Ten Second News

Linky Friday #59( 83 )



[E1] The corruption and fraud surrounding the EU is said to be breathtaking.

[E2] A number of conservatives and anti-immigration sorts have made some hay over Switzerland’s decision to restrict immigration. It’s worth pointing out, though, that the immigrants they are restricting are more of our H1B variety (except European, if that matters) than the immigrants they spend the most time complaining about here.

[E3] How Swedish tax policy lead to Abba’s flamboyant outfits. (via Vikram Bath)


[P1] The dumb rubes in the working class aren’t the ones driving our political polarization. It’s folks who have education and income.

[P2] As the fiscal outlook of states improves, states are trying to figure out what to do with the money.

[P3] According to The Nation, feminism is undergoing some toxic Twitter wars.

[P4] If gun control advocates want people to believe that gun registration will not lead to gun confiscation, they should take care that gun registration doesn’t lead to gun confiscation.

[P5] Pentecostalism is spreading among the immigrants. This sort of thing could, ultimately, be how the GOP improves its share of the Hispanic vote (over time). Hispanic protestants tend more towards the GOP than Hispanic Catholics.


[R1] South Korea is building a 364-foot statue of Voltar the Invincible to go in their Robot Land theme park because why now?

[R2] What a neat idea: using remote controlled robots to let people look at museum art after hours.

[R3] Paging Kim! Robots saved Pittsburgh.


[He1] Will Doc Shock become a thing? People don’t like narrow networks, but they could be a crucial to cost control. Truly, the enemy of true health care reform is us.

[He2] Third-hand smoke exposure is just as deadly as smoking! Ack! Except that it’s not, of course, and eventually making everything as dangerous as smoking makes smoking actually look less dangerous (if anyone actually believed it).

[He3] Science, health and the human mind are funny things. The power of placebo.

[He4] Ack! Some crocodiles can climb trees!


[Ho1] NIMBYism is trying to kill housing in Evanston, Illinois, due to fear of transient academics.

[Ho2] A builder in Portland found it easier to build affordable housing without public funding (other than some waivers) than with the strings attached to public funding.

[Ho3] Maybe in the future, houses will be built in 24 hours by 3D printers.

[Ho4] How van-based housing works.

[Ho5] The army built a fake city for training purposes. Across the street from us are vacant storehouses that local fire departments use for training. They actually light stacks of hay on fire.


[J1] Is your job in another state? Click here to find out!

[J2] You might be able to find a job in a lot of places (or a job that goes a lot of places), if you’re a clown, because there’s a shortage.

[J3] While raising the minimum wage will hurt McDonald’s, it’ll just be replaced by something else. The shift towards upscale has its own concerns, though.

[J4] Ryan Noonan, formerly of Ordinary Times, co-wrote an interesting paper on manufacturing wages.

[J5] According to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, extended unemployment benefits boosted our jobless numbers.

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Linky Friday #58( 62 )


[E1] From Patrick: RIP Egon.

[E2] Ashley Feinberg explains why Ghostbusters is still a good movie even to people without 80’s allegiances, after watching it for the first time after Ramis’s death.

[E3] Glyph approves of The LEGO Movie, but Sonny Bunch says it exemplifies everything wrong with LEGOs.

[E4] From Patrick: Did you notice something peculiar about Andy’s hat in Pixar’s Toy Storytrilogy?

[E5] From Patrick: If you’re like Contributor Pat, you have Movie Tourette’s Syndrome and can appreciate the nerdiness that this awesomeness.

[E6] Some people like to be able to say that they listen to music that nobody else does. Here’s a tool to help you with that.

[E7] If you liked the movie quotes graph, you’re gonna love this.


[Sp1] Next week the NCAA will (likely) vote on The Saban Rule, which in true college fashion will call a “delay of game” penalty on teams that move the ball too quickly. Michael Reagan and Robert Charette think it’s a stupid idea and almost three-quarters of coaches oppose it. To be fair, anything that makes Alabama vulnerable must be unfair, right?

[Sp2] Trumwill favorite Mark Mangino has lost 127 pounds and starting next season will be the offensive coordinator at Iowa State.

[Sp3] There are, and have been, a pretty crazy number of indoor football leagues over the years. Here’s Wikipedia’s list.

[Sp4] Boom, the Metrodome falls. Here’s the video.


[Su1] Introducing the secret origin of masked superheroes and adventurers.

[Su2] Peter Lawler makes the case that Man of Steel was about Plato’s Republic.

[Su3] So there’s apparently a French superhero show called H-Man. Now with Fionna Apple.

[Su4] A Chinese con artist is bilking people… with superpowers! Fake superpowers, of course.


[Sc1] Advanced Cell Technology, which is the only US outfit running clinical trials on embryonic stem cell therapies, is having some financial woes while the US and Japan are achieving a possible stem cell breakthrough (or maybe not).

[Sc2] know at least a couple creationists who will feel vindicated by the news that the Grand Canyon may not be as old as previously suspected.


[D1] Facebook knows when you fall in love and here’s how. I have previously written about how Facebook should take a greater role in establishing whether there is or is not a relationship.

[D2] Need up-to-the-minute dating advice? Here’s an app that lets you crowdsource your date.

[D3] If you’re a researcher and you’re asking a bunch of teenagers about sex, you might should consider that they are lying to you.

[D4] More online dating data! Use these words to be more attractive to women.


[L1] Lawyers are trying to sort out who owns a married man’s sperm.

[L2] How can we increase trust in driverless cars? I wonder if American litigiousness might result in their appearing abroad before they start showing up here.

[L3] According to a trial judge in St. Louis, we have a First Amendment right to warn drivers about speed traps.

[L4] Note to congress: Pretty much anything that gives carriers incentive or justification to take more control over their phones and phone ownership is a bad idea. And so it is with the kill switch.


[T1] Gordon Kelly argues that Lenovo’s purchase of Motorola was a genius move on par with their purchase of the ThinkPad line, and that this follows Google’s brilliance in purchasing and dumping Motorola as a pressure point against Samsung.

[T2] Apple is looking towards cars and medical devices to ignite growth. Google should have made the former a priority a long time ago. I’ve been wanting to get Android in my car for a while, but it hasn’t been made easy.

[T3] Oddly, Windows XP gained market share in January.

[T4] Just when you think the tinkerers can’t tinker with something because it’s settled, they go an invent a new kind of doo.


[P1] This article’s title is stupid because wind power isn’t boring (windmill farms are cool looking!). The map is pretty cool, though.

[P2] Nuclear power seems to operate in a real sour spot, the anti-Goldilocks. It’s considered more expensive than coal and less environmentally friendly than solar rather than more green than coal and cheaper than solar.

[P3] California now boasts the world’s largest solar thermal grid, but its droughts are complicating the solar energy project.

[P4] North Dakota pumped a record 313.5 million barrels of oil last year and some are arguing that we need to lift our export embargo.

[P5] Pollution from drilling the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta may be a lot worse than estimated.

[P6] In Texas, local residents are paying the price for fracking. Such things are one of my discomforts with fossil fuel exploitation, which I am generally supportive of. Not that there are these costs, as I believe under current constraints they are still outweighed by the overall benefit, but the mismatch between cost payers and benefit recipients is disturbing.

[P7] Kevin Williamson, meanwhile, writes a full-throttle defense of fracking.


[W1] I’ve previously mentioned the potential inconvenience of a man banned from the US becoming the Indian prime minister. The Global posts says Hindu fundamentalists are taking over India.

[W2] Queen Elizabeth is running out of money? Woah.

[W3] In the face of (religious?) cartels and crime, Mexico is turning to sponsored vigilantism.

[W4] A London court is putting the LDS Church on trial. With our First Amendment protections, the concept seems alien to us. Even over there, their legal experts are surprised.

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Linky Friday #57( 277 )

Filling in for my man @will-truman, I’m happy to present dozens — count ’em, dozens of links of wondrous miscellany from my travels about the web!


sochifailInternational Sport:

[IS1] About thirty per athlete — what happens if they actually use them?

[IS2] Searching for the good things at Sochi. After all, the money went somewhere.

[IS3] Also from Sochi: the Lugevideo.

[IS4] And you thought the Olympics were corrupt: wait till you hear about international cricket.

[IS5] For sale: Alisa Craig.

[IS6] When you think Brazil, you think armadillo.


fusiontesterScience and Technology:

[ST1] The roots of “Brain Training” as ADHD therapy.

[ST2] For the first time in forty years, we may actually be less than twenty years away. And that’s not the only thing uncomfortably hot out there.

[ST3] One woman’s quest to fix her broken iPad. Spoiler: she succeeds!

[ST4] The circle is now complete.

[ST5] The universe is bruised. Which is somehow comforting since we now know there are no jelly doughnuts waiting for us on Mars.

[ST6] I, for one, welcome our new nanoscopic overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted blogger, I can be helpful in rounding up stories about HIV curing cancer. They will surely influence us more powerfully than our parasites. Or our prescription medications.

[ST7] Using your mobile phone to get a date… in Antarctica.


atlasatworkGeography and Vexillology:

[GV1] Did you ever notice how often location of origin is used as a conversation starter? It may be more helpful as a political predictor.

[GV2] Virginia boldly stomps in where angels fear to tread.

[GV3] Building a jungle stadium.

[GV4] How on earth did Bosnia and Herzegovina wind up with such an ugly flag? By committee, of course! Flag enthusiasts call it “the cornflake.”

[GV5] GDP equivalency, now in convenient map form!

[GV6] Mad Rocket Scientist shares a story about a New Zealand school taking a counter-intuitive approach to the playground.  Kazzy wonders if an American school could ever get away with such a plan.  Behind the scenes, Mark Thompson expresses doubt but not necessarily for legal reasons.  Are the Kiwi’s just upside down on this?  Or are we?


gehryawfulnessFive Minute Hates:

[FH1] Every word is true, and they didn’t even get to the chain link fence fetish!

[FH2] So much money they can’t figure out what to do with it.

[FH3] Not taking the implementation of ObamaCare particularly well, are they?

[FH4] For bakers and deejays, that’s bad enough, but for cops and doctors? Just because Bobby J says it’s cool doesn’t mean he’s right.

[FH5] “And the APR on that works out to, let’s see here… four hundred and sixty percent. Sign here, please.”

[FH6] People better-looking than you wearing only their underwear out in public. It’s for charity!

[FH7] And here’s another stunt I’ll have to apologize for at a party soon. At least I’m not this guy.

[FH8] From Jonathan McLeod — “Sure, let’s be the only law firm in Canada involved in the African arms trade! What could possibly go wrong?”


lookleftThe Artistic Life:

[AL1] Yes, yes, I’ll get around to it soon.

[AL2] I’ve come across many more convincing explanations than this for the leftward perspective of an apparent majority of authors. Maybe it’s because looking that way is more attractive. Or, more likely, it’s because they never get any time off (and pretty much never get paid for their work anyway, which doesn’t seem well-calculated to environmentally engender conservatism).

[AL3] Matt Y reverse-rationalizes Panem’s economy. And a PhD draws rather more detailed conclusions about the rather more detailed economy of Westeros. Or, if you’re more of a classics aficionado, consider robotics and Star Trekenomics.

[AL4] An aspirant to be the Parisian equivalent of Bansky works in the Métro, where he trapped passengers in their subway car.

[AL5] By day, well-educated but underemployed cubicle drone; by night, pay-per-view camgirl.

[AL6] Tax law incentivizes everything, it seems.


tomatopieFood Fun:

[FF1] Antonin Scalia picks a fight. And this isn’t the first time he’s made a stand on that hill.

[FF2] ¿Dónde está el carne?

[FF3] The nuts and bolts of operating a profitable food truck.

[FF4] Here’s the sexiest artichoke you’ll read about today.

[FF5] Sexy artichokes sound better than three-year battlefield pizza.

[FF6] In case you were wondering, why do you drink orange juice for breakfast?

[FF7] What a week’s worth of groceries looks like globally.

[FF8] A young couple from Alabama gets seated at the Obamas’ table along with the President of France. They took photos of the food! (I would have, too.) Apparently, they ate better than Ye Lords and Ladies of England, who Lacketh Ye Peanut Butter.


FDouglassBlack History Month:

(This set of links and blurbs from Will Truman)

[BH1] The Holocaust Encyclopedia has an interesting article on black folks during the Holocaust.

[BH2] Tanner Colby explains why integration was a bad idea and affirmative action was a plot to deflect racial progress. #slatepitch titling aside, it’s a fascinating look at the history and the reactions from black communities at the time.

[BH3] Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria writes in The American Conservative about the legacy of Booker T Washington and the Atlanta Compromise.

[BH4] The Republican Party may have a stellar candidate in the form of Harvard-educated, African-American former Miss America Erika Harold, if only they didn’t keep trying to keep her on the sidelines. Jonathan V Last wrote about her last year.

[BH5] Howard Bryant argues that MLB needs to punch up its pitch to young black athletes. It has some really good suggestions.
Burt LikkoBurt Likko is the pseudonym of an attorney in Southern California. His interests include Constitutional law with a special interest in law relating to the concept of separation of church and state, cooking, good wine, and bad science fiction movies. Follow his sporadic Tweets at @burtlikko, and his Flipboard at Burt Likko.

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Linky Friday #56( 89 )

FlowersI am subbing in for Will this week. Hopefully you find this Friday to be as if not more linky.


[C1] I have qualms about leading off with a story that makes everything else here seem trivial, but Burt Likko alerts us that Ice-T is the reader for a Dungeons & Dragons audiobook. We’re still waiting to hear when he’ll make his guest appearance on My Little Pony.

[C2] The Atlantic examines what we share on Facebook. Have you shared anything from OT? What was it? Do any of you actually use those sharey buttons at the bottom?

[C3] Speaking of one-sided sharing, Lori Gottlieb (author of Marry Him Before You Die Alone) asks, “Is the trade-off of egalitarian marriage necessarily less sexual heat?

[C4] Would you have guessed that black fathers are actually more involved with their kids’ lives than fathers of other races?

[C5] zic recommends an excerpt from M—- McA—-‘s new book on Failure at The Atlantic.


[E1] From Will Truman: Gordon Kelly argues that Lenovo’s purchase of Motorola was a genius move on par with their purchase of the ThinkPad line, and that this follows Google’s brilliance in purchasing and dumping Motorola as a pressure point against Samsung.

[E2] David Henderson notes that Paul Krugman has become a supply-sider (though for poor people).  Greg Makinaw asks whether this reduction in the supply of labor will result in higher wages and answers probably not.

[E3] The popular narrative goes that rich people are right-wingers, so winning a lottery should shift your politics to the right. Somewhat astonishingly, a researcher showed that’s what happens.


[P1] The nominee for ambassador to Argentina has never been to Argentina. (Is it OK to say “thanks, Obama” if he’s actually involved?)
Update: John Stewart has more.

[P2] When I think of companies that can’t seem to catch a break, Google, etc. do not come to mind. But Rational Conspiracy makes the argument (without making any Holocaust comparisons) that San-Francisco-influencing tech companies can do no right.

[P3] Candidates with criminal backgrounds do better in Indian parliamentary elections. (I think part of the reason is that the people there believe the criminal system can be politically motivated in who it chooses to prosecute.)

[P4] Assassinate a few Iranian nuclear scientists and no one cares, but blog about the possibility of killing them and everyone loses their minds. If you have an explanation for this behavior, please let me know.


[I1] Education-linked inequality is increasing. Said differently, even as education becomes more widely available and more widely consumed, the returns to education are higher than they’ve ever been before.

[I2] Popehat acknowledges that the otherwise sound advice to never talk to the police isn’t an equally affordable option for everyone.


[T1] Paul Thurott really doesn’t like Windows 8, and argues that the 8.1 update removes whatever strengths it had.

[T2] Penny Arcade reviews the hantavirus for mobile.


[M1] A 12-year observational study found men who consumed dairy fats were less likely to become obese. Similar cow-fat-friendly findings were found in a meta-analysis of 16 studies. Meanwhile, Seth Roberts eats half a stick of butter each day.

[M2] Teaching doctors empathy meets standardized testing:

[S]ince [a professor] can’t teach actual empathy, they teach programmed responses. The patient is in pain? You say “I see you look like you’re in pain. That must be really hard.” Patient is depressed? You say “I see you look like you’re depressed. That must be really hard.” Patient is bleeding from a huge gaping wound in her abdomen? You say “I see you look like you’re bleeding from a huge gaping wound in your abdomen. That must be really hard.”

Photo credit: Me

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Linky Friday #55( 126 )

Strange Days (1995)


[Ec1] Adam Ozimek explains how deregulation of labor licensing standards could benefit the poor.

[Ec2] John Aziz argues that the boom-bust cycle is just something that we’re going to have to get used to.

[Ec3] While the recession hit men harder than women, it’s women who are facing longer-term unemployment.

[Ec4] From Vikram Bath: “I’ve heard people calling on the government to shut down some aid program if one dollar of corruption is found. On the other hand, four of the past seven governors of Illinois have gone to prison for corruption, and to my knowledge no one has demanded that Illinois schools be shut down or its highways closed.” –Bill Gates


[Ed1] It’s an ongoing debate over whether or not we want a lot more kids going into STEM and the computer fields. However, this seems pretty unambiguously bad to me. Not just the gender and racial imbalances, but the paltry numbers coming from some parts of the country.

[Ed2] A lot of people have been arguing that there is a bubble in higher education. Here’s an argument I am less familiar with that sounds like it might have some truth to it: People who can afford college aren’t having kids, and people who can’t are.

[Ed3] Some say that college rankings are ruining higher education. I know they play a role in my alma mater restricting future enrollment growth. Looks like gaming them is effective, however.

[Ed4] In the longer term, liberal arts majors make more than professional majors. What they mean, though, is “liberal arts majors are more likely to go to grad school and so end up making more money.”

[Ed5] At Scientific American, David Skorton argues that scientists should embrace the liberal arts.


[A1] Among black liberals and a lot of white liberals, too, black conservatives suffer from a deficiency. This is often an unfair criticism, but the problem is that sometimes it’s not.

[A2] A new film about Mitt Romney points to a lack of confidence on his part as election day approached, which contradicts the book Double Down.

[A3] Kevin Williamson writes on the “big white ghetto” of Appalachia.

[A4] William Saletan looks at the numbers and says that it’s just not true that most Americans oppose the legality of most abortions. Which is right, though even by the poll he cites, most Americans support a stricter regime than Roe v Wade allows for. Oddly, American views haven’t changed since RvW passed.

[A5] Why do people need to google to ask why Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan are so cold? Can’t they look at a map? Here’s a map of people asking google why states are something they are.


[T1] A new study suggests that Facebook will lose 80% of its user base by 2017. I’ll take that bet, if only because 2017 is only three years away and I don’t see a suitable replacement on the horizon. Will Oregmus won’t take that bet either, and says the research is flawed.

[T2] Candy Crush owns the word Candy.

[T3] Amazon is talking to networks about a set top box. Kindle TV? Wired says Netflix is going to rule TV.

[T4] The future of transportation: electric cars, robocars, flying cars, and trains.


[C1] A study recently suggested that the MTV show 16 and Pregnant has reduced teenage pregnancy rates. Ryan Jacobs explains that this is not the case.

[C2] Tyler Cowen argues that streaming services encourage variety, while downloading services do not, while TechRadar laments binge-watching

[C3] According to new data, half of inmate rape is committed by guards and staff.

[C4] How in the world can you write an article about real life superheroes in costumes and not have photographs?

[C5] From Vikram Bath: “As if the day wasn’t bad enough, Seattle selecting Russell Wilson, a QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all, was by far the worst move of the draft. With the two worst moves of the draft, Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day.”


[M1] Procrastination is often a case of sacrificing tomorrow for today. Since our tomorrow self is something of a stranger to us, it’s easy to screw that guy.

[M2] A network scientist explains that your friends on Facebook really are doing way better than you. I find increasingly that I am an odd exception in that a whole lot of my Facebook friends spend a whole lot of time complaining about their lives.

[M3] I recently wrote a link on the virtues of pessimism. Today, the benefits of optimism.


[B1] The meaning of the finger.

[B2] DNA has solved a Titanic hoax.

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Linky Friday #54( 24 )


[S1] From ScarletNumbers: The major league sports franchise with the longest tenure of futility is the Chicago Cubs, last winning the World Series in 1908. In the hopes of turning things around they have gotten themselves a mascot named Clark the Cub (Clark is the cross street of Wrigley Field). Deadspin decided to make Clark the Cub anatomically correct. CSNMA decided to use the Deadspin version in their story. D’oh! [NSFW]

[S2] From ScarletNumbers: The New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers played at Yankee Stadium Sunday. The game was delayed due to sun glare. To kill some time, the cast of Jersey Boys sung “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. The lyrics refer to “an alibi”. Apparently the closed captioner didn’t have access to the lyrics, so he made his best guess as to what they were singing: Deadspin D’oh! [NSFW]

[S3] Playoffs, once instituted, expand.


[J1] The markets for contracts. As in… hitman contracts.

[J2] Democrats want higher wages, Republicans argue that it would mean less jobs. Democrats hire more people at lower wages, while Republicans hire fewer people at higher wages.

[J3] Smart managers fire people quickly when they take over. For all of the complaints I hear about employment-at-will, I am pretty sure I’ve seen more bad people kept around than good people fired.

[J4] Recent research says that offshoring is overrated at least when it comes to R&D. I wonder if this is why we’re hearing less about its inevitability in the tech world. My own observational experiences are that it isn’t the threat that we have made it out to be (in the tech sector, at least). I’ve seen it tried at multiple employers, and it either doesn’t work out or when cuts are made they are made over there and not over here.


[H1] Kaiser has a good report from 2012 on why health care costs are rising. An interesting fact from it: In 1970, out-of-pocket costs for health care was 40% of the total. By 2010, that had fallen to 14%.

[H2] Doctors aren’t meeting PPACA’s EHR goals. At a basic level, EHR is a time-saver and win-win-win, but the amount that physicians are often being asked to put in them, if the economic incentives are not high enough, it may not be worth their time to do it.

[H3] There’s a new class of cancer treatment that may significant increase patients’ odds of survival. Unfortunately, it’s expensive. It’s pressuring physicians to control costs.


[B1] io9 has stories on rotating buildings and “skytwisters

[B2] Public Interest Design is changing how we do things. Good.is has numerous examples.

[B3] Jim Russell argues that walkability won’t attract talent. People need transit.


[A1] In in India: New handguns for rape victims. Out in India: street-typing.

[A2] South Korea is launching 5G… and its very, very fast.

[A3] Japan is aging, here’s a positive spin on how it’s adapting.

[A4] Scarlet Johansson was asked to resign her association with Oxfam due to her becoming a pitchwoman for SodaStream, an Israeli company operating on the West Bank. Among those upset about the boycott of SodaStream? Some Palestinians.


[E1] There are a lot of misperceptions about World War I. We’ve recently discovered that we have underestimated the death count by a significant margin.

[E2] Scotland is looking towards tidal power.

[E3] Suggesting that the jobless should lose benefits for failing to speak English is something you would expect a Republican to say. Instead, it’s coming from UK’s Labour Party.

[E4] A Norwegian mountianside is cut off from sunlight for six months of the year, so they’re using mirrors.

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Linky Friday #53( 62 )

Daria & Jane Pizzaria


[P1] Oil is making everyone in Norway is a millionaire.

[P2] Japan is planning to meltdown a nuclear reactor, to prevent unplanned meltdowns of reactions.

[P3] Europe is trying to block UK’s wind subsidies as it experiences a dirty coal rebirth.

[P4] We may be on the cusp of power storage innovation, which has implications for wind and solar power.

Far Out:

[F1] A ghost ship sails with cannibalistic rats on board.

[F2] For aliens living underground, astrobiologists say that there may be a lot more habitable zones than we think. Thinking of how intelligent aliens living so far underground might evolve is interesting. It’s the only sort of aliens I could imagine us coexisting with, to an extent. Also… sea anemone… alien life?

[F3] John Mack is a Harvard scientist, and he believes in alien abductions. With this, Alexa Clay writes a personal story.

[F4] Astronomers discovered a black hole orbiting a spinning star.

[F5] Katie Heaney explains how one might come to believe they’ve been abducted by aliens and why you might see ghosts.

Daria - PizzariaEntertainment:

[En1] A great article on the history of Superman, exploring the question of who can claim to have discovered him.

[En2] Hollywood is increasingly turning to the Bible.

[En3] ABC is delaying its internet release of TV shows and piracy ensues. And three-strike laws against piracy don’t work.


[M1] Will robots usher in shared wealth or a more divided society? Some have argued that automation is a driving factor behind the current stagnation of wages, but Dave Schuler isn’t convinced.

[M2] For IT staffs, is there too much supply or too much demand?

[M3] Adam Ozimek asks… why do economists disagree so much about the minimum wage?

[M4] This may be the most convincing case I have heard, to date, on the utility of the Bitcoin.


[Ed1] From Christopher Carr: This article discusses language acquisition from a medical standpoint plus some of the ways that process is different for children raised in bilingual environments.

[Ed2] A Los Angeles liberary is offering high school diplomas. Fortunaely, they don’t have to be returned.

[Ed3] Joshua Davis touts a teaching method to produce geniuses! Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry likes it, but points out that it’s over 100 years old. This sort of student-initiated learning (which isn’t quite the right description, but it’s the best I have) has the odd effect of making me feel uneasy but wishing that I could believe in it more.


[A1] The twinnish cities of Duluth (MN) and Superior (WI) are on different trajectories thanks to the state line between them.

[A2] The case for placing tech jobs to Iowa. When I lived out west, the husband of one of my wife’s colleagues was making inquiries about starting a tech company and found himself on the phone with the governor. He points to numerous cases of tech companies opening offices in unexpected places (including Dubuque, Iowa).

[A3] A part of me hopes that there’s more to this story than the guy is letting on. Some sort of suspicious behavior that warranted the attention, or that the incident was not what he says it was. The other part of me feels bad for hoping that a guy that might have been unduly harassed is a liar. Anyway, it’s the story of a guy who was (allegedly) harassed by Maryland cops for a gun that he didn’t have with him.

[A4] Excellent news! We’re probably not backing that Mexican drug cartel!

[A5] James Poulos argues that our obsession with bad romance is the ultimate first world problem.

[A6] Good news for the states offering more generous Medicaid packages: It won’t really attract sick people.

Video: From Vikram Bath: Saddleback Leather provides an instructional video to those looking to knock off their bags.

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Linky Friday #52( 95 )


[P1] According to a study, pessimism overlaps with happiness.

[P2] ESP has been debunked.

[P3] The Science Museum in London is featuring an exhibit on the history of psychology.

[P4] Here is the psychology of Winter Blues and Retail Therapy.


[L1] The New Mexico dude who was raped by cops and doctors scored $1.6m from the county. The suit against the doctors and the hospital is still outstanding.

[L2] Idaho is deprivatizing a prison.

[L3] The ranks of law enforcement are changing with rising levels of education to tackle an increasingly complex job.

[L4] The Boston Globe makes the case that Trial By Ordeal was effective… but how do you know so long after the fact who was guilty and who wasn’t to make that determination?


[H1] It was looking like PPACA maybe be putting volunteer fire departments in a pickle, but fortunately they have been declared exempt.

[H2] One of the arguments in favor of increasing insurance is that it would save the system money because people wouldn’t be abusing ER visits. Turns out, insurance increases ER visits considerably. A related Hit Coffee post here.

[H3] A neurologist makes the claim that ADHD doesn’t exit.


[A1] CNN World has some pictures of abandoned homes in Syria.

[A2] Pushed up the queue because ScarletNumbers mentioned it, here are 38 haunting, abandoned places that are fascinating to look at. Various amusement parks made the cut. I think the UFO houses in Taiwan actually look pretty cool.

[A3] Here’s a bunch of pictures of an abandoned theme park in Germany.

[A4] And lastly, a drone films an abandoned renaissance faire in the Virginia woods. (With video, in case I wasn’t clear.)


[E1] Nicholas Dawidoff explains what makes football players smart.

[E2] The Guardian argues that fans may be exerting too much influence over their favorite shows. It’s my fervent belief that comic books have been hurt immensely by focusing on fans.

[E3] I wish you could articulate and pass a law that prevented companies from doing this. If you aren’t going to sell it, then give it away!

[E4] Even though the stories themselves are dated and by today’s standards hokey, I find characters like Philip Marlowe charming in their own way.


[T1] The future of Windows. Or maybe the back to the future of Windows. We may be getting the Start Menu back.

[T2] Ubuntu (Cononical) increased their revenue in 2013, but came out twice behind.

[T3] Android app development is catching up with its marketshare.


[U1] While Chris Christie’s has been taking a hit and his general election prospects for 2016 may be hurting, he’s still polling surprisingly well, and according to one oddsmaking site is still the favorite for the 2016 GOP nomination.

[U2] The Washington Post has 40 maps that explain the world. And 40 more

[U3] A senate candidate wants to move the US capitol to Nebraska! I approve, although disagree with the rationale. Mostly.

[U4] According to Jim Russell, part of the Rust Belt’s perception problem is due to shoddy journalism.


[W1] It’s apparently not uncommon in China to send your kids to ruralia to live with the grandparents.

[W2] Japanese cars (and American ones, too), built in America, to be exported elsewhere.

[W3] In Japan, there has apparently been a cottage industry of people called wakaresaseya, whose job it is to quasi-seduce somebody into a compromising situation that you can then hold over them. Clients include people that want cause for divorce and negotiators (political and business) looking for leverage. I discovered this from a Times of London article about such an arrangement going terribly, terribly wrong. I’ve vaguely heard of this sort of thing occurring in the US and it makes a fair amount of sense (though of questionable legality). It was also shown on Melrose Place, so we know it happens.

[W4] A college acquaintance who is (or was) a freelance journalist in Syria has been missing for over a year now. It’s an epidemic.

[W5] In a strange battle in World War II, Americans, French, and Germans fought side-by-side.

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Linky Friday #51( 70 )


[M1] Food congolmerates have eliminated 6.4 trillion calories from their offerings. Thanks, (Michelle) Obama. (Some people aren’t satisfied, however.)

[M2] These cake fakes are pretty cool. The pitcher makes me want cake and a beer.

[M3] The deleterious effects of marijuana usage. Patrick Kennedy is setting off alarm bells.


[D1] Red light camera usage has, for the first time, declined in usage. My opposition to red light camera is outlined here.

[D2] Parking meters used to be aganst the law.

[D3] One way to raise revenue is to have female cops so beautiful that people will break laws and incur fines to meet her.


[T1] In the future, computers will be invisible and telemarketing will be done by cyborgs.

[T2] Using science to find a mate.

[T3] Even though I know this means that I have forfeited any right to object to the government parking drones outside my bedroom window, I actually think the “ebooks are reading you” phenomenon is pretty cool.

[T4] Experts are worried about children and tablets.

[T5] A few years back, the Internet was saved.


[P1] Republicans are perennially more self-critical than Democrats.

[P2] How DC has changed, less about the red and blue than the green.

[P3] I enjoyed season one of House of Cards, but Joshua Braver is right that it doesn’t translate well into the Americaqn political system.


[E1] The Los Angeles Times called on the California State Bar to release data to researchers looking at affirmative action.

[E2] Speaking of preferred admission criteria, children of Texas lawmakers who go to the UT School of Law are more likely to struggle once they get there.

[E3] Genetics accounts for more than half of exam result variation.

[E4] Meanwhile, if you have an hour or so, I recommend this Bloggingheads between Glenn Loury and Roland Fryer where they talk about innovation in education and an education experiment in Houston that yielded surprising results.


[L1] Software is replacing human labor… and hardware investment.

[L2] Lauren Davidson makes the case for the six hour workday.

[L3] One of the main reasons we need to do away with DST is because we’re waking up too suddenly and too early.

[L5] Adam Ozimek continues to chip away at the notion food-stamps-are-corporate-welfare meme.

[L6] Want more productive workers? Industrial cooling can deliver.

[L7] What interning at Google is really like.


[J1] Seven years ago yesterday, the iPhone rocked the smartphone market.

[J2] When Apple released the iPhone, Google had to pivot with Android and start over. No surprise, but I think I like the previous direction better.

[J3] Contrary to popular perception, Steve Jobs did listen to consumers.

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Linky Friday #50( 77 )


[J1] A Japanese soldier continued to fight World War II for almost 30 years after it ended because he couldn’t believe that Japan had lost.

[J2] Japan is looking at building a real-life Gundam!

[J3] It takes a downed balloon to get China and Japan to cooperate. It apparently takes the Olympics to the Japanese to re-evaluate immigration policy.


[I1] More than 20% of Americans will be income-rich at some point, but it often doesn’t last. Which I consider depressing, for some reason.

[I2] Previous research has suggested that Americans think that our perceptions of wealth inequality are skewed. Anyway, some new research from Saint Louis University suggests that we actually overestimate income inequality. Which mostly goes to show how poorly the entire conversation conveys the important distinction between wealth inequality and income inequality.

[I3] Women who make career sacrifices to spend more time at home are happier. What about men?


ElfPrincessRane4[E1] A recent study suggested that MOOC completion rates are really low. Kevin Carey explains why we should ignore it.

[E2] The interesting education battle between Finnish schools (touted by liberals) and Swedish schools (more comparable to what conservatives want to do). My thoughts. Both Finland and Sweden are struggling, though.

[E3] Do our medical schools need to make a point of training people future doctors in health care policy?

Science & Math:

[S1] From algae to crude oil. Yay science!

[S2] Dr. Phi analyzes whether the lottery is a smart bet.

[S3] An article in the IEEE Spectrum makes the case that the STEM crisis is a myth. Possibly by those who benefit from the existence of a crisis.


[H1] Ebenezer Scrooge was a forward-thinking liberal.

[H2] If economists wrote Christmas cards


[M1] Old maps don’t actually say “here be dragons” though a globe maybe does.

ElfPrincessRane3[M2] What are the next new countries? Maybe these are. Here are some odd national borders.

[M3] What would the United States look like if every state secessionist movement (not including North Colorado) were successful? Adam Ozimek considers the repercussions. I myself can barely conceptualize a 248-seat senate with equal representation among states.

[M4] Mapping weird sex laws in the United States.

[M5] Maps, maps, and more maps!


[C1] As the 49ers move to Santa Clara, the Atlanta Braves are moving to the suburbs.

[C2] Marvel is pulling out of bookstores, for its monthlies.

[C3] When it comes to global generosity, Americans rule.

[C4] French books don’t really sell abroad. BBC News asks why.

[E7] Teen pregnancy, abortion, and sex rates decline. Thanks, Obama.


[P1] Our patent system is out of control. Thanks, Carter.

[P2] Some of the people that PPACA is guiding towards Medicaid are going to be in for a surprise when they find out their estate can be billed for it.

[P3] Good policy or not, Romneycare did very little to hold down costs. Massachusetts has the highest health costs in the country.

[P4] Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer appears to be running for president. He appears not to be running for Hillary Clinton’s second spot.

[P5] Our triumph in South Sudan is falling apart.

[P6] Due to a tweak in IRS rules, restaurants may stop adding the gratuity automatically to large group checks, and this is maybe a bad thing.

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Linky Friday #49( 104 )


yesminister[En1] The decline of oil.

[En2] Smart street lights may save energy. Imagine, of course, what robocars will do.

[En3] The media has focused quite a bit on the upheavel caused by the energy boom in North Dakota. David Blackmon explains what its own oil boom means to West Texas and the Texas economy.

[En4] Romania is building a new kind of nuclear reactor while Austria is worried about regulation and restrictions with its wind power industry.

[En5] Europe hopes to replicate US success in fracking. Obviously, they don’t read the NYT, which indicates that all fracking does is make everybody miserable.


[C1] It’s not for me, since I have my hair care needs taken care of at chains without so much as the twirling barber post out front, but given that my grandfather was a barber, I’ll always have an attachment to the idea of barbershops.

[C2] We’re along way from Ted Turner’s colorization of old movies. Some of these pictures look pretty realistic.

[C3] The anti-communist propaganda posters of the 20th century were pretty awesome.

[C4] Nameberry presents some of the top names from 1962 that are due for a comeback. I’ll be honest: There are some pretty good names in there.


[Eu1] The French are learning English on train rides. One of my great regrets is that I never took advantage of my long commutes to get a hold on Spanish.

[Eu2] Something I didn’t know: Slovak was once a hotbed of libertarianism. Dalibor Rohac explains how that came to be, and how Slovak lost its libertarian streak.

[Eu3] Spain is preventing a vote on Catalonian independence.


[He1] Yes! You can be fat and healthy! No, you can’t!

[He2] Meanwhile, mice may change the conversation on obesity, and a weight loss chip may obviate it.

[He3] Our best weapon against heroin addiction is being stigmatized.

[He4] MSG has long been denigrated as unsafe and all that, perhaps unfairly so. Interestingly, MSG shares significant commonality with umami, one of the latest “in” foods.

[He5] As per usual, reading this list of things that workers at chain restaurants refuse to eat makes me hungry. Great point about the Big Mac, though. This, on the other hand, makes me never want to eat the food discussed.

[He6] Children have an innate fear of plants.


[T1] GoogleBBS.

[T2] David Golumbia argues that the left’s embrace of the “digital freedom” movement is a betrayal of lefty ideals.

[T3] Dallas Cowboys owner uses a flipphone. Money is getting tight in the Himmelreich-Truman household and I’ve been considering going back to a regular phone and using the smartphone on WiFi.

[T4] The Star Trek economy.

[T5] A movable city! I’m not sure of the practical utility, but pretty awesome all the same.


[Ho1] I’ve long considered Richard Florida’s “Creative Class” was basically a scam to justify cities spending money on the preferences of its financially comfortable. Richey Piiperinen thinks it might have been something more nefarious.

[Ho2] Introducing, the $20,000 house!

[Ho3] “Despite the recent growth of big city downtowns, there is no widespread shift toward dense, urban living. Instead, the long term suburbanization of America continues.”

[Ho4] I am, on certain things at least, rather cynical. I rarely hear “smart growth” in contexts that lead me to believe that it is a referrence to anything but “limited growth” which is fine as long as you’ve got yours. Owen Courreges argies that easier growth is the real smart growth.

[Ho5] Richard Florida has discovered that suburbs are the new swing states! Actually, they’ve always been. Even so, and despite being written by Florida, it points out some interesting things on the economic factors of suburban politics.

[Ho6] How to have sex in communal living spaces.

[Ho7] How the Big Sort happened.


[Ec1] Michael Strain has some ideas on how conservatives can attack the problem of long-term unemployment.

[Ec2] The Pacific Standard has a really good piece on the rise and fall of Intrade, and its CEO.

[Ec3] Ezra Klein explains the importance of full employment.

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Linky Friday #48( 27 )

No Heroics - Hotness BurnEducation & Development:

[E1] Despite my geeky tendencies, I am only a recent convert to the potential of technology in education. My reluctance here is due in part of the silliness of its boosters.

[E2] What’s wrong with the Millenials? According to Brooke Donatone, it’s not entitlement but parental overinvolvement.

[E3] College degrees in Britain are losing their premium.

[E4] Jathan Sadowski argues that pushing people to code will only increase the gap between the wealthy and the poor. I personally think that we should push more people into taking programming classes not because of the coding part but because the process teaches you a lot about logic paths. But the article is probably right that for some people it might be more worthwhile that they learn more pedestrian material.


[G1] Superheroes are a bunch of fascists! No, they’re not.

[G2] One of my favorite games when I was younger was Bard’s Tale. So even though I’m not much into cyberpunk, this has my interest.


[D1] eHarmony’s blog asks how long should you wait before proposing (or expecting a proposal)?

[D2] If you want to attract people on your dating site, you should show pictures of yourself with other people.

[D3] Russians do pretty awesome online dating profiles.

Death & Injury:

[DI1] Loneliness is killing us.

[DI2] Plausible alien scenarios! Well, I don’t know about plausible, but more plausible than a lot of scenarios.

[DI3] A man is selling his testical for $35,000.

[DI4] The link beween sports concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy may be overstated.


[A1] As Taiwan becomes more competitive, wages go down.

[A2] Japan’s demographic cliff.

[A3] China’s newest city has a weird name: Detroit.

[A4] Apparently it’s not uncommon in India for girls to be named “unwanted” (or its hindi equivalent). The girls are changing their names.

[A5] In emerging markets, finding and keeping top managers is tough.

Latin America:

[LA1] Mexican drug cartels are exporting… ore?

[LA2] Mexico is liberalizing its oil business.

[LA3] Mapping redheads, across Europe and the United States.

[LA4] Michael Totten laments the once great city of Havana.

[LA5] There were elections in Honduras, and results were approved by both the UN and the NACLA, but a lot of folks remain quite dissatisfied.

United States:

[US1] The western half of the Trumanverse map would look mighty different if I’d known about the John Wesley Powell watershed map. Here’s one mapping all fifty states. Speaking of maps, here’s an interview with the man who is perhaps America’s best mapmaker.

[US2] In 1959, 60% of Americans believed that handguns should be banned.

[US3] Madison prides itself on its progressivity, but there are some unpleasant statistics on race under the hood. Which probably tell you more about the statitics, and the many things than influence them, than anything about racism in Madison.

[US4] I can totally buy the notion that Seattle is becoming the next tech capital. It already has lots of jobs and its economy is rocking. The fact that we can attribute this to affordability, though, is kind of problematic. Because it’s not, really, except by the standards we choose our elite cities in such a way that we can easily price out large numbers of people.

[US5] Trust is an issue.

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Linky Friday #47( 65 )



[P1] Progress! Bill Gates’s condom challenge is about to be met! This is important!

[P2] Aspartame includes E Coli feces. Which goes to show how awesome is: it can make bacterial feces taste good.

[P3] A fax machine… to copy life onto Mars!

[P4] Google Books got a favorable ruling from the courts, and according to Tim Lee we will all benefit.


[W1] Bring the apprentice model to the US.

[W2] Big Data is making some real headway on the human resources front.

[W3] The senate proposal to raise the minimum wage is very robot-friendly.

[W4] A town in Wyoming was sold to a Vietnamese man, who hopes to use it to launch a coffee empire.


[S1] From Mike Schilling: Marvin Miller once more denied entrance to the Hall of Fame.

[S2] In 1992, Nugget II, the University of Southern Mississippi live mascot, died in a cloud of controversy. The case is back on.

[S3] A Chicago Bear is retiring to become a firefighter.


[C1] Mormons tend to like things upbeat, which presents problems in a cultural scene that prefers the dark.

[C2] US Airways tried to kick a blind man and his dog off a flight when the dog got restless after a couple hours on the runway. The passengers revolted.

[C3] Go through Cultural Sensitivity and Cultural Acceptance and hang a left to end up back at segregation and intolerance.

[C4] Dating is one of the few areas where racial preferences are considered to be completely acceptable. Here are some statistics revealed by online dating.

[C5] Jack Hunter, the Southern Avenger, wrote a really good piece for Politico on how the identity came to be. It provides a lot of good background into why a lot of people are as they are, and why certain groups are as well.


[G1] From Christopher Carr: A thought-provoking article from Al Jazeera on the lonely denouement of whistle-blowers.

[G2] An Iowa truancy law wants you to drop the dime on your homeschooling neighbors. As an aside, we can have truancy laws, or we can require childhood vaccination to attend school, but I’m not sure we can do both.

[G3] Some are concerned that PPACA will be damaging to Health Savings Accounts, while the LVRJ argues that they are more popular than ever.

[G4] three-headed-snakeRegulation in DC is taking down a food truck icon.

[G5] “Without the hidden compartment law, we would not have had any charges on the suspect … We apparently caught them between runs, so to speak, so this takes away one tool they have in their illegal trade. The law does help us and is on our side.” The tool in question being the ability to not charged with a felony due to the technicality that they did not find any drugs in your car or any proof that you are actually a drug dealer.

Health & Safety:

[H1] From Christopher Carr: One possible reason why America’s poor are paradoxically overweight.

[H2] New York is making the case that it no longer matters who can breathe whose air, we don’t want to watch people smoking (or looking like they are). Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport is setting up a vaping zone.

[H3] More distracting to drivers than mobile phones? Children. And since mobile phones are as bad as drunk driving, kids make drunk drivers out of the lot of us.

[H4] I feel let down that the local McD’s didn’t take part in the McRib comeback. People love to hate McRib’s, and love to love them because they’re supposed to hate them, but ultimately they’re not much different from McNuggets.

[H5] Here’s an argument against density: It allows you to smoke in your own home.

[H6] Our post-antibiotic future is a scary one! Not to worry, though, Megan McArdle is really worried about it, and I’ve been duly informed that if she thinks it’s bad than it’s either actually good or it’s not happening. Whew.


[E1] India’s next prime minister may be banned from the United States.

[E2] From Christopher Carr: A truly poignant an haunting photo-essay from beginning to end.

[E3] From James K: The New Zealand Defence Forces have done an “It Gets Better” video.

[E4] Speigel had an interesting article on Germany’s energy shortage. (Via Jamez Aitch, I think)


[B1] From Christopher Carr: Pilots have near-death and out-of-body experiences when subjected to extreme gravity. Relatedly, a great place to start any Wikipedia binge and reason why future spaceflight will be increasingly robotic.

[B2] The story of a pilot who had a near-death-out-of-body experience… except with proof? (Link via Jaybird)

[B3] From Mark Thompson: Apparently, the entire universe is a hologram.

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Linky Friday #46( 207 )


[E1] Some history and present of South Korea’s education history. There’s a lot familiar in there.

[E2] There is apparently a movement to couple social justice and math. Which, to me, sounds like a great way to give some people another reason to tune out of math by associating it with something that can be disagreed with.

[E3] Charter schools not only show improvements in test scores, but have better outcomes that cannot so easily be gamed.

[E4] Mr. Feeny!


[P1] Alex Payne takes a tough look at operating systems and their makers, both of the computer and phone variety.

[P2] UPS’s security questions are creepy.

[P3] China’s smog crisis is reaching titanic proportions.


[H1] The Big Sort has an economic angle. Especially when you have kids. Economic segregation is on the rise.

[H1] Joel Kotkin argues that the burbs are back!

[H1] A charity is working on putting homeless people in shipping containers. To live, not to be shipped.

[H1] San Fransisco is overflowing. Given the geographic constraints, this may be the only way.

[H1] As bad as our housing issues are, at least we’re not Britain.


[J1] From Christopher Carr: I’m not sure I agree that people with a criminal record not having the same job success as people who have never been convicted of a crime is a bad thing. Obviously people can change, but if you’ve dug that kind of hole for yourself, it is not unreasonable that society expects you to climb out.

[J2] Go Central, young man! To Omaha! Okay, it’s not for everyone, but there are some serious opportunities in the middle even away from the oil fields and outside of Texas.

[J3] Adam Ozimek and Megan McArdle make some good points about those complaining about the “corporate welfare” of food-stamps to low-wage employees. These are benefits we want some folks to have, which doesn’t necessitate an obligation on their part (low-wage employers) to obviate their necessity.

[J4] I can’t say that I draw much in the way of conclusions from it, but this look at slave management and modern management technique is quite interesting.

[J5] PolicyMic has an interesting map on where the disconnected youth are.


[A1] Aaron David passes along The American Nations. The El Norte bit is particularly interesting. Yankeedom is weird (Fargo?!). As luck will have it, the next Trumanverse map (3.11… I’m making the finishing touches, I think) will include a New Netherland.

[A2] Hell on Earth! Or, well, Hell in America.

[A3] Anthony Esolen argues that we learned the wrong lessons from Prohibition.

[A4] I love how we can’t raise gas taxes because the people will never stand for it, so we must instead find new ways to tax people for driving.

[A5] Texas A&M and Baylor have found evidence suggesting that America was populated in a way differently than previously supposed. The article is more interesting than my description. (via Mr. Blue)


[D1] A cool look at Salt Lake City’s unconventionally force-avoidant police chief.

[D2] Salt Lake City is a hub of economic mobility.

[D3] Mormons are reaching out to the Amerindian tribes, through gardening.

[D4] Utah may be taking advantage of labor relation discord and getting a new Boeing plant.

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Linky Friday #45( 73 )


[E1] The Denver Post on solar and wind. I will remain skeptical of such things until they actually start to compete with other energy sources on a similar level of subsidy, but I do remain hopeful.

[E2] Reservations contain almost a third of coal reserves west of the Mississippi, and some tribespeople are not pleased about the War on Coal. Government policy aside, the gas boom is taking its toll on Coal Country.


[H1] Hold on tight, we may be about to undergo a Sriracha shortage.

[H2] The story of the octopus that almost ate Seattle is interesting on a number of levels.

[H3] How a non-consensual rat/duck tryst created a flesh-eating platypus that terrorized Australia.

[H4] A lot of smartypantses have been pointing out that there was no mass panic over the War of the Worlds broadcast. A world in which that did occur is more interesting than a world in which that did not occur, so I choose to ignore them.


[C1] Are our public universities going private?

[C2] From Jonathan McLeod: Flinder Boyd travels across the country with TJ Webster, a street-baller who is looking for one chance to make it big.

[C3] From Vikram Bath: “[W]hen social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected.”

[C4] Is this the beginning of the end of TV’s golden era? The patterns are potentially forming for a rut. Even so, I’d argue that recent success has been such while a rut is possible, the nature of the medium has changed outside of specific genre. Creativity is a part of it, but so is formatting. The most substantial changes are that TV isn’t so geared towards episode-friendly syndication anymore, and shows no longer require nearly such broad appeal. Those are fundamental changes, and it’s unlikely they are going away. (link via Christopher Carr)

[C5] Shockingly, receiving oral sex on an airplane will hurt your reputation.


[G1] Young entrepreneurs, meet the tax-collectors. (Kids told they have to explain why they don’t owe $200 on $14 they made at a craft sale.)

[G2] The return of the flophouse!

[G3] “The government overreach implicated in banning a harmless product because its testing regimen isn’t good enough to distinguish yogurt from mind-altering substances is apparently lost on the people who make decisions about such things.”

[G4] The Dutch welfare state is getting some increased scrutiny. The King says it’s over.

[G5] Esquire talks about our political center.

[G6] Deer-crossing and children-at-play signs don’t work. Sensible state that it is, Minnesota is getting rid of them.

Health Care:

[HC1] Darius Tahir argues that we should lift doctor-licensing restrictions. While opposition to this is always chalked up as financial – and often is – I’ve heard pushback on this even from doctors who genuinely want the shortage alleviated. There are other factors at play, both bad (professional arrogance) and good (concern over care).

[HC2] If you’re a liberal upset at your insurance premiums rising under PPACA, fortunately you have dKos contributors to tell you how stupid and ungrateful you are.

[HC3] Right now, all of the talk is about how PPACA will affect individual coverage. The other side of the coin is that it will affect group coverage, as well.


[W1] That different country called the past: Rebecca Rosen unearthed the internal memo that allowed IBM’s female employees to get married.

[W2] The Chinese like the American optimism of 2 Broke Girls think the French lazy are lazy. Some of the French are actually anxious to maybe work more.

[W3] According to the Atlanta Fed President, we have too much job stability.

[W4] Douglas Rothschild writes about the Juggalo Ethos and how it’s our future. This touches on some of my greatest fears with regard to inequality and what it will mean for our culture.

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Linky Friday #44( 114 )

JS1567177Ed note: Due to time constraints and declining interest, Linky Friday will be taking a hiatus after this week.


[N1] The US Army is trying to build Iron Man.

[N2] The AV Club has an interesting piece on the lasting impact of Homestar Runner, one of the first successful webseries.

[N3] Thirteen gateways to hell? Flagged for future fiction.


[C1] Seth Ackerman at Jacobin argues that the popular narrative – The Tea Party being the product of southern and Neo-Confederate animosities – is wrong. They are not the successors of Calhoun but of Hoover and even Madison.

[C2] Liberty University wants to become the Notre Dame of protestants, with the athletics program to match. Baylor is much further along, but Liberty’s strides are actually pretty impressive. I can’t believe that they actually have a billion dollar endowment, though, and I think a university that treats its chancellorship as a hereditary position faces more natural limitations.


[J1] One way to screen job applicants.

[J2] Miles Brundage looks at a study on automation putting people out of the job. He’s a bit skeptical.


[E1] In 1948, smog killed 70 people in Pennsylvania.

[E2] GE is working on a way to solve fracking’s water contamination. I wonder if environmentalists hope that this doesn’t work, if it results in more fracking.

[E3] Nuclear physicist Kelvin Kemm argues that there was no Fukushima disaster.


[M1] America’s retreat from marriage may have hit bottom.

[M2] I don’t know whether indefinite engagements are better or worse than shacking up. Probably better, but more frustrating in their own way.


[S1] Researchers may have found a gene for obesity.

[S2] If you want to get people to follow social norms, zap their brain.

[S3] Hunters and farmers lived side-by-side in ancient times, but didn’t procreate together.


[T1] It’s really quite aggravating that GoogleDocs/Drive doesn’t support ODF file-types. In fact, there is no editor available in Android. That’s a problem and why I will not be using their services any time soon.

[T2] A smartphone charger that sniffs for malware? Consider me intrigued!

[T3] Between my bluetooth earpiece and my interest in smartwatches and google glasses, I want to be a cyborg. So an MP3 player that lives in my ear appeals to me.

[T4] BusinessInsider lists the 20 most expensive URLs of all time. Notably, most of them get less traffic than Ordinary Times (though more than Hit Coffee!). (via Dustbury)

[T5] Andres Martinez laments the death of the Blackberry.

[T6] io9 wants to know what the worst technological innovations of all time were. Worst as in LaserDiscs and Smell-O-Vision, not worst as in the nuclear bomb. Here is a list from 2006 which contains my nomination: DIVX.

[T7] I like this idea: Using credit card companies to shut down those icky mug shot website operators. Of course, some people are trying to make that happen with gun companies, which I am less enthusiastic about.

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Linky Friday #43( 17 )


[A1] Jerry Kill missed his first full game due to another seizure and is taking leave.

[A2] Daniel H Bowen and Collin Hitt respond to the recent Amanda Ripley piece on school athletics, arguing that it is actually a good thing. Honestly, I think they might have the better argument, at least for some kids. I remember athletes who couldn’t be bothered to show respect for anybody but their coaches.

[A3] David Williams argues that companies should strive to fill their ranks with athletes.


[E1] The traditional model is that kids hear lectures in the classroom and do homework at home. Maybe we have it backwards.

[E2] Anti-bullying efforts may lead to more bullying. Why? Bullies know what teachers are looking out for. The identification of an increasing array of behavior as bullying may also be playing a role. “Jimmy’s being a bully. He won’t loan me his pencil and he has two.” (Yes, that happened.)

[E3] Childhood bullying has lasting effects. They’re more likely to grow up to be troubled adults. (Or alternately, people who are troubled are more likely to be bullied. Kids can certainly smell vulnerability.)

[E4] Theodore Johnson has a good look at Harvard Extension School, and what it means.


[P1] The new IPCC Climate report hat-tips geoengineering. A Texas plant is on it.

[P2] These jetpacks look a lot more cumbersome than what we were told to expect.

[P3] Kaiser tests new medical technology at a fake hospital.


[C1] Mermaids in Texas.

[C2] Increasing distance from Deseret has lead to a greater appreciation for the LDS Church. But then they start talking like this.

[C3] An interesting rundown on the progress of women in Utah. I tagged this for reference sake and maybe a future post, but thought I would share it.

[C4] Veterans are having problems with fake service dogs and people believing their service dogs are fake.

[C5] The Columbia Journalism Review asks if copyright law is working. Their answer is “not exactly.”


[T1] The only reason I care about Blackberry possibly selling out to Google or Samsung (though it looks like that’s not going to happen) is the foolish hope that one of them will release a good productivity smartphone.

[T2] From Vikram Bath: A journalist recounts the story of a letter she sent to Nokia in 2008 to make an easy-to-use phone. Lost opportunities ensue.

[T3] From Burt Likko: You see those mind-blowing videos on the internet. How do you know they are real? Here’s how they get checked out, because, no one is allowed to post things on the internet that aren’t true.

[T4] The NSA has tried and failed to de-anonymize Tor. Linux godfather Linus Torvalds confirms/denies that the US government approached him about a backdoor to Linux.


[W1] Here is what we thought Earth looked like from space, before we actually saw what Earth looked like from space.

[W2] Millions of years ago, the west coast was further east. Sort of. Interesting maps.

[W3] Germany’s latest export? Grandmothers.

[W4] The French are an unhappy people.

[W5] In case you wanted to know what a $300,000 house in China, there ya go. And here is a look at China’s vertical city.

[W6] The situation with China’s ghost cities may not be as bad as they appear.

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Linky Friday #42( 52 )



[S1] It reminds me of the Grunions invasion from Beverly Hillbillies, but Jellyfish are invading and it looks like it could be something serious. It seems weird to me that this could be such an intractable menace.

[S2] The Earth isn’t flat. Maybe the universe isn’t flat, either.

[S3] According to Alex Knapp, we’re good here on Earth for a while. The article goes beyond that, though, talking about life-supporting potential elsewhere which has been a subject on which I am (a) fascinated and (b) hopelessly ignorant.

[S4] Like horses? Thank merchants. Okay, that’s not quite right, but as with so many other things, people had a great deal to do with them becoming what they are.


[C1] I used to think that in the past, roommates were more common than they are today. Not so? It would be helpful if the article differentiated more between premarital cohabitation and having roommates, though.

[C2] According to this, money is more important than intact families when it comes to sending your kids to college, but poverty matters less than family structure in keeping your kids out of prison.

[C3] Nobody worries about missing when it comes to public toilets, of course. We can always just flush with our feet.

[C4] My third novel, written in 2002, is alas already dated. In part because it is steeped in music from a previous era. I may track down an excerpt for future posting. Anyway, I was thinking of that when I read this article by Steven Hyden arguing that Counting Crows’ August and Everything After is actually as relevant or more as is Nirvana’s In Utero. As someone who was into Counting Crows but not Nirvana, I approve.

[C5] An organization offered inmates in solitary confinement a chance to request images from the outside world. Here are the results. #10 is just awesome.

[C6] Pseudonymity is under seige. Which is good, in many ways that they talk about (says the guy who isn’t really named Will Truman). The proposed New York law not-so-much.


[A1] The Republicans may be re-evaluating their view on taxes. Good, says Conn Carroll.

[A2] Matthew O’Brien looks at which states have recovered from the Great Recession and which ones won’t until 2018. Also, cities.

[A3] USA! USA! USA! We’re the best place in the world to be an entrepreneur, according to some metrics.

Work & Economics:

[W1] One of the reservations I have about unlimited H1-B visas is that they will be used in lieu of training domestic personnel. According to Heather Rolfe, that isn’t the case in the UK.

[W2] Some countries like to relax. Some either don’t or don’t have a choice. Here’s a map and a graph. Check out Mexico and Greece, both often associated with laziness. Greece in particular is interesting. They retire young, but work like heck.

[W3] Are we going to smartphone optricians out of the job? I suspect they will be helpful tools for deciding when we need to go to the eye doc, but I also think that we still won’t get by without our annual visits.

[W4] The Cranky Flier defends the unbundled airline structure one week, then proposes how we should rebundle the next.


[E1] The notion of learning styles is getting some pushback.

[E2] One of the advantages of having assigned schools is supposed to be that your kids are sent to a local high school. That may not be the case much longer in NYC.

[E3] One of the knocks against charter schools is that they push out poor-performing students. Not so, says a recent study.

[E4] Chad Alderman explains the results of a recent study suggesting that green TFA teachers are outperforming veteran College of Education products.

[E5] Amanda Ripley makes the case against high school sports. This is one of the many beauties of school choice, of course. Charter schools very often lack such distractions.

[E6] Some community colleges are apparently unclear on the concept of community college. Hint: It doesn’t include posh dorms.

[E7] One university has had some success by paying smart students to help struggling ones.


[T1] The story of “Taiwan’s Holocaust.”

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Linky Friday #41( 56 )

Jack Klugman as QuincyFootball:

[F1] Minnesota Gopher head coach Jerry kid had another seizure on the sideline, and at this point the only weird thing is how normal it has become for the players. Greg Couch argues that people need to just deal. Here’s more.

[F2] A Southern Miss football player’s facemask had to be removed from his opponent’s jersey with a screwdriver. Article has a video.


[Sa1] Mollie Hemingway on the forces against kids mowing the lawn. This sort of thing is evidence of a culture and class divide that transcends – though does not avoid – politics.

[Sa2] People are having dinner parties… UNREGULATED! Okay, that’s not quite a fair characterization. But many of the reasons we regulate restaurants don’t really apply here.

[Sa3] From Vikram Bath: I wonder how many things advertised now will look as ridiculous as these sugar “health” ads from the 60s and 70s.


[R1] Shocker: The kid who is starting a White Student Union at Georgia State University has a history of hateful remarks.

[R2] Meanwhile, in Alabama, qualified black applicants are being blocked from premier sororities. The sisters are blaming alumni. If you hear about this story and it sounds simple to you, you’re not thinking it through. (The only simple part is that this is, of course, wrong on multiple levels.)

[R3] A dying North Dakota town may be saved by white supremacists. Grandmothers from regional tribes are playing capture the flag (and burn it).


[O1] Texas is not producing more oil than Iran.

[O2] California is getting more of its oil by rail.

[O2] In Iraq, the Kurds are moving towards independence.


[He1] The debate continues as to whether or not insurance will be cheaper or more expensive in the PPACA regime. The government says cheaper! National Journal says not. As does Avik Roy, of course.

[He2] To add to the list of potential concerns for the future of our health care system we’re having physician burnout. The article is a year old, but the situation hasn’t exactly gotten better and PPACA is not poised to help or send in enough reinforcements.

[He3] As always, Dave Schuler is concerned.


[G1] We talk about infrastructure as an investment, but sometimes it’s a sinkhole.

[G2] In Shenzhen, China, it is now illegal to miss the toilet.

[G3] Privacy advocates (which I have been increasingly sympathetic to, as of late) have pointed to Brazil’s decision to try to bypass the US for its internet as an example of what happens when we don’t respect privacy. It turns out, Brazil has privacy issues of its own.

[G4] From Vikram Bath: “[E]verything you’ve read about “Recovery Winter” the past few winters has just been a statistical artifact of naïve seasonal adjustments. Oops.”


[C1] Captain America and Batman save the day!

[C2] The horrifying, horrifying, horrifying story of the Internet exchanges of second-hand adoption.

[C3] The TSA caught an agent for smuggling illegal immigrants. It gets worse: They were carrying liquid containers exceeding 3oz in volume.

[C4] Peru is the world capital of counterfeit US dollars.


[Sc1] First, they came for the left-brained, but because I was not left-brained, I said nothing. Then, they came for the left-handed

[Sc2] The voters are correct: The Blobfish is one ugly animal.

[Sc3] The whole going-to-Mars-as-reality-TV concept is creepy as hell. And that’s not even considering the potential psychological effects.

[Sc4] Some vegetarians are hostile even to fake meat.

[Sc5] The science of introversion.

[Sc6] Human? Robot? Dogs don’t discriminate.


[Hi1] Men who endured the Holocaust – and survived – lived longer than those who escaped Europe.

[Hi2] A long time ago in a land far away (1961, North Carolina) we almost detonated a nuclear bomb 260x the power of the one that took out Hiroshima.

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One Further Thought on Internet Commenting( 1 )

A Twitter “conversation” with our own Tim Kowal yesterday reminded me of something that I neglected to mention in my previous post. Part of why comments sections struggle especially hard to move beyond style to substance is because of the way they manage visibility. After all, if comments sections were just about providing feedback to the author, I’d get a lot more email. If comments sections were just about having a spontaneous discussion with the author, I’d get a lot more tweets sent my way.  (more…)

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Linky Friday #40( 45 )

Michael ChiklisSociety:

[S1] Seems obvious to say that anti-fat bias correlates with a pro-thin preference, but the always-great Pacific Standard nonetheless made an interesting story out of it.

[S2] I don’t even know how to begin to describe this article on Occupy and anarchism. But if the subjects of Occupy and anarchism interest you, I think you’ll really like it.

Science & Progress:

[P1] I get giddy at the thought of what the future might hold in traffic management innovation. Waze has proven to be a pretty cool app.

[P2] As I have previously mentioned, I think solutions like carbon farms may be our only hope, as far as global warming is concerned. Otherwise, if projections and predictions are right, it could get expensive and messy.

[P3] Tuberculosis really, really hates us. Or maybe it just thinks we’re awesome.

[P4] In 2005, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt argue that kid-carseat-mania is misguided.


[B1] I love these motivational posters from the 20’s. My funny-favorite is “Criticism is necessary” and my straight-favorite is “Step up!”

[B2] Hanna Rosin points out what most people should already know: the “Women make 77 cents on the dollar for the same job as men” isn’t true. A couple caveats, of course: Even if it’s not 23%, 9% is significant. And second, not all of the reasons for the other 14% are benign.


[E1] Are online/MOOC courses transforming Duke University?

[E2] For the longest time, the US only had three colleges.

[E3] Are colleges finally becoming concerned with tuition rates?

[E4] I hereby resolve to try using 13 of these 18 obsolete words that deserve a comeback.

[E5] Vocabulary Builder is a pretty awesome feature on the Kindle. it takes words that users look up and gives you flash cards to see if you know them.

[E6] There are more to the “young people living with their parents” stories and statistics than we think.


[A1] Sprawling metropolii like Dallas and Atlanta are less segregated than traditional cities like Boston and New York.

[A2] North Dakota has been one of the economic bright spots of the country. If visits are any indication, Obama isn’t very interested, as he has yet to visit the state.

[A3] One of the limitations of federalism is that wind does not recognize state borders.

[A4] Connecticut needs a shotgun marriage to Rhode Island.

[A5] Map: The many, many rivers of the United States.

[A6] Judicial elections are a crock. Even some elected judges say so.


[W1] My own morbid curiosity keeps me interested in China’s ghost cities. So cool, so depressing. Anyway, here’s the story of a German-flavored one. And Italian.

[W2] The UK and Ireland are having serious problems with the sale of illicit tobacco, complete with fears of trade funding terrorism.

[W3] The chimp mascot of a Russian casino has alcohol and nicotine problems. Fortunately, he’s going to get help.

[W4] Nearly a quarter of Germans men think that zero is the perfect number of children. Jon Last argues that government day care isn’t the solution.

[W5] According to the Financial Times, Germany’s obsession with exports is causing it problems.

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Linky Friday #39( 30 )


[Di1] The Washington Post has a fascinating (though not incontrovertible) map on the most and least tolerant countries.

[Di2] Relatedly, sprawling metropolii like Dallas and Atlanta are less segregated than traditional cities like Boston and New York.

[Di3] Canada is seeking a different grade of immigrant.


[A1] Tim Harford writes about the minimum wage issue in the UK.

[A2] According to Reihan Salam, he lesson of Tony Abbott’s ascent in Australia is that the future of conservatism may have little to do with small government and more to do with social and family issues.

[A3] Canada is attaching new fees to venues that attract foreign talent, which it turns out is not good for smaller clubs.


[D1] A couple in Illinois who had been married for 71 years die a couple hours apart. In California, it’s eighty-three years and three days apart.

[D2] Officials are on the search for The Huntress. Not the comic book version, but the Mexican Bus Avenger.


[P1] Some people think that the 2014 elections, by virtue of the group next up for Senatorial votes as well as gerrymandered House districts, will benefit Republicans and put to rest talk about how the party needs to change. Not so fast, says National Memo. The Republicans are in trouble, and everyone knows it.

[P2] One thing the Ohio Republican Party can’t really afford is implosion, not that Ohio Republicans care.

[P3] In the interest of false equivalence, I should point out that the emerging Democratic coalition is built on the collapse of the traditional family.


[T1] Vikram Bath predicted that contrary to reports, Apple would not be releasing a cheaper model. I give him at least partial credit.

[T2] Yahoo’s new logo has been received with a thud. I don’t hate it, and may chalk up my preference for the old logo to status quo bias, but I think this intern’s logo is even better.

BloggingSpace[T3] WhereBloggersBlog is an oddly neat Tumblr site to spend a few minutes. I’d submit this, but I don’t think they would accept Trumanverse locations.


[En1] Relevant to me and few of y’all: Dr Seuss is coming to ebooks!

[En2] Do you want to know who the 24 worst-dressed members of GI Joe and Cobra are? io9 is on it. The 80’s were embarrassing in so many ways.


[W1] Elizabeth Stoker has a great piece on why framing issues as “women’s issues” is harmful for the issues in question. For and against, the issues can get bogged down in “women are crazy” narratives.

[W2] I actually have a fair amount of sympathy for women who have psychosomatic pregnancy symptoms, but I really hope that this isn’t a thing. It’s far less forgivable.


[S1] Apparently, terrorists want to work for the CIA. Okay, “terrorist” is hyperbolic if not offensive. But still, interesting and unsurprising at the same time.

[S2] Meanwhile, Seattle is showing some extraordinary growth.

[S3] Nevada doesn’t want our nuclear waste. Mississippi might! Problem solved? Maybe, but I am broadly more favor of the geology of Nevada over Mississippi.

[S4] California has a bit of a problem (though some would argue that it’s not a problem) in that it is losing internal migrants to other states like Texas. Fortunately for California, there is New York. Meanwhile, states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona are getting some of their millionaires.

[S5] Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill look at regional growth rates in the US.

[S6] James Fallows has a great series on Sioux Falls, a boomtown not like the other boomtowns of Dakota.


[H1] The evidence is admittedly flimsy, but the cause of smoking-cessation weight gain may not be due to calorie consumption, but rather stomach bacteria.

[H2] JayMan points out everything we pretend to don’t know about exercise, weight, and health.

[H3] The Japanese Prime Minister wants more medical innovations. The nation’s medical establishment is unconvinced.

[H4] Avik Roy is compiling a map, comparing pre-PPACA (individual market) and post-PPACA (exchanges) costs on comparable plans. State by state.


[Ed1] School choice: An unlovely threat to white progressive credibility.

[Ed2] The Secretary of Education lent some support to an important idea: start school later in the day.


[V1] If you have five minutes or so to spare, this is a fascinating video of a (digitally produced) girl aging into a woman aging into an old woman. Really, really cool.

Danielle from Anthony Cerniello on Vimeo.

[V2] On a more humorous note, this video is Not Safe For Work:

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Linky Friday #35( 66 )


[H1] Enterprising folks are working on replacing the FEMA trailers with nicer amenities. I am all about cheap housing, so I wonder about the non-FEMA applications.

[H2] Step one, get people to move into cities. Step two, turn out the lights?


[M1] A stripper’s guide to North Dakota. In some ways, the perspective sounds positively Republican.

[M2] According to the WSJ ($), young rebels become entrepreneurs.

[M3] Dave Schuler, and Howard Dean, are skeptical of claims of easy cost savings. Without an overhaul, anyway.


[Ed1] Data systems may be able to predict who will drop out of the school… by looking at them in the first grade.

[Ed2] Private education in Britain is becoming more egalitarian.

Entertainment & Technology:

[ET1] It’s been discussed recently at Not a Potted Plant, but here’s a rundown of why ebooks are so expensive. I would argue that while ebooks may cost as much as regular published books, I am less sure that they have to. That they are working towards a particular price point does not actually mean that the price point is unavoidable. (I’d also add it’s funny to hear about how production and distribution costs aren’t actually all that much, after hearing for years and years about how the rising cost of paper was responsible for the rise in prices of comic books.)

[ET2] Copyright protections may be killing art. Honestly, I doubt this is a case where correlation equals causation. But the ostensible reason we have copyright law does not appear to be panning out.

[ET3] How BitTorrent downloads so fast. It’s truly amazing how much faster BT is at downloading free software than are dedicated servers.


[L1] Walter Hickey thinks pie charts are useless. I was prepared to disagree because there are narrow circumstances in which a pie chart is better than the alternatives, but he addresses that. He spends a lot of time pointing out to examples where pie charts are particularly opaque to make his case.

[L2] Those unimaginative, killjoy left-brainers are arguing that there’s no such thing as left-brainers (and right-brainers).

[L3] It will be a sad day when redheads are no more, if this comes to fruition.

[L4] I might be more comfortable with premarital cohabitation if we could more easily nail down what level of commitment it implies. But we haven’t.


[En1] Oil, oil everywhere, but not a drop of water to drink. Also, a look at the US groundwater supply, in map form.

[En2] This seems so intuitively incorrect: iPhones use more energy than some refrigerators. If true, another indication that if global warming is as real and as bad as they say, we’re doomed.

[En3] BusinessWeek has a piece on the dire state of nuclear power in this country. Which some will celebrate, because even though global warming threatens imminent ecological catastrophe, we can’t have nuclear power because something bad might happen. Which isn’t to say, of course, that bad things don’t happen. Albeit not on the apocalyptic scale.

[En4] But if the economics can’t support nuclear, the economics can’t support it. There’s always coal. According to the EIA, by 2040 nuclear will only be supplying 7% of our energy. Renewables? 15%! Yay.


[A1] Connecticut should have a strong economy. Why doesn’t it?

[A2] In Green Bank, West Virginia, you can’t use wireless signals. Which is a draw for some.

[A3] The sad story of the fall of Tommy Morrison, who died last week.


[RG1] From Greginak: I thought this! was interesting. I relates back to the discussions of inequality and my suggestion our rates of ineq. relate to the rules being written to favor the rich and the increasing dominance of the financial sector in our economy. Anyway its an interesting link. I would think lots conservatives and some libertarians would dislike it as much as many liberals although the solutions would differ.

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Linky Friday #38( 70 )



[S1] We’re apparently making monkeys dumber.

[S2] Our kidney shortage hits the unemployed hardest.


[W1] I am quite pleased to see my friend Abel participating in the petition by LDS authors to get a uncancel a book by a gay author on account to his acknowledging his partner.

[W2] Eleven words that can’t (easily) be translated into English. Cool.

[W3] The emotional toll of recording your own audiobook.


[P1] Karl Rove points out that the Republicans have ideas for health care, too. You know when would have been a good time to talk about these things and perhaps negotiate these things? When we were having a national debate on health care.

[P2] Andrew Gelmen explains how and why the Democratic Party because the party of Very Serious People.


[E1] Dear Dylan was brilliant. So brilliant that NBC ought to make a sitcom out of it. Their answer to The Big Bang Theory, if you like.

[E2] A Reality Bites TV show? Well, I hated the movie, but it could be fun. I also hate how it’s considered the quintessential General X film. I hope it’s not true because we come out of it looking awful. But… could be fun.

[E3] Charlie Jane Anders asks why Warner Bros can’t incorporate Arrow into their plans for the Justice League. I was skeptical of the idea at first, but I can’t why really come up with a good reason not to do it. The more tying-together the better, probably, unless it sidetracks stories. Which it wouldn’t here, I don’t think.

[E4] It used to be that place-kickers in football were short guys with foreign names usually of poor-ish countries (Latin America, Eastern Europe). That’s changed.


[C1] A new kind of nuclear reactor could lower electricity costs by 40%.

[C2] Amir Efrati updates us on self-driving cars. Google is designing one. On Twitter they’re talking about Google and Apple buying Tesla. They could probably get Mitsubishi for a song right now. They could have gotten Saturn really, really cheap.

[C3] Adweek writes on a Samsung video with terrible, terrible acting. One of the actors responds with why the acting is so, so terrible.

[C4] David Wilezol argues that you can get a good job without college. He is technically right, of course, but that still doesn’t make it a good bet in the current economic environment if you’re the type of person capable of doing the sorts of jobs listed.


[B1] Will fracking undermine Scottish independence?

[B2] The Conservative Party of the UK is going to bat for working mothers.

[B3] Britain’s health care system sometimes seems to be more popular abroad than it is at home.


[A1] The most expensive real estate in New York? Rikers Island.

[A2] We’re #1! We’re #1! At porn website hosting, anyway.

[A3] The waiting list of Louisiana’s online voucher program continues to grow.

[A4] From Vikram Bath: “A Montana judge has come under fire after handing down a 30-day sentence to a former high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student and for making statements in court that the victim was ‘older than her chronological age‘ and ‘as much in control of the situation” as her teacher’.”

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Linky Friday #37( 25 )


[E1] Not so long ago, “competency-based degrees” were considered the provice of degree mills. These days, public universities are giving it a try. Recommended!


[M1] Almost three in five doctors would not recommend the profession to young people.

[M2] The correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain is of interest to me. Could it be because sleep deprivation makes us hungry for fat?


[T1] Flying conditions were recently used as an examplar for increasing inequality and the uhmm… crunch of the middle class. Here in the US, though, our airline seats are actually pretty average in size.

[T2] Here’s how UK’s Ryanair is saving money. During the last conversation on the subject, I was actually thinking about #6.

[T3] We flew on US discount airliner Frontier Airlines and actually thought quite a bit of it. They offer a nice balance of free-discount and amenities for those who want to pay a little extra.


[B1] Did our obsession with stock prices kill the recovery?

[B2] If you rent textbooks from Amazon, don’t take them across state lines.

[B3] Nissan is dusting off the Datsun brand to sell cheap cars in developing countries.

[B4] Peter Capelli argues that employers are not helping themselves by discriminating against the unemployed. Recommended!


[G1] From Murali: I understand if this happens in third world hell holes, but in America? Jacob Levy from BHL quotes the gist of it

[G2] From Murali: Massimo Renzo provides, I think, the most powerful argument against anarchy, but that’s just because I said it here first.

[G3] The “real” history of Area 51.

[G4] Ladar Levison, seller of encrypted email, ceased his business operations rather than comply with the government’s surveillance plans. The government was allegedly not pleased. Recommended!

[G5] A government in Louisiana is arguing that they should not be held responsible for a guard sleeping with a fourteen year old inmate because she consented.


[L1] Sonny Bunch writes about cell phone and theater etiquette.

[L2] Some uncomfortable truths about men, women, and dating. Women dig jerks, men only refrain from being useless because we want to have sex, and more.

[L3] Technology is at war with itself on the subject of digital security. Same with analog, apparently.

[L4] Evidently, the notion that clowns are scary has long roots in history. Recommended!

[L5] Intelligent people display less racist attitudes, but oppose remediating policies.


[W1] A Russian man altered the terms of his credit card contract and sued the bank. A judge ruled in his favor. Recommended!

[W2] The adventures of a bartender… in Antarctica.

[W3] I don’t see why these Belgian houses are supposed to be ugly.

[W4] As you all know, I am a sucker for photos of the Dakota oil boom. Also, an article on the Canadian oil boom. Not the one in Alberta, the oil boom in Newfoundland.

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Linky Friday #36( 188 )


[R1] Recent research suggests that housing vouchers do not disperse crime, as previously thought. One thing I find interesting is that the article mentions that these vouchers are putting a lot of recipients in the suburbs. This piece is in Atlantic Cities, which loves to gloat about increasing poverty in the suburbs. If they think really hard about it, they might see a connection here and consider the implications of it.

[R2] The next step up from microapartments: skinny-homes!

[R3] More attention to regional visas! The only solution for Detroit that I can think of.

[R4] Is Sioux Falls the next boom town? I was looking at it last year and it has a surprising amount going for it. It needs people, and lots of people from elsewhere are looking for work…

[R5] The gender imbalance in China may be distorting real estate prices.


[H1] Buzzfeed’s piece on eight foods allowed in America but banned elsewhere – with the very, very clear implication that whenever we disagree with enlightened countries we are wrong – got attention and praise from people I know that I felt really should have known better. Here is a takedown.

[H2] As America gets fatter, disapproval of fatness is not abating. Maybe we need to also turn our hadred to mice and marmosets. According to David Sirota, we should certainly start hating on men. (Seriously? Instead of being more compassionate towards women?)

[H3] Stem cells may render root canals moot because it could generate teeth that replace themselves. I have no clue if the science will pan out on this, but if I were an investor, I’d be looking at dental medicine. I think there is enormous potential for growth there.


[S1] Slate exposes eight science myths. We’ve been learning the hard way that ideas about the lifespan of certain insects has been misrepresented.

[S2] Presenting, the lock-picking cockatoo!

Energy & Environment:

[EE1] People are worried about the environmental impact of oil pipelines. Maybe we should be more worried about the environmental impact of oil trains.

[EE2] Why is Obama suddenly trying to argue about the jobs the XL pipeline won’t add? Maybe because of the water contamination a federal study says fracking chemicals aren’t causing. Or maybe he’s worried about the Saudis.

[EE3] I still remained baffled by this notion that global warming is going to cause untold disasters, but we should be very cautious about nuclear because… there might be an accident? Germany is making the shift away from nuclear… right back to coal. Is this progress?

[EE4] Most people (including myself) see gasoline prices rising. Karl Smith explains how they could fall. He also explains our influence on global prices and the state of Peak Oil.


[L1] Geek stereotypes may be keeping women out of computer science. This is less flattering to women than geeks, in my opinion. Whatever, though, as long as they don’t force anybody to take down their Star Trek posters.

[L2] Will Wilkinson, inspired by Tim Lee, ponders how the right and left look at labor compensation.

[L3] From the NYT, the costs and benefits of flexible labor markets.


[E1] One of the more interesting things going on with the movie-making industry is the increasing Chinese influence. Maybe.

[E2] The Hollywood formula, in a nutshell.

[E3] The Superhero vs Inflation.


[F1] We talk a lot of the American-Mexican border, but the American-Canadian border is seriously weird. Wired has photos of the world’s scariest border fences.

[F2] When you think about it, from a plot perspective, World War II is pretty implausible. I definitely would have written the villain differently.

[F3] The Wyoming Senate race has gotten a lot of attention due to Liz Cheney’s decision to enter it. Perhaps more interesting is the ex Neo-Nazi mercenary.

[F4] Cops with cameras: Good for civilians, good for cops. It’d be good if they had cameras, since we can be arrested for using them.

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Linky Friday #34( 51 )



[C1] Over at Hit Coffee, my coblogger Sheila Tone wrote about the warning signs everybody missed in the tragic James DiMaggio case.

[C2] The audacity of banks surprises even me sometimes. Nobody should reasonably be able to expect what they’re expecting after having closed on the wrong home and wrongly sold off someone’s assets.

[C3] A cop in Alabama was fired for speaking out against quotas. The whistleblower in the Zimmerman-Trayvon case who was fired for disclosing the existence of potentially exculpatory evidence is suing the State’s Attorney office.

[C4] International opposition to the death penalty is making it difficult for us to kill people.

[C5] The plan of shooting owls to save owls makes sense, after a fashion.


[H1] The question continues of whether health insurance premiums will go up or down under PPACA.

[H2] An athlete at the University of New Hampshire gave up his college career to donate bone marrow. Don’t worry, he wasn’t paid.

[H3] A really weird story in Ohio where the Attorney General crack down on prescription… coffee mugs?

[H4] Critics of the pharmaceutical industry like to point out all that they spend on marketing rather than R&D. But what if the marketing improves the drugs’ effectiveness?


[P1] The nefariousness of Big Commerce. It makes some good points, but also some contentions that can more easily be explained by something else.

[P2] io9 has a followup on the groundbreaking paper about the weirdness of western culture previously discussed here, and how it is distorting social sciences.

[P3] Eve Tushnet takes a hard look at shame. Shaming has its place, but Tushnet is right that people are often indifferent to the circumstances that affect its effectiveness, instead looking solely at the distastefulness of the activity they would like to shame.

[P4] I found Venkat’s ideas on conspicuous production to be quite thought-provoking.

Art & Entertainment:

[E1] Something that kinda makes you feel old: The entire history of the Marvel Universe occurred after 9/11.

[E2] It’s commonly believed that Superman was inspired by Gladiator, a novel by Philip Wylie about a superpowered guy trying to make his way in the world (no costume and tights, though). Will Murray explains.

[E3] The innovation of professional sports: Dodger Stadium is using foam to keep beer cold and the San Francisco 49ers have an app so you know where the short concession lines are.

[E4] SNL is finally coming to NBC on SLC! It was kind of weird when it was running on The CW. The CW still runs Hannibal, though, in that particular market.

[E5] Cool concept photos of cloud cities.


[T1] An unexpected upside to the patent wars: Smartphones made in the USA.

[T2] To get people to move off of Windows XP, Munich, Germany is giving people Linux.

[T3] Apparently, password complexity rules. (symbol, number, cap requirement) are not just annoying, but also ineffective when compared to simple length requirements.


[A1] Some matchmakers argue that uptown divorcees are a bit too picky.

[A2] Despite what we may have been lead to believe, the GOP position on abortion is not particularly out of touch with the populace at large. Of course, it would help the Republicans if they could talk about this issue in ways that don’t actively alienate voters.

[A3] Tyler Cowen looks at Oregon’s “equity plan” for funding college education.

[A4] From Murali: President Truman was one of the biggest and most murderous war criminals in all of history.

[A5] Scientists are working at breaking the speed of light.

[A6] The legal profession is taking a closer look at bar exam failure rates.

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Linky Friday #33( 39 )

Dennis FarinaHealth:

[H1] As Canada has figured out, if you don’t pay people for sperm, you don’t get enough sperm. Fortunately, the Canadians can just leach off America.

[H2] Relatedly, he’s another interesting article on Marginal Revolution about egg donation and the price-fixing thereof.

[H3] Vaccinate.

[H4] Aeon magazine looks at the science of sleep, and technological efforts to negate the need for as much of it.


[P1] Makes sense: Heroes and psychopaths have similar personalities. You know who knows this? Supervillains. They say it like all the time. Superheroes, on the other hand, tell them they’re wrong. Supervillains 1, Superheroes 0.

[P2] Maybe all of our fixation on the early years of life is misplaced.

[P3] Jessica Lahey points out how we’re shafting boys in school and offers some supported ideas on what we can do about it.

[P4] Miles Klee explains how you’re ruining the things you love. Actually, it’s more about how off-putting the wrong fans of something can be.

[P5] Repairing bad memories.


[Sh1] From Tod Kelly, posters you should keep out of your apartment or house.

[Sh2] From Aaron David, the original Mid-Century Modern.

[Sh3] Buildings made of ships.


[Sc1] From Michael Cain: What do you do when immense computational power is cheap enough? DNA sequencing of samples taken from bug-splattered windshields to measure relative abundance of different species of insects.

[Sc2] In the minds and hearts of rats, and probably humans, empathy and disgust go to war with one another.

[Sc3] Good.is has a list of seven coastal cities at great risk due to global warming.

[Sc4] Darwin and aliens.


[C1] Torie Bosch says that you should elope. There was a time in my life where I was much more sympathetic to the viewpoint of “small wedding, save for downpayment on the house.” Much to my surprise, though, I have actually come around to the idea of big weddings, to whatever extent they can be afforded.

[C1] How to have a conversation like a gentleman.

[C2] Distracted walking injures more people than distracted driving.

[C3] Did you enjoy the play? Well, it may be the product of child actor abduction. Well, if you were attending a play in olden times, anyway. Seriously, interesting article.

[C4] Marijuana shops can be their own worst enemy, perception-wise.


[B1] Will Linux be a solution for small businesses that reject Windows 8? I’m skeptical, but am starting to compile lists of what exactly is preventing me from making the transition. The lists aren’t as long as they used to be. Meanwhile, Microsoft wants control of your preboot.

[B2] The Reagan tax cuts may be responsible for as little as 30% of the increase in income inequality. Dave Schuler has some thoughts.

[B3] Before we left Estacado, we had to get Clancy’s Camry fixed. She went to the dealership and they quoted $4,000. I called them back and they almost immediately started talking $1,100 (so angry were we, we went somewhere else – and paid less than $800). So the fact that women are overcharged doesn’t surprise me. It’s interesting how it can be mitigated, though.

[B4] Though not the enemy that some have feared, Obama has not entirely been a friend to the oil and gas industries, so it’s a bit ironic how much heavy lifting oil and gas are doing for him, economically.

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Open-Sourcing Linky Friday( 0 )

So here’s the deal: I have one Linky Friday post ready and I need two. So you are invited to provide the second!

1) Send an email to my gmail account (trumwill at). Include the link and between one and three sentences of commentary. If you have more than that to say on the article, put it in a comment.

2) Since it may not be appearing until next week, I would not recommend an article that is particularly time-sensitive (say, commentary on the Zimmerman verdict may well be stale.)

3) You will be identified as the submitter unless you ask not to be identified. I will not take credit for your work.

4) If I get enough of them to be posted this Friday, it will go up this Friday. Otherwise, I’ll ask for more and it will go up next Friday.

5) The average Linky Friday has between 20-30 links. That’s what I’ll be aiming for. Submit as many as you wish.

6) When it goes up, the open source Linky Friday will be identified as such in the title.

7) I am moving across the country and will not be in a great position to acknowledge your submission right away.

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I’m Just a Black Man Trapped in This White World…( 57 )

To paraphrase fellow blogger Mike Dwyer, it seems kind of odd to write an introduction since I’ve been familiar with this blog and the bloggers for about as long as the League has existed.  For those of you who are wondering, my name is Dennis Sanders and I’m joining this motley crew of bloggers called the League.  Thanks to Tod Kelly and Erik Kain for inviting me to be a part of this grand experiment in vigorous dialogue.

There are a lot of ways to describe me, none of which should work together.  I’m a native of Flint, Michigan the son of two retired General Motors autoworkers.  (Flint was placed in the national spotlight through Michael Moore’s movie Roger and Me.  People have asked me if things are really as bad as the movie suggests.  My response these days is that it’s much worse.)  I’m an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and I work part-time as an Associate Pastor at a church in Minneapolis, where I now live with my partner. I also work as a communications specialist for the regional office of another mainline Protestant denomination.

I’m openly gay and happily married to my partner Daniel.  I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a few years back, which I guess explains some of my quirks.

As for politics, I grew up in a house of diehard liberal Democrats, but I somehow ended up on the center-right.  For better or worse (and these days it seems like the worse), I’m a Republican these days.

The things that I will probably be writing about include issues like religion and same-sex marriage.  I’m also going to write on something that has been my passion for well over a decade: how to make the center-right more inclusive and modern; to express how the conservative project can answer the questions of 21st century America and not the late 20th century.  Being African American and Puerto Rican, I am especially interested in how conservatives can craft a coherent message to minorities in America.

Now that I have thoroughly blown your mind, (a black, gay Republican?  That’s impossible!) I will return you to your normally scheduled life.


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On Ross Douthat, “Glass Jaw” Analogies, and Always Trying to Find a New Angle( 46 )

Ross Douthat seeks to diagnose what’s ailing the left and more specifically, the President. Naturally, it’s “liberalism’s glass jaw,”

“There is no world in which all of these hopes could have been perfectly realized. But the ways in which they’ve been disappointed have delivered some hard lessons. It isn’t just that Obama failed to live up to the (frankly impossible) standard set by his 2008 campaign and the media adoration that accompanied it. It’s that the nature of his failures speak to the limits of the liberal project, and the tensions and contradictions within the liberal coalition.

Again, every administration has its share of disappointments, and every ideology has to make concessions to political reality. But what we don’t see in this campaign cycle is much soul-searching from Democrats about the ways in which their agenda hasn’t worked out as planned.

Instead, in a country facing a continued unemployment crisis and a looming deficit crunch, liberals have rallied behind a White House whose only real jobs program is “stay the course” and whose plan to deal with long-term deficits relies on the woefully insufficient promise to tax the 1 percent. When Obama insiders wax optimistic about what a second term might bring, they mostly talk about pursuing legislation on climate change and immigration yet again, without explaining why things will turn out differently this time around.”

What makes Douthat’s chiding so unbearable isn’t that it’s untrue: it’s that it completely misses the point. (more…)

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I’m Guest Blogging at The Atlantic( 13 )

I’m guest-blogging for Megan McArdle at The Atlantic for the next two weeks.

Worth noting:

Erik gave Tony Comstock a guest spot last year, and shortly thereafter James Fallows asked him to to guest-blog.

Then Erik gave me a regular front page spot, and now Megan’s asked me to stand in her stead.



Thanks Erik, fellow gents and league for giving me a place to work it out.

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