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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Linkee-poo knows I've started to think about leaving tonight although nothing seems right

I didn't win, did you?

Words have impact, "Suspicious packages sent to Time Warner Center, Clinton and Obama." I forgot that it's pipe bomb season. (Grokked from John)

Did you try turning it off and on again? "Hubble's designers prepared for gyroscope failure by equipping the observatory with a backup. Unfortunately, when one of Hubble's gyroscopes conked out in early October, the backup didn't work as expected… NASA has since been able to reduce its rotation rates and fix its issues by implementing an age-old fix for malfunctioning electronics: turning it off and on again."

More on that organic food study. "A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, states that those who eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer… They found that participants who ate mostly organic were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer." Okay, again, one this was a meta study that used another existing long-term study's data, not a study designed to specifically look at this issue (and control for lots of other variables). But two, let's discuss that statistic. Let's say you're looking at cancer instances and find in one population there are 4 cancer cases, and in the other population there are 3 cancer cases. No matter how large the sample, that's a 25% reduction. Now, if your study is on 100 people, that's a significant reduction although that's a damn small sample size. If your sample size is 34,000 in each group, that's more of a realistic study, but the difference between 3 and 4 in that large of a group could be sampling error and normal variation. In total there were 1,340 cancers reported in the study, but even that with a total study group of 68,000 means about 2% cancer rate in the total population (if those cancers reported are 1 per person). This is further complicated by the study group being broken into at least 3 categories (IIRC from the previous article), but it could mean (depending on other factors) of a difference of 90 cancers in each of the groups, with would be about a 0.4% variance in the rate of cancers (so one group would have 2%, another 2.2% and the last 1.8% cancer rates if it was just 3 groups). That would be "statistically significant" but not that much in actual differences (and again, because it wasn't controlled for just organic food consumption, could be because of other factors).

Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It's the only way to live… in cars. "On September 12th, GM's director of global digital transformation Saejin Park gave a presentation to the Association of National Advertisers in which he described how the company had secretly gathered data on the radio-listening habits of 90,000 GM owners in LA and Chicago for three months in 2017, tracking what stations they listened to and for how long, and where they were at the time; this data was covertly exfiltrated from the cars by means of their built-in wifi." (Grokked form Xeni Jardin)

"Building renewable energy resources in Indiana is cheaper than keeping existing coal plants open, according to new plans from one utility in the state." Renewables becoming cheaper to install than to maintain existing coal plants, that's the game changer. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Bloomberg News has an unusual practice of paying some of its reporters explicitly for publishing 'market-moving' stories." I'm sure that would never be a motivation to sensationalize a story. And it's a part of the yearly bonus calculation. (Grokked from John)

"The caterpillar fungus, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, is the world’s most valuable parasite… In Bhutan, one of the countries where the fungus is harvested, it accounts for a significant slice of the gross domestic product… That’s good news for the people of the Tibetan plateau, hundreds of thousands of whom harvest the fungus as their main source of income… But tough times lie ahead. By interviewing hundreds of collectors, and analyzing the local climate, Hopping has conclusively shown what others have suspected: The precious fungus is disappearing, as a result of a double whammy of overharvesting and warming weather."

"He propositioned a prospective employee, suggesting a threesome. He told one employee that she should “take one for the team” and date a donor who was attracted to her. He discussed strip clubs with his staff. And when challenged on his actions, he tried to pass it all off as a joke… These are some of the conclusions of a searing report from Arizona State University on the behavior of its star physics professor Lawrence Krauss, who on Oct. 19 agreed to retire in the face of multiple findings that he breached the school’s policies on sexual harassment." Sure it's a joke. Here's another one, you're stripped of tenure and pension. Of course that won't happen, but just like arresting business owners who hire undocumented workers (on their own or through intermediaries) should be sent to jail, stripping him of tenure of benefits would send a very clear message that this is no longer tolerated. But again it will be a "if you can make it to retirement, you're golden" message. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"The facilities have come under international scrutiny, with rights activists describing them as political re-education camps holding as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities… To build new, better Chinese citizens, another document argued, the centres must first 'break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins'." You know, re-education camps. Like the K'mer Rouge in Cambodia and the US Indians Schools. (Grokked from Jeff VanderMeer)

Get out there and vote. "(Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State and the Republican nominee for Georgia governor) then asserted that much of that Abrams effort is focused on absentee ballot requests. 'They have just an unprecedented number of that,' he said, 'which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.'" Conservatives are very worried everyone is going to vote. Because they know they're in the minority and their ideas do not have wide spread support. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Voting in Dodge City, Kansas, is turning into a showdown as the advocacy group Voto Latino is trying to provide Lyft rides to residents who have no transportation available to the city's only polling site, which was moved out of town by election officials… Two weeks before the midterm elections, officials moved the Dodge City polling site outside the city limits and more than a mile from the nearest bus stop." A city of 30,000 with just one polling station, which is now outside the city limits and more than a mile from the nearest bus stop. "Sixty percent of Dodge City's population is Hispanic…" Funny that. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"US President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia's response to the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is 'the worst cover-up ever'." Well, Mr. President, they suckered you into it that first week. What does that say about you?

"Additionally, investigators are looking into whether Stone shared information that he believed was from WikiLeaks with members of Trump's presidential campaign, according to a source familiar with the probe. Investigators have been provided recordings of Stone claiming he talked to Trump regularly early in the 2016 presidential campaign, CNN has learned. Later, after various document dumps from WikiLeaks, Stone claimed in separate communications he should receive credit for coordinating with the group, the source said." Waits for the inevitable, "Roger Stone? Never heard of him" from Trump. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

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