Two articles on Medieval Urbanism for your world building needs. (Grokked from Steven Brust)
As Dr. Allen Chamberlain said in the Mummy, "You must not read from the book!" The Chicago library is seeking help to transcribe magical texts. Or as someone commented, "Haven't these people seen any horror movies?" Oh, and they put the texts online. (Grokked from Marie Vibbert)
"But the new study… paints perchlorates in a different light. The researchers exposed the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, a common spacecraft contaminant, to perchlorates and UV radiation at levels similar to those found at and near the Martian surface… The bacterial cells lost viability within minutes in Mars-like conditions, the researchers found. And the results were even more dramatic when (they) added iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide, two other common components of Martian regolith, to the mix…" Whelp, that throws a wrench into the terraforming works. Although then they end with, "B. subtilis is a garden-variety microbe, not an "extremophile" adapted to survive in harsh conditions, the researchers said." So, never mind.
"'This is such a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen to anyone else,' said O’Guinn. 'And we want something good to come out of this as awareness of not using your cell phone in the bathroom as it is plugged in and charging.'" Good tip. You could also help prevent this by having building codes requiring GFI protected outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, anywhere there is a sink or standing/flowing water.
Whelp, someone figured out they might die a death of a thousand cuts if Net Neutrality were removed. Why is Net Neutrality on the table again? Because some people think they can make more money without it (including politicians), and the ISPs are chaffing with having been classified under Title II. This is a battle of whose money will win. There's only one outcome that benefits the citizenry (and really our economy), but that's the position under assault here.
Hey, remember that elevated bus thing that was all the rage in China? "In China, a futuristic new kind of urban transport that its promoters claimed would beat traffic jams appears to have gone off the rails. That became clear when police arrested the people behind the project for suspected fraud last week."
"A Pew poll released Monday shows that Republicans’ views of higher education institutions have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since 2015." It's that "critical thinking" thing that's a problem. See, when conservative blowhards come to campus, those kids with critical thinking skills tend to protest. And this causes conservatives to think they're right to free speech is under attack. Which, for these people's speech to be under attack and suppressed we certainly hear a lot from them.
Of a related note: "A debate has broken out at the Pentagon and in Congress over a proposal to dismantle an eight-year-old program that gives fast track citizenship to immigrant soldiers who were recruited because they have critical skills in languages and medicine." Well, 1) that's a fine way to cut off your nose to spite your face, 2) what a nice way to say "fuck you" to people who have helped us, and 3) conservatives, you're either going to have to embrace advanced education or increasing immigration to bring in skilled people.
And on another education note: "DeBoer is among 14,000 teachers in Oklahoma being trained to instruct a K through 12 education curriculum funded by the oil and gas industry. The lesson plans, created by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, have been used in Kansas, and the overall model has been pitched to at least five other states." While it's not like having the Tobacco Council sponsoring and writing curriculum for high school health classes, it is like having the Beef Industry Council writing your high school nutrition (and home economics) courses. While there is a major problem with schools graduating students ready to go into industries (and that is a whole different discussion), this is one of the potential problems with having industry help develop curriculum. Note, "Representatives from the local chapter of the Sierra Club say they have met with the state's Energy and Environment Secretary to ask if the state will include lessons about climate change and renewable energy." Yeah, probably not. So, not only are we not giving the kids all the information, we're streamlining them into careers that will be mostly dead in 20 years or so (note, we still make buggy whips, no matter how much we deride them, and we'll still need coal for metallurgy and oil for plastics as well as other things, but there will be a lot fewer people working those jobs).
"Since President Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, hundreds of U.S. mayors have said they're committed to significantly cutting their cities' carbon emissions. More than 30 cities, including Atlanta and San Diego, have declared 100 percent renewable energy goals in the coming decades."
"'He admitted to doing the criminal act and said he regretted it,' Lt. Rocheleau said. 'He said the reason he did do it was to show support towards Trump by having the other side bash him, to show how the other side is basically crazy enough to go and write stuff on a school playground.'" Yeah, I guess we now know which side is basically crazy enough to go and write stuff on a school playground… jackass.
Whelp, I think I know where the next Trump Hotel is going in. Seriously, there is a whole fucking office staff devoted to making and coordinating the travel plans of the president. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)
In case you thought one of the reasons that the GOP was trying to repeal Obamacare wasn't about taxes, you might want to think again.
"Since May, hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries." I feel so much safer now. "'We never anticipated that our critical infrastructure control systems would be facing advanced levels of malware,' (Jon Wellinghoff, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) said." sneezeBULLSHITsneeze (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)
Hello, Mike from Montclair… The man who would have been president (or at least wanted to be).
Just gonna drop this here. "President Donald Trump announced Saturday at the G-20 summit that the U.S. has pledged $50 million to the World Bank's fund spurring women entrepreneurs, a program supported by his daughter Ivanka Trump." Now, except for the inclusion of his daughter, I would wholly support this. However, his daughter is directly involved. While she's part of a group, she still stands to benefit. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)
"The Times on Sunday reported that the president's eldest son was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in New York on June 9, 2016." Well, that's a pretty heavy shoe that just dropped. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)
"Donald Trump Jr. was informed ahead of a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer that material damaging to Hillary Clinton that he was offered was 'part of a Russian government effort to aid his father's candidacy,' the New York Times reported Monday evening." Dun dun duuuuun. "The meeting was also attended by Trump's then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort… and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who now serves as a White House senior adviser… Politico reported earlier Monday that Trump Jr.'s actions and statements 'put him potentially in legal cross hairs for violating federal criminal statutes prohibiting solicitation or acceptance of anything of value from a foreign national, as well as a conspiracy to defraud the United States,' and he, Manafort and Kushner 'may have also exposed themselves to future blackmail threats,' according to legal experts." And this defense of "I didn't know who was in the meeting…" OMG people. This is how lawyers make bank for their retirements.
And now, Russia official media is more than happy to toss all the Trump family under the bus. As I said it last year, the Russians are not interested in getting Trump elected. They are interested in sowing chaos and bringing America to its knees. There are rumors they're running arms to the Taliban. Why do that when they have their own problems with extremist terrorism? Because they want to give us the humiliation of losing Afghanistan exactly like we did to them in the 80s. That the Trump administration is a willing dupe and is helping them in so many ways is just gravy. It's an unexpected benefit. Their goal is to break us they way we broke the Soviet Union in the late 80s. The 80s keep coming back. Guess when Putin rose to power from a local KGB officer in Eastern Europe? The 80s.