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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Linkee-poo tired Thursdays

"Another suspected bomb was found in New York City on Thursday morning as a manhunt was underway for a serial bomber targeting high-profile Democrats and CNN, less than two weeks ahead of elections that could alter the U.S. political landscape."

"Residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands were bracing for months without electricity or running water in the aftermath of the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year. Super Typhoon Yutu crossed over the U.S. territory early Thursday local time." That's an estimate from the recovery time when Typhoon Soudelor hit in 2015.

"High-altitude balloon flights conducted by and Earth to Sky Calculus show that atmospheric radiation is intensifying from coast to coast over the USA–an ironic result of low solar activity."

"SpaceX has since flown a handful of Block 5 rockets twice, but it has not taken the step of flying one of these rockets for the third time. However, that may happen quite soon, according to Lars Hoffman, senior director of government sales for the California-based rocket company."

"New photos of a surprisingly rectangular iceberg are offering the full picture of this now-famous Antarctic structure—and it remains weird as hell… Tabular icebergs are the products of calving ice shelves—when large chunks of ice suddenly break loose—and they’re known for their highly angular lines and smooth tops." And despite all the hype, it's not that rare (in fact on the one photo of it, you can see another iceberg with rectilinear lines). And most of the news is missing the most important piece in that second sentence, this is what happens when ice shelves break apart.

"Archaeologists have discovered two previously unknown forms of spearpoint technology at a site in Texas. The triangular blades appear to be older than the projectile points produced by the Paleoamerican Clovis culture, an observation that’s complicating our understanding of how the Americas were colonized—and by whom."

"Another year, another predicted new-car reliability ranking from non-profit consumer products researchers at Consumer Reports. And this year, the domestic automakers aren’t looking so good, taking up 11 of the bottom 12 spots. Here’s a look at reliability rankings for all the brands."

"Ask economists and policy makers to what extent we should be worried about 20 and 30-somethings’ historically high levels of student debt and you’ll get a broad spectrum of answers… But ask many borrowers in this generation whether they worry about how the loans will affect their future and you’ll get a slew of bleak replies: It’s stopped them from getting their car fixed, switching jobs, buying a home and having children. Even a tax credit aimed at helping working low- and moderate-income Americans can be seized to repay defaulted student loans." As someone who graduated in the 90s with a fairly large amount of debt (mostly from my SO), same as it ever was. But my starting salary paid for a lot more than today's starting salary (which has decreased without adjusting for inflation). Why did I choose Radiology as my second degree? If you don't think I did a search on salaries and make sure what benefits I had that could help pay for classes before making that decision you are grossly under informed. If I had followed the full program I wanted I would also have sonography certificates (it's a really strange profession with credentialing). But there were some major headwinds for a boy going into that profession (so I got CT instead and may, if needed, add MRI). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"U.S. stock index futures rose ahead of Thursday's open, pointing to a rebound after the previous day's tumble wiped out the Dow's gains for the year and pushed the Nasdaq Composite into correction territory."

The Planet Money podcast with "What causes what? The human brain is programmed to answer this question constantly, and using a very basic method. This is how we survive. What made that noise? A bear made that noise. What caused my hand to hurt? Fire caused my hand to hurt." But sometimes it gets messed up between causation and correlation.

"Today on ABC's The View, Senator Jeff Flake admits that he doesn't know if Brett Kavanaugh, accused by three women of sexual assault, was telling the truth or not during his hearing before being confirmed to the Supreme Court." So Sen. Flake voted to put him on SCOTUS while not knowing if he had 1) lied to Congress under oath and 2) was a serial sexual predator? JFC, Jeff, that's an abrogation of your fucking oath of office. They say you may be leaving to launch a presidential bid, well fuck you buddy. This should be shown before every single event you ever want to hold. This is worse than if you had said you believed his denial and the FBI report confirms it. But you know you can't say that with a straight face. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"In the closing stretch of the 2018 campaign, the question is no longer the size of the Democratic wave. It's whether there will be a wave at all." Ehn, I'm not so sure. There's a lot of polling that looks bad, but when you dig into the numbers it still looks favorable for Democrats to win the House and it's still possible for the Senate (I'd rate it a tossup right now). And the House is more important. What's even more important is winning the state legislatures for the 2020 re-engineering of the electoral map. Given the GOP support of "fair" mapping rules since 2010, they know it might not be pretty for them. Go out and vote.

"Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian (and Chinese) spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls… But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them." Worst president ever. The best part of this whole story, however, is this part, "(Administration officials) said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities."

"But Trump told the Wisconsin crowd that he was trying to 'behave' and 'be nice' and none of his usual, red-meat crowd pleasers directed at Waters, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Clinton or others were part of his repertoire Wednesday night… 'We're all behaving very well, and hopefully we can keep it that way,' he insisted." That's a thing a five-year old tells you when you go out to dinner with the family.

About that civility thing. Here's something from 2013 about the "moderate" Sen. Jeff Flake. "Creating a thuggish online persona across multiple platforms -- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter -- who denigrates Jews, expresses a desire to beat up 'faggots,' calls Mexicans the 'scum of the earth,' and adopts the screen name 'n1ggerkiller' in an online video game. And then bragging that your father is a member of Congress… This is what Tanner Flake, the oldest son of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), has done for the past year… As soon as Tanner’s ugliness came to light, his father… issued a terse, three-sentence apology to the media… But Tanner Flake’s behavior isn’t a diversion: It’s at the heart of that immigration fight. It’s at the heart of the struggle over gay rights. It’s at the heart of the conservative movement’s identity crisis. It’s part of a broader lack of civility toward minority groups… In other words, Flake… has consistently refused to take clear, unambiguous stand against prejudice and fear. Why? Because there are political penalties for doing so. Prejudice and fear still move the polls in Arizona... and elsewhere in America." Dear conservatives, you want civility? See to your own house first. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"Special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be locked in a dispute with a mystery grand jury witness resisting giving up information sought in the ongoing probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

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