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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Linkee-poo you're a boy make a big noise, playing in the street gonna be a big man some day

Alpha Centari in a few decades. "Together with a team of scientists, (Physicist Stephen Hawking and billionaire Yuri Milner) suggest that within a generation, humans could send a probe to Alpha Centauri — more than 4.3 light-years away, or 25 trillion miles — on a trip that would take just over two decades." Um, you're catching flies with that open mouth. Hey, look, light sails. I wonder if the Planetary Society is involved? Okay, while the concept is cool, we'll also need ultra-small power supplies, because while the laser may be able to "push" the vehicle, the inverse square law will prevent it from powering the vehicle and any really long distance. Also, you'll need a sophisticated guidance system because if you start with even the millionth of a degree off, if you're unable to correct, you're going to miss the target by a lot four light-years down the line. But, yeah, were's the fucking kickstarter on this puppy?

In case you thought the Sad (and Rabid) Puppies were just a US phenomena, I give you the rant against the London Book Fair. Someone needs a Snickers bar and a fresh nappy. I'm sure he's mostly pissed because he's not the first entry to come up in Goggle when I searched his name. (Grokked from Mrs. Tadd)

"It's puzzling that so many Americans are choosing to arm themselves at a time when the FBI tells us violent crime and property crime have been falling dramatically for two decades." It really isn't puzzling. "'I pay attention to different people, weird people, maybe stereotype people,' says Sam Blackburn… What is he looking for, specifically?… 'Gangbanger-looking guys, maybe guys that look like they're up to no good or somebody that may think they're a Muslim extremist or something like that'." And that pretty much wraps it up. "A gun in the home? The owner may have it primarily for hunting or target-shooting. A concealed gun out in public? It goes with the explicit understanding that the owner may kill someone they feel threatened by."

A study finds almost half of Alzheimer's cases are due to hyperinsulinemia. Whoa. If this holds up, that could be big. As someone who was diagnosed with hyperinsulinemia, fuck. Yes, I use glucophage (metformin) to control it (we're back to normal levels). I think I was diagnosed very early (no other symptoms of Type II have shown themselves) as I went to the doctor within a month of noticing a change in my body. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

A small town in Italy, facing it's own demise, welcomes refugees from around the world. And by doing so, revitalizes their economy and the life of the village. Why? Because they played in reality instead of the politics of fear. Humans have been in a state of migration for the past few millennia. I keep waiting to see if Greece would discover this for themselves (many Syrian refugees hold advance degrees and are highly entrepreneurial). What they think of as a problem could actually be the solution to their other real problem (their economy).

"Whether you’re coming home from an airport fluttering with international germs, a daycare full of sticky-fingered toddlers, or just a grimy office building, scrubbing your hands with bacteria-busting soap seems like a great idea. But the data that have washed up on the cleansers in recent years suggest that they actually do more harm than good—for you, those around you, and the environment." And those Purell type hand "sanitizers" are worse. Hey, remember when we added lead to paint to make it last longer, and to gas to stop the knock? Good times, good times. (Grokked from Sarah Goslee)

"Warm, wet conditions rapidly kicked off the (Greenland) melt season this weekend, more than a month-and-a-half ahead of schedule. It has easily set a record for earliest melt season onset, and marks the first time it’s begun in April." I'm sure it's nothing to be worried about. "'We had to check that our models were still working properly' Peter Langen, a climate scientist at the Denmark Meteorological Institute (DMI), told the Polar Portal." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Democracy Spring. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, but I agree with their stated objectives (dark money out of politics, campaign finance reform, restoration of the full Voters Rights Act, and an end to gerrymandering to create "safe" seats). It will be interesting to see if they can keep the pressure on.

"I'm from Canada, so they think I'm slow, eh." That's one of my favorite quotes from The Simpsons, and I often repeat it in real life (including horrible Canadian accent). But it's not that far from the truth. "Imagine you're back in school, bored to death, with limited academic options. Because you're learning English, everybody assumes you're not ready for more challenging work. What they don't realize is that you're gifted." Very few "gifted" programs test English Learner students (hell, the barely test "non-whites" and those who "aren't the right sort of people" at all in my experience), although that may be (slowly, very slowly) changing. States still aren't fully funding these programs (they're barely funding education at all). And we wonder why our kids are having a hard time and why we're struggling to compete on an international level.

Fall out from the NC law, "'That's because the law virtually eliminated the North Carolina prohibition on discrimination based on, in Rick's case, age, disability.'" In case you may be wondering why people are calling it a law to endorse discrimination. (Grokked form John Scalzi)

What's fair and what could happen at this summer's RNC in Cleveland? I wonder when people will start looking into the rules for the Democratic Convention being contested?

"Longtime Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly says the group she founded 44 years ago to promote a conservative agenda is trying to oust her because she endorsed Donald Trump… 'It’s disloyal and it’s terribly shocking, and I’m completely depressed about it'…" Yeah, shoes are starting to drop all over. Although this could be rewritten to say, "Longtime GOP operative who pitted conservatives against each other in a race for ideological purity and preserving xenophobia is upset now that people question her ideological purity." This is what's known as having ousted the supposed RINOs and the other moderates, they have no one else to practice those policies and procedures on except each other.

What happens when the politics of a major party becomes uncoupled from the shared reality. This is what we used to call "the bubble." And it is one sure way to torpedo our future. And understand, while this story is just about that uncoupling within the US, our allies are also wondering just WTF is going on over here.

"From Indiana to Colorado to Tennessee, those involved in the delegate selection process are receiving harassment and even death threats from Trump fans who believe that the system has been 'rigged' against the real estate mogul." Kinda sucks when those political games are turned on the people who thought they were immune from such actions and that it was okay to do it to those other people. Or, the Röhm Putsch/Great Purge of the ranks is coming. Whom is on the winning side and how bloody it gets depends on when it happens. I don't really expect gangland style killings in the street, but the political aftermath might be as scorched Earth as if there were. History may not repeat, but damn this is a strong rhyme. And is there a difference if the threats of violence bring about the same result (removing internal dissent and making sure the proles keep to the party line)?

That time Ted Cruz defended the Texas law banning the sale of dildos. Won't that make a fun opposition commercial in the general election? (Grokked from Joe Hill)

Tweet of my heart: @leeflower Might I suggest that the generation that invented SNORTING PIXIE STIX kindly abstain from judging the youth of today.

Hahahahaha… wait a second…

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