Solar Impulse 2 is about to complete its circumnavigation of the world flying solely on solar power.
A somewhat decent article on cosplay (that doesn't go to the "look at the freaks" that most usually do). It talks about how cosplay is both a fannish activity and a psychological boost. Whatever helps people find themselves and be the person they want to be, to me, is a good thing.
The STARZ American Gods promotional poster. Not great. Not bad though. When I saw the cropped image preview I initially thought "full back tattoo", which I think this could have been jazzed by using an actual picture of a skull (heavily altered, but still recognizable as a real picture) and would have gone full bore on a tribal theme. But then, graphic designers always pick on others. B+.
And apparently I didn't link to it here (or that I don't see it in a quick search), but the first teaser for American Gods is out. OMG OMG OMG. This may actually get me to pay for streaming. And can we say, SQUEEEEE! For those who may be new here, American Gods is one of my favorite novels. The only books I think I've reread more times are The Lord of the Rings and the Hitchhiker books. The casting for this is so on it hard to believe. And while some of these scenes look different from the ones in my head, they still work for me.
Because last week was ComiCon, there are plenty of new media releases to squee about. Such as the new Dirk Gently is coming to BBC America. Yes, please. Please don't suck. (Grokked from Dan)
Yes, I've seen the Wonder Woman and Justice League trailers, I'm assuming you all have too.
The algae bloom that swallowed Stuart, Florida.
A dark sky map of light pollution. (Grokked from Dan)
Why do some police shooting get media attention while others don't. The phrase, "he's no angel" comes to mind. A little hard truth on the American experience.
"China’s top internet regulator ordered major online companies including Sina Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to stop original news reporting, the latest effort by the government to tighten its grip over the country’s web and information industries." I'm sure everything will be all right. (Grokked from Dan)
"Microsoft and Apple argue the very future of mobile and cloud computing is at stake if customers can’t trust that their data will remain private, while investigators seek digital tools to help them fight increasingly sophisticated criminals and terrorists savvy at using technology to communicate and hide their tracks." Now it's Microsoft's turn by trying to defend the secrecy of data held in a cloud server in Ireland. Microsoft isn't fighting turning the data over to the government from a warrant served, but that they then must keep that request "secret" from their customers affected. (Grokked from John)
"The indictments accuse Esformes of leading 'a complex and profitable health care fraud scheme that resulted in staggering losses – in excess of $1 billion,' said Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI's Miami field office." And while most people will focus on the "OMG Medicare is so rife with fraud" I'll focus on it was perpetrated by performing and billing for unnecessary medical procedures on the elderly in these people's retirement homes. That's elder abuse. Also, hey, the system worked, this was caught.
Okay, so there's this recurring theme in thrillers and not-so-thrillers about training a monkey to shoot a gun (it's a Sherlock Holmes thing, but I've seen it every where, including Big Bang Theory). That's why it makes me suspicious when monkeys are blamed for tearing up publicly posted voter lists in Thailand. (Grokked from Dan)
"Police in the US (are) 3D printing a murder victim's finger to gain access to their smartphone and hopefully find evidence that would lead to the perpetrator of the crime." (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
The "filter-bubble" effect of social media. Um, well, 1) I suspect I contribute to this although I do work hard to be reasonable, but there is just so much shit happening on the right that my feeds tend to skew that way. Such as the DNC email "scandal", I've read several articles on it, but haven't really posted here about it because there is no there there as it were. As I've said on twitter, "Oh look, political people who work in politics devising political strategies email each other about politics." The real evidence there would be if any of those "proposed" actions were ever actually acted on. So far, not seeing it. If that's the "damning evidence" it just isn't there. Same with the Benghazi investigations. We've had however many, spend a few hundred million dollars, and there's nothing more than "people went on TV spouting an what turned out to be incorrect speculation instead of the speculation that turned out to be correct." I have to see that a reporter or blogger has done the hard work to either just support their position if not actual investigation. And then 2) these people obviously have seen neither my Facebook feed (which supposedly has the best filter) or my twitter recommendations. Because seriously, it makes me think these programmers are all drain bamaged. You know?! On Facebook I'm finally posting some political items (I've intentionally avoided that quagmire there) and I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain to "friends" (mostly coworkers) that where I'm posting from is somewhere very far down the conversation line from where they are at (such as having to explain to several people why "all lives matter" is now perceived as racially charged response to "black lives matter" - most of these people haven't seen that conversation nor had really engaged in it. Which maybe is proof that the "filter-bubble" is mostly working, but in one direction.
"We've spent a lot of time recently thinking about the idea of whiteness… Apparently, we're not alone. Our colleague Eyder Peralta noticed that the number of searches for the term 'white people' on Google has started to trend upward in recent months."
So, why do people say Trump is a racist/fascist? Well, here's a reddit long list of links categorized into the many, many ways we have developed that opinion. Just in case someone you know needs some justification. (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)
The Trumpster got his convention bounce. In the latest CNN/ORC poll, Trump is ahead 48 to 45. The margin of error is 3%. Again, remember the election is not a popularity contest, it's an electoral college contest. What's more worrisome in that poll is the affect of adding in the third party candidates. Hillary loose more points that the Trumpster. Before everybody gnashes their teeth or rends their favorite t-shirt, Hillary should also get a bounce from the convention this week. So odds are the Trumpsters lead will vanish by next Sunday.
Say, I don't seem to remember reporters doing stories on what Hillary thought of Mike Pence being the VP choice.
Now about those DNC emails. As I've said elsewhere, oh look, people who are political, who work in politics, whose jobs are to devise political action, they email each other about internal politics. Wow, who knew, right?
"He has steadied and rebuilt his financial empire with a heavy reliance on capital from Russia. At a minimum the Trump organization is receiving lots of investment capital from people close to Vladimir Putin." Wow, I'd love to say, "wacky conspiracy theory" but there's the research. Also, remember when Russian state actors broke into DNC computers to steal opposition research? And then there's the current thought that it was also Russian state actors who leaked the DNC emails to wikileaks. (TMP editorial link grokked from Chuck Wendig)
Have I mentioned the rumors that a Russian agency are the ones that leaked the DNC emails? Now the FBI is investigating (to be fair, they would investigate no matter who the suspicion fell on).
Some perspective on why support for the Trumpster is so strong from the rural poor. A little heavy on the conservative politics (which, hey, it's the American Conservative magazine after all), but still good points. I forget sometimes people don't come from a background of being poor. So they may not see why the Trumpsters hucksterism works so well. What this article doesn't talk about is that there a legions of people who prey on the poor, suck out the last dime they can get, all by peddling promises of something better. And that, to me, is the Trumpster. He's the guy that tells you "all good Christians should get in on this deal" in your church, or that "I made it so can you…, just join this multi-level marketing scheme…" all while he's reving up the getaway car. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)