Latest Linkage

Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.09.19.Tu}( 61 )

[LO1] Tyler Cowen investigates the claim that maybe we need more police.

[LO2] This sounds pretty serious.

[LO3] Not much headway has been made in attempts to get Ferguson, Missouri, to stop burying its own people in fines.

[LO4] Prosecuting parents for the sins of the child.

[LO5] An appeals court rules that alienation of affection is speech.

[LO6] The fact that Deep Throat turned out to be a petty bureaucrat really is kind of a cool plot twist.

[LO7] A family business in West Virginia.

[LO8] Checking in with Rod Blagojevichand how he is adapting to prison.

[LO9] Taking care of prisoners is kind of tricky.


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: World {2017.09.18.M}( 57 )

[Wo1] To no great surprise, Trump’s relationship with South America isn’t great.

[Wo2] Iceland was saved by the tourism and is… sinking by the tourism?

[Wo3] Environmentalists in Mongolia may have reason to go brownshirt.

[Wo4] Eddie the Quitter may need to move over for Princess Mako.

[Wo5] A (likely doomed) effort to strip a doctor of her medical license for her anti-SSM activism.

[Wo6] Look, all I’m saying is that if we wanted to move to a constitutional monarchy Britain may have a monarch to spare.

[Wo7] China doesn’t want our junk anymore.

[Wo8] An interesting hypothetical: If five historical great empires existed concurrently, what might that look like? (Did I already run this?)

[Wo9] This is a pretty ingenious solution. It can work in other context, too, including the infamous wedding baker scenarios: Bake the cake, but threaten to donate the proceeds to an organization opposed to them.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: The Swamp Party( 137 )


algebra photo

Image by arjin j

[Ed1] I totally remember this. High school scared the crap out of me when it came to college… and I found college easier.

[Ed2] Reason takes a closer look at Seattle’s free community college plan, and similar ones. They don’t sound like bad plans, in the overall, but don’t seem to deliver what they advertise.

[Ed3] It will be interesting to see who will be able to get these loans, and who can’t. The idea of “loans based on a share of income” has been tossed around for a while, but if we do that then we need to consider income potential.

[Ed4] I’ve been to one of these frat parties (called a “swamp party”). I recommend them. Now might not be the best time to talk about this, though.

[Ed5] Toby Young argues that Prince George ought to be going to public school.

[Ed6] Noah Smith tweets on the anti-algebra movement and Adak Elkus juxtaposes it with “everybody should code.” I remain unconvinced. Coding proved infinitely more valuable to me than algebra, and I don’t mean vocationally. Learning coding logic taught me logic in a tangible way.


[La1] Mathias Shapiro is done with the hustle.

[La2] So why are unionized workers less happy? (Note: It’s not necessarily cause-effect.)

[La3] Well this is certainly a positive development, if true.

[La4] Somebody give me an award, please, because evidently I avoided the unavoidable.

[La5] I don’t know enough about French politics to know if President Jupiter ought to have said this about union workers, but cue the victory music!


Photo by MabelAmber

[An1] All roads seem to lead to pets just being allowed everywhere. I could definitely see, however, them not being allowed to speak.

[An2] Behold, the intelligence of the octopus. Which is good, because evidently they’re taking over 2/3 of the planet. Perhaps they will appreciate this shrine.

[An3] This is, if not a supervillain origin story, then at least the fulcrum of a supervillain plot.

[An4] Female birds are sneaky.

[An5] The French have a love/hate relationship with rats, according to Theodore Dalrymple.

[An6] I swear, all the plots for 2017 are just ridiculous.

[An7] How does this island exist? Do the snakes just each each other? This is like the Nightmare! level of a video game. Can we convince Trump that it’s an island nation we need to nuke?

[An8] First, kill all the kangaroos. Well, many of them anyway.


[Ec1] Maybe unhappy people just need to better understand marginal utility.

[Ec2] Are our outrageous health care costs mostly just a product of our standard of living?

[Ec3] Behold, the wisdom of the lower classes.

[Ec4] Oliver Wiseman suggests the wealthy are hoarding the American dream.

[Ec5] The power of optimism, as human capital!


india flood photo

Image by joiseyshowaa

[Ci1] Our major cities are producing fewer black mayors as African-Americans dilute their vote by moving around. {This was previously linkied, but evidently nobody followed it because it was linkied wrong.}

[Ci2] Richard Florida declares an end to the urban revival. Meanwhile, Devon Marisa Zuegel writes of the many ways the government created suburbia.

[Ci3] This seems mostly like the dream of the rich and popular kids to hang out with other rich and popular kids instead of those it is bound to. And, ultimately, using its power and influence to make that happen.

[Ci4] Does India have a sprawl problem that’s making its flooding worse?

[Ci5] I speak of some western cities as giving Mother Nature the middle finger, but maybe I should add South Florida to the list.

[Ci6] Meh.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Hurricanes {2017.09.14.Th}( 89 )

[Hu1] If you have permission, of course, it’s not stealing. But good work, everybody.

[Hu2] This is pure Florida. Though, to be fair, it would be pure Texas, too.

[Hu3] Maybe that will reduce the fears about Florida’s tourism industry.

[Hu4] Faith groups have taken a central role in disaster recovery.

[Hu5] I can’t approve of stealing cars or raiding them for parts, but if you’re going to do it, do it to these guys.

[Hu6] Will Harvey cause Houston to rethink development?

[Hu7] A public service announcement: How to tell if a used car got flooded out.

[Hu8] A part of me applauds this, though a part of me thinks stuff like this should be announced beforehand. Then again, I don’t think it happened in Houston so maybe there was no reason for Florida to expect it?

[Hu9] How the Irma bullet was dodged.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Media {2017.09.13.W}( 28 )

[Me1] Michelle Dean writes about crime story addicts and crime reporting.

[Me2] A look at Glenn Greenwald and the humor of Charlie Hebdo.

[Me3] Ed Miliband speaks out against the proposed Fox acquisition of Sky News.

[Me4] The Russian troll factory is going legit! Well, “legit” isn’t quite right… but more above-board. But wait! There’s more

[Me5] So how powerful is Fox News, exactly?

[Me6] Good for the New York Times. And especially the Miami Herald.

[Me7] Terry Mattingly writes on the media coverage of Feinstein’s question of Amy Coney Barrett.

[Me8] Wow, Eric Bolling had an unimaginably bad week.

[Me9] Dan Scotto’s twitter-thread on the media and Twitter is worth reading.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Tech Tuesday – Firsts and Anniversaries Edition( 36 )

It’s been a crazy week and weekend.  I was supposed to be in Orlando, but that’s been cancelled (big storm, maybe you heard about it…), however, the window guys called yesterday and asked if they could get the new windows installed today.  Couple that with first and the anniversary…


Aero1 – The solar eclipse, as seen from the moon.

Aero2 – I can’t say that it’s aliens, but…  (it’s not aliens, probably…) (Also, Canada is ready to have a good hard look at it)

Aero3 – A box wing and a tilt rotor.  I have to admit, I like it.  It’s a functional aesthetic that appeals to me.

Aero4 – Testing rocket parts with a gas gun, instead of explosives.  Safer, and less toxic.

Aero5 – The Dream Chaser spacecraft.  It’s a lifting body that should be pretty flexible with regard to how it gets to space (put on a big rocket and launch from the ground, put it on a smaller rocket and launch from a high altitude carrier, etc.).  It’s neat, but so far it has failed to get me too excited.  Speaking of space planes


Arch1 – If you are going to live in an area prone to wildfires, it’s a good idea to not have a home built of flammable materials.  This is one of those things that insurance rates should capture.


Bio1 – FDA opens a can on BS Stem Cell treatments.  The libertarian in me wanted to be all indignant about this, but then I read that one company was mixing stem cells with small pox vaccines and injecting that into tumors to… I would assume trigger some kind of immune response to fight the cancer, but there is zero clinical evidence that this does anything (i.e. that isn’t how you get immunotherapies to work).  Fraud, even if well intentioned, is one of those areas where government is supposed to get involved.  Here’s hoping the FDA doesn’t crack down too hard, since there are a lot of treatments that do have clinical evidence supporting them.

Bio2 – Got diabetes?  Chocolate is good for you!  Well, cocoa is.  Sugar free cocoa, because sugar is still going to give you trouble.  Of course, so is gut bacteria (and I love how that graphic hear the top has the bacteria looking like sprinkles on a donut).

Bio3 – A single treatment that can target multiple neurological disorders.  It’s all about the folding proteins.

Bio4 – Speaking of the FDA, they approved a new gene therapy to fight childhood leukemia.  It ain’t cheap, but it’s the first of it’s kind, so that is to be expected.

Bio5 – Remember Zika?  How it deforms the brains of unborn babies.  Turns out that makes it a stone cold brain cancer assassin.  Hopefully…

Bio6 – Using a diamond to detect Alzheimer’s early.  The fingerprint spectra is pretty interesting.


Enrg1Sending heat back to space.

Enrg2 – Attention K-Mart shoppers, we are having a blue light special on hydrocarbons!

Enrg3 – Sometimes evolution finds the most efficient way to do things, and sometimes man does.

Enrg4 – And then nature says, not so fast, I’ve been doing this longer.


Phys1 – Look at that, science working as intended.

Phys2 – Coming soon to Flickr and YouTube, pics and vids of molecules in action.


Tech1 – A 360 camera that you can frame and re-frame.  Combine with a light field camera, and not only would you have a very cool camera, you’d have a great vision system for autonomous vehicles.

Tech2 – Using lasers to clean dirt.  Yeah, you read that right.

Tech3 – All those years of playing Operation will finally pay off!

Tech4 – As a parent, I appreciate the effort, but I swear the styling makes me think the kid belongs to Creche 5224 of the New Society of Man, or something.

Tech5 – Man, I remember talking about stuff like this back in the 80’s, when we were playing CyberPunk and figuring out how the various cybernetics were powered.


Trans1 – Looking at nature for new ideas for submersibles.

Wacky, Weird, and Wonderful

WWW1 -A small acknowledgement in a pretty unremarkable paper has caused quite a stir.

WWW2 – Oh, wow, look at that, we are still evolving.  This is my surprised face…

WWW3 – Yeah, no way that turns into a happy ending.


The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories creates tremendous bursts of energy using less power than it would take to light 100 homes for a few minutes(Credit: Randy Montoya/Sandia Labs, CC2.0)

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: United States {2017.09.11.M}( 167 )

[US1] Some reflections on 9/11. And, the story of The Falling Man.

[US2] A brief history of American Communism during the Red Scare.

[US3] Lyman Stone looks at purchasing power in the fifty states.

[US4] “I don’t mind the sun sometimes and the things it makes grow
I have the best law in my neighborhood if you didn’t know…”

[US5] We all know about Puerto Rico’s troubles, but things aren’t looking so good in the Virgin Islands.

[US6] Tyler Cowen cites Virginia as a multicultural success story.

[US7] Margaret Biser used to give tours of plantations, and relays the questions she would get about slavery. One can only imagine the frustration of people who went to see a tour of a plantation only to get story after story about slavery…

[US8] Boy. This story

[US9] Jeff Jacoby writes of the success of America’s melting pot.


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: Flood ‘n’ Games( 68 )


Photo by ROOKIE23

[Tx1] Houston will probably be rebuilt and, even if we were to price in the geographic liabilities, will pay no mind to the danger.

[Tx2] Henry Grabar says that zoning would not have prevented much of the disaster. {More}

[Tx3] Besides, argues Nicole Gelinas, Houston has already done quite a lot.

[Tx4] Erica Grieder explains why Harvey wasn’t politicized.

[Tx5] Here is everything a grocery store chain in Texas does to stay open as much as possible during a hurricane.

[Tx6] Austin is growing like hot-cakes but their school district’s enrollment keeps declining.

[Tx7] Houston Texan (my heavens what a terrible team name) DJ Reader doesn’t believe in dinosaurs, and his teammates are not letting him hear the end of it.


Photo by KeithJJ

[Ga1] I am, of course, very supportive of a development league for football… but not very optimistic.

[Ga2] Urban Meyer has had it with college football coaches blaming the players they were left with.

[Ga3] Tim Tebow’s rookie season was not spectacular.

[Ga4] Ed Cunningham is stepping away from being a football analyst as something of a conscientious objector.

[Ga5] Women’s basketball in Somalia! (Seriously: Interesting story.)

[Ga6] Nintendo flips the bird to the trades and blue collar work.

[Ga7] Men are better than women at Scrabble because they practice useless skills. Phoebe-Jane Boyd complains that she cultivates useless skills, too.


[Tr1] Haley Byrd gives the run down on rest stops. I am pretty flexible on private opportunities as long as we never start seeing “No Loitering” signs.

[Tr2] Though it tickles the right spots ideologically, I have difficulty with variable congestion pricing in large part because cost predictability matters. I’m not opposed to tolls being different at different times of day, however.

[Tr3] This might end badly.

[Tr4] Pontevedra, Spain, didn’t need to ban cars. They just needed to move cars down to the bottom of the pecking order. Is Paris next?

[Tr5] Apparently some Uber/Lyfe drivers have been renting their car?

[Tr6] The good news is that there’s a new electric car that can go 30 kilometers on one change. The bad news is that you may not want the would-be drivers going that far.

[Tr7] The Chinese can’t have nice things, either.


twins photo

Image by Marxchivist

[Sc1] This is not irrational. In many (most) walks of life, what others think really is more important than what’s true.

[Sc2] Twins are proof that God loves science and wants it to prosper.

[Sc3] Tweetstorm: John Holbein makes a pretty valid point about “obvious” social science research.

[Sc4] It’s like Indiana Jones except with math.

[Sc5] I cannot emphasize how much I believe this to be true. It’s often the case that nobody is more dangerous than the wounded.

[Sc6] If you want scientists to open their data, instead of money or publication give them… badges?

[Sc7] Personal responsibility and self-criticism in the sciences of psychology.


flood damage house photo

Image by Pam_Andrade

[Ho1] We have a housing shortage because we want one.

[Ho2] Peter Moskowitz has a breathtakingly simple solution to the housing crisis.

[Ho3] According to a new study, concerns that low-income housing negatively impacts nearby home values. Which is a little confusing, because if a perception is widespread enough you’d expect the market reflect that even if it has no other basis.

[Ho4] The Adam Smith institute explains how expensive homes make everyone poorer. I do like it when articles correspond perfectly to the things I am very uptight about.

[Ho5] This map seems to mostly be an artifact of when housing was built. You don’t usually expect Mormonland and the BosWash to be on the same end of any spectrum.

[Ho6] What if the housing crisis had nothing to do with subprime lending and everything to do with greedy capitalism?

[Ho7] How houses are triaged after floods.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Politics {2017.09.07.Th}( 280 )

[Po1] William Wilson reviews Jason Kuznicki’s weirdly expensive book.

[Po2] Nathan Robinson tackles the question of free speech and political violence, as does Chris Beck. A couple weeks ago I linked to Jesse Singal’s piece against punching Nazis. A while back I wrote about the ethics of political violence.

[Po3] Relatedly, Daily Beast has a good article on Jack Kirby, but I don’t think we can use “punching Nazis” metaphorically anymore.

[Po4] To be honest, I’m pretty sympathetic to Donald Trump here. If the venue has playing rights, it’s not clear what the bands can do, and it’s not clear there is any obligation to defer to them. Still, weird choice for a song.

[Po5] Well, maybe we could save the world. If we could be bothered. {via Jaybird}

[Po6] Is Trump’s anti-immigration stance causing a black-brown rift? {via Jaybird}

[Po7] I disagree with both parts of this. I don’t think 2020 is fertile ground for a third party, but I think if there is one the opening is right about where Kasich and Hickenlooper are. But really, Kasich already had his opportunity to make the history books.

[Po8] Donald Trump has made me miss Obama somewhat, but not everything for sure.

[Po9] Of all the bad Joe Arpaio stories out there, this has got to be the strangest. He was re-elected days after this article.

{Po0] The Deep State is making for some really interesting alliances.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Business {2017.09.06.W}( 103 )

[Bu1] I’m pretty sure this was the plot of a Whoopi Goldberg movie, and also the premise of Remington Steele.

[Bu2] Victor Keegan makes the case that sometimes a social media company can become so powerful that it can’t be beaten. {More}

[Bu3] Relatedly, how Google is using its market position to silence people it doesn’t like.

[Bu4] Can you spare a couple of Whoppercoins? Meanwhile, in the US, Chuck E Coin appears to be failing to launch. The Crackled series StartUp is about a digital currency outfit, which makes it weird, since I watch believing the protagonists are selling a bill of goods.

[Bu5] Will the cost of Unlimited Data be the carriers micromanaging how our data is used?

[Bu6] What if Big Brother got you to pay for the privilege?

[Bu7] How not to build a nuclear power plant.

[Bu8] Mark Penn and Stephen Ansolabahere advocate extending the First Amendment to the workplace. I’m not on board with this yet, but as a society we’re moving to a place where I might get there.

[Bu9] Mark Perry argues that the private sector rose to the occasion of Hurricane Harvey.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Media {2017.09.05.Tu}( 47 )

[Me1] I doubt I will side with him in his lawsuit against ESPN (employment at will and all that), but Douglas Adler was screwed.

[Me2] Fox Sports fired Pete Rose after allegations of a sexual relationship with a minor in 1970. No word yet on whether Fox News will scoop him up.

[Me3] Sometimes, media, you take your lumps and move on (and do not sue).

[Me4] From covering the story to being the story. Or at least being more inserted into it than you would prefer.

[Me5] All in all, it’s really been a good month to be in the stock photography business, even if you weren’t a part of that particular photo shoot.

[Me6] Becket Adams looks at the looting question. Food is okay, televisions are not okay. This shouldn’t be complicated. (Booze might be iffy, but if I were on a jury I’d never convict.)

[Me7] The Politico cartoon was bad, for the reasons stated here. But also for the reason I stated here. I really think at least some of these cartoons were written before the hurricane hit landfall.

[Me8] Alex Jones needs a breaking news intern. Warning, though: you have to be able to spell.

[Me9] Well that seems like a pleasant place to work. So does this, though sounds like some folks are about to escape that misery.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: World {2017.09.04.M}( 59 )

[Wo1] Gaia also likes fidget spinners.

[Wo2] Birtherism in Australia! Except it’s not really birtherism and they’re technically on the right side of the law.

[Wo3] I just can’t imagine his concerns are justified.

[Wo4] A look at the immigration situation in Sweden. (You’ll need to run it through translation.)

[Wo5] Introducing the Chinese Pyramids.

[Wo6] American cultural hegemony, in all of its ignoble glory.

[Wo7] Has Jeremy Corbyn saved the UK from dissolution?

[Wo8] Some oppose dancing because it’s against their religion. Others are okay with it just so long as it’s not spontaneous and everybody has the right permits.

[Wo9] I’m not Indian, but I could still appreciate most of these cartoons.

[Wo0] This is what happens when people who don’t understand constitutional design involve themselves in constitutional design:

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: The Saga Continues( 39 )


rural china photo

Image by Dai Luo

[Ed1] Universities have a serious mission creep problem.

[Ed2] Nicholas Wolfinger writes of his turn in the Title IX wringer.

[Ed3] China has a problem with ruralians dropping out of school.

[Ed4] Multiracial adolescents appear to have no testing gap with whites.

[Ed5] I was going to crack wise about the complaints in the headline of this article, but I really wasn’t aware of the sorts of restrictions in Cuomo’s tuition plan and I find some of them to be problematic.

[Ed6] Can’t at least some of this be explained by academic redshirting and the advantages of being the oldest vs youngest in your class, rather than when you started school?

Relationships & Dating:

love photo

Image by Yuchao.L

[RD1] While looks attract us at first, it’s not entirely what attracts us. Some scientific inquiry is irresponsible, says Rosemary Donahue.

[RD2] I’m not sure how I feel about The Fantasies of Chang, but it’s interesting.

[RD3] Ed West explains that singles are making politics more extreme. Gulp… (Of course, marriage can be no walk in the park, either.)

[RD4] Anise Strong argues that fantasy fiction needs more divorce.

[RD5] In an age where cohabitation is the rule instead of the exception, anti-cohabitation people like myself would probably do better to embrace this argument.

[RD6] Personally, I didn’t feel like asking for permission was honest because I was going to ask either way, but I split the difference by asking for (and receiving) their blessing.


[Ga1] The Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at the last maker of baseball gloves in the United States.

[Ga2] Connor Wilson tells future college lacrosse players what to expect.

[Ga3] Why are video game competitions less of a big deal in Japan? It’s the laws!

[Ga4] It’s rare that a listicle is worth it, but if you like Punch-Out! this listicle is worth it.

[Ga5] Introducing Spaceball!

[Ga6] This 2012 post from CK Macleod on baseball and the American sense of being is a really good read.


[He1] What’s up with autism rates? Hurm. This happened to Lain.

[He2] Telemedicine really does open up a world of possibilities. For providers if no one else!. Clancy may be looking into doing some telemedicine to help us get by while she is looking for work, though by the time Texas gets up and running it will probably be too late. Also, some other movement in Texas.

[He3] This post is gluten-free.

[He4] Immortality is rather difficult to really wrap my head around, sometimes. That may be a case where the grapes are probably sour anyway, though.

[He5] Have you ever had sex? Have you ever had sex on weed?

[He6] Your strong immune system may be causing autoimmune disease.


hypnosis photo

Image by magnetbox

[An1] This is the opposite of a supervillain origin story.

[An2] If you want to get rid of pigeons, hypnotize them.

[An3] Run, Abuh, run!

[An4] Are cities being gentrified…. by puppies? Some people think there’s eventually going to be a ban on pet ownership or whatever, but I think the opposite: We’re going to start seeing and getting used to pets everywhere, and “service animals only” is fighting a losing war.

[An5] I’d been wondering if maybe we should adopt a Houston dog. Looks like the Houston dogs may be coming up to us.

[An6] Kill them dead, please. Some of my twitter followers have suggestions.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Workforce {2017.08.31.Th}( 255 )

[Wo1] It’s definitely true that sometimes employers that complain about worker shortages simply aren’t offering enough money, but it’s also true that but for immigration restrictions they could probably find people willing to work for what they offer (or less), as often as not.

[Wo2] The labor market there is tight, and so Japanese employers are going to have to pay up.

[Wo3] Is technology putting the cashier out of business? They’ve been trying to automate cashiers out of the job for a long time and no success, but the no-checkout idea could work. It’s going to be quite a while and likely a minimum wage higher than $15/hr for shelf-stocking robots to become viable, though.

[Wo4] Miya Tokumitsu wonders how we gave over so much control of our lives to employers. This is likely to become more relevant in the pot wars. As well as social media tattling of course.

[Wo5] I’m pretty sure I side with Trump on this one. I don’t mind disclosure requirements that tips will be shared with kitchen staff, but so long as everyone is getting paid minimum wage or more I think this is mostly a matter to be determined by employers and employees.

[Wo6] Competent management matters.

[Wo7] If we were going to have a reality TV show star with a populist persona become president, I’d have preferred it be Mike Rowe.

[Wo8] Priscilla Claman looks at the question of when you should quit your job without having another one lined up. She speaks of morality and quality-of-life, but in my opinion the biggest variable is the bank account.

[Wo9] Attention Rod! Rather than dislocating them out of the job, Paul Brubaker says that autonomous trucking will make commercial driving a better job.

[Wo0] (Air conditioned jacket)

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Society {2017.08.30.W}( 112 )

[So1] Yeah, these are pretty dark and twisted, made moreso by the smiling faces.

[So2] This is an innovative solution for handling comments on a large website.

[So3] Did nobody inform them that the Joker is white? I have it on good authority that sort of thing is the only reason comic book fans ever object to anything.

[So4] Homemaking without a home.


[So6] Lyman Stone looks at the economics of Game of Thrones and investigates why their world is so poor.

[So7] Introducing the brains behind the most colossally failed video game of all time. I had an Atari 2600, but never got a hold of this one.

[So8] Michael Winslow – the sound effects guy from the Police Academy movies – is really devoted to his craft.

[So9] Perry Horton works out the similarities between Fight Club and A Clockwork Orange.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Hurricane Harvey {2017.08.28.M}( 80 )

First, some songs about the greater Corpus Christi area. The first is a song about Port Aransas specifically, of which there are not many out there. If you don’t like country music much, I would recommend it over the other two. The second one, Robert Earl Keen’s Corpus Christi Bay, is something of a classic in some country music circles. The third, Further Down The Line by Bleu Edmondson, is a sour grapes letter about a girlfriend who moved to Seattle and he speaks of the climate contrast between Seattle and Corpus (though perhaps that doesn’t apply when there is a hurricane on).

Since Houston is grabbing a lot of the attention right now, here is some of the devastation in Ingleside, Port Aransas and Rockport.

And in Sinton, there is the story of a courier dog.

Bill stayed in Port Aransas when Harvey first struck, calls it the stupidest thing he ever did, but concludes that the main thing he fears is the IRS.

If you want to know how bad a hurricane is looking, look at Waffle House.

One thing it’s important to remember is that just because it seems like somebody has drowned it doesn’t mean they have actually drowned. Nobody knows this better than Houston’s mayor:

So why wasn’t Houston evacuated? Well, this is why. This may be the topic for another post, but we probably need to start planning for the possibility that some cities just can’t be evacuated even in the worst case scenario.

A priest needed some communion wine, gets a kayak and… you’ll never guess what happens next.

Harvey is destroying homes, and wreaking a different kind of havoc on the homeless.

Some pretty amazing before-and-after photos of Houston.

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica get the mother-of-all I told you so’s about Houston’s unique vulnerability to flooding. Matt Corbett lays out a mild defense of Houston. in tweets.

Here is a story of myself in an unrelated hurricane.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: It Bleeds, It Leads( 105 )


lethal injection photo

Image by Patrick Feller

[Cr1] Gurthrie McLean found a little trouble in big China.

[Cr2] The thought of the State of Arkansas buying execution drugs wearing a trenchcoat in an alleyway is kind of interesting.

[Cr3] This is pretty damning.

[Cr4] Amazon occupies nearly one-fifth of Seattle’s office space.

[Cr5] The drama surrounding the Steubenville rape case keeps on coming a judge is shot at by one of the defendant’s fathers.

[Cr6] The Debbie Wasserman Schultz IT case continues to be interesting.


soda taxes photo

Image by torbakhopper

[Fo1] Our ideological and moral superiority correlates with our taste in food may be the most 2017 thing ever written.

[Fo2] A look at fatness in the modern age, where society tries and fails to convince everybody it’s all about health.

[Fo3] Why did we all fall for clean eating? (Not sure about the “we”…)
I love Science!

[Fo4] Men eat and handle weight differently, so it may be worthwhile to approach weight-loss differently.

[Fo5] If soda taxes do nothing more than ban “pop” from our vocabulary, maybe it will all be worth it. (It’s “coke” or “soft drinks” but if I have to pick between the two, I’ll go with “soda”.)

[Fo6] Since he wasn’t eaten, from the headling alone I guess we know which side of the debate he was on.

[Fo7] Yum. Pork sausage.


Image by leighblackall

[Me1] Good work, Breitbart. {More}

[Me2] The Daily Caller’s Barron Trump story seems to be a very successful, and cynical effort by TDC to make it seem like “the media” irrationally hates Trump. It’s the only explanation I can think of, and seems not entirely unsuccessful insofar as a lot of the complaints have been about “the media” generally instead of The Daily Caller specifically.

[Me3] Yes, indeed. If there is one thing missing from the current media environment it’s a media outlet that really hates Donald Trump and Republicans.

[Me4] I am not one to say this about everyone and everything the way Democrats did during the primary and Republicans have since November, but the existence of Mic really does explain a little bit about how we got Trump.

[Me5] Tweetstorm: Josh Marshall has a good rundown on why so many websites are incorporating video. Hint: It’s not because we want it.

[Me6] Josh Barro disappeared from his phone and the media and recommends it wholeheartedly.


robot spider photo

Image by masochismtango

[Re1] Unexpectedly, robot spiders on cathedrals are frowned upon.

[Re2] I’m not sure there is a polite answer to this question. At least, not by western understandings of religion. The future in alternative religions is likely to be dusting off old ones.

[Re3] Tim Carlson writes on God and creation (and the universe!).

[Re4] God, evidently, wants soda taxes.

[Re5] Robots really are coming for all the jobs.

[Re6] Check out the anti-religion propaganda in the Soviet Union.


eldridge cleaver photo

Image by wbaiv

[Hi1] Not surprising: Alabama’s old textbooks were pretty racist.

[Hi2] Walt Disney’s 1943 propaganda film about how fascists are made.

[Hi3] Robert Greene II looks at the Black Panther Party, fifty years later.

[Hi4] It sometimes seems to me the best solution for Reconstruction might have been to basically take all the land and hand it off to freed slaves… and poor whites.

[Hi5] We may think of the vikings as barbarians, but according to Christophe Adrien they were actually in to learning.

[Hi6] The invention of progress (and its enemies).

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Gender {2017.08.24.Th}( 117 )

[Ge1] Siri as a feminist icon.

[Ge2] At its current trajectory, I have a hard time seeing how this all ends without the demolition of gender categories in the organization of our society. I’m not freaking out about it or anything, in part because I don’t know how it will go, but it could be quite an adjustment.

[Ge3] Megan Garber complains about the “Slogan Feminism” of late Game of Thrones.

[Ge4] Early in her career, my wife has some conflicts with male colleagues and superiors and huge conflicts with female ones.

[Ge5] Predating the Google Memo flap by a couple days, Anne-Marie Tomchak explains how science done women wrong.

[Ge6] Alamo Drafthouse admits it goofed up with its “Women’s Only” screening of Wonder Woman. Their real crime was probably aligning themselves with the Koch Brothers.

[Ge7] Why do the conversations about city design revolve around men?

[Ge8] The New York Times reports that women had better sex under socialism.

[Ge9] Private spaces should be equitable, but aside from that back off. We’ve had one at two of the last three places. It helps that I dislike daylight, and places come with basements.


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Energy & Environment {2017.08.23.W}( 30 )

[EE1] Attention J_A and Michael Cain! Is Houston missing out on the renewables revolution? Is it the next Detroit?

[EE2] States that rely on wind power are seeing huge price spikes.

[EE3] Is climate change responsible for a jump in suicides among Indian farmers?

[EE4] Trouble with hydro in India.

[EE5] Tenant agreements are allegedly being updated for “green leasing.”

[EE6] It really doesn’t do a whole lot of good to greenlight pipelines if you don’t have the staffing to process them.

[EE7] While the greens dream of a renewable future, nuclear power is drying up and that will make it harder to meet climate goals.

[EE8] Google’s efforts at green energy have hit more snags than a kite in a forest.

[EE9] Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico the dead zone is growing

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Housing {2017.08.22.Tu}( 36 )

[Ho1] Another solution to this would be to bring back flop houses, of course. We can also use government to supplement wages rather than offloading that obligation to employers.

[Ho2] Maybe because they’re kind of awesome?

[Ho3] City living in the burbs, converting office parks.

[Ho4] In Galveston, Texas, sits the mysterious Kettle House.

[Ho5] Were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a good idea?

[Ho6] Incentives matter: Why Vancouver gets condos while Seattle gets apartments.

[Ho7] As much as anything, I suspect this would play out mostly as a tax on racial and ethnic diversity.

[Ho8] Stockholm: Build, baby, build.

[Ho9] The Kansas City Plan may have a cost of living problem, when it comes to places that are more coastal or mountainous than Kansas City.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Begun The Statue Wars Have( 24 )

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Politics {2017.08.21.M}( 99 )

[Po1] I didn’t realize that Rapid City had statues of all the presidents. Some city should buy these and try to put itself on the map. (Then again, if I never heard of Rapid City’s statue thing, maybe nobody would care.)

[Po2] Bob Moser argues that the Resistance’s current tactics aren’t working, and in fact by allowing themselves to be trolled liberals are strenghthening the alt-right. I think Trump’s critics, including but not limited to the leftwards, are really between a rock in a hard place.

[Po3] Okay, now we need an emoji. (This one is slightly better.)

[Po4] Am I the only person not 100% certain that the Juggalos will oppose the Trump ralliers? Have any polls been taken? It’s worth pointing out that when I went to the ICP show everybody there was really white and really crude. So…

[Po5] Jesse Singal is a “no” on punching the Nazis.

[Po6] If you want me to not hate the regulatory state, don’t smash enterprises that make my life better or happier. {More}

[Po7] Define “white.” Italian-Americans are gravitating towards the GOP, not less so for the Irish. And, about the Finns

[Po8] Luis Mendez argues that the GOP’s prospects are not as bleak as some people thinking.

[Po9] So much looks good for the Democrats in 2018, so why doesn’t fundraising look better?


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: There Will Be Concussions( 55 )


[Ed1] Lain is too young for The Homework Wars to be a concern, but I do lean mildly in favor of limiting it. I am probably too far off in the Leisure Time direction, though.

[Ed2] It’s not just Missouri. The good news back home Southern Tech’s applications are up 80% since 2009.

[Ed3] Frances Coleman says save our summers! I think we should do away with summer vacation, but there is a definite tension there.

[Ed4] This says more about the state of our education system than it does about HBO’s plans.

[Ed5] Relatedly, college graduates aren’t learning how to write.

[Ed6] Jesse Singal writes about Mindset Theory, and how it may be falling apart. Well, maybe overhyped, anyway.


Temple Owls photo

Image by dbking

[Fb1] The jersey number aspect of Temple’s plan is less interesting than basically requiring the players be their friend.

[Fb2] I go back and forth on whether Charlotte or Georgia State is embarking on the most quixotic quest for a relevant football program. Georgia State has a new (well, repurposing an existing) stadium and is the #3 school in its state, but Charlotte has the better conference affiliation.

[Fb3] Why are there so few black head coaches in college football? Well, it’s a story that starts early

[Fb4] Aaaaaand now Millennials are killing the Big 12.

[Fb5] Ooooh, the Weekly Standard has picked up Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Previously featured on Slate and ESPN website, it’s the only NFL feature I’ve read regularly.


[V1] In addition to the actions of the white supremacists and some of their opponents, it seems to be violence could have been prevented by the authorities. But they dropped the ball and their excuses aren’t holding up.

[V2] The Jewish history of the Nazi’s favorite shirt, the polo shirt.

[V3] Meanwhile, in San Fransisco Nancy Pelosi is leading the charge to pull the permit for the Patriot Prayer group, whose leader actually had some pretty harsh words for the folks in Charlottesville.

[V4] I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my wife’s personal safety has been threatened a handful of times, and all but one of them involved prescriptions she didn’t write.

[V5] {Ominous music}… the perfect murder? (Despite being convicted?)

[V6] How to make excuses for prisoner torture, in Russia.

[V7] How our military is exporting coups.


[L1] While we’re talking about sexism and google, they may have a much bigger discrimination liability.

[L2] This seems both natural and disturbing.

[L3] In the age of three felonies a day and the potential to upcharge, defendants may never stand a chance.

[L4] It’s… interesting… that among groups that take care of strays, PETA is unusually aggressive about putting them down.

[L5] For-profit Charlotte Law School may be shutting down.

[L6] At a certain level of scrutiny, there may be enough for a lot of us to be institutionalized. My wife has worked in systems too far in each direction and one too far in both. It’s a tough issue.


vaping photo

Image by HRYMX

[H1] It’s me and The Nation vs the world on the left’s newfound fixation on Single Payer. They go pretty far out of their way to avoid basically saying that everybody is using the wrong term.

[H2] A hard won victory has been won in allowing bone marrow donors to be compensated. Well, in this case, it was more of an avoided loss, but still.

[H3] Jacob Sullum takes a stand against the planned low-nicotine initiative by the FDA. It’s worthy of investigation (which is all that’s been committed to), but there are definitely some concerns. {More}

[H4] Louisiana is betting economically on (questionable) healthcare innovation.

[H5] We need more people to get cancer. Wait, that came out wrong…

[H6] As the US pivots towards ecigarettes, the UK is going all in. Meanwhile, the EU has decided to re-evaluate its draconian (though less draconian than Obama’s) ecigarette policy only after its most pro-vaping member leaves. Relatedly, this seems like a good place to mention back on August 21st I passed four years of smoking cessation.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: World {2017.08.17.Th}( 28 )

[Wo1] Despite all the negative hype, the world is getting better! Or is it?

[Wo2] A view of the fall of Venezuela.

[Wo3] A look at the origins of the ancient Greeks.

[Wo4] Cuba declares war on the auditory senses of diplomats.

[Wo5] An interesting hypothetical: If five historical great empires existed concurrently, what might that look like?

[Wo6] Since he’s not associated with any of the longstanding political parties, Macron’s popularity level may end up being quite volatile. On the other hand, Hollande became so unpopular that even his party hated him, so Macron may not even see his predecessor’s floor.

[Wo7] Is Britain done with capitalism?

[Wo8] X-Rays and minor chords, a look at music, censorship, and the Soviet Union.

[Wo9] Behold, the power of Roman concrete.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Society {2017.08.16.W}( 82 )

[So1] Will Truman’s coming back! The other Will Truman, I mean. In any event, they’re basically going to have to retcon the ending of the TV series.

[So2] Luz Ivonne Ream didn’t get the memo that respecting people you disagree with is so yesterday.

[So3] I think the criticism of Lena Dunham was overwrought. She named no names and if employees were badmouthing trans people while in company uniform, companies would want to know.

[So4] This sounds legitimately horrifying.

[So5] The Munsters returning to TV? Who likes the Musters better than the Addams Family anyway?

[So6] It really was interesting watching this unfold in realtime. I confess that I was a sourpuss about it and ended up contributing to the pile-on that I regret.

[So7] The future of arcade restoration looks bleak, as CRTs are getting harder to repair. (Also, this article has an awesome title.)

[So8] Zaid Jilani is right: Television really is about rich people dreams.

[So9] I’m inclined to agree with this. After a point, killing off characters just prevents our bonding with them in the first place. There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: United States {2017.08.14.M}( 68 )

[US1] Those burning hot metal slides were one thing, but… sand?

[US2] And here’s some communism I can believe in.

[US3] Never shoot an armadillo.

[US4] An immigration raid tore the guts out of an Iowa town, landing employers in prison and causing an economic riptide.

[US5] Some Puerto Rican Millennials appear to be heading back to Puerto Rico (or staying there).

[US6] Is reality setting in on the $15/hr minimum wage?

[US7] A bootlegger’s map of the United States.

[US8] Street for sale! Sold! America. What a country…

[US9] Repealing the Jones Act could alleviate traffic jams. There must be something going around, because Mom was talking about doing so creating jobs. (Is the Jones Act that arcane?)


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: Print & Predators( 109 )


shenzhen photo

Image by xiquinhosilva

[Ci1] We’ve recently discussed the viability of the Bay Area, and law firms came up. Apparently, some firms in Silicon Valley find the cheapest option to be to fly lawyers in from Houston, when they need them.

[Ci2] Our major cities are producing fewer black mayors as African-Americans dilute their vote by moving around.

[Ci3] A friendly reminder that just because you make more money in the city, doesn’t mean you’re making a better living there.

[Ci4] Lyman Stone looks at conservative urbanism, and how the definitions will determine success or failure.

[Ci5] No straight bars welcome here.

[Ci6] I’ve mentioned this recently but China really is home to some of the largest cities you’ve never heard of.

[Ci7] Meh.


cal state photo

Image by Rennett Stowe

[Ed1] Screw the Ivy League. As I’ve mentioned, my wife and I are against our kid going to private school at all without a scholarship, but I carve out an exception for the Ivies and this doesn’t convince me otherwise.

[Ed2] Save your mental health: Quit school.

[Ed3] Avi Wolfman-Arent on how science teachers are dealing with fake news and ideological poking.

[Ed4] The California State University system is making news by ditching remedial and being required to disclose off-campus housing costs.

[Ed5] Speech codes and the tyranny of the neurotypical and a neurodiversity case against speech codes.


[Me1] Evette Dionne argues our treatment of R Kelly shows what we think of black girls. And the Hulk Hogan case could have spiked the R Kelly cult story.

[Me2] Andrew Willshire argues that the BBC is at risk of losing sight of its purpose.

[Me3] Well, narrative is the organization of facts, events, and trends. I don’t fully understand how they can be avoided. Anything else is a world with data but no information.

[Me4] The affirmative action story was a huge debacle for the media.

[Me5] Franklin Foer has a good piece the relationship between Silicon Valley and journalism.

[Me6] Speaking of media embarrassments, I am of the mind that Miller won that round. {More}


robot photo

Image by steevithak

[Te1] Finally! Someone had an inkling of how something might end badly and decided to cut their losses and eject.

[Te2] Meanwhile, robot presidents, robot citizens, and more!

[Te3] Are smartphones ruining everything?

[Te4] 5G is scaling up, and it’s a good time to have antenna real estate.

[Te5] No parcel service would insure it, so the famous Wicndows XP background image was delivered to Microsoft by hand.

[Te6] Insurers are concerned that people might overestimate the automatedness of automated automobiles.

[Te7] Not all predictions of the future are junk. This one is pretty on-point!


war photo

Image by expertinfantry

[W1] Jenan Moussa has a tweetstorm from an interview with a Daesh woman about Yazidi slaves and how they’re used as currency by Daesh.

[W2] Did North Korea nuke up so that it wouldn’t become Libya?

[W3] The two largest nations in the world going to war against one another would probably not be a good thing. Boxer Vijender Singh agrees, in an unusual fashion. {More}

[W4] Meanwhile, Japan is weighing strike capability.

[W5] As we look at expelled diplomats in 2017, we can also look back at 1986.

[W6] Europe is making things harder for groups trying to save refugees at sea.Image by Rennett Stowe

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Religion {2017.08.10.Th}( 119 )

[R1] A look at white supremacy and Odinism.

[R2] Shadi Hamid looks at how we can look at the burqini.

[R3] Among other interesting aspects of this profile of young evangelical female Trump voters, they went harder for Trump than their male counterparts.

[R4] Jesse Smith sings praise to middle persons and the service industry.

[R5] Bethany Mandel announces that the opioid crisis is a Jewish one.

[R6] Helen Pluckrose considers where New Atheism goes from here.

[R7] The history of the KKK’s war on (some) religious schools.

[R8] Deepak Chopra is evidently indistinguishable from bullspit.

[R9] Now I have the song Jesus Was An Alien stuck in my head.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: The Arts {2017.08.09.W}( 60 )

[A1] I think comic books might benefit from letting the characters age and rebooting every 20 years, character aging presents its own problem as time flies so fast you barely get to know the characters (except those like Batman or Superman that have weekly adventures).

[A2] An audioplay of Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

[A3] Scientifically comparing Radiohead songs on the gloom index.

[A4] Art audiences in the US have chosen contemporary over classic.

[A5] Sandy McDowell makes the case for why audiobooks are awesome.

[A6] Raymond Cummings is not quite a fan of Hotel California.

[A7] Mapping Dante’s Inferno.

[A8] Noah Berlatski is worried that maybe some Hitler haters and fascism opponents are hating Hitler and fascism out of a sense of decency rather than the appropriate ideological commitments.

[A9] I don’t know… I’d be more likely to buy this if they hadn’t tried to shoehorn the extra syllable into “Serengeti.”

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Business & Labor {2017.08.08.Tu}( 444 )

[BL1] This is some really clever guerilla advertising by Amazon.

[BL2] Damn if those insurance companies aren’t really, really clever.

[BL3] Maybe there is less tension between competitiveness and monopoly than we think?

[BL4] Like clockwork, every time the presidency changes hands, the opposing faction realizes that unemployment is higher than the unemployment rate.

[BL5] Lila MacLellan points to a recent near-mishap in Canada and uses it to argue shame as a managerial tactic has its limitations.

[BL6] Why don’t kids take summer jobs anymore? Maybe because school is increasingly year-round! Ironically, kids taking summer school in spades makes my real goal of 3-months-on-1-off all the more difficult.

[BL7] A unionization attempt at a Nissan plant in Mississippi fails by a substantial margin. Some background.

[BL8] Weird that they would go with Hulu and YouTube, who are both new and not yet major players in the streaming TV market.

[BL9] It’s time again for a (good, but not great) a jobs report!


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: United States {2017.08.07.M}( 66 )

[US1] Isn’t stuff like this what we have all that land out west for, instead of using African-American towns in Louisiana?

[US2] So what went wrong in Connecticut? What’s weird about using Connecticut to argue against inequality or argue against tax-and-spend is that moving to New York City solves neither. MBD has a tweetstorm on it.

[US3] The economic threat of wild hogs and the economic potential of killing them.

[US4] Well, the good news is that climate change may not be bad for the whole country, and better yet (for some) may disproportionately benefit Blue America. But… what about Alaska? also, a look by congressional district.

[US5] The future of American cities is corporate headquarters on the coasts and most of their employees inland.

[US6] It sounds like President Trump is on board with The Kansas City Plan! On the other hand, Lyman Stone is coming around to the view that maybe declining migration is good news.

[US7] Move over Silicon Valley, and meet the new startup hub in the the Silicon Prairie. There was a joke in The Office about that, actually! Also, Big Data in the Mountain West!

[US8] Meanwhile, the highest paying ones are consolidating into about eight cities. Of course, you don’t need to pay people that much in Ohio.

[US9] From 1864, a letter from a former slave to his former master.


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Linky Friday: Space Congresscritters( 34 )


asteroid photo

Image by Kevin M. Gill

[Sp1] Did Pluto get its unusual number of moons through a big whack?

[Sp2] To Boldly (But in Compliance With Applicable Regulations) Go

[Sp3] Not just solar wind.

[Sp4] These are fun. My favorite is “The Vast Emptiness Will Consume Your Soul”

[Sp5] I fear the alien engineers are at it again.


[F1] Women are apparently worse about paying child support than men, on average. Presumably, this is at least partially because women are probably more likely to be in a bad place if their partner gets primary custody.

[F2] Is the low fertility rate in Japan primarily a problem with men?

[F3] Sometimes, maybe, we need to stick with our noble myths.

[F4] This will end badly.

[F5] A personals ad… from 1865.


[H1] Cigarette taxes negatively impact food security, and ultimately become a way for state and local government to line their pockets with federal money.

[H2] An interview with an activist trying to rein in pharmaceutical promotions.

[H3] Here is the science of limbs falling asleep.

[H4] The story of Clair Patterson’s war against lead.

[H5] In their evangelical zeal, Democrats have ceded all reasonable middle ground on the subject of ecigarettes. The Trump administration just seized it, and just helped a lot of smokers quit.


flying car photo

Image by JoeInSouthernCA

[Tr1] Ann Arbor appears to be becoming a hub for the self-driving car.

[Tr2] A hyperloop success story!

[Tr3] Will Brown evidently hates convenience and society.

[Tr4] I vote for the passenger side, because that’s the side I’m used to puling up on the curb.

[Tr5] If you’re interested in finding the cheapest route somewhere in Britain, the path will take you to some interesting places.


robot dinosaurs photo

Image by squeezeomatic

[C1] Jurassic Park! Except with robots. This is like two thrillers in one.

[C2] How capitalism saved the bees!

[C3] The down and dirty story of lice.

[C4] Meet Sodalis, a microbe you want in you!

[C5] {Ominous music}


[G1] A look at the relationship between Bangladeshi MP’s and their constituents.

[G2] Brad Plumer wants to know how we’re going to replace our troubled water system.

[G3] I wish I had a clever summation of this 2014 on “governing through unhappiness” but I don’t. There’s a lot of good stuff to ponder.

[G4] The importance of the design of parliamentary seating arrangements.

[G5] How did feudalism work?

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Life & Society {2017.08.03.Th}( 110 )

[LS1] This seems mostly like another indication of Americans in general not hip to the whole “growing up” part.

[LS2] Mapping out Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories.

[LS3] To me, they’re best in the morning but most convenient at night.

[LS4] I’ve never been a D&D person, but Gygax’s moral alignment grid is pretty great.

[LS5] There is, of course, almost definitionally no way to ever separate fashion from class.

[LS6] The Future of Fashion, from 1893.

[LS7] Victimhood recognition may adversely affect empathy rates.

[LS8] Rather than encouraging callousness, video games may be an area where we have guilt thrust upon us.

[LS9] Yeah, it me.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: Housing {2017.08.02.W}( 75 )

[Ho1] Lorraine Woellert says that Ben Carson might be right about the ineffectual nature of block grants.

[Ho2] There are some cities that could stand to benefit from hosting the Olympics, but Rio was never a good candidate, and there are apartments with 93% vacancies testifying to that fact.

[Ho3] In response to Greenfell, Tim Harford says Build Baby Build.

[Ho4] Some Los Angeles Chargers are complaining that they’re being discriminated against on account of their race.

[Ho5] When you run out of arguments, just scream about the alt-right.

[Ho6] Vancouver helped get housing costs under control by targeting foreigners. Should cities in the US follow suit? I’m not in favor of this, but am coming around on the idea of a vacancy tax.

[Ho7] I’d really love stackable housing to become a thing. If we could get stackable and mobile wowee.

[Ho8] Octagon houses (like hexagon ones) have been making a comeback in the public imagination, but there is a bit of a dark history there.

[Ho9] Yeeeeeeeeeeeeek!


Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Tech Tuesday – Finland Edition (08/01/17)( 10 )


Aero1 – The successful launch and flight of a hypersonic glider (Mach 8).  Yes, a glider.  It was mounted on a very fast rocket (watch that video, that thing takes off like a missile, probably because it is), then released at altitude.  The purpose of the test was to play around with the controls of a hypersonic aircraft.  Remember, hypersonic flight doesn’t really happen down near the earth.  Mach 8 anywhere the surface of the earth would require an airframe constructed of materials we don’t have in abundance, with manufacturing methods were are still figuring out.  So Mach 8 happens up where the air is very, very thin, which makes aerodynamic controls challenging.

Aero2 – The Russians have launched a lighthouse satellite.  It’s a small, reflective pyramid designed to be reference object for light magnitude.  It’s also testing a de-orbit strategy (the deployed reflector is slowing it down).  Yes, you can see it from Earth, but only for a limited time (because, you know, it’s de-orbiting).  Yes, there is an app for that.

Aero3 – I’m not sure how Google got the Street View car up there, but you can use Street View to tour the ISS.

Aero4 – Making crew habitat modules from old cargo containers.  A new spin on an older idea (I remember proposals to turn the big orange tank from the shuttle days into habitat modules).  Still, using what you got is better than hauling up something purpose built from the ground, if you can swing it.  Obviously these prototypes will be purpose built using the old cargo containers as a handy shell, but imagine if a space station could grow a bit every time a supply run was done, just by hanging onto the cargo pod.

Aero5 – Cassini is nearing retirement, yet it’s still delivering the scientific goods.  Good thing NASA went ahead with the launch despite the fear-mongering from some corners.


Bio1 – Only 20 million of the little pests? As many others pests there are as cockroaches and mice and we end up hiring a mice removal service. Are we sure that’s enough?  I’m OK with releasing a few billion more.

Bio2 – A vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes begins human trials.  In Finland.   If it’s approved, and the FDA decides to put it through the full rigor to satisfy their wants, I’d be curious how much tourism to Finland will increase in the intervening years.

Bio3 – A blood test that can spot Alzheimer’s before your spouse starts wondering about you.

Bio4 – Making edible protein from air and electricity.  I kinda wanted to put this in Aerospace, since the application there is obvious, but this is mostly Bio, so here it sits.

Bio5 – Putting DNA on your skin to prevent DNA damage.

Bio6 – Need to close a wound when it’s raining out, and that soggy band-aid just ain’t getting it done?  Grab a slug!  I remember some years back there was a similar effort made with mollusks.


Comp1 – A neural network, on a stick.


Engr1 – Google is applying machine learning to the problem of fusion power.

Engr2 – Using solar power to drive cargo ships.  This isn’t crazy.  Most ships are hybrid drive now (only older ships are direct drive), and once you get a cargo ship up to speed, keeping it there isn’t that energy intensive, so switching off the diesels and cruising on PV solar is doable.  As battery tech improves, I suspect we will see ships being built without the heavy diesels, and only having, maybe, some smaller diesels as backup generators/APUs.  Also, despite what action movies suggest, most cargo ships sail predominantly in the sun.  With modern weather forecasting, the only rain a ship will see are fast moving squalls that last a few hours at most.  Getting caught in a heavy storm is a rare thing for ships (and even then, you are in them for half a day at most, storms at sea are either fast moving, or slow and easy to avoid), which is something you can plan for and ensure you have sufficient charge on the batteries (or fire up the diesels).


Mat1 – Floating aluminum.  This isn’t some new formulation, it’s just aluminium foam sandwiched between thin sheets of aluminium, but it the sheet can float on it’s own, rather than as a result of it’s watertight shape, it has what is known as “reserve buoyancy”, which makes it a lot harder to sink.

Mat2 – Finally, home 3D printing goes Metal!  Well, home if you can drop $120K on a 3D printer.  The cool bit is that this uses no lasers or loose metal powders.  The metal powder is mixing with a polymer bonding agent and printed like you would with ABS, etc.  Then it get put into a solvent bath and run through a microwave sintering furnace, which takes the metal to just below it’s melting point, allowing any remaining polymer to bake off, and the metal to fuse. – via Michael Cain

Mat3 – What do you get when you mix quartz and carbon nano-tubes?  A water filter that can remove toxic heavy metals from water, and be rinsed out with some vinegar, and ready to clean again.


Navy1 – The Navy’s new railgun is ready for field testing, and it’s starting to look like a proper naval gun, all imposing barrel and Navy grey, they also one to have the best gun cleaning kits available for whenever they need them.  Oh, it can also do rapid fire, because let’s be honest, if something is worth flinging one hypersonic slug at, it’s probably worth flinging more than one at it, and in quick succession.  Just to be sure.

Navy2 – The final incident report about the USS Fitzgerald is still many months away, but that doesn’t stop people from running scenarios.


WTF1 – In an exciting new quantum physics breakthr… Oh to hell with it!  This is quantum physics, I’m not entirely sure the English language is fitted with the right terms to make sense of it.  Listen, you push a quantum particle forward, it goes backward, because why the hell not!

WTF2 – Oh, and here is a particle that is it’s own anti-particle (think matter/anti-matter), because QP/QM is the universe making sure we are actually paying attention.

WTF3 – And here is one that is about how simulated gravitational anomalies make electrons behave like other electrons, because QM/QP is the Honey Badger of physics.

Seriously, quantum physics is both fascinating and confusing as hell at times.


Robo1 – Surfing the water mains, looking for leaks.

Robo2 – This is an interesting application of advanced water snake technology, but imagine being stuck under some rubble, and that thing comes crawling through a small gap.   Maybe I’ve watched too many horror movies where very bad things happen when the tentacles show up.

Robo3 – Did these folks never watch RoboCop or Terminator?

Wacky, Weird, and Wonderful

WWW1 – Back to Finland, this time with the cardboard baby crib.  Well, Finland because they send new mothers home with a cardboard box full of baby supplies, and the box itself doubles as a crib.  Personally, I’m a fan, but man I see how people get about baby stuff, and I can hear the local news report about the dangers (wildly extrapolated from one or two very tragic cases) already.

WWW2 – Winnowing the wheat from the chaff with Star Wars!  I especially like the use of midichlorians.

WWW3 – The Segway mutates again.  Ever since Kamen popularized the gyro stabilization tech, I always figured stuff like this would pop-up all over.  Honestly, I’m surprised I don’t see more such offerings.

WWW4 – Finally, a four legged cafe table that stays level.  The trick is in the pedestal base, where the feet are not joined as a solid piece, but instead can rotate a bit and jam up against the other legs.  Set it down on an uneven surface and the feet find their level and lock against each other.  First world problems, I know, but inventive nonetheless.

Image by scanlime

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

Morning Ed: World {2017.07.31.M}( 89 )

[W1] She lived her values. Also….

[W2] How Russians fell in love with Santa Barbara. (Seriously, if you read one link here, read this one.)

[W3] An investigative report on the connection between Swedish Nazis and Russia.

[W4] Macron has seized the French shipyards and given up on reform.

[W5] You’re going to have to run this one through a translator, but here’s an article about integration of refugees in Estonia and their plan to keep them separated. (Incidentally, the written Swedish word looks like such a fake language.)

[W6] I’m kind of surprised I’ve never heard of this guy, who managed to carve out a (kind of harrowing) life of solitude and relative self-sufficiency.

[W7] The LA Times has an interesting article on the history and decline of the Running Immigrants sign. Also, life as a refugee in Texas and the United States.

[W8] Vox explains how Trump’s solar border wall would work, and what the wall itself will do to wildlfe.

[W9] Fusion GPS gets a close-up, the left-leaning research firm with a tie to the Russian lawyer Junior Trump met with. Just as when liberals and the media pounce on some (of the weaker) connections between some Trump muck and Russia (“He works at a lawfirm that represents a Russian oil company!”) at a certain level it seems to me there are a lot of interconnections across left, right, and center. Fusion finds itself on both sides, evidently.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.