Missed posting about Gene Wilder's death yesterday. So far 2016 has been a pretty terrible year.
The Wallace Collection has an conference called "All Depends Upon the Brave: Recent Research into Museum Collections of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour." Okay, so they still call it them "Oriental Arms and Armour"… but OMG would I love to be there for that. (Grokked from Tania)
Well, this should make you feel better about butt dialing your ex.
The Invisibilia podcast on the secret emotional life of clothes. This is a part of the various folk lore about clothing; "the clothes make the man", "dress for the position you want", and the prevalence of uniforms in all forms of work. Also, at least for me there is a special feeling which comes from having just showered and putting on clean clothes, which is the same as sleeping on fresh sheets.
Two post on sail-power, one highlighting some sail-freight operations around the world and another post on making a sail-powered container ship. All very interesting (and part of my world building in the Bladesman universe), but what I don't see is something that attacks what makes huge cargo-container ships profitable (even given the losses they occur every year), being able to transit hundreds of containers with a minimal crew is very cost effective. It is possible to build huge sail ships (even sail-assisted ships would be nice), but you're not going to navigate your Panamax ship through the locks with sails. So you're going to need the big engines, and adding sails would be considered an extra capital expense (even if it would save fuel costs over the life of the ship). Until corporations can think beyond the next quarterly profit statement, these will mostly be niche vessels serving places that the newer, larger ships can't dock. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
And in other shipping news, "Ship designers, their operators and regulators are gearing up for a future in which cargo vessels sail the oceans with minimal or even no crew. Advances in automation and ample bandwidth even far offshore could herald the biggest change in shipping since diesel engines replaced steam." To be fair, most cargo ships these days are already highly automated and most sail with crews of less than 20. But, yeah, this is an industry that is in love with shaving costs to maximize profits, so even those people are way too many. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)
"A French medical study reported at the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong Kong found that using iPads to reduce anxiety levels in children prior to surgery was every bit as effective as the sedative midazolam." Well, there you go. Note they're not saying it affected them exactly like giving them midazolam, but that it was as effective in calming them and relieving stress. (Grokked from Dan)
"There’s this notion out there that unions are great for union members, and that’s pretty much it. But a new report from the Economic Policy Institute looks at how the decline in labor unions has affected non-union workers." And unions know this. When they're fighting for their contracts, they know they're fighting for everyone else as well (no matter how much the news spins them as "greedy" - which is how the companies prepare their press releases). And with the decline of unions since the 70s (gee, isn't that when wage stagnation started? Funny that) "'We’re talking about over $100 billion a year in lost wages.'"
"69% of Trump voters (in North Carolina) think that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged, to only 16% who think it would be because she got more vote than Trump. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn't existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton. That shows the long staying power of GOP conspiracy theories." According to this Public Policy Polling poll done in early August. (Grokked indirectly from Robert J Bennett)
The US Department of Agriculture closed offices in five states due to specific threats. To which, I'm sure, some people will cheer… right up until their crop subsidy payments stop being processed and their crop insurance doesn't pay out (and local communities are unable to get help processing grant applications and administer grants they already have).
Sen. Grassley basically states what we all know was going to happen (which was why my advice was to make Merrick Garland's nomination void on Nov. 7th). Yes, he'll be approved in a lame duck session because if Hillary wins they won't want her nominations, and frankly the Trumpster frightens the shit out of them (because who knows what lunatic he might actually propose once in office). Next up, why the TPP vote will come in early December…
"But the mogul's New York modeling agency, Trump Model Management, has profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here, according to three former Trump models, all noncitizens, who shared their stories with Mother Jones. Financial and immigration records included in a recent lawsuit filed by a fourth former Trump model show that she, too, worked for Trump's agency in the United States without a proper visa." Oopsie. (Grokked from TPM)