No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Linkee-poo will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a-changin'

And then there were four.

"'The 20th century was all about experimenting with technology and forgetting about the body,' says Galen Cranz, who studies chair design at the University of California, Berkeley… As a result, we've ended up with living rooms, offices and restaurants filled with chairs that are really bad for our backs, Cranz says. 'It's shocking how poorly designed they are for our bodies.'" And as a tall person, they're doubly bad. And don't get me started on "table-height." The article includes tips on how to sit properly. Back when air travel was still somewhat civilized, I used to ask for a small pillow (which airplanes used to have, in case you wanted to sleep) and use it as lumbar support.

"A renowned mathematician has claimed to have developed a proof for the Riemann hypothesis, a 160-year-old math problem that carries a $1 million bounty… Michael Atiyah, a mathematician who has won several of the highest awards in mathematics, gave a lecture at Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany on Monday to explain his proof of the Riemann hypothesis, which was first posited by Bernhard Riemann in 1859 about numbers return a value of zero when used as an argument for a certain function—but he abandoned trying to provide a proof." Nice work, but only if you prove it.

"For the elderly, a flood can turn in to an eviction notice. They're often on fixed incomes and can't afford repairs. Lifting even a waterlogged carpet out of their house may be physically challenging for them. So after having water pour in to their homes, they're often left with few options other than to leave."

For those wondering why Bob Dylan was given the Nobel Prize… "When Dylan first hit the music scene, Joan Baez was the reigning queen of folk. She would soon fall in love with both the man and his music — but even today, Baez doesn't pretend to know what went on in Dylan's head when he wrote the song 'The Times They Are a-Changin'' in 1963. Though it may have become an anthem, she doubts that's what he set out to create." True story, I used "The Times They Are a-Changin'" as background music on a small video I made in 1983 about a youth retreat.

Art in space. "…(A)rtist Trevor Paglen hopes to draw the public’s eye back to the sky with “Orbital Reflector,” a sculpture made of shiny material much like Mylar that will reflect the Sun’s light while orbiting the Earth. The sculpture, contained in a small structure called a CubeSat, is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in mid-November. When it enters orbit about 350 miles away from Earth, the sculpture will detach and inflate to its full shape, a diamond that may shine as bright as a star in the Big Dipper. After about two months, it will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate."

"NASA scientists have combined data on our planet's rotation with a number of sophisticated models to find that melting ice is a major cause of a strange drift in our planet's wobbling spin."

Better living through chemistry. "The world's most widely used weed killer may also be indirectly killing bees. New research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and are more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria." It's just may end up killing us yet.

Best healthcare system in the world? "Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens… The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes, while life expectancy of Americans -- about 79 years -- was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysis in almost 200 economies." We're tied with Azerbaijan at 54 out of 56. Guess what all the top performers had in common. Come on, it's no fun unless you guess. (Grokked from Kelly Link)

"Ebola prevention activities have been suspended in the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni after a deadly rebel attack." That ain't good.

"A shipment of overripe fruit to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice contained 540 packages of cocaine with an estimated street value of $17,820,000, authorities said."

How go the Trade Wars? "China hit out against the U.S. in a 71-page paper, accusing President Donald Trump's administration of "trade bullyism practices" that have become 'the greatest source of uncertainty and risk for the recovery of the global economy.'"

How goes Brexit? "The chances of Britain holding a second referendum on Brexit just got higher… Britain's opposition Labour party was voting Tuesday on a policy that would put a new public vote on the table if Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get an eventual Brexit deal through the UK Parliament."

Also, "The prime minister is sticking by her Chequers plan for future co-operation despite European leaders attacking it."

"While Gov. Rick Scott campaigns on the strength of Florida’s economy, there is no mention of a bleak milestone the state just reached — a record-low homeownership rate… more Floridians are now being forced to rent in an extremely tight and costly market… It’s also shining a light, again, on Scott’s vast personal wealth, which included a $1 million investment in a mortgage security firm, whose value peaked when the housing market was cratering in Florida and nationwide." True "man-of-the-people" there, Florida. As long as your people are multimillionaires. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"At the beginning of one of the most consequential weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, an enormous smoke bomb was detonated in the news cycle when Axios, deeply wired in Trump’s West Wing, reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had resigned. Quickly, a head-spinning array of conflicting accounts were put forth: had he been fired? Was he heading to the White House to be fired—or was he going to a regularly scheduled meeting? Finally, Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought a measure of clarity by tweeting that whatever was going to happen to Rosenstein would happen on Thursday, when the president returned from New York." Gee, what else is happening on Thursday? But, yes, I agree all of this is their attempt to control the news cycle (either to help Kavanaugh or hide a Saturday-Night Massacre). And the Times story about Rosenstein was about creating a cover to fire him. Why do I say this? The president has fired people in higher positions via tweet while they were on opposite coasts. He's "waiting until he gets back from NY"? Yeah, right. You're watching all the president's men attempting to wage information warfare and failing. Time has come today. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Kavanaugh's third accuser has received multiple government clearances, including a 'secret' clearance, said Avenatti. This fact was repeated a few times, presumably to emphasize the woman's credibility." (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"With his wife Ashley by his side, Kavanaugh seized control of his own defense against allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct that are threatening to overwhelm his hopes of joining the bench." He says he's not going anywhere. Makes popcorn. Waits to see "that banner with the strange device, Excelsior!"

"As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was trying to rehabilitate his image in a Fox News interview Monday, the New York Times published an excerpt from Kavanaugh’s senior yearbook page that contradicts the studious, churchgoing image Kavanaugh was pushing of himself as a teenager. On Kavanaugh’s senior page, there were references to drinking and partying, as well as 'Renate Alumnius,' which the Times reports is a reference to Renate Schroeder, a student at an area Catholic girls’ school at the time. The 'Alumnius' appears to be a misspelling of either 'alumnus' or 'alumni,' which appear on a number of his classmates pages." What a swell guy. Also turns out she was one of the women standing up for Kavanaugh. Not anymore.

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