What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Linkee-poo, someday we'll all be gone, but lullabies go on and on

It's interesting to me that much of the right-wing election ads this year (not for the campaigns) are not based on "Vote for Trump" but "Vote for Gun Rights", "I'm an Energy Voter" and other silliness. It's like they know they have a loser as a frontman.

On Hermione Granger, more than a sidekick. Also pretty good for a discussion of characters who aren't the POV, have their own arc and agency, versus this that exist just to support the main POV character. (Grokked from Fran Wilde)

"As one of the three major battles of the year 1066, the Battle of Fulford is often ignored in favour of the English victory over the Vikings at Stamford Bridge and the English loss against the Normans at Hastings… a 13th-century, Icelandic source connects this event to several interesting Anglo-Saxon anecdotes… written by the great Icelandic poet-scholar Snorri Sturluson around the year 1230." That ol' Snorri sure got around. "Snorri’s Heimskringla, naturally, is not the most trustworthy of sources when it comes to the events of the year 1066; nevertheless, I hope that some of the re-enactments in celebration of this year’s 950-year-memorial will feature flying, fiery pitchforks, Vikings crossings swamps over bridges made of people and, who knows, fork-bearing witch-wives riding wolves!" In re-enactment, it's all about the authenticity. (Grokked from Dr Caitlin Green)

XKCD's simple writer. Are your word choices too obscure for the audience? (Grokked from Dan)

"North Korea has only 28 registered domains, according to the leaked data." So, in North Korea, you could actually read the entire internet. (Grokked from Dan)

"An anti-vaccine mother explained how she changed her mind on inoculation after her own children became seriously ill from an easily prevented virus." Funny how when the shit hits the fan, it's easy to change one's opinion. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

There's a study out now that wearing a pedometer/fitness tracker compared to just tracking (and reporting) what you ate and exercised actually means you may lose less weight. Although the article is written from the viewpoint of "what, you mean just because I wear a fitbit that I won't automagically lose weight?" viewpoint, but still pretty good. Also matches to what I've experienced. The biggest benefit I get from my fitbit is noticing what days I do good and what days I don't move around enough, also for somewhat tracking sleep patterns.

"NASA will host a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa… Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa." This just in, "All these worlds are yours – except Europa. Attempt no landing there." (Grokked from Dan)

"Amazon often says it seeks to be 'Earth’s most customer-centric company.'… But in fact, the company appears to be using its market power and proprietary algorithm to advantage itself at the expense of sellers and many customers." As someone who still uses Amazon, yes, verily. Hell, I've found the exact same product listed in different manners, all sold and shipped from Amazon (so it's not like Amazon is just the fulfillment servicer) for different price points. Again, Amazon is not your friend. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

And now for something completely different, "(o)ld school speech synthesizers perform Monty Python's Argument sketch." (Grokked from Dan)

So, just how safe and reliable are those pipelines? "After a 330,000-gallon spill shut down a gasoline pipeline in Alabama Sept. 9, fuel shortages and high gas prices are occurring across the southern United States this week, NPR member stations report." Some governors have enacted emergency rules which will help them stop price gouging as some stations run dry. The pipeline supplies about 40% of all fuel for the southeastern coastal area.

And the "D'uh Award" goes to… "Black men who try to avoid an encounter with Boston police by fleeing may have a legitimate reason to do so — and should not be deemed suspicious — according to a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court." I kept trying to make this argument with people for the past 3 years. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"A Sikh bar owner in the US is being hailed as a hero for helping capture the 28-year-old Afghan-American wanted for the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey." Funny how I don't remember the media mentioning that. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

Senator Warren finally says it out loud to someone who is responsible. In this case, to CEO Stumpf during his testimony about how 5,300+ employees cheated Wells Fargo customers by opening fake accounts. Short version, "So, why do you still have a job and aren't in jail because of this?"

Well Fargo CEO John Stumpf is shocked, shocked that Senators would question him and judge him so harshly. Um, yeah. Well Fargo employees, under pressure to meet sales goals and either get a bonus, or be fired, violated fiduciary responsibility by opening new accounts for their customers and transferring balances without those customers' approval. Those customers not only then incurred fees from these unwanted and unasked for accounts, but then also had their FICO scores affected because of these fees (and late payments into accounts they didn't know about). This went on for over five years with the firing of over 5,300 employees. That's not a "we didn't know" situation. That's not a "we couldn't have seen how our sales goals were driving bad behavior" situation. This is a failure of management at best and intentional policy at worst. Yes, CEO Stumpf, you and your fellow executives should be asked to pony up the fines out of your own compensation (without readjustment or recompenses) because you directly benefitted from the results of your employee's criminal behavior and you can't say you didn't know. You should consider yourself lucky that the law would actually protect you from being tarred and feathered. Also, Dear other CEOs, the climate has changed, precipitated by the behavior of the whole. Might want to take that new calculus into consideration.

"Web's inventor and MIT prof explain ICANN to Ted Cruz, using small words." Cue up the bedroom-dual scene from The Princess Bride, "I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon."

"Trump used $258,000 from his 'charitable' non-profit organization to settle legal problems involving his for-profit businesses." Why isn't this guy in jail? Oh, and it seems clear to me the real reason Trumpster isn't going to release his taxes is because he isn't worth very much (definitely not his own bloviating number, but also probably not the independent estimates). He is probably running close to broke and is only staying afloat on the dynamics of cash flow. And for someone running on the platform of "Hey, I'm a successful business guy" that revelation would torpedo his campaign.

So, it turns out that not only was the use of the Skittles photo a violation of intellectual property, the photographer was a refugee himself. Seriously, my irony is going to get broken for all the times it's been this abused during the election. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)

That $20,000 portrait of the Trumpster has been found, it's hanging in his private resort. While ownership could still be interesting (little note here, some of the items in museums don't actually "belong" to the museum, they're just on "indefinite loan"), it's looking a lot more like self-dealing which is a no-no.

About that bowl of Skittles, this should pretty much be our response. If each of those Skittles were a life, and by eating the Skittle that would mean that people facing war instead would be brought to this country to live a life of (relative) peace and safety, yes. Yes we would eat the Skittles. And we would eat until we found that poison Skittle, because we would save so many other people. That's part of the whole "giving your life for others." (Grokked from Ann Leckie)

Tweet of my heart: @chrislhayes Again, swap in "Jews" for everything Trump and Co says about refugees, Muslims and immigrants it's immediately clear what they're doing. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

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