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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Linkee-poo Thursday's alright by me

"Stephen King, The Art of Fiction No. 189." Marked for reading later. (Grokked from Delilah S. Dawson)

"Each night, all over the ocean, swarms of animals wriggle and kick their way from deep below the waves to feed at the surface. Each creature is tiny… and there are trillions of them… New research suggests this nightly migration might be helping mix the ocean on a grand scale, sending columns of water down as the animals swim up." The magic of compound interest, only in this case, of compound physics. And then there is also this part, "The visualization method (used to determine volume of material moved) was developed a few years ago with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and was held up as an example of wasteful government spending by Sen. Tom Coburn, who described the research as 'synchronized swimming for sea monkeys.'" A lot of what conservatives (and some liberals) have thought of as "wasteful spending" is actually useful science. It's just our elected leaders are both ignorance of real science and are trying to impose their ideology on society.

Day of the Triffids, or, well, tumbleweeds. "Dozens of homes in his neighborhood, which borders an undeveloped tract of desert land, were seemingly swallowed up by mounds of the dry brush."

The claim: Two people in Florida were arrested for selling golden tickets to heaven. The rating: False. I can't remember if I shared a link to this story, I certainly remember it going around social media. If I did share it without a caveat, I'm sorry.

"A tenacious epidemic of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid in Pakistan is just one small genetic step away from becoming untreatable—and health experts expect it to spread worldwide." We're boned. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

Ah, capitalism. "As NPR's Jacob Pinter pointed out earlier this month, the (human waste) in question comes from New York and New Jersey, which, to resolve complications with local regulations, often avoid those regulations entirely by regularly shipping their waste across state lines to areas with looser zoning laws."

"The uncertainty is leaving farmers in a quandary about what type of soybeans to plant. If the state's dicamba ban stays in place, a substantial number of farmers… will plant soybean varieties that can tolerate a different herbicide… If the ban is overturned, however, some of those farmers would switch to dicamba-tolerant soybeans, either because they'd prefer to use dicamba or because they fear that their neighbors will — which means they may need to plant a variety that won't be harmed by the drifting chemical." And that's what's known as having a lock on the market.

"Scientists used to make graphene-based membranes in small batches in a laboratory. But a new breakthrough at MIT enables researchers to spool out long rolls of high-quality graphene." You know that word "paradigm"? Yeah, here's a new one. (Grokked from Dan)

"Lawyers for a journalist who was arrested in Tennessee and then placed in an immigration detention facility said Monday that the government was trying to suppress his reporting and violated his rights of freedom of speech and the press." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Well, at least we aren't Mexico. Yet. "At least 82 candidates and office holders have been killed since the electoral season kicked off in September, making this the bloodiest presidential race in recent history, according to a tally by Etellekt, a security consultancy based in Mexico City, and Reuters research." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Syracuse University suspended an engineering fraternity on Wednesday after footage surfaced of members speaking and acting in ways 'that are extremely racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist and hostile to people with disabilities,' the university’s chancellor said." Look, guys, if you want to close your chapter, there are easier ways to do it. And I know "not all young people," but just where the fuck have you kids been living all your lives? Yeah, I know.

Tell me again how the Stars and Bars isn't a racist symbol. "'I’m not saying I’m supporting it or for or against it, but people in this country have to start realizing we have to tolerate all peoples’ views,' the mayor added. 'That’s preached a lot out of Washington and a lot of other places, but it’s not practiced. Democrats don’t like Republicans' views and Republicans don’t like Democrats' views. People have to grow up and need to respect other peoples' views.'" This is not free speech, this is intimidation, you fucktard. And it's your goddamn job to do something about it. People are already being hurt, don't wait until someone is in the hospital or morgue. (Grokked from Chang)

"At Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami this week, executives with the nation's payday loan industry are holding their annual conference with receptions, breakout sessions and a golf tournament… It's been a good year for the payday lending industry. Shortly after taking over as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney put tough new regulations for the industry on hold. Since then, stocks for publicly traded payday lenders have shot up." I'm sure it's just a coincidence that their annual meeting is being held at a place the president owns and not at all an attempt at a bribe or kickback.

"A Kansas federal judge on Wednesday ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) was in contempt of court for failing to follow her order to register voters who had signed up to vote at the DMV, but failed to present proof of citizenship." (Grokked from Katheryn Kramer)

"Science Magazine has published a video showing the consequences of a simulated nuclear attack near the White House in Washington carried out by terrorists." Posted by Sputnik News. You may remember them from the other fun going on with Russia. Dudes, seriously, Gen-X grew up in the 70s and 80s, we ate nuclear threats for breakfast. I've seen the missiles go to launch position. I fucking know the numbers and (given actuate maps) can roughly outline Ground Zero and Zones 1-3 for almost any scenario. Here's the thing I know that most people don't, nuclear material is trackable to the reactor that creates it. The chance of an actual nuclear explosion by a terrorist cell is fairly low (and we'll know where they got it from by the forensics). More likely is a "dirty bomb", which is nuclear material strapped to conventional explosives (like you pack ball bearings and nails on the outside of IEDs). That's a little harder to followup on, but if it's Cesium we have a good guess already. As you may have gleaned before on this blog, I once swore an oath to burn the world down. Don't think we have softened. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"The Senate approved a measure Wednesday that would roll back policies designed to protect minority car buyers from discriminatory loan terms. Republicans passed the bill by a narrow margin, and it now moves on to the House." Yes, your elected representatives are trying to screw you over.

"Pittsburgh police ordered its detectives to bring riot gear to work Thursday in anticipation of protests should President Donald Trump fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller… Police Cmdr. Victor Joseph reportedly sent an email Wednesday, instructing Major Crimes detectives to bring full uniforms and riot gear to work 'until further notice.'" I have questions. Like why are police storing riot gear in their homes?

"President Donald Trump said Wednesday that although he's looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it's 'not going to be fruitful.'" Somebody is getting cold feet.

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