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

Monday, August 1, 2016

Linkee-poo heard you on my wireless back in '52

"When the Chevalier d’Eon left France in 1762, it was as a diplomat, a spy in the French king’s service, a Dragoon captain, and a man. When he returned in July 1777, at the age of 49, it was as a celebrity, a writer, an intellectual, and a woman—according to a declaration by the government of France." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Sometimes a child can be too gifted, and many teachers just can't handle that and the system isn't set up to handle them. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

"Superhead who claimed Britain's education was broken puts pupils in detention at lunch and restricts food if their parents have failed to pay for school meals." Nothing like blaming the poor for being poor by stigmatizing their children. (Grokked from Julie)

You might remember pundits making the position that Tesla isn't so much a car company as an alternative-power company. Well now Tesla is going to buy SolarCity (both companies run by Elon Musk). Any questions? (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"At least 80 skeletons have been discovered in an ancient Greek cemetery which dates back to between 5th-8th century BC. With their wrists clamped in iron shackles, archeeologists believe that these are the remains of victims who died in a mass execution." Lots of picture of skeletons in shackles, which seems weird because once the person was dead, why keep them shackled? (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

"Around 30 million images of child abuse have been recovered as part of a crackdown by police in Scotland, officials announced Friday… The six-week operation between June and July identified some 500 victims or 'potential victims' aged between 3 and 18, and resulted in 77 people being charged, Police Scotland said in a statement." Six weeks and 30 million images. That has to be soul crushing.

"Fifty years later, it’s hard to remember why her idea seemed so disturbing. Today, eight out of 10 women learn they are pregnant from a drugstore device." On the rise of the home pregnancy test and what life was like before Roe v Wade (and exactly where the pro-life movement wants to return us). All of that social consternation, now 40 years down the line, and it's still a controversy (and the same arguments are used for other medical issues). (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

"Monsanto created dicamba-resistant soybeans (and cotton) in an effort to stay a step ahead of the weeds… spraying Roundup to kill weeds isn't working so well anymore, because weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate. Adding genes for dicamba resistance, so the thinking went, would give farmers the option of spraying dicamba as well… There was just one hitch in the plan… The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the new dicamba weedkiller that Monsanto created for farmers to spray on its new dicamba-resistant crops." So farmers are spraying the old formulation, which isn't allowed by the FDA because it too easily blows onto other fields (and into people's lungs). "… (S)ome scofflaw farmers did try to take advantage of it by spraying dicamba on their soybean fields. Swaths of vulnerable soybeans on neighboring fields are showing the damage… There also are reports of damage to vegetable crops." Monsanto, fucking over the environment and farming since 1980. "Weed scientists from the University of Arkansas believe that the new version of dicamba also could damage nearby soybean fields. So if any farmers are permitted to use it on soybeans, other farmers may be forced to buy Monsanto's dicamba-resistant soybean varieties just to protect themselves.… There's one final and, for farmers, unwelcome twist to this story… there's new evidence that the (dicamba) may quickly become ineffective."

"Ryan Bundy claimed that he was a 'idiot of the Legal Society' in documents filed to U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, as Oregon Public Broadcasting reported." Well, yes, we can see that. But as for being a Sovereign Citizen and therefore not subject to Federal Law, well, let's refer back to that idiot part. I expect there will be a mandatory competency hearing, where you'll be found "sane" and then you'll have the trial and (most likely) go to jail.

An armed society is a polite society. Just don't challenge anybody about their racial slurs, cause they might shoot you. In my head this is tied into the original reason for the 2nd Amendment (slave posses). (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

A history of the "law and order" dog-whistle, its use by campaigns and its racist overtones.

"A federal appeals court has struck down North Carolina’s voter identification law, holding that it was 'passed with racially discriminatory intent.'" Yeah, about that last part… (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Remind me to go spit on Scalia's grave.

The hyena men of Malawi. Men paid to have sex with girls after their first menstruation as a way to ritually "clean" them. One admitted to having HIV on the BBC.

Remember which part supports our troops and veterans. And it isn't the conservative party. Conservative Erick Erickson criticizes Ann Coulter for dissing Khizr Khan who son died in our wars. I guess Mr. Khan must not have had enough yellow-ribbon magnets are his car to please her. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

John Scalzi on the Democrat's turn at the wheel. "… (T)he mere, simple competence of it, even with its concomitant drama, is like a cool glass of water after a hard wander in the desert." I agree with most everything, except when the Republicans are going. My guess is if they get a drubbing, Reince will stand before the crowd holding his 2012 Post-Mortem and shout, "I told you fuckers!" And then there will be a split. I don't know, maybe it's my hopefulness that the GOP will actually toss the Social Conservatives and the Southern Strategy and reforge themselves into something worthy of the praise they heap upon the rotting corpse of Zombie Reagan (note the Real Reagan is not the one the worship).

But I will also second the end of John's post, if you're not registered to vote and you're eligible, register to vote. I will also say, I don't care whom you vote for (well, I do, I think that's obvious, but for registering to vote I don't). Democracy only works when you participate. And if you are registered to vote, please check your status. Since 4 years ago the conservatives have been busy. Also, make sure you have the documentation needed to vote so you have it ready. Don't just assume. Check it.

Fact checking Clinton's speech. I'm not exactly sure what has happened to fact checking, but this is better than the ones I had seen of the Trumpster's speech.

"Several independent studies have confirmed what is intuitively obvious: Hillary Clinton receives more negative press coverage than Donald Trump. The national media seem stumped by Trump, seeking false “balance” (and clicks) out of deference to his voters. Yet somehow, that deference is absent in Hillary’s case; she and her voters are maligned and marginalized at every turn." This is something I've been intuiting, but haven't taken the time to really suss out. This "open letter to the media" does some of that sussing. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

I've had this sneaking suspicion that there is a conservative operation that has rooms of social media commentators/trolls that coordinate their support and attacks. This is one of the reasons why. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Tweet of my heart: @VesselOfSpirit you may not think your brain is a supervillain. but 1) its called Brain and 2) it lives in a skull fortress

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