Ten Second News

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

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

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

[Vi3] Let them smoke.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 7 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

Music Links

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

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

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

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

Art Links

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

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

[Ar3] String art, done by robot.

History Links

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

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

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

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

Food Links

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

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

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

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

Religion Links

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

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

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

Architecture Links

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

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

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

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

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Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition( 72 )

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

Linky Friday: Hurricane Florence Edition

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

History of Carolina Hurricanes

[Hu1] Hurricane Matthew, October 2016

[Hu2] Hurricane Floyd, September 1999

[Hu3] Hurricane Fran, September 1996

[Hu4] Hurricane Bertha, July 1996

[Hu5] Hurricane Hugo, September 1989

[Hu6] Hurricane Hazel, October 1954


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[TL4] How tech backlash succeeds and fails.

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

[TL6] Orwell always wins, in the end.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[Sp5] This seems pretty wicked.

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

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

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

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

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Morning Ed: 9/11 and National Security( 20 )

[911a] David Marcus explains how he talks to his son about 9/11.

[911b] Here is the effect of 9/11 on Canada.

[NS1] Silicon Valley has evidently left itself really vulnerable to espionage.

[NS2] How the US blew its China spy network.

[NS3] From Kolohe: Royal Navy Sailors go native, become Florida Men.. The actual geopolitical implications is that this is the ship’s debutante ball, & will restore to the UK a deployable afloat Naval aviation asset which it hasn’t had since 2011.

[NS4] James Holmes is banging the drums on the need to deploy diesel submarines to Asia. From Kolohe: I don’t agree with the thesis of this piece, but the guy writing it is a Naval War College professor – but he’s also been banging this drum for a while.

[NS5] A Florence lands in North Carolina, the story of a nuclear submarine that rode out a hurricane under water.

[NS6] A look at the history of the sack of the Gauls.

[NS7] The final days of Hirohito.

[NS8] Who knew war propaganda had a dark side?

[NS0] Was 80 years ago really a good time to be anti-war? No problem, turns out it was from 65 years ago… and the USSR. {h/t Kolohe}

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Morning Ed: Science {2018.09.10.M}( 6 )

[Sc1] Go on. Do it. Divide by zero.

[Sc2] This is a supervillain origin story.

[Sc3] Carl V Philips writes about perceptions and anchoring bias, a term I’d never heard before. The context is tobacco and nicotine products, but it’s a fascinating look at the intersection between science and psychology.

[Sc4] When a top empathy researcher has empathy problems.

[Sc5] Sex science and porn science.

[Sc6] Asteroid vs Volcanoes: Choose your disaster movie. And speaking of collapse

[Sc7] Online betting can identify weak psychological studies, but they can’t be used. Which honestly may be for the best, as betting markets were better at predicting elections before people knew they were good at predicting elections.

[Sc8] A look at the science and non-science of the multiverse.

[Sc9] Does the origin to life track back to a protein named Ambidoxen?


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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 1 )

“… millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”
– Susan Ertz

Ordinary Sunday Brunch

  • Music Links

[Mu1] This seems to me to veer a tad to much into “back in my day” territory but I understand the sentiment. “No more heroes: how music stopped meaning everything; Technology and hyperanxiety have diluted the dissident power of pop music.”

[Mu2] Interesting take: “Contemporary composition has become as fractured as the art world—and that’s a good thing.”

[Mu3] Another music career cut short, and this one as it was just becoming really interesting as a result of a reinvention.

[Mu4] Well written little piece on music, this one from Maine Public and by a high school student, “Music Connects, Expands Opportunities to Understand”

[Mu5] An interview and overview of Chopin’s ballads as interpreted by Leif Ove Andsnes.

Art Links

[Ar1] Brian T. Allen considers college art museums.

[Ar2] 98 year old French art dealer, and WW2 resistance hero, is selling some incredible pieces.

[Ar3] Yep, that sounds like Vegas; “Paint and Puff”combining cannabis and art.

[Ar4] Art and its effect on the mind is an old debate; adding modern psychology is just another element to endless discussion.

[Ar5] Fascinating breakdown of a painting I’ve seen but not really considered, and a lot of history to this back story; “A work that shocked, aroused debate, that gave the establishment a bloody nose. It’s The Raft of Medusa by Théodore Géricault.”

History Links

[Hi1] Here is a different kind of preservation: The National Museum of Funeral History.

[Hi2] There was a time the drive-in theater was more popular than their under roof cousins. This local review includes a long history, and surviving examples, of the by gone era.

[Hi3] From “Gypsy vans” to modern class “A”, a history of RVs.

[Hi4] A history of drug busts, including “In 1989, authorities seized more than 21 tons of cocaine worth roughly $6.9 billion on the street sitting in a nondescript warehouse.” That is a lot of dope on the table.

[Hi5] “Brosé, frosé, all day: The definitive history of rosé’s rise to cultural dominance”

Food Links

[Fo1] “Ranking Every Kind of Cooking Oil by How (Un)healthy They Are” and number 7 will probably shock you.

[Fo2] This seems short-sighted: “Detroit food truck refuses to serve cops.”

[Fo3] The simple things are often the ones that get you, so good review of 7 food safety measures. Proper temperature in your fridge is one that’s overlooked both for safety and preservation.

[Fo4] A quick overview of Cuban food.

[Fo5] With the NFL back in action, the good, the bad, and the WTF of stadium food.

[Fo6] “Food Halls” are becoming all the rage. If you are unfamiliar, think shopping mall food court meets food truck creativity meets urban renewal development opportunity.

Religion Links

[Re1] These folks in Brazil make the Pastafarians look downright orthodox in beliefs.

[Re2] “Seventeen years later, a Spanish religion teacher named Resurrección Galera is back at her job, which she lost in 2001 after the Catholic Church refused to renew her contract because she had married a divorced man.”

[Re3] This Waco, TX church is having a three Sunday dialogue with local Muslim leaders, complete with pot luck afterward. The mosque reciprocated and had the pastors to their place, and reportedly have spoken in 60 area churches so far.

[Re4] Religion and its effect on medicine, “If you put eternal damnation against taking a flu shot, probably the flu shot’s going to lose.”

[Re5] Xi Jingping’s crackdown on “corruption,” which is basically anything he doesn’t like in China, is focusing once again on religion.

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Linky Friday: An Airing of Grievances( 10 )

“Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.” – Robert Frost

Linky Friday: An Airing of Grievances

[Gr1] Whole Foods has some workers looking to unionize, but the real story is of course Bezos vs the unions, with major implications for Amazon.

[Gr2] “A Litany of Grievances” says the New York Times, as they break down the break down in US-Turkey relations.

[Gr3] Expect to see more of this: health care workers rally, protest, and air their grievances against new owner Tower Health in Pottstown, PA.

[Gr4] The University of Kansas has a study presented that delves into grievance as precursor to extremism and acts of terror.

[Gr5] With 7k employees and “only the superintendent and a few of her designees” this retiring school administrator is advocating for a grievance board to fill the gap.

[Gr6] He has been a culture war touch point, but Colin Kaepernick’s grievance with NFL in court is really a classic labor dispute.

[Gr7] A ten year long battle between a 100 year old volunteer fire department, the paid fire and EMS, and the town they are supposed to be protecting, old grievances are still holding up any hope of a peaceful merger.

[Gr8] While the Washington elite were gathered for the McCain Memorial, President Trump was airing some grievances, including continuing his war of words with Canada.

[Gr9] Stop if you’ve heard this one before: massive, systematic corruption has brought a public outcry, demand for change, and collective amnesia in Brazil.

[Gr10] Speaking of outraged Brazilians, the Brazil National Museum burned to the ground, and just about everyone is outraged and what many saw as a tragedy waiting to happen.

[Gr11] 50 years of anger and activism in Seattle.

[Gr12] What about teaching kids anger management in public schools?

[Gr13] Opinion piece from The New York Times on the anger of rank and file Catholics at the ongoing abuse scandal, and how they should channel that.

[Gr14] Interesting interview: things all angry men have in common. Spoiler alert, feelings of inferiority make an appearance.

[Gr15] The Steven Bannon invite-disinvite fiasco has Sharon Waxman in full blown “I don’t care” mode.

[Gr16] This is probably about right: Expect An Autumn Of Outrage: Both Parties On Offense In Bruising Midterm Campaigns[Gr17]

[Gr18] That would explain a few things: Research indicates that being angry makes you feel smarter than you are.

[Gr19] Next time someone jokes about being “Hangry,” the popular combination of hungry and angry, remember there is some actual science behind it.

[Gr20] It has mostly been debated on economic and political terms, but Brexit has some scientist up in arms also.

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Morning Ed: Healthcare {2018.09.06.Th}( 4 )

[Hc1] This is about medical school, but it’s actually a fascinating microcosm of the psychoses of the American upper and striver classes.

[Hc2] There is a thing in this country where we attribute things to our economic system or laws despite the fact the trends are happening everywhere.

[Hc3] While I think this is easier said that done, and will actually carry some administrative costs, but the end result may be an incentive towards streamlined pricing which will serve everyone good.

[Hc4] Is physician burnout more caused by fatigue or moral injury? As we evaluate my wife’s career, one thing that stands out at us is that despite being miserable in some respects she was professionally happiest when working for the IHS. {Related}

[Hc5] Sam Kean argues that doctors should read fiction. I’m not exactly Mr Literary Arts, but non-fiction snobbery is an especially stupid kind of snobbery.

[Hc6] I can’t imagine how this might turn out wrong.

[Hc7] India may be overhauling its health care system.

[Hc8] Given the scale of salaries, I doubt this has much of an impact, just as loan repayment programs tend to be unsuccessful. If we ever get serious about lowering doctors salaries to that of other countries, though, the cost and duration of med ed is going to be a part of the equation (among other things).

[Hc9] Sometimes I feel like everybody in the industry is just trying to grab what they can before it all comes tumbling down.

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Morning Ed: Creatures {2018.09.05.W}( 3 )

[Cr1] Looks like we’re medicating orca!

[Cr2] What are the implication of the lazy freeloader ants for the ant vs grasshopper fable? Or, for that matter, the UBI?

[Cr3] You, too, can adopt conscientious objectors in the drug war. (Not my breeds, to be honest, but if they were!)

[Cr4] I’d say that Omena is going to the dogs but it was a cat that won.

[Cr5] A statue in Mexico is being built for a dog that deserves it. Also, a heroic goat.

[Cr6] Spiders are natures true supervillains. Emphasis on “super.”

[Cr7] Emu on the loose!

[Cr8] One thing lead to another, and long story short there are some abandoned crocodiles in Israel.


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Morning Ed: Dystopia {2018.09.04.T}( 68 )


[Dy1] Robodoves!

[Dy2] If you want to beat facial recognition, become a Juggalo.

[Dy3] Computers with the strength of the human mind may soon be affordable to researchers.

[Dy4] Technology was supposed to make people free, but Mike Allen says instead it has empowered authoritarians. {More} {More}

[Dy5] Sinister religious prophecies: Google Translate is getting weird.

[Dy6] The case that technology is addicting us, making us unhappy, and weaponizing persuasion.

[Dy7] Just as spell checks and autocorrect will eventually dictate our language, Google Maps is dictating what places are called.

[Dy8] How fireants avoid the problem of too many cooks in the kitchen.

[Dy9] If we don’t do it, China will.

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Morning Ed: Media {2018.09.03.M}( 20 )

[Me1] Josephine Livingstone has some things to say about women’s media, which seems… kinda scammy. {Related?}

[Me2] Then what is even the point of having a Wells Fargo beat if Wells Fargo is calling the shots?

[Me3] Adam Ozimek says that the economics of the media isn’t the problem with media. We are.

[Me4] Fake News from 1968.

[Me5] This seems pretty obvious.

[Me6] First Amendment, baby! We aren’t perfect with it, but I’m glad we have it written down.

[Me7] Hard not to admire the ambition.

[Me8] Oscar Schwartz worries that the media is getting conned by “AI influencers” {more}

[Me9] Ben Smith does not like the monster he created.

[Me0] Village Voice is down. Here’s an interesting thought:

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Linky Friday: Service, Server, Servant( 84 )

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Linky Friday: Service, Server, Servant

[Mu1] Charles Bradley performs a soulful cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Changes’


[Se1] The new Secretary of Veteran Affairs has a new mission for the VA: Customer Service. Although speaking only for myself, I’d tolerate some poor customer service if they’d just stop killing us.

[Se2] With more than 50 years of service now behind her, the ex-Enterprise is causing a big problem of a different kind, as no one seems to know how to scrap and recycle her. With the Nimitz-class scheduled to join her in the breaker yards, somebody better figure it out, quickly.

[Se3] Whoopsie…The United States Postal Service has taken the blame and apologized for sending a congressional candidate’s offical personnel file, including her time as a CIA operative, to a GOP super PAC by mistake.

[Se4] Amazon has other video streamers, especially Roku, nervous with the rumors of them launching an ad-supported “free” service.

[Se5] In countries like South Korea where military service is compulsory, conscientious objectors like Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to court, and jail, to reconcile the two.

[Se6] Service dogs are becoming increasingly popular, which means scams involving them are also on the rise.

[Se7] It isn’t just the USPS that is struggling to balance losses with protecting workers, as France makes changes to their own postal service.

[Se8] We’ve talked about various ideas for streaming services, but this is a new one: Brewing company launches video streaming service for their craft beer line.

[Se9] Not to be outdone, here is a music streaming service that is looking to be “the craft beer of the music industry.”

[Se10] Well, duh: Chat bots are killing customer service, and now there is data to prove it.

[Se11] Kroger is testing its new online grocery home delivery in the Dallas area, with an eye on Amazon.

[Se12] Jimmy Carter might have been one of our worst presidents, but his decades of community service and philanthropy should be weighed in the balance as well.

[Se13] Crowdfunding + Craft Beer + serving a niche to the Nth degree = the world’s first craft beer hotel, 32 rooms located within a Columbus, Ohio, brewery.

[Mu2] Arrested Development – Mr. Wendal (Live, In Living Color)


[Sr1] “Facebook patches critical server remote code execution vulnerability.” I know what all those words mean individually, as a phrase I’m not so sure but it doesn’t sound good.

[Sr2] Was it or wasn’t it? Trump vs The FBI on Hillary Clinton’s infamous email server, though even with all the links and references, the article admits with the redactions for classified info it’ll be decades before we probably know for sure if it was hacked or not.

[Sr3] If you are unfamiliar, “The Salty Waitress” is The Takeout’s Dear Abby-like column but with a server’s POV, and sass. This compilation of “best of the worst questions” might be enlightening if you’ve never considered the other side of your dinner service.

[Sr4] Add the EPA to the list of government organizations with lax server security.

[Sr5] This could be a problem; “Atlassian has warned users of its Jira Service Desk toolkit to change their helpdesk email account passwords – after a glitch caused the credentials to be sent to strangers’ servers”

[Sr6] Server sales set a Q1 record with over $18B, so here is the list of the top five, including a new number 1.

[Sr7] This seems to be more rule than exception lately when these things go viral: server at Texas restaurant “completely fabricated” story of racist note and no tip.

[Mu3] Sugarland and Sara Bareilles cover “Come On Eileen”


[St1] And I’m telling you I ain’t going: This civil servant is suing to stay on the job past mandatory retirement age.

[St2] Terminal kid asked Ferrari for some stickers for his casket. They sent the whole race team and gave him a day at the track instead.

[St3] “Relatives of Sen. John McCain were etched into U.S. military history. His father, John Sidney “Jack” Jr., and grandfather John Sidney “Slew” McCain Sr., were the first father-son duo to reach the Navy rank of four-star admiral. His great-uncle William Alexander “Wild Bill” McCain took part in the chase of Pancho Villa as he fought in the 1916 Mexican Expedition.

[St4] Throughout “The Troubles” between Ireland and England, the civil servants tried to maintain shifting agreements that both sides hated. In a recently, and accidentally, declassified memo from one of the more noted of those civil servants, a fascinating portrait of working for something bigger through a current arrangement that you know isn’t working.

[St5] Too good to check: “Every time a citizen bowed down to greet the emperor or shouted a word of praise about his great deeds, Marcus Aurelius instructed the servant to whisper a few words in his ear. These were the words: “You’re just a man. You’re just a man.”

[St6] Ukraine’s biggest TV hit is “Servant of the People,” a satirical political comedy, played on a station run by an oligarch, and in which the fiction pales in comparison to the reality.

[Mu4] Andrea Bocelli – September Morn – Live

The “Tod Kelly asked for it so here it is” link

[TK1] “Physiologically, it would just be an immensely bad idea,” Jack Gilbert, the faculty director at the University of Chicago’s Microbiome Center and a professor of surgery, told me during a recent visit to his lab. “A terribly, terribly bad idea.” The Jordan Peterson all-meat diet plan. Apparently subjective truth is much more acceptable once it’s applied to dietary decisions.

The Will Truman Memorial “What could go wrong” Links

[WT1] What Would You Do With a Third, Mind-Controlled, Robotic Limb?

[WT2] Drone Swarms Are Going to Be Terrifying and Hard to Stop

[WT3] Your Brain is Not a Computer so slow way down, as in stop completely, selling that to people as a rebranded cryogenics.

[Mu5] Mavis Staples Performs “I’ll Take You There”

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2018.08.29.W}( 27 )

[LO1] This does a pretty good job of explaining how you can screw up a self-defense case.

[LO2] Gotta watch where you put your hands.

[LO3] I can understand how hard it might have been to resist the jokes, but you have to resist the jokes. Seriously.

[LO4] It can be hard to convince women to step forward with accusations when they’re not taken seriously when they do.

[LO5] As a newborn, Paul Fronzcak was stolen from his parents by a woman dressed as a nurse. Over a year later, Paul Fronczak was found abandoned and given to the Fronzcak’s. But it wasn’t the same baby.

[LO6] This is pretty crazy. It’s also interesting that most of the trouble areas are in the south. I’d assumed they were closer to us.

[LO7] Walmart is coming down on shoplifters. Even some who aren’t actually shoplifters.

[LO8] He was very, very sorry.

[LO9] An in-depth look at the prison strike.


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Tech Tuesday 8/28/14 – Oscar Is Tired of Arizona Heat Edition( 2 )


TT01 – Storing energy has always been an issue with modern society.  Now that wind and solar are continuing to gain ground and the cost of the energy produced is declining, being able to store and recover that energy is developing a greater urgency.  We already have pumped hydro, but you need to have the right geography for that to work.  There are also ideas about using compressed air stored in underground caverns, but again, geography plays a big part.  Lithium Ion and other metallic batteries are just too expensive for base load storage.  Flywheels and thermal storage work, but both have a serious hazard element.  Flow batteries are under development, but getting the cost down and energy densities up is keeping them just out of reach.  But what about one of the oldest ways to store energy?  Pick something up.

TT02 – Although, when it comes to Lithium Ion batteries, making them more durable does make them more attractive.  And I love that they are using Oobleck (shear thickening non-Newtonian fluids) to do it.

TT03 – I admit, I hadn’t heard about this tidal turbine design, but I love it!It’s a lot easier to maintain a turbine like that if it’s floating on the surface, rather than anchored to the bottom.  I mean, yes, it’s still anchored to the bottom, but not in the way older designs are, where there is an actual foundation the turbine sits on.  This just has anchor chains/cables to keep it stationary.


TT04 – Meet ASTERIA, an award winning skateboard sized satellite that is essentially a telescope.  My only concern is that the press release doesn’t mention how it plans to de-orbit the thing when it’s done.

TT05 – Water worlds may be quite common in the universe, but before you start thinking about how big of a personal luxury yacht you’ll need to sail under the sun and stars of those oceans, you may want to read the article just a bit further.

TT06 – The USAF just gave nearly half a billion dollars to Lockheed to develop a hyper-sonic missile.  I really do hope we develop hyper-sonic technology, it’s just a shame that it’ll probably start out as a weapon (granted, an awful lot of our technology started out as part of a weapons program, it’s just unfortunate that one of the most effective ways to get government funding to advance engineering and science is to demonstrate a weapons utility).

TT07 – Physics confirmed, or the grandest conspiracy theory EVER!

TT08 – Being American, I’m always rooting for the home team, but being an advocate of space exploration, I will root for any team that advances our ability to explore space (as long as they share what they learn).  So here is the ESA exploring the utility of using moon dust to build and shield lunar habitats.

TT09 – Stratolaunch, the company that takes wants to be your first stage, has developed a line of launch vehicles it hopes you’ll use.  Aside from putting your rocket at a much higher altitude for launch, the idea also saves you fuel by optimizing your launch position and attitude, further reducing your first stage fuel needs.

TT10 – Hubble finds another 15,000 galaxies.


TT11 – Using beer to make transparent aerogels.  Well, beer waste.  You know, this is the 3rd or 4th story I’ve linked to where researchers at Boulder use beer to do some kind of engineering or biomed research.  Not sure if they have a drinking problem, or the whole city does and they are just taking advantage of that?

TT12 – Take some platinum, add a little gold, and you get one of the most wear resistant metals in the world (comparable to diamond and sapphire).  And as an extra added bonus, it creates it’s own lubricating layer.  That last bit is like, WTF physics!?

TT13 – Ah, LoneStar, I see your Schwarzite is as inverted as mine!

TT14 – I find the conceit of turning coffee grounds into the next generation of Keurig cups or other coffee pods to be, ‘meh’.  I’m not a fan of pod coffee.  But I do like the idea of using coffee grounds to make biodegradable plastic.

TT15 – Pretty sure this is a super villain origin story, or maybe an Armageddon story.

TT16 – Putting a shape memory allow to work on an actual F/A-18 wing.  Response time still seems kind long, but the weight reduction in a non-flight critical component might easily be worth it.

TT17 – 3D printing tiny graphene objects.  I have to admit, 3D printing has advanced a lot faster than I expected it to.  The commercially available stuff for a home user is still kinda low end, but if you have the money or the know how to build your own, what you can get is pretty impressive.

TT16 – Speaking of 3D printing, one obvious issue is how easy it is to use 3D printers to create counterfeit goods.  QR codes to the rescue.

Biology & Medicine

TT17 – Using light to weaponize oxygen to kill bacteria.

TT18 – This seems similar to the procedure I went through to regenerate my knee cartilage (which is still doing quite well, thank you!).

TT19 – How plants summon birds when insects get to be too much.  And, you know, that might be a better way to control pests rather than spraying poison.

TT20 – When you are running out of ideas, go back to the source material.

TT21 – The universal flu vaccine advances.

TT22 – This is cool, using gut bacteria to convert type A or B blood to type O.

TT23 – Speaking of gut flora, here is a review of the topic.


TT24 – Are you underwater, and want to get a message to a plane flying overhead?  Previously, you’d have to float a comms array on the surface, but now you can just jiggle the surface with sonar and the plane can read the ripples and hear you loud and clear.  Still not going to get your pizza delivered to you, though.

TT25 – Don’t worry, the TSA will still find a way to miss noticing 90% of it.

TT26 – Our dependence upon sand.  And Wired has a deeper look into the one place in the world where we get the sand we need for modern electronics.

Odds & Ends

TT27 – How a volcano cooled the world.  Makes me wonder if we can do it again to buy ourselves time.

TT28 – Not tech related, but this Reveal bit was kind of disturbing.  Not because Bernie stole so much money, but because of how easily government missed all the red flags that would have let them shut him down far earlier.  All the regulation in the world is only as good as the people enforcing it.

Photo by Ajithpoison Tech Tuesday 8/28/14 - Oscar Is Tired of Arizona Heat Edition

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Morning Ed: Immigration {2018.08.27.M}( 18 )

[Im1] Abe was cited by Matt Yglesias and a couple others as an example of what nationalistic policy would look like if the US weren’t so backwards. Well, okay, but do they even know Japan? VDare does

[Im2] An increasing number of immigrants coming from the southern border are… Indian?

[Im3] This is really interesting! I would have guessed that more Central America and South America countries would be on this list, but I guess most of them are too small and those that aren’t, Argentina and Brazil, have enough diversity within the country that they are less likely to need to come here.

[Im4] Tyler Cowen wonders if we shouldn’t rethink our entire asylum system.

[Im5] Corporate America makes a better case against H1-B visas than any border hawk, which kind of undermines their stated concerns. Remember when they had nothing to fear going into the 2016 election and were having Americans train their visa replacements?

[Im7] Using science to deport people with an almost Trumpian zeal.

[Im8] An interesting look at “humanitarian corridors“… a possible non-government response to refugee crises.

[Im9] The population in Africa is growing quickly and more are looking to leave. This could have ramifications for us.

[Dv1] Annalee Newitz looks at the mark that the caste system left on Indian genomes.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 30 )

Music Links

[Mu1] We’ve known listening to music during workouts helps, now we have some science to back up the commonly held belief. And, yes, it really can help.

[Mu2] “Easter eggs,” subtle references hidden in movies, have become a thing, and now music videos are getting into the act.

[Mu3] The “music” of volcanos erupting, and how “charting” the infrasonic clues could be a breakthrough predicting eruptions.

[Mu4] Yesterday marked 17 years since the death of R&B singer Aaliyah in a plane crash. Here’s a brief overview of her career.

Art Links

[Ar1] Art among the ruins is a common theme; so it is with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

[Ar2] AI-produced art has hit the big time, literally, with a first of it’s kind offering by Christie’s.

[Ar3] “Proust’s mid-career struggles with writing led him to art criticism, which provides clues to the qualities prized by readers of In Search of Lost Time.”

[Ar4] When we think of art exhibitions, dressed up folks with cocktails mingling might come to mind. I like this piece because it starts with the artist trying to figure out how to carry their piece from the car, while closing the doors and not dropping it, on the way into the building.

[Ar5] This Quillette piece argues that there are too many artists, too little talent, and not enough people to say so.

History Links

[Hi1] Known for it’s leaning tower, in the Middle Ages Pisa was known for its port, and the recovering of that lost history is fascinating.

[Hi2] Thomas Edison, failed concrete mogul? The history of molded concrete in construction.

[Hi3] John Chapman became the first Air Force member since Vietnam, and 19th overall, to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor (Posthumous) this week. The story of what really happened on Takur Ghar 17 years ago can hopefully be a ghost finally put to rest.

[Hi4] Sam Wilkinson touched on the history of the “Silent Sam” statue that was torn down by protesters this week, but here is the rest of the story, and how it is incomplete even after it’s fall.

Food Links

[Fo1] So what do you do in one of the worst traffic jams in LA history, where burning fuel truck shuts down the highway? If you are a food truck, you open for business and start serving breakfast on the spot.

[Fo2] “Just four crops – wheat, maize, rice and soybean – provide two-thirds of the world’s food supply. But scientists in Malaysia are trying to change that by reviving crops that have been relegated to the sidelines. ”

[Fo3] Fast food was invented to entice folks that didn’t want to make food at home. Drew Magary goes the other way with that idea, and lays out copy cat recipes for eating, and making, your favorites at home.

[Fo4] “Food as medicine,” takes on a new meaning for these non-profit and volunteer organizations.

Religion Links

[Re1] Volokh’s take on “The Case for a Consistent Approach to Government Discrimination on the Basis of Religion

[Re2] Here’s one you might not have thought of: your religious influences affects your psychedelic drug experience.

[Re3] Teaching World Religions in high school is getting a makeover, and it’s instigator is a teacher from Harvard Divinity School’s Religious Literacy Project, and whose own parents are an ex-nun and ex-monk.

[Re4] Pew has a bunch of data on how Americans are more religious than folks in other wealthy nations.

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Linky Friday: Truth and Lies( 16 )

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Linky Friday: Truth and Lies


[Tr1] Telling the truth in reviews? This company wants to use blockchain tech to reward accurate reviews with tokens.

[Tr2] He probably got off easy, considering: Chinese Professor fired for telling the truth about the communist party in that country.

[Tr3] “Truth Isn’t Truth”: Giuliani’s dubious play on words was far from the first time the phrase has been used as a defense.

[Tr4] The true story of Paul Manafort’s now-infamous $15k ostrich jacket.

[Tr5] Can rap lyrics really be a “punishable true threat?” According to a new ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, yes.

[Tr6] I’m still in the skeptical category, but if blockchain is going to become more than just “too good to be true,” it will probably start small like this article suggests.

[Tr7] The true cost of the Afghan war, or at least this piece’s version of it.

[Tr8] “A materials scientist’s dream come true,” manipulating individual dislocations directly on the atomic scale.

[Tr9] Ukraine wasn’t just invaded, it’s also been the testbed for cyber warfare by the Russians, and we should pay attention to what they are practicing. The true story of Notpetya: a Russian cyberweapon that escaped and did $10B in worldwide damage


[Li1] Want to find some lies? Trying dating sites, especially dating apps, and you will find plenty.

[Li2] This might come up again in the next few weeks: ““The president has disgraced his office.… He has lied to his aides. He has lied to the American people,” Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a 1998 memo to his colleagues. “I’m strongly opposed to giving [him] any ‘break’…unless he either resigns or…issues a public apology.”

[Li3] About sums it up: “Venezuela’s latest economic wheeze: a currency backed by a cryptocurrency backed by petroleum. To put it bluntly: it’s a scam on top of another scam”

[Li4] Turns out those little lies in advertising actually hurt customer loyalty in the long run.

[Li5] The figure at the center of one the biggest frauds in modern science is still a mystery, even after his death.

[Li6] How the lying on CV’s breaks down differently between men and women.

[Li7] Fascinating interview with author Paul Willetts who wrote a book on the biggest fraud of the jazz age.

[Li8] At some point you would think people would learn not to lie about their credentials; Florida legislative candidate drops out after lying about college degree.

Gray Areas

[Gr1] The gray areas of workplace discrimination

[Gr2] Using the terminology of “Autism spectrum” inherently means there is area’s we don’t fully understand, and as a parent those gaps can be terrifying.

[Gr3] The old crime of “peeping tom” has gone hi-tech with phones making voyeur and “upskirt” pictures and video far too easy. It happened to this woman, and she’s doing something about this gray area of the law.

[Gr4] This was new terminology; “Gray-sexual” as a type of asexual identification.

[Gr5] Speaking of sexuality and gray areas, how should seniors with dementia approach-and be treated-when it comes to them wanting physical intimacy?

[Gr6] This is from our Aussie friends but the question is universal in business: the grey area of employee or contractor?

[Gr7] Dockless electric scooters are everywhere in LA, and until now have worked in a gray area of the law, but very black and white “cease and desist” letters from the city might bring that to a halt.

[Gr8] The answer is no, but people will keep asking the question: “Can Facebook, or Anybody, Solve the Internet’s Misinformation Problem?


[Co1] Reality Winner sentenced to 63 months as part of plea deal.

[Co2] President Trump and Stormy Daniels got the headlines from the Michael Cohen guilty plea, but it was this tidbit that brought the IRS’s and prosecutors attention: “Mr. Cohen’s troubles increased in May, when Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, a New York City taxi mogul who managed taxi medallions owned by Mr. Cohen and his relatives, pleaded guilty to state criminal tax fraud and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their probe of Mr. Cohen.”

[Co3] “”I wanted Paul Manafort to be innocent, but he wasn’t,” said Juror Paula Duncan, who kept her MAGA hat in her car, doesn’t like the Mueller investigation, found Manafort guilty anyway, and notably was not the holdout that caused the 10 counts to be declared a mistrial. “”It was so frustrating,” Duncan said. “She just couldn’t explain to us why she had reasonable doubt. We could provide her with the information but she wouldn’t change her votes.”

[Co4] Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife plead not guilty after being indicted, and were released on bail with this interesting note: “Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Halpern told the judge that while the government considers the allegations “to be extremely serious,” the pair have shown no signs of being a flight risk during the investigation. He said the couple also didn’t have any substantial assets and were “living paycheck to paycheck.”

[Co5] The Mollie Tibbetts murder has turned into a political fight, but the details of suspect –
Cristhian Bahena Rivera- approaching her, admitting to her being in his trunk, and leading investigators to her body are pretty damning. The largest question remains unanswered: why?

Por una Cabeza – Carlos Gardel (Tango, as seen in True Lies and Scent of a Women)

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Morning Ed: Politics {2018.08.23.Th}( 22 )

[Po1] Trump is making gains among black voters.

[Po2] Dress for the job you want, as they say.

[Po3] Adam Gurri hails the Ideologically Turing Test, which is in my opinion the most important test in political discussions.

[Po4] Why conservatives find life more meaningful than liberals.

[Po5] According to a study, political leaders are not actually very responsive to public opinion. (But elections are.)

[Po6] Liberals have embraced the term liberal, libertarian-minded folks are calling themselves classical liberals, and Sam Bowman says that centrists should adopt the label. I’m old enough to remember when being “liberal” was something people ran away from.

[Po7] Samuel Hammond writes about Viktor Orban and his pro-natalist policies, and what social conservatives here might learn about them.

[Po8] This is not comforting.

[Po9] We’ve seen this recently with anti-KKK laws being used against Antifa. Sometimes the laws are worth it, but you really do need to take a step back and think it through.

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Morning Ed: SocialSpace {2018.08.22.W}( 83 )

[SS1] Generation Z isn’t all that in to the whole gender thing. I’m glad that some of them are embracing gender-neutral pronouns (other than they)!

[SS2] This corresponds with my experience: When it comes to friendship, meeting people is easier than maintenance.

[SS3] When it comes to changing a society, there appears to be a tipping point at about 25%. I believe it. That seems to be about the point where Mormonism starts to take a leadership role in local culture.

[SS4] At some point maybe we should start thinking about the tool rather than each individual application of it in a vacuum.

[SS5] Hostility is… good?

[SS6] Freemasons attempt to tackle the trans issue.

[SS7] We are a wretched and sinful people. Back when they were the thing I thought I actually must have been missing something because they were too stupid and juvenile to be what they appeared to be. But no.

[SS8] News some of you can use: Online dating techniques that actually work?

[SS9] Once we all get Google Glass and cameras all over ourselves to avoid getting screwed, the surveillance state will be us.

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Morning Ed: Education {2018.08.21.T}( 31 )

[Ed1] The New York Times has a story on the success of charter schools in New Orleans, though it’s coming at the expense of parochial schools there. {More}

[Ed2] Lafayette Parish in Louisiana is no longer going to grade homework, and will treat cheating as a disciplinary matter instead of an academic one (allowing them to retake the test with no penalty).

[Ed3] I didn’t realize that Purdue had purchased Kaplan University. A very Mitch Daniels move. The only thing that would have been more Mitch Daniels would be selling Purdue to Kaplan.

[Ed4] Chinese graduates are returning home: a closer look at which ones and why.

[Ed5] There is a separate math equivalent to dyslexia, which is fascinating because I thought the two would come bundled together.

[Ed6] They might have gotten away with it if they’d done what our universities do, which is disdain testing in favor of a holistic evaluation wherein the people you want do better than the people you don’t.

[Ed7] Ick. What creeps.

[Ed8] I don’t know what future small private liberal arts colleges are going to have, below a certain prestige threshold.

[Ed9] It bears repeating, we have lost our minds.

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Morning Ed: Food {2018.08.20.M}( 17 )

[Fo1] If you’re looking for an oven, you can apparently use a vacated termite mound.

[Fo2] Oliver Bateman writes of The McRib, a sandwich that keeps getting by on the fear that it may not come back.

[Fo3] This is nightmare-fuel.

[Fo4] I’m in!

[Fo5] We continue to approach the future where we suddenly discover that eating meat is wrong.

[Fo6] It’s a good thing that food science updates its knowledge with more information, but the regularity with which this happens seems like maybe a good reason not to jump on the latest science with both legislative feat, like when the Obama administration came down on its salt recommendations right after this.

[Fo7] The rise (and fall?) of the Red Delicious Apple.

[Fo8] Spam: The All-American food.

[Fo9] Yes. Twix, too. They’re both just amazing.

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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 16 )

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links

May 10, 1962, WAITING ROOM FROM NORTHWEST. – Pennsylvania Station

Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.
– “Farewell to Penn Station,” New York Times, Oct 30, 1963

Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links

Music Links

[Mu1] To be deaf, blind, and a dancer is one thing, to teach others how to move to the music they hear and you don’t is something.

[Mu2] Good line: “But years of evidence show cutting school music programs to save money is like trying to stop a clock to save time.”

[Mu3] NASA made a stunning music video of the moon, using 3D mapping, photos, relief images, and CGI of light patterns, set to National Symphony Orchestra Pops of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.”

[Mu4] The hottest debate in music: cult-like fans vs enraged and offended haters over…CVS Pharmacy hold music?

Art Links

[Ar1] “The biggest art fraud in US history,” worked the way all good scams work; people wanted to believe it was real.

[Ar2] Instead of suffering for your art, how about art as a form of pain management.

[Ar3] “The Public Art of Robert Moses’s New York”, and how a city changed its mind, repeatedly, on sculptures and monuments.

[Ar4] The caged bird still sings, and these prisoners are producing art.

History Links

[Hi1] “I have obtained one of the finest and least expected results—Spectra of the stars!—and beautiful spectra with colors and magnificent lines. Just one more step and the chemical composition of the universe will be revealed,” wrote astrophysicist Pierre Jules César Janssen. He had observed helium for the first time.

[Hi2] The forthcoming “first-ever” same-sex marriage for the British Royal Family is hardly the first such relationship, just more open than in the past.

[Hi3] Trivia is always tricky, and TV game shows have a long history of cringe-worthy moments, but this one makes a run at worst flub in gameshow history. Including social media post-flub breakdown by those involved.

[Hi4] The history of Bitcoin.

Food Links

[Fo1] “Within one single recipe, one piece of paper, there is so much depth and logic.” After 140K students and nearly 60 years of instruction, this culinary institute would know.

[Fo2] The food fight scene from Animal House is iconic, so of course the St. Paul Saints played it on the scoreboard while 8,000 fans re-enacted it for their “Largest food fight” promotion.

[Fo3] The history of non-milk milk, as the debate over whether nut-based liquid can be labeled “milk” on packaging and advertising.

[Fo4] I’ve treated my children to a surprise Happy Meal or two over the years when they were in school as a treat, but some schools are attempting to crack down on that, and parents are not happy.

Architecture Links

[At1] Art and Architecture always seem to want to be together, and are beautifully so at the Boston Public Library

[Ar2] I’ve seen this myself. Architecture and history focused social media accounts also can be hiding places for all sorts of lunacy, including alt-right racism.

[Ar3] Architecture folks still weep for the destruction of the original Penn Station, so on the 20th Anniversary of Grand Central’s restoration a review of how it was done, including the Supreme Court case that was involved.

[Ar4] “You are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights,” Young chastised the audience, which had gathered in Portland, Oregon for the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Convention that year. “You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence and your complete irrelevance.”

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Morning Ed: Economics {2018.08.18.Sa}( 12 )

[Ec1] A few years ago Adam Ozimek released a plan to decrease economic segregation.

[Ec2] This will end badly.

[Ec3] African countries are being encouraged to enter the “blue economy” and move beyond land-based economies.

[Ec4] Looking at the next generation of cash transfers, which appear kind of promising.

[Ec5] Hey, cool, capitalism turns us into psychopaths.

[Ec6] Maybe hospitals without call rooms can add these napping compartments.

[Ec7] What can economists and humanists learn from one another?

[Ec8] Sometimes when you miss a deadline nothing happens, other times you pay a fine, sometimes you become a ship just drifting aimless at sea.

[Ec9] One of my experiences in farming country is that the folks out there were actually kind of indifferent to farm subsidies… this is part of why. Something like 1% of farming comes from family farms, and the bigger ones (whether by being corporate or owned by rich people) are better able to navigate the bureaucracy.

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Linky Friday: Honoring Aretha Franklin( 10 )

Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.
-Aretha Franklin

Linky Friday: Honoring Aretha Franklin

If you haven’t already, here is Tod Kelly’s excellent piece memorializing: “The Electrifying Aretha Franklin.”

You Better Think:

[Th1] Your mind can play tricks on you. Think your nose is smelling something? Phantom smells might just be messing with your senses, and your mind.

[Th2] This has been my experience as well. Managers think they can coach. They can’t, for the most part.

[Th3] Looking for a cure for pessimism? Critical thinking skills is a good place to start.

[Th4] Think your pet could be a service animal? First they have to past some tests, and beat out the stuffed animals.

[Th5] Scary thought. Chinese community in Wales still think of autism as “communicable disease”. And other socially isolated groups have the same issues.

[Th6] “Think of the children,” is a common deflection in debates. But according to this study you should, as co-workers tend to take workplace frustrations out on the children at home.

[Th7] What the chef really thinks when you order your steak well done, among other things that aggravate them.

[Th8] Most parents will tell you cellphones have not been good for kids. If you think that was a problem, just wait till having their own robots gets here.

The Day is Past and Gone

[Pa1] Bloomfield has long been Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, but like so many neighborhoods, change has come.

[Pa2] 70 years ago, a plane crash in the Swiss Alps lead to an amazing story of survival. Now melting snow has revealed the plane itself.

[Pa3] Well…that’s a different suggestion; an argument for bringing back feudalism.

[Pa4] “Look at everything that has come and gone,” a Pagan perspective on their Midsummer celebration.

[Pa5] Fascinating story on the biggest mistake in the history of physics.

[Pa6] Just titling it that way is a bold statement: “The most underrated composer in history.”

[Pa7] The very unsexy history of video game sex. The pixelated nudity of the Atari 2600 was just as wrong then as it appears now.

[Pa8] The story of finding a WW2 destroyer that sank more than once, and the new underwater tech that is changing how we find and explore shipwrecks.

[Pa9] The wild history of skateboarding movies.

Chain of Fools

[Fo1] You can fool a sparrow, but only if they don’t know you; “Researchers can change dominance relationships between birds by altering the colors on their heads, but only if the birds don’t already know each other”

[Fo2] “We are the fools who have stayed” the last couple in a dying Spanish town, who have maintained that status for 30 years.

[Fo3] Frankly surprised this doesn’t happen more often: Guy photoshops adult film actors name onto little league graphic, fools media outlets when it goes viral.

[Fo4] Fish oil fool’s gold? Omega-3 is a $30Bn industry, but does it actually help anything health wise?

[Fo5] Does the name still apply if you write down the 5 dumbest unwritten rules in baseball?

[Fo6] They may be fools, but at least they are self-aware and in on the joke: Vice goes there with the Flat Earth Societies favorite conspiracy theories.

[Fo7] Despite the title this is not the most foolish tattoo I’ve ever seen, but it made a good run at it.

It Won’t Be Long

[Lo1] Nothing last forever, so before you wed you better finish the paperwork on the pre-up for the dog.

[Lo2] Before too much longer the video might show you said that, even though you didn’t. The coming world of “deep fakes”

[Lo3] Despite continuing promises that it won’t be long, autonomous cars are further away than you might think.

[Lo4] As soon as the mid-terms are over, those running for POTUS in 2020 will really start in on their campaigns. Vice would like to submit a list of Democrats who will not be president.

[Lo5] Long on promise, short on results; the widening world of self-help apps.

[Lo6] Turns out the trick to being an ant is to be one of the lazy ones, or at least one of the ones who have to wait their turn and idle while the rest are tunnel building and other things.

[Lo7] With the long promised hype of Tesla starting to fray people’s belief in Elon Musk, some believe it might be time for a intervention, or at least somebody experienced in running a company.

Will Truman Memorial “This Won’t End Well” link:

[WT0] “Everyone realized there’s tons of money to be made if you can figure out how to get AI integrated into the Defense Department.”

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul


It’s her voice we all will remember, but her piano playing was spectacular, and she could still perform like few others could well into her 70’s.

LA Times:

Check out Franklin’s 2015 performance at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” part of the evening’s salute to honoree King. It’s an extraordinary performance that fortunately was documented and posted to YouTube, where it has tallied more than 12 million views, at least in part thanks to the over-the-top reaction shots from King herself, clearly awestruck when Franklin sits down at the piano.

Elton John, another musician renowned for his skills at the piano, brought up that performance when I interviewed him shortly after that night. He could barely contain his enthusiasm.

“Did you see the Kennedy Center thing with Aretha?” he said sitting at the kitchen table in his Beverly Hills home. “It’s one of the great performances of all time. I watched it five times in a row. You couldn’t start the day off better off than that. And she’s 74 years of age …

“At one point you thought maybe she was losing her voice, but she hasn’t, and at the end she goes for it, and it’s thrilling, it’s so thrilling,” he said, sounding more like the giddy music fan than a grizzled veteran of half a century in the music industry trenches. “How often do we get thrilled like that anymore, come on?”

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Morning Ed: Family {2018.08.16.Th}( 46 )

[Fa1] I can relate to this. Dogs do become just another thing after you have kids. I think our dog had some experience with that and it may be why she wanted nothing to do with Clancy when she was pregnant. Though she did embrace the kid.

[Fa2] Matthew Walther argues that you need to get over kids making noise.

[Fa3] Laws can produce some weird results sometimes, like cases where fathers or mothers can’t use the embryo but strangers can.

[Fa4] Adam Sternbergh laments the loss the middle child. We had originally hoped for three, but are really struggling for two.

[Fa5] The Brookings Institute looks at cohabitating parents versus married one, and outlines three main differences.

[Fa6] The case for getting a big dog, but boy are some of these stats daunting. Alpacas live for twenty years, btw.

[Fa7] Americans are mighty nervous about gene editing.

[Fa8] IFS looks at kinship adoption with a skeptical eye. As someone looking to adopt this is a statement against interest, but while the article points to errors in one direction (babies and kids given to kin despite warning signs) but I’ve heard an awful lot about errors in the other direction (the kid goes to a stranger due to an aunt having a pot possession conviction).

[Fa9] Nature vs Nurture: When the rubber hits the road.

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Morning Ed: Wildlife {2018.08.15.W}( 20 )

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

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

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

[Wl4] Flatfish camouflage! This is pretty awesome.

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

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

[Wl7] Behold, flying octopii!

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

[Wl9] Farmers in Australia can now shoot kangaroos.

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Tech Tuesday 8/14/18( 9 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TT09 – The famous wrestling move meets cancer treatment.

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

TT11 – Yeah, this was just a matter of time

TT12Anti-aging drugs?

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

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

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

TT16Robotic skin that makes your skin look numb in comparison.

TT17 – Keeping things cold without letting them freeze.

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

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

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

[Re1] Tinder… in Antarctica.

[Re2] William Buckner explains monogamy to Vox.

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

[Re4] If courtship were a map

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

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

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

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

[Re9] First date stories to make you cringe.



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Ordinary Sunday Brunch: Culture Quick Links( 21 )

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

Music Links

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

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

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

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

Art Links

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

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

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

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

History Links

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

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

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

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

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

Food Links

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

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

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

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

Architecture Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Linky Friday: Blood and Guts( 23 )

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

Linky Friday: Blood and Guts


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Linkworld: Russia vs USA( 10 )


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United States:

Linkworld: Russia vs USA

Photo by adactio

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

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

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

[US4] Yeehaw.

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

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


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

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

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

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

[Wr5] Follow the weapons.

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


Linkworld: Russia vs USA

Photo by Defence Images

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

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

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

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

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

[Wt6] Sir David Boaty McBoatface has launched.

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