XKCD's up-goer five. (Grokked from Elizabeth Shack)
A series on the creation of the Viking myths. As with most of what has been passed down to us, it was propaganda.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden points out the obvious. Yes, all those "numbers guys", who use that whole, "you just wouldn't understand" razzle-dazzle to justify their obscenely high salaries are just making shit up. The only difference between them and the person playing the lottery is the scope of the money and the return on investment.
A little on the different way East and West view struggle when it comes to learning. A little personal note here, yeah, I am a genius. By the numbers. School normally comes easy to me, but that's actually been a liability for me as I never had to work hard to get a C. So now that I'm into my second degree, I'm going for an A average (although this semester might see my first B). Lots of my classmates like to say, "Oh, it's easy for you. you just listen and get an A." Well, no. This is hard work. I spent about 8 hours this past weekend studying for the test on Wednesday. And next weekend I'll probably do the same thing. But because they see me getting an A, and I tend to know answers (and even if I don't I take a stab at them) in class, they think this is easy. It ain't.
Sometimes it takes random acts of kindness or a Rolling Jubilee to change the world. Why help retire people's debt? Well, one, that's what the money for the TARP was actually supposed to do. Also, it saves property values, frees up money for other economic benefits, relieves suffering, and has multiplication effects. It's five times better than giving someone a dollar bill with the admonition not to buy alcohol with it, which is kind of a dicky move.
Denver policeman shoots and kills man wielding ninjato (yeah, I know they say "samurai sword", and the photo is really bad, but looking at the scabbard, I'm pretty sure that's not a katana). Somewhat related to Bladesman. When you bring a knife to a gunfight, the gun usually wins. Which is why the knife holder cheats. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
It appears the Supreme Court is jonesing to declare the Voters Rights Act unconstitutional. Of course this is all reading the tea leaves at the moment, but I remember when the verdict of that earlier case came down pundits saying the same thing. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
Hey look, good news about the increase in CO2 in our atmosphere. Apparently in the upper layers, where satellites scrape by, CO2 acts as a cooling agent (by radiating heat from collisions into space), which contracts the upper layers which then reduces drag on low orbit satellites. "The next challenge is to understand why the observed carbon dioxide trends are bigger than expected." Oh, and here's an article on that "Antarctica sea ice expansion" you may have heard of. Yep, it's a part of the model, no it's not making up for ice lost elsewhere, and it's not consistent around Antarctica. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
A "measured" response to the Iran firing on a Predator drone. When it first came up, people were losing their shit over this. Look, let's say Iran actually shot the drone down instead of firing "warning shots" (yes, I know, the whole "Iranian pilots couldn't hit a slow moving drone" is just fun to ponder, but really, that's not how people act, they missed on purpose because that's what you do to warn someone out of your airspace). Are we going to drop a nuke on them in response? That would be a total inappropriate and out of proportion response. What will happen is if an Iranian fighter group goes outside of the 12 mile limit (as they define it), they'll get a friendly visit by our aircraft and given a demonstration of our engine power. Or some low level ammo dump will develop a technical fault and go boom. Jesus on a pogo stick, it's only been 25 years since the end of the Cold War, have we all forgotten this shit already?
Tweet of my heart: @jodiecongirl: Fun w/ Bush tax cuts hindsight: "The Heritage Foundation predicted the cuts would result in the elimination of the national debt by 2010."
Yeah, so how did that work out?
Double dip: @joe_hill: The White House has a helpful site that allows citizens to create petitions, or, as I like to think of it, toys for trolls.