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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Linkee-poo, all your choices make you change your mind, now your calendar is complete

"Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew."

"A new report suggests a high school graduation crisis could be coming in Ohio. More than a third of the state’s high schoolers have not yet scored what they need to in order to get their diploma. Education leaders and teachers believe the clock is ticking down to that potential disaster, and are begging for help." Our conservative lead government strikes again.

SpaceX announces it will launch 4000+ satellites to provide high-speed broadband to the world. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"'It’s about 20C [36 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean, along with cold anomalies of about the same magnitude over north-central Asia,' Jennifer Francis, an Arctic specialist at Rutgers University, said by email Wednesday." We're boned. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

So you may be asking yourself, why is science denialism and/or lack of general scientific knowledge a bad thing? "Via a Freedom of Information Act request, Yellowstone National Park recently reported the tragic details of an accident last summer, where a 23 year old man dissolved after an illegal attempt to bathe in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. He had gone 200 yards past the legal tourism area with his sister, who was recording on her cell phone when the incident happened. Luckily, that video has not been released." That's why. Having been to that exact area, there are signs warning you away. Read any of the interpretive signs in the park and you will see where the pools are listed as very hot and acidic (especially in the Norris Geyser basin).

"Water testing in the Cleveland Municipal School District has uncovered dangerously high levels of lead in samples taken from drinking fountains, sinks and other water sources in 60 older school buildings, the district reported today." While they've brought in water and are replacing fixtures, there's a few decades of kids getting water poisoning. While the story notes that most lead poisoning is from the home, I don't believe that's ever actually been verified and is merely just assumed.

"Workit is an Android app from OUR Walmart, a pro-labor/pro-union organization: it allows Walmart workers to ask questions about Walmart policy and employee rights… Walmart has warned its employees that Workit is sucking up their personally identifying information, handing out incorrect answers to their questions, and abusing their trust." Just in case you thought Walmart was softening on worker's rights in this higher employment economy.

"A Minnesota mother is suing her teenage child for transitioning from male to female without her permission." And you think your Thanksgiving was going to be awkward.

"Several current and former Facebook employees tell NPR there is a lot of internal turmoil about how the platform does and doesn't censor content that users find offensive. And outside Facebook, the public is regularly confounded by the company's decisions — around controversial posts and around fake news." So while it's supposed to be an algorithm, it's actually an army of subcontractors. "In 2010, the sources say, the team had a couple hundred workers in five countries. Facebook found it needed more hands on deck… Sources say the team is now several thousand people, with some of the largest offices in Manila, the Philippines, and Warsaw, Poland… a worker makes a decision about a piece of flagged content once every 10 seconds."

How cons and grifter work. Linked to because, oh, I don't know, something something President-elect something something. (Grokked from Fred Clark)

"Vandals targeted a California woman who wears a headscarf for health reasons in a Monday attack, smashing the rear window of her car and leaving a note that read 'Hijab Wearing Bitch.'" Okay, look, hate is not rational. We shouldn't expect hate mongers to have the ability to see levels of grey, and say, "Well, maybe this person really has a medical condition instead of being in a group we hate." Hell, they can't even recognize proper head gear. This is just another reason why hate groups, hateful speech, and general racists fucks can't be tolerated (you know, other than they're racists fucktards). Also noted that when I had to wear head gear, even when I was in the hospital (which has a number of people who wear similar), I was given looks and some patients would withdraw as I came into a room.

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Digital Security Tips for Protesters builds on its indispensable Surveillance Self Defense guide for protesters with legal and technical suggestions to protect your rights, your data, and your identity when protesting."

"Political commentator David Gergen attempted to normalize conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in light of recent rumors that she may become White House press secretary, saying that Americans have to give her a chance." No I don't, actually. BTW, just a reminder, this was the West Wing's take on Laura Ingraham IIRC.

Hey, remember when Trump said he wouldn't change Medicare of Social Security (note, repealing Obamacare affects Medicaid, which is a side branch of Medicare). "Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the budget committee, told reporters on Thursday that Republicans are eyeing major changes to Medicare in 2017." Why? Because Medicare puts the lie to conservative talking points about how "industry and competition always leads to lower prices and better service." I can't wait for them to say they'll give tax incentives to buy regular insurance and the news media doesn't counter with "Most people on Social Security, who also have Medicare, don't make enough income to file tax returns." (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"In the wake of his party's significant losses across the Rust Belt in last week's elections, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is stepping up to challenge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's nearly 14-year grip on the House Democratic caucus." While there's a lot of consternation about the Democrats forming another firing-squad circle (hey, we're really good at it, back off), I also think that political leaderships should be regularly challenged. I also believe that a lot of how we form parties and decide and appoint leadership needs to be changed. As long as these people who run for these internal offices continue to advocate for their platforms no matter the determination of the final election (and realize that we're all fighting for the same thing, what this is boils down to a change of focus, not of goals).

No no no, this election wasn't about racism at all. "Surely, even in these fractured times, just about everyone could agree on an antislavery measure." Only not so much. Sure, sure, let's blame it on the referendum language.

"Michigan officials will fight federal court order to deliver bottled water in Flint." Oh, fuckstockings. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

For news media who seem confused about how to handle a Lying/Post-Truth president or any disinformation campaign, this is how you do it. "News Outlets Amplify False Claim Trump Saved Ford Plant From Moving To Mexico." The NYT and NPR got good mentions by actually saying it was a false claim in their headlines. So, Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, did you actually call Trump?

Tweet of my heart: @KameronHurley There's so much bad going on so fast that it can be overwhelming; that's by design. Just pick 3 things every week. One, two, three, break.

Double Dip: ‏@MildlyAmused Still trying. This is like when you to call in to the radio station to win a prize, only the prize is saving democracy. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

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