What if Kurzweil doesn't make it?
What if all the switches get stuck on destroy?
When the shuttle goes, we won't take it
When the final counter-measures are deployed
All we'll have is all this time

Friday, April 6, 2018

Linkee-poo clothed myself in your glory and your love, how I loved you, how I cried

"At some point in the 7th or 8th century, a pregnant woman died and was buried in the medieval Italian town of Iola… But when the woman’s grave was discovered in 2010, two very strange details emerged. First, a cluster of tiny bones lay between the woman’s legs—the remains of her fetus, which appeared to have been born after her death." Coffin-birth, apparently a thing (note more than likely the fetus was also dead). (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

"In a major milestone, Virgin Galactic successfully completed the first rocket-powered test flight of its new SpaceShipTwo on Thursday, marking the first such test for the space tourism firm since a fatal accident in 2014."

About the link yesterday on women in STEM not having as high an esteem of their own abilities as compared to men, the Note to Self podcast on living with no filter. I also recommend the series this capped off with women with no filter.

"Be careful what you copy: Invisibly inserting usernames into text with Zero-Width Characters." Sort of like steganography/watermarking, but for copiable text (Grokked from Eric VanNewkirk)

"But the teacher walkouts are a reminder that even professionals with master's degrees in some of the country's largest cities endure many of the same economic challenges associated with those in blue-collar jobs." Ask me about my wife's PhD. And if you think we shamefully underpay and underfund grade school and high school teachers, you'll be positively floored with how little Adjunct Professors make. (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

"A man detonated two explosive devices at a Sam's Club in Ontario (California) Thursday afternoon, igniting small fires and triggering an evacuation, authorities said."

"A battle is brewing over payday lending in Ohio. There are more than 650 storefronts in the state but the industry argues that a new bill threatens to shut them all down. However, consumer advocates say payday lending has been skirting around state law for years to prey on desperate borrowers." Ohio has some of the most egregious payday loan operations, sometimes charging near 600%. And then you have "Patrick Crowley… with the Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, which represents the payday lending industry… 'I could say the same thing about if I wanted to look at an interest rate of when I take -- an ATM -- I take $20 bucks out and I get charged $2 bucks. I mean what would the APR be on that, it would be exorbitant,' said Crowley." It would be 10%. That doesn't mean I don't agree with him that charging $2 at an ATM, which decreases the cost of operating a bank, isn't highway robbery of it's own, but 1) it's my money, why charge any fee for me to access it and 2) it's only 10%. Charge 10% Mr. Crowley and you wouldn't be in this predicament.

"The unprecedented rate at which the polar ice caps are melting is creating a flurry of activity. So far, Russia and China are leading the charge for the High North." Other countries are exploiting the opportunities of global climate change while we're still debating if it's real or not. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

You'll never be able to power a country with just renewables they said. "Last month, Portugal produced more than enough renewable energy to meet the country's entire electrical demand — a feat 'unmatched in the last 40 years,' according to the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, or APREN, says." There were some times when fossil fuel generated power was needed, but only in a backup manner.

"Consumer, business, and environmental groups are rallying to oppose FirstEnergy’s request for a federal bailout now that the company’s subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions has filed for bankruptcy. This could be the major utility company’s last shot at keeping its nuclear and coal plants open."

"The U.S. economy marked its 90th consecutive month of job growth in March, but the U.S. added fewer jobs than had been expected, with a net gain of only 103,000." Remember just a few years ago when only 100,000 jobs would have been cause for two weeks of media and market breakouts? Note the revised numbers from January and February, which while they increased February's blowout, decreased January's mild numbers to the extent of a net reduction of employment for those months by 50,000.

"China's government on Friday hit back at President Trump's latest call for more tariffs by saying it was prepared to 'follow through to the end and fight back resolutely.'" So much winning. Say, remember when everybody also freaked out that China might use it's investments in US Treasury Bonds as a weapon, but said they wouldn't do it because it would cost China too much? Note China is now saying they will respond "whatever cost". I wonder if they're threatening to use their investments against us? Nah, I mean, they wouldn't do that to us. A trade war is not hard to start, but it's very damn hard to stop once it gets rolling even if both sides agree it should end.

"Conservative writer Kevin D. Williamson believes women who have abortions should be hanged, along with their doctors and nurses… And today he’s been fired by The Atlantic, after a podcast surfaced in which he expressed the same murderous position at greater length." So once it because obvious this guy was a jerk the Atlantic fired him. Next time, maybe you all should do due diligence first. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence that calls into question Congressional testimony given by Trump supporter and Blackwater founder Erik Prince last year, when he described a meeting in Seychelles with a Russian financier close to Vladimir Putin as a casual chance encounter 'over a beer,' sources tell ABC News." Erik Prince lied? This is my shocked face.

"At least five officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, four of them high-ranking, were reassigned or demoted, or requested new jobs in the past year after they raised concerns about the spending and management of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt." Only the best people. I'm not sure these best people understand just how much they're putting the government at risk for workplace lawsuits.

"The Trump administration is laying sanctions on 38 Russian oligarchs, government officials and business entities, citing 'the Kremlin's malign agenda' that ranges from malicious online campaigns and efforts to undermine democracy to its actions in eastern Ukraine and Syria." Good thing we gave them enough time to move assets out of the US.

"As allegations continue to swirl about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter, evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June, four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting tell NPR." Look, Trump could receive a blowjob on the stage at this event from another porn star and as long as he appointed anti-abortion judges, allows evangelical "businesses" to discriminate in violation of EEOC rules, and keeps the IRS at bay from taxing their "churches" and not looking too closely at their accounting they will all stand and say, "Love the sinner, hate the sin."

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