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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Linkee-poo on a long weekend

I know I've said this before here (can't remember the last time), but science is not immune from observational bias. "A set of ancient footprints has been found on a Greek island. They are extremely old – 5.7 million years – yet they seem to have been made by one of our hominid ancestors… At that time, hominins are thought to have been confined to Africa. The discovery supports the controversial suggestion that they may also have been living in eastern Europe." So some people are now saying modern hominids evolved in Europe instead of Africa. One footprint does not counter thousands of observational points and our own DNA. But there's a lot of people invested in the "Europe" narrative. It's the lingering vestments of racism. More likely is that we're wrong about when hominids left Africa. And with Occam's Razor being such, more likely the instance (if the footprint holds up).

"A seven-year-old girl stumbled across a 4ft sword in the same lake where King Arthur's Excalibur was said to have been thrown." Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. And, yes, it's most likely a prop of some kind because 1) not nearly enough rust and 2) wrong style of blade. But damn that's going to make a wonderful "What I did on my Summer Vacation" essay. Although it is said that Arthur will return at the time we most need him. :: looks around :: Yep, about that time I would say. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

I think I posted this before, but in case I didn't, "It may well be that the Russians didn't affect the actual numbers last November but, as Bloomberg points out, that was not for lack of trying." (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

Why do I think the President is a racist and a misogynist? Science. Whenever a moment comes of "I'll tell you later" question regarding policy, I think, "If I were a racists or misogynist, which direction would I go?" So far I've yet to be surprised. "President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises." As for that 6-month window where Congress could act: 1) they have a budget, appropriations, Harvey (and possibly Irma) relief, tax reform, and a few other things on their docket that they won't be able to get done and now they're supposed to add "immigration reform" to the list? Yeah, right. 2) 6-months puts us in the start of the primary races, and a "conservative" Congress is mostly a racist congress, so they won't vote for it (even through DACA is immensely popular). 3) Even if the "conservative" members weren't racists, they know they couldn't oppose the President on this issue and not see a challenge from the right. (Grokked from Miranda Suri)

As someone who has studied comedy and comedians, laughter is a powerful weapon. "The Department of Justice will retry a woman whom prosecutors say disrupted Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general by laughing." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

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