of Changzhous” actually has about 4.5 million people,.

[C5] Bloomberg News thinks that China’s megacities just aren’t big enough.


[P1] Privilege I can believe in: The privilege of being good-looking.

[P2] The newest privilege is loudly denouncing your privilege. It’s not as glib as it sounds. Those who are most likely to denounce it are those who are sufficiently safe from the effects of having the privileges associated with race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on, on account of their wealth and social position apart from these things.

[P3] Timothy Burke on the trouble with privilege.


[R1] Church attendance can effect commitment to one’s job. Interestingly, it seems to suggest that perhaps prosperity gospel is actually kind of a good thing.

[R2] Arthur Books argues that the Mormons have figured out the trick to being virtuous.

[R3] The story of Aimee Semple McPherson, a glamorous evangelical preacher in the 20’s who plum disappeared.

[R4] Ryan Cooper believes self-respecting atheists should ditch New Atheists.


[E1] As Apple releases its $10,000 variant, Android watches have not taken off as Google might have hoped. I’m pondering getting a Pebble.

[E2] ArsTechnica tests a $35 Firefox OS phone. It’s functional, but crikey I think Americans are throwing away better phones than this every day.

[E3] Apple deleted unauthorized music from your iPod? I didn’t know that. Uncool.

[E4] I have some old smartphones sitting around. If this pans out, I may be able to combine them into a computer.

Miller High Life:

[MHL1] Windell Middlebrooks, who played the the iconic MHL delivery guy in a series of commercials, died at 36 of unspecified causes. There aren’t many pitchmen that I can say are great, but Middlebrooks was one of them. Here is a sample commercial:

Miller High Life Delivery Guy Rant

[MHL2] Here’s an elongated political-themed commercial.

High Life Common Sense Party

[MHL3] And here’s a link to him is on Late, Late Night with Craig Ferguson. My parents don’t watch Ferguson, or Letterman who comes before him, but they’d DVR just about every appearance he made. And then save it for me next time I come home. We love the guy that much. In fact, last time they were here, we were talking about some commercials in BCS season and saying “Not as good as Miller High Life guy.”


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Linky Friday #105( 258 )


[N1] North Dakota has been invaded by monster-sized jackrabbits. I’d say that the University of North Dakota (formerly the Fighting Sioux) has their new mascot, but it’s already taken by South Dakota State.

[N2] Wow, some whales are over 200 years old, meaning they were born before Moby Dick was written.

[N3] The Nereid Under Ice vehicle was deployed to find out who eats whom under the ice.

[N4] Koalas do not exactly make good house pets, if the tale of GumNut is to be believed.


[F1] Vox argues that feminism is the key to Japan’s demographic woes.

[F2] Is feminism leaving behind the disabled?

[F3] Ben Domenech (I assume, with caution) wrote a piece in The Federalist arguing that feminists should get some of the credit for the falling abortion rates.

[F4] Swedish women don’t like the phrase “flying solo” and are looking for a replacement.

[F5] Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Utah… what’s the difference, really?

[F6] Modern feminism apparently can’t compete with targeted marketing, as gendered toys are now more common than they were 50 years ago.


[E1] Even as we experience the Golden Age of Television, we’re also experiencing a sitcom recession. Josef Adalian considers what can be done about it.

[E2] Uncle Steve argues that Hollywood may be less liberal and egalitarian than some think.

[E3] David Sims ponders a Legend of Zelda TV series. I remember how all of my friends thought the 80’s series was really good. I’m glad that I have been vindicated by thinking it was pretty bad. Not sure that they could make a series that I am particularly interested in, though.

[E4] Forest Gump was kind of a screwed up movie.

[E5] Before Batman 3 became Batman forever, the groundwork had been laid for a third Tim Burton Batman. Den of Geek explains why it never happened.


[H1] Barbara Ellen argues that instead of sneering at the overweight, the government should be fitting them with gastric bands.

[H2] Adam Ozimek takes issue with Mark Bittman’s piece on the “true cost of hamburgers.” Negative externalities is quickly becoming one of the economic terms I am seeing used with increasing sloppiness.

[H3] Most Americans now sufficiently ashamed of drinking soft drinks so as to claiming they try to avoid it.

[H4] The BMI is an inaccurate measurement, but the best doctors have got. My understanding is that the BMI is pretty accurate in the aggregate, just not in the individual.

[H5] I am intrigued by the prospect of an anti-obesity electronic implant. Is there an implant to make us exercise more?


[M1] Birth tourism is a booming business.

[M2] Eunice Park claims to ghost-write Chinese students’ Ivy League admissions essays.

[M3] Salon says smart people aren’t any less racist than other people, they’re just better at hiding it. What Salon means is “smart people aren’t more likely to support our preferred set of policies to combat racism.

[M4] The oil boom in North Dakota brought with it quite a bit of diversity.

[M5] Some Native Americans are hoping to end their language.


[T1] Evan Jenkins argues that it’s time to abolish the Interstate Highway System.

[T2] The good news is that oil prices are down. The bad news is what happens when oil prices go down. This is why I am maybe-possibly starting to come around on CAFE standards.

[T3] I have long considered one of the advantages to self-driving cars that we would not need to own them.

[T4] Autonomous cars are going to require new kinds of digital mapping. The article discusses Nokia’s HERE software. I left that out of my navigation software review because it wasn’t available. I have tried it since and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

[T5] Waze is starting to piss off residents by directing drivers through residential zones. The great part (for drivers, not residents)… Waze can’t be gamed to prevent it.

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Linky Friday #104: Security Edition( 267 )


[R1] Professor Tom Murphy (UCSD) argues that the oil boom has bought us a couple of decades to move away from oil, but there’s still reason to worry.

[R2] Daniel Gross looks at American Oil Production, and why it isn’t (yet) cratering like it should. Can it survive $10/oil?

[R3] For cleaner fuel burning, European utility companies are turning to wood. What could go wrong?

[R4] Paradoxically, we use fewer materials than ever to create things, but this is exacerbating material shortages.

[R5] How Dodd-Frank, or at least the efforts to combat mineral diamonds within, made things much worse.

[R6] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Obviously this new wave power system is technologically cool, but I also like it as a way to power seasteads.

[R7] Mining volcanoes!


nimoy2t[C1] You might think of Batman as a superhero, but tell that to the ghost of Stephen Merrill, who was killed by an uppercut from this alleged hero. (It’s actually an article about obituaries requiring a cause of death, and so Merrill’s became that uppercut.)

[C2] Ed Riley, younger brother of freshly minted Nebraska football coach, argues that football’s benefits outweigh the risk, for young people.

[C3] Wendy Kaminar tried to have a discussion at Smith about freedom of speech. It ended up largely redacted in the transcript.

[C4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Working to show that gun nuts are actually sane, for the most part.

[C5] Mauricio Estrella used computer passwords to change his life.


Dns-amplification-attack_open-resolver_german.svg[I1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: I don’t think this can be stressed hard enough: “And the fact that we have persisted for decades without solving these problems is partly because they’re very difficult, but partly because there are lots of people who want you to be secure against everyone but them.” Government, corporate, what have you, this is truth. You want security, you’ll have to do it yourself.

[I2] Internet speeds in the US are improving, but according to Keunwoo Lee, the ISP’s deserve little credit.

[I3] That time when Londoners volunteered to give up their first born for WiFi. (It’s actually a fascinating glance at WiFi security.)

[I4] Dave Majumdar makes the case for a space-based Internet Service (micro-satellite).

[I5] Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that the victory of the culture wars could be… Apple, Google, and Facebook.

American Politics:

[P1] Over a decade ago, John Judis co-wrote a book about the Emerging Democratic Majority, but now he says it was illusory and is talking of the Emerging Republican Advantage. {More in favor and against the new thesis.}

[P2] It’s outrageous when Big Money boasts of its ability to buy influence. On wait, they’re talking about immigration! Nevermind, then.

[P3] Between the smug superiority of the left and the know-nothingism of the right, Roberta X seems to have gone apolitical.

[P4] If you can name one of your state’s senators, you’re a step ahead of most millenials.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[J1] Sorry I missed this during the holiday, but apparently some single Japanese men were busy spending their Valentine’s week protesting Valentine’s Day.

[J2] Some of the proposed changes to the Japanese constitution seem disturbing. It would be helpful if they had more than one major political party.

[J3] I would love to take the advice of Joseph McCabe, and forego Disneyland in favor of a Hayao Miyzaki theme park.

[J4] In Japan, old people are in the way of young people getting good jobs.

[J5] The Japanese recession? Scott Sumner wants to know… What Japanese recession?


[W1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: In this article on Siberian Sinkholes, the authors last comment, “So, to recap: Siberia is warming. Permafrost thaws and spews methane, and blasts out a burst of highly flammable gas. Who could have guessed global warming would do all of that?” Is pretty ignorant. I remember scientists talking about how Global Warming would thaw the permafrost and release massive amounts of methane decades ago. They didn’t know it might cause such explosions, but they knew the methane was there and locked under the permafrost.

[W2] From aaron david: Fridges of the world unite!

[W3] Sometimes, it isn’t easy being a small country.

[W4] Xavier Marquez looks at electoral parodies, which is to say when autocratic leaders scoff at the notion of democracy by pretending to engage in it.

[W5] What are some foreign misconceptions about the United States?

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Linky Friday #103: Fear & Guns Edition( 160 )


MongolCavalrymen[A1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: The cost of actively hunting for submarines is dropping faster than the ability to stay hidden is improving.

[A2] From Marchmaine: Coming to a police force near you, Lethal-lite: “Less than Lethal” attachment to Police firearm – Ferguson Police are to be early adopters.

[A3] A new directive in Sweden is that police guarding synagogues need automatic weapons.

[A4] VoA looks at weapons in the animal kingdom and what they tell us about human weapons.

[A5] This is one bad-arse archer.

[A6] Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country. But between its homeless policies and now its approach to police militarization, it is marches to the tune of its own trumpet.

American Fear:

[F1] An effort to give Vermont a Latin motto has run into some resistance because immigration… or something.

[F2] H1B visas are supposed to go to jobs that can’t be filled by Americans, but some employees of Southern California Edison are irate because they’re being assigned to train their H1B replacements.

[F3] Dave Schuler argues that we have no existential threats to the US… except ourselves.

[F4] Are there aliens behind our currency?

[F5] American exceptionalism at work! We are exceptional at creating fear and acting on said fear. And we can’t even blame the lawyers! They’re certainly not responsible for hospitals refusing to name New Years babies for fear of kidnapping.


[Ed1] From Marchmaine: The rise of homeschooling among Black Families

[Ed2] Adam Mansbach, of “Go The F* To Sleep” fame, announces his college syllabus. Salon, which seems to be self-parody sometimes, actually does a decent job with real parody.

[Ed3] A veteran teacher shadowed students for two days, and learned a lot about modern education.

[Ed4] Germans do apprenticeships in a way that we don’t. The Atlantic looks at their system, and ours. It even confronts the “tracking” question.

[Ed5] Over at Hit Coffee, I tell universities how they should name themselves.


Savonius and Darrieus turbine[En1] Michael Booth argues that the Nordic nations are not utopias. They do stand to be the losers of the low oil prices.

[En2] How the US oil industry is poised to come out a winner in collapsing oil prices, while Russia looks the loser. That might not be the easiest sell to North Dakotans if they get laid off.

[En3] The Economist looks at what’s gone wrong with Germany’s energy policy.

[En4] Four years after Fukishima, nuclear is making a comeback in Japan.

[En5] Nafeez Ahmed argues that solar power will destroy fossil fuels by 2030. Though I hope I’d lose, I would take the other side of that bet.

[En6] In order to avert global warming, some experts argue we need to ramp up nuclear power in a big way.

[En7] Wind turbines negatively affect housing prices. Seems to me that means we should put them in the costlier locations, perhaps applying some housing price equilibrium. Right?


[H1] A doctor in Massachusetts is no longer accepting patients that are obese. Or any patients over 200 pounds, apparently.

[H2] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry laments that Americans are refusing to learn from international methods of health care delivery.

[H3] Thirty Americans die every day from the organ shortages. Keith Humphreys and Sally Satel discuss what effect compensating organ donors might have.

[H4] Physicians are apparently like congressmen. People don’t have a lot of confidence in them, but like their own.


clip-art-cows-471064[C1] Over at Hit Coffee, Gabriel Conroy writes of humility, the usable past, and the keeping history relevant.

[C2] Haruki Murakami has an advice column, and now there are English translations.

[C3] Professional porn industry is in something of a death spiral, thanks in large part to piracy. Grant Stoddard says that the future may be in custom porn.

[C4] There’s something especially cool about buying a car with 900,000 miles on it, even if it is a luxury car.

[C5] From Mad Rocket Scientist: If you don’t recall BusyTown, this won’t be quite as funny.

[C6] Megan Garber writes a eulogy for clip-art.

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Linky Friday #102: Protest Edition( 274 )


800px-Berkeley_students_protest_fee_hikes_1[S1] Marquette has fired the tenured-blogging professor John McAdams. Over at Hit Coffee, James Hanley and Gabriel Conroy are not particularly disturbed.

[S2] Michael Brendan Dougherty takes on the role of mansplainer. {More}

[S3] Is political correctness a creativity-booster?

[S4] Fernando Hurtado argues that sometimes words are weapons, and should be treated accordingly.

[S5] Niamh McIntyre proudly explains how she prevented a debate on abortion at her university (Oxford).

[S6] Anne Applebaum argues that human rights – such as freedom of expression, doesn’t belong to the anonymous.


[E1] I’ve mentioned before that Texas is one of the few states even if you account for college cost inflation (Illinois and North Dakota being two others), that spend more on higher education than it did in 1987. Perhaps as a result, Texas A&M just swiped the University of Washington’s president.

[E2] Libby Nelson agrees with Peter Thiel (and LeeEsq and myself) that the Ivy League could be quite a bit bigger.

[E3] A new study gets closer to asking what I consider to be the most pertinent questions to ask on the question of whether college is a good idea: What happens when we look at the more marginal cases. When trying to figure out someone whose academic record would place them at Fresno State, we don’t need to consider the wage premiums of places like Berkeley.

[E4] You can make teachers happier by doubling their pay, but it won’t necessarily help student learning.

[E5] Online classes work! According to a study, anyway.


Walmart_Workers_Protest[L1] A lot of elite investment firms and the like wouldn’t hire a Super Bowl hero.

[L2] Christopher Flavelle claims that Canada shows that the minimum wage has minimal effect.

[L3] Mike Rowe continues his transition from American icon to conservative icon as he announces his skepticism of a minimum wage hike.

[L4] Hmmm. Increasing professional responsibility increases symptoms of depression in woman, decreases them in men.

[L5] Don’t try to read your employees’ minds, and don’t pretend they are family.

[L6] Employers are using Big Data to find employees who are less likely to leave, and have discovered (among other things) that members of two social networks are likely to stay but four or more aren’t. Xerox took the data and cancelled recruitment drives at gaming conventions.


[P1] From aaron david: An orbital simulator for up to 4 bodies.

[P2] The UK has given the go-ahead to DNA-spliced three-parent children.

[P3] Full-blown LibreOffice may be coming to Android, if they can just slip the app by 4mb. I’m not sure I understand the alleged cap, though. I tried downloading an app the other day only to discover it was 3gb large.

[P4] If you have $1,000,000 to spend, there’s a mech robot for sale.

[P5] In what is potentially very important for Africa right now and may be important to us in the future, scientists are working on a steam machine that turns fecal material into drinkable water.


[C1] Carnell Alexander has a warrant out for his arrest for being a deadbeat dad, for a child that isn’t his. Michigan does not have a paternity fraud (or mistaken paternity) law to protect non-fathers. The topic is up for debate in Washington state.

[C2] Jailbreak! Some women in Brazil escape from prison by fooling guards into thinking that there is a mass orgy in their future.

[C3] If you want the police to check up on a relative after they’ve had surgery, that might not be a good idea.

[C4] If you kill a classmate, taking a selfie with the corpse is a bad idea.

[C5] The police want Waze to remove its cop-spotting feature. With Nokia Here now available, that’s one of only a couple reasons I use Waze at all these days.


800px-GAVI_Global_Alliance_Save_Childrens_Lives_pledging_conference_(5827417113)[V1] In graphical form… how vaccines prevent measles outbreaks. It shows transmission rates at various vaccination rates. Pretty cool.

[V2] The Incidental Economists want everybody to get their vaccines, but Aaron Carroll wants us to stop asking politicians gotcha questions about vaccines, and Bill Gardner wants us to stop hating on the parents.

[V3] I’d kind of expect Salon to hedge a bit on the vaccination issue. Instead, they giggle at an efforts to troll Amazon reviews of an anti-vax book.

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Linky Friday #101( 151 )


[D1] Eric Barker explains the scientific method to a great first date.

[D2] Charles Orlando goes undercover to find out why women cheat.

[D3] PEG argues that the Catholic Church needs a new dating script to replace the current sexual and emotional chaos.

[D4] Do Americans have romantic standards that are too high? Ty Tashiro advocates “moneyballing” romance, giving yourself not lower standards, but better ones. Agree or disagree, I think he makes remarkable points about how we are influenced in mate-selection by our culture, and in counter-productive ways.


[M1] Causality is murky, but marrying people your age correlates well with staying married.

[M2] According to a new study, assortive mating actually has increased over time.

[M3] There’s an old saying that when an unfaithful man marries his mistress it creates a job opening. Turns out, it’s true.

[M4] New research into why our men and women of the uniform marry young.

[M5] “We don’t have a marriage crisis in this country because everybody has stopped following the rules. We have a marriage crisis because the rules don’t work.” -Eve Tushnet


Hello-square[B1] Thailand is banning commercial surrogacy.

[B2] China is seeking a baby boom that may not be coming. It seems that governments have much more ability to suppress fertility than to increase it.

[B3] Stephanie Gruner Buckley looks at fertility rates across Europe.

[B4] Eerily, babies may seem to take on traits of the mother’s previous lover. Daily Buchanan says that this is not such a bad thing, though I suspect a lot of men will disagree.

[B5] These diagrams of co-sleeping positions and these captions on these stock photos are hilarious.

[B6] The strong stance by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC backfired. The increased risk was actually minimal, and the resulting behavior of people trying to avoid it was to engage in even riskier behavior.


[T1] Michael P Foley writes of tobacco and the soul.

[T2] Tom Chiarella decided that he wanted to to, at age forty-six, take up smoking. Not liking it, he nonetheless persisted.

[T3] Big tobacco and “health experts” agree: Those ecigarette things are dangerous. And Big Tobacco wants more than just warning labels.

[T4] News is that e-cigarettes are less addictive than combustibles, Sally Satel argues that anti-smoking groups should endorse Snus and E-Cigarettes. The Snus thing is interesting, because both sides cite it without hesitation as proof on the potential harm and potential benefit of ecigarettes.

[T5] While they are cited as a reason for the reduced smoking rates, further cigarette taxes hikes are unlikely to lead to much improvement.

[T6] Men smoke more than women in almost all of the world. Exceptions: Sweden, Icesland, and… Nauru.


[H1] A new study looks at putting numbers the costs added to housing by community opposition, parking requirements, and so on.

[H2] Urban cores are growing, but suburbs are growing more.

[H3] I get the idea behind putting apartment blocks on top of state buildings, but who would want to live above a prison?

[H4] American houses keep growing and growing

[H5] It’s important to remember that zoning is about increasing livability, and has nothing to do with economic and racial segregation.


[A1] The curious case of Lawrence Franks, who ditched the US Army and joined the French Foreign Legion.

[A2] Adam Ozimek argues that the red states are under no obligation to prop up blue state operational expenses.

[A3] We should be on the metric system by now, but we’re not. Seth Stevenson looks at the history of the battle over metrics.

[A4] The mysterious abandoned island off Queens. Like the author, I’m dumbfounded this place exists. Even after hearing the explanation, I’m dumbfounded.

[A5] The Washington Post released a flawed map of state populations by gender. Randy Olsen fixed it.

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Linky Friday: Century Edition( 137 )


dontbeaburglarytarget[Cr1] NASCAR driver Kurt Busch wants a protective order against his ex-girlfriend, who he claims is an assassin.

[Cr2] Less than wise: Taking selfies on an iPhone you just stole.

[Cr3] I was excited to hear about the Obama Administration’s plans to scale back asset forfeiture. Looks like there may be less to it than meets the eye. Darn. Still better than nothing, I suppose.

[Cr4] League alum Barrett Brown – since sentenced to five years – explains how he got kicked out of a prison.

[Cr5] Joshua Neuman said no to drugs, because of this comic book. Trainspotting and Requiem of a Dream both had indentations on my views of the subject.


bodybuilder[Cu1] Unrealistic beauty standards for babies?! The article is (I’m pretty sure) a joke, but my wife would applaud the development, as they can’t really use real newborns and it drives her crazy when they use older babies to represent newborns.

[Cu2] The story of an 18-year old who plans to marry her long-lost father. I didn’t know that “Genetic Sexual Attraction” is actually a thing. Here’s another disturbing tale.

[Cu3] According to the Washington Post, women are dyeing their armpit hair. Young people make me glad to have been young a long time ago. (But not too long ago, because 80’s.)

[Cu4] Ugly stereotype alert! Watch a bunch of body-builders debate how many days there are in two weeks.


lain[Ch1] From Vikram Bath: Living in an orphanage is considered to be so bad that even measuring how the kids were doing was criticized for being unethical.

[Ch2] The results from charter schools demonstrate that charter schools are not particularly more effective than assigned schools… unless you’re poor or black.

[Ch3] Catching up on the unschooled, and what becomes of them. Another study looks at homeschooled, to investigate whether concerns over socialization are justified.

[Ch4] As our work schedules become less predictable, the daycare market adapts.


capitalism[Ca1] This is probably not good: A for-profit college investment firm now has a controlling interest in Inside Higher Ed.

[Ca2] It’s not often I say this, but I’m kind of with the rich New York lawyers on this one.

[Ca3] In the words of one of the Popehats (Patrick or Ken), “The Internet is like a huge, violent maniac who shows up occasionally and beats the shit out of unlucky mean people.”

[Ca4] From Tod Kelly: I had this story forwarded to me, and it’s utterly fascinating: a story about a internet company that had hundreds of employees despite having no product, no service, no customers, and no business plan. I almost wonder if the story isn’t a hoax; either way, though, great read.


JessePostGov[P1] Mitt Romney may or may not be the right man for the GOP in 2016, but a number of the arguments against him are a bit dubious. Says what it might about the GOP, he remains one of their stronger candidates both in the primary and the general. The different media response between his announcement and Bush’s has been quite remarkable.

[P2] Republicans looking to make gains among Hispanics may want to follow the Conservative Party of Canada’s example. Meanwhile, Canadian politics have apparently been picking up inspiration from American politics.

[P3] Brent Rathgeber (MP) on the Americanization of Canadian politics.

[P4] Kevin Drum explains that yes, in fact, some people do love Facebook (and Walmart!), and it speaks questionably of the person who doesn’t recognize this.

[P5] Sheldon Richman argues that some libertarians spend too much time trying to feel superior and not enough time trying to actually win people over.


JesseBodyVentura[B1] Another ineffective weight-loss strategy: “Eat more fruits and vegetables.”

[B2] The case against coffee, in 1888.

[B3] Even after a global apolocalypse, people gotta eat.

[B4] Thomas Lumley says that cancer isn’t just bad luck. Not just bad luck, but I want to see what the figure (roughly 1/3 according to Lumley) if we include genetics, which I consider to be a type of bad luck.


JesseGovPortrait[M1] Meet the guy who has seen it all before. Like non-stop, for the last eight years.

[M2] Colton Burpo did not come back from heaven, after all.

[M3] Dwell on that breakup because it’ll help you get over it! Keep that anger bottled up, lower your self esteem, hire a narcissist, and seven more counter-intuitive psychological findings.

[M4] Tia Ghose writes about the relationship between the stress of strangers and empathy.


[S1] Lost Beagle! Found! On Mars.

[S2] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Massive ring system discovered in another solar system. I imagine this is probably what a young Jupiter may have looked like as it’s moons formed.

[S3] Also discovered… maybe… two more planets?

[S4] Intergalactic wormholes are popular in fiction, but hard in science.

[S5] Scientists had previously thought that a three-star solar system wouldn’t allow planets to form, but it may be happening.

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Linky Friday #99: Flaming Big Tex Edition( 242 )


sheep[I1] The comment section of Daily Caller has been the subject of conversation here at Ordinary Times. Last year, they launched a helpful feature called “Ask a Daily Caller Commenter.” They definitely have a sense of humor about it!

[I2] Common wisdom has it that conservatives are more obedient to authority than liberals are. Turns out, it’s more complicated than that.

[I3] Gabriel Rossman writes about the various hassles the right and left and willing and unwilling to endure.

[I4] Robin Hanson looks at liberal and conservative jobs. He echoes points that I have made in the past about how the degree of meritocracy reliability in one’s career can reinforce conservative viewpoints.

[I5] Vaclav Klaus, the Czech leader who is a hero to some libertarians, has gone rogue.


[E1] 2014 may have been the hottest year on record.

[E2] The US uses less water than it did in 1970! Can we improve on this so that we don’t have (more of) a water crisis?

[E3] Angie Schmitt says that if you love nature, you have an obligation not to live near it.

[E4] We’re fracking more than ever, and while methane emissions on public lands are up, they’re actually down, industry-wide.

[E5] China looks to improve its air and energy security by turning coal into gas, but climate change activists are horrified and some analysts don’t think it’ll work.

[E6] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Get zapped with a laser, and suddenly a metal surface is hydrophobic. The ultimate in rust & ice protection.


bigtexfire[A1] Hurricane Katrina may have been a disaster, but the migration it caused was beneficial.

[A2] In Valentine, Texas, the entire student body (including two girls) is on the basketball team.

[A3] A mortuary in Arkansas is missing thirty bodies.

[A4] Is Louisiana boot-shaped anymore?

[A5] Here’s a 90-minute BBC movie about Texas.


[He1] Kenneth Warner and Harold Pollack come up with a comprehensive gameplan to virtually end tobacco addiction, using just about every tool they can find. I disagree with some of it (smoking bans should not be an effort to get people to quit), but actually find myself agreeing with a lot of it and fascinated by other parts of it (the pH levels).

[He2] Even our test dummies are getting fatter. By design, in this case.

[He3] Good news! The extra saturated fat you’re eating doesn’t end up in your bloodstream!

[He4] Breast may be best, but women who go another route shouldn’t have to explain that they did so because they got cancer.

[He5] Overeating is contagious! Quick, let’s to tell the fatties that they have to stop overeating for the public good.


[Ho1] Cory Weinberg looks at modular construction in the Bay Area. I’m a fan of modular instruction (our home was so constructed), but it seems more appropriate for places where construction costs, rather than location, are the cost issue.

[Ho2] I sometimes have the suspicion that people who want greater density have in mind walking across their lawn, across other peoples’ apartments, to the store. This doesn’t really contradict that suspicion, nor does this chart.

[Ho3] On the other hand, downtown Los Angeles is responsible for 20% of housing units built, though Let’s Go LA says that this is a bad thing.

[Ho4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Printing homes. I wonder how much resistance this kind of technology will create.

[Ho5] It turns out that there are a bottom to the previously-assumed bottomless market for luxury condos in tight markets.


12monkeys[T1] There may be a universe where time runs backwards.

[T2] Popular Mechanics looks at the hits-and-misses of its long ago, long term predictions about the future.

[T3] Good news! Time travel simulation has resolved the Grandfather Paradox. I barely understand a word of this article, but some of y’all are smarter than me.

[T4] A 12 Monkeys TV series? I’m totally there.

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Linky Friday #98: The E-Dition( 77 )


E-Man[P1] 5,200 Days in Space.

[P2] In case you missed it, our place on the map of the universe actually has a map has a name!

[P3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Quantum entanglement in action. With cats.

[P4] A new smartphone has arrived, high-quality and cheaper than its rivals. Farhad Manjoo wonders how they’re going to make a profit. I actually think that getting the carriers to sign off may be the bigger problem. (Also, not only is “One” already taken, namewise, but it’s not a good name to begin with. What’s up with that?)


[H1] Many argue that the consolidation of health care services may lead to better care. Aaron Carroll points to a study suggesting this isn’t true.

[H2] The latest research is coming down against bilateral mastectomies. Aaron Carroll doesn’t expect that to change our approach much.

[H3] Mara Gordon has an account of her decision to go into primary care medicine. Our lives have improved immensely since Clancy left clinic work behind.

[H4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Don’t we have consumer protection laws for crap like this? Perhaps if we spent less attention on kids injured by toy magnets meant for older kids & adults, and more on quacks hawking toxic remedies…


[Ed1] Jeannie Suk is concerned that future lawyers are not being trained to understand rape law because of student sensitivity. Corey Yung isn’t seeing it, though. Non-lawyer Conor Friedersdorf also comments on the issue.

[Ed2] Over at Hit Coffee, I ask if law degrees might be saved by the Bar? While law schools struggle, though, MBA values are expected to rise.

[Ed3] Universities were using the holidays for fundraising. My alma mater has never once called or contacted me requesting money. Which on the one hand, is convenient for me. On the other hand, it’s typical of their administrative incompetencies and I want to smack them over the head for it.

[Ed4] MOOCs may be a disappointment by the standards of what their boosters have said, but there still may be gold in them there hills.

[Ed5] We talk about how college pays, but does it?


You're welcome. Best, Coal.

You’re welcome.
Signed, Coal.

[En1] Oil prices may be falling, but US oil production remains on the upswing… for now.

[En2] Midland (TX) schools are developing a Petroleum Academy.

[En3] What will falling oil prices mean for the Great State of Texas? According to Erica Grieder, less than one might think.

[En4] The gift of coal: Matt Frost has an interesting proposal to reconcile our love for coal with our need to do something about global warming. Sort of.

[En5] Remember, if you oppose fracking, you ride with Putin.

[En6] Rather than taking potshots of the North Dakota oil boom from DC or NY, Maya Rao actually went to western Dakota and wrote her account. (The article itself is more mixed than the headline.)


[Ec1] Falling oil prices are leading to a plunge in consumer prices.

[Ec2] Anyone over a certain age probably wishes they could go back in time and invest in Apple in 1976. Turns out, you would have done better with gold.

[Ec3] Last summer, Scott Alexander reviewed Elizabeth Warren’s Two-Income Trap.

[Ec4] It takes a village to self-publish.

[Ec5] Sometimes seat-pants wisdom beats out fancy Big Data algorithms.


[I1] As Gabriel Rossman says, “Grant us this day our daily pageviews and forgive us our outrages as we forgive those who outrage against us.”

[I2] Freddie deBoer argues that “pedantic ridicule never convinced anybody of anything.” Ethan Gach made a good counterpoint that the “tactic is actually extremely effective against those who do share cultural affinities and social ambitions.” I’d bridge this gap by saying that the latter group will, at least, pretend to be convinced and argue it going forward. Which may amount to the same thing.

[I3] Politics is and ever was the mind-killer.

[I4] If being wrong feels so good, you don’t wanna be right.


Kansas: The Best State

Kansas: The Best State

[A1] How a police cruiser dashboard camera saved a man from prison and put some cops in hot water.

[A2] One police union willing to break the law to protect the people who allegedly defend it.

[A3] What happens when you’re an Airbnb guest and your host dies?

[A4] Kansas is the best state.

[A5] Listen to the brave story of a cow being prepared for slaughter that had other ideas.

[A6] The southern California coast may be expensive, but the weather really is better there.

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Linky Friday #97( 101 )


[E1] France’s 75% tax has bitten the dust.

[E2] Bosnia and Herzegovina has an insanely complicated system of government. Indicative, perhaps, of a nation that should not be a nation. Or, at least, a degree of (con)federalism that makes them almost independent of one another. Of course, for some, the only fair thing to do is let the Bosnians (or Bosnians and Croats) tell the Serbs what to do because majority.

[E3] Christopher Howse is proud to be a member of the UK’s Dull Men Club.

[E4] Portugal is having difficulty enforcing its immigration law, with visas essentially being sold to wealthy foreigners.


[F1] I know it’s wrong (racist, sexist, a mark of privilege, etc.) to tell people how they should or shouldn’t protest, but… seriously.

[F2] Mad Rocket Scientist doesn’t recommend this article, but does recommend the comments.

[F3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: The culpability of the media, in regards to why we have trouble with police in the US.

[F4] From Vikram Bath: Radley Balko’s predictions for 2015 are crazy.


[B1] Jacob Canfield argues that there is nothing wrong with criticizing Charlie Hebdo for running the pieces that precipitated the bombing (and for being “racist assholes.” I don’t know about wrong, but after what happened, I consider it beside the point. And of course you have the right to criticize them (we won’t bomb your house), but Canfield’s free speech doesn’t mean freedom from criticism, either.

[B2] Razib Khan explains that taboos against blasphemy aren’t crazy. They’re normal.

[B3] Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) tried to win converts by reversing a smoking ban. So remember, if you support smoking bans, you’re worse than terrorists.

[B4] Biblical literalism doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.


[C1] The importance of the college football kicker.

[C2] The Dish Network is giving cord-cutters live sports, as well as other channels.

[C3] An author wrote a book on (consumerist) signalling, and perhaps made his point too well.

[C4] From Mark Thompson: You don’t have to live in New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, or Boston to experience high culture.  In fact, it may be easier if you don’t.  One quibble with the author – he claims to have a little bit of guilt because he’s underpaying for institutions and artists getting by on a tight budget.  I’m not at all certain how “tight” the budget is, at least for the artists/performers, compared to their big city counterparts.  They have a significantly lower cost of living and, let’s face it, the overwhelming majority of big city artists get paid very little even before adjusting for the high cost of living in those cities.   Even at the local prestige institutions, performers seem to do as well or better outside of the big cities  – the base salary for the Cleveland Orchestra is only about 10% lower than the base salary for the NY Philharmonic, and the difference in overall cost of living means the effective salary for the former is clearly higher.


[Ho1] Related to our recent discussion on buying vs renting, the Wall Street Journal had a pretty good rundown. Trulia has a calculator.

[Ho2] Here’s a downside to tiny houses that you don’t necessarily think about: They can be stolen.

[Ho3] The Boston Globe sounds the alarm on age segregation. Honestly, in some ways I wish that we had a bit more of it than less of it.

[Ho4] Paul Krugman (echoing the thoughts of many others) argues that the housing costs of our nation’s talent hotbeds are causing economic inefficiency on a macro scale. Dietz Vollrath argues that maybe we should actually hasten the exodus, since it doesn’t matter where the best and brightest live as long as they life together, and there’s more room in Houston and Atlanta.


[Hc1] Sweet! All hope is not lost! Scientists have discovered the first new anti-biotic in 30 years.

[Hc2] Good news, says Russell Saunders, your kids can get screen time!

[Hc3] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Ivory Tower, meet Real World. Real world, I’d tell you to be gentle with them, but I know you won’t listen.

[Hc4] Tiffanie Wen looks at why people don’t donate their organs.

[Hc5] PPACA may have tried to devote itself to helping rural health, but it has apparently hastened the rural hospital apocalypse.


[T1] A Morton Salt building wall collapsed, and the Acura dealership next door got the damage.

[T2] Eric Holthaus argues that high-speed rail is a waste of time and money, and a misguided priority for people looking for ways to combat global warming.

[T3] Massachusetts’s Registry of Motor Vehicles is allegedly doing the bidding of insurance companies.

[T4] Rural roads can change the world. Of course, it’s important that they forfeit their pride and voice in national affairs (or vote the right way).

[T5] No surprise that suburbanites commute by car more frequently than city folk, but across demographics, Americans overwhelmingly drive to work.

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Linky Friday #96( 264 )


[E1] Long one of my pet subjects, we really should be starting high school later in the day. The reason that we don’t may be for the convenience of parents.

[E2] In the US, there is this thing called “academic red-shirting” where we try to hold our kids back from entering school so that they’ll be among the oldest (and best-performing) in their class. In China, they have their kids early so that they go to school earlier.

[E3] What is to become of higher education? David Bromwich looks at right-wing complaints, left-wing complaints, rising costs, and technology.

[E4] Living away from home is a part of “the college experience” but it, too, is becoming less affordable. In a way that’s hard to blame on student loans or state subsidy.

[E5] I’ve seen a few people cite some California figures suggesting that the entire rise in student tuitions in California has been due to decreasing state support. It turns out that the numbers are flawed, and Andrew Gillen knocks them down.


[L1] We need to import more IT workers because firms in the US just can’t find good people. Unless you make any sort of small mistake, in which case your resume will be discarded because it’s a fiercely competitive market.

[L2] Corporate responsibility? An company that specializes in automation is looking to help those it is displacing.

[L3] Eric Siu makes the case that employee happiness matters.

[L4] Adam Ozimek questions the conventional wisdom about part-time jobs. Namely, that the increase in part-time work has coincided with more inflexible schedules on the part of the employer.

[L5] Robbie Waeschenfelder argues that employers should look for people with no experience.


[P1] From James Hanley: How the Elevator Transformed America.

[P2] Ecigarette use may lead to infection.

[P3] A third of all divorces in 2011 contain the word “Facebook.”

[P4] Google had the wacky idea of using solar-powered balloons to supply Internet service. It worked!

[P5] Proof that the surveillance state sees us as a bunch of monsters.

[P6] George Doe gave his parents the gift of divorce, by way of genetic testing. Meanwhile, a similar story with a happier ending, as a woman from Virginia found her uncle, cousins, and the identity of her father using DNA.


[M1] Onion for sale! Onion for sale! The Onion, that is. Maybe.

[M2] The source of Grubergate is apparently one of those people who lost their insurance plan on account of PPACA.

[M3] Nate Silver says we shouldn’t be worried about polls that are outliers, we should worry when there aren’t outliers.

[M4] Virginia Postrel wants to know who killed Wikipedia? Oddly, Wikipedia has not been updated to reflect the fact that it has died, which proves Postrel correct. (Actually, it’s an interesting story about open and insular cultures.)


Edward Hermann, 1943-2014

Edward Hermann, 1943-2014

[A1] From James Hanley: Reported to be a French soldier’s view of American soldiers.

[A2] The vigor and frailty of the California economy.

[A3] Slate has a collection of population-balanced maps of the United States. It’s interesting, though senate or no, and even though having less imbalance than we do now might be advantageous, having truly balanced state populations don’t really make a whole lot of sense and even if we were re-drawing the map (which I do for fun and fame!) it shouldn’t be the primary criterion.

[A4] With corporate mergers all the rage, should countries do the same? Greg Rosalsky looks at a USA-Mexico merger, and (kind of wistfully) finds it unlikely. The thing about corporate mergers is that they tend to benefit both parties. It’s hard to see a US-Mexico merger as doing that.

[A5] There are simultaneous happiness and suicide epidemics in Utah, and Perry Renshaw thinks he has figured out why.

[A6] Randal Olson looks at unique American baby names, and wonders what caused the upsurge in the 1970’s.

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Linky Thursday #3: Christmas Edition! [UPDATED!]( 31 )

UPDATE: Somehow, a rough draft got posted. Below is the official LT#3


[C1] Lyman Stone says that, contrary to what you may have heard about urban and rural revivals, they don’t seem to be happening.

[C2] Allastair Bonnett has written a book about ghost cities and secret cities that sounds quite interesting.

[C3] Were cities undone by the loss of hometown banks?

[C4] Aaron Renn praises the boring city, which he argues is mostly code for “stuff I don’t like.”

[C5] Joel Kotkin writes about The Battle of the Upstarts, the Bay Areas of Texas (Houston) and California (San Francisco), and their very different models for recent success.

[C6] Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan looks at the sad fates of the world’s tallest unfinished buildings.


[E1] The Spanish government demanded that Google pay news services for their linkage and excerpts. Google News left, and now Spanish newspapers want to revise the policy.

[E2] Britain is expanding the definition of child abuse. Widely. As skeptical as I sometimes am of our own system, I can always say “At least we’re not Britain.”

[E3] What’s up with the electrical field outside Google’s London office?

[E4] Sweden has a lot of the laws (and culture) that people here say we need to help women in the workplace, and the result isn’t all that different than here. Ditto Norway.

[E5] Is science in Europe going in the wrong direction?

[E6] Eurozone membership isn’t free.


[R1] Don’t expect Russian oligarchs to come to Russia’s aid, because according to Masha Gessen, there aren’t any.

[R2] A sign of the times: When a German MP who is a critic of Russia dies of a heart attack, they feel the need to perform an autopsy. (Nothing untoward was discovered.)

[R3] Russia: Depopulation by low birth rates and high death ones. Or not.

[R4] Amit Singh looks at the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and asks what about Hawaii? I find the comparison lacking, but do believe that of all our various states, Hawaii should get a more full hearing.


[A1] I was asking Nob about this just a few weeks ago. As Shinzo Abe sails to re-election despite a faltering economy, where are the other parties? Incidentally, I feel pretty vindicated in my comments on this OTB thread regarding the ability of parliamentary systems in allowing prime ministers to call snap elections.

[A2] Vulture wonders how North Korean films portray Americans.

[A3] Before our movie studios started nixing anything with North Korea as the bad guys, it made North Korea the villain to avoid antagonizing the Chinese.

[A4] India has a lot of universities, so another one opening isn’t a big deal. Except that it’s re-opening the world’s oldest.

[A5] South Korea takes its university exams very, very seriously.

[A6] In order to smooth relations with the Uighurs (an ethnic minority group covering the northwest), China is offering money for ethnic-majority Chinese to marry them.

Middle East:

[M1] Charles Hill introduces readers to Batman, Turkey.

[M2] Israel gets a lot of criticism for searching pregnant Palenstinian women, but they have a reason to do so.

[M3] A couple of sales later, a Texas plumber’s Ford F-250 pickup ended up fighting in a war in Syria. {Fun comments here}

[M4] Masdar City is Abu Dhabi’s own (green!) ghost town!


[U1] So apparently there is a thing where American Jews commonly eat Chinese food on Christmas. Adam Chandler explores the phenomenon.

[U2] How a police cruiser dashboard camera saved a man from prison and put some cops in hot water.

[U3] Can a wife with dementia consent to sex with her husband?

[U4] This is one free speech issue on which I side with the government. Of California, no less! I have no opinions on a law requiring porn actors to wear condoms, but it seems to me that you can prohibit things in the making of art, provided a rationale, even if you shouldn’t be able to prohibit the appearance of such things. Having someone pretend to be sixteen while having sex on camera versus putting an actual sixteen year old in porn.

[U5] Single-payer in Vermont is dead. Avik Roy and Sarah Kliff comment. Vermont was actually always a poor test case. I’d like to see it tried somewhere. I hope someone in California campaigns on it.

[U6] Unsurprisingly, I suppose, Obama’s immigration executive amnesty is very popular among the foreign-born, though less popular among native-born Hispanics.

[U7] If you want to find the Hollywood sign in LA, there are people going to great lengths to make it as difficult as possible, and they’ve enlisted Google Maps.

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Linky Friday #95( 167 )


[L1] I previously wrote about a conflict between Kinkisharyo International and the County of Los Angeles. it looks like they’ve worked things out! I’m not sure who blinked, but it looks like Kinkisharyo.

[L2] Laura Smith was a nice boss, and regrets it.

[L3] Infoworld looks at seven myths surrounding programming.

[L4] Teens are having a harder time getting summer jobs. Raising the minimum wage will help, no doubt. More seriously, I suspect that the “future job prospects” aspect cited in the article are comparative, so if none of the teens can get jobs, it’s not necessarily a social loss unless we think that they’re learning valuable job skills.

[L5] The AEI is on board with my Kansas City Plan!


[E1] Stephen Marche explains how Dead Poets Society has ruined our literary culture, while Robert Pindiscio worries that modern curricula and incentives are teaching young people to mostly write about themselves.

[E2] Teachers often feel like they are the punching bags of the current education debate. It turns out that they are still among the highest thought-of jobs, and have become moreso over the last twenty-five years.

[E3] Annie Murphy Paul says that ed tech promoters are generalizing too much from how they learn. I think this is true, but is also true of the education establishment as well.

[E4] The success of some charter schools is often attributed to their ability to kick out underperformers and problem kids. A new Mathmatica study makes the case that it isn’t true for KIPP programs. Personally, I question whether KIPP is scalable, but not on the basis of student selection.


[H1] Kath Scanlon writes about how to bring down housing prices in London, where one house costs what would buy you four in Chicago, and five in Atlanta.

[H2] Reason’s Todd Krainin has a piece on a beautiful, illegal tiny house. There’s a ten minute video. I do wonder how much could be done for density rather than building up, we just let people build small. FEMA trailers for everybody!

[H3] There were two causes to the housing crisis. People are angrier at the “grifters making a killing” part, which I understand, but I fear the bigger part is participants bought into it.

[H4] Conor Friedersdorf argues that urban farming is exacerbating San Francisco’s housing crisis.

[H5] Portland (OR) is nearing approval for tiny houses for homeless people.


[I1] The problematic nature of problematicism. This article is very similar to a piece I linked about Too Many Cooks, though more comprehensive in nature (and somewhat more combative).

[I2] Robin Hanson writes about rituals through the context of sincerity and tradition. This is not a good description – its hard to describe – but I strongly recommend this relatively short post.

[I3] Ewan Morrison argues that late young adult dystopic fiction promotes right-wing libertarianism to young people.

[I4] Scott Alexander explains how black and white togas explain political alignment, and the limits of tolerance.

[I5] Daniel McCarthy argues that secession is not a principle of liberty. Ultimately, it’s choosing one community over another community, and so it depends on the communities involved. There is an argument that there is greater liberty involved in a smaller community since you have a larger voice, but smaller communities also tend to have broader consensuses that allow for greater community (instead of individual) control.


[M1] What if some people tried to racist-bait a controversy and nobody showed up?

[M2] David Frum is one of the leading voices against “comprehensive immigration reform” I listen to. Here he explains why he became disillusioned with the arguments of immigration reformers.

[M3] Reihan Salam is concerned about creating a more cohesive and humane society, and thinks that slowing down immigration may be the answer.

[M4] John McWhorter argues that the black community has bigger problems than the Confederate Flag. My own thoughts on the Confederate flag here.

[M5] America creates Chinese-Americans, but China doesn’t create American-Chinese. Eric Liu says this is important.


[P1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Sometimes the Internet is awesome. God knows I’ve eaten worse in the Navy.

[P2] From aaron david: This is the biggest timesuck I have seen in a while.

[P3] What’s interesting to me about this map of remaining drive-in theaters is how many of them are in places that I’d think would be kind of cold for it.

[P4] Gordon Lightfoot participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything.

[P5] Chinese movie theaters are experimenting with text messages on the screen to create a social viewing experience.

[P6] Frank Miller helped define Batman, but doesn’t own him.

[P7] This is a pet peeve of mine. Legos are for experimentation, not following instructions. On the other hand, I know that a lot of the legos I had were originally from sets, and after a while it all blends together as instruction manuals get lost.

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Linky Friday #94: New Jersey Edition( 195 )


[G1] Political scientists and reporters rank states by corruption. New Jersey came out as the most corrupt, though Louisiana didn’t participate.

[G2] New Jersey wants to become the first state to regulate pet grooming.

[G3] Owen Courreges says that New Orleans looks to become the model city for anti-smoking extremism. I don’t know that this is worse than New York City, but it’s pretty bad.

[G4] Michael Carney thinks we long since ought to have replaced the SSN as our main identifier.

[G5] Does Obama’s amnesty give illegal immigrants more rights than legal immigrants?


[F1] Michael Brendan Dougherty throws cold water on those celebrating the recent news on divorce rates.

[F2] Contrary to the claims of many as well as intuitive sense, premarital cohabitation does not increase the odds of marital success. Scott Stanley asks why not?

[F3] True love waits! Or more precisely, early sex is a pathway to non-marital cohabitation, while waiting to have sex is a pathway to marriage (and better marriages, at that). Beware confounding factors, of course.

[F4] Where have all the good men gone? Maybe women shouldn’t insist on the “steady job” thing?


[M1] From Vikram Bath: What happens when you charge a Harvard Business School $4 too much for Chinese take-out

[M2] Retail fronts may be able to compete with ecommerce after all.

[M3] Legalized gambling has been a bane to lower-income Americans, but perhaps it can be used for good and not evil, to entice them to save.

[M4] Yes, yes, there’s no such thing as free shipping. The thing is, free shipping isn’t about getting something for nothing as it is about price transparency and reliability.

[M5] The Washington Post makes the case that it’s bad for poor minorities if you give them money.


[C1] The Pirate Bay is down, maybe for good. Good riddance, says a former contributor, because theys old out a long time ago.

[C2] Though they’re clearly doing so in their own self-interest, I’m quite glad that Netflix et al are trying to reverse the highly troublesome Innocence of Muslims verdict.

[C3] I don’t completely agree with the complaint here. If you want people to stop using your image for commercial purposes, you can do that. But failing to do that, it seems weird to say “We don’t mind people using our image for commercial purposes, as long as it’s not the people hosting our image.” This explanation helps a little, but not much. Still mulling it over.

[C4] GM and Ford are being sued over a new feature that allows you to rip CDs in your car.

[C5] The UK is legalizing parody works and media backups.

[C6] This story – about a game teaching pirates about the consequences of piracy – isn’t new, but still cracks me up.

[C7] Thanks to Creative Commons licensing, approaching one billion works are free to use online.


[L1] New Jersey is contemplating making lying for sex a form of sexual assault. So under this law, if a fifteen year old girl tells an eighteen year old guy that she’s legal, is she as guilty of rape as he is?

[L2] Speaking of such things, here’s an article about the gender double standard when it comes to statutory rape.

[L3] With budgets being tight and crime being low, it’s no surprise that states are re-evaluating expensive incarceration options. It is a bit of a surprise that Texas is one of the states leading the way. Perhaps they hate taxes even more than they hate criminals!

[L4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: You can’t play Russian Roulette with a Semi-Auto Handgun.

[L5] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Part of the problem is a compliant, and dare I say lazy, media who print police PR without any independent investigation or follow-up.


[T1] Detroit is stuck in Windows XP.

[T2] New York wants to give everybody WiFi, though some better WiFi than others. Before the rise of 3G and 4G, the case for municipal WiFi was stronger than it is now.

[T3] AT&T wants to know how come their 6Mbps DSL isn’t good enough for the folks of Chanute, Kansas.

[T4] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Geek Squee! Holograms with haptic feedback (via ultrasound)! So cool!

[T1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Somethings are best viewed with some time & distance. Especially when it’s a stellar collision! Very cool to watch, but I certainly would not want to be local to the event.


[E1] MIT has removed (free) lectures from its servers because classes taught by (alleged) creeps are no longer educational and informative, I guess.

[E2] From Mad Rocket Scientist: I think I have a different working definition of trauma than these kids do. I could understand if a student was a close friend or relative of the deceased, but for everyone else who has measure of separation from the involved parties, welcome to adulthood, compartmentalizing your emotions is part of what you have to learn how to do as a professional.

[E3] How sociologists made themselves irrelevant.

[E4] The title says it all: “Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List” is an actual science paper accepted by a journal.

[E5] Matthew Lynch argues that bilingual education should be mandatory.

[E6] When you look at admissions percentages, you’ll notice some interesting things. Some colleges that one might not consider particularly competitive nonetheless reject a lot of students. This isn’t that, but it came to mind when reading Amanda Graves’s complaint about being courted by colleges that have no intention of accepting them.

[E7] Does the college define its students, or do students define the college?

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Linky Friday #93: Ayn Rand Edition( 99 )


[H1] Old Urbanist Charlie Gardner writes about mobile homes and the role they can play in increasing density, and Alana Semuels makes the case for trailer parks. And here is a map on where higher concentrations of trailers are.

[H2] I would never pay $3,000,000 for a house (much less a condo), nor do I have much desire to live in Kansas. But if these two things were indeed the case, I would be all over this. And not because I’m worried about a nuclear attack.

[H3] Also, from Michael Cain: 50 million square feet of underground industrial space is just cool.

[H4] If there is a person that washes rent-control beneficiaries more than this guy, I’d love to hear about it.

[H5] As micro-housing starts to take off in Seattle, neighborhood groups are flexing their muscle to put as much a halt to it as they can.

[H6] Maybe instead of micro-apartments, we need micro-micro-apartments! Featuring 86sqft apartments in Paris. Or, if you need something just a bit bigger, here’s a video on how you can fit 1100sqft into 420.


[C1] Ayn Rand wrote the novel Ideal in 1934, and it’s about to be published.

[C2] Mallory Ortberg writes of the glorious fashion of Ayn Rand.

[C3] I’m not a big fan of the cameos in Atlas Shrugged. I guess commercially it’s good for publicity, but like having Bill O’Reilly in Iron Man, it’s a bit jarring. It would be kind of cool if they were playing people that weren’t themselves (like Hannity appearing as a defender of the latest government initiative).

[C4] From aaron david: The true future of Video (and Music)

[C5] The methodology is kind of suspect, but it’s interesting to ponder the ramifications: Study shows whites think blacks are superhuman, magical.

[C6] Over at Hit Coffee, I write about the demise of the UAB football program.

[C7] From Glyph: The Alien Typeset of the Future!


[R1] CR Wiley argues that Shakers have liberaled themselves into oblivion.

[R2] James Loeffler argues that ur once thriving Jewish culture is on the decline. Or is it?

[R3] Harper’s goes undercover with a cult infiltrator.

[R4] A WWII veteran was given a Viking funeral by the coast guard.

[R5] Zoroastrians feed their exalted dead to vultures.

[R6] Ever wondered about the Mormons’ “magic underwear“? Well, they explain it in a new video.

[R7] Speaking of Mormons, at Hit Coffee I write about the legend of blood atonement and firing squads in Utah.


[Po1] According to Kevin Drum, the problem isn’t that the Obama administration and Democrats in general don’t fight hard enough. It’s the American public.

[Po2] Politicians often follow polls, but when they don’t they have the ability to actually help shape public opinion.

[Po3] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry explains the appeal of Ayn Rand.

[Po4] Bruce Frohnen ponders how conservatives should approach art. To “de-tilt” the political inclinations of the art and entertainment landscape, conservatives need to work harder at making better art and entertainment.

[Po5] From Saul Degraw: The Demise of the Southern Democrat.


[Ps1] New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova investigates the anti-Republican bias in social psychology. Where it comes from, how it occurs, and what can be done about it. A first-hand account from Jose Duarte.

[Ps2] Dr. Phi ponders the difference between responsibility and license.

[Ps3] The corrosive, traumatizing effects of high school.

[Ps4] Is idiocracy upon us? The Flynn Effect is allegedly in reverse.

[Ps5] E-reader readers recall the material about as well as paperback readers, except when it comes to collating the events.


[R1] Meet Millie and Clem Mintz, married for 75 years.

[R2] Men on OKCupid (mostly) adhere to the half-plus-seven rule, and women overwhelmingly do.

[R3] Jennifer Anghju Grossman gives tips on dating Objectivistly.

[R4] Breaking up isn’t what it used to be.

Latin America:

[L1] If you want to live the good life, head south to… Panama?

[L2] One of the shocking things, when I moved out west, was the lack of guard rails between you and some very steep falls. I was reminded of that when viewing these pictures of Bolivia’s death road, and its 15,000 foot fall.

[L3] ForeignPolicy looks at the Honduran charter cities.

[L4] In Brazil, there is a village of women looking for a few good men (who will play by their rules).

[L5] Remnants of Dixie remain in Brazil, where Conferederate expatriates set up camp after the Civil War. Here’s a video.


[V1] From Mad Rocket Scientist: Vitagel – Works with the body to form a clot sufficient to stop and artierial bleed in less than 10 seconds. Wow!

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