Latest Linkage

Morning Ed: World {2017.10.02.M}( 92 )

[Wo1] Macron continues his assaults on French traditions.

[Wo2] Introducing democratic dictatorships. But not really.

[Wo3] International aid may not only be failing, but may be making things worse.

[Wo4] What’s going on with Europe’s Social Democrats? Europe shifting center right and the US shifting center left represent a sense of convergence, when you think about it.

[Wo5] As interesting (or more) counterfactual than the South winning the Civil War is the Guadalupe-Hidalgo treaty being signed and Mexican land being taken up and down. I thought about that when I read this piece about the idea of merging the US and Mexico.

[Wo6] One does not expect a naval battle in Congo.

[Wo7] The Carolinas split because, among other things, the rice farmers of South Carolina just couldn’t live with the tobacco farmers in North Carolina. In China, there is a split between rice growers and wheat growers in terms of sexual liberation.

[Wo8] The caste system and fears in impurity are having unforeseen and deadly consequences. And here’s another article on India and cleanliness.

[Wo9] Volcanoes under the ice in Antarctica.

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Linky Friday: Take, Eat, Drink, And Pray( 46 )


taco bell photo

Image by compujeramey

[Fo1] You know what doesn’t know when it’s being eaten? Meat. Because it’s already dead.

[Fo2] Chick-fil-A vs Moe’s Original Bar B Que

[Fo3] Trix is going artificial again.

[Fo4] Now this is a way to get people’s attention on climate change.

[Fo5] More food, less good stuff: The atmosphere is depriving our food of nutrients.

[Fo6] Confused on the concept, it seems to me. Though, really, I can sort of relate. I have the weirdest 3am chocolate cravings and I’m not really even a chocolate guy.

[Fo7] Meatless meatball sub? Sign me up!


Image by paulswansen

[Dk1] The government almost killed the cocktail.

[Dk2] Rebbie talks about the complicated relationship between Mormons and coffee. One of the things about Deseret is that while the saints are saints, the sinners just congregate around sin. So there were plenty of coffee shops and some of the best smoking docks I’ve ever seen.

[Dk3] Relatedly: Big news at BYU! Caffeinated drinks that aren’t coffee aren’t that problematic. My very Mormon employer even had a coke machine. So I’m actually a bit surprised that it’s taken this long.

[Dk4] More food and drink should come in skull and crossbones packaging.

[Dk5] But why?


Photo by sathish_artisanz

[Do1] The case for psychedelic therapy. My wife was mentioning some promising stuff about this earlier today.

[Do2] Robert Centor is tired of all this talk about productivity in medicine.

[Do3] Dana Corriel wants people to stop blaming doctors for the opioid epidemic.

[Do4] Physicians think about 20% of care is unnecessary. This doesn’t mean that 20% of medical costs are unnecessary, as a lot of “doing something to do something” centers on the least expensive available option. But interesting all the same.

[Do5] Doctors disproportionately see patients when they are sick, but need to remember sick is not who they always are.

[Do6] Wow, there is no job that can’t be automated. Doctors, to a point. Even deathwhisperers!

[Do7] Wow.


plague photo

Image by burnbless

[Me1] Spotted Toad looks at opioid and anti-depressant use in the US.

[Me2] Will iQOS be the next big thing after vaping? They’d better hurry up before Democrats get the White House again.

[Me3] Chris Reed explains when and how public health took its turn towards activism. What’s disconcerts is not that public health advocates are taking sides, but that Science is following closely behind.

[Me4] Doom.

[Me5] How a letter in 1980 convinced the medical community not to worry about addiction to opioids.

[Me6] If smokers and drinkers actually save taxpayers money, does anybody’s mind actually change?


Image by arfsb

[Re1] Praise for the Sikhs, from Breitbart.

[Re2] It’s possible that in the aftermath of Harvey, we were a little too judgmental towards Joel Osteen.

[Re3] Mark Koyama argues that religion owes its freedom to government.

[Re4] Saumya Arya Haas gives an introduction to voodoo, and says it’s misunderstood.

[Re5] Peter Adamson investigates the philosophy of Islamic theologians.

[Re6] Matthew Walther doesn’t want to be a grandparent.

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Morning Ed: United States {2017.06.28.Th}( 114 )

[PR1] Becket Adams takes issue with the media’s desire to quickly label Maria as “Trump’s Katrina.”

[PR2] Contrary to early reports, aid managed to move in relatively quickly after the storm. Given his fixation with NFL issues, one suspects this might have been despite President Trump rather than because of him.

[PR3] Getting aid to the general vicinity of the island doesn’t appear to be a problem, but getting it on the island and moved throughout the island is really tough.

[PR4] Photos of the ruins. And accounts.

[PR5] Tyler Cowen proclaims Puerto Rico’s American Dream as dead. I decided pretty early on that the end result of this will probably be statehood, and probably not optimally. It seems likely to the point that I think rebuilding should occur with it in mind. That said, I think Cowen’s argument that statehood would have economically saved it may take for granted a degree of integration that might not have occurred due to language issues.

[VI1] If we do bring Puerto Rico in as a state, I hope we can affix the Virgin Islands to it.

[VI2] Cruiselines are lending a hand.

[US1] Conor Sen argues that Amazon portends a broadening of the tech sector to more places. Lyman Stone says that all the candidates are bad, though.

[US2] There was a reason Los Angeles had no football teams. More than one person told me that the one former LA team that didn’t move back to LA is the only LA team that could have prospered. I am back to thinking they should have put a team in the Inland Empire.

[US3] My wife saw this on the Indian reservation. The local KFC would staff accordingly.

[US4] Well, this isn’t good. And neither is this.

[US5] Rob Walker writes how the recent debate over the Confederate Flag might impact the Gadsden Flag.

[US6] Bank of America is pulling out of ruralia. (This is not a good thought, but the fact that they couldn’t find three more to close makes me twitch.

[US7] Something rotten in Kansas, and it’s not the Iraqi-American family.

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Morning Ed: Economics {2017.09.27.W}( 75 )

[Ec1] Ninteteenth century Japan shows us the virtues of free trade.

[Ec2] Daniel Ben-Ami argues that behavioral economics actually undermines the Enlightenment.

[Ec3] How a Brazilian economist created fake money and made everybody happy. (Not really, but sort of.)

[Ec4] Jeffrey Tucker compiles a list of five anti-capitalist movies that “backfired.”

[Ec5] Sam Bowman reports that neoliberalism rocks, and also some books on Neo-Marxism.

[Ec6] When capitalism becomes an instrument of government oppression.

[Ec7] The “socialists” of the new left, according to Kristian Niemietz, actually socialists.

[Ec8] An argument that Black Buying Power is not only overestimated, but is actually an offensive concept.

[Ec9] John Matsusaka on democratizing corporations.

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Tech Tuesday 9/26 – Entropy Is Such A Lonely Word Edition( 5 )


Aero1 – Imagine if the pilot on your next commercial flight said, “We are beginning our descent into …”, and three and half minutes later, you were on the ground.

Aero2 – Cassini has taken the final plunge.

Aero3 – SpaceX has a very good sense of humor regarding their failures.

Aero4 – Hubble sees a lot of very strange things.


Bio1 – Finally, fire ants are useful for something besides elaborate curses!

Bio2 – GMO cotton can avoid the need for dyes or other chemical treatments.

Bio3 – There are no pills that magically melt away fat, but there is a patch (and it doesn’t magically melt away fat, you still gotta cut your intake and exercise to burn it off).

Bio4 – It has been suggested that the reason we die of old age is because we are so very good at making babies, or something like that.

Bio5 – Using polio to kill cancer.  The enemy of my enemy…

Bio6 – Using sound to test blood.  Alleviates the need for a centrifuge.  Could be done with a handheld device (tricoder, anyone?)


Enr1 – Wave turbines.  Still not as good as tidal turbines, but still interesting.


Mat1 – Old, but relevant since Harvey.

Mat2 – A better way to fix potholes.  (also old, but first I’ve heard of it)

Mat3 – I know this is something that will probably be very useful for various scientific optics and laser applications, but I bet somebody is going to use this to tint their car windows.

Mat4 – Damn billionaires, funding the development of technology that can only benefit themselves… oh, wait.

Mat5 – 3D Printing a rocket engine from two alloys.


Mil1 – This is possibly the smartest thing the Navy has done in a while.

Mil2 – Pew! Pew! Pew! Pew! Pew!


Trans1 – Cargo ship voyage time lapse.  This is a fascinating video to watch.

Weird, Wacky, And Wonderful

WWW1 – Back when “Your Momma carries a Skeggöx !” wasn’t much of an insult.

WWW2 – The EFF is suing CBP over device searches at the border.  IIRC the courts haven’t exactly been siding against CBP on this.

WWW3 – This guy wasn’t in Jurassic Park.




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Morning Ed: Arts & Entertainment {2017.09.25.M}( 98 )

[AE1] I saw a Scooby Doo movie and was really disappointed when the ghosts turned out to be real. They missed the point of Scooby Doo, which is that ghosts aren’t real and aliens aren’t aliens!

[AE2] Who says that right-wing libertarian art doesn’t sell? It sells, baby!

[AE3] This makes me sad, in more ways than one.

[AE4] Comrade Detective is still pretty high on my to-watch list.

[AE5] This is a fairly compelling argument. (The Philadelphia thing was really, really bad.)

[AE6] On the question of whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not, we can see where the comic book comes down.

[AE7] Rich Cromwell argues that Rachel and Joey should have ended up together on Friends. I never felt that. Ross and Rachel were both not very good people who were probably best being not very good people together.

[AE8] The case for the villain (Billy Zane as Cal) in Titanic.

[AE9] Alex Knapp writes about how Doctor Who has so much staying power. I watched it with rapt attention when I was young, but can’t remember anything about it and haven’t watched any of the new series.

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Linky Friday: Love & Robots( 148 )


[Sc1] Admitting mistakes is good!

[Sc2] There may be a relationship between male and female urination and male privilege in physics instruction.

[Sc3] This is a pretty great story of scientific achievement amidst domestic chaos.

[Sc4] A glance at “science denial” and the political spectrum.

[Sc5] Peer review isn’t all that old.


[Te1] What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go wrong?

[Te2] So. Yeah. What’s up with the iPhone?

[Te3] Bill Frezza learned to stop worrying and love the AI.

[Te4] Reducing sexism through dishonesty.

[Te5] This laid out something of an interesting premise, only to become a very uninteresting anti-corporation kvetch.

[Te6] I’m less concerned with speed and more concerned that I have to watch my byte usage.

[Te7] Ooooh, you have my attention! I do miss the old keyboards, but have gotten used to the lighter Thinkpad designs.


Image by satanoid

[Fa1] China: Get married to get a car, get divorced to buy a house.

[Fa2] Lyman Stone looks at abortion and overpopulation and argues a lack of the former would not lead to the latter.

[Fa3] Tyler Cowen is concerned that genetic engineering is moving faster than our ability to ethically cope with it.

[Fa4] When to get married, if you want it to last. Correlation, causation, etc, but it makes intuitive sense that earlier than that you are more likely to pick a bad partner and later than that you may be too used to living alone.

[Fa5] The combination of religion and education disparities is causing some imbalances. Though maybe it’s more that religious communities make it easier to pick out the effects of the eduction imbalance. Either way, degreed Mormon men have it made, evidently. But if degreed women have it tough, they’re still getting married at higher rates than the rest.

[Fa6] Justin Fox looks at the baby bust in the US, and what it will mean.


joe paterno photo

Image by audreyjm529

[Sp1] Is home field advantage a placebo thing? Or like when Wylie Coyote walks on air until he looks down? {More}

[Sp2] Looks like some of the Paterno statues are going to need to be put on hold again.

[Sp3] Rembert Browne has a long profile on Colin Kaepernick.

[Sp4] I’m pretty sure that only wins are vacated, so USC can’t do this. I, of course, agree that vacating wins is dumb.

[Sp5] International cooperation is beautiful.

[Sp6] How the TV show Friends introduced America and English to Spanish-language foreign baseball players. Stuff like this is why I’m not too worried about English’s primacy in this country. (At least, outside of Puerto Rico.)

[Sp7] This sounds like it could be a problem for all the sportsballs. I look at that, and I see no upside for them.


romance photo

Image by joopvandijk

[Re1] There are broader lessons here: Why not-hot men should probably just skip Tinder: It was determined that the bottom 80% of men (in terms of attractiveness) are competing for the bottom 22% of women and the top 78% of women are competing for the top 20% of men.

[Re2] Well, I think a lot of it is that you’re dating people who are also in their twenties. Maybe it’s generational, but that was definitely a problem for Generation X, too.

[Re3] This is mostly good advice.

[Re4] Here’s a chart on how heterosexual couples met each other through the decades.

[Re5] Good for her!

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Morning Ed: Geopolitics {2017.09.21.Th}( 18 )

[Gp1] China evidently has a peculiar recruiting problem for its military.

[Gp2] Is it time to let the Kurds be free? Israel is on board. {More}

[Gp3] Son of bin Laden!

[Gp4] The situation in Catalonia is getting out of hand.

[Gp5] Proof that cigarette taxes and regulations are bad for national security.

[Gp6] The battle lines in Qatar are being drawn. Pick your side.

[Gp7] Why are there so few Islamists in West Africa?

[Gp8] The sonic attack of our diplomats in Cuba is one of the strangest Trump-unrelated stories going on now.

[Gp9] As ballistic missiles fly, Japan wonders if its on its own to find security partners other than the US.

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Morning Ed: Education {2017.09.20.W}( 51 )

[Ed1] I will definitely have to read this to Lain when she starts kindergarten next year.

[Ed2] Your regular reminder that the science on school start times couldn’t be clearer.

[Ed3] Jennifer Gonzalez looks at academic redshirting and its eventual effects.

[Ed4] Educationrealist had a breakthrough in math class. I almost never asked for teacher help, even when I could have used it. Of course, when I didn’t understand something it was usually because I was not paying attention and that doesn’t put you on a teacher’s good side.

[Ed5] Lawrence Belluci writes of his experience in a post-modern PhD program.

[Ed6] Benjamin Wermund looks at how college ranking promote economic inequality. I’m not sure if they are disease, symptom, or a key component of a reinforcement loop. I think the latter.

[Ed7] I’d like to take the other side of this bet.

[Ed8] French schools apparently have the option between a 4 and 4.5 day week. Interesting that they choose to take Wednesday off instead of Friday or Monday. I like it most of the time, but makes weekend trips harder.

[Ed9] Being a music major is really only an issue if she didn’t have requisite experience. I’m surprised somebody thought to scrub it.

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Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.09.19.Tu}( 64 )

[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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.


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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

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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.

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Begun The Statue Wars Have( 24 )

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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?


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?)


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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

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