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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Linkee-poo runs as fast as he can

After gutting the brick and mortar bookstore scene, Amazon opens it's own brick and mortar bookstore in Seattle. So now you'll need to drive to Seattle to get a bookstore experience (I kid, I kid, there's still other bookstores). "In-store prices will all match online prices, too (which means they'll probably change while you're holding them)." Hilarity ensues. This is what's known in the business world as "expand or die." The problem is that Amazon killed the market for people who casually went to bookstores, and the majority of people left who do go to bookstores do so specifically to get away from the Amazon experience. So I'm not sure how this will all work out for them. They might consider it a loss-leader (the same way they considered physical books). (Grokked from John)

NASA retests the EM Drive. "(B)y utilizing an improved experimental procedure, the team managed to mitigate some of the errors from prior tests — yet still found signals of unexplained thrust." (Grokked from Dan)

"Imagine you are a parent, and that out of the blue, you get a letter from your child's school telling you not to worry — that they're ready to evacuate or shelter in place if an underground fire at a nearby landfill reaches radioactive waste on the same property." That's one way to pack them into public meetings. "Hundreds of people packed a recent community meeting about the landfills, located in Bridgeton, Mo." And strangely enough, there are now people in Missouri who are upset that the EPA isn't doing more (regulation and remediation). Yes, it's strange how now, with the fire is 5 years old and the waste having been dumped decades ago, people are all upset and demanding immediate action.

Anonymous goes after the KKK by publishing membership data. Wonder how this will be verified? (Grokked from Jim Wright)

That thing that doesn't appear in recruitment ads, NPR investigates secret WWII era mustard gas experiments on (our own) troops.

Now that Patricia is over, we're safe from weird weather this year, right? "Chapala’s southward track will make it only the second tropical cyclone recorded near the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, which is crossed by roughly 400 ships a week….Yemen has been in the grip of a civil war since March, so any landfall near this populated area could intersect with the conflict in hard-to-predict ways." Oh fuck. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

So, a bull escapes a ranch, is hit by a car (or hits the car), sheriffs and EMTs respond, bull charges rescue workers, sheriffs decide to shoot bull just as owner show up with a gun, in the end on sheriff is wounded and the bull and the owner are dead. More guns, that's what this situation needed. More guns. Obviously the people in the Subaru needed guns and then this wouldn't have happened.

Usually large donors to colleges and hospitals just ask for buildings, academic chairs, and programs to be named after them. Now they want the colleges to change their names for them. How is this not like selling sport arena naming rights? On the positive side, turns out the college in question has to honor the original will which set up the college and can't rename. Which then the rich donor took their gift back. But they love her in the emails (as they say).

What are the signs a campaign is in trouble? "'They don't know me. They don't know me,' (Jeb!) Bush told Bloomberg. 'I eat nails when I wake up, then I have breakfast.'" Yea, that's a tell-tale right there. If you have to insist how tough you are, then you really aren't. Also, "Bush also discussed his performance at the CNBC debate Wednesday and noted that he 'felt it wasn't that good' because he didn't get to ask the right questions and didn't interrupt his opponents." So, he wasn't enough of a dick. Got it.

The candidates' demands. I wonder what would happen if the networks simply refused to air the debates? Heck, if they were smart, they'd reduce coverage of the campaign all together. But who am I kidding, in this age of "he said, she said" reporting (ie. no context, no fact checking, no analysis, just press releases) they need content, and a bunch of whining babies generates a lot of content.

A Mississippi man, a True Patriot™, upset with Wal-Mart's decision to not sell the Confederate Flag takes it upon himself to bomb the Wal-Mart. Fortunately, like most of his kind, he's utterly incompetent and while the bomb explodes, it doesn't do much damage. He's then arrested a few hours later after running a red light. Well, the GOP must be sad he won't be voting next Fall.

Oh noes, creeping Sharia. Oh, wait, no that's about how by signing a contract to be helped to detox, a patient gave away his rights to sue in a court of law and "(i)nstead, his claim had to be resolved through a mediation or arbitration process that would be bound… by the Bible. 'The Holy Scripture shall be the supreme authority,' the rules of the proceedings state." This is a part of the NYT's articles surrounding the rise of arbitration clauses in contracts which are taking what should be solved by law out of the judicial system. This will continue until someone successfully brings a suit that breaks "binding contract" law by winning the case on the grounds that no one can sign away their Constitutional privileges of seeking redress of grievances (or on the grounds that by needing to seek redress, the other party has already broken the contract in a way that allows the first party to go to the courts and negating any severability clauses that may preclude them, and maybe that those clauses are also not kosher). My guess is that this will come in the form of breaking a contract which becomes "binding" by another action other than actually signing a contract (such as "by making this purchase/walking into this store you agree to be bound by…" clauses). Also pointed to as yet another example of why the government should not outsource basic services (in this case, "Teen Challenge" was one of those programs highlighted by GW Bush as a part of his defunding government programs in favor of sending public money to private, sectarian services).

After a spike in religiosity after 9/11, Americans are returning to more normal levels of religious devotion. Cue the "One Nation Under God" whackaloons in 3… 2… 1…

"'Even if all the media tries to shut you down—which they have tried very much to do with me,' (presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson) said. 'But they can't because the good Lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like Fox News.'" This after saying most people in America are stupid. Granted, this was before he officially launched his candidacy. Yes, "the media" has tried to deny Dr. Carson his free speech rights by giving him a syndicated column and paid appearances on Fox News. Obviously "the media" is very bad at denying people their rights. BTW, in his full speech he says one of the things that helped him climb out of poverty is his Mother refused to be a victim and made sure he didn't think he was either. The severe doublethink going on here is mind bending.

The GOP just kissed the Hispanic Vote goodbye. Also, part of the fall out with DebateGate™ (yes, that's mine, pay me) is that the one debate to be held on Spanish speaking TV was also cancelled. That first article, on Paul Ryan doubling down on no immigration reform while Obama is president, included this gem. "'But I (Paul Ryan) think given the fact that President Obama tried to do an end-run around Congress to go it alone, to try to write laws himself unilaterally -- which is not what presidents do, that's what Congress does…" Um, Paul, I think you want to restate that another way, because that's so very close to the truth that Congress is the one hell-bent on breaking the law.

Tweet of my heart: @lizzwinstead #JebCanFixIt with Gaffe tape

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