Latest Linkage

Morning Ed: Education {2017.03.29.W}( 44 )

Take a class on bullshit. {via Burt}

Idaho contemplates teaching gun safety in school.

Charlotte Allen pushes back against a lot of the recent criticism of homeschooling.

The New York Daily News believes that the pendulum may have swung too hard and it’s become too difficult to suspend students.

Devin Pope explains the science behind college admissions, and how schools can identify the best students. This assumes, of course, that they want to identify the best students.

Brits are looking to the Chinese for math education solutions.

Stanley Fish argues that error has no right (or, more specifically, that freedom of speech is not an academic value).

Christopher Finn is concerned about the collapse of academic standards.

The privilege of protesting.

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Morning Ed: United States {2016.03.28.T}( 127 )

Alright, so next time I’m in DC

This is why you should never leave the house.

This shouldn’t be as funny as it is.

How Lyman Stone learned to love declining migration.

A map of the largest national employers of each state.

When my wife worked near a res, they actually staffed the local KFC around government check days. Better KFC than this.

Oliver Campbell takes issue with impressing white guilt upon children.

As far as the Schultz/Till thing goes, I think we need to differentiate between the desire to remove the painting from the exhibit and burning it.

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Morning Ed: Health {2017.03.27.M}( 64 )

This actually reminds me of how low the threshold for “Maybe an alcoholic” actually is within the medical community. I met the criteria at one point and I’ve always been the farthest thing from an alcoholic imaginable.

Wait, we have a treatment for Sepsis?

Benjamin Mercer argues that “plain packaging” on cigarettes is pointless. I wish we would do more to delineate between “no branding” packaging and grotesque imagery packaging. I’m interested in the effectiveness of the former, and don’t care about the effectiveness of the latter.

Saad Omer and Sara Despres argue against politicizing (or, more accurately, partisaning) vaccination, because the health impact is just too important.

It does seem like SES is something you want to control for on questions about whether moderate drinking is good for you. As a practical matter, the data never showed a sufficient difference worth altering your lifestyle over, in my opinion.

Optometrists and Opthalmologists are facing off in Florida.

New York is loosening its restriction on residents’ hours. This strikes me as wise and it has begun to appear that the pendulum swung too much in the other direction. Doctors have a lot to learn in a short time, continuity is relevant, and if working more than 16 hours straight is unacceptable they’re going to need to change a lot more than just residencies.

Eat healthy, don’t smoke, exercise, get cancer anyway

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Morning Ed: Politics {2017.03.26.Su}( 86 )

Andrew Heaton makes the case for an American monarchy. I see the virtues of monarchies, though I think it just runs too much against our particular national character.

Take note, Texas. {Or don’t}

Adam Gurri writes about how modern liberalism needs to reconcile itself with nationalism, to some degree, Kristian Niemietz argues that the left and right both have some hard work ahead of them fighting populism, and in Jacobin Daniel Finn argues that there’s no going back on Brexit.

Eric Kaufmann looks at the relationship between Muslim immigration and backlash, and how the latter can be prevented.

Minnesota has done right by going left.

Jeff Spross argues that the Democrats should go full-throttle for full employment. Tim Bartik, though, says it’s not feasible.

Maybe it was the US’s role to primarily be the cautionary tale in others’ stories?

Is disagreement becoming personal prejudice? I don’t know. What I do know is that if you are ever – ever tempted to tag something as the “last acceptable prejudice”… just don’t.

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Linky Friday: Guns & Briefcases( 49 )

Cities:

Photo by SimonMettler

Photo by SimonMettler

[Ci1] Ed West wants to know why we don’t use architecture that makes us happy? (Especially given that it commands a premium in excess to the cost.)

[Ci2] Mercer has its list of Quality of Living ranking of cities. Everybody to Vienna!

[Ci3] Stefan Al writes of the interweaving of malls and their urban surroundings.

[Ci4] A ghost city in China is filling up.

[Ci5] Tyler Cowen says the future of San Francisco may be Monaco.

[Ci6] Suburban sprawl is harshing songbirds’ mating buzz.

Crime:

Image by @lattefarsan

Image by @lattefarsan

[Cr1] I wouldn’t really mind lowering blood alcohol limits to .05% nearly as much if we didn’t treat .05% like .15%. Contrary to the billboards, buzzed driving is not the same as drunk driving.

[Cr2] Jesse Singal points to a new approach against campus sexual assaults that may have some potential.

[Cr3] After being fined for wasting police time about a stalker, Shana Grice was killed by the stalker.

[Cr4] David Perry went to Washington with a message from disabled Americans: Stop killing us (and allowing us to be killed).

[Cr5] Inauguration Day arrests turned into an information bonanza for police.

[Cr6] Jacob Sallum has a run down of the sexual panic that has lead to our sexual predator laws.

[Cr7] The original, indisputable narrative behind the JCC bomb threats keeps getting jammed.

Law:

courtroom photo

Image by massless

[L1] The importance of the Oxford comma (to a bunch of workers who went to court for overtime pay).

[L2] This… does seem kind of like a bum settlement.

[L3] At Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic wonder how things move forward if the relationship between Judges and Trump is personal.

[L4] Copyright trolling isn’t dead yet.

[L5] It’s not a positive development to hold lawyers accountable for the clients they defend.

[L6] It does seem to me there would be some liability here.

Business:

[B1] Noah Smith argues that it’s not actually crazy to bring manufacturing back to the US.

[B2] Physical books are making a comeback, and it’s millennials leading the way. Simon Jenkins says the novelty has worn off.

[B3] A matter of trust, and the science behind it, and how employers can try (try!!) to encourage it.

[B4] Will Knight writes about how the gig economy algorithms may be rigged, and they’re trying to get you to work yourself to death.

[B5] Hollywood Reporter has more on the toll that “Peak TV” is taking on Hollywood writers.

[B6] Well, I suppose this is one way for some of these free sites to get ad revenue.

Media:

Japanese news television photo

Image by likeablerodent

[M1] The FBI has arrested the tweeter that gave Kurt Eichenwald a seizure, and the story of how they did so is interesting. I don’t have a problem with going after the guy, though some do.

[M2] The Independent Journal Review started out with a lot of potential, but became the latest example of why modern conservatives can’t have nice things. (See also, The Federalist.)

[M3] Fake News, Japanese Edition.

[M4] Lee Stranaham has quit Breitbart (yet again), and wants them to stop sucking up to Trump.

[M5] Iain Martin writes of the misinformation we’re getting from Britain (and who’s giving some of it to us).

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Science and Technology Links 3/23: Einstein Condensates Are Not Headphones!( 33 )

Aerospace

Bell Helicopter is kicking around some new ideas for rotary wing styling.  Of note, morphing rotor blades to allow for mission optimization, rotorless tail (I suspect there is a powerful air jet coming out that mesh on the tail boom), see around fuselage, and more usage of electric motors to power subsystems.

Saturn’s filled dumpling moon.

New planet definition, which actually makes sense.  A size based definition is easier to apply.  The major planets still remain as the top dogs, since they are the primary bodies in their respective orbits, and Pluto gets to be a planet again (like it really cares, but people gotta anthropomorphize…).

Architecture

I have no idea why this style of architecture appeals to me, but it does.

Bio and Medical

I love the human stories of how science happens, as much as I love reading about when science and engineering go utterly pear shaped.  Meet Slava Epstein, who was part of a team that figured out a way to culture bacteria that did not want to grow in a petri dish (thus opening up to study vast amounts of the 99% of bacteria that don’t like petri dishes).  The breakthrough came down to a very quick brainstorming session that was severely time constrained, because there was a wife whose attitude was, “I don’t care if you’re trying to save the world, don’t you dare be late for date night!”

Seriously, read that link, it’s a fun story.

More vat meat.  This time, chicken!

Cardiovascular disease?  I had that once, went to doc, got a shot, cleared right up!

Cyber-nano retinas for the blind.  We do live in an amazing time.

Computing

This is neat, but it’s pure science.  There is no obvious path from this discovery to petabyte microSD cards.

This one, however, might have a much better chance of making it into consumer products in the near future.  The short:  using very fast laser pulses to allow electrons to move through semiconductors with little to no resistance.  This is essentially using lasers to turn semiconductors into superconductors, for just a tiny fraction of a second.  It’s intriguing.

Quantum Key Encryption in your phone.  Man, if we think law enforcement is whining about personal encryption now…

Energy

Flettner Rotors on cargo ships.  The first question is obviously, what in the hell is a Flettner Rotor?  It’s basically a tall, spinning cylinder.  It takes advantage of the Magnus Effect to produce lift.  If a ship has a Flettner Rotor, and the wind is off the beam (from the side), the crew can start the rotor spinning and it will produce a lift force perpendicular to the wind direction, which would be forward (or aft, but they’d spin it so the force is forward).  The small amount of energy needed for spinning is significantly offset by the amount of force generated, so you can throttle back the main engines and maintain speed.

Thinking about installing solar panels?  Want to get an idea how much solar potential your house has?  Google can help.

Sunlight and nanoparticles turn plant matter into hydrogen gas.  That’s it, no additional energy inputs needed.

Icewind vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT).  I’m happy to see more outfits working to normalize this tech, especially when it comes to residential or other small scale wind power applications.

Storing solar energy in chemical bonds.  Good idea, but I balk at the conversion rate.  I mean, a 100+% increase is awesome, but you are still only converting 1.1% of the solar energy into a chemical bond.  That’s something that is not quite ready for prime time.

Geology

Here is another story of the humans behind science, although this one is a bit longer in scope.  The Channeled Scablands is a region in Eastern Washington that long defied explanation, until one guy turned conventional wisdom on it’s head.  It’s on my list of places to explore with Bug when he gets older.

The confluence of events that gave rise to ‘Snowball Earth‘.  Stuff like this always reminds of the bit from George Carlin.  Let’s be honest folks, environmentalism isn’t about saving the Earth from us, it’s about saving the Earth for us.  Anyone tells you different, tell ’em to check their privilege.  ;-)

Materials

A very durable oil sponge that won’t absorb water.  Oil absorbent materials aren’t terribly novel, so I almost didn’t add this one, until I read this:

“The technique offers enormous flexibility, and can be adapted to other types of cleanup besides oil in seawater. You could attach a different molecule to grab any specific substance you need,”

Nanoscale 3D printing.

Finally, a use for old eggshells and flavorless tomatoes!

Always excited to see another entry in the list of ways to make plastic from things other than oil, but I just know the blue skinned people are going to find a way to use this to justify their insanity.

Non-toxic Seebeck generators.  Also, they are much cheaper than the old tech.  Win win.

Military

“A combined fiber laser in the 60 kilowatt range…”
“Hey, just what you see on the shelf, pal”
“I see it, right there, from Lockheed.”

Physics

Supersolids, which are solids that behave like superfluids.  Yes, Bose-Einstein Condensates are just weird.

Time Crystals. I’ve mentioned these before, but they continue to fascinate, so here is a bit more information.

One collision at nearly light speed, evidence of 5 new particles for physicists to get excited about.  CERN/LHC does seem to be justifying its expense.

Transportation

This one was brought to my attention by Michael Cain in the comments of a previous post.  The guy who invented the Lithium Ion battery has gone one better and invented a battery that has higher energy densities and doesn’t try to burn a hole through your leg or down your airliner.  Put it in transportation because of the implications for electric vehicles.

I admit it’s intriguing, but I want to see it in action.  I’d also be curious about durability, and replaceability.

I wouldn’t mind have a 3 wheeler for just getting myself to work and back, but I’m betting Toyota has an eye on dispatched autonomous vehicles.  Something like this just fills a nice fat niche in that space.  And speaking of autonomous dispatched vehicles

 

 

Image by brewbooks

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Morning Ed: World {2017.03.22.W}( 231 )

For The Conservative Online, Madhav Das Nalapat writes about the relationship between India, it’s politicians, and English.

A look at how Japanese mountain towns are dealing with depopulation, and millennials moving in.

What a horrible story. Relatedly, a critical look at our Post-WW2 occupation of Germany.

Beware the ghosts of the presidential residence of Brazil.

Is Poland going to become the South Dakota of the EU?

Visa-free travel to the EU has hit a roadblock, as the EU has suspended it due to the US denying the same to some EU countries. [Disregard, as others have pointed out it was a non-binding resolution.]

Well, if they do come here, at least they may have a decent skepticism of socialism, no?

Chris Beck argues that folks were too quick to dismiss Trump framing of Sweden as a country in trouble. The problem I had with the “Everything Is Great in Sweden” is if everything is great why are the Sweden Democrats ascendant and why has the government been acting the way it has?

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Morning Ed: Labor {2017.03.21.T}( 140 )

I think the only job where this happens in the US is to be an astronaut.

Unless I were desperate for a job, this would be a dealbreaker for me.

Fixing employee morale may be simpler than we think.

Well-worn territory for around here, but… gulp. Alan Watts was arguing that UBI was the only way back in the 60’s. On the other hand, we can really only identify one occupation that automation has completely eliminated.

Soda taxes giveth jobs, and they taketh jobs away.

Allard Dembe is suspicious of a four day workweek (4/10). He seems to be relying pretty heavily on research of the deleterious effects of 60 hour workweeks, though.

Take off work! Go shopping!

Take off work! We need to know if you’re a crook!

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Morning Ed: Society {2016.03.20.M}( 67 )

So that’s how John McClane knew Hans was a bad guy.

Full circle: Millennials are learning etiquitte.

I think we’re past the point where introversion, or shyness, is especially countercultural or transgressive or whatever. People are putting it on their college application letters. {More}

Liel Leibovitz calls Billy Joel the Donald Trump of pop music, and Noah Berlatsky contemplates the anti-semitism of Casablanca.

What’s up with all of the violent little girls in cinema? DC Comics did this a while back with one of their batgirls, a mute killing machine gone straight.

The only one of these Disney Afternoon video games I ever played was Darkwing Duck. It was pretty good, though.

Chris Morgan looks at the legacy of HP Lovecraft.

Arrogance is not as off-putting as we think, even for obnoxious people.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2017.03.19.Su}( 10 )

James Bloodworth argues that we should be wear of prolier-than-thou politics. {Via Roland Dodds}

When politicians want it bad enough, they can indeed be bipartisan.

Musa al-Gharbi is worried about the Democrats’ current demographic crisis. Meh. “Past performance is no guarantee of future results” was true in 2015 and is true now. Related: Is the Post-Millennial generation (Gen Z) taking a hard right?

Jay Cobb (aka JayFromBrooklyn) investigates why Trump officials aren’t coming clean about their meetings with Russians.

Thomas Massie has come to realize that a lot of his fans didn’t like his libertarianism so much as the crazy.

Trolls International (Macedonia Branch) maybe didn’t just work for Trump, but Bernie Sanders too.

Emmett Rensin wants you to give political violence a chance. Freddie, rather brutally, begs to differ.

California is making a play for frustrated EPA staff.

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Linky Friday: Technopolis( 94 )

Cities:

robot insect photo

Image by BAOCHUN.S

[C1] Joel Kotkin argues that you can’t turn Los Angeles into Chicago with old town revitalization, and instead focus on making the suburbs the best they can be.

[C2] The suburbs are dying! I hope nobody tells the millennials!

[C3] Los Angeles has a pretty basic problem.

[C4] Some industrious and tourism-minded city in the US should totally buy this and become an anime mecca. Someone on Twitter recommended Bethlehem. I think it would be especially brilliant for a city associated with steel.

[C5] What’s kind of interesting about this piece from Aaron Renn about the limits of what Gigabit Internet can provide cities looking to be tech hubs is that Kansas City enjoys a reputation as a pretty decent place to find tech work. Or maybe that makes his point, as a lot of it is on the Kansas side of the border rather than Kansas City proper (which has the Internet).

Religion:

Church of England photo

Image by bertknot

[R1] Peter Beinart explains how godlessness aided the rise of Trump and the current political environment. (Not that he would phrase it that way.)

[R2] Terryl Givens on the relationship between Mormonism and (other) Christianity.

[R3] All is not well in the Church of England.

[R4] This touches on why my wife has no interest in working in another Catholic hospital. Most places she’s been, the standard is “You don’t have to provide the service, but you do have to give them a referral.” As an ethical obligation, I think that’s about right in non-emergency situations.

[R5] Re look at faith and medicine in Israel, and Hmong in the United States.

Energy:

Tundra Alaska photo

Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

[E1] Of all the potential energy sources that could be developed, it’s turning emissions into energy that makes me the most giddy.

[E2] The US Shale Industry: Tan, rested, and ready? The drills are pumping in Texas again, as well as other places. Less so for North Dakota. (My man in Midland says “We’re still doomed.”)

[E3] I almost wonder if they didn’t actually discover this oil last year, and kept quiet for fear of a creative Executive Order, because the outlook for getting to drill sure looks an awful lot better now than it would have then.

[E4] Solar doesn’t need Uncle Sam’s help anymore, says Noah Kirsch.

[E5] Jacobin points to alleged Canadian misdeeds involving mineral exploitation and other things. Did Canada run over Jacobin’s dog or something, because they sure hate our neighbors to the north.

Space:

[S1] Fish, it turns out, don’t like space.

[S2] Watch the Earth hurl through astroids, which is actually less disconcerting than our solar system flying in space.

[S3] FiveThirtyEight has a really neat series on the effect going to Mars will have on humans.

[S4] Killjoy doesn’t even begin to describe Sam Kriss.

[S5] Back to the moon?

[S6] The story behind a Soviet mission to save a dead satellite.

Transportation:

Venezuela airport photo

Image by slash__

[Tr1] How United Airlines is going to great lengths to keep its crews out of Venezuela.

[Tr2] Commutes are getting longer.

[Tr3] Americans are not yet sure about riding in robocars.

[Tr4] When I was a kid and I got in trouble, I never lost the ability to drive, because preventing people from driving is a burden on everyone else. This is especially true for grownups.

[Tr5] Ambitious transportation plans in Paris and Berlin. And more

[Tr6] The solar roadway is not working out as well as we had hoped.

Technology:

robot insect photo

Image by Scammah

[Te1] This will end badly. As will this. I mean, seriously.

[Te2] So what is Twitter?

[Te3] Bring back your dead! Bring back your dead!

[Te4] I wish Hughes all the success with this. I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of DSL any time soon, but more options are better (and some people have very few options.

Feature Image by Dr.Colossus

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Morning Ed: United States {2017.03.16.Th}( 44 )

This contains comparatively few surprises, except the scarcity of green in the South (Texas especially).

If it didn’t have the word “WICHITA” on it, this would be better than all but a few state flags.

Wesley J Smith explains leaving California.

How California got and stays rich: It brings wealthy people in, and ships the rest to Texas (and other states). Jay Cobb comments.

Patrick McKenna writes up some of the history of Irish-Americans transitions from being black to being white, and slaves’ and post-slaves’ troubles with them.

Travel industry folks are warning: Trumpism is bad for tourism.

Meet Center, North Dakota. Which, coincidentally, is the center of North America.

Meet Lily, South Dakota. Images of a near ghost town (population 4).

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Morning Ed: Immigration {2017.03.15.W}( 80 )

This sounds right to me: Public opinion can’t be allowed to dictate immigration policy, but should take a significant role in shaping it.

Greece reminds me a bit of Louisiana.

This is useful context, but not quite the argument people think it is. I have difficulty imagining anybody moved by “Wait, so it’s a civil infraction rather than a criminal one? I guess it’s okay then.”

South Africans are getting antsy about migrants and has their eye on white landowners.

According to Jane the Actuary, the historical immigrant to the United States wasn’t rich, but wasn’t necessarily as poor as advertised.

This makes some sense: As illegal immigration abates, immigrants as a group are becoming more educated.

Kyle Smith doesn’t expect Canada’s open arms to last.

Mexico is opening “Migrant Defense Centers” at their consulates.

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Morning Ed: Europe {2017.03.14.T}( 9 )

Ed West isn’t sure how pro-union brexiters are going to thread the needle. Chris Deerin says Scotland should bide its time, and Alex Massie is concerned about how much they were going to rely on oil.

Why hasn’t Ireland seen a rightwing backlash movement? Because its populists are on the left? Because (like Scotland) it’s so overwhelmingly white? Because, as the title suggest, Ireland’s always been [excrement]?

Matt Bruenig and Lyman Stone debate whether the small population of Nordica hindered or helped them on their road to being a utopia.

I don’t know, I think this could be defensible, depending on the law.

Matthew Lynn believes that Britain should consider a tax holiday. A year-long tax holiday.

The lasting effects of Nazi propaganda.

Oooh, oooh, will they have a bone in their nose I hope they have a bone in their nose! (From 2014)

Stick a wizard in here and you have a superhero origin.

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Morning Ed: Crime {2017.03.13.M}( 43 )

This strikes me as a good way to filter out all but the most gullible.

Crime may be down nationally, but there could be a reason that perceptions of crime may be up, in some places. It’s not hard to imagine some people seeing their own communities get worse and then (wrongly) extrapolating that to major cities where crime is actually down.

This seems like the contemporary equivalent of making the family pay for the executioner’s bullet.

The law enforcement potential of policy body cameras goes beyond policing the police.

Law enforcement is complaining that encryption is too greatly hindering their efforts.

Blackmail is illegal, it turns out, even if you’re a lawyer.

Can we try a man for attempting to murder a mannequin? Is this different than a man who plans sex with a catfishing cop pretending to be someone under age?

Laws step in when culture fails.

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Linky Friday: Home Ec( 94 )

Family:

[Fa1] According to a new study, authoritarian parenting leads to worse outcomes. This confirms my priors, though while the article focuses on the risks of self-reporting, I would be more concerned about kids with harsh parents more likely being the kids that do things that result in harsh parenting.

[Fa2] More adventures in confirmation bias, for me.

[Fa3] Spain wants more babies, and has appointed a special commissioner.

[Fa4] Wow, this is a really powerful piece.

[Fa5] Though I’m sure he said it with the best of intentions… but no.

[Fa6] Wow.

Food:

twinkies photo

Image by OnTask

[Fo1] I actually don’t mind this too much, though when you do filler like this you ought to add spice.

[Fo2] I have a sudden desire for some Twinkies.

[Fo3] I want to disagree with this assessment of Sheetz vs Wawa’s, but my experience with the latter is limited and I do have to agree that Sheetz burgers lack personality.

[Fo4] Celeste Noche argues that food bloggers are fueling racist stereotypes.

[Fo5] Elizabeth Nolan Brown looks at ten ridiculous food-marketing lawsuits. I dunno, I do get pissed when places use too much ice, and if fourteen people think McCormick ground pepper is under-filled maybe it’s under-filled.

Gender:

Image by hans s

Image by hans s

[G1] This is sad.

[G2] Women may never quite make it to half of the workforce.

[G3] The Sunday Star pays tribute to all the single ladies (of Malaysia).

[G4] Viking raiding communities skewed male and a new paper explains how that mattered.

[G5] It appears that bots are insufficiently woke.

[G6] The importance of Reading The Comments: Sarah Sicard says that sexism made her a better military reporter.

Pets:

twinkies photo

Image by gilmae

[P1] Psychology Today looks at our fascination with health-troubled purebreads. Long live the mutt! (Literally.)

[P2] Relatedly, everything about this story is insane. I can’t even get excited about the “helping people’s credit” part.

[P3] Dammit, people.

[P4] Not all male cats are deadbeat dads, it turns out.

[P5] Hurm. At least when you flush it down the toilet, you’re returning fish to the water.

[P6] When my dogs got ticks, I was surprised that we had vaccinations for Lyme Disease. We have them for humans, too, though people being people we managed to screw that up.

Shopping:

[S1] Sonny Bunch’s logic here is unassailable. I’ll never forget my first futon. And you can’t upgrade if you don’t start low.

[S2] “There are some basic questions to consider before you make the decision to take on a wedding loan.”… like whether or not you are fiscally responsible?

[S3] I’m up for embracing the brave new world in many respects, and it already goes on to some extent, but hyperlocalized price discrimination does make me uneasy.

[S4] One can imagine that at some point, Facebook will have a whole sales profile for the suicidal.

[S5] This will end in tears and recriminations.

[S6] Trump’s victory has been bad for the gun industry.

[S7] If you want to build support for The Wall, commercializing it (with yuppie trimmings, no less) seems like a pretty good way to do it.

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Science and Technology Links 3/9: The Color of Magic Laser Bubbles( 39 )

Aerospace

The Mach 3 Ford Trimotor variant, an aviation classic.

One way we can explore space relatively affordably is to spend less on building ships and habitats here and transporting them across the void, and more on building technology to use local materials to build ships and habitats on site.

The civilian tilt rotor gets closer to a certificate.

This is the next logical step, if you are thinking of going to Mars.  It is kind of annoying that we seem to be forced to follow this development path once again (but I understand why we must, 40 years is a long time).

Trappist Habitability  Yes, this is a huge amount of guess work, but you gotta start somewhere.

VASIMR aka the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket.  I suppose I could be lazy and say it’s a Hall effect ion thruster on steroids, but it is quite a bit more than that.  They key thing to keep in mind is this is not a reactionless drive.  It still needs fuel to turn into plasma.  But a nice, friendly inert gas is a lot easier to deal with than chemical rocket fuel.

Virgin Orbit  It’s a mothership launcher, but there is nothing wrong with that.  If you can use air breathing engines as high as possible, that’s a lot less rocket fuel and mass you need to start out with.  The relationship between starting altitude and launch mass is very much non-linear.

Bio and Medical

As a guy with measurable hearing loss (thank you jet engines…),  This piques my interest.  I see regenerative medicine is taking a stab at eliminating an old age stereotype.

So robots aren’t exactly replacing surgeons, but they sure are helping make surgery better.

Better painkillers from venomous snails.  I can see it now, the black market trade in marine snails skyrockets as poppy fields go fallow.

So diabetes really can get better with diet.

Another reason the anti-fat diet activists should have not been given nearly as much attention as they got.

Using adult stem cells to screen for cancer drug side effects.

A green light for better pain management?

While we wait for custom grown replacement organs, we still need to do things the old fashioned way.  But thanks to some nanoscience, we might get more time to do things the old fashioned way.

The price of vat grown meat is almost competitive.  Looks like it’s ground beef on the offering, which is probably the best place to start, since you can cover all manner of sins with seasoning.

Electronics and Other Tech

Disney Research has a way to wirelessly charge devices in a room.  Yes, that Disney.

Sing it with me!  “Tiny Bubbles!  Tiny, holographics bubbles!”  If we get this to cycle at 30 Hz, we’ll be in business.

But will it lead to a positronic brain?

Smart Holster that can tattle on cops who pull their guns.  It’s not a bad idea.  If a gun is leaving the holster, we probably want a public record, preferably from more than one perspective.

Beating slot machines with an iPhone.

This is actually kinda smart.

Printing a house.  Ok, printing the walls, basically.  Still…  Oh, video at the bottom.

Energy

Rhodium and UV light turns CO2 into CH4.

Putting this in energy because it’s about energy, specifically the energy of the earth’s magnetic field.

The Allam Cycle.  I haven’t fully parsed the process, but at first blush it seems reasonable.

Materials

Fiber reinforced hydrogel is surprisingly tough!

Improving plastics mechanical properties and recyclability.  Also, using waste products to reduce the cost of making plastic.

A metamaterial that can shape sound.  And levitate objects.  While I’m sure The Sharper Image will turn this into an executive toy in short order, a more practical application is drone propulsion inside a space ship or station.

This sounds like the opening of a sci-fi heist movie.

Creating ceramics at room temperature.  This makes sense, since what heat can do, pressure can often do as well.

Tooth enamel is some pretty impressive stuff.  Impressive enough that we might build airplanes out of it.

Anthropogenic minerals – i.e. minerals that only exist because humans (specifically, post industrial age humans).

Self folding materials are nothing new, and self folding materials that are triggered by light exist.  Now they can be triggered by specific wavelengths (color) of light.  The scientist in me thinks this is pretty neat, the engineer in me is still wondering where I’ll see this in the everyday.

3D Printing with cellulose (plants) derived plastics.  The obvious is less need for petroleum feedstocks.  The less obvious is the use of acetone evaporation for the curing.  Kind of like printing with shellac.

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Morning Ed: War {2017.03.08.W}( 139 )

This is one stolen prototype away from being a supervillain origin story.

Survive the armageddon in luxury.

Jon Schwartz argues that we fear Muslims due to our own denial and guilt.

Sana won’t condemn Daesh.

Sweden may reinstitute the draft, while Finland fights back in the info wars.

Thomas Donnelly and Gary Schmitt are less than impressed with Trump’s defense plans.

Andrew Exum believes that victory is imminent for Iraqi forces. Here’s an interactive map on where things stand in Syria.

Photographs of Revolutionary War veterans.

I am closest to the Menshevik Defensists. What about you?

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Morning Ed: Entertainment {2017.03.07.T}( 134 )

Sonny Bunch argues that the Oscars need to accept they’ve become niche. Gerry Dale’s related thread on The Oscars is worth a read.

Remember that movie with Sinbad as the genie Shazaam? No, actually, you don’t.

As we prepare for the next installment, everything we need to know about Twin Peaks.

Reihan Salam writing about Daria? CLICK! He really is right about the growth of the characters, though a lot of that is really crammed into the last season or so.

Bah. Pitchers that can’t hit and games that go on forever and ever are both institutions that shouldn’t be messed with. But if we just can’t handle it, let there be ties.

A career in video streaming ends badly.

INTERNAL DISPUTE CASE FILE NO. 3776

While I prefer the shorter season format, I do feel for the writers here.

Porn kills.

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Morning Ed: Media {2017.03.06.M}( 56 )

Well, that’s embarrassing.

Inside the outrage machine! You might be thinking I’m talking about right-wing sites or social justice warrior sites, but… many are actually owned by the same people.

Ben Rothenberg says “Who, me?” There used to be a blow-up here and there over “niggardly” being misheard and then a hubbub, offered resignation, and a resignation retracted (most notably in DC). I’m beginning to wonder if we’re no longer going to do that last part of the ritual.

Michelle Ye Hee Lee writes of her experiences as an Asian fact-checker in the last election.

As Avon Barksdale said, “That [stuff] cost money. It cost time and money.” (He wasn’t referring to journalism, however.)

Josh Kraushaar asks what happens when everybody loses credibility? I am particularly concerned that the media will confuse “being tough” too much with “being hard” and not enough with “being accurate.”

We can scoff at this, but lest we forget once upon a time Sun Myung Moon was crowned King of Peace in the Dirksen Senate building.

Julian Sanchez on the Trump Tower Tapping thing.

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Linky Friday: The Planet We Have( 185 )

Energy:

Image by bagalute

Image by bagalute

[En1] A big factor in renewables remains storage. Production is picking up!

[En2] Good, good. No regulation or subsidies necessary? The problem will take care of itself, then?

[En3] Win-win? Cooling the home and workplace with less energy. Maybe they should talk to the United Kingdom.

[En4] Transatomic Power is working on a nuclear reactor that even skeptical environmentalists could get behind.

[En5] Beware the radiation… of coal plants.

[En6] The oil sands are going dry. Ahem, for the time being.

Technology:

Blackberry photo

Image by steve_lodefink

[T1] Ryan Bethencourt looks at the biotech trends of 2017.

[T2] This is cool and all, I guess, but also cool is being able to swap out a battery so you don’t have to worry so much about finding public chargers.

[T3] Beware your third-party Android keyboard! Or maybe just your Android phone period.

[T4] Alas, Munich appears to be abandoning its Linux experiment. I’ve been jumping back into Linux myself. With WiFi seeming to work now (for some reason, it’s spotty with Mint but works with Ubuntu), the biggest obstacle remains the lack of Photoshop.

[T5] An inside look at how Google changed the Internet (again!) with Chrome. It actually has me wondering why Amazon hasn’t created a browser yet…

[T6] The long, tortured, spectacular death of the Blackberry. I still miss physical keyboards.

Science:

extra crispy photo

Image by stevendepolo

[Sc1] Well, when you put it this way, it does make sense that most published research findings would be false.

[Sc2] How science went Hollywood.

[Sc3] Putting science and technology together to teach us how to die

[Sc4] Matthew Herper says we should (mostly!) stop freaking out about gene modification attempts.

[Sc5] Why do reasonable people “doubt science“? Do people doubt science, or doubt scientists (and/or their messengers)?

Earth:

[Ea1] How climate change will affect southern Europe.

[Ea2] For different reasons than the environmentalists, Katie Tubb and Heritage are not on board with the GOP’s carbon tax proposal. They make a fair point about opacity, but as long as it’s (mostly) a pass-through, it seems to me to be mostly a moot point. That said, I am skeptical it would, if passed, save the world.

[Ea3] The leader of Britain’s Green Party worries that Brexit will be bad for the environment.

[Ea4] India now has the world’s worse pollution.

[Ea5] According to the new study, there’s darkness within the ice, waiting to be unleashed. (Meanwhile, at the other end…)

[Ea6] A look at Dell’s recycling efforts.

Beyond:

mars photo

Image by Kevin M. Gill

[B1] India wants to go send an orbiter back to Mars. Lest we forget, India and Mars have a history.

[B2] The.. three moons of Mars? Once upon a time, maybe.

[B3] Juno is sticking with Jupiter.

[B4] Black holes be hungrier than we thought, apparently.

[B5] Could Tatooine be out there?

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Morning Ed: Food {2017.03.02.Th}( 108 )

Marie-Helene Rousseau writes of the Ethopian restaurant community in DC.

How did this not debut in the United States?

I love pork so I hate stories like this.

Meet the man Jordan Anaya calls the the Donald Trump of food science.

What do people use food stamp money on? Well, food.

Quentin Fottrell makes the case that Trump was right to force the meatloaf onto Chris Christie, and not out of Christie-animus.

So, yeah. Jamestown.

This is a delightful little story.

It may be better for the chicken, but eggs from free pasture hens are not better for you.

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Morning Ed: Transportation {2017.03.01.W}( 35 )

How German carmakers plan to navigate the future of transportation.

The thing is, it wasn’t really the bug that caused the divorce… (though I’m not sure if they see it that way in France).

Purvi Rajani tells the story of cruise ships and pirates.

No gondola?

How did this happen somewhere other than in Florida?

Just when you think you’ve got a retrograde outrage, it gets a bit more complicated.

A look at Google’s lawsuit against Uber in the smart car battles. It involves lasers! Either way, Ryan Felton says Uber is doomed. If so, that doesn’t bode well for the future of Flying Cars.

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Morning Ed: World {2017.02.28.T}( 64 )

Mark Brolin writes of the state (of disconnect with the real world) of Labour.

Rage against the present.

This is a superhero origin story.

Like crop circles, except Amazonian and without the crops.

Swedish officials want to know who the heck this guy is.

The fate of Rachel Dolezal, and some commentary from Jazz Shaw.

My god, they do have a superior culture.

St Patrick didn’t actually banish the snakes from Ireland. Here’s how it went down.

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Morning Ed: Automation {2017.02.27.M}( 146 )

A lot of manufacturing jobs are being automated out of jobs, but a lot of them aren’t.

But… if it’s robots either way, why make stuff in China to begin with? (Raw minerals, I guess…)

Could personalized learning make teachers obsolete? I was never big on “computers in the classroom” until I saw them at work in Redstone. The individual tailoring has remarkable potential.

Tyler Cowen is not even a little bit comforted by comparisons of our current predicament to the Industrial Revolution, which actually had some negative impact on workers.

You know a product is revolutionary when all an ad has to do is show you what it does.

David Meyer Lindenberg investigates what could go wrong with teleconferenced traffic stops.

Slate investigates how half of the country grew up thinking that Eli Whitney was black.

James Pethokoukis looks at the economic boost driverless cars could give the economy. The question is, of course, who reaps the dividends?

Cade Metz says when it comes to AI, we need to worry less about Skynet and more about destroying the middle class.

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Linky Friday: Survival of the Fittest( 464 )

Crime:

(Not this Black Widow. Or Marvel's)

(Not this Black Widow. Or Marvel’s)

[C1] The story of Carmine Caridi, the only man ever kicked out of the Academy (as in the Academy Awards Academy).

[C2] Meet Black Widow, the superhero of Norfolk.

[C3] The government does make it harder for ex-offenders to find work, but can also make it harder for ex-offenders to keep jobs when temporary parole revocation is applied too easily.

[C4] Is the TSA’s behavior screening program a bunch of hokum?

[C5] Germany is cracking down on biohacking.

[C6] The story of shadowy illicit cigarette sales, featuring the ATF.

[C7] Because I screwed up the link on Wednesday: The title explains it all: How a former editor allegedly used Vice Canada to recruit drug mules for a global smuggling ring.

Economics:

Socialism photo

Image by Patrick Denker

[Ec1] From the Jacobin, a look at how capitalists threaten strike and use their power to get their way.

[Ec2] Well, no, Mao probably didn’t do more good than harm. Relatedly, Adam Ozimek argues that socialism is bad.

[Ec3] Mirian Tupy wonders if Britain may position itself as the new Singapore. Or maybe Silicon Valley.

[Ec4] As the oil wells run dry, Gabon is looking at becoming a Trading hub.

[Ec5] Donald Boudreaux argues for Econ 101.

[Ec6] Adam Ozimek takes issue with the idea that macroeconomics is all about the confirmation of priors.

Marriage:

[M1] Eat, Stay, Love? According to some research, an unhappy couple that sticks it out is likely to find happiness.

[M2] Drake Baer argues that we should stop treating the divorce rate like the crime rate. It’s certainly a more complicated statistic. We certainly don’t want a divorce rate of zero. Divorce rates don’t seem to have lead to happier marriages (by attrition), though divorce rate can also fall if fewer people get married.

[M3] A new study suggests that gender traditionalism is okay for religious marriages, but bad for non-religious ones.

[M4] About five percent of male prairie voles form monogamous bonds. What separates them from their peers? They can gain the ability actually tell the ladies apart.

Breeding:

[B1] I’ve been shown this story both by libertarians who want to blame regulation and liberals who want to blame fundies for the fact it happened in Mexico instead of the US.

[B2] Babies are getting bigger. Are c-sections promoting evolution?

[B3] Robert VerBruggen – who is not a Nazi – argues that eugenics has not, in fact, been discredited.

[B4] I am glad I never read this piece when we were naming Lain, or we would definitely have been victim to paralysis-by-analysis. With any luck, though, we will have this problem at some point in the future.

[B5] Can we breed chickens to suffer less?

Nature:

lamprey photo

Image by edans

[N1] Look, I’m not going to argue with the spider. Are you?

[N2] Ugh. Okay, I guess bees are necessary.

[N3] Toddlers are dumber than chickens.

[N4] There are female lampreys that engage in sham mating, with birth control (or egg withholding) on the sly.

[N5] This was known about monkeys, but corvids also: Don’t cheat me, bro.

[N6] Monster worm! Monster worm! And not even in Australia. Before we start thinking Dune or whatever, they’re actually under two centimeters long, but that’s apparently very big for this sort of thing.

Education:

caribbean photo

Image by Travelbusy.com

[Ed1] Lurking in the background of this article about for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean is the increase of medical school slots in the US, which has not been met by an increase in the number of residency slots. This means that having an MD (or DO) is no longer an automatic ticket to a residency and being a physician. This also has implication for people booted from residency, and visa applicants.

[Ed2] At Jacobin, Tanner Howard explains how elite universities regressively work to maintain the class hierarchy.

[Ed3] The irony with this one is deep. I am glad that she has alternatives for her kid.

[Ed4] Alexandru Pintilie asks whether her career, teaching high school math, is useless.

[Ed5] Glynn Custred laments anthropologies turn from science into activism. As an aside, this day and age dropping the word “science” from a mission statement is just dumb. I mean, whether you plan to actially be scientific or not that would should be everywhere you can put it because people f’ing love science.

[Ed6] Wait… whiteboards?

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Tech Thursday: Billions & Billions( 45 )

Materials

Suddenly, I very much want to invest in Vanadium Futures

Nanotube reinforced Graphene.  Tough and conductive.  Come on now, say it with me… “SPACE ELEVATOR!”  And look, we can make the stuff with soybeans.  Related, perhaps the secret to strong elevator cables is tiny little knots.

The future will be very… flexible.  From stretchy printed circuits, to flexible solar or stealth coatings, to thermally conductive rubber.

I can think of more applications for a nearly uncuttable textile rope than just a bike lock.  Although BDSM applications should probably be avoided.

Another product that might not need oil as a feedstock.

Transportation

Autonomous cars are getting smarter.

A new camera helps cars to see by reducing the amount of data it needs to process.  This might sound bad (less data means less info to make decisions upon), but it’s not.

Making better LED street lights and signs.

Field testing CNG truck fleets.  If your fleet is relatively local, it can make sense to use energy sources besides gas and diesel, like compressed natural gas.

Honda and Hitachi are joining forces to build higher quality, lower cost electric vehicle components.  This sounds like a significant signal that electric vehicles will go mainstream pretty soon.

Aerospace

Two Billion pixels of nebula.

Saturn’s Rings in detail.

That’s a neat drone launch and retrieval system.

There is something about gyrocopters that I just love.

A primer on the legal landscape of lunar real estate.

Exploring the ass end of aerospace.

Way to stick that landing of a stick!

Now I know where Firefly happens!

Bio and Medical

Stem cells treat brain cancer.

You just know this is a superhero/villain origin story.

I used to think Chimeras were just something from the AD&D Monster Manual, now they are a hope for organ transplants.

We’ve all seen lab printers, but printable labs are even cooler.

Brazilian weed offers a new tool for fighting drug resistant bacteria.

A way to create addiction resistance?

Production

Farming algae more efficiently.  This is actually pretty neat.

Printing prosthetics.

Robots

Asimov was only missing 20 rules or robotics.

Sometimes you want to take a cue from nature, and sometimes nature has other design goals than man does.

Two legged robots take another step.

Lightweight Iron Man!

Energy

A better Pee Battery.  Ya know, I hate that term, Pee Battery.  It’s not like you can park one of these behind the local tavern and hook it to the urinals.  Although speaking of pee and power

A single material that is photo-, pyro-, and pizeo-voltaic, at the same time.  Speaking of perovskite, we are closer to being able to make them cheaply, at low temperatures.

Future phones could have touch screens that double as solar panels, thank to dual function LEDs.

A non-toxic, long life flow battery.

Not that we’ll ever let nuclear power ascend enough for this to matter, but there is a new, easy way to extract uranium from seawater.

Other Tech

This is not the sexiest application of CFD I’ve ever seen, but it’s still kinda neat.   (From Aaron, who has never had a Shamrock Shake).

Using heat for levitation.  Don’t get too excited, they were levitating lint at super cold temperatures.  But, it’s the first time anyone has done it.

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Morning Ed: Media {2017.02.22.W}( 153 )

Social media was meant to unite us, but according to Alex Berezow instead created a perfect storm.

The title explains it all: How a former editor allegedly used Vice Canada to recruit drug mules for a global smuggling ring.

In case you ever wanted to know what happens to the archives of defunct newspapers, Slate covered it some time back.

Bryan Curtis writes more on the politicization of sportswriting. Michael Brendan Dougherty argues that it’s actually hurting the quality of the work.

An upside to Trump? His war with CNN could make cable cheaper!

Conservatives have pointed out that our last president had his own little war with the media, and then claim the media was silent when it was about Fox News. The thing is, that latter part is not true.

While the Fox News report on Sweden that Trump alluded to had some serious journalistic problems, he’s not crazy to believe that Sweden is having some issues. Kevin Drum just wants people to use valid numbers when discussing it, even when inconvenient.

For the love of heaven, media, stop putting the words “election” and “hacking” together. Especially with articles showing people voting.

Ugh. I do hate it when I find myself agreeing with Gawker people.

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The Boy Who Flew Too Close To The Sun( 156 )

After Underage Sex Comments, Milo Yiannopoulos Loses CPAC Invite, Book Deal (NPR)

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos lost both a speaking gig at a prominent conservative event and a book deal in less than 24 hours.

First, Monday afternoon the American Conservative Union rescinded its invitation to the right-wing provocateur — noted for his political posts on the Internet — to speak at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference this upcoming weekend. Then, a few hours later, Simon & Schuster announced that it was canceling the publication of Yiannopoulos’ upcoming book, Dangerous.

These actions come in the wake of a social media backlash against Yiannopoulos after the conservative news outlet The Reagan Battalion tweeted videos on Sunday in which Yiannopoulos appears to condone statutory rape and sexual relationships between boys and men.

Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News (NBC)

Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos resigned as an editor from Breitbart News amid backlash from fellow conservatives over controversial comments he made on sexual relationships between boys and older men.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said he did not want his “poor choice of words” to take away from the “important job” of his colleagues, adding that the decision to step down was “mine alone.”

“Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved. They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I’m grateful for that freedom and for the friendships I forged there,” Yiannopoulos wrote.

{Feature Image}

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Morning Ed: World {2017.02.21.T}( 23 )

UK abortion docs have more business from Ireland than they can handle.

Hey, not everything is terrible! (Excepting the fact of the circumstances that required 669 to be saved, of course.)

A lot of things are terrible, though.

Putin brings the band back together.

Behold, the eighth continent! And why it matters. The “sunken continent” is usually assigned to the Atlantic, but the Pacific makes way more sense.

This makes sense, when we think about which Israeli Jews are reproducing in large numbers and which ones aren’t.

Is this the most American story or the most Florida story ever told?

Well, this stinks.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2017.02.20.M}( 232 )

Maybe tamp down the protests, a bit. Such things can be overdetermined, but I’ve had people on both sides of the 2016 vote tell me that BLM and the Charlotte Rage may have flipped North Carolina.

There has to be a middle ground between the dumb view of “keep politics out of our comic books” (Uhhh, they’ve always been there) and politics overwhelming the medium. Whatever the case, it’s looking like Marvel might be taking a step back from the latter.

Michael Weiss argues that Trump isn’t disciplined enough to be Big Brother. As Trizzlor pointed out on Twitter (you should follow him there, if you don’t), the notion that he is this totalitarian ruler might be considered complimentary to him and many of his supporters.

What if Building The Wall ends up keeping more people in than out?

This strikes me as obvious, but important. Somewhat relatedly, but not the same thing, for people like me, there is a “woah” moment when someone big I mention or talk about on Twitter is suddenly talking to me when I’m used to being ignored.

Chris Ladd explains how Trump is the White Marion Barry.

Protest at your peril. Whether I am sympathetic to the workers or the employer depends on the particulars of the situation.

From Ted Cruz to Hillary Clinton to Vladimir Putin, it’s all fun-and-games until it isn’t anymore.

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Linky Friday: Learnin’ & Earnin’( 188 )

Learning, The Early Years:

preschool photo

Image by andrewmalone

[L1] I’ll be darned if this story doesn’t confirm a lot of my biases about public school systems, the CPS, and attitudes towards homeschooling. UPDATE: It may not be an isolated incident.

[L2] I’ve always gone back and forth on the “read a new book” and “read the same book” or “read a new book,” though most of the things mentioned in this article are relevant to both. Just read, basically.

[L3] Have we figured out a fool-proof way to teach kids math?

[L4] A while back, Gabriel Rossman wrote about publication bias and how it affected the universal pre-K debate.

[L5] I am, as always, entirely on board with starting school later.

Migration:

moving photo

Image by Alikai

[M1] The recovery from job loss takes less time if you live near family. The power of social networks, or an artifact that they actually make less money to begin with and it’s easier to recover from a lower base?

[M2] No surprise, I agree with Kevin Williamson on helping people relocate, though the political environment right now seems pretty brutal for the concept.

[M3] One thing Mark Whitehouse says we can do to help African-Americans is through changing zoning laws so that people can move to where the opportunities are. (Alternately, we could just give them wealthier parents.)

[M4] Colleges are worried about a drop in foreign applicants to engineering schools. Maybe not just them.

[M5] Remember when threats to move to Canada were meant as a joke?

Crime:

[C1] The videos on this story remind me old GI Joe cartoons where they couldn’t use guns and so had “laser guns.”

[C2] Sweden is increasing the criminalization of rape by removing the concept of rape. {via Jaybird}

[C3] In what was thought to be a sequel to the rapes in Cologne, the alleged New Year rapes in Frankfurt didn’t happen.

[C4] If you have diarrhea, it’s apparently an officer’s right to obstruct your trip to the bathroom on a traffic stop.

[C5] George Friedman has an alternate take on the Flynn resignation.

Economics:

world of warcraft photo

Image by foeock

[E1] In the abstract, I agree with this piece about falling home prices. In the real, we recently bought our first house and will probably be moving again in the next few years. Oh, dear. I’ve become one of those people.

[E2] Yay markets! Even though I don’t consider myself a light user, the $5 price bump (as well as the implication that the new price is introductory) is probably not worth it for us. It’s funny to watch the industry come full circle, though.

[E3] I do not find this tidbit about Steve Bannon surprising at all.

[E4] Maybe less coding and more networking is needed. Both can be helpful! Though one of them is both (a) teachable and (b) non-zero sum.

[E5] Jane the Actuary believes it’s time to put an end to under-the-table domestic engineer work. Given that both employer and employee benefit, easier said that done.

Working:

[W1] While New Hampshire just killed theirs, Missouri recently signed a Right-to-Work bill, and the unions are responding.

[W2] South Carolinian Being workers, meanwhile, said “no union for us.”

[W3] It’s not uncommon to be unable to retain personnel due to low pay and tough working conditions, but it’s not the sort of thing you expect with politicians.

[W4] The rise and fall of the six-hour work day in Sweden.

[W5] How. Odd.

Learning, Continued:

frat house photo

Image by kafka4prez

[L6] Maybe the problem with vocational schools isn’t too little demand so much as not enough supply.

[L7] Is coding going blue collar? It… depends on the intelligence level of the blue collar workers we’re talking about. From experience I can tell you, some just can’t do it.

[L8] This has me wondering if we’re going to see national shifts in evidentiary thresholds in campus rape allegations every time there is a party change in the White House.

[L9] Interesting! Now, who’s going to be the first to sue American employers for disparate impact? {via Jaybird}

[L0] Mike Riggs writes of his life, times, and illusion of immortality as a fraternity brother.

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Morning Ed: Healthcare {2017.02.16.Th}( 19 )

John Timmer writes about a new study suggesting better heart outcomes when cardiologists aren’t around. They’re not sure if it’s a staffing thing, holding off procedures until they get back, or extra caution on the part of the remaining doctors.

The visa crackdown could have adverse effects on ruralian healthcare as many of their doctors have visas. A lot of people underestimate the reliance on immigrants in rural hospitals, because we often assume that immigrants wouldn’t be caught dead there, but that’s not the case and it would be better if such programs were expanded rather than contracted.

I was about to say that the pharmaceutical industry needs to stop doing this, but actually it’s the government that needs to stop it.

Thomas Nasca writes about the new residency working hours, and the expected effects. The 2011 requirements were actually better than what my wife had in 2011.

Aaron Carroll reports that for some medication – such as asthma inhalers, we can raise the price without decreasing utilization.

I hadn’t thought about it, but now that I have the ethical issues of crowdfunding medical expenses do seem kind of problematic. {More}

China has revised its organ donation programs, trying to convince the medical world that it has reformed.

As we’re doing with Down Syndrome, are we setting the stage to abort autism out of existence?

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Morning Ed: Cities {2017.02.15.W}( 191 )

One advantage to abolishing city limits is that it would bring in suburban tax revenue. Another advantage, to me, is that it would moderate leftward dominance of major cities by bringing in suburban voters, though for leftwards that might be more of a bug than a feature.

That is, of course, what Poland’s Law & Justice Party has in mind.

Everybody knows that when it comes to city size, the big are getting bigger and the small are getting smaller. It’s more complicated than that, though. Towns below a certain size are dying, but that size is really small.

When you have lemons, make lemonade!

Greenery is nice, but this sure seems to take up some valuable real estate.

If you can’t built greenery sideways, maybe build it up!

Tracking heat in Los Angeles.

Even before Trump, it was always about the suburbs. And will be for the forseeable future, as nobody can win without them.

It’s not clear to me that a city that is flooded three times a week is still a city anymore. Seawalls and heading for the hills it is, most likely.

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Morning Ed: War {2017.02.14.T}( 57 )

James Holmes explains what our navy can learn from the Cylons and the Enterprise.

This is a pretty flattering profile of Tillerman’s security philosophy. {More}

I sometimes get the impression that it’s going to be awkward explaining to Lain about how it was the Europeans who used to be considered progressive on Islam and the Middle East and immigration related to both.

Canada, meanwhile, likes Trump better than Trudeau on national security.

Putin is preparing for war, and Gorbachev is worried.

I’m seeing this get tossed around as an example of Evil Trump, but it’s not just icky conservatives and libertarians saying that the conflict mineral provisions of Dodd-Frank backfired in a pretty big way and the authority cited in the article helped spearhead the effort.

Anne Frank may have been done in by an investigation involving ration coupons.

While Tulsi Gabbard is getting a lot of criticism domestically for her trip to Syria, she has the appreciation of the aunt of the dead boy on the beach.

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Morning Ed: Media {2017.02.13.M}( 88 )

Well, this is a real bummer. I can tell how good a news outlet is doing by how frustrated I am by the paywall. WSJ is in the top five.

The subject of Shy Trumpers recently came up. Steven Shepard argues that the phenomenon could mean we’re underestimating Trump’s popularity. I don’t think we are, or at least aren’t by that much. The “safe harbor” for shy Trumpers will be a Clintonesque divergence between favorables and approvals, which we’re not really seeing yet.

Noah Rothman would really like conservative critics of the media to take a step back.

Reuters seems poised to cover Donald Trump as they would an authoritarian dictator.

Every conservative media outlet that stood against Trump, or stood on the sidelines, paid a pretty significant price for doing so. Breitbart, meanwhile, reaped the whirlwind.

Bless Natalie Jackson for taking a good and righteous stand against questions like the PPP’s about the “Bowling Green Massacre.”

Does journalism need to get back to its blue-collar roots? The real question is… can it? As media becomes more vertical and hierarchal, it’s logical and probably inevitable that it would be largely populated by elites with the best connections who went to the best college that the well-to-do families they were born to could afford to prepare them for and send them.

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