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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Linkee-poo likes Sir David Attenborough but thought Boaty McBoatface was bitchin'

Agent DongWon Song is open for submissions.

Not feeling it? Okay, here's a Writer's Block Supercut from 53 movies. Now are you feeling it?

So, uh, oil sands can't burn, can they? Although, all that processed oil stored on the surface sure will. Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada is where the oil sands are, the very place the US still imports the majority of it's oil from. Yeah, it's on fire. IIRC the oil sands can't actually catch fire on their own. But if I'm wrong our largest source of imported oil may experience something like a coal seam fire. Is it time to panic, yet?

I would say this is completely an unintended consequence of strict adherence to center based design. But I know designers. Somewhere, one of us is giggling madly. (Grokked from Wil Wheaton)

"With the rules that were more than two years in the making, the (FDA) is expanding its authority over e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco, in much the same way it already regulates traditional cigarettes." Just in case you thought the government over regulated business. No, not really. It's playing catch up.

Two in a row. SpaceX sticks the landing, again.

"Apple executive Phil Schiller gave Apple users a grammar lesson on Twitter yesterday afternoon, explaining that it isn't necessary to pluralize Apple product names." Actually this is to protect trademark and branding and is quite common. That is, they aren't Kleenexes, but Kleenex facial tissues. I say we need to develop plural names like gaggle or murder. (Grokked from Dan)

Because, yeah, if you let kids walk past abortion clinics on the way to school they may think of them as normal places. Which is at odds with what stuffy old white men want them to think. Because we want the kids to think of abortion services as bad places they may need to shoot up in the future. So we'll stop talking about it as well.

The Planet Money podcast on the insidious problem of tax rebates offered to businesses. Why should you care when you're business isn't one of those that often relocates to keep from paying any taxes? Because your taxes need to go up to cover those tax breaks (or suffer from cut services, or have your government go into debt). And it's just one state or city poaching jobs from other states and cities.

Computerize everything, they said. Nothing could go wrong, they said. What could it hurt if the device you're using to supervise heart catheterization decides to reboot in the middle of a procedure because a networked computer's anti-virus software was scanning a hard drive? (Grokked from Dan)

"It's not that Kaiser doesn't enjoy her job, which pays a decent salary after 10 years and even provides small raises every year. But like many millions of Americans, she finds that the raises she gets are pretty much eaten up by rising expenses, leaving her with a standard of living that's essentially flat." What wage stagnation is and looks like, why it's feeding the Trump and Sanders candidacies, and the problems that come with it. I know, I have a feeling I'm preaching to the choir here. At 50 I have a day job that pays well and did give me a decent raise (when they realized I could make as much at my new career as they were paying me). However, for the past 3 years my "raise" has been folded into our so-called "profit sharing" plan. Which, if we were at 100% target revenue would be very nice, but we've never been at 100% since they instituted the plan which basically means, no raise for the past 3 years. At the night thing the hospital realized they were losing good people and couldn't attract good employees to replace them, so they recently did a bump to the bottom minimum wage (which trickled up and gave us new people a nice raise, which hasn't been reflected in our checks yet, it'll be next month), but didn't move the top-line of the pay categories (which means their "best, long-term" employees are still wage locked). BTW, with my CT certification plus the hourly raise, plus a hopeful cost of living bump, a potential "full-time" recruitment bump, and the shift differential (for working afternoons and overnight) I've effectively evened out the "good raise" the day job gave me (and my current bosses aren't looking in the same direction my previous bosses were, so I doubt they'd either know or care). From my experience, the best pay increases only come with changing jobs. Let that be a lesson to the kids, and to the management. If you don't increase you pay with more than cost of living, you're going to lose the people who can get other jobs and the game of suppressing wages though "comparison rates" is about to break down.

"The first Navy drone ship is… known as Sea Hunter, which cost around $120 million to build. The military says more can now be produced for $20 million or so each. But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these 'robot ships' could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America's enemies to attack the United States." Or, you know, taken over by Skynet.

Why are low-information voters/citizens a Bad Idea™? Because with low-information citizens shit like this happens. A police officer is called to a school cafeteria when a 13-year old tries to pay for lunch with a $2 bill. Cop then has to go to store and bank only to be told that, yeah, $2 bills are legit (and have been for DECADES now). Oh, and then the cop never apologized to the kid even though he caused her to miss lunch and threatened her and her grandmother with counterfeiting charges. That's special.

"'We will take no action by Monday,' (North Carolina state House Speaker Tim Moore (R)) told reporters… 'That deadline will come and go. We don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date. That’s not how this works.'" Actually, yeah, that is how this works.

The Trumpster wants to bring Joe Paterno back (we're assuming here he means to bring the statue back to Penn State, Joe Paterno being dead and all). Yeah, that might not be a good idea. According to Penn State's insurer, Paterno knew about Sandusky's proclivities toward children all the way back to the 70s. So, no, they're not going to pay out for the lawsuits.

Tweet of my heart: @ivan_hernandez I'm proBernie but would vote Hillary as I am a one issue voter and that issue is not opening the seventh seal and ushering in the apocalypse

Double-dip: @shawnp0wers While art is rarely the "how" behind the progression of a society, it's almost always the "why". #DeepThoughtsByShawn

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