Latest Linkage

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.

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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.”

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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!


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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.


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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?

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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.

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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!


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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

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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.

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Linky Friday: Circuit Courts( 169 )


[Cr1] En route to talking about ecigarette regulation, Carl V Phillips talks about cops and drug dealers and how they do would, and do, communicate.

[Cr2] Damn if this isn’t the most surefire get-out-of-relationship-free card I’ve ever heard of.

[Cr3] In Mexico, the drug wars have reached the capital.

[Cr4] New York is working on ways to catch illegal guns. Enforcing the laws on the books is good, though “radioactive to ever pick up a gun” is possibly concerning.

[Cr5] Must suck to be ratted out by your own parrot.

[Cr6] Blessed be, it looks like there are some limits to how much we’re going to indulge sex offender registries.


[L1] Should parents lose their children due to low IQ? Presumably there is a brainpower threshold below which they cannot take care of their children, but I’d think it would be lower than this.

[L2] It’s hard to express the many ways in which this is a bad idea.

[L3] People don’t believe me when I tell them stuff like this happens. The laws have improved since Reason shined a spotlight on the issue a long time ago, but there’s still work to go.

[L4] Sex, it would seem, matters to older women too.

[L5] The proposed Israel boycott law may not be quite as bad as advertised. {More}

[L6] Ahhhh, brevity.


[Sc1] Science is having a reproducibility problem, but these nine cognitive psychology findings have withstood the scrutiny.

[Sc2] Why does mister scientist hate science?

[Sc3] Related, Eric Armstrong wishes that Democrats weren’t so anti-science. The previously linked to statistics on Republicans and Democrats and science have been updated.

[Sc4] Michael Rosenblatt and Sachin Jain are worried that conflict-of-interest rules are doing more harm than good.

[Sc5] Oh, crap, I’m screwed.

[Sc6] The Angry Chef is mad at bad science.


[Te1] A serious look at Trump’s solar border wall.

[Te2] Microsoft Paint is soon to be no more. Download

[Te3] Oh, wonderful. Okay, voluntary… but who would do this? And, of course a prison vendor

[Te4] Points to Steve Jobs, who called this a long time ago.

[Te5] In our post-labor future, drugs and video games may be our savior.

[Te6] This is like a modern day Jules Verne novel.

[Te7] We are a wretched and sinful people. Well, half of us.


[Ed1] Some more marginal STEM majors might do well to switch to the business major.

[Ed2] Wow, this is a monumental screwup. It’s never going to be exactly right, but that’s a lot of slots.

[Ed3] A new study says that whites and Asians look at education differently.

[Ed4] I think… some people desperately want this to be true.

[Ed5] Kellan Monroe argues that the conservative war on liberal campus politics has backfired.

[Ed6] Dante Ramos isn’t a huge fan of Betsy DeVos, but is hopeful that she can fix the mess Obama made. {More}

Image by Internet Archive Book Images

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Morning Ed: Health {2017.07.27.Th}( 31 )

If Republicans had been smart, they would have looked at bolting in universal catastrophic coverage eight or ten years ago. That would have been the entire debate on more favorable footing.

Smoker stigma is chasing smokers away from the doctors office, even and especially when they need help. The same is most assuredly true for obesity.

This will end badly.

When is the best time to shower? I prefer to shower in the morning as a way to announce to myself the start of my day.

Well, there’s something to be said for taking your own medicine.

I keep telling my wife this, but she keeps saying we should clean stuff anyway.

My wife’s experiences in the IHS were pretty positive, but none of this surprised her.

As physicians get stretched more thin, they’re setting up to be in two places at once.

Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu writes about how creating (or enabling) more African-American doctors is not as a matter of preventing or mitigating discrimination, but human rights.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2017.07.26.W}( 57 )

David Brooks may have whiffed with his “Italian Lunch” column, but cultural codes are real and in addition to disadvantaging people on the wrong side of the figurative tracks it Daniel Drezner argued that it allowed the likes of Jared and Ivanka a pass.

There has been a spate of books pointing out the weaknesses of democracy, and Yuval Levin is taking a look. James Hanley also reviews one of the books. Nathan Robinson is having none of it.

Daily Kos Elections believes that California’s top-two primary system is bad, bad, bad. I have a proposal…

Pseudoerasmus asks how we can go about setting up pro-social institutions and “get to Denmark.”

A Democratic think tank does the math and says that Democrats would do better to target working class Trump voters instead of the educated moderates that Hillary Clinton pursued.

Relatedly, we’re approaching the point where it’s Democrats rather than Republicans that can be more adequately described as the preferred party of the wealthy. {More}

Juggalos march on Washington with a surprisingly reasonable set of demands.

Independent commissions for redistricting may not gerrymander any less than legislatures’ drafts.

The Post Office apparently played fast and loose with giving workers time off to help Hillary Clinton.

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Morning Ed: World {2017.07.25.Tu}( 63 )

Pascal Emmanuel-Gobrey explains how Macron’s policies benefit France’s elites.

Pompeii is making a comeback. If you didn’t watch this video last time I linked to it, you should. (You can skip around, though.)

Attention Jaybird!: Is Qatar being punished for embracing our ideals?

From Jaybird: This article is interesting on two levels. The first level is the content of the article itself. Hey, a Muslim Gay Marriage! Love wins! The second level is the content of the comments. Seriously. Read the comments. (Oldest first.)

This is a lot of superhero and supervillain origin stories, right here.

Estonia just grew taller! (Okay, not really)

Luisa Lim writes of the political incorrectness of class in China.

When outsourcing goes horribly, horribly wrong. Meanwhile, in the United States

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Morning Ed: The Planet {2017.07.24.M}( 37 )

It’s actually kind of weird how much stuff like this bothers me, compared to more pertinent environmental concerns.

India has a less-than-ideal solution to its air quality problem.

Geothermal energy in New York! Has anybody found an environmental problem with that geothermal yet?

The oil companies have been turning towards gas, but maybe that’s a mistake?

Michael Rubin talks nuclear.

The House voted to prevent another Keystone Pipeline blockage by stripping the president the ability to stop a pipeline, among other changes.

Remember that if you oppose fracking, you stand with Putin! (Same could be said for opposing the Paris Accord, of course.)

Wow, global warming really does look like it’s going to be badass.

Explosions in Siberia, lost permafrost in Alaska, and sinking islands in North Carolina, attributed to climate change.

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Linky Friday: Godly Pursuits( 162 )


[R1] Russell Moore wants Christians to know that religious freedom also applies to non-Christians! This genuinely seemed better understood a decade ago than now, though we’ve always had problems with it. Nic Bourbaki has more.

[R2] Somewhat relatedly, here’s how Roy Moore tries to square his belief in religious freedom with the belief that it doesn’t extend beyond Christianity.

[R3] This complaint ties into conversations we’re had around here about religion in television. There are Muslims on TV, but not usually especially observant ones. There are Jews on television, but same deal. Even protestants. The main exception seems to be Catholics, and even then when they meet their priest there’s usually a line about how they stopped going to church.

[R4] Lyman Stone says that the emptying of Mainline churches may have some serious political implications.

[R5] A look at St Louis Park, the Jewish hub in the Twin Cities.


meat photo

Image by chrisbulle

[F1] Don’t worry, there is no restaurant bubble.

[F2] No.

[F3] Killjoys.

[F4] This “food hall” thing seems both snooty and appealing and I’m not proud of that.

[F5] Markham Heid writes on lying food labels. Looking at portion sizes seems obvious, but the other packaging making the portion sizes seem larger than they are seems like something worthy of scrutiny.


poker photo

Image by YLegrand

[Sp1] Huh. Trying to turn gaming into a traditional league with cities and everything.

[Sp2] David Hill reports a potential poker scandal.

[Sp3] There’s no shame in it, in my opinion. Should the day come when I need Rogaine and Rogaine might help, I’m definitely not too proud.

[Sp4] Ryan Locthe was cleared. Do we care? Should the “left wing sports media” have any regrets?

[Sp5] We didn’t just have the Negro Leagues here, but Japan did its own thing. Maybe we have more to learn from them.


standardized test photo

Image by Wesley Fryer

[Ed1] Freddie is really worried that provocations in the culture wars are about to lead to a massive defunding of higher education.

[Ed2] Jonathan Wai argues that the SAT is too easy, and selective schools should look to something harder. The argument makes sense, but I suspect the selective schools like the ability to pick between identical scores even (perhaps especially) if that is unfair to the disadvantaged.

[Ed3] Meanwhile, SAT scores are actually going down, while GPAs are going up. That 38% figure for the nineties contradicts my experience, though. Not just in my school, but in others as well. In any event, this is a problem for those that want us to stop using the SATs altogether.

[Ed4] Learn your Bible, and other works of religion.

[Ed5] This article on Texas Instruments’ “staggering monopoly” in high school mathematics is interesting, but I can’t see through the nostalgia. I never had a TI-8x because my parents got me a Casio, which I am still bitter about to this day. (All of the good games were on the TI.)


Medicaid photo

Image by NatalieMaynor

[H1] There are drugs to help avoid opioid overdoses. We need them badly and more than ever and the pharmaceutical companies know it.

[H2] Laura Hercher writes about genetic testing and its consequences.

[H3] It looks like propylene glycol – apart from simply not being burning tobacco when vaped – may have health benefits. I actually turned out to have a bit of a reaction to PG, which I only discovered as I switched to more VG-centric ejuice.

[H4] Be this as it may, I would still probably rather have Medicaid than nothing.

[H5] Nah. Still don’t care.


ok cola photo

Image by janetgalore

[Ec1] Orly Lobel talks of companies poaching employees and poaching IP from competitors. It can be an awfully thin line sometimes.

[Ec2] Even so, this is a pretty huge step back for Idaho, which needs all of the competitive advantages it can handle. Idaho has a talent surplus, but it does employers no good if they can’t come in and hire people.

[Ec3] We associate anti-globalization with the populists and the masses, but increasingly economists aren’t so sure.

[Ec4] Postmodern advertising (going all meta) has become a thing, but Coca-Cola built an entire brand around it.

[Ec5] Freddy (not Freddie) writes in defense of corporate paternalism.

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Morning Ed: Cities {2017.07.20.Th}( 56 )

[Ci1] Henry Grabar wonders why all of these cities that say they want to fight climate change aren’t taking the most obvious steps.

[Ci2] Conor Sen has some suggestions for how malls can reinvent themselves as community centers.

[Ci3] Matheiu Vaillancourt wishes cities would stop touting autism-friendliness.

[Ci4] Mexico City may be abolishing its parking minimums! Yay! But they may be instituting maximums! Boo! Seriously, is it that hard to let the market sort it out?

[Ci5] Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote a piece on how the suburbs die. I’m not especially convinced that the Connecticut experience is going to be generalizable to the rest of the country.

[Ci6] The new hiptown in Australia is Adelaide.

[Ci7] Phoenix can’t seem to grow fast enough. Look, I’m as happy to flip mother nature the bird and say we will build cities wherever we want to build cities as any redblooded American, but that’s what we have Las Vegas for.

[Ci8] An interesting look at revitalizing the suburbs.

[Ci9] Almost a century ago, folks projected that our cities would be a lot more communistic than they turned out to be. (But hey, at least there’s a church!)


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Morning Ed: Society {2017.07.19.W}( 52 )

[So1] It turns out that Shakespeare isn’t the only sort of classics some conservatives can’t get on board with.

[So2] American television is dominating foreign stream sites. Unsurprisingly, the EU has implemented a quota.

[So3] Everything you never wanted to know about our collective sexual desires. Among other things, they’re not especially realistic.

[So4] Oh, man, remember Tremors? I never did see any of the sequels and never saw much reason to, so I’m not sure I’m going to watch the proposed TV show.

[So5] Luigi used to be the smart one, so why did he become the scared one? Maybe he just wasn’t the smart one.

[So6] The lesson here is never trust the Internet.

[So7] EDK: “If you can’t even monetize Trump’s shenanigans properly, what’s the point? Twitter, it’s time to take one for the team and close up shop.”

[So8] Matt Shapiro has some interesting background on the emotions of CG.

[So9] I remember the Neo Geo!

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Tech Tuesday 7/18/17 – Hagfish Edition( 36 )


Aero1 – Radiation in space is a serious concern.  A new space suit may help with that.  And if it is cheaper and

lighter weight than gold foil, it could protect satellites as well.

Aero2 – The USS Bruce Willis is all set to… Oh, wait, that’s not it’s name.  And it doesn’t involve oil rig workers, or drills, or cheesy nuclear warheads.

Aero3 – Getting a good look at Jupiter’s wine stain of a storm.  And if you are tired of hearing about the Jovian, here is Pluto once again.

Aero4 – Runaway stars.  Likely the result of a bad relationship that finally exploded.  How fast are they moving?  400 kps plus whatever orbital speed they had at the time of escape.

Aero5 – New ceramic coating may give new momentum to hypersonic vehicles (Mach5+).

Aero6 – For some reason, this sounds really familiar, but it’s being presented as new research (maybe I saw the working paper?).  Anyway, owl wings and wind turbine noise.

Aero7 – Using a gecko to clean up space junk.  Well, a robotic gecko.  OK, a robot with gecko inspired grippers.


Bio1 – Purple, anti-oxidant rich ric… oh, never mind, the anti-GMO folks will just destroy those crops as well.  Yeah for the purity of Gaia…

Bio3 – Vitamin A rich bana… This is just asking for trouble, people.  Just stop trying to help the poor an malnourished with science and evil GMOs, there are moral souls at stake here!

Bio2 – A vaccine for killing tumors.

Bio3 – Storing data in DNA.  I mean, we actually did it, a whole video.  And a computer virus and an Amazon gift card.  One TB of data, 150 grams of DNA.

Bio4 – A soft, fully functional, 3D-printed artificial heart.


Enrg1 – I would be surprised if something like this would scale to compete directly with a HAWT or VAWT, but it certainly could work on the small scale, or as an large scale array, since they could probably be sited much closer together.  Actually, a CFD simulation of a field of these would be pretty interesting…

Enrg2 – A technology demonstrator using Formic Acid as an energy source.  For those of you not familiar with formic acid, it’s HCOOH.  So what the tech does is extracts the H2 and releases the CO2.  The CO2 is then recycled to make more formic acid.

Enrg3 – Plans to build the worlds largest flow battery, in a giant salt cavern.


Env1 – Remember the Deepwater Horizon?  Remember how most of the oil from the broken well head never made it to the surface where we could clean it up?  Remember how a lot of it also just sort of vanished?  Well, it didn’t vanish, it got eaten, by a microbe.  And now we know which one.

Env2 – This one is for Kristin, in honor of her post.  And if concrete isn’t your thing, how about origami?


Mat1 – The secret to long standing Roman marine concrete?  Seawater.  Figuring this out will have long term benefits, not just by allowing us to build stronger, more durable piers and wharves, but sea walls as well, not to mention concrete hulls for floating houses, or whole islands.

Mat2 – Graphene to the rescue once again, this time in dialysis machines that are 10 to 100 times faster than current designs.

Mat3 – Artificial spider silk made at room temperature, without solvents or large energy inputs, that is non-toxic and 98% water.  I will now sit here and eagerly await the day when I can order my very own Spider-Man webshooters from Amazon.


Phys1 – Redefining the kilogram through Planck’s Constant.  In your everyday existence, having a super precise measurement standard for a unit of mass is no big thing, but it’s pretty damn important regardless.  Being able to mathematically define that standard through a physical constant not only alleviates the need to maintain physical representations of those standard measures, it also makes the standard open source, in that when you need to re-calibrate highly sensitive measuring equipment, you don’t need to wait for one of the standards to become available, you just dial it in mathematically.

Phys2 – Oh LHC, Charmed, I’m sure.


Tech1 – Smart windows are getting smarter by being self powered.

Tech2 – New materials to speed up recharge rates.

Tech3 – Introducing the worlds sharpest laser!  Wait, what?  How is a laser sharp?

Tech4 – A 34 ft LED flat screen.  Yes, that is feet, not inches.

Tech5 – Using the fuel to form the nozzle.


Tr1 – That is certainly ambitious.  Good luck, Volvo.

Tr2 – If you´re having any car trouble, the Detroit Tow Truck Company will be the right tow truck for you if you´re looking for an inexpensive service.

Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful

Www1 – Oh look, it’s a revolutionary dumb-waiter, for people

Www2 – Our stupid obsession with the perfect lawn.

Www3 – What happens when Cthulhu sneezes all over the road.   Take a moment to read the whole FAQ, it’s amusing.

Image by checoo

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Morning Ed: Gender {2017.07.17.M}( 83 )

[Ge1] It turns out, if you make resumes gender-blind it hurts women. Which suggests…

[Ge2] According to a population-based study on sex differences, women aren’t actually more empathic than men (though think they are) and don’t behave more altruistically than men in experimental tasks.

[Ge3] According to a study, gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers are different in precisely the direction we would expect.

[Ge4] Ruth Graham defends being someone else’s wife.

[Ge5] This is definitely a thing. Some of it is simply that a lot of women prefer it, or are okay with it… though even that has a dubious component to it. My wife always planned to allow people to use her first name but found that she had a harder time getting her patients to take her seriously, so it’s Dr Himmelreich.

[Ge6] If we’re going to go there, I think there is a stronger argument that elementary school is geared far more towards female assumptions rather than male.

[Ge7] Salary gaps among movie stars is one of those cases where people have to navigate between hyperbolic complaints that don’t hold up, complaints that do, and everything in between.

[Ge8] To avoid eating disorders, marry ugly.

[Ge9] Aaron Neil argues that we should stop worrying about the gender gap in the First World.


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Morning Ed: Media {2017.07.16.Su}( 20 )

[M1] The Moscow Times (primary English-language paper of the city) is no longer running print editions.

[M2] Appalachia is getting a lot of attention, but is having to work to find its own voice amidst the various voices being assigned to it.

[M3] Joseph Bottum takes a look at Milo’s new book.

[M4] Heather Bryant writes about the media’s blue collar problem. It makes a fair amount of sense that as media jobs become more competitive with fewer to go around, and our media and culture become more national and hierarchial, we can expect the participants to be more and more well-heeled.

[M5] “Why haven’t they condemned this!” Maybe it’s because they never heard about it.

[M6] The writer who broke the Star of David at the Chicago Dyke March has been unceremoniously reassigned. {More}

[M7] When it comes to search engines and media outlets, it’s really not clear who should be paying whom.

[M8] For an industry that relies on communication, it’s really remarkable how tone-deaf some members of the media can be.


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Linky Friday: Lawyers, Guns, & Money( 145 )


goats photo

Image by ohefin

[Lr1] This could well be the challenge going forward: If robots do displace human workers, will the latter be compensated? A look at what economists think.

[Lr2] Chelsea Follett on the costs of closing sweatshops. For my part, if we’re going to try to intervene on their behalf, I’d want to focus our efforts almost 100% on safety. It´d be best to raid them with airsoft guns to avoid any unnecessary casualties, click on visit to see which kinds to use.

[Lr3] Robert Samuelson isn’t so worried that the labor shortage is going to be a problem.

[Lr4] As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with robots, now goats are taking our jobs.

[Lr5] A new Harvard study says that higher minimum wages are bad for small businesses.


bar exam photo

Image by mikecogh

[Lw1] Rick Horowitz is concerned about California dumbing down the bar.

[Lw2] Make legal alternatives available, and piracy falls. Gerry Daly has some additional thoughts.

[Lw3] When Big Porn stands with you, can you possibly fail?

[Lw4] One does not expect them to make such threats so publicly.

[Lw5] A Brit recently acquitted on rape charges wants the ability to name his accuser.


Yukon photo

Image by Chris Hunkeler

[Ec1] If you care about the welfare of the native northerners, go thank Amazon today.

[Ec2] Oliver Wiseman wonders if globalism can be rehabilitated.

[Ec3] Ad repetition on streaming sites really is quite irritating. I can imagine it resolving itself with more advertisers, but can also imagine it getting worse with more targeting (I get 10,000 ads for shoes, you get 10,000 ads for eyeglasses).

[Ec4] I am learning to sit back, relax, and hope that targeted advertisers get better. {More} {But uh oh}

[Ec5] Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.


pay phones photo

Image by i_yudai

[Te1] The FCC has declared that pay phones are no longer worth regulating.

[Te2] Brilliant.

[Te3] In 2017, an argument has to be made against sex robots.

[Te4] And next they came for the transcription jobs

[Te5] This was made to be a terrorist plot in a season of 24.


From Pixabay

[Cr1] Google Home (or a similar device) appears to have called the sheriff and prevented a domestic conflict from turning into something far worse.

[Cr2] It wasn’t just Rotherham.

[Cr3] A look at why it’s so difficult to keep problem cops off the street, and to keep them from getting back on the street somewhere else.

[Cr4] Hatery, fakery and 4chan: The dark side of the web.

[Cr5] 400 defendants, $1,300,000,000 in alleged healthcare fraud.


exoskeleton photo

Image by brownpau

[Wa1] What is Russian for Stormtrooper?

[Wa2] There are no good answers for the North Korea problem.

[Wa3] Hillary’s hawkishness may have cost her the presidency.

[Wa4] At the rate we’re going, I’m going to be disappointed if the F-35 doesn’t fart gold out of its exhaust.

[Wa5] Allegedly, a Navy whistleblower was fired for his whistleblowing.

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Morning Ed: Politics {2017.07.13.Th}( 136 )

[Po1] David Brooks got a lot of grief for his questionable sandwich anecdote, but Sonny Bunch and Phoebe Malz Bovy both had some thoughtful commentary on the issue.

[Po2] Vikram once described Paul Krugman as the exemplar of what politics does to your brain. In that Twitter conversation, we were introduced to Jason Briggeman’s ideological profile on Krugman. (PDF)

[Po3] The main problem with multimember congressional districts in the US House is its sheer size. Constituencies are already too large and without a substantial increase in House size this would make them larger.

[Po4] Matthew Walther writes on the Lincoln Chafee, the last of the WASPs.

[Po5] It was a bad bumper sticker (or a bad proposed one), but a bumper sticker isn’t as big of a deal as the attitude behind it. And the attitude itself might not be the worst against that competition… but that’s what I spent most of 2016 believing.

[Po6] Tom Pepinsky writes about religion being replaced by ethnonationalism.

[Po7] This is bound to end up in the courts, as the Rain God says, and I don’t see how Seattle wins. The upshot to the proposal is that it will encourage couples living in sin to get married to stay under the threshold.

[Po8] This is why political parties should have less specific names.

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Morning Ed: Sports {2017.07.12.T}( 11 )

[Sp1] An interesting thing about the NHL pushing college hockey is that unlike the NFL, they have a robust minor league system and aren’t entirely dependent on college.

[Sp2] The problem with this plan is that I’m pretty sure people would rather watch Texas and LSU play than Texas Southern and Southern, even if the latter actually has better players.

[Sp3] Our cricket association – which apparently we have – was kicked out of the ICC.

[Sp4] Oops.

[Sp5] The NFL’s advertising juggernaut is taking a hit.

[Sp6] He should really just give up smoking, because I don’t think Arturo Garcia’s wife is ever letting him go out for cigarettes again.

[Sp7] Doping (well, cocaine) scandal in the world of greyhound racing!

[Sp8] Did Pawtucket finally figure out how cities can avoid getting screwed on stadium deals?

[Sp9] I know people play hurt sometimes, but this hard core.

[Sp0] Hey, we’ve all been there. Speaking of lacrosse, their games are appearing regularly on Twitter. It’s a really good publicity as it has increased my interest in lacrosse. They should (maybe along with rugby) set up a network on Pluto TV.

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Morning Ed: Transportation {2017.07.11.T}( 69 )

[Tr1] The flying cars are finally coming! To the 2020 Olympics, it turns out.

[Tr2] I was thinking to myself as I was filling up how the existence of the diesel pump seems like a tribute to the yesterday’s forgotten tomorrow.

[Tr3] Maybe Louis CK had it all wrong and it turns out that being unhappy will make things better.

[Tr4] How the FAA killed Uber for planes. I could make a case that Uber for planes would be good for the environment because more people per load, or that it would be bad if it subsidizes more plane trips in the overall.

[Tr5] I think I’ve linkied a piece before on supersonic flight and the ban thereon, but here’s an argument for lifting it.

[Tr6] While I did expect this to an application of autonomous cars, I didn’t expect it to be one of the earlier ones.

[Tr7] Airlines really need to stop doing this sort of thing. They say it was a mistake in ticket-scanning, but I’m honestly a little skeptical and am worried that airlines might really start seeing toddler seats as seats they can give to someone else in a jam.

[Tr8] Essential Air Service can be justified, but Hagerstown is not really an appropriate use for it. I suspect this is one of those things you have to do to get to 60 senate votes.


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Morning Ed: Education {2017.07.10.M}( 57 )

[Ed1] Matt Reed wants to know why we subsidize meal plans at elite universities but not cafeterias at community colleges.

[Ed2] Was a UCLA instructor canned for having the wrong politics, or was he just a bad teacher?

[Ed3] This has a bit of an “everything old is new again” vibe, as it describes the IT sector becoming what it used to it.

[Ed4] Weed is, apparently, not so good for the academics.

[Ed5] California’s economy is good, revenues are up, and there are no Republicans in power there to blame for anything, but here they are.

[Ed6] San Diego school district’s online tests are really easy to cheat on. All of the incentives for everybody involved are for the kids to graduate.We all remember that time when they were riding those kids-friendly scooters around the block and now they´re on the podium receiving their certificate.

[Ed7] An interesting glance at a high school’s math curriculum debate, and the compromise that was reached.

[Ed8] Richard Black is worried that Corbyn’s “student bribes” are going to wreck Britain’s future. Stephen Bush says that the plan to abolish tuition is good politics for Labour, even while it’s not great policy for them (or the country).

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Linky Friday: Planet Justice( 93 )


[F1] A look at the single mother culture in Iceland, for better and worse.

[F2] Nicholas Wolfinger on Sex in Red and Blue America. Republicans have more sex! But mostly because they’re married.

[F3] If you want to know why conservatives are skeptical of contraception as a solution to abortion, here is a peek. Personally, I think we have to start getting very specific of what type of contraception we’re talking about. Depo has a very different failure rate than the pill, hinging quite a bit on compliance rates.

[F4] Holy cow, Europe. And I sometimes think we wait too long…

[F5] Samuel Hammond makes a pretty convincing case in favor of cash in lieu of childcare coverage. The AEI, meanwhile, reports that childcare coverage wouldn’t be enough to increase labor force participation.

[F6] Bethany Mandel takes issue with Hollywood’s notion of an amicable divorce.


gavel photo

Image by allenallen1910

[L1] The case for judicial term limits seems pretty strong to me. The only papal deathwatches should be in the Vatican.

[L2] It has come to the attention of many that we don’t let people use food stamps for toasted sandwiches. Not only that, but the talk right now is to restrict it further. Courtesy of Public Health rather than the GOP tightwads, if it matters.

[L3] This touches on why I don’t believe anything is ever going to enter the public domain ever again (unless the creator/owner so chooses).

[L4] Government leaks are a problem every administration, especially lately. But not the Supreme Court.

[L5] From behind the bench to behind bars.


snowden photo

Image by Fontourist

[C1] Police chiefs trying to diversify their departments are having some difficulty.

[C2] We may have caught Ms. Winner, but Marcy Wheeler is worried that we may not be able to prevent the next Mr Snowden.

[C3] Gotta give them points for ingenuity.

[C4] I’m really not sure we want to go down this road.

[C5] This is not supposed to happen.

[C6] Alex Tabarrok looks at bank robberies in Italy, which are evidently quite numerous.

[C7] Back in 2015, Uncle Steve looked at when crime does pay.


[P1] Meltage (but not too much meltage) in Antarctica and sinking in Louisiana.

[P2] I read enough of these articles and start to think that, in the end, energy is just going to end up nationalized in most places.

[P3] Coal is making a comeback in Asia.

[P4] Well drat, the experimental carbon-recapturing coal plant in Mississippi, is scrapped.

[P5] If carbon-free nuclear fusion really is coming, I can’t imagine investors wouldn’t be lining up for a piece of that action, so I have difficulty believing our contribution would be making the difference.

[P6] China is building a tree city to fight pollution.

[P7] Jason Hickel points out that the Paris Accord relied on negative emissions to a degree that haven’t really panned out. It all reads to me like a need to basically plan for the worst.


[S1] Dammit, no. I need this! {More}

[S2] Wait, a 10th? It says a lot about humanity’s boundless optimism that the artist’s rendition has land and water on it.

[S3] I regret to inform you the alien engineers are at it again.

[S4] Vaguely related to our conversation recently about seasteading, but introducing Asgardia, the space-nation. Digital piracy appears to be a motivator. Seems to me they ought to try to keep this hush-hush until *after* they have the satellite up.

[S5] NASA is working on asteroid defense. This is probably easier than setting up a contingency planet somewhere so the race can survive impact. Less cool, though.

[S6] Return to the Moon! Japan’s got a plan.

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Morning Ed: World {2017.07.06.Th}( 81 )

[W1] Russians regret nothing.

[W2] If we’re not careful, the toilets may start getting tired of our crap and revolt.

[W3] In Brazil a law that you must vote and must learn philosophy.

[W4] The US has quietly released the papers on the Iran coup of 1953.

[W5] Marian Tupy argues that we all have a lot to learn from Hong Kong.

[W6] In an effort to get people to come forward, they’re giving amnesty to people who illegal subletted their Grenfell apartments.

[W7] As Macron tries to take on the unions, Rupert Darwall cautions the Tories against following the French example.

[W8] As a heatwave strikes Britain, and officeworkers have rights. And students

[W9] A story of intrigue and Russian collusion.


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Morning Ed: Health {2017.07.05.W}( 112 )

[H1] Why aren’t more smokers switching the vaping? Because every conceivable advantage of doing so has been undermined by public health advocates.

[H2] No.

[H3] Oooh, human heart regeneration! AND dermal fillers Sydney are the new thing on the block.

[H4] I the event of a cardiac arrest, drones may be useful to you than paramedics. Or maybe a self-driving car will just deliver your doctor.

[H5] The Mormon obsession with genealogy continues to pay social dividends to everybody else.

[H6] Coca-Cola is worried about off-label uses for its product.

[H7] This seems more like a story on the need for OTC birth control and/or the provider shortage than a story about birth control per se. {And in Europe}

[H8] Hospitals in ruralia are struggling mightily, PPACA didn’t save them as people had hoped, and the proposed replacement could make things worse.


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Morning Ed: United States {2017.07.04.Tu}( 31 )


[US1] North Carolina has a new island.

[US2] I was prepared to side with the school here, but really they’re just being an ass. They have the right to do what they want as far as this goes, but I’d be less inclined to send my kid there than if they simply let the girl play on the boy’s team or had just let the matter drop after they won.

[US3] A smartphone app saves an Iowa baby’s life, and a mother in Texas dies saving her child.

[US4] Politico explains how New York City created Donald Trump.

[US5] Tanvi Misra writes on how Asian-Americans remade suburbia.

[US6] Sometimes my wife and I yell at the TV things like “Why is that ‘Memphis native’ speaking with a Georgian accent?!”

[US7] We could just move the Court there anyway, you know?

[US8] The sincerity and suffocation of life in the midwest.

[US9] Here’s a list of the 20 quirkiest cities in the US. Austin, New Orleans, and Portland taking the first three spots doesn’t surprise me… but Kansas City’s presence on the list (#8) does!

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Morning Ed: Labor {2017.07.03.M}( 63 )

[L1] Adam Ozimek argues that that the science is not settled on the minimum wage, and that both sides need to operate with a bit more humility. Case and point!

[L2] Minimum wage success? Wall Street is really excited about McDonald’s putting some service industry folks out of work.

[L3] Meanwhile, in Denmark, there are some clear effects of minimum wage for employment. That said, in this particular case degree of substitution availability in that case is pretty high.

[L4] Among other things, UBI reportedly lowers stress levels and encourages work.

[L5] Female LDS employees can now wear pants to work, and also get parental leave.

[L6] If you want to make some bank in Kanssas, get a degree as an electrical lineman.

[L7] Rebecca Knight has some tips on convincing your boss to let you work from home. In my observation, the job and the employer matter a lot more than your persuasiveness.

[L8] This isn’t the first time we have freaked out over automation.

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Linky Friday: I Fought The Lawd( 126 )


judge photo

Image by briansuda

[L1] To be guilty of fraud, do you have to actually have defrauded someone?

[L2] I think we want to be pretty careful before we start making exceptions to this.

[L3] Zillow picked on a young blogger previously linkied here, but the blog won.

[L4] Comcast allegedly misunderstood what “cutting the cord” means.

[L5] A Canadian court wants to compel Google to delist websites with certain illegal content (in this case, bootleg and unauthorized songs and movies).

[L6] Judicial activism I can get behind.


warrior photo

Image by libertygrace0

[W1] A Canadian sniper just got a record-breaking killshot.

[W2] We metaphorically sank the battleship.

[W3] The personal archives of Daesh fighters introduce us to their dark and dramatic private worlds.

[W4] Matt Hipple argues that any space corps belongs with the Navy.

[W5] The dark history of the engineering of the VX Nerve Agent.

[W6] Seems like Los Alamos needs to shape up.


[R1] The New York Times looks at the partisanship of pastors.

[R2] Is Muslim theocracy a product of the failures of western secularism?

[R3] With the Ark Encounter theme park having gone bust, Ken Ham blames atheists and fake news.

[R4] The Smithsonian is finding God! Well, not quite, but I suspect you know what I mean.

[R5] “[A]mnesty for assault victims.”

[R6] Church, but for the secular.


troll photo

Image by Nickogibson

[M1] Adam Gurri argues that actually hot take culture is good.

[M2] Lee Smith argues that Facebook is destroying the media. Sure seems like something always is.

[M3] The media lost interest in the Steve Scalise shooting a lot more quickly than it did the Gabby Giffords one. One the one hand, we didn’t have a president that was as good at drawing media attention as the current one is. On the other, I’m not sure that’s why.

[M4] Jonathan Kay, Damon Linker, and Bret Stephens (listed in descending order of worthiness) all take aim at Twitter. Kevin Drum for the defense.

[M5] China is putting up a ban on livestreaming, because it’s too hard to censor.

[M6] It’s definitely to CNN’s credit they took decisive action, but given the givens they need to take extra care to be careful from the outset. Also, Vice?


bigfoot photo

Image by Loimere

[Po1] As go the suburbs, so goes the state.

[Po2] Seems like maybe there was more policy could do about illegal immigration than the last couple presidents let on, so is better to get a legal service as Maple Immigration Services to help you with your status.

[Po3] Karl Smith suggests that libertarians exist.

[Po4] Stephen Daisley laments how Labour went to the left until it ended up on the right. Trump’s name doesn’t come up, but if you’re not inclined not to see some parallels, you just might…

[Po5] Also: How the British left went mad for Bolshevism and ignored the purges.

[Po6] And lastly, how Labour was saved by George Osborne and Ed Miliband.

Feature Image by Waiting For The Word

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Science and Technology June 27th( 64 )


Aero1 – Three stellar nurseries, one giga-pic!

Aero2 – Orbital ATK has successfully tested it’s Ori… oh who cares, it’s a video of a rocket motor shooting flames everywhere.  Enjoy!  (Here is the press release, if you really want.)

Aero3 – A solar powered airplane.  I expect solar powered military recon UAVs will be not far behind.

Aero4 – The Paris Airshow happened last week, so there are fun things to look at.

Aero5 – Yes, NASA wants to probe Uranus.  Are you done laug… no?  Do you need more time to finish, or maybe to grow up?  Seriously people…

Aero6 – Just how many actual planets are out past Pluto?

Aero7 – The US SpaceCorps Wants You!

Aero8 – Magnetic Space Tugs, for de-orbiting, or formation flying.  Both are pretty significant tasks in space.


Ag1 – Vertical farming, no dirt.  One thing I wonder: different soils give different flavors to different crops, thanks to trace elements in the soil that get drawn into the plant.  Do setups like this try to recreate that flavor palette?

Ag2 – Can we stop trying to turn food into fuel now?  I’m all for growing plants that can be easily converted to fuel sources, but let’s stop using food crops and/or prime ag land to do it.  This is where GMOs can really make a difference.  People may care about what they put into their bodies, but most people don’t give a hoot about what goes into their tank.  If we have to grow corn for ethanol (and I’m not convinced we do, I seem to recall a variant of sugar cane, or maybe sorghum, that wasn’t fit for food and could grown in marginal soil – and that is assuming ethanol is ideal; vegetable oil has more energy), let’s not impact food sources to do it.

Ag3 – I’ve seen mushrooms turned into packing material, and even converted to plastic, but grown into a structure like a building, or furniture.  That’s neat.


Bio1 – I don’t even pay attention to news bits about nutrition anymore.  Except perhaps to mock them.

Bio2 – I’m pretty sure I will see the end of organ donation before I see the end of my life.

Bio3 – Turns out we all can play 11-dimensional chess.  Except Trump, he’s still stuck at 2.

Bio4 – Eat yer damn broccoli!

Bio5 – Antibacterial soaps do more harm than good.  Personally, I agree, because I think immune systems need something to do.

Bio6 – Micro-needle patches instead of shots.

Bio7 – Using plastic to try and save coral reefs that are being killed by climate change.


En1 – Solar paint that splits ambient moisture into hydrogen and oxygen.  Will this be the end of PV cells?

En2 – A scalable solar desalination system.  The key word here is “scalable”.

En3 – Seawater batteries.  For real, MIT says so.

En4 – Taming runaway electrons in fusion reactions – Achievement Unlocked!


Phys1 – Quantum satellite communication – Achievement Unlocked!

Phys2 – Speaking of telecommunications… 100 year old barrier breached – Achievement Unlocked!  Now… ummm… any electrical engineers out there care to explain this to the forum.  I think I kinda understand this, but I don’t ever recall learning about this barrier, so I’m not entirely sure I understand it.

Phys3 – Turns out, when you hit something with a light a billion times brighter than the sun, things get weird.

Phys4 – Speaking of weird, what the hell, water?


Tech1 – Using WiFi to see through walls is nothing new, but using a pair of drones to setup the WiFi field and see through walls is a novel approach.

Tech2 – A flexible, transparent, 77″ OLED display.   I can’t wait to see this on sale at Costco.

Tech3 – GE is building a one cubic meter laser sintering printer.

Tech4 – Speaking of 3D printing and regular printing tips, check these tips out – making graphene foam.  With sugar, make sure to check out Managed Print Services where you will find the bets printers.

Tech5 – Tiny camera, no lens.

Tech6 – Bio-mimicry is at it again.  This time, moth eyes will help reduce phone screen glare.

Tech7 – A sound that is inaudible to people, but can be heard by every microphone.  Nope, it’s not the start to some riddle.

Tech8 – Whop-whop-whop-whop-pew-pew-pew.


Tr1 – Print on demand tire treads.  Well, it’s an airless tire, and I like that.  But I doubt it will be as smooth as the video makes it out.

Tr2 – Everyone heard about the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and the Crystal, right?  It’s looking like the main culprit is a ship autopilot, but I doubt the officers and bridge watch of the Fitzgerald will get out of this unscathed.

Tr3 – Getting rid of traffic lights with autonomous cars.  Not surprised this is coming out of Singapore.

Tr4 – A MagLev vertical and horizontal movement elevator.  I believe Gene called them ‘Turbolifts’.

Tr5 – Lowering the boom on da BOOM!

Weird and Wonderful

WW1 – A green city isn’t a crazy idea, but it would involve some engineering to prevent the plants from tearing the city apart (seriously, have you ever seen what a wisteria can do in the space of a few years?).



Image by pestoverde

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Morning Ed: Crime {2017.06.28.W}( 56 )

[Cr1] Look, but don’t touch. It’s important.

[Cr2] Ever get the impression we may not be giving CIA agents enough work to do?

[Cr3] Good news, pregnant woman! You can murder now.

[Cr4] In a couple years, John Walker Lindh is going to be a free man.

[Cr5] I had an awful lot of difficulty explaining the St Louis cop shooting to my wife. Also, some experts on the Philando Castile shooting.

[Cr6] Microsoft has really scaled back its anti-piracy efforts with Windows, but I don’t think this was what they had in mind.

[Cr7] North Carolina courts have repealed revoked consent. Sounds like something the legislature is going to need to address.

[Cr8] This is just surreal and is the sort of thing that’s going to make me a libertarian.

[Cr9] Body cams, not jut for the sake of defendants!

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Morning Ed: Wildlife {2017.06.27.T}( 15 )

[W1] It’s like a folding chair or a guitar, except silk for a spider.

[W2] Those pictures of goats on cliffs always weird me out. Goats on trees similarly. Turns out, they’re useful up there.

[W3] Turtles are becoming collateral damage in Britain’s hunger for prawns.

[W4] For $15,000, you can help scientists watch sharks.

[W5] Attack of the giant squid! Also, sea pickles invade our Pacific Coast!

[W6] Return of the library cat. And introducing the tall ship cats.

[W7] Meanwhile, pumas really hate Rush Limbaugh.

[W8] Dracula vs bears.


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Morning Ed: World {2017.06.26.M}( 135 )

[W1] The UK is looking at a potentially massive brain drain from Brexit. Also, slumpity-slump slump.

[W2] Iraq has an illegal hunting problem.

[W3] It’s honestly a weird time to be writing about the danger of seasteading, as most projects seem to be on the decline and/or abandonment stage. It’s not wrong about the impracticalities, though it makes a series of interesting moral assumptions.

[W4] Some beautiful and fascinating pictures of Antarctica.

[W5] Catherine Rampell warns that millennials won’t save the west.

[W6] For people above a certain age, remembering Czechoslovakia helps. The rest, I guess, need an ad campaign.

[W7] Don’t ask fate to spare you twice.

[W8] Not sure “stuck” is the word I would use here. I mean, it could be that these places are just so genuinely loved that people don’t want to leave! Vox has more mobility: Who leaves, who doesn’t leave, and what kinds of places people leave and don’t leave.


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Linky Friday: Doomed, Gloomed, and Unfed( 186 )


mad scientist photo

Image by Phil and Pam

[Sc1] I don’t understand why more people don’t take stuff like this seriously. It must be because they dislike science and intelligence.

[Sc2] Brian Boutwell cautions against allowing fear of how bad people receive scientific results to affect whether scientific results are released.

[Sc3] Honestly, I don’t really know what this means, but the pictures seem cool.

[Sc4] To fund research, some scientists are starting to have to get creative.

[Sc5] The broader issue indeed. “The broader issue is that they seem eager to have reached the conclusion that they reached.”

[Sc6] This sounds more shocking than it is. If it makes the news, it’s new and different. If it’s new and different, it’s more likely to be wrong.

[Sc7] There may be a deregulation (well, a lifting of some of the constraints) of social science research.


doom photo

Image by glen edelson

[T1] This will end badly. This will end badly. I know you’re getting tired of hearing about how “this will end badly” but come on!

[T2] This is either really neat or really dystopian and I’m not sure which.

[T3] I think I’ve seen this anime before..

[T4] Thomas Winslow Hazlett says that we could have had cell phones much sooner if only the government had allowed it.

[T5] Leon Neyfakh says that we can get rid of air conditioning and it wouldn’t be too bad. All we’d have to do is almost entirely change the way we live our lives (and where we live).

[T6] The New Atlantis looks at virtual reality and abstract imagination spaces as a moral ideal.


chuck e cheese photo

Image by downing.amanda

[F1] Introducing the dog-eat-dog world of the chicken we consume.

[F2] Lyman Stone argues that avocado toast is ruining everything.

[F3] In an April’s Fools prank gone wrong, PETA unleashed something horrible upon us.

[F4] Building a better cow. Or, at least, a less flatulating one.

[F5] Don’t start a fight with a pig unless you’re ready to finish it. Also, wear a cup?

[F6] Matthew Walther explains how Chuck E Cheese is one of the best bars in America. {Counterpoint}


Taco Bell photo

Image by JeepersMedia

[E1] A look at the future of the hydrogen economy. I very much like “scalable” and “low cost.”

[E2] Oil, goal, natural gas, ruined mayonnaise

[E3] Are we looking at a solar energy trade war?

[E4] Is it a paradox? Or just a matter of not snorting your own stash?

[E5] In Mississippi they’re opening a clean coal plant so clean there’s no coal.

[E6] Trump wants to build solar and wind stations on his Wall. I still think the key is Taco Bell franchises (because, obviously, “run for the border.”)


science fiction photo

Image by Marxchivist

[Sp1] Looking for life on Europa.

[Sp2] Jupiter has a 69th moon!

[Sp3] This is a supervillain origin story, I’m pretty sure. This one may be, too.

[Sp4] Brianna Rennix wants to know why libertarians seem to own space fantasies these days.

[Sp5] This article on the gravitational force of Earth is interesting. That picture, though, is freaky as heck.

[Sp6] Teehee!

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