Here is to hoping your 2014 is better than your 2013. Sincere hopes we all see 2015 relatively healthy and more prosperous. The year is already underway and is coming like rolling thunder across the ocean.
All those who wander are not lost.
Some scientific jokes. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Oh those stoner kids. In this case, dolphins are found to use puffer fish toxin to get high. Wonder if they got footage of the puffer fish saying, "Hey, first chew is free"?
What I don't want for Xmas, the the "Tikker, a wristwatch that counts down your life." For those people who want the ultimate deadline. This countdown watch counts back from your average life expectancy, so you can watch your mortality tick away. Although the effects of such a watch are not always positive. The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older…
Frozen bubbles. Neat. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"It's like a whale traffic jam right now off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. — the nation's busiest commercial port. That has scientists puzzled, and whale watchers thrilled." I expect they're gathering for the charge.
The techno-panic timeline. Although it's a bit simplistic (how many people do you know sing or play instruments for their family and friends, how many speeches or text do you know by heart, when was the last time you had a congenial conversation with a stranger face to face). All those things changed the world and how we interact, somethings for the better, somethings for the worse.
There's been a few article on Mayor Bloomberg leaving office, and there's a wealth of interesting information in there. Like this gem, which I offer for anyone who wants to talk about "sin-taxes" and "the nanny-state". "… 60-year-old Elizabeth Lane… said, 'Is this right? Can he really tell people what to do and how to do it?'… Lane had smoked for 40 years and couldn't quit… Lane says family pressure and a lot of prayer moved her to put on a nicotine patch. It worked. She quit, which has helped her indefinitely postpone surgery to open her blood vessels and reduced her risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. It has also potentially saved taxpayers tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars." (Emphasis mine) This is the real case for those things. Not only has Mrs. Lane saved money, we as a community have saved lots of money. This is why cigarette taxes are so high, because they cost us, the community, so much. This is also why he started working on obesity and diabetes (his push for a maximum size for soft drinks). Yes, it sounds horrible and it can be seen limiting "freedom", but it's mostly about reducing your taxes.
While that article on Bloomberg is mostly positive, here's a more balanced perspective.
And noted as another "ZOMG, government is telling us what to do by outlawing light bulbs and making regulations for business", electrical use in the US has approached 2001 levels. I'm sure having an economy still in recovery has helped, but the fact that it's better this year and we still reduced electrical use year over year. While the electrical companies will tell you this is a bad thing (because they aren't making as much profit), this isn't a bad thing.
"We're either going to do that in some practical way when things get bad enough or we're going to keep going the way we're going, at which point there's going to be enough people standing on the outside of this mess that somebody's going to pick up a brick, because you know when people get to the end there's always the brick. I hope we go for the first option but I'm losing faith." I've felt that way for a while now. I know the Tea Party thought it was the brick, unfortunately they were just cheerleaders for the status quo (yea, I know they don't think so, but that's basically their major motivation, "this guy is changing everything we've taken to be True, and we won't stand for it"). At some point the revolution will come, IMHO, the big question is will it be a velvet revolution (I hope), or a bloody one. Because someone is going to pick up a brick. (Grokked from the Slactivist)
Need an example of the above? Okay. "According to (the owner of Home Depot), an anonymous, 'potential seven-figure donor' for the Church’s restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is concerned that the Pope’s criticism of capitalism are 'exclusionary,'" threatening to take his little red ball and go home. "'I’ve told the Cardinal… 'Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with."… Cardinal Dolan told CNBC that he had, in fact, spoken to Langone, and had told him that 'that would be a misunderstanding of the Holy Father’s message.'… He then thanked Langone for bringing this anonymous donor's concerns to him, and insisted that '[w]e’ve got to correct — to make sure this gentleman understands the Holy Father’s message properly.'" Dear Cardinal Dolan, just buy the donor a copy of The Bishop's Wife. I suggest the 19547 version with Cary Grant so there's a chance they'll watch it.