Just a note here about future posting, since we're approaching the holidays there are plenty of times I will be very far away from a computer or internet connection, or note really in a place to read much, so things may be a little space here until the new year. Until then, I wish you a happy holiday, a merry solstice, and that we al have a better new year than the last. Seriously, while many great things happened last year, and there was much to celebrate, too many of my friends had seriously bad crap happen to them.
So let's be joyous as the old year dies, and light the welcoming fires of the new year.
So you can make it through until your ticket time, Force Block. Also, Kathleen Kennedy, the woman behind the new Star Wars. Cue insecure fanboys lamenting in 3… 2… 1…
Neil Gaiman reads from Dickens' performance copy of a Christmas Carol.
Mega-successful author James Patterson awards $1.75 million in literary grants.
Amazon released an updated vision for their drone delivery service. Note, still a Cyber Monday stunt, but looking more like a real system. Again, energy density will be the issue. I doubt I'll ever see drone delivery in Orwell since the nearest Amazon distribution center is Columbus. Also, I have a lot of trees in my yard. Finally, now we'll hear complaints about drones dropping packages in puddles in the middle of people's lawns.
In an survey from Cards Against Humanity, the numbers are in. (Grokked from Dan)
NASA is looking for astronauts. Note that they're pretty picky.
And idea to turn the Eiffel Tower into a wind turbine. The plan would use a vertical axis turbine setup, not windmill blades (the vertical setup is more efficient and can generate electricity at lower wind speeds). Mmmm'okay. I could see that. (Grokked from John)
PBS Newshour on building a better battery.
Adjunct faculty, the low pay and long commute job you've always dreamed of. Except not. Must students are surprised when they find out just how little their professors make (and there are more and more colleges staffing up with adjuncts).
"A conversation between a father and son." About women, the male gaze, and societal expectation bullshit. "A woman, or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention. You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are a fellow human being. On the other side, a woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you. You need to be in control of you." (Grokked from Dan)
The UN sends human rights inspectors to a backward country to determine the state of women's rights in that country. What they found appalled them. There were high levels of violence against women, economic disadvantages, lack of reproductive rights, and discrimination. OF course, most women in the US accept these conditions and believe they have it better than other women. (Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)
The (Engineered) Food Industry. Driving your needs since 1970. There's this bit in Good Omens where Famine is a star in that world. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett weren't far from the truth.
They still burn churches, don't they? (Grokked from Fred Clark)
"Ms.Habibi was hunted down for taking a selfie while wearing a Burqa." Also she's received so many death threats (after her images was posted on Facebook and local residents got the police involved) she feels she needs to leave Lima. Hey ho, way to go Ohio. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
So, whatever happened to those Citadel students with the hoods? "While temporarily suspended, the cadets have been allowed to take final exams. They will resume classes with the rest of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets on Jan. 13 as the administrative process proceeds."
Remember Martin Skelli? The guy who raised the price of a drug form $13.50 to $750? Turns out the company he was formerly the CEO of is slightly pissed with him and their civil suit brought about a criminal fraud investigation and he was arrested this morning. He won't spend much time in jail until he posts bond, but I believe this is (not exactly) instant karma. (Grokked from Dan)
"A tenured Wheaton College professor who, as part of her Christian Advent devotion, donned a traditional headscarf to show solidarity with Muslims has been placed on administrative leave." Well, I'm sure… okay, I've got nothing. "(T)he college said in a statement… 'As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college's evangelical Statement of Faith.'" Apparently Wheaton College admin haven't actually read the Bible or learned the lessons of the New Testament. "Gene Green, a professor of the New Testament at Wheaton, said…'Dr. Hawkins and others want to follow the example of Jesus, who went to those who were discriminated against… He ate with people whom others rejected. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, and the Muslims are our neighbors.'" Well, at least someone in the college has.
You know that conservative talking about about how the San Bernardino shooters were talking up jihad on social media and the Obama administration, it a fit of political correctness, didn't see the threat for what it was? Turns out that's complete bullshit. What it does highlight is just how completely ineffective the Patriot Act's expanded surveillance powers actually are at keeping us safe (but don't expect anyone in power to actually say that).
Now that the sausage is made, you can look at the ingredients. That's a list of the ornaments hung on the Xmas Tree called the Omnibus Spending Bill.
Politifact's score card on Donald Trump. Wow, now that's a skill. You really need to work to have 75 statements fact checked and score a zero for telling the truth. And only 8 listed as mostly or half true (a little more than 10%).(Grokked from Mary Robinette Kowal)
Dr. Ben Carson has a breakthrough, "'Republicans have this mental disorder that says, A person doesn’t agree with me 100 percent, I’m not with them, I’m going to go and sit down,' Carson said." And Dr. Carson is now out of the running (no he hasn't quit yet, but that kinda comment is going to kill his chances in the primary, "you're all deranged, now vote for me" doesn't work so well). Of course he then goes on to say “'You know, I believe that was a disease that was implanted by the Democrats,' he quipped." Dear Dr. Carson, this is a nosocomial infection. The left is not a vector for this kind of idiocy. In fact, that kind of thinking is a symptom of the disease. (Grokked from Jim Wright)