And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Linkee-poo works in the grocery store, saving his pennies for some day

Pro writers respond with the three things that helped them become writers. Besides "skill." Note the commonalities. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"And there are two hypotheses to why notetaking is beneficial in the first place. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, 'the processing that occurs' will improve 'learning and retention.' The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is that you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people." A good look at why taking notes by hand is more beneficial than typing notes. What is missed is that typing notes doesn't provide an extra avenue to learning, whereas physically forming the words by writing (drawing the letters) you create an additional path to that knowledge. You have a physical memory of writing and when you read your notes, you refresh all of those memories.

"The international Cassini spacecraft has detected the faint but distinct signature of dust coming from outside our Solar System." Bwa?! Damnit, it's not like I don't have enough to vacuum already. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Want to know how little we really understand about our food and our bodies? "A new study finds the the dairy fats found in milk, yogurt and cheese may help protect against Type 2 diabetes… And there's some evidence that dairy fat may help adults manage weight as well." And then they go on to say "Researchers can't fully explain these counter-intuitive findings." That's because we think we know things that we really don't. Our relationship with food is quite complex, but we have only a simplest understanding of it. We think we understand calories; carbs, fats and proteins, but there's a whole lot more to food that those (of which we lump most of rest in "flavonoids"). This is one of the reasons I'm highly suspicious of GMO foods. We really don't know how food works, but we're going to mess with it (note famous blunders like the introduction of corn to the European market or the more recent eggs and cholesterol research).

Sure, we don't need the Voting Rights Act to make sure that minority and low-income voters aren't disenfranchised. Because that would never happen.

"The legislation currently under consideration in the Republican-led Senate would cut in half a monthly housing allowance for veterans’ children who attend college on their parents’ GI bill." Fuckers. Pointed to just in case you believe the line about conservatives loving our soldiers.

Why school funding in this country is so screwed up. The short answer is we rely on local property taxes. So look at the first part of that story, one system spends $9,794 per student and the other $28,639, the national average is $11,841.What that means is more schools are spending closer to that bottom figure than those who are spending at the top. Conservatives call the deficit immoral because we're burdening our progeny with our debt, but what we're actually doing to the next generation is way worse. We aren't giving them the tools to actually succeed.

Part of the reason China claims most of the South China Sea, fishing rights.

"The ability to intercept (anyone's) cellphone calls through the SS7 network is an open secret among the world’s intelligence agencies — including ours — and they don’t necessarily want that hole plugged." Your government at work. (Grokked from Dan)

"The Pentagon misled Congress with inaccurate and vague information about sexual assault cases that portrayed civilian law enforcement officials as less willing than military commanders to punish sex offenders, an Associated Press investigation found." This is my shocked face.

What will be very interesting for this election cycle, is there has never been contested political convention in the age of the internet, 24/7 news cycle, and social media. So what had been back (smoke filled) room maneuvering is now out in the open. I wonder what this will do to those machinations.

"This isn't some back-in-the-day, old-folks-exaggerating type of story… the marsh of Louisiana's fragile coast is disappearing at a mind-blowing rate… A football field of land, on average, falls into the Gulf each hour." I'm sure it'll be okay. "Shortsighted government officials have strangled the Mississippi River with so many dams and levees that it doesn't deliver the soil that's needed to rebuild the marshes… Oil and gas canals and pipelines, meanwhile, have carved up what's left of the marsh… And global warming is delivering the knockout punch… Because as the marsh crumbles, the seas also are rising." I know, let's dredge up sand and rebuild, because that'll work. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Just in case you don't think Ted Cruz is a delusional whackaloon, he thinks he's have a productive relationship with Congress. You know, the place where people hate him. As in gone on TV shows to say how much they hate him. "Just four of Cruz's colleagues in the Senate have endorsed his presidential bid, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who once joked that the Texas senator could be killed on the floor of the Senate and nobody would be convicted." That place.

Reading the tea leaves on the electorate. And as an added spice, some consternation for what it means in the general. Note that almost any polling at this point means actually diddly for the general election.

NC Gov. Pat McCrory is confused and bewildered by this late 20th century life he finds himself living in. See, it wasn't the NC State Law that stripped protections from LGBT people that was bad, it was the city of Charlotte that passed a law that would enforce protections for them that was in the wrong. Also the "Human Rights Campaign" isn't playing fair. "'They are putting on a lot of pressure, instead of having good dialogue,' McCrory said." Dear Gov. McCrory, you're an idiot and an asshole. I feel sorry for the people who live in NC who will suffer the economic ramifications of your ignorant and homophobic ideology. The South is about to be left behind, again.

The House GOP is going to come up with their Obamacare replacement Any Time Now. "'Give us a little time, another month or so,' House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) told reporters…" Yeah, Fred, sure. You take as long as you need to. In the mean time, we have a working solution. It would be nice if you all were adult and we could fix some of the problems with it, but you keep puttering in your shed. I'm sure you'll get it done. Sometime. Maybe.

Dear Texas, just fucking go, already. You're like the libertarians always threatening to "Go Gault." Just do it. You're a drain on the national economy, and other states would love to have your military bases and wouldn't freak about Jade Helm. Just go. What would happen if they succeeded from the Union, and the rest of us just didn't care enough to try and bring them back in?

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